FBG Daily Email - Volume 12, Issue 50
By Joe Bryant
June 16th, 2011

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Friday. Hope you're feeling like a Bruins fan today. Congrats to you guys. It's a Fathers Day Weekend we're rolling into - don't forget to tell your family what you'd really like this is a Footballguys Premium Subscription. Way cooler than another tie. J

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. MIN - TE Shiancoe impressed with QB Ponder's leadership
2. DET - Mikel Leshoure learning; impressing teammates
3. DET - RB Jahvid Best fully healthy
4. SEA - QB Hasselbeck 'prepared for whatever'
5. SF - Coach Harbaugh says WR Crabtree a 'good guy'
6. PIT - WR Ward feels good and ready to start the season
7. MIN - TE Shiancoe has no problem with addition of Rudolph
8. PHI - RB Reggie Bush on radar
9. SF - WR coach expects huge year for WR Michael Crabtree
10. CIN - RB Cedric Benson at working, hopes to re-sign
11. MIN - TE Visanthe Shiancoe open to having rookie QB start early
12. WAS - WR Malcolm Kelly attends workout
13. ARI - Beanie Wells surprised by Ryan Williams selection
14. WAS - Anthony Armstrong helping out rookie WRs
15. JAX - TE Marcedes Lewis hopes to get long-term deal
16. JAX - Owner says they'll be active in Free Agent market
17. CLE - Rookie TE Cameron looking to veterans for guidance
18. NFL - Is there interest in WR Plaxico Burress?
19. SF - WR Josh Morgan receives praise
20. DET - Fewer opportunities for TE Scheffler this year?

MIN - TE Shiancoe impressed with QB Ponder's leadership

Source: Jeremy Fowler - Pioneer Press

Jeremy Fowler, from the Pioneer Press, reports Vikings veteran TE Visanthe Shiancoe has been impressed with the leadership of rookie QB Christian Ponder in recent players only workouts. When commenting on the rookie organizing the workouts Shiancoe said, "That's great initiative. That depicts a team leader right there."

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More positive reports about Ponder from Vikings players here. It's good to see the rookie take an active leadership role with his new team. However, the longer the lockout goes the more likely the team is to add a veteran QB to begin the season as the starter. We feel Ponder will take over as the starter sometime later in the year.

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DET - Mikel Leshoure learning; impressing teammates

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions rookie RB Mikel Leshoure impressed teammates during recent player-led workouts. WR Derrick Williams said Leshoure looks like he's a 'beast' and 'someone to be afraid of' for defenders. At 6-foot, 233 pounds, Leshoure is expected to handle the between-the-tackles and short-yardage role for the Lions this season.

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No surprise here. LeShoure is one of our favorite rookie RBs and we love his blend of size, power, elusiveness, and speed. He is a big back who loves contact and runs with good balance, vision, and instincts. LeShoure is also a decent receiver out of the backfield.

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DET - RB Jahvid Best fully healthy

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions second-year RB Jahvid Best said in May that he is fully recovered from the dual turf-toe injury problems that plagued him during his rookie campaign. Best was limited to 171 carries and 555 yards during the 2010 season.

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

Best is a fantastic playmaker, and showed toughness when trying to play through two turf toe injuries last year. Toughness aside, he came into the league with durability questions and did not answer his critics well in his rookie season. He's not the biggest back and that's why the Lions selected RB Mikel LeShoure in the 2011 NFL Draft. Lions coach Jim Schwartz has commented that both backs will be used extensively, and the starting job will rotate depending on matchup.

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SEA - QB Hasselbeck 'prepared for whatever'

Source: Mike Sando - ESPN.com

Mike Sando, from ESPN.com, reports free agent QB Matt Hasselbeck is prepared to stay in Seattle or move on when the lockout is lifted. "I definitely am hopeful to be back here, but at the same time, I understand that with a new GM, with a new regime, they sometimes want to go in a different direction. That could happen, too. I am prepared for whatever."

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

Earlier this year many felt Hasselbeck's return to Seattle was a given. However, in recent weeks that sentiment has changed. The Seahawks may want to go in a different direction and move on with a different QB. Hasselbeck is not the same player he used to be, but should still be a quality starter for another team. We feel the Titans, Redskins, and Vikings could be the most interested in the veteran.

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SF - Coach Harbaugh says WR Crabtree a 'good guy'

Source: Matt Maiocco - CSN Bay Area

Matt Maiocco, from CSN Bay Area, reports that in a recent interview new 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was complimentary of WR Michael Crabtree. "I've been around him a little bit. And Crab to me is a good guy and a good football player. And from my experience being around him, I think he's a guy who's about us and about the team being successful."

