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#1 2018-10-07 07:42:21

zhangzk
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Registered: 2018-02-22
Posts: 101

not an exponential line

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Quenton Nelson heard all the adjectives before this spring’s NFL draft.

The “experts” called him nasty Jack Doyle Jersey , a generational guard, the best player available and even suggested he could change the long-term image of all future interior offensive line prospects.

Nelson didn’t pay much attention to what was being said then or now. The 6-foot-5, 330-pound rookie remains focused on the only thing he believes matters — keeping Andrew Luck upright and healthy.

“I’m just trying to improve every single day and get better,” he said Monday as his pro debut against Cincinnati nears. “That’s all I’m worried about is getting better each and every Sunday — and not letting down my teammates.”

The Colts couldn’t expect much more out of the soft-spoken Nelson, who they took No. 6 overall.

He was the highest-chosen guard since Leonard Davis went No. 2 in 2001, and he’s not just another big body on the offensive line.

His mobility and athleticism make him an effective pulling guard, and he possesses rare flexibility that helps him stay in front of defensive linemen — as he demonstrated routinely at training camp and throughout the preseason.

Now the real tests begin.

In Sunday’s season opener, Nelson will no longer be working against vanilla defenses and backups trying to win roster spots. He’ll be trying to slow down sack artists such as Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson in a more complex scheme.

With each game comes a new challenge. Against Washington in Week 2, he could face Ryan Kerrigan. Against Super Bowl champion Philadelphia in Week 3, Nelson might line up against Fletcher Cox or Tim Jernigan. When the Colts start playing AFC South rivals Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee, he could be blocking J.J. Watt, Marcell Dareus or Jurrell Casey, among others.

And if Nelson unleashes the full arsenal each week Authentic Jaccob Slavin Jersey , those who have monitored his steady progression believe the highly-touted rookie will meet the hype.

“I think it (cohesion) just naturally comes along,” center Ryan Kelly said. “But when you’re playing next to a guy every single day — OTAs, training camp and now — it’s just great. He has really come a long way.”

Kelly understands Nelson’s situation better than most.

Three years ago, Kelly arrived in Indy as a first-round pick out of Alabama and immediately was plugged into a spot that had been a revolving door for Luck’s first three seasons. Kelly played admirably as a rookie before missing nine games last season with injuries.

This year, a healthy Kelly reclaimed the starting job playing next to Nelson and free-agent signee Matt Slauson. All three have worked hard to get in sync, and all three have been leaning on one another for help.

“Ryan has shown me how to be a pro and handle yourself off the field and on the field, too,” Nelson said. “I feel like it’s not only been Ryan, though, it’s been a bunch of the veteran guys, especially Matt Slauson. He’s been great and (Anthony) Castonzo, too.”

With Nelson at left guard, Slauson is expected to start at right guard, and the Colts remain hopeful Castonzo can return from a hamstring injury for Sunday’s game. Castonzo has been the starting left tackle since being a first-round pick in 2011 but missed most of training camp with a hamstring injury.

That leaves one opening on the line Youth Derek Stepan Jersey , at right tackle, with no clear-cut starter.

“We have made decisions on all those areas and feel good about those decisions,” first-year coach Frank Reich said when asked who the starters would be at right tackle, defensive end and cornerback. “But just to protect our team and our fans and our players, we are going to hold off on announcing those decisions.”

Still, there’s little doubt about Nelson’s skills — or even his own goal of breaking the will of an opponent each week as he first explained during the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indy.

“Yeah,” Nelson said when asked if he still embraces such a notion. “I feel like we’ve grown as an offensive line, as a unit, playing together and trusting in one another that each of us will do our job on each and every snap.”

Note: Luck returned to practice Monday and is expected to start against the Bengals. He missed practice Monday and Tuesday last week with a minor foot injury. … The Colts signed tight end Ryan Hewitt to the active roster and put defensive lineman Tyquan Lewis on injured reserve. Lewis was one of the Colts’ four second-round picks last spring. … The Colts also added offensive lineman Jamil Douglas, defensive end Carroll Phillips, linebacker Ahmad Thomas, defensive tackle Jihad Ward and running back Jeremy McNichols to the practice squad.

Carson Wentz lunged to his right and then backpedaled to avoid a rush. After darting forward again, he quickly rolled to his right and took off down the sideline at full speed.

The only reminder Saturday that the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was returning from knee surgery was the brace attached his left leg.

"Obviously he's got some of that Kobe Bryant (stuff) in his knee," defensive end Michael Bennett said with a smile Adam Henrique Jersey , referring to the offseason knee treatment in Germany the NBA great used to receive. "He probably went to Germany or Switzerland or some (stuff), because he's looking really good out there."

How upbeat were the Eagles after Wentz went through 11-on-11 drills with the starters at the first padded practice of training camp? Coach Doug Peterson interrupted new offensive coordinator Mike Groh's press conference with the key question for the Super Bowl champions.

"I know you don't want to put a timetable on Carson, but what's your timetable?" Pederson asked, smirking.

"Great question," Groh said.

Wentz sure looked close to ready, if not already there, during a humid morning practice. Barely seven months removed from tearing the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his left knee, Wentz participated in full team drills without limitations. While he tossed two interceptions, he drew rave reviews from his teammates and coaches for his arm strength, accuracy and mobility.

"He's in the right frame of mind. He's making some good throws," Groh said. "As you can see, we're pretty good on defense. Those guys are making it challenging for us on offense, particularly early, first day in pads."

Wentz dazzled in 13 games last season Rico Gathers Jersey , throwing for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. The Eagles led the NFL in scoring and were 11-2 after Wentz went down on Dec. 10.

Behind backup Nick Foles, the Eagles went on to win their first NFL title. But it's clear that even though Foles was the Super Bowl MVP, Wentz will become the starter again when he's ready.

"When you're rehabbing something, it's not an exponential line. It's not you're slowly getting better and then you rapidly accelerate," tight end Zach Ertz said. "There's going to be times in training camp probably where he doesn't feel great or his knee doesn't feel great and they'll back him off."

Because of that, the Eagles remain tight-lipped about whether they expect Wentz under center for the season opener Sept. 6 against Atlanta. It's also uncertain if he'll appear in a preseason game. Wentz didn't speak to reporters after the 2 1/2-hour workout.

"To have everybody out there, Carson there, in some people's minds is ahead of schedule," Groh said. "But I know this was his target date. So we're happy to have him out there working. It's only going to make everybody better."

NOTES: With several receivers banged up and not practicing, including Alshon Jeffery and Bryce Treggs, the Eagles signed WR DeAndre Carter. The move gives the Eagles the maximum 90 players. ... The team displayed the Lombardi Trophy in a glass case outside the practice fields, allowing fans to snap pictures while standing next to it.

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2018-10-07 07:42:21

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