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Gase: Addition of Emmanuel Sanders is 'going to be big'
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 10:50am
"He's more of the mold that I was kind of raised on in an offense," Broncos OC Adam Gase said of WR Emmanuel Sanders. "That quickness, defenders not being able to get their hands on him on the line of scrimmage and his ability at the top of routes to separate.
"His hands are outstanding and his run-after-catch, seeing that over the last few years of, if he's got one guy to make miss, he makes it happen. His addition is going to be big for us."
Sanders can play in the slot or outside.
"Emmanuel does have that flexibility to go inside-outside," Gase said. "When we use Wes, a lot of times you see him with Julius (Thomas) or DT for the most part. Wes does have the ability to go outside; it's not something we want to make a living off of, but we always have options to be able to use those guys both inside and outside."
Sanders was the #35 WR in 2013, when he saw WR2 targets (112) for the Steelers. Eric Decker (138) and Wes Welker (111) saw a combined 249 targets as Denver's WR2 and WR3. With Decker gone, Welker (and TE Julius Thomas) could see a bit more work, but Sanders should be stepping into a big role if he can beat out Andre Caldwell and hold off rookie Cody Latimer. As Gase said, Sanders is a good fit for his system and is versatile to play both inside and outside. He is very quick and is adept at making people miss, so he should thrive in Denver’s screen game.
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Cody Latimer feels no 'rush' to play right away
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 10:42am
With impressive measurables and sterling college tape, Broncos WR Cody Latimer turns a head or two just by walking onto the practice field, even though his work this weekend was limited as he completes recovery from foot surgery in January.
"He's a physical specimen, and when he plays, he plays his size," said Offensive Coordinator Adam Gase. "To see him catch the ball as well as he does, and then his blocking is unbelievable. I don't think I've really seen a college guy go after it the way he has in the past, and hopefully he just carries that over to this level."
With his natural gifts and his second-round status, Latimer can count on having time to develop.
"I'm here to get on the field, but it's not much of a rush," he said. "I can learn from (the veterans) and don't have to get pushed into the system too early."
Jaguars want Blake Bortles to sit rookie season
Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 10:36am
In a Tuesday appearance on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley once again reiterated the team's desire to sit Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick, behind Chad Henne for the duration of Bortles' rookie season.
"And we do feel good about where Blake's at, but we feel like this time that he has under Chad, a year to develop, will be really good in the end result."
The plan may change if the Jaguars don't get off to a good start, but for now, we're expecting Henne to start the season at QB.
Michael Floyd 'caught everything' in OTAs
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6:20pm
Entering his third season, Floyd has the potential to surpass Larry Fitzgerald as the team's top fantasy receiver.
Ray Rice won't be going to trial
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 6:17pm
Upon successful completion of the program — which will be a minimum of one year — the third-degree charge of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury would be dismissed. The arrest would remain on his record, but with no conviction.
This is good news for Rice, but he's still facing a suspension from the league. Given the current circumstances, it could be of the 2-4 game variety.
Mike Evans (hamstring) leaves practice
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 2:24pm
Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, the Bucs' first-round draft pick, and cornerback Mike Jenkins were injured early in the first organized team activity workout Tuesday.
Evans "tweaked'' his left hamstring and Jenkins had the wind knocked out of him on the play, head coach Lovie Smith said. Neither player returned to practice.
Evans will likely start opposite Vincent Jackson, though any missed practice time could stunt his growth.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 2:21pm
“He’s got a flytrap for hands,” Pope said. “He has tremendous catching ability. He’s got those basketball-type skills. He can contort his body and make the acrobatic catches. He’s a very, very high percentage catcher. If the ball gets to him, he can adjust to it. And he’s very brave running down the field. Because he’s a big target, they can hit about any part of the three feet on him. He’s courageous.”
To improve his blocking, bulking up in the Valley Ranch weight room has been Escobar’s off-season regimen. Over the last week, Pope, head coach Jason Garrett and veteran tight end Jason Witten have all mentioned noticing Escobar’s added strength.
“He’s been methodically present and he’s worked really hard,” Pope said. “When you’re 6-7, there’s going to be some areas of your body that need more development. Most of the time, that’s the legs, and that was his background, being more of an athletic tight end, a space player. He’s worked hard this winter and I’ve been impressed by it.”
According to Witten, the 23-year-old is on the right path.
“We know he can run the seams and can do some things in the passing game, but we need him to be solid in there [on the line],” Witten said. “He’s worked hard. To see that package grow for him and being out on the field is going to be a lot better because he can now do both.
“I’m proud of him. I know he’s worked hard. It’s paying off for him and I think his role will continue to grow. We need that. We need that not only in the slot, but we need that other guy up the middle.”
