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Sam Bradford wasted no time getting started in team drills, completing touchdown passes to Brian Quick, Kenny Britt and Austin Pettis. Most notably, Britt hauled in a difficult ball with second-year defensive back Brandon McGee in his face.
“He loves playing the game,” Fisher said of Britt. “He feels good. He’s making a lot of plays for us.”
Fisher also credits Britt for bringing along Quick, a receiver of a similar ilk. “Kenny may make a mistake as far as an incorrect route here or there, but he does it going full speed,” Fisher stated. “Brian, early on in his career, if he wasn’t sure, he wasn’t quite full speed. I think Brian’s learning just to go. Good things happen when you’re running hard.”
Britt is apparently running with the first team alongside Quick, with Tavon Austin manning the slot. If this continues, he'll be a compelling late-round pick on draft day. He has talent, but hasn't shown it in recent years. Maybe a fresh start with his old coach (FIsher) will do the trick. There is certainly opportunity in the Rams' receiving corps.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:14am
One of the players making a big early impression in a position of competition is Lions wide receiver Kevin Ogletree. Tucked in a tight battle with Kris Durham, Ryan Broyles, Jeremy Ross and Corey Fuller for receiving spots behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, Ogletree has spent time with the top unit both days as the No. 3 receiver. This comes on top of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi singling him out during the spring as someone who impressed him. Ogletree has speed as well as the ability to make catches both over the middle and the sideline. Johnson, meanwhile, called Ogletree “smooth” when discussing him Tuesday.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:12am
Asked if WR Cody Latimer could play right away, Broncos beat writer Andrew Mason answered:
Latimer has been impressive to date. He uses his size well near the line of scrimmage, is as good a blocker on run plays as advertised, has the speed to get separation on go and deep post routes and catches the football with his hands. His straight-line speed could even get him a chance on kickoff returns -- which would not be unprecedented for a big, athletic Broncos receiver in his first year (see Demaryius Thomas, 2010).
But as promising as Latimer has been, the Broncos have a bumper crop at receiver. Demaryius Thomas is elite. Wes Welker's timing with Peyton Manning looks better than last year. Emmanuel Sanders shuffles the deck compared to last year with his quickness and speed off the snap. Andre Caldwell can play any receiving spot and has the experience and timing with Manning that Latimer has yet to learn. Talented as Latimer may be, if the Broncos keep their top receivers healthy, he will have to maximize limited opportunities. But it is reassuring to know that the Broncos could lose two starting receivers and still have multiple potent threats at their disposal.
We believe it will be a heavy dose of Thomas, Welker and Sanders, with Caldwell and Latimer fighting for WR4 snaps. Latimer is a player to have on speed dial if one of the Bronco wideouts go down. Sanders can play the slot, so Latimer could emerge at the expense of an aging Welker.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:07am
RB Stepfan Taylor filling in for Andre Ellington (neck) was telling in terms of the battle for the second running back job. It’s between Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer, but with head coach Bruce Arians’ decision to run Taylor with the starters, it appears that he’s leading the backup running back race. The importance of winning the second spot this year is greater than past years because of Arians’ decision to use more two-back sets.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:06am
He’s been one of the talks of camp, but Cardinals WR Michael Floyd put his offseason improvement on display Tuesday. On one pass, Floyd got a step behind cornerback Patrick Peterson for a touchdown that sailed in just beyond Peterson’s reach. Floyd then hauled in another score over cornerback Justin Bethel. Earlier Tuesday, quarterback Carson Palmer praised Floyd’s size and his ability to overpower cornerbacks, which was the case Tuesday. Bethel is listed as 6-0 and Peterson 6-1, but Floyd played taller and bigger than the 6-2, 220 pounds he’s listed as.
Floyd broke out in his second season with a 66 catches for 1,054 yards and five TDs, gaining at least 90 yards and/or finding the endzone in seven of his last 11 games. He should continue to progress as he enters his third year in the league.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:01am
Eagles OC Bill Lazor on how QB Ryan Tannehill is picking up the new offense: “Ryan is extremely willing to do the way we want him to do it,” Lazor said. “He’s just trying as hard as he can to learn it. Some of the things are different maybe then what he’s done in the past, but that’s football. And we’re just going to try to give him opportunities to grow and keep going forward. Probably when four practices into training camp with a new system, one of the things you have to be as a quarterback is thick-skinned. You’re going to get a coat of shellac because things are happening fast. You’re trying to learn. I think Ryan’s doing a great job.”
Things to read into that: While coaches praise Tannehill publicly, they’ve been critical behind closed doors. I like that, because except for extreme circumstances, it serves no purpose to throw your players under the bus in public. It also serves no purpose to sugarcoat in private.
Through the first 15 weeks, Tannehill was the #12 QB in fantasy. Unfortunately, he stunk it up in the final two weeks of the season, posting just 286 yards to go along with one TD and three picks in the final two games combined as the Dolphins skidded out of a playoff spot. Josh Freeman’s 2012 late-season swoon was similar, but the Dolphins are more committed to Tannehill than the Bucs were to Freeman. The arrival of OC Bill Lazor (from Philadelphia) should help. The players are raving about the new offense.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 2:54am
Cornerback Patrick Peterson says he has reached agreement on a five-year, $70 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, with $48 million guaranteed.
