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Volume 6, Issue 13 (Sunday, May 1st)

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Hi Folks,

Let's jump to the start of another week of the Daily Updates. Thanks
to our Mike Brown for rounding up the stories on this one. Have a
great Monday.

Joe

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Site News:

A. Data Dominator Released for 2005
If you're looking for the absolute best way to mine through player data,
we have the answer. Ihave a stack of email from people that tell me this
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B. Historical Data Dominator Released for 2005
Need to know more than just last year's data? No problem as the Historical
Data Dominator will let you search back to 1960 for many stats.


C. More Team Reports Are Rolling. One of the most requested features
we produce are the Team Reports. We've got six more ready and of
course, we'll continue to keep these updated through the Spring and
Summer.

1. Baltimore Team Report
by Maurile Tremblay, David Baker, Mike Herman and Chris Smith 

2. Cincinnati Team Report
by Maurile Tremblay, John Norton, Mike Herman and Chris Smith

3. Cleveland Team Report 
by Cathy Fazio, David Baker, Mike Herman and Chris Smith

4. Minnesota Team Report
by David Yudkin, John Norton, Chris Smith and Mike Herman

5. New Orleans Team Report
by Chase Stuart, Bob Magaw, Chris Smith and Mike Herman

6. San Francisco Team Report
by Andy Hicks, John Norton, Chris Smith and Mike Herman


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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. CLE - Rookie WR Edwards Injures Groin
2. NYJ - OC Heimerdinger Bringing Vertical Attack
3. MIN - HC Tice Wants One RB To Emerge
4. CHI - WR Gage To Get First Shot As #2 Receiver
5. SEA - WR Robinson Gets The Message
6. BUF  Team May Dump WR Reed
7. NYJ - Nugent A Machine
8. DEN - WRs Mitchell, Hakim Interest Broncos
9. IND IDP: DE Freeney Recovering From Surgery
10. DAL IDP: Rookie DE Ware Settling In At Minicamp
11. ATL IDP: HC Mora Says S Hall Won't Return
12. NYJ IDP: Jets Still Eyeing CB Law
13. JAC IDP: DT Stroud Still The Same

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1. CLE - Rookie WR Edwards Injures Groin

Clipped from: Beacon Journal Article by Patrick McManamon 5/1/05

First-round draft pick Braylon Edwards could not catch up to a long
throw from Charlie Frye during Saturday's rookie workout, but Frye
said there was a reason.

"His groin is tweaked a little bit," Frye said. "So he took it
easy. When he's 100 percent, he'll go and get that ball."

Even with the tweak, Edwards was impressive.

"You could tell he has talent," Crennel said. "He's smooth and he
does things easily. When you can do it easily that's a sign that
there's talent there"

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

Another day, another draft pick hurt. Still, this doesn't seem like
much of anything to be concerned with, especially in May. With Kellen
Winslow's recovery status still somewhat up in the air and no real
playmaking receivers to shoulder the load, Edwards will be counted on
to provide a much-needed shot in the arm to a Cleveland passing game
that lacked punch last year. An injury like this should be monitored
just to see if it becomes a nagging thing, but at this point all it is
is a minor blip on the radar.

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2. NYJ - OC Heimerdinger Bringing Vertical Attack

Clipped from: Staten Island Live Article by Dave Hutchinson 5/1/05

New Jets offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger is all about one
thing -- matchups. And if he gets a favorable matchup against an
opponent, he's dialing long distance. Case closed.

Coach Herman Edwards has already told quarterback Chad Pennington to
forget about his completion percentage. The days of Paul Hackett's
dink-and-dunk offense are gone.

Say hello to "Dinger Ball."

"There's a lot of options (in the new offense), and a lot of those
options are vertical," Edwards said yesterday during the second day of
the Jets' three-day minicamp. "You're going to miss some every once in
a while and that's okay. I told (Pennington), you might not lead the
league in completions. (But) I'm not going to worry about that."

