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Volume 6, Issue 66 (Thursday, June 23rd)

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Hi Folks,

Happy Friday to you. Hope it's been a good week for you. We're excited here as the Footballguys Strategy Guide is close to rolling out on newsstands everywhere. We've also got plenty of new articles on the site for you plus the NFL news from our Maurile Tremblay. Let's get to it.

J


SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Magazines are in the HOUSE. Click here for ordering
At 228 pages, with a focus on strategy and draft preparation, we're proud to have the FBG name on them. We only have about 250 copies left and those will go fast. They will ship about 3 business days after we receive your order while supplies last. And one more thing - To show you guys how much we appreciate you being a part of what we're doing, we're offering a special price break on the shipping. Instead of trying to gouge you for Express Delivery, we're offering to send our magazines United States Postal Service Priority Mail for just $1. Just the postage alone for Priority Mail is $3.95. But we make a little more money on the magazine when we sell it as opposed to the newsstand and we felt like passing that savings on to you was the right thing to do. Thanks for supporting what we're doing there.

B. Braylon Edwards Face-Off by Cecil Lammey and David Dodds

C. Trent Green Face-Off by David Yudkin and David Dodds

D. Who is the Best QB? Face-Off by Jason Wood and Cecil Lammey

E. Curtis Martin Face-Off by Clayton Gray and Aaron Rudnicki

F. Todd Heap Face-Off by Will Grant and Chase Stuart

G. Marcus Pollard Face-Off by Clayton Gray and Jason Wood


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. JAC - Jaguars To Monitor RB F. Taylor
2. CLE - RB Suggs Ready To Compete Again
3. SEA - WR Pathon Brings "Big-Play Capabilities"
4. WAS - WR Moss Learning On The Go
5. TEN - If A Titan, RB Henry Can Be An Asset
6. TB - More Receiving Routes For RB Pittman
7. JAC - WR R. Williams Has Ability, Needs Consistency
8. NO - Playbook Will Be Trimmed Down
9. IDP: MIA - S Williams Arrested For DUI
10. IDP: CHI - DE Ogunleye Close To Full Recovery

1. JAC - Jaguars To Monitor RB F. Taylor

Clipped from: Jaguars.com article by Vic Ketchman, 6/23/05

Is this the year the Jaguars make it back to the playoffs for the first time since 1999? The expectation for this team is that it will answer that question affirmatively. The Jaguars are being picked on many fronts to win the AFC South title, however, those predictions are often accompanied by this disclaimer: if Fred Taylor is fully recovered from his knee surgery.

Taylor is the key to the Jaguars' hopes. He did not participate in any of the team's spring drills. Del Rio steadfastly maintained throughout the spring that Taylor's recovery has been on schedule and without setback, and the expectation has been that Taylor will be ready to go when training camp arrives. Now, of course, training camp is almost here.

So where is Taylor in his recovery? That question was put to Del Rio following this morning's workout.

"He has between now and the start of training camp to increase his activity. We're going to monitor that. Thus far, in both cases," Del Rio said, referring to Taylor and Mike Pearson, "those guys are on track."

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Taylor has sidelined for the Jaguars' May and June mini-camps, still rehabilitating the knee he injured last December 19, tearing his MCL and missing the final two games of the 2004 season. He was cleared to begin running a couple of weeks ago, and appears to be on schedule to practice with the Jaguars when they begin training camp on July 30. It may be an indication that team officials are not as confident about Taylor's health as they have let on, however, that they reportedly considered making on offer to the Bills for RB Travis Henry. As things stand now, LaBrandon Toefield sits behind Taylor on the team's depth chart, and would get the nod if Taylor is unavailable.


2. CLE - RB Suggs Ready To Compete Again

Clipped from: ClevelandBrowns.com article by Steve King, 6/23/05

If the Browns' Lee Suggs is ever going to bust out and establish himself as an NFL running back, this would seem to be the time.

