“I see it all the time, every time he’s out there practicing with us,” Browns cornerback Joe Haden said. “He’s a special player that can just be able to turn it on and do his thing, and I’m super excited that he’s out there with us.”
Gordon was one of the Browns’ few bright spots Friday night during their 30-13 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third preseason game for both teams at Raymond James Stadium.
Gordon caught two passes for 87 yards and a touchdown in his 2016 preseason debut and first game action since Dec. 21, 2014.
Gordon used a double move to become wide open on third-and-8 at the Browns’ 27-yard line during their first possession of the game. He caught a 44-yard pass from quarterback Robert Griffin III, his close friend and former teammate at Baylor University, to set up Patrick Murray’s 44-yard field goal with 8:04 left in the first quarter, the story said. Keep in mind defenses likely weren't scheming to stop Gordon or anyone else on the Browns in this contest, but it's nice to see Gordon was still able to make an impact. He's suspended for the first four games of the season, but it's looking like he'll be a big part of the Browns offense as long as he stays out of trouble. Gordon is currently 45th on our WR rankings but has an ADP a round or two higher than some around him in our rankings - which means owners are reaching to grab him earlier.
"We're going to even out those reps with the first group with (Cameron Brake) and (Austin Seferian-Jenkins)," Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said after watching Saturday's tape. "Austin's worked his way right back in there, and when he got moved down the depth chart, all you can ask a player when he gets moved down is that he competes and does better and tries to get back up there, and he's done that.
"The catch in the second half that Austin made on the 'bow-out' -- there's just not a whole lot of guys that can make that play. He's earned a chance to get back and work more with the first group, so we should give it to him.”
The Bucs have recently been employing not just two-tight-end sets -- which also feature 6-6 Luke Stocker, the team's best run-blocker, or hybrid fullback/tight end/jack-of-all-trades Danny Vitale -- but also three-tight-end sets, where Brate and Seferian-Jenkins will both be out on the field together as passing threats.
We're still not as high on ASJ as we were early in the offseason, before a couple of practice blowups and glowing comments about Brate from the team's coaching staff, but it's easier to see a path to TE1-type status if Seferian-Jenkins continues to do and say the right things.
Terrelle Pryor and Josh Gordon lined up at wide receiver for the Browns on a steamy, muggy Florida morning. They have the ability and potential to turn one of pro football’s least productive units into one that can at least find the end zone without using Google maps. Rookie Corey Coleman will eventually make it a threesome.
“They provide us with some opportunities to do some things that we like to do,” Jackson told reporters after practice. “Pryor, (Gordon), Corey, Hawk (WR Andrew Hawkins), we have a lot of good guys, a lot of different pieces that we can use. Those guys are just part of it. We have some other guys and we just have to keep getting better.”
Pryor and Gordon split wide with Coleman in the slot could be on the field at the same time on Aug. 26 when the Browns and Buccaneers meet in a preseason game, the story said. They can’t be together in the regular season until Oct. 9 when the Browns host New England because Gordon is suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season. Pryor has been impressive this camp, making the transition from QB to WR, he seems to be overshadowing Coleman even. QB Robert Griffin III could benefit the most if this trio continues to shine once the regular season starts.
Doctson has slowly been increasing his rehab work in an effort to get back to the field prior to Washington’s regular season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 12.
“He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he’s not running full-speed but he’s doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. “I have total expectation that he’s going to be ready Week 1, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we’ll still see. Like I said, it’s a new injury to me.”
Doctson has been dealing with an Achilles injury for a few months now that forced him to watch the entirety of his first professional training camp from the sidelines. While he was only able to do some catching and light calisthenics, Gruden believes Doctson is “in good shape right now mentally,” the story said. Fantasy potential is certainly there for Doctson, especially of the run game continues to struggle for the Redskins, and also considering DeSean Jackson has had his share of injuries recently. The concern right now is chemistry with Kirk Cousins and trying to catch up.
Seferian-Jenkins, who called getting kicked out of practice “a wake-up call,” had five catches for 46 yards in two preseason outings and has earned good reviews for his blocking. More of the same over the rest of the preseason will likely lead to more than a half-share of the work come the regular season.
When the Buccaneers unveiled their first depth chart of the season, Brate was ahead of Seferian-Jenkins at tight end. That development came after Seferian-Jenkins was kicked out of an OTA practice by coach Dirk Koetter for not knowing what he was doing, the story said. Seferian-Jenkins certainly has the talent and proved it in very limited time last year.
