For the second consecutive day, Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin attempted to start practice but was unable to finish it. After landing awkwardly on a reception during Monday's session and removing himself from practice, Maclin came out with his teammates at the start of practice and went through some light work against no coverage but did not participate in any of the full team activities the rest of the day.
Maclin, 26, said afterwards that he was being held out of practice because of general soreness in his legs. "It's just some leg soreness, not a big deal," Maclin explained after practice at the Novacare Complex Tuesday. "I probably could have gone today but I wanted to wait until it was 100 percent."
Maclin was the #13 WR in 2010, #31 in 2011 and #27 in 2012 before tearing his ACL last summer. The Eagles don't throw as much under Kelly as they did under Andy Reid, but Maclin has the talent and opportunity -- DeSean Jackson is gone -- to be a fantasy starter in 2014, provided his knee is good to go.
Gronkowski did not travel with the team for its joint practices with the Washington Redskins, according to a source. Though it was surprising to see the Pats take the field without Gronkowski, who was limited through the first eight practices of training camp, the logic has merit.
Now, the question is: What’s next?
The Patriots’ next practice in Foxboro won’t be until at least Saturday, and they are scheduled to begin joint sessions with the Eagles on Tuesday. It’s unclear if the Patriots will unveil Gronkowski next week against an opponent, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he participated in individual and positional drills with his offensive teammates before departing to continue his rehab work elsewhere.
Gronkowski has maintained throughout camp the goal is to be ready by Week 1.
This is not at all surprising. The Patriots know their players will be more cautious around Gronk than the Redskins players will be so there's no point in risking re-injury at this point in the offseason. He's a high-risk/high-reward pick.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 5:33pm
Washington released its depth chart today. No real surprises but one note is Roy Helu Jr. is listed as the team's RB2.
For now, Helu is ahead of Chris Thompson. Many thought Helu was a lock to be the team's third down back, but leading up to camp some beat writers said that may not be the case. Thompson is third and could push for the job. The Skins third down back could have some value in deep PPR leagues under Jay Gruden.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:31pm
The Patriots defense kept Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III from completing many passes. The secondary stuck on Washington’s receivers, including Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. When there wasn’t a receiver open, Griffin held the ball until the pocket collapsed around him.
A coach would blow the whistle, indicating the play was over and that Griffin had been sacked — defensive players never tackle the quarterback in practice.
“We came out here and competed,” Patriots safety Devin McCourty said. “I thought we challenged them on everything and made it tough. I think we did some things well, definitely.”
Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:14pm
If Patriots HC Bill Belichick's phone starts buzzing with trade feelers, he can thank NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock for hyping backup quarterback Ryan Mallett on Monday's edition of Inside Training Camp Live.
"I was blown away today. I saw a legitimate NFL starting quarterback today backing up Tom Brady," Mayock said after Monday's scrimmage versus the Redskins. "So as the season progresses and we get closer to draft time and what the Patriots can or can't do with him, I think they drafted Jimmy Garoppolo for a reason, as an insurance policy. But trust me, Ryan Mallet's a starting quarterback in this league, and he popped today."
Boston beat writers mostly agree saying Mallet is having a great training camp so far.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 2:01pm
The Washington Redskins didn’t prepare for Monday’s 11-on-11 drills against the New England Patriots. No scouting reports were provided to coaches. Players were not briefed on the Patriots’ tendencies.
“It was basically just backyard football,” outside linebacker Ryan Kerrgian said.
That established, the Redskins have some heavy lifting to do. The Patriots exposed areas the Redskins must shore up before they kick off the regular season Sept. 7 against the Houston Texans. For the Redskins, the good news is that they have time to get things right. They should start on defense.
Facing the Redskins’ first-string defense, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady torched the secondary. The future Hall of Famer often targeted second-year cornerback David Amerson.
Typically accurate on the short routes that are a staple of the Patriots’ offense, Brady controlled Washington’s defense. From start to finish, Amerson appeared out of sync.
Monday, August 4, 2014, 11:18am
“You make up for what you don’t have in size with speed and precision and just guys being in the right spot,” he said. “We do have some dynamic guys but at the end of the day none of our receivers are over 6-4, 6-3. We’ll find ways to work scheme to get guys open. But that’s what the coaches watch film for, that’s what the coaches will find the best way and, if not, we have a battering ram in the backfield.”
The “battering ram” is Alfred Morris, who has scored 16 touchdowns on runs starting from inside the 20 in his two years in the league. But he can’t always get it done so the Redskins just have to deal with throwing to shorter targets.
