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Jay Gruden said he knows what he has in Alfred Morris, and said the Florida Atlantic product has had a great training camp so far, as he’s worked hard to add the passing game to his list of talents. “Alfred is not flying under the radar in our eyes, that’s for sure,” Gruden said. “He’s had a great camp. He’s caught the ball very well too which is a pleasant surprise for us out of the backfield, so Alfred’s going to get his touches.”
Morris’s stock has taken a bit of a hit after the coaching regime change in Washington, but new HC Jay Gruden intends to keep the same running game (one reason they retained O-line coach Chris Foerster), so Morris’s outlook doesn’t change too much. He still isn’t much of a player in the pass game, though Gruden's comments are encouraging. If he can catch 30+ passes it will really help his value in PPR formats.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:18pm
The star of the day at Chargers camp was Malcom Floyd. The 6-foot-5 receiver returning from a serious neck injury made several plays in the passing game, including a deep reception during the two-minute drill that set up a score and a touchdown in the red zone on a skinny post against Brandon Flowers toward the end of practice.
From 2010 to 2012, Floyd finished #36, #32 and #36 as the second or third option in San Diego. He returns from a neck injury at the age of 32 (turning 33 in September) and will likely start as the team’s WR2 opposite Keenan Allen. If he’s starting and can stay healthy (a rather big “if”), he should be fantasy-relevant once again in 2014.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:16pm
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said running back LaMichael James is confident that he can come back quickly from a dislocated elbow. This is James’ third dislocated elbow since high school. He returned quickly both times. He was injured Sunday, and the working estimation is he will be out for four weeks.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:14pm
Bills WR Robert Woods took over during the 7-on-7 goal line drill to end practice on Wednesday. Woods ran his routes correctly, didn’t come back to the ball when he was near the goal line and displayed outstanding hands during his few reps. Woods first took a well-placed over the shoulder throw from EJ Manuel while a defender was draped all over the wide receiver. Woods simply reached out with his right arm, still getting his left arm dragged from behind and corralled the pass in for a touchdown. It was a gorgeous play.
Woods averaged 2.9-42-.21 in 14 games as a rookie, which translates to 46-671-3.4 if extrapolated to a full season. As it stands, he had the 5th-most receiving yards of any rookie in 2013. (His extrapolated total would have finished 4th, behind Keenan Allen, DeAndre Hopkins and Terrance Williams.) He should see starter’s snaps opposite rookie Sammy Watkins, but in a run-heavy offense with a mediocre (at best) quarterback, Woods isn’t a sure thing to be fantasy relevant (top 60) in 2014.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:27pm
Buccaneers beat writer Pat Yasinskas: Starter Doug Martin has looked very good at running back, but he’s not the only one. Third-round draft pick Charles Sims has made some nice cuts in the last few practices and also has shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield. I think Sims might have a shot to be the top backup to Martin. “He’s a scholarship player, looking at it in college terms," Smith said. “He’s not a walk-on. He got his scholarship for a reason."
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:25pm
Buccaneers WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson, on back-to-back plays, made stunning catches on end zone back-corner fades. Ridiculous red zone weapons.
This could bode well for QB Josh McCown, who has a chance to work his way into QB2/QBBC type value if he and his receivers can get on the same page quickly.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:21pm
Bears RB KaDeem Carey changed directions without breaking stride on separate outside runs during team drills. That’s one reason why he’s tough to tackle. His vision and smooth feet helped him stay at top speed.
Carey is competing for the right to back up Matt Forte.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:19pm
More progress for Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, who continues to push himself as he works his way back from a torn ACL. For the second straight day, Gronkowski was covered by cornerback Darrelle Revis as Tom Brady worked on red zone passing with him. Bill Belichick closely watched the three work while the rest of the team focused on special teams on the opposite field.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:16pm
It seemed the Colts' fourth receiver spot would come down to DaRick Rogers and Griff Whalen at the start of training camp because they’re familiar with the system. Not so fast. Rookie Donte Moncrief is doing his best to stay in the mix. The Colts’ third-round pick had one of his best training camp practices Wednesday when he made three nice catches, including one for a touchdown. Moncrief’s best catch came when he jumped and came down with the ball with both feet inbounds while being closely defended on the play. With Hilton and Reggie Wayne (precaution) sitting out the end of practice, Moncrief was able to get some snaps with the first team.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:09pm
Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas' return to full work is imminent, but rookie Cody Latimer continues to show that he already has first-team talent.
Latimer is competing with Andre Caldwell for snaps behind Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders. If he continues to play well, he may find himself in a rotation, especially in the red zone where he can use his 6'3" frame.
There was a welcomed sight on the practice field for the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday. Running back Trent Richardson returned to practice after sitting out the previous three practices with a hamstring problem. Richardson, the likely starter in Week 1, took snaps with the second unit behind Ahmad Bradshaw.
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #20 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output. Meanwhile, Bradshaw is one of our favorite late round targets. With Vick Ballard out for the season, he is a T-Rich injury/poor performance away from being the lead back for the Colts.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:54pm
It was the first time the Packers have practiced the two-minute drill this camp, and Aaron Rodgers ended the 12-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown to tight end Brandon Bostick on fourth-and-goal with 7 seconds left. The play before, when Rodgers threw the ball away in the face of pressure from Datone Jones, Bostick ran the wrong route, so it spoke well of him that Rodgers had the confidence to go back to him in that situation. Bostick received increased playing time with the starters and had his most productive practice to date.
Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson practiced fully for the first time this summer and looked unhindered by the foot injury that sidelined him for the first few practices. It didn’t take long for him make his presence known. At the start of the team takeoff drill, a quick team activity before individual work, Patterson caught a pass from QB Matt Cassel and turned upfield. That got him a nice ovation from the fans, who were happy to see him back.
All arrows are pointing up for Patterson, who was the #10 WR from Week 10 to Week 17 in his rookie season. He scored seven touchdowns in that span (three rush, four receiving) while racking up 29 catches for 323 yards to go along with 10 carries for 156 rushing yards. With Josh Gordon coming off of a breakout season under new Vikings OC Norv Turner, Patterson should be a fantasy starter sooner rather than later. His TD rate will be difficult to maintain, but he should see a jump in touches in 2014. Patterson is very raw as a route runner and needs to develop in that facet of the game if he's to have the type of season that many are predicting. By all accounts, he is progressing quickly.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:50pm
It seems like every day Vikings rookie running back Jerick McKinnon grabs your attention with his athleticism. Today, that moment occurred when he caught a quick swing pass from Bridgewater as he sprinted to the right. Rookie corner Kendall James took a bad angle in pursuit, and McKinnon planted his right cleat into the ground and shot up the field into the secondary.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 8:48pm
Bills tight end Scott Chandler (groin) remained out of practice for a second straight day, as did tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring). Their injuries don't appear to be serious, but it has thinned the position for practices. The key for both players -- Moeaki especially, given his injury history -- will be to stay healthy once the regular season begins.
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