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Volume 6, Issue 103 (Saturday, July 30th)

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Footballguys Big Book Of Stats Ready For Ordering
Last year, we put out the fattest book of stats the fantasy football industry had ever seen. You told us you liked it, so we're putting out a 2005 edition. It's 377 pages of nothing but stats. And not just your run-of-the-mill stats, either. The stats in this book are geared specifically to the fantasy football enthusiast. How many red zone targets did Chad Johnson have last year? What were Clinton Portis' numbers on 3rd-and-short? What percentage of the Seahawks receiving yards did Darrell Jackson account for? How has Andy Reid's run/pass ratio ranked compared to league average each year he's been a head coach? Who was the #18 fantasy wide receiver in 2001? The Footballguys Book of Stats will lay it all out for you in 12-point font on high quality 8.5 x 11 pages for easy reading.

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NYG - WR Plaxico Burress Injures Knee In First Practice
2. DAL - OG Larry Allen Placed On PUP List
3. JAX - RB Fred Taylor Not Rushing His Recovery
4. NOS - RB Aaron Stecker Expects Greater Role
5. TEN - RBs Brown and Henry Working Together: WR Calico Still Limping
6. MIN - PK Aaron Elling Is Number One On Depth Chart
7. GB - WR Javon Walker Reports To Camp To Prove His Worth
8. BUF - All Eyes On QB JP Losman
9. MIA - WR Chris Chambers Likes Dolphins New Offense
10. CIN - RB Chris Perry Survives Two Practices
11. IDP: CAR - Rookie SS Thomas Davis Signs Contract
12. IDP: JAX - SS Donovin Darius Signs Contract Extension
13. IDP: WAS - Redskins Sign S Omar Stoutmire
14. IDP: Oak - CB Charles Woodson Likely To Remain A Raider For 2005
15. IDP: NYJ - Jets Close To Signing CB Ty Law
16. IDP: NE - DE Richard Seymour Holdout Now Official
17. IDP: IND - LB Rob Morris Happy To Battle Gary Brackett For Starting MLB Job
18. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report

1. NYG - WR Plaxico Burress Injures Knee In First Practice

Clipped from: KTVU.com article, 7/30/05

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was injured in his first practice with the team, hyperextending his right knee.

Burress, who signed a six-year free agent deal in the offseason, was injured when he ran a go route down the left sideline and had to stop and go up for a ball thrown by Tim Hasselbeck. While in the air, Burress collided with cornerback Ahmad Treaudo. Burress' right leg was extended when he hit the ground.

"There was an underthrown ball, they went up and got tangled," said coach Tom Coughlin. "They came down, and right now they are calling it a hyperextended knee and we'll see."

Based on the initial report from vice president of medical services Ronnie Barnes, the injury is not considered serious, but Burress will undergo further tests and evaluation to determine the full nature of the injury.

"Well anytime a player is injured it puts a damper on anything," said Coughlin. "It's really unfortunate, and hopefully he will fight his way through it. I mean we need to find out all the information about it, but if that's what it is, a hyperextended knee, then he'll make good progress coming back."

The 6-foot-5, 226-pound Burress played in just 11 games while battling a hamstring injury last season and hauled in 35 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns. He also played in Pittsburgh's two postseason contests and compiled five receptions for 65 yards in games against the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

There are always a few key injuries that happen at the beginning of training camp as these players go through two-a-days after having taken it easy for much of the offseason. Fortunately for those of you who have already drafted Plaxico, the injury doesn't appear to be too serious. If the initial diagnosis of a hyperextended knee is correct, he shouldn't miss too much time but we'll continue to monitor this story and keep you updated of any changes.

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2. DAL - OG Larry Allen Placed On PUP List

Clipped from: AP article by Stephen Hawkins posted at Washington Post, 7/30/05

Nine-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Larry Allen didn't participate in the opening practices of the Dallas Cowboys training camp Saturday after being placed on the physically unable to perform list after failing the team's conditioning test.

Coach Bill Parcells said the left guard didn't pass the conditioning part of the physicals the team had Friday. Parcells didn't say how long it would be before Allen would put on pads and start going through drills.

"You have to exercise judgment whether you want to put the players on the field," Parcells said. "He doesn't have an injury, but if you can't perform ... I don't know what to call it."

While the team went through the first of two practices Saturday, Allen worked with one of the team's strength coaches on the side. Allen threw a heavy medicine ball back and forth with the coach, and went through several running drills - turning his head away from Parcells as he ran near the coach at one point.

"The league has really mandated us to be very, very cautious in light of some incidents that have happened in the past," Parcells said in a reference to Minnesota offensive tackle Korey Stringer, who collapsed and died in training camp in 2001. "So I would say we're erring on the side of caution. That's the best way to put it."

Despite issues with Allen in the past, Parcells insisted that he wasn't angry at the lineman who has been a Pro Bowler in nine of his 11 NFL seasons, including the last two. "I'm not disappointed in anything," Parcells said.

Parcells wouldn't say who reported to camp overweight, but when told that Allen looked as if his weight was down, the coach responded: "I don't know how you would make that judgment about his weight being down, that's not the case."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Larry Allen is obviously a critical component of the Cowboys offensive line and his absence would likely have a negative impact on the value of Julius Jones and Drew Bledsoe. Although the specific problem remains unclear, it does sound like more of a conditioning issue for Allen rather than any significant injury. According to Parcells, he may need to drop some weight, so hopefully that is all that is needed and he'll be practicing again soon.

