Star receiver upset with lack of targets

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Star receiver upset with lack of targets

From Comcast SportsNet

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd isn't catching any deep passes in John Fox's conservative, run-oriented offense, and he's letting his quarterback and his coaches know just how he feels about it. Kyle Orton and Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said Lloyd has asked to be more involved in the offense even as opponents roll a safety over the top to bracket him in double-coverage. A year after leading the league with 1,448 yards receiving, Lloyd said he thinks he's being underused by the Broncos. He had 17 catches of 25 or more yards last year and none of his 10 catches so far this season have gone for more than 20 yards. "It's not like we're not trying to get him the ball," McCoy said. Fox pointed to a strained groin as one reason for the dearth of downfield chances for Lloyd. Orton noted that Lloyd's getting a lot of attention from defensive coordinators and the flow of the games has dictated a different approach. Lloyd said Denver's offensive doctrine is the primary culprit. "I think it's just us, the coaching staff, staying true to the philosophy of running the ball," Lloyd said Thursday. "I think we've kind of gotten in game management mode, as opposed to an aggressive, take-control mode. I think that's what has limited us." So far, the Broncos have called plays that have led to long, time-consuming drives that rely on a heavy diet of runs and underneath passes and not the quick-strike deep ball that was featured so often in 2010. Orton said Lloyd is commanding so much attention after his breakout season but the Broncos will certainly capitalize on his speed and athleticism at some point. "He'll have to stay patient," Orton said. And healthy, Fox suggested. "He was hobbled in the fourth quarter of the opener, missed the whole second game. It's hard to be any kind of a threat when you don't have a uniform," Fox said. "I don't think he was 100 percent" last week, when he caught four passes for 38 yards at Tennessee. "I'd say that was a little bit of a reason." "I'm healthy," Lloyd countered. "I mean, I'm not frustrated, but I want to go down the field more," he added. "I think that just helps us. I feel like we play better when we have a lead. I think that explosive pass plays hurt a defense more, when you can get big chunks passing the ball and running the ball." Lloyd said if McCoy wants to get him the ball, he would design the plays to beat the double coverages. "I think there's still a niche that I have and a talent, a skill-set, that should be used," Lloyd said. And he's let his quarterback know it, too. "Oh, yeah. I've been with Brandon a long time now and he always wants the ball," Orton said. "And you always want your receivers to want the football. So, I just keep telling him to run his routes hard and we'll hit them when they're open." Despite his unhappiness, there's no simmering controversy at Broncos headquarters. Fox said he doesn't mind players letting him know they're displeased with their production. "I think most competitors do (speak up). They all want to win," Fox said. McCoy said he, too, welcomes Lloyd's input. "Yeah, that's the way we want it to be. We have an open door policy here and he's a very talented player," McCoy said. "Of course you want to get him the ball more. Have we played a certain style of offense the first three weeks of the season? Yes, but we'll find ways to get him the ball." Wide receivers protesting their light workload is nothing new in the NFL. "They're all selfish. I mean, there's only one football," McCoy said. "The quarterback's the only one who's going to touch it every play. We have some very talented skilled players and you'd love to get them all the ball 10, 15 times a game, which you can't." The Broncos might target Lloyd more at Green Bay on Sunday. For one thing, the Packers have allowed a ton of yards through the air and not so many on the ground. For another, Denver must try to neutralize star cornerback Charles Woodson, who can wreak havoc when he's in a zone patrolling the short and intermediate passing lanes. "The tough thing with him is you never know where he's going to line up," Orton said. "It might be corner, at nickel or at safety. He's all over the field. He's good wherever he's at. He's a playmaker and a ball hawk, so wherever he is you've got to be careful and make sure your guy's open and Charles can't make the play." The Broncos could stick with their time-consuming approach to keep Green Bay's explosive offense on the sideline, but Orton noted that maintaining those sustained drives is difficult. "We have to find a way (at some point) to steal a touchdown on a two- or three-play drive on a big play." Packers coach Mike McCarthy worked with Lloyd during their time together with the San Francisco 49ers and he said he knows him too well to think he won't use his speed and athleticism to get behind the defense Sunday, even if he hasn't done it so far. "I know Brandon Lloyd can go deep and catch the football," McCarthy said. "We're well aware of that and he's still a threat to do that this week."

