Colts RB Trent Richardson will get the first shot at starting, but don't sleep on Ahmad Bradshaw. It only took one game for Bradshaw to be the Colts' most productive running back last season when he rushed for 95 yards against San Francisco in Week 3. Richardson had production issues last season, but Bradshaw (neck) and Vick Ballard (knee) have health questions.
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 while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 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.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver LaVon Brazill has been suspended for at least one year without pay for violating the NFL's Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, reports NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
After failing multiple drug tests, Brazill was tagged with a four-game ban to start the 2013 season. He acknowledged last summer that it was time to choose between "money or marijuana."
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 3:22pm
Colts.com Craig Kelley was asked how much rookie WR Donte Moncrief will play this year: "It’s tough to tell with a crowded position group, but my hunch is he will see the field a decent amount. Donte is a worker whose ethic matches his physical size and tools. It’s not out of the question that he will find a home in the return game as well. Donte had a very solid spring and showed exactly why he was so high on our draft board. I doubt it will be hard to find him on the field this year."
Giants WR Rueben Randle has had some bright moments in his first two seasons, but he faded in and out of the offense alongside Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Wide receivers coach Sean Ryan wanted to see more consistency from Randle this spring and says he saw progress from his pupil.
“For me, the battle with him is consistency, and I think he’s addressed it in this offseason in the way he approaches his job,” Ryan said, via ESPNNewYork.com. “I’ve seen a difference in his seriousness towards his work. This spring, I thought he was locked in. I thought he did a good job learning the new offense. Like I said, he’s got some football intelligence to him. Things come to him. He sees things pretty well. But I thought he really worked hard at being locked into the meetings and on the field as well. I noticed a difference in him.”
Randle may be helped by making fewer adjustments to routes that call for him to be reading things the same way that quarterback Eli Manning reads them, something that bedeviled the pair last season and led to interceptions. Ryan said that Randle will still have to make some of those reads and the Giants will need him to make the right ones on a weekly basis for the offense to rebound from last season.
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.
Monday, June 23, 2014, 10:18am
Colts RB Trent Richardson will be given the first shot at starting partially based off his talent and because not starting would be another sign of a failed trade by GM Ryan Grigson. But don’t be shocked if Ahmad Bradshaw ends up starting if Richardson struggles early. The Colts aren’t in the position to be waiting for Richardson to find his rhythm.
The team is happy with Richardson's offseason and are even talking about him being a three-down back in 2014. He was hesitant last season and lacked burst, but could potentially turn it around if he's fully comfortable in the offense. Bradshaw is the better runner but hasn't been able to stay healthy.
Colts beat writer Mike Wells was asked who would start at RB: "You can't count out Ahmad Bradshaw based off how he played in his brief time on the field before getting injured last season. ESPN NFL Insider Jim Trotter had an interesting nugget recently. He wrote on Twitter that Trent Richardson, according to coaches, is relying more on his instincts when running instead of thinking it through and he has a chance to be a 'three-down player.' I'd say at this point -- and mind you, so much can change over the next few months -- that you have to think Richardson and Bradshaw are the frontrunners."
Wells doesn't provide much clarity by naming two of the three RBs in contention (along with Vick Ballard) for the starting job, but it is interesting that Richardson may become a three-down player this season given the way he ran last season.
Giants WR Rueben Randle, who spent two years miscommunicating with Eli Manning in the worst possible moments, enjoyed a solid camp, and receivers coach Sean Ryan said he “definitely” can serve as the team’s No. 2 receiver behind Victor Cruz.
Randle caught a beautiful deep TD pass from Manning on the second day of minicamp, and he said he finds Ben McAdoo’s new playbook “easier.”
“That battle with him is consistency,” Ryan said. “And I think he’s addressed it in this offseason in the way he approaches his job.”
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.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 1:43pm
Physically, at 6-2 and 221 pounds, Moncrief also fits the mold the Colts were looking for at receiver.
“Donte is a big target. We needed to get bigger, too. We needed to get taller.” wide receivers coach Charlie Williams says.
“He runs good routes and he catches the ball, that’s the key. That’s the key.”
Giants WR Rueben Randle continues to have a strong offseason. He seems to be running sharper routes and has displayed consistently strong hands. He beat Ross Weaver with a sweet double move and caught a long touchdown pass during Tuesday's OTAs. Randle appears to be making significant progress, and could be primed for a big year.
