In public, young players often play down their desire to be in the starting lineup. You hear, "Whatever they want me to do, that's fine with me," or something to that effect.
Refreshingly, second-year St. Louis Rams wideout and former Kentucky star Keenan Burton makes it crystal clear that he wants to line up opposite Donnie Avery come opening day.
"That's definitely my goal," Burton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You always want to be the one that starts the game."
Burton will face plenty of competition for the job, most notably from Laurent Robinson.
That's OK with Burton.
"Competition brings the best out of you," he said. "You can't do anything but come out here and compete and try to win a job."
After enduring a series of nagging injuries, priority one for Burton is simple: stay on the field.
"Some things, you just can't help. You prepare, you work hard, you lift as hard as you possibly can," he said, shrugging.
Ankle and knee injuries slowed Burton during his senior year at UK, and two games into his rookie NFL season he tore knee cartilage. He missed three games after undergoing surgery.
This spring, he pulled a hamstring that again sent him to the sideline.
"That was devastating," he told the Post-Dispatch. "But I can't get frustrated ... just got to keep chipping away.
"I'm trying to shake off the cobwebs, get back into it and just have fun."
Ex-Cat Jenkins cut by Bills
Former Kentucky lineman Ventrell Jenkins was cut by the Bills on Saturday. Jenkins had missed time with a knee problem.
Mason returns from retirement
Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason emerged from retirement Saturday, less than three weeks after abruptly announcing the end to his 12-year career. Mason called team owner Steve Bisciotti on Saturday morning, expressing his desire to return. The Ravens announced that the 35-year-old would be in uniform for Sunday's practice.
Browns' Edwards sits out
Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards missed the team's first training camp practice with an injury no one wants to talk about.
Edwards rode a stationary bike, ran sprints and stretched while his teammates sweated through the first of two practices Saturday.
Edwards, who missed minicamp in June with a leg injury, deflected questions about the nature and severity of his injury. There have been reports that Edwards hurt himself playing basketball, but the Browns' top playmaker refused to divulge any information.
"Talk to Coach Mangini about that, see what he says," Edwards said.
Mangini would only say that Edwards would be on the field once he got clearance from Cleveland's medical staff.
Falcons' White holding out
Falcons Coach Mike Smith hardly seemed irritated that Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White skipped the first two sessions of training camp Saturday in a contract holdout.
"No, it's not a distraction, and I want to state that I'm not angry," Smith said Saturday. "How can you be angry when it's the first day of training camp and the first day of the 2009 season? This is my favorite day of the year."
With six weeks before they open the regular season against Miami, the two sides have plenty of time to reach an agreement. The Falcons' first pre-season game is Aug. 15 at Detroit.
White is coming off a career-best season after helping Atlanta earn a surprising wild-card playoff spot with an 11-5 record. He has been seeking a multiyear deal.
Broncos' Bailey returns
Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey was back on the football field along with safety Renaldo Hill and Marcus Thomas.
The three veterans were held out of both of Friday's two-hour practices after going on the active-physically unable to perform list Thursday.
Coach Josh McDaniels wouldn't say whether they had new injuries, lingering ailments or had failed their conditioning tests. And the three players all said they weren't allowed to talk about it.
Rookie contract updates
49ers: Michael Crabtree was a no-show at 49ers training camp Saturday. The Niners said their top draft pick, the star receiver from Texas Tech, had yet to sign a contract.
Seahawks: Top draft choice Aaron Curry remained unsigned and absent on the second day of Seattle's training camp. Seattle finished the first of two practices Saturday without the No. 4 overall pick.
Texans: Linebacker Brian Cushing, the 15th overall pick in April's draft, agreed to terms Saturday.
Titans: Receiver Kenny Britt agreed to terms Saturday night. Britt was the No. 30 pick overall.