Saturday, August 15, 2015, 12:13pm
The Eagles held their final walkthrough on Saturday, and although Murray was out on the field with a helmet, he did not take part in any of the team drills throughout the short practice.
A key sign that Murray won't play came at the end of practice, when the Eagles were practicing substitutions.
With the first-team offense on the field, it was Ryan Mathews who was the running back. When head coach Chip Kelly called for a substitution, it was Darren Sproles who went in, the story said. As far as those who follow the team know, the Birds are just being very careful with Murray and there is no injury.
A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the deal is for five years and is worth $65 million -- $39 million of which is guaranteed.
In PPR formats, Hilton finished 31st, 19th and 11th in his first three seasons. For those scoring at home, that’s a pretty nice trend. He’s the No. 1 receiver in a high-octane offense, and although there are more mouths to feed in Indianapolis this season, he should continue to see his fare share of targets.
What should quickly become obvious about Colts RB Frank Gore during the preseason is his ability to block. He excels at being able to pick up the blitzing linebacker or defensive end coming off the edge trying to get to QB Andrew Luck. Gore's ability to do that is significant when you take into consideration the concerns the Colts have on their offensive line.
"He protects his butt off," Luck said. "Maybe one of the best in this generation of football players with protecting the quarterback. I know I'm learning a lot from him about protection and how running backs see things, and I know he's passing it along to the younger running backs. He's a great addition."
Gore had no choice but to be a good blocker. That was the message delivered to him when he was at the University of Miami, which was turning out running backs nonstop back in the 2000s.
Gore's rushing résumé is well documented, the story said, featuring eight 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his 10-year NFL career. The Colts finished 22nd in the league in rushing last season, and Luck knows very little about having a player rush for 100 yards in a game because it's only happened once in his 53 career NFL games, the story pointed out. Gore's ability to block won't directly get owners fantasy points, but could keep him on the field more in passing situations, which could also lead to some receptions. Gore's potential in Indy with Luck at QB continues to look good for fantasy owners.
Monday, August 10, 2015, 8:40am
The Colts were already good on offense last year, and spent the offseason getting better.
But the central piece of that success spent the offseason beating himself up.
“The decision-making process bit me in the butt, which in turn hurt the Colts more than a couple times last year,” Luck said. “Obviously the Patriots games, and Philadelphia, second week of the season, I throw a bad pick in somewhat of a four-minute situation. I gotta learn, Just eat it, take the sack, throw it at his feet, whatever.
“That’s what this off-season’s been about. Don’t give them a chance. We watched every interception ad nauseam and we watched balls that should have been intercepted ad nauseam. We [coaches and backup QB Matt Hasselbeck] talk about it and say, ‘Why?’ Do you have the awareness to know where the team is in the game? Is it worth trying to fit a ball in there or not? Do you go out of bounds or do you not?”
Sunday, August 9, 2015, 11:03am
Bills coach Rex Ryan said after Saturday night’s scrimmage that the plan is for Matt Cassel to take the first offensive snaps of the preseason.
“We’ll probably start Cassel in the first game against Carolina and let’s go from there,” Ryan said, via the Associated Press.
Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel each led the starting offense at points during the scrimmage and the 13 points that the offense put up in 17 possessions speaks to the need for the team to show improvement on that side of the ball. Ryan complimented Manuel, who threw the only touchdown pass of the night, and said he was a “little disappointed” in Taylor. Cassel, meanwhile, is looking forward to facing the Panthers.
“Great. I hope I play the whole game, to be honest with you,” Cassel said. “I honestly would embrace the chance to start and go out there and play a little bit and get into a rhythm.”
With no one separating themselves from the pack in Buffalo to this point, the competition should rage on well beyond the first preseason outing, the story pointed out. The winner of this battle still likely won't be a highly-desired add to fantasy teams.
"I'll have to give him a double thumbs up from that standpoint," Colts OC Pep Hamilton said when asked about Phillip Dorsett's ability to retain knowledge. "He's a guy that our quarterback is starting to trust even more. The more reps that he gets with Andrew, the more he will be able to contribute in our offense."
The Colts are very high on Dorsett, so it seems likely that they'll put him in a significant role as a rookie. This means he may very well play ahead of Donte Moncrief, who was originally penciled in as the team's WR3. Dorsett is currently going in the 15th round, so he's an inexpensive flier and a potential handcuff for T.Y. Hilton owners.
