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Description LATROBE Authentic Martinas Rankin Jersey , Pa. (AP) A new offseason workout plan has rejuvenated Pittsburgh Steelers‘ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 36-year-old indicated that he’s in the best shape of his career Thursday following the team’s first training camp practice at St. Vincent College. A leaner, trimmer Roethlisberger hopes the additional offseason work can play a part in helping the Steelers to another championship. ”Anything you can do to lighten the load on your knees and ankles, I think is important,” said Roethlisberger, who worked with a personal trainer and nutritionist to cut sugar and carbohydrates from his diet to get him ready for his 15th season. ”The knees, the ankles, being lighter … those are all positives when it comes to this age, playing football and a sport where you’re pounding on your knees and you’ve had a couple knee surgeries.” It could be his last chance to win a championship with two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell is away from the team after he and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension earlier this month, meaning he will play under the $14.5 million franchise tag for the second straight year. Bell skipped training camp last year and signed his franchise tender less than a week before the start of the season. He is expected to follow the same plan and then play what could be his final season in Pittsburgh. ”I don’t know what’s going on with his agents and how this whole thing works, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” Roethlisberger said. Nobody’s sure when Bell will show up either. Until then, former Pitt star running back James Conner, rookie fifth-round pick Jaylen Samuels and veterans Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint will carry the load. ”Le’Veon is one of the best, if not the best in the business,” Roethlisberger said. ”We miss him as a teammate Authentic Taylor Hall Jersey , but I look at it as an awesome opportunity for the other guys.” Roethlisberger, whose contract expires in the spring of 2020, is excited about the offensive line in front of him and the Steelers’ skill players at running back and wide receiver, led by Bell and four-time All-Pro Antonio Brown. ”I really like where this team is at,” Roethlisberger said. ”If I didn’t have a good feeling about this team, it probably wouldn’t be as exciting, but I am excited about this group.” He led the team to a 13-3 regular season last season, which included a second straight AFC North title and third in four years. But the Steelers were upset by Jacksonville at home during the divisional round in the playoffs. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said it’s reasonable to expect another big season from Roethlisberger after his renewed offseason conditioning focus. ”Regardless of position, we always say physical conditioning precedes anything else,” Tomlin said. ”When a guy shows up in great shape, that’s oftentimes a springboard for big-time play.” While Roethlisberger hopes the additional work can prolong his career, he also reiterated that he’s only focused on this season. ”I think the biggest key is physical health,” Roethlisberger said. ”When you get done with the season, how do you feel physically? Do you feel physically able to go back another season or not? We’ll address that when the season is over and that’s a long ways away.” Roethlisberger established career highs in completions, attempts Adidas Sidney Crosby Jersey , completion percentage, yards and touchdowns under Todd Haley, but shared an at-times contentious relationship with the Steelers’ former offensive coordinator. This season, he will work with former quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who has taken over the play-calling duties after Haley’s deal wasn’t renewed in January. Roethlisberger said Fichtner hasn’t changed much offensively. ”He’s not going to change who he is,” Roethlisberger said. ”He’s not going to change his approach to the game and be a different person.” As long as it leads to a Super Bowl title, that’s all that matters to Roethlisberger. ”If you win more than you lose, that’s important, but winning those games can lead to Super Bowl opportunities, so that’s always our ultimate goal,” Roethlisberger said. ”There’s 31 other teams doing the same thing. That needs to be our singular focus.” — Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay turned up the volume on his first-unit offense, blasting the usual training camp soundtrack of rap music even louder as they went through a series of unscripted situational drills Saturday. It wasn't enough to silence the starters, as wide receiver Brandin Cooks made a loud statement with a series of impressive catches. "He did a great job today and he's done that over the course of his career," McVay said. "Brandin is an exciting player. I've really been impressed with how quickly he has been able to learn the system, take ownership on the offense Cardinals Cheap Jerseys , and just getting out here making plays." Those highlights included catching a crossing route through traffic and making a contested leaping grab on the next play during a team period, showing why the Rams traded for him in April and signed the former Oregon State standout to a five-year extension last month. With a new contract in hand, Cooks feels free to go all out entering his fifth season. "I think a lot of guys when you get that (extension), you go even harder just because you know have that security so you just lay it all out there because of the team believing so highly in you," said Cooks, who had 65 receptions for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns for New England last season. Cooks has had at least 1,000 yards receiving and seven touchdown receptions in each of the last three seasons, and early returns in practice have justified McVay's belief that Cooks will be more than a deep threat complimenting fellow starters Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. However, Kupp believes that one aspect of Cooks' skill set will have a major impact on how opposing defenses play against the Rams. "The most visible sign of someone that's fast is when they catch the deep ball, but you don't see how much that influences things underneath and clears zones out and allows for guys to get open," Kupp said. "For the threat that he is, the way safeties are going to have to play him, it's a huge advantage for us. We just have to make sure we're doing our job, the other 10 guys on the field." McVay likes how Cooks fits in with the other receivers on the roster Max Pacioretty Jersey , a group that was overhauled through free agency, the draft and trades last year before sending first and sixth-round picks to the Patriots for Cooks. What stands out to Kupp is how each receiver is capable of filling every role in McVay's system, praising Cooks for integrating into the offense so quickly. "Our receiving corps, just the guys that we have, there is so much diversity in terms of the strengths of our players that I don't think it's on one person," Kupp said. "It's not one person's job to run this route. It's not only one person that can run the deep route. And because of that, it makes it really easy for us to be able to move around and be diverse in our looks and even harder for the defense to get a bead on."? The Rams' backups on defense certainly struggled to keep up with quarterback Jared Goff and his collection of receivers. Kupp was especially pleased with how the offense performed in the red zone during practice. Despite leading the NFL in scoring at 29.9 points per game last season, the Rams got touchdowns on 53.4 percent of possessions inside the 20-yard line. Cooks showed he can help there by tapping his toes down in the back corner of the end zone for a touchdown during a red-zone drill. "He can do a variety of things, but it's exciting to be able to work with players like him where you're kind of not really limited in any way you can utilize him," McVay said. NOTES: Tight end Gerald Everett will not travel with the team next week for joint practices with Baltimore because of a sprained shoulder, McVay said. . Safety Lamarcus Joyner, who has been limited because of a sore Achilles, should return to practice Monday. Youth Minnesota Vikings Jerseys
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