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Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Respected NFL exec makes bold prediction about the 2018 Browns

Scot McCloughan

Scot McCloughan has been considered one of the best talent evaluators in football for several years, and he was hired by the Cleveland Browns as a draft consultant earlier this year. He apparently thinks the team has done an outstanding job of rebuilding this offseason.

In one of his first tweets in nearly two months, McCloughan told football fans not to sleep on the Browns this season. He went as far as to say “mark my words.”

That tweet came right after McCloughan referred to Genard Avery, a linebacker the Browns took with their fifth-round pick, as a “stud.” He also offered to buy one follower a $50 gift card to Target if the Browns don’t win a game in 2018.

McCloughan was the general manager of the Washington Redskins for two seasons in 2015 and 2016, but his time with the team came to an ugly end. Despite that, teams have continued to consult him when evaluating players and building rosters. If he thinks the Browns are going to surprise some people in 2018, that’s a good sign for fans in Cleveland.

Report: Baker Mayfield not close to pushing Taylor for starting QB job

Baker Mayfield

The early opinion is that Baker Mayfield has a long way to go to compete with Tyrod Taylor for the Cleveland Browns’ starting quarterback job.

The Browns held OTAs and minicamp, which gave them a look at their new QBs. According to Cleveland.com’s Dan Labbe, Mayfield did not look ready to push Taylor. Here’s what he said:

“Based on the six practices of OTAs and minicamp that were open to the media, Mayfield, in my opinion, did not look ready to compete with Taylor for the No. 1 quarterback job.”

Labbe’s opinion matches that of the team’s new offensive coordinator.

On Friday, Todd Haley said that Mayfield had a long way to go to catch Taylor.

It seems as if this is the way the Browns planned for things to go. They acquired Taylor in a trade with Buffalo before the draft, and yet they still used the No. 1 overall pick on Mayfield. Maybe they wanted to set up a stable situation at quarterback for the first time in a while in Cleveland that way there wouldn’t be a ton of pressure on Mayfield to be an immediate hero. The rookie should have plenty of time to learn and develop.

LeGarrette Blount shows off his collection of Super Bowl rings

LeGarrette Blount

There are plenty of running backs in NFL history who are more accomplished than LeGarrette Blount, but few are more bejeweled.

Blount has been a part of three Super Bowl-winning teams during his career. He was on the 2014 and 2016 New England Patriots, and he also was a part of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. That means he now has three Super Bowl rings, which he shared in a photo on Twitter Monday:

Now that is a pretty sight. Blount previously said that he would wear the Eagles ring on his left middle finger. He appears to wear the Patriots rings on his right middle finger and lefty pinkie finger.

Don’t discount his role on those championship teams, either. Blount has rushed for 600 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 career playoff games. He was also the center of the Patriots’ rushing attack for the 2016 season as he led the league with 18 touchdowns and had a career-high 1,161 yards.

Odell Beckham reportedly winning over Giants with conduct in camp

Odell Beckham

Odell Beckham Jr. is reportedly giving the New York Giants every reason he can to invest in him long-term.

Beckham has been impressing the team’s coaching staff with his conduct during the offseason, according to Albert Breer of the MMQB. Beckham has texted regularly with new head coach Pat Shurmur and has been a steady hand with the team’s new talent.

“Odell’s been awesome,” one Giants coach told Breer regarding his work with the team’s incoming players.

This should all reflect very well on Beckham in contract negotiations. Though the two sides aren’t close right now, Beckham is more or less taking away as many reasons as possible for the Giants to avoid committing to him long-term. He’s apparently winning a lot of support in the organization through his actions as well. If Beckham is a model citizen off the field and is healthy and playing to his standards on it, he’ll be in an exceptional negotiating position.

Redskins LB issues warning to Terrelle Pryor before joint practices

Terrelle Pryor

If Terrelle Pryor is healthy enough to take part in joint practices with the Washington Redskins later in the offseason, the wide receiver had better keep his head on a swivel.

The New York Jets will be holding joint practices with the Redskins — Pryor’s former team — in August. According to Washington linebacker Zach Brown, Pryor did some showboating with the way he caught balls during practice last year, but the catches came when head coach Jay Gruden was not allowing full tackling. Brown told the “Inside the Locker Room” show on Team 980 recently that he and his teammates are planning to make up for lost time when they line up against Pryor again.

“That’s going to be something right there,” Brown said, as transcribed by JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. “The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now. … Jay ain’t here to protect you anymore.”

Pryor apparently had a habit of making one-handed grabs during practice in Washington, and his teammates didn’t like that they were unable to make him pay for showing off. Defensive back Bashaud Breeland was actually thrown out of practice at one point after he became angry that he wasn’t allowed to hit Pryor at the line of scrimmage.

“The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year,” Brown said. “Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm.”

Pryor had a disappointing season with the Redskins that ended prematurely when he had to undergo ankle surgery. He has been dealing with another injury this offseason, but a bold prediction he recently made indicates he will be healthy in plenty of time for August practices. We’ll see if the coaching staffs from either team try to protect him.

Report: Colts will give Andrew Luck days off during training camp

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck sounded very optimistic about his surgically-repaired shoulder when he spoke with reporters recently, but there is still plenty of concern surrounding the star quarterback after he missed the entire 2017 season. That concern could continue through training camp based on the regimen Luck is expected to be on.

Albert Breer of The MMQB provided some details about Luck’s rehab, and he said the QB has “pulled out all the stops” to get back to full strength this time around. However, Breer warns that the Colts are going to play it safe in the coming weeks, including when training camp begins next month.

Luck’s injury is being handled like any other injury would be in the spring and summer—with the utmost care, given the acknowledgement that no one is playing a real game this weekend … or will for another dozen weekends. To that end, I’m told the plan is to give Luck days off in training camp, and monitor reps to simulate what his regular-season regimen will be, so he’ll be conditioned for Week 1 when he gets there.

Breer adds that there “hasn’t been much of a breakthrough moment” for Luck in his rehab, though it’s obviously a positive sign that the 28-year-old recently said the pain in his shoulder is gone.

Jim Irsay said last week that he expects Luck to have “no limitations” in training camp, but needing days off would certainly be viewed as a limitation. There was also some concern about the types of footballs Luck was throwing in practice recently, so it seems like he’s not out of the woods just yet. That said, it makes sense that the Colts are being cautious with how last year went.

Report: Nathan Peterman is serious contender to start for Bills

Despite being comically bad during his short tenure as Buffalo’s starting quarterback last season, Nathan Peterman may be getting a second chance.

ESPN’s Mike Rodak recently reported that Peterman should be considered a “serious contender” to start under center for the Bills this season. Rodak adds that Peterman has been rotating daily first-team reps with AJ McCarron, while rookie Josh Allen has seen periodic time with that group in minicamp.

The 24-year-old Peterman got two starts for Buffalo last season during Tyrod Taylor’s brief absence due to benching and injury. However, he proved to be a colossal disaster, as evidenced by a five-interception performance in one half against the Los Angeles Chargers that almost had to be seen to be believed.

This year though, Taylor is no longer on the team, having signed with the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Peterman has had some extra time to develop — Rodak also notes that he looked especially sharp this past Tuesday when he completed 10 of 13 pass attempts in 11-on-11 drills and threw a touchdown to end practice. With McCarron an underwhelming option and Allen obviously inexperienced, Peterman might actually be the best man for the job right now.

H/T Rotoworld

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