COMMENTARY | The NFL season is here, and the New York Jets open the season Sunday at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Santonio Holmes isn't certain to play in the Sept. 8 season opener for the New York Jets against former teammate Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In fact, Holmes can't say when he'll play again.
COMMENTARY | Josh Freeman has been plagued by inconsistency.
COMMENTARY | The opening game of preseason football for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not produce a successful final outcome, but several position lessons can be derived from the 44-16 loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Raymond James Stadium on Thursday, August 8. Fans should be especially pleased that regular players held Baltimore scoreless in the contest's first quarter and that the Bucs actually possessed a 13-7 lead before playing time was completely handed over to reserves.
Another day around NFL training camps, two more season-ending injuries to wide receivers. • The Philadelphia Eagles announced that wide receiver Arrelious Benn suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during a special teams drill in practice. Benn was acquired in March from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who picked Benn in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft. Benn's rookie season was ended with a torn ACL in the same left knee. Benn is the second Eagles receiver to go down for the season. Earlier in camp, they lost starting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, also to a torn ACL. Losing Maclin and Benn leave the Eagles with DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant and the Riley Cooper as the only experienced receivers on the roster. • San Diego Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander suffered a torn right ACL during Tuesday's practice. Alexander went undrafted out of Missouri in 2010 largely due to concerns about his knees, which had undergone multiple surgeries in college and a few months before the draft. In 2012, his first season with the Chargers, Alexander caught 37 passes for 658 yards and seven touchdowns and ranked 16th in Football Outsiders' receiving DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) metric. Alexander, 25, was scheduled to earn $1.323 million in non-guaranteed base salary as a restricted free agent this season. Alexander was projected to start opposite Malcom Floyd, a role that will now go to either Vincent Brown, Keenan Allen or possibly Robert Meachem, a free agent bust in 2012 whose $5 million base salary this season is fully guaranteed. • The Eagles held a joint practice with the New England Patriots on Tuesday, a practice that also featured a scuffle between Eagles cornerback Cary Williams and Patriots second-round wide receiver Aaron Dobson. Bill Belichick and Chip Kelly had lengthy discussions in the days leading up to these practices and one of the rules was if you fight, you sit, regardless of who started it. "Someone got in extracurriculars they were going to be done for the day," said Kelly. "It was one way we made sure that didn't continue. So I don't know exactly name-wise who it was for them, but he sat and our guys sat. That was one thing we agreed upon. We didn't want this to turn into a wrestling match. Both of our squads knew before it happened. If you're going to get in a skirmish, you're going to sit." • New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul will return from his June back surgery when he's ready , not when the team's front office says he should, writes Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. With Pierre-Paul nearing the end of his rookie contract, the Giants may have no choice but to treat lightly in their dealings with the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end. • On his way towards earning a starting job last summer, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson played a lot in the 2012 preseason. As the starter, Wilson likely won't play as much in this year's preseason as he did last year, but Wilson acknowledged how important staying in the game from a mental perspective is to his continued development. "You know last season, obviously I played a lot. But this preseason, I’m still going to be in on every play even if I’m not in the game," said Wilson. "I want to play a lot, but obviously coach is going to make that decision. In terms of being in the game, whether I’m on the sideline or in the game, I’m going to be paying attention and making sure that I understand what’s going on so that I can get that many more plays. If there’s 75 plays in the game I want to get every single one of the snaps, every one of them. I think that’s the focus that I have to have on a daily basis." • Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is not writing left tackle Bryan Bulaga (torn ACL) off for the season, but the team apparently has a very capable option in fourth-round pick David Bakhtiari, writes Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. • Potentially bad news for the Atlanta Falcons: Right tackle Mike Johnson was carted off the field with a very serious left leg injury, reports D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Like the Packers, the Falcons have a talented replacement in 2012 third-round pick Lamar Holmes, who did not play much as a rookie. • The Cleveland Browns announced that they have signed long-snapper Christian Yount to a four-year contract extension. Yount has appeared in 28 games over the last two seasons, including 21 games for the Browns, who signed the former undrafted free agent out of UCLA as a street agent late in the 2011 season. Yount had been scheduled to earn $555,000 in non-guaranteed base salary this season and is now signed through the 2017 season.
