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Volume 14, Issue #16, May 14th

Hi Folks,

Feels good to be back in the USA. Thanks to my Buddy Cecil Lammey for covering for me while I was out. If you ever get a chance to visit Haiti, I'd highly recommend it as it's an incredibly complicated place where warm, resilient people are dealing with crushing poverty and challenging conditions. I'll post some pics soon.

In the meantime, we've got the NFL News and Notes for you so let's get to it.

J

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PHI - RB Felix Jones does not know what his role will be
2. PHI - QB Donovan McNabb to retire with team
3. PHI - Barkley showing 'fantastic' accuracy
4. BUF - Stevie Johnson still sidelined
5. NYG - Nothing imminent with Victor Cruz
6. STL - Plan to get Austin the ball early and often
7. TEN - Locker's shoulder 'back to normal'
8. ARI - Won't Throw to RBs much
9. WAS - More from Morris in 2013?
10. SF - Team 'big believers' in three headed RBBC
11. CHI - QB coach likes what he sees in Cutler
12. JAX - Gabbert continues to struggle
13. NFL - Josh Cribbs injury update
14. BUF - T.J. Graham making plays in OTAs
15. DEN - No interest in Urlacher
16. BUF - Plan to move Mario Williams around
17. NYJ - Rex Ryan compliments Dee Milliner

PHI - RB Felix Jones does not know what his role will be

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia Eagles RB Felix Jones does not know what his role will be with the team, or what type of offense the team plays. Jones does not want to get ahead of himself.

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Jones will find out soon enough. The Eagles are going to be a run heavy offense under Chip Kelly. Last year the Oregon Ducks ran the ball 685 times under Kelly and featured the inside zone read. That offense should be exciting to watch because the spread and the tempo. The team needs quality talent at the RB position and Jones will compete with Chris Polk and Miguel Maysonet to be the third-string RB behind LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown.

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PHI - QB Donovan McNabb to retire with team

Source: Philadelphia Daily News - Paul Domowitch

Free-agent QB Donovan McNabb (Vikings) said on his radio show that he will retire as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles in September.

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McNabb played 11 seasons with the Eagles and led the team to 5 NFC Championship Games and 1 Super Bowl. The Eagles will host the Chiefs (and former coach Andy Reid) on Thursday September 19th and that's when the ceremony for McNabb will be. Now the debate can start for some about whether or not he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I'm a McNabb fan and I appreciate what he did in Philadelphia but I'm solidly in the "no" category for him with the Hall of Fame.

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PHI - Barkley showing 'fantastic' accuracy

Source: Albert Breer - NFL Network

Albert Breer, from NFL Network, is reporting via Twitter that rookie QB Matt Barkley has shown 'fantastic' accuracy in Eagles minicamp.

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Barkley may be third in the QB competition behind Michael Vick and Nick Foles but he's working hard to prove himself in camp. The Chip Kelly system requires the QB to make quick decisions and accurately distribute the football to the skill position players. Barkley is a good fit for what the coach wants.

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BUF - Stevie Johnson still sidelined

Source: Chris Brown - BuffaloBills.com

Stevie Johnson is still sidelined with a strained back according to head coach Doug Marrone. He initially suffered the injury in the voluntary veteran minicamp last month during individual position drills.

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This would be more of a concern if the injury lasted into training camp. The Bills will be careful with their star WR and won't push him back until he's ready. I feel very comfortable with what Stevie has done in the past. Its more important to get him healthy and get him well than it is to push him to get on the field, said Bills head coach Doug Marrone.

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NYG - Nothing imminent with Victor Cruz

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Ohm Youngmisuk

There is nothing imminent between the New York Giants and restricted free-agent WR Victor Cruz on a contract extension.

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Cruz is not attending Giants OTAs but Eli Manning is hopeful that something will be worked out. "We get into some real practices next week so hopefully as we get into those live going-against-the-defense practices he'll get back in so we can get back to work," Manning said.

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STL - Plan to get Austin the ball early and often

Source: Michael David Smith - ProFootballTalk.com

Michael David Smith, from ProFootballTalk.com, reports Rams head coach Jeff Fisher says the team plans to get the ball to rookie WR Tavon Austin as much as possible. Were going to try to get the ball to him as often as we can, however we do that, Fisher said.

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The Rams targeted slot WR Danny Amendola (Patriots) almost 40 percent of the time last season, the third-highest rate in the NFL. Now that he's gone his replacement will be Austin. He's a big play threat every time he touches the ball and can be used effectively as a runner or receiver. Austin gained 947 yards after the catch in 2012, most among players from AQ schools.

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TEN - Locker's shoulder 'back to normal'

Source: Gary Glenn - TitansOnline.com

Gary Glenn, from TitansOnline.com, reports QB Jake Locker says his left shoulder 'feels like it's back to normal.'

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Good news for Locker here. Injuries and inconsistencies have held him back during his pro career. It's a make or break season for Locker and he needs to stay healthy and prove he can be their franchise QB. An improved O-Line, improved ground game, and added weapons in the passing game should help.

