UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:31 AM ETInside: John McClain Replica Louis Murphy Jersey sizes up what the final 53-man roster maylook like and who that leaves on the bubble. page C3 TEXANSTeam thinks Foster shares tad too muchArian Foster gets in hot water after posting the MRI of hishamstring on Twitter.Story on PAGE C3MINNEAPOLIS – Coach Gary Kubiak insists there are still rosterspots to be won in the Texans’ last preseason game tonightagainst the Minnesota Vikings.There’s also fierce competition at some positions and not enoughat others.Kubiak and general manager Rick Smith will reduce the rosterfrom 80 to 53 on Friday. They’ll set the practice squadSaturday.”I’m sure Rick and I will get a head start working on it on theplane after the Minnesota game,” Kubiak said.After the roster has been set at 53, it’s still going to change.Smith will continue to bring players in after Authentic Jason Campbell Jersey White they’re waived byother teams.”We’re pretty deep at some spots,” Kubiak said. “We’ve got somenice problems. But at the same time, we’re still going to try tomake our team better.”Starters and some key reserves are going to sit out theMinnesota game after helping the Texans open the preseason 3-0 forthe first time. They’re preparing Louis Murphy Jersey Premier for the regular-season openeragainst Indianapolis on Sept. 11 at Reliant Stadium.”I want to look at our young guys,” Kubiak said. “Our Raiders Jason Campbell Premier Jersey veteranshave had a good preseason. This turnaround from a San Franciscotrip (Saturday) to a Minnesota trip has been very difficult on theguys. We haven’t been able to do much leading up to this game.”I want to keep some guys healthy, and I want to find out aboutthe other guys. So with that in mind, you won’t see many veteransplay.”Kubiak is looking for depth at wide receiver and in theoffensive and defensive lines.Only three spots are solidified at receiver with Andre Johnson,Kevin Walter and Jacoby Jones. No other receivers have earned thefourth and fifth spots.Dorin Dickerson is trying to make the team in his second season.Veteran Bryant Johnson, 30, signed this week, is also trying tomake the team.Slaton may play todayInjuries have hurt depth in the offensive line. Tackle RashadButler has recovered from his hamstring injury. Guard AntoineCaldwell will have to play with a high ankle sprain and should beavailable for the Colts game.The Texans don’t need a running back,but there’s a chance Steve Slaton will play for the first time inthe preseason. He returned to practice this week for the first timesince suffering a hamstring injury early in camp.”There’s plenty of football to go around,” Kubiak said abouttonight’s game.Because the Texans are playing a 3-4 schemeunder Wade Phillips, the numbers will be different on defense.They’ll keep fewer linemen and more linebackers than they kept inthe 4-3 over the last five seasons.”I’ve talked to Wade about it,” Kubiak said. “Obviously, thenumbers will be different, but those things tend Louis Murphy Premier Jersey to work themselvesout.”We could have nine or 10 linebackers on the team. We could havesix Replica Jason Campbell Jersey Black defensive linemen. We’re heavy on defense compared to theoffense. Everything’s totally different (on defense), but thenumbers still add up.”4-0 preseason on lineIf the Texans defeat the Vikings, they’llbe Premier Jason Campbell Jersey White 4-0 in preseason for the first time. If they lose, they’ll be3-1 for the second time in Kubiak’s six Premier Louis Murphy Jersey seasons.Still, Kubiak isn’t putting a lot of emphasis on winning.”I think preseason is a great indicator of how hard our guysworked during the lockout,” he said. “We had great leadership offthe field, and I think it’s shown. But we’ve got to respond as anorganization, coaching staff and team.”I think our focus has been good, and the job Wade’s donegetting the defense ready quickly has been very, veryimportant.”For those who contend that winning in preseason isn’t important,the last 17 Super Bowl winners have been 44-26 in preseasongames.john.mcclain twitter/mcclain_on_nfl…PreseasonTexans at Vikings7 p.m. todayTV/radio: Ch. 13; 610 AM, 100.3 FM, 1010 AM…WHITTLING THE ROSTERThe Texans have Louis Murphy Replica Jersey to reduce their rosterfrom 80 to 53 on Friday. Some players who are waived will be signedto the practice squad a day later. Here is John McClain’sprojection of the 53-man roster:Offense (23)Quarterbacks (3): Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart, T.J. Yates.On the bubble: None.Running backs (3): Arian Foster, Derrick Ward, Ben Tate.On the bubble: Steve Slaton, Chris Ogbonnaya, JavarrisWilliams.Fullbacks Premier Jason Campbell Jersey Black (2): James Casey, Lawrence Vickers.On the bubble: Zac Pauga.Tight ends (3): Owen Daniels, Joel Dreessen, Garrett Graham.On the bubble: Anthony Hill.Receivers (4): Jason Campbell Jersey Free Shipping Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Jacoby Jones, DorinDickerson.On the bubble: Trindon Holliday, Bryant Johnson, Jeff Maehl,Derrick Townsel, Terrence Toliver.Offensive linemen (8): Eric Winston, Duane Brown, Wade Smith,Mike Brisiel, Chris