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Volume 6, Issue 134 (Tuesday, August 30th)

Footballguys.com
Volume 6, #133 August 29th 2005

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Hi Folks,

Things are moving fast here. Last week, Chad Hutchison was the Bears starting QB. Today, he's in the unemployment line... You have to keep up. I know that many leagues are drafting this week and we'll continue to ramp up our coverage to bring you everything you need to Dominate Your League. From Training Camp Updates, Drafting Software, to Fantasy Articles to the latest in Cheatsheets and up to the minute Stat Projections. We'll keep you covered. Thanks to our Footballguy Mark Wimer for the help rounding up these stories tonight. Let's get to it.

Joe Bryant

SITE NEWS

A. (Premium Subscription) August 30 Training Camp Report
Everything you need to know about every player that matters. Ready to download.

B. (Premium Subscription) Detailed Stat Projections
Want to see the Falcons projections with Peerless Price gone or the Bengals without Peter Warrick? Our stat projections reflect all the latest news.

C. (Premium Subscription) Individual Defensive Player Stat Projections
Same detail covering IDP players.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PIT - RB Staley's Rehab on Schedule, But Return Date Unclear?
2. TEN - WR Edwards Signs with Titans
3. KC - QB Green is OK: Tests Find No Physical Problems
4. PIT - WR Ward Still Not Signed to New Contract
5. HOU - TE Miller Released
6. WAS - WR McCants Released
7. SEA - OL Womack Out For Four Weeks, Minimum
8. GB - RB Green, County Prosecutors Discussing Plea Deal in Domestic Violence Case
9. DAL - No Decision on Backup QB, Yet?
10. ATL - WR Price Cut
11. CIN - WR Warrick Cut
12. CLE - TE Winslow II Has Staph Infection in Injured Knee, Looks Gaunt
13. NE - QB Davey Cut, RB Cobbs Cut
14. BAL - QB Boller Regressing: How Much Patience Do The Ravens Have?
15. CHI - QB Coach Wilson, WR Muhammad Ready to Groom Orton
16. DET - QB Harrington, Starters Slammed by Rams
17. MIN - Rookie RB Ciatrick Fason to Start 4th Preseason Game
18. CAR - He Hate Me on Bubble?
19. SF - OL in Flux
20. CHI - QB Hutchinson Cut
21.ARI D/ST: KR/PR J.R. Redmond on IR Due to Shoulder Injury
22. IDP KC - Chiefs Interested in Signing Corey Simon
23. IDP KC - LB Kendrell Bell to Play in Final Pre-season Game
24. IDP OAK - LB Williams on IR, Surgical Repair of Torn ACL
25. IDP STL - CB Fair Is OK, Despite Scary Neck Injury on MNF

1. PIT - RB Staley's Rehab on Schedule, But Return Date Unclear?

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article by Joe Bendel, 8/30/05

Steelers tailback Duce Staley said it's realistic he'll be available for the season opener Sept. 11 against Tennessee at Heinz Field.

But that doesn't mean he would start or even do the bulk of the running, if he played at all.

"I'm not going to be in shape to probably go out there and finish a whole game, but I just want to be able to contribute," Staley said Monday as he exited the indoor training facility moments after watching practice in shorts and a T-shirt.

Signed last season to be the teams feature back, Staley underwent arthroscopic surgery Aug. 8 to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee. He was projected to miss a month while rehabbing the injury, which means he'd be back sometime next week, barring any setbacks.

Coach Bill Cowher said Staley remains on schedule, though Cowher will not rush the veteran back into the lineup. Staley is too valuable, as evidenced by a fast start last season that saw him accumulate 707 yards in his first seven games before sustaining a hamstring injury.

"I'd be hesitant to start a guy like Duce who has not had much practice time at all," Cowher said. "You'd like to have him available if needed, but I think the plan right now, if Jerome (Bettis) can't go, well go with Verron (Haynes) and Willie (Parker)."

