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jokergreen Dec 16 '19
 METAIRIE, La. Mark Jackson Jersey . -- Roland "Champ" Bailey, who turns 36 next month, figures theres no use trying to fool anyone -- least of all himself -- about his age. As of now, hes the oldest every-down player on New Orleans roster; place kicker Shayne Graham is his only elder teammate. "If you put me on any team, Im always going to be the old guy," Bailey said. "Its just something Ive got to get used to." Preferring to avoid comparisons to the player he was several years ago, Baily is focusing on what he can do in 2014. Thats when the Saints relatively young and partly overhauled secondary will need his leadership, veteran savvy, and still formidable play-making skills. "One thing I dont want to do is look back or look too far ahead. Im taking care of whats in front of me. Thats getting in shape and getting to know my guys," Bailey said. "My first thing is to lead by example, show how hard I can work and try to lead that way. And all these guys -- I know I have a lot of experience and Im not going to shy away from telling them things I think they need to hear and making sure Im there for them when they have questions." Now entering his 16th NFL season, Bailey has been named to 12 Pro Bowls. His 52 career interceptions are the most among active players. He was among the more high-profile free-agent additions New Orleans made this off-season, along with safety Jairus Byrd. Unlike Bailey, Byrd is in the prime of his career, entering his sixth season with three Pro Bowls and 22 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles already to his name. Also unlike Bailey, Byrd was not available to participate in voluntary off-season practices this week because of back surgery. Coach Sean Payton said Byrds procedure to address a nagging problem with a disc should not sideline the safety beyond the start of training camp. "Its something that didnt need to be done, but both he and ourselves felt like it would be something that would prevent any issues in the fall," Payton said. "Our guess would be that well be real cautious ... and then hell start up training camp with no problem." Bailey, who last season missed 11 games with a left foot injury, said he feels good now, and backed it up with his performance on the field. During 11-on-11 drills, Bailey made a leaping breakup of Luke McCowns pass intended for Andy Tanner along the sideline. Later, Bailey tipped McCowns slant pass intended for Kenny Stills, resulting in an interception by linebacker Kyle Knox. "He looks fantastic," defensive co-ordinator Rob Ryan said. "You look out there and you think hes one of those young guys running around. But hes bringing excitement to our defence and knowledge and its awesome to add a great player like him." Quarterback Drew Brees recalled throwing an interception that Bailey returned for a 25-yard touchdown in 2005, when Brees was with San Diego and Bailey with Denver. The Broncos came back to win that game in large part because of Baileys play, and Brees said Baileys play-making was why game plans included "no-throw zones," whenever Denver was the opponent. "Certain routes, certain areas of the field, you just knew: Dont even think about it. Its not worth it," Brees recalled. The Saints hope Bailey will still come up with such plays while mentoring younger cornerbacks including 2010 first-round pick Patrick Robinson, who missed most of last season with a knee injury; rookie Stanley Jean-Baptiste, a second round pick; and third-year cornerback Corey White. Even Keenan Lewis, the Saints top cornerback, could benefit from Baileys presence. "Theres so much value in having a guy like that," Brees said. "Not only what he can teach our young guys, but just hes still and extremely productive player. ... He wouldnt have chosen the New Orleans Saints if he didnt think we had a legitimate shot here -- and that he could help us." Notes: In addition to Byrd, those missing practice included DT John Jenkins, DE Tyrunn Walker, WR Joseph Morgan and WR Brandin Cooks. Cooks was excused to finish the school year at Oregon State. Payton declined to address the conditions of Jenkins, Walker or Morgan, though Morgan wore a sleeve his left knee, which he injured last training camp, putting him out for the season. Micheal Williams Jersey . Murray beat Sam Querrey 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-3 to clinch Britains opening-round victory against the United States on Sunday at Petco Park. "Im proud of the way Im playing just now, because I had to do a lot of work to get back to where I want to be," Murray said after celebrating with his teammates on the red clay court in a temporary stadium in left field of the downtown home of baseballs San Diego Padres. Victor Oladipo Jersey .What they got was a bevy of players chipping in to pick