One | Week Two | Week
Three | Week Four
One preseason, two running backs down for the Bills. Buffalo lost
both Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch to injury, opening the door
for rookie hotshot C.J. Spiller to open the season as the team’s
starter at the position. Opportunity is a key factor in success
and Spiller has that now. Whether he can take advantage of it despite
the Bills anaemic passing attack and porous offensive line remains
to be seen.
Yes, that was an actual highlight of quarterback Trent
Edwards throwing a deep pass. Yes, that was an actual highlight
of wide receiver Lee
Evans catching the pass and taking it for a 70-yard touchdown.
Unfortunately for Bills fans, it was the preseason. Surely, Edwards
will revert to Captain Checkdown once the real lights come on.
Without joking, Edwards looked good against the Colts but the
pass to Evans needs an asterisk beside it. Colts safety Antoine
Bethea bit hard on either play action or a short out route, leaving
Evans wide open on the play.
What had to be exciting for Bills fans was the play of Spiller.
While the Colts aren’t exactly masters of defending the
run, Spiller looked dynamic on several plays and is clearly ready
to gain yards on the ground in 2010. The only issue preventing
him from claiming the starting job is pass protection. The only
issue preventing him from gaining fantasy points is the offensive
Roster Notes: TE Shawn
Nelson has been suspended four games from violating the league’s
substance abuse policy. Jonathan
Stupar has been elevated to TE1 and WR Marcus
Easley has been placed on IR with a knee injury.
On the QB front, Chad Henne bumped up his game this week with going
for 151 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville. Henne led
the team to 17 points on three consecutive drives. Chad Pennington
(coming off shoulder surgery) got his feet weet, playing one series
completing three of four passess for 54 yards. Pat White, who is
in danger of not making the team, did not see a snap. Hmmmm...
New York Jets
The Jets had a day to forget on offense against Carolina this weekend.
"This is one of those games where offensively you just want
to take the ball and bury it, bury the game tape with it and move
on to the next one," Woody said. "Fortunately this one
doesn't count." New York amassed seven first downs and 112
yards in offense. Yuck.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson continued to shine busting for 20 yards
on his first carry against the Panthers. Tomlinson seems invigorated
and looking to improve on his career low 3.3 yards per carry from
last season. “I feel good,” Tomlinson said. “I’m
telling you guys all along, when I’m healthy, I can perform
at a high level. You guys are seeing when I’m healthy.”
Holt, we hardly knew ya. With Holt struggling and suffering
a knee injury, the Patriots saw an opportunity to avoid embarrassing
Holt since he had virtually no chance of making the team’s final
roster. The knee injury provided the cover the Pats needed so he
was placed on injured reserve, almost certainly ending his short-lived
time in New England and most likely his NFL career. Next stop for
Holt – Canton, hopefully alongside fellow “Greatest Show on Turf”
members Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Kurt Warner.
Reports of Wes Welker’s demise were apparently greatly
exaggerated. While it would be impossible to know what Welker’s
status really was given the Patriots secretive nature, it was
a surprise to see him catch two balls in just six plays in his
first game back from injury.
The questions about the running game continue. Tackle Ryan Clady
has missed all of training camp and the top three running backs
on the depth chart are hurt Knowshon
Moreno (hamstring), Correll
Buckhalter (back), and LenDale
White (ankle). Denver is averaging 3.2 yards per carry in two
preseason games and got little going against the front four of the
Lions Saturday night. "It takes time to click, and we've got young
guys in here and we've got guys injured," Hochstein, an offensive
lineman, said Saturday night.
WR Jabar Gaffney looks like the favorite target of Kyle Orton.
Gaffney hauled in six passes for 98 yards against the Lions and
could make a nice sleeper pick as your fantasy WR3.
The Chiefs emphasized the pass this week against the Bucs as Matt
Cassel went 14-19 for 125 yards, 1TD. Dwayne Bowe hung onto 3 passes
and rookie WR Jeremy Horne caught a short TD pass from Cassel. “We
got in a rhythm and capitalized,” Cassel said.
