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Training Camp Hype ("TCH")
Week 2

Week One | Week Two | Week Three | Week Four

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


What a difference a week makes. The Bills headed into their preseason game against Washington with three healthy running backs. They came out with one. Fred Jackson is scheduled to miss 4-6 weeks with a broken and while Marshawn Lynch willl miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained ankle. C.J. Spiller, come on down! Veteran RB Chad Simpson and undrafted rookie Joique Bell are now on the radar but don’t be surprised if Buffalo signs another back this week. QB Trent Edwards was adequate in a blowout loss to the Skins (42-17) going 5 of 6 for 44 yards on the first drive, but completed just one of his last six passes. The Bills were missing three starters off the offensive line.

Concern over a banged up O-line is making headlines in Dolphins camp. Nate Garner, who started eight games at the guard positions last year, underwent foot surgery that will keep him on the shelf for at least eight weeks. John Jerry sustained a knee injury in practice and may miss some time. Star wideout Brandon Marshall had butterfingers Saturday night dropping a couple of easy passes from Chad Henne and followed it up with a poor showing in practice on Monday. "Encourage him off the field and just let him work through it," (Chad) Pennington said. "A lot of things going through his mind, and really probably the biggest thing is he's trying too hard. He wants to do so well. He's just trying too hard. Speaking of Pennington, he did not get a snap against Tampa Bay. Tyler Thigpen is currently running number two behind Henne.

New York Jets
The Jets starters got an extended look in their first preseason game against the Giants playing the entire first half. An interesting fact about the Jets’ offense and a clear sign that you can’t take things at face value in the preseason…. the Jets ran the ball 28 times and passed 43 times in this contest. There is no doubt Rex Ryan will choose to grind it out once the games start counting but the preseason is about fixing weaknesses and evaluating players you’re unsure about. You’ll see more “odd behavior” like this from teams as the preseason rolls on.

LaDainian Tomlinson didn’t look over the hill at all. He showed some nice quickness against the Giants and looked like he has something to prove. “It was good to just be out there playing,” he added. “I don’t care if it was in the second half. I would have had a blast playing. I have fun playing football. I enjoyed myself.”

New England
The WR position in New England lost some depth this week with Torry Holt being placed on IR because of a bum knee. It would’ve been hard for Holt to make the roster anyway with Moss, Welker, Edelman, Tate, and Price ahead of him on the depth chart. Speaking of Welker, the team sat him during the first preseason game but he’s beginning to participate in full team practices. “We're going to take it slow and make sure we stay on track. We've been good up to this point, and we're just going to keep that going." Sure, he’s sporting a brace but you have to be encouraged by his progress to date. You think Welker is pushing his recovery because he knows Edelman can adequately fill his role?


Josh McDaniels may perpetuate the myth publicaly that there is a QB competition in camp but the job unquestionably belongs to Kyle Orton. "I'm pleased with what he (Orton) did. It's kind of the same as what he's done in training camp. He's really performed well and he's got really good command of what we're doing." The competition is between Tim Tebow and Brady Quinn for No. 2. "I think Tim and Brady both did some good things and both made some mistakes we need to fix. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the preseason goes."

The Broncos continue to be woefully thin at the running back position with Knowshon Moreno and Correll Buckhalter nursing injuries. Lance Ball (6 carries, 27 yards) got the start against Cincinnati. Jabar Gaffney, Brandon Lloyd and Eddie Royal started the game out of the three-wideout look, with Royal lining up in the slot.. Josh McDaniels has said they want to make a concerted effort to get Royal more involved this season. Brandon Stokley was the third receiver when the Broncos went to the three wide with the second-team offense.

Kansas City
Fun with depth charts. Currently, RB Thomas Jones is slotted ahead of Jamaal Charles and TE Leonard Pope is listed ahead of rookie TE Tony Moeaki on the Chiefs “official” depth chart that came out this week. I wouldn’t read too much into the veteran Jones being listed ahead of Charles - expect a 60-40 split in Charles’ favor this season. However, it’s my belief that Pope will start the season as the #1 tight end. He’s a favorite of head coach Todd Haley and Moeaki will need more polish and must demonstrate the ability to stay out of the training room before he assumes the starting role – a feat he can accomplish by mid-season.

