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impact the kicking game

  • 13 Aug
    导出博客文章I dont know, man. I honestly dont know.When you give advice for a living, as I
    do, thats what we call a less than ideal answer.Youre always supposed to know.
    Sometimes youre right, sometimes youre wrong, but youre not supposed to say I
    dont know.This is the start of my 17th year of writing a weekly Love/Hate
    column, giving advice for the upcoming week in fantasy football. And usually the
    first column of the year is a fun one, full of hope and excitement for the
    upcoming season. But if youve looked at the news at any point in the past year
    ... it has been a tough one for a lot of people and there are a lot of problems
    that dont seem to have a lot of answers anytime soon. And while some problems
    are very public and affect a great deal of people, there are also very personal
    tragedies that our friends, family and neighbors have to deal with every day.Id
    like you to meet Scott.Scott is awesome. Hes a military man, currently in his
    14th year of service for our country, a master sergeant in the Air Force.
    Thirty-seven years old, Scott is also a family man. Married to Erica, they have
    a big family. Anton is 16, Xander is 12 and the twins, Layla and Andrew, are
    2.Hes also one of us.I started playing fantasy football my fourth year in the
    military, Scott wrote to me. As a way to get to know the guys in my new unit. I
    immediately became obsessed and it wasnt long until I was routinely called the
    fantasy guy. When I tell you Scott is one of us, I mean it. Obsessed doesnt
    begin to describe him. I was in eight leagues and every free non-family moment
    (in addition to the kids, my wife was pregnant with our fifth) was spent
    managing those teams. I loved it.Everything was going great for Scott until
    about Week 12 last year, when he learned that he and Ericas unborn child had a
    serious birth defect and was given only a 50 percent chance to live.Scott
    continued: Fantasy football became my escape. ... My days were spent shuttling
    my wife and 2-year-old twins between doctors and hospitals, running tests and
    taking scans. My nights, after I comforted my wife to sleep, were spent scouring
    the waiver wires and proposing trades on my dimly lit phone. It was all I could
    do to keep myself sane.It was weeks of dread and searching before there was some
    hope. Scott and Erica heard of an experimental procedure that could potentially
    save their childs life. Initial tests all went well; they were prime candidates
    to be accepted in a clinical trial. But as their hope was rekindled, they were
    dealt another devastating blow. A final test revealed another genetic disorder
    in the unborn child, a rare condition of which there had been only 274 known
    infant cases. That, combined with the first diagnosis, meant certain death.As
    you can imagine, we were crushed. We returned our crib ... and started looking
    at caskets.Upon hearing the diagnosis, Scott and Erica were told they could
    terminate the pregnancy if they wanted to. They did not.And so, as Scott tended
    to his still pregnant wife and his four other kids trying to grasp this tragedy,
    he expressed how important fantasy became to him. It was my only normalcy, he
    wrote. I never let fantasy football come before guiding my family through this
    tragedy, of course, but, honestly, it was the only non-dying-baby-related
    thoughts I had.Scott went eight-for-eight in his leagues in terms of making the
    playoffs and won three championships. And soon after that, his son was born.
    Most unborn children with this disorder dont make it full term but young Kevin
    was a fighter. He made it full term and was born in March. After giving birth,
    Erica had to be rushed to immediate surgery and my son was handed over to me.
    Kevin lived for 43 minutes and died in my arms.Erica came out of surgery
    successfully and my wife, my kids and I buried my son. We have shed countless
    tears. It has been and continues to be a painful time for myself and my family.
    As the months dragged on, I was looking forward to the simplicity of fantasy
    football to return. However, now that it is here ... I couldnt seem to care
    less. I am emailing you because in my opinion you are the best source when it
    comes to the living the fantasy life.I quit six of my leagues, including three I
    was the commissioner of. At this time I am usually making my own rankings but
    this year I just grabbed the first cheat sheet I could find. I went down to just
    the two sentimental leagues that I have been in for years and even then I just
    dont get the happiness I always got before. So that, sir, is my question. ...
    How do I get it back?I dont know, man.Ive had this email for more than two weeks
    and Ive thought of little else since I got it. And I dont know.I spoke with
    Scott on the phone for more than an hour.And I dont know.I cant imagine living
    the hell they did. I feel bad and I send condolences and well wishes and
    heartfelt thoughts and blah blah blah. None of it matters. Words are inadequate.
