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NEW YORK -- For nearly three years, Jadeveon Clowney couldnt wait to get to the NFL, and the league was just as eager to add the player some called the best defensive prospect in a decade. No surprise: Clowney is the Texans man. But Thursdays first pick of the NFL draft didnt come without some intrigue about how it would all turn out. There had been criticism of Clowneys work ethic last season and questions about whether the Texans would hold or trade the No. 1 slot. "I just been proving a lot of people wrong throughout my life," Clowney said. "Growing up, I grew up hard. I always said Im going to do something great. Hopefully, Im going to be a Hall of Famer one day." Houston will take that. This drafts other big name, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, sat with a sullen look on his face until Cleveland made its third trade of the round and grabbed the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner at No. 22. To rousing cheers and chants of "Johnny, Johnny," Manziel smiled widely as he walked onto the Radio City Music Hall stage. "If you call it a slide, I wouldnt call it that at all," he said. "I was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. "Its a great story. Its great for me to end up there, at a team that has fans that are as passionate as I am on the field." Manziels wait added plenty of suspense nearly three hours after the Texans took their time selecting Clowney. Rarely does a team not reveal the top overall choice until it is announced, and there was wide speculation the Texans had soured on the defensive end, whose junior season at South Carolina was accompanied by criticism he played it safe to stay healthy for the pros. After Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the pick, fans filling Radio City Music Hall to capacity applauded Clowney as he held up his index finger, his eyes moist, a relieved look on his face. Just like the 30 prospects on hand, the fans were extra eager to see who would wind up where after the draft was pushed back from late April because the theatre was unavailable. "Its been a long time. It just kicked in at the end there, man, Ive been drafted," he said. Clowney, 21, brings size, speed and power to a lineup that already has 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. His diligence had been questioned after he slipped from 13 sacks to just three in 2013. Critics said he was protecting himself from injury in his junior year before declaring early for the draft. He is the first defensive player taken first overall since Houston selected another end, Mario Williams, in 2006. Williams now is with Buffalo. Houston also made the top pick in its first season, 2002, taking quarterback David Carr. He never lived up to that billing; the Texans hope Clowney has more of an impact. Tackle Greg Robinson, whose blocking helped high-powered Auburn make the national championship game last season, went second to St. Louis. The Rams owned the pick as the final payment for a 2012 trade with Washington that allowed the Redskins to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III. St. Louis is concerned about the health of starting left tackle Jake Long, who is coming off knee surgery. The first quarterback to go went to Jacksonville in the third slot, but it wasnt Johnny Football. Blake Bortles of Central Florida, whose stock shot up last season and in subsequent workouts. At 6-5, 232, Bortles drew comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger because of his combination of size and mobility. Jacksonville missed the last time it took a QB in the first round, Blaine Gabbert in 2011. The Jaguars gave up on the inconsistent Gabbert, who struggled to read defences and was benched for journeyman Chad Henne. Gabbert is now a backup in San Francisco. "Hes a down-to-earth guy, a self-made guy, a blue-collar guy and he wants to be the best he can be," said Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell, who added a word of caution: "He just needs a little bit of time." Seeing a chance to grab playmaking receiver Sammy Watkins of Clemson, Buffalo swapped spots with Cleveland, also sending a first- and fourth-round selection next year to move up from ninth to fourth. "Dynamic playmaker, and thats what this game is all about," Bills GM Doug Whaley said of Watkins. "Hes automatically going to make our quarterback (EJ Manuel) better." Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews, the son of Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, went to Atlanta with the sixth overall pick. The Falcons leaked so badly on the offensive line in 2013 as they plummeted from NFC South champion to 4-12 that Matt Ryan was sacked 44 times. Another Aggies star was chosen next, receiver Mike Evans to Tampa Bay. The 6-4, 231-pound Evans is durable, versatile -- and quite emotional. He also couldnt hold back the tears when Goodell called his name. The crowd thought Manziel might go eighth when Cleveland traded up one spot to get Minnesotas pick. So when the Browns took cornerback Justin Gilbert of Oklahoma State, there was a loud groan from the fans. Gilbert smiled wryly as he shook Goodells hand. Minnesota grabbed UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, Detroit selected North Carolinas Eric Ebron, by far the best tight end in this crop, and Tennessee filled a need on the offensive line with Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan. Finally, a local team was on the clock and the audience approved lustily when the Giants chose LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham was followed by Pitt DT Aaron Donald to St. Louis, Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller to Chicago, Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier to Ohio State, Notre Dame G Zack Martin to Dallas, Alabama LB C.J. Mosley to Baltimore and, as fans chanted "J-E-T-S," Louisville safety Calvin Pryor is New York-bound. Minnesota finished off the opening round by trading with Seattle to select Louisvilles Teddy Bridgewater, the third quarterback taken. Bridgewater was an early entrant into the draft, but already had graduated. Shayne Gostisbehere Flyers Jersey Authentic . Acclaimed by world football leaders but held in contempt by many football fans. Blatter should arrive at the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo to watch host Brazil play Croatia confident that this tournament -- his fifth as president -- wont be his last leading the worlds favourite sport. Vincent Lecavalier Flyers Jersey . The hard-serving 22-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., became the first Canadian to be ranked in the Top 10 on the ATP World Tour thanks to his runner-up performance at Rogers Cup in Montreal. http://www.hockeyflyersauthentic.com/customized/. Cabrera is hitting .218 with three homers and 16 RBI in 80 games this season. The Padres recalled second baseman Brooks Conrad from Triple-A El Paso to replace Cabrera on the roster. Michael Del Zotto Flyers Jersey Authentic .m. ET, CBSOPENING LINE — Packers by 3RECORD VS. SPREAD — New England 7-4, Green Bay 5-5-1SERIES RECORD — Tied 5-5. Jaromir Jagr Flyers Jersey Authentic .Y. - Carey Price had an early feeling that one goal might be enough to settle the latest matchup between his Montreal Canadiens and longtime Original Six foe, the New York Rangers.TORONTO - The whistle was in Peter Horacheks mouth and players eyes were on him when the Toronto Maple Leafs began the post-Randy Carlyle era. There was little doubt who was in charge.The Maple Leafs officially named Horachek interim head coach Wednesday after 24 hours of uncertainty about the role he and Steve Spott would play in the aftermath of Carlyles firing. Horachek had the experience of being the interim coach last season with the Florida Panthers, so it was natural to give him control in Toronto.I think he did an excellent job with the Panthers last year, said Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz, Horacheks longtime boss in Nashville. This is a great opportunity for him on an interim basis. Theres no question that hes head-coach material.Horachek lost his Leafs debut to his mentor, 6-2.Trotz, who had Horachek on his staff with the Predators for 10 years, said he has always seen his protege as a head coach.Hes knowledgeable and hes got good balance in terms of player relationships, systems, all that, Trotz said in a phone conversation Tuesday. Hes disciplined, he demands accountability, but he can communicate. Some guys demand accountability and cant communicate. He demands accountability and he gets respect because he communicates.Carlyle was demanding, but one of his drawbacks was a communication disconnect with players. Thats an old-school mentality that can work to a point, but also wears thin with players who want to know why theyre sitting or getting less ice time.Unlike Spott, whos a popular players coach, Horachek isnt a polar opposite of Carlyle. The 54-year-old is more of a hybrid.I would say hes fair, Trotz said. Players will recognize that hes very fair in his decision-making and his doling out of ice time and all that. Hes not afraid to tell it like it is when its needed and hes not averse to putting his arm around a guy.Defenceman Jake Gardiner, never one of Carlyles favourite players because of mental mistakes, has appreciated Horacheks honesty all season as an assistant coach.I think hes been really good about that this year, Gardiner said. Its nice when you know where you stand with coaches and on the team in your role.Horachek, a Hamilton boy born in nearby Stoney Creek, Ont., wants players to be accountable to each other and not see him and the rest of the coaching staff as enemies.You have to make them feel like its OK to talk to them, Horachek said. My door is open, they can come in and have their opinions, I can tell them whats going on. I can (give) them an opportunity to say what they want. Theyre not feeling like my thumb is on top of them, theyre feeling like were in this together.For a decade, Horachek and Trotz were in it together. Horachek was on Trotzs staff from 2003 to 2014 and was promoted to associate coach for his final three seasons with