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Volume 14, Issue #33, May 31st

Hi Folks,

Welcome to the Weekend. Hope you've got a nice one going. The NBA Finals are just about to peak as is the NHL. But we've got the NFL news you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. KC - RB Jamaal Charles leaves practice
2. CAR - QB Cam Newton hopes to become captain
3. NE - TE Jake Ballard not fully practicing
4. TEN - QB Jake Locker injury update
5. DET - Nate Burleson high on Patrick Edwards
6. WAS - WR Pierre Garcon does not think shoulder will be problem
7. STL - Isaiah Pead suspended
8. MIN - WR Greg Jennings injury update
9. DEN - QB Peyton Manning working with rookie RB
10. DAL - WR Dez Bryant's relationship with QB Tony Romo is great
11. BUF - Doug Marrone praises QB EJ Manuel
12. PHI - WR DeSean Jackson not practicing
13. NYG - WR Rueben Randle knows extra reps are important
14. PIT - Maurkice Pouncey feeling good
15. CIN - TE coach happy with TE Tyler Eifert
16. CIN - TE Jermaine Gresham helping rookie TE
17. DAL - TE James Hanna thinks he can be on field a lot
18. MIA - WR Brandon Gibson working in slot
19. SF - RB LaMichael James more comfortable
20. NFL - QB Tim Tebow camp thinks his NFL run is over
21. SF - RB Marcus Lattimore signs
22. CHI - TE Evan Rodriguez in trouble
23. NO - Coach praises Ryan W. Griffin
24. TEN - TE Delanie Walker misses practice
25. BAL - WR Jacoby Jones could see expanded role
26. DET - Patrick Edwards impressing coaching staff

KC - RB Jamaal Charles leaves practice

Source: ESPN - Ed Werder

Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles (toe) left practice early Friday, May 31, after having his toe stepped on. Charles is expected to be fine.

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Toe injuries are known to linger if not treated properly. This sounds like a very minor incident and one fantasy owners shouldn't be worried about.

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CAR - QB Cam Newton hopes to become captain

Source: Charlotte Observer - Joseph Person

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton said he wants to become a team captain at some point but understands that his teammates will have to vote him as one. 'Team captain is solely based off of your peers,' Newton said. 'I'm going about it each and every day, trying to do my part to prove not only to my team, but first myself, that's a big responsibility on the field and off the field.' WR Steve Smith and OT Jordan Gross are currently the team's offensive captains.

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This could be a sign of Newton growing as a leader. He needs to do a better job of keeping his emotions in check when things don't go his way. If he does that we could see a more consistent Newton in 2013.

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NE - TE Jake Ballard not fully practicing

Source: Patriots.com

New England Patriots TE Jake Ballard (knee) has not fully participated during the two organized team activities that the media has watched this offseason but has shown good hands during offensive drills. He also has been running with a noticeable limp.

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Ballard had major knee surgery 16 months ago but says that he's feeling better. 'I'm doing my best I can to be 100 percent, and I'm doing as much as I can, as much as they're allowing me to do out here,' Ballard said. 'When I'm out here I feel like I'm putting in good work and getting better.'

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TEN - QB Jake Locker injury update

Source: TitansInsider.com - Terry McCormick

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (shoulder) said he feels like his old self with the shoulder, and has had no issues.

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More good news for Locker here. It's a make or break season for Locker in 2013. He needs to stay healthy and prove himself worthy of being the team's franchise quarterback. If he struggles to stay healthy or struggles on the field the team may start making plans to replace him.

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DET - Nate Burleson high on Patrick Edwards

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson said he believes WR Patrick Edwards will be a big-time player for the team this season.

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This is a great name for dynasty owners to remember. Edwards was undrafted in 2012 coming out of Houston. In 2011 he had more TD catches than any other WR in the FBS (20) and was known for his speed, quickness, and elusiveness in the open field. Edwards finished his college career as one of the most productive receivers in NCAA history. In four seasons with the Cougars, he caught 291 passes for 4,507 yards and 43 TDs. The opportunity is there for Edwards to carve out a role as the team's WR3.

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WAS - WR Pierre Garcon does not think shoulder will be problem

Source: The Washington Post - Mark Maske

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon (shoulder, foot) said recovery from offseason shoulder surgery is going well and does not expect it to be a problem during the regular season.

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The recovery for his foot injury is going well but the team will continue to monitor it closely. Garcon decided not to get surgery on his foot because he was told by doctors that they are not sure a procedure would have solved the problem. A healthy Garcon is nothing but good news for the Redskins passing game.

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STL - Isaiah Pead suspended

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

St. Louis Rams RB Isaiah Pead was suspended for the first game of the 2013 season for violating the NFL program on substance abuse.

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Pead is in a three man competition to be the Rams starter in 2013. This suspension doesn't keep him out of practice or the preseason but it's certainly puts a down arrow on his stock. Pead is competing with second-year RB Daryl Richardson and rookie Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt). He's struggled to impress during his time as a pro and may not be the favorite in this competition.

