Saturday, August 22, 2015, 9:57am
The Jets’ concussions, as well as the concussion suffered by Robert Griffin III on Thursday, bring back into focus a common concern in the NFL: Players are putting their health at risk in meaningless preseason games. Owners and players alike have shown interest in the possibility of shortening the preseason, but they can’t come to an agreement on how to go about doing that, and whether the regular season should be lengthened to compensate for the lost preseason games.
Jets wide receiver Shaquelle Evans also suffered a back injury, while offensive tackle Ben Ijalana suffered a knee injury and defensive back Dashaun Phillips suffered a rib injury.
Jets RB Chris Ivory sure looks the part of a 300-carry featured back, but that hasn't been his role. In '13 he and Bilal Powell split the carries almost down the middle, and last season he and Chris Johnson divvied up the touches. He was asked how he's being used this camp and if, despite the backfield company of Powell, Daryl Richardson, Zac Stacy and eventually Stevan Ridley, he can be the proverbial bellcow back in '15.
"Right now I'm doing pretty much everything. I'm just trying to make them feel comfortable with me in there with everything they have me doing," he said. "I'm not sure how that's going to work out, but I'm just looking forward to going in and when my number's called, just performing and making things happen."
Ivory was asked if the "everything" the coaches have had him doing include a greater presence in the passing game. "That could be the case," he said. "I'm ready for that challenge."
Ivory's receiving dimension has been a slow-developing picture. In his first three seasons with New Orleans, he had a total of four passes thrown to him and caught three. In 2013 he had eight targets, caught two and dropped three. Last year things picked up: 18 receptions for a 6.8-yard average, the first receiving TD of his career at Miami, and just one drop.
Chris Johnson is out, Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy are in, but it doesn’t seem to matter to Ivory, who seems primed to lead the Jets’ backfield in touches in 2015. Ridley is probably his biggest competition, but he’s recovering from a knee injury, so Ivory’s lead seems to be large. Ivory is a career 4.7 YPC runner, and has averaged 4.4 YPC in two seasons with the Jets. Ivory is shaping up to be a nice middle round value, especially in standard leagues. His PPR value would get a boost if they continue to expand his role in the passing game.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 9:47am
In just two seasons, Rams RB Isaiah Pead has been surpassed by running backs with lesser draft status including Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy. Even undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham handled a bigger role in 2013 and the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the third round this year. Pead's long term future in St. Louis will likely hinge on his ability to finally produce in 2014.
The Rams would like to see a competition develop in camp with their backs. Pead even got some first-team reps in the spring. But the story even says it's probably not realistic to expect Pead to make enough of a leap to steal carries from Stacy, Cunningham and Mason. It goes on to say a more likely scenario is Pead playing special teams and developing into a third-down back. Right now, there's just not a lot of fantasy value.
Monday, July 14, 2014, 9:40am
Jets RB Chris Johnson's surgically repaired knee, which sidelined him for the spring, will be a hot topic throughout camp. The last thing the Jets will want to do is tax Johnson, so look for a modified practice schedule -- a "pitch count," as Rex Ryan likes to call it.
Chances are the Jets will take a backfield-by-committee approach, which underscores the importance of defining roles. It will be a balancing act for the coaches as they attempt to navigate four weeks of camp and three preseason games. (We're not counting the last game, which is useless.) There aren't as many practice reps as the not-so-old days, when teams had two practices per day. Every rep counts.
We had a recent news item where Johnson said he's not going to be part of a committee, so it will be interesting to see how roles emerge out of camp. Johnson is probably the favorite to land the starting spot, but Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell both ran pretty well at times last year so they figure to be in the mix. The story also points to former Ram Daryl Richardson as someone to keep an eye on.
Rams RB Zac Stacy has taken to his role as something of a mentor to Tre Mason, who, as a mid-round draft pick positioned behind multiple veteran backs, finds himself in a similar position to Stacy from a year ago. As for his own development, the ever-improving Stacy named pass protection and growth in receiving as key additions to his 2014 game.
“For me, despite the success I had last year, I still have a lot of improvements (to make),” Stacy said. “That’s what I’m most excited about, the improvements I can make to be a better back and become a complete running back. That’s really my main focus right now.”
After toying around with Daryl Richardson for a few weeks, the Rams turned to Stacy in Week 5, and he never looked back, posting #8 RB numbers the rest of the way. He scored eight TDs in his final 10 games and will enter the 2014 season as the Rams’ bellcow back, though he’ll receive some pressure from rookie Tre Mason, who will have a chance to earn a role as the RB2.
After toying around with Daryl Richardson for a few weeks, the Rams turned to Stacy in Week 5, and he never looked back, posting #8 RB numbers the rest of the way. He scored eight TDs in his final 10 games and we're expecting him to enter the 2014 season as the Rams’ bellcow back. Clearly the Rams want Mason to compete, however.
Daryl Richardson wasn't out of work for long.
Richardson joins a crowded backfield in New York that includes free-agent pickup Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory, Mike Goodson and Bilal Powell. CJ2K and the bruising Ivory are expect to split time and receive the bulk of carries.
Richardson was effective enough to run for 4.8 yards per carry during the 2012 season, but he dropped to 3.1 yards per carry last season. Richardson attributed his struggles to a toe injury he suffered early in the season, but it seems the Rams thought the presence of draft pick Tre Mason, Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham was apparently enough to quash their interest in seeing if Richardson can rebound.
Someone was going to have to go once the Rams added Mason to the mix. Richardson shouldn't have a problem finding a new home.
Sunday, December 29, 2013, 3:34pm
Friday, December 27, 2013, 6:31pm
Thursday, December 26, 2013, 6:22pm
Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:36pm
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