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ARI - Won't Throw to RBs much

Source: Darren Urban - AZCardinals.com

Darren Urban, from AZCardinals.com, notes that new Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has made plain he doesnt plan on throwing to the running backs as much.

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Important note for fantasy owners here, especially those in PPR leagues. Rashard Mendenhall signed in free agency and the most receptions he's had in a season is 25. Last year (under Arians as the OC) Colts RB Vick Ballard only managed to catch 17 passes. Arians wants one RB to emerge as the feature back but may not pass to him much in 2013.

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WAS - More from Morris in 2013?

Source: Keith McMillan - Washington Post

Keith McMillan, from the Washington Post, reports Redskins RB Alfred Morris feels he left a lot of yards on the field last year. I left a lot of yards on the field last year. Looking back on film, a lot of it was my aiming points in certain runs, or I was too tight and I couldnt get outside. Being more patient with my cutbacks I tended to cut back too soon."

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Morris finished his rookie season with over 1,600 yards rushing and was a fantasy steal in 2012. This year his current ADP is RB10 and he's going off the board at the end of round one. Now that he's used to the pro game we could see an even more efficient Morris in 2013.

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SF - Team 'big believers' in three headed RBBC

Source: Matt Maiocco - CSN Bay Area

Matt Maiocco, from CSNBayArea.com, reports 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke says "I'm a big believer -- we are big believers -- in a three-headed approach" at the RB position.

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Will Frank Gore yield to this approach in 2013? He's still performing at a high level and finished 2012 as the 11th best RB in fantasy football. If healthy, we should see more from Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James this season.

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CHI - QB coach likes what he sees in Cutler

Source: Dan Pompei - Chicago Tribune

Dan Pompei, from the Chicago Tribune, reports Bears quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh likes what he's seen from QB Jay Cutler in minicamp. "Very impressed with Jay, Cavanaugh said. Very impressed. Hes borderline football brilliant. I think he gets it. I think he knows the game. I think he knows offensive schemes. I think he knows defenses.

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Things are looking up for Cutler and we wouldn't be surprised to see him finish as a top 10 fantasy QB in 2013. The Bears have taken great strides to improve the offensive line this offseason. Adding TE Martellus Bennett in free agency gives Cutler another weapon in his arsenal. His current ADP is QB18 and he's coming off the board in the middle of round 12.

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JAX - Gabbert continues to struggle

Source: Mark Long - Associated Press

Mark Long, from the Associated Press, reports Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert continues to struggle in minicamp with accuracy on short routes.

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Gabbert is in a make or break year in 2013. He needs to play up to his first-round draft status and show that he's the franchise QB the Jags wanted. He's competing with Chad Henne to be the starter.

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NFL - Josh Cribbs injury update

Source: Connor Orr - Star-Ledger

New York Jets General Manager John Idzik said free agent WR Josh Cribbs "isn't quite there" in his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

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The Jets gave Cribbs a physical last week and have interest in signing him. Other teams like the Lions and Cardinals have also shown interest in the veteran KR/WR.

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BUF - T.J. Graham making plays in OTAs

Source: Chris Brown - BuffaloBills.com

Second-year WR T.J. Graham has been making plays during the Bills recent minicamp. He's getting more reps as Stevie Johnson continues to miss workouts with a strained back. T.J. is doing really good, said QB Kevin Kolb. Hes working hard, taking it serious. Obviously with the receiving corps its a competitive group now. I think everybody can go out there and make plays. T.J. is another special talent with his speed.

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Graham has the downfield speed and ball tracking ability to be a good deep threat. The position became more cramped when the Bills added both Robert Woods (USC) and Marquise Goodwin (Texas) in the 2013 NFL draft. They even added the talented Da'Rick Rogers as an undrafted free agent.

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DEN - No interest in Urlacher

Source: Mike Klis - Denver Post

Mike Klis, from the Denver Post, reports the Broncos have no interest in adding free agent MLB Brian Urlacher (Bears).

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Denver is dead set on seeing how the competition between Nate Irving, Stewart Bradley, and Steven Johnson plays out in training camp. The Broncos will use a base defense about 30 percent of the time this year and may not see Urlacher as a wise investment.

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BUF - Plan to move Mario Williams around

Source: Chris Brown - BuffaloBills.com

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams is excited to play under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. If I had to guess Ill probably be all over the place, but it comes with working out and being able to just move and know whenever youre in a different position that you have to switch it up a little bit in terms of your point of attack, Williams said. Im just ready to get out there and go.

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Moving Mario around is a smart move for the Bills. They want to get their money's worth after signing Williams to a $90MM contract last offseason.

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NYJ - Rex Ryan compliments Dee Milliner

Source: Twitter

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan praised CB Dee Milliner on being a sharp player. '(We were) firing the questions at him the whole time, in the meetings. Hes sharp,' Ryan said.

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Milliner was considered the top CB in this draft class. He's an incredibly gifted athlete with speed, good hip turn, plus click and close ability to get to the ball. He's got big shoes to fill as he's replacing Darrelle Revis (Buccaneers) in the starting lineup.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of what we're doing at Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J