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Volume 6, Issue 34 (Sunday, May 22nd)

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Hi Folks,

Let's get ready for a new week. Thanks to our Mike Brown for rounding
up these stories tonight. I've also got some news for you about the
Early Bird Discount in the Site News section below. Let's jump to it.

J

******************************

Site News:

A. Last Chance for Early Bird Discount. Bryant Folds. I admit it, I'm
soft. We're extending the Early Bird Discount until the end of the day
on Monday, 5/23/05. It's actually not because I'm a nice guy. We had
some tech problems that kept some folks from being able to access the
site. All those are clear now so no more excuses. If you haven't
signed up yet, you have until the end of the day on Monday, 5/23/05 to
snag the Early Bird Discount price of $19.95. After that, it goes to
$24.95.

B. Projections Unveiled. For some folks, simple cheatsheets are
enough. For most Sharks (and if you're reading this in May, I feel
pretty confident labeling you a Shark) you want more. A lot more. And
we've got it for you. Projections are always a big part of what we do
but this year they're better than ever as you can zip to different
player pages and such. Don't get started here unless you have a couple
of hours to spend.

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PHI - WR Owens' Shots at McNabb May Force Trade (Commentary)
2. GB - QB Favre On Off-Season Training: 'I Feel So Much Better'
3. CHI - Bears Release K Edinger
4. BAL - Fassel In Driver's Seat As Offensive Coordinator
5. SF - IDP: 49ers' LB Peterson Is Pleased With His Progress
6. PHI - Defensive Coordinator Johnson Gets Four-Year Extension
7. TEN - Secondary Still In Disarray

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

1. PHI - WR Owens' Shots at McNabb May Force Trade (Commentary)

Clipped from: New York Daily News article by Gary Myers 5/21/05

Terrell Owens was on his best behavior his first year in Philly, but
the real T.O. has returned. It's all about him. He wants a new
contract one year into a seven-year deal. He has been taking shots at
Donovan McNabb, the franchise quarterback and face of the team.

He was a no-show for mini-camp and could be a no-show for training camp.

Now the Eagles must at least consider a drastic remedy to their T.O.
problem: Trading him.

When the Eagles beat the Falcons in the NFC title game to finally get
to the Super Bowl, the injured Owens was nothing more than a
cheerleader. He helped them earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, but they
had done that the previous two seasons without him. So, in effect,
what was the net gain trading for Owens?

Contract problems are a way of life. Dumping on the quarterback is
not. And Owens took a dig at McNabb after stories came out that McNabb
was tired late in the Super Bowl. There was a report last week in
Philly claiming Owens doesn't like McNabb and thinks of him as a
company man.

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

Myers is the latest, but certainly not the only, writer to chime in
with his opinion on the Owens controversy. As this saga plays out, it
appears more and more writers are jumping on the "Trade Owens"
bandwagon. It remains to be seen what will happen with this, because
the Eagles are being very quiet about their plans. As Myers stated,
whining and complaining and even holding out are one thing; attacking
the team's leader is quite another. I personally can't see them
trading him and I expect him to be in camp and be good to go. But this
situation will continue to get more and more interesting.

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

2. GB - QB Favre On Off-Season Training: 'I Feel So Much Better'

Clipped from PackersNews.com article by Chris Havel 5/22/05

Brett Favre isn't sure if his new offseason workout regimen with a
personal trainer will improve his production or lengthen his career.

But he figures it can't hurt.

"The last couple of years I've worked out, and I've prepared but I
felt like I could've been in better shape," Favre said in a telephone
interview Friday. "I don't know if I've ever said that before. It's
not whether I have the tools. It's whether I'm willing to sharpen them
so I can be at the top of my game. I haven't been self-motivated to
the point where I was before, and I don't feel like I could do it
myself."

Favre, 35, said that once he decided to return for a 15th NFL season,
he also decided to ask Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman for a
favor.

"I told Mike I was interested in hiring a personal trainer, someone to
motivate me, to push me, and that I was looking into core training,"
he said. "Mike said he didn't know what core training was but that
he'd investigate and get back to me."

A week later, Sherman called to say Packers strength coach Barry Rubin
had arranged for Ken Kroener of Athletes' Performance, Inc., of
Phoenix to stay in Hattiesburg, Miss., and work with him for five
weeks.

"This Monday will be the start of the fifth week," Favre said. "We get
after it every morning. I know that working out with medicine balls
and physiology balls and stretching and running in place doesn't sound
like much, but when you do it the right way, you find out how
difficult it is.

"I'm over the soreness, that's behind me, but I feel so much better."

Favre said the Packers also hired a nutritionist and a physical
therapist, and he has changed his diet.

