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Volume 6, Issue 109 (Friday, August 5th)

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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. If you haven't already done so, check out the HUGE news on our Training Camp Updates in case you missed the special headsup email I sent Wednesday. Also check out the site news for our Draftsheets. Thanks to our Chris Smith for rounding up these stories tonight. Let's jump right to it.

Joe Bryant

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Draftsheets Are Ready For Ordering
We've been buried with email from folks inquiring about the Draft Boards we did last season. We're glad to say they're back and better than ever. It's a 4 foot by 6 foot draft board with pre printed player labels (color coded by position) that you use at your live draft to track all the players selected. If you've ever seen these in use, you know how much better it makes the draft flow. All this for less than a 20 dollar bill INCLUDING shipping. Draft Night is already one of the best nights of the year. Our Draft Sheets make it even better.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PHI - WR Pinkston Out For Season; RB Buckhalter Suffers Bone Bruise
2. CHI - RB Thomas Jones Looking Great While Rookie RB Benson Holds Out
3. CAR - WR Steve Smith Hasn't Lost A Step
4. DAL - RB J. Jones Sets Lofty Goals Of 1,700 Rushing Yards And 20 Touchdowns
5. WAS - TE Cooley's Improvements Might Make Him A Full-Time Player
6. CLE - WR A. Bryant Emerging As Dilfer's # 1 Receiver
7. BAL - Rookie WR Mark Clayton's Holdout Could Cost Him Playing Time
8. SD - Rookie WR Jackson May Make a Big Splash In the NFL
9. CAR - WR Gardner Takes Pay Cut
10. ARI - TE Edwards Out 2-3 Weeks With Pectoral Muscle Injury
11. BUF - Rookie WR Parrish Looks Good In Scrimmage Against The Packers
12. SF - Injuries Continue To Mount Along The Offensive
13. BAL - WR Mason Is Already Proving To Be Quite a Catch
14. MIA - QB Frerotte Happy To Be Going 'Vertical' In 2005
15. MIN - WR Taylor Could Be Coming Into His Own
16. IDP: DAL - Rookie 1st Round Pick DL Spears Suffers Injured Knee
17. IDP: KC - Rookie LB Johnson Already Working With The First Team
18. IDP - BUF - Bills Interested In Acquiring Eagles DT Simon
19. IDP: CIN - Rookie LB Pollack Goes Back To Georgia Due To Slow Contract Talks
20. IDP: CAR - S Minters Injury Isn't Too Serious
21. IDP - SEA - DL Wistrom Looking For Better Season In 2005
22. DEN - Footballguys Training Camp Report

1. PHI - WR Pinkston Out For Season; RB Buckhalter Suffers Bone Bruise

Clipped from ESPN.com / AP article 8/4/05

Clipped From: ESPN Wire

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Todd Pinkston ruptured an Achilles tendon in practice Friday and is out for the season. Pinkston injured his ankle when he was tripped up on a route down the sideline. He remained down for several minutes before limping to the medical tent. A few hours after the injury, the team said he was out for the season. The injury is a blow to the Eagles, who aren't deep at wide receiver. Receiver Terrell Owens, day-to-day with left groin inflammation, did not practice Friday morning.

Behind Pinkston and Owens, the team has third-year pro Greg Lewis and Billy McMullen, a third-round pick in 2003. Rookie Reggie Brown had been competing with McMullen to be the fourth receiver.

Running back Correll Buckhalter also went down with a leg injury in the morning's practice. The team said he had a bone bruise. After practice, Buckhalter limped out of the team's workout facility and, before getting into his car, said his knee was sore. Buckhalter missed all of last season after tearing a tendon in his right knee during the preseason. He missed all of the 2002 season after tearing a ligament in his left knee in minicamp.

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

This offseason has been a wild one for the Eagles and the arrival of training camp hasn't made it any better. DL Corey Simon is not in camp and demanding a new contract. RB Brian Westbrook is not in camp and looking for a big contract. WR Terrell Owens is in camp but unhappy and looking for a huge contract. Now as problems build upon problems, WR Todd Pinkston is officially out for the season with a ruptured Achilles. Bad news for Pinkston but one of the Eagles' backup receivers will have a chance to have an impact now. Only time will tell though whether it will be the veteran Greg Lewis or the rookie Reggie Brown who steps into Pinkston's shoes.

Our resident Eagles fanatic, Jason Wood had this to say today: "Greg Lewis is a feel good story, but he's simply not capable of providing that same element. The Birds will definitely tighten up the field and likely use L.J. Smith down the middle on some deep seams now and Owens will be used deep more no doubt. I also would be VERY surprised if the Birds don't consider bringing in a veteran should one shake loose who knows the WCO."

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2. CHI - RB Thomas Jones Looking Great While Rookie RB Benson Holds Out

Clipped from: Chicago Sports article by John Mullin

As the impasse between the Bears and the agent for first-round draft pick Cedric Benson approaches the end of its second week, Thomas Jones quietly has impressed coaches and teammates to the extent that the rookie will be hard-pressed to win the starting running back job by the time the season arrives.

Jones is paying little attention to Benson's situation.

"That's his thing," Jones said. "Right now my job is to go out and make plays. That's all I focus on, and all I care about is this offense. Whatever people make of it or it turns into, that's what it turns into."

Without Benson, Jones is taking virtually all reps with the No. 1 offense, a burden he is more than happy to carry.

"It's extra work, but it's good," Jones said. "You need the work because it makes you better."

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

The Bears running game may be destined to become RBBC with Benson providing the power and Jones the speed but the longer Benson sits, the more likely it will be that Thomas Jones gets the bulk of the work at least early in the year. Jones certainly has the talent to be a very good running back but he has rarely been able to bridge the gap between potential and production. He did look good at times last season though and should see a lot of playing time this year. Benson is a natural power running back but needs to improve on other areas of his game to be a full time starter and this hold-out isn't a good thing for him to be going through right now. We currently have Jones finishing with more carries, receptions and fantasy points than Benson this season. It'll be Benson eventually but you will find very nice early season value with Jones in your fantasy draft..

