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Matt Flynn no lock to hold off Scott Tolzien


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Matt Flynn is the Packers' backup quarterback as of now, but Scott Tolzien could overtake him by the end of August, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The paper called Tolzien "the younger arm with the higher ceiling."

QB coach working on Eli Manning's mechanics


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) New Giants quarterback coach Danny Langsdorf is focusing on Eli Manning's fundamentals and footwork.

"We’ve spent a lot of time fundamentally throughout the spring, both footwork and everything from ball fakes, ball handling to throwing accurately to dropping back," Langsdorf, the former Oregon State offensive coordinator, told The Star-Ledger.

"There’s a little bit different of footwork that we’re using, some of the routes that he’s used to, and we’re timing it up with the receivers so there’s a little bit of fundamental work but he’s a veteran guy and a pro that’s had success for a long time so we’re not doing anything, drastic changes, but just trying to fine-tune and tweak a few things."

Manning threw 18 touchdowns and a career-high 27 interceptions last season. 


Brandon Weeden not worried about Kyle Orton's decision


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) The Cowboys still don't know whether backup quarterback Kyle Orton will play this season. But Brandon Weeden said the uncertainty is not affecting his preparation.

"I’m going to go about my business the same way regardless. I haven’t met Kyle, so I can’t really speak on it, but whatever he decides to do – it’s kind of out of my control," Weeden told the team's website. "So what I’m worried about is, if I’m running with the twos out there, do my job to make the twos better. I want to make the team better any way I can, so it doesn’t change my mindset or the way I feel about it."

Weeden said his goal is to earn the backup job, regardless of whether Orton shows up.


Matt Hasselbeck doesn't want this to be his last year


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) Colts quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, whose contract expires at season's end, wants to back up Andrew Luck in 2015 and beyond. "Ideally, that would be a dream come true," Hasselbeck told the team's website.

The 38-year-old appeared in three games last season, throwing for 130 yards and an interception.


Christian Ponder 'eliminating' negative plays


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder isn't given much chance of beating out Matt Cassel or rookie Teddy Bridgewater, but coordinator Norv Turner said Ponder is making progress in the new offense.

"Christian Ponder, I know people like to beat up on him, but I've been impressed with Christian," Turner said, per the team's website. "With his physical ability and the way he's worked and the progress he's made. He's eliminating a lot of the negative plays."


Teddy Bridgewater further along than expected


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner had high praise for rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who's competing with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder.

"Teddy's been really, really impressive and a lot further along than I expected him to be," Turner said, via the team's website. Turner also said Bridgewater "has his sights set on playing and playing well as soon as he can, so that’s what you want."


Geno Smith: Jets are Super Bowl contenders


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/8/2014) Jets quarterback Geno Smith said his team can play in the Super Bowl this season, reports ESPN.

"I feel good about our team making a Super Bowl run," Smith said via the NFL Network.

The report says the Jets, according to Las Vegas, are 66/1 odds to win Super Bowl XLIX, ahead of only the Bills (75/1), Raiders (100/1), Titans (100/1) and Jaguars (200/1).


Zach Mettenberger not a contender to start


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/8/2014) Titans rookie Zach Mettenberger said recently that he's preparing to start and will try to contend for the starting job in training camp. But The Tennessean believes that he is "no threat" to Jake Locker's gig. 

Mettenberger preached the same rhetoric after he was drafted and is merely saying he's going to prepare as best as he can. Locker has already been named the starter and Charlie Whitehurst has been named the backup by coach Ken Whisenhunt. 


Tony Romo ready to go for training camp


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/7/2014) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is expected to be ready for the start of training camp after back surgery last year, reports the Dallas Morning News.

And this year, compared to last season when he was also coming off a back procedure, he expects to be in better shape.

"Miles ahead of last year," Romo said of his conditioning now compared to last June. "I don't think they're comparable. I think last year I was just starting around this point so this year I've had whatever months to kind of get myself into feeling like I can go. Now it’s going to be more perfecting as opposed to just trying to hammer everything out in four weeks, three weeks."


Frederick hopes to help Tony Romo


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/7/2014) Cowboys center Travis Frederick is hoping to make things easier for quarterback Tony Romo this season, reports ESPN.

Part of Romo's responsibility is setting the protections with calling out the middle linebacker. The offensive line follows the assignment. If Frederick can take that responsibility away from Romo, then Romo can worry more about the coverage. 

"I'm going to try and do as much as I can to take as much as I can off Tony that he was doing before for the offensive line," Frederick said. 'Not necessarily because I was a rookie or this or that, but because, if I can see it better, that's going to take one thing off his plate and that's going to help the team as a whole."