Myers, Rashad Butler, Antoine Caldwell, AndrewGardner.On the bubble: Derek Newton, Cole Pemberton, Cody Wallace,Howard Barbieri, Peter Hendrickson.Defense (27)Linemen (6): Antonio Smith, Shaun Cody, J.J. Watt, EarlMitchell, Damione Lewis, Tim Jamison.On the bubble: Tim Bulman, Scooter Berry, John Graves, GuyMiller.Linebackers (9): Mario Williams, Connor Barwin, DeMeco Ryans,Brian Cushing, Darryl Sharpton, Brooks Reed, Xavier Adibi, JesseNading, Tim Dobbins.On the bubble: Cheta Ozougwu, Bryan Braman, Stanford Keglar,Steven Friday.Defensive backs (12): Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, JasonAllen, Replica Jason Campbell Jersey White Brice McCain, Sherrick McManis, Brandon Harris, RocCarmichael, Glover Quin, Danieal Manning, Troy Nolan, QuintinDemps, Shiloh Keo.On the bubble: Dominique Barber, Torri Williams.Specialists (3)Kicker (1): Neil Rackers.Punter (1): Brad Maynard.Snapper (1): Jon Weems.On the bubble: Scott Albritton.Terms & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:30 AM ETEAST RUTHERFORD – Plaxico Burress didn’t have a reception Mondaynight. But his presence certainly was noticeable in his first gameagainst the Giants.Coach Rex Ryan made the former Raiders Jason Campbell Authentic Jersey Giant a game captain, and he wasthe only Jet who went to midfield before the game. He lost the cointoss, but it worked out OK as the Giants’ first drive ended with aturnover.Burress also figured prominently in the first touchdown of the Jets’ 17-3 victory at MetLifeStadium, as his presence in the red Jason Campbell Jersey Authentic zone led to the Giants beingtoo conscious of Jason Campbell Jersey White their former teammate, giving Santonio Holmes justenough room to snag a 17-yard scoring pass from Mark Sanchez.”All season,” Holmes said, “it’s going to be difficult for anydefense to match up against myself and Plax.”"It was definitely a good feeling,” Burress said of being sentout for the coin toss, adding that Jason Campbell Replica Jersey he appreciated that Ryan didthat.”You know Plaxico,” said Giants’ defensive end Justin Tuck, agood friend of Burress, “he’s going to have a big year for them Jason Campbell Jersey Premier andI’m just glad to have our corners go up and get some Premier Jason Campbell Jersey work against aguy like that. A 6-5 guy, you don’t get a lot of work in practiceagainst a guy like that and they were up for the challenge.”And other than that pass to Holmes, which was set up by AntonioCromartie’s 68-yard kickoff return to the Giants’ 35, the Giants’secondary and pass rush did a good job of bottling up the Jets’ passing game.In the unit’s final appearance of the preseason, Jason Campbell Stitched Jersey the Jets’ starting offense managed only113 yards in seven series and converted only one of eight thirddowns before exiting after their first drive Replica Jacoby Ford Jersey White of the secondhalf.Ryan said after the game that the starting offense would”absolutely not” play in the preseason finale against Philadelphiaon Thursday. So this will be the last game action for that unituntil the Jets open the regular season againstDallas on Sept. 11.”We’re ready,” Sanchez said. “We played well in the redzone.”"For the most part,” Burress said, “I think we’re headed in theright direction.Although Sanchez wasn’t sacked, he had four carries for 7 yards,meaning he was forced out of the pocket several times by pressure.He Jason Campbell Jersey Replica finished 8-for-16 for 64 yards.When asked what he Official Jason Campbell Jersey saw from his offense on third downs, Ryanquipped, “not much,” although he said he was pleased with the waySanchez played.BRIEFS: A Jets’ spokesman said they lost powerat the facility as part of Replica Jason Campbell Jersey widespread outages in the Florham Parkarea. Those areas critical to the operation of the football team –coaching, personnel, team meeting Jason Campbell Premier Jersey rooms, training room, footballvideo — continued to function off an existing generator. …Rookie DE Muhammad Wilkerson was ejected for fighting with Giants’RB Brandon Jacobs in the third quarter. … Reserve WR Logan Payne,battling to make the roster as the fifth receiver, exited in thefirst half with an injury to his left wrist and did not return. …NT Sione Pouha (knee) did not play for the second consecutive game.Martin Tevaseu replaced him in the starting lineup.E-mail: pelzmanTerms & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:31 AM ETEAST RUTHERFORD – Until the day these Rex-ified Jets hoist the Lombardi Trophy thatbombastic coach Rex Ryan has promised since the day Darren McFadden Replica Jersey he was hired,the Giants can remain solidly behind the fightin’ words of theirdefensive leader Justin Tuck and claim superiority based on SuperBowl pedigree alone.The Giants closed the deal a mere four seasons ago, taking theirmemorable postseason ride through the conference Jacoby Ford Jersey Replica title game andbeyond, surpassing the plateau that has thwarted the Jets the past two seasons.But as the Giants slip further and further behind the standardthey Raiders Darren McFadden Replica Jersey set in that 2007 season, the Jets quickly are emerging as the