On the second day of training camp Friday Cheap Josh Allen Jersey , Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Raekwon McMillan spent much of the morning dropping into pass coverage and chasing tight ends, running backs and even speedy receiver Kenny Stills.
It’ll be different Saturday, when the Dolphins put on pads for the first time and conduct contact drills.
”That’s what middle linebackers live for,” McMillan said with a grin, ”so I’m ready for all of that.”
Especially since McMillan hasn’t had much of a chance to make an impact in the NFL. The 2017 second-round draft pick from Ohio State won raves and a starting job in his first few months as a pro, but on his first play in the first exhibition game, he blew out his right knee covering a punt.
”First injury I’ve had ever – college, high school, little league,” he said.
The torn ACL sidelined McMillan for his entire rookie season. He participated in offseason drills this spring still mindful of his surgically repaired knee Youth Thomas Rawls Jersey , but is now more confident it’ll hold up.
”On the field I don’t really think about it much at all,” he said. ”In OTAs I was still thinking about it. I was still worrying about whether it was strong enough, or if it was ready yet to take every snap. I finally feel like I’m back to where I was.”
That sounds good to coach Adam Gase, who considers his evaluation of McMillan incomplete only because the former Butkus Award finalist has yet to play in an NFL game.
”Everything else tells us he’s exactly what we drafted him to be,” Gase said.
A year ago, McMillan impressed coaches with his aptitude and leadership skills, and he thrived in contact drills.
He’s expected to bolster a defense that needs him after ranking fourth-worst in the league in points allowed last year. The upgrade parallels the return of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who’s back after suffering a season-ending injury one week before McMillan was hurt.
The veteran QB and rookie linebacker rehabbed together, to the benefit of both.
”They did a good job of pushing each other,” Gase said. ”You hate to say it was good they had each other to go through that with Authentic Carlton Davis Jersey , because it hurt us not to have them. But it was good for those two guys to have that other guy.”
McMillan said Tannehill helped him cope with the frustration and physical challenges of recovery.
”Throughout the whole rehab process, Ryan kind of walked me through what I was going to feel, how I was going to feel and some of the pains I was going to have, and how to get through them,” McMillan said.
He began to envision a career as an NFL middle linebacker when he first arrived at Ohio State and discussed his future with head coach Urban Meyer and an assistant coach.
”They sat me to the side and told me that was going to be the best position for me, for my future and for my family,” he said. ”So I took that and ran with it.”
On the night the Dolphins drafted McMillan, he cried tears of joy. Now, after an unlucky interruption, he’s back on track toward fulfilling his potential. Time to put on the pads.
Civil rights activists protested outside NFL headquarters Friday Cheap Nick Chubb Jersey , calling on team owners to overturn their new national anthem policy and urging a boycott of the league and its sponsors.
About 50 people gathered at the midtown Manhattan office building for a rally organized by National Action Network, a civil rights nonprofit.
Kirsten John Foy, the group's northeast regional director, was the first of 10 speakers who took turns during the 40-minute demonstration to criticize NFL team owners and President Donald Trump.
"Our demand is that the NFL reverse that immoral and unconstitutional decision," Foy said.
NFL owners voted Wednesday to require players to stand for the national anthem or stay in the locker room. Teams will be fined if players don't stand. Some players have been kneeling during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" before games the last two seasons to protest police brutality and racial inequality.
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the protest in 2016. He did not play last season after being unsigned as a free agent. He is suing the NFL and team owners for colluding to keep him out of the league.
National Action Network spokesman Alex Butcher-Nesbitt said the group planned to hold similar demonstrations around the country, including Detroit and Los Angeles.
The Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network, said if Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford and the team adhere to the anthem policy, "then they are doing nothing more than ... standing with racism."
In New York, Foy was joined by progressive talk radio host Mark Thompson Youth Oren Burks Jersey , who wore a long shirt with a depiction of Kaepernick in his 49ers uniform taking a knee, and city councilman Jumaane Williams, who brought a Kaepernick No. 7 jersey to display after he spoke and wore a shirt with the slogan #IMWITHKAP across the front.
"I'm proud because I'm going to be on the right side of history," Williams said. "I'm going to be standing and kneeling with Colin Kaepernick."
Several speakers said supporters of Kaepernick and the protesting players should stop watching NFL games and no longer patronize companies that sponsor the league.
"You can't inundate us with tens of millions of dollars in commercial ads and then strip the people that generate your money and your profits of their first amendment rights," Foy said. "And if they choose to protest, they've got to stay in the locker room. So the locker room is the new slave shanty."