AFC Training Camp Notes 8-3: AJ Green & Much More

Today's notes got to be too big so I split them into the AFC and NFC. Enjoy!!


Sony Michel, James White
and Rex Burkhead are locks, assuming full health. I think Brandon Bolden makes it based on his special teams ability and overall versatility. At this point, I’d say Jeremy Hill has a better chance than Mike Gillislee at making the roster as a fifth running back. That’s partially because Gillislee just has so much trouble staying healthy. I don’t think the Patriots necessarily need to keep five running backs, but it would be a nice luxury to have given Burkhead’s injury history.

I didn’t expect much from Phillip Dorsett this season, so he’d be my most surprising offensive player. He’s been solid lining up outside and in the slot. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I guess I am slightly surprised wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell still isn’t healthy enough to practice. – Zach Cox

TE Jacob Hollister has been one of the biggest standouts of spring practice has continued to progress this summer, frequently working both with the first-team offense and in side sessions with quarterback Tom Brady. He’s a prime contender to take the much-talked-about second-year leap after playing primarily on special teams as a rookie in 2017. Hollister also has received high praise from head coach Bill Belichick, as has the next player on this list.

WR Phillip Dorsett who played nearly 400 offensive snaps last season but caught just 12 passes, appears to have improved his stock considerably. Like Hollister, he’s seen extensive reps with Brady, and the team seems to be expanding his role by lining him up in the slot more often. Viewed as a fringe roster guy entering camp, he could wind up being an important offensive piece for the Patriots during Julian Edelman’s four-game suspension. – Mike Reiss

The Patriots pursued WR Eric Decker after releasing five-year veteran Jordan Matthews (hamstring) on Wednesday, and with Kenny Britt being brought back cautiously from a hamstring injury and Malcolm Mitchell's knee injury keeping him off the field.

So it's been Julian Edelman and Chris Hogan as the top two receivers in practice, with Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson also seeing significant repetitions. First-year player Riley McCarron (Iowa) is also getting a long look, followed by 2018 sixth-round pick Braxton Berrios (Miami) and longshots Devin Lucien and Paul Turner.


Omar Kelly  @OmarKelly

WR DeVante Parker has had a quiet camp so far, but I credit Xavien Howard more so than blame Parker. Every time Tannehill throws his way Howard is breaking up the pass. It’s become the Brent Grimes effect. Tannehill just avoids whoever he’s covering.

Omar Kelly  @OmarKelly

Albert Wilson catches a 17-yard touchdown pass from David Fales on his throw of 11-on-11, beating a Cordrea Tankersley.

Omar Kelly  @OmarKelly

David Fales with a touchdown pass to Thomas Duarte in the red zone. Fales is hot today. Quick decisions like Chad Pennington.

Adam Beasley  @AdamHBeasley

DeVante Parker with his highlight of camp. Out-leaps two defenders for a touchdown in the red zone. (Easily could have a been an interception.)

Armando Salguero  @ArmandoSalguero

Fine play by Brock Osweiler: Catches bad snap with one hand, then flicks a TD pass to Rashawn Scott in back of end zone. – John Congemi

Both sides of the football seemed to benefit from the work inside the 20-yard line today. Offensively, quarterback Ryan Tannehill gave his playmakers an opportunity to win in the air and both times the play ended up successful. First, he was pressured out of the pocket to his right and launched the ball high, in the direction of wide out DeVante Parker. Parker was in the back of the end zone tightly covered by multiple defenders. But Parker high pointed the ball using strength and his size to come down with the touchdown reception. 

Next up, rookie tight end Mike Gesicki motioned out from his line position to a receiver spot. Getting the match-up against a linebacker, Tannehill again lofted the ball in his direction, and Gesicki used his huge catch radius over linebacker Stephone Anthony to make the catch.

As expected when they spent a second round pick on him, Dolphins rookie tight end Mike Gesicki is already showing promise to be part of the starting lineup. And, he’s emerging as an athletic big target for quarterback Ryan Tannehill, especially in the redzone.

During their workout Friday Gesicki made a couple of plays, albeit in a training camp practice, that had the media buzzing.


