|05-25-2005, 06:43 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Ville
Nfl Report Wed.
Sorry it's late. Real life once again had me busy
Make no mistake: Terrell Owens can talk his way out of Philadelphia if that
is what he really wants. If John Welbourn did it, and Freddie Mitchell did it,
then T.O. can do it, too. It isn't that hard. You just have to be willing to
stick with the plan. Owens got off to a good start with the whole
I-wasn't-the-one-who-got-tired business from the Super Bowl, and the clear
implication that quarterback Donovan McNabb did. It was the perfect opening
gambit - provocative enough to get the town in an uproar and to upset McNabb,
but with a layer of deniability for the future. T.O. is still denying, by the
The Dolphins have interest in cornerback/punt returner R.W. McQuarters, who was
released by Chicago on Monday. McQuarters is expected to visit the Dolphins and
several other teams soon.
Jerry Rice still was contemplating his future Tuesday night and had not informed
the Denver Broncos whether he would accept their job offer. Jim Steiner, Rice's
agent, said he spoke with his client Tuesday afternoon and was awaiting a
follow-up call. Once Rice gives his answer as to whether he is willing to come
to Broncos training camp, Steiner planned to first contact the Broncos before
making the decision public.
GM Phil Savage tried to downplay it, but the Browns are definitely in the market
to sign free-agent linebacker Peter Boulware. Savage said Tuesday that a
priority for the team as the off-season progresses is to upgrade the pass rush.
Right now, Boulware is the best available option. ``He's certainly the most
qualified... 67 ? sacks; there's probably nobody else out there that's remotely
close to that,'' Savage said as the team's ``passing camp'' finished its second
day. The Browns have been in contact with Boulware's agent, Roosevelt Barnes.
Boulware has visited the Houston Texans but will not make any more visits until
next week. The Browns, the Seattle Seahawks (where Boulware's brother Michael
plays safety) and the Cincinnati Bengals are generally thought to be the leading
contenders, with folks in Baltimore expecting Boulware to wind up in Cleveland.
Speculation has centered on the Colts adding a veteran middle linebacker,
perhaps Rob Morris. He was the team's starter the past four seasons and remains
an unrestricted free agent. But Dungy gave no indication following Tuesday
morning's session that the Colts are in the process of adding a free agent.
"We haven't closed the door on anything, but we like what we saw from some
of the young guys," Dungy said. "We're close to (the roster) being
Patriots WR Troy Brown said he doesn't plan on this being his final season. And
while he was wearing a white practice jersey denoting the fact he was playing on
offense during the Pats' current ``passing camp,'' he said he would continue to
play corner if that's what the team asked him to do.
The Matt Jones Watch is going to last at least two more weeks. The Jaguars'
first-round draft pick was held out of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills Tuesday and
will be sidelined the rest of the week, with a target date for his return of
June 7. That's when the Jaguars will resume their organized team activities
after being off Memorial Day week. Jones, who was limited to one-on-one drills,
strained his hamstring on the first day of mandatory minicamp on April 29 and
aggravated the injury two weeks ago in Arkansas, but said it's coming along
well. "It feels fine," he said, but added that the Jaguars wanted to
hold him out this week as a precautionary measure. Assuming he can return June7,
Jones will have missed nine practice sessions since being injured on the first
day of the mandatory minicamp, but said he's learning in the classroom and by
watching the other players. Jones said he's not feeling any pressure to get on
the field because of all the attention he's getting as the No.1 pick.
Tom Condon, the agent for rookie quarterback Alex Smith, is due to meet with the
49ers today. Condon and 49ers chief negotiator Paraag Marathe have been
negotiating for weeks for a six-year deal that is expected to be worth between
$57 million and $60 million. "I'm encouraged," Nolan said of Condon's
visit. So is Marathe. "I'll tell you this, I'm not making any plans for the
Memorial Day weekend," he said. "I do think we are definitely close in
terms of language and financial parameters."
They have been friends and secondary mates for five seasons, but it’s beginning
to sound like Greg Wesley is tired of answering questions about Jerome Woods. “I
know nothing about Jerome Woods,” Wesley said in a robotic voice Tuesday as the
microphones swarmed in on him. It is week two of the Chiefs’ voluntary but
not-so-voluntary offseason workouts. Woods is supposed to be battling Wesley for
a starting job, and the veteran safety hasn’t arrived in Kansas City. Coach Dick
Vermeil expected Woods late last week. On Tuesday, Vermeil said he “has no clue”
when Woods will be back. But he did quash speculation that the longtime starter
may be pouting or that his status on the team may be iffy. “His future is not in
doubt,” Vermeil said. “He’s not going anywhere. “He’s got some personal
problems, he’s working those out, and sooner or later, we expect to see him.”