KC’s first preseason game against the Falcons was a stinker. “We clearly have a bunch to work on in a lot of different areas,” Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. Charles and WR Dexter McCluster were the bright spots, although McCluster looked like a rookie, dropping an easy pass that cost the Chiefs a first down. RB Thomas Jones limped to the sideline after two carries for 2 yards.

It was a mixed bag for the Raiders’ offense in their first preseason game against Dallas. The starters played the entire first half but never really got anything going. The Jason Campbell led offense managed just five first down in the first half and what a shock… Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped the first pass of the game. TE Zach Miller appears to be a favorite of Campbell and could have a big fantasy season. "We have good trust," Miller said. "On certain routes he knows I'm going to win. We have a good feel for each other already on where I'm going to be. I try just to be consistent for him and make the plays for him so he keeps coming my way."

On the injury front, WR Chaz Schilens continues to be limited in practice with a bad foot and RB Darren McFadden (listed as day-to-day) is out of practice bothered by a bad hamstring. “He's much, much better,” Cable said. “Much improvement from the workout this morning and again this afternoon. We'll just take it day by day. Obviously, we'll push it as much as we can but we're not going to rush it.” Rock Cartwright and Michael Bennett are picking up the slack in McFadden’s absence.

San Diego
RB Ryan Mathews looks like the real deal. He busted out for 50 yards on nine carries in the Chargers first preseason game against Chicago. "He got carries and a couple passes the other night and I'd expect him to stay in that area this week," coach Norv Turner said Monday. "In the third game I'd like to see him get 20 carries and in the last game, as we do with most first teamers, we'll cut that way back to help him stay fresh for the regular season." With Vincent Jackson holding out, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are your starting wide receivers.


There is speculation that the Ravens are shopping RB Willis McGahee or WR Mark Clayton for a defensive back. For what it’s worth both got extensive action early against the Panthers and Clayton was the beneficiary of QB Joe Flacco’s impressive performance (8-12, 120 yds, 1 TD). The two connected on a 30-yd TD in the first quarter. Ray Rice had zero touches. "I don't think our plan was to give Ray a lot of work going into the game," coach John Harbaugh said.

The camp battle for kicker rages on. Billy Cundiff and Shayne Graham are the candidates. Head coach John Harbaugh was non-committal… "I think it's too early to say," he said. "They've both done well.

Terrell Owens and his popcorn still need time to get on the same page with Carson Palmer. “We accomplished some things. We got in there and played a little more. It’s going to come,” said Owens. “That’s why I’ve been try to work hard in practice so that it comes second nature to me. We still have a long way to go.”

If the Bengals lose Cedric Benson for any length of time they may not miss a beat with backup Bernard Scott. “I just try to make big plays when I get my opportunity,” said Scott, The second-stringer rolled up 65 rushing yards and 48 receiving yards in ten touches against Denver. Scott should be one of you top backup players to target in the middle to late rounds of your draft. Rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham (3 receptions, 37 yards) appears to be the real deal not only catching the ball, but his blocking ability in the run game has been impressive so far in camp. If he doesn’t start Week 1 he will do so easily by mid-season.

The bumps and bruises are starting to pile up for the Brownies. Rookie running back Montario Hardesty has been sidelined with a twisted knee continues to miss team practice but head coach Eric Mangini hopes to have him back next week. Jerome Harrison (7 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD) and James Davis (6 carries, 24 yards) received the bulk of the carries in Hardesty’s absence.

