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Lions' Caldwell: Don't expect Stafford's numbers to change much


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:36 am ET) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is just one of five quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards. However, since he accomplished the feat in 2011, his passing yards have declined each season.

Stafford passed for 4,257 yards and attempted 602 passes in 2014 -- his first year under coach Jim Caldwell. While at the NFL owners' meetings in Phoenix this week, Caldwell said it's probably safe not to expect Stafford's numbers to change much in 2015.

"Here's the thing I want to make certain you guys understand, and see what I see just in terms of my vision," Caldwell said, per MLive.com. "When I tell you we're not going to throw the ball anymore than we threw it, that's a fact. We're probably not going to throw it (more).

"If we do throw it more, that means we're struggling, we're not winning, we're not a very good football team. OK? Plain and simple. Maybe that ball's got to be distributed a little bit differently, but I don't anticipate those numbers changing, overall, a significant amount."


Nick Foles' acquisition won't change Rams' plans to draft QB


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(8:26 am ET) Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the team is still looking to draft a quarterback this year, despite the acquisition of quarterback Nick Foles, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“It’s our intention to draft one,” Fisher said. “The Nick (Foles) trade has no bearing over what we do in the draft.”

The Rams have the 10th pick in the first round. It's unlikely Jamies Winston or Marcus Mariota fall that far, so unless St. Louis trades up, then they are likely looking to draft from the second-tier of quarterbacks, which includes Bryce Petty, Brett Hundley, Sean Mannion and Garrett Grayson.

“There’s some outstanding players once you get beyond (Winston and Mariota),” Fisher said. “We’re just starting the process. My understanding based on our first-wave draft meetings is that there’s some young quarterbacks that can play.”

Petty, who played at Baylor, said in a radio interview earlier in March he intends to visit with the Rams before the draft.

“Good combine,” Fisher said. “Got a very strong arm. Good athlete. You don’t see him do things that we’re gonna ask him to do, so I think you have to see him actually work out, private workout, things like that.”


Packers to use pistol formation more often this season


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) After implementing the pistol formation into the offense to help take stress off of quarterback Aaron Rodgers' leg in 2014, the Packers are considering to use it more often this season, according to the Journal Sentinel.

"I like the pistol," head coach Mike McCarthy said during a break at the NFL owners meetings this week. "I think there's a lot of value regardless of the injury to Aaron. I know he likes it. There's a place for it year-round in your offense."

Although McCarthy has no intention of turning Rodgers into an option quarterback, the system provides unpredictability for opposing offenses.

"I would say this is about the third year it's been part of our pace and installation," McCarthy said. "Really, when we moved to it exclusively there at the end of the year it really wasn't a change for us.

"I liked it from a self-scout standpoint. It gives you another self-scout variable when you're in the gun, but you also have the tailback behind you. (There are a) lot of benefits to it."


Kubiak wants Peyton Manning comfortable with playbook


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak wants to make sure that all of his players are comfortable with the new offensive playbook, including quarterback Peyton Manning, reports ESPN.

“I think you prepare to help him call that game throughout the course of the week," Kubiak said. “A lot of people put emphasis on him calling plays at the line, but you’ve also prepared to do that throughout the course of the week, so you, as a coach, 'Here’s what I think is best in that situation.' In a lot of ways you’re still working together. You’re just going about it a different way."

“You never want to put a player in a position where he’s doing something he’s uncomfortable with," Kubiak said. “One of things about having a veteran, especially like Peyton, he’s going to let you know, 'This is what I do best and this is what I feel comfortable with.' That’s what you need to go do as a coach. You might tweak things here or there that you think may help, but you’re never going to take him out of his comfort zone and what he feels like he does best.”

Manning, 39, recently took a pay cut of $4 million to help clear salary cap space for the team.


Chip Kelly says Sam Bradford worth the injury risk


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Quarterback Sam Bradford has played seven games over the past two seasons while getting his left ACL repaired twice. Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who traded for Bradford, said he is not overly concerned about the injury risk.

