Mike Bercovici

Extra Points: Shazier, Vikings, Staff, Cards

From 2017-20, the Vikings will have featured four different play-callers. But the procession from Pat Shurmur to John DeFilippo to Kevin Stefanski to now Gary Kubiak found the former Super Bowl-winning HC a bit hesitant. Kubiak stepped way from the Broncos after the 2016 season, because of health issues, and has not called plays since. But after briefly debating the move from offensive advisor to OC, the 58-year-old assistant accepted the offer to replace Stefanski, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes. Kubiak has removed himself from the head-coaching market but never ruled out returning to a play-calling role. He was nearly set to resume that responsibility with the Broncos last year, but staffing issues led him to Minnesota.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Kubiak’s latest offensive staff will see more changes this year. The Vikings are bringing in Phil Rauscher to be their new assistant offensive line coach, Goessling adds. Although Rauscher spent the past two years in Washington, he worked under Kubiak for each of his two seasons as Denver’s HC. Rauscher will replace Andrew Janocko, but the Vikings’ previous assistant O-line coach will remain on staff. Janocko will become Minnesota’s new wide receivers coach. This marks Janocko’s sixth season on Mike Zimmer‘s staff.
  • The Steelers have kept Ryan Shazier on their roster for each of the past two years. That may well be the plan for 2020 as well. Owner Art Rooney II confirmed (via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) the Steelers “would love” to have Shazier back. The injured linebacker has worked as a mentor of sorts to the team’s young players the past two years. The Steelers have kept Shazier, 27, on their roster despite his inability to play; a league-minimum salary of $820K would likely come his way if the team uses the same arrangement in 2020. Shazier, whom GM Kevin Colbert confirmed has shown “significant improvement” in his workouts since the 2019 offseason, is not expected to be ready to play in 2020.
  • The Cardinals will add a former NFL and AAF quarterback to their staff. Mike Bercovici will join Kliff Kingsbury‘s staff as an entry-level assistant, per the Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman. Bercovici, 27, spent time with the Cards’ practice squad in 2017. The ex-Arizona State quarterback was on Herm Edwards‘ Sun Devils staff last season.
  • A key CBA-related meeting will be pushed back. The NFLPA meeting where a potential vote on the owners’ CBA proposal will now occur Friday instead of Thursday, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. The Washington D.C. summit represents a step toward a potential CBA ratification, but a few substantial hurdles remain — such as the players accepting the owners’ 17-game schedule proposal.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/12/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/30/17

Here are today’s practice squad moves.

Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: CB Raysean Pringle

Chargers Reach 53-Man Limit

The Chargers announced 37 player moves on Saturday, bringing them down to the 53-man limit. Here’s the full breakdown.

Released:

Waived:

Waived/Injured:

Reserve/Suspended:

Reserve/Injured:

Barner seemed to have a decent chance of cracking the roster as a pass-catching back, particularly after the loss of Danny Woodhead. On 27 carries last season, Barner averaged a career-best 4.8 yards per attempt.

Clemens, 33, was slated to return for a fourth season as Philip Rivers‘ backup. Instead, that job will go to Cardale Jones, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo earlier this offseason.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/10/17

Today’s minor moves:

Reserve/Futures Contracts

Miami Dolphins

San Diego Chargers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Practice Squad

Dallas Cowboys

NFL Workout Updates: 12/20/16

Tuesday is typically a busy workout day for NFL teams, and the level of activity only increases near the end of the season, when clubs are looking at players who might be candidates for reserve/futures contracts. Here are today’s tryout notes:

  • The Buccaneers worked out quarterback Sean Renfree, defensive end Alex Bazzie, linebacker Deon Lacey, and Spanish rugby star Inaki Villanueva (as a tight end), reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Renfree, 26, spent last season as Matt Ryan‘s backup in Atlanta, and has auditioned for a number of clubs this year without being offered a deal.
  • The Lions worked out a pair of free agent tight ends — David Ausberry and Gabe Hughes — at the end of last week, tweets Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. PFR reported earlier this year that Ausberry tore his Achilles during a November 2015 tryout with New York, and has presumably been rehabbing ever since.
  • Former Chicago linebacker Khaseem Greene tried out for the Chiefs, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Greene started six games for the Bears from 2012-14, and has spent time on a few other NFL rosters, but hasn’t appeared in the NFL in two years.
  • The Jets met with quarterback Mike Bercovici; tight ends M.J. McFarland, Gannon Sinclair, and Jason Vander Laan; and wide receiver Dez Stewart, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bercovici, a 2016 favorite of some NFL draftniks, went to camp with San Diego but didn’t make the final cut.
  • The Titans worked out former Oakland/New York defensive end Shelby Harris today, tweets Caplan. Harris, 25, played in eight games over the past two seasons with the Raiders.
  • The Texans met with cornerback Mitchell White, who has spent the past three years in the Canadian Football League, according to Caplan (Twitter link).
  • The Patriots auditioned defensive tackle Jeoffrey Pagan, reports Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link).

