NFL Nation: 2014 NFL Training Camp Report

Packers Camp Report: Day 21

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
6:15
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:
  • For the final practice of camp on Wednesday, the Packers went through their new day-before-the-game practice in helmets and shorts. It lasted 61 minutes. That brought their total time on the practice field for training camp to 35 hours and 30 minutes dating to the first practice on July 26. When told of that number, one former Packers' player from the 1980s said: "We used to practice that much the first week [of camp]." The longest practice of the summer was their fourth one of camp on July 30. It lasted two hours and 36 minutes. The only other practice lasted more than two-and-half hours. It was a two hour-and-31-minute session in July 30. They went longer than two hours and 15 minutes only twice after Aug. 1. The shortest practice of camp was a 58-minute session on Aug. 21, the day before the preseason home opener against the Raiders.
  • As has been their custom following the final practice of training camp, the players thanked the fans for attending practice by going over to the stands and shaking hands with them.
  • Despite not having another kicker to compete with, Mason Crosby got almost the exact same number of training camp field goals as he did last year, when the Packers had two other kickers in camp. Crosby finished camp by making all three of his field goals (33, 38 and 43 yards) in Wednesday's practice to finish camp 53 of 63 (84.1 percent). Last summer, he was 53 of 67 (79.1 percent) in practice.
  • After reducing their roster to 75 on Tuesday by putting six players on injured reserve, there were only four players who did not practice on Wednesday. They were: cornerback Demetri Goodson (concussion), linebacker Brad Jones (quadriceps), center JC Tretter (knee) and tight end Brandon Bostick (leg). None is expected to play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and several other veteran starters also are not expected to play. Rodgers took mostly scout-team reps in practice this week.
  • Thursday's game against the Chiefs at Lambeau Field kicks off at 6 p.m. local time.

Saints Camp Report: Day 22

August, 26, 2014
Aug 26
7:10
PM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
  • Saints kickers Shayne Graham and Derek Dimke both stumbled a bit during a windy practice Tuesday. Based on the unofficial consensus from media members, they each missed two field goals out of an estimated seven attempts. Neither kicker has been consistent enough to lock down the job this summer, but they’ve both been solid in preseason games (the only miss coming on Graham’s missed 33-yard extra point in Week 1). And coach Sean Payton continued to speak highly of both contenders. “I say this: Both of them are going to be kicking this season. I think other teams see us as a place that has a kicker possibly that is good enough to play for them,” Payton said.
  • Another position battle seems close to being decided. Center Jonathan Goodwin has continued to take snaps with the starters in practice all week after starting each of the past two preseason games. Goodwin has played very well this summer, calling it the best camp he’s had in 13 years. But Payton hasn’t conceded anything yet in Goodwin’s battle against second-year pro Tim Lelito. “We will see where that’s headed, but we are getting pretty good consistent play (from both), and that is encouraging,” Payton said Monday.
  • Cornerback Patrick Robinson had a nice practice with a pass breakup in the end zone during team drills and a stripped ball in 7-on-7, among other highlights. Payton revealed that it was a hamstring injury that had limited Robinson earlier in camp. But he said he’s encouraged by his progress. Robinson certainly looks like the front-runner to start opposite Keenan Lewis in Week 1 -- though veteran Champ Bailey has also looked solid in his return from a foot injury.
  • The offensive standout during Tuesday’s practice was probably receiver Joe Morgan, who made a diving catch of a deep pass from Drew Brees that hung up in the air during a two-minute drill late in practice. Morgan sure looks like he has a good beat on a roster spot this year and could be on the field in Week 1 -- especially if Kenny Stills remains out with a quad injury.
  • Stills, safeties Rafael Bush and Marcus Ball, linebacker Khairi Fortt and fullback Erik Lorig did not participate in Tuesday’s practice, though Ball made his first appearance in nearly a week as he watched from the sideline. Cornerback Trevin Wade was limited. Receiver Marques Colston appeared to wave himself out during a set of team drills late in practice, then he chatted with a trainer before watching the rest of practice. He didn’t appear to be dealing with anything significant, though.
  • That’s a wrap for training camp. The Saints are scheduled to hold a walk-through that’s closed to the media Wednesday before playing their final preseason game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Saints’ Camp Report: Day 21

