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NFL notebook: Wade Phillips praises Dez Bryant; Russell Okung makes good impression

By The Associated Press Published: May 3, 2010
l those little things come into effect.

"I’m a bit overwhelmed, but I’m just taking everything in. I’m learning. I’m getting in the playbook. I’m being patient and things are going to get rolling.”

With Carroll’s philosophy of competition at every position, both Okung and Thomas will have every opportunity to be an impact player in the fall.

Feds looking into Saints allegations
Federal authorities are looking into allegations made in a civil lawsuit accusing the New Orleans Saints of trying to cover up a senior staff member’s theft of prescription pills from the club’s training headquarters.

Special Agent Roberto Bryan Jr., a New Orleans-based spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the agency was referred the case and an investigation is pending.

The civil suit was filed Friday by former Saints security director Geoffrey Santini, a retired FBI agent who gave federal authorities evidence he collected before resigning from the team last August.

The accusations also could constitute state offenses. However, local authorities say they have yet to begin a probe of their own.

Around the league
→Bears: Chicago knows who its starting quarterback is. The question remains: Who’ll be Jay Cutler’s backup?

With untested veterans Caleb Hanie and Brett Basanez on the roster, the Bears got a good look at sixth-round draft pick Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan during rookie minicamp this weekend. Now they’ll need to decide whether these players can be adequate or if a veteran needs to be signed.

Hanie has been with the team for two seasons, but has thrown only seven NFL passes. If the Bears decide the inexperience factor is too great, former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is still a free agent and ran coordinator Mike Martz’s offense in St. Louis.

→Bengals: Defensive tackle Geno Atkins had to guard against dehydration during Cincinnati’s rookie minicamp, one of the effects of a condition that he inherited.

Atkins was born with sickle cell trait, which also affected his father. Gene Atkins was an NFL safety for 10 years despite the condition, and his son is hoping to have a similar longevity.

The Bengals were aware of Atkins’ condition when they drafted him in the fourth round from Georgia. They’re hoping he can improve their pass rush up the middle. Atkins says the only allowance he has to make for the sickle cell condition is making sure he drinks enough liquids.

→Steelers: Wide receiver Limas Sweed injured his left Achilles tendon during the final day of a three-day minicamp, and coach Mike Tomlin says the injury could be serious. Sweed was hurt during a routine passing drill and was taken off the Steelers’ indoor practice field on a cart. He later left the team’s practice facility on crutches.

If the Achilles is ruptured, Sweed likely would miss the season.

Sweed, a second-round draft pick from Texas in 2008, had seven catches in his first two NFL seasons and was a major disappointment to the Steelers. He was removed from the active roster Dec. 22 for what the team said were personal reasons.

By The Associated Press