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TEMA: CONFETTI BENCHED

CONFETTI BENCHED 03 Sep 2018 21:20 #1238


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An optimistic Cam Newton says he's adjusting well to a new offensive scheme and boldly proclaimed it's time for the Carolina Panthers to "take back the division."

Wearing a "Change the culture" t-shirt and a "Keep Pounding" hat Josey Jewell Jersey , an upbeat Newton was budding with enthusiasm on Saturday even after starting right tackle Daryl Williams went down with a knee injury earlier in practice.

In his first football-related interview in six months, Newton set a positive tone for training camp for a team that hopes to recapture the NFC South it won in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Carolina went 11-5 last season, but New Orleans won the head-to-head tiebreaker and took the division title.

Part of Newton's optimism surrounds the hiring of offensive coordinator Norv Turner and the addition of wide receivers D.J. Moore, Torrey Smith and Jarius Wright.

Newton said Turner has been "extremely easy" to work with and joked that his offense is "Boogie approved."

The 2015 league MVP said he likes that Turner is open to listening to suggestions about what plays may work best, even to the point to keeping the names of some of the predecessor Mike Shula's play calls.

"I think the onus is on (Turner) more so than us to take what we have done good and expand on it, rather than just ripping the sheets of paper up and having a this-is-my-way-or-the-highway mentality," Newton said.

Newton said it didn't take long to realize Turner has a high football IQ.

But he added that it's still a little too early to know exactly what to expect from the Panthers offense when the regular season arrives.

"I can't tell you that, (but) I know that the transition as far as philosophies has almost been as easy as anyone could expect," Newton said. "He is super relatable and is someone who has been around this league and been around a lot of egos and lot of different players and knows how to adjust. That alone makes my job easy knowing that he is a person who you can go to and say, 'This is how I feel about certain things.' And (he'll say), 'OK, let's find out how we can implement it.' He's not a guy who is so egotistical who says, 'No Chris Baker Jersey , this play is going to work versus this.'"

Turner has already talked about wanting to improve Newton's completion percentage.

Newton's has completed just 58.5 percent of his career passes, but Turner would like him to be above 65 percent.

"That's a goal of mine and it is certainly attainable," Newton said.

Newton said that means learning to accept what the defense gives him, even if it means short dump-offs over the middle and to outlet receivers.

"That has to be my mentality," Newton said. "We have a lot of guys who can take two yards and turn it into 20 yards, or more. But it starts with me and I have to trust those guys and get the ball to them."

The 29-year-old Newton said he's feeling healthy heading into the season.

That's a big difference from last season when he underwent shoulder surgery and missed all of OTAs and minicamp and a large portion of training camp undergoing rehab.

"It was very big for me making the proper steps this offseason knowing that I am full go," Newton said. "My body feels great and I always have to mention to TD (linebacker Thomas Davis) that I even look great. I am in a position where I am all smiles."

Newton also addressed new owner David Tepper, teasing that "I'm up for an upgrade" after seeing he paid $2.2 million to purchase the team from founder Jerry Richardson.

"The excitement is something we all should get prepared for knowing we have a lively owner," Newton said.

LeBron James sprung to his feet and screamed along with thousands of delirious Cleveland fans.

When Indians outfielder Rajai Davis connected off Chicago Cubs reliever Aroldis Chapman for a tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, James came unglued and reacted the way he might after a monstrous dunk or back-breaking 3-pointer in the NBA Finals.

And while his fanatical response said a lot about James and his allegiance to the Indians, so did the tight, black T-shirt he wore on that unseasonably warm November night.

It said: ”Cleveland Or Nowhere.”

As the sports world waits to see where the three-time champion intends to play next season and beyond, there remains the real possibility that James could choose to stay in Cleveland, his hoops home for 11 of the past 15 years and where this Northeast Ohio son shares a unique and profound connection with fans who have followed him since his teens.

James has other options: Los Angeles (salary-cap space for another star Vernon Butler Jersey , Magic Johnson in charge), Houston (a chance to play on a super team with MVP James Harden), Philadelphia (young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid), and maybe more.

But, as has always been the case for James, home will pull at his heart.

For the longest time, the perception was that once James ended Cleveland’s 52-year title drought in 2016, he would leave again as soon as he could. That doesn’t seem to be a slam dunk any longer.

By Friday, James is expected to make his first move and likely decline a $35.6 million contract option for next season with the Cavs, who are hoping their past loyalties to the 33-year-old and his own sentimental attachments – family, legacy – will keep him in Cleveland.

Unlike his free-agency forays in 2010 and 2014, James will not meet with prospective teams. He’s letting agent Rich Paul and his other representatives handle the business side of things as he vacations with family and makes up his mind.

Months ago, James’ connection with the Cavs seemed broken, hopeless. Last summer’s shocking trade of All-Star Kyrie Irving Niles Paul Jersey , the team’s failed attempt to integrate guard Isaiah Thomas, a lack of playmakers, assorted injuries and coach Tyronn Lue’s medical issues contributed to James appearing ready to pull up stakes again and pursue championships elsewhere.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the NBA Finals.

James was boosted by general manager Koby Altman’s drastic-and-dramatic roster overhaul at the trading deadline, and despite a lack of cohesion and Vegas odds makers labeling the Cavs as underdogs, Cleveland advanced to a fourth straight summer showdown with Golden State, surviving two Game 7s and sweeping the top-seeded Toronto Raptors along the way.

Of course, James did all the heavy lifting. He played in all 82 regular-season games and had perhaps his best postseason, averaging 34 points, 9.1 rebounds and 9.0 assists while making a pair of buzzer-beating shots and doing all he could in a Finals sweep that could have been much different if Cleveland had not lost Game 1 in overtime.

”He gave his heart and soul, die-hard energy, commitment to this team, to this franchise, to the city, to Northeast Ohio Tyrone Crawford Jersey ,” Altman said last week after the Cavs drafted Alabama guard Collin Sexton, who quickly raised some eyebrows by choosing to wear No. 2, Irving’s number for six seasons with Cleveland. ”It was an historical year and probably one of the best postseason runs of all time. We’re very, very fortunate to have him here and what he gave to this franchise this year was nothing short of remarkable.

”We don’t take that for granted at all.”

And it’s why the Cavs haven’t surrendered from the fight to keep him.

Owner Dan Gilbert, whose relationship with James remains tricky if not rocky, has displayed a willingness to spend whatever’s necessary to keep his team championship competitive. That’s unlikely to change whether James extends his second stint with Cleveland.

In a recent Business Insider podcast, Gilbert referred to James as a ”partner,” an acknowledgment by the billionaire to what the superstar he once criticized means to his franchise.

The appeal for James to stay home is different now than it was eight years ago when he bolted for Miami. He’s more mature, with three children and a burgeoning business empire. His priorities, responsibilities and goals are different.

After the Warriors finished their Finals sweep of the Cavs, James revealed an injured right hand but an unchanged view of the next phase of his career.

”I will still continue to be in championship mode,” he said. ”When I decide what I’m going to do with my future, my family and the folks that have been with me for the last 20 years will have a say-so. Then it ultimately will come down to me.”



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CONFETTI BENCHED hongwei28 03 Sep 2018 21:20
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