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3. CAR - WR Steve Smith Hasn't Lost A Step

Clipped from: Charlotte Observer article by Tom Sorenson

WR Steve Smith is moving better than I've ever seen him. And I saw him before he broke his left fibula after running a route in the fourth quarter of the 2004 opener against Green Bay. He went down after an ugly tackle by former Panthers teammate Hannibal Navies, had surgery the next day and missed the rest of the season.

"I think about it a lot," Smith says about the play. "I dropped a pass (Monday) thinking about it. It was the same route. I just didn't catch it."

Smith also had ligament damage to his ankle. These were serious injuries. Nobody knew how he would respond. Nobody could. But we knew this: Smith did not become one of the league's best receivers, not at 5-foot-9, because he could run fast. He played with verve that made him a favorite of fans. He leaped over cornerbacks, caught balls over the middle. Talent can get a player into the league, but without guts and bravado, it won't get him to the top.

In 2003, Smith got to the top. He was fourth in the NFC in receptions, seventh in receiving yards and second in the NFL in yards gained after the catch. The last statistic attests to his unwillingness to be tackled. But that was two seasons ago. Aside from being 26 and sporting a little facial hair, are you the same guy?

"I probably lost a step," Smith says Tuesday. "But you can't tell."

He says he struggled in minicamp, and when it ended, he worked with his trainer on getting a faster start off the line, hand-eye coordination and catching deep balls. The result?

"The injury doesn't look like it bothers him," says wide receivers coach Richard Williamson.

Williamson says Smith "can stop and start better than anybody I've ever been around."

And Williamson has been coaching 42 years.

"I don't see any difference from last season," Williamson says. "In fact, I told Steve he looks quicker. He's six pounds lighter."

Do the players who line up against Smith see a change?

"He can still jump, still cut, he's still quick and he's still fast," safety Mike Minter says.

Still talks?

"He's not talking as much," Minter says, laughing. "That is a change. He just goes about his work. He's making that transition from a young player to a player that everybody is looking at -- a leadership role."

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

Steve Smith had high expectations when he suffered his injury last season. He has a drive to be the best that fuels him and makes him a better player and if anything he is working harder this season to regain his past glory. With Muhsin Muhammad gone, it is now Smith who is the unquestioned # 1 receiver on the team and he'll put forth 100% effort on every play to get open and make the big catch. We currently have him slotted in with 73 receptions for 945 yards and 7 touchdowns but his upside is greater than that.

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4. DAL - RB J. Jones Sets Lofty Goals Of 1,700 Rushing Yards And 20 Touchdowns

Clipped from Houston Chronicle article by Josh Gajewski

Julius Jones, the 2nd year running back is aware he is still running within the large shadow cast by former Cowboy Emmitt Smith. "I watched a couple of his runs while we're sitting out here," Jones said, referring to the Smith replays on the Jumbotron. "It's just amazing, man, how he breaks his tackles and always keeps his feet moving. I try to do that."

He really does. In practice, even when the generously listed 5-9 running back gets knocked down, Jones will usually bounce up as the play is whistled dead and run about 10 yards before returning to the huddle.

"It's all about taking the right steps and fighting to get that extra yard," Jones said. "(Cowboys coach Bill Parcells) doesn't like negative runs."

Parcells found a lot to like in Jones last season. The former second-round pick from Notre Dame suffered a preseason rib injury that kept him out of the season opener, then a broken shoulder blade in Week 2 that kept him out of the next seven games.

But then it happened - 803 yards and seven touchdowns over the final seven games, and perhaps the biggest silver lining to a 6-10 season for the Cowboys. The whispers had begun.

"Emmitt's not a bad guy to be compared to," Jones said, "so I don't mind at all."

He has set Emmitt-like goals in 2005 - 1,700 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. But before your eyes begin to roll, consider: his 114.7-yard average over the final seven games project to 1,835 over a season, the Cowboys added Pro Bowler Marco Rivera to their line and Parcells has been adamant about returning to his conservative style of 2003, when the Cowboys ran the ball until practically forced to do otherwise.

"I'm not sure how many times I'm going to get the ball. But whatever is thrown in front of me, I'm going to handle it," Jones said. "I feel 10 times more comfortable (than at last year's camp). I know what to expect a little bit, and I'm a little more comfortable with the offense."

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

We currently have Julius Jones sitting at # 13 in our Footballguys.com projections but we acknowledge the fact that he has upside beyond that position. The Cowboys offensive line looks very strong this season and the offensive strategy will be to pound the ball and control the clock. Don't be surprised to see Julius Jones average 20+ carries per game and he should have a strong season. As to his lofty goals , within a Bill Parcels offense, both 1,700 rushing yards and the 20 touchdowns are reachable targets although he may be spelled on occasion by rookie Marion Barber and veteran Anthony Thomas.

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5. WAS - TE Cooley's Improvements Might Make Him A Full-Time Player

Clipped from: Daily Progress article by Joe Crisp

Last season, the Redskins struggled mightily to open up holes for star running back Clinton Portis. So if you ask Redskin tight ends coach Rennie Simmons where his charges need to make the most improvement, his answer is a quick one.

"Right now, we need to improve on our run-blocking," Simmons said.

"When we're looking at a tight end, number one, they've got to have the strength," Simmons said. "Toughness and strength. [Chris Cooley] shows a lot of strength, even though he's labeled as an 'H' back, and he's doing a really good job in the passing game, but he's as good a blocker. He's doing a real good job blocking. I think if he continues to improve on that, he's one of those guys that could stay in there on all packages."

Due to his prowess as a receiver, the media often compares Cooley to one of Simmons' former proteges - Clint Didier. Didier led Redskins tight ends in receiving four straight years ('84-'87) during the Redskins' reign as one of the top offenses of the 1980s.

However, Didier was a lankier tight end not particularly well-known for his blocking ability - at 6-foot-5, 240 pounds, he was built more like an overgrown wide receiver - whereas Cooley (6-3, 250) brings a sturdier, more powerful build, better suited for battling in the trenches of the running game if the play design calls for it.

Asked whether Cooley's success last season has changed the way the coaching staff looks at the tight end position in their offense, Simmons says Cooley's emergence wasn't unexpected.

