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Volume 6, Issue 110 (Saturday, August 6th)

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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. And our killer "My Team" feature. Thanks to our Mike Herman for rounding up these stories tonight and let's jump right to it.

Joe Bryant


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.

B. (Premium Subscription) My Team Feature Let's You Track YOUR Team
One of the coolest features we've added in quite a while is our "My Team". Click on the link above and you can select up to 25 players that you want to keep an eye on. A great way to watch "your" players.


1. OAK - Norv Turner Prefers FB Zack Crockett for Short Yardage
2. ARI - WR Anquan Boldin to Miss 2-3 Weeks
3. BAL - Rookie WR Mark Clayton Signs 5-year Deal
4. NYG - WR Amani Toomer Adjusting to New Position
5. SF - Rookie RB Frank Gore Chips Bone in Shoulder
6. ATL - QB Matt Schaub Named American Bowl MVP
7. GB - QB Aaron Rodgers Has Rough Outing in Controlled Scrimmage
8. CAR - Offensive Line Returns Intact
9. TEN - PK Rob Bironas Ahead of Ola Kimrin
10. PIT - RG Kendall Simmons is Back
11. DEN - RB Tatum Bell Lurking Behind Mike Anderson
12. PHI - Young Receivers Need to Fill Pinkston Void
13. IDP: DAL - DL Spears to Miss at Least a Month
14. IDP: NYJ - CB Law Reaches Agreement With Jets
15. IDP: TEN - CB "Pacman" Jones' and Titans' Negotiations Stalled

1. OAK - Norv Turner Prefers FB Zack Crockett for Short Yardage

Clipped from / AP article 8/4/05

Clipped From: San Francisco Chronicle article by Nancy Gay

The arrival of running back LaMont Jordan as the Raiders' free-agent savior for their dismal rushing attack never caused Zack Crockett to lose a moment's sleep.

The smiling, dread-locked fullback, after all, is the undisputed choice for short-yardage pay dirt, with 21 red-zone touchdowns the past three seasons. He does tend to punch it in, whether it's for a first down or into the end zone.

So Crockett, despite the Raiders' status as the NFL's worst rushing team (80.9 yards per game) in 2004, knew he wouldn't be a forgotten man in the '05 offense, even with the addition of Jordan to the backfield.

Jordan and Crockett have split duties during red-zone drills in camp. Jordan, the former backup to NFL rushing leader Curtis Martin, is respected for his short-yardage ability. But coaches can't dispute Crockett's effectiveness.

"LaMont is a good short-yardage back," coach Norv Turner said. "But obviously Zack might be the best there is."

"A year ago we really went through a period where we didn't have a lead blocker other than Zack. That was a decision we made," Turner said. "I would see Zack being the short-yardage back, knowing that LaMont has been awfully good at it."

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This is good news for fantasy owners of Zack Crockett, who could remain a decent option in TD only leagues. It's a little discouraging for Lamont Jordan owners, depending upon their expectations. It's easy to get caught up in the track record of feature running backs from teams where Norv Turner was either the head coach or the offensive coordinator. He has a history of running them often, especially at the goal line. It's probably best to temper TD expectations for Jordan in 2005.

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2. ARI - WR Anquan Boldin to Miss 2-3 Weeks

Clipped from: AP article

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin is expected to miss two to three weeks of practice after breaking his nose.

"I would think he's going to be out at least two preseason games," coach Dennis Green said Friday. "We're just happy that it's not real serious - there's a lot of pain, obviously. And he should be as good as new."

Boldin, who also burst a blood vessel in his nose, was at camp Friday in street clothes and had an adhesive bandage on his nose. He said doctors realigned his nose.

A doctor will re-evaluate Boldin next Wednesday.

"(The doctor) said it heals on its own, so I guess I'm just waiting on that," Boldin said. "His orders were for me to do nothing. They didn't want me to strain or do anything to bust the vessel again."

Boldin might be fitted with a special facemask to protect his nose when he returns, but there's no official word from the Cardinals on what will be done.

