The NFL Thread

Discussion in 'DVU' started by White Tajh Boyd, Jul 16, 2015.

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  1. White Tajh Boyd

    White Tajh Boyd
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    Evaluating first-round pick Vic Beasley's contract details

    FOX Sports

    JUL 14, 2015 7:50p ET
    [​IMG]


    The Atlanta Falcons have signed their top pick, Vic Beasley. That much, we already know. What we didn't know too much about were the actual numbers involved in Beasley's contract. Now, thanks to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, we have more insight as to how the numbers break down.

    As McClure explains, Beasley's deal is a four-year contract that has a fifth-year option. "Beasley's contract is a fully guaranteed $14,495,228, including a signing bonus of $8,801,984."

    When you look at the full breakdown, you'll find that the base salary and roster bonus increases each season. As for his his prorated signing bonus, that will be spread out evenly across the four years of his deal.

    Welcome to Atlanta, Mr. Beasley.

    (h/t ESPN)


    Here is how the contract breaks down, according to ESPN Stats & Information:

    2015

    Base salary: $435,000 (fully guaranteed)

    Roster bonus: $0

    Prorated signing bonus: $2,200,496

    Cap number: $2,635,496

    2016

    Base salary: $525,000 (fully guaranteed)

    Roster bonus: $568,874 (fully guaranteed on third day of league year)

    Prorated signing bonus: $2,200,496

    Cap number: $3,294,370

    2017

    Base salary: $615,000 (fully guaranteed)

    Roster bonus: $1,137,748 (fully guaranteed on third day of league year)

    Prorated signing bonus: $2,200,496

    Cap number: $3,953,244

    2018

    Base salary: $705,000 (fully guaranteed)

    Roster bonus: $1,706,622 (fully guaranteed on third day of league year)

    Prorated signing bonus: $2,200,496

    Cap number: $4,612,118
     
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  2. OrangeONeill

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    Really hope he knows to bank a big chunk of that payday.
     
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  3. 19B

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    A jelly doughnut?
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    I wouldn't worry, Vic seems pretty money-savvy.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. OrangeONeill

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    Dumbass is too big for that car. Made for 5'7" people.
     
  5. HotButteredGrits

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    Guaranteed $4.5 million.
     
  6. Tigers

    Tigers
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    All around cool guy
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    :tpcam::tpwhypanthwhy:
     
  7. White Tajh Boyd

    White Tajh Boyd
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  8. Keywan1474

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    O'Dell Beckham, u ain't hopkins
     
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  9. Cutig

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    My name is Rod, and I like to party
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    This is glorious. It can capture both of the emotions felt while being a camthers fan
     
  10. tboon6317

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    Whenever feasible, one should try to eat the rude.
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    Niners going for that sixth ring. Should be any day now...
     
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  11. hawk217

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    Chiefs signed Houston to 6 yr 101 million deal with 52.5 guaranteed. Worth every penny.
     
  12. Cutig

    Cutig
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    My name is Rod, and I like to party
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    Isn't he making more that JJ Watt now? One of the top 5 non-QB salaries I think, hopefully he stays healthy.
     
  13. The Guglia

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    I work in the City, and I work long hours.
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    Atlanta Falcons.
     
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  14. hawk217

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    Pretty much the same, maybe half mil more guaranteed
     
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  15. Junkyard Dog

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  16. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog
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    btw Vic is killing it on social media. He is quickly becoming a fan favorite just from how much he interacts with them on the twitta machine
     
  17. White Tajh Boyd

    White Tajh Boyd
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  18. 19B

    19B
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    A jelly doughnut?
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    It's all politics, man.
     
  19. tboon6317

    tboon6317
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    I clicked on this link as a Niners fan to get a look at worst Ellington, and I was like damn, that fucking QB has an arm on him. Turned out to be Tajh working out with him. He throws such a damn beautiful ball. Tajh looks to be in great shape.
     
