The New Orleans Saints still haven't decided on their kicker, according to coach Sean Payton, who said both Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke will get work in Thursday's preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens.
Payton stressed, however, that the fact the battle is still ongoing shouldn't be taken as a sign of any lack of confidence in the candidates.
When asked if New Orleans might look at kickers being released elsewhere, Payton said, "I think we feel pretty good about the two we have here."
There has been no clear leader based on the preseason games. The only miss so far has been an extra point attempt by Graham in the preseason opener, when the league was experimenting with 33-yard extra points. Graham is 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts, with a long of 39 yards this past Saturday night at Indianapolis. Dimke is 2-for-2 on field goal attempts, with a long of 45 yards this past Saturday. This is something to pay attention for those who have already taken a chance on Graham in drafts.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:25am
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers coach reiterated that the duo would be punished by the team over the marijuana charges.
"Everything's on the table," Tomlin said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The Ross Township, Pennsylvania Police Department confirmed to NFL Media last week that the running backs were pulled over last Wednesday around 1:30 p.m. ET, just hours before the team was to fly to Philadelphia.
Possession of marijuana charges were filed Thursday, the same day Bell and Blount returned to the field for preseason action against the Eagles. Bell faces an additional charge of DUI (marijuana).
While the NFL will likely wait until the legal process runs its course to hand down any suspension, Tomlin indicated the team might not wait to take action. However, he didn't reveal what type of action (suspension or otherwise) he's leaning toward.
"We don't do it in a reactionary fashion," Tomlin said. "We don't wait for something to happen. That's part of our culture here. You are going to have people who step outside the bounds of that and they're going to be dealt with swiftly and appropriately, more times than not in-house. But the bottom line is we don't approach that in a reactionary fashion. Our business is too late then."
If the duo is suspended, it likely won't come in the same week. However, owners of both players should probably expect at least a game suspension from the team. With the recent news the two could split carries, it's become a cloudy picture in terms of how Pittsburgh will use the two backs but we still see Bell having more value. Since he was behind the wheel, it's possible Bell's punishment is a little heavier. Stay tuned...
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:06pm
"Everything is going good," Payton said.
Payton said he expected the team to hear something soon.
Payton replaced Brees in early-practice drills with the quarterbacks on Monday at the team's headquarters in Metairie. Luke McCown worked with the first team.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:05pm
Seahawks WR Percy Harvin has been unhindered in training camp by the hip injury that limited him to just one regular-season game last year. Harvin said he hasn't felt this good since before his college days at the University of Florida and he's found gears he didn't realize he had.
"I definitely feel a lot better," Harvin said. "I've got a lot more motion than I'm used to having. I can do a lot more cuts and just a lot of different motions that I wasn't able to do before."
Considering he was a league MVP candidate before getting hurt with the Minnesota Vikings two seasons ago, that's a scary thought for the rest of the league. Harvin's presence is already being felt this preseason. He's caught seven passes for 92 yards in Seattle's last two preseason games and returned the opening kickoff 46 yards Friday night against the Chicago Bears.
With Harvin in the lineup, the Seahawks' first-team offense scored on nine consecutive possessions over the last two games with seven possessions ending with touchdowns, the story said. Harvin is ranked 20th on our list of WRs and just needs to stay healthy. He along with QB Russell Wilson could prove to be great additions to your fantasy lineups.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 8:01pm
As it is, he'll play up to a quarter and then give way to Johnny Manziel, who will finish out the half and possibly play into the third quarter. Rex Grossman and Connor Shaw will likely split the second half, coach Mike Pettine said.
But Hoyer said after the 33-14 loss to the Rams Saturday that he welcomes a chance to play. Hoyer and the first-team offense have produced only one touchdown in 14 possessions and Hoyer has earned a 63.7 rating.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:57pm
Browns receiver Nate Burleson returned to practice Monday for the first time since straining a hamstring on Aug. 6, but coach Mike Pettine cautioned that the 12th-year pro isn't a lock to make the final roster Saturday.
"It does hurt your chances not being out there, but it's something where we'll consider his entire body of work,'' said Pettine.
Pettine first let on during a conference call on Saturday that the 33-year-old could be in trouble when asked about him and Miles Austin, who missed the entire offseason with a hamstring injury but has made it through camp healthy.
"It's a little more concerning with Nate just because he's missed so much time,'' Pettine said. "It's tough with guys you think are going to be out there and you're not getting quality reps with them, which as I've said a bunch of times, there's just no substitute for that work."
Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano was asked about the team's running game and he said, "it's going to be a work in progress the whole season."
The whole season, and he's not even specifically talking about running back Trent Richardson. Pagano was talking about the whole unit.
The Colts will be fine when it comes to their passing game, but they need some kind of production out of running backs Trent Richardson, Ahmad Bradshaw and Daniel "Boom" Herron to keep the defense honest.
"I don't think it's where we want it," Pagano said about their ground game. "I think we're headed in the right direction. ...We're still working at it. We've had some lineup changes, obviously, on the offensive line. We went through a whole season last year with that, from a continuity standpoint getting those guys together. We got (tight end) Dwayne (Allen) back."
