Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 11:52 pm
 

Adrian Peterson's 14-pound ball

Adrian Peterson has been training with a 14-pound football to help cure his fumbling woes. At first blush, this seems backward. Obviously, carrying a heavy ball would make a regular ball feel lighter. Wouldn’t a player be more inclined to fumble a lighter ball? Peterson’s fumbling issues were never because he lacked the strength to hold the ball.

But Solomon Wilcots wrote an explanation on NFL.com:

"Weighted balls are often used to increase muscle memory at all three pressure points — the hand that covers the point of the ball, the opposite end of the ball under the elbow, and the top of the ball against the chest — for greater ball security. It’s impossible to maintain possession of a heavy football if it’s held out and away from the body. The goal is to train the muscles to remember all three pressure points, so that eventually it’s naturally kept high and tight."


--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 11:18 pm
 

The QB Situation In Buffalo

Think OTA’s and voluntary minicamps aren’t important? You’re not a Bills quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Trent Edwards and Brian Brohm are still competing for the starting job under center (which, in Buffalo, is also a competition for “first position to get sacked”). Head coach Chan Gailey said today that the team will enter training camp with the No. 1 and No. 2 quarterbacks decided.

To cover his bases, Gailey said it would still be an “open competition” in training camp, just with a predetermined pecking order. (“Because if it happens that way, then you’ve got a leg up, Gailey said. “If you try to get everybody equal shots from the first day of camp then you probably get nobody ready, rather than getting three ready”.)

So who will it be? Let’s throw Brohm out of the equation – he’s not ready. The Bills managed just three points and 11 first downs in his lone start last season.

Both Edwards and Fitzpatrick struggle to stretch the field and maintain mechanics, especially behind a bad offensive line. While Fitzpatrick is clearly a backup, there’s a tendency to think that the 26-year-old Edwards can still develop into a quality passer. But injuries have been a problem, plus Edwards has never shown he can consistently attack a defense from the pocket.

Fitzpatrick is frantic in the pocket, but with Buffalo’s horrendous offensive line, franticness could be a plus. After all, the pressure the quarterbacks perceives will almost always be there. Fitzpatrick has iffy mechanics but the grittiness to flee a pass-rush and at least keep plays alive. Of course, Edwards, when healthy, has some escape-ability as well.

Choosing between these two quarterbacks feels a bit like being five years old and choosing between spinach and squash. Given that neither is a great fit, the Bills might as well go with the younger player (Edwards) just in case there is a miracle story waiting to be written.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 10:40 pm
 

Ravens Expected to Add a DB

The Ravens recently had defensive backs Walt Harris, Ken Lucas and Ken Hamlin in for a visit. John Harbaugh said he expects the team to sign “at least one of those guys”.

Harris, a cornerback, will be 36 in August. He tore his ACL last November. Lucas struggled mightily as Seattle’s No. 2 corner last season. He’s only 31, but age doesn’t matter when your confidence gets permanently shaken.

It’s surprising that Hamlin hasn’t drawn more interest since being cut by the Cowboys. He was a Pro Bowler just two years ago and is still in his twenties. His awareness in coverage doesn’t match his hitting ability, but that’s not to say he can’t be a decent starter (or certainly a fantastic dime back). The Ravens most need help at corner, but Hamlin is the best player in this trio.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 9:49 pm
 

LenDale White on Pot, Pete Carroll

LenDale White admits he smokes marijuana. You know, the drug that can make a person lazy and slow? White was recently cut from the Seattle Seahawks after reportedly failing a drug test. In his first interview since then, he said, “I did it, so it is my fault. I smoked marijuana; that is all I have ever done. That’s all I do, that’s it. I smoke. I don’t care about any other drugs, but it’s marijuana. … But I have changed. I am a good man. Unfortunately the stuff that I did in my recent past caught up to me in the present and it’s affecting my future.’’

White said he was not given a reson for his release. When asked about Pete Carroll, he replied, "Pete Carroll? The same Pete Carroll who ran out on ’SC? I have no comment on Pete. I better wait ’til I’m on a team one day before I say anything.’’


White doesn’t have the burst or speed to be an everydown back, but he could be of interest to a team looking for a good goal-line runner. He scored seven touchdowns in 2007 and 15 touchdowns in 2008.

Posted on: June 16, 2010 9:46 pm
 

LenDale White on Pot Use and Immediate Future

LenDale White admits he smokes marijuana. You know, the drug that can make a person lazy and slow? White was recently cut from the Seattle Seahawks after reportedly failing a drug test. In his first interview since then, he said, “I did it, so it is my fault. I smoked marijuana; that is all I have ever done. That’s all I do, that’s it. I smoke. I don’t care about any other drugs, but it’s marijuana. … But I have changed. I am a good man. Unfortunately the stuff that I did in my recent past caught up to me in the present and it’s affecting my future.’’