"Look at our starting receiver last year [Jeremy Maclin], who had 85 catches," Kelly said at the NFL owners meetings, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Look at the year he had coming off of two ACLs.

"Look at our center. Jason Kelce had an ACL right before I got there and had a sports hernia in the middle of last season, and still made the Pro Bowl. Our left tackle [Jason Peters], who is arguably a Hall of Famer, has had two Achilles' [injuries] and is playing at an outstanding level.

"I would say it's easier for a quarterback with a knee injury [to come back] than a shoulder injury, as we went through the history of it. We didn't bring Sam in to run the ball 75 times a game. I think it's a lot easier for a quarterback with an ACL than it is for a receiver with an ACL. The history in terms of sports science right now and what doctors are doing is unbelievable."


Rivera on Newton's fundamentals: 'Not as sound as he needs to be'


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) For Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to take the next step in his development, he must continue to improve his fundamentals, coach Ron Rivera told reporters.

"I'd like to see him continue to work on his position-specific skills ... his technique, his throwing motion," Rivera said at the NFL owners meeting, per ESPN.com. "He relies so much on his great athleticism that sometimes he's not as sound as he needs to be on his fundamentals.

"That's the next step in being sound in everything he does."

Entering his fifth season, Newton has a career completion percentage of 59.5.


Redskins' Jay Gruden: RG3 'still in the developmental stages'


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Redskins coach Jay Gruden is entering the offseason with hopes that Robert Griffin III will develop into the quarterback he needs for his system. 

A year ago, Griffin struggled offensively when healthy, which helped contribute to a 4-12 overall record. 

“Robert has a good understanding of our system and what we want and I think I have a good understanding of what he is as a quarterback,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com. “He’s a quarterback still in the developmental stages. I have a good understanding of what he needs and he has a good understanding of what we’re looking for, and hopefully, moving forward, he’ll be a more confident and decisive quarterback, and I’ll have a better understanding of what he’s comfortable with and give him opportunities to succeed.”


John Fox preaching open competition, even at QB


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) New Bears coach John Fox called it "all an open competition" when asked if he could see a scenario in which quarterback Jay Cutler had to compete for the starting job, reports ESPN.com. Jimmy Clausen is Cutler's projected backup.

“I would say logically if you are looking at the depth chart and you are asking me for it two weeks before we can really get anything going, I’d say  be [Cutler would be] first on the depth chart, yeah,” Fox said.

“Obviously you’ve got to start somewhere and my experience in football and really anything is it’s not where you start the race it’s where you finish it. We have to start the race with some kind of lineup, and we have not discussed that in depth. We have not presented it to our players in depth. I think it’s important for them to see it maybe more than you guys. I’ve had guys who were third on the depth chart that by the time we started the opener were first. I can’t tell you what’s happening. If I could I’d be at some race track somewhere.”


Lions' Caldwell sees improvement in QB Matthew Stafford


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Lions head coach Jim Caldwell likes what he sees in the way of improvement for quarterback Matthew Stafford, according to the Detroit News.

"I think he's just got to keep improving," Caldwell said Wednesday during NFL annual meetings. "I was walking down a hall yesterday, and someone said something about, 'Well, hey, don't you really need your quarterback to really take off?' And I looked at him and said, 'No, we don't need him to really take off. He's been doing well.'

"He's improving steadily. Things in this league don't happen that way. No one makes a meteoric jump. It's gradual. It's too competitive. There are too many good players and it's a tough league, and I do think he's making really good progress."

Stafford, a former first round selection of the Lions, is entering his sixth season in the NFL. He has started all 16 games for four consecutive years. The 27-year-old has thrown for 21,714 yards with 131 touchdowns and 85 interceptions.


Panthers not concerned about lack of new contract affecting QB Cam Newton


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is set to play out the last year of his current contract in 2015. Although the team would like to sign him to an extension, head coach Ron Rivera doesn't think it will be a distraction, reports the Charlotte Observer.

