Corey Chavous of Draftnasty.com joins PFT to discuss the website’s latest NFL mock draft. They’re projecting the Chiefs to take LT Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M with the first overall selection, but does Joeckel’s stats and pre-draft workout results prove worthy of that spot?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Is Joeckel a clear-cut No. 1 choice?
Browns coach Hue Jackson previously hinted about the use of a siren at training camp. On Sunday, the siren will make its first appearance.
“Oh boy,” Jackson said Saturday about the looming use of the siren on Sunday.
He made it clear that the siren will entail a period that includes tackling to the ground, with only one limitation.
“[W]e won’t hit the quarterback,” Jackson told reporters. “No, we don’t do that. We won’t hit the quarterback. No, not that. So that’s a good question. We won’t take the quarterback down. We won’t touch the quarterback, but everybody else can go on the ground. That’s OK. I even went on the ground today. That ground is hard in there. I said it a while back and I think our players understand. We’ve talked about it. In order to become a really good football team, we have to play football. Football is blocking and tackling, and the only way you get better at those things is doing them. We’ll do them in a situation to where they don’t know — I’m being very honest — but at the same time, I think they understand that we’re also trying to take care of each other. They know that they need to improve their skill that way and we need to become a hardened football team so we’ll set on that march tomorrow.”
Jackson explained that the siren sessions also won’t include the use of Oklahoma drills, a tactic that the other team headquartered in Ohio has used — the team Jackson previously worked for.
“I think there are a lot of other ways to do things that way along the football lines of tackling and hitting,” Jackson said. “We won’t use that tomorrow, but we’ll definitely bump into each other.”
Ultimately, it’s football. Despite the various limitations on contact during training camp, coaches need to get their players ready to play football. On Sunday, that process will begin for a Browns team that hopes to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2002 under a head coach who may be able to take the Browns as deep into the NFL playoffs as they’ve ever been, if not deeper.
If/when that happens, Cleveland will be celebrating something far bigger than a basketball championship. Finally, the Browns could be contending to get to the Super Bowl, and to win it.
At a time when the Chiefs have been unable to get a contract done with Eric Berry, they worked out a deal with Eric Fisher. On Saturday, coach Andy Reid explained the decision to pay Fisher with two years left on his rookie deal.
“It’s an important position — they all are,” Reid told reporters on Saturday. “We have some good players here. Obviously, there are other guys who are going through contract things, so we’re fortunate to have a good football club, and Eric [Fisher] is one of them. So, keeping our offensive linemen intact is one of our goals, and he’s a big part of it.”
Reid believes Fisher, the first overall pick in 2013, finally began to figure things out in his third NFL season.
“I thought last year,” Reid said. “I thought he came back last year in great shape. I thought he continually got better last year. I still think he has plenty of room to improve. I think he will continue to do that. He has a good work ethic. He’s kind of grown up before our eyes. He was a young kid coming in from a small school and joined the National Football League. I know there are games he wished he could have back when he was young. He had a couple of injuries in there, but he persevered through it and he got rewarded.”
Fisher agrees that it took a while for him to get to the point where he earned a second contract.
“I’ve been through my ups and downs, but I’m putting this whole year and last year behind me,” Fisher said. “I’m only looking forward to the future. I’m having fun with it. It took me a while to adjust, to get comfortable. I’m feeling great right now, I’m feeling strong and confident. My head’s good and as a team, we’re out here looking forward to the future because we did some good things last year. Having basically the same group back this year we could do some special things around here.”
Fisher plans to be a major part of that.
“I’m setting high goals for myself,” Fisher said. “Now that I know I can do it, I’m feeling good doing it and I have some great guys around me. I really think the sky’s the limit for me. I just need to take one day at a time, one game at a time, one year at a time now. What an opportunity for myself, the things I can accomplish.”
