NFL Organized Team Activities: Team-by-Team Updates Pt. 1
So far, it has been a busy offseason for all 32 teams in the NFL when it comes to organized team activities. Over the next couple of days, I will conduct a four-part series looking at each of the 32 teams and examine the main stories that are making headlines.
We'll begin the 32 team analysis with the first eight teams in alphabetical order:
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons center Todd McClure stated he has no plans of retiring and looks forward to another season in one of the top-ranked rushing attacks in the NFL.
Last season, the Falcons' offensive line finished second in the league by averaging 152.7 yards per game. With the presence of McClure and the rest of the remaining starters from last season paving the way for RBs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood, the Falcons should be near the top of the league in rushing for the second-straight year.
The NFL has strict rules when it comes to rookies participating with their new teams before school is out of session. Now that class at Ohio State finished up last week, Cardinals' rookie RB Beanie Wells can finally begin attending organized team activities.
Wells has the potential to fit in a nice running back rotation with RB Tim Hightower, who will be the team's starter for now. Whether or not Wells sees the amount of time he desires will depend on how good of shape he can get himself into from here on out.
The Ravens are keeping an eye on former Northern Arizona DB K.J. Gerard, who is making a strong case to make the team as a rookie free agent. What makes this story even more interesting is this is the first time Gerard has played the safety position.
At Northern Arizona, he played cornerback and set the school record for career interceptions with 19. However, the Ravens felt he lacked the speed needed to be a successful cornerback in the NFL, so they decided to give him a shot at safety.
If he continues to impress coaches with the way he plays, the switch may end up being one of the best moves that ever happened for Gerard.
Even though he is entering his second season, Bills LB Alvin Bowen has never played a game in the NFL after tearing his ACL during training camp last season. This season, he looks to compete for a starting spot as he is making his way to a full recovery.
Coach Dick Jauron has Bowen starting OTA's with the team's third string to keep his knee from being overworked. When the season starts in September, there is a good chance Bowen will see himself as a starter, assuming he stays healthy.
Julius Peppers has made plenty of headlines this offseason trying to determine whether or not he would play for the Panthers. After all of the drama surrounding Peppers, there's still no guarantee whether or not he will show up to play for the Panthers this season.
However, there may be some potential progress, as the Associated Press reported LB Jon Beason, who is close with Peppers, expects Peppers to be ready to go once training camp starts up in August. Last season, Peppers finished with a career high 14 1/2 sacks for the Panthers.
Out of all of the teams in the NFL, no team may be dealing with more injuries right now than the Bears. LBs Brian Urlacher, who is suffering a groin injury, and Hunter Hillenmeyer, who is recovering from a sports hernia, look to get plenty of rest over the next couple of weeks to help be back in time before the start of the 2009 season.
Also, second-year RB Matt Forte is recovering from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for the last two weeks.
As long as QB Carson Palmer stays healthy, the Bengals offense has the potential to be one of the most dangerous squads in the league thanks to a strong receiving corps. All of a sudden, Palmer and Chad Ochocinco seem to have rekindled that old spark that made them one of the most dangerous quarterback-receiver duos in the NFL.
Palmer continues to establish himself more as a true leader this offseason and has been impressed with not only Ochocinco, but the play of WRs Chris Henry and Laveranues Coles have been nothing short of amazing as well.
It is no surprise NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Browns WR Donte' Stallworth this week after he recently pleaded guilty to a DUI manslaughter charge. This week, he started his 30-day jail sentence and must serve two years of house arrest once he gets out.
However, the details of the house arrest will allow Stallworth to continue playing as a wide receiver. The Browns spent two of their draft picks this year on wide receivers and signed free-agent David Patten during the offseason in case the Stallworth situation does not work out.
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