Winslow not wanted in Tampa Bay? Ross Tucker of SIRIUS NFL Radio broke the news on his Twitter account this morning -- while hosting his show and talking to guest Kellen Winslow, Jr., it was revealed that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under new head coach Greg Schiano want to go in a different direction, and are looking to trade the veteran tight end. Winslow said that he got the news Saturday night -- the Bucs will look to trade him to the right team, and if that doesn't work out (which it won't now ... public knowledge tends to kill trade value), he may be released. Winslow had one of his best seasons in 2010, but declined along with the rest of Tampa Bay's offense in 2011. Schiano may prefer more traditional blocking tight ends in what projects to be a run-heavy offense. He also said that the team was unhappy about his choice to work away from the facility this offseason.
Oh, look! It's the curl/flat again... Our buddy Chris Brown over at the indispensable Smart Football site has a brilliant article up today on the relatively simple passing concepts put together by the Indianapolis Colts of the Peyton Manning/Tom Moore era, and why they were so tough to stop despite the fact that the playbook was relatively simple and predictable (especially from a formation concept; the Colts were the ultimate three-WR/one-back team through most of the 2000s). Great read, as is most of Chris' stuff. If you want to get more into the schematic aspects of the game, check out his new book here.
The real value of minicamps. Matt Bowen at the National Football Post writes about the true meaning of OTAs -- despite what many think, it's less about finding sleeper prospects and more about getting back in shape and up to speed. For rookies, the real secret to those first "voluntary/mandatory" sessions is the ability to start real playbook install. In my opinion, it will be interesting to see if any second-year players will see ancillary benefits from this, as they were prevented from early install by the 2011 lockout.
Steelers rookies will miss the first OTAs. Then again, some rookies will have to shine it on and catch up later. In one of the NCAA's/NFL's weirder rules, draft picks are not allowed to attend their NFL minicamps until their semesters end. This could be a slight problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers, as two of their projected five starting offensive linemen in 2012 -- tackle Mike Adams and guard David DeCastro -- will have to play catch-up. Adams can't start that process until the first week of June, and DeCastro will miss all OTAs and minicamps, because Stanford's spring quarter doesn't end until mid-June. The Steelers will be going with a new blocking scheme under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, which means that at least the rookies won't be the only ones learning a new system.
Joe Flacco wants to be the man. The game tape often shows otherwise, but Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco thinks that he's about ready to switch his team's focus from defense and the running game to the aerial attack he leads. "I think we've got the talent around us, definitely," he said. "I think we need to go out there and we need to make our minds up that we're going to do that," he told the Ravens' official site. "I think we're a team that should be able to go out there and put 40 up and not really look back." Flacco's got a few things going against him -- Cam Cameron's conservative formations (where the third receiver is an afterthought, not a must, as in most modern offenses), talent depth issues at receiver, and his own limitations to date. Last season, Flacco was decidedly in the middle of the pack in Football Outsiders' opponent-adjusted quarterback metrics; we'll just have to wait and see if he's ready to take that interminable "next step" all quarterbacks are charged with climbing at some point in their careers.
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