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Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:52am
Judging from the comments coming out of Cleveland -- from the owner down to the wide receivers -- the first impression of OC Norv Turner's offense is the aggressiveness of it.
“Everything is downfield, and you get taught pretty quickly that you have to be well conditioned to play fast and play at a high level,” wide receiver Greg Little said. “I just like the way Norv thinks. He calls more post and go routes than I’ve ever run before."
Said wide receiver Josh Gordon: "Defenses will be shocked to say the least with how much we're running downfield."
The new offense has helped to make Gordon a favorite breakout candidate in the middle rounds. There was a nine-game stretch from Week 5 to Week 14 where Gordon played like a fantasy WR2. He averaged 3.9-71-.56, which projects to #14 WR numbers.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:26am
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos' top two receivers a year ago, both say that they notice that Peyton Manning has a stronger arm now than he did last year, as he continues to progress from the neck injury that cost him the entire 2011 season.
“We worked out at Duke in March or April and I definitely felt like he had more zip on the ball,” Decker said. “I think he’s come back stronger. . . . I think some of those throws that he fits in the holes, you feel a little more zip on it and he is getting it to you quicker.”
Good report on Manning, who looks every bit a top 5 fantasy QB heading into the 2013 season.
Bills won't pull C.J. Spiller at goal line
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 7:02pm
"My philosophy's always been if someone starts off and they're running well, keep feeding them the ball," Marrone said.
Asked if he has any reservations about using Spiller in certain spots, Marrone shook his head.
"I've really seen him as well as Fred work on the things that make them both complete backs," Marrone said. "Our goal, when we put a back back there, is to make sure they're complete backs."
Spiller is one of the most explosive backs in the league, but saw inconsistent touches when both he and Fred Jackson were healthy in years past. It sounds as if Marrone plans to feed Spiller the ball early and often.
Arian Foster (calf) out until training camp
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 4:46pm
Kubiak said Foster was on crutches Wednesday, one day after he suffered the injury on the first play of team drills during Tuesday's voluntary practice.
"He'll stay on crutches a couple of days, rehab, and we'll have him back for camp. He's going to be fine," Kubiak told reporters on Wednesday.
We're not panicking about this injury. It's just a reminder that Foster has racked up 1,115 touches in the last three seasons. He turns 27 this August and is still very much in his prime, but these bumps and bruises may be more common as he continues his career.
Rob Gronkowski's back surgery scheduled for mid-June
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 4:42pm
Rob Gronkowski is set to return to the operating table, but it doesn't involve his troublesome forearm.
NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Wednesday that the New England Patriots tight end will need back surgery, according to a source briefed on his status. Surgery tentatively is set for mid-June and will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins, according to Breer.
It's expected that Gronkowski will miss at least part of Patriots training camp.
The possibility of back surgery previously was known, though the team had held out hope it could be avoided. Gronkowski has had back issues going back to his days at Arizona. He underwent a previous back surgery in Sept. 2009, which also was performed by Dr. Watkins.
It was reported that Gronk's recovery from this type of back surgery should take 10 weeks. We're not sure why they're waiting until mid-June to perform the surgery, but it might have something to do with his other ailment (forearm). Assuming he has surgery the week of June 10, ten weeks of recovery would sideline him until August 19 or so. If all goes well, Gronk should be back for Week 1, but this is obviously a fluid situation. Draft with caution.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:57am
Mike Goodson practiced Tuesday, as expected, per source. The running back’s attorney said last week that the Jets and NFL had held him out of practice following his arrest on weapons and gun charges. However, because the practices were voluntary no permission was required. Tony Fusco, Jr., the attorney, had said he believed it would be possible for Goodson to return to practice before the legal process was complete. Fusco said the entire ordeal could drag on for months.
Goodson pled not guilty in front of a municipal court judge last week to five charges: unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a loaded handgun, possession of a hollow-point bullet, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Anquan Boldin "top target" in 49ers' OTAs
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:56am
49ers WR Anquan Boldin caught several passes from Colin Kaepernick, including one during a two-minute drill at the end of practice. He also was the top target for the team's other three quarterbacks - Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and rookie B.J. Daniels. In all, Boldin caught eight passes, one of them a touchdown snag between two defenders on a pass from Daniels.
Boldin and TE Vernon Davis are the two candidates most likely to pick up the slack left by the injured Michael Crabtree. It would not be surprising if Boldin led the team in targets. He hasn't cracked the 1,000 yard mark in the last three seasons, but when you factor in his last 16 games of 2012 (including the playoffs), Boldin caught 77 passes for 1,183 yards and seven TDs, and that even includes a goose egg against the Broncos in Week 15. He should be a nice value in the middle rounds.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:50am
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:46am
The Bills have been waiting to see Steve Johnson as a part of the team practice setting. After being limited to just individual position drills in his initial return to practice last week, Johnson’s workload was expanded to team work as he got some plays in Tuesday.
Johnson after going through individual position drills as he had last week, was rotated in for some team work during both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11. The best catch of the day by the Bills wideout was the twisting grab he made during red zone work over the middle despite tight coverage from Bryan Scott.
It appears as though Johnson is recovered from his back injury that kept him sidelined as he was not shy about turning and contorting his body to adjust to passes.
Arian Foster (calf) leaves practice
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:38am
This is just a reminder that Foster has racked up 1,115 touches in the last three seasons. He turns 27 this August and is still very much in his prime, but these bumps and bruises may be more common as he continues his career.
Saints WR Joe Morgan arrested for DWI
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:33am
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Morgan was arrested in Jefferson Parish early Saturday morning for allegedly driving while intoxicated. State Police booked Morgan, 25, with DWI and driving with no license, according to arrest reports.
A trooper happened upon Morgan sometime around midnight Saturday, asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle on the Earhart Expressway near Causeway Boulevard in Jefferson, the arrest report said.
Matt Flynn getting outplayed by another Wilson
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:27am
Maurice Jones-Drew not charged with battery
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 1:58pm
According to the police report obtained by TMZ, MJD is accused of striking the security guard with a closed fist on the guard's left cheek, knocking him out.
Update: Adam Schefter writes, "Maurice Jones-Drew’s agent, Adisa Bakari, said St. Augstine police about to issue new release saying no charges filed against MJD."
Via ESPN: "Maurice was there and was not involved. As soon as an altercation broke out, Maurice exited the premises. He was not questioned by police immediately after, nor later that day," Bakari said Tuesday.
These are not the types of headlines players need to be making in the offseason. We'll have to see how the case shakes out over the next few weeks.
Hakeem Nicks not worried about contract (yet)
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 9:27am
That's good news for Nicks owners or those looking to draft him heading into 2013. He's coming off a nagging knee injury, but he's still going in the middle of the 4th round.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 9:23am
“He had some technical issues that he worked through," Slocum said. "I thought he started to improve at the end of the season. He’s had a good offseason to this point. We want to get to the production we had at the end of 2010 through 2011. That’s what’s important for us to get to.”