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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; New Orleans Second-year OLT Jammal Brown already had a hectic offseason ahead of him when the new coaching staff moved him from right tackle — where he started 13 games as a rookie — to the left side. But Brown’s ...

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Old 07-10-2006, 02:34 PM   #1
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The Way We See It......... (PFW)

New Orleans

Second-year OLT Jammal Brown already had a hectic offseason ahead of him when the new coaching staff moved him from right tackle — where he started 13 games as a rookie — to the left side. But Brown’s arrest late last month on a misdemeanor charge of domestic-abuse battery just made his summer even more troubling. A police spokesperson indicated that there was a physical altercation between Brown and his wife. The former first-round pick is seen as one of the cornerstones of the beleaguered franchise, and his move to left tackle — where he’ll be expected to protect QB Drew Brees’ blindside — makes his presence essential. We’re told that we shouldn’t expect Brown to get traded like several other former Saints who didn’t live up to new head coach Sean Payton’s desire for high character. As for Brown’s position switch, Brees thinks Brown has tremendous potential: “The adjustment takes some time, going to the left side. He looked good in minicamp, and in training camp he’ll get even better,� Brees told PFW. “You know how it is in this league, it’s all about that left tackle against that right defensive end. Look at the defensive ends in our division — John Abraham, Julius Peppers, Simeon Rice — there are some quality, quality pass rushers. You have to have a guy on the left side like that.�


In a division ripe with experienced placekickers, the Falcons plan to buck that trend and enter training camp with two youngsters who have yet to see action in an NFL game. Zac Derr and rookie Tony Yelk are the two kickers that assistant special-teams coach Steve Hoffman will try to mold into successful pro kickers. Hoffman, who earned a reputation for developing young and unheralded kickers during his 16 years as an assistant with the Cowboys, has his work cut out for him. Yelk was a kickoff specialist at Iowa State. Derr was invited for a tryout with the Cowboys when Hoffman was there, but he has been out of football for a few years. If these inexperienced legs fail to impress, we hear veteran PK Paul Edinger is at the top of the Falcons’ wishlist. But we’re told the team won’t make a move to sign a veteran until sometime during training camp at the earliest. PK Todd Peterson, the Falcons’ kicker last year, could be signed, but only as a last resort, because the team wasn’t impressed with his range beyond 40 yards.


Not only did the Panthers fill a gaping hole in the passing game by signing free-agent WR Keyshawn Johnson to fill the No. 2 WR role, but offensive coordinator Dan Henning, who coached Johnson for two seasons with the Jets, believes Johnson’s run blocking will help the Panthers improve significantly upon their pedestrian 3.4-yard rushing average (29th in the league) last season. “Keyshawn is arguably one of the better blocking receivers in the league,� Henning told PFW. “He’s not a knock-down, killer blocker; he just knows how to block. He knows how to get position, maintain position, use his arms, use his leverage. He’s much like Muhsin Muhammad in terms of how he can help our running game. Moose could come in and block linebackers and defensive ends and allow us to get the edge. Downfield, he had a way of getting in front — Keyshawn does also.�

Tampa Bay

When the Buccaneers couldn’t re-sign Brian Griese in the offseason, they knew they would be inexperienced at the QB spot and there would be no competition for starter Chris Simms. But late last month, the Griese decision came back to bite the Bucs when No. 2 QB Luke McCown suffered a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. While the Bucs remain optimistic that McCown might return at some point during the season, they acted quickly in the free-agent market and signed veteran Jay Fiedler to a one-year deal. Fiedler, who is recovering from surgery on his throwing shoulder in December, is still experiencing pain. He can’t throw every day, but the Bucs are confident he’ll be ready to participate in training camp. Fiedler is expected to fill McCown’s No. 2 role, while Tim Rattay will remain No. 3. We’re told Rattay was being dangled as trade bait before McCown got hurt, and the former 49ers starter could be on the market again if rookie Bruce Gradkowski, a sixth-round pick and Jon Gruden favorite, impresses in training camp like he has so far in the offseason.



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