|News, Notes & Quotes from
| Week Two | Week Three | Week Four
hype 1 (hip) Slang
1. Exaggerated or extravagant claims made especially in advertising
or promotional material
2. Something deliberately misleading; a deception.
Usage: Only days after training camp has been open, the hype
runs rampant with reports that Randy Moss "absolutely has
How do we analyze a statement such as the one above, when preparing
our draft cheat sheets? Does it mean that Moss should be viewed
as WR1/WR2, a WR3/WR4 or do we simply discard this report into
the circular file?
Hype is seen in all sorts of industries. Imagine you are a record
producer for a major label and some manager dumps a demo on you
by an unknown female vocalist with the last name Jepsen, stating
that “this is going to be the hottest song on the charts."
You toss that CD into your computer and you listen to it over
and over again, laughing at its sheer lack of musicality…as
you utter under your breath “I just met you.” On the
fifth listen, you find you know all the words and you can’t
stop listening to this drivel. You dump it on the market, hype
it to radio stations and, Voila!, society believes it is the best
song since Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Sometimes you get it right. Sometimes you get it wrong. And sometimes
you may just do society a disservice.
Last season provided us with the good, the bad and the ugly of
hype. It was exactly a year ago that the Carolina Panthers were
actually mired in a quarterback controversy between Cam Newton
and Jimmy Clausen. Early reports had all eyes on Newton with statements
like “when this guy is on the field, you can’t help
but keep your eyes glued to him. Not only is he a physically imposing
figure, but he’s simply exciting to watch. He may struggle
as a rookie, but he’s also going to make his fair share
of plays. He's an exciting player. And it’s going to be
fun to watch.” Newton’s rookie campaign definitely
lived up to the hype. As did that of A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
But, what about the flip side? Pete Carroll was high on Leon
Washington. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman and Michael Williams
were only going to improve from their 2010 numbers.
TCH’s sole purpose is to provide you with news and notes
from around the league for you to process into your own rankings.
If any of this news catapults you to your league championship,
Kevin Kolb is taking first team reps and got the start in the
Hall of Fame game, despite a thigh contusion. Kolb did not make
great strides in that game to protect his hold on the starting
quarterback position, and then he left with a bruised rib muscle
and diaphragm. However, he has returned to practice since. John
Skelton came in and delivered on his first drive. Some reports
out of Arizona suggest that many of the Cardinal players are gravitating
more toward Skelton because he has better command of the huddle.
Neither quarterback is presently distancing himself from the other.
WR/TE: Due to the quarterback issues, there is little to read
on the receiver situation at this time. First-round draft pick
Michael Floyd has not made significant strides and is presently
fourth on the depth chart behind Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts
and Early Doucet.
RB: The Cardinals are suffering preseason running back woes.
Beanie Wells is on the physically unable to perform list with
a knee issue. Ryan Williams is being held back because of his
torn knee ligaments and is receiving limited snaps. However, he
has shown some flashes in his limited reps. The Cardinals have
discussed using fullback Anthony Sherman but are using a wait-and-see
approach. Little has been mentioned about using LaRod Stephens-Howling.
Although Wells says he’ll be ready for the opener and Williams
is running, the Cardinals may just end up knocking on the door
of free agents before the season starts.
The signs are all positive for Matt Ryan, who beefed up over the
offseason by gaining muscle weight and arm strength. With the
positive reports on Julio Jones and the experience and consistency
of Roddy White, the Falcons are anticipating that Ryan will have
his breakout year. In their first scrimmage with the Tennessee
Titans, Ryan went 16 for 17 and looked extremely sharp.
WR/TE: All of the buzz this summer is about Julio Jones. The
Falcons plan on reducing the looks of all their former bell cows
like Roddy White and Michael Turner and expect much from Jones,
who is identified as a “composite” receiver: a la
Terrell Owens, but faster.
Rodgers has exhibited that he can handle all responsibilities
in the backfield, from running to blocking. Some reports suggest
that Rodgers’ and Jason
Snelling’s workload together will be equal to Michael Turner’s.
While Rodger’s appears to be the sexier selection, Snelling still
holds down the No. 2 position on the depth chart.
Joe Flacco is having his “best training camp in terms of focus
and execution.” While we have heard this same song last year,
coach Harbaugh is predicting a breakout year for Flacco. He looks
“sharp…very sharp.” His decision making, decisive; his throws,
on target; his level, consistent. Backups Tyrod
Taylor and Curtis
Painter are fighting it out for second, if that means anything
to anyone other than their families.
WR/TE: Anquan Boldin remains the No. 1 wide receiver in the Ravens
offense, but keep an eye out for Torrey Smith, who “is the
most efficient improver, if that’s a word, I’ve ever
seen,” said his coach John Harbaugh. “He gets the
most out of every day and that’s why I think he’s
going to be a great player." He has improved his route running
and his hands according to Coach Harbaugh who also said that Smith
has improved his understanding of the blitz package. However,
he still runs hot and cold. Smith himself states he is more confident
and not worrying about assignments like he did in his rookie campaign.
Jacoby Jones has virtually locked up the No. 3 spot, with the
hamstring concerns of Tandon Doss and the limited reps of LaQuan
Williams, Tommy Streeter and Deonte Thompson. Ed Dickson should
secure the No. 1 tight end role, with Dennis Pitta breaking his
hand and being out until opening day. More importantly, with Jones's
speed, he and Flacco have developed a “connection”
during training camp.
RB: The Baltimore backfield is a lot like the early version of
the Gilligan’s Island theme song. There is Ray Rice and
“the rest.” Rice received the proverbial keys to the
city with a new contract, and there are no running backs on the
depth chart who present any risk of bringing Rice off the field
other than when he needs a breather. No. 2 Bernard Pierce has
a hamstring injury, and No. 3 Anthony Allen has been unimpressive
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has been doing relatively well throughout
training camp, is not feeling any heat at starting quarterback.
Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen, meanwhile, are nipping at each
other’s heels for the No. 2 position. Neither Young nor
Thigpen have done anything to stand out at this point, and Young
is having a difficult time adjusting to the Bills’ shotgun
Johnson appeared to be in regular-season form and ready to
go at the beginning of training camp but was pulled from drills
with a sore groin one week later as a “precaution.” Fitzpatrick
has discussed his level of trust with his wide receivers and it
is clear Johnson leads the pack. David
Nelson is following behind him at wide receiver, but Donald
Jones is focusing on limiting his dropped balls in camp in
an effort to secure the No. 2 spot. However, tight end Scott
Chandler appears to be more in sync with Fitzpatrick at this
point. From the start of training camp, Chandler has been making
tough catches with defenders all around him.
