Ryan Fitzpatrick has been in the NFL long enough [url=http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/da_ron-payne-jersey]Authentic Da’Ron Payne Jersey[/url] , and been with so many different teams, that the quarterback has plenty of experience of playing somewhere in a different uniform.
Coming back to Tennessee is a bit easier thanks to such a short stint with the Titans.
“When I was here, it was such a blur because really it was just a year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’d just got released from Buffalo and was only here for a quick time. So they’ve done a really nice job with it. It’s almost unrecognizable with some of the stuff and how it’s changed so quickly.”
Fitzpatrick went 3-6 filling in for Jake Locker in 2013. That was three coaches and a handful of quarterbacks ago for Tennessee with Fitzpatrick with his third team since then.
Making the return visit more enjoyable is Fitzpatrick is expected to start a second straight preseason game Saturday night for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay will be without Jameis Winston for the first three games of the season, suspended after the NFL investigated an allegation Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016.
Tennessee will start Marcus Mariota, the quarterback drafted No. 2 overall in 2015 after Tampa Bay selected Winston. Mariota is on his third head coach in Mike Vrabel, who will make his home debut Saturday night. Mariota is busy learning offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur’s offense and wants to follow up the touchdown drive he had in their opener at Green Bay.
“If we can go out there, operate at a high tempo, operate where everybody’s on the same page, we’re all communicating, being efficient, that will be definitely success,” Mariota said.
Elsewhere around the NFL, Jacksonville is at Minnesota, Oakland visits the Rams, Cincinnati is at Dallas, San Francisco visits Houston, Chicago is at Denver and Seattle is at the Chargers.
What to look for around the league Saturday:
JIMMY G AND DEANDRE
Jimmy Garoppolo’s exhibition debut lasted one drive with a few off-target passes and no points. He could get a little more time against Houston after two days of joint practices with the Texans showing him a different style of defense than he usually sees in practice.
“I think it was good. A lot of different looks that we’re not used to getting,” he said. “They run a different defense than what we’re used to so it got our guys thinking and I think we handled it very well.”
Houston star receiver DeAndre Hopkins missed most of the first of two practices with the 49ers after being kicked out for his role in a scuffle with Jimmie Ward. In his return, he reveled in competing against four-time Pro Bowler Richard Sherman and hopes to get more work in against him Saturday night.
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When the Raiders return to their old home at the L.A. Coliseum for the first time in nearly 24 years to face the Rams in an exhibition game, both teams will have key pieces missing.
Oakland edge rusher Khalil Mack and Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the winners of the past two AP Defensive Player of the Year awards, both are staging contract holdouts as they seek lucrative long-term deals.
That gives both teams opportunities to see what kind of pass rush they can get without the two stars. The Raiders were pleased with the inside push rookies P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst supplied in the exhibition opener against Detroit last week.
The game marks the Raiders’ first game at the Coliseum since losing 19-9 to Kansas City on Dec. 24, 1994. The Raiders spent 13 seasons at the Coliseum before returning to Oakland in 1995, winning the Super Bowl following the 1983 season.
Rams coach Sean McVay is expected to hold out quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley and most key playmakers for a second straight game.
COUSINS’ MINNESOTA DEBUT
The previous time the Vikings suited up at U.S. Bank Stadium, they beat the New Orleans Saints in their playoff game on Stefon Diggs’ last-play touchdown catch from Case Keenum. Kirk Cousins watched that one from home, in awe and disbelief like everyone else, not yet knowing Minnesota was the place he would wind up.
Now Cousins, who signed a three-year, $84 million, fully guaranteed contract, will put on his new purple jersey in front of Minnesota’s fans for the first time. He is expected to play more than one series after being perfect in the Vikings’ exhibition opener last week at Denver.
“The little bit I’ve been there, it’s a great facility,” Cousins said. “I’m just so excited to hear the crowd and go through warmups and just get a feel for the game-day dynamic. I’m sure it’s going to be second to none in the NFL.”
The Jaguars will be without both cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Dante Fowler in Minnesota. Both were left at home for disciplinary reasons following a scrap between Fowler and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. That ought to create more opportunities for rookie defensive end Taven Bryan, who was held out of the game against New Orleans last week because of an abdominal injury. Bryan was the 29th overall pick in the draft out of Florida.
DALTON HOMECOMING: COLLEGE VERSION
Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton gets another college version of his two Texas homecomings in Dallas.
The Houston-area native and former TCU standout threw for two touchdowns in the preseason debut of Cincinnati’s revamped offense [url=http://www.chargersfootballauthentics.com/derwin-james-jersey-authentic]Youth Derwin James Jersey[/url] , a 30-27 win over Chicago . It’s the third time Dalton has visited the Cowboys, who play about 20 miles from his college home. This is his second preseason trip.
Dalton and the Bengals should get a better test against Dallas, though linebacker Sean Lee and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who tie LeBron James scored 45 points and got some needed help in Game 7 to stay unbeaten in the opening round of the playoffs, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-101 win over the Indiana Pacers, who pushed the game’s best player to the limit.
James improved to 13-0 in the first round and kept Cleveland’s strange season alive – for the time being. It took everything James and the Cavs had to hold off the Pacers, who were swept by Cleveland a year ago and came in confident after a 34-point win in Game 6.
The Cavs will open the conference semifinals on Tuesday at top-seeded Toronto.
James played 43 minutes, leaving late in the third quarter and heading straight to the locker room to be treated for cramps. The 33-year-old was going to leave it all on the floor in what some Cleveland fans feared could have been his last game with the franchise.
Tristan Thompson made a rare start for the Cavs – Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue used his 34th different starting lineup this season – and added 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Love made four 3-pointers, and George Hill returned after missing three games with back spasms to score 11 in 19 second-half minutes.
Victor Oladipo scored 30 and Darren Collison had 23 for the Pacers.
ROCKETS 110, JAZZ 96
HOUSTON (AP) – James Harden scored 41 points and Houston raced out to a huge lead and sailed to a 110-96 win over Utah in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.
Houston was up by 25 at halftime behind 34 points combined from Harden and Chris Paul. The Jazz, who didn’t wrap up their first-round series with Oklahoma City until late Friday night, looked sluggish and struggled to keep pace with the energy of the top-seeded Rockets, who hadn’t played since eliminating Minnesota on Wednesday.
It was Houston’s fourth straight win by 10 or more points this postseason.
Harden, who also had seven assists and eight rebounds, picked up where he left off in the regular season against the Jazz when he averaged 34.3 points, led by a 56-point performance in a 137-110 win in November.
The Jazz got 21 points each from rookie Donovan Mitchell and Jae Crowder while playing without starting point guard Ricky Rubio, who sat with a strained left hamstring.