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Volume 6, Issue 107 (Wednesday, August 3rd)

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Tonight's update brought to you by:
National Fantasy Football Championship

Do you have what it takes to win $100,000 playing fantasy football? If so, then check out the National Fantasy Football Championship, the industry's only multi-city, high-stakes event with live drafts scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3rd at the Palace Station in Las Vegas, the New York Hilton and the Chicago Oakbrook Marriott. The main event will feature 350 teams competing in 14-team leagues for $5,000 league prizes and the $100,000 grand prize. Auction Leagues and Draft Champions Leagues will also be offered on Friday, Sept. 2nd in each city. For more information, go to www.fantasyfootballchampionship.com. Sign up now as spots are limited.

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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. Check out the site news below as we've got HUGE news on our Training Camp Updates in case you missed the special headsup email I sent Wednesday. Thanks to our Will Grant for helping me round up these stories tonight. Let's jump right to it.

But first, here's my quote of the day:

"I'm renegotiating for a package of Milk Duds and a box of crackers. If I don't get it, I'm leaving. I've got to feed my family."

-- Eagles DE Hugh Douglas

Joe Bryant

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys FREE Training Camp Report available for download
You've heard us talk about the Footballguys Strategy Guide Magazine. We're really proud of that publication, but things have happened since the magazine was written. Some important things.

To keep all our Footballguys subscribers on top of everything, we've created our incredibly detailed Camp Updates. They're an exhaustive look each week covering every bit of news you need to know to stay completely on top of every team. Quite simply, they're the key to Dominating Your Draft.

This is the first of five training camp updates from us. This first one is a whopping 45 pages jam packed with what you need to know. We'll break down every team's skill positions and position battles. It's the stuff you'd see if you were there at every camp. This Camp Update was created by our own Bob Henry and reflects the most up-to-date info regarding each of these teams. And this first edition is FREE

B. (Premium Subscription) New Stat Projections Unleashed
Get the latest projections for every player factoring all the current news

C. (Premium Subscription) New Individual Defensive Stat Projections Unleashed
The latest stat projections for IDP players

D. (Premium Subscription) New Draft Dominator 6.0h
The Draft Dominator is hands down the best drafting software available. And now it's loaded with all the current projections

E. (Premium Subscription) New VBD Excel App version 2005H1
Our VBD Excel App for the guys who prefer Excel


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NYG - WR Burress Out with Hip Flexor
2. PHI - WR Owens Draws Cheers and Jeers From Fans
3. PHI - RB Westbrook Out, Buckhalter In
4. OAK - WR Porter Pulls Hamstring
5. KC - WR Mitchell Won't Have Surgery
6. OAK - TE Courtney Anderson Named Starter
7. WAS - WR Patten Making His Mark
8. ARZ - RBS Shipp and Hambrick on PUP: Arrington Ready To Go
9. NO - WR Gardner Challenging for the #3 Slot?
10. TEN - Titans Loaded At RB
11. CLE - HC Crennel Commands Respect
12. IDP - CHI CB Azumah Needs Hip Surgery
13. DET - President Matt Millen Signs Five Year Extension
14. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report

1. NYG - WR Burress Out with Hip Flexor

Clipped from The Macon Telegraph.com AP article 8/3/05

New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress missed practice Wednesday with a strained hip flexor, and coach Tom Coughlin said the injury is expected to keep the free-agent acquisition on the sidelines for a few more days.

Burress suffered the injury to his left hip during Tuesday's morning practice, and tried to participate in the evening practice but was unable to. On Wednesday, he rode a stationary bike but did not take part in drills.

"I think it will be a couple of days before we get a feel if there is any improvement there," Coughlin said.

On Saturday, Burress hyperextended his right knee during the morning workout, but returned to practice in the afternoon. He said Wednesday that his knee felt fine, and he downplayed the hip injury.

"I wouldn't say it's frustrating," Burress said. "It happens. Sometimes you overexert yourself, and guys like myself and other wide receivers, we all do a lot of running. It's a common injury. The good thing is I didn't pull it or tear it. I'll just take it day-to-day and see what happens."

