Quick Hitters - Training Camp

With veteran wide receiver Tim Brown now out of the picture, fifth-year receiver Jerry Porter not only becomes a starter but he also becomes the future at the position. In fact, had Porter not suffered a hernia before the 2003 season, Brown could have played his last down for the club in 2002. His play had really dropped off the last few seasons and the 38-year old former Notre Dame standout really only looks like a #4 or #5 WR at this point of his career.

The club is very excited about second-year pro Doug Gabriel who will serve as the #3 wide receiver. Gabriel had an outstanding off-season and he'll see plenty of playing time in multiple receiver sets.

Washington-Defense Looking Good

One thing that new defensive mastermind Gregg Williams has brought is the blitz--and more of it. Whether it's a zone or overload blitz (where you line up more players to one side), the difference between this year's defense and in year's past is like night and day.

Practice observers note that Williams is blitzing it seems over 50 percent of the time in order to create mismatches and pressure on the quarterback. This should help LaVar Arrington who is lining up at weak-side linebacker. This will free him up to make more plays all over the field, especially in the opponent's backfield.

Philadelphia-Mahe Making His Mark

Second-year running back Reno Mahe signed with the club as an unrestricted free agent. After not seeing much playing time as a rookie, he worked out hard this off-season and bulked up for a possible bigger role. With running back Correll Buckhalter (eye) unable to practice the last three days, Mahe has taken advantage of his chance and has shown improvement in running inside. In fact, during Wednesday's padded portion of practice, he scored in a goal-line drill.

Denver-Rookie Receiver Impressing

Fourth-round pick wide receiver Darrius Watts has really opened some eyes during early training camp practices. The former Marshall University product has made several acrobatic catches and hasn't been dropping passes like so many rookies. Watts is competing for the #3 job and if he continues to progress in their offense, he could very well win that spot.

San Diego-Brees The Likely Starter

Even if first-round pick, quarterback Philip Rivers signs a contract today, he'll be way behind in learning the club's offense. Missing practice time during training camp is big because it's the one chance to apply what is learned from the playbook and in team meetings, on to the field. What this means is that fourth-year pro Drew Brees will likely open up the regular season as the club's starting quarterback.
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