newbest closers in town. They make the big plays when they need themmost, sending a clear, strong signal that no matter how muchblather is behind their hype, there is substance there too.On a preseason night that mattered about as much as preseasonnights can matter in the NFL, the Jets closed out the Giants, 17-3,because NFL Darren McFadden Jersey they took advantage of the few good opportunities they hadas opposed to the Giants squandering the few good chances of theirown.These neighborhood rivals waited two days to get here because ofHurricane Irene, Raiders Darren McFadden Premier Jersey and with both teams facing their fourth and finalpreseason game in just two more days, this represented the lastrehearsal before the season’s real drama.The miscues and mishaps came from both sides, but when itmattered the most, the Jets earned more applause.With but one play in the red zone all night, quarterback MarkSanchez wasted no time, hitting Santonio Holmes with abeautifully-placed, first-down throw to the corner pocket.There weren’t many other entries on the reel Darren McFadden Stitched Jersey of highlights forSanchez’ first-team offense – it finished the night just 1-for-8 onthird-down conversions — but the seven-point reward was more thanthe Giants could muster.While the Darren McFadden Jersey Replica Giants first-stringers more than doubled their Jets counterparts in yards(293-113), they couldn’t close anything out.Manning threw two interceptions around his one field-goal driveof the first half, a brief 3-0 lead that lost its good will when itwas followed by Antonio Cromartie’s electrifying 68-yard kickoffreturn, a run that set up Holmes’ touchdown.”Obviously, I’d like to get a few more first downs,” Ryan saidat halftime. “I think the defense stood up a little bit. We hadsome miscues there, but it’s a preseason game. I am happy with thelead, but it is ridiculous the difference in yardage. We have toplay a lot better offensively. We have to move the ballbetter.”Tom Coughlin had to be feeling the same way. With his team’soffensive ugliness surely in Replica Darren McFadden Jersey White mind, Coughlin ignored his own plan touse his Official Darren McFadden Jersey starters for the first half only and sent Manning and Co.out for one more shot at the end zone, giving them the ball on thefirst drive of the second half. The Giants made it all the way tothe Darren McFadden Jersey Women 1-yard line, only to Replica Darren McFadden Jersey see D.J. Ware get swallowed on hisdesperation fourth-down carry.Give the Jets’ second-team defense credit forclosing Ware down, landing on him in an explosive group tackle thatallowed Ryan to pump his fists and wave his arms in delight.And like a dugout emptying to the mound to congratulate ashutdown closer, the Jets’ sideline came alive behindhim, flooding forward in a hearty celebration.With no such closing ability, the Giants found no such joy.Manning can insist many times over that he will be fine withouthis erstwhile close-quarter safety valves, Steve Smith and KevinBoss, that he no longer pines for the lengthy arms of newest-JetPlaxico Burress, but games like this only underscore why thosewords feel so hollow. The onetime Super Bowl MVP had some magicwith Plax back in the day, but now that dust is being sprinkled ingreen.Burress didn’t repeat the touchdown-scoring performance thatpunctuated his return to competitive football last time out againstthe Bengals, but his presence alone reminded us of his value.Burress pulled coverage away from Holmes on the scoring Darren McFadden Jersey White drive,making the touchdown Darren McFadden Jersey Free Shipping pass look easy. Sanchez had a clear line ofvision and took advantage. He sure isn’t Mariano Rivera yet, butSanchez did manage to out-clutch one of the best under-pressure QBsin the game in Manning.Manning didn’t get to the end zone, but neither did he leave thefield with a bloodied forehead like a preseason ago, when CalvinPace’s crushing blow sent Manning’s helmet flying off his head.This year’s edition of the local rivalry has a new name – theMetLife Bowl – in a newly named stadium, but had little of thedrama of a season ago.The Jets made a few more big Replica Darren McFadden Jersey Black plays,which for this night at least, made them the better closers.The Giants still have the championship advantage. But the Jets are gaining.E-mail: sullivanTerms Raiders Darren McFadden Authentic Jersey & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:31 AM Raiders Jacoby Ford Premier Jersey ETTAMPA Perhaps James Harrell realized something we didn’t.Maybe Jesuit’s coach knew Aaron Paulsen “AP” to teammates wasideally suited to withstand the cauldron of searing intensity,smack NFL Jacoby Ford Jersey talk and safety blitzes that will be Dads Stadium on Fridaynight. If you’re gonna toss a kid Raiders Jacoby Ford Jersey into the fire, you’ve got to knowbeforehand that he’s heat resistant. Perhaps that’s why Harrell, tothe astonishment of many, has tabbed Paulsen as his startingquarterback for this ultra-hyped season opener at Plant.”The kid is pretty athletic,” Harrell said.Not to mention resilient. Harrell has to know that, right?Surely, someone