Falcons, Jaguars come together for camp workout

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. --- Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio knows NFL owners could eliminate two preseason games as early as next year.

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Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio (left) and Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith shake hands during the teams' combined NFL training camp practice in Flowery Branch, Ga.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio (left) and Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith shake hands during the teams' combined NFL training camp practice in Flowery Branch, Ga.

That's why he approached Atlanta coach Mike Smith about bringing the Jaguars and Falcons together for combined practices in training camp.

The teams will practice again today.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement expires in March, at which point owners want to increase the regular season from 16 to 18 games and reduce the preseason from four games to two.

"I can see both sides of the situation," Falcons running back Michael Turner said. "Fans don't want to pay full price for preseason games, which don't even come close to the same intensity as real games do. There's no doubt as players, that's asking a lot of our bodies, but if you're trading out preseason games for a couple of training practices, that's a pretty good deal."

EAGLES: Tony Dungy believes in mentoring and says it puts people on the right path -- including his most famous pupil, Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick .

On a national tour to promote his new book on mentoring, Dungy said Vick still has a lot to learn about his image.

"Whether Michael manages to regain the status he once had in the league is not nearly as important as the kind of man he becomes," Dungy said.

SAINTS: It took one shout of "Who Dat!" to get the celebration started in the White House as President Obama saluted the Super Bowl champions.

Obama congratulated the team, owner and coaches in an East Room ceremony. He said the team lifted up "the hopes and the dreams of a shattered city" in the wake of the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.

VIKINGS: Wide receiver Percy Harvin is still missing from the team, and the coaching staff is unsure when he'll return.

Harvin was absent again Monday, eight days after the death of his grandmother. He has missed 15 consecutive practices.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said Harvin is "dealing with some personal issues."

Browns: The only tweets coach Eric Mangini wants to hear about are the ones coming out of his whistle.

Mangini talked to Cleveland's players about the pitfalls of social media sites after cornerback Brandon McDonald recently posted a vulgar message directed at Cincinnati wide receiver Terrell Owens on his Twitter account.

- Punter Dave Zastudil will miss more training camp when he returns from Colorado after getting his right knee examined.

JETS: It appears Darrelle Revis won't be joining his teammates anytime soon. New York rejected the latest offer proposed by the All-Pro cornerback's agents, and owner Woody Johnson is not optimistic a deal can get done before the regular season.

COWBOYS: Dallas needs to find some more tight ends -- and fast.

John Phillips , the No. 3 tight end last season as a rookie, is out for the season after tests confirmed he tore the ACL in his right knee in the preseason opener. Both tight ends that came in after Phillips also got banged up. Kevin Brock has a sprained left ankle and Scott Sicko has a concussion.

Texans: Houston asked the NFL to reduce or rescind the four-game suspension given to star linebacker Brian Cushing , saying he has a unique medical condition stemming from "overtrained athlete syndrome."

Cushing said the syndrome can trigger hormonal spikes after breaks in training, explaining why he would have tested positive for a fertility drug last September -- a drug he said he never took.

Changes: The NFL is modifying how it handles fines for on-field infractions to speed up the appeals process. Any fines for on-field violations through the 13th week of the season will not be collected in advance if the player appeals within 20 days and makes himself available for a hearing within 10 days of filing the appeal.


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