August, 26, 2014
Aug 26
12:45
AM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
  • It may have been a good news/bad news day for linebacker Victor Butler. He returned to the practice field after being sidelined by an undisclosed injury for the past three weeks. But according to a report by WWL Radio, Butler is expected to be released. If that’s true, it’s a bit of a surprise and definitely a shame. Butler seemed like such a promising young pass-rusher and such a great fit when he signed as a free agent last year. But injuries may prevent him from ever taking a snap with the Saints. I’ll have more thoughts on the move after it’s confirmed.
  • Other injury updates: Receiver Kenny Stills wasn’t in pads Monday after aggravating his quad injury in last Saturday’s game. He watched practice from the sideline. … Safety Rafael Bush and offensive tackle Thomas Welch were new additions to the injury list. They also watched from the sideline without pads. So did linebacker Khairi Fortt, who remained sidelined. Cornerback Trevin Wade spent part of practice running off to the side with trainers. … Safety Marcus Ball and fullback Erik Lorig remained absent. … Receiver Brandin Cooks practiced fully after being limited by a stomach virus last week.
  • The most notable absence Monday was that of quarterback Drew Brees, whose wife Brittany is expected to give birth to their fourth child soon. Coach Sean Payton helped pick up the slack while Brees was gone, serving as an extra QB in some position drills. “We were one quarterback short. When I saw Pierre (Thomas) throwing, we needed a little intervention,” Payton said. Payton also spent a little time lining up as a cornerback. “Yes, with safety help,” he joked. … Brees seems like a long shot to play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Baltimore Ravens. Payton indicated that second-year backup Ryan Griffin will get “a ton of work” in the game. So far, veteran backup Luke McCown has entered all three games ahead of Griffin. But when asked if that’s an indication that McCown is ahead in their battle for the No. 2 job, Payton said no.
  • Cornerback Champ Bailey ended Monday’s practice with an interception during a 2-minute drill simulation. It was a bit of a gift, since McCown was throwing one up toward the end zone as time expired, but it was another good sign that Bailey is on the mend from a foot injury. It may have been Bailey’s first interception in full-team drills during training camp since his workload has been so limited. … Linebacker David Hawthorne had an impressive pass break-up during that same series as the defense held up following a fast start in that drill by McCown, tight end Jimmy Graham and others.
  • The Saints will hold their final practice that is scheduled to be open to the public on Tuesday at 11 a.m., weather-permitting. For fans hoping to attend, please note the time change from the original schedule. The Saints will then hold a closed walk-through on Wednesday to prepare for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Ravens in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 19

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
7:38
PM ET
GLENDALE, Ariz. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • Friday was the Cardinals' last training camp practice and head coach Bruce Arians ended it more than an hour earlier than its scheduled conclusion time.
  • Arizona worked on its situational offense for most of practice, most notably from inside the red zone and from its own 1. Quarterback Carson Palmer worked the Cardinals down the field, working on a variety of routes. He hit Michael Floyd on an out route, John Brown on a screen, Ted Ginn deep and Brown again deep during the drive.
  • Palmer has built his career around his arm strength but on Friday it didn’t look up to par. On two deep passes, Ginn had to stop almost dead in his tracks to keep from overrunning the ball, and then Brown had to stutter step and slow down to make the catch.
  • Parts of the situation work were deep routes, with Palmer connecting with Floyd for a 58-yard catch and running back Andre Ellington on a 28-yard pass.
  • Safety Tyrann Mathieu worked with the scout-team defense again, avoiding contact throughout practice. He almost intercepted Palmer on a pass to tight end John Carlson but Mathieu pulled away from the effort at the last second because he appeared to be a split-second behind.
  • Backup quarterback Drew Stanton threw two interceptions during practice, one by safety Tony Jefferson and another by cornerback Patrick Peterson.
  • Tackle Max Starks returned to practice.
  • Injury report: LB Kevin Minter (pectoral) and G Jonathan Cooper (toe) didn’t practice.

