The ball at Chiefs training camp has gone more to one starting wide receiver, Tyreek Hill, than the other, Sammy Watkins. In the preseason opener last week, Hill caught two passes and Watkins none, even though Watkins was in the game for nine snaps, compared to eight for Hill. But offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said these weren’t necessarily signs that Hill would catch more passes than Watkins during the regular season. It’s more an indication, he said, that QB Patrick Mahomes and Watkins are still getting comfortable with one another.
OC Eric Bieniemy said Watkins is doing a good job in camp—and camp is all about finding rhythm. But for now, it looks like Mahomes is more comfortable throwing to Hill. But there are plenty of mouths to feed in the Chiefs' offense.
Deshaun Watson’s recovery from the torn ACL that ended his rookie season has progressed well throughout the offseason and he’s been on the field practicing since the start of training camp, which left head coach Bill O’Brien to answer a question about whether Watson will play against the Chiefs on Thursday night.
O’Brien didn’t commit to an answer, but said, via multiple reporters, that it is “more likely” that Watson will be in the lineup than on the sideline.
He last played in a game on Oct. 29 the story said. It's great news to see Watson could be fully back to form if he does in fact get in the game against the Chiefs on Thursday.
This is big news for Ware, who is coming off of PCL and LCL tears last summer. There was concern that he would not be ready for the start of the season, but that does not seem to be a worry now. Ware had over 1,300 total yards in 2016, and should be considered a real threat to the workload of Kareem Hunt, particularly in the passing game.
“We’ll figure it out,” HC Adam Gase said of the workload. “This is no different than what we were kind of doing with Damien Williams and Kenyan last year. I mean it’s a long season. We got caught in a couple of situations last year where Kenyan was the only guy we had and he had to take the majority of the carries. Really, that’s not what we want over a 16-game season. That’s going to be tough. We’ll make sure that we spread this thing out well. We’ll use both of those guys the right way.”
The story mentioned a game last year where Gore carried 36 times for 130 yards against Buffalo, and how the team isn't concerned about Gore being 35 years old. It looks like Drake will be the feature back, as expected, but like most teams, the Fins plan to use multiple backs. The story also mentioned Gore's size and ability to run inside, so it's possible he steals some goal-line TD chances from Drake.
The Chiefs have been, to some extent, caught off guard by how badly WR Sammy Watkins wants success, how much he wants to make good on his contract, how much he wants to be another strong receiving option.
They're asking him to learn all of their wide receiving positions, and he hasn't flinched.
"We're moving him all over the place, and he's handled it," coach Andy Reid said. "We've overloaded him with that. That's how we do it in this offense. That's something new for him. You can tell he's a guy that takes it away from here and studies. When we're doing all these different formations, you've got to do that. You just can't get it all when you're here. You've got to go back and you've got to review, and he's done that and he's really limited the mistakes for all we've given him."
As the story said, Watkins may not put up big numbers given the other targets on the team, but being able to play all of the WR positions should only help him. Watkins went on to say Reid is making him a better player. Watkins is currently ranked 41st on our standard WR list.
Those choices could leave less-than-stifling coverage on wide receiver Chris Conley, who missed most of last season after tearing his Achilles in the fifth game of the season. Conley has been working on the field throughout OTAs and that’s gone well enough to leave him feeling like he’s nearly back to where he wants to be.
Conley was quoted in the story as saying he's "feeling really good" and things are "pretty close back to normal." As the story pointed out, it's all good news for new QB Patrick Mahomes who will have a lot of speed at WR to work with.
Nagy told Dan Pompei of The Athletic that he estimates the offense in Chicago will have a 70–80 percent similarity to the one in Kansas City.
“It will be different in some regards, which is only fair to our coaches on offense and the ideas they have,” Nagy said. “But the identity is going to be the same. It will feel very similar to Kansas City’s. We’re in the lab now. That’s the fun part. All the coaches are giving their ideas and thoughts. Coach [Andy Reid] always said he had 51 percent of the say. So ultimately, he had final say. Now I have that. There are plays I liked that Coach [Reid] didn’t like, so now those plays are in.”
There has been some hype around the Bears offense this offseason. The key will be the progression of Trubisky, of course. But based on the names listed above, there is certainly some proven talent heading into the 2018 season.
Lions running backs coach David Walker this week described second-round pick RB Kerryon Johnson as a "three-down player.”
However, the Lions would like to believe they’re in a spot where they don’t have to use Johnson as an every-down workhorse this early in his career.