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3. JAX - RB Fred Taylor Not Rushing His Recovery

Clipped from: AP article by Bart Hubbuch posted at Jacksonville.com, 7/30/05

Jaguars running back Fred Taylor isn't as optimistic about his comeback schedule as coach Jack Del Rio was earlier this month.

Del Rio said on the team's Web site in mid-July that Taylor would practice once a day in shorts the first week of training camp, then possibly take part in padded workouts the second week of camp. Del Rio made the comments after Taylor tested his left knee for team officials in a lengthy workout on July 11.

But Taylor, who still is recovering from January surgery to repair extensive ligament damage in his knee, wasn't as optimistic Friday as the Jaguars reported for camp. Full-squad workouts begin today at the Alltel Stadium practice fields.

"I saw a lot of stuff on the [team's] Web site that didn't really make a whole lot of sense," Taylor said when asked about Del Rio's comments. "I don't want to sound like I'm saying they [the Jaguars] don't know what they're talking about, but until my knee feels the way it needs to feel, all of it is speculation and optimism. I'll never rush myself."

Taylor sounded pessimistic about participating in training camp or any of the Jaguars' four preseason games. The team's exhibition opener is Aug. 13 at home against Miami, and camp ends Aug. 19. "I'll do everything in my nature to help the team when it's time for the real bullets to fly, but as far as training camp, I'm not going to rush myself," Taylor said.

Asked if that measured pace also applied to the preseason games, Taylor nodded in agreement. "I've got to be smart," he said. "I'm not a rookie trying to prove what I can do, so there's no necessity in rushing it."

Taylor's expected absence in the preseason would leave the bulk of the workload to a backfield-by-committee of LaBrandon Toefield, Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala and fourth-round pick Alvin Pearman.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Mixed messages are getting to be pretty common in Jacksonville these days. Del Rio reported that a deal for Travis Henry was imminent just before he was dealt to the Titans. Now, his own starting RB appears to be contradicting earlier reports that he would be ready as soon as the second week of training camp. Things are not looking great for Taylor these days and he's fallen way down in our FBG expert rankings as a result. Even if he does return for the beginning of the season, the team will likely want to keep his workload at a minimum to protect him, so at least one of the backups here could be a nice sleeper with Toefield looking like the early favorite.

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4. NOS - RB Aaron Stecker Expects Greater Role

Clipped from: AP article posted at KLFY.com, 7/30/05

Saints running back Aaron Stecker has no delusions about competing with Deuce McAllister for playing time. He expects to play a greater role this year for New Orleans, which intends to emphasize the running game more this season.

Part of that stems from his relationship with new offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard.

At 5-10, 213 pounds, Stecker is smaller than McAllister (6-1, 232) and he tends to be more of a quick, slashing type of runner, while McAllister is more of a power runner who can challenge tacklers head-on.

With the Saints employing more two-running back sets and a variety of short passes and screens, Stecker suspects he'll get more chances to handle the ball as the Saints seek to keep McAllister as fresh as possible for crucial drive-extending plays later in the game.

Last season, Stecker ran for 244 yards, averaging four-point-two yards per carry, and scored two touchdowns. He also had 29 receptions for 174 yards. It was the best of his six seasons as a pro.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The Saints are saying all the right things about running the ball more this year, which should take some pressure off Aaron Brooks and the defense. If they stick with that plan, it makes sense that Stecker will get some work on occasion as a change of pace RB. However, Deuce McAllister remains one of the best all around RBs in the league and doesn't come off the field too often when healthy. Antowain Smith will also be in the picture and should compete with Stecker for the #2 job.

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5. TEN - RBs Brown and Henry Working Together: WR Calico Still Limping

Clipped from: Tennesseean.com article by Jim Wyatt

The two-headed monster showed its teeth for the first time yesterday. Running backs Chris Brown and Travis Henry took turns with the first team offense. On a few occasions, they were in the backfield at the same time.

Brown said the monster should be feared by opponents. "Teams will have to practice for a lot of different things,'' he said. "They don't know who is going to be back there.''

Henry wore the same No. 20 he wore at the University of Tennessee and with the Buffalo Bills. "It felt like I was a rookie all over again, new guys, new faces,'' Henry said. "My new teammates, everyone has treated me well. I am glad that I am here.''

Some fans called Henry by his nickname from his college days - "Cheese'' - when he got close enough to the fence. "I haven't heard Cheese since I left,'' he said.

Brown and Henry met for the first time while undergoing physicals on Thursday. In the locker room, they are separated by only a few stalls. Henry's locker used to be occupied by another pretty good running back: Eddie George.

Wide receiver Tyrone Calico's recovery from knee surgery has inched along like game tape slowed to frame-by-frame. Earlier this week the Titans hit the play button, clearing Calico to play after almost 11 months on the sideline.

Still, it may be awhile before fast forward is pressed. Practice for Calico yesterday consisted of little more than a few individual reps. His left knee was covered by a large black brace, and he still showed a slight limp while walking across the field without the brace after practice.

"He will probably play with the brace," Coach Jeff Fisher said. "The brace is not an indication that the knee is not healthy. The brace is an indication that it's going to provide additional support for him. It is kind of a security issue.

"We are just going to increase his reps and over the next couple of days we will get him in some one-on-one. We will watch him, and if we have to back down we will back down."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Many fantasy owners will be watching the Titans backfield closely this preseason to see exactly how Brown and Henry will be used. Although they may see some time in the same backfield on occasion while in practice, that formation probably won't be used too often in games because neither player is really capable of being an effective lead blocker. Meanwhile, Calico's knee doesn't appear to be fully healed and that could provide an opening for one of the three rookie WRs the Titans drafted this year to impress the coaching staff.

