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|Ladarius Green "seems faster than he's ever been" -- Thu Jul 9 5:15 pm --|
TE drawing praise from coaches, players after injury-filled 2014
|Ladarius Green has felt offseason pressure to perform but with Antonio Gates (suspended the first four games), Green could potentially fill a much bigger role to start the season.
"(Green) still has huge upside and possibilities. Last year he had to fight through a number of different injuries at different times, so I am excited for him this year,” TE coach Pete Metzelaars said.
“He seems faster than he’s ever been. He certainly seems that way with the way he’s moving,” QB Philip Rivers acknowledged. (Chargers.com)|
FF Today's Take: The offseason hype train may as well be named after Green, who has generated a lot of summer buzz over his first three NFL seasons only to remain stuck behind Gates and the Chargers' preference to use three-wide sets. Gates' suspension gives Green a month-long window to force his way into more playing time. While his 2015 season-long prospects will probably dim once Gates returns, a successful audition might be enough to draw a big-money contract in free agency next spring.
|Gates suspended four games for PEDs -- Thu Jul 2 4:30 pm --|
One of four players levied with suspensions on Thursday
|The San Diego Chargers announced Thursday that TE Antonio Gates has been suspended four games without pay for violating the NFL Policy and Program for performance-enhancing substances.
He is eligible to return to the active roster on Oct. 5, ahead of a Week 5 matchup against the Steelers. Gates is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.
Gates blamed his positive test on "supplements and holistic medicines" he used in an effort to recover from the past season.
FF Today's Take: Jets DT Sheldon Richardson, Cowboys LB Rolando McClain and Packers DE Datone Jones were the three other players suspended. Gates had a team-high 12 touchdowns last season and crossed the 10,000 receiving yard mark in San Diego's season finale, so he will be missed. With Gates out, the Chargers will finally have a reason to unleash athletic freak Ladarius Green, who has been unable to assume a bigger role in the offense because of Gates and the team's preference to use three receivers.
|Green expected to have bigger role in offense -- Fri Jun 19 7:00 am --|
We've heard this before
|The Chargers said it last year. They're saying it again now. Ladarius Green is expected to have a larger role in their offense, the team working to take advantage of his size-speed combo to present a mismatch for defenses. "I'd be shocked if he didn't have his most productive year," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. (San Diego Union Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: We've heard this before. Green's expected breakout last season never happened as he dealt with injuries and the consistently good play of veteran Antonio Gates. Green has immense physical skills but with Steve Johnson added to the receiving mix, Green will likely need an injury to Gates in order to make a significant fantasy impact.