White doesn’t have the burst or speed to be an everydown back, but he could be of interest to a team looking for a good goal-line runner. He scored seven touchdowns in 2007 and 15 touchdowns in 2008.

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 16, 2010 9:22 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 9:39 pm
 

Crayton's time may be up in Dallas

Earlier this week, Dallas Morning News writer Todd Archer said on DCFanatic Radio that the Cowboys could keep six wide receivers on the roster, and that one of those six could be Patrick Crayton. The disgruntled veteran has asked out of town (After the draft, Crayton was told he could seek a trade; when that went nowhere, he asked for his release). Crayton can read the writing on the wall: Dez Brant, Miles Austin and Roy Williams will see a vast majority of the action in 2010.

Once a starter, Crayton – who is best equipped for the slot – could find himself as a No. 4, or perhaps even No. 5 receiver. The Cowboys always seem to give Sam Hurd a chance, and they also have an intriguing prospect in Kevin Ogletree, a second-year pro who offers the initial quickness and athletic shiftiness that Crayton lacks.

Crayton is a consummate professional who has pledged to go about his business the right way, so if he remains a Cowboy, expect he’ll keep quiet. But a receiver at the bottom of the depth chart usually plays special teams. Would Crayton be willing to do that? (And we’re not talking about just returning punts…)

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 16, 2010 7:45 pm
 

More on the Haynesworth Drama

The Washington Redskins gave Albert Haynesworth a $21 million check on April 1. (It was believed to be the single biggest check in NFL history.) Haynesworth should have said April Fools! at the time. The dishonorable defensive tackle consulted with the NFLPA before skipping the team’s mandatory minicamp. Haynesworth wanted to make sure that his bonus money was protected. Sounds like it is.

But the Redskins are reportedly searching for loopholes in Haynesworth’s contract that would allow them to go after that money. Don’t expect this story to go away anytime soon. The story’s final chapter will either be about how a really foolish organization allowed a punk player to get away with grand larceny, or it will be about…well, considering Haynesworth has already made tens of millions even without that April 1 check, the other way the final chapter could go would still involve one really foolish organization allowing a punk player to get away with grand larceny.

More interesting than the final chapter is the chapter right before it. Will we read about Haynesworth getting traded? Released? Rejoining the team after infuriating everyone in the locker room?

A trade is unlikely (Haynesworth isn’t worth sacrificing draft picks for, and teams wouldn’t want to pay his base salary). The prediction here: if the Skins can’t find a way to suspend him and go after his money (ala the Eagles and Terrell Owens), he’ll get released.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: June 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 7:19 pm
 

Six Quick Hits From Wednesday

Just days after finally signing his RFA tender, Packers defensive lineman Johnny Jolly was excused from the mandatory minicamp (June 21-23) so that he could focus on his legal issues. Jolly has a felony drug trial in Texas (he’s facing up to 20 years in prison, but not the death penalty) on July 30. That happens to be the day the Packers report to training camp.

Speaking of the Packers, turns out Tramon Williams actually accepted his tender before the deadline after all. The Packers were just waiting to receive the paperwork.

The Eagles started selling single-game tickets at 10:00 am today. They stopped selling them around 11:00 am.

Bears tight end Brandon Manumaleuna is coming back from arthroscopic knee surgery. The hope is that he’ll be ready for training camp. Manumaleuna is new to town but, having played for the Rams, already understands Mike Martz’s system.

The Broncos signed former Chiefs running back Kolby Smith today, which means you can rule out the idea of Brian Westbrook going to Denver. The 5’11”, 219-pound Smith will compete with J.J. Arrington (coming off a serious knee injury) for the No. 3 job. Smith’s problem is that he’s not a very physical presence between the tackles.

Patriots DE Ty Warren eschewed offseason workouts (and a $250,000 bonus) to go back to Texas A & M and get his degree this past offseason. Normally these stories stop being interesting after the headline, but Shalise Manza Young of Boston.com offers a fun read on Warren’s story.

Bucs WR Sammie Stroughter has been taking some reps at the outside position lately, but still, you can expect him to spend most of 2010 in the slot. That’s where Stroughter’s fluidity and quickness will be most effective. Plus, the Bucs just drafted two 6’1”, 215-pound wideouts to fill the starting spots (Arrelious Benn, second round; Mike Williams, fourth round).

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CBSSportsNFL

 
 
 
 
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