Thomas Jones remains number one on the teams’ depth chart
but it continues to be Jamaal Charles producing on the field.
Charles has 92 yards on 14 touches this preseason and looks incredibly
quick compared to Jones, who fumbled on the Chiefs opening drive
against Tampa Bay. This is no doubt going to be a committee situation
when the regular season begins as head coach Todd Haley loves
the leadership and toughness Jones provides but the talent of
Charles will ultimate keep him on the field for more snaps this
season in what should turn out to be a 60-40 split of touches.
Jason Campbell and the Raiders offense had a better showing in Week
2 against the Bears than they did Week 1 against the Cowboys. Don’t
get me wrong, its still the Raiders so a botched center-quarterback
exchange and interception thrown by Campbell were included in the
performance but overall, Campbell 10-20 170-yd performance gave
the Raider’s faithful some optimism … for a week anyway.
Late word out of Raiders camp is WR Chaz Schilens may need an
arthroscopic procedure on his knee. Schilens has missed practice
lately with a foot injury and it appears his knee problem is related.
“I’m very concerned. It’s been a tough road
for him,” Cable said. “We get through the foot thing
now and something else has kind of reared up on us. We’ll
take care of it and get him back as soon as we can.”
Quietly the San Diego Chargers believe they’ll be just fine
if Vincent Jackson never plays another down for them. Would they
be a better team with Jackson on the field? Sure, but the play of
Malcom Floyd, Legedu Naanee, and Craig Davis this preseason has
the front office firmly planted in their negotiating stance. The
Chargers granted permission to the Seattle Seahwaks this week to
discuss a possible trade and contract with Jackson but apparently
the asking price is too steep. He wants $30 million guaranteed on
a five-year, $50 million contract. Based on the average per year,
that would rank Jackson among the four highest-paid receivers in
On the field, San Diego’s running game continues
to shine with rookie RB Ryan Mathews leading the way. Behind Mathews
it appears Darren Sproles, FB Jacob Hester and Mike Tolbert are
in the lead to make the final roster with Marcus Mason and Curtis
Brinkley on the outside looking in.
Marc Bulger has nailed down the QB2 position behind Joe Flacco
with a solid performance against the Redskins (13-16, 130 yds).
He not only has the experience factor over Troy Smith but also
has out-performed Smith in camp thus far. The Ravens have hinted
at using more downfield passes in 2010 and that would make sense
with the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte Stalloworth but
over the first two games the starting offense has resembled the
2009 gameplan… a lot of running and short-to- medium passes.
We’ll see if the offense opens up a bit in their third preseason
game against the Giants.
Momentum is building in fantasy circles for Carson Palmer to be
a legitmate QB1 this season and with good reason. For now, T.O.
seems to be fitting in with the team nicely. He leads the team
this preseason with nine catches for 108 yards and rookie Jermaine
Gresham will give Palmer the legitimate threat over the middle
he’s been lacking the past few years.
Brian Leonard continues to rehab his foot injury, which has given
Cedric Peerman an opportunity to claim a roster spot. Peerman
rushed for 47 yards on 12 carries and two TDs against the Eagles.
Jerome Simpson and Quan Cosby seem to have the lead on the last
two receiving spots behind Ochocinco, Owens, and Jordan Shipley.
Jake Delhomme continues to impress in the preseason after his
second-consecutive solid game (12-16, 127 yds 1 TD). He’s
still no better than a QB2 until this offense proves their worth
when the games count for real. QB Colt McCoy currently has a passer
rating of 9.7
Running back Montario Hardesty has missed all of training camp
with a sprained right knee but there’s optimism he will
be ready by Week 1. "Yes, I would him expect him to [be ready
for the season]," said coach Eric Mangini. "There's
been no setback. Based on the plan that we had and the progress
that he has made, my anticipation is that he'll be practicing
again in the near future and ideally playing in the opener."
