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Mandatory NFL minicamps preview — 23 more things to watch this week



Now that 9 groups have accomplished their obligatory minicamps, it is time for the 23 remaining squads to have their formal exercises. They will do precisely that, beginning Tuesday and operating via Thursday.

As we did final week, we’re going over the primary issues to observe on this week’s minicamp extravaganza. From how rookies combine with veterans to which veterans select to not present up, we’re there to cowl it. So listed below are the primary issues to observe for the 23 groups working towards this week.


How nicely is Kyler Murray adjusting to the NFL passing recreation?

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Murray’s dimension will undoubtedly be a difficulty for him. Standing at 5-foot-10, he should modify to taking part in behind an NFL-sized offensive line and going through an NFL-sized go rush. However that is only one a part of his transition. Obligatory minicamp will give Murray one other probability to bond with veteran receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk, together with the three rookie receivers the Cardinals drafted. Murray’s arm is as sturdy a facet of his recreation as his operating means, however how will he fare throwing to NFL-caliber receivers defended by NFL-caliber defensive backs? If he holds his personal, then Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense may get off to a quick begin in 2019. — Josh Weinfuss

Julio Jones’ return

The Falcons have develop into accustomed to Jones not being round for voluntary exercises, however Jones instructed ESPN he deliberate to participate within the “obligatory stuff” regardless of not but coming to phrases on a brand new contract. Jones is certainly one of three Falcons awaiting new offers, together with Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones, and may develop into the highest-paid receiver within the league someday quickly. What he has to say concerning the contract and the way he seems upon rejoining the staff will likely be subjects of dialogue. — Vaughn McClure

The continued improvement of Lamar Jackson

There was up-and-down play for Jackson within the two offseason practices open to the media. He can hit tight finish Hayden Hurst completely in stride on one go and overthrow a wide-open receiver on the following one. Consistency is a giant key for Jackson at obligatory minicamp, which is able to give him a confidence increase going into coaching camp. “It is simply enjoyable seeing him develop on daily basis, as a result of he simply will get higher and higher every day,” Hurst stated. “I believe everyone knows he is a heck of an athlete, and it is enjoyable to observe him do his factor on the market.” — Jamison Hensley

Can the offense construct chemistry regardless of well being points?

Make amends for the draft:
• Choose-by-pick evaluation »
• Kiper’s grades » | McShay’s finest picks »
• Group-by-team evaluation » | Takeaways »
Make amends for free company:
• Largest influence strikes for all 32 groups »
• Winners and losers of free company »
• Barnwell: Grades » | Classes from FA »
Extra on the draft » | Extra on FA »

On the organized staff actions open to reporters June 4, the Payments have been with out their prime three receivers in Zay Jones (undisclosed harm), John Brown (undisclosed absence) and Cole Beasley (core muscle surgical procedure); two tight ends in Tyler Kroft (foot surgical procedure) and Jason Croom (hamstring) and 5 offensive linemen in Mitch Morse (core muscle surgical procedure), Russell Bodine (shoulder surgical procedure), Jeremiah Sirles (foot/ankle), Ty Nsekhe (undisclosed harm) and Quinton Spain (thumb surgical procedure). The carousel of gamers at these positions has made it tough for Josh Allen to ascertain chemistry. “It is powerful to develop that continuity once you obtained this variety of guys that are not working towards or who’re lacking important time proper now,” coach Sean McDermott stated. “However that is the hand we’re dealt.” — Mike Rodak

Outdoors of Cam Newton throwing, the defensive entrance seven

The Panthers are transitioning to a number of fronts after operating primarily a 4-Three scheme throughout Ron Rivera’s first eight seasons. They made Florida State’s Brian Burns the No. 16 decide of the draft as a result of he can play OLB and DE. They signed Gerald McCoy as a result of he can play sort out or finish. The transition additionally means changes for perennial Professional Bowl center linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive sort out Kawann Brief, who additionally will likely be requested to play finish. How this unit meshes will likely be key to the protection returning to top-10 kind. — David Newton

Can a kicker emerge?

