Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens’ top draft pick out of Alabama, has been impressive through rookie minicamp and the team’s first full-squad, voluntary minicamp. If not at Suggs’ rush linebacker position, Upshaw is a leading contender to take the starting spot held last season by Jarret Johnson, who left for San Diego via free agency.
The Baltimore Ravens’ beefy nose guard is still massive at a listed 6-foot-4, 349 pounds, but the former second-round draft pick from Alabama has made a few improvements. Although “Mount Cody” remains a hefty presence inside, he has restructured his bulk and lost a considerable amount of body fat since his rookie campaign two years ago. He’s noticeably leaner now.
“I feel good,” Cody said. “I feel good, look good.”
The Indianapolis Colts announced the signing of defensive tackle Josh Chapman Tuesday, the team’s first pick of the fifth-round in the 2012 NFL Draft. Chapman, 22, played his collegiate career at the University of Alabama where he was a member of two BCS national championship teams. As Alabama’s starting nose tackle, his team led the NCAA in 2011 in rush, pass and total defense. He finished with 23 tackles, one sack and two pass breakups.
Saints safety Roman Harper told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that even though Williams is gone and Steve Spagnuolo is the new defensive coordinator, the Saints’ players are still planning to play with the fire that Williams instilled in them. “I think we’ve still got that same fire burning up under us. You know, Gregg lit a fire that a lot of us aren’t going to let burn out. A sense of intensity,” Harper said. “And now we understand what it takes to win. Before I don’t think we understood it, and we didn’t have that complete feeling. But now we’ve been to the top of the mountain. We know what it takes to get there. And that’s what we’re trying to do now. It’s either Super Bowl or bust. And we won’t take anything less this year, no matter what our circumstances are.”
I think we can all agree that Mr. Johnson is in his make-or-break season with the Cardinals. If he doesn’t step up this year, I think he will be out. Last season, we had Richard Marshall come in for the bigger 3rd down plays at safety, which seems to indicate to me that the coaching staff does not fully trust Johnson.
Seahawks T James Carpenter was able to run for the first time on Thursday since suffering an ACL tear last November. Carpenter suffered the injury in practice and has had a slow recovery. “He went out there and was jogging today,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “Everybody was fired up for him. It was great to see him. He’s made a couple big steps just recently, so that’s really encouraging.”
Second-year QB Greg McElroy took his first snaps during team drills in OTAs since injuring the thumb on his throwing hand during the 2011 preseason. McElroy (Alabama) was a seventh-round pick in the 2011 Draft.
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