Hardesty is expected to miss this weekend’s game against
Ben Roethlisberger made his debut against the Giants Saturday
night going 6-8 for 76 yards and one INT. Dennis Dixon is make
a case for the starting spot Week 1 as he had his second solid
preseason outing going 7-8 for 82 yards and 27 yards rushing.
Dixon is 13 of 15 for 200 yards and one touchdown pass in two
The Steelers used a lot of two-back formations against the Giants
with Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman on the field at the same
time. Keep your eye on Redman who’s gained 91 yards and
scored 2 touchdowns on 21 carries this preseason. With Jonathan
Dwyer (shoulder) on the shelf, Redman might have a chance to stick
but keep in mind he led the team in rushing last preseason but
found himself on and off the Steelers practice squad for much
The kicking job will be coveted by fantasy owners due to Houston’s
high-powered offense but the camp battle remains undecided. Neil
Rackers knocked through a 52-yarder this weekend and Kris Brown
drilled his 43-yd attempt. All things being equal Brown may have
the inside track given his kickoffs travel a greater distance.
Tight end Owen Daniels is unlikely to play this preseason although
he hopes to be cleared to practice sometime this week. "I'm
starting to feel like I'm back to normal again," said Daniels,
who will undergo an MRI on Tuesday and meet with Dr. James Andrews
Playing without the services of center Jeff Saturday (knee), left
tackle Charlie Johnson (foot) and left guard Kyle DeVan (hamstring)
the Colts running game came alive last Thursday against Buffalo
- 24 carries for 112 yards, a 4.7-yard average. "We had a
number of guys who punched it up there pretty good," coach
Jim Caldwell said Friday.
WR Pierre Garcon has been out with an undisclosed injury but
was back at practice yesterday and may see action this week against
Mike Sims-Walker is recovering from a shoulder injury suffered
in Week one of the preseason against the Eagles and appears to
feeling fine. He sat out a few practices and wore a red non-contact
jersey during Thursday's practice. "I think it was a mind
thing for me, to tell you the truth," Sims-Walker said. "It
wasn't really [sore], little certain movements would be a little
sore, I don't think it was nothing serious, I think it was just
in my head. I didn't want to turn something minor into something
big. I think it was a little nervous, little scare factor."
Sims-Walker had three catches for 64 yards against the Dolphins
Running back Maurice Jones-Drew has six carries for –2
yards this preseason.
With Vince Young and Kerry Collins assured of making the team,
the final QB roster spot comes down to veteran Chris Simms and
rookie Rusty Smith. "We haven't decided yet whether we'll
keep two, three or four (quarterbacks), so there's competition
between all those guys,'' offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger
said. "But if there was to be a third spot, then (Simms and
Smith) are fighting for it."
WR Lavelle Hawkins has received a lot of praise this preseason
but appears to be stuck on the depth chart as the fourth option
behind Justin Gage. On the bright side for Hawkins is Gage’s
thumb injury, which has sidelined him in recent practices. Gage
is wearing a protective wrap on his right hand and is Questionable
to play tonight against the Cardinals.
The prognosis for the Cardinals offense in 2010 was a bit shaky
and head coach Ken Whisenhunt stoked those fires with his comments
that he was not pleased with the unit’s performance in week
one of the preseason. "Wasn't good enough, wasn't good enough,"
Whisenhunt remarked when commenting on the play of quarterbacks
Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson. Whisenhunt scolded the offensive
line for its run and pass blocking, the receivers for running
the wrong routes and the running backs for failing to hit the
Worse yet, the Cardinals confirmed that Larry Fitzgerald (MCL
sprain) is likely done for the preseason. Fitzgerald suffered
the injury during the team’s opening preseason game against
Houston. While Fitzgerald, perhaps the league’s top receiver,
hardly needs the practice reps, Leinart and Anderson could have
used the extra time to build a rapport with Fitzgerald.
The Rams entered training camp knowing the team needed to solidify
the offensive line in order to improve the team’s performance
on offense but the situation has not developed according to plan.