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

While it's not too serious, but the lost practice time can only hurt him as he tries to learn a new system, and adjust to 2nd year QB Eli Manning. Burress missed five games last season due to a hamstring injury, but had three complete seasons from 2001 to 2003. He'll probably bounce back from this and be ready for the season opener, but you'll want to keep an eye on things now to see how he recovers. The one thing that will definitely hurt is the missed practice time in the new system.

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2. PHI - WR Owens Draws Cheers and Jeers From Fans

Clipped from: Marc Narducci article in philly.com:

He continues to be silent, but still continues to create the most noise at Eagles training camp. Disgruntled wide receiver Terrell Owens clearly was the center of attention during the team's first full-squad workout this morning at Lehigh University.

Owens, who dispensed - and endured - his share of criticism during a stormy off-season, was the final player to hit the practice field a few minutes before the 8:45 a.m. workout. He drew a mixture of boos and cheers from thousands of fans. About 75 percent seemed to support Owens; the rest booed.

While the team went through drills and ran a number of offensive plays, Owens drew the biggest reaction. Whether he caught a pass or dropped one - and he did both - fans were captivated by his his every move.

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

If there was any doubt, the honeymoon looks to be over between Owens and the Eagles fans. Owens is most definitely not a happy camper. He is ignoring the media entirely with the exception of a short interview with former Eagle Irving Fryar. Owens spoke carefully measuring his words but it was pretty clear that he's unhappy. On the flipside, his agent Drew Rosenhaus continues to stress that Owens is in camp to stay and they'll continue to work towards a new deal.

For what it's worth, NFL Network's Adam Schefter commented again that the reported close friendship last year between QB Donovan McNabb and Owens was not accurate. Said Schefter, "The two roomed together and they shared a common goal. But they never, never, never were best buddies." McNabb backed that up later saying that he an Owens had a "business" relationship. All this makes for an interesting story, but the bottom line reality for your fantasy draft is that it looks like Owens will be there this season and he'll be fine. I think team President Joe Banner has it right, "You know the old saying, 'The calm before the storm?' I feel like we're kind of into the storm before the calm. Once we get everyone here and settled down, we have a heck of a team and chance for a great season. At some point, whether it's a week from now or in two weeks, everybody will get into the groove."

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3. PHI - RB Westbrook Out, Buckhalter In

Clipped from: Courierpost Online article by Don Benevento 8/3/05

Eagles coach Andy Reid admitted he was caught by surprise when running back Brian Westbrook failed to report on time for training camp.

"I expected him to be here," Reid said Tuesday. "It's a player's loss if he's not here. It gives other players a chance to step up and show what they can do and that's what everyone of those guys wants to do."

In this case, Westbrook's loss may be Correll Buckhalter's gain.

Reid quickly named Buckhalter the starting running back in Westbrook's absence, and the team would carry on business as usual.

This is an important time for Buckhalter, who steps into the role of the Eagles lead back as the team opens the full-contact portion of camp today at Lehigh University.

For the second time in four years Buckhalter is coming off a season-ending knee injury. For the second time, he's worked hard to make himself a productive player again this year.

He admits the road back wasn't an easy one.

"When I first got hurt (in last season's second preseason game) it broke my heart," Buckhalter said. "I didn't know what to think. But after I realized I did it, I couldn't sit around and cry all day. I had to get ready to have the surgery and I had to get myself back on the field."

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

Even when healthy, Buckhalter has never posted more than 145 touches in a season. But despite missing the entire 2002 and 2004 seasons, Buckhalter has been solid in his limited appearances. He has a 4.4 yards per carry and 11.4 yards per reception career average. In 2003 he posted almost 700 yards from scrimmage and racked up nine TDS on route to finishing 30th among fantasy RBS and 110th overall.