The Steelers' running game is depleted, with Staley still rehabbing and Bettis possibly out of the Tennessee game with a strained right calf. Cowher said yesterday that Bettis would be listed as doubtful for the opener, which commences 16 days from now.

If Bettis cant go, then second-year back Parker would be the starter. Staley likely would be an emergency back.

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

Ok, let me say this again. Most fantasy league seasons play at least a 12 game "regular" season before the playoffs. One key to Fantasy Football success is the ability to look beyond the current timeframe. Staley likely will miss Week 1. Reports this week had projected him to be back around Week 3. Now it's looking like it might possibly be Week 2. He certainly deserves to be downgraded due to his injury and the fact he's missed time and will likely miss Week 1. But he sounds like he's close to ready to go and we don't want to write off his entire season.

I understand completely the Fast Willie Parker hype. I've contributed to that probably more than any other Fantasy Football as we talk him up. But the reality is that a healthy Staley is your starter unless Parker proves to be the second coming of Priest Holmes. I'm all for talking up Parker. He's the sexy pick with the "wow" factor as there might be some guys in your league (who don't subscribe to our emails) that don't know much about Parker. But I see guys drafting Parker over Staley and you have to understand the risk there. If you're all set at RB and you're willing to take a flyer on a guy with a ton of upside who might pan out, then Parker is your guy. But if you need a steadier player that will likely see more carries (although maybe not at the goalline) then Staley is more your guy. There is a time and situation for both guys. Just understand where they are.

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2. TEN - WR Edwards Signs with Titans

Clipped from: Tennessean article by Jim Wyatt, 8/30/05

Edwards told his agent he was interested in playing for the Titans, and yesterday agent Rich De Luca and Titans General Manager Floyd Reese agreed to a one-year at the veteran minimum of $540,000.

Edwards could play in Thursday's preseason finale against Green Bay at the Coliseum.

"We have a short period of time to get him ready to see what he can do,'' Titans Coach Jeff Fisher said. "If he is what we think he is, then he'll have a chance to move himself up the depth chart and play.''

Rookie receivers Brandon Jones, Courtney Roby and Roydell Williams have played well this preseason, but the Titans have maintained interest in adding a veteran to the group, which is led by fifth-year pro Drew Bennett and third-year pro Tyrone Calico. Calico, however, continues to battle his way back from last year's knee surgery.

Last night Edwards said it felt strange becoming the oldest receiver in his position group. Since he's played all three receiver positions during his career, he said he's prepared to play wherever the Titans need him.

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

As we noted in this space last night, Edward's prospects will depend on how quickly he can adapt to the Titan's system. File this personnel move in the back of your mind - Edwards probably isn't someone to draft, but he could be a worthwhile waiver wire pickup if he does well with Tennessee.

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3. KC - QB Green is OK: Tests Find No Physical Problems

Clipped from: Kansas City Star article by Adam Teicher, 8/30/05

The Chiefs gave Trent Green a battery of tests to determine the source of the numbness in his lower leg and foot. A series of negative results has them believing there's nothing sinister at work.

Coach Dick Vermeil was comfortable enough in that assessment that he even cracked a joke about it.

"They ruled everything out," Vermeil said. "They can't find anything wrong. They've MRIed, catscanned, mammogrammed. They've done the whole thing. Hopefully, that problem will take care of itself."

Green began to have problems last week during practice. He continued to work and played a couple of series last week against Seattle. Green is scheduled to start in Friday's final exhibition game in St. Louis.

"We're not overly concerned, but we're aware it's there and doing everything we can to treat it properly," Vermeil said.

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

Anytime a quality starting QB has a physical complaint, the team in question will take steps to discover the source of the problem. It's good news for Kansas City and good news for Trent Green owners that he checked out OK.

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4. PIT - WR Ward Still Not Signed to New Contract

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Ed Bouchette, 8/30/05

With the Sept. 11 start of the regular season as their deadline, the Steelers and agent Eugene Parker have made little progress toward a contract extension for Ward, who enters the final year of a deal that will pay him a $1.67 million salary in 2005.