Heimerdinger, nicknamed "Dinger," runs an offense based on getting
favorable matchups, calling audibles at the line of scrimmage and
buying time with the shotgun formation. It's a formula that turned
Titans quarterback Steve McNair into a co-MVP winner in 2003 and
produced the second-most points in club history (435) that season,
including six consecutive games of 30 or more points.

Last season, with McNair hurt, backup Billy Volek joined Dan Marino,
Dan Fouts and Phil Simms as the only quarterbacks in league history to
throw for more than 400 yards in consecutive games. The Titans had two
receivers with at least 80 catches: Derrick Mason (96 receptions,
1,168 yards, seven TDs) and Drew Bennett (80-1,247-11).

"What we're trying right now is they (the receivers) are in one-on-one
(matchups), they have a chance to catch the ball," Heimerdinger said.
"We have some progressions (in the offense), but if Laveranues Coles
is one-on-one and he wasn't in the original progression and he has a
'go route,' we're probably going to throw that go route to Laveranues.
"It's not very often that you get a guy one-on-one in this league and
when you do, that's where you score your points."

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

Heimerdinger was successful in Tennessee, building the Titans offense
from a run-first smashmouth ground game to an aerial attack creating
havoc for defenses. This news could mean bigger things for Justin
McCareins, who thrived under Heimerdinger in 2003 before signing with
the Jets last off-season. In fact, both starting receivers for New
York possess the type of game-breaking ability that Heimerdinger hopes
to exploit. While it will likely take some time for all of the players
to get used to the new offense, it does promise to be much more
explosive than the stale offensive sets they had run under Paul
Hackett the past few years. If Chad Pennington's arm strength is back
to where it was pre-injury, then this could be a passing game that
will surprise some people. Herm Edwards' comments about Pennington not
leading the league in completions is very telling. The Jets, Edwards
included, have had enough of the dink and dunk, "safe" offense and are
looking to air it out a bit more in '05. Stay tuned to how the many
parts gel over the summertime to see if this passing game can enter
the league's elite units.

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3. MIN - HC Tice Wants One Running Back To Emerge

Clipped from Associated Press 5/1/05

After years of using a running back by committee approach, Tice wants
one player to emerge as the "Belle cow" and carry the load this
season.

"They all know the job is open for anybody," Tice said Saturday on
the second day of Vikings mini-camp.

There's going to be plenty of competition for that job.

Michael Bennett, Onterrio Smith and Mewelde Moore have all shown
flashes of game-breaking ability, but all have had other issues keep
them from reaching their full potential.

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

If Tice is serious about sticking with one guy, then the winner of
this battle will give some lucky owner some serious value in their
draft. Each of the three backs has loads of talent, but as the article
reminds us, each has also given owners reason to not want to put
utmost faith in them. Of the three, Smith has shown the best
combination of talent and ability to remain injury-free, though his
suspension last year demonstrates his primary reason for not being
able to hold the job. Fantasy owners need to keep a keen eye towards
this situation, as one of the few "hot spots" for running back battles
this year. What's more, Tice will throw the ball to his backs,
something he may be forced to do even more than usual following the
departure of Randy Moss. Now, if only we could fully trust Tice to
settle on one guy...

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4. CHI - WR Gage To Get First Shot At #2 Receiver

Clipped from Oshkosh Northwestern Article by Larry Graham 5/1/05

Searching for possible solutions to the problem, the Bears signed free
agent Muhsin Muhammad. They also return Justin Gage, Bobby Wade and
Bernard Berrian.

That doesn't necessarily translate to a wide-open race for the
receiver spot opposite Muhammad.

"Justin Gage has earned that right, we're going to give him that shot,
it's his," Drake said of the No. 2 receiver spot. "He needs to go out
there and he knows what he needs to do and perform."

Tailback Thomas Jones led the Bears in receptions (56) with Bobby Wade
finishing runner-up with 42, but without a touchdown. Gage finished
with 12.

