Eddie Lacy had numerous hamstring issues during his time at Alabama, and he suffered a minor setback with a pulled hamstring during Tuesday’s practice with the Packers. It’s a bit disappointing for Lacy as he has emerged as the front runner to be the starting running back for Green Bay this season with impressive performances in practices. The Packers open the preseason on Friday at home against the Cardinals, and this certainly puts Lacy’s status in doubt for the game.
Williams, a seventh-round pick out of Alabama this year, is 6-6 and likely has a leg up in the competition. Although he doesn’t have much experience as a receiver, Williams’ emphasis on blocking makes him a likely replacement for Will Heller, who was not re-signed. “Mike brings a veteran-like presence,” Johnson said. “He’s easy like Sunday morning. Nothing rattles him.”
With two tight end spots already spoken for in Detroit with Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, Michael Williams is fighting for the third tight end spot. He’s competing against undrafted free agent Joseph Fauria from UCLA and Matt Veldman, a second year player from North Dakota State. It’s hard to envision Williams not winning this job due to his ability as a blocker, and that’s really what you want from a third tight end. Having Williams last year was like having an extra tackle on the field who could catch the ball. He was a dominant run blocker in college, and he should have a long career in the NFL as a third tight end in that kind of role. The Lions take on the Jets on Friday in a preseason game.
Johnson, listed first on the depth chart at his position, was injured on a running play Tuesday. Johnson was carted off the practice field and onto an ambulance. He’s scheduled to have surgery next week, Smith said.
A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that Johnson is expected to miss the entire season with the injury.
Tough break for Mike Johnson as he was slated to be Atlanta’s starting right tackle this season after serving as a backup on the offensive line and a third tight end in special packages during the first three seasons of his NFL career. Johnson is expected to miss the entire season due to this injury.
It’s no secret Mark Ingram failed to live up to expectations in his first two NFL seasons.
With a less-cluttered depth chart in New Orleans and health finally on his side, is it Ingram’s time to make an impact for the Saints?
The running back appears to be off to a good start this summer. The third-year pro received the majority of carries with the first team Monday, a good sign entering a season in which he’s expected to split time with Pierre Thomas.
Mark Ingram has been nothing short of a disappointment in his first two seasons in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, but it’s hard to put the blame solely on him. The Saints are a pass heavy team in the first place, and he has had to split the carries with as many as three other guys in the backfield. Alabama’s only Heisman Trophy winner has averaged just 3.9 yards per carry with the Saints, and this could be his final opportunity with the team. Saints head coach Sean Payton has vowed to run the ball more, and if Ingram can revert back to Heisman form, then New Orleans could have a nearly unstoppable offense.
The Eagles’ left guard was one of the few—and possibly only—shining lights in a dismal 4-12 season in 2012. He was the Eagles’ lone wolf, the only offensive lineman to start every game for the Birds last year. Over the last two years, he’s started 31 games for the Eagles and has developed into one of the best guards in football.
He did it with the likes of King Dunlap and Demetress Bell to his left, and Dallas Reynolds, a practice squad player, on his right most of last year.
“I think what helped me the most was staying focused on what my job was each week,” Mathis said. “The toughest part was going 4-12. Losing can affect you. You just have to keep moving forward with blinders on and that’s what I tried to do last year.”
Evan Mathis played with three different teams during his first six years in the league, but he has now found a home in Philadelphia and has made a name for himself as one of the best guards in the NFL. Mathis has allowed just one sack in two years with the Eagles, and has been one of the most dominating run blockers in the league. Mathis is finally getting the respect he deserves, and he could very well be an All-Pro performer in 2013.
The dreads are gone, the seven other 2009 draftees are gone, and this year, Johnson entered camp as the likely starting safety.
“I feel blessed to still be in the same organization with the same team,” Johnson said after the team’s morning walk-through at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday. “I know the city, I know the stadium, so you know, (I’m) just going to take advantage of the opportunity. I don’t take anything for granted.”
In his four years with the Cardinals, Rashad Johnson has been mainly used as a backup safety and special teams contributor. He scored a touchdown on a fake punt last season, the first touchdown of his NFL career. Now, the former Alabama captain has the inside track at a starting spot at safety with Adrian Wilson no longer with the team.