"It wasn't a big surprise for us," Simmons said. "We drafted him and we thought he was a heck of a player. We knew we needed some help there at the 'H' position. He comes in and works hard and we think he's improving. He makes good decisions in the passing game, he's got good strength in the running game. He can play a dual role: he can be a tight end, he can be an 'H'. If he continues to develop he may not come off the field."

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

This could be very big news coming out of Washington. Chris Cooley has very good receiving skills and the more plays he remains on the field, the better his opportunity will be to put up solid fantasy numbers. He is currently sitting 11th overall in our Footballguys.com projections for the tight end position with 40 receptions but he could improve on that with an increase of playing time. He is without question the most talented tight end/ H-back in Washington and he could surprise with a very nice season in 2005.

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6. CLE - WR A. Bryant Emerging As Dilfer's # 1 Receiver

Clipped from: The Morning Journal article by Jeff Schudel

So far the highlight of the Browns training camp so far is the way Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer and Antonio Bryant are clicking. It seems like every time Dilfer throws the ball in Bryant's direction, Bryant catches it.

Sometimes he's wide open, but more often than not Bryant is catching the ball just beyond the reach of a defender, or maybe he's leaping and stretching out his body parallel to the ground to come up with the ball, as he did during practice Tuesday.

Bryant did drop a pass in the back of the end zone yesterday, but he bounced back to catch every pass thrown his way the rest of the day.

Meanwhile, top draft choice Braylon Edwards sits while his agent and the Browns haggle over how many millions of dollars Edwards should be paid before catching his first NFL pass.

''What you're seeing is a result of what A.B. and I did in the offseason,'' Dilfer said. ''It was more than going out to the fieldhouse and throwing balls. It's something we've worked hard on as a group -- getting to know each other, how to react to one another, the freedom to chew each other's butts when things aren't going well and to encourage each other when things are going well.''

''I have to keep this up and show improvement every day,'' Bryant said. ''It can't be a one-day thing. I have to carry it over to the regular season.''

Bryant caught 42 passes and four touchdowns in 10 games with the Browns last season. He dropped some passes he admits he should have caught.

Bryant, 6-foot-2 and 188 pounds, has a leg up on his fellow receivers because the offensive coordinator is Maurice Carthon, who was his offensive coordinator in Dallas. He said Carthon is running the same offense with the Browns.

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

Somebody was going to emerge as the # 1 target in Cleveland this season and it appears that Antonio Bryant is on the way to claiming that role to start the season. Once rookie Braylon Edwards signs and arrives at camp it will begin to alter the balance but Bryant was a heralded receiver as well coming out of the University of Pittsburgh back in 2002 and perhaps he is finding his game after years of unspectacular play. We currently have him finishing as the Browns top receiver with 51 receptions for 650 yards and 4 touchdowns. Not great numbers but you don't expect monstrous receiving numbers from a Trent Dilfer led team.

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7. BAL - Rookie WR Mark Clayton's Holdout Could Cost Him Playing Time

Clipped from: Baltimore Sun article by Jamison Hensley

Coach Brian Billick said the Ravens have delivered their best offer to first-round draft pick Mark Clayton, one that won't change no matter how long the rookie receiver's holdout lasts.

"It never has, it never will," Billick said. "It didn't with Kyle Boller. It didn't with Peter Boulware. It hasn't with anyone else. So, you either want to be here or you don't."

Two team officials estimated that the sides are between $50,000 and $60,000 apart. That small margin has caused Clayton to miss his fourth day of training camp and remain one of nine unsigned first-round picks. In calling Clayton to accountability, Billick laid out the strict parameters of what the 22nd overall selection should receive.

"Take No. 21 and No. 23, add them up together and cut it in half," Billick said. "Anything beyond that, it's hard to understand."

Using those calculations, Clayton's deal should be worth approximately $8.1 million over five years with $5.6 million in guaranteed bonuses. What makes the slow negotiations peculiar is that cornerback Fabian Washington, the 23rd pick in the draft, signed on July 26 and Matt Jones, the 21st pick, agreed on Tuesday. So, if the framework of Clayton's slot has been established, why is it taking this long for the former University of Oklahoma playmaker to sign?

"It's a legitimate question because I have the same one," Billick said.

"It's hard because he's missing practicing in pads, something he hasn't done since college," receivers coach David Shaw said. "He's missing making mistakes and being corrected."

Shaw has talked with Clayton on the phone, updating him on what the Ravens are doing in practice, whether it's two-minute drills or red-zone work. He has stayed away from discussing the business side.

"When he shows up, hopefully he's ready to go because we've got to get rolling pretty soon," Shaw said. "We kind of put this plan together through the offseason, and he's a big part of it.

What Shaw likely neglected to say is how the rest of the Ravens' receiving corps is faring. Clarence Moore, who is starting opposite Derrick Mason, and Patrick Johnson are having impressive starts in camp. Randy Hymes and Devard Darling have been solid, too. Before he was a no-show at McDaniel College, Clayton was expected to be the team's No. 3 receiver and play in the slot.

"Guys have stepped in and taken advantage of it," Shaw said. "We still would love to add Mark to that mix, but guys have filled up that hole pretty quickly."

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

This holdout could certainly be costly for WR Mark Clayton in terms of playing time this season, at least to start the year. Right now, Derrick Mason and the improving Clarence Moore are starting but the player that could cost the rookie playing time this season is Randy Hymes who has looked pretty strong thus far during camp. For the first time, the Ravens are well stocked at the receiver position and it may be a difficult lineup to crack for Clayton unless he signs quickly and gets himself into camp.

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8. SD - Rookie WR Jackson May Make a Big Splash In the NFL

Clipped from: Union-Tribune article by Nick Canepa

His demeanor, his polish, the way he handles himself in an interview, all suggest stage actor more than pass catcher. If he doesn't make it as a Charger, there's always politics, or something similarly drastic. When you consider Jackson as an NFL wideout, transition becomes the key word. San Diego's second-round draft choice played his college football at Division I-AA Northern Colorado, and at 6-6, 240 pounds, with so much skill, one can only imagine - man against kids.

Now comes the transition. The jump from major-college football to the NFL is enormous. Considering major-college ball is the NFL next to Division I-AA, my drift can be gotten. Jackson doesn't appear the least bit intimidated by training camp tension and milieu, but the huge, fast kid with a 39-inch vertical leap, who scored an admirable 33 on The League's Wonderlic intelligence test, knows he isn't in Greeley, Colo., anymore.

