2019 NFL minicamp live Best of rookies, veterans from teams in action
The NFL is wrapping up its second stint of mandatory minicamp practices this week. Twenty-three teams are in action, taking advantage of another opportunity to evaluate players before training camps open next month.
Here are highlights from Thursday.
The Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders gave their players a head start on their summer vacations, canceling the final minicamp practices. The Kansas City Chiefs only had a short special-teams session. And the Tennessee Titans were among the teams that incorporated a field trip into their minicamp.
The Packers kept the competition going as well -- playing paintball.
Others pressed on, with one more day of work before the break.
Cam Newton.threw deeper downfield to moving targets Thursday on the last day of the Panthers' mandatory three-day minicamp. He never participated in team drills and coach Ron Rivera still hasn't revealed the next step in the quarterback's rehab from shoulder surgery when the team reports to training camp on July 24, but all signs have been positive thus far.
The Saints' final minicamp practice had a bit of a "school's out for summer" feel to it. It started with Teddy Bridgewater and Alvin Kamara switching jerseys for a while and ended about an hour earlier than scheduled. Among the few highlights was Patrick Robinson's second interception in two days against QB Teddy Bridgewater.
Shaquem Griffin said it was twin brother Shaquill's idea to hire a personal chef for the two of them. Shaquem said he's moving better after cutting out pork, fried foods and fast food. And he likes how much cheaper it is compared to taking his family out to eat.
Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette is going to be a big part of the pass game in 2019. QB Nick Foles says he likes throwing to the backs.
Falcons rookie OL Kaleb McGary on minicamp: ``It went well. I went from feeling and looking like I sucked to feeling and looking like I sucked less. So, that's positive.''— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) June 13, 2019
Lamar Jackson felt he was "outstanding" in the final day of minicamp. "Right now, it's pretty calm to me." Jackson was 5-of-7 in the red zone before throwing an interception toward the end of practice.
Dak Prescott will get together with a number of receivers at some time in July before the Cowboys fly to Oxnard, California, for the start of training camp. He plans to take a break but not much. “I am not worried about losing the edge,” Prescott said. “I will take a little time off. During that time I will still be taking care of my body, doing the things I need to do. When you feel as I do physically and mentally, you are hungry to keep that going. And you are hungry to get better. The time off will be taken but trust me I will stay with it.”
Jerry Jones was a spectator at Thursday's final minicamp practice, spending time watching his former position, the offensive line, but the owner and general manager left before the media could ask him questions.
Russell Wilson is entering his second season under offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who is also his de facto position coach. "We already have the same ideas as we're coming into the office," he said of their familiarity now compared to last year.
Hunter Henry was impressive today, making a handful of catches during team drills. "Hunter is just doing what Hunter Henry does," Anthony Lynn said. "He makes plays. He had a good day today"
Chiefs receivers found Patrick Mahomes’ deep throws to be tough to keep up with during mini-camp practice on Wednesday, when the offense frequently worked with a strong breeze at its back. Demarcus Robinson and Sammy Watkins were unable to catch up to deep passes that were carried by the wind. “We need days like that, even rainy days,’’ Robinson said. “You’ve just got to go with the circumstances and what’s going on with the weather . . . Any day is tough to keep up with him. He challenges us with all the throws he has.’’
Kyler Murray just unleashed a side-arm bullet during a scramble drill. His repertoire is starting to become impressive. pic.twitter.com/AEJgtVT03K— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) June 12, 2019
Quarterback Dak Prescott and safety Jeff Heath had a minor disagreement during Wednesday’s minicamp practice that had them face to face for a few seconds after Heath came up to stop Prescott on a zone read near the line of scrimmage. Before long it broke up and players went back to work. It was no big deal after practice. “When things get competitive like that it brings out the competitive juices in everybody and that makes practice really fun,” receiver Amari Cooper said.
Takeaways from Day 2 of the Cowboys’ minicamp: On the first play of red-zone drills, Dak Prescott floated a perfect crossing route into the arms of Randall Cobb for a touchdown. There was a defensive breakdown what appeared to be the linebackers on the play-action fake by Prescott that allowed Cobb to run free … Second-year defensive end Dorance Armstrong had a particular strong day. Armstrong likely would have had a sack of Prescott after beating Cam Fleming inside at the snap of the ball. He had a few more pressures throughout the practice … Cooper Rush struggled Tuesday but he closed the second-team two-minute work with a soft throw over cornerback Mike Jackson to Lance Lenoir for a touchdown on what was the final play … Mike White answered with the third team with a deep throw for a touchdown to Devin Smith, who got behind safety George Iloka while managing to keep his feet inbounds … Cornerback Donovan Olumba intercepted his second pass in as many days, stepping in front of a Rush throw.
Josh Jacobs said he has been welcomed by the Raiders returning RBs with open arms...even as a first-round draft pick. "I didn't come in thinking it would be like that," Jacobs said. "But they're all loving and we all have the same common goals. Regardless of who it is, we all just want what's best for the team."
49ers rookie DE Nick Bosa said Wednesday that his plan over the next month and a half is to go to Fort Lauderdale to work with his brother Joey. Bosa missed most of OTAs and the mandatory minicamp with a hamstring injury. He said his aim in Florida will be to get the hamstring "completely right." Bosa said he's almost back to full strength now.
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo made it through the offseason program still on track to be ready for training camp. Coach Kyle Shanahan is hopeful that Garoppolo will be cleared fully to practice when camp starts in late July. Garoppolo even took a rep in team drills today, though defensive line was instructed not to rush the quarterback and simply put its hands in the air. After that, team went back to 11 on 7 look with no defensive line.
Like Tuesday's minicamp practice, Bills QB Josh Allen ended Wednesday's session better than he began it. Allen threw an interception early in 11-on-11 work to safety Jordan Poyer and was sacked twice, leading to him trying to fire up the offense. He struggled in a third-down drill backed up against his own end zone, but rebounded in a red zone drill in which he completed four consecutive passes and later scrambled for a 5-yard touchdown.
Eagles rookie RB Miles Sanders continues to be held out of spring practice with a hamstring injury. He'll be sidelined for the entire three-day minicamp. "Obviously, it hurts a little bit that he's not getting the physical reps, but I don't want to risk him any further," Doug Pederson said. "We'll wait until camp and get him out there."
Ravens Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on the defense losing Terrell Suggs, Eric Weddle and C.J. Mosley this offseason: "Transition could be substituted for mourning. It's like that Avengers movie, that Thanos guy snapped his finger and you're like, Where did everybody go?"
Ravens first-round pick Marquise Brown won't fully participate until training camp because he's recovering from foot surgery. But he did jump into his first drill Wednesday.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is entering an important third NFL season, but Trubisky says he feels better prepared after another full offseason in Matt Nagy's offense. "The fact coach Nagy has so much faith in me is huge," Trubisky said on Wednesday.
Matt LaFleur on where his first Packers team is at the end of the offseason: "I love the character of this team but there's a ways to go. Looking forward to getting them back for (training) camp."
Drew Brees started a bit slow but finished strong in his first minicamp practice Wednesday. His final throw was a perfect deep ball to Ted Ginn Jr. down the right sideline for a touchdown with four seconds remaining in a simulated hurry-up drill. Earlier in practice, Brees got picked off by cornerback Marshon Lattimore — who jumped in front of TE Jared Cook on a downfield sideline route.
Drew Brees is back on the Saints' practice field after wrapping up his testimony in San Diego on Tuesday. Brees, who is suing a jeweler that he claims defrauded him out of millions of dollars, missed one day of minicamp this week and one OTA practice last week. The trial is ongoing.