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Volume 6, Issue 46 (Friday, June 3rd)

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Hi Folks,

Hope you're set for a fun weekend. We'll keep hammering here and
bringing you all the news that you need to know. Thanks to our Chris
Smith for rounding up these stories tonight. Let's go.




1. STL – WR Bruce Held Out Of Camp Due To Abnormality In Heart Test
2. KC: Free Agent Receiver Mitchell To Visit Arrowhead And The Chiefs
3. MIA: GM Rick Spielman Leaves Miami Dolphins
4. MIN – Rookie WR Williamson Finally Catches The Ball Consistently In
A Practice
5. CIN – OL Andrews Making Good Progress
6. CLE – OT Tucker Has Teammates Respect; OT Verba Does Not
7. WAS – Redskins Release KR / RB Morton
8. CAR –Weinke Welcomes Promotion To Backup Quarterback
9. STL – Having OT Pace Active In Camp Is A Big Plus
10. CAR – Travelle Wharton Slides Over To Left Tackle This Season
11. NYG- OL Seubert Practices For the First Time Since 2003
12. IDP: WAS – Police Seeking S Taylor For Questioning In An Assault Case
13. IDP: PHI – Linebackers Making Good Impression


1. STL – WR Bruce Held Out Of Camp Due To Abnormality In Heart Test

Clipped from: the AP via

Wide receiver Isaac Bruce was held out of the Rams' minicamp this
Friday after a test picked up on an irregularity in a heart test
administered to all of the players.  "His physical showed just a
slight abnormality," coach Mike Martz said. "He had a little glitch."

Bruce said he believed the test was a mistake and is expected to
undergo a second test next week. "Something funny showed up on the
EKG, that's all," Bruce said. "I was a little shocked. I'm thinking
something's wrong with the machine, not anything wrong with me."

He suggested that perhaps a blood test might have spiked his heart
rate and said he wasn't concerned. "I don't anticipate me stopping
playing or anything like that," he said. "I'm feeling good. I learned
a long time ago not to let a doctor's diagnosis deter me."

The Rams weren't overly concerned yet, either. "I don't think it's a
major issue, but I don't know," Martz said. "You just go back and
recheck and take some more tests."

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

Hopefully things will check out OK and wide receiver Isaac Bruce will
be ready to play some ball this season. It really doesn't sound too
bad at this point in time but we'll keep our eyes on the story for


2. KC: Free Agent Receiver Mitchell To Visit Arrowhead And The Chiefs

Clipped from: Kansas City Star article by Elizabeth Merrill

Freddie Mitchell, an outspoken former Eagle who nicknamed himself
"FredEx," will work out for the Chiefs next week. President and
general manager Carl Peterson confirmed Mitchell's visit late Thursday
and said the Chiefs will do some bargain hunting in the coming weeks,
specifically at receiver, but would sign someone only if they could
get him on the cheap. Mitchell might be in that category: He has been
looking for work for nearly a month after being cut by Philadelphia.

"I guess I'm interested in seeing him come in and work out to see why
he failed," Peterson said. "Because he hasn't been able to be as
productive as Philadelphia wished that he was. There has been
something missing there. Can you find that and ignite it? Possibly."

Peterson said the Chiefs planned to bring in at least one other receiver.

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

Freddie Mitchell has the confidence of a mega-star but the production
of a journeyman.  How a guy who has caught a whopping 90 passes and 5
touchdowns over four years can believe he is the greatest thing since
sliced bread is beyond me but Mitchell believes he is an outstanding
receiver who deserves a starting spot.  If a player is rewarding
points for talking trash and/or patting himself on your back, Mitchell
is exactly the player you are looking for. However if you get points
for production and scoring touchdowns, Mitchell is pretty much a
non-factor in fantasy leagues.  If you want to take a chance on a
Chiefs' receiver, look at 2nd year guy Samie Parker who is having a
strong offseason.