  20. kylebw7

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    Tajh has to be the worst of all time between the ears to not be able to even make a roster with that glorious arm.
     
  21. tboon6317

    tboon6317
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    Isn't he still with the Steelers?
     
  22. kylebw7

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    yeah but he still hasn't locked in a spot on the roster
     
  23. cuwoodchipper

    cuwoodchipper
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    Tajh Boyd talks Steelers training camp, outlook for Clemson's 2015 season
    CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -
    Former Clemson star QB Tajh Boyd is heading to training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday.

    Boyd sat down with FOX Carolina's Aaron Cheslock to discuss life after Death Valley and as a new NFL player.

    "The game is different. Some things we did at Clemson translated, some didn't," said Boyd, "The terminology is different but I'm just going to go out there and be who Tajh is."

    Boyd said OTA (organized team activity) has helped him prepare for the upcoming season.

    "OTA and mini camp we're really solid for me. I got a chance to understand the offense and a chance to grown and learn," said Boyd.

    The Steelers check-in on Saturday and practice begins on Sunday.

    "The first game, it's going to be here before we know it," said Boyd.

    Boyd said the Steelers are poised to have a great year and he's excited to be back on the field with former Clemson wide receiver Martavias Bryant.

    "Martavias, he's just unguardable," said Boyd, "Those guys on that field are unbelievable."

    Boyd said the Steeler's starting QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is in his eleventh NFL season, has set a solid example for him.

    "Being in the NFL, I'm learning how to be a pro. I'm learning to understand how to prepare each day, prepare the night before, prepare in class, and pay attention to the details," said Boyd, "Those guys (Roethlisberger), they don't put the team in bad situations and that's what I'm learning right now."

    Many football experts have chosen the Pittsburgh Steelers to take home their second division title in the past two seasons. The Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in 2014 to win the AFC North division and Boyd said he's ready for it.

    "I can't play like I did in college, I was a bit reckless at times but I can't do that now," said Boyd, "I'm ready to get a chance to ignite the flame and run the ball a little bit, but I'm still going out there and protecting myself."

    Boyd says he's excited for training camp and prepared for the upcoming season.

    "I just want to go out there and play smart football. I want to take opportunities and make plays, I need to play smart and separate myself from others," said Boyd, "I want to look like Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson, they make smart plays. I think I can make plays."

    Boyd said he's ready to be on the field with the same players he's been watching for years.

    "Some guys I've seen on TV and growing up, they are still making plays and they are humble but when they step on the field, they mean business," said Boyd.

    As for Clemson's current football program, Boyd said it's going to be an incredible 2015 season for the Tigers.

    Players such as sophomore wide receiver standout Mike Williams and Charone Peake, who is set to play this fall following what seems like a series of injuries, are who Boyd is looking to to rise up.

    "Mike Williams is the purest wide receiver in college football," said Boyd, "Seeing how healthy Charone is now, he's going to fly. He will have an unbelievable year."

    Boyd said he believes the Tigers are set for a national championship within the next two years.

    "There's some special guys out there, the receiving team isn't slowing down, this is going to be an impressive year," said Boyd.

    Boyd also points to some new recruits to help fill the shoes of Isaiah Battle, one of the team's most athletic offensive lineman, who decided to go pro.

    "Losing Isaiah, it hurts a little, but Mitch Hyatt and Joe Gore, they will step up to the plate," said Boyd.

    Clemson's defense made noise over the past few seasons but many are worried after losing a few players to the NFL. Boyd said he's not concerned.

    "The defense will be a lot better than expected, we lost a few but the players stepping up are similar. Not many people can block Shaq Lawson," said Boyd.

    South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier made headlines last week after an impromptu press conference that ruffled a few feathers but Boyd said he's interested to see what the Gamecocks do this fall.

    "The game is all about a competitive nature, it wouldn't be football without being able to talk," said Boyd.

    Boyd is all too familiar with the summer heat of South Carolina but said it's only a benefit for his training.