Sure, we’re discussing kickers. On paper, the Bears seem strong at just about each place besides the one (place-kicker) that price them a playoff victory final season in opposition to the Eagles. Chicago can have three kickers at minicamp (Chris Blewitt, Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro), and the race to exchange Cody Parkey is wide-open. — Jeff Dickerson

A.J. Inexperienced is working onerous to get better from his season-ending toe harm, however it is likely to be higher for him to sit down out dwell motion at this week’s obligatory minicamp. John Minchillo/AP

The well being standing of a number of key gamers

The Bengals have a big contingent at the moment sitting on the sidelines — together with A.J. Inexperienced, Tyler Eifert and Darqueze Dennard — whereas Joe Mixon is proscribed and Cordy Glenn wasn’t at observe final week. Inexperienced may very well be again for minicamp, though it is definitely not a given after a toe harm ended his season. Accidents derailed the Bengals final season, so the well being of everybody will likely be one thing to regulate. — Katherine Terrell

How does the offense look?

That was the query through the organized staff actions and will likely be once more in coaching camp. Coordinator Kellen Moore just isn’t reworking the Cowboys’ offense however is making some modifications, particularly in its motions and formations. The aim is to get to a degree the place the Cowboys can run a number of performs out of the identical seems and keep away from predictability. For a first-time coordinator, each observe issues, and Moore has gone via a number of the set up already to allow them to be forward of the sport because the summer time strikes on. To date, all the pieces has seemed strong between Moore and Dak Prescott, however these closing three practices of the offseason will likely be at a special tempo than the OTAs. — Todd Archer



Will Cain just isn’t bought that Aaron Rodgers and his new head coach Matt LaFleur will likely be a profitable mixture in with the Packers.

How do issues look on offense?

That has been the place most eyes have been all offseason. Sure, the Packers made main personnel modifications on protection by way of free company (Adrian Amos, Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith) and the highest of the draft (first-round picks Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage Jr.), however the staff employed new coach Matt LaFleur for his offensive ingenuity. Glimpses of which have been on show throughout OTAs: condensed formations, crossing routes, an emphasis on run and play-action. By the tip of minicamp, your entire offense can have been put in. — Rob Demovsky

Who may present depth at receiver?

Invoice O’Brien calls the spring exercises extra of a passing camp as a result of the pads aren’t on. With Will Fuller nonetheless recovering from a torn ACL and DeAndre Hopkins not participating in OTAs, there have been loads of alternatives for youthful receivers to get some reps. Final 12 months, the Texans struggled to exchange manufacturing after they misplaced Fuller and slot receiver Keke Coutee to accidents, in order that they want to determine who would be the Nos. Four or 5 receivers this season. Undrafted free brokers Johnnie Dixon (Ohio State) and Tyron Johnson (Oklahoma State) may very well be gamers competing for these spots. — Sarah Barshop

Will Andrew Luck miss all of minicamp for the second time in three years?

• New face of Chiefs’ D? Tyrann Mathieu
• Is Yannick Ngakoue a $100 million man?
• Giants-Redskins rivalry about to get heated
• Bud Dupree is Steelers’ $9.2 million wager
• This week: Minicamps for 23 groups

Colts coach Frank Reich hopes to have his beginning quarterback, who missed minicamp in 2017 because of shoulder surgical procedure, on the sector for the obligatory three-day minicamp, however he is high-quality if it would not occur. Reich needs Luck’s calf pressure to be absolutely wholesome so there’s nothing to fret about as soon as coaching camp begins in late July. Luck additionally didn’t take part within the three weeks of OTAs. — Mike Wells

How does Leonard Fournette look?

