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Volume 6, Issue 48 (Sunday, June 5th)

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Hi Folks,

Hope you're ready for a big week. We are. We've got big news about our
magazine in the Site News section below. Also have a sneak peek at our
new ad campaign for you. Plus a lot of news stories for you thanks to
our Mike Brown. Let's get to it.



Site News:

A. Footballguys Magazine ready for orders.
Judging from my mail box, many of you are as excited as I am about the
FBG magazine. It'll hit newsstands around June 28 but we've reserved 2,000
copies for you die hards that we'll be shipping around June 21. To show you
guys how much we appreciate your support, we're sending the mags to addresses
in the continental U.S. via USPS Priority mail and only charging $1
for the shipping and handling. Not even counting the handling, just
the postage alone on priority mail is $3.95. But it's a way for us to
say thanks. And it's also a way for you to have the mag in your hands
before the newsstand guys see it. Thanks for your support there.

B. Footballguys Ad Campaign.
One of the things I wanted to do this year was raise the quality of
our advertising. The magazine allowed us some freedom to do a few different
things and we created a series of ads that I think are kind of fun. This is
a low res image of one that I wanted to throw out to you guys. I'll pass
along the others over the next couple of weeks and then maybe we'll have a
poll on your favorite of the bunch.

C.  Quote of the Day:   "I don't get hung up about catching the ball,
I like drilling a guy.''  -- MIN TE/FB Jim Kleinsasser when asked about
his history of dropped passes.



1. STL  HC Martz: RB Faulk/RB Jackson Could Split Carries 50-50
2. NO  QB Brooks Can Be "Himself"
3. NO  Saints Plan To Revolve Offense Around RB McAllister More
4. MIA  Frerotte Has Early Edge In QB Competition
5. MIN  TE/FB Kleinsasser Revving His Engine
6. ARZ  Starting RB Spot Is Up For Grabs
7. TB  RB Garner At Approximately 80%
8. CLE  Browns May Bring In Another Veteran QB
9. BUF  Backup RB Yet To Be Determined
10. GB  QB Favre Says He Could Play Past '05; Increases Pressure On Holdouts
11. IDP: WAS  S Taylor Turns Himself In
12. IDP: NYJ  Jets Unlikely To Sign CB Law
13. IDP: BAL  CB Sanders Agrees To One-Year Deal


1. STL  HC Martz: RB Faulk/RB Jackson Could Split Carries 50-50

Clipped from Saint Louis Post-Dispatch Q&A with head coach Mike Martz
by Bill Coats 6/05/05

Q: What convinced you that Steven Jackson was ready in just his second
NFL season to take over for Marshall Faulk as the No. 1 running back?

A: I think it's important for Marshall more than for Steven to have
Steven take over. Marshall's role will be very significant. It's not
limited. It's what he wants it to be. But it's important for Marshall
to get Steven in this role so that he can mentor him and they can kind
of feed off each other.

It allows us to use Marshall maybe even in a different role, too, out
of the backfield. Maybe both of them in the backfield. But the whole
idea here is, as soon as we made that decision, it's not an issue
throughout the offseason for anybody. Marshall suggested this during
the (2004) season as a way of helping Steven, so he's not always
looking over his shoulder and makes one mistake and he's coming out
(of the game), that kind of thing. He's just ready to do it, and
Marshall's ready to have him step into that capacity. And yet, this
could be a 50-50 deal throughout the season.

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

Wow. Understand it's June and what these guys say is far from gospel.
But this is not something to ignore. We're assuming Martz said this
somewhat to appease Faulk, who may be concerned about losing too many
carries. The fact that he says Faulk's role will be "very significant"
has to worry Jackson owners, because it means Faulk could see
goal-line touches or receiving targets. After all, even with Faulk's
obvious drop-off in production in recent years, he's shown a nose for
the goal-line. He also hauled in 50 receptions last year in much more
limited duty than ever before. What's more, Jackson hasn't proven
himself to be the most durable of players during his brief NFL tenure,
either. So Martz could look to spell Jackson more than we had
previously thought. Still, at this point this is all just speculation
on our part. We don't see the rushing split being anywhere near 50-50,
regardless of what Martz is saying now. We still think Jackson will be
outstanding this year, but if we see something over the summer (i.e.,
sharing carries with the first-team offense), then it might be time to
make an adjustment.


