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2007 NFL Training Camp Updates.doc


									                                                                     was when he joined the team). He is competing for a spot
                                                                     hoping to contribute on special teams. Baylark ran for 5,199
                                                                     yards and 42 touchdowns as a collegian, only the third player
                                                                     in DI-AA with four 1,000-yard seasons.

                                                                     WR: Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Bryant Johnson all

Training Camp Update                                                 return healthy and motivated. Johnson is a free agent
                                                                     following the season. In offseason workouts, Boldin has lined
                                                                     up at all three receiver positions as well as the backfield. It
Volume 3, Issue 1 – 8/02/07                                          appears that Whisenhunt will use him in creative ways, much
                                                                     like he did Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle-El in Pittsburgh.
Training Camps are in full swing and we want you to feel like        Boldin made his 2nd Pro Bowl last year and he became the
you have attended every practice and seen every preseason            fastest player in NFL history to reach 300 receptions (in 47
game.                                                                games). The Cardinals signed Sean Morey and Ahmad Merritt
                                                                     to free agent contract to provide competition for LeRon
To keep all our Footballguys subscribers on top of everything,       McCory, who missed all of 2006 with a thumb injury. Morey
we've created our incredibly detailed Camp Updates. They're          followed Whisenhunt from Pittsburgh. He and Merritt hope to
an exhaustive look each week covering every bit of news you          contribute on special teams. Like Boldin, Michael Spurlock is
need to know to stay completely on top of every team. Quite          a former college QB. He spent most of 2006 on the practice
simply, they're the key to Dominating Your Draft.                    squad along with Todd Watkins and Greg Lee (who also
                                                                     played in NFL Europa this spring). The Cardinals added Steve
This is the first of five training camp updates from us. We'll       Breaston in the 5th round of the draft, who led Michigan last
break down every team's skill positions and position battles.        year with 58 receptions for 670 yards and two touchdowns.
It's the stuff you'd see if you were there at every camp. This       Breaston’s strength, however, is on returns; he finished as the
Camp Update was created by our own Bob Henry and reflects            Big Ten’s all-time leader in punt returns (127) and punt return
the most up-to-date info regarding each of these teams.              yards (1,599). Matt Trannon went undrafted, but he could be
                                                                     fun to watch in the preseason given his 6’6” frame and
Happy reading and let's have a great 2007 season,                    athleticism (he also played basketball for Tom Izzo). Trannon
                                                                     has been impressive in offseason workouts; he finished
Joe Bryant and David Dodds                                           with148 receptions for 1,755 yards and nine touchdowns at
Owners,                                             Michigan State.