Favre's body fat was 13.5 percent when he began the program and even
though he hasn't been re-tested he is certain it has dropped. He also
said he has lost 3 pounds and now weighs 222 pounds.

But the greatest change has been cardiovascular in nature.

He wears a heart rate monitor during workouts, and the difference in
his pulse rate is significant. His resting pulse rate has dropped, and
it takes him longer to get up to 160 beats per minute during workouts.
Furthermore, his pulse drops back to normal much quicker than it did
when he began working with Kroener four weeks ago.

Kroener began by asking Favre to detail his goals.

"I told him I wanted to have more endurance in games. I don't want to
run a play or scramble around - say it's a play that takes longer than
normal and I exhaust more energy - and not be ready to go on the next
play.

"If I scramble one play, and I have to scramble on the next play, I
don't want to just get away from a guy. I want to make a play."

Core training is designed to focus on the athlete's trunk region. The
idea is to increase strength and flexibility in the abdomen and
lower-back areas while putting minimal stress on joints. Favre said he
hasn't done any weight lifting or distance running.

"What I'm doing is very equivalent to dropping back and running around
and passing, and then recovering in time for the next snap," he said.

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

We'll spare you the Brett Favre love-fest about what a tireless
competitor he is and get to the meat of it. Favre's on-field play has
dropped off in recent seasons, but his fantasy production has remained
constant. A big part of that can be attributed to his unending desire
to get better. This article paints a portrait of not an old NFL vet
nearing the end of the line, but of a guy who wants to remain at the
top of his game and dominate. The fact that he is enduring rigorous
workouts is not necessarily to be commended, because most players in
the league do that every off-season. But anytime we hear about an
already-talented player striving to do whatever it takes (legally) to
improve his game, we make a mental note of it.

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

3. CHI - Bears Release K Edinger

Clipped from USA Today AP article 5/22/05

The Chicago Bears on Sunday released one of their top scorers, kicker
Paul Edinger.

Edinger had asked to be released after one of his worst seasons as a
pro. He scored 67 points for the league's worst offense and made 15 of
24 field goal attempts in 2004. But Edinger is one of only four
kickers in team history to score 100 points in a season, a feat he
accomplished twice.

Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo said the team granted Edinger's
request after observing newly acquired veteran Doug Brien and two
rookies during this weekend's mini-camp.

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

Edinger clearly had an off year last season, with an extremely low FG%
and only 67 points. Much of that, however, was a product of the
Chicago offense, which completely fell apart when Rex Grossman was
injured. The job now appears to be Doug Brien's to lose, and with a
change in scenery he could be productive in a revamped Bears offense.
As for Edinger, he has a solid track history and there will likely be
a number of teams interested in adding a kicker during training camp.
If Edinger can prove that last season was an aberration, and he ends
up in a good situation, then he could be worth drafting by August.

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

4. BAL - Fassel In Driver's Seat As Offensive Coordinator

Clipped from Boston Globe article by Nick Cafardo 5/22/05

They won a championship in 2001 with one of the greatest defenses in
NFL history, and with Trent Dilfer at quarterback, but since that
euphoria, it's become as clear as a Chesapeake sunset that there has
to be an upgrade on offense for the Baltimore Ravens to reign supreme
in the AFC again.

It never made sense that a head coach, Brian Billick, who earned his
stripes as one of the best offensive minds in the league with the
Minnesota Vikings, ran a team so unproductive on offense.

This offseason, after the Ravens finished 9-7 and out of the playoffs
with an offense ranked 31st, general manager Ozzie Newsome and Billick
made drastic changes. They replaced offensive coordinator Matt
Cavanaugh with former Giants head coach Jim Fassel, who was a
consultant last season.

The reason Billick went to Fassel is clear: He has made every offense
he's coached appreciably better, whether it was the Giants, the
Broncos, the Cardinals, or the Raiders. He's also made the
quarterbacks better: John Elway in Denver, Boomer Esiason with the
Cardinals, Kerry Collins with the Giants, Jeff Hostetler with the
Raiders.

New receivers -- first-round pick Mark Clayton and veteran free agent
Derrick Mason -- should help the revamped offense. And it is evident
that Fassel will throw the caution that Cavanaugh displayed out the
window.

Fassel feels Kyle Boller is ready to spread his wings and become one
of the best quarterbacks in the league. Fassel is going to give him
the offense to do that.

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

If nothing else, Fassel should at least be able to improve upon a
Ravens offense that has become way too stagnant and predictable in
recent seasons. When Fassel took over the coordinating duties with the
Giants in his last go-round as head coach, the team responded with
several outstanding weeks. In Baltimore, it'll be Fassel's duty to
wake up the passing game and maximize the potential of Kyle Boller. A
quarterback with great physical tools shouldn't be asked to be a
conservative passer, as Boller has been far too often with Baltimore.
With Derrick Mason added to the mix, a distraction-free Jamal Lewis,
and a hopeful return to health of Todd Heap, it is clear that the
Ravens have made improving the offense a big priority. We'll keep an
eye out for you to see how the new players gel and how the offensive
unit comes together during training camp.

