Friday, June 6, 2014, 3:00pm
"It’s everything to me, to tell you the truth," Britt said. "My mind is free and relaxed right now. I’m taking this year as a rookie year, like when I first came into the league. That’s my mind state right now."
Britt has a good opportunity to revive his career in an unproven receiving corps, but he's not a safe pick on draft day.
Upon getting back to work, Rams receiver Kenny Britt promptly beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown of about 40 yards then did the same to Trumaine Johnson soon after. Britt let the young corners know about it and eventually it led to a full on fight between he and Johnson.
Britt has an opportunity to start fresh and told reporters after practice that he's viewing this season like he's a rookie starting anew.
Britt is a big, physical player and has already been nicknamed "The Incredible Hulk" by some of his teammates. Clearly, he has some impressive physical skills but he's also a bit emotional. You can look at Britt beating Jenkins and Johnson for long catches and his past off-field issues however you choose, but if nothing else Britt brings an attitude and competitiveness on the practice field that should be a net positive for a young receiver group.
Britt isn't a bad flier in the late rounds given the talent he has shown in the past and the fresh start he's getting with the Rams, who could use a playmaker in the passing game. The key here is his reunion with HC Jeff Fisher, who was the head man in Tennessee when Britt had his breakout season.
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.
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 11:08pm
Rams beat writer Nick Wagoner on rookie Tre Mason: "I expect Mason to be nipping at the heels of (Zac Stacy) for carries and handle the No. 2 role. I also wouldn't be surprised if he usurped Stacy at some point, especially if Stacy struggles with nagging injuries again."
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.
Thursday, May 15, 2014, 1:32pm
The Bills traded up to select Sammy Watkins fourth overall last week, but Football Outsiders assistant editor Scott Kacsmar believes Watkins' success at the college level may not translate to the NFL.
Here's what Kacsmar writes on Watkins:
"To spend a top-five pick (and then some) on a wide receiver, he'd better be a special player. Watkins is not the type of athletic freak like Calvin Johnson capable of catching a jump ball in triple coverage, but who is? Watkins is not as polished with his route running or sure-handedness as Torry Holt or Larry Fitzgerald. Watkins is not an all-around threat like A.J. Green and Julio Jones. Those are most of the receivers who were worth a top pick."
Watkins gained 71.3 percent of his receiving yards after the catch at Clemson, numbers that Kascmar says compare to receivers like Tavon Austin or Percy Harvin -- talented in the short game and after the catch, but not necessarily big-play threats.
Watkins is a talented receiver, but he's no Calvin Johnson. He's joining a run-heavy offense with E.J. Manuel as his quarterback, so we're not terribly bullish on his potential production in 2014. He's currently going in the 6th round, which is a high price to pay for an unproven receiver in a run-first offense.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 1:17am
Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart is ready for his chance to start.
“I had the skill set to be a [NFL] starter from the onset, but I was playing behind one of the best in the game,” Gerhart said of [Adrian Peterson]. “I’ve gotten comfortable with the speed of the game, but don’t have the wear and tear on my body of someone carrying it 250 times a year.
“I think I’m in a unique situation. Even though it’s my fifth year in the league, I can come in and be a dominant guy. I’m ready for my shot now.”
Gerhart had a season-high 109 carries for 531 yards in 2011, when he started four games for the injured Peterson. That’s his biggest NFL workload. The Jaguars are banking on his production not trailing off if Gerhart gets into the 240- to 300-carry range.
240 carries represents 15 totes a game, which is in line with the 15-20 touches per game that HC Gus Bradley mentioned when discussing Gerhart after the Jaguars signed him. To put that workload in perspective, just 13 running backs carried the ball at least 240 times in 2013, and the lowest rank in standard formats of any of that group was Zac Stacy at #18. Gerhart is a good receiver as well, so if he gets 240-plus carries, he'll be a very solid RB2 who will likely go in the 4th or 5th round of fantasy drafts. For an in-depth look at Gerhart, click here.
Rams WR Chris Givens has taken a lot of steps to get his game back on track since the 2013 finale against Seattle when he didn’t have a single catch. He decided that he had to make changes in his life and make football his No. 1 priority.
“When I was young, I felt like I was trying to do too much, please too many people,” he said. “Saying ‘yes’ too much. Being afraid to let my light shine because of how it made someone else feel. So I humbled myself and made football my job. Made it a priority. And I just started writing goals and doing a lot of things.”