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6. MIN - PK Aaron Elling Is Number One On Depth Chart

Clipped from: Duluth News Tribune article by Don Seeholzer, 7/29/05

Concerns over the kicking game are not new for the Vikings and coach Mike Tice.

As training camp begins today in Mankato, kickers will wage one of the most wide open of several positional battles.

Aaron Elling, who lost the starting job last summer, received a reprieve on draft day when the Jets grabbed Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent in the second round with the 47th overall selection, two picks before the Vikings.

Elling begins camp No. 1 on the depth chart with the starting job his to lose. Paul Edinger, who signed in late May after being released by Chicago, will provide competition.

Edinger, the fifth-leading scorer in Bears history, has struggled the past 1.5 seasons, connecting on a career-low 62.5 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2004. Edinger might rediscover his touch in the Metrodome, where he has made 9 of 10 career attempts.

The Vikings hope to find a kicker who also can handle kickoffs, which Morten Andersen couldn't last season.

Special-teams coordinator Rusty Tillman said the job would go to the kicker who performs better in practice and games, and the competition could last the entire preseason.

"Aaron's got the stronger leg," Tillman said. "He's stronger on kickoffs. Right now, Paul is the more accurate one, field-goal wise. Paul's got to get a little bit better on his kickoffs, and Aaron's got to get a little better on his field-goal accuracy."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Whoever winds up winning this job figures to be a valuable fantasy kicker, given that the Vikings play in a dome and figure to have a productive offense. The loss of Moss could even wind up helping the kicker stats as the team will be without its best weapon in the red zone and may resort to more field goal attempts. Edinger will need to show major improvement over the 62% accuracy level he had last year in Chicago if he hopes to unseat Elling.

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7. GB - WR Javon Walker Reports To Camp To Prove His Worth

Clipped from: AP article by Arnie Stapleton posted at WashingtonPost.com, 7/30/05

Javon Walker wants to forget about finances and focus on football. "My job is now just to play football," he said in between workouts Friday when the Green Bay Packers opened training camp.

One night after clearing the air with quarterback Brett Favre, who chastised him for threatening to hold out, Walker participated in all the drills and seemed to give full effort on every route. He was a little rusty, but who isn't on the first day?

Walker said he decided to report to training camp because he figured the best way to prove his worth wasn't to withhold his services but to put his talents back on display.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus' threats to keep Walker and some of the NFL's other top players out of training camps are proving hollow as teams begin practicing. Rosenhaus didn't return phone calls to The Associated Press on Friday.

Walker made a surprise appearance Wednesday night when veterans reported for their mandatory meeting. "I decided Tuesday night that I was going to come in," Walker said. "That's when we talked about it and it was the best decision."

That timeline, however, was at odds with what Favre said Walker told him. Favre sought out Walker on Thursday after publicly criticizing him for his threatened holdout.

"We had a good talk yesterday. I initiated the conversation because I felt like I should," Favre said. "And I wanted him to know how pleased I was he was back and told him I stood by what I said. I never said anything bad about Javon, as you guys know. I just didn't like the way he handled it, and he was fine. His true character showed.

"I mean, he told me he never planned on holding out and it was just a, you know, a ploy on his part. But he's a great guy. He's a great player. He's going to help us. I'm glad he's here."

Whatever his intentions were all along, Walker said Rosenhaus didn't try to talk him out of reporting to camp without a guarantee the Packers would redo his deal. "Drew actually talked me into it," Walker said. "He was talking me into it as far as being up there and getting to practice and getting to workouts again and starting to get some positive attitude back toward me."

Walker did say he never planned to sit out any part of the season. "I knew I wasn't going to miss any time from football, so it was best to get into camp and get ready for another season where we can try to go to a Super Bowl," Walker said. "It was better to be in camp and try to work things out and keep it in-house than trying to make it a whole public ordeal."

That's exactly what Walker's contract issue had become since he hired Rosenhaus during the winter to help him land a big contract. He's due $515,000 this season, the fourth of a five-year deal he signed in 2002 for $7.485 million. The Packers refused Rosenhaus' overtures for a hefty pay raise or to shop him around.

Walker said he still wants a new deal, but isn't sure when the Packers will be willing to talk. He pledged not to go AWOL if things don't heat up on the contract front. "I'm here to play the season," Walker said. "There was no way I was going to miss out on this year's football season. I love football too much to miss out on it. I'm here all the way until the end."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

With this story, Favre and Walker owners can breathe a huge sigh of relief. Despite all the offseason posturing, Walker made the smart decision and reported to camp on time. If he goes out and puts up another huge season, the team will be much more likely to reward him with a contract extension since he'll be entering the last year of his contract. The team clearly did not want to set a new precedent by extending a player who had two years left on his deal. While the Packers defense remains a huge question mark, the offense should continue to be one of the best in the league.

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8. BUF - All Eyes On QB JP Losman

Clipped from: AP article by John Wawrow posted at WashingtonPost.com, 7/30/05

After six months of studying film, lifting weights and poring over the playbook since the team gave him the starting job in February, Losman's apprenticeship enters its most intense phase. The next four weeks of camp, a span that includes a scrimmage at Green Bay and two preseason games, will go far in determining how ready Losman is for the opener against Houston on Sept. 11.