NFL Workout Updates: 12/6/2016

The Broncos worked out a dozen players today, including quarterbacks Sean Renfree and T.J. Yates, running backs Bernard Pierce and Zac Brooks, and wide receivers Keshawn Martin and Corey Washington, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Yates, 29, has only started seven games during his regular season career, but has somewhat miraculously managed two playoff starts, both for Houston. Each of the tryouts conducted by Denver today were for futures contract consideration, tweets Mike Klis of 9NEWS.

Here’s more from the workout front:

  • Searching for emergency interior line options, the Patriots tried out OL James Stone and Chris Watt today, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter links), who adds that New England also took a look at wide receiver Dez Stewart. As Reiss wrote earlier today, the Pats could be forced to make a move at WR following an injury to Danny Amendola, and Stewart could potentially fill that void.
  • The Chiefs, dealing with injuries to Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard (placed on IR), auditioned veteran defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis and Montori Hughes, per Caplan (Twitter link). Kansas City also worked out inside linebackers James Burgess and Darnell Sankey on Saturday, Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star tweets.
  • The Packers tried out tight end Kennard Backman, quarterback Mike Bercovici, wide receiver Mitch Mathews, and running back Daryl Virgies, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Backman is familiar with Green Bay, as the Packers chose him in the sixth round of the 2015 draft.
  • Defensive back Dezmen Southward, defensive end Josh Boyd, and linebacker Ron Thompson all worked out for the Raiders today, per Caplan (Twitter link). Southward was a third-round pick by the Falcons in 2014.
  • The Buccaneers are working out 6’4″, 220-pound wide receiver Joe Hills, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. He was the 2016 Arena League offensive Player of the Year for the Jacksonville Sharks.
  • Defensive lineman Frank Beltre and defensive back Tony Burnett were among the players that tried out for the Vikings today, according to Andrew Krammer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter link).
  • The Jets worked out long snappers Zac Triner, Rick Lovato, Daniel Dillon, and Kameron Canaday, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link) and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. New York’s current long snapper is veteran Tanner Purdum.

Cardinals Place Jaron Brown On IR

The Cardinals have officially placed wide receiver Jaron Brown on injured reserve with a torn ACL, the club announced today. Arizona has not yet announced a corresponding roster move."<strong

[RELATED: Cardinals, Chandler Jones Discussing Extension]

Brown was thrust into a more prominent role yesterday as teammate John Brown was sidelined with symptoms stemming from sickle-cell trait. Serving as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver, Jaron Brown was forced to exit in the first half. If both Browns are out, then the team is left only with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and J.J. Nelson at receiver. The Cardinals could promote receivers Marquis Bundy and/or Brittan Golden from the practice squad, but they could also look out-of-house for options.

Prior to suffering the injury, Jaron Brown had been a more prominent part of the Cardinals’ offense this season compared to previous years. Brown had already tied his 16-game reception total from last season (11) and amassed 22 targets – one fewer than his 2015 amount. He also averaged an impressive 17.0 yards per catch and added a touchdown over the Cardinals’ first seven games.

Now in need of a receiver, Arizona worked out free agents Aaron Dobson and Jonathan Krause today, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Dobson, 25, has seen two stints with Detroit this year but has yet to suit up for a game. The Cardinals also auditioned quarterback Mike Bercovici and linebacker Zaviar Gooden, per Florio.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Move Roster To 53

The Chargers have trimmed their roster down to 53 by making the following moves:

  • OLB Ben Gardiner (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune)
  • CB Trevor Williams (Twitter link via Gehlken)
  • WR Dom Williams (Twitter link via Gehlken)
  • FB Chris Swain (Twitter link via Gehlken)
  • WR Rasheed Bailey (injured)
  • QB Mike Bercovici
  • T Brett Boyko
  • RB Gus Johnson
  • S Adrian McDonald
  • ILB Shaq Petteway (injured)
  • OLB James Vaughters

Reserve/Suspended:

Exempt

  • DE Joey Bosa