The Redskins were fourth in red zone efficiency in Griffin’s rookie year, getting into the end zone on 60.4 percent of their chances. They dipped to 20th in 2013, scoring touchdowns 52 percent of the time. They essentially had the same receiver corps both years.
While they added DeSean Jackson, he's not necessarily a red zone threat as much as he is a big-play threat. The story goes on to point out that the big difference was not a big passing target, but the legs of Griffin. In 2012 he scored six rushing touchdowns from the red zone. He scored none last year. It's always risky when your franchise QB takes off to run, but Griffin will likely not put up a 0 in that category this season...
Gronkowski has taken part in only individual drills through the first eight practices of training camp, and with joint practices featuring more full-team work against Washington, it likely explains Gronkowski's absence.
Gronk did take part in some team drills according to reports, however it wasn't in pads. We also had a report that said Gronk would be ready to go Week 1, which was according to the team's Web site. Gronkowski has been cleared to play, according to coach Bill Belichick, making his comeback more of a football decision than a medical decision, and the Patriots continue to bring him along slowly, the story said.
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 6:49pm
Last year, it was DeSean Jackson that sizzled. McCoy looks like he may be in the best shape of his career. One of the things missed most about Lehigh was how close the reporters were permitted to get to the action. Reporters could get fairly close at the Linc and during one McCoy run you could hear him saying to defenders as he went past them, “Bye, so long, woooooooo …”
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 6:38pm
Eagles rookie WR Jordan Matthews simply continues to make catch after catch after catch after catch after catch... (Yawn)... after catch after catch after... sorry, but that's just what is happening out here every day.
The Eagles likely won't have one stand-out receiver like DeSean Jackson was a year ago, but Matthews sure seems like he's going to be a contributor in his first year. Right now, it looks like the Birds vision him in the slot, so his time may be limited depending on formation.
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 4:24pm
“We held DeSean out,” Gruden said. “He had a little soreness in his legs.”
Jackson did not speak to reporters.
Gruden did not specify the precise nature of the soreness hampering the star wide receiver, who watched practice from the sidelines in a jersey and shorts. The session marked the second in full-pads—including game pants—since training camp opened 10 days ago.
The team is off Sunday and will return Monday for the first of three joint practice with the Patriots. The team is likely just being cautious and giving him what amounts to an extra day off.
Ron Rivera said the Carolina Panthers plan to use their tight ends more in the passing game this season.
The Panthers added free agent Ed Dickson this offseason to go along with Greg Olsen, giving them a pair of receiving options at tight end similar to what they had in Rivera's first season in 2011 with Olsen and Jeremy Shockey.
"Absolutely," Rivera said when asked if the moved was designed to replicate three years ago. "You want that double threat."
Great news for Greg Olsen owners, but it's also not really a surprise since Carolina doesn't have a lot of big names at WR. On top of that, rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin just returned to camp but is likely a little behind. Olsen is ranked 6th on our TE list, but has an ADP of the 9th round, along with guys like Jordan Reed and Kyle Rudolph who also continue to get positive press in camp in terms of getting. They are turning into attractive targets at that point in drafts.
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 10:50am
His football team now resides in the heart of the Silicon Valley, so it's only natural that San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh would describe the maturation of his quarterback in terms a techie could appreciate.
"Colin Kaepernick is at the highest level, where he can auto-correct," Harbaugh said of his fourth-year quarterback at training camp this week. "You know, like auto-correcting in texting or whatever. Even if a coach makes a mistake, it's wrong in the script, the play is called into him wrong, he just auto-corrects it and doesn't ask, 'Hey, is that right or wrong?' "
Kaepernick is ranked 8th on our QB list but has a higher ADP (10th round) than some big names under him who are going earlier in drafts - Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III for example. The 49ers went out and signed Stevie Johnson to play in the slot and to go with Anquan Bolden and Michael Crabtree, so the weapons are certainly there. With our ranking and his lower ADP, Kaepernick is looking like a pretty good value.
Jay Gruden said he knows what he has in Alfred Morris, and said the Florida Atlantic product has had a great training camp so far, as he’s worked hard to add the passing game to his list of talents.
“Alfred is not flying under the radar in our eyes, that’s for sure,” Gruden said. “He’s had a great camp. He’s caught the ball very well too which is a pleasant surprise for us out of the backfield, so Alfred’s going to get his touches.”
Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, though Gruden's comments are encouraging. If he can catch 30+ passes it will really help his value in PPR formats.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 2:00pm
Redskins WR Pierre Garçon is on the field but it looks like he will be just a partial participant after suffering a slight hamstring strain. It seems to be one of those things where he would practice and play if this was the week of a regular season game but since it’s early July he’s resting it.