3. MIA: GM Rick Spielman Leaves Miami Dolphins

Clipped from: Press Release

The Miami Dolphins today announced that General Manager Rick Spielman
has decided to leave the organization. "I want to thank (owner) Wayne
Huizenga, (Head Coach) Nick Saban, the Dolphin players, coaches, and
staff, along with the South Florida community," said Spielman. "I have
a lot of fond memories of my time here and made a lot of friends, and
I hope the team goes on to have a great season."

"The Dolphins organization appreciates the contributions Rick made to
the club during his tenure here," said Saban. "I want to thank him for
all of his assistance during the time that we worked together and wish
him the best of success in the future."

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

'I would like to thank…I have a lot of fond memories…' Everything
quoted above is just sugary fluff.  Something happened in Miami to
cause Spielman to step down at this point in time.  Perhaps it was the
questionable decision to overpay for a mediocre quarterback in A.J.
Feeley; perhaps it was a clash of egos with new coach Nick Saban or
perhaps it was something else but it wasn't really a surprise to see
him step down at this time.  Saban has been putting his stamp on this
organization in a big way and much of the power Spielman enjoyed had
been removed by Saban. This move could give Saban even more clout
going forward as he gets to hand pick Spielman's replacement.


4. MIN – Rookie WR Williamson Finally Catches The Ball Consistently

Clipped from: a K-FAN article

The rookie receiver, Troy Williamson had his best day of camp so far,
dropping only one pass and scoring on a 30-yard touchdown pass from
backup quarterback Brad Johnson. Daunte said during training camp that
one the thing he loved about the rookie was the fact that Williamson
caught the ball with his hands. That was on display today as
Williamson was grabbing everything that came near him. Those of you
who have been worried about the #7 overall pick's tendency to drop the
ball during mini-camp can take a deep breath and relax. Today he
looked like a pro.

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

The Vikings situation at receiver doesn't have the name appeal, but
it's not as bleak as many fantasy owners believe. Nate Burleson is
their # 1 guy and then it will be a huge battle between Marcus
Robinson, Travis Taylor and rookie Troy Williamson to get the playing
time in this offense.  Williamson clearly has the most upside of those
guys and the team would love for him to contribute right away.
However both Robinson and Taylor are capable veterans who can slot in
and do well for the team immediately out of the gate.  Williamson may
start slowly this year but he'll likely gather steam as the season
wears on.


5. CIN – OL Andrews Making Good Progress

Clipped from: Cincinnati Post article by Lonnie Wheeler

His weight-lifting partner, Bobbie Williams, calls him a dancing bear.
The size and grace are givens. It's time to see what Stacy Andrews'
physical gifts can do for him at the point of attack, as they say in
the football business. He's had a year to learn the game. Andrews had
scarcely played it when the Bengals drafted him last April in the
fourth round, suspending returns on the extra pick they gained by
swapping with St. Louis in the first. It was a patient, risky move, a
luxury indulged in by a coaching staff bold enough to live in that
kind of style.

It helped that NFL teams can pretty much practice through the spring
now, a few days a week. So it was that the Bengals decided not to send
Andrews to Europe this offseason for the playing time he desperately
needs, but instead to keep him at Paul Brown Stadium so that he could
take Willie Anderson's place in the voluntary camps, the momentary
starting right tackle.

"Willie's been down, and Stacy's been running with the first-team
offense the whole time," said offensive line coach Paul Alexander. "I
think he can see the urgency. There's just something to stepping into
that first huddle. You raise your own expectations. You've got to
remember, the guy still has never started a football game in his life,
at any level. Just his general athleticism, for a man that size, is so
rare. He's graceful and he's quick and he's powerful, obviously. All
of that in combination with being so big. We really didn't know when
he'd be able to help us. Given his inexperience, he's done remarkably
well. He does a couple 'wow' things every day in practice, where you
just become so encouraged. He's at the point now where he's competing
for some time as a quality backup."

