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Volume 14, Issue #26, May 24th


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Hi Folks,

Welcome to Saturday. It's a Holiday Weekend for many and the official kickoff to Summer. Hope you have a great day as we've got the news and notes you need. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NE - Uncertain about TE Rob Gronkowski's back injury
2. PHI - QB Michael Vick says he's fastest QB
3. SEA - TE Anthony McCoy tears Achilles'
4. WAS - Robert Griffin putting pressure on knee
5. SF - Three to compete for starting WR job
6. NYJ - QB Mark Sanchez does not have edge in competition
7. WAS - WR Pierre Garcon had shoulder surgery
8. CLE - QB Brian Hoyer thinks he can be starter
9. ARI - QB Carson Palmer praises Bruce Arians
10. WAS - Coach puts high expectations on QB Robert Griffin III
11. SD - RB Danny Woodhead picking things up
12. STL - TE Lance Kendricks dealing with injury
13. TEN - WR Kendall Wright looking for make bigger plays
14. CLE - RB Montario Hardesty worked with starters
15. DET - RB Reggie Bush willing to return punts
16. STL - Rodger Saffold working on move to right side
17. SF - WR Mario Manningham making progress
18. WAS - RB Roy Helu misses practice
19. BAL - QB Joe Flacco feels good about pass blocking
20. SF - WR Ricardo Lockette close with QB Colin Kaepernick
21. PIT - New blocking scheme in the works
22. NYJ - RB Chris Ivory has strong lead for featured work
23. SD - WR Robert Meachem could be trade bait
24. WAS - No setbacks for OLB Brian Orakpo

NE - Uncertain about TE Rob Gronkowski's back injury

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

The New England Patriots are not sure how serious TE Rob Gronkowski's (back, forearm) back injury is at this point. Gronkowski may not be ready for the start of training camp because of the offseason surgeries.

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Gronkowski received good news after his fourth forearm surgery. He won't need a fifth procedure on the forearm as no infections were found. However, he still may need back surgery this offseason. We'll know more in a few weeks. If he does have back surgery then Gronkowski may miss time in the preseason. At this time he is still on track for the start of the regular season.

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PHI - QB Michael Vick says he's fastest QB

Source: ESPN.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick said he's still the fastest quarterback in the league, despite the presence of San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III. 'These guys are young and they're fast and they're quick, the thing I do have is a very quick get-up,' Vick said. 'I really don't feel like there's a quarterback in the league who can beat me in a 40-yard dash. If somebody wants to set something up, I'll be more than glad to accept the challenge.'

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We love that confidence coming from Vick and we should see him utilized more as a runner in the Chip Kelly offense. Last year Vick only ran the ball 62 times. This season he may approach 100 rushing attempts on the year. Kelly's offense at Oregon had 685 carries in 2012.

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SEA - TE Anthony McCoy tears Achilles'

Source: ESPN.com

Seattle Seahawks TE Anthony McCoy (Achilles') suffered a torn Achilles' during organized team activities earlier this week, and he has undergone surgery to fix it. He'll be out six to nine months. McCoy had 18 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns last year.

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McCoy suffered a partial tear and he may be able to return to the field later this year. However, his roster spot may not be guaranteed as the Seahawks added TE Luke Willson (Rice) in the fifth-round of the 2013 NFL draft. Willson just recently committed to football full time after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Toronto Blue Jays as a first baseman in 2011. He's an incredibly athlete and has high potential if he can develop as a pro.

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WAS - Robert Griffin putting pressure on knee

Source: Washington Examiner - John Keim

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) put pressure on his surgically-repaired right knee when he threw in organized team activities Thursday, May 23, and executed some play action passes during his workout. Griffin threw a few times with all arm or off his front foot more, but his passes were all mostly accurate.

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It's part of the process Griffin will have to go through in order to make it back on the field by the start of the regular season. He's on track to be ready by week one and is likely to be limited in training camp so his knee injury isn't aggravated.

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SF - Three to compete for starting WR job

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said WRs A.J. Jenkins, Quinton Patton and Ricardo Lockette will compete for the vacant starting wide receiver job during offseason workouts.

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Jenkins has added about 10 pounds of muscle this offseason to help him beat the jam. He was humbled last year with zero receptions after being the team's 2012 first-round pick. Patton was hyper productive in college but has looked rough in minicamp. Lockette may be the sleeper here. He's Colin Kaepernick's roommate and is faster than the other two players. Fantasy owners need to watch this battle unfold in training camp.

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NYJ - QB Mark Sanchez does not have edge in competition

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson said QB Mark Sanchez does not have an edge over QB Geno Smith for the starting quarterback job this season.

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Sanchez has been struggling in minicamp and seems to have fallen out of favor. Smith wants to prove critics wrong after falling to the second-round of the 2013 NFL draft. We feel Smith should win the starting job in training camp.

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WAS - WR Pierre Garcon had shoulder surgery

Source: The Washington Times - Rich Campbell

Updating previous reports, Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, foot) underwent minor labrum surgery in January.

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Garcon won't see action during OTAs but he should be ready by the start of training camp. He'll likely be the team's leading receiver if he can stay healthy in 2013.

