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NFL rumours (PFW "whispers")


BeeR
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AFC:

 

• The Colts' left tackle conundrum is only getting uglier. In his first preseason start, heavy-footed Charlie Johnson proved ill-equipped to handle the Eagles' speed off the edge. Although there are no imminent plans to demote Johnson just a couple of weeks after he supplanted Tony Ugoh on the depth chart, Johnson's lack of agility is clearly a liability in pass protection. • It's going to take a lot more than an injury to Tom Brady for Patriots backup QB Kevin O'Connell to have any chance of becoming the next Matt Cassel. Specifically, he'll need to step his game up. After earning strong reviews as a rookie in 2008, O'Connell stumbled through a sloppy training camp and has looked equally uninspiring in his preseason reps. Don't be surprised if Raiders castoff Andrew Walter gets the nod over O'Connell should Brady again fall victim to injury.

 

• "Not enough separation between veteran player and young players." That's the explanation Dolphins coach Tony Sparano gave when asked why veteran newcomer Eric Green was released after being penciled in as a potential CB starter when he signed on in free agency. Sparano's comment makes sense when considering how well rookie Sean Smith has been playing, but we hear that Green's release also helps advance Sparano's message that every player must fight for his job.

 

• Undrafted rookie OL Ramon Foster has a strong shot at making the Steelers' roster, the way we hear it. Foster's ability to play guard and tackle, not to mention his surprising play in training camp, has really bolstered his chances.

 

• We're told the Steelers like the way first-round pick Ziggy Hood is coming along. Hood, who primarily will be an interior pass rusher this season, had a sack in his preseason debut vs. Arizona.

 

• An under-the-radar-player having a good summer is Bengals WR Andre Caldwell. He's the fourth option at his position behind veterans Chad Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry, but the second-year pro from Florida has had a solid camp and will definitely get some snaps on offense.

 

• Bengals rookie SLB Rey Maualuga's best chance to earn playing time initially could be on third downs. Maualuga missed some practice time early in camp as well as the club's first preseason game with a hamstring injury, hurting his chances to win a starting spot from Rashad Jeanty, who's one of the steadiest members of the defense and who has done nothing in camp to give up the job.

 

• Although the Chiefs injected their LB corps with a heavy dose of veteran leadership this offseason, it was a relatively unknown youngster who stood out at training camp. With one of the aforementioned veterans, Zach Thomas, missing multiple weeks of practice with an undisclosed injury, 25-year-old Corey Mays stepped in and performed well, impressing head coach Todd Haley with the way he seized the opportunity. Thomas likely will regain his starting role once he's healthy, but Mays has done enough to at least enter the discussion of possible first-teamers.

 

 

 

 

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NFC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Lions No. 1 pick Matthew Stafford started Saturday night's preseason game against the Browns, producing less-than-stellar results, but head coach Jim Schwartz has not made a decision on who will start in Week One against the Saints. It's getting a bit late for a team that needs stability. But Schwartz said he might opt to wait until the fourth preseason game to make a decision between Stafford and Daunte Culpepper, hinting that the starters could be featured much of that game and not the third preseason contest.

 

• Vikings WR Bernard Berrian reports that his hamstring is getting better, telling PFW that he started to run for the first time since the injury on Friday. Expect Berrian to be cautious in the preseason — he said he wants some time to work with new QB Brett Favre — but ready to go for the start of the regular season.

 

• For the second year in a row, it appears a third-round rookie wide receiver could be a total non-factor for the Bears, with 2009 third-round pick Juaquin Iglesias so far following in the same footsteps, or lack thereof, as '08 third-rounder Earl Bennett, who at least looks a lot better this season. Iglesias did have a garbage-time TD catch in the Bears' preseason opener but remains buried on the depth chart.

 

• With neither Jeremy Kapinos nor Durant Brooks doing anything to distinguish themselves in the battle for the Packers' punting job, don't be surprised if the team works the waiver wire diligently in pursuit of possible punters that might foot the bill. Two teams we hear the Packers could be watching closely are Denver, where incumbent P Brett Kern is engaged in a dogfight with rookie free agent Britton Colquitt, and Jacksonville, where veterans Adam Podlesh and Steve Weatherford have been battling it out.

 

• There appears to be a shift in the Cowboys' WR totem pole. Miles Austin, expected to push Patrick Crayton for a starting spot, might be sliding a bit. Not only does it appear that Crayton will take one of the starting positions across from Roy Williams, but Austin now might have fallen behind Sam Hurd, who has caught everything in sight since the start of training camp. Hurd might not have Austin's upside, but he has been far more consistent and has shown he can be a difference maker when he's in the lineup.

