2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Jaguars heaping praise on 2nd-year S Cyprien

By MARK LONG - AP Sports Writer
    2014-07-30 16:38

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Safety Johnathan Cyprien was Jacksonville's best rookie last year.

He was better than many veterans, too.

A second-round draft pick from Florida International, Cyprien finished with 98 tackles, six passes defended, two forced fumbles and an interception.

The Jaguars believe it was merely a starting point for a fast and physical defensive back who can cover receivers and athletic tight ends down the field as easily as he can support the run in the box.

''You look at him and he's the type of kid that he can be the best in the NFL,'' linebacker Paul Posluszny said. ''He has that type of talent and that type of ability and he wants to do things the right way. He wants to be great, so it's exciting to see because, for him, the sky's the limit.''

Posluszny was hardly alone in his praise for Cyprien.

''He was pretty good as a rookie last year, so you start to talk about him in terms of some of the better defensive backs in the league,'' general manager Dave Caldwell said. ''When you're 4-12, you don't get much credit. Here's a rookie safety with a hundred tackles, a sack, an interception, played pretty good and nobody even really said anything about him.''

The Jaguars noticed.

They put Cyprien in the starting lineup Day 1, expecting growing pains in 2013. And there were plenty. He missed assignments, whiffed on tackles and got beat over the top. But he also made his share of plays, standing out at times in a secondary that lacked experience and in a defense that produced little pass rush.

''I tried my best, studied hard,'' Cyprien said. ''But going into a new scheme and being a rookie, there were a lot of adjustments. I definitely had a couple of busts. I would make some plays, but I would have just as many busts. I didn't like that. Every week, my coaches and teammates helped me cut them down and cut them down.''

Cyprien ended the season playing his best football. He recorded 10 tackles against Houston in early December and finished the season with six tackles and three passes defended at Indianapolis.

He showed up for the team's offseason program in great shape and hasn't missed a snap with the first-team defense.

''I'm in an upward battle with myself, trying to be the best that I can be,'' he said. ''I'm definitely pushing myself on the field and off the field, to not just be one level better or two levels better, but to be the best as best as I can be coming up. I'm taking on that challenge.''

The Jaguars are challenging him, too.

Instead of just lining Cyprien up against tight ends, fullbacks and running backs - the norm for some big safeties - they're pitting him against receivers in training camp. The 6-foot, 217-pound safety has responded by showing cornerback skills.

''He's pretty versatile in terms of some of the things we're asking him to do,'' secondary coach DeWayne Walker said. ''His IQ and connection with his technique, he's figured out how the two go together. He's really coming around from a maturity standpoint. He's doing everything right in terms of evaluating his game from Year 1 to Year 2.''

It's become common to see Cyprien lined up near the line of scrimmage in zone coverage, on the tight end in man coverage or in the middle of the field in single-high safety schemes. And he looks comfortable in every role.

''I just feel like he's playing with poise,'' coach Gus Bradley said. ''Sometimes you look back there and you see their head is going one hundred miles per hour and trying to guess or anticipate what is going to happen. Now, it comes to him and he's reacting. When you do that, you see more consistent play.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Dennis PittaApr 20 06:52p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) is participating in the team's voluntary conditioning program that started Monday, April 20. Pitta's career remains in doubt after fracturing his right hip [ More ]

Prince AmukamaraApr 20 05:22p

New York Giants CB Prince Amukamara (biceps) said he's about 90% recovered from a torn biceps he suffered last season.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 05:02p

Updating a previous item, free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) signed a contract to officially retire with the Arizona Cardinals.

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 20 01:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is not in attendance for the start of the team's offseason workout program Monday, April 20, according to league sources. However, Peterson hasn't attended [ More ]

Antonio BrownApr 20 11:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown is seeking a new contract and could hold out from minicamps and training camp, according to sources.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group