In Antwort auf
— The Vikings-Broncos exhibition Saturday night features more intrigue than the typical preseason opener.
Denver QB Case Keenum gets to face his former teammates whom he helped reach the NFC championship before management dumped him in favor of Kirk Cousins Brian Urlacher Jersey , the jewel of this winter’s free agent class.
Keenum said Wednesday he’s eager to face the Vikings.
“Definitely. I mean, I got a firsthand view of how good a defense it is, so I know we’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s going to be a great test. I’m excited to go compete against a really, really talented defense,” Keenum said.
Keenum insisted he holds no grudges , either.
“No, man. I love all those guys,” he said. “This Saturday it’s going to be a competition and we’re going to get after it. I know those guys are going to be jacked to get back on the field just like I’m jacked to get back on the field. But, no. No bad feelings.”
Keenum went 12-4 for the Vikings last season after injuries to Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater, but Minnesota moved on in the offseason, winning the Cousins sweepstakes with, among other things, a strong roster, a sparkling new stadium and a fully guaranteed contract for $84 million over three years.
Keenum signed a two-year Braden Smith Youth Jersey , $36 million deal in Denver.
Asked what he admires about Keenum’s game after watching film of last season’s surge, Cousins said, “Any time you win 13 games and a playoff game you’re doing an outstanding job as a quarterback, but I’ve watched Case going back to his days in Houston running Coach (Gary) Kubiak’s offense, watching him in L.A. He won that job in training camp, and here, he’s just a winner.”
Cousins said Keenum does all the little things right: “There’s a lot of positives to his game.”
It’s just that the Vikings found more to like in Cousins’ repertoire.
“Case was a winner,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “He won a lot of games and moved well in the pocket. He’s a great teammate and made some outstanding plays for us.
“With Kirk, he’s been as advertised. He throws the deep ball well, very accurate, and takes charge of the offense.”
Cousins and Keenum figure to play a series or two Saturday night, then give way to their backups, and that’s where the real intrigue comes in.
Trevor Siemian won the Broncos’ starting job each of the last two summers but was traded to Minnesota after the Broncos signed Keenum.
Zimmer said Siemian’s 24 starts over the last two years and high IQ made him a perfect fit as Cousins’ backup.
Siemian said Keenum’s short stint in Minnesota is indicative of how important it is to have a capable backup ready to step in and run the offense should the starter get hurt.
“Case here, Nick Foles in Philly Will Hernandez Game Jersey ,” Siemian said. “Yeah, I think you’re one play away. My job is to prepare as if I’m starting and knock on wood, if I’m called upon, I’ll be ready to go.”
Siemian, however, might not even get as much work this weekend as another former Broncos QB, Kyle Sloter, who signed with the Vikings a year ago after a surprisingly strong camp in Denver.
The Broncos are still holding out hope that Paxton Lynch is a late-bloomer and not a first-round bust.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph declared Lynch and Chad Kelly would battle it out for the backup job this summer, yet Lynch has worked exclusively with the second-teamers while Kelly has worked with the third-stringers so far.
Kelly, however, has consistently outshined Lynch and was clearly the superior quarterback in a recent scrimmage.
Lynch figures to get the bulk of the snaps Saturday night for Denver, and his performance could go a long way in determining if the Broncos need to consider signing a veteran backup for Keenum.
Notes: DE Clinton McDonald was getting his troublesome shoulder checked out again Wednesday. … Joseph said TE Jeff Heuerman, who has missed all but one day of camp with a sore left knee, doesn’t necessarily have to rush back to make the roster. “It’s early Carlton Davis Jersey ,” Joseph said. “I wouldn’t say that right now. That’s extreme.”
Duncan Keith and the Chicago Blackhawks did their part to spoil the St. Louis’ playoff chances.
The star defenseman scored a power-play goal with 8.5 seconds left and the Blackhawks beat St. Louis 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Alex DeBrincat had a goal and an assist, Andreas Martinsen and Blake Hillman also scored, and Jean-Francois Berube made 30 saves. The Blackhawks beat the Blues for the first time in three meetings this season.
”We’re trying to win the game,” Keith said. ”At the end of the day, it’s a bigger game for them but I thought we did a good job of matching their intensity and for us it’s fun to play in a game like that. … There was something on the line so it was a little easier to get the fire going little bit.”
Vladimir Tarasenko and Brayden Schenn each had a goal and an assist for the Blues. They have lost four straight to fall a point behind idle Colorado for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Robert Bortuzzo also scored for the Blues, and Jake Allen made 22 saves in his 14th straight start.
”We played terrible in the third from myself out,” Allen said. ”It’s unacceptable especially at home against a team that really has nothing to play for except beat us.”
Hillman scored a short-handed goal, his first in the NHL, midway through the second to cut the Blues’ lead to 3-2. He is the fifth Blackhawk to score their first career goal this season.
”It’s probably the hardest one-timer I’ve ever taken in my life,” said Hillman, who was playing in his second NHL game. ”I closed my eyes and it went through a couple of bodies and luckily Allen didn’t see it.”
DeBrincat tied it at 3 at 8:30 of the third with an unassisted goal, before Keith found the net for the first time in 22 games.
”It’s been awhile since he scored obviously, but we did some good things as the game progressed and drew the penalty and got a break,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Bortuzzo opened the scoring at 4:16 of the first period with his fourth goal of the season.
Martinsen tied it for Chicago at 8:57 with his first goal of the season Vontaze Burfict Bengals Jersey , firing a wrist shot that trickled between Allen’s legs after the Blues failed to clear the puck twice.
Schenn regained the lead for the Blues just 47 seconds into the second period, putting home a rebound from Vince Dunn’s shot from the high slot. Schenn’s 27th goal is a career high.
Tarasenko made it 3-1 at 5:44 of the second. St. Louis took advantage of a Chicago defensive line change and Schenn sprung Tarasenko for a breakaway.
FANCY STICK WORK
Just 52 seconds into the game, Jaden Schwartz had a wrap-around attempt into a wide-open net, but Keith got his stick on the goal line to block the puck until Berube could get his glove down. The play was reviewed and it was determined that the puck did not cross the line.
”I just tried to do what I could there to get everything I could, all the pressure on my stick, because I knew he had some momentum coming around there and was trying to wrap it around, the lane wasn’t there,” Keith said. ”A little luck too in that regard, but Berube ended up getting over there and taking the pressure off.”
NOTES: Blues D Alex Pietrangelo played in his 615th career game, one shy of Bob Plager for second-most by a defenseman in franchise history. … The Blackhawks will honor Hall of Famer Stan Mikita before Friday night’s home game against the Blues. Mikita’s grandsons will take the ice on his behalf during the national anthem and highlights of Mikita’s career will be played. … Blues prospect G Ville Husso (San Antonio) was named to the 2017-2018 AHL All-Rookie team. … Blackhawks prospect D Adam Clendening was selected as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week after scoring two goals and five assists for the week ending April 2.
The teams will meet again Friday night in Chicago.
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