"Nothing happening," said Ward, who ended a 15-day contract holdout and has played in the past two exhibition games, albeit briefly.

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

Hines Ward is frustrated with the speed of negotiations, and that's understandable. Hopefully, Parker and the Steelers can get a deal done that will be mutually beneficial before the season opener.

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5. HOU - TE Miller Released

Clipped from: Houston Chronicle article by John McClain, 8/30/05

When the Texans made the decision to primarily utilize their tight ends as blockers, Billy Miller had a good idea his career in Houston was coming to an end.

Miller, who scored the first touchdown in franchise history and led the Texans in receiving in their inaugural season, asked coach Dom Capers on Monday not to delay the inevitable.

"I knew what the final destination of this trip was going to be, and I knew in the end that we weren't going to be together," Miller said Monday after he was one of 12 players the Texans placed on waivers. "I went to coach Capers and told him I didn't want to wait until after the last preseason game (Thursday at Tampa Bay).

"I told him I'd like to get it out of the way so I'd have more time to catch on with another team."

Miller, 28, joined veteran defensive end Corey Sears and veteran free-agent receiver Kevin Kasper as the most prominent Texans getting their pink slips.

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

Miller has also struggled with a sore ankle during camp - he may have a hard time finding a new job this year. We'll keep an eye out for where he lands.

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6. WAS - WR McCants Released

Clipped from: Washington Post article by Nunyo Demasio, 8/30/05

McCants -- whom Coach Joe Gibbs once compared to his former star receiver Art Monk -- had had a tenuous hold on a roster spot with Washington's bevy of receivers. Gibbs declined to elaborate on the decision to release McCants so early, except to emphasize that the inability to contribute on special teams put the fourth-year veteran at a disadvantage. Teams must reduce their rosters to 65, not including exemptions for those who played in NFL Europe, by today. They must further reduce rosters to 53 by Saturday.

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

McCants wasn't high on most WR boards, but he might be on some rosters as a late-round "project". Be advised he won't be a Redskin this season - we'll see where he lands, if anywhere, as the final preseason roster moves are made across the league this week.

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7. SEA - OL Womack Out For Four Weeks, Minimum

Clipped from: Seattle Times article by Jose Miguel Romero, 8/30/05

Floyd Womack's partially torn left triceps, suffered at Kansas City in the first half, has opened the door for second-year player Sean Locklear to take over as the starter at right tackle when the regular season opens.

Locklear, who played every position on the offensive line but center in his college career, said he's ready.

"It's different, but you have to think back to what you're practicing," Locklear said.

Locklear had also been the primary backup to Walter Jones at left tackle in the absence of Wayne Hunter, who has yet to return to practice from a knee injury suffered near the end of training camp.

"I kind of thought he'd be back by now," Holmgren said of Hunter. "It's a little more problematic than we thought. But he knows, and he's working real hard to get himself back. We'll probably accelerate that just a little bit."

Womack's injury is expected to keep him out for six weeks, which means he'd miss at least the first four regular-season games.

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

The Seahawks will have to juggle their offensive linemen until Womack gets healthy - hopefully for Alexander/Hasselbeck owners, Locklear is as ready to go as the team is saying.

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8. GB - RB Green, County Prosecutors Discussing Plea Deal in Domestic Violence Case

Clipped from: Packers News article by Andy Nelesen, 8/30/05

Green, who made a brief appearance Monday in Brown County Circuit Court, was arrested April 25 after an argument with his wife at their Ledgeview home. Green was jailed briefly and charged May 10 with misdemeanor disorderly conduct as a domestic violence offense.

"We have put an offer on the table commensurate with other, similar cases," Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said, declining to discuss specifics of the offer. Zakowski said he hopes the case could be resolved short of trial, but said his office is prepared to go to trial.

"We are preparing like this thing is going to go (to trial)," said Robert Janssen, one of three lawyers with Green in court.

Janssen said there is a hope that the case will resolve without a conviction, which would insulate Green from sanctions from the National Football League. Janssen said a deferred prosecution agreement or having the case held open would be options that would keep a conviction off Green's record.

