Joel Smeenge named no. 24 on Jaguars All-25

Former Jaguars DE Joel Smeenge has been named No. 24 on the Jaguars All-25, the club announced today. Jaguars All-25 is a collection of the top 25 non-active players in franchise history, as voted on by members of the local media. The Jaguars’ silver celebration kicked off in mid-March with the start of the new league year and the unveiling of the team’s 25th season commemorative logo designed to embody the spirit of DUUUVAL.

“I wanted to reach out to the community and just say thanks for selecting me for the All-25 team,” said Smeenge. “It was an honor to have played in Jacksonville, and I really enjoyed my time there. Going into this 2019 season, I wish the team all the best. It’s time…let’s go hunt and eat, Jags!”

Smeenge, 6-6, 262, was originally selected by the New Orleans Saints with the 71st overall pick of the 1990 NFL Draft. He joined the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 1995 and led the team in sacks (4.0) and forced fumbles (four) during the franchise’s inaugural season. He quickly became a fan favorite with the crowd often chanting “SMEEEEN-GEEE” after each sack or key tackle.

Smeenge remains second in career sacks in franchise annals, totaling 34.0 sacks during his six seasons with the Jaguars. Originally from Holland, Mich., Smeenge attended Western Michigan University where he became the first player in Mid-American Conference history to be named an All-Conference selection for three straight years.

“He’s a guy that you want on your team because you know you are going to get his best week after week,” said Gene Frenette, columnist for the Florida Times-Union and member of the All-25 voting panel. “More often than not, he’s going to make a play for you.”

JAGUARS ALL-25:

  1. DE Joel Smeenge (1995-2000)
  2. OL Chris Naeole (2002-07)

Photo/courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

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Chris Naeole Named No. 25 On Jaguars All-25

Former guard Chris Naeole has been named No. 25 on the Jaguars All-25, the club announced today. Jaguars All-25 is a collection of the top 25 non-active players in franchise history, as voted on by members of the local media. The Jaguars’ silver celebration kicked off in mid-March with the start of the new league year and the unveiling of the team’s 25th season commemorative logo designed to embody the spirit of DUUUVAL.

“It was an honor and a privilege to play for the Jaguars,” said Naeole. “The best part of living in Jacksonville was the amazing friendships I made with people that I now consider part of my Ohana.”

Naeole, 6-3, 317, was originally drafted by New Orleans in the first round of the 1997 NFL Draft before signing with the Jaguars prior to the 2002 season. Raised in Ka’a’awa, O’ahu, Naeole became the state of Hawaii’s then-highest draft pick when he was selected 10th overall by the Saints.

Naeole started in all 16 games during his first three seasons in Jacksonville, helping former All-Pro RB Fred Taylor rush for more than 1,000 yards on each occasion. In total, he started in 150 of 154 games played over 11 years with New Orleans and Jacksonville, and only missed one NFL game before he suffered an injury in Week 8 of the 2007 season. Naeole attended Colorado, where he was a three-year starter and consensus All-American as a senior in 1996.

“Naeole just looked the part, said Brian Sexton, Jaguars senior correspondent and an All-25 voting member. “He was part Arnold Schwarzenegger, part Vin Diesel and all football player.”

Photo: Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL: Elliott did not violate Personal Conduct Policy

Here is a statement from the NFL following Ezekiel Elliott’s meeting with Roger Goodell to discuss Elliott’s incident in May in Las Vegas:

“Immediately following reports of an incident in Las Vegas in May involving Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, the NFL conducted a comprehensive investigation that included interviews with multiple witnesses, including security personnel and others with direct involvement, as well as a review of documentary and other information.

On Tuesday, as part of the review, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Mr. Elliott to reinforce the standards of conduct expected of him and the consequences for failing to meet those standards.

Mr. Elliott acknowledged that he demonstrated poor judgment and committed to make better choices in the future. He volunteered to take advantage of the resources available to help him continue to grow personally.

Commissioner Goodell determined there was no violation of the personal conduct policy and no further action is warranted.”

Avant on Eagles: ‘They don’t have a weakness on offense'(VIDEO)

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team that many believe has the talent to make a lot of noise in 2019, especially on offense. With the additions of DeSean Jackson and Jordan Howard on offense, and now that Carson Wentz seems to be completely healthy and paid after signing a four-year, $128 million extension, things are looking up in Philly, and according to former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant, Wentz should have a big season.