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

5. SDF - IDP: 49ers' LB Peterson Is Pleased With His Progress

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Dennis Georgatos 5/22/05

Julian Peterson's rehabilitation from an Achilles tendon tear is going
well, and the 49ers' two-time Pro Bowl linebacker appears on course
for a return during training camp.
Peterson, sidelined since suffering the injury in a game Oct. 10
against Arizona, ran sprints at full speed and practiced starts and
stops and changes of direction during team activities at the 49ers'
Santa Clara headquarters last week.

"I can do pretty much all the cuts right now, and I'm running and
working on my endurance," Peterson said. "There's no pain and no
stress on it.

"I miss being out there with the guys," he added. "But there's still
two months until training camp and they don't want me to rush it. They
want to make sure I'm recovered."
Peterson has been in on all the defensive meetings, allowing him to
keep pace mentally with the switch to a 3-4 scheme and the differing
responsibilities it entails for his position.

"I've been in the classroom, just like everybody else, taking notes
and asking the coaches questions," Peterson said. "I pretty much have
the grasp of it. I pretty much know if I have to blitz or drop."

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

It's no secret that Peterson is a huge key to the fortunes of the
Niners defense. After last summer's holdout debacle and subsequent
injury, it's all the more important for Peterson to at least make sure
he knows the defense even if he's not able to get out on the field
yet. This news is definitely promising, and demonstrates that he's
slowly but surely getting himself back into game shape. There will be
an adjustment period here, since Peterson is not only returning from
injury, but also learning a new defense. But do not forget how high of
an impact player Peterson was pre-injury. A return to good health for
the San Francisco defensive leader could mean a significant
improvement in the team's defensive fortunes in 2005.

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

6. PHI - Defensive Coordinator Gets Four-Year Extension

Clipped from Trenton Times article by Mark Eckel 5/20/05

In an off-season filled with one shot of bad news after another, the
Eagles finally did something good yesterday.

They gave defensive coordinator Jim Johnson a four-year contract extension.

Johnson, who will turn 64 next week, received an early present, as the
total worth of the new deal is believed to be close to $6 million.

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

Do not underestimate the importance of Jim Johnson in Philadelphia. Of
course, no astute football observer ever would, but his impact on the
team cannot be underestimated. Regardless of the talent, Johnson is
always able to maximize returns from his guys. Whether it's losing ¾
of his defensive backfield, or starting defensive linemen, etc.,
Johnson always manages to find a way to get the job done.

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

7. Titans Secondary Still In Disarray

Clipped from Knoxville News article by Teresa M. Walker 5/22/05

Samari Rolle is in Baltimore, a salary cap casualty after six years of
starting at right cornerback. Left corner Andre Dyson waited patiently
and finally got a pricey deal in Seattle.

Lance Schulters?

He's still around while the Tennessee Titans decide if they can afford
to keep the veteran safety. Strong safety Tank Williams is recovering
from a torn ACL, and top draft pick Adam "Pacman" Jones has missed the
first week of minicamp with an undisclosed upper leg injury.

If the Titans thought their first three minicamp sessions would clear
up the picture for their secondary, they were wrong.

Andre Woolfolk, their top pick in 2003, and Tony Beckham, a
fourth-round pick in 2002, worked with the first-team defense at the
corners this week. Woolfolk has spent his first two seasons as
Tennessee's fifth defensive back but hasn't finished a season because
of injuries.

Fisher said the Titans are counting on Woolfolk to become a starting cornerback.

"It's a tremendous opportunity. That's why we drafted him, to come in,
use his size and his speed and his long arms and take over that corner
spot," the coach said.

Beckham has started three games in his career, and is practicing at
the other corner spot 13 months after suffering a torn anterior
cruciate ligament in his right knee. Fisher said Beckham knows he's in
a competitive situation where every play is important for him.

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

The Titans secondary has actually been pretty shoddy even before the
team began struggling as a whole in 2004. With an obvious lack of
depth, and inexperience in the starting mix, it could be a tough year
for Tennessee defensively. Add in that the experienced talent they
have may not be around much longer, and it paints a pretty grim
picture. Interestingly enough, however, this doomsday news about the
Titans defense could actually be a boon to the offense, as bad pass
defenses often yield big-time passing numbers for their offense.
Still, it's certainly not good news for the Titans D.


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


That'll do it for today, Folks. Remember you've got one last day to
sign up for the Early Bird Discount. Don't let it slip by. Have a
great Monday and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

J

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