Mini-Camp Observations

Ken KellyContributor IIIMay 2, 2010

Teams enjoyed some much needed practice time and got their first real look at many of their drafted rookies as they integrated them into their offensive and defensive playbooks.  Here are some news bits from various sources across the country.

The Titans have clear confidence in backup RB Javon Ringer.  The former Michigan State product showed promise last year before injuries took control of his season. With LenDale White being gone, Ringer needs only to be beat our LeGarrette Blount and Stafon Johnson to be the backup to CJ2K.

Dez Bryant reported to Cowboys camp out of shape.  No surprise here with the combination of a year and a half away from football and a less than stellar offseason of working out.  However, he did make some spectacular plays in between his dry heaving.  Michael Irvin also gave him a tongue  lashing about wearing #88 and it’s importance.  After the lecture, Bryant caught a 75 yard TD pass in practice.

Demaryius Thomas has chosen the same number in Denver, but it holds much less significance.  He and Eric Decker were both unable to participate this weekend due to their injuries.

Speaking of the Broncos, don’t be surprised if Tim Tebow sees the field a little more than you’d expect this season.  He’s been going through agility drills and ball carrying drills this weekend.  Some special packages may be coming his way this year.

Golden Tate had a pretty good camp, most insiders say he was outplayed by another FA receiver, none other than Mike Williams.  Williams is down almost 35 pounds from last year and giving one more shot to resurrecting his career.

Limas Sweed may have ruptured his achilles tendon this morning in what is really a make or break year for him.  If it’s significant (and from all indications, it is), move Emmanuel Sanders up a notch.

Brandon Lafell had an inconsistent weekend.  On Friday, he dropped a bunch of passes, but caught most everything on Saturday and looked much more the part of a starting WR.

Speaking of Mike Williams, the other one had a great weekend, catching everything in sight.  He has first round ability and a clear path to a starting job if he can put his past behind him…then again, isn’t the past always behind you? Well, anyway, he can’t get in trouble right now.

Anthony Dixon has had some trouble missing assignments and staying upright at 49ers camp.

Dezmon Briscoe admitted the Bengals were his favorite team before the draft.  Uh oh.  Could be a bad sign, especially since Briscoe showed up 10 pounds overweight.  Marvin Lewis has praised Jermaine Gresham for his “NFL readiness.”

Some reports are surfacing that the Browns don’t see Colt McCoy as a long-term solution as their QB1, more as their QB2, and that they’ll see how next year’s draft plays out with QB as a possibility.  Personally, I don’t buy this quite yet.

The Giants are still impressed with Phillip Dillard, who could serve as the team’s MLB this season.

Darrius Heyward-Bey and Darren McFadden have both looked good this week, with Bey showing a much stronger commitment.

Joe McKnight is staying an extra week because he showed up to Jets camp extremely out of shape.  That just seems so…USC.

Looks like Byron Leftwich is in the lead over Dennis Dixon to start the season as the Steelers’ QB.

Brandon Marshall has been a constant presence at the Dolphins facailities.  No word yet on if he’s slipped on any McDonald’s bags there.

Sam Bradford looked poised and calm during Rams practice.

Andre Roberts has been inconsistent at the Cardinals minicamp.  He’s made some good plays, but has spoiled them with lots of dropped passes.

Look for Dexter McCluster to see action just about everywhere this year.  he’s been spotted returning, running and catching at Chiefs practice.

Jimmy Clausen has been receiving praise as “the most accurate” passer at Panthers camp.

Kassim Osgood really thought he had a chance to play WR in Jacksonville, but it looks like that ship is sailing quickly.

IDPers need to keep their eye on Mario Haggan of Denver.  He looks to have the inside track to an ILB spot there.