QB Jake Delhomme is reportedly giddy over the Browns preseason triumph over Green Bay. "It doesn't matter, preseason or what, you want to win," said Delhomme. He looked sharp in an 11-play, 810-yd drive culminating in a TD run by Jerome Harrison. Delhomme has secure lock on the starting job despite two TD throws from Seneca Wallace. Receiver Mohamed Massaquoi appears to have locked up a starting WR job, but suffered a strained hamstring during the Browns preseason game against Green Bay. Mangini said he won't practice today but should be back later in the week. As a result, Josh Cribbs and Chansi Stuckey figure to get more first-team reps.

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t get any action (on the field anyway) in the preseason opener but is expected to play this week against the Giants. QB Dennis Dixon’s favorite target against the Lions was WR Antonio Brown (3 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD). "He's the Rod Tidwell of our group," veteran wide receiver Hines Ward said Monday. Despite a decent showing by Dixon, it appears Byron Leftwich has a lock on the starting job until Roethlisberger returns. Leftwich has received the majority of the first-team snaps in practice.


The three-headed RB committee in Houston just got reduced to two. Rookie Ben Tate broke his ankle in the preseason game against Arizona and will miss the remainder of the season. Arian Foster appears to be the clear starter at this point with Steve Slaton with providing backup services. Foster had 4 carries for 31 yards against the Cardinals. Tate’s injury could open the door for second-year back Jeremiah Johnson. "I'm getting an opportunity to carry the ball more, and I plan to make the best of it." Johnson carried 5 times for 35 yards against Arizona. " (Chris) Henry and Johnson will go head-to-head in the second half of these games, and we'll see what happens," Kubiak said. "Having four guys right now, our eyes are open. We have to be because we've got a lot of preseason left.” Who knows, if Steve Slaton continues his fumbling woes (he lost another one against Arizona) Johnson could find himself making an impact on the field in 2010.

When the backup QB becomes the focus of attention you know the ship is sailing in the right direction and with Peyton Manning at the helm, there really isn’t much cause for concern in Indy. Most of talk these days is whether or not QB Curtis Painter (a sixth-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft from Purdue) is capable of being an NFL backup QB. He’s drawing attention from fans and the beat writers after his 3-INT performance against San Francisco. Head coach Jim Caldwell is sticking up for his guy… “He's still our second-team quarterback. We believe in him. He's going to develop. It's going to take time. It's not an easy position to play.” Don’t look for the Colts to bring in a veteran QB anytime soon.

There’s some concern over the loss of C Jeff Saturday and its affect on the Colts offense. Not necessarily for his skill but for his ability to make line calls and his close connection with Peyton Manning. Some wonder if the Colts no-huddle offense may miss a beat or two until Saturday gets back to action.

With Anthony Gonzalez back on the field it’s too early to tell how the wide receiver rotation will work out between Gonzalez, Garcon, and Austin Collie but speculation is that Collie may be the odd-man out in three-wideout sets. Garcon has also missed some practice recently with an undisclosed injury.

A mild QB controversy is bubbling thanks to Luke McCown’s three-touchdown performance against the Eagles. When asked how Garrard looked on tape, head coach Jack Del Rio downplayed the question…. "Trim, pretty good. Good in the teal jersey"… Let’s not get silly here folks; Garrard will be the starter come opening day. On the receiving front, WR Mike Sims-Walker dropped a couple of passes Friday, and injured his shoulder on, but Del Rio is looking at the glass half-full..."Mike's had a good camp, got strong hands and I think he's proven a reliable target for us, so we'll keep working Mike," he said. Sims-Walker has been held back a bit since the shoulder boo-boo, only participating in one practice per day. WR Jarett Dilliard is off the PUP list and has been cleared for practice after suffering a stress fracture on the pinkie toe of his left foot.

After an ugly injury to RB Stafon Johnson that was expected to keep him out 8-12 weeks the Titans signed Samkon Gado and put the rookie from USC on IR. Javon Ringer showed well in the team’s first preseason game, rushing for 60 yards on 7 carries. "He's been really good in training camp,'' offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger said. "I have a lot of confidence in Javon, with everything he has shown. He has the ability to make some runs like he did (Saturday), and he is good in the passing game right now, too. He is definitely ahead of where he was last year. There's no reason why he can't be that guy.''