Bills Camp Report: Day 33

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
9:45
PM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
  • We've reached the end of training camp. The Bills held their final practice at St. John Fisher College on Thursday morning, moved up from the afternoon because of rain the forecast. It was closed to the public.
  • The practice was stopped early on after a few small scuffles broke out. Coach Doug Marrone had his players line up on the sideline, lit them up with some choice language, and then had players run sprints. Marrone and defensive end Jerry Hughes exchanged words at one point during the discipline session, with Marrone suggesting that Hughes and other players should head for the locker room if they wanted to fight.
  • Wide receiver Sammy Watkins upped his participation -- slightly. He took part in routes-versus-air and then headed for a side field to continue an individual workout. He did not participate in team drills and has not been cleared to play in Saturday's preseason game. At this point, his chances of suiting up before the regular season opener look slim.
  • Defensive tackle Kyle Williams (leg) sat out, although he was on the sidelines and spoke to Hughes at one point. Tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) continues to be sidelined and his time to make the roster may be running out.
  • The Bills will have a walk-through Friday -- closed to reporters -- before heading back to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Saturday's game, their first home contest of the preseason.

Jets camp report: Day 29

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
9:30
PM ET
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics from New York Jets training camp:
  • The Jets returned to their Long Island roots Thursday evening, drawing 11,000 fans for a "Family Night" practice at Hofstra Stadium. This was their way of throwing a bone to their Long Island fan base, which lost the team in 2009. Hofstra was the Jets' year-round home for four decades, but that changed when Woody Johnson decided to move the operation to Florham Park, N.J. They promised an annual visit to Hofstra, but those visits stopped in 2010. They finally made it back, and the atmosphere was terrific. Hey, they could be back next summer on Long Island. The Jets are considering SUNY-Farmingdale, about 20 minutes east of Hofstra, as their training-camp site. It would be a great way to reconnect with the loyal fans that feel abandoned.
  • With a game Friday night, the Jets dialed it down a few notches in terms of practice intensity, but we saw enough to realize the beleaguered secondary remains in flux. There will be two new starters when they face the New York Giants: Safety Calvin Pryor and cornerback Darrin Walls will replace Jaiquawn Jarrett and Ellis Lankster, respectively. Makes sense. Pryor is too talented to sit on the bench. Walls is a borderline starter, but at least he has experience on the boundary. Lankster played well last week, but his meal ticket is special teams. Basically, the Jets will be playing with three safeties -- Pryor, Dawan Landry and Antonio Allen, who remains at corner. You don't want to be in experimental mode for the third preseason game, but it's not as if the Jets have a lot of options.
  • It sure doesn't look like cornerback Dimitri Patterson (leg) will face the Giants; he didn't participate in any of the team drills. Tight end Jeff Cumberland (Achilles' tendon) was limited, so there's a chance he could play. It will probably be a game-time decision.
  • Thursday was a homecoming for guard Willie Colon, a Bronx native who played at Hofstra through the 2005 season. Upon arriving at the stadium by bus, Colon caught some flak from his teammates, many of them wondering why his old college number isn't retired and hanging with the other famous alums from Hofstra -- namely Wayne Chrebet, Marques Colston and John Schmitt, the starting center on the Jets' 1968 Super Bowl team. Said Colon: "It brought back memories. I keep getting heckled on why my name and number isn't up there, but Mr. Schmitt has (No. 77)." Hofstra disbanded its football program in 2009.

