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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Curtis Martin - Picts of Curtis Martin Walking Without A Limp






I remember when we were out at Jets camp two weekends ago.

Ken Berger and i were in the same interview with Curtis. He swore he was playing opening day. He also was NOT walking with a limp 12 days ago(or 11).

So now it's constantly swelling and he's limping? We even have Pics of him walking Without a Limp!!

Bob McNair - Houston Texans Owner Talks About 2006 Season

Bob McNair is the founder and CEO of the Houston Texans.

In this candid interview he talks about the off-season changes from new head coach to new general manager to the controversial first round draft pick of Mario Williams from North Carolina State. He also discusses 2006 expectations and other changes on the team roster as the Texans begin their fifth season in the NFL.

Manny Lawson & Vernon Davis Duel In 49ers Training Camp - SF Chroncle



Lawson and Davis



49ERS NOTEBOOK

Davis-Lawson rivalry is user-friendly
Kevin Lynch, Chronicle Staff Writer
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Linebacker Manny Lawson and tight end Vernon Davis will welcome the opportunity to go against somebody else Friday night when the Bears come to town for the 49ers' first exhibition game. So far, the two have done a fairly good job of beating up on each other in training camp.

The 49ers' two first-round picks have dueled both when Davis goes out for passes and when Lawson is rushing the quarterback.

"We've got a little friendly competition going," Davis said.

The competition nearly turned calamitous early in camp. During a scrimmage, quarterback Alex Smith rolled out while Davis tried to block the onrushing Lawson. Lawson was just about to slip the block when Davis dived at the 6-foot-5, 240-pounder. Both players tumbled to the ground and then rolled into a bank of players watching.

Coaches constantly instruct players to stay on their feet during practice, and cutting your teammate is strictly forbidden. Davis let his competitive instincts overpower him.

When each was asked separately about the incident, neither commented but both laughed.

"He's just making me better," said Lawson, who thinks he probably won't face another tight end with Davis' physical gifts. "You fast? Vernon's fast. You strong? Vernon's strong. I've got that right here in San Francisco."

Coach Mike Nolan considered easing Lawson's learning curve in converting him from college defensive end to NFL linebacker, as he'd had to do with former Arizona State player Terrell Suggs in Baltimore. Now Nolan and 49ers defensive coordinator Billy Davis believe Lawson can handle the position mentally.

"If you set me down and told me a play, I could tell you what I have to do," Lawson said. "Now it's just doing what I know and trusting what my eyes see."

Torrey out: An MRI exam of linebacker Andre Torrey's left knee revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The 49ers probably will put the Alameda High School grad on injured reserve, which means he won't play this year.

Torrey went down after getting tangled up with defensive end Scott Scharff while covering a kickoff Tuesday on the 49ers' new synthetic turf.

The 49ers signed rookie free-agent linebacker Bobby Iwuchukwu to replace Torrey on the roster.

Jerramy Stevens - Seahawks' Jerramy Stevens Ready For 2006 After Super Bowl Loss - Seattle PI



Seahawks' Stevens ready to move on

TE recovering from injury, Super malaise

By CLARE FARNSWORTH
P-I REPORTER

CHENEY -- Jerramy Stevens' bothersome left knee passed every physical test necessary to get the explosive tight end back on the football field Wednesday for the first time since the Super Bowl in February.

It's his mental well-being from an implosive performance in the Seahawks' loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers that has coach Mike Holmgren concerned even after Stevens took his next step back from arthroscopic surgery in April.

"We did have a pretty in-depth discussion about how you bounce back from something, and he's listening," Holmgren said. "The disappointment lingers certainly, particularly with a player that cares, and he cares. He was very disappointed and he felt bad.

"And that's a good thing."

So is getting Stevens back in pads, which will allow him to continue putting the game against the Steelers behind him. He will not play in Saturday night's preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys at Qwest Field, but is scheduled to see his first action Aug. 20 against the Colts in Indianapolis.

"You've got to mature and grow from that and keep pushing forward," Stevens said after practice. "Obviously it was rough. But it's something that's behind me now and I'm using that as a shield to go forward."

As they look to defend their NFC championship, the Seahawks need Stevens to be the player who caught 45 passes last season, the second-highest total by a tight end in franchise history, not the one who had more passes go off or through his hands (five) than receptions (three) in the Super Bowl.

