THUNDERING BLURB » Eddie Royal ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Trendspotting: Eddie Royal, WR Broncos Wed, 23 Sep 2009 18:27:20 +0000 admin It’s way too early in the NFL Season to define what exactly is a trend and what is pure happenstance. However, it’s never too early to examine what is happening to various players and why it might be happening.

More importantly, we can examine whether it is likely to happen again.

Even with minimal data, one can start to see patterns. With this column every week we’ll look at a few players who have concerned or excited us in the previous games and see if we can spot something before anyone else.

Part of this column – an important one I might add – is your input. Is there a player I missed? Someone I haven’t hit yet who is doing a great under-the-radar job? Email me and let me know at thunderingblurb(at)

 Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos

WR Eddie Royal has seen his share of struggles so far.

WR Eddie Royal has seen his share of struggles so far.

During the preseason, with all the drama surrounding his fellow wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Royal said and did everything right.

He spoke about team-first, about how much he liked the system. He played and practiced hard. Everything pointed towards a second good season for Royal.

Five catches and just 38 yards later, owners are worried. Royal has stumbled out of the gate and hard.

What happened?


Well, it’s not lack of targets, though you could debate the quality of them. Royal has been thrown to 13 times in two games, as much as Brandon Marshall and more often than Brandon Stokley and Jabar Gaffney.

Gaffney and Stokley have done far more with their targets though and have made some veteran plays Royal seems unable to pull off.

Comparing Royal at this point to a veteran like Stokley points to perhaps part of the problem.

For much of Royal’s time on the field, he seemed to be pressing and trying to make plays happen instead of working with what the situation dictates.

On one play late in the first half, he catches a short pass from Orton and has a chance to make a nice gain after the catch – maybe another five or so yards. Instead, he cuts and reverses across the field.

Unfortunately the Browns defense actually does it’s job and he’s stopped short, gaining just a few yards and eating valuable clock time as Denver is driving to close the first half.

Contrast this with Stokley who several times during key drives not only got his first down, but had the awareness of clock, defensive presence and what his offense needed in order to allow him to get out of bounds.

This sort of play – while making more perhaps of a play than perhaps designed for – still boils down to an awareness of what you can do in a situation, rather than trying to force something in a situation that makes it nearly impossible.

If Royal keeps this up, it could get worse. 

Sometimes Second Year Players Like Royal Try to Do Too Much

Sometimes Second Year Players Like Royal Try to Do Too Much

In my opinion, he is simply trying to do too much.

Quarterback Kyle Orton may be throwing the ball a ton to Royal now, but Stokley is becoming the guy he is able to count on, not Royal.

If Royal makes medium plays little while trying to force them big, continues to drop balls and generally stays inconsistent, he may find his targets drop.

Of course, Orton is also part of the problem. He has had some problems trying to get the ball to Royal at times, either because of coverage or because the two haven’t clicked in timing.

Again, if Orton keeps having issues getting the ball to Orton he may try less often especially if Stokley and Gaffney continue to be effective.


While I am concerned about Royal, I wouldn’t drop him. If he could be fitted into a trade, fine, but you probably won’t get fair value for him.

I do believe he will get it together at some point soon. A lot of the issues seem to be him getting comfortable in this offense and with Kyle Orton – and Orton with him as well.

Those things take time.

I believe if you hang in there he will get better, but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at a fair offer if it came across my desk.

The next few weeks will be critical for Royal and his owners. We must watch for two key indicators – first his targets must stay up. Second, he must stop pressing and do something with those passes coming his way.

Royal is a player whose value is in flux still and a few strong performances may find him back to being a viable fantasy earner. For now, it’s hard to see him as more than a WR3 at best.

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Cowboys Camp and the news update Fri, 08 Aug 2008 22:17:00 +0000 admin Hey folks,

Just returned from lovely Oxnard, California and Dallas Cowboy Training Camp. It was a short practice, as the ‘boys needed to both get into makeup for another edition of Hard Knocks and then head to San Diego for their Saturday night tilt with the Chargers.

And while one of those things is certainly true, the other probably is as well if you’ve seen HBO’s series yet.

