Posted: 6/20/2014 5:38 PM
Derek Carr will enter training camp as the Raiders' No. 2 quarterback.
Posted: 6/20/2014 5:41 PM
Posted: 6/20/2014 5:43 PM
Posted: 6/20/2014 5:45 PM
Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Thursday that linebacker Jadeveon Clowney will be healthy at training camp in July after having sports hernia surgery last week, but Clowney wasn’t willing to say he’d be ready on day one.
Clowney said, via Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle, that he is feeling better after having the surgery, but that he’s taking the recovery day by day and wasn’t willing to declare that he’d be ready to go when camp opens. Clowney, who is learning a new position and a new scheme, will also be studying up while he rehabs.
“I’m still learning,” Clowney said. “That’s a big transition here.”
Clowney also said that the injury that led to surgery did not occur before he was drafted in May, although there were reports that Clowney had a slight groin pull at his pro day. Clowney said “there was a little pain” and that the Texans told him to take care of it now so that he’d be ready to go in time for the season.
Posted: 6/20/2014 5:47 PM
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton hasn’t expressed much concern about what the team’s new-look receiving corps will be able to achieve on the field this season, but the fact that he’s been rehabbing from ankle surgery this spring has meant that he’s had less time to work with those receivers on developing the chemistry they’ll need come the fall.
Newton is still recovering from the surgery, but he’ll be able to mix in some work with one of those receivers between now and training camp. Newton and first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin will both be in Charlotte for four weeks heading into training camp this summer and coach Ron Rivera says that the two of them will be working together during that time.
“The nice thing is Cam will be around,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I know the two of those guys will be working on developing that rapport, which I think is important.”
Benjamin specifically mentioned working on the timing for fade routes with Newton, a play that could be a big one for the 6-5 wideout when the Panthers get into the red zone this season. One play alone won’t make a passing offense, of course, but the Panthers need to start somewhere and getting their quarterback and most promising wideout on the same page seems like a pretty good place to do it.
Posted: 6/20/2014 5:49 PM
He may not be the next Terrell Owens, but the first Jordan Matthews seems to be progressing well in his rookie offseason with the Eagles.
According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (via Rotoworld), Matthews took “a number of reps” with the first-team offense on Tuesday.
Matthews, a second-round pick last month, previously had been working almost exclusively with the No. 2 offense, developing great chemistry with veteran backup quarterback Mark Sanchez.
If Matthews can contribute as a rookie, he’ll beef up considerably a depth chart that hopes to thrive without DeSean Jackson. Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclinboth re-signed prior to become free agents, but Maclin is under contract only for a year. Matthews could make Maclin a luxury that the Eagles don’t need.
That said, there’s a long way to go until Matthews lines up across from an NFL-caliber defensive back in a game that counts. When that happens, we’ll all know whether Matthews or any other rookie receivers can become the exception to the rule that it takes at least a year or two to find a groove at the wideout position.
Posted: 6/20/2014 8:59 PM
No. 10 overall pick Eric Ebron spent most of spring practices running with the Lions' second-team offense.
The Palm Beach Post suggests second-round pick Jarvis Landry could earn playing time early in his rookie year.
Colin Kaepernick praised fourth-round WR Bruce Ellington on Thursday.
Colts third-round WR Donte Moncrief spent "considerable time" with the first-team offense Wednesday.
Vikings OC Norv Turner said Wednesday rookie Teddy Bridgewater has been "outstanding throwing the deep ball" in spring practices.
The Arizona Republic says fourth-round QB Logan Thomas has been "as advertised" during OTAs and minicamp.
Posted: 6/21/2014 10:18 AM
Posted: 6/22/2014 9:55 AM
At some point, rookie cornerback Darqueze Dennard is likely to have a major role in the Bengals’ secondary. Such is the probability when a first-round pick like Dennard enters any position group.
And as Dennard learns the NFL game, it appears his veteran teammates are helping him along.