Or maybe not.

On one hand, based on the way he finished last year, Suggs appears to be coming into his own. He ended the season with three consecutive 100-yard games, the first time a Brown has done that in 26 years - since 1978.

At that point, Suggs wasn't even born. Current coach Romeo Crennel was tutoring the defensive ends at the University of Mississippi, and general manager Phil Savage was a 13-year-old boy growing up in Mobile, Ala. memorizing every sports statistic imaginable.

Suggs picked up 105 yards against San Diego, 143 versus Miami (in a club-record 38 attempts) and 131 in the finale at Houston. Add it all up and he had 379 yards in 85 carries, averaging nearly 4.5 yards per attempt. That's exceptional, especially when three facts are considered.

First, Suggs was working behind a makeshift line that had been decimated by injuries. Also, the Browns were en route to a disappointing 4-12 finish, so there really wasn't anything to play for - at least team-wise - then.

And lastly, history wasn't on Suggs' side. The club has struggled running the ball for two decades. The Browns' last 1,000-yard rushers were Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack in 1985.

"It was a nice building block at the end of the year," Suggs said recently. "It gives me some momentum heading into this season."

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Suggs did close out the 2004 season strongly, but for many of his fantasy owners, it may have been too little, too late. He heads into this year's training camp atop the team's depth chart, but will have fierce competition from former Bronco Reuben Droughns. Droughns rushed for over 1200 yards in the final 12 games last year, and believes he is a starting-quality NFL RB. William Green is also still on the roster, and if his off-the-filed issues are behind him, he could be in the mix as well. This situation could become a full-fledged RBBC (running back by committee), limiting the fantasy value of both Suggs and Droughns.


3. SEA - WR Pathon Brings "Big-Play Capabilities"

Clipped from: Seahawks.com article 6/23/05

The University of Washington now finds four of it's alumni players on the Seahawks' roster in TE Jerramy Stevens, CB Omare Lowe, rookie LS Tim Galloway, and WR Jerome Pathon. Pathon signed with the Seahawks in April as a free agent after a seven-year tour of duty with Indianapolis (4 years) and New Orleans (3 years).

His reasons for coming to Seattle were simple.

"I'm into my eighth year now, it would be nice to say I have another five left in me, but that's not likely," said Pathon. "I wanted to come to a team that could compete and get deep into the playoffs and compete for the championship."

And it didn't hurt that Pathon is a Northwest native who hails from Vancouver, Canada, and played his collegiate ball at the University of Washington.

"It's a good feeling coming home to the Northwest," says Pathon. "I've been gone for eight years now, and it's a chance for the local fans and my family to come down and watch a few games."

The competition promises to be fierce in training camp at wide receiver, and Pathon promises to be right in the thick of it.

"Each player brings a different thing to this game," he says of the Seahawks receivers. "One has speed, one has hands, one has size, one has routes, everyone has their own specialties and it's going to be very competitive this year."

So what does Pathon bring to the game?

"Consistency and big-play capabilities," he points out. "I've been playing ball for eight years now, so I've been in every different situation. I've been on losing teams and I've been on winning teams, so it's experience and consistency."

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With the release of troubled WR Koren Robinson earlier this offseason, there is an opening across from Darrell Jackson at the other WR position. Veteran Bobby Engram is listed as the starter heading into training camp, but Joe Jurevicius and Jerome Pathon will compete with Engram for the job. Engram, Pathon, and Jurevicius are all capable receivers with 50-catch seasons to their name, so the real beneficiary of the Seahawks enviable depth is QB Matt Hasselbeck.


4. WAS - WR Moss Learning On The Go

Clipped from: Redskins.com article by Gary Fitzgerald, 6/23/05

Santana Moss says he learns best by doing, not by studying. He calls it "learning on the go." So far, Moss says, it's worked. He believes he is on pace in picking up the Redskins' offensive scheme.

