Vick: I guarantee that the Falcons will be fine with Doug Johnson at quarterback.
STAR IN THE MAKING
Panthers weakside linebacker Will Witherspoon
Carolina went 4-1 last December with Witherspoon, a 231-pound rookie, subbing at middle linebacker for the injured Dan Morgan and averaging nine tackles a game. Morgan is back, so the quick Witherspoon (4.6 in the 40) returns to his customary outside slot, where his role is to support the run and cover backs on short passing routes. "He's going to be special," says Panthers coach John Fox. "He's so smart, and he plays so fast. He's going to make some very big plays for us."
Bills rookie running back Willis McGahee (left), whose status for this season is uncertain as he rehabs his surgically repaired left knee, should take heart: Two of the NFL's top 20 alltime rushers missed their rookie years with leg injuries. Ricky Watters (13th on the list, with 10,643 yards) and Terry Allen (19th, 8,614 yards) wound up playing for 10 seasons each.
MY TWO CENTS
1. NFL owners are foolish if they don't vote to reduce the number of preseason games next year from four to two. There are too many injuries in these exhibitions. And while commissioner Paul Tagliabue's idea to increase the number of regular-season games to 18 might appease the networks, adding games only increases the chances of injuries.
2. Dallas is the perfect place for Drew Henson, the Yankees' struggling minor league third baseman. One of the Cowboys' most respected scouts, Jim Garrett, has told owner Jerry Jones that Henson, the former Michigan passer whose rights belong to the quarterback-loaded Texans, could, in time, be better than Troy Aikman.