Monday, September 1, 2014, 6:10pm
It's like Robinson won't see a ton of snaps between all the time he's missed and that he's a little buried on the depth chart. He's very risky for fantasy lineups, but we'll have to keep an eye on his role in Week 1.
Saturday, August 30, 2014, 4:13pm
Start with the fact that the Jaguars offensive line has been in a state of flux throughout training camp. Add in the fact that Toby Gerhart, the starting running back, had just 16 carries in the preseason.
The result has been a Jaguars running game that hasn’t been in sync and needs to jell quickly with the regular season starting a week from Sunday in Philadelphia.
Ideally, the Jags will need to run the ball and take time off the clock to keep the Eagles offense off the field. The Birds defense is improved, but can the Jags keep this game, and others, close so that Gerhart gets his touches - and fantasy points. Week 1 will be a good test and Gerhart ranks 16th on our RB list to open the season.
Josey and Tucker have looked great in the preseason but the Birds opted to stick with Polk who had a hamstring injury much of camp. He tried to go in preseason Week 4 but was unable to; however, apparently it was enough for the team to keep him around.
This means that Alex Henery will soon be cut. Parkey will be a cheap, attractive option on draft day given the way the Eagles move the ball.
Friday, August 29, 2014, 9:49am
Cody Parkey, acquired last week in a trade with Indianapolis, boomed a 54-yard field goal attempt late in the first half. In the third quarter, the Eagles wanted to see if that first kick was a fluke, so they sent him out for a 53-yard attempt. Once again, Parkey was successful.
At Auburn, Parkey's career long for a field goal was 52 yards and he surpassed that twice on Thursday. It may have not been a regular season game, but a job was on the line as Parkey and Alex Henery are vying for the kicker job.
Owners drafting this weekend should avoid Henery. It looks like his job is in serious jeopardy.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 5:18pm
On Tuesday, Jets QB David Lee held court and talked mostly about QB Geno Smith’s progress as he enters his second season. Smith’s preseason is done, after three games, because starters don’t play in the fourth and final preseason game, Thursday at the Eagles.
Smith has officially been named the starter, at least for Week 1 against Oakland. Throughout this summer, teammates have raved about the progress they see in his composure and confidence.
Lee loves all of that. But most of all, he just wanted to see Smith stop giving the ball away. He threw 12 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season, and lost four fumbles. Couple that with Mark Sanchez’s 26 turnovers in both 2011 and 2012, and the Jets’ primary quarterbacks over the past three seasons have committed 77 turnovers.
Through three preseason games, Smith threw just one interception – and it appeared to stem from a miscommunication with receiver David Nelson.
“That’s probably been the No. 1 most encouraging thing, is he’s secured the ball in the pocket,” Lee said. “He’s had two hands on the ball, he’s working with two hands on the ball as he’s escaping the pocket and (he’s) moving and sliding. Just his ball security has been a gigantic (improvement). And that’ll be the biggest turnaround thing for us, if he just takes care of the ball and doesn’t get it knocked loose. So that’s a good observation. That’s the big thing he’s improved.”
Smith didn't turn the ball over the Jets final two games last season, which were both victories. He's ranked just 28th on our list and isn't getting a lot of draft day action. The Jets will likely be a run-first team for one reason and the turnover threat is another. We still project Smith for more INTs than TDs. He may have some limited value in some certain matchups. But it appears he's making strides to fix the turnover issues from last year.
The guy who is going to make you forget about Jackson isn't even a wide receiver. He's a tight end. He's Zach Ertz.
And while you might think I'm jumping the gun mentioning somebody who has played only 459 NFL snaps in the same breath with three of the most dangerous pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Ertz has that kind of ability, that kind of upside.
"You knew when you watched him in college that he had the chance to be something special," Eagles tight ends coach Ted Williams said. "He's one of the best route-runners I've ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in that. He has a lot of confidence. He's hard to defeat, because he doesn't take defeat very well. He feels, 'You can't cover me.' "
Ertz was eased into the offense as a rookie last season by coach Chip Kelly. He played 36 percent of the offensive snaps in the Eagles' first eight games and 45 percent in the final eight. Finished with 36 catches - 25 for first downs - for 469 yards and four touchdowns. All four of those scoring catches came in the second half of the season. He also had a touchdown reception in the Eagles' playoff loss to New Orleans.
Domowitch is one of the Eagles better beat writers, so there's something to what he's saying. He points out that without Jackson the Eagles' passing game is expected to undergo a slight transformation this season. In preseason Week 3, the Birds had four TDs of nine plays or more - five fewer than they had all season. Domo said to look for fewer deep balls and more bubble screens and slants by the wide receivers and more screens and wheel routes by running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. The only thing holding back Ertz this season is teammate Brent Celek possibly taking away some targets, but Ertz still figures to be a low-end TE1 and should be drafted ahead of Celek. The writer believes both Celek and Ertz are in for increased workloads.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:54pm
Ever since he was drafted to a roster that also boasted premier passing-down backs such as Sproles and Pierre Thomas, Ingram has been marginalized to obvious run situations. That usage pattern has allowed defenses to key on him as an obvious candidate to touch the ball whenever he's on the field.
Now that there's some overlap in skill sets among Ingram, Thomas and hard-charging tackle-breaker Khiry Robinson, Sean Payton can tie defenses in knots with less predictable personnel packages.
In addition to being earmarked for the primary early-down role, Ingram expects to be a bigger factor in a pick-your-poison passing attack.
Ingram is looking like a possible later round steal. If you've yet to have your draft, you may have to reach a round or two higher to get him as the news continues to be positive.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:16pm
HC Rex Ryan wasn’t exactly reassuring to the former second-round pick Tuesday while being peppered with questions about Hill’s future during his daily press conference.
