The PFT guys run down the best QBs available in the 2013 NFL Draft, and Mike Florio declares Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib as the most NFL-ready, while Ross Tucker thinks USC’s Matt Barkley is the best QB available.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Can Nassib crack the first round?
The Colts definitely had bigger needs than another wide receiver in the first round of the draft.
But after their first look at him, they don’t think Phillip Dorsett is just another wide receiver.
Of course, the fit has been the biggest question. The Colts are well-stocked at the position with T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson starting, and Donte Moncrief, Duron Carter and Vincent Brown in reserve.
But Dorsett could separate himself the same way he separates from cornerbacks, with his speed. He averaged more than 24 yards per reception last year at Miami, and is falling into a system with a star quarterback who can throw a deep ball.
“All of his balls are catchable and he’s so smart,” Dorsett said of Luck. “He knows what to do. He knows where to put the ball.”
Luck can only put it in one set of hands at once, however, so Dorsett’s role this year might be unclear, as he works on returns and working his way into the starting lineup down the road.
Yes, the Patriots decided not to appeal the punishment imposed against them by the NFL. No, the Patriots haven’t changed their minds about the outcome of the Ted Wells investigation.
The strongly-worded, 20,000-word rebuttal to the Wells report remains active with a link from the front page of the team’s official website, three days after owner Robert Kraft explained that the Patriots won’t be exercising the right to appeal the $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017. The response to the Wells report likely will remain active indefinitely.
If it remains active indefinitely, it also could be updated and supplemented based on additional information and analysis of the 243-page report that failed, in the opinion of many, to adequately prove that tampering occurred prior to the AFC title game.
So while the Patriots have dropped their appeal rights, they haven’t dropped their concerns about the process, the investigation, or the conclusions. Those concerns presumably will continue to be on display, during quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal and beyond.
Earlier on Friday, there was a report that the Texans, Redskins and Bills were the three teams under consideration to be featured on this summer’s edition of “Hard Knocks.”
It seems that the Texans may be ahead of the other two teams in terms of who will wind up on the program. Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com reports that the Texans are the favorites to be given a time slot on HBO.
There were reports in March that the Bills weren’t interested in doing the show and the league couldn’t compel them to do it because they have a new coaching staff this offseason. John Keim of ESPN.com also reports Friday that the Redskins do not want to do the show and that they are “not one of the finalists.”
If the Texans do wind up on the show, you can probably expect that the team’s quarterback competition and Jadeveon Clowney’s return from microfracture surgery will provide heavy doses of drama. And they might even carve out a little bit of time for defensive end J.J. Watt, who you may have heard a few things about in recent years.
Dareus was suspended for the opening game of the regular season on Thursday for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, but it doesn’t seem to have changed anything about the team’s desire to hold onto the 2014 All-Pro. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the team still hopes to sign Dareus to a new deal before training camp.
While the suspension is unfortunate, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise to the Bills after Dareus was arrested last year on charges of possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia. If they were interested in extending him with the knowledge of that arrest, the fact that the league disciplined him doesn’t give much cause for a change of heart.
Dareus is set to make $8.06 million in 2015 as he plays out the final year of his rookie contract.
When Robert Griffin III landed in the NFL in 2012, the Redskins closed the regular season with seven straight wins to take the NFC East and advance to the playoffs.
Griffin missed one of those games with a knee injury, which served as a preview of the more serious knee injury he’d suffer in the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Griffin rehabbed through the next offseason and then struggled in 2013 in an offense that was designed to limit Griffin’s runs in hopes of having him develop into a more traditional quarterback.
It didn’t happen, which led to squabbling with Mike Shanahan before Shanahan was fired as the team’s head coach. Griffin had another serious injury last year and continued to struggle in Jay Gruden’s offense, but Shanahan doesn’t think the injuries have been the quarterback’s problem.
“I don’t think getting hurt has anything to do with it,” Shanahan said of RG3 on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan, via CSNWashington.com. “In college he didn’t have a route tree, didn’t have a playbook. That does take some time. … If you take a QB like that you must run the kind of system that allows them to be successful … I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop back quarterback. He hasn’t done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out.”
No one who has watched Griffin the last two years would argue that he looks as comfortable in the offense as he did as a rookie, although you have to wonder why the Redskins made such a big play for Griffin if they weren’t willing to give him that time or run an offense more suited to his needs. The answer to the latter is largely because of the injury risk involved with running a smaller quarterback repeatedly against NFL defenses, but the failure to do the former may lead to the end of Griffin’s time in Washington without much to show for the investment they made in him.
After working with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Kurt Warner said he was impressed with the touch he was able to put on passes.
He might want to run that by 49ers running back Mike Davis, who said on Twitter that Kaepernick “owe me a new thumb” after one pass in OTAs this week.
“My thumb is good, man. It was just one day,” Davis said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “My thumb was messed up because of Kap, but I’m all right. . . . Kap, man, [has] a lot of power. I didn’t know he could throw the ball that hard. As I can see yesterday, I can tell how hard he can throw it. . . .
