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Volume 6, Issue 115 (Thursday, August 11th)

Tonight's update brought to you by: gamedayritual

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Hi Folks,

The T.O. Circus is still in town. Training camps are rolling and we're here for you to plow through the mountain of news and bring you the key things you need to know. For you subscribers, get ready to be happy: Our Issue #2 of the Training Camp Updates are ready to roll - check them out. And thanks to our Footballguy Maurile Tremblay for the help rounding up these stories tonight. Let's get to it.

Joe Bryant

SITE NEWS

A. (Premium Subscription) 35 Page Training Camp Update Issue #2 Ready For Download
We showed everyone what we're doing with the Training Camp Updates last week as we gave away Issue #1. Subscribers to the Premium Subscription can download Issue #2 here. Since camp had just opened last week, Issue #1 was mainly an off season summary. Issue #2 is focused on just the last seven days with detailed reports on camp battles and practice reports. It's chock full of coaches comments, player quotes, depth chart battles and much more.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PHI - WR Owens Can Either Play Or Sit
2. PHI - Officially Concerned Over RB Buckhalter's Knee
3. PHI - WR Brown Has Slight Groin Strain
4. BAL - RB Lewis Practices With Ravens For First Time
5. DEN - RB Clarett's MRI Brings Good News
6. CIN - Doctors Clear WR Warrick, Management Won't
7. CAR - WR Colbert Back On Field
8. CHI - WR Bradley Takes Reps With 1st Unit
9. PIT - WR Doering Signed, TE Battaglia To IR
10. TB - FB Alstott Sidelined With Neck Injury
11. MIN - WR Williamson Likely Out For Pre-Season Opener
12. PIT - More Than Pleased With WR C.Wilson

1. PHI - WR Owens Can Either Play Or Sit

Clipped from PhiladelphiaEagles.com article by Dave Spadaro, 8/11/05p>

Terrell Owens continues to talk, and the Eagles continue to respond.

In a national interview on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, Owens -- alongside agent, Drew Rosenhaus -- made a number of statements, including one in which he said he was forced to sign a "secret waiver" before playing in Super Bowl XXXIX. Owens said he "put his life on the line" to play in the game.

A short time later, an Eagles spokesman denied the allegation.

"He absolutely did not sign a waiver with the team. He was never even asked to," said the team spokesman.

Owens, however, may have signed one with Dr. Mark Myerson, who was monitoring Owens' rehab from his leg/ankle injury.

Owens also commented on his relationship with quarterback Donovan McNabb, saying: "I don't have to talk to Donovan McNabb. I don't need to talk to Donovan McNabb."

McNabb, through a team spokesman, responded: "I don't play that game in the media."

McNabb is scheduled for a press conference Friday following the morning practice.

Owens is scheduled to appear at halftime of tonight's San Diego at Green Bay game on ESPN.

Earlier, offensive coordinator Brad Childress had little to say Thursday regarding Owens' comments that Childress "antagonized" him during a Tuesday night meeting that led to a confrontation that led to Owens being told to take a week away from the team.

So while Owens is away from the team, he's meeting reporters at his Moorestown, N.J. home. On Thursday, he admitted that he and Childress were at odds during an offensive meeting on Tuesday and that he told Childress not to speak to him until Owens first spoke to Childress.

"Exactly. I did say that, I am an honest person. I did say that," said Owens. Owens went on to suggest that Childress "was antagonizing me. He was not talking to me in a business setting.

"I don't have to talk to everybody personally. I don't have to like everybody personally," said Owens. "All they do is pay me to go in there and practice and do my job -- go to meetings, treatment and that's what I have done."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The list of people Owens is having problems getting along with keeps growing. In the last couple days, Owens has slipped from one of the top two or three WRs drafted to being more like the fifth or sixth WR off the board. That is probably an overreaction. Owens is expected back at practice next Wednesday, and as we said last night, we think he'll be in an Eagles uniform September 11 against the Falcons. Although that's far from a sure thing. During halftime of the Chargers - Green Bay game, Owens was asked by ESPN's Chris Berman if he'd be there on September 11 and Owens replied, "Who knows?"