Second-year player Jason Smith, the second player taken in the
2009 draft, hasn’t practiced much since suffering a fractured
to in early June and it showed during the team’s first preseason
game against the Vikings. Rookie left tackle Rodger Saffold didn’t
fair much better and suffered a back injury, which doesn’t
appear to be serious. However, continuity is key along the offensive
line while they fared a little better Saturday night against Cleveland,
the Rams need to get their starters set and practicing together
as soon as possible.
The backup running backs continue to struggle. In the two preseason
games, Chris Ogbonnaya, Kenneth Darby and Keith Toston have gained
78 yards on 37 carries, which is goof for a 2.1-yard average.
With top backup Glen Coffee unexpectedly retiring, rookie sixth-
round pick Anthony Dixon looking overwhelmed and the team not
sold on former quarterback Michael Robinson at the position, the
49ers signed veteran fee agent Brian Westbrook. While Westbrook
is no threat to unseat Frank Gore, he provides the 49ers with
solid veteran insurance in the event Gore is injured. With Gore
having played 16 games only once during his five seasons in the
league, there is a good chance Westbrook will be in the starting
line-up at some point in 2010. Although not the player he once
was, Westbrook can still be a dynamic player in the passing game
and is certainly an upgrade over Coffee and Dixon.
The 49ers quickly determined that Brandon Jones wasn’t
in their plans for 2010, releasing the disappointing wide receiver
in midweek, well before the first roster cutdown was due. Jones
was buried on the depth chart behind Michael Crabtree, Josh Morgan,
Ted Ginn Jr., Jason Hill and rookie sixth- round pick Kyle Williams.
Signed by former general manager Scott McCloughan to a five-year,
$16.5-million contract prior to the 2009 season with $5.4-million
in guarantees. Jones had just one reception for 18 yards in his
only season in San Francisco.
The Seahawks offensive line is a concern and reports indicate
that Ray Willis, expected to challenge Sean Locklear at right
tackle or be the team’s swing tackle, was likely to miss
the beginning of the season with a knee injury. And the hits keep
on coming as first-round pick Russell Okung suffered a mid-ankle
sprain Saturday. The hope is he will be ready for Week 1 but don’t
count on him playing in the remaining two preseason games.
Running back Leon Washington had a solid debut against the Packers.
The sooner Washington returns to form, the less likely Julius
Jones is to be on the team’s opening day roster. If Washington
continues to look good, Jones will almost certainly be looking
for a new team in 2010.
Reports out of Seattle indicate that Golden Tate is struggling
to grasp the team’s playbook. They also note that his route
running has been poor. While expectations were running high for
Tate following the rookie draft, it’s time to drop him on
draft boards. Retread Mike Williams had a long touchdown score
in week one of the preseason and he as well as second-year player
Deon Butler might relegate Tate to the bench in 2010.
The Cowboys offensive success in recent years has been helped
by continuity along the offensive line but it appears that may
be a concern in 2010. Starting guard Kyle Kosier, starting right
tackle Marc Colombo and swing tackle Alex Barron are all out with
injuries. Kosier will likely miss at least two games of the regular
season with a sprained MCL. That would mean at least two new opening
day starters since Doug Free has also replaced Flozell Adams at
Dez Bryant keeps saying he wants to be ready week one but the
Cowboys remain non-committal. It looks like the team wants to
be conservative and not rush the star rookie back too early. Will
Bryant be able to practice this week? Head coach Wade Phillips
said: "I wouldn't think so. They (training staff) told me
the first game.'' That’s good news for Roy Williams and
Patrick Crayton who may get a chance for added playing time early
in the season. If that happens and they play well, Bryant may
be added to the mix slower than expected.
New York Giants
It’s more or less a foregone conclusion the Giants are going
to use a committee approach at running back in 2010. It’s
worth noting that Ahmad Bradshaw got the start in their initial
preseason game although Brandon Jacobs was inserted to handle
the goal line work. Jacobs was also responsible for the botched
play that led to Eli Manning suffering a nasty gash to the head.
