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.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6:12pm
One common theory regarding Eagles WR Riley Cooper is that much of his success in 2013 was made possible because of the attention DeSean Jackson received on the other side. Some are skeptical whether Cooper will be able to post similar numbers this season now that Jackson resides in D.C.
What can't be denied is that Cooper -- who ended with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year -- found himself in a whole bunch of one-on-one situations, which certainly helped his cause. According to second-year tight end Zach Ertz, that's unlikely to change this year even without Jackson on the team. That's because the man truly responsible for the single coverage is still on the roster.
"I think the culprit, why a lot of guys see single coverage on this team, is LeSean [McCoy]," said Ertz. "He's the key cog in this offense... Defenses have to stop LeSean first to try and stop this offense."
The players aren't buying into the notion Jackson opened things up for Cooper, going as far as saying that's not now the league works. HC Chip Kelly added that he thought most teams played the Eagles in single high coverage and man across the board on anybody, and no one was getting any help. Either way, there are a lot of questions about Cooper duplicating his success from last season. Perhaps more noteworthy is Cooper's success with Nick Foles at QB compared to Mike Vick. With so many targets on the Eagles, we still only rank Cooper 50th on our WR list.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 9:03am
He's also faster, one year further removed from his torn ACL in college. He’s resembled the runner he was in college more than he ever did last summer. For the most part, Thompson has caught the ball well and did a solid job in the pass protection drills Monday, a day after he was disappointed in his showing. If Thompson proves he can stay durable in camp -- it’s a huge issue for him -- he’ll stay productive. He’s taken snaps with the first offense in nickel situations this week.
Just a few weeks ago, Roy Helu seemed to be a lock for this job. And to be fair, he probably still has the edge. This article pointed out that Helu has looked fine in camp and is also capable of playing other downs if something were to happen with starter Alfred Morris. The only other back on the Skins roster who could do that is Evan Royster, the story claims. But Royster may not make the team. Helu should have the edge in this battle, but some beat writers are making this seem like it's no sure thing...
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:34am
But some of the reports that have trickled out of Eagles practices about Matthews' feats have been downright hyperbolic when evidence contrary to his making a first-year splash is so overwhelming.
The Eagles don't need Matthews to put up those kinds of numbers even without DeSean Jackson. Their offensive personnel are designed so that they can play any type of game with balance at the three skill positions of receiver, running back and tight end.
It looks like Matthews will have a chance to contribute out of the slot, but like the article said, right now the Eagles don't really need him to put up big numbers. That's already difficult to do for a rookie WR. Matthews could end up having some value, but he'll have to see significant snaps to do so.
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."
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.