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21.09.2019 06:22
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SALT LAKE CITY -- Chase Hansen was considered the quarterback of the future when he arrived at Utah in 2012, but circumstances pushed him to safety last season. What was thought to be a temporary move has become a full-time job as the No. 24 Utes now have one of the budding young safeties in the Pac-12.Hes playing as good as any safety in the conference, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. Hes all over the place. Hes a big-play guy. Hes stripping the ball, hes recovering fumbles. Hes doing a great job in coverage. Hes physical. Hes a great tackler. Hes exceeding my expectations.I believed he was going to be very good. But I didnt know hed be this good this quickly.The redshirt sophomore made the switch last midseason as the 6-foot-3, 212-pound dual-threat quarterback was wasting away behind Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson. Whittingham insisted the move was temporary, but Hansen played well and was promoted to starter against Washington, where he had a career-high 11 tackles, a forced fumble and a pass breakup before a lower leg injury ended his season.Hansen had a decision during the offseason -- stay at safety or go try to win the quarterback job. With former Washington quarterback Troy Williams transferring in and 2015 Florida Gatorade Football Player of the Year Tyler Huntley signing, Hansen believed he would help more at safety. Additionally, he enjoyed playing defense.When I was in high school, even when I was at quarterback, I loved to run, I loved to run hard, said Hansen, who served a two-year Mormon mission in Australia. I loved the contact. It just feels more like football to me.Theres something therapeutic about hitting people really hard and kind of going crazy out on a football field.The Utes host Arizona on Saturday and Hansen enters as the No. 3 tackler on the team with 26. He also has 1.5 tackles for loss, a fumble forced, a fumble recovered and a pass breakup. Hansen is still learning the intricacies of the position -- proper technique, footwork, running backward, covering tight ends. Hes also trying to become more instinctive where he can instantly react to what he sees instead of hesitating.Hansen wants to hit like Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor and cover like Baltimore Ravens safety and former Ute Eric Weddle.Two things, hes smart and hes athletic, Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley said. You cant play safety here if youre not athletic and hes athletic and fast and is able to do it. So the physical ability is No. 1. Then No. 2, how bright he is. ... We ask a lot of our strong safeties in terms of knowing the defenses and being able to do a bunch of different things and communicate that to the rest of the defense. Hes perfect for that.Utah cornerback Dominique Hatfield added, Coming from quarterback you probably wouldnt think a guy would be as physical as him, but he works hard.Whittingham believes playing quarterback helped because the position requires a high football IQ. Hansen got plenty of study time during the spring while recovering from the injury. He acknowledged learning was difficult, but there was a level of relief in switching positions. Theres so much that goes into playing the quarterback position, but safety allows him to let loose, fly around and hit people.It was more of just switching the switch to my more aggressive mindset, Hansen said. Which I feel like Ive always kind of had.I guess Ill never know what kind of quarterback I would have been, but I feel like I can become a better safety. I have more potential as a safety, I guess.Its all safety all the time these days, but Hansen is technically the emergency quarterback. Williams and Huntley are the lone quarterbacks on the roster after Brandon Cox decided to transfer in the fall. That chapter of his playing career appears over, but those memories do linger.Id be lying if I said I didnt think about whether or not Id still ever play the position, Hansen said. Because they even told me if something happens you have to be ready to come play some quarterback as well. Which I was all for. ... The reason I loved it so much is because you can have a huge impact on the game. Bigger than any other position, obviously.But at this point I dont think Ive looked back, especially seeing as well as Troy is doing, seeing the type of quarterback Tyler is, I havent looked back.Nike Vapormax Damen Schweiz . Sulaiman, 44, was chosen unanimously Tuesday in a vote by the leadership, the World Boxing Council said. Sulaiman becomes the sixth president of the organization. Vapormax Plus Damen Schweiz . The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said hed like to play the outfield. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says hes thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros. . -- Charline Labonte couldnt have asked for a better homecoming. Vapormax Schweiz . -- Cam Newton pranced into the end zone, placed his hands over his chest and did his familiar Superman pose. Air Max 200 Schweiz . The deal is pending a physical, assistant general manager Bobby Evans said. Traded from Seattle to Baltimore on Aug. 30, Morse also can play first base and right field to give manager Bruce Bochy some flexibility in writing his lineup.Mike Tirico no longer is behind the microphone doing NFL play by play. That hasnt diminished his passion for the sport.Indeed, while many observers were belittling the 6-6 tie between Seattle and Arizona last Sunday night, Tirico, a host of NBCs telecast after making the move from ESPN this summer, was enthralled.I was in the stadium and had to find a place to sit somewhere near the (production) trailer or in the booth. I didnt want to leave the booth, I just sat and watched up there, he says. I thought it was a compelling game.If