Stevie Johnson, Michael Vick, Teddy Bridgewater
For years, the common refrain about the Buffalo Bills was when would they find a wide receiver to complement their No. 1 target, Stevie Johnson?
Now, the Bills have moved on from Johnson, shipping him to the San Francisco 49ers after they used the fourth overall pick of the NFL Draft – which they acquired from the Cleveland Browns – to select former Clemson receiving star Sammy Watkins.
And Johnson no longer is the subject of a conversation about the need for a complementary receiver. In fact, he acknowledges that the 49ers’ receiving corps is all about its members feeding off of each other.
“Right now, we’re all ones,” Johnson was quoted as saying on the 49ers’ official website. “The defense has got to pick their poison, whether they’re going to double-team Anquan (Boldin), whether they’re going to double-team (Michael Crabtree), Vernon (Davis), me, (Quinton Patton) is coming in. You’ve got to pick your poison.
“We’ve got to handle our business.”
Besides incumbents such as Crabtree, Boldin, Patton, and Davis at tight end, the Niners have added, along with Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and used a fourth-round draft choice on Bruce Ellington.
PLAYING IN THE COLD, TEDDY BRIDGEWATER WILL LOOK TO GLOVES MORE THAN EVER
One of the major pre-draft stories was Teddy Bridgewater’s poor performance at Louisville’s Pro Day.
Many observers believe it was the primary reason he fell to the bottom of the first round, where the Minnesota Vikings finally made him the 32nd overall choice.
Bridgewater’s decision to not wear a glove on his throwing hand, as he did in college, was viewed as a primary reason for his Pro Day struggles. But it’s fairly safe to say that he is going to have plenty of incentive to wear gloves on his new team … and it won’t merely be to enhance his grip on the ball because of his smallish hands.
For the next two seasons, the Vikings will be playing outside as their new dome is under construction. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently pointed out that Bridgewater didn’t play a game in below-freezing temperatures during his college career, that he made only 11 starts when it was below 50 degrees, and completed 63 percent of his passes with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions in those games.
“I think it won’t be a big adjustment at all,” Bridgewater was quoted as saying about the weather. “I think we’ll be able to use that to our advantage here in Minnesota. It’s a mental thing and I’ll just block it out and continue to play.”
MICHAEL SAM TO BE THE SUBJECT OF A REALITY TV SHOW
It’s fair to say that Michael Sam never was going to arrive at the St. Louis Rams’ training camp this summer in the typical fashion of a seventh-round draft pick.
Players selected that low tend to go largely unnoticed until they do something on the field to gain attention.
But Sam, who is already drawing heavy media coverage as the first openly gay player to enter the NFL, is going to have his own television crew in tow, thanks to the fact that he will be the subject of a reality TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
“We are honored that Michael is trusting us with his private journey in this moment that has not only made history but will shape it forever,” Oprah Winfrey said in a statement. “I am proud of the focus on authentic storytelling in our new documentary series format.”
“Like every player out there working to make a team right now, my focus is on playing football to the very best of my ability,” Sam was quoted as saying. “I am determined. And if seeing my story helps somebody else accept who they are and to go for their dreams too, that’s great. I am thankful to Oprah for her support and excited to work together.”
JOE NAMATH SAYS MICHAEL VICK SHOULD BE THE JETS’ QUARTERBACK
Michael Vick has at least one prominent advocate for him to become the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.
It’s none other than the greatest quarterback in the franchise’s history, Joe Namath.
As far as Namath is concerned, Vick, and not Geno Smith, should have the No. 1 spot, even though Vick is on record as saying that the spot should belong to Smith as the incumbent.
“Of course, the coaches are going to decide who’s out there, but, boy, I don’t know any football fan that’s been around for nine or 10 years that doesn’t think Michael will be outstanding and probably is the best player at this time,” Namath told ESPN. “If Mike’s healthy, I think he’s the better player at this point. Now, Geno’s got some talent, no doubt, but we’ve obviously seen Michael and what he can do.
“To have some knowledge of (Marty Mornhinweg’s) offense (back when Vick and Mornhinweg were together in Philadelphia), I think that’s an advantage, too, for Michael to make the transition. It’s a matter of how sound he is.”
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