Jackson returned to camp fully healed from his fibula fracture.
The only concern for him now is that his time off allowed C.J.
Spiller to develop, and the Bills are looking for a contribution
Newton is looking “comfortable and confident” thus far through
training camp. Derek
Anderson is presently in command of the backup duties, with
Clausen lagging behind him.
WR/TE: Thus far, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell are holding down
the No. 1 and No. 2 wide receiver spots. Seyi Ajirotutu has had
a very good camp and has made himself a part of the conversation
at to the No. 2 position. David Gettis has missed most of training
camp due to a hamstring injury, and Louis Murphy rounds out the
true threats for targets in the Panthers passing game.
How many times can one be expected to buy into tight end Greg
Olsen? But this time it sounds legit, as Ron Rivera has compared
Olsen to Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. Rivera has said, “This
will be his first real opportunity to step up and be the guy.
You watch him catch footballs, you watch him run routes, and you
see those traits that he can fit right into that group.”
The impediments to Olsen’s taking off as a receiving tight
end are removed (Shockey and Martz), and with Mike Tolbert there
to take over much of the blocking (see below), Olsen’s impact
has the potential to skyrocket. Some food for thought: Last year,
the Shockey-Olsen one-two punch accounted for the third most tight
end receptions in the league, just behind Gronkowski and Graham.
Olsen could have "sleeper" written all over him.
RB: Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water
with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers add
Mike Tolbert to the mix. However, Tolbert does not appear to be
in line to receive the type of touches he got in San Diego. He
will likely be used as a true fullback to relieve the tight ends
of their blocking duties.
Jay Cutler has been “shining” through training camp.
Just in case anything happens to Cutler, the Bears feel quite
confident in his backup, Jason Campbell, who has also shined in
practices, showing poise in the pocket, command of the offense,
and the physical tools to make the necessary throws and runs.
“He’s doing a great job of coming in and giving us
that security blanket,” says center Roberto Garza
WR/TE: “It’s like Easter,” said Cutler upon
entering training camp, referring to all of his receiving weapons.
Brandon Marshall insists he is the most focused he has ever been.
Wide receiver coach Darryl Drake considers Devin Hester the most
improved receiver in the bears lineup; and as camp opened, Hester
lined up opposite Marshall. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, a second-round
draft pick, started off slow and is picking up some steam, but
it still looks as though he's being used in limited circumstances.
RB: Matt Forte got his contract, which, given the Bears history,
suggests they are unconcerned with his 2011 MCL sprain. Forte
says he feels the healthiest he has felt since leaving college.
The fantasy downside to Forte, however, is that Michael Bush appears
to be a lock in short-yardage and goal-line packages. Offensive
coordinator Mike Tice says that Bush is “the guy who can
move the pile.” Bush has received the majority of red zone
work in training camp.
Andy Dalton was throwing an "inconsistent" deep ball
through the first few days of Bengals camp. He was throwing effectively,
however, by their first scrimmage.
WR/TE: There is no question that the Bengals offense revolves
around one player, and that all signs are pointing in an upward
direction. A.J. Green reels in virtually everything thrown to
him. Green feels far more comfortable in the offense and has made
strides from his rookie season, stating, “I feel like I
know this (offense) and am coming out of my breaks quicker and
stuff like that.” Green has added ten pounds of muscle and
spent the offseason working out with Megatron. The "grandfather"
of the receiving corps is four-year veteran Brandon Tate, who
entered camp as the starter opposite A.J. Green and is staying
there for now. Also turning some heads is rookie Armon Binns.
The other wide receivers have all improved from last year, but
Gruden expects to use them interchangeably in a committee format.
Tight end Jermaine Gresham is looking at an increased role and
a “big year."
RB: No news yet regarding the running back position, other than
the initial depth chart showing BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the one
position of which he was assured when Bernard Scott got shelved
with a hand injury, keeping him out for most, if not all, of the
No quarterback competition here (for now) as Brandon Weeden will
begin the season as the Browns' starting quarterback and Colt
McCoy, if still on the team, will be the backup.
WR/TE: While Mohamed Massaquoi is having his best camp and is
listed as the starter opposite Greg Little, plans are for rookie
Josh Gordon to inch his way up into that position. Gordon has
shown smooth routes, good hands and an ability to separate from
defenders. The Brown’s other rookie wide receiver, Travis
Benjamin, has also shown good development and has been listed
with Gordon ahead of Joshua Cribbs.
RB: Trent Richardson has been practicing well but has been held
out of practice to give a surgically repaired knee a rest due
to some soreness. While the Browns are intent on downplaying this,
it appears Richardson will undergo a minor procedure to clear
some loose cartilage. Behind Richardson, Montario Hardesty is
looking faster than he was last season, "maybe by a lot."
He looks fresher and quicker than he has in the past and is clearly
edging out Brandon Jackson to spell the rookie Richardson.
Tony Romo is experiencing some frustration with centers. That’s
WR/TE: Dez Bryant has been "wonderful," “fantastic,”
"beating up corners for deep and short passes," leaping
above his defenders. Miles Austin is sidelined with a hamstring
injury which the team does not appear worried about at this time.
Kevin Ogletree has been exhibiting outstanding speed and quickness,
is continuing to improve, and is showing an ability to master
all the routes and positions on the offense. Dwayne Harris is
another candidate for the No. 3 receiver position, having been
the most consistent and having made the most quality catches.
RB: Cowboys are expecting big numbers from DeMarco Murray. Jason
Garrett says Murray is “a mature player from a technical
standpoint. You can tell he's a good runner. He has good vision…He
has kind of an instinct, an intuition, that the really good players
have." Murray “looks fantastic, running with vision
and power and showing no signs of the ankle injury that ended
his 2011 season early.” Not a good start for Felix Jones,
who had to take a second crack at his conditioning test before
Early reports from camp indicate Peyton Manning is still feeling
the effects of his neck injury and that his arm strength has not
entirely returned. His throws "have been short and intermediate….”
