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Pete Carroll sees few offseason needs for Seahawks

Pete Carroll AP

It stands to reason that since the Seahawks just won the Super Bowl, they’re feeling pretty good about the state of their team.

But coach Pete Carroll said he doesn’t see many changes this offseason, at least of last year’s variety.

I don’t see anything that we need to add. We just have to get better,” Carroll said, via the Associated Press. “These players know that they got better all the way to the last game of the season. That’s always out there for us and that will continue to be our focus. . . .

“They have come together to do something very special and it’s not just one year. We’re just getting warmed up if you know what I’m talking about.”

The fact they have a cheap, successful quarterback in Russell Wilson is the first step in keeping a young nucleus together, but the Seahawks went all-out last offseason, trading for Percy Harvin and giving him a giant contract, then buying free agent pass-rushers in bulk when they became inexpensive.

“The priority is for us to get back to work and work really hard again,” Carroll said. “That’s going to be more important. It’s not going to be something from the outside of us. We have what we need, we just need to get back to work when the time comes with the right attitude and the right focus. That’s all I’m concerned about.”

While taking care of their own will be a focus, the reality is teams will always try to pluck players from a winner. So while free agents such as wide receiver Golden Tate and defensive end Michael Bennett want to come back, there’s no guarantee they will be.

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Bashaud Breeland has “moderate” high ankle strain

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Bashaud Breeland #26 of the Washington Redskins is carted off the field in the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Redskins know that safety DeAngelo Hall won’t be back in the lineup this season due to the torn ACL he suffered against the Giants and they may be without one of their other starters in the secondary for a bit.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland went for an MRI on the ankle he hurt in Sunday’s victory and coach Jay Gruden said Monday, via the Washington Post, that Breeland is dealing with a “moderate” high-ankle strain. The plan is for Breeland to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis, which suggests that he’ll likely miss Week Four’s game against the Browns.

Breeland was replaced by Dashaun Phillips against the Giants, but Phillips tweaked his hamstring during the game. That could open the door for third-round pick Kendall Fuller.

The Redskins also lost a pair of offensive linemen during the game. Gruden used “moderate” to describe center Kory Lichtensteiger’s calf strain and left guard Shawn Lauvao’s ankle sprain as well. Left tackle Trent Williams moved to guard to replace Lauvao, but Gruden said the team hasn’t decided how they’d proceed without the two players this week.

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Adam Gase tired of mistakes, ready to bench guys if need be

Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase shouts from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) AP

Dolphins coach Adam Gase is demanding accountability, and he is more than prepared to bench guys to prove his point.

The latest was right tackle Ja’Wuan James, who was pulled after allowing a strip-sack fumble near the end of regulation, which would have been costly if the Browns could hit field goals.

“I’m over discussing any of this stuff with players,” Gase said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “We’re either going to start getting the job done, or we’re going to make changes.”

Gase didn’t promise that James would return to the starting lineup Thursday night against the Bengals, and was generally displeased with the protection being offered to quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who has been hit 19 times in 132 dropbacks.

“We just want guys to do it right,” Gase said. “Whoever wants to do it right, those are the guys that we’re going to put out there. Talent’s irrelevant at this point. . . .

”It’s hard to throw a ball with any kind of timing where they pressure and we get it picked up, but we get beat so fast that the quarterback doesn’t even have a chance.”

Gase is clearly protective of Tannehill, knowing that’s his best chance to be successful in the short term there. But if he’s not upright, he can’t do that.

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Kyle Rudolph praises Sam Bradford’s toughness

Minnesota Vikings' Sam Bradford (8) is sacked by Carolina Panthers' Lavar Edwards (93) in the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn) AP

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford has made a great impact on his teammates, and not just because of his ability to throw a football. On Monday, tight end Kyle Rudolph became the most recent Vikings to praise Bradford’s ability to take a hit.

“I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned about Sam is just how tough he is,” Rudolph said on PFT Live. “The way that he stood in there not only yesterday but also last week taking hit after hit after hit and still making throws downfield. A couple throws come to mind against Green Bay last week to [Stephon] Diggs and you don’t really see it until you go back and watch the tape. He’s got a lot of guts and a lot of grit and he stands in there and throws the ball downfield knowing he’s gonna take a hit.”