The plan, if Andrews proves up to it, is to employ him in the coming
season as the second-stringer at both Anderson's and Levi Jones'
tackle spots. It's a position of considerable responsibility, and one
from which the chesty titan doesn't shrink.

"No more experiment," he said. "I'm taking it forward now. All I'm
doing now is fine-tuning everything I learned last year. Last year,
when I was learning all the plays, it was like I was hesitant off the
ball. This year, I'm much more confident coming right off the ball."

Confidence can be a frightful thing for a man with Andrews' assets.
Before he excelled at collegiate track and field, he was a decorated
basketball player at his high school in Arkansas. Like most big guys,
he was proudest of his long-range shooting touch. And his dunking, of
course. He won a dunking contest as a high school senior, and even at
close to 350, he claims he hasn't lost the art.

The Bengals positioned their largest, greenest rookie in a
near-perfect scenario last year. The offensive line was deep enough
that his services were not immediately required - and only once called
upon, as an extra tight end. He also had a monopoly on the tutoring of
Alexander and Anderson.

"He was the only rookie on the line last year," Anderson said, "so
Paul Alexander had a lot of time to spend with him. He'll ask me to
teach Stacy sometimes. He'll say, 'Go show him how you do that,
because I can't explain how you do it.' I know what Paul wants out of
the tackles; we're on the same wavelength.

"Everybody knows how talented Stacy is, ability-wise. You can just
look at him run and see that. You see the great athlete. But in
football, the best player isn't always the greatest athlete. It's the
guy who knows how to get the job done. He's coming along with that.
He's a fast learner. Right now he's answering questions, he's blurting
out answers in the meeting rooms. That's the biggest thing. He knows
the answers now."

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

Stacy Andrews has the potential to be an outstanding offensive lineman
in another season or two.  He was as raw as a player could be coming
out of college but is beginning to learn the pro game and his mix of
size and unbelievable athleticism is going to be a scary combination
once he figures out the finer nuances of being an offensive lineman at
the NFL level.  He will be a starter soon and once there, he's got a
ton of upside.


6. CLE – OT Tucker Has Teammates Respect; OT Verba Does Not

Clipped from: Plain-Dealer article by Roger Brown

What's the biggest irony as Browns offensive tackle Ross Verba
continues to hold out and demand more money?  If Browns players were
polled privately, the overwhelming majority would say it's actually
Verba's fellow tackle, Ryan Tucker, who deserves a fatter contract -
and certainly far more than Verba does. Tucker enjoys tremendous
respect from Browns players on both sides of the ball for his
toughness, leadership, work ethic and skill - and because he does his
job without constantly boasting or drawing attention to himself. It's
fair to say Verba falls pretty short in the latter category these

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

This is an interesting little blurb found in the Plain-Dealer.  It
appears that Verba may find it difficult to get the raise he is after
with the Browns. The team likely doesn't want to pay Verba amongst the
highest paid tackles in the game and news like the blurb above does
not help his chances to hit the jackpot.  This will be an interesting
story to follow as Verba is a rock-solid player on the edge that the
team knows can be counted on.  With him in the starting lineup, the
Browns offensive line has the potential to be quite good this season
once they get together.  If he isn't available at the start of the
season, it would likely be Kirk Chambers who would get the starting


7. WAS – Redskins Release KR / RB Morton

Clipped from: article by Gary Fitzgerald

The Redskins have released running back and kick return specialist
Chad Morton, the team announced on Friday.

The 5-9, 203-pounder has spent the last few months recovering from
knee surgery. Wide receivers Santana Moss, Antonio Brown and James
Thrash have experience as punt and kickoff return specialists, so
Morton's role on the team seemed uncertain heading into training camp
next month.

Morton met with head coach Joe Gibbs on Thursday afternoon and was
informed of the team's decision to release him. Upon leaving Redskins
Park, Morton was optimistic that he would land with another team by
late July, when training camps around the league typically start.

Morton was sidelined half of last season with a torn ACL in his knee.
He underwent surgery on the knee last December. In eight games, Morton
returned 13 punts for a 6.2-yard return average and 16 kickoffs for a
22.4-yard return average.

