- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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And a fine good morning to you all. Sun's out this morning, which puts us ahead of where we were yesterday, at least to start. We will have our weekly chat today at noon ET, and we have some other goodies planned along the way. To prep for it all, I present you with your links.
New York Giants
Mike Pope, the Giants' tight end coach, let it slip last week that new tight end Martellus Bennett had weighed in at 291 pounds (up about 20 from last year) and that that was the reason he'd injured his hamstring. Bennett made sure to address reporters at Monday's OTA with his shirt off so they could see he was "not fat." Says he just added a whole bunch of muscle. Okay then.
Also, I failed to note late last week that running back Andre Brown had had his four-game drug suspension lifted. Evidently, he has a prescription for Adderall, which is the banned substance for which he was busted, and had failed to do the appropriate paperwork. So Brown is good to go for the first four games of this season and back in that running back mix as the Giants search for someone to take Brandon Jacobs' carries.
Brian Rolle is not a prototypical NFL linebacker, but he remains the Eagles' projected starter on the weak side. Les Bowen checked in with Rolle to talk about what he learned in a trying first NFL season and how he's looking at things as he heads into his second.
Undrafted rookie Damaris Johnson is the little wide receiver turning heads in Eagles OTAs these days. Could he stick? Sure. If he shows more than Chad Hall does, and if he can help on special teams or as a return man, he could impress the coaches enough to make the roster. But as you can see in this Geoff Mosher story, he is really small, and he hasn't always been a paragon of good judgment. So it's no sure thing.
Rich Tandler picks sixth-round running back Alfred Morris as his "surprise player" with a chance to make the 53-man roster, citing his potential to serve as a backup fullback in addition to other roles. Rich also addresses the Aqib Talib rumors, which continue to strike me as barely worthy of acknowledgement, since there appears to be a pretty good chance the guy has to go to jail and a near 100 percent chance the commissioner will suspend him if he doesn't.
Mike Jones takes a look at the defensive line, fortified by the return of players who played on it in 2011 and by the return from injury of one who did not.
In order to emerge from what Jean-Jacques Taylor calls "the abyss of mediocrity," the Cowboys need Morris Claiborne and Tyron Smith to develop into the great players their draft slot says they should be. Based on last year, Smith appears to be on the way already.
Oh, and it appears Jason Hatcher has concluded his search for the leaders in the Cowboys' locker room. So everyone can rest easy now. Still no Ray Lewis, but I guess the guys they have will do, after all.