Around the League With Brett Favre, Michael Turner, and More

William Del PilarContributor IJuly 10, 2009

I've come to enjoy Twitter, and obviously those that know me know that I'm a big Facebook fan as well. Social networking, to me, is one of the easiest ways to stay on top of what's happening with sports faster than the mainstream news can provide.

It shouldn't be surprising if I reference these networks in my blogs from this point forward—at least until it wears off and the next greatest thing since sliced bread comes around.


Vikings | Trainer visits with Favre a second time

Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing the Star Tribune's Sid Hartman, reports Minnesota Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman traveled to Mississippi Wednesday, July 8, to check on QB Brett Favre (shoulder) and his surgically repaired right arm. It was Sugarman's second visit with Favre, as the two met about two weeks ago to go over some stretching exercises to help Favre in his recovery.

Two Vikings sources said Favre is now seven weeks removed from surgery and it was a complete success, which provides more evidence his signing with Minnesota may be imminent.

My Take: Let it end and just sign the man.

Seriously, with Favre healthy, as a fantasy prospect, he deserves a hard look. On average he's the 25th quarterback being taken in most leagues, 185th overall, the 16th round in a 12-team league.

I don't have to say it as we know that's great value.

His numbers from the first 12 weeks of the last season show he can still get the job done: 68.7 percent completion rate, 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Expect him to move up, but if he's there, I would select him as a No. 3 quarterback at that point.

I think his days as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback are over, but never say never. Don't be foolish and take him as your No. 1! For you Favre fans, I saw a tweet from @chestees showing a cute Favre T-shirt; check it out at Chestees.


Browns | Quinn appears favorite entering camp

James Walker of reports Cleveland Browns QB Brady Quinn holds a slight lead over QB Derek Anderson (calf) in the competition for the team's starting quarterback job.

Quinn had a decent, albeit not spectacular, minicamp, while Anderson struggled most of the way through before missing the final two practices with a calf injury. The coaching staff, however, will not make any premature decisions. They will wait until both quarterbacks perform in preseason games, so it is still very much an open competition.

My Take: I fully expect Quinn to win this battle. As I've said before, the team invested a first-round pick in him, the fans are screaming for him, and it's a new regime with no ties to any player.

We should also begin to look at Anderson as a nice story and player who may have had a career year, playing beyond expectations, two years ago. There is a reason he was a sixth-round draft pick. His career role may be one of a quality backup.

Today, in this economy, that's not a bad gig. Look, it got Quinn an endorsement as noted by @Duzz14:

  • "Brady Quinn gets huge endorsement from Staples, due to exceptional skills he demonstrated on the field at holding a clip board."


I'm kidding with that, but seriously, only consider Quinn as your backup QB entering the season. On average he's the 29th quarterback being drafted, going 207th overall, which is the 18th round in a 12-team league. You can take him as your No. 3 to be truthful.


Falcons | Turner preparing for lots of carries

J. Michael Moore of reports Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner, who had 376 carries last season, said he is preparing for another heavy workload this season.

"Treat every week like it's Week 1," Turner said when asked about taking care of his body and getting ready for so many carries. "Don't take anything for granted. Make sure your body is right and fresh every week. If you don't do it at the beginning of the season then you're going to feel the effects later on the year."

My Take: I was tweeting with @GBGinny, and we were discussing the belief that some have about Turner being overworked last year and that he's due for a down year because of his age and wear and tear over the years.

That could be true, but I'm not buying it.

I have firsthand experience in the military with cases in which it's age versus miles on your wheels, and age is not a factor as much as tread left. Don't believe me? History has shown this to be true in the NFL as well.

Prior to last year, Turner had averaged 57 carries his first four seasons in the league. At 27, his legs are as fresh as any other player's, including those of Matt Forte, who is being selected ahead of him.

I'm sure you've figured out: I don't buy that take. I agree with my good friends Dan and Kelly Grogan of Athlon Sports in one respect. @AthlonFantasyFB:

  • "We're in Rapid Draft's mock. Took Forte at No. 3 (PPR league), but can't believe Michael Turner lasted until late in the first round!"