“I didn’t know it was coming that fast and it hit my thumb. I still caught it, but it was crazy.”
The 49ers are hoping Davis can contribute as a receiver, after he caught 66 passes his final two seasons in college. But if he’s going to, Kaepernick might need to take a little something off of them.
The Dolphins didn’t have much to say about defensive end Dion Jordan’s status with the team before he was suspended for the entire 2015 season and they haven’t had much to say about his future with the organization since that suspension was handed down in late April.
Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Dennis Hickey have opted to pass on questions about whether the former third overall pick will be welcomed back to the team and it seems Jordan is also passing on opportunities to stay in touch with teammates. Defensive end Derrick Shelby said that he’s reached out to Jordan to no avail.
“It’s a [bad] situation,” Shelby said, via the Miami Herald. “I’ve texted him a few times but got no response.”
Let’s hope Jordan is speaking to someone about his issues with drugs, because they have obviously had a major impact on his ability to do his job and build a career. Whether he has a future in Miami or not, Jordan’s chances for a successful life will only improve by getting a handle on them in the next year.
Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is absent from Jets voluntary workouts because he wants a new contract.
Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson is absent from Jets voluntary workouts because, well, because they’re voluntary.
Richardson tweeted out word to his concerned fans that all is well and he’s just holding the word voluntary to its true meaning.
“I have a life outside of football n I chose to enjoy my family a little longer so to u fans that know everything please worry bout yourself,” he wrote this morning.
The Jets weren’t sure about the reasons for his absence, or if they were they weren’t saying.
But when coach Todd Bowles said he hoped all his players would show up “but unfortunately, that’s not the case,” it made it clear how coaches view the the meaning of the word.
Gore was with the 49ers for 10 years before signing with the Colts as a free agent this year and Johnson spent a dozen seasons in Houston before heading to Indianapolis after the Texans released him. Given what they say about old dogs and new tricks, there might have been some fear that their transition to new surroundings would take some time.
Not so, says Colts coach Chuck Pagano.
“Pretty seamless,” Pagano said, via ESPN.com. “They don’t miss a beat as far as the playbook goes, knowing what to do. Every time I see them in the huddle, break a huddle, to me it looks like they’re going the right direction. They’re lining up right. They’re very talented, talented guys. They fit right into the locker room. They’re professionals. Again, the resume speaks for itself. They’re not talkers. They’re workers, they’re doers.”
Gore and Johnson were both in line for reduced roles if they had remained with their old teams, but the Colts don’t appear to be thinking about things the same way. Gore should again be the workhorse in the backfield while Johnson is going to get a lot of looks from Andrew Luck while playing a version of the Reggie Wayne role from Andrew Luck’s first two seasons.
A slow transition wouldn’t have changed those plans, but picking things up quickly will only make life easier on offense for the Colts.
Michael Sam is bound for the Canadian Football League.
Sam, the former Rams and Cowboys defensive end, has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes, the club announced Friday.
“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp said in a team issued-statement Friday. “Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team.”
Joining Montreal gives the 25-year-old Sam a chance to jump-start his career in a professional league that occasionally serves as a launching pad back to the United States, with Miami’s Cameron Wake and Cleveland’s Andrew Hawkins among the CFL alumni currently in the NFL. Sam’s pass rush ability — he notched three sacks in four preseason games in 2014 — should serve him well in a fast-paced league.
Sam, who became internationally known after announcing he was gay in February 2014, has not been with an NFL club since being released from the Cowboys’ practice squad in October.
The Chiefs have added another tight end to the mix.
The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that Kansas City has signed veteran Ryan Taylor to their roster. Taylor was released by the Dolphins earlier this month.
Taylor entered the league as a 2011 seventh-round pick of the Packers and played in 50 games for the team before being dropped from the roster last October. He spent a little time in Baltimore and then played eight games for the Browns to close out the season. Taylor saw most of his work on special teams, but did catch eight passes while he was with the Packers.
The Chiefs released guard Ricky Henry to make room for Taylor on the roster.
The Cowboys and cornerback Orlando Scandrick have come to terms on a new deal.
Scandrick had skipped the early part of offseason work because he was unhappy with his contract, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Scandrick will sign his new contract today.
The 28-year-old Scandrick still had four years left on his old contract, so the Cowboys had plenty of leverage if they wanted to tell him he wasn’t going to get more money. But the team has apparently decided that it’s important to keep its best cornerback happy.
Scandrick has played his entire eight-year career in Dallas, and now there’s a good chance that he’ll retire a Cowboy.
The Browns have one of the league’s top reality shows going anyway, but they don’t necessarily want it filmed around the clock.
And they may not have to worry about it.
According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, the Browns request to not be on the HBO training camp documentary has been granted. He mentions that Washington, along with the Bills and the Texans, are the likeliest subjects this year.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle has confirmed that the Texans are one of three finalists, and a decision could come as soon as next week.
With quarterback Johnny Manziel easing back into the football world after a stint in rehab, the presence of cameras 24-7 would have only added a layer of ridiculousness to what is already going to be an unusual camp. The Browns made it clear that the Manziel situation made them uneasy with the prospect of doing the show.
