Monday, August 18, 2014, 3:45pm
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant has certainly looked like one of the NFL’s best receivers throughout training camp and during his two series of work Saturday night against Baltimore. He caught three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown during the first quarter.
Coming off his first Pro Bowl season, Bryant looks even better entering his fifth year in the league.
So what does Bryant need to work on?
“Oh, everything,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett responded.
Garrett then mentioned a play on the game’s opening series where Bryant ran a bad route. Bryant went deep along the visiting sideline and failed to make the catch. The play was called back because of holding on left tackle Tryon Smith.
Bryant has done nothing but gain positive reviews since camp started and is proving his worth as a late first round draft pick in typical leagues this year. The only worry with Bryant is if QB Tony Romo can stay healthy. QB2 Brandon Weeden has proved to be inconsistent so far and would be a huge dropoff.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 2:10pm
Some of that inexperience showed up in Saturday’s preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens, according to coach Jason Garrett. Weeden completed 10 of 19 passes for 129 yards and an interception. He also could have had a second pass intercepted. He was sacked once and hit countless times.
It was a little different than Weeden’s start in the preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers.
“As much as anything else, it’s the mechanics of the game: handle himself at the line of scrimmage, making sure we’re in the right play,” Garrett said. “His decision-making at different times was only OK in this game, but he did some good things. Obviously we’ll highlight those and try to correct the other things. Like we talked about with him all along, he needs to play. He needs to play a lot of snaps, and I think he’ll get better and better the more chances we give him in game situations.”
If Tony Romo goes down, Weeden would be given the keys to a pretty nice offense filled with talent. Dustin Vaughan has got a ton of attention in preseason games but is still 4th on the team's depth chart and may not make the team. Caleb Hanie is the team's QB3 behind Weeden.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 9:35am
He completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. He showed good mobility, moving out of the pocket several times to extend plays, and the offense moved the ball with him at the helm.
More important, the story points out, is Weeden avoided turnovers. That's his top job, if he ever gets on the field.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014, 10:57am
Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris, an outstanding return man, is somewhat of a forgotten man in the Cowboys' receiver corps. That could change if he can consistently perform like he did during Monday's team drills. In one four-play span, Harris caught a short touchdown pass on a slant from Tony Romo despite heavy contact from Orlando Scandrick, a deep out from Brandon Weeden to the 3-yard line and another short touchdown on a slant from Weeden.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 9:50am
“We've talked about it a little bit, and we're going to be smart,” Romo said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams. “… Most likely I'll probably sit out the San Diego game and play in Game 2 and go from there.”
Last week, owner and general manager Jerry Jones announced that Romo was "100 percent" recovered from the surgery, but Jones also said the team was "that close" to drafting Johnny Manziel, a revelation that may or may not be true. Either way, Romo, 34, won't be on the field when the Cowboys face the Chargers, which means we'll get our first look at backups Brandon Weeden and Caleb Hanie.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:05pm
If he had decided to retire, Orton would've had to repay $3 million of a $5 million signing bonus. Since he's being cut, he will not be forced to pay the club back.
Orton was fined nearly $70,000 for skipping all of the team's minicamp workouts.
When the Cowboys signed quarterback Brandon Weeden on March 17, it was thought to be more or less as an insurance policy because Orton was unsure if he wanted to continue playing pro football, the story said. With Orton on the roster, Weeden would have been the No. 3 quarterback. Now, Weeden will go into training camp as Tony Romo's backup, although Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan will also compete for the job.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 5:45pm
Fascinatingly, the Dallas Cowboys' backup quarterback situation has become a hot topic this offseason.
In the meantime Brandon Weeden is caught in the middle like a seat filler at an awards show. The former first-round pick is preparing for the No. 2 role regardless of whether or not he'll end up sitting there in 2014.
"I'm going to go about my business the same way," Weeden recently told the team's official website. "I haven't met Kyle, so I can't really speak on it, but whatever he decides to do -- it's kind of out of my control. So what I'm worried about is, if I'm running with the twos out there, do my job to make the twos better. I want to make the team better any way I can, so it doesn't change my mindset or the way I feel about it."
Monday, June 30, 2014, 12:55pm
Rapoport spoke with Hoyer's agent, Joe Linta, who confirmed that while discussions have taken place, "it will be a very difficult deal to do. We're always open to talking with the Browns, but we're content to wait and see what happens down the road."
The reality is that Hoyer's value might shift dramatically between now and season's end. He could materialize as a successful starter or remain a solid backup. The difference could mean as much a $7 million per year, one executive from another team told Rapoport.
Hoyer impressed in three games last year, winning two, before getting hurt for the season. Early reports say he's outplayed first round pick Johnny Manziel, so it seems like it's in Hoyer's best interest to let things play out in camp. This time last year, the Browns were high on Hoyer, too, but the job went to Brandon Weeden before Weeden got hurt. Without Josh Gordon, it could be hard for either QB to be a legit fantasy starter, however.
