Colts RB Trent Richardson’s first run of the preseason was for 8 yards, giving the indication that good things were to come with him. But he gained only 26 yards since then. The New York Giants, according to HC Chuck Pagano, loaded up the box on more than 20 of the first 30 plays of their preseason game last weekend. Richardson’s two longest runs -- 8 yards each -- came with Andrew Luck in the shotgun. Richardson's running with better instincts. It's just not showing up in the results, which is the determining factor.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 8:17pm
It’s only natural for receivers like Da'Rick Rogers or Griff Whalen to look over his shoulder and wonder how the other player at that position is doing.
That leaves Rogers and Whalen and the remaining receivers on the roster competing for one or two spots on the roster at that position.
The other question is: When will Wayne play in a game? There’s no answer to either one of those questions yet.
Wayne has said a number of times during training camp that he wants the first tackle on his surgically repaired knee to be in a preseason game. With that said, you have to believe Wayne will play in Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Saints because the starters are expected to get extensive playing time in the first half.
“There’s a possibility,” coach Chuck Pagano said when asked if Wayne will play against the Saints. “We’re managing that thing and keeping a close eye on him. From a physical standpoint, make sure there’s not too much wear and tear on that knee early on and coming back and all those things. We’re going to monitor him this week and see how he goes. If things go according to plan, there’s a possibility there, but again, we’ll make sure he’s ready for action.”
Wayne has looked good in camp according to reports but the Colts just may not want to risk him getting hurt. Still, it seems like Wayne would feel better seeing action in the preseason rather than jumping right into the regular season...
Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:43am
Giants TE Adrien Robinson said, “I’ve been waiting for a chance to make plays like that.’’ The Giants have been waiting for it, too. Saturday night, the third-year tight end finally showed some of the potential general manager Jerry Reese was talking about two years ago when he called Robinson “the JPP of tight ends.’’
With the Giants facing a fourth-and-16 situation, Robinson broke open down the middle of the field — he said it was “like the Red Sea’’ — and hauled in Ryan Nassib’s pass for a 26-yard gain. On the next play, Nassib again found Robinson, this time for 33 yards. They were the two most significant plays Robinson has made in a Giants uniform.
Granted this was late in the game against backups, but the Giants need someone to step up at the position and this could at least give Robinson a shot to compete with the first team. So far this preseason, the Giants offense has been non-existent and could possibly use a spark by Robinson.
Sunday, August 17, 2014, 10:28am
Colts WR Hakeem Nicks, whose first August had fallen somewhere in the gulf that resides between “blah” and “meh,” caught plenty of attention on Saturday night with a five-catch, 53-yard performance in limited duty against his former team, the Giants. Now, Nicks is catching praise along with those passes.
It would have played out as six catches for 86 yards for Nicks, but a 36-yard gain was wiped off the board due to Nicks giving a wave to cornerback Trumaine McBride during the play.
Nicks was not impressive in camp to this point but it looks like things are picking up for the veteran. Earlier in camp, we learned from Colt beat writers that Nicks would be the team's WR3 and when he came in Reggie Wayne would move to the slot with T.Y. Hilton and Nicks on the outside. For now, his fantasy value is still a bit limited.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:56pm
So far, to this point in the preseason, Giants QB Eli Manning hasn't shown us much. The Giants have trotted him out to make some calls at the line of scrimmage and mostly hand or throw it to his running backs.
With left tackle Will Beatty back protecting Manning's blindside on Saturday night, there are no more excuses. The Giants have their projected starting offensive line protecting their starting quarterback. They can now open it up (a little bit) and show some of their new passing attack.
They don't need to display everything. Some of the innovative stuff can be saved for the regular season, but some of the basics (deep sideline and vertical routes) can be practiced in a live game setting against the Colts.
Of course, we'll be watching and breaking it all down, because that's what you do with a quarterback working in a new system. You look for hints of what is to come in the regular season.
Two specific areas pointed out in this article to watch for are Manning's downfield throws and communication with WR Rueben Randle. So far in two games Manning hasn't thrown more than 10 yards. Last year communication with Randle wasn't great and as recently as Thursday in practice it lead to another INT so it's still a work in progress.
Chiefs HC Andy Reid revealed a finger injury to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe that could explain why Bowe has dropped so many passes. “His finger is shot,’’ Reid said. “It’s been thrown out of place about 15 times and he’s not catching the ball. But he’s getting his work done. You can practice with that type of thing.’’
Bowe finished the season as the #44 fantasy WR, but was the #26 wideout from Week 11 to Week 16. (The Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17.) He had the 34th-most targets on the season, and he posted 8-150-1 against the Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, so there is some reason for optimism heading into 2014, despite the finger injury.
Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe had a tough day at practice on Wednesday, dropping a pair of passes and deflected another for an interception.
That’s hardly an indication that Bowe won’t rebound this season. But he hasn’t had a great camp and the Chiefs may be guilty of wishful thinking when it comes to their top wide receiver.
Bowe in September will turn 30, the age when the skills of many receivers start their decline. Could it be that process has already started with Bowe?
We’ll find out soon. Chiefs wide receivers coach David Culley said Bowe is in much better shape than he was last summer. Bowe said he’s in the best shape of his career.
Bowe finished the season as the #44 fantasy WR, but was the #26 wideout from Week 11 to Week 16. (The Chiefs rested their starters in Week 17.) He had the 34th-most targets on the season, and he posted 8-150-1 against the Colts in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, so there is some reason for optimism heading into 2014. His 8th round ADP makes his risk palatable.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 6:16pm
The Colts are going to take a wait-and-see approach with running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw didn’t play against the New York Jets last week and he’s wearing a red no-contact jersey in practice. “We'll see where he's at from a physical standpoint (Friday), see how he's feeling and then make a decision if we want to play him or not," HC Chuck Pagano said.
Bradshaw's ADP is in the final rounds, but he could end up getting the lion's share of the carries for the Colts if Trent Richardson doesn't turn things around from last year's dismal performance. Bradshaw is obviously a health concern, but he's someone to keep in mind in the later rounds.
"There are not a lot of guys that have been through neck surgeries and a year later they are playing football again, especially at my position," Bradshaw said recently, via The Herald Bulletin. "Right now, as we speak, I am as confident as anything going in. I don't think about my neck at all playing, and I am just shooting forward from here on."
Bradshaw isn't sure if he will get the green light to make his 2014 preseason debut Saturday versus the Giants, but is confident that he will ready to play against the Broncos in the regular-season opener.
HC Chuck Pagano talked about the growth WR of T.Y. Hilton.
“Obviously, everybody knows how we used (Hilton) in the first couple of years but I think there’s so much more we can do with a guy like that. It’s just a matter of getting creative," Pagano said. “It’s easy to line him up and get him down the field and run go-routes and crossers but I think there’s a whole lot more we can do with a guy like that. He’s dynamic.”
It sounds like the Colts are going to find different ways to use Hilton this year, and it falls right in line with what we've been hearing all this summer. This will include moving him around the field to create matchup issues. Hilton is ranked 24th on our list with an ADP of the 6th round. He's the clear WR1 in Indy and we could be looking at a huge season for the now third-year receiver.
Monday, August 11, 2014, 7:47pm
“We have three number one wideouts,” Hilton said after practice.
Asked to clarify if he views himself as a number one wide receiver, Hilton replied, “Without a doubt. All you have to do is turn on the film and watch me play.”
That’s the kind of confidence that comes with being the most productive receiver from his 2012 NFL Draft class, despite being selected in the 3rd round out of FIU. In two seasons, Hilton has amassed 132 receptions, 1,944 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Nobody from the 2012 class has more receiving yards and touchdowns.
The Giants will get their first-round pick back on the practice field on Monday.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham has missed just about all of camp after aggravating a hamstring pull early this summer, but he’s recovered enough to take part in practice. Beckham will be limited to individual work as he ramps things back up after so much time off, although coach Tom Coughlin said that could change quickly if Beckham handles the initial workload without incident.
“He is going to practice on an individual basis and then they are going to assess where he is,” Coughlin said, via the New York Daily News. “If he can do a little more, then maybe he will do a little bit more, but if he can’t then we will keep it strictly with individual.”
Chris Ivory is one of the players expected to be part of that stable stable of running backs the Jets will use this season and he suffered an injury in the preseason opener against the Colts on Thursday night.
Ivory injured his ribs late in the second quarter of the game and did not return. Ivory wasn’t necessarily going to play any more at that point in the game, but the injury would still have an impact if it limited Ivory’s availability in the coming days. Coach Rex Ryan wasn’t overly concerned about that possibility.
“Ivory should be fine,” Ryan said, via NJ.com.
With Chris Johnson expected to get a bulk of the carries, Ivory was taking reps as the goal line back in camp. He came over in a trade from the Saints last season and had trouble getting on the field because of injuries, but showed glimpses at times. Right now, it looks like a three-headed monster running attack for the Jets, with Bilal Powell also in the mix.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:42am
Short and sweet. Just as Chuck Pagano planned.
Luck was sharp in one solid, 12-play series with the starters.
"I thought we had a lot of good rhythm," Luck said. "I wish we would have gotten a touchdown, but points are good."