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Why Jake DeBrusk is more vital to the Bruins than you might think

It wasn’t the swine flu. Although Jake DeBrusk admits it certainly made for a more compelling tale from the road after the Boston Bruins returned from China.

“I don’t think it was actually swine flu,” he said. “But it felt like swine flu. Very similar. Very awful.”

As the Bruins went through China during the preseason, with games in Shenzhen and Beijing, everything was going through their 21-year-old winger. “We went on a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride to the airport and then a flight for 12 hours after that. That was tough.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

He was impressive in stretches last season, with 16 goals and 27 assists in 70 games, playing big minutes with center David Krejci on the team’s second line. He managed 143 shots on goal, fifth among Bruins forwards, and picked up a few votes for the Calder Trophy. But he was a rookie, and with that inexperience came bumps in the road, such as his one assist in six games and five games without a point.12

The role DeBrusk is playing for the Bruins this season is a critical one. His performance as the second-line winger could influence everything from lineup decisions to whether GM Don Sweeney feels the need to go shopping for another winger, as he did in acquiring Rick Nash last season. As DeBrusk’s sophomore campaign gets rolling, it’s that dependability that coach Bruce Cassidy needs to see.

“What we’re looking for is a little more consistency on the nights when the offense isn’t there,” he told ESPN last week.

“Saying that young guys disappear is maybe a little unfair. But sometimes they’re not as dialed in as they need to be. Mentally, they’re not as strong as the older guys, who know there are going to be rainy days. Some rainy weeks and months. So you just have to find a way to contribute. That’s what happens with the younger guys. They have a level of success, and that’s what they want every night, but life doesn’t work that way.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

DeBrusk knows this. That’s why he has sought council on how to handle what he has called “some ups and downs” in his first NHL season. “I listen to the veterans here. [Krejci] was helping me out, saying stuff that he went through. Obviously, he’s played for a while. He understands the game,” DeBrusk said.

12

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola apologises to Gabriel Jesus after Riyad Mahrez penalty miss

The result leaves City top going into the international break, but only above rivals Liverpool and Chelsea on goal difference.

However, Guardiola was happy with the point after losing his last three games against Jurgen Klopp’s side, and having done it at a ground where City haven’t won in 15 years.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“It is a point. We were close, more than ever to winning here but it is better than last season when we lose and especially when we try to be ourselves all the time,” he added. “We compete really, really good. We had our chance. It’s what it is.12

“I am so comfortable with the performance we have done. They didn’t have one shot on target. In Anfield, that is so complicated.”

Guardiola admitted City played a much slower game than in his previous visits to Anfield to restrict Liverpool’s ability to punish any mistakes — describing Klopp’s side as the best in the world at it.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“Yeah, if you play so quick they are much better than us,” he said. “We want to create but when you make a mistake … If it is an open game at Anfield, you don’t even have one percent of a chance because they are so good, they play for that.

“We controlled it through Riyad, Bernardo [Silva], the guys to give the extra pass. Up and down they are maybe, no I’m pretty sure, the best team in the world in these transitions, offensive, defensive, it is built for that. In that situation, they are much better.”

12

Mauro Manotas leads Dynamo to first U.S. Open Cup in club history

Mauro Manotas scored twice off assists by Alberth Elis in the first half to lead the host Houston Dynamo to a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union in the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday.

It was the Dynamo’s first Open Cup title and the first trophy for the organization since winning MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007.

There hadn’t been a first-time winner of the Open Cup since 2001.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

The Dynamo added an own goal by Philadelphia defender Auston Trusty in the 65th minute, and Joe Willis made five saves for the shutout.

Philadelphia is still looking for its first championship in any competition since joining Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2010. The Union also lost Open Cup finals in 2014 and 2015.12

Manotas, a 23-year-old Colombian, has 14 goals in MLS this season and led all Open Cup scorers with six goals.

He put the Dynamo ahead in the 4th minute, about 30 seconds after the Union’s Fabrice-Jean Picault had a goal disallowed for being offside.

