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Volume 6, Issue 52 (Thursday, June 9th)

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Hi Folks,

It wasn't a huge day for NFL News but it's a Big Day at Footballguys
as we unveil the new Draft Dominator Program. Details are in the Site
News below. Thanks to Maurile Tremblay for rounding up these stories
and let's get to it.

J

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

Site News:

A. Draft Dominator Released.
Without question, this is the coolest piece of fantasy football
software you'll find anywhere. You don't need Microsoft Excel, all you
need is a PC and you can run this program. It'll let you apply the VBD
drafting and valuation principles right to your particular league with
your particular situation and since it dynamically calculates the
value of players based on the available pool to be drafted, it's
dialed in to your particular draft PICK at the moment you're ready to
make your selection. It's really an unfair advantage. When you walk
through the high stakes drafts like the NFFC or WCOFF where guys are
playing for $100,000 and more in prizes, there's a very good reason
why you'll see guys using this program all over the place.

B. Footballguys Strategy Guide Magazine!
I talked to Tom Kessenich at F+W Publications and he says the FBG magazine
looks fantastic. We expect to start mailing out to you around June 21. That way
you can have it in your hands before the guys who have to wait on the news stand.
As a way to say thanks to you folks for supporting what we do, we're offering
the magazine for sale online at the normal price and adding just $1 for
shipping via USPS Priority Mail. Just the postage alone on Priority Mail
costs us $3.95 and that doesn't include any handling costs. But it's a way for
us to offer our readers something extra and to say thanks. Ordering is
quick and easy. They won't last long.

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

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. IND - RB E. James Will Honor Deal
2. NYJ - QB Pennington Yet To Throw
3. PIT - Competition At WR Should Be Fierce
4. PIT - Run-Pass Ratio Not To Change Much
5. PHI - It's 50-50 Whether WR Owens Will Show
6. NO - RB McAllister Playing At A Faster Pace
7. IDP: NEP - Seymour Missing From Patriots Minicamp
8. IDP: IND - CB Jefferson To Switch To Safety
9. IDP: SEA - LB Boulware With Seattle?

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

1. IND - RB E. James Will Honor Deal

Clipped from: Indianapolis Star article by Mike Chappell, 6/9/05

Running back Edgerrin James still wants a long-term contract but has
no intention of forcing the issue with a holdout. He skipped the
team's mandatory three-day minicamp and has not participated in its
voluntary summer school.

In a recent interview with ESPN.com, James said, "I honor my contract.
The season hasn't even started yet. I never said I wasn't going to
play. I'm going to play, regardless."

In March, the Colts' career rushing leader signed a one-year, $8.1
million contract as a "franchise" player. James can earn an additional
$1 million through performance incentives.

While he maintained his desire for a long-term contract, he conceded
it won't happen before the start of the regular season.

"Man, nothing (is) getting done," James said. "It ain't going to happen."

James was not asked if he plans to report on time for the start of
training camp. Players report to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
in Terre Haute on July 27.

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

There has been speculation that 2005 will be James' final year with
the Colts, but this article implies that James and the Colts may be
able to work out a long-term deal during the season. For redraft
leagues, the news here is that James will be in camp on time and won't
create a distraction for himself or his team by holding out. For
dynasty leagues, the news is of greater significance: if James ends up
staying with the Colts beyond 2005, his long-term fantasy value
increases. James is a talented RB who should do fairly well no matter
what team he plays for, but it's much easier to be a top five RB in a
prolific, high-scoring offense like the Colts' than it is in a lesser
offense. James had the third-highest number of red zone touches in the
league last year -- a direct result of the Colts' ability to march
down the field into scoring territory.

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

2. NYJ - QB Pennington Yet To Throw

Clipped from: New York Daily News article Rich Cimini, 6/9/05

Chad Pennington still is on schedule to test his surgically repaired
shoulder by the end of the month, but the Jets' quarterback missed his
last chance yesterday to throw in an official practice before training
camp.

The Jets wrapped up their offseason program, which included three
weeks of practices, and Pennington didn't participate in any of the
sessions, according to a team spokesman. The practices were closed to
the media.

That Pennington didn't throw isn't necessarily a setback. Even though
Herm Edwards indicated at the post-draft minicamp in late April that
there was a possibility of Pennington throwing in the June OTAs
(organized team activities), the coach never gave a specific return
date, saying it would be "some time in June."

Edwards still has three weeks to be proved right. Through a team
spokesman, he confirmed that he expects his $64 million quarterback to
start throwing before July 1. With the team scattered until training
camp, which opens July 29, Pennington will have to resume throwing in
informal workouts at Hofstra, not organized drills.

