Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:50pm
“I’d like to see him out there Thursday,” Jim Harbaugh said on KNBR Tuesday morning. “That’s the way we’ve always done it, where the quarterback plays some in each game, not necessarily more in any one game than in any of the four other games.”
Kaepernick has yet to lead San Francisco’s offense to a touchdown through three preseason games. Harbaugh didn’t sound alarmed by the first unit’s failure to produce a touchdown.
Jarrett Boykin is the Packers' No. 3 receiver, behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. That would put him ahead of the rest of the pack - including rookie second-round pick Davante Adams - entering the Packers' preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
''Clearly he's taken the next step. I just love the way he plays,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. ''He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I
think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB. I think he's had an excellent camp.''
We've identified Boykin as a sleeper this year and he remains someone who is available later in drafts. He wasn't always a lock to be the team's WR3, but it looks like he'll emerge ahead of Adams at least to start the year. Neither Adams nor Boykin were impressive at times in camp and then Adams got injured. Given the Packers offense, Boykin could have value as a possible WR3 in just about any format.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:39pm
On Monday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, we highlighted speedy Arizona Cardinals rookie John Brown as one of the few "hype bunnies" to successfully translate offseason praise to preseason production.
After Brown's impressive preseason debut, general manager Steve Keim raised expectations, suggesting the third-round wide receiver is capable of an impact on par with Anquan Boldin's stellar rookie season a decade ago.
After Sunday's game versus the Bengals, coach Bruce Arians estimated to TheMMQB.com's Peter King that Brown will be used on "60 percent" of offensive snaps this season.
Brown is obviously a name to keep an eye on once the season starts. He's not getting a lot of draft day action, but playing 60% of the snaps could get him noticed at least in deeper fantasy leagues. He's also drawn comparisons to former Colt Marvin Harrison.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:33pm
The "move" position is often lined up off the line of scrimmage or split out wide as a sort of bulky, physical receiver. As the name implies, the player moves across the formation a good deal, utilizing the option to have that tight end block and changing the angles from which that block can come. Putting the tight end in different positions also helps to expose opening in the interior passing game.
Wright has struggled to block this preseason and was buried on the Bucs depth chart. But the article says the Patriots will likely be counting on Wright to contribute early as a threat in the interior passing game, particularly as a complement to Gronkowski. It goes on to say, at the very least, the offense needs a player who can be a legitimate threat to run down the seam while taking some pressure off the team's outside receivers. Whether Wright can establish himself as a complimentary redzone threat remains to be seen, it went on. His fantasy value is also in question, but certainly seemsm to have some potential at least in deeper leagues. Wright may not be Hernandez but it seems like he could give the Pats more looks in two TE formations.
Manziel will replace Brian Hoyer in the second quarter against the Bears Thursday night, and finish out the half. He might even play into the third quarter. And if he can provide the same kind of spark in the preseason finale that he did in the dress rehearsal game at FirstEnergy Stadium, he'll make it tempting for coach Mike Pettine and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to install something for him right away -- especially if the first-team offense continues to struggle.
There are headlines all over the news today that the Browns could use a two-QB system similar to the 49ers with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Hoyer has little fantasy value right now so as it is, the potential loss of WR Josh Gordon coupled with losing time to Manziel certainly isn't going to help. Unless Hoyer is lights-out to start the season, it seems like only a matter of time before Manziel is the starter.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:16pm
HC Rex Ryan wasn’t exactly reassuring to the former second-round pick Tuesday while being peppered with questions about Hill’s future during his daily press conference.
Based on Ryan’s comments, the combination of drops, injuries and the fact Hill doesn’t play special teams have put the speedy ex-Georgia Tech star in a precarious roster position going into Thursday’s preseason finale at the Eagles and Saturday’s final cutdown.
“He’s had some strong moments, but there are others where we wish maybe he had hung on to a ball or so,” Ryan said of Hill, a 2012 pick by former GM Mike Tannenbaum. “But he’s had a pretty good training camp. I don’t want to say it’s been outstanding, but it’s been pretty good.
Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson look to all be ahead of Hill at this point on the Jets depth chart. Hill is buried down our WR list at 110th.
Denver players who have talked with Wes Welker over the past two days remain encouraged by his progress. Coach John Fox has not ruled out the star slot receiver for the Sept. 7 opener.
"He's doing fantastic in the process (of the league's concussion protocol)," Fox said. "We take it one day at a time. But he had another positive day."
Offensive coordinator Adam Gase admitted that he will review the playbook to determine whether certain plays for Welker are adding danger. Welker's receptions are often in high-traffic areas, where he's bracketed by multiple defenders. Welker ducked to the ground after catching a 9-yard pass Saturday as Swearinger delivered the hit. Welker's head snapped to the turf, and when he rose to his feet he left the game.
He still has to pass protocol but it's a great sign he's showing improvement. Drafting Welker at this point presents a great risk for your fantasy team so owners need to be prepared in case he misses time. That could include a late selection of Cody Latimer, who we think eventually would emerge should Welker miss time now or in the future.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:02pm
Jerrel Jernigan, who's been running with the first team in Beckham's place all summer, looks like a strong bet as well, especially since he's Cruz's primary backup at the slot receiver position. Undrafted rookie Corey Washington has caught a touchdown pass in each of the Giants' first four preseason games and has obviously helped his cause.