Although Caleb Hanie is second on the depth chart, it appears
clear to those around the Broncos that rookie Brock Osweiler is
second in command, taking most of the second-team reps. Osweiler
has shown impressive footwork and mobility for a quarterback of
his size. Conversely, he has exhibited some of the inconsistency
expected of a rookie quarterback.
Thomas experienced some tightness in his Achilles tendon,
which kept him out of practice a few days. This causes concern
only because it may have been the right tendon that he tore in
his rookie year. Otherwise, Thomas has Manning’s eye, to which
Manning has stated: "His size, and strength and speed just allow
you to do certain things with him that other players just can't
do." According to Champ
Bailey, Thomas is “running his routes as crisp as can be and
he's catching the ball.” Out for a few days with a groin strain,
Decker returned to camp once again as the talk thereof. Where
Manning and Thomas are not completely on the same page, Manning
“appears to be in sync with Decker.” Decker appears more suited
for the short and intermediate passing game. Andre Caldwell has
impressed with his speed and developed enough of a rapport with
Manning that he is in line for the No. 3 receiving role. Brandon
Stokley rounds out the top four and leaves the remaining receivers
far behind in the rearview mirror.
But wait, there’s more. The Broncos are relying heavily
on their tight ends in camp, with Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen
being two of the most targeted receivers thus far.
Don’t underestimate the time Manning has spent with Tamme
and Stokley. Early in camp, they seemed to receive a lot of the
passes when Manning was under pressure, simply because of their
familiarity with each other.
RB: Willis McGahee has gained a few pounds—ten to be exact.
Apparently every pound was muscle, however, as McGahee entered
camp with a “ripped” upper body and dropped body fat
to nine percent. McGahee has secured first-team reps and is the
unquestioned starter. Although rookie Ronnie Hillman has been
inspiring rumors of unseating McGahee, it is Lance Ball who is
spelling McGahee on first-team reps on passing downs. Hillman
is being groomed to step into the passing attack, but he has been
set back by a minor hamstring pull that has kept him out for a
week. Hillman appears secured as the speed back. Although Knowshon
Moreno is listed deep on the depth charts and appears to be fighting
to make the squad, he has been spotted taking numerous first-team
reps, and the debate appears to be between he and Lance Ball for
who will emerge as the No. 2 back. Mario Fannin is once again
out of the running, this time with a torn Achilles tendon.
About Matthew Stafford, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan says,
"it's hard to say a 24-year-old kid is as mature as he is,
but he's in his fourth year…He's taken such command of everything
we do offensively, and naturally so….It just comes with
the territory and just the ownership he's taken in the offense
and all the little things we do on a daily basis just really shows
me he's really now a true veteran."
WR/TE: Calvin Johnson is in better physical condition than last
year. Does this make him Super Megatron? Is Titus Young the pupil
or has he surpassed the master, Nate Burleson, elevating himself
to the No. 2 wide receiver spot? It does not appear so yet, but
keep monitoring this during the preseason. Linehan touts Young
as “outstanding." “…Titus has been always
on an upward trend since he got here…finished really strong
for us at the end of last season. And he's picked up where he
left off….He's really going to be a heck of a player, and
he is already." Ryan Broyles rounds out the top four.
Tight end Brandon Pettigrew remains "one of the favorite
targets" of Matthew Stafford early in Lions camp, but it's
more as an outlet and in red zone plays.
RB: Mikel Leshoure’s hamstring and Jahvid Best’s
concussions have landed Kevin Smith, if by default, in the starting
running back position. Best is still being held out, and head
coach Jim Schwartz says it’s a matter of weeks, not days,
before he returns. Others suspect that any return for Best is
questionable. Leshoure, on the other hand, has resumed running
as part of rehab and is targeting a return at around Week 3 of
the preseason. However, Smith has said he feels the best he has
ever felt, both physically and mentally—before leaving practice
on Wednesday with a right quad strain, that is. While it is far
too early to think about drafting him, Stefan Logan has been a
camp standout and might be worth putting on your radar while waiting
to see what happens with Best and Leshoure. The other healthy
backs in Detroit include Keiland Williams and Joique Bell.
Green Bay Packers
If there is any worry surrounding the play of Aaron Rodgers this
year, it is not on Rodgers, per se, but rather on the depletion
of offensive tackles in the Packers’ lineup.
WR/TE: Greg Jennings suffered a concussion during a scrimmage
and has not returned to practice yet. Jordy Nelson has been a
bright spot throughout training camp. "This guy just continues
to improve. He is an elite receiver…. a difference-maker,"
said coach Edgar Bennett. James Jones is also having an impressive
camp, dropping very few passes (a prior problem for him). However,
the receiver to watch for appears to be Randall Cobb. According
to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Cobb has made the most “big
plays” of any wide receiver in camp. Donald Driver has had
a terrific summer and is well conditioned but is still mired in
the depth chart as the fifth receiver. Tight end Jermichael Finley
is off to a slow start, with a concussion and his not performing
up to expectations in those practices he has attended.
Starks' practices "aren't as good as they could be, and he
seems to have regressed as a receiver" and "hasn't made strides
as a pass blocker or ball carrier." It appears Starks is now dealing
with turf toe and is week-to-week. Alex
Green has impressed the coaching staff with his speed through
the middle. Brandon
Saine has also been showing improvement and appears to be
the No. 2 back at this point. But apparently no one has wowed
the coaching staff, who brought Cedric
Benson in for a look this week and ultimately signed him to
a one-year contract.
No noteworthy comments regarding the Houston quarterbacks.
WR/TE: Andre Johnson returned to practice for limited reps after
a week off due to tweaking his groin. Upon his return Johnson
looked as good as ever. Earlier in camp, Lestar Jean looked to
be the No. 3 wide receiver, with size, good work habits and smarts.
But as camp has moved along, fourth-round draft pick Keshawn Martin
has "come on so strong that he's separating from the pack"
as the Texans' third wide receiver. He has been “outstanding”
throughout camp. Kubiak said Martin is “very professional
in his approach. Doesn’t say a word, just works, and he’s
going against [Johnathan Joseph] every day. That’ll make
you good real quick." Some suspect that Kevin Walter may
even lose reps to these two young and talented receivers.
RB: No noteworthy comments regarding the Houston running backs.
Andrew Luck has “the look of being the most complete quarterback
talent to enter in the NFL in decades. He makes all the throws.