Dennis Waszak Jr.  @DWAZ73

#JetsTerrelle Pryor doing more on field as he progresses from offseason ankle surgery. “I’m not there (yet). ... I’ll get there.” – Mike Vasquez

The tight end competition is wide open and coach Todd Bowles said it's of the highest quality he's seen in his four seasons with the Jets.

Rookie Chris Herndon and second-year TE Jordan Leggett are the early favorites -- even though neither has every caught a pass in the NFL. Herndon is off to a great start, making several nice catches and showing speed over the middle. Leggett looked good early too, but missed the last two practices with injury. – Anthony Talarico

With injuries to Elijah McGuire and Thomas Rawls, rookie Trenton Cannon’s role has amplified in training camp.

Not only does the sixth-round pick offer speed in the run game, but Cannon is a viable option as a pass-catcher. Dual-threat backs are a commodity in the NFL. If he can continue to impress in preseason, New York may have stumbled upon a crucial piece for its offense late in the draft.

Selected in the fourth round last year, WR Chad Hansen had a quiet rookie campaign, but he started to carve a role out for himself toward the end of the season.

He continued to do that during the spring with Terrelle Pryor out and Quincy Enunwa limited. Well, both players are still dealing with injuries, which means more reps for Hansen.

With ArDarius Stewart facing a suspension and Robby Anderson waiting to find out if he’ll experience a similar fate, Hansen could find himself the recipient of a larger role in 2018.


Chronicle Sports @ChronSports

Texans WR Keke Coutee sidelined with strained hamstring – Patrick D. Starr

Deshaun Watson continues to be in charge. He threw the ball well in the rain, and was in constant command at the LOS in each of the situations. The offense walked through several end of game goal-line situations, and then executed vs the 1st team defense. Deshaun and DeAndre Hopkins connected for a pretty corner route in the back of the end zone, beating Kareem Jackson, just as they had walked through minutes before.

Rookie TEs continue to be thrown into the fire. Jordan Thomas (6th round) and Jordan Akins (3rd round) continue to get prominent snaps, with Thomas starting to play in the role CJ Fiedorowicz as an inline blocker and pass-catching TE. Thomas’ size, mobility have already stood out in pass-catching drills, and BOB has alluded to his growing ability as a blocker.

it was evident that Deshaun trusts Thomas a big target, and given the gravity of Hopkins, Fuller, and Lamar, the Texans now could have one more mismatch to use.

Sammie Coates continues to catch everything thrown his way – much was made of his inconsistency catching the ball prior to arriving in Houston, but given his size (6’1, 210), he is able to present a big target for QBs on the perimeter. With the battle at WR after Hopkins, Fuller, Coutee, and Ellington wide open, Coates has a real opportunity to make the roster, especially with his prior special teams experience.

DENVER BRONCOS – Ryan O’Halloran

QB Case Keenum had to throw an interception at some point in camp and it came in Practice No. 6. On a second-and-20 play from his 25-yard line, Keenum looked right before throwing left and S Will Parks picked it off and returned it for a touchdown. “It was only a matter of time,” Parks said. “Great play call by (defensive coordinator) Joe Woods and us being able to execute the defense. That’s all it was.”

WR Courtland Sutton. Who else, right? To start QB Case Keenum’s second team segment, Sutton was covered closely by CB Brendan Langley, but made the acrobatic catch for a long touchdown. The Broncos’ offensive line ran the 40-plus yards to the end zone to help Sutton celebrate.

RB Royce Freeman took the initial 11-on-11 snap for the first time in camp; Devontae Booker had that task the first five days.

QB Case Keenum started well, completing his first three passes in the first team segment (TE Jake Butt and two to WR Emmanuel Sanders). QB Paxton Lynch threw a one-hop pass to start his day and QB Chad Kelly’s four snaps were incomplete, pass to TE Matt LaCosse, aborted play and incompletion.

Keenum completed all four of his passes during the initial 7-on-7 period (WR Demaryius Thomas, Sutton, RB Phillip Lindsay and Thomas). Lynch’s period included looking off an open tailback in the left flat and throwing into traffic over the middle, but LB Todd Davis dropped the interception. Kelly completed all four of his passes.

