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Volume 6, Issue 104 (Sunday, July 31st)

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Hi Folks,

Training camps are rolling and we're here for you to plow through the mountain of news and bring you the key things you need to know. Let's jump right to it.

Joe Bryant


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1. NYG - WR Burress Back On Field After Knee Injury
2. KC - WR Mitchell May Need Knee Surgery
3. NYJ - QB Pennington Passes Important Test
4. ATL - Rookie WR White Signs
5. TB - Rookie RB Williams #1 on Depth Charts
6. SF - WRs Lloyd and Woods Report From Training Camp
7. SF - RB Barlow Misses Practice with "Heat Frustration"
8. SF - QB Smith Working With First Team
9. GB - QB Favre Shows Up Looking "Hungry"
10. MIN - Rookie WR Williamson Signs
11. BUF - QB Losman Taking Charge Of Huddle
12. CHI - QB Grossman Feels RB Benson Can Still Make An Impact
13. GB - TE Steele Taking Advantage of Franks' Absence
14. SD - RB Turner Moving Up To #2
15. ARI - WR Boldin Signs Contract Extension
16. ARI - Rookie RB Arrington Signs
17. NYG - TE Shockey Flashes Rookie Form
18. IDP: SF - LB Peterson 90%
19. IDP: OAK - DB Woodson's Groin Injury Just "Camp Soreness"
20. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report Day Three 7/31/05

1. NYG - WR Burress Back On Field After Knee Injury

Clipped from the Michael Eisen article from 7/31/05

Plaxico Burress practiced again this morning and showed no effects from the hyperextended knee he suffered yesterday morning. Burress returned to practice in the afternoon.

"He just worked his way through it, which I think is a great example," Coughlin said. "The medical people did a very thorough inspection, checked it out from all different angles and felt like it was, in fact, some kind of hyperextension. But he wanted to go. He came out. Everyone was tuned in to what he was doing and still felt as each drill went by that he was doing fine. It's a good example for our team."

Burress did not want his Giants camp debut to be remembered for an injury.

"I worked really hard in the offseason and to go down in the first practice was not the way I wanted to start my season off," he said. "I told myself if I could go out there and catch passes and run around with the guys I was going to go out and do it, instead of taking the rest of the day off.

"I was sore this morning. But I went in and got a little bit of treatment, got it warmed up and rode a bike for a few minutes. Then I went out there and practiced."

Coughlin said Burress, one of the Giants' key free agent acquisitions, is not limited at practice.

"If it's bothering me they'll limit my reps," Burress said. "I'm my own gauge. But for the most part I feel good."

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

Excellent news for Burress and Manning owners as well as Giants fans. Although I'm thinking the most relieved guy on the team might be cornerback Ahmad Treaudo who collided with Burress yesterday when he was injured. The Giants are counting on Burress to play a key role with the team and it's crucial that he gets as many reps as possible with his new QB. Coach Tom Coughlin isn't a guy to dish out casual praise so it's a strong sign for the coach when he says Burress is setting a good example. Let's keep an eye on this to see if he has swelling or issues tomorrow but for now, it looks like folks can breathe easier.

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2. KC - WR Mitchell May Need Knee Surgery

Clipped from: 7/31/05

Q: The status of Freddie Mitchell: where is he having his knee scoped, when, and how long will he be out?

DICK VERMEIL: "I think he'll be scoped tomorrow by (team doctor) Dr. (Jon) Browne in Kansas City. He'll be back here on Wednesday if everything goes right, have a day of evaluation and then be back on the field in two to two and half weeks. Now, that's just a coach talking. A doctor may feel differently after he gets in and takes a look at it. But he does not think it's serious. Of course, anytime you scope a knee it's a little serious."

Q: How did he do it?

VERMEIL: "Just running a route."

Q: Is that a set-back for him because he's new?

VERMEIL: "It never helps to get hurt. It never helps. I think that applies to guys who are struggling to make the football team than someone who's already established and you know he's going to be here. But he's experienced and very competitive and he'll be back and get right back into it. We won't hold it against him, believe me."