He's mature beyond his years. He's the real deal….”
Tom James of the Tribune Star reports that “One week into
training camp…Luck has met, or exceeded, most expectations….His
grasp of the Colts’ offensive playbook, along with his on-field
awareness, tops the list….” Luck has posted good numbers
but has not gone up against full-speed NFL pass rushing yet.
WR/TE: Reggie Wayne is moving all around the formations during
training camp. He's learning the slot and also shifting to the
right side. Austin Collie is getting the chance to secure the
outside receiver job opposite Wayne, despite the fact that he
is already a lock at the slot position. Donnie Avery has been
"the surprise" of camp, according to John Clayton. Avery’s
injury history has reared its ugly little head, as he is likely
to be held out of the first preseason game with a thigh contusion.
Sixth-round rookie LaVon Brazill is "gobbling up first-team
reps," and the third-round rookie has impressed at least
some writers with "spectacular" speed and hands. Hilton
has looked "sharp" while working with every unit early
in camp. Bruce Arians has said that tight end Coby Fleener is
“solid…a really good blocker on the offensive line….We
need to get him better as a receiver. But he's making progress."
RB: Nothing like having Andrew Luck to distract the world from
looking at your run game. Donald Brown entered camp as the No.
1 running back, but Delone Carter, Vick Ballard and Mewelde Moore
are close behind him. There has been little news reported about
any advances being made by the Indianapolis running backs.
Offensive Coordinator Bob Bratkowski admits the passing game is
“not very good,” but he has expressed that Blaine
Gabbert has made "quite a bit of improvement on a day-to-day
basis.” Other observers state that Gabbert does not appear
to have made any significant strides and that he is still struggling
with accuracy and pocket presence. Fortunately for Gabbert, his
backup, Chad Henne, has looked no better through camp, and there
seems to be little risk of Gabbert’s losing control as the
WR/TE: Because he didn't sign until on August 6, Justin Blackmon
has missed most of camp. According to Laurent Robinson, Blackmon
is loaded with raw talent, great hands, and great work ethic,
but he is behind the proverbial eight ball from missing so much
practice. Robinson is not as positive about his own performance,
stating "I’ve been struggling…I just can’t
catch the ball deep right now. But it’s a work in progress."
Even Mike Mularkey says Robinson hasn’t looked like a $32-million
receiver. Mike Thomas has also been struggling through camp, and
Cecil Shorts has moved ahead of him on the depth chart. Marcedes
Lewis showed up to camp out of shape.
Jones-Drew and the Jaguars are not talking and the holdout
is expected to last “a long time,” whatever that may mean. And
in the Why It’s Called “Hype” department , reports out of Jags
camp are that backup Rashad
Jennings has been the “standout player” of camp, which translates
into a desperate plea for MJD to come back.
Kansas City Chiefs
Cassel has earned praise from coach Jim Zorn, who has stated
that he has dramatically improved since last season and has been
impressive in camp. Cassel should be feeling no pressure from
backups Brady Quinn and Ricky
WR/TE: Dwayne Bowe has not yet reported to camp, but it is anticipated
he will be in the lineup on opening day. Until then, Jonathan
Baldwin will be filling in for him. Once again, in the Why It’s
Called “Hype” department, all news regarding Bowe’s
“replacement” is scintillating. Baldwin has “put
on a show,” “displayed greater maturity and focus,”
“his weight is down,” his development has been "sensational,"
he has an “ability to make spectacular catches seem routine,
and he has "started to figure out how to utilize his superior
physical traits to dominate on the perimeter." And in other
news, Dexter McCluster has practiced almost exclusively at wide
receiver, lining up mostly in the slot.
RB: Jamaal Charles recently declared "I feel good...I feel
like I got my mojo back. I feel happy. I feel comfortable out
there, and I'm ready to go. My legs feel fresh." According
to Peyton Hillis, Charles is one of the best backs in the league.
Hillis also reported to camp in "outstanding shape"
and is running with "the urgency and physicality” he
was known for before last season. All accounts have Hillis and
Charles equally sharing the load as the featured running backs.
Garrard was taking most the first team reps and had been named
the Dolphins’ starting quarterback and the job appearred to be
his to lose. Unfortunately, he may have lost it, when he had his
knee scoped. As camp has trudged along Ryan
Tannehill has continued to improve from his impressive early
training camp and in a recent scrimmage looked to be the best
quarterback on the staff. Bob Griese thinks that Tannehill is
“the real deal.” Matt
Moore struggled in this same scrimmage.
WR/TE: No consistency in the
reports coming out of Miami. Some reports have Chad Johnson as
the best receiver on the squad. But other reports place Davone
Bess as the receiving star over the early part of camp. You can
forget about Johnson however as his arrest on domestic battery
charges this week has cost him a place on the team. Brian Hartline
has missed training camp due to a calf injury. In Hartline’s
absence Legedu Naanee has stepped into the third starting wide
receiver role, receiving accolades as the standout receiver in
camp, with his good size, good hands and ability to block. According
to the Palm Beach Post, Naanee looks to be the team’s possession
receiver heading into the regular season.
RB: Little to note about Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas at this
point, but there has been some buzz about the 4th running back
on the depth chart, Lamar Miller, who has quickly exhibited the
ability to pick up the block in passing packages. There still
seems to be some concern about Miller’s dancing in the hole,
instead of making single cuts, but there is some talk he should
be ahead of Thomas.
Christian Ponder has "gotten head over heels better than
last year" says Percy Harvin. Ponder is making better decisions.
WR/TE: Percy Harvin was carted off the field at Vikings practice
with a hand injury. The injury appeared serious at first, but
probably is not. Jerome Simpson has been receiving first team
reps and has been an early camp standout. But the undisputed MVP
of training camp is Tight End Kyle Rudolph, who according to the
Minneapolis Star-Tribune has "10-foot fishing nets for hands."
There is "no question" Rudolph will be a favorite target
of Ponder who declared that he's confident throwing to Rudolph
even if he's just "barely" open.
RB: Adrian Peterson admits he's still experiencing numbness in
the patellar tendon area of his surgically reconstructed knee.
