Monday was an off day for the defending Super Bowl champs, and especially for Mark Sanchez. Trevor Siemian finished strong, after losing a fumble on a sack by Jared Crick. As for the rookie Paxton Lynch, he has had a fantastic two days, as he capitalizes on a strong practice on Sunday with an outstanding practice on Monday.
“No. 12 is really stepping up,” said head coach Gary Kubiak. “He’s making some progress here.”
According to Andrew Mason, Senior Digital Reporter for nfl.com, Sanchez completed six passes in a row, but he also went on a dry streak for 4 consecutive passes, and threw a classic Sanchez-style pick six at the goal line. Kubiak had comments about Sanchez’s performance on Monday.
“Mark threw a pick in the red zone; we can’t do that”
Although Kubiak wasn’t very colorful with his comments on Sanchez, it is notable that Sanchez is struggling and Lynch is thriving the last two days.
Good news is that there have been no serious injuries, but bumps and bruises here and there have been occurring. Right guard Ty Sambrailo did not participate in practice Monday due to a hyper-extended elbow he suffered in Sunday’s practice. Kubiak has listed him as day-to-day. OL Sam Brenner was diagnosed with a concussion Sunday morning, DE Vance Walker did not practice Monday, but defensive coordinator Wade Phillips expects Walker to return Wednesday. NT Sylvester Williams returned to practice after missing two days due to a shoulder injury.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs held their first practice in full pads Monday, and the offense had an excellent practice, one head coach Andy Reid called “the best first day in pads” in four years. Terez A. Paylor, writer for kansascity.com. reports that the offense looked sharp today, more so than it has in the past. He also reports that tight end Demetrius Harris “seems much more in his element on the field than he did two years ago”. The quarterback play was superb, highlighting newbies Tyler Bray and Andy Murray for their accuracy down the field. No good news or bad news regarding Alex Smith’s play.
The defensive line outplayed the offensive line in a pass rush drill Monday, according to Paylor. Rookie safety Eric Murray got some first string reps, along with Ron Parker. Murray has gotten second string reps all offseason, so it’s new to see him with the starters.
Big name starters such as Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, and Jamaal Charles all remain on the PUP list, and there is no timeable date for their return. Eric Berry still has yet to report to camp, which is no surprise considering the ongoing contract situations between the team and All-Pro safety. The Chiefs have their second practice in full pads tomorrow at 8:15 A.M.
The Raiders geared up for their second day of full pads on Monday, and the entire team is feeling substantially better about themselves then they did twelve months ago. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. had optimistic comments about the team’s confidence coming into the 2016 season.
“I don’t think there’s any question that everybody is more familiar with what’s expected of them,” said Norton Jr. “I think anytime you’re in year two, they understand the concepts, understand the defensive scheme a whole lot better.”
Head coach Jack del Rio did not hesitate to agree with Norton Jr, speaking positively on the comfort level between the team.
“Obviously, your second year, whether it’s offense, defense, or special teams, I think in all three phrases as a returning, with the core players that are returning, I think there’s a certain amount of carryover that you can expect.”
The physicality is definitely in Napa Valley, as running back Taiwan Jones and linebacker got into it after a drill. Not too long after, cornerback Kenneth Durden and wide receiver Johnny Holton had a little extra pushing after the whistle. Del Rio was pleased with the way his guys were playing and handling themselves.
“We’re looking to practice like we play, so we’re looking to have self -control. I think for the most part we have. The guys are doing a good job of handling business.”- Jack del Rio
The Raiders have a day off Tuesday, and get back to work on August 3rd.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Big injury news to hit the Bolts, as wide receiver Stevie Johnson was carried off the field with an undisclosed knee injury Sunday. Well, Monday morning doctors confirmed the wideout has a torn meniscus, and his return this season is up in the air. Doctors told the team that Johnson will need surgery, which puts his season in high doubts. Johnson joined the Chargers last offseason, and he missed six games due to hamstring and groin issues.
“He’s a guy who is always positive,” says cornerback Brandon Flowers. “He’s always speaking…He’s always trying to get better. He’s not playing the game just to grab a check. He really wants to put in the work to get us where we want to go this year, and we appreciate that…”
I wish Stevie Johnson the best, and hope to see him play this year.
Second year running back Melvin Gordon is not making the improvement the Chargers want, having troubles with his pass blocking. The running back from Wisconsin told reporters this year he felt “more confident in the playbook” and in “himself”. Gordon is coming off an awful rookie season, rushing for 641 yards and zero touchdowns in 2015.
No news from the Joey Bosa holdout, which is not entirely surprising considering both sides have their points, and won’t give in to the other this easy. In my opinion, Bosa needs to get out there so he can get reps in and help his team this season. No rookies make big money with their first contract anymore, due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Bosa hasn’t signed yet over two contract disputes; the deferred payment of the signing bonus, and offset language. Deferred payment is the more important issue with Bosa, as he wants more money upfront. The No. 3 overall pick is the only first rounder who is still unsigned.