Minicamps are finished. The 2014 NFL season awaits.
Players have left their respective clubs until the opening of training camp, and as ESPN.com’s John Clayton notes, coaches now will cross their fingers that they don’t receive the 3 a.m. phone call alerting them of the star player’s transgressions.
Clayton, the Worldwide Leader’s senior NFL writer, outlines seven things learned from the offseason programs, with No. 1 being the lack of readiness for rookie quarterbacks. Reading into Clayton’s words, he believes that no rookie quarterback will open the season as the team’s starting signal caller. Teddy Bridgewater is the most pro-ready, Clayton says, but Matt Cassel will get the first snap on opening day.
Taking a page out of Pete Carroll‘s playbook, Clayton writes that teams around the league are gravitating toward taller defensive backs. Case in point, the Kansas City Chiefs, who released 5-foot-9 cornerback Brandon Flowers in a cap-saving move. They’ll look to replace Flowers with 6-foot-1 Phillip Gaines, 6-foot-2 Marcus Cooper and 6-foot David Van Dyke, each of whom are first- or second-year players.
Other news and notes from around the league…
- Among the 10 Packers stories to watch before training camp opens by Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is peace of mind at backup quarterback. It wasn’t pretty for the Pack at QB when Aaron Rodgers went down in a Week 9 loss to the Bears, but coach Mike McCarthy should feel better about this year’s situation with Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien backing up the All Pro, Dunne writes.
- Quarterback Jake Locker, receiver Kendall Wright and the defense’s front seven are all things Titans fans should feel good about, The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt writes. Locker should be at 100% coming off foot surgery in November and had started the 2013 season with a bang, while Wright will team with Nate Washington and Justin Hunter to ease Locker’s return to health.
- Tom Brady‘s private quarterback coach, Tom House, admitted in an interview with SiriusXM radio that the three-time Super Bowl champion has struggled as of late to connect on the deep passes. “As he’s getting a little older you lose a little strength, you lose a little flexibility,” House said. “And what was happening was he was noticing that his accuracy and his long ball weren’t what they were three or four years ago. So we ran him through the computer, compared him to the models we have created for movement efficiency, and there were really, really small things that were causing his issues.”