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Long after the final joint practice between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins wrapped up [url=http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/dorance-armstrong-jr.-jersey]Authentic Dorance Armstrong Jr. Jersey[/url] , the quarterbacks kept chatting.
Apart from the on-field workouts, those moments gave Alex Smith a chance to get to know Jets rookie Sam Darnold a little bit. But rather than dole out advice from one high draft pick to another after 12 NFL seasons, Washington’s veteran starter wants Darnold to chart his own path as a rookie.
“All these situations are different,” Smith said. “He’s got some good guys in his QB room to lean on that have played a lot of ball, so he certainly didn’t need to hear me tell him anything. I think my rookie year’s probably more of an example of what not to do as opposed to what to do.”
Before he can potentially earn the Jets’ starting job, Darnold could get the nod against Smith in the teams’ next preseason game Thursday night. Coach Todd Bowles would only say, “All of our quarterbacks need to be ready to play,” but Darnold took the majority of first-team snaps this week and impressed the Redskins.
Cornerback Josh Norman compared Darnold’s decision-making skills to Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Dallas’ Dak Prescott and found out firsthand that Darnold doesn’t throw like a rookie.
“This little kid is not mistakes and he’s really accurate,” Norman said. “It’s kind of like, dang. You get rookies in here, you’re trying to like mess with them and bait them a little bit into thinking that he was going to throw a route that you know you could make a play on, and he’s not having it. And it’s so crazy to see that at an early age.”
Fully aware of his early age, Darnold wants to be faster at calling plays and breaking the huddle. Bowles wants to see the USC product catch up on the playbook and knows the best experience comes from game action.
“He studies his playbook and he goes out and tries to execute on the field and he tries to learn, which is great,” Bowles said. “You can’t see growth until years pass by, to a degree. I’m not going to measure him day-by-day from a growth standpoint in three weeks.”
Smith doesn’t feel qualified to judge Darnold’s game cover to cover but liked what he saw at workouts this week.
“Just from afar, I thought he looked good,” Smith said. “He has a great skillset, can really throw it. He moves around well. I think he has good eyes.”
Darnold, the third overall pick [url=http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-baker-mayfield-jersey]Browns Baker Mayfield Jersey[/url] , actually looks a lot like Smith after the 49ers took him first in the 2005 draft. But it’s not on Smith to tutor Darnold; that’s up to veteran Jets Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.
The 39-year-old McCown is competing with Darnold for the starting job but has nothing but nothing but positive early impressions.
“More than anything (he) does a good job of taking the classroom to the grass pretty efficiently. It doesn’t take him multiple meetings and walkthroughs and different things,” McCown said. “So far everything you look for to play the position, whether it’s just the desire and the want to and all that, all of those things are there and you have to have that in order to have a chance in this league.”P.J. Tucker wasn’t a high draft pick and actually is undersized by NBA standards.
At 6-foot-6, the Houston Rockets forward’s intensity and defensive grit helps him overachieve against taller opponents on a nightly basis.
Off the court, Tucker also defies the norm.
He has spent years curating a wardrobe that has helped his style ascend to the upper echelons of fashion.
Tucker was in the Balmain store in Paris during this year’s NBA All-Star break when the manager told him there was a special one-of-a-kind piece that would be perfect for him.
When Tucker first laid eyes on the beaded haute couture jacket at the French luxury fashion house he loved it, but was certain it wouldn’t fit his muscular 245-pound frame.
”Everybody in fashion knows of those must-have pieces where you’re just like: `I’ve got to have it,”’ Tucker said. ”And I had to have this.”
Then he learned the price of the black and gold open front jacket: $25,000.
”I had no idea. I was like: `Oh all right, that’s cool,” he said with a nervous laugh. ”I was at the point of no return.”
But before Tucker could wear his most expensive fashion investment, he learned there were actually two of his ”one-of-a-kind jacket” when he saw NBA super fan and eccentric 78-year-old millionaire James Goldstein sporting the same piece while courtside at a game .
”He came up and told me he has the same jacket,” Goldstein told The Associated Press on Wednesday while wearing a different Balmain jacket. ”I couldn’t believe it.”
A stunned Goldstein didn’t realize that Tucker was so into fashion.
”I’ve never seen him except on the basketball court so I don’t know how he dresses otherwise,” Goldstein said. ”But when he told me he had that jacket, one that both of us thought we each had a unique jacket that nobody else had, I gained a new respect for him.”
Tucker has also gained his share of respect on the court.
He scored a playoff career-high 22 points Wednesday night in a win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. He is an integral part of the Rockets’ success with his ability to shoot the 3 and hold his own in the low post.
But Tucker had to work to find an NBA home. He wasn’t a highly regarded draft pick out of Texas; Toronto selected him in the second round in the 2006 draft. He spent just one year in the NBA before heading to Europe to play.
It was during those 4 1/2 years overseas that he started taking his fashion seriously.
”It wasn’t a moment,” he said. ”It was just being there. It started out with suits. Seeing European guys wear suits was incredible. And it wasn’t all like the big fashion house expensive suits, it was like simple stuff but the way the older men dressed in Europe just absolutely amazed me.
”In Italy, in France the way the older men dressed was incredible.”
Like his game on the court, his fashion wasn’t immediately embraced back in the United States.
”I would come home in the summertime and people would look at me like: `What in the world does he have on [url=http://authenticlosangeleschargers.com/cheap-kyzir-white-jersey]Kyzir White Color Rush Jersey[/url] ,”’ said Tucker, who breezed into the room to talk with AP about fashion with a coffee cup in one hand, two clothing bags draped over the other arm and a large Louis Vuitton duffel bag slung over his shoulder.
Tucker, who describes his style as adventurous and spontaneous, beamed while explaining that he assembled three looks for the interview. The first was what he calls his ”anywhere outfit,” a floral-print short-sleeved button-down Dries Van Noten shirt with coordinating cream-colored pants from the same designer, and Nike Air Max 1 shoes with a brown suede accent on the toe.
His summer ensemble featured a blue and white striped Balenciaga shirt adorned with piece of striking yellow fabric that ran down half the length of the back and white Alexander McQueen trousers. He finished off that look with the impossible-to-get Off-White X Nike Air Force 1 shoes.
But the star of the collection was his final look: a made-to-measure plaid Gucci two-button suit with cropped pants, which he wore without a shirt.
”It’s really like a 70s suit, with the large cuffs, with the huge lapels,” he said. ”Nobody would wear that a year or two ago but now I love it.”
He said there’s nothing he won’t wear and scoffs at people who think he should limit his wardrobe because he’s such a big guy.
”People get so scared to try things,” he said. ”I think the way you dress should be fun. Wearing stuff that people don’t normally wear or wouldn’t particularly think is their style, I love that.
”I think that’s fun and I think everybody should do it.”
When he debuted his Balmain jacket before Game 1 of the conference finals, which he paired with black skinny jeans and Saint Laurent boots, not everyone was a fan.
”’You’re like a bull fighter in the jacket,”’ he said his teammates told him. ”Maybe. I love it though. It’s funny.”
One person who’s totally on board with Tucker’s style is teammate James Harden. The pair often arrive at the same time and have turned arriving at the arena into a mini fashion show .
”He loves walking in the arena with the swaggiest `fit,” Harden said. ”That’s what he does and I’m here for it. I have his back 1,000 percent.”
While Tucker doesn’t mind that pictures of his p