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Volume 14, Issue #7, May 5th

Hi Folks,

Good Monday to you. We're off and running with a new week and we've got new articles, Early Bird subscription discounts and the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NE - Still no decision on surgery for TE Rob Gronkowski
2. NE - RB LeGarrette Blount accepts pay cut
3. ARI - O-Line woes need fixed
4. IND - Rookie Werner produces in bunches
5. DEN - TE Jacob Tamme happy with WR Wes Welker addition
6. CIN - Two rookie RBs up for third-down RB role
7. PHI - Lane Johnson likely to play RT
8. PIT - TE Heath Miller on schedule in rehab
9. DET - RB Joique Bell may have edge for No. 3 RB job
10. DET - WR Nate Burleson favorite for No. 2 WR job
11. TB - GM expects CB Darrelle Revis will be ready for season
12. JAX - Two QBs sitting out practice
13. DET - Ansah to get big workload?
14. WAS - Bacarri Rambo works mostly at FS
15. BAL - Coach says Matt Elam fast learner
16. PIT - LaMarr Woodley working out
17. NYJ - Quinton Coples could be biggest OLB
18. NFL - DE John Abraham not considering retirement

NE - Still no decision on surgery for TE Rob Gronkowski

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm) will have to wait a few more weeks before finding out if he needs another surgery on his forearm. Gronkowski has been participating in the team's offseason workouts and has looked very good.

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Doctors wanted to give Gronkowski time to see if the infection in his forearm healed. If surgery is needed then Gronkowski's status for training camp and the start of the regular season is in jeopardy.

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NE - RB LeGarrette Blount accepts pay cut

Source: ESPNBoston.com - Mike Reiss

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount has agreed to reduce his salary to $630,000 this season. He was scheduled to make $1.2 million before restructuring his contract.

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Blount needed a fresh start after falling out of favor with the Bucs. The former 1,000-yard rusher will compete for touches as a backup behind Stevan Ridley.

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ARI - O-Line woes need fixed

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

The Cardinals offensive line was one of the worst units in the NFL last year. Cardinals quarterbacks were sacked once every 11.7 drop backs in 2012, the worst rate in the league. The O-Line allowed the ball carrier to be hit in the backfield on 22.4% of rushes, also worst in the NFL.

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The Cardinals offensive line has undergone some much needed changes this offseason. They added Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina) in the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft. Cooper rated as one of the top interior OL in the country. He's a fluid athlete with the athleticism to be a sticky blocker at the second level. If guys like Bobby Massie and Levi Brown can stay healthy then we'll see a much improved O-Line in Arizona.

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IND - Rookie Werner produces in bunches

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver and Footballguys.com

Half of Indianopolis Colts rookie DE Bjoern Werner's 13 sacks last year came in Florida State's first three games. Murray State, Savannah State, and Wake Forest were the opponents and the Seminoles won those by a combined 176-3.

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Werner led all FBS defenders in yards lost from sacks (117) in 2012. 12 of his 13 sacks were from a standard four-man rush. The Colts need pass rush help and it's why they took Werner in the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft.

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DEN - TE Jacob Tamme happy with WR Wes Welker addition

Source: The Denver Post - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos TE Jacob Tamme said he is happy that the team added WR Wes Welker this offseason and is not worried about how his production could be affected. 'People ask me, 'Is it going to affect you?' All that sort of stuff,' Tamme said. 'I never really worried much about all that. Wes is awesome. It's great to have him here. It's been great to get to know him the past few days. He's going to be a great addition to our team. We have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. I'm going to do what- ever they ask me to do.'

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The Broncos are going to use '11 personnel' this year instead of the '12 personnel' base offense they used in 2012. That limits the number of tight ends on the field to one, and that one will be Tamme. His targets should drop with Welker taking up more underneath targets.

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CIN - Two rookie RBs up for third-down RB role

Source: Bengals.com - Geoff Hobson

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said RBs Giovani Bernard and Rex Burkhead will be candidates for the third-down running back role because both are good in the passing game.

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The team may not see Bernard as anything more than a part time player. He's got the speed and elusiveness to be a factor in the open field. The team was looking for a big play option behind starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

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PHI - Lane Johnson likely to play RT

Source: Philly.com - Vaughn Johnson

The Philadelphia Eagles will start OT Lane Johnson at right tackle this season and keep OT Jason Peters at left tackle.

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The move makes sense for the Eagles. When healthy, Peters is one of the best in the game. Johnson came to Oklahoma after starting his career as a quarterback at Kilgore College. He was originally a tight end for the Sooners, but also played defensive end before finding his spot on the O-Line. Johnson played right tackle in 2011, starting 12 games at that position. 2012 was his lone season of playing left tackle.

