Tuesday, March 31, 2015

RG3 is the starter now, but Jay Gruden may not stick with him long


Washington coach Jay Gruden has said Robert Griffin III is the team’s starter “right now.” But it’s hard to believe that Griffin will remain the team’s starter for the duration of the 2015 season.
Gruden showed last year that he’s willing to make a change at the quarterback position if he doesn’t see the results he’s looking for. And Gruden made many public comments indicating that Griffin doesn’t play the quarterback position the way Gruden wants.
There’s also the simple fact that both Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins were better than Griffin last year, the first year in Gruden’s offense for all three of them. Griffin takes so many sacks (33, more than McCoy and Cousins combined) and fumbles so often (nine times, again more than McCoy and Cousins combined) that he negates the advantage that his running ability provides. It’s great for a quarterback to be able to make plays with his feet, but not great for him to trust his feet to bail him out of so many situations that he doesn’t get rid of the ball when he’s under pressure and ends up taking sacks or fumbling.
And Griffin simply isn’t the same runner anymore that he was as a rookie. Griffin went from 120 carries for 815 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 to 86 carries for 489 yards and no touchdowns in 2013 to 38 carries for 176 yards and one touchdown in 2014. Post-knee surgery, Griffin is a different runner.
Even Griffin’s longest run of the season in 2014 was hardly something to celebrate: On a 23-yard scramble against the Giants, Griffin did a great job of breaking into the clear and picking up a first down. But instead of stepping out of bounds as soon as he passed the stick, Griffin cut back inside to pick up extra yardage. That resulted in a tackle that had Griffin going down hard on his knees. Griffin needs to learn that to protect himself better than that.
If Griffin can’t protect himself better than that, the question of whether he’ll remain the starter will become moot because he’ll get hurt. But even if Griffin stays healthy, the simple fact is Gruden has never seemed to think much of Griffin as a quarterback, and unless Griffin can improve dramatically, it’s probably just a matter of time before Gruden benches him for McCoy or Cousins.


Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo: Tom Gannam

Monday, March 30, 2015

Russell Wilson: Contract situation will work out


Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is heading into the final season of his contract, but he doesn’t sound overly concerned about getting a new deal done.
“In terms of my contract, I don’t really talk about that kind of stuff,” Wilson said, via the Everett Herald. “I love the game of football. I love playing the game of football. I try to put my best foot forward and I want to be the best to ever play the game. That’s the way I look at it. I’ve been fortunate enough to win a lot of games at such a young age and to be able to play with some great guys and have some great comeback wins and win a Super Bowl, and go to back to back Super Bowls. It’s been special. So that’s what I focus on. I focus on the next opportunity that I have. The rest will come. I believe God is going to bless me. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I trust always. And I trust it’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to.”
The Seahawks get Wilson for this year at the bargain salary of $1.5 million. If they can’t get a deal done beyond this year, however, the only way they could ensure he doesn’t leave is to franchise him at a number approaching $20 million.
Franchising Wilson is exactly what they’ll do if they have to, but they’d prefer to get a deal done before it comes to that. Wilson sounds like he’s ready for whatever happens: Ready to sign if the right deal comes, or ready to wait if he’s not satisfied with what the Seahawks are offering.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chargers seem destined to leave San Diego


Apart from the bright-line rules that were (and weren’t) adopted at the now-concluded annual league meetings, one thing became clear via the chatter among those in attendance:  The Chargers are determined to leave San Diego for Los Angeles.
They haven’t said so publicly, and they likely won’t for months to come.  But enough is being said privately to lead to the inescapable conclusion that the Chargers are destined to escape from the city they’ve called home since 1961.
With public money no longer a viable option in California (or pretty much anywhere) to construct an NFL stadium, the money necessary to build a new building in San Diego won’t be offset by the kind of revenue that justifies the investment.  Instead, it now seems to be far more likely than not that the Chargers will partner with the Raiders in Carson, or that the Chargers will become the second team in the Inglewood stadium that will house the Rams.
It means that the Rams or Raiders will be shut out of the market.  The most common theory making the rounds in Arizona this week had the Rams joining the Chargers and the Raiders possibly filling the void in St. Louis created by the departure of the Rams.
Regardless, 20 years of talk about a team moving to L.A. will soon be ending.  In 2016, it now seems inevitable that the Chargers and another NFL team will be back in Los Angeles.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
Photo: Operation.Sports.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Jordy Nelson recovering from hip surgery


Packers receiver Jordy Nelson is recovering from hip surgery.
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said at the league meeting that Nelson felt hip pain at the Pro Bowl and had surgery after that.
“He had some post-season work done,” McCarthy said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’ll be fine in a couple of weeks. I’ve seen him. I’m trying to think if it’s six-to-eight weeks, but really he should answer that. But it’s nothing serious.”
It’s not clear whether Nelson’s injury could slow him down during the team’s offseason program, but McCarthy did not sound overly concerned. Nelson has started all 16 games the last two years, and from all indications, Nelson will be good to go long before the start of the season.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo, Ann Heisenfelt

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