Teddy Bridgewater, Ndamukong Suh, Ben Roethlisberger
When it comes to comparing quarterbacks from whom you’ve caught passes, it would be fair to say that you’ve done pretty well for yourself if your list includes Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger.
And wide receiver Lance Moore, who is in that very position, did, in fact, tell ESPN, “I definitely count my blessings every day to be able to play with somebody like a Brees or a Roethlisberger.”
Now that Moore is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brees and the New Orleans Saints are in his past while Roethlisberger is in his present. Therefore, it shouldn’t have come as too much of a shock to hear Moore say nicer things about his new quarterback than he did about the one he called a teammate for eight seasons.
“I would say that Ben has a little bit stronger of an arm, maybe a lot stronger arm,” Moore said. “Just from the last couple of days with him (in offseason workouts), that’s something that kind of jumps out at me. If you are kind of lazy with your eyes the ball will zoom right past you. That’s something that I will have to adjust to. I feel like the quarterback should never really have to adjust to the receiver.”
Equally unsurprising is the backlash Moore received from Saints/Brees fans on Twitter.
Moore’s response went as follows: “Everybody down south is mad now? Never said I disliked Drew or am not thankful for my time w him. Wouldn’t be where I am w/o him. Chill out.”
And it wasn’t as if Moore really trashed Brees. In fact, he admitted to being a bit conflicted about joining a new club after spending so much time with one of the game’s top quarterbacks.
“Honestly, leaving New Orleans was kind of scary for me because I had that comfort in a quarterback that had broken so many records and obviously won a Super Bowl,” Moore said. “To get somewhere like the Pittsburgh Steelers that has a quarterback that has won a couple of Super Bowls, it is definitely something that I am thankful for.”
TEDDY BRIDGEWATER CONTINUES TO BE DOGGED BY POOR PRO DAY
Most evaluations for the NFL Draft are based on what players show on their game tape. And that’s the way it should be.
Yet, some analysts believe there is an exception for quarterbacks.
“We talk about (the importance of watching tape) all the time, but at the quarterback position, you have to see the guy throw live,” Mike Mayock said on NFL Network. “We all know that (Bridgewater’s) Pro Day was below average for a top-level quarterback. I talked to a lot of teams, and I’m hearing a heck of a lot more second-round grades than first-round grades.
“Number one, when we saw him throw live we didn’t see arm strength and didn’t see accuracy. Number two, when you draft a quarterback in the first round you expect him to be the face of your franchise, you expect him to embrace the moment. I think people had some concerns about whether or not this young man is ready to step up and be the face of a franchise.”
GREG JENNINGS’ ‘HEAD SPINNING’ AS HE LEARNS NORV TURNER’S OFFENSE
At least one member of the Minnesota Vikings is finding it hard to adjust to the new scheme of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who held that post with the Cleveland Browns last season.
Wide receiver Greg Jennings points, albeit with a bit of sarcasm, to the fact that variations on one play involve greater diversity than could be found within the whole playbook in 2013.
“My head is spinning, even though the offense is coming and it’s starting to sink in,” Jennings told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Just with all the different change-ups we can present to the defense, the different looks, the different formations we can run the same play, the different variations that comes within the same play.
“Your head is spinning at all times until you have it down. The variations from one play to the variations of how we can get to that one play, is a lot. I’m being a little sarcastic with this statement, but it almost equates to what we had last year – just one play. It’s a lot.”
TROY VINCENT LOOKS TO KEEP SUSPENDED PLAYERS FROM BEING REPEAT OFFENDERS
Troy Vincent, the NFL’s director of football operations, plans to visit multiple teams around the league this offseason to meet with players who have been suspended for on-field incidents to try to teach them how to avoid being repeat offenders.
Although he would not reveal the list of players he planned to visit, ones who have been suspended for on-field transgressions include Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden.
“It’s all about educating,” Vincent, a former NFL defensive back, told the Associated Press. “The devil is in the details. When I am making the rounds with the suspended players, I want to make sure we are educating them to keep them on the field. What were they seeing on the plays (that led to suspensions)? Are they seeing what they are supposed to? Do they completely understand the rules? It’s about taking the guessing out.
“I have that insight from being on the field, from being in their shoes. My message to these players is, ‘We want to keep you on the field. We want to keep you safe.’ Rules to protect the players are essential.”
BALTIMORE RAVENS SEE SURPLUS OF ‘DRAFTABLE’ PLAYERS
According to Baltimore Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, there are about 180 players eligible for next week’s NFL Draft who are considered “draftable,” or roughly 30 to 40 more than they’ve seen in previous years.
At the Ravens’ pre-draft press conference on Wednesday, assistant G.M. Eric DeCosta said the club had “about 180 players” it had rated skilled enough to be drafted.
And if that’s correct, there should be some quality players available to be signed as free agents after the draft. The Ravens have history of success with undrafted free agents, acquiring such gems as linebackers Bart Scott Dannell Ellerbe, and kicker Justin Tucker.
“(The 180 draftable players) tells me that if we’re doing our jobs, we should do a really nice job in undrafted free agency, because we’re going to target a lot of those guys that we think are good players that don’t get drafted and try to add those guys after the draft,” DeCosta told reporters covering the Ravens during a pre-draft press briefing.
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