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

We doubt you're building your Fantasy Team on the foundation of Freddie Mitchell but this is still an important injury. According to coach Vermeil, Mitchell's injury isn't too serious and he'll likely be back soon. But the big issue is a new guy missing valuable time. Training camp moves quickly. Mitchell will be missing key time. Look for Samie Parker and FBG All Name Team Craphonso Thorpe to see more time.

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3. NYJ - QB Pennington Passes Important Test

Clipped from: Rich Cimini article on 7/31/05

Chad Pennington passed another test yesterday in his recovery from offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder.

Throwing on back-to-back days for the first time, Pennington handled the same workload on Day 2 as he did Friday on the opening day of training camp. He didn't suffer any apparent setbacks.

Pennington, limited to the afternoon practice, threw 26 passes in various live drills. His longest throw was a 30-yarder to Laveranues Coles, a floater that was intercepted by David Barrett.

Once again, Pennington threw almost exclusively underneath passes. In the full-squad sessions, he completed eight of 11 throws.

The Jets also unveiled the shotgun, which they never used in four seasons under Paul Hackett. On his first pass out of the shotgun formation, Pennington completed a 25-yarder to Justin McCareins, who came back nicely on the underthrown ball.

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

This is great news. Long time football fans know that how the injured player looks the next day is the real key. Lots of players can gut out a performance for a day. But the true test is if the guy can come back the next day and perform again. It looks like Pennington passes this test. Expect the Jets to still be careful with him and not rush his progress, but this was an important test and it looks Pennington passed it.

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4. ATL - Rookie WR White Signs

Clipped from: article 7/31/05

The Atlanta Falcons today announced the signing of first round draft pick WR Roddy White from the University of Alabama-Birmingham to a five-year contract.

Terms of the contract were not announced by the team.

White, 6-0, 208 pounds, led the nation in receiving yardage as a senior with 1,452 yards (Conference USA record) on 71 receptions and his 20.5 yards per catch average was third in the country in 2004.

His senior season also included six 100-yard receiving games. In 45 career games at UAB, White caught 163 passes for 3,112 yards for a 19.1 career average with 26 touchdowns.

White will practice with the Falcons today at 3:00 p.m. and will be available to the media following practice.

Head Coach Jim Mora will be available to the media during his normal 12:30 p.m. daily press conference in the media work room.

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

I told you last week to watch how long it took White's agent Neil Schwartz to blink. QB Mike Vick said this week that they hoped to have White in camp within a couple of weeks. Coach Jim Mora played this one beautifully talking after the draft about how White could be a starter. When it appeared White would hold out, Mora floated this gem, "Every day that Roddy misses now, the chance of [him starting] becomes less and less," Mora said. "If he was here I'd be able to evaluate him but he's not. Hopefully he gets here soon but if he's missing practices, he's not going to start for sure." White apparently got the message and he looks ready to get down to business. It's a tough transition to the next level for WRs but I like this young man a good bit. Let's see how he looks in camp but getting in this early has to be seen as a huge positive.

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5. TB - Rookie RB Williams #1 on Depth Charts

Clipped from: Chris Harry article from 7/31/05

Tampa Bay's first depth chart of the 2005 preseason was released Saturday, with rookie RB Carnell Williams listed as the No. 1 tailback, followed by incumbent starter Michael Pittman and free-agent Derek Watson.

Williams, the fifth overall selection in the draft, signed a five-year, $31 million contract early Friday morning, so it didn't take long for him to start earning his fat pay check.

"There's tight competition in every aspect of our football team," Coach Jon Gruden said between workouts at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. "It's exciting, and yet we've got a long way to go to decide where we are."

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

Not a big surprise here. We expect Michael Pittman to see quite a bit of work (especially catching the ball) but Williams is the long term running back solution there. Look for coach Jon Gruden to stay on the rookie and keep emphasizing the "tight" competition but Williams will be the guy here.

