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panxing18 Posted: 09-14-2018 2:29 PM
A new offseason workout plan has rejuvenated Pittsburgh Steelers‘ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The 36-year-old indicated that he’s in the best shape of his career Thursday following the team’s first training camp practice at St. Vincent College.

A leaner Marquez Valdes-Scantling Jersey , trimmer Roethlisberger hopes the additional offseason work can play a part in helping the Steelers to another championship.

”Anything you can do to lighten the load on your knees and ankles, I think is important,” said Roethlisberger, who worked with a personal trainer and nutritionist to cut sugar and carbohydrates from his diet to get him ready for his 15th season.

”The knees, the ankles, being lighter … those are all positives when it comes to this age, playing football and a sport where you’re pounding on your knees and you’ve had a couple knee surgeries.”

It could be his last chance to win a championship with two-time All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell.

Bell is away from the team after he and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension earlier this month, meaning he will play under the $14.5 million franchise tag for the second straight year.

Bell skipped training camp last year and signed his franchise tender less than a week before the start of the season. He is expected to follow the same plan and then play what could be his final season in Pittsburgh.

”I don’t know what’s going on with his agents and how this whole thing works, so I’m not sure what’s going to happen,” Roethlisberger said.

Nobody’s sure when Bell will show up either. Until then, former Pitt star running back James Conner, rookie fifth-round pick Jaylen Samuels and veterans Stevan Ridley and Fitzgerald Toussaint will carry the load.

”Le’Veon is one of the best, if not the best in the business,” Roethlisberger said. ”We miss him as a teammate Ronnie Lott Jersey , but I look at it as an awesome opportunity for the other guys.”

Roethlisberger, whose contract expires in the spring of 2020, is excited about the offensive line in front of him and the Steelers’ skill players at running back and wide receiver, led by Bell and four-time All-Pro Antonio Brown.

”I really like where this team is at,” Roethlisberger said. ”If I didn’t have a good feeling about this team, it probably wouldn’t be as exciting, but I am excited about this group.”

He led the team to a 13-3 regular season last season, which included a second straight AFC North title and third in four years. But the Steelers were upset by Jacksonville at home during the divisional round in the playoffs.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said it’s reasonable to expect another big season from Roethlisberger after his renewed offseason conditioning focus.

”Regardless of position, we always say physical conditioning precedes anything else,” Tomlin said. ”When a guy shows up in great shape, that’s oftentimes a springboard for big-time play.”

While Roethlisberger hopes the additional work can prolong his career, he also reiterated that he’s only focused on this season.

”I think the biggest key is physical health,” Roethlisberger said. ”When you get done with the season, how do you feel physically? Do you feel physically able to go back another season or not? We’ll address that when the season is over and that’s a long ways away.”

Roethlisberger established career highs in completions Brian Poole Jersey , attempts, completion percentage, yards and touchdowns under Todd Haley, but shared an at-times contentious relationship with the Steelers’ former offensive coordinator.

This season, he will work with former quarterbacks coach Randy Fichtner, who has taken over the play-calling duties after Haley’s deal wasn’t renewed in January. Roethlisberger said Fichtner hasn’t changed much offensively.

”He’s not going to change who he is,” Roethlisberger said. ”He’s not going to change his approach to the game and be a different person.”

As long as it leads to a Super Bowl title, that’s all that matters to Roethlisberger.

”If you win more than you lose, that’s important, but winning those games can lead to Super Bowl opportunities, so that’s always our ultimate goal,” Roethlisberger said. ”There’s 31 other teams doing the same thing. That needs to be our singular focus.”

ST. LOUIS — A month ago, St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen was saddled to the bench. Now he’s the league’s second star.

Allen went 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in wins over Boston, Vancouver and Columbus last week. The Blues’ 2-1 win on Saturday ended the Blue Jackets‘ 10-game winning streak.

“We’ve got a good thing going right now Kenneth Dixon Jersey ,” Allen told NHL.com. “I just happened to get the honor.

It’s not a huge deal. Right now, we’re headed in the right direction. Seven games left, a big one tomorrow and looking forward to it.”

Allen earned the second star behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and ahead of Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor.

Allen went 2-13-0 from Dec. 14-Feb. 25. During that span, Carter Hutton went 11-5-0 and earned the majority of the playing time before being sidelined due to an injury.

With Hutton shelved, Allen found his game again.

“Both have had really good years for us and obviously there was a time where with Jake, maybe it wasn’t going as well,” Blues coach Mike Yeo told NHL.com. “We could point to the goal scoring, we could point to a number of things, but I think by his standards, I think by our standards, we knew that there was another level there and certainly we’re seeing it right now with Jake.

“But Carter’s play during that time, that was real important for the group. You need two goalies in the NHL right now. The days of a guy being in the net for 70 games a year and being problem-free for the whole season, it’s too difficult not. It’s too much parity, it’s too much with all the schedules Jerry Hughes Jersey , too demanding. The importance of two goaltenders probably has never been more important.”

Hutton returned to practice on Monday and likely will get a start over the weekend when the Blues have back-to-back road games in Vegas and Arizona.

Allen figures to get the nod as the Blues host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. St. Louis had won five straight and entered Monday holding the second wild card in the Western Conference.

The Blues are 0-2-0 against the Sharks this season, including a 2-0 loss in San Jose on March 8.

The Sharks won their eighth straight, edging the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a shootout on Monday. It is tied for the third-longest winning streak in Sharks history and is their longest since winning nine straight from Nov. 13-Dec. 4, 2008.

Kevin Labanc scored the game-winner in the fifth round of the shootout and Martin Jones made 28 saves.

“It wasn’t pretty for a lot of it,” Jones told NHL.com. “But we found a way to win, and we’ve been doing that a lot lately, so that’s a good sign.”

Sharks forward Joe Pavelski said the team cannot get complacent.

“Our game’s still in a good spot, but it has to go back up a level instead of trending down,” Pavelski told NHL.com. “We understand where we’re at, what time of the season it is, what needs to be done.”

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