In all seriousness though, the team looked loose and ready. Adam Jones (the man formerly known as Pacman) is still lining up against TO whenever he can, even when it’s a no contact drill. I think – and it’s early – but I think he finally gets what it takes to succeed in the league.

Anyway, I will be trying to get out at least once more in the last two practices next week, so we’ll see if there are any nuggets to pass along.

On to the news -
Philadelphia Eagles
Big news out of Philly and comforting too, for those of you who are already Westbrook owners. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News , the Eagles have signed Westbrook not so much to an extension as it is a reworking of his current contract with more money and years. Here’s what they say about the details, none of which is concerned:

Neither France nor the Eagles would disclose the terms of the deal, but a source close to the situation said there is $13 million in new money. The source said that $13 million in the first two seasons is guaranteed and that Westbrook will make $21 million over the next three seasons. The source said that there are escalators based on playoff appearances and individual performance that could increase Westbrook’s salary to $24 million.

All that means really is Westy is happy – and a happy Westy is a productive fantasy Westy, if he also remains a helthy Westy.

Great news for the Eagles though and while we may not see much of him tonight against Pittsburgh, you will see Lorenzo Booker and see if the hype I and Cecil have been building around his involvement start to pan out.

San Francisco 49rs
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat , Alex Smith is running out of time and ‘may be too intelligent for his own good and isn’t exactly a fast learner.’ I have no idea how you can be too smart BUT not a quick learner, but point has been made. Smith has not run away with this job. Matt Barrows over at the 49rs blog at the Sac Bee says not too read too much into O’Sullivan’s start though as HC Mike Nolan has said it’s just a case of having not seen O’Sullivan play in a game before, whereas he knows what Smith and Hill do durign a game.

Not a ringing endorsement though. I still say the wide receivers will be ok plays, but the QB spot is way to risky for me in Fantasy leagues.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Well, here’s some insult to injury. Apparently a deal the Packers rejected from the Bucs involved Chris Simms. Is it me, or is Simms jst snakebit? Somebody fly him to Dallas, quick.

Denver Broncos
With Brandon Marshall on the pine for 2-3 weeks, Eddie Royal will line up opposite Darrell Jackson for the first few games. Whereas the depth chart made it look like Jackson was slipping behind the rookie yesterday, he has merely moved into Marshall’s posotion for the time being. They should both shift backwards when Marshall comes back, but if Jackson stumbles out of the gate and Royal continues to impress, the rookie could pull a Dwayne Bowe and end up as the #2.

New York Jets
It’s not all roses with the Jets, according to an article in Newsday. Here’s what they say:

One player said the locker room is hardly unanimous about the move to get Favre, telling Newsday that a significant portion of the team was not in favor of giving up on Chad Pennington. The players loyal to Pennington were upset to see the team simply toss him overboard after he’d given so much to the team during his time with the Jets.

It is, of course, more about Pennington than Favre and I think they will warm to it. But as has been pointed out by others, Laveraneus Coles was a big Chad guy and allegedly left the hotel in Cleveland when he heard the news. Yes, he came back, but let’s face it – he wasn’t happy.

Is this a warning sign for Fantasy Owners? I’m not sure – Coles is a professional and isn’t stupid. Favre can do things Chad couldn’t. But I understand the loyalty – I just doubt it will blind him to what Favre can bring to the table.

Hopefully he can react like Kellen Clemens who, when asked how he felt to go from QB battle to instant back-up, had this to say:

“What can I say? Now I’m backing up a future Hall of Famer,” Clemens said. “I’ll be able to further my education.”

Smart kid, that Clemens.

More later, maybe some thoughts on the Pitt/Philly game.

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Morning News, then on to Cowboy Camp! Fri, 08 Aug 2008 14:47:00 +0000 admin First, great 2 hour Drive Block last night – we cover everything from news to Auctions to IDP leagues. Check it out at BlogTalkRadio or on ITunes.

Between this and the Blurb, tons of great info each week.

Secondly, the next update here will be late – heading to Cowboys camp in Oxnard today. But I will catch up when I return.

