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|As he prepares to enter his third season with the New Orleans Saints Sterling Shepard Jersey , defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins wants to become a leadership figure on defense.
According to Herbie Teope of NFL.com, the 2016 first-round pick feels he’s equipped to take another step forward on a defense that improved significantly last season.
“Now, it’s all about improving, whether it’s just finishing plays,” Rankins said. “I had a lot of pressures, a lot of quarterback hits, but now it’s time to turn those into sacks. A lot of tackles around the line of scrimmage, but now it’s time to turn those into (tackles for loss). It’s time to be a leader for this defense.”
Rankins became a full-time starter for the Saints in his second season after being a rotational player in 2016. The No. 12 overall pick had four sacks as a rookie when he was a rotational piece after beginning the year on injured reserve, but just two sacks last season as a full-time player. He finished his 2017 season with 26 tackles, two sacks Frank Zombo Jersey , a forced fumble and an interception.
“I think what I do speaks for itself,” Rankins said. “I think I’m versatile. I can rush the passer, I can stop the run, I can do whatever the defense needs me to do. I’ll always carry that with me in and out of every season, and my mindset won’t change.”
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Aldrick Rosas can’t have a repeat of last season if he wants to remain the New York Giants‘ placekicker.
The 23-year-old from Southern Oregon might have been the biggest surprise of training camp last summer, making the roster as a first-year free agent. The 6-foot-3, rock-solid 233-pounder with a booming leg made almost every kick attempted in training camp to beat out veteran Mike Nugent. It was a no-brainer for then-coach Ben McAdoo and his staff.
Then came the regular season and everything went south for McAdoo, the team – and Rosas.
There were good moments: Rosas kicked in the opener at Dallas and then hitched a ride on co-owner’s Steve Tisch’s jet so he could get to California for the birth of his daughter and first child, Karsyn Isabella.
”She is doing great Will Hernandez Jersey , she is awesome,” Rosas said Friday after practice. ”It’s amazing. She is eating the house. She is growing so fast. It’s amazing.”
His season wasn’t so pretty.
Rosas made 18 of 25 field-goal attempts. That’s 72 percent and not good enough when coaches expect their kickers to hit 80 percent.
”It’s felt like I have done five years since last summer,” Rosas said. ”It’s been a ride. When you go back and reflect, it’s learning the game of football, being a professional and learning the game of life and being a Dad. I am still learning.”
Rosas said the biggest thing he learned as a player was the need to stick to a plan and take it one kick at a time, regardless of each result.
This season, he is trying to follow a routine after each kick. He wants to come to the sideline, take a sip of water and wait for his next field-goal attempt, kickoff or extra point.
Rosas insists when he walks on the field, he is never looking to see how far he has to kick the ball Amara Darboh Jersey , or where the ball is positioned. He is looking at his spot and focusing.
”So if I pushed the last one wide right, I am still going to line up the same, right down the middle,” he said. ”I am going to give it my best effort to make it. It may be the same result, but I am not going to let the last kick dictate what I do on this one.”
Rosas has spent a lot of time recently working with regular long snapper Zak DeOssie and new holder, punter Riley Dixon. Friday was the first time the unit practiced the hurry-up, last-minute field-goal attempts with the fans and media watching.
Rosas made all three attempts.
Looking back on last season, Rosas can’t say one thing went wrong. He said his confidence level was OK, but he felt he let his mind wander on what he should and should not be doing in practice with his kicking.
This year, he wants to do the same thing every kick and have a little fun.
New coach Pat Shurmur was hesitant to say what he expected from his kicker Jack Crawford Jersey , although he agreed with someone with a cranky wizard-like voice from behind the podium curtain who chirped in: ”Just make `em.”
”I think it’s important,” Shurmur said. ”Again, you’ve got to see it happen in game situations. Most often, the kickers that you have in camp make them during the practice sessions, you’ve just got to watch it happen. It’s really not that much more complicated than that.”
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