"There's always concerns about how this will affect him in the NFL," Janssen said, noting there have been significant discussions with prosecutors revolving around finding an acceptable outcome.

Brown County Sheriff's deputies responded to Green's Ledgeview home after a 911 hang-up call from the residence. According to the criminal complaint, Heather Green dialed 911, but Ahman Green took the phone from her and hung it up. Ahman Green continued to hang up the phone when 911 operators tried to re-establish contact.

Heather Green was leaving the home with her son when deputies arrived. She told deputies that she and her husband were involved in an argument and that he began slamming doors, punching pillows and yelling in her face.

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

Green owners can cross their fingers and hope that the case is resolved in a way that doesn't impact Green's playing time this season. If it's true that Green only punched pillows, slammed doors, and yelled, without harming any person, then he may well avoid a sentence.

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9. DAL - No Decision on Backup QB, Yet?

Clipped from: Dallas Morning News article by Matt Mosley, 8/30/05

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells once again refused to name a backup quarterback Monday, although his actions suggest a decision has already been made.

Tony Romo replaced starter Drew Bledsoe in the second half of Saturday's preseason game against the Texans and played the rest of the way. Parcells had said Drew Henson would play, but he never left the sideline.

Asked if he'd made a decision, Parcells said, "No, not really. I think I'm going to leave it there until we get everything set."

Romo completed five of eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown Saturday, but he also botched a hold on a Jose Cortez field goal attempt.

"I thought he did all right the other night," Parcells said of Romo. "There's a couple of things that weren't so good, but by and large, I thought he was OK."

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

Another story out of Dallas indicated that Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones supports Henson (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/sports/football/12512508.htm), saying "I look at it like we drafted him No. 1, and I am going to be very patient with him. Henson has many ingredients. The one thing he was lacking was experience, and his lack of experience is telling at this point." Most observers in Dallas think Romo will be the #2 once the season roster is set.

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10. ATL - WR Price Cut

Clipped from: Atlanta Journal-Constitution article by Steve Wyche, 8/30/05

After months of speculation, the team released wide receiver Peerless Price Tuesday morning, parting with a once highly productive player who failed to live up to lofty expectations and a $37 million contract ($10 million signing bonus) after being acquired from the Buffalo Bills for a first-round draft pick in 2003.

Price was told before practice and sped out of the parking lot at team headquarters in his BMW just as the team was beginning to stretch for the day's drills. "I hate y'all," Price said to an AJC photographer, before hustling into his car without further comment.

The waiving of Price enables him to catch on with another team before the start of the season. The Tennessee Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles, the Falcons' season-opening opponent, are thin at wide receiver and could be first in line to give Price a chance.

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

Price just hasn't turned in enough production to justify his huge contract, and the team decided to pull the plug on him. There are several receivers floating around on cut day to choose from for a replacement, including Peter Warrick and Darnerian McCants.

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11. CIN - WR Warrick Cut

Clipped from: CBS Sportsline.com wire reports, 8/30/05

Peter Warrick was released Tuesday by the Cincinnati Bengals, who have plenty of receivers but little patience left with the former No. 1 draft pick.

The move came a day after Warrick asked to be released if the Bengals had written him out of their plans. He has played in only one preseason game because of injuries, failing to catch a pass.

"He was a phenomenal player," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "He just kind of had a bad streak of luck."

The fourth overall pick in the 2000 draft, Warrick arrived in Cincinnati looking to transfer his magic from national champion Florida State to the bumbling Bengals. They failed to make the playoffs or have a winning season during his five years, and Warrick had only one notable season.

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

Warrick is sure to get some interest in the free agent market. Keep an eye on where he lands - he may have much more opportunity elsewhere than buried on the Bengals depth chart. From a fantasy viewpoint, this could be a piece of good news for Warrick owners.

