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NASHVILLE http://www.seahawkscheapshops.com/cheap-authentic-phil-haynes-jersey , Tenn. (AP)Mike Vrabel played 14 years in the NFL and the first-year Tennessee Titans coach is more than willing to pick up a pad for drills to get his point across.And if someone knocks off his sunglasses during the process, not a problem.”Yes, that’s fun,” Vrabel said Thursday after the Titans’ first day of training camp. ”That’s when you know it was a good punch. I use that as a barometer when the sunglasses go flying off. But, they’re doing it the right way. They’re delivering a blow and trying to transfer power to stop a guy’s charge, in that case, the punt team and get out and cover.”The Titans’ season opener and Vrabel’s debut as a head coach in a regular-season game is just 45 days away on Sept. 9 in Miami. His preseason debut comes Aug. 9 in Green Bay, and Vrabel was starting to drive his wife and son crazy being at home waiting for the start of training camp.”You wake up in the middle of the night thinking about should I call a time-out in this situation? Then I’m like, I’m really losing my mind. It’s just good to have the players back,” Vrabel said.Not only did Vrabel play in the NFL and win three Super Bowl rings, he’s been an assistant at Ohio State and with the Houston Texans. That means he got to watch some of football’s best make crucial decisions during games, including Bill Belichick, Urban Meyer and Bill O’Brien.Now it’ll be Vrabel’s turn to decide, and he’s been doing his best to prepare for kickoff by doing what he did so much of as a player: watch tape to help figure out what he can and can’t challenge Ugo Amadi Jersey , figuring out how to use his timeouts, defending an opponent trying to run clock at the end of a game.”We’ve got a library of 10 years,” Vrabel said. ”You can go back and pretty much get whatever game we want and pull up a scenario and play it out.”For now, Vrabel is trying to improve a Titans team that is coming off consecutive 9-7 seasons and the franchise’s first playoff victory since January 2004 – all of which wasn’t good enough to keep Mike Mularkey on the job . Music plays throughout practice to help simulate game-day noise, and his assistants spent parts of Thursday’s session working on fundamentals like tip drills.The Titans saw their coach throw himself into camp with the same participation and intensity he displayed during offseason organized team activities.”Oh man, that feels good all the time when you get to hit the coach a little bit,” three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said. ”It just shows you know the stuff that he was doing OTAs wasn’t a fluke. He’s continued to do it.”Rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans joked that going up against a coach could be a way to work out some frustration. He said it was impressive to see Vrabel working in the trenches, and his new head coach already has given him a tip on how to play better.”He’s always told me not to think so much but just to play ball,” Evans said. ”He says you’re going to make mistakes. But you play fast and aggressive, everything else goes that’ll get corrected.”NOTES: Two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan reported for training camp Wednesday with his agents talking with the Titans about a contract extension past this season . Lewan did not take part in team drills, and he said that might be the Titans waiting until the new deal is done. Vrabel disagreed, noting Lewan already is under contract but missed the team’s mandatory minicamp in June . The coach said the left tackle will rejoin team drills when the Titans feel he’s ready.— Ezekiel Elliott likes to give Todd Gurley credit for the NFL’s running renaissance because the Los Angeles Rams star ended an unprecedented two-year drought of backs taken in the first round of the draft.With MVP-type numbers on a team looking like a Super Bowl contender, Gurley is the best example why it’s a good time to be a running back not many years after the position seemed undervalued in what is still considered a passing league.“Definitely it’s starting to re-emerge,” said Elliott http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-drew-sample-jersey , who was the NFL rushing leader as a rookie in 2016 with the Dallas Cowboys. “He was the first one in that draft and then as the years went on, more backs started to get picked and they’ve all been doing well. I wouldn’t take all the credit, but I think it’s just a new age of backs.”And an age of young backs.Gurley went 10th overall to the Rams when they were in St. Louis, followed five picks later by Melvin Gordon to the Chargers when they were still in San Diego. Now both backs are in LA.Elliott was the first of two straight rookies to win the rushing title, followed by Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt last season. Among the top 10 rushers this season, eight are 25 or younger.That’s still not getting to New York Giants rookie Saquon Barkley , the No. 2 overall pick and highest back taken since Reggie Bush went second in 2006.