When asked if Newton could have the franchise tag placed on him in 2016, Rivera said he hopes it doesn't come to that.

"Personally, yes I would," Rivera said when asked if he wants the negotiations to wrap up before the season.

"But they have a timetable, both sides do I imagine. Both sides have a plan and hopefully we can all get everything worked out together."

Rivera continued making it clear that he's not worried about Newton's performance on the field if an extension isn't worked out right away.

"I think our quarterback is a smart, savvy young man, understands the dynamics of the game," he said. "I think he's the kind of guy who's able to focus on certain aspects of the game and put things aside. Obviously, that's a work in progress right now."


Giants don't see an issue extending QB Eli Manning


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Giants head coach Tom Coughlin seems confident that the team will get something worked out on an extension for quarterback Eli Manning, according to nj.com.

"I don't see that as being an issue at all," Coughlin said Wednesday at the NFC coaches' breakfast at the NFL's Annual Meetings. "Eli knows he's our guy."

Giants co-owner Steve Tisch also believes that they will get something worked out with the two-time Super Bowl champion.

"Everyone is aware of the contract status, but we'll get there. Yeah, I think we'll get it done," co-owner Steve Tisch said. "We know what an asset we have with Eli."

Manning, 34, has passed for 39,755 yards with 259 touchdowns and 185 interceptions in 11 seasons played.


Jaguars excited about future of QB Blake Bortles


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Despite the play of Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles regressing as the season wore on, head coach Gus Bradley is excited about his future with the team, reports NFL.com.

"He's everything we hoped for as far as mentality and competitiveness," Bradley said Tuesday, via the team's official website. "... I knew he was tough, but just how tough.

"And how fast he would take over the team. The team really gravitates toward him offensively, defensively and special teams-wise, and I didn't know it would happen that fast."

Bortles, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, started 13 games last year, throwing for 2,908 yards with 11 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.


Redskins' Gruden wants confidence, improvement for RG3


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said that he wants to see improvement from quarterback Robert Griffin III, according to the Washington Post. He also added that he would like to see Griffin's confidence level raised after being named the starter going into the 2015 season.

“I don’t know how much of his confidence has wavered up and down. You’ll have to ask him,” Gruden said during the NFC coaches breakfast at the NFL annual meetings in Phoenix. “But I think Robert has always been a very confident guy, a very confident quarterback, and I don’t think he’s ever lacked in that department. But if he has wavered a little bit because of the last couple years, then it’s good for him to come into this year, knowing that he’s the starter and that the guys are behind him, and the coaches and we’ll see what he can do. He’ll have every opportunity to succeed.”

The team recently said that they would consider the possibility of taking a quarterback with the fifth pick of the draft this year.

Griffin III, 25, has thrown for 8,097 yards with 40 touchdowns and 23 interceptions in three seasons. He has also rushed for 1,480 yards and eight touchdowns.


John Fox aiming to rebuild QB Jay Cutler's confidence


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) New Bears coach John Fox said quarterback Jay Cutler might have gotten to the point last year "where he lacked confidence," reports the Chicago Tribune.

"To build that back up, it’s going to take time, daily," Fox added. "It takes trust, like any relationship.”

Fox plans to help Cutler, who committed 24 turnovers last season, by building a strong defense and relying more on the running game. Fox praised how the Cowboys used Tony Romo last year in tandem with NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray.

“Football-wise, there are things you can do in coaching to minimize some of the exposure,” Fox said. “Playing defense. Playing complementary football is going to be something that helps. I liken it a little bit, not being critical, to Tony Romo. I think there had been different things said. I know Tony personally. He’s a tremendous competitor. I thought he had one of his better seasons a year ago with that same kind of build-up. With success comes confidence.”


