Monthly Archives: July 2016

Josh Gordon: ‘In the past, I’ve been a selfish player’

“You definitely get that sense of need to do something important with your life and with my career. Considering my age, how much time I’ve been out and how much time I got left nobody knows,” Gordon said. “I’m starting to capitalize on that. Not only for myself but for the well being of my family and be there for this team that held me together and allowed me to comeback.”

Gordon is saying all the right things. Yet the old saying goes: actions speak louder than words. For Gordon’s sake, he understands that.

“There’s not too much I can tell people,” Gordon admitted. “To my fans I just want to show them.”

Gordon’s ability to stay clean is the only thing that separates him from regaining his status as one of the premier wide receivers in the league. Hopefully, Gordon now knows after sitting out more than a year that marijuana isn’t worth his livelihood as an NFL player. Maybe he can put that all in the past, regain his credibility as a football player and serve as a positive influence to others.

With the Ryan Fitzpatrick saga over in New York, Jets coach Todd Bowles stated the obvious in regards to the team’s starting quarterback position.

“It’s his job,” Bowles said.

It was one of the least-surprising pronouncements of the summer, but nonetheless notable after the Jets spent the offseason propping up Geno Smith’s qualities as a starting option.

Fitzpatrick put up one of the best seasons in franchise history in 2015 throwing 31 touchdown passes. That production after he filled in following the infamous Smith punch debacle led to a summer of back-and-forth over Fitzpatrick’s worth.

The sides finally found middle ground Wednesday night, the eve of training camp, agreeing to a $12 million deal.

Fitzpatrick said he was comfortable with a one-year deal, despite the lack of security.

Johnny Manziel’s Ohio house is for sale, and here’s how much it costs

Seeing him studying a playbook and sauntering around this neighborhood with a cardigan, playing golf with his older neighbor Dan (retired but really handy around the house and a heck of a nice guy) on the weekends is just impossible to picture.

‘Re-energized’ Tony Romo isn’t limited at Cowboys workouts

As evidenced by the events of last season, the Cowboys’ playoff hopes ride entirely on the collarbone of quarterback Tony Romo. Without Romo under center, the Cowboys went 1-11. In four of Romo’s starts, the Cowboys won three games.

So, consider it good news that surgery on Romo’s collarbone apparently went smoothly. According to Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, Romo is a full-go at the team’s offseason workouts, even though Romo was operated on two months ago.

“He’s looking good,” Wilson said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We had two practices where we’ve been out here on the field with the guys and he’s done everything. He’s throwing, he’s got good velocity on all of his throws, great movement in his legs. He looks like he’s re-energized because he hadn’t played, you know, missed the majority of the season. So he’s real energized and anxious to get going.”

Romo actually broke his collarbone twice last season, leading him to undergo surgery on his left clavicle in early March. When the Cowboys announced the operation, they tagged him with a rehab of six-to-eight weeks. So, his return to the field during offseason workouts fits within the original timetable.

Romo, though, is “in charge of his own program.”

“If he ever gets soreness or anything like that, he’s going to be in charge of his own program,” Wilson said. “If he feels soreness or needs to take a day off because of his back or whatever, he’s monitoring that.”

Slowly, the Cowboys are getting healthy. Star receiver Dez Bryant, who underwent foot surgery this offseason, isn’t cleared for football activities at the moment, but he’s yet to experience any setbacks in his recovery. Assuming both Bryant and Romo are fully operational by the time September rolls around, the Cowboys should be primed to rebound from a disastrous 4-12 season.

The Bengals signed Jon Brown on Monday. That name will mean nothing to you, unless you’re an avid follower of amateur soccer, or are intimately familiar with the backup kicker on the University of Louisville roster the last two seasons.

Either way, Brown caught the attention of the Bengals at Louisville’s pro day earlier this year, they invited him to Cincy for a workout, and by Monday, he was under contract. Funny story: Brown’s stat line in college: 3 games, 9 kickoffs, 5 touchbacks.

