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NFC Roundup

By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published July 29, 2000


BEARS: Ex-Buc kicker Michael Husted signed, becoming the third kicker in camp. Coach Dick Jauron has not ruled out bringing in more. ... The team brought 11 wide receivers to training camp, but with a rash of injuries, that wasn't too many. D'Wayne Bates and Chad Mackey were the latest to be sidelined, both getting hurt Friday, making it five wideouts shelved in as many days. "It does get disappointing," Jauron said. "It's disappointing for them and for us to have them off the field."

COWBOYS: Jorge Diaz originally was signed from the Bucs in the off-season to be a reserve offensive lineman. Now he finds himself in the starting lineup after right tackle Erik Williams refused to report to camp. He has struggled. "All of us, whether you're a starter or a backup, always have to be ready to play the game," Diaz said. "I prepare every week like I am the starter, whether I am or not. The defense makes you look bad every once in a while, but I know it'll make me better as a player." ... The search is on not only for a new kicker and a new punter but also for somebody to hold for extra points and field goals. Tight end Eric Bjornson, who handled holding duty last season, went to the Patriots as a free agent. "Coming in, I was more worried about the holder than the kicker," kickers coach Steve Hoffman said. Whichever punter stays with the team likely will be the holder.

EAGLES: First-round draft pick Corey Simon has agreed to terms on a five-year deal, the Associated Press reported. Simon, a defensive tackle from Florida State, was the No. 6 pick overall in April's draft. He will join the team today in Cleveland. Philadelphia opens its preseason against the Browns on Sunday.

FALCONS: The team is in no hurry to get Jamal Anderson back on the field. Not in an exhibition game, anyway. Anderson was the NFL's second-leading rusher in 1998, but a season-ending knee injury in September was a big part of the Falcons' tumble from 14-2 and the Super Bowl to 5-11. He has practiced, but he might not play tonight against Indianapolis. "We haven't talked about it, but I really don't think he'll play," coach Dan Reeves said. "Personally, I'd like to keep him out the first couple of (preseason) games and have him fully ready for the third game. But he's impatient, you know." Anderson, who had surgery, said the knee feels pretty good. "I'm just in a situation of working through the soreness, taking it day by day," he said. "I'm trying to keep it strong, not push it."

GIANTS: Second-year running back Joe Montgomery, who developed high blood pressure over the past few days, was given a clean bill of health after having a complete physical. Coach Jim Fassel said Montgomery will play today in the Giants' scrimmage at the University at Albany.

LIONS: One way or another -- with new players, better play or fewer injuries -- Detroit has to improve its pass defense. It had one of the weakest in the NFL last season, and the area is one coach Bobby Ross targeted when the Lions arrived at Saginaw Valley State to open training camp 10 days ago. In recent days, it has become a source of irritation because of injuries. Strong safety Ron Rice is sidelined with a shoulder injury; cornerback Kevin Abrams is missing practice with a pulled hamstring. Cornerback Terry Fair is still limited in what he can do after having knee surgery three months ago. "I don't care who you are, you've got to get the practice time in," Ross said. "Maybe these 12- or 13-year vets you can bring along a little slower, but we're still fairly young in that secondary."

PACKERS: A drug possession charge against De'Mond Parker was dismissed, with the running back having completed a court-approved drug course. Parker was arrested in the Chicago suburb of Richton Park after police said they found 7 grams of marijuana in a car in which he was sitting. Police said he was holding a partially burned hand-rolled cigarette in his hand that he dropped on the ground when police asked him to leave the car. Parker finished last season on injured reserve with a knee injury.

RAMS: Kurt Warner said he felt a bit different when he hit the practice field a day after signing a seven-year, $46.5-million contract. "I think there was a little bit of a weight taken off my back that this thing was resolved, this thing is over," he said. "I know I'm going to be here, and I'm excited about that." ... The second day of practice with Tennessee was tough on two highly touted rookies. Offensive tackle Kaulana Noa will be out about six weeks with a broken left wrist that may be dislocated, and running back Trung Canidate, the team's first-round pick, will be sidelined at least two weeks with a high ankle sprain.

REDSKINS: Cornerbacks Deion Sanders (back spasms) and Darrell Green (death of his father) did not play in a scrimmage against the Ravens.

SAINTS: New coach Jim Haslett makes his debut tonight against the Jets after spending years as a defensive assistant. He admits to wanting to win the game but not at the expense of hindering preparation for the real season, which starts Sept. 3. "I just want to make sure that things are smooth," Haslett said. "You've got to understand, we want to win the game just like the Jets want to win the game. But the bottom line is we want to evaluate players. We want to make sure that when we cut down, we pick the right 53." ... Saying his heart wasn't in it, center Justin Burroughs left camp, choosing early retirement over another three weeks of trying to make the team. Burroughs, 24, who played at North Carolina State, missed last season with a foot injury. After a successful stint in NFL Europe last spring, Burroughs had battled a neck injury over the past week.

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