As much as Saints All-Pro Cam Jordan admires his father [url=http://www.steelersfootballauthentics.com/le_veon-bell-jersey-authentic]Womens Le'Veon Bell Jersey[/url] , Steve, and effusively praises the former Minnesota Vikings tight end, he hasn’t been able to resist the urge to be his own man.
Cam Jordan never wanted to play tight end, and acknowledged on Thursday that he doesn’t always follow his father’s advice, either, particularly when it comes to his playful antics and comments when engaging the media.
When Jordan consistently gets the better of an offensive lineman, he’ll refer to him as ”Speed Bump Magee.” After last Sunday’s playoff victory over Carolina, Jordan conspicuously positioned a bottle of Jordan cabernet (not a family business) on the top shelf of his locker and pledged to send his namesake wine to his namesake star quarterback, Cam Newton.
Jordan said his father, ”always tries to tone me back. He’s always like, `Hey, dude, have you thought about the ramifications?”’
”No, I haven’t. I shot my shot and said what I said and had to back it up,” the younger Jordan continued. ”At 28, I’m in my physical prime so at this point I feel like I can back it up.”
Indeed, Jordan was named first-team Associated Press All-Pro for the first time in his career this season – his seventh since being New Orleans’ first of two first-round draft choices in 2011 out of California. The 6-foot-4 [url=http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/jared-goff-jersey]Authentic Jared Goff Jersey[/url] , 287-pound edge rusher had 13 sacks, 17 tackles for losses, 28 QB hits, 11 passes defended (mostly batted passes), an interception and two forced fumbles.
Teammates marvel at his conditioning, boundless energy and how he hardly ever misses a defensive snap.
In last weekend’s wild-card round playoff triumph over the Panthers , Jordan not only had a sack, a tackle for loss, a QB hit and two batted passes, but he also forced Cam Newton into a pivotal intentional grounding penalty. That play turned a second-and-10 at the Saints 21-yard line with 41 seconds left into third-and-23 at the New Orleans 34 – with just 19 seconds to go after a 10-second runoff for an offensive penalty in the final minute. The Panthers could not recover in a 31-26 loss.
Now Jordan is preparing for a high-stakes playoff clash in Minnesota, where he spent his early childhood while his father was being named to Pro Bowls – six in all – for the Vikings. Jordan knows plenty about Vikings history, but doesn’t sound too sentimental about it.
”I want to destroy them just the same,” Jordan said. ”There’s going to be an offensive line that I want to destroy. There’s going to be a running back I want to destroy. There’s going to be a quarterback that I have to destroy.”
Cam Jordan said he expects his father and brother to be at the game, along with old family friends from the area. Whether he brings along another bottle of his namesake wine is to be determined, he said.
Steve Jordan’s career ended in 1994, when Cam was 5. Soon after, they moved to Arizona.
The elder Jordan described himself as ”pretty jovial” and someone who ”could get goofy on occasion.” But Cam [url=http://www.sandiegochargersteamonline.com/melvin-gordon-jersey]Authentic Melvin Gordon Jersey[/url] , he said, is ”full-on most of the time.”
”He’s just a fun-loving guy. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, doesn’t take life too seriously,” Steve Jordan said. ”But this game of football, particularly now, he’s definitely taking that serious. And he’s really focused, and I like that.”
The younger Jordan considers the Phoenix area his home, as he says, because that’s where he had his first kiss and learned how to drive. He doesn’t get all that nostalgic about returning to Minneapolis.
”I remember jumping in some leaves, getting so cold outside we got locked out of a car,” Jordan said with a chuckle. But he also fondly remembers meeting a number of ”my dad’s co-workers, and they turned out to be legends. You talk about (defensive end) Chris Doleman, you talk about (safety) Joey Browner, (running back) Darrin Nelsons of the game. I won’t talk about Herschel Walker, because he ruined (that) franchise.
”You grow up and you get drafted by the Saints,” Jordan added. ”This is my team. This is my family.”
Saints coach Sean Payton generally urges his players to refrain from providing opponents with bulletin-board material, but didn’t sound inclined to rein in Jordan.
