Saturday - Feb 23, 2019

Home / Uncategorized / Camping in the South

Camping in the South

This

Brew Crew Corner edition features a few more writers and heads down to the South.

Note: Players and situations may have changed since the writing of this article.

AFC NORTH

Carolina

Panthers

– Training camp starts July 28

 

Players being drafted from the Panthers:

Steve Smith

  

            Car/7

DeAngelo Williams

   Car/7

De’shaun Foster

        Car/7

Jake Delhomme

        Car/7

Carolina

Panthers

     Car/7

Dwayne Jarrett

          Car/7 (Rookie)

Drew Carter

  

            Car/7

 

Carolina

Panther

– Steve Reed

Columnist for the

Gaston Gazette

 

Ten Questions:

1.

How will Dan Morgan hold up?


Morgan has been cleared to play by some of the finest concussion specialists in the country, but everyone is proceeding with caution — except possibly Morgan himself, who will likely approach the team’s first contact drills with his normal reckless disregard for personal safety. If the Panthers have their way Morgan will start at middle linebacker. But with five known career concussions you have to wonder if a sixth and perhaps career-ending concussion isn’t far behind. Fans will be anxious, perhaps even fearful, when Morgan goes head-to-head with a running back for the first time.


2. What will happen at strong safety?

If there’s one position completely up for grabs it’s strong safety, where

Carolina‘s 2007 starter may not even be on the roster yet. Nate Salley, a fourth-round draft pick a year ago, worked with the first team during minicamp with Deke Cooper serving as his primary backup. However, if a veteran safety comes available, look for the Panthers to make a move.

3. When will Mike Rucker rejoin the team?

The 32-year-old defensive end is less than nine months removed from major surgery on his knee for a torn ACL and MCL, but there’s some talk he might be ready to go early in training camp. If that’s the case, don’t expect Rucker to do much and remain out of contact drills. (Frankly, Rucker knows the defensive system inside and out, and there’s no reason to risk further injury in practice). I suspect Rucker will be ready to start the season, but the big question if he can return to a superior level of play.

4. Is Kris Jenkins happy or ticked – and what’s his weight?

This will be a big story early in camp. Jenkins skipped all of the team’s voluntary June minicamp but his agent Tony Paige said Thursday his client will attend training camp and is in “outstanding shape.” It will be interesting to hear if Jenkins is content to remain with the Panthers or if he’s eager to be traded since the team didn’t restructure his contract.

5. Who wins the job at receiver and running back?

Two skill position spots remain up for grabs with Drew Carter and rookie Dwayne Jarrett competing for the No. 2 receiver spot opposite Steve Smith and DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams going head-to-head at running back. My guess is Carter and Foster are the opening day starters, but both could be replaced at some point during the season.


6. Can Ryne Robinson upgrade a stagnant return game?

One of the problems that didn’t get much attention last season was

Carolina‘s return game. The Panthers finished 32nd in the league in both kickoff and punt return average in 2006. The hope is Robinson, a fourth-round pick from Miami of Ohio, can nab both spots and be an immediate upgrade for the Panthers, allowing other players like Smith and Williams to focus on playing offense.

7. How will Jake Delhomme handle the pressure of David Carr?

So far, Delhomme has done well, but clearly the Panthers have a better option behind him this year in Carr. Delhomme isn’t the type to get spooked by a little competition, so I don’t think it will be a huge factor. However, it will be interesting to see how he handles some criticism because clearly there will be some people outside the organization doubting his ability and calling for Carr.

8. What is the status of head coach John Fox and general manager Marty Hurney?

There’s plenty of Internet speculation that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson might shake things up this off-season if the team doesn’t make the playoffs. It’s possible a bad season could cost both men their jobs. The speculation is that Bill Cowher, who now lives in

Raleigh, could be the next coach of the Panthers if the Panthers tank it this season.

9. Will Jeff Davidson’s offensive scheme succeed?

The Panthers brought in Davidson to jumpstart a lackluster offense that averaged fewer than 18 points per game last season. There have been changes. The Panthers will throw more to their tight ends and backs. They will run more stretch plays. They will use a zone-blocking scheme. The big question is how well the players adapt to the changes on offense.


10. Will there be any holdouts?

As of early Thursday night

Carolina‘s top three draft picks remain unsigned, but it’s hard to envision these guys not getting to camp before long. The Panthers are historically fair to work with on contract talks and Hurney has a reputation for getting deals done and avoiding the distraction of a holdout.

