Forum

Authentic Vincent Trocheck Jersey October 11, 2018 9:17 PM

By : liny

Digging deeper into a culture war that he’s repeatedly stoked Cheap Customized Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys , President Donald Trump on Monday called off a visit to the White House by the Philadelphia Eagles, citing the dispute over whether NFL players protesting racial injustice must stand during the playing of the national anthem.

Trump said in a statement that some members of the Super Bowl championship team ”disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our military and the people of our country.”

He said the team wanted to send a smaller delegation Tuesday, but ”the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

Instead, Trump said he would be hosting ”a different type of ceremony,” featuring the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Army Chorus, that ”will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem.”

None of the Eagles took a knee during the anthem in 2017.

One of the people set to attend the ceremony told The Associated Press less than half of the team’s 53-man roster planned to go. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the decision.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney replied with his own statement, saying that he is ”equally proud of the Eagles’ activism off the field” and that the players ”represent the diversity of our nation – a nation in which we are free to express our opinions.”

”Disinviting them from the White House only proves that our President is not a true patriot, but a fragile egomaniac obsessed with crowd size and afraid of the embarrassment of throwing a party to which no one wants to attend,” Kenney said.

Last week, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said he would not attend the ceremony because he didn’t want to be part of a photo op and wanted ”to avoid being used as any kind of pawn.” In addition to Jenkins, defensive end Chris Long was the most outspoken player against going. Quarterback Carson Wentz had planned to attend.

It was unclear exactly what prompted the change of plans. The White House did not immediately respond to questions about what had sparked the decision and why the circumstances were different from other events honoring winning teams, which some players have boycotted.

Late Monday, though, Trump wrote on Twitter that ”Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event.”

Several players asked about Trump’s decision not to host them declined to respond. The Eagles issued a statement without directly addressing the White House cancellation.

”Watching the entire Eagles community come together has been an inspiration,” the team statement read. ”We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received and we are looking forward to continuing our preparations for the 2018 season.”

Wide receiver Torrey Smith, who said previously that he planned to skip the visit, responded with a series of tweets.

”So many lies,” he wrote Youth Baltimore Ravens Jerseys , adding, ”Not many people were going to go.”

Smith, who played on the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia team before being traded to the Carolina Panthers in March, added: ”No one refused to go simply because Trump `insists’ folks stand for the anthem. … The President continues to spread the false narrative that players are anti military.”

He went on: ”There are a lot of people on the team that have plenty of different views. The men and women that wanted to go should’ve been able to go. It’s a cowardly act to cancel the celebration because the majority of the people don’t want to see you. To make it about the anthem is foolish.”

The announcement was the latest signal that tensions remain high around the NFL protests that began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began silently kneeling on the sidelines while the anthem played. Kaepernick’s protest was an effort to raise awareness around systemic racism and, specifically, the killing of black men by police.

He was soon joined by teammate Eric Reid. Both Reid and Kaepernick have filed grievances against the NFL and remain unsigned since their contracts with the 49ers expired.

Last season, Vice President Mike Pence left the 49ers game against the Indianapolis Colts after about a dozen San Francisco players took a knee during the anthem. Pence, who left before kickoff, tweeted soon afterward, ”I left today’s Colts game becaue (at)POTUS and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

Trump has repeatedly decried the players’ protest, referring to them as ”sons of bitches” who should be fired at a rally for supporters in Alabama last year. Last month, the NFL announced a new policy – praised on Twitter by both Trump and Pence – requiring players to stand for the anthem if they’re on the field before a game.

After the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2017, several players declined to attend the White House ceremony honoring their team last August, citing their differences with the president. In February, the Golden State Warriors declined to attend the White House ceremony honoring their 2017 NBA Championship, instead using their trip to Washington to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture.

During an interview after the new NFL policy was announced, Trump praised the league for doing ”the right thing.”

”You On the surface, the Pittsburgh Steelers' offseason decision to flip outside linebackers Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt looked a little bit of a reach.

While Watt was steady and occasionally spectacular as a rookie in 2017 for a team that led the NFL in sacks, Dupree has spent much of his first three years in the NFL searching for consistency to justify the first-round pick the Steelers used on him in 2015.

So much for that narrative. Combining for four sacks in five quarters has a way of doing that.