”It’s just Cam’s personality [url=http://www.newyorkgiantsteamonline.com/odell-beckham-jr-jersey]Womens Odell Beckham Jr Jersey[/url] ,” Payton said. ”He’s humorous and I think he genuinely enjoys what he does and that’s just how it’s expressed. Outside of that, I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Likewise, Vikings offensive linemen didn’t sound inclined to talk tough about shutting up Jordan. They deferred to a more respectful approach.
”He’s had a great career, great year, and it’s going to be a tough battle,” Vikings offensive tackle Mike Remmers said. ”The first thing that we’d like to do is just block him. … He’s just fast, physical, just a smart player. He’s really got a little bit of everything.”
Vikings QB Case Keenum called Jordan ”a really talented player” who ”creates a lot of havoc in the backfield in the run or pass game – a guy that we need to know where he’s at at all times.”
Odds are, they’ll hear him coming.
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, contributed to this report.
When All-Pro defensive end Calais Campbell re-watched his first season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he noticed a recurring issue: The vaunted defense had chances to come up big late in games and failed.
It happened in four of Jacksonville’s final five losses, including – and most memorably – in the AFC championship game at New England.
Campbell felt as if the unit also could and should have done more against the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona and Tennessee.
”When I study the tape and those situations, I realize that as good as we are we have so much room for growth,” Campbell said.
With Campbell leading the way, ”finishing” has become the defense’s motto for 2018. The Jags expect to be better in those fourth-quarter situations [url=http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/dak-prescott-jersey]Womens Dak Prescott Jersey[/url] , knowing one stop could be the difference in a league that has a penchant for tight games.
”We have to have that mentality of crunch time,” Pro Bowl linebacker Telvin Smith said. ”We know we are not front-runners; we can bang with you. We just have to put our foot on your throat and keep it there from the beginning to the end.”
Jacksonville’s defense was one of the best in the league in 2017. The group ranked second in points (16.8) and yards allowed (286.1) and first in yards per play (4.61), passing yards (169.9), third down rate (33.6 percent) and red zone rate (39.3 percent).
The Jaguars also had 55 sacks and set a franchise record with 33 takeaways.
In some games, it wasn’t enough.
Jacksonville had New England reeling in late January, leading 20-10 early in the fourth quarter. But the defense allowed Tom Brady to convert a third-and-18 play that led to a touchdown and later provided little resistance while trying to prevent the go-ahead score.
In the regular-season finale at Tennessee, the Jaguars trailed 15-10 with about four minutes remaining but gave up two first downs that helped the Titans to run out the clock and essentially seal the victory.
The defense also faltered twice down the stretch at Arizona in late November. The Jags led 17-16 in the fourth before getting torched for a long touchdown pass. They tied the game on the ensuing possession and kept it that way until Blaine Gabbert connected on two first-down passes in the final 16 seconds to set up a game-winning 57-yard field goal.
Those three losses came on the road. The Rams found similar success against the Jags in Jacksonville.
They were up 24-17 with about seven minutes to play and essentially put the game away by picking up three first downs that got them into field-goal range.
”It’s not a conditioning thing. It’s a mental thing,” Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson said. ”That is something that is easily correctable. You just have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what it is. It is nothing wrong with what we are doing, us schematically. It is not that we are not in shape. It is just we have to have that mentality.
”You have to see the blood in the water. You have to go attack.”
The Jaguars expect to see gains from returning 10 defensive starters and having all of them in the same scheme for a second straight year. They also anticipate continued improvement from star cornerback Jalen Ramsey as well as linebacker Myles Jack and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
All that experience has Jacksonville making offseason tweaks to blitz schemes and third-down packages – and waiting for another late-game shot.
”You have to go out there when you have an opportunity, when it presents itself, whether it is a preseason game or during the regular season,” coach Doug Marrone said. ”Then, you have to step up and do it and that will prove that you are able to do those things.
”I think that until you do that in those situations, there is always going to be a question mark. But having the thought of wanting to do that obviously helps because it keeps you aware of that situation.”
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