2. QB Brooks Can Be "Himself"

Clipped from Philadelphia Inquirer article by David Aldridge 6/5/05

The New Orleans Saints are going back to the basics with quarterback
Aaron Brooks.

New offensive coordinator Mike Sheppard, promoted when Mike McCarthy
left to go to the 49ers, has streamlined New Orleans' offensive
playbook, with fewer plays and less verbiage. It's part of head coach
Jim Haslett's plans to scale things down on both sides of the football
next season - and keep the speculation that rose to a crescendo about
his future last season at bay.

It's not that Brooks' 2004 numbers were horrible: 3,810 yards passing,
a 57 percent completion rate, 21 touchdowns, and a 79.5 passer rating.
But everyone in the Big Easy believes his numbers could be much
better, and that they'll have to be if the Saints are going to get out
of this 8-8 rut they've been in.

"We're doing things more that fit him as a quarterback," New Orleans'
new quarterbacks coach, Turk Schonert, said by telephone. "We want
Aaron to be Aaron Brooks, not anybody else."

That means more play action and more movement for Brooks, who was
asked to do more pocket passing in McCarthy's system.

After watching film of the Saints' 2004 offense, Schonert was amazed
at how often Brooks was lined up in the shotgun - as many as 50 times
a game, according to Schonert.

"The offense didn't have an identity," Schonert said. "It was kind of
like, 'What are we?' It was like a shotgun passing attack. Sometimes
when you get in that mode, you lose your toughness."

With the new offense, the Saints think Brooks can make more plays on
the move, with fewer seven-step drops. They think he can still be
accurate and that he can create problems for defenses with his feet.

Most of all, they want Brooks to enjoy things. So far, he's heartily
endorsed the offensive changes.

"He's taken a lot of the blame here," Schonert said. "He's kept it to
himself. Unfortunately, he's had to bear the brunt of a lot of the
mishaps on the offensive side, all of the miscues."

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

Brooks has certainly taken his share of the blame over the years. Some
of it has been warranted, some has not been. But when a player of his
obvious physical tools and talents is unable to lead a winning team or
put up better numbers, we can't help but wonder why. The
simplification of the offense could be a very good thing for him,
because it'll allow him to get back to what he does best  making
plays with his athleticism. Many people see Brooks as some sort of
bust, even with regards to fantasy, but his end-of-year rankings at
his position the past four years have been: 6, 6, 5, and 8. Very
solid. It isn't as if Brooks is a borderline starting-caliber QB
looking to crack someone's lineup. He is already a very serviceable
fantasy quarterback, and with some subtle improvements in the New
Orleans offense, he could enter borderline stud territory. We don't
want to hype him as such already, because we haven't seen any of what
this new offense is capable of, but we'll keep on the lookout.


3. NO  Saints Plan To Revolve Offense Around RB McAllister More

Clipped from Philadelphia Inquirer article by David Aldridge 6/5/05

"The offense didn't have an identity," Schonert said. "It was kind of
like, 'What are we?' It was like a shotgun passing attack. Sometimes
when you get in that mode, you lose your toughness."

To that end, the Saints plan to give the ball back to Deuce
McAllister, hoping he'll return to his 1,600-yard form of two years

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

Another article using the same quote from Schonert. The good news just
keeps on coming for McAllister. As good as he has been the past
several years, we think he can and will make a return to the sort of
numbers he put up in 2002, when he rumbled for 16 scores. As of now,
McAllister is rated as our #4 RB , and
is an obvious first-round pick.


4. MIA  Frerotte Has Early Edge In QB Competition

Clipped from Miami Herald article by Armando Salguero 6/5/05

Nick Saban set the stage for a quarterback competition.

