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son. Dimitri Payet is our be

  • 30 May
    导出博客文章METAIRIE, La. -- Hardly two years removed from playing college football on a
    12-man defence in western Canada, Akiem Hicks is primed to emerge as a full-time
    starter on an NFL defensive line. Just dont tell him that, because he wont even
    admit to being encouraged by the fact that he played with the starting unit in
    the New Orleans Saints preseason opener and is regularly practicing with the
    first team. "Not yet, because theres so much more to go," said Hicks said,
    referencing a metaphor defensive line coach Bill Johnson uses about each day of
    good work amounting to nothing more than a bean in a jar, which has to be full
    to represent a good season. "I dont have enough beans to be encouraged yet."
    Maybe not, but his effort in practice on Tuesday certainly seemed worthy of
    another bean. He was a force in 11-on-11 drills, registering what would have
    been a sack on Drew Brees if he were allowed to touch the quarterback. Later,
    during a 2-minute drill, he had two more standout moments. First he batted down
    one of Brees passes, then he perfectly read a screen pass to Darren Sproles, who
    Hicks wrapped up for a 4-yard loss in a 2-minute drill. The 6-foot-5 Hicks, who
    said he now weighs about 330 pounds, is currently playing the left defensive end
    in co-ordinator Rob Ryans new 3-4 defence (three linemen, four linebackers).
    Last year as a rookie, drafted in the third round out of the University of
    Regina (Saskatchewan), Hicks played reserve defensive tackle in a 4-3, then made
    the transition this year to what Johnson calls "the most physical position on
    our defence." It wasnt clear whether Hicks would emerge as a starter when 2013
    training camp opened because the Saints had signed 11-year veteran defensive
    lineman Kenyon Coleman, who had played the past two seasons in Ryans 3-4 defence
    in Dallas. Last week, however, Coleman tore a pectoral muscle, which has likely
    ended his season. Third-year pro Tom Johnson also is in the mix to start at that
    spot, though he has missed more than a week of practice with a hip injury.
    Johnson conceded that Hicks is in position to win the starting job, but stressed
    that three weeks of evaluation remained. "Thing Ive said all along about Hicks
    is that hes raw but he has a lot of versatility," Johnson said. "I thought our
    scouting people did a great job watching him in Canada to know." Hicks, who grew
    up near Sacramento, was recruited by LSU out of the community college ranks, but
    an NCAA violation related to financial help provided by an assistant coach left
    him ineligible to play in the United States, hence his move to Canada, where he
    thrived as a stand-up defensive end. "What was hard was to evaluate him versus
    the people he was against," Johnson said. "It wasnt like if he had went to LSU
    and stayed. You could evaluate him against guys who would potentially be in this
    league. It was like guys that were just little kids and he was obviously
    dominating up there." Big NFL offensive tackles can find him tough to block as
    well. "Hes a good athlete that weighs (330 pounds) that moves like hes 300 or
    290," said Saints right tackle Zach Strief, who has to block Hicks in practice.
    "Thats something pretty God-given thats pretty hard to find." NOTES: RB Pierre
    Thomas (left leg), OLB Martez Wilson (left elbow) and OLB Junior Galette (left
    leg) all returned to practice from injuries, participating to varying degrees.
    Thomas did the most, taking part in seven-on-seven drills. Wilson participated
    in a "walk-through" and Galette mostly watched. ... Courtney Roby, a veteran
    special teams leader and reserve receiver, needed help off the field after
    apparently hurting his left foot. Payton said Roby had a toe injury. He did not
    get more specific. ... Jerry Romig, who has been the public address announcer
    for Saints home games since 1969, and who also handled P.A. announcing for the
    first four Super Bowls in New Orleans, said his last game on the job will be
    this Fridays home preseason game against Oakland. Romig, 83, said his voice is
    fine but back problems have made it tough to get around. His 57-year-old son,
    Mark, who will take over, said his father wants him to show his own personality.
    But Mark Romig added, "My mother told me I have to do it just like my father."
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    . Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
    The 26-year-old finished last season with Clevelands Triple-A affiliate in
    Columbus after signing with the Indians in August.An unnamed Chinese club are
    prepared to pay £38m to sign West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet, according to Sky
    sources. Sky sources understand the Chinese club have made an offer to Payet
    through his representatives and have proposed to pay the France international
    £7m-a-year in wages. However, West Ham confirmed on Tuesday they were in talks
    with Payet over a new deal and a club source told Sky Sports: I cant see him
    going to China. Payet has scored six goals in 18 Premier League appearances so
    far this season The Hammers revealed that contract negotiations, initiated by
    the club, are progressing well and stressed that neither Payet or his agent have
    made any demands over a new deal. The Daily Mirror claimed Payets agent had
    demanded a new contract for his client worth £125,000-a-week, just seven months
    after he joined West Ham from Marseille for an initial £10.75m. Payet has been a
    hugely impressive performer for West Ham this season Following reports in todays
    media, West Ham United would like to clarify that at no time has Dimitri Payet
    or his agent made any demands to the club over a new contract, a club statement
    read. However, the club can confirm that due to Dimitris outstanding impact
    since his arrival at the Boleyn Ground, they have initiated amicable and
    productive talks about an improvement and extension to his contract. Those talks
    are progressing well and it is hoped they can be concluded shortly.Dimitri would
    like to make clear that he is very proud to play for West Ham United and he
    appreciates the support he has received from the board, manager and fans since
    he joined the club in the summer. Making the difference The stats highlight
    justt how important Payet is to West Ham Following the clubs announcement, Payet
    declared his desire to remain at West Ham for the foreseeable
    future.dddddddddddd. I say and I repeat Im proud to wear the shirt of West Ham.
    My future is here and I hope for many years, he said via his official Twitter
    account.Ahead of West Hams FA Cup fourth-round replay with Liverpool, manager
    Slaven Bilic stressed the importance of keeping Payet at the club. Slaven Bilic
    is keen to secure Payet on a long-term contract Payet has been exceptional for
    West Ham during his debut season in the Premier League and has played a pivotal
    role in the clubs challenge for European qualification. The 28-year-old, who is
    contracted to West Ham until June 2020, has scored six times and provided four
    assists this season. Dimitri Payet is our best player. And of course I would
    love to have him happy, long-term, at the club. Slaven Bilic The club is moving,
    with the new stadium and everything, and the most important move is to keep your
    best players, Bilic said.Dimitri Payet is our best player. And of course I would
    love to have him happy, long-term, at the club.He only signed a few months ago,
    but he has made a huge impact and while he has a long contract he is in a good
    position. We all want to keep him for a long, long time.West Ham are on the
    verge of one deal with a Chinese club, according to Sky sources, who say an
    agreement for Nikica Jelavic to join second division side Beijing Renhe is 95
    per cent done.The Croatia striker has scored two goals since arriving from Hull
    in the summer. Also See: Payet in contract talks Bilic: We need to keep Payet
    Gold expects sell out Bilic wary of Liverpool threat ' ' '