DeSean Jackson averaging 102 yards in six career gameDeSean Jackson averaging 102 yards in six career game

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ATLANTA -- In his first extended interview since committing to sign with the Atlanta Hawks, Dwight Howard described joining his hometown team as a new beginning after his final days with the Houston Rockets admittedly left him with a chip on my shoulder. Air Max 90 China Wholesale .Speaking to ESPNs SportsCenter on Tuesday moments after officially inking his three-year, $70.5 million deal with the Hawks, Howard said the faith Atlanta has shown in him has restored his belief that Im still the player who was selected to eight All-Star Games ?and won three successive NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards.Grant Hill was a big part of the process, Howard said of the Hawks minority owner and former fellow Orlando Magic star in an interview that first aired Tuesday night.For somebody like [Hill] to believe in me, [Hawks general manager] Wes Wilcox and Bud [Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer] -- for all of these guys to have that belief in me just gave me more confidence.After the season, I was a little bit down for a couple days, Howard admitted. He says the Hawks interest when free agency began July 1 helped him start feeling really good about myself again.Howards third and final season as a Rocket ended with a five-game exit at the hands of the?Golden State Warriors?in the first round of the playoffs amid?considerable focus on what has been widely described as a rocky coexistence with Houstons star guard, James Harden.Regarding his relationship with Harden, Howard said: Well, I just think that we both wanted to win, and we didnt ever have an opportunity to do it like we needed to together. But I wish him nothing but the best. I hope that he continues to play at a very high level. You will never hear me say anything bad about James Harden, because I know what it feels like, for one. And two: I want nothing but success for him. We may have didnt work in Houston, but I just hope that he succeeds. I can just say that with an honest heart: I just want to see him succeed.Howards departure in free agency came as little surprise, given that his offensive role with the Rockets steadily diminished as the season wore on, despite the fact Houston elected to keep Howard at the February trade deadline after initially shopping him. The Rockets then hired Mike DAntoni -- under whom Howard never clicked when both were with the Los Angeles Lakers -- as their new coach in June.?I thought it started out really good, and it just didnt end the way we all wanted to in Houston, Howard told SportsCenter of his Rockets tenure. But for me, that situation is over with. I learned a lot from being there, and it just really built a lot of character. I really had to endure a lot of things, a lot of heartaches, a lot of things that were being said about me publicly that I knew [werent] true. But I really had to learn how to endure those things, and it really just made me stronger.Howard was asked what troubled him most.The one thing that just really I hate to hear with a passion is that Im a cancer in the locker room and Im a guy that wants to separate and divide a team, he responded. Ive never been that way my whole life. Ive always been somebody who wants to bring people together, whether thats my teammates or thats the community, families, whatever it may be. Just to hear that word -- cancer -- it pisses me off, to be honest with you, because thats not who I am.Ive never been somebody who didnt care about my teammates, and Ive never been that way. And to hear cancer, to hear diva, things like that, thats not me.Howard, who declined his $23.2 million player option with Houston for next season to instead enter free agency, said he understands that only success with the Hawks will enable him to hush such talk after falling short of championship contention in his stints with the Rockets and Lakers.People are always going to talk, Howard said. I think the biggest thing that I have to do is not allow it to get into my heart.Theres always going to be negative things being said about us as basketball players, he added, but [I have to] just not allow it to consume me. I think for the longest [time], I allowed negativity to consume who I was, and I stopped being who I was. I stopped being this happy person, this person that loved to enjoy the game of basketball, have a passion for it. So just not allowing those negative things to hit my ears.?Howard acknowledged that playing in the city where he grew up in might have been more challenging earlier in his career, but he insists he can handle the pressures that go with a high-profile homecoming as a 12-year veteran who turns 31 in December.?Young, Howard said with a laugh when asked how he feels. Thirty is the new 20. Thats how I see it. My body feels great, and Im really looking forward to having a dominant season this year. New mentality, new attitude.I thought when I was younger, it would have been very difficult to play at home for myself, he added. But I think Im in a different stage in my life and my career to where none of that stuff matters. My focus is on one thing, and thats to contend for a title. ?Howard also was asked about the high bar that comes with