The Chiefs under Reid have accomplished a pair of playoff berths. Overlooked by many who focus more on the Raiders and Broncos in the AFC West, the Chiefs have the players to get back to the playoffs. The question is whether they’re ready to progress past the divisional round for the first time since Joe Montana’s brief stay with the team.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has a fresh contract and an aging body, relative to most other coaches. But his spirit remains youthful and he plans to keep doing what he does indefinitely.
“Everything is good,” Carroll told reporters on Saturday. “Really good shape. Everything is great. That is just the next stop along the way. I know you guys keep wondering, ‘How long is he going to coach?’ I got no end to this, I don’t see it. I will go as long as it’s good and we are winning games and all that. I don’t feel any different than I’ve felt before, in fact I feel better, I’m under my playing weight, I’m in great shape, I am ready to go.”
So how long will he still be ready to go?
“I don’t even want to think that,” Carroll said. “There are no last stops, you just keep going. I know you guys are wondering if this is what 65 gets you. I am jacked up, I’m ready to go. Any other thought about that, if you guys are worried about being 65, well ok, look at me, it isn’t that bad. I think it is pretty fun. If I can help you guys out some I will be happy to.”
Carroll made it clear that, for as long as he’s the coach of the Seahawks, he wants John Schneider to be the General Manager.
“I don’t want to do this without John,” Carroll said. “I wanted to make sure there were no issues with that and so we saw [Schneider’s contract] through first and it took a while to get that done, it is extremely important. He is a tremendous partner, he is a great G.M., and he’s doing nothing but great stuff, that is all he’s done. We need to do this together. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, I wanted to make sure we could get him in there and get this going.”
There is one difference between the two contracts. Carroll is signed through 2019. Schneider has two extra seasons.
“He’s a younger man,” Carroll said. “He wants more security I guess. I didn’t care about that, didn’t matter to me.”
Carroll does indeed continue to have an extremely energetic approach and attitude. It should be an inspiration to anyone who is 65 or older — and to anyone younger than 65 who aspires to be around at least that long.
Playing for a head coach who once tutored #Tommy, Osweiler doesn’t really want to hear about the long-time quarterback of the Patriots.
“They refer to Tom Brady a lot,” Osweiler said Friday regarding coach Bill O’Brien and offensive coordinator George Godsey, via the Houston Chronicle. “With all due respect to Coach O’Brien and Coach Godsey, I’ve told them I’m going to be me. I’m not here to be a puppet, if you will. I’m going to be who I am and believe in what I bring to the table every day.”
On one hand, the desire to be his own man is admirable. On the other hand, he should welcome the opportunity to emulate Tom Brady.
If Osweiler plays well, none of this will matter. If he doesn’t, his refusal to embrace doing things the way Brady did them could make O’Brien regret the sight-unseen transaction that brought Osweiler to Houston for $38 million fully guaranteed.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has lamented the grind of training camp. Training camp is here for the Vikings, and he’s not yet grinding.
Via Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, coach Mike Zimmer said that Peterson has a pulled hamstring. He got the injury while working out on his own before camp.
But Peterson passed his physical and is practicing. So it’s not a major issue.
“He can do things. He just can’t turn it all the way loose,” Zimmer said. “We’re just being careful.”
The situation gives the team’s other backs extra work, including star-in-the-making Jerick McKinnon.
“It’s good we get to see some of these young backs,” Zimmer said. “But [Peterson will] be out here fairly soon, I think.”
Still, hamstrings heal only with proper rest. There’s an extent to which the muscle can be pushed before it tightens up and delays the healing process. For Peterson, the best move is to give him a break and to allow the rest of the offense to get used to a future that eventually and inevitably will include Peterson not being a member of the team.
The Cowboys have opened training camp in Oxnard, but they’re honoring their hometown.
Via Nick Eatman of the team’s official website, the Cowboys have applied to their helmets a sticker that expresses support for the Dallas Police Department. “Arm in Arm” the sticker says on the back of the headgear, with a star in the middle of it.
