Throughout training camp we’re going to hear a lot of good things about players. Should we believe them? No, but we can at least listen and decide if we WANT to believe them! Of course we want to believe that the 7th string receiver for our favorite team would be the #1 receiver for our most hated team. And we want to believe that the old and often injured star is in the best condition of his life and looks like he just walked out of a Greek tapestry. And we want to believe when the coach says the injury is minor, it’s not a decapitation. And we want to believe the three backup lineman, who will probably end up starting, look like Sumo wrestlers with feet like Michael Flatley.
The good thing about camp is that there are many position battles to watch and the news out of training camp will start pointing us in the direction those battles are headed. So, we’ll go from practice to practice with beat reporters telling us, this guy looked awesome and this guy is Jamal Lewis-slow and this guy picked his nose and this guy peed in the hot tub and so on and so forth, and we’ll hang on their every word, article, blog post, and tweet because we want football now!
Roddy White: He was a no-show at Flowery Branch. He got lost on his way down the Atlanta Highway or maybe decided to go on a love getaway: I couldn’t say. But he will be fined 17 grand a day while he holds out. This doesn’t look like it will turn into much. Of course you want your fantasy players in camp to get timing down, but White isn’t a rookie anymore and he should get into camp with a little time to spare.
Braylon Edwards: He has yet to practice due to an undisclosed injury. Browns fans better hope he doesn’t have a Kellen Winslow-like staph infection in his undisclosed testicles.
Alex Smith: The 2005 #1 overall pick and bust in waiting was booed at camp and his coach was thrilled! Coach Singletary believes it’s good for him to be booed because he seems to think he’ll be booed a lot if he ever plays again.
Tarvaris Jackson: He has a low grade sprain in his MCL. Bernard Berrian tweeted that T-Jack was out for the year and then tweeted yet again to say, psyche!, “Ok folks jokes over. T-Jack is fine. But, lesson learned here. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING U SEE IN THE MEDIA!! Yes, twitter is media!!” I think this just means, don’t believe Bernard Berrian and that we won’t see him doing standup anytime soon.
Chris “Beanie” Wells: He has shed 20 pounds since draft day and just signed a 9 million, 5 year deal. Of course many were down on him for his health and on his first day of practice he gets carted off the field! The details are sketchy right now, but I’m not done with him because of one practice injury.
Tim Hightower set records for his anemic yards per carry, and for a team with Fitz, Boldin and Breaston spreading the defense, that has got to be difficult. Wells couldn’t do any worse. As long as he can stay on the field and keep Kurt Warner out of Phoenix Memorial, he should see most of the carries.
Bryant Johnson: It was just revealed that Johnson will be out a couple weeks after he received cuts and abrasions all over his body due to a severe golf cart accident involving himself, a gated community and a severely shredded powder blue polo shirt.
Ryan Torain: While No Show Moreno naps, Torain is looking strong in practice. Torain is way down on the depth chart, but while Moreno is out it’s anybody’s job to take and if Moreno holds out too long he could be sitting during game days.
Derrick Mason: He pulled into camp in a Lamborghini and said he wanted to play. I’m guessing he doesn’t need the cash, but the Ravens sure need him. Look for another 1,000 yard 5+ TD season.
Reggie Brown: The perennial sleeper is already looking lost at camp according to SI’s Ross Tucker. Since Andy Reid has McNabb spread the ball to about everyone, including waterboys and wives, whoever wins the second receiver position for the Eagles won’t be a huge fantasy stud, but if he can stay on the field he’ll get enough looks to make him worth a bench spot.
Peyton Manning: With Dungy gone and Caldwell in, it looks as if Manning will have full control over the Indy car. Due to some pension logistics Tom Moore (offensive coordinator) and Howard Mudd (offensive line coach) looked like they were on the way out, but Manning didn’t care for that and now Moore and Mudd are coming back as the Senior Offensive Coordinator and Senior Offensive Line Coach. This has to be good news. Manning gets what he wants and Manning throws touchdowns.
Chris Henry: An avalanche of good reports (no, not police reports) coming out of Bengals’ camp about the often detained Henry. All stories say he’s completely changed. This is exactly the kind of schlock you’re going to get from camp, but I guess it’s better than him being carted away in the paddy wagon or being flung out of a cart.
Michael Vick: The Twitter rumor mill was churning out Vick to New England in 140 characters or less, but still no official anything from Belichick. Which seems odd because I’ve never known him to be anything less than forthcoming. The Patriots have had luck with players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, but Vick could still easily be in the UFL this year.