told him about Paulsen’s days with the Dolphins of the Tampa Bay YouthFootball League. And about that fever, and frenetic overtimeconclusion.Go back a half-decade to a Saturday morning a playoff Saturdaymorning when Paulsen awoke with a 103-degree fever. As Dolphins equipment manager, JayPaulsen had to be there, but he told the oldest of his two boys tostay home.Aaron refused. “He actually didn’t even dress out. He didn’t dopregame Raiders Jacoby Ford Authentic Jersey calisthenics,” Jay recalled. “He pretty much said he wantedto try it.”After a nip-and-tuck first half, Aaron told his coach hecouldn’t go anymore. But when the backup promptly rolled his ankle,he Reebok Jacoby Ford Jersey re-entered. In the third overtime, Aaron threw a tying TD passand after an excessive -celebration penalty passed for the winningtwo-point conversion.”I think it would kill Premier Jacoby Ford Jersey White him watching from the sidelines,” Jaysaid.This, Jesuit fans, is your new starter: a 5-foot-9 senior withbrown bangs, decent speed (4.8 seconds in the 40), a respectablearm and moxie to burn. Two weeks ago, his world was flipped like aremodeled bungalow.That’s when Harrell moved him from slot receiver and told him hewas the Tigers’ quarterback, ahead of 6-foot-4 senior Tommy Eveld,who shined all summer in Jacoby Ford Stitched Jersey various 7-on-7 gigs.”I sat them down and kind of told them what their skill setswere,” Harrell said. “And I told Tommy he has a strong arm and welike it, but (Aaron) gives us Jacoby Ford Jersey White the best chance of winning based onwhat we’re doing right now.”With that, Paulsen began bracing for his first start at QB in ameaningful contest since the TBYFL Super Bowl four years ago. Inthe hours leading to kickoff, he’ll blast his trademark pregametune Run This Town by Jay-Z through his iPod. Then, the real noisewill follow.Friday’s game, the first between the Himes Avenue rivals in 17years, is a sellout.”Scared? I’m a little bit of everything,” said Paulsen, who had23 receptions and took some snaps in the Wildcat look lastseason.”This is my second start as the Jesuit quarterback (includinglast week’s preseason game) and it’s Plant. I’m nervous but I thinkwe have a good chance of winning. All we have to do is work. Official Jacoby Ford Jersey Work,work, work.”The dynamic Paulsen provides was brandished on a weather-beatennight two Saturdays ago, at Jesuit’s final full scrimmage. Hesuccessfully slithered from trouble when the pocket collapsed and,on a broken play, rolled left and found Travis Johnson for a48-yard completion.He also had a 60-yard TD toss to Johnson. “I think (the switchfrom Eveld to Paulsen) shocked a lot of people, but he Premier Jacoby Ford Jersey Black brings awhole different aspect to the game,” Tigers senior receiver BryceWalker said.”I remember we put him in as a backup to give our defense a looklast year, and he carved up our starting defense.”A Dads Stadium dissection, by contrast, will prove morechallenging. Hence the reason Harrell insists he’ll need both hisquarterbacks to win.”Tommy has a different skill set,” Harrell said. “Tommy’s Replica Jacoby Ford Jersey Black good,too, now.”But it starts Friday with AP, who’s psyched, stoked and still abit stunned.The fever’s back. “This (past) weekend I was introduced asJesuit’s starting quarterback, I wasn’t introduced like I normallywas,” Paulsen said. “It’s been different, I love it. I love beingthe starter here.”Terms & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Jacoby Ford Jersey Black rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:31 AM ETIt Raiders Richard Seymour Replica Jersey used to be that even the long-snapper for the Buffalo Bills had his own radio show. Not somuch anymore. But Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson hasdone enough for the team and is Premier Louis Murphy Jersey Black popular enough to have struck hisown marketing deal with Raiders Richard Seymour Authentic Jersey M&T Bank.Jackson has agreed to be the face of M&T Bank advertising inWestern New York in an agreement the bank is Raiders Richard Seymour Premier Jersey announcing today.Jackson is the spokesman for Buffalo Bills checking with the bank andwill be featured in the bank’s advertising campaign throughout thefootball season. M&T also has a deal with the Bills as its official bank. Jacksonand the bank will donate 155 tickets to the Boys and Authentic Richard Seymour Jersey Girls Reebok Louis Murphy Jersey Club ofBuffalo for Thursday’s preseason game against Detroit.”Fred Jackson makes a great addition to the M&T team. Heworks hard in practice, runs hard on the field and he shares ourbelief Authentic Rolando McClain Jersey in serving Bills fans and the community, whichmakes him a great member of the team to raise the green flag ofM&T Bank,” said M&T Bank Chief Marketing Officer Peter J.Eliopoulos.Terms & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 12:30 AM ETThe Buffalo Bills’ home opener against theOakland Raiders and the third home game of the season against thePhiladelphia Eagles both are sold out, the team announced.Meanwhile, the Bills said only limited tickets areleft for the second home game, against chief nemesis New England,on Rolando McClain Authentic Jersey Sept. 25. The Raiders game is Sept. 18. The Eagles, with starquarterback Michael Vick and ex-Bill Jason Peters, come to OrchardPark on Oct. Authentic Louis Murphy Jersey Black 9.The Richard Seymour Stitched Jersey other home games at Orchard Park are against Richard Seymour Authentic Jersey the Jets onNov. 