Westbrook's holdout is unexpected, but as NFL.com's Adam Schefter points out, Westbrook should be in Camp by Aug 8th. If he doesn't report by then, under the collective bargaining agreement, Westbrook 'will lose an accrued season and could not become an unrestricted free agent after this season.' http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story/8698928

If Westbrook is back by the middle of next week, it's hard to see how Buckhalter would hold onto the starting job for very long.

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4. OAK - WR Porter Pulls Hamstring

The Press Democrat article by Phil Barber 8/3/0

With third receiver Ronald Curry already being gingerly eased into the offense following his rehabilitation from a torn Achilles' tendon, the team figures it will be without starter Jerry Porter for a couple of weeks.

"He's got a pulled hamstring," coach Norv Turner said after Tuesday's afternoon practice. "It's going to be a little while. I can't tell you right now, but it could be a couple weeks. .. . He was sore this morning, and he won't do anything until next week for sure."

Porter strained the hamstring - his right one - the day before, during an 11-on-11 drill.

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

Do not forget about Ronald Curry. Porter had the best season of his career in 2004, posting almost 1000 receiving yards and nine TDS for the Raiders. The addition of Randy Moss on the other side of the ball should free up Porter, keeping defenses from double covering him this year. Losing two weeks at this point isn't a cause for great concern, but a hamstring injury can be one of those nagging injuries that come back during the regular season and hamper a player for the remainder of the season. Keep an eye on Porter as the pre-season winds down to see if the injury affects his level of play.

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5. KC - WR Mitchell Won't Have Surgery

Clipped from: Kansas City Star.com article by Adam Teicher 8/3/05

Chiefs wide receiver Freddie Mitchell won't be having arthroscopic knee surgery, his agent said Tuesday.

The agent, Matt Couloute, said Mitchell was advised not to have the surgery when he was in Atlanta on Tuesday for a second medical opinion. Couloute also said Mitchell was told that if his injured right knee mended as anticipated, he could return to practice in seven to 10 days.

Mitchell has a slight tear in his right meniscus.

The Chiefs had indicated Mitchell would return about 2 1/2 weeks after having the surgery, which was originally scheduled for Monday. Couloute said doctors have told Mitchell his return would have been closer to four weeks. Couloute said Mitchell would return to River Falls today.

Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil was annoyed Monday upon learning that Mitchell would seek a second opinion rather than have the surgery that day, saying Mitchell was merely delaying his return to practice.

Couloute said Mitchell's desire to get the second opinion and decision to decline to have surgery were aimed at a speedy return.

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

Missing four weeks would be almost the entire pre-season. That's a huge hit to a guy who is trying to make an impact on a new team in a new system. This makes Sammie Parker's hold on the #2 spot that much more secure, and puts Dante Hall ahead of Mitchell on the depth chart as well. If Mitchell was on your fantasy radar before this, he probably won't be anymore. Considering KC's potent passing attack (3rd in passing yards and 10th in passing TDS last season), Parker should be able to expand on his rookie season where he only posted 137 yards and 1 TD.

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6. OAK - TE Courtney Anderson Named Starter

Clipped from: The Press Democrat article by Phil Barber 8/3/05

As training camp traditions go, competition for starting positions is as hallowed as sweat stains and NC-17 language. But the Raiders' 2005 edition is surprisingly devoid of dog-eat-dog battles.

Coach Norv Turner has even adopted the un-Raiderlike practice of emphatically naming starters to the media. He recently noted that Courtney Anderson is his first-team tight end without hesitating even a second.

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

Raider Tight Ends posted almost 620 yards receiving and 5 TDS last season. Anderson only chipped in 13 receptions for 175 yards and 1 TD, but with Doug Jolley moving on to New York, Anderson is in a position to inherit the majority of the action. Although he was only a 7th round pick for Oakland, he made great progress last season, and is ready to assume the starting job. Look for a nice breakout year from him this season.

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7. WAS - WR Patten Making His Mark

Clipped from: espn.com AP article 8/3/05

Four years with the New England Partiots netted David Patten three Super Bowl rings and the perception he was just another cog in coach Bill Belichick's winning machine.