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6. SF - WRs Lloyd and Woods Report From Training Camp

Clipped from: Craig Massei article from 7/31/05

Brandon Lloyd has worked on his technique of slipping away from cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage - a weakness for the starting split end last year - and the results already are showing.

The enigma of Rashaun Woods continues. One minute he's looking slick and shifty with some nice open-field moves to elude cornerbacks. The next minute he's dropping long spirals placed right on his hands.

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

We have a hard time getting too excited over the San Francisco offense, but Lloyd is a guy I've liked for a long time. He's definitely got the talent and it's great to hear he's improved his line of scrimmage release work. Woods on the other hand, looks to be right where he left off last year - enigmatic. Reports on new QB Alex Smith are positive so far (although it's way too early to know much) but if he can progress quickly, Lloyd is a guy I like to be a nice value.

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7. SF - RB Barlow Misses Practice with "Heat Frustration"

Clipped from: Craig Massei article from 7/31/05

--- But here's how that competition started out Saturday: Barlow heading to the locker room early with what Nolan called "heat frustration," and Gore weaving swiftly, smoothly and smartly through even the tiniest holes as the fans lining the main field roared every time he broke away.

--- When Gore's not slipping through holes, he's bursting through them.

--- Regardless of how the competition plays out for the starting role, Kevan Barlow and Frank Gore are going to be a fine complement to each other at tailback.

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

Let's watch this very closely. Barlow is a tough guy to figure out. He's got tons of talent but he's underachieved in a big way. We think he'll be the primary RB for the 49ers but I'll be honest in saying I don't have a lot of confidence in the guy. One note to remember when reading about Maurice Hicks or Frank Gore - People like to root for the underdog. Especially when the top tog is not a real popular guy. So expect to hear good things about Gore or Hicks that you'll probably want to take with a grain of salt. It's just human nature. Still though, if there's a #1 RB ready to be overtaken by the current backup, Barlow is pretty high up the list.

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8. SF - QB Smith Working With First Team

Clipped from: Roger Phillips article from 7/31/05

Now that training camp has started, Mike Nolan says he is planning to rotate his quarterbacks during the initial weeks of practice.

For a few days, one quarterback will work with the first team, then another, and so on until all four quarterbacks on the roster get their turn.

So who do you think was working with the first team as Nolan's San Francisco 49ers held their initial training-camp practice Saturday afternoon before a boisterous crowd at the team's Santa Clara headquarters?

It was Alex Smith, the first overall draft choice in 2005, in whom the 49ers invested up to $57 million earlier in the week.

"When we took the quarterback, we didn't take him to sit him on the bench," Nolan said. "At some point, he'll be the guy, and I'd like to see if he can do it early."

Like Nolan, Smith insisted nothing should be read into his status as first-stringer of the moment.

"I'm not looking into where I take snaps or who I take them with," Smith said. "This is camp. I'm trying to earn my spot. I'm trying to do the best I can."

Fellow receiver Brandon Lloyd said he noticed Smith's development during organized team activities in early June.

"The kid could take what he learned in the classroom, go into the huddle, call a play, and then we'd go out and run a successful play," Lloyd said. "That's impressive, for a rookie quarterback to do that."

If there is a true competition for the starting job, Smith's main competition will come from Rattay. Smith said he has become as close to Rattay as he is to anyone on the team, and acknowledged that his fellow quarterbacks have made his arrival on the 49ers less awkward than it might have been.

"It's a tough situation for them, No.1 pick coming in," Smith said. "(Rattay has) got to defend his spot. But they've been great to me. They've answered all my questions and never said a harsh word to me."

For his part, Rattay said he is doing what he can to avoid focusing on anything other than his own performance on the practice field.

"Obviously I'd like more reps," Rattay said, "but I've just got to use the reps I have."

And, so, the competition is under way, a battle that can only ultimately end with Smith as the 49ers' starter - either for the season opener or sometime later.