    "It's good to train in South Carolina, I'm more in shape for training cramp because of this heat."

    The Tajh Boyd Foundation is looking to donate school supplies to those Upstate students in need for the upcoming school year.

    "We're going to do the best we can. Some Clemson players will be there. We will have a DJ and the Tiger will be there, too," said Boyd, "We're just trying to help the community and keep pushing. We're just trying to do what we can at home."

    To learn more and help the Tajh Boyd Foundation, click here.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers will play their first preseason game at the Minnesota Vikings on August 9. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.

    Clemson takes to Death Valley for it's first game against Wofford on September 5 at noon.




    Bucs bring back DL Da’Quan Bowers as free agent
    By Roy Cummings | Tribune Staff
    Published: July 27, 2015


    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are giving defensive lineman Da’Quan Bowers another chance to reach the potential that once made him one of the top pass-rushing prospects in all of football.

    Bowers, a 2011 second-round draft pick of the Bucs who went untouched through four months of free agency, re-signed with Tampa Bay on Monday, the team announced.

    Bowers hinted at a possible reunion with the Bucs on social media a couple of weeks ago and quickly returned to that forum to announce his return.

    Bowers wrote on his Twitter feed: “The ink is dry and the deal is done!! I’m coming back home!!! #itsabucslife #firethemcannons.’"

    Details of the contract were not released, but the reunion has the potential to add depth to a defensive line that remains in transition, particularly at defensive end. The Bucs are expected to start Jacquies Smith at right end and George Johnson at left end, but which players will join the team’s defensive end rotation remains uncertain.

    A 6-foot-4, 288-pound product of Clemson University, Bowers was considered the top pass-rushing prospect in the 2011 draft class until a knee injury damaged his value.

    Confident he could regain the form he displayed as a collegian, the Bucs spent the 51st overall pick on Bowers, but his output never justified the decision to draft him so high. Plagued by injuries that might have contributed to an inability to get into proper playing shape, Bowers eventually settled into a role as a reserve defensive end and tackle.

    Though he played in 50 games for the Bucs, Bowers started only 10. He totaled 70 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, seven sacks, seven pass breakups and two fumble recoveries.

    Bowers’ return came on the day Bucs rookies reported to One Buc Place for the start of training camp. With veteran players scheduled to report on Friday, the team has one spot open on its 90-man roster.




    MARTAVIS BRYANT: The former Clemson receiver's remarkable athleticism drew plenty of attention during limited playing time in 2014, when he racked up 8 touchdown passes and 549 yards on just 26 catches. In 2015, things should get even sweeter for Randy Moss' long lost baby brother. Speaking to Mike Prisuta of WDVE, Bryant said that the playbook is now fully open to him, as opposed to a handful of packaged plays. "I know all the plays now ... Last year, [the offensive coaching staff] would put in certain plays, and if they worked in practice, we would put them into the game. This year, they got the whole playbook open." Given Bryant's position as Pittsburgh's outside deep threat, he could rack up double-digit scores with ease. It will be interesting to see how he's utilized other than being a pure home run hitter.

    NFL Media's Albert Breer also noted that Bryant, who played at just above 200 pounds last season, has bulked up considerably this summer. This has many fans questioning if Bryant has started taking steroids, and rightfully so; gaining 20 pounds of lean muscle in six months seems impossible without 'assistance'. However, Bryant's genetic superiority makes superhuman feats attainable, and the 4% body fat figure is probably a stretch. Either way, Martavis should be expecting a "random drug test" note in his locker in the coming weeks.



    The Rams have announced that Clemson tackle Isaiah Battle is under contract, 18 days after being taken in the fifth-round of the supplemental selection process.




    First Female to Join NFL Coaching Staff


    The Arizona Cardinals have added Jen Welter and Levon Kirkland and to the team’s coaching staff. This is a historic move for women and the NFL. Welter, is the first female to hold a coaching position of any kind in the NFL. The Cardinals in their announcement said she will join the coaching staff throughout training camp and the preseason, working with inside linebackers.

