7 NFL Players Losing Stock Fast After Poor OTA Showings
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Organized team activities, commonly known as OTAs, reveal very little about how the NFL season will shape up.
The players don't wear pads during OTAs and contact isn't allowed. Football in shorts is nothing like the football we'll see when the leaves start changing colors.
Now that we've basically said to take OTAs with a grain of salt, let's take a look at that grain of salt, because OTAs are all we have to go on in June.
During these practices that resemble flag football, a few players have raised red flags with their performance.
Tim Tebow, QB, New York Jets
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However, since there's no such thing as Sanchezing or Sanchezmania, Tebow's stock on the depth chart is inflated because of his popularity.
Despite acquiring Tebow, the Jets said in March that Sanchez is their starting quarterback, according to Pro Football Talk.
That's become a lot easier to believe after Tebow's performance in the Jets' first OTA that was open to the media.
According to the New York Daily News, Tebow threw two interceptions during 7-on-7 drills.
It will take a lot of Tebowing for Tebow to the win the starting job.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
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No, Justin Blackmon's stock isn't falling just because of his aggravated DUI arrest on June 3.
Blackmon's stock already was dipping at OTAs before his .24 blood-alcohol level crashed his stock like subprime mortgages crashed the Dow Jones.
The Jaguars thought highly enough of Blackmon to trade up and take him fifth overall in the NFL draft.
However, his stock began to slip during OTAs.
Here's what Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey told WTEV-TV:
When he knows what he's doing, he's very good. When he doesn't, he's lost.
Mularkey said that Blackmon and other players in his situation should swallow their pride and ask questions if they don't know what to do on a play.
The Jaguars were last in the NFL in receiving yards in 2011, according to NFL.com. They need Blackmon to make an impact right away.
So Blackmon better learn fast, both on the field and off the field.
Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
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It's funny how a guy named Ponder says he wants to avoid "thinking too much."
That's what Vikings' second-year quarterback Christian Ponder told ESPN.com as he learns the Vikings' offense.
During a shaky OTA workout on May 30, a ball Ponder tried to throw out of bounds was intercepted.
Ponder threw 13 interceptions last year and 13 touchdowns in 11 games, including 10 as the Vikings' starting quarterback.
The Vikings are looking for Ponder to take a big step forward this season. There's still plenty of time for him to improve during the offseason, but it was evident in early OTA sessions that he has work to do.
Here's what Vikings' cornerback Antoine Winfield, who's entering his 14th season, told ESPN.com when asked if he's seen Ponder make progress:
Well, it's hard to say right now. It's only been two days of OTAs. I'm not really sure. I'll have to answer that after training camp.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Cleveland Browns
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Mohamed Massaquoi isn't the only one. The Cleveland Browns wide receivers have struggled as a unit during offseason practices, especially on Wednesday.
Technically it was a minicamp and not an OTA session in which Browns receivers dropped several passes, according to ESPN.com. Like OTAs, minicamps are held with no contact and no pads.
Massaquoi is being singled out because Browns team president Mike Holmgren hyped him up on a local talk show, according to the Associated Press, saying "I believe in that young man. I really do."
Also, Massaquoi not only dropped passes during Wednesday's workout, he also gave up on a deep ball as if he were looking for a penalty during Tuesday's practice.
The Browns shared the dubious distinction of most dropped passes in the NFL in 2011, according to ESPN.com. So this isn't what they need.
If Massaquoi keeps this up as he enters his fourth year in the NFL, Holmgren might find him harder to believe in.
Dontay Moch, LB, Cincinnati Bengals
A player taken with the second pick in the third round of the NFL draft is expected to learn the ropes fairly quickly.
Dontay Moch hasn't done that.
Moch, drafted by the Bengals in 2011, didn't see the field last season because of an injury he suffered in the preseason.
Despite being in the system for a year, Moch still doesn't seem to know the Bengals' defense during OTAs, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer told The Cincinnati Enquirer.
To make matters worse, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted in May that Moch has been suspended four games, pending appeal, for using a banned substance.
The way things are going, Moch might need those four extra weeks to learn the Bengals' defense.
Kellen Moore, QB, Detroit Lions
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Normally, an undrafted free agent doesn't have much stock to begin with.
However, Kellen Moore made a name for himself at Boise State, becoming the first Football Bowl Subdivision quarterback to win 50 games and the first player in NCAA history to produce four seasons with both 3,000 passing yards and 3,000 yards of total offense, according to The Sports Network.
Moore's stock was high enough for the Lions to sign him as an undrafted free agent.
Unfortunately, the 6'0", 197-pound Moore is showing why every team passed on him in the draft by throwing several "floaters" during OTAs, according to MLive.com.
Moore might have been able to get away with that on the blue turf, but not in the NFL.
Chad Ochocinco, WR, Free Agent
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Chad Ochocinco's stock didn't have far to fall after he caught just 15 passes for 276 yards in his only season as a New England Patriot.
Ochocinco was released Thursday, according to The Boston Globe, after it became apparent that he never bothered to learn the Patriots' playbook in his 10 months with the team.
During one OTA session, Ochocinco had to run a lap because he jumped offside, and teammate Deion Branch had to tell him where to line up on another play, according to The Boston Globe.
That's nothing new, according to Bengals.com. Even though Ochocinco recorded seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Cincinnati, T.J. Houshmandzadeh had to tell Ochocinco where to line up.
That kind of scuttlebutt drags down Ochocinco's stock even further.
ESPN said the Patriots tried to trade the 34-year-old Ochocinco before releasing him, but there were no takers.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Ochocinco resurface with another team this summer. In the meantime, he can tweet away on his cell phone, because it won't be ringing for a while.