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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels spent the months leading
MessagePosté le: Vendredi 18 Octobre 2019, 4h13, Sujet: PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels spent the months leading Répondre en citant

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up to the 2018 NFL draft answering one question over and over again.“People were like James Conner Jersey , ‘What position (are you) going to play?'” the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie said. “And I just kept saying ‘I’m going to play running back.'”Not everyone believed him. The NFL included.The NFL was so skeptical of the former North Carolina State star’s potential out of the backfield he was told shortly before the scouting combine that he wouldn’t be working out with the running backs but the tight ends. Samuels shrugged his shoulders, figuring it was better to be at the combine — even if it wasn’t your preferred position — than stuck at home watching it on TV.Fast forward 10 months. They don’t ask Samuels where he fits anymore. Not after the 22-year-old lit up the New England Patriots for 142 yards rushing and 172 total yards in a victory over the New England Patriots last Sunday.Samuels carried the ball 19 times — more than he can remember at any level of football — and caught a pair of passes, including a leaping 20-yard, fourth-quarter grab that helped the Steelers run some clock before adding a late field goal that pushed the margin to seven points.There were the usual aches and pains on Monday, but nothing out of the ordinary after the heavy workload. Good thing, because Samuels figures to be just as busy when the Steelers (8-5-1) travel to New Orleans to face the NFC South champion Saints (12-2) on Sunday.Newly minted Pro Bowler James Conner is still dealing with a sprained left ankle that’s forced him to miss the past two weeks, meaning Pittsburgh’s running game will be in the hands of a fifth-round pick who has quickly morphed from project to capable starter.Samuels earned a spot out of training camp thanks to the way he embraced special teams and had found a small niche as a receiving threat — he’s N.C. State’s career leader in receptions (202), just ahead of former NFL wide receivers Jerricho Cotchery and Torry Holt — before Conner went down in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers. Samuels came in and caught a 10-yard touchdown pass on the next play.His first NFL start didn’t go quite as planned. He managed just 28 yards on 11 carries in a stunning loss to the Oakland Raiders. The problem wasn’t so much Oakland’s defense or the iffy turf so much as Samuels’ own jitters.“I felt like I wasn’t being patient enough, just being in a rush, hurry up and get to the hole and try to get there,” Samuels said. “(Against the Patriots) I could definitely feel it all sorting out. The holes are just opening. I just felt smoother and it felt like it was more my game.”A game that not every college coach that recruited Samuels out of high school understood. UNC brought the Charlotte native in for a camp and had him practice with the linebackers.“I was like, ‘What am I doing? Why am I going backward'” Samuels said. “I need to be going forward with the ball.”N.C. State assistant coach Eddie Faulkner saw the potential and during the recruiting process pointed out all the varied ways the Wolfpack could use him. Samuels spent four record-breaking years doing a little bit of everything.Running back. Fullback. H-back. Tight end. Slot receiver. His polished route running was immediately apparent to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger when Pittsburgh used its second pick of the fifth round on Samuels.“He has really good hands, soft hands you can really throw it all over the place and he can make plays ,” Roethlisberger said.“I think he showed that this week that we can put him out there and we can do some things with him and hopefully we are just scratching the surface.”While Steelers coach Mike Tomlin jokingly replied “who said I had confidence?” when asked what gave him faith Samuels could produce, he’s not particularly surprised by what he saw against the Patriots. The shakiness in Oakland was understandable. The bounce back versus New England was promising.“There are oftentimes when you walk into stadiums, particularly as a young guy, it is a first time for a lot of things,” Tomlin said. “And I am sure as he continues to step into stadiums with a significant role for us he’ll check some boxes and do some things he hasn’t done before, but that’s just a very natural thing in terms of a young player.”One who no longer has to deal with questions about where he fits.NOTES: Conner and LB Bud Dupree (knee) did not practice Wednesday. … S Terrell Edmunds (concussion) was limited. … DE Cam Heyward (knee) was a full participant. … Roethlisberger and C Maurkice Pouncey were given the day off.Outlining how the Steelers can exploit the Bengals in Week 6 The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals will renew their rivalry with their first meeting in the 2018 regular season, and no one is quite sure what to make of this AFC North grudge match.While most are