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in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 12.09.2018 05:42
von officialsbaseball • 303 Beiträge

Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan is skipping the Titans’ mandatory minicamp while his agents negotiate a new contract for the two-time Pro Bowl lineman.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement Tuesday just before the team started a three-day minicamp that Lewan’s representatives told the team he would not be attending.

”We have had several constructive conversations over the last 5-6 weeks about his contract status Drew Kaser Jersey ,” Robinson said in his statement. ”He is currently under contract, and we are working to keep Taylor as part of this organization for a long time.”

Lewan, who turns 27 in July, is younger than Nate Solder who became the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman in March with a four-year, $62 million deal from the New York Giants . Lewan is under contract for 2018 after the Titans picked up his fifth-year option paying him $9.34 million this season.

The Titans drafted Lewan at No. 11 overall in 2014 out of Michigan, and he has started every game the past two seasons in being selected to consecutive Pro Bowls. He has started 53 of his 58 games played with the 6-foot-7, 309-pound Lewan a key piece in protecting quarterback Marcus Mariota.

First-year head coach Mike Vrabel, himself a former NFL player, said he is confident in Robinson and the front office to handle contracts.

”I understand that there sometimes becomes issues with those, so I think that they’re best handled internally,” Vrabel said.

Lewan had taken part in most of the team’s offseason program, and he also helped the Titans unveil their redesigned uniforms in April. But he wasn’t at a photo session Monday, and the Titans announced Lewan wouldn’t be at minicamp minutes before the first practice started Tuesday.

Kevin Pamphile, a free agent signee this March, replaced Lewan in the lineup at left tackle. Dennis Kelly has been at right tackle with Jack Conklin recovering after tearing his left ACL in the Titans’ playoff loss at New England. Pamphile signed with the Titans in part for an opportunity and from getting to know Robinson while in Tampa Bay.

”You’ve got to take advantage of every rep you get whoever’s across the line Shaun Alexander Jersey ,” Pamphile said. ”Opportunity and competition that remains the key for our offensive line, want to make sure we’re all competing and getting better each day.”

Lewan, a Pro Bowl left tackle, told reporters May 30 that he was letting his agent handle negotiations for a new contract and that any talks with the Titans to that point were nothing worth talking about.

Lewan, who believes he’s the NFL’s best left tackle, certainly noticed Solder’s ”awesome” contract.

”There are a lot of things I do well and a lot of things I can improve upon as a football player,” Lewan said on May 30.

”But for me, if I don’t walk on the field and think I’m the best player in the NFL every time I step on the field, then I’m doing something wrong.”

Four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo isn’t worried about Lewan not being at this minicamp.

”I love Lewan, I respect every decision he makes, and one thing about Lewan whether he’s right here right now or whether I see him Week 1, he’s going to be ready to go,” Orakpo said.

”So hopefully they’ll get that situated. That’s out of my control. But knowing Lewan if it gets done Saturday before the game Week 1, he’ll be ready to go.”

Linebacker Kevin Dodd, the No. 33 pick overall in 2016 Reshad Jones Jersey , had stayed away from the offseason program until Tuesday when he faced a fine. He literally ran away from reporters trying to talk to him after practice. Vrabel said he didn’t talk to Dodd, only asked him to do what the coaches have asked all the other players to do.



— Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata is no longer an intriguing international prospect with unknown potential.

The native Nigerian, who learned American-style football as a college student in Canada, is entering his third NFL season as an established starter upon whom the Saints are increasingly comfortable relying to plug up rushing lanes or make quarterbacks uncomfortable when they drop back to pass.

“We certainly look at him that way,” Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen said after practice on Monday evening. “He’s established himself as a starting caliber defensive lineman in our league and he’s certainly going to be a big part of what we’re trying to get accomplished this year.”

Onyemata, 25, always looked the part at 6-foot-4, 325 pounds. That’s a big reason the Saints decided it would be worthwhile to use a fourth-round draft choice on him in 2016.

But Onyemata never envisioned an NFL playing career when he went to college in western Canada. He was there to study, and took up football because he was looking for an interesting way to diversify his college experience outside the classroom. He’d played soccer growing up, and was ready to try something new that perhaps suited his body type.

Ultimately, his academics-first approach to college — he earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science — might have aided his adjustment to the NFL.

“For a guy that had played as little football as he had, there was some terminology things that he had to learn … but I wouldn’t say that was any slower than it was for maybe any other rookie that we’ve had,” Allen recalled. “So I think that’s one of the things that’s allowed him to be maybe as productive for us as he has, is that he is smart and learns really well. He’s not a repeat-mistake offender.”

Onyemata played in all 16 regular season games in 2017, starting the last six. He had 40 tackles Eric Weddle Jersey , two sacks and one batted pass.

This past offseason, Onyemata took some time to return home in March to see family and friends in Africa, but also spent a lot of time in Baton Rouge, working with long-time defensive line coach Pete Jenkins on more nuanced aspect of his position, such as his initial movements at the snap and how to use his hands to improve leverage.

“Just having the mindset to get better and work on things you’re not good at — that has been the goal,” Onyemata said, adding that he now has a strong command of New Orleans’ defensive scheme and the terminology used to call it. “You know what they’re asking you to do and you know what they’re expecting you to do, so you just go out there and do your job.”

Saints center Max Unger was in his second season in New Orleans in 2016 and has witnessed Onyemata’s evolution as a football player up close.

“The accent’s still there,” Unger said, but quickly added, “He’s becoming, I think, the player that a lot of people thought that he was going to be and it’s impressive to see his development, especially coming down from Canada and not having a lot of football under his belt.

“It’s tough to go against, honestly Marshal Yanda Jersey ,” Unger continued. “I mean, look at him. He’s a big, fast, physical guy that just needs to play as much football as he can. Again, it’s a big jump to come into this league and I think that he has progressed pretty rapidly.”

Unger said Onyemata’s growth is evident in his awareness of what offenses are trying to do and how to defend it.

“You can be fast, you can be physical, but not knowing where the ball is, as a D-lineman, I guess is half the battle,” Unger said, adding the Onyemata is also better at disguising his own intentions before the snap. “All of those things, he’s showing pretty rapid improvement in.”

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