                                                                     TE: Leonard Pope has the size and receiving skills to be
                                                                     emerge as a deep sleeper in his 2nd season. He’s 6’7” but
                                                                     struggles as a blocker in the running game. He’s penciled in as
Arizona Cardinals                                                    the team’s starter, but Troy Bienemann and rookie 7th round
                                                                     pick Ben Patrick could push him to playing time. Bienemann
QB: For Matt Leinart, training camp is unchartered territory.        might be a better blocker than Pope, but he’s coming off an
Leinart spent just two nights in camp last year following a          injury. Patrick slid in the draft after being projected as a first
contract dispute even though he wound up being the team’s            day pick. Tim Euhus was picked up recently after being with
starter for most of the year. The playing experience gives           Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Buffalo in previous stints. Pope and
Leinart some added confidence coming into his second season.         Patrick have the most promise to make a fantasy impact, but if
"It's weird," he said. "I feel totally different. I feel like I'm    Pope can learn to block he could emerge as a legitimate red
more in command. I'm more of a leader. I can speak up. It's a        zone thread with defenses more focused on the team’s other
total different vibe." Leinart is joined in camp by veteran          star players.
backup Kurt Warner with Shayne Boyd and Toby Korrodi
competing for the 3rd spot.                                          Defense: The Cardinals are switching to the 3-4 this year.
                                                                     Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor are making the transition to
RB: The Cardinals begin camp with four tailbacks: Edge               OLB and the team added behemoth DT Alan Branch with the
James, Marcel Shipp, J.J. Arrington, and Steve Baylark. Edge         first pick of the 2nd round. Branch projects as the team’s
reported to camp on-time sporting a new look – no more gold          starting nose tackle, though he could be moved around to take
teeth. "It was time to take them out," he said. "I had them for a    advantage of his talents. He and another former Wolverine
long time, but I took off my mask. Now the real 'Business            Gabe Watson will anchor the middle of the defense. Branch is
Edge' will surface." The Cardinals hope so. New head coach           adjusting quickly to the NFL and his first training camp.
Ken Whisenhunt and assistant HC Russ Grimm hope to run               "Someone just told me we ain't got TVs in there," said Branch.
the ball more this year, promising Edge 300+ carries this year.      "It's going to be crazy to me, because I'm addicted to
Never a fan of the preseason, Edge appears to be ready for the       television." Toting a large cooler to his dorm room, Branch
challenge. "If (Whisenhunt) wants me to go out there and get         was asked what’s inside. "Healthy snacks,” said the rookie,
five, six carries, I'm not going to say no. If they want me to do    who dropped some weight since last season. Branch is eager to
it just to save face, so there's no complaining, I'll do it,” said   get started, "It's been a lot of time since I hit somebody, so I
James. Shipp enters camp with a solid grasp on the backup            kind of been having an itch about it," he said. The Cardinals
job. Baylark is an undrafted rookie out of UMass (as Shipp
have plenty of talent at LB as Karlos Dansby moves inside         leaves fantasy owners wondering what to expect from the
where he’ll be paired with Gerald Hayes along with backups        Falcons' new starter Harrington. Our Jason Wood and Mark
Monty Beisel and rookie Buster Davis, a productive, but           Wimer offer contrasting viewpoints about this topic on the
undersized player with a nose for the ball. Calvin Pace and Blog here - as the debate rages on, one
Darryl Blackstock added depth and experience on the outside.      thing is clear: the Falcons' are moving on without Michael
SS Adrian Wilson is the team’s biggest playmaker and the          Vick at QB. The depth chart as of Sunday stands: Harrington,
unquestioned leader of the defense. Opposite him, free agent      2nd-year player D.J. Shockley, Chris Redman and ex-arena
signee Terrence Holt will compete with Aaron Francisco for a      leaguer Lang Campbell. Just prior to training camp, head
starting job.                                                     coach Bobby Petrino said of Harrington, "I think the thing that
                                                                  impressed me the most at OTAs is his take-charge attitude, the
Special Teams: Neil Rackers hopes to regain his magic from        way he jumped in the classroom and studied. He's a very quick
long range this year. After making nearly everything in 2005,     learner. A very intelligent young man." On Sunday 7/29,
he struggled on field goals from 50+ yards last year. He may      Petrino gave an early assessment of Harrington's performance
be spelled during preseason by dual-purpose camp leg Ricky        so far in training camp, "First, I like his knowledge of the
Schmitt, a rookie punter/kicker from Division II Shepherd.        game and he understands what the defense is trying to do. He
Rookie WR Steve Breaston out of Michigan is the favorite to       does a good job in his post and pre-snap reads, being able to
be the return specialist. His strength is punt returns, and his   see how the safeties and linebackers move after the ball. I
only real competition at that position is second year WR          think he is really going to be able to execute our offense and
Michael Spurlock, who played QB in college. Breaston will         distribute the ball where it needs to be. That’s going to help us
face a larger number of competitors at kickoff returner during    in our run game when you understand the defenses and the
camp. Foremost is the incumbent, RB J.J. Arrington. Spurlock      fronts like that. He has a real good sense of timing as well.
and free agent acquisition CB Roderick Hood are also options.     Unfortunately, guys don’t get very open so you have to hit
                                                                  them when they are open. I think that’s a good starting point
                                                                  and he has a really good since of timing.” Offensive
Cardinals Depth Chart                                             coordinator Hue Jackson commented on Shockley Friday,
QB: Matt Leinart, Kurt Warner, Shayne Boyd, Toby Korrodi          stating "D.J. has been around, played in some preseason
RB: Edgerrin James, Marcel Shipp, J.J. Arrington (KR),            games a year ago, played at the University of Georgia, so he
Diamond Ferri, Steve Baylark                                      knows those particular elements, too. It's just him getting the
FB: Terrelle Smith, A.J. Schable (inj), Tim Castille, Brandon     chance to play to show what he can do." Redman played for
Snow, Roshon Vercher                                              one season under head coach Petrino in college at Louisville.
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Bryant Johnson,
LeRon McCoy, Sean Morey, Steve Breaston (KR/PR), Todd
Watkins, Greg Lee, Michael Spurlock (KR/PR), Ahmad                RB: Just before camp opened, we learned that Warrick Dunn
Merritt, Matt Trannon                                             had surgery for a herniated disk in his back and is expected to
TE: Leonard Pope, Ben Patrick, Troy Bienemann, Tim Euhus,         miss 3-6 weeks due to his ongoing rehabilitation. It was the
John Bronson, Alex Shor                                           second surgery during the offseason for Dunn, who also had
K: Neil Rackers                                                   arthroscopic surgery on his injured shoulder earlier in the year.
DT: Alan Branch (NT), Gabe Watson (NT), Chris Cooper,             With Dunn out, Jerious Norwood has stepped into the starting
Ross Kolodziej, Jonathan Lewis, Ray Blagman                       role. Norwood showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie and
DE: Darnell Dockett (DT), Antonio Smith, Joe Tafoya,              he’s not wasting any time in his second season either. "Jerious
Rodney Bailey                                                     is a guy that you look at, you watch him on video and you say:
ILB: Gerald Hayes, Karlos Dansby (W/S), Buster Davis,             'Wow, this guy has a chance to really make some big plays for
Monty Beisel, Pago Togafau, Nathan Hodel                          us,'" HC Bobby Petrino said. "He can accelerate and cut very
OLB: Bertrand Berry (DE)(inj), Chike Okeafor (S/DE),              quickly and he has home run speed. He's a very good receiver
Calvin Pace (S/DE), Darryl Blackstock (W), Brandon                out of the backfield so we're looking forward to seeing how
Johnson, David Holloway                                           we utilize him catching the ball out of the backfield. He just
CB: Antrel Rolle, Eric Green, Roderick Hood, Ralph Brown,         needs to continually work on his blitz pickup and protecting
Matt Ware, Darrell Hunter, Travarous Bain, Michael Adams          the quarterback." A huge camp battle is brewing for the #2 RB
S: Adrian Wilson (SS), Aaron Francisco (FS), Terrence Holt        spot on the squad. As of Sunday 7/29, Jamal Robertson is
(FS), Hanik Milligan, Brandon Keeler (FS)                         working at the #2 spot, with rookie Jason Snelling (7th round
                                                                  draft pick) in hot pursuit. Coach Petrino stated, "Jamal
                                                                  understands what we're doing, so he's probably ahead of
                                                                  everybody else. I like what I see of Snelling. It's going to be a
                                                                  question of how he does once we get into preseason games.
Atlanta Falcons                                                   He has good vision and makes nice cuts. He has some power
                                                                  when he runs the ball, and we're hoping he will be able to run
                                                                  through some tackles." Meanwhile, Norwood is working to
QB: With Michael Vick sidelined due to his ongoing legal          perfect his pass blocking skills. Coach Petrino said, "He still
woes (in case you haven't heard, NFL Commissioner Roger           needs to improve on his pass protection. He's working hard at
Goodell ordered Vick to stay away from camp when it opened        that, and he's certainly gotten better at that." The team may
on Thursday), the team has turned to Joey Harrington as the       add a veteran RB to the mix at some point during training
starting QB. Vick's trial is scheduled for November 26th and      camp, but no move has been made just yet.
he is not expected to play football during 2007. The change
WR: New starting WR Joe Horn is making a difference for            notes, DT Rod Coleman (thigh injury) and DT Grady Jackson
the Falcons according to coach Petrino, "Joe has added a lot       (conditioning) did not practice on Sunday.
with his energy and his excitement, the way he takes the field
every day. His competitiveness is unbelievable. Every drill he     Special Teams: The Falcons once again enter preseason
does, he wants to be the best, beat whoever he's going against.    without a set starter at kicker. The competitors this year are
That rubs off. We're very unproven, but they left OTAs with a      Billy Cundiff and Aaron Elling. Cundiff handled kickoffs for
great deal of confidence and feel they're a lot better." Fred      New Orleans the latter part of last year. Elling was out of
Gibson was released on Saturday after only 3 days with the         football last year, after handling kickoffs for Baltimore in
club - he was apparently not playing up to coach Petrino's         2005. At this juncture, punter Michael Koenen does not appear
standard. Gibson missed a special teams meeting due to             to be a contender. He emerged as the clear winner last August,
misunderstanding the team’s schedule. Rookie Laurent               but failed miserably in the first two games of the regular
Robinson is still on the squad and is striving to get into the     season. On kickoff and punt returns it essentially comes down
rotation.                                                          to two players. Can the aging and slowing CB Allen Rossum
                                                                   once again retain the job? Or, will second year WR Adam
TE: Alge Crumpler has been partially participating in              Jennings step into the return specialist role? If Atlanta’s year
practices while he continues to rehab his surgically repaired      continues to be as troubled as it has started, whoever wins the
knee. He took part in some of the drills on Friday and             returner job could be very busy this year.
Saturday. Coach Petrino commented on Crumpler's level of
participation on Saturday, 7/28: “It’s great to see Alge out
there. He is a really good player and there is no question about   Falcons Depth Chart
it. He knows his trade very well and he’s got a tremendous         QB: Joey Harrington, D.J. Shockley, Chris Redman, Lang
amount of energy when he’s out there. We are really trying to      Campbell, Michael Vick
manage his knee so he’s only practicing once a day. He             RB: Warrick Dunn (inj), Jerious Norwood, Jamal Robertson,
doesn’t do the two-a-days. I’m really excited to see how he        Jason Snelling, Justin Vincent, Taurean Henderson, Sha-Ron
fits and how he makes this offense better. I’ve really liked       Edwards
what I’ve seen so far.” Petrino also went on to say, “The tight    FB: Ovie Mughelli, Corey McIntyre
ends are doing well so far. (Dwayne) Blakley has done a nice       WR: Michael Jenkins, Joe Horn, Roddy White, Laurent
job and he had really good OTA practices. He did better            Robinson, Adam Jennings, Jamin Elliot, Vincent Marshall,
yesterday and today. I still like (Martrez) Milner and he’s        Eric Weems, Eric Newman, Noriaki Kinoshita (KR), Ben
doing a really nice job. He can both run block and catch the       Nelson, Brian Finneran (IR)
ball. I feel good about the position, especially when Alge         TE: Alge Crumpler, Dwayne Blakely, Martrez Milner, Daniel
(Crumpler) is out there with us because he makes us better.”       Fells
Martrez Milner has risen to #3 on the depth chart as of            K: Billy Cundiff, Aaron Elling
Sunday.                                                            DT: Grady Jackson (NT), Rod Coleman (inj), Darrell
                                                                   Shropshire (NT), Jonathan Babineaux, T.J. Jackson (NT),
Defense: Rookie Jamaal Anderson started working with the           Trey Lewis (NT), Michael Bozeman, David Patterson, Kelly
first team at LDE on Sunday. "We need to get him in, no            Talavou
question about it," new head coach Bobby Petrino said. "He's       DE: John Abraham, Jamaal Anderson, Paul Carrington,
come back from the break in very good condition. He's not          Chauncey Davis, Josh Mallard, Nic Clemons
been timid at all. He's been really good going against the run,    MLB: Keith Brooking (W), Jordan Beck, Tony Taylor
and he already had the ability to rush the pass. Right now, it's   OLB: Michael Boley (S), Demorrio Williams (W) (inj),
just getting used to lining up with the Ones." On Sunday,          Stephen Nicholas (W), Orlando Huff (W), Marcus Wilkins
Anderson stated, "I'm getting a better IQ for football. This is    (S), John Leake (S), Travis Williams
only my fourth year playing defensive end. So just learning        CB: DeAngelo Hall, Chris Houston, Lewis Sanders, Allen
formations, looking at a lineman's alignment, recognizing          Rossum (KR), David Irons, Brent Grimes, Antoine Harris
down and distance, a lot of things that come with repetition —     S: Lawyer Milloy (SS), Chris Crocker (FS), Jimmy Williams
those are things that are starting to come to me now, and I'm      (FS), Omare Lowe (SS), Daren Stone (FS), Nick Turnbull
only going to get better." Chaucey Davis is now working with       (FS), Jeramie Johnson (SS)
the second team. Second-round pick CB Chris Houston has
been getting some reps with the first team, although Lewis
Sanders is #1 on the depth chart - for now. Starting weakside
LB Demorrio Williams, returning from offseason chest
surgery, is working to get back into game shape. Rookie
                                                                   Baltimore Ravens
Stephen Nicholas has been getting first team reps but he'll
probably end up moving down the depth chart once Williams          QB: Steve McNair enters his 2nd season as the Ravens QB
is fully up to speed. At MLB, offseason FA acquisition             with former starter Kyle Boller as the backup. Boller will be a
Orlando Huff has moved to #2 on the depth chart behind Keith       free agent following the season and the team doesn’t know if
Brookings, bumping 3rd year MLB Jordan Beck to 3rd team.           McNair will be around for another year either. That’s why it
Backup DE Josh Mallard has seen some time at DT - coach            will be a battle worth watching in training camp between 5th
Petrino praised Mallard's hard work, stating, "I really like his   round picks Troy Smith and Drew Olson, a practice squad
effort. He gives you everything he has on every play." In other    player last year from UCLA. On the eve of camp the Ravens
                                                                   released Cullen Finerty, who won three Division II
championships at Grand Valley State. The QBs will be                and not rehabbing. He is in a very good place right now.”
coached by Rick Neuheisel, who made the following comment           Daniel Wilcox and 2nd year Quinn Sypniewski give the
regarding the competition for that third spot, “Fortunately, I      Ravens solid depth while Marcus Freeman and Kendrick
don’t have to make those decisions yet. It’s going to be a hard     Ballantyne hope to make the roster or stick on the practice
decision. When you’re dealing with a roster, the more hard          squad. Rob Abiamiri was released prior to training camp after
decisions you have to make, the better team you have.” Olson        spending two seasons on the practice squad.
had a busy spring while leading NFL Europa’s Amsterdam
Admirals to a 4-6 record, completing 170 of 310 passes for          Defense: The Ravens lost Pro Bowl LB Adalius Thomas
1,967 yards with 13 TDs and 13 INTs. Smith, of course, was a        during the offseason, but little else. The defense returns
1st team All-American and Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio             largely intact with two rookies last year looking to improve
State before imploding in the National Championship game            and have a greater impact in 2007; first round pick DT Haloti
against Florida. He’s undersized, but the team has already          Ngata and 5th round pick SS Dawan Landry. Plus, a healthy
been impressed with his confidence and leadership abilities         Dan Cody could make an impact for the first time in his
during offseason workouts as he displayed a strong arm and          career. DT Kelly Gregg reported to camp sporting ten pounds
good mobility while Olson got plenty of work overseas.              of muscle gained during the offseason. "I'm stronger than I've
                                                                    been in about four or five years," Gregg said. "I really wasn't
RB: Willis McGahee enters camp with great expectations. A           sore this offseason, so I got into the weight room. I'm 30 years
regular at headquarters since he signed during the offseason,       old, and I'm pushing weight like I'm 25. I feel good about that,
McGahee hopes to be the workhorse the Ravens envision.              and I'm looking forward to the season."
Backup Musa Smith finished last season on IR with a neck
injury, but he was healthy in the OTAs earlier this year and he     Special Teams: He may be one of the oldest players in the
hopes to remain healthy, for once, and serve as the primary         NFL, but we know that Matt Stover will be the Ravens’
backup. Veteran Mike Anderson is back and provides some             placekicker once again this year. The only question is whether
insurance along with P.J. Daniels, a 4th round pick a year ago,     he will also handle kickoffs this year. He resumed doing so
who got plenty of work during OTAs showing some speed and           last year, after several years in which Baltimore had kept a
an ability to contribute on special teams. Cory Ross and Greg       separate kickoff specialist on the roster. Vying for that role in
Pruitt Jr. have uphill battles to win a roster spot in camp. Ross   camp will be Rhys Lloyd. He spent this spring in NFL Europa
made the roster last year and helped on special teams after B.J.    and was in the Ravens’ camp in 2005. DB B.J. Sams was one
Sams went on IR late in the season. Fourth round pick FB            of the top return specialists in the league in recent years;
Le’Ron McClain signed prior to camp meaning the Ravens              however he missed the final four games last year with a
were able to ink all eight of their picks on time. "It's good to    fractured ankle. He also had off field troubles with a second
have each of our draft choices finished prior to the start of       DUI charge, although he was acquitted during the offseason.
Brian's team meeting on Sunday," said general manager Ozzie         Even if he's fully recovered from his foot surgery, he faces a
Newsome.                                                            potentially strong challenge for his job from third round draft
                                                                    pick WR Yamon Figurs out of Kansas State. Figurs posted the
WR: Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton return as the team’s             fastest time at the NFL Scouting Combine, and was
starters, but 2nd year Demetrius Williams’ blend of size, speed     considered by some to be the best returner in this year's draft.
and body control makes him a potential breakout player this
year. He could possibly overtake Mason in the starting lineup,      Ravens Depth Chart
considering their play late in the 2006 season, but Mason           QB: Steve McNair, Kyle Boller, Troy Smith, Drew Olsen
could be tough to unseat given his experience and                   RB: Willis McGahee, Musa Smith, Mike Anderson, P.J.
competiveness. The team added the explosive Yamon Figurs            Daniels, Cory Ross, Greg Pruitt Jr.
in the draft. Figurs clocked a 4.3 40 at the combine (best          FB: Justin Green, Le'Ron McClain
among all players) and he promises to give the Ravens special       WR: Mark Clayton (PR), Derrick Mason, Demetrius
teams a boost, although the Ravens coaching staff will take a       Williams, Clarence Moore, Devard Darling, Yamon Figurs
look at him during the preseason to see if he can contribute        (KR/PR), Romby Bryant, Damien Linson, Matt Willis, Leo
offensively, as well. Devard Darling and Clarence Moore             Bookman
return for another training camp battle, but it’s unlikely both     TE: Todd Heap, Daniel Wilcox, Quinn Sypniewski, Marcus
players will stick with Figurs now in the mix.                      Freeman, Kendrick Ballantyne
                                                                    K: Matt Stover, Rhys Lloyd, Brendan Carney
TE: Entering his 7th season, Todd Heap feels like a rookie          DT: Kelly Gregg, Haloti Ngata, Justin Bannan, Dwan
thanks to an offseason free of rehabilitation or surgeries. “This   Edwards, Keyonta Marshall, Anthony Bryant, Atiyyah Ellison
is the first time in a couple years that I have felt this           DE: Terrell Suggs, Trevor Pryce, Travis Leitko
good,” Heap said. “I am a lot further ahead than where we           MLB: Ray Lewis, Mike Smith, Prescott Burgess
were the last few years, and that just makes me a little more       OLB: Bart Scott (W), Jarrett Johnson (S/DE), Gary Stills
excited for the season.” Heap played all 16 games last year but     (S/DE), Dan Cody (S) (inj), Antwan Barnes, Dennis Haley,
didn’t make the Pro Bowl. With a full offseason to think about      Edgar Jones, Joe Martin, Jamar Enzor
the offense instead of rehab, HC Brian Billick thinks that          CB: Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Corey Ivy, Ronnie Prude,
might change. “I think he is one of the best tight ends in the      David Pittman, Evan Oglesby, Derrick Martin, B.J. Sams
league,” Billick explained. “He is excited about spending an        (KR/PR), Willie Gaston, Terrell Maze
entire offseason of basically just getting ready for the season
S: Ed Reed (FS), Dawan Landry (SS), Jamaine Winborn,              not to overwhelm him, but he quickly showed some of the
Gerome Sapp, Donnie Johnson, Bobby Blackshire                     explosiveness that the Bills running game has lacked in recent
                                                                  years. "Sometimes in our running scheme he hits the corner
                                                                  when it's not really blocked perfectly and he's not supposed to
                                                                  do that, but he outruns everybody where you just have to start
                                                                  letting him do his thing," said Losman. "That's what he's good
Buffalo Bills                                                     at. You can't over coach a guy like that. You just have to trust
                                                                  and realize that's how talented he is and just let him take
QB: Unlike last year, the Bills enter camp this year with a       over." Lynch also demonstrated his receiving ability on day 3
clear starter at QB in J.P. Losman. He showed considerable        of practice when he finished with 5 receptions, including a big
improvement in all areas last season and should benefit from      gainer over the middle when Losman hit him in stride.
playing a second consecutive season in the same system with
the same coaching staff. After ranking 2nd last in the NFL in     Given the Bills intentions to bring Lynch along slowly,
pass attempts last year, the Bills plan to open things up and     Anthony Thomas has been taking many of the first team reps
feel that the upgrades up front will allow Losman to be even      at RB early in camp. He is a reliable and proven player who
more successful. “We could open it up a little more,” Bills       the team feels very comfortable with but Lynch appears to be
offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild said. “When you look at     a better fit for the type of multi-dimensional offense the Bills
last year, we were trying to identify a starter and get           hope to run this year. Both players figure to split carries
experience at quarterback with a not solid situation up front.    during training camp and preseason. Rookie Dwayne Wright
That made it difficult. Now we’re a little more well-equipped     has been third in the RB rotation and although he is known as
in those areas.” Losman missed the first day of training camp     more of a power runner, he has impressed with his quickness
after tweaking his back while lifting weights earlier in the      early on. If he has a strong training camp, he could force his
week, but he participated fully on Day 2 and showed plenty of     way into the committee and earn some regular season snaps as
zip and accuracy on his passes. According to Buffalo News         well. Josh Scobey figures to make the team as a 4th RB due to
writer Mark Gaughan, “Losman has put a buzz into the crowd        his contributions on special teams, so Shaud Williams and
with his throws.” He has been particularly effective on deep      Fred Jackson will likely battle over a potential 5th RB roster
passes and has done a good job with play fakes and looking        spot. The team has no true fullback on the roster this year and
off defenders. At this point, there is quite a bit of optimism    plans to use tight ends as H-backs instead.
surrounding Losman and the Bills passing game.
                                                                  WR: The Bills return basically the same group of WRs from a
Craig Nall began camp as the #2 QB but he could be pushed         year ago, which should further help the offensive continuity.
by rookie Trent Edwards. Nall has a clear edge in experience      Lee Evans has clearly emerged as the focal point of the
and should be more comfortable in the offense having spent        passing game and could join the league’s elite with another
last year with the Bills, but the Bills clearly have high hopes   strong season. He has been very effective in camp early on
for Edwards after spending a 3rd round pick on him. When          and looks like he can beat any of the Bills cornerbacks pretty
Losman missed the first day of camp, Nall got the first reps in   much whenever he wants. Peerless Price lined up opposite
every drill but Edwards wound up with an almost an identical      Evans with the first unit and figures to remain the starter again
number of snaps. After several days of practices, neither         this season but he’ll likely be pushed by Josh Reed and
player has been particularly impressive. Nall has looked rusty    Roscoe Parrish throughout training camp. Josh Reed has
and although he was accurate on short and intermediate passes     impressed as the slot WR and could steal some snaps from
over the middle, he continues to struggle with his footwork       Price in 2-WR formations due to his superior blocking. Parrish
and deeper throws to the outside. Edwards looked alright at       has been lining up opposite Sam Aiken with the second unit
times but was the least accurate of the QBs and generally         and has made several big plays in camp so far. The Bills may
looked uncomfortable in the pocket. There appears to be a         try to get him more snaps with the top unit to take advantage
huge dropoff from Losman to either of these players right         of his big-play ability. The top-4 WRs appear to be locks to
now.                                                              make the roster and Aiken has a big edge over the rest due to
                                                                  his contributions on special teams. If the Bills decide to keep a
RB: With Willis McGahee now playing in Baltimore, the Bills       6th WR this year, it will likely be Jonathan Smith who was
will begin the year with a new starter at RB. Although            recently claimed off waivers and has a strong track record as a
McGahee was a workhorse for them, it appears that head            special teams performer. There may not be enough leftover
coach Dick Jauron would prefer to use a committee approach        reps for any of the inexperienced free agents to make much of
at the position. "Regardless of who the number one (back) is      an impact.
we do still intend to run the ball by committee," said Jauron.
"We think it's better for our team over the long haul. A guy      TE: The Bills hope to get a lot more production out of the TE
that gets overburdened carrying the ball constantly at that       position this season compared to years past and will employ a
position will take so many more shots. We'd like to run it by     more versatile H-back in the offense instead of a true fullback.
committee and the guy that's the lead (back) will have to earn    Robert Royal is the unquestioned starter at TE when healthy
the right to be the lead." It is almost a certainty that rookie   after a solid first season with the team. He hasn’t looked to be
Marshawn Lynch will wind up with that feature back job at         at full strength early in camp and that has opened up an
some point, but his performance in training camp and the          opportunity for 3rd year pro Kevin Everett to get more reps
preseason will likely determine how quickly that will happen.     with the first team. There has been a lot of positive buzz
The coaches plan to ease him into the offense gradually so as
around Everett all offseason and he did nothing to discourage      DT: Larry Tripplett, Kyle Williams, John McCargo, Tim
it while catching nearly everything thrown his way. He has         Anderson, Jason Jefferson, Corey Mace
made great strides in his route-running and understanding of       DE: Aaron Schobel, Chris Kelsay, Ryan Denney, Anthony
the game and could provide a new dimension. Ryan Neufeld           Hargrove, C.J. Ah You, Eric Powell, Ryan Neill
appeared to be taking 1st team snaps at the H-back position but    MLB: Paul Posluszny, John DiGiorgio (S/M), Thaddeus
he was followed closely by Brad Cieslak. This is one of the        Washington
few offensive position battles to watch in Bills camp this year.   OLB: Angelo Crowell (S/M)(inj), Keith Ellison (W), Mario
                                                                   Haggan (W/M), Coy Wire (S/FS), Josh Stamer (S/W), Roy
Defense: While there is plenty of optimism surrounding the         Manning (W), Kevin Harrison (W)
Bills offense this year, the defense has several question marks    CB: Terrence McGee (KR), Jason Webster, Kiwaukee
that will need to be resolved during training camp. There are      Thomas, Jabari Greer, Ashton Youboty, Riley Swanson,
as many as four CBs expected to compete for the starting spot      Reggie Lewis, Eric Bassey
vacated by Nate Clements. Jason Webster was signed in May          S: Donte Whitner (SS), Ko Simpson (FS), George Wilson
and is the most experienced so he begins camp as the favorite.     (SS), John Wendling (SS), Jim Leonhard (FS), Trevor Hooper
Kiwaukee Thomas also has starting experience but looks to be       (FS), John Sorto (FS)
a better fit as the nickel back. Jabari Greer has potential but
needs to be more consistent. Ashton Youboty is the wildcard
to watch in this competition given the high hopes the team has
for him after drafting him in the 3rd round a year ago. Another
key situation to watch is at MLB where the team tries to           Carolina Panthers
replace veteran London Fletcher-Baker. Paul Posluszny is the
heir apparent after the Bills traded up in round 2 to get him,     QB: The biggest Panther QB news this offseason was the
but unheralded 2nd year player John DiGiorgio has been the         acquisition of veteran David Carr from the Houston Texans.
most improved player in minicamps and looks like he won’t          Carr was a tackling dummy for much of his tenure in Houston,
give up the spot without a fight. 2nd year player Keith Ellison    facing intense pass rush pressure behind a leaky offensive line
is set to become a full-time starter at WLB this year and has      – it remains to be seen if he can overcome the bad habits he
been perhaps the Bills best defender in camp so far with some      developed while ducking away (or, often, getting sacked) by
big interceptions and pass breakups. Finally, one of the most      multiple blitzers during his years in Houston. Jake Delhomme
important players to watch this preseason is DT John               suffered ligament damage in his right thumb (throwing hand)
McCargo, who the Bills traded up to get in the 1 st round last     last December, but returned to action in the season finale.
year. He missed most of his rookie year to an injury but the       Delhomme participated fully in the team’s early May mini-
team hopes he can make an impact and help improve the              camp, commenting on the presence of new team-mate David
league’s 28th ranked run defense from a year ago. The Bills        Carr, “I’m probably my hardest critic. It’s not any different for
traded DT Darwin Walker to the Bears for an undisclosed            me whatsoever.” It appears that Delhomme is on thin ice as of
draft pick after he refused to report due to a contract dispute.   the start of training camp – the competition between he and
                                                                   Carr will play out as camp rolls along. Some good news for
Special Teams: Rian Lindell has quietly emerged as a very          both Delhomme and Carr (whoever wins the starting job) – the
good kicker. He’ll be busy in camp, as the Bills do not            Panthers are going to vary their snap count during games
currently have a second kicker on the roster. CB Terrence          under new OC Jeff Davidson. "Our snap count isn’t on one
McGee is the incumbent kickoff returner and is one of the best     every play anymore, so guys aren’t just going to just tee off on
in the league. There was offseason speculation that his return     the same snap count over and over again," said veteran G
role would be reduced or eliminated so that he could focus on      Mike Wahle, adding, "You can minimize that as much as you
defense, however early signs in camp are that he will continue     want but that’s a big deal for offensive linemen. Keeping those
as the primary KR. RB Josh Scobey, WR Jonathan Smith, RB           guys (defensive players) guessing and the fact that we’re not
Shaud Williams and RB Fred Jackson have also been handling         coming off with the same drive block every time helps."
kickoffs in practice. The usually reliable Scobey muffed two
kicks the other day. Although Shaud Williams, Jonathan             RB: DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster are fighting
Smith, and DB Jim Leonhard will practice on punt returns,          tooth and nail to headline the Panthers’ rushing attack. After
that job definitely belongs to WR Roscoe Parrish.                  one day of training camp, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion
                                                                   about the backs’ respective talents or their position on the
Bills Depth Chart                                                  depth chart. Foster signed a re-worked contract during the
                                                                   offseason that included $3.5 million in bonuses – based on the
QB: J.P. Losman (PUP), Craig Nall, Trent Edwards, Kevin
                                                                   level of money expended on Foster; it appears the team wants
                                                                   to utilize both players during 2007. We’ll see who emerges as
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Anthony Thomas, Dwayne Wright,
                                                                   the superior ball carrier as camp goes along. Eric Shelton is
Shaud Williams (3RB), Josh Scobey, Fred Jackson
                                                                   the dark horse candidate in this race, but he hasn’t shown us
WR: Lee Evans, Peerless Price, Josh Reed, Roscoe Parrish
                                                                   much so far in his career (8 rushes for 23 yards last year).
(PR), Sam Aiken, Donovan Morgan, Scott Mayle, Jemalle
                                                                   Williams, who posted 121/501/1 rushing and 33/313/1
Cornelius, Jonathan Smith, Justin Jenkins
                                                                   receiving is a favorite of some fantasy owners this year, but
TE: Robert Royal, Kevin Everett, Matt Murphy, Ryan
                                                                   he’s far from a sure bet to win the starting job outright. This
Neufeld (FB), Brad Cieslak (FB), Derek Schouman (FB)
                                                                   dynamic needs to play itself out a little further before fantasy
K: Rian Lindell, D.J. Fitzpatrick
                                                                   owners rush to add either Williams or Foster to their roster.
WR: Steve Smith is excited about the upcoming season, "This        I'll go to the Pro Bowl and then I'll go up on the (parade) float
year is going to be outstanding; I look forward to it. I set the   and we'll be all happy. That's the way I'll write the story."
goal high. I mean, I feel so good I want to reach 2,000
(receiving) yards this year.” “I wasn't 100 percent (all) of the   Special Teams: There is no big news regarding thirty-seven
season," Smith stated regarding last year's hamstring injury, "I   year old kicker John Kasay. He is however sporting a new
didn't start feeling good until right before I went to the Pro     youthful buzz haircut in camp. The camp leg will be provided
Bowl and after the Pro Bowl. That's when I felt 100 percent."      by undrafted rookie Andrew Wellock out of Eastern Michigan.
Fantasy owners dream about having a receiver who gains 2000        He actually is youthful. The kickoff returner role appears to be
yards in a's good to hear Smith is aiming high. 2nd-   a three man race in camp: RB DeAngelo Williams vs. CB
year WR Taye Biddle looked good on a sideline pass vs. CB          Richard Marshall vs. fourth round draft pick WR Ryne
Ken Lucas, who was left grasping air and watching Biddle           Robinson. The rookie Robinson had far more experience and
burst down the sidelines. The big question mark for the            success on punt returns in college at Miami of Ohio. The
Panthers regards the #2 WR position. Keary Colbert                 Panthers are hoping that success will carry over to the NFL, so
disappointed last year, so the team drafted Dwayne Jarrett to      that they don’t have to use WR Steve Smith or CB Chris
challenge for the starting job. Also in the mix is 3 rd year man   Gamble in the punt returner role and let them focus on their
Drew Carter (he is technically a 4th-year guy, but sat out his     primary jobs.
rookie season during 2004 with a knee injury), who could be a
legitimate “sleeper” candidate for 2007. Reports out of
Charlotte indicate that Carter is faster than teammate Steve       Panthers Depth Chart
Smith, which is saying something. Fantasy owners will want         QB: Jake Delhomme (inj), David Carr, Brett Basanez, Dalton
to play close attention to the duel for #2 in Charlotte.           Bell
                                                                   RB: DeAngelo Williams, DeShaun Foster, Eric Shelton, Nick
                                                                   Goings, Alex Haynes
TE: Jeff King started with the first team during Saturday’s        FB: Brad Hoover, Billy Latsko, Steven Jackson
initial practice. He's in a three-way battle with Michael Gaines   WR: Steve Smith, Drew Carter, Dwayne Jarrett, Keary
and Dante Rosario for playing time in the Panther's attack -       Colbert, Taye Biddle, Kevin Youngblood, Ryne Robinson,
but don't get too excited. Panther TEs tend to be used as lead-    Josh Davis, Justin McCullum, Chris Horn, Jahkeen Gilmore
blockers more than pass catchers. You don't get many fantasy       TE: Jeff King, Michael Gaines, Dante Rosario, Chad Upshaw
points for pancake blocks in most leagues. King caught all of      K: John Kasay, Andrew Wellock
1 pass for a TD last year, but appears poised to challenge for     DT: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Kris Jenkins, Damione Lewis, Chad
the starting job if Day One of camp is any indication.             Lavalais, Kindal Moorehead, Stephen Williams, Brent Curvey
                                                                   DE: Julius Peppers, Mike Rucker (inj), Charles Johnson,
Defense: The Panthers opened training camp Saturday with           Stanley McClover, Dave Ball, Otis Grigsby, Jason Hall,
stalwarts RDE Mike Rucker (rehabbing an ACL/MCL knee               Rondell Biggs, Gary Gibson
injury) and MLB Dan Morgan (head/repeat concussions) – but         MLB: Dan Morgan (inj), Adam Seward
neither player was allowed contact. "That was one of my goals      OLB: Thomas Davis (S), Na'il Diggs (W) (inj), Jon Beason
coming off the injury to be back out there on day one," Rucker     (W/M), James Anderson (W), Tim Shaw, Terrence Melton
said, "That means that I really had to hump it this offseason      (W), Brandon Jamison, Philippe Gardent, Mickey Pementel
and I did that. I have been blessed to be in this position. In     CB: Chris Gamble (PR), Ken Lucas, Richard Marshall, Curtis
saying that, but it’s not over. We still have a long ways to go    Deloatch, Derrick Strait, Kevin Garrett, Dion Byrum (inj),
in the rehab. This is just one hurdle of many. But I’m ready to    Christian Morton
move to the next step." Stanley McClover subbed for Rucker,        S: Mike Minter (SS), Nate Salley (FS) , Deke Cooper, C.J.
while Adam Seward stepped in for Morgan. Morgan is not             Wilson, Cam Newton, Quinton Teal
afraid he’ll become a victim of post-concussion syndrome
(despite his five career concussions). “It really doesn’t scare
me,” Morgan said, “When I hear them talking it really doesn’t
remind me of how I feel. If I was sitting there and forgetting
things I was talking about, then it might concern me. But there    Chicago Bears
hasn’t been a point where I’m forgetting where things are or
I’m driving somewhere and I don’t know where I’m at. That          QB: After missing nearly two full years to injuries, Rex
stuff hasn’t happened to me. When I hear these guys (NFL           Grossman was finally able to stay healthy for an entire season
veterans) talking about (their symptoms) it doesn’t sound like     last year and the Bears wound up going to the Super Bowl.
what I’ve gone through. So I’m not going to base how I feel        While Grossman did play very well at times, there were many
on how they feel.” Seward is currently second on the depth         other games when he played terribly and the team wound up
charts at, but he may well be #1 before too       winning despite his poor play. The Bears are going to try and
long given Morgan’s injury woes. Rookie LB Jon Beason is           help him become a more consistent player beginning with this
holding out of training camp as of press time, causing some        year’s training camp. "There is nothing drastic we have to do
concerns that he’ll be behind the learning curve and unable to     with him," Bears offensive coordinator Ron Turner said. "His
step into the starting lineup. We’ll see how long his holdout      mechanics were overall good last year and he had some good
continues. SS Mike Minter, who is retiring after this season,      games. We just have to get him that way all the time." Head
spoke about his aspirations for 2007, ”At the end of the day if    coach Lovie Smith stuck with Grossman last year despite his
I have a chance to write the story, we'll win the Super Bowl,      erratic play and hopes that will pay off this year, "Normally,
once you've been in a system for a while, you get better at it.     WR: The Bears return their top four WRs from last season so
Most quarterbacks I've seen make a big improvement their            things will mostly remain the same, but the biggest story early
second year as a starter and I think Rex will do that, too." This   in training camp has been the play of Devin Hester. The Bears
is also the last year of Grossman’s contract so if he struggles,    initially tried the return specialist at cornerback last year but
he may not get another chance to be a starter. Early camp           decided to move him to offense this year to take advantage of
reports indicate that Grossman has looked very sharp,               his big-play ability. When asked if there are any other players
particularly out of the shotgun formation which the Bears plan      as explosive and dynamic as Hester, offensive coordinator
to use more of this season. He’s done a good job of spreading       Ron Turner said "Maybe Steve Smith. That would be the only
the ball around and utilizing all the weapons available to him      other guy." In practice so far, Hester has been nearly
rather than locking on to one or two options, which is a good       uncoverable on deep routes and has made several spectacular
sign.                                                               grabs, including one while laying on the ground. He has elite
                                                                    change of direction skills and soft hands that could make him
While many fans and observers called for Brian Griese to            a terror for opposing defenses to contend with. Mark Bradley
replace Grossman last season, Lovie Smith never budged.             is fully healthy and could also make a big impact now that
Although Griese begins camp as the favorite to hold down the        he’ll be nearly two full years removed from the torn ACL that
#2 QB job again, 3rd year pro Kyle Orton could pose a serious       ended his rookie season. When you add Hester and Bradley to
threat this year. Griese got off to a rough start in camp with      starters Muhsin Muhammad, Bernard Berrian, and slot
two interceptions and a fumbled snap in his first practice.         receiver Rashied Davis, the Bears appear to have the pieces in
Orton, meanwhile, has worked hard during the offseason and          place for a very explosive passing attack. Another player to
looks to be much improved compared to a year ago. If Orton          keep an eye on is undrafted rookie David Ball who caught 58
has a strong preseason, Griese could become expendable.             TD passes at New Hampshire, shattering Jerry Rice’s Division
Rookie Chris Leak was an undrafted free agent who won a             I-AA record.
national championship with Florida last year, but he’s a
longshot to make the Bears roster unless a QB is injured or         TE: After several disappointing seasons, Desmond Clark
traded.                                                             exploded with a career-high 626 yard season in 2006. He
                                                                    enters camp as the unquestioned starter at TE and is clearly
RB: Thomas Jones was traded to the Jets this offseason after        one of Grossman’s favorite targets, especially near the goal
three successful years as the Bears starter. Taking his place       line. The Bears upgraded the position even further by drafting
will be 3rd year pro Cedric Benson who should finally get a         Greg Olsen in the 1st round out of Miami. Olsen has elite
chance to become the feature back he was expected to be             speed, runs great routes, and catches everything in sight. He
when the Bears drafted him with the #4 overall pick. Benson         demonstrated his ability to stretch the defense with a deep
will use the preseason to try and prove that he can be effective    catch down the middle, but also showed he could be a reliable
in the passing game (both catching and blocking) and to             check down option for Grossman, as well. The Bears may
answer questions that remain about his durability. When asked       have one of the best receiving tandems in the league and that
what the area he most wanted to improve this year was,              could pose some matchup nightmares for opposing defenses
Benson joked, “Probably not taking so many hits.” Although          this year.
Jones was productive as the starter, Benson could be a better
fit for Ron Turner’s power offense. “He’s got really good           Defense: The biggest story surrounding the Bears defense was
vision and great acceleration to the hole,” Turner said. “He has    the signing of All Pro LB Lance Briggs. In exchange for the
a real good feel for being patient and setting up the blocks and    Bears promising not to use the franchise tag on him again next
then hitting it.” Benson had a strong start to training camp and    offseason, Briggs agreed to sign the 1-year franchise tender,
could be poised for a big season if he can stay healthy.            thus keeping the league’s best defense intact for at least one
                                                                    more season. The Bears also prevented their starting two CBs
The backup job belongs to incumbent Adrian Peterson who             from becoming free agents a year from now by locking them
has been around the team for a few years and has always been        both up to long-term extensions. Charles Tillman signed a 6-
productive when given a chance to play. Peterson is a good          year, $38 million contract extension with $18 million
all-around back who could easily step into the starting lineup      guaranteed and Nathan Vasher signed a 5-year, $28 million
if needed. He’s also a reliable blocker and a good receiver         contract with $14 million guaranteed. When combined with
who should get first crack at a 3rd down role, but he’ll likely     nickel CB Ricky Manning Jr.’s 5-year, $21 million deal last
be pushed in training camp by rookie Garrett Wolfe. Wolfe is        year, the Bears have basically locked up their top-3 CBs for
small at just 5’7”, but the Bears drafted him with the idea that    the next four seasons. Some of the situations to watch in
he could be a threat in the passing game and as a change-of-        training camp are how SS Adam Archuleta adapts to the Bears
pace runner. “Garrett gives us a different flavor back there,”      defense after being benched in Washington last year, the
running backs coach Tim Spencer said. “He's not the big,            health of FS Mike Brown, and the play of 2 nd year DE Mark
power run-you-over-type of guy. But he's stronger and more          Anderson who is taking over the starting right end job from
physical than what people think. If people want to make light       veteran Alex Brown. The Bears also made a move to solidify
of his size, they'll be surprised. He's tough as nails. He gets     the interior of their defensive line when they acquired
good leverage, obviously, because of his size. That will help       disgruntled DT Darwin Walker from the Bills for an
him block.”                                                         undisclosed draft pick. He’ll likely be a big part of the
                                                                    defensive tackle rotation and provide some insurance behind
                                                                    Tommie Harris.
Special Teams: The key special teams’ starters for the Bears     season will carry over into 2007. Veteran Doug Johnson is
are set. Robbie Gould returns as the reigning top scoring        secure in the backup role this year, with fifth round draft pick
kicker in the league. He’s been working during the offseason     Jeff Rowe likely to be brought along slowly for the future.
on his kickoffs and onside kicks. Nick Novak will provide the
most experienced camp leg in the NFL. He has played for          RB: Rudi Johnson again looks trim and ready to assume the
Washington and Arizona in regular season games. On kickoff       bulk of the rushing duties in 2007. The Bengals coaching staff
and punt returns, everybody knows and wants to emulate           would like to see Johnson break some longer runs, however,
Devin Hester. The Bears know that opposing teams will be         and the team drafted Auburn running back Kenny Irons to
trying to kick away from Hester. The Colts reminded the          provide the change of pace back they have been looking for
league how important that is in the Super Bowl. Chicago is       since selecting Chris Perry in the first round of the 2004 draft.
looking at lining up a second player deep on kickoffs, so that   Irons has already impressed RB coach Jim Anderson with his
Hester isn't running laterally to chase down balls when          willingness to improve, staying after practice to work on
opposing teams kick away from him. FS Danieal Manning            technique. Anderson singled out Irons, saying, “He wants to
was used in that role during minicamps, and WR Rashied           be good.” Irons will compete for third down snaps with
Davis is the other contender for that duty. On punt returns,     veteran Kenny Watson, who has been a valued special teams
WR Bernard Berrian and Rashied Davis have been practicing        contributor. Perry was placed on the Active/PUP list and is
in addition to Devin Hester.                                     expected to remain on the PUP list when camp ends as he
                                                                 continues to recover from a broken leg suffered during the
Bears Depth Chart                                                2006 season. While Rudi Johnson came to camp in shape,
QB: Rex Grossman, Brian Griese, Kyle Orton, Chris Leak           talented fullback Jeremi Johnson found himself on the
RB: Cedric Benson (inj), Adrian Peterson, Garrett Wolfe, Josh    Active/PUP list. The coaching staff listed the cause as
Allen                                                            “unknown” but team insiders believe that Johnson was placed
FB: Jason McKie, Obafemi Ayanbedejo, Jon Goldsberry              on the list after showing up to camp overweight. Johnson is a
WR: Muhsin Muhammad, Bernard Berrian, Mark Bradley,              vital part of the Bengals’ two back sets and goal line packages
Rashied Davis (PR), Devin Hester (KR/PR), Mike Hass, Dave        and had received Pro Bowl consideration in each of the past
Ball, Brandon Rideau, Drisan James, Timon Marshall, Clinton      two seasons. He is unlikely to be allowed to practice until his
Solomon                                                          conditioning improves.
TE: Desmond Clark, Greg Olsen, John Gilmore, Fontel
Mines, Brett Pierce                                              WR: Chad Johnson has been clicking with Carson Palmer
K: Robbie Gould, Nick Novak                                      early in camp, competing hard with cornerback Deltha O’Neal
DT: Tommie Harris (inj), Darwin Walker, Dusty Dvoracek           and keeping the 11-on-11 drills lively. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
(NT), Anthony Adams, Antonio Garay, Tory Collins                 should again provide a stable, veteran presence working the
DE: Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson, Alex Brown, Dan             middle of the field from the slot. With deep and red zone
Bazuin, Israel Idonije (DT), Copeland Bryan, Chris Frome         threat Chris Henry suspended for the first eight games of the
MLB: Brian Urlacher                                              regular season under the new tough conduct policy, the team is
OLB: Lance Briggs (W), Hunter Hillenmeyer (S/M), Michael         looking for one of a number of candidates to step up and grab
Okwo (W), Jamar Williams (W), Brendon Ayanbadejo (S),            the outside receiver spot in the three wide receiver package.
Leon Joe (W), Darrell McClover, Rod Wilson, Danny Verdun-        Now recovered from a severe hip injury suffered early in
Wheeler                                                          2006, third year player Tab Perry may have the inside track.
CB: Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher, Ricky Manning, Dante         Perry had a better 40-time in the Scouting Combine than
Wesley, Corey Graham, Trumaine McBride, Tim Mixon, Greg          Henry and showed flashes of being a physical option in the red
Fassitt                                                          zone in limited time last year. Antonio Chatman could also
S: Mike Brown (FS/SS), Adam Archuleta (SS), Danieal              see time as a downfield threat but is already missing practice
Manning (FS/CB), Chris Harris (FS), Brandon McGowan              with a hamstring injury. Glenn Holt, Bennie Brazell and
(SS), Kevin Payne, Tyler Everett (SS), Jay Staggs, Andrew        Reggie McNeal will also battle for snaps during the preseason.
                                                                 TE: While veteran Reggie Kelly is only a rare contributor to
                                                                 the Bengals passing attack, he is a vital part of the run
                                                                 blocking scheme. The Bengals rewarded him with a generous
                                                                 contract this offseason to keep him from other potential
Cincinnati Bengals                                               suitors. Although the team was able to keep Kelly, their
                                                                 valuable backup Tony Stewart signed with Oakland. The loss
QB: Unlike 2006, the Bengals open camp comfortable that          of Stewart could be significant because there are no
their star quarterback, Carson Palmer, is healthy. Palmer, now   experienced options on the roster behind Kelly. College free
18 months removed from the torn ACL he suffered in the 2005      agent signee Daniel Coats may have an early leg up on the
playoffs, has looked sharp during the first practices of camp.   backup role but is unlikely to become a reliable option in the
"It's comforting to know that I am confident in my knee and it   passing game.
can withstand whatever is thrown at it," said Palmer. "I don't
have to worry about the rehab and all the stuff I had to worry   Defense: The Bengals defense continues to lag behind its
about last year." Palmer and Chad Johnson have been              high-powered offensive counterpart. After another
connecting regularly on timing routes thus far, reassuring the   inconsistent season against both the run and the pass, the
offensive coaches that Palmer’s second half improvement last
Bengals could have four new starters on defense. Second year      Johnson (W/S), Andre Frazier, Eric Henderson, Matt Muncy,
players LB Ahmad Brooks, CB Johnathan Joseph and DT               Cameron Siskowic, David Pollack (IR)
Domata Peko are all atop the depth chart at their respective      CB: Johnathan Joseph, Deltha O'Neal, Leon Hall, Keiwan
positions. Brooks had a very impressive offseason, solidifying    Ratliff (PR), Blue Adams, Brandon Williams, T.J. Wright
his hold on the MLB position after fading late in 2006. He has    S: Madieu Williams (FS), Dexter Jackson (SS), Marvin White
been praised by the defensive coaches for his attention to        (SS), Chinedum Ndukwe, Herena-Daze Jones (SS), Ethan
detail in the early days of camp and has shown some big play      Kilmer (FS), John Busing (SS)
ability during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Since the league
denied the reinstatement application of former MLB Odell
Thurman, Brooks will be given every chance to become the
face of the Cincinnati defense. Joseph is recovering from a
foot injury suffered during OTAs but is on schedule and           Cleveland Browns
should start the season at one corner position. Deltha O’Neal
disappointed last season but early signs suggest he may return    QB: The competition at quarterback is clearly the main
to his former Pro Bowl form in his contract year. Should          storyline as camp begins. First round draftee Brady Quinn has
O’Neal remain inconsistent, first round draftee Leon Hall and     yet to sign a contract, while veterans Charlie Frye and Derek
veteran Keiwan Ratliff could steal snaps. Peko had an             Anderson begin camp as QB1 and QB1a. Frye opened camp
impressive rookie season as a rotational player and assumes a     with a “leg up” in the competition according the Browns’ head
starting defensive tackle role after the team released Sam        coach Romeo Crennel and was getting the bulk of the first
Adams, who disappointed as a run stuffer last year. The most      team reps during opening weekend. Derek Anderson isn’t far
intriguing camp battle to watch outside of the corner             behind, however, and could overtake Frye depending on how
competition will be at WLB, where free agent signee Ed            each performs as the preseason progresses. While Quinn
Hartwell will need to prove his knees are healthy to earn snaps   wasn’t expected to be the Week 1 starting quarterback, he isn’t
on rushing downs ahead of underrated veteran Landon               doing himself any favors by holding out. Cleveland General
Johnson.                                                          Manager Phil Savage didn’t pull any punches as camp started,
                                                                  saying, “With every day that passes, it eliminates some of that
Special Teams: Kicker Shayne Graham, holder Kyle Larson           [starting] chance. I would say that coming into this training
and long snapper Brad St. Louis have been working to perfect      camp, for Brady [Quinn] to win the job; he was going to have
their teamwork on kicks. Two late season big misses last year     to perform at a level that was clearly better than Charlie
put them under the proverbial microscope. There is currently      [Frye], Derek [Anderson] and Ken [Dorsey].” It will be
no camp leg on the Bengals’ roster, so Graham will be doing       interesting to see how Crennel splits the camp reps when
all the kicking in camp. Cincinnati lost both their starting      Quinn finally signs to give each enough time to sort out the
returners to injury early last year; WR Tab Perry on kickoffs     competition and get the starter sharp for the regular season.
and WR Antonio Chatman on punts. Perry will compete to
regain his job against WR Glenn Holt, the guy that eventually     RB: Unlike the uncertainty under center, the starting running
replaced him last year. Chatman should be the punt returner,      back position clearly belongs to Jamal Lewis, who changes
although he tweaked a hamstring in practice last Friday. A        uniforms but stays in the same division after leaving the
dark horse candidate for both jobs is WR Skyler Green. He did     Baltimore Ravens for the Cleveland in free agency. Lewis
very well on returns in college at LSU, but struggled in his      will carry the bulk of the load as the Browns look to establish
first year in the NFL with Dallas last year.                      a smash mouth running game behind what they hope will be a
                                                                  much healthier offensive line this season. Lewis has already
Bengals Depth Chart                                               showed signs of fulfilling the promise the team holds for him,
QB: Carson Palmer, Doug Johnson, Jeff Rowe, Jeff Smith            impressing new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski with a
RB: Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson (3RB), Kenny Irons, Chris          quick burst, sharp cutting ability and breakaway speed on at
Perry (PUP), Quincy Wilson, Dan Burks                             least one occasion during the opening practice. With Reuben
FB: Jeremi Johnson, Chris Manderino, Stan White                   Droughns shipped to the New York Giants for WR Tim
WR: Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry                Carter, Jason Wright and Jerome Harrison will compete for
(susp), Tab Perry, Antonio Chatman, Reggie McNeal (QB),           the few snaps needed to spell Lewis. Wright showed flashes
Glenn Holt, Benny Brazell, Skyler Green, Tony Kays, Jesse         of potential last season and Harrison impressed the coaching
Holley                                                            staff as a rookie in 2006. Both are inexperienced, however,
TE: Reggie Kelly, Bobby Blizzard (inj), Tim Day, Daniel           with less than 100 career carries between them.
Coats, Sean Mulcahy (inj)
K: Shayne Graham                                                  WR: Braylon Edwards and Joe Jurevicius return as the
DT: John Thornton, Domata Peko, Michael Myers, Kenderick          starting wide receivers. Edwards, now two years removed
Allen, Matt Toeaina                                               from ACL surgery, could be ready to breakout in his third
DE: Justin Smith, Bryan Robinson (DT), Robert Geathers,           season. "I believe I have some movement now that I wasn't
Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Fanene, Xzavie Jackson, Jimmy            necessarily able to do 100 percent last year," Edwards said, "I
Verdon, Bryan Andrews                                             believe my stride length has increased and I believe I'll be a
MLB: Ahmad Brooks (M/S), Caleb Miller (W/M), Earl                 better player than I was last year.” Questions linger about his
Everett, Odell Thurman (susp)                                     maturity level, however, after he missed a voluntary workout
OLB: Rashad Jeanty (S), Ed Hartwell (W/M), Landon                 in May and was briefly demoted to the third team. An early
decision on the starting quarterback competition would benefit      hands on the ball and get a little space, they're gonna make
Edwards, especially if rookie Brady Quinn somehow forces            something happen."
his way into the first team huddle. Jurevicius should provide a
steady option opposite Edwards, but the Browns are paper thin       Browns Depth Chart
behind the starting duo. Second year man Travis Wilson,             QB: Charlie Frye, Brady Quinn, Derek Anderson, Ken Dorsey
special teams ace Joshua Cribbs and oft-injured Tim Carter          RB: Jamal Lewis, Jason Wright, Jerome Harrison (3RB),
will battle for snaps as the third wide receiver. While tight       Chris Barclay, Jerome Jackson
end Kellen Winslow gives the Browns another talented option         FB: Lawrence Vickers, J.R. Niklos, Charles Ali
in the passing game, the team would feel more comfortable if        WR: Braylon Edwards, Joe Jurevicius, Travis Wilson, Josh
at least one additional wide receiver emerges by camp’s end.        Cribbs (KR/PR), Tim Carter, Syndric Steptoe, Maurice Mann,
                                                                    Kendrick Mosley, Steve Sanders, Efrem Hill, Mike Mason
TE: After a very brief stint on the active/PUP list, Kellen         TE: Kellen Winslow Jr (PUP), Steve Heiden, Darnell Dinkins,
Winslow, Jr. passed a physical in time to join the team for the     Ryan Krause, Buck Ortega
first practice of camp and was warmly welcomed by the               K: Phil Dawson, Jesse Ainsworth
Browns’ faithful. Winslow will likely be held out of a number       NT: Ted Washington, Shaun Smith, Ethan Kelley, J'Vonne
of workouts in the early stages as he recovers from                 Parker, Babatunda Oshinowo, Alvin Smith
microfracture surgery on his knee, but says his knee is sound.      DE: Robaire Smith, Orpheus Roye (inj), Chase Pittman,
“I’m not thinking about the knee, not at all,” said Winslow.        Melila Purcell, Simon Fraser, Orien Harris, Justin Frick
“Maybe a little bit after the play, but I’m just glad to be back.   ILB: Andra Davis (L), DQwell Jackson (R), Chaun
I’m going to do whatever to help the team win.” Winslow             Thompson (R), Leon Williams (L), Mason Unck
also referred to new offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski as        OLB: Kamerion Wimbley (S/DE), Willie McGinest (S/DE),
a “genius,” and expects to have a major role in the offense this    Antwan Peek, Matt Stewart (S), David McMillan (W), Jason
season. Veteran Steve Heiden and free agent signee Darnell          Short, Kris Griffin, Clifton Smith
Dinkins won’t provide any of the big play potential that            CB: Leigh Bodden, Gary Baxter (PUP), Eric Wright, Kenny
Winslow offers, but should be a solid blocking duo and both         Wright, Daven Holly, Brandon McDonald, Jereme Perry,
could be goal line options if needed.                               Therrian Fontenot
                                                                    S: Sean Jones (SS), Brodney Pool (FS), Justin Hamilton (FS),
Defense: While there were no major additions in free agency,        Mike Adams (FS), DeMario Minter (FS), Jeremy Lasueur,
the Browns will likely have three new starters on defense on        Justin Sandy
opening weekend. Rookie DB Eric Wright is signed and in
camp. Although he slid to the second round due to character
concerns, Wright has excellent cover skills and will be given
every opportunity to beat out Kenny Wright and Daven Holly
to start opposite Leigh Bodden at corner. Third year man            Dallas Cowboys
Brodney Pool finally gets his chance in the starting lineup at
free safety after veteran Brian Russell moved on in free            QB: Tony Romo enters training camp as the starter for the
agency. The defensive line will also see a new starter as           first time, and feels great about things. He’s looked sharp in
veteran Robaire Smith takes over for the departed Alvin             the first few days of practice, displaying the same quick
McKinley at one end. The Browns also expect new additions           release that led to his surprising Pro Bowl appearance last year
Shaun Smith (NT) and Antwan Peek (OLB) to have                      as a mid-season replacement for Drew Bledsoe. Owner and
significant roles as rotational players. In addition to the new     general manager Jerry Jones was on NFL Network this week
faces, the defensive coaches will also be closely watching          discussing expectations for the 2007 season. He made it clear
cornerback Gary Baxter, who is expected to be cleared for           that he would like to see Romo guide the team deep into the
practice soon after an amazingly smooth recovery from tearing       playoffs and, if he does, Jones would then be willing to
both patellar tendons last season, and linebacker Leon              compensate Romo with a long-term extension that is
Williams, who was impressive as an injury fill-in late last         commensurate with today’s highest paid franchise QBs. Brad
season and could push D’Qwell Jackson for playing time              Johnson lost his job as the Vikings starter because of his
inside.                                                             inability to avoid the pass rush, and that same problem has
                                                                    been evident in Big D. Johnson was sacked on the first play of
Special Teams: Kicker Phil Dawson looks to regain his               consecutive scrimmages, and has been brought down far too
accuracy, after struggling last year. He spent the offseason        often for the team’s liking.
working on details of his technique. Undrafted rookie Jesse
Ainsworth from Arizona State will provide the camp leg. The         RB: The Cowboys have an embarrassment of riches at
Browns are set with one of the top kickoff returners, WR            running back with a 1,000-yard rusher (Julius Jones) and a 14-
Joshua Cribbs. The punt returner role has a vacancy with the        TD powerhouse (Marion Barber) splitting time in the
departure of Dennis Northcutt. Cribbs will be given the first       backfield. Although Barber was the more productive back in
shot at the job, although he had mixed results when he filled in    early every category last year, don’t expect much to change
briefly last year. The two primary challengers are both drafted     under the new coaching regime. The Cowboys retained Tony
rookies, WR Syndric Steptoe and CB Brandon McDonald.                Sparano, the running game coordinator under Parcells, and he
Special teams coordinator Ted Daisher noted, “They get their        will likely keep things much the same as they were last year.
                                                                    Coach Phillips sees no downside to using both regularly.
"Julius is kind of a slasher, movement guy, and Marion kind            clear emphasis on disrupting the quarterback in the first few
of skips into it and goes," Phillips said. "Their styles are a         days of camp. The new attacking scheme is expected to turn
little different, and certainly, their body types are different.       DeMarcus Ware into a full-fledged defensive star, and if the
But they both have good vision, and they both catch the ball,          first few days of practice are any indication, expectations are
so we're going to try to utilize them both."We will probably           well founded. "This defense allows me to do what I do best
see more use of a true fullback this year, something that Julius       and that's get to the quarterback," Ware said. "I want to be a
Jones welcomes. "I like having the fullback back there," Jones         well-rounded player. That's one of my goals this year is to be
said. "I know who he's supposed to block so I know what to             more of a complete player. And that means getting better in
expect from him. Oliver and Lousaka are always going to get            coverage and my drops. But the main thing I still do in this
it done so I feel comfortable behind them. It just feels better to     defense is pass rush. So that's why I like it. It's going to allow
have a fullback back there." Jerry Jones was pleased with what         us to make more plays and attack." DE/LB Greg Ellis remains
he’s seen of his runners thus far. “I’m pleased with some              unhappy with his contract situation, although the team doesn’t
things, especially our running backs,” Jones said. “Julius and         appear willing to part ways with him. CB Anthony Henry
Marion [have picked up where they left off last year, and              looks nothing like the inconsistent player who seemed ill fitted
Tyson is very fast.”                                                   to his role last season. He’s been playing a physical brand of
                                                                       football and has an impressive number of interceptions and
WR: Terrell Owens is a happy camper, literally. For a guy              near-interceptions through the first few days of practice. Ken
who led the league in TDs last year, you would think the team          Hamlin, added to give the secondary a more reliable deep
completely failed to throw to him a season ago. But the truth          protector, has looked the part; which can only make Roy
is, Owens felt he was underutilized last season because the            Williams better as he focuses on playing in the box. At
Cowboys always used him in the same role, regardless of                linebacker, Bradie James has been making tackles all over the
down and distance. Owens is excited about being used all over          field whereas Bobby Carpenter has been inconsistent. He
the field this year, including lining up in the slot when              made a few plays of note including a middle blitz that took
appropriate. "I think I'm going to do whatever I can to be             down Tony Romo; but he’s been a liability in coverage and
productive in the offense. Obviously with Coach (Jason)                stiff from sideline to sideline.
Garrett, he knows my strengths and weaknesses and he's going
to do whatever I can to help the team. I had a chance to do that       Special Teams: Heading into camp, the popular consensus
last year. We just didn't get around to doing it." The other           was that incumbent kicker Martin Gramatica would keep his
projected starter, Terry Glenn, had a setback in the first week        job, and that sixth round draft pick Nick Folk might challenge
of camp. After being held out of practice for precautionary            for a roster spot as a kickoff specialist. Early results in camp
reasons, Glenn ultimately underwent arthroscopic surgery and           have shown Folk to be stronger on kickoffs as expected. Both
will be out for a few weeks. Wade Phillips doesn’t seem                players were doing well on field goals until Saturday’s
overly concerned, “Terry Glenn can run the routes. He knows            practice. Folk continued to do well, hitting 5 of 5, with a long
the offense pretty well already and when he comes back I               of 51 yards. Gramatica struggled however, hitting only 2 of 6
think he will fall right in and it won't be a drop off at all for an   attempts. Also up for grabs is the holder job, after Tony
experienced guy." While Glenn rehabs, the Cowboys have a               Romo’s infamous conclusion to last season. Backup QB Brad
chance to see what Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd can do                 Johnson and punter Mat McBriar are the two contenders for
running with the first team offense. Hurd, who officially backs        the job. The kickoff returner role will test the age old question
up T.O., is excited about the chance to strut his stuff. "Oh I'm       of whether one can lose their job due to injury. RB Tyson
ready to move up, I'm ready to be No. 1," he said. "But I've           Thompson was a very solid returner before breaking his ankle
always got to stay humble. The only thing I can do is go out           last October. WR Miles Austin stepped in and did just as well,
there and show what I can do. When it's my time it's my time,          and enhanced his chances with a TD in the Wild Card game.
but I'm very patient."                                                 CB Terence Newman should once again be the primary punt
                                                                       returner. WR Patrick Crayton, WR Jamaica Rector, CB
TE: Jason Witten is Mr. Reliable and will again patrol the             Quincy Butler and CB Aaron Glenn have also been practicing
middle and use his route-running ability to beat linebackers           on punt returns. The team also wants to take a look at rookie
deep. The Pro Bowler knows that the Cowboys will be even               WR Isaiah Stanback in that role.
better if his backup, Anthony Fasano, can be successfully
worked into the offense. New offensive coordinator Jason               Cowboys Depth Chart
Garrett likes what he sees of the 2nd year TE out of Notre             QB: Tony Romo, Brad Johnson, Matt Moore, Richard Bartel
Dame. "He can play both," Garrett said. "We can interchange            RB: Julius Jones, Marion Barber III (3RB/SD), Tyson
him as the "F" (fullback) and as the "Y" (line of scrimmage)           Thompson (inj), Jackie Battle, Alonzo Coleman
by play, and it's a stress on him mentally, but he's handling it.      FB: Lousaka Polite, Deon Anderson, Oliver Hoyte
He's a really good athlete and he can catch and he's tough so          WR: Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn (inj), Patrick Crayton, Sam
he can go from being that skillful pass receiver to that online        Hurd, Jamaica Rector (PR), Isaiah Stanback, Miles Austin,
blocker or that lead blocker as a fullback."                           Jerheme Urban, Jamel Richardson, Jerard Rabb, Mike
Defense: The team will continue to use a 3-4 defensive front           TE: Jason Witten, Anthony Fasano, Adam Bergen, Tony
under new head coach Wade Phillips, but it will look much              Curtis, Andy Thorn, Rodney Hannah
different than the version Bill Parcells endorsed. Phillips            K: Nick Folk, Martin Gramatica
believes in attacking from all positions, and there has been a         NT: Jason Ferguson, Montavious Stanley, Ola Dagunduro,
Remi Ayodele                                                       So, a two-back rotation? I guess I don't see it." Shanahan said,
DE: Marcus Spears, Chris Canty, Jay Ratliff, Jason Hatcher,        “It's up to the guy. If a guy is that productive, putting up those
Stephen Bowen, Marcus Smith                                        kinds of numbers and you're having success, there is no reason
ILB: Bradie James (M), Akinola Ayodele (S), Bobby                  to use two backs. If he doesn't have that type of ability, that
Carpenter (S/I)                                                    type of talent, then you switch them off to keep both guys
OLB: Demarcus Ware (W), Greg Ellis (S)(inj), Anthony               healthy and be productive." Henry recorded six 100-yard
Spencer (S), Kevin Burnett (S/I), Junior Glymph, Dedrick           games last season for an 8-8 Titans team. "Coach Shanahan
Harrington, Blair Phillips, Alex Obomese, John Saldi               has been watching me since I've been in the league, he knows
CB: Terance Newman, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Alan               what type of back I am," Henry said. "I think that's why he got
Ball, Courtney Brown, Jacques Reeves, Nathan Jones, Quincy         me here. I think he pretty much knows my game and what I'm
Butler, Joey Thomas                                                about." Henry signed a 5-year deal getting $12 million in
S: Roy Williams (SS), Ken Hamlin (FS), Keith Davis (SS),           guaranteed money from the Broncos. On the first day of
Pat Watkins (FS), Damarius Bilbo, Abram Elam, Jasper               practice, Henry showed why he’s a PERFECT fit for the
Johnson                                                            Broncos system. Henry showed tremendous cutback ability
                                                                   and several times made the key moves that had defenders out
                                                                   of position. Linebacker DJ Williams even got yelled at twice
Denver Broncos                                                     in a row. Henry showed no problems catching the ball
                                                                   naturally. Henry’s burst was prevalent and he followed
QB: Expectations are high for 2nd year QB Jay Cutler. After        through nicely on all of his runs. He looked a little winded on
throwing 2 TDs in his first four starts as a rookie the            a few plays, but maybe that was due to the altitude. Here’s
expectations were set and they are even higher heading into        what Henry had to say after practice, “I feel like I am in the
this season. "Yeah, I've heard if I play well, the team's going    best shape of my career. I’m healthy, and I feel like this team
to do well, and if I play badly, the team's going to do badly.     is special. We are here now just getting better and trying to gel
How I go is how the team goes," Cutler said. "I think that's a     together. OTAs have helped me out a lot. It’s just going back
little ridiculous. I mean, I don't think I have to throw for 300   over everything. Right now, everything is going really well for
yards every game for us to win football games. I need to           me. I just have to get used to my players. Once we put the
manage the game and limit turnovers. I think our running           pads on and I get a feel of what these guys can do, it will all be
game and our defense will be enough for us to put up enough        first hand. Getting used to the individual players and knowing
points." On the first day of camp, Cutler looked calm, cool,       how they block will help me get better.”
and collected according to our own Cecil Lammey, who was
in attendance. Cutler threw with plenty of zip, showing            Cecil Sapp is running #2 and he ran with some zeal, too.
supreme confidence in his arm. He also threw with accuracy.        Suffice to say, he won’t be giving up the RB2 job without a
On one play, from their own 40-yard line, Cutler did a 5-step      fight. Sapp, generally more of a run-you-over type, mixed in a
drop and slung it down field to David Kircus who was running       couple of spin moves, but still delivered some shots to d-backs
a post. It first appeared that Cutler was throwing into            who got a little too close. Cecil Lammey described Sapp’s
coverage, with safety help over the top, but the pass was          play as “feisty”. That’s definitely not a bad thing. Sapp was
plenty deep and Kircus skied for the ball above two defenders      effective between the tackles; he showed good hands and
for the touchdown. If the first day is any indication, the         dropped just one pass. Sapp also adds value because he can
bootleg is back. Cutler had the defense biting on that a couple    play FB and contribute on special teams. Mike Bell changed
of times. He looked good running the boot, so watch the            numbers during the offseason. While that might be considered
Broncos throw that play in when teams least expect it.             blasphemous in some circles, Bell donned the #30 jersey in
                                                                   practice. Maybe that’s what had Bell all fired up. According to
Patrick Ramsey was not as impressive, just okay. His passes        our Cecil Lammey, Bell ran with “a TON of burst”, more than
looked good, but too often he was off the mark or behind his       he showed last year. Bell worked hard during the offseason
receivers. It didn’t help that he held onto the ball too long      and it’s apparently paying off. Bell ran with good power, but
either. And when the play broke down he “tried” to scramble,       still seemed to be thinking too much instead of just playing.
but Vince Young he is not. Darrell Hackney looks like a mini-      Regardless, Bell will put up a good fight for that #2 spot.
Donovan McNabb. Except that he’s not that good of a QB.
He’s a scrambler – very athletic, and his arm is an absolute       Andre Hall and undrafted rookie free agent Selvin Young are
CANNON. His accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, however           also in the mix for a roster spot. Hall spent time on the
the buzz around him was pretty good, and the Broncos could         practice squad last year after stints in Chicago and Tampa.
keep him as their 3rd QB – or put him on the PS for some           According to Lammey, Hall was vastly improved since the
seasoning. Preston Parsons is a good guy, but just a camp arm.     last time we saw him. Here’s Cecil’s take on Hall: “He is a
No more, no less.                                                  completely different type of runner from the other Broncos
                                                                   RBs. He has explosion, quickness, vision, and instincts. The
RB: If Travis Henry has it his way, he’ll get the rock as much     one thing that he does have (and what makes him so different)
as he possibly can this year. “Me, personally, I'm from the old    is the fact that he is really, really shifty. It’s hard to get a bead
school," Henry said. "From watching Emmitt Smith, Barry            to tackle this kid. He is elusive in the open field and looked
Sanders, Walter Payton, all those guys, it was one back. That's    very determined out there. He’ll make the team, (coaches have
it. One guy got the ball. It's good to have the backup in case     been raving about him on the PS), and he’ll contribute in some
something goes wrong, but as far as rotating during the game,      way if he continues to play this way.” Young was a
that takes away from a premier back trying to get in a rhythm.     disappointment. He appeared to be lost, missed his cutback
lanes and sometimes just opted for less years. His balance          passes from Preston Parsons. Cutler was already looking to
seemed to be off, too. Three times he got into the 2 nd level of    Graham early and often. When plays would break down, Jay
the defense only to fall forward with a bit too much body lean.     would flick the ball to Graham (the guy knows how to get
At this rate, Young will be hard pressed to make the team.          open). A fantastic day from this guy.” Stephen Alexander
                                                                    made several good catches this week. He’s a solid veteran that
WR: Rod Smith is on the PUP list and he could remain there          seems to have shaken the injury bug that hampered him earlier
for most, if not all, of training camp as he continues to recover   in his career.
from hip surgery. He still isn’t running. "I'd like to get him
ready for the last preseason game, that's my goal, but I don't      Defense: First round pick DE Jarvis Moss signed a 5-year deal
want to push him too hard, I want to make sure he's ready.          on Saturday morning allowing the Broncos to have all four of
Rod is smart enough to understand that this is a process that's     their draft picks on the field for their first practice. Safety Sam
going to take some time. His body will tell him what he can         Brandon was released after failing a physical. He’s recovering
do," Shanahan said. He later added, “Rod is here, he is in our      from torn ACL in November 2006. LB Eddie Moore failed his
meetings. Obviously he is not out there on the field, but I am      physical and was waived, but he may return in 6-to-8 weeks
glad he is taking care of himself. Rod is such a tough guy; he      following minor knee surgery. That move should strengthen
played last year with an injury when he probably shouldn’t          Warrick Holdman’s place in the battle to start on the strong-
have. He is doing what he can to make sure he is out on the         side. DC Jim Bates said he’ll take a look at several players,
field and very healthy. I hope we can have him back for the         but Holdman is probably the best bet. Defensive players that
third preseason game. Rod will come back and play extremely         stood out in camp to “Big Mex” Lammey? Look no further
well for us.” Brandon Stokley and Domenik Hixon are                 than Marcus Thomas. Lammey called Thomas a “BEAST”,
benefiting from the absence of Smith and Brandon Marshall           adding that he leveled Greg Elsinger in one-on-one drills. If
(short-term). Marshall, expected to start opposite Javon            Thomas stays out of trouble the Broncos have a steal. When
Walker, was placed on the PUP list with a quad injury. He’s         Thomas took the field at the beginning of practice he did so
not expected to miss more than a few days. It’s a good thing        with a running cartwheel and a backflip. Shanahan commented
Javon Walker is a stud, as Lammey puts it. “The Broncos have        on Thomas’ gymnastics abilities: “I actually saw it in college
no worries with #84. He was making great catch after great          once and when he did his workouts for the pro scouts. A lot of
catch all day long. He seemed to have a spark in his step that      his coaches were there. During that time, he started his
he didn’t have last year. Javon seems motivated by many             workouts doing that so I had kind of anticipated it. Most of our
factors this season. He is rocking the “fro-hawk” in honor of       players never see that, so they are a little bit surprised. He did
deceased former teammate Darrent Williams. Both Williams            a round off and a back flip, not many guys can do that at 325
and Damien Nash’s numbers are on the back of Broncos                pounds.”
                                                                    Sam Adams practiced, and he’s as big as ever, but he didn’t
Brandon Stokley is a dark horse for the #2 role opposite of         appear to be huffing too much. Jarvis Moss looked tentative.
Javon Walker. The news on Brandon Marshall varies                   He’s slender, and needs to be more instinctive, but nothing to
depending on who you talk to. Some people say he’ll be out          worry about early on. LB D.J. Williams was chided by
just a few days, others say that he could miss over half of         coaches twice for being out of position. Newcomer Dre’ Bly
training camp – and maybe more. The buzz around Marshall            got a chance to do some showboating, too. Bly made one
was not good, as many people feel that while talented,              catch in drill that was over-and-behind his head that was
Marshall may never put it together to be a consistent WR in         amazing. Champ Bailey welcomes Bly’s aggressiveness to the
the NFL. Backup David Kircus started out cold. He was               mix, saying it should open up things for him, “Definitely. I
dropping many easy passes during drills. However, when he           have to get more than last year. I can’t really get less. With
and Cutler hooked up for a deep TD, something just clicked.         Dre (Bly) on the other side, we’re going to make plays. Last
After that Kircus seemed to be pumped up and was making             year, I picked about a third of the balls. Some quarterbacks
catches all over the field. He’ll have to show more                 don’t care. There are a lot of young quarterbacks that think
consistency, but with Marshall’s injury this WR corps is wide       they can do it, so I’m all for it. I’m not going to say anything
open. Domenik Hixon had a good first day. He is a different         during the week about them not throwing it over there.”
receiver from the other guys out there. He seems to have great
speed, and is a bigger receiver. He’s not a polished route          Special Teams: Kicker Jason Elam is back for yet another run
runner, but his hands are easily above average. He seems to         at a top ten scoring finish. He’ll share the workload during
have good run after the catch ability. David Terrell made some      preseason with camp leg Brandon Pace, an undrafted rookie
good plays, but is not a favorite among teammates and               out of Virginia Tech. After struggling for several years to find
probably won’t make the team. Veteran Quincy Morgan made            a kickoff returner, the Broncos finally got some decent results
some nice catches in practice this week.                            from WR Quincy Morgan the latter part of last year. He’s not
                                                                    a lock however to retain that job this year. WR Domenik
TE: Tony Scheffler, who fractured his foot during May’s             Hixon was candidate with lots of potential last year; however
minicamp, was placed on the PUP, but didn’t expect to be out        he never got the chance to play due to a broken foot. He’ll
for long (days). Scheffler will have to play catch-up to            compete with Morgan for kickoff returns and is the early
projected starter Daniel Graham, who has looked brilliant in        favorite to replace Darrent Williams on punt returns. While
camp so far. On the first day, Cecil reports that Graham did        many teams have a dark horse candidate on returns, Denver
not drop a pass all day. “He was even catching God-awful            actually has two. Undrafted rookies RB Selvin Young (Texas)
and WR Marquay McDaniel (Hampton) both fared well on                   believe there is a 50-50 chance that Jones will be ready for
returns in college, and should get a look during preseason.            Week One. In April, Tatum Bell was traded to the Lions for
                                                                       insurance in case Kevin Jones misses significant playing time
Broncos Depth Chart                                                    because of his injury. Bell rushed for over 1,000 yards for the
QB: Jay Cutler, Patrick Ramsey, Preston Parsons, Darrell               Broncos in 2006 but fell out of favor because of his propensity
Hackney                                                                to fumble at inopportune times. OC Mike Martz said that Bell
RB: Travis Henry, Cecil Sapp, Mike Bell, Andre Hall, Selvin            possesses the "wow" factor. "The ball all of a sudden is out of
Young                                                                  there, and it's in the end zone," Martz said. "And you don't
FB: Kyle Johnson, Paul Smith, Troy Fleming                             know how he did it." The Lions signed T.J. Duckett, 26, to a
WR: Javon Walker, Brandon Marshall, Rod Smith (inj),                   free-agent contract. He reported to camp in perhaps the best
Brandon Stokley, Domenik Hixon (KR), David Kircus,                     shape of his life. The Lions scored touchdowns on just 40
Quincy Morgan, David Terrell, Brian Clark, Glenn Martinez,             percent of their red-zone opportunities and had just nine
Marquay McDonald                                                       rushing TDs last year. Duckett scored 33 rushing touchdowns
TE: Daniel Graham, Tony Scheffler (inj), Stephen Alexander,            in his first four seasons. In practice, Duckett is running with
Nate Jackson, Teyo Johnson, Chad Mustard                               the ball high and tight and looks very good, very solid. On the
K: Jason Elam, Brandon Pace                                            first day of practice, Brian Calhoun did not practice in the
DT: Gerard Warren, Sam Adams (NT), Jimmy Kennedy,                      morning, but did practice in the afternoon. He will likely battle
Elvis Dumervil, Demetrin Veal, Marcus Thomas, Alvin                    Aveion Cason for a roster spot. The Lions cut FB Shawn
McKinley, Antwon Burton, Amon Gordon, Steven Harris                    Bryson after he failed a physical.
DE: Ebenezer Ekuban, John Engelberger, Kenard Lang, Tim
Crowder, Jarvis Moss, Carlos Hall, Kenny Peterson (susp)               WR: Rookie Calvin Johnson, the second overall pick in the
MLB: D.J. Williams (M/S), Nate Webster (W/M)                           2007 draft, remains unsigned. Obviously Marinelli and the rest
OLB: Ian Gold (W), Warrick Holdman (S), D.D. Lewis                     of the team want him signed and in camp. The upside is that
(S/M), Louis Green (W), T.J. Hollowell, Wesly Mallard,                 Johnson is not only a great athlete but also a fast learner and
Cameron Vaughn                                                         diligent worker. “He’s smart enough to learn this offense, but
CB: Champ Bailey, Dre' Bly, Dominique Foxworth, Karl                   we do need him out here,” said wide receiver Roy Williams.
Paymah, Jeff Shoate, Lamont Reid, Bill Alford                          Williams should benefit most from the drafting of Calvin
S: John Lynch (FS), Nick Ferguson (SS), Curome Cox (SS),               Johnson. He is a tremendous athlete who is quickly becoming
Hamza Abdullah (FS), Quentin Harris, Steve Cargile,                    a complete receiver. Williams is already among the better
Roderick Rogers                                                        players at his position and defenses will have a brutal time
                                                                       producing a game plan to stop this duo. Mike Furrey missed a
                                                                       couple of passes he thought he should've caught in practice
                                                                       and was visibly upset. One was a tough catch in traffic that he
                                                                       normally would've had while the other would've required a
Detroit Lions                                                          superhuman effort. Shawn McDonald, who signed with the
                                                                       Lions after spending four years with the Rams, began camp on
QB: Starting QB Jon Kitna made headlines when he said the              the PUP list. He was removed and worked out with the team
Lions would win at least ten games this season. That did not           later in the week. Eddie Drummond made a nice catch on a
bother Lions head coach Rod Marinelli. "The expectations are           long ball halfway through practice and then didn't take another
high and we set a bar. When you set a bar, you've got to be            rep the rest of the workout. Devale Ellis began camp on the
secure in your feelings that you'll reach that level of                PUP list and veteran Marcus Robinson was placed on injured
expectation,'' said Marinelli. Kitna has been extremely sharp          reserve.
throughout the early stages of camp. Not every play is
working perfectly, but when receivers get open, he's snapping          TE: Dan Campbell began camp on the PUP list, but was
the ball quickly and accurately. Drew Stanton looked a lot             removed Saturday morning and briefly took part in some
more relaxed in the pocket and appeared surer under center             padded drills. Campbell spent most of the workout lifting
than he did in offseason workouts. However, Stanton hurt his           weights. The Lions are going to be cautious with him and ease
knee and underwent arthroscopic surgery which will sideline            him back into the routine. The Lions found themselves short a
him for approximately a month. Stanton’s injury increases the          tight end when Eric Beverly suddenly announced his
reps both J.T. O’Sullivan and Dan Orlovsky will see. As long           retirement. Sean McHugh saw some work in two tight end
as Stanton can come back to start the season, there is probably        sets. Casey FitzSimmons is playing a great deal at the fullback
only one roster spot open for Orlovsky and O’Sullivan.                 and flex positions.
O’Sullivan has looked comfortable running the offense in
practice, but the early edge in the battle has to go to Orlovsky.      Defense: Defensive tackle Cory Redding agreed to a seven-
                                                                       year, $49 million contract that includes $13 million in
RB: Kevin Jones was placed on the PUP list at the start of             guaranteed money. Redding, who has played just a half season
camp. Jones is recovering from lisfranc surgery on his left foot       at the position, became the highest-paid defensive tackle in the
and while his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule, he's not            NFL. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers was placed on the PUP
ready to take part in full-contact team drills. Jones is running       list. He appears to be quite a bit overweight. Defensive end
full speed in straight-line drills, but is still not confident doing   DeWayne White sustained a minor groin pull in a morning
drills that involve cutting, planting and shifting. The Lions          workout and was pulled from action as a precautionary
measure. Kalimba Edwards enters camp as the starter at right          Davis, Keith Smith s, Ike Charlton, Tony Beckham, Dee
defensive end. Rookie second-round pick Ikaika Alama-                 McCann, Ramzee Robinson, Israel Route, LaMarcus Hicks
Francis looks very quick. He’s very raw, but very quick. He           S: Kenoy Kennedy (SS), Daniel Bullocks (FS), Gerald
has excellent hand speed and is still learning how to best            Alexander, Idrees Bashir
utilize his hand placement. The starting linebackers are Ernie
Sims, Paris Lenon and Boss Bailey and all three made some
plays, especially in pass defense. Bailey made an instinctive
                                                                      Green Bay Packers
and athletic play when he made a nice outside pass drop and
then leapt high in the air to bat away a pass on a deeper "out''      QB: Brett Favre begins camp somewhat limited. He’s
route. Lenon made an excellent play during team drills when           expected to participate in only one practice per day as he
he knocked away a pass from RB Tatum Bell who was coming              strengthens his ankle following offseason surgery. "I talked to
out of the backfield and then tried to cut across the middle.         Brett about a week to 10 days ago, and from our conversation,
The athleticism of LB Anthony Cannon, now in his second               his ankle is fine," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "He
year, is really starting to reveal itself. Don't be surprised if he   wants to start throwing more to get a further evaluation on his
moves ahead of Teddy Lehman into the backup nickel                    shoulder. As far as conditioning, he feels great." Favre also
linebacker spot. Stanley Wilson and Fernando Bryant lined up          struggled a bit with a tired shoulder during OTAs, but said that
as the starting cornerbacks and Bryant made several good              he’s been throwing in the weeks leading up to camp. The
plays in coverage. Travis Fisher and Keith Smith are making           shoulder isn’t expected to be a problem once the season gets
their presence felt in specified roles early in camp. Safeties        underway.
Kenoy Kennedy and Daniel Bullocks practiced with the first
team. Rookie Gerald Alexander signed a contract on the eve of         RB: Vernand Morency opens camp as the starting tailback,
training camp, but hasn’t made his mark in practice yet.              but most expect a RB-by-committee approach with Morency
                                                                      sharing time with rookie 2nd round pick Brandon Jackson, and
Special Teams: As always, Jason Hanson will handle kicking            possibly veteran Noah Herron and DeShawn Wynn also in the
for the Lions. He’ll be joined during the preseason by camp           mix. Jackson, a 5-foot-10, 212-pound late bloomer from
leg Kenny Byrd, and undrafted rookie out of New Mexico.               Nebraska, was an All-Big 12 selection in 2006. He left school
Just several years ago, WR Eddie Drummond was one of the              following his junior season after producing 1,459 all-purpose
premier return specialists in the NFL, but things are not             yards and 10 touchdowns. Morencey averaged 4.6 yds/carry
looking good for him. He has a history of injuries. His               last year, but struggled to stay healthy and he was benched
numbers have declined. He has seen virtually no work on               early into one start for not protecting the football. Herron and
offense in minicamps and camps. WR Devale Ellis and WR                Jackson, who both catch the ball well, will compete for 3rd
Shaun McDonald are capable options on returns. The team               down duties. Seventh-round draft pick DeShawn Wynn was an
signed free agent WR Troy Walters and WR Edell Shepherd,              elite recruit out of high school, but he underachieved at
whose recent work has been primarily on returns. WR Kevin             Florida. His lack of toughness and dedication are a concern,
Kasper, WR Cliff Russell, and DB Dee McCann practiced                 but Wynn has excellent size (5-10¾, 232 pounds) and he
kickoff returns during OTAs; however they are probably long           gained 630 yards and averaged 5.1 yards a carry last season.
shots to make the team.                                               Wynn could find a niche as the team’s short-yardage back, but
                                                                      also keep an eye on undrafted rookie Corey White (6-1, 239)
                                                                      out of Alabama-Birmingham, who showed some promise
Lions Depth Chart                                                     during OTAs. "DeShawn Wynn finished the offseason
QB: Jon Kitna, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton (inj), J.T.                 program on a positive note, and he's a big man. It could be
O'Sullivan                                                            him (on short-yardage downs),” said John Schneider, a
RB: Kevin Jones (PUP), Tatum Bell, T.J. Duckett, Brian                personnel analyst in the team’s front office. “I'm not exactly
Calhoun, Aveion Cason, Anthony Sherrell                               sure. Someone in that group is going to step forward. And one
FB: Alan Ricard                                                       thing about our staff, they're willing to try a number of
WR: Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, Shaun                  combinations to make things work." Brandon Miree opens
McDonald (PUP), Eddie Drummond (KR/PR), DeVale Ellis                  camp as the starting FB. Sixth round pick Korey Hall, out of
(PUP), Edell Shepherd, Troy Walters, Cliff Russell, Kevin             Boise State, will compete against Miree for a roster spot.
Kasper, Brandon Middleton, Ron Bellamy, Reggie Ball,
Marcus Robinson (IR)
TE: Dan Campbell (PUP), Casey Fitzsimmons, Darnell                    WR: Donald Driver was listed as day-to-day after failing his
Sanders, Sean McHugh, Rudy Sylvan                                     physical exam Friday morning. Driver failed his exam because
K: Jason Hanson, Kenny Byrd                                           he couldn’t keep his right arm extended while a team doctor
DT: Shaun Rogers (PUP), Cory Redding, Shaun Cody,                     applied pressure. He’ll continue to get treatment and hopes to
Cleveland Pinkney, Langston Moore, Jon Bradley, Marcus                be ready within a day or two. “This is like doing a (field-
Lewis, Salomon Solano                                                 sobriety test),” Driver said. “You think you can go up there
DE: Dewayne White, Kalimba Edwards, Ikaika Alama-                     and tell the cop you straight and not drunk and try to walk that
Francis, Jared DeVries, Corey Smith, Claude Harriott                  fine line, but the next thing you know, you’re walking
MLB: Paris Lenon, Ted Lehman (inj), Johnny Baldwin                    sideways.” Driver said the shoulder never bothered him in the
OLB: Ernie Sims (W), Boss Bailey (S), Alex Lewis (S),                 weight room during the offseason. Driver added a few pounds
Anthony Cannon (W), Donte' Curry, James Hargrave                      weighing in at 194 lbs. Coach Mike McCarthy said Driver is
CB: Fernando Bryant, Stanley Wilson, Travis Fisher, A.J.              day to day, “I’m not concerned, because I think like all of us
                                                                      know that Donald keeps himself in excellent shape all year
round. This is something that bothered him coming into              increased role on offense could change that. WR Shaun
camp, so we’re just being cautious him.” Driver and Greg            Bodiford may be the early favorite to take over that role. CB
Jennings have the starting spots nailed down, while Robert          Will Blackmon and rookie WR David Clowney should also
Ferguson, Ruvell Martin and rookies James Jones and David           get a look. Further clouding the picture is WR Koren
Clowney add competition not only for roster spots, but for          Robinson, who is fishing up a jail sentence and his one year
those 3rd and 4th WR spots. Jones, the team’s 3rd round pick, is    suspension. He can apply for reinstatement later in September.
strong off the line drawing comparisons to Packer great             CB Charles Woodson was the primary punt returner last year,
Sterling Sharpe. If Jones has a strong camp he could win the        however special teams coordinator Mike Stock indicated they
No. 3 job putting pressure on Ferguson to stay healthy and          plan to use him only when ball security is critically important.
avoid a visit from the Turk. Lastly, don’t forget about Koren       The contenders include Shaun Bodiford, Will Blackmon, WR
Robinson, currently serving a 45-day sentence in the Brown          Greg Jennings, rookie WR James Jones, and WR Carlton
County Jail. Robinson is suspended by the NFL but he can            Brewster. Jones stood out in a recent practice as the only one
apply for reinstatement on September 18th. If reinstated, he        that didn’t have problems handling the ball in blustery
would be under contract through 2008.                               conditions.