And that’s it, which means Brown has never attempted a field goal or extra point during a game. But the Bengals saw beyond conventional measures and were impressed with Brown’s potential.

“He showed he’s an explosive kid being a soccer player,” director of player personnel Duke Tobin told the team website. “Whether he’s a kicker or not is to be determined. But he’s a strong-legged kid who we’ll look at during the offseason to see if he can develop some kind of consistency. If you think you see a trait that is above average, strong, rare, whatever, that’s what you’re looking for when you’re looking for guys to try out.”

“I think we have a head coach who understands talent at that position but equally as important how to coach them. You’re all at practice, and he’s coaching the quarterbacks hard every day, and I think that’ll make a difference over a period of time.”

There’s also no rush to get Kessler on the field. The expectation is that Robert Griffin III, who signed a two-year deal this spring, will start the season under center, and Josh McCown will back him up.

Of course, on a team with myriad needs — including a gaping hole at franchise quarterback — some fans and media wondered why the Browns would trade out of the No. 2 pick, where they could have had Carson Wentz (who was taken by the Eagles). Jackson wasted little time trying to assuage those concerns.

49ers have quarterback competition with Kaepernick, Gabbert

Here are some things to watch for with the 49ers:

THIN RECEIVING CORPS: The 49ers lost No. 1 wideout Anquan Boldin, leaving them with only Torrey Smith as an experienced receiver in the unit.

With tight end Vernon Davis also gone, San Francisco must figure out the depth chart for its receivers. Bruce Ellington and Bruce Miller are expected to take on bigger roles. Miller has been primarily a key blocker at fullback but now is transitioning to tight end in Kelly’s scheme.

QUIET IN FREE AGENCY: General manager Trent Baalke hardly made a splash in free agency a year after adding Smith on a $40 million, five-year contract with $22 million guaranteed. Baalke acquired guard Zane Beadles after Alex Boone departed to the Vikings in free agency.

SPLITTING THE REPS: Kelly doesn’t envision any problems getting Kaepernick and Gabbert enough turns with the first team during training camp.

”We have enough reps. We get enough reps during the course of training camp and during the course of our training where it’s never been a concern for us in terms of, ‘Geez, we’re not going to get enough looks out there.’ So, we have enough reps for everybody,” Kelly said.

Kaepernick is eager to get back to work.

”Compete. That’s all I know how to do,” he said. ”Every year that I’ve stepped on the field, it’s a competition, whether people like to say you’re the No. 1 or not. It’s a competition. There’s always someone trying to be that starter, trying to make that step. And this year’s no different.”

HYDE’S COMEBACK: Carlos Hyde arrived last summer ready for a breakout second season as San Francisco’s No. 1 running back, then a foot injury derailed his year after seven games. He ran for 470 yards and three touchdowns, two of those TDs in a season-opening win against Minnesota.

There is depth behind Hyde, but who becomes his primary backup is yet to be seen. Shaun Draughn and DuJuan Harris provide reliable options in the backfield after both joined the 49ers midseason in 2015.

”I’ve been impressed with both of them,” Kelly said last month. ”I think they certainly have the ability to play in the NFL and have proven that. We’re excited to continue to work with them.”

DEFENSIVE LINE: With Glenn Dorsey and Ian Williams again working back from significant injuries, Mike Purcell might be the man at nose tackle to start the year, a natural spot for him, according to Baalke.

Dorsey is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, while Williams is dealing with further ankle problems.

On March 9, Williams reached agreement on a five-year deal that was restructured to a one-year contract once his doctors in Miami shared findings with the 49ers medical staff.

Add Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Arthur Jones to the long list of players who will miss games at the start of the coming season because of NFL suspension.

Jones will sit the first four games after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, as reported by the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson and others.

Signed by the Colts to a five-year, $33 million contract ($16 million guaranteed) in 2014, a deal that reunited him with his defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Chuck Pagano, and was meant to shore up the Colts’ bad run defense.