Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Craig

Craig's Articles

Training Camp Hype ("TCH")
Week 2

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | OAK | PHI | PIT | STL | SD | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WAS

Before sitting down to write this series in 2009, I thought it would be prudent to re-visit 2008, and determine if there was any value in re-generating this series. What I found most intriguing was its precautionary advice, namely not to rely on it as gospel, but as a source of useful information to weed through in the hopes of unearthing a single nugget that would elevate a team’s chances come draft day. Accordingly, as you go through the next four weeks of training camp hype, you have to remember that it is called “hype”, because that is all that it is. It is propaganda wrapped up inside a riddle, wrapped again in a puzzle, entrenched in an enigma, surrounded by conundrum.


Buffalo Bills – The Bills are becoming comfortable in the hurry-up offense, which they have put in place to mask their deficiencies on the offensive line. The coaching staff is happy with Trent Edwards abilities to call the plays and are opening the playbook for him. Terrell Owens has been out with a “sprained” toe. Some are likening his injury to Tomlinson’s and McFadden’s turf toe from last year and are expressing concern that this could be a lingering problem. It sounds more like a subjective T.O. training camp injury, which is difficult to diagnose and keeps him from practicing. Owens will be fine come opening day. Word is that both Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson appear to be running well and Lynch is getting enough reps to keep him shape prior to his three-game suspension.

Miami Dolphins – There is no quarterback controversy. Chad Pennington leads the way, with Chad Henne to follow. Pat White has some talent and may get in, but he’s not ready to run an NFL offense. Ronnie Brown looks good in both the run and passing game while Ricky Williams has not exhibited any after catch moves. It is fair to assume that Brown will be more involved in the offensive than Williams. Davone Bess is close to pushing Greg Camarillo out of the starting lineup, opposite of Ted Ginn, Jr. Ginn possesses the blinding speed and Bess runs solid routes and has sure hands. What is hopefully not a sign of things to come this college season, Ohio State rookie Brian Hartline is presently ahead of USC rookie Patrick Turner for the fourth wide receiver position but neither are fantasy relevant at this time. Making a big splash in training camp and in the preseason opener is Ernest Wilford who was converted to tight end. Wilford presently resides deep on the depth chart behind Anthony Fasano and David Martin.

New England Patriots – Trying to get a read on the Patriots is often difficult. There is no doubt that Tom Brady is making any and all passes in the playbook and doing so without a hitch. Some of the beat writers are asking how Brady will hold up when he is under pressure in a game that matters and when teams are throwing different blitz packages at him. There have been no knocks on Randy Moss who has quietly been wading through training camp. Wes Welker has returned to the practice field and writers have expressed concerns with the two veteran free agents Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis, who are presently slated as slot receivers. Julian Edelman could be a player to watch if Galloway and Lewis continue to have difficulties. There could be a true battle at tight end, but Bill Belichick has no problem implementing a tight end by committee approach. Ben Watson has seniority and history and has all the skills, but Brady has spent a lot of time bringing Chris Baker into the fold. In the preseason opener, Brady twice found Baker in the end zone. All reports are that Laurence Maroney looks healthy and that the Patriots are pleased with his development. The Patriots either confirmed this by giving Maroney the first team reps in the opener against the Eagles, or were trying to showcase him for trade purposes, hence the positive statements. New England is somewhat loaded at running back and though none of them strike fear in opposing defense, Fred Taylor is reportedly still looking sharp and Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis don’t appear to be going anywhere.

New York Jets – Mark Sanchez looked good against the Rams pass defense (nice team to open up against), when he hooked up on a 50+ yarder to David Clowney on his first NFL play. Sanchez saw extremely limited time in the game, but fared very well. The team is impressed with his abilities and many think Sanchez is ready to start come opening day. He’ll get the starting nod in game two, which may be a better gauge. The front office has upped their offer to Leon Washington and are allegedly now in the $5 million per-year range with a guaranteed $10 million which speaks volumes as to their expectations of using Washington more in the offense. David Clowney has been very impressive in camp and Rex Ryan has enjoyed watching the speed of his receiver so much that Clowney may be pushing Chansi Stuckey for the starting position opposite Jerricho Cotchery. Brad Smith is still number three, but will likely bump down a notch. All of this stated, the Jets are not too happy with what’s left of their wide receiver corps after the departure of Laveranues Coles. The New York Daily News reported the Jets are exploring trade possibilities, including Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Bowe and Sinorice Moss. Dustin Keller exhibited why he just may be the number one receiving option in the Jets’ offense, with sure hands, good speed, strength and decent moves.