TE: Coach McCarthy commented that TE Zac Alcorn "has the            Packers Depth Chart
best hands on the team". It looks like the coaching staff will      QB: Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers (inj), Ingle Martin, Paul
experiment with a number of players in different offensive          Thompson
sets. On the first day of practice, Donald Lee was running with     RB: Vernand Morency (KR) (inj), Brandon Jackson, Noah
the first team while veteran (and former first round pick)          Herron, P.J. Pope, DeShawn Wynn
Bubba Franks lined up with the second team. Franks rarely           FB: Brandon Miree, Korey Hall, Ryan Powdrell, Corey White
worked with the No. 1 offense during minicamp and OTAs. "I          WR: Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, Robert Ferguson (inj),
think it's important to not really get caught up in who runs out    Ruvell Martin, James Jones, David Clowney, Carlyle Holiday,
there for the first snap of practice, especially the way we use     Calvin Russell, Shaun Bodiford (inj), Chris Francies, Carlton
our tight ends," McCarthy said. "We use those guys in a             Brewster, Koren Robinson (susp)
number of different roles." Keep your eyes on rookie Clark          TE: Donald Lee, Bubba Franks, Zac Alcorn, Clark Harris, Joe
Harris, a rookie 7th round pick out of Rutgers. Harris slid in      Werner, Tory Humphrey (inj)
the draft after being projected as a first day pick following his   K: Dave Rayner, Mason Crosby
junior season. Tory Humphrey will miss several weeks after          DT: Ryan Pickett (NT), Justin Harrell (inj), Corey Williams
breaking his fibula during the first day of training camp.          (NT), Colin Cole, Johnny Jolly (NT), Daniel Muir
                                                                    DE: Aaron Kampman, Cullen Jenkins, Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila,
Defense: First round pick Justin Harrell was signed just in         Mike Montgomery, Jason Hunter, DeVon Hicks, Larry
time for camp. He began camp lining up with the first team          Birdine
defense ahead of veteran Corey Williams, despite seeing             MLB: Nick Barnett, Abdul Hodge, Desmond Bishop (W),
limited reps in OTAs due to a torn biceps tendon suffered in        Tim Goodwell, Carl-Johan Bjork
his last year at Tennessee. "We haven't taken the field yet with    OLB: A.J. Hawk (W), Brady Poppinga (S), Tracy White (W),
Justin," McCarthy said. "Based on potential, if we play a base      Spencer Havner (S), Juwan Simpson (S), Rory Johnson (W)
(defense), he'd probably run out there with the first base.         CB: Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Patrick Dendy, Jarrett Bush,
Corey would run out there with the first sub group. Same with       Frank Walker, Will Blackmon (PR), Tramon Williams,
the nickel. There's really no starting 11. Frankly, I think it      Antonio Malone
would help everybody if they designed the depth charts that         S: Nick Collins (FS), Marquand Manuel (SS), Aaron Rouse
way — have a sub and a base." Another rookie hopes to make          (FS), Marviel Underwood (SS), Atari Bigby (SS), Tyrone
an immediate impact. Safety Aaron Rouse has great size (6-4,        Culver (FS), Charlie Peprah (FS), Alvin Nnabuife (SS)
223) and has a reputation as a big hitter. Picked late in the
third round, No. 89 overall, Rouse hopes to challenge for a
starting job. In the offseason Rouse did nothing to suggest he
can't provide help. The coaches hope he will match up better
with top-tier tight ends, but to earn a starting job, Rouse must    Houston Texans
play big when the pads go on. "We're looking for a guy that's
6-4 and 230 pounds to hit like a guy that's 6-4 and 230," DBs       QB: Matt Schaub was inconsistent on the first day of camp
coach Kurt Schottenheimer said. "So we'll let that play out and     after getting off to a good start in the morning practice. HC
find that out on the field."                                        Gary Kubiak called the practice sloppy. It didn’t rattle Schaub
                                                                    though. The Texans new QB has shown confidence and good
Special Teams: Perhaps one of the closest competitions for a        leadership traits since coming over to Houston via trade.
job in the Packers’ camp is at kicker. Incumbent Dave Rayner        Kubiak had this to stay about Kubiak following the first day of
will be challenged by sixth-round draft pick Mason Crosby           work, “He’s fine. He’s a very composed young man. He’s
from Colorado. Rayner faltered early, with a mediocre               got a lot on his plate right now. It’s the first time he’s ever
showing in minicamp. Both have done well so far during              stepped into a huddle and started two-a-days as a starter of a
practices early in training camp. The return roles will also        franchise. That’s a lot on your plate. Now we’re just settling
feature plenty of competition. RB Vernand Morency emerged           down and keep working and getting better around him, but I
as the kickoff returner the latter part of last year, although an   think he’s been fine.” On the second day in camp, fans voiced
                                                                    their approval for the passing game as Sage Rosenfels had a
good morning session. In one drill, he connected with Andre         TE: Owen Daniels enters his second season as the #1 TE after
Davis, who made a spectacular, twisting catch down the              a solid rookie season. Mark Bruener and Jeb Putzier are the
sidelines. On the next play, Rosenfels hit Jerome Mathis, who       backups.
made an over the shoulder catch for another big gain.
                                                                    Defense: The Texans signed top pick DT Amobi Okoye in
RB: Ahman Green and the Texans RBs apparently showed up             time for camp. Okoye, the 10th overall pick in the draft, enters
to camp in good enough shape to avoid the running test. “This       the season as the youngest player in the NFL. The team is
is the first offseason where I didn’t have to do a run test,”       excited to add Okoye alongside Mario Williams, the No. 1
Green said. “We didn’t have to because we worked out four           overall pick a year ago, who dropped 15 lbs to 280 during the
days out of the week, sometimes five on Fridays. Running in         offseason hoping for more production in his 2nd season.
this humidity and heat gets you ready. No matter what, you’ll       DeMeco Ryans, like all rookies, he still had trouble learning
be ready.” HC Gary Kubiak sounds excited by the playmaking          plays and making reads last year. Moving him around between
ability that Green adds to the team’s backfield. “He can be a       the inside and outside only added to that confusion. In his 2nd
huge difference maker,” Kubiak said. “All of the sudden,            season with job security at MLB, Ryans is oozing confidence.
when you’re right and you call the perfect play or you block        “I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in year two,” Ryans said.
the perfect scheme, all of the sudden it can be a home run and      “In year one, my head was spinning coming in, trying to learn
not a 10 or 12 yard gain. It makes those guys up front there        a lot. A lot was on my plate, and it was a lot tougher last year.
know if they can hold on to it just a second, there’s a guy that    But now that I know the defense and I’m familiar with it, it’s a
can make them look really, really good.” Ron Dayne looks            lot easier.” Kubiak went on to say, “He’s a gym rat. He comes
ready to complement Green as the team’s RB2, reporting to           out here and goes all day and he loves being around this
camp in great shape and looking every bit as confident as he        complex. You can’t substitute that.” Charlie Anderson, a
did while running wild last December. Backup Chris Taylor           sixth-round pick in 2004, is competing with Shantee Orr for a
injured his knee on the second day of practice and has been         starting job. Currently, he’s running with the first team.
placed on IR. Taylor’s loss is rookie Darius Walker’s gain.         "Nobody on the team improved more in the offseason than
Walker was released before training camp after signing as a         Charlie did," Kubiak said. "He's so much more confident this
street free agent, but now has a second chance to prove he          season." In passing situations, Anderson and Orr are dropping
belongs on the opening roster. He has an uphill battle as both      to end to try give the team more quickness on the field.
Samkon Gado and Wali Lundy have designs on the RB3 spot;            "Charlie's a real good athlete, and we've got high hopes for
and the Texans are unlikely to carry more than 3 tailbacks on       him," GM Rick Smith said. Veterans Danny Clark and Shawn
the active roster. Jon Abbate is an undrafted free agent            Barber are also in the mix at SLB behind Orr and Anderson.
linebacker from Wake Forest, who will be try to make the
team as a fullback and backup to starter Vonta Leach. Jameel        Special Teams: There are no questions at kicker, where Kris
Cook is a week or two away from practicing after having knee        Brown is the only kicker in camp. The same cannot be said for
surgery in the offseason that later developed an infection.         the returner roles. WR Jerome Mathis is one of the top kickoff
                                                                    returners when healthy, however his hamstrings again were an
WR: A week before camp opened the Texans added veteran              issue during OTAs this year. The coaching staff has put him
Keenan McCardell, signing him to a 1-year deal worth                on notice that he needs to stay healthy to remain a part of the
$860,000. The coaching staff wanted some insurance opposite         team. DB Dexter Wynn filled in last year on kickoff returns,
Andre Johnson. McCardell may ultimately win the starting            and did particularly well on punt returns. The team signed WR
job, but for now Kevin Walter has a leg up – consistently           Bethel Johnson, the leading KR for New England from 2003
lining up with the first team offense. Walter may be better         to 2005 and the Vikings last year, although he also has had
suited to the slot, but he won’t give up his starting job without   injury problems this offseason. Last but not least is rookie WR
a fight. Also competing for roles are Andre Davis and rookie        Jacoby Jones from Lane College. He has limited experience,
Jacoby Jones along with Jerome Mathis, Bethel Johnson and           but succeeded when he did play and has plenty of potential.
David Anderson. Jones has an excellent size and speed
combination (6’ 3”, 215 pounds), but he’s making a big jump         Texans Depth Chart
to the NFL from Lane College. He could be the wild card in          QB: Matt Schaub, Sage Rosenfels (inj), Bradlee Van Pelt,
the mix if he works hard and impresses in the preseason.            Quinton Porter, Jared Zabransky
McCardell and Johnson both grew up in the Houston area.             RB: Ahman Green, Ron Dayne, Wali Lundy (3RB), Samkon
Mathis has world-class speed, but he’s been a disappointment        Gado, Darius Walker, Chris Taylor (IR)
following a Pro Bowl rookie season as a home run threat on          FB: Vonta Leach, Jameel Cook (inj), Patrick Pass
kick returns. Jones could unseat him on returns. On the team’s      WR: Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Keenan McCardell,
competition for the 2nd and 3rd WRs, HC Gary Kubiak                 David Anderson, Jacoby Jones, Jerome Mathis (KR/PR),
commented, "You look at André Davis, you look at wide               Andre Davis, Bethel Johnson (KR), Charlie Adams, Harry
receiver Bethel Johnson, you look at wide receiver Jerome           Williams, Terry Richardson
(Mathis) who’s been on the field these first three practices.       TE: Owen Daniels, Mark Bruener, Jeb Putzier, Ben Steele
We’ve got some guys that can stretch the field, and I think         (inj), Joel Dreessen
that’s important to our offense.”                                   K: Kris Brown
                                                                    DT: Travis Johnson (inj), Anthony Maddox, Amobi Okoye,
                                                                    Thomas Johnson, Jeff Zgonina, Tim Bulman, Thomas Smith,
                                                                    Cedric Killings, Deljuan Robinson
DE: Mario Williams, Anthony Weaver, Jason Babin, Ndukwe             for the Colts giving them a big target with good route running
Kalu, Earl Cochrane, Victor DeGrate, Alfred Malone (inj)            skills and hands. Fellow Buckeye and 5th round pick, Roy Hall
MLB: DeMeco Ryans, John Abbate                                      signed a league minimum, four-year contract. Hall was
OLB: Morlon Greenwood (W), Charlie Anderson (S), Danny              overshadowed at Ohio State by Gonzalez and Ted Ginn, but
Clark (S), Shawn Barber (W/S), Zac Diles, Trent Bray,               his 6’3”, 240 pound size and excellent speed (4.35) make him
Eduardo Castenada                                                   an intriguing player. In minicamp, Hall showed good hands,
CB: Dunta Robinson, DeMarcus Faggins, Jamar Fletcher,               outstanding leaping ability and made good adjustments to the
Von Hutchins, Dexter McCleon, Jason Horton, Fred Bennett,           ball. While Hall played a secondary role in college, he was
Dexter Wynn, John Walker, Derrick Roberson, Roc Alexander           utilized as a go-to guy for the team in clutch situations and a
(IR)                                                                key special teams player. The Colts plan to use him in several
S: Glenn Earl (SS), C.C. Brown (FS), Jason Simmons (FS),            ways, as a slot receiver and H-back, but right now he's lining
Brandon Harrison (SS), Brandon Mitchell (FS)                        up at the outside receiver slot. Once he learns the system, the
                                                                    Colts will try to use his size and speed in the slot to create
                                                                    match-up problems for opposing defenses. If he develops as
                                                                    the team hopes, they’ll have found themselves a diamond in
                                                                    the rough.
Indianapolis Colts
                                                                    TE: Dallas Clark returns as the clear cut starter with Ben
QB: No significant news to report regarding the Colts QBs.          Utecht serving as the 2nd TE in 2-TE sets. Bryan Fletcher,
Peyton Manning hasn’t missed a game due to injury, and now,         Jerome Collins and Mike Seidman are competing for roster
has a Super Bowl title to his credit. Jim Sorgi faces               spots along with Jonny Hartline. Clark has had injury
competition from John Navarre for the backup job. Two years         problems as a pro, so keep an eye on Utecht and the other
ago, Sorgi played in two games after Colts clinched their           backups in camp as they could end up playing a larger role if
playoff seed, but he didn’t throw a pass last year.                 Clark misses any time.

