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Dienstag, 11. September 2018, 09:23

The Predators

Ray Lewis and Brian
Urlacher T.J.
McDonald Jersey
, two of the NFL’s greatest linebackers, enter the Pro
Football Hall of Fame this week. When their teams meet in Thursday night’s
preseason opener, the game could very well honor them by being a defensive
battle.

On one hand, the Chicago Bears are installing a new offense under first-year
coach Matt Nagy. On the other side, few if any of the Baltimore Ravens‘ starters
at the offensive skill positions are likely to get much action.

So if this winds up 10-9 or something similar, well, the smiles on the faces
of Lewis and Urlacher might get a bit broader.



Nagy has a second-year quarterback, Mitchell
Trubisky Jalen
Richard Jersey
, who will be taking his first major steps running the new
scheme Nagy brought from Kansas City. He seems unconcerned that the second
overall pick in the 2017 draft will be overmatched – even though Trubisky has
been an interception machine in practices.

”Our guys have picked up everything that we’ve asked them to do,” Nagy said.
”There have been mistakes, but they’re way ahead of the learning curve. So
that’s exciting and it tells me that once we get to the regular season we can do
more than I initially thought. But we will be growing throughout the
season.”

And the preseason.

As for the Ravens, don’t look for Joe Flacco in this one. The Hall of Fame
game is an extra exhibition outing for the participants, and provides an
opportunity for Baltimore coach John Harbaugh and his staff to look at
first-round draft pick Lamar Jackson and veteran Robert Griffin III , who is
attempting a comeback after not playing last year.

”We have that set,” Harbaugh said of the QB plans for Thursday night. ”I
never really talk about that. We just go do it. But we have the quarterback
rotation set, and then we’ll organize the rest of it … There’ll be some guys who
won’t play in that
game Jerry Rice
Jersey
, probably you might guess the guys who haven’t practiced as much
that first week.”

Some other things to watch in the Hall of Fame game:

A FIFTH GAME

The extra preseason contest usually gives low draftees, non-draftees and guys
trying to catch on an additional chance to show their stuff. This isn’t much
different from the final exhibition game, when starters generally sit and others
get a last chance to make a roster.

”When you have that extra game, the benefit is it gives you more reps for
your players,” Nagy said. ”The negative is there’s health risks, right? So
people can get hurt. There’s a fine balance of both of those and being able to
understand which way you want to go, and right now I feel like our plan as a
coaching staff for who we want to play and don’t want to play, I feel really
good about it.”

O-LINE QUESTIONS

Both teams have to find answers regarding their blockers. Baltimore has one
of the best in the league in right guard Marshal
Yanda John
Hannah Jersey
, but he’s coming off an injury-ravaged 2017 in which he
made it into two games.

”That’s why they call it training camp,” Ravens OL coach Joe D’Alessandris
said. ”You have an idea of who are going to be your so-called projected players
and starters, but that could change overnight. The same thing could happen
during the season.”

Considering how stationary Flacco can be, Baltimore needs to solve the
offensive line issues quickly if he is its starter.

Trubisky at least can move around, and there’s no question he will be the
Bears’ first-stringer. Guard Kyle Long’s assortment of health issues doesn’t
help in the quest to solidify the line.

HOMECOMING

This is sort of a homecoming for Trubisky. He played at North Carolina but is
from this area (Mentor, Ohio).

”I’m excited. The Hall of Fame game is a great opportunity for this team, and
it’s a unique place to place,” he said. ”Just going back to the Hall of
Fame Stefon
Diggs Jersey
, I’ll have some family coming to the game. It’ll be great to
see some family, and it’s an exciting time for this team.”

NATIONAL ANTHEM

With the NFL’s new policy on protocol during the national anthem in limbo as
both the league and union discuss it, nothing really has changed from last
season. Demonstrations by the players aimed toward awareness of social injustice
could occur Thursday night.

BETTING LINE

With legal betting on NFL games in some states, there actually is a line on
this game: Baltimore by 2 points. How the oddsmakers got there is anyone’s guess
considering there are 90 players on each roster and many of them will get on the
field.



AP Sports Writer David Ginsburg and freelance writer Gene Chamberlain
contributed to this report.



Bret Bielema officially has a new job back in football.

The former University of Arkansas head coach will be serving a consultant to
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick this upcoming season. Bielema has been
working with the team since this spring. His new title was listed in the
Patriots team media guide.

This is Bielema's first NFL position. Belichick said Wednesday that Bielema's
specific role is evolving but that he expects "it will kind of work its way into
some areas."

The 48-year-old was a defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Wisconsin
before taking over as the Badgers coach from 2006 to 2012. He left that position
for Arkansas the following season, where he went 29-34 over five seasons before
getting fired following a 4-8 campaign in
2017.
Womens
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