    I cant pretend to fathom what Scott and his family are going through. What any
    family that has to go through that is dealing with.No parent should ever outlive
    their child.One of the things I love about fantasy football is that it is a
    distraction. A hobby. Its own self-contained little universe that exists
    (mostly) away from the real world, and the issues and problems that brings.
    Fantasy football is something that, if we are doing it right, we do for fun. A
    helluva lot of fun, actually.And I am so happy to hear that, if even for a brief
    moment last season, it was able to provide a little relief for Scott, allowing
    him to be there for his family when they needed him the most.But to answer your
    question, Scott, about how you get that feeling back ... heres the best answer I
    got.I dont think you do. At least not initially.Look, the reason you dont care
    about fantasy football right now is because you shouldnt. You are grieving, and
    rightfully so. Like I said, I cant begin to imagine what you are going through
    but I have no doubt if I ever had to go through anything close to that I would
    desperately look for something, anything to get my mind off it. I am by no means
    an expert in this (or many things, to be frank) so I strongly recommend talking
    with a professional therapist if you arent already. For you and your entire
    family.But you asked for my opinion, so here it is: You need to grieve. You need
    to come to emotional grips with what youve been through and then, and only then,
    do things return to at least somewhat normal. When that will be, I dont know,
    but when you are ready, fantasy football will still be there for you, my friend.
    And thats when youll get that feeling back. When youre ready. And not
    before.Rest in peace, Kevin.Im looking forward to a great season and I cant wait
    to have fun, but as we embark on our 17-week journey, I want you to take a
    moment and think about Scott, Erica and Kevin. Because as much as I love our
    little game, it is a game of passion. People do and will get very passionate
    about players, games, trades and other league mates. And while I love that
    passion, realize that whats important to you about fantasy football may not be
    what is important about fantasy football to someone else, you know?Which brings
    us, meandering slowly, into the first Love/Hate of the year. Hopefully by now
    you know the drill. This is not a start/sit column but rather a column about
    players who I feel will exceed or fall short of their normal expectations. For
    specific answers on player-vs.-player start/sit questions, please consult my
    rankings. This year, I will also be doing PPR ranks, with Week 1 being published
    shortly. And as a company man, a reminder that I will be on Fantasy Football Now
    every Sunday, 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2 up until kickoff. Tune in!Finally, keep in
    mind that while I try to avoid obvious players for either Love or Hate the fact
    is that those can be helpful, especially for those who play DFS. I hope everyone
    gets what they need out of this column either way.?Quarterbacks I love in Week
    1Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Rodgers is coming off a bad season (for him), the Jags
    are really improved and the game is in Jacksonville. Yeah, yeah, I get it. And
    this is a tougher game than youd think for Green Bay. But whatevs, dude. Rodgers
    has multiple passing touchdowns or 300 yards passing in 12 of his past 13
    regular-season games with Jordy Nelson on the field. Jordys back, and so am
    I.Drew Brees, Saints: The Raiders are another very improved defense from the
    offseason, and I dont care. Brees is at home. In the past decade, there have
    been only five times a QB has scored at least 200 fantasy points at home in one
    season: MVP Aaron Rodgers in 2014, MVP Cam Newton in 2015, Drew Brees in 2011,
    Drew Brees in 2013, Drew Brees in 2015. Death, taxes and you start Drew Brees at
    home. Shootout city.Matthew Stafford, Lions: Sundays game against the Colts has
    a high projected point total, according to the folks in Vegas, and I think
    theyre right. You cant corral a Cooter, you can only hope to contain it. The
    Colts get Cootered in this one, as the Lions wont run, but will throw, throw,
    throw against an Indy team that will struggle to generate pressure on
    Stafford.Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Big Bens going to have his way here,
    using a spread passing game, bunch formations, crossing routes and pick plays
    while attacking the middle of a mediocre Washington defense. Expect a lot of
    screens and yards after the catch on short routes by Pittsburghs wide receivers.
    I hope Im wrong, but as a Washington fan, Im nervous Josh Norman gets a bit
    exposed here, and given the Redskins struggles in generating a pass rush,
    Roethlisberger should have all night to throw.Kirk Cousins, Redskins: Washington
    will struggle to run the ball and is unlikely to stop the Steelers as well,
    which means what, class? Come on now, you throw. They will throw a ton,
    especially in the middle of the field, where Jordan Reed should have a field
    day. See? Class, field day ... I got a whole theme going here. Cousins picks up
    where he left off last season in a Monday Night shootout.Others receiving votes:
    No byes this week and only minimal injuries, but if you are in need or in a
    deeper league, yes, Robert Griffin III has learned how to slide. He has a cannon
    arm, talent around him to go get it, rushing yards and a nice matchup with a
    Philly team that gave up the second-most passing touchdowns last season. You
    could do worse, and lets face it, you probably have. ... The only fear Texans
    owners should have is that Houston gets up big and stops throwing, because
    otherwise, Brock Osweiler should have a strong debut against a Bears team that
    is devoid of talent on defense. Osweiler had 250 yards and two touchdowns
    against Chicago last year.Quarterbacks I hate in Week 1Cam Newton, Panthers: Its
    hard to bench the No. 1 quarterback taken in most drafts, but this certainly is
    the lowest hell be ranked all season, and hes only a contrarian play in daily.