Martin is sitting out for "precautionary reasons," the source said, and the injury is not expected to affect him beyond this week.
The injury absence was first reported by The Tampa Bay Times and confirmed by ESPN.
Martin was a full participant in joint practices in Jacksonville, including Wednesday's padded practice. It is unclear when he suffered the injury, the story said.
Jenna Laine on the Bucs' TE situation:
Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate has shown great chemistry with Jameis Winston and been one of the most consistent pass-catchers in training camp, receivers included. He's not going to get much yardage after contact, but he's still shown he can consistently catch passes in traffic and in the end zone, along the sideline (he's done a great job keeping his feet in bounds) and is terrific on back-shoulder fades. We could see Brate become what Nick O'Leary was for Winston at Florida State, so he's a potential fantasy sleeper pick.
Brate has slowly been moving up our rankings as the positive offseason news continues like a drumbeat. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is doing better of late, but it appears that Brate is poised to see the most snaps at the position.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 8:37am
On his next to last play in the fourth quarter, Wentz was drilled in the side by Buccaneers linebacker Micah Awe. Wentz remained in the game and threw a pass on his final snap. He even tried to participate in Saturday's practice, but later in the day had a CT scan to reveal the full extent of the injury. The Eagles said that they hope to have Wentz back before the end of the preseason, which is what Wentz echoed Sunday night.
"I really hope so. I love to play a lot," Wentz said.
Wentz said this is the first time he's suffered a rib injury. He described it as "weird" and "sore" which is why he wasn't sure how to react to the injury. Wentz will be able to dictate when he returns to practice, but he must be cleared by team doctors before he can play in a game.
The preseason is critical for Wentz, the No. 2 overall pick, to get as many reps on the field as possible before giving way to Sam Bradford in the regular season. Now, he'll have to soak everything in while watching with the hope of getting back on the field for the final game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins hauled in a huge catch over the middle in traffic during Tuesday’s training camp practice and flashed a big smile. Exactly two months ago today, on the final day of OTAs, he was booted from practice because head coach Dirk Koetter said, “He didn’t know what he was doing.”
The Bucs' starting tight end last year said it was exactly what he needed at the time. “[Coach Koetter] won't settle for me being average or good. He won't even settle for me being great. He wants me to be special,” Seferian-Jenkins said after Tuesday’s practice, the final open practice before the Bucs head to Philadelphia for their first game of the preseason. “I really thank God every single day he kicked me out of practice. It was really a wake-up call.”
While Seferian-Jenkins was all smiles and very chatty after practice, he hasn't been that way all of training camp, and questions lingered about his status with the team. When the Bucs released the first unofficial depth chart of the preseason, it was Cameron Brate, not ASJ, whose name was at the top. The last two practices, Seferian-Jenkins made some noticeable catches in traffic. But he also had a drop in the red zone Tuesday that drew the ire of some fans who, like many, had hoped this could be the tight end's breakout year. He's been on the brink the last two seasons, but injuries, penalties, some technique issues and questionable decisions -- paying homage to Captain Morgan in a touchdown celebration and posting it on Instagram during his rookie season, and arguing with fans on Twitter after he was booted from practice -- have held him back, the story all said.
Third-year wide receiver Mike Evans has slimmed down, and he's loving the results.
"I got my weight down," Evans said after Wednesday's practice. "This is the lightest I've been since college -- around 220. I feel real good."
Last season, Evans, who is 6-foot-5, was listed at 231 pounds. He didn't like the way he felt during the team's offseason conditioning program, though. "In OTAs, I felt slow and heavy," said Evans, who lost the weight by monitoring what he ate more closely. "Now I feel good, like I can run all day."
Evans is also working on reducing drops, the story said. In 2015, he had 1,206 receiving yards, which was 11th in the league. But he caught only 50 percent of his targets -- the lowest percentage of anyone who reached 1,000 yards. Almost every other 1,000-yard receiver was between 8 and 20 percentage points better than Evans, with only T.Y. Hilton (53 percent), Emmanuel Sanders (56 percent) and Allen Robinson (54 percent) near Evans' mark.
In a nod to a hard-working undrafted free agent, and a warning to a highly touted second-round pick, Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed a shakeup atop the team's tight end depth chart on Wednesday.
Cameron Brate, a Harvard graduate who signed with the Bucs back in 2014, only to bounce onto New Orleans' roster the year after before returning to Florida, is the team's starting tight end. For those with an eye on the Bucs this offseason, it seems the proclamation has been a long time coming. Brate came on strong this offseason and is flashing early in his second go-round with the team.