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

This is not the type of injury that lingers or should impact his play down the line. We still expect Boldin to be the top receiver on the team, although Larry Fitzgerald is not far behind. What's of more concern is the loss of several weeks of practice time, especially since this year he's working with a new QB Kurt Warner. They'll have less time to work on building chemistry, and gives Fitzgerald and the other receivers comparatively more time to develop their own chemistry with Warner.

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3. BAL - Rookie WR Mark Clayton Signs 5-year Deal

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Camille Powell

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms on a five-year contract with wide receiver Mark Clayton, their first-round draft pick, on Friday night and the former Oklahoma standout will report to the team on Saturday after missing the first five days of training camp.

The overall package is worth $8.2 million, though incentives and escalator clauses could push the total value to $11 million, according to a league source. Clayton, the 22nd overall pick, will receive close to $6 million in guaranteed money.

Baltimore Coach Brian Billick had grown increasingly irritated with Clayton's absence as the first week of training camp progressed, particularly considering that the players drafted before and after Clayton signed.

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

Billick's various public complaints during the week may or may not have had any bearing on the deal getting done, but at least Clayton is now on board. He did miss a little camp time, however there is still a month of preseason left. He should compete for the number two spot behind Derrick Mason, although as noted in yesterday's update, both Clarence Moore and Randy Hymes have looked good so far in camp.

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4. NYG - WR Amani Toomer Adjusting to New Position

Clipped from article by Arthur Staple

It is a subtle change that Amani Toomer is getting used to this training camp, a move from being the split end - the "X" receiver who lines up on the line of scrimmage - to flanker, or "Z," the receiver off the ball.

What's not so subtle is Giants coach Tom Coughlin asking Toomer, the Giants' split end since he became a starter in 1999, to make the switch to Ike Hilliard's old spot instead of moving the younger Plaxico Burress to flanker. Toomer is coming off his least productive season as a Giants starter, catching 51 passes with no touchdowns in a season hampered by a hamstring injury.

Coughlin may believe that Toomer, who turns 31 three days before the Sept. 11 season opener, needed the extra space to break free from the line; Toomer now needs this training camp, his 10th, to work on the subtleties of his new spot.

With younger guns such as Burress in town and speedster Tim Carter trying to stay healthy and hold down the third receiver spot, it has been the veteran Toomer who has impressed most through the first week of camp.

Toomer has been running a few seamless routes and catching some deep balls, as he did for the second consecutive day Friday. He made a diving sideline catch on a pass from Eli Manning in Friday's practice and hauled in a 40-yard throw from Manning on a post route Thursday.

"He's worked real well," Coughlin said. "He's caught the ball in traffic ... He has his endurance back again. He's made some real tough catches."

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It's not uncommon for a receiver to struggle when they change positions, so it is encouraging to hear that Toomer appears to be adjusting well. In fact it could turn out that he is an exception to the rule, and actually benefits from the change. Coming off one of his worst seasons in recent memory combined with the team's addition of Burress is causing Toomer to really slide in many drafts (his ADP is 13.12 in 12-team leagues). He should be able to out produce that, and is a decent value.

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5. SF - Rookie RB Frank Gore Chips Bone in Shoulder

Clipped from: San Francisco 49ers.coma article by Chrissy Mauck

Fullback Steve Bush and rookie RB Frank Gore both injured their shoulders during the morning and did not practice in the afternoon. Nolan said that both players will miss about a week while recovering. The coach indicated that Gore's injury is a little more serious than Bush's. Gore suffered a chipped bone in his shoulder.

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Despite a lackluster 2004, we still expect Kevan Barlow to be the primary ball carrier for the 49ers. Gore could steal some carries, particularly as the season progresses. Although apparently minor, this current injury pushes that process back a week or two. It does nothing to dispel the whispers that Gore is injury prone. Gore could also be considered as a fantasy handcuff to Barlow, however it is probably not advisable to invest that heavily in the 49ers offense.

