NFL News and Notes - June 10th

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

James Starks:

Most Important Green Bay Packers No. 24: James Starks / DuJuan Harris | FOX Sports on MSN
Last season, Starks was finally healthy. For a couple years, Green Bay hoped that Starks would be running back No. 1 on the depth chart, but injuries played a big part in why that wasn't a successful strategy. Starks' improved durability in 2013 was likely assisted by being in a secondary role. Though it's true of every player that health is a very important aspect, it's especially true for Starks.

When he's healthy, he's a good player. The problem is that Starks' career has been too closely split at 50/50 of when he's hurt and when he's injury-free. After somewhat surprisingly giving Starks a two-year, $3.2 million deal this offseason, the Packers just need Starks available. Because when he is, he often performs well.

Derek Brim:

Teammates Again: Canisius High School’s Jimmy Gaines, Derek Brim Back Together as Bills
Adjusting to the life in the NFL is a challenge for all rookies, but Buffalo Bills undrafted free-agent signings Jimmy Gaines and Derek Brim have an advantage of familiarity.

The two Western New York natives are not only familiar with the city of Buffalo but also with one another. Gaines and Brim were both 2010 graduates from Canisius High School, a private, all-male secondary institution in Buffalo, where they were football teammates.

Branden Oliver:

Danny Woodhead Inspires New RB Branden Oliver
Back in the summer of 2010, Branden Oliver avidly watched "Hard Knocks" the summer before his freshman season at Buffalo. The New York Jets were profiled that year, and a particular player caught his eye. A running back of a similar build and style who was fighting hard for his spot on the roster inspired Oliver.

That player was Danny Woodhead. Four years later, the pair of 5-8, 200-pound running backs are now teammates

Meet the Charger turning heads at OTAs, Branden Oliver | San Diego Chargers
Quinn’s offense was a spread attack and favored the air assault game over ground and pound. However, Oliver busted his hump in the preseason to earn the starting running back spot as a redshirt freshman. Unforuntaely for Quinn, Oliver and the Buffalo Bulls, 2010 was a big-time disappointment. The team finished 2-10 and Oliver only managed 298 yards on the ground even though he led Buffalo in rushing. After the tough year, Oliver approached his coach with a request

He wanted a fullback.

The young coach took Oliver’s words to heart and completely changed his offense to focus on more of a balanced attack. The suggestion paid dividends for coach and player as Oliver ran for 1,395 yards and 13 touchdowns including 365 receiving yards. The season helped Buffalo’s back gain national attention and the tides appeared to be turning entering 2012.

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