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

Coach Mike Nolan can talk about this being a competition but we think Smith is already the guy. We expect him to be the starter from Week 1. There was speculation this Spring with folks asking if Tim Rattay could be the 2005 version of Drew Brees with Alex Smith playing the Phillip Rivers role. Smith put a wrench in that scenario by signing his contract early and getting into camp on time. It's still way early, but he's creating positive buzz so far. Don't pay much attention to the tight spirals or the arm strength reports. We know that already. What catches my eye is the receivers talking about Smith's mental ability in taking what he's learning in the class room to the field.

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9. GB - QB Favre Shows Up Looking "Hungry"

Clipped from: Pete Dougherty article 7/31/05

Favre, who turns 36 in October, reported to Green Bay Packers training camp at 217 pounds, about eight pounds less than he weighed last year, after working this offseason with a personal trainer who emphasized core conditioning.

Favre no doubt looks a little different than the past several years. Though he's always maintained general conditioning in the offseason, he made a radical change in his workout program this year when he brought in the personal trainer, and he also kept a much stricter diet.

"He looks good. I haven't seen him look that trim," center Mike Flanagan said. "I think he weighed in under 220 for the first time. I asked him if he's been running marathons. Saw him in there working out, he looks great. He looks loose, he looks hungry."

Favre's trainer set up a workout program that concentrated on strengthening his torso so he would be stronger with the twisting and turning moves quarterbacks often make when they improvise and throw.

That stomach and lower-back conditioning also might improve his ability to withstand the punishment of games.

But the program also was designed to mimic the energy bursts of playing football, so he'll be in better shape to make plays outside the pocket on a repeated basis. The Packers haven't run any 2-minute drills in the first two days of practice, and Sherman has given Favre off for the afternoon workouts to help him ease his throwing arm into regular-season shape. But in his two practices so far in training camp, Favre has taken more than half the snaps, so the Packers are getting at least some sense of what the workout program has or hasn't done.

"I mentioned to him (Friday) night," Bevell said, "a couple times on his drops I thought he looked really quick, moving really well. We're still doing all the stuff that we do, and he looks good at it.

"He feels good. I've been asking about his conditioning. It' s not like he could run a marathon, but he feels like when he runs, he recovers real quickly. That means you're in condition."

While Favre's leg and mind appear to be in good shape, his throwing isn't near midseason form. He didn't have any minicamp work, and the spot throwing he did at home leading up to training camp didn't come close to simulating practice and game settings.

Sherman said Favre will stay with the one-a-day practice regimen until his arm gets in better shape, and then he'll take part in occasional afternoon practices. In the past, Sherman had done the opposite - had him throw in every practice early and then take afternoons off as camp wore on.

It's hard to make any lasting judgments about Sherman's offseason plan for Favre after two days of training camp, but the Packers should have a good idea by late in the exhibition season or early in the regular season whether it's made much difference.

"So far it's worked exactly the way coach Sherman envisioned it could," Bevell said. "We'll go from there with it."

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

Take this for what it's worth but it's good to hear Favre is looking quick. He's not a young man anymore and needs every edge he can get. We expect Brett Favre to be Brett Favre again this year. Having Javon Walker in camp answers a question that had been hanging out there. TE Bubba Franks is still out there and he'll be an important factor as well. But bottom line is we expect Favre to be excellent again this season.

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10. MIN - Rookie WR Williamson Signs

Clipped from: Sean Jensen article 7/31/05

The Vikings have agreed Sunday afternoon to terms on a five year contract with their top draft pick, receiver Troy Williamson, according to agent David Canter.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available.

"Troy is ecstatic," Canter said. "We wanted to make sure Troy is getting into camp on time."

Technically, Williamson is late to training camp since practice started Saturday morning at Minnesota State University in Mankato. The Vikings first full practice in pads is Monday morning.

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

Like Roddy White in Atlanta, Williamson is a rookie WR with tons of potential that will see a huge benefit from getting into camp on time. We currently see Williamson as the #2 guy opposite Nate Burleson but Williamson has the talent to be a #1 guy eventually. He'll have one of the best QBs in the game throwing to him in Daunte Culpepper so he looks to be in a great situation.

