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Volume 14, Issue #9, May 7th

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Wednesday. We've got some great new articles for you plus all the News and Notes you need. Also want to give you a heads up that I'm turning over the reins to my buddy Cecil Lammey for the next few days as I head down to Haiti to work with some friends at Respire Haiti.

Cecil's awesome and I know I'm leaving you in good hands and he'll take care of you everyday. I'll be back next week.

Now let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Insider Subscription - Early Bird Pricing Ends May 20
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B. 3 Free Downloads
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C. The Gut Check - Milk Carton Men
Our Matt Waldman is back with his always popular Gut Check series and in this one, he picks up the Milk Carton Men theme looking for players that went missing last season.

D. QB Tiers In Redraft Leagues
Our Sigmund Bloom digs into the all important QB Tiers when it comes to Redraft Leagues.

E. Point Per Deception
Our Jeff Pasquino takes a look at a compromise scoring system between PPR and no PPR.

F. Footballguys Staff Cheatsheet Rankings
New rankings are up and ready for you. Get used to it.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. DEN - Montee Ball expected to compete for starting job
2. NYJ - QB David Garrard has a real chance to start
3. CLE - Starting QB job Brandon Weeden's to lose
4. BAL - Looking to add a WR
5. WAS - Kirk Cousins wants to be ready
6. DAL - To utilize TE more
7. NYJ - Geno Smith responds to criticism
8. PHI - Work out RB Felix Jones
9. HOU - RB Arian Foster thankful team brought back RB Greg Jones
10. NE - WR Julian Edelman back in walking boot
11. HOU - T.J. Yates looking forward to taking the next step
12. DAL - QB Tony Romo playing less golf
13. NE - QB Tom Brady flinches under pressure?
14. DEN - Tavarres King to stretch the field
15. PIT - Landry Jones not looking to replace QB Ben Roethlisberger
16. PIT - Rookie Jones hurries the QB
17. HOU - Concerned about S Ed Reed
18. JAX - Sign CB Marcus Trufant

DEN - Montee Ball expected to compete for starting job

Source: The Associated Press

Denver Broncos executive vice president John Elway and head coach John Fox expect RB Montee Ball to compete for a starting job amongst RBs Willis McGahee, Knowshon Moreno and Ronnie Hillman this year. The team envisions Ball as an every-down back in the NFL. 'We expect all these guys to contribute,' Elway said. 'The earlier you go, the more we hope they contribute.'

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Ball should be considered the favorite at this time. He was a true workhorse at Wisconsin, compiling 983 touches during his college career. Ball could be the between the tackles banger the Broncos have been looking for. McGahee and/or Moreno might not make the final roster.

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NYJ - QB David Garrard has a real chance to start

Source: NFL Network - Kim Jones

New York Jets QB David Garrard will have a legitimate opportunity to compete for the team's starting quarterback job, and if he stays healthy, may very well be the Week 1 starter, according to a rival team executive.

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If Geno Smith can't beat out David Garrard then there's a problem. We feel Smith and Mark Sanchez are the most likely to win the starting job for the Jets in week one. Experience is the best teacher and Smith needs to learn on the job.

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CLE - Starting QB job Brandon Weeden's to lose

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Although Cleveland Browns QB Jason Campbell will receive a chance to compete for the team's starting quarterback job, QB Brandon Weeden will most likely start in Week 1. The only way Weeden doesn't is if he struggles in training camp and the preseason. He has the strong arm that should mesh well in an offense run by head coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

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Weeden is a good fit for the Turner offense but he doesn't have the confidence of the front office. He needs to play smarter this year and cut down on the interceptions in order to impress the new staff.

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BAL - Looking to add a WR

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

The Baltimore Ravens will continue to search for a wide receiver this offseason after trading WR Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers. 'I think the hunt goes on,' assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said. 'We're still working. The roster is not set. We're always evaluating. We're always looking at guys. Guys get signed, guys get cut ... Our pro personnel department looks at all available players and we'll make a decision at some point of what we want to do at that position. There are definitely some players out there. We'll consider all options.' The Ravens are also banking on increased production from several wide receivers, including WR Jacoby Jones.

