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'ITC Live' whispers: Winston working on mechanics in Tampa

  • Welcome to Camp Whispers. We've spread our reporters across the country and will bring you real-time insights as teams prepare for their first preseason games. Here's today's batch:*

» Jameis Winston opens his preseason Saturday night in Minnesota against the Vikings at 8 ET. NFL Media's Jeff Darlington, at Tampa Bay Buccaneers camp, reported that after installing the offensive playbook first in the offseason and again to open training camp, Winston is now focusing on his mechanics: "This is the first opportunity he's had to really zone in on specifics all year around at the quarterback position, so this past week, for instance, Winston (noted) that he's been working on making sure he opens his hips up so that he can throw across the body to the left side of the field. We're talking about some very technical details now as it pertains to Winston's game."

» Our resident GM Charley Casserly on how to watch rookies like Winston in camp and the preseason: "A lot of times people get hung up on, 'what were his stats of the day? Oh, he had a good day, a bad day.' When you're evaluating rookies, what you're trying to do is, first of all, what can you build on? Do you see the flashes of the skills that made you take this guy with the first pick? Yes, you see the arm strength. You see a quickness of release. This guy does have decision-making ability. Now, do you see it every play? No, because it's a learning experience right now as he's learning the offense. He'll be the most inconsistent in the blitz period."

» More from Casserly on Winston's technique and what he needs to address: "He has a tendency to drop the ball instead of throwing it right from the ear. When you drop the ball, you telegraph your throw a split second to the defense to react, so keep the ball up high. He's trying to do a better job of that. Sometimes the ball will sail on him, go too high. That's because he's over-striding, so he's trying to shorten his stride."

» Transaction news: Rex Ryan's Bills claimed linebacker IK Enemkpali off waivers, a day after he broke Geno Smith's jaw in a Jets locker room altercation. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport broke the news, which the team later confirmed. "This seems like a joke but is really not a joke -- Rex Ryan has claimed the player who punched Geno Smith in the jaw and knocked him out for six-to-ten weeks," Rapoport said. Ryan drafted Enemkpali in the sixth round last year. Rapoport reported the Bills heard Enemkpali's side of the story before bringing him in.

» Former Jets QB Joe Namath called into 'Inside Training Camp Live', spoke with Rhett Lewis and credited Jets GM Mike Maccagnan for bringing in Ryan Fitzpatrick. Namath also said he liked Enemkpali's potential: "I thought he was a good player when I watched him last year, too. He's an up-and-comer, great on special teams, the guy has some quickness too. He's a good teammate but you can't lose you poise either on the field or off the field ... I'm glad he has another opportunity to play in Buffalo."

» Namath on Smith: "One of the things we learned when we were kids growing up, hopefully, is you don't put your finger in somebody's face. That can get you in trouble."

» With Smith sidelined six to 10 weeks, the team is said to be looking to add another veteran presence to the QB room, where Fitzpatrick is now the starter. NFL Media's Rand Getlin reported Tuesday the team is considering Rex Grossman, and the Jets also reached out to Tyler Thigpen. Getlin reported, however, that a reunion with Michael Vick has been ruled out after the parties talked. Casserly: "When you ask people out there they give you names, and they say 'this isn't a very strong list.'"

» Contract bits, from Rapoport. Re: Julio Jones: "Arthur Blank was very clear he wants Julio Jones to be a Falcon for life and they are closing in on making it happen."

Re: Philip Rivers: "If there has been any progress it has been incremental at beast." Rivers wanted to get a deal done by the team's first preseason game (DAL @ SD, Thurs 10 ET, NFL Network), but Rapoport said the Chargers QB is also content to play out the last year of his deal.

» Speaking of the Bills, our Michael Silver was with the team this morning in Pittsford, New York. According to Silver, Marcell Dareus explained that, under Ryan, he feels comfortable putting a sweater on during a team meeting or not worrying about which socks he wears onto the practice field. Under former coach Doug Marrone, Dareus said, he felt restricted in matters that went well beyond football.

» Find Silver on the LeSean McCoy bandwagon, where he's certainly not alone: "Shady believes he is an MVP candidate and I am inclined to agree. He talked about (offensive coordinator) Greg Roman ... and how good he is at getting backs in space ... I'm expecting big things from LeSean McCoy, and so is Rex Ryan."

» Tom Brady has played in 11 of 15 career preseason openers. As the Patriots' walk-through today in Foxborough, however, Brady was in court challenging his four-game suspension. Much more on that here and throughout the day on NFL Network. Stacey Dales reported that he's not likely to play in tomorrow's preseason game against the Packers at 7:30 ET. This means extended time for Jimmy Garoppolo, who Dales said could see significant time tomorrow night given that QB3 Ryan Lindley was only recently brought in and has not seen significant practice time.

»  Here's an inside look at how the Cowboys are traveling to San Diego for their preseason opener (Thurs., 10 ET). You can find coverage of the game on NFL Network as round two of a double-header that begins with Patriots-Packers at 7:30 ET. 

» Thanks, from your whisperer, for reading.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down what Geno Smith's injury means for the Jets and recaps the first Hard Knocks episode in Houston.

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