The issue with offensive coordinator Childress is worrisome. There is no way that Andy Reid (or any other NFL coach) will allow that type of behavior on the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see Owens test the limits again in this area. Stay tuned. The one thing I can pretty much say with certainty is that we'll be talking about this issue for a while.

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2. PHI - Officially Concerned Over RB Buckhalter's Knee

Clipped from: PhillyBurbs.com article by Jeff Offord, 8/11/05

As if the Eagles needed something else to worry about.

Head coach Andy Reid announced yesterday that the Eagles have become concerned over Correll Buckhalter's ailing right knee and that the injury would be looked at by a doctor.

Reid, speaking to the media after the Eagles morning practice session at Lehigh University, did not say what doctor or medical facility Buckhalter visited yesterday.

Buckhalter's knee was hit by a helmet last Friday, causing what was thought to be a deep bruise.

Now, the Eagles aren't so sure.

"We don't know (the problem)," Reid said. "It's still bothering him. So we've got to have it checked out again and we will just see. It's not coming around as fast as it should have. So, we're going to check all of those things out and see what the deal is."

Buckhalter missed all of last season with a torn patellar tendon in his right knee. He missed all of the 2002 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Buckhalter flew to Birmingham, Alabama today for evaluation by Dr. James Andrews, the orthopedist who operated on the torn patellar tendon in his right knee last August. We'll keep you updated on the results. If Buckhalter is limited this season, that will probably mean more work for Brian Westbrook, boosting his fantasy stock. Reno Mahe and Ryan Moats are the other tailbacks on the roster likely to see action if Buckhalter is limited.

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3. PHI - WR Brown Has Slight Groin Strain

Clipped from Philadelphia Inquirer article 8/11/05

Injuries:

"Guys that did not practice today: [Defensive end] Jamaal Green has a foot strain. He tried yesterday and it went sore on him this morning, so we'll take it day by day and see how he's doing. [Defensive tackle] Sam Rayburn did a little work yesterday out here. He is getting better. We're not in a position to put him in live drills or even the drill work that he's doing, so he'll be out of the regular practice for a couple of more days. And then [running back] Correll Buckhalter went to Birmingham to see Dr. Andrews who did the surgery on him. He was going through some tests down there to see the severity of what was done there. We don't have any report for you right now. Jamaal Jackson again was out with a triceps tear. [Linebacker] Martin Patterson was out with lower back pain. [Linebacker] Greg Richmond is going to have surgery on his back on Monday. [Tackle] Jon Runyan has a concussion and again, we should get him back in the next day. [Tackle] Tra Thomas is still out. Matt Ware, on his surgically repaired knee is having some soreness and we're giving him some rest on that knee. Then today [wide receiver] Reggie Brown has a slight groin strain and [defensive tackle] Darwin Walker, who has had the flu the last couple of days, came out, went through about of the practice and then they sent him back in."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The Eagles' WR situation is, at least temporarily, shaky. And that's being kind. Todd Pinkston is out for the year. Terrell Owens is home for the week. That leaves the undersized Greg Lewis and rookie Reggie Brown to work with the first team. Billy McMullen is in the mix as well. Brown has looked quite impressive so far in camp, but he came up gimpy today in practice with a strained groin - the sort of injury that can linger. The Eagles aren't necessarily in panic mode yet, but they can't weather a whole lot more bad news at the WR position before they get there.

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4. BAL - RB Lewis Practices With Ravens For First Time

Clipped from the Associated Press article, 8/11/05

Jamal Lewis shuffled carefully to his left, studied the blocking and burst through the middle untouched on his first carry at training camp since being released from prison.

The Baltimore Ravens' star running back didn't display his usual explosiveness Wednesday, not surprising, considering it was his first practice in pads following an offseason of legal turmoil.

The 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year served four months in federal prison and two months in a halfway house after pleading guilty to using a cell phone to arrange a cocaine deal.

