“I’m sure they’re probably discussing that possibility, and you know, that’s something everybody’s looking at due to the speed of the kickoff and the injuries that might happen on kickoffs, but it’s been an exciting part of football for a long time,” Gruden said. “It’d be unfortunate if it were to be dismissed from football in my opinion. But, my opinion doesn’t really matter. I think it’s an exciting part of the game and something that’s very important to the game.”
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has the ability to win a Super Bowl — he has the arm strength, the accuracy, the tools you need. The third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft is the most prolific passer in Falcons history, possessing the franchise records in career yards (32,757), passing touchdowns (202) and completions (2,915). He just never has had a complete team around him. Last season was a mixed bag for Ryan, who posted the third-best completion percentage (66.3) and yardage total (4,591) of his career, along with his second-lowest touchdown total (21) and third-worst passer rating (89.0). As always with Ryan, the key is the cast around him, and while Atlanta did add a solid No. 2 receiver in Mohamed Sanu, I have concerns about the defense’s ability to rush the passer.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
I think you can throw out Luck’s 2015 season, which was kind of a disaster, as a casualty of the injuries that dogged him for most of the year. The fact remains that he took Indianapolis to the playoffs in each of his first three professional years, advancing a level each time out. He has everything you need for success — athletic ability, speed, arm strength, accuracy and leadership qualities. Yes, he’s been saddled by a lack of roster support throughout his Colts tenure, but even after 2015, I have faith in Luck’s power to elevate a lesser team through his play.
Jaguars fans are about to get an extended look at Myles Jack.
Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash told reporters that the rookie linebacker will share reps with the starters during Wednesday’s training camp practice.
With veteran Paul Posluszny taking the day off, Jack will have a chance to show off some of the insane athleticism that triggered the team to grab the former UCLA star in the second round of the draft.
Jack was seen as a top-five pick, but spiraled down the board amid concerns over a knee injury that could eventually require surgery. After many initially projected Jack to the Jaguars at No. 5 overall, Jacksonville might have pulled off the draft’s biggest steal by grabbing him at No. 36 — a slide Jack won’t soon forget.
“It’s all motivation and I actually appreciate it. It’s made me hungry. It’s grounded me a lot,” Jack told The Rich Eisen Show in May. “It was, honestly, humiliating. It was embarrassing having to sit there, and afterwards walking out, having my girl to my left, my mom to my right, my grandmother to the right of her and having to look at them, it was a tough feeling. It wasn’t a good night, truthfully.”
Jack is expected to eventually replace Posluszny at middle linebacker, but Wednesday’s snaps aren’t a permanent promotion. With lightning-quick Telvin Smith notched on the weak side, Jack could wind up playing the SAM role as a rookie. The pairing of Smith and Jack would give the Jaguars plenty of speed and explosion, something the rookie has already shown off during camp.