Losman can't wait. "I've been waiting for a long time, a lot of work in the offseason, for this moment," he said. "I'm as prepared as I'm going to get. I think my biggest challenge this offseason was to learn the offense. I think I did that. Hopefully, I can show it here in this camp."

All eyes are on Losman, the second of Buffalo's two 2004 first-round draft picks whose promotion to starter led to the team releasing veteran Drew Bledsoe last February. The Bills' decision was based on a belief Losman has just as strong an arm as his predecessor and adds a dimension of mobility Bledsoe lacked. He takes over a team that returns relatively unchanged from last season. That's when the Bills, led by Willis McGahee's emergence and a stout defense, rallied from a 1-4 start to finish 9-7.

What stung was being eliminated from playoff contention with a season-ending collapse against Pittsburgh's second- and third-stringers - a loss that underscored Bledsoe's shortcomings and his inability to win a big game in three seasons in Buffalo.

It's on Losman now to help lead what had been an inconsistent offense last season and help Buffalo end a five-year playoff drought - the team's longest stretch since the 1980s. "I'm excited for J.P. because of his work ethic," coach Mike Mularkey said. "Everything that he's tried to accomplish when really no one's been around to watch him, it's been impressive. Now it just needs to carry over, and I think it will. I really do."

Mularkey plans to help ease Losman's anticipated growing pains by leaning on a McGahee-led running attack. And Mularkey's counting on his defense to carry over its performance from last season, when the Bills led the league by generating 39 turnovers and finished second in fewest yards allowed.

It'll help, too, if Losman doesn't get hurt as he did last training camp. Losman missed the first half of the season when he broke his left leg falling awkwardly after colliding with cornerback Troy Vincent at the end of a scramble. Mularkey called it a freak accident, adding he's already addressed his players and coaches that the quarterback is off-limits.

Losman feels much more comfortable entering his second camp and knowing he's the starter. "It's a huge difference," said Losman, a southern California native who was a two-year starter at Tulane. "Everything has changed and it just feels good to be back as the man, as the guy going into camp as No. 1."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Losman has a lot riding on his shoulders this season. Not only is he taking over the reins of a talented veteran team that just missed making the playoffs in 2004, but he also will be counted on to get the ball to Eric Moulds and Lee Evans often enough so that defenses can't focus primarily on stopping Willis McGahee and the running game. He's done everything asked of him this offseason and has reportedly done a great job learning the Bills offense, so now we'll have to wait and see how he reacts in real game situations.

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9. MIA - WR Chris Chambers Likes Dolphins New Offense

Clipped from: Florida Today article by Carl Kotala, 7/30/05

Although he had more receptions (69) than any of his previous three seasons, last year was disappointing on several individual levels for Chambers. His average of 13 yards per catch was the lowest of his career by more than a yard, and once again he failed to reach 1,000 yards.

On more than one occasion, former head coach Dave Wannstedt would talk about wanting to get the ball deep more often. They would even practice it. But come game day, it wouldn't happen.

Chambers caught only 28 passes for 336 yards and three touchdowns through Miami's first eight games last season, one of which he missed because of a knee injury. In three consecutive games, he caught only three passes.

That was then. Under new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, the Dolphins expect to run more three- and four-wide sets, which should allow Chambers to face less double coverage, opening up the potential for more big plays.

"I think he can be great (in this offense)," quarterback A.J. Feeley said. "It caters to him a lot, because there's going to be a lot of balls put up in the air for him to make plays and I think that's what he does best. He comes down the field and jumps up and makes plays."

Five days into training camp, Chambers said he has never run this many deep routes in practice before. The playbook is bigger, and there are options in the passing routes, receivers making checks at the line of scrimmage with hand signals. There also are more fade routes into the end zone that can make use of Chambers' leaping ability -- all things that have not been utilized by Miami in recent years.

Chambers didn't want to talk about past frustrations, but it's clear this season could go a long way toward erasing those bad memories.

That's because Chambers has seen and heard it all before in his five years with the Dolphins. But there's something different about this team, and this coaching staff, that makes him believe it's not going to be the same old story.

This year's offense could be exciting.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Whether it was a talent issue or his defensive mentality, Dave Wannstedt never seemed to put too much emphasis on the Dolphins passing game during his tenure. Scott Linehan, however, seems ready and willing to open things up on offense and that should play right into the hands of Chambers who is one of the league's best deep threats. He could be poised for a breakout season if the offensive line shows some improvement under new coach Hudson Houck and the Dolphins get consistent play from the QB position.

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10. CIN - RB Chris Perry Survives Two Practices

Clipped from: Bengals.com article by Geoff Hobson, 7/30/05

One of the reasons the Bengals drafted running back Chris Perry in 2004 is that his college coaches assured them he was the best practice player to come through Michigan in their time there.

On Friday, Perry did twice what he has rarely done in the NFL and survived two practices without any searing pain in his torso. But after saying they planned to have him participate in every practice, the Bengals on Saturday morning had him sit out the first workout in full pads to apparently recover from his first hard go in eight months.

One of his former Michigan teammates who watched him in those practices in Ann Arbor says to be patient. "I say he's 75 percent," said linebacker Larry Stevens, swooshing around his hands. "He looked good, but the best is yet to come. When he gets it going, he's fast and cutting back and running away. You'll see it."

After the Friday morning session in shoulder pads and shorts, Perry admitted he was surprised that he didn't have more pain in his first practice since October and the deep abdominal pull that resulted in two sports hernia surgeries. Following the afternoon session, Perry still had his fingers crossed. But it felt good to be among the land of the living after a frustrating rookie season of two carries, three catches, and 34 yards. Particularly since the last surgery had come only in March and he had done virtually no cutting or running until recently.

