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Training Camp Hype ("TCH")
Week 4

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.

This shall be the last installment of Training Camp Hype for 2009. First off, I would like to thank the reader for taking the time to read this series. Obviously I do not expect that every reader found the information helpful, but judging from the positive feedback I received over the summer, at least many of you may have.

Unfortunately, installment IV will not be posted until most leagues have already drafted. Accordingly, I shall focus on limited issues which can help you look at free agents and waiver wire possibilities.


Buffalo Bills – The Bills signing Terrell Owens looks like a genius move to keep attention off the fact they got rid of any talent they had on the offensive line when they traded away Jason Peters. They’ve also dumped Langston Walker and their offensive coordinator. The starting squad scored nary a touchdown in the preseason and now, the Bills start two rookie guards and second year tackle Demetrius Bell. Hey, at least Owens is back from his injury. The cutting of Dominic Rhodes paves means more carries for Fred Jackson.

Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins have settled on a multi-package wide receiver scenario with Ted Ginn, Jr. on one side and a split of action between Davone Bess, Greg Camarillo and Brian Hartline on the other. One of those three could emerge as a solid contributor, but expect a lot of the same from last year, with no one receiver having consistency from week-to-week.

New England Patriots – Wes Welker’s injury has yet to be disclosed.

New York Jets – Mark Sanchez is starting opening day and his wide receivers will be Jerricho Cotchery and Chansi Stuckey. However, much like Miami, the number two will be a committee position and expect to hear David Clowney’s number called quite a bit. Shonne Green is still a work in progress and has much to learn.


Denver Broncos – Brandon Marshall returned from suspension and Jabar Gaffney’s finger injury may get Marshall back into the fold quicker than most anticipated. In fact, McDaniels indicated that Marshall will be ready to play week one and has been a good citizen since his return. Knowshon Moreno has returned to practice.

Kansas City Chiefs – Dwayne Bowe and Mark Bradley sit atop the wide receiver depth chart finally. Jamaal Charles has turned some heads in camp and will have plays designed to utilize him come Sunday.

Oakland Raiders – Chaz Schilens is making a strong recovery and may be back in time for Week 2. Prior to his injury, Schilens was having a strong preseason and looked to be on his way to a solid season. Jeff Garcia was released. The Raiders gave up a 2011 first round draft pick for Richard Seymour, which could be beneficial to the team defense.

San Diego Chargers – Apparently Shawne Merriman doesn’t know the detriments of a little Tequila and has now brought the Chargers into the woes of the AFC West. Otherwise, there are no offensive surprises coming out of the preseason.


Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens cut nearly their entire receiving corps, leaving only Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and Kelley Washington. With their propensity to get nicked up, it sounds like a running team to me. Look for Ray Rice and Willis McGahee to be the two main ball-carriers out of the backfield.

Cincinnati Bengals – A name not discussed this season is WR Andre Caldwell, who may fill the void of T.J. Houshmandzadeh on third downs. Where does this leave Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry in the offense?

Cleveland Browns – Eric Mangini finally decided on his starting quarterback and it is Brady Quinn, although Mangini won’t confirm. With all of the talk about releasing Jamal Lewis, he is still atop the depth chart and James Davis is still in third behind Jerome Harrison. Joshua Cribbs appears to be the number two with Mohamed Massaquoi running third.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Tomlin stated the starting running back role belonged to Willie Parker and that Rashard Mendenhall would not be sharing carries. One line of thinking refutes the logic, based on Parker’s hamstring, last season, and the Steelers refusal to extend his contract, etc…. However, if Parker is actually on his way out of Pittsburgh at the end of the year, the Steelers could try to make the most of what he has left and Parker could be displaying his wares for his future suitors.


Houston Texans – Matt Schaub is back at practice and looks ready to roll. Kevin Walter, however, may not be.

Indianapolis Colts – No significant news.

Jacksonville Jaguars – No need to keep a watch on Chauncey Washington to spell Maurice Jones-Drew, as he was cut. Greg Jones is still listed as number two, but the road was cleared for Rashad Jennings after Washington’s and Alvin Peerman’s release. Only Torry Holt and Troy Williamson have excelled in the passing game this summer – both have earned the starting spots. Jones-Drew owners were given a scare after a meaningless role in the last preseason game almost sidelined him.

Tennessee Titans – Nate Washington played sparingly in the season opener giving more opportunities to Justin Gage and rookie Kenny Britt. Otherwise, no significant news.


Arizona Cardinals – Anquan Boldin is still dealing with hamstring issues. Nevertheless, expect Boldin to be ready to produce Boldin-like numbers immediately. Stephen Spach is the starting tight end with Leonard Pope released and Ben Patrick on suspension.

St. Louis Rams – Marc Bulger should be ready for game one but has been held out of practice with his injured finger. Fullback Mike Karney has been in and out of practice with an ankle injury and while questionable for game one, will likely play given all of the cuts at running back.

San Francisco 49ers – Labor Day came and passed and Michael Crabtree is nowhere to be found despite the 49ers upping their offer. This leaves the Niners offense relatively familiar with Frank Gore, Shaun Hill, Josh Morgan and Isaac Bruce as its starters.
Seattle Seahawks – No significant news.


Dallas Cowboys – Roy Williams is back at practice and says he’s good to go. Sam Hurd is back, but lost out to Miles Austin for the third receiver spot after all his time off - Patrick Crayton is number two. Be cautiously aware that Martellus Bennett had a stand out camp and will be used in two tight end sets, which could cut into Jason Witten’s reception total.

New York Giants – The Giants did not part with most of the receivers (except David Tyree). Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith are the starters, but this looks to have the earmarks of a committee.

Philadelphia Eagles – Brian Westbrook is probable to start the season. Otherwise, all they hype remains around Michael Vick. Will the Vick media machine end once the season starts? One can only hope.

Washington Redskins – Malcolm Kelly is officially the starter opposite of Santana Moss. Clinton Portis is back at practice and ready to play.


Chicago Bears – No significant news.

Detroit Lions – The Lions announced that Daunte Culpepper should be ready to play, but will not start as that role has gone to Matthew Stafford.

Green Bay Packers – No surprises. Greg Jennings will be available opening day with Donald Driver opposite him. Ryan Grant should get the bulk of the carries and Aaron Rodgers no longer has to worry about Brian Brohm behind him as Brohm has been released.

Minnesota Vikings – No significant news except that with all the preseason speculation on the signing of Brett Favre, John David Booty seemed safe as a backup with the Vikings unlikely to keep both Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson. Letting Booty go causes me to wonder if the Vikings are unconvinced that Favre has much staying power left. Bernard Berrian should be ready for week one.


Atlanta Falcons – No significant news.

Carolina Panthers – Jonathan Stewart has not run most of the summer, but is allegedly ready to start week one after returning to practice Wednesday. In most leagues, the price tag of picking up Stewart as a handcuff is too steep. Keep your eye on Mike Goodson.

New Orleans Saints – Both Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas are questionable for game one with Thomas likely to sit - Bush should be ready. The Saints have plenty of receivers with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Jeremy Shockey. Meachem may be the sleeper to keep your eye on as Drew Brees favored him this summer.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Yet another offensive coordinator released. Cadillac Wiliams is anointed the starting running back but expect all backs to see action as new coordinator Greg Olson intends to focus on the running game. Luke McCown (traded to JAX) no longer poses a threat to Byron Leftwich, but instead his former teammate David Garrard.