Fournette has missed the previous 5 OTAs. Whereas they’re voluntary, Fournette was the one participant who wanted 100 % attendance. His points final season have been well-documented and Fournette needed to have a productive offseason, particularly with new OC John DeFilippo saying Fournette could be “a significant cause for the place our offense goes.” Fournette did not utterly know the earlier offense by the tip of his rookie 12 months, so he would not have one of the best observe file in that space. He must have a great minicamp to realize some momentum heading into coaching camp. — Mike DiRocco

Whether or not the Chiefs have sufficient receiving depth

Tyreek Hill will not be round due to his suspension and Travis Kelce is unlikely to take part due to offseason ankle surgical procedure. So the Chiefs will get a protracted take a look at some backups who may inherit important taking part in time relying on what occurs to others on the depth chart forward of them. Among the many most attention-grabbing developmental candidates for enjoying time are WRs Byron Pringle and Gehrig Dieter and TE Deon Yelder. — Adam Teicher

It is a key season for Melvin Gordon, who’s making an attempt to safe a profitable second contract. Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports activities

What sort of form is Melvin Gordon in?

The Wisconsin product completed final season hobbled because of two balky knees and didn’t take part in voluntary offseason work for a second straight 12 months. Gordon, 26, is within the closing 12 months of his rookie contract and set to make $5.6 million in 2019. He needs a brand new deal. Coach Anthony Lynn expects Gordon to report back to obligatory minicamp this week, so the Chargers ought to get an up-close take a look at the bell-cow operating again they wish to maintain round long run. “It is one thing that we’ll positively take a look at,” Chargers GM Tom Telesco stated, when requested a few Gordon contract extension. “He is an enormous a part of our offense. He is a warrior for us.” — Eric D. Williams

Will Todd Gurley II take part in any respect?

The Rams’ star operating again didn’t take part in staff drills throughout OTAs however as a substitute went via a particular, individualized exercise plan with an outdoor coach and on the staff facility. Questions concerning the well being of Gurley’s left knee are plentiful, and the checklist of queries continues to develop the longer Gurley doesn’t take part in soccer actions. — Lindsey Thiry

How will the Vikings’ offseason additions on offense look?

Minnesota made modifications to its teaching workers and introduced in a number of items on offense to additional help quarterback Kirk Cousins. In minicamp, we’ll see how these issues play out, from the Vikings’ use of extra a number of tight finish units with Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. to who emerges as an early front-runner for the No. Three receiver place. We’ll additionally see how the offensive line is jelling with Garrett Bradbury at middle and the way comfy Cousins is in Yr 2. — Courtney Cronin

Who will emerge because the pass-catchers?

Probably the most intriguing battle for a beginning job is at middle, however these guys are onerous to judge once they’re not in pads. So most eyes needs to be on the passing recreation, the place the Saints want extra dependable targets to emerge this summer time. New TE Jared Cook dinner will certainly be certainly one of them. Hopefully a younger participant reminiscent of Tre’Quan Smith, Cameron Meredith, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr or a shock can step up as nicely. — Mike Triplett

The continued improvement of the Derek Carr-Antonio Brown relationship

• Watch: Andrew Luck
• Watch: Deshaun Watson
• Watch: Philip Rivers
• Watch: Baker Mayfield
• Watch: Patrick Mahomes
• Watch: Matthew Stafford
• Watch: Josh Rosen

There have been nothing however optimistic evaluations in relation to the quarterback and receiver vibing to date, and their chemistry has been on level — particularly with the 2 studying one another’s on-field tendencies. Brown, along with his legendary work ethic, has pushed Carr and the opposite receivers, and that figures to be ramped up in minicamp. “I am making a number of the optimistic so we’ve got loads within the financial institution,” Brown stated at OTAs. “To place the work in motion, present these guys what I am about, you already know on the sector, off the sector, it is thrilling to construct that correlation and see it come to fruition proper right here.” — Paul Gutierrez

Will Malcolm Jenkins present up?

