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Although Brees
08-14-2018, 09:46 AM
Post: #1
Although Brees
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The words that threatened to define Ben Roethlisberger’s season were uttered almost as an afterthought and with more than a hint of frustrated sarcasm.

It just didn’t read that way as it made the rounds on social media Cheap Marcedes Lewis Jersey , or sound that way during a three-second sound bite played endlessly on a loop.

”Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback said in a somber locker room three months ago after throwing five interceptions in a 30-9 loss to Jacksonville .

Roethlisberger didn’t mean it. Call it a visceral reaction to having two of his 55 passes returned the other way for game-deciding touchdowns. Three days later the 35-year-old was back to calling himself one of the ”best in the world.” It wasn’t just idle talk. He followed it up by spending the better part of the next 10 weeks playing like it.

The quarterback who will stride onto the field Sunday for a rematch against the Jaguars in the divisional round of the playoffs has his swagger back. Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey jokingly gave credit to the beard Roethlisberger began growing in the aftermath of one of the most forgettable performances of his career. Of course, that’s not the reality. The guys who surround Roethlisberger in the huddle know the swagger never really left.

”Ben is the most talented guy I’ve ever been around,” Heyward-Bey said. ”I’m not talking quarterback. I’m talking about talent. He can do a lot of different things. He believes in his ability and he’s going to show people on Sunday that he believes in himself.”

The player who openly pondered retirement last spring, the one who quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner said in November will occasionally uncork a flutter ball while looking very much his age, heads to his 21st career playoff game at the height of his powers. Roethlisberger is averaging 298 yards passing since that forgettable three hours against the NFL’s top defense.

Roethlisberger’s thrown multiple touchdown passes in seven straight games and the Steelers ended the season with a 9-1 sprint, the lone setback a loss to New England on Dec. 17 in which his only mistake came on a poorly executed fake spike that resulted in a game-ending pick.

What’s working? Nearly everything.

Having two of the top skill position players in the league in wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell helps. So does the continued evolution of rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant’s immersion into the offense following an ill-advised trade demand.

Yet Pittsburgh’s offense will only go as far over the next month as Roethlisberger can take it. Though he downplayed looking for payback after the Jaguars shut him down in ways that few teams have in recent years, not everyone is buying it.

”I’m sure just as any competitor would, when you go and have a bad outing or a difficult, tough outing against a team, you want that revenge,” Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles said. ”You want to go prove that it was a fluke or whatever it might be. I’m sure that’s probably what he’s thinking.”

Not that Roethlisberger would admit it even if he is. Never one to go into great detail about how he goes about his job, Roethlisberger insists he’s focused simply on playing well. The fact it’s against the Jaguars is coincidental. There is no looking ahead to a potential shot at New England in the AFC title game Nick Chubb Browns Jersey , or a third Super Bowl that would provide an exclamation point on a potential Hall of Fame career.

”I am not worried about what’s going on up there (with the Patriots),” Roethlisberger said. ”All I can think about and worry about is this defense that we are playing.”

A defense that will likely need to find a way to replicate its October dominance to extend its season. The Steelers have been forced to revisit the loss this week, one that put their journey from that moment to this one in perspective.

”That game for our entire group was kind of a watershed moment,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Thursday. ”We stayed together, but there was a lot of pressure from the outside. A lot of outside factors that could have been divisive in some way for our group, but I take my hat off to the guys. They stuck together. They pulled together tighter. We knew that wasn’t our best football and we knew it probably really wasn’t as bad as it appeared.”

Or, as Roethlisberger can attest, as bad as it sounded afterward. The sound bite was just that, a bite, one that in a way played a role in his resurgence. One that ended with his sixth Pro Bowl selection and a very real shot to become the fourth quarterback in NFL history with three Super Bowl titles.

”He’s confident in his ability and he’s confident in his receivers,” Heyward-Bey said. ”He knows that we’re going to go out there and try and make plays for him. That’s what a quarterback needs. He has to have confidence in his guys.”