Buccaneers fielding trade inquiries on QB Mike Glennon


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith says the team has been receiving trade inquiries regarding quarterback Mike Glennon, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

"We've been like that for a while where we've had the first pick and we've been taking calls for a long period of time and I assume that would go right up until the draft," Smith said. "Yes, specifically on Glennon."

Glennon, 5-13 as a starter, has thrown for 4,025 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in two seasons.


Broncos plan to use Brock Osweiler more often in 2015


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said that the team plans to use quarterback Brock Osweiler to spell Peyton Manning more often this season, according to NFL.com.

Kubiak told reporters at the NFL meetings Tuesday that he has spoken with Manning about decreasing his reps, allowing him to rest up and stay fresh heading into the postseason.

"I want to do what's best for him," Kubiak explained, via The Denver Post. "I went through the same process with John (Elway) late in his career, and it was a battle for me and Mike (Shanahan) to do some things with him."

Osweiler, 24, has never started a game for the Broncos after being drafted in 2012. Though he is not a threat to start over Manning, he will see more time on the practice field, in meetings and during games in which the team has a big lead.


Redskins' Gruden backs GM on potentially drafting QB with fifth pick


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Redskins coach Jay Gruden echoed the sentiments of general manager Scott McCloughan, who said Tuesday the team would not hesitate to take a quarterback with the fifth pick in the NFL Draft.

With the Bucs widely expected to take Jamies Winston with the No. 1 pick in the draft, Marcus Mariota could still be on the board when the Redskins pick.

“It’s something we have to talk about in-house,” Gruden said Wednesday, per CSNWashington.com. “If we think it’s worth the risk to hit the reset button, if he’s that good of a football player, if we decide in the building that he’s that good of a football player that we think we should do that, then we should do that.

“We’ll see. That has not been determined yet, obviously. We have some time to determine whether or not we want to go that direction. [Mariota] is a heck of an athlete, I’ll tell you that. And Jameis is a heck of passer. Two very good options to have if you are in need of a quarterback and you think you want to go that direction, then they are both worth going that direction for probably.”

The Redskins are still debating whether to pick up the fifth-year option for quarterback Robert Griffin III.


Rams' Fisher confirms Browns tried to trade for Sam Bradford


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/25/2015) Rams coach Jeff Fisher confirmed Wednesday the Browns tried to trade for quarterback Sam Bradford in early March, and the compensation involved draft picks and not players, per Cleveland.com.

Fisher added the Browns did not offer the No. 12 pick in the NFL Draft, which indicates they offered the No. 19 pick. Other compensation was also discussed before the Rams traded Bradford to the Eagles for quarterback Nick Foles and an exchange of draft picks.

"There were discussions (with the Browns) late in the process,'' Fisher said. "There were never really any concrete offers per se. The misconception is that it started at the combine. It didn't. I stood up at the combine and said that Sam was our quarterback. This came well after that, several days before we initiated the trade with Nick, but there was a pick involved. There were numerous things that were discussed, different options. The compensation looked different over a period of a couple of days. I'm not going to go onto what it was, but it didn't involve  a player."

Fisher added acquiring the No. 12 pick in the draft probably wouldn't have sealed the deal.

"At that point, you still don't have a veteran quarterback," Fisher said. "Again, Nick for us was the perfect fit for us, and I have talked with (Eagles coach) Chip (Kelly) and he thinks Sam is the perfect fit, so this was a good deal. But for us, we get a younger quarterback that's won a lot of games in this league, can make all of the throws and is somewhat durable. I know he's had shoulder issues, but most everybody has.''


Broncos' Kubiak: Peyton Manning a good fit for any offense


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Gary Kubiak said that he wasn't worried about fitting quarterback Peyton Manning into his style of offense with the Broncos. 

"I'd pick Peyton Manning for any offense," Kubiak said at a breakfast with the media on Tuesday, per ESPN. "I mean, we're going to go do what he does best. We're not going to go roll out if that's not something that's a strength of our team. We're going to do what he does best. ... I'd pick him any day of the week."


