Football briefs: KGB’s knee a quiet cause for concern
The Way We Hear It: KGB’s knee a quiet cause for concern
Although we hear it’s hardly a situation that has reached the panic stage, word is the Packers are more than a little concerned about DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, whose participation in training camp was severely limited by continued soreness in his right knee following arthroscopic knee surgery in late May.
The 30-year-old Gbaja-Biamila was arguably having his best season at the pro level last season before injuring the knee in mid-November. From that point on, the Packers’ outside pass rush was never the same.
Said one longtime team insider, “KGB was never seriously hurt before that injury (he’s missed only two games since 2001), and a lot of the problem could be that he’s having a hard time mentally handling the situation.”
Whatever the case, we hear Packers coaches are keeping their fingers crossed that, as the regular season gets closer, Gbaja-Biamila will get a better grip on his situation and turn it up a notch. “They better hope that happens,” the insider said. “His outside rush is key.”
TITANS: The competition for the final spots on the Titans’ WR depth chart will be fierce, and we’re hearing one of two 2007 draft picks — Paul Williams or Chris Davis — is unlikely to survive the final cut. And the status of WR Roydell Williams, a starter last season who has fallen back in the pecking order as he returns from a broken ankle, bears watching, too.
VIKINGS: Vikings rookie C John Sullivan quietly has had a nice camp and has been working with the second-team offense at both center and guard. Matt Birk remains the starter at center, but Sullivan’s strong showing and flexibility could make the sixth-round pick a strong candidate to be on the game-day roster.
49ERS: Word is there is no doubt among Niners daily observers that Jed York, the son of owner John York, has become the team’s ownership face both internally and externally. As for the elder York, we hear he has hardly been seen around Niners headquarters.
The Fantasy Buzz
COWBOYS: Those who are interested in drafting Cowboys RB Felix Jones or who already have him probably are aware of his shifty running and flexibility. So far in training camp and the preseason, he has shown a second gear and an ability to catch the ball very effectively. Marion Barber remains the best pass-blocking back on the team by a wide margin, but Jones appears to be improving in that area, which should give the coaches more confidence in putting him out there in passing situations. And there will be plenty of times when both Barber and Jones are on the field at the same time.
LIONS: Lions QB Jon Kitna has looked very good at executing the new wrinkles of the passing game, such as more rollouts and movement around the pocket. The coaches know he can’t stand to take another season’s worth of beatings, and despite a solid commitment to run the football and achieve better balance, the Lions will throw the football downfield this season. Their two best players by a wide margin remain WRs Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, and backups Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald led the team in receptions the past two seasons.
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