You don’t earn yourself any favours by blowing a play that
could have led to a serious injury to your team’s franchise
Ramses Barden was earning plenty of solid publicity in training
camp but suffered a bad drop against the Jets. Rookie free agent
Victor Cruz earned a spot on some team’s opening day roster
courtesy of six receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns,
including a highlight reel, one-handed 64-yard touchdown. With
the big three of Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham
guaranteed of roster spots, Barden unlikely to be cut, Cruz is
likely battling versatile veteran Derek Hagan and Sinorice Moss
for one or two roster spots. Perhaps this is the year the Giants
finally cut ties with the disappointing Moss, a former second-round
pick who has been a bust in New York.
WR Jeremy Maclin has been banged around this preseason but appears
to be fine. X-rays on his injured shoulder came back negative
and he was back at practice yesterday. "I'll be all right,"
said the starting wideout. The starting offense has been adequate
connecting on big plays but has struggled at times to run the
ball and has stalled in the redzone on occasion. LeSean McCoy
gained 20 yards on 6 carries, with a long of 17 yards against
the Bengals Friday night.
When the Redskins posted their initial depth chart, former Steeler
Parker was surprisingly listed as the 4th-string running back
Johnson and Ryan
Torain. However, Parker moved back ahead of Torain and it
appears that head coach Mike Shanahan is basing the depth chart
on how he plans to play players in the preseason as opposed to
how the actual final roster will shape up. Larry Johnson didn’t
do anything to help his cause in becoming the starting running
back this week. He rushed for four yards on eight carries against
the Ravens. "I feel personally it set me back a lot," Johnson
said. "I did go out there and practice hard every day and try
to see if it could translate over to today. Obviously it didn't
On the wide receiver front, former Titan Roydell Williams was
listed as a co-starter before being dropped to 4th string. Other
than Santana Moss, none of the Redskins wide receivers are a lock
to make the team. Devin Thomas and Williams had drops in the team’s
first preseason game. Malcolm Kelly has barely practised and veterans
Joey Galloway, Bobby Wade and Mike Furrey are all considered stopgap
options at the position. Unheralded players such as Terrence Austin
and Anthony Armstrong are having strong camps and appear poised
to bump more high profile players off the roster.
The Bears offense is one of the more interesting fantasy storylines
of the preseason as the team’s offensive players attempt
to absorb the voluminous playbook of new offensive coordinator
Mike Martz. With Caleb Hanie suffering a sprained AC joint in
his throwing shoulder and rookie 6th round pick Dan LeFevour struggling,
the team is on the lookout for a veteran quarterback. Former Redskin
and Chief Todd Collins fit the bill given his knowledge of the
Martz offense from his time in Kansas City where Al Saunders used
a similar playbook. However, having spent wildly this offseason,
the Bears apparently refused to offer Collins a signing bonus
and Collins remains a free agent. They then turned to Matt Gutierrez,
who represents a major downgrade from what Collins had to offer.
If Hanie is fully recovered by opening day, look for the Bears
to only carry two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.
The offensive line is going to play a big part in the Bears offensive
performance in 2010 given the nature of the team’s offense.
While most offenses allow the quarterback to audible out of a
call at the line of scrimmage, Martz’s offense requires
the offensive line to change their protections and for the quarterbacks
and wide receivers to analyze the defensive formation and change
to hot reads if required. If the games against the Chargers and
Raiders are any indication, there is much work to be done along
the offensive line. The unit struggled in both pass and run blocking
and remains a work in progress. QB Jay Cutler was sacked five
times against the Raiders Saturday night.
With Matt Forte and Chester Taylor firmly entrenched atop the
depth chart at running back, Garrett Wolfe and Kahlil Bell are
likely in a battle for one roster spot. Wolfe has been a disappointment
in Chicago, failing to deliver many big plays and often struggling
in pass protection. Bell showed some promise last year and he
has a chance to push Wolfe off the roster.