Robert Griffin III getting some extra help


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/7/2014) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will work with quarterbacks coach Terry Shea next week, reports ESPN. Griffin worked with Shea earlier this offseason for a week, but wanted another tune-up before training camp begins July 24.

The last time Shea worked with Griffin they focused on Griffin's fundamentals, including narrowing his base, getting his feet to turn with his body in the pocket and raising where Griffin held the ball -- at times last year he held it too low, leading to a wind-up throw.


Cam Newton says he's been cleared


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/2/2014) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton posted on his official Facebook page last week that he's been cleared to work out, though he added that he's not quite at 100 percent. He does expect to be ready for the start of training camp. Newton had offseason ankle surgery that sidelined him for pretty much the entire spring. 


Robert Griffin III excited for chance to change calls


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/2/2014) One of the new benefits of working with Redskins head coach Jay Gruden that Robert Griffin III didn't have with Mike Shanahan is the ability to change calls at the line of scrimmage. The Washington Post did a nice job showing examples of what RG3 couldn't do last season but the Bengals, Gruden's old team, did do. 

The end result should be Griffin being comfortable behind center and able to adjust on the fly to what he sees on the field. 

"If you're going to give me more opportunities and allow me to control the offense more, that's all a quarterback can ever ask for," Griffin said. "So, I'm excited for the opportunity to do everything, and I think Jay is going to allow me to do that. That's no pressure. That's what you want."

It remains to be seen if Griffin can clearly decipher defensive blitzes before and after the snap and adjust accordingly, but having the chance to make changes should cut down on the number of sacks he takes. Griffin has been taken down 76 times since entering the NFL. 


Tony Romo expects to be fine for training camp


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/1/2014) After spending the offseason rehabbing from December back surgery (and not playing a lot of golf), Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo expects to be cleared in time for the start of training camp and participate in all drills, the Dallas Morning News reports

Zach Mettenberger preparing to start


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/1/2014) Though all signs point to Jake Locker beginning the season as the Titans' starting quarterback, rookie passer Zach Mettenberger told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he's planning as if he's going to be the starter for Tennessee. 

"That's my attitude. If I don't win the job, I'm pushing ... to be the best guy for the job," he said. "I'm going to make Jake work that much harder, make Charlie (Whitehurst) work that much harder, because I'm coming every day.

"I'm trying to do whatever Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt asks of me, trying to show that I play mistake-free football and can lead long drives. That's all I can control. And if my time comes this year, next year, four years, it doesn't matter. When that opportunity comes, I have to take advantage of it, and be patient until that time comes."

Whisenhunt has already named Whitehurst the team's No. 2 quarterback behind Locker. Mettenberger threw for 5,691 yards and 35 touchdowns in 25 games at LSU.


Has the Ryan Tannehill-Mike Wallace connection been fixed?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/30/2014) There were issues between Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and receiver Mike Wallace connecting on long passes last season. In 2013 Wallace had just five catches good for 40-plus yards, four of them legitimate deep lobs (and all of those four slightly underthrown). A big issue for Miami this offseason is to fix the deep ball for Tannehill and have him connect more often with the blazing-fast Wallace. 

According to ESPN, there's no visual evidence of an improvement. Over seven practices open to the media including the team's recent three-day minicamp, Tannehill has failed to connect with Wallace. He's tried but misfired. 

The team, including the receiver involved, insists that it's a non-issue. 

"(You) haven't been here. ... We hit those, about three or four of them so far," Wallace said. "Me and him haven't personally thrown that many. If we've thrown like six, we've hit on like four."

ESPN also notes that Wallace "appears determined" to have a big year. He's put in extra time after practice to work on his hands and received praise from his head coach, Joe Philbin, who said he's "doing the little things that can make the difference when the season comes around."


Jake Locker to be more of a pocket passer?


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/30/2014) This spring Titans quarterback Jake Locker didn't use his legs nearly as much in practice as he has in the past, The Tennessean noted. Locker, known for his mobility, seemed to stay in the pocket and could be groomed to do more conventional pocket passing rather than running bootlegs or taking off for an easy gain with his feet. That pocket passer-type is the kind of quarterback new coach Ken Whisenhunt is used to working with. 

This could be a good thing for Locker as the paper points out ProFootballFocus.com's analysis that Locker was more accurate in the pocket rather than out of it. 


Report: Browns trying to extend QB Hoyer


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/30/2014) The Browns are trying to give quarterback Brian Hoyer a contract extension, sources tell ESPN. But according to Hoyer's agent, the negotiations will be difficult. 

Agent Joe Linta told NFL Network that "it will be a very difficult deal to do" because Hoyer is content to "wait and see what happens down the road."

Hoyer is entering a contract year as well as a well-publicized camp battle with Johnny Manziel. 