Lewis reported to training camp Monday. On Wednesday, he took part in a few team drills, but didn't participate in full-contact practice.

"He looked fresh, which is what you would expect after not being here for the first week," Ravens coach Brian Billick said of Lewis, who was limited to a career-low 1,006 yards last season as he dealt with his legal problems and injuries. "We'll just continue to push him through it, put him through his paces and see if we can get him to that next level of conditioning."

After reporting at a lean 240 pounds, Lewis also needs to regain the timing and power that helped him rush for 2,066 yards -- the second-highest total in league history -- in 2003.

"I've had great seasons every year since I've been with the Ravens, and that should continue," Lewis said. "Being that I've got [the legal trouble] off my back, I don't think I'll do anything less."

The Ravens are taking a cautious approach with Lewis and will hold him out of their first preseason game Saturday against the Falcons. He's more likely to play Aug. 20 against the Eagles.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

It's easy to forget just how good Jamal Lewis was two seasons ago when he rushed for 2,066 yards while continually facing eight-man fronts. He was hampered by injuries and off-field distractions last year, so the question is how healthy and how focused he is coming into the 2005 season. He had offseason ankle surgery that he was unable to fully rehab while he was in prison, but initial reports from his first day back at practice are that he looks fast, strong, and ready to roll.

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5. DEN - RB Clarett's MRI Brings Good News

Clipped from: ESPN.com article 8/11/05

An MRI performed on rookie running back Maurice Clarett shows no sign of a tear in his groin muscle. Clarett has been slowed by a groin injury for most of camp, and reaggravated it recently.

Broncos coach Shanahan said Clarett might practice Monday, the team's first on-field work in Denver.

"The MRI was negative, it's nothing serious," Shanahan said in the Rocky Mountain News. "It's not torn. He's getting rehab right now, working out a couple times a day in the weight room. Getting treatment about four times a day. Hopefully, when we get back, he'll be ready to go."

Clarett's biggest obstacle may he won't be able to move up on the depth chart if he isn't practicing. The final pick of the third round in the April draft is fifth behind Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Quentin Griffin and Ron Dayne.

Clarett will miss the team's preseason opener Saturday at Reliant Stadium.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Clarett has to climb his way past some pretty talented RBs on the depth chart before he sees the field, and he won't be able to do so while he's on the sideline nursing an injury. The one constant in Denver, though, is that you can never tell what's going to happen at the RB position over the course of the season. So Clarett is worth keeping track of no matter how bleak his chances look here in August.

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6. CIN - Doctors Clear WR Warrick, Management Won't

Clipped from: Cincinnati Enquirer article by Mark Curnutte, 8/11/05

Peter Warrick is in NFL limbo.

The sixth-year Bengals wide receiver said Wednesday night that although two doctors, including the team's orthopedist, have cleared him medically, club management won't let him back on the field.

"I look at it like this: It's a business deal. Colosimo cleared me," Warrick said of Dr. Angelo Colosimo, who examined him Tuesday night.

Coach Marvin Lewis fielded a series of questions about Warrick during his news conference Wednesday morning.

Lewis would not say whether Warrick had been cleared medically. The decision whether to play the receiver, Lewis said, belongs to him and Bengals president Mike Brown.

Lewis was asked if there were other factors - such as the $2.28 million Warrick is due in 2005 salary - involved in the decision.

"No, it's just based on whether we feel he is ready," Lewis said.

Asked then about the medical staff's role, Lewis said: "They don't make decisions. They tell us what their thing is. Then Mike has the final decision."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

This is becoming a weird situation. According to the article, Warrick has been cleared to play by the medical staff, but the Bengals are still not allowing him to practice. The Bengals had maintained all offseason that if Warrick is fully healthy, he will fit into their plans this season, but maybe they are having second thoughts. Warrick is set to earn $2.28 million this year, which is pretty expensive for a backup WR. Warrick would compete for the third WR spot behind Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but the Bengals have pretty good depth at the position with or without Warrick. So it would not be a total shock if he is released before the start of the season. Stay tuned.

