NFL

Bengals set to open preseason at Falcons

August 8, 2013 

Most starters, including Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan and Bengals QB Andy Dalton, are expected to see only limited playing time in Thursday night's Falcons-Bengals preseason opener.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he'll be looking for players to emerge in the game who are trying to win roster spots.

"We know who our quarterback is going to be, we know who most of our skill guys are," Lewis said after Wednesday's light practice.

"We know basically who the starting group is going to be so you're battling for guys to fit into new spots, special-teams wise. You allow some attrition, some graduation every year, so we can plug in some younger guys. We're looking for those guys to step up and play."

The Bengals shared the practice fields with the Falcons on Monday and Tuesday. The teams held separate workouts in the Falcons' indoor facility Wednesday.

Lewis said the combined practices were a success. "It's been great," Lewis said. "The Falcons' hospitality and Mike's organization, it's been outstanding. It's been real positive work and productive work for us."

Manning brothers rap

Quarterbacks and Super Bowl MVPs Eli and Peyton Manning burst onto the music scene this week with a three-minute rap videotape in which they promote "Football On Your Phone" for DirectTV.

The commercial starts out with the Mannings sitting in barber chairs, wearing wigs that mimicked hair styles of the '60s and '70s. Eli has a frizzy, curly-haired mop and Peyton wore a straight, long-hair wig worthy of any rocker.

"Peyton and I had fun doing the skit," Eli said Wednesday before practice. "Obviously (we) got a lot of laughs together just every time we would kind of look at each other and wonder what we were doing."

The brothers filmed the humorous commercial in one day in their native New Orleans, extolling the value of watching football games on a phone, joking at one point that someone was actually using his phone as a phone.

Of course, Eli Manning's teammates were on him Wednesday at the Giants' training camp. Long-time Giants teammate Chris Snee said he had never seen Eli rap.

"I've never heard Eli sing period," the offensive lineman said. "When he controls the radio it's usually country or something nobody really wants to listen to besides him."

Around the league

Browns: Running back Trent Richardson will not play in the exhibition opener against St. Louis as he continues to recover from a shin injury. Richardson was kicked in the shin last week in practice and was sidelined for two days.

Eagles: Jerry Wolman, a small-town grocer's son who made a fortune as a Washington real estate developer, owned the Philadelphia Eagles and co-founded the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers in the 1960s, but saw his financial empire crumble and his pro sports franchises pass from his hands by the decade's end, died Tuesday in Potomac, Md. He was 86.

"When I was a kid I had one big dream," Wolman was quoted as saying by Gordon Forbes in Tales From the Eagles Sidelines (2006). "I wanted to own the Eagles, just like some kid hopes to grow up to be Babe Ruth, or the president."

Saints: New Orleans has lost receiver Joseph Morgan and defensive end Kenyon Coleman for the season because of injuries, depriving the team of one of its top deep threats and a reliable run-stopping lineman.

Morgan hurt his left knee in Saturday's scrimmage, and coach Sean Payton says his diagnosis has come back as a torn meniscus and partial tear of his anterior cruciate ligament. Coleman left practice Tuesday and Payton says he tore a pectoral muscle, which also requires season-ending surgery.

Titans: Marc Mariani has a scar that runs from the outside of his left ankle up to his calf and another scar on the inside of his leg. If he ever sets off an airport metal detector, he need only point to his lower leg where the scars tell the story of the metal rod inside the skin and muscle. Still, the Titans receiver and returner has no worries about his leg. "The way it is now and rebuilt, it'll never feel the exact same again. But that doesn't mean I can't do everything and won't be as fast," Mariani said.

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