Denver Broncos – Knowshon Moreno signed and oft-injured Ryan Torain, who was immediately waived. Moreno promptly sprained his MCL and will be out one to two weeks. Kyle Orton has not lost his starting position despite a horrible outing, which ended in three picks against the 49ers. While Josh McDaniels has had Orton’s back and is supporting his premature determination to anoint Orton as starter, Chris Simms has been looking good in camp and some say he should be given a fair shot to start opening day. Correll Buckhalter took first team reps against the 49ers and did little with them, averaging one yard per carry. Moreno looked good as the second running back until he came out of the game. LaMont Jordan took the third spot and Peyton Hillis rounded out the carries with the lion’s share in the second half, averaging almost five yards a clip. Granted preseason games are not the measuring stick, but the buzz about Hillis going into the second week makes him a guy to watch. Eddie Royal is still benefiting from the Brandon Marshall saga and looks to be the number one receiver with Brandon Stokley on the other side. The big news came off the field with Brandon Marshall being acquitted on his assault charges. With the acquittal, Marshall reinstated his demand to be traded. He is completely disenchanted with the Broncos management, who are clearly not going to let him go. Marshall is refusing to learn the playbook and is not hanging out with other offensive players. Meanwhile, McDaniels is wasting his talent by relegating Marshall to the scout team. This situation has powder keg written all over it and McDaniels and Bronco management set a bad precedent by caving into Jay Cutler’s trade demand - something they don’t want to repeat with Marshall.

Kansas City Chiefs – As I mentioned last week, Todd Haley does not tolerate fumbles or dropped passes. Accordingly, Dwayne Bowe who is predicted by many to be a top 10 wide receiver, is now third on the depth chart in Kansas City. But after a five catch 70-yard performance against the Texans, Bowe got some props from his coach. Haley’s depth chart at wide receiver presently loads Devard Darling, Terrance Copper and Bobby Engram at the top, rounded out by reserves Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and Amani Toomer. Additionally, the Chiefs finally said goodbye to Jeff Webb and immediately signed Ashley Lelie. Most of this sounds inspirational to me and we should probably see a reversal of fortune, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes on all the receivers in a Haley led offense. Matt Cassel did not fare well and Brodie Croyle looked like a superstar, but let’s not read too much into this since the first team was playing conservatively and Cassell was throwing to no one of note. Croyle had the luxury of Bowe as his receiver against Houston’s second team defense. Meanwhile, Tyler Thigpen picked up where he left off, scrambling for yardage and leading the Chiefs on an improbable scoring drive. However, Thigpen is probably the odd man out and will be released in favor of Croyle and Matt Gutierrez. Although Haley has not committed to Cassell as the starter, Cassell has taken the lion’s share of first team snaps this summer and he has looked good in camp. Larry Johnson is in the “best shape of his life.” Jamaal Charles does not appear to be a threat to Johnson carrying the load. Ryan Smith may be edging out Brad Cottam in the tight end battle, but neither will be mistaken for Tony Gonzalez.

Oakland Raiders – If there was one player worth watching on this team, it was Chaz Schilens, who looked polished hauling in five catches against the Cowboys. He appeared to be JaMarcus Russell’s go-to-guy during camp and in the game. That was until he fractured his foot. Schilens will miss considerable time, with estimates being anywhere from four to six weeks. Javon Walker is still up and down with injuries and Derrius Heyward-Bey may have speed, but seemed unable to shake coverage. While Darren McFadden looked explosive in their preseason opener, Tom Cable continues to be mum on how he is planning on using his three running backs. The only problem is that he might have to use them all at the same time as JaMarcus Russell’s consistency…lacks…consistency. In a scrimmage with the 49ers this week, Russell threw three picks.

San Diego Chargers – The Chargers came into the preseason as the favorite to win the AFC West and with all of the rancor, discourse and/or confusion in Denver, Kansas City and Oakland, Charger camp seems like a Zen garden. LaDainian Tomlinson is motivated and wants to get more time in the second preseason game. This comes from a player who never wanted to see any preseason action. There are no surprises with this team’s roster. The receiving corps looks locked in with Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers leading the way and Legedu Naanee and Malcolm Floyd as numbers three and four. Craig “Buster” Davis is determined to make some noise and should not be discounted too quickly. One guy who probably will not make the team and will land on the practice squad is undrafted rookie wide receiver from West Texas A&M, Charly Martin, who has been turning a lot of heads in camp. Jacob Hester looks to be squaring away the lead at fullback.


