Fri Aug 7 7:39pm ET
By JOE REEDY
AP Sports Writer
In this Aug. 25, 2019, file photo, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor throws the ball downfield against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Carson, Calif. Taylor is expected to succeed Philip Rivers, who started the past 14 seasons before signing with Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo, File)
COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Tyrod Taylor understands why many may compare his opportunity with the Los Angeles Chargers to the one he had in Cleveland two years ago. But the veteran quarterback sees many differences.
The only thing that hasn't changed is how Taylor views his job.
''I've been a firm believer in just controlling what you can,'' Taylor said Friday. ''A lot of things that happened in Cleveland was out of my control, but I never changed my attitude towards what I can do and towards the team.''
Taylor, who is in his 10th season, signed with the Chargers last year. He moved into the top spot on the depth chart during this offseason when the franchise and Philip Rivers agreed a change would benefit both. Rivers signed with Indianapolis after 16 seasons with the Chargers, with the last 14 as the starter.
Even though Taylor again faces a situation where he is the starter on a team that selected a quarterback in the first round, there may be a better chance of success here. Besides knowing the roster, Taylor has a coach who knows his strengths and weaknesses. Anthony Lynn was on Buffalo's staff for two years while Taylor was there, including 2016 when Lynn was promoted to offensive coordinator early in the season.
Taylor was traded to the Browns in 2018, less than two months before they selected Baker Mayfield with the top pick in the draft. Taylor struggled in his three starts and was injured during the first half of the Week 3 game against the New York Jets. Mayfield came in, rallied Cleveland to a win and started the remainder of the season.
Taylor said he wasn't surprised when the Chargers selected Justin Herbert sixth overall in the draft and that his mindset has not changed.
''I was drafted in the sixth round and, even that day I got drafted, I always had the mindset to prepare like a starter,'' he said. ''My main focus is to go out and prepare myself for the season. But, at the same time, I'm not hiding any information (during quarterback meetings). It's an open conversation amongst all of us.''
Lynn expects Taylor to return to the form he had in Buffalo, where he was 22-20 as a starter and helped the Bills break an 18-year postseason drought in 2017.
One reason to expect a rebound is that Taylor said there are similarities between the Bills and Chargers' schemes. Los Angeles figures to be more balanced and run-based with Taylor under center, which fits Lynn's philosophy. The Bills led the league in rushing offense (164.4 yards per game), yards per carry (5.35) and 35 rushing touchdowns in 2016.
Taylor's best quality is that he takes care of the ball, something Rivers didn't do last season. The Chargers had 31 turnovers en route to a 5-11 record, including a league-high six in the red zone. Rivers threw an interception on 2.6% of his passing attempts with the Chargers while Taylor was at 1.3% during his three seasons in Buffalo.
''You want to turn a guy loose and make plays, but at the same time in this league I really believe you lose more games than you win,'' Lynn said. ''If you take care of the football your chances are a lot better.''
Lynn said Taylor throws one of the best deep balls in the league, but he stressed to Taylor that he should try to improve on intermediate throws. Taylor said he worked on improving his release point during offseason workouts in Atlanta and Virginia, along with getting a chance to work with some of the receivers before training camp.
While Taylor doesn't shy away from his reputation of being conservative at times, he thinks he will be able to take more chances with the talent he has at receiver and tight end.
''With the receivers we have there aren't going to be many 50/50 balls. Mike (Williams) and Keenan (Allen) most of the time are going to win their matchups,'' he said. ''I think at the end of the day you've got to play your game and do what's best for the team in that moment. There's going to be situations where you have to take those risks but there will be times where you have to manage the game.''
August 5th: ADP Value
Washington Football Team RB Derrius Guice was released Friday, Aug. 7.
Fantasy Spin: Guice likely will not receive much interest from other teams because of the arrest, but fantasy players can keep an eye on the situation. Adrian Peterson likely will handle most of the carries for Washington this season and can be at least a No. 3 running back in standard fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is looking "bigger and stronger" according to head coach Dan Quinn. Quinn said that Ridley had a good offseason and is coming into training camp hungry. The Alabama product is a popular pick for a third-year breakout after he was well on his way towards his first 1000-yard season before getting hurt. The 25-year-old has had no trouble finding the end zone in his first two years, compiling 17 touchdowns, though he'll need to slightly raise his yards per game and catch percentage numbers to reach his goal. Playing in an offense that has ranked in the top-five in pass attempts in each of the last two years should give Ridley a great chance at becoming elite in 2020.