The rings and the memories he'll always cherish, but Patten is ready to take his turn as a leader. He is seeking a new degree of satisfaction with the Washington Redskins, a team that overhauled its receiver corps after a woeful offensive output a year ago.

"I've been working for this for eight years, and the Lord finally put me in this position. I don't want to let these guys down," said Patten, making the point with a voice that grew stronger and more confident with every word.

"I want to take it to a new territory. I've always been the second, third, fourth guy. Now I get a chance to come in here and be one of the top guys. It's going to be exciting, and I feel like the best is yet to come."

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

Patten is coming off his best season as a pro, finishing 2004 with 800 yards receiving and 7 TDS. He finished 32nd among fantasy WRS and 84th overall. However, he benefited from a Patriot attack that spread the ball around, and never gave defenses a chance to focus on one person or another. Washington will be looking at Santana Moss to be their 'go to' guy, and Rod Gardner only posted 650 yards and 5 TDS in the #2 spot last season. Fantasy wise, Patten will probably finish somewhere in the WR50 range, making him a backup in even the deepest leagues.

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8. ARZ - RBS Shipp and Hambrick on PUP: Arrington Ready To Go

Clipped from: Arizona Republic article by Kent Somers 8/3/05

While the Cardinals have numbers - nine running backs are in camp - what they need is a star. Only three times since 1985 has a Cardinals rusher rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Of those, none gained more 1,070 yards.

It gets worse.

Since World War II, the Cardinals had only 11 1,000-yard seasons, and Ottis Anderson accounted for five of those.

Gaining 1,000 yards in a season used to be the gold standard in football. But in today's NFL, it's more like the pewter standard. To gain 1,000 yards in a 16 game season, a back has to average only 62.5 yards a game.

"That's the goal," coach Dennis Green said. "We want the guy who starts to be that 1,000-yard rusher. We didn't have it last year and we're going to press for it again this year."

The Cardinals think they've remedied the problem by drafting J.J. Arrington in the second-round from California. He was the only back in the nation to gain more than 2,000 yards in Division I last season, and he ran the fastest 40-yard time (4.4 seconds) of any running back at the scouting combine last February.

He's expected to give the team a big-play dimension it's been lacking at that position. Even more encouraging is that he's even quicker than the Cardinals thought when they watched him on tape.

"That certainly helps the offense when you have a back that's capable of breaking off a 60-yard run on any given touch," Wilson said.

Arrington's expected to be challenged by Marcel Shipp, who missed all of last season after suffering a broken leg and dislocated ankle in camp.

But Shipp has yet to be cleared to play because of a hamstring injury suffered in off-season practices. With Shipp and Troy Hambrick on the physically-unable-to-perform list, the club recently added veterans J.R. Redmond and James Jackson.

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

Despite being 11th in rushing attempts last season, the Cardinals only finished 22nd in total rushing yards and 30th in yards per attempt. Emmitt Smith led the team with 937 yards rushing on a meager 3.5 YPC average. Arizona has not had a 1000 yard rusher since 1998 when Adrian Murrell posted 1042. They hope that Arrington can change all of that and solidify their rushing attack for many years to come. With Hambrick and Shipp still recovering from injuries and Smith riding the retirement bus, the job is Arrington's to lose.

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9. NO - WR Gardner Challenging for the #3 Slot?

Clipped from: AP article by Joseph White posted at Washington Times, 8/2/05

There's been much talk around training camp about the competition for third receiver behind Joe Horn and Donte' Stallworth, with much of the focus on former LSU standout Devery Henderson and free-agent acquisition Az-Zahir Hakim.

But in the past few practices, Talmon Gardner, a third-year pro out of Florida State, has injected his name into the mix. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver has shown good speed and steady hands, hauling in nearly every ball within his reach.

"He has been outstanding in this camp," Haslett said Wednesday afternoon. "He might be our best receiver out there right now as far as catching the ball. He hasn't dropped one ball yet in eight practices. He's running great routes, and he's tough as nails. There are going to be some tough decisions there, because right now he is probably our best receiver."

