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Postby lw789 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:00 am

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 the past few days trying to build a winner. Hickey then introduced two big acquisitions in the first hours of free agency -- 316-pound left tackle Branden Albert, and 300-pound defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. Both signed Wednesday less than 24 hours after they agreed to terms. Hickey said he was optimistic defensive tackle Randy Starks would re-sign after becoming a free agent Tuesday. Starks has spent the past six seasons with the Dolphins, and the two sides were negotiating a deal Wednesday. The Dolphins shopping will continue, with additional offensive linemen, a tight end and a linebacker the most pressing needs. Theyre trying to end a 13-year drought without a post-season victory, and 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. He signed a $16 million, four-year deal. Like Albert, 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." 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Since no team had gone undefeated in more than three decades, it felt almost inevitable. Falling out of the top spot in the poll wasnt bad, either; the goal is to be No. 1 at the end of the season, not the middle. Losing Brandon Ashley, thats going to be a little tougher for the second-ranked Wildcats to take, a development that will force them to shuffle things around and potentially put a dent in their national championship aspirations. "Its a huge loss for us not to have Brandon for the rest of the season," Arizona centre Kaleb Tarczewski said. "But we still feel that even without him, we still have a great team." With Ashley, Arizona hummed along to the best start in program history, beating teams like Duke, Michigan, UCLA and San Diego State while winning its first 21 games. The Wildcats fortunes took a bad turn Saturday night in Berkeley, when they lost the game 60-58 on Justin Cobbs last-second shot and lost Ashley to an awkward landing while going up for a rebound in the first half. Ashley injured his right foot on the play and faces the possibility of surgery. Arizona (21-1, 8-1 Pac-12) now faces playing the rest of the season without one of its best, most versatile players. "No one expected us to do as well as we have this year; we kind of just let our play do the talking," Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell said. "People can write what they want and say that were not a national championship team, but were going to work hard every day and they cant take that away from us." A 6-foot-8 sophomore, Ashley was a difficult matchup for opposing teams on offence, an athletic player who could score in the post, driving to the basket and, after spending countless hours working on his shot during the summer, from the 3-point line. Ashley is Arizonas third-leading scorer at 11.5 points and in rebounding at 5.8 per game. He shot 47 per cent from the floor, including 36 per cent from the arc and often gave opposing teams fits with his ability to keep offensive rebounds alive with his long arms. Ashley also is one of the Wildcats most versatile defensive players, a long, mobile defender who has the reach to block shots inside and out, the agility to keep smaller players in ffront of him.dddddddddddd. "Are we going to miss Brandon Ashley? No doubt about it," Arizona coach Sean Miller said. "But we still can be an excellent team." The loss of Ashley will force some shuffling for the Wildcats. Defensively, Arizona should be OK without him. Freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, whos expected to slide into Ashleys starting spot, is an active and willing defender. At 6-7, hes just an inch shorter and may be better at defending perimeter players than Ashley, playing that end of the floor more like an upperclassman than a first-year player. Replacing Ashleys offence may be a little tougher. Hollis-Jefferson isnt quite as polished as Ashley on offence and doesnt have the same range, hitting 1 of his 6 attempts from 3-point range this season while scoring most of his points on drives and putbacks. With Hollis-Jefferson in the starting lineup, 3-point y Gabe York moves into the sixth man role and the rest of the roster moves up a spot. Miller has kept a fairly tight rotation this season, so now players who hadnt seen many minutes outside of mop-up duty will be counted on more. Guard Jordin Mayes was a regular contributor the past two seasons, but has seen his minutes decrease this season. Matt Korcheck, who redshirted last season, is an active player with a solid build at 6-10, 230 pounds, though he has played in just 10 games this season. Freshman Elliot Pitts, whos appeared in eight games, will likely see more minutes as well. Miller said forward Zach Peters, a transfer from Kansas whos battled concussion issues, isnt ready for consistent minutes yet. Playing time among the players vying for minutes will likely be based on circumstance, depending on how well theyre playing, the opponent and what the Wildcats need during specific points in games. "If we did nothing different other than just give the players who have played, minus Brandon, more of an opportunity, thats part of our solution," Miller said. "With that in mind, we know foul trouble and fatigue can certainly weigh against you, but we dont have to do this for 30 games, just nine regular-season games and then were in the post-season." Arizonas stretch run without Ashley starts Thursday night at home against Oregon. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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