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|With the rehab behind him and the pain gone http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-j.t.-compher-jersey , three-time New York Giants Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is returning to the NFL with an even bigger target on his back, and an outspoken Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback ready to take a shot at him. Beckham doesn't mind. The NFL's highest paid receiver can't wait to play in a game for the first time since breaking his left ankle against the Chargers on Oct. 8.
Facing Jaguars All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a plus. And Beckham insists there isn't going to be a repeat of his Josh Norman debacle in 2016. The 25-year-old isn't taking the bait this time.
When Beckham gets on the field on Sunday, it will all be about playing the game he loves again.
"I can't stop thinking about it," Beckham said Wednesday. "I'm at home, I'll be in the middle of conversation, my mind doesn't get off this game. It's been a long time. There was a lot of hard work and preparation just to be able to get back to running and playing again. So, I'm excited. I'm real excited about this team and the opportunity we have in front of us."
Beckham has come a long way since the injury, one that put his career in jeopardy more than most people know. It took him months to be able to run, and to watch the videotape of his injury in its entirety. He would watch and turn it off before the hit.
"I didn't want to see it," Beckham said. "It reminded me of Joe Prothro at Alabama, that gruesome (leg) injury (2010) that you just don't want to see again. When it's you http://www.officialmapleleafsproshop.com/authentic-adidas-james-van-riemsdyk-jersey , it's even harder to watch, because you can feel the pain receptors hit your brain and you can feel it all over again. Just being able to watch that video comfortably and just see.
"I can watch it now any time."
During training camp, Beckham convinced the Giants he had returned to 100 percent and he was rewarded with a $95 million contract extension that makes him the highest-paid player at his position.
"I don't think that the contract can do anymore for that target on my back," Beckham said. "Inflicted by the world, inflicted by myself. That target has been on there since I came in, so I don't know if a contract is going to help. That target increases and decreases. Guys have always wanted to hit me and be able to talk about it. It's just the reality of where I'm at in life. It's just something I've had to deal with."
Going against Ramsey will be a challenge but it probably won't be as personal as the one with Norman. The Redskins cornerback criticized Beckham before their 2016 game. Beckham drew three personal fouls in the contest and was suspended for a game.
He admits he was suckered in by all the pre-game trash talk.
"Yeah, but you took the cheese," he said. "So, I can't be mad at anything that happened. I bit on it, so it's all good."
Beckham actually developed a friendship working out with Ramsey in the offseason, and he says it is interesting they will be facing each other. Ramsey caused a stir during the summer by saying Beckham made the Giants go Mikkel Boedker Jersey , not Eli Manning.
"He's got all the intangibles," Beckham said of Ramsey. "He's athletic and he's just good. Like I said, he's just one of the best in the league. He does it all."
Beckham has the same ability on the other side of the ball. He has 313 catches for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns in 47 games. He is already tied for second among all-time Giants' receivers with three 1,000-yard seasons. His 38 touchdown catches are the second most since entering NFL in 2014.
NOTES: LB Olivier Vernon didn't practice for the second straight day. Coach Pat Shurmur says the veteran is making great progress. ... Shurmur says all his running backs will get touches Sunday. ... The Giants signed LB Nate Stupar and waived free agent Rutgers RB Robert Martin.
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Bengals celebrated their 50th season last year, finishing 7-9. They’re reaching back into history again for a bit of nostalgia, honoring their 1988 Super Bowl team — the last one to do anything noteworthy in the postseason.
Owner Mike Brown remembers those giddy days 30 years ago.
“Do I think about that? All the time,” Brown said. “That’s what’s in my mind. I know the feeling you’re talking about, and I want us to somehow come back and grab onto that again. It’s the best of times, and some of that is what keeps me plugging along here.”
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history. They’ve had seven chances under coach Marvin Lewis and blown them all Authentic Derek Forbort Jersey Kids , including an epic last-minute meltdown against the Steelers in the 2015 season at Paul Brown Stadium.
They open a new season trying to outrun a lot of bad recent history.
The stadium will likely have a lot of empty seats when the Bengals bring members of the ’88 team onto the field during their season opener against Baltimore on Thursday, Sept. 13. They failed to fill the stadium for any game last season, and attendance dropped noticeably as a second straight losing season wound down.
Lewis was noncommittal about sticking around, but was rewarded with a two-year extension and a 16th chance to try to get it right. Brown’s decision to stay with a coach who has the worst playoff record in NFL history sent a message of more-of-the-same in Cincinnati, where many fans have given up.
“Of course I worry about attendance figures,” Brown said. “I’ve been able to add and subtract for a long time. I can look out there. I see what you see. Does it bother me? It bothers me to my core. I don’t like it, and I dearly want to get us back to where we have the enthusiasm and the support that I think we want.”
Five things to watch with the Bengals this season:
CH-CH-CHANGES: Even though Lewis stayed, Brown permitted significant changes in the coaching staff, including a new set of coordinators on offense and defense from a year ago and a new offensive line coach. While avoiding change at the top, Brown is hoping adjustments in the staff are enough to make a difference.
OH-THAT-LINE: The offensive line was the biggest reason the Bengals finished last in the league in yards gained. They traded with Buffalo for left tackle Cordy Glenn, signed right tackle Bobby Hart and drafted center Billy Price in the first round. The overhauled line had some issues in the preseason and will be the focus throughout the season.
DALTON 8.0: Quarterback Andy Dalton has proven he can be among the league’s most efficient passers when he’s got time. He’s not as adept at improvising http://www.officialstarsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-brett-ritchie-jersey , and last year he spent a lot of time on the run because of the line’s inability to protect him. The Bengals have put more emphasis on big plays under coordinator Bill Lazor, throwing deep often during preseason. The Bengals need breakout years from receiver John Ross and running back Joe Mixon — their top two picks last year — along with third-year receiver Tyler Boyd.
GROUNDED DEFENSE: The Bengals gave multiyear extensions to defensive end Carlos Dunlap and tackle Geno Atkins before the final preseason game, making them the foundation of a unit looking for improvement. The defense slipped to 18th in yards allowed last season.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: The Bengals sold only 47,732 tickets for their final home game last year in their 65,515-seat stadium, their smallest crowd since 2011. They didn’t come close to filling the stadium for any game, not even against the Steelers and their large contingent of fans. For their first preseason home game this season, the Bengals sold only 35,633 tickets.
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