up the slack.Josh Smith scored 18 points and James Harden added 17 as the Rockets used a balanced scoring effort to outlast the Mavericks for a 99-94 victory.DALLAS -- After winning the last three games by a 14-1 margin, Dallas coach Lindy Ruff and goalie Kari Lehtonen believe the Stars latest win was their best this season. Lehtonen made 24 saves for his second shutout in three games to lead the Stars to a 3-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night. "The last three games have all been excellent in all three zones," Ruff said. "This one against a highly skilled team and taking care of special teams probably knocks the other two down a little bit." Sergei Gonchar, Jamie Benn and Rich Peverley had Dallas goals, and Lehtonen also had an assist for the second consecutive game. "This is up there," Lehtonen said. "That teams really good. We were able to play a lot better than them. We dominated the power play and the penalty kill. Overall, it was a great effort." The Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins have lost two games in six days by a combined 8-1 to Dallas and Florida, teams fighting to get into playoff contention. Gonchar had a power-play goal, his second score this season, with just under 5 minutes remaining in the first period against his former team. Dallas has scored with a man advantage in seven consecutive games. Alex Goligoski, another former Penguins player, had an assist when Benn scored to make it 2-0 at 3:14 of the second. Peverley closed the scoring a little more than 7 minutes later. "This is desperation for (the Stars) and we saw that in their last two games. We saw it again tonight," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. "This was a desperate team, played hard. We have to be able to match that regardless of where our position is or what the standings look like." Lehtonen faced only 12 shots during the first two periods, before the Penguins doubled their attempts in the third. "There were a couple of good (saves) in the second period when it was 2-0," Lehtonen said. "After that, we were able to score to make it 3-0. After that, it was quite relaxing. If I let one in, there would still be a two-goal lead." He stopped Pittsburghs Evgeni Malkin point-blank 9 1/2 minutes into the third. "With the team in front of him for the first 40 minutes, you couldnt find more than one or two good chance," Ruff said. "In the third period when he really needed them, he stood tall."t; Dallas line of Cody Eakin, Antoine Roussel and Ryan Garbutt neutralized the line centred by Penguins scoring leader Sidney Crosby. Indiana Pacers Shirts. "We were sharp, quick and crispy, and it worked out for us," Eakin said. Dallas dominated the first period, with 10 shots on goal to Pittsburghs 4, and scored first. Gonchar took a pass at the top of the slot from Ray Whitney on the right wing boards, and fired a high shot over Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Lehtonen also received an assist on the score. The Penguins Kris Letang went off for roughing at 1:14 of the second period. One second before the penalty expired, Benn took a pass from Goligoski in the right faceoff circle and shot over Fleurys shoulder to make it 2-0. The two power-play goals came against Pittsburghs league-leading unit, which entered the game with a streak of 11 successful penalty kills. "They capitalized on their power plays. We didnt," Crosby said. "We didnt execute when we got chances. They carried the play for the first two periods." Bylsma added: "I think momentum changed, we turn over the puck in the neutral zone. That led back to a chance against and then we took a penalty. That got their first power-play goal and in this game, were minus-2 in the special teams battle. That was a big part of the story tonight." Midway through the second period, Shawn Horcoff stole the puck in the neutral zone and passed to Peverley, who skated into the right circle and shot into the upper right corner of the net with 9:40 remaining. The Stars again outshot Pittsburgh in the second, 12-8. NOTES: Lehtonen leads NHL goalies with four assists this season. He has 31 in his career, with a high of six in 2010-11. ... Goligoski has five assists in his last three games. ... The Stars power-play streak is their longest since a seven-game run Dec. 11-23, 2010. They have improved from 29th in the league this season to 24th. ... Dallas penalty killers have succeeded on their last 15 opportunities, including four Saturday. ... Pittsburgh had won seven of the previous eight games against the Stars, dating back to 2003-04. ... Fleury had entered the game 6-0 with a 1.95 goals against average vs. Dallas. . Defenceman Matt Niskanens career-high six-game point streak ended for Pittsburgh. ... Benn has nine points in the past seven games. ' ' ' 
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