With the draft still more than a month away and the biggest names in free agency finding homes, we are in a little bit of a lull when it comes to news. However, John Hansen attended the combine and Adam Caplan spent time at the owners’ meetings looking to pick up any information from coaches, executives, and other team officials. What we have here are some of the nuggets from the coaches that spoke last week in Arizona.
Bruce Arians, Cardinals
-Believes addition of Rashard Mendenhall helps because of their history. Mendenhall doesn’t need to come out of the game.
-Prefers to use one RB instead of committee
-Wants to name starting QB ASAP, possibly by end of spring. Comfortable with Drew Stanton because he knows the system already and has some athleticism.
-Outside of Levi Brown at LT, there will be competition on the OL.
-Wants flexibility at TE because he doesn’t like to use a FB. Rob Housler praised for being an excellent receiver, just scratching the surface.
Tom Coughlin, Giants
-Excited about Brandon Myers’ catch total from 2012. Believe he’s well rounded and can help with ground game.
Jason Garrett, Cowboys
-Need more than one RB. Need to run it better. Need to balance offense and healthy [...]
Could this be the final week of labor talks? Things are looking good, and with free agency possibly just days away, the Monday edition of the Guru Daily features plenty of actual football talk… and some other stuff thanks to a Bengal RB.
Benson arrested … Free agent RB Cedric Benson was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge and released from jail Sunday in Austin, Texas. Full details, from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
According to an arrest affidavit, the former roommate was standing at a street corner in downtown Austin talking on his cell phone around 4:45 a.m. Sunday morning when a “hostile and aggressive” Benson approached him and said they had to talk about their problems.
The two began talking about their living arrangements when “all of a sudden he was struck on his face with a closed fist thrown by Benson,” according to the affidavit. Benson then struck him several more times, it said, resulting in injuries to the left side of the victim’s face.
It’s the second arrest of a Bengal player in the last week, as troubled CB Pacman Jones was arrested after an incident at a club. It’s also Benson’s second problem in the last two years in Austin [...]
There is no labor deal yet. We think there will be one soon. The two sides are meeting again today. Yesterday probably could have been better, but it could have been worse. That is all we will mention about this situation.
Randy Moss not happy with the way 2010 went down… WR Randy Moss’ agent, Joel Segal, was doing his job this week and is talking up his client, who had the worst year of his roller-coaster career in 2010. “He is determined, motivated and quite frankly has a huge chip on his shoulder,” Segal said. Of course, we’d think representatives from the Vikings and Titans would disagree from the start, as Moss made just a handful of catches after being traded to Minnesota early in the 2010 season. Segal, then, has his work cut out for him to secure Moss a job once the open market is, well… opened. In his 30s, Moss is probably going to want to play with a contender, but is any contender going to be willing to take the risk that he’s a total dud like last year? The Jets would seem like a solid fit if they don’t re-sign Braylon Edwards, and we figure [...]
With the owners and team representatives meeting in Chicago for updates on the labor negotiations, we inch closer to training camp and news starts to pick up. Without OTAs and mini-camps, some of the good nuggets we are used to getting just aren’t there, so when coaches or players speak on workouts or plans for the season, we’re listening with great interest.
The QB competition might be open in Denver, but we know who has the best NECKBEARD.
Fox says Bronco QB competition will be wide-open … between Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow, and yes, even Brady Quinn. Fox, who was hired by the Broncos back in January just two weeks after completing his tenure in Carolina, has said all along that the starting job would be decided in a competition, which he believes is a healthy part of the game. Fox said the team has “multiple plans in place, just waiting for the race to start” in relation to roster moves and practice schedules. What Fox didn’t and couldn’t address, were the trade rumors surrounding Orton, who is apparently favored by Fox and executive VP John Elway, although that doesn’t mean the team is against trading him at the right price. [...]
Even though the lockout remains intact, rumors of player movement continue to swirl despite teams being unable to (legally) discuss contracts or trades. In an effort to be on top of any potential moves once the lockout is lifted, we’ve continued to monitor player workouts, reports, and rumors from around the league, a few of which we’ll pass along today.
Cedric Benson said he wanted to express himself more in 2011. This would be a good start.
Benson shows interest in returning to Bengals … after working out with the team at the University of Cincinnati on Wednesday. Benson, who is technically a free agent, has reportedly attended multiple player-led workouts, which he called “an opportunity to get some real good football work in.” After voicing frustration with the offense and his role during and after the season, it didn’t appear that he’d return to the team for the 2011 season, but with the firing of OC Bob Bratkowski and subsequent hiring of Jay Gruden to take over the offense, Benson looks interested in returning to the black and orange. Gruden talked with Benson in February, explaining that his vision for the offense, a West Coast system, would feature a commitment [...]