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The Ravens need to fill the void somehow and have a few different options. Jones could see an increased role but has lapses in concentration and ball security issues sometimes. Tandon Doss and Tommy Streeter are players who could emerge this year but both are unproven at this point. We like Aaron Mellette, the team's seventh-round draft pick in 2013, but he's too raw coming out of Elon to be considered more than a developmental player at this time.

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WAS - Kirk Cousins wants to be ready

Source: NFL.com

Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins said he knows he has to prepare as if he will be the team's Week 1 starter at quarterback in case QB Robert Griffin III (knee) is not ready. 'You feel that added excitement or added urgency to be ready to go,' Cousins said. 'We don't know what it's going to look like. He may be ready by mid-August. He may be ready mid-September, mid-October. I don't know. That's not my job. My job is to get myself ready and when called upon, deliver. And I'm going to do all I can between now and then to do that.'

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There's no guarantee that RG3 is going to be ready for the start of the regular season. All the reports this offseason about his recovery from knee surgery have been positive but we won't truly know how he's doing until we get to training camp. Cousins gives the team valuable depth and could step in and start if Griffin can't go.

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DAL - To utilize TE more

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Carlos Mendez

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten said he agreed the team needed to draft a tight end if they were going to commit to using more two-tight end sets in the passing game. He said he has no problems helping second-round pick TE Gavin Escobar adjust. 'There's no ego there for me,' Witten said. 'It's all about winning. That's part of being a leader and a captain - is to help other guys play at a high level. There's no hard feelings from that standpoint.'

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Escobar is a talented athlete who certainly looks the part. He's big, fast, and can attack the middle seam of a defense. However, his receiving skills and concentration need a lot of work.

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NYJ - Geno Smith responds to criticism

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Geno Smith denied he texted friends during pre-NFL Draft visits and insisted he never planned to skip the second day of the draft. 'That's not true,' Smith said. 'I got strong remarks from all the teams I visited with I couldn't care less what's coming out in the media, because I know what's true.'

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It's up to Smith to prove the critics wrong. He'll see plenty of doubters playing in New York City. He can quiet the non-believers with his play which starts in training camp where he'll compete with Mark Sanchez for the starting job.

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PHI - Work out RB Felix Jones

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The Philadelphia Eagles worked out free-agent RB Felix Jones (Cowboys) Tuesday, May 7.

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The Eagles are going to run the ball a lot under Chip Kelly. Last year his former team the Oregon Ducks ran the ball 685 times. Jones has durability concerns and hasn't gotten much interest on the free agent market. If added he could compete with Chris Polk and Miguel Maysonet for the third-string job behind LeSean McCoy and Byrce Brown.

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HOU - RB Arian Foster thankful team brought back RB Greg Jones

Source: HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster said he is thankful the team brought back FB Greg Jones. "He's gonna help us out," Foster said.

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Jones is a force as a lead blocker and will blast open holes for Foster in the Texans ground game. He has almost zero fantasy value but is an important piece to what Houston does offensively. In 2011 Jones was a key reason why Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew was the NFL's leading rusher.

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NE - WR Julian Edelman back in walking boot

Source: The Boston Globe - Shalise Manza Young

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot) is back in a walking boot after re-injuring his right foot. It is the same injury that put him on Injured Reserve in 2012.

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Edelman (foot) could be limited in the team's minicamp due to this foot issue. The team will monitor him closely so they don't aggravate the injury.

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HOU - T.J. Yates looking forward to taking the next step

Source: HoustonTexans.com - Nick Scurfield

Houston Texans QB T.J. Yates is looking forward to entering training camp and trying to take the next step. 'I'm looking forward to going into training camp, being able to take that next step,' Yates said.

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Yates is developing into a quality backup behind Matt Schaub. He's got the mobility and arm strength to keep plays alive with his feet while keeping his eyes downfield. Yates may get a chance to start someday but perhaps would have to leave Houston in order to get that opportunity.

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DAL - QB Tony Romo playing less golf

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has passed on several golf tournaments he usually plays in during the offseason. He has been heavily criticized in the past for his golf commitments.

