Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack lead defensive turnaround

Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) and Khalil Mack (52) combine to sack Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the Bears’ 30-26 victory Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. | Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP Photos Maybe it was a coincidence that once Nick Foles entered, the Bears’ defense turned from a culpable disappointment into an intimidating force […]

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Ndamukong Suh talks Bucs’ win vs. Panthers, teaming with Tom Brady | Monday Tailgate

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Ndamukong Suh recaps his Week 2 performance, sacking Teddy Bridgewater twice in the Bucs’ win over the Carolina Panthers. Suh talks about the hype around the team for the 2020 NFL season and (2:06) having Tom Brady as a teammate. #NFL #Bucs #ESPN ✔️Subscribe to ESPN+ http://espnplus.com/youtube ✔️ Get the […]

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Larry Wilson, Who Made Safety an N.F.L. Threat, Dies at 82

Larry Wilson, the Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinals defensive back who helped transform the position of safety into that of a more aggressive, blitzing defender, died on Thursday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 82. Wilson had been treated for cancer, the team said in announcing his death. Wilson spent his entire […]

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For starters, revamped Rams defense showed a lot of promise against Dallas

In 2016, Brandon Staley called defensive plays for John Carroll University in an NCAA Division III semifinal playoff game against Wisconsin Oshkosh. The 10-3 defeat marked the last time Staley called plays in a game before making his NFL debut in the role during the Rams’ season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys. Staley, who replaced […]

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A look at UCLA’s four graduate transfers in football

Defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (Brandon Wade / Associated Press) Position: Defensive back Previous schools: Maryland, Kent State Undergraduate degree: Integrated studies Graduate program: Transformative coaching and leadership in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies How he got here: Knight spent the 2019 season at Kent State after transferring from Maryland, where he […]

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Sparks’ Candace Parker chosen WNBA defensive player of the year

Sparks forward Candace Parker was chosen Associated Press defensive player of the year Tuesday after leading the WNBA in rebounding. With 9.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game this season, Parker anchored the third-rated Sparks defense as the team finished third in the league standings. The Sparks open the playoffs Thursday in a single-elimination […]

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New players make big contributions in Rams’ season-opening win over Cowboys

The Rams played in a new stadium, in new uniforms with a new defensive coordinator. And plenty of new players made big plays Sunday night in the Rams’ 20-17 season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys at SoFi Stadium. On a night when veteran running back Malcolm Brown rushed for two touchdowns, rookie kicker Samuel Sloman […]

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Aaron Donald sheepishly won’t tackle question on nuances of new Rams defense

He’s a two-time NFL defensive player of the year and a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a tackle who has terrorized offenses since he broke into the league six years ago. Aaron Donald does not miss many opportunities to make plays. But Donald wants to learn from rare miscues. So he welcomed offseason feedback from defensive […]

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How LeBron James sparked the defense in Lakers’ Game 3 win

The first defensive stand the Lakers made in Game 3 against the Houston Rockets came early in the third quarter when LeBron James blocked a shot by Eric Gordon. That was the Lakers’ defensive awakening, and from that moment to the end of their smothering 112-102 win, the Lakers were unrelenting on Tuesday against the […]

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AFC West preview: Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs will be tough to topple

Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa. (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press) Advertisement 2019 | 5-11, 4th in West Last year in playoffs | 2018 WHAT HAPPENED LAST SEASON A year after finishing 12-4, the Chargers took a big step backward. They went 5-11 with nine of those losses coming by a touchdown or less. The […]

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NFC South preview: Tom Brady transforms Buccaneers into a contender

New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) calls together teammates Marcus Davenport (92), defensive tackle David Onyemata (93) and defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90) during a team practice session. (Gerald Herbert / Associated Press) 2019 | 13-3, 1st in South Last year in playoffs | 2019 WHAT HAPPENED LAST SEASON For the second season […]

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Charlie Hurt says Biden ‘has no choice at this point but to repeat the attacks on him’ over rioting

Joe Biden has been put on the defensive by being forced to discuss law and order, an issue where President Trump has an advantage, Washington Times opinion editor and Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt said Monday. “One of the oldest most basic rules of politics is you don’t repeat your opponent’s attacks on you,” Hurt said on “The Daily Briefing”. “Well, Joe […]