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11. BUF - QB Losman Taking Charge Of Huddle

Clipped from: Leo Roth Article 7/31/05

New quarterback J.P. Losman shook off a lot of rust and jitters in the early workout, throwing some nice passes and some not so nice. Most impressive was his command of the huddle. How does he know he's ready to lead the team when he steps into the huddle?

"Last year, when I looked in their eyes, I could tell there was a little hesitation when I called a play or if I hesitated or stumbled with some words," he said. "They'd look at me like, 'Is this really the play we should be running?' Now, whether I mess up or I don't, it doesn't matter. They believe every word that's coming out of my mouth."

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

Just a quick blurb on Losman. The team is obviously expecting him to take charge and lead this team. It's an interesting situation as the Bills are a very good team. This isn't a situation like San Francisco where the QB can learn and make mistakes as the team rebuilds. Buffalo is expected to win and win often and Losman will have to be a key part of that.

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12. CHI - QB Grossman Feels RB Benson Can Still Make An Impact

Clipped from: Larry Mayer article 7/31/05

"It would be invaluable for him to be here," Grossman said, "but at the same time he's doing his job as a professional, handling his business and he'll be in here sooner or later."

Even though Benson has missed more than a week of training camp, the Bears were the first team to report. As a result, Grossman feels that Benson still can make an impact as a rookie.

"He's a smart guy," Grossman said. "I know he's in his playbook. He was with us all spring. He knows the offense and I don't think it will be too hard for him to pick it up. We still have a lot of training camp left and we still have the whole preseason. I know the coaches will get with him and he'll be fine."

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

Note that Grossman is following the unwritten rule that you don't comment on your teammate gets his money. Brett Favre has enough seniority (and accomplishments) that he can get away with it but Grossman doesn't. Benson is a super talented guy and he'll get in there soon enough. In the meanwhile, Thomas Jones is champing at the bit and can easily take up any slack that Benson leaves. We'll watch this closely for you but the longer this drags on, the better Jones' chances are.

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13. GB - TE Steele Taking Advantage of Franks' Absence

Clipped from: Jeff Fedotin article 7/31/05

One player's absence is another's opportunity.

With two-time Pro Bowl tight end Bubba Franks yet to agree to contract terms, second-year tight end Ben Steele has taken advantage.

"It's huge," Steele said. "The fact that Bubba's not here gives me the chance to get extra reps I normally wouldn't."

One of the stars of Saturday's practice, Steele made several nice grabs, including two in a row down the seam during the afternoon practice.

"He's doing a great job getting open and giving us a chance to get him the ball," quarterback Craig Nall said.

Steele's best catch occurred on a Nall pass that hung in the air. Linebacker Paris Lenon fronted him, but the 6-5 Steele used his body to shield the 6-2 Lenon from the ball.

"I just tried to get up and over him," he said. "Luckily I have that height advantage."

The Packers will likely carry only three tight ends on their active roster. With Franks and David Martin solid bets to make the roster, Steele knows he has his work cut out for him as he battles tight ends Sean McHugh, who caught several passes during the afternoon, and Steve Fleming for that No. 3 job.

With job security on the line, he put in extra work after June's organized team activity. He improved his hands by working with San Francisco 49ers tight end Eric Johnson, one of his best friends, in the Bay Area. They ran routes and caught 150 passes-a-day from quarterbacks including the 49ers' Ken Dorsey.

"Working with him has made me that much better," Steele said. "It's a good friendship to have."

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

This is one of those August articles about a player fighting for a roster spot. Steele won't contribute much this year unless something happens to Bubba Franks. But stranger things have happened…

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14. SD - RB Turner Moving Up To #2

Clipped from: Kevin Acee article 7/31/05

Michael Turner always saw this training camp as his chance to move up the depth chart at running back. Then, earlier this week, his path perhaps became clearer when the Chargers released Jesse Chatman.

