The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 31, 2014

Practice players ignored but vital

JERSEY CITY, N.J. — They don’t get much attention, this week or any other.

Yet they’re a vital part of a team’s preparation.

They are the practice squad.

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos each brought along eight extra players for Super Bowl week, but none will be allowed to suit up Sunday. Their main duty is to work on the scout team in practice, attempting to give the starters an idea of what they’ll face from the opposing team.

Yep, their satisfaction comes from how well they impersonate others.

“If (the Seattle defenders) go out and do a good job, I’ll feel pretty good about myself,” said Arceto Clark, a rookie receiver on the Seahawks’ practice squad.

During media appearances this week, the practice squad guys drew little attention, usually standing off in a corner by themselves while everyone crowded around stars such as Peyton Manning and Richard Sherman.

But their teammates sure appreciate what they bring.

Especially Seahawks receiver Bryan Walters, a former practice-squader who got promoted to the 53-man roster during the season.

“They are as much a part of this as we are,” Walters said. “They do everything we do.”

Boat’s a rockin’: The Denver Broncos might’ve been a little seasick during their final media appearance before the big game.

The Broncos are staying at a Jersey City hotel that juts into the Hudson River, and their sessions with reporters took place on a luxury yacht anchored next to their rooms.

On Thursday, that big boat was rockin’ pretty good.

“My stomach is not too good on stuff like that,” defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. “I’m trying to be mentally tough right now, but it’s bothering me a little bit.”

He didn’t expect to need his sea legs at the Super Bowl, and some of his teammates were more vocal in their complaints — especially those who can’t swim. The whole experience was a little disconcerting for them.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014