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set a tone early, and that’s the mark of

set a tone early, and that’s the mark of

โพสต์โดย jason113 » ศุกร์ 12 ต.ค. 2018 10:58 am

When general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke on Sunday afternoon about his first cutdown as general manager Jake DeBrusk Jersey , he described the Green Bay Packers' roster as "fluid."

He wasn't kidding.

Gutekunst continued tweaking the 53-man roster on Monday, adding running back Darius Jackson off the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad and signing linebacker Korey Toomer. Those are an effort to fill two obvious needs in advance of the team's regular-season opener Sunday night against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

"It took a little longer than normal," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said following the team's first post-training camp practice. "We had a lot of movement there on Saturday into Sunday, (and) we were juggling things. . Obviously, I think our transactions reflect that. So, it's been a long weekend. (But) we feel really good about the 63 players (including the practice squad) in our locker room and we'll move forward getting ready for the Bears."

To make room for Toomer, the Packers placed wide receiver Jake Kumerow on injured reserve. By having Kumerow, a Wisconsin-Whitewater alum who was the star of training camp earlier this summer, on the 53-man roster for a day, he is now eligible to return from IR later this season. NFL rules allow each team to bring a maximum of two players back from IR later in the season.

Kumerow injured his shoulder while crossing the goal line on an 82-yard touchdown Aug. 16 against Pittsburgh.

To accommodate Jackson, the Packers waived cornerback Herb Waters one day after he'd made the initial roster.

Before adding Jackson, a 2016 sixth-round pick from Eastern Michigan who has spent time with the Cowboys and Browns but has never played in an NFL regular-season game, the Packers had only two running backs: second-year back Jamaal Williams, who is set to be the starter, and converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Aaron Jones, the team's most explosive running threat last season, will miss the first two weeks because of an NFL suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

The Packers had four other running backs at the end of camp, but the team released Joel Bouagnon, LeShun Daniels and Bronson Hill, and waived/injured Devante Mays. Both fullbacks, Aaron Ripkowski and Joe Kerridge, were also released on the final cutdown. Bouagnon and Kerridge were re-signed to the practice squad Sunday.

McCarthy has said for years he doesn't like going into games with just two active running backs, but that could be the case against the Bears because Jackson didn't arrive at the facility in time to participate in Monday's practice.

"I think those guys are ready to go," McCarthy said of Williams and Montgomery. "They're healthy, they give us an excellent 1-2 punch. So, I'm not concerned about that at all."

Said Williams: "I'm just grateful for any opportunity, and these are the opportunities you want - to get more carries and more responsibility in the offense. Really, you take it for what it is and not take it for granted. I'm doing everything I can to make sure the coaches know I'm going to keep producing at a consistent rate."

It's unclear what the Packers will have at inside linebacker alongside veteran Blake Martinez, who tied for the NFL lead in tackles last season. Third-round pick Oren Burks, who sustained a shoulder injury during pregame warmups at Oakland on Aug. 24 , was with the rehabilitation group at practice and may not be ready for the Bears.

Gutekunst acquired Antonio Morrison in a trade with Indianapolis last week, and he or Toomer could start if Burks isn't cleared. Toomer, in his fifth season, has played 46 games (16 starts) and was in camp with the 49ers before being cut Saturday.

"This is always the big challenge when you get to that spot of finishing your 53," McCarthy admitted. "We've had a lot of change. And that's always the challenge.

"But we're set and ready to go with all our guys and we're looking forward to the week of preparation."

After a Game 3 flop in New Orleans, similar to that lone first-round loss against San Antonio last month, coach Steve Kerr provided a quick reminder to the Golden State Warriors:

It’s not supposed to be easy at this stage – especially for the defending champions.

There’s no way this postseason can go as brilliantly as the last one. That remarkable, record-setting 16-1 run to the title, well, it’s not going to happen often, or maybe ever again.

