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Friday August 26th, 2011

An abbreviated look at what’s going on around the NFL on Friday, Aug. 26:

Mario Williams isn't the only Texans defender making the switch from defensive end to outside linebacker this season. Connor Barwin's on the move too, as he tries to make up for an injury-shortened rookie year.

• With Steve Smith no longer a member of the Giants, the team's counting on Victor Cruz to step up and take control of the slot wide receiver position.

• Marion Barber has yet to wow anyone in Chicago. That is, anyone other than Lovie Smith, who has been impressed with Barber despite the running back's early preseason struggles.

• The Jets have four wide receivers locked on the roster -- Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress, Derrick Mason and Jeremy Kerley -- but there's a battle on for the fifth spot.

• Tight end Tony Moeaki had 47 catches during his rookie season in Kansas City, but the Chiefs would like to use him more this year, especially in the red zone.

• Coming off a stint in the UFL, safety C.J. Wallace has put himself in position to make the Chargers roster.

Patriots rookie running back Shane Vereen faced an uphill battle to earn significant playing time this season. A nagging hamstring injury has made his task even more difficult and opened the door for Steven Ridley. • Austin Pettis and Greg Salas, respectively the Rams' third- and fourth-round draft picks, are running out of chances to prove they deserve to be on the depth chart.

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