Thursday August 18th, 2011

An abbreviated look at what’s going on around the NFL on Thursday, Aug. 18:

• New Chicago wide receiver Roy Williams has played just one preseason game in his Bears career, but he's already taken to lobbying QB Jay Cutler for more passes in his direction.

Mathias Kiwanuka, coming off a season-ending neck injury in 2010, is trying to get comfortable playing as a full-time linebacker for the Giants.

• Second-year tackle Steve Maneri is fighting for a backup spot along New England's offensive line, and he may have won it when the Patriots released Mark LeVoir.

David Garrard has done his best to help acclimate Blaine Gabbert to the Jacksonville system. Friday, though, Garrard has a chance to stretch his lead over the rookie in the Jaguars' starting QB race.

Justin Houston carried some red flags with him into April's draft, then showed up at Kansas City's training camp out of shape. But the Chiefs are encouraged by his progress since then.

• With Chris Johnson's holdout dragging into the second week of the preseason, Tennesee's other running backs -- Javon Ringer, Jamie Harper and Stafon Johnson -- are trying to take advantage of the extra playing time.

Bryan Mattison, son of ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, is being given a shot to earn his way onto Baltimore's roster, even after his father left for Michigan. • In case the Steelers' linebacking corps -- stacked with James Harrison, LaMaar Woodley and James Farrior -- needed to get any stronger, Lawrence Timmons could be on the verge of a leap to stardom.

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