    In February of 2014, she played running back and special teams for the Indoor Football League’s Texas Revolution, becoming the first female to play a non-kicking position in a men’s professional football league. This past February she became the first female to coach in a men’s pro football league when hired by the Revolution to coach linebackers and special teams. In that role she worked under Revolution general manager and 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Tim Brown.

    A rugby player at Boston College, Welter has more than 14 years of professional football experience as a linebacker, mostly with the Dallas Diamonds of the Women’s Football Alliance, helping them win four championships. She also earned two gold medals with Team USA at the International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Women’s World Championship in 2010 and 2013. Welter, 37, holds a master’s degree in sport psychology and a PhD in psychology.

    Kirkland, a former Pro Bowl linebacker, becomes the inaugural participant in the Bill Bidwill Coaching Fellowship, a program established by the Cardinals to provide recently-retired NFL players with the opportunity to gain coaching experience at the highest level. The Cardinals announced that for the next two seasons, Kirkland will work with outside linebackers.

    Selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (38th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft out of Clemson, the 46-year old Kirkland played 11 NFL seasons with the Steelers (1992-2000), Seahawks (2001) and Eagles (2002). A two-time Pro Bowler (1996-97) and first-team All-Pro (1997), he appeared in 176 games (155 starts) and registered 1,110 tackles, 19.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, 16 forced fumbles and nine recoveries. He was also one of six linebackers selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-1990s Team, joining Junior Seau, Derrick Thomas, Kevin Greene, Hardy Nickerson and Cornelius Bennett.




    INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Before Landon Walker was the fueler on Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott’s pit crew, he was Dwayne Allen’s teammate at Clemson.

    “He doesn’t know any less about race cars than I do,” joked Walker. “All I know is how to put gas in them and work around the pit stop.”

    Allen spent Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway learning about his former teammate’s new career.

    “It’s pretty cool to see him living out his dream,” said Allen. “He’s a guy that’s a hard worker, a guy that’s a bit of a perfectionist.”

    After being cut by the Cincinnati Bengals shortly after being signed due to a knee injury, Walker, a former offensive lineman, wasn’t sure what to do. The lifelong NASCAR fan then made a couple of phone calls and found himself in Charlotte with Hendrick Motorsports.

    “Honestly it’s not so much athleticism as it is the ability to work under pressure and have confidence in yourself,” said Walker of the parallels between football and working in the pits. “Athleticism is great if you have it, but if you don’t, you can work hard and be good at what you do.”

    Landon is part of a growing trend of former NFL and college football players who are finding a permanent home in NASCAR. Hendrick Motorsports is at the heart of it. Chris Burkey, a former scout with the Miami Dolphins, helped them start a developmental program in 2009, hoping to turn top notch athletes into the best on pit road.

    “I’ll go into a college and talk to the guys I know, and I’ll talk to the strength staff and say, ‘I don’t want the guys that are going to be pros, I want the guys who are good athletes. That want to compete and do something a little different,’” said Burkey.

    Pit crew performance can often mean the difference between finishing first or finishing tenth.

    “You go from the NFL where you play 80 snaps a game, you go here you get 6 times, and every time you have to be perfect,” said Walker

    “We live in the tens of thousands of seconds,” said Burkey. “We have to be like the defense. We can’t come on pit road and lose positions.”

    The investment has paid off. Hendrick has won three championships since the program began.
     
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  24. Tony Elliott

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    Backup Quarterbacks Get Opportunity



    The pads come out on Wednesday, but before that happens, let’s get a read on the early training camp battles.

    Tajh Boyd has the lead for the No. 3 quarterback job over Landry Jones—not so much for what he has done, but rather what Jones hasn’t.

    Given an opportunity with the first-team offense on Monday, Jones struggled to find receivers in a timely manner and relied on his checkdown options. Even when given time, Jones does not take chances downfield.

