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  • 05 Jun
    导出博客文章ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Middle linebacker Cory James was so busy trying to stay on
    point with the rest of the Raiders defense last week that he wasnt able to fully
    enjoy his first NFL start.Oaklands sixth-round pick expects to be a lot more
    comfortable his second time around when the Raiders play in Baltimore on
    Sunday.Im glad coach (Jack) Del Rio believed in the rookie to get the start,
    James said Friday. I saw some good things, me making some good tackles. And a
    lot of mental errors I can correct. Now I know what its like to play with the 1s
    for a full game so Ill have that experience.James had six tackles- all solo --
    in his debut against the Tennessee Titans after replacing Ben Heeney in Oaklands
    starting defense.The decision to start James over Heeney -- coupled with
    replacing safety Keith McGill with first-round draft pick Karl Joseph -- came
    after the Raiders became the first team since 1967 to give up 500 yards or more
    in offense in each of the first two games.Oakland showed some slight improvement
    against Tennessee in Week 3 but still allowed 393 yards to a team that has been
    sporadic at best so far.Part of the problem for James was finding a comfort zone
    in the Raiders defense. Having spent training camp and the preseason working
    with the backups, the former Colorado State standout admittedly took some time
    to get settled in.It was just get in (and go), said James, who played all but
    three defensive snaps against Tennessee. Some of the mental errors that I did in
    the game I had never experienced in practice.While James made his share of
    mistakes against the Titans, the Raiders were mostly pleased with what they got
    from him.It really went the way we hoped, Del Rio said. Dont feel like the
    moment is too big for him. He settled in and competed. Well clean a few things
    up with technique and making sure the eyes are exactly where they belong, all
    those kind of things. But he plays hard. Hes got a little ruggedness to
    him.Joseph also impressed Oaklands coaching staff after spending the first two
    games playing strictly on special teams.The 14th-overall pick in the draft,
    Joseph tallied a game-high 10 tackles and helped hold the Titans to 214 in the
    air, a marked improvement for the leagues 32nd-ranked pass defense.Its exciting
    to finally see him on the field, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. Its
    been a long time since hes played, coming back from an injury. He shows you that
    he can play. Its a matter of him understanding, getting a lot of confidence in
    what hes doing, really learning this game. Its about experiences and right now
    hes at that age where a lot of experiences are going to come up for him and he
    has to understand what they are and make the best of them.Game notes Right
    tackle Menelik Watson (calf), left guard Austin Howard (ankle) and safety Nate
    Allen (ankle) did not practice and have been ruled out. ... Center Rodney Hudson
    (knee) and offensive lineman Matt McCants (knee) practiced without restriction
    after being limited earlier in the week. McCants has been splitting reps with
    rookie Vadal Alexander at right tackle this week while Watson is out. ... Backup
    running back Taiwan Jones (knee) was limited and is questionable.---Online:AP
    NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
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    cruised to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.
    -- Theo Epstein is rising to a new reality.For the last few years Ive had a
    semi-recurring dream, maybe five or six times, where Ive woken up, wow, we just
    won the World Series with the Cubs. Thats unbelievable, he recalled Monday
    night.And then about 10 seconds later I realize it was just a dream, and then
    the rest of the day stinks, right? Its a pretty great feeling and then back to
    reality. The last five days or whatever its been, Ive been waking up with the
    same realization and then it takes a couple seconds. Wow! It really
    happened!Days after the team he designed ended a long championship drought,
    Epstein was voted The Sporting News Major League Baseball Executive of the Year
    for revitalizing the Chicago Cubs.Balloting by 56 big league executives took
    place before the postseason. The Cubs led the majors with 103 wins during the
    regular season, then beat Cleveland in a seven-game World Series last week for
    their first title since 1908.During the parade I kept telling my wife we need to
    go home to change some diapers and do some laundry, because this is not real
    life, he said. Weve got to get our feet back on the ground.Epstein was presented
    with the award at the start of the annual general managers meeting. He received
    13 votes, followed by Clevelands Chris Antonetti (nine), the New York Yankees
    Brian Cashman (eight), Texas Jon Daniels (seven), Clevelands Mike Chernoff and
    Washingtons Mike Rizzo (three each), and Baltimores Dan Duquette and the Cubs
    Jed Hoyer (two apiece).Now 42, Epstein was the youngest general manager in major
    league history when Boston hired him at age 28 in November 2002. He helped the
    Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, their first title since 1918, and a second
    championship in 2007.Winning at 42 vs. 30, I have a greater appreciation for how
    hard it is and how many people have to contribute and how lucky you have to get
    along the way, too, he said.Epstein left Boston after the 2011 season to become
    president of baseball operations with the Cubs, who lost 91 games that year. As
    he rebuilt the team, the Cubs dropped 101 games in 2012, 96 the following year
    and 89 in 2014. They won 97 games last year to gaiin a wild card, returning to
    the playoffs for the first time since 2008 only to get swept by the New York
    Mets in the NL Championship Series.ddddddddddddThis year, Chicago defeated San
    Francisco in the Division Series, overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Los Angeles
    Dodgers in the NL Championship Series and then became the first team to rally
    from a 3-1 World Series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.Chicagos
    10th-inning rally in Game 7 was sparked by Albert Almora Jr., the first player
    drafted under Epsteins regime, taken sixth overall in 2012. Third baseman Kris
    Bryant was drafted in 2013 and outfielder Kyle Schwarber in 2014, and the Cubs
    traded for pitcher Jake Arrieta (from Baltimore), first baseman Anthony Rizzo
    (San Diego) and shortstop Addison Russell (Oakland).Jon Lester was signed as a
    free agent after the 2014 season and fellow pitcher John Lackey, all-purpose
    player Ben Zobrist and outfielders Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward were signed
    last offseason.Chicago gave Epstein a new five-year contract in September. Now
    the challenge is to win two in a row and match the 1907-08 Cubs.It does make you
    hungry just to validate it. When you can win two, I think it means even more, he
    said. Wed love to be the type of organization that national baseball fans think
    of when you think of October baseball.Aroldis Chapman, Fowler, Jason Hammel and
    Travis Wood have become free agents. Epstein already has been thinking about
    roster alterations.The mix has to change a little bit, he said. If you look to
    just bring back every single component and try to recreate the past, its going
    to change by definition. Group dynamics change. Human beings change. And so
    maybe its better to change it in some small ways on your terms and some intent
    behind it rather than just let it come back exactly the same and be stale. ...
    Well make some smaller changes, but I do have a feeling this nucleus is going to
    stay intact a lot longer than what we did in Boston.Founded in 1886, TSN ended
    its print edition in 2012 but remains available online. ' ' '