The veteran security is searching for a pay elevate. Barring a brand new deal, there’s not a number of optimism that he’ll be in attendance for obligatory minicamp regardless of going through a possible high-quality of roughly $90,000. His absence would heighten the strain to resolve the problem earlier than coaching camp. — Tim McManus

How the gathering of pass-catchers replaces Antonio Brown

Throughout OTAs, Ben Roethlisberger unfold the ball round to a bevy of playmakers. The offense believes it has at the least 9 succesful choices at receiver, tight finish and operating again. However minicamp, with pads on, will likely be a real check of progress, and Brown will not be there for that straightforward third-down pick-up. Count on exterior receivers James Washington and Donte Moncrief to construct on their sturdy offseasons. — Jeremy Fowler

How far alongside is Jimmy Garoppolo in his return from a torn ACL?

All indications concerning Garoppolo’s rehabilitation have been optimistic and he has carried out all the pieces in OTAs aside from staff drills. The Niners do not intend to hurry Garoppolo again, and he will not be cleared for full participation till coaching camp. However since he’s off limits for contact in these practices, this minicamp will supply one closing alternative for Garoppolo to indicate how far he has are available in his restoration and the way far alongside he’s in coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense heading into coaching camp. — Nick Wagoner



Darren Woodson and Tedy Bruschi talk about Doug Baldwin’s retirement and the way the Seahawks’ new huge receivers might want to develop to exchange him.

Russell Wilson and his new pass-catchers

Doug Baldwin’s departure leaves Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown as the one Seahawks receivers with greater than three seasons of NFL expertise. It is a younger group that features draft picks DK Metcalf, Gary Jennings Jr. (who missed his first a number of weeks with a hamstring harm) and John Ursua, plus undrafted rookies Terry Wright and Jazz Ferguson. There’s additionally third-year tight finish Jacob Hollister, who was acquired in a commerce with New England. Quarterbacks, particularly those that are as protecting of the soccer as Wilson, must belief their receivers earlier than they’re comfy throwing to them. Minicamp will likely be a gauge of which newcomers are incomes Wilson’s belief. — Brady Henderson

How has the timing with Marcus Mariota and Adam Humphries developed?

Humphries stated the first process at hand is to construct chemistry and belief with Mariota. Many of the routes that Humphries will likely be operating are beneath routes that rely upon Mariota and Humphries being on the identical web page. Mariota has to confidently understand how Humphries goes to react to numerous coverages and find a way throw the ball earlier than Humphries makes his break. Belief is a large issue for Mariota. Constructing that belief can solely be carried out with intensive time collectively on the sector and within the movie room. — Turron Davenport

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Spinal surgery gives UConn’s Hurley new outlook



HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn males’s basketball coach Dan Hurley says he spent his life believing that when it got here to his well being, he was bulletproof.

That was earlier than he was informed by docs in August that he had a degenerative spinal situation that might have left him paralyzed.

Hurley returned to work full-time Wednesday, lower than two weeks after he had surgical procedure to interchange two disks in his neck with synthetic ones. He expects to make a full restoration however says that as well being scares go, this was terrifying.

“I began worrying and having quite a lot of anxiousness about my well being and my skill to get again to being myself,” he stated. “You begin enjoying worst-case situations in your head.”

Hurley stated docs informed him the situation was partly hereditary and partly the results of years of the wear and tear and tear related to being a lifelong athlete.

UConn coach Dan Hurley stated Wednesday that he has a brand new perspective after present process surgical procedure to interchange two disks in his neck. With out the surgical procedure, docs informed him a tough fall or bump may have left him paralyzed. Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire

He stated he hoped to take care of the discomfort and tingling he was feeling by way of bodily remedy or possibly an injection, however docs shortly informed him that he wanted fast surgical procedure and that any onerous fall or bump may depart him paralyzed.

He had the surgical procedure on Sept. 6, with the physician utilizing an incision in his throat to get to his backbone. He stated he was informed that for consultants, it is a comparatively routine process.