Pennington, four months removed from surgery to repair a torn rotator
cuff in his throwing shoulder, said at the last minicamp that he
expects to have a "normal" training camp. Chances are, his workload
will be scaled back. He also said there's "no doubt" he will be ready
for the opener, Sept. 11 in Kansas City.

At the time of the surgery, doctors said it would be three to four
months before Pennington could resume throwing.

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

The sooner Pennington can start throwing, the better. His top
receiver, Laveranues Coles, has been away from the Jets for two years,
and the two of them could use some extra practice time together to get
back in sync. Pennington is expected to be fully recovered by the
start of training camp, but his propensity for injury may be a
concern: he has yet to play a full 16-game season, and has never
thrown 400 passes in a season.

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

3. PIT - Competition At WR Should Be Fierce

Clipped from: Steelers.com article by Bob Labriola, 6/9/05

It's one of the few areas on the team where an offseason loss created
an opening in the starting lineup, but ironically it's also one of the
deepest areas on the depth chart.

Plaxico Burress was a starting wide receiver dating back to his rookie
season of 2000, but he's now employed by the New York Giants. That
means the spot opposite Hines Ward is available, and the competition
for that job will be fierce. But so will the competition for each of
the roster spots to be allocated to wide receivers during the 2005
season.

How many receivers will be on the final roster? Figure on five for
sure, maybe six. But this is only the off-season, and a roster's
configuration can be affected by a variety of factors between now and
the day the Steelers have to cut down to 53 players.

"I don't think there's any doubt this is a highly competitive group
right now," said wide receivers coach Bruce Arians. "To say who gets
to stay from (roster spots) four to six, we'll have to cut some guys
who can play in this league. Zamir Cobb's coming back, and he had an
outstanding camp last year."

When Arians refers to the competition for the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 spots on
the depth chart, he's assuming that the first three spots will go to
Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson; their performances
in minicamp and coaching sessions have reinforced that opinion.

Ward is the only receiver in franchise history to post four 1,000-yard
seasons and to be voted to four Pro Bowls. As has been his history,
Ward is a fixture at all offseason workouts, and he has done so this
year as negotiations for a contract extension continue.

Randle El has made an amazingly smooth and quick transformation from
being a one-man offense as an option quarterback at Indiana to an NFL
wide receiver. Because he was a slot receiver during each of his first
two NFL seasons, there were questions whether Randle El could be
productive as a starter. But in the four games Burress missed with a
hamstring injury last year, Randle El averaged 20.6 yards on each of
his 13 receptions; during coaching sessions Randle El punctuated the
session by making a fine grab of a pass 40 yards downfield from Ben
Roethlisberger.

Wilson was the most significant veteran addition of this offseason,
and he has had his impressive moments already. When he signed with the
Steelers, Wilson said his ability to get deep comes from
stop-and-start quickness, and he has flashed that at times, to go
along with sure hands and crisp route-running.

Those three guys have starting NFL experience, and that serves to
separate them from the pack. But for the Steelers this year, that pack
has some talent.

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

The Steelers have great depth at the bottom of their roster at WR, but
they do put the ball in the air enough to support more than one or
maybe two WRs as legitimate fantasy prospects (see the following
article regarding their run-pass ratio), especially since they seem
determined to get the TE more involved in the passing game this year.
Hines Ward is one of the top WRs in the league in terms of skill, but
his days as a top ten fantasy WR may be on hold while QB
Roethlisberger is still developing and the Steelers are committed to
pounding the ball down the field with a power running game. Randle El,
likewise, may be a better NFL receiver than he is a fantasy receiver,
at least for another year or two.

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

4. PIT - Run-Pass Ratio Not To Change Much

Clipped from: Associated Press article, 6/9/05

In his first season as offensive coordinator, Whisenhunt oversaw what
may have been the best performance ever by a rookie quarterback. Even
so, Whisenhunt said Ben Roethlisberger made strides this spring.

"From the standpoint of how much he studied and worked in the
offseason, you can see a lot of it starting to click out here for
him," Whisenhunt said. "Certainly he knows a lot more of the offense.
Certainly he's a lot more comfortable with it. You see a lot of that
from the way he interacts with the players and also how quick he is on
his reads and some of his throws."

With Whisenhunt calling the plays in 2004, the Steelers were first in
the AFC in rushing, but 20th in the league in passing. He doesn't
expect the run-pass ratio to change much, in spite of his
quarterback's progress.

"You're not going to get away from what you did that won 15 games,"
Whisenhunt said. "We're still going to run the ball, but I certainly
think that we can expand on what we did just because everybody's more
comfortable with everybody."

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

Roethlisberger's fantasy prospects in 2005 are directly tied to how
often the Steelers throw the ball. Roethlisberger was the #5 QB in the
NFL (among starters) in terms of fantasy points per pass attempt, but
ranked as only the #21 fantasy QB as the Steelers had the most heavily
run-oriented offense in the league. We are currently projecting a
decent increase in Roethlisberger's attempts this year, but still
expect him to be below the NFL average in that category.