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Some in the scouting community have speculated Harbaugh will grow tired of Crabtree quickly if the talented WR doesn't begin working hard and playing up to his potential. The relationship sounds pretty rosy right now, but could quickly sour if Crabtree doesn't show he's a team guy.

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PIT - WR Ward feels good and ready to start the season

Source: NFL.com chat

In a recent chat on NFL.com Steelers WR Hines Ward, recovering from recent thumb surgery, said that he's feeling good. "My health is good. Feel good and I'm ready to start the season. I feel like a doctor on call, and I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go out there and compete and hopefully make another run at the Super Bowl." Ward said.

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Good news for Ward here. He's ready for the season to begin - we're with him there.

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MIN - TE Shiancoe has no problem with addition of Rudolph

Source: Jeremy Fowler - Pioneer Press

Jeremy Fowler, from the Pioneer Press, reports Vikings veteran TE Visanthe Shiancoe has no problem with the team adding rookie TE Kyle Rudolph in the 2011 NFL Draft. "I feel like any addition to the team that will help us win is a good one," Shiancoe said. "I don't know exactly how they are going to incorporate a two-tight-end set or how it's going to be used, but I know he's a terrific asset to the team. To have as many playmakers on the field as possible helps us take advantage of more mismatches."

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Rudolph was arguably the best move TE in the 2011 NFL Draft. He plays like a super sized WR and creates mismatches every time he's on the field. If Rudolph can pick up the offense quickly we should see plenty of two TE formations from the Vikings this year.

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PHI - RB Reggie Bush on radar

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Michael Silver

The Philadelphia Eagles could look at New Orleans Saints RB Reggie Bush as a potential offseason acquisition, according to a source familiar with the organization's thinking.

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The Eagles have a good group of weapons on offense, but are on the lookout for more. Bush wants to stay in New Orleans, but may have to take a pay cut in order to do so.

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SF - WR coach expects huge year for WR Michael Crabtree

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

New San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach John Morton is expecting WR Michael Crabtree to have a giant season in 2011. He said Crabtree is 'going to be a phenomenal football players in this offense,' referring to the team's new West Coast offense.

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Crabtree has the skill set to be one of the best receivers in the game today. However, his work ethic needs improvement if he's ever going to make the most of his potential. He has the size, strength, and run after the catch ability to be very effective in the 49ers new scheme.

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CIN - RB Cedric Benson at working, hopes to re-sign

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Joe Reedy

Unrestricted free-agent RB Cedric Benson (Bengals) was not expected to be in Cincinnati for the two weeks of player-organized workouts, but he took part in a combined session Wednesday, June 15. 'Considering its the lockout it's tough to get football work in,' Benson said. 'I saw this as an opportunity to get some real good football work in.' He reiterated his desire to re-sign with the team in 2011.

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It's a good sign that Benson is working out with his teammates even though he's currently not under contract with the Bengals. Most believe re-signing Benson is the team's number one priority once the lockout is lifted.

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MIN - TE Visanthe Shiancoe open to having rookie QB start early

Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press - Jeremy Fowler

Minnesota Vikings TE Visanthe Shiancoe said he is open to the idea of having QB Christian Ponder starting early as long as Ponder is willing to put the extra work in so he can learn the offense. 'If a rookie comes in with a right mindset, willing and able to put in extra work, I feel that can really separate them from the other rookies,' Shiancoe said. 'They have to get on the grind. Even for vets, we're going to be in whole new system in there,' Shiancoe said.

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Ponder played in a pro style system in college at Florida State, but starting a rookie at the beginning of the season (in a lockout shortened offseason) could be disastrous.

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WAS - WR Malcolm Kelly attends workout

Source: CSNWashington.com - Ryan O'Halloran

Washington Redskins WR Malcolm Kelly participated in the player-organized workout Thursday, June 16, after not attending Wednesday, June 15.

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It's a big year for Kelly, and he needs to play up to his potential if he wants to keep his roster spot. The Redskins have added many weapons to the passing game and will have a heated competition at the WR position in training camp.

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ARI - Beanie Wells surprised by Ryan Williams selection

Source: AZCardinals.com - Darren Urban

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells said he during a radio interview that he was surprised that the team selected RB Ryan Williams during the 2011 NFL Draft. Wells said he was not upset about the selection and understands that it is another player to compete against.

