NFP late hits: Crabtree Needs to Sign/Other Stories From Around the League.
I’ve mentioned before that rookies need to be in camp, and although I’m the first guy who wants players to get as much as they can in this league, missing time can set first-year players so far back—and draw the ire of vets who are practicing and making half the pay—that they have a hard time getting on the field.
And once they do get on the field, they have a hard time producing—especially at the wide receiver position.
Crabtree didn’t participate this offseason due to his foot injury, and for him to sit at home while his team is practicing is not a good thing for the ballclub. I expect him to have a hard enough time adapting to the pro game after living in the spread offense at Texas Tech.
Don’t be surprised if the Niners move on and treat him like an afterthought if his holdout becomes lengthy. The time in NFL training camp is precious, and missing one day sets you back three in terms of practice, meetings, and learning to become a pro.
Plus, Crabtree was the 10th pick in the draft. The Niners don’t have a single reason to meet his demands of top-three money. It isn’t their fault that he slid down the board on draft day.
The Redskins seem to be a hot name in all the talk about Michael Vick, and I have a hard time believing his name won’t at least be discussed in owner Daniel Snyder’s office over the next couple of days.
Vinny Cerrato—Snyder’s right-hand man—denied that the 'Skins were interested in Vick, but this is the same team that denied it was interested in Jay Cutler earlier this offseason. Don’t count them out, and don’t believe everything you hear that comes out of Washington.
The idea that Todd Haley is relinquishing the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Chan Gailey is a smart move in Haley’s transition from coordinator to head coach. The best coaches I was around during my career ran the entire team, and didn’t focus all of their energy on one aspect of the game.
But Haley is still a rookie in this business, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take over the play-calling early in the season if the Chiefs, and quarterback Matt Cassel, start off slowly. After all, he’ll still be judged by the production of the offense, whether he’s calling the plays or not.
The news surrounding Josh Cribbs in Cleveland seems to get stranger by the day. Now there are reports that although Cribbs will report for training camp on time—and participate—he will not play a game in the regular season without a new deal, or at least a deal in the works.
What? This doesn’t make sense to me, because to threaten a holdout is one thing, but to actually show up to camp, practice, risk injury every day, and then shut it down for the regular season doesn’t sound right.
If I’m the Browns, I call his bluff. Make him go through camp, then see if he’s willing to miss out on a game come this fall—which I have yet to see a player do. This is not the right way to start off a relationship with a new coaching staff in town.
There are already plenty of injuries to report from Bills camp, and that’s to be expected during the first week of practice—more so when the pads are put on for the first time— but one team that can’t afford to go down this road is the Green Bay Packers, especially on defense.
New defensive coordinator Dom Capers has a month to get his team ready for the regular season—plus make some roster decisions—and the last thing he wants to see are guys piled up in the training room.
If this team wants to go into the regular season playing at a high level on defense, it will need to avoid injuries in camp. You can’t put a new system into place without your players on the field.
Join me here tomorrow for a live chat at 3:30 p.m. EST to discuss NFC training camps and answer your questions.
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