"He has a long way to go," coach Marty Schottenheimer says. "But he has immense talent. The key for him is managing the distractions that can become a part of a professional sport. If he finds himself in a situation where he dropped a ball or missed an assignment, how will he respond to that? He must have the ability to put it all aside and not dwell on it."

In other words, here's a player not used to failure, being the best on the field. The NFL's game is one of matchups, true, but also of intimidation. They'll mess you up in the NFL, if they can.

"It's especially true of a player who dominated, when he was far better than anybody he was playing against," Schottenheimer says. "But he seems bright. He seems willing to listen. Until you're with 'em, it's hard to know with any certainty how they're going to respond."

No one is more aware of all this than Jackson, who despite being 6-3, 195 as a high school senior in Colorado Springs, wasn't recruited by a big school. He entered Northern Colorado to major in business, not with aspirations of becoming a second-round draft choice. He's too clear a thinker.

"Not many schools wanted me," says Jackson, 22. "Colorado State said I could walk on. Some Ivy League schools were interested, a lot of Division I-AA schools. But Northern Colorado was the only one that offered me a scholarship. It was a great move for me. Northern Colorado has a great business school.

"I hadn't even lifted a weight until I got to college. No way I ever thought I would play pro ball. I was happy playing college football. I didn't even start until my junior year and then I guess I just kind of exploded on the scene. Scouts started talking. I just worked hard to progress and develop my skills. I'm proof you can be anywhere and the NFL will find you."

Hard to miss Vincent Jackson. Wasn't he the one making that nice touchdown catch in practice? He was. And don't believe quarterback Drew Brees hasn't already noticed a bull's-eye roughly the size of the broad side of a barn.

"He really looks good," Brees says. "He's such a big target. He has great hands and real good body control. Usually a guy his size is stiff. He does stuff little guys can't do and he's further along than a lot of rookies are at this time. I haven't seen him make the mistakes most rookies do - or even veterans coming into a new offense."

He believes he has the talent to be a No. 1 receiver.

"Yes, I do," Jackson says. "I'm one of the biggest receivers in the league. I have the speed to separate from defenders. I'm smart; I pick things up quickly. I definitely feel I can be on the field a lot. I feel I can play and make an impact. I'll do anything I need to do - special teams, anywhere they want me to play."

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

If you are looking for a rookie player to emerge for the 2005 season then you should definitely look elsewhere. However if you are in a dynasty league and can afford to wait for a couple of years on a player with huge upside, then it wouldn't be a bad idea at all to store Jackson away on your roster until he becomes acclimated to the NFL game. He appears to be a late-bloomer and it's tough to ignore the huge potential of a 6'6, 240 pound receiver who can run like a guy 40 pounds later. He likely won't make an impact this year but watch out for him by the 2007 campaign.

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9. CAR - WR Gardner Takes Pay Cut

Clipped from: AP article by Stephen Hawkins 8/4/05

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Rod Gardner, obtained in a trade from Washington on the eve of camp, has restructured his contract, according to league sources. Gardner's original contract with Washington called for the Panthers to pay him nearly $2.1 million this season. But Gardner agreed to a salary cut and will earn $1 million in salary this year.

Gardner can become a free agent after this season, but the Panthers might try to extend his contract if he performs.

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

Gardner had to take a pay cut in all honesty this season but one big year in 2005 and he'll be back demanding big bucks via the free agent route. He has a lot to play for this season and he may be a good player to take a shot on this season.

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10. ARI - TE Edwards Out 2-3 Weeks With Pectoral Muscle Injury

Clipped from: Arizona Republic article by Odeen Domingo

Tight end Eric Edwards is expected to miss two to three weeks after a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed a tear in his right pectoral muscle. Edwards, however, was relieved because there was some concern that the injury was worse and might cause him to miss significant time, perhaps the whole season.

"That was the best thing that could have happened," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. They thought it was a lot worse until they got the MRI."

Edwards has had a rough camp. He suffered cramps as a result of dehydration on the first two days of camp. He lost 12 pounds the first day and received fluids intravenously. He suffered the pectoral injury Wednesday.

Rookie Adam Bergen replaced Edwards in the starting lineup.

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

Injuries are never 'good news' but nonetheless Edwards has to be pleased with his diagnosis after worrying his season may be over. He has a good chance to be ready to start the season but his fantasy value probably isn't very high considering the Cardinals will likely run a lot of three receiver sets. He is our 39th ranked tight end even before this injury occurred.

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11. BUF - Rookie WR Parrish Looks Good In Scrimmage Against The Packers

Clipped from: Democrat and Chronicle article by Leo Roth

Top draft pick Roscoe Parrish made several nice catches, albeit working against a Green Bay secondary that notched only eight interceptions last season.

The 5-foot-9 Parrish is quietly proving that beating press coverage at the line in the NFL won't be a problem, not with his cat-like first step. He turned Packers rookie corner Mike Hawkins inside-out on one play.

"I've always had that growing up as a kid, you can see I'm a small guy and they'd say I couldn't beat the jam," Parrish said. "I just keep working hard and doing what I have to, to be successful. As a wide receiver, it doesn't matter if you play inside or outside, it's important to work every position because you never know when a guy will go down and you'll have to fill that spot."

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

WR Roscoe Parrish has been gathering steam right through the offseason and now he had an impressive showing in a scrimmage against the Green Bay Packers. He is looking to move past Josh Reed into the 3rd receiver spot and while his fantasy value won't be strong, his presence on the field with his speed will help both Eric Moulds and Lee Evans find more success this season.

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12. SF - Injuries Continue To Mount Along The Offensive Line

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Dennis Georgatos

Less than a week into training camp, the 49ers offensive line is hurting. Left tackle Jonas Jennings is expected to miss six to eight days because of a tendon tear in his right index finger. His replacement, rookie Patrick Estes, will have to play with a cast on his broken left hand.

Meanwhile, center Jeremy Newberry is out indefinitely with a right knee injury, and rookie guard David Baas could be out for six weeks due to a partially torn right hamstring.

