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Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:10pm
Keep an eye on Preston Parker, a third-year wide receiver out of Florida State who had legal trouble in college and has bounced around. The Giants are using him a lot with the first-team offense and on returns.
Parker is getting extra reps with Odell Beckham sidelined with a hamstring injury.
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Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:08pm
Giants WR Rueben Randle matched the defense’s physicality in practice with his own. The 6-2, 208-pound wide receiver created enough separation for himself to give Eli Manning enough of a window to connect on two outstanding plays. The first was a great twisting catch from Randle down the right sideline, which was followed up by Manning squeezing one through traffic to his third-year target later in practice. Just yesterday Randle was talking about the necessity to create space in the Giants’ new offense, which emphasizes yards after the catch.
Hakeem Nicks is gone, but the Giants drafted Odell Beckham in the 1st round. New OC Ben McAdoo utilizes a lot of three-WR sets (a la the Packers), so Randle should see starter’s snaps. He has been productive in his first two seasons on a per target basis, so he should produce starter-caliber numbers in significant playing time. He has been having a great offseason.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:05pm
Jets TE Jace Amaro had an atypical so-so practice. In addition to the drop, Amaro also was stripped of a pass after making a catch. But coach Rex Ryan is not getting down on his rookie tight end, who is a valuable receiving threat, in the slot or split out wide.
“He’s caught the ball well other days,” Ryan said. “He gives you a guy that can run after the catch. I think he’s going to be a big weapon for us. There are a lot of things you can do with him. The flexibility that that can bring us I think will be great.”
Chris Ivory (hamstring) back at practice
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:04pm
Chris Ivory returned, after never really leaving. Ivory practiced Thursday when the Jets began training camp. He just did not take part in team periods because he is nursing a tender hamstring, and he dealt with nagging hamstring issues last year. But Ivory was in the mix in team periods Friday.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 9:01pm
Giants RB David Wilson passed his first test facing contact coming off neck surgery. Midway through practice he collided head-first with S Cooper Taylor and came out fine. “That felt good,” Wilson said. “I definitely know I’m cleared now. It felt good to go back out there with my teammates and compete again.’’
Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins taking advantage of extra reps
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:56pm
A big part of football is seizing opportunity and second-year receiver Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins is doing just that. He's taking repetitions that likely would have been Aaron Dobson's and making plays that catch the eye. For the second day in a row, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Thompkins made a diving touchdown catch and he appears to be practicing with a lot of confidence. He runs precise routes, and most importantly, Brady has developed trust in him. That's not easy to do. They don't give out gold stars after two days of training camp, but Thompkins would be close to the front of the line if they did.
Dobson would have the inside track to starter's snaps but has been laid up the entire offseason with a foot injury that continues to linger. Meanwhile, Thompkins is having another good camp.
Colts RB Trent Richardson misses practice 'for precautionary reasons'
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:54pm
Running back Trent Richardson, rookie offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, safety LaRon Landry and cornerback Vontae Davis did not practice Friday. Richardson and Mewhort didn't practice for precautionary reasons, according to coach Chuck Pagano.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:51pm
The big news of the day was Falcons WR Julio Jones returning to practice for the first time since suffering a right foot fracture in Week 5 of last season. Coach Mike Smith said Jones will be limited during camp with one day on, one day off. Jones showed no ill effects while planting and cutting. His reps were limited during full-team drills and one-on-one coverage drills. "I thought it was very good," Smith said of Jones' first day. "You guys saw it. He was running routes very well. I thought the timing between he and [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] was good. We have a plan, a prescription that we're going to try to stay by for the first couple of weeks, and then we'll make an evaluation after that. It was great to see Julio back on the field."
Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (foot) misses practice
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:47pm
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson missed practice with a foot injury, but is only expected to miss a couple of days. Patterson didn't take the team's conditioning test on Thursday because of the injury, and stood near the Vikings' receivers in a bucket hat on during Friday's practice. The injury isn't though to be serious, but the start of Patterson's highly-anticipated second season will have to wait a few days.
Hopefully Patterson returns to practice soon. He's missing valuable practice while he's sidelined. As an up-and-coming player he needs as many reps as he can get.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:42pm
It's just the first day with no pads, but Seahawks running backs Christine Michael and Robert Turbin took full advantage of Marshawn Lynch's absence and had several impressive runs. Michael really shows off his speed on outside runs around the edge, usually out running linebackers to the sideline before the defensive back can catch him.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:42pm
One clear standout at Seahawks camp was rookie receiver Kevin Norwood. He made one sensational leaping catch on a cross pattern while two defenders were closely covering him. Norwood also made a tough catch on a deep out, then turned and juked his way past linebacker Horace Miller to race down the sideline. Paul Richardson is the rookie speedster who wows people with his speed, but Norwood has been a pleasant surprise with his sure hands, consistent route running and polished skills every time he's on the field.
Broncos RB Montee Ball looking 'steady' catching the ball
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:40pm
Montee Ball had just 59 receptions in his four seasons combined at Wisconsin and many in the league said working in the passing game would be the most difficult part of his transition to a potential No. 1 back. Last August he did miss a blitz pick-up in Seattle when Manning took a huge hit from Bobby Wagner, a hit that paved the way for Knowshon Moreno to work his way back up the depth chart last fall. But Ball has looked steady catching the ball thus far, including a nice back-shoulder grab in team drills Friday.
Ball had a higher YPC (4.7) than Moreno (4.3), but wasn’t quite the weapon in the passing game. Still, his catch percentage (receptions/targets = 74.1%) wasn’t bad for a running back. His play down the stretch (8.5 FP/game in final eight games) is encouraging. He’s locked in as the RB1 in a great offense, so 10+ touchdowns seems likely.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:39pm
The Broncos are approaching a crossroads with tight end Julius Thomas, who is in the last season of his rookie deal. They’d like to sign him long term, but could also use the franchise player tag next season if they do not get a deal done. Either way, Thomas has done his part so far to build on his 65-catch, 12-touchdown season in 2013. Thomas has shown a comfort level in the offense, working on the line, out wide and in the slot. He also spent some time with Tony Gonzalez this past offseason for a little guidance as well. "For me, it was understanding how you continue to play at a high level," Thomas said. "What do you do to prepare for games? What do you do to get the most out of practice? Just some things that only a future Hall of Famer and a 17-year veteran would know."
It's great to hear that Thomas spent time picking the brain of Gonzalez, a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer. Thomas is a favorite target in the league’s most productive passing attack, and with Eric Decker no longer with the team, the fourth-year tight end could see an increase in targets as well. He scored 12 TDs in 14 games, but wasn’t simply a redzone threat — he also averaged 4.6 receptions per game, which was 6th among tight ends.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 8:34pm
Browns QB Johnny Manziel carried himself with the aura of a guy who had been dressed down after arriving for training camp. The team that had publicly supported him through so much evidently hit its limit when Manziel continued to post and pose for party photos throughout the offseason.
Manziel admitted to rookie mistakes and said he had to do better when it came to acting like a professional.
He'll still get a chance to earn the starting job; if he's the better player it would hurt the team not to play him. But the Browns sure seemed to convey the message that they truly believe in Brian Hoyer, and they did grow weary of constant questions about floating swans and spraying champagne bottles.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:52pm
After he was checked by medical staff for a number of minutes, Hunter walked back to the locker room under his own power.