“I’m excited for him. To get a deal done early is always beneficial for the organization,” Avant recently said at the AFFL Ultimate Final. “You don’t want guys who want big contracts, complaining about the contracts, so getting it done now is good.  They have a team around him. The sky’s the limit for them. Adding Desean Jackson and Miles Sanders, and a few other guys, Jordan Howard. They don’t have a weakness on offense, so I’m looking for big numbers out of Carson Wentz.”

There is a lot of talent on this Eagles’ roster, and according to NFL analyst Gil Brandt, Philadelphia has the most talented team in football. Wentz has the money, but now it’s time for him to prove that he is worth every penny. With the talent around him, and barring injuries, he does not have any excuses in 2019.

Listen below as Avant talks AFFL(American Flag Football League), Wentz, DeSean Jackson, Nick Foles, and more:

 

Training camp dates, locations for all 32 NFL teams

Your wait for football is almost over, but first, it starts with training camp, and before you know that, it will be here.

Below are the training camp dates and locations for all 32 teams:

TEAM SITE LOCATION ROOKIES VETERANS
Arizona State Farm Stadium Glendale, AZ 7/17 7/24
Atlanta Atlanta Falcons Training Facility Flowery Branch, GA 7/18 7/21
Baltimore Under Armour Performance Center Owings Mills, MD 7/17 7/24
Buffalo St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY 7/22 7/24
Carolina Wofford College Spartanburg, SC 7/24 7/24
Chicago Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL 7/22 7/25
Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, OH 7/24 7/26
Cleveland Cleveland Browns Training Complex Berea, OH 7/24 7/24
Dallas Marriott Residence Inn Oxnard, CA 7/26 7/26
Denver UCHealth Training Center Englewood, CO 7/17 7/17
Detroit Detroit Lions Training Facility Allen Park, MI 7/18 7/24
Green Bay St. Norbert College De Pere, WI 7/22 7/24
Houston Houston Methodist Training Center Houston, TX 7/21 7/24
Indianapolis Grand Park Westfield, IN 7/21 7/24
Jacksonville TIAA Bank Field Jacksonville, FL 7/22 7/24
Kansas City Missouri Western State University St. Joseph, MO 7/23 7/26
L.A. Chargers Jack Hammett Sports Complex Costa Mesa, CA 7/24 7/24
L.A. Rams University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 7/24 7/26
Miami Baptist Health Training Facility Davie, FL 7/21 7/24
Minnesota TCO Performance Center Eagan, MN 7/22 7/25
N.Y. Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Facility East Rutherford, NJ 7/22 7/24
N.Y. Jets Atlantic Health Jets Training Center Florham Park, NJ 7/19 7/24
New England Gillette Stadium Foxborough, MA 7/21 7/24
New Orleans New Orleans Saints Training Facility Metairie, LA 7/18 7/25
Oakland Napa Valley Marriott Napa, CA 7/23 7/26
Philadelphia NovaCare Complex Philadelphia, PA 7/24 7/24
Pittsburgh Saint Vincent College Latrobe, PA 7/24 7/25
San Francisco SAP Performance Facility Santa Clara, CA 7/26 7/26
Seattle Virginia Mason Athletic Center Renton, WA 7/17 7/24
Tampa Bay AdventHealth Training Center Tampa, FL 7/21 7/25
Tennessee Saint Thomas Sports Park Nashville, TN 7/22 7/25
Washington Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center Richmond, VA 7/24 7/24

Note: The first official practice of training camp for each club at the site designated above is generally held the day after the veteran reporting date (Cincinnati will hold its first camp practice in Dayton, OH).

Giants announce training camp schedule open to the public

The New York Giants today announced the schedule for their 2019 training camp, presented by Toyota. The camp will feature 10 practice sessions open to the public at Quest Diagnostics Training Center, located in the MetLife Sports Complex in East Rutherford, N.J. The first open practice session will take place on Thursday, July 25 at 2:45 p.m.