RB: Joseph Addai enters training camp as a potential top 5          Defense: Dwight Freeney signed a 6-year, $72 million
fantasy back following the departure of Dominic Rhodes via          contract with a $15 million signing bonus just over a week
free agency. Hoping to fill the void and earn a share of the        before camp. DT Corey Simon, who missed the Colts Super
workload, second year RB DeDe Dorsey is a sleeper worth             Bowl season with a knee injury and an undisclosed illness,
watching in camp. His positional coach from college predicted       remains on the team’s PUP list, reported to training camp. The
he’d be the NFL’s next Willie Parker. Dorsey appears to have        Colts hope Kelvin Hayden can fill the void left by the
the inside track as the team’s RB2. He had a productive             departure of Josh David at corner. Freddie Keiaho is the front
preseason with Cincinnati last year, but he was cut as the          runner to start at WLB and Rob Morris at SLB, but Tyjuan
Bengals tried to sneak him through the waiver wire to add to        Hagler and Clint Session will provide competition in camp.
their practice squad. The Colts pounced on Dorsey and now he
has an opportunity to play a significant role. Addai was            OL: Pro Bowl left tackle Tarik Glenn, Peyton Manning’s
slowed by injuries in college, but he managed to stay healthy       blindside protector, surprised many by announcing his
as a rookie. If Addai gets hurt, Dorsey could produce much in       retirement just a week prior to the beginning of training camp.
the same way Rhodes did coming into the Colts as an
undrafted rookie free agent and playing in place of the injured
                                                                    Special Teams: Adam Vinatieri is still widely regarding as
Edgerrin James. "I've really tried to work on all aspects of
                                                                    the best clutch kicker in the NFL today, and perhaps ever
being a running back," Dorsey said. "Playing with the
                                                                    (although Josh Brown was actually more clutch last year).
Indianapolis Colts, we're a big passing team, so you have to be
                                                                    Shane Andrus will once again serve as the camp leg. He was
on top of your game, especially with pass protection and your
                                                                    busy in that role last year when Vinatieri was injured. The
pass blocking. So I worked on making sure I was solid in my
                                                                    return specialist job is CB T.J. Rushing’s to lose. He didn’t get
schemes as well as in the act of pass blocking. The other big
                                                                    many opportunities during his rookie year with the Colts in
thing is knowing your assignment. Having as complex of an
                                                                    2006; however he put up some impressive numbers at
offense as we do, it's vital that you know what you're doing on
                                                                    Stanford on kickoff returns. A more remote possibility is CB
every play." Also competing for a role and a roster spot are
                                                                    Antonio Perkins. He didn’t get many opportunities during his
Kenton Keith, who played in the CFL previously, and
                                                                    years with Cleveland; however he put up some impressive
undrafted rookie free agent Clifton Dawson, from Harvard.
                                                                    numbers at Oklahoma on punt returns. Two other options on
                                                                    kickoff returns are backup RBs DeDe Dorsey and Kenton
WR: There’s not much to report on starters Reggie Wayne             Keith.
and Marvin Harrison other than they’re both healthy, in great
shape and have made big plays in just about every practice
thus far. Harrison, in particular, has been a man possessed,        Colts Depth Chart
catching by one beat writers estimation a dozen 15+ yard            QB: Peyton Manning, Jim Sorgi, John Navarre, Josh Betts,
passes during one two-a-day session. The Colts hope to fill         Mike McGann
the void at WR3 with rookie Anthony Gonzalez. The Colts             RB: Joseph Addai, DeDe Dorsey, Kenton Keith, Clifton
signed their first-round pick (32nd overall) to a five-year, $7.5   Dawson
million contract on Thursday. Gonzalez is an upgrade at WR3         FB: Luke Lawton
                                                                    WR: Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez,
Roy Hall, Aaron Moorehead, John Standeford, Devin                  breaking camp with the team, but he looks like a solid bet for
Aromashodu, Craphonso Thorpe, Brian Hare, Trent Shelton,           practice squad participation and a possible role with the team
Michael DePriest (IR)                                              in a year or two.
TE: Dallas Clark, Ben Utecht, Bryan Fletcher, Jerome
Collins, Gijon Robinson, Mike Seidman, Jonny Harline, Justin       WR: HC Jack Del Rio opened up competition for the starting
Snow                                                               WR spots showing some displeasure with the progress and
K: Adam Vinatieri, Shane Andrus                                    lack of production out of Reggie Williams and Matt Jones.
DT: Anthony McFarland, Raheem Brock (DE), Quinn Pitcock            "Well, they don't stand at the front of the line… It's wide
(NT), Darrell Reid, Dan Klecko, Ramel Meekins, Tom                 open," Del Rio said. "The guy who's really stepped up and
Johnson, Corey Simon (PUP)                                         really put himself into the picture is Charles Sharon. He's a
DE: Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, Josh Thomas, Bo                 guy who's earned his opportunity and look in camp." Sharon
Schobel, Keyunta Dawson, Jeff Charleston, Ben Ishola, Ryan         was an undrafted free agent a year ago, but he along with
LaCasse                                                            rookies Mike Walker and John Broussard have opportunities
MLB: Gary Brackett (W/M)                                           to earn a spot in camp. During offseason workouts, Sharon has
OLB: Rob Morris (S), Freddie Keiaho (W), Tyjuan Hagler             played well and Walker has shown great hands to go with his
(S), Clint Session, Rocky Boiman, Keith O'Neil (inj), Brandon      6’ 2” frame. Walker got off to a nice start in camp making a
Archer, KaMichael Hall, Ramon Guzman                               leaping, two-handed grab along the sideline earning the
CB: Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden, Daymeion Hughes,                loudest cheer from fans during Saturday morning’s opening
Michael Coe, T.J. Rushing (KR), Antonio Perkins, Tim               practice. Ernest Wilford remains in the mix and the team
Jennings, Cedric Holt, Duane Coleman                               brought in veteran Dennis Northcutt to add experience and
S: Bob Sanders (SS) (PUP), Antoine Bethea (FS), Matt               competition for the team’s WR3 spot. "Dennis has been a
Giordano (FS), Brannen Condren, Tanard Davis, Norman               terrific addition," said Del Rio. "He brings speed, suddenness,
LeJeune, Melvin Bullitt, Scott Ware                                veteran savvy. The other thing he brings to our locker room is
                                                                   a guy that's done it. He understands what it takes to be a pro.
                                                                   He's been a tremendous influence on our young receivers."
                                                                   Northcutt and Sharon ran with the first team while Williams
                                                                   and Jones lined up with David Garrard on the second team.
Jacksonville Jaguars                                               Del Rio also said “we really don’t have a depth chart right
                                                                   now” preferring to keep this an open competition and perhaps
QB: The Jaguars were rumored to have interest in free agent        light a fire under Jones and Williams.
Daunte Culpepper, but Jack Del Rio denounced those reports
prior to the start of camp. That’s good news for returning         TE: George Wrighster remains the starter heading into camp,
starter Byron Leftwich; who is playing for a contract as he’ll     but most expect Marcedes Lewis, last year’s first round pick to
be a free agent at the end of the year. For the first time since   either produce more fantasy points than Wrighster or supplant
college, Leftwich’s ankle appears healthy, too. He is plenty       him as the starter at some point. The Jags also signed veteran
motivated, but he’ll also be working with yet another new          Jermaine Wiggins from Minnesota to add depth and another
offensive coordinator, a new quarterbacks coach, two new           reliable, short-to-intermediate receiver. Depending on what
wide receivers coaches, and maybe even two new receivers.          happens during the preseason, one of these (Lewis?) could
Ironically, Leftwich is the one constant. “It’s a producing        emerge as a bonafide sleeper for league requiring TEs.
league. I know I’m here for a reason. If they didn’t think I was
the guy for the team, I wouldn’t be here,” Leftwich said. “I
                                                                   Defense: The team signed 1st-round pick Reggie Nelson to a
have a new appreciation for football from having it taken
                                                                   contract worth a maximum value of $13.1 million; the deal
away from me. When I’m out there, I’m going to be having
                                                                   includes $7.1 million in guarantees. 2nd round pick, LB Justin
fun. You’re not going to see many frowns on my face,” he
                                                                   Durant signed a four-year deal worth $1.72 million in
added. David Garrard returns as the backup and Quinn Gray as
                                                                   guaranteed money. Nelson and Durant were the last two
the QB3.
                                                                   rookies to sign, but both were signed right as camp opened. SS
                                                                   Gerald Sensabaugh has the inside track to replace Donovin
RB: The Jaguars have more running back talent than they            Darius, but he’ll draw competition from rookie 2nd round pick
know what to do with. Obviously the team’s primary ball-           Josh Gattis. HC Jack Del Rio said: "I think (Sensabaugh) is
carriers will be veteran Fred Taylor and second-year phenom        ready to compete to be a starter and a very productive starter.
Maurice Jones-Drew. Both are in excellent shape, but the best      But I think it's best to leave it at that and let things work
player in camp thus far appears to be Jones-Drew. If it’s          themselves out." DE Reggie Hayward was medically cleared
possible, he looks stronger, faster and more consistent than he    to practice and in time to start training camp. Hayward
was a year ago. On several plays, he has found a seam where        suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in last year's season-
there really wasn’t any to the naked eye, and run for daylight     opener.
shortly thereafter. Barring injury, Jones-Drew is going to be
dynamic this season. But the talent doesn’t stop there.
                                                                   Special Teams: Heading into camp, there are no big questions
Fullback Greg Jones is back running hard after missing last
                                                                   on special teams for Jacksonville. Josh Scobee always had the
season with a knee injury. He’s showing power and were it not
                                                                   leg strength, and has started to improve his consistency. Both
for Taylor and Jones-Drew, Jones would be a good bet to see a
                                                                   were evident in this year’s minicamps. There is no other
good amount of playing time, particularly in short yardage.
                                                                   kicker on the roster, although punter Tony Yelk has kicking
Converted linebacker D.D. Terry is going to have difficulty
experience, and could serve as a camp leg. RB Maurice Jones-       before there was a lot of speculation on that; I have had no
Drew is a playmaker and will be the lead kickoff returner once     teams - zero - call me with an interest in trading for Larry. I
again. RB Derrick Wimbush is a solid backup option. RB             think the obvious is that any team that would have an interest
Alvin Pearman was a respectable punt returner the last two         in him realizes that the compensation they would have to give
years; however the Jaguars upgraded the position during the        to the Kansas City Chiefs in draft choices plus the contract
offseason. Free agent acquisition WR Dennis Northcutt is a         that his agent is currently asking for makes it quite prohibitive
playmaker on punt returns, and gives Jacksonville potentially      for anybody to step up to all of that." Peterson went on to say
one of the best return tandems in the league.                      that “"Larry is a terrific back, but I don't put him in the
                                                                   LaDainian Tomlinson category. Hopefully, he can get there;
Jaguars Depth Chart                                                become a more complete back like LaDainian. This guy wants
QB: Byron Leftwich (inj), David Garrard, Quinn Gray, Tim           money beyond LaDainian Tomlinson. That's not going to
Couch, Lester Ricard                                               happen with us."
RB: Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew (SD/3RB/KR) ,
LaBrandon Toefield (KR) , Alvin Pearman (PR), Montell              Meanwhile, Priest Holmes received medical clearance to play
Owens, D.D. Terry                                                  in 2007 giving the Chiefs perhaps a bit of leverage, though it’s
FB: Greg Jones, Derrick Wimbush (KR)                               hard to predict what to expect from Holmes, who is 34 and
WR: Reggie Williams, Matt Jones (inj), Ernest Wilford,             almost two years removed from his last NFL action following
Dennis Northcutt, Charles Sharon, Mike Walker, John                neck and head injuries. Holmes conceivably could be the
Broussard, Jimmy Farris, D'Juan Woods, Roosevelt Kiser             team’s backup and occasional 3rd down back competing with
TE: George Wrighster (inj), Marcedes Lewis, Jermaine               Michael Bennett for snaps while LJ is out of camp. Rookie 5 th
Wiggins, Richard Angulo, Greg Estandia, Isaac Smolko               round pick Kolby Smith will compete with Derrick Ross for a
K: Josh Scobee                                                     roster spot. Smith split first-team snaps with Bennett on
DT: Marcus Stroud, John Henderson, Rob Meier (DE), Derek           Friday. LJ will be fined $14K for each day he misses camp.
Landri, Tony McDaniel, Walter Curry
DE: Reggie Hayward, Bobby McCray, Brent Hawkins, Paul              WR: Dwayne Bowe missed the first two days of camp as his
Spicer, James Wyche, Jeremy Mincey, Brian Smith                    agent and the team continued working on a contract for the
MLB: Mike Peterson (M/W) (inj), Tony Gilbert                       first rounder. Bowe is expected to push Samie Parker for a
OLB: Daryl Smith (W/M), Clint Ingram (S), Nick Greisen             starting job opposite Eddie Kennison. Parker hasn’t been very
(W), Justin Durant (W), Jorge Cordova (W/S), Pat Thomas            productive and Bowe gives the team a much better threat in
(inj), Kenneth Pettway, Brian Iwuh, Chad Nkang                     the red zone due to his size and physical style of play. Coach
CB: Rashean Mathis, Brian Williams, Terry Cousin, Scott            Edwards admits that Parker has to prove himself this year or
Starks, Bruce Thornton, Dee Webb, Chris Roberson, Rashod           risk being demoted. “He’s competing to find out if he’s still
Moulton, Jamar Landrom                                             going to continue to be the starter or what role he’s going to
S: Reggie Nelson (FS), Gerald Sensabaugh (SS), Josh Gattis         have. That’s a good thing. That’s what is great about the
(SS), Nick Sorensen, Kevin McCAdam, Jamaal Fudge                   receiver corps right now. We’ve got some young guys in there
                                                                   that are getting a chance and having an opportunity and that’s
                                                                   raising the competition level at that position,” said Edwards.
Kansas City Chiefs                                                 Also in the mix for playing time are Jeff Webb, Rod Gardner
                                                                   and Chris Hannon.
QB: With Trent Green dealt to the Dolphins, the stage is set
for 2nd year QB Brodie Croyle to take over as the team’s           TE: Tony Gonzalez enters his 11th season with the Chiefs
starter. Croyle is penciled in as the starter as camp got          having finished as a top 3 fantasy TE in seven of the last eight
underway, but he’ll have competition from veteran Damon            years. Fantasy owners hope the Chiefs losses on the offensive
Huard, who was 10-4 as a starter last season. Croyle has a         line won’t hurt Gonzo’s production (if he’s required to block
good arm and he’s a natural leader who played in a pro-style       more). Gonzo should be fine, but there are some concerns with
offense at Alabama. He’ll need to limit his mistakes, though,      an unknown commodity at QB, losses on the line and Larry
considering that Huard threw just one interception last year in    Johnson holding out for a new contract. Jason Dunn and Kris
244 attempts. After a few days of camp, Croyle has yet to          Wilson remain the backups. Dunn is like a third tackle while
really distance himself from his veteran competition. When         Wilson can play some FB, H-back and TE.
asked if Head Coach Herm Edwards had seen any separation
between the QBs, he said, “Naaaah, not really. As we get into
this thing even more and more we’ll find out. I think you’ll see   Defense: The Chiefs received some good news prior to camp
separation as we go through pre-season and the start of            when the NFL announced that DE Jared Allen’s suspension
playing games.”                                                    has been reduced from four to two games. 2nd round pick DT
                                                                   Turk McBride started camp on a strong note after turning
                                                                   heads throughout the spring drills and workouts. McBride
RB: Larry Johnson is a hold out as he and the team remain          performed well in the 1-on-1 drills with the offensive linemen.
$14 million apart. “We're very far apart, but I can't tell you     The Broncos have shown interest in trading for veteran Greg
exactly how far apart we are because we haven't received an        Wesley as they hope to add an experienced player in their
offer from them since June 1," said Alvin Keels, Johnson's         secondary, but the Chiefs have been reluctant to move the
agent. GM Carl Peterson addressed the media on Friday              veteran safety to a division foe. eanwhile, the Chiefs will see
noting that he has not attempted to trade the Chiefs star RB. "I   what free agent CB Will Poole has left, signing him to a two-
have no intention whatsoever of trading Larry Johnson. Like
year contract on Friday. Poole has not played in the NFL since     snaps as camp opened, but that arrangement probably won’t
2004.                                                              last for long. "Bottom line is, you learn over time, why make a
                                                                   decision before you need to make it?" head coach Cam
Special Teams: The Chiefs’ house cleaning was very evident         Cameron said. "And this year, this particular year, it's not the
on special teams. They traded away Lawrence Tynes, shortly         time to do that yet in my opinion." The Dolphins gave Green,
after drafting Justin Medlock from UCLA. They also released        Lemon and rookie 2nd round pick John Beck adequate snaps
Aaron Barret, leaving Medlock as the only kicker on the            on the first day.
roster. Training camp will be an opportunity for Medlock to
show that the team’s confidence in him is justified. The Chiefs    RB: If anyone was wondering whether Ronnie Brown was
also traded away return specialist WR Dante Hall. WR Jeff          going to have to share the load, the first week of training camp
Webb did well in relief of Hall last year and will likely be the   should have cleared up the situation. Brown has taken
starter this year. CB Benny Sapp, rookie WR Ean Randolph           virtually all the snaps with the 1st team offense, and Cameron
and WR Chris Hannon have also been practicing on kickoff           expects huge things out of the former Auburn Tiger. Brown
returns. WR Samie Parker is the early frontrunner for the lead     showed up to camp at 230 pounds and has been the hardest
punt returner role. Ean Randolph from Florida Southern is also     worker in camp according to several veterans, including
a possibility, although the coaches are looking for steady         Vonnie Holiday. Coach Cameron doesn’t mince words about
north-south returners more so than explosive dancers. Rookie       his plan to run early and often. “I love to run the football,"
WR Titus Ryan and CB Justin Phinisee have also been                Cameron said Wednesday. "And the only way that I'm familiar
practicing on punt returns. If they don’t pan out, WR Eddie        with being able to run the football is being able to run it in
Kennison has been the primary backup the last few years and        practice - and run it, and run it and run it and continue to run it
could step into the role.                                          and give it to the guy that continues to run it. I don't know any
                                                                   other way." While Brown is in line to be the workhorse, it
Chiefs Depth Chart                                                 didn’t take long for rookie Lorenzo Booker to impress his
QB: Brodie Croyle, Damon Huard, Casey Printers, Jeff Terrell       teammates. Booker got a rise out of the crowd when he juked
RB: Larry Johnson, Priest Holmes, Michael Bennett, Kolby           LB Derrick Pope in the backfield during a 1-on-1 drill. Before
Smith, Derrick Ross, Marcus O'Keith                                that, he beat Channing Crowder deep and Crowder just raised
FB: Boomer Grigsby, Greg Hanoian, Gilbert Harris                   his hands as Booker trotted in for a TD. Veteran DT Vonnie
WR: Eddie Kennison, Samie Parker (RFA), Jeff Webb,                 Holliday liked what he saw, too. "This guy is impressive, he's
Dwayne Bowe, Rod Gardner, Chris Hannon, Ean Randolph               fast," Holliday said after Saturday’s first full-squad workout.
(KR), Maurice Price, Brent Little, Ryan Titus, Brad                "I can't wait to see him actually get into a preseason game and
Ekwerekwu                                                          get some carries and some catches out of the backfield. He's so
TE: Tony Gonzalez, Jason Dunn, Kris Wilson, Michael Allan,         quick ... and his ability to make a move and get north and
Mike Pinkard, Keith Willis                                         south is impressive." Booker believes he was underutilized at
K: Justin Medlock                                                  Florida State, so he’s going out of his way to do whatever is
DT: James Reed, Ron Edwards, Turk McBride, Tank Tyler,             asked of him by the Dolphins coaching staff. He took part in
Alfonso Boone (NT), Kiki Gonzalez, Patrice Majondo-                punt return drills along with several others. Earlier last week
Mwamba                                                             in full-squad plays Booker and Ray Perkins were running on
DE: Tamba Hali, Jared Allen (susp), Jimmy Wilkerson,               every play. Perkins showed nice cut-back ability up the
Michael Heard, Chris Harris, Montez Murphy                         middle, while Booker showed good speed on the outside,
MLB: Napoleon Harris, Rich Scanlon                                 catching the corners on a number of plays. Starter Ronnie
OLB: Derrick Johnson (L), Donnie Edwards (R), Kendrell             Brown made a nice move in RB receiving drills, making Zack
Bell (R), Keyaron Fox (R/L), William Kershaw, Nick Reid,           Thomas miss as he went in for a score.
David Hicks, Nate Harris, Brian Crum
CB: Patrick Surtain, Ty Law, Benny Sapp, Marcus Maxey,             WR: The Dolphins were able to sign first-round pick Ted
Michael Bragg, Justin Phinisee, Dimitri Patterson, Will Poole,     Ginn Jr. to a five-year deal worth more than $13 million. The
Tyron Brackenridge                                                 signing was key because the team had all 87 players signed for
S: Bernard Pollard (SS), Jarrad Page (FS), Greg Wesley (FS),       their first full squad workouts. Ginn missed five practices
Jon McGraw, Chad Williams, Marlon Fair                             earlier in the week, but he made team meetings Friday before
                                                                   the team took the field. Ginn is finally healthy after spraining
                                                                   his foot during an end-zone celebration after returning the
                                                                   opening kickoff for a TD in the BCS national championship
                                                                   game. Ginn proclaimed himself 100% and said he would not
Miami Dolphins                                                     be limited. "It's great to be here on time," said Ginn, the 9th
                                                                   overall pick. "We both had the same goal - to come in and be
QB: The Dolphins traded for Trent Green with the hope that         on time and be ready to start rolling. It all worked out fine."
he can stabilize the offense after a turbulent year with Daunte    Ginn was asked if he's be the fastest player in the NFL. "No,"
Culpepper, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon leading the              he said. How about top 10? "Yeah," he said. Ginn has plenty
offense. Green is a risk since he missed most of last season       of work ahead. He needs to work on his route running, hands
due to a serious concussion and its aftermath. While everyone      and getting off the line cleanly before he makes an impact at
expects Green to start for the Dolphins this season, the team is   this level. On the first day of camp, Ginn connected with
going to make him earn it. Lemon was getting some first team       Green and Beck for a pair of nice receptions. Chris Chambers,
                                                                   the team’s #1 WR, seems pleased with HC Cam Cameron's
offense. "I like the precision. He's very confident about his      Rodrique Wright, Kevin Vickerson, Marquay Love, Steve
offense, I know that," Chambers said. "Over the years in San       Fifita, Chase Page, Brian Soi
Diego they've been in the top five probably the last four or       DE: Jason Taylor, Matt Roth, Mkristo Bruce, John Denney
five years so you know what he brings. It's a variation of         (LS)
probably one of the greatest offenses that's been run, but it      MLB: Zach Thomas, Robert McCune
depends on who's calling the plays and he knows he can do          OLB: Channing Crowder (W), Joey Porter (S), Donnie
that." Marty Booker will face competition from 2 nd year WR        Spragan (S), Derrick Pope (W), Kelvin Smith, Abraham
Derek Hagan for the other starting job, and ultimately, from       Wright (S), Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Edmin Miles, Jim Maxwell
Ginn as well. On the opening day of camp, rookies Kerry            CB: Will Allen, Andre Goodman (PUP), Travis Daniels,
Reed and David Sutton displayed some good route running,           Jason Allen, Michael Lehan, Derrick Johnson, Shirdonya
proving they’ve been studying the playbook. Marty Booker           Mitchell, Tuff Harris, Geoffrey Pope
caught a nice pass on the sideline over CB Michael Lehan but       S: Renaldo Hill (FS), Yeremiah Bell (SS), Travares Tillman
needs to do more to reclaim the goodwill he lost while             (SS), Cameron Worrell, Chris Harrell, Courtney Bryan,
demanding a trade this offseason.                                  Christopher Vedder