"I had to look at (Chatman's release) as my opportunity and that they feel confident with me," Turner said. "I was going to battle him for that spot anyway. I've still got competition in camp. It's just a larger opportunity now."

Turner ended last season third on the depth chart behind LaDainian Tomlinson and Chatman. He gained 104 yards on 20 carries, including 87 yards on 15 carries in the regular-season finale.

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

LaDainian Tomlinson is the best RB in the league. So Turner's value is as a handcuff to Tomlinson. But when you spend your #1 pick on Tomlinson, a handcuff is usually a good idea in larger leagues. He finished the regular season with a nice game and is looking to build on that for 2005. If you draft Tomlinson (or want to toy with the guy who does) spend a late round pick on Turner.

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15. ARI - WR Boldin Signs Contract Extension

Clipped from: Len Pasquarelli article on 7/31/05

Working to secure the long-term future of one of the team's emerging young stars, the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday reached agreement with third-year wide receiver Anquan Boldin on a four-year contract extension, has confirmed.

The deal represented the culmination of months of negotiations between Cardinals vice president of football operations Rod Graves and agent Drew Rosenhaus. Team officials had conceded months ago that Boldin, the league's rookie of the year in 2003, outplayed the original contract he signed as a second-round draft choice.

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

Good news for Boldin and Arizona. The Cardinals are shaping up to field a very explosive offense and it looks like they're doing what's needed to secure their core players for the future. Kurt Warner is one of the more interesting picks in the draft this year. Dennis Green obviously believes in him. It's interesting that Warner's last game before yielding to Eli Manning was against the Cardinals last year. Green believes that if Warner has time to throw, he's as good as anyone. And with guys like Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald and Bryant Johnson, he'll have plenty of targets.

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16. ARI - Rookie RB Arrington Signs

Clipped from: article 7/31/05

The Arizona Cardinals today announced that the team has agreed to terms on a four-year contract with running back J.J. Arrington, who was the team's second-round (44th overall) selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. In accordance with club policy, terms were not disclosed.

Last season at the University of California, Arrington was the only back in the country to top 2,000 rushing yards in and also gained the most yards by a Pac-10 rusher since Marcus Allen of Southern California totaled 2,427 yards in 1981. He collected All-American and Pac-10 first team honors in addition to being named as a consensus first team choice by The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, The Sporting News, Football Writers Association, Sports Illustrated and ESPN after leading the nation in rushing by carrying the ball 289 times for 2,018 and 15 touchdowns.

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

Another key rookie gets into camp. Arrington will be the #1 RB and have a fantastic opportunity to contribute. Green thinks he got the steal of the draft with Arrington and he could well be right. Keep an eye on all these Cardinals players.

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17. NYG - TE Shockey Flashes Rookie Form

Clipped from: Ralph Vacchiano article from 7/31/05

If first impressions mean anything at all, the old Jeremy Shockey is back.

Flashing that old attitude, along with the speed and skills that he displayed during his impressive rookie season three years ago, the Giants' tight end yesterday had one of the best first days of any player at camp. He constantly ran routes that left defensive backs tied up like pretzels and he seemed to catch everything thrown his way.

His coach and quarterback - neither of whom was happy that Shockey skipped the Giants' offseason workout program - were duly impressed.

"He's running well, you can tell he's healthy and he feels confident in his body right now," quarterback Eli Manning said. "He's making his cuts, making moves, so he knows what he's doing. Hopefully he'll keep it up."

"He made some nice catches and some nice runs after the catch," Tom Coughlin added. "I hope that continues."

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

It's just one day of practice but there are plenty of fantasy owners who would love to see a return to rookie form for Shockey. He'll be a huge factor in Eli Manning's success. We told you this spring not to sweat the Coughlin - Shockey off season workout attendance stuff. Shockey's shown up in great shape and looks to be ready to roll.

