Charles preps for new role: A new coach means a new offense and Jamaal Charles is getting to know his new coach, Andy Reid. Kansas City’s new chief likes to involve his running backs in the passing game, which means Charles will likely add a new dimension to his game. That’s not to say that the Chiefs’ lead running back can’t catch out of the backfield — he had 35 receptions last season — but in Reid’s offense, it’s not uncommon for a rusher to have 70-plus receptions in a season. It would be a surprise if his receiving numbers jump that much in the first season, but the shift in offenses alone should mean a shift in value for Charles … especially in PPR leagues.
Gradkowski preparing for starting role: Now that Ben Roethlisberger has undergone another knee surgery, the Steelers are preparing backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski as their contingency plan. That certainly doesn’t mean Gradkowski will be the Week 1 starter since Roethlisberger is expected to be back for training camp. However, it’s another reminder that Big Ben is a health risk. Right now, he’s better suited as a No. 2 option. If you (for some reason) decide to make him your starter, be sure to have a reliable alternative.
Weeden gets starting endorsement: The Cleveland Browns quarterback competition that was expected never materialized. Wide receiver Greg Little, for one, wasn’t surprised about that. He believed the job always belonged to incumbent starter Brandon Weeden. While the former Oklahoma State standout was surpassed by a few others in his rookie class, Weeden showed promise at times. Now he has a new head coach and offensive coordinator. If he doesn’t have to worry about looking over his shoulder, it will hopefully give him a chance to relax and develop.
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