Peterson revealed the terms via twitter Tuesday night. The Cardinals announced the deal a short time later, but did not disclose the terms.
According to the Boston Herald's Jeff Howe, Dobson actually had a permanent screw inserted into his left foot during the March surgery to repair a stress fracture. The screw speaks to the severity of the injury and invasiveness of the surgery. It also suggests that the initial estimation of a two-to-three month recovery was a bit optimistic.
According to Howe, Dobson didn't even begin running until July, which means he's fairly early in the progression that would lead to him planting and cutting at full speed without pain. It also suggests his conditioning will need to be monitored when he is able to return.
Since stress fractures generally have a high recurrence risk -- Dobson was injured twice his rookie season -- the Patriots medical staff is taking it slowly with the receiver. The team has no timetable for when Dobson will return from the PUP list, per Howe.
Dobson is penciled in as the starter opposite Julian Edelman, but obviously this news about his foot puts a damper on his outlook for the season. We start to worry anytime a player is expected to return in a tight window before the start of the season as setbacks could cause poor conditioning and/or missed games. Kenbrell Thompkins has had another great offseason and would likely start if Dobson is still sidelined in Week 1.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:05pm
Titans tight end Delanie Walker did not finish practice after taking a big hit with a sore shoulder.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:04pm
RB Shonn Greene has had two surgeries on his right knee in the past year, so the Tennessee Titans are trying to make sure he stays healthy in training camp.
Greene took part in a walk-through Tuesday before practice, then spent the session on the side rehabilitating his knee with trainers swinging ropes and lifting kettlebells. Left guard Andy Levitre, recovering from an appendectomy last week, also rode a bicycle and lifted some weights.
"We're just trying to be smart with it," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He's gotten good work on it for a couple days. Knowing we've got tomorrow off, hit it hard today from the rehab perspective and be back on whatever day it is we practice again."
Steven Jackson suffered a hamstring injury and was held out of practice today, Falcons HC Mike Smith says. He expects him back for Week 1.
Smith doesn't think the injury is serious, and it's not the same hammy as last year, according to other Darlington Tweets. Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman now have to step up. Freeman has shown flashes during offseason, according to Darlington.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6:12pm
One common theory regarding Eagles WR Riley Cooper is that much of his success in 2013 was made possible because of the attention DeSean Jackson received on the other side. Some are skeptical whether Cooper will be able to post similar numbers this season now that Jackson resides in D.C.
What can't be denied is that Cooper -- who ended with 47 catches for 835 yards and eight touchdowns last year -- found himself in a whole bunch of one-on-one situations, which certainly helped his cause. According to second-year tight end Zach Ertz, that's unlikely to change this year even without Jackson on the team. That's because the man truly responsible for the single coverage is still on the roster.
"I think the culprit, why a lot of guys see single coverage on this team, is LeSean [McCoy]," said Ertz. "He's the key cog in this offense... Defenses have to stop LeSean first to try and stop this offense."
The players aren't buying into the notion Jackson opened things up for Cooper, going as far as saying that's not now the league works. HC Chip Kelly added that he thought most teams played the Eagles in single high coverage and man across the board on anybody, and no one was getting any help. Either way, there are a lot of questions about Cooper duplicating his success from last season. Perhaps more noteworthy is Cooper's success with Nick Foles at QB compared to Mike Vick. With so many targets on the Eagles, we still only rank Cooper 50th on our WR list.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:29pm
Falcons running back Steven Jackson was excused from practice by the team on Tuesday.
Coach Mike Smith will update his status.
Jackson’s streak of eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons came to an end in 2014.
Tuesday, Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle didn’t take part in practice because of a hamstring issue of his own.
“He was sore in the hamstring, so we held him," Coughlin said, via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.
Graziano reports that it didn’t sound like something the Giants think is a serious problem, but they need only look to Beckham for an example of how a seemingly minor hamstring injury can turn into something more if it doesn’t get the proper time to heal.
It hasn't been a good week for the Giants. WR Odell Beckham is already going to miss a week with a hamstring issue and RB David Wilson suffered another burner. The good news on Randle is the team doesn't feel it's serious.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 5:13pm
Under the previous coaching staff, Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright was given unique freedom to run routes the way he saw fit, as long as he ended up at the right place at the right time.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick described it — in complimentary fashion — as "streetballer-ish" and "freewheeling," while offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains just called it creative.
Whatever the term, it worked pretty well, as Wright caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards in 2013. But with a new coaching staff come new roles and responsibilities.
Wright will be expected to adapt not only to a more disciplined approach to route-running, but also to a more disciplined approach at the buffet table, where coaches hope to trim his weight to increase his speed.
Wright is ranked highest of the Titan WRs on our list and we project him for over 1,000 yards and 88 catches while projecting as a WR3 on your fantasy team. The good news is, according to the story, Wright doesn't seemed too phased about losing some freedom on his routes.