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR FANS VISITING TRAINING CAMP:

Location: All practices will be held at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

Admission: There is no cost to attend practice sessions. Fans wishing to attend practice sessions must register for complimentary tickets in advance. Fans may register for up to six (6) tickets per practice session. Once registered, fans will receive their tickets via e-mail and will need to present using their mobile device to gain admittance. While registering for tickets is strongly recommended to guarantee access, fans will also be admitted on a walk-up basis, if space permits. Gates open one hour prior to the start of each practice session. Accessible seating is available and may be reserved when you secure your tickets for a practice session.  Ticket Registration will open on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.  Please visit www.giants.com/trainingcamp, follow @Giants on Twitter, or download the Giants App for the most up-to-date information.

Fan Guidelines: Training camp practice sessions are alcohol-free and family-friendly experiences.  This includes all activities both inside the seating area and within the parking lots. All fans attending practice will be subject to security screening before entering the seating area.

Fan Parking: Parking is free and located in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. Lot K will open for parking two hours prior to the start of practice.   The parking lot will close one hour following the conclusion of practice.

Fan Amenities: Restroom facilities, concession stands, cooling tents, a complimentary water station and a free kids’ activity area will be available.

Autographs: Select Giants legends will sign autographs during each practice for all fans. A listing of those Giants legends and the dates they will sign will be released on Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, and the Giants App.

Each day after practice, a rotating group of current Giants players will sign autographs for the first 400 fans ages 12 and under. The autograph opportunity will take place behind the Kids’ Zone area.  Children who are interested in the opportunity are encouraged to visit the sign-up table (located immediately inside the entry gate) with a guardian upon arriving at the practice so that they can receive a wristband. All wristbands will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.  Those that receive wristbands can enjoy the rest of practice and are encouraged to return 30 minutes prior to the end of practice to be allowed into the autograph area.  Only those children with a wristband will be allowed in the autograph area.

Kids’ Zone: Families will love the Big Blue Kids’ Zone at camp, with games, face painting, and inflatables for kids of all ages.  The first 200 kids who visit the Big Blue Kids’ Zone at every practice will also receive a special gift. Families can visit the Big Blue Kids’ Zone when the gates open through the end of practice.

Inclement Weather Policy: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, wind, thunderstorms or extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and be closed to the public. Please check Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, or the Giants App prior to every practice for up-to-the-minute changes to the daily practice schedule.

Training Camp Schedule Open to the Public*

Thursday, July 25: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Saturday, July 27: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Sunday, July 28: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Tuesday, July 30: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Wednesday, July 31: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Friday, August 2: 2:45 p.m. – Practice

Tuesday, August 6: 10:45 a.m. – Practice

Sunday, August 11: 10:45 a.m. – Practice

Monday, August 12: 10:45 a.m. – Practice

Tuesday, August 13: 10:45 a.m. – Practice (End of public training camp practices)

*Schedule subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on training camp, visit Giants.com, @Giants on Twitter, the Giants App, or call the Training Camp Hotline at 201.935.8111 ext. 1070

Vikings announce training camp practice schedule

The 59th Training Camp in Minnesota Vikings history and the 2nd hosted at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center will open to the public on Friday, July 26, when full-team practices begin at the 2019 Verizon Vikings Training Camp. A total of 16 practices will be open, and fans will find new entertainment elements & traditions, including a climate-controlled Vikings House, kids-only autograph sessions, a pre-practice Helmet Hike, and daily fan giveaways.

Fans can once again reserve up to four (4) digital tickets for a maximum of two (2) days. General admission tickets are free but fans can purchase a reserved seat starting at $15. Season Ticket Members will receive priority access to reserve tickets at Vikings.com/trainingcamp beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while access for the general public will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

Practice Schedule/Key Dates

A total of 16 team practices will be open to the public in 2019. Camp will be open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with daily practices held from 2:00-4:25 p.m. (approximate times).

  • Friday, July 26 – First Full-Team Practice
  • Monday, July 29 – First Padded Practice
  • Saturday, August 3 – Night Practice in TCO Stadium (general admission seating only)
  • Friday, August 16 – Final Open Practice

Capacity/Digital Tickets

Daily fan attendance will once again be capped at 5,000. Up to 4,000 free daily tickets (seating and standing room) are available but must be reserved in advance. Fans can reserve up to four (4) free general admission tickets per day for a max of two (2) days of camp. Reserved seats are available to purchase starting at $15. Season Ticket Members will receive priority access to reserve tickets beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 24, while access for the general public will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26.

