Monday, July 28, 2014, 12:31pm
Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon tweaked his right hamstring early in Monday’s practice and opted to take it easy for the remainder of the session as a precaution.
“Just being smart,” Garçon said. “There’s no real need to keep playing through it right now, early in the season. Just got to be smart and get it healed up.”
Garcon was hurt as he reeled in a fade pass over cornerback David Amerson. After securing the ball, Garçon reached for his right hamstring and was in obvious discomfort. He watched the remainder of practice from the sidelines.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 8:44am
Since his return to practice back in April, Jeremy Maclin has professed that he is a "stronger" version of his former self. "You can just base it off certain things that you do in the weight room, on the football field," he said. "And also mentally stronger. When I talk about stronger I mean everything that goes into it."
In the four mostly healthy seasons that preceded his lost one, Maclin provided the kind of consistency and dependability Kelly has preached since the day he arrived. Maclin also fills nicely some of the leadership void created by Jason Avant's departure, an ideal veteran for rookies Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff to model their work ethic around.
Still, it is hard to tell if Maclin is physically stronger than he was before that gruesome injury.
It is also hard to believe that he is mentally stronger. This is a man, after all, who was abandoned by his father at 9 and raised by the little league football coach. This is also a man whose undisclosed illness in 2011 forced him to miss a chunk of training camp and led to wide speculation about cancer and his career ending, a man whose ACL tear last August was the second to that knee in his career and, coming at the onset of his final contract season, led to even more speculation about the end of his career.
Maclin is poised to fill a big role on the field too now that DeSean Jackson is out of the picture. Maclin isn't Jackson in terms of speed, but the Birds feel Maclin will still fill in nicely opposite of Riley Cooper. While QB Nick Foles is one of our top-rated at the position, Eagles WRs are further down our list. Maclin comes in at 36th, but his ADP of the 7th round is considerably lower than those ranked around him, so owners are banking on a productive season.
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 12:50pm
"He's a very good fullback," Gruden said. "He can run, he can catch. We're excited about having him ... .The personnel will vary, but DY will be a major part of this offense."
Saturday, July 26, 2014, 12:37pm
The optimism of training camp – all that new-beginnings stuff – often inspires bold predictions. The last time the Washington Redskins were preparing for a season, someone actually wrote they would have a 12-4 record.
“That’s a Pro Bowl tight end right there,” Paul said, pointing toward Reed as he left the field here after practice Friday. “Mark my words: He will be a Pro Bowler.”
Reed was on pace for 80-887-5.3 (#7 TE-type numbers) prior to his injury, but didn't even crack the 50% snaps played mark until Week 6. In the five games where he played at least 50% of his team's snaps, he averaged 6.2-76-.40 or #3 TE-type numbers. The main concern with Reed is his injury history, specifically with concussions. According to NBC Washington, in addition to a severe concussion in 2013, Reed suffered two concussions while at Florida. If he can stay healthy, he's a likely top 5 fantasy TE, but that's no sure thing.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:47pm
He’s looked quick. He’s looked elusive. He’s looked decisive. In other words, the 2013 fifth round draft pick has looked precisely like the No. 3 running back that Jay Gruden is seeking for his offense.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 2:24pm
Tevin Reese, drafted in the seventh round, is improved from the five spring practices open to the media. He's more assertive, better at double moves and more apt to pluck the ball. The 5-foot-10, 165-pounder confirmed his blocking needs much work.
"Kid can smoke," quarterback Kellen Clemens said.
Talking about the slender Reese, receiver Malcom Floyd invoked a well-known undersized pass-catcher.
"That's how DeSean Jackson was -- little and fast," Floyd said. "He shocked the NFL."
Reese is a name to remember if Malcom Floyd isn't his usual self. The Chargers have proved that they are not afraid to work a rookie (Keenan Allen) in immediately if the need and talent is there.
Brent Celek is the starter and that's not expected to change this year. In a way, Celek and Zach Ertz are playing two different positions. Kelly explained that Ertz [as well as James Casey] is being used as a "move" tight end in this offense. That is similar to the way Aaron Hernandez was deployed in New England -- as more of a "Joker" that lines up in various spots and is used primarily as a pass-catcher. Celek is more of the traditional "in-line" tight end where blocking is a bigger priority.
Celek could very well end up with more snaps, but that doesn't mean that Ertz won't be featured prominently.
Ertz averaged 2.8-32-.56 over the final nine games of the season (including the Eagles' sole playoff game) and that included two goose eggs in Week 10 and Week 14. That equates to 6.6 fantasy points per game, which is what Martellus Bennett averaged as the #10 TE in fantasy football. With Jason Avant and DeSean Jackson gone, Ertz could play a lot in the slot, though the arrival of WR Jordan Matthews may limit Ertz’s snaps there.
