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Thread: NFL Whispers ..

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    NFL Whispers ..

    By PFW staff

    Here are some Whispers we've been hearing from our sources around the NFL:

    • With the Packers seeming to have an abundance of talent at wide receiver, don’t rule out the possibility that James Jones could be traded if a serious enough need develops at another position. Most close observers currently have Jones, who managed an impressive seven touchdowns despite limited snaps last season, tabbed as the No. 3 receiver behind Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson. But veteran Donald Driver and youngsters Randall Cobb, Tori Gurley and Diondre Borel could all give Jones a serious run for his money.

    • Bears players and coaches spoke very highly of Devin Hester’s performance this offseason and it appears he will be utilized at receiver in the slot as well as outside with Mike Tice running the offense. With Earl Bennett also expected to be featured in the slot, the two could complement each other well. “(Bennett) has stood out over the past few seasons,” one league evaluator told PFW. “They really missed him (when he was sidelined for five games) last season.”

    • With Brian Price in line to be the Buccaneers’ starting nose tackle and veteran Gary Gibson added this offseason to back him up, Roy Miller’s playing time is likely to dwindle barring an injury. Miller appears to be on the roster bubble heading into training camp.

    • Just how much has the Rams’ situation at cornerback changed? Just like that, Jerome Murphy, who was projected as the team’s No. 3 corner entering last season, currently shapes up as the sixth corner behind Cortland Finnegan, Bradley Fisher, Josh Gordy and rookies Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, according to most daily team observers. We hear there continues to be speculation that the very physical Johnson could be moved to safety.

    Bradley Fisher? Well that's a surprise, Coach Fisher must have gotten so angry at Janorice Jenkins for reneging on his promise that he decided to get even by adopting Bradley F..


    • After entering the offseason looking like a serious candidate for the Niners’ starting ORG job vacated by Adam Snyder, it appears second-year pro Daniel Kilgore could be settling into the backup center spot behind Jonathan Goodwin, with the team viewing him as Goodwin’s heir apparent.

    • We hear Cardinals sixth-round rookie DB Justin Bethel, who is capable of playing multiple positions in the secondary, will most likely be spending most of his time at safety backing up veteran safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, both of whom had their share of injury issues last season. Ideally, the Cardinals would like Bethel to make his biggest initial impact as a rookie on special teams.

    • After hitting a home run with the signing of undrafted free agent WR Doug Baldwin last season, we hear the Seahawks have had a hard time keeping their eyes off of Phil Bates, another undrafted free agent out of Ohio.

    • Word inside Jaguars’ camp is that ORT Eben Britton is finally ready to put it all together this season. After a promising rookie campaign in 2009, Britton has lost most of the past two seasons to shoulder and back injuries. But we hear Britton appears to have turned a corner and “big things are in store” for the former second-rounder. This would be music to the ears of QB Blaine Gabbert, who did not receive adequate protection from swing tackle Guy Whimper last season.

    • Plenty of attention will be paid to how the WR pecking order plays out in Houston during training camp — rookies DeVier Posey, Keshawn Martin and 2011 undrafted free agent Lester Jean are all in the mix to replace Jacoby Jones and earn playing time behind Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter. However, it will also be important to monitor how Jones’ former return duties are picked up. The Texans privately are hoping Martin clamps down on the punt-return duties, but he doesn’t have prior experience returning kicks. That responsibility could land with DBs Quintin Demps or Sherrick McManis, among others, and Trindon Holliday remains in the mix, as well.

    • DE Elvis Dumervil's arrest over the weekend for aggravated assault is certainly a cause of concern for Denver, and it's not the pass rusher's first run-in with the law since he has been in the NFL (charges for assault and disturbing the peace in 2010 were dismissed). It's too early to tell if Dumervil will face a suspension, but any time away would test the Broncos' depth up front on defense. Jason Hunter, the team's top reserve off the edge, would have to step up, and the Broncos will have to look closely at other young players this summer to consider possible contingency plans. And Denver’s front seven is already going to be without starting LB D.J. Williams for the first six games because of a suspension.

    • The Chargers drafted TE Ladarius Green in the fourth round, and in the best-case scenario, he will eventually follow in All-Pro TE Antonio Gates' footsteps. Green will get to show off his athleticism this summer, and he could be the team's No. 3 tight end, which we hear could create potential battles for roster spots between veteran TEs Dante Rosario and Kory Sperry. Randy McMichael is still entrenched as the team's No. 2, blocking tight end.