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The selection of Williams was certainly a much needed wake up call for Wells. Williams is one of our favorite RBs in this year's draft class because of his blend of instincts, speed, and elusiveness. If he's healthy he could win the starting job over Wells as he's simply more of a gamechanger at the RB position. Williams reminds some in the scouting community of Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

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WAS - Anthony Armstrong helping out rookie WRs

Source: The Washington Post - Mike Jones

Washington Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong worked with WRs Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson during the player-organized workout Wednesday, June 15. Armstrong was showing the receivers how to run the routes used in the offense.

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

Robinson and Armstrong have a very similar skill set. Both are smaller receivers who have ankle-breaking quickness and elusiveness in the open field. Hankerson is more of a traditional wide receiver with size, long arms, and leaping ability.

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JAX - TE Marcedes Lewis hopes to get long-term deal

Source: ProFootballWeekly.com - Eric Edholm

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis said he understands why the team placed the franchise tag on him but he is hoping for a long-term contract. Lewis said he does not really like the idea of playing on a one-year contract.

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Lewis has emerged as one of the best TEs in the game today. He has a unique blend of size, strength, and athleticism which makes him difficult to cover. We feel the Jags will get Lewis the contract he wants.

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JAX - Owner says they'll be active in Free Agent market

Source: Vito Stellino - Florida Times-Union

Vito Stellino, from the Florida Times-Union, reports in a recent interview Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said team owner Wayne Weaver stated the team would be very active once free agency opens. "Wayne made very clear he is going to be a player going into the free-agent market," Del Rio added, "We also believe until we have established ourselves, we’re going have to use free agency to fill some holes."

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Weaver's Ipod certainly doesn't contain the Jay-Z track 'Money Ain't A Thang.' The Jags owner is known to be tight with his dollars, so this news is a little surprising to us. We'll see if they are players in free agency once the lockout is lifted.

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CLE - Rookie TE Cameron looking to veterans for guidance

Source: Nate Ulrich - Akron Beacon Journal

Nate Ulrich, from the Akron Beacon Journal, reports Browns rookie TE Jordan Cameron is looking to veterans Evan Moore and Benjamin Watson for guidance. "At least I'm getting the playbook and looking over these plays and getting familiar with Colt (McCoy) and how he throws and (receiving) input from these older tight ends like Evan Moore and Ben Watson," Cameron said in a phone interview. "The little pointers they give, it obviously can help, and I think it's been helpful so far."

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Cameron reminds many in the scouting community of Saints second-year TE Jimmy Graham. He could be the next basketball-to-football star and has great raw athletic ability. Cameron knows how to high point passes, 'box out' defenders, and square up to the QB to create the biggest possible target. These little things could show quickly when Cameron is ready to take the field this year.

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NFL - Is there interest in WR Plaxico Burress?

Source: NationalFootballPost.com - Matt Bowen

There does not appear to be an overwhelming amount of desire from league coaches and scouts to run out and sign free-agent WR Plaxico Burress (Giants) once the lockout is lifted. If anything, there are more questions than answers on what Burress can provide in 2011. One NFC coach thought Burress would be 'average at best' this season and added that he wasn’t a great route runner and more of a product of the New York Giants' offensive system.

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There's interest in Burress, but teams aren't getting overly excited about him. Two years in prison and his age have created concern about how effective he can be this year. We're not expecting Burress to step in and star from day one, but he could be a good red zone threat because of his size, wingspan, and leaping ability.

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SF - WR Josh Morgan receives praise

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

New San Francisco 49ers wide receivers coach John Morton said Wednesday, June 15, that WR Josh Morgan might be in line for big things in 2011, as the team transitions to a West Coast offense.

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

Morgan is a strong receiver who can get on top of a defense in a hurry. If he can stay injury free then he may be in for a big season in 2011.

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DET - Fewer opportunities for TE Scheffler this year?

Source: Tom Kowalski - MLive.com

Tom Kowalski, from MLive.com, believes the addition of WR Titus Young will mean more three WR sets for the Lions. This would limit the number of two TE sets the team has, meaning fewer snaps for Tony Scheffler.

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Young reminds some in the scouting community of Eagles WR DeSean Jackson because of his slender build and deep speed. Rookie WRs usually take time to develop so Scheffler may not be totally forgotten, especially early in the year. Brandon Pettigrew is a solid two-way TE and should be on the field a majority of the time for the Lions.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great Friday and thanks for reading. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J

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