Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 9:07am
Then he got to Brian Quick.
"Brian needs to catch the football," Fisher said. "Your receivers have to catch it, not drop it."
Catching is indeed is the fundamental skill required, and it is one Quick continues to struggle with. Quick's catch percentage last season, 31.3, was the eighth-lowest in the NFL. He had 32 targets and hauled in only 10 of those. And on Saturday, a 21-20 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, Quick played with the second-team offense and caught only two of the five passes thrown to him by rookie quarterback Jared Goff.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Patriots add a big, young running back to the mix, but they may want to wait until other teams trim their rosters. The Chiefs and Titans, for example, have several young running backs that are in danger of not making the 53-man roster.
The story was about the team possibly picking up recently-released Bills RB Karlos Williams. However Williams was passed by other Bills RBs on the depth chart and remains out of shape despite an impressive rookie season last year. However, the Pats are probably seeing the last year of RB LeGarrette Blount, so Williams could at least be a project guy for the future.
The Kansas City Chiefs have been looking for a productive wide receiver other than Jeremy Maclin. Chris Conley was that player for the Chiefs in their 21-20 preseason loss to the Rams in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Conley had three catches for a team-high 66 yards. He delivered a big play on each of the Chiefs’ two touchdown drives and another on one of their field goal drives.
Conley beat one-on-one coverage on each of his first two receptions. The first one came on a third-and-5 from the Rams’ 13. Conley caught a back-shoulder throw from quarterback Alex Smith and was tackled on the 2. Conley’s biggest play came on the next touchdown drive. He got open deep down the right sideline on third-and-2 from the Kansas City 33 and caught a 37-yard pass from Smith. The play helped set up a Maclin touchdown catch.
This isn't the first item we had on Conley, as he's been drawing attention through camp. Conley missed much of training camp last year. He pointed out that in 2015, as a rookie, he was only returning to practice from an injury the second week of the preseason, the story said. This year, he didn’t miss a day of practice at camp, so he has a much better grasp of the offensive system. He's just 73rd on our WR list and figures to be behind Maclin and TE Travis Kelce as far as the team's top targets go.
Steelers running back LeVeon Bell has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The running back was facing a four-game suspension but appealed to the league. Though Bell will be eligible to practice and play with the team through the preseason, he will miss the team’s first three regular-season games against the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.
This will boost Bell's projections, but he's still a little dicey as a 1st round pick since he'll miss the first three games of the year. He has extra value in leagues where more than half the teams make the playoffs. He's also recovering from MCL and PCL tears but recently declared himself 100 percent, for what it's worth.
Charles was playing at an elite RB1 pace prior to tearing his ACL in Week 5. Our injury expert, Russell Manalastas, predicts that Charles will be limited in camp and good to go for Week 1, and that his recovery is an opportunity to get him at a discount. The Chiefs found solid contributors in Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware (recommended handcuff and attrition play), so Andy Reid could elect to reduce his workload in an effort to keep him healthy. So far, it looks like Charles is on track to play in Week 1.
The Chiefs announced Tuesday morning that they were removing Charles from the PUP list and that he would begin practicing on a limited basis.
Charles, who is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, last played for the Chiefs during Week 5 last season in a game against the Chicago Bears. Charles tore the ACL in his right knee during the game and has been working his way back to the Chiefs lineup ever since. You can expect the Chiefs to take it slow with Charles. Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West proved to be more than capable backs, so it's not out of the question the team reduces Charles' workload once the season starts. Still, he's sixth on our RB list and looks to be a solid, second round target in drafts.
Monday, August 15, 2016, 4:40pm
Rams quarterback Jared Goff went to the bench a bit earlier than expected against the Cowboys on Saturday night because of a sore left shoulder, but coach Jeff Fisher said it was a minor issue after the game.
Fisher reiterated that diagnosis on Sunday, saying there are “no concerns whatsoever” and that Goff will be practicing all week despite being “banged up and sore.”
Assuming all goes well during the practice week, Fisher also hinted at Goff seeing time with the first team when the Chiefs pay a visit to Los Angeles.
“I’d like to get Jared some snaps with the ones at some point, and it quite likely would be this week against Kansas City,” Fisher said, via ESPN.com.
Goff was 4-of-9 for 38 yards and an interception in his first taste of NFL game action while starter Case Keenum was 6-of-7 for 58 yards to open the game. If Goff puts together a better showing in a taste of life with the first team, he probably won’t be waiting too long before he gets another look in his eventual starting role, the story said.
Sunday, August 7, 2016, 2:03pm
Quarterback Nick Foles didn’t have to dig deep into the Kansas City Chiefs playbook before finding things that looked very familiar. Foles ran many of the same plays as a rookie in 2012 when he played for Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles.
“A lot of it was reminiscing on old memories like, ‘Oh, I remember that’ or ‘That’s changed a little bit’ or ‘I recognize that play, but it looks different,’" said Foles, who signed with the Chiefs last week. “It was sort of surreal to see the font of the playbook because it triggered a memory of rookie year and grinding through that playbook."