Preston Parker, who caught 40 passes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011 but was out of football last season, appears to be the primary punt returner right now with Beckham and Trindon Holliday hurt, and that could help him earn a spot as a wide receiver as well. Julian Talley also survived Tuesday's cuts and therefore remains a candidate to be kept.
One of the odd men out seems to be Mario Manningham who has struggled at times but has shown flashes lately. The team is apparently going to keep four TEs which could make it tough to keep six WRs.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:59pm
A nagging hamstring injury has kept Browns WR Nate Burleson out the entire preseason and off the practice field for nearly three weeks. Browns head coach Mike Pettine said the team remains optimistic the veteran receiver can suit up and prove himself Thursday against the Bears.
Burleson has been itching to play, and was practically begging for the trainers to let him suit up against the Redskins and the Rams. The veteran has played through injuries for a large portion of his career. Even if Burleson isn’t exactly close to 100 percent, he still thinks he can make plays against Chicago.
Burleson thinks he can light a fire under what's been an unimpressive offense in the preseason that's perhaps caught up in a quarterback controversy. Burleson will have to make the team first which isn't a given with all the time he's missed.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:55pm
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:53pm
When Detroit WR Golden Tate says he believes he can better his 64 receptions and 898 yards from last season, it is a plausible thought even though he moved from being the No. 1 receiver in Seattle to the No. 2 receiver in Detroit.
"I think my numbers can be way better in this offense naturally how it's set up," Tate said. "I was coming from, you gotta think I was in the toughest division with the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals, defensively, with a run-heavy offense and now I'm going to a pass-happy offense where I'm on the same team as the best player in the league, one of the best players in the league who is going to draw a lot of attention, a lot of double coverage, which is going to leave me with a lot of single coverage with a lot of No. 2 and No. 3 cornerbacks.
"So mentally I think I should be able to excel and do very well here."
All of Tate's reasons are likely exactly what fantasy owners are planning when they take Tate - that teammate Calvin Johnson is likely to draw most of the attention leaving Tate in single coverage against lesser cornerbacks. We have Tate ranked 32nd on our list which puts him as a low-end WR3.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 5:48pm
Washington RB Chris Thompson sprained his ankle in the first preseason game and was not at full speed until Monday. Before the injury he was working behind Alfred Morris and Roy Helu. Now, he must show that he’s more worthy than Evan Royster, Silas Redd and Lache Seastrunk.
But Thompson also knows his injury history: a back injury in 2011; torn ACL in 2012; torn labrum in his shoulder in 2013.
“I just have to show them I can make it through some games and I will show them,” he said. “I’ve been hurt a lot. I can deal with pain. I’ll make sure I finish this game out.”
That runs counter to the popular narrative that emerged when the Eagles acquired the shifty running back from the Saints for a fifth-round pick during the offseason. In his eight-year career, Sproles has been mostly known as a receiving threat out of the backfield. During five years in San Diego and three more in New Orleans, Sproles never carried the ball more than 93 times in a single season. His highest rushing total was 603 yards with the Saints in 2011.
In fairness, he was mostly a backup with the Chargers, and he was employed primarily as a pass catcher with the Saints. Since 2009, Sproles has had at least 45 receptions each year. His receiving numbers spiked with New Orleans, where he hauled in 188 passes over the last three years.
While the Eagles expect him to be a good receiver in the offense, Chip Kelly insisted that Sproles is a running back first and capable of carrying the ball when needed. Pat Shurmur echoed that sentiment this week before practice at the NovaCareComplex
“We’ve said it all along. Darren can play running back on first, second and third down,” the offensive coordinator said. “We always try to use our players in a way where we maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, no matter what the situation.”
If there’s a concern about Sproles carrying the ball, it’s what kind of impact the increased workload might have on his body, the story said. He’s been a pretty durable player in his career, missing a total of just six games in eight years. This very well may have everything to do with Chris Polk struggling to get on the field and still not being 100-percent. It would make much more sense to keep Sproles in his receiving role and use another back like Polk - ideally - on early downs should McCoy ever miss time.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 2:41pm
And it hasn’t taken long, as he’s headed to work out for the Titans, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
If he signs there, he’d reunite with his old Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, but he’d also lend some legitimacy to a perhaps the league’s most anonymous competition.
The Patriots have agreed to the parameters of a trade that would send Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers for a fourth-round pick and tight end Tim Wright. FOX Sports' Jay Glazer first reported the news.
"We were looking at all options," Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Greg Auman. "It's something we've been talking about since first week of camp. We feel very fortunate. Logan is a very good player. I'm a first-hand witness to what he means to the locker room."
Licht worked in the Pats' front office from 2009-11, and director of player personnel Jon Robinson was with the Pats from 2002-13.
Mankins, the Patriots' 2005 first-round pick has started at least 15 games in seven of his nine NFL seasons, and he fills an obvious need on a Buccaneers' offensive line that has looked overmatched for much of the preseason. On Monday, the Bucs visited with former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, but he left without signing a contract.
The raises the stock of Bucs RB Doug Martin a bit as the Tampa has been looking to improve their struggling line and this will help. As the story points out, the Pats have a history of knowing when to get rid of an aging player and still get value. Mankins is a Pro Bowler and considered a top-20 guard.