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Jockeying for Positions

Aug. 14, 2006
Aug. 14, 2006

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Aug. 14, 2006

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Jockeying for Positions

Veterans pitted against rookies, incumbents battling up-and-comers: Here are 32 other sizzling training-camp competitions that will have to be settled before the season begins

AFC

This is an article from the Aug. 14, 2006 issue Original Layout

BILLS
QUARTERBACK
Kelly Holcomb (seventh year) vs. J.P. Losman (third year)
Is Losman, a 2004 first-rounder, the QB of the future? After a 2--7 record as astarter in 2005, he still has plenty to prove.

DOLPHINS
RIGHT GUARD
Bennie Anderson (sixth) vs. Seth McKinney (fifth)
Former center McKinney had the edge on the free-agent pickup, but an upper-bodyinjury has left his season in doubt.

JETS
QUARTERBACK
Chad Pennington (seventh) vs. Patrick Ramsey (fifth)
Pennington (right, 10) has the lead on newcomer Ramsey (11) after showing astrong, accurate arm in a scrimmage on Sunday.

PATRIOTS
CORNERBACK
Eric Warfield (ninth) vs. Asante Samuel (fourth)
Free-agent Warfield, a longtime Chiefs starter, vies with an incumbent in theever roiling New England secondary.

BENGALS
MIDDLE LINEBACKER
Ahmad Brooks (rookie) vs. Brian Simmons (ninth)
Supplemental draft pick Brooks has been a camp gem but still trails Simmons;Odell Thurman could compete after his suspension ends.

BROWNS
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Matt Stewart (sixth) vs. Kamerion Wimbley (rookie)
Sooner or later the starter will be Wimbley, a first-rounder whose athleticismwill upgrade a pass rush that ranked last in the NFL in '05.

RAVENS
FREE SAFETY
Gerome Sapp (fourth) vs. Dawan Landry (rookie)
Reacquired from the Colts, Sapp has bumped Landry, an '06 fifth-rounder who wasinitially named the starter.

STEELERSFREE
SAFETY
Tyrone Carter (seventh) vs. Ryan Clark (fifth)
Carter hasn't started since '03, and Clark started 13 games with the Redskinslast year. They're alternating reps with the first-team D.

COLTS
RUNNING BACK
Joseph Addai (rookie) vs. Dominic Rhodes (sixth)
Edgerrin James left big shoes to fill, and his backup, Rhodes (40 carries for118 yards in '05), has the early advantage over LSU product Addai.

JAGUARS
RECEIVER
Ernest Wilford (third) vs. Reggie Williams (third)
Williams, the ninth pick in the 2004 draft, is being pushed by the improvingWilford, a fourth-rounder that year.

TEXANS
MIDDLE LINEBACKER
Sam Cowart (ninth) vs. DeMeco Ryans (rookie)
Free-agent Cowart is back practicing after an ankle injury; how strongly herecovers will determine if the impressive Ryans moves to the outside.

TITANS
RIGHT TACKLE
Jacob Bell (third) vs. David Stewart (second)
The versatile 6'4", 306-pound Bell is getting a look in the spot opened byMichael Roos's move to the left side.

BRONCOS
FULLBACK
Kyle Johnson (fourth) vs. Cecil Sapp (fourth)
Sapp's blocking ability could push him past Johnson, last year's starter.

CHARGERS
STRONG SAFETY
Bhawoh Jue (sixth) vs. Terrence Kiel (fourth)
Clinton Hart makes this a three-way battle opposite free-agent pickup MarlonMcCree, though McCree may move to strong safety, leaving the trio to fight forthe other spot.

CHIEFS
RIGHT TACKLE
Kevin Sampson (third) vs. Jordan Black (fourth)
The retirements of John Welbourn and Willie Roaf caused a shuffling of theline, leaving Sampson, a former seventh-round pick, manning the right--fornow.

RAIDERS
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Danny Clark (seventh) vs. Sam Williams (fourth)
Ousted from the starting middle linebacker job by Kirk Morrison, Clark has tobeat out Williams for time on the outside.

NFC

COWBOYS
RIGHT TACKLE
Jason Fabini (ninth year) vs. Rob Petitti (second year)
Free-agent signee Fabini's slow recovery from a shoulder injury has made this afree-for-all, with Petitti, last year's starter, and fifth-year man MarcColombo in the mix.

EAGLES
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Dhani Jones (seventh) vs. Greg Richmond (second)
The favorite for the strongside job is Jones, who has started there for thelast two years.

GIANTS
DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Fred Robbins (seventh) vs. Jonas Seawright (rookie)
The early advantage goes to Robbins, but the vet still has to shed his rep fortaking plays off.

REDSKINS
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Warrick Holdman (eighth) vs. Rocky McIntosh (rookie)
Holdman got a jump on becoming the departed LaVar Arrington's replacement whenMcIntosh underwent minor knee surgery in June.

BEARS
RUNNING BACK
Cedric Benson (second) vs. Thomas Jones (seventh)
Coaches had elevated '05 first-rounder Benson (right, 32) over a banged-upJones (20), but Benson's out with a shoulder injury.

LIONS
FREE SAFETY
Daniel Bullocks (rookie) vs. Terrence Holt (fourth)
Coaches want the opportunistic Bullocks, a second-rounder out of Nebraska, tounseat Holt, last year's starter.

PACKERS
NO. 2 RECEIVER
Robert Ferguson (sixth) vs. Greg Jennings (rookie)
Camp sensation Jennings started the first preseason intrasquad scrimmage inplace of Ferguson, who was excused for a family matter, and sixth-year man RodGardner.

VIKINGS
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
Chad Greenway (rookie) vs. E.J. Henderson (fourth)
If Greenway, a first-rounder out of Iowa, wins the job, Henderson could easilyslide to the middle.

BUCCANEERS
TIGHT END
Anthony Becht (seventh) vs. Alex Smith (second)
Smith ranked second on the team in catches (41) last season, but he trailsBecht, the better blocker.

FALCONS
DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Chad Lavalais (third) vs. Darrell Shropshire (second)
A weight room demon in the off-season, '05 seventh-rounder Shropshire vaultedpast Lavalais and Antwan Lake.

PANTHERS
FREE SAFETY
Colin Branch (fourth) vs. Shaun Williams (ninth)
Reunited with coach John Fox, his former coordinator when they were with theGiants, Williams has the inside track.

SAINTS
TIGHT END
Ernie Conwell (11th) vs. Zach Hilton (fourth)
Conwell, who is coming off right-knee surgery, has been running with the firstteam ahead of Hilton and Mark Campbell, who started with the Bills in '05.

49ERS
RUNNING BACK
Kevan Barlow (sixth) vs. Frank Gore (second)
Though Barlow has been practicing with the starters, Gore, the team's toprusher in '05, has the north-south style coach Mike Nolan prefers.

CARDINALS
RIGHT TACKLE
Jeremy Bridges (fourth) vs. Fred Wakefield (sixth)
An already questionable line took a hit last week when Oliver Ross injured hisright knee, opening a spot for one of these two.

RAMS
TIGHT END
Dominique Byrd (rookie) vs. Joe Klopfenstein (rookie)
New coach Scott Linehan likes to throw to the tight end, making this battlebetween NFL novices even more intriguing.

SEAHAWKS
CORNERBACK
Kelly Herndon (fifth) vs. Kelly Jennings (rookie)
Coaches expect Jennings, a first-rounder from Miami, to start at left corner atsome point this season--possibly Week 1.

PHOTOJOHN IACONOPHOTOJEFF ROBERSON/AP