Elis then dribbled down the right side of the box to deliver a service in front of the goal. Manotas went to his knees to head the ball past goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Manotas made it 2-0 in the 25th with a brilliant run starting 40 yards out. He then struck the ball to the lower left corner from 18 yards.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Houston earned an automatic berth to the CONCACAF Champions League for the chance to represent the CONCACAF region in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup.

The 2018 Open Cup began with 97 teams from all levels of American soccer from amateurs to professionals. Houston receives $300,000 to share. Philadelphia pockets $100,000.

10

Beware, NFL: Eagles defense may have gotten even better

It was eerie how closely the ending of Eagles-Falcons Thursday night resembled the final moments of the divisional playoff game between these two teams in January.

The Eagles holding onto a small lead late in the fourth quarter. The Falcons knocking on the door. Fourth-and-goal. The game on the line. Everyone in the building knowing the ball was going to Julio Jones in the end zone.

“It was déjà vu all over again,” said cornerback Jalen Mills, who was on Jones the last time around, pestering the superstar receiver as Matt Ryan’s offering went off his fingertips and out of bounds to punch Philly’s ticket to the NFC Championship Game.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

It was a different play call Thursday. The Falcons went with an empty set, and had Jones in the slot instead of outside. But as safety Malcolm Jenkins said afterwards, all you had to know was that Jones was on the field and the ball was being thrown into the end zone. He sprinted to his left, and this time, Ryan and Jones connected, but cornerback Ronald Darby made sure Jones landed out of bounds. Ball game. Again.10

“Definitely,” said Jenkins, on whether he felt history repeating during that Falcons drive. “But that gives you a little bit of comfort, because we’ve been here before, so nobody’s panicking, nobody’s worried or stressed. Just do your job, line up and play.”

“Fletcher is a… tremendous, tremendous player,” coach Doug Pederson said. “I think with the additions of [DT] Haloti Ngata, [DE] Michael Bennett, [DE] Derek Barnett in his second year, [DE] Chris Long, I think having everybody on that D-line, on that rotating basis, keeps guys fresh and keeps a little pressure off of Fletcher just a little bit. He’s a strong, powerful guy, and he took [Falcons C Alex] Mack, the center, one time and got up under his shoulder pad on a move and got after the passer, and very disruptive in the pocket. Those are things that you like to see from your top players.”

Jim Schwartz’s defense ranked fourth in opponent yards (306.5), points per game (18.4) and takeaways (31) last season. While D-linemen Vinny Curry and Beau Allen and slot corner Patrick Robinson departed this offseason, he’s added a pair of proven vets in Bennett and Ngata along the defensive front, and now has the services of corner Sidney Jones and LB Jordan Hicks, who missed much of 2017 with Achilles injuries.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The defense is loaded with talent, has another year in Schwartz’s system under its belt, and now carries additional wisdom gained through its Super Bowl run. For at least the first week, it carried the weight as Pederson’s offense struggled to get on track.

9

Jaguars all-in with Blake Bortles, even if rest of NFL isn’t

The NFL season was still several days away, but there was linebacker Telvin Smith, doing what he and numerous other Jacksonville Jaguars players did seemingly every week last season: defending Blake Bortles.

Opposing players, analysts and experts haven’t been harshly critical or insulting of Bortles — yet. But everyone, including Bortles, knows that will come again at some point in 2018, and there’s just a lingering, general feeling of contempt about the Jaguars quarterback: The team reached the AFC title game in spite of him last season, and he will be the reason they won’t get back there this season.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Smith was in the midst of making a point that there are numerous quarterbacks who haven’t even won a playoff game, yet alone reached a conference title game, when he stopped talking, pau9

That’s what Smith and his teammates believe. So do executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone. It’s why they didn’t pursue Kirk Cousins, Sam Bradford or Case Keenum in free agency. It’s also why they didn’t trade for Nick Foles or Alex Smith.

Even if the rest of the NFL, analysts and experts, and a large segment of their own fans think otherwise, the Jaguars believe they can reach and win a Super Bowl with Bortles.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We all have confidence in him,” center Brandon Linder said. “We knew that [last year’s success] was going to happen. I know this year he’s going to be just as [good]. We’re all excited, not only for Blake but for everyone on this team.”