6, the Titans on Dec. 4, the Dolphins on Dec. 18 and theBroncos on Dec. 24.***The Bills have approached receiverRoscoe Parrish about a contract extension, a league source tellsThe News.Parrish is in the last year of a deal that averaged $3.3 milliona year. Parrish just turned 29 and revived his receiving careerunder coach Chan Gailey last season with 33 catches in eight games.Parrish, in his seventh season out of Miami, likes playing forGailey.***The play of undrafted rookie linebacker Robert Eddins haspleased Gailey this summer. Eddins, 6-foot-3 and 248 pounds, is aDetroit native who played at Ball State. He earned second-team AllMid-American Conference Raiders Louis Murphy Jersey honors as a junior and senior as adefensive end for the Cardinals. He had six sacks as a senior and17 for his college career.”Completely surprising,” Gailey said. “I had no idea really whohe was. The scouting staff said, ‘Hey we need to look at this guy,he’s got something to him.’ And they were right. The guy has reallydone a great job.”***The Lions are 3-0 in preseason and dismantled New England,34-10, last week.Detroit comes to Orchard Park Authentic Richard Seymour Jersey Black in good health. Running backJahvid Best will return to the lineup. He has been out sincesuffering a concussion Richard Seymour Jersey Authentic in the exhibition opener.Lions top draft pick Nick Fairley of Auburn suffered a brokenfoot the first week of training camp. He’s still out and might missthe first game or two.email: mgaughanTerms & Conditions |Privacy |Copyright |? 2009 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 4:12 PM ETCHICAGO (AP)Unhappy with his contract, Chicago Bears Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs told the Chicago Tribune he is seeking permission to look for a trade.FOX Fantasy FootballCreate your FOX Fantasy Football league today for free. Live scoring, mock drafts, customizable leagues and more.”The Bears made their decision, now I have to make mine,” he told the newspaper. ”It’s just how the business works. It’s not going to take away from what I do on the field. Authentic Chad Ochocinco Jersey Dark Blue I’m 100 percent a Bear, until I’m not a Bear anymore.”He said agent Drew Rosenhaus has filed a formal request to seek a trade.A six-time Pro Bowl pick, Briggs has three years left on a six-year, $36 million deal and is scheduled to make $3.9 million this season, including bonuses. He recently approached the Bears seeking a raise, but management apparently is not budging. Chicago has about $19 million in cap room.Rosenhaus did not return a message from the Associated Press on Friday. The Bears had no comment.This isn’t the first time Briggs has butted heads with the team over a contract.He vowed he would never play ”another down for Chicago Premier Anthony Davis Jersey Red again” after the Bears slapped the franchise-player tag on him for the 2007 season. He wound up accepting a one-year, $7.2 million contract and agreed to that six-year deal in March 2008.Briggs has seen other linebackers such as the New York Jets’ David Harris (four years, $36 million with $29.6 million guaranteed) get new deals this offseason Wes Welker Jersey Authentic and wants one himself. The Tribune reported he was willing to Wes Welker Jersey Replica wait until the end of the season before asking permission to seek a trade but changed his mind after meeting with general Customized 49ers Jersey manager Jerry Angelo on Sunday.”I understand Official Anthony Davis Jersey and respect their decision,” Briggs told the Tribune.He is NFL San Francisco 49ers Jersey Shop not the first Chicago linebacker to seek a salary Chad Ochocinco Authentic Jersey bump.Brian Urlacher got a one-year extension in 2008 that included a reported $18 million in new money. Of course, he’s the face of the franchise.Briggs, however, remains one of the most productive players on a team hoping to build on a run to the NFC championship game last season. He became Custom 49ers Jersey the fourth Bears linebacker to make six straight Pro Bowls a year ago, joining Hall of Famers Dick Butkus, Bill George and Mike Singletary.He is recovering from a bruised knee and sat out the final three preseason games, but he expects to be ready for the opener against Atlanta on Sept. 11.Besides Briggs, running back Matt Forte is seeking a Official San Francisco 49ers Jersey new deal. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is trying to negotiate an extension.