TE: David Martin will start for the Dolphins, but he’s not
exactly a one-man gang. The Dolphins picked up tight end
Courtney Anderson off waivers from the Oakland Raiders on
Saturday waiving rookie safety David Lofton in order to make       Minnesota Vikings
room for the 26-year-old Anderson. Anderson gives the team
another veteran to compete with Justin Peelle for playing time.    QB: Conventional wisdom suggests Tarvaris Jackson will be
                                                                   the Vikings QB this year. But head coach Brad Childress
Defense: The LBs and secondary got off to a good start on the      continues to proclaim that there are no-predetermined
first day making solid tackles and preventing yards after the      decisions being made in regards to the team’s starting QB, and
catch. WR Chris Chambers paid the price for dropping a pass        nor should they. Brooks Bollinger is going to do everything in
on a slant route when safety Cameron Worrell dropped him in        his power to insert his way into the Week One starting lineup.
his tracks. Chambers remained down for a minute before             Regardless of what Childress says and Bollinger does, clearly
bouncing back to his feet. Later on, the LBs and secondary         the Vikings hope Jackson will emerge as their guy. He’s taken
continued to set the tone in 7-on-7 drills and 11-on-11, picking   most of the first team reps through the first three days of
off a number of passes from Green, Lemon and Beck. Will            practice. Recall, the Vikings moved up into the 2nd round to
Allen picked off Green, while Kelvin Smith nabbed one of           draft Jackson last year with the hope he would become the
Cleo Lemon’s throws.                                               franchise QB eventually. Jackson is well-built, athletic, moves
                                                                   well in the pocket and he throws with good rhythm and high
                                                                   velocity. "He's got a tremendous arm," Vikings rookie WR
Special Teams: Free agent acquisition Jay Feely takes over
                                                                   Sidney Rice said. "On the last play today he threw a ball to me
the kicker job. He’ll be spelled during the preseason by camp
                                                                   from the pocket and it hit my hands and went right through
leg Matt Prater. Who will be the holder remains a question.
                                                                   them to my chest and I had to trap it there. It was on me fast.
Punter candidates Ryan Flinn and rookie Brandon Fields are
                                                                   He has what it takes to get the job done this year." Veterans
the top choices. Second choices are the backup QBs Cleo
                                                                   have confidence in Jackson, too. "I know Tarvaris has all the
Lemon and John Beck. It’s difficult to discuss returners
                                                                   ability to lead us to victory, whoever we play, because he
without mentioning the Devin Hester effect. That’s especially
                                                                   brings so much to the table," safety Darren Sharper said. "He's
true with the Dolphins, who used the ninth overall draft pick
                                                                   such a threat as far as running the football and also the arm
to select their return specialist, WR Ted Ginn Jr. from Ohio
                                                                   and the accuracy that he has, and he's a smart kid. So I have all
State. He appears to be healthy again, and agreed to contract
                                                                   the confidence in Tarvaris." Jackson remains focused on
terms several days into camp. If he gets hurt again or flops as
                                                                   improving despite the praise from his teammates. "I'm a lot
a returner, then Az-Zahir Hakim provides a veteran option.
                                                                   farther along than I was last year. I still have a lot of learning
Another rookie possibility is RB Lorenzo Booker from Florida
                                                                   to do, but it just feels good to be here. I'm more confident out
State. He has looked good in practices on kickoff returns, but
                                                                   here than I was last year coming in, and I have more of a
has struggled fielding punts.
                                                                   chemistry with my teammates this year than I did last year, so
                                                                   it feels a lot better,” Jackson says.
Dolphins Depth Chart
QB: Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Gibran Hamdan              RB: Adrian Peterson wasn’t in camp for the first two days of
RB: Ronnie Brown, Lorenzo Booker, Patrick Cobbs, Jesse             practice, but he signed a 5-year deal on Sunday worth
Chatman, Ray Perkins                                               (potentially) $40.5 million including $17 million in guaranteed
FB: Corey Schlesinger, Kyle Eckel, Reagan Mauia                    money. His appearance at camp couldn’t come soon enough
WR: Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Derek Hagan, Ted Ginn            for Childress. The Vikings have plans for Chester Taylor and
(inj)(KR/PR), Az-Zahir Hakim, David Sutton, Kerry Reed,            Peterson being in the same backfield, so they needed Peterson
P.K. Sam, Michael Malone, Marvin Allen                             into camp. "It's a turns thing," HC Brad Childress said. "We
TE: David Martin, Justin Peelle, Courtney Anderson, Tim            install things a number of times. The more you can carry it,
Massaquoi, Aaron Halterman, Jason Rader                            the more you understand it, so it's not just rote. We don't go
K: Jay Feely                                                       back to things. You've got to catch up." In the first day of
DT: Vonnie Holliday, Keith Traylor (NT), Paul Soliai (NT),         camp with Peterson back in Norman, Okla., Artose Pinner and
Mewelde Moore rotated with starter Chester Taylor. Vikings         deflected another pass later. So far so good for Chad
fans got a scare when Chester Taylor was carted off the field      Greenway, he hasn't held back at WLB. E.J. Henderson
holding his arm; but X-rays were negative and it’s just a          stuffed Chester Taylor on an inside run and he appears to be
severe bruise. He should be back at practice within a week or      comfortable. Darren Sharper was kept out of the Friday
sooner. With the two-headed monster of Taylor and Peterson,        afternoon session after taking a hard shot from Tony
the backup spots are going to be fiercely contested. Moore is a    Richardson earlier in the day. Mike Doss took his place with
proven receiver but hasn’t shown a knack for the endzone,          the first team. Ben Leber missed the Friday morning practice,
while Pinner has failed to live up to lofty draft expectations     but DC Leslie Frazier said he’s expected back in a few days.
coming out of Kentucky.                                            Dontarrious Thomas worked in Leber’s place.

WR: Believe it or not, veteran free agent Bobby Wade is the        Special Teams: Ryan Longwell spent the offseason working
Vikings WR1 heading into camp. Troy Williamson and                 to improve his kickoffs, after having the worst average in the
Sidney Rice are battling for the WR2 job, though Childress         NFL last year. He’ll have plenty of opportunity to practice as
predicted a breakout year for Williamson, who spent the            he’s the only kicker on the roster. The first choice for kickoff
offseason working on his infamously bad hand-eye                   returner will likely be newcomer WR Bobby Wade, although
coordination. After 11 drops last season, Williamson has some      that may hinge on how much work he gets at wide receiver,
work to do. Rice (and Peterson) missed Friday’s practice           which may hinge on well some of the younger receivers fare.
prompting Childress to say “Those turns are important, and         Second choice would be WR Troy Williamson, who began
there is a point where you can't make up for those. And my         last year as the kickoff returner but gave way to now departed
best advice to them would be to get their tails in camp." Rice     WR Bethel Johnson. Williamson has room to improve as both
signed his deal Friday evening and was at practice Saturday        a returner and a receiver. After those two come a large
morning, getting some work as the 2nd and 3rd receiver, but he     collection of players that will jockey for backup roles. The
didn’t do anything noteworthy. “I know there’s a lot of stuff,     punt returner picture is clearer, where RB Mewelde Moore
and there’s a lot of stuff I have to catch up on," Rice said. "I   remains the starter. Bobby wade also has experience in that
didn’t want to miss time, but things happen. So I’ll have to get   role.
in and ask a lot of questions." During Friday’s practice Brooks
Bollinger and Cortez Hankton hooked up for a couple of nice        Vikings Depth Chart
plays. Todd Lowber made a nice catch over the middle of the        QB: Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, Drew Henson, Tyler
field. 5th round pick Aundrae Allison filled in for Rice on        Thigpen
Friday as the team’s third WR and the best catch of the day; a     RB: Chester Taylor (inj), Adrian Peterson, Mewelde Moore
one-handed grab while running toward the left sideline. True       (3RB/PR), Artose Pinner, Ciatrick Fason, Wendell Mathis,
to form, Troy Williamson dropped a pass, but to his credit, he     Arkee Whitlock
came right back and made a difficult diving catch going            FB: Tony Richardson (inj), Naufahu Tahi
against Cedric Griffin during 7-on-7s.                             WR: Bobby Wade, Troy Williamson, Sidney Rice, Billy
                                                                   McMullen, Martin Nance, Cortez Hankton, Aundrae Allison,
TE: The Vikings put their money and their faith in free agent      Jason Carter, Todd Lowber, Chandler Williams, Justin
Vishanthe Shiancoe even though he’s unproven as a starter in       Surrency
the league. He’ll compete with veteran Jimmy Kleinsasser for       TE: Visanthe Shiancoe, Jim Kleinsasser, Jeff Dugan (FB),
the starting job. In Friday’s practice, Shiancoe left the field    Richard Owens (FB), Stephen Spach, Braden Jones
with a minor injury, but he later returned and appears to be       K: Ryan Longwell
fine.                                                              DT: Pat Williams (NT), Kevin Williams (DE), Spencer
                                                                   Johnson (RFA), Howard Green, Joe Bradley, Conrad Bolston,
Defense: The team has been unable to reach agreement on a          Alex Guerrero
contract extension with DT Pat Williams leading most to            DE: Kenechi Udeze, Erasmus James (inj), Darrion Scott, Ray
believe this could be the 11-year veteran’s last season in the     Edwards, Brian Robison, Jayme Mitchell, Khreem Smith
twin cities, especially after Williams terminated negotiations     MLB: E.J. Henderson (M/W), Dontarrious Thomas (W/M),
on Friday. HC Brad Childress doesn’t seem too concerned,           Vinny Ciurciu
"I've had great conversations with Pat," Childress said. "Just     OLB: Ben Leber (S), Chad Greenway (W/M), Rufus
as long as my relationship with Pat is good and I know where       Alexander (W), Heath Farwell (S) , Jason Glenn, John Kerr,
Pat stands, he knows where I stand," Childress said. "He's a       David Herron
team guy who wants to be here. He's a valuable member of our       CB: Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Dovonte Edwards,
football team and I appreciate everything he does for us on the    Marcus McCauley, Charles Gordon, Ronyell Whittaker, Jerron
field and off of it."                                              Wishom, Sergio Gilliam
                                                                   S: Darren Sharper (FS), Dwight Smith (SS), Mike Doss (SS),
Meanwhile, in the team’s third practice, Williams forced a         Tank Williams (SS), Greg Blue (FS/SS), Patrick Body, Mike
fumble after anticipating the count on a goal line play, Dwight    Hawkins
Smith recovered. Rookie DE Brian Robison recorded the best
play while working with the first-string defensive line.
Robison knifed through the line and dropped Mewelde Moore
for a three-yard loss. Rookie Marcus McCauley is playing
well; he picked off Brooks Bollinger on one play then              New England Patriots
QB: Tom Brady threw 24 TDs and 12 INTs last year with                TE: Ben Watson enters camp as the starter while David
Reche Caldwell as his #1 WR hauling in 61 balls. With the            Thomas and Garrett Mills are on the PUP list. Kyle Brady has
acquisitions of Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Wesley              been lining up in some formations as the TE with Watson in
Welker in the offseason, Brady is primed for another strong          the slot. Brady is the most accomplished blocker of the lot, so
season. Matt Cassel figures to get plenty of work in the             expect Watson, Thomas and Mills to be used more on the
preseason as the QB2, however he could find himself out of a         receiving end with Brady taking care of the blocking duties.
job once the regular season comes along. The Patriots have           On the first day of practice, Watson put a move on Rodney
acknowledged plans to sign Vinnie Testaverde as the team’s           Harrison sending him flying over his back in one-on-ones, but
backup, but are waiting until the end of camp because                Watson later had a bad drop in the middle of practice.
Testaverde doesn’t want to put his body through the rigors of
camp at his age. Matt Gutierrez is the third QB in camp, but         Defense: Asante Samuel remains in a contract dispute leaving
stands little chance of landing a roster spot. On the first day of   the Patriots defense thin in the secondary. With Samuel
camp, Cassel and Jabar Gaffney made the play of the day on a         unavailable, Ellis Hobbs was lining up with Randall Gay
bomb that Cassel dropped in over Gaffney’s outside shoulder          while Mike Richardson and Gemara Williams also took reps.
in stride for a TD.                                                  Rookie DB Brandon Meriweather missed some early practice
                                                                     sessions, but once he signed his five-year deal worth $8.75
RB: Laurence Maroney opened camp wearing the red, non-               million with $6 million in bonuses and guarantees, he gave the
contact jersey, but he declared himself ready to go after            secondary a boost, getting some of his early work at
weighing in at last year’s weight of 220 lbs. Maroney believes       cornerback. Meriweather was primarily a safety at Miami, but
he’s ready for contact, but the team is being cautious for now.      he did start three games at corner last year. Belichick said he’d
When asked about being the team’s workhorse back (25                 play a variety of roles, “We’ll work him at both spots. He’s
carries a game), Maroney held back just a little bit. "Nobody        played a lot of different positions in college. He’s played the
said anything about me being a feature back," he said. "I'm          nickel position, the corner position, and the safety position.
just getting a little more carries than last year, that's all."      We’ll use him in some different spots and see how it goes.
Maroney doesn’t need to be the physical runner that Corey            People on our team are going to have to have some versatility
Dillon was, nor is that his style. "Being a very physical back       and play different spots anyway, so he falls into that
like Corey is definitely not a part of my game. That's not what      category.” Chad Scott was carted off the field Friday evening,
I'm going to do, run into somebody every day," Maroney said.         and placed on IR with a season-ending leg injury. Fourth-year
"Every time I hit the hole, I'm looking for the best route to get    veteran Randall Gay took his spot opposite of Ellis Hobbs, and
around you. If I can outrun you, that's what I'm going to do. If     intercepted a Tom Brady pass intended for tight end Benjamin
I can put a move on you, that's what I'm going to do. If I have      Watson. S Rashad Baker and DL Kareem Brown are on the
to drop the shoulder, I'll do it, but dropping my shoulder every     PUP list. Junior Seau looked rejuvenated for another season,
time is not my game, so if that's what you're all expecting, I'm     but he was wearing a red jersey along with LB Eric
sorry." In other news, the Patriots released RB Justine              Alexander.
Hairston on Friday.
                                                                     Special Teams: Kicker Stephen Gostkowski does not have to
WR: The Patriots start training camp with 12 receivers on the        compete with anyone for the kicking job this year. In fact,
roster. Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth and Wes Welker, all             there is no other kicker currently in camp. The specter of
acquired this offseason, are the only locks. Welker may be           Adam Vinatieri is also one year further removed. How has
farther along than the other new receivers and it is evident he’s    Gostkowski responded? He went 8 of 8 on field goals the first
already worked his way right into the team’s framework. Tom          day of practice, and the 7 of 7 on the second day. On returns,
Brady had nothing but good things to say about his new main          just about everyone on the Patriots’ roster is a capable returner
weapon, Randy Moss. "One of Randy's greatest strengths, I            as always, and just about everyone practices that role as usual.
think, is he tracks the ball in the air very well," Brady said.      Everyone currently includes RB Kevin Faulk, RB Laurence
"Everything looks effortless down the field. He really judges        Maroney, WR Wes Welker, RB Sammy Morris, WR Bam
the height of the ball, like a center fielder. He knows when to      Childress, CB Ellis Hobbs, CB Gemara Williams, CB Willie
put his hands out, knows not to do it too early because that         Andrews, WR Donte Stallworth, and WR Troy Brown. Early
really triggers the defensive back to put his hands up. That's a     speculation is that Ellis Hobbs is the favorite to be the kickoff
big strength of his game. I hope I can throw it as far as he can     returner and Wes Welker the punt returner, with Kevin Faulk
run." Reche Caldwell and Troy Brown will be difficult to             nipping at their heels.
unseat, but Jabar Gaffney, Kelley Washington and slew of
other less notable WRs will keep the pressure on. Last year’s        Patriots Depth Chart
first round pick, Chad Jackson, is a candidate to start the          QB: Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, Matt Gutierrez
season on the PUP list. In the first two days of practice, Jabar     RB: Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk (3RB), Sammy Morris,
Gaffney took advantage of Donte' Stallworth and Troy Brown           Quinton Smith, Justice Hairston (IR)
being on the PUP list. Gaffney looked sharp running routes           FB: Heath Evans, Quadtrine Hill
alongside Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Washington is on the            WR: Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, Wesley Welker
PUP list for now, so he has an uphill battle to make the roster      (KR/PR), Reche Caldwell, Troy Brown (PUP), Jabar Gaffney,
if the team only keeps 5 or even 6 WRs.                              Chad Jackson (PUP), Kelley Washington, Bam Childress,
                                                                     Kelvin Kight, Chris Dunlap, C.J. Jones
                                                                     TE: Ben Watson, David Thomas (PUP), Kyle Brady, Garrett
Mills (FB)                                                         never worried about Reggie." Deuce McAllister loves sharing
K: Stephen Gostkowski                                              the backfield with Bush. It's a blessing," McAllister said.
NT: Vince Wilfork, LeKevin Smith, Mike Wright                      "When he's on the field or when we're on the field together, it's
DE: Richard Seymour (DT)(PUP), Ty Warren (DT), Jarvis              a blessing for us to be able to look at the defense and see how
Green, Kareem Brown (DT), Kenny Smith, Rashad Moore                teams are going to try to play us. I'm not having to carry that
ILB: Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel (S/I), Junior Seau, Eric            load as a running back or as the team leader. I can give some
Alexander, Oscar Lua, Justin Rogers, Justin Warren                 of that to him and know that he can do it in this league.” In
OLB: Adalius Thomas (S/I), Rosevelt Colvin (W/DE), Larry           Saturday’s session, after the defense made some big plays,
Izzo, Pierre Woods (S), Chad Brown, Corey Mays                     backup Aaron Stecker helped the offense answer with some
CB: Asante Samuel (UFA-F), Ellis Hobbs (KR), Tory James,           tough inside running where he bounced off a few tacklers for
Randall Gay, Mike Richardson, Eddie Jackson, Willie                some extra yardage. Stecker faces a daunting challenge from
Andrews, Gemara Williams, Chad Scott (IR)                          rookie Antonio Pittman for RB3 honors.
S: Rodney Harrison (SS) (inj), Eugene Wilson (FS), Brandon
Meriweather (SS/FS), Artrell Hawkins (SS), James Sanders           WR: One player who will be watched closely by Saints fans
(SS/FS), Rashad Baker, Mel Mitchell (PUP), Denny Poland            and coaches is rookie first round pick Robert Meachem,
                                                                   especially after he showed up for mini-camps overweight.
New Orleans Saints                                                 Meachem was signed and in camp on time, though and
                                                                   midway through the first practice he made a nice play running
                                                                   past CB Jason David to pull down a tight spiral from
QB: Drew Brees started where he left off last year making          quarterback Jamie Martin. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish the
several nice throws in the opening days of camp. He had two        play. After the catch, he slid to the ground drawing the ire of
nice plays in particular on Saturday that drew the crowd’s         his position coach Curtis Johnson, who was asking everyone
praise. On the first play, Brees dropped back and threw a high     around him, “Why did he go down? It should have been a
arching pass to Devery Henderson, who had a step on CB             touchdown.” Meachem is playing catch up to some extent
Anwar Phillips; Henderson looked the ball in over his right        after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in early
shoulder and tapped both feet in bounds before sliding out. On     June. The knee came after a sprained ankle in May limited
another play, Brees threw a perfectly-placed toss into the         him in the final part of the team’s OTAs. Johnson is known for
outstretched hands of David Patten, who had gotten behind the      getting on his players, and he was riding Meachem plenty
defense, 40 yards down field. The weather was hot and humid,       during the opening sessions. At one point, he yelled, “This
but Brees didn’t seem to mind. Brees was asked what the best       ain’t Tennessee anymore.” None of that seemed to bother
and worst things were on the first day of camp. The best?          Meachem, who said “I love that. As long as he’s talking to me,
Brees said the tempo was good and players were flying              it means I’ve got a lot to learn. All my life, I was taught that
around. The worst? “There was no worst part of the day,” he        you can learn something new every day. If he stays on me, I
said. “I mean, hey, where would you rather be? Jackson, Miss.      know that I’ve got a lot of improvement to do. And I know I
It’s 95 degrees, 1,000 percent humidity. You’ve got to love        can improve.” Meachem reported to camp at 208 lbs – two
it.” Rookie QB Tyler Palko hid some rough spots in                 pounds below his prescribed weight, but he knows that he’s a
Saturday’s team drills. He threw a couple of passes off target,    bit behind the others after missing time with the injuries. “I
like a wobbly shovel pass that was picked off by LB Marvin         was moving pretty good, but there are a lot of things I have to
Mitchell. ... Neither Palko nor Jason Fife has distinguished       work on since I haven’t run in a long time,” he said. “It’s a
himself in the battle for QB3 yet.                                 learning process all over again. You have to teach yourself
                                                                   how to get back down low, and how to come in and out of
RB: Reggie Bush is eager to get his second season under way,       your breaks. It’s a big process.”
and so is QB Drew Bress, who chided Bush for his various
commercials as practice got underway. "I'm just glad to have       Marques Colston and Devery Henderson were the starters on
him off those commercial shoots and have him here in camp          Friday, with David Patten getting work at WR3. Meachem
with us," Brees said, just loud enough for Bush to hear. For his   was working as WR4. Henderson has been terrific so far in
part, Bush was happy to get back at it, too. "After so much        camp. He made two outstanding catches in Saturday
time off, you look forward to getting back to playing football,    afternoon’s practice, drawing loud cheers from the fans. He
playing the sport you love to do, love to play and are so          seems to be pulling away from the others in the battle for the
passionate about," Bush said. "For me, it's fun.... That stuff     WR2 job. The biggest play on Friday came from Terrance
kind of takes a toll on you, all the meetings with the sponsors.   Copper, who ran a slant-and-go route making a circus catch
It's fun but after a certain amount of time you just want to get   that drew a roar from the fans in the afternoon practice. CB
back to football. I kind of took a break from that stuff, but it   Mike McKenzie had good coverage on the play, and he even
has its season." Bush chose to train on his own during the         tipped the ball, but Copper juggled it and then pulled it in for
offseason, but HC Sean Payton wasn’t upset at all. "He's in        the completion from Drew Brees. Saturday morning, Copper
good shape, he has trained well," Payton said. "We're real         nearly had another juggling catch but this time he wasn’t able
pleased with how he tested. He's running around and, I think,      to get his feet inbounds, although he did catch the ball.
in real good shape." Brees agreed with Payton’s take. "If          Looking for an early sleeper this preseason? WR/return man
there's one thing about Reggie, obviously, he's got a lot of       Lance Moore hopes to replace the departed Michael Lewis. At
things going on, he's got a lot of people pulling at him," Brees   5’ 9”, 177 pounds, Moore is even smaller than Lewis, but he is
said. "But he's always going to find a way to make sure he's       very quick and elusive. He has been working as a punt
ready to go. He's a competitor. He's a very prideful guy, so I'm   returner and a kick returner throughout the offseason.
TE: Mark Campbell has looked good enough in the early              Meachem and WR Dante Ridgeway have also practiced on
going to remain the team’s “starting tight end.” But the Saints    kickoffs.
need to see more from newcomer Eric Johnson; who was
signed to give the passing game another weapon. Johnson had        Saints Depth Chart
a rough start to camp on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, he        QB: Drew Brees, Jamie Martin, Jason Fife, Tyler Palko
came down with a migraine and nausea during lunch and he           RB: Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush (KR/PR), Antonio
was held out during the afternoon practice. He was back in         Pittman, Aaron Stecker (3RB/KR)
action Saturday morning, but didn’t fare much better. On one       FB: Mike Karney, Keith Joseph (inj), Kevin Dudley
play during two-on-two run-blocking drills, Johnson was met        WR: Marques Colston, Terrance Copper, Devery Henderson,
by WLB Scott Shanle, who knocked off Johnson’s helmet              Robert Meacham (inj), David Patten, Jamal Jones, Lance
(accidentally) with a forearm. Johnson was OK and returned         Moore, Dante Ridgeway, Aaron Hosack, Tramain Hall
after a brief look by the team’s training staff.                   TE: Eric Johnson, Mark Campbell, Billy Miller, Robert
Defense: In Saturday morning’s practice, the defense had           K: Olindo Mare, Brett Bergstrom
some nice plays: DE Charles Grant got things started when he       DT: Hollis Thomas (NT), Brian Young (inj), Antwan Lake
blew by his blocker and wrapped up Reggie Bush in the              (NT), Kendrick Clancy (NT), Rodney Leisle, Brandon
backfield. Grant was all over the place making plays against       Villareal, McKinley Boykin
the run and pass equally. DE Josh Cooper got to Jamie Martin       DE: Charles Grant, Will Smith, Rob Ninkovich (inj), Tommy
on an outside rush for what would have been a sack in game         Davis (inj), Willie Evans
action. CB Jason David drew cheers for the second straight         MLB: Brian Simmons (W/M), Mark Simoneau (W/M), Alfred
day when he laid out to break up a pass intended for Lance         Fincher, Marvin Mitchell, Trev Faulk
Moore. Jason Craft drew the loudest cheer from the fans when       OLB: Scott Fujita (S), Scott Shanle (W), Dhani Jones (S),
he adjusted to an underthrown pass to make a leaping               Troy Evans (W), Cornelius Wortham
interception and nice return down the sidelines. Safety Curry      CB: Mike McKenzie, Jason David, Fred Thomas, Usama
Burns strung together a pair of nice plays when he laid a hit on   Young, Jason Craft, Anwar Phillips, David Jones
Tramain Hall after a catch, then he applied pressure on QB         S: Josh Bullocks (FS), Roman Harper (SS), Kevin Kaesviharn
Jason Fife on a well timed blitz. DT Hollis Thomas struggled       (FS), Jay Bellamy (FS), Chris Reis, Steve Gleason (IR)
on the first day of camp with the weather, mostly due to being
overweight. “I’m heavy. I’m heavier than usual,” he said. “I’m
a fat guy, and I’ll always be fat.” When asked how it felt
working through the 2 hour practice with full pads on, Thomas
rolled his eyes. “You can probably try to equate it to, with no    New York Giants
disrespect to soldiers or anything, it’s kind of like going
through a boot camp because you are away from everybody,”          QB: New QB Coach Chris Palmer is pleased with his early
he said. “Somebody equated it to prison, but prisoners get a       work with Eli Manning. "We spent 13 hours watching film,
little leeway. They don’t have to do this.” In the afternoon       and it was very tedious.’Why did you do this?' and 'What did
session, Thomas was back with the 1st team after Kendrick          you see here?'" Palmer said. "That's a grueling experience and
Clancy replaced him in the earlier drills. Looking for a super     I thought he learned from it. The things we talked about early
sleeper? Undrafted rookie CB Joe Porter has impressed              in the film session, he carried out to the field and had great
coaches with his speed and athleticism. The 6-foot 200-            carryover." Despite the praise from Palmer, his on-field play
pounder was a track star at Rutgers. He's competing for a          has been less reassuring. One observer noted that teammates
roster spot at cornerback and if he continues to play well he      started actually quacking at Manning after he overthrew
could land on the practice squad, at the very least. On            Sinorice Moss on a deep pass in practice. As it was last
Thursday the Saints placed S Steve Gleason on season-ending        season, Manning has looked brilliant at times, and erratic at
IR. DT Brian Young is still recovering from a broken foot and      others. It’s the consistency that will either turn him into an
he will be limited for the beginning of camp.                      elite QB or push him toward mediocrity. During a 2-minute
                                                                   drill in evening practice, Manning failed to get his team into
Special Teams: The Saints traded for kicker Olindo Mare,           the endzone, throwing an interception to safety James Butler.
knowing that he can kickoff and hoping that last year’s low        Meanwhile the hefty lefty, Jared Lorenzen, has played well
field goal percentage was just a one year slump. Undrafted         and could conceivably break camp as the #2.
rookie Brett Bergstrom from Eastern Washington will serve as
the camp leg. Beloved return specialist Michael “Beer Man”         RB: Brandon Jacobs is going to be the Giants bell-cow this
Lewis is gone. Punt return duties will probably be shared by       year barring an unforeseen circumstance. Offensive
RB Reggie Bush and WR Lance Moore. The kickoff return              coordinator Kevin Gilbride threw out the idea of getting
picture is less clear. Lance Moore will get a chance to expand     Jacobs “20 to 25 carries per game”, which obviously implies
into that role and perhaps acquire a beloved nickname of his       Jacobs will push for 300+ carries this season if things go
own. RB Aaron Stecker, WR Terrance Copper, and WR Jamal            according to plan. In consecutive practices, he absolutely blew
Jones are also possibilities. Reggie Bush is a remote              up S Gibril Wilson and LB Antonio Pierce; running over them
possibility; however the Saints have been reluctant to use him     in a way Tiki Barber never could have. Jacobs has also been
in that role. CB Jason David, WR Tramain Hall, rookie CB           surprisingly confident as a receiver, showing soft hands and a
David Jones, rookie CB Joe Porter, rookie WR Robert                willingness to go out and snatch the ball despite the inevitable
hit. Reuben Droughns is entrenched as the backup and should         challenge RB Derrick Ward, the incumbent on kickoff returns.
see 8-10 touches in games where the Giants can run the ball as      Both will also challenge veteran CB R.W. McQuarters and
much as planned. Ahmad Bradshaw is running well, and could          rookie CB Aaron Ross on punt returns. The early favorites are
displace Derrick Ward as the 3rd running back. Bradshaw’s           probably Moss on kickoff returns and Ross on punt returns.
youth and upside could give him the edge if the Giants only
keep three tailbacks.                                               Giants Depth Chart
                                                                    QB: Eli Manning, Anthony Wright, Jared Lorenzen, Tim
WR: There were fears that both Plaxico Burress and Amani            Hasselbeck
Toomer would be unable to practice at the start of camp, but        RB: Brandon Jacobs (SD), Reuben Droughns, Derrick Ward
that turned out to be a false concern. 33-year old Amani            (RFA), Ahmad Bradshaw, Cedric Humes
Toomer, coming back from an ACL injury, caught everyone’s           FB: Jim Finn (IR), Robert Douglas
attention including his head coach’s. “He was good,”                WR: Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer (inj), Sinorice Moss,
Coughlin said. “I tell you what was really interesting was that     Steve Smith, David Tyree, Michael Jennings (PR), Anthony
Amani ran the conditioning test really well. I don’t know if I      Mix, Brandon London, Marco Thomas, Kevin McMahan
was prepared to see him do it that well. He made all ten times      TE: Jeremy Shockey, Darcy Johnson, Kevin Boss, Charles
and he did it with some style and some endurance. Then to be        Davis, Michael Matthews, Rodney Burgess
able to see him come out and have a practice in which, to be        K: Lawrence Tynes, Josh Huston
honest with you, there was no quarter asked and none really         DT: Fred Robbins, Barry Cofield, William Joseph, Jay Alford
given.” Toomer may be back, but that doesn’t change how             (DE), Marcus Bell, Jonas Seawright, Ahmad Childress
impressive rookie Steve Smith has looked. Running primarily         DE: Michael Strahan (inj), Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck (inj),
with the 2nd unit, Smith has been crisp in and out of his cuts,     Adrian Awasom, Marquies Gunn, Charrod Taylor
and made an electrifying 30-yard catch in Saturday’s practice.      MLB: Antonio Pierce (M/W), Chase Blackburn
Sinorice Moss, hurt most of last year, has been healthy and         OLB: Kawika Mitchell (W), Mathias Kiwanuka (S), Reggie
looks capable of contributing, too. Michael Jennings has also       Torbor (S), Gerris Wilkinson (W), Zak DeOssie, Tyson Smith
had his moments, even running with the first team at times.         CB: Sam Madison, Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, R.W.
From one through five, the Giants appear to have the best WR        McQuarters (FS/PR), Kevin Dockery, Gerrick McPhearson,
depth they’ve seen in a long, long time.                            E.J. Underwood (inj)
                                                                    S: Gibril Wilson (SS), Will Demps (FS), James Butler (SS),
TE: There is Jeremy Shockey and then everyone else. Kevin           Michael Johnson, Michael Stone, Craig Dahl, Jason Bell (IR)
Boss and Darcy Johnson are ill-equipped to fill Shockey’s
shoes, but they won’t have to as long as the perennial Pro
Bowler stays healthy.
                                                                    New York Jets

