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Zimmer Willing To Lean On Adrian Peterson Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Time: 12:34 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: If Peterson truly has his sights set on 2,500 rushing yards this season, HC Mike Zimmer made it clear Sunday that workload won't be an issue. "As much as he can take, and as much as he can handle in all the things that we're doing," Zimmer said. "Obviously, we're going to have to spell him at times like you do a lot of guys. But we get down on the goal line, and we're probably not pulling him out, you know? He's our best player, and we're going to continue to use him."
Diehards Line: It's no surprise that Zimmer wants Peterson on the field. He's not only the most impressive running back of his generation, but also the most dominant offensive talent in franchise history. The Vikings will shell out $26 million over the next two years for the opportunity to saddle up their workhorse. After sitting out 15 games last season and training with a monster-sized chip on his shoulder the past few months, Peterson's legs should be up to the job.
Tom Brady Settlement Talks Ongoing Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Time: 12:33 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Last Tuesday, PFT reported that the NFL and NFL Players Association had engaged in settlement talks in connection with the Brady suspension. Since then, multiple other similar reports have emerged. Most recently, multiple reports have indicated that talks have resumed, in the wake of the NFLPA reportedly offering that Brady would consider an outcome entailing no suspension but including a fine. (That’s not an admission of guilt by Brady.)
Diehards Line: According to PFT's Mike Florio, it remains unlikely that an agreement will be reached, because Brady by all appearances is poised to fight for a zero-game suspension. Likewise, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no good way out of the situation with anything less than a four-game suspension opening him up to criticism both internally and externally. Either way, the Patriots need a decision before they open training camp on Thursday, because they need to know whether and to what extent backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should be prepared to play in September. ... Stay tuned.
Johnny Manziel Unlikely To Beat Out McCown; But Door Isn’t Slammed Shut Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Time: 12:31 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: Manziel begins training camp as the Browns' backup, but HC Mike Pettine said Manziel can still win the starting job based on performance. Pettine added that it's still likely that Josh McCown will be the Browns' Week 1 starter. "I don't think anything's changed," Pettine said. "The repetitions will be handled that way with Josh as the 1. I wouldn't say I'm guaranteeing today that Josh McCown is going to be the starter against the Jets. A lot can happen in preseason."
Diehards Line:Pettine emphasized his approach with McCown and Manziel is the same as with players at other positions. There is a designated starter heading into camp, but competition can change that order. All that said, McCown's 12 years of NFL experience will be a major factor. "From an experience standpoint, he [McCown] is that much further ahead," Pettine said. But the coach praised Manziel for taking the initiative to spend a couple of days with ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden in Tampa. "This was vacation time for a lot of guys, so the fact that he sought out Jon and went down there and worked with him and was thinking about football, to me I see that as nothing but a positive," Pettine said. ... Stay tuned.
Turner Isn't Interested In Your Opinion Of Teddy Bridgewater Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 10:20 PT |  Reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The Facts: Norv Turner isn’t a man who spends his summer scouring the internet for quarterback rankings. Like most coaches, he tries to avoid that kind of offseason fodder. But some of the recent rankings made it onto his radar. Turner made it clear that he puts no stock in where the NFL’s talking heads are ranking his QB, Teddy Bridgewater. “There’s only four or five guys I would trust in talking to about evaluating quarterbacks because I don’t think there are many guys that understand what you’re trying to do at the position and understand the evaluation process,” Turner, the team’s offensive coordinator, said.
Diehards Line: As Star-Tribune staffer Matt Vensel noted, Turner didn’t name any names, but one imagines that ESPN’s Ron Jaworski isn’t on that short list. Jaworski recently ranked Bridgewater as the 27th-best quarterback in the NFL -- three spots behind Matt Cassel, whom the Vikings traded to the Bills in the offseason. Cassel was 32nd on Jaworski’s annual list last summer. Another set of rankings from ESPN that was based on analysis from anonymous league execs and coaches had Bridgewater at No. 23. “The one evaluation we care about is ours,” Turner said. “And based on where we got to last year and where we think we’re going, I think we have a top-flight quarterback.”
NFL Reviewing Justin Hunter's Arrest Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 10:14 PT |  Reported by 247Sports.com
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The Facts: The Hunter arrest is “under review” by the NFL, which means the matter could take some time to play out before any discipline is handed out by the league. “The matter is under review,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said of any possible discipline Hunter might face under the league's personal conduct policy. “That is the extent of what we can say at this point…can’t speculate on outcomes.”
