Norv Turner announces San Diego will use a two back system (Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert)
SigmundBloom: Two back system in SD: chargers.com/news/article-1… – Tolbert is not going away, folks.
evansilva: Ryan Mathews to miss preseason opener w/ leg strain. Has also battled conditioning, toe inj, “general soreness” in camp http://bit.ly/pikOX3
My Take: Of course Tolbert isn’t going away! At the same time, the two back system Norv Turner is now mentioning to the media is a 180 change from what he said a couple of weeks ago, which stuck to his “Mathews is the feature back,” mantra from last summer. Mathews isn’t doing himself any favors because he’s gaining a Beanie Wells-lite reputation as a runner who doesn’t work through bumps and bruises. I still believe Mathews will emerge as the better back, but he is going to earn his fair share of detractors who will begin comparing him unfavorably to players like Wells. And to these detractor’s credit, Mathews has done little, but earn the tag of a highly talented, oft-injured guy who doesn’t participate when he gets hurt. This year will likely be the test to determine if this take is typical reactionary stuff from the media.
Von Miller (Someone find a lobster house and get him a bib because Cecil Lammey is about to motorboat him)
cecillammey: saw Von get after the QB, stuff the run, and even work well in coverage today – nice all around game!
cecillammey: couple of quick defensive notes before I go to WR/TEs – Von Miller is everywhere! his speed might be the best of any pass rusher in #nfl
My Take: Miller has an excellent shot to be among the top defensive rookies this year. Based on Lammey’s reports, Miller is looking terrific and if he holds up in pass coverage, which I believe my friend Jene Bramel had some minor doubts earlier this spring, then the combo of Miller and DE Elvis Dumervil is going to put a lot more spark into this defense.
More Lammey, more napkins please…
cecillammey: Willis McGahee had a very strong day as a runner, and simply understands how to run in a zone system better than Moreno
My Take: This is going to be an interesting few weeks in Dove Valley. You have Cecil Lammey in one corner, who is at practices and sees McGahee as the better option as the primary runner and in many respects he has great reasons. Then you have Rotoworld’s Evan Silva who at a desk or on a phone somewhere likely far from Denver, but believes that Moreno is going to be the guy. The craziest part is that I think Moreno has shown enough on the field in the past two years to prove that he can play, but I understand Lammey’s points that McGahee’s size and experience is a compelling factor. Stay tuned.
cecillammey: several of Tebow’s passes ended up short today, guys like Virgil Green wide open on swing route T2 puts it in the dirt
cecillammey: In the pocket it’s a different story, unlike Quinn T2 is NOT trusting himself and is playing like he’s afraid to make a mistake
My Take: Based on what I saw from Tebow at the Senior Bowl last year, I get the impression that Tebow will never be a strong practice player. He’s a gamer. I know, I know, such an overused phrase, but let’s contrast him with the (reasonably) technically sound Jake Locker who, as a passer, has few issues with accuracy in practices (Chris Mortensen retweeted as such even recently) but is known to lose that accuracy when the lights come on. It has to be a frustrating situation for Tebow, because he still has things to refine in his game but he’ll probably never look in practice the way he looks in games and this could keep him eternally on the bench with a lot of coaches who need to see it in practice to believe it will translate to game time.
ClaytonESPN: Before signing DL Andre Carter, Gerard Warren and Shaun Ellis, the Pats worked out LB Niko Koutouvides.
My Take: This is actually Garret’s take in the comments section of Part I of my Conversation with Jene Bramel
This interview was obviously done before the acquisition of Anderson and Ellis, although Ellis is coming from a 3-4. What I think beat writers and Mr. Bramel are missing is that this is Belichick, he zigs when you think he’s going to zag, what I mean by this is everyone is expecting a solid 4-3 front, and they’ll get it. However, they’ll also get a hefty dose of the 3-4. This is really a transition into a true hybrid defense making what he can do with it even more flexible, and what does Belichick love? You got it, flexibility, or versatility, whatever you’d like to call it, the more options he has the happier he is. So don’t nail NE down to a 4-3 just yet because of personnel moves, you’ll see plenty of looks from them this year depending on what offensive scheme they’re going up against.
I think Jene made this point pretty well in the interview, but Garret does a good job or reiterating it. I think Belichick and company made some solid choices for this front. A lot of teams are looking for players of Carter, Warren, and Ellis’ caliber to make a much bigger impact than they are capable. In contrast, I think the Patriots just need them to be what they are rather than “what they are capable,” which in coachspeak is often, “more than what they are capable.”
BaxFootballGuru: #Lions have contacted free agent RB Jerome Harrison about competing for their backup RB opening behind Jahvid Best. A good fit + player.
My Take: As a runner, I couldn’t agree more. I was just commenting in a soon-to-be published Footballguys.com Faceoff piece that Jerome Harrison was looking like a loser in free agency because no team took him on the open market. Harrison is an excellent runner. The problem has been pass protection. I’m already wondering what the Lions think they know about their offensive line that the rest of us haven’t seen. Adding a notoriously poor pass protector to replace injured rookie Mikel LeShoure won’t have Lions fans resting easy. Harrison could be a nice situational back on 1st and and 2nd down, but you can obviously see why he was a clear second choice to a back like Ricky Williams, who is an excellent third down player. If you haven’t heard, Williams opted for a deal with the Ravens yesterday.
MikeVandermause: (Sam) Shields looks really good in coverage.
My Take: I remember evaluating Shields as a wide receiver while he was a junior at the University of Miami. He’s a rising star as a cornerback with the Green Bay Packers. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a strong statistical season because teams will likely test him over Charles Woodson. He’s going to be one of the next elite corners. He’s fast, fluid, instinctive for a player new to the position, and he has decent ball skills.
iHateJJRedick: In other news water is wet RT @evansilva: Per @Rich_Campbell, Rex Grossman’s passing has been “erratic” in #Redskins camp.
My Take: John Beck and Kellen Clemens interest me a lot more as potential starters than Rex Grossman. Ron Jaworski has been complementary of both in the past. You’ve read my extensive take on Beck. If you haven’t, check it out.