“I feel very comfortable with Dee being out there in regular personnel situations,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday.
Kyle Wilson was the leading candidate for Revis’ old job until the moment Milliner signed his contract.
On the first day Milliner put on pads, he was on the field with the first team. Since then he has shown he can compete there, and the Jets’ first depth chart had Milliner over Wilson.
Dee Milliner missed a week of training camp due to a holdout, but he’s been impressive enough to already be named a starter by Jets head coach Rex Ryan. Milliner has big shoes to fill as Darrelle Revis’ replacement, and his career will almost certainly be compared to Revis’, fair or not. The Jets open the preseason on Friday against the Lions.
“He’s becoming a leader, already,” San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said. “He really is … he’s something else.”
Rivers’ eyes light up when he talks about the Alabama product. Fluker often gets his teammates going with pre-practice chants and other rah-rah antics. He’s also has been known to break into song in the locker room. Rivers said occasionally a rookie will be vocal. But Rivers said offensive linemen, as a whole, usually don’t talk much. So, Fluker’s huge personality is a bit of a surprise.
Alabama fans know very well of Fluker’s vocal leadership, and he is instantly becoming a leader in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. Memorably, Fluker helped fire Alabama back up in the SEC Championship Game after Georgia took a 21-10 lead on a block field goal returned for a touchdown. The Chargers host the Seahawks on Thursday night to begin their preseason, and Fluker is expected to start at right tackle.
“He has done a good job here the last couple of days,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said of his new 249-pound toy from Alabama. “He’s like a lot of our guys, he has to keep getting better and better. He can’t let the amount of things we’re installing slow him down, and that’s obviously a challenge for everybody because it’s a new system. I think everybody’s been pleased with what he’s done; he’s done a couple of really good things in individual (reps) down against the guards working 1-on-1. He needs a lot of reps, that’s what he needs.”
Over the last week, the 6-foot-2 Johnson has gotten plenty in that regard, cycling between the second defensive unit and the first while pushing another newcomer, veteran Akeem Jordan, for the second starting inside linebacker slot opposite Pro Bowler Derrick Johnson. The fourth-round pick out of Alabama had shown enough natural instincts and athleticism during shorts-and-shells workouts in the spring to make a solid impression. But ever since the pads went on, the kid has turned to leaving wholesale dents.
Nico Johnson is competing with veteran linebacker Akeem Jordan to start at inside linebacker alongside Derrick Johnson in the Chiefs’ 3-4 defensive system. The hard hitting Johnson has been making waves at Chiefs camp, and he is seriously pushing for the job. The one question mark about Johnson has always been his pass coverage. He was always a strong run stopper at Alabama, but he usually didn’t see the field in obvious passing situations. If Johnson is going to start in the NFL, he’ll have to improve in that area. Kansas City opens the preseason on Friday night against New Orleans.
Cody, a 2010 second-round draft pick from Alabama, is entering the final year of his $3.064 million rookie contract. His future in Baltimore is up in the air.
“I feel like I really want to play for the Ravens as long as I can,” Cody said. “If it’s my time to go, it’s my time go. It’s business. That’s the only hard thing about it is it’s a business and it’s tough decisions.”
Terrence Cody will forever live in Alabama lore thanks to his two blocked field goals in Alabama’s 12-10 win over Tennessee during the 2009 National Championship season, but the going has been tough for the former All American in the NFL. After putting together a decent sophomore season in 2011 with the Ravens, Cody had a disappointing 2012 where he graded out as the worst Ravens defensive lineman. Cody is in the final year of his rookie contract, and if he doesn’t put together a bounce back season, then this could very well be his swan song in Baltimore.
“He’s done really well – much better than I anticipated he would,” Zimmer told Dan Hoard at Bengals.com. “He has long arms, he understands concepts now, and he’s buying in to coaching.”
“He’s improved so much from where he was last year before he got hurt. I figured that he’d start out kind of slow because he hadn’t done much because of the knee. I figured that he would be a lot further behind than what he is.”
