Skip to content

Dolphins want “a long look” at Arian Foster this week

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) hands off the ball to running back Arian Foster (34) during warmups before an NFL football game Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth) AP

The Dolphins gave running back Arian Foster his first playing time of the preseason against the Cowboys last week, but it was a limited appearance.

Foster was in for nine snaps and got the ball on two of them without finding much running room. Foster lost five yards while getting little help from the blocking on his two carries, leaving coach Adam Gase to make plans to extend Foster’s time on the field against the Falcons on Thursday.

“We didn’t have much to evaluate,” Gase said, via the Miami Herald. “Whatever carries he had, there wasn’t much there to try to create. He did a couple of things on his own. Hopefully we can take a long look at him this week. I don’t want to overdo it with him. Obviously, his resume speaks for itself.”

The Dolphins are expected to keep the first team in the game into the second half on Thursday, so there will be more snaps for Foster as the team works on setting up the look of their backfield for the start of the regular season. With rookie Kenyan Drake still sidelined by a hamstring injury, that look will likely come down to how they balance playing time for Foster and Jay Ajayi.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Falcons expect Vic Beasley to play this week

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 29:  Vic Beasley Jr. #44 of the Atlanta Falcons runs out on the field prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at the Georgia Dome on November 29, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons pulled linebacker Vic Beasley from the lineup for last week’s game against the Browns because of a shoulder injury, which brought back some bad memories from his rookie season.

Beasley was bothered by a torn labrum while picking up four sacks in 2015 and another similar injury would be a bad way to kick off his move to a new position that the Falcons hope leads to a boost in pass rush production. Coach Dan Quinn said that the two issues are unrelated, however, and Beasley is on track to play against the Dolphins this week.

“Vic looked healthy today and played in all of the nickel reps today,” Quinn said, via the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We anticipate him being back for the game.”

Beasley played two snaps in the Falcons’ first preseason game, so he hasn’t had much game action in his revised role this summer. Thursday brings an opportunity to change that and lay groundwork for the changes Atlanta wants to see in their pass rush.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Randy Gregory gets a Cowboys locker, but Rolando McClain doesn’t

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 14:  Rolando McClain #55 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 14, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys seemingly have one of everything at their new practice facility.

But they don’t have a locker for Rolando McClain, which could be a good sign about his future with the team.

According to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys have left a spot in the locker room for suspended defensive end Randy Gregory, but not for McClain, who has been suspended the first 10 games of the regular season for his latest substance-abuse policy violation.

Of course, Gregory had made some degree of effort to be part of the team, before checking himself into a rehab facility. McClain skipped most of the offseason work, and didn’t make the team plane to California for training camp.

Both are on the reserve/did not report list, but giving one of them a spot in the locker room and not the other should give some indication of how they view the two players. The Cowboys are well-known chance-givers, but McClain might have used all of his up.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Tuesday morning one-liners

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley, top, is dragged down Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang) AP

Three reasons why the sky isn’t falling on the Bills.

WR Jakeem Grant played one snap on offense for the Dolphins last week.

Patriots LB Donta’ Hightower is taking on more of a leadership role.

Rookie LB Darron Lee’s potential is starting to show during Jets practices.

The play of the offensive line will do much to determine how successful the Ravens are this year.

How will the Bengals divvy up playing time at wide receiver?

The Browns are looking forward to getting a look at their top receiving trio for the first time.

Having DeAngelo Williams helps make losing RB Le’Veon Bell to suspension less daunting for the Steelers.

Texans DT D.J. Reader looks to Vince Wilfork as a mentor.

S Clayton Geathers is stepping up his workload at Colts practice.

The Jaguars have some decisions to make down the depth chart at running back.

G Sebastian Tretola is seeing time with the Titans’ starting offensive line.

Some facts about potential Broncos starting QB Trevor Siemian.

The Chiefs expect more from WR Chris Conley this season.

Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman caught the eye of Raiders TE Colton Underwood.

Rookie LB Jatavis Brown is trying to get back on the field for the Chargers.

Said Cowboys QB Dak Prescott of facing “vanilla” defenses in preseason, “That’s on them if they want to throw vanilla or rocky road or whatever they want to throw at me. It really has no [bearing] on what I do. I just go out there and try to concentrate on our game plan and play my best.”

G Justin Pugh wants to see more consistency on the Giants offensive line.

WR Paul Turner is getting positive reviews from Eagles QB Sam Bradford.

TE Jordan Reed expects to play in the Redskins’ third preseason game.

Looking for signs of progress from the Bears.

The Lions released WR Andre Caldwell from injured reserve.

The Packers are doing something different with their punters this week.

Vikings CB Trae Waynes hopes to take advantage of increased opportunity with the starters.

RB Brandon Wilds is contending for a roster spot with the Falcons.