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PIT - TE Heath Miller on schedule in rehab

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Wilkening

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said TE Heath Miller (knee) is on schedule in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

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Good news for the Steelers here. Miller is a quality veteran and a key piece to the Steelers passing game. He finished 2012 as the fourth best fantasy TE because of his 71 catches, 816 yards, and eight touchdowns.

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DET - RB Joique Bell may have edge for No. 3 RB job

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell may be the early favorite for the No. 3 running back job because he made plays when given the opportunity last season. Bell will have to work on his ball security if he wants to win the job.

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Bell was a good change of pace back for the Lions last year. The big man is more explosive than some think and can be a reliable receiver out of the backfield.

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DET - WR Nate Burleson favorite for No. 2 WR job

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson (leg) appears to be the leading candidate for the No. 2 wide receiver job. He has been running routes and catching passes during offseason workouts.

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No surprise here. Second-year WR Ryan Broyles might not be ready for the start of the regular season as he comes back from another knee injury. Rookie Corey Fuller will compete with guys like Mike Thomas and Kris Durham for the third WR spot behind Calvin Johnson and Burleson.

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TB - GM expects CB Darrelle Revis will be ready for season

Source: ESPN.com - Pat Yasinskas

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mark Dominik said in a radio interview that he fully expects CB Darrelle Revis (knee) to be ready for the start of the regular season.

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Revis should be ready for the regular season with his new team. The seasoned veteran instantly upgrades the Bucs secondary. Second-round pick Johnthan Banks (Mississippi State) will compete with Eric Wright for the starting spot opposite Revis.

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JAX - Two QBs sitting out practice

Source: The Associated Press - Mark Long

Jacksonville Jaguars QBs Matt Scott (ankle) and Jordan Rodgers (groin) are not participating in practice Sunday, May 5. Rodgers may be able to participate in individual drills during the practice.

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Both Scott and Rodgers are trying to make the team as undrafted free agents. The Jaguars could choose to carry a third QB behind Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne.

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DET - Ansah to get big workload?

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver, Footballguys.com

DE Ezekiel 'Ziggy' Ansah, the Lions first-round pick in 2013, could be in for a big workload this year. Last season Cliff Avril and Kyle Vanden Bosch played the second- and third-most snaps for the Lions. Both of those players are no longer with Detroit.

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Ansah was drawing a lot of Jason Pierre-Paul (Giants) comparisons before the draft. He's only been playing football for a few years and has enormous potential. All 4.5 of Ansah's sacks in 2012 came when BYU did not blitz, including two sacks as part of a three-man rush.

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WAS - Bacarri Rambo works mostly at FS

Source: CSNWashington.com - Tarik El-Bashir

Washington Redskins FS Bacarri Rambo said he spent the majority of the rookie minicamp at free safety.

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Rambo is a smart player who can diagnose plays quickly as they unfold in front of him. A 36 game starter in college he finished his career with 16 interceptions. Rambo struggles to recover and lacks natural explosion.

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BAL - Coach says Matt Elam fast learner

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said S Matt Elam did a good job learning the team's defense during the rookie minicamp. 'He's smart. He picked it up quickly. He jumped back there quickly and made the calls with force. He was very forceful back there and played fast. He looked good,' Harbaugh said.

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Elam is a 'seek and destroy' safety who relishes contact. He gets in the box and is a force against the run. Elam does struggle in coverage and needs to show better instincts.

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PIT - LaMarr Woodley working out

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Dan Gigler

Pittsburgh Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley said he has been working out this season in hopes to avoid the injuries he suffered during the 2012 season. 'My offseason is going great. I'm looking forward to getting back with the team in a few weeks,' Woodley said. 'I've been training since the middle of February. ... It was a disappointing season being 8-8 and not making the playoffs. It was disappointing at the end of the day.' There were some criticisms about Woodley's fitness last season.

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Woodley needs to stay healthy as the team lost fellow pass rusher James Harrison (Bengals) in free agency. They need Woodley to help groom new outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. The team selected Jones in the first-round of the 2013 NFL draft and has high hopes for the rookie.

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NYJ - Quinton Coples could be biggest OLB

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets LB Quinton Coples will be the biggest outside linebacker in the NFL if he plays at 280 pounds this season. There could be concerns about his ability to play in space and drop into coverage at that weight.

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Coples needs to prove that his motor and effort are going to stay consistent at the pro level. In 2012 he only played about half of the snaps defensively but led the team with 5.5 sacks. He could get more playing time and more production in year two at his new position.

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NFL - DE John Abraham not considering retirement

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Free-agent DE John Abraham (Falcons) is not considering retirement despite tweets that indicated he was considering the option, according to a source.

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Abraham has drawn little interest on the open market after the Falcons released him earlier this year. He visited with the Titans last week and a team like the Broncos could still have interest. There's no rush to sign the veteran at this point and he may have to wait until right before training camp to find a new home.

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

Peace,

J