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 18

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
8:36
PM ET
GLENDALE, Ariz. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • So much for safety Tyrann Mathieu taking it slow. The second-year star safety, who returned to practice Wednesday after an 8 1/2-month recovery from a torn ACL and LCL, took the field with the defensive scout team Thursday and didn’t shy away from contact. While he wasn’t in the box stuffing the run or jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage, Mathieu did his share of hitting. He knocked receiver Ted Ginn to the ground on one play and then dropped running back Andre Ellington after a catch on another play.
  • Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu, who also returned Wednesday but from a torn ACL, only practiced for about an hour. They took off their knee braces and watched from the sideline for the rest of practice.
  • Carson Palmer started his first period on fire with four straight completions. Two went to Larry Fitzgerald, one to Ginn and another to John Brown.
  • Ed Stinson has become the clear-cut backup for Frostee Rucker at defensive tackle.
  • The defense, yet again, made a habit of intercepting Arizona’s three quarterbacks. Linebacker Keenan Clayton picked off a Palmer pass and then lateraled the ball to Mathieu during his return. Safety Deone Bucannon intercepted a pass from Ryan Lindley, as did Tony Jefferson. Patrick Peterson also picked off a pass by Drew Stanton on a dead play.
  • Before practice, Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro warmed up with kickoffs. Feely’s new approach, which has him starting 13 yards behind the tee, put the ball in the end zone on the majority of his kicks. However, his kicks didn’t appear to have as much hang time as Catanzaro’s. The rookie started his approach 10 yards behind the tee, and all of his kicks landed deep in the end zone.
  • During the kicking period, Feely went 2-for-3, missing his first attempt, from 43 yards, off the right upright. He hit from 46 and 45. Catanzaro made all three, from 44, 47 and 51.
  • Injury update: T Max Starks (ankle), LB Kevin Minter (pectoral) and G Jonathan Cooper (toe) did not practice Thursday.
  • Thursday will be the Cardinals’ final open practice of training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Practice goes from 2-4:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free.

Saints Camp Report: Day 20

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
7:40
PM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
  • The Saints transitioned out of "camp mode" on Thursday with a glorified walk-through practice that was mostly dedicated to preparation for Saturday night's preseason game at the Indianapolis Colts. This is the one and only preseason game that will get that kind of treatment, since it's the one game where the starters play about a full half. The Saints had a scout team impersonating the Colt, and it was interesting to note that the one Colts offensive player they singled out was up-and-coming receiver T.Y. Hilton (with a player wearing a red No. 13 jersey). "I think when you look at this team, we were talking about this the other day, there are a lot of new faces, guys that are very impressive, that can run. Obviously we know the quarterback (Andrew Luck) has turned into the real good football player. He's got the arm to make all the throws. I think the offensive line has played well. When you put that together with the defense, you are seeing a young roster that has played well, and I'm sure they have high expectations."
  • Since the Saints' offensive and defensive units weren't really going full-speed against each other Thursday, there weren't a ton of highlight moments that stood out. But sure enough, cornerback Corey White managed to squeeze in another big play (almost a daily ritual in camp) with an interception against quarterback Ryan Griffin. Although White probably won't begin the season as a starter with Champ Bailey and Patrick Robinson now returning from injuries, he's certainly taken advantage of his increased practice opportunities. And he'll likely make his way onto the field in certain packages. "All of the reps have been good for me just to show the coaches what I can do on a constant, consistent basis," White said.
  • Receiver Brandin Cooks was back in practice on a limited basis Thursday after missing the three previous days with a stomach virus/fever. When asked if Cooks will play against the Colts, coach Sean Payton said, "We'll see. … We'll see where he's at tonight and tomorrow. (The focus is) really just keeping him hydrated and getting his body weight up a little bit." … Guard Ben Grubbs was also back in practice after missing the past two and a half days with an undisclosed injury. The only other change from Wednesday's practice participation was the absence of safety Marcus Ball, which Payton declined to elaborate on. … Also noteworthy: linebacker Victor Butler and cornerback Rod Sweeting were doing more conditioning work with trainers off to the side of practice than we've seen yet.
  • Quarterback Drew Brees was asked Thursday about safety Jairus Byrd's standout performance in Wednesday night's practice -- particularly Byrd's impressive and deceptive interception against Brees in 7-on-7 drills. "Oh man, it was a ridiculous play," Brees said. "I didn't throw it exactly where I wanted to; I was trying to throw it to Nick Toon in the back, kind of retracing on a route, and Jairus was underneath it. No. 1, I didn't feel like he would really reach it, but he did. To actually come down with it was a whole (different) story. Usually that ball just gets tipped and goes out of the back of the end zone, but it was an impressive play."
  • The Saints don't have a full practice scheduled for Friday. They'll have a brief walk-through, and they'll also take part in an annual fan luncheon before traveling to Indianapolis. Saturday's game at 8 p.m. ET will be nationally-televised by CBS.

