ome the Suns’ No. 1 scoring opt

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ome the Suns’ No. 1 scoring opt

Сообщение douhua2233 » 10 окт 2018, 08:27

The Jacksonville Jaguars have assembled the most expensive defense in NFL history. They believe it's among the most talented Randy Bullock Jersey , too.

The group will cost more than $110 million (nearly $90 million to starters) in 2018 and includes eight guys with at least one Pro Bowl appearance. It's loaded front to back, a mix of youth and experience, budding stars and wily veterans, huge egos and team players.

Together, they make the Jaguars a trendy pick to reach the Super Bowl for the first time.

Getting Jacksonville to this point was no easy endeavor, considering the team lost 63 of 80 games before breaking through and making the playoffs in 2017. General manager Dave Caldwell (with some recent help from Tom Coughlin ) built most of the stacked defense over the last three years, benefiting from the best draft class in franchise history, one of the top free-agent hauls in NFL lore and a midseason trade that made a difference.

Here's a look at how Jacksonville pieced together its high-priced and highly touted D, which returns 12 of its top 14 players from 2017:

DRAFT GEMS

Linebacker Telvin Smith turned out to be a steal in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. The former Florida State standout has 447 tackles 鈥?more than any other player over the last four seasons 鈥?seven interceptions and 6 1/2 sacks while missing just four games. He signed a four-year, $45 million extension in October that included $20 million guaranteed.

Bigger contracts are likely in store for Jacksonville's 2016 class, which included All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey (first round), linebacker Myles Jack (second) and Pro Bowl defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (third). The trio is a rare find in the same draft and a major part of the team's core.

Ramsey is a lock-down defender, quite possibly the best at his position. Jack makes plays all over the field as part of one of the fastest linebacker corps in the league. Ngakoue has 20 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in two seasons.

"Not everyone hits on their draft picks," defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. "We are lucky that happened Youth James Daniels Jersey , but it is also a credit to the three individuals that come in every day and they work and strive to be the best that they can be."

FREE-AGENT FINDS

After pinching pennies and rolling over salary-cap space for several years, the Jaguars spent big in 2016 and '17. They signed five defensive starters to contracts totaling $275 million, including $122.5 million guaranteed. Here's the unique part: The team has no regrets about a dime spent because they hit on all five.

They gave defensive tackle Malik Jackson a six-year, $85.5 million contract in 2016 and signed safety Tashaun Gipson to a five-year, $36 million deal. Jackson made his first Pro Bowl last season, and coach Doug Marrone was adamant that Gipson should have been there, too.

As good as that duo performed, Jacksonville's 2017 class was even better. All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell, Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye and hard-hitting safety Barry Church exceeded expectations, no easy task in free agency.

Campbell had a career year, finishing with 14 1/2 sacks in his 10th NFL season, after signing a four-year, $60 million contract. Bouye, who inked a five-year Authentic Alex McGough Jersey , $67.5 million deal, tied for third in the league with six interceptions and didn't allow a touchdown in the regular season. Church notched a career-high eight pass breakups to go along with four interceptions and 1 1/2 sacks.

None of the five has missed a game or even a start since joining Jacksonville, either.

"We just have too many athletes on defense," Bouye said. "We have to capitalize on this opportunity while it is here."

BARTER SYSTEM

Needing to shore up a shaky run defense in late October, Jacksonville traded a conditional, sixth-round draft pick (it ended up becoming a fifth-rounder) to Buffalo for two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. The Jags ranked 30th in the league against the run without Dareus and eighth with him down the stretch. Dareus and his $10.175 million salary will be in the starting lineup in 2018.

"We think it all starts up front," Wash said. "It's a situation where we are very fortunate."

PHOENIX — Gotcha.

Anthony Davis fooled the world with his elaborate brow-shaving April Fool’s joke.

Now it is time to get serious.

Davis and his New Orleans Pelicans are one of seven teams still in the scrum for the final five Western Conference playoff spots with six days left in the regular season, and their off day Thursday turned into a big day when both the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota lost.

With the Timberwolves’ loss to Denver, the Pelicans (44-34) jumped over Minnesota and moved within one-half game San Antonio and Oklahoma City, who are tied for fifth place at 45-34.

This could be fun.

Davis was at his best when the Pelicans broke a four-game losing streak with a 123-95 victory over Memphis on Wednesday, scoring 28 points with 12 rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and two steals.

The Pelicans (44-34) will attempt to continue their run Friday against Phoenix (20-59), which broke a franchise-record 15-game losing streak in a 97-94 home victory over Sacramento on Tuesday.

“I was trying to get back to how I was playing Authentic Customized Saints Jerseys , get the team back,” Davis told reporters after playing at less than one hundred percent in the two previous games because of a twisted ankle suffered in a loss to Portland on March 27.

“I know they feed off my energy, so I just try to come out with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor and try to lead us to a win. It was fun, but we’ve got to do the same thing next time we play.”

Davis is averaging 28.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game, second in the league in scoring and fifth in rebounds. Davis, 6-foot-10, and Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only players averaging at least 25 points and 10 rebounds a game.

E’Twaun Moore had 30 points and Nikola Mirotic had 25 points against Memphis, and the Pelicans made 16 3-pointers. Moore had seven threes. Mirotic started in place of Emeka Okafor.

“I thought we did what we needed to,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry told reporters. “I thought our ball movement was good again. I thought (Davis) was very aggressive at the start of the game. We shot the ball well as a team. We needed to see some 3s go in.”

The Pelicans face a daunting final three games as they attempt to get into the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Their three-game road trip continues at Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers before the home finale against San Antonio on Apr. 11.

The Nuggets moved into a tie with Minnesota (both are 44-35) with their 100-96 victory over the Timberwolves Thursday, and both teams are one-half game behind New Orleans. The Clippers fell to (42-37) with a loss to Utah on Thursday and are on the brink of elimination.

The Suns have the worst record in the league and will finish with their fewest losses since the 1968-69 expansion season team (16-66) unless they win their final three games. They are 2-27 since Jan. 31. They won once in February and were 0-14 in March, the first winless full month in franchise history.

Suns forward Josh Jackson had 28 points, six rebounds, two steals Authentic Gustav Nyquist Jersey , two assists and a block against Sacramento. He has scored at least 15 points in 11 consecutive games, tying Utah guard Donovan Mitchell for the longest streak by a rookie this season. Jackson is averaging 21.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in that stretch.

Jackson has become the Suns’ No. 1 scoring option in the continued absence of Devin Booker, TJ Warren and Elfrid Payton. Booker has missed the last nine games with a sprained right hand and Warren has missed the last eight with a hip injury. Neither is expected to play against New Orleans.

“You kind of welcome the fact that he’s ready to take it,” Suns interim coach Jay Triano said of Jackson’s willingness. “Some guys will panic with two or three seconds to go, worry about (his shooting) percentage.

“But Josh is just thinking, ‘I got to do whatever’s right, I got to put it up, I got to get it on the rim, maybe (Alex) Len can knock it out, maybe Marquese (Chriss) can get a rebound.’ He’s not afraid of the moment, that’s for sure.

“He’s electric in the open court. He’s electric if you get him a little bit of an angle and a lane to the basket. Making shots, and from the perimeter, will be an addition to what he can do. And when he does that it’s going to be great.”

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