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IDP General Admission

After six games last year, Lions DE Kalimba Edwards had 3.5 sacks. After four games this year, he has four. He also had six total tackles in Sunday's 35-17 win over Baltimore, a career high. Edwards started a game for the first time since his rookie season in 2002. As I wrote last week, Edwards has shown plenty of potential in the past, but the end result has usually been disappointment for whatever reason. In a contract year, it looks like Edwards is doing what he can to show he still belongs in this league…

After four games this year, Terrell Suggs only has half a sack. Many thought the transition to DE from LB would make Suggs prove an excellent fit for Suggs, who played end in college. Suggs has been getting his share of tackles, but the sack numbers are disappointing after you realize that Suggs had more than ten in each of his first two NLF seasons…

Suggs was ejected from the game late into the third quarter after getting flagged for roughing the passer, arguing the call and apparently bumping the referee. The referee, Mike Carey, was quoted as saying, "He bumped me with malice in his heart and he was gone." Suggs' helmet apparently clipped the cap of the referee…

Browns safety Chris Crocker had a big game opening day with ten total tackles and a sack, but he had been pretty quiet since then. That is, until Sunday's 20-10 win over Chicago. Crocker had another ten-tackle game and a sack and further clutched his stranglehold on the starting job he won in preseason. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one of them…

Crocker had easily the play of the game in the fourth quarter with the Bears trailing 13-10 with the ball near midfield. On first down, Crocker came roaring towards Bears' QB Kyle Orton on a safety blitz. He not only got the tackle and a sack, but he forced the ball loose and recovered the fumble. The Browns did not waste the opportunity and scored a touchdown shortly thereafter to put the game out of reach…

Rookie safety Brodney Pool and second year safety Sean Jones have been barely a blip on the radar screen for the Browns thus far. I wouldn't count on that changing anytime soon…

Ho-Hum, another game, another double-digit tackle performance by Dolphins LB Zach Thomas. Thomas has at least 11 total tackles in every game this season, including 11-4 tackles in Sunday's 20-14 loss to Buffalo. Despite playing in only four games, Thomas is second in the NFL in total tackles (behind only Jets LB Jonathan Vilma)…

Thomas has often been accused of being overrated. He's been labeled as too short, too slow and not talented enough. But Thomas has used those comments as fuel to produce that much more. Some critics even thought that the change in the Dolphins defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 would hurt Thomas. On the contrary, Thomas is on pace for more than 200 tackles…

I wrote last week that Falcons DT Rod Coleman is 26-3 in games in which he gets a sack. He went sack-less Sunday against the Patriots. The Falcons lost…

Potential IDP bust of the year: Atlanta spent big bucks on LB Edgerton Hartwell in the offseason. Many predicted, myself included, that he would have a monster year. Instead, Hartwell was ineffective for the most part and did not play much on passing downs. He only had 22 total tackles in five games. Now, Hartwell injured his Achilles tendon late in the third quarter Sunday and is lost for the year…

Replacing Hartwell becomes an immediate priority for HC Jim Mora. One possibility is promoting Ike Reese, but Reese is a smallish 222 pounds and is more inclined to play on the strong side. Reese replaced Hartwell and was quickly burned by TE Ben Watson for a 33 yard score…

Pro Bowl linebacker Keith Brooking might move over from the weak side. He has the size and strength needed to play in the middle, but then somebody has to step up to play on the weakside. Strong side LB Demorrio Williams could be an excellent fit on the weak side, opening up the strong side spot…

Another person with a shot is rookie Michael Boley. Boley has been mainly a special teams contributor. Reese might be the obvious choice to replace Hartwell somewhere in the group, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if the job is given to Boley. And if the job given to Boley is on the weak side, he quickly becomes a great pick up in your league. Stay tuned…

Ever since Eric Barton has been out, Jets LB's Victor Hobson and Mark Brown have been very effective. Brown moved into Barton's weak side spot and has picked up 19 total tackles and a half sack the last two weeks. Hobson, meanwhile, has played in more nickel situations and has 23 total tackles the last two weeks. Barton's return could be imminent, though, and both players' numbers could dwindle…

Back to back big games for Seahawks rookie LB Lofa Tatupu, as he had 9-0 tackles Sunday against the Rams. He also had an interception. If you own Tatupu and haven't inserted him into your starting lineup, you should now…