Parking

Similar to 2018, digital parking passes will be $10 apiece and can be purchased when reserving tickets. Fans who do not reserve parking in advance can pay $20 upon arrival. Rideshare drop-off and pickup location is now in the southwest corner of the Northland Ford Dealers Lot, located immediately southeast of TCO Performance Center at Vikings Parkway and Ames Crossing.

 Autographs

New in 2019, daily autograph sessions with Vikings players will be available for fans age 18 and under only and will take place following practice at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the TCO Stadium concourse (in the same location as 2018). The first 150 children in each line will receive a wristband, allowing them the opportunity to watch practice before entering the same line prior to the end of practice. One adult will be allowed to enter the line with every child in order to ensure a parent or guardian is always present. Separate autograph opportunities with Vikings Legends will be available to fans of all ages and will take place frequently throughout camp. The Vikings will also give away autographed items & team merchandise daily to adults. A complete autograph schedule will be posted on Vikings.com/trainingcamp soon.

 Fan Engagement

Several new fan engagement elements will appear in 2019, including the following:

  • Helmet Hike – Each day a select group of children will carry players’ helmets from the locker room door to the practice fields where they will receive a photo with that particular player.
  • Vikings House/Vikings Arcade – Fans will have an opportunity to enter a climate-controlled space set to include video games and food and beverage items.
  • Daily Fan Giveaways – The team will select fans to receive autographed items and team merchandise throughout camp.

Additional fan activation elements similar to years past will include a kids’ zone, as well as youth football and cheerleading camps. Full fan entertainment details will be available closer to camp.

Concessions

Fan-friendly concession items will be available again in 2019, along with the new Vikings Table food truck and a full selection of food and beverage options. Fans will be allowed to bring in their own bottles of water of any type.

Security

As in 2018, fans attending Verizon Vikings Training Camp will go through security screening magnetometers and the U.S. Bank Stadium bag policy will be in effect. A list of prohibited items is available on Vikings.com/trainingcamp.

 2019 VERIZON VIKINGS TRAINING CAMP PRACTICE SCHEDULE

 

DATE                                                PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Friday, July 26                                 2:00 – 4:25 pm

                                                                                                    

Saturday, July 27                            2:00 – 4:25 pm

                                                         

Sunday, July 28                              2:00 – 4:25 pm                 

                                                                                     

Monday, July 29                              2:00 – 4:25 pm                 

 

Tuesday, July 30                             Players Day Off                

 

Wednesday, July 31                       2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Thursday, August 1                        2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Friday, August 2                             2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Saturday, August 3                         7:15 – 9:30 pm (Night practice in TCO Stadium)             

 

Sunday, August 4                           Players Day Off

 

Monday, August 5                           2:00 – 4:25 pm   

 

Tuesday, August 6                          2:00 – 4:25 pm   

 

Wednesday, August 7                    2:00 – 4:25 pm

                                                                                     

Thursday, August 8                        Travel to New Orleans

             

Friday, August 9                             Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints – 7:00 pm CT

                                                                       

Saturday, August 10                       Players Day Off

 

Sunday, August 11                         2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Monday, August 12                         2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Tuesday, August 13                        2:00 – 4:25 pm

             

Wednesday, August 14                  Players Day Off

 

Thursday, August 15                      2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

Friday, August 16                           2:00 – 4:25 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramsey on Josh Allen: ‘I definitely thought he was the best player in the draft’

Jaguars rookie LB Josh Allen comes to the team with a lot of expectations. Allen was seventh overall pick by Jacksonville in the 2019 NFL Draft, and in his last season at Kentucky, Allen had a team-high 88 tackles, 17.0 sacks, 21.5 TFL, and five forced fumbles, earning consensus first-team All-America honors, SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Allen’s 17.0 sacks were the most by an SEC player in a single season since the NCAA started official sack records in 2000 and he ranked second nationally in sacks, fourth in fumbles forced and sixth in TFL.

Allen’s ability to get after the quarterback is something the Jaguars can use, and according to Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey, Allen has the ability to be a special player.