Coach Leslie Frazier stated there are no indications that Peterson
should not be ready for Week 1 and he has just come off the active/PUP
list, which supports that he is ready to play. Jordan Todman who
is battling Lex Hilliard for the Vikings' third-string job has
shown more wiggle and explosion than Hilliard.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady is as hard on himself in practice as he is come game
time. “You’ve got to bring emotion to practice, and
you’ve got to bring emotion to games. This is not a game
where you come out flat for practice. You’ve got to come
out, work hard, try to get everything you can out of practice.
Everyone seems to be doing that.”
WR/TE: The Boston Globe reports that Brandon Lloyd “has
looked great throughout training camp, already displaying a chemistry
level with Brady that Chad Johnson never reached.” While
comparing Lloyd to Chad Johnson may be meaningless, Lloyd has
been one of, if not the star of camp so far. Jeff Howe of the
Boston Herald says that “smooth routes and effortless sideline
catches have become a daily occurrence” for Lloyd. Deion
Branch has missed a lot of camp and may be in on the losing side
of the battle for the last roster spot against Donte Stallworth
who has had an impressive camp and is probably the fastest receiver
on the team according to Imala Weligamage of the Boston Globe.
The other notable receiving standout in camp has been Aaron Hernandez
who has been "on fire."
RB: According to Boston ESPN, Stevan Ridley looks like “the
top horse." Ridley has been praised for his speed and “decisiveness”
as he receives the Lion’s share of the first-team reps,
"generating forward push." Shane Vereen started camp
off slowly and looked to be far behind the Ridley train. However,
by the Pats preseason game with New Orleans, albeit against 2nd
and 3rd team defenses, Vereen posted very good numbers exhibiting
good speed. Undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden has turned some heads
in training camp, with “strong running, impressive burst
and good hands.”
QB: Never mind the off-season
distractions, what with a contract dispute and other overly discussed
off the field issues. In his pre-season opening Hall of Fame game,
Drew Brees looked “razor sharp” completing 4 of 5 passes
for 41 yards and a masterful drive down the field for a touchdown.
As good as Brees’ numbers were against the Cardinals defense,
he only completed one pass of four, for four yards against the Patriots.
New Orleans Saints
WR/TE: Brian Allee-Walsh of Sports NOLA.com reports that the
consensus top three receivers are Marques Colston, Lance Moore
and Devery Henderson. With Robert Meachem out of the way, one
would think that Devery Henderson was bound to seize the opportunity.
However, Henderson has thus far been “unimpressive.”
According to the Times-Picayune, Henderson has “reverted
back to his earlier inconsistent years with dropped pass and incorrect
route running." Henderson still has a lock on the number
three because the next two expected to make the roster have been
notably absent. Adrian Arrington, who was “perhaps the biggest
star” early in camp, appears to be heading for the operating
table with a knee injury likely requiring a scope procedure. Rookie
Nick Toon consistently misses time due to a recurring foot injury.
Accordingly, Courtney Roby, Joseph Morgan and Andy Tanner are
all in position to make the roster. According to Drew Brees, Jimmy
Graham is “self-motivated…driven. He's got a fire
that burns inside of him." Graham is reportedly “uncoverable”
RB: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Mark Ingram is
looking "awfully healthy… strong, fast and healthy."
However, for being awfully healthy, he was held out of the preseason
game against New England for precautionary reasons.
New York Giants
Love the New York Post - David Carr is the Giants’ backup
quarterback, “which you might not have known because the
Giants’ starter is Eli Manning and the backup isn’t
Tim Tebow” writes Mark Hale. ‘Nuff said!
WR/TE: Victor Cruz has perhaps become the most polarizing player
in Giants camp. While Giants’ fans chants of “Cruuuuz”
during the season was music to the ears of the defense, it’s
not so much during camp as the fans continue to chant his name
on catches. The Newark Star Ledger reports that stopping Cruz
and stopping the chants, has become a daily game plan for the
defense. Celebrating a stop on Cruz outshines any other moments
in camp. But that has not proven all too successful as stated
by defensive coordinator Perry Fewell: “He does what he
wants to do…I don’t know if we can stop him.”
Hakeem Nicks is en route to his projected week one return and
is running routes on the sideline at practice. Nicks proclaims
he has felt "no pain." With Nicks sidelined, Domenik
Hixon is presently the starter opposite Cruz. Jerrel Jernigan
has been the "surprise player" of camp exhibiting "flashes
of brilliance," speed and reliable hands. Although Hixon
is higher on the depth chart Rueben Randle and Jernigan have drawn
more attention, with Jernigan outplaying both in the first week
of camp. Hope springs eternal for Ramses Barden, but nothing noted
Tight End Martellus Bennett insists he's in the best shape ever
stating, "I'm stronger than I've ever been. I'm faster than
I've ever been. I could run all day. I'm kind of like a black
unicorn out there. It's amazing to watch." However, with
no supporting statements to be found, he may be as self promoted
– oh wait, Unicorns aren’t real…are they?
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw insists, "I feel great.” Yes, he
has said that before, but this year he’s serious. He better
be, because rookie RB David Wilson is lighting up practices. In
the preseason opener, Wilson rushed seven times for 43 yards and
caught a pass for ten yards. The only drawbacks are that he is
raw in pass protection and his knowledge of the playbook. He has
lightening fast speed and is explosive. As stated by the New York
Daily News, it's been "impossible not to notice" Wilson's
"flash." If ever an endorsement, Bradshaw must be feeling
the strain as he criticizes Wilson for over-flashing, "…he’s
fast and he can make moves…It’s just the way he does
it. At times, it’s not even needed." Eli Manning stated
that Wilson is "the fastest running back we've ever had…."
While preseason reports had D.J. Ware maintaining the edge on
Wilson, Wilson’s camp placed a quick end to that concept.
New York Jets
And as we move from one New York team to its neighbor, the quarterback
position is anything but stable. Oh hell, the entire Jets team
(at least through the mouths of the media) is anything but stable.
Please…somebody…please, find me a publication which
discusses Jets football without reference to its back-up quarterback.
Nearly every other article in the Post and the Daily News, as
it relates to the Jets, centers around Tebow.
“Elway got it right getting rid of Tebow,” says Boomer
Esiason. He’s a “distraction,” “combustible”
and “frustrates” linemen. “Wrong city, wrong
franchise, wrong circumstances,” elaborates Esiason. He
is not a good thrower of the football, not even close. But, if
one former QB has something negative to say, another can always
be found to say something positive. Ron Jaworski observed improvements
in Tebow's throwing motion, “his stroke is much better…It’s
cleaner. It’s not as elongated. He’s not dropping
the football. That means the ball will come out quicker.”
