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NFL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001


Strong man: USF's Jones

FOXBORO -- Patriots draftee Kenyatta Jones, a tackle from the University of South Florida, made a big impression Friday in rookie orientation and minicamp, and not just because he is 6-foot-3 and weighs 312 pounds.

The most impressive part, for the coaches, came when the rookies went to the weight room to do some mandatory lifting. Jones bench-pressed 405 pounds. And he did five repetitions.

He also showed confidence that he could answer challenges that he seemingly had the talent, but perhaps not the work ethic, to become a first- or second-round draft choice.

Jones said he has not always pushed himself as hard as he could in the past, both because he never was challenged for his starting job at USF, and because the competition was not always as challenging as it might have been.

"I'm ready to come here to work and do what I have to do to fit in," said Jones, a communications major. "I'm just going to be me. I've been myself all this time and gotten this far.

His first task is to lose weight.

"They told me they want me at 305," said Jones, who played last season at 325. "I've got a little work to do."

Weinke wants to compete

CHARLOTTE -- Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke began his NFL career as Carolina's fourth-string quarterback. He hopes it won't take him too long to move up on the depth chart.

"My goal is to try to learn the offense as fast as I can," Weinke said after his first practice. "I understood I was not going to come in here and be the starter. But if I can learn the offense, I can at least compete."

Jeff Lewis, who has attempted 55 passes in five years, is slated to start. Dameyune Craig and Matt Lytle are backups.

BENGALS: Starting right guard Mike Goff agreed to a three-year contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DOLPHINS: Asked if the quarterback's job was Jay Fiedler's, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey didn't hesitate. "Yes," Gailey said. "Jay can take us to a championship if he stays healthy."

EAGLES: Running back Duce Staley (foot) was held out of practice as a precaution. ... Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter re-signed, agreeing to a one-year, $1.1-million contract. Quarterback Donovan McNabb, pressed for his reaction to receiver Charles Johnson being waived, offered a terse "No comment."

LIONS: Receiver Herman Moore, who has been asked to take a pay cut, did not attend two mini-camp sessions despite attending a team meeting the previous night.

RAIDERS: Ex-Bucs guard Frank Middleton, an unrestricted free agent, signed. He was drafted by Tampa Bay in 1997.

MOON IN CFL HALL OF FAME: Warren Moon, the most productive passer in pro football history, will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum on Sept. 21.

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