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

You may have noticed in the article the part that mentions Thomas
Jones having led the team in receptions. Jones is a running back.
Moral of the story? The Bears didn't throw to their receivers very
much last year. Then again, David Terrell and Bobby Wade didn't
exactly give them much reason to, nor did former OC Terry Shea want
guys like Craig Krenzel whipping the ball all over the field. The
Bears have since changed coordinators, dumped Terrell, and welcomed
Rex Grossman back into the fold. It remains to be seen how the Bears
will attack teams through the air, but it likely won't include much
action for the #2 receiver. Even if it does, Gage is coming off a
12-reception season so it's not as if this job is his to take to the
bank anyway.

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5. SEA - WR Robinson Gets The Message

Clipped from Daily Herald article by Scott M. Johnson 5/1/05

The date was Jan. 3 - six weeks after the NFL handed him a four-game
suspension and one day after Robinson's unexcused absence from a
walk-through practice led Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren to send
him home hours before the regular-season finale. By all accounts,
Robinson had run out of second chances.

And so, in a short meeting with Holmgren, the Seahawks' 24-year-old
receiver was finally given an ultimatum. Start getting help, the coach
told him, or you're on your own. The Seahawks had tired of his antics
and were no longer going to give any pardons.
Almost four months have passed, and Robinson, now 25, is facing up to
his demons. He admitted Saturday that he has undergone treatment for
substance abuse, that he no longer drinks, and that he is ready to
commit himself to the sport that he loves.

"I'm maturing, man," Robinson said in his first public interview since
the end of the tumultuous 2004 season. "I'm cutting out all of the
B.S. off the field. I'm focused on my job now, instead of everything
else. I'm really thankful for the opportunity. I guess certain things
had to happen last year for me to really get it and see that I'm
really blessed."

After the most difficult year of his NFL career, Robinson came to the
Seahawks' minicamp professing himself a new man.

"You either want to be in the NFL, or you don't," he told a small
group of print reporters after a Saturday afternoon practice. "And I
do. So I've got to do everything that I've got to do to stay here.

"It's on me. I'm not stupid. I'm not going to be one of those people
who they talk about: 'He had the potential to be great, but he let
this, that and the other thing be a distraction.' That's not going to
be me."

Robinson admitted that his partying got in the way of what was
supposed to be his main focus. Rather than concentrate on football, he
said he was wrapped up in living "the football life" away from the
field.

"I was hurting myself," Robinson said. "Not getting enough sleep,
trying to go hard. My mind wasn't right."

Neither Robinson nor Holmgren is willing to get specific about his
offseason commitments, but the wide receiver reportedly did a 30-day
stint in an alcohol treatment center. He is also moving his mother,
Suzette Sims Robinson, and his 3-year-old son, Marquis, to Seattle to
help him keep his priorities straight.

While Robinson impressed the coaches by fulfilling a series of
directives shortly after the season, the receiver still has a lot to
prove. When asked two days ago about Robinson's offseason progress,
Holmgren simply replied called it "OK."

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is also lukewarm in his praise. He was
disappointed when Robinson - among others - did not show up for all
the team's voluntary offseason workouts earlier this spring.

Through it all, Holmgren continued to give his 2002 first-round pick
the benefit of the doubt. But Holmgren has made it clear to Robinson
that he's had enough. And Robinson has apparently gotten the message.

"I'm trying to get right," Robinson said Saturday. "I'm focused on
helping the team and showing them I'm accountable. I'm going to be
here, you can count on me, and I'm going to be responsible."

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

It's terrific that Robinson appears to have gotten the message
Holmgren is sending. Truth is, it probably came a year or two later
than it should have. There are a bunch of 'ifs'...IF Robinson is
serious, and IF he can keep his act together, etc, etc. But he's
certainly intriguing for fantasy owners because of his talent and
youth. At only 24, it seems as if Robinson has been in the league
forever. In truth, it is obvious that he came in well before he should
have, as his immaturity has surfaced on many occasions throughout his
career thus far. While this article paints a mostly glowing portrait
of Robinson's off-season commitment, take heed of what QB Matt
Hasselbeck had to say about Robinson skipping voluntary workouts in
the spring before you go believing he's a completely changed man. The
combustible Robinson is one of the biggest risk/reward candidates out
there, and there are likely plenty of owners who have taken a vow to
never draft Robinson again. But IF (there's that word again) he can
overcome is problems off the field, he has a very good shot at being
one of the best value plays in the field.