    • Jets brass likely breathed a sigh of relief that second-year DE Muhammad Wilkerson only suffered minor injuries in a car accident on June 23. He spoke to the New Jersey Star Ledger about the incident. “With that situation, obviously I’m grateful that everyone is fine, nobody was hurt seriously. It was a tragedy that it happened but I’m just happy everybody is OK and I’m blessed to be here,” he said. The Jets have made it no secret that they expect big things from Wilkerson in his second season. He started every game as a rookie and led the team with 13 tackles for loss. Paired on the D-line with first-rounder Quinton Coples, Wilkerson, who got stitches in his right forearm, is expected to have a breakout year, and he should be ready to go when training camp begins.

    • Dolphins new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has helped the secondary, we hear, from a fundamentals standpoint. Despite having two talented outside corners in Vontae Davis and Sean Smith, the group underachieved last season and still has question marks at safety. Getting improvement from the defensive backs is crucial for Coyle, as the Dolphins are already strong up front. The hope is that newcomer Richard Marshall, who will play the nickel, and a jump from third-year S Reshad Jones will help give the unit a boost.

    • The way we hear it, ex-Cowboys CB Terence Newman showed well in the spring for Cincinnati. How Newman fares in training camp will determine whether he makes the Bengals, we’re told, but word is he’s off to a solid start. Newman played under Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer in Dallas for the first four years of the cornerback’s career (2003-06). Newman started 14 games a season ago but struggled at times, and Dallas released him in March.

    • We hear rookie Steelers RB Chris Rainey’s speed gives him a nice shot at having a role this season, with kickoffs perhaps his primary outlet to get onto the field and the passing game another area in which he could see the field, we’re told. Rainey was a bigger factor as a pass catcher (69 career receptions) than a kickoff returner (16 returns) at Florida.


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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    , Coach Fisher must have gotten so angry at Janorice Jenkins for reneging on his promise that he decided to get even
    Heh ... I know I did. Was gonna buy a Jenkins jersey, now I'm not. There, take that.

    Christ, can we just play ball? September is NEVER gonna get here ....
    If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.

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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    I wouldn't want Johnson moved to safety. Keep him at corner and let him become a beast there.
    lostsoul likes this.

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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Bradley Fisher? Jerome Murphy 6th on the depth behind Josh Gordy? Another suspect journalist.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Bradley Fisher? Jerome Murphy 6th on the depth behind Josh Gordy? Another suspect journalist.
    At this point, why wouldn't Gordy be ahead of Murphy on the depth chart?

    Murphy was okay but inconsistent as a rookie in 2010 and didn't play a down in 2011. Meanwhile, Gordy has been active for as many games for the Rams as Murphy has, and actually had some starting experience last year. As of May's OTAs, Gordy was still running with the first team defense, so the current regime isn't writing him off the roster just yet.

    If you assume the top four are going to be Finnegan, Fletcher, Jenkins, and Johnson, then neither of them is going to be higher than fifth anyways. Gordy's more recent experience with the team, particularly as a fill-in starter, gives him the advantage over Murphy at this point.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    At this point, why wouldn't Gordy be ahead of Murphy on the depth chart?

    Murphy was okay but inconsistent as a rookie in 2010 and didn't play a down in 2011. Meanwhile, Gordy has been active for as many games for the Rams as Murphy has, and actually had some starting experience last year. As of May's OTAs, Gordy was still running with the first team defense, so the current regime isn't writing him off the roster just yet.

    If you assume the top four are going to be Finnegan, Fletcher, Jenkins, and Johnson, then neither of them is going to be higher than fifth anyways. Gordy's more recent experience with the team, particularly as a fill-in starter, gives him the advantage over Murphy at this point.
    Just think about the expectations that some have for Trumaine Johnson (Fellow 3rd rounder like Murphy). I'm willing to bet Fisher will give Murphy the upper hand for now, not that it really matters like you stated.

    Even if we forgot about all of this, who is this journalist to say what the depth chart is? We haven't even had training camp! Sure he could say "I think", or "most likely" or whatever he wants. He's trying to make it sound like a fact, when at the end of the day me and you both know that not even Jeff Fisher knows which CB is #5 or #6.
    Last edited by sosa39rams; -07-17-2012 at 09:07 AM.


