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posted on 10-12-2018 at 01:18 AM
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Detroit Lions linebacker Steve Longa's season-ending knee injury represents a setback for a position group that already is a potential problem
Detroit used a first-round pick on Jarrad Davis last season and he appears to be a liability in pass coverage.
The Lions signed veteran free agents Christian Jones and Devon Kennard on the same day in March http://www.officialknightsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-brad-hunt-jersey , hoping they can be 16-game starters for the first time
in their careers.
Davis, though, is the key because general manager Bob Quinn took him 21st overall in 2017 to play middle linebacker.
The former Florida star is strong against the run. Davis had 96 tackles last season, the most by an NFL rookie or first-year player. But against the
pass, he struggled last season and has seemed to again during training camp and in the preseason.
The latest example came Friday night when the New York Giants capped a 17-play, 79-yard, nine-minute drive with a touchdown pass that exposed Davis'
Davis Webb threw an 8-yard pass to running back Wayne Gallman, who easily got separation from Davis on a simple pass route in which he ran to the left
and cut back over the middle. By the time Gallman caught the ball, Davis was about 3 yards behind him.
"You're just going to refer to one play in the game, but there's definitely some things there that we can coach better," Lions coach Matt Patricia
said. "And, I can coach better to help him."
The Lions added Jones and Kennard, banking on them being an upgrade from Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow.
Oakland signed Whitehead a three-year, $18 million contract 鈥?much more than Detroit would've offered. Worrilow signed with Philadelphia and had a
season-ending knee injury during offseason workouts.
The 6-foot-4 http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-nathan-shepherd-jersey , 256-pound Kennard was a starter 11 times last season for
the New York Giants, who used him as a starting linebacker in 35 games over four seasons. He had four sacks last season and has had 9陆 sacks over
The 6-3, 244-pound Jones started 11 games last season and 31 times over four years for the Chicago Bears. He had a career-high 11 sacks last season
and has had 15 over his career.
Both players are fits as standup linebackers or edge rushers in Patricia's defense.
"Kennard does a great job for us, doing whatever we ask him 鈥?coming off the edge, dropping in coverage," Detroit safety Glover Quin said.
"Christian is big, physical, athletic guy who can run downhill.
"Having that type of size and speed is going to help us throughout the year be able to do different things and be able match up and hopefully create
some problems for the offense."
NOTES: DE Cornelius Washington and CB Antwuan Davis were released and CB Dexter McDougle, CB Sterling Moore and OL Beau Nunn were signed.
SALT LAKE CITY — It turns out the Utah Jazz can be just as tough to stop when Donovan Mitchell is running the offense instead of simply creating
Mitchell’s ability to facilitate provided a key spark in Utah’s 116-108 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. The victory evened their
Western Conference semifinals series at 1-1 and put the Rockets in a much tougher spot than expected heading into Game 3 on Friday.
Filling in for injured Ricky Rubio at point guard, Mitchell dished out a career-high 11 assists against Houston. He had seven assists in the first
half alone. The Jazz clicked all over the court with the rookie at the controls, shooting 52 percent from the field overall — including 15 of 32
from 3-point range.
“Just being poised and staying under control was the biggest thing,” Mitchell said. “It allows me to be able to make those passes and make those
reads. The second half, I got away from it, but started to get back to it.”
Mitchell’s teammates did the most with those reads. Joe Ingles went a career-best 7 of 9 from 3-point range en route to a career-high 27 points.
Alec Burks and Jae Crowder combined for 32 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
Making the right reads offensively also paid off on the other end of the court. The Jazz were able to be more aggressive defensively and keep the
Rockets on their heels during the first half and then late in the second half.
Utah stayed poised even after Houston rallied from a 19-point deficit and took a five point lead late in the third quarter.
“You’re going to have breakdowns against these guys because they’re so good http://www.raidersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kolton-miller-jersey ,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “They put so much
pressure on you. But I thought defensively we had a really good collective effort. We were a little tougher minded on defense, more disciplined with
what we were trying to do.”
For Houston, the loss feels like an unexpected turn after it swept all four regular-season meetings with the Jazz. The Rockets put themselves in an
early hole with a tepid start. They lacked energy in the first half and it showed.
Utah pushed the pace before halftime and generated tons of open 3-pointers or open layups and dunks. Houston seemed to be on cruise control early.
Even after James Harden woke the team up late in the second quarter, scoring 12 points in four minutes to spark a rally, the Rockets never quite fully
got back on track.
“We just lost our way in the first half,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “I thought we played better (after halftime). Series is on. We
have to get it going now.”
Harden finished with 32 points, Chris Paul added 23 and Clint Capela chipped in 21 points. But Paul and Harden both struggled with their outside shot,
going a combined 4 of 15 from 3-point range.
As a team, Houston shot just 10 of 37 (27 percent) from the perimeter. It offered a stark contrast from Game 1, where the Rockets went 17 of 32 from
outside en route to a 110-96 win.
“They came out,” Paul said. “They made shots. They were aggressive. We didn’t. We got to stay more aggressive throughout the game on both
Houston hasn’t lost in Salt Lake City since falling to 120-101 to the Jazz on November 29, 2016. The Rockets won both regular-season games by 11
points — most recently 96-85 on Feb. 26 behind 26 points and 11 rebounds from James Harden.