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12. CLE - TE Winslow II Has Staph Infection in Injured Knee, Looks Gaunt

Clipped from: Palm Beach Post AP article by Tom Withers, 8/30/05

His muscular body thinner and his face gaunt from fighting a staph infection, Cleveland Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. resolved he would one day return to play in the NFL.

"I'm going to come back from this," he said.

The tight end's 2005 season ended before it began when he underwent knee surgery on June 14 to repair ligaments torn in a motorcycle accident on May 1. On Tuesday, Winslow spoke extensively to reporters for the first time since the crash, which cost him millions of dollars and damaged his reputation.

Sitting in front of his locker, Winslow was contrite and quiet.

"I made a mistake," Winslow said. "I just have to prove everybody wrong and come back from it."

Winslow revealed that he has had the staph infection in his right leg for six weeks, a setback that was not divulged by the Browns during their training camp. Winslow still has a catheter inserted in a vein of his left arm for antibiotics.

Winslow doesn't know how he got the bacterial infection, which typically enters the body through an open cut or break in the skin. He said it prevented him from being out on the field to watch practice.

"Doctors don't really know where staph comes from. The surgical incision right here," he said, touching his right knee. "I think it was probably from Vitamin E. I was rubbing it on there, I think it might have got infected from that. It's normal."

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

Long suffering Winslow owners, here's some more bad news for you to digest.

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13. NE - QB Davey Cut, RB Cobbs Cut

Clipped from: Boston Globe article by Nick Cafardo, 8/30/05

Quarterback Rohan Davey, Class of '02, and running back Cedric Cobbs and safety Dexter Reid, Class of '04, were waived a day before the Patriots must get the roster down to 65 players and six NFL Europe exemptions. The roster is at 79 right now, so eight moves must be made by 4 p.m. today.

Yesterday's releases show that the Patriots are a deep team; after all, fourth-rounders are often valuable players. They also show how inexact a science the draft is; even teams that draft well can make mistakes, and the Patriots aren't afraid to cut their losses.

Davey's release apparently means seventh-round pick Matt Cassel will remain as the third quarterback.

Davey, who was a standout at LSU, went about as far as he could in the Patriots' system, and once local hero Doug Flutie came aboard, his days were numbered. Bill Belichick spoke fondly of Davey, commending him for his leadership and his ability to give his defense a good look at the opposing quarterback on the scout team.

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

Davey is a hard worker and might land somewhere else. I'd expect the former LSU QB to be in phone contact with Nick Saban in Miami. Cobbs never got in the game due to injuries, and some perceive him to lack desire and intensity - he may not get another chance at the NFL level.

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14. BAL - QB Boller Regressing: How Much Patience Do The Ravens Have?

Clipped from: Baltimore Sun article by Mike Preston, 8/30/05

"The bottom line is we're not happy with the results we're getting in the passing game right now," Fassel said. "It's a mixture of things. One thing, though, is that I've been in this situation before, and things have worked out. The first thing you have to have is patience. That's all part of coaching."

Fassel and the rest of the offensive staff huddled yesterday to begin solving a problem that has appeared every year since 1999.

The Ravens can't protect the quarterback. Boller, in his third season, took a beating against the Saints. Ravens quarterbacks were sacked three times, and Boller was hit six times in two quarters. There was plenty of blame to go around.

"Some times, people think protection is just about the offensive line," Fassel said. "It also has to do with running backs, receivers, tight ends, and the quarterbacks as well."

As for Boller, the Ravens are publicly trying to build his confidence, but privately admit he has regressed from the end of last season.

In a little more than five quarters this preseason, Boller has thrown four interceptions, and for only 198 yards in 15 drives against starting defenses.

He looks extremely uncomfortable in the pocket, still stares down his primary target, and very seldom goes to his secondary choice.

Fassel admitted the Ravens have scaled down their offense, partially to build Boller's confidence. Against the Saints, with Boller at quarterback, the Ravens ran a lot of slants or other quick timing patterns.

Fassel also said Boller has to learn to ignore the criticism.

