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Morgan Moses Jersey

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After all of those years eschewing the Los Angeles area Justin Braun Jersey Kids , the NFL now has two teams there. On Saturday, both will host preseason games on what many say is the only August weekend that even slightly matters.

The Rams host the Texans in an afternoon game, and four hours later the Chargers entertain New Orleans.

There's actually some intrigue in Chargers-Saints, particularly for an exhibition game. For the second straight season, the teams went through two days of joint practices at the Chargers' training camp complex in Orange County ahead of the preseason game.

Saints star quarterback Drew Brees once was San Diego's starter, then was displaced by Philip Rivers. Brees has gone on to wild success and a Super Bowl championship in New Orleans, while Rivers has been a fixture behind center for the Chargers in San Diego and now in L.A.

"It was a tough set of circumstances, obviously, because they drafted him in 2004 to basically take my job," Brees said on the Saints' website. "I think everyone always tried to pit us against each other and couldn't figure out how we could be friends or good teammates to one another in the quarterback room when we were having that type of competition, but we were."

And they still are friends as well as supreme competitors.

"There's no denying it was somewhat awkward," Rivers said. "We both wanted what the other person was trying to get, and keep it from him. But at the same time we pulled for one another.

"It may not make sense, and I'm not sure any of that necessarily does. That's kind of the way it went in those two years. I tried to be the first person to high-five him after a touchdown. But at the same time I wanted to be out there playing."

Neither will be playing very long Saturday.

The Rams' glamorous offseason additions are expected to play for the first time. Coach Sean McVay has been exceedingly cautious about using his starters in the preseason and could continue to hold out some veteran players Authentic Daniel Sedin Jersey , but receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters are likely to see their first action.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson did not play in a 33-7 loss at the Rams last season because of a torn ACL, but will get to test himself against a Los Angeles defense still attempting to identify a starting outside linebacker. The Texans scored at least 33 points in each of Watson's last five starts as a rookie, but failed to score more than 17 points in eight of nine games after he was hurt.

MORE INTRIGUE

The biggest topic from the Chiefs' perspective as they head to Chicago is coach Andy Reid gets to match up with his former offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, now in charge of the Bears.

"I'm proud of him for having the opportunity 鈥?I've watched his tape and he's doing some good things with the team," Reid said. "It's a little like looking in the mirror when you look at his offense. He's added a few little wrinkles but a lot of it is pretty similar."

The Bears were hoping to have first-round draft pick Roquan Smith in his first action, but he barely practiced after ending his holdout. Starters or key players missing the game for certain are LB Leonard Floyd (broken bones in his right hand), and TE Adam Shaheen (right ankle and foot). Also possibly out: CB Prince Amukamara (ankle), DE Akiem Hicks (knee soreness), and TE Dion Sims (concussion).

THE RETURNS

While most fans will focus on the play of the Indianapolis and San Francisco quarterbacks, Andrew Luck and Jimmy Garoppolo, on Saturday, the coaching staffs might look more closely at their revamped secondaries.

The 49ers are eager to see cornerback Richard Sherman make his first appearance since tearing his Achilles tendon last season. The former All-Pro with Seattle joined San Francisco in the offseason.

"I'm more concerned about my game shape and making sure I can still go every single play because I haven't played (since November)," Sherman said.

First-year Colts coach Frank Reich will get his first glimpse of his projected starting safety pairing.

Clayton Geathers Dave Robinson Jersey , who missed most of 2017 after neck surgery, returned from a subsequent knee surgery in Monday night's loss to Baltimore. Now, Malik Hooker, Indy's first-round pick in 2017, is expected to make his first start since October after recovering from two torn ligaments in his right knee.

It would be the first time Geathers and Hooker have actually lined up together in game action.

"I'm going to be pretty excited, just from the journey we had," Hooker said.

HOLD THAT LINE

Cincinnati's offensive line struggled against the Cowboys last week, which was a bad sign after the Bengals spent the offseason overhauling it. The starting offense managed only two first downs 鈥?one on a scramble by Andy Dalton 鈥?in three possessions. If the right side of the line struggles again on Sunday vs. Buffalo, changes could be in store, especially at right tackle where Bobby Hart has had problems.

First-round draft pick Josh Allen gets his opportunity to secure the Bills' starting job after showing progress in accuracy and decision making since the start of training camp. It'll be Allen's first start, and comes after the quarterback directed drives to a touchdown and two field goals in a 19-17 win at Cleveland. Allen has yet to face an opponents' starting defense, and he'll be playing behind a retooled offensive line that struggled against the Browns' pass rush.