The fantasy prize in the desert, WR Larry Fitzgerald, will likely be limited over the next few weeks after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee Saturday night against Houston. "They say they want to be careful with it so it doesn't linger and . . . I'm ready to go for Week 1 at St. Louis," Fitzgerald said. At this point we have to take Fitzgerald at his word and expect him on the field Week 1.

Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt characterized his team’s first preseason game as “too sloppy” – typical sentiments coming from a coach early in camp - as the team first unit offense struggled. Derek Anderson’s two INTs and subpar showing isn’t helping his case to become the starting QB. Matt Leinart was efficient on short to intermediate passes during his abbreviated playing time and remains entrenched as the starter.

St. Louis
It was a tough start for rookie QB Sam Bradford in his first NFL preseason game. Bradford was sacked four times in a loss to the Vikings and the Rams offense a whole looked Ram-like failing to score an offensive touchdown and totaling 150 yards. Steven Jackson (back) suited up but did not play. Chris Ogbonnaya started in his absence. There’s lots of talk about the lack of a veteran RB behind Jackson but in the end, it probably doesn’t matter. This team isn’t contending for the playoffs this season.

San Diego
RB Ryan Mathews looks like the real deal. He busted out for 50 yards on nine carries in the Chargers first preseason game against Chicago. "He got carries and a couple passes the other night and I'd expect him to stay in that area this week," coach Norv Turner said Monday. "In the third game I'd like to see him get 20 carries and in the last game, as we do with most first teamers, we'll cut that way back to help him stay fresh for the regular season." With Vincent Jackson holding out, Malcom Floyd and Legedu Naanee are your starting wide receivers.

San Francisco
Big news this week as backup RB Glen Coffee abruptly retired and head coach Mike Singletary didn’t do much to change his mind. "I appreciate his honesty and I appreciate him not coming out here and just going through the motions," the coach said. The 49ers immediately went out and acquired the services of Brian Westbrook - The timing of the deal is a bit coincidental because rookie Anthony Dixon showed so well in the Niners' first preseason game. Regardless, it's a good move by the Niners as Gore has missed at least one game in all but one of his five seasons as a pro. If Gore is forced to miss time again this season, expect Westbrook to be the pass-catching complement to Dixon in a committee situation (Doug Orth).

Some think the head coaching change will make Justin Forsett the RB to have in this committee. “Julius Jones remains a factor, but Forsett and the newly healthy Leon Washington are commanding most of the attention at running back.” Backup QB Charlie Whitehurst had a successful showing (214 yds, 2 TDs) against Tennessee. Head coach Pete Carroll liked what he say. "We really thought we saw enough of Charlie to make a really good evaluation. ... Charlie's going to really help us. Nothing he's done has told us anything but that." Rookie WR Golden Tate continues to have a good camp but was a non-factor Saturday night (2 catches, 5 yards).


In case you were wondering, Jerry Jones is recovering fine from and orthopedic procedure he underwent in July. In matters on the field, the Cowboys have lost their right tackle Mark Colombo with a knee injury. He could miss 2-4 weeks, which could put his availability for the Sept. 12 season opener at Washington in question, and hamper the passing and running game in the process.

TE Jason Witten had a run-in with a fence after making a catch in practice. After a brief moment of anxiousness, Witten returned and showed no signs injury. WR Dez Bryant is hopeful to play the Cowboys final two preseason games but word has it, the Cowboys will be cautious and keep him on the shelf until Week 1. No pain at all,'' said Bryant, who injured his right ankle on July 30. "I'm fine. At the same time, I still know I can't cut the way I want. "It doesn't hurt when I cut. It doesn't give out. I feel like I don't get enough push.''

New York Giants
Are we finally seeing the passing of the torch? It appears Ahmad Bradshaw who has battled foot problems the last year and half, is making his claim to be the Giants lead RB in 2010. He’s been getting first crack with the starting unit in camp and showed his burst taking a shovel pass from Manning and jaunting 51 yards down the field. It is too early to tell if Bradshaw will unseat Jacobs as the team's starting running back but perhaps the best way to keep Jacobs healthy is giving him 40% of the carries to Bradshaw’s 60%. Just a thought if any of the Giants’ coaches are reading this.