It should be noted it was easier to forecast early volume as rookies for Gordon and Hunt, due to a lack of competition in the backfield at the time. However, at this point last offseason, there was certainly ambiguity in the backfields of Kamara on the Saints and Cook on the Vikings, for Cook at least until mid-to-late August. That type of ambiguity in the backfield can lead to discounts in fantasy drafts, where Johnson is currently being drafted in the eighth round or later. Detroit aggressively traded up for him, using premium draft capital in an offseason where they are looking to overhaul their running game.
Harris will miss the first game of the season, so it's not a huge blow to any fantasy owners scooping up Travis Kelce's backup in best-ball leagues or who own shares of him in dynasty leagues.
The “U” tight end, which Trey Burton will play, is critical to establishing those mismatches. The U in Nagy’s scheme normally will play in the slot, although he will line up elsewhere at times, with the primary objective of running pass routes.
“You can move around, do different things — it’s what we did with (Travis) Kelce (in the Chiefs),” Nagy said. “It’s an important role. It’s a position that’s easy to create some plays for.”
That is, when you have a tight end with Burton’s size and speed, it’s about mismatches.
“So if you get a small nickel on him, he can use his size to body him up. If they put a bigger guy on him, we can use his speed,” Nagy said. “That’s one of the things I learned through (Chiefs coach Andy Reid), getting mismatches throughout. That’s what Trey does.”
Burton signed a deal worth $32 million over four years, so the Bears obviously think highly of his skill set. He's definitely undersized for a tight end, but he’s extremely fast and pretty agile for the position. In the four games that Zach Ertz missed over the last two years, Burton averaged 3.5 catches for 45 yards and 1.0 touchdowns on 5.8 targets per game.
Fantasy players will recall Williams as standing in the way of Kenyan Drake last season following the team trading Jay Ajayi to the Dolphins. Williams eventually suffered a season-ending shoulder surgery. He will most likely find himself third or fourth on the pecking chart in Kansas City—they already have Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware, and Charcandrick West rostered.
#BertAlert -- the former Chiefs receiver was the No. 59 scoring fantasy receiver last season in a crowded offense full of pass-catching weapons. Wilson set career-highs in targets (62), catches (42), yards (554), and touchdowns (3), and will look to continue his breakout in a Dolphins offense that just shipped off its previous top WR in Jarvis Landry.
Watkins finished his one and only season with the Rams as the No. 40 fantasy receiver in PPR leagues—despite catching only 39 passes. It was his eight touchdowns that really made a dent. Now he'll join an offense with playmakers such as Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt, while catching passes from first-time starter Patrick Mahomes.
Enter new Bears head coach Matt Nagy, who served as Kansas City's play caller for the final four games of the 2017 regular season and the playoffs. Nagy is expected to bring along many of the concepts he learned in Kansas City under Andy Reid, meaning the first-year head coach should have a head start in understanding how to utilize a player with Cohen's unique skill-set.
"Well, No. 1, size-wise you see that and you say, 'OK, they're pretty similar, right?'" Nagy said at the NFL scouting combine. "And then you have the speed, the shiftiness, the moves, everything that they do. They're similar in the fact that you can move them around and do different things. As you see on tape, the one thing if you go back and look at simple numbers, you're going to see that Cohen can run the ball a little bit more from the backfield. Not that Tyreek can't.
"So they're different. So I don't think it is fair to compare them but I do understand why people compare them, and for me, I am very excited to coach both of them and look forward to working with Cohen."
As a rookie, Cohen finished No. 33 in PPR formats and No. 42 in standard leagues, but he wasn't dependable since his touches were all over the place. Nagy should rectify that. Since Jordan Howard isn't very adept as a receiver, look for Cohen to catch 60-70 passes and have a more consistent role in the offense.
The Chiefs will receive a 2018 third-round pick and a player to be named on Wednesday, a source confirmed, though any trade involving Smith can’t be completed until the first day of the new league year, which begins at 3 p.m. on March 14. But the sources say the deal is in place and will definitely proceed.
Smith, 33, is coming off a stellar season in which he set career-highs in passing yards (4,042), touchdowns (26) and passer rating (104.7), throwing just five interceptions.
Related players: Kirk Cousins
The change in teams will force Smith to learn a new offense and develop a rapport with a new set of receivers, though he should remain a good value on draft day. Kirk Cousins will hit free agency as the best free agent quarterback since 2012, when Peyton Manning was signed by the Broncos.
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