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‘Hard Knocks’ expands on contract situation with Chargers’ Melvin Ingram

Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram knows his worth to the team, and he isn’t afraid to share it. As the offensive and defensive units prepared for a four-minute drill, coach Anthony Lynn laid out the rules. They were simple. The offense needs to advance down the field. They get three timeouts. If the defense creates […]

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Rams’ Sebastian Joseph-Day feels for family of shooting victim Jacob Blake

Before answering questions from reporters Tuesday, Rams defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day began a videoconference by saying he wanted to seDonaldnd prayers to Jacob Blake and his family. Blake was shot multiple times in the back Sunday by a police in Kenosha, Wis. Blake is hospitalized and paralyzed, although it’s not known whether the paralysis is […]

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Candace Parker emerging as candidate for WNBA’s top defensive player

Candace Parker stops to consider the idea. Her? Defensive player of the year? The two-time most valuable player seems in awe of the concept. “I think that might be above the two I got at home, honestly,” Parker said Friday night after helping her team to a 93-85 overtime win against the Atlanta Dream. “Better […]

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USC’s Jay Tufele will opt out of spring football season and declare for the NFL draft

USC defensive lineman Jay Tufele will opt out of the Pac-12’s postponed spring football season and declare for the NFL draft, the rising redshirt junior announced Wednesday on Twitter. Tufele started all 13 games for the Trojans last season and finished with 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors and was named […]

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Melvin Ingram sitting out Chargers practice over salary and Joey Bosa supports him

The Chargers avoided a potential distraction when they re-signed one of their Pro Bowl defensive ends this month. That move, however, led to another potential distraction regarding their other Pro Bowl defensive end. Melvin Ingram attended the team’s second padded practice of training camp Tuesday in Costa Mesa but again did not participate in drills. […]

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‘Company business’ prevents Melvin Ingram from practicing with Chargers

Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram was again present at practice but did not participate for reasons that appear to be related to his contract. Coach Anthony Lynn said Friday it was “company business” that was keeping Ingram from working out with his teammates. Lynn refused to elaborate then and did so again Monday. “I’m just […]

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Bears’ DE Bilal Nichols: ‘I’m ready for this opportunity’

Bears defensive lineman Bilal Nichols (tackling the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott last season) started 12 games at defensive end last season after recovering from a broken hand. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images The 23-year-old Nichols, a two-year starter at defensive end since being drafted in the fifth round in 2018, is getting the first shot at replacing […]

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Angels shortstop David Fletcher’s web gem ‘as good as you’ve ever seen’

Angels shortstop David Fletcher added another web gem to his growing 2020 defensive highlight reel Saturday night with a play that manager Joe Maddon called one of the best he’s ever seen. In the fourth inning of the Dodgers’ 6-5, 10-inning victory at Angel Stadium, Fletcher ranged about 20 feet to his right and onto […]

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Blackhawks notebook: Jeremy Colliton scratches Adam Boqvist, shuffles lines in Game 2 loss

The Blackhawks used almost entirely new forward lines and defensive pairs Thursday. | Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images The second, third and fourth forward lines and first and second defensive pairs all saw changes. Jeremy Colliton insisted after the Blackhawks’ Game 1 loss that the conservative structure he deployed would stick around for the rest of the […]

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Bears’ defense is still Super Bowl-caliber, but that’s not usually enough to win one

Chuck Pagano remains one of the top defensive minds in the NFL. | Mark Tenally/AP Charging into a season with an elite defense and brutally bad offense rarely leads to success in the modern NFL. As the Bears try to go against the current, they need their offense to be at least average. The preseason […]

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College football players unite in push to save season

Michigan defensive back Hunter Reynolds saw the tweets from Trevor Lawrence and other college football players, pushing for the opportunity to play this season, despite the pandemic. Reynolds, one of the organizers behind a players’ rights movement in the Big Ten, didn’t like the way some on social media seemed to be pitting Lawrence’s message […]

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With A’Shawn Robinson out indefinitely, Rams will lean on Michael Brockers again

With veteran defensive lineman Michael Brockers seemingly on his way to the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent, the Rams signed A’Shawn Robinson in March to fill the void. When Brockers’ deal with the Ravens fell through, the Rams re-signed Brockers, giving new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley increased depth for the front seven. It turned […]

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