AFC East Blog
ESPN Buffalo is reporting WR T.J Graham is having a rough camp and may not make the final 53-man roster. Mike Rodak is reporting Graham "hasn't shown to be a more reliable pass-catcher, one of his bigger problems in his first two seasons in Buffalo. He had two more drops Monday on well-targeted passes." Rookie Sammy Watkins and veteran Mike Williams were brought in during the offseason causing Graham to be pushed down the depth chart after starting games for the Bills last season, putting up a 23/361/2 line. He will be in a competition with Chris Hogan for WR5 duties in Buffalo.
Sudfeld has been the best TE at Jets training camp thus far, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini. Sudfeld is seekeing to unseat Jets TE Jeff Cumberland, who reported late to camp and has not stood out among the rest of the tight ends. Sudfeld moved from the Patriots to the Jets roster after just three games last season, and ultimately recorded just five catches for 63 yards on the year.
Zuri Berry of Boston.com wrote Monday that running back James White "is quickly becoming one of the camp's top phenoms and is the team's leading rookie." White received the most touches of any back during Sunday's 11-on-11 drills, finishing one ahead of Stevan Ridley.
Berry added that White has "exceptional skills and moves with the confidence of a veteran." The team is giving him "an abundance of reps" ahead of other rookies and veteran Brandon Bolden to see what White can and can't do.
Earlier today the Buffalo Bills released their first official depth chart of training camp and Bryce Brown is set as the fourth string running back. This depth chart is of course not final, but it gives us a preview of what is to come. The Bills traded for the third year running back in the offseason. As an Eagle, Bryce Brown filled in for LeSean McCoy and set an Eagles rookie record with 178 rushing yards in a game in his first NFL start.
The New York Post, a publication that never passes up an opportunity for a cheeky headline, put it perfectly:
That was atop Brian Costello's article about Johnson's first camp practice as a Jet on Thursday. Costello wrote that the most interesting aspect of Johnson's day was how often the Jets positioned him as a wide receiver.
"They put him in motion and flexed him out as a wide receiver quite a few times, perhaps showing one of their plans for him," Costello said of Johnson.
Wide receiver David Nelson can definitely see the positives that come with moving Johnson to the perimeter and how much more difficult it makes the defense's task.
"When you see Chris Johnson in the flat, they're going to have to be mindful of that," Nelson said. "They're going to have to jump to that. When they do that, it opens up a lot of spaces and a lot of spots in the middle of the field. If they don't, he's going to take it to the house. It opens up a whole different dimension for us, especially in the passing game."
Pat Kirwan met with a few Patriots players post-practice and they had a few interesting things to say. The most interesting comment was from veteran Tom Brady in which he said he wants the team to perform like the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. Brady simply wants everyone to perform and deliver when it's their turn. Monday's practice exuded a quiet confidence among the players said Kirwan. He also notes that the passing game appears to be improved with the addition of Brandon LaFell. Belicheck had no doubts and said the passing game is ahead of where it was last year.
Most training camps are only a few days old, and a couple of backup running backs are already down for the count. Teams such as the Colts and 49ers are looking to replace their losses and will probably come calling to teams with some running back depth. The Bills are one such team, and CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora thinks Buffalo might listen to offers for C.J. Spiller.
"Buffalo has more backs than it needs, probably, and C.J. Spiller, in the final year of his deal and with no extension in sight, could be the odd man out," La Canfora wrote Saturday. "I anticipate Fred Jackson being a Bill for life, and he could end up with a few new years on his deal, and the speed of Bryce Brown is impressive. Anthony Dixon supplies depth. A trade market for Spiller could well develop over the next month."
On Sunday, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski continued to make progress in his rehab from major knee surgery. NFL.com's Albert Breer reports that Gronkowski took part in an 11-on-11 practice for the first time during training camp. Breer added that the drills were run at about three-quarters speed.
Gronkowski tore his right ACL and MCL in December.
Bill Lazor, the Eagles' quarterbacks coach last season, left Philadelphia for Miami in January to become the Dolphins' offensive coordinator. He obviously couldn't bring LeSean McCoy with him, but the Dolphins think they have a player able to mimic what "Shady" has done.
Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald wrote Sunday "there's a hope in Dolphins camp" that Lamar Miller can be the McCoy in Lazor's scheme.
Miller has been preparing for such a role by watching game film on McCoy from last season and talking to him about what to expect.
"[McCoy] told me that the opportunity is great," Miller said. "They always keep the defense on their toes. Once you get the ball, you've got to take advantage of the opportunity."
So far, Miller has been taking advantage in camp. Miller, who put on muscle during the offseason, has been saluted for his renewed focus. Miller's main motivation is free-agent signee Knowshon Moreno. But with Moreno sidelined by arthroscopic knee surgery for the time being, Miller is clearly ahead of Moreno on the depth chart and "might even be pulling away," according to Beasley.
Aaron Rodgers. Drew Brees. Peyton Manning. Tom Brady. Geno Smith?
Smith was asked Saturday for his opinion about a recent ESPN survey that ranked him as the worst QB in the NFL, No. 32. He isn't worried about it and expects a much more desired ranking after this season.
"The thing about it is, you have to climb up," Smith said. "If I'm No. 32, by this time next year or the year after, I expect to be in the top five."