As he prepares to enter his third season with the New Orleans Saints Jimmie Ward Jersey , defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins wants to become a leadership figure on defense.
According to Herbie Teope of NFL.com, the 2016 first-round pick feels he’s equipped to take another step forward on a defense that improved significantly last season.
“Now, it’s all about improving, whether it’s just finishing plays Duncan Keith Jersey ,” Rankins said. “I had a lot of pressures, a lot of quarterback hits, but now it’s time to turn those into sacks. A lot of tackles around the line of scrimmage, but now it’s time to turn those into (tackles for loss). It’s time to be a leader for this defense.”
Rankins became a full-time starter for the Saints in his second season after being a rotational player in 2016. The No. 12 overall pick had four sacks as a rookie when he was a rotational piece after beginning the year on injured reserve Zemgus Girgensons Jersey , but just two sacks last season as a full-time player. He finished his 2017 season with 26 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.
“I think what I do speaks for itself,” Rankins said. “I think I’m versatile. I can rush the passer Bryan Little Jersey , I can stop the run, I can do whatever the defense needs me to do. I’ll always carry that with me in and out of every season, and my mindset won’t change.”
Fullback James Develin wasn’t the only role player to land a contract extension with the Patriots on Thursday.
Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that the team has agreed to a four-year extension with long snapper Joe Cardona. Word of Develin’s聽two-year deal聽surfaced earlier in the day.
Cardona was a 2015 fifth-round pick out of the Naval Academy and had his active service requirement delayed under a policy that was rescinded by the Department of Defense last year. That change is not retroactively applied to Cardona or other players granted an exemption.
He has played in every game for the Patriots since being drafted. Thursday’s extension provides him with a chance to keep that streak alive for many years to come.Authentic Detroit Lions Jerseys