August 16, 2008
• According to Scout.com, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden thinks defensive tackle Dre Moore -- Maryland's lone draft choice -- has a ways to go before making an impact:
It was obvious, though, that Gruden thought fourth-round pick Dre Moore, a defensive tackle out of Maryland, was behind the rest of the class.
"You know, this is not a game where you want to do too much thinking at that position," Gruden said. "You've got to get off the ball, you've got to be disruptive, and he is getting better. I think he's getting in better shape. The tempo and the speed of this game is probably a little bit foreign to him but he does have talent."
• Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that an injury to backup linebacker Heath Farwell will open the door for Erin Henderson to receive more playing time.
Childress said Henderson, the undrafted free agent, will get more reps in practice. Henderson has shown flashes in camp and had a solid debut Friday with five tackles.
"I feel bad for Heath, but at the same time I have to get my mind right and get ready to go out there and take advantage of the situation," Henderson said. "That's the nature of football. It's tough for one guy, but it opens up the door for a couple more. ... Before Heath went down, I really felt good about myself having a chance of making the 53 [man roster]. Now, with Heath down, it's just another spot that's become vacant."
• An injury to Green Bay Packers backup tight end Tory Humphrey could pave the way for Joey Haynos to claim the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that Haynos' speed and blocking have impressed Packers coaches:
Haynos is extraordinarily long-levered at 6-8, 268 pounds. He primarily worked as a blocker and possession receiver at Maryland, where he had 67 receptions for 687 yards and three touchdowns over his last two seasons. McAdoo said Haynos is the most fundamentally sound blocker among the rookie tight ends, and in training camp, Haynos has shown an ability to get downfield, too.
"He sneaks up on those defensive backs," [tight ends coach Ben] McAdoo said. "They're not used to seeing someone that size run that well."
• HBO's Hard Knocks has knocked running back Keon Lattimore hard. The undrafted free agent was shown dropping passes and slipping on stairs at Dallas Cowboys training camp. However, in a story on the Cowboys team Web site, Lattimore's teammates were quick to point out you can't believe everything you see on television:
If a bad taste in your mouth can drive you to practice harder, no one should look better than rookie running back Keon Lattimore on Thursday. "Hard Knocks" showed Lattimore dropping balls and misunderstanding the playbook, but [Alonzo] Coleman, [ Deon] Anderson and [ Mike] Jefferson thought the portrayal was unfair.
"Everybody drops balls like that, though," Coleman said. "That's just the first part of practice, warming up. They made it look worse than it was."
According to the players, the show misrepresented Lattimore from the start, showing him falling as he walked up the stairs to his room. But the reason he fell was never explained - a full-body cramp.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also came to Lattimore's defense:
Rookie running back Keon Lattimore was a little upset about his portrayal on Hard Knocks as a bumbling, stumbling rookie.
Jerry Jones backed him up in saying that Lattimore has had a good camp, especially of late. He said Lattimore has played better than was portrayed on Hard Knocks.
Lattimore faces an uphill battle to make the final 53-man roster behind Marion Barber and draft picks Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Dallas Morning News blogger Tim McMahon thinks Lattimore could prolong his stint with the Cowboys:
Practice squad predictions?! OK. RB Keon Lattimore is one guy I think the Cowboys try to keep around Valley Ranch, and not just because Ray Lewis' little bro might have some helpful info the week the Ravens come to town. He's shown some good things out here, and there's a thought that he might be able to play some fullback.
• A broken fibula as a senior at Maryland hurt the draft stock of lineman Andrew Crummey, but the guard/center prospect is pushing for a roster spot on the Washington Redskins. In a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills, the Washington Times reported that Crummey helped block for the game-sealing drive:
That line was part of the Redskins' 65-yard touchdown march. And the same line - with Maryland rookie free agent Andrew Crummey replacing [ Jason] Fabini - helped the offense consume all but 23 seconds of the final 10:07 of the game to preserve the 17-14 victory.
"They were great," coach Jim Zorn said. "I thought they took a lot of pride in that last drive and really came off the ball and established an opportunity for [running back Marcus Mason] to find a seam and sustain a long drive."
• Tight end Jason Goode is also fighting to make the final cut in Washington. The Honolulu Advertiser mentioned a key reception by Goode during a preseason game in an article about former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan:
On the next series, Brennan threaded a 26-yard pass to tight end Jason Goode, and took the Redskins 88 yards, ending with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Mason that made it 23-16 with 10:22 to go.
"I just got lucky on that play," Brennan said of the deep middle pass to Goode, one of his three completions over 20 yards. "I saw the guy flash wide open. I tried to give him a chance. I knew there was a guy back there. Luckily, it was a good enough ball where it got over the linebacker and it gave the tight end a chance to make a play on it."
• With the holdout of All-Pro running back Steven Jackson in St. Louis, former Terp Lance Ball could get an opportunity to prove himself to the Rams coaches in upcoming preseason games:
In the absence of Jackson, Antonio Pittman, Brian Leonard and Travis Minor have been solid, but they sure won't force any teams to play eight in the box. Many are hoping spunky undrafted free agent Lance Ball gets a good look in the preseason games.
• According to Scout.com, cornerback Isaiah Gardner has a shot at sticking with the Jacksonville Jaguars :
Gardner has been very solid and physical, and could possibly play either corner or safety. At this point, Gardner has a real shot at earning a roster spot.
[Compiled by Kyle Goon]
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