 

• Keep an eye on Redskins WR Marko Mitchell. Other than OLB-DE Brian Orakpo and DE Jeremy Jarmon, Mitchell has been the next most impressive rookie on the team this preseason. Head coach Jim Zorn was guarded in his assessment of Mitchell, saying that he is "continuing to improve." Although he's still green, we hear that Mitchell's fine work this summer could allow him to end up as one of the final receivers to make the 53-man roster.

 

• Rams QB Marc Bulger isn't sure whether he will see any action in the preseason after fracturing the pinkie finger on his throwing hand. "We'll see," Bulger told team sources. If Coach (Steve Spagnuolo) feels it is important, I'd love to come back and play with the guys again. I don't know who's playing or what the deal is, but when I was at the doctor, number one on my list was (the season opener against) Seattle. We confirmed it's just a pain thing, and I knew I was in for that. … I don't know any future plans, but I'm going to be 100 percent for Seattle, and that's all I'm thinking about."

 

• Short of calling Rams first-round draft pick Jason Smith a disappointment, team insiders agree that he is far behind second-round draft pick James Laurinaitis in terms of his development at the pro level. While Laurinaitis appears to have quickly latched on to the starting MLB job, we hear there's a possibility Smith might start the regular season behind Adam Goldberg at right tackle. It's worth noting, though, that Smith has shown major improvement recently after struggling early in training camp.

 

• Just how serious is the "disk issue" that has kept Seahawks starting CB Marcus Trufant from participating in the team's training camp? Suffice it to say, the direct comparisons team sources are making to the back ailment that forced QB Matt Hasselbeck to miss nine games last season are not too promising. We hear it hardly will be a shock if Trufant remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list once the final roster is decided upon, forcing him to miss the first six weeks of the season.

 

• We keep hearing nothing but great things about 49ers RB Frank Gore, who has been looking better than ever under the direction of new RB coach Tom Rathman. "I really don't have anything to compare it to in terms of prior deals, but from what I've seen and the guys I've had, he has had an outstanding training camp," said Niners new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. "His weight is down, his body is rocked up, he's ready to go. ... He's been exceptional."

 

• We hear Cardinals seventh-round draft pick LaRod Stephens-Howling has been playing well enough to legitimately challenge newly acquired Jason Wright for the No. 3 RB role that was filled by the departed J.J. Arrington last season.

 

• Word is Gary Barnidge has taken the Panthers' starting tight end job from Jeff King, who started all but one game in the past two seasons. Barnidge, who played sparingly as a rookie in 2008, is a much more talented receiver than King and he has shown off his good hands and ability to stretch the field in camp. King basically served as an extra offensive lineman last season, rarely making plays as a receiver, but he still will be called on in running situations, as he holds a significant edge over Barnidge as a blocker.

 

• We hear Brent Grimes has locked down the starting left cornerback job for the Falcons. Grimes was supposed to be involved in a competition for the spot along with rookie Chris Owens, Chevis Jackson and Von Hutchins, but Grimes was the front-runner from the start and no player made a strong push to challenge him, sources say, although Owens has been impressive at times. Atlanta started Grimes for the first six games of last season, but he lost the job to Domonique Foxworth, who signed with the Ravens in the offseason.

 

• Sources say Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey is a fan of rookie QB John Parker Wilson. The undrafted prospect came highly recommended from Alabama's Nick Saban, who coached Wilson in college and had Mularkey on his staff when he was head coach of the Dolphins. Word is Chris Redman is locked into the backup role behind Matt Ryan, but Wilson could take a roster spot from No. 3 QB D.J. Shockley if he outperforms Shockley in the remaining preseason games.

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The Colts left tackle spot is really worrying me. . .

 

I'm sure it's worrying Peyton too. or should I use also instead of too, what say you grammar instructors

Edited by SLAYER
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I'm sure it's worrying Peyton too. or should I use also instead of too, what say you grammar instructors

 

Nah... "too" works. Had you said "to" or "two", I'd have been on you like stink on shiiiit.

 

But you did forget the question mark at the end. :wacko:

Edited by Cunning Runt
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I'm sure it's worrying Peyton too. or should I use also instead of too, what say you grammar instructors

 

And you got the "it's" correct as well. Lots of folks have trouble with that one.

 

 

Man, sometimes I'm such a geek. :wacko:

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