NFC South Blog
The Falcons reportedly "really like" wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and he could even push for Roddy White's WR2 job this season. The former Miami Hurricane has a ton of talent but just as he was beginning to blossom in 2013, he went down with a devastating knee injury. He is finally fully healthy and turning heads in Atlanta. His 6-foot-2 frame makes him a viable outside option. Atlanta plans to get him involved in the offense this season.
Panthers' second-year wideout Kelvin Benjamin was hindered by hamstring injuries through most of OTAs. He is the Panthers' top wideout so they certainly need him out on the field. His head coach Ron Rivera says that he expects Benjamin "to be full go at training camp" and will no longer be limited by his hamstrings. It's safe to say that KB is back to 100 percent or the Panthers would not risk putting him out on the field. He will look to build off a 1,000 yard campaign.
Free agent quarterback Michael Vick has been clear that he intends to continue his career. He also admitted that he knows it may take an injury for him to get a deal. On Thursday he sent out a tweet attached to a short video of him rolling out and throwing an accurate pass to a receiver. The tweet read, "Stay fresh stay focused stay #READY... #v7"
Kelvin Benjamin raised some eyebrows when he showed up to OTAs overweight. His conditioning was further questioned once he strained his hamstring and was forced to miss the remainder of the offseason workouts. Now KB says his weight is "perfect" and he's expected to be a full go when training camp opens. Benjamin says he's back down to his playing weight, which is about 245 pounds. "I'm not on the scale," Benjamin said. "But I'm playing weight."
Saints wide receiver Marques Colston has been placed on the active/PUP list. His injury is undisclosed but is not believed to be serious. It is likely a precautionary measure for the 32-year-old veteran. This is something to keep in mind, nevertheless, it will likely be a non-issue by the end of next week.
Roddy White says he had his knee drained before minicamp opened and believes he'll have to get it drained again during the season. He prefers not to get surgery even though it has been suggested. The good news is that the procedure only costs him a few days of practice. "It's not a concern to me because it's just like a little irritation,'' White said. "My cartilage in my knee is not smooth. It's kind of rippled. You can elect to have surgery, but I just decided not to because I'm not a surgery guy. I just don't want to do it … They gave me the option two years ago to have surgery. They said they would have to slice off the top of my cartilage, and I was like, 'I don't want to do that.' I don't want them to keep shaving my cartilage off until there's no more cartilage. Then you start to get arthritis … If I get my knee drained on a Monday, I can practice on Wednesday. It's not an issue where I'm going to miss a game, because it's such a small issue. I'm not worried about it -- not at all.''
Panthers' second-year receiver Kelvin Benjamin has dealt with hamstring issues this offseason. He now says that his hamstrings are 100 percent heading into training camp. He's fully expected to be a full-go without limitations. As a rookie he caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns with a banged up Cam Newton at quarterback.
Falcons' second-year running back Devonta Freeman will be the RB1 when the Falcons open up training camp. His experience and ability to as a pass-catcher gives him the edge over rookie Tevin Coleman. Freeman has been very confident all offseason and that certainly has not changed. "Yes, it should give me an edge," Freeman said. "I know what I can do. It's all about getting everybody to believe in me. I just can't wait to show the world what I can do and what I'm capable of. I go out there every day and prepare super-hard, like it's a game. The coaches will tell you. The players will tell you. Every day, I'm going to be like that. I don't care what no man says. Nobody has to tell me that I need to do this or I need to do that. I'm always going to try and do what's unexpected. The coaches know. They've been around some of the best talent in the world. And they know I'm going to go over and beyond to an even higher level."
Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith officially named Jameis Winston the team's starting quarterback today. It was assumed Winston would be the starter since the Bucs made him the first pick in this year's draft. Nonetheless, Winston did split first-team reps with Mike Glennon this offseason. Barring a catastrophic meltdown of epic proportions, Winston should start every game this year, barring injury.
Falcons' running back Devonta Freeman has been taking just about all the first-team reps at training camp. Rookie Tevin Coleman and home-run threat Antone Smith have been rotating with the second-team offense. As of now Freeman has a strangle hold on the starting job and is the heavy favorite to be the lead back Week 1.