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ing targeted only seven percent of the time by opposing quarterbacks last season, he knows it is tough getting

RALEIGH, N. .C. -- To finally make the playoffs again, the Carolina Hurricanes know they need a strong start to the season.That sense of urgency was in the air at their first practice.It all starts right now, center Andrej Nestrasil said Friday.The Hurricanes began preseason camp with a focus on ending the season much later than they usually do: Carolina hasnt made the playoffs since 2009, the longest active streak in the Eastern Conference.The results show that were heading in the right direction, and I feel like we have a good enough team to make the playoffs this year, Nestrasil said. The thing last year is, we didnt start on time ... so if we can start on time this year, itd be awesome.Not surprisingly, the emphasis on the first day of training camp was speed -- with pucks and skaters zipping around the ice in what forward Jordan Staal called crispy play as opposed to past first practices that he described as clunky.The Hurricanes hope that will continue to apply once they start playing games that count, beginning with the opener Oct. 13 at Winnipeg.In recent years, it hasnt -- and its a major reason why theyve missed seven straight postseasons. Carolina won just eight of its first 25 games in 2015-16, and the year before was just 10-23-4 in the first three months.And while last years group staged a late push for the postseason -- earning points in 12 of the 14 games after the trade deadline -- the hole created by those early-season struggles ultimately was too much to overcome. Carolina finished in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division with 86 points, 10 points behind the Philadelphia team that claimed the No. 8 seed in the East.Weve really been doomed by our starts, defenseman Ron Hainsey said. At least the last two years in a row, where we were in a position come Jan. 1 to make up a lot of ground ... where the ground you have to make up, its really kind of unrealistic to make it up.Its a small line, and really, the first two months of the season can set up the last four months, depending on how it goes, he added. So its important that everybodys ready to go.Perhaps nobody was more ready to go than Nestrasil, who missed the final two months of last season after breaking a vertebra in his back in February. He was the only player in a yellow, no-contact jersey during practice but said he hopes to shed that for a regular jersey soon.To be honest, Im not even excited anymore -- I just want to get it out of the way, Nestrasil said with a laugh. This has been such a long process, and Ive been waiting for such a long time that I just want to play games and I just want to get into it.---Follow Joedy McCreary at His work can be found at .com) - Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer were easy first-round winners Tuesday at the Australian Open. . The recently retired Stern was elected Friday to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014 on Aug. . Team physician Dr. Steve Traina performed the surgery Friday. Robinson was injured in a spill underneath the Nuggets basket during the first quarter of Wednesday nights loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Most of the attention on Florida States secondary has been garnered by sophomore safety Derwin James. Thats fine for Marquez White, who is familiar with being under the radar.Despite having the second-best completion per target rate among cornerbacks in the Atlantic Coast Conference last season, the senior wasnt selected to the preseason all-conference team. The slight was nothing new for White. Last season White went largely unnoticed due to the play of All-American corner Jalen Ramsey.With Ramsey leaving the Seminoles early and being drafted fifth overall by Jacksonville in the NFL draft, White will be the leader for a young but talented secondary.Its not really about that. I dont need anybody to tell me how good I am, said White about the lack of attention. I believe if I got out and just play the way I know I can play this year I will be where I want to be.White has made an impression during the first week of preseason practices as Coach Jimbo Fisher singled him out for making some nice plays.Marquez is Mr. Steady-Eddy out there on the field and can do a lot of things, Fisher added. Those other safeties are going to give him some opportunities (to make plays). Were expecting a good year.White played mostly special teams his first two years but started all 13 games last season. He was targeted 62 times and allowed just 20 catches for 225 yards (32 percent) and a touchdown. White also had two passes defensed and an interception.According to the analytics site Pro Football Focus, Whites 0.46 yards per coverage snap allowed is the best among returning cornerbacks from Power 5 conference teams. Only two of his allowed were for 10 yards or more. White said he has been working on some of the finer details of his game, including doing a better job of playing the ball to the proper hand and chasing the running back in the break. He also has to serve as a mentor to the younger cornerbacks.Even though the Seminoles return one of the better safety duos in the nation in James -- who led the team in tackles last season as a freshman -- and Nate Andrews, who will replace Ramsey is one of the bigger questions on the defense. Sophomores Tarvarus McFadden and Marcus Lewis got plenty of work in the spring but dont have much game experience. Last season McFadden saw limited action in seven games and Lewis was in only four with that mostly being special teams.White also noted the early play of freshman Levonta Taylor, especially for his ability to be adept at reading routes for such a young player.With White being targeted only seven percent of the time by opposing quarterbacks last season, he knows it is tough getting recognition, especially with a lack of interceptions. White realizes he has taken advantage of those times when the ball comes his way.Florida State opens the season on Sept. 5 against Mississippi in Orlando.Hopefully Ill see a little bit more passes this year. I got to make the plays that I have, he said. I have to play my technique. Like the Houston game (last season in the Peach Bowl), I messed up trying to be greedy and trying to make a play. I cant do that.---AP college football website: Wholesale NFL JerseysWholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys From China Cheap Nike Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Hockey Jerseys China Nike Baseball Jerseys Cheap College Jerseys ChinaCheap Football Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys Canada Wholesale Nike MLB Jerseys Canada Cheap NBA Jerseys Authentic Canada Stitched Soccer Jerseys Canada Cheap Jerseys Canada NFL ' ' '