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in Harrison are the
« on: September 12, 2018, 01:11:24 am »
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is building the Arizona Cardinals‘ offense from scratch and Stephone Anthony Jersey , big surprise, David Johnson is figuring prominently in his plays.

”David’s a special back,” McCoy said after the Cardinals practiced in pads in muggy weather outdoors on Tuesday.

”You see how the offensive line worked together the first day in pads (on Monday),” McCoy said. ”That was a positive, watching those guys and the way they all work together. We’ve got a long ways to go still but that’s what training camp is for. But we’re off to a good start.”

McCoy brings plenty of experience to work alongside first-year coach Steve Wilks. McCoy was head coach of the San Diego Chargers as well as two stints as offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos.

Johnson sat out minicamp in a contract dispute but came back for training camp and, as always, has impressed his coaches.

”I think everybody knows what kind of player he is,” McCoy said. ”The way he played in the ’16 season. He can do it all.”

Johnson led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2016 but broke his left wrist in last year’s opener and missed the remainder of the season. He’s fully healthy now.

McCoy said that most running backs are all right out of the backfield, ”but he’s special.”

”He can run every route in the route tree a receiver runs,” McCoy said. ”Are we going to do that with him? We’ll find out come the season, and you just love the way he works all the day.”

At quarterback, Sam Bradford is working on chemistry with his receivers, particularly Larry Fitzgerald, who has caught at least one pass from 17 different quarterbacks in his 14-year NFL career.

Bradford and Fitzgerald both were given a veteran’s day off from practice on Tuesday.

”He’s looked great Jerry Hughes Jersey ,” McCoy said of Bradford. ”He’s very intelligent. He goes through the progressions. You can watch thee veterans, different from a young player, when something’s not there and it breaks down, there’s no hesitation of where to go with the ball. Sam’s done a great job of running the show when he’s in there.”

Quarterback Josh Rosen, meanwhile, is going through a rookie learning curve.

”Josh is like every rookie,” McCoy said. ”There’s the good days, there’s the good plays and there’s that one or two plays you look at and you say `OK, I know this is the first time you saw blitz zero with this play or this protection scheme, but didn’t we just go over it in the meeting?”

The offense will be designed to take advantage of what the players do best, McCoy said.

And it’s clear that he and Wilks want a physical running game.

”That’s what training camp’s for, really, for the running game,” McCoy said. ”You try to become a physical football team in training camp.”

The Cardinals overhauled the offensive line. D.J. Humphries remains at left tackle Antonio Garcia Jersey , Mike Iupati is still the left guard and A.Q. Shipley is still the center. But the right side is occupied by a couple of free agent signees – Justin Pugh at right guard and Andre Smith at right tackle.

Now they’re strengths are being evaluated.

”Who is the best puller? Who are our best double-team guys? How do our tight ends block certain schemes?” McCoy said ”So you find out a lot about your players. That’s our job as coaches is to make sure to find out what they do best.”

That’s especially true of quarterbacks.

If a quarterback doesn’t like a play that’s on the call sheet, McCoy said, ”Give me that red pen, we’ll cross off those plays you don’t like and we’ll be OK if everyone believes in what we’re doing.”

The biggest competition on offense might be at wide receiver, where a handful of players are vying for the spots behind Fitzgerald.

That won’t sort itself out, most likely, until the end of preseason.



Julio Jones insists his status for training camp was never in doubt.

Jones, the five-time Pro Bowl receiver, was back for the start of Falcons training camp Friday after missing a mandatory minicamp in June while asking that his contract be reworked.

Jones dismissed reports he wouldn’t report without a new deal as ”he said, she said” speculation.

”We knew all along we were going to get it handled,” he said.

For coach Dan Quinn, the most important fact was seeing No. 11 catching passes from Matt Ryan.

”It was awesome to have him back,” said Quinn, adding Jones’ routes were ”really sharp and clean.”

Jones drew cheers from fans when he caught a pass on the sideline in front of cornerback Desmond Trufant late in the practice.

General manager Thomas Dimitroff said Thursday the team made an ”adjustment” to Jones’ five-year Will Dissly Jersey , $71.5 million contract. Jones is entering the third year of the deal.

Dimitroff said the tweak to Jones’ deal wouldn’t affect the team’s hopes to negotiate contract extensions for left tackle Jake Matthews, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, and safety Ricardo Allen. On Friday, the team agreed to a five-year, $75 million extension for Matthews.

The biggest new deal of all came earlier in the offseason – a five-year, $150 million extension for Ryan, the most lucrative contract in NFL history.

Ryan’s contract, and the team’s talks with Matthews, Jarrett and Allen, were among the reasons Dimitroff said the Falcons couldn’t renegotiate Jones’ contract until after the season.

Jones confirmed he told Quinn this month he would report to training camp.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said at the NFL owners meeting in May he expected Jones to play his entire career with Atlanta.

”Our relationship has always been excellent so I had the confident in Thomas and the confidence in J.J. being a great Falcon for us not only on the field but off the field and a leader in the locker room,” Blank said Friday.

Jones said he and Blank ”reiterated what he had told us – that I’m going to be a Falcon forever.”

Asked if it was difficult to be away from the team for the mandatory minicamp and other offseason work, Jones said he told Quinn ”It was just me getting healthy as far as some stuff with me, getting back right and feeling 100 percent.”

A healthy Jones is especially important to the Falcons’ hopes of returning to their offensive form of their 2016 Super Bowl season, when they led the league in scoring.

One year ago Frank Clark Jersey , Jones was recovering from minor offseason surgery on his left foot and was limited in the first training camp with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkasian.

Jones didn’t miss a game last season despite having two ankle injuries – plus back, ribs, thumb and knee injuries.

Jones, who also participated in an informal passing camp led by Ryan in California this month, has no injury concerns.

”For me and for the team it’s better than I’m healthy and can do everything,” he said.

Quinn said wide receiver Russell Gage used advice from Jones to fine-tune a route at the California camp.

”Those were the things that don’t show up on the stat sheet that often speak to who he is as a teammate,” said Quinn of Jones.

It’s not unusual for Jones to be included on Atlanta’s game-week injury reports, but he has missed only three games the last four seasons. He has broken his right foot twice, at the NFL combine in 2011 and in 2013 when he missed 11 games.

Jones has remained one of the NFL’s most productive receivers. He had 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. Jones and Marvin Harrison are the only players in NFL history to have at least 80 catches for at least 1,400 yards in four straight seasons



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