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miaowang123 Aug 7
NASHVILLE -- Jake Locker is back on the field with the Tennessee Titans -- a couple of weeks ahead of the schedule doctors estimated for his return from an injured right foot. Brian Urlacher Bears Jersey . The quarterback said Tuesday that he pushed hard to give himself every chance to learn a new offence before the season starts. "With it being a new system, I want to run plays behind centre as often and as much as I can before we take our first snap of the season," Locker said. "And I want the guy son the team to know it means something to me. Im not just taking a break because I can. Im going to do everything I can to be on the field, and hopefully it helps create a culture that were all going to work that way." Locker took part in his first team drills Tuesday since suffering a Lisfranc injury to his right foot Nov. 10, which cost him the final seven games of the season. He has missed 14 of his first 32 starts and now is busy learning a third offence in four seasons with a coaching change. Locker had to watch the voluntary three-day minicamp in April, and his personal target had been being on the field for this final stage of the off-season. He said he felt really good moving around. Locker expects to deal with some stiffness and soreness now that hes finally back on the field for the organized team activities. He is experimenting with different shoes right now to find the right fit. "Barring any setbacks, I hope to keep moving forward," Locker said. This is a crucial season for Locker. The 10th overall draft pick in 2010 is heading into the final season of his rookie contract after the Titans decided not to pick up his fifth-year option. New coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster both have endorsed Locker as their starter repeatedly, but the pressure now is on the quarterback to stay on the field and win. Locker was good when he was on the field in 2013, completing a career-best 60.7 per cent of his passes. He also had twice as many touchdowns (eight) as interceptions (four). But he was only started seven games, winning four. The Titans have tried to protect themselves by bringing in veteran Charlie Whitehurst, who knows Whisenhunts offence very well, to back up Locker. They also drafted Zach Mettenberger of LSU in the sixth round. Whisenhunt said its a credit to Locker for working hard and now they must see him continue that progress off the first day. "A good assessment the first day is how they handle the terminology going into the huddle, and he did a nice job with that," Whisenhunt said. "Hes been working at it a couple of weeks now, but just the way hes been studying, the way hes working out I really like that. Theres no substitute for getting the work on the field. But even seeing some of the drills today youre seeing him make progress (with) his footwork, some of his progressions so Im excited about that." Tight end Delanie Walker said Locker was putting the ball on target. "Its always good to see your starting quarterback out there running the offence for us, especially in team and seven-on-seven," Walker said. "But it didnt surprise me. Thats Jake. Hes a fighter. Hes going to be out there. Hes going compete. Hes a leader, and that shows leadership. Its good to have Jake out there throwing the ball to us just to get the timing down." Gale Sayers Youth Jersey . -- Jane Kish stopped all 25 shots she faced as the Weyburn Gold Wings blanked the Sudbury Lady Wolves 3-0 on Friday to advance to the gold-medal game at the Esso Cup. Mike Singletary Bears Jersey . He, the 25-year-old Toronto backup net-minder and Manitoba native, would be making just his fourth start in the past 16 games against the Jets the following evening. It was the word of opportunity for Reimer, who has fallen into the role of backup, outmatched in recent weeks by Jonathan Bernier, his Quebec counterpart. LOS ANGELES -- There was no warm welcome back. No video montage of highlights that brought back the good old days. That didnt keep Dwight Howard from thoroughly enjoying his first road game against the team he left as a free agent after one tumultuous season. Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Houston Rockets in 134-108 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night that extended the Rockets winning streak to eight games. "Were always going to have fun when were playing basketball. We love what were doing," Howard said. "Were playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible." The streak is Houstons longest since a franchise-record, 22-game run in 2007-08 under Rick Adelman. James Harden scored 11 of his 29 points in the final 1:25 of the third quarter and added 11 assists. Wesley Johnson scored 24 points for Los Angeles, and Kendall Marshall had 20 points and 16 assists. The injury-ravaged Lakers remained tied for last place in the Western Conference with Sacramento at 18-36. "The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day. But I cant focus on the Lakers," Howard said. "My focus is on the Rockets and what were trying to accomplish." It was Howards third game against the Lakers since leaving the organization to sign a four-year, $88 million contract with the Rockets in July. Los Angeles offered the eight-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year a five-year, $118 million deal to stay. "Hes having a great year there, but I felt he did the same thing here," Lakers guard Jodie Meeks said. "The numbers are almost identical. He had a pretty good year last year -- and for whatever reason, some people didnt think so." Howard played 76 games last season, averaging 17.1 points and a league-best 12.4 rebounds despite residual pain from back surgery -- compounded by a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Howards only season in Tinseltown ended with a whimper -- a four-game sweep by San Antonio in the first round of the playoffs, when he was ejected from what would turn out to be his final game as a Laker for protesting a non-call. The sellout crowd booed Howard every time he touched the ball. It began during warm-ups about 45 minutes before the game, after a few of his ex-teammates came over to say hello at midcourt. Roquan Smith Jersey. . The fans then drowned out public address announcer Lawrence Tanter before he could get Howards name out of his mouth during the introductions. Howard received a technical foul just 78 seconds into the game after dunking on Chris Kaman. "I think it was more emotion than anything," Howard said. "I dont know if the ref thought I was talking to Kaman, but one of my friends was sitting courtside and I was just looking at him and having some fun. It wasnt nothing toward the Lakers or any of their guys. I was just talking trash to one of my friends." Less than 90 minutes before tipoff, the Lakers dealt guard Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors for reserve guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks. Coach Mike DAntoni was still talking about Blake in the present tense during his pregame session with reporters before the deal was consummated, and the trade left him with only eight players in uniform and his 28th different starting lineup due to injuries to Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Nick Young. Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a sore hamstring, and Meeks was back in action after sitting out five games with a sprained right ankle. Harden helped the Rockets build a 64-43 halftime lead with 15 points in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break. Howard added 14 points and 10 rebounds -- the 10th time this season that he had a double-double by halftime. NOTES: The Rockets were 18 for 35 on free throws, after attempting more than 50 in each of the previous two meetings. ... Bryant hasnt played in any of the games against Houston since he and Howard became ex-teammates. In fact, hes played in only six games altogether. The season series concludes on April 8 at Los Angeles. ... The Lakers have lost seven games by margins of at least 20 or more points. ... Harden scored at least 30 points in each of his previous four games against the Lakers. ... The Rockets began a five-game road trip that will end right back here at Staples Center against the Clippers. ' ' '