you are not nuanced in current football, maybe you didnt appreciate the efforts of the defensive ends who ruined the game for Seattle. And every level on defense that ruined everything Arizona wanted to do.Hey, the Browns, the poorest team in the league, score touchdowns. Arizona went nine quarters without giving up a TD. It was two really good defenses, although I dont think the offenses were particularly good. To the naked eye, I found myself watching the defensive ends and linebackers on every snap.Tirico has become more nuanced in the sport thanks to working side by side with Jon Gruden on Monday night telecasts. Hes now getting a similar education from Cris Collinsworth.Jon helped teach me football and I learned so many things about the game and how to watch the game, and we were able to share it with viewers, Tirico says. At end of the day if you as a viewer want to expand your knowledge base, I think we can make a connection. It was one of the fun parts of that experience and I feel some of the same with Cris. They just want to teach people about football. So were learning from them and letting the American public get the knowledge.One of Americas most versatile broadcasters, Tirico headed to NBC in great part because of the networks sports portfolio, particularly the Olympics, which he worked in Rio. He also will get the chance to do golf again, and next weekend he hosts the Breeders Cup races at Santa Anita.Should Tirico be asked to play a role in NBCs hockey or soccer or auto racing coverage, hes ready, calling it a chance to hit the reset button on my career.---HELPING THE KIDS: Jon Gruden is taking the Sports Matter initiative to the kids.The Super Bowl-winning coach and current Monday Night Football analyst is combining with DICKS Sporting Goods and the NFL to support youth and high school sports. They are providing football teams in the cities of Monday games with resources and sports equipment to address barriers to access, and enable more youth to participate.Gruden hosts chalk talk events with youth and high school football players and coaches to provide mentorship and discuss the value of sports participation.Football is a great game and a great teacher, Gruden says. Kids learn lessons on the field -- work ethic, teamwork, sportsmanship and mental toughness -- that will help them off the field for the rest of their lives.But like all youth sports programs, theres not enough funding to go around. ... We invite you to join us and do what you can in your own community to support youth sports and create more opportunities for kids.ESPN has donated $100,000 to and will make additional donations to youth sports teams over the course of the 2016 season. The NFL FFoundation, together with USA Football, the sports national governing body, has matched ESPNs $100,000 donation.dddddddddddd USA Football will also host Heads Up Football clinics for participating teams in select markets.Through the Sports Matter campaign, DICKS Sporting Goods and its Foundation have made a $50 million multi-year commitment to support youth athletic programs, including donations to community sports leagues.---GOING THE DISTANCE: The Eagles are the only team in the NFL to return a kickoff for a touchdown this season and theyve done it in consecutive games for the first time in franchise history.Josh Huff had a 98-yard TD return in a 21-10 win over Minnesota last week. Wendell Smallwood had an 86-yard TD runback in a 27-20 loss at Washington a week earlier.Theyre really beginning to click, and great blocks, coach Doug Pederson said. (Special teams coordinator) Dave Fipp really has those guys ready every single week. You need those things. You need special teams scores. You need defensive scores. All that helps you, especially late down the stretch. It was just great to see it two weeks in a row.Philadelphia is at Dallas in an NFC East showdown Sunday night.---TAKING BLAME: At least one website blamed Miami Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell for getting burned last week on a 67-yard touchdown pass to the Buffalo Bills Marquise Goodwin. Soon after the game, safety Michael Thomas took to Twitter to take the blame.I cant let my boy B Max take that bullet, Thomas tweeted. That bomb was on me.Thomas later said he was trying to disguise the coverage and wound up out of position. He said he fessed up on social media mindful of his defensive coordinator, Vance Joseph.He wants to create a culture about truth, Thomas said. Every man has to be accountable for his actions. He made the perfect call right there, and I let disguise jeopardize my responsibility. It was important to me because as a leader on this team, I want to make sure every player, and especially the DBs, know Ive got their back and Ill never let me hang out to dry.---GETTING THE TIMING DOWN: Kirk Cousins has never played in England, but two offseason visits made him adjust his weekly routine going into the Washington Redskins game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium.Coach Jay Gruden opted to practice at home and fly the team over on Thursday, but his starting quarterback got a jump start on adjusting to the time difference. Cousins went to bed Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. and woke up Wednesday morning at 5:15 a.m. with the goal of being ready for a 9:30 a.m. EDT start Sunday.Knowing his own experience from his travels, Cousins talked to sleep professionals to get advice on what to do.When I went over there this offseason, I had a hard time adjusting, Cousins said. I was only there for about three days and it was tough. I was sleeping in until noon or 1 oclock just because of how tired I was, so I want to make sure that doesnt happen.---AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Rob Maaddi, and Sports Writers Steven Wine and Stephen Whyno contributed.---AP NFL website: and ' ' '

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