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7. CAR - WR Colbert Back On Field

Clipped from: Associated Press article by Jenna Fryer, 8/11/05

Carolina receiver Keary Colbert returned to practice Thursday after sitting out a week with a strained hamstring, catching a long touchdown pass from Jake Delhomme and proving he plans to fight for his job.

While Colbert was out, free agent Rod Gardner stepped in to work with the first-team offense and made a strong push for a starting spot.

But if he was worried about slipping on the depth chart, Colbert didn't let on.

"I feel pressure every year and every day regardless of who is here," Colbert said. "I want to be a certain type of player and to do that you have to work a certain way. That's not based on other people. It's based on pushing yourself to get better and ultimately help the team get better."

Colbert opened his rookie season last year on the sidelines, deactivated before the game because the Panthers had too many receivers in front of him. But when Steve Smith broke his leg in the opener, Colbert started the next 15 games and set Carolina rookie records with 47 receptions, 754 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Colbert could still be held out of the preseason opener Saturday night against Washington because of his injury, opening the way for Gardner, a veteran who started 48 games with the Redskins.

But there is no jealousy from Colbert, who figures there are plenty of Delhomme passes to share with Smith, Gardner, Ricky Proehl and maybe even Drew Carter.

"The more the merrier," Colbert said. "Depth is not a bad thing. I always reference the Rams and when Ricky was there. They had a number of good receivers and they all played well, the team played well and they went to the Super Bowl. I think we're in a similar situation depth-wise."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Colbert was a better fantasy prospect before the Panthers signed Rod Gardner. Colbert should still start, but Gardner has been impressive in training camp practices and should see playing time and targets at Colbert's expense. Colbert is still a talented young receiver with fine long-term potential, but appears to be a longshot to approach 1,000 yards receiving this season.

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8. CHI - WR Bradley Takes Reps With 1st Unit

Clipped from: Chicago Tribune article by John Mullin, 8/11/05

He is still a not-ready-for-prime-time player in his coaches' opinions but rookie Mark Bradley spent some quality time Wednesday with the first string, a place where the Bears would like to see him.

Bradley's record-setting 131 receiving yards in Monday's game did not vault him into the first unit. But with Bernard Berrian out of this practice before Friday's game in St. Louis against the Rams, Bradley stepped in, alternating with Justin Gage opposite Muhsin Muhammad.

Bradley dropped two easy balls in no-coverage drills. Then he turned right around and made two touch catches, one on a throw well behind him and the next as he was stumbling after a patch of turf gave way on his cut.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Bradley has loads of physical talent, and the other Chicago WRs he is competing with - Justin Gage and Bernard Berrian - are not exactly all-stars. Consider Bradley a darkhorse with the potential to make some noise in the second half of the season if he continues to progress.

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9. PIT - WR Doering Signed, TE Battaglia To IR

Clipped from: Steelers.com article, 8/11/05

The Steelers added depth and experience at wide receiver today when they signed eight-year veteran Chris Doering to a one-year contract. Financial terms of the deal were not released.

Doering (6-4, 201) was on the Steelers' roster for six games in 2004, seeing action in three. He did not catch a pass. After initially making the Steelers' 2004 Kickoff Weekend roster, Doering was released by the team on Sept. 18. He re-signed with the Steelers on Nov. 24, but was released again on Dec. 31.

Doering spent the entire 2003 season with the Steelers and tied a career high with 18 receptions, while setting personal bests for receiving yards (240) and receiving average (13.3). He scored one touchdown. His career-long 53-yard reception was the longest by a Steelers' wide receiver all season.

The Steelers made room on their roster by placing eight-year veteran tight end Marco Battaglia on the reserve/injured list. Battaglia, who signed with the team as a free agent this offseason, will not be eligible to play in 2005.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Steelers are somewhat thin at WR right now while Hines Ward is holding out, so Doering provides a warm body to run patterns in training camp. Do not expect him to be a fantasy factor this year, though.