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18. IDP: SF - LB Peterson 90%

Clipped from: Roger Phillips article 7/31/05

Linebacker Julian Peterson, who missed the final 11 games last season with a torn left Achilles' tendon, declared himself "90 percent" recovered following practice.

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

Good news for Peterson. Achilles injuries are notoriously tough to return from. We'll keep an eye on him as he works through camp but so far so good.

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19. IDP: OAK - DB Woodson's Groin Injury Just "Camp Soreness"

Clipped from: Steve Corkran article 7/31/05

Cornerback Charles Woodson sustained a groin injury in morning practice and did not participate in team drills the rest of the day. Woodson received treatment on a table at the training facility, tried a bandage wrap but then opted to walk it off.

"Oh, he's all right," Turner said. "He's got a little early camp soreness."

Woodson said Friday that he felt "real good. I feel strong. Ready to go." This after missing Oakland's final three games last season because of a bruised knee.

"Hey, MIA. I come up here for one day, and you're MIA?" Al Davis, the Raiders' managing general partner, said upon seeing Woodson leave the practice field Saturday night.

Woodson responded: "I'm here. Didn't you feel my presence?"

The two engaged in some playful banter, with Davis threatening to put Woodson on punt returns, and Woodson saying he has been trying to talk his way into that role, as well as one on offense, for years.

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

Calling Woodson "MIA"? This is why I love Al Davis. For Football news, it looks like Woodson is fine. Just keeping you up to date on everything.

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20. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report Day Three 7/31/05

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.

The pads came on Sunday, and we finally got to see some real hitting for the first time. Let's start with some offensive observations...

Jake Plummer again had a good practice and was drawing the defense offsides with a barking signal. He had some nice passes and he's impressing me with his consistency. He got upset when Bell dropped an easy screen pass.

Kanell did nothing worth noting today.

Mauck had another solid day. He's still having trouble against the blitz, but had a nice scramble down the weak side of the field when everyone was covered.

Van Pelt looked like a deer in the headlights. He was also practicing on the punt block team, which I found to be rather interesting. A position change might happen sooner rather than later. He fumbled a snap that was recovered by the defense. He also was late on several passes, getting the ball there, but getting his receivers killed. The ball floated on him quite a bit and I didn't know if this was training camp or a duck hunt.

Mike Anderson ran very well, and was solid in pass blocking. He had a couple of nice receptions as well.

Tatum Bell was running well in between the tackles. He had a couple of bursts to the outside, but again was a liability when catching the ball. I love his vision and instincts running the ball. His pass blocking was good.

Quentin Griffin practiced again, but fumbled twice. One was on an inside run, the other was after a screen pass. He also was stopped behind the line way too easily.

Maurice Clarett continues to be solid in camp. He was good running inside and doesn't dance. He just plows ahead and makes one cut in the second level. He's still getting winded quite easily and is not as polished a route runner as the other backs.

Ron Dayne completely whiffed on a pass block during a middle blitz. Kanell would've gotten killed if the QB could've been hit. He was spread out right, then came in motion to the backfield, DJ Williams was blitzing up the middle and Dayne was helping to the outside. DJ was all over Kanell before he knew what was happening. Dayne also got lazy on a run inside and had the ball stripped away from him.

Kyle Johnson looked really good blocking, but especially good receiving out of the backfield. Again, lots of spreading the TE's & FB's out wide and putting them in motion.

Putzier is rock solid blocking and had some good catches today.

Stephen Alexander had his worst day of camp today. Uncharacteristic drops on easy passes were the name of the game for him today.

Nate Jackson played better today. I think he's having trouble adjusting to the TE spot, but could make the team to provide depth. He's currently 3rd on the depth chart. (Putz, Alex, NJ, Hape, Duke)

Rod Smith can make some breathtaking moves for a guy you don't really consider all that shifty. His moves are more subtle, but very effective.

Jerry Rice was back in action and had some good catches. Even with his all star route running, the younger DBs can still jump his routes on occasion. It's still a joy watching this man practice.