Dupree and Watt looked every bit as aggressive as coach Mike Tomlin envisioned during a season-opening tie in Cleveland. Working almost exclusively from the left side, Watt chased down Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor three times. Dupree, now attacking from the blind side against right-handed quarterbacks such as Taylor, dropped him once.

"We did a lot of stuff to maximize our potential and opportunities outside and we still had more opportunities to make more sacks we didn't capitalize on," Dupree said. "It should have been more than that."

Dupree estimated he and Watt could have had three or four more if not for Taylor's mobility.

Regardless Tarell Basham Jersey , it marked an auspicious start from a position the Steelers (0-0-1) placed a significant emphasis on heading into 2018 after opting to exercise the fifth-year option on Dupree's contract.

Freed from the pressure of having to play for a new contract this fall, Dupree 鈥?who had 15陆 sacks during his first three seasons but had issues being a factor in the pass rush on a weekly basis 鈥?could instead focus on taking over at a spot that's been largely unsettled since James Harrison's prime earlier this decade.

Harrison finally moved on after being cut last December and now it's Dupree's turn to use his combination of power and speed against opposing left tackles.

The player who struggled at times against the run had his job responsibilities whittled down in some ways.

Now Dupree's primary goal is to simply get after the quarterback while Watt can use his eyes 鈥?and his preternatural football IQ 鈥?to quickly dissect what's going on.

"I'm way more comfortable (on the left)," Watt said. "I feel like I can bend more. I'm a stronger player. I can see the quarterback. I can see his eyes. I know what he's thinking better. I'm a very instinctual player. It allows me to see and read the play better."

It certainly looked that way as Watt chased Taylor through the muck, hardly looking like someone who missed most of training camp due to hamstring issues.

He played 85 of Pittsburgh's 89 defensive snaps and even managed to block Zane Gonzalez's potential game-winning 43-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in overtime.

"The switch revealed itself and its skillset," coach Mike Tomlin said. "We'll continue to work. We are going to ask those guys to be versatile and to move around. You nail those guys down as young people, so they can get muscle memory associated with skill development at their positions but as they get older we'll continually move them around. It provides flexibility for us."

Maybe, but Pittsburgh might not want to drift too far away from what worked against the Browns, though Kansas City (1-0) and second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes will provide a far different test on Sunday when the Chiefs visit Heinz Field.

Where Taylor looks to make plays with his legs, the big-armed Mahomes would prefer to fling it.

"We just got to let him know we're there early," Watt said. "Make him stay in his pocket and make him use his arm strength."

And make Mahomes use it before he's ready.

The Chiefs lit up San Diego for 38 points last week, though Kansas City has long struggled to contain Pittsburgh's pass rush. Steelers linebackers took down former Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith three times in a victory in Kansas City last October, and Harrison produced problems for Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher for years, including drawing a holding penalty that ended up negating a tying 2-point conversion in the divisional round of the 2016 playoffs.

Now it's Dupree's turn.

"He's a (former) No. 1 pick," Dupree said. "That's what you want. I'm going to go against some of the top-notch guys in the league. ... that's what you want, is the best on the best."

A group Dupree is trying to crack even if it's the precocious Watt that seems to be on the fast track to getting there. Not that Watt wants to draw any sort of comparison between himself and Dupree, or anyone else for that matter.

"We've both got a lot of great moves, it's just a matter of getting comfortable," Watt said. "I don't think somebody's got better moves than the other."

The same goes when the discussion turns to Watt and older brother J.J., a four-time All-Pro three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Mention to the youngest of the three Watt brothers in the NFL that his three sacks in Cleveland equals the best single-game performance by his more accomplished big brother and T.J. Watt just shrugs. He's not caught up in numbers. He just wants to do what the Steelers are paying him to do: be as disruptive as he can for as long as he can.

"I feel like I'm a splash player," he said. "I can go out there and make the play on any given call."

No matter where he lines up.

NOTES: QB Ben Roethlisberger (elbow), OG David DeCastro (hand), CB Joe Haden (hamstring), DE Cam Heyward (knee) and DT Tyson Alualu (shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday. Roethlisberger and DeCastro are hopeful they can play on Sunday. ... TE Vance McDonald (foot) practiced and is expected to make his season debut against the Chiefs.

 


To post a comment please register or sign in