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Here is the Training Camp Report for Friday August 1st:
Believe it or not it was a pretty slow news day around NFL training camps today. So I figured this as good a time as any to discuss some recent developments across the NFL before I update a new batch of injuries.
What A Weirdo
Did any of you catch Arian Foster’s bizarre interview the other day in which all he did was repeat how much he was just trying to be the best teammate that he could be. This is clearly a guy who has gone off the deep end there is just no other way around it.
What’s worse than this interview is that Foster has also been battling hamstring injuries throughout camp and has hardly practiced in the past week. Remember, Foster had all kinds of hamstring injuries in recent years which were said to be related to the back injury that he needed surgery for last year. Foster had a microscopic lumbar discectomy surgery last year and did extensive rehab in order to be ready for this season. But the constant hamstring injuries have me thinking that it all goes back to the back issue and that is obviously not good.
On top of the injury concerns I wouldn’t touch Arian Foster this year because of the scheme change in Houston this year. Remember that Foster went undrafted out of Tennessee because he is a slow runner who isn’t hard to tackle. The thing that made Foster’s career is the cut-block running scheme employed by former head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Rick Dennison.
In a straight up power blocking scheme, this offensive line is well below average and Foster is nothing more than a square peg in a round hole. My belief is that he knows that he’s going to be in trouble in this system and isn’t very anxious to see it through. At this point I wouldn’t take Foster in any of the first four rounds of a fantasy draft this year.
Running With The Pats
One of the toughest situations to handicap this summer is the running back situation in New England. The Patriots started out camp with Stevan Ridley running with the first team, Shane Vereen with the second and Brandon Bolden the third. In just over a week it is rookie James White who was running with the 1’s this afternoon.
The RB1 job is wide open in New England because neither Stevan Ridley or Shane Vereen have been able to stay healthy over the past two seasons. Also, both Ridley and Vereen have had issues with protecting the football, something that has gotten each of them benched by head coach Bill Belichick. James White was graded as the best pass protector and most secure ball handler of all of the RB’s in this years draft class.
Everyone expects Shane Vereen to be a PPR monster this season but I feel like that is kind of foolish. You see, this whole “Vereen is PPR gold” thing started last year when Aaron Hernandez was arrested. In the aftermath everyone wondered how the Pats offense would adapt to not having the flexible pass catcher. So, Vereen was inserted to the “Aaron Hernandez role” where he suddenly caught a bunch of passes. This year however, the Pats have had plenty of time to prepare their offense without having Aaron Hernandez. In 18 career games going into 2014, Vereen had a total of eight receptions to his name. The love for him is completely unwarranted.
Jeremy Maclin left practice early today after suffering a thigh injury. The Eagles training staff was seen working with him on the field before walking him back to the training room. The Eagles are thin at WR right now as Riley Cooper has missed the past few days with a foot injury. Cooper was in a walking boot today which means that he won’t be back for at least another week or possibly longer. This leaves my boy Jordan Matthews as the lead dog right in the passing game for the Eagles right now. We should have an update on Maclin in our Training Camp Report tomorrow.
The 49ers announced that Michael Crabtree will miss the next two weeks “or so” with an injury yet they won’t tell us anything about what the injury is. Thus, as you know anytime NFL teams won’t tell us what an injury is I always assume it has to be AIDS.
Those of you still wondering what is going on with Dolphins RB Knowshon Moreno, word out of camp today was Moreno might not be ready at all this preseason. Moreno underwent arthroscopic knee surgery back in June and has yet to take part in any portion of Dolphins training camp. Lamar Miller is moving up my draft board with every passing day.