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17 things we learned from first day of NFL minicamps

Twenty-three teams started mandatory minicamps Tuesday. That means there was a dizzying amont of news, practice nuggets and press conferences, even when very little was said.

So what did we learn?

1. For someone who clearly doesn't love meeting with the media, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh provides a lot of outstanding soundbites. He not-so-subtly took aim at PED users in general and the Seattle Seahawks in particular. Delicious. Pete Carroll responded but unfortunately didn't say, "What's your deal?"

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2. Harbaugh confirmed that wide receiver Mario Manningham might not be ready for Week 1, which makes the growing A.J. Jenkins hype train more important to watch.

3. The Oakland Raiders' quarterback battle only had losers, according to various reports. The Twitter account of Contra Costa Times reporter Steve Corkran was a goldmine for anyone who enjoys a little Raidersfreude in their day.

"In 19 years covering the NFL, today's showing by Matt Flynn, Tyler Wilson, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin rates as one of the worst in memory," Corkran wrote.

We wouldn't worry too much about June practices, but the Raiders have perhaps the worst-looking roster in the NFL on paper. And it's translating to the field.

4. Charles Woodson lined up as an immediate starter at safety for Oakland. Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter look like the starting cornerbacks.

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5. Tavon Austin is going to make a lot of people look silly this season.

6. Geno Smith is part of the quarterback battle with the New York Jets, but it's not an equal competition at this stage. Mark Sanchez only works with the first team.

7. Multiple reports suggested that Kellen Winslow made a very positive impression during his first day trying out for the Jets. Rex Ryan is desperate for a tight end. If Winslow can hold up physically for three days, a signing makes a ton of sense.

8. Tim Tebow looked how you'd expect him to look on the field in his first day as a New England Patriot. (Rusty). He said what you'd expect him to say. (Nothing.) The only surprise would be if Tebow made an impact for the 2013 Patriots. (For more on that, check out my turn on the Dave Dameshek Football Program below.)


This quote from Aaron Hernandez regarding Tebow cracked me up: "There's a reason why he's here. I actually don't know the reason yet, but we'll see."

9. DeSean Jackson was asked on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" if he thought Tebow could improve as an NFL quarterback. Jackson had his doubts, but the way he used Michael Vick as an example to make his point was more interesting.

"They (the Eagles) didn't start (Vick) until (he was) pass-first," Jackson said. "He tried to do a great job with that, but he still went back to what he always did, (which) was run. It's kind of hard because all you know is what you know."

10. Whether it's offseason hype or not, reporters around the San Diego Chargers believe rookie linebacker Manti Te'o is as "pro-ready" as it gets.

11. It took four months and 4,000 questions, but Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett finally admitted he won't call plays this season. Garrett admitted a "mistake" in how things were handled communicating the news to the public. Garrett has learned it's hard to keep secrets in Big D.

12. Perhaps the most impactful news of the entire day flew beneath the radar. Ahmad Bradshaw, if healthy, immediately will be the best running back on the Indianapolis Colts. Great one-year signing.

13. The Carolina Panthers revealed that running back Jonathan Stewart is recovering from surgery on both ankles. We only knew he had one surgery before. Chris Wesseling said in our NFL newsroom Tuesday he just assumes Stewart isn't going to be ready for offseason practices until he hears otherwise.

14. It looks like Tarvaris Jackson will return to Seattle. Brady Quinn could be out of a job come September if the Seahawks carry just two quarterbacks.

15. Kevin Kolb took the first snap at Buffalo Bills minicamp. That's no surprise, but Jackson's release will give rookie EJ Manuel more reps in practice leading up to the season.

16. Detroit Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles took part in team drills, just six months removed from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. It's time to change our ACL recovery time expectations.

17. The Cincinnati Bengals will fine right tackle Andre Smith for missing mandatory minicamp with personal issues.

Day 1 of minicamp mania is in the books. Let's do it again Wednesday before the NFL gets real quiet in coming weeks.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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