And since NFL Films doesn’t really want an “unwilling participant,” the Browns appear to be off the hook this year.
There were nine teams eligible to be “drafted” to do the show this year, in addition to the aforementioned four: The Giants, Vikings, Bucs, Rams, Jaguars and Titans.
The Bills could have been exempt since they have a first-year coach, but they’ve never been on the show and could volunteer.
New coach Rex Ryan is one of the most colorful characters in the league anyway, and generally welcomes the attention the way he used to welcome a G-D snack.
But there were reports the Bills weren’t interested, so we’ll see if they follow through. They’d clearly be the most interesting of the teams mentioned in the report, guaranteed to be good summer television.
The more we think about the supposedly simple change to the PAT procedures, the more complicated it all gets.
A reader posed an intriguing question regarding whether the new rule will result in fewer excessive celebration penalties during touchdowns, since the foul would move the two-point try to the 17 — or turn the single-point kick into a 47-yard field goal.
Unfortunately for those who hope to keep the “No Fun” in the NFL, penalty enforcement won’t change. Which means that an excessive celebration penalty following a touchdown will be enforced on the kickoff, not on the PAT.
So, basically, there won’t be any additional reasons for coaches to be upset with players who do dumb things after scoring touchdowns.
The popular theory regarding the somewhat surprising decision of the Patriots to not appeal the punishments imposed against the team by the NFL is that owner Robert Kraft and Commissioner Roger Goodell struck some sort of a behind-the-scenes deal, possibly one that entails reducing the four-game suspension imposed on quarterback Tom Brady. But there’s another theory that is simpler, both on the surface and beneath.
Maybe the Patriots just caved because they knew they couldn’t win and they didn’t want to do more damage to their relationship with their 31 business partners and the presiding body that binds them together.
Appearing recently on CSN New England’s Sports Tonight, Ron Borges of the Boston Herald offered up a tidbit that fits with the theory that the Patriots abandoned a fight they knew: (1) they wouldn’t win; and (2) would make things worse.
“[Coach Bill] Belichick never believed [Brady’s] story, from what I was told,” Borges said. “Because they all know. Why do you think all those retired quarterbacks, the Troy Aikmans of the world — Troy Aikman is about as nice a guy as I’ve ever met in football — nobody’s backed [Brady]. Nobody, not a single guy. Why do you think that is? Because they hate Brady? No. Because they’re not stupid. They know nothing’s done with those balls that the quarterback doesn’t want done.”
That’s pretty much what Brady said back in January, during that awkward are-you-a-cheater?-I-don’t-believe-so press conference that few found credible.
“When I pick those footballs out, at that point, to me, they’re perfect. I don’t want anyone touching the balls after that, I don’t want anyone rubbing them, putting any air in, taking any air out, to me those balls are perfect and that’s what I expect when I’m on the field,” Brady said.
So if he doesn’t want anyone to do anything to the footballs after that and if they do something to the footballs after that, they’re either making the footballs less perfect to Brady’s chagrin — or more perfect to Brady’s delight.
The Wells report has many flaws. The science is shoddy and suspect. And the team of high-priced sharks supposedly skilled and experienced in interrogating witnesses was unable to get a confession from a pair of maroons whose text messages made them seem guilty.
Even without a confession or a smoking gun from Messrs. Beavis and Butthead, the text messages made them seem guilty. Someone apparently was doing something to footballs that Brady had deemed to be perfect. Although the NFL historically failed to understand the dynamics of air pressure and historically failed to apply any sort of scientific principles to the pre-game inflation process and historically failed to properly supervise the footballs before kickoff and historically failed to ensure a clear chain of custody of the official game balls, the text messages point vaguely to misconduct. Although some league officials may have had an agenda against the Patriots during the AFC title game and after it (by leaking blatantly false PSI data to ESPN, which gave the situation a much more sinister feel), the text messages point vaguely to misconduct.
That’s perhaps why Belichick isolated Brady from the get go, telling reporters that the coach knew nothing about the preparation of the footballs, and that reporters would have to talk to Brady. Unless a deal was struck through the back channels to secure better treatment for Brady (if he accepts the obvious offer from Commissioner Roger Goodell to finally turn over that cell phone), the Patriots perhaps have decided that they should walk away from a fight they can’t win because they finally realize it’s also a fight they shouldn’t win.
Still, it’s also a fight the NFL has failed to convincingly win, thanks to a multi-million-dollar investigation that resulted in a puzzle pieces being jammed together to look like the lid of a different box. And that’s the biggest problem with this entire escapade. By failing to craft a report that withstood objective external scrutiny, Wells and company made it impossible for anyone to achieve a clear sense as to what did and didn’t happen. They were supposed to get to the truth. Instead, the developed a visceral sense of what the truth was, and they did an ineffective job of finding the truth and presenting it in a way that comes off as persuasive and accurate.
But if Belichick ultimately doesn’t believe Brady, there was no reason to keep fighting. And if Borges is right, the Patriots may have deeper issues to deal with regarding the relationship between franchise quarterback and coach and franchise quarterback and franchise.