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MIN - WR Greg Jennings injury update

Source: 1500ESPN.com - Tom Pelissero

Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings (ankle) said the ankle issue that kept him out of practice Wednesday, May 29, is a non-issue and he will return to practice next week. 'It's May,' Jennings said on Thursday. 'Nothing right now counts as much. It's important. But it really doesn't count as much as September, August. ... It's May, and I'm perfectly fine.'

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Jennings is a savvy veteran and he knows his body well. No need to push things right now and we should see him back on the practice field next week.

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DEN - QB Peyton Manning working with rookie RB

Source: USAToday.com - Lindsay H. Jones

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning has been working with RB Montee Ball after organized team activities and said Ball has been learning the playbook. Manning said the team will be counting on Ball a lot this season. 'We're just kind of going through plays, going through games, getting him comfortable hearing audibles at the line of scrimmage. Because we are going to count on him in a big way this year,' Manning said. 'He's a rookie, but [head coach John Fox] isn't going to bring him along slowly.'

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Manning wants Ball to be ready when the team calls on him. Ball is in the mix for the starting job but is not going to be handed the starting job. Right now Ronnie Hillman is getting a majority of the first-team reps.

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DAL - WR Dez Bryant's relationship with QB Tony Romo is great

Source: The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant said the chemistry between himself and QB Tony Romo has evolved into something great. 'It's a lot different. At the beginning, Tony was the teacher and I was the student. I felt like at times, it wasn't supposed to be like that. It came to a point where hey, I need to know this. But now, it's a whole different story. We are still working a few wrinkles out but for the most part, I've got everything down.'

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That chemistry is showing up on the football field. Bryant is more mature now and only entering the prime of his career. He could finish the season as the best WR in fantasy football.

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BUF - Doug Marrone praises QB EJ Manuel

Source: NFL.com

Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone has praised rookie QB EJ Manuel during organized team activities. 'From my standpoint ... EJ Manuel has done better (as a rookie) than any of the other organizations I've been a part of,' Marrone said.

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Good news for the rookie here. Manuel is competing with veteran Kevin Kolb to be the team's starter in 2013. He has a long way to go and may not begin the season as the starter. However, he's the franchise QB of the future and may take over at some point during this season.

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PHI - WR DeSean Jackson not practicing

Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (ankle) is not participating in organized team activities Friday, May 31.

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No word on the severity of this ankle injury at this time. Check back to see if we get any updates out of Philadelphia later today.

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NYG - WR Rueben Randle knows extra reps are important

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Ohm Youngmisuk

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Rueben Randle said he knows how important the extra reps he is getting during organized team activities are because it gives him more time to work with QB Eli Manning and show the coaches what he can do. 'I'm a lot more confident in what I do,' he said. 'Going out there and making more plays, understanding the offense and more on the same page with Eli. And also, getting more trust from the coaches, and going out there and getting more reps so I can show my ability more.'

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Randle is working to beat out veteran Louis Murphy for the WR3 spot behind Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. He's more athletically gifted than Murphy but lacks experience. These extra reps in practice are extremely important for a young player with upside like Randle.

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PIT - Maurkice Pouncey feeling good

Source: College2Pro.com - Bo Marchionte

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey said he is feeling as good as he has in the last several years and that he is 100 percent healthy. He said he believes he finished last season at 284 pounds but is currently 298 pounds.

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The better the O-Line feels the more good news for Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game. Pittsburgh needs to keep the line healthy and do a better job of protecting their veteran QB this year. A healthy/improved O-Line will also help open holes for the ground game.

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CIN - TE coach happy with TE Tyler Eifert

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Joe Reedy

Cincinnati Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes said he is been happy with what he has seen from TE Tyler Eifert during organized team activities. 'After working him out and spending time with him before the draft, he is on target and about where I thought he would be,' Hayes said. 'He has been great mentally and keeps an even keel. It is hard to tell from him whether things are going good or bad. He would be a great poker player that way.'

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Hayes should be ecstatic with Eifert. The best TE in this draft class is a good blocker, receiver, and has the athleticism to be dangerous after the catch.

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CIN - TE Jermaine Gresham helping rookie TE

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Joe Reedy

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert said TE Jermaine Gresham has helped him out a lot during organized team activities especially with some of the blocking assignments in short-yardage situations.

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Good work by the veteran here. Eifert was the best TE in this year's draft class and could make an immediate impact for the Bengals this year. He's an incredible athlete who can get down the seam and make big plays. Eifert has a current ADP of TE16 and he's coming off the board at 13.07 in 12 team leagues.

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DAL - TE James Hanna thinks he can be on field a lot

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Rainer Sabin

Dallas Cowboys TE James Hanna said he is excited about the possibility of a bigger role on offense this season even though the team drafted TE Gavin Escobar. He said he feels he has gotten on the field quite a bit during organized team activities.