DE Wes Horton is trying to work his way back for the Panthers after injuries and a suspension.

Saints rookie S Vonn Bell thinks he can be an effective blitzer.

Former Buccaners K Martin Gramatica says everyone should be patient with rookie K Roberto Aguayo.

Cardinals starters might not play as much this week as peers with other teams.

CB E.J. Gaines is making a push for playing time in the Rams secondary.

49ers LB Marcus Rush lived up to his name with three sacks against the Broncos.

Seahawks QB and former minor leaguer Russell Wilson has some baseball advice for Tim Tebow.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bill Belichick: Third preseason game not in “same universe” as regular season

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 18: Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots watches the action during a preseason game with the Chicago Bears in the second half of a preseason game at Gillette Stadium on August 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

NFL teams are playing their third preseason game of the summer this week and that usually means they’ll be giving more playing time to the players set to play sizable roles during the regular season before essentially giving them the day off in the final exhibition contest.

That has led to many people referring to the third preseason game as a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Patriots coach Bill Belichick isn’t one of those people.

During an appearance on “Dale & Holley” on WEEI on Monday, Belichick explained that playing time and “1-on-1 matchups” may bear some resemblance to what happens down the road but that little else about the games can compare.

“I don’t. I don’t know what that means,” Belichick said. “In terms of playing time it might be a little different, but in terms of game-planning and strategy, what we see in the regular season compared to what we see the in third preseason game I don’t even think you’re in the same universe. We’re still running our basic plays and we’d expect our opponents would run their basic plays. You get to the opener and start to get to game-planning and scheme, I mean you’re in a totally different ballpark, in my opinion. I don’t see any comparison at all. It’s too far away, I don’t see how you could compare them, from that standpoint.”

With their offensive line in flux and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo preparing for his first regular season starts, the Patriots have given plenty of playing time to players who will be on the field in September. This week’s game with the Panthers will give those players an idea of things that need to be cleaned up before Week One, which may be akin to a dress rehearsal but the lack of full stage directions does make it less of a simulation of what’s to come.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Terence Newman taking Moritz Bohringer under his wing

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 22: Terence Newman #23 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after being called for pass interference on a pass intended for Jeff Janis #83 of the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter of the game on November 22, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Newman was called for pass interference on the play. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Terence Newman is a 37-year-old cornerback who has played in 190 NFL games, making him the Vikings’ most experienced player. Moritz Bohringer is a 22-year-old wide receiver who was drafted this year having played only in a German football league, making him the Vikings’ least experienced player.

So Newman has decided to take Bohringer under his wing, keeping him after practice to give him extra tutoring on how to beat an NFL defensive back, which Bohringer is finding slightly more difficult than beating a German Football League defensive back.

“We’re just working,” Newman told the Star-Tribune. “We’re just trying to get better. He’s a little behind the eight ball if you ask me just because he’s coming from a different level of the game. So I’m just trying to help him get better at what he wants to get better at. I told him early on in camp that I’d work with him a little bit, so I’m just trying to help him out.”

Bohringer hasn’t caught a pass yet in the Vikings’ two preseason games, but Newman sees the athletic potential in him.

“He’s tall. He’s got some athletic ability,” Newman said. “I’m going to be looking forward to seeing what he does once he gets on the field.”

Newman says helping younger players is one of the things Vikings coach Mike Zimmer wants him to do.

“That’s my job. That’s kind of what you try to do as a veteran player,” Newman said. “If you see something, you try to relay messages [from the coaches], you try to help people any way you can. We’re all here for the same reason. We compete against each other, but at the same time we all have the same overall goal, and that’s to win a championship.”

Bohringer isn’t ready to help the Vikings win a championship yet, but Newman is trying to get him there.

Permalink 27 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Seantrel Henderson wasn’t sure he’d make it back from Crohn’s

seantrel AP

Seantrel Henderson has gained back most, if not all of the weight he lost as a result of multiple offseason intestinal surgeries for Crohn’s disease.

And though he was back on the field with the starting lineup last night, the Bills right tackle admits he has more work to do to be ready for the regular season opener.

Early on, I had some of those doubts,” Henderson said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “I didn’t know exactly what the future had set for me. I just kept doing everything that the doctor said, eating right and just moving forward getting back ready to on the field. . . .

“I went through a lot during the offseason as far as just complications with my stomach, things I’ve never been through before. So just being back out here, with the guys, with the team, being able to do everything everybody else gets to do, is just a blessing.”

Jordan Mills replaced him in the starting lineup last year when Henderson wasn’t able to finish the season, and took the first reps there last night, the day Henderson was removed from the PUP list. But Henderson was working with the ones before the end of his first practice, a sign of the expectation they have for him.

He said he’d still like to gain five to 10 pounds, after his problems caused a significant weight loss (he disputed that he lost 50 pounds as a result of the surgery and the strict diet he’s on now). But the team was encouraged by his first night at work.