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6. ATL - QB Matt Schaub Named American Bowl MVP

Clipped from: Associated Press article by Jim Armstrong

Matt Schaub threw two touchdown passes in the first half Saturday, leading the Atlanta Falcons past the Indianapolis Colts 27-21 in the American Bowl, the NFL's preseason opener.

The game featured two of the league's marquee quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Michael Vick and was played before a Tokyo Dome crowd of 45,203. "It was a very exciting atmosphere," Manning said. "The crowd was enthusiastic and the players were ready to play. We would have liked to have gotten the victory, but we'll learn from it and come out again next week."

Schaub, who completed 11 of 13 passes for 115 yards, gave the Falcons a 20-14 lead with 10 seconds remaining in the half. He tossed a 3-yard pass to Fred McCrary, who bobbled the ball on the 1 and then rolled into the end zone before being touched. "It was a pretty good play by Fred," said Schaub, who was named the game's MVP. "The ball bounced off his head but he came up with it and was able to roll into the end zone.

Vick came out after the first play of the second quarter. Manning came out with just more than nine minutes left in the second quarter. Manning was 6-for-8 for 36 yards with one interception. Vick, who was 4-for-7 in the first quarter for 51 yards, also showed some of his trademark scrambling when he ran for 10 yards on his only run of the game.

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Schaub also looked pretty good last preseason. His college experience was appropriate to the west coast offense that the new coaching staff implemented in 2004. He actually looked more comfortable in the offense than Vick did. As long as Vick's walking on two legs, he is the QB of this team but if Vick should miss any time, Schaub has shown the potential to be able to fill in and be productive.

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7. BUF at GB - QB Aaron Rodgers Has Rough Outing in Controlled Scrimmage

Clipped from: article by Pete Dougherty

When Sherman surprised Rodgers by calling him out to work with the No. 1 offense Friday night in a controlled scrimmage against the Buffalo Bills at Lambeau Field, he signaled that the first-round draft pick is off to a good start in his bid to beat out Craig Nall and J.T. O'Sullivan for the backup quarterback job behind Brett Favre.

Rodgers didn't get anywhere like the results he had in Thursday night's joint practice with the Bills, when he completed two deep passes and made a number of good reads against the Bills' backups in 11-on-11 drills. His two series Friday night in the scrimmage portion of the practice were ruined by two bad dropped passes and several Buffalo Bills blitzes that he and the offensive line didn't handle.

On a night when all of the Packers' quarterbacks had trouble, Rodgers finished 1-for-7 passing and converted only one first down in three series, but he didn't look any worse than Nall or O'Sullivan, who faced similar pressure from the Bills' blitzes.

Rodgers' first series was ruined by two dropped passes on back-to-back plays - one by rookie Craig Bragg on a short slant, and one by Antonio Chatman on a crossing route. Buffalo sacked him with blitzes three times in the next four plays, and Rodgers also caused an illegal touching penalty when he tried to throw away a screen pass to avoid a sack but hit a lineman, backup guard Will Whitticker, with the throw.

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

Some people consider preseason games as meaningless, so a controlled scrimmage would be worth less than nothing. This article does however remind of us of three things to keep in mind. 1. The Bills have a very good defense. 2. After several years of continuity and excellence, the Packers offensive line is adjusting to several changes this year. That could potentially impact the entire Green Bay offense. 3. If Rodgers wins the backup QB role, and if he actually sees any regular season game time playing behind the immortal Brett Favre, don't forget that he is still a rookie and he'll likely struggle.

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8. CAR - Offensive Line Returns Intact

Clipped from: article by Brett Borden

To understand the marked difference between the state of the Carolina Panthers offensive line at training camp compared to one year ago, when eight different combinations were used, listen to one of the players who lines up behind them on almost every play.

"I think the big difference this year is there's no question about who is playing where," said fullback Brad Hoover. "We have our five starters in place. They are comfortable with each other. There's not really a spot open, whereas last year there were still a few spots up for grabs. It's about those five guys getting comfortable and taking it to the next level."