The passing game has become more important given the knee injury suffered by running back Adrian Peterson.

“Anytime you lose a player of that magnitude it has an effect,” Rudolph said of Peterson. “We kind of went through it with Teddy [Bridgewater] a little under a month ago and you can never replace a player of that caliber. They’re just irreplaceable but it was kind of the message when Teddy went down and it’s been the message unfortunately throughout the early part of our season. Each guy on the team has to do one more thing better and get a little better each day and try to make up that ground that we’re missing when you lose a great player.”

Even without a couple of great players, the Vikings could be on the verge of becoming great.

“For us it’s about getting better each and every week,” Rudolph said. “Obviously, we think we have a ton of talent. We wouldn’t have traded a first-round pick for a quarterback at the beginning of the season if our organization didn’t believe that we can win now and believe in the talent that we have in that locker room but for us it’s about sticking to what we do. Playing complimentary football, playing smart football and winning the game in the fourth quarter.”

They’ve done it for three straight Sundays, getting better as the game unfolds. The next chance comes Monday night, against the Giants.

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Despite finishing game with glove, Matt Ryan says thumb is fine

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs off the field after an NFL football game  against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The Falcons won 45-32. (AP Photo/Bill Feig) AP

Matt Ryan was able to flash a thumb’s up last night, and said any issue with his thumb during the game was not a problem moving forward.

According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Ryan appeared to hurt his left (non-throwing) thumb during last night’s win over the Saints.

After being sacked by Nick Fairley in the fourth quarter, he went to the sideline and was getting checked by athletic trainers. When he returned to the game, he was wearing a glove on his left hand.

I took a hit on it in the game, but I’m fine,” Ryan said. “Put a glove on just to make sure I’d get a good grip afterwards. But I’m fine. I feel pretty good.”

Whatever degree of issue it was, Falcons coach Dan Quinn wasn’t even aware of it after the game, so it’s reasonable to think it’s no big deal.

Ryan’s been among the most durable quarterbacks in the league, not missing a game since 2009 when a turf toe injury sidelined him.

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Michael Floyd cleared to return Sunday, had headaches Monday

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25:   Corey Graham #20 of the Buffalo Bills breaks up a pass intended for Michael Floyd #15 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at New Era Field on September 25, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd hit his head hard on the turf when he was tackled during Sunday’s game against the Bills, but he was checked by the medical staff on the sideline and cleared to return.

On Monday, however, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Floyd was reporting headaches and has now entered the concussion protocol.

That points to one of the inherent flaws in the NFL’s procedures on game days: Even if a player isn’t exhibiting any symptoms of a concussion immediately after he takes a hit to the head, it’s possible that he did suffer a concussion and will only show symptoms later.

Floyd, who is second among the Cardinals’ wide receivers with nine catches this season, will not be able to play Sunday against the Rams unless he is cleared through the league’s concussion evaluation process.

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Packers’ Jared Cook suffers high ankle sprain

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 18: Jared Cook #89 of the Green Bay Packers is tackled by Trae Waynes #26 of the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter of the game on September 18, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Packers 17-14. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Packers tight end Jared Cook is expected to miss some time with a high ankle sprain.

Although there’s been no official word from the team and the Packers are on their bye this week, a high ankle sprain usually takes several weeks to heal, so it’s unlikely that he’d be on the field when they return in Week Five against the Giants.

Cook was seen in the Packers’ locker room on crutches and wearing a protective boot.

Through three games, Cook is fourth on the team with six catches.

While Cook is out, Richard Rodgers and Justin Perillo will get more playing time at tight end. Devon Cajuste could be called up from the practice squad if the Packers think they need a third healthy tight end on the roster.

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Gus Bradley doesn’t think offense was too conservative

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley in the game against the Baltimore Ravens at EverBank Field on September 25, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Jaguars lost 19-17 to the Ravens on Sunday, Jaguars defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks said he thought the team was too conservative after taking a 17-16 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars got the ball twice in Baltimore territory following Joe Flacco interceptions and saw the drives end with a Blake Bortles interception and a blocked field goal. They ran twice for no gain before the interception and ran on first down on the second drive before a completed pass and sack of Bortles led to the field goal attempt.