"It's part of the game," coach Mike Nolan said. "We'll deal with it. It teaches us how to deal with adversity. It's going to happen during the season. We need to get used to it now."

Jennings practiced two days with pain and swelling in his right hand before an MRI on Wednesday revealed the tendon problem. Estes, a converted tight end, jammed a finger while delivering a block in one-on-one pass-protection drills.

"It's a physical game, and we've got contact every play, whether we're in pads or not," Jennings said. "Unfortunately, injuries happen. I hate that it's happened, but since it did, I'm glad it's early. I'm going to get it fixed, and I'll be right back."

Still, the injuries have crimped the line's ability to develop cohesion. Rookie Adam Snyder, who entered camp as the top backup at tackle, is slated to replace Baas as starting right guard. Eric Heitmann, a starter at guard the past three years, has shifted to center in place of Newberry.

The injury adds to the learning curve for the 6-foot-7, 280-pound Estes, still learning the tackle position after playing tight end at Virginia. He could start the 49ers' exhibition opener Aug. 13 against the Raiders.

"He's doing a good job," Nolan said. "We put him at the most difficult position there is on the offensive line, but he's athletic enough to do that. He's a first-time starter now, but you go with what you have. He'll be fine. We'll take care of him."

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

There are some talented linemen in San Francisco but this group needs time to gel together and become a unit and all of these injuries won't allow that to happen right out of the gate. Adam Snyder is a talented rookie who will start in the NFL but the team wasn't expecting him to be the man right out of the gate this season and he will make the usual rookie mistakes. With players sliding into different positions and rookies being forced to start, the offense may get off to a very shaky start in 2005.

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13. BAL - WR Mason Is Already Proving To Be Quite a Catch

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Camille Powell

Derrick Mason certainly doesn't attract the same kind of attention some other wide receivers do. So when the veteran left the Tennessee Titans and signed with the Baltimore Ravens in March, the move didn't garner splashy national headlines.

But in the days following the signing, Ravens wide receivers coach David Shaw said he got calls from coaches and players from the Titans' AFC South opponents. They all passed along essentially the same message, said Shaw: "Thank you very much for getting that guy out of our division. I'm tired of playing against that guy."

"This guy, he doesn't get mentioned with the names of the great ones," Shaw said. "He gets lost in the shuffle. But you talk to the corners, the corners always mention him because he's so hard to cover. He's not flashy; he gets open and catches the ball. He does his job very, very well."

The Ravens have been searching for a productive veteran wide receiver for years, and in Mason, they may have found the player who can help improve a passing game that ranked 31st last season. Mason had a league-best 96 catches last season; in comparison, Baltimore's five wide receivers combined for 121 receptions.

Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller's favorite target has been Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap, but Boller has never had a proven, polished wide receiver like Mason in his two seasons in Baltimore. Mason, 31, is not big (5 feet 10, 192 pounds), but he runs precise routes, has reliable hands and is capable of turning short passes into long gains. He could be a blessing for a young (and occasionally erratic) quarterback such as Boller, who's in his third season.

"I can't describe what an asset it is," offensive coordinator Jim Fassel said. "You want a receiver that doesn't make movements that confuse you about where he's going -- that's kind of like trying to hit a gnat. You want a guy who's smooth. You want a guy who you understand where he's going, you kind of got his body language, and a veteran guy where you know that if you throw it, he can make a play."

Through the first four days of training camp, Mason has been just that.

"When Kyle needs somebody to go to out there in practice, he's always the guy that happens to be open at the right time," said Heap, who described Mason as the best route-runner he's seen in the NFL. "That's going to be exciting to have a guy like that around. We haven't had guys like that step up and make plays since I've been here."

This year, the Ravens got the player they coveted -- a productive wide receiver on the field and a player willing to mentor the team's young receivers -- on the first day of free agency. Mason, who was released by the Titans in a salary cap purge, signed a five-year, $20 million contract, choosing the Ravens over Super Bowl champion New England.

"That was my main thing coming here, to be with a young team, a team that has the potential to win a Super Bowl now. Not next year, not two years from now, but now," said Mason, who has appeared in two Pro Bowls, most recently in 2003. "And not to have to play this defense one or two times a year and possibly have to face them in the playoffs."

"I'm just going to continue what I've been doing for the last eight or nine years," Mason said. "That's just to be consistent. They know what they're getting from me, each and every day."

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

One of the biggest surprises this season to casual football fans may be the emergence of the Ravens passing attack. One of the main reasons to expect improvement this season will be the skills of WR Derrick Mason who will get open and catch the ball once it gets near him. He will make everybody around him better and the result will be a better passing season for QB Kyle Boller and the rest of the passing game. We currently have Mason projected to catch 73 passes for 905 yards and 6 touchdowns but he could surprise with an even stronger season if the Ravens open up the offense as much as expected.

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14. MIA - QB Frerotte Happy To Be Going 'Vertical' In 2005

Clipped from: Miami Herald article by Armando Salguero

Quarterback Gus Frerotte, experienced in coordinator Scott Linehan's scheme, said vertical throws will determine the success of the Dolphins offense. For those of you still trying to get over the trauma of Dave Wannstedt's ''It's no sin to punt'' offensive philosophy, recall for a second Dan Marino's heyday. Remember the long touchdown floaters to Mark Duper? The rainbow scoring tosses to Mark Clayton? Expect a lot of that this year, Dolphins players say.

Quarterback Gus Frerotte has played two seasons for offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's system, and doesn't hesitate to say what his favorite part of that offense has always been.

''Going deep,'' Frerotte said.

How often?

''A lot,'' Frerotte said. ``A lot more than you guys are used to. Think back to when Dan [Marino] was in his prime and throwing the ball. That's what this offense does. I'm not saying it's going to be every play. But we are going to take advantage of situations, we are going to be unconventional and we're going to take advantage.''

That would be good news for fans, good news for the Dolphins' marketing department and great for Miami's pass-starved receivers.

''It is not a type of offense where your stats are [going to be] nine catches for 63 yards and your average is 7 yards,'' receiver Marty Booker said. ``The main thing is pushing the ball down the field and opening up.

``Once we get a chance to do that, it will open up the running game. Once we get the running game going, that will open up the passing game. The two tie into each other, and I think it will work out for us.''

