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ESPN Insider Peep Show September 2


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Peep Show

By Darrell Trimble

ESPN Insider


Updated: September 2


Chicago Bears: In the wake of LG Rex Tucker's season-ending injury, the team will bring in former Lion Tony Semple and ex-Viking Corbin Lacina for tryouts. Lacina, 32, started every game for the Vikings last season but remained unsigned until three weeks into training camp. He was then signed by New England only to be cut a week later. Semple, a nine-year veteran, might have an advantage over Lacina because he also has experience as a long-snapper. But first he must prove he is fully recovered from reconstructive shoulder surgery last winter. Even if the Bears are interested in one of the players they might wait until next week to sign either since both are vested veterans and if they started the season on the roster their 2003 contracts would be guaranteed for the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: When official lineups are announced Wednesday for the season opener, LB Ryan Nece, not Dwayne Rudd, is expected to be named Tampa Bay's starter on the strong side. "Being an NFL linebacker, your No. 1 job is to produce, make plays,'' linebackers coach Joe Barry told the Tampa Tribune. "Just watch the tape. Watch the five preseason games we played. Ryan Nece had an unbelievable preseason. Not only in one game, but in all five games. He put himself in a position to be a starter and to run out with the first group.'' Nece, the son of Hall of Famer S Ronnie Lott, led the defense with 32 tackles in the preseason and also had an interception and a sack.

New York Giants: One of the big questions during training camp was who would earn the right to backup RB Tiki Barber, Ron Dayne or Dorsey Levens? The answer -- Delvin Joyce. In a surprise move, coach Jim Fassel named Joyce the second-string tailback Monday. "He told me briefly this morning," Joyce told the New York Times. "He kind of ran it by me and told me I did well in the preseason. He just told me to keep it up." Joyce led the team with 107 yards on 27 carries in the preseason, including 60 yards on 17 carries in the final preseason game last Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Green Bay Packers: In need of depth in the center of their defensive backfield, Green Bay cast their line into the waiver waters and pulled out former Seattle Seahawks reserve S Curtis Fuller. Actually, the Packers played it safe and put in waiver claims for Cincinnati's Lamont Thompson and Indianapolis' David Gibson, both former starters at the position. However, when no one else put in a claim on Fuller, they dropped their claims on the other two. "He was a young man that we earmarked as a safety candidate," coach Mike Sherman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We talked about trading for him but waited to see if he would clear through waivers. He's a good kid, works hard. He's not as big as our safeties but he has good range."


Washington Redskins: A decision was made Monday to suspend negotiations on a contract extension for the Pro Bowl CB Champ Bailey, a team official said. Eric Schaffer, the Redskins' contract negotiator and salary cap expert, told the Washington Post that he and agent Jack Reale agreed to halt talks at least until late in the season. Bailey rejected a nine-year, $55 million contract offer delivered last month. According to sources, Reale never made a formal counterproposal, and the Redskins appear prepared to use their franchise-player tag on Bailey during the offseason if the two sides can't agree on contract terms.

Buffalo Bills: Second-year DE Ryan Denney, who didn't even dress for half the games his rookie season, was named the starter on the left side Monday. The Bills traded up in the 2002 draft for a shot at Denney. Even though he had trouble adjusting to the speed of the NFL, Denney worked hard in the offseason to realize potential. Assistant GM Tom Modrak said he was pleased but not surprised by Denney's progress in one year. "We're really happy with the way he has come on."

Denver Broncos: In what is becoming a very common occurrence around the NFL, the Broncos decided to go with only two quarterbacks instead of the typical three. Though QB Danny Kanell had seemingly completed a nice comeback story by beating out QB Jarious Jackson, coach Mike Shanahan decided the team needed another cornerback more than another passer. The Broncos signed former Bears CB Roosevelt Williams Monday, and now the team's emergency quarterback is WR Rod Smith. The Broncos are the fourth team, the others being Buffalo, Washington and San Diego, to go into the season with just one extra quarterback.

Miami Dolphins: QB Brian Griese said he was told by doctors that he could miss the first six weeks of the regular season with a sprained left big toe. According to Griese the swelling on the toe has gone down considerably and that it feels a lot better. He said he's still hopeful he can return ahead of schedule. "It is just going to take time," Griese told the Miami Herald. "It all depends on how well the rehab goes."

Tennessee Titans: The team claimed LB Ray Wells off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. According to the Nashville Tennessean, the Titans released former University of Tennessee S Steven Marsh to make room for Wells, and the roster could be in store for more tweaking. Former Dolphins and Packers S Scott McGarrahan is expected to be in town today and he could be signed to restock the safety position. Without March on the roster, the Titans have just three safeties -- Lance Schulters, Tank Williams and Donnie Nickey.

Ex-Lion, ex-Viking to work out at left guard

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