Hey, it is finally that day we have all been waiting for! Mediation is back! Woohoo! The NFL and decertified NFLPA will meet in front of Judge Arthur Boylan, and while any negotiating sessions could theoretically help lead to an agreement between the two sides, we will not hold our breath until there is a ruling from Judge David Doty in the lockout damages case and/or a ruling from the 8th Circuit on the enjoined lockout. But still, yay mediation!
Mediation resumes… Don’t get your hopes up. Only a couple days of talks are scheduled, and both sides are certainly fulfilling a court-ordered obligation to meet. Otherwise, they’d be waiting idly on court rulings, just like the rest of us. Any meeting might produce a sliver of hope if one side shows signs of caving, but we don’t see any way the sides don’t wait for a court ruling from the 8th Circuit to make any sort of moves. In the meantime, Patriot owner Robert Kraft, maybe the most moderate voice in this whole mess, offers some words of warning to both the owners and players. We believe the fans are already angry enough, but Kraft is right: if a deal [...]
The whole temporary stay thing is starting to sound permanent, as the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on a stay that would allow the lockout to continue through the appeals process. But that doesn’t mean there is no court activity to discuss…
NFL files brief, gets NHL’s support … The wheels are in motion in the NFL’s appeal to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, as the league filed its brief opposing Judge Susan Nelson’s injunction that lifted to the lockout. The NFL’s argument features more of the same points that we’ve been hearing over and over: the NFLPA’s decertification is a sham, Nelson didn’t have jurisdiction to lift the lockout, lifting the lockout causes harm to the league, etc. We’ve heard it all before, and we’ll continue to hear the same things. In the meantime, someone please take away Reggie Bush’s Twitter account.
We’re still waiting for the court to rule on granting the league a stay, although it already granted a temporary stay, which is why we still haven’t seen free agency. In the event that the lockout is lifted, the NFL has yet to decide on rules for operating without a new [...]
We will have much more in-depth analysis of what the NFL Draft means for fantasy in coming days – in fact, the Post-Draft Stock Watch is already up – but as we did for the 1st round Friday, we bring you a quick round-up here of what happened on Days Two of Three of the draft as we wait for a pivotal ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court in St. Louis.
Mallett’s fall headlines Day Two … While both QBs Andy Dalton (#35 to Cincinnati) and Colin Kaepernick (#36 to San Francisco) went off the board earlier, the big news of Friday’s portion of the NFL was the fall of the polarizing Ryan Mallett. Mallett, who is the best pure passer in the draft, has had his character called into question, and he dropped all the way to the 74th pick overall in the 3rd round, where he landed with the Patriots. Obviously, the Patriots aren’t in immediate need of a starting QB, but it’s a good spot for Mallett to land because he’ll get to adjust to the NFL under the guidance of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. If maturity is a problem, there’s no better place for him to [...]
Thursday may have been the best day to be a football fan since the season ended, as we not only found out that the league was re-opening their doors to players, but saw one hell of a first round in this year’s draft. While the majority of picks were safe, we did see a few trades and a few shockers that shook things up significantly.
While Cam Newton may need some time to develop, fear not Panther fans, Jimmy Clausen was back to work this morning.
League allows players to return to work … as of 8 a.m. ET Friday morning. With Judge Susan Nelson ruling that the lockout was illegal and refusing to grant a stay, it took some time for the league to work out the details before they re-opened the doors to the players. Teams had been told to turn away players who reported over the last three days, but welcomed them in this morning with reports of the Panthers and Titan players already at team facilities. Team workouts have already been scheduled by the Lions (OTAs on Wednesday) and Bears (rookie camp next weekend). Players reporting for workouts will get credit towards team bonuses, which was a [...]
The league now turns its focus from the labor negotiations to the combine in Indianapolis. With executives, coaches, agents, and prospects all in the same place, we are learning about draft plans, possible roster moves, and a whole lot more, which we cover in today’s Fantasy Guru Daily.
Labor talks are over for now … but will resume on Tuesday. Representative from the league and NFLPA finished seven days of negotiations on Thursday with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service with mediator George H. Cohen. Cohen said, “Some progress was made, but very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues.” At Cohen’s suggestion, the two sides have agreed to continue mediation on Tuesday, March 1. The owners have meetings scheduled for March 2-3, with the CBA running out at 11:59p.m. ET on March 3. With a five-day break in talks, Cohen requested that the two sides continue to stay silent on matters discussed in mediation.
The Bronco organization seems to be behind Kyle Orton as their starter…for now.
Kyle Orton is the Broncos’ starter for now … according to HC John Fox. While Fox said Orton would be the team’s #1 QB if the season started right now, he did say [...]