Incumbent starter A.J. Feeley, Sage Rosenfels and Gus Frerotte will
compete for the 2005 starting job, with newcomer Frerotte holding an
edge right away.

''We're going to play the best player,'' Saban said. ``Whoever plays
the best will start. Isn't that what everybody would do? I think every
coach in every league, Pop Warner included, would play the best guys.
That's what we ought to do, and we'll do that at every position. Most
assuredly we'll do it at this position.''

Saban is not tied to Feeley as the previous coaching staff and
recently resigned general manager Rick Spielman were, so Saban's
reputation is not tied to the player's success or failure. He was not
the one who dealt a second-round pick for Feeley, so if Feeley flops,
it's not his mistake.

Frerotte, meanwhile, comes to Miami with more playing experience than
Feeley and a better understanding of the offense that coordinator
Scott Linehan will use. Frerotte played for Linehan in Minnesota.

''Gus, obviously, has a little bit of an advantage because he has a
lot of knowledge and experience in this system,'' Saban admitted. ``So
he doesn't have the same learning curve that the other guys do, but I
certainly feel like all three of those guys have done a good job and
certainly had some plays they could probably improve on and learn from
and do better. But in no way are we disappointed in any of those

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

Just because Frerotte has the edge in competition, doesn't mean he'll
succeed in that position. Frerotte has some good targets to throw to
(namely Chris Chambers, Randy McMichael, and David Boston) and should
have an improved running game. But it remains to be seen if the
offensive line problems have been completely fixed in just one year's
time, and we feel that is the biggest thing that will hold down the
Miami offense this year. In any case, we'll keep an eye out for this
QB competition and be sure to let you know if one player begins to


5. MIN - TE/FB Kleinsasser Revving His Engine

Clipped from Pioneer Press article by Bob Sansevere 6/5/05

All of a sudden, a huge smile creased the face of Vikings running back
Michael Bennett. He had just been asked to talk about one of his
favorite topics: a healthy Jim Kleinsasser.

"Having him is like having a semi truck run through some bowling
pins,'' Bennett said. "It's great having him back. It's going to be

Bennett had a faraway look. He was imagining what it will be like to
have Kleinsasser in front of him on a sweep again, mowing down
defensive players.

"Oh my goodness, it's scary,'' Bennett said. "I can't wait.''

Just minutes after Bennett gushed, Kleinsasser walked out of the
training room, a place he has spent far too much time.

Since joining the Vikings as a second-round pick in 1999, Kleinsasser
has missed games due to injuries to several body parts, including an
ankle, a hamstring, a shoulder, a tibia and a knee. His most recent
setback was a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

With that history of mangled limbs, Kleinsasser was asked two
questions when he emerged from the training room after Friday's
developmental camp: Are you hurt? Again?

"No, no, no,'' he said. "Nothing's wrong. I was just icing my knee. I
do it every day.''
He rubbed his hand over his knee. The scar a surgeon left after
repairing his ACL is barely visible.

"Right now, it gets fatigued after a while,'' Kleinsasser said. "I
just want to get back to a hundred percent.''

He expects to reach that by the start of training camp in July. If he
does, Bennett and the Vikings' other backs will be delighted. The
status of Kleinsasser's knee could be the most important factor that
determines whether the Vikings have a hugely successful running game.

In 2003, Kleinsasser started all 16 games and the Vikings had the
NFL's No. 1 rushing attack. Last season, he went down in the first
game and the Vikings finished 18th in rushing. There is a correlation.

"There are some very good blocking tight ends,'' Vikings coach Mike
Tice said. "I haven't seen one as strong as Jimmy at the point of

Tice wants to be more run-oriented this season, and that becomes
easier if Kleinsasser is turning defensive players into mulch.

"Our outside running game is night and day with Jimmy out there,'' Tice said.