"What's today? Ask me when I'm running around on Tuesday," Perry said. "They're fresh. I'm fresh. I want to see how it works after it's fatigued. When there's a lot more stress on it. It can be short-lived. I'm taking it one day at a time."

If it sounds like Perry realizes this is a mental comeback as well as a physical one, it's because he does. There was some tenderness, but there was also the run play he bounced outside from inside, the errant pitch he hauled in with one hand on a violent twist of said torso, and the screen pass he took off the grass by bending down in full stride.

And there was the mid-air collision with safety Kevin Kaesviharn that exposed his stomach and drove him to the ground from which he got up and ran back to the huddle as Bengaldom heaved a sigh of relief. "I didn't say anything to him," Perry said. "I was (mad) I dropped the ball." The Bengals don't expect him to drop many. They spent the day lining him up all over the place, a few times split wide as an outside receiver. A 6-0, 220-pounder that can run and catch.

"He's got receiver's hands," said wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who anoints his own as the best on the team. "There's a battle for the second best hands with Chad, Chris Henry and Chris Perry. He's the kind of running back that can stay on the field all three downs. He's a great athlete. Chris can run draw plays, stretch plays, and he can be a receiver down the field."

He won't be on the field all the time, obviously, because of 1,454-yard rusher Rudi Johnson. And maybe not for a few more weeks consistently, since he says he's only 70 percent and isn't looking to get thrown into the fire. That was made pretty clear Saturday morning when he sat out after the coaches gave him a pretty good roasting in that first day back.

He also had quarterback Carson Palmer dreaming about second-and-10, or third-and-six and his check-down passes. "He looked good, he's fast," Palmer said. "That's where he's going to be huge this year. When Chad and T.J. are both covered and I can get the ball down to him. That can go for 10, 15 yards. No linebacker can cover him. He's got explosion and he can move his feet from side to side so quickly."

Guys like Palmer and left guard Eric Steinbach are talking about how Perry's slashing style provides a nice changeup to the low-slung bruising of Rudi Johnson, but Perry can also pound it inside at 220 pounds and everyone is wondering what it's going to be like in the packages that have both Johnson and Perry on the field.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Chris Perry was a surprise first round selection for Marvin Lewis and the Bengals last year given the presence of Rudi Johnson. The Bengals actually took him ahead of Kevin Jones, who wound up having an excellent rookie season for the Lions. During his time in Michigan, Perry established himself as one of the best all around RBs in the nation who was equally effective running inside and outside. When healthy, he should give the Bengals a great 1-2 punch at RB.

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11. IDP: CAR - Rookie SS Thomas Davis Signs Contract

Clipped from: ESPN.com article by Len Pasquarelli, 7/30/05

First-round safety Thomas Davis, the 14th overall player chosen in 2005 and a versatile defender who is expected to make an immediate impact, agreed to a contract.

The former University of Georgia star will sign a five-year contract worth $10.6 million, and the deal includes $7.97 million in guaranteed money. Davis will report on time to camp on Friday evening and be set to practice Saturday morning when the Panthers take the field for the first time.

Davis split his time in college between linebacker, and safety but the Panthers will use him at the latter position. League scouts were split before the draft about what position best suited Davis, an explosive athlete and big hitter.

In 39 games at Georgia, including 29 starts, Davis had 272 tackles, including 17 tackles for losses, three interceptions, nine passes defensed and six forced fumbles. Davis will certainly play in nickel situations as a rookie and probably will challenge for a starting job at some point.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

All it took was one or two first round picks to sign their contracts and now everybody else is slotting into place. Now that he is signed, Davis is expected to be the opening day starter at strong safety while Mike Minter will likely shift to free safety. Davis is clearly a very promising player to have in IDP dynasty leagues, as he is perhaps the only strong safety from this class with the chance to start right away. The team also has talked of moving him up to linebacker on passing downs to minimize his weakness in coverage, which should only help his fantasy value as it will move him closer to the line of scrimmage and give him more blitz opportunities.

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12. IDP: JAX - SS Donovin Darius Signs Contract Extension

Clipped from: ESPN.com article by Len Pasquarelli, 7/30/05

Strong safety Donovin Darius, designated a franchise player each of the last three years by the Jaguars, has finally gotten the long-term contract he has been seeking -- a three-year extension that will keep him with the team through 2008.

Earlier in the offseason, Darius, unhappy at having the franchise marker for another year, had asked to be traded. The Jags had discussions with Miami and Minnesota and almost dealt Darius to the Vikings, but eventually kept him when talks broke down. Darius then signed the one-year franchise qualifying offer of $4.97 million.

The contract is worth $15.5 million, which makes Darius the third-highest paid safety in the league. It includes $6 million in guarantees.

A starter his entire career, the 1998 first-round draft pick is coming off a season that might have been the best of his seven-year NFL tenure: He developed his coverage skills and posted a career-best five interceptions, and also had a career-high 89 tackles.

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This move comes as somewhat of a surprise after the Jags used their franchise tag on Darius for three straight seasons. Darius has always been an elite run defender but he displayed some newfound playmaking ability last season with five interceptions. It will be interesting to see how he responds now that he'll finally have some stability with $6 million in guaranteed money.

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13. IDP: WAS - Redskins Sign S Omar Stoutmire

Clipped from: ESPN.com article by Len Pasquarelli, 7/30/05

Seeking defensive backfield depth, Washington signed safety Omar Stoutmire on Friday.

