NFL stories to watch as the opening of training camps approaches

07/09/2009
Post Dispatch

— Will T.O. Buffalo the Bills? It's team No. 4 for peripatetic and problematic wideout Terrell Owens. Dick Jauron is the newest coach to roll the dice on Owens, who has wrecked the locker-room chemistry at more than one NFL spot.

— Coaching carousel: More than one-third of the league's teams — 11, to be exact — have new coaches in 2009, which should make game-planning trickier than usual. It's hard to imagine that Tony Dungy (right), Mike Holmgren, Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden have joined Bill Cowher, Brian Billick and Marty Schottenheimer in the legion of former coaches. Perhaps the most scrutiny will be given Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris and Denver's Josh McDaniels, both of whom were just 32 years old when they were hired.

— Police blotter: Will miscreants Michael Vick (right) and Plaxico Burress find work again in the NFL? Vick has completed his jail time, but Burress could well wind up behind bars: The mandatory minimum sentence for possession of a loaded and unlicensed weapon in Manhattan is 3 1/2 years. Still, don't be surprised if someone takes a chance on one or both of these former stars.

— For sale sign in St. Louis: Georgia Frontiere's heirs, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, haven't said so publicly, but the Rams franchise — at least the 60 percent of it not owned by Stan Kroenke — is on the market. Until a deal is done and the new owner(s) are identified, the future of the team, including its stay in St. Louis, will remain cloudy.

— Favre (yes, once again): It's becoming a wearisome subject, but another unretirement of Brett Favre (above) can't be ignored. This time, Minnesota appears to be the destination after Favre spent 2008 with the New York Jets. If Favre does land with the Vikings, you can bet all of Green Bay will have Nov. 1 circled on the calendar. That's when the Vikes visit Lambeau Field.

— Big interest in Big Game and Big O: Fans here with fond memories of Torry Holt (right) and Orlando Pace will want to see if the two former Rams are able to regain the form that earned them seven Pro Bowl invitations apiece. After being released by the Rams, Holt landed with the Jaguars and Pace with the Bears.

— Wide(out) differences: Two of the league's best pass-catchers, Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Denver's Brandon Marshall, are unhappy with their contracts and have requested to be traded. Neither team seems inclined to let them go. Will their discontent grow into distraction for their respective clubs?

— Is L.T. charged-up again? After restructuring his contract to remain in San Diego — and after the Chargers considered releasing him — can running back LaDainian Tomlinson (right) rebound after a 2008 season that was marred by three separate injuries and resulted in the least productive of his eight NFL years?