On Monday, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said he had no problem with how offensive coordinator Greg Olson called the plays.

“You look at the four-minute situation, there are a lot of time management discussions,” Bradley said, via the Florida Times-Union. “They had three timeouts. We talked about that in OTAs and training camp: We’ve got to be able to run it when they know we’re going to run it. We didn’t get that done yesterday. You have to do [run it well] so they use their timeouts and we were looking to get a first down. That’s not to say you won’t throw it on third down, but we really wanted to strain our guys and [say], ‘This is a must time. You have to be able to run the ball here.'”

The Jaguars haven’t been able to run the ball when defenses don’t know they’re going to run it, so it’s no great shock that they failed to do it when the Ravens were waiting for Chris Ivory. The sack and interception make it clear that passing the ball wasn’t necessarily going to be a silver bullet for the Jaguars, but zigging when the Ravens were expecting a zag might have been a good way to go with a chance to take a commanding lead late in the game.

Losing close games leads to that kind of Monday morning quarterbacking and the Jags have done a fair amount of it under Bradley over the last three-plus years. The word from owner Shad Khan this offseason was that it was time for that to change, but the song has remained the same so far this season.

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Tuesday morning one-liners

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 25: Eddie Lacy #27 of the Green Bay Packers runs against the Detroit Lions
at Lambeau Field on September 25, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills defense was more aggressive against the Cardinals.

Dolphins coach Adam Gase said there may be lineup changes coming.

What did Patriots coach Bill Belichick see in DL John Hughes?

A look at why the Jets passed so much in the red zone.

Ravens G Alex Lewis is going through the concussion protocol.

LB Vontaze Burfict is back for the Bengals.

Browns WR Corey Coleman promises a full-speed return from his broken hand.

What will RB Le’Veon Bell’s return mean for the Steelers offense?

Texans coach Bill O’Brien said that his team has put last week’s loss behind them.

Rookie G Joe Haeg had a good showing for the Colts against the Chargers.

What’s the problem with the Jaguars running game?

The Titans hope WR Kendall Wright can get on the field this week.

QB Trevor Siemian continues to earn rave reviews from the Broncos.

RB Jamaal Charles‘ return still looms in the future for the Chiefs.

Nine rookies saw time for the Raiders in their Week Three win.

Said Chargers coach Mike McCoy of Achilles injuries suffered by his players, “We’re going to do all the research we can definitely to figure out, is there something we can do to help the players, but we do that every year.”

Said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett of QB Dak Prescott, “We haven’t just put the handcuffs on him, if you will. We let him play. He’s seen a lot of different fronts, a lot of different covers, a lot of different pressures.”

How will the Giants shuffle their running backs with Shane Vereen injured?

The Eagles will stick with RB Ryan Mathews as a starter when he’s healthy.

Coach Jay Gruden may have revived the Redskins again.

The Bears aren’t generating much pass rush.

The Lions waived LB Zaviar Gooden on Monday.

Packers RB Eddie Lacy is pleased with how the season has opened for him.

Coach Mike Zimmer says that a strong Vikings defense is the product of a team effort.

S Keanu Neal had a good night in his Falcons debut.

Panthers CB James Bradberry isn’t going to make a lot of headlines talking about Julio Jones this week.

There don’t appear to be any easy answers for the Saints defense.

Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter is talking about the need for a winning culture.

The Cardinals are trying to get back on track this week.

How did the Rams deal with Sunday’s extended weather delay?

Five takeaways from the 49ers’ loss in Week Three.

RB Christine Michael might have done enough to start for the Seahawks even if Thomas Rawls was healthy.

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Jets kicking the tires on C.J. Spiller today

Spiller Getty Images

The Jets are pushing all kinds of buttons at the moment, including taking a look at some veteran players who could help them now.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Jets are working out running back C.J. Spiller today.

The former Bills first-rounder has worked out for the Packers since being released by the Saints, so it’s unclear if teams think he’s physically ready to contribute.