Although Devin Aromashodu is listed as a backup behind current
starters Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, wide receivers coach Darryl
Drake has a different opinion. Drake’s view is that all
three players are starters and that Aromashodu is going to have
a “huge” season. Week one will tells us whether Drake’s
words were for motivational purposes or the Bears were keeping
him under the radar during the preseason.
The Lions experimented with the wildcat offense in practice this
week and rookie first-round pick Jahvid Best was under center
for most of the snaps. Backup Kevin Smith also took some snaps
but the shifty Best is clearly better suited for the role, having
run it in college.
The Lions were hoping 2008 1st round pick Gosder Cherilus would
lock down the starting right tackle position but that hasn’t
transpired thus far in the preseason. Cherilus remains a work
in progress. Jon Jansen is competing with Cherilus and, if that
happens, this could be Cherilus’ last year in Detroit. The
light needs to come on soon.
The first team offense again looked good in action scoring on
all four possessions against Denver. Admittedly, three of those
scores were field goals but it was nice to see Matthew Stafford
manage the team successfully and Best turned in a nice performance
with 49 yards on eight carries.
Ryan Grant suffered a concussion in the Packers first preseason
game and that should be worrisome for Packers fans. Other than
quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Grant may be the team’s most
indispensable player on offense. Notwithstanding his 11-carry,
80-yd performance on Saturday, Brandon Jackson has been a complete
bust in Green Bay with his touches declining every year he has
been in the league (91, 75, 58). The Packers clearly aren't sold
on him and you shouldn’t be either. The signing of Ahman
Green last year was an indictment of Jackson’s abilities.
Coaches give talented players opportunities and Jackson hasn't
warranted touches. While they game plan to get their wide receivers,
Jermichael Finley and Grant involved, Jackson is nothing more
than an afterthought. He comes in the game to give Grant a breather
and handle the 3rd down work. If Grant is out for an extended
time, Green Bay will add to the position because Jackson is not
capable of handling every down duties. However it may not matter
if the Packers continue to throw the ball at will. Aaron Rodgers
and the passing continue to click on all cylinders. Rodgers has
gone 20-24 for 275 yards and 3 TDs in two preseason games.
The Vikings are certainly the Super Bowl Champions of preseason
news in 2010. The big news in Minnesota was clearly the return
of Brett Favre but we all knew that he would join the team once
a portion of training camp was over. We did know that, right?
Frankly, the whole situation, the reporting of it and constant
analysis of what is essentially not even news was a bit overwhelming.
Here’s what you need to know – he’s back and
it’s doubtful he will be as good as he was last year but
he will still likely be good enough to lead the Vikings to the
playoffs, although perhaps not a division title given their difficult
early season schedule. Fantasy wise, Favre is definitely worth
owning as a mid-tier to lower-tier starter.
More of the same from Sidney Rice. Rice remains out with an apparent
hip injury but the whispers are getting louder that he is exaggerating
the injury in an attempt to wiggle a long-term contract extension
out of the Vikings. Apparently one good year out of three entitles
you to that. Helping Rice’s situation is the status of fellow
wide receiver Percy Harvin. Harvin hit the deck with a migraine
but returned to practice the following day. Scary moments for
Harvin and Vikings.
From the “You know you’re desperate when” department
… with the wide receiver depth chart looking iffy, the Vikings
brought in former 49er Brandon Jones and washout Javon Walker
With Michael Jenkins out four to six weeks with a shoulder injury,
the Falcons will turn to Brian Finneran to replace him in the
team’s starting line-up. While there was scuttlebutt that
Harry Douglas would take over for Jenkins, that move would not
have been a logical one for the Falcons. The diminutive Douglas
is best suited to the slot and is recovering from an ACL injury
suffered last year. The Falcons apparently didn’t want to
overwhelm him and with the big three of Michael Turner, Roddy
White and Tony Gonzalez earning the majority of touches in the
team’s offense, having Finneran start does not hinder the
offense as much as moving Douglas around. Dynasty league owners
should take note however that Douglas is not likely a candidate
to ever have a breakout season unless he can line up outside.