In an interview with in March, Morton acknowledged that
he was uncertain of his future with the team. He said he expected to
be back at full health by the start of training camp.

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

Chad Morton is a good return specialist and somebody will take a
chance on him before training camp opens.  He won't have much impact
as a running back though and unless you have individual scoring for
special teams, he doesn't have much, if any fantasy worth.


8. CAR – Weinke Welcomes Promotion To Backup Quarterback

Clipped from: Charlotte Observer article by Stan Olson

Chris Weinke was standing in the rain, the drops falling from the
football helmet pushed back on his head. Sometimes Weinke must feel as
if he's been standing in the rain forever. But not Wednesday morning,
following the completion of the first of the Carolina Panthers'
voluntary June workouts. Weinke, long the forgotten quarterback of
this team, is now very much in the coaches' plans again. The offense,
of course, still belongs to quarterback Jake Delhomme. But now, Weinke
finds himself second-in-command, a turned ankle or strained ligament
from stepping under center. It's a sudden change, spurred by the
decision of former No. 2 Rodney Peete to give up football for a TV
career. When that happened, there was talk the Panthers might look for
another veteran, but nothing was done. And Weinke, after two seasons
of being that inactive third quarterback, climbed up the depth chart.

"No one really knew what was going to take place," Weinke said,
standing on the Bank of America practice field in the drizzle. "The
word was that they would cut Rodney and bring him back, and that
didn't work out. I also think it's a situation where they've seen me
practice for the last two or three years and understand that I've
progressed a lot, and just throughout the last few preseasons and the
last two-three years of practicing, I think they see that I can get it

Weinke had started as a rookie, during that abysmal 1-15 season of
2001. Then coach John Fox and a new administration had taken over, and
although Weinke had shown sparks of talent in a number of exhibitions,
first Peete and then Delhomme had been the choice. Weinke found
himself holding the clipboard and perhaps wondering if his chance
would ever come. Now he is one big hit away from seeing some playing
time when it counts for the first time since 2002.

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

QB Chris Weinke began his football career late after a failed
professional baseball attempt that fizzled out after six seasons and
is already 33 years of age. He was a disaster in his first two seasons
when he threw only 11 touchdown passes against 22 interceptions and
while I am sure he has progressed since those forgettable first two
seasons, the Panthers' brass should get down on their knees each night
and pray that starter Jake Delhomme stays healthy throughout the
season if they want to find their way to the playoffs once again.


9. STL – Having OT Pace Active In Camp Is A Big Plus

Clipped from: Post-Dispatch article by Bill Coats

The big fellow wearing the No. 76 jersey acknowledged that he felt a
bit out of place during the recent organized team activities at Rams
Park. "I had to ask a couple of guys about the schedule and things
like that," said Orlando Pace, laughing.

Pace's presence so early is highly unusual. Because of contract
disputes, he had been absent from the past two training camps, showing
up just before the start of the season after signing one-year tenders
as the team's franchise player.

But in March, the Rams and Pace, one of the NFL's premier left
tackles, finally agreed on a long-term contract. His seven-year deal
is worth $52.9 million. And even though the team workouts were
voluntary, Pace was present and accounted for.

"It's fun to get out there and just get the football part of it down,"
said the 6-foot-7, 325-pound Pace, who has been selected for six
consecutive Pro Bowls. In 1997, the Rams made Pace, an Ohio State
product, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Having Pace on the field
at this point is important for two reasons, according to coach Mike
Martz. "No. 1, physically and mentally, it gets him up to speed in a
hurry. So in the fall, he'll start at the top of his game," Martz
said. "No. 2, the leadership issue, particularly within the offensive
line and what he can do for young players as a role model, in terms of
his work ethic and skillwise."