    As noted earlier, Jones also threw a pick-six to Grant when the offense was working just outside of the goal line. However, he did have a couple of nice throws, including one to Shakim Phillips in which he took advantage of blown coverage by Kevin Fogg and another deep to Darrius Heyward-Bey in front of Antwon Blake and Shamarko Thomas.

    Boyd takes a more aggressive approach, and when the play breaks down, he will use his legs to get outside of the pocket. However, he has made several nice throws, including a long pass to C.J. Goodwin, who made an impressive grab over Fogg.
     
  25. bnob

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    This whole thing has been so strange. I was feeling kind of sorry for Brady but seeing that he destroyed his phone, hard to feel sorry for him.

    Tom Brady's 4-game suspension in Deflategate upheld by Goodell
    4m - NFL TOM BRADY +1 more
    • [​IMG]
      Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
    Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in using underinflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game was upheld by commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.

    [​IMG]
    Tom Brady deliberately destroyed evidence when the league began its investigation of the Patriots quarterback, Roger Goodell said. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia
    In announcing the decision, Goodell cited new information that on or shortly before March 6, Brady had directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. The NFL said in the statement that Brady destroyed the phone even though he was aware that investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on the phone.

    According to the NFL, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved. The NFL also said in its statement that the destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after investigators had first sought information from him.

    Goodell said in the statement he found that Brady "went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the scheme." Based on Ted Wells' report and the evidence presented at that hearing, Goodell also said that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels allowed under NFL rules.

    Brady is expected to challenge the decision in federal court and seek an injunction that will allow him to play while his case works its way through the courts. The sides had engaged in settlement talks but couldn't find common ground, which wasn't a surprise.

    Brady, according to sources, remains adamant that he will not accept a suspension and that any punishment must specify that it's for failing to cooperate with an NFL investigation and not for breaking rules with footballs.

    The Patriots report to training camp on Thursday. Coach Bill Belichick is expected to talk to the media on Wednesday.

    Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season on May 11 after Wells' investigation found that it was "more probable than not" that Patriots personnel deliberately deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts and that Brady was "at least generally aware" of the rules violations. The Patriots were fined $1 million and stripped of a 2016 first-round draft choice and a 2017 fourth-round draft choice.

    Brady appealed his suspension on June 23 to Goodell, who served as arbitrator despite the objections of the NFL Players Association. Attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who has had success taking on the NFL in other high-profile cases, led Brady's defense and said, "I think we put in a very compelling case."

    That case now heads to federal court, where Brady will argue:

    • The ball-deflation policy was incorrectly applied to him, as the rules were meant for club personnel and not players.

    • The Wells report doesn't prove he did anything illegal.

    • If it is determined that the ball-deflation policy applied to Brady, the league failed to give him notice of the penalty, in essence making up the punishment with precedent.

    • The NFL doesn't have the proper techniques and standards for measuring deflation of footballs.

    • Goodell was not a neutral arbitrator.

    As for Goodell taking 35 days to determine Brady's appeal, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano that it was rooted in the NFL's viewpoint that its decision had to be designed, vetted and written to withstand a court challenge. Thus, the delay was mostly about whether the league is comfortable in the legal presentation of the decision.

    [\spoiler]
     
  26. Dirty Ears Bill

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  27. clemsonswag

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    TDTAY picking up where he left off

     
  28. HotButteredGrits

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    Breeland busted first night of training camp for marijuana possession.

    Albert Breer ‏@AlbertBreer 25m25 minutes ago
    Per sources, Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland will serve a one-game suspension, a penalty stemming from this incident
     
  29. cuwoodchipper

    cuwoodchipper
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    Some Boyd notes from the last Steelers practice:

    Second 11 on 11

    11. Bit of a botched exchange between Boyd and Dismukes. Still gets the handoff off to Stingily. Chickillo made the tackle.