It’s pretty unfair that many have rushed to call Dre Kirkpatrick, the 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft, a bust already despite missing most of his rookie season due to injury. Those that have, however, may soon have to eat his words as according to those reporting from Bengals camp, Kirkpatrick has been extremely impressive so far. Terrance Newman has the inside track to start at corner alongside Leon Hall, but Kirkpatrick will certainly be pushing for the job, and should certainly see his fair share of playing time in 2013 if he stays healthy. It’ll be interesting to see how Kirkpatrick looks tomorrow night as the Bengals play the Falcons in Atlanta in their first preseason game.
“We’re going to be smart,” coach Rob Chudzinski said following Wednesday’s practice, which was moved indoors because of heavy rain.
Chudzinski said Richardson could have played if it was a regular-season game, but the Browns are being careful with the former first-round pick, who has had a history with injuries and played most of last season with two broken ribs.
Richardson was accidentally kicked in the shin during a practice last week and as a precaution will not play in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Rams. The Browns are being extra cautious with Richardson as they plan on him being their workhorse in the backfield in 2013. Richardson is one of the only weapons on Cleveland’s offense, and he rushed for 950 yards as a rookie despite playing with two broken ribs.
[The prevailing opinion was that] John Parker Wilson is the camp arm. It really hasn’t turned out to be that way so far…in my eyes, that’s not even close. In my eyes John Parker Wilson is clearly at least the number three, maybe he’s pushing two in terms of how he looks on the field. He’s got a nice, strong arm. On consecutive plays in recent practice, he showed a nice touch down the field where you had to float the ball over the coverage and dropped it in to a tight end, and then he also on the next play zipped one over the middle in between some defensive backs. John Parker Wilson, he’s been kicked around the league a little bit so he has some experience. He has arm strength and touch. If you made me cut the roster to three quarterbacks, John Parker Wilson would be one of the three.
Not much good stuff has been said about John Parker Wilson during his professional career, or really his college career for that matter. Wilson has bounced around the league since coming into the league in 2009 after going undrafted. He spent three seasons with the Falcons before being cut, and then he spent last season as a member of the Jaguars’ practice squad. Pittsburgh claimed Wilson off of waivers, and he’s been impressive in training camp with Pittsburgh to this point. Wilson will have an uphill battle to make the team with the Steelers having signed Bruce Gradkowski to be Ben Roethlisberger’s backup, and spending a fourth round pick on Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones. The Steelers open up preseason on Saturday against the Giants, and Wilson figures to see a good bit of the snaps.
On one running play last week, Chapman shoved 300-pound center Samson Satele and 325-pound right guard Mike McGlynn into 314-pound right tackle Gosder Cherlius and tight end Dwayne Allen. With four blockers down, the play went nowhere.
“You can see just what we saw on tape coming out of Alabama before he got injured,” coach Chuck Pagano said. “He’s a load. It’s like sticking a 900-pound safe in the middle of the line of scrimmage. He’s tough to get out of there and he’s smart as a whip. He’ll call out every run play based on formation and backfield sets before it ever happens.”
It was thought last season that Josh Chapman could become the starting nose tackle for the Colts as a rookie, but he never recovered from the torn ACL he suffered as a senior. He was instrumental for Alabama’s No. 1 ranked defense in 2011 that led the team to the National Championship, and he played eight games on a that torn ACL. Chapman, now fully recovered, has a chance to anchor the middle of the Colts’ defense. Indianapolis ranked 29th in the league last season in rush defense, and Chapman could certainly help improve that ranking. Chapman will get his first chance to make an impression in live game action on Sunday when Indianapolis opens preseason against the Bills.
Warmack is projected to start at right guard, forming a powerful combination with right tackle David Stewart. There will no doubt be some adjustments and learning along the way, but the Titans were thrilled to add a rookie with incredible power that’s balanced by a mature demeanor and strengthened by his quest to continually improve.
“Even in the NFL you don’t see the kind of power he has, the way he moves the line of scrimmage,” Munchak said. “To me, he is the complete package. He loves the game; he has a passion for it.”
Chance Warmack’s power was well documented during his time at Alabama as he mauled opposing defensive lineman to help Alabama’s power running game. That power has been well on display during Titans camp to this point, and the former All American will likely be the Titans’ starter at right guard when the season starts despite having missed a week of camp due to a holdout. His quest to become one of the elite lineman in the NFL could very well happen sooner rather than later.