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6. BUF - May Dump WR Reed

Clipped from Miami Sun-Sentinel article by Charles Bricker 5/1/05

Three years into receiver Josh Reed's career (he's a former Nick Saban
player at LSU), he looks as if he's headed for the bench, the waiver
wire or a trade, and he can't be worth much. The Bills, without a
first-round pick, took UM receiver Roscoe Parrish in the second round.

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

Reed has shown flashes of ability here and there but has never put it
together for any real stretch of time. Having been passed on the depth
chart by Lee Evans, and now with the selection of Roscoe Parrish, it's
obvious that Reed's value has never been lower. Unless he is able to
magically channel the talent of Andre Reed into his own body, he'll
remain a part-time NFL player.

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7.NYJ - PK Nugent A Machine

Clipped from Star-Ledger article by Dave Hutchinson 5/1/05

Kicker Mike Nugent, who missed two field goals in six tries on Friday
outdoors, hit all six attempts from 40 yards and out yesterday as the
Jets practiced in the bubble because of the rain. The 5-9, 182-pounder
looks like the real thing.

"He was like a machine," coach Herman Edwards said.

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

Any time a kicker is drafted, it means he's already pretty darn good
coming out of college. When said kicker was taken in the second round,
he's entering the league as a potential star (well, for a kicker). One
note to keep in mind is that Nugent banged in all six tries while
inside the practice bubble. Quite a different scenario from kicking in
the swirling Giants Stadium winds in November. Still, with no real
competitors for the job, Nugent's fantasy value will go as far as the
Jets' new offense will allow.

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8. DEN - WRs Mitchell, Hakim Interest Broncos

Clipped from Denver Post article by Bill Williamson 5/1/05

Freddie Mitchell, a veteran wide receiver the Eagles are trying to
trade, could interest the Broncos. ...

Denver is one of several teams to show interest in slot receiver
Az-Zahir Hakim, cut by Detroit last week.

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

The Broncos could certainly use a solid receiver to add some depth. As
of now, the team would be relying on the fairly untested Darius Watts
(he of the 31 career receptions) quite a bit. We'll keep you posted as
to whether Denver decides if either of these players is worth adding
to the roster.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

9. IND IDP: DE Freeney Recovering From Shoulder Surgery

Clipped from Associated Press article 5/1/05

NFL sack leader Dwight Freeney recently had shoulder surgery and might
not be ready to practice when the Indianapolis Colts open training
camp in late July, coach Tony Dungy said Saturday.

"He had shoulder surgery a couple of weeks ago _ just a cleanup,"
Dungy said. "We kind of knew that it was coming. (They) had planned
on doing it after the Pro Bowl. We expect him to be full-go right
around the beginning of camp."

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

The most troubling part of this is that the Colts knew this was coming
apparently right around the time of the Pro Bowl, yet waited until now
to finally get the surgery done? The surgery itself doesn't sound like
a major procedure, so why the wait? In addition, you never want to see
that a star player might not be playing come training camp. Each
player, no matter how big his star status is, needs to get his reps to
get in proper shape for the season ahead. Considering this injury is
to Freeney's shoulder and could affect his strength, at least early
on, it is definitely something to keep a watchful eye on. Any injury
necessitates monitoring, but one that requires surgery that will keep
a player out for possibly 4+ months is more than a little concerning.
We'll keep you posted on Freeney's progress throughout the summer
months.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

10. DAL IDP: Rookie DE Ware Settling In At Minicamp

Clipped from Associated Press article 5/1/05

The Dallas Cowboys made Demarcus Ware their top pick as part of a
defensive overhaul, signs of which continued Saturday at the team's
rookie minicamp. Ware pass rushed while alternating between playing on
the defensive line and linebacker, the kind of versatility coach Bill
Parcells banked on when he selected Ware with the 11th overall pick.

