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#1

Williams does discuss the upcoming season. And in those moments, he doesn't sound like a player overly burdened by his past.

in Ernährung 27.08.2018 04:28
von elaine95 | 333 Beiträge

Tyler Matakevich wants to prove he can handle the job. Jon Bostic just wants to be on the field.

Matakevich and Bostic are competing for Pittsburgh's opening at inside linebacker after the Steelers did not use a draft pick on the position. The winner gets to start alongside veteran Vince Williams and an opportunity to help fill the massive void left by Ryan Shazier Giants Authentic Jerseys , who is out for the season while recovering from spinal stabilization surgery.

"What happened to Ryan was terrible," Matakevich said. "But that was an opportunity that not too many guys get, to step in and really step up."

The Steelers signed Bostic to a two-year contract in March to provide veteran depth at inside linebacker after Shazier got hurt last December at Cincinnati.

"I told (coach Mike Tomlin) that when I came in, I'm coming in to compete," Bostic said. "I would like to not come off the field and going forward, I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure that happens."

The Steelers gave Matakevich and Bostic a vote of confidence when they opted not to select an inside linebacker in April's draft.

"Whether they (selected a linebacker or not), I would have the same mentality," Matakevich said. "Seeing how everything unfolded, it definitely gives you a little boost knowing that they believe in you, too."

Matakevich, a 2016 seventh-round pick, has played in 31 games with the Steelers. While he hasn't made any starts on defense, his impact has been felt on special teams, particularly last season.

Matakevich blocked two punts, including one that was recovered for a touchdown. He also broke up a pass on a fake punt by Minnesota.

Matakevich took the majority of the first-team snaps during spring workouts, but he and Bostic have shared the starting role during training camp practices.

The well-traveled Bostic is currently on his fifth team, having also played with Chicago Bradley Chubb Jersey Broncos , New England, Detroit and Indianapolis. He said it doesn't matter where he practices, as long as he's on the field.

"To be honest, it's important to get the reps," said Bostic, who was Chicago's second-round pick in 2013. "Regardless of whatever (group) you're running on the field, I still have to earn my job."

Bostic spent 2017 in Indianapolis, finishing with 97 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in 14 games before a knee injury ended his season.

Matakevich battled a shoulder injury last season, initially getting hurt against Kansas City in October. He left a December game against Cincinnati and was inactive the next week against Baltimore before finishing out the season and undergoing shoulder surgery following the Steelers' playoff loss to Jacksonville.

"It definitely held me back, playing pretty much the whole year with one arm," Matakevich said. "It's hard enough with two, but it's definitely a little harder with one."

Now, there isn't anything holding Matakevich back. The same goes for Bostic.

"When we're out there, we're competing against each other, but we're making the defense better," Bostic said. "When the defense is better Authentic Sylvester Williams Jersey , the team is better, and at the end of the day, we just have to make sure we get better on our side of the ball."

NOTES: Tomlin said OLB Bud Dupree has a concussion. ... WR Antonio Brown missed his fourth practice and is considered day to day. ... CB Joe Haden, CB Brian Allen, OL Chukwuma Okorafor, OLB T.J. Watt, TE Vance McDonald and CB Coty Sensabaugh all missed Saturday's practice. ... WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster couldn't finish the workout.


The New Orleans Saints can only hope safety Marcus Williams' recent refusal to discuss the last play of last season isn't a sign of mental fragility.

New Orleans is counting on Williams, a 2017 second-round draft choice , to build on a largely promising rookie campaign that helped solidify the Saints' secondary and propel the club back to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

At issue now is how Williams will move forward from the cruel way his first NFL season ended. His whiffed tackle attempt on Minnesota's Stefon Diggs last January allowed the Vikings receiver to score a 61-yard, game-winning touchdown in the dying seconds of an NFC divisional round playoff game.

It's a question that, for now, Williams declines to field.

"I'm not talking about last year," Williams said after practice on Saturday.

Asked moments later if he still watches a video he promoted on social media that opens with that final play in Minnesota 鈥?which he titled "Turning my NIGHTMARE into my MOTIVATION" 鈥?Williams smiled silently and turned his gaze toward a team public relations official, who ended the interview.

Defensive backs routinely utter the refrain that players at their position must have short memories 鈥?that they must quickly forget receptions made by players they defend and focus immediately on their next opportunity to thwart a pass.

But in Williams' case, the touchdown he couldn't prevent in Minnesota instantly went into NFL annals as one of the more stunning and unusual endings to a playoff game in league history.

That one will be hard to forget.

Meanwhile, Williams' decision to block a columnist for The Times-Picayune on Twitter also raises questions about how he deals with scrutiny.

Teammates, however Youth Tyquan Lewis Jersey , are quick to suggest that Williams' performance at training camp says more about his response than anything else.

"The way he approaches practice, the way he approaches each meeting, the way he approaches the game 鈥?period 鈥?you can tell he doesn't necessarily think about it, but it's there and it drives him," Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said. "He's been playing out of his mind in training camp so far.

"I commend him for that," Rankins continued. "A play of that magnitude in that game 鈥?that could derail a lot of people's confidence and kind of make people go into the tank."

During the first couple weeks of training camp, Williams has looked like a star in the making, closing hard on balls thrown anywhere near him. Several times, he has intercepted Drew Brees, who compared Williams to retired Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, a five-time All-Pro.

"I really love everything about him as a teammate and as a young player who is just hungry to be great," Brees said. "He is definitely a presence and a force in the deep part of the field. You have to know where he is because he's got such good range and such good instincts."

Coach Sean Payton appeared to make a point this offseason of deflecting blame for last season's end away from Williams, who not only had four interceptions during the 2017 regular season, but also had another pick in the playoff game against the Vikings. While being interviewed by his daughter, Meghan, on NFL Network, Payton said his biggest regret from the playoff loss was the Saints offense's inability to convert a third-and-1 play before kicking a go-ahead field goal with 25 seconds left. If New Orleans had gotten one more first down Youth Trent Brown Jersey , Payton reasoned, the Saints' field goal would have been attempted with virtually no time left for the Vikings to respond.

And after recent practices, Payton has been highly complimentary of Williams.

"You have seen him come back in the spring and even now in training camp, just playing at a real high level," Payton said. "He is just continuing to get better. He is a great thinker. He is smart. Rarely on the field does he do something that you don't want. That intelligence, along with his physical skill set, are two great traits."

Williams does discuss the upcoming season. And in those moments, he doesn't sound like a player overly burdened by his past.

"I just do my one-eleventh 鈥?whatever the coach tells me to do," Williams said. "Everybody has their own job to do. You can't be Superman out here."

NOTES: Players not practicing on Saturday included DE Marcus Davenport, WR Cameron Meredith, TE Michael Hoomanawanui and DL Mitch Loewen. Davenport, the club's first-round draft pick last spring, has not practiced in about two weeks.

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