As it stands now, the Panthers will start an offensive line that has Travelle Wharton at left tackle, Mike Wahle at left guard, Jeff Mitchell at center, Tutan Reyes at right guard and Jordan Gross at right tackle.

What head coach John Fox wanted coming into training camp was simply an offensive line with fewer question marks surrounding it. "Our offensive line was in flux from the minute the 2003 season ended," said Fox. "We lost guys to free agency. We went out and got guys. We had injuries. That position was in turmoil most of the (2004) season until we settled in. But I feel a lot better about where we are right now. Knock on wood, we've just got to stay healthy."

Signing Wahle as a free agent this off-season was an instant shot in the arm. Wahle brought more than just 83 career starts with him from Green Bay. He brought an attitude that is rubbing off on some of his teammates. "He's a different brand of person," said offensive line coach Mike Maser of Wahle. "On the football field he's a very nasty, snap-your-neck-off kind of guy, and we need that. In the long run, what you want is a foxhole mentality. You've got your buddy and you want to protect him. You know he's got your back and you want to have his back."

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

The Panthers got off to a poor start last year, but finished strong. Some, or perhaps even a lot, of that slow start can be attributed to the problems they had along the offensive line. If the line can get the cohesion thing going in preseason this year, they should be able to pave the way for the skill players during the regular season.

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9. TEN - PK Rob Bironas Ahead of Ola Kimrin

Clipped from: Nashville Tennessean article by Paul Kuharsky

Jeff Fisher acknowledged that Rob Bironas has outkicked Ola Kimrin so far. But he stressed performance in preseason games will have the most weight in the decision and left the door open for the Titans to bring in another kicker.

Bironas hit four of five field goals, including a 42-yarder in a game situation. Kimrin missed three of four attempts wide right. Bironas drilled his kickoff a yard deep in the end zone, while Kimrin's only made it to the 7.

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

Pay attention here. Last year, savvy fantasy football owners were able grab Lawrence Tynes in the last round or off waivers. This year Bironas is flying under the radar. He has a good shot at winning the job. The Titans really want to have a placekicker that can also handle kickoffs, so don't expect Gary Anderson to come out of retirement a third time.

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10. PIT - RG Kendall Simmons is Back

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article by Joe Bendel

Five days into his fourth NFL training camp, Kendall Simmons, the former No. 1 pick has shown no ill-effects from the 2004 knee surgery. He is picking up where left off last year, when he had the best training camp of his career.

Pro Bowl defensive end Aaron Smith got a taste of the rejuvenated Simmons the other day, when the guard (6-foot-3, 319 pounds) locked onto Smith during a one-on-one drill and drove him out of the play. "He's back to normal," said Smith, the man who Simmons was blocking last season when the knee gave out. "He's Kendall Simmons again."

Enduring a season on the sidelines last year was nearly as painful as the injury itself for the prideful Simmons. He was forced to watch while Keydrick Vincent, who has since signed with the Baltimore Ravens, seamlessly took his spot and helped the Steelers produce the No. 2 rushing team in the NFL.

In addition to regaining his starting job at right guard, Simmons has to establish a rapport with second-year pro Max Starks at right tackle. Starks, who succeeds Oliver Ross, hasn't started an NFL game. His progress will be crucial on a line that featured the same five starters through the regular season and playoffs last year.

It was only two years ago that the line failed to mesh. Simmons was a shell of himself after dropping 30-plus pounds due to the diabetes, and the Steelers ranked 31st in rushing. Simmons, though, doesn't expect any drop-offs this fall. "I know people have a magnifying glass on the right side of the line with me and Max over there," Simmons said. "I might even be seen as a new guy, even though I'm an older guy. I just hit a bump in the road last year. I don't have to learn everything again. And, Max played some, so he was in the fire. We talk all the time now to get things together, just so we won't have to as much when the season starts. There's nothing to worry about."

