[Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson’s thoughts on] tight end Tyler Eifert, running backGiovani Bernard, guard Tanner Hawkinson, running back Rex Burkhead, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton and center T.J. Johnson:
“We had two guys come in and play a lot of football for us in Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard,” said Jackson. “We need those guys to come back in their sophomore seasons and be even better, because they now know the environment and they now know the grind of a National Football League season. They know how to prepare their bodies as well as their minds to play.”
“For the guys that didn’t play as much, those very talented guys who maybe had more guys at their positions where they didn’t get an opportunity, they need to fight to work into the mix as we continue to move forward. There’s going to be some good fights because they’re all very talented young players. You can’t really put a ceiling on a particular player from year one to year two as long as they’re willing to work.”
Jackson has the opportunity to work with a very talented offense. If he can limit Andy Dalton’s mistakes, the Bengals could be a very dangerous team.
Mike Pettine was absent from Jadeveon Clowney’s pro day April 2 for a very good reason: he and General Manager Ray Farmer were leading a private workout for quarterback Blake Bortles from Central Florida.
A source confirmed the private workout, which followed a private workout for quarterback Derek Carr on March 31. The Browns are not announcing any of their private workouts.
The Browns also have private workouts set for quarterbacks Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater.
“[Bortles] has all the measurables,” Pettine said. “If you look at him, if you said, ‘Draw me an NFL quarterback,’ that’s probably who you’d draw. “I think the thing that’s impressive about him is his ability in crunch time in a lot of tight games, a lot of come-from-behind wins. You can see he’s confident, can make all the throws. I think he’s a better athlete than some people give him credit for.”
The Browns could have saved time and energy by attending these QB’s pro days instead of hosting them for workouts. Instead of sipping cocktails by the pool, Farmer and company now have to evaluate players. PFF and pro days are sufficient. Get a Kiper Insider account if you really want to be thorough.
Since trading for and signing veteran center Jeremy Zuttah to a five-year, $18 million contract extension that includes a salary-cap figure of $1.7 million this year, the Ravens are now approximately $6.976 million under the NFL salary-cap limit of $133 million.
[The Ravens can pursue] a prospective long-term contract extension for wide receiver Torrey Smith, a backup quarterback, a tight end, perhaps Owen Daniels or Ed Dickson, and [still have] enough left over to sign their draft picks and save money for an emergency fund this season should players gets hurt and go on injured reserve.
The Ravens currently rank 14th in the NFL in available salary-cap space behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (32nd, $171,934), Detroit Lions (31st, $1.544 million), New Orleans Saints (30th, $2.206 million), Carolina Panthers (29th, $3.483 million), San Diego Chargers (28th, $3.653 million), San Francisco 49ers (27th, $3.866 million), New York Giants (26th, $4.235 million), Arizona Cardinals (25th, $4.492 million), Kansas City Chiefs (24th, $4.517 million), Dallas Cowboys (23rd, $5.922 million), Washington Redskins (22nd, $6.315 million), St. Louis Rams (21st, $6.589 million) and the Denver Broncos (20th, $6.839 million).
Jones’ ability against the run was a good sign in Year 1, particularly with some showing concerns about his size coming out of college. Like the other players on this list, it’s his pass rushing ability to determine his fate, and he certainly has some work to do in order to take the next step in that department.
Jones showed great instincts for the position, and regardless of the media-fueled overrated hype of having played the system in college, an outside linebacker role in an NFL 3-4 defense takes time to learn. His size was also a factor, but as you can see in Palazzolo’s clips, he instinctively finds the ball, and he found a way of slithering past blockers. When he adds some more bulk and gets some more strength under his pads, he’ll be able to put together a more complete arsenal of skills.
Jones started in LeBeau’s scheme as a rookie, which is a rarity. He’ll learn how to be a complete LB, like Suggs, in time.