In Arizona he worked with longtime fitness and martial arts instructor Mack Newton. Givens described him as “this 68-year-old trainer. ... Old school. No weight-lifting. He works on building you up from the inside-out. Before every class, we’d sit down and talk for like an hour, just about spiritual things, and having the proper self-esteem.”
By now, Givens has put the frustration of last season behind him, a season that included a shoulder injury and an especially nagging ankle injury. Givens didn’t miss any games but said the ankle injury required a lot of maintenance and bothered him most of the year.
“My goals right now are to be really involved with the team, and to really embrace the whole concept of team,” Givens said. “And just to be a leader. Be a finisher. Be a catalyst. To do everything I need to do to put my body in the best position to start (training) camp.”
Givens is a candidate for a bounce-back season after a very disappointing sophomore campaign. A renewed focus on football will help, but so should the return of QB Sam Bradford, who missed much of the season with a torn ACL.
“Sam’s in a very good place considering what happened last year,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “I thought he was off to a great start. Had he stayed healthy his projected numbers could’ve been quite impressive. He’s worked hard through the process, and I would expect him at some point to be throwing in OTAs.”
“You’re not gonna hear a head coach say he has a player on his team that’s not ahead of schedule coming off an ACL. Everybody says they’re all ahead of schedule. But he is realistically way ahead of schedule."
Through the first seven games of the season, Bradford averaged 16.9 FP and was the #11 QB before injuring his knee late in a game against the Panthers. Fantasy-wise, he may have turned a corner, but he's going to have to put together a full, productive season to get a sizable extension from the Rams. He'll be a QBBC type in 2014.
The St. Louis Rams have signed former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt to a one-year, $1.4M deal, including $550,000 guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. The maximum value of the deal is $2.9 million, the source said.
Drafted 30th overall in the 2009 draft, Britt wowed the Titans with his ability to get off the press at the line of scrimmage. He caught 42 passes in each of his first two seasons, with nine touchdown catches in 2010.
But he's spiraled downward from there, suffering a torn ACL early in 2010. He has also caused the Titans headaches with multiple off-field incidents that drew police attention.
He looked primed for a big contract year with a solid training camp in 2013, but with early drops and penalty issues he became a non-factor, playing little once he lost his confidence and not dressing for three of the final four games.
It's a deal that's been rumored for a while. Britt has fantasy sleeper potential this season, but most owners have likely grown tired of waiting for that by now. Still, he could very well lead the Ram WRs this year if things work out. As the story points out, since 2010 he suffered a torn ACL, had multiple off-field incidents that drew police attention and last year had early drops and penalty issues which eventually moved him down the Titans depth chart.
Monday, March 31, 2014, 12:46pm
“We’re not disappointed in what his production was last year at all," Fisher said. "One of the things that was misleading was he had two or three returns called back -- one against Dallas --and then he got hurt. I think another year in the program, in the offense, OTAs, training camp, you’ll see more production. I think we’ll do a better job of using him now that we know what he’s capable of doing. Kind of looking forward to see him improve from year one to year two.’’
For the most part, Austin was a fantasy disappointment outside of a couple of games. He broke 50 receiving yards just one time last year, and that was his two-catch, 138 yard, 2 TD performance against the Colts. He had a rushing TD for 65 yards and another rush for 56 yards that didn't go for a TD, plus one kick return for a touchdown. He has a good chance to build on that this year assuming Fisher is correct about realizing how to use him.
Friday, March 28, 2014, 10:56am
The Atlanta Falcons, they made their big pickup last offseason by signing Steven Jackson to a three-year, $12 million deal. Jackson had eight-consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons with the St. Louis Rams before joining the Falcons.
He averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry in his first season with Atlanta as a hamstring injury limited him to 12 games and poor offensive line play hampered his effectiveness.
But Falcons head coach Mike Smith expressed faith in Jackson moving forward, although Jackson turns 31 before the 2014 season.
"Unfortunately, Steven was injured last year and we didn't really get a chance to see what he was capable of doing until the last four or five games," Smith said. "But you've got to have a big back when you have to get the two or three yards. Especially late in the season, you've got to be able to run the football."
Jackson injured his hamstring in a Week 2 win over his former team, the Rams. He missed four games and couldn't get into a rhythm immediately. He finished the 2013 season with six touchdowns in the last six games, the story points out. But, he's clearly on the decline and many think the Falcons will address the position in the draft.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 2:12pm