GM: Redskins could take QB at No. 5; undecided on RG3's option


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said his organization has yet to decide if they will pick up quarterback Robert Griffin III's fifth-year option, according to CSN Washington

“We’ve had some early discussion on it,” McCloughan said. “We’re still talking it through.”

McCloughan also said the club would consider drafting a QB at No. 5.

Griffin is entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed in 2012. After a great first season that ended with a torn ACL in the playoffs, Griffin has struggled on the field the past two seasons. 

May 3 is the deadline for teams to pick up fifth-year options. 

Griffin's 2014 season saw him only account for 1,694 passing yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions. He was benched in favor of backup Colt McCoy during the year. 


Jets QB Geno Smith enters training camp as starter


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Jets head coach Todd Bowles said that for now quarterback Geno Smith will be the starter entering training camp, reports nj.com.

"Geno, he's our guy, right now," Bowles said at the NFL annual meeting at the Arizona Biltmore here. "When we get to training camp, Geno will start out running the first-team reps. He's the only quarterback we have right now, if we don't draft one, with Ryan Fitzpatrick hurt."

The Jets recently picked up quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in a trade with the Texans.

Smith, 24, was drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft. The thrid-year pro has thrown for 5,571 yards with 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions.


Andy Reid: Terrelle Pryor was signed to play QB


by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that when the team signed Terrelle Pryor they did so for him to play quarterback, according to the Kansas City Star.

“We’re going to give him an opportunity to play quarterback and see how he does,”Reid said. “He’s there lifting everyday and doing his thing. We can’t meet with him but he shows up everyday and does what he can do.”

Reid also stated they are not considering moving Pryor to another position.
“No, not right now we haven’t,” Reid said. “We think he’s a quarterback, and I think that’s what he wants to be.”
Pryor did not play during the 2014 season. He has a career record of 3-7 as a starter.

Marvin Lewis: Bengals' back-up QB job is AJ McCarron's to lose


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) AJ McCarron will be the Bengals' back-up quarterback at the start of 2015, Marvin Lewis told the media on Tuesday. 

In a media appearance at the NFL Owners Meetings, Lewis said that the team may bring back last year's number-two quarterback, Jason Campbell, but he said the job is McCarron's to lose.

"AJ McCarron has everything that you want in a quarterback, a successful quarterback in the NFL,' Lewis said, per Bengals.com. "We’ll have some additions to the position that AJ will compete with and we just have to go forward that way."


Jack Del Rio wants Raiders to offer stronger rushing attack


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) In Raiders coach Jack Del Rio's mind, quarterback Derek Carr was asked to do too much in his rookie season. 

Carr threw the ball 599 times and completed 348 of those passes for 3,270 yards, 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Now that Del Rio is at the helm, he's looking to run the ball a lot more to balance things out. 

"I thought it was all about Derek last year," Del Rio said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "I want to be able to run the ball, play good defense."

The Raiders are likely to rely on Latavius Murray to be the feature back now that Maurice Jones-Drew has retired and Darren McFadden has left for Dallas. Del Rio believes that a balanced attack should open the game up more for Carr in his second season. 

"If we do things around him, he really has a chance to flourish," Del Rio said. "He is really accurate. He has a huge upside."


Johnny Manziel a reason Browns won't volunteer for 'Hard Knocks'


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/24/2015) Browns coach Mike Pettine said the Browns met with NFL Films and told them they would not voluntarily agree to be the subject of the cable show "Hard Knocks," according to ESPN.com. 

One of the reasons is because of quarterback Johnny Manziel, the oft-troubled quarterback that entered himself into rehab this offseason. 

"You just weigh everything in," Pettine said at NFL owners meetings. "Because being a part of 'Hard Knocks,' having been there, knowing they're going to look to cover the team's biggest current storylines, it's obvious that he would be a point of attention."

Pettine was an assistant with the Jets when they were featured on the show. 

Of course, the NFL could force the Browns to do the show anyway. 


 
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