The Falcons said they were going to utilize Michael Turner more
as a receiver in 2010 and that may actually be the case. Turner
has been MIA in the passing game for his entire career but actually
caught two passes in this week’s preseason game against
the Patriots. Maybe we shouldn’t be dropping him down so
much in the PPR rankings after all. Nah, scratch that.
Granted the first team offense is without Smith and running back
Jonathan Stewart but they looked horrid in their 9-3 loss to the
Jets this weekend. WR Bandon LeFell who is battling for a starting
spot with Dwayne Jarrett, was targeted four times and came up with
zero catches which prompted a tweet from rookie - "Gotta get
better startin 2day..."
Steve Smith came off the PUP list
and reported to practice this week. It is unclear if Smith will
play in the preseason, but he has a chance to be ready for the
team's season opener on September 12 against the Giants.
Hamilton out for the year with a torn ACL, the Saints signed
former Redskin Ladell
Betts. The team hoped Hamilton would provide the physical presence
that Mike Bell did last year and he had a chance to win the short
yardage work, where starter Pierre Thomas has often struggled. Betts
figures to get the same opportunity but he had a mediocre season
in Washington in 2009 and has just 13 career touchdowns in nine
seasons. The Saints like to rotate their running backs but that
plan has a greater likelihood of being abandoned with Hamilton out
of the mix and Betts likely to take his roster spot although that
shouldn’t be considered a lock.
Wide receiver Robert Meachem was taken off the PUP list and is
apparently recovered from the toe injury he suffered. He figures
to get plenty of looks in the red zone and is a candidate to bust
out at wide receiver in 2010.
Third-string QB Chase Daniel made his case to become Drew Brees’
backup with a big game against the Texans this week. Daniel finished
15-21, 182 yards, 3 TDs and a 117.5 QB rating. “What I wanted
to do was give him a lot of reps and I’ll try to do the
same with Patrick next week when Drew (Brees) comes out,”
Head Coach Sean Payton said. “At some point I wanted to
just see how he would do No. 1 with the first offense and then
how he would handle it with the second offense.”
It appears that running back Derrick
Ward is on a short lease in Tampa Bay. Signed by the team prior
to the 2009 season, Ward was expected to challenge Cadillac
Williams for the starting position at running back. He lost
that battle and was largely ineffective as a backup. He played poorly
during the team’s initial preseason game, struggling to run the
ball effectively and fumbling twice. Throw in a possible concussion
Saturday night against KC, Ward needs need to turn his preseason
around, quickly. With Earnest
Graham a capable backup, Clifton Smith expected to make the
roster as a return and and Kareen Huggins, playing well, he is in
danger of being released before opening day. His 2010 salary of
$3.25-million further complicates matters and likely necessitates
him being Williams’ top backup if he is to make the final roster.
Wide receiver Michael
Clayton is another player in jeopardy of not making the final
roster. Inexplicably signed to a massive contract prior to last
season, Clayton once again struggled in 2009. He is listed on
the depth chart alongside rookie free agents and roster longshots.
Although his 2010 salary is guaranteed, his salaries in later
years continue to grow so the Bucs may decide to cut their ties
sooner rather than later. With Sammie
Stroughter and rookies Arrelious
Benn and Mike
Williams guaranteed roster spots and Reggie
Brown a solid candidate given the team’s willingness to give
up a draft pick to acquire him, Clayton is in a battle with Maurice
Stovall for the 5th wide receiver position.
The Bucs were impressed with the play of Josh
Freeman in their opening preseason game. Freeman led the team
on a touchdown drive, despite rainy weather, completing all four
of his passes, one for a touchdown, with a couple of runs mixed
in. Unfortunately Freeman suffered a fractured thumb Saturday
night and his Week 1 status is up in the air. It’s unlikely he
will play in either of the teams final two preseason games.