Coach Sean McDermott said some starters will play into the third quarter, though he didn't specify QBs.

BACK TO PITTSBURGH

Mike Vrabel started his NFL career with the Steelers as the 91st pick overall in the 1997 draft. He returns with the Titans looking for his first victory as a head coach.

Vrabel says he kind of stumbled out of the blocks in Pittsburgh where he learned how to be a professional pla >Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was fired Sunday after his third year when the impressive turnaround job he engineered for his hometown team collapsed with a disappointing six-win season.Del Rio said owner Mark Davis told him after the team’s season-ending 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that he would not be retained as coach in Oakland.Del Rio had signed a four-year contract extension last February after Oakland ended a 13-year playoff drought with a 12-win season.“He told me he loved me and appreciated all that I did, but felt like we weren’t going in the right direction Jamaal Williams Jersey ,” Del Rio said.“He felt he needed a change, and I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me. I mean that. Very grateful. My childhood team, but it’s a results business. I understand that.“I appreciate the players and coaches and all the hard work, all the effort and energy. I do believe we have established a solid nucleus. Whoever comes in here has a chance to take that nucleus and go to special places, and I’ll be pulling for them.”The Raiders followed up the successful 2016 by becoming one of the league’s disappointing teams. Oakland went 6-10 for the second biggest one-season drop in wins in franchise history, leading to Del Rio’s firing.Davis said in a statement that he appreciated Del Rio’s effort in building the foundation for the future and thanked his family for contributing to the community.Davis said he will not have any other statement until after a new coach has hired, but speculation is already rampant that Jon Gruden will be back for a second stint.Gruden was traded by the Raiders to Tampa Bay following the 2001 season and beat Oakland for the Super Bowl title the following season. He was fired by the Buccaneers following the 2008 season and has been in the broadcast booth since then. ESPN reported Saturday that the Raiders were interested in bringing Gruden back.Davis has always been intrigued about a second stint with Gruden, but it seemed unlikely the franchise would be in for another change heading into this season. Del Rio had been the ninth coach in Oakland since Gruden left but the only the second to get the team to the playoffs.That wasn’t enough to save his job.“I honor the owner’s decision,” Del Rio said. “It was a great honor for me to lead this organization and get this opportunity, and I understand it’s a results business. We had a great first two years and this year was a big disappointment. Can’t disagree with that.”Del Rio, who grew up in the East Bay city of Hayward cheering for the Raiders, took over a three-win team in 2015 and immediately changed the culture and helped Oakland win seven games that season.The Raiders had a breakthrough season in 2016 with 12 wins, but it ended in disappointment when a broken leg for quarterback Derek Carr in Week 16 cost the Raiders a chance at a division title and led to a first-round playoff loss.Expectations were high coming into this season with Carr and most of the key offensive pieces back, along with the addition of running back Marshawn Lynch and tight end Jared Cook.But Del Rio’s decision to fire coordinator Bill Musgrave after last season despite a dynamic offense and replace him with quarterbacks coach Todd Downing backfired.The offense regressed significantly this season as Carr struggled under Downing’s tutelage and the defense showed no signs of improvement before firing coordinator Ken Norton Jr. after 10 games.The Raiders had major drops in scoring (26 to 18.8) Olli Maatta Jersey , yards per game (373.3 to 324.1) and committed twice as many turnovers (14 to 28) this season as Carr took a major step back in his development after signing a $125 million, five-year extension in the offseason.“We have to take our ownership as players,” Carr said. “That’s where we’re at right now. We’re kind of angry we let it get to that. We’re upset at ourselves. We understand the business part of it. As players our job is to come back better and hungry.”The defense became the first in NFL history to fail to record on interception in the first 10 games of the season and generated only 14 takeaways all season compared to 30 in 2016.That all led to the decision to fire Del Rio, whose 187 games as a head coach are the most for anyone without a division title in his career.Del Rio finished his stint in Oakland with 25-23 regular-season record. The Raiders won just 13 games in the three seasons before he arrived.“It’s tough,” cornerback Sean Smith said. “He was a coach that played the game and he was a player’s coach, you know what I mean, so you always like those kind of coaches because they relate to you easily.“Came to work with a smile every day, and definitely enjoyed playing for him, but it just sucks because he’s the coach. As a player, we didn’t play up to our expectations, and he had to pay the price.”AP freelance writer Dan Greenspan in Carson, California, contributed to this report. Arizona Cardinals Jerseys

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