Scouting Notebook: Action Jackson

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DeSean Jackson is in full video-game mode in Chip Kelly’s offense. He’s a guy who needs space and that’s Kelly’s play design obsession. In a 15-minute stretch on Sunday, he was overthrown barely on what should have been a 79-yard touchdown, had a 30-something yard TD called back by one of those ridiculous illegal formation calls and then caught a 60-yard TD. Ridiculous. DJax is definitely a WR1 for as long as he, and Michael Vick, remain healthy.

Yes, get Eddie Royal. We get someone like this every year and it seems to be in San Diego a lot because Philip Rivers is good again.
Bernard Pierce of the Ravens is the No. 1 waiver-wire add in leagues where he’s available pending news on Ray Rice’s hip. If Rice is out, Pierce is a top 10 back easily.
Tom Brady isn’t a top 12 quarterback against Tampa Bay on Sunday, assuming Rob Gronkowski is out again. This isn’t Brady’s fault. He’s dealing with bottom shelf skill position talent. And the Jets defense had a lot to do with his problems on Thursday night. But Tampa Bay’s secondary did get the better of Drew Brees for most of Sunday, too.
Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell have both struggled to run. But Powell remains the starter because Ivory offers nothing as a receiver and little in pass protection. This has been crystal clear since mid-August.
The one player on the Jets offense to own right now is Stephen Hill, who is a work in progress but who has Megatron-level athleticism. If you don’t believe me, click here.
Need to break down the coach’s tape of Jared Cook’s struggles on Sunday. I will follow up on Twitter (@michaelsalfino) later in the week. The trouble with an emerging player is that he must adjust to the extra defensive attention. What was concerning this week was talk from the Rams’ coaches that they would let the defense dictate who gets targets. In other words, if they load up to stop Cook, the Rams will just target other receivers, as happened all day on Sunday.
Roddy White is not playable until he says he’s healthy. He estimates two more weeks. You can’t kick yourself for owning him because the Falcons didn’t let on that this was a dreaded high-ankle sprain.
James Starks is just as good as he was the last couple of years when the Packers kept drafting running backs to replace him. Eddie Lacy owners can only imagine what kind of day he would have had if he wasn’t knocked out by concussion. But Starks isn’t going to take this job from a healthy Lacy, nor do I expect a committee.
Robert Griffin III has lost the ability to provide a running threat, which takes away the Redskins' pistol look that generated so many big plays for everyone last year,via the ground and air. Look at these numbers from 2012: 36 pistol snaps for 244 against the Giants, 28 for 223 against the Panthers, 25 for 186 against the Cowboys. Yes, Washington still technically runs the formation, but it’s firing blanks for as long as protecting RGIII’s knee factors into Washington’s play calling.
Those who just assumed that the Redskins would fall back on RGIII’s hyper-efficient passing if the running wasn’t there were ignoring the reality that it was his running that made passing easier.
I showed early in the week some very concerning things about Trent Richardson’s running. Look at this hole and guess how many yards he gained. No one would say, “Zero,” but sadly that’s the answer. I understand that Richardson seems to have the full package, physically. But he won’t hit the hole hard and lacks the instincts and vision to make his sideways moves pay off. I’d trade Richardson now if someone still believes he’s worth close to his draft-day price.
I thought C.J. Spiller was going to get the ball “until he throws up.” He’s looking like just another RBBC guy to me. Of course, he’s earned a far higher percentage.
I’m so sick of the obsession with fumbling. These coaches want to throw running backs into the wood-chipper for putting the ball on the ground. These are physical, not mental errors. David Wilson was holding the ball like he was carrying a newborn kitten through a dog pound. You can’t make plays that way.
You have to get Knowshon Moreno if he’s still there. Montee Ball is holding the baby kitten now, too, while trying to navigate the line of scrimmage.
Expect 20 Arian Foster touches for every 10 or so from Ben Tate until Foster shows he’s 100 percent.
I don’t care how good DeAndre Hopkins looks. I can’t trust rookie receivers. He’s a sell this week.
I can’t buy Charles Clay as a tight end but can we get him in as a running back? Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace looked legit. This is going to be very opposing-cornerback based going forward. Fortunately, there aren’t much more than a half dozen true shutdown corners in the sport.
Dallas’s play-calling was a joke for good parts of their loss against the Chiefs. Check out my Wall Street Journal count on what made this game so unique in modern football history.
You have to force the balls to Dez Bryant-types on the boundary. The defensive backs are not coming down with these deep sideline throws. If they could, they would be receivers. If you don’t throw the ball to Bryant every time he’s covered by one man near the goal line, you’re just being foolish. Failing that cost Dallas this game, no doubt.
If DeMarco Murray is going to give you this (12 carries, 25 rushing yards) when he happens to be healthy, what’s the point?
Doug Martin looked great and the Saints defense under Rob Ryan seems surprisingly solid. The wheels are about to come off of Tampa Bay’s offense, however. Expect rookie Mike Glennon to get the call very soon. Who knows what happens then?
I’ve been getting too many Terrelle Pryor questions. No way can he be played in standard formats.
It’s not looking like Maurice Jones-Drew -- one of my favorites since the day he was drafted and even before -- has enough juice left off the foot surgery to overcome his rotten Jacksonville environment.

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