It’s unclear whether the Cowboys will wear the sticker for preseason or regular-season games. Typically, permission must be obtained from the league for such deviations from the uniform.
Violence committed by and against police could put the NFL in an awkward position this year, with police departments pushing for displays of support and players wanting to express support for groups that are speaking out against situations where police misuse their authority and force. Caught in the middle will be the league office, faced with the potentially impossible task of keeping everyone happy on the kind of hot-button issue that could alienate portions of the fan base, if the right balance isn’t struck.
[Photo credit: Twitter.com/nickeatman.]
Politics and football have combined to create a bit of a hot potato.
Two of the three upcoming presidential debates conflict with prime-time NFL games. One of the candidates for the highest office in the land claims that the league has requested a rescheduling of the debates. The NFL has denied it.
In an interview with This Week on ABC, Trump expressed concern about the schedule — and he said the NFL has expressed concern, too.
“Well, I’ll tell you what I don’t like,” Trump said. “It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against’ — ’cause the NFL doesn’t wanna go against the debates. ‘Cause the debates are gonna be pretty massive, from what I understand, OK?”
The NFL says no such letter was sent.
“While we’d obviously wish the Debate Commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Mr Trump,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said on Twitter.
The September 26 Monday night game between the Falcons and Saints conflicts with one of the debates. A Sunday night game on October 9 involving the Packers and Giants conflicts with the other debate.
“I don’t know how the dates were picked,” Trump said. “I don’t know why those particular dates.”
Trump likely assumes that his supporters will be more inclined to opt for football than his opponent’s supporters, based on the broad, general belief that football draws more fans of a conservative mindset than liberal/progressive types. And the NFL likely would prefer not to be competing against the debates.
Unlike the debate that emerged two weeks ago regarding HBO’s Ballers, when executive producer Mark Wahlberg claimed Commissioner Roger Goodell called and tried to kill the show, the NFL allegedly reduced its concerns about the debates to writing and sent them to Trump.
So this one should be easy to prove. Trump simply needs to produce the piece of paper. That should be easy to do, right?
Of course, if Trump does indeed produce the piece of paper, there’s always a chance that someone will express skepticism about its authenticity. Perhaps by saying something like, “He came up with this thing, all of a sudden, miraculously.”
The Rams placed running back Tre Mason on the reserve/did not report list Saturday.
Mason was a no-show when the full squad was required to report on Friday for the team’s first camp at the University of California-Irvine.
The team had excused Mason from the offseason program due to personal reasons. Last week, TMZ reported that police were called to Mason’s house for the fifth time in four months.
It’s probably not a surprise to team officials that Mason didn’t show up for camp, but it still has to be concerning given his recent arrests and the additional police visits.
Mason, who turns 23 next week, has been the Rams’ backup running back for the last two seasons. He got limited work last season with the emergence of Todd Gurley, but he’s scored five touchdowns and averaged 3.8 yards per carry on 254 carries over two seasons.
Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins wants a new contract. He hasn’t gotten one, so he has held out.
The Texans, in response, have placed him on the reserve/did not report list. They also have issued a statement regarding the situation.
“We are disappointed DeAndre has elected not to report to training camp with the rest of his teammates,” said G.M. Rick Smith, who received an extension of his own on Friday. “He has expressed his position regarding his contract status, and we have been clear with both he and his representatives of ours. Our focus is on the 2016 season and all of our collective efforts and attention will be centered on that endeavor.”
It’s unclear what the respective positions are. Some have suggested that the Texans have flatly refused to negotiate a new deal for Hopkins, a first-round pick in 2013 who is eligible to have the final two years of his rookie deal torn up and replaced with a new contract.
Hopkins will be subject to $40,000 per day in fines, partial forfeiture of his signing bonus, loss of a $445,000 roster bonus, and eventually the loss of a year of credit to free agency.