Saturday was somewhat of a slow day around NFL training camps. A few teams are conducting evening scrimmages, some teams had the day off, and two teams, the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys, were on their way to Canton, Ohio for Sunday night's Hall of Fame Game. • Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman will earn $8.43 million in the final year of his rookie contract. Freeman's status with the team is the biggest looming issue over the franchise, but general manager Mark Dominik told WDAE-AM 620 ( via JoeBucsFan.com ) on Saturday that it will have to wait until after the season. "I think there’s just a comfort level that everybody understands where Josh Freeman’s going. Let’s focus on this season, and then, we’ll go after the season’s over," Dominik said. It's hard to argue with the Buccaneers' approach. Freeman was outstanding in 2010, passing for 3,451 yards with 25 touchdowns and six interceptions, finishing ninth in Football Outsiders' passing DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement). However, over the last two seasons, Freeman has 39 interceptions to go along with his 43 touchdowns and is coming off a season where his completion percentage dropped by eight points. With the Buccaneers investing a third-round pick in Mike Glennon, the pressure is on Freeman in 2013. • Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is pleased that quarterback Robert Griffin had a setback-free first week of practice. "I thought he had a good week. The best part about it, there wasn’t any setback," said Shanahan. "As you have a plan going into your first week, you’re hoping you can execute that game plan. We were able to do that, and next week we have another game plan for him, and we’ll see if he’s able to go through that." • In Hall of Fame Game news, four starters on the Miami Dolphins — wide receivers Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline, defensive linemen Randy Starks and Jared Odrick — likely will not play on Sunday night, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo doesn't think he'll play on Sunday night. • New York Giants veteran David Diehl is prepared to battle first-round pick Justin Pugh for a starting job "In order to get me off the football field, you're going to have to shoot me," Diehl said on Saturday, according to Connor Orr of the Star-Ledger. "I'm not ready to hang up my cleats, I love coming here, I love playing this sport. I know what I'm capable of, I've worked extremely hard to prove it to people and I'm going to do it this year. I can sit here and say what I want to say to you guys but it's all about what I do, its all about my actions. And I'm ready to go...I've never been more ready to play football. "Challenge me, throw whatever you want at me, I could care less." • The Pittsburgh Steelers announced the signing of veteran offensive tackle D'Anthony Batiste, who takes the place of rookie guard Nik Embernate, who was "waived/injured". • In other Steelers news, they'll be breaking out their bumblebee throwbacks on Nov. 17 against the Detroit Lions. • Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com notes that Lions safety Louis Delmas did not practice for a fourth consecutive day .
TAMPA, Fla. -- After putting together the best defensive secondary that money can buy, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp Wednesday and begin practice Thursday with a team ready to compete for a playoff spot -- at least.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Josh Freeman insists he doesn't feel any added pressure to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the playoffs.
New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes is still recovering from a Lisfranc foot injury and is not expected to be ready when the team opens training camp next Friday. According to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News, Holmes has no timetable to return and the veteran receiver could miss the regular season-opener against Darrelle Revis and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I don't have a target date," Holmes said of his recovery on Saturday. "I don't want to do anything to jeopardize myself being ready for the season." Holmes had 20 receptions for 272 yards and a touchdown before suffering the season-ending injury in a Week 4 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 30, 2012. According to Walder, Holmes says he's been running on a non-weight bearing treadmill a few times per week, but has done minimal football activities during his rehabilitation. "It's just getting back into the swing of walking and running without any pains from having scar tissue build up around the injury," said Holmes. "It's really difficult to learn how to walk again. To do so much balance work, you don't realize what you have until it's gone. To lose a ligament and have separation in your joints, have screws placed in."
COMMENTARY | Less than a week from the opening of training camp on July 24, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suffered an unexpected loss of kicker Connor Barth, which sent the club scrambling for a replacement and forces a re-evaluation of offseason activities.

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