the Predators.When Horachek stepped in front of the cameras to address the media at Air Canada Centre for the first time as interim coach, he joked that he thought Trotz would talk alongside him. No, this was his stage.Horachek had already coached 66 NHL games going into Wednesday night, going 26-36-4 last season with the Panthers after replacing Kevin Dineen. Before his foray into the NHL on Trotzs staff, Horachek was an accomplished coach in the minors.He led teams to the playoffs in the Colonial Hockey League, International Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League and American Hockey League. Horacheks Orlando Solar Bears won the IHL title in 2001.Hes had head-coaching experience at every level, hes had success at every level, Trotz said. Having some brief experience with the pressures of head-coaching in the National Hockey League, he did that in Florida for a while, and then obviously being in that fishbowl in Tooronto, I think hes very prepared.ddddddddddddUntil this year, the Maple Leafs did not let assistant coaches speak to the media, but on at least a handful of occasions from training camp on either Horachek or Spott took Carlyles place to talk on a given day.Trotz thinks it mightve been a bit overwhelming for Horachek if he went right from a decade in Nashville to the centre of the hockey universe. But the Panthers experience and half a season on staff with the Leafs built up a tolerance to the spotlight.I think he has a good grasp of what the demands are there, Trotz said. Hes very good with the media, hes very personable, he tells it like it is. Thats what youre going to get with Peter. You get an honest approach. From a media standpoint and from a player standpoint youre going to know where he stands.That may have been an issue with Carlyle, who had the ability of rubbing players the wrong way. Its impossible to forget Mikhail Grabovskis comments on the way out, and the coachs OK, just OK review of James Reimers play in one game last season in Detroit was emblematic of a strained relationship.On Tuesday, star winger Phil Kessel didnt sugarcoat that his relationship with Carlyle wasnt always sunshine and roses.It was fine, Kessel said. I think every relationship has its ups and downs. Obviously, Im not excited to see him go or anything like that. Im disappointed because its a reflection on us as a group that we didnt get it done.Horachek feels a part of that, too, so hes not celebrating taking over for Carlyle.Nobodys happy when this happens, when a coach gets removed its a part of our fraternity, Horachek said. Im not happy about it. Though its given me an opportunity, its still not a happy day for everybody.Being in charge for just two practices before the Leafs took the ice against the Capitals, Horachek knew he couldnt make sweeping changes right away. He could have, actually, but his years in hockey taught him not to try.As we go forward, there may be things that we may talk about changing, Horachek said. If you go in the first day and make it all about change, thats what youre going to get: a little bit of a confusion, a little bit of an unfocused attitude. We want to make sure were focused, were ready to play.This summer, president Brendan Shanahan and the Leafs could have a laundry list of experienced coaches to choose from, including Mike Babcock, Dan Bylsma, Pete DeBoer and perhaps Todd McLellan. The long term is on the minds of executives, who watched Wednesdays morning skate with a keen eye, but the immediate future is what Horachek is concerned about.Weve got half a season and we have to make sure were going to do something positive with that, he said.Because of that, Horachek insists hes not worrying about being the long-term, full-time coach of the Leafs. Last year he took over for Dineen and was let go in favour of Gerard Gallant, so Horachek knows the deal.Im not worried about what theyre going to do or what theyre going to say, Horachek said. When its time if they feel like its warranted, theyre going to come to me and say, OK thats whats happening. Until that time I can only worry about worrying about preparing players, making sure theyre feeling that theyre in the best light and the best opportunities to play their best game.Notes — When naming Horachek interim coach, the Leafs also announced manager of player development Steve Staios would go behind the bench. Staoiss title is not changing but he was in that spot against the Capitals. ... Forward Carter Ashton cleared waivers at noon Wednesday and was assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. ... Horacheks second game as Leafs coach is Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.___Follow @SWhyno on Twitter Cheap Chargers Jerseys Cheap Rams Jersey Cheap Dolphins Jerseys Cheap Vikings Jerseys Cheap Patriots Jersey Cheap Saints Jerseys Cheap New York Giants Jerseys Cheap Jets Jerseys Cheap Raiders Jerseys Cheap Eagles Jerseys Cheap Steelers Jerseys Cheap 49ers Jerseys Cheap Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Titans Jerseys Cheap Redskins Jerseys ' ' '


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