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 5:21 PM ETSAN FRANCISCO (AP)Jim Harbaugh is taking a big chance by giving quarterback Alex Smith a second chance.FOX Fantasy FootballCreate your FOX Fantasy Football league today for free. Live scoring, mock drafts, customizable leagues and more.Or third, fourth or fifth chance depending who’s counting.Smith has played for three different coaches and a new offensive coordinator in each of his seven seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.Change is all he knows. This time, he’s thrilled about it.Smith’s new boss, Harbaugh, is confident that he can be the one to turn the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick into a consistent winner at last when previous 49ers coaches Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary couldn’t. Smith is back behind center this season for San Francisco when many thought – and much of the fan base sure hoped – he would be long gone.The lockout helped his cause coming back, too.And Smith’s play very well could define Harbaugh’s first year.”I didn’t have any expectations coming off last year and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Smith said. ”To have him kind of have that trust in me and to see something on film that he liked and to have me come back, it definitely excited me. But it excited me, more so, just what he stood for, what the staff stood for, what they were trying to get done, how he envisioned the quarterback playing, all those things. A lot played into it.”How long Smith lasts as the starter depends on performance. Rookie second-round pick Colin Kaepernick is waiting for his shot, and there are plenty of Smith skeptics who believe that time could come sooner than later.Team president Jed York made the high-profile hire of Harbaugh in January and gave him a $25 million, five-year contract with the expectations of an immediate turnaround. Harbaugh pulled it off right up the road at Stanford, so why not now in the NFL?FOOTBALL IS BACK!FOX Sports has everything you need to kick off the season.Play FOX Fantasy Football ”To be successful this season, there are a lot of things we have to do well, maybe there are 1,000 things and we’re on step 50 right now,” Harbaugh said. ”We’re certainly more than three or four steps away and we’re trying to improve on all facets of the game at this point.”That could take a while, and Harbaugh knows it. Already behind because of the lockout, new general manager Trent Baalke faced criticism early in training camp about not making a splash in free agency as former key players signed elsewhere – though that quieted down once the team began making moves. While San Francisco gave experienced receiver Braylon Edwards a fresh start out West, the Niners also lost some key faces on both sides of the ball.Cornerback Nate Clements. Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin. Center David Baas.There are also plenty of questions about the returning veterans.Receiver Michael Reebok Michael Crabtree Jersey Crabtree missed his third preseason in as many years, NFL Michael Crabtree Jersey two-time Pro Bowl running NFL Taylor Mays Jersey back Frank Gore is coming back from a fractured right hip that cost him the final five games in 2010, and the offensive line remains a major Premier Taylor Mays Jersey work in progress.”It’s still new,” left tackle Joe Staley said of Harbaugh’s system. ”I definitely feel like there’s a sense of urgency and it’s a clean slate for a lot of guys. We’re embracing the change. We haven’t had the success we’ve hoped.”Last year’s 49ers had plans to win the NFC West and were considered the favorite entering the regular season. Instead, they lost their first five games in a surprising start and spent the whole year trying to get back into the race in the league’s worst division. Seattle won the West at 7-9. Feeling the heatWho needs Vernon Davis Authentic Jersey to start producing in 2011? John Czarnecki takes a look at the 10 hottest seats in the NFL.The 0-5 start in 2010 was the worst since San Francisco dropped seven straight to begin a 2-14 season in 1979, in the late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh’s first year.It was embarrassing.”It’s a different culture. It’s a different atmosphere,” linebacker Ahmad Brooks said. ”Everything’s going to evolve over time.”Harbaugh comes from an NFL coaching lineage that includes his father, Jack, and brother, John, coach of the Baltimore Ravens. But Harbaugh will have to prove himself again at this level.The former NFL quarterback was among the most sought after coaches last winter after guiding Stanford to a lopsided Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.”On the offensive side of the ball, everybody is on the same page. When you watch the film, man, it just looks different,” Gore said. ”It’s not boring. I think Coach Harbaugh brings enthusiasm. We have fun. He lets Official Taylor Mays Jersey you be yourself. It’s all about football. If you Authentic Vernon Davis Jersey White mess you up, he still lets you know what you can do better. He brings you up. He never tries to bring you down. And that’s a plus.”Gore is confident Authentic Vernon Davis Jersey he can bounce back in 2011. He is determined to put up some big numbers in his contract year – though he hopes to receive a new long-term deal before Week 1.For Official Mike Iupati Jersey now, Gore and Co. want to do what they can to make Smith look good.The 27-year-old Smith threw for 2,370 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games and 10 starts last season, but he also threw 10 interceptions and was sacked 25 times. He shared the starting role with Troy Smith.”I don’t feel it’s a risky Reebok Vernon Davis Jersey gamble,” Staley said of Smith as the starter. ”Coach has been clear that regardless what your name is, the best players are going to play on the field. If he feels Alex is the best quarterback, then he is going to play. We all 100 percent agree with any decision he makes as far as personnel goes.”