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

Kendall returning to form is good news for the Steelers. His "magnifying glass" comment is absolutely correct. The center and left side of the line is in great shape. As long as he and Starks can take care of things on the right side, Pittsburgh should be able to once again do what they love to do best... run the ball, and then run it some more.

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11. DEN - RB Tatum Bell Lurking Behind Mike Anderson

Clipped from: Colorado Springs Gazette article by Frank Schwab

The only time in training camp that Tatum Bell has worked as Denver Broncos' top tailback was Thursday morning - and only because Mike Anderson took the practice off. Bell has not hurt his chances of being the Broncos' starting tailback for the season opener on Sept. 11, but he hasn't convinced the coaches to move him ahead of Anderson, either. The two have split time with the starting offense through camp, but always with Anderson going in first.

Bell said he's not worried about being behind Anderson on the depth chart. However, it is a little surprising that the second-year player hasn't passed Anderson for even one practice. "I'm just trying to do everything I got to do right," Bell said. "If (Anderson) slips, I'm right there. He has no room for slipping."

Broncos offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak said he's been happy with Bell in camp. Kubiak was especially pleased Bell has been in every practice; Bell suffered finger, rib, hamstring and shoulder injuries as a rookie last year. "I'm real pleased with his work and I'm real pleased he's been on the field every day, no nicks or bumps," Kubiak said. "He's doing great."

Bell's problem is that Anderson has not given an inch. Anderson, who rushed for 1,487 yards in 2000, has waited for another chance to start at tailback and he won't fade away quietly. "He's looking good right now," Bell said. "Mike Anderson is making everybody raise their level of play, and Tatum is in there battling," Kubiak said. "The whole camp" will determine who starts, he said.

The battle between Bell and Anderson will be ultimately decided in preseason games, Denver's coaches have said. Bell said he thinks he's keeping the pressure on Anderson with Denver's first preseason game Aug. 13 in Houston.

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

We still expect that Bell will emerge as the featured running back this year. It's hard not to be a little nervous however, with Anderson looking effective. As our Cecil Lammey has been reporting each day, Anderson has looked very strong. The other worry of course is that there is also Griffin, Dayne, and Clarett on the Broncos' roster. Every year Denver seems to have a stable of potential starters and/or contributors, but in the end it's usually just one that racks up the numbers.

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12. PHI - Young Receivers Need to Fill Pinkston Void

Clipped from: Associated Press article

With Terrell Owens day-to-day and Todd Pinkston now gone for the season, the Philadelphia Eagles are looking to their young receivers to immediately step in and contribute. Those include third-year pros Greg Lewis, 25, and Billy McMullen, 25, as well as rookie wideout Reggie Brown, 24. Among them, they have just 27 combined receptions and only one touchdown. But none of that matters once they get on the field.

"We just have more opportunities to go out and make plays," said Lewis, who will take Pinkston's role as the No. 2 receiver behind Owens. "If you worry about pressure you're going to get squashed. As a whole I think we're coming along. Right now we're real young with T.O and Pink going down, but that's no excuse."

An undrafted free agent from Illinois who earned his way on Philadelphia's roster in 2003, Lewis became a reliable target for Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb toward the end of last season. But he has only 23 career catches and one touchdown, a 30-yard grab in Philadelphia's 24-21 Super Bowl loss to New England. "I think that everybody on the football team has a lot of confidence in him," Reid said of Lewis. "He's playing well, but it's not something new that he is doing now that he didn't do before. He is getting more of an opportunity now."

McMullen, a third-round pick in 2003 out of Virginia, has largely been described as a disappointment so far. With just four career receptions for 26 yards, Reid said that McMullen needs to establish he can regularly contribute.

Brown will be the real question mark, as the unproven but quick-learning rookie has had a strong training camp to this point. An All-SEC wideout at the University of Georgia last season, Brown said he feels no added pressure with the losses of Pinkston and Owens, and is looking forward to making an immediate impact. He has already won the praises of his all-pro quarterback. "I think Reggie is a guy that is willing to do whatever it takes in order to help the team win," McNabb said. "When you have that attitude coming in as a young guy, things seem to sort of fall into place for you. He's making the big plays for us, he has picked up the offense extremely fast and he is kind of just relaxed out there."