 

 

 

 

Atlanta

Falcons

– Training camp starts July 26

 

Players being drafted from the Falcons:

Jerious

Norwood

       Atl/8

Warrick Dunn

             Atl/8

Alge Crumpler

           Atl/8

Joe Horn

                    Atl/8 (New Team)

Michael Jenkins

        Atl/8

Atlanta

Falcons

         Atl/8

Michael Vick*

            Atl/8 (His value depends on the outcome of his case, someone may still draft him)

 

Atlanta

Falcons

 

The Falcons offseason has been under the microscope more than any other team. The Vick saga will play out through training camp and maybe throughout the year. Still it may seem that Vick will never play with the Falcons again if he avoids conviction and returns to football. The

Brian Brohm watch has officially begun. Joey Harrington will take over the starting job unless they bring in a veteran to compete. The Falcons indicated they did not want Daunte Culpepper who later signed with Oakland but have also mentioned Mark Brunell. Still passing wise Harrington had the same stats as Vick but without the running ability to keep defenses off balance, the team will struggle offensively.

 

Jerious

Norwood was a bright spot for this offense last year and looks to improve. He will have every opportunity to prove himself again in camp as Dunn recovers from surgery. He fits the offense scheme well and should produce nicely. The addition of FB Ovie Mughelli should provide good blocking. The team also has Jamal Robertson who spent time in

San Francisco and

Carolina. If the Falcons don’t add another vet such as Cory Dillon,

Norwood will get the bulk of the carries.

 

Some of the blame for the offensive let down the last few years has been on the receiving corp. With let downs such as Peerless Price and Ashley Lelie, the team signed Joe Horn. Horn is not the elite receive he was in the past due to age and injuries but he is still solid.

 

Roddy White and Michael Jenkins

will be competing to start opposite Horn. The receivers have played with Vick who is a left handed QB and also has a tendency to run often. Petrino will implement a new style of offense and it should help the receivers. The health of Alge Crumpler will help Harrington when plays break down.

 

Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will look to blitz more. The team lost defensive end Patrick Kerney but added Jamaal Anderson in the 1st round of the draft and will use him opposite John Abraham. The secondary should be solid but Lawyer Milloy is entering his 12th season.

 

 

 

Tampa

Bay Buccaneers

– Training camp starts July 27

 

Players being drafted from the Buccaneers:

Cadillac Williams

     

            TB/10

Joey Galloway

          

            TB/10

Jeff Garcia

    

           

            TB/10 (New Team)

Michael Clayton

        

            TB/10

Michael Pittman

       

            TB/10

Tampa

Bay

Buccaneers

      TB/10

Jerramy Stevens

      

            TB/10 (New Team)

Alex Smith

     

           

            TB/10

 

Tampa

Bay

Buccaneers

 

The Bucs tough season started with the injury to Chris Simms against the Panthers. After winning the division the year before the Bucs took a step back and struggled all season. Simms is back but has not regained his mechanics. The team signed veteran Jeff Garcia and Gruden likes to roll with the older QBs. Bruce Gradkowsi is 3rd on the team and they keep some hope alive that Jake Plummer will not retire.

 

Cadillac

Williams had a poor year which was due to a bad offensive line and nagging injuries. Some improvements have been made such as the addition of Luke

Petitgout at left tackle and rookie Aaron Sears. The Bucs have a lot of faith that Williams will rebound because they have not added anyone significant to the roster. They still have Michael Pittman and Mike Alstott backing him up.

 

Joey Galloway is a consistent target and will be the security blanket for which ever QB starts. The question that remains is if Michael Clayton can produce like he did in 2004. Many feel that Maurice Stovall will challenge him for the starting roll. The 4th receiver will be Ike Hilliard.

 

The

Tampa defense was a key factor in helping them win Super Bowl XXXVII. A defensive unit that was once the top ranked defense and had teams copying the

Tampa 2 scheme, has struggled due to age and injuries. The team released Simeon Rice. Many expect this unit to rebound and play better which will be needed to make up for the offense.

 

 

 

 

New

Orleans Saints

– Training camp starts July 26

 

Players being drafted from the Saints:

Reggie Bush

 

           

            NO/4

Drew Brees

  

           

            NO/4

Deuce McAllister

      

            NO/4

Marques Colston

      

            NO/4

Devery Henderson

   

            NO/4

Robert Meachem

     

            NO/4 (Rookie)

Eric Johnson

 

           

            NO/4 (New Team)

Olindo Mare

  

           

            NO/4 (New Team)

New Orleans

Saints

 

            NO/4

Antonio Pittman

        

            NO/4 (Rookie)

 

New Orleans

Saints

 

The Saints were the talk of the season last year as they lucked into getting Reggie Bush in the draft and then surprised everyone by making it to the NFC Championship game. One of the keys to that run was the acquisition of Drew Brees, who might have signed with

Miami. Brees was one of the top QBs in the league and looks to continue that this year. He has been banged up recently so his durability will be in question. He’s presence and assistance to the

New Orleans area has help that city recover from Katrina.