The Jets’ starter’s name nearly escapes me. It is
far too much work to read through all the Tebow articles to get
a read on how Mark Sanchez is performing thus far.
WR/TE: Assuming for a moment that the Jets’ don’t
have an under-achieving starting quarterback or an over-achieving
back-up, wide receiver has been a problem. The obvious number
one receiver Santonio Holmes showed up to camp with general soreness
and then was knocked out with an observably protruding broken
rib. According to Antonio Cromartie, the number two receiver on
the team is…Antonio Cromartie. This may not be an unfair
statement, since the starter opposite of Holmes, is second round
draft pick Stephen Hill who has had a “very quiet camp.”
While Hill is “freakishly athletic” his skill set,
such as route running has not come along quite yet. Jeremy Kerley,
who was slated for the slot position, has been accused of malingering
with a phantom hamstring injury and was deep in the coaching staff’s
doghouse. Chaz Schilens has impressed somewhat and is making his
claim to the slot position. Seventh round receiver Jordan White
has also turned some heads and is making a push for the slot as
Not to lose all hope, Tight End Dustin Keller represents the
Jets number two receiving threat.
RB: While Bilal Powell has been outplaying Joe McKnight during
camp, it appears that McKnight is for now holding onto the number
two role. Starter Shonn Greene is being used as a power running
back who will be spelled on third downs and passing plays. Powell
has been praised as the best RB in camp thus far and in addition
to leap frogging McKnight, he could cut into Greene’s carries.
Head coach Dennis Allen said Carson Palmer has been "exceptional"
so far at camp. Palmer has looked sharp, at ease with offensive
coordinator Greg Knapp’s West Coast offense, making every
throw and displaying leadership. Guard Stefen Wisniewski stated
that Palmer has a very good command of the offense and is looked
up to by all the players. Camp watchers are impressed with how
good backup Matt Leinart has looked. "His arm is fine…His
feet have been outstanding” says Gregg Knapp.
WR/TE: Denarius Moore is listed as the Raiders’ No. 1 wide
receiver, but he has been in and out of camp with a minor hamstring
issue. Darrius Heyward-Bey should be locked in as the number two
with Jacoby Ford as the third wide receiver. But there is still
some fight in the rookies. Rod Streater and Juron Criner have
both been mixed in with the first group. Knapp has kept open the
chance for the undrafted free agent (Streater) and the fifth rounder
(Criner) to make the starting unit, stating “they have made
some plays that have caught our eye. They're still learning the
system, and being assignment-perfect is where they're still growing.”
Tight end Brandon Myers looks to be number one on the depth chart,
but is primarily a blocking tight end.
RB: Darren McFadden is determined to play a full season. It would
be a really good year to do that as Michael Bush is no longer
in Oakland, and Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson (who has no return
date after a neck injury which had him taken off the field by
ambulance) have been laid up with injuries. All signs are a go
for McFadden. But with McFadden under wraps so far during the
preseason, Lonyae Miller is getting all the first team reps and
he has opened some eyes on the coaching staff. "I’ve
been impressed with what Lonyae’s been able to do,"
Allen said. "He’s a different type of back than the
other backs that we’ve got. He’s a little bit more
of a downhill, pounder-type guy. He doesn’t have quite the
same explosiveness as those other guys but he’s been a consistent
There is something ironic when a quarterback vows to make a conscious
effort to avoid injury and then in the opening preseason game
bangs up his thumb. But, it was a minor hiccup and Michael Vick
is back in the huddle. In addition to vowing to steer clear of
injury, Vick says he is about 90 percent comfortable with the
offense now (three times where he was last Summer). While Vick
is injuring himself one finger at a time, his back-up, Mike Kafka
is going straight for the full hand, having broken his non-throwing
left hand and is now sidelined until opening day. In the Let’s
State the Obvious Department, the Eagles would rather not have
to resort to Kafka, who has exhibited a lack of ability to get
the ball deep to the Eagles speedy receivers. Rookie Nick Foles
impressed in the preseason opener, albeit against third team defenses.
Nonetheless, he showed good arm strength and mobility.
WR/TE: Jeremy Maclin sat out the preseason opener with a hamstring
injury. Undrafted rookie Damaris Johnson has been impressive with
his short field speed, but he is no DeSean Jackson when it comes
to the deep speed. But for now, Jason Avant and Marvin McNutt
look to round out the top four while Riley Cooper heals his broken
collarbone. Tight end Brent Celek has missed a significant portion
of training camp with a MCL sprain.
RB: Should anything happen to LeSean McCoy, the Eagles are talking
up his back-up Dion Lewis. Marty Mornhinweg proclaims "Dion
has had an excellent camp up to date" who is excellent with
his protections. Do not overlook Bryce Brown, who at least early
in camp looked to be edging out Lewis with his pass catching abilities
and short yardage game.
Ben Roethlisberger does not seem as concerned about his "little
torn rotator cuff" Roethlisberger looks as sharp as ever.
WR/TE: Mike Wallace is not wasting away during his holdout. He
has been working out in Florida with Tom Shaw (Tom Brady’s
conditioning coach) focusing on his speed and performance. "He's
fast as lightning right now," says Shaw. "He’s
not going to put himself in a bad situation (conditioning-wise)
so that he couldn’t play in the first game." Roethlisberger
has kept in touch with Wallace and is confident that Wallace’s
holdout will not linger. Expectations are that Wallace will return
to the team during the preseason, mid-August to be exact. Antonio
Brown has been the receiver in camp during Wallace’s hold-out.
In fact, the Steelers awarded him with a fat contract. But Roethlisberger
is not fooled by Brown’s game time performance. The primary
reason Brown gets open, Roethlisberger admits, is due to all of
the double and triple teams Mike Wallace pulls down. Emmanuel
Sanders is healthy, but Mike Tomlin is exercising caution due
to his durability concerns. Rounding out the top three in Wallace’s
absence is Jerricho Cotchery. The receiving depth behind these
three is thin and it would just as much behoove the Steelers to
get Wallace back as it would Wallace. If Wallace does not return,
keep an eye on tight end Heath Miller who might be utilized more
in the passing game with an improved offensive line.
