January http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-austin-seibert-jersey , when new head coaches are hired and fan bases are fired up about the fresh start that sends hope soaring high like the football in the air on the opening kickoff of a game.There’s another round of departures in March, when the biggest-buck free agent contracts are signed to put some of the highest-profile players in the league on new teams snatching up missing pieces to their Super Bowl puzzles. Then, the first-round draft picks clamber aboard at the end of April.By December, well, the derailments are inevitable.From Le’Veon Bell to Jon Gruden to Leonard Fournette, here’s a pick-six of the biggest disappointments in the NFL this year:NO-SHOWThe millions of fantasy football players who snagged Bell for a seeming bargain in their auctions and drafts would wholeheartedly agree, though the Pittsburgh Steelers survived the absence of the two-time All-Pro running back due to the emergence of James Conner and, most recently, Jaylen Samuels.Bell bet on himself, steadfastly refusing to sign his franchise tender without the promise of a contract extension one of the sport’s most dangerous positions and ultimately accepting his ineligibility for the season . The Steelers didn’t blink, either, and Bell will assumedly restart his career with another team in 2019.CHALLENGE FOR CHUCKYThe Oakland Raiders, eyeing an eventual move to Las Vegas, gave Jon Gruden a 10-year contract worth about $100 million to return to the franchise he got his start with as a head coach.The Raiders are in this for the long haul, after burning through nine head coaches in the 16 seasons that passed after Gruden shed his silver and black. Their 3-11 record two years after a 12-4 finish, however, is a shaker of salt in the wound for the Bay Area loyalists on the verge of losing their team. Watching traded stars Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper thrive elsewhere has only made this season hurt worse. No team has been easier to score on this year than the Raiders Trysten Hill Jersey , with an average of nearly 30 points allowed per game.SOPHOMORE SLUMPPart a strong crop of rookie running backs last season, Leonard Fournette finished fifth in the league in yards rushing per game as the Jacksonville Jaguars came so close to beating the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game. The Jaguars as a team would qualify as the league’s biggest letdown, so Fournette is hardly alone. But even with a mulligan for missing six games because of a hamstring injury, Fournette has taken a clear step back.The fourth overall pick in the 2017 draft has averaged only 3.4 yards per attempt (46th in the NFL) and 56.6 rushing yards per game (24th in the NFL). Last week in a three-point loss to Washington, Fournette spent most of the second half on the sideline while undrafted rookie Dave Williams ate into his playing time.TOUGH TIMES FOR TOP-10 QUARTERBACKSDrafting a quarterback in the first round is a decision made with as much long-term view as any in the league, and success for rookies at this high-pressure position can be awfully difficult without strong supporting casts.Still, more and more quarterbacks in their early 20s are coming to the NFL with the skills to be an instant success, and given the impatient nature of a results-driven culture there’s been no shortage of complaints about Sam Darnold (third overall pick), Josh Allen (seventh overall pick) and Josh Rosen (10th overall pick), particularly when judging them against first overall pick Baker Mayfield’s late-season surge with the Cleveland Browns. With a combined 30 touchdown passes against 38 interceptions, Darnold, Allen and Rosen have displayed a need for more experience and more help. The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Arizona Cardinals have a collective record of 12-20.KICKING IT AWAYSure, Chicago and Green Bay play on grass in cold climates, but Minnesota and Detroit have indoor stadiums. NFC North teams have enjoyed a long line of successful kickers. This year, though, has been a struggle http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-connor-mcgovern-jersey , with 12-year veteran Matt Prater of the Lions the only specialist whose season has become a story. The Vikings cut rookie Daniel Carlson after two games and three missed field goals that cost them a victory against the rival Packers, who had their own issues with Mason Crosby. Cody Parkey ranks 28th in field goal percentage for the Bears, one spot behind Crosby.SO MUCH FOR DRAMAThat last-second 2-point conversion the Los Angeles Chargers used to win at Kansas City and tie the Chiefs for the AFC West lead turned that division race into a December thriller. That’s the exception , though, with the Bears, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams already in possession of top-four seeds in the NFC and the New England Patriots and Houston Texans holding two-game leads in their divisions with two games to play. That three-team race in the NFC East has been muted by all that mediocrity. The Baltimore Ravens, at least, have made the AFC North a legitimate competition with the Steelers. Concrete barriers and chain-link fencing are going up around the site of the Super Bowl in downtown Minneapolis, where a contingent of local, state and national agencies is working to ensure that the game and dozens of related events are safe.