Since training camp opened July 25, the Dolphins have showed glimpses of that deep passing game during practices, with recent days surprising even defensive players accustomed to dominating their offensive teammates.

''They do a lot of different wrinkles and, I tell you what, they've been playing well against us these last couple of days,'' linebacker Zach Thomas said. ``A lot of guys over there, they're playing well. I don't know if it's a little of everything with the coaches, the players they have and the scheme, but it really fits what their strengths are.

''For me, I love throwing the ball deep, and I've waited a long time in my career to have this opportunity,'' Frerotte said. ``I saw it in Minnesota. Yeah, we had [Randy Moss] there, but we've got [Chambers] here and he can do the same stuff.''

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

An offense that isn't conservative and predictable may result in a very good season for Chris Chambers who has been mired in a horrible system since he entered the NFL. He has still managed to put up pretty solid numbers in that time including 133 receptions and 18 touchdowns over the past two seasons but he has an opportunity to have his best season to date in 2005. There are no guarantees that Frerotte will get the nod at quarterback but it certainly feels like things are going his way thus far.

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15. MIN - WR Taylor Could Be Coming Into His Own

Clipped from: Vikings.com article by Mike Wobschall

This might be the year when it all comes together for Vikings receiver Travis Taylor. The former first round (10th overall) selection by Baltimore was picked up this off-season by the Vikings to help fill the void left by Randy Moss when he was traded to Oakland. In Minnesota, Taylor finds something he has not had yet in his professional career - a top-notch quarterback and a corps of receivers to help carry the load. In Taylor, the Vikings hope to find a season where he is not nagged by injuries and can produce what he is truly capable of producing.

"Travis gives us a player with a tremendous amount of potential and the ability to be a game-breaker," Coach Mike Tice commented. "He's got very good hands. Above average hands. He's strong and very hard to press at the line of scrimmage. He has a great feel for uncovering to the quarterback. He had a beautiful out route yesterday where he uncovered down the stem to the quarterback,"

What will be advantageous to Taylor this season is who will be delivering the ball to him. After a record-breaking season last year in which Daunte Culpepper set virtually ever single-season passing record, Taylor is excited to play with some exceptional talent.

"In Baltimore, Kyle (Boller) was a young quarterback. The maturity of the quarterback position here is a big difference for me. It isn't what I'm used to and it's a great opportunity for me," Taylor commented.

Taylor's role on the team remains somewhat unclear. "Always something different," he commented. "Stretching the field, going underneath; whatever I have to do to make some plays. Whatever it takes to help this team win that's what I'm going to do. So whatever my role is or my responsibilities are, then I'll get it done."

Coach Tice commented on what he sees for Taylor this season, saying "We'll have some packages for him. We'll just see how this thing plays out. We're a long ways away from deciding who's going to play opposite Nate (Burleson)."

Taylor will be competing with former Baltimore teammate Marcus Robinson for the number two spot opposite Burleson. Taylor and Robinson both played in Baltimore under former Minnesota offensive coordinator Brian Billick. With both Tice and Billick serving as assistants at the same time in Minnesota some similarities do exist between the training camps.

Maybe it's all finally coming together for Taylor. A Pro Bowl quarterback, a speedy and talented receiving corps, and hopefully an injury-free season could mean great things. Maybe 2005 will be the season it all comes together for Taylor and the Minnesota Vikings too.

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

We've heard it before, but this could be the season that Travis Taylor puts it all together and becomes a strong NFL receiver. He certainly has the physical attributes to do so. However the key words are 'could be' as he has had strong training camps before under to fold under the pressure of the actual games. He has a history of dropping passes and being a little hesitant going across the middle and he'll have to play a lot tougher football to make a big splash in 2005.

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16. IDP: DAL - Rookie 1st Round Pick DL Spears Suffers Injured Knee

Clipped from: ESPN Wire

Marcus Spears, one of the two first-round draft picks considered potential defensive starters as rookies for the Dallas Cowboys, left practice Friday with an apparent knee injury. Owner Jerry Jones said there could be other problems.

Spears, who was drafted 20th out of LSU, was hurt at the end of a running play during team drills when he became caught up in a pile of players. After remaining down briefly, he had to be helped up by teammates before limping to the sideline.

After the practice ended, Jones said team doctors were checking Spears' knee, along with his groin and ankle. He mentioned MCL sprain in the knee and a groin pull as possible injures, but wouldn't elaborate.

"All that's real preliminary, but that's the area that's injured. We're checking everything," Jones said. "It's tough. I'm very, very disappointed. It's a shame."

Coach Bill Parcells said he didn't want to speculate on Spears' injury, but said the first thing doctors were going to do was scan the knee.

Parcells said someone got Spears "from behind a little bit" during the play.

Once Spears got to the sideline, Parcells and team trainer Jim Maurer checked on the 6-foot-4, 294-pound defensive end who was the 20th overall pick by the Cowboys in April.

Spears then limped the length of the field, putting little pressure on his right leg. After he got on a training table and doctors examined his right knee, he was put on a cart and driven off the field.

"Let's just hope for the best," Jones said.

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

This will be very disappointing for both the Cowboys and Marcus Spears if his injured knee proves to be serious. Hopefully it is something that won't keep him out of action for a long time but we'll have to wait and see what the scan shows before speculating further.

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17. IDP: KC - Rookie LB Johnson Already Working With The First Team

Clipped from: KC Star article by Elizabeth Merrill

It didn't take him long.

After two days of practice, rookie linebacker Derrick Johnson was working almost exclusively with the No. 1 defense Friday morning as the Chiefs resumed two-a-days. Keyaron Fox, the starter during offseason workouts and Johnson's brief holdout, was on the right side behind Kendrell Bell on Friday.

Coach Dick Vermeil downplayed the move, saying he wants Fox to be able to play both positions for depth issues. Fox worked on the right side in the offseason and has been one of the biggest hitters in the first eight days of training camp.

Johnson has impressed the coaches with his speed, athleticism and ability to get to the ball.

"He needs the work," Vermeil said of Johnson's work with the No. 1 unit. "He needs the work, and obviously he has the ability to be up there. The 1s get more reps than the 2s, so that's where he is."