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

Gardner was a 7th round pick for the Saints in 2003, and is nowhere near anyone's radar after posting only four receptions in two years. While you probably shouldn't push Gardner up on your draft chart just yet, it could make for an interesting pre-season if Haslett isn't blowing smoke here. Keep an eye on Gardner's progress during the pre-season. With Joe Horn entering his tenth season, and Donte' Stallworth's injury history, the #3 wideout for the Saints could have a few solid games this season.

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10. TEN - Titans Loaded At RB

Clipped from: from the titansonline.com article by Teresa Walker

Right now, Travis Henry stands next to Chris Brown, asking questions about the Tennessee Titans' offense and receiving patient answers. There's one thing neither running back knows right now.

How will they both handle the upcoming season in the same backfield?

"The only thing I can say is he's got a role to play. I've got a role to play," Henry, a former Tennessee Vol, said Tuesday after a practice in which he took all the work with the first-team offense while Brown watched because he felt ill with a virus.

"We've both got to accept whatever role is given us and go from there."

Offensive coordinator Norm Chow didn't waste any time drawing up a few plays featuring two running backs in the same backfield to take advantage of their skills both running and catching the ball. His biggest worry for now is not tipping the Titans' hand toward a pass or a run.

"That's what we're doing now, experimenting with a couple things to see what we can work with," Chow said.

He had plenty experience divvying up carries at Southern California last season with LenDale White and Reggie Bush.

Quarterback Steve McNair said he loves having Henry and Brown together.

"When you've got two great backs, you can do a lot of different things coming out of the backfield. That's what this offense is all about - creating mismatches and making sure we get the guys on the right defender and go at it," McNair said. Henry could help the Titans most on short-yardage situations. They didn't have a player in the top 19 on third down last season, but McNair thinks they'll be able to take advantage of mismatches with Henry's speed against linebackers.

"If we need to get that one yard, I think he has the power in his legs he can get it," McNair said.

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

It's a wide open situation right now and any predictions as to how the carries will split up is speculation. Hopefully, we'll see some hints in the preseason games. (Although I wouldn't put money on Brown making it through August without an injury. That was a joke. Sort of.) Assuming both guys stay healthy, I'd look for coach Chow to mix these guys up putting them in situations that play to their strengths. Henry looks like he might have a role in the shorter yardage and goal line situations. If you look past Henry's troubled 2004 season, in 2003, he rushed the ball 13 times inside the 5 yard line and scored 6 TDs. So he's obviously strong at the goal line. For comparison, that's about the same percentage as Jerome Bettis' 2004 numbers (23 rushes inside the 5 and 12 TDs)

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11. CLE - HC Crennel Commands Respect

Clipped from: Len Pasquarelli article from ESPN.com

For the first 11 seasons of his career, Trent Dilfer, like a lot of NFL players, never wore knee pads and thigh pads. In his 12th training camp, however, the Cleveland Browns quarterback checks every day now to make sure the pads are in his football pants before he goes out to the practice field.

Why the change? Because early in training camp, Browns coach Romeo Crennel casually mentioned he wanted his players to wear them. And for Dilfer and most of his teammates, well, that was reason enough.

"Let me tell you something," said Dilfer, who was one of several veterans acquired by general manager Phil Savage, because of what he'll bring to the team on the field as well as in the locker room. "If that man tells me to throw the ball into Row 17 of the stadium, you know where the ball is going? Right between Row 16 and Row 18, that's where. I'm not about to question him. I mean, the guy has five Super Bowl rings. Five of them. That's good enough for me."

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

What makes this even more interesting is that this isn't some wide eyed rookie in awe of Crennel. Dilfer has a ring of his own. Yet he's rightfully showing the respect Crenell is due. Reality will be displayed on the field, though. Ask Joe Gibbs how far "respect" will carry you. This league is all about what you've done today and Crennel knows his situation is no different. Still though, it's interesting to see the team mold into what Crennel is looking for.