"I'm the counterbalance," Fassel said. "I'm not saying the media is wrong. I've told Kyle he has to prove himself, but I also need to be a support mechanism. I don't want to go soft on him, but I do have to build his confidence."

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

Kyle Boller is obviously struggling. Is he at the point of total collapse? We're not sure. But we do know that if he keeps getting drilled by charging defensive linemen and linebackers on every other down, his 2005 prospects are really dim. The Ravens offense as a squad looks sort of shaky right now. Luckily for him, Boller's got Brian Billick's pride in his corner as Billick does not want to admit Boller's been a mistake. If he's terrible still in week 6, don't be surprised to see him develop a mysterious shoulder injury.

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15. CHI - QB Coach Wilson, WR Muhammad Ready to Groom Orton

Clipped from: Daily Southtown article by Gene Chamberlain, 8/30/05

The Bears believe they have the right handlers - on the field and the sideline - for a starting rookie quarterback.

Quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson has worked with his share of first-year signal callers over the years and thinks it will benefit him in preparing Kyle Orton to start the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the Redskins in Washington.

"I've been around quite a bit," Wilson said Sunday. "Craig (Krenzel) last year. In Dallas, we had Quincy Carter, Clint Stoerner, Anthony Wright.

"We played with quite a few young guys."

Stoerner and Wright saw action replacing Troy Aikman and Randall Cunningham in 2000. Carter was the Week 1 starter in 2001 as a rookie.

Wilson also worked with another rookie starter in Dallas -Chad Hutchinson, whom Orton is replacing for the Bears.

Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad on Sunday said it's no problem for him to work with a rookie quarterback, considering the long line of passers who've tossed footballs his way.

"I had Jeff Lewis, I had Steve Beuerlein, I had Chris Weinke, I had Rodney Peete, and then Jake Delhomme," Muhammad said of his days with the Carolina Panthers. "I've had probably two here (in Chicago), going on the third here."

There were also Kerry Collins, Matt Lytle and Randy Fasani with Carolina.

Weinke was the only rookie quarterback to start a season opener at Carolina during Muhammad's nine years with the Panthers.

"I can tell you this much, that as much as I've changed quarterbacks throughout my career, that I'm not going to change the way I play," Muhammad said. "He (Orton) can count on me being there to make plays, and we've got other guys on this team that can make plays, and we'll rally around him."

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

Orton is a rookie QB. Orton is a rookie QB. Just chant that to yourself on draft day if you find yourself thinking about adding him to your redraft squad. As a dynasty pick, he could be gold. As a redraft pick, you better have a quality starter and a backup on your squad before you roll the dice on Orton.

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16. DET - QB Harrington, Starters Slammed by Rams

Clipped From: Detroit Free Press article by Michael Rosenberg, 8/30/05

The first-team offense can count its preseason touchdowns on no hands. That's right. Zero touchdowns. In three games. The Lions have had some decent non-scoring drives, but that's like a figure skater who almost completes a triple axel. Good effort, but you still end up on your butt.

Now, about that offensive talent:

Tailback Kevin Jones looks like a stud. But he has played less than one season.

Roy Williams is a wonderful athlete, but he also has played less than one season. He still has to show he can make the tough catches -- over the middle, in traffic, when he has to fight for the ball.

Charles Rogers is another wonderful athlete, but until he makes it to, say, mid-October, let's hold off on that Hall of Fame induction.

Rookie Mike Williams, supposedly the lethal third receiver, signed late and has made a minimal contribution.

The offensive line has been leaky. Bad enough to draw so many flags -- when you commit a holding penalty and let the defense get to the quarterback, you have problems. And yes, it's early. But you can't have a great offense with a bad offensive line. It is impossible.

As for Joey Harrington, well, the jury isn't just out -- the jurists are covering their eyes. Harrington was 14-for-15 in the first two preseason games. Then came Monday, one of those games where he seems disoriented and thinks his receivers have hands on their feet.

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

Gotta love the line about the receivers having hands on their feet. What wasn't funny is how awful the Lions looked on MNF. They have a long way to go if all that talent is going to jell into a productive offense.