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

5. PHI - It's 50-50 Whether WR Owens Will Show

Clipped from: Philadelphia Inquirer article by Bob Brookover, 6/9/05

Agent Drew Rosenhaus put the odds at 50-50 last night that Eagles wide
receiver Terrell Owens would join his teammates at training camp Aug.
1, when veterans are expected to report.

"I'm saying this based on the fact that I have confidence in the
Philadelphia Eagles organization that they are going to work with me
in a capacity that will be satisfactory," Rosenhaus said during an
interview with Washington Post columnists Michael Wilbon and Tony
Kornheiser on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption.

Rosenhaus' qualifier: "If they don't, then I wouldn't be very
optimistic about him being there."

In response, Eagles president Joe Banner neither blinked nor budged on
the team's stance.

"There's nothing for us to really do," Banner said. "There's nothing
to figure out. You can write about this as often as you want, but in
the end, Terrell Owens has to decide whether he wants to play or he
doesn't want to play. Either way, we're going to be a very good team
that we believe is capable of achieving our goals. We'd rather have
him honor his contract and be here, but that's up to him."

The Eagles have refused to discuss the matter with Rosenhaus, who
replaced David Joseph as Owens' agent in early April and visited
Philadelphia for a brief meeting with Banner.

In the television interview, Rosenhaus tried to make the case that
there is nothing honorable about the seven-year deal - worth just
under $49 million - Owens signed after a sequence of bizarre events
led to a three-team trade before last season. That deal sent the star
receiver from the Baltimore Ravens to the Eagles.

Rosenhaus did not return phone calls last night.

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

This drama isn't going to end anytime soon. The Eagles keep insisting
that they won't renegotiate Owens' contract, and based on their
previous dealings with players who've threatened to hold out, Owens
should not assume that they are just kidding. Donovan McNabb was
quoted a week ago as saying that he believes Owens will show up to
training camp. Owens' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, puts the odds at 50-50.
We expect the line to move in either direction several more times
between now and August.

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

6. NO - RB McAllister Playing At A Faster Pace

Clipped from: NewOrleansSaints.com article by Chris Pika, 6/9/05

Saints Offensive Coordinator Mike Sheppard and his group is ready for
this weekend's Mini-Camp.

"(The mini-camp) is a chance to polish a little bit," said Sheppard,
who was promoted from quarterbacks coach early in the offseason. "We
have about 95 percent (of the offensive installation) in and now, it's
a chance to go back and hit some of the situations a second time."

Much of the Coaching Sessions is used for that installation on a daily
basis, so there is not a lot of repeating, except for the three
mini-camp practices.

According to Sheppard, the workouts this weekend will be paced like an
in-season daily practice.

One of the larger storylines of the offseason was the simplification
of the team's offensive playbook. The adjustment and learning curve
for the offense has been as expected, Sheppard said.

"Most of the guys would tell you that it is less and it is easier," he
said. "For the veteran players, they feel really comfortable with it.
For the new guys, there is just no catch up time. They have to go home
and study their playbooks and by the time they get here the next day,
there is something new. So, it is a challenge for any player coming
into a new offense and most systems in the NFL"

The work ethic shown by the squad has impressed Sheppard. "From our
standpoint as coaches, these guys have really busted their tails," he
said. "It's been an unusual 13 days (of Coaching Sessions) from their
effort and focus. All of the things you hope your players would be,
these guys have had a great 13 days. All of the learning we've done,
we've had fewer mistakes - we still have some and we've tried to limit
those - and everybody's into it."

Sheppard said that he also been impressed by the work RB Deuce
McAllister has put in during the offseason.

"Watching Deuce hit the hole is pretty good," he said. "He's playing
at a faster pace and he is one of the smartest players I've ever been
around, much less on a football team. He's an impressive player."

The offensive line, with several changes and additions, should be
ready to open those holes for McAllister, said Sheppard.

"So far, so good," he said. "The offensive line has meshed well
together. The changes we've made -- the rookie (Jammal Brown) -- has
fit in well at tackle and Jermane Mayberry has been a great addition.
We felt we had pretty good players there."

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

Contributed by Chris Smith: The Saints have improved their run
blocking along the offensive line, the offensive scheme has been
tweaked to feature more of the running game and Deuce McAllister is
back healthy, happy and committed to having a great season. He is
going to be very good this season and will touch the ball a ton if he
can stay healthy. Don't miss the boat on him as he is going to
surprise some folks in 2005.

