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Téma: Opposing coaches have a new reason to reconsider

Opposing coaches have a new reason to reconsider 5 hónapja 1 hete #620983

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Calvin Ridley the third priority in defensive plans against the Atlanta Falcons‘ passing game.The New Orleans Saints tried that approach last week Cody Barton Jersey , devoting extra defensive help to both Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu while leaving Ridley in man-to-man coverage. Ridley took advantage of the matchups with an Atlanta rookie-record three touchdown catches, even though the Falcons lost to the Saints, 43-37 , in overtime.Ridley’s breakout game could pay off for Jones, Sanu and the offense in future games, including Sunday’s visit from Cincinnati. It could be more difficult for defenses to devote double coverage to the Falcons’ veteran receivers when there is compelling evidence of Ridley’s speed and big-play ability shredding a defense.“It will help out a lot,” Sanu said Wednesday. “Calvin is explosive, as you saw on Sunday. He’s definitely a game-changer for us.”Ridley’s three TD catches in one game matched Jones’ total for his entire 2017 season. He had 146 yards receiving on seven catches. He has a team-leading four scoring catches in the last two weeks, making him look like another top target for quarterback Matt Ryan.“He creates unbelievable separation,” Ryan said after Wednesday’s practice. “His acceleration out of cuts is really good. His patience for a young receiver versus man to man coverage, knowing how to win and the timing of the play. All of that stuff usually takes a long time to learn and he’s been doing it naturally.”Ridley’s first touch came at tailback , where he was stopped on a run following a pitch from Ryan. His impact at receiver made that gadget play easy to forget.Ridley said he doesn’t know if the big game will lead to more attention from the Bengals’ defense.“I really don’t have any idea,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and work and give myself the best chance to produce and give my team the best chance to win.”Falcons coach Dan Quinn was careful to point out that Jones helped to create the scoring opportunities for Ridley in Atlanta’s partnership of former Alabama receivers.“Usually when you open the book, you’re staring at 11,” Quinn said of opposing defensive coordinators’ worries about Jones, the two-time first-team All-Pro selection. “He’s the one who gets your attention right off the bat to say ‘OK, how is this man not going to wreck the game?'”Now Ridley is another big concern for defenses.Another former Alabama player, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, is expected to shadow Jones .Quinn said the strength of Atlanta’s rejuvenated offense which has topped 30 points in back-to-back games is boasting “multiple guys who have unique skill sets. Fortunately for us, we have a few of those.”The offense may have to carry a bigger load as the Falcons (1-2) attempt to replace three injured starters on defense. Safety Ricardo Allen was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday with a torn Achilles tendon suffered against the Saints.Strong safety Keanu Neal (knee) is out for the year. Linebacker Deion Jones (foot) also is on IR and must miss at least eight games.NOTES: DE Takk McKinley (groin) returned to practice after missing last week’s game. … Jones (calf) did not practice but his status is not expected to be in doubt for the game. He also was held out of practice last week before being fully cleared for the game. … RB Devonta Freeman (knee) did not practice and is in danger of missing his third straight game. … Quinn said DE Derrick Shelby (groin) faces an “uphill” battle to be ready for the game.___ He’s the New Orleans Saints‘ biggest fan, not to mention the perfect beacon for a city that knows a thing or two about emerging from darkness.As the Big Easy goes for another NFL championship, Steve Gleason is along for the ride.Sure Gary Jennings Jr. Jersey , his body failed him, perhaps because of the game he loved so much.But Gleason never lost his desire to live and love and make a difference. That’s really what’s keeping him alive, even though the debilitating condition known as ALS — Lou Gehrig’s disease —has reduced him to communicating with his eyes, some strained facial expressions and a computer-generated voice that he recorded before he lost his ability to speak.His mind is as strong as it’s ever been.So is his passion for the Saints.He attends practices. He attends every home game. He’ll be there Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Rams in NFC championship game.“There’s only maybe a handful of guys that played with Steve Gleason or knew Steve Gleason as a player directly,” said quarterback Drew Brees , one of that handful on the current roster. “Yet this team has embraced him. He is absolutely one of us. He inspires all of us every day. He inspires so many people in this community every day.”Gleason ensured folk-hero status in his adopted city for one particular play in 2006.After the Saints spent an entire season playing on the road in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the first game back at the Superdome will forever be remembered for Gleason’s blocked punt that sparked a 23-3 victory over the their biggest rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The game symbolized the rebirth of New Orleans after the devastating storm and a remarkable season that didn’t end until the Saints lost at Chicago in the NFC championship game.Gleason spent the next season on injured reserve and then retired, so he wasn’t on the field when the Saints captured the city’s first major pro sports championship at the 2010 Super Bowl. The following year, he revealed the diagnosis for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a terrifying motor-neuron disease that robs a person of the ability to walk Phil Haynes Jersey , use their hands, speak, swallow and breathe. The condition is terminal, usually taking its victims within two to four years.Researchers have theorized that repeated head injuries, like the ones far too common in the NFL, increase the chances of being stricken with ALS. It was cited in the death of former fullback Kevin Turner, who lost his fight almost three years ago at age 46.But Gleason has never blamed football for his predicament. He’d prefer to keep the focus on what he’s doing in his life, not how he got here.Like a handful of those with ALS (most notably Stephen Hawking, who battled the disease for more than 50 years before dying last March at age 76), Gleason has defied the expected timeline from onset to death. A tracheostomy allows him to breathe with a ventilator. A feeding tube ensures he gets enough nutrition. His family and support team give him a chance to lead as full a life as possible.But, most of all Ugo Amadi Jersey , Gleason’s survival is probably a result of his will to keep going, something that wilts away for most suffering with ALS. Now 41, he wants to be around to watch his two young children grow up. He wants to transform his devastating disease into a conduit for hope, to help others keep fighting while doing all he can to find a cure.His efforts have not gone unnoticed. Most notably, Gleason is the first NFL player to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the body’s highest civilian honor.“ALS is a remorseless and humiliating disease,” Gleason wrote after learning of the award. But, he added, “Michel (his wife) and I have two spectacular kids, Rivers and Gray. I’m productive and purposeful. In many ways, I feel I’ve conquered ALS.”The disease certainly didn’t rob Gleason of his sense of humor Dwayne Haskins Jersey , which is most evident on a Twitter feed that he keeps humming with a special device allowing him to type out messages using only his eyes, always concluding with his initials “SG” so everyone knows it came straight from him.Before Saints games, he’ll often park his wheelchair on the sideline near the area where the opposing team is warming up and deliver a good-natured tweet: “#Intimidation.” On New Year’s Day, he wrote “Like most of you … I haven’t moved all day.” After the Saints pulled off a successful fake punt in their 20-14 victory over Philadelphia in last weekend’s NFC divisional round, Gleason wrote “#NeverPunt. Ever” — a reference to the “Dear Atlanta, never punt” jab he sent out before the Saints faced the Falcons in 2014.In an interesting twist, this year’s Super Bowl is in Atlanta.Gleason is expected to be there, no matter if the Saints win or lose Sunday. He’s planning to host an event with other ALS victims as part of his Team Gleason foundation. He’s scheduled to pick up another award for his charitable efforts.Of course, Gleason would really be thrilled if the trip ends with a second Saints championship.His joy would be apparent to anyone who really looks.It’s all in the eyes.
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