RB: Isaac Redman has secured the role of the third down back,
but he has not been all too impressive. Is this a sign that the
door is open to other backs or is Redman going to start as well?
It’s not Jonathan Dwyer who has been turning Steelers’
heads, rather, 4th round rookie Chris Rainey has been wowing his
teammates with his speed and elusiveness. “The more I see
of Chris Rainey, the more I like this little scatback... His speed
surely has intrigued offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who’s
giving Rainey a lot of reps to show what he can do,” says
Mike Boires of the Beaver County Times.
St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford is still feeling the effects of his season ending
ankle injury, no pain, but nevertheless it is not 100% healed.
This has not worried head coach Jeff Fisher who stated "There's
going to be residual effects from high-ankle sprains, especially
when you come back into practice like he is….But we don't
anticipate it to be a problem, and it hasn't been one. He's moving
WR/TE: Rookie Brian Quick is not being handed the reins and has
had some struggles in camp. However, he has had some promising
bounce back days too and has been starting to show signs of progress.
Fourth round pick Chris Givens had been slightly ahead of Quick
when camp opened but both rookies are presently behind veterans
Steve Smith and Brandon Gibson. Givens has the speed, but exhibits
trouble catching the ball in traffic, while Quick has shown inconsistency.
Steve Smith is “on the verge of a rebirth.” He has
shown “more speed than anticipated” and has a realistic
shot of taking the number one receiver role. However, the St.
Louis Dispatch reports that Danny Amendola is a lock for the number
one receiver role. At present, the Rams depth chart has Quick
and Givens lining up one and two, but its Smith and Gibson who
are getting the first team reps. Tight End Lance Kendricks is
expected to figure more prominently into the offense but little
has been reported out of camp.
RB: Steven Jackson reported to camp lighter and leaner then he
has in the past and is ready to be a true workhorse, stating that
he expects to touch the ball 25-30 times a game. While Jackson’s
estimates are high, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer
has been unequivocal in the fact that it his plan to wear teams
out with a physical running game. His back-up, rookie Isaiah Pead
is receiving all sorts of accolades with comparisons to Jamaal
Charles, LeSean McCoy, Darren Sproles and Chris Johnson, with
explosive speed, good hands and ability to run up the middle.
"I think Isaiah's shown it from the first day he was here,"
says Schottenheimer. "The most impressive thing is he's done
a great job of picking up the system.” Rookie Daryl Richardson
missed much of camp with a hamstring injury, but is trying to
land the number three spot. Jeff Fisher states "He's very
explosive. Because of his speed, he can get to the outside zone.”
San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers (See WR/TE below).
WR/TE: All fantasy reports have Robert Meachem being the go to
guy in San Diego. Truth be told however, Meachem and Rivers are
experiencing chemistry problems and instead, Vincent Brown and
Malcom Floyd are Rivers’ "primary targets" in
camp. Says Rivers. “For example, I can tell when Malcom's
looking at me and has an idea in mind. I know because we've been
playing together so long and we're generally thinking the same
thing. I can't tell when Robert's doing that yet. I don't know
how subtle or overt we have to be in communicating before a play.”
"We're getting better each day," Meachem said. "We're
a long ways from where we started in the offseason, when we were
lining up in the wrong spot and not getting the right split. Those
mistakes are long gone, but we still have work left to do. What
Philip sees, I need to see too." Eddie Royal was having a
good camp until he injured his groin and is out for a couple of
Tight end Antonio Gates "hasn't looked this good since my
rookie season" says safety Eric Weddle. "He's going
to be the best tight end in the NFL this year…The best.
You can't guard him ... " Gates is in great shape and has
shed some unneeded weight.
RB: Camp has been designed
to prepare Ryan
Mathews for a heavy workload this season. Mathews seemed to
be handling the load well and was showing as billed in camp. But
then came a minor car accident, which caused him to miss a practice
or two and then came the big hit on his first carry of the first
preseason game, which landed Mathews with a broken clavicle. His
timetable for return is 4-6 weeks, likely to be 6. But the real
question becomes whether or not Mathews is durable enough to shoulder
the load the Charges wish to place on him. Mathews back-up is
Brown, who was brought in to take 3rd down reps. According
to Norv Turner, Brown is a “very, very explosive player” and is
a "complete back." Behind Brown is Jackie
Battle, who was brought to San Diego primarily for special
teams and Le’Ron
McClain. The Chargers have significant depth of veteran running
backs who have logged significant game time experience carrying
Smith’s back-up, Colin Kaepernick has been having an up
and down camp. Kaepernick is criticized as having a mentality
wherein he "would rather run the ball than throw it."
Nevertheless, according to coach Harbaugh as it stands now, Kaepernick
is the No. 2 quarterback.
WR/TE: He may have a lot of gas left in his tank and he may be
the starting wide receiver, but pictures are sometimes worth 1,000
words, and Randy Moss is not seeing “a lot of action come
his way" during practice. However, despite missing a significant
portion of camp with a calf injury, the 49ers' initial preseason
depth chart lists Michael Crabtree as the team's only starting
wide receiver. While a number of spectators have questioned rookie
A.J. Jenkins on his conditioning, coach Harbaugh has come to his
defense stating that Jenkins has shined while filling in for Crabtree.
Much of this sounds like attempts to motivate Crabtree to get
into camp. Also having an illustrious camp is Ted Ginn who Harbaugh
reports has been doing it all, running good, getting in and out
of his cuts.
Prior to camp, reports have been that tight end Vernon Davis
has been having "an outstanding offseason." Harbaugh
states "Every facet of the tight end position, he's really
excelling in that right now."
RB: It is no secret that Frank Gore is in line for reduced carries
this season with Kendall Hunter, rookie LaMichael James and Brandon
Jacobs all battling for play time. Says Gore, "that's how
you know how good your team is getting. I'm cool with it."
If this line-up of running backs causes any confusion, there is
one back who seemingly is rising like cream to the top of the
coffee. Harbaugh states that Hunter "really has a chance
to have a big year." “It just seems the feel, the experience
is there and [he’s] in tremendous shape, very strong, running
with a lot of confidence. Says offensive coordinator Greg Roman,
"I've never seen Kendall Hunter have a bad day or a bad snap
where he wasn't totally tuned into football.” Hunter has
had an “exceptional camp." Jacobs appears to be in
line for short yardage and goal line drives, and has thinned down.
