Training Camp Notes – Tuesday, July 29th
July 29, 2014 | Chet
Training camp is in full swing and news keeps flying around and hitting people hard and what not. The biggest news of training camp has yet to hit and that’s just how much time Josh Gordon will get after his appeal. Everyone has been reserved to the one-year suspension, but according to Adam Schefter there seems to be a very slight glimmer of hope after Gordon hired the same attorney that helped Richard Sherman win his appeal. I’m not going to hold my breath, but it is better than nothing I guess.
The Giants first round receiver Odell Beckham looks like he’ll miss another week of camp with his hamstring injury according to The Newark Star-Ledger. This comes after tests came back negative for a tear, so it’s actually good news even though coach Coughlin is all old-man grumbly about it. He really is a good fit for McAdoo’s west coast offense and it would be great to see him get going in camp. I still think there is some hope for him to be worth a late round pick in redraft.
Teddy Bridgewater has been making some waves in camp so far with his strong play and he’s already splitting first team reps with Matt Cassel according to Jay Glazer. We already know what Cassel can do, which isn’t much. Bridgewater is still an unknown, but this looks to be a true quarterback competition, which means that if Bridgewater does win the starting job soon, he’ll be on track to raise the fantasy ceilings of Peterson, Rudolph, Patterson and Jennings better than Cassel.
Your training camp sleeping star this season has been the Cardinals’ wide receiver John Brown. He’s been getting praise from the coaches since spring. He has 4.34 speed and can take the top off a defense in Bruce Arians vertical offense. He’s a little fella at 5 feet ten inches and 179 pounds, but he doesn’t have to be a physical receiver with his speed and with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd as body guards. But he does have Ted Ginn in his way at the moment and it will be tough to move him from that WR3 position. Keep him in mind in dynasty and if you go to Harper’s Ferry or the Free State Brewery in Lawrence.
The buzz for the Bengals rookie running back Jeremy Hill remains good with him practicing ahead of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He seems destined to take away some goal line looks from Gio Bernard, but with Hue Jackson’s run heavy offense, I’m not too overly concerned. ESPN’s Coley Harvey reports that the Bengals want to get Bernard 260-300 touches and they can come via land or air. He’s just too dynamic a player to not pick for his upside while Hill will get his work, but most likely the bulk will come with leads.
The training camp hyperbole shuttle was full go in Atlanta as coach Smith told ESPN’s Vaughn McClure that Steven Jackson looks “rejuvenated.” I don’t see Jackson turning back the hands of time and I don’t buy into him being rejuvenated, but I do feel like he can be a good touchdown producer if he stays healthy. The Falcons offense should be running on all cylinders with Julio Jones and Roddy White back in the fold, and Jackson will have opportunities and if he gets injured all you have to do is grab Devonta Freeman off your bench and tah dah!!
The Indy Star’s Stephen Holder reports that the Colts are going to use more two-tight end sets with Dwayne Allen back on the field. And unfortunately that sounds like the old Pep Hamilton run it twice and then throw it offense. The Colts get Reggie Wayne back (who also is rejuvenated, etc..), a motivated Hakeem Nicks, T.Y. Hilton, Dwayne Allen and they have a poor starting running back in Trent Richardson. Why not get Ahmad Bradshaw in there as a blocking back/pass catcher and let Andrew Luck do what he does best? I really don’t know what will happen, but the personnel sure makes me think they’ll end up throwing more than they want.
Golden Tate was removed from the active/PUP list after being on it for a very short time due to a shoulder injury. Tate continues to move up my receiver rankings every time I go over them it seems. Joe Lombardi’s offense doesn’t favor individuals all that often, but after Megatron, Tate is easily the best receiving threat on what will be a pass heavy offense. He had a nice season last year in Seattle in an offense that ran threw the ball 45% of the time and now he gets a coordinator who would like to throw the ball closer to 63% of the time.
The hype for Jeremy Maclin is in full regalia, but when it comes to a player coming off an injury it is good to hear that he’s going all out and looking like his old self. And it is especially true with Maclin, who missed Chip Kelly’s first season, but gets in on the second year and without Desean Jackson taking away any stats. Maclin is better in the red zone than Jackson and should be a big part of the non-LeSean McCoy touchdowns. Of course you worry about injury, but if healthy, Maclin’s upside is insanely high in this offense.
Frank Gore has cursed his fellow running backs, but Carlos Hyde continues to defy Gore’s mystical attempts of sabotage. Also, all the reports have been glowing about where Hyde is in his development. Beat writer Matt Maiocco thinks he could see short yardage work this season and ESPN’s Bill Williamson thinks “he is likely to get a shot at playing time right away.” With Kendall Hunter out of the way and Marcus Lattimore still unable to practice, Hyde’s ceiling continues to rise. Now if he can just thwart Gore’s spells.
We’ve been hearing about Charles Johnson‘s upside for a long while now, but he’s in a great position for playing time in Cleveland. His measurables are off the charts (figuratively of course. I mean, you can make the chart able to fit any numbers) and now he’s healthy and looking great in camp. Really, how often can you find a wide receiver who is 6-2 ½, 215 and runs a 4.38 40 time? He has plenty of obstacles to get through, but everything is wide open among Cleveland receivers.
And here’s one more camp phenom, Mr. James White, the 4th round Patriots running back. Boston.com’s Zuri Berry says he’s been getting more reps than Brandon Bolden and even a couple more than Steven Ridley and has looked great in the process. You know that Bill Belichick will use anyone he thinks can help him win, no matter the context, so White needs to be on your radars. If Ridley can’t hold onto the ball we very easily could see a Vereen/White combo at some point this season.