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|07-19-2009, 12:51 PM||#1|
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ProFootballWeekly Afc Whispers July 19, 2009
Posted July 19, 2009 @ 10:15 a.m.
By PFW staff
• Leon Washington appears willing to stage a training-camp holdout if the Jets don't offer him a "fair market deal," as the multi-threat running back puts it. The way we hear it, much of the problem is that Washington wants to be paid as one of the league's elite backs, whereas the Jets believe a backup doesn't merit that type of money, regardless of how dangerous he is with the ball.
• Despite their lowly sack total a season ago, the Bills aren't angling to do more blitzing to generate pressure. That will be the last resort of a coaching staff that's schematically conservative. The hope is that DE Aaron Schobel's return to health and rookie DE Aaron Maybin's explosiveness as a situational pass rusher will be all that's needed to rev up the rush.
• Steelers seventh-round TE David Johnson could struggle to make the team, with Sean McHugh having a big edge to win the No. 3 role behind Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth because of his ability to play fullback as well. That said, we hear Johnson had a fine spring and could be a player who contributes down the road even if his career potentially begins on the practice squad.
• With OLB Terrell Suggs' contract extension finally done, we're told the Ravens are expected to turn their attention next to FS Ed Reed, who is in line for a pay bump, and DT Haloti Ngata, who has two years left on his deal and played at a high level last season.
• Titans WR Lavelle Hawkins lacked consistency in offseason workouts, the way we hear it. Hawkins, who caught just seven passes as a rookie in 2008 but who has shown some potential at points of his pro career, will be competing for playing time behind starters Justin Gage and Nate Washington, alongside veterans Chris Davis, Mark Jones and Paul Williams, as well as first-round pick Kenny Britt and sixth-round pick Dominique Edison.
• Although the Colts' late re-signings of OLBs Freddy Keiaho and Tyjuan Hagler would appear to be an indictment of the rest of the club's linebackers, that couldn't be further from the truth as it pertains to OLB Clint Session. Still a bit unrefined, Session has the tremendous burst and energy that has convinced his coaches that Year Three could be when he announces his arrival as a prime-time playmaker.
• Following the release of veteran S Keith Davis, it looks as though the Raiders will field one of the younger safety tandems in the league. Tyvon Branch, a second-year veteran with eight games under his belt, and rookie Mike Mitchell are penciled in as the starters. They're very inexperienced but may be two of the fastest players at their position. If they don't prove to be up to the task during preseason games, the Raiders may be looking for another veteran safety before long.
• Word is Broncos rookie CB Alphonso Smith is still the heavy favorite to handle nickel back duties during the season. Smith was acquired in the second round after Denver traded its own first-round pick in 2010 to move up to nab him, and expectations are high for the Wake Forest product. Smith didn't cement his role during OTAs, and Jack Williams and Josh Bell, both of whom are entering Year Two in the league, both have a shot at getting reps at nickel if Smith falters.
• Many key Chargers dealt with nagging injuries for much of 2008, but one player who quietly played in pain virtually all season was DE Luis Castillo. In a recent interview, Castillo said he was never at 100 percent last year after suffering a back injury in training camp. That undoubtedly was part of the reason the 2005 first-rounder finished with a career-low 1½ sacks. However, the athletic D-end says that he feels the best he has in years entering '09 and that, after a successful offseason of training, he's expecting big things from both himself and the Bolts' defense.
|07-19-2009, 03:17 PM||#2|
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Re: ProFootballWeekly Afc Whispers July 19, 2009
|07-19-2009, 04:54 PM||#3|
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Re: ProFootballWeekly Afc Whispers July 19, 2009
I think David Johnson is destined for the practice squad, but if Spaeth does not perform....then the 2010 group of TE's could be Miller, McHugh, Johnson.
Johnson could end up being the best pure lead blocker from the H-back, FB spot.
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