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

Lewis moves into the WR2 role for the Eagles, now that Pinkston is done for the year. As a barometer for what that role could mean, here are Pinkston's numbers from last year: 61 targets, 36 receptions, 676 yards, and 1 TD. He was the 54th ranked fantasy wide receiver. The role has the potential to expand depending on what happens with Owens. Between injuries, contract squabbling, and alienating his quarterback, Terrell Owens could possibly see a decline in his production.

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13. IDP: DAL - DL Spears to Miss at Least a Month

Clipped from: Dallas Morning News article by Jean-Jacques Taylor

Jerry Jones admitted his stomach churned nervously from the time first-round pick Marcus Spears was carted off the practice field Friday morning until the Cowboys owner received the MRI results. Then he took a deep breath. "I was as down between practices as I've been at any point since the end of last season," Jones said. "We were expecting the worst. It didn't look good on film."

Spears, expected to play a key role in the Cowboys' defensive renaissance, suffered a sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, a right ankle sprain and a pulled groin, according to Jones. Spears is expected to miss at least a month. Dallas opens its season against San Diego in 37 days.

"The good news is, as I stand here this minute," Jones said, "that there's a chance he could be back for the first game of the season."

Spears suffered the injury in the morning practice when a teammate apparently rolled up the back of his leg on a run off right tackle by Anthony Thomas. After an examination by the training staff, Spears was taken to St. John's Medical Center.

The Cowboys selected Spears (6-4, 294 pounds) with the 20th selection of the first round because he has the girth to play heads up against offensive tackles in the 3-4 and be an effective player against the run.

Spears, who worked with the first team in minicamps, had spent the first week of training camp playing behind fourth-year defensive end Kenyon Coleman. The injury gives Coleman an opportunity to solidify himself as a starter. The Cowboys acquired him two years ago for a pair of late-round draft choices. He has 25 tackles and two sacks in limited playing time. Coleman's performance through the first week of training camp has impressed Parcells. It helps that Coleman fits better into the 3-4 than the 4-3 because he can use his assets - strength and power - instead of relying on speed and technique.

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Multiple injuries and missing a month is not "good", however it remains good news compared to what it could have been given the circumstances.

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14. IDP: NYJ - CB Law Reaches Agreement With Jets

Clipped from: Newark Star-Ledger article by Dave Hutchinson

The Jets and free-agent Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law have reached an agreement in principle on a multiyear deal, which is contingent on Law passing a physical, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Jets assistant general manager Mike Tannenbaum and Law's agent, Carl Poston, met Thursday night and agreed to many of the parameters of a deal and are now trying to fine-tune the contract. They negotiated throughout the day yesterday.

The deal is believed to include a signing bonus of $5 million to $6 million and average roughly $6 million per season. It is said to be incentive-rich and heavily backloaded. Law will come to New York for a physical early next week.

The Jets may have to rework several contracts and perhaps even release a veteran or two to make any deal work under the salary cap. One player who might be adversely affected is cornerback Ray Mickens.

Last season, Law turned down a four-year, $24 million offer from New England, which released him in February for salary cap reasons. Law has found that teams have been reluctant to meet his demands.

While the Chiefs, Jaguars or Lions may be able to pay Law more than the Jets, Law's relationship with Jets coach Herman Edwards, running back Curtis Martin and secondary coach Corwin Brown plus his desire to play for a winner gave the Jets an edge.

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The Jets continue to upgrade their team, with the goal of overtaking the Patriots, by signing a former Patriot and pro-bowler.

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15. IDP: TEN - CB Adam "Pacman" Jones' and Titans' Negotiations Stalled

Clipped from: Associated Press Article

Negotiations between the Titans and their top draft pick stalled Friday, and general manager Floyd Reese said he isn't sure when a deal for cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones will be reached.