Ashley Lelie had a good day, and seems to be taking camp seriously now. I think his footwork needs to improve when he goes over the middle because he's opening his hips and giving away the route too soon. He does a nice job of pushing the route ever so slightly to the inside on a fade route outside.

Darius Watts had a down day for him. He bobbled a pass that was intercepted, and dropped an easy pass. He was consistently catching the deep passes and running by defenders. I saw him take a short hitch route to the house with a great reverse spin move after catching the ball.

Triandos Luke didn't do much today. Had a couple of decent catches.

Todd Devoe, now you know. This kid had another great day of camp. Drawing a big cheer from the crowd with a sideline catch that he fought away from the DB and went in for the TD. It was an underthrown Van Pelt pass, that Devoe made work.

Ian Gold is going to make the Pro Bowl if he continues to play the way he's started playing this year. He was all over the field and making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

D.J. Williams is making the change to the SAM backer pretty smoothly. He is quick, strong, and fast. His coverage skills are top notch as well.

Al Wilson was wreaking havoc today. He was already laying some licks on running backs and making his presence felt everywhere.

They played Patrick Chuckwurah in a rush end in a hybrid 3-4 scheme for the first time today. He was the "Willie McGinest" clone and they are using his athleticism in coverage as well.

The D-line played pretty good today. Trevor Pryce is officially back. He played good in run stopping and also was good in pursuing plays down from behind. He was giving the RB's fits, because it seemed he was in on every play.

Courtney Brown and Ekuban were held out of practice today.

Marco Coleman filled in and did a good job.

Myers recovered the fumbled snap from Bradlee Van Pelt. He seems to be a good fit here in Denver. He's getting upfield consistently and making the pocket collapse.

Gerard Warren isn't doing much of anything.

Champ Bailey had another great day. Several passes that he recovered nicely on and swatted the ball away.

Lenny Walls needs to stay healthy because he has all world talent. I like what I've seen from him so far and the Broncos would really benefit from him being there all season. He picked off a pass from a Watts bobble and had a deflection on a pass intended for Rod Smith.

John Lynch is awesome to watch. Nick Ferguson seems really comfortable complementing Lynch.

Roc Alexander was playing with the third team today. Perhaps his over aggressiveness is getting to the coaches.

Darrent Williams had a better day, but still isn't outplaying Dominique Foxworth. Both of them played with the second team and had a decent day.

Here's some quotes from coach Shanahan after the morning practice:

On whether there were any standouts in Sunday morning's practice

"Usually, there are guys that have good practices. You really can't tell for sure until you take a look at the film. We had a few guys step up and play pretty good."

On evaluating players in full-pad practices

"There's not a difference in full pads. When you get the shoulder pads on, it doesn't matter about the thigh pads or the knee pads. I only do that a couple times so guys really know the uniform code like we have to do on game day. If they have their shoulder pads on, everything is full speed. The only thing we don't do is tackle. When you don't tackle, you don't have to worry about anyone having a thigh bruise. That's one of the reasons we don't go in full pads because we don't hit below the waist."

On the younger players wanting to hit hard

"Well, you can hit. We hit, but it's above the waist. What you try to do is try to form tackle. It's the only way you get good at tackling, but any time you go below the waist, people get hurt. So it's part of our drill sometimes - what we call 'butt.' Really, it's full-speed tackling, wrapping the guy up and not bringing him to the ground. That's what (rookie defensive back Brandon) Browner did yesterday with a couple of shots. He had guys above the waist and actually knocked them down. (Safety) Nick Ferguson had a hit like that on (running back) Mike Anderson the day before. What we try to do is keep everyone up high, and if you do that, you eliminate injuries."

On veteran tight end Stephen Alexander, whom Denver acquired as a free agent in the offseason

"He's done a very good job. You can tell he's a pro. He's got good size and good speed (and is) very consistent in blocking. He gives us a double threat. Not many guys can do a great job of blocking and be a threat down field. He's looking very impressive."

[[[[[[[[[[ 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.


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