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Old 09-29-2018, 09:34 AM   #1
officialsbaseball

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Default coach Saban yells a bit more
There were so few competitions for starting roles when the Seattle Seahawks arrived for training camp that the daily assessment of where things stood with the kicker and punter became a major topic.

The competition ended as expected with veteran Sebastian Janikowski appearing to be a lock as Seattle's kicker beating out Jason Myers and rookie Michael Dickson as the punter with Jon Ryan's tenure coming to an end.

So much for any drama. And for Ryan it meant the end for the longest-tenured Seahawks player.

"First Patrice Bergeron Jersey , let me say this: Jon Ryan has been a great Seahawk," Carroll said. "We loved the time we spent together. He's been here since the beginning, and I know everybody would understand that it's a very difficult decision when you have to make one like this after all this time together. He was doing great.

"Michael was just kicking out of this world and was doing the things that we had hoped he could do. ... It was the right time to help Jon get moving too. So he's been a great player, been a great competitor, been a great team guy, community guy. We love him."

Dickson was expected to land the punter job from the moment he was selected in the fifth round by Seattle. The Seahawks didn't invest a draft pick like that without wanting Dickson to win the job. Ryan was kept around in case Dickson struggled or there was an injury, but Seattle was able to save money by letting go of the veteran and going with the rookie from Texas.

"There's just a lot of things we're excited about with him and we're excited to get it going," Carroll said. "It's good for him to feel the confidence in the program and that we're behind him."

Dickson has been impressive in the first two preseason games, averaging 51.7 yards per kick, with better hang time and directional control than what Ryan showed. Still, while Dickson was excited to win the job, finding out he had arrived with some bittersweet feelings about Ryan's departure.

"It was something that I was battling for every day Authentic Carl Gunnarsson Jersey , and I wanted to win the spot more than anything," Dickson said. "But it was surprisingly more bittersweet than anything, just because Jon was such a great mentor to me when he was here. He was probably one of the funniest people I've ever met. So, yeah, it was a little bittersweet. But I'm super excited."

Carroll said the decision to release Ryan with two weeks remaining in training camp was also to give him plenty of time to find a new opportunity. It didn't take long. Ryan signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday.

Janikowski said he's fully recovered from the back injury that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. It's the first time in his career Janikowski has kicked anywhere but Oakland, where he played for 17 seasons and made more than 80 percent of his field goal attempts. He said there was some conversation with the Chargers, but he decided Seattle was the better opportunity.

"It's a good change," Janikowski said. "It's like a start over again, but I feel great."

Making the decision about the punter and kicker at this point also allows Seattle two weeks of having the duo work together in the kicking game. As simple as holding sounds, Dickson has limited experience in the job, only starting to do it his final year at Texas. After holding for Myers in the first preseason game, Dickson held for Janikowski last weekend against the Chargers.

"It's all about timing John Hayden Jersey ," Janikowski said. "I mean, (Tyler Ott) is a great snapper, (Dickson's a good) holder, it's all about timing you just have to figure it out with time. And I think we got it down."

NOTES: Seattle practiced indoors on Tuesday because of the unhealthy air quality in the Seattle area because of smoke from wildfires. ... Carroll said WR Doug Baldwin remains on track to be ready for Week 1 at Denver. Baldwin has missed most of training camp with a knee injury, but has resumed running. "He's really excited about coming back, he's running. He'll want to play next week, we'll just get him back out here (at practice) and we'll make that determination next week. But he's going to be there for the opener," Carroll said. ... RB Rashaad Penny was also doing running on the side on Tuesday after having surgery on a broken finger suffered last week in practice. Penny is also expected to be ready for Week 1.

Two weeks into the Miami Dolphins‘ offseason practice regimen, first-round draft pick Minkah Fitzpatrick’s running tally of interceptions is underway.

”Have I been counting them? Every DB counts them,” Fitzpatrick said with a laugh after Tuesday’s workout. ”I’ve got two picks and a couple of pass breakups. Just doing my job.”

Contact drills won’t begin until training camp, but early indications are the Dolphins used the 11th overall pick wisely when they selected Fitzpatrick.

The safety from Alabama said he’s not fazed by reports Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wanted to trade down on draft night rather than pick Fitzpatrick.

”I heard about it,” Fitzpatrick said. ”He’s a businessman. He’s going to see the business side of everything. This is extra motivation to prove I’m a worthy pick and deserve to be here.”

The front office wanted a playmaker to upgrade a defense that ranked fourth-worst in points allowed last season Martin Jones Jersey , and so far Fitzpatrick looks as if he’ll make Miami better.

”He has done a good job,” coach Adam Gase said. ”He has gotten his hands on a lot of balls. He seems to be all over the place. He has a great motor and a great work ethic. You can tell he takes this very seriously and puts everything he has into this.”

The Dolphins’ investment goes beyond a first-round choice. Fitzpatrick signed a $16.44 million, four-year deal last week.

But he said he didn’t celebrate the contract, and doesn’t have any plans for the money besides buying a place to live.

”Anytime you see your hard work paying off, it’s a good feeling,” he said. ”But you’ve got to keep telling yourself it’s not the end goal. I didn’t come here just to be a first-round pick. I wanted to be a great player here and establish a great legacy.”

Fitzpatrick said the Dolphins are dividing his practice time evenly among the strong safety, free safety and nickel back positions. He said he doesn’t have a preference and is happy to move around.

”They trust me to do that,” Fitzpatrick said. ”They’re not putting too much on me, but they know they can put a lot on me.”

Pro Bowler Reshad Jones is certain to start at one safety spot, and veteran safety T.J. McDonald also returns after starting the final eight games last season. Defensive coordinator Matt Burke may decide to play both along with Fitzpatrick at times, and June is a time for experimenting.

General manager Chris Grier has compared Fitzpatrick to a Swiss army knife because of his versatility. And wherever Fitzpatrick lines up, he’s making his presence felt.

”He is flying around at practice Evgenii Dadonov Jersey Kids ,” quarterback Ryan Tannehill said. ”He plays aggressive and plays fast, and that’s what you want to see out of a DB.”

Fitzpatrick played for Nick Saban at Alabama, which may be why he hasn’t found the demands of the NFL too daunting so far. In fact, the coaching styles of Saban and Gase are similar, he said.

”They’re both very passionate coaches,” Fitzpatrick said. ”They’re both real hands-on. The only difference is coach Saban yells a bit more.”

At Alabama, Fitzpatrick had a school-record four interception returns for touchdowns. He’s confident about quickly improving his professional pick total.

”That’s going to keep going up,” Fitzpatrick said. ”As I get more and more comfortable, I’ll make more and more plays.”



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