Who in the heck is Victor Cruz? This kid made an outstanding one-handed grab in the second half of the Giants-Jets tilt on Monday night. Cruz finished the evening with 6 catches, 145 yards and 3 TDs… not too shabby. The Giants have a boatload of depth at the receiver position but need to find a way to keep Cruz on the 53-man roster. Eli Manning got knocked around like pinball Monday night but he and his eleven forehead stitches are just fine.

Kevin Kolb looked like a fantasy QB1 in the Eagles first preseason game against Dallas connecting with DeSean Jackson on Jeremy Maclin for big plays in the first quarter. There was apparently some ego-driven bad blood between DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in camp but that talk has since faded away.

Starting RB LeSean McCoy seems to be in good graces with the Eagles’ coaching staff regarding his performance in camp thus far. "There were a couple specific things LeSean wanted to do and (running backs coach) Ted (Williams) wanted to see from him and he got those accomplished," Mornhinweg said. Apparently McCoy has improved his blitz pickup as it’s “night and day” better from last year.

It was interesting to see Chris Cooley get a lot of looks underneath during the Redskins’ thrashing of the Bills Friday night. Cooley is back from a broken ankle suffered last season and should be a favorite target of McNabb’s in 2010. Speaking of McNabb, he’s been a little shaky in camp so far, but that’s to be expected given he’s learning a new language. After being in one system for eleven years, it will take some time before he’s completely comfortable with new terminology and everyone on the offense is in love with Kyle Shanahan’s version of the offense. "There are just a lot more opportunities for guys to make plays because of what we do now. There are a lot more opportunities for everyone now," said TE Fred Davis. Keep in mind, Shanahan directed the Texans offense last season that led the league in passing yards with 4,654.


The Mike Martz, Jay Cutler era begin without much fanfare as the first team Bears’ offense was on then quickly off the field in their first preseason game against San Diego. We definitely have to play more and get a little deeper into the first half,'' Cutler said. It’s hard to pinpoint a fantasy star at wide receiver this early, but Johnny Knox continues to impress and it appears he will be a nice value pick in drafts this summer. Backup QB Caleb Hanie injured his shoulder further pointing a light on the fact that if this team loses Cutler for any length of time they will be in serious trouble at the quarterback position.

The running game appeared to be stuck in mud just as it was last season. Neither Matt Forte (4 carries, 7 yards) nor Chester Taylor (6 carries, 10 yards) could get anything going - perhaps because the offensive line failed to get any kind of push against the Chargers. Kahlil Bell appears to have the advantage over Garrett Wolfe in the battle to be the third running back.

QB Matthew Stafford played three series against the Steelers and finished 8-11 for 61 yards and 1 TD before leaving in the second quarter and looked adequate. Of course when you have a beast like Calvin Johnson at your disposal, who’s not going to look good? "He's a mismatch for anybody," Stafford said. "It's tough for guys to defend him, especially they're not committing anybody over the top for help. They're blitzing both safeties. If they're going to do that, we're going to put it up to the big guy."

RB Maurice Morris backed up Jahvid Best in the Steelers game as Kevin Smith was held out due to his knee injury. Best is still running with the first team in practice and makes a solid option as an RB2 for your fantasy team, especially in PPR leagues. RB DeDe Dorsey may have cost himself a spot on the final roster with, a 2.9-yard average against Pittsburgh, and lost a fumble inside the 10-yard line.

Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers did his thing against Cleveland racking up 159 yards and 1 TD on 12 of 13 passing, showing why he will be one of the first QBs taken off the board in your fantasy draft. Green Bay did lose Ryan Grant after three carries on a hit to the dome in the first quarter. It’s unclear if he suffered a concussion, but he appeared woozy and looked wobbly walking to the sideline. The team is waiting for him to be cleared by a neurologist before he returns to practice. He’d better get back soon as the team is already down rookie James Starts who remains on the PUP list.