Packers Camp Report: Day 18

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
2:30
PM ET
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Green Bay Packers training camp:
  • Fans and reporters got their first look at what coach Mike McCarthy's new day-before-a-game practice looks like under his revamped weekly schedule. The session lasted just 58 minutes and featured 54 plays from scrimmage during designated 11-on-11 team periods. It also included a special teams period and individual drills. The entire practice was conducted without pads or shells -- just helmets, jerseys and shorts. McCarthy plans to continue this practice all season. It's the first time in his nine years as head coach that the Packers have practiced the day before a game. In the past, the final session wrapped up about 48 hours before kickoff. The six periods in the practice were: stretching, ball drills, last eight plays of the game, no-huddle, game situations and a 30-minute team period that was cut short with 8:32 still left on the clock.
  • During the game-situations period, a scenario had the Packers trailing 26-24 with 22 seconds left on third-and-7 at the defense's 35-yard line. After Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass, Mason Crosby came on for a 53-yard field goal that he missed wide left. In all, Crosby was just 2-of-4 in the period. His other miss was from 38 yards wide left. He was good from 33 and 43 yards. After starting camp by making 28 of his first 30 kicks (93.3 percent), Crosby has made 17 of his past 22 (77.3 percent) in practice, giving him a camp-long mark of 45-for-52 (86.5 percent). He also has made all three of his field goals in preseason games.
  • Neither McCarthy nor the players were available to the media after practice, so there were no injury updates. However, cornerback Casey Hayward did not participate for the second straight session. After sitting out Tuesday's practice, a day off on Wednesday apparently was not enough to get him back on the field. All McCarthy has said about Hayward is that the team was being smart with him, given his past injury history. Hayward missed all but three games last season because of recurring hamstring problems.
  • Others who did not practice and appear unlikely to play on Friday against the Oakland Raiders were: running back Rajion Neal (knee), center Jordan McCray (shoulder), linebacker Joe Thomas (knee), guard/tackle Don Barclay (knee), receiver Jared Abbrederis (knee), tight end Brandon Bostick (lower leg) and defensive tackle Letroy Guion (hamstring).
  • Rookie tight end Colt Lyerla, who was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday, had his salary officially reduced to $303,000, according to ESPN Stats & Information salary data. Had Lyela made the team, his salary would have been $420,000, but he had what was called a split salary in his contract that calls for his pay to be reduced in the event he landed on injured reserve. That is common among undrafted rookie contracts.
  • After Friday's game against the Raiders (7 p.m. local time at Lambeau Field), there will be only be only two more training camp practices open to the public. They are Monday (11:45 a.m.) and Wednesday (10:15 a.m.)

Saints Camp Report: Day 19

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
12:10
AM ET
MANDEVILLE, La. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New Orleans Saints training camp:
  • It didn't take long for safety Jairus Byrd to start living up to his reputation as a ball hawk. In just his second practice doing full team drills, Byrd had two interceptions (one in full team and one in 7-on-7). He also broke up a pass from Drew Brees to Jimmy Graham in the end zone in full-team drills. "He's someone that covers a lot of ground quickly. He's really smart with his eyes. He's a veteran player that understands formations and where the ball might be going," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "Tonight there were a couple of plays where the quarterbacks just commented, 'Where'd he come from?'" Payton also reiterated that Byrd is expected to make his preseason debut Saturday night at the Indianapolis Colts.
  • There was a lot of good news on the injury front Wednesday night. Cornerback Keenan Lewis and defensive end Akiem Hicks returned to full participation after being limited by injuries earlier this week. Lewis briefly had either his left foot or ankle re-taped by trainers on the sideline early in practice. Cornerback Champ Bailey participated in full-team drills for the first time since July 31. Cornerback Patrick Robinson returned on a limited basis with an undisclosed injury. Receiver Brandin Cooks remained out with a stomach virus/fever. Guard Ben Grubbs, linebackers Victor Butler and Khairi Fortt and fullback Erik Lorig were also among those who remained out with injuries.
  • The Saints took their practice on the road Wednesday night across Lake Pontchartrain to Mandeville High School -- something they haven't done much during Payton's tenure. Payton and players said they loved the atmosphere, both the energy from the announced crowd of 6,617 and the retro feel of the high school surroundings. "I think there's a scent to the locker room," Payton said, adding that the team will consider holding some practices in other areas going forward.
  • Other highlights from Wednesday's practice: Brees looked sharp, aside from the ball that was tipped away by Byrd. He drilled a touchdown to Robert Meachem in red zone drills and sailed a gorgeous touchdown pass to receiver Nick Toon. He even took off running for a long gain on a keeper at one point. ... Receiver Marques Colston was dipping from the same fountain of youth, making two nice grabs in team drills. ... Rookie receiver Brandon Coleman had a great night, catching a pass from Brees in team drills and later making a fantastic effort to reach for a ball and try to tap his toes in bounds in the corner of the end zone (though it was unclear if he stayed in). ... Safety Rafael Bush intercepted quarterback Ryan Griffin on a ball tipped up by tight end Benjamin Watson. Cornerback Derrius Brooks had an even more impressive one-handed pick against quarterback Logan Kilgore. ... Rookie linebacker Ronald Powell shot into the backfield for a tackle-for-loss. ... Center Tim Lelito sailed a shotgun snap over Griffin's head, but he stood out against nose tackle John Jenkins in 1-on-1 pass rush drills.
  • The Saints will be back at their practice facility for a 11 a.m. CT practice on Thursday, though they moved it indoors, which means it's closed to the public.