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CLE - QB Brian Hoyer thinks he can be starter

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer said he believes he can become a starting quarterback in the NFL. 'No doubt I think I have the capability to be a starting quarterback,' Hoyer said. 'When you get back out on the field and get a taste of playing, you realize for a guy like me who hadn't played as much over three years how much you miss being out on the field.' Head coach Rob Chudzinski said Hoyer is currently the No. 3 quarterback in the depth chart.

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Every QB should think that, but the reality is Hoyer is best suited as a backup in this league. The team should see Bradon Weeden as the starter in 2013 with Jason Campbell as the primary backup.

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ARI - QB Carson Palmer praises Bruce Arians

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Michael Silver

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer praised head coach Bruce Arians after organized team activities. 'I love the head coach,' Palmer said. 'I mean, I love the head coach. He keeps it real. He already has this team wrapped around his finger. And we have some talented players in this locker room.'

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Palmer is built perfectly for the Arians offense. It's a downfield system which features aggressive route trees and deep passing. Palmer can still launch rockets downfield but needs time for these routes to develop. We'll see if the upgraded Cardinals O-Line protects Palmer adequately in 2013.

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WAS - Coach puts high expectations on QB Robert Griffin III

Source: NFL.com

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said that QB Robert Griffin III could go down as one of the best quarterbacks to play the game if he has another year like 2012. 'If Robert plays like he did (in 2012) the rest of his career, he'll go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game,' Shanahan said.

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Coach John Fox (Broncos) always says "When you expect a lot, you get a lot." Griffin is the type of player who thrives with pressure and expectations. If healthy he should be able to grow as a pro passer in 2013.

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SD - RB Danny Woodhead picking things up

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Tom Krasovic

San Diego Chargers RB Danny Woodhead looked comfortable in practice Monday, May 20, seeming to grasp the new system while appearing quick and decisive.

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Woodhead could be in for a bigger role than some people think. Ryan Mathews will be the team's starter but durability concerns have held him back during his pro career. The team should use Woodhead as a change of pace runner and receiver out of the backfield. Using him more would likely keep Mathews fresh. In PPR leagues his ADP is RB47 and he's coming off the board at the beginning of round 10.

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STL - TE Lance Kendricks dealing with injury

Source: StLouisRams.com - Nick Wagoner

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said TE Lance Kendricks (knee) underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will continue his rehab. Kendricks was not able to participate in organized team activities Thursday, May 23.

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It's a make or break year for Kendricks with the Rams. He should be ready to participate by the start of training camp. With the addition of free agent Jared Cook we'll see Kendricks take a back seat in 2013.

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TEN - WR Kendall Wright looking for make bigger plays

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright said he wants to make bigger plays on offense this season and believes a full offseason with the team will help him. He averaged only 9.8 yards per catch last season.

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Wright was a big play weapon in college at Baylor. He should be able to establish better chemistry with Jake Locker this offseason. That alone could help him put up better numbers in year two of his career.

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CLE - RB Montario Hardesty worked with starters

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns RB Montario Hardesty worked with the first-team offense during organized team activities Thursday, May 23, because RB Trent Richardson (leg) did not participate. RB Dion Lewis also received an increased amount of reps during the workout.

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Hardesty is the handcuff behind Richardson and proved last year that he could be a capable pro back when called upon. Richardson battled through nagging injuries as a rookie and needs to get healthy so he can playing up to his enormous potential.

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DET - RB Reggie Bush willing to return punts

Source: MLive.com - Justin Rogers

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush said he is willing to be a punt returner if the team asks him to handle to role. 'You know, for me, I've done it before and I don't mind it,' Bush said. 'I feel I can still do it if I need to, and if they want me to do it, I'll definitely go out there and return punts.'

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It's an option for the team, but we're not expecting Bush to be a regular return man. He's their lead back and should have a good season. We expect Bush to perform like a high upside RB2 or low end RB1 in PPR leagues with his new team. If the game situation unfolds where they need a big play on a punt return then we could see Bush back there.

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STL - Rodger Saffold working on move to right side

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Joe Lyons

St. Louis Rams OT Rodger Saffold said he has been working on improving as a right tackle during organized team activities and has not faced much of a transition in moving from left tackle to right tackle. 'It's just a matter of getting used to it, the muscle memory, the change in stance,' Saffold said. 'Honestly, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it was going to be. As far as the smaller details, that's what I'm constantly working on. It's just the second day out here, so I just want to continue to work and to learn.'

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Saffold struggled on the left side but should be an upgrade for the team on the right side of the line. He's entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be in line for a big money deal if he plays well in 2013.

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SF - WR Mario Manningham making progress

Source: 49ers.com - Taylor Price

San Francisco 49ers WR Mario Manningham (knee) said he has been able to run and cut during his recovery process. Manningham said he is taking a cautious approach to his rehab and does not have an exact timetable for his return at this point.

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A healthy Manningham is a boost for the 49ers passing game. His deep speed will be a welcome addition as he can stretch the field and open up things underneath. The team needs Manningham to stay healthy and elevate his game now that they've lost Michael Crabtree (Achilles') for the foreseeable future.