The Jets have only been keeping two backs active on game days, with Matt Forte and Bilal Powell setting into their complementary roles.

But between the “come-to-Jesus meeting” and claiming guys like Austin Seferian-Jenkins off waivers, it’s clear the Jets are feeling a bit of pressure already after a 1-2 start.

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Jets have a “come-to-Jesus meeting” on Monday

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets oversees warm ups before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s early enough in the season that we don’t quite know exactly what some teams will turn out to be come the final weeks of the year and the Jets have to hope that they wind up looking more like the team that won in Buffalo in Week Two than the one that lost in Kansas City in Week Three.

They don’t have much time to ruminate on the topic before the Seahawks are in town and then it is on to road games in Pittsburgh and Arizona with the 1-2 Jets’ margin for error slimmer after their eight-turnover disaster against the Chiefs. Of course, a margin for error won’t matter much at all if that outing turns out to be who the Jets are this season.

That wouldn’t be a good look for coach Todd Bowles, who started off this week with a speech to his team that tried to get them moving forward after a bad loss.

“Every time you lose like that, you have to have a come-to-Jesus meeting,” Bowles said in comments distributed by the team. “We talked about accountability and just understanding where we are in the season and who we are and what we need to be, pretty much. … Throughout the course of the season, there will be a bunch of turning points. It’s not going to be the last time we face adversity. There are going to be several times down the road where we face adversity. We just have to learn from our mistakes.”

Bowles didn’t delve into specifics about what the Jets might do differently moving forward, but the broad strokes are obvious enough for a team that has looked pretty good over the last two seasons when they aren’t handing the ball to the opposition.

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John Harbaugh likes Steve Smith’s fire, on and off the field

Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) runs as Jacksonville Jaguars strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (37) makes the tackle after a reception during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton) AP

Not only was Ravens coach John Harbaugh caught in the middle of the conversation between Steve Smith and Jaguars rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, it’s clear that’s where he wanted to be.

Harbaugh said he enjoyed seeing his veteran wide receiver send a little back Ramsey’s way in the post-game.

I got caught in the middle of that,” Harbaugh said, via Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun. “It was kind of fun, it was fun. I thought Steve Smith had a heck of a game. If that’s how he responds to whatever challenge put before him out there, I’m for it. I’m for that happening every week. I thought he responded quite well.”

Smith had just logged his best game of the year, with a team-high eight catches for 87 yards, so a little jawing back and forth (in person and on Twitter, where Smith eviscerated the kid) from a 37-year-old coming off a torn Achilles was a good sign.

“He’s looked good to me from Day 1,” Harbaugh said. “I saw a bunch of plays made yesterday, I saw a lot of competitive fire, and he was critical for us. He made some huge chunk plays when we needed him the most. So I haven’t had any concerns about Steve at all really, all year. I’m sure glad he’s on our side, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he plays this week.”

And he’s probably also looking forward to the next clash with some poor corner, which you know is inevitable.

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Drew Brees on 0-3 start: At some point it turns

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The Falcons won 45-32. (AP Photo/Bill Feig) AP

The Saints kept Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones in check on Monday night as Jones had just one catch for 16 yards.

There wasn’t much other good news for them to report, however. The Falcons ran wild on the ground, avoided turnovers and benefitted from three by the Saints in a 45-32 win that dropped the Saints to 0-3 on the season. The issues that plagued them in the Superdome on Monday were similar to the ones that dogged them in the first two weeks, but quarterback Drew Brees didn’t sound like he expects the same issues to plague the team all season.

“We’re not saying it’s easy, but at some point it turns,” Brees said after the game. “We don’t know when that’s going to be. Hope it’s this week. That’s why you go out and get the type of guys that we have in the locker room. You don’t get guys that are going to turn on one another or cash in if times get tough. You go out and get tough, competitive guys that love the game of football, love to compete, love to play for one another. Look at any team throughout the course of a year, any team that has gone on and done great things. There are moments of adversity. There are moments and times where it would have been easy to throw it in or not approach it in a positive way and I feel like we have the right type of guys to turn this thing around and when we do, look out.”