“I think that’s a great thing,” Ryan said. “You see how much a guy wants it. Obviously, you’ve got a major adversity in front of you, but there’s only one way to do it and he’s got to be the guy that does it. It’s great to see. He did lose a lot of weight, but he’s added quite a bit back, so everybody feels good about where he’s at. We’ll see. Who would have thought in one year’s time, . . . we were all worried about him being too heavy, so he’s OK right now.”

At this stage, the Bills will take all the good news they can get, so Henderson’s comeback is something they’ll happily latch onto.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Patriots shuffled offensive line ready for big test this week

TEMPE, AZ - JANUARY 29:   Marcus Cannon #61 and  Sebastian Vollmer #76 of the New England Patriots stretch during the New England Patriots Super Bowl XLIX Practice on January 29, 2015 at the Arizona Cardinals Practice Facility in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

We know Tom Brady’s not going to play in the first four regular season games because of his suspension. We don’t know if he’s going to play Friday night against the Panthers after cutting his thumb.

But at the moment, the line that would protect them looks as if it was running with scissors, and they’re trying to put the pieces together before seeing a very good Panthers defensive line.

“Well, their front seven, they’re great,” Pats lineman Marcus Cannon said, via Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald. “They’re probably the best in the NFL and we’ve got to do our due diligence this week of studying them and working hard to continue to do good. It’s going to be a challenge and . . . they’re really good.”

And at the moment, the Patriots are really uncertain.

Cannon’s expected to take over for Sebastian Vollmer at right tackle, with Vollmer likely out for the year with a hip injury. Shaq Mason is also dealing with a broken hand, keeping them from settling the interior line.

Last week, they started Nate Solder at left tackle, Joe Thuney at left guard, rotated David Andrews and Bryan Stork at center, along with Josh Kline at right guard and Cannon at right tackle.

That grouped looked better in the second game than the preseason opener, giving them some degree of hope. But with Cannon now a regular and Mason’s status up in the air, they’re going to have to adjust on the fly, to more than the possibility of being without their star quarterback for a month.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

JPP declares Josh Brown “our brother,” doesn’t think he should be cut

Jason Pierre-Paul AP

The Giants signed kicker Randy Bullock yesterday, giving them at least a one-week replacement for cover during Josh Brown’s suspension for a domestic violence arrest.

And at least one player is hoping that’s all they need Bullock for.

According to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul referred to Brown as “our brother” and saw no reason to worry about his future.

“Why should he be cut?” Pierre-Paul replied when asked about the possibility.

When it was mentioned that his ex-wife accused him of more than 20 acts of violence, the veteran defensive end said: “Who knows. You wasn’t there.”

Charges against Brown in Washington were eventually dropped. No charges were ever filed in New Jersey despite two calls to his apartment, including one when his ex-wife allegedly kicked him in the ribs. The league only suspended him one game, instead of their alleged baseline of six, because Brown’s ex-wife wouldn’t cooperate with their investigation.

“I think he’s suspended one game,” Pierre-Paul said. “It doesn’t matter. We’re all family around here. People have their own problems they handle. He’s still our brother and we look past it. We’re going to need him.”

While he said he hadn’t talked to Brown about the allegations, it does indicate the kind of circle-the-wagons mentality within a locker room. One would hope there are a few Giants with a somewhat higher degree of concern, at least among the ones who have moms or wives or daughters.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Seahawks tight end Nick Vannett has high-ankle sprain

Seattle Seahawks v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks rookie tight end Nick Vannett suffered a high-ankle sprain in last Thursday’s preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Vannett was injured in the third quarter on his only catch of the game. Trevone Boykin hit Vannett for a 15-yard gain before being tackled from behind by Andrew Sendejo, who landed on his ankle.

“He’s surprisingly feeling pretty good,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “He got a pretty good sprain it looked like from all the tests, but he’s responded really well. I don’t know what that means, but the trainers are really pleased about that.”

The injury to Vannett is of note due to Jimmy Graham’s potential unavailability for the start of the regular season. If Graham isn’t ready by Seattle’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins, Vannett’s absence could leave the Seahawks thin at tight end. With just under three weeks until opening day, Vannett’s availability is now firmly in question.

Vannett, a third-round pick in May’s draft, caught two passes for 22 yards against Kansas City in Seattle’s preseason opener.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Robert Nkemdiche back to practice with Cardinals

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  (L-R) Robert Nkemdiche of Ole Miss holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #29 overall by the Arizona Cardinalsduring the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche practiced Monday for the first time since training camp opened in July.

According to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com, Nkemdiche only took part in individual drills in his first day back on the practice fields. He had been sidelined since before training camp due to a high-ankle sprain suffered in offseason workouts.