    The Broncos gave up fewer than 12 points a game to opposing QBs last season and
    no rushing touchdowns to a quarterback, either. Newton will stay for the whole
    news conference this time, but expecting huge numbers on the road in Denver is
    unwise.Philip Rivers, Chargers: One hundred twenty-two. Thats how many
    consecutive pass attempts Rivers has against the Chiefs without a touchdown
    pass. The Chargers will try to establish the run here against a defense that is
    missing a few stars but is still formidable and allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy
    points to opposing QBs last season. On the road in Arrowhead against a K.C. team
    that he failed to throw a TD against in two games last season, averaging less
    than 225 passing yards, puts Rivers well below where he was drafted in Week
    1.Andy Dalton, Bengals: On the road and without a lot of the weapons he has been
    used to in the passing game, the Red Rifle can be expected to play
    conservatively against a Jets defense that was top 10 in fewest passing yards
    allowed in 2015. No Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu on the field, and
    no Hue Jackson calling plays this year, so expect a bit of a learning curve
    here. Which is fine, but that doesnt mean he has to learn while starting for you
    now, does it?Running backs I love in Week 1Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys: As Mike
    Tyson once said, Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. The
    Giants spent the offseason upgrading a defense that last season was bottom-10 in
    limiting yards before contact per rush. And it may very well pay dividends. But
    not this week, as the Cowboys will ease Dak Prescott into service with an insane
    dose of Zeke - the personification of the aforementioned punch in the mouth --
    behind the leagues best offensive line. You know who just caught the Zeke-a
    virus? The New York Football Giants, thats who.DeAngelo Williams, Steelers: The
    fantasy football equivalent of smoke em while you got em, this is gonna be a fun
    three weeks while LeVeon Bell is suspended.Spencer Ware, Chiefs: With Jamaal
    Charles unlikely to play, Ware will not only be the man, he will be THE MAN.
    Every time this guy has gotten a shot hes produced. The four career games
    (including playoffs) in which Ware has gotten at least 10 touches, he has
    averaged 5.69 yards per carry, has scored in all four games and averaged more
    than 16 fantasy points a game. I like the matchup with San Diego, and the Chiefs
    conservative game plan plays to Wares strengths. Charcandrick West will work in
    some, but Ware is the guy you want.Christine Michael, Seahawks: A bit of a gut
    call here since we dont know how much Thomas Rawls will play, but all signs seem
    to indicate that he will be eased back in and Michael will continue the momentum
    from the preseason with the majority of the work. And work is exactly what he
    will do against a Dolphins team that gave up the most points to opposing RBs
    last season. Seattle is the only team to run the ball 500 times in each of the
    past two seasons, and at home, with a big expected lead in the second half,
    watch Pete Carroll lean on Michael, who knows he has a small window to carve out
    a big role for himself.Others receiving votes: I have a sneaky feeling that the
    Browns-Eagles game will be a shootout, more about no confidence in the defenses
    than awesome offense, but whatever. So I like the Browns running backs here in a
    flex sort of way and, gut call here, I bet Isaiah Crowell punches one in. ...
