KAEPER­NICK a pos­si­bil­ity for Ravens.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

RAVENS Kaeper­nick a pos­si­bil­ity

With starter Joe Flacco side­lined for at least a week with a disc is­sue in his back, the Bal­ti­more Ravens are ex­plor­ing sign­ing for­mer San Fran­cisco 49ers quar­ter­back Colin Kaeper­nick.

Fol­low­ing the team’s first full-squad prac­tice of train­ing camp Thurs­day, Ravens Coach John Har­baugh brought up Kaeper­nick be­fore even be­ing asked about the free-agent quar­ter­back.

It’s an ob­vi­ous con­nec­tion given that Kaeper­nick played his best foot­ball in San Fran­cisco un­der Jim Har­baugh, John’s brother, and for­mer 49ers of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Greg Ro­man. Ro­man is now a se­nior of­fen­sive as­sis­tant and tight ends coach for the Ravens.

“I’ve known Colin re­ally through my brother for many years and we’ve talked,” John Har­baugh said. “I got to know him re­ally well when they scrim­maged here [in 2014]. He and I have been talk­ing through­out the sum­mer, a num­ber of times. We’ve had some great con­ver­sa­tions on the phone. It’s re­ally been a plea­sure to talk to him and get to know him. I like his­tory and pol­i­tics and stuff, too, and we’ve had some de­bates. It’s been fun. He’s a great guy. He’s a guy right now that’s be­ing talked about and we’ll just see what hap­pens with that. I think it will all be spec­u­la­tion right now, but I think he’s a re­ally good foot­ball player. As I said at the own­ers meet­ings, I do be­lieve he’ll be play­ing in the Na­tional Foot­ball League this year.”

Asked later about Kaeper­nick, Har­baugh said, “I wouldn’t rule it out at all. He’s a re­ally good foot­ball player.”

The Ravens cur­rently have only two healthy quar­ter­backs on their ros­ter: Vet­eran Ryan Mal­lett ( Arkansas Ra­zor­backs) and Dustin Vaughan. Dur­ing one drill Thurs­day, of­fen­sive as­sis­tant Matt Weiss stood in as the quar­ter­back be­cause Mal­lett and Vaughan were needed on other parts of the field.

BRON­COS Booker surgery set

EN­GLE­WOOD, Colo. — Den­ver Bron­cos Coach Vance Joseph’s first train­ing camp got off to a rough start with word that Devon­tae Booker, who was push­ing to un­seat C.J. An­der­son as Den­ver’s start­ing run­ning back, will un­dergo wrist surgery to­day and is ex­pected to miss six weeks.

Booker suf­fered a hair­line frac­ture late in OTAs but he and the team thought it was just a mi­nor sprain un­til the Bron­cos did X-rays Wed­nes­day when he re­ported for his train­ing camp phys­i­cal.

“And it was a wrist frac­ture,” Joseph said. “So, it’s ob­vi­ously been there for a cou­ple of months and we didn’t know and he didn’t know.”

The Bron­cos had been plan­ning to split first-team snaps at train­ing camp be­tween Booker and An­der­son, who is re­turn­ing from a torn menis­cus last sea­son, while Ja­maal Charles slowly works his way into ac­tion af­ter miss­ing most of the last two sea­sons in Kansas City with leg in­juries.

Booker led the Bron­cos with 174 car­ries for 612 yards and four touch­downs in 2016 af­ter An­der­son went on IR af­ter get­ting hurt in the sev­enth game.

With Booker shelved, the Bron­cos agreed to terms with free agent run­ning back Ste­van Ri­d­ley on a oneyear deal. He’ll join a back­field with An­der­son, vet­eran Juwan Thomp­son, rookie De’An­gelo Hen­der­son and free agent Bernard Pierce.

RED­SKINS Cousins: 1-year deal OK

RICH­MOND, Va. — Wash­ing­ton Red­skins quar­ter­back Kirk Cousins said Thurs­day that his fo­cus head­ing into his third sea­son as a starter is to get bet­ter at “sit­u­a­tional aware­ness,” know­ing when in a game to take risks, for ex­am­ple, and when not to.

“You’ve got to go back and look at last sea­son and look at where you can im­prove,” he said at a news con­fer­ence on the first day of train­ing camp. “I want be bet­ter at sit­u­a­tional aware­ness. If I can do that, the fi­nal re­sult will be an im­proved player, and I think that’s the next step in my de­vel­op­ment.”

The al­lu­sion was to the fi­nal in­ter­cep­tion he threw in last year’s sea­son-end­ing game against the New York Giants, seal­ing a de­feat that kept the team out of the play­offs.

Cousins went on to say that he didn’t think play­ing the 2016 sea­son un­der the NFL’s one-year fran­chise tag had any bear­ing on his per­for­mance. And con­trary to com­mon per­cep­tion, Cousins said he didn’t view his de­ci­sion to play the up­com­ing sea­son un­der a sec­ond tag rather than sign a longer deal as “bet­ting on him­self.”

“I bet on the sys­tem,” Cousins told re­porters af­ter the morn­ing’s walk-through on the open­ing day of train­ing camp. “I’m just go­ing out and play­ing. There’s never been any­thing but pos­i­tive feel­ings [to­ward the Red­skins].”

BEN­GALS Jones grate­ful for sup­port

CINCIN­NATI — Cor­ner­back Adam “Pac­man” Jones has ac­cepted his one-game sus­pen­sion for an off­sea­son mis­de­meanor con­vic­tion, and teared up Thurs­day over the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port he’s re­ceived from Cincin­nati Ben­gals owner Mike Brown.

Jones is sus­pended by the NFL for the sea­son opener as a re­sult of his con­fronta­tion with ho­tel se­cu­rity per­sonal and an ob­scen­ity-filled tirade against ar­rest­ing po­lice of­fi­cers.

In his first pub­lic com­ments since the sus­pen­sion, Jones ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity for his ac­tions and said he’s ready to move on. He be­gan to tear up when asked about Brown’s sup­port, say­ing he can’t put his grat­i­tude into words.

Ben­gals play­ers re­ported Thurs­day for the start of train­ing camp. Their first prac­tice is to­day.

SAINTS No con­tract talks yet

METAIRIE, La. — On the eve of train­ing camp, typ­i­cally tight-lipped Gen­eral Man­ager Mickey Loomis de­clined to an­swer ques­tions about the pos­si­bil­ity of a con­tract ex­ten­sion for New Or­leans Saints quar­ter­back Drew Brees — or any other player for that mat­ter.

The 38-year-old quar­ter­back said there are not any con­tract talks tak­ing place, adding, “I don’t ex­pect them to; I don’t re­ally de­sire them to.” He said he is con­cen­trat­ing at this time on mak­ing him­self and his team bet­ter. “I want to help this team win,” he said.

Win­ning hasn’t been easy for the Saints in re­cent years, even if mov­ing the ball has been. De­spite rank­ing first in the NFL in net yards in 2014 and 2016 (and sec­ond in 2015) the Saints have posted three suc­ces­sive 7-9 records.

Last sea­son, Brees passed for 5,208 yards and 37 touch­downs. But Coach Sean Pay­ton said statis­tics won’t nec­es­sar­ily be the best mea­sure of what kind of sea­son Brees has.

“The most im­por­tant thing is for us to win and I think Drew him­self would say that,” Pay­ton said. “That’s the stat that we’re play­ing close at­ten­tion to.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.