Kleinsasser is itching to get out there. When the season begins, he
will have multiple roles. On any given play, he might line up at tight
end, H-back or fullback. Once known for dropped passes, he improved as
a receiver in 2003 and had a career-high 46 catches. But his value to
the team isn't his hands. It's the entire 6-foot-3, 275-pound package
that he flings at a defender.

"I don't get hung up about catching the ball,'' Kleinsasser said. "I
like drilling a guy.''

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

This is just the latest example of why you really need to dig through
the news to find fantasy value. Most people wouldn't correlate the
Vikings' success running the football to the Kleinsasser injury, but
this article paints that precise picture. Kleinsasser is invaluable to
the team as a run-blocker, and his loss last year was felt in just
about every aspect of the offense. Lowered ability to run = worse
running game. Worse running game = more attention being focused on the
passing game. Worse passing game, well you get the picture. As we've
preached for years, everything offensively begins in the trenches.
Kleinsasser's very last line, "I like drilling a guy", speaks volumes
about the type of player he is. At the very least, he should
significantly improve the team's ability to run the football. Just
think, one of the biggest fantasy keys this year may be a guy who
won't even be drafted in many leagues.


6. ARZ  Starting RB Spot Is Up For Grabs

Clipped from

So the Cardinals' starting running back position is wide open.

Marcel Shipp has been through this routine before. Another year just
means another season to prove himself. But it's something he'd rather
not go through again.

Shipp, who signed with Arizona as a free-agent rookie in 2001, has
never begun a season as the starter.

Now it's 2005 and the only thing that has changed is the team's
uniform. Shipp's competition this time is second-round draft pick J.J.

"You never know who's going to be picked to be the starter," Shipp
said. "All I can do is my part, come out here and work every day, keep
getting better. Not let anything get in my way and not stopping me."

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

This article comes from Shipp's point of view and almost paints it out
to be like he is the default starter and must be unseated by someone
in order to relinquish the job. Shipp has been successful for about
half a season in the NFL, and that was years ago. Last year, he was
demoted from the starting spot even before his season-ending knee
injury. How a player can fail to beat out an aging Emmitt Smith one
year, and then start over a 2nd-round pick the following seems quite
confusing. We expect J.J. Arrington to get the vast majority of the
carries in Arizona, and to have quite a bit of success doing it.


7. TB  RB Garner At Approximately 80%

Clipped from St. Petersburg Times article by Greg Auman 6/5/05

Running back Charlie Garner, another potential cap casualty limited by
a knee injury to three games last season, reiterated his confidence
he'll be around to compete for a job in training camp.

"I feel good. I'm not 100 percent, but I feel about 80. I'm running
and cutting out there," he said. "It's encouraging what I've been able
to do, and I have no doubt about where I'll be in six weeks. It's up
to them, but far as I'm concerned, I'll be here."

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

It's unlikely that Garner will be back in Tampa, since the team has
incumbent starter Michael Pittman and just recently invested its first
round pick on Cadillac Williams. Should Garner remain with the club,
his role would be severely limited and would hardly see the field
unless injuries hit. He could prove to be a valuable addition to a
team looking for a third-down or receiving back, but obviously Garner
must prove that he is in shape.


8. CLE  Browns May Bring In Another Veteran QB

Clipped from Beacon Journal article 6/5/05

Don't be surprised if the Browns bring in another veteran quarterback
before training camp. They would like some experience behind Trent
Dilfer in case Dilfer is injured early in the season. Right now, the
quarterbacks are rookie Charlie Frye and young Josh Harris. It's
doubtful either are ready to play a significant amount early this

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

This is probably a very good idea, because as rough as the Browns'
prospects look with Dilfer, they'd be even bleaker with an unproven
youngster manning the offense. There are no specific names that have
been tied to Cleveland as of yet, but we can think of at least one
ex-Cleveland QB currently looking for work (paging Mr. Testaverde).


9. BUF  Backup RB Yet To Be Determined

Clipped from Star-Telegram article by Charean Williams 6/5/05

The Buffalo Bills' starting running back is Willis McGahee, but his
primary backup has yet to be determined.