In a recent interview with SpartanDigest.com, Dennard noted that the Bengals’ more experienced cornerbacks — a group that includes four former first-round picks — have been sharing pointers with him.
“Me having them to talk to after you make a mistake on the field, you plant wrong or do this wrong instead of doing this, having guys watching and critiquing you is really helpful for me,” said Dennard, according to Mike Wilson on SpartanDigest.com.
Three Bengals cornerbacks — Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Terence Newman — have at least seven prior seasons of NFL play to their credit. Like Dennard, all three cornerbacks came into the league as first-rounders. In short, it’s a unique learning environment for Dennard — and a potentially rich one, especially if the veterans are willing to teach their lessons learned.
Posted: 6/22/2014 10:12 AM
Eagles rookie WR Jordan Matthews is "likely to emerge as the No. 1 slot guy this summer."
The Nashville Tennessean believes first-round pick Taylor Lewan is "going to need an impressive training camp" to become a starter.
Posted: 6/23/2014 8:51 AM
First-round WR Brandin Cooks has earned the nickname "lightning" from his teammates.
Per the Indy Star's Stephen Holder, rookie WR Donte Moncrief "look(ed) good) during OTAs and minicamp, and the Colts' coaching staff is "excited" about the third-round pick.
Coach Mike Zimmer reiterated that he's not afraid to start first-round QB Teddy Bridgewater in Week 1.
Jaguars second-round WR Marqise Lee is missing time at OTAs with a right ankle injury and is in a walking boot.
Jaguars second-round WR Allen Robinson will miss "a few weeks" with a hamstring injury.
Last edited 6/23/2014 8:51 AM by Jetman55
Posted: 6/23/2014 8:55 AM
When the Redskins drafted Trent Murphy in the second round this year they did not have an immediate starting job for him. The outside linebacker spots are capably handled by Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. It appears that Murphy’s role will be that of a role player and super sub.
“Trent's done a great job,” said Jay Gruden. “He's played both sides, he's played in nickel situations, he's played with the three technique, he's stood up and moved around. So Trent's done an outstanding job and I see him all the time in the film room watching practice. He's very aware of what his role is and what it's going to be and he wants to study it and be the best at it.”
Murphy’s ability to move around in the defense shows that he is flexible in that sense of the word. According to outside linebackers coach Brian Baker, he also is flexible in another way.
RELATED: [Ben Kotwica brings new approach to Redskins special teams]
“For a tall guy, he has a unique ability to bend,” said Baker. “As we look at players through the draft, at least since I’ve been in the league, I think that’s probably the most common denominator, and I’ve been blessed to be around a lot of good players, the ability to bend.
“Height, weight, speed—I’ve seen slow guys hit the quarterback. It’s their ability to bend, to change their angle, their body to adjust to what the offense is giving them in a split second, that ability flex, to be flexible. And that’s what he has for a big man that’s is really unique, more so than we’ve even seen on film. And he knows how to use those things, which is good.”
Murphy certainly is smart enough to learn the particulars of each of the roles he is being asked to fill. He received his degree from Stanford last December. But he still has a lot of work to do.
“So he's got a long way to go, there's no question about it, but the amount of work that he puts into practice and in the games, I think he's going to get there a lot quicker than a normal person,” said Gruden.
The 3-13 Redskins drew fire from some fans and analysts for using their second-round pick on a player who plays a position of relative strength for the team and is unlikely to start in 2014. Even if he doesn’t start it is important for Murphy to make a contribution this season. It looks like he is off to a good start.
Posted: 6/23/2014 2:16 PM
Second-round pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins missed all of Bucs OTAs and minicamp due to the University of Washington's late graduation.
Posted: 6/23/2014 3:48 PM
Posted: 6/23/2014 5:35 PM
ESPN NFC West reporter Bill Williamson anticipates second-round pick Carlos Hyde getting "a chance at big playing time right away."
