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.
But Ravens coach John Harbaugh was noncommittal when asked whether Collins earned the right to be the starter for next season or if Baltimore will look to upgrade.
"I'm looking to upgrade everything. You know that's how I'm going to answer the question," Harbaugh said. "Alex Collins has proven the fact that he can be a very good back in this league."
Collins isn't seen as a workhorse back by Baltimore. The Ravens never gave him the ball more than 20 times in a game (compared to Todd Gurley and Leonard Fournette, who combined to do so 12 times) because they didn't want to wear down a smaller frame back like Collins. There are also other issues with ball security (four fumbles) and catching the ball (three drops).
The Ravens could just be keeping their options open at running back, especially in the draft. Baltimore hasn't selected a running back in the first three rounds since Bernard Pierce in 2012, and the team could be kicking itself after passing on Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt last year.
Collins averaged 4.59 YPC, which was No. 4 in the league among running backs with at least 200 carries. If the Ravens don't make a big move at running back, Collins will likely hold draft value in the fourth or fifth round.
General manager Ryan Pace interviewed Nagy, 39, on Sunday, a day after Kansas City's loss in the Wild Card round to the Titans. He replaces John Fox, who was fired a week ago after a 14-34 record in three seasons. Nagy is the 16th head coach in Bears history.
Nagy’s entire NFL coaching career has been spent under Chiefs coach Andy Reid. A record-setting quarterback in college at Delaware, Nagy started as an intern in 2008 for Reid’s Eagles. He followed Reid to the Chiefs, starting off as their quarterbacks coach in 2013 before being promoted to offensive coordinator last season.
Andy Reid handed over play-calling duties to Nagy before the Dec. 3 game versus the Jets. The Chiefs averaged 27.3 points in their final six games (under Nagy) after averaging 24.7 points in their first 11 games with Reid calling the plays. The Chiefs averaged just 12.0 points in the three games prior to the Jets game, which prompted the change by Reid. This hire looks like a clear offensive upgrade for the Bears.
Friday, January 5, 2018, 4:55pm
Bills RB LeSean McCoy (ankle, questionable) returned to take limited reps Friday after missing practice earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 18. McCoy is trending the right way and should be able to play against the Jaguars, even though he won’t be near 100 percent. If he’s unable to play, then Mike Tolbert and Marcus Murphy would try to pick up the slack.
Titans RB DeMarco Murray (knee, out) missed practice again Thursday and is out for Week 18. With Murray out look for Derrick Henry to carry the load against the Chiefs, who have given up 119 rushing yards and 1.0 rushing touchdown per game this year. Last week, Henry carried the ball 28 times for 51 yards against the Jaguars, but scored on a 66-yard touchdown reception to post a nice fantasy line.
Related players: Alex Smith
Hill didn't practice on Friday and was expected to be out. The Chiefs will also rest their stud TE, Kelce. Smith is active but isn't expected to play outside of an emergency.
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