The Bills are expected to trade Travis Henry before the start of the
regular season. Tennessee is among the teams interested in dealing for
Henry, who has two 1,000-yard seasons in his four-year NFL career. The
Titans have offered a fourth-round pick, but the Bills are holding out
for a third-rounder.

The likeliest candidates to benefit from Henry's departure are
free-agent acquisition ReShard Lee or Louisville rookie Lionel Gates,
a seventh-round draft pick. Lee, who is 5-foot-10, 220 pounds, is the
kind of back the Bills like in their power running game. He's a
physical, between-the-tackles runner.

"I think I can mix it up a little bit," Lee said. "I can run tough
inside and run outside. This will really be the first year that I'm
being given the opportunity to show what I can do, and I'm excited
about that."

Lee had the bulk of the carries during drills as the Bills finished
the first week of organized team activities. Lee has not secured a
roster spot after one week of work, but he showed flashes of ability
that got the Bills' attention.

"He's a big back," Bills coach Mike Mularkey said. "He's the size we
like for the physical part of it. Just watching him on tape, he did
some things we like. He fits our style. I thought he was a good

Lee, a high school quarterback who skipped his senior year at Middle
Tennessee State, joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in
2003. He gained 128 yards on 27 carries with one touchdown, but the
Cowboys didn't trust Lee to do the right thing when he didn't have the
ball in his hands. Dallas signed veteran Anthony Thomas in free agency
and drafted the University of Minnesota's Marion Barber III to back up
Julius Jones.

"We had some differences there in Dallas," Lee said. "I wasn't
intimidated by anybody they signed because I'm one of those people who
feels like I can stack my talent against anybody in the National
Football League. I'm getting ready to prove that."

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

This is obviously an important battle, but only if Travis Henry is
traded. If the Bills don't move Henry (highly unlikely that they'd
hold onto him), he'll be the very unhappy backup running back to
McGahee. If, as expected, Buffalo can come to an agreement on a trade
for Henry, then the handcuff to McGahee becomes instantly draftable
(at least by McGahee owners). Lee in particular is intriguing because
we've seen him on the field at least, and he has been productive in
limited action. We'll keep an eye on this training camp battle, and
let you know if it appears one player starts making an impression.


10. GB  QB Favre Says He Could Play Past '05; Increases Pressure On Holdouts

Clipped from Associated Press article 6/5/05

Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre said Sunday that next season
might not be his last, and stepped up pressure on teammate Javon
Walker to end his holdout.

After being serenaded by chants of ``five more years'' from a record
crowd of 8,500 visitors to his charity softball game Sunday, Favre
told reporters he hoped the family issues that made him contemplate
retirement would be resolved.

``I hope off the field, within my family, that things go smoothly and
I'm able to enjoy it a little bit more and my family is able to enjoy
it. If that's the case, maybe I will be back,'' Favre said.

The three-time NFL MVP quarterback also stepped up the pressure on
Walker, who has skipped both minicamps in spring and summer. The Pro
Bowl receiver is demanding a new contract to replace one that has two
years left on it.

Pro Bowl tight end Bubba Franks also has been a no-show because he has
yet to sign a contract after being designated as the team's transition

``I hate to see that the game is going this way,'' Favre said. ``I've
heard a lot of comments saying, 'Well, Brett has his money and all
this stuff.' Never once did I mention holdout.

``I believe, as the leader of this team, in some ways I have to be
vocal. I've always been a quiet guy when it comes to things like that.
But, I'm at the latter part of my career, and I want to win.''

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

This news isn't all that surprising, given Favre's love of the game.
Assuming his personal life goes a bit more smoothly in upcoming years,
Favre's dedication to the game and his team could very well allow him
to come back. We've been hearing for several years now that this may
be "it" for Favre in the NFL, only to see him keep coming back. For
what it's worth, most of this speculation is coming from outside
sources and not necessarily from Favre himself. So until we hear him
seriously consider hanging them up, we'll just go under the assumption
that he'll stick around a little while longer.