The problem isn’t the fourth year toward free agency but the two years left on his contract. He wants the Texans to do for him what they did for J.J. Watt two years ago, tearing up the final two years of the rookie contract and giving him a new one.
Here’s a look at the position battles for the Bills.
The Dolphins have added Jason Taylor to the booth for radio broadcasts of preseason games.
The Browns’ first training-camp practice of the year was closed to the media due to lightning.
The Titans’ new locker room includes slogans like “Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead.”
The Raiders are mostly healthy as they enter camp.
New Giants coach Ben McAdoo continues to be a stickler for punctuality, like his predecessor.
It sounds like Howie Roseman has final say over the Eagles’ roster.
The Lions haven’t been cleared to reveal their Color Rush uniforms for 2016.
The Packers are putting an emphasis on punt returns.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants to pick his offensive line starters “as soon as possible.”
The Falcons’ new stadium keeps getting more expensive; this time, however, it was only another $9 million.
The Rams’ move to L.A. apparently will go more smoothly than the Oilers’ move to Tennessee.
Here’s a look at the camp battles for the 49ers.
Once again, offensive line is a question mark for the Seahawks.
The Dolphins made a roster swap Saturday and also activated cornerback Bobby McCain from the active/physically unable to perform list.
The team signed cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who’s had two prior stints with the Ravens and one with the Patriots and also previously spent some time on the Dolphins practice squad. Melvin has played in 12 career games and made two starts with the Ravens in 2014.
Melvin, 26, was cut by the Patriots in May after signing a futures contract last winter.
To make room for Melvin, tight end Jake Stoneburner was waived.
The 49ers placed nose tackle Ian Williams on the reserve/non-football injury list Saturday, a move that created a roster spot for offensive tackle Anthony Davis to be moved from reserve/retired to the active roster.
The reserve/NFI Williams designation means Williams, a run stuffer and productive player when healthy, is out for the season.
He started all 16 games at nose tackle last season and has started 26 of 31 career games.
Football has moved on without Johnny Football. But Johnny Football still hasn’t moved on from football.
Capping a month that supposedly began with a vow of sobriety, Johnny Manziel was back in a club on Friday night. As he emerged (and got behind the wheel of a car — which is fine if he wasn’t drinking, anything but fine if he was), Manziel celebrated the return of Josh Gordon with a “YES!” and said the Browns “absolutely” should bring Gordon back.
“He’s been a Pro Bowl!” Manziel exclaims to TMZ.
Manziel then said he’s “absolutely” returning to the NFL and that he’ll play for the Cowboys.
That could be news to the Cowboys, who reportedly have zero interest in Manziel unless and until he turns his life around. With still no indication of a clear desire to do what he needs to do to win back the trust of any NFL team, Manziel is going to have to wait for a lot of quarterbacks to get injured before his phone will ever be ringing with a call from Dallas.
The Cardinals made a wide receiver swap Saturday.
Okafor is an undrafted rookie out of Southeastern Oklahoma. Richardson, 25, had previously spent time with the Chiefs, Texans and Titans. He played six games with the Titans over the previous two seasons.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett still dislikes his contract. But he likes his team and his teammates enough to set that aside, again.
Last year, he showed up for training camp after skipping the offseason program. This year, he did the same thing.
“I just want to be here and be a good teammate,” Bennett told reporters after practice, via Aaron Levine of Q13 FOX Sports. “Just want to be a Seahawk for the rest of my life.”
It’s unclear whether he’ll spend the current season under the third year of a four-year, $28.5 million deal or a new contract. His agent was due to meet with the Seahawks this week.
Now that Bennett has reported, it’s likely that he’ll stay. As explained earlier in connection with Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins (who contrary to initial reports from ESPN did not “walk out of camp”), the team has much more leverage over a player who shows up and then leaves — including the nuclear option of sending a “five-day letter” that allows the team to shut him down for the entire year if he doesn’t return within (obviously based on the description of the letter) five days.