The tight end has traditionally played a large role in Holmgren's hybrid of the West Coast offense, and Stevens has the size (6-foot-7, 260 pounds), speed and soft hands to excel like Brent Jones when Holmgren was the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator; and Jackie Harris, Mark Chmura and Keith Jackson during Holmgren's tenure as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.



Stevens damaged the meniscus in his knee during the Seahawks' first playoff victory over the Washington Redskins. It was originally diagnosed as floating particles, Stevens said, and "something that I was just going to work through." But as the discomfort increased, an MRI detected the meniscus damage and he had it repaired.
"The trainers and doctors say he's good to go," Holmgren said. "He's worried up here, in his mind: How's it going to feel? So we've got to get over that hump."

Wednesday was a needed step. Stevens did not participate in the full-team portions of practice, but he looked quick and smooth while running routes and catching the ball in individual drills.

"It's all about strength in my leg and confidence," Stevens said. "It felt good today. It was good to stop while I was ahead. That's the plan, to stop while I'm feeling good every day and try and progress a little bit every day."

The mental anguish from the Super Bowl also should subside as Stevens moves closer to the 2006 season.

"If you're playing this sport, most every play you get hit right in the mouth. How do you handle that?" Holmgren said. "You've got to get back up, and that was on a bigger stage. So I would expect him to bounce back. If a player can't bounce back from things like that, then they don't last very long."

It didn't help that Stevens became an unwitting participant in what turned into a woofing match with Steelers linebacker Joey Porter during the week leading up the Super Bowl.

"I don't feel like I said something that was inappropriate or out of place," Stevens said. "I supported my team and told (reporters) that we were here to win, and I stick by that now."

Stevens would just as soon put it all behind him -- the Super Bowl and the injury.

"I plan on moving forward and doing better and bigger things this year, just use that as a stepping stone," he said. "I've taken one step. I've got to continue to take steps forward."

P-I reporter Clare Farnsworth can be reached at 206-448-8016 or clarefarnsworth@seattlepi.com.

Chris Chambers - Chris Chambers Picked To Improve With Daunte Culpepper - Miami Herald



CHRIS CHAMBERS
Pressure thrown at Chambers

With the offseason acquisition of Daunte Culpepper, receiver Chris Chambers will have greater expectations placed on him for the 2006 season.
BY DAVID J. NEAL
dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Dolphins wide receiver Chris Chambers knows what is expected of him after a career season: more.

More catches, more yards, more spectacular plays, more big plays that aren't so spectacular but lead to more victories. More leadership, especially with rookie Derek Hagan.

Like the Dolphins, Chambers' 2005 success earned him the right to be judged against a higher standard. That would be the case even if the Dolphins had not traded for quarterback Daunte Culpepper in the offseason.

''I don't really feel the pressure,'' Chambers said. ``I know it's my responsibility to be more of a leader and step my game up even more to help the team win. I know I have guys around me that can make plays as well. So it's really not a pressure-type deal for me.''

Or maybe it's that Chambers has dealt with expectations since the start of his career. Last season wasn't much different.

Everything seemed set for a big season from Chambers. The Dolphins brought in Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator from the Minnesota Vikings, where Linehan choreographed a dazzling offense starring Culpepper and Randy Moss. Quarterback Jay Fiedler was replaced by Gus Frerotte.

The Dolphins voted Chambers an offensive captain, acknowledging him as a team leader but also making an unspoken request for greater production.

Few who have spent time around the reserved Chambers would expect him to transform into an emotional, vocal leader. His brand of leadership would have to come through performance.

And it did, after eight games in which he sometimes struggled. In the second half of the season, Chambers had 52 catches for 701 yards and eight touchdowns. Subtract the 15-catch, 238-yard game against Buffalo that made him the first Dolphins wide receiver since 1994 to be named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, and still there is a respectable 37 catches for 463 yards and seven TDs in seven games.

''Reading defenses is one of the things I got better at,'' Chambers said. ``As I get better at that, it makes it a lot easier for me to go out there and run routes. Different ball drills that I wasn't doing early in the year, I'm starting to do them now early in training camp so that I can continue doing that throughout the whole year.''

Dolphins coach Nick Saban said he believed Chambers' confidence grew during last season.

''[He] made more big plays with fewer drops,'' Saban said. ``Played faster with a better understanding and knowledge of what he needed to do to get open or execute that particular play. That's no disrespect to what he did in the beginning of the year, but I just think he got better and better as the year went on.''

And his expectations for this season?

''I think, if he plays with the consistency that he finished the year with last year for an entire season . . .'' Saban said, his voice trailing off before finishing, `` he had a fantastic year last year, but he would have an absolutely fantastic year.''