Reese had been optimistic Thursday after receiving a counter proposal from agent Michael Huyghue and thought both sides were close enough that they could conclude a contract quickly.

Huyghue has declined to discuss specific details of the negotiations.

The general manager said Jones' agent wants to address the language of the contract first. The Titans have said they want to include clauses to protect themselves. Jones, the sixth pick overall in the draft, has a court date on Aug. 11 on vandalism and two misdemeanor assault charges.

Such language usually is written after the length of the deal and the money involved is settled. Reese said he'll do anything to help negotiations, but the Titans must write those clauses first.

Jones now has missed the first eight days of camp, including 13 total practices. The Titans want to see him compete for their open cornerback slot opposite Andre Woolfolk. Reese said the cornerback has no idea of the challenges to catch up once he does report.

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Jones has the potential to step in and be an immediate contributor on defense. The Titans have also indicated that Jones would be the favorite to take over on returns on special teams. Between his off-field issues and the slow contract negotiations, it is looking like his contributions may not occur until further into the season.

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16. DEN - Footballguys Camp Report

Clipped from: ESPN Wire

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 Broncos must've been looking forward to having Sunday off. For part of their practice on Saturday they got to take their shoulder pads off. But the level of play declined significantly, so 15 minutes later the pads went right back on. Most of the day was spent in goal line and red zone drills. Here's what I saw...

Jake Plummer made some ill advised throws and was picked off a couple of times. Including an out pass intended for Rod Smith that was intercepted by Lenny Walls and he took it back for a TD. He did have some nice passes to Rod Smith, but underthrew Ashley Lelie on a deep pass that, had it been on the mark, would've been a TD. He endured a knee injury and had this to say after camp, "On one of the pass plays, I set my feet and went to throw the ball to the wide receiver and my feet got caught. I think it was (tackle Matt) Lepsis and (defensive tackle) Luther (Elliss) on the ground, and I got locked in on them. In a game, I probably would have taken off and jump over them, but I think I just locked my knee a little bit."

The knee feels fine according to Jake, "It is nothing major, and with a couple days of rest it should be OK. If I complain about my knee, how can I look myself in the mirror? (linebacker) Al Wilson, (defensive end) Trevor Pryce and all of these other guys are banging up front, so I have no right to complain about a sore knee. It is going to be fine, so I just need to keep taking advantage of the days off. We are going to look at it now and since I kept practicing, I would assume that it is nothing serious. It was not as if I could not keep going - it just started hurting a little bit. I am hoping that it is just a little strain, which I think it is and I know my body pretty well."

Bradlee Van Pelt had another bad day. He was staring at his receivers all day, and had a pass picked off by Ian Gold that was intended for Romar Crenshaw. He also fumbled a snap that was recovered by the defense. Bradlee had this to say, "Everyone's guilty of something today because we all had our hand in having a bad practice, but for all in all, you've just got to keep pushing through," Van Pelt said. "Coach (Shanahan) says if you're going to make mistakes, at least make them going full speed."

Matt Mauck was the only Broncos QB not to throw an interception. He did have a nice TD pass to Darius Watts in the back of the end zone. However, he is still having troubles with the rush and routinely holds onto the ball too long.

Danny Kanell threw an interception, and that was the highlight of his day!

Mike Anderson had a good day catching the ball. He took a big shot from Al Wilson on a screen pass, but got up and delivered his own blow on the goal line. He was stopped a couple of times in short yardage drills, but he did manage to lower his head and punch a couple in. He even ran over Nick Ferguson on a dive up the middle. Anderson knew why the Broncos looked rusty, "We've been out here I don't know how many days going day in and day out, and to know that after practice we don't have meetings and we're taking off for a day, you can kind of get ahead of yourself and lose focus on the job at hand. That's the purpose of training camp -- to keep that focus and stay locked in on what you're doing until the job is done."