Baltimore Ravens – The preseason hype about Ray Rice is continuing to gain steam. The game against the Redskins allowed others to see what the Ravens and their news writers have watched this summer. In only one quarter of the preseason opener, Rice carried the ball five times and was targeted on five passes. In all, Rice gained 60 yards in just the first quarter of the game. Rice gets some rave Raven reviews from impressive sources. Terrell Suggs says about Rice, “you never know where he’s going to be, and he’s hard to tackle.” Rice puts moves on hall of famer Ray Lewis and leaves him grasping at air. Willis McGahee also looked solid in both the game and in practices. McGahee has shown up to camp healthy and with a whole new attitude. Kelley Washington is trying to make a move with all of the injuries to the wide receiver group. The starting jobs belong to Derrick Mason and Mark Clayton, with Demetrius Williams filling in for Clayton (hamstring).

Cincinnati Bengals – Carson Palmer suffered a high ankle sprain and was first reported to be out 2-3 weeks. However, now he is listed as probable for this week’s preseason game, but likely will not play. Palmer himself admitted, he is less likely to be affected by a high ankle sprain meaning he is not the most mobile quarterback and can probably play through a minor sprain. Cedric Benson has continued to run strong in both camp and in exhibition. Benson should get the bulk of the carries but Bernard Scott is a fast change of pace back and making a case for playing time. Chad Ochocinco has been a model citizen and is working hard in camp. Chris Henry has been an even better citizen and his 100-yard performance against the Saints made fantasy owners sit up and take notice. The o-line looked okay against the Saints, but lost its blocking tight end, Reggie Kelly.

Cleveland Browns – Its difficult to hear anything about the Browns through all of the static on year two of the Derek Anderson v. Brady Quinn debate. We don’t have a good read on who will be starting opening day and Mangini remains mum on a starter for this week’s game. James Davis continues to gain recognition while Jerome Harrison misses valuable practice time. Some think Davis is ready to take the reins at running back and will be starting by mid-season. Braylon Edwards is getting significant flak for a dropped touchdown pass against the Packers, however, truth be told, Edwards has made nearly every catch in camp. While Mohamed Massaquoi is still slightly ahead of Brian Robiskie, indications are that Joshua Cribbs could be grabbing the starting spot opposite Edwards.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger’s counsel is doing a bang-up job of playing his case in the press claiming there is no merit to the rape claim against Big Ben. This is one off-the-field matter that doesn’t appear to be a distraction in any fashion. Willie Parker is looking healthy and uh…”fast.” Reports on Rashard Mendenhall vary. Some say he has done nothing to replace Parker and others think Mendenhall is primed to be the starter. In either event, 230-pound rookie Isaac Redman is making a strong case to get the short yardage and/or goal line carries. Obviously, Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes are the starting wideouts, but does Limas Sweed have number three locked up? Sweed has a leg up on the position, but Shaun McDonald and rookie Mike Wallace are not making it easy on him. Wallace is the fastest wide receiver on the team and the term “60 Minutes” will never apply to him.


Houston Texans – The Texans are not a team filled with training camp intrigue. Fantasy relevant first teamers are in place with Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Steve Slaton, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter. Of note is the fact Gary Kubiak was quite pleased with Chris Brown’s performance against the Chiefs and Brown appears to be solidifying his role as the Texans’ red zone running back and is definitely ahead of Ryan Moats on the depth chart. Dan Orlovsky appears to be winning the battle of the back-up quarterback.

Indianapolis Colts – Good news for the Colts as Dallas Clark has been cleared to return to practice after suffering a concussion. All of the talk of Donald Brown being taken in the first round before Beanie Wells, may have been premature. Joseph Addai is looking very good in camp and is being compared to his 2006 form. Addai shows no signs of wear from his off-season surgery and by most accounts should be the primary rusher in the spread offense. Brown showed he is effective between the tackles and will be used to spell Addai. Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez are locked in, but who has the slot? Last week, I would have stated it was Pierre Garcon or Roy Hall, with Garcon ahead. However, this week Hall is gone after an injury waiver and Garcon is deemed to be an outside receiver, backing up Reggie Wayne. The slot receiver should be Austen Collie, a rookie out of BYU.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Since 2004 we have been hearing about Greg Jones being the back-up to Fred Taylor. In 2009, we once again are buying into Greg Jones being the back-up, this time to Maurice Jones-Drew? I would still keep my eye on Rashad Jennings as he is the more explosive back. Expectations are not too high for one of the league’s most prolific receivers over the last decade. Torry Holt will make an impact in this offense, but even his coach seems to recognize that Holt does not have the speed to be involved in deep routes. Holt should be effective as a possession receiver and could be an effective red zone player. Mike Walker has been highly touted, but has never gotten his opportunity due to injuries. Once again Walker is injured suffering an unspecified leg injury. He is supposed to return prior to the season, but given his history, it is too difficult to place any stock in him. With Walker out, perennial bust Troy Williamson has not only been holding off the younger receivers but has playing well enough to get a shot at the starting job opposite Holt.