succeeding longtime Hawks frontcourt mainstay Al Horford.I dont have any problems with whatever anybody said about me replacing Al, he said. I think Al did great for nine years here, and this is, I think, a new era. This is a new beginning for everybody. They have a new organization, new management, theyre taking steps to take this team to a different level, and they put a lot of trust and belief in me to help bring this team a championship.Budenholzer said the Hawks know Howard isnt a Horford clone and that they dont need him to be.Hes more of a traditional center, Budenholzer said Wednesday at Howards introductory news conference. Its been clear hes been one of the top defenders in our league for a long time. Offensively, hes somebody whos a presence inside, whos putting pressure on the rim whether it be in pick-and-rolls or post-ups. It will probably be something more like what San Antonio had for the majority of time I was there as an assistant coach.Howard, who has worn No. 12 for his entire pro career, unveiled a new No. 8 on Wednesday. Howard said the number featured biblical inspiration, as the No. 8 is seen as a symbol of new beginnings.One of the things biblically is the purging of the heart, and throughout the years there are things that have happened behind closed doors that it really hardened my heart towards different situations, Howard said Wednesday. I really have to purge my heart and come at basketball in a different manner. I was very upset with how things turned out and what people were saying. I hardened my heart towards everybody.?On Tuesday, Howard told ESPN that the Hawks offer a new beginning for me.I want to change from where I was at in my career and try to make the latter part of my career greater than the first part, he said. ??Im just happy. I really just want to leave all that stuff behind me, and I know people want to talk about it and why this and why that, but everybodys had a past. Everybody has had skeletons in their closet, and I have done my best to try and clean out my closet, so now I can start [anew].Start fresh and be the Dwight I have longed to be my whole life.Saad Yousuf of ESPN Radio in Dallas (103.3 FM) contributed to this report. Cheap Air Max 90 White China .com) - The women will also have a new champion at the Australian Open. Air Max 90 Gray Black . Brad Jacobs and his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., team took control of the game early. http://www.outletairmax90cheap.com/ . Batiste, who briefly signed with the Eskimos in 2006, has spent time with several NFL teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins. WASHINGTON (6-3-1) at DALLAS (9-1)OPENING LINE -- Cowboys by 6 1/2RECORD VS. SPREAD -- Redskins 7-3, Cowboys 9-0-1SERIES RECORD -- Cowboys lead 67-44-2LAST MEETING -- Cowboys beat Redskins 27-23, Sept. 18LAST WEEK -- Redskins beat Packers 42-24; Cowboys beat Ravens 27-17AP PRO32 RANKING -- Redskins No. 8, Cowboys No. 1REDSKINS OFFENSE -- OVERALL (2), RUSH (10), PASS (3)REDSKINS DEFENSE -- OVERALL (23), RUSH (21), PASS (18)COWBOYS OFFENSE -- OVERALL (4), RUSH (2), PASS (15)COWBOYS DEFENSE -- OVERALL (13), RUSH (3), PASS (21)STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES -- Cowboys seeking first 10-game regular-season winning streak in franchise history, Redskins looking for third straight win at Dallas, which would be longest streak since 1987-89. ... Cowboys have faced Redskins seven times on Thanksgiving, more than any opponent, with 6-1 record. ... Redskins QB Kirk Cousins threw three first-quarter touchdowns before leaving late in first half of win at Cowboys in playoff tuneup last season. He threw for 375 yards, three scores for 145.8 passer rating last week. ... Rookie RB Robert Kelley had career-high 137 yards rushing, three TDs vs. Packers. He has 321 yards in past three games. ... WR Jamison Crowder seeks fifth straight game with TD against NFC East. ... LB Ryan Kerrigan seeks sack in third straight outing against Dallas. ... CB Josh Norman, who figures to cover Deez Bryant, had three pass breakups in last meeting. Air Max 90 White Outlet. ... Cowboys tied New England (2007), Denver (2013) with eight consecutive games of at least 400 yards on offense, longest single-season streak in NFL history. ... Cowboys trying to avoid three-game losing streak on Thanksgiving, which would be longest since record four-game skid in 1986-89. ... QB Dak Prescott leads rookies in yards passing (2,640), TDs (17), rating (108.6). Hes fourth rookie in NFL history with five consecutive multi-TD games. Prescott got first career win at Washington in Week 2. ... Rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott leads NFL with 1,102 yards, third most in players first 10 games. Hes second in NFC with 10 TDs (nine rushing, one receiving). ... WR Dez Bryant has four TDs receiving in past three home games. ... WR Cole Beasley has tied career high with five TDs. ... LB Sean Lee has 100-plus tackles for fourth time in career, including past three healthy seasons. ... DE Tyrone Crawford, team sacks leader with 3 1/2, seeks third straight game with sack against NFC East. ... Fantasy Tip: Redskins WR DeSean Jackson averaging 102 yards in six career games against Cowboys.---For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' ' 

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