Kyle Rudolph broke headlines recently with his big contract. What other NFL training camp news is there to report?
Minnesota Vikings gambling on Norv Turner with Rudolph deal
One of the bigger stories coming out of camps recently was the $36 million deal tight end Kyle Rudolph received from the Minnesota Vikings. On the surface it looks like an unwarranted move. Despite making the Pro Bowl in 2012, Rudolph has never posted more than 500 yards receiving in a season. It is clear that this move is not about past but future success. The Vikings are banking that new offensive coordinator Norv Turner can bring the potential out of Rudolph as he has many tight ends including Antonio Gates and most recently Jordan Cameron.
Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall preparing Kyle Fuller
No rookie cornerback was considered more ready to play in the NFL than Kyle Fuller out of Virginia Tech. At the same time, no rookie corner has a more daunting training camp ahead of him. That is largely due to the fact that Fuller must face Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall for the majority of camp. The two Chicago Bears Pro Bowl receivers are considered the best tandem in the league. It really isn’t fair to judge Fuller too harshly on his early struggles when it comes against those two. Another way to look it? If he can learn to play against them, Fuller will be ready for anything when the real games start.
Packers right not to hand Ha Ha Clinton-Dix the safety job
It’s perfectly reasonable to expect a 1st round pick to start right away at whatever position he’s drafted. However, that doesn’t mean he should. The Green Bay Packers are making that clear. After taking safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the 1st round, everybody felt he would be plugged in immediately. That hasn’t been the case. The team seems very intent on making the Alabama product earn his spot on the field. Based on early impressions in camp that was a good decision. Second-year man Micah Hyde, converted to safety from cornerback has looked better on the field than Clinton-Dix. There is still time for things to change, but if Hyde can hold the spot it will prove that Green Bay made the right decision not giving Dix a free pass.
New York Jets letting the hype build before the play
Talking is a normal part of the NFL. It can range from confident to arrogant to cocky and back again. It’s just a matter of questioning the validity. In the case of the New York Jets defense, they might be jumping the gun a tad. While the unit played well last season, especially against the run, to believe their boasts of surpassing the Seattle Seahawks as the best defense in football is a fools’ choice. Dee Milliner is not the best cornerback in the league either. Will the Jets be a better defense in 2014? The paper says yes, but they will have to stay healthy and need a big boost from an as-yet unproven secondary.