 

Reggie Bush was another contributor to the rebuilding of the Saints and the City. Bush fell into the Saints lap and provided the 1-2 punch with teammate Deuce McAllister. McAllister is now two years removed from knee surgery and looks to return with Bush to provide the 1-2 combo that was effective for the Saints last year. The team selected Antonio Pittman who many believe will replace Deuce after this year.

 

Joe Horn is now in

Atlanta and the WR1 position belongs to last years rookie break out Marques Colston. The starting position opposite Colston will be between Devery Henderson, 1st round pick Robert Meachem, rookie Jamal Jones, David Patten and Terrance Copper. As well as the offense played last year, the starters stand to catch a lot of passes.

 

The Saints defense is an up and coming unit that played well last year and is improving. Bush played special teams last year but the team may elect to have someone else return kicks to prevent an injury.

 

 

 

AFC SOUTH

 

Houston

Texans

– Training camp starts July 27

 

Players being drafted from the Texans:

Andre Johnson

          Hou/10

Ahman Green

            Hou/10 (New Team)

Matt Schaub

 

            Hou/10 (New Team)

Ron Dayne

    

            Hou/10

Owen Daniels

            Hou/10

 

Houston

Texans-

by Megan Manfull

Columnist for the

Houston Chronicle

 

The Texans have a number of issues heading into training camp, including finding out who their left tackle will be. The Texans are still unsure if Charles Spencer will return to the job he started at until the was injured in Week 2 of his rookie season last year. The Texans are hopeful that he can overcome the career-threatening injury but are prepared to start veteran Ephraim Salaam in Spencer’s place. Spencer hasn’t stepped on the field since he was hurt, but he will be thrown into practice to see how his knee reacts once camp opens.

 

The Texans also must find out how well Matt Schaub grasps the offense. After an offseason of studying, Schaub must try to translate everything he’s learned in the classroom onto the field. The Texans have had to alter their offense to accommodate him. Schaub is slightly less mobile than David Carr was, meaning there will be less rolling out to the left and right. Schaub has more composure in the pocket, however, so he should be able to make plays down field that Carr struggled with.

 

The Texans must find out who their No. 2 receiver is going to be. The job is Kevin Walter’s to lose, but his inexperience has those behind him clamoring to take over the job. Walter is a solid player who simply hasn’t had opportunities in the past. The Texans are hopeful that pressure could be taken off Walter if tight end Owen Daniels can stay healthy. He had a strong start to last season as a rookie before injuries slowed him. It wouldn’t be surprising if he would wind up with the second-most receptions on the team this season. However, he does appear to be injury prone at times. Walter has good speed, a good understanding of the offense and is hungry to prove he can be a go-to guy.

 

 

 

Tennessee

Titans

– Training camp starts July 28

Players being drafted from the Titans:

Vince Young

 

            Ten/4

Chris Brown

  

            Ten/4

LenDale White

          Ten/4

Chris Henry

   

            Ten/4 (Rookie)

Brandon Jones

          Ten/4

Ben Troupe

   

            Ten/4

 

Tennessee

Titans

by

Paul Kuharsky Columnist for the Tennessean.com

 

The Titans have all sorts of questions heading into camp. While the big finish last season — 8-8 after an 0-5 start — provided a lot of reasons to be encouraged,

Tennessee lost more in the offseason than it brought in. Gone are top running back Travis Henry, top wide receivers Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade, top cornerback/ return man Pacman Jones (suspended). Anything they get from receiver David Givens (knee) this season will have to be considered a bonus.

 

Their strategy at four positions of major concern – receiver, running back, cornerback and defensive end – is to give themselves a lot of options and hope someone emerges in training camp.

 

Receiver – Brandon Jones went into the offseason as most likely to emerge as the top guy and came out of minicamps with Roydell Williams, Courtney Roby and Justin Gage all challenging him. There is a ton to sort out and also in the mix are second-year man Jonathan Orr and three draft picks – Paul Williams, Chris Davis and Joel Filani. Way too early to project starters and roles.

 

Running back – They kissed and made up with Chris Brown when neither side could find a better deal. Ideally, LenDale White will seize the bulk of the work, but he’s got to prove he can be consistently productive at practice and stay healthy. This year’s second round pick can be an explosive changeup. Brown could have limited work if those two pan out. If they don’t, it could be 2004 again for him. Whoever carries will be working behind an offensive line that is the Titans’ strength.

