The Denver Broncos mandated DeMarcus Walker bulk up this offseason. That was a big weight off his mind.
As a rookie last season http://www.bengalsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-logan-woodside-jersey , Walker slimmed down to about 238 pounds in order to be more of an outside pass rushing threat. This season, he’s back at 280 and playing inside along the defensive line.
He feels this should tip the scales back in his favor. After all, it’s a similar weight from when he flourished at Florida State and became a second-round pick.
”Knowing what weight to play at, what I’m playing – smooth sailing,” Walker said. ”Just do my job and get better every day.”
Walker began slimming down as a contingency plan when linebacker Shane Ray suffered a left wrist injury in training camp last July. Denver’s defense features a 3-4 scheme and it’s predicated on a multitude of pass rushers to assist Von Miller.
The 23-year-old Walker struggled at times with his new assignment and played in just 10 games with one sack (Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes in the season finale). It was a difficult transition as his role sometimes required him to help out in coverage, which he hadn’t done since his sophomore year in college.
”I had to refresh my brain and my body,” Walker said. ”I wasn’t the best at it. But I can do it.”
Now, he’s on more solid ground. These days, he heads into the defensive line room with the likes of Derek Wolfe (285 pounds), Adam Gotsis (282), Shelby Harris (290), Domata Peko (325) and Zach Kerr (334).
”It’s kind of funny Clive Walford Color Rush Jersey , they still try to call me light,” Walker said. ”It’s all fun and games.”
He bulked up over the last few months by eating four to five meals a day. Going back to Florida and dining on his mom’s cooking helped as well.
As it turns out, he’s not a bad cook himself. His specialties?
”Love lobster and shrimp,” he said. ”Love seafood.”
He’s listed as a defensive end on the roster. But ask him what position he plays and he grins.
”Athlete,” he said. ”Just say athlete.”
Among his roles during the workouts is helping rookie pass rusher Bradley Chubb get up to speed. He’s learning plenty from Chubb as well when they play side by side.
”Just how to take advantage of the offensive line. I think we’re undefeated right now,” Walker cracked of the two of them getting the best of their counterparts in offseason practice.
While at Florida State, Walker had 164 tackles, 28 sacks, eight forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. That was playing mostly with his ”hand in the ground,” he said.
That wasn’t always the case a season ago when he had seven tackles and spent six games as an inactive.
Feel like the forgotten rusher heading into this season? ”Nah,” he said. ”I’ll wake them up. Trust me.”
His coaches certainly appreciate what he brings to the table.
”He’s improving,” defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. ”Last year Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , he was a versatile player for us.
”Right now, we said, `Hey, you’re a defensive lineman.’ So, he’s put the weight on. … I got on the scale with him – or watched him get on the scale – he was up to 278, and he’s really making some tremendous improvements.”
Definitely a step in the right direction.
”To me, if he’s in the 270s or 280s, that’s good enough for us, to play the defensive end position and to play as an inside rusher,” Woods said.
Defensive line coach Bill Kollar will take it from there.
”He understands what Bill wants,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. ”Bill’s obviously a demanding coach, so being with Bill has helped DeMarcus play harder Kerryon Johnson Color Rush Jersey , and obviously being bigger is going to help him play better for us.”
NOTES: OL Garett Bolles plans to play this upcoming season between 300 and 305 pounds. ”Just so I can anchor when I get those bull rushes and things like that,” Bolles said. ”Feel more comfortable there. Feel more explosive and powerful there.” Bolles was in the vicinity of 290-295 in his rookie season.
Justin Turner hit Los Angeles‘ seventh home run of the game, a go-ahead drive in the 11th inning that lifted the Dodgers over the New York Mets 8-7 on Sunday.
Cody Bellinger and Kike Hernandez each homered twice as the Dodgers beat the Mets for the 12th straight time dating to 2016. Max Muncy and Joc Pederson also connected for Los Angeles. Hernandez and Muncy led off the game with back-to-back shots.
The Mets matched a team record for the most homers allowed in a game, and lost their sixth in a row overall.
Turner, a former Met, homered off Chris Flexen (0-1) with two outs to put the Dodgers up for good. Los Angeles had squandered a 7-4 lead in the eighth when Kevin Plawecki hit a tying three-run shot.
Daniel Hudson (2-2) picked up the victory with two scoreless innings.
INDIANS 12, TIGERS 2
CLEVELAND (AP) – Edwin Encarnacion hit an eighth-inning grand slam, helping the Indians to their season-high seventh straight win.
Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis also connected for Cleveland, which outscored Detroit 26-3 in the three-game sweep. Ramirez finished with three hits, extending his streak of reaching base to 31 consecutive games.
Adam Plutko (4-1) pitched six innings of two-run ball, becoming the second rookie starter to beat the Tigers in the series. Shane Bieber pitched seven innings in Friday night’s 12-0 win.
Tigers starter Matthew Boyd (4-6) allowed a season-high six runs in three-plus innings in his shortest outing of the season.
Detroit has lost five straight overall and is 3-10 against Cleveland this season.
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BOSTON (AP) – Chris Sale struck out 13 over seven dazzling innings and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer, leading Boston to the victory.
Sale (7-4) gave up four hits and walked one. Joe Kelly and Matt Barnes each pitched an inning to complete the four-hitter.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had three singles and Rafael Devers added an RBI double for Boston, which struggled offensively in a 7-2 loss Saturday night after putting up 14 runs and 20 hits in the series opener.
The Mariners fell to 1-5 on their 10-game East Coast trip. Marco Gonzales (7-5) gave up five runs in six innings.
REDS 8, CUBS 6
CINCINNATI (AP) – Pitcher Michael Lorenzen and Jesse Winker connected for pinch-hit homers in Cincinnati’s seven-run seventh inning, sending the Reds to their seventh straight victory.
Lorenzen’s homer was the third of his career and second in two games by a Reds pitcher. Anthony DeSclafani hit a grand slam on Saturday – the first by a Reds pitcher since 1959.
Jackson Stephens (1-0) got the win as the Reds completed a four-game sweep of the Cubs for the first time in 25 years. Raisel Iglesias worked the ninth for his 13th save.
Anthony Rizzo and Albert Almora Jr. homered for Chicago, and Pedro Strop (3-1) got the loss.
RAYS 7, YANKEES 6, 12 INNINGS
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Rookie Jake Bauers led off the 12th inning with a home run, finishing off Tampa Bay’s three-game sweep.
The Yankees also lost catcher Gary Sanchez when he pulled up while running out a double-play grounder in the 10th. Manager Aaron Boone said Sanchez hurt his right groin/hip abductor and is probably headed for the disabled list.
Giancarlo Stanton homered while going 5 for 5 for New York. The Yankees had been the only team in the majors that hadn’t lost three in a row this year.
Bauers connected on the first pitch from Chasen Shreve (2-2). Ryan Yarbrough (7-3) pitched an inning for the win.
BRAVES 7, ORIOLES 3
ATLANTA (AP) – Freddie Freeman hit a two-run single in the first, pinch-hitter Dansby Swanson belted a two-run homer in the eighth and the Braves earned their first win over the Orioles in six years.
Baltimore won the first two games of the series and swept the last set between the teams in 2015. Atlanta ended a stretch of seven straight losses to the Orioles since 2012.
Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini homered for Baltimore. David Hess (2-4) gave up five runs in four innings.
Braves right-hander Brandon McCarthy (6-3) yielded three runs in five innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 3 http://www.brownsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-antonio-callaway-jersey , PIRATES 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Clay Buchholz pitched five solid innings before leaving with an injury, and the Diamondbacks completed a four-game sweep of the Pirates.
Buchholz (2-1) retired his first 11 batters before Starling Marte doubled down the right-field line with two out in the fourth inning. Despite throwing just 53 pitches, he was pulled after experiencing tightness in his left side.
The injury occurred on a swing in the fifth. Buchholz called the early exit ”more precautionary.”
David Peralta hit a two-run homer for Arizona, and John Ryan Murphy also went deep. Brad Boxberger worked the ninth for his 17th save.
Pirates right-hander Trevor Williams (6-5) allowed three runs in six innings.
CARDINALS 8, BREWERS 2
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Luke Weaver won for the first time in eight starts and Jose Martinez hit a three-run homer for St. Louis.
Weaver (4-6) allowed two runs, both in the first, and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out a season-high nine in his first victory since May 11.
Martinez’s 11th homer capped a five-run fourth that made it 6-2 Cardinals.
Christian Yelich homered for the NL Central-leading Brewers. Jhoulys Chacin (6-3) allowed a season-high eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.
TWINS 2, RANGERS 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jose Berrios struck out a career-best 12 in seven innings, and the Twins beat Bartolo Colon and the Rangers.
Eddie Rosario had two hits for Minnesota, which snapped a three-game losing st.