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 1:12pm
“Right now, I am,” Roberts said as training camp opened at a rain-soaked Bon Secours training center. “You never know during training camp what they’re going to do. [It could] depend on how much they use me on offense ...Right now, I’m on top. But we’ll see.”
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 5:05pm
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on how quickly TE Rob Gronkowski will be practicing fully: "I wouldn’t be surprised if Gronk is eased in rather than going full bore from the get go because you are talking about a player who had surgery for a torn ACL less than seven months ago. They’re going to want to bring him along slowly."
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news that he avoided preseason PUP, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 4:55pm
That was the short, sweet and easily biggest news to come out of Bill Belichick’s morning pre-training camp press conference at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday.
Rehabbing his way back from a torn ACL suffered last Dec. 8 against the Browns, Gronkowski did not take part on the field in New England’s spring OTAs and mini-camp, instead working with the team’s medical staff.
But he reported to Foxborough earlier this week with other injured players, rookies and quarterbacks and was cleared to return to the field. Therefore, PUP (physically unable to perform) is not an option either during the summer or the regular season.
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is still a concern heading into the 2014 season. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). Given the news, Gronkowski is tentatively expected to be ready for the start of the season, and his return would be a big boost to Tom Brady and the entire New England offense. Don't expect him to practice fully right away, but it looks like Week 1 is a realistic possibility.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:48am
Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski said Friday that he plans to play the entire season as he recovers from a torn ACL. He hasn't been placed on the PUP list at this point, but that's still an option prior to the first practice of training camp Thursday.
Gronkowski has been hugely productive when healthy, but his health is a major concern heading into 2014. He reportedly had surgery on Jan. 9 to reconstruct a torn ACL. It typically takes a full year to recover, though Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III have made quicker returns (with varying success). The fact that he hasn't yet been placed on preseason PUP is a positive sign, but as the article states -- the Pats still have time to do so.
Monday, July 21, 2014, 7:22pm
Redskins RB Alfred Morris’ performance will be critical to the success of the offense. If they bunch up on him, he has to make the first man miss as he always has and grind out some tough yards. If the defense is spread out, Morris has to make the defense pay with some big plays in the running game. He’s right up there with the team’s most valuable players.
Roy Helu will be the third-down back. He occasionally flashes some dynamic ability as a pass catcher and is solid in pass blocking. Others may have more big play ability but until someone learns to protect as well as Helu does, it’s his job.
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, so his PPR value is on the low side, though he’s a fairly safe start in any format given his steady workload.
The third-year quarterback acknowledged that DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Pierre Garçon and Jordan Reed figure to see fewer targets in 2014. But that, he added, should provide plenty of motivation for the receiving corps.
“These guys know that there are some weapons around them on the field, so they don’t have all that pressure on them,” Griffin told Grant and Danny on Monday morning. “But they also know when they get the ball, they are going to have to do something with it because there’s no guarantee that the ball is going to come to them 10, 15 times a game. They might only get three or four of five shots a game, and they have to make the most it.”
With a plethora of receivers to throw to and a strong running game, there are going to be a few disappointing fantasy performances in the Washington WR corps throughout the season. Garcon isn't likely to lead the league in targets, while Jackson is no longer the clear WR1 on his team, as he was in Philadelphia. Owners should think twice before drafting either player based on his 2013 output.
There are three reasons for TE Jordan Cameron to be the most popular Browns player in fantasy leagues. One, his breakout 2013 season signaled his maturity as an NFL playmaker. Two, the team’s sorry situation at wideout makes Cameron a No. 1 read in the passing game. Three, he’s playing to secure his future financially in his contract year. The key to Cameron’s 2013 season was keeping himself on the field and out of the trainer’s room. If he can do it again, he will lead the team in receptions, yards and touchdown catches.
Cameron was the #2 TE through Week 8, but ranked #23 from Week 9 through Week 17. Some of this had to do with the QB issues in Cleveland, though his targets remained relatively even (8.4 T/G through Week 8 vs. 7.3 T/G thereafter). Despite the departure of a TE-friendly coaching staff that included HC Rob Chudzinski and OC Norv Turner, there is still a lot to like about Cameron. He should enjoy a QB upgrade and new OC Kyle Shanahan is pretty TE-friendly in his own right. Under Shanahan, Jordan Reed was targeted a healthy 6.6 times per game (11th-most among TEs) in 2013. While the new regime is not an upgrade for Cameron, it’s not a huge downgrade, either. The probable loss of Josh Gordon means lots of targets (and lots of defensive attention) for Cameron. It's a double-edged sword.