Hue Jackson was among those watching Duke Johnson's pro day at the University of Miami before the 2015 draft. His quickness allows him to run outside and be a weapon in the passing game. His 61 receptions set a Browns rookie record for a back, and were the second-highest total by any Browns rookie. Only Oakland's Amari Cooper -- a receiver -- had more receptions as a rookie.
Jackson sees Johnson as an every-down back. The previous coaching staff actually felt the same. They started training camp intending to make Johnson the starter. But a hamstring pull set him back, and then he was sidelined by a concussion.
The overall season was disappointing for the running game, but the Browns and the backs can point to the final four or five games when a greater commitment to the run led to more production.
Isaiah Crowell averaged 5.2 yards over the final five games, when he had three of his four touchdowns. Johnson averaged 5.6 yards in the final four.
Crowell outscored Johnson in standard formats, but Johnson (61 catches) had the edge in PPR, finishing #24 on the year. We can glean new HC Hue Jackson's playcalling tendencies from his usage of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill last year in Cincinnati. When the Bengals were trailing by a field goal or more, Bernard saw 33 touches to Hill's 32. When the Bengals were trailing by two points or less, tied or leading, Hill saw 206 touches to 170 for Bernard. Since the 2016 Browns are likely to be trailing far more often than the 2015 Bengals, Johnson has a chance at an even larger share than Bernard, who finished #17 in PPR formats last season. Given Johnson's 6th-round ADP in early PPR drafts, he looks like a nice target for the "wait on RB" crowd.
From multiple sources: Walford will be fine, well ahead of schedule, gave everyone a scare when it first happened.
This sounds like a non-issue, but it's something to file away in case he misses offseason activities.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 5:08pm
Sunday, January 3, 2016, 3:15pm
Amari Cooper is active, and was listed as probable with a foot injury.
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Raiders WR Amari Cooper (foot, probable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is probable for Week 17. Cooper was very limited against the Chargers on Christmas Eve, playing only 27% of the snaps. He’s a risky play given his practice activity and a tough matchup with the Chiefs, but the probable tag means that he should play his full complement of snaps.
The Chiefs have clinched a playoff spot, and Reid left the impression he could change his mind and rest some players against the Raiders. That’s what he did for the Chiefs’ final game against the Chargers in 2013 after they had clinched a playoff spot. The difference is that back then the Chiefs had no chance to win the AFC West.
Oakland Raiders' Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece has been suspended for the next four regular-season games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, the team announced Monday.
Reece cannot play in Oakland's season finale at Kansas City on Sunday and cannot play in the first three games of the 2016 season. Reece is also ineligible to play in the 2016 Pro Bowl. He was voted to his fourth straight Pro Bowl this past Tuesday.
"I want to let Marcel speak for himself, but I know he's disappointed and he doesn't think it's justified," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said.
Reece, 30, can participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games next year. Reece had 30 catches and 10 run attempts this season. He has lost some playing time to Jamize Olawale. Reece has started seven games this season.
Thursday, December 24, 2015, 6:56pm
Thursday, December 24, 2015, 6:12pm
Packers RB Eddie Lacy (rib) took limited practice reps again Thursday. This is a new injury for Lacy who had a disappointing outing against the Raiders in Week 15. If he’s out, James Starks would move into our top 20.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 6:11pm
San Diego Chargers
T King Dunlap (ankle), LB Kyle Emanuel (concussion), DT Sean Lissemore (shoulder)
T Chris Hairston (abdomen), CB Steve Williams (hip)
S Nate Allen (knee), DE Mario Edwards (neck)
CB Neiko Thorpe (neck)
Monday, December 21, 2015, 5:02pm
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers may have found a new favorite target in wide receiver Jared Abbrederis. After targeting him three times in Sunday's 30-20 win over the Oakland Raiders, Rodgers wants Abbrederis to see the field more often.
Rodgers cited Abbrederis' route-running ability when lobbying for an increase in his playing time: He (Abbrederis) can get open. He’s a good route runner. He needs to be on the field more.
Abbrederis didn't play on offense until the second half of Sunday's game, when the Packers employed a four-receiver set. He caught all three of his targets, though, for a total of 33 yards. The former fifth-round draft pick hasn't been very active this season with only eight catches all year.
Sunday, December 20, 2015, 2:45pm
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