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Volume 14, Issue #5, May 3rd


Footballguys Staffer Kyle Lebeda has opened up a new T-shirt company (Slantshirts.com) and has won the rights to be the exclusive supplier for Footballguys apparel. He is debuting some FBG T-shirts for the super low price of $12 plus postage.

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Hi Folks,

Welcome to the weekend. Tons of NBA drama happening but we'll stay glued to the NFL for you. Also remember our Early Bird Discount for the Footballguys Insider Subscription ends soon. Don't miss it.

We've got the news and notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Rookie RBs under coach John Fox
With all eyes on Montee Ball, our Cecil Lammey who happens to be a Denver Insider with a nice article on looking back at rookie RBs under coach John Fox.

B. Detailed Stat Projections are LIVE
Cheatsheets and rankings are great. We have a ton of them and they're super useful. But where Footballguys really separates itself is in our Detailed Stat Projections. We have several Footballguys Staffers who create projections and our Maurile Tremblay his his ready here. We take every player that matters and project what he'll produce for the entire season. Right down to the last carry and yard. It's an incredible amount of work but it's the only way to really dig down and create the customizable rankings for you. Don't settle for a generic cheatsheet when you can use our Footballguys Detailed Stat Projections to create custom insights for YOUR league.

C. Footballguys Insider Subscription - Early Bird Pricing Ends May 20
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. JAX - RB Maurice Jones-Drew at rookie minicamp
2. NYJ - Could QB Mark Sanchez start in 2013?
3. OAK - Expect QB Matt Flynn will start
4. CLE - Will not name Brandon Weeden starting QB
5. PHI - QB Michael Vick could be released if not starting
6. BUF - Rookie QB Manuel improved his deep passing
7. PHI - Rookie QB Barkley cool under pressure
8. JAX - Coach still trusts Justin Blackmon
9. MIN - RB Adrian Peterson sets lofty goals
10. PHI - Matt Barkley looking to make an impact
11. TB - Mike James could be No. 2 RB
12. MIN - Rookie WR Patterson struggles catching deep passes
13. NYJ - Stephen Hill not feeling pressure
14. GB - QB Graham Harrell could face competition for No. 2 QB job
15. GB - TE Jermichael Finley could line up as WR
16. MIN - Joe Web willing to move to WR
17. NE - Stevan Ridley over concussion
18. KC - Branden Albert expected to stay at LT
19. MIA - No timetable for Dion Jordan
20. BAL - Hire Steve Spagnuolo
21. DEN - Von Miller hopes to add weight
22. HOU - S Ed Reed undergoes surgery

JAX - RB Maurice Jones-Drew at rookie minicamp

Source: Twitter

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) is at the team's facility doing rehab during the team's rookie minicamp.

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There's going to be no holdout for MJD this year. He is entering the final year of his contract and should put his best foot forward to prove that he is still one of the best in the game.

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NYJ - Could QB Mark Sanchez start in 2013?

Source: New York Post - Mark Cannizzaro

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez could very well be the team's starting quarterback this upcoming season. Sanchez may provide the team's best option at quarterback because QB Geno Smith is considered raw at this point and QB David Garrard is 35 years old and hasn't played an NFL game since 2010. Head coach Rex Ryan is likely coaching for his job this year, so he likely will pick the starting quarterback who will best help him win games in the short term.

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It's a make or break year for Sanchez. He'll have to play with confidence in order to beat out Smith in training camp. If he wins the job but struggles later on the team could bench Sanchez at some point during the season.

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OAK - Expect QB Matt Flynn will start

Source: NFL.com

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie acknowledged QB Matt Flynn heads into offseason workouts as the 'presumed starter.' The Raiders are skeptical QB Terrelle Pryor is ready to truly push for the starting job, while QB Tyler Wilson will start out 'at the bottom until he can maneuver his way up by his play.'

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Flynn should be the starter to start the season. He's only started two games in his pro career and is a bit of an unknown commodity even though he's been in the league since 2008. Wilson is the QB of the future but may not see the field until next season if Flynn is effective.

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CLE - Will not name Brandon Weeden starting QB

Source: NFL.com

Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski said Thursday, May 2, that he is not yet ready to hand the starting quarterback job to QB Brandon Weeden, even though the team did not select a quarterback in the NFL Draft. 'I feel good about where we're at right now,' Chudzinski said. 'He's been working with the first group and we'll just see as we go forward. We're (working) on air right now so it's very early but I do like what I've seen so far and we'll see how it goes. Right now it's too early to say anything one way or another.'

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No surprise here. The Browns are not sold on Weeden as the QB of the future (or the present). He's a good fit for the Norv Turner system but doesn't have the confidence of the front office. Weeden will compete with Jason Campbell to be the Browns' starter in 2013.