    12. Pass. Chickillo dips Palmer around the edge. Boyd hits Clear on an out. Garvin and Sullen finish him off by sandwiching the tight end with a loud pop. One of the bigger hits of the day.

    Boyd was at QB in the pistol. Formation we’ve seen sprinkled in enough to talk about throughout camp.

    Third 11 on 11

    7. Looked up just as the play was over but apparently Gay nearly picked off Boyd as he tried to hit someone on a post.

    8. Howard Jones knocks down an attempted Boyd screen. Team speeding up the pace, not a full no huddle but close.

    9. Ryan Shazier flies in free up the middle. Boyd goes full side-arm motion to hit Coates on a curl. Throw was really low and credit to Coates to reaching down and getting his hands under the ball.

    10. Boyd’s throw is low to Will Johnson. Releasing the ball too late, causing these passes to skip.

    11. Dupree wins off the edge. Boyd to Goodwin on an out towards the left sideline.

    Fourth 11 on 11

    5. Boyd had a perfect throw to Bryant on a nine route deep downfield. A good 40 yards on Bryant’s outside shoulder against Fogg. Bryant tracks it but can’t make the grab, the ball slipping through his hands.

    Fifth 11 on 11

    5. Smoke screen to the right from Boyd to Coates.

    Final Thoughts

    – Again, wouldn’t read a ton into the reps Murphy has gotten the last day. Has been an uptick but I imagine there’s a rotation here. Boyd will get his due in a couple days. Remember, Boyd still ran with the second-team in warmups.
     
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  30. Billdozer

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  31. Keywan1474

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    He also tore his knee up in practice, was carted off the field.
     
  32. Grady Jarrett

    Grady Jarrett
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    MCL sprain 4-6 weeks
     
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  33. cuwoodchipper

    cuwoodchipper
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    EARTH CITY, MO. – While the St. Louis Rams are taking a look at several rookie offensive linemen, another potential wild-card remains in former Clemson offensive tackle Isaiah Battle.

    Taken by the Rams in the fifth round of the NFL supplemental draft, the 6-foot-7, 290-pound Battle adds some intrigue to an incoming rookie offensive line class that already included second-round pick Rob Havenstein, third-round pick Jamon Brown, fourth-round pick Andrew Donnal and sixth-round pick Cody Wichmann.

    By choosing Battle in the supplemental draft, the Rams had to surrender their fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft, a risk they felt comfortable taking.

    “The guy is gifted, physically gifted,” Rams General Manager Les Snead said. “He was well on our radar. A little bit last year because there was talk maybe he might come out last year. Chose not to. He’s a guy that’d been on your radar, so you knew he had a chance depending on how he played this year.

    “He was gonna be a guy that you had to look and evaluate to see if he was an early prospect.”

    Battle started 15 of 27 games at Clemson, but also dealt with some off-field issues and was suspended last season for a violation of team rules.

    “He’s got some work to do,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Saturday. “As we told him it’s not about next September, it’s about this September. If he’s on the roster, if he’s on the 53, he’s a couple snaps away from playing so he’s got to get himself into shape.

    “Thus far he’s done pretty good. He’s clearly behind the rest of the group just because he hasn’t been here, but in a short period of time I think he’s holding his own. We’ll see how it is over the next couple weeks.”

    Snead is approaching 2015 as something of a redshirt season for Battle, who could potentially compete with rookie second-round pick Rob Havenstein at right tackle.

    “Redshirt can sometimes mean if he makes the 53, that doesn’t mean you’ve got a jersey on game day,” Snead said of Battle. “Now, we’re all human. If the guy comes out and in a week says I’m the best ... I’m not gonna put a timeline on that but I think that’s what your rational expectations would be.”
     
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  34. Doc Louis

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    Just like in college, he wasn't expecting to get the ball.
     