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12. IDP - CHI CB Azumah Needs Hip Surgery

Clipped from: Chicago Sports.com article 8/2/05

Jerry Azumah visited a Denver specialist Tuesday who has recommended surgery for a degenerative condition in the starting cornerback's hip.

Azumah almost certainly will undergo arthroscopic surgery and could miss as much as the next three weeks. The Bears, who open the regular season Sept. 11 at Washington, are expected to comment on the situation Wednesday.

It's the second straight Aug. 2 in which Azumah has visited a specialist. Last year, Azumah flew to Pittsburgh for tests on a neck injury that eventually required surgery and forced him to miss the first four games.

This year, soreness in Azumah's hips prompted team physician Mark Bowen to recommend the specialist after rest didn't cure the condition. Azumah, a Pro Bowl kick returner in 2003, has missed five of the last six practices.

"It's something that has been there for a while," Smith said. "There wasn't one incident that caused it to happen. He has had soreness throughout."

With Charles Tillman resting a sore leg for the latter part of Tuesday's practice, Nathan Vasher, Todd McMillon, Jerrell Pippins and Rashied Davis took snaps at cornerback.

Vasher is the projected starter if Azumah, who is entering a contract year, is sidelined for any substantial time.

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

Azumah is a key component to a Chicago secondary that finished 15th in passing yards allowed and defensive interceptions last season. Azumah missed several games last season with a neck injury and finished with only 39 tackles, 11 assists, 1.5 sacks, 4 INTS and 5 Passes Defended. Vasher only had 28 solo tackles as a rookie, but he also pulled down five interceptions and defended four passes. We'll keep you posted on how this situation develops and if the Bears make any formal announcements. This could be a great chance for Vasher to steal the starting job.

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13. DET - President Matt Millen Signs Five Year Extension

Clipped from: nfl.com article 8/3/05

Detroit Lions president Matt Millen has agreed to a five-year contract extension, owner William Clay Ford Sr. announced.

Millen, who is in the fifth and final season of his original contract, said that he agreed to the deal last month, but the announcement was delayed to avoid taking the focus off the team. The extension will run through the 2010 season.

The Lions have gone 16-48 since Millen was hired out of the Fox television booth, including a league-record 24-game road losing streak.

One of Millen's first moves was to hire Marty Mornhinweg to replace Gary Moeller as the team's coach. Mornhinweg lost the first 12 games of his career and went 5-27 in two seasons before being replaced by current coach Steve Mariucci for the 2003 season.

Mariucci has had more success, going 11-21 and ending the road losing streak in last season's opener at Chicago.

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

This is really a make it or break it season for the Lions. 16 wins in four seasons is nothing to be excited about, and if the Lions don't post a winning season for 2005, you can expect that there will be some serious front office changes. For now at least, it looks like Millen's job is safe. We'll see what happens after this season.

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14. Broncos Training Camp Report Day Six

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.

It was much cooler today here in Colorado. The players seemed to enjoy the cooler weather, but things were heating up on the field.

Plummer continues to impress me. Some of his passes sailed on him a little bit, but for the most part he was on target. He had a nice deep pass to Lelie that was overthrown just a bit. Lelie made the play and stretched out for it. Plummer also threw to his TEs very well today.

Bradlee Van Pelt continues to work with the 2nd team. He was making his reads better and had a scramble that went for about 35 yards. The coaches are going to re-evaluate the position on Friday. It remains to be seen if BVP will stay on the 2nd team. Coach Shanahan had this to say about BVP: "What we try to do with the quarterback position is kind of evaluate them every four days and then decide who is going to get the reps. At the quarterback position when you have five quarterbacks, there are only so many reps a quarterback can get. Bradlee has earned the right to get some reps, and he has taken advantage of it. He looks pretty good. "

Matt Mauck had some nice deep throws. Mauck got some time with the first team, but looked out of place. He had one pass intercepted by Ian Gold (good pass, even better play by Gold). He looked like he was trying to force things. He's trying to make a good impression, but didn't look comfortable with the 1st team.

Danny Kanell is working with the 4th string. He stares at his receivers way too much.