Stoutmire was waived by the New York Giants in February after starting 32 games over five seasons with them.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound safety went on injured reserve with a torn knee ligament after last season's opening game. His best season in New York was 2003, when he finished third on the Giants in tackles with a career-high 109.

He began his NFL career in Dallas as a seventh-round draft pick in 1997, and he played one season with the Jets in 1999.

Stoutmire has played in 109 NFL games, starting 51. He has 357 tackles, five interceptions and six forced fumbles.

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This move could be partially motivated by the recent legal troubles of Sean Taylor. Stoutmire was a productive player with the Giants in 2003 playing alongside Shaun Williams, and is versatile enough to play at either safety spot. If healthy, he'll provide solid depth at the safety position, where Matt Bowen is also returning from a severe knee injury.

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14. IDP: Oak - CB Charles Woodson Likely To Remain A Raider For 2005

Clipped from: AP article by Janie McCauley posted at SFGate.com, 7/29/05

Charles Woodson held out all training camp last summer, pinning his hopes on the elusive long-term contract he's sought for years.

This year, he knew better. "We just felt that we would come in and sign a tender and get it out of the way," Woodson said Friday at the Oakland Raiders' first practice, making his first public comments since a 35-10 loss at Atlanta on Dec. 12.

"As far as trades were concerned, there was never any real talk about it. All that stuff is pretty much a smoke screen. The most important thing is I'm here in camp and getting ready to go." Woodson figures he would have been foolish not to sign a one-year tender for $10.5 million and stay put for another season, despite his desire to be the highest-paid cornerback in the league.

Woodson, also the Raiders' franchise player last season, received a 20-percent raise over his salary of nearly $8.8 million a year ago. When he signed the tender Feb. 25, the Raiders released a statement saying they expected to deal the four-time Pro Bowler. That turned out only to be wishful thinking. "The actions of agent Carl Poston and Charles Woodson tell us that they must have reached a long-term deal with a team and we expect a trade very soon," the statement said.

Now, the 28-year-old Woodson, entering his eighth NFL season, is anxious to help the Raiders turn things around and boost the image of a defense that has been slammed for its recent poor play. The unit was among the worst in the NFL last season.

He wants to forget about everything else for now. "I don't really worry about it because I just play the game of football, so it really doesn't matter if I play here in Oakland or anywhere else," said Woodson, the 1997 Heisman Trophy winner for Michigan. "I know I can go out there and do the best that I can do. So, it don't bother me."

Woodson was sidelined for the final three games last season with an injured knee. He finished with 74 tackles, 2 1/2 sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception.

Among the Raiders' most talented and popular players, Woodson has battled injuries and clashed with management and coaches in recent years. In addition, he was arrested in downtown Oakland in December for investigation of public intoxication.

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When healthy, Woodson is still capable of being one of the best cornerbacks in the league. The problem is that he hasn't been completely healthy all that often. After he surprised the Raiders by quickly signing the franchise tender this year, he'll likely be headed for unrestricted free agency next year so he has plenty of motivation to go out and have a big season. The team will need it too, because there isn't a whole lot of talent in the rest of the Raiders back seven.

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15. IDP: NYJ - Jets Close To Signing CB Ty Law

Clipped from: Star-Ledger article by Dave Hutchinson, 7/30/05

Talks are getting serious between the Jets and free-agent cornerback Ty Law, and if he passes a physical and is impressive during an upcoming workout, he'll likely sign with the club, according to someone with knowledge of the negotiations.

Presumably Law will lower his asking price, which is reportedly $6 million to $7 million per season, or the Jets will satisfy his demands in another way, perhaps with more upfront money.

"Ty is just waiting for some of this two-a-day stuff to pass," said the person. "He's smart."

The Jaguars, Lions and Chiefs are also interested, but the Jets seem to have the inside track because of Law's close relationship with coach Herman Edwards, running back Curtis Martin and defensive back coach Corwin Brown, who played with Law in college (Michigan) and the NFL (Patriots).

Martin, who played with Law at New England and remains close to him, didn't deny he was recruiting him. "I've spoken to him a few times," Martin said with a smile. "We're friends. We hang out together."

Veteran CB Ray Mickens, who has longed to start and is currently working with the first team, would again be cast in his familiar role as a nickel back should the Jets sign Law.

"I can't worry about things that I can't control," Mickens said. "Ty is a great cornerback and I don't know one team that wouldn't want him. ... It's not about me; it's about getting a great player when he's available."

Meanwhile, CB Justin Miller, the rookie second-round pick, was impressive on the first day, drawing praise from Edwards.

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The retirement of Donnie Abraham has left the Jets with a huge opening at one of their starting CB slots and Ty Law would be a perfect fit. If this report is accurate, it looks like Law could be a Jet very soon provided that he's willing to lower his asking price and none of the other teams make a late charge. If he's able to play anywhere near the level he was at in 2003, he could have a big impact on the balance of power in the AFC East.

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16. IDP: NE - DE Richard Seymour Holdout Now Official

Clipped from: Boston Globe article by Jerome Solomon, 7/30/05

What has been long considered a given is now official: Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour is a holdout.

Seymour's agent Eugene Parker said his client, who has two years remaining on a six-year, $14.3 million contract he signed after the Patriots drafted him in the first round in 2001, would love to be in camp. ''I know he would really love to get this resolved," Parker said yesterday afternoon. ''He wants it resolved as soon as possible."

