oung?You see, theres another revealing mome

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Slumping Colorado forward Jarome Iginla experimented with a new stick at practice Monday. Anything to ignite a team thats constantly winding up on the short end of one this season.The Avs have accumulated a league-worst 19 points through 23 games in coach Jared Bednars first season at the helm. Theyre missing their captain, top defenseman and a consistent scoring punch as they tumble farther behind the Central Division leaders.Theres no question weve been pressing a little bit and pushing, said Iginla, whose team begins a four-game trip Tuesday night in Nashville. We know the importance, because we dont want to dig ourselves too big of a hole. Weve just got to make sure were as sharp as we can be.Iginla shelved his old stick after scoring just one goal in his last 15 contests. They early returns on this particularly curved model are favorable, too. He beat Calvin Pickard with a shot in practice that had the backup goaltender gushing later on.Im due. Im due for a change, said the 39-year-old Iginla, whos scored 614 career goals and sits 11 away from tying Hall of Fame forward/Avalanche GM Joe Sakic for 15th place on the all-time list. Id like to get contributing here, production-wise, for the group.The team has scored just 49 times this season, which is among the lowest in the league. Theyre generating 29.2 shots per game -- five less than NHL leader Pittsburgh.The scoring chances have certainly been there for speedy forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had a league-high 61 shots in November. But hes just not cashing in at the moment, with only four goals last month. He has five for the season and 10 assists.Its a matter of putting the puck in the net, because once you get hot, they tend to start going in, said MacKinnon, who a signed $44.1 million, seven-year deal in the offseason. It will turn for me.This could help turn the teams luck around as well -- captain Gabriel Landeskog is nearing a return after missing eight games with a lower-body injury. He skated Monday, but will miss Tuesdays game.Landy is progressing, Bednar said. Hes felt better every day for about the last three of four days.Still, the Avalanche will be without defenseman Erik Johnson for at least six-to-eight weeks after he broke his leg while blocking a shot against Dallas on Saturday. Hes been a big presence for Colorado this season with 10 assists.For Bednar, the most puzzling aspect of Colorados struggles has been the inconsistency. One night, it could be the power play. The next, maybe the goaltending.Part of the reason were going through this and were neck deep in it right now is because its something different beating us every night, said Bednar, who took over when Patrick Roy surprisingly stepped aside in August. Its not the same thing. You cure one thing and get better at it and something else pops up.Were lacking that unity, that consistency, that togetherness that you need in order to win a hockey game.Their play at home hasnt helped. The Avs went 0-4-1 on their recent homestand to fall to 4-8-1 at Pepsi Center this season.Heading out on the road might be the ideal thing to clear their heads.We have a chance to get a fresh start, MacKinnon said. Theres some desperation, for sure, to be better. But were not going to be stressed. That would be the worst thing we could do.Game notes Colorado recalled D Cody Goloubef from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. Asked what Goloubef brought, Bednar said: Well, he brings us a healthy defenseman right now. ... D Fedor Tyutin (lower body) will travel with the team and could play Tuesday. ... Goaltender Semyon Varlamov will start in goal at Nashville. Cheap Hockey Jerseys China .S. Open champion Justin Rose birdied the first hole with a blind shot he hit to a foot of the pin, and he stayed in front Tuesday until he completed a 4-under 67 for a two-shot lead over Jason Dufner in PGA Grand Slam of Golf. Wholesale Adidas NHL Jerseys . After Gasquet beat fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig of Croatia 7-5, 6-3, Tsonga followed up with a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-2 win against sixth-seeded Edouard Roger-Vasselin in an all-French match. http://www.cheapnhljerseysfromchina.com/ . Clarke was injured while practicing on the Doha Golf Club range after the pro-am on Tuesday. The Northern Irishman arrived at the course on Wednesday hoping to start, but after hitting a few balls on the practice putting green Clarke advised officials he was not fit to play. Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic . Dusautoir, the former World Player of the Year, sustained a torn bicep playing for Toulouse in the Heineken Cup on Saturday. The flanker, who has played 65 times for France, is expected to be out for up to four months. Adidas NHL Jerseys China . Note: The Calgary Flames announced Tuesday that Sean Monahan would not be made available to Canadas World Junior team. THERES A REVEALING moment in Steve Youngs new autobiography, QB: My Life Behind the Spiral, that made me think of Matt Ryan. During the 1991 season, Youngs first year as a starter with the San Francisco 49ers, the quarterback visited Bill Walsh. Young needed help. A few days earlier, after a bad loss to the Raiders, hed sat in his parked car for hours, crippled by the pressure of replacing Joe Montana. Young called friends for support, and then, at 3 a.m., having run out of people to call, he cried alone.Now, in the office of the retired head coach who had believed in him more than anyone, Young hung his head, expecting a measure of empathy. Instead, Walsh scolded him.All you do is take the blame! Walsh said.What am I supposed to say? Young said, incredulously. Its not my fault?After all, Young believed like an article of faith that a quarterback was only as great as his willingness to be weighed down. To account for the chaos of 21 bodies flying around on each play and unfailingly rise above, to be superhuman and immortal and, not for nothing, make it look easy. But Walsh was telling Young that he was wrong.Theres such a thing as being over-accountable, Walsh said. It was conflicting and counterintuitive, but it made sense. Young needed to learn the hardest lesson for any good quarterback striving to be great: He needed to learn how to let go.OK, SO WHAT does that have to do with Matt Ryan? Well, Ryan said something over the summer that, on the surface, sounded ridiculous. Back then, of course, nobody knew that his play would be off the charts this year, that he would become a favorite to win MVP, that he would end his slide toward becoming his generations Norm Snead. Ryan has always been hyperaware of expectations and transparent about his desire to live up to them. He thinks deeply about what it takes -- what it means -- to be a great quarterback. For years, when he discussed his craft, it was fascinating as he delved into the magnitude of responsibility on each play. But it was also a little sad. You could feel the pressure building inside him as he spoke, almost making the game a little more complicated than it needed to be -- the curse of the over-invested.Thats what made his comments over the summer so interesting. Ryan -- coming off the worst season of his career with the Atlanta Falcons -- told my colleague David Fleming that his new thing was to see spots rather than worry so much about where defenders should be or where theyre supposed to be or all those kinds of things.Instead of getting loaded down thinking, In this coverage Im going here, in that coverage Im going there, with so many hybrid players, so many variations of schemes and so much pressure up front and all the things that defenses can do, the way to combat all that is to see spots, Ryan said.A lot of people ripped him for that statement. It seemed like a regression or a waving of the white flag -- nonsense that a spread quarterback would say. What quarterback reinvents himself by announcing that he no longer reads defenses? But when the season started, and Ryan began to light up opponents at a rate unprecedented in his career, it was clear that this wasnt a concession at all. It was a breakthrough.OVER THE SUMMER, TMZ caught Ryan in Beverly Hills. As you might imagine, it was awkward. Ryan, polite and earnest in front of a camera, is not exactly a TMZ guy. His wife, Sarah, was so nonplused that she dropped behind him on the sidewalk, drifting almost out of view. TMZ stalked Ryan around Rodeo Drive, making small talk, and the weirdness of it left only one question: What was Matt Ryan, the least L.A. guy ever, doing in L.A.?It turned out Ryan was doing for the first time what Tom Brady has done every offseason since 2013, what Drew Brees and Andy Dalton and Carson Palmer have also done in recent years: He was visiting with Tom House and Adam Dedeaux, two of the more renowned quarterback gurus. Over six weeks in the offseason, House and Dedeaux gave Ryan his own specialized improvement plan, cleaning up everything from his release to his diet. For most of Houses career as a guru, he was careful to refer to himself as a throwing coach, not a quarterback coach. He worked on mechanics, not minds. But as his practice has expanded in demand, it has also expanded in scope.House puts quarterbacks through psychological testing, similar to therapy, to measure how they handle failure and how they view themselves. Now, only Ryan knows how he views himself in confession. Only he knows how hard the past few years have been, as he has grown accustomed to early vacations, not playoff appearances, the past three seasons. He has always looked young, precocious -- but now hes 31 and in his ninth year, his face a little more weathered, his psyche a little more hardened. Its reasonable to guess that he viewed -- and views -- himself as a work in progress, having achieved a lot, but he knows theres still so far to go.All quarterbacks, especially the great ones, go through crises in confidence. As with Young, we uusually learn about them much later, after their playing