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Jul 4, 2018
J'Mon Moore Marshal Yanda Jersey , Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown had their moments, but also showed room for improvement in the Green Bay Packers' 31-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
Valdes-Scantling, a fifth-round pick from South Florida, had the best game of the three, catching five passes for 101 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown from No. 4 quarterback Tim Boyle.
Brown, a sixth-round pick from Notre Dame, had four catches for 61 yards, including a slick 28-yard catch-and-run to help set up Valdes-Scantling's touchdown.
Moore, a fourth-round pick from Missouri, had the toughest game of the three, catching three passes for 27 yards and dropping what would have likely been a long touchdown pass. Valdes-Scantling also dropped a pass.
"I thought they did a really good job getting off the line of scrimmage," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday.
"I thought their releases and attacking leverage, the young guys, frankly Nick Easton Jersey , did better than some of the veterans (after watching) the video. But what do we do at the end of the route? Those are things that you just need live reps. Getting out of the cut, getting to the right breaking point, catching the ball."
As has been the case throughout camp, the young receiver who stole the show was Jake Kumerow.
He isn't a rookie. He's in his fourth training camp after two years on the Cincinnati Bengals' practice squad and after spending time on the Packers' practice squad at the end of last season.
Kumerow, who has drawn praise from star quarterback Aaron Rodgers throughout camp, put an exclamation point on the game with a 52-yard touchdown catch from Boyle.
But while the 26-year-old Kumerow came from Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, he's had the advantage of NFL camp experience and has avoided the inconsistency the three rookie draft picks have exhibited.
That inconsistency drew Rodgers' ire late in the week after a particularly sloppy practice on Tuesday that McCarthy called "our worst practice of the year."
After that practice, Rodgers, who ran the scout-team offense because he wasn't going to play against the Titans, listed players who were doing things the right way, but left the three rookie receivers off that list.
While he never mentioned them by name, he left little doubt which players he was referring to for making repeated mistakes.
Valdes-Scantling had a leaping 51-yard catch on a deep pass by DeShone Kizer in the third quarter. He also made a nice in-the-air adjustment to pull down Boyle's pass on the touchdown, which gave the Packers a 24-10 lead with under four minutes left.
"Definitely. That's our leader," Valdes-Scantling said when asked if he took Rodgers' criticism to heart. "You've got a Hall of Fame quarterback over there, and if he's telling you that you're not doing it right Ethan Pocic Jersey , you've got to change what you're doing. It's just that we've got to be pros all the time. Can't be pros for just three-fourths of practice, you've got to be it all the time. That was the only thing."
Moore's biggest disappointment came in the second half, on a deep ball from Boyle on third-and-8 from the Green Bay 35-yard line. While Moore did a terrific job of getting open on the go-route, he dropped the ball at the Titans 29-yard line. Had he caught it, it likely would have been a 65-yard touchdown.
"I'm going to move forward for sure," Moore said. "But it's definitely going to put a fire up underneath me and definitely have me dig deeper."
The Baltimore Ravens‘ unyielding effort to land a big-play receiver finally paid off Friday when nine-year veteran Michael Crabtree signed a three-year contract.
Hours after disclosing that the Ravens voided the contract of Washington Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant following a failed physical, general manager Ozzie Newsome landed Crabtree, who played the past three seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
Crabtree toured the Ravens’ complex Friday morning and signed in the late afternoon.
”I always imagined myself being a Raven when I was little,” Crabtree said. ”I came here, loved it and signed on the dotted line.”
In two games over the past two years with Oakland, the former 49ers star scorched Baltimore for 13 catches for 170 yards and four touchdowns.
Facing the Ravens in the 2012 Super Bowl, Crabtree had five receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown for San Francisco in a 34-31 loss.
”Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said. ”He is a smart, tough Vernon Hargreaves III Jersey , physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”
The 30-year-old Crabtree played six seasons with San Francisco before joining the Raiders. He has 579 career receptions for 6,870 yards and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games.
The 6-1, 215-pound Crabtree has totaled at least 85 catches in a season three times, including a career-high 89 in 2016. He has twice surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in a season.
Crabtree joins former Arizona receiver John Brown as new potential targets for quarterback Joe Flacco, who directed a lackluster passing attack that last year ranked 27th in the NFL.
Almost as soon as the Ravens cleared out their lockers following a 9-7 finish in 2017, Newsome set out to improve the weakest facet of a team that’s missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons.
”If you dial it back to a year ago, we talked about how we wanted to get our defense stronger, and we did that. Then we said we wanted to run the football and we were able to do that,” Newsome said Friday morning, speaking with Brown at his side. ”The next piece is to get a better passing game. If we give Joe some weapons, and we improve in the passing game, maybe that will be enough to help us get over the hump.”
Newsome said he withdrew Grant’s four-year contract offer following the exam and after consulting with team doctors and outside physicians.
”That’s not a football decision,” Newsome said. ”That’s a medical condition that I have no control over.”
Though Grant never missed a game in his four years with the Redskins Amari Cooper Jersey , Newsome said the physical found an issue with his ankle.
”We knew he had had an ankle injury in the latter part of the season with the Redskins,” Newsome said. ”But he had passed their postseason physical, so we had no indication that it could have been there.”
Brown played four seasons with Arizona before signing a one-year contract this week with Baltimore.
”The thing about John is, he can take the top off of the defense,” Newsome said. ”A lot of times when you go with a vertical receiver, they have a very limited route tree. John does not. John can run every route in the route tree. The other aspect of this that attracted John to us is that we feel like his best football is still in front of him.”
Brown, two years removed from a 1,000-yard season, expects to ring up big numbers with Baltimore.
”I felt like this was the best fit for me,” he said. ”They like to use a lot of receivers with speed. I feel like I can come in and help this team.”
Newsome said he ”has not closed the door” on re-signing receivers Michael Campanaro and Mike Wallace, and has been ”having conversations” with several tight ends.
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