Parker said he and Seymour, who also skipped a minicamp in June, would maintain their stance of not speaking publicly about negotiations. So while he confirmed the sides have had talks, he provided no significant details.

A source familiar with the negotiations said the Patriots' recent focus in the talks has been to devise an acceptable offer that would get Seymour into camp, even if it were only a temporary solution. The act of good faith, the team hopes, would suffice while the sides work out a satisfactory deal.

New England coach Bill Belichick declined to discuss the impasse. ''I'm just concentrating on the people that are here; coaching the guys that are here," Belichick said during a news conference in between the team's two practice sessions.

Seymour's teammates didn't seem to be upset that the three-time Pro Bowler wasn't in camp. The enthusiasm of the 5,062 fans at the morning workout at Gillette Stadium wasn't tempered by the news either.

''We love Richard," safety Rodney Harrison said. ''He's like a brother to us. Just because he's not here doesn't mean that he's not working hard, that he's not busting his tail. 'We have a lot of respect for that guy. We know what he brings to the locker room as well as to the field. He has the respect of the coaches, the fans, as well as his teammates. 'In business everything works itself out eventually. Richard's a tremendous player. In my opinion he's the best defensive tackle in the game."

Meanwhile, Seymour's backup has a new deal in place. The Patriots have agreed to extend Jarvis Green's contract, giving him $5.5 million in bonuses the next two years, including a $3.5 million signing bonus, on a five-year deal that could be worth $18 million.

Green was scheduled to make $1.43 million this year, the mid-level tender offer made by the Patriots because of his restricted free agent status. In the offseason, Green was free to sign an offer sheet with another team, but the Patriots had the option of matching it. Had Green played under the one-year, mid-level tender contract, he would have been an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. Receiver David Givens is in a similar situation.

Green, who worked out with the No. 1 defense, said taking that risk in hopes of a huge payday wouldn't have been worth it. ''You have to look at the stability, that was very important to me," Green said. ''My wife and kid are here. My son is in school here and doing very well. You have to look at those things, not just the big money."

Harrison is also among those considered to be underpaid, based on his production. His agent has been in negotiations to restructure a contract Harrison signed as a free agent in 2003, but it hasn't been finalized.

''Everyone's situation is different," Harrison said. ''Everyone's motivated by different things. For me, money's not necessarily why I'm motivated. I signed for six years and I'm here. I'm happy."

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Seymour isn't the first Patriot to rock the boat in regards to a contract issue. But unlike Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy, he's still at a very early stage of his career. Seymour is clearly an integral member of that defense, but the Pats' whole philosophy in recent years has been based on the idea that no player is more important than the team. They have a lot of quality depth on the defensive line, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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17. IDP: IND - LB Rob Morris Happy To Battle Gary Brackett For Starting MLB Job

Clipped from: Indstar.com article by Mike Chappell

Rob Morris doesn't mind spending his sixth training camp with the Indianapolis Colts fighting to regain a starting position he's held for the past four seasons.

It beats the alternative.

"There are a lot of first-round picks that are working at Piggly Wiggly after four or five years," said Morris, smiling and stroking his goatee after Friday morning's workout at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. "I'm still in the NFL, playing."

Morris, the 28th overall pick in the 2000 draft, has been the Colts' starting middle linebacker the past four seasons. Whether he's manning that post when the team opens the regular season Sept. 11 at Baltimore will depend upon his training-camp competition with Gary Brackett.

It's one of the summer's more intriguing positional battles: Morris, former first-round draft pick, vs. Brackett, former undrafted free agent.

"We're going to play the best players," coach Tony Dungy said. "That's what it's all about and Rob wants to compete."

The opportunity for Morris to actually compete for the position didn't present itself until mid-June. He became an unrestricted free agent in March and remained unattached until signing a one-year, $540,000 contract with the Colts.

Brackett starts camp as the starting middle linebacker. Morris is the backup. "I was told I could come in and compete for the starting job," Morris said. If he fails to unseat Brackett, Morris must accept the role of special teams player and backup at the linebacker positions.

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Rob Morris has never quite lived up to the expectations that came when he was drafted in the first round five years ago. He's not much more than a two down linebacker, and given the Colts recent defensive struggles, a change is probably warranted. They don't have much depth at the LB position though so the two of them could wind up splitting time with Morris playing primarily on run downs and Brackett playing primarily on passing downs. Neither player looks like a very appealing fantasy option.

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18. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report

By Footballguys.com Staff Writer Cecil Lammey

Our Footballguy Staff Writer Cecil Lammey is flashing his press credentials and brings us the inside scoop from the Bronco's Training Camp. These are his takes on what he saw today at camp.

Broncos Training Camp Report Day Two 7/30/05

Defense was the name of the game today at Broncos practice. The pads come on tomorrow and that's when the real fun begins. Here's the way I saw it:

Champ Bailey played like a man possessed today. He had a great one handed interception (off a Van Pelt pass) that he returned for some good yards. In addition, he really took the receivers to task. He batted down several passes and shut down Rod Smith when he covered him. He also stripped the ball in a great move, ripping the ball away from Charlie Adams at the goal line, just as Adams had secured it. He had some comments on the enthusiasm coming from the defense today: "One thing about this game is you want to enjoy it while you are playing it. You don't want to be uptight and serious all the time. It's a serious business, but you got to have fun doing it."

Lenny Walls had a great day of practice, except for one play. Romar Crenshaw (who looked bad yesterday) put a great juke move on him to get open in one on one drills. Other than that, Walls looked great. He knocked away several passes as well, and had all of his defensive teammates excited with his play. He got under Rod Smith's skin as well, as most of the db's did all day. Coaches were praising Walls after nearly every play.