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

It is probably a little premature to simply hand the starting job to rookie Derrick Johnson but his speed and athleticism will be a huge help to the sluggish Chiefs' defense and he will have a big hand in turning the team's fortunes around in 2005. Expect to see him as a starter when the regular season rolls around as he wasn't drafted to sit on the bench.

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18. IDP - BUF - Bills Interested In Acquiring Eagles DT Simon

Clipped from: The Times article by Mark Eckel

If the Eagles want to save $5.1 million against the salary cap, unlock a logjam at defensive tackle and solve one of their contract troubles, they may be able to do it.

According to a very reliable league source, the Buffalo Bills have been looking into the possibility of acquiring franchise-tagged defensive tackle Corey Simon from the Eagles.

Two other sources confirmed the Bills' interest. Now it's a matter of Buffalo getting Simon to agree to a contract and coming up with compensation for the Eagles.

Keep in mind, Bills assistant general manager Tom Modrak was the Eagles director of football operations when the team made Simon the sixth overall pick out of Florida State in the 2000 draft. Buffalo director of college scouting Marc Ross also was the Eagles' southeast scout who went to every one of Simon's workouts and his physical prior to that draft.

"That would be interesting (to go to Buffalo)," Simon said. "But at this point, I don't know what I would do. ... If they're interested, I would have to listen."

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

This could just be idle speculation at this point until one of the two teams verify it officially but the move to pick up Corey Simon would turn the Bills very good defense into an exceptional one and could help them to make a strong playoff push. Simon is a bit of a distraction right now for the Eagles franchise and they have the depth along the defensive line to trim some salary by trading him to the Bills and getting some help in return. Stay tuned and we will let you know when (and if) this trade becomes a reality.

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19. IDP: CIN - Rookie LB Pollack Goes Back To Georgia Due To Slow Contract Talks

Clipped from: Cincinnati Enquirer article by Mark Curnutte

Bengals first-round draft pick David Pollack has gone back to his offseason home in Snellville, Ga., indicating that little, if any, progress is being made in contract negotiations. Pollack, an outside linebacker, had been living in Mason, hoping to get to training camp as quickly as possible once a deal is reached.

"Football is a dangerous business," Tom Condon of IMG Football, which represents Pollack, said when reached at his Kansas City office Thursday. "David knows that the first contract is the only one you can be sure of. He wants to make sure it's done right."

Ken Kremer, also of IMG, has been lead negotiator for Pollack. Kremer visited Georgetown College Tuesday to meet with Bengals lead negotiator Katie Blackburn but left without a deal. The Bengals had no immediate response when asked for comment about the Pollack negotiations Thursday afternoon. The club officially declined the opportunity to respond late Thursday.

The organization consistently has declined to discuss rookie contract negotiations with the media. After missing the afternoon session Thursday, Pollack has been absent from 11 of the 22 scheduled training camp practices. He is not expected to be at today's practice, which will begin at 9 a.m. Pollack's prolonged holdout, coupled with the five-day holdout of second-round linebacker Odell Thurman, has frustrated some Bengals fans. Though ticket sales remain brisk and the team has improved dramatically on the field, protracted rookie contract holdouts the past two years are reminiscent of the "same-old-Bengals" management reputation that contributed to the current 14-year skid without a playoff berth.

On Tuesday night, Pollack said that the sides had agreed on a five-year deal but guaranteed money in the signing bonus was the sticking point. The total deal was expected to be worth between $9.5 million and $10 million.

Pollack is competitive by nature, on the field and off, and he doesn't want to look foolish by accepting a deal that is not in line with what he thinks the 17th overall draft pick should receive.

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

It is never a good thing when a rookie misses a significant part of training camp due to a contract issue and that holds true for David Pollack who has a lot to learn when it comes to playing linebacker at the NFL level. His extended holdout likely will mean he doesn't see much, if any playing time to start the season unless injuries occur. Pollack has a great work ethic and is a relentless player on the field though so he may be able to make up for his lack of knowledge with sheer intensity. It would have been much better though if he made it to camp on time.

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20. IDP: CAR - S Minters Injury Isn't Too Serious

Clipped from: AP

There is no significant damage to the left knee of Carolina Panthers free safety Mike Minter. Minter has a sprain but no major structural or ligament damage, head coach John Fox said Friday. "Usually when something bad happens, it requires surgery. With this it's just rehab and rest," Fox said. The 31-year-old Minter was injured when 300-pound teammate Brentson Buckner landed on his leg Thursday during full-contact goal-line drills. Minter probably will undergo an MRI on Saturday as a precaution. "I'm a little sore right now, but I think it's going to be OK," he said. "It's definitely not as bad as I thought it was when it happened. It's day-to-day, and I think it will start settling down a bit and then I can tell a little more after that." Minter said it's highly unlikely he'll play in Carolina's preseason opener Aug. 13 against the Washington Redskins. But he should be ready when the Panthers open the regular season Sept. 11 against New Orleans.

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

It is very good news for the Carolina Panthers that Minter's injury shouldn't cost him any regular season games. He has been called the heart and soul of the Panthers defense and his experience and hustle from the safety position makes the defense that much stronger.

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21. IDP - SEA - DL Wistrom Looking For Better Season In 2005

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Dennis Georgatos

Clipped From: ESPN Wire Defensive end Grant Wistrom signed a six-year, $33 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks last year, but the expectations that went with his signing were ruined by injuries. "He's a highly competitive guy, and he goes 150 percent all the time," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said Friday at training camp. "It killed him not to play last year." "Every time you're watching it (from the sidelines), it makes it awfully tough," Wistrom said Friday. Wistrom was slowed by a foot injury in training camp last year, but still helped Seattle to a 3-1 start in the regular season. The Seahawks led the NFL in defense after four games, but Wistrom missed eight of the remaining 13 games with knee injuries, and the Seahawks finished with a 9-7 record and the 26th-ranked defense. "He started off so well," Holmgren said. "When he was playing, our defense clearly was at the top of their game. When he got hurt, there was a noticeable sag." Wistrom's frustration grew when he watched from the sidelines as Seattle's season ended with a first-round playoff loss to his former team, the St. Louis Rams. "That was very difficult," Wistrom said, "and you throw on top of that I did sign a great contract here, and I want to feel I'm worth every penny they gave me. I feel like I have something to prove. I've been given a lot here in Seattle, and now I feel like I need to go out and earn it." "Ever since the season ended last year, I've been looking forward to stepping back on to the field," Wistrom said. "I'm excited about the (defensive personnel) changes we've made. We've brought in a lot of good guys, and I think we're going to put a much better product on the field."