Tennessee Titans – Reports on Vince Young have been favorable. He appears to have his head on straight and he is making good decisions. More important however, is that “Smash & Dash” are back! After being pressured by Deion Sanders, Chris Johnson recognized that he and LenDale White need to preserve their nickname. Johnson and White better keep their act straight as rookie Javon Ringer has been impressive in camp and again in the Titans opener against Tampa Bay. Rookie wide receiver Kenny Britt received a handful of targets in the opener and made the most of it with five catches for 89 yards, one of which was a 37-yard touchdown although he did leave the game hobbled. The starting receiver group is Nate Washington and Justin Gage’s, but if Britt returns from his injury anytime soon and continues to play the way he did against the Buccaneers, he could be starting by the end of his rookie year.


Arizona Cardinals – There’s a lot of talk about Kurt Warner’s hip not being fully healthy until next March and although Warner said it doesn’t bother him during game time, some beat writers think Warner looked old in Thursday night’s preseason game going 6 of 10 for 53 yards. Tim Hightower continues to look good in camp and is distancing any concerns that Beanie Wells may get the starting nod. Wells reinjured his ankle (twisted) on Tuesday. Some reports make the ankle injury to be more serious than the Cardinals are letting on. If you are going to grab this back-up running back, you better handcuff him with the starter. Steve Breaston has also looked good in camp showed it Thursday night against the Steelers. While the beat writers think Leinart is ready to play and should fight off Brian St. Pierre for the number two job, he looked off against the Steelers, throwing behind and over receivers. Anquan Boldin has been business as usual and while he may not be happy about his contract, does not display his displeasure on the practice field. Seventh round draft pick RB LaRod Stephens-Howling has been turning some heads and might earn some time in the backfield in addition to special teams.

St. Louis Rams – Old news now, but down goes Donnie Avery for 4-6 weeks. The supporting cast of wide receivers leaves something to be desired: Ronald Curry - third team since only March of this year; Derek Stanley – slowly returning from last year’s knee injury; Keenan Burton – returning from knee and hamstring injury; Laurent Robinson – Falcons unloaded for cheap; Nate Jones and Tim Carter not on an active squad last season and three rookies including Brooks Foster (who I can’t help but think of an old comedian known for his drunk caricatures). After Friday night’s game against the Jets, Robinson is holding the starting wide receiver position opposite of Avery (upon his return). Finally, Marc Bulger is out again, this time for two weeks due to a broken pinkie. Kyle Boller is presently starting… yuck.

San Francisco 49ers – Michael Crabtree remains a no-show. The 49ers have drawn a line in the sand at a number below B.J. Raji’s and have no intention of budging. Meanwhile, Josh Morgan and Isaac Bruce have undeniably attained the starting roles at receiver. RB Kory Sheets may be looking good, but was listed fifth on the depth chart against the Broncos. Frank Gore is still the workhorse, looking good and inspiring the rest of the offense. Both Alex Smith and Shaun Hill are performing well and while Hill now appears at first blush to be the front-runner, both are expected to play with the first team this week and Mike Singletary stated that no one should read anything into who is starting. However, Singletary alluded to Hill being the starter even after the preseason game against the Broncos.

Seattle Seahawks – Matt Hasselbeck and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have reportedly developed a nice chemistry during camp. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp intends to spread the ball around between Housh, Nate Burleson, Deion Branch and John Carlson. Burleson has been running every practice without a brace, a sleeve, a limp or any other evidence that he injured his knee last season. Coach Jim Mora says that Burleson looks “explosive.” Carlson is showing up all of the receivers in camp making spectacular grabs on a daily basis and acting as Hasselbeck’s check-down option. Battling for spots on the team are the usual suspects from last year: Ben Obomanu, Jordan Kent, Logan Payne, Courtney Taylor and even Michael Bumpus and Mike Hass. There can never be enough Joneses in Seattle. Walter Jones is back at practice and there were brief rumors that Thomas Jones would be joining his brother Julius. But those rumors were rapidly squelched by the Jets. Last year, I touted Justin Forsett as a guy to watch in hopes that he would just made the team. This year, the Hawks are looking for an increased role by Forsett, who should be used in the backfield and not just special teams. Knapp and Mora both know how to use a diminutive back like Forsett, a la Warrick Dunn. Just an fyi –wasn’t it Mora who traded Duckett out of Atlanta for Ashley Lelie?


Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys coaching staff is happy with the strides being made between Tony Romo and Roy Williams as they now appear to be on the same page. Miles Austin has not been impressive of late and Sam Hurd is making noise to be the No. 3 WR behind Williams and Patrick Crayton. In their preseason opener, Felix Jones showed the electrifying moves the beat writers have been gushing over during training camp. Marion Barber looks quicker after slimming down five pounds. A blogger for the Dallas Morning News suggests that Barber will be getting the goal line carries and the bulk of the work in the first and fourth quarters; Jones 12-15 touches and Tashard Choice spelling Barber for two or three series per game.

New York Giants – Rookie RB Andre Brown is no longer a factor as he tore his Achilles tendon and is done for the season. Hoping to replace Brown is Oklahoma rookie and speedster Allen Patrick, famous for being Adrian Peterson replacement. However, the reality is that Brown’s loss will result in a bigger load for Ahmad Bradshaw and perhaps Danny Ware. Hakeem Nicks has been catching everything thrown his way and has made a great impression in camp. Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon are equally making good arguments to be lining up on opposite sides of the field on opening day but many are expecting Nicks to make an early contribution.

Philadelphia Eagles – The highly touted offensive line has had no opportunity to gel as most of the starters are dinged up. Shawn Andrews is still out with back issues and Jason Peters has a quad injury. Brian Westbrook is no longer on the sideline as he has returned to limited practice. LeSean McCoy continues to impress and his TCH turned into 55 yards on 10 carries against the Pats, most of which came on runs of five to seven yards. McCoy is being credited as an elusive runner, accomplished pass receiver and he even has blitz blocking down. DeSean Jackson has been eating up his own secondary while Jeremy Maclin is envisioned to line up on the opposite side. Maclin and Avant appear to be battling for the slot with Curtis getting number two. Brent Celek is out with a separated shoulder. Lorenzo Booker may be looking for new employment with rookie Eldra Buckley catching the coach’s eye. Oh…and Michael Vick is now nipping at Donovan McNabb’s heels. Coverage is all Vick all the time.

Washington Redskins – Chris Cooley is looking to have a huge rebound year after getting only one touchdown in 2008. Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly continued to have good training camps, but injuries have derailed them briefly, opening the door for Antwaan Randle El to start again.


Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler’s first game in the Bear uniform was inconsistent at best, going 5-10 for 64 yards and tossing a pick with a second INT looming on the horizon, before it was dropped. Cutler targeted Devin Hester as his number one, throwing the ball his way six times connecting on only two. The receivers may be rounding out with Earl Bennett as number two and Brandon Rideau at number three. Putting some pressure on Rideau however is Devin Aromashodu, who has been garnering praise from the quarterbacks. Rideau and Aromashodu are looking much better in practice then they did in the preseason game. Rashied Davis is being touted as high as number three and as low as off the 53-man roster. Expecting to be key contributors, Matt Forte and Greg Olsen were held out of the first exhibition game. Kevin Jones looks to be back at full strength and expected to spell Forte during the season.

Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford looked good in his first preseason game and is making a strong bid to start. Stafford will be starting over Daunte Culpepper in the Lions’ second preseason game. RB Aaron Brown (6th round pick) has surprised the Lions and has moved up the depth chart. During the pre-season game against the Falcons, Brown broke a 32-yard touchdown run and a 45-yard touchdown on a short pass. However, he has to compete against Kevin Smith who aspires to run for “5,000 yards and 100 touchdowns” this season. Brandon Pettigrew continues to be sidelined while wideout Bryant Johnson is returning from his injury.

Green Bay Packers – QB Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to touchdowns in both series in which he was on the field. Donald Driver hauled in a 53-yard pass… is there still life in him? Ryan Grant fared well in red zone play and scored from two yards out. Having a good start in camp was undrafted rookie running back Tyrell Sutton, whose second half rushing picked up 91 yards. However, Sutton languishes behind Brandon Jackson, DeShawn Wynn and Kregg Lumpkin in a crowded backfield.

