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DAVIE, Fla. -- New Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey stepped to the microp
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DAVIE, Fla. -- New Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey stepped to the microphone and apologized for his hoarse voice, explaining he wore it down in recent days trying to build a winner. Hickey then introduced a succession of big acquisitions in the first 24 hours of free agency -- 316-pound left tackle Branden Albert, 300-pound defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and 305-pound defensive tackle Randy Starks. All signed Wednesday. Starks remained with the Dolphins after a brief stint as a free agent, signing a $12 million, two-year contract. He spent the past six seasons with the Dolphins, with only one playoff game during that time. "The moves we made so far just show were close to doing something special here, and trying to bring in some people to help us get over the hump," he said. The return of Starks, a two-time Pro Bowl player, and the addition of Mitchell compensate for the loss of defensive tackle Paul Soliai, who joined the Atlanta Falcons after seven years with Miami. "Pauls a good player," Starks said. "He has been here a long time. Hell be well missed, but we have people who can step up." Hickeys shopping will continue, with additional offensive linemen, a tight end and a linebacker the most pressing needs. The Dolphins are trying to end a 13-year drought without a post-season victory, and theyre eager to put in the past their bullying scandal that involved tackle Jonathan Martin. The acquisition of Albert was a step in that direction. Hell take over the position manned at the start of last season by Martin, who was traded late Tuesday to the San Francisco 49ers for an undisclosed draft choice. "Im going to be here to play left tackle and make a difference," Albert said. "Thats the reason Im here. I feel like its a team I can help the most and make my legacy even better." Albert signed a $47 million, five-year deal that includes $26 million guaranteed. Dolphins officials, accompanied by a couple of players, treated Albert to dinner Tuesday night to celebrate the agreement. "Probably the happiest person at the dining room table was Ryan Tannehill," Hickey said. "He was really excited to have a player of his calibre on our team." Albert will protect the blind side for Tannehill, who was sacked a franchise-record 58 times last year. Mitchell was also part of the dinner celebration after agreeing to a $16 million, four-year deal. Like Albert and Starks, Mitchell envisions better days ahead for the Dolphins. "Im coming to produce and definitely trying to help this team reach new heights," Mitchell said. "Thats my reason for being here. Im trying to get us to a Super Bowl." Mitchell blossomed in his fourth NFL season with the Houston Texans last year, when he became a starter and won raves for the way he clogged the middle. He has been playing defence only since his junior year at the University of Arizona, and he and Hickey both said hes still improving. Alberts reputation has also been on the rise, and he made the Pro Bowl last year with the Kansas City Chiefs. He has had a home the past three offseasons 45 minutes from the Dolphins complex and will now move north, eager to go to work with his new team. "I live in downtown Miami, but I probably wont anymore because of the commute," he said with a smile. "Ive got to find a place close to the facility." Clay Matthews Rams Jersey . Team officials did not indicate the extent of the injury Saturday, simply listing Rose with "left knee soreness." Rose has played two preseason games without any sign of problems. The first NBA game in South America now will be missing its biggest star. Torry Holt Womens Jersey . In fact, with a few improvements, this could very well be a decent team over the next few seasons. 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Amaro broke the NCAA all-time record for receiving yards in a season for a tight end with 1,352 during his junior campaign, eclipsing the mark of 1,329 set by Rices James Casey in 2008.CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Carolina teammates describe Luke Kuechly as one of the nicest guys youll meet, an aw-shucks, All-American kid whos polite and still spends part of his off-season living with his parents in Ohio. Seattles Bobby Wagner is the charming, approachable kid-at-heart, regularly seen walking around with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack draped around his shoulders. Off the field, nice guys. Harmless. On the field, its a whole different story when it comes to the All-Pro middle linebackers. Panthers safety Roman Harper, who previously played for New Orleans, remembers watching a game last year and wondering who the crazy man wearing the No. 59 jersey for Carolina was. Hes yelling, hes talking trash — and then you meet him and he doesnt even remember any of that, Harper said. Hes just the nicest guy, he talks about his mom all the time and all this other stuff and its just so funny. It really is like the Superman-Clark Kent thing. Wagner is the intense driven leader of the Seattle defence, which has finished first in the league in the NFL in each of the past two seasons. Kuechly was the catalyst for the Panthers holding the Arizona Cardinals to 78 yards in last weeks wild-card game, an NFL post-season record for fewest yards in a game. Theyre two of the better young linebackers in the league, for sure, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. Theyre exciting to watch. For all the inherent hype surrounding quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Cam Newton entering Saturday nights NFC divisional playoff game, this game could be determined by the teams two defensive play callers. The past three meetings between the Seahawks and Panthers have resulted in low-scoring matchups, hardly a surprise given the men manning the middle of those defences. The Seahawks won those games 16-12 in 2012, 12-7 in 2013 and 13-9 in October, although Wagner didnt play in the most recent game due to a turf toe injury. Were the quarterback of the defence so I think we should get as much recognition as the quarterback, Wagner said. (But) its a fun position. Were in the middle of everything. We have a job during the run, have a job on the pass, get sacks, interceptions, tackles. Were pretty much involved. Its the best positon in my opinion. Kuechly agrees, although hes fine without the attention. Its all good, and I wouldnt want to change that, Kuechly said. Thats something you take with the position. Teammate Greg Olsen called him the best defensive player in the league and saaid hes already as good as Brian Urlacher was in his prime.dddddddddddd. Both players entered the league in 2012 — Kuechly as a first-round pick out of Boston College; Wagner a second-round choice from Utah State. Since their arrival, both defences have vastly improved in part because of their ability to decipher offensive formations, run to the ball and make plays. Both excel in pass coverage, too. Kuechly, the NFLs Defensive Player of the Year last season, demonstrated last week just how valuable he is to the Panthers. He had 10 tackles, a key fourth quarter interception and tipped another Ryan Lindley pass that resulted in a turnover in Carolinas 27-16 wild-card win over the Cardinals. He can literally take over the game from the middle linebacker position, Harper said. Wagner finished with 104 tackles in 11 games and doesnt have quite the same big plays on his resume this season as Kuechly, but hes just as valuable to Seattles defence. Thats why he was selected as an All-Pro despite missing five games due to the toe injury. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said both middle linebackers are high-IQ football players who do everything well. But he said theyre different players. Luke is a very dynamic player and I think Bobby plays within the stream of our defence and makes plays in front of him and makes tackles in the backfield, Sherman said. Said Rivera: Seattle has an attacking, aggressive style and I think Wagner fits what they do very well. Both are known for their athleticism and speed. Harper didnt realize how athletic Kuechly was until he watched him jump flat-footed onto a box five feet off the ground. I was like, OK, I get it now, Harper said shaking his head. Wagner once ran the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. Hes able to flow from one side of the field to the other with swift, seamless movements that even impresses Kuechly. When I watched some crossover tape of Seattle, I see him just kept seeing him flying around and making plays, Kuechly said. The guy is smart, athletic and he can run. The Panthers have yet to figure out Wagner and the Seahawks. Theyve only scored one offensive touchdown in the past three games against the Seahawks. Rivera knows it will only get tougher on Saturday night with Wagner back in the starting lineup for the rematch. Hes a solid football player with a tremendous amount of athletic ability, Rivera said. He has a great football mind and because of that he does things the right way. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys ' ' '
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