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

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday, Nov. 23. He went through rehabilitation Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20.

James AndersonNov 20 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed LB James Anderson (Titans) Thursday, Nov. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Josh GordonNov 20 04:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was amped up and excited to take part in his first practice with the team this year Wednesday, Nov. 19, but QB Brian Hoyer [ More ]

Charles ClayNov 20 03:02p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 because of a knee injury.

Dwayne AllenNov 20 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20, and The Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer would bet on Allen sitting out this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 02:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Julius ThomasNov 20 01:32p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 01:22p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) is participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Reggie BushNov 20 01:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he is on track to play against the New England Patriots in Week 12. He was not able to play in Week 11 because of the injury.

Josh GordonNov 20 12:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to be limited in Week 12 because it will be his first game of the season, and the team does not want [ More ]

Adrian PetersonNov 20 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has officially appealed his suspension, according to a source. The NFL Players Association is looking for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case, but [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 20 09:13a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is likely share carries with RB Alfred Blue if he plays in Week 12.

LeGarrette BlountNov 20 08:32a

The New England Patriots signed free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) to a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum plus incentives Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) will be eased back into the lineup, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Nov. 19. 'I think we've got to work him [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is likely to get a bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, according to beat writer Geoff Hobson, despite the [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 19 09:33p

Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday, Nov. 19, and is now an unrestricted free agent available to sign with any club.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group