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Escobar and Hanna will compete to be the TE2 for the Cowboys behind Jason Witten. We'll see this battle unfold as we get through training camp. Right now Escobar has to be considered the favorite.

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MIA - WR Brandon Gibson working in slot

Source: The Miami Herald - Barry Jackson

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson has been working as a slot receiver during organized team activities. Gibson believes he can play the position because he can run all of the routes and get separation.

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Gibson is a bit larger than most slot WRs but he's capable of playing that position. He does a good job of using his frame to box out defenders away from the ball and will consistently pluck passes out of the air. Gibson will compete with Armon Binns for the WR3 spot behind Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline in 2013.

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SF - RB LaMichael James more comfortable

Source: 49ers.com - Scott Kegley

San Francisco 49ers RB LaMichael James is more comfortable with the offense and the special teams return game.

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Good news for the 49ers here. James will play as a change of pace back behind starter Frank Gore. He's a big play waiting to happen and can score from anywhere on the field.

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NFL - QB Tim Tebow camp thinks his NFL run is over

Source: ESPN The Magazine - David Fleming

Members of the support camp of free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Jets) privately have admitted that his run in the NFL is probably over.

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We'll see as we approach training camp if there's a team interested in taking on Tebow. Some think he would bring a QB controversy to any team that adds him. Some smart people like Bill Polian have stated that Tebow might get more interest if he was open to switching positions in the NFL but I'm not sure I buy that. I've never seen great hands or route running or blocking ability from him that would make me think he'd be an NFL TE or H Back. But we may see.

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SF - RB Marcus Lattimore signs

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The San Francisco 49ers signed RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina), the 131st overall selection in this year's draft, to an undisclosed four-year deal Friday, May 31.

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Lattimore had top 15 talent but suffered his second knee injury in two years and that caused him to fall in the draft. He's buried on the depth chart right now but dynasty owners should be excited about his future. If Lattimore can return to form his skill set is a mix of Jonathan Stewart (Panthers) and Arian Foster (Texans). He could be in line for a bigger role in 2014.

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CHI - TE Evan Rodriguez in trouble

Source: Chicago Bears Radio Network - Zach Zaidman

Chicago Bears FB Evan Rodriguez was ticketed for DUI, speeding and improper lane usage Thursday, May 31.

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This won't help Rodgriguez make a positive impression on the new regime. It's his second arrest of the offseason. He's no lock to make the final roster.

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NO - Coach praises Ryan W. Griffin

Source: WWLTV.com - Bradley Handwerger

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton praised QB Ryan W. Griffin, saying he is not your typical first year quarterback. "It's noticeably different than maybe most first-year quarterbacks coming in and trying to pick things up right away," Payton said of Griffin's understanding of the offense. "You know, there's a lot of things that are familiar. That's a big plus for him."

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Fantasy owners in super deep dynasty leagues need to take note. Our very own Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom were impressed by Griffin earlier this year during the week of practice for the Texas Vs The Nation game. Griffin is your classic pocket passer with a strong arm and quality leadership ability.

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TEN - TE Delanie Walker misses practice

Source: The Tennessean - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, May 31, because of a knee issue.

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No word on the severity just yet. The team wants Walker to be everything Jared Cook (Rams) was last year and more. Walker is talented but needs to cut down on the drops. He had six drops in 2012 and a dropped 18.2 percent of his targets last year.

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BAL - WR Jacoby Jones could see expanded role

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said WR Jacoby Jones is in great shape to have an expanded role in the offense. "He can catch and he can run," Caldwell said.

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Jones will need an expanded role after Anquan Boldin (49ers) was traded earlier this offseason. The team is looking for a WR2 opposite Torrey Smith, so Jones may be locked into that WR3 role.

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DET - Patrick Edwards impressing coaching staff

Source: The Detroit News - Josh Katzenstein

Detroit Lions WR Patrick Edwards, who missed out on a chance to join the active roster last year due to an injury, has impressed the coaches during a minicamp over the weekend. Edwards finished his career at the University of Houston with 291 catches for 4,507 yards and 43 touchdowns, but he went undrafted in 2012. 'He's a lot stronger right now than he was last year,' head coach Jim Schwartz said. 'He runs much better routes. He has a much better understanding of the offense, which you would expect. He's always had the ability to make a play. He's another guy that's in the mix returning kicks and punts.'

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Edwards is an impressive athlete who needs to be on dynasty owner's radar. He's quick, explosive, and can make defenders miss in the open field. Behind Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson the team has nothing but inexperienced WRs like Edwards or Kris Durham. Second-year WR Ryan Broyles is coming back from his second knee injury in two years and is no guarantee to be ready for the start of the regular season. Monitor how Edwards does in camp when we get to August.

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

Peace,

J