Escobar probably won't have any redraft fantasy value until Witten is out of the way, but he's a player to watch in dynasty circles.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 12:03pm
The Cowboys' new "passing game coordinator" Scott Linehan wants to run the ball...
"You start with running it effectively," Linehan said. "You achieve balance in the NFL by playing good football throughout three quarters, gaining that lead and then you've got a lead going into the fourth quarter. The teams that run the ball the best, that run the ball balanced, generally are getting a lot of their damage done in that late third, early fourth quarter. You get behind the score then you say you want to do (run the ball). You don't want to abandon it, but you're going to lean toward throwing the ball a little more. So that's to me, I think, the thing with the offensive line, that's a no-brainer. This is a great young front. Added a great piece to it. It was already an offensive line that was really meshing and playing well. We don't have to have this certain look to run the ball. We feel like we can line up and say hey, if they're going to drop guys into the box, we still feel like we've got the guys that can get it done. And then that helps everything. That opens everything on the outside of the field."
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 10:31am
Malcom Floyd (neck) should play in 2014
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 10:28am
"The doc said ... I'm at risk just like anybody else," Floyd said Monday. "There's not really a worry. As far as going out there and performing, I'm really excited to make plays again. Hopefully, I can do more this year than I ever have. ... I'm feeling good. I think I feel like my old self."
It's outstanding news for a Chargers offense that could use another deep threat. Keenan Allen is coming off a monster rookie year, but the Chargers lacked depth with only Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal on the chart. Floyd will be 33 years old this season, but he topped 800 yards in back-to-back seasons in 2011 and 2012 before getting injured early last season.
Packers sign troubled TE Colt Lyerla
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 10:08am
It's a small risk for Green Bay, which might not have the services of tight end Jermichael Finley, who is injured and a free agent. Because while Lyerla has talent, the 6-foot-4, 242-pounder also has plenty of transgressions in his past.
As CBSSports.com wrote on his draft profile, "[He] abruptly quit the team on Oct. 6, calling his choice to leave the Ducks as a "personal decision." This occurred after missing the Ducks' Sept. 14 game against Tennessee for what Lyerla later called the stomach flu but head coach Mark Helfrich characterized simply as "circumstances." Arrested Oct. 23, 2013 when undercover police discovered inhaling a "white powdery substance" inside a car. Lyerla later admitted the substance was cocaine. This was hardly Lyerla's only run-in with police. He had his driver's license suspended Oct. 11, 2013, after receiving four driving tickets in the previous 24 months."
Lyerla has a long track record of off field issues but as he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in February, "I put myself in a position where my back's against the wall, to the point that if I don't do everything perfect and the right way, I won't be able to play football, let alone be successful in any shape or form."
Raiders claim Greg Little off of waivers
Monday, May 19, 2014, 11:18pm
An inconsistent player whose flashes of excellence were often overshadowed by crucial drops and off-field drama, Little was released by the Cleveland Browns on Friday.
Linehan: Cowboys will 'lean on' the running game
Monday, May 19, 2014, 11:11pm
It was somewhat surprising to hear Scott Linehan, the new Cowboys offensive play-caller, talking on the radio about how Pro Bowl running back DeMarco Murray and the Dallas running game would be the team’s strength this season.
“Things that were done last year in the running game with DeMarco, the running style that was created here is really a good fit,” Linehan said recently on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. “That’s going to be our strength, being able to lean on that running game a little bit more than they have in the past."
Much has been made of how pass-happy Linehan is, but the Lions were 13th in pass/run ratio in 2013, so his last offense in Detroit was pretty balanced, relatively speaking. Linehan also reportedly loves Lance Dunbar, so Murray could get a bit more rest in 2014. Remember, Linehan featured both Reggie Bush and Joique Bell while with the Lions.
Browns to hold QB competition
Monday, May 19, 2014, 11:05pm
"I don't know if they're going to be sending each other Christmas cards anytime soon,'' Pettine said with a smile at the Positive Coaching Alliance breakfast at FirstEnergy Stadium. "But they know they're both in it together and they're going to compete and I think they both feel comfortable that as a staff we're going to put the best quarterback (out there) that puts us in position to win games.''
The takeaway here is that the Browns aren't handing Manziel the starting job -- he's going to have to beat out Hoyer. We're expecting Manziel to be under center at some point this season.
Josh Gordon is appealing his pending suspension
Monday, May 19, 2014, 11:02pm
Gordon's agent, Drew Rosenhaus is in the process of appealing the suspension, which could be an indefinite ban. If Gordon is suspended indefinitely, he'll have to apply for re-instatement with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Typically, the agent and the NFLPA work together to get the suspension reduced or dismissed.
All we can do is wait until word comes down from the league. We're expecting an eight game suspension, but that's pure speculation at this point.