The downtown location of the Feb. 4 title game has presented challenges for authorities, who have had to get creative as they carved a secure perimeter around businesses and a major hospital near U.S. Bank Stadium. But it’s not the first time the Super Bowl has dealt with the challenges of a city center, and authorities who have spent roughly two years thinking about every possible scenario say they are prepared.
”We’re ready for anything that may come our way,” Minneapolis Police Commander Scott Gerlicher said. ”It’s about not just feeling safe, but making sure people are in fact safe.”
Gerlicher, whose department is overseeing security, said this Super Bowl will have the largest deployment of federal resources yet. That’s because Minneapolis has a relatively small department – less than 900 officers compared with the roughly 5,000 in Houston Tony Pollard Jersey , where last year’s game was held – and needed more personnel.
Dozens of other cities are sending officers too, and the Minnesota National Guard has been activated. An additional 10,000 volunteers are being trained to spot suspicious activity.
Visitors can expect to see increased police patrols, bomb-sniffing dogs, helicopters, officers in tactical gear, and that chain-link and concrete fence around U.S. Bank Stadium.
Plenty of technology such as motion detectors, closed-circuit cameras and air particle sensors will be operating behind the scenes. Giant machines are being used to scan shipments to the stadium. Extra security cameras will be sprinkled around the city, and NFL-sanctioned events will have metal detectors. Teams will be in place to react to whatever comes up.
”Our efforts are to make sure that it’s a warm and inviting atmosphere. But make no mistake about it – there are tons of watchful eyes from the law enforcement and public safety sectors,” said Alex Khu, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Minnesota and the federal coordinator for this year’s Super Bowl.
Because of the dense area around the stadium, some security screening will be happening off-site. They also had to figure out how to secure Super Bowl Live, a largely free-flowing, 10-day outdoor event that’s open to the public. Meanwhile, some events are being held in nearby St. Paul and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, while team hotels, practice facilities – and transportation to and from – also must be secured.
Jeffrey Miller Noah Fant Jersey , former senior vice president and chief security officer for the NFL, said each host city faces different challenges. In Minneapolis, perhaps the biggest is the weather. He said security staff may need to be doubled or tripled to keep people from being exposed to dangerous elements for a prolonged time.
”That’s a challenge, and it’s a costly one you don’t have if playing in San Diego,” he said.
Miller said setting up a perimeter around a downtown venue is more difficult than setting one up around a stadium surrounded by parking lots. Architects, engineers and other experts are part of the planning. For fans, he said, there are advantages to being downtown and close to the action.
”The NFL is really good at trying to balance security needs with the fan engagement part of the equation,” he said.
Miller said officials also have to take into account recent world events – meaning the possibility of a terror attack.
Joe Rivers, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI in Minneapolis, said a threat assessment for the game has included analyzing attacks around the world. He cited the May bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, the Oct. 1 shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas and the Oct. 31 vehicle attack on a New York City bike path. Without providing detail, Rivers said authorities used those attacks to shape their plans.
Local history must also be considered. Minneapolis has seen dozens of young men travel to Somalia or Syria to join extremist groups over the past decade. There also has been a stabbing attack at a central Minnesota mall and a more recent bombing of a local mosque.
”It’s impossible for us to ignore the historical cases that we’ve had here and the type of threats … that we’ve addressed,” Rivers said.
He said there is no credible threat to the Super Bowl, and authorities are continuing to gather intelligence. Rivers said his main concerns are low-tech threats, such as someone driving a vehicle into or firing a weapon at a crowd.
”Not to alarm anyone http://www.broncosauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dalton-risner-jersey , but it’s not hard to come by weapons in this country and with where our venues are located and things like that, there’s no way we can possibly secure every single floor of every single building that can see a venue or can overlook a crowd, so those are concerns, yes,” he said.
Fans attending Super Bowl events can help by staying vigilant. In addition to calling 911, people who see something suspicious can call 1-800-CALL-FBI. In the event of something like the Boston Marathon bombing, the FBI has created a website where witnesses can upload videos and photos so the FBI can gather evidence quickly.
”Obviously, the best case scenario is that we hope that we do all of this … and no one never even realizes all the legwork that went into it on the front end,” Rivers said. ”They just show up, have a good time, and leave and go home.&