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when we’re playing physical 
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The Denver Broncos declined to exercise outside linebacker Shane Ray’s $9.23 million fifth-year option for 2019 on Thursday Patrice Bergeron Jersey , a week after selecting North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb in the NFL draft.

Ray, the team’s top pick in 2015, promised a big bounce-back season after the Broncos selected Chubb with the fifth overall draft pick, something he’ll need if he’s going to cash in as an unrestricted free agent next March.

Ray’s fifth-year option would have been worth more than his four-year, $9,118,894 rookie contract he signed after the Broncos selected him with the 23rd overall pick in 2015 after his outstanding final season at Missouri in which he won SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Ray, who turns 25 in two weeks, has started just 15 games in three NFL seasons, collecting 84 tackles, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

That production is similar to that of Shaq Barrett, an undrafted free agent from Colorado State who has 108 tackles, 11 sacks and seven forced fumbles over the past three seasons in Denver, where he started out as a practice squad player in 2014.

Barrett will make $2.914 million this season after the Broncos placed a second-round tender on him this offseason. By contrast, Ray’s 2018 salary is $1.678 million.

Playing behind DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller Kyle Turris Jersey , Ray had a solid rookie season, one that culminated in a pair of tackles and a forced fumble in the Broncos’ win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50.

In 2016, he posted eight sacks and 48 tackles and became the first player since Jacksonville’s John Henderson in 2002 to collect three sacks in his first career start.

He looked primed for a breakout season last year following Ware’s retirement, but he broke his left wrist in July, which required a series of surgeries and forced him to miss half the season. Unable to hit the weights, he dropped 17 pounds to 225 and essentially played with just one arm before electing for another surgery with two weeks left in the season. He finished with just one sack and 15 tackles.

Ray took to social media during the draft, promising to rebound from his injury-marred season. After a series of exchanges with his Twitter followers over the weekend, he posted, ”No more social media. I’m going dark” with a peace sign emoji.



Of all the ways the Washington Capitals have tried to win in the playoffs, none has been as effective as this.

They pushed the pace with speed and skill when Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom were part of the ”Young Guns.” They made every game a coin flip with tight, Dale Hunter hockey. Each time, an early exit followed.

This year is different. Suddenly, the Capitals are a suffocating defensive team that clogs the middle of the ice and makes even the fastest of opponents look slow.

The Vegas Golden Knights are the latest to get frustrated by Washington’s neutral-zone pressure that took a toll on Columbus, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, paving the way for this run to the Stanley Cup Final. After cruising through three rounds with ease Jimmy Vesey Jersey , nothing looks easy right now for Vegas because the Capitals have mastered the art of frustration, and are two wins away from hoisting the Cup for the first time.

”Offensive teams have certain tendencies, certain routes that they take through the neutral zone, plays they like to make, so if you can be on top of them and turn over some pucks, stifle them, make it hard for them to gain entry with possession, that frustrates skilled players,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said Sunday. ”If you can be in their face, just standing in the way, it’s amazing what that does.”

It’s amazing the transformation the Capitals have made since coach Barry Trotz challenged players late in the regular season to embrace this approach. It was clear as early as Game 4 of the first round that the 1-1-3 trap in the neutral zone had the ability to essentially shut down the opposing attack, and since the first two playoff games Washington is 10-2 when scoring first.

The Golden Knights have found how difficult it is to try to come back against the Capitals and need to adjust quickly down 2-1 in the Cup Final going into Game 4 Monday night. They have to make some adjustments before it’s too late.

”Our guys who have a lot of speed can go back deeper, gather some speed,” winger David Perron said. ”Then the defensemen can try to freeze the first forechecker, kick it wide. These guys coming with speed Brock Boeser Jersey , if they’re confronted, which they will be most times at the blue line, you can put it in and go on the forecheck. You can have guys hang close to the right wing or up top, and as the puck is coming your way, win the one-on-one battle with support. … We also have to try to not let them set up, so if there’s a turnover, a quick one, we can punt it up, go back on offense.”

The Penguins and Lightning tried that and couldn’t crack the Capitals well enough to advance.

”They’re really good at slowing you down,” Lightning forward J.T. Miller said during the Eastern Conference final. ”Right when you want to just chip it and go, there’s a guy, there’s a wall there, and guys are ready to go back and get it on the other side. … It’s just their ability to stand up and make you force plays because it looks like there’s more ice than there is, and then all of a sudden they do a good job of staying in front and retrieving pucks.”

Vegas is built on speed, but it’s hard to harness it if players can’t get blue line to blue line with the puck to create any offense. When the Capitals took a lead in Game 3 Brendan Leipsic Jersey Kids , they went into their now-patented scheme.

”It’s just kind of a group mentality to make life difficult on them,” winger Tom Wilson said. ”I think that’s when we’re at our best as a team is when we’re playing physical, we’re taking away time and space, making it difficult on their top guys.”

That difficulty wears on a team, and Trotz said it’s noticeable when an opponent tries to change its game and manage the puck differently to counterbalance the trap. When it works effectively, not only does it limit changes against, but it creates the kind of odd-man rushes that have paced Washington’s offense this postseason.

”It’s important to recognize moments when you can pressure, and we don’t want to get away from that, where we can send two guys and try to force teams into mistakes,” Niskanen said. ”If you can hold either the red line or the blue line with layers of support, you can force teams into turnovers, and we’ve done a good job of that.”



More Stanley Cup coverage: Tennessee Titans Elite Jerseys


piątek 28 wrz 2018, 03:09
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