The immediate question is obvious: Where does this leave Austin Seferian-Jenkins... According to several reports, Seferian-Jenkins has been splitting out wide as a receiver during the early days of Bucs camp, though this is likely just the product of typical camp cross-training. Seferian-Jenkins was dismissed from the field during a practice in minicamp, though the team dismissed it as a "wake-up call," according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. He was not lining up correctly, which drew the ire of Koetter. Brate didn't have more than five catches or six targets in a game at any point last year. But he did contribute, including a span of three TDs in five games between Weeks 8-12. He averaged about 35-percent of the snaps.
James Wright was cleared for practice Monday for the first time in nearly two years and became inspired.
Wright, a seventh-round pick out of LSU in 2014, was injured in his break-out game on Nov. 30, 2014, a three-catch, 59-yard effort in Tampa highlighted by a 30-yard catch down the sideline on third-and-long late in a 14-13 win that helped keep the ball from the Buccaneers.
He looked ready to fit into the Bengals’ riddled receiving corps in the No. 3 role as a guy that could contribute on special teams as well as separate well enough to be productive in the passing game. But a torn PCL ended his season and when he didn’t bounce back the next spring, microfracture knee surgery threatened to cut short his career.
With Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones now gone from Cincy, the Bengals could certainly use Wright. Tyler Boyd and Brandon LaFell are also competing for time with A.J. Green. Wright is looking to climb up the depth chart but the team will be looking to see if Wright still has explosion and if he can separate like he once did.
Bucs Beat: RB Charles Sims will get 'more carries,' but Doug Martin still the 'focal point' of the offenseThursday, June 23, 2016, 10:47am
Mark Cook of the Pewter Report was asked about the Buccaneers' running game.
Question 1. Chris will Doug Martin rush for over 1,400 yards again this season?
Answer: Well he certainly is capable, but so many factors play into it actually happening. First and foremost, does he stay healthy? Secondly, will head coach Dirk Koetter rely more on the arm of Winston now that he is in his second season of the offense? There is no question Koetter understands the importance of balance, but how much did Lovie Smith’s influence have an affect on the play calling in 2015? And then there is the Charles Sims effect. I really believe we will see Sims get more carries in 2016 and that could cut into Martin’s total yardage. Of course you don’t give Martin the contract you gave him to take too many touches away from him, if any at all. It will be interesting to see how things play out, but one thing is certain, and that is, if Martin is healthy, he will be a focal point of this offense, as he should be.
Last year, there were 479 touches split between Martin and Sims, with Martin seeing 67% of the work to Sims' 33%. We currently project a similar split, which makes Sims our #30 RB in PPR formats, three spots higher than his current ADP. He would have upside from there if the Bucs decide to give him some of Martin's carries.
After recording 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, Buccaneers WR Mike Evans looks primed to continue his success in 2016. Head coach Dirk Koetter has spoken about Evans’ intent to improve his chemistry with Jameis Winston and it appears to be going well. The two connected on several passes during team drills at practice, including a handful deep down the field. Evans was also able to successfully limit any drops during the three practices open to the media.
Last year, Evans was the #23 receiver in PPR formats, but he has been working on building better chemistry with his quarterback. He's currently the #8 receiver off the board in early drafts, so the fantasy community is expecting a big bounce back season from the third-year wideout. He was the #13 WR as a rookie and has missed one game in each of his two seasons.
Jameis Winston and Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans worked through countless routes and were together on and off the field. Winston invited Evans over to his house several times this offseason to break down film before watching Golden State Warriors games.
Tim Grover, who has worked with NBA greats Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, received a call in early February. Grover agreed to meet and establish a preliminary workout but under one condition: Winston would have to abide by strict guidelines and show improvement by Grover's next visit.
"I have to put my stamp on him," said Grover, who is very selective about the high-profile clients he trains. "When it's actually time to follow up on it, sometimes athletes don't do it. I wanted to make sure not only was he saying the right things but was doing them."
Grover was pleasantly surprised when he resumed workouts with Winston a month later.
Without depriving Winston of his favorite foods but rather modifying his eating schedule, Grover helped him drop 18 pounds since February. Grover would prefer Winston lose about five more pounds to reach a goal weight between 225 to 229 pounds.
Winston was the #13 fantasy quarterback in his rookie season thanks in large part to his six rushing touchdowns. He may not be able to repeat that feat, but he should be able to improve as a passer and post a similar finish in 2016.
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