NFL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Eagles: Notorious for their boorish behavior, many fans booed and some taunted All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens during Wednesday morning's practice at Lehigh University. But it took just a simple smile and a little interaction for Owens to win them over again. "This ain't San Francisco," one fan yelled as Owens knelt along the sidelines, listening to the derisive jeers. "You ain't bigger than this team. Shut up and play." They took their best shots, and scolded Owens for hiring agent Drew Rosenhaus. Finally, Owens stood up, turned to the crowd, cracked a smile and pumped his left arm up, urging them to make more noise. The fans suddenly erupted in cheers, and the same guy who was riding Owens the loudest started chanting the "T.O." song. Owens flashed a wider grin, nodded his head in approval and walked back toward the field. It was the first time this summer fans could see Owens practice, and some of the Philly die-hards started lining up at 4 a.m. just to get a glimpse of him running patterns.
Redskins: Four years with the Patriots netted David Patten three Super Bowl rings and the perception he was just another cog in coach Bill Belichick's winning machine. The rings and the memories he'll always cherish, but Patten is ready to take his turn as a leader. He is seeking a new degree of satisfaction with the Redskins, a team that overhauled its receiver corps after a woeful offensive output a year ago. "I've been working for this for eight years, and the Lord finally put me in this position. I don't want to let these guys down," said Patten. Patten and Santana Moss are the lynchpins of Washington's smaller but faster attack, the replacements for disenchanted -- and since traded -- receivers Laveranues Coles and Rod Gardner. Antonio Brown, Taylor Jacobs, James Thrash, Kevin Dyson and Darnerien McCants will also compete for roster spots and playing time.
Panthers: DeShaun Foster has missed 30 games in three years because of injuries. Now, given the chance to open the season as Carolina's starting running back, he has been peppered by questions about his durability. Nothing irritates him more. He missed his rookie season after microfracture surgery to repair his knee, sat out two games in 2003 with a hand injury, then broke his collarbone last year and missed 12 games. Foster bristled when told his rash of injuries left him with the reputation of being fragile. "If I was pulling hamstrings, or breaking a finger to miss games [I could understand]," he said. "But what can I do about microfracture? What can I do about breaking my collarbone? It was a freak accident, I fell down and that's just what happened. It happened." Foster has shown much talent in his short time on the playing field. He had a 71-yard run against Kansas City last season, broke four tackles in a memorable 1-yard touchdown run in the NFC championship game two years ago and then added a 33-yard TD run in the Super Bowl. But he has not played an entire season, and he has just one 100-yard game and two touchdowns rushing in his three seasons.
Seahawks: Center Chris Spencer had everything packed and was ready to catch the next flight to training camp when he learned his first NFL contract had been completed. It took five days longer than he'd hoped, but the first-round draft pick finally reported Wednesday. The center out of Mississippi, the No. 26 overall selection in April's draft, was Seattle's last unsigned rookie. Spencer signed a five-year contract worth $7.4 million, with an additional $2.3 million available in incentives. A spokesman for Spencer's agent, Ken Kremer, said up to $5 million is guaranteed. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound lineman was a two-year starter at Mississippi. He's expected to back up veteran center Robbie Tobeck.
Jets: Quarterback Chad Pennington was held out of afternoon practice Wednesday after throwing passes for five straight days. Coach Herman Edwards said Pennington had no soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder, and he just wanted to give the quarterback a day to rest. "He threw five days in a row, and that's the first time he's ever done that," Edwards said. "Five days in a row is a lot of throwing, in my estimation." Edwards expected Pennington to be back throwing passes during the Jets' next practice tonight.