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deal to play annually in London. The Chargers, Rams and Raiders are considered to be playing in temporary stadiums — the

Posted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:14 am
by elaine95
ALAMEDA Clelin Ferrell Jersey , Calif. (AP) — Two drug suspensions threatened to derail Darren Waller’s NFL career before it really got started.Now the leading candidate to replace Jared Cook as Oakland’s top tight end, Waller credits those early setbacks with getting him back on track.“At the time it seemed like a whole lot but I’ve been able to learn that the most uncomfortable work is the one that pays off and makes things much more enjoyable,” Waller said Tuesday at the start of the Raiders‘ three-day mandatory minicamp. “It’s been a whole lot of hard work, a whole lot of just making sure that I’m consistent.”Waller missed all of 2017 after being suspended by the NFL for one year following a second violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy. That came on the heels of a four-game suspension in 2016 when Waller acknowledged using marijuana.Waller returned to the NFL in 2018 but didn’t play until the Raiders claimed him off the Ravens’ practice squad. He played in four games late in the season and caught six passes for 75 yards.Though a small sample size, it was enough to convince Oakland to keep Waller around. When Pro Bowl tight end Jared Cook signed with New Orleans as a free agent, Raiders coach Jon Gruden quickly dubbed Waller a leading candidate to replace Cook.“Since he’s been here he’s been one of our most impressive players,” Gruden said. “He played a key role last year when he got here. He’s got some big shoes to fill. I know he respects that. He’s versatile, he’s smart Josh Oliver Jersey , he’s fast.He wants to do good.”A sixth-round pick of Baltimore in 2015, Waller was drafted as a wide receiver before converting to tight end in 2016. That was right at the start of his off-field troubles which Waller acknowledged carried over to what he did on the field. He caught 12 passes in 18 games with the Ravens.It’s an issue the 26-year-old Waller said he no longer has to worry about.“That gives me a place to feel good about myself and respect myself when I look in the mirror,” Waller said. “Before, I couldn’t really do that and those kind of things translate to the field where it’s like you’re kind of hesitant out there, you’re not too sure of yourself. But now I wake up and I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing in my life and representing my family in a positive way. That goes a long way into me taking on a heavier load and having the confidence in myself to carry it out.“I just tried to prepare myself to come back and contribute again. I didn’t really look as far as how big my role would be but that if my work was there and I was staying clean and being consistent in what I was doing that my role would increase at some point.”Cook’s departure as a free agent was a big hit to the Raiders offense. In two seasons with Oakland, Cook caught 122 passes for 1,584 yards and eight touchdowns, often serving as a safety net for quarterback Derek Carr.Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock overhauled the team’s receiving corps in the offseason http://www.jacksonvillejaguarsteamonlin ... -ii-jersey , highlighted by the acquisition of Antonio Brown. That could mean fewer opportunities for the tight ends, although Waller’s maturation should keep him in the mix.At the very least, it’s given Waller another shot in the NFL, something he has reminded himself of this offseason.“Staying clean, number one of course, just doing something every day involving football,” Waller said when asked about his daily routine. “Making sure that I know that all I have is today. I don’t really have any days that are promised and I can’t live my life that way.”Notes: Cornerback Gareon Conley worked out on his own in a nearby weight room. . Gruden said Mayock and representatives for Rodney Hudson have been in talks regarding a possible contract extension for the two-time Pro Bowl center. . The Raiders are discussing holding joint practices with the Los Angeles Rams prior to their Aug. 10 preseason game. . Oakland signed WR Montay Crockett and CB Isaiah Langley. DB Makinton Dorleant and S Montrel Meander were waived. NEW YORK (AP) — The NFL will stage four games in London and one in Mexico City next season, with the Jaguars Ryquell Armstead Jersey , Chargers, Rams, Raiders and Buccaneers serving as hosts.When the games will be played and who the opponents will be won’t be announce until the spring, when the league schedule for 2019 is released.The Jaguars have a deal to play annually in London. The Chargers, Rams and Raiders are considered to be playing in temporary stadiums — the Los Angeles teams will move into a new facility being built in Inglewood that won’t be ready next year — and the Raiders will be leaving Oakland for Las Vegas in 2020.Days after the Chiefs-Rams game scheduled for Azteca Stadium was moved to Los Angeles because of poor field conditions in November, the NFL announced it would be returning to play a regular-season game in Mexico City in 2019.This season had three games at Wembley Stadium in London — one of those was scheduled for Tottenham’s new stadium, but was switched to Wembley because the Spurs’ building was not ready. Previously, the NFL announced that two of the 2019 London games would be at Wembley Will Harris Jersey , the other two at TottenhamEarlier this year, the Seahawks beat the Raiders 27-3, the Chargers defeated the Titans 20-19, and the Eagles beat the Jaguars 24-18.The NFL has played regular-season games in London since 2007. It played one in Mexico City in 2005, then not again until 2016 and ’17.“Our league’s global presence continues to grow and expand through the success of the NFL International Series and we look forward to showcasing the Buccaneers organization to an international audience,” said Brian Ford, the team’s chief operating officer.The Bucs agreed to participate in an international game as part of their bid to host the Super Bowl in 2021. They’ve played twice in London, losing to the Patriots in 2009 and Bears in 2011.“I’ve been associated with games out of the country before ... ant-jersey ,” coach Dirk Koetter said, “and when you get to them, I think the players do enjoy that week. Trips are long, usually you’re rewarded on the back end with your bye week. Once you’re over there, it’s football. It’s new and it’s different.”