The 46-year-old coach stated he felt higher instantly however has some restrictions for the subsequent month, comparable to being prohibited from flying or lifting something heavier than 10 kilos.

Hurley, recognized for his animated teaching model, stated he has saved recruits knowledgeable and may be very assured the scenario will not have any long-term results on his skill to do his job the best way he has all the time finished it.

Nevertheless, he stated his first main well being situation has modified his perspective on life.

“How necessary my religion is to me was bolstered. How necessary my household is to me was bolstered,” he stated. “And simply how necessary I’m to my gamers, to not simply succeed and excel of their careers. My true sense and goal as a coach got here into a lot clearer focus for me.”

His gamers gave him a heat welcome again on Wednesday. He stated that meant quite a bit to him, nevertheless it did not make him go any simpler on them.

“Any of, like, that feeling sorry for me or goodwill towards the coach getting back from damage went out the door once I bought on guys for his or her lack of defensive prowess,” he stated. “Yeah, all that love is gone.”

UConn opens its season Nov. eight in opposition to Sacred Coronary heart.

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Jerry Jones, Texas Gov. speak at Pickens’ funeral



DALLAS — T. Boone Pickens was remembered at a funeral on Thursday for his humor, tenacity and larger-than-life character.

“Boone was greater than life. The truth is, Boone was greater than Texas itself,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mentioned on the service at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Abbott recalled that when Pickens was as soon as requested if he was from Texas or Oklahoma, he replied: “Each.” Abbott mentioned, “Boone was too massive to be confined to only one state.”

The brash and quotable oil tycoon, who grew even wealthier by way of company takeover makes an attempt, died Sept. 11 on the age of 91 at his Dallas house.

There will likely be a public memorial Sept. 25 in Stillwater, Oklahoma, at his alma mater, Oklahoma State College. Pickens donated lots of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} to OSU.

Dallas Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones advised these gathered that when confronted with difficulties, Pickens typically used humor and tenacity. Jones mentioned that was very true as Pickens’ well being failed close to the tip of his life.

“Boone would get slapped again. Boy, right here he’d come once more. He’d get slapped again. He’d name on that humor. He’d name on every part he might. He would encourage the folks round him,” Jones mentioned. “Boone was a fourth-quarter participant. Most likely one of the best fourth-quarter participant you and I’ll have ever had the privilege of being on the crew with.”

A message Pickens wrote earlier than his loss of life recalling life classes was posted on-line Wednesday.

“If I needed to single out one piece of recommendation that is guided me by way of life, probably it might be from my grandmother, Nellie Molonson,” a part of the message learn. “She at all times made some extent of creating positive I understood that on the street to success, there isn’t any level in blaming others whenever you fail.”

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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What happens now for Nico Hulkenberg?



Nico Hulkenberg of Renault F1 Staff within the paddock through the Method One Grand Prix of Italy. Getty Pictures

SINGAPORE — When Nico Hulkenberg awoke to a hazy Singapore on Thursday morning, he should have felt assured his Method One profession may realistically survive past 2019.

Renault’s choice to companion Daniel Ricciardo with Esteban Ocon for 2020 had left the skilled German scrambling to discover a place on the grid, however there have been nonetheless choices out there. Probably the most fancied was at Haas with the out-of-sorts Romain Grosjean considered from the surface as a 50-50 shot at finest to retain his seat alongside Kevin Magnussen.

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However at 3:00pm, across the time the haze had subsided, all the things modified. Haas introduced they have been retaining Grosjean for subsequent season, and with it, Hulkenberg’s 2020 choices narrowed even additional.

“I sort of knew it was coming, or may see it coming,” a dissatisfied Hulkenberg informed a packed media contingent at Marina Bay. “Haas was positively an choice, and we have been speaking, however we simply could not agree on a deal.