Roethlisberger’s confidence in himself was never an issue.

NOTES: CB Artis Burns (hyperextended right knee) did not practice Thursday but is hoping to play Sunday. DE Stephon Tuitt (elbow) also did not practice but plans to play. … LB Ryan Shazier, recovering from spine stabilization surgery, attended practice again in a wheelchair and hung out in the locker room after practice.



AP NFL website: Seattle Mariners All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s joint drug agreement.

The league announced Cano’s suspension Austin Corbett Browns Jersey , a stunning development for the stalwart in the middle of the Mariners’ lineup and a club expected to contend for a postseason spot in the American League. Cano tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic. In a statement released through the players’ association, Cano said, ”This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.” He said he didn’t realize it was banned.

Cano is the most prominent player to be busted since Melky Cabrera was suspended in 2012 while leading the National League in hitting. There have been 36 players suspended this year under the minor league drug program and six in addition to Cano under the big league program: Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read, Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley, Kansas City outfielder Jorge Bonifacio, Toronto pitcher Thomas Pannone and Minnesota shortstop Jorge Polanco.

BOSTON (AP) – Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty homered in his first at-bat on Tuesday night after returning from the bereavement list and saluted his late mother when he crossed home plate.

Piscotty patted his heart with his right hand in tribute to Gretchen Piscotty , who died May 6 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Piscotty, who hadn’t played in a week, drove an 0-2 pitch from Eduardo Rodriguez over the Green Monster in left field. It was his third home run of the season and put Oakland up 3-0.

BASKETBALL

CHICAGO (AP) – Phoenix has won the No. 1 pick in next month’s NBA draft.

It’s the first time the Suns will have the chance to make the first overall selection. The Suns had the right combination of pingpong balls pop up for them at the draft lottery on Tuesday night, a reward of sorts after a season where Phoenix had the NBA’s worst record at 21-61.

Phoenix lost a coin flip for the top pick in 1969 to Milwaukee. The Bucks took Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Suns took Neal Walk.

Sacramento will pick No. 2 and Atlanta got the No. 3 pick – both of them moving up to get there. The top three spots were determined by the lottery A.J. Green Youth Jersey , and then spots 4-14 fell in line of reverse order of record.

The rest of the slots, in order, went to No. 4 Memphis, No. 5 Dallas, No. 6 Orlando, No. 7 Chicago, No. 8 Cleveland, No. 9 New York, No. 10 Philadelphia, No. 11 Charlotte, No. 12 and No. 13 Los Angeles Clippers, and No. 14 Denver.

The draft is June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

GOLF

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The wife of former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover is facing a domestic violence charge stemming from an altercation with Glover and his mother after he missed the 54-hole cut at The Players Championship.

Krista Glover was arrested Saturday night and taken to the St. John’s County Jail. She was released the next day after posting $2 Donte Jackson Jersey ,500 in bonds.

She faces a May 31 court date on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence battery and resisting arrest without violence.

According to the offense report, Glover and his wife were having an altercation after the third round of The Players Championship, where Glover shot 78. The report said that when his mother, Hershey Glover, tried to intervene, Krista Glover began attacking her.

The arresting officer noticed cuts and blood on the arms and clothing of Glover’s mother. Hershey Glover also told the deputy she had been hit in the chest.

Glover confirmed on Twitter there was an altercation.

SOCCER

BERLIN (AP) – Russia has granted entry to the World Cup for a German journalist who exposed systematic doping in Russian athletics, reversing a decision last week that angered German officials.

However, Hajo Seppelt will face questioning if he goes to the tournament, Russian law enforcement said on Tuesday.

German public broadcaster ARD said Seppelt’s visa to report on the World Cup was declared invalid last week on the grounds that he was on a list of people who are ”persona non grata.” Officials including Foreign Minister Heiko Maas publicly pressed Russia to reconsider.

On Tuesday, Maas tweeted: ”Russian side has just informed us that (at)hajoseppelt can enter the country at least for the World Cup. Still pushing for free reporting.”

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