The Indianapolis Colts' excitement for Phillip Dorsett hasn't dissipated since the speedy first-round draft pick earned rave reviews for his work in offseason practices. Appearing on Wednesday's edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport relayed a sentiment at Colts training camp that Dorsett's skill set is essentially a carbon copy of Redskins deep threat DeSean Jackson's. "They could not be higher on Phillip Dorsett," added Rapoport, who was onsite in Anderson, Indiana, on Tuesday. "I think they think they added a superstar." When Rapoport asked a Colts coach if he was surprised they didn't address a porous defense with their top draft pick, the response was, "Well, no. This guy's that good."
Clearly, the Colts are very high on Dorsett, so it seems likely that they'll put him in a significant role as a rookie. This means he may very well play ahead of Donte Moncrief, who was originally penciled in as the team's WR3. Dorsett is currently going in the 15th round, so he's an inexpensive flier and a potential handcuff for T.Y. Hilton owners.
Tuesday, August 4, 2015, 12:59pm
Nicks is in training camp with the Titans this summer after one disappointing season in Indianapolis. Nicks never clicked in the Colts' offense, finishing with just 38 catches for 405 yards and four touchdowns despite playing in 16 games for the first time in his career.
Nicks doesn't blame the poor production on Luck. Instead, he points at the scheme of Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton. He believes Ken Whisenhunt's offense in Tennessee is a better fit for his talents.
"It's more one-on-one, trips backside, vertical throw, shallow-cross game, that's more of my style if you look at my past history, where I excelled," Nicks said, according to ESPN.com.
Nicks is just 27, but years have passed since his heyday with the Giants. Nicks had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with Eli Manning in 2010 and 2011 before injuries helped paved the way for his exit. If Nicks can still play, he should have ample opportunity to show. The Titans' wide receiver depth chart is up for grabs behind No. 1 option Kendall Wright, the story said.
Sunday, August 2, 2015, 8:14pm
Some highlights from Colts camp on Sunday:
- Receiver T.Y. Hilton, who could have a new contract with the Colts by Labor Day, highlighted an impressive performance by the offense when he blew by starting cornerback Greg Toler and easily ran underneath a pass thrown by quarterback Andrew Luck to the excitement of the crowd at Anderson University on Sunday.
- Rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett also made a good impression, catching passes in traffic.
- Veteran WR Andre Johnson had consistent hands throughout the session.
- Running back Frank Gore drew one of the loudest ovations when he reached back and snagged a pass thrown behind him from Luck with one hand.
Sunday, August 2, 2015, 2:53pm
It was Morning No. 1 on Day No. 1 of the Indianapolis Colts’ 2015 season. The team gathered at Anderson University for the first on-field activity at training camp, a light walkthrough that otherwise holds no special significance.
Except for one player. For Vick Ballard, it meant everything.
“The type of stuff I used to dream of,” he said.
No one can blame him. It’s only his third football practice in two years.
The Colts’ fourth-year running back was cleared by team doctors to return to on-field activity for the first time since July 2014, and he did so Sunday morning, sporting a new number (26) and the sobering perspective that comes with back-to-back lost seasons.
Colts Offensive Coordinator Pep Hamilton joked after his team selected wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round of the draft in April that he ran to his office and tore up all his three tight end and fullback formations. The possibilities seem endless for how Hamilton can deploy the Colts offense in 2015, and now the time for brainstorming is over, as the Colts take the field for their first practice Sunday.
“I’m really excited. We’ve had a lot of time to pontificate on all the different things we can do with the pieces that we have.” said Hamilton Saturday. “Now is the time for us to really get out on the field and see what we’re about, work together, grow together, and work out some of the kinks that are normal, that you expect to have in training camp.”
“I think we have a lot of guys that have field credibility. I think that’s important,” said Hamilton. “It starts with our quarterback. He’s continued to improve as a pro. I think he’ll only get better with the guys that we have around him.”
As the story said, the first piece is quarterback Andrew Luck, who has more passing yards in his first three seasons than any signal caller in NFL history. Add running back Frank Gore’s 11,073 career rushing yards in 10 seasons, and it appears Indianapolis potentially has its most reliable running back since Joseph Addai in 2007 (the last time the Colts had a 1,000-yard rusher). Gore should give the offense the balance it needs to be very dangerous. Add in WRs like T.Y. HIlton and Andre Johnson along with Donte Moncrief and even TEs Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and there's talent at every offensive position.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 6:55pm
Hyde is expected to be participating in Saturday night’s first full-squad practice, having spent the first day of camp on the non-football-injury list because of a leg strain.
“Right now I’m just really focused on getting a good chemistry with the offensive line,” Hyde said. “We’ll try to build it so we can go into that season so I know exactly how guys are and I can catch a rhythm and get going.”
Hyde ran for 333 yards as a rookie understudy to Frank Gore. Hyde also caught 12 passes for 68 yards, and he believes he has the receiving skills to help in that dimension, as was the case at Ohio State.