    Its not easy to run on Arizona and last season, running backs caught 78.6
    percent of their targets against the Cardinals, averaging 9.6 yards per catch,
    making James White pretty interesting to me. ... With limited pass-catchers
    available for Andy Dalton (and facing a tough secondary), I expect dump-off
    passes to be one way that Cincy moves the ball Sunday, making Giovani Bernard --
    only 11 running backs had more touches AND more yards from scrimmage last year
    than Gio -- a nice play this week. ... Did you see this notebook from Adam
    Schefter and Chris Mortensen? I thought the note about Darren Sproles being used
    in a similar role as Danny Woodhead was under Frank Reich in San Diego (Reich is
    now in Philly) was really interesting. Those in deeper PPR leagues or looking
    for a cheap DFS play should consider Sproles here in Carson Wentzs first
    start.Running backs I hate in Week 1Jeremy Hill, Bengals: One of the reasons I
    like Bernard is that the Jets interior line is no joke. New York ranked as a
    top-five defense in terms of fewest rush attempts against, fewest yards per
    carry and fewest rushing touchdowns allowed. In close, they were even tougher
    last season, as the Jets allowed just four rushing touchdowns on 53 attempts
    inside the red zone, far and away the best rate of 2015. Theres always the
    chance Hill gets into the end zone, of course, but this one sets up as a Gio
    game.Jonathan Stewart, Panthers: Twelve carries for 29 yards against the Broncos
    in the Super Bowl (he did score, so theres that to hang your hat on if you need
    to start him). Game flow will determine how much run he gets, but hes not really
    a part of the passing game (just 16 receptions last season) so his hope of doing
    damage is through Denvers defensive front. Better days ahead.Arian Foster,
    Dolphins: Insert 30-year-old running back on the road against Seattle analysis
    here.Matt Jones, Redskins: Coming off an injury, Jones is expected to share the
    workload with preseason standout Robert Kelley (very much worth a stash, if
    available in your league) and third-down back Chris Thompson. The Steelers
    allowed the second-fewest fantasy points per game to RBs last season and as I
    noted in the QB section above, I expect a lot of scoring this week. Jones needs
    to score here to be worth a start in standard leagues this week. How lucky do
    you feel?Wide receivers I love in Week 1Sammy Watkins, Bills: Hes back, baby,
    and Tyrod Taylor is very aware of that. Rex Ryan is going to come into Baltimore
    and run LeSean McCoy right at them, setting up play-action, which plays to both
    Taylors and Watkins strengths. Despite missing three games last season, Watkins
    finished second among all receivers in fantasy points scored on passes thrown
    15-plus yards. Because of Taylors mobility and the Buffalo offensive line,
    expect a clean pocket for Taylor, and if you give him time, Watkins will get
    open. Im not worried about rust or the injury.Jordy Nelson, Packers: Speaking of
    being back, yes, the Jags are improved on defense, but Rome wasnt built in a
    day. Jacksonville allowed receivers to score multiple touchdowns or total
    200-plus yards in the majority (nine) of games last season.Doug Baldwin,
    Seahawks: Yes, a regression from last year is coming, but its not starting this
    week. A new coaching staff should help some of the Dolphins problems from last
    season, but not all of them. They gave up the fifth-most 40-yard pass plays (13)
    and had the fifth-highest completion percentage against on passes thrown 15-plus
    yards (47.8 percent). At home against a new defense, Baldwin picks up where he
    left off.Others receiving votes: Willie Snead has been one my favorite
    mid-to-late-round targets this year and hell pay dividends early in a
    high-scoring game, seeing much of his time against D.J. Hayden, a matchup hell
    win more often than not. ... Podcast listeners know that Terrelle Pryor has been
    one of my (and Anita Marks) late-round targets. Snag him off the waiver wire
    now, because theres going to be a line come next Tuesday. ... You know what they
    say: You can take New Orleans out of the Rob Ryan business but you cant take the
    Rob Ryan out of New Orleans. Gimme some Michael Crabtree this week. ... And
    speaking of No. 2 wideouts, I like Donte Moncrief to have the better Sunday than
    T.Y. Hilton. While theyre already close for me in terms of ability, the talented
    Darius Slay should spend more of his time tangling with Hilton than Moncrief,
    making Moncrief the better play for me.Wide receivers I hate in Week 1Kelvin
    Benjamin, Panthers: On a snap count, still a little rusty, on the road, facing
    the team that gave up the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers?
    Yeah, thats not a top-20 play this week.Kevin White, Bears: I get it, everyone
    is all hyped for him, but slow your roll. Or whoever has White in your league
    and is all proud of himself/herself should slow it down. White is still raw and
    I dont see him getting the best of Johnathan Joseph, whom he will see a lot
    of.Michael Floyd, Cardinals: This feels like a David Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald
    game to me, as the Patriots were sixth best in completion percentage against on
    passes of 15 yards or more. One of the reasons they defend the deep ball so well
    is they get pressure on the QB, ranking second in sacks last season. Floyd is
    going to have some big weeks this year, but this doesnt shape up to be one of
    them.DeVante Parker, Dolphins: Well, theres certainly plenty of room on the
    bandwagon these days. Parker is a bit banged up and has seemingly been passed on
    the depth chart by Kenny Stills, but hell still get run, as Adam Gase will be
    above average in usage of three-wide sets. But on the road against the Seahawks
    is not the spot to experiment.Tight ends I love in Week 1Jordan Reed, Redskins:
    Yeah, yeah, a crazy-obvious name. Everyone is starting him, but I just wanted to
    put him here to say that there theres no one on the Steelers who can guard him
    and hes worth every penny this week in daily.Coby Fleener, Saints: I know, I
    know. I heard the reports, too, about Fleener and Drew Brees not being in sync.
