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MessagePosté le: Ven 10 Aoû - 04:32 (2018)    Sujet du message: g himself a "self-starter." But having Vick ar Répondre en citant

CHARLOTTE, N. Jaromir Jagr Penguins Jersey .C. - The Carolina Panthers are back in the playoffs, thanks in large part to the resurgence of their defence.The Panthers clinched the NFC South with a 34-3 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, a win punctuated by a pair of interception returns for touchdowns by safeties Roman Harper and Tre Boston.Theyll host the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday in an NFC wild-card game.Carolinas win Sunday was the culmination of a big turnaround for its defence, which ranked 27th in the NFL through Week 7, but rallied to finish in the top 10 for the third straight year under co-ordinator Sean McDermott.The Panthers (7-8-1) allowed 388.3 yards and 27.9 points per game in their first seven games. They allowed just 302.1 yards and 19.8 points per game over the final nine games.When I looked at it, I felt we had to put more speed in the defensive secondary, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Monday.That meant releasing defensive backs Charles Godfrey and Antoine Cason, and moving cornerback Josh Norman into the starting lineup. It also meant adding young, but aggressive rookie defensive backs Bene Benwikere and Boston to the starting mix after recovering from early season injuries.We were trying to find answers as a coaching staff, the right combination of guys — and we found it, Rivera said.Rivera also credits the emergence of defensive end Charles Johnson as a huge reason for the turnaround.Johnson, a normally reserved eight-year veteran, has stepped into a leadership role down the stretch.It was Johnson who spoke to the team after the win on Sunday, telling them beating the Falcons isnt enough and were not done.Hes a unique individual, Rivera said. He cares a lot, but hes really guarded. Lately hes been very emotional and very outspoken, which in my opinion is very uncharacteristic of him. But Im glad hes doing it.Johnson also helped get the teams mindset right midway through the season when it became clear Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy would not be returning this season following the fallout from his domestic violence conviction.Hardy had 15 sacks last season.I do think there was a part of us that said, Guys, weve got to get past it. Weve got to move on, Rivera said. And its hard because hes such an integral part of what we had planned for going into this year and what he was for us last year. So was he missed? Most certainly. But I think its also been part of whats helped with Charles now, is knowing that Hey, Im the guy.Carolinas pass rush has excelled in December, getting 13 sacks during a four-game win streak.We saw glimmers of hope but we stayed consistent with what we asking the players to do and they continued to buy in, McDermott said of the teams early season struggles. Weve made some personnel moves that worked out in our favour and developed some newer players and we just continued to improve every week.To win their first playoff game since 2005, the Panthers must exorcise some old demons.In 2008, the Cardinals (11-5) came into Charlotte and upset the second-seeded Panthers 33-13 in one of the most painful losses in franchise history.This would appear to be a good matchup for the Panthers defence given the uncertainty surrounding Arizonas quarterback situation and the fact the Cardinals have lost four of their past six games.Carson Palmer is out for the season and primary backup Drew Stantons status for this weekend remains uncertain.Ryan Lindley is 0-2 as his replacement.Hes thrown four interceptions and two touchdown passes and has been sacked six times in those two defeats.___AP NFL website: and Mario Lemieux Penguins Jersey . The seventh-ranked Berdych wants to focus on the ATP Tour after helping the Czechs beat the Netherlands in the first round. Seeking their third straight Davis Cup title, the Czechs will rely again on veteran Radek Stepanek. Riley Sheahan Penguins Jersey . Nainggolan scored his first Italian league goal at Bologna, in October 2010, and he also opened his Roma account there following his January move from Cagliari. The Belgium midfielder volleyed home Miralem Pjanics cross from close range eight minutes from time. . Mako Vunipola was promoted from the reserves, with Matt Mullan called up to the bench on Thursday. "It is important that Joe is with his partner at this exciting time," England coach Stuart Lancaster said. FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith is unfazed by it all. The presence of Michael Vick doesnt shake his confidence. Neither does his not-so-solid hold on the New York Jets quarterback job. Not even his uncertain status as the future of the franchise. Its all talk, as far as Smith is concerned. More like white noise he can easily tune out. Smith believes in himself. Always has. And now, his teammates are also starting to buy in as well. "Hes taken a quarterback role, hes taken a leadership role and hes always growing," wide receiver Eric Decker said after the Jets first minicamp practice Tuesday. "Hes always maturing, hes always getting better at what he does and hes got a future in the NFL." Smith has transformed from wide-eyed rookie to respected leader in a span of a few months. The second-year quarterback entered minicamp as the starter, ahead of Vick, and Smith intends to keep his spot on the Jets depth chart. "Really, Im a sponge," Smith said. "Im learning as much as I can. Im learning on the fly. Im learning every single day. I just soak it up and continue to work hard." An up-and-down rookie season ended on a positive note for Smith, with three wins in the final four games and the Jets finishing a respectable 8-8. "Really, for me, its just about continuing to stay grounded," he said. "This team has a long way to go and were still working extremely hard to try to reach our ultimate goal." Even as some Jets players have acknowledged being a bit star-struck by Vick, Smith has managed to gain the trust of his teammates -- in the huddle and outside of it. No, there havent been any games. And, no, Smiths body of work doesnt compare to Vicks career. But Smith has taken charge of his situation this off-season, pulling teammates aside on the field to go over plays and studying more film than ever before. When the Jets signed Decker in April, Smith sought out general manager John Idzik to get his new wide receivers phone number so he could welcome him to the team. "I always see myself as a leader and thats in life, in any aspect of my life," Smith said. "Being in this locker room, Ive just continued to be myself and guys gravitate to me because I have just a natural leadership ability, leadership qualities, and thats a part of the reason why Im here in the first place. I just try to continue to push the guys." And make no mistake about it: Smith is pushing himself, too. Larry Murphy Penguins Jersey. . He knows that last seasons 21 interceptions against 12 touchdowns is no good. He has been working with offensive co-ordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach David Lee to improve on his footwork, and going over the playbook in his mind constantly. He is also noticeably bigger physically, the result of increased work in the weight room. "When it comes to being on the field, I just want perfection," Smith said. "I try and chase perfection. I try and be the best I can be at every single practice, every single rep. I think thats what guys are seeing the most." That includes coach Rex Ryan, who was encouraged by Smiths finish last season and has liked what he has seen from him as he tries to build off that. "He knows this offence forward and backward," Ryan said. "And, I think were going to see some great things from him." The Jets have acknowledged that both Smith and Vick are competing for the starting job, but Smith clearly has an edge going in. That could certainly change, especially if Smith falters and Vick thrives in Mornhinwegs system as he did in Philadelphia. Smith isnt planning on that, of course. He also doesnt believe he needed Vick with New York to push him, calling himself a "self-starter." But having Vick around could play an important role in Smith taking that next step as an NFL quarterback -- and a leader of a franchise. "I think G is a great listener, first and foremost," Vick said. "I think any key to success in this sport at our position, you have to have the ability to listen. "I think Geno wants to learn. He wants to be better." NOTES: RB Chris Johnson, rehabilitating a surgically repaired left knee, participated in individual drills, but will not take part in 11-on-11 team periods during minicamp. The Jets are being cautious with Johnson, who signed with New York in April. ... G Willie Colon, recovering from off-season knee surgery, said hes feeling good and fully intends to be ready for training camp. ... The Jets had six players in for tryouts: Punters Drew Butler and Jacob Schum, kickers Andrew Furney and Carson Wiggs, and offensive linemen Bruce Campbell and Ray Dominguez. Butler is the son of former Bears kicker Kevin Butler and spent two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. 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