Minnesota Vikings – It’s been difficult to get excited about Percy Harvin considering the stable of quarterbacks were Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and John David Booty. Neither Rosenfels nor Jackson distinguished himself as the QB to lead the Vikings through the post-season. And what started as a rumor prior to publication, turned into fact when Brett Favre signed with the Vikings on Tuesday. Expect nothing more out of Minnesota for the rest of pre-season, except hype about Favre. Meanwhile, Bernard Berrian got dinged up with a hamstring pull in the opening game and Percy Harvin was benched for precautionary reasons with a shoulder injury. Harvin has already taken to the practice field and should get some good looks against Kansas City tonight. RB Albert Young is looking to get off the practice squad and rest himself behind Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor.


Atlanta Falcons – Michael Turner strutted his stuff against one of last year’s worst run defenses with a 40-yard touchdown scamper. There are conflicting reports about whether Turner’s workload is going to be restricted. Jerious Norwood is running with greater determination to run between the tackles in order to steal some carries. Roddy White signed and joined his mates on the practice field since the last installment. Michael Jenkins will line up on the other side of the field with Brian Finneran and Eric Weems holding down the third and fourth spots respectively.

Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Stewart continues to nurse his Achilles tendon. DeAngelo Williams expects Stewart will be back by opening day, but Panther faithful are concerned now that Stewart has missed OTAs and training camp. Although old news, Steve Smith owners collectively held their breath when he was carted off the field with a shoulder injury. DeAngelo Williams owners did too when Williams missed a couple of practices with a toe injury. Williams appears to be fine and Smith has already returned to the practice field, in full pads, but was not playing in contact drills. Continuing to make noise in camp and during the Panthers opening game against the Giants is rookie running back Mike Goodson, who rushed for 43 yards, a touchdown and caught two passes for 16 more yards. Goodson is explosive and has been praised by Jake Delhomme as being able to go from 0-100 from a dead stop. His propensity for fumbles may be the great equalizer however. Veteran receivers Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad lead the way with conflicting reports about Kenneth Moore and Ryne Robinson backing up Smith, while Dwayne Jarrett plays behind Muhammad. Some reports indicate Moore is having problems, while other reports place Moore squarely at number three. In the first quarter against the Giants, Delhomme targeted Moore three times, twice on third downs. None of the quarterbacks looked impressive in the preseason opener. Nevertheless, Delhomme does not appear to be in jeopardy of losing his job to Josh McCown or Matt Moore.

New Orleans Saints – Jeremy Shockey’s numbers may have been on the decline for the last three years, but the Saints pre-season opener against the Bengalsmade Shockey a household name again. Shockey looked strong going over the middle for three catches, 61 yards and a touchdown. Pierre Thomas did nothing but rush between the tackles four times for 15 yards. However, news out of Saints camp is that Thomas looks great and is not threatened by anyone…other than Reggie Bush. Despite all the talk about Reggie Bush’s knee flare ups, Bush started the opener and carried the ball three times, running the ball between the tackles on two of those carries. A guy who may not even make the team, but is turning heads is Rod Harper. Harper has impressed in the Saints scrimmage and pre-season opener but being number 11 on the WR depth chart is not helping especially now that Lance Moore is finally back on the practice field.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – From all accounts, Byron Leftwich has taken sole possession of the starting quarterback role, with Luke McCown following in tow. McCown started against the Titans and looked just okay leading the first team offense (well, sort of a first team offense, since none of the actual first team receivers ever got on the field), while Leftwich was more effective. They will flip flop roles this week. Josh Freeman does not appear to be ready and will likely be holding a clipboard most of the season. The anticipated starting wide receivers have not fared well with Antonio Bryant still being sidelined by a torn meniscus injury and Michael Clayton getting limited reps in practice with a hamstring injury. Bryant will not see the field in the preseason, but should be ready come opening day. A rookie to keep your eye on given the woes at wide receiver, is Oregon State’s Sammie Stroughter, who has caught the coaching staff’s eye. Stroughter is still buried mid-way down the depth chart and did not see his first target until late in the third quarter of the Titans game. However, with the limited time from the starters and the ineffective play of Maurice Stovall and Cortez Hankton, Stroughter could start clawing his way up the charts. Neither Derrick Ward nor Earnest Graham looked very effective and Cadillac Williams was back in the shop for precautionary reasons and will be held out of game two as well.