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

Wistrom is entering the twilight of his career but he is very competitive and he will likely bounce back with a very strong season in 2005. He is our 20th ranked defensive lineman at this time.

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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 Eight 8/5/05

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 weather was great in Colorado, not a rain cloud in sight. The Broncos enjoyed the cooler temperatures and heated things up on the field. Here's the Day 8 report:

Jake Plummer had a couple of touchdown passes to Rod Smith. His throws were not sailing as they were yesterday. He scrambled around, making his signature plays with his feet. He said this about the red zone success, "It feels good. I think we had a few plays we should have still made, but down there we have to find a way to get it into the end zone. Guys were stepping up, getting some good runs. Obviously, we're not in pads so you can't tell exactly how the run is, but guys are working hard down there."

Jake also commented on his WR corps, "There's a lot of those guys working hard. Obviously, Ashley (Lelie) is continuing to get better. Darius (Watts) continues to have his ups and downs. He has to continue to get consistent. Charlie Adams is having a great camp. I think he's made a lot of great plays, good routes (and is a) great blocker. All the guys are working hard. Besides that, all the young guys are just a little inconsistent right now. That happens when you get tired and sore. Those guys run so much. It's a tough deal for them sometimes, but they have to get mentally tough and come out every day wanting to get better."

And of course, he chimed in on Jerry Rice, "Who's that? (laughs) Jerry's doing good. He's an older guy. We're not running him into the ground right now. We know he'll be valuable to us in games. He doesn't do many things wrong. When he gets a chance to make plays... Today, he made a couple of real good catches for us."

He also spoke of the teams progress through camp, "Things are coming along like they should. We've still got a lot of work to do. Each day, we're getting better and fighting through the tiredness and being sore. That's what camp is for... just fight through mentally. Physically, everyone is hurting. You've got to be mentally into it. Soon, we'll go down and break it up and get a look at a different team in Houston, which will be nice but we've just got to keep pushing."

Bradlee Van Pelt was picked off a couple of times by Sam Brandon. The wobbles returned to his throws, and he overthrew some deep passes. He was also late on some of his reads, leading to batted passes. He did hook up with Jerry Rice several times, including one for a nice TD in the back of the end zone. QB Jake Plummer had this to say about Van Pelt: "He's doing all right, making some plays. He's not making some plays. He's doing what we're expecting of him. He's going out there and trying hard. His ability to make plays comes out more in a game than it will in practice, but he's working hard just like everyone else trying to get better."

Mauck and Kanell both struggled. Mauck especially threw one of the most ill advised passes I've ever seen. He tried to side arm a ball that was tipped and picked off by Dorsett Davis.

Mike Anderson was solid, nothing unusual to report.

Tatum Bell has looked good running inside 2 days in a row.

Ron Dayne scored a short yardage TD! This is big news because many of us are aware how Dayne used to struggle in short yardage and goal line situations. He is getting better with his hands, but still catches with his body way too much. Coach Shanahan had this to say about the red zone offense: "Well, we don't really have a scrimmage. We have a little goal-line situation, where we will actually tackle, and that's what we consider a scrimmage. In the red zone today, we had a lot of scenarios - second and 10 versus a nickel, third-down situations versus a nickel. Then we came back and did first and 10 in 7-on-7 and first and 10 as a team. It was an area of emphasis and obviously, we tried to work on it today."

Coach also said this about Dayne, "Ron's done a great job. I think his running style fits our system. We watched him in college. We liked what he did in college. He's come in here and worked extremely hard. I look forward to seeing him perform in game situations. He's got a lot of ability and now we'll get a chance to see him compete against other backs."

Quentin Griffin is definitely on the bubble and got a lot of work in special teams practice this afternoon.

Rod Smith and Jake Plummer continue to dominate almost every time they line up. Rod even outmaneuvered Lenny Walls for a TD. Walls has been having a great camp, but Rod showed why he's one of the best.

Ashley Lelie had some nice slant routes. He was overthrown by Van Pelt a few times. He almost had a very acrobatic grab on one of those passes.

Darius Watts was inconsistent. First, he was sliding for a sideline grab. Next, he's dropping a wide open pass. He also let the DB's jump all over his routes.

Todd Devoe had a decent day.

Charlie Adams continues to be consistently good. Here's what Adams had to say after morning practice:

On being consistent: "That is a big reason why I was not here the whole season last year, so that is something that I tried to focus on during this offseason. Right now, all of the work that I did seems to be paying off. All I can do not is focus on them one at a time as they come to me. "

On seeing the veterans practice and its effect on him: "These guys are a big for me. It goes all the way back to (former Broncos wide receiver) Ed McCaffrey, and I even told (wide receiver) Rod (Smith) that if it was not for him and Ed, I would not be here. Jerry (Rice) does not do anything but build on that. They are always telling us any and every little thing that could possibly get us open or gain a step or two because that is all it takes. Rod and Jerry help us out a lot with the little things, especially things that you may not see, while just watching the game or film. These are all big things that really help you get up into the league."

On transitioning into the preseason: "It is one thing when you are making plays out here, but they want to see you do it on gameday. This is something that everybody has to do and if you do not make plays on the weekend then you probably will not be here. That is something that everyone out here has to work on and do, but I especially have to do it."

On playing Houston and seeing new faces: "They do have some good corners down there, but every day we go against (cornerback) Champ Bailey and (cornerback) Lenny Walls. We also have all of these young corners who are doing extremely well, so I think we go against the best corners every day. I do not think they are going to show us anything that we have not seen here."

Jeb Putzier had a good day and isn't too bothered by that ankle injury. He did have a TD pass stripped from him, but other than that he was solid.

This afternoon was special teams practice. More from Dove Valley tomorrow!

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

Well, this is sort of "our view" as these were Cecil's impressions from the day. Let's look for more tomorrow.

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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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