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NFL roundup: Wilson sees improvement ahead for Seahawks

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jun 26 2014 06:08:44 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 26 2014 06:08:45 PM CDT

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson said the defending Super Bowl champions are in much better shape than they were a year ago with camp still a month away.

"Right now, I definitely believe we're way further ahead," Wilson said, according to ESPN.com. "It's exciting. You have an itch because you know how to do it at a very high level. And the best part about it is we can continue to do it better."

The Seahawks changed some things at receiver with Golden Tate gone, Percy Harvin healthy and new additions with rookies Paul Richardson and Kevin Norwood.

---Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings said he wants to be the man to reverse the trend of the running back position being devalued throughout the NFL.

Peterson told Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth that he wants to "beat down the things they are saying about the running back position." A running back hasn't been taken in the first round of the NFL draft for the past two seasons. He believes that reflects more on the talent in the draft.

"We haven't had a good back, a must-have guy, come out of college in a couple years," he said. "That's what's missing. You get a guy who comes out who is like Marshawn Lynch (of the Seattle Seahawks) ... you'll definitely want to bring that guy in."

Peterson said he has a goal to break Emmitt Smith's all-time rushing record of 18,355 yards. To do that, the 29-year-old Peterson will need to stay healthy well into his 30s. Peterson has rushed for 10,115 yards in seven seasons.

---New York Giants running back David Wilson is looking ahead to a July 21 exam of his surgically repaired neck that he hopes will clear him for contact in time for training camp.

Wilson had a season-ending neck injury in Week 5 last year and underwent surgery this offseason. He has made no attempt to hide his anxiousness regarding gaining medical clearance to resume a full range of football activities that includes contact. While surgery on his neck in which he had two vertebrae fused together in January continues to make progress, it's still too risky for him to engage in full contact.

Wilson was on the field for the recent OTA and minicamp practices, but the team held him out of anything that might expose him to any potential contact.

---New York Jets running back Chris Johnson is not the same player when he rushed for more than 2,000 yards in 2009, so the team plans to mix it up in the backfield to keep him fresh.

Jets running backs coach Anthony Lynn conceded the team will use Johnson judiciously.

"He's got some miles on him," Lynn said, according to The Star-Ledger. "So we're going to have to be strategic in how we use him, and when we use him, to keep him fresh so that he can be the explosive guy that I know that he can be."

Lynn said the Jets plan to incorporate Johnson into a rotation with Ivory and Powell, who nearly evenly split the bulk of the team's carries a year ago (182 for Ivory, 176 for Powell) and combined for 1,530 yards on the ground. Johnson, who turns 29 in September, was a workhorse with the Tennessee Titans. Last season, he had 279 carries and 42 catches (on 51 targets).

---The Washington Redskins signed college free agent wide receiver Jerry Rice Jr., the son of the NFL's all-time leading receiver, the team announced Thursday.

Rice Jr. had tryouts with the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers this offseason. The 22-year-old played collegiately at UCLA from 2009 to 2012 before transferring to UNLV, where he appeared in nine games in 2013. During his college career, he caught 19 passes for 142 yards.

---Former New York Jets running back Mike Goodson missed his court appearance Thursday on charges related to drug and weapons possession.

Goodson, who was released June 18 by the Jets one day after he did not show up for a mandatory minicamp practice, was due in Morris County (N.J.) Superior Court for a status conference. He could be arrested if he fails to appear in court for a July 24 hearing before Judge Mary G. Whipple.

Goodson's attorney was in court Thursday, as was Goodson's co-defendant Garant Evans. Goodson faces up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

---Jadeveon Clowney's sports hernia surfaced last year at South Carolina and was not the result of a recent injury, the NFL Draft's No. 1 pick told NFL.com on Thursday.

Clowney spoke with Gil Brant of the NFL Network at the league's Rookie Symposium and said he played through the hernia during his final season at South Carolina. The Houston Texans rookie linebacker underwent surgery earlier this month in Philadelphia to repair the problem.

Clowney's admission is contrary to Texans coach Bill O'Brien saying before the surgery that Clowney suffered a recent groin injury. Clowney fully participated in the team's organized team activities last month and is expected to be ready for training camp in July.