8

Sources: After 16 seasons, Spurs’ Manu Ginobili seriously considering retirement

San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, a future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, is seriously considering retirement and plans to meet with coach Gregg Popovich in the coming days to discuss his future, league sources told ESPN.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

Ginobili, 41, has been working out regularly at the Spurs’ practice facility and hasn’t made a final decision on the coming season, but sources say that he’s strongly confronting the possible end to an historic 16-season run with the Spurs that includes four NBA championships.8

Popovich is traveling back to San Antonio from Europe, where he recently participated in the league’s Basketball Without Borders event in Belgrade. The Spurs are hopeful that Ginobili will want to return for a 17th NBA season and are allowing him to take all the time he needs to make a decision, league sources said.

The Spurs lost his longtime teammate, Tony Parker, to the Charlotte Hornets in free agency, and traded Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl.

Ginobili is one of the most decorated international players in basketball history, a two-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist for Argentina and a Euroleague MVP. Ginobili has played 1,057 regular season and 218 playoff games with the Spurs, ranking in the franchise’s top five all-time in games, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392)

Ginobili averaged 8.9 points and 20 minutes a game for the Spurs last season. Ginobili’s unconventional and spectacular style, including a frequent flair for the dramatic, helped define an unprecedented modern era of Spurs dominance along with longtime teammates Tim Duncan and Parker. Ginobili was the 57th overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft, starring in Europe before joining the Spurs for his rookie NBA season in 2002.cheap nike jerseys nfl

6

Packers’ Jamaal Williams says he’ll retaliate for dirty plays by kicking

Jamaal Williams isn’t happy about how his ankle was injured, and the Green Bay Packers running back has a plan for the next time a would-be tackler grabs and twists it.

“If they’re twisting ankles, I’m for sure kicking,” Williams said Monday. “I’m kicking from now on. If the ref asks why I’m kicking, I’ll be like, ‘Hey, they twisted the ankle.’

“I’m just going to do what I’ve got to do to survive honestly. I’m not trying to get hurt and not be able to play anymore because somebody wants to be aggressive and do dirty things like that. So why I can I not protect myself from those type of injuries?”cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

Williams appeared to sustain the ankle injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Thursday’s preseason game when linebacker Vince Williams tackled the second-year running back around the lower part of his right leg. Jammal Williams stayed in the game for one more play before he hobbled off.

“I’d rather he just let go of my ankle,” Jamaal Williams said. “Obviously, I’ve got to do a better job of getting him off my legs, so I guess I’m going to start kicking now under the piles.” Williams, the leading candidate to start at running back, did not practice on Monday during the Packers’ first open workout since the game. His status for Thursday’s game at Oakland – and the remainder of the preseason is in question – but he said he did not expect it to impact his availability for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Bears.6

“It wasn’t that bad but at the moment, it swelled up,” he said. “I just need to get off it. The next day the swelling went down and it just went from that to me just grinding it out, getting everything back together. It’s really just the swelling and the fluid build-up there. I’m all good, man. It’s just a football lesson you’ve got to learn from and just try not to get injured like that again.”

The Packers remain thin at running back because of a hamstring injury to Aaron Jones, who is expected to be part of the running back by committee along with Williams and Ty Montgomery.

Jones did not play in the first two preseason games but returned to practice on Monday and took 11-on-11 reps for the first time since Day 2 of training camp. Jones is ineligible for the first two games of the regular season because of an NFL suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.

Devante Mays, a seventh-round pick last season, has yet to play in a preseason game because of a hamstring injury. Another running back, Akeem Judd, who was signed on Aug. 6, unexpectedly retired over the weekend after he carried five times against the Steelers.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

The Packers signed a pair of running backs – Bronson Hill (who has been with seven different teams since 2015) and LeShun Daniels (who finished last season on the Redskins’ injured reserve list).

“I think the biggest thing for both those guys is just to get up to speed because we want them to play in the game in Oakland,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “I don’t know at exactly what level.”