Favre is back. You knew this would happen so let’s not waste any more space here discussing it. What is of concern is the absence of wideouts Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice; two players being targeted by many fantasy owners this summer. Harvin returned to the practice field Monday (8/16) after a two-week absence due to the death in the family and the passing of a close friend. The migraine issue is … well, still an issue. Fellow wideout Sidney Rice has missed all 24 practices because of nagging hip problem. RB Adrian Peterson continues to miss time and sat out the preseason game against the Rams with hamstring injury. This doesn’t sound good to the fantasy owner. Head coach Brad Childress attempted to put on a happy face by saying… "People ask me if this is the most number of players that I can remember sitting out," Childress said. "No, it's not. I read the [news] clips. Philadelphia, they had 14 guys sitting out at one point. I guess [the media] is the one that has to determine whether it's the key guys or not.” Newsflash Brad, it’s your key guys.


The Falcons first unit broke out the no-huddle offense against KC on their second drive of the game. A sign of things to come? It appears offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey will use this scheme in more than just obvious hurry-up situations in 2010. The running game was solid as Turner and the offensive line established themselves early on. “I thought we were running the ball so successfully on the first drive that we didn’t need to pass it,” Ryan said.

The Falcons have made a decision at kicker. Matt Bryant is apparently their guy after Steven Hauschka was given his walking papers on Saturday. Both kickers missed 50+-yard field goals in their first preseason game against KC.

RB Jonathan Stewart finally hit the practice field this week after off-season surgery on his Achilles. He’s only taking part in individual drills for the moment. There’s not much concern about him being ready for Week 1 but he’ll definitely be limited in practice and may not play much in Carolina’s remaining preseason games.

The starting WR spot opposite Steve Smith is still up for grabs. Dwayne Jarrett continues to have a fine camp… “He doesn't have to be open to be open, if you know what I mean," receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said. Rookie Brandon LaFell is having a good camp as well. Both are the front-runners to start Week 1.

The Panthers offense failed to score a TD in 14 possessions in their first preseason game against the Ravens. Matt Moore has a lock on the starting QB job with rookie Jimmy Clausen a distant second. There’s some speculation that they may keep 4 QBs on the roster (Moore, Clausen, & Hunter Cantwell) and try and keep Tony Pike on the practice squad.

New Orleans
The Saints have found a replacement for the injured Lynell Hamilton and his name is Ladell Betts. Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush are expected to receive the bulk of the work out of the backfield this season however.

The team is being cautious with WR Robert Meachem who hasn’t yet participated in team drills. “I think he’s very close,’’ coach Sean Payton said after Sunday morning’s practice. “I’m hoping that it’s sometime in the early part of this week. I think Robert is progressing pretty well on schedule and we can have him hopefully here in the next couple of days.” If Meachem doesn’t get on the field soon his status as the Saints #2 fantasy wideout could be in jeopardy. Lance Moore could be a nice sleeper pick should Meachem come limping out of the gate.

Tampa Bay
Nobody is getting more hype in Tampa camp than rookie WR Mike Willaims. To hear the media and pundits talk, this guy is the second coming of Jerry Rice. We’ve produced numerous fantasy articles over the years about how the majority of rookie wideouts simply fail to make an impact but there are always a couple that bust through door. Is Williams that guy for 2010? Perhaps. "He already is the best receiver on Tampa Bay's roster," writes (Adam) Schefter, It appears Michael Clayton and Reggie Brown are in competition for a single roster spot, as starter Maurice Stovall, Sammie Stroughter, and Arrelious Benn, are all safe.

Keep your eye on RB Kareem Huggins looked very good on a sloppy field in posting 71 total yards from scrimmage last week against the Dolphins. He’s got a shot to make the roster and could challenge Derrick Ward, who is struggling to make an imipact, for the No. 2 RB behind Cadillac Williams.