Lavelle Hawkins returned to the team yesterday after two days of excused absences. Hawkins had returned home after the death of a close childhood friend, and his teammates gave him a warm response when he walked onto the practice field.
Jim Wyatt asks a question that will sound familiar to the MCM faithful: Is Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson a star or just star running back? I'll take this one: he's a star. CJ is an absolute star who has been a consistent success and done everything he's been asked to do on the field, and stayed out of trouble off of it. Maybe he could be a better pass blocker, but he's also got the ability to change the complexion, momentum and score of any game on any play. You can argue about whether it's smart to pay any running back crazy big money in today's league, but the only valid arguments for that line of thinking have nothing to do with CJ's ability; they're philosophical contentions. If there was ever a running back who could justify that paycheck, it's CJ.
David Climer says Chris Johnson is running into a tough lesson during his holdout: the NFL is now firmly cemented as a quarterback’s league where he just isn't all that valuable anymore. I was a little tired of this meme, so instead I focused on Climer's logic falling short when he starts ruminating on CJ's 'struggles' last season (let’s not confuse the limitations of his coordinators with a limitation of CJ's abilities). Of course his credibility couldn't really recover from the misstatement that CJ broke the 2,000 yard barrier in San Diego... it was Seattle, Climer.
Boclair looks at the unusually experienced O-line depth the Titans are carrying right now. I really hope a few of these guys can be snuck onto the practice squad, but I'm pretty sure we're going to end up having to cut someone who could be fighting for a starting spot elsewhere in the league.
Munchak plans on getting more reps than usual out of the starters on Saturday. Depending on how many snaps each starting unit gets, the first string guys could play through halftime. Munch stated that he really wants them to go through a two-minute drill, even if it's just one side of the ball.
Javon Ringer and Barrett Ruud are looking less and less likely to play tomorrow against the Rams. Ringer is nursing a hip injury, and Ruud has a shoulder issue. So look for more Jamie Harper and Stefan Johnson, as well as Will Witherspoon and Colin McCarthy.
Ahmard Hall took an extra level of delight in having so many members of the 101st Airborne at training camp. Take a minute and read this article, or go on with your day content in being lazy and ungrateful.
Ugh. /bangs head against the wall
Here's an excellent and thorough breakdown of all of the changes made to the 2011 NFL Rule Book.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter @AugustWest_MCM