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Tony Romo threw eight interceptions while under duress last season, most in the NFL. We'll see if the upgrades on the O-Line can protect him better this year. Romo needs to play better under pressure if the Cowboys want to make a serious run at the playoffs.

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NE - QB Tom Brady flinches under pressure?

Source: NFL.com

Pittsburgh Steelers FS Ryan Clark said New England Patriots QB Tom Brady struggles when he does not have time to throw the football. 'When Tom Brady gets pressure and when you're man-to-man and bumping those guys and making it hard for him to throw, he sees ghosts,' Clark said. 'Even when guys aren't around him, even when he's not about to be sacked, when his clock goes off in his head that the ball should be out, we'll see him duck, we'll see him flinch. When you get Tom Brady doing that, the whole New England Patriots mystique goes away.' Clark added the Patriots have their fair share of fragile players, including offseason addition WR Danny Amendola.

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Every QB is mortal when pressured. The key for beating the Patriots is getting to Tom Brady in under three seconds. Even then it's difficult to beat one of the most precise passers in the NFL.

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DEN - Tavarres King to stretch the field

Source: Mile High Sports

Denver Broncos WR Tavarres King, their fifth-round draft choice, has speed as his biggest asset, and he figures to add field-stretching ability to a stable of wide receivers - Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker - that is best known for their short to intermediate passing contributions. King may see some playing time for this reason as another option for QB Peyton Manning. 'As a receiver I'm a guy that gets deep in a hurry, (I) led the FBS in yards per catch last year with 22. (I'm) somebody that you guys are going to be able to depend on, somebody who will do exactly as Peyton says,' King said. 'Peyton's going to put me in a position to succeed.'

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King has good straight line speed and can take the top off the defense in a hurry. He's quick in and out of his breaks and has the footwork to consistently create separation. King is fourth on the depth chart right now but could have a bigger role if the Broncos lose Eric Decker in free agency next year.

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PIT - Landry Jones not looking to replace QB Ben Roethlisberger

Source: The Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Landry Jones said his main goal is to simply gain an understanding of the team's offense and not one day replace QB Ben Roethlisberger as the team's starting quarterback. 'I have no idea,' Jones said. 'You might want to talk to the coaches or Mr. Rooney on that one, what they want to do. I'm just here to learn football. They give me an opportunity to come play.' General manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin insist the team did not draft Jones as the quarterback of the future but to provide a youth movement at the position.

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Jones is a developmental quarterback for the Steelers and will be third-string behind Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski. He has the arm talent to make all the throws required in the NFL but needs to improve his footwork and make better decisions as a passer.

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PIT - Rookie Jones hurries the QB

Source: Cecil Lammey - ESPN Denver and Footballguys.com

Steelers rookie OLB Jarvis Jones led all AQ defenders last year with 15 quarterback hurries. A QBH is defined as a passing play where the quarterback is flushed from the pocket or hurries his throw due to pressure.

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Jones was added in the first-round to boost the Steelers pass rush. He'll start opposite LaMarr Woodley and will fill the shoes of James Harrison (Bengals) who moved on in free agency. His speed and ability to bend the edge will make him an immediate impact player for Pittsburgh.

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HOU - Concerned about S Ed Reed

Source: HoustonTexans.com

Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said he is concerned about Ed Reed's (hip) recent hip surgery. "Anytime a guy's operated on, you're concerned, especially at this time of year," Phillips said. "If it'd have been right after the season, it'd have been different. So there's a little concern, but the good thing about (Reed), he's experienced it before. He's an experienced guy. You have no problem with him studying or knowing what you're doing. He's going to spend all the time it takes off the field to get ready. So I think Ed'll be ready when it's time."

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The procedure was considered minor and the team will monitor the veteran closely during his recovery. The Texans expect him back during training camp.

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JAX - Sign CB Marcus Trufant

Source: Jaguars.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed CB Marcus Trufant (Seahawks) Tuesday, May 7. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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The long time Seahawks cornerback reunites with former Seattle DC (and current Jags head coach) Gus Bradley. He played the nickel corner for Seattle last year and should now man that position for Jacksonville.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and Cecil will have the email update ready for you tomorrow.

Peace,

J