”I told our team actually after Game 3 the day we practiced, I said, `What we did last year was the first time and only time anybody has ever accomplished that in the playoffs, gone 16-1,” Kerr said. ”I know the Lakers went 15-1, they had a similar kind of joy ride where very little adversity, but that’s the extreme exception. Year after year, the NBA champion has to go through so much to get there. And that’s why you pour champagne on each other, because it’s really hard, and it’s supposed to be hard. The fact that it is so difficult brings out the best in you because you have to be on edge and on guard.”

Now comes the next and most daunting test in this quest for a repeat.

The Warriors eliminated the Pelicans with a 113-104 win Tuesday night and are on to the Western Conference finals to face the top-seeded Houston Rockets, who closed out the Jazz earlier Tuesday in their own Game 5. This is the matchup so many have looked to for months.

”You can’t believe the hype,” Klay Thompson guarded before the Warriors played. ”Everybody is already talking about Warriors-Rockets.”

And for good reason. It might just have a Finals feel with so much talent and scoring on both teams.

”I think it will be very entertaining,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.

Golden State has succeeded playing big and small. It has pushed the pace and dealt with San Antonio slowing things way down. The Warriors have endured a couple of blips this time around, and that hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing.

”Every series you play gets harder and harder and harder,” Stephen Curry said, referencing Kerr’s remarks about how hard it is.

Kerr didn’t have to say anything to his players on the urgency of closing out the Pelicans in Game 5 at Oracle Arena, where the Warriors won a franchise-record 15th straight home playoff game to match the Bulls’ NBA record.

”I dial people on my rotary phone. Nobody seems to answer, though,” Kerr quipped. ”Nobody answers a home phone anymore. No texts necessary.”

Curry has his swagger and stroke back now that he has played four games following nearly six weeks on the sidelines with a sprained left knee. He played 37 minutes in the clincher and the entire fourth quarter.

When Gentry was asked about the Warriors’ ”Hamptons Five” starting lineup of Curry, Kevin Durant Cory Schneider Jersey , Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Thompson – all of the guys who were together working on Durant signing with Golden State in July 2016 – he had some fun.

”You can call them any kind of five, they’re really good,” Gentry said. ”You can call them the Jackson Five. … They’ve got 2 1/2 Michaels.”

Yet there was a stretch late in the regular season when Kerr wasn’t sure the Warriors would bounce back defensively and return to their dominant form. Scoring has never been a problem.

”Our defense was so bad in Indiana and in Utah, there was absolutely a part of me that thought, `I don’t know if we can get our defense together, I know we’ll get our offense together,”’ Kerr said. ”Defense requires a mentality and a spirit and a unity and sense of purpose from the five guys on the floor. We were just a shell of ourselves that last week.”

The Warriors weren’t playing for anything then, assured of the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. They have learned over recent seasons how to elevate the level when the playoffs arrive.

So far, instead, the Warriors have found a way to defend both styles, preferring to run with the fast-paced, push-the-tempo Pelicans while dealing with daunting big man Anthony Davis and the imposing load he is in the middle.

”This group is very smart and versatile and the key is the effort that they bring. I think inevitably, you see it in every series, if you handle your business early there’s going to be a natural letdown,” Kerr said. ”When the letdown happens, how do you respond? That’s what I always look for, and that’s what was very satisfying with (Game 4). We didn’t bring the necessary force in Game 3, we were threatened on the road, and our guys brought it and set a tone early, and that’s the mark of a great team.”

When the stakes got bigger, Green delivered – leading the way with his intensity on both ends and becoming the first Warriors player to average a triple-double in a playoff series. He also had two key baskets in the closing minutes.

”We love his intensity, and when it’s channeled in productive plays, whether it’s stuff that doesn’t show up in the stats sheet, or if it does we really rely on that,” Curry said. ”He’s been playing amazing this whole playoff run, taking the challenge defensively whoever he is guarding, being an officiator on offense, knocking down shots.”

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