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 making plays in offseason activities while Beckham is sidelined with a hamstring injury.
“He was ready to run in there at the end of that team drill. Looks great,” HC Chuck Pagano said. “We’re going to have to have plenty of security around so he doesn’t sneak out here in pads come training camp time and get in there too soon.
“We all know what Reggie’s made of and how he’s wired and what his DNA is. He’s champing at the bit to get back out there.”
Wayne was the #19 WR in standard formats and the #17 WR in PPR through the first seven weeks prior to tearing his ACL. He's 35 and coming off of a major knee injury. He may be able to play, but it's hard to envision him returning to his usual form in time for the 2014 season. The Colts signed Hakeem Nicks as insurance.
Hakeem Nicks is gone (signed with the Colts) and Rueben Randle has moved into a starting role alongside Victor Cruz. Jerrel Jernigan, though, might be stuck where he is on the depth chart, because the Giants selected a receiver, Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU with the No. 12 overall pick in the NFL Draft, and the expectation is he will get on the field immediately.
“It didn’t bother me at all,’’ Jernigan said of the addition of Beckham. “Everyone knows we lost Hakeem Nicks, so we had to bring somebody else in.’’
Jernigan at 5-foot-8 and 189 pounds, is well-suited to the slot receiver role, a spot Cruz is most effective in, causing a logjam. Beckham and Randle are considered more adept on the outside.
Jernigan racked up 19 catches for 237 yards and two TDs in the final three games, making him the #2 WR in fantasy in that span. The arrival of Odell Beckham puts a damper on his 2014 outlook.
Per The Star, Chiefs QB Alex Smith and WR Dwayne Bowe have been firing on all cylinders during OTAs. Smith even dispensed with his usual low-risk approach, hitting Bowe on several shots downfield. Reid is encouraged with the offseason results of his top pairing.
"I think Dwayne came back in phenomenal shape, that's one thing, Reid said. "It looks like it out here. He's really moving around well."
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.
Friday, June 13, 2014, 5:54pm
Rookie WR John Brown was compared to both T.Y. Hilton, the Colts’ wideout, and Antonio Brown, the Steelers’ wideout, by HC Bruce Arians when he was drafted. And he looked solid all through the offseason. He did make mistakes sometimes, and there were multiple times when Carson Palmer took Brown aside for a teaching moment. The quarterback doesn’t make that kind of effort unless Brown is going to play a role in what he is doing.
“(Trent Richardson is) one of the guys who has benefited tremendously from the classroom time,” said Colts OC Pep Hamilton. “It was ambitious to think he could come in in week three last year, pick it up and hit the ground running.
“It was one of those situations where the defense knew when we put him in the game, more than likely we were running the ball. They were packing the box, and he was faced with some tremendously tough looks.”
Hamilton speaks from experience for the need to have multiple backs. A pecking order and delineation of duty is not something for the moment.
“The guys we have are very capable of making the big plays. Trent is plenty explosive enough, as well as (Ahmad Bradshaw) and (Vick Ballard),” said Hamilton. “Those guys are versatile enough to play on first, second and third down.
“We know how long the season is. We’re going to need all our guys at some point during the season. We’re not at the point where we have to decide on a rotation or a specific role for anybody in our offense. We’re just working to make sure we continue to grow and put a winning product on the field.”
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 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 while Vick Ballard is working his way back from a knee injury.
Manning also sounds rejuvenated by the process of learning a new offense under new coordinator Ben McAdoo.
"It is tough, it's not easy, but it has definitely re-energized me and brought an urgency to this time of year," Manning said Tuesday, on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
"It's definitely challenging. Each night, I'm staying up and preparing, and I feel like I'm in season right now with the amount of preparation I'm trying to put in to get ready for each practice," Manning said.
"Each practice is draining on you mentally, you're thinking so much about everything that has to go on and the different calls," the quarterback continued. "But it is also exciting. As a football player, as a competitor, you like to be challenged."
After eight straight top 15 finishes, Manning (and the Giants offense) tanked in 2013. He finished #21, but his play seemed even worse than that. A bounce back season is likely given his talent and the arrival of McAdoo, who is installing a quick hitting offense from his days in Green Bay. Hakeem Nicks is gone, but Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle are expected to emerge.