This is the fourth time that a Saints team with Brees at quarterback has started 0-3 and none of the previous teams have made the playoffs or finished with a winning record, so how much things will turn is a matter for some debate because they probably need to go at least 9-4 the rest of the way to advance to the postseason. The Saints team we’ve seen for the first three weeks hasn’t looked good enough to reel off that kind of record.

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La’el Collins has surgery on his big toe, but they think he can come back

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 23:   Ronald Leary #65 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts in the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys are going to have to get by without their Sgt. Hulka for the next few months but there’s a chance they could get him back.

According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Cowboys left guard La’El Collins is having surgery to repair the ligament damage to his right big toe suffered Monday. They’ve already placed him on injured reserve, but the team is holding out hope he can return later in the year.

(This is also where not putting Tony Romo on IR helps them, since you can only bring back one player per year from that list).

While an injury to any starter is bad, the Cowboys are covered at this spot.

Guard Ronald Leary will take over at left guard, returning to the spot he started ever game in 2013 and 2014. He asked to be traded this offseason, but the Cowboys refused to give him away, and are now glad they didn’t.

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Greg Hardy caught with cocaine, claims it’s not his

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 15: Greg Hardy #76 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Former Cowboys and Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was arrested on Sunday after police found cocaine during a traffic stop.

Hardy was pulled over for failing to use a turn signal, police asked to search him, and he agreed, police say. When they looked in his wallet, they found 0.7 grams of cocaine.

The police report says that Hardy told the officer that he didn’t know what the substance was. Hardy said that the night before, he had passed his wallet around a party because he was paying for everyone, and someone must have put the cocaine in his wallet at the time.

Hardy was booked into jail in Richardson, Texas, and released on $5,000 bond.

Once among the best pass rushers in the NFL, Hardy was benched for 15 games by the Panthers in 2014 as a result of a domestic violence accusation. Although charges were later dropped, the NFL suspended Hardy for the start of the 2015 season. He finished 2015 playing for the Cowboys but has generated no interest as a free agent this year. His career is now likely over.

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Tom Brady: No football benefit to missing time, but Italy was nice

New England Patriots fans cheer about a sign referring to quarterbacks Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, neither of who were dressed for the game against the Houston Texans, during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) AP

The Patriots are 3-0 without Tom Brady, and with a week to go before he comes back, he’s already trying to manage expectations — lest people expect him to be Jimmy Garoppolo or Jacoby Brissett, for heaven’s sake.

I don’t think there is any benefit to watching the team play these games from a football standpoint, because it takes time to get the timing and the practice reps,” Brady said during his weekly interview on Westwood One Radio (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com).  “I’m trying to do the best I can to stay in shape and to keep the timing, and to really stay football ready. I’m hoping our team has a great week of preparation and can get to 4-0, and then I’ll have an opportunity to be back next Monday, and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be ready to go for that week.

“It’s a big week for me, and it’s a big week for our team. Every week is a big week in the NFL, but not having been out there for four weeks, there is a lot of makeup time I’m going to need and the chance to be on the field with my teammates to see what kind of rhythm I can find in a short week of practice.”

Of course, we think having 16 years of experience will somehow allow him to manage a month off, but Brady said he’s not the kind of player who can roll out of bed and be back to form.

“I don’t think you can,” he said. “I do admire some guys, like [Patriots receiver] Danny Amendola. He didn’t practice at all in training camp and he goes out there and the first week of the year [and] has a great game. The second week of the year, he has two touchdown catches. I’ve played with a lot of teammates who have been off for extended periods of time and it looks like they’re flipping the switch, but I think for me, that’s not the way I really prepare. I like to take every rep in practice. I like to practice every day.

“I’ve been able to be very healthy over the course of my career, and I think that has really helped me, and I’m going to need to find that rhythm back. It’s going to take some work and some time. Like I said before, that’s some uncharted territory, too.”

Brady said he was “in a good place,” and last week that was Italy, on a vacation with his wife, Gisele Bundchen.

“I’ve never had an opportunity in September,” he said. “Hopefully I don’t have one for a very, very long time.”

While it’s Brady, and of course he’ll start, the sterling play of his backup and their ability to win with a third string likely makes him a little more eager to get back, and show people what they’ve missed.

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