"I like to be one of those hands-on learners," Moss said. "I like to be able to go out there and do it instead of sitting there and looking at a book. That's what I've been doing. I've been picking up everything pretty swiftly."

Moss, acquired by the Redskins last March in a trade with the New York Jets, said he continues to develop a rapport with quarterback Patrick Ramsey. Moss has previously caught passes from the likes of Chad Pennington and Vinny Testaverde, among others.

"It's just a matter of us practice together and playing together," Moss aid. "I don't think it's going to happen overnight. As long as he has a feel for us now in the OTAs and mini-camp, then coming into training camp he should be a little more comfortable with us. Then as we go through training camp, I think preseason games should get us going for the opener."

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Santana Moss showed what he is capable of two years ago when he had 74 receptions for 1,105 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last season those numbers dipped to 45-838-5, but he will try to bounce back this year on his new team. Skill-wise, Moss is similar to the Panthers' Steve Smith: both are fast receivers who, despite their lack of size, play with strength and toughness.


5. TEN - If A Titan, RB Henry Can Be An Asset

Clipped from: Nashville Tennessean article by Joe Biddle, 6/23/05

Titans General Manager Floyd Reese is laying low these days.

He knows the Buffalo Bills want to dump disgruntled running back Travis Henry because Willis McGahee is assured of starting ahead of the former Tennessee star.

The Bills have cast the bait, GM Tom Donahoe demanding a third-round draft pick for Henry.

It must be said that Reese values draft picks right up there with his wife and running shoes.

Prying a third-round draft pick out of Reese could prove excruciatingly difficult.

There are others showing interest in Henry, a durable back who posted a 1,438-yard season in 2002, followed by a 1,356-yard year with the Bills before McGahee shuffled into Buffalo. He missed only one game in those two seasons, once playing on a broken leg.

Two of the interested parties reside in the Titans division - Jacksonville and Houston. The Jaguars admitted they have interest in Henry. Veteran Fred Taylor has suffered his share of injuries and is on the downside of a brilliant-when-healthy career.

Why are the Titans interested in Henry?

Primarily because of the past injury record of third-year back Chris Brown. Brown has missed significant time over his first two seasons and suffered a broken hand in non-contact drills during the team's first offseason session.

Brown becomes a restricted free agent after this season, while Henry will be an unrestricted free agent.

Reese insists the only way he would deal for Henry is if they can agree on a long-term contract.

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Behind injury-prone starter Chris Brown, the Titans lack great depth at running back, so bringing Henry in would make a lot of sense. Expect the Titans and Bills to keep haggling over price until the end of July when training camp starts - but for a deal to likely get done that eventually sends Henry to Tennessee.


6. TB - More Receiving Routes For RB Pittman

Clipped from: St. Petersburg Times article by Greg Auman, 6/23/05

Running back Michael Pittman caught 41 passes last season, his lowest total since 1999, but said the presence of rookie Carnell "Cadillac" Williams should allow him to be more of a pass-catching threat, shifting out of the backfield.

"They're letting me play a little bit more wide receiver," said Pittman, who caught 134 passes in his first two seasons with the Bucs. "They've added more receiving routes for me to add to my arsenal. I asked the coach if I could do that last year, and they're finally letting me do it. ... Me and Cadillac are working together to get better, having a lot of fun."

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

This news further signifies that the Bucs are clearing the way for rookie Carnell Williams to be the featured runner this season. Pittman can be effective as a receiver, but expect him to be used only in specialized packages while Williams is the every-down runner.


7. JAC - WR R. Williams Has Ability, Needs Consistency

Clipped from: Jacksonville Times-Union article by Vito Stellino, 6/23/05

His receiver corps seems much improved. Jimmy Smith is still Jimmy Smith, Reggie Williams has appeared to improve leading into his second season, veteran Troy Edwards keeps making progress and rookie Matt Jones hasn't had any new hamstring problems since returning to the field earlier this month.