Mike Anderson had another good day today. Bell and Anderson shared time with the first team. Quentin Griffin ran with the 2nd team, and Ron Dayne ran with the 3rd team.

Tatum Bell struggled with receiving again. He had a screen pass bounce right off his hands into Champ Bailey's hands. Bailey took it to the house. Bell had some nice runs to the outside, but struggled for the first time today between the tackles.

Maurice Clarett put one heckuva stiff arm on a defender that drew cheers. He seems to be more comfortable day after day. Clarett also had some good juke moves to wiggle free in the open field. Clarett also had a nice looking reception on a screen pass that he took to the house.

Quentin Griffin is getting swallowed up. He excels when the Broncos are spread out on offense, but running inside is really a problem for him. He's best on screens and draws but his inside running needs a lot of work. He's struggling with a swollen right knee.

Ron Dayne played with the 3rd team. He didn't do anything to stand out.

Rod Smith and Jake Plummer have a great rapport. Smith was making great catches all over the field. The offense had a great day and Coach Shanahan had this to say: "It was pretty impressive today. I think today was really the first day that we really came together and everything looked pretty sharp. It was a good start, and hopefully we can keep it going."

Ashley Lelie had some great catches. He has some great subtle moves that help him create space to get open. He looked great in receiving drills today. He was catching the ball consistently, with his arms outstretched, and caught the ball at its highest point. Lelie put a good spin move on Foxworth that juked him right out of his shorts. It was another good day for Lelie.

Darius Watts had a down day today. I saw him drop some easy passes. It seems like he is just thinking to much and not letting the game come to him. He definitely gets an "A" for effort, and should shake off this bad day.

Jerry Rice is one great route runner. Unfortunately, corners can still jump on his routes because he's not as quick or fast anymore. Case in point, he setup Darrent Williams with a good move off the line of scrimmage. However, DW had enough speed to close and knock the pass away, despite being beat handily with that initial move.

Todd Devoe is working with the 2nd team.

Charlie Adams continues his consistent play. He was playing with the 2nd team as well.

Jeb Putzier had a good day in camp. He was limited as he is still nursing that ankle injury. Jake Plummer was throwing to the TE's a lot, and Putzier was on the end of most of those passes.

Stephen Alexander continues to impress. He didn't drop a single pass. He is a decent, but not devastating blocker. He ran a lot of slant patterns and did a good job of using his body to shield defenders from the ball.

Patrick Hape and Mike Leach had good days as well. They were using a lot of 2 TE sets, as well as splitting the TE out wide and putting them in motion.

Here's some more quotes from Head Coach Mike Shanahan:

On defensive end Trevor Pryce's lower back: "His back is a little sore. We just thought it would smart to keep him out (of the morning practice). It's part of the process, according to the doctors, that it will get sore after three, four or five days of practice. It's natural. Its a little scar tissue that has built up. It shouldn't be any type of setback - very minor, at least according to the doctors. Hopefully he will be ready to go tomorrow."

On evaluating the defensive line: "It's an evaluation every day. I said from day one that we have been pleased with the defensive line, and we will get a chance to evaluate these guys as time goes on. Obviously there is a pecking order and some of the guys have earned a position, at least a starting position right now. It could change just like the quarterback position based on who does what each day. Part of this evaluation process that we have is that we go back upstairs and look at what we've done over the last couple of hours, and if someone plays better than somebody else then he earns that position."

On the Broncos' rookie class: "There are some guys that have stepped up. Take a look at (cornerback and returner) Darrent Williams. He has done some great things on special teams. (Cornerback) Domonique Foxworth seems very mature and has a good feel of what we are doing. (Cornerback) Karl Paymah is a great athlete. The more repletion he gets, the better off he is going to be. It's tough because there is so much being thrown at a young guy. (Running back) Maurice (Clarett), like all running backs, you'll see it when he gets a chance to play in games. (Offensive lineman) Chris Meyers is doing a good job being very tough on the offensive line. (Kicker/punter Paul) Ernster has got a strong leg both on the punts and kickoffs."

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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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