FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Brandon Marshall knew very little about Ryan Fitzpatrick when they became teammates last offseason.The New York Jets wide receiver had heard of the quarterback, of course. But it was Fitzpatricks unusual choice to wear his wedding ring during games and practices that stood out to Marshall.I thought that was really weird and awkward, Marshall joked after practice Thursday.And then, he saw Fitzpatrick throw.He was terrible, Marshall recalled. He really was. I mean, he was coming off a broken leg. A 5-yard hitch route and hed throw it in the dirt.Fitzpatrick, who was acquired from Houston as a veteran backup to Geno Smith, came to the Jets still rehabilitating from a fractured left tibia suffered in a game in December 2014.During offseason workouts, the rust was still apparent and it concerned Marshall.Everybody felt that way, he said. We were like, `What the heck? If Geno goes down, were in trouble. Thats how everybody felt.On Aug. 11, 2015, Marshalls fear -- and everyone elses -- would be put to the test.Smith was slugged by then-teammate Ikemefuna Enemkpali and his jaw was broken. The Jets season was thrust into uncertainty with one punch.I was scared, Marshall said, smiling. It was over. Seasons over. Were done.Fitzpatrick hadnt worked much with Marshall, Eric Decker and the starters up to that point, so the process of gaining a rapport was gradual. Fitzpatricks leg had fully healed, though, so those lousy-looking throws were no longer an issue.Little could anyone have guessed at that time that the Jets would have one of the most productive offensive seasons in team history. Fitzpatrick galvanized the locker room with his leadership and play, tossing a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes while getting New York within a win of the playoffs.Marshall, acquired from Chicago a day before the Jets traded for Fitzpatrick in March 2015, also set Jets records with 109 catches for 1,502 yards while scoring 14 TDs. Decker had an impressive season, too, catching 80 passes for 1,027 yards and 12 scores.He proved us wrong, Marshall said. Hes pretty good.Thats why Marshall and Decker were among a handful of Jets players who openly campaigned for the team to bring Fitzpatrick back this season.The quarterback was an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but he and the team acknowledged that they wanted a new deal to happen. That process, however, wasnt easy. The sides were locked in a contract stalemate for months, creating concern on both sides and leaving the Jets quarterback situation unsettled. Fitzpatrick finally agreed to a one-year, $12 million deal the day before training camp started last month.So, with Fitzpatrick back in the fold, expectations are quite a bit higher than they were a year ago.I actually think hes better this year, Marshall said. Hes throwing the ball with more velocity. Hes throwing the ball deeper. Hes comfortable back there. Hes really good right now. Hes impressive.The starters havent exactly lit things up through two preseason games, with Fitzpatrick going 7 of 13 for 107 yards with no TDs or interceptions in limited action. The Jets game against the Giants on Saturday night should serve as a better barometer of where the offense stands, with first-teamers expected to play at least the entire first half.We game planned this one a little bit more, just in terms of having some plays that we put in that we want to go out and execute, Fitzpatrick said. Id love to see some of the stuff weve done in practice translate to the field.Despite Fitzpatrick missing all of the offseason workouts while waiting for his contract situation to be settled, Marshall insists the offense is light years ahead of where it was last summer.From a communication standpoint, all the guesswork is gone. Fitzpatrick and his receivers know what to expect from each other. And that helps the Jets feel confident that theyve got something special going on.It was hard to do what we did last year, Marshall said. We definitely came up short. We obviously didnt win it. But for us to have Ryan come in, get the ball late in training camp and me being new, having a new offensive coordinator, new head coach, new left guard, that definitely makes it hard for our offense to jell and bond the way you would want it to to be successful.It feels like it took us to seven or eight weeks to do that. And we just feel really good with where were at right now.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: twitter.com/AP-NFL Cheap MLB Jerseys Authentic
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. Mickelson barely made the cut but had the best round of the day with nine birdies and an eagle coupled with two bogeys to sit two shots behind leader Craig Lee of Scotland. Lee shot a 69 for a 12-under 204 total. "I just love the fact I am in contention and have an opportunity in my first tournament of the year here in Abu Dhabi," Mickelson said. Indian defender Rupinder Pal Singh believes the junior mens hockey team has what it takes to win the World Cup, which begins in Lucknow on December 8.They have worked really hard over the past two years. They have everything a champion team needs - a good coach in Harendra Singh, and very good players, Rupinder told ESPN. Personally, all of us feel this group can come up trumps.Two of the players in the junior Indian team are defenders and penalty-corner specialists: Varun Kumar and Harmanpreet Singh. Harmanpreet, in fact, stood in for Rupinder at the Champions Trophy in London in June, where India secured their best ever second position with Harmanpreet deemed the best junior player of the tournament, and Rupinder believes these two players could hold the key to Indias fortunes.Harmanpreet and Varun are both very good players, he said. I didnt know much about Varun personally, but I followed his performance in the last tournament they played [the four nations event in Valencia in October, where India beat reigning junior Worlld Cup holders Germany in the final], where he was in good scoring form.dddddddddddd The thing about drag-flicks is that the more you score, the more confident you become.Rupinder, who will be seen wearing the colours of the 2014 Hockey India League (HIL) champions Delhi Waveriders once again in January 2017, cautioned the junior team against complacency, a factor he held responsible for their 10th-place finish at the last edition in New Delhi in 2013.In the last junior World Cup, they relaxed and paid the price, said Rupinder about Indias campaign, where they beat Canada after losing narrowly to Netherlands, and then were eliminated on goal difference by Korea. You have to play as a team in order to be successful, and their first goal must be to qualify for the quarter-finals.India, who won the tournament in 2001, are placed in pool D alongside England, Canada and South Africa in the 16-team event. Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Authentic Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys
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