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PHI - QB Michael Vick could be released if not starting

Source: ESPN.com - Dan Graziano

The Philadelphia Eagles could release QB Michael Vick if he does not win the starting quarterback job this season. Vick is believed to be the favorite for the job at this point.

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He'll compete with Nick Foles and rookie Matt Barkley in training camp for the starting job. Vick has the athleticism needed to run the Chip Kelly offense but some question whether or not he can make quicker decisions as a passer. Getting rid of the ball quickly is a must in Kelly's system.

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BUF - Rookie QB Manuel improved his deep passing

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

QB E.J. Manuel, the Bills first-round pick, improved his deep passing numbers in 2012. He had a completion rate of 49.2% on passes 20 plus yards downfield, compared to a rate of 34.7% in 2011. Manuel had 10 more completions on such throws (30) in 2012 than he did in the previous two seasons combined (20).

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Downfield passing is a hallmark of the Doug Marrone system. The Bills drafted the QB with arguably the highest upside in the 2013 NFL draft. He's incredibly athletic, has a strong arm, and is known as a hard worker. We love Manuel's value in dynasty leagues and he could perform like a low end QB2 in re-draft leagues this year. He'll compete with veteran Kevin Kolb for the starting job.

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PHI - Rookie QB Barkley cool under pressure

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

Eagles fourth-round selection, QB Matt Barkley, threw 44 touchdowns and only six interceptions during his college career at USC when opponents blitzed.

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Barkley is a better fit for the Chip Kelly system than some people think. He's incredibly smart and understands complex coverages and where to go with the football. The new Chip Kelly system is geared around quick decisions from the quarterback. Barkley will compete with Michael Vick and Nick Foles for the starting job in 2013. Even if he doesn't win the job this year the future could be bright for Barkley in this system.

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JAX - Coach still trusts Justin Blackmon

Source: The Florida Times-Union - Ryan O'Halloran

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said he still trusts WR Justin Blackmon even though Blackmon has been suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season. 'I told Justin I do trust him,' Bradley said. 'We both have to earn each other's trust and I don't want trust to be mistaken for being na´ve.' Bradley said he has spoken six or seven times with Blackmon since the team learned of his suspension.

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The team saw what Blackmon could be on the field last year when he caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns. He's a talented player but off field problems have plagued him during his entire football career.

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MIN - RB Adrian Peterson sets lofty goals

Source: ESPN.com

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he has set out a goal to rush for 2,500 yards. 'I've got my bar set for 2,500. If I could go up to that the record is shattered,' Peterson said. In order to reach his goal, Peterson would have to average 156.25 yards over 16 games. He averaged 131 yards last season, topping 156 yards five times.

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Don't ever count Peterson out. 2,500 rushing yards would be insane but if there's any RB who could do it, that's ADP.

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PHI - Matt Barkley looking to make an impact

Source: Philadelphia Sports Daily - Tim McManus

Philadelphia Eagles QB Matt Barkley said he is confident he can come in and make an immediate impact for the team. 'Without a doubt, I have confidence that I can come in right away and make an impact, or just help the team in whatever way I can,' Barkley said. Barkley added he believes he can be a good fit in new head coach Chip Kelly's system.

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Barkley is a better fit for the Kelly system than some people think. He's a smart QB who completed over 65% of his passes with 23 TDS and 3 INTs when outside the pocket, including 16 TDs on designed roll outs. Some say he lacks a deep arm but the numbers don't back that up. Over the last two years Barkley threw 24 TD passes of 20 yards or longer with only two INTs in 120 attempts of that distance.

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TB - Mike James could be No. 2 RB

Source: Tampa Bay Times - Stephen Holder

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James could have the inside track as the team's backup running back behind RB Doug Martin, according to general manager Mark Dominik.

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James is an average runner and average receiver out of the backfield. We like second-year RB Michael Smith as the backup behind Martin. Smith is incredibly fast and does a good job of cutting at speed. He reminds some of former Steelers RB Willie Parker.

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MIN - Rookie WR Patterson struggles catching deep passes

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

Vikings first-round WR Cordarrelle Patterson struggled catching deep passes last year in college. On passes 15 yards or more downfield Patterson only snared nine of 31 targets for two touchdowns. Patterson also only caught 51.7% of his targets, the lowest of any Volunteers receiver.

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Patterson's game is all about his elite run after the catch ability. He's a physical WR who can wrestle away contested catches from defenders. Patterson would often misjudge deep passes in the air, or simply drop them. He'll have to work on that if he wants to play up to his potential as a pro.

