News From NFL Training Camps

Philly – DeSean Jackson is hurt – hamstring – and hasn’t been on the field yet. What a shock. I long ago appointed myself the president of the anti-fan club for Jackson. Don’t get me wrong – he’s a freakish talent and he did amazing things with the ball at Cal. I just don’t think that a guy that small and, apparently, that fragile, has a long future in the NFL. I can’t put my finger on what exactly turns me off so much about the guy, but if I had to make a bet on the guy it would definitely be as a flop. He’s certainly not the answer that McNabb is looking for. From what I have read about the Eagles’ camp, though, their receiving answer might already be on the roster. Jason Avant is a talented possession type receiver who is heading into his third year. He hasn’t done much statistically so far, but he has shown progress. He’s reportedly had a spectacular camp so far – he’s fit, hungry, and he’s catching absolutely everything. On top of it all, he’s a Michigan guy, so you know he’s good.

Washington – I am very intrigued from the news out of Washington. Word is that Jason Campbell has looked absolutely spectacular. His throws are tight and accurate, he knows the playbook like he wrote it, and he’s fit. It’s his fourth year, and first hand observers suggest that this is the one in which he breaks through. I want to believe it, because I like what the guy has to offer on paper, and have since his last year of college. I just can’t help but get a little nervous when a guy is being tabbed for a major breakthrough this early in camp. I’ll hope for the best, but reserve judgment until I see more.

Pittsburgh – Nothing I have heard out of Latrobe makes me think that the offensive line is going to be able to protect Ben Roethlisberger any more than they have recently. That’s a real concern. Big Ben has been sacked more than any other Steeler over a two year span. Now he doesn’t haven’t Alan Faneca, and there isn’t an impressive substitute. Ben hasn’t been entirely healthy for a while, and getting a beating again won’t help on that front. I don’t like Pittsburgh anyway, but the fact that they have done little to solve this obvious problem makes me think and hope that there will be value betting against this fairly public team.

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