Rams Camp Report: Day 17

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
10:30
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of St. Louis Rams training camp:
  • The Rams wrapped up the training camp portion of their preseason with a spirited practice in front of some special guests Wednesday afternoon. The football teams from Ferguson, Missouri-area high schools McCluer and McCluer North attended the practice before and after having their own practices in the indoor Rams Park facility. What they saw was a long, hot workout, but they also provided a little jolt of energy that certainly helped the Rams through the workout.
  • On the field, the Rams continue to make strides toward getting four key starters back on the field. Left tackle Jake Long continues on his trajectory to play against the Browns on Saturday as he took the bulk of the reps at his usual spot. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers again took most of the reps with the first-team defense at his spot and said he's expecting to play against Cleveland. Guard Rodger Saffold went beyond the individual work he did Tuesday and participated in some team drills by taking snaps at both guard spots. And linebacker James Laurinaitis, who has been out with an ankle injury, even got back in some seven-on-seven drills, though he has yet to play in 11-on-11. Laurinaitis spoke after practice and confirmed that the injury is to the same ankle he had offseason surgery on, but that the issues are unrelated. He says he's feeling good and if there had been a regular-season game anytime recently, he'd have played. The Rams have taken a cautious approach with all four players.
  • The Rams receivers had a bit of a rough go during one-on-one drills as wideouts Kenny Britt and Austin Pettis dropped what should have been easy completions. Tight end Jared Cook had no such issues and came up with a nice grab on a deep, back-shoulder throw from quarterback Sam Bradford in team drills. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson made a nice play on a deep pass on the next snap but was not pleased with himself when he didn't come up with the interception. Otherwise, the day was pretty nondescript as the Rams slogged through another long, hot practice.
  • As is custom, the Rams closed training camp with their usual "dizzy bat" races for all of the rookies and team interns. All participants pick up a ball and run 10 yards, drop it off, run another 10 yards and then do 10 spins with a wiffle ball bat. The catch is that the veterans can distract all participants by any means necessary, including dumping water and Gatorade on those spinning. It's a lighthearted and fun way to call it a camp.
  • Aside from the high school teams taking in practice, the Rams had another special guest Wednesday: newly minted Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Aeneas Williams.
  • Wednesday's practice was the final day of training camp open to the fans, but the Rams will be back at it Thursday afternoon for their final practice before traveling to Cleveland on Friday.

Jets Camp Report: Day 28

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
10:26
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets officially moved rookie cornerback Dexter McDougle to the reserve/injured list this afternoon. McDougle, who many thought was bound for the starting cornerback spot, tore his ACL on Aug. 10 and yesterday tweeted that he was going to be having surgery.

The Jets are struggling at the spot, since starter Dee Milliner has a high ankle sprain that will likely keep him out for a few more weeks.