expecting another brutally physical game, the true identity of these two teams is far from certain. To get a better grasp on the Bengals, I sat down with Cincy Jungle, SB Nation’s Bengals website, to talk about things from the other side of the fence. Check out the Q&A we had below:The Cincinnati Bengals are playing some great football this year. What has been the biggest difference(s) between 2017 and 2018 which has led to success?I think the most noticeable difference is the command Bill Lazor has over this offense. He took over as the official offensive coordinator this offseason, and he created a brand new offense, which is something this team hasn’t done since Jay Gruden joined the team. Lazor has been very imaginative Womens Terrell Edmunds Jersey , and he hasn’t been afraid to move players around. A.J. Green has lined up in the slot more than ever this season, and it has payed off with huge plays.Also John Ross and Tyler Boyd contributing at receiver is huge as well. Neither did much last season, but Ross’ speed is something teams just have to respect, and that opens things up for Boyd who has become Andy Dalton’s favorite safety blanket to target. Also of course Joe Mixon being the feature back from the get go is huge. Too often last season the Bengals would go to Jeremy Hill for a drive while Mixon was rolling, and it would throw off the entire rhythm of the offense.The final thing is Cordy Glenn at left tackle, and the team not having Russell Bodine at center. Glenn hasn’t been perfect at left tackle, but he has been a very noticeable upgrade over Cedric Ogbuehi who has yet to even be activated for a game. Also Bodine not getting bull rushed back into the pocket has allowed Dalton to actually be able to step up in the pocket to give his receivers more time. The Bengals offense seems to be one of the more potent in the league, but every unit has their potential pit falls. What are the weaknesses of this Bengals offense?While the offensive line is improved from last year, the right side is still pretty bad. Right guard Alex Redmond and right tackle Bobby Hart just can’t seem to put a game where they are consistently good together. Hart has had plays where he just doesn’t end up blocking anyone, which allows pass rushers a free look at Dalton, and Redmond has had issues being escorted to Dalton’s lap by interior pass rushers too often. Although, Redmond has shown the most promise of the two, that isn’t saying much.If you were an offensive coordinator putting together a game plan for the Bengals’ defense L.C. Greenwood Jersey , how would you attack them?Two areas I’d attack are the linebackers in coverage and Dre Kirkpatrick. I wouldn’t even look towards William Jackson unless he is playing off coverage.The linebackers covering has been an issue for awhile now. This year hasn’t changed as it seems like they are just sitting out there waiting for someone to catch a pass. If I had a dollar for every time an offense ran colliding drag routes on third down I would probably be able to buy the Bengals. Kirkpatrick gets picked on more than any high paid corner I can remember. He has good plays, but he is easily beaten on double moves or by quicker receivers. It is very easy to get in front of him if he is playing off coverage. The one thing you really need to make sure that you do is hit on quicker passes if Cincinnati decides to blitz (which seems rarer than it should be). If they bring one extra blitzer it usually results in a quick pressure on the quarterback. even when they don’t blitz the combination of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap makes it hard for any quarterback to feel safe sitting back their for long. Name one player on each side of the ball Steelers fans might want to keep an eye on this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.Jessie Bates is the best safety in the NFL that no one seems to be talking about. He doesn’t light up the stat sheet, even though he has two picks on the season, but he plays the center field so well for the Bengals. Cincinnati hasn’t given up a ton of big plays deep, and he is pretty much the reason for that. Ben Roethlisber may have to worry about a new Reggie Nelson roaming the secondary.Boyd is probably the guy that Pittsburgh fans would least expect to be the key for the offense. He is flying under the radar of Mixon and Green, but when Boyd is going that means the Bengals are converting third downs and getting into scoring distance. He struggled last week to get the ball from Dalton, and the Bengals’ offense only scored 10 points. He is someone Cincinnati needs to get going.What is your prediction of the game, and how do you see it playing out?I’m always afraid of divisional games. You never know quite how they will turn out. I do think this game ends up being very close, but I also think it ends up being a pretty high scoring affair. It could ultimately come down to which team makes the deciding turnover late. That is something the Bengals have done all year long, and I think they do it again as Roethlisberger tries to attack Kirkpatrick one too many times, and Bates gets the game sealing interception.Bengals 34 Steelers 31
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