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

Cubs make it official: Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod extended

It was no secret after Theo Epstein's contract extension on Wednesday, but the Cubs officially announced extensions for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod on Friday.

The new contracts run through the 2021 season.

Both Hoyer and McLeod joined the Cubs on Nov. 1, 2011. The team is set for its second straight postseason appearance this October.

CSN Chicago's Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney had more on Epstein keeping the band together when Epstein's deal was first announced on Wednesday.

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 4

Fantasy Football Start/Sit: Week 4

Sometimes in fantasy football you have to go out on a limb.

As injuries have decimated most of our rosters in just three short weeks, now is the time to really scour the waiver wire in an attempt to use the plug and play strategy because of a juicy matchup. That is exactly what we're doing this week.

If you have any questions, hit us up on @CSNFantasy and tune in to our weekly Fantasy Fix Facebook Live shows every Thursday.

Let's get right into the Week 4 Start/Sit and as always, Liam Neeson has a message for you:

START

Brian Hoyer, QB, CHI (vs. DET) - I understand that I'm going to get criticism for this one, but I'm confident I'll be the one laughing come Sunday afternoon. In his first start in a Bears uniform, Hoyer tossed two touchdowns and threw for 317 yards. This week he draws the league's worst pass defense in what I believe will be quite the shootout at Solder Field. Hoyer shouldn't have any difficulties finishing in the 15-20-point range against the Lions. (Scott Krinch)

Terrelle Pryor, WR, CLE (@ WSH) - Man do I wish I drafted Pryor in all of my leagues. The 27-year-old converted quarterback put on a show in Week 3, finishing with 144 receiving yards, 21 rushing yards, 35 passing yards and a touchdown. His 14 receiving targets were also led Cleveland. With no Corey Coleman or Josh Gordon, Pryor is entrenched as the Browns No. 1 wide receiver as he gears up for a matchup with a Redskins defense which ranks 28th against opposing fantasy wideouts. (Krinch)

Charles Sims, RB, TB (vs. DEN) - Sims may not do anything to help the Buccaneers pull off an upset victory on Sunday, but he'll definitely give your fantasy team a major boost. Expect Sims to load up on dump off receptions as the Broncos defense gives Jameis Winston fits in Week 4. With no Doug Martin once again, Sims needs to be in all of your fantasy lineups. (Krinch)

[SHOP BEARS: Get your Bears gear here]

SIT

Jerick McKinnon, RB, MIN (vs. NYG) - Benching the No. 1 fantasy quarterback this week is a risk that I believe will pay off. Ryan has feasted on the likes of the Buccaneers, Raiders and Saints (three of the worst defenses in the NFL). This week Ryan draws a Panthers defense which is coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Vikings. It's a stiff test for Ryan which I believe he will fail. (Krinch)

Matt Ryan, QB, ATL (vs. CAR) - In his first start of the season, McKinnon rushed for just 45 yards and 16 carries, and was virtually non existent in the passing game with one catch. I envision more of the same in Week 4 as it will be tough sledding for McKinnon against a Giants defense which is only allowing 3.2 yards per carry. (Krinch)

Tajae Sharpe, WR, TEN (@ HOU) - Sharpe was the flavor of the week after bursting onto the scene in his NFL debut in Week 1, but since then he's compiled just seven total receptions for 81 yards and has yet to find the end zone. Sharpe is merely a boom or bust play this week as the Texans have allowed the fifth-fewest receptions to opposing wide receivers in 2016. (Krinch)