Johnny Manziel 'absolutely' expects to start Week 1


by Dave Richard | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/30/2014) Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel told NFL.com last week that he "absolutely" expects to be the team's starter heading into Week 1 at Pittsburgh. 

"I want to play. That's what anybody wants to do," Manziel said. "Anybody that's been a starter in the past, and been playing, they want to play. To say I don't want to be the starter, that would be ridiculous. I absolutely want to start, that's my goal. Hopefully I can achieve that."

Manziel added that he will re-connect with quarterback guru George Whitfield before training camp opens in late July. 


Video game helps Teddy Bridgewater prepare


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/27/2014) Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he plans to use video games to help him prepare for this season, reports ESPN.

Bridgewater said last week he's imported the Vikings' playbook into his Madden NFL football game, which allows him to take "virtual reps" by practicing with the Vikings' offense against defenses he'd see in an actual game. He did the same thing in college, adding the Louisville Cardinals' playbook to a NCAA football video game for his Xbox, and he'll continue the practice in the NFL.

"It helps because you get one more rep than you had in practice, actual practice," he said. "Any chance you get to take an extra rep or go the extra step, extra mile, it's going to be very beneficial transferring it to the field."

Bridgewater says it works for him.

"I try to take as many reps as I can, whether it's on a video game, playing EA Madden Football or in the playbook, just drawing it or just visualizing it in my head," Bridgewater said. "I try to just maximize every rep I can get and every opportunity that I can take."


Johnny Manziel: I'm not going to change


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/27/2014) Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel said he has no plans to change who he is or what he does off the field, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"I'm not going to change who I am for anybody," Manziel said Friday. "I'm growing up and continuing to learn from my mistakes and trying not to make the same ones over and over again, but am I going to live in a shell or am I just going to hide from everybody and not do anything? I don't think that's the way I should live my life and I'm not going to do it.

"I'm here, I'm very committed to football. I'm committed to my job, but on the weekends, I'm going to enjoy my time off. We deserve it. We work hard here. We've worked hard since the draft. We worked hard to get drafted and put ourselves in a good position at the combine, even after that, working to stay in shape. I am going to enjoy my time off. I'm very about football and very about my job, which doesn't get reported or won't get reported, but I am going to enjoy my time off. That's I think what everybody else does and that's what I should do."


Dolphins player on rise: Ryan Tannehill


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/27/2014) Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is considered a player on the rise, reports ESPN.

The report says the Dolphins are asking a lot of Tannehill in his third season, which includes making it to the playoffs, becoming a leader on the team and mastering a new offense under first-year coordinator Bill Lazor.

Tannehill had some ups and downs this offseason, per the report, but he is showing growth, especially in the leadership department.


Falcons to lean on Matt Ryan


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/27/2014) The Falcons are talking about being a balanced offense this season and going with a 50-50 split with the run and pass plays. But ESPN reports that's not likely to happen with Matt Ryan and Co.

The report says that even though offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has acknowledged a renewed emphasis on the run game, the Falcons will still rely on Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White to carry the offense. New offensive line coach Mike Tice seems to agree.

"We're not going to be a run-first football team, by any means, with those two great receivers and that great quarterback," Tice said. "But when that man -- my buddy Dirk Koetter -- dials up the run, we better be able to run it for 4 yards."

The report says don't anticipate Ryan again attempting a career-high 651 passes like he did last season. The Falcons played their share of games from behind, forcing Ryan into even more throwing situations.

But the report says Ryan should be among the Top 5 quarterbacks in passing yards for a third consecutive season, especially with Jones and White now healthy.


Chad Henne starting, Blake Bortles learning


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/26/2014) The Jaguars continue to say that Chad Henne, and not No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles, will start at quarterback this season, reports NFL.com.

Henne started 13 games last season and threw for 3,241 yards, completing 61 percent of his passes, with 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

"I think it's been out there that our beliefs and our feelings is that we feel so strongly about Chad and he's going in, I think the team has really rallied around that," Bradley said. "Now, it has provided an atmosphere for Blake to really go out there and ask a lot of questions and gain a lot of information from all the quarterbacks that are in.

So how is Bortles doing with the transition from college to the NFL?

"He's doing a really good job, he's having more good days than days that maybe he's struggling, like all rookies have," Bradley saidd. "We're very excited about his development."


McVay: Robert Griffin III doing 'an excellent job'


by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/26/2014) Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay said he is "really excited" to see quarterback Robert Griffin III back on the field, reports the team's official website.

"I think going into his third year, you see a lot of progression both from a physical and a mental standpoint," McVay said. "Some of the things that we've done with him the past two years are similar and some are also different. He's done an excellent job of transferring his knowledge in the meeting rooms to on the field recognizing some of those looks and audibles and recognizing things at the line of scrimmage. We will give him the chance to have great success this year."


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