Marcedes Lewis wasn't sure if the Green Bay Packers were the right fit for him. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and tight end Jimmy Graham made him feel at home at Lambeau Field.
Lewis visited Green Bay last week thinking he wanted to explore his options during his first stint as a free agent following 12 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He received calls from other teams Youth Jamie McGinn Jersey
, but he said that the Packers were the most persistent so he made Lambeau his first stop.
He never made another visit.
"This was the only place I took a trip ... I took my trip, and Aaron was here in the locker room. I started talking to him," Lewis said Thursday. "I started talking to Jimmy and I kind of made my decision that day.
"When I came down here, I didn't expect to sign anything," Lewis added. "I was just coming down here to get a feel. Once I saw Aaron and Jimmy, it was a no-brainer after that."
Lewis, 34, was released by the Jaguars in March after the team had picked up his one-year, $3.5 million option in February. His signing filled a glaring need - a blocking tight end - and gives the Packers another veteran at the position with Graham, a five-time Pro Bowler, and Lance Kendricks.
"I don't think we've had this much experience at the tight end position in my time here http://www.officialislanders.com/authentic-adidas-adam-pelech-jersey
," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who called Lewis a "prime-time player."
"An on-the-line tight end is something we haven't had a lot of, as far as the way we've played over the years," McCarthy added. "He can block any defensive end on the league, and that's definitely a huge asset."
Lewis, who said he felt he got a "raw deal" from the Jaguars, started 157 games for Jacksonville. He has 375 career receptions, including 24 for 318 yards and five touchdowns last year.
Still, Lewis hasn't caught more than 25 passes in a season since 2012, when he had 52 receptions. His best season came in 2010, when he earned his lone Pro Bowl selection by catching a career-high 58 passes for 700 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-6 http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-trenton-cannon-jersey
, 269-pound Lewis said he takes the "blocking tight end" moniker as a compliment, but added that "I pride myself on being a really good all-around tight end, whatever it is that I'm called upon to do."
It's the type of attitude that Rodgers loves to hear. Lewis' ability to help slow down pass-rushers should help an offensive line that has questions on the right side.
"Obviously, I'm a really good blocker, but don't get it mistaken. I didn't come here to be a tackle. ... Be on the other side of Jimmy doing some good things," he said. "It's going to be trouble out there."
Graham's strength is making tough catches. Kendricks provides experienced depth.
"Jimmy's not known as a blocking tight end, but he's willing. He will get in the way. He will punch you in the mouth," Lewis said. "So it's going to be interesting. We get in that personnel with three tight ends on the field and (defenses) have to leave base on the field, it's not going to be good."
Of all the 2014 Olympians aiming to return to the Winter Games next month, American skier Nolan Kasper’s path might be the least traveled.
The Vermont resident missed two full seasons recovering from multiple knee surgeries, and graduated from an Ivy League college at age 28.
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, Kasper’s comeback race in a challenging World Cup slalom in Switzerland was a key step to winning selection for a third straight Olympics.
Kasper overcame the beat-up snow surface typically facing racers that wear No. 52 and earned a second run on a quirky hill. A solid second run placed him 20th.
”It’s been a while. To put two runs down, I’ll take it,” Kasper told The Associated Press minutes after his first World Cup race since January 2015.
Kasper has two more elite races in Austria – at storied Kitzbuehel and a pulsating floodlit race at Schladming – to show coaches he should go to the Pyeongchang Olympics. The entry deadline is Jan. 28 and the men’s slalom in South Korea is on Feb. 22.
Still, he has ”no idea” of the U.S. team selection rules, despite placing 13th at Sochi four years ago and 24th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
”A bunch of other people can figure that out, not me,” Kasper said. ”It would be great to go there but if that’s not to be, it’s not really something I’m focusing on.”
His main focus is again taking on the best in the World Cup. In 2011, he tied for second in Slovenia, 0.09 seconds behind the next Olympic champion, Mario Matt of Austria.
”If you want to try to ski fast Authentic Sam Darnold Jersey
, (the World Cup) is where you’ve got to prove it,” said Kasper, who barely clicked on his skis for two years after a cartilage injury first required surgery.
A prolonged recovery let him speed up completing an economics degree at Dartmouth College he began in 2010.
Kasper graduated last June, and spent time last year working as an intern for U.S. Ski and Snowboard in Park City, Utah.
He returned to training in October, and now has two more weeks to bring his Olympic journey full circle. Womens Baltimore Ravens Jerseys