Woods, who has been training in his hometown of Memphis, hasn’t returned calls
to The Star. Cornerback Eric Warfield said Woods was dealing with family
New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson said yesterday he has been offered $1
billion for his franchise but isn't interested in selling the club at this
point, although he might reconsider after this season. Benson declined to say
who made the offer or where the prospective purchaser wants the team to play.
The NFL wants to place a franchise in the vacant Los Angeles market but has
focused on picking a stadium site before identifying an ownership group or a
team to put there. League officials hope to choose a site by the fall.
There's always a story behind the story, and when it comes to Troy Brown
re-signing with the Patriots, his marketing relationship with TD Banknorth was
one of the hidden factors. By agreeing to a one-year deal with the Pats, Brown
was able to cash in on a three-year promotional agreement with the prominent New
England bank. Brown may have turned down more football money from the New
Orleans Saints in free agency, but the Banknorth contract will make up for it.
Former Cardinals offensive tackle L.J. Shelton will visit the Jaguars later this
week. Coach Jack Del Rio said the team has yet to schedule a visit, but didn't
rule out the possibility of looking at the seven-year veteran. "If we do
[schedule a visit], I'll let you know," he said.
It doesn't look like it will take cornerback R.W. McQuarters long to find work,
either. McQuarters, also released by the Bears this week, is expected to visit
the Washington Redskins, who already have Shawn Springs, first-round pick Carlos
Rogers and ex-Bear Walt Harris at cornerback. He also could fill punt-returning
duties as the Redskins are going to cut ties with Chad Morton and might not want
to use wide receiver Santana Moss in that role.
Free agent wide receiver Charles Lee, who fell out of favor with the Bucs'
coaching staff last season, signed a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals on
Preparing for his first season as the Titans No. 1 wide receiver, Drew Bennett
knows defensive schemes and top cornerbacks will often be keyed on stopping him.
Once again, the undrafted rookie free agent out of UCLA in 2001, a player who
became one of the NFL's best come-from-nowhere stories, will have to graduate to
another level of dependability.
The NFL acknowledged the greatness of Cowboys safety Roy Williams as a defensive
player Tuesday by banning one of his tackling techniques. At the NFL spring
meeting, clubs outlawed the horse-collar tackle by a vote of 27-5. It had been
dubbed the "Roy Williams Rule" because he injured three players in
2004 with such tackles.
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga said Tuesday he's no longer sure whether a dome
eventually will be added to Dolphins Stadium. That had been part of a plan
unveiled in January. ''The league would prefer not to have a dome,'' he said.
Huizenga has not contacted the Marlins about working out a better lease, and the
team has no interest anyway.
It is tricky business, turning football legends into official bronze busts for
the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. It will take the artist, Blair
Buswell of Utah, about 40 hours to get Dan Marino ready for this summer's
induction. It took Marino 17 NFL years. Buswell has created more than 50 of
these busts for the Hall across 23 years. Larry Csonka insisted the sculptor
magically straighten his oft-broken nose with clay-stic surgery. Terry Bradshaw
requested a little extra hair, if you wouldn't mind. ''Take those bags out,''
Marino said kiddingly Tuesday -- well, maybe half-kiddingly? -- as Buswell
shaved slivers of clay from around his emerging eye-sockets. The all-time great
Dolphin will bear an affable smile for all-time, it has been decided, but
nothing over the top. ''I try to stay away from the big smile,'' explains the
sculptor. ``Bronze teeth, to be honest, always look funny.''
Browns GM Phil Savage said the team remains in ``radio silence'' about tight end
Kellen Winslow Jr., who crashed while riding his motorcycle May 1. ``Right now
we're just trying to make sure we get the right medical assessment, the right
medical care,'' Savage said. ``See where it shakes out. That's the number one
thing right now, because beyond that who knows?'' Winslow continues to rehab his
injured knee at the team's facility, but Savage said Winslow has not gotten a
second opinion yet.
If the Vikings sale is approved, some people believe Reggie Fowler will end up
selling his limited partnership in the team to general partner Zygmunt Wilf or
one of Wilf's other partners for a nice profit.
Some people believe the matter of who pays the $23 million in free-agent bonuses
the Vikings gave Fred Smoot, Pat Williams, Brad Johnson and Darren Sharper this
offseason could be an issue in the sale of the team. That could be a reason
prospective Vikings buyer Zygmunt Wilf might try to delay the sale closing until
late summer rather than next month, when some bonuses are due. Otherwise, Red
McCombs, who signed the free agents under his ownership, would be stuck with the
bonus payments. If true, this could turn out to be a risky game of chicken for
both sides. And if there are other issues, McCombs could end up still owning the
team this year. That might even allow Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor another
chance to bid for the Vikings. A little birdie says McCombs and Taylor talked
Dusting off a family heirloom yesterday, first-year coordinator Rex Ryan
announced the Ravens will unleash the 46 defense this season. At the team's
first coaching clinic with the media, Ryan said the Ravens will keep some of the
looks of the 3-4 defense they used last year but will incorporate a heavy dose
of the scheme that his father, Buddy, invented for the dominant Chicago Bears
teams. This style of defense is a highly pressurized one that relies on an
eight-man front to stop the run and sophisticated blitzes to smother the pass.