The final 11-on-11 period started with Keenum completing passes to Sutton, Booker, Sanders and McKenzie. The drive started with penalty on S Justin Simmons (covering Sanders). Lynch overthrew an open McKenzie on a post route. Lynch later fumbled while trying to scramble out of the pocket.


Fred Greetham @FredGreetham

#Browns Tyrod Taylor throws incomplete to Jarvis Landry on first play of 3 and out. Second series against 2’s Taylor hits David Njoku downfield for big gain.

Mary Kay Cabot  @MaryKayCabot

#Browns Nick Chubb scores on 1-yard run up the middle in 2s vs2s led by Baker Mayfield, Long passes of 36 and 29.

Fred Greetham @FredGreetham

#Browns start with second team offense vs. 2nd defense. After flutter ball, Baker Mayfield hits CJ Board for about 30-35 yards and then Devon Cajuste to the one.

Nate Ulrich @ByNateUlrich

Baker Mayfield has two long completions to lead TD drive in twos vs twos series. His 29-yard pass to TE Devon Cajuste set up Nick Chubb’s 1-yard TD run.

Mary Kay Cabot  @MaryKayCabot

On #Browns Jarvis Landry's 36-yard TD grab in the scrimmage, he caught it left-handed behind him, spun away from defensive back Elijah Campbell and stiff-armed James Burgess on his way into the end zone. He then heaved the ball into the stands.

Dustin Fox  @DustinFox37

My number one takeaway from #Browns training camp so far is that Jarvis Landry is an absolute STUD. This guy is absolutely blowing me away with his work ethic and performance. He catches everything and is running circles around everyone. – Nate Ulrich

Jarvis Landry has never seen a pass he didn’t think he could catch, and his never-say-die mentality allowed him to steal the show Friday during an intrasquad scrimmage in the eighth practice of Browns training camp.

A pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor sailed over leaping linebacker James Burgess and behind Landry as he zoomed across the middle of the field. Landry reacted by reaching out with his left hand and corralling the ball, spinning away from safety Elijah Campbell as he attempted a tackle and stiff-arming Burgess while running about 20 yards to the end zone. Landry celebrated by launching the ball to a fan in the bleachers.

“He moved the team,” Jackson said. “He made some plays down the field with the ball. He threw the ball around. Tyrod did some good things out there.”

Rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Baker Mayfield orchestrated a scoring drive as the second-team offense and No. 2 defense squared off to start the scrimmage. Mayfield’s 29-yard pass to tight end Devon Cajuste set up rookie running back Nick Chubb’s 1-yard touchdown run.

Although running back Carlos Hyde scored a 2-yard touchdown on second effort, the offense struggled in goal-line situations.


Sometimes we just shrug and take wide receiver A.J. Green for granted. But then we have to realize that one of the league’s top three receivers is pitted against what rates as the top cover cornerback in the game in William Jackson virtually every snap. It’s the Bengals training camp version of Ali-Frazier, a heavyweight title bout every down. But on Friday it was decided by Andy Dalton.

On a long ball early in practice, Andy Dalton went back shoulder to Green in the middle of the field with Jackson plastered on him and Green made a leaping spin as he snatched the ball out of the air.

Green makes it look so easy. He was wide open on three catches to start the two-minute drill for about 40 yards.

The drive stalled when Dalton and wide receiver John Ross weren’t on the same page and Ross went one way and the ball went the other, falling incomplete in the end zone. But Ross helped them set up a field goal try when he caught the last snap of the drill on the sidelines and got out of bounds. – Katherine Terrell

Bengals did quite a bit of goal line and two minute work with live tackling and officials on hand. Seemed like Tyler Eifert was a full participant. Joe Mixon looked good in pass participation although he was tackled for a loss on one play by Andrew Billings. John Ross also continues to have a nice camp.