Defense: The Giants once again find themselves amidst a             QB: Unlike last year when Chad Pennington had to win the
media storm thanks to retirement chatter from a veteran. This       starting job, he enters this year’s camp as the anointed starter.
year, it’s DE Michael Strahan who is unhappy with the $8mm          Last year’s Comeback Player of the Year, Pennington knows
due him over the next two seasons. What most thought was a          he has more work to do coming off a year in which he threw a
negotiating ploy has now turned personal, with Strahan saying       career-high 16 INTs with a completion percentage of 64.5%
he “feels betrayed” by the Giants and ownership; which has          (the lowest of his career in which he started at least 10 games).
refused to consider redoing his contract. Whether Strahan           With Pennington as the entrenched starter, the offense is
reports to camp or not, the team appears ready to move on as        enjoying more continuity than they had at this time last year.
HC Tom Coughlin met with DE Simeon Rice on Tuesday.                 “It feels good to have a set quarterback right now," WR
Mathius Kiwanuka will not be moved back to DE from LB in            Jerricho Cotchery said. "When you have one guy in the entire
spite of the Strahan situation; as the team doesn’t want to stunt   time, you get used to that guy. Everyone becomes one and gets
Kiwi’s transition. With Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora               that good feeling. Everyone just feeds off the quarterback." On
making plays at defensive end, that’s a luxury the Giants can       Saturday, Pennington hooked up for a TD with Cotchery down
afford themselves, for now. The surprise of camp so far has         the deep middle, beating CB Justin Miller to the ball. One
been safety James Butler; who has shown a knack for pass            slight surprise at the beginning of camp was WR Brad Smith,
deflections while also showing a physical side necessary to         who is working as a quarterback now. "He is a quarterback
excel at strong safety.                                             that plays receiver some and does some other things. Brad is a
                                                                    quarterback and you will see him throughout camp playing
                                                                    quarterback and in preseason games he will play quarterback.
Special Teams: Medical matters have taken precedence over           He's just a quarterback that has the versatility to play other
the kicking competition. It may be difficult for kicker             positions," Head Coach Eric Mangini said. Smith was a dual-
Lawrence Tynes to be fully focused in camp for personal             threat QB at the University of Missouri.
reasons. His newborn twin sons were born premature in early
July and just recently released from intensive care. Josh
Huston, the challenger for the kicking job, did not get a chance    RB: Thomas Jones didn’t waste any time ingratiating himself
to kick in minicamps due to appendicitis. In the first practice,    to his new teammates. “We all know what type of player
Huston was perfect on all his field goals, while Tynes missed       Thomas Jones has been in this league," QB Chad Pennington
twice. Training camp will feature battles for both return jobs.     said. "I’ve known Thomas since 2000. We trained together for
WR Sinorice Moss and rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw will                  the combine in Florida. He’s a hard worker, number one, and
                                                                    he works extremely hard and is a true professional.” During
11-on-11 drills, Jones flashed his trademark quickness and           more comfortable and expect to be much better this year. With
power by bursting through the line for a 15 yards gain taking a      more experience and some key additions, the Jets are
few hits from defenders in the process. While he was                 confident heading into camp. One key addition is 2 nd round
impressive early, he also put the ball on the carpet once.           pick (No. 47 overall) LB David Harris, who has already
During 9-on-7 drills, Jones broke off a 20 yard run only to be       displayed his run-stuffing prowess. The 6’2”, 243 pounds
surprised by DE Shaun Ellis, who caught up to him and                inside LB led the Michigan defense in tackles as a senior with
stripped the ball as the play came to an end. For that, Jones        96. “Football is football,” he said of the transition to the pro
earned a lap around the practice field. “Coach Mangini runs          game. “Two-a-days are going to be hard no matter where you
practices the way they’re supposed to be run," Jones said. "We       go. You have to pick up everything as fast as you can and
go through each drill and if you don’t get it right, you do it       hopefully it will translate from the classroom to the field.”
over.”                                                               Harris hopes to be a quick study on the field, and off it, too.
                                                                     He dives right back into the playbook when the day is over
A few plays later, Leon Washington stumbled then fell on his         and they head back to the dorms. “I'm actually rooming with
chest, fumbling the handoff in the process. As Washington            Chansi Stuckey. We get along very well. He's very funny and
began his lap, Jones ran over to join him. He even waited for        cool, just a humble guy,” Harris said. “We actually haven’t
Washington while he lost his breakfast halfway through the           had time to play video games. As soon as we go back to the
lap. “Thomas has been a really positive influence and it goes        dorms, we're in our books and then it’s lights out after that.”
back to what our research showed on him," HC Mangini said.           Harris has a couple of familiar faces to help him along, too.
"Every team that he was at had great things to say about him         Fellow LB Victor Hobson was a 5th year senior at Michigan
and that’s been our experience. That’s why we brought him            when Harris was a red-shirt freshman. His position coach Jim
here. Outside of his abilities, there’s great character.” On         Herrmann was his defensive coordinator for a couple seasons,
Friday, the Jets signed veteran RB Tony Fisher to replace            too. “It makes the transition easier. Even if you know one
Cedric Houston, who abruptly left the team on July 26 for            person, it makes it easier because you have someone to talk
personal reasons. Mangini commented that he believes                 to,” said the rookie. “Victor gives me pointers every chance he
Houston's departure is a permanent one. On Saturday,                 gets and has just been a real good teammate.”
Washington was absent for personal reasons allowing Alvin
Banks and Danny Ware more reps working behind Jones.                 First round pick CB Darrelle Revis was not on the field when
Ware had a couple of nice plays. In red zone drills, he made a       camp began as he had not yet reached a contract agreement
15-yard inside run, putting his shoulder into S Jamie                with the team. "Anybody that's not here is really missing
Thompson to get across the goal line. Then he got free on a          opportunities to get better and to compete for what I'm sure
swing pass around end as Eric Barton and Bryan Thomas                what they all want, which is playing time," said Mangini. "But
collided trying to tackle him.                                       we are going to focus on the guys that are here and get them
                                                                     better and collectively get better." Free-agent addition Kenyon
WR: Last year, like several years prior to it, Laveranues Coles      Coleman lined up at DE with the first team along with David
battled through injuries to post a career-high 91 receptions.        Bowens at OLB and David Harris at ILB. Safety Eric Smith
Despite his chronic toe problems and other assorted ailments,        was also with the starting group. Veteran DE Bobby Hamilton
Coles is the only NFL receiver to start all 96 games in the past     looked sharp and managed to be in all the right places. LB
six seasons. Coles and Jerricho Cotchery are locked in as            Cody Spencer had two big hits during drills, including one that
starters, but there is plenty of competition for the spots behind    knocked RB Alvin Banks' helmet off. The Jets signed LB
them. Veterans Justin McCareins, Tim Dwight, Wallace                 Mark Zalewski on Friday. LB Matt Chatham is on the PUP
Wright, Frisman Jackson and rookie 7th round pick Chansi             list, and like Dwight, was on the field but didn’t dress or
Stuckey will battle for those spots. Mangini was asked what          participate in drills.
kind of role Stuckey could have this year. "The first thing he's
got to do is make the team. The second thing is carve out a          Special Teams: Kicker Mike Nugent turned the proverbial
role for himself. There are a lot of receivers, it's a competitive   corner after Week 1 last year, and was nearly perfect
group. That's what he's doing and that's what we're trying to        thereafter. Camp leg Justin Ayat, who graduated from Hawaii
find out as well. There's a lot of work ahead for him." Rookie       in 2004, was signed last week and then released over the
WR Jessie Pellot-Rosa was held out of practice after he broke        weekend. CB Justin Miller will once again be the lead kickoff
his hand. Pellot-Rose was a college basketball star at VCU and       returner, assuming his offseason legal troubles do no cause
he’s attempting to make the transition as an NFL WR. He              him to miss any games. RB Leon Washington should be the
needs all the reps he can get, so this injury is a major setback     primary backup. The punt returner role is less defined. WR
for him. The Jets also signed free agent WR Chris Davis to a         Tim Dwight has been their best punt returner, although he’s
contract. Davis spent most of the past two seasons as a              had trouble staying healthy and is currently on the PUP list.
member of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football            Rookie CB Darrelle Revis is the favorite for the job, assuming
League. WR Tim Dwight, who is on the team’s PUP list, was            his success in college translates into the NFL. Leon
on the field but didn’t dress or participate in practice.            Washington also serves as a backup on punt returns. The dark
                                                                     horse candidate is rookie WR Chansi Stuckey who has drawn
Defense: The Jets defense hopes to improve in their second           comparisons to Dwight.
year running the 3-4 scheme. While the team wanted Jonathan
Vilma and DeWayne Robertson to gain some weight this                 Jets Depth Chart
offseason, that didn’t happen, but just as important – they feel     QB: Chad Pennington, Kellen Clemens, Marques Tuiasosopo,
Brett Ratliff                                                       with your agent to go over things. I will be out there [at camp]
RB: Thomas Jones, Leon Washington (3RB), Alvin Banks,               ready to go." Bush, who broke his leg at the beginning of the
Danny Ware, Tony Hollings                                           2006 season at Louisville, has begun to run and that he’s close
FB: Darian Barnes, Stacy Tutt                                       to being 100 percent for camp. “I’m out here running and
WR: Laveranues Coles, Jerricho Cotchery, Justin McCareins,          cutting, every other day, making sure everything feels good.
Brad Smith (QB), Tim Dwight (PUP), Chansi Stuckey,                  Right now I’m getting excited. Just being out there on my own
Wallace Wright, Frisman Jackson, Jessie Pellot-Rosa, Evan           two feet feels good,” he explained. He has been attending
Prall, Iiro Luoto, Juan Wong, Chris Davis                           meetings and keeps his nose in the playbook, in preparation
TE: Chris Baker, Jason Pociask (inj), Sean Ryan, Joe                for when he is healthy. As for the skeptics who think he is too
Kowalewski, James Dearth (LS)                                       big (at 245 pounds), Bush said it just adds fuel to his fire and
K: Mike Nugent, Brian Wingert                                       that’s ok with him, it’s part of what drives him. “I love to
NT: Dewayne Robertson, Rashad Moore, Monsanto Pope,                 make a guy miss. They always say that I’m kind of big, that I
C.J. Mosley, Sione Pouha (inj)                                      can’t make a guy miss. I like to prove people wrong about
DE: Shaun Ellis, Kimo Van Oelhoffen, Kenyon Coleman,                that,” he said. Bush added that he’s been rehabbing diligently,
Bobby Hamilton, Eric Hicks, Michael Haynes, Andre                   attending team meetings and working hard in the weight room.
Wadsworth, Matt King, Jason Trusnik                                 He’s anxious to let loose on the field. With Bush’s motivation
ILB: Jonathan Vilma, David Harris, Eric Barton, Brad                he could be a deep sleeper as a fantasy back both this year, but
Kassell, Anthony Schlegel                                           especially for dynasty leagues. For now, Bush is on the team’s
OLB: Victor Hobson (S), Bryan Thomas (DE), David                    PUP list until he fully recovers. According to beat writer Jerry
Bowens, Matt Chatham (S) (PUP), Mark Zelewski                       McDonald, the best looking running back in the first couple of
CB: Andre Dyson, Darrelle Revis, David Barrett, Drew                days was Adimchinobe Echemandu.
Coleman, Justin Miller (KR), Hank Poteat
S: Kerry Rhodes (FS), Erik Coleman (SS), Rashad                     WR: In stark contrast to last year, Jerry Porter reported to
Washington, Eric Smith (SS)                                         camp in good spirits, no championship belt and no obscene
                                                                    gestures. "You'll see the belt later this week," Porter said. "I
                                                                    lost about seven pounds so it's going to look even better."
                                                                    During the first day of drills, WRs rotated along with QBs and
                                                                    RBs, with no regard to who will be the eventual starters. Mike
Oakland Raiders                                                     Williams was back on the field for camp and catching the ball
                                                                    well after tweaking a hamstring in minicamp. "He's moving
QB: Things keep getting more interesting in Oakland.                around OK," HC Lane Kiffin said. "He caught the ball real
Contract negotiations with 1st overall pick JaMarcus Russell        well today. But he has a long ways to go. There is a lot of
are going nowhere fast and, as a result, the Raiders signed         potential in there. We'll see if it comes out." Saturday’s play of
Daunte Culpepper to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Culpepper           the day came from WR Ronald Curry, who outran CB
clearly has the pedigree to start most, if not all of the season,   Stanford Routt and S Stuart Schweigert on a deep route in the
giving the Raiders protection against a protracted Russell          morning practice. Curry adjusted nicely to a Josh McCown
holdout. Prior to Culpepper’s arrival, quarterbacks Josh            pass and took it for a long touchdown. On another play,
McCown and Andrew Walter split time with the first team.            veteran Alvis Whitted flew past the coverage and caught up to
Head coach Lane Kiffin did a bit of posturing at the press          a long pass from Josh McCown for what also would’ve been a
conference to announce Culpepper, promising an open                 TD. Rookie Johnnie Lee Higgins had Saturday night's biggest
competition. "He'll be part of that competition to be the           gaffe when he dropped a perfectly thrown pass from McCown
starting quarterback. We'll give him the opportunity and see if     on a deep post. After Higgins made it back to his group, he
he can take it and if he can't, he'll be a backup," said Kiffin.    dropped down and did push-ups with Jerry Porter looking on.
Yeah, okay Lane, we really believe that’s how it’s going to         Higgins did make a few nice catches on Friday though and he
shake out. Assuming Russell eventually signs, it looks like         was the first guy in line for punt returns, too. Travis Taylor
either McCown or Walter will be the odd man out. Walter,            also got some work catching several short and medium passes
recovering from knee surgery, did his best work when                working against the 2nd and 3rd defensive units.
throwing on time and staying in the pocket. McCown had
some nice plays on bootlegs and rollouts to the perimeter.          TE: After missing the first day of training camp, rookie 2nd
McCown has been more consistent than Walter throwing to             round pick Zach Miller reported to camp after signing on the
the RBs and TEs, while Walter’s timing has been good with           dotted line. "I feel good; I'm just glad to have it done and be
the WRs.                                                            able to get out to practice." Miller said, "I'm here now and I
                                                                    can start practicing, showing the coaches what I have."
RB: In the first two days of camp, starter LaMont Jordan            Courtney Anderson was released leaving Miller to compete
struggled with his receiving, dropping at least three balls on      with Randall Williams, John Madsen and free agent additions
the first day and a couple more on the next day. Tight end          Tony Stewart and Fred Wakefield. Williams missed
Fred Wakefield, a converted tackle, has also had his share of       Saturday’s practice for unspecified reasons. HC Lane Kiffin
drops. Fortunately, Jordan bounced back to make a few nice          was excited to have Miller on the field. “I would say the
catches later in practice. Rookie fourth round pick Michael         initial, obvious thing is that we got Zach (Miller) out here.
Bush, signed his contract in time for camp and he was eager         That was real big for us. I know he’s excited,” Kiffin
and ready to get started. "It feels good. I am real happy about     expressed. “He’s a great competitor. He always has been, all
it. It's all new, you have to read things carefully and sit down
the way back to high school. He’s a guy who’s going to give it       Jay Richardson (DE), Anttaj Hawthorne, Michael Quarshie
up for you, the type of guy we’re looking for.”                      (inj)
                                                                     DE: Derrick Burgess (PUP), Tyler Brayton (DT), Kevin
Defense: Warren Sapp weighed in at a svelte 282 pounds. He           Huntley, Quentin Moses, Bill Swancutt
played along with the media when asked if he was a threat to         MLB: Kirk Morrison (I/W), Isaiah Kacyvenski
the team’s 32-year old HC Lane Kiffin. "I guess it's my age          OLB: Thomas Howard (W), Sam Williams (S), Robert
that got me in trouble so let's not talk age," Sapp said. "The       Thomas (S/W), Isaiah Ekejiuba (inj), Keith Charlton, Ricky
only thing I know is I'm ready to prepare for 16 games if they       Brown, Chris Clemons
allow me to do so." Sapp said he’ll probably put on about 10         CB: Nnamdi Asomugha, Fabian Washington, Stanford Routt,
to 15 pounds before the season starts and that he was                Duane Starks, John Bowie, Chris Carr (PR)
"disrespected" by not making the Pro Bowl in 2006 with a 10-         S: Donovin Darius (SS), Michael Huff (FS/CB), Stuart
sack season. In the secondary, Donovin Darius and Stuart             Schweigert (FS), Colin Branch, Eric Frampton, B.J. Ward (inj)
Schweigert both got first team reps along with Michael Huff at
safety, with Huff playing deep safety when Darius was on the
field. On one play, Darius came forward and knocked the ball
free from tight end Fred Wakefield. "Nice punch, Donnie,"
Wakefield said. On another play, Darius greeted RB LaMont            Philadelphia Eagles
Jordan in 7-on-7 drills with a big hit that left the 230-pound
RB dazed for a few minutes, and HC Lane Kiffin smiling.              QB: Donovan McNabb is back practicing, albeit with a knee
"We got ourselves a hitter, I know that much," Kiffin said.          brace. The self-assured franchise passer has been all smiles,
"He about knocked LaMont out of practice." Oakland LB                but puts his recovery at 75% up to this point. For someone
Derrick Burgess was absent after having hernia surgery two           only running a 3/4ths of his peak, McNabb has looked every
weeks ago. He’s on the team’s active PUP list and participated       bit the player who led the fantasy rankings before tearing his
in agility drills only on Friday. Burgess didn’t sound like a        ACL last year. "It's just going out and executing," McNabb
player ready to make any noise about his contract either. "I'm       said. "I've gotten the opportunity to do it for months, getting
here. I signed a contract here, I'm here to play for the Raiders,"   back, moving in the pocket, getting out of the pocket. So in
Burgess said. "Hopefully they decide they want to give me a          this situation, it's just going out and being able to put the ball
new contract, cool. If not, hey, it's a business, you got to         in a position for guys to make plays for us." Any talk that
remember that." On the eve of camp the Raiders cut SS                rookie Kevin Kolb would challenge for playing time seems
Darnell Bing and S Jarrod Cooper. The Raiders also claimed           silly just a few days into practice. Kolb has looked like a
DE Bill Swancutt off waivers after he was released by the            rookie, showing flashes of the accuracy and athleticism that
Lions a day earlier.                                                 led to his selection in the 2nd round, but at other times looking
                                                                     lost and making improper decisions. A.J. Feeley is positioned
Special Teams: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski is coming off a           as the perfect backup for McNabb; he knows the Philly
mediocre 2006, although that was an improvement over his             offense and has experience executing it at a high level, but he
poor 2005. At present he is the only kicker on the Raiders’          understands this isn’t his team to lead. Feeley said on
roster. One change to which he’ll need to adjust is that long        Saturday, "You have ambitions. You want to play. But like
time long snapper Adam Treu was recently released. CB Chris          I've said all along, sometimes you have to put them on the
Carr has been the teams’ return specialist the last two years,       back burner for the betterment of the team. That's why you're a
and had a heavy workload doing so. Rookie WR Johnnie Lee             backup quarterback. That's why I signed back, to be a backup
Higgins from UTEP was a talented returner in college, and            quarterback. If the other guy's not ready to go, then I'm ready
should either backup Carr, join him in two deep sets, or             to go. But I'm not the guy."
possibly replace him as the return specialist. Chances are that
both will be utilized in the regular season. WR Doug Gabriel         RB: In perhaps a symbolic move, the first offensive play of
will once again serve as an experienced backup.                      training camp was a handoff to Brian Westbrook for a power
                                                                     rush up the heart of the defense. Westbrook enjoyed a
Raiders Depth Chart                                                  breakout rushing season last year, thanks to improved health
                                                                     and the coaches’ willingness to call a more balanced run/pass
QB: Josh McCown, JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter,
                                                                     attack. Westbrook is the clear cut RB1 and will probably be
Daunte Culpepper, Cody Pickett, Josh Booty
                                                                     treated with kid gloves in camp; he’s too valuable to lose in a
RB: LaMont Jordan (inj), Dominic Rhodes (susp), Justin
                                                                     scrimmage or contact drill. The battle for RB2 is shaping up as
Fargas, Michael Bush (PUP), ReShard Lee, Joe Echemandu,
                                                                     one of the most interesting at Lehigh University. Correll
DeJuan Green
                                                                     Buckhalter, who surprised many by staying healthy last year
FB: Justin Griffith, Zack Crockett, Joe Hall (inj), Oren ONeal
                                                                     after his 2,712th knee surgery is being challenged in the early
WR: Jerry Porter, Ron Curry (PR), Doug Gabriel, Travis
                                                                     going by rookie power runner Tony Hunt. "Obviously, we
Taylor, Mike Williams, Alvis Whitted, Johnnie Morant,
                                                                     liked what we saw in college," coach Andy Reid said of Hunt.
Johnnie Lee Higgins (PR), Carlos Francis (inj), Johnathan
                                                                     "If he can translate that to this league, he's going to be very
Holland (inj)
                                                                     successful. If he can do it sooner rather than later, he's going
TE: Zach Miller, Randal Williams, Tony Stewart, John
                                                                     to have an opportunity to get in there and play." Ryan Moats
Madsen, James Adkisson, Jake Nordin
                                                                     seems to be persona non grata, and has voiced displeasure
K: Sebastian Janikowski
                                                                     over Hunt’s position ahead of him on the depth chart.
DT: Warren Sapp, Tommy Kelly (DE), Terdell Sands (NT),
WR: The receiving corps is largely set, with Reggie Brown            Avant, Greg Lewis, Jeremy Bloom (KR/PR), Zac Collie,
and Kevin Curtis slated to start, while Hank Baskett, Jason          Dereck Faulkner, Michael Gasperson
Avant and Greg Lewis backing them up. Curtis, a free agent           TE: L.J. Smith, Matt Schobel, Brent Celek, Mike Bartrum,
addition from St. Louis, must adjust to a new offense and            Kyle Hunt
loftier expectations as an NFL starter. Lewis may be the odd         K: David Akers, E.J. Cochrane
man out if Jeremy Bloom secures the KR job and also shows            DT: Mike Patterson, Brodrick Bunkley, Monte Reagor, Ian
enough to fill in as the team’s 5th WR. Avant is the biggest         Scott, LaJuan Ramsey, Jeremy Clark, Mauricio Lopez
mystery of the group, barely playing a year ago but coming           DE: Jevon Kearse (inj), Darren Howard, Trent Cole, Juqua
into camp with a 50/50 chance to beat Baskett out for the slot       Thomas, Victor Abiamiri, Jerome McDougle, Marcus Murrell
position. Unfortunately, Avant has battled cramps in the first       MLB: Jeremiah Trotter
few days of practice, while Baskett appears stronger and faster      OLB: Takeo Spikes (W), Chris Gocong (S), Omar Gaither
than he was during his surprisingly productive rookie season.        (W/M), Stewart Bradley (S), Matt McCoy (W), Dedrick
                                                                     Roper, Torrance Daniels, Akeem Jordan
TE: Many Eagles fans gasped when L.J. Smith underwent                CB: Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard (PR), Joselio Hanson,
surgery to repair a sports hernia (the same kind of injury that      William James, Rashad Barksdale, C.J. Gaddis, Nick Graham
sidelined McNabb in 2005). But he participated fully in the          S: Brian Dawkins (FS), Sean Considine (SS), Quintin Mikell
two-a-days over the weekend, and seems ready to resume his           (FS), Marcus Paschal, Chris Smith
role as the team’s key playmaker over the middle. Smith has
been wildly inconsistent, particularly in the red zone, which
may explain why the Eagles haven’t signed him to a contract
                                                                     Pittsburgh Steelers
Defense: The defense was the weak link last year but don’t
expect that to be the case in 2007. Jevon Kearse is back             QB: The Steelers are looking for Ben Roethlisberger to
healthy and added 10 pounds this offseason. Jeremiah Trotter         bounce back after a season that saw him throw the most
showed up 10 pounds lighter and has been dominant in                 interceptions of any quarterback in the league (23). Offensive
practice, also providing his usual vocal leadership as the team      coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is now the head coach of the
acclimates a group of young players into key roles. The Chris        Arizona Cardinals, and has been replaced by Bruce Arians,
Gocong experiment at strongside linebacker remains in flux,          who is installing a more wide-open passing offense. The
with rookie Stewart Bradley a potential displacement. The big        Steelers have also hired a new QB coach, Ken Anderson – the
news out of camp thus far has to be the play of DT Brodrick          first change Roethlisberger has seen at that position.
Bunkley; who seems eager to put his disappointing rookie             Roethlisberger is adjusting well, and he should, since he
season to rest. The vaunted competition between Sheldon              helped Arians rewrite the playbook in March and April. He
Brown and Williams James got underway as both CBs have               will have more freedom to audible, pass from spread
shared first team snaps. While James will get a fair shot at the     formations with extra WRs, change protection schemes, and
job, Brown has looked like the better player (big surprise), and     even run some no huddle. Arians has been happy with
James appears headed to the nickel back position; still a vital      Roethlisberger throughout the transition, calling the work he
role in Jim Johnson’s defense.                                       has been putting in “beautiful” and predicting a breakout
                                                                     season. Ben has already had his moments in the first week of
                                                                     camp. He beat the defense for three touchdowns in five tries
Special Teams: Kicker David Akers will be keeping a close
                                                                     during a red zone drill under the lights in front of 12,000 fans.
eye on the punting competition this preseason between veteran
                                                                     After the practice Arians said, "I was real pleased. He knows
Dirk Johnson and Australian Sav Rocca. The winner will very
                                                                     what he's doing right now." Charlie Batch’s job as the backup
likely also be the holder. The camp leg will be provided by
                                                                     and Brian St. Pierre’s job as the #3 are still safe after the
E.J. Cochrane. The Eagles drafted WR Jeremy Bloom last
                                                                     Steelers talked to, but did not sign, Aaron Brooks. It’s fair to
year with the hope that he would become their return
                                                                     say his job wouldn’t have been in danger if Brooks had been
specialist. Despite not playing last year due to a hamstring
                                                                     signed, but even the interest in another veteran QB is curious
injury, the job is his to lose this year. The dark horse candidate
                                                                     given how well Batch has played when called upon.
is WR Bill Sampy, who spent last year on the practice squad.
If neither of them earns the job, head coach Andy Reid notes
                                                                     RB: Willie Parker is the clear featured back in this offense on
that he can resort to some veterans, “We'll see how it works
                                                                     1st and 2nd down, but the 3rd down back/backup role is up for
out. I always know in my back pockets that I've got Lito
                                                                     grabs. Najeh Davenport is still the leader in that battle,
[Sheppard] and Brian [Westbrook] if I need them. We'll see
                                                                     although standout rookie LB LaMarr Woodley did put him on
how Jeremy does. We're expecting him to do a nice job there."
                                                                     his back in a pass protection drill. Davenport has consistently
                                                                     been the first back to replace Parker in the first team offense.
Eagles Depth Chart                                                   The news about free agent pickup and hometown boy Kevan
QB: Donovan McNabb (inj), A.J. Feeley, Kevin Kolb, Kelly             Barlow has been almost universally negative. His performance
Holcomb                                                              in pass blocking drills has been subpar, and he hasn’t shown a
RB: Brian Westbrook, Correll Buckhalter, Ryan Moats, Tony            decisive burst on his carries. Those carries have also been few
Hunt, Antoine Bagwell                                                and far between. Barlow isn’t getting any carries with the first
FB: Thomas Tapeh, Jason Davis (inj), Nate Ilaoa                      team, and he was the sixth in the pecking order at running
WR: Reggie Brown, Kevin Curtis, Hank Baskett, Jason                  back in Sunday’s practice. Verron Haynes started camp on the
PUP. He has since been put on the active roster and is just         Defense: The biggest news for the Steelers defense happened
about practicing at full-go after his 2006 ended with a serious     before camp opened. Troy Polamalu signed an extension that
knee injury, although he reportedly still does not look 100%.       will keep him in black and gold through 2011. The linebackers
Don’t rule Parker out of the third down back battle – he has        the Steelers took in the first two rounds are on opposite ends
been strong in pass protection drills and has expressed his         of the spectrum. First round pick Lawrence Timmons re-
desire to be on the field for every down. Parker’s effort drew      injured the groin that kept him out of minicamp and OTAs,
praise from new RB coach Kirby Wilson and head coach Mike           and is out indefinitely as the team will surely take it slow with
Tomlin. John Kuhn’s pass blocking was also singled out by           a recurring injury. LaMarr Woodley, on the other hand, has
Wilson, but there are hungry players breathing down his neck        been outstanding. Woodley is taking well to the conversion
for a roster spot. Two guys to keep an eye are Carey Davis and      from DE to OLB. James Harrison is nursing sore ribs, so
Gary Russell. Davis has been a standout on special teams and        Woodley is even getting reps with the first team defense. The
as a blocker in pass protection. He has the versatility to play     coaches have said Woodley is ahead of schedule compared to
both fullback and tailback, which could help him make the           others who have made the transition in the past. He has also
team. Russell is in much better shape than he was at the            flattened many RBs during the linebacker drills. Anthony
combine. Wilson said the undrafted free agent, who looked           Smith and Ryan Clark are in an intense battle for the safety
great in 2005 sharing the University of Minnesota backfield         spot opposite Polamalu. Both landed big hits on Willie Reid,
with Laurence Maroney, has “an appetite for violence”, which        and Smith has generally been playing a very physical game in
can only be interpreted as a good thing.                            practice. They are rotating in practice, but Smith has to be
                                                                    considered the favorite after his strong finish to 2006 in place
WR: The biggest news in the WR corps was that Santonio              of an injured Clark. In the most interesting twist for the
Holmes started camp on the PUP because of a non-football            defenders, Casey Hampton got a snap at fullback (which he
related surgical procedure. Holmes would not divulge the            said is “over” after getting stoned by Clint Kriewaldt), and
nature of his injury, but one report said it was “embarrassing”.    Brett Keisel caught a pass in the end zone as a tight end.
Holmes has since come off the PUP and he’s almost up to full
speed after missing the first four days of practice. Willie Reid    Special Teams: With the change in coaching staff, the
is healthy, saying his speed and quickness are “fine” and that      Steelers have seen a huge increase in the amount of practice
he’s happy with his progress after suffering a lisfranc foot        time devoted to special teams. Kicker Jeff Reed has been
injury last year, but the defensive backs are treating him like a   practicing with the recently acquired narrow goalposts for
piñata, teeing off on Reid on multiple occasions. Reid held on      which he’d been begging. Camp leg Connor Hughes was one
to the ball every time, something that was not lost on Tomlin,      of the higher ranked kicker prospects in 2006, and looked
“It's also showing your ability to take some blows and catch        good in camp with New Orleans last year. WR Willie Reid
balls and bounce up. Willie Reid has proven to us that he           was yet another talented returner in last year’s draft class that
doesn't have any fear.” Hines Ward thought the defensive            saw his rookie year waylaid by injury. Early indications are
backs taking cheap shots at the wide receivers. He compared         that he is now fully healthy. He’ll get the first shot at the punt
the hits to something smelly that chickens leave in the             returner role, with WR Santonio Holmes next in line. Both
barnyard and reportedly aired his concerns to the defense,          players will also be in the mix for kickoff returns, along with
because the coaching staff did not tell them to tone it down.       RB Najeh Davenport.
Nate Washington caught a 35-yard touchdown pass while
Holmes was out, and also converted a 4th and 10 that
eventually led to a scrap between Tyrone Carter and                 Steelers Depth Chart
Washington, but the tension between the WRs and DBs                 QB: Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Batch, Brian St. Pierre
seemed to ease by the end of the weekend. Cedrick Wilson            RB: Willie Parker, Najeh Davenport, Kevan Barlow, Verron
also caught one of the Roethlisberger TDs in the red zone drill     Haynes (PUP), John Kuhn, Gary Russell, Larry Croom
under the lights. Dallas Baker had a diving catch that merited      FB: Dan Kreider
a mention in one local rag in his quest to make the team. In a      WR: Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes (PUP), Cedrick Wilson,
typical Steelers move, they have brought Pittsburgh native and      Nate Washington, Willie Reid (KR/PR), Dallas Baker, Eric
former West Virginia quarterback Rasheed Marshall in to add         Fowler, Dan Sheldon, Gerran Walker
to the wide receiver mix. Marshall’s “slash” profile gives him      TE: Heath Miller, Jerame Tuman, Matt Spaeth, Cody Boyd
an outside shot to make the team because he can fill the roles      K: Jeff Reed
of WR, QB, and returner.                                            NT: Casey Hampton, Chris Hoke
                                                                    DE: Aaron Smith, Brett Keisel, Ryan McBean, Travis
TE: Heath Miller was part of the no-huddle package, which is        Kirschke, Nick Eason, Derrick Jones
a good sign for his involvement in the new looks Bruce Arians       ILB: James Farrior, Larry Foote, Rian Wallace, Clint
will bring to the offense. Some of the no huddle looks also         Kriewaldt
included Jerame Tuman, a 2nd TE. Miller also caught a fade          OLB: Clark Haggans (S), James Harrison (W), Lawrence
from Roethlisberger in the corner of the end zone for a             Timmons (W)(inj), LaMarr Woodley (S), Arnold Harrison
touchdown during the red zone drill under the lights. Third         (inj), Marquis Cooper, Derek Rehage (PUP), Marcello Church
round pick Matt Spaeth recorded an impressive catch over the        CB: Deshea Townsend, Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden,
middle in 11-on-11s early in camp, but suffered a shoulder          Ricardo Colclough (inj), William Gay, Chidi Iwouma,
injury, and was day to day heading into the second week of          Anthony Madison
camp. Tomlin said his injury was not serious.                       S: Troy Polamalu (SS), Anthony Smith (FS), Ryan Clark (FS),
                                                                    Tyrone Carter (SS/CB)
                                                                     round pick a year ago, and Derek Stanley, a 7 th round pick in
                                                                     this year’s draft.
St. Louis Rams                                                       TE: On Saturday, Randy McMichael made a spectacular grab
                                                                     during 11-on-11 drills, turning back and going over S Corey
QB: Marc Bulger got his contract settled prior to camp – a           Chavous to snare the ball. His familiarity with Linehan’s
contract that places him among the upper echelon of NFL              scheme should make the adjustment to his new surroundings
QBs. The two-time Pro Bowler inked six-year, $65 million             easier than most free agent transitions. It’s unclear how
contract extension on Friday making Bulger the highest-paid          frequently McMichael will be targeted given the other options
player in Rams history. The contract calls for $27 million in        on the roster, but he should clearly increase the value of the
guaranteed money and places Bulger among the top six                 TE position in St. Louis where TEs have been a forgotten
quarterbacks making $10 million a year. "The whole time we           factor offensively for a few years.
knew it was going to get done, it was just a matter of
logistics," Bulger said. "The numbers are one thing. It's huge.
                                                                     Defense: The Rams were happy to have first round pick DE
The first contract was a life-changer, and this is a life-
                                                                     Adam Carriker signed before camp. Carriker inked a 5-year
changer." Gus Frerotte is a seasoned veteran of Head Coach
                                                                     deal and practiced in full pads for the first time on Saturday
Scott Linehan’s system, and provides a better-than-average
                                                                     afternoon. He was impressive, to say the least. On one play, he
backup option. Ryan Fitzpatrick will battle Brock Berlin for
                                                                     tossed center Andy McCollum to the ground and he bulldozed
the emergency QB duties, with a clear edge to the incumbent
                                                                     guard Richie Incognito to the turf later on. He appeared
                                                                     comfortable playing NT, despite having played DE at
                                                                     Nebraska. HC Scott Linehan’s assessment of Carriker’s
RB: Can Steven Jackson improve on his career year? He has            showing was measured, “It was a good first day for him. I
set his goals on breaking the NFL record for total yards and         knew he wouldn’t disappoint us. He looked that way on film
surpassing the 2,500 yard mark in the process. Whether he            when he played in college.” Privately, the coaches were pretty
breaks that record will depend on staying healthy, and to do         jacked, as one coach said, “He’s just a beast out there.” The
that, the team hopes rookie 2nd round pick Brian Leonard can         LB corps was thinner than usual due to illness, injury and
contribute immediately as a fullback, backup and receiver out        heartache. The team only had six LBs in uniform on Saturday:
of the backfield. Last year, the Rams wanted someone to              starters Brandon Chillar, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Will
emerge to help Jackson carry the load and Leonard appears to         Witherspoon, along with Jon Alston, Raonall Smith and
be much better positioned to do what Tony Fisher, Moe                undrafted rookie Quinton Culberson. Chris Draft was
Williams and Stephen Davis couldn’t accomplish. HC Scott             hospitalized with swelling in his throat (asthma). Tim
Linehan said earlier in the summer that he wants Leonard to          McGarigle, a second-year pro, pulled a hamstring on Friday
get his touches and that he’ll contribute to the Rams filling a      night. He could be sidelined for a week or so. Kevin McLee,
similar role the one he had at Rutgers. How well Leonard does        an undrafted rookie "has had a lot of personal issues and has
in the preseason may well help define his eventual fantasy           decided to hang it up," said Linehan. McLee's father died
prospects as well. Barring injury, of course, Leonard should         earlier this week, so condolences to McLee and his family.
still have a nice role running and catching the football when        Jamal Brooks, a fifth-year pro who played briefly with the
Jackson isn’t. ”First of all, I think Steven Jackson is a great      Rams last year, will take McLee's spot (if he passes a physical
guy... He is helping me out a lot. I just want to get in there and   exam). In the secondary, Lenny Walls has been working as the
help him out. He had over 1,500 yards rushing and over 800           nickel back, coming in on passing downs to cover wide while
yards receiving. That's a lot of hits. Hopefully, I can get in       Ron Bartell slides inside to pick up the slot receiver.
there and take a couple of his reps and take some hits off his
body, “said Leonard. “He is really doing a nice job, and the
                                                                     Special Teams: In recent years, veteran kicker Jeff Wilkins
thing I'm real happy about is how he doing mentally,” Linehan
                                                                     has scaled back his offseason and preseason work to save his
said. At Rutgers, Leonard started 45 of 47 games and set a Big
                                                                     leg for the regular season. It appears that he knows what he is
East record by catching at least one ball in every game. He
                                                                     doing. While he is resting, camp leg Kevin Lovell, a rookie
amassed a school-record 5,961 all-purpose yards, 207
                                                                     out of Cincinnati, will be busy. After years of futility on
receptions and 272 points.
                                                                     returns, the Rams traded for one of the top return specialist in
                                                                     the history of the NFL…WR Dante Hall. As long as he
WR: The Rams WR corps is mostly set with Isaac Bruce,                remains healthy, he should handle nearly all the kickoff and
Torry Holt, Drew Bennett and Dante Hall all locks for the first      punt returns this year. There are two big related questions.
four spots. That leaves seven other players jockeying for what       First, how much have his skills declined in recent years?
might be one or two roster spots. On Saturday, Dominique             Second, can his teammates provide adequate blocking and
Thompson, who spent last year on the practice squad, got a           open up lanes for him? Potential backups on returns include
long look taking snaps with the first team as Holt and Bruce         RB Kay-Jay Harris, WR Marques Hagans and WR Dane
took limited snaps. Thompson, 5-11 and 205 pounds, made              Looker.
several catches, including an impressive sliding grab in the
end zone during red-zone drills. "He deserves (the reps) from
how he started and where he's come since he's been here,"            Rams Depth Chart
Linehan said. He had a great offseason, and this is a great time     QB: Marc Bulger, Gus Frerotte, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock
to give Thompson plenty of work. The competition for the No          Berlin
6 spot includes Thompson as well as Marques Hagans, a 6 th           RB: Steven Jackson, Travis Minor, Kay-Jay Harris
FB: Brian Leonard, Madison Hedgecock, Chris Massey, Brad             everybody with his deep speed, smooth routes, and soft hands.
Lua                                                                  Davis has already established a rapport with Philip Rivers, and
WR: Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Drew Bennett, Dante Hall                appears to be the early favorite over Eric Parker and Malcom
(PR/KR), Dane Looker, Derek Stanley, Dominique                       Floyd to start across from Jackson. Parker is quick and
Thompson, Lamart Barrett, Nate Morton                                normally reliable, but is coming off a rather poor performance
TE: Randy McMichael, Joel Klopfenstein, Dominique Byrd,              in the playoff loss to New England last year. Parker’s toe
Aaron Walker, Mark Anelli, Steve Buches                              injury is not considered serious, but every practice he misses
K: Jeff Wilkins, Kevin Lovell                                        will hurt his chances to start if Davis continues to shine.
DT: Adam Carriker (DE), La'Roi Glover, Claude Wroten,                Floyd, meanwhile, has tantalizing big-play ability but hasn’t
Clifton Ryan, Keith Jackson                                          been able to stay healthy. Barring injury, he will be part of the
DE: Leonard Little, James Hall (inj), Victor Adeyanju (inj),         WR rotation, but is probably behind both Davis and Parker in
Ryan Willis                                                          the bid to start. The sleeper of the WR bunch is Greg
MLB: Will Witherspoon                                                Camarillo. He runs excellent routes, has reliable hands, and
OLB: Pisa Tinoisamoa (W), Brandon Chillar (S), Chris Draft           has shown a knack for making plays in training camp. His lack
(S/W), Jon Alston (W), Raonall Smith, Kevin McLee, Tim               of speed may prevent him from making the roster, but as long
McGarigle                                                            as he continues to make plays he is someone to watch. Kassim
CB: Fakhir Brown (susp), Tye Hill, Jonathan Wade, Mike               Osgood is a standout special teams player, but his hands are
Rumph, Lenny Walls, Josh Lay                                         too inconsistent for him to work his way into the WR rotation.
S: Corey Chavous (SS), Oshiomogho Atogwe (FS), Ronald
Bartell (FS/CB), Todd Johnson (FS), Jerome Carter (SS), J.R.         TE: Antonio Gates had a bit of an off year last year – for him
Reed (FS), Jeffrey Dukes (FS)                                        – but still finished as the number one fantasy tight end. Norv
                                                                     Turner has indicated that the Chargers will try to find
                                                                     additional ways to get their start tight end the ball this season.
                                                                     Rookie Scott Chandler has been getting favorable reviews
                                                                     early in training camp. The former wide receiver probably
San Diego Chargers                                                   won’t play much unless Gates is injured, but has shown an
                                                                     ability to get open and catch the ball working with the second
QB: Philip Rivers is more confident in his leadership ability        team. Brandon Manumaleuna is primarily a blocker. He lacks
this year after leading the team to 14 wins in 2006 and earning      speed to get downfield, but has good hands at close range.
an invitation to the Pro Bowl in his first season as a starter. He   Kelly Griffith has surprising speed for a 300-pounder, but
injured his foot at the end of last season, but showed no signs      there may not be enough room for him on the final roster.
of a limp as training camp got underway, and by all accounts
looked sharp. There is quite a large drop-off between Rivers         Defense: Two of the biggest training camp battles this year
and backups, however. Charlie Whitehurst, in his second              are for starting jobs at safety and at corner. At this point, it
season, will try to work his way ahead of Billy Volek for the        looks like Clinton Hart will hold off rookie Eric Weddle to
number two spot on the depth chart, but neither QB was               start at safety along with Marlon McCree. Hart had a strong
impressive during the first few days of training camp.               offseason and looked sharp in the first few days of training
                                                                     camp. He got all the first-team reps at strong safety while
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson broke more than his fair share of            Weddle’s only action with the first team was in nickel and
records last season, and returns fully healthy. Head coach           dime packages. One of the more spectacular plays in the first
Norv Turner has stated that he’d like to get backup Michael          few days of training camp was Hart’s interception of a deep
Turner more involved in the offense, but look for Tomlinson          pass that initially looked like it would be caught by Malcom
to once again get the large majority of the work. Darren             Floyd. Weddle appeared somewhat slow to react on the first
Sproles is fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered last      day of camp, but showed his playmaking ability on the second
season. He has excellent quickness and open-field running            day. At cornerback, the battle is between Antonio Cromartie
ability, but must improve his consistency catching the ball.         and Drayton Florence to start alongside Quentin Jammer.
Sproles may have to win the punt- or kick-return job to make         Cromartie and Florence are both getting reps with the first
the final roster, as he will face competition for the third RB       team, but early in camp the advantage has generally gone to
spot from Tyronne Gross. Rookie Legedu Naanee has been               the offense over the defense in the passing game. Cromartie
lining up at a variety of positions, including fullback, wide        and Florence have each been beaten by both Craig Davis and
receiver, tight end, and running back. While his athleticism         Malcom Floyd. Florence did pick off an underthrown Philip
and versatility practically assure him of at least a place on the    Rivers pass on the first day of camp, but Cromartie has the
practice squad, Naanee is unlikely to receive a lot of playing       edge in size and speed, and (unlike Florence) is signed beyond
time for the Chargers as a rookie.                                   this year. We’ll have more to report on this battle in the next
                                                                     update. Rookie CB Paul Oliver has not made an impact so far.
WR: Vincent Jackson was the Chargers’ best wide receiver by          At linebacker, Matt Wilhelm has looked good early in pass
the end of last season, and is being counted on to fill the WR1      coverage, as he tries to fill the shoes of the departed Donnie
role this year. He has a fantastic size-speed combination, but       Edwards. Tim Dobbins, Anthony Waters and Brandon Siler
must prove that he can be consistent catching the ball. The talk     will all compete to rotate in at ILB with Wilhelm and Stephen
of training camp so far, however, has been rookie Crag Davis.        Cooper, but there’s little to report on that front right now, as
With Eric Parker missing time early in camp with an injured          the early training camp practices have not been full-contact.
toe, Davis has worked with the first team and impressed
Special Teams: Nate Kaeding enters camp as the only kicker         monstrous new contract extension as a result. After staying
on the Chargers roster. He has quickly developed into one of       healthy last season, Gore’s training camp got off to a rough
the better kickers in the league. RB Darren Sproles should         start when he broke his hand. Gore will be out most, if not all
resume his role as the lead kickoff returner, after missing last   of camp but the injury should heal and not be a persistent
year with a broken fibula. If he isn’t good to go, then RB         problem once the season gets underway. The 49ers hope to
Michael Turner can fill in once again. The special teams’          build on what they accomplished last year, especially if TE
position to watch during camp will be punt returner. Darren        Vernon Davis stays healthy and Smith improves as much as
Sproles started his rookie year in that role, but struggled and    people expect in his third season. Behind Gore, the backup
was replaced by WR Eric Parker. Darren Sproles looked              spot is a competition with Michael Robinson currently holding
improved on punt returns last summer before breaking his leg.      a slight edge over veteran RB Maurice Hicks and rookie RB
Eric Parker again returned punts last year. Both will compete      Thomas Clayton. In the team’s OTAs and minicamp, Clayton
for the starting role, and will be joined by rookie WR Craig       earned a few carries and some thought (at 225 pounds) that
Davis. Rookie SS Eric Weddle may also join the competition.        he’d be a potential short-yardage guy because he outweighs
                                                                   Gore and Hicks. Nolan doesn't necessarily see it that way,
Chargers Depth Chart                                               "He's more a first- and second-down back."
QB: Philip Rivers, Billy Volek, Charlie Whitehurst, Brett
Elliott                                                            WR: The 49ers have high expectations out of their revamped
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner (RFA), Darren              WR corps. Newcomers include veterans Darrell Jackson and
Sproles (KR/PR), Tyrone Gross, Eldrick Buckley                     Ashley Lelie as well as 3rd round pick Jason Hill. Jackson,
FB: Lorenzo Neal, Andrew Pinnock, Mike Warren                      who comes over from division rival Seattle, is expected to step
WR: Vincent Jackson, Eric Parker, Malcom Floyd, Craig              into the WR1 role and make big plays. After sitting out OTAs
Davis (inj), Kassim Osgood, Legedu Naanee, Greg Camarillo,         with a lingering turf toe issue, Jackson is eager to make his
Mark Simmons, Rich Musinski                                        mark in camp. "I want to be a big part of this offense and a big
TE: Antonio Gates, Brandon Manumaleuna, Scott Chandler,            part of the success we're going to have this year," Jackson
Kelly Griffeth                                                     said. "It's a more vertical offense than I was in at Seattle, but I
K: Nate Kaeding                                                    definitely think I can be as productive in this. My job is just to
NT: Jamal Williams, Ryon Bingham                                   get open, and I will be open." Jackson, Lelie and rookie Hill
DE: Luis Castillo, Igor Olshansky, Jacques Cesaire, Derrick        will look to fill out the main receiving corps alongside
Robinson, Brandon McKinney                                         incumbent starter Arnaz Battle. Hill brings adds top flight
ILB: Matt Wilhelm, Stephen Cooper, Tim Dobbins, Brandon            speed along with holdover Bryan Gilmore and 2nd-year WR
Siler, Anthony Waters                                              Brandon Williams. Taylor Jacobs, Marcus Maxwell,
OLB: Shawne Merriman (S), Shaun Phillips (W), Marques              Dominique Zeigler and C.J. Brewer will compete for the last
Harris (W/S), Carlos Polk, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila (S)                 roster spot or two.
CB: Quentin Jammer, Drayton Florence, Antonio Cromartie,
Paul Oliver, Cletis Gordon (PR), Steve Gregory, Gabe               TE: Vernon Davis is healthy as camp got underway, and the
Franklin                                                           team hopes he will stay that way. With Davis’ ridiculous
S: Marlon McCree (FS), Clinton Hart (SS), Eric Weddle (FS),        size/speed combination he figures to be a major part of the
Bhawoh Jue (SS)                                                    team’s passing attack. Davis believes they have the right mix
                                                                   of veteran leadership and youth to be successful this season,
                                                                   saying “This team has a lot of potential, a lot of leadership, a
San Francisco 49ers                                                lot of guys who can make plays. The confidence level is so far
                                                                   ahead of last year.” Second year backup TE Delanie Walker
QB: The 49ers hope Alex Smith improves as much entering            had work done on his shoulder during the offseason, but he
his 3rd season as he did in his second season following a          was able to full participate in practice.
horrific rookie year. "I expect him to keep getting better,"
Head Coach Mike Nolan said. "I will be disappointed if he          Defense: Shortly before midnight on Saturday, the 49ers
doesn't have a better year (than '06). Alex is real steady and     signed 1st-round draft pick LB Patrick Willis to a five-year
consistent. He's not a hot-and-cold guy. Alex plays well for       contract. Willis, the 11th overall player selected in the draft,
real good reasons: He works hard, he's extremely intelligent       was the last of the team’s draft picks to sign allowing the team
and he's tough as hell." At Utah, it was Smith’s third season      to open camp with no rookie holdouts. His contract has a
when he emerged, but for him to take off this year he’ll need      maximum value of $16.7 million with total guarantees of $12
to adjust quickly to a revamped WR corps and learn his third       million. Willis will immediately become part of the team’s
offense in as many years, although the 49ers says they’ll retain   third down package, but he projects to start alongside Brandon
much of the terminology used by last year’s HC Norv Turner         Moore on the inside. On the outside, free agent addition Tully
and most of the offense will remain the same or similar. Trent     Banta-Cain will start opposite Manny Lawson. The secondary
Dilfer will provide a steady veteran presence, as much a 2 nd      received a major boost with the signing of Nate Clements, the
QB coach as an active player.                                      premiere free agent on the market this offseason. Clements
                                                                   signed an $80 million deal with $22 million guaranteed. On
RB: The team has high hopes for the offense to take off this       Thursday, the 49ers added SS Darnell Bing off waivers after
year. For that to happen, Frank Gore needs to have another         he was released by the Raiders the previous day.
huge year as he did in 2006. Gore produced over 2,200 total
yards last year with 9 TDs, and was rewarded with a
Special Teams: Joe Nedney remains the 49ers kicker. Special      RB: Alexander has once again set lofty goals for himself after
teams coordinator Al Everest noted, “Joe is a veteran kicker     his most frustrating season as a pro that ended with him
and he knows how to pace himself during camp. He's healthy       missing 6 games due to a broken bone in his left foot.
right now. He prepared himself well to come into camp ready      Alexander looked slimmer in minicamps and he appeared to
to have a good season for us. He's in good spirits and he is     have his shiftiness back, too. The Seahawks need a healthy
fired up and we're looking for a good solid year from him.”      Alexander to have a legitimate chance to compete in 2007.
Nedney will be joined in preseason by camp leg MacKenzie         We’ll watch Alexander closely to make sure he’s “back” as he
Hoambrecker, who was in Carolina’s camp last summer.             could turn into a huge value in the bottom half of the first
Kickoff returns should once again be handled primarily by        round if he plays 16 games this year. HC Mike Holmgren has
WR Brandon Williams and/or RB Maurice Hicks. RB Michael          declared it a "non-story." "Last year was last year," Alexander
Robinson and TE Delanie Walker will practice as backups.         said Friday, two days before Sunday's first practice. "You can't
Brandon Williams should again be the lead punt returner, with    live in the past. I can't live on the year when I had 27
WR Arnaz Battle serving as the primary backup. CB Nate           touchdowns (in 2005), just like I can't worry about what
Clements, rookie CB Tarell Brown, WR Taylor Jacobs are           happened last year." Leonard Weaver was impressive in last
expected to practice in backup roles.                            year’s camp, but he went on IR after suffering a severe high
                                                                 ankle sprain. He’s a former tight end that, according to some,
49ers Depth Chart                                                has the best hands amongst the team’s backs and tight ends.
QB: Alex Smith, Trent Dilfer, Shaun Hill, Luke Getsy             He’ll push veteran and long-time starter Mack Strong for a
RB: Frank Gore (inj), Michael Robinson (SD/3RB), Maurice         bigger role. RB Kenny James was waived by the team on
Hicks, Thomas Clayton                                            Thursday prior to the beginning of camp.
FB: Moran Norris, Steve Dildine
WR: Darrell Jackson, Ashley Lelie, Arnaz Battle, Bryan           WR: Deion Branch took all season to learn and fit into the
Gilmore, Brandon Williams, Jason Hill, Taylor Jacobs,            team’s offense. He started 13 games and finished second on
Marcus Maxwell, Dominique Zeigler, C.J. Brewer                   the team with 53 catches for 725 yards and 4 TDs. The
TE: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker (FB), Billy Bajema, Zach        Seahawks need him to produce this year with Darrell
Hilton, Zac Herold                                               Jackson’s departure. Branch is being counted on as Matt
K: Joe Nedney                                                    Hasselbeck's #1 target, so there’s some pressure for him to
NT: Aubrayo Franklin, Isaac Sapoaga, Joe Cohen, Ronald           prove he can handle the WR1 duties. Holmgren talked about
Fields                                                           the depth at WR and the competition for the starting job
DE: Marques Douglas, Bryant Young, Sam Rayburn, Ray              opposite Branch after the first day of practice. He mentioned
McDonald, Jerry DeLoach, John Syptak, Melvin Oliver (inj)        that D.J. Hackett has the inside track on that job leaving
ILB: Brandon Moore (O), Patrick Willis, Derek Smith, Jeff        Bobby Engram as the likely No. 3 receiver in the slot. Nate
Ulbrich, Colby Bockwoldt                                         Burleson is competing for the starting job with Hackett. Ben
OLB: Manny Lawson, Tully Banta-Cain, Parys Haralson              Obomanu will compete with rookies Courtney Taylor and
(inj), Jay Moore (S), Roderick Green, Hannibal Navies, Mark      Jordan Kent for the last roster spot(s). Obomanu spent last
Washington, Andre Torrey (inj)                                   year on the practice squad, but improved during the offseason,
CB: Nate Clements, Walt Harris, Shawntae Spencer, Marcus         earning another shot in camp.
Hudson, Tarell Brown, Donald Strickland (inj), Markus Curry,
B.J. Tucker (IR)                                                 TE: Marcus Pollard is the new TE with Jerramy Stevens
S: Michael Lewis (SS), Mark Roman (FS), Keith Lewis              hitting the road this offseason. Pollard is 35 years old, but the
(FS/SS), Darnell Bing (SS), Dashon Goldson, Vickiel Vaughn       coaches expect him to be productive in the team’s offense and
(inj)                                                            catch 35 or more balls. Will Heller and Benny Joppru are the