It's believed no NFL team has run the 46 defense exclusively since Buddy Ryan
left the NFL in 1995 after being fired as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals.
This defense was named "46" after the uniform number of Doug Plank,
the Bears' safety who dropped down behind the linemen as an extra inside
linebacker. His role on the Ravens will be played by Will Demps. Ray Lewis, who
will be the Ravens' Mike Singletary, should have the same freedom to roam
sideline to sideline while blockers are occupied by the Ravens' six-man line
(nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu, ends Tony Weaver and Kelly Gregg, strong-side
linebacker Adalius Thomas, weak-side linebacker Tommy Polley and rush end
Terrell Suggs). And Suggs is expected to be this version's Richard Dent, a pass
rusher who can thrive on the one-on-one matchups forced by this deceptive and
The Bears have a chance to get offensive tackle L.J. Shelton, whom they were
interested in obtaining from Arizona before they signed Fred Miller in March.
After the Cardinals released him last week, Shelton called the Bears to see if
they were interested, and he visited Halas Hall on Tuesday. The Bears see
Shelton, a former starting left tackle in Arizona, as a potential starter at
right guard and a backup tackle. The Bears aren't searching for a starting
tackle, so Shelton, 29, is unlikely to wind up in Chicago unless he can't get
assurances of starting elsewhere. He has ties to the Midwest: He was Arizona's
first-round pick out of Eastern Michigan in 1999 and has family in Chicago.
After seriously considering retirement and a coaching offer from the staff at
Washington State, safety Cory Hall officially extended his six-year NFL playing
career yesterday by signing with the Washington Redskins. Hall, 28, was prepared
to move to Pullman, Wash., and join the Cougars' staff, which includes several
of his coaches from Fresno State in the 1990s. But prodding from agent Peter
Schaffer and other associates convinced Hall he wasn't quite ready to give up a
solid career that includes 70 starts.
Two months ago, Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney wondered when his high-revenue
counterparts would "get some brains." Yesterday, high-revenue owners
Bob McNair (Houston) and Bob Kraft (New England) agreed with low-revenue owners
Lamar Hunt (Kansas City) and Tom Benson (New Orleans) about the principles of
revenue sharing. That's the precursor for negotiations with the players
association to extend the collective bargaining agreement for a fifth time since
its 1993 implementation. "The key is that everyone has the financial
resources to remain competitive," McNair said. "The question is how do
you determine one's competitiveness? When you subtract from their income what it
costs to service their debt, the difference between the high-revenue teams and
the low-revenue teams is not that [large]."
The Steelers hope to use the speed and quickness of Antwaan Randle El and
Cedrick Wilson to make up for the loss of Plaxico Burress. Hines Ward chafes at
being labeled a possession receiver and noted that his 12.6 yards per catch last
season compared favorably to many of the top receivers in the league. Marvin
Harrison averaged 12.9 yards a catch, Eric Moulds 11.9, Chad Johnson 13.4 and
Derrick Mason 12.2 -- all among the leading receivers in the AFC. With Burress
gone, the 6-foot Ward becomes the tallest receiver of the top three. Randle El
and Wilson stand 5-10.
Steelers RB Jerome Bettis participated in team workouts yesterday after sitting
out of minicamp and the first week of voluntary coaching sessions.
When it comes to sacred traditions, not much beats tailgating near Lambeau Field
on Packer game days. Trouble is, all those folks on lawn chairs enjoying a brew
may be breaking the law. The city of Green Bay has a little-known ordinance
forbidding open intoxicants in public places, which would include the Lambeau
Field parking lot. Ashwaubenon has a similar law for its streets and sidewalks.
Green Bay attorneys think that because the Green Bay Packers rent the lot on
game day it becomes private property for the day, which would get imbibers off
the hook. But just in case, they plan to rewrite the rule to allow drinking in
the lot and the surrounding sidewalks for all those thirsty Packers fans.
|05-25-2005, 06:46 PM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
|05-25-2005, 09:26 PM||#3|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Adalius Thomas, though gifted, is no Otis Wilson and Tommy Polley couldn't carry Wilbur Marshall's pads. The guys trying to fill Danimal and Mongo's shoes aren't even worth mentioning. At least Reed is twice as good as Gary Fencik ever dreamed of being. I wish this Demps kid good luck with the League office because Dougie Plank would be banned for life in about eight weeks in today's NFL.
|05-25-2005, 09:37 PM||#4|
Join Date: Sep 2003
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