Pagano doesn't sound the least bit positive about the running game, but it could be a motivational tool. Indianapolis is averaging 3.5 yards a carry as a team in the preseason while also dealing with injuries at center and right guard in the preseason. Starting center Khaled Holmes has missed the past two games with an ankle injury and guard Jack Mewhort missed a game with a knee issue. Richardson and Bradshaw have some mid-to-later round potential depending on your league format.
Washington HC Jay Gruden said today that he sees the Redskins relying on the ground game.
“Our identity needs to be found,” he said. “What are we going to be? We’re going to be a running team, I guess.”
Like any coach, Gruden would prefer to have a varied attack.
“Our identity needs to be diversity,” he said. “We have to be able to be good at both. We have to be able to run the ball, we have to be able to do some play actions off the run and there are going to be some times that we have to do some drop back.”
Gruden doesn't seemed thrilled about the label, though. Many assumed the Skins would pass more under Gruden, especially after bringing in WRs DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. But Robert Griffin III is struggling and seemingly starting a QB controversy at the same time, while the running game, led by Alfred Morris, excels. This, perhaps, gives Morris a bit of a bump in fantasy value. Eventually the Skins will need the threat of a pass game or team's will stack the box. Morris is a rock-solid, high-end RB2 in just about any format, however.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:43pm
It has reached the point where the Giants conceded they don't have a true No. 1 tight end, only four limited players (if they keep all four on the final roster) with specific skill sets they plan to use accordingly.
"That is not necessarily what the plan was [entering training camp]," coach Tom Coughlin said. "But the plan has evolved to that, where people can be utilized for their skills in different ways."
It's an ugly fantasy situation and one to stay away from, at least until someone can emerge. But the entire passing game seem to have a ways to go first. The story said Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell are presumably around for the long haul of 2014. Veterans Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis are also in the mix. Every day, the order they take the field seems to change.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:37pm
Rams rookie Tre Mason continues get carries, but hasn't been very productive with them. He played 20 snaps on offense and posted 29 yards on 10 carries. He had 18 of those yards on one run, meaning he gained 11 yards on the other nine carries. He simply hasn't been able to get it going in extended looks during the first three preseason games.
Mason doesn't look like he's going to have an impact, at least to start the season. With no Sam Bradford, the Rams may need to run a little more. Right now Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham are leading the way in the rushing game.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:35pm
Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub missed a second straight day of practice on Monday because of a sore elbow, but coach Dennis Allen insists that the team is not planning a reprise of last year when Matt Flynn’s elbow trouble led to Terrelle Pryor making a late leap up the depth chart.
“I don’t look at those two situations as the same,” Allen said, via Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, when asked about the similarity to the way things played out at quarterback last season.
Allen also said that Schaub remains on pace to start the season opener against the Jets despite his elbow injury, which Allen said is not a major concern for him, and absence from practices that it appears he needs based on his preseason performances.
Rookie Derek Carr looks like he would get the start if Schaub can't play, as the situation seems eerily similar to last year. Schaub won't be ranked among our top QBs especially in a tough matchup against the Jets.
Newton suffered a hairline fracture in a rib during the second quarter of Friday night's exhibition loss at New England. He will not play in Thursday night's preseason finale at Pittsburgh, but he is attending every meeting and watching every snap at practice.
While Newton is not physically involved, he has been mentally since the team began putting the Tampa Bay game plan in on Sunday.
"Very, very," coach Ron Rivera said on Monday. "He's with the coordinator, he's with the quarterback coach and they're talking about what we're looking at and why we're looking at it. So Cam's getting a feel for Tampa Bay right now."
It's a good sign as teams would sometimes rather prepare without a player. Newton will likely be limited if he does play, which could mean more touches for the RBs. He was just unleashed to start running again in camp due to his ankle, but then suffered the hairline rib injury in preseason Week 3. We'll continue to update you on Newton in the days leading up to Week 1 but so far it looks like he's got a good chance to play.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 6:24pm
Then the Titans will sit down and try to pick a winner. Or go looking through the waiver wire for someone else.
"At some point, you've got to base it off what you've seen them do," coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday. "And if you don't feel like they can do it, you have to look for other avenues to address it."
The Titans decided to go young at kicker in March when they cut veteran Rob Bironas, the fourth-most accurate kicker all-time in the NFL. They already had Bonani on the roster after having the former South Florida kicker in training camp last year, and they added undrafted rookie Coons out of Washington after the draft in May.
Monday, August 25, 2014, 4:11pm
Coach Jay Gruden said that Reed could have practiced but that he might have had some issues catching the ball. Gruden said that Reed should be ready for the September 7th season opener.
Reed played 23 snaps on against the Ravens on Saturday, about the same number as the rest of the offensive starters. He appeared to be healthy following the game and he was not mentioned when coach Jay Gruden discussed injuries after the game.
Jackson, the projected starter, had his helmet, a sign that he was practicing. He has been out since suffering a right hamstring injury during practice on July 29.
Smith said he wouldn’t rule out playing Jackson in the exhibition finale on Aug. 28 at Jacksonville, though Smith’s usual practice is to sit his starters for that game.
The team has said all along that Jackson would play Week 1. With a recent injury history, he makes for a risky pick but should be available in the middle rounds of drafts if you want to take a shot. Jacquizz Rodgers has started all three exhibition games but never really took over the RB1 role with Jackson out last year. Rookie Devonta Freeman has been a popular pick as a handcuff to Jackson. Either way, owners should either draft Jackson as depth or have a backup plan...