“When I got the opportunity to catch a ball, I made it happen,” Hyde said of his college days. “Here, things are different, and now I have more opportunity to get out and be a receiver.”
He’s not the only running back who might be catching more screen passes and swing routes from Colin Kaepernick. Reggie Bush is the top candidate to handle that task, and Hyde has studied how Bush has become the NFL’s active leader in receptions among running backs. The story also pointed out pass protection is going to be a major factor in who sees time. Right now Hyde projects as the early down back with Bush taking on his normal pass catching role as he has with the Saints and Lions in his career.
Carlos Hyde, expected to become the San Francisco 49ers' lead running back in the wake of franchise rushing leader Frank Gore's free-agent departure, will begin training camp on the active/non-football injury (NFI) list.
Hyde is one of four players placed on the list Tuesday by the Niners.
In OTAs, Niners rookie coach Jim Tomsula explained Hyde's absence as "nothing serious" at the time, though it was believed to be a calf issue.
"Carlos is -- look, we're not in a hurry with him right now," Tomsula said on May 29. "It's nothing serious, but let's be at 100 percent when we get to training camp. He's in all the meetings and he's here and he's working out and he's doing his stuff. It's just more on the cautious side of just making sure we've got everything healed, and then we move forward.
"It's not even a hamstring; it's a muscle pull. You talk to our medical people -- (at a) different time of the year, Carlos would be pushing through. But why? That's my whole point on everything. Why do that now and take any kind of chances on things? Let's just get it healed and get going."
It doesn't sound like it's anything to worry about at this point and the team is just being cautious. The 49ers signed veteran running back Reggie Bush as a free agent, drafted Mike Davis out of South Carolina in the fifth round, and welcomed back Kendall Hunter from a torn ACL that cost him last season. The team opens training camp with its first practice Saturday.
Brady was suspended four games in May after footballs used by the Patriots during the AFC Championship Game against the Colts were found to be inflated under the minimum level prescribed by the league. Along with the NFL Players Association, Brady challenged his penalty and testified before Goodell at an appeal hearing last month.
Brady was suspended on May 11 after a report by Ted Wells, an investigator contracted by the league, asserted Brady's connection to the deflation of footballs used in the AFC Championship Game, which the Patriots won, 45-7. Wells did not allege that Brady himself improperly handled the footballs, but the investigator wrote that he believed Brady was "at least generally aware" of the alleged involvement of Patriots staff in deflating the footballs. Wells also noted that Brady did not fully cooperate with his requests during the investigation.
As it stands, Brady is suspended for the first four games, so his current ranking (which is dependent on his full season projections) is not reflective of his true value. If he decides to pursue the issue in the court system, he could get an injunction allowing him to play while the matter is settled. Given the allegations that he had his phone destroyed ahead of time, he may elect to take his medicine and serve his suspension. If he’s still around in the 10th/11th round, an Angry Tom strategy could be effective. Owners can draft Brady along with another quarterback (Carson Palmer?) later in the draft and stream the position until Brady returns in Week 6. Brady should return with a chip on his shoulder and provide good production down the stretch. Who knows, if he sues and wins an injunction, he could play Week 1.
It's a lot to put on the fifth-year quarterback who has struggled with consistency for much of his career, especially when he'll be without coach Jim Harbaugh, and teammates Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Mike Iupati, Patrick Willis, Chris Borland and Justin Smith, who are either playing elsewhere or retired.
A season ago, when the 49ers finished 8-8, Kaepernick had career bests in attempts (478), passing yards (3,369) and rushing yards (639), but he also threw more interceptions, took more sacks and lost more fumbles than at any time during his four years in the league.
But according to offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, Kaepernick didn't take a step backwards in 2014.
"And then last year, you're playing with some different sets of challenges," Chryst said, via the MercuryNews.com. There was more change within the offensive line than he had experienced the last couple of years. How does that affect your production as a quarterback? You're behind more often in games. How does that affect your production as a quarterback? I cite the fact that we had six touchdowns nullified by penalty. You plug that back into his formula, he really wasn't ... he didn't regress off his line as much as perceived."
First-year coach Jim Tomsula said in March that Kaepernick not only didn't regress in '14, but he had his best season as a professional, according to the story. The piece added that Kaepernick ranked eighth in QB efficiency in 2013 and 13th the season before that, but none of that matters now because this 49ers team barely resembles the ones that had so much success under Harbaugh. Kaepernick ranks just 14th among QBs on our list. He could turn out to be a nice late-round QB2 who ends up having a bounce-back year, especially if the offense moves to more of a read-option.