Diehards Line:Hunter, who was arrested last week after turning himself in for his alleged role in a bar fight in Virginia Beach, Va., on July 3, is free on $25,000 bond and has a court date scheduled for Sept. 3 in criminal court regarding the charge of malicious wounding against a man whom prosecutors suffered a broken jaw in the fight. Working in Hunter's favor is that he has not had – to anyone's knowledge – any prior run-ins with the law in his NFL career. Still, a fine or suspension at some point is not out of the question. Hunter, the Titans' second-round pick in 2013, is coming off a disappointing second season with 28 catches in 12 games a year ago before suffering a spleen injury.
Brandon LaFell To Open Camp On Active/PUP List Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 10:12 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: LaFell will open training camp on the active/PUP list.
Diehards Line:The secretive Pats haven't released details on LaFell, who attributed his offseason inactivity to "a few lingering injuries" that hampered him throughout the postseason. LaFell ditched his walking boot early this month, which suggests he's not facing an extended absence. He can be activated at any point during training camp.
Jadeveon Clowney Will Open Camp On Active/PUP List Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 10:11 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: The Texans announced Monday that Clowney has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list.
Diehards Line:This is a procedural move that will enable the team to keep Clowney on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the regular season if his knee doesn't cooperate. Clowney underwent microfracture surgery last year. Clowney can be activated at any point during training camp. Barring a setback, NFL.com expects to see him on the practice field before the end of August.
Ben Roethlisberger Believes The Potent Steeler Offense Can Improve Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 12:10 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: The Steelers put up the best offensive numbers in their storied history last season. Roethlisberger thinks the 2015 team can be better. The Steelers set team record in points, first downs, and yards per game, powered by the superstar trio of Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. The quarterback -- who reported to training camp with teammates on Saturday -- sees no reason why Pittsburgh can't top those numbers. "We want to start fast and we want to be able to put 30 points on the board in every game," Roethlisberger said.
Diehards Line: Roethlisberger has strong belief in his supporting cast, from Bell and Brown, to an improved offensive line. "That group in front of me is as good as any in the league, and as good as any I've ever had. It's great," he said. "Then you look at outside receiver. AB is as good as anybody in this league and arguably one of the greatest that I've played with. Just all around on offense, we have just a special group. It has a chance to be really good. ..." Roethlisberger is now 33, but he's coming off his two best statistical seasons of his career. As NFL.com suggested, "Some goals seem like honorable pipe dreams -- Roethlisberger's feels highly attainable."
Adrian Peterson Setting The Bar High Monday, July 27, 2015 | Time: 12:00 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Most of a full season away from the game hasn't lowered Peterson's ambitions any. The Vikings running back reported to training camp on Saturday, receiving the rock-star treatment from fans happy to have the former MVP back in the mix. Peterson is one of only seven players to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. His goal in 2015 is far north of that. "I always keep the mark at twenty-five (2,500), so if I get close to that, that's not bad," Peterson said.
Diehards Line: If that sounds familiar, it should. Peterson talked about rushing for 2,500 yards weeks after he fell nine yards short of Eric Dickerson's single-season record in 2012. "I want to try to set the ball higher than that," Peterson said in January 2013. "I want to make it the 2,500 club. ... It's definitely out there. I feel like it's definitely attainable." For what it's worth, Peterson would have to average about 157 rushing yards per game over 16 weeks to join the "2,500 club."
A.J. Green Remains Unworried About Contract Sunday, July 26, 2015 | Time: 11:51 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas got paid. Green feels like he's now at the front of the line to join his star contemporaries. "All that contract stuff doesn't really bother me, because when you put in the body of work I've put in, it speaks for itself," he told Fox10tv.com. "My time is coming."
Diehards Line: Both Bryant and Thomas signed five-year, $70 million extensions last week, clearly defining the market for superstar wide receivers. Green certainly fits that description, and he's set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Green is the Bengals' No. 1 priority and both sides are talking, according to team sources. Green had initially indicated he'd like to wait a year before signing an extension, but he's now more open to doing business after the Bryant and Thomas deals. It would seem that the Cowboys and Broncos have essentially done the work for both sides. Don't be surprised if Green has a very similar deal in place by Week 1.