LSU Football News and Notes for May 14 - 20, 2006

The following are excerpts from this week’s articles that didn’t really deserve a link on their own:

  • Joseph Addai
  • Real GM Football (05/20):

    The Colts, as had been widely speculated, grabbed LSU’s Joseph Addai with their first pick. After all the Polian subterfuge about not needing to go running back in the first round and some more chatter about the Colts trading up or down, it is clear they felt he was a good fit. His skill set is, by all accounts, very similar to that of Edgerrin James (i.e. a versatile back who can catch the ball and also is capable of picking up the blitz on passing downs). The party line, of course, is that he will share time with Dominic Rhodes and, to a lesser extent, James Mungro to start the season. This is likely true, but I think it’s also safe to say that the team would love him to emerge as the featured guy as early as possible.

    Indianapolis Colts (05/16):

    Addai, who said he has worked briefly with Colts quarterback Peyton Manning this week, said he is looking forward to more extensive work with the first team.

    “I’m just ready to get going and start playing with the other guys, learning from them,” Addai said.

    Addai, who initially is expected to share time with veterans Dominic Rhodes and James Mungro, said he spent much of his week away from the facility studying the offense.

    “I feel real comfortable,” Addai said. “It’s a matter of taking all the information, trying to get what they give you, then going back and studying it . . . just watching what they do, how they do the little things.”

  • Bennie Brazell
  • Cincinnati Post (05/15):

    Wide receiver Bennie Brazell was the Bengals' second seventh-round pick. He has run against Joseph in practice.

    "I never played against him, but I've played against top defensive backs, so it's nothing new for me," Brazell said. "It's been a great experience for me."

    Brazell was an Olympic hurdler.

    "If I wasn't a football guy, I wouldn't be here," he said. "It's not about track right now. It's strictly football right now. My speed is my most dangerous thing, so it's just taking my time and being patient."

    Between Kilmer, Joseph, wide receiver Reggie McNeal and Brazell, the Bengals would field a competitive 400-meter relay team. Who would win a 100-yard sprint featuring the four burners?

    "No comment," Brazell said with a smile.

  • Michael Clayton
  • Real Football 365 (05/15):

    Although Clayton struggled in 2005, his sophomore season, he may be able to return to his 80 catch, 1,193-yard form of 2004. The reason for Clayton's freefall to just 32 receptions and 372 yards last season was threefold. First, he was underutilized because rookie running back Cadillac Williams was eating up yardage and clock. Secondly, the emergence of Joey Galloway as one of the most productive receivers in the league hurt Clayton's own production last season. Finally, the former LSU star had to do deal with what seemed like weekly injury concerns.

  • E.J. Kuale
  • Times Picayune (05/14):

    Former LSU linebacker E.J. Kuale was among a group of more than two dozen undrafted free agents in camp with the Saints. The speedy 6-foot-1, 219-pounder was plagued by injury during his senior season, but he hopes to earn his way onto an NFL roster through special teams.

    "I think I've got a lot to contribute to the team, but I'm a free agent, so probably the best way I can make this roster is special teams," Kuale said. "Plus, I enjoy special teams. I know most players don't like special teams, but I enjoy it. So I'm going to give it my all and do my best and see what happens.

    The Advocate (05/16):

    Kuale and Eugene are expected to join the Saints veterans in the offseason program Tuesday, participate in a June minicamp and report to training camp in July.

    They now wait eagerly to see if New Orleans will offer them a contract or of they will have to pound the pavement looking for another chance with another team. Either way they face long, but not insurmountable odds.

    Kuale knows his best chance to hang around is to first make a name for himself on special teams.

    “I am a real good special teams player and if I get a spot there it will help me make the team,” he said. “I enjoy playing special teams and I know most players don’t like it.”

    Kuale worked out for Saints personnel along with other local prospects before the draft.

    “I think he is picking things up,” Payton said. “I think he understands what it takes probably to make an NFL roster. He is one of those guys who once you get into the pads and into training camp you begin to see how these guys do not only on defense but on special teams and you get a better idea. I think it is not overnight. It is all the way up and through July.”

  • Kevin Mawae
  • Nashville City Paper (05/16):

    Kevin Mawae knows one of the main reasons he is now with the Tennessee Titans.

    Ditto for Chris Hope, David Thornton and David Givens.

    On a roster stocked with youth and inexperience, these four free agents were brought in not only to perform on the field, but also to teach with their talents and to lead by example.

    “I don’t think it’s any secret,” said Mawae, a 12-year veteran who moves into the middle of the offensive line. “The guys know I was brought here to help be a leader in this locker room. It’s a role I cherish and one that I take very seriously. That being said, I’m just here to help this team win.”

    “Anytime you play professional sports, you realize it’s the little things that matter most,” Mawae added. “When you let the little things slip, then that’s when you tend to have problems.”

  • Claude Wroten
  • Kansas City Star (05/14):

    This year’s draft pick with character issues is third-round pick Claude Wroten, a defensive tackle from LSU. Wroten failed a drug test at the NFL scouting combine in February, just a month after he was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a charge that subsequently was dropped.

    But Wroten also brings significant promise: The 6-foot-2, 292-pound All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection was a possible first-round pick before his drug problems surfaced.

    Wroten insists he’s worth the gamble and his drug problems are “totally behind me.”

    Wroten told reporters: “I just want the players and the community to know that it’s not a problem at all, and that they have a great guy. They shouldn’t be concerned.”