    And I heard all about the improved Oakland defense. But I want as much of the
    Raiders-Saints game as I can this week, so I am putting Fleener in here just to
    tell you to ignore all that, as the Raiders gave up a score to tight ends on one
    of every 6.5 receptions in 2015. Last season, Fleener had three double-digit
    scoring efforts despite splitting TE duties with Dwayne Allen in an
    underachieving Colts offense. Now he has Brees, who got Benjamin Watson career
    highs of 73 catches, 800 yards and 6 TDs last season, and no competition for
    snaps.Others receiving votes: When I say I want as much of the Oakland-New
    Orleans game as I can get, I mean Clive Walford as well. ... Jason Witten always
    kills the Giants and has a rookie QB who will be looking for short passes in the
    middle of the field. ... In seven games last season with Blaine Gabbert at QB,
    Vance McDonald was on a pace to be a top-10 tight end. They have a connection
    and while the Rams have a good defense, theyre not the 85 Bears. Gabbert has to
    throw to someone and that someone is Vance McDonald (and Torrey Smith). ... You
    cant teach 6-foot-7 and thats exactly how tall Jesse James of the Steelers is.
    Hell score on Monday night against Washington, because everyone is going to
    score on Monday night.Tight ends I hate in Week 1Antonio Gates, Chargers: The
    best defense against tight ends last year was the Chiefs (opponents completed
    only 54.5 percent of passes thrown to TEs against them), and you know I feel the
    Chargers will go conservative here in the passing game. Gates is going to need
    to score to be worth anything this week.Jimmy Graham, Seahawks: Dont get cute.
    You need to see him first, if he even plays. For all their faults last season,
    the Dolphins were actually a top-10 defense in defending the tight end.Jared
    Cook and Richard Rodgers, Packers: One of them will probably have a solid game,
    but I have no idea which it will be. We need to see how this duo splits up snaps
    before we can trust one as a starting option.And thats all we have space for
    this week. Thanks, as always, to Thirsty Kyle Soppe of ESPN Fantasy for his
    help, and good luck in Week 1!Matthew Berry, The Talented Mr. Roto, cant believe
    the season is finally here! He is the creator of, a paid spokesman
    for and one of the owners of the Fantasy Life app.
    Yeezy Acheter En Ligne
    . LOUIS -- St.
    Yeezy Noir Pas Cher
    . This should be celebrated because it will not always
    be this way. With the amount of money given to players by their clubs these
    days, it is a wonder that so many of those teams allow the sport to continue to
    take away many of their assets so they can play for a different team in the
    middle of their season.
    .B. -- The Baie-Comeau Drakkar took over sole possession of first place atop the
    Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Thursday with their sixth straight win.
    Acheter Des Yeezy Pas Cher . He said
    Tuesday thats a big reason why he is now the new coach of the Tennessee Titans.
    Whisenhunt said he hit it off quickly with Ruston Webster when interviewing for
    the job Friday night. Yeezy Pas Cher
    . The Americans, skipped by John Shuster, seized the advantage in
    the eighth end by scoring five points for a 7-3 lead. The Czechs pulled two back
    in the ninth, but Shusters team of third Jeff Isaacson, second Jared Zezel and
    lead John Landsteiner ended with another point to secure the last Olympic berth
    on offer. The Hall of Fame Game is a chore for veterans. A nuisance. Just get
    through a series or two without busting up a knee or ankle, then head back to
    camp. Thats the drill. But for the rookies and?bubble guys on the roster, this
    extra preseason game creates an ideal stage to showcase something, anything, in
    the eyes of coaches and management.After playing in the Hall of Fame Game twice
    -- at different stages of my career -- I know firsthand that?there are?positives
    in Sunday nights matchup between?the Green Bay Packers?and?Indianapolis
    Colts.?Think about reps and opportunity for the guys trying to earn a job -- any
    job -- in the league. Hey, go make a play when the film is rolling. Here are a
    few?reasons why the game is vital for young players.Live reps are importantThe
    established veterans might get 10 plays Sunday night. Maybe fewer. Heck, I
    wouldnt even dress Aaron Rodgers?or Andrew Luck. Its not worth the risk with
    four more preseason games to go. Theyll both get enough work in August.But once
    the vets shut it down for the night, its time for the backups and roster
    hopefuls to get on the field. And these game reps are going to carry much more
    weight in the evaluation process.Yes, guys can impress the coaching staff when
    they show up during one-on-one drills or team periods in training-camp practice.