Based on Ryan’s comments, the combination of drops, injuries and the fact Hill doesn’t play special teams have put the speedy ex-Georgia Tech star in a precarious roster position going into Thursday’s preseason finale at the Eagles and Saturday’s final cutdown.
“He’s had some strong moments, but there are others where we wish maybe he had hung on to a ball or so,” Ryan said of Hill, a 2012 pick by former GM Mike Tannenbaum. “But he’s had a pretty good training camp. I don’t want to say it’s been outstanding, but it’s been pretty good.
Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson look to all be ahead of Hill at this point on the Jets depth chart. Hill is buried down our WR list at 110th.
That runs counter to the popular narrative that emerged when the Eagles acquired the shifty running back from the Saints for a fifth-round pick during the offseason. In his eight-year career, Sproles has been mostly known as a receiving threat out of the backfield. During five years in San Diego and three more in New Orleans, Sproles never carried the ball more than 93 times in a single season. His highest rushing total was 603 yards with the Saints in 2011.
In fairness, he was mostly a backup with the Chargers, and he was employed primarily as a pass catcher with the Saints. Since 2009, Sproles has had at least 45 receptions each year. His receiving numbers spiked with New Orleans, where he hauled in 188 passes over the last three years.
While the Eagles expect him to be a good receiver in the offense, Chip Kelly insisted that Sproles is a running back first and capable of carrying the ball when needed. Pat Shurmur echoed that sentiment this week before practice at the NovaCareComplex
“We’ve said it all along. Darren can play running back on first, second and third down,” the offensive coordinator said. “We always try to use our players in a way where we maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, no matter what the situation.”
If there’s a concern about Sproles carrying the ball, it’s what kind of impact the increased workload might have on his body, the story said. He’s been a pretty durable player in his career, missing a total of just six games in eight years. This very well may have everything to do with Chris Polk struggling to get on the field and still not being 100-percent. It would make much more sense to keep Sproles in his receiving role and use another back like Polk - ideally - on early downs should McCoy ever miss time.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 12:05pm
Both could both land on the practice squad if they don’t last past final cuts, but there could be other teams willing to snatch them for their 53-man rosters. Josey has rushed 12 times for 104 yards in the preseason. He had a 70-yard, one-shoe TD jaunt brought back by a penalty. He’s swift and can also catch the ball out of the backfield (three catches for 39 yards and a TD). Both Tucker and Josey have looked willing and capable as blockers.
Both have LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles, Chris Polk and Kenjon Berner making the team. The biggest question right now is whether they are accurate about Polk, who has missed much of camp with a hamstring injury.
"That's coach's call," Gash said, referring to how Mike McCarthy intends to use Lacy. "But I have trained him as a three-down back. He will be ready to go."
Great news for potential and current Lacy owners. He looks to be a real steal the later he slips after the top-three of Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy come off the board. If you really want to take a RB in the middle of the first round, Lacy could be your guy...
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:52am
Coming out of last season, RB Chris Polk seemed to be a lock to make the Eagles' team this year. The third-year running back averaged 9.8 yards per carry last season, and had three touchdowns despite carrying the ball just 11 times.
Then, less than a week into training camp, Polk pulled his hamstring -- and now it sounds like Eagles' coaches hardly know their could-soon-be-former backup.
"Well, we do know him, but we sure would like to know him better," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said on Monday. "I think he's probably had one of the most lingering of injuries. So, yeah, it's important for him to get out and play."
The story added that Polk has been unable to play for the majority of the last three weeks, but returned to practice this past Sunday despite not feeling 100-percent. Polk has been on the field the past two days, which is a good sign of how his injured hamstring is holding up. However, it also means he could re-aggravate at just about any time.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:25am
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers coach reiterated that the duo would be punished by the team over the marijuana charges.
"Everything's on the table," Tomlin said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The Ross Township, Pennsylvania Police Department confirmed to NFL Media last week that the running backs were pulled over last Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. ET, just hours before the team was to fly to Philadelphia.
Possession of marijuana charges were filed Thursday, the same day Bell and Blount returned to the field for preseason action against the Eagles. Bell faces an additional charge of DUI (marijuana).
While the NFL will likely wait until the legal process runs its course to hand down any suspension, Tomlin indicated the team might not wait to take action. However, he didn't reveal what type of action (suspension or otherwise) he's leaning toward.
"We don't do it in a reactionary fashion," Tomlin said. "We don't wait for something to happen. That's part of our culture here. You are going to have people who step outside the bounds of that and they're going to be dealt with swiftly and appropriately, more times than not in-house. But the bottom line is we don't approach that in a reactionary fashion. Our business is too late then."
If the duo is suspended, it likely won't come in the same week. However, owners of both players should probably expect at least a game suspension from the team. With the recent news the two could split carries, it's become a cloudy picture in terms of how Pittsburgh will use the two backs but we still see Bell having more value. Since he was behind the wheel, it's possible Bell's punishment is a little heavier. Stay tuned...
“It’s been an honor to play for the Arizona Cardinals,” Feely wrote on Twitter. “Michael Bidwill, thank you for your leadership and friendship. AZ will still be home!”
Chandler Catanzaro, a rookie out of Clemson, has been competing with Feely through training camp and the preseason. Catanzaro has made all of his field goals in the preseason, while Feely missed a field goal in Sunday’s preseason game.
Feeley could end up landing in Denver where Matt Prater is suspended the first four games, or perhaps Philadelphia where the Eagles may have lost confidence in Alex Henery.
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