Friday, April 13, 2007

Tillman re-signed, Rosenthal signed; Mini-camp news

Lots of news items to go through today. Here's a rundown of the latest:

* S Travares Tillman (pictured at left) re-signed with the team. He received a one-year contract worth $720,000. Tillman was a disappointment when starting at safety over the past two seasons. Last year, he was benched in favor of Yeremiah Bell. Tillman is being brought back to compete for a reserve safety role and as a special teams player.

* T Mike Rosenthal (pictured above), a 8-year NFL veteran who spent the last four seasons in Minnesota, signed a one-year contract worth $720,000. He only started 3 games for the Vikings last season, but has started 58 times in 89 career games. Originally a fifth-round draft choice of the New York Giants in 1999, Rosenthal has experience playing both left guard and right tackle. He is 6'7", 320 pounds and is 29 years old. I would assume this is purely a depth signing. After looking at his stats, Rosenthal has a propensity for committing penalties (14 penalties in 15 starts over the past two seasons) and for allowing sacks (6.75 sacks allowed in those 15 starts).

* FSU LB Lawrence Timmons and Michigan State QB Drew Stanton visited the team's facilities this week. Ohio State WR Ted Ginn Jr. will visit next week.


Minicamp News

* During a media session, QB Daunte Culpepper said that the timetable to return from his last surgery is 4-6 months. He is currently at the 4-month mark of that rehab, so his return is slated for June. While this revelation stands in stark contrast to Nick Saban's statement that the surgery was minor, it is no excuse to give up on Daunte. According to that timetable, he will be ready for training camps. Culpepper rode a stationary bike while Cleo Lemon took the starter's snaps at QB.

* The first-team offense was:
LT Anthony Alabi - LG Chris Liwienski - C Rex Hadnot - RG L.J. Shelton - RT Vernon Carey
QB Cleo Lemon - FB Cory Schlesinger - RB Ronnie Brown
TE David Martin - WR Chris Chambers - WR Marty Booker
I would expect before long to see Joe Toledo get an opportunity to work with the first-team offensive line. It's also nice to see the coaches sticking with Shelton and Carey on the right side and giving Alabi his shot at LT. Reports say that Cleo Lemon was not very sharp today. Obviously that's not good to hear, but let's keep it in perspective - this is the very first minicamp. WR Kelly Campbell impressed with his quickness. Hopefully his oft-injured hamstring can find a way to not continually sap his potential.

*The first-team defense was:
LE Matt Roth - DT Keith Traylor - DT Vonnie Holliday - OE Jason Taylor
SLB Joey Porter - MLB Zach Thomas - WLB Channing Crowder
CB Travis Daniels - S Yeremiah Bell - S Renaldo Hill - CB Will Allen
That's one menacing defense. It's interesting to see that Daniels got the starting nod over CB Andre Goodman, although Goodman has a shoulder injury and only worked on the side. Daniels said that he is close to being fully recovered from off-season ankle surgery and that he expects to battle Goodman for the starting job opposite Will Allen. Jason Allen worked primarily at cornerback. As I wrote in a recent article, it should be no surprise that he is not a starter yet as his versatility can still be a great asset. In practice, he saw time in the nickel packages.

* RB Ray Perkins and C Johnathan Ingram are participating on a tryout basis.

* Absent players for the first minicamps include P Donnie Jones (who recently signed an offer sheet with the Rams), DE Jason Taylor (accepting an award), and DT Dan Wilkinson. Jason Taylor arrived in time for the afternoon practices. It's unclear whether Wilkinson will return to the team, but I doubt that he will.

* MLB Zach Thomas has bulked back up to 238 pounds after losing some weight last season.

* Joe Toledo is working at left guard.

Sources: Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post

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