Nearly 70 players have opted out of the coming NFL season because of coronavirus concerns. Highlighting the list is LB Dont'a Hightower, LB C.J. Mosley, and RB Damien Williams. The good news is the deadline to opt out has passed and the list of big-name players is minimal, so fantasy owners can plan accordingly for the coming season and start drafting with more confidence.
Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley has 'really put in a good offseason ... he's bigger, stronger,' Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said Friday, Aug. 7, in a media conference call.
Fantasy Spin: Ridley has caught 127 passes over his first two seasons, including 17 TDs -- three more than teammate Julio Jones over the same span -- and is a legit WR2 in all formats.
The Pittsburgh Steelers activated wide receiver James Washington from the COVID-19 reserve list on Friday. Washington was placed on the list on August 2. The third-year wide receiver has 60 receptions for 952 yards and four touchdowns across his two NFL seasons. The team released linebacker John Houston, an undrafted rookie free-agent, in a corresponding move to create room on the roster for Washington. Washington will compete to be the No. 3 receiver in Pittsburgh behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson this season.
The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to re-sign defensive end Vinny Curry to a one-year deal worth up to $2 million. $1.3 million is guaranteed, making Curry basically a lock for the final roster. Curry spent the first six years of his NFL career in Philly, and returned last season, recording five sacks while playing 415 snaps. He's a rotational edge rusher and should return to a similar role.
New York Giants WR Sterling Shepard is entering the 2020 season as the longest-tenured Giant, and said Friday, Aug. 7, in a Zoom media conference call that 'I might have to shake the 'young' Shep.' He added that he plans to set a 'good example' for his younger teammates.
Fantasy Spin: Shephard, still only 27, has caught at least 57 passes in all four seasons in N.Y., including 57 in 10 games last season. He's a WR4 with upside, particularly in PPR leagues.
Free agent DE Vinny Curry is re-signing with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, Aug. 7, according to sources.
New England Patriots QB Cam Newton on Friday, Aug. 7, declared himself fully ready for training camp. 'At this particular time, I'm full go,' Newton said in a video conference call.
Fantasy Spin: Newton first will have to stay healthy and then also beat out Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting gig. If A and B are accomplished, Newton will enter the season as a QB2 but one with considerable upside.
Free agent DL Dion Jordan (Raiders) on Friday, Aug, 7, signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not available.
New York Giants LS Zak DeOssie on Friday, Aug. 7, announced his retirement.
Tennessee Titans LB Vic Beasley reported for COVID-19 testing Friday, Aug. 7.
Pittsburgh Steelers WR James Washington was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, Aug. 7.
Fantasy Spin: Washington could start opposite of Juju Smith-Schuster, but he'll need to step it up to stave off Chase Claypool. Washington figures to be a WR4 or WR5 in fantasy.
Updating a previous story, Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis (toe) is on the Physically Unable to Perform list as a result of offseason toe surgery. He's not expected to miss any games.
Fantasy Spin: This would be a greater concern if Davis was actually missing meaningful practices while on the PUP list. There shouldn't be any major concern, and he'll still enter the season as the No. 2 option behind A.J. Brown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB M.J. Stewart was released Thursday, Aug. 6.
Las Vegas Raiders RB Rod Smith was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Aug. 6.
Updating a previous story, New York Jets WR Josh Doctson was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.
Updating a previous story, Jacksonville Jaguars DB Rashaan Melvin was placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out list Thursday, Aug. 6.
Free-agent WRs Ricardo Louis (Dolphins) and Chester Rogers (Colts) have been contacted and put through physicals by the Miami Dolphins, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.
Free-agent S J.J. Wilcox (Falcons) is expected to re-sign with the Atlanta Falcons pending COVID-19 testing and a physical, according to a source Thursday, Aug. 6.