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chenyan94


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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Quenton Nelson heard all the adjectives before this spring’s NFL draft.
The “experts” called him nasty Bobby Orr 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, 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 Carter Hutton Jersey , 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, 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 Ryan Murray Jersey , 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.
HOUSTON (AP) Robert Brazile was so feared as a linebacker during his career with the Houston Oilers that he earned the nickname Dr. Doom.
In his retirement he found contentment in a vastly different line of work that he believes was even more challenging than chasing down quarterbacks for a living.
”It was more difficult being a teacher,” he said. ”I was a middle school special ed teacher and it was a challenge every day to find out something to build the trust, the love and the care for these kids.”
Though he loved football and enjoyed his time in the NFL, the 65-year-old Brazile admits working with children was more fulfilling.
”If I had to choose it all over again, I would love being a teacher more than a football player,” he said.
Though he turned in his Dr. Doom persona decades ago for the role of Mr. Brazile, he’ll revisit the success of his first career on Saturday when he’ll be one of eight men inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brazile was drafted sixth overall in 1975 out of Jackson State, two picks behind teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Walter Payton, and was voted Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was the anchor of the 3-4 defensive scheme which coach Bum Phillips used and was a Pro Bowl selection in seven straight seasons from 1976-1982. He also earned a spot on the NFL’s All-Decade team of the 1970s.
The 6-foot-4 Victor Hedman Jersey , 241-pound Brazile was one of the first players to rush quarterbacks from the outside linebacker position. Many, including Phillips, believe his work paved the way for the success of other stars at the position such as Lawrence Taylor, who was drafted six seasons after Brazile.
Phillips, who died in 2013, was fond of saying that Brazile was ”Lawrence Taylor before Lawrence Taylor.”
”Robert was the forerunner of the Lawrence Taylor era,” Phillips said in a radio interview before his death. ”They remember Lawrence Taylor, but Robert was a guy that proved that you could do that in the NFL. Everybody said `You can’t run a college defense in pro ball.’ But you can, and we did.”
With running back Earl Campbell and quarterback Dan Pastorini leading the offense, Brazile headlined a defense that helped the Oilers to some of their most successful seasons. Houston reached the AFC championship game in consecutive seasons in 1978-79 before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers both times.
Brazile fondly remembers the throngs of `Luv Ya Blue’ fans, with most decked out in the team’s signature powder blue duds, waiting to welcome the team home after those difficult losses. It’s estimated that more than 55,000 fans filled the Astrodome for ”homecoming rallies” after both defeats.
”There are days and times now where I sit in the corner and just think about all the great memories about (those games) and the great turnout of people that supported us,” he said. ”I’ve just always wondered if we would have won … against Pittsburgh, how many people would have been in the Astrodome.”
Brazile’s early years with the Oilers were made special by the presence of Phillips, the cowboy-hat-wearing Youth Brandon Sutter Jersey , folksy-talking Texan, who was fired after the team lost in the wild-card round in 1980.
”Bum was such an organizer of men,” Brazile said. ”He treated us like his boys, but he also treated us like a man. We could go to Bum with any problem, anything that we had on our mind. We trusted in him and he trusted in us, and that’s what made us so unique, that Luv Ya Blue group.”
Brazile spent his entire career with the Oilers, retiring after the 1984 season when he was 31. He is credited with 11 career sacks, but certainly had many more; sacks didn’t become an official statistic until 1982.
Brazile is a senior selection into the Hall of Fame, which honors those whose careers ended at least 25 years ago. After waiting so long to get the nod, Brazile can hardly wait for Saturday’s induction.
”I’ve got a grand speech for the Hall of Fame that I hope everyone enjoys,” he said, ”and I’m going to embrace it all.”

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