NBC Sports' Ross Tucker high on Kaepernick


NBC Sports' Ross Tucker high on Kaepernick

The 2012-13 NFL season is in the books, and the Baltimore Ravens are the Super Bowl Champions.

Joe Flacco won the game's MVP Award, furthering his claim that he's one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. But where does he rank?

NBC Sports' Ross Tucker says right around Top 5.

"I've said for a long time that he's been in my Top 8. This probably puts him around No. 5 or No. 6. I don't know that he's been consistent enough in the regular season to break though that Top 5 but he's right there."

That said, it's not Flacco that Tucker wants on his team for the next 10 years. He tweeted:

"Can't think of a QB I'd take over Kaepernick for the next 10 years."

So why is he so high on Kaepernick?

"Maybe if you said the next five years, maybe a guy like Aaron Rodgers, but I'm telling you this guy's skill set is off the charts. His arm is as strong as anybody, he's pretty much as fast as anybody as a quarterback. The touch is there, people didn't think it was, we saw this postseason the touch is there, the accuracy was also stellar throughout. And how about the poise?"

The 49ers, led by Kaepernick should be real players for a Super Bowl title for years to come, but will they see the Patriots there? Maybe. Tucker gives his take on the Patriots' chances of winning a Super Bowl of their own again.

"They're knocking on the door every year, you think one of these years they're going to break through when they keep having these long extended playoff runs. And as long as they've got the B&B duo. You got Belichick and Brady, they're going to be in the mix."

Terrance Knighton doing everything he can to prep for training camp

Terrance Knighton doing everything he can to prep for training camp

Mike Giardi joined by Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry to discuss Terrance Knighton's performance with the Patriots. Also, a look at rookie Joe Thuney and Marcus Cannon's future.

Cooper carted off, reportedly dealing with plantar fascia injury


Cooper carted off, reportedly dealing with plantar fascia injury

FOXBORO – There was some offensive line attrition this morning at the first full-contact practice of training camp.

Most notably, guard Jonathan Cooper left the field on a cart.

Cooper, acquired from the Cardinals in the Chandler Jones trade, went down during a drill when the offensive line was firing off and hitting bags and carrying the blocks out. It appeared to be his right foot that was afflicted. He was down for a few minutes and the team had to move the drill away from him as he stayed down. Quarterback Tom Brady went over to check on Cooper before Cooper was helped gingerly to a cart alongside trainer Jim Whalen and was carted away.

Ian Rapoport from NFL Media reported after Cooper went down that the former first-rounder is battling plantar fascia, a painful foot ailment.

That’s what led to him needing to be held off, according to Rap.

Meanwhile, center Bryan Stork kinda just slipped out of practice. He was first noticed missing when he did not take part in 1-on-1s which came early in practice. He was out there for the beginning of practice so whether he was hurt, sent off for whacking people or had a dentist’s appointment isn’t known.

Bill Belichick wasn’t available after practice. Otherwise we’d have the full scoop.

We’ll keep an eye on that for Sunday.

Running back D.J. Foster and guard Shaq Mason meanwhile didn’t take part in 1-on-1s and retired to a lower field for some conditioning. Guard Josh Kline’s workload is also a bit limited while guard Tre Jackson and tackle Sebastian Vollmer are on the PUP list still.

The Patriots have practice Sunday and are in the stadium for a night practice on Monday before getting Tuesday off.

Tom E. Curran can be followed on Twitter: @tomecurran