Archive for category Steve Johnson

Thursday Stampede

Hey folks,

First off, I would like to apologize for the wacky end to last night’s show. Technical glitches threw me off and you can pair that with the chaos of the draft we were trying to do – anyway it was scattered.

We shall be distraction free and glitch free from here on out.

Onto the news and after the passing of Gene Upshaw, let’s start positive:

St. Louis Rams
Steven Jackson and the team have agreed in principal to a deal. That sigh of relief was 1,000 owners exhaling. Anyone who saw Jackson slip to them in the latter half of the 1st round could be looking at a huge bargain if the line holds up. Jackson should be productive anyway, but I’d rather he didn’t take the beating he did last year. That goes for Bulger too of course.

Arizona Cardinals
Well, here is an IDP note in part because I met the guy, was impressed with how he was approaching the off-season and wish him well. When I met Travis LaBoy here in Los Angeles late last winter, he hadn’t left Tennessee officially yet. He talked a lot about the health problems he had faced in seasons prior to 2007 and how his new approach to working out and staying healthy had paid off – no back problems for one thing. When he signed with teh Cards I thought he was a good addition to the D – and hoped he might have soem IDP value. Unfortunately, he is sitting behind Bertrand Berry and while LaBoy has been productive this preseason – 2 sacks and 4 tackles in the last preseason game – if he’s on a rotating spot on the Defensive Line, well that could limit his consistency and IDP value. If he comes into a chance to start full time I think he will be very productive so keep an ear out for him.

Chicago Bears
I’m not sure what – if anything – I should read into this bit of news. But the Chicago Sun Times is reporting Kevin Jones is no lock to make the team. My first thought is – well, as bad as portions of that team are, who is? Second though – the Bears have three RBs besides Jones, so if he is goign to stick with rookie Matt Forte, ‘the other’ Adrian Peterson and Garrett ‘no clever nickname’ Wolfe, he needs to put up some numbers. I think he will stick just because Wolfe and Peterson are not world beaters, Forte is unproven and could wear down even if he is successful and Jones does have talent. But it is interesting to note and is another warning to not count on any of these guys too much.

Buffalo Bills
Rookie James Hardy is again out with a hamstring injury. He looked ok in his first preseason game, was a non-factor in his second and looks to miss his 3rd. I thought he could be productive thsi year, but it looks like he will struggle as many WRs do their rookei season. (psst. You. Yeah, youin the football jersey. Keep an eye on his fellow rookie Steven Jackson. He might make a case for himself sometime this season. You don’t have to draft him – he’ll be on the waiver wire. Just keep an eye out. The bills still need a threat opposite Lee Evans….) Fellow rookie Leodis McKelvin has made some noise but hasn’t passed Jabari Greer on the depth chart yet, not surprising in many respects. His impact will be limited for soem time in IDP leagues and probably come mostly in the return game.

Carolina Panthers
Dwayne Jarrett is busy muddying the WR position in Carolina. The Rock Hill Herald reports that he has been playing well enough to push DJ Hackett for the #3 role, one which will be a starting spot while Steve Smith is serving his 2 game team imposed suspension. Hackett has all the talent in the world but can’t stay healthy and this preseason is a perfect example of it. Jarrett stumbled and bumbled through his time at WR so far – both on the field and off of it – but he’s healthy, playing ok and Hackett is hurt. I have Hackett in oneDynasty league and I am starting to think about other uses for that roster spot. Redraft, I just don’t know if he will do anything this year. Keep watch, but he not be worth the early season roster spot.

Cincinnati Bengals
TJ Houshmandzadeh will miss Saturday’s preseason game – his third straight. Lewis is reportedly not happy but after the team forced Chris Henry on him again, who would be? He wants to get Housh involved and get him some snaps but doesn’t want to hurry him along and aggravate the injury. Between Chad Johnson, Rudi Johnson and TJ, this starting offense is a *M*A*S*H* unit. And the mopey Alan Alda produced ones near the end, not the wacky early ones. Both Ocho Cinco has slipped in drafts to where in some cases he has been available as a #2 WR. Johnson’s ADP is about mid 3rd and Housh is right there with him, late 2nd, early 3rd. Their health remains an issue but I still say the Henry signing was more about the WRs behind them then their status.

Detroit Lions
Finally, rookie RB Kevin Smith is still practicing with the first team. While the jury is still out on the Lions O-line, running game and Smith’s ability to carry the load for a season, this is no shock – he only had to beat Tatum Bell. If there is one guy you want in front of you on the depth chart at the RB position, it’s Bell. It almost guarentees you a shot at the starting job, no matter who you are. Don’t overvalue Smith but he is a starter and that is very valuable. As a #2/flex/bye week filler he coudl be outstanding.

That’s all for now. A reminder that the Blurb will be off the next few days while I am away. Overview of the weekend games will be done on Monday. Tune in to the Drvie Block tonight at 10pm EST/7pm PST and join myself (for hour 1) and Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom of Footballguys.com for more great discussion and tips on how to decimate your league this season.

DON’T SLEEP ON THIS SLEEPER

As I have said on The Audible, the FFReport and wrote here, I am high on Buffalo Bills rookie WR Steve Johnson.

He’s gotten mostly good press in Buffalo for the OTAs (save for allegedly being in Marshawn Lynch’s car during the now infamous hit and run) and the team seems high on him. According to Rotoworld.com, the Bills have already signed him to a multi-year contract. Not bad for a 7th rounder who has many people wondering why he dropped so far.

I’m glad I’m not out on an island anymore on this guy. And I’m telling you Dynasty owners and Bills fans not to sleep on him just because of the 7th round tag. He’s much, much better than that.

Rotoworld posits he might even push presumptive starter and fellwo rookie James Hardy for snaps. Another thing I have said more than once.

Along with the other Draftguys, I was able to attend some private workouts for players like Steve who were prepping for Drafts and Pro Days and like them, I came away impressed.

Great balance, ball control, leaping and clutch ability don’t even tell the whole story. His timed speed is meh but he plays much quicker than he times.

I also think back to last winter, when Johnson’s teammate, Kentucky quarterback Andre Johnson, was starting his Draft freefall. As the Senior Bowl was taking place, a few murmurs surfaced that maybe Woodson was benefiting from phenomenal wide reciever play, rather than visa versa.

Now, there are a ton of reasons Andre Woodson collapsed. I think Martz’s offense was too much for him (Mike Martz was the QB coach on Woodson’s side during Senior Bowl week). It certainly put that big, slow delivery into perspective. But I think there is some validity to the notion that a good reciever core might have made him look better than he was.

If that’s the case – and I’m not saying it toally is, but I think there is something to it – you can’t overlook what Johnson is capable of.

I’m not saying he’s a surefire starter this season. But I think in the next few years, you might get a glimpse of something better than a 7th round pick.

Keep an eye on him – I know I will.

Questions, comments and concerns can also be sent to ThunderingBlurb@gmail.com….