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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Just think about the expectations that some have for Trumaine Johnson (Fellow 3rd rounder like Murphy). I'm willing to bet Fisher will give Murphy the upper hand for now, not that it really matters like you stated.
    Well, considering Gordy was filling in on the first team in May, and I've not seen any report suggesting Murphy is getting an equal or better opportunity, your bet would appear to be a pretty bad one at this point. Not to harp on a cliche, but in the Not For Long league, Murphy's going to have to earn his spot over Gordy after missing all of last year. Simply being a former third round pick of a previous regime isn't going to win him any prizes.


    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Even if we forgot about all of this, who is this journalist to say what the depth chart is? We haven't even had training camp! Sure he could say "I think", or "most likely" or whatever he wants. He's trying to make it sound like a fact, when at the end of the day me and you both know that not even Jeff Fisher knows which CB is #5 or #6.
    The article didn't say, "This is the depth chart" as if it were fact.

    The article said Murphy "currently shapes up as the sixth corner" behind Finnegan, Fletcher, Jenkins, Johnson, and Gordy. Translation: this is how it appears right now when looking at the personnel.

    And it wasn't even the opinion of the PFW staff, but it was "according to most daily team observers."

    So I really have no idea where you're coming from here.
    Last edited by Nick; -07-17-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Well, considering Gordy was filling in on the first team in May, and I've not seen any report suggesting Murphy is getting an equal or better opportunity, your bet would appear to be a pretty bad one at this point. Not to harp on a cliche, but in the Not For Long league, Murphy's going to have to earn his spot over Gordy after missing all of last year. Simply being a former third round pick of a previous regime isn't going to win him any prizes.




    The article didn't say, "This is the depth chart" as if it were fact.

    The article said Murphy "currently shapes up as the sixth corner" behind Finnegan, Fletcher, Jenkins, Johnson, and Gordy. Translation: this is how it appears right now when looking at the personnel.

    And it wasn't even the opinion of the PFW staff, but it was "according to most daily team observers."

    So I really have no idea where you're coming from here.
    The article doesn't have to come out and say "This is the depth chart". All they had to do was print it like it is now, clearly implying that-that is the current chart. Currently shapes up... That doesn't imply that they feel like they know the depth chart?

    And even after all of that, even Jeff Fisher has come out and said CB Trumaine Johnson WILL NOT move to S, and even me and you have agreed with him, like many others. Don't get me wrong, Fisher may change his mind, but he sounded pretty convincing to me. This crew hears "speculation" from where that he'll move to S? What makes him a more likely candidate to move to S than Jerome Murphy? Nothing... Besides the fact that hes slower, but that doesn't make him a better candidate.


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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    However things shake out, I'll be happy to just have a depth chart at CB, as opposed to an injury plagued merry-go-round.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    The article doesn't have to come out and say "This is the depth chart". All they had to do was print it like it is now, clearly implying that-that is the current chart. Currently shapes up... That doesn't imply that they feel like they know the depth chart?
    What the article said was that, according to most daily team observers, Jerome Murphy would probably be the sixth corner based on the other personnel at the position. It's a pretty harmless statement, so how you interpreted that as Pro Football Weekly claiming to know the Rams' official and current depth chart is beyond me.

    Furthermore, as someone who included projections of starters and who would fill what roles in his daily positional breakdowns, I would have thought you of all people wouldn't have objected to a national article reporting the impressions of team sources as it relates to positional hierarchy.

    I don't know what else to tell you besides I think you're reading way too much into what's been printed.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Gotta agree with Nick here (and not just because of our Facebook disagreement ). Murphy might have been the #3 to start next year, but since then 1 additional CB has played well (Gordy), 2 potential starters were added (JJ and TJ), and 1 bona fide stopper (Finnegan) was brought on board. Sucks that his injury dropped him from #3 to #6, but that may just be the fact of the situation.

    I certainly wouldn't write him off, but the competition has been greatly increased. And that's.....a good thing.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    I am so thankful that we are arguing about who will be our #5 and #6 CBs this year. It's a great change from squabbling over #1 and #2 in years past.

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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I am so thankful that we are arguing about who will be our #5 and #6 CBs this year. It's a great change from squabbling over #1 and #2 in years past.
    Or arguing about whether or not Ron Bartell is an elite corner.
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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    I am so thankful that we are arguing about who will be our #5 and #6 CBs this year. It's a great change from squabbling over #1 and #2 in years past.
    Yeah, it's nice to be at the point where we're not terrified of the thought of our 4,5, and 6 ever playing a down.

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    Re: NFL Whispers ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Or arguing about whether or not Ron Bartell is an elite corner.
    He really isn't

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