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 5:38 PM ETTAMPA, Fla. (AP)Middle Official Chad Ochocinco Jersey linebacker Tyrone McKenzie NFL Chad Ochocinco Jersey was reportedly among the finalroster cuts of Customized New England Patriots Jersey the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and No. 3 quarterback RudyCarpenter’s status remained uncertain as Saturday’s deadlineapproached.Coach Raheem Morris said Friday the Bucs ”won’t make anythingfinal until the end of the weekend,” but McKenzie told the TampaTribune he is among the players the Bucs cut before thedeadline.After playing in the final three games of last season, McKenziewent into training camp a contender to replace Barrett Ruud, TampaBay’s starting middle linebacker for NFL Devin McCourty Jersey the last Custom Patriots Jersey four years. ButMorris chose rookie Mason Foster as his starting middle linebackerin the first few Reebok Football Patriots Jersey days of camp.Morris would not confirm any cuts, saying, ”I want to be fairto those guys. I don’t want to put names out there.” However, inanalyzing the personnel at all three of his linebacker positionsFriday, the coach did not mention McKenzie.Foster, Quincy Black and Geno Hayes will be the startinglinebackers in the Bucs’ season opener against Detroit on Sept. 11,and Morris emphasized the versatility of backups Dekoda Watson andAdam Heyward.”(Rookie free agent Derrell) Smith came in here. He did a nicejob of learning the position, having a serious demeanor of a(middle linebacker), and going out there and competing,” Morrissaid. ”That position is one of the ones still up for question, butwe’re certainly happy with that top group of guys.”Carpenter’s spot was jeopardized by a change in the NFL’sgame-day roster rules. Instead of designating a third ”emergency”quarterback among the 46 active players for each game, teams arenow free to use that spot for any position, and the Bucs appear Authentic Devin McCourty Jersey tobe leaning against carrying a third active quarterback. Morris saidCarpenter is eligible for the practice squad if he clears waivers,which would leave starter Josh Freeman and backup Josh Johnson asthe only quarterbacks on the roster.”You hope it’s not a risk as much for us as for most people,”Morris said. ”We do have a big, giant guy that plays quarterbackfor us if we can protect him. That’s why we gave a lot of coin to(offensive linemen) Davin Joseph and Donald Penn and Jeff Faine andJeremy Trueblood.”Cornerback Aqib Talib, who battled a hamstring injury aftermissing the last four games of 2010 with a hip injury, didn’t playduring the preseason. Morris said it is not a concern.”Absolutely none. I’ve seen him go out there and do it with ahurting hamstring for six games,” he said. ”He ran the other dayand he looked Personalized Patriots Jersey great, so we’ll keep letting him get NFL Danny Woodhead Jersey better and he’llget ready for Official Devin McCourty Jersey Detroit.”
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 6:58 PM ETTEMPE, Ariz. (AP)The Arizona Cardinals have released Ben Graham, DeSean Jackson Stitched Jersey the team’spunter since Eagles LeSean McCoy Replica Jersey December 2008, and 24 others to get down to the NFL’s53-man roster limit.Graham’s release means the punting chores will go to DaveZastudil, a 10-year NFL veteran.Among the others cut are quarterback Brodie Croyle, linebackerWill Davis, defensive end Kenny Iwebema, cornerback Fred Bennett,center Ben Claxton, running back William Powell, safety Matt Ware,fullback Reagan Maui’a and wide receiver Isaiah Williams.In addition, the Cardinals placed wide receiver Sean Jeffcoatand guard Floyd ”Pork Chop” Womack on injured reserve withshoulder injuriesThe coaching staff chose to keep five tight ends and ninelinebackers.Coach Ken Whisenhunt promised more player moves soon.”The one thing I’ll say about the 53-man roster is that Eagles Brent Celek Premier Jersey it’swritten in pencil right now,” he said Friday shortly after thecuts were announced. ”This will not be the same 53-man roster thatwe go in to play against Carolina next week.”He said with each team cutting their rosters LeSean McCoy Jersey Free Shipping from 80 to 53 thisweekend, ”you just feel like that there’s going to be a number ofplayers to look at. Maybe somebody can help you improve yourteam.”Whisenhunt said the only Cardinals’ position ”that’s prettymuch safe is the quarterback.”Among the areas likely to be addressed is running back. With theseason-ending knee injury to rookie Ryan Williams, the Cardinalshave three on their roster – Beanie Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howlingand