    Given the shortened offseason schedule, the elimination of two-a-days and the
    reduction in padded practices, however, there are only so many opportunities to
    move up the depth chart in camp. Plus, when the uniform goes on in the
    preseason, the speed of the game increases dramatically and so does the
    competition. And every play is graded.Think about it. These cats are fighting
    for a job -- and money. They are going to get hit.Sure, that applies to every
    preseason game, but the amount of reps in Canton is the key for the rookies and
    bubble guys. They are going to play almost the entire game. Thats a ton of film.
    And a ton of opportunity to audition for more reps in practice and more playing
    time in the next game.Remember, this is a process, and some seventh-round pick
    isnt going to make the team based on his film from Canton. But it allows those
    guys to start building a résumé throughout the preseason. And game reps count.
    Thats critical when it comes time to trim the roster.Playmakers are noticedYeah,
    every coach wants to see the roster hopefuls play within the scheme. I get that.
    That means alignment and assignment and using the coached techniques on the
    field. Wide receivers running their routes at the proper depth. Footwork
    along?the offensive line. Safeties reading their keys in Cover 2. But, really,
    thats just the cover charge to get in the door on an NFL team. And its expected
    from pro ballplayers.You want to stand out? Make a big play. Do something that
    excites the room when the film is turned on. Maybe thats a pick on defense, a
    physical run by a back in a short-yardage situation, a quarterback being
    aggressive and taking a shot, or an offensive lineman blasting a linebacker on a
    power play. Pancake that dude. And walk right over hiim.ddddddddddddhese impact
    plays resonate with the coaching staff when the?film is graded. They stick in
    the coaches memory. And they also stand out for the rest of the league that will
    grade this film. As a bubble guy, you are not only trying to make this team, but
    the 31 other squads that are looking to upgrade their roster as well.And
    everyone is watching.Special teams is vitalI love watching special teams during
    the Hall of Fame Game because this is how the bubble guys are going to earn a
    roster spot. Its that simple. Can you cover kicks, make tackles inside the
    20-yard line on kickoffs or bring down a returner in the open field on the punt
    team?Yes, there are valuable roles blocking on the front line of kickoff return
    or playing the wing position on the punt team. And the return game creates
    opportunities for a guy to make a big play. Take one back to the house and
    people will start talking.But the NFL is always looking for guys who can cover
    kicks with speed and toughness. Thats the game. And with the league implementing
    a new touchback rule and?the ball coming?out to the 25-yard line, cover guys are
    going to once again be a priority on game days. Im talking about players who can
    get down the field, defeat blocks, play with vision and tackle in space.This is
    dirty work. And its hard. But its also a way to move up the depth chart. If you
    can impact the kicking game, the club will find a spot for you. And this game
    provides the bubble guys with more chances to pop the ball out on kickoff, light
    up someone or show their ability to tackle. Want more reps next weekend? Then do
    something in the kicking game out in Canton.The true conditioning testPlenty of
    teams still have a conditioning test when players report to camp (300-yard
    shuttles, for example), but thats nothing compared to this game. There will be
    some puke on the sidelines, and maybe even?in the huddle.Remember, with the
    established vets calling it quits early, the backups, bubble guys and rookies
    have to take all the reps. That means offense, defense and special teams.As a
    second-year player with the Rams, I had to make the team. No guarantees there.
    None. So the?game in Canton was a great opportunity to get on tape and showcase
    something on special teams. Plus, with Lovie Smith running our defense in his
    first year as coordinator, it was all about speed. You better run to the ball on
    defense and play fast with Lovie watching. Then go cover a kick. Grab a juice on
    the sideline, then go back out again for special teams and another series of
    defense. Yikes.If anything, the second half of the Hall of Fame Game shows us
    who can survive the night. Rookies arent used to the pace (or speed) of an NFL
    game, and the reps start to add up for everyone playing late into the fourth
    quarter. Again, its another part of the evaluation process. Can you line up,
    read your keys and make plays while wearing the pregame meal on the front of
    your jersey? Good times. ' ' '