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17. MIN - Rookie RB Ciatrick Fason to Start 4th Preseason Game

Clipped from: St. Paul Pioneer Press article by Don Seeholzer, 8/30/05

Vikings coach Mike Tice said Monday that running backs Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore likely will be held out of Friday's exhibition finale at Seattle, but he expects both to be ready for the Sept. 11 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That means a probable start Friday for fourth-round draft choice Ciatrick Fason, who returned to the practice field after sitting out Friday's 19-16 exhibition victory over the San Diego Chargers with a sprained right ankle.

"It's real exciting, especially being a rookie," Fason said. "It's a preseason start, but it's still a start. Those are hard to get when you're a rookie. Hopefully, I'll be at least 90 to 100 percent this week."

Fason was expected to miss two to three weeks because of what trainers diagnosed as a high ankle sprain, but he said he knew he would be back sooner.

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

Those of you considering expending a draft pick on Fason will want to pay attention to how he does, but remember that he'll be playing the other teams' defensive reserves, most likely.

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18. CAR - He Hate Me on Bubble?

Clipped from: Charlotte Observer article by Stan Olson, 8/30/05

The fight for roster positions is in its final week, and (Rod) Smart is anything but a lock for a spot, primarily because of fellow running back Jamal Robertson.

Both carry the ball, return kickoffs and play on special teams.

"They're built the same way, they've got quickness," running backs coach Jim Skipper said after Monday's practice. "You're kind of looking at the same type of guy."

It's a type the Panthers will likely keep just one of, and Robertson's chances have improved with a strong preseason.

"Jamal's shown us he has the ability to make big plays," Skipper said. "He gets out of trouble; he understands his assignments. He's a good football player."

Smart, who is coming back from an injured left knee that cost him most of 2004, said this week the knee is fine. He has looked strong in training camp, but he understands the Panthers are suddenly deep at running back -- particularly if Stephen Davis returns to form -- and he might be on the bubble.

"Hey, it's the NFL. Anywhere you go, you're on the bubble, so you've always got to come out and bust your butt," he said. "You can never be comfortable. You've got to come play hard every day. I never worry because mentally I'm strong, and I've got faith in me."

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

If the former XFLer is let go by Carolina, he'll probably land somewhere else due to his special-teams prowess and ability to sub for a starting RB.

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19. SF - OL in Flux

Clipped from: San Francisco Press Democrat article by Matt Maiocco, 8/30/05

Sixty percent of the 49ers' starting offensive line positions are in some form of limbo as the club nears its final game of the exhibition season.

Center Jeremy Newberry and rookie guard David Baas practiced Monday for the first time this summer, but it's unclear whether either will be ready to go when the regular season opens Sept. 11.

Newberry is playing on a right knee that has virtually no cartilage . The condition likely will require major surgery after the season. Baas sustained a torn right hamstring a week before the opening of training camp.

"You can push a sled and work on all that stuff, but it's a big difference when you're pushing on 300-pound guys," Baas said.

Baas, the first pick of the second round, was projected as the starting right guard before training camp, but he could eventually find himself at center if Newberry can't play.

The only spots that appear set for the regular-season opener against the St. Louis Rams are the tackles. High-priced free agent Jonas Jennings will start at left tackle while third-year player Kwame Harris is entrenched at right tackle.

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

Having virtually no cartilage in your knee is a bad thing. It allows the leg bones to bang together, knocking off chips of bone and causes a lot of swelling in the joint. How long Newberry can persevere is a serious question.

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20. CHI - QB Hutchinson Cut

Clipped from: ESPN/AP article, 8/30/05

In a span of five days, Chad Hutchinson went from starting quarterback to out of a job.

Hutchinson, demoted on Sunday to fourth string after two shaky outings as the Chicago Bears' starter, was cut Tuesday, two days before the final preseason game.

Hutchinson had moved into the starter's role when Rex Grossman broke his ankle Aug. 12, but he didn't produce much in two starts.