On to the news -
New Orleans Saints
As we covered on the Drive Block last night, Saints second year wide receiver Robert Meachem had a great game. He needs to have a big year or else the Saints will go get another WR in the draft next year to start opposite Colston. 4 catches for 129 yards and a TD is a pretty strong showing. he has ability – he just needs to prove he has the drive and can stay healthy. Last night was a very good start.

New York Jets
In all the Favre and Pennington hubbub one thing that has been overlooked is the strong camp being had by receivers Chansi Stuckey and David Clowney. Stuckey caught 3 passes for 44 yards while Clowney blew up with 4 for 163 and 2 TDs. YOu could say he ‘clowned’ the Browns… eh? eh? Is this thing on?

Seriously, it’s worth tracking who is hot going into the season -while Coles and Cotchery will get most of the love, if gunslinger Favre decides one of his other receivers is his favorite, the #3 in NY could end up having some good value as a #4 or byw week filler. Right now, Clowney is the guy over Stuckey and Brad Smith.

Brett Ratliff had a great game as well, going 14/20 for 252 with 2 TDs. It may be hard to stick with Favre coming in, Clemens still heir apparent and Ainge playing ok. But worth keeping an eye on if Ainge struggles. Certainly the future of the Jets QB situation remains up in the air.

Denver Broncos
It seems that rookie Eddie Royal has supassed Darrell Jackson on the Broncos depth chart. Now this is early and it could change however with Marshall facing a three game time out, Royal will definitely get three starts, barring injury. All he needs to do is play well and he could keep that job. Jackson isn’t that far removed from good numbers but he’s clearly not doing well enough in camp. Keary Colbert hasn’t the track record to lead me to believe he will challenge. Stokely will hang in the slot.

Royal could have godo value and will be available in the latter half of most drafts.

Kansas City Chiefs/Chicago Bears
Chiefs receiver Will Franklin had a pair of catches for 31 yards, but looked rough in his first preseason outing. As I have said, all he has to do it beat out Devard Darling, which should be possible. He has to DO it though. It’s debateable how valuable anyone not named ‘Bowe’ or ‘Gonzo’ will be in this offense. But take a late flier on him if he can be more consistent.

With the Bears, Orton and Grossman looked ok, but were outplayed numbers-wise by Caleb Hanie, a rookie from Colorado State. I wouldn’t read much into it yet but suppose – just suppose – Hanie started doing really well? Do you think Grossman or Orton has done so well that they are untouchable? Nope, me either. It’s unlikely that he wins. But it’s also that Grossman or Orton is going to be consistent enough to be a starter for your fantasy team. Grossman has more upside, btu his valleys are deeper and he’ll cost you as much as he’ll help you. Orton is only there to manage a game and he won’t put up numbers worth starting. And we’re probably several weeks away from knowing who will be unlikelythe guy in Chicago – which only matters so much as it affects Mat Forte, who had 7 carries for 35 yards and looked decent doing it.

That’s it for now – back tonight with more and some insights from Dallas Cowboys Camp!

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Thursday Camp News Thu, 07 Aug 2008 16:30:00 +0000 admin A few things of note post-Favre trade….

Of course, Chad Pennington is to be released by 4pm EST. Could land in Chicago or a few other places. I hope he gets a good fresh start.

Denver rookie WR Eddie Royal was running opposite Brandon Marshall. With Marshall suspended a few games, Royal will see some action, and it looks as though he continues to impress and may get some chances even when Marshall is back.

The Cowboys expect to know about Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones’ suspension by the 30th. If he comes back, he will be a factor in the defense and knock Anthony Henry back a notch.

I mentioned on ‘The Blurb’ last night that Carolina receiver DJ Hackett’s biggest challenge is staying healthy – and the struggle continues as he has spent a lot of time on the injury bike in camp and fighting an ankle problem. Still like him as a sleeper, but am certainly hesitant to tout him as anything more.

The Atlanta Falcons continue to discuss increasing Jerious Norwood’s reps. As Michael Turner will be carrying a lot to keep the offense moving, it makes sense to have more carries for Norwood so he can spell Turner. Norwood is an electrifying player and will compliment Turner well.

At least one stud running back will avoid contract issues – Brian Westbrook and the Eagles should be coming to terms in the next few days.

Thats all for now – more later!

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