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The Way We Hear It..


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The Way We Hear It..


May 21, 2008

Rice: Ravens' minicamp fight not a big deal

Don’t read too much into the Ravens’ team-wide brawl at a May 10 minicamp practice, rookie RB Ray Rice recently told PFW while in Los Angeles for the NFL Players Rookie Premiere weekend. “What you saw in camp last week was something it really wasn’t,” said Rice “Everybody was in the locker room (afterward), shaking hands.” The fight began when rookie OT Oniel Cousins and veteran DL Amon Gordon reportedly threw punches at each other. Rice, who is likely to be the primary backup to starter Willis McGahee in his first NFL season, gets the sense the Ravens will be playing with an edge this season.“We’re going to be an aggressive team,” Rice said. “As a team, whoever plays against us is going to feel that. We’re going to play the game hard and fast.”

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May 21, 2008

Thurman's release again puts LB depth in spotlight

Less than a month after he was reinstated by the NFL, LB Odell Thurman was released by the Bengals on Monday. The way we hear it, Thurman's attendance at the Bengals' offseason workouts was not as frequent as the team would have hoped, and that likely played a role in the club's decision. “The NFL provided Odell the opportunity to earn his way back onto our team, but we have not seen the right steps taken by him,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said Monday. “With our offseason work in progress and new talent added at our linebacker position, we’ve determined it’s best to keep moving in a direction that does not include Odell.” With Thurman out of the picture, the Bengals' LB depth takes a hit. Rookie Keith Rivers is the likely starter on the weak side, with veteran Dhani Jones the favorite to start in the middle and Ahmad Brooks and Rashad Jeanty the top options on the strong side. But the Bengals do not have many proven options at linebacker beyond those players. Were Thurman to have made a successful return in Cincinnati, such depth worries would have been less of an issue.

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May 16, 2008

With McGinest to retire after season, Browns need long-term OLB solution

LOLB Willie McGinest’s decision to retire after the 2008 season puts all the more pressure on the Browns to find a long-term solution at the position. ROLB Kamerion Wimbley, a 2006 first-round pick, is entrenched at his current position and could be a star in the making, but the Browns need someone to step up on the other side. The McGinest-Antwan Peek pairing at left outside linebacker has been solid, but it would not be a surprise if the Browns looked to upgrade the talent at the position next offseason. For now, the Browns will count on McGinest and Peek to do the job. McGinest isn’t the pass-rush threat he was earlier in the career, but the 36-year-old is a valuable resource for young team dealing with higher expectations than ever, head coach Romeo Crennel said this week. “I think the fact that’s he’s experienced some of the things that we will have to experience this year — short weeks, Sunday, Monday and Thursday night (games) — he’s been through all of that,” Crennel said. “I think he’ll be able to help the guys on the team get through that because you have to adjust your schedule. It throws you off a bit. If you can adapt to it, you have a better chance to handle it. His experience will be helpful there.”

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May 21, 2008

Sweed learning a new set of routes

WR Limas Sweed, like every other rookie, is learning a new playbook. But Sweed, a second-round pick from Texas, isn’t just getting used to learning the Steelers’ terminology or mastering his responsibilities at split end, the position he’ll play in Pittsburgh. Sweed is also running routes he didn’t run in college. So while Sweed understands the value of studying the playbook, he knows plenty of on-field repetition is what he’ll need to get up to speed. “You can read stuff and do it all day, but you’ve got to go out there and actually run the routes,” Sweed told PFW last weekend at the NFL Players Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles. “Some of these routes I’ve never ran in my life — post-curl corner, post-curl comeback, crazy stuff like that, different combinations of routes I’ve never run in my life. Even when I was back home after the minicamp, I was practicing those routes day-in and day-out.” The good news for Sweed: The Steelers’ playbook features variations of post and corner routes, his favorite patterns to run.

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