Posted: 6/24/2014 10:03 AM
Posted: 6/24/2014 11:34 AM
As Jimmy Graham awaits an arbitrator’s ruling about whether he’s a tight end or a wide receiver, a young player who is expected to play a Graham like role says the answer is really both. Or neither.
Lions rookie tight end Eric Ebron, who is expected to do many of the same things in Detroit’s offense that Graham does in New Orleans, told Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News that he thinks it’s time for the NFL to create a new position to encompass hybrid players who don’t really fit the traditional mold of a wide receiver or a tight end.
Ebron’s idea makes sense: As football strategies change, football terminology changes, and right now we don’t have a good term for the players like Graham who are listed at tight end but run pass routes on most plays and rarely line up next to the offensive tackle. Ebron noted that in many offenses, “joker” is the term used for hybrid players.
Of course, Ebron may want to wait until he sees if Graham wins his grievance before he goes making that proposal. If an arbitrator declares Graham a wide receiver, the Saints will have to pay him about $5 million more on the 2014 franchise tag than they’d have to pay him if he’s a tight end. And if Ebron ever finds himself in the same situation, he and his agent will surely argue that he’s a wide receiver. Furthermore, creating a new hybrid position would have to be negotiated between the owners and the players’ union, as the Collective Bargaining Agreement recognizes the distinct positions of tight end and wide receiver and declares that a player will be classified at the position at which he lined up most in the previous season.
So even if Ebron’s way of thinking makes sense, it probably won’t gain any traction any time soon. Graham is about to be declared either a tight end or a wide receiver, and that determination will have ramifications around the league.
Posted: 6/24/2014 11:35 AM
The Lions didn’t have sixth-round wide receiverT.J. Jones on the field during their recent minicamp and a lingering shoulder injury from his college days is to blame for the absence.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that Jones had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder during minicamp and that his arm is currently in a sling as he recovers from the procedure. Jones said that he sprained his right AC joint during Notre Dame’s bowl game and that the continued presence of the injury led him to have surgery at this point.
Jones told Birkett that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp, although that date could get pushed back a little bit if Jones suffers even minimal setbacks during his recovery over the next month. When he does get back on the field, Jones will have to show that the missed time didn’t leave him too far behind to be a contributor on offense during his rookie season.
If Jones does contribute, it is likely to be as a slot receiver alongside Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Ryan Broyles, who is recovering from last year’s torn Achilles, would seem to be his top competition for that role.
Posted: 6/24/2014 4:00 PM
Saints first-round WR Brandin Cooks will spend two weeks working out with Drew Brees in San Diego prior to training camp.
Posted: 6/24/2014 8:46 PM
After the draft, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater told Dan Patrick that the former Louisville quarterback didn’t want to play for the Browns. Bridgewater is now backpedaling like the player Cleveland picked after an eight-nine flip-flop with Minnesota.
“I think it was misinterpreted,” Bridgewater said Tuesday at the Rookie Symposium, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “What I was saying was I had a strong feeling about the Minnesota Vikings. I was able to meet with them five or six times in the pre-draft visits. I just had a pretty solid feeling about the Minnesota Vikings, but, you know, I try to put the pre-draft stuff behind and try to just focus on my career with the Minnesota Vikings.”
Bridgewater doesn’t deny saying what he said to Patrick about Cleveland: “I actually told my agent that’s not the place where I wanted to be.”
“I said it on the air, but like I say, it was misinterpreted,” Bridgewater said. “I think I was just saying I had a solid feeling about the Minnesota Vikings and that was it.”
It wasn’t misinterpreted. It was interpreted correctly. It was misstated by Bridgewater.
Or maybe he meant exactly what he said, and then he realized it didn’t sound so good — especially since he’ll eventually play in Cleveland if he stays with the Vikings. Under the current scheduling formula, the Browns will host Minnesota in 2017.
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