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Standartinė linchao » 2018 Spa 08, 05:18

There are no dreary work days for Don Martindale Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , who has overwhelmingly embraced his new role as defensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.

After serving for five seasons as the team’s linebackers coach, Martindale was promoted to coordinator in January after Dean Pees left the post.

Enthusiastic doesn’t even begin to describe Martindale’s attitude about being in charge of the defense.

”Ever since we’ve made this transition, it’s been a joy to just come through those gates every day. I love it,” Martindale said after Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practice.

This isn’t the first time Martindale has been put in charge of molding a defense. In 2010, he watched over a unit in Denver that was the worst in the NFL in both yards and points allowed per game.

Given a second chance, the 55-year-old Martindale is putting together a defense that will rely heavily on the instinct of several of its most proven players, most notably safety Eric Weddle and linebackers Terrell Suggs and C.J. Mosley.

”He’s just putting his personal fix on our defense and expanding it, giving the guys confidence to play fast,” Weddle said. ”The idea is to do what’s best for the defense, not what’s best the individual.”

Martindale called Mosley ”the quarterback” of a fluid unit that can make a snap-change from drop-back coverage to an all-out blitz. In that regard, Mosley believes this defense is superior to the one that in 2017 yielded 18.9 points per game, sixth-best in the NFL.

”The way we’re able to use our core guys, put them in different spots and do some of the same things just from different positions, it’s more creative, I would say, than where we were last year,” Mosley said.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh promoted Martindale rather than go outside the organization because he wanted to extend his vision of a defense that has evolved since his arrival in 2008.

”All we’re doing is forwarding John’s plan Terrance Williams Jersey ,” Martindale said. ”We’re remodeling the package. It’s still Ravens football, it’s still Ravens defense, but we’ve streamlined it. It’s the elegant simplicity. Guys are playing really fast.”

Asked for his take on Martindale’s defense, Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg replied, ”They’re fast and they’re furious.”

Sure, things might be different once the pads go on at training camp, but at this point, Martindale’s boss likes what he sees.

”We’re doing a lot of neat things on defense, things that are really good,” Harbaugh said. ”More than ever, we’re putting it on our players to make decisions in real time.”

Martindale has a new title, but old habits die hard.

”For the most part, it’s been the same,” Mosley said. ”He always comes in and says, `I have to lead the linebacker room,’ and sits down and gets to talking like he’s back at linebacker coach.”

Told of Mosley’s disclosure, Martindale smiled and said Charles Clay Jersey , ”I’ve been trying to stay out of there, but you can’t help but go in. That’s home. I have a good time in the secondary room as well.”

And just about everywhere else.

”Where we’re going with this thing is really exciting to me,” Martindale said, ”and I know it’s exciting to the players.”

In other training camp news, cornerback Jimmy Smith was a surprise participant at practice, going through a light regimen of individual drills just six months after tearing his left Achilles tendon.

”I don’t know if Jimmy’s like half Wolverine, but he’s healed up in half the time of regular human beings,” Weddle said, referring to the amazing recuperative powers of the Marvel super hero.



Giannis Antetokounmpo’s meme-worthy scowl started with a look in the mirror.

The Milwaukee Bucks All-Star was an NBA rookie then, trying to come up with a look he could flash after making a big play. Antetokounmpo thought about the glare his mother would throw his way when he misbehaved as a child. It took about a week to perfect as he struck poses in front of the mirror.

”Now it comes easy. You’ve just got to put your nose up like this,” said Antetokounmpo, wrinkling his face after a recent practice.

It can look so much more intimidating on the court.

As Antetokounmpo’s skills reach new heights, so does his confidence as he enters his third career postseason. The Bucks open their first-round series against the Celtics on Sunday in Boston.

”You don’t think. It’s just second nature. You’re just playing now,” Antetokounmpo said. ”There are points when you’re young, you’re scared to make the wrong decision late.”

This is no longer the gangly, 6-foot-11 forward who would defer during his rookie season in 2013-14. He’s a go-to player in the fourth quarter, a do-it-all forward who can ignite the crowd with a rim-rattling dunk or momentum-changing block.

”That’s why I think the best players late Alex DeBrincat Jersey , I think they have that mindset. They’re not scared to take big shots, they’re not scared to turn the ball over … and they’re just in general not scared about basketball,” he said. ”It’s something that they’ve done their whole lives.”

It has been quite the journey from awkward 18-year-old rookie to NBA stardom. Former general manager John Hammond, now with the Orlando Magic, scouted Antetokounmpo in the player’s native Greece before drafting him in the first round in 2013 with the 15th overall pick.

Some NBA fans questioned the move. Freakish athleticism and a 7-foot-3 wingspan offered the promise of being a tough matchup on both ends of the floor.

Boy, did the gamble pay off .

”I think one thing that is really important is to never underestimate or undervalue the things that he does,” Bucks coach Joe Prunty said last month after the forward scored 28 points in a win over the New York Knicks.

Sometimes, it takes Antetokounmpo’s absence to make that point stick.

On April 1, Milwaukee led by 18 midway through the fourth quarter in Denver before Antetokounmpo fouled out with 3:43 left. At the time, the Bucks were up by 10 and Antetokounmpo had 18 points and 12 rebounds. They ended up losing in overtime .

Two days later, the Bucks were in another tight game at home against Boston. Playing with a sore right ankle, Antetokounmpo came up clutch after chasing down Jaylen Brown from behind, swatting what looked like an easy layup against the backboard with 53 seconds remaining. The Bucks held on for the win .

”Because my ankle hurt, I wasn’t even being `Giannis Giannis,”’ Antetokounmpo recalled with a mischievous grin. ”I wasn’t sprinting down the court. I was just jogging down the court.”

Key positives for Milwaukee from that victory were runs of 11-3 and 16-4 with Antetokounmpo on the bench for rest. In crunch time, Prunty can also put three other proven scorers on the floor with Antetokounmpo in forwards Khris Middleton and Jabari Parker, along with quick point guard Eric Bledsoe.

”Just taking attention Melker Karlsson Jersey , making (the defense) know, `OK, I’m here, you guys come to me.’ If you guys don’t come to me, I’m going to go,” he said. ”If you guys come to me, I’m going to make the right pass.”

That mentality is another sign of Antetokounmpo’s growth over his five-year NBA career.

A sense of humor that borders on cheesy hasn’t changed.

Antetokounmpo the last few years has opened Bucks preseason media day by taking the microphone to deliver a cringe-worthy joke that can make teammates shake their heads.

”He was more funny back in the day when he was 18 years old,” quipped center John Henson. ”But for the most part, he’s a good dude, a funny dude who has his own sense of humor. We love having him around.”

That scowl? It’s just for fun. He doesn’t need to show it, nor does he keep count. In fact, Antetokounmpo said, he’s trying to smile more.

”Because if you’re going to do this for 20 years, you don’t want to have 10 years of sadness and 10 years of happiness,” he said. ”You want to have as much nice moments and memories as you can, you know?”



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