“In an interview on “The Lounge” podcast, [Zay] Flowers said he’s been playing all three receiving positions – X, Z and F – during practices this offseason. ‘That’s what I want. That’s exactly what I want. As long as I’m touching the ball, I feel like I can make a play from anywhere, no matter where it is.’ ‘[Monken’s] offense allows everyone to be able to get the ball. Just spread everybody out, move pieces around, and get everybody open. I just want to touch the ball. I don’t care how – screens, deeps balls, intermediate routes, shallow crosses – it doesn’t matter. As long as I’m touching the ball, I feel confident that I can help the team.”
In other news, Rashod Bateman has been placed on the PUP list.
Nyheim Hines suffered a severe knee injury off-site. The injury, which will cause him to miss the entire 2023 season, occurred during a jet ski accident where Hines was hit by another rider.
The Bears have decided to remove Chase Claypool from the PUP list, signaling his return to practice by Wednesday.
HC Zac Taylor has been vocal in his appreciation for Joe Mixon, both as a player and a captain. This comes especially after Mixon’s contract restructure.
Kevin Stefanski, recently provided updates on several players. He mentioned that Amari Cooper might be making a return to the field soon after experiencing a minor tweak during a practice session.
Stefanski also took the opportunity to praise David Njoku for his commendable growth and development over the years saying “I’m just really proud of him.”
Stefanski said WR Cedric Tillman has been working hard, squeezing in as many reps as he can and getting extra work in with QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
Stefanski on WR Elijah Moore: “He practices hard. His practice tempo, how he is in walkthroughs, he takes it very seriously. Which is great. It’s fun to be around a guy who really works at it. He’s taken the bit on everything we have asked him to do.”
During some tempo situations in practice, the first wide receiver group consisted of David Bell and DPJ outside, with Moore playing inside. This would suggest that David Bell is the first man up if one of the top 3 receivers go down.
“-With (Amari) Cooper sidelined, Deshaun Watson threw multiple passes in the 11-on-11 period to Elijah Moore, whose smooth route-running and soft hands were on display even in individual and group periods. One of the more notable plays of the practice was when Moore took an end-around handoff from Watson.
-Rookie WR Cedric Tillman made an impressive catch on a pass that looked a bit off target in the passing period before team drills began. He re-adjusted to the ball by angling his body to the right after initially shuffling left and secured the catch.”
“(Sam) LaPorta and (Jahmyr) Gibbs seem assured of big playing time this fall … and LaPorta’s quick ascension to the starting lineup was no surprise given his strong play this spring. … (LaPorta) later caught a short pass from Goff in seven-on-seven.”
More on Sam LaPorta: “We knew it was only a matter of time before he emerged as TE1. The question was whether that would occur during the season or at some point before then. But at this rate, LaPorta looks like TE1. He’s quite obviously the most talented player at the position, and he received plenty of first-team reps Sunday. He might’ve already passed Brock Wright.”
“The Lions targeted backs in the passing game quite often in Monday’s practice — whether it be a checkdown or designed throws. Both Gibbs and David Montgomery were involved out of the backfield, and both looked fluid and comfortable as receivers.”
Dan Campbell expressed his excitement about having Justin Jackson back on the team, even hinting at Jackson’s potential role as at least a No. 3 back.
Green Bay Packers
Mark Murphy, a representative of the Packers, praised the decision to draft Jordan Love saying “the best time to draft a quarterback is when you don’t need one.” He also said he thinks it’ll take about half a season to find out what they have in Jordan Love. Further, he said the defense is probably gonna have to carry the Packers for the first part of this season.
Kansas City Chiefs
“Another standout from the 7-on-7 period was rookie tailback Deneric Prince, who tallied multiple receptions during the session. Prince caught a pass near the sideline on a wheel route, a pass over the middle and another pass deep down the sideline a bit later. It was a strong first day for a player who generated considerable buzz throughout the offseason training program.”
Along with Prince, Richie James also stood out. While Prince secured at least five catches, James, donning the new No. 17 jersey, exhibited a quickness that reminded many of the player who previously wore that number.
Andy Reid on James: “He’s familiar with the offense because he had Mike Kafka [in New York], so he didn’t have to go through and learn everything here. Just maybe a few new things, and I like what I’ve seen from him. He’s a good football player, has a great feel for things.”
Reid on Isiah Pacheco: “You got to kind of watch it because he’s got that personality where he’s 100 miles an hour on every play, that’s why we put the yellow jersey on him, so he doesn’t do anything crazy to himself… he wants to stay in football shape.”
Another notable mention was Skyy Moore, who expressed a significant increase in his comfort level compared to the previous year.
“So while it would be silly to jump to grand conclusions, one thing still has become clear: Coach Andy Reid is giving Moore every chance to be a top receiver for the team this season.”
Moore also revealed that Richie James stands as his favorite receiver in the camp and that he has assumed a mentor role for Rashee Rice despite being younger than Rice.
On the injury front, Kadarius Toney, who underwent a knee procedure in the offseason, unfortunately aggravated his injury during a punt fielding session. While this setback means he’ll miss some of the training camp, the expectation is that he’ll be ready for the start of the regular season.
Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs has yet to sign his franchise tender. Recent reports suggest he might not return to training camp anytime soon. He was seen boarding a flight out of Las Vegas.
An incident that took place at the Haulover Marina involving Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill has been resolved, as per a joint statement by the involved parties.
The Lions recently hosted Teddy Bridgewater for a free agent visit.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints received good news as Kendre Miller successfully passed his physical.
Adam Caplan on Kenny Pickett: “And Pickett’s arm, a source with knowledge of the situation said, looked noticeably stronger during their OTA practices. Pickett’s knock in personnel circles coming into last year’s draft was that his arm strength was lacking, so it will be interesting to see what transpires in training camp.”
- Zay Flowers (Baltimore Ravens): Versatility in playing multiple receiving positions.
- Chase Claypool (Chicago Bears): Removed from the PUP list, signaling a return to practice.
- Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals): Received praise from HC Zac Taylor, especially after a contract restructure.
- David Njoku, Cedric Tillman, Elijah Moore (Cleveland Browns): All received positive remarks from Kevin Stefanski for their growth, effort, and dedication.
- LaPorta and Gibbs (Detroit Lions): Both are already locked in starters.
- Deneric Prince and Richie James (Kansas City Chiefs): Both highlighted as offensive standouts
- Skyy Moore (Kansas City Chiefs): Will have ample opportunity
- Kendre Miller (New Orleans Saints): Passed his physical
- Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh Steelers): Noted improvement in arm strength during OTA practices.
- Rashod Bateman (Baltimore Ravens): Placed on the PUP list
- Nyheim Hines (Buffalo Bills): Suffered a severe knee injury and will miss the entire 2023 season.
- Kadarius Toney (Kansas City Chiefs): Aggravated a knee injury, expected to miss some training camp time.
- Josh Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders): Hasn’t signed his franchise tender and might not return to training camp soon.