                                                                 Defense: DT Marcus Tubbs was the only player who sat out
                                                                 of the team’s first morning practice. Tubbs is on the PUP list
Seattle Seahawks                                                 and Holmgren said he’s more day-to-day but remained
                                                                 confident that he’ll play. New addition DE Patrick Kerney was
QB: Matt Hasselbeck’s non-throwing shoulder is healthy.          itching to go, despite the scheduled two-a-days. He hadn't
Hasselbeck suffered knee and hand injuries in 2006, and then     played since suffering a torn pectoral muscle ended his season
he underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum on his    last November, and kept his participation in minicamps to a
non-throwing shoulder. But he was able to participate in the     minimum. "This has been the longest offseason for me,"
June minicamp and HC Mike Holmgren does not expect him           Kerney said. "I'm pretty excited to get out and start proving
to be limited at all in training camp. Seneca Wallace, who has   myself to my new teammates." Deon Grant and Brian Russell
shown glimpses in limited time, may serve double duty as a       begin camp atop the depth chart at free and strong safeties
punt returner this year. The team is desperate to get Wallace    with veterans Mike Green and Michael Boulware pushing
on the field in whatever way it can. 3rd year passer David       them. Two rookies made good impressions on the first day.
Greene could push for QB2 duties with a strong camp, while       LB Will Herring broke up a pass intended for TE Joe Newton,
Derek Devine and Erik Meyer are viewed primarily as camp         intercepting the pass and returning it for a touchdown. CB
arms.                                                            Josh Wilson made a diving interception attempt, that he says
                                                                 he scooped but it was a nice play whether he caught it or not.
Safety Jordan Babinaux injured his right leg during the first       he loves to dump the ball to the tailback," said Williams, who
practice, but Holmgren said he was fine.                            caught 30 passes last season. "Since Day One, he told us backs
                                                                    to stay alive out there." Former starter QB Chris Simms says
Special Teams: Josh Brown will be kicking for the Seahawks          he’s feeling fine physically and ready to compete, even if it’s
this year under the franchise player tag. He was clutch last        for the backup job. "I'm doing fine, I really am," Simms said
year, and also improved significantly on kickoffs. The latter       after practice on Sunday. "I continue to work and get better
makes it somewhat surprising that the Seahawks recently             and not worry about anything else that's going on. Things will
signed camp leg Kurt Smith, who came out of last year’s draft       fall as they may." Physically, Simms said he is 100 percent.
as a kickoff specialist. The Seahawks may be willing to             His mechanics, which were poor in June, are close to being
consider letting Brown focus on placekicking, and utilizing         where they were at the start back in 2005 before he was hurt.
another player for kickoffs. WR Nate Burleson emerged as a          Some reporters thought he had some pop back in his ball. At a
very capable return specialist for the Seattle during last          minimum, Simms will provide more competition for Bruce
season. He enters camp atop the depth chart for both kickoff        Gradkowski than he did in OTAs.
and punt returns. He could face a challenge on kickoff returns
from rookie CB Josh Wilson from Maryland. The primary               RB: Cadillac Williams hopes to stay healthier and more
backups are RB Marquis Weeks on kickoff returns and WR              productive in his third season, but his three herniated disks
Bobby Engram on punt returns. The Seahawks have also had            will remain a concern. Williams played all last season and said
QB Seneca Wallace fielding punts in the early going at camp.        his back is fine despite having spasms. They were apparently
                                                                    not too serious. The injury occurs when the disk surrounding a
Seahawks Depth Chart                                                bone in the spinal cord is jarred loose and presses against the
QB: Matt Hasselbeck, Seneca Wallace, David Greene, Travis           nerve. In Cadillac's case, the pain wasn’t enough to keep him
Lulay, Erik Meyer                                                   from playing. Williams, Michael Pittman and Lionel Gates
RB: Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris, Marquis Weeks                  had their hands full early practices. Williams was knocked
FB: Mack Strong, Leonard Weaver, David Kirtman, Josh                down in the backfield and then Pittman was greeted the same
Parry                                                               way a play later. Gates had a nice run over right tackle to get
WR: Deion Branch, D.J. Hackett, Bobby Engram, Nate                  the offense back in gear, and then Williams followed with a
Burleson (PR), Ben Obomanu, Courtney Taylor, Jordan Kent,           big run up the middle through an enormous hole. A few plays
Logan Payne, Joe Fernandez, Chris Jones                             later, DE Gaines Adams read a pitch to Williams, fended off
TE: Marcus Pollard, Will Heller, Benny Joppru, Joe Newton           the blocker and met Williams on the outside, but Cadillac
K: Josh Brown                                                       made a nice cut back inside and zipped right past Adams
DT: Chartric Darby, Marcus Tubbs (inj), Robert Bernard,             untouched. The crowd responded loudly on that play. In red
Brandon Mebane, Craig Terrill, Russell Davis, Marcus Green          zone drills, FB Mike Alstott got an even bigger ovation when
DE: Patrick Kerney, Bryce Fisher, Darryl Tapp, Baraka               he bounced a handoff to the outside and sprinted to the end
Atkins, Brandon Green, Jeb Heckuba, Robert Pollard                  zone, willingly absorbing a hit from LB Sam Olajubutu as he
MLB: Lofa Tatupu, Niko Koutouvides                                  neared the line. Michael Pittman sat out of Saturday’s AM
OLB: Leroy Hill (L), Julian Peterson (R), Kevin Bentley (L),        practice, but it’s not considered serious.
Will Herring, Lance Laury
CB: Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Josh Wilson                     WR: Joey Galloway did not participate in the 2nd practice each
S: Deon Grant (FS), Michael Boulware (SS), Brian Russell            day, as was the case last year during most of camp. Galloway
(FS), Jordan Babineaux (SS) (inj), Mike Green (FS) (inj),           is expected to follow a similar pattern this year to save his
Kevin Hobbs                                                         body for the regular season. In the first few days of camp there
                                                                    was no shortage of nice plays from the WR corps. The first
                                                                    roar from the crowd came Friday morning when Jeff Garcia
Tampa Bay Buccaneers                                                hit Michael Clayton in stride on a deep ball over the middle –
                                                                    though it should be pointed out this was the “group install”
QB: As training camp opened, it was Jeff Garcia’s wife,             drill meaning there was no defense on the field. Several
Carmella DeCesare (former Playmate of the Year), and not            coaches specifically praised that throw by Garcia, and
Jeff, that created a bigger stir. The Garcias were married in       moments later, Clayton made a fantastic shoestring grab on a
April, but they didn’t take a honeymoon. “Coach Gruden              quick slant. During red zone drills, the offense ran a play-
wouldn’t let us,” said Carmella. “But at least he didn’t bring      action pass that didn’t fool DE Greg Spires, who made a
the playbook to the wedding. He told us he was going to, but        beeline to Garcia, but the QB made a nifty move and dumped
he didn’t.” All kidding aside, Garcia’s presence has allowed        a low pass to David Boston who rolled into the end zone for a
Gruden to expand the playbook, adding roll-outs and bootlegs        TD, drawing a loud cheer from the fans in attendance. In the
to take advantage of Garcia's mobility. Gruden is also giving       first full team session, Boston split the middle of the defense
thought to the shotgun formation as another option. "I think it     as he got about 5 yards behind the coverage where Luke
[shotgun] allows us to do some more things," Garcia said.           McCown hit him for a play that covered half the length of the
"We'll have a running game out of the shotgun. It's a nice little   field. WR Maurice Stovall continues to see action in the
change-up. It's not something we're going to lean on an awful       team's goal line formation, as was the case last season. The 6-
lot, but I can see five to six times a game being in the            5, 220-pound Stovall turned in a highlight catch, leaping high
shotgun." Expect more from RBs Cadillac Williams and                above defenders to haul in a pass that looked overthrown at
Michael Pittman in the passing game with Garcia behind              first during team drills. Stovall plucked the ball out of the air
center. "Watching film, Garcia really does use everybody and        and remained inbounds, drawing attention from his teammates
and a "Way to go, Mo!" shout. On Friday, Stovall made a nice        Special Teams: Matt Bryant will again be the kicker for the
double move for another long completion from Garcia. Chad           Bucs. He hopes to be busier than last year, when they provided
Lucas ran a perfect double move in the same drills catching a       him with the fewest kicker scoring opportunities in the NFL.
long throw from Chris Simms. In 7-on-7 drills, Joey Galloway        He’ll be busy in preseason, as he’s the only kicker on the
got free down the right sideline and Luke McCown found him          roster. Tampa Bay is hoping to have one player emerge as a
on the run for what would’ve been a touchdown. Moments              return specialist handling both kickoff and punt returns this
later, Galloway caught another pass on the same sideline. On        year. The two contenders are WR Mark Jones and WR Chad
Saturday, HC Jon Gruden was stressing to the receivers what         Owens. Jones has handled punt returns in recent years. Owens
to do after the catch. “[Forget] the sideline,” yelled Gruden.      struggled during his two years in Jacksonville. Both are more
“Don’t just fall out of bounds. Get some yards.” Michael            experienced on punt returns. If neither one can adequately
Clayton had a nice play going deep down the right sideline          pick up the kickoff return role, RB Michael Pittman may once
against Will Allen, but DBs coach called out Jenkins for            again fill that job. If neither one makes the final roster, then
pushing off. WR Chad Owens isn’t tall, but he’s compact and         WR Ike Hilliard and/or CB Philip Buchanon may once again
tough as nails. During a WRs drill in the red zone Saturday,        handle punt returns.
Owens caught a quick slant that, then after the catch near the
back of the end zone he ran up to a blocking sled finished the      Buccaneers Depth Chart
rep off nicely with a hard hit to the sled.                         QB: Jeff Garcia, Bruce Gradkowski, Chris Simms, Luke
                                                                    McCown, Bruce Eugene
TE: In the first full-team session, new TE Jerramy Stevens          RB: Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman (3RB), Earnest
flashed some of his athleticism by making a nice catch on a         Graham, Ken Darby
crossing route. Stevens caught the pass from Jeff Garcia            FB: Mike Alstott, B.J. Askew
between coverage, and then dragged both of his feet to barely       WR: Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton (inj), Maurice Stovall,
stay in bounds. Stevens hopes to challenge Alex Smith for the       Ike Hilliard, David Boston, Paris Warren, Mark Jones
starting role, but both are likely to make the roster and play a    TE: Jerramy Stevens, Alex Smith, Anthony Becht, Keith
role in two-TE sets. On Thursday, the Bucs released TE T.J.         Heinrich
Williams.                                                           K: Matt Bryant
                                                                    DT: Chris Hovan (NT), Kevin Carter (DT), Ellis Wyms, Ryan
Defense: Two players with high hopes for the year are MLB           Sims (NT), Greg Peterson
Barrett Ruud and rookie safety Sabby Piscitelli. The two            DE: Greg Spires, Gaines Adams, Patrick Chukwurah, Julian
players combined for a big play in the first days of camp. On a     Jenkins, Jovan Haye, Charles Bennett (IR)
pass intended for Joey Galloway, Piscitelli dove in front to tip    MLB: Barrett Ruud, Adam Hayward
the pass. The ball deflected off Galloway and Ruud was able         OLB: Derrick Brooks (W), Cato June (S), Ryan Nece (S),
to scoop the ball out of the air for an interception. During team   Quincy Black, Jamie Winborn (S)
drills, Piscitelli drew praise from his teammates on an             CB: Ronde Barber, Brian Kelly, Phillip Buchanon (PR), Alan
interception of Chris Simms. It should have been his second of      Zemaitas, Torrie Cox (susp), Marcus Hamilton, Sammy Davis,
the day, but the rookie was unable to bring in the earlier pass     Marcus Hamilton
that should have been a pick. Rookie first round pick DE            S: Will Allen (FS), Jermaine Phillips (SS), Sabby Piscitelli
Gaines Adams showed off his speed, beating his man off the          (SS), Tanard Jackson (FS), Kalvin Pearson (SS), Eli Ward
edge almost instantaneously on the snap. Derrick Brooks was         (FS)
back on the field, but he didn’t participate in practices; he was
in pad and looked ready to start hitting people. Brooks was
joined on the sidelines by former Bucs LB Shelton Quarles,
who remains a friend of the team, during Saturday’s morning
session. LB Ryan Nece, last season's starting SLB, handled the      Tennessee Titans
MLB duties whenever he lined up with the defense.
                                                                    QB: Vince Young didn’t waste any opportunities to thank
While the WR/DB 1-on-1 drills generally favor the offense,          teammates for backing him during his rookie season. He left
the Bucs corners (and a few safeties) showed aggressiveness         thank you notes in each of his teammates’ lockers. "It was a
on Saturday morning, thwarting 12 out of 28 attempted               good way, without getting up in front of the team and taking
throws, including five in a row near the end of the drill.          that forum, of getting in everybody's head and just giving
Sammy Davis maintained coverage on a square-in by Chas              them that word of encouragement," veteran DE Kyle Vanden
Gessner to knock one ball away, then later stayed with              Bosch said. "I think it meant a lot." TE Bo Scaife, who talked
Maurice Stovall to bat down another. Second-year CB Alan            with Young about the letter before it was distributed, said "I
Zemaitis had a nice one against Gessner also, and then later,       feel like his leadership role has definitely picked up. I think
covered Chad Owens so well on a crossing route that QB Luke         he's more comfortable saying what he feels and reaching out
McCown chose not to even throw the ball. During 7-on-7s S           to everyone on the team, offense and defense. He definitely
Will Allen intercepted a deep floater that he returned through      feels like he has more power, being a leader and being able to
the offense with fervor. Last, but certainly not least, the Bucs    express his opinion to everyone." Young was animated in the
released DE Simeon Rice last Thursday as camp got                   team’s first practice on last Friday afternoon, clapping his
underway. In another move, they placed DE Charles Bennett           hands and then scolding himself after overthrowing a receiver
on the IR with a knee injury.                                       on another play. Young seemed loose. "I know I'm more
                                                                    comfortable. I know I'm a little bit more ahead on the offense,
so that helps me out," Young said. "…Last year I was quieter.       On Sunday, Brandon Jones took the spotlight when the former
I was watching. Now I'm more relaxed. I know what's going           third-round pick caught a 50-yard bomb over two defenders.
on. I know what coach expects."                                     “Vince and I are trying to keep up the same thing that we had
                                                                    going in OTAs and all summer long,” Jones said after
Offensive coordinator Norm Chow said Young is earning to            practice. “We wanted to come into camp and not start over,
read defenses and now just let his athleticism take over. Chow      but rather continue from where we left off. We’re trying to
said that Young’s progress is forcing him to alter his thinking     stay on the same page with one another.” HC Jeff Fisher was
about his quarterback. "We've got to fix it to match what 10        pleased with their performance, too. “Brandon Jones is
can do for you because 10 can do an awful lot of good things,"      making some plays and that is good to see,” said Fisher. And
Chow said. "The progressive-type reads … I think now we're          about all the talk about how Young has nobody to throw to
more into coverage recognition and then knowing where to go         this year? Jones said that only fuels his fire. “Those people
after you recognize the coverage." Young can now identify the       give us strength and encouragement to go out there and
defense before taking the snap, something he wasn’t doing a         perform better because we feed off of that,” he said. “Hearing
year ago. Chow said he expects defenses to treat Young much         things like that makes you want to go out there and work even
differently this season than they did in 2006. “People              harder.” Newly signed Eric Moulds also looked good. He
understand him now, they're not going to let him run around,"       doesn’t have blazing speed anymore, but he catches
he said. "So if they're not going to let him run around, he         everything and he’s big and sturdy. Roydell Williams got off
better throw some completions." To do so, Young knows he            to a good start, while Justin Gage saw fewer reps since
will need to heed Chow's instructions. "Every day he preaches,      Moulds joined the team. Gage didn’t standout like he did in
'Read this free safety, watch what he's doing, he's going to tell   earlier minicamps. Among the rookies, Chris Davis looks
you where to go,' " Young said.                                     shifty and he has a chance to make an impact. David Givens
                                                                    wasn’t faring too well as he continued to rehab his rebuilt knee
                                                                    on a side field. "I wish my progress was a little further along
Kerry Collins and Tim Rattay are in camp as the #2 and #3,
                                                                    than it is," he said. "All I can do is try and progress every day,
                                                                    but this process is frustrating." Givens said if he's not ready by
                                                                    Week 8, "then I'm rehabbing for next year."
RB: With Travis Henry gone, the Titans are hoping for one of
their backs to fill his shoes and become that kind of lead back.
                                                                    Undrafted rookie Biren Ealy (6’3” 207 pounds) is hoping to
LenDale White reported to camp a little heavy, but he looks to
                                                                    seize his opportunity in camp. Ealy became friends with Vince
be in much better shape than he was a month ago. White said
he weighs 240 pounds. He ran the ball with more confidence          Young while preparing for his Pro Day as they shared the
and hit the hole reasonably well in drills. On his offseason and    same trainer. They began working out together, even throwing
                                                                    and catching regularly. That led Young to mention Ealy to the
weight concerns, White said that people don't know the whole
                                                                    Titans coaches. Turns out the Titans scouts were already
truth. "The good thing now is everything's healthy. I'm
                                                                    interested in Ealy. “That’s my boy. I told the coaches to take a
practicing like every down is my last down, you know. I'm
                                                                    shot on him and that they would like him a lot,” Young said.
just playing football. ... I'm doing everything to show my
teammates and my coaches I'm in it for the battle," he said.        “He’s out here getting into the offense, he hasn’t been making
                                                                    any mistakes out here, he’s catching the ball and that’s all we
                                                                    need from him.” Ealy understands that it will be an uphill
The other two backs proving the competition for White are           battle to make the team (12 receivers in camp). “I’m just going
former Titans starter Chris Brown and 2nd round pick Chris          to try and practice to the best of my ability. I feel like the rest
Henry. RBs coach Sherman Smith said not to read into                will take care of itself,” he said. “All I want to do is get better
anything too early in camp if one backs seems to be taking the      every day and I feel things will work out.”
lead. "Whoever gets it the first week, that doesn't guarantee
they have it the next week. They can't just say, 'Oh, I've got
                                                                    TE: Ben Troupe is healthy and is one of five tight ends in
the job. I can take it easy.' You've got to perform every week,
                                                                    camp. Jeff Fisher did comment rather extensively on Troupe
just like Travis, and Chris Brown when he was a starter, and
Eddie George." Chris Brown's speed could help him be a              after Saturday’s practices, but it was mostly coachspeak. Bo
factor in the competition. Brown returns to the team with 1-        Scaife and Ben Troupe will continue to get the bulk of the
                                                                    work with the first team. Scaife missed part of Sunday’s
year deal and he knows it will be a spirited competition
                                                                    practice with cramps but is expected to be fine.
saying, "I've got a lot to go out and prove to myself and a lot
of other people.” Rookie Chris Henry signed a 4-year deal on
Friday. The 50th pick overall in this year’s draft is expected to   Defense: The Titan defensive backfield looks to improve
compete for the job, too. "He's ready to come in and compete        substantially with the additions of Nick Harper and Michael
for the starting job and help the Titans win," Henry’s agent        Griffin, both of whom will likely start at corner. The Titans
said. Jeff Fished broke down his RBs this way, “You’re going        will likely work out Simeon Rice in the near future to help
to end up with a starter and a backup… If your third runner is      with the pass rush opposite Kyle Vanden Bosch. The Titans
on the active roster on game day, he’s going to have to carry a     have a hole at middle linebacker as well with the retirement of
significant special teams role and other responsibilities.”         Peter Sirmon. Last year’s fourth round pick Stephen Tullock
                                                                    and 4-year veteran Ryan Fowler are waging a battle for the
                                                                    starting spot. “It’s been a very, very good competition,” LBs
WR: On the first day of practice, Vince Young and Courtney
                                                                    coach Dave McGinnis said. “They’ve been pushing each
Roby provided the highlights. On one play, Roby and Young
                                                                    other, they’ve been helping each other and you can see both of
connected for a long ball that brought cheers from the crowd.
them getting incrementally better just because of that             QB: Jason Campbell has looked sharp in the early going; far
competition.” Tulloch made three starts at MLB as a rookie         more confident and decisive in his third year. Campbell has
while Fowler has primarily contributed on special teams.           shown excellent footwork, making several throws on bootlegs.
Fowler, signed from the Cowboys, is being given the                The team is desperate to increase the big play ability of the
opportunity to win the position.                                   passing attack this year, and Campbell has answered the call.
                                                                   On Monday (7/30), Campbell hit Antwaan Randle El in stride
In Sunday’s practice two former Colts, Nick Harper and David       for an 80-yard touchdown; and then followed that up with a
Thornton, combined on an interception. Harper picked off a         40-yard connection to TE Chris Cooley. Joe Gibbs has been
pass, ran several yards, and then lateraled the ball to Thornton   quick to praise his young QB’s progress, “The timing of the
for a “touchdown.” The coaches weren't joking about giving         offense takes time, but I feel like he’s starting to be crisp with
second-year safety Calvin Lowry a chance to start alongside        his throws.” Mark Brunell has looked sharp, too, while Todd
Chris Hope. Lowry lined up with the first-team defense on the      Collins, Jordan Palmer and Casey Bramlett have all had their
first days of practice while veteran Lamont Thompson was           ups and downs. It seems likely the Redskins will keep one of
more of a spectator. Thompson is one of the worst safeties in      the two younger QBs as the emergency QB3, which leaves
the league. Chris Hope is firmly entrenched as the starter at      Collins as the potential odd-man out barring an exceptional
free safety.                                                       performance over the next few weeks.