Jones, who is making the difficult transition from college quarterback to NFL wide receiver, said, "Every day is getting better."

Walters said he "feels good'' about Jones' progress.

Williams missed most of the OTAs last year because, per NFL rules, he had to wait for his class at the University of Washington to graduate. He's taken advantage of being a part of the entire offseason program this year.

"Everything is more comfortable,'' Williams said.

Walters said Williams has ability, but needs consistency.

"What I'd like for him is to be more consistent catching the ball,'' Walters said. ''He's working at it and has a great attitude.''

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

Williams has the physical ability to be a solid NFL receiver, but he didn't make a big splash last year as a rookie, and he finished the season with a whimper as he had only eight receptions in his final seven games. The duo of Reggie Williams and (rookie) Matt Jones could be a dangerous WR combination several years down the road - but for right now, Jimmy Smith is the undisputed WR1 and Williams has to worry about competition for playing time from Jones and Troy Edwards.


8. NO - Playbook Will Be Trimmed Down

Clipped from: Sun Herald article by Don Hammack, 6/23/05

[GM Mickey] Loomis said the departure of offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy will mean a trimmed-down playbook, along with hoped-for improvements in communications including a wristband with plays for quarterback Aaron Brooks to get them to the line quicker.

Loomis talked about the passion of Saints fans for their football teams, feelings that have grown to schizophrenic levels - and focused criticisms on him, coach Jim Haslett and owner Tom Benson.

"I'm not responsible for the 38 years," he said, "but sometimes I feel like it."

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The Saints' offense has the talent to be an explosive unit, but they have generally not lived up to expectations over the past several years. Aaron Brooks, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn, and Donte Stallworth all have loads of fantasy potential if the offense as a group can avoid costly mistakes and sustain their drives more effectively. A trimmed-down playbook may help - it will be worth keeping tabs on the team's progress during the preseason.


9. IDP: MIA - S Williams Arrested For DUI

Clipped from: Associated Press article, 6/23/05

Miami Dolphins safety Quintin Williams was arrested on DUI and drag racing charges Thursday after he was stopped while driving 111 mph on an interstate with teammate and passenger Travares Tillman.

Williams was near the team's practice facility in Davie, Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Ferrell said. Troopers also pulled over a car that had been racing Williams. Troopers then approached Williams' car and suspected he might have been drinking, Ferrell said.

After a roadside DUI test, Williams was taken to a Broward Sheriff's Office facility where his blood-alcohol level was .087 percent, above Florida's legal limit of .08 percent, Ferrell said.

Williams was charged with DUI, racing on a highway and unlawful speeding, Ferrell said. He was speeding, Ferrell said. Williams was released from jail around noon.

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Williams is not expected to play a big role in the Dolphins' defense, but Travares Tillman is expected to fill the starting free safety position. The Dolphins had a great many off-the-field distractions last offseason, and they certainly don't need any more incidents like this one heading into their July training camp.


10. IDP: CHI - DE Ogunleye Close To Full Recovery

Clipped from: Chicago Tribune article by Terry Bannon, 6/23/05

Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye, who had postseason ankle surgery, has been practicing with the No. 1 defense and should be ready for the first training camp workout, coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday.

"He'll be full go, and he's close now," Smith said.

The Bears were cautious with Ogunleye, who didn't get on the field until last week. They continue to be careful with fullback Bryan Johnson, who is recovering from a foot injury and isn't working out.

"He'll be ready for camp," Smith said.

The Bears conclude off-season workouts Thursday and report to training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais on July 23. The first workout is July 24.

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"O-Gun" was a disappointment for the Bears last year, collecting just five sacks and missing four games due to injury. He had great success for the Dolphins when he lined up opposite Jason Taylor, leading the AFC in sacks (15) two years ago and making a trip to the Pro Bowl. He should benefit from the addition of first-round draft pick Tommie Harris inside at DT; and if he can returns to full health, he could hit double-digit sacks again

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

J

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