Seattle CB Andre Dyson strained a hamstring Sunday during the game. Veteran Kelly Herndon replaced him. Prior to this season, Herndon had been an every day starter since 2003 with Denver. He's been relegated to backup duty as a Seahawk, playing behind Dyson and Marcus Trufant. Herndon still gets his share of playing time, though, and made the most of the additional time with Dyson out by putting up 9-0 tackles…

Dyson is likely out at least two more weeks with the hamstring injury and Herndon could be a good play during that period, especially in leagues that must start 2 CB's…

If there were an IDP Comeback Player of the Year Award, Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch would be the leading vote getter. In Sunday's 34-20 win over Houston, Vanden Bosch had yet another sack and leads the league with six. He also had 7-1 tackles. Sure, Texan QB David Carr is an easy mark and fellow Titan defensive linemen Antwan Odom, Rien Long and Travis LaBoy combined for five other sacks, but this is crazy what Vanden Bosch is doing this year. I was an advocate for Vanden Bosch since he entered the league, but there was no chance I thought he'd be accomplishing so much this year…

With Houston CB Phillip Buchanon playing poorly, along with the team in general, the Texans coaching made a move to replace Buchanon, at least temporarily, with Demarcus Faggins. Both players were 2002 draft picks, but it was Buchanon who had the big league reputation, as he was drafted in the first round by the Raiders. Faggins, on the other hand, was a sixth round choice by Houston and up until this year had only had a couple glimpses at the starting lineup…

When Houston made the switch, they figured it could motivate Buchanon, and inserting the hungry Faggins seemed the logical choice. Faggins has not looked back. In his two starts, Faggins has 17 total tackles, including 10-1 on Sunday. He plays with a sense of desperation, like every play could be his last. He's a playmaker on a team that lacks them…

Few have been boasting about Robert Mathis as long and as hard as I have, but this is ridiculous. On Sunday, the Colts DE had a career-high eight total tackles and he added two more sacks. He now has six sacks and is tied for the NFL lead. He also forced a fumble. At 235 pounds, Mathis might be one of the smallest DE's in the game, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in heart and playmaking…

Colts LB Cato June has also been a pleasant surprise for IDP owners. He had 4-0 tackles and a pair of interceptions. One of his interceptions was returned 24 yards for the score. It was the second interception return for a touchdown by June for the year. He's the first LB in the history of Colts to score two touchdowns in one season off interceptions. For June, it took him back to his days playing safety at the University of Michigan…

The Colts defense has now allowed only 29 points after their first five games. That's actually the third fewest points allowed in the NFL since 1970. The 1977 Atlanta Falcons allowed only 22 points after their first five games. As for the Colts, this is about as unexpected of a development as there gets, especially in a Peyton Manning led offense. All I can say is wow…

Rookie Denver CB Darrent Williams had a big week three in his first NFL start. He then missed the next game due to injury. He came back strong Sunday with a 7-0 tackle performance. With Champ Bailey out with injury, the Broncos have gone with two rookie corners in Williams a Domonique Foxworth, and both have delivered…

Bailey is listed as day to day. Upon his return, expect Foxworth to go back to the bench. Foxworth has earned playing time, though…

The strong safety position for the Washington Redskins has recently been bread and butter for tackles for IDP owners. With injuries to Matt Bowen and Ryan Clark, Pierson Prioleau stepped up. Now with Bowen and Clark back, none of the three have been good starting options. Time will only tell, but I think Clark will wind up again to be the man once he gets closer to 100%, and his numbers will likely pick back up to where they were when he started before…

Eagles DE Jevon Kearse is off to a terrible start. After five games he only has seven total tackles and one sack. Kearse has stated that he being double-teamed constantly in passing situations, but even if that were true, he should be contributing more against the run. The Eagles badly need more production out of Kearse if they hope to win another division title…

Steelers DE Aaron Smith has long been considered one of the NFL's better defensive ends, but playing in the 3-4 he's never put up big numbers. The Steelers defense is designed for the linemen to take up the blockers and feed the tackles to the linebackers. Still, Smith has always been a decent IDP backup in most leagues. He's had eight sacks in a year twice and one year he had 70 total tackles, which is very good for a DE. Last year, Smith went to his first Pro Bowl…

This year, though, Smith's numbers are way down. After four games he only has eight total tackles, and he does not yet have sack. Smith is still a very good player by NFL standards, but the way the defense is setting up, it does not look it will be a good year for Smith…

Chargers LB Donnie Edwards, who is 32 years old, is like the Energizer Bunny. He just keeps going and going and going…

Until next week…

Please e-mail me with any feedback or comments at baker@footballguys.com.

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