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

It is always helpful to have your best starters in camp as happy,
healthy players instead of holding out for more money or in the
infirmary trying to get healthy.  Pace is one of the most dominant
lineman in the NFL and having a full offseason of working with the
team can only help both his and the unit's play come September.  Look
for him to have one of his strongest seasons of the past few seasons.


10. CAR – Travelle Wharton Slides Over To Left Tackle This Season

Clipped from: article by Brett Borden

Two years ago, then rookie tackle Jordan Gross had three favorite
words he used in almost every interview he gave to the media. "Fight
or flight." It referred to the choices he had on each snap of training
camp while getting on-the-job training (OJT) across from defensive end
Julius Peppers. This season, second-year tackle Travelle Wharton is
moving over one spot from left guard, where he played last season, to
left tackle. And while "Fight or flight" would certainly apply to his
OJT across from Mike Rucker, Wharton prefers to inject his own two
favorite words into each interview. Those words? "Work hard."

"My main thing is just to come out here and try to contribute in any
way possible, be it at guard or tackle," said Wharton after the first
day of summer school. "I just want to come out here and help my team
and not let my teammates down. I want to work hard and be prepared to
play whatever position they ask me to play.

"It takes hard work to play tackle in this League. It's the position I
played in college, and I've played it a little bit in the NFL, but
there's still a lot of hard work that goes into it."

The one thing Wharton may not have to work on is the one thing he
really can't work on, and that is patience. Patience usually comes
hand-in-hand with experience. While Wharton got plenty of that while
making 45 starts at left tackle at the University of South Carolina,
he hasn't started at tackle in the NFL yet. But Rucker says the former
Gamecock is wise beyond his years.

He has definitely improved since last year," said Rucker, who lined up
across from Gross last year. "He's very patient. You don't see that in
a lot of tackles now. Many of them are aggressive, but he's very
patient with his hands and he has good feet. That's something that
helps me, because you don't see it a lot in tackles. If I get a little
too aggressive, he's not biting on some of those moves, so it makes me
work on that."
Head coach John Fox has been equally impressed.

"Travelle's a guy who played left tackle his whole college career,"
said Fox. "We saw his athletic ability last year. He did an
outstanding job for us at guard, so we know he can do that. We're
taking a look at him right now at left tackle, and we've been very,
very impressed with what he's done there.

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

The Panthers have the makings of a very solid offensive line in 2005
if Wharton can get comfortable at the left tackle position quickly.
His sliding over to that spot makes room for free agent signing Mike
Wahle, formerly of the Packers to slot into the guard position and
makes the Panthers line much stronger over the long haul. Wharton
started eleven games for the Panthers last year at the guard position
and did a good job despite not being blessed with great strength. He
has a really nice upside and will improve with playing time. The
Panthers have the talent at the offensive line position to become a
top ten unit by the end of the season.


11. NYG - OL Seubert Practices For the First Time Since 2003

Clipped from: AP article hosted by

In some ways, New York Giants guard Rich Seubert felt like a rookie
attending his first NFL minicamp. There was a sense of excitement,
uncertainty and even giddiness being on the field with the guys for
the first time. This was not the first time for the 26-year-old guard,
however. It was just his first practice since breaking his right leg
in three spots in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 19,

``These are the first days I've practiced in two years,'' Seubert said
Friday as the Giants finished a mandatory three-day minicamp. ``It's
like being a little kid in a candy store. I'm just glad to be back out

The past 19 months have been a period of surgeries, rehabilitation and
tireless work in the gym for Seubert, whose injury was horrific. When
doctors looked at his X-rays and CAT-scans they found a spiral
fracture. One team doctor said his leg looked like a piece of glass
that shattered but didn't fall apart.

``I was right next to him two years ago when it happened, it was
ugly,'' guard Wayne Lucier said.

A rod, a plate and 12 screws were inserted into the leg hours after
N.D. Kalu of the Eagles stepped on the back of Seubert's calf. Seubert
attended training camp last season but he spent most of the time
running laps in a swimming pool at the University of Albany to
strengthen his leg. He was put on the physically unable to perform
list before the season started.