McDougle, 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, was drafted in the third round. He played for Maryland last year, but missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.
  • Don't try to define Geno Smith. The Jets' don't-call-him-starting quarterback said he doesn't appreciate the limitations of quarterback labels. "I hate the fact that people always say, 'Pocket passer versus running,'" Smith said. "I understand why they say it, but a quarterback is a quarterback. You've got to do what it takes to win, whether it's run or pass."
  • Marty Mornhinweg was happy to discuss how great a quarterback competition is to make everyone better. But when he was asked if having Smith start meant that somehow Michael Vick lost the starting job in the competition. "No. No," Mornhinweg said. "Mike has done a beautiful job, and he has played at a high level. Mike can still play at a real high level."
  • It's never too early to talk smack, and Rex Ryan took Andre Williams' bait. When the Giants rookie running back from Boston College said the Giants were the real New York team, Ryan countered with: "Last time I saw him he was getting smoked by Clemson." Zing!
  • Cornerback Darrin Walls is the latest defensive back to get reps with the first team as a tryout of sorts. Ryan isn't sure if Walls will stick. "I always call him my outstanding middle [reliever]. He's a guy you can put in there and you don't lose much. But [can he] prove that he can be the starter, go out there and it's different. Sometimes, for whatever reason, there are some guys that would rather come off the bench than be the starter. I don't understand it, but sometimes that happens. Whether Darrin is that guy or not, I'm not sure."

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 17

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
8:45
PM ET
GLENDALE, Ariz. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • Tyrann Mathieu made his long-awaited return to the field Wednesday, participating in a few individual defensive back drills as expected. He sat out contact periods and spent time running with former LSU teammate Kevin Minter on the Cards’ side field.
  • It didn’t take long for Arizona’s latest addition to start making an impact. Defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga signed Wednesday afternoon and was at practice soon after. He was playing with the first-team defense, lining up at nose tackle at times. He said it wasn’t difficult to sign a contract, throw on a jersey and take the field, all in the course of about an hour. “No way,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years.”
  • Arizona’s starting defensive front is likely to be Frostee Rucker, Dan Williams and Calais Campbell on the line, with John Abraham and Matt Shaughnessy coming off the edges.
  • On one play Wednesday, Abraham came off the edge and got into the backfield quick enough that when backup quarterback Drew Stanton turned around to find a receiver, Abraham was in his face disrupting the play.
  • Rookie Ed Stinson was part of the Cards’ nickel defensive front.
  • Ted Larsen's versatility was on display again. As the Cardinals’ backup center, he worked with Stanton during center-quarterback exchange drills, but Larsen and starting center Lyle Sendlein switched quarterbacks to get extra reps.
  • The defense looked strong again. Shaughnessy came down with an interception off a Stanton pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by safety Tony Jefferson. Later in practice, Jerraud Powers picked off rookie Logan Thomas during 7-on-7 drills.
  • The Cardinals spent the majority of their 11-on-11 periods working on either the run or deep passes. Jaron Brown made another big pass look easy when he grabbed a catch over cornerback Eddie Whitley. Carson Palmer and running back Andre Ellington even got in on the fun, connecting on a deep ball.
  • Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro will split the kicking duties Sunday against Cincinnati. Feely will kick in the first half and Catanzaro in the second. On Wednesday, Feely went 5-for-5, hitting from 23, 32, 39, 38 and 47 yards, respectively. Catanzaro hit his first two from 23 and 33 and then missed his final three from 41, 40 and 47.
  • Injury report: Minter (pec), T Max Starks (ankle) and G Jonathan Cooper (toe) didn’t practice.
  • Arizona holds its second to last training camp practice Thursday from 2-4:30 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium. Admission and parking are free.