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NYJ - Stephen Hill not feeling pressure

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Matt Ehalt

New York Jets WR Stephen Hill said he is not feeling pressure entering this season but believes he needs to step up his play after being with the team for a season.

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Hill needs to play with urgency and work towards developing a better pro game. Like Demaryius Thomas before him, Hill was extremely raw as a route runner coming out of Georgia Tech. He's got upside but needs to stay healthy and prove that he's more than just a '9' route guy.

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GB - QB Graham Harrell could face competition for No. 2 QB job

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tyler Dunne

Green Bay Packers QB Graham Harrell is expected to compete with QB B.J. Coleman and possibly QB Matt Brown for the No. 2 quarterback job this offseason.

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Harrell is one of the most questionable backups in the league today. He lacks the arm strength and decision making skills to be an effective starter. It's a risk for the Packers to have him as the primary backup behind Aaron Rodgers. Coleman is likely to the biggest threat to challenge Harrell for the backup job. He's got a big arm, can run good play fakes, and loves to challenge defenses vertically.

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GB - TE Jermichael Finley could line up as WR

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tyler Dunne

The Green Bay Packers could have TE Jermichael Finley line up in the slot or at wide receiver this season since the team lost Minnesota Vikings WR Greg Jennings this offseason.

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Finley has lined up outside plenty during his pro career. He's got the size/speed combination to cause matchup problems and could be in line for around 100 targets in 2013.

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MIN - Joe Web willing to move to WR

Source: 1500ESPN.com - Tom Pelissero

Minnesota Vikings QB Joe Webb said the team has not told him what position he will play during offseason workouts but will be willing to move to wide receiver if asked. 'Yeah, I'm comfortable,' Webb said. 'Whatever it is to help the team. I'm a team player. So, as long as I get on the field. I'm excited to get on the field this year. Hopefully, we can make that happen. But in the meantime, whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do it.'

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Webb tried to play WR at the Senior Bowl when he came out of college in 2010. He struggled during that week and may not have the natural receiving skills to be effective as a pro. Webb is incredibly athletic and a swift runner in the open field.

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NE - Stevan Ridley over concussion

Source: Boston Herald - Jeff Howe

New England Patriots RB Stevan Ridley (concussion) said he is completely recovered from the concussion he suffered during the playoffs.

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Good news for Ridley here. The Patriots will use Ridley as their primary back once again this year. He finished the 2012 season as the 10th best RB in fantasy football. However, the team may use guys like Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, or LeGarrette Blount a bit more in 2013.

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KC - Branden Albert expected to stay at LT

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid indicated OT Branden Albert will start at left tackle this season while OT Eric Fisher will start at right tackle.

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Wow. The Chiefs just spent the number one overall pick on a right tackle. Albert was slapped with the franchise tag earlier this offseason and has been placed on the trade block. No team has been willing to deal the Chiefs a premium pick for the veteran left tackle.

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MIA - No timetable for Dion Jordan

Source: ESPN.com - James Walker

Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said there is no timetable for DE Dion Jordan's (shoulder) return. 'He's going to get himself well as quickly and completely as he possibly can, whenever that is,' Philbin said. 'And when the medical people deem that he's healthy, he will be joining us on a full-time basis.'

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The Dolphins are going to be careful with their first-round pick. There's no rush to push him onto the field prematurely.

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BAL - Hire Steve Spagnuolo

Source: NFL.com - Ian Rapoport

The Baltimore Ravens hired Steve Spagnuolo (Saints) to the position of Senior Defensive Assistant Friday, May 3.

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Another strong hire for the Ravens here. Spagnulo was a failure as head coach of the Rams but has a strong defensive mind. He'll be a quality assistant coach for the Ravens.

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DEN - Von Miller hopes to add weight

Source: The Denver Post - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos LB Von Miller said he wants to play at 260 to 262 pounds this season in order to help his pass rushing. 'As much mass as I can put on but still keep what makes me the player that I am, and that's speed and quickness,' Miller said. 'As long as I keep that, the more mass that I can put on and keep those guys off me, the better.' Miller weighed as much as 255 pounds last season.

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Miller added weight last year but didn't lose any of his trademark speed and explosion. Adding even more muscle will only help his already strong bull rush.

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HOU - S Ed Reed undergoes surgery

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

Houston Texans FS Ed Reed (hip) underwent surgery last week to repair a small tear in his hip. He is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

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Reed is going to miss OTAs but the team expects him to be ready for training camp. A seasoned veteran like Reed doesn't need a ton of reps in the offseason.

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That'll do it for today Folks. Enjoy the day and we'll see you here tomorrow with the update. Thanks for reading.

Peace,

J