“Proper now I do not know [what I will do] however I feel there’s nonetheless potentialities and life like possibilities, we simply want a bit extra time. I feel you may see for your self what’s out there and what’s not. That is fairly apparent.”

There are at present 5 seats out there for 2020.

Crimson Bull is but to announce who will companion Max Verstappen, whereas the 2 Toro Rosso slots will likely be stuffed as soon as that call is made. The trio of Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat are all vying for the primary seat with the unfortunate two drivers anticipated to take the positions on the junior staff. Whereas potential, it is unlikely Hulkenberg would come into consideration — primarily as a result of he is by no means been concerned within the Crimson Bull household — leaving simply two life like choices.

The primary is at Williams, following Robert Kubica’s announcement he could be leaving the staff at season’s finish. However does Hulkenberg, a person with eight seasons of expertise and 172 races below his belt, actually need to be preventing with George Russell behind the grid?

“As a lot as I need to proceed, for me it must make sense,” Hulkenberg stated. “I am not determined to remain in Method One. It must be smart and it must be the appropriate deal. I am not disregarding or disrespecting Williams.”

With Hulkenberg all however drawing a line by way of Williams, that leaves one closing seat at Alfa Romeo — at present occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi. Ever since Alfa Romeo’s involvement with the staff happened at first of 2018, a Ferrari junior driver has occupied that seat as a part of a wider technical relationship with Maranello, however proper now it is his finest shot of remaining within the sport.

Whereas it is clear Hulkenberg’s choices have dried up, it doesn’t suggest he is wanting outdoors of Method One.

“There was curiosity from different [motorsport] sequence,” Hulkenberg stated. “However I’ve probably not pursued that. My head may be very a lot right here nonetheless.”

Why did Haas select Grosjean over Hulkenberg?

Gunther Steiner of Germany and Haas F1 through the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on August 04, 2019 in Budapest, Hungary. Getty Pictures

Each Guenther Steiner and Gene Haas have been in negotiations with the out-of-contract Hulkenberg all through the summer season break, however there was a motive he by no means acquired a proper contract to look over.

“Generally you want the brand new hearth ignited, however typically you should take into consideration how we did it between 2017 and 2018,” Steiner stated. “So why would I need to change and take a danger? With Romain, we all know what we have got.”

Being a identified amount was a serious benefit for Grosjean. The 33-year-old has had his ups and downs — together with a sequence of avoidable accidents at first of final season — however he has been there for the reason that first race in 2016 and contributed to lots of the staff’s higher outcomes.

Hulkenberg could also be equally as gifted, however how lengthy would it not take for him to stand up to hurry at a brand new staff? And will he attain the identical heights? Plus, would it not actually be honest to dump Grosjean following Haas’ season-long battle with tyre points that he cannot precisely be blamed for.

“This 12 months our automobile isn’t performing as we wish it to carry out, which in the long run has nothing to do with the drivers we’ve within the automobile,” Steiner stated. “Romain was a giant a part of understanding what’s incorrect with the automobile. I do not know if altering driver would assist us to be higher.

“They’re each superb drivers, however in the long run we determined to stick with Romain. He has been with the staff for 4 years and he is aware of the staff effectively.”

Grosjean could have acquired the contract, however he can contemplate himself a tad lucky to retain his place at Haas. The Frenchman has solely tallied eight championship factors this season and has been outscored by Magnussen 74-45 for the reason that starting of 2018.

If he hopes to proceed past 2020, he might want to discover consistency and scale back the errors which have plagued him in current seasons.

However for now, he’s simply excited to proceed his journey with Haas.

“It is nice information that I will likely be with the staff for a fifth consecutive season,” Grosjean stated. “We have been collectively from day one and it feels just like the story isn’t but over.

“Clearly this 12 months has been a problem, however it has additionally been a great 12 months when it comes to rising for the staff and what went incorrect and the way we will transfer on sooner or later. I am wanting ahead to many extra races in black and gold below the Haas colors.”

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