Virginia Tech uniforms get a makeover

Things were already going to look different this fall at Virginia Tech, as the football team is being run by someone other than Frank Beamer for the first time in 30 years. But now the Hokies are getting uniform makeovers as well.

The school announced a brand refresh over the weekend, giving uniformity to all 22 of its athletic teams.

The brand page on the school’s athletic website has a five-minute video of athletic director Whit Babcock and others talking about what went into the Nike redesign, along with manifestos on the department’s mission, brand, logo, colors and typeface. And, of course, there are photo galleries of the actual new uniforms for each sport.

The most striking difference for the football team’s jerseys is definitely the numbering, which is in a completely different font from the Hokies’ jerseys in recent years. Another nice touch is the gloves’ addition of the school’s famous Pylons, which stand on campus and honor every Virginia Tech student and alum who died in war.

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An ugly name to start with. The former Bucs mega-bust tried out for the Saints in May but left without a deal. Injuries, poor conditioning and mediocrity discolored his four seasons in Tampa, with the former second-round pick tallying just seven sacks. Around The NFL’s wholesale nfl jerseys Gregg Rosenthal arguably offers more to an NFL defense than Bowers, unless the 25-year-old shows a fire we’ve never seen during his 10 league starts.

A respected veteran leader, Bryant remains a reliable run-stopper who started all but one game over the past four seasons in stints with Seattle and Jacksonville. Only Michael Bennett and Derek Wolfe graded higher against the run in 2014, per Pro Football Focus, so Bryant is a candidate to find work if he still wants to play.

Once a prized pass-rusher, Umenyiora was an underwhelming presence along Atlanta’s defensive front in 2014. Despite just 2.5 sacks last year, the 34-year-old said in February that he doesn’t plan to retire. A candidate for media work, Umenyiora is staring at a one-year deal at best if anyone comes calling.

The Colts have shown no interest in re-signing their former star, but Freeney could still help a team looking for a spot pass-rusher. At 35, he’s netted little attention on the open market, but his 40 quarterback hurries last season with the Chargers ranked second behind only Justin Houston and Ryan Kerrigan.

After undergoing winter surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, Cofield has been working out in hopes of another opportunity. He struggled last fall but started all but two games for the Giants and Redskins between 2006 and 2013. Teams looking for interior line help could do worse if Cofield’s body cooperates.

After flaming out with the Titans and Colts wholesale nfl jerseys china last season, Phillips might be nearing the end. Still, he’s just two seasons removed from a 10-sack campaign for the Broncos. He isn’t about to post those numbers again, but the former Chargers standout could hear the phone ring at some point this season.

A run-stuffer without much else to offer, Spikes blew a second chance with the Patriots after being charged in a June hit-and-run case, an incident he pleaded guilty to. That was enough for New England to hit the ejector seat and it’s fair to wonder if another team will come calling. We could see it happening in a pinch, largely because Spikes is only 27.

At 30, it won’t be easy for DeCoud to find another job after an uninspiring 11-start run with the Panthers last autumn. Cut by two teams in as many years, he’s a stopgap veteran who can be had on the cheap if a club falls into trouble in the secondary.

We’re in the dead period before the NFL starts back up with training camp over the summer. When teams get back into the swing of things, there will be injuries and disappointing players that must be upgraded. This is when the final wind of free agency will occur.

There are always wholesale nfl jerseys from china several talented veterans available as training camp nears. It happens every year. Some players benefit from waiting for injuries to occur or for their own injuries to heal. Then they can step into a major role.

The caliber of free agents still available is fairly impressive. Some of the players mentioned in the forthcoming slides should receive a guaranteed contract for 2015 and maybe beyond. Others are at the twilight of their careers, looking to prove they’ve still got gas in the tank.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best NFL free agents who could still receive a training-camp invite. These are the guys likely to receive contracts before Week 1.

Jermaine Gresham has already been in the league five seasons, but at 27, he hasn’t been able to deliver on the promise he showed at Oklahoma. The former first-round pick had back surgery earlier this offseason and is now waiting to fully recover before signing with a team.

For organizations that need a secondary option at tight end, Gresham is worth signing. He’s not dynamic, but he has averaged 3.8 receptions and 36.8 yards per game in his career. Don’t forget, those numbers also came in a loaded offense that spread the ball around.

His health is going to be the key if he’s to find success in 2015, but Gresham should have numerous suitors. He is a good blocker and decent receiver. For most teams, that’s good enough to be the second tight end on the roster.

After suffering an Achilles’ tear early in 2014, Bernard Pollard’s career is in jeopardy. At 30 years old, Pollard has never been an especially good coverage defender. But his reputation as a hard-hitting box safety is well-earned.

Pollard plays the run well. He’s another linebacker on the field, and a solid blitzer when he attacks the line of scrimmage. The offense must always know where he is before the snap.

If Pollard is able to get back to pre-injury form, he will be a solid short-term signing. He can impact the game as a starter, even if he’s more of a traditional strong safety and not the rangy, coverage type.