During the 7-on-7 period down in the red zone, Williams ran a route out of the right slot and was able to put himself in a position right between Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox, who were in zone coverage along the goal line. Williams was able to drive hard inside, then straighten his route up buying a little space. Brandon Weeden nicely read the coverage and was able to just get the ball over the top of Wilcox, who was at full extension.
Williams, who has a tendency to body catch the ball in the middle of the field, extended his hands and grabbed the ball at the highest point before landing with both feet in bounds in the back of the end zone. It was an outstanding throw by Weeden but an even better route and catch by Williams.
With Miles Austin basically sidelined from Week 4 to Week 10, Williams was the #12 WR in fantasy, racking up 24 catches for 438 yards and five TDs in that seven-game span. In four games where he played at least 80 percent of his teams snaps, he averaged 11.0 FP (#15 WR numbers). In eight games where he played at least 70 percent of the snaps, he averaged 9.0 FP (#22 WR numbers). He faded upon Austin’s return to starter’s snaps, but showed enough in his rookie season to make him an intriguing middle-round pick in 2014. The Cowboys figure to throw a lot under new OC Scott Linehan, who was pass-happy while in Detroit. With Austin gone, the path is clear for a breakout season from Williams.
Monday, March 31, 2014, 12:37pm
After nearly 5 months of rehab from a torn right ACL, Browns QB Brian Hoyer is ready to prove himself yet again to a new coaching staff led by Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer, knowing full well that they are considering replacing him with a rookie quarterback in May.
Hoyer threw for five TDs in two-plus games before getting hurt for the season. The Browns had liked him heading into last year, but needed to give Brandon Weeden a chance as the starter. But when Weeden got hurt, Hoyer moved past QB2 Jason Campbell on the depth chart to start against the Vikings in Week 3. Hoyer threw 3 TDs that game but also 3 INTs. However, there's a new coaching staff in town and the Browns appear poised to draft a QB in April, so the former Tom Brady backup is going to have to earn the job.
Monday, March 17, 2014, 5:33pm
Wednesday, March 12, 2014, 4:40pm
Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson also had four receiving touchdowns to go along with three rushing and two on kickoff returns. He was eased into the game plan and proved to be just as dynamic in the final month of the season as former Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin. Patterson could be in line for a monster sophomore season with Turner as his offensive coordinator given how Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon led the league last year in receiving yards with Jason Campbell, Brandon Weeden and Brian Hoyer as his quarterbacks.
Patterson is very raw as a route runner and needs to develop quickly in that facet of the game if he's to have the type of season that many are predicting. Patterson was the #10 WR from Week 10 to Week 17 in his rookie season. He scored seven touchdowns in that span (three rush, four receiving) while racking up 29 catches for 323 yards to go along with 10 carries for 156 rushing yards. His TD rate will be difficult to maintain, but he should see a jump in touches in 2014.
Beat writer Mary Kay Cabot was asked how WR Josh Gordon will fare in new OC Kyle Shanahan's offense.
"If Gordon fares as well as seven-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson in Shanahan's West Coast-oriented scheme, the reigning receiving yardage leader (1,646) will continue to tear it up. With Shanahan as Texans' coordinator in 2008-09, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards in both years (1,575 in 2008) and (1,569 in 2009). He also led the league in receptions in 2008 (115). During those two seasons combined, Johnson led the NFL in receiving yards (3,144) and ranked second in receptions (216).
So more trips to Honolulu should be in store for Gordon, who flourished in the vertical passing game last season."
Gordon actually outscored Calvin Johnson in PPG (16.2 vs. 15.8) and finished as the top fantasy receiver in 2013 despite missing the first two games due to suspension. He’d be a no-brainer top 5 wideout heading into 2014 if not for his history of off-field issues, a change at offensive coordinator and continuing issues at quarterback. If he can finally get some consistency at QB (and stay out of trouble), the sky is the limit for this kid. It’s pretty amazing what he did with Brian Hoyer, Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball.
Browns QB Brian Hoyer’s return from October ACL surgery is planned for April. He may enter the offseason as the starter. The odd men out will be Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. Weeden has a $920,000 guarantee for 2014, which makes a trade unlikely and a release probable. Campbell’s 45 percent play time triggered a $1 million escalator to his 2014 base salary. That brings his 2014 salary to $3.25 million – surely too high for a backup who complained about cold weather and admitted he pressed over the final four losses.
This underlines just how undependable the Browns QB situation was in 2013. It's amazing that Josh Gordon was able to do what he did given all the changes at the position. He and the entire Browns offense would benefit from some stability under center. Unfortunately, the organization let OC Norv Turner go after only one season. The Browns are a near shoo-in to pick a QB early in this year's draft.
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