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

7. IDP: NEP - Seymour Missing From Patriots Minicamp

Clipped from: Associated Press article, 6/9/05

There's a problem on the NFL's most harmonious team. Richard Seymour,
one of the few major stars on a New England Patriots team built to
excel without them, was missing on the first day of the Super Bowl
champions' mandatory minicamp Thursday.

"Unexcused," coach Bill Belichick said tersely when asked to classify
Seymour's absence. "This is our only mandatory minicamp, and so all of
the players that are under contract are required to be here."

Seymour's agent, Roosevelt Barnes, did not return a call seeking
comment. But the All-Pro defensive lineman has complained that he is
underpaid under the six-year, $14.3 million deal he signed in 2001, as
a rookie. There are still two years remaining on that deal.

Belichick wouldn't say whether Seymour would be fined.

"I wouldn't comment on any player discipline or player contract
situations. You know that," the coach said. "I would love to, but I
just want to stay consistent with the policy."

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

The last high-profile Patriot players to hold out -- Lawyer Milloy and
Ty Law -- shortly thereafter found themselves playing for new teams.
Seymour is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL, and at just
25 years of age, has the potential to get even better. As long as he
remains with the Patriots, however, he will probably be a better NFL
player than a fantasy player. His role in the 3-4 defense has him
doing a lot of the tough work in the trenches, but not necessarily
putting great stats.

Contributed by Chris Smith: It's too early to read a lot into this as
of yet but the Patriots need Seymour to be there once the season
begins as he is one of the leaders of the team. Chances are this will
play out like most issues during this time of year and he'll be ready
to roll once the season hits. Keep an eye on it though as the Patriots
won't be effective on defense without him starting on the line.

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

8. IDP: IND - CB Jefferson To Switch To Safety

Clipped from: Indianapolis Star article by Mike Chappell, 6/9/05

The request was made, and quickly accepted by Joseph Jefferson.

Searching for a quality candidate at safety, the Indianapolis Colts
looked to their pool of cornerbacks. More specifically, they looked at
Jefferson.

"They just came to me," Jefferson said after Wednesday's summer school
workout at the Union Federal Football Center. "I just do what they
tell me. If they say, 'We need you to make the transition to safety,'
I'm going to do it.

"It's a blessing just to be playing in this league; I'll do whatever I
have to do to stay employed. I've got mouths to feed."

Coach Tony Dungy said part of the reason for Jefferson's relocation
was the pending suspension of starting strong safety Mike Doss.

"It may be long term," Dungy said, "but it's certainly short term
because we're preparing for what we eventually do with Mike."

Doss faces at least a one-game suspension after being found guilty of
two misdemeanor gun charges earlier in the week.

Also contributing to the decision to move Jefferson to safety was the
team's desire to get its best players on the field. The 6-1, 202-pound
Jefferson, according to Dungy, "is a very physical guy. He has
tremendous ball skills. He's got a lot of things you look for in a
safety."

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

Jefferson played some free safety in college at Western Kentucky, so
he is not completely new to the position. A third-round draft pick in
2002, his playing time was limited by injuries last year, but he
played well when he got the chance. He has ideal cover skills for a
safety, but will back up starter Mike Doss as long as Doss is
available.

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

9. IDP: SEA - LB Boulware With Seattle?

Clipped from: Seattle Times article by Jose Miguel Romero, 6/9/05

Make no mistake, Michael Boulware wants his older brother in a Seahawks uniform.

And Peter Boulware seems willing to sign a free-agent deal with
Seattle. It would reunite him with Michael - a safety for the Seahawks
- for the first time since they played together in the family backyard
in South Carolina as kids.

Peter took a free-agent visit with the Seahawks last week after being
released by Baltimore last month. He is a four-time Pro Bowler who
figures to play rush end if he signs with Seattle.

While here for his visit, Peter spent time with Michael and his wife, Jessica.

"We had a great time together, and I got to show him the city a little
bit," Michael said. "He likes the city and likes the team. He's really
interested. Mostly because I'm here, but also because it's a great
team and has a lot of potential, so I think we have a good shot."

Holmgren said he had a good visit with Peter Boulware, but expressed
some concern about Boulware's injury history. Boulware missed all of
last season with knee and toe injuries.

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

It would be fun to see the Boulware's team up as part of the same
defense. Peter Boulware missed the 2004 season due to multiple
injuries and is currently a free agent, but when he is healthy he is
one of the better pass-rushers in the league. He is expected to be
fully recovered from last year's injuries by the start of training
camp, and should sign on somewhere as a starter. Because of his
pass-rushing skills, he has the potential to make a fantasy impact;
but he is a high-risk pick because he is not yet back to full speed,
and his role in whatever defense he joins is currently undefined.

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

That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and have a great
Friday. Grab your Footballguys magazine if you haven't already at
http://footballguys.com/05buyfbgmagazine.htm and we'll see you
tomorrow with the update.

J

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