Daily round-up of NFL training camp news from the beat on August 7th...
Hard Knocks debuts tonight and for the first time in years it's likely to give us real insight into a fascinating transition season for an NFL team. Interesting characters with 2018 No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield, 2017 No. 1 pick Myles Garrett, Todd Haley, Gregg Williams, Tyrod Taylor and a head coach in Hue Jax who loves to be on camera. Most interested to see how Baker prepares, how the OL will replace Joe Thomas and what changes, if any, Gregg will make to shore up the putrid pass defense. Haven't been this excited for Hard Knocks since Rex Ryan was involved.
It's becoming increasingly likely that the Gruden era in Oakland will offer short term gains with the injection of new ideas and energy offensively but long term problems with Gruden the GM constructing the roster. Khalil Mack is undoubtedly one of the most important defensive players in the game right now, in his prime, and virtually impossible to replace via trade which makes this whole situation seem completely insane. Al Davis is rolling in his crypt.
The Andrew Luck news continues to come in rosey. He's apparently picked up right where he left off with TY Hilton and is building some interesting chemistry with rookie WR Deon Cain. The Colts invested significant draft capital in the OL and if that investment pays off this year then Luck will have Indy in a position to play spoiler in a very competitive AFC South.
Adam Gase either doesn't realize he's on the hot seat or he's in denial about the quality of his roster. Based on reports from the first scrimmage there is very little to be optimistic about the state of the Fins, organization or squad. Look forward to seeing him land an O-Coord job with an up-and-coming team next season and giving it another go down the road as a head coach.
This is getting ridiculous. The Bears need Smith, Smith needs practice, the issue at hand isn't even a real issue yet and I hang this 100% on the Chicago front office who seems to be putting priority on saving the owners imaginary bonus money rather than give their young defense the opportunity to challenge the Pack in Week 1.
Bengals would be such an intriguing sleeper if they could just shore up their O-Line...
Amazingly, despite being one of the fastest humans in the League, Marquise Goodwin was UNDER targeted on go routes in 2017. This makes sense because Hoyer and Beathard were likely lacking in confidence on their deep balls or didn't make it through their progressions to find him often. If he gets average targets this year his yardage could be bananas.