- The Chicago Bears have five players have players competing for punt and kick return duties including: Eric Weems, Micheal Spurlock, Armanti Edwards, Chris Williams and Michael Ford.
“We have a lot of experience back there,” special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis said, via ChicagoBears.com. “There’s a lot of talent and that’s really what you want when you’re evaluating.”
Weems is the most qualified player of the group considering his success in Atlanta prior to his arrival with the Bears. During his career, Weems has exceeded 1,000 kick return yards twice to go along with has 815 total punt return yards. He has scored a touchdown as both a kick and punt returner.
Spurlock has also averaged 9.6 yards with two touchdowns on 81 punt returns and 24.2 yards and three touchdowns on 107 kickoff returns.
- Dan Graziano of ESPN.com expects RB Rashad Jennings to lead the team in carries and believes he could take on “workhorse” role this year.
According to Graziano, the team likes how Jennings runs between-the-tackles as well as his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Jennings showed the ability to do that with the Oakland Raiders last season after assuming the starting role. Last season Jennings ran for 733 yards on 163 carries (4.5 YPC) and scored six touchdowns.
Free agent acquisition WR Andre Roberts admitted that the team’s decision to bring in DeSean Jackson would likely have impacted his decision to sign with the Redskins had he known this was going to be an option.
Even so, Roberts said he is embracing a different role now that Jackson looks to be the team’s No. 2 receiver.
“I think so, I think it would have played a role,” Roberts said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via CSN Washington. “But at end of the day, we all know how the NFL works. And decisions are made that are out of your control. So when [Jackson] signed there, I just had a different out look on it. I think I’ll still be able to help the team out a lot and be a playmaker for this team.”
Roberts, 26, signed a four-year, $16 million contract that included $8 million guaranteed at the start of free agency. He finished the 2013 season with 43 receptions for 471 yards receiving and two touchdowns over the course of 16 games.
The Texans have moved former second-round pick Brooks Reed to inside linebacker now that they drafted Jadeveon Clowney With No. 1 overall pick.
“It’s totally different,” Reed said a few weeks ago, via HoustonTexans.com. ”Right now, I’m playing middle full-time. I also have to prepare to play outside too. I’m doing that as well. I have got to know a lot of stuff. I have to know a lot of adjustments and checks but it’s coming along. It just takes repetitions to see it. You can get it down paper-perfect but when you get down on the field, people are moving quickly and it’s a lot different. In that regard, it’s still a work in progress. There’s always things I can fix and improve upon but that’s just me being critical of myself.”
Reed, 27, appeared in all 16 for the Texans last season and totaled 56 tackles, three sacks and a pass defensed. He’s entering the final year of his rookie contract and will make $1,016,148 this season.