  35. cuwoodchipper

    cuwoodchipper
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    Time will tell if Saints linebacker Stephone Anthony will emerge as this season’s star rookie, but right now he’s certainly dressed the part. Training camp is about a month away, and Anthony is outfitted in a dapper suit from Luca Falcone at the brand’s tony man cave of a store on Magazine Street. Going into the season there’s a lot of buzz about the North Carolina native, who was nabbed in the Saints’ second first-round pick in the 2015 draft. Referring to him as a “tackling machine,” a Times-Picayune preseason ranking of players included him at No. 19 – the only rookie on the list. He attended Clemson University, rejecting offers from UNC, Florida and Virginia Tech, and in high school he also played baseball and basketball and ran track. We talked to the promising rookie, who had never been to New Orleans before being drafted, about the upcoming season and settling into his new city, which he’s doing with a two-year-old daughter.

    Q: How has New Orleans been so far? It’s been hot (laughs). It’s been enjoyable. I’ve been getting adjusted: finding a place to live, figuring out how you’re going to get around, finding all the new spots in town. I’ve been going out to eat a lot. The food here is amazing. I’ve had a chance to get to some new places. I went with some of the guys to Root, which was a very interesting experience. It was way different, but it was pretty good. Had a chance to try a lot of different things.

    Q: What kinds of things are you working on as you’re preparing for the season? I’m just trying to embrace my role, whatever that role is. Pretty much get in where I fit in. Continuing to be who I am, continue to chop wood every day and try to get better every day.

    Q: What role do you like to play on a team? I love to be the guy the other guys can look to and, in a sense, find energy. I wanna be the guy who makes everyone around him better. Because essentially that’s what it’s about: You’re only as good
    as the player beside you.

    Q: In high school you played pretty much every sport. What lead you to ultimately pursue football professionally? I’m not really sure – that’s a good question. I guess the first sport I ever played was baseball. I had a true love for baseball. My older brother ended up starting the sports thing in our family by playing baseball. I just always had this knack for football, and as I started getting attention for it freshman year in high school it drew me that way.

    Q: And then you went to Clemson – Yes. I want to brag on Clemson a little bit about how great it is, and what Coach Swinney is doing down there.

    Q: Go ahead. I was going to ask what you liked about it because you received offers from a lot of places. Clemson stood out to me because of the atmosphere. Anyone who’s been there can tell you the same story over and over. I think you see the same thing over and over with different guys who have experienced that field … the culture since Coach Swinney’s been there has been like no other. He’s building something special.

    Q: What do you like doing – when you’re not playing – to relax? Relax; yeah, exactly. Probably my biggest hobby is that I love to fish. There’s something about getting a fish on the other end of that line – there’s something about it, man. It excites me, relaxes me, gives me time to get away and think about other things than football. I love being able to get out and cast the line in the pond, lake, whatever, see what you pull up.

    Q: How would you describe the dynamic of the rookie class? I think it’s a great class. I think it has a chance to be a real good class. I think we definitely have to prove ourselves and find out our identity in a sense. Figure out who we are, who we’re going to be on the team and embrace those roles, and try to make something special.

    Q: Have you been exposed to the crazy Saints fanbase yet? A little bit. I had a chance to experience a little bit at the “introduce the rookies to the city” event. Everyone was excited, regardless of what position you play. People were excited to see us, they know who we were. I can definitely tell this is going to be a fun place to play.

    Occupation: Saints linebacker Age: 22
    Born/raised: Monroe, NC/Wadesboro, NC
    Education: Clemson University
    Favorite movie: Bad Boys 2
    Favorite TV show: “Martin”
    Favorite hobby: Fishing
    Favorite restaurant: Ruth’s Chris Steak House
    Favorite food: “Crab cakes … but all the food I’ve tried in New Orleans so far has been unbelievable.”
    Favorite book: The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
    Favorite vacation spot: Cancun

    True confession
    I’ve been playing football nearly my entire life, but the most difficult yet enjoyable experience has been becoming a father. It’s a lot of hard work but
     

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