Knowing the Cowboys were in a likely switch to a 3-4 defensive scheme,
Ware brushed up on the formation before he arrived. He called former
coaches at Troy and pored over terminology.

"I view Demarcus Ware as an interchangeable player," Parcells said.
"I think he has the ability to gravitate upwards and backwards. I
don't know what you want to call that. In some situations, I would say
he would be more like a linebacker and in others he'd be more like a
lineman. There have been a number of players in recent years that you
can make reference to that have similar characteristics."

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

It appears that Ware is going to step in and be an immediate key to
the Cowboys' fortunes in 2005. It's tough for a rookie defensive
lineman to come in and make an enormous impact right away, but it
certainly seems that Ware will at least be in a position to do so.
You've got to like that he prepared ahead of time by prepping himself
on the nuances of the 3-4 defense. Whatever role Ware does end up
filling for Dallas, it is quite apparent that Bill Parcells is, right
now at least, envisioning big things for his #1 pick.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

11. NYJ IDP: Jets Still Eyeing CB Law

Clipped from Star-Ledger article by Dave Hutchinson 5/1/05

CB Ty Law remains on the Jets' radar, Edwards said. Law, a former
Patriot, is recovering from a broken foot and isn't expected to be
able to work out for teams until the end of the month.

"Anything is possible," said Edwards, adding Law has called him on at
least two occasions. Law's price tag may be too high for the team,
according to one club official.

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

It's quite possible that the Jets are merely keeping tabs on Law to
make sure he doesn't end up somewhere that would hurt them. As it
stands now, Edwards' "anything is possible" comment doesn't exactly
scream "We want this guy!". Law is working out and will wait until he
is fully healthy before working out for teams. At this point, there
will be several suitors interested in acquiring the former All-Pro, so
if the Jets landed him it would be a fairly large upset.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

12. ATL IDP: HC Mora Says S Hall Won't Return To Falcons

Clipped from Associated Press article 5/1/05

Atlanta Falcons coach Jim Mora said Saturday that free safety Cory
Hall has decided not to re-sign with the defending NFC South
champions.

At the end of the team's second mini-camp practice, Mora indicated
that Hall, cut by the Falcons on March 2, wants to play elsewhere.

"We talked last night," Mora said. "I wish him nothing but the
best. He's a great guy, somebody we really like a lot, but it just
didn't work out for him to be a Falcon in 2005."

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

Minor piece of news for a player who hasn't recorded a sack or an
interception since the 2002 season. Hall should latch on somewhere
over the summer as a likely backup DB, and we'll let you know when he
does.

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13. JAC IDP: DT Stroud Still The Same

Clipped from the Times-Union article by Bart Hubbuch 5/1/05

A player puts up big numbers, is promptly rewarded with a huge payday
(usually in free agency), then never comes close to matching the
production that got him that money.

It's called "contract-itis," and Stroud vows -- with an exclamation
point -- that it won't happen to him.

"The contract was just the business part of it," Stroud said Saturday
during a break in the Jaguars' three-day minicamp near Alltel Stadium.
"Just because I got some money isn't going to affect how I play."

To say Stroud recently got some money from the Jaguars would be an
understatement.

After seven months of haggling, the Jaguars handed him a five-year
extension two weeks ago that included a team-record $13.28 million in
guaranteed money and made Stroud one of the highest-paid tackles in
the game.

Extending Stroud's contract was considered one of the offseason's
biggest priorities by the Jaguars, who were eager to lock up a
26-year-old player still in his prime who had been voted to the Pro
Bowl each of the past two years.

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

Stroud was the catalyst of a Jacksonville defensive unit that has made
great strides over the past two seasons. The Jaguars showed a ton of
faith in Stroud, and he appears eager to ensure they get proper return
on their investment. Stroud is one of the league's best young
defensive tackles, and will again lead Jacksonville's defense in 2005.

/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/**/

That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Monday and we'll see you
tomorrow with the update.

J


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