 

Defensive end – Some combination of Travis LaBoy, Antwan Odom, Jacob Ford and Tony Brown needs to eat up a lot of snaps and alleviate pressure on Kyle Vanden Bosch to a) play all the time and b) fight double teams all the time.

 

Cornerback – Another spot where they have a lot of options, but none better than the missing ingredient – Pacman had turned into quite a cover corner. Nick Harper and Reynaldo Hill are both better in zone than man, which could influence how the Titans play. Kelly Herndon is a physical nickel type, where Cortland Finnegan is more a finesse guy in the job. And who knows if Michael Griffin will be a corner or a safety come opening day?

 

 

 

Jacksonville

Jaguars

– Training camp starts July 28

 

Players being drafted from the Jaguars:

Maurice Jones-Drew

            Jac/4

Fred Taylor

   

           

            Jac/4

Matt Jones

    

           

            Jac/4

Jacksonville

Jaguars

            Jac/4

Reggie Williams

       

            Jac/4

Byron Leftwich

          

            Jac/4

Josh Scobee

           

            Jac/4

Ernest Wilford

           

            Jac/4

Marcedes Lewis

      

            Jac/4

 

 

Jacksonville

Jaguars-

 

Byron Leftwich enters camp as the starter. Leftwich has the support of his teammates but I’m not sure if he has the support of Jack Del Rio. Injuries have plagued his career but many feel he can still be an elite QB. David Garrard and Quinn Gray are capable back ups.

 

Will Jones-Drew be the starter or is this still Fred Taylor’s team? Both produced well last year with Jones-Drew being one of the biggest  rookie surprises. This will be one of the training camp battles many will be watching. Taylor who had trouble staying healthy, played all year and seam to play better after splitting time with Jones-Drew. Greg Jones is coming back from his ACL injury and he could factor in goal line touches or the team can have him resume his FB duties. LaBrandon Toefield and Derrick Wimbush are also competing for a spot.

 

As the training camp starts, Matt Jones and Reggie Williams are in Del Rios dog house.

Del Rio has stated that they may not make the team. I think it is just a way to light a fire under them to perform. The WR position has been the most inconsistent of the offense and they must step up and play well if they want to challenge the Colts for the division. They signed Veteran Dennis Northcutt from Cleveland, who is on the decline but will help this team. Ernest Wilford has not had a break out as many expected and Mike Walker was drafted in the 3rd and has received praises. The TE position is undecided among George

Wrighster, Marcedes

Lewis and Jermaine Wiggins.

 

The Jaguars are good defensively and if the offense can be consistent it will keep the defense from wearing down by the end of the game. The team has a huge defensive line that makes it difficult for teams to run on them. They let Donovin Darius and Deon Grant go which were leaders in the locker room and on the field. The secondary will be a concern going into the season.

 

 

Indianapolis

Colts

– Training camp starts July 30

 

Players being drafted from the Colts:

Joseph Addai

            Ind/6

Peyton Manning

        Ind/6

Marvin Harrison

         Ind/6

Reggie Wayne

          Ind/6

Adam Vinatieri

          Ind/6

Dallas

Clark

               Ind/6

Anthony Gonzalez

     Ind/6 (Rookie)

DeDe Dorsey

            Ind/6 (Rookie)

Indianapolis

Colts

     Ind/6

 

Indianapolis

Colts

 

Payton Manning and Tony Dungy finally took that step everyone knew they could make by winning the Super Bowl. Manning returns and will look to repeat this year. He has all of his weapons still in place and will be one of the top QBs in the league.

 

Dominic Rhodes performed well last year and during the Super Bowl as Joseph Addai was not 100%. Rhodes has moved on to

Oakland leaving the starting job to Addai. Addai showed last year that he can be an elite RB and fits the Colts system. He needs to prove he can handle the full load as he got banged up last year. Backing up Addai will be DeDe Dorsey and Kenton Keith and we’ll see if they add anyone during the pre-season.

 

The duo of Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison are the best in the league hands down. Teams can not afford to double team one because the other will make you pay. You should know by now what to expect production wise from these two and they will produce again in 2007. The team drafted Anthony Gonzales in the 1st round and he will take over where Brandon Stokley played if he can beat out Aaron Moorehead for the job.

 

The Colts defense has lost a few players through free agency. They must address the run defense problem they had last year to prevent teams from running all day on them. The secondary has been completely changed and must play well for the Colts to be successful.

Can you feel the excitment of the new season? Stay tuned for the last segment of the Camp tour as we set in the West. 

About Fantasy Sharks

FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.