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Old 16-08-18, 09:47
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Default Cincinnati in five games,

Sammy Watkins made quite the impression on the first day of Kansas City Chiefs training camp on Thursday.

The veteran wide receiver is one of the newest options for first-year starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

”The guy’s an unbelievable talent Minkah Fitzpatrick Youth Jersey , he really is,” tight end Travis Kelce said of Watkins.

”He’s a high-character guy, you can’t say anything wrong about him. It’s been exciting just to see him come out here and work because he’s such a great athlete and he makes you want to get better every single day.”

Mahomes and Watkins teamed up to elicit the biggest cheer of the day from fans attending the opening of camp.

The quarterback dropped a 60-yard pass on a breezy post route to Watkins, who hauled in the over-the-shoulder catch on the run for an easy score. Mahomes said he’s quickly developing a rapport on the field with the newcomer.

”He’s a guy that will stay after and get extra work, a guy that wants to put the work in to be great,” Mahomes said.

”When you have guys like that all around our team, it’s easy to build chemistry and build that kind of deep ball or if it’s a short pass or whatever it is.”

Coach Andy Reid also praised the willingness of Watkins to push himself during practice, whether it’s running out routes where he’s a decoy or putting in extra reps.

”I love Sammy’s attitude and his work ethic,” Reid said. ”He’s all business, he’s a quiet guy. He’s all business. I love the way he goes about, a true pro.”

For the first time in his career, Watkins comes into the season healthy and with a full offseason of work. That’s helping him acclimate to Reid’s West Coast offense playbook.

”I’ve gotten the plays down but of course we’ve got so much to build on with chemistry and working with the guys,” Watkins said.

”The offense is so bright you can’t sleep on it so everyday we’ve got to go over it and go over the installs.”

The offseason addition of Watkins figures to make the Chiefs offense a puzzle for defenses this season. The team returns three 1,000-yard performers from last season Logan Woodside Color Rush Jersey , including the league’s leading rusher in Kareem Hunt. Kelce and wide receiver Tyreek Hill topped the 1,000-yard mark in receiving yards.

Kelce, who is used to frequently facing double teams and bracket coverage, sees the addition of Watkins creating opportunities for everyone across the offense.

”I think we’re going to open everything up for each other,” Kelce said. ”Pat’s got quite an arsenal to throw to.”

It also means a lot of players to give the ball, but Reid says the group possesses a desire to win that keeps egos in check.

”That’s what’s nice about having the guys we have, they all understand there’s one ball,” Reid said. ”They all get it. Sammy went out ran a couple of beautiful routes where he didn’t get the ball, but ran like he was going to get it. He didn’t pull off at all. That’s a great thing to have that kind of talent.”

The Chiefs open camp with just one injury issue impacting a projected starter. Inside linebacker Reggie Ragland started camp on the non-football injury list. He experienced a swollen knee following his flight to training camp. Reid does not believe the issue is a significant concern.

”He’s in great shape, we’re just going to let it calm down, precautionary measure, let it calm down and he’ll get back out,” Reid said. ”I don’t think it’s anything to go crazy about.”

The Chiefs are relying on Ragland as a leader in the retooled starting defense that also includes cornerbacks Kendall Fuller and David Amerson, linebacker Anthony Hitchens and defensive tackle Xavier Williams.

Those changes on defense along with the addition of Watkins and the promotion of Mahomes Authentic Tre'Quan Smith Jersey , puts a smile on Reid’s face.

”We’ve got a lot of new faces in new places,” Reid said. ”That part’s exciting. The ability to teach, that’s what we do. We got quite a little bit of teaching to do as we go here.”




The Cincinnati Reds are much better now than they were a month into the season, and it’s partly because Anthony DeSclafani is much better than they anticipated.

Not only DeSclafani, the pitcher. DeSclafani, the hitter, too.

The Reds return to Great American Ball Park on Thursday to take on the first-place Milwaukee Brewers, but that’s nothing new of late for interim manager Jim Riggleman’s resurgent team.

The Reds have played their last seven games against teams that were in first place or within percentage points of the top spot. They swept the Cubs in four games and won two of three in Atlanta.

“It says a lot for our club that we can play first-place clubs and win these series,” Riggleman said Wednesday following a come-from-behind 6-5 win at Atlanta, the Reds’ ninth victory in 10 games and 12th victory in 15 games.

“(We want to) keep rolling into Cincinnati,” Adam Duvall said after his two-run single keyed a three-run seventh inning that included a Scooter Gennett RBI single.

DeSclafani (3-1, 4.09 ERA) is a big presence during the surge, and not just because he’s won his last three starts — this after missing all of last season and the first two months of this season with multiple injuries. After missing so much time, the Reds simply weren’t sure what they would get from him this season.

His last time out Cheap Marcus Davenport Jersey , the right-handed DeSclafani limited the Cubs to two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings, and he contributed the game’s biggest hit Saturday with a grand slam — the first slam by a Cincinnati pitcher in 59 years.

DeSclafani will be yet another bat in the Reds’ order that Milwaukee right-hander Junior Guerra (3-5, 2.82) must be concerned about in the opener of the four-game NL Central series.

The Brewers continue to occupy first place in the division, but even a three-run ninth inning wasn’t enough Wednesday as they lost 5-4 at home to the last-place Kansas City Royals, whose .313 winning percentage is the second-worst in the majors.

“Even in our losses, we’re making the other team work a lot,” starting pitcher Brent Suter told reporters. “From that respect, I love how we’re playing. (But) it would be nice to win some of these series.”

The Brewers have lost six of their last 10 games, and now they must take on a Reds team that doesn’t look anything now like the team Milwaukee swept in a three-game series April 30-May 2 at Great American Ball Park — losses that dropped the Reds to 7-24. The Brewers have won five of six overall from the Reds this season.

“We just want to keep winning. If we take series after series we’re going to be just fine,” said Reds reliever Jackson Stephens (2-0), who got the win Wednesday with 1 2/3 scoreless relief innings.

The Brewers, conversely, led 1-0 Wednesday, only to have Suter and reliever Josh Hader give up five runs in the seventh inning. Hader allowed a two-run single to Adalberto Mondesi Youth Mark Walton Jersey , Lucas Duda’s sacrifice fly and Whit Merrifield’s RBI single — the first time in 27 games this season Hader has given up more than one hit in an inning.

“Josh’s velocity was good. Everything was good,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “He threw the ball well. They jumped on the first pitch, and we’ve seen that a lot lately, but he’s been so effective that obviously multiple hits in an inning is something we haven’t seen. They got him today.”

The Reds certainly didn’t get to Guerra when they faced him on April 17.

Guerra didn’t get the decision in a 2-0 Brewers win, but he shut out the Reds on one hit over 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking three. In his career, he is 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA against Cincinnati in five games, including four starts.

Most of the current Reds hitters have only a minimal number of at-bats against Guerra, with Eugenio Suarez going 2-for-3 with a homer.

DeSclafani is 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in five games against the Brewers, starting four of them, but hasn’t faced them since 2016. Ryan Braun is 2-for-10 (.200) against him.

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