I'm not a Forte fan and wouldn't take him that high, but I agree with their take on Turner lasting so long.


Broncos | McDaniels has high hopes for Moreno

Bill Williamson of reports Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels envisions RB Knowshon Moreno as a three-down back.

My Take: The New England Patriots have a history of having a running back by committee, and I see the load being shared in Denver as well with McDaniels running the show. Let's not forget, he was the Patriots' offensive coordinator, unofficially in 2005, and officially from 2006 to 2008. The team never really had a true No. 1 for various reasons. However, it wasn't because they didn't want one.

No one was able to step up as an every-down back for a full season! Moreno could be the running back who sees the majority of the touches. There's a difference in being an every-down back versus seeing most of the carries. Let's be honest, the team did not draft him 12th overall to share most touches. Let's see this play out, but this team will run - and run a lot.

Take a look at the Patriots' team rushing totals during McDaniels' run:

  • 2005: 439 attempts for 1,512 yards (27 carries per game)
  • 2006: 499 attempts for 1,969 yards (31 carries per game)
  • 2007: 451 attempts for 1,849 yards (28 carries per game)
  • 2008: 513 attempts for 2,278 yards (32 carries per game)

This team is going to run, that's for sure! For @JBobrick44, who stated:

Looking at the numbers, there's a good chance you didn't. On average, Moreno is the 24th running back being taken, 51st overall, which is the fifth round in a 12-team league.

I think that may be too early for me, but it depends on who's there and who has been taken.


Broncos | Royal the next Welker?

Bill Williamson of reports Denver Broncos WR Eddie Royal could have a similar effect in head coach Josh McDaniels' system this season as New England Patriots WR Wes Welker did while McDaniels served as offensive coordinator with the Patriots.

My Take: Right now we have to take a wait-and-see approach because it's not Tom Brady slinging the rock. You also have No. 1 wideout Brandon Marshall demanding a trade or causing off-the-field problems.

Marshall needs to quiet down, play football, and stop being so arrogant and dumb off the field. Focus on the team and do your job, and not only will you benefit with a big contract, but Royal and Kyle Orton will also benefit from your play.

Theoretically this sounds good for Royal, don't assume Wes Welker numbers. On average Royal is the 22nd wide receiver being taken and 58th player overall. That's way too early for me considering all the questions surrounding the Broncos' passing game.

From quarterback to wide receiver issues, I wouldn't risk that high a pick for him.


Falcons | Will use Gonzalez as a blocking tight end

J. Michael Moore, of, reports Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez will catch his share of passes in the Falcons offense this season. However, with the offense built around RB Michael Turner, Gonzalez will be relied upon to be a productive blocking tight end.

"Tony will help our offense in a number of ways," offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey said. "One thing he's going to do is that he's a productive blocker and that's important in our offense ... As successful as he's been as a receiver, he's a good blocker too and he really doesn't get the credit that he should."

My Take: Come on people, what is so different from what happened in Kansas City? We've heard that for years. Then again, there is a difference as he had 73 receptions in 2006 and 78 in 2005, both big years for running back Larry Johnson.

When the running game came crashing back down to earth the last two years, his numbers rose: 96 receptions in 2008 and 99 in 2007.

This one falls under "Things that make you go hmmm..." Either way, he's on a new team with a strong rushing attack that wants to remain a run-first offense, so I think twice on Gonzo. Not knocking him, as he's quality, but this makes a big difference. Gonzo is the third tight end being taken, with an overall ADP of 57, the fifth round in a 12-team league.

For me that's too early, especially with Kellin Winslow out there.

Jason Witten and Antonio Gates are being taken ahead of him. That's how it should be. The truth is that I'm a closet Winslow fan because, when healthy, he's just a beast. If only Winslow could shut his trap, stay healthy and stop being a prima donna, he could eventually be the league's best tight end!

I would let Gonzo slide and come back two rounds later and grab Winslow. It's a risk, but this year, I'd probably do that. I'll take a risk like that in the middle rounds versus the early rounds. It's getting exciting.

We're getting closer, and don't forget, if you're looking for breaking news updates that get to you faster than e-mail, follow me on Twitter at


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