“Normally I try to get everybody in the game," Reid said. “I just have to make sure he’s got it down. Everything he’s doing right now is new to him for this team, obviously. There’s a little bit of carryover, but we’ve put a lot of new stuff in since he’s been with us."
The Chiefs wasted no time getting Foles involved in practice after he arrived late last week. He’s taken about as many practice snaps as the other backup quarterbacks.
"It's cool, playing inside. I just have to get the reps,” Streater said after practice Saturday. “It's a little different when it's live and you have to learn the little things. I had been playing outside a lot, now getting that zebra (three-receiver) work, it's a little different, so it's been good. I've been able to make plays and I just have to continue to learn and continue to be in the film room and get that position down pat."
Now in Kansas City, his aptitude for versatility has already impressed some of his most respected teammates.
During Streater’s first two years in Oakland, he was primarily used in the slot, and those seasons happened to be his best. Streater’s 888 yards receiving in 2013 led the team, the story said. The story also added that soo far this camp, Streater has shown athleticism in drills across the board, ranging from one-on-one periods to live full-team 11-on-11 sessions. During his past few days with the first team, Alex Smith has spent extra time with him, offering additional tips after reps to help him get open.
The two reserve tight ends who have stood out in training camp to me are Tony Moeaki and Greg Scruggs.
With Zach Miller sidelined due to a concussion, Moeaki has helped fill the void as a pass catcher, making several receptions, including a couple for touchdowns. The Wheaton native had a great rookie season with the Chiefs in 2010, but his career has been derailed by injuries.
Scruggs is playing TE as a former defensive end and has taken the most steps according to Jay Cutler, who was quoted in the story. Miller is still sidelined with a concussion which is allowing others to step up in his place. Moeaki obviously has the most experience at the position and would seem to be next in line if Miller remains out.
Lions OC Jim Bob Cooter and QB Matthew Stafford had obvious chemistry last season, when Stafford threw 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the final eight games. His 110.1 QB rating during that stretch would have led the league, if extrapolated for the full season.
But that offense was held together by the football equivalent of bubble gum and duct tape. Cooter basically took the reins while on a flight to London, and had only a couple days to prepare before making his playcalling debut against the Chiefs.
Cooter slowly faded out the Joe Lombardi system in subsequent weeks, while working in some of his own concepts, all the while keeping everything simple enough for guys to understand. But it was never the offense he wanted to run. Not completely.
Cooter has had months to work on the system and it's clearly suiting Stafford's game right now, the story said. It went on to say Stafford's been sharp throughout training camp, but especially so in recent days. He put only one ball on the ground Sunday and Monday combined, then led the first-team offense to that touchdown in Wednesday's 2-minute drill. Stafford's ADP is just the 11th round so he could be a real nice find at that point in the draft.
Nick Foles was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, when they were coached by current Chiefs coach Andy Reid. He has had a big NFL season -- just one, but it was impressive -- that was statistically better than any ever produced by Chiefs starter Alex Smith. Foles is only 27, or five years younger than Smith, leaving him plenty of time to resurrect his career.
Add it all up and it’s easy to come to the conclusion the Chiefs are looking at this as more than a nothing-to-lose gamble that Foles can become the player he was for the Eagles in 2013, when he threw 27 touchdown passes in 10 starts and led the NFL with a passer rating of 119.2, which is a better number than Tom Brady has ever put up.
Running back Knile Davis on Monday had perhaps his best practice session since joining the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. Davis caught a number of passes, including one when he came out of the backfield and got down the right sideline to haul in a deep throw from Tyler Bray.
Davis received those opportunities because the Chiefs’ regular featured back, Jamaal Charles, continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee and has yet to practice at training camp. Charles’ absence is giving Davis and the other backs a chance to shine, and it’s also giving the Chiefs a chance to better learn their various strengths and weaknesses.
It sounds like Davis is improving as a pass catcher and blocker. That's one of the reasons why Davis was quickly passed on the depth chart last year when Charles went down as Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware took over a majority of the work. While the fantasy situation may be cloudy with three pretty good backs behind Charles, it's safe to say the Chiefs are in good hands should Charles remain out for a while.
“I’d love to see all of us on the field at once," Kelce said of the Chiefs’ five tight ends. “We’re that athletic in the tight-end room that I feel you could throw all of us on the field. But that’s wishful thinking."
It is a stretch, but not too far from reality. Judging from the first two days of practice, the Chiefs intend to use plenty of their multi-TE formations. Because of their depth at the position, they could keep four tight ends when the regular season begins in September.
The Chiefs do have an athletic group of tight ends, the story said. Kelce, who caught 72 passes last year, is one of the best athletes at his position in the NFL -- even at 260 pounds. Kelce averaged 4.8 receptions for 57 yards and 0.28 TD (on 6.8 targets per game). Kelce owners have a legitimate gripe about his overall targets (103), which tied Jason Witten for 8th at the position during the regular season. Not coincidentally, he finished 8th among tight ends in scoring. He's currently the 5th TE off the board in early drafts in the 6th round. He has boatloads of potential, but Andy Reid hasn’t shown that he’s willing to give Kelce the 7.5-plus targets per game required to finish in the top 5 at the position.
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