“I watched him in college, and I thought he was a dog,” Ramsey recently said about Allen. “I thought he was a good player and I guess he was on his visit or something here and he mentioned me in one of his stories and I saw it. I DM’d him back. I definitely thought he was the best player in the draft. I got to see him when he was in Orlando for the bowl game, and he had like 4.0 sacks. Then after the game, just his swag and his whole demeanor about it, he was like, ‘If I’m not the No. 1 overall pick, I don’t know who will be.’ That sh** just … Yeah, that’s me right there. You all know, I love that. That type of mentality as well as actually putting it out there on the field, that’s what I’m all about. I think he will fit in well. I hope he can get healthy; I don’t know what all is going on with that.”

Allen has been slowed during minicamp with a knee injury, but if healthy, he should help. Jacksonville amassed 37 sacks last season, which was tied for 22nd in the league, so if Allen has the goods, that Jacksonville pass rush should be stable for years to come.

Photo/courtesy: Jacksonville Jaguars

Giants sign rookies DeAndre Baker, Dexter Lawrence

The Giants announced that defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and cornerback DeAndre Baker – two of their three first-round draft choices – today signed their first NFL contracts. The team has signed eight of its 10 selections in the 2019 draft.

The two players who have yet to conclude their contract negotiations are quarterback Daniel Jones, the sixth overall choice, and Oshane Ximines, the outside linebacker selected in the third round, 95th overall.

Lawrence, 6-4 and 342 pounds, was the 17th overall selection. In three seasons at Clemson, he played in 40 games with 36 starts and was a three-time All-ACC selection and two-time national champion. One of the nation’s dominant defensive tackles, his career totals included 145 tackles (74 solo) 19.0 tackles for losses, 10.5 sacks, one forced fumble, three fumble recoveries, five passes defensed, one interception, and 43 quarterback pressures.

In 2018, Lawrence was a first-team American Football Coaches Association All-America and first‐team All‐ACC selection. He started all 13 games in which he played for the national champion Tigers and was credited with 44 tackles (30 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 15 quarterback pressures. Lawrence also blocked one kick and score one rushing touchdown.

Baker, 5-11 and 189 pounds, played in 51 games with 34 starts at right cornerback in four seasons at Georgia. His statistics included 116 tackles (83 solo), seven interceptions which he returned for 145 yards (20.7-yard avg.), 24 pass breakups, four tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

As a senior in 2018, Baker received the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation’s best defensive back. He was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the nation’s top defensive player. Baker was selected first-team All-America by the AP, ESPN.com, AFCA, SI.com, and Walter Camp, and first-team All-SEC by the AP and the league’s coaches. He started all 13 games and was credited with 40 tackles (career-high 31 solo), a team-high two interceptions, a career-high 10 pass breakups, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.

Article/courtesy: Michael Eisen

Vikings’ Zimmer: ‘I think Kirk [Cousins] had a really good spring’

Year 2 for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins in Minnesota is a big one. Last season, Cousins came to Minnesota with the hope that he can be the team’s franchise QB, and anytime you sign a three-year, $84 million deal, the expectations are going to be very high.

Unfortunately, the Vikings missed the playoffs last season. When you are the quarterback, you get too much of the credit, and you get too much of the blame, which was the case for Cousins last season. Fortunately, for Cousins, he has another chance to right the ship, and it seems he is off to a good start.

On Thursday, the Vikings concluded mandatory minicamp, and Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was pleased about what he saw out of Cousins this spring.

“I think Kirk [Cousins] had a really good spring,” Zimmer said. “I think he did some really good things and some of the things that we felt like he needed to work on, he was working on them. We gave him a lot of different looks, things that people attacked us with their defenses last year.

“We put some stuff in just so we can get some earlier looks at it and not wait until Week One when we’re playing Atlanta or whatever. It’s like every player, there’s certain ways you want things done, and you’re going to coach them into doing those things. They’re all really receptive to coaching and the way that you try to get them better, and that’s really what we try to do with everybody.”

Cousins(4298 passing yards, 30 TDs) was not bad for the Vikings last season. However, he is 34-37-2 as a starter, and Minnesota was 8-7-1 last season. So, after seven seasons in the NFL, is Cousins better than average or is he the epitome of average.

We’ll answer that question sometime in 2019.