He was 5-for-8 for 40 yards with two interceptions and three sacks against the Colts in his first start. He struggled even more last week against Buffalo, throwing two more interceptions -- one that was returned for a touchdown -- getting sacked three more times and completing just three of 14 passes.

On Sunday, coach Lovie Smith turned the starter's role over to rookie Kyle Orton and elevated Jeff Blake to backup and Kurt Kittner became the third quarterback.

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

The NFL stands for Not For Long if you don't produce. The writing was on the wall when Kyle Orton became the starter. The ESPN article linked also details cuts from around the league, the most fantasy-notable other than Hutchinson being Charlie Garner's release from Tampa Bay.

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21. ARI D/ST: KR/PR J.R. Redmond on IR Due to Shoulder Injury

Clipped from: Arizona Central article by Odeen Domingo, 8/30/05

The team first thought Redmond suffered a dislocated shoulder, but it's now likely a separated shoulder.

His absence will make the biggest impact. In essence, he filled three roster spots.

Redmond made an impression once he signed in July. In training camp, he showed he has the potential to be the third-down back. And in preseason games, he landed the punt- and kickoff-return jobs.

Now the Cardinals must find players to replace him and be as effective.

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

The loss of Redmond may force the Cardinals to turn to the waiver wire. If Rod Smart is let go by Carolina (see above story), he might fit in here.

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22. IDP KC - Chiefs Interested in Signing Corey Simon

Clipped from: Kansas City Star article by Adam Teicher, 8/30/05

The Chiefs may make an attempt to sign defensive tackle Corey Simon, who was recently released by the Eagles.

"We haven't talked about it yet, but I plan to talk about it," Vermeil said.

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

The Chiefs' defense needs all the help they can get - if Simon lands here he'd certainly have the opportunity to see a lot of playing time.

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23. IDP KC - LB Kendrell Bell to Play in Final Pre-season Game

Clipped from: Kansas City Star article by Adam Teicher, 8/30/05

It's official, at least for now: Kendrell Bell and Freddie Mitchell will make their preseason debuts Friday night at St. Louis.

Vermeil said Monday that Bell, who has been slowed with shoulder issues, will finally shed his warmups against the Rams. Bell was considered one of the Chiefs' biggest offseason defensive acquisitions - he'll start at right-side linebacker - but he was held from contact for all of training camp and missed the first three preseason games.

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

Bell was part of the Chief's attempt to bolster their cellar-dwelling defense, but he hasn't been able to contribute to date. We'll be interested to see how well he does if he actually does put on the pads and take the field.

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24. IDP OAK - LB Williams on IR, Surgical Repair of Torn ACL

Clipped from: Inside Bay Area.com article by Jerry McDonald, 8/30/05

The Oakland Raiders waived six players and placed linebacker Sam Williams on injured reserve Monday, beginning the process of trimming their roster to 65 (plus NFL Europe exemptions) by today's deadline.

Williams, a projected starter, underwent surgery Aug. 24 to repair a torn ACL. Players who were waived were punter Bryce Benekos, running back Leonard Henry, tackle Pete McMahon, quarterback David Rivers, tackle Rod Green, linebacker Maugaula Tuitele and defensive back Brock Williams.

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

Scratch Sam Williams off your draft list for this year, he's done.

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25. IDP STL - CB Fair Is OK, Despite Scary Neck Injury on MNF

Clipped from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Jim Thomas

Initial indications were that the injury isn't as serious as feared. Fair was diagnosed with a strained neck. He never lost consciousness, and always had feeling in his extremities, according to a Rams spokesman. Fair was taken to Ford Hospital in Detroit for precautionary evaluation.

Because of injury problems, primarily an ankle injury, Fair has played in only three games since the 2001 season. Fair, who played his first four seasons in Detroit, is trying to make the Rams' roster as a reserve cornerback and kick returner.

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

We're very glad to hear that Fair isn't seriously injured - the muscle convulsions that occurred in his legs and arms after the injury looked pretty scary.

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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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