Special Teams: Kicker Rob Bironas probably secured his job         RB: The running backs have had a relatively quiet start to
for another year with his 60-yard game winner against the          camp; which is actually a good thing. Clinton Portis appears
Colts last year. Undrafted rookie John Vaughn from Auburn          healthy and has been an active participant in camp, including
will serve as the camp leg this preseason. The departure of        blocking drills. Portis is eager to prove himself after a
Bobby Wade and the suspension of Pacman Jones leave both           disappointing 2006 campaign, "For three of my five years, I
return jobs open to competition in camp. WR Courtney Roby          think I played that way, I think it took until I felt comfortable,
is the early favorite to take over on kickoff returns, although    until I felt I'd arrived at elite status...that I was a superstar, that
he’ll be challenged by DB Cortland Finnegan and rookie WR          I relaxed. Then I get hurt and all of a sudden, you feel like
Chris Davis. Cortland Finnegan and Chris Davis also figure to      everything you've done is forgotten about. Now, I'm stepping
be the main competitors for the punt return job. WR Brandon        out like a rookie. I have to prove that I'm still the dangerous
Jones is also a possibility on punt returns.                       (number) 26." Fantasy owners eager for a glimpse of the
                                                                   relative workload between Portis and Ladell Betts haven’t
                                                                   been given any clarity through the first five days. Betts has
Titans Depth Chart                                                 seen plenty of work, too, but his most memorable moment
QB: Vince Young, Kerry Collins, Tim Rattay                         from the first week was probably when newly acquired
RB: LenDale White, Chris Brown, Chris Henry, Quinton               linebacker London Fletcher absolutely blew him up on one
Ganther, DonTrell Moore                                            play. Betts agrees with Portis that 2007 is a year of proving
FB: Ahmard Hall, Casey Cramer (TE) , Jonathan Evans                themselves, “"We feel like we let the fans down, the
WR: Brandon Jones, Eric Moulds, Roydell Williams,                  organization down, … so I think we're trying to give back, go
Courtney Roby, Justin Gage, Paul Williams, Chris Davis,            in the right direction, trying to get back into the playoffs. Last
Jonathan Orr, Joel Filani, Biren Ealy, David Givens (inj)          year was a good wake-up call for everybody."
TE: Ben Troupe, Bo Scaife, Ben Hartsock, Cooper Wallace
K: Rob Bironas, John Vaughn
DT: Albert Haynesworth, Randy Starks, Antonio Johnson,             WR: The Redskins receiving corps needs to show massive
Jesse Mahelona, Rien Long (inj), Tony Brown (RFA)                  improvement this year after a disappointing 2006. Santana
DE: Kyle Vanden Bosch, Antwan Odom (inj), Travis LaBoy,            Moss remains head and shoulders above the rest of the unit,
DeQuincy Scott, Josh Savage (inj), Jacob Ford, Sean Conover,       but must put together a healthy season for the offense to
Jermaine McElveen                                                  flourish in OC Al Saunders second season. Antwaan Randle
MLB: Stephen Tulloch, Ryan Fowler                                  El is running with the first team thus far in camp, with
OLB: Keith Bulluck (W), David Thornton (S), Cody Spencer           Brandon Lloyd playing primarily with the second unit; and
(W), Gilbert Gardner (W), Ken Amato, LeVar Woods, Terna            appears okay with the notion of playing behind Randle El. "I
Nande, Spencer Toone                                               don't see it as being a competition. It's all about me going in
CB: Nick Harper, Kelly Herndon, Reynaldo Hill, Michael             and doing my job, and if it costs me being the number two
Griffin, Andre Woolfolk, Ryan Smith, Michael Waddell, Eric         receiver and instead making plays at the number three
King, Pacman Jones (susp)                                          receiver, that's what I'll do." Randle El clearly has chemistry
S: Chris Hope (SS), Lamont Thompson (FS), Calvin Lowry             with Jason Campbell, making at least one highlight catch in
(FS), Bryan Scott (FS), Cortland Finnegan (FS/CB), Donnie          each of the first five days of practice. Backup Mike Espy
Nickey, Vincent Fuller (FS), Brandon Sharp                         made a few nice catches but was limited over the last few
                                                                   days; he can ill afford a protracted absence from the field if
                                                                   he’s to break camp on the active roster.

                                                                   TE: Chris Cooley picked up right where he left off in the first
Washington Redskins                                                week of camp. He was making catches all over the field,
                                                                   perhaps no more impressive than a double move he put on a
                                                                   2nd string defensive back that allowed him to catch a deep
touchdown pass from Jason Campbell. Backup journeyman            MLB: London Fletcher, H.B. Blades
Todd Yoder has been making plays in the passing game,            OLB: Marcus Washington (S), Rocky McIntosh (W), Lemar
raising some eyebrows. Working with the 1st and 2nd team         Marshall (W), Khary Campbell (S/M), Dallas Sartz
units, he has been finding the seam and picking up key first     CB: Shawn Springs, Carlos Rogers, Fred Smoot, David
downs in 11-on-11 and 9-on-9 drills.                             Macklin, Jerametrius Butler, Ade Jimoh, Daniel Francis
                                                                 S: Sean Taylor (FS), Laron Landry (SS), Omar Stoutmire
Defense: The Redskins secondary is getting a big-time            (SS), Pierson Prioleau, Vernon Fox (SS), Reed Doughty (SS)
makeover with the return of Fred Smoot at corner and the
signing of safety LaRon Landry. Landy, an early camp
holdout, reported to camp on Day 5 after signing a deal that
will guarantee him more money than any safety in NFL
history. There is a clear emphasis on creating turnovers this
year, after generating a league low 12 turnovers last year (6
interceptions and 6 fumble recoveries). DC Gregg Williams
acknowledges the importance of improving in that area,
"You've seen Coach Gibbs really crack down on the drills that
we're using in the practice format," Williams said. "We've
always had an emphasis on takeaways, but we've got even
more incentive on some of the drills we're doing in the
practice settings because Coach Gibbs wants us to play that

Other: LT Chris Samuels suffered a badly sprained MCL and
will be out approximately 4 weeks. The Redskins surprised a
lot of people by putting rookie Stephon Heyer at left tackle
with the first team instead of veteran Jason Fabini or Todd
Wade (who is being counted on to start at left guard). The
Redskins will likely rotate a number players at left tackle in
the coming weeks until they find someone best equipped to
hold Samuels place on the line.

Special Teams: For the first time in several years, the John
Hall question will not be a part of the Redskins’ camp. He was
finally released during the offseason. Shaun Suisham took
over the latter part of last year, and remains their kicker
heading into this year. The returners remain pretty much the
same as last year. RB Rock Cartwright is the primary kickoff
returner, and RB Ladell Betts and WR James Thrash are
available as backups. WR Antwaan Randle El is the primary
punt returner, backed up by James Thrash. One new name that
may get a look on returns in camp is rookie DB John Eubanks.
The Redskins released PK Tyler Frederickson, leaving Shaun
Suisham as the only kicker in camp. Derrick Frost resumes his
punting duties.

Redskins Depth Chart
QB: Jason Campbell, Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, Casey
Bramlet, Jordan Palmer
RB: Clinton Portis (inj), Ladell Betts (3RB), Rock Cartwright,
Derrick Blaylock, Marcus Mason
FB: Mike Sellers, Peter Schmitt, Nehemiah Broughton (IR)
WR: Santana Moss (PR), Antwaan Randle El (KR/PR),
Brandon Lloyd, James Thrash, Corey Bradford, Mike Espy,
Ryan Hoag, Jason McAddley, Deyon Williams, Bill Toler
TE: Chris Cooley, Todd Yoder, Tyler Ecker, Pete Schmitt
K: Shaun Suisham, Tyler Fredrickson
DT: Cornelius Griffin, Joe Salave'a, Kedric Golston, Anthony
Montgomery, Ryan Boschetti, Matt Sinclair
DE: Philip Daniels, Andre Carter, Renaldo Wynn, Demetric
Evans, Justin Hickman

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