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WAS - RB Roy Helu misses practice

Source: The Washington Post - Mike Jones

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (Achilles', toe) did not participate in organized team activities Thursday, May 23. Helu did get some work in on the side as he rehabs from a toe injury.

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Helu is a talented all-purpose runner but durability has held him back during his pro career. He's competing with fifth-round pick Chris Thompson to be the team's change of pace runner behind Alfred Morris.

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BAL - QB Joe Flacco feels good about pass blocking

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco said he feels good about having four of the five offensive linemen returning from the super bowl team in 2013. 'Yeah, it does,' Flacco said when asked if he feels good about the pass blocking with McKinnie back. 'I think every year we've been here, we've juggled the offensive line around a pretty good amount. And at some point or another during the middle of the season or come playoff time or all through preseason and at the beginning of the season, we've switched something or just made our starting line.

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There were two changes that helped the team win a Super Bowl last year. First, the change of OC from Cam Cameron to Jim Caldwell. Second, the change on the offensive line putting in McKinnie at left tackle. That chemistry displayed last year should carry over to 2013.

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SF - WR Ricardo Lockette close with QB Colin Kaepernick

Source: The Mercury News - Cam Inman

San Francisco 49ers WR Ricardo Lockette, who is roommates with QB Colin Kaepernick, could be an intriguing candidate to step up with WR Michael Crabtree (Achilles') injured. Lockette is 6-foot-2, 211 pounds and constantly is being tutored by Kaepernick since they live together. 'He's one of the fastest guys on the team, and I've been trying to keep up with him,' Kaepernick said of Lockette. Kaepernick has helped Lockette understand and simplify the team's playbook, and he impressed offensive coordinator Greg Roman last year while making impressive catches on the scout team. Lockette, a former track star, considers himself more of an outside receiver that can take advantage of his size and speed. 'I'm sure there's things I can specifically name, but there's just something about him that I'm really fired up about,' coach Jim Harbaugh said. 'He's got something else to him, too, besides just the analytical size, strength, speed.'

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Lockette has incredible downfield speed and can easily track the ball on deep passes. He'll get more of a chance to showcase his ability now that Michael Crabtree (Achilles') is out for the foreseeable future. Lockette is an intriguing prospect for owners in deep dynasty leagues.

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PIT - New blocking scheme in the works

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Mark Kaboly

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. is installing an outside zone, one-cut blocking scheme in organized team activities in favor of their old power and inside blocking scheme. The Steelers are changing their approach to take advantage of their big and nimble offensive line personnel. Pittsburgh got poor production from their running backs last year, and RB Jonathan Dwyer led the team in rushing with only 623 yards, the lowest total by a rusher in team history since Merrill Hoge ran for 810 in 1991. Bicknell had success with the blocking scheme with the Kansas City Chiefs last year. 'We are going to be dedicated to the zone,' RB Isaac Redman said. 'We are still going to be a power team, but we are going to have this zone scheme in so we can keep the defense on its heels and keep them running.'

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The outside zone is a better fit for rookie RB Le'Veon Bell (Michigan State). He's a big runner who is swift when he builds a head of steam. Using outside zone will allow Bell to build that power and speed before he makes a cut upfield. We're expecting Bell to win the starting job in training camp.

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NYJ - RB Chris Ivory has strong lead for featured work

Source: New York Post - Bart Hubbuch

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory impressed in practice Wednesday, May 22, and is lining up to be the feature back. Mike Goodson's legal troubles are jeopardizing his future with the team. Joe McKnight doesn't appear long for the club. Bilal Powell is the only true competition for touches.

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This RB situation became clearer after Goodson's arrest. It's looking more and more like Ivory is going to be the lead back with Goodson or Powell serving as a primary backup. Ivory is a strong runner with speed to be a big play back. He's had durability issues in the past but if healthy is a good RB2 with RB1 upside. His current ADP is RB24 and he's coming off the board at 4.03.

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SD - WR Robert Meachem could be trade bait

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Tom Krasovic

If San Diego Chargers WR Robert Meachem has a strong preseason, the club could see if there's an active trade market for him. His $6.875 million cap number, however, may make that a difficult task.

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Good luck with that. Meachem has proven to be more of a tease than a productive player during his pro career. His first season in San Diego was no different. Meachem has a great size/speed combination but has never truly played up to his potential.

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WAS - No setbacks for OLB Brian Orakpo

Source: Washington Examiner - John Keim

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (pectoral) hasn't had any setback in his rehab this offseason. 'He's had no setback at all. He's been going full speed over the last four weeks. He looks as good as ever. Hopefully he can keep that upů He was hurt last year. You could see that soreness in there. Right now, you can tell it's completely healed and we'll keep our fingers crossed that there's no setback,' head coach Mike Shanahan said.

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Nothing but good news here. We've seen other pass rushers like Elvis Dumervil (Ravens) come back from a pectoral injury and still dominate. Expect Orakpo to pick up where he left off and push for double digit sacks in 2013.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great Saturday. See you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J