Tatum Bell dropped a lob pass in the end zone. He was hammered by Dominique Foxworth as the ball arrived, but he clearly should've held onto it. John Lynch put the kabosh on Bell a couple of times as well. Lynch was serious and Bell seemed as though he stopped running at initial contact. Lynch even flung him to the ground on his second stop. Bell was running with ZERO authority between the tackles today. He failed to score in any of his goal line opportunities.

Quentin Griffin practiced with the second team and did nothing to stand out.

Maurice Clarett had his groin act up on him again, after returning to the field on Friday. He sat out most of the practice.

Ron Dayne punched in another run at the goal line. He made some okay catches and seems to be working on his concentration. He was decent between the tackles and is dancing behind the line less frequently.

Rod Smith had a couple of passes batted away from him. He did have a nice TD catch, where he stretched out to hit the pylon.

Ashley Lelie had a good, not great day. He too tried to round out his routes and had some passes swatted away from his grasp.

Jerry Rice thought the Broncos were looking ahead to their day off on Sunday, "You can't relax. I think a lot of guys came out today, and they were thinking about the time off. We didn't seem as sharp or as focused and that's why we put the pads back on. It was OK. I just wish that the entire team, including myself, had been a little sharper today. We have some time away, so we have to regroup and come back and have a good practice Monday. I'm sure there were a lot of veterans out there today that were pretty disappointed with how we practiced today, and now we just have to refocus and get ready."

Rice is also getting quite a bit of attention around town, "I know that it pretty much comes along with the territory. When people come up to you, they want autographs. They take double takes like 'what are you doing here at Target. What are you doing at the grocery store?' I'm the type of guy that likes to get out there on my own, and I think when people stop recognizing you then there is something wrong. It's time to move on and do something else. Yesterday, I went to the mall. I just had to get away for a second, and I guess people expect you to have bodyguards or an entourage. They look at me like I'm crazy, like 'why is this guy hanging out like this?'"

Rice also answered a question about how he would feel if he didn't make the team, "It's OK. If I don't make it, I gave it everything I had. My approach over the years has been that I have always had to make the team, even in the glory days. I don't want anything given to me. I want to earn everything. If it doesn't work out then I will just move on. At least I came here and gave it my best shot."

Todd Devoe had a couple of drops. They were easy passes, I just think he was thinking about running before he secured the ball. He did have one great catch over Lenny Walls.

Darius Watts had another up and down day. He did have the best catch this morning of all the Broncos, but made some key drops too.

Jeb Putzier did some good things on the field. He felt putting the pads back on re-energized the team, "It woke you up more than anything. What the hell were we doing? When you get a chance to do something, and people are letting things go by. You get frustrated with yourself and everyone for not picking it up. It's a learning experience."

Coach Shanahan spoke on several topics after practice:

On defensive tackle Mario Fatafehi's injury suffered during Saturday morning's practice: "We believe, at least right now without taking a MRI, that it's a second degree MCL, which can have him out anywhere from one week to three weeks. We'll find out for sure (the time Fatafehi will be out)... The MRI is going on right now and as soon as we know, we will let you know (the media)."

On why he made the players put their pads back on after the team had practiced in pads for most of the morning: "Once we took our pads off, we didn't practice very well, which is the reason we put the pads back on. Overall, I thought we finished pretty strong. "

On quarterback Jake Plummer's left knee: "I don't know how bad it is. He might have just tweaked it a little bit, and until the doctors look at it, I don't know for sure. He (Plummer) just felt that there was something a little different in there. I think he got it hit or a little jolt. Hopefully, it's just a little scar tissue."

On working in goal-line situations: "The ones (first team) got in every time and did some good things. Your defense is supposed to keep your offense out like they did the majority of time. We got a chance to evaluate some players down in that goal-line situation as well as our runners. It's a good period to have, and you're always hoping you don't have any injuries. Unfortunately, we had one today (defensive tackle Mario Fatafehi). "

The Broncos are off on Sunday and only have 3 more practices before they head off to Houston for their first preseason game. I will be out at Dove Valley Monday, giving you the latest!

[[[[[[[[[[ 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.


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