Roc Alexander continued his super aggressive play today. He is making a move for a nickel spot, and is doing a good job.

Darrent Williams struggled again today and dropped a few "F" bombs after he was beat on a long pass that went for a touchdown. I got to see him return some kicks today and he looked like a natural. He is very fast and it looks like his home will be on special teams until he can get used to the pro game.

Dominique Foxworth is progressing nicely and we should get a good look at him during preseason.

Nick Ferguson looked more comfortable in his SS role today.

"Smoke Dog" Al Wilson is a playmaker. He is probably itching the most to get the pads on. Here's what he thought about the Broncos LB corps: "On paper more than likely, we are definitely the fastest. But at the same time, we still have to execute, do our job, make plays and we have to take it to that next level if we want to be the best linebacker corps. "We are three fast linebackers who know how to get to the football, but if you don't know how to use that speed and execute, then it really doesn't matter."

Ian Gold looks fully healed from the injuries that have plagued him. He has great closing speed and is very familiar with this system. Al Wilson likes what he sees from Gold: "He's a guy that can fly around and make plays as well as a known playmaker around this league. It feels good to have him back...We are jelling fast - Myself, (linebacker) D.J. Williams and Ian. If we can stay healthy, we can definitely be the best in the business. It doesn't feel like Ian left. It feels as if he took a nice little break, but it feels good to have him back."

Trevor Pryce is working his way back from that back injury, and it's so far so good. At one point during practice he went to the side to work on technique with a D-line coach. When asked about the return of Trevor Pryce, Al Wilson had this to say: "It means so much simply because one on one he can't be blocked. He is another threat that we missed last year in the pass rush department. Having him back teaming up with the guys from Cleveland, plus the guys we had last season... I'm looking for a big year...40-plus sacks."

Courtney Brown rotated positions with Pryce at Defensive End. Brown still looked solid and good things are in store if he can stay healthy. The starters so far are Pryce, Brown, Warren, & Myers. The second string is Coleman & Engleberger at DE, and Fatafehi and Pope at DT. Wilson had this comment about the DL: "They look good. They have been getting pressure on the quarterback without us blitzing, and that's a big plus for our defense...It gives us an opportunity to do a lot more things on the back end. Getting those guys from Cleveland was a steal for us, and I truly appreciate them because it makes my job a lot easier."

Marco Coleman had a good practice today. He was really working hard out there.

Jake Plummer is still out there having fun. He looks very comfortable and is throwing some nice passes out there. I even saw him take off and scramble for a first down in 7 on 7 drills. He even threw a pass away when all his receivers were covered, rather than force the ball into coverage.

Kanell looked a little better today, but not by much. He did have a good sideline pass that Triandos Luke pulled in.

Matt Mauck had some throws that sailed on him a little today. He was still making good decisions with the ball.

Van Pelt is struggling big time. His passes didn't flutter as much, but he was still locking onto receivers, and threw the aforementioned pick to Champ. That pass was way off the mark and Bailey made him pay.

Mike Anderson is not going to just give up the number one spot. He was running with authority and making good cuts. He showed good hands as well. Bell is going to have his work cut out for him because Mike is making zero mistakes.

Tatum Bell had a good, but not great day. I love his moves and his vision. His speed is unquestioned, and he is gone when he gets to the open field. His hands looked a little better today, but I haven't been "blown away" by his performance so far.

Quentin Griffin did not practice today.

Maurice Clarett is having a good camp so far. Bobby Turner has really taken this kid under his wing and seems to always be in his ear. Clarett shows good burst, but gets winded too easy. Camp should whip him into shape.

Ron Dayne had a couple of nice plays catching the ball, although I still believe he won't make this team.

Jeb Putzier continues to impress. Both he and Alexander caught several slant and side out routes.

Stephen Alexander is playing his way towards some good playing time. Health is the major concern with him because he's certainly talented enough.

Wesley Duke had some drops on easy catches. Can you say Project? Clarett even had to show him some moves on footwork drills.

Nate Jackson is not showing the same kind of determination that he did when he was lined up at WR.

Rod Smith was still putting forward a grade A effort. He was frustrated at times by the DB's.

Ashley Lelie bounced back from a horrible day one. He actually had some nice routes over the middle and seemed to be more focused today. I wonder if he took a ribbing when they were reviewing the tape. He also seemed to have more zip in and out of his routes.

Darius Watts continued his progress and caught everything thrown at him.

Jerry Rice did not practice.

Triandos Luke had a good day. Not as good as he had yesterday, but he did go and get a pass on a "go" route that was a bit overthrown.

Todd Devoe had a decent day. Enough plays for his coaches to take notice.

Here's some comments from coach Shanahan: "(Wide receiver) Jerry Rice did not practice today. (Running back) Quentin Griffin did not practice as well, and there are about 10 guys that will sit out this afternoon. We have some guys that have a little bit of age, and we don't want to over work them. We also have some guys who are coming off of injuries, like (defensive end) Courtney Brown, (defensive end) Ebenezer Ekuban and Quentin Griffin. Those guys are in really good condition, but we do not want to put too much stress on them."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Well, this is sort of "our view" as these were Cecil's impressions from the day. We'll see how this goes but may make it a regular feature in the updates. The Denver running back situation is one of the most interesting camp battles in the league. Also keep an eye on that #2 WR slot.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow with the update. Remember to check out our writing opportunities if you're up for it.

J

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