“I guess I kind of did start the first-round thing again,” Gurley said. “But those guys are great players. They put themselves in great positions to be where they are at today, and you see why they are having success in the NFL.”Elliott got a top-four thing going when the Cowboys drafted the Ohio State star fourth overall in 2016. Now there have been three straight years with a back taken at least that high: Leonard Fournette fourth out of LSU the year in 2017, then Barkley from Penn State this year.The other top 10 running back over the past three drafts also illustrates one reason runners could be in vogue: their ability as pass catchers. Carolina took Christian McCaffrey eighth overall out of Stanford last year, even with the perceptionhe might be a third-down back.Now McCaffrey has a respectable 111 carries for the playoff-contending Panthers while ranking fourth among running backs with 49 catches.“A lot of times teams that had a feature back, he was considered the first- and second-down guy, and then they put in a little scatback to be the third-down receiver,” said Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane http://www.oaklandraidersteamonline.com/trayvon-mullen-jersey , who had a hand in drafting McCaffrey while with Carolina. “Well, now, you’re getting these guys that can do it all.”Hunt and Barkley have made it back-to-back seasons for rookies to start their careers with six or more straight games of at least 100 scrimmage yards. Barkley’s run ended there, but now he’s at seven of his first eight games despite another miserable season for the Giants (1-7).Hunt started his career with seven straight last year — the first rookie to do that since Kevin Jones for Detroit in 2004.Not that multipurpose lead backs are a new thing.“I don’t think anyone’s ever matched how Marshall Faulk produced in the passing game, and that seems like 8 million years ago,” Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of a back who was the 2000 NFL MVP in the middle of three straight years with at least 1,300 yards rushing and 800 receiving.Oh, and Faulk was the second overall pick in 1994.“I just think of these guys have been doing this stuff in this league for years,” Linehan said. “I think people probably targeted them because they’re the best with the ball in their hands.”Gurley is well on his way to his first rushing title with 868 yards; leads the NFL with 16 touchdowns, including 12 rushing; and has a chance Sunday against Seattle to become just the fourth player with at least one TD in each of the first 10 games. The others are all Hall of Famers.The former Georgia standout has a 162-yard lead over James Conner, the replacement for Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh when Bell decided to stay away from the Steelers rather than play under the franchise tag.Conner’s emergence also shows the depth of the 2017 class — even with Fournette missing all but two games with a hamstring injury after rushing for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie for a team that reached the AFC championship game.The second-year group has two of the NFL’s top three rushers in Conner and Hunt, who have almost 1,400 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns between them http://www.oaklandraidersteamonline.com/isaiah-johnson-jersey , while Hunt has another six receiving TDs.The versatility of 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara helps quarterback Drew Brees in one of the NFL’s best offenses in New Orleans. Dalvin Cook (Minnesota) and Joe Mixon (Cincinnati) are expected to play leading roles in their respective run games.And forget for a moment about the draft. Another second-year player, Matt Breida in San Francisco, is ninth in the NFL with 531 yards rushing after going undrafted. Denver rookie Phillip Lindsay is sixth at 591 after not getting selected.“A lot of times there’s a lot of backs in the draft,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “You might be able to get one that’s close in the second round, but you won’t get that left tackle who’s a star in the second round or that defensive lineman or that outside ‘backer or that corner.”There’s a different kind of renaissance with the Redskins: an “old” guy leading the way. Adrian Peterson, the 33-year-old three-time league rushing champ, has helped Washington to the NFC East lead by ranking fifth with 604 yards.“I don’t think that position’s ever been devalued,” Gruden said. “I think you look at what Zeke’s done and you look at some of the other young running backs, Le’Veon Bell, and what type of impact they can have on your football team.“We’re learning that right now firsthand with Adrian Peterson. Even though we didn’t draft him, obviously, but the impact these backs can have on your football as far as running game, controlling the clock and then the play-actions. It’s big time.”It’s been big at draft time recently as well.
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