Alfonso Smith. Smith, on the practice squad as a rookie lastyear, has been slowed by a hamstring injury in the preseason.Graham, an Australian who was the punter in Arizona’s Super Bowlrun after his late addition to the squad, had a big 2009, Jeremy Maclin Jersey Free Shipping when heaveraged 47 yards per punt with 42 inside the opponent’s 20-yardline and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl. But his averaged dippedto 43.4 last season.”That was an area we just felt like we needed to improve in,”Whisenhunt said. ”I can’t thank Ben enough for the work he’s donefor us. He’s been an important contributor to some of our goodteams, certainly the Super Bowl year and the year after that, butwe just felt like where we were as a team, that was an area wherewe needed to improve our consistency.”The Cardinals’ dissatisfaction with Graham Authentic LeSean McCoy Jersey became clear ninedays ago when the team signed Zastudil, who missed Premier Michael Vick Jersey all last seasonwith a knee injury. Zastudil punted for Baltimore and Clevelandwith a career average of 42.7 yards per punt in 113 games.”Dave has a body of work that we’re familiar with,” Whisenhuntsaid, ”punting in the AFC North and in those conditions and beinga successful punter. That was part of the information that we hadgoing in. We needed to see him actually do it in the game for us,and he was impressive in the first half (Thursday night). That wenta long way in answering some of those questions.”Zastudil Eagles Brent Celek Authentic Jersey punted twice for an average of 47.5 yards in Thursdaynight’s 26-7 victory over Denver.Davis was Arizona’s sixth-round draft pick out of Illinois in2009. He started three games in 2010 before being placed on injuredreserve with a leg injury for the final six games. Iwebema, afourth-round pick of the Cardinals out of Iowa in 2008, played inseven games for Arizona last season before a Official DeSean Jackson Jersey knee injury andsubsequent surgery. The Cardinals re-signed him on Aug. 22.The tight end situation remains fluid. The team currently hasTodd Heap, Jeff King, Rob Housler, Jim Dray and Stephen Spach.Housler, a third-round draft pick out of Florida Atlantic, has beenimpressive in training camp but was slowed recently by a groininjury.Spach might have been the odd man out of that group but Dray, a2010 seventh-round draft pick out of Stanford who excels on Authentic Jeremy Maclin Jersey specialteams, sustained a strained left pectoral muscle againstDenver.All the team’s 2011 draft picks made the roster.The team kept six wide receivers – Larry Fitzgerald, AndreRoberts, Early Doucet, Stephen Williams, Chansi Stuckey and rookieDeMarco Sampson.Among those released were rookies safety Jared Campbell andtight end Stephen Skelton, younger brothers of Cardinals defensiveend Calais Campbell and quarterback John Skelton, respectively.
UpdatedSep 2, 2011 7:06 PM ETNEW YORK (AP)Jets rookie quarterback Greg McElroy had surgery to repair hisdislocated right thumb and will be out indefinitely.McElroy, New York’s seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama, wasinjured when his hand hit the helmet of teammate Matt Kroul on athrow in the Jets’ 24-14 preseason loss the Philadelphia Eagles onThursday night. After the game, McElroy said he had to pop histhumb back in after he was hurt in the second quarter.The team announced McElroy had surgery Friday morning, but addedthat there are no immediate plans Eagles Michael Vick Authentic Jersey to place him on season-endinginjured reserve.”It’s just so frustrating,” McElroy said after the game.”It’s just one of those things. We play a sport, Authentic Nnamdi Asomugha Jersey in this game,injuries are part of it. You never want to get too down, Nnamdi Asomugha Jersey Black because itcan happen to anybody. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay healthythroughout my career.”McElroy actually was unable to throw at the NFL combine inFebruary after hurting his throwing hand during the Senior Bowl NFL Nnamdi Asomugha Jersey inMobile, Ala., in a similar fashion. He bruised the hand – it wasinitially diagnosed as a fracture bone – after hitting it on ateammate’s helmet.McElroy was expected to be the No. 3 quarterback behind starterMark Sanchez and backup Mark Brunell, who expects to be ready forthe season opener after missing the preseason with an injuredpinkie and then a strained calf. The Jets could now be in themarket Nnamdi Asomugha Jersey Authentic for a Premier Nnamdi Asomugha Jersey third-string quarterback.Drew Willy, an undrafted free agent from the University ofBuffalo, Eagles Nnamdi Asomugha Authentic Jersey performed well in McElroy’s place, but was reportedlyamong the Jets’ cuts Reebok Michael Vick Jersey Friday. Willy could end up on the Jets’practice squad if he’s not signed by another team.The Jets will not officially announce their cuts Nnamdi Asomugha Authentic Jersey until Saturdaynight, but the agent for offensive lineman Nevin Eagles Michael Vick Jersey McCaskill andlinebacker Joey LaRocque said on Twitter that his clients had beenamong those released. ”Solid players who should be somewheresoon,” Paul Sheehy wrote on his Twitter page.