AFC West Blog
ESPN Oakland beat writer Paul Gutierrez reports "Marcel Reece's physical transformation is very noticeable" noting that Reece was up to 255 pounds in the offseason and is now down to 238 pounds in camp. Gutierrez also says he should be more involved in the pass game now that he is a lighter and fitter. Reece had 46 attempts, rushing for 218 yards and 2TD's last year and is expected to take on more of a full back role this season.
The Raiders' receiving corps is quite shorthanded right now. The most notable absence is Rod Streater, who suffered a concussion during Sunday's practice. Wideouts Greg Little and Juron Criner are being bothered by hamstring injuries as well.
On the first day of camp Emmanuel Sanders dropped a single pass. Sanders responded to the drop with, "My Grandma could have caught that pass." This moment motivated Sanders to go into the lab and closely watch the likes of Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and former Bronco receiver Eric Decker. Since the drop, Sanders has shown improvement and has caught tightly defended passes and had an amazing one-handed TD catch during Sunday's practice. The Bronco receiver is truly embracing his role as a student of the game and has shown great potential under Peyton Manning.
Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, in only the first week of training camp, confirmed that veteran QB Matt Schaub will start this season for the Raiders. When asked about who the starting quarterback would be, Allen responded "It's Matt. Matt's our quarterback" and then reiterated the statement again by saying "I'm really excited about Derek Carr, I think he's got a chance to be a top-level quarterback in this league. But he's young, and he's a rookie. That's a tough proposition in this league." There were questions of whether there would be a camp battle after the Raiders selected Carr in the second-round of the NFL draft after signing Schaub in the offseason.
ESPN's San Diego reporter made the statement "Ryan Mathews could be playing his final season in San Diego" after word came out that Chargers RB Danny Woodhead has signed a contract extension through 2016. This statement would makes sense with the Chargers also bringing in Donald Brown this offseason and signing him to a 3 year/$10.5 million dollar contract. Ryan Mathews has been benched for fumbling and injured throughout his time in San Diego, although when he was on the field last season, the Chargers leaned on him heavily and he became an impact player. There have been no contract talks and Mathews is scheduled to be a free agent after the 2014 season.
Just hours after a holdout was announced Tuesday night, the Chiefs have agreed to a new deal with Charles, ESPN's Adam Schefter says via Twitter. The 28 year-old back was scheduled to make $3.65 million during the 2014 season, a figure that is now much higher. The contract is reportedly worth $18 million through 2017. Charles is currently en route to training camp.
In search of a new contract, Charles will not report to training camp on Wednesday, reports KCTV. The Kansas City CBS affiliate says that Charles "wants more money, and is willing to hold out as long as it takes." He's scheduled to make $2.65 million this year, less than other comarable running backs. Charles and the Chiefs management have had discussions about a new contract.
Danny Woodhead had a career year in his first season with San Diego, and the two sides agreed to keep it going for at least a couple more seasons Tuesday. Woodhead has signed a two-year extension that will get him with the Chargers through 2016. Financial details weren't made available immediately.
Woodhead caught 76 passes for 605 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also took on 106 carries for 425 yards and two more scores.
ESPN's John Clayton says that Sanders receptions will be "in the 80s" for the 2014 season. Sanders joined the Broncos this offseason after a career-best year with the Steelers, in which he caught 67 passes for 750 yards and six touchdowns. Clayton says Sanders will do most of his work this season from the outside position, as opposed to the slot, where he lined up in Pittsburgh. Sanders will fill the role vacated by the departure of WR Eric Decker, who signed with the Jets.
Peyton Manning's numbers last season were simply staggering. He racked up almost 5,500 yards and a 55:10 touchdown-to-interception ratio. They are made even more amazing given Manning's advanced age, and that he was just two years removed from a career-saving neck surgery.
You might believe those numbers are unrepeatable from a 38-year-old quarterback, but Broncos head coach John Fox disagrees. He thinks Manning can reach those heights again due in part to how he keeps himself in great condition.
"He has worked very hard, he is in the best shape he has ever been in, all his numbers in our weight and conditioning program are all up from a year ago, even before that," Fox said of Manning. "There are areas he can improve in and he knows it and he will."