Twitter is a great place to get camp updates but they come so fast and furious, I thought I’d pick a few about rookies from various beat writers and provide my takes on these quick reports.
Blaine Gabbert: @Taniaganguli‘ s piece on Blaine Gabbert’s defense of David Garrard provide a glimpse of the maturity and perspective that the beat writers have observed from the rookie thus far. The article also summarizes the speed and arm that has impressed Gene Frennette enough to say that Gabbert has the best arm of any passer he’s seen in Jacksonville.
My Take: I still think Gabbert will be the best prospect in this class. I think the criticisms of the spread offense and his reactions to pressure in the pocket are overdone. Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers had issues with how to handle pressure in the pocket. But much like Rodgers, and unlike Ryan, Gabbert has the athleticism to make plays on the move that will serve him well as a pro. He’s capable of franchise-caliber throws and he’s already shown a little of that in camp. I hope the Jaguars sit him for a year. Of course, I hope that for most rookie quarterbacks.
Ryan Mathews: @ffootball tweeted a link to an AP piece on Mathews’ first week of camp. Despite Mathews failing a conditioning test, Norv Turner and RB coach Ollie Wilson are confident in their second-year runner breaking out in 2011. Even Mike Tolbert feels he and Mathews complement each other and present a formidable tandem for opposing defenses.
My Take: I came away from the article with no discernible answer about what happened with the conditioning test. Was it the toe or the lack of conditioning that was the reason for Mathews failing the conditioning test? Despite this nagging question, Norv Turner’s high expectations seem in line with the notion that Mathews will have first crack at the feature back role and he’ll need to really blow it in order for Mike Tolbert to take over.
Of course frame of reference is everything with the media. If you listen to some NFL analysts/reporters who have already been down on Mathews they have proclaimed him a bust. I fall on the other side of the fence – but I’ve stated my view last month.
Zach Miller: @Greg Cosell tweets, ” Z. Miller a surprise to SEA. Personnel dictates a lot of 2 TE packages w/Carlson. Run game foundation. Need to manipulate + manage Jackson.”
My Take: Tom Cable, Robert Gallery, and Zach Miller all in Seattle this year. No coincidence, whatsoever. I’m thinking Marshawn Lynch will have enough of the 2010 Raiders running game going for him that he should have more success in 2012. Cable is regarded as a heck of a line coach and I believe it after what he did to open gargantuan holes for Darren McFadden last year. Gallery and Miller should figure prominently in at least giving Lynch a crease. In Lynch’s case, that’s all he really needs. In contrast to his career thus far, those creases will probably look like craters.
Osi Umenyiora: @jamisonhensley reports, ” Source tells Mike Preston: Several of the #Ravens top officials have urged general manager Ozzie Newsome to make the deal for Umenyiora.”
@ChrisWesseling: #Giants have reportedly dropping the Umenyiora asking price to a 2nd-rounder. #Ravens, #Patriots among 5 teams in hunt: http://bit.ly/oJrabn
My Take: Baltimore or New England are absolutely great places for the Giants DE to land. These are veteran locker rooms that will keep Umenyiora from acting out to the detriment of the team. Even if Umenyiora plays a limited role as a third-down pass rusher opposite Terrell Suggs, the Ravens defense could be dangerous enough to possibly weather Joe Flacco’s ups and downs in big games (Okay, I won’t go that far). I don’t need to tell you how this helps the Patriots.
Eddie Royal: These three tweets tell a bit of an interesting story…