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    RENTON Elgton Jenkins Jersey , Wash. (AP) — Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett was already going to face heightened expectations coming off a breakout season during which he became Russell Wilson’s favorite target.Then Doug Baldwin was released — likely headed toward retirement — and Lockett was left with a new role.“His presence, that’s the biggest thing that is going to be missed,” Lockett said Tuesday. “It’s kind of hard when you’ve always had a vet to be able to teach you the ropes, allow you to be able to learn the ins and outs on the field and off the field, and how to carry yourself in the type of world we live in. Different stuff like that. Not to have that every single day is going to be hard. It’s very hard to transition, but each and every day and each and every year something new happens.”And then Lockett added, “It’s time for me to step up and fulfill the role I’m called to be in this year.”Replacing its most consistent and productive wide receiver from the past half-dozen years is one of the major challenges Seattle will face going into training camp and the start of the season. Baldwin led Seattle in catches in four straight seasons from 2014-17 before Lockett had a career-high 57 receptions and 10 touchdowns last season to lead the Seahawks. Baldwin dealt with injuries most of the year, but still finished with 50 catches in the regular season.Seattle did its part in the draft by taking three wide receivers — highlighted by the selection of DK Metcalf — to try to fill some of the void left by Baldwin’s departure. But those new faces will be looking to Lockett as the most experienced pass catcher in Seattle’s locker room.“I think it happens naturally. They watch the way he works. He doesn’t have to say much just because of the way he works,” offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said.Lockett showed last season that he was fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered late in the 2016 season, an injury that still affected him in 2017. His 57 receptions came on just 70 targets. His catch percentage of 81.4% was among the highest in the league for wide receivers. But Lockett was able to get open as much as he did in part because Baldwin was on the field, even in a limited capacity due to his injuries. The attention paid to Baldwin helped Lockett thrive.The loss of Baldwin may allow Seattle to move Lockett around the field more than in the past, including opportunities to work as a slot receiver and see if that could be another area where Lockett can exploit defenses. Or, as Schottenheimer described, “The best weapon for us is when they don’t know where Tyler will be.”“For me it’s all about just being able to further my game wherever I’m at http://www.packersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jace-sternberger-jersey ,” Lockett said. “Wherever I’m at, it’s all about trying to get open or get other people open. And that’s what it’s all about.”

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Having already survived two win-or-go-home battles, the Tennessee Titans face their toughest test when they visit the defending champion New England Patriots in Saturday night’s AFC divisional round game.

    The Titans pulled out a 15-10 home win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in their regular-season finale to earn a spot in the playoffs. They then went on the road and rallied from 21-3 down and stunned the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 to advance for the second time.

    Now, the Titans are two-touchdown underdogs as the Patriots are expected by most people to take the next step toward their sixth Super Bowl crown of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady Era.

    “It just shows that how tough of a team they are under the pressure,” New England’s Rob Gronkowski said earlier this week. “They’ve basically won two playoff games — one to get into the playoffs and a playoff game last week. It just shows how tough they are, how fundamental they are and that they’re ready to bring it in the clutch times.”

    The Patriots have won the last six games between the teams and the Titans haven’t won in Foxborough since 1993, when they were the Houston Oilers.

    While the Titans were pulling off their major comeback against the Chiefs, the Patriots were going through another bye week, but one that was filled with controversy. An ESPN report dealt with dissension among New England’s power trio of owner Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady — much of it centering around the Pats’ trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for just a second-round draft choice.

    So, the Patriots have been dealing with questions all week — as the Titans just prepare.

    “You know what, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know anything about it Dexter Williams Jersey ,” Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said on a conference call with the New England media, regarding the controversy. “I’m not a social media guy. I don’t know enough, I really don’t, to make any comment about something like that.”

    One thing, besides championships, the Patriots have become known for is blocking out distractions. Belichick simply won’t allow any outside stimuli to affect his team.

    “Throughout my years here I’ve seen a lot of negative, a lot of positive,” Gronkowski said Tuesday. “The reputation that Coach tries to get us to have is just ignore the noise — ignore the noise from the outside and I feel like that’s what myself and a lot of other players have been doing.

    “You just gotta ignore the noise and just focus on what we’ve been doing all year and that’s preparing hard, studying our opponent, getting ready, mentally and physically for the big game, so what’s going on on the outside, as a team, as an organization Max Scharping Jersey , just gotta keep grinding, keep going, keep doing our job.”

    The New England defense is spending the week preparing for mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota, a third-year pro who can make things happen with his legs. He ran 87 yards for a 2015 touchdown.

    “He actually knows when to run and when to pass the ball when scrambling,” Patriots safety Duron Harmon said Wednesday. “It’s a very unique skill because a lot of guys once they get scrambling, they’re not even looking downfield anymore, they’re just looking to run. But he always has his eyes downfield — always knows when to run, when to throw the pass, I would say his touch on the ball, too, that gets people open when he’s scrambling.”

    Mariota, who threw 13 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions during the regular season, had two touchdown passes and one pick in the playoff win. One of the touchdowns passes actually went to himself after Darrelle Revis batted down one of his passes before Mariota caught it and scored.

    But Mariota was also sixth in the NFL (Brady was first) in third-down passer rating.

    Wednesday, the Titans announced running back DeMarco Murray will miss his third straight game with a knee injury http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kahale-warring-jersey , while the Patriots could get both James White and Rex Burkhead back to further fortify a running game that has excelled even without them thanks to Dion Lewis.

    Earlier this week, Titans’ All-Pro safety Kevin Byard said the goal of his defense is pretty simple — turn Brady into Blake Bortles.

    “It’s a playoff game, so it’s not like it’s the preseason where I can go out there, ‘Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin’,” Byard said Tuesday.

    “This is a playoff game. So I don’t really care if it was Joe Montana. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like Blake Bortles if I can and try to catch a couple picks.

    “Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but it’s a playoff game. I’m not really looking at it like that.”

    Cornerback Logan Ryan, a former Patriots player now with the Titans, has been limited in practice with an ankle injury.

      July 10, 2019 2:11 AM MDT
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