Eugene Frenette @GeneFrenette

Wow! Great catch by Marquis Lee on sideline vs. Ramsey on back-shoulder throw from Blake Bortles. Best play of night so far. #Jaguars

Mike Kaye  @mike_e_kaye

65-yard touchdown run for Corey Grant. Crowd goes bananas. #Jaguars

Mike Kaye‏  @mike_e_kaye 

DJ Chark with a diving catch off a Cody Kessler pass. Kessler connected with Chark on 4-of-6 passes during this drive so far. #Jaguars – Mike Kaye

Blake Bortles completed 14-of-23 passes with an interception during 11-on-11 team drills. The pick came off a deep ball that hovered its way toward wide receiver Marqise Lee but was intercepted by safety Barry Church. Bortles' highlight of practice was the final play of the night, as he threw a perfectly placed strike to wide receiver Dede Westbrook in the end zone about 20 yards downfield. Cornerback A.J. Bouye had solid coverage on Westbrook but the wide receiver leaped forward to bring in the catch and the touchdown. The play sent the fans home happy.

Wide receiver Donte Moncrief (knee) returned to practice after missing the last four sessions. Moncrief didn't participate in team drills but took part with individual reps.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee made a highlight catch against Ramsey's coverage. The cornerback was in perfect position but Lee made a leaping catch off a well-thrown ball from Bortles. The shoulder injury that cost him a couple of practices this week doesn't seem to be bothering him anymore.

Running back Corey Grant showed off his impressive balance and speed throughout the practice. He ran for a pair of touchdowns, as he shook defenders out of their cleats. Grant has performed well after receiving a nice raise this offseason.


Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

Patrick DiMarco perfect lead block to spring Marcus Murphy for a would-be TD in run drills. Opposite side of the field, Josh Allen lays it in perfectly to Rod Streater deep for a TD.

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

AJ McCarron starts team drills with a somewhat high slant to Kelvin Benjamin. Great grab above his head. Next pass is long-developing post corner to Foster. Overthrown. But flag on the play. Defensive holding.

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

11-on-11, McCarron throws good ball in sideline Cover 2 hole to Malachi Dupre who high-points wonderfully to bring it in. Would’ve gotten smacked by the safety though.

Chris Trapasso @ChrisTrapasso

Keith Ford makes a nifty cut on an inside run and breaks it the to go the distance against the backup defense. Showed good speed for a power RB.

Dan Fetes @danfetes

Josh Allen with a perfect 45 yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster on a corner route. Crowd erupts #BillsCamp


Seventh-round receiver Marcell Ateman has had a strong start to training camp, using his body to box out defenders and make plays downfield. He doesn’t have breakneck speed, but the Oklahoma State product is adept creating separation with the ball coming his day.

Ateman’s a big guy at 6-foot-4 and 213 pounds – he almost looks like a tight end – and has been an attractive target for Raiders quarterbacks. He has an uphill battle to fight for the fifth (and likely final) receiver spot on the roster, but has made a solid impression thus far. – Michael Gehlken

Jordy Nelson caught a Derek Carr pass over the middle Thursday, turned the corner and separated while sprinting another 20-plus yards for a touchdown. A day earlier, he drew safety Tevin Mitchell to bite underneath and ran behind the secondary for an easy deep score.

Nelson, 33, continues to defy his age here in training camp. The former Green Bay Packers wide receiver signed a two-year, $14.2 million contract. He’s provided off-the-field leadership while demonstrating he can be someone Carr can rely upon this fall. – Marcus Mosher

Jalen Richard is one of my favorite under-the-radar players on the roster. His ability to create big plays on the ground and through the air is magical at times. But he is in a battle for a roster spot with Doug Martin and DeAndre Washington. The last thing he can afford is to miss time and that’s exactly what is happening. While the injury isn’t considered serious, it does put him behind in the competition some.


Terry McCormick @terrymc13

Wr Deontay Burnett does two things pretty well. He gets open and catches the ball.

Terry McCormick‏ @terrymc13 

Dion Lewis with a big gain on the checkdown. The last time a #Titans back rambled for a big gain on an outlet screen was ... well it’s been so long I’m not sure.

Terry McCormick‏ @terrymc13 

TE Anthony Firkser hauls in a 28 us pass from Luke Falk on a nice sideline catch and a good throw.

Paul Kuharsky  @PaulKuharskyNFL

Taywan Taylor was heavily featured and I thought he played well for Marcus Mariota tonight. 

If you have any comments or questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Fantasytaz

If you want some great draft practice and don't have a lot of time try these FREE Best Ball World Championship Drafts that take less than 5 minutes and could possibly win you $2,500.

Have Your Say