Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:20pm
His explosiveness and speed are exceptional. So, too, are his instincts.
Sometimes, though, the jumping part is too literal. As with many rookie running backs in the NFL, West will occasionally choose to jump rather than run through holes. And jumping rarely works for someone at his position unless he’s attempting a leap over the goal line.
Put it on the list of lessons that the Cleveland Browns’ third-round draft pick from Towson must learn to have long-term success in the NFL and to make an immediate contribution backing up veteran Ben Tate this season.
West has an ADP of the 11th round and may not be a bad back to take at that point to add some depth to your team. Tate will likely get some carries but seems prone to injury so West could have lead back touches at some point sooner than later. The obvious issue with West is so far the Browns have struggled on offense and the QB situation has been a mess. Factor in the team could be without star WR Josh Gordon for at least part of the season and West looks more like a matchup play until we see how things play out.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 12:10pm
Broncos WR Wes Welker is making daily progress on his return from a third concussion in under a year.
"He's in the exercise mode right now. He won't be back out there until he's completely well," coach John Fox told KOA-AM radio Wednesday morning, via Broncos public relations vice president Patrick Smyth.
Players aren't allowed to be in "exercise mode" until symptoms have begun to subside, so that is a positive step. The veteran receiver still needs to clear concussion protocol before he can play in the Week 1 opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 10:13am
Chiefs coach Andy Reid also said WR Frankie Hammond Jr. would likely take Dwane Bowe’s spot in the starting lineup against Tennessee Week 1. Hammond joined the Chiefs last year as an undrafted rookie and spent all season on the practice squad.
But he’s fast and played well in training camp and the preseason. Hammond is tied with Bowe for the team lead in preseason receptions for a wide receiver with six.
Moral reasons? Please. This is not church.
They also would be the first team to fall on its own sword by doing so and violate the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
All anyone needs to do is look at what has happened in similar marijuana possession instances to know what will happen. The NFL will allow the legal process to play out and then Roger Goodell might issue at most a one-game suspension. He usually does that the following year.
So the idea that either the Steelers will act on their own or that the wheels of NFL justice will move so quickly Bell and Blount could lose a game to suspension anytime soon is folly.
Ed Bouchette's column came from someone asking him about the situation because of drafting Bell in a fantasy football league. Bouchette has been around a while so there is some stock to what he's saying, although it's not official. Others in your league may not realize if this is the case so both Bell and Blount could end up falling in your draft giving them a little better value. Keep in mind their situation is a bit unclear with recent news the two will split carries, however we still see Bell as the better back to own of the two.
"We're able to move pieces around and still do a lot of the same things that we've done," said Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. "We don't really teach by position, so everybody can move in and out.''
WR Emmanuel Sanders would certainly get more work as a slot receiver, as would tight end Jacob Tamme, but at varying points in training camp the Broncos have given all of their receivers some routes from the slot. Tamme gives the Broncos the option of sticking to a three-wide concept with a little more size in the formation. It's a formation that, at times, forces defenses to go a little bigger because the Broncos are in a two tight end look.
While everyone assumed Latimer may benefit the most from Welker missing time, that perhaps now appears to be Tamme. While Tamme would still be a bit of risky fantasy play at TE, we at least learned that Latimer is a potential, late-round draft target especially for Welker owners. There was no mention of Andre Caldwell in the story, so it appears Latimer's size will at least be a red zone tool if Welker has to miss time.
When the Vikings finally pull RB Adrian Peterson out of the garage on Sept. 7 in St. Louis, they'll be inserting him in an offense that will ask the 2012 NFL MVP to handle some different tasks from the ones he's typically performed.
The Vikings' desire to use Peterson in the passing game has been well-documented, and will probably be the most profound change for him this season, but there also will be a subtle change in the ways they use him when he's carrying the ball.
Peterson has done most of his work between the tackles in recent years, often putting together some of his biggest plays on zone runs that gave the running back a chance to read the defense and cut back against the grain if he saw an opportunity. In 2012, Peterson gained 1,536 of his 2,097 yards inside the tackles, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Some of those plays will still be there, but the Vikings will also introduce some power running elements to their ground game, including some outside runs like they've shown in the preseason with guard Charlie Johnson pulling around the right side of the line.
On those plays, Peterson will have to display enough patience to let his blockers get set up and follow them to a predetermined point of attack.
The story goes on to say that the Vikings want to get Peterson on the edge of the field more often, both to maximize his explosiveness and reduce the pounding on his body, and that will inherently put the running back in some new situations. He'll run out of shotgun sets and multiple-receiver formations more often. He'll have to be better in pass protection to stay on the field on third downs, and he'll have to be more reliable catching the ball. The key is he'll have to be patient. But, these are all reasons why Peterson is again a top-three fantasy player to draft this season. The good news is the Vikings are trying to put him in situations to stay healthy, and with what looks like the threat of a passing game with OC Norv Turner, Peterson is again poised for a big year.
The guy who is going to make you forget about Jackson isn't even a wide receiver. He's a tight end. He's Zach Ertz.
And while you might think I'm jumping the gun mentioning somebody who has played only 459 NFL snaps in the same breath with three of the most dangerous pass-catching tight ends in the NFL, Ertz has that kind of ability, that kind of upside.
"You knew when you watched him in college that he had the chance to be something special," Eagles tight ends coach Ted Williams said. "He's one of the best route-runners I've ever seen. He takes a lot of pride in that. He has a lot of confidence. He's hard to defeat, because he doesn't take defeat very well. He feels, 'You can't cover me.' "
Ertz was eased into the offense as a rookie last season by coach Chip Kelly. He played 36 percent of the offensive snaps in the Eagles' first eight games and 45 percent in the final eight. Finished with 36 catches - 25 for first downs - for 469 yards and four touchdowns. All four of those scoring catches came in the second half of the season. He also had a touchdown reception in the Eagles' playoff loss to New Orleans.
Domowitch is one of the Eagles better beat writers, so there's something to what he's saying. He points out that without Jackson the Eagles' passing game is expected to undergo a slight transformation this season. In preseason Week 3, the Birds had four TDs of nine plays or more - five fewer than they had all season. Domo said to look for fewer deep balls and more bubble screens and slants by the wide receivers and more screens and wheel routes by running backs LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles. The only thing holding back Ertz this season is teammate Brent Celek possibly taking away some targets, but Ertz still figures to be a low-end TE1 and should be drafted ahead of Celek. The writer believes both Celek and Ertz are in for increased workloads.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:56pm
While most Steeler starters and veterans get the night off during the final preseason game, HC Mike Tomlin said Tuesday both running backs LeVeon Bell and LeGarrette Blount "absolutely" will play Thursday against the Carolina Panthers.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 8:54pm
Ever since he was drafted to a roster that also boasted premier passing-down backs such as Sproles and Pierre Thomas, Ingram has been marginalized to obvious run situations. That usage pattern has allowed defenses to key on him as an obvious candidate to touch the ball whenever he's on the field.
Now that there's some overlap in skill sets among Ingram, Thomas and hard-charging tackle-breaker Khiry Robinson, Sean Payton can tie defenses in knots with less predictable personnel packages.
In addition to being earmarked for the primary early-down role, Ingram expects to be a bigger factor in a pick-your-poison passing attack.
Ingram is looking like a possible later round steal. If you've yet to have your draft, you may have to reach a round or two higher to get him as the news continues to be positive.
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.