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Post #1 - 14.09.2018 08:52

The forgotten member of last year\'s deep tight end class makes his NFL debut Saturday night <a title=\"Josh Robinson Jersey\" href=\"www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/josh-robinson-jersey-cheap" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.buccaneerscheapstore.com/josh-robinson-jersey-cheap\">Josh Robinson Jersey<a> , and Jake Butt is fired up to show he\'s just as good as O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and David Njoku.

Butt was considered as talented as that trio of first-rounders last year but he slipped all the way to the fifth round, where Denver grabbed him with the 145th overall pick after he tore his right ACL in Michigan\'s 33-32 loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl following the 2016 season.

He was the eighth tight end taken overall, one spot ahead of Iowa\'s George Kittle, who caught 43 passes for 515 yards and two TDs in San Francisco.

While Butt was missing his rookie season and focusing on getting healthy for 2018, he couldn\'t help but keep tabs on his fellow rookie tight ends as they piled up 230 catches and 26 touchdowns last season.

\"Some were arguing it was the best tight end class ever. Yeah, I kept up with them,\" Butt said Thursday. \"Obviously, a lot of those guys did some great things. Evan Engram stands out. I got to see him live in our stadium, he was making some big plays. O.J. Howard, I\'ve known him since high school, just an absolute beast. David Njoku, Adam Shaheen, they did well.

\"And now it\'s my turn to go out there and compete with them and get the right to earn (the title of) who\'s the best out of that class,\" Butt said. \"Man <a title=\"Stephone Anthony Jersey\" href=\"www.dolphinscheapstore.com/stephone-anthony-jersey-cheap" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.dolphinscheapstore.com/stephone-anthony-jersey-cheap\">Stephone Anthony Jersey<a> , that\'ll be fun. We\'ll all be pushing each other.\"

The Broncos host the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night, and Butt will line up with the starters.

\"He\'ll be with the first group probably for two series and maybe a little bit afterward, but not much more than that,\" coach Vance Joseph said.

Butt can\'t wait.

\"I\'m just ready to go out there and start playing some real football again,\" said Butt.

He acknowledged feeling like a wide-eyed rookie.

\"This will be my first NFL game, so what my class went through last season this is what I\'m going through right now. So, just to get in that stadium, in front of our fans, with my team and being out there actually participating, it\'s going to be a fun time,\" Butt said.

Butt is pain-free and has had a solid training camp so far as veteran Jeff Heuerman sits out with a sore knee. \"But it\'s a whole different beast when you get out there and do it live against another team,\" Butt said. \"So, I want to go out there and continue to be technique sound, work my fundamentals, block well.\"

The Broncos lost their best blocking tight end when Virgil Green signed with the AFC West-rival Los Angeles Chargers this spring <a title=\"Linval Joseph Jersey\" href=\"www.vikingscheapstore.com/linval-joseph-jersey-cheap" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.vikingscheapstore.com/linval-joseph-jersey-cheap\">Linval Joseph Jersey<a> , and Butt knows blocking is what\'s going to keep him on the field and allow him the chance to catch up to the rest of the 2017 tight ends class.

\"We\'ve got some talented receivers on the outside, so if you can have a tight end that they can\'t key on whether it\'s a run or a pass, that\'s going to put some pressure on that defense,\" Butt said. \"And if you\'re able to execute, that could translate into some big plays for our offense.\"

Butt and general manager John Elway were hopeful that Butt would only miss half of his rookie season last year, but it quickly became apparent during the one week he was allowed to practice that he\'d be better off waiting until 2018.

\"The hardest part about last year was not knowing,\" Butt said. \"Being on PUP, you\'re waiting, you\'re waiting, you\'re waiting and you don\'t know if you\'re going to have to wait longer. But once they shut me down for the year, it just became a focus of let me get as healthy as possible for 2018.\"

Butt was one of several members of the Broncos\' 2017 draft class who played very little (DeMarcus Walker, De\'Angelo Henderson) or not at all (Chad Kelly, Carlos Henderson) last season.

There\'s been a lot of buzz about this year\'s loaded draft class . If Butt can return to form, though, he\'ll give a boost to the 2017 class that\'s taken heat for its many mistakes and immaturity.

\"I think our story\'s still being written <a title=\"Marcus Williams Jersey\" href=\"www.saintscheapstore.com/marcus-williams-jersey-cheap" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.saintscheapstore.com/marcus-williams-jersey-cheap\">Marcus Williams Jersey<a> ,\" Butt said.

And he could be the lead author.

Notes: Unlike last year, Von Miller will play in the preseason opener. \"He\'s totally healthy, he\'s had a great camp and we have no reason not to play Von,\" Joseph said. \"Von\'s in great health and good spirits, so why not?\" ... Heuerman, S Su\'a Cravens (knee) and OL Menelik Watson (chest) won\'t play.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have started to put together a defense without cornerback Jimmy Smith, who practiced Wednesday but won’t be eligible to play in a game until October.

Smith has been suspended for the first four regular-season games without pay for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. The suspension, announced Tuesday, came “following a long-running and difficult custody dispute” Smith had with his former girlfriend, the Ravens said.

The 30-year-old Smith will be allowed to participate in all of the Ravens’ preseason activities, including games. Come September 9, however, Baltimore will open at home against Buffalo without arguably their best cover cornerback.

Fortunately for the Ravens, they’re deep at the position. Also <a title=\"Dion Dawkins Jersey\" href=\"www.billscheapstore.com/dion-dawkins-jersey-cheap" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.billscheapstore.com/dion-dawkins-jersey-cheap\">ion Dawkins Jersey<a> , they were forced to make a similar adjustment last season when Smith missed the final month with a torn left Achilles tendon.

“It’s what I’ve been talking about all training camp. We have a lot of depth,” first-year defensive coordinator Don Martindale said Wednesday. “Some guys are just going to have to step up early. We’re still working on how we’re going to do that.”

The final solution will probably remain under wraps until the season opener.

“I’m not going to tell the rest of the league, especially Buffalo, how we’re going to it,” Martindale said. “We’ll just have to see. We’ve got plenty of players who can play.”

Tavon Young is listed behind Smith on the depth chart at right cornerback. Young started 11 games in 2016 before missing last season with a knee injury.

Before the Ravens considered what to do in Smith’s absence, the team discussed whether to bring him back at all.

The Ravens were at the center of a domestic dispute in 2014 — one that led to the release of running back Ray Rice — and say they considered the circumstances surrounding Smith’s suspension before making a decision about his future with the team.

Team officials say a meeting involving “a group of Ravens men and women executives” was convened before the organization determined that Smith could return after his suspension.

“Jimmy has acknowledged his behaviors were wrong and accepts full responsibility for them,” the team said in a statement.

Smith apologized for his actions in a separate statement conveyed through the team.

After practice Wednesday, the Ravens did not make Smith, coach John Harbaugh or leading players of the defense available to the media.

Martindale said: “It’s a serious matter. The organization had their statement and Jimmy had his. From the father/coach in me, I know there are mistakes made in life and he’s going to have to deal with it.”

Seeking to end a run of three straight seasons without reaching the playoffs, the Ravens would have preferred to open with their defense fully intact. But playing without Smith is really nothing new — in his previous seven years in the NFL, he’s participated in all 16 games only twice.

His absence could help fourth-round draft pick Anthony Averett make the cut. Averett, a two-year starter at Alabama, is behind Young on the depth chart.

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