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Old 06-01-2009, 10:21 AM   #1
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Default Pro Football Weekly Whispers May 31, 2009

Pro Football Weekly Whispers — league wrap-up
By PFW staff
May 31, 2009


AFC Whispers

— One of the more curious developments at the Browns’ voluntary minicamps is Rex Hadnot and Floyd Womack working at left guard, the position Eric Steinbach has played the past two seasons. Both Hadnot and Womack are bigger than Steinbach, leading to speculation that head coach Eric Mangini might be looking for more size inside. Mangini has not explicitly confirmed that, although he did say, “I don’t think a couple extra plates of pasta would hurt (Steinbach).” We’re hearing the move has made some wonder about Steinbach’s long-term future with the club. He is signed through 2013, and his salary-cap number exceeds $6.5 million in each season from 2010-13.

— A source close to the Browns believes ex-Cardinals CB Rod Hood figures to be one of the club’s top three cornerbacks, but whether he challenges for a starting spot remains to be seen. Starting CBs Brandon McDonald and Eric Wright both had up-and-down 2008 campaigns.

***** The feeling in Pittsburgh is that ex-Lion Shaun McDonald could be quite tough for second-year pass catcher Limas Sweed and rookie Mike Wallace to beat out for the club’s No. 3 WR role.*****

— As reclusive as he was when he finally reported to OTAs, say this about disgruntled Jets RB Thomas Jones: The guy remains in outstanding shape. A weight-room fiend, he hasn’t let his bitterness about his contract status affect his dedication to conditioning.

— While minor injuries have plagued many in the Bills’ CB corps and continue to limit rehabbing Ashton Youboty, second-year CB Reggie Corner is continuing to make the case for being a vital member of the most stacked position on the team. “When you look at his college tape, you do wonder to some degree if it will translate to the NFL,” coach Dick Jauron admitted. “And when he got to the NFL, he’s the same player that plays all the time. He’s a great-effort player, has high energy and a lot of toughness.” Early word is that Corner has the edge at nickel back.

— As welcome a sight as any at Colts OTAs was the extent of CB Marlin Jackson’s participation, as he ran and cut with ease during positional drills. Jackson was placed on injured reserve with torn knee ligaments suffered in October and is on pace for a full recovery by training camp. Nevertheless, the Colts are traditionally conservative when it comes to working players back into things when they are coming off major injuries. Similar to Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders a year ago, Jackson could be even healthier than his potentially limited participation in camp might indicate.

— One Titans reserve who’s having a solid offseason is third-year WR Chris Davis, the way we hear it. Davis may be hard-pressed to hold on to a roster spot after the Titans drafted Kenny Britt and Dominique Edison and signed Nate Washington and Mark Jones, but he has taken a step forward leading up to the ’09 campaign.

— Although LB Mike Vrabel has been absent for all of the Chiefs’ voluntary offseason practices, it is not believed that he is upset about his trade from a perennial contender in the Patriots to a rebuilding Kansas City club, as had been speculated. Instead, Vrabel is working out on his own — as many veterans do at this time of year — and is expected to report to the team once mandatory sessions begin.

NFC Whispers

— Another sign that Vikings rookie Phil Loadholt is the favorite to start at right tackle: Ryan Cook, last year’s starter, has been moved inside in OTAs to right guard, where he likely would back up Anthony Herrera. Cook’s short arms plagued him at right tackle but wouldn’t be as much of a hindrance inside. He also played center in college.

— The Giants are loaded at defensive end, but don’t rule out undrafted rookie Maurice Evans making the team. He was a nice surprise at the rookie minicamps. Evans, who had 12Ĺ sacks as a sophomore at Penn State, probably should have returned to school, but the Giants might have a diamond in the rough if they can get his head on straight and find a spot for him.

— One Cowboys observer noted that rookie free-agent WR Kevin Ogletree made a strong first impression, but Ogletree still is considered a long shot to make the team.

— There may not be many carries for Panthers rookie RB Mike Goodson as he plays behind the team’s strong tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but we hear the team will be creative in how it uses Goodson. Although he will take the occasional handoff as Carolina’s change-of-pace back, sources say the team is considering moving Goodson out to the slot in certain situations. He has elite speed and gives the typically conservative Panthers offense a chance to broaden its options.

— Buccaneers OL coach Pete Mangurian surprised observers recently when he indicated the team’s starting OLG spot was open for competition. It’s been widely assumed that Arron Sears, who has started at left guard for the past two seasons, had a firm grasp on the job, but second-year veteran Jeremy Zuttah is apparently coming on strong and could push Sears. However, it still is unlikely Sears will be displaced.

— Because of the lack of experience in their WR corps, daily Rams observers thought veteran free-agent WR Dane Looker might have had a good shot at returning to the team. But with fifth-round WR Brooks Foster having been assigned Looker’s No. 89 jersey, it would appear there’s no place for Looker in the team’s plans. Also on the WR front, we hear ex-Falcon Laurent Robinson has looked pretty good in early camp work.

— Rams QB Marc Bulger on the adjustment period working with a new center in Jason Brown: “We’re getting a lot better now. We haven’t had any fumbled snaps or anything, but it’s just a comfort level where you know where he’s pointing and you know the rhythm of the cadence and it’s just a flow. I think that once you don’t have to think about it anymore, on certain plays if he’s pulling, you might go a little left, but you just help out. We’re not there yet, but it’s been a pretty easy transition, but just repetition, I think, will help that.”

— Our sources in Seattle tell us third-year CB Kevin Hobbs has been a steady playmaking force in early practice sessions. But with newly acquired Ken Lucas, feisty Josh Wilson, versatile Jordan Babineaux and former first-round draft pick Kelly Jennings, who remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, also in the mix, Hobbs could be facing an uphill battle to make the team.

— Word is veteran Seahawks LB D.D. Lewis, who quietly underwent arthroscopic knee surgery recently, should be 100 percent by training camp.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW...apup053109.htm
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pro Football Weekly Whispers May 31, 2009

Quote:
Because of the lack of experience in their WR corps, daily Rams observers thought veteran free-agent WR Dane Looker might have had a good shot at returning to the team. But with fifth-round WR Brooks Foster having been assigned Lookerís No. 89 jersey, it would appear thereís no place for Looker in the teamís plans. Also on the WR front, we hear ex-Falcon Laurent Robinson has looked pretty good in early camp work.
Robinson was one of the guys that I was pimping a couple of years ago. Things look pretty good for our WR Corps...but if we wouldnt have signed McDonald, I would have loved to have picked this guy up.
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Pro Football Weekly Whispers May 31, 2009

Hmmmm....interesting. I figured McD would be #3. Of course it will start to matter a lot more when the pads come on...

Props to my boy Reggie Corner making the "Whispers". Much love to my Zips!
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pro Football Weekly Whispers May 31, 2009

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Hmmmm....interesting. I figured McD would be #3. Of course it will start to matter a lot more when the pads come on...

Props to my boy Reggie Corner making the "Whispers". Much love to my Zips!
I think you misread that...I took it that it would be tough for Sweed and Wallace to beat McDonald out of the #3 slot.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pro Football Weekly Whispers May 31, 2009

Yup...that's what I've been saying all along...and it seems that word out of the FO is the same.
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