Although Tarvaris Jackson started off camp as the lead quarterback,
Matt Flynn appears to be gaining a stranglehold as the starter.
Flynn has shown "superb accuracy and ball placement"
and "repeatedly connected on deep throws after eluding pressure."
Head coach Pete Carroll states "Matt has done a fantastic
job so far…He's learned the system. He's on it." Carroll
is not displeased with Jackson’s performance, it is more
a testament to how Flynn has come through, which Carroll attributes
to have grown up in a Mike McCarthy offense. Rookie Russell Wilson
has also proved to be coming along in camp.
WR/TE: Per Matt Flynn, Terrell Owens is “very smooth...
He’s obviously a physical specimen. Big guy, big hands,
big strong hands. And he got out there the first day and ran some
routes that aren’t easy to just get out there and run your
first day and haven’t run them in a while. Ran them smoothly.
I could read him out of his break, so it was good." General
Manager John Schneider says “Here is a 38-year-old man that
came in, weighed 220 pounds, and ran 4.45, 4.43 and once he did
that ... I didn’t see that coming... He ran really well,
dropped his hips really well, worked his way back to the ball,
didn’t drop a ball and was really quite impressive."
Golden Tate is having an "outstanding" camp, impressing
coaches with his "speed, explosiveness and ball skills. Braylon
Edwards immediately looked good in camp as well. With Tate emerging
as a go to receiver the signing of Braylon Edwards, and T.O. running
in the starting flanker position, the writing is on the wall for
Sidney Rice after multiple off-season shoulder surgeries. While
Rice is confident he will be starting week one, his lack of preseason
contact drills suggests otherwise.
Tight ends Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow look to be afterthoughts
in the passing game, which itself may be an afterthought to the
RB: While the Lynch camp suspects no suspension relating to his
DUI arrest, keep an eye on rookie Robert Turbin who has been the
most impressive rookie in Seahawks camp, who is labeled as a physical
running back. Nickname of the Year award goes to Turbin –
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman has been solid throughout camp under new offensive
coordinator Mike Sullivan. "Josh is progressing very nicely,"
Sullivan said. “…His feet are set underneath him and
he doesn't over-stride or throw off balance." Quarterback
coach Ron Turner says Freeman's athleticism and intangibles are
impressive. "He's got a tremendous skill set…Being
around him, I like his intelligence. And what I like best is he
wants to be good and he's willing to be coached." But if
anything should happen to Freeman, reserve Dan Orlovsky has been
a training camp surprise reports the Tampa Bay Times. “…he
has shown an ability to deliver the ball on time and with accuracy.”
WR/TE: Vincent Jackson has been the best player early in camp.
Jackson and Josh Freeman have already formed an impressive rapport.
No reason to believe at this time that Mike Williams will not
be the No. 2 receiver where he sits presently on the depth chart.
Coach Greg Schiano states the depth chart is fluid at this time
and not to put much stock in it. Arrelious Benn will miss most
of the preseason with a sprained right MCL. Dallas Clark has been
one of camp’s most pleasant surprises, exhibiting great
work ethic, gaining chemistry with Josh Freeman and looking healthy.
He hasn't missed one practice, barely takes breaks during workouts
and is coming on strong as a safety blanket for Josh Freeman.
“He wins matchups with linebackers, runs good routes and
is catching intermediate passes with more yards after the catch”
reports Stephen Holder of the Tampa Bay Times.
RB: The Bucs running back situation appears to be more volatile,
in a positive way. Sure, LeGarrette Blount is listed as the starter
on the initial depth chart, but it is Doug Martin who has been
running with the first-team. Martin has outplayed Blount on nearly
a daily basis. Coach Schiano states the backfield is a "fluid
situation," in which he'll let the "lead back emerge."
According to the Tampa Bay Times, LeGarrette Blount "more
than evened" the competition in the preseason opener.
The race for the starting job is tight, with all hope that Locker
emerges as the starter. Locker started camp highly inconsistent,
completing only 30% of his passes. However, as camp moved along,
Locker strung together more consistent practices. Hasselbeck is
less physical but far more consistent.
WR/TE: All of the news relating to Kenny Britt is about his off
field woes. While a suspension appears imminent and Britt keeps
sticking his foot in it, there are no reports about his football
skills since he is still rehabbing from knee surgery. In the preseason
opener, Kendall Wright caught all three balls thrown to him and
showed his quickness. Wright is working with both the first and
second team offenses and is the favorite to see playing time with
Johnson gained eight pounds of muscle this offseason. Johnson
has rededicated himself spending the offseason at the Titans'
training facility. “,,.you don’t see hesitation," says Mike Munchak.
"I think C.J. looked quick, he was hitting things decisively.
When he decided to go outside he hit it hard and showed some speed
around the edge." All reports are that Johnson is back to his
Griffin III has been "up and down" early in camp, which includes
a tendency to hold onto the ball too long. However, when he throws
the ball, he throws bullets. He struggles “underneath with some
of his ball placement.” In the preseason opener, Griffin looked
composed and had an obvious rapport with Pierre Garcon, throwing
to him 4 of 6 times and completing three for 58 yards and a touchdown.
WR/TE: Mike Shanahan says Pierre
Garcon is "everything we’re hoping for." "He has speed and
explosion. He’ll block. He’s competitive. He has great hands.
He will definitely be a big time receiver for our team." Leonard
Hankerson has been "one of the team’s more consistent pass-catchers
in practices." Josh
Morgan has struggled due to a hamstring injury. Santana
Moss is in the slot. Tight end Fred
Davis may perhaps be the most skilled receiver in camp and
is “a true mismatch-type player.”
RB: For now, Evan Royster is the top back on the team. Heck,
according to Kyle Shanahan, he can be “a top back in this
league.” “He’s a very natural runner.”
Mike Shanahan declares “You can't tackle him. He makes people
miss. He knows how to cut and he knows when to cut.” The
Redskins seem to believe that Royster has a higher upside than
Roy Helu and that Helu is best utilized in a change-of-pace role.
So far, Royster is working with the first team and Helu the second.
With a Shanahan staff, it never hurts to pay attention to the
bottom of the depth chart, so keep an eye on Alfred Morris. Tim
Hightower is not close to 100 percent. The preseason provided
little to glean from Royster’s or Helu’s performances.