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  1. #1
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    Around the League 6-14-05

    Newsbreakers Recap

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    June 13, 2005 8:09 PM ET
    Ravens: Clayton held out of drills on Monday
    The News
    Ravens wideout Mark Clayton dressed for team drills Monday, but was held out of most of them because of a hamstring injury, reports the team's website. Clayton was the Ravens' first-round pick in this year's draft.
    Our View
    While it would be nice to see Clayton kick the injury bug and get some reps in, it is much wiser to let him rest in June to ensure he will be able to participate in training camp in July.

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    June 13, 2005 7:53 PM ET
    Texans: Johnson not participating in camp
    The News
    Texans defensive tackle Travis Johnson suffered a hyperextended elbow last week during a voluntary coaching session and will miss this week's three-day minicamp, which started on Monday. "I'm going to be all right," Johnson, who was the 16th selection in April's draft, told the Associated Press. "I'm going to continue to work and get better mentally. I'm just going to take my mental reps and stay in shape and be ready to get the job done." The injury is not considered serious, but the team isn't going to take any chances with their first-round pick. "You'd always like to have a young guy out there getting everything," head coach Dom Capers said. "But I think you have to be smart about putting him out there and risking him right now if he's not 100 percent. We've got a lot of time, so he'll certainly be 100 percent by the time we come back."
    Our View
    The Texans are thin on talent at defensive tackle, so it is easy to understand why they are being cautious with Johnson and letting him skip the minicamp. As long he is ready to go for training camp in July, this elbow injury will not concern us.

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    June 13, 2005 11:31 AM ET
    *****: Quarterback battle even
    The News
    Despite using the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft to select a signal caller, *****' head coach Mike Nolan is keeping an open mind to who his starting quarterback will be this season. Over the weekend, Nolan described the competition as "wide open" heading into training camp, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The combatants for the starting job are Alex Smith, Tim Rattay, Ken Dorsey, and Cody Pickett. "I like all four guys," Nolan added. "There's not one of them that shouldn't be in the league." Smith was selected with the No. 1 overall pick back in April.
    Our View
    We're still leaning toward Smith winning the starting job. Rattay, the incumbent starter, will probably provide the most competition to the rookie, but it remains to be seen whether he can stay healthy long enough to win the job. After missing minicamp and training camp time with a torn groin, Rattay missed seven regular season games with a variety of injuries last year.

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    June 13, 2005 11:26 AM ET
    Chargers: Fonoti slowed by spider bite
    The News
    Chargers offensive guard Toniu Fonoti, who was a day late to the team's minicamp this weekend, has been unable to practice because of a swollen left ankle caused by a spider bite. Fonoti told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he is "almost" down to the 360 pounds he played last year. "I'll be ready again," he added.
    Our View
    Fonoti missed minicamp last year and was a day late to training camp, but reported in as good a shape as could be asked of a 360-pound lineman and started all 16 games. He told the Chargers that "personal business" kept him caused him to be tardy, and the front office staff seemed to be okay with that explanation.

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    June 13, 2005 11:01 AM ET
    Saints: Haslett committed to the run
    The News
    Saints' head coach Jim Haslett confirmed what new offensive coordinator Mike Shepperd has been saying throughout minicamp; the Saints intend to run the ball more this year. "We're going to take advantage of that big running back that we have," Haslett told the New Orleans Times-Picayune in reference to Deuce McAllister. "He needs to use that big body and run through plays. We'll run the ball a little bit more than last year." McAllister rushed for 1,074 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games last season.
    Our View
    The biggest flaw in former offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy's tenure was that he placed too much emphasis on the passing game. It's one thing to have a pass-heavy offense when you have Peyton Manning under center, but it's downright ridiculous to take that approach when Aaron Brooks is your quarterback. McAllister could be in for a big season if he can stay healthy. Deuce is currently ranked No. 10 in our offseason running back rankings.

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    June 13, 2005 10:37 AM ET
    Panthers: No interest in Testaverde
    The News
    Despite published reports the contrary, the Panthers are not interested in signing free agent quarterback Vinny Testaverde. The Rock Hill Herald reports that Panthers' backup signal caller Chris Weinke would have to suffer an injury or have a lousy preseason before team officials would consider signing Testaverde or any other free agent signal caller. Rod Rutherford and Stefan LeFors will battle for the Panthers' No. 3 job in training camp.
    Our View
    We can't rule out the possibility of Weinke struggling in preseason. But even if Chris does, the Panthers still might not have enough salary cap space to sign Testaverde. The team is attempting to find room to sign linebacker Dan Morgan to a contract extension before the season, and rumors continue to persist that the Panthers would be interested in signing Redskins' wide receiver Rod Gardner should he become a free agent.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Around the League 6-14-05

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith
    Saints' head coach Jim Haslett confirmed what new offensive coordinator Mike Shepperd has been saying throughout minicamp; the Saints intend to run the ball more this year.
    As the "Our View" opinion part of this note says, this is the route you have to take when your QB has made more embarassing plays than good ones. For the last couple seasons, I've thought Brooks has been one of the more overrated QBs in the league. I wouldn't be surprised to see McPherson behind center within the next season or two if Brooks can't improve.
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