Fantasy News Home
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:00pm
As Calais Campbell walked past wide receiver John Brown and a surrounding interview contingent on Monday, the veteran defensive end vocalized an idea becoming more believable by the day. “Future star right there,” Campbell said.
Brown was an unknown before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round in May, but has thus far wowed the organization with his progress. The Pittsburg State product picked up significant buzz with his offseason production and played well on the first two days of training camp.
Monday was the first day of full pads, and coach Bruce Arians was interested to know how he would handle the change.“Can he play that fast? Can he get off the jam?” Arians said. “It’ll be more physical.”
Brown did his part to give answers, highlighting the practice with an 82-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton in 11-on-11 action. The defensive players refrained from laying big hits during the session, so it wasn’t quite the real thing, but it was yet another standout showing in a long string of them.
Brown would be getting more hype if not for the presence of Ted Ginn, whom the Cardinals signed to stretch the defense. Brown is a name to remember in the final rounds.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 11:38am
John Harris, analyst of the Houston Texans, on the team's backup running backs: Andre Brown and Alfred Blue got a ton of reps with Arian Foster out with a "minor" issue. Neither one of them is Foster, but then again, who is? Brown, though, can pound and after absorbing a few hits, Blue ran hard, especially down during the goal line drill. He stuck up into the line a couple of times, hard, only to run into a defensive brick wall. More on the goal line drill in a second.
I was, and still am, a big fan of Brown. I wanted the Texans to draft him when he was coming out of NC State and he's a lot like I remembered him. Nagging injuries throughout his career have slowed his development a bit but that wasn't evident one bit today. The vet ran the ball hard all day long and continued to catch it well too.
It's not yet clear who is the best handcuff for Foster, but it appears that Brown is still running ahead of Blue. Both players have been praised at camp.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 3:26am
Jets wide receiver David Nelson and running back Bilal Powell didn't finish practice because of groin and hamstring injuries, respectively.
It’s definitely fair to say Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph has been under-utilized to this point in his career. OC Norv Turner will showcase Rudolph this season more than he’s ever been showcased before. Clearly the Vikings wanted to get his contract extension on the books before he posted a breakout season and could ask for even more.
Rudolph was the #13 TE through Week 9 prior to a season-ending fracture in his foot. He was 15th in targets per game during that span, so there’s some opportunity in the workload department, especially with new OC Norv Turner in town. Turner isn’t necessarily as TE-friendly as his old boss Rob Chudzinski, but he featured Antonio Gates and Jordan Cameron heavily while with the Chargers and Browns. Rudolph is just 24 and could make a nice leap if the Vikings can get good play out of the quarterback position. He should continue to be a force in the redzone.
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.