Bills Camp Report: Day 32

August, 20, 2014
Aug 20
5:00
PM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
  • Another day, another practice where receiver Sammy Watkins suited up but wasn't a full participant. Watkins was in full pads, taking part in warm-up drills and stretching before watching the rest of the practice from the sideline. Coach Doug Marrone said the Bills' medical staff hasn't made a decision on Watkins' status for Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At this point, it doesn't make sense to play Watkins unless he's completely healthy. The opener in Chicago is most important.
  • Tempers flared for some of the players who did practice. The highlight (lowlight?) of practice was a brawl in the end zone during a goal-line drill. Center Eric Wood, a team captain, and defensive end Bryan Johnson, an undrafted rookie, were at the center of it initially before it spilled off to the side. At one point, tight end Scott Chandler had to be restrained from Johnson. The language used between some of the players wasn't too family-friendly.
  • Cornerback Leodis McKelvin had just seemed to ramp his participation up to normal levels this week when he left Wednesday's practice with a groin injury. It's unclear if McKelvin will be available for Saturday's game. It has to be frustrating for McKelvin, who has taken several months to recover from offseason hip surgery and also dealt with a hamstring injury early last season. However, the Bills have some depth at cornerback to withstand any long-term blow.
  • It was another sharp day for quarterback EJ Manuel, who has been running against the scout team defense this week in practice. He went 11-for-15 in full-team drills, delivering his passes on-time and accurately on mostly shorter routes.
  • After Jeff Tuel received 26 snaps and Thad Lewis saw nine reps Tuesday, the two backup quarterbacks switched Wednesday. Lewis was the first to replace Manuel and finished practice with 25 snaps (compared to 33 for Manuel). Tuel had nine. Coaches are still giving both players a chance to win the backup job, but Tuel appears to be the front-runner. It wouldn't be surprising if he saw more reps Thursday.
  • Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (torn patella) was placed on injured reserve, and cornerbacks Mario Butler (ankle) and Bobby Felder (groin), as well as safety Jonathan Meeks (neck) were held out of practice. Tight end Tony Moeaki (hamstring) continues to be limited; he spent team drills working with trainers on a side field.
  • The Bills will wrap up training camp at St. John Fisher College with a practice Thursday afternoon. They are off Friday before playing the Buccaneers on Saturday.

Bills Camp Report: Day 31

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
9:00
PM ET
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Buffalo Bills training camp:
  • Sammy Watkins returned to practice in pads, although his participation was very limited. He took part in warm-up drills and stretching and then watched the remainder of practice from the sidelines. Watkins said afterwards that he could have practiced and could play in a game, but coach Doug Marrone took a more cautious route when speaking about Watkins' status for Saturday. The key is having Watkins healthy for the season opener, not the remainder of the preseason.
  • Marrone and quarterback EJ Manuel said after practice that it was more of a regular season-style practice. While there isn't likely much game planning for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bills' first-team offense ran against a "scout team" defense that included mostly third-team defensive backs. It wasn't too surprising, then, that Manuel went 15-for-15 in full-team drills. Here's how his completions broke down: Marquise Goodwin (4), Scott Chandler (3), Robert Woods (2), Mike Williams (2), Fred Jackson (2), C.J. Spiller (1), and T.J. Graham (1). His second-to-last throw was a deep ball down the left sideline to Graham, while one of his completions to Goodwin and both of Williams' catches were more downfield throws. The rest were flares, hooks, and shorter crossing patterns.
  • Given it was a "regular season" practice, it wasn't surprising that Manuel took the first 11 snaps of team drills, followed by eight snaps from Jeff Tuel. That's an indication that Tuel could be the first backup after Manuel comes off the field Saturday. Overall, Manuel took 29 snaps, Tuel took 26, and Thad Lewis took one set of nine. After Lewis' rocky outing last weekend, it's not a stretch to say he's fallen behind Tuel in the race to be the No. 2 quarterback, which could put his roster spot on uneven footing.
  • Couple of roster moves from the Bills on Tuesday, as they waived wide receiver Kevin Elliott and offensive lineman Edawn Coughman to bring their roster to 88 players. It's likely the case of the Bills wanting to give both players a chance to hook on with another team before the end of the preseason. They were a notch above the inexperienced players on the bottom of the roster but not within range of making the 53-man roster.
  • Not practicing Tuesday: linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee), Mario Butler (ankle), Jonathan Meeks (neck), and Bobby Felder (groin). In addition, tight end Tony Moeaki seemed to be limited in team drills as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
  • The Bills will practice again Wednesday morning before wrapping up training camp Thursday afternoon.

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