11. IDP:  WAS - S Taylor Turns Himself In

Clipped from ESPN / AP Story

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, described as a "person of
interest" in an assault case, turned himself in to Miami-Dade County
police on Saturday,'s Len Pasquarelli reported. Taylor has
been charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, a felony, and
simple battery.

The assault happened Wednesday night and shots were fired, police
spokesman Mary Walters said. No one was injured.

The Washington Post reported on its Web site the assault case involved
a stolen car. Taylor and a friend were reportedly at the scene of a
crime, but it was unclear who the stolen car belonged to and why
Taylor was there. A public information officer for the Miami-Dade
County Police Department told The Post that shots were fired into the

Taylor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined comment Friday. Taylor and
the Redskins didn't immediately return phone messages seeking comment.

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

Not many details, but more bad news follows Taylor. Regardless of
whether he'll be further implicated or not in this case, it is clear
that at the very least, the extremely talented Taylor allowed himself
to be put in a bad situation. Hopefully, the ramifications of this
won't be too severe as far as his involvement, but that all remains to
be seen. We'll keep you updated for any breaking news involving


12. IDP:  NYJ - Jets Unlikely To Sign CB Law

Clipped from New York Daily News article by Rich Cimini 6/4/05

Don't expect the Jets, rumored to be interested in Ty Law, to sign the
former Patriots star. For one thing, it appears that CB Donnie Abraham
will play this season. Secondly, the Jets aren't likely to meet Law's
asking price. Best guess: He winds up with the Browns, reunited with
former Pats defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. To predict Law's
landing spot, just remember what Deep Throat told Woodward in "All the
President's Men": "Follow the money."

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

Basically, whoever ponies up the most dough this summer will land him.
If he's truly going where the money is and that is the sole factor,
then all the talk about making his home in Florida, and Romeo Crennel
being in Cleveland, etc, is meaningless. This story is yet to be
determined, because Law hasn't proclaimed himself fit yet. Once he
works out for teams, we'll get a much better idea on who is serious
about acquiring him. Until then, everything is purely speculation. In
fact, it's entirely possible that the team that will sign him hasn't
even been mentioned yet, because a lot can change between now and
training camp.


13. IDP:  BAL  CB Sanders Agrees To One-Year Deal

Clipped from the ESPN / John Clayton article:

Deion Sanders is expected to say yes Monday or Tuesday to a one-year
deal with the Baltimore Ravens that will bring him back for another

Sanders told the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press that he will make his
official announcement in the next couple days. The Ravens want him to
show up this week for offseason workouts and to have a physical.
Sanders had toe surgery during the offseason; if he passes the
physical, he will be able to sign the contract.

"I feel good," he told the Press-News. "I feel damn good."

The contract details have been worked out for Sanders' return and they
are the same as last season. Sanders will have a $1.5 million base
salary. If he plays the entire season as the nickel back, he can make
up to $3 million. If he plays more, he can make $4 million.

Sanders, 37, didn't qualify for any of the incentives last season
because the toe injury limited him to 21 percent of the Ravens'
defensive snaps. But Sanders enjoyed the experience of playing with
the Ravens and wanted to return.

"It was one of the funnest years that I've ever had," Sanders told the
News-Press. "I played with a plethora of guys who were like my

Sanders told the Press-News that he isn't worried about what league
observers have to say about his comeback from a three-year retirement.

"When you start to be afraid in life, you'll never be successful," he
told the newspaper. "How can someone erase what's already written?"

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

Deion may have had one of his "funnest" years ever, but we assure you
that if you rely on Sanders for fantasy production, you will not be
having one of YOUR funnest years ever. Deion is still a big name, but
at this point he is a fantasy afterthought.


And with that, we'll wrap it up here, Folks. Thanks for reading and
we'll see you tomorrow with the update. Remember to grab a pre order
on the FBG magazine if
you'd like to have it before the other guys in your league.

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