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10. TB - FB Alstott Sidelined With Neck Injury

Clipped from: Tampa Tribune article by Roy Cummings, 8/11/05

The Bucs weren't planning to give fullback Mike Alstott a lot of work in Friday's preseason opener. Suddenly, however, the chances of Alstott seeing any action at all Friday seem rather slim.

Alstott, who had neck surgery in November 2003, was forced to leave the Bucs' morning workout Thursday with a stinger, which is football vernacular for a pinched nerve in the neck or a compression of the vertebrae in the neck.

Alstott was later seen walking around the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in street clothes, but he was not made available for comment and did not participate in the team's afternoon practice.

"When he went in and the medical trainers said it's a stinger, we just said, 'That's it, you're done,' " running backs coach Art Valero said. "We did that just as a precautionary deal.

"Plus, he's got 10 years in this deal and with rookie fullback Rick Razzano out with a torn hamstring, Mike's been taking a lot of reps. So we just said we're going to back off on it."

A team spokesman said Alstott will be reevaluated today, but it may be late Friday before the team decides whether he will be allowed to play against Tennessee.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Even when he is healthy, Alstott no longer gets enough playing time to be much of a fantasy player. He is always a threat around the goal line, though, so he can make for a decent bye-week fill-in in deep leagues. We hearing rumblings that he could retire if these stingers are determined to be more serious.

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11. MIN - WR Williamson Likely Out For Pre-Season Opener

Clipped from: Star Tribune article by Kevin Seifert, 8/11/05

Rookie receiver Troy Williamson awoke Wednesday morning with pain in his right foot and was diagnosed with an impingement of the soft tissue near the ankle, an injury that apparently will keep him on the sidelines for the Vikings' preseason opener Friday against Kansas City.

Athletic trainer Chuck Barta said the team would re-evaluate Williamson's injury today, and Barta would not rule out the possibility that Williamson could recover quickly enough to play Friday. But Williamson missed both practices Wednesday and was seen wearing a protective boot around his foot in the afternoon.

He was not available for comment.

The injury apparently occurred during Tuesday night's intrasquad scrimmage. Williamson dived for an 11-yard reception from Brad Johnson, and his right foot caught in the turf. Cornerback Laroni Gallishaw then fell on the foot.

Williamson reported the pain Wednesday morning and took precautionary X-rays and an MRI. Barta said the tests showed "no significant structural damage" but said the injury is best defined as an "impingement."

An impingement refers to the soft tissue damage that occurs when a foot is pinned unnaturally as Williamson's was.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Even with Randy Moss gone, the Vikings have some depth at WR, so Williamson will have to perform well in training camp and the preseason to earn playing time. Aside from Nate Burleson, the team also has Marcus Robinson and Travis Taylor available, both of whom have flashed exceptional talent at times in their careers - although neither has been very consistent. Any time Williamson misses in the preseason hurts his chances to contribute this year.

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12. PIT - More Than Pleased With WR Cedrick Wilson

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article by Joe Bendel, 8/11/05

Receiver Cedrick Wilson is an amoeba-like presence who frustrates defensive backs.

Steelers strong safety Mike Logan said of the free-agent signee from San Francisco. "He runs those routes where he comes through the seam, then breaks free. He's deceptive, too. He does this little stutter-jog, then kicks it right into gear. You gotta be on your toes with that guy."

Veteran cornerback Willie Williams got a taste of that Wednesday morning when Wilson beat him on a deep out-pattern that resulted in a touchdown during a passing drill.

Williams, like Logan, used the word deceptive when describing Wilson.

"Sometimes, he comes off the ball running slow, then he speeds up," Williams said. "You have to be careful with Ced because he's not going to allow you to read him. He throws you off. He keeps you honest."

Wilson runs the 40-yard dash in less than 4.4 seconds. During 11-on-11 drills last week, he split two defenders and broke free for a 75-yard touchdown in the two-minute offense.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Wilson has tremendous quickness, but is an undersized receiver who isn't very physical, and sometimes struggles to get off the line of scrimmage. He may find a niche as a slot receiver in certain packages, but it is doubtful that he will play a big enough role in the offense to have a lot of fantasy value.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

J

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