“I could ([play Sunday),” Nkemdiche said of Arizona’s preseason game against the Houston Texans. “I’m just going to listen to the staff and take it day by day and see how I feel and go with how I feel.”

Nkemdiche was selected by Arizona with the 29th overall pick in the draft. He’s expected to be a dynamic addition to the Cardinals defensive line when he’s back to full health. However, he’s been relegated to being a spectator through most of the first month of practices.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Nkemdiche will be used in a limited role during his rookie season and will play between 20-25 snaps a game. Arizona will look to fit him in situations that maximize his production.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Chargers prepare for regular-season opener without Joey Bosa

San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, left, and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talk prior to a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) AP

More than three weeks ago, the Chargers opened training camp. Defensive end Joey Bosa, the third overall pick in the draft, is still not under contract.

Days after news that the two sides had been talking sparked optimism that a deal will be done (PFT reported that, as of last week, the two sides still weren’t close), there’s no tangible evidence that Bosa will soon be joining the fold. As explained by Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com, the Chargers are preparing for Week One as if Bosa won’t be there.

Via Williams, coach Mike McCoy also declined to provide a timetable for getting Bosa ready to play if/when he signs, but it sounds as if he’ll be thrown into the fray.

“We’re going to play everybody,” McCoy said. “If you have a uniform, you’re going to play. And that’s what the good teams do up front. They’re going to rotate everyone and keep everybody fresh.”

For now, the Chargers would have to go deep into the rotation to get to Bosa. He’s currently listed as a fourth-string player. By the time the regular season starts, however, he’ll surely be higher on the pecking order, primarily because the roster will drop from 90 to 53.

 

Permalink 39 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bills block Manny Lawson from talking to reporters

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 12:   Manny Lawson #91 of the Buffalo Bills brings down Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after the play during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 12, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Getty Images

The team whose coach claimed in June it won the offseason is apparently trying to stop a run of August losses.

Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Bills linebacker Manny Lawson agreed to talk to reporters after practice. However, team employees intervened before Lawson could speak.

Lawson’s situation has been clouded in mystery ever since a report emerged that he’s facing a one-game suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy, with no clarity on what he allegedly did to come under the NFL’s scrutiny.

The Lawson situation follows suspensions to running back Karlos Williams and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Williams was recently cut, and Dareus recently left the team to enter rehab.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Braxton Miller sees coverages as bigger NFL adjustment than speed of the game

College Football: Closeup of Ohio State Braxton Miller (1) before game vs Hawaii at Ohio Stadium.
Columbus, OH 9/12/2015
CREDIT: Andrew J. Weber (Photo by Andrew J. Weber /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: X159934 TK1 ) Getty Images

Former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is in the process of becoming an NFL receiver. So far, he’s seeing only one big difference.

“Honestly, the speed of the game, I don’t think it’s that much different,” Miller told reporters on Monday. “The only thing that’s different is pretty much the coverage schemes, the techniques they play in the league. Just different from college. . . . Just knowing the coverage, how they kind of disguise it — the linebacker inside, the safety comes down — stuff like that. It helps a lot.”

Miller also has noticed something else about the NFL version of the game.

“Just coming from college and going to a big playbook like this, it took time,” Miller said. “It took the rookie minicamp and OTAs to actually understand the concepts and the formations, the whole terminology, the words. It took a little toll on us when we first got here but it’s starting to pick up fast.”

Another thing Miller is picking up is finding open spots in the defense.

“That’s part of coaching, too,” Miller said. “They coached me up on it throughout the whole last week and previous weeks before that. Just picking it up day in and day out helps out. Playing quarterback ties in with that, too.”

The Texans saw enough potential in Miller as a receiver to make him a third-round draft pick, and there’s no need to rush him because the Texans have a solid complement of pass-catchers. If Miller approaches his ceiling, the Texans could have one of the best four-man units in the league, with Miller complementing DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Jaelen Strong.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rawls says he’ll be ready for season opener

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 13: Running back Thomas Rawls #34 of the Seattle Seahawks carries the ball past inside linebacker Daryl Smith #51 of the Baltimore Ravens in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls is back to participating fully in practice, and Rawls told reporters that he’s far enough along with his rehab that he “knows” he’ll be back in time for the team’s Sept. 11 season opener.

He looks really good and I think the signs are very, very positive that he’s going to be ready in a couple of weeks to play,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “Right now we just want to see him come back day after day and keep battling, really digging in like he does and competing like he does just to show that he’s right.”

Rawls was a productive and important player last season as an undrafted rookie, and he entered the offseason as the team’s No. 1 running back following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. But Rawls has been recovering from ankle surgery, and he has plenty of company in the backfield. The Seahawks drafted three running backs, and Christine Michael has had a strong preseason showing.

Carroll said Rawls is still battling through some stiffness and other effects of returning to action “but we are going to work him hard the next couple weeks to make sure he is ready.”

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Back to top