``I have always wanted to come back and play,'' Seubert said. ``I
needed to take time. I wanted to come back last year but there was no
way I could have played.''

While he didn't know what to expect this week, Seubert got a surprise.

``I feel fine,'' he said. ``I don't think about it. I got stepped on
yesterday in practice. Someone stepped on the back of my leg and I
didn't even think about it. Hopefully, it's not sore tomorrow

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

It is nice to see Seubert make it back onto the field after suffering
such a horrendous injury.  He likely won't be a starter this season
but he'll have a nice shot at seeing some playing time as a veteran
backup and he is just happy to have made it back to this point. You
have to feel good for a player such as Seubert who has worked so hard
and for so long to get healthy.


12. IDP: WAS – Police Seeking S Taylor For Questioning In An Assault Case

Clipped from: AP

Miami-Dade County police were looking Friday for Washington Redskins
safety Sean Taylor, who they describe as a "person of interest" in an
assault case.

"We need to speak to him, we don't know if he's a victim, witness or
suspect," said police spokesman Mary Walters.

The assault happened Wednesday night and shots were fired, Walters
said. No one was injured. Walters said she didn't have further details
and police were still investigating.

Taylor, who wants a new contract, has been working out in Miami
despite pleas from coach Joe Gibbs to join the team in voluntary
workouts at their home base in suburban Washington. He signed a
seven-year, $18 million deal as the No. 5 overall draft pick in the
2004 draft. The former Miami Hurricanes standout has had a tempestuous
start to his NFL career. He has fired two agents, was fined for
skipping one day of the NFL's
mandatory rookie symposium and was accused of spitting on a player
during a game at Cincinnati, although he was not punished because the
league said there was no video evidence.

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

At this time, it is premature to spend too much time reflecting on
this story.  Wait and see what transpires with this story before
worrying about it one way or the other.  However, Sean Taylor
continues to get himself into poor situations and into trouble and it
is too bad as he has the ability to not only be a good football
player, but a great one.  Hopefully this will not be a big issue for
him and he'll begin the growing up process he so desperately needs to
have happen.  We've already seen what can happen when a player is
unable to mature (see Koren Robinson, formerly of the Seahawks). We'll
let you know more on this situation as it occurs.


13. IDP: PHI – Linebackers Making Good Impression

Clipped from: The Express-Times article by Nick Fierro

Among the veterans gleaning as much as the rookies from the Eagles'
offseason minicamps are a pair of linebackers who spent most of last
season working their way up the depth chart.

Keith Adams began playing more and more in defensive coordinator Jim
Johnson's nickel package and likely will wind up starting on the weak
side ahead of Mark Simoneau this season.

The progression of Mike Labinjo, who now backs up Jeremiah Trotter in
the middle, has been a little more dramatic. Last year, he spent
almost the entire regular season on the practice squad before being
activated for the final three games and their playoff run.

"Well, I have come a long way in terms of coaches putting more
responsibility on me this year," Labinjo said after Thursday's
practice. "Last year I learned a lot, and it will help me out a lot
this year in terms of being a better player and knowing everything I
need to do."

Labinjo, who made the team as an undrafted free agent last season,
comes better prepared to play all three linebacking spots, if needed,
because he understands the system so much better now.  Adams, who came
to the Eagles after being waived by Dallas midway through the 2002
season, is nicknamed "the bullet" for his motor and aggressiveness and
therefore seems to be a perfect fit for Johnson's attacking system.
Adams actually started the Eagles' final two playoff games, compiling
12 tackles. By the time of the NFL Draft two months later, Johnson had
made up his mind to give Adams a shot at starting. Burgundy

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

Keith Adams is an interesting fantasy prospect this season.  He could
have the opportunity to make a lot of tackles within this scheme and
could be a nice value pick on the defensive side of the ball.  Mike
Labinjo is a nice story of an undrafted player making a roster and
having an impact.  He will only get a chance to be a fantasy force
though if injuries occur.


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

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