days are over and their legacy is secure.dddddddddddd Ryan has always said the right things publicly, even when he was taking bullets for teammates -- especially when he was taking bullets for teammates. On the play that probably haunts him more than any other -- the incomplete pass at the goal line that lost the 2013 NFC Championship Game -- his primary option ran the wrong route, crippling it from the start. Ryan dutifully accepted responsibility for it, a little over-accountability, as Walsh would say. But players later told me that Ryan made the correct read.In that pivotal meeting years ago, Walsh told Young that no matter what he is conditioned to believe, it takes 11 guys to succeed. The quarterback is the most important piece, but not the only one. Nobody wants to admit it, especially when the greats routinely transcend dire circumstances, but its true.When scouts opine on whats different this year about Ryan, they are drawn toward the technical stuff: How House helped add a little distance on his deep ball and how Ryans instinct to go for the jugular is meshing in the second year with a coaching staff that, unlike the Falcons previous one, considers a red zone field goal as a kind of moral failing. But the biggest difference is subtle, noticeable only to those who have studied him. He is liberated. He is unfazed. He is not thinking. He is carrying his team. Atlantas defense is horrible, and Ryan has led the Falcons to games of 35, 45 and 43 points on the road. But he doesnt seem encumbered by it.In late October, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came to Atlanta. Rodgers has always been Ryans measuring stick, as Montana was for Young, and it always ate at Ryan that Rodgers came of age in a 2011 playoff win at Ryans expense. This time, though, Ryan fit a bomb between two defenders for a touchdown to third-string receiver Taylor Gabriel in the first quarter. And in the fourth, Ryan threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Mohamed Sanu with 31 seconds left. It has taken years, and any theory might be undone by another second-half collapse, but its no stretch to say that, right now, Ryan has realized that being a truly elite quarterback is not about trying to be the next Montana or the next Rodgers. Its not about deciphering every defense. Its not about folding his hands into origami as the play clock winds down to check into the perfect play. Its about unlocking whats already ingrained in him.I THOUGHT OF Youngs book again when I watched Ryans best pass of the year. It was against the Broncos in Week 5. Ryan dropped back and threw a seam route to running back Tevin Coleman. It was one of those throws that every quarterback can make in practice, but only a few can make in a game. Coleman was covered by one defender when Ryan threw the ball, and by three when he caught it. Yet he was open. Ryan threw to a hole that only he saw. It was the type of throw that goes beyond simply exploiting a mismatch. It was the type of throw that a quarterback has to get used to and grow into. It was all faith and fearlessness. Coleman scampered all but untouched for a 31-yard touchdown that would prove to be the decisive points.OK, so what does that have to do with Young?You see, theres another revealing moment in his book. It takes place in that same 1991 season, when during one game, Young didnt see Jerry Rice open downfield for a touchdown. Mike Holmgren, the offensive coordinator at the time, asked why Young didnt throw it to Rice. Young explained that, at 6-foot-1, he struggled to see over the linemen on deep routes. Holmgren replied that Rice was where he was supposed to be, and that Young needed to throw it anyway. Even if he couldnt see Rice, Young needed to trust him. Whats more: Holmgren told Young that he would never be a great player until he learned to do so.Nobody can imagine how risky, if not impossible, that task is to execute: to take all of the pressure of being a quarterback in the NFL, of replacing a future Hall of Famer, of trying to live up to the expectations of yourself and everyone else, to throw the ball to a guy you cant see.It was a leap of faith that Young could conceptualize only after he compared it to his actual faith. As a Mormon, Young wrote, he always believed in things I couldnt see. Now, if he could believe in the unseen on the football field it might be a solution to my predicament as a player. So Young worked on throwing to windows, not receivers. It was not only a breakthrough. It not only simplified the game. It was a relief that only the greatest passers experience.Young coined a term for it: Throwing blind. Thats what all the quarterbacks termed it, until a generation later, when Matt Ryan, on the verge of a breakthrough himself, was mocked for adhering to the same ideology -- only he referred to it by a slightly different name.Seeing spots, he called it. Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jersyes Cheap Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '

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