Daunte Culpepper - Daunte Culpepper's Knee Better, Will Play Saturday



Adam Scheafter of the NFL Network asked the right question: how will he do in the Dolphins offense?

Culpepper will play in Dolphins' preseason opener
BY DAVID J. NEAL
dneal@MiamiHerald.com

JOE RIMKUS JR. / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Dolphins quarterback Daunte Culpepper will play in Saturday's preseason game against Jacksonville at Dolphin Stadium.

In his opening statement to the media after this morning's practice, Dolphins coach Nick Saban said, ``As of right now, you can expect all the quarterbacks to play some.''

Saban declined to say how much each quarterback would play.

Culpepper has not played since shredding knee ligaments when tackled during an Oct. 30 game against Carolina.

Maurice Clarett is a Tragedy



Maurice Clarett Arrested

by Walter Anaruk
Field Position



The situation surrounding former Denver Broncos and Ohio State RB Maurice Clarett is a mystery. Clarett led police in Columbus, Ohio on a chase that ended in a restaurant parking lot. Four loaded guns, including an assault rifle, and half a bottle of vodka were found in the front of the vehicle Clarett was driving. A sobriety test was not administered because officers had no indication that Clarett was intoxicated.

Police attempted pull Clarett over for an illegal U-turn. Clarett did not pull over and led police onto eastbound Interstate 70. He then accelerated across the median and turned westbound where he drove over a spike strip placed by police.

When Clarett came to a stop, police stated that he refused orders to get out of the vehicle. According to police reports, Clarett struggled against police when they attempted to remove him from the vehicle. Tasers were ineffective because Clarett was wearing a bullet-resistant vest. So police used mace to subdue Clarett who continued to fight officers until he was handcuffed in the paddy wagon.

ESPN the Magazine's Tom Friend reportedly was called by Clarett just hours before his arrest. Friend describes Clarett's disposition as melancholy and stated in an ESPN news segment that it almost felt as if Clarett were saying his good byes. Friend said that Clarett called him to thank him for making Clarett "see reality." Friend had Friend also said that Clarett claimed to be calling others such as his college coach Jim Tressell and childhood friend LeBron James. Several times during his appearance on ESPN, Friend alluded to the possibility that Clarett was either suicidal or felt his life was in danger.

Besides the well publicized football follies and the recent charges of assault and armed robbery, Clarett had a life frought with problems. After he left Ohio State and was denied entry into the NFL Draft, Clarett accepted the sponsorship of several managers in the rap music industry. He lived in a plush home on Malibu beach and trained in celebrity health spas, and drove around in expensive automobiles. His benefactors believed that Clarett would be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft and would repay them when he earned his millions.

In 2005, Clarett entered the draft. But he was not in good shape. He had shunned the assistance of professional trainers preferring the celebrity lifestyle he had grown accustomed to. Additionally his massive insecurities and paranoia made him afraid to work out where people might recognize and judge him. His lack of training resulted in a slow 40 yard dash. His slow time combined with his obvious lack of conditioning made his selection by the Denver Broncos in the third round, a tremendous suprise.

Instead of taking the guarateed $416,000 signing bonus and minimum contract that his agents pleaded with him to sign, Clarett opted for no guaranteed money. He wanted an incentive laden contract that would pay him millions for 1000 plus yard seasons, he wanted bonuses for making the Pro Bowl. The Broncos were only too happy to sign. And when he spent the first three weeks of training camp nursing a sore leg, the Broncos cut him with no financial reprocussions. Clarett never even appeared in an NFL preseason game. He had no money because he had removed all of his guarantees. He owed a lot of people a lot of money.

What was he doing with three loaded hand guns, a loaded assault rifle, wearing a bulletproof vest that early morning? No one knows. He had just recently become a father and told Friend in their midnight phone call that he would do anything for his baby daughter - even spend 30 years in jail. Friend thought it was an odd example at the time. Obviously Clarett felt his life and the life of his daughter might be threatened. Could be his paranoia. It could be that he owed a lot of money to some of the wrong people. The story will unfold as days go on. But not since University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias died in 1986 or possibly the story of boxer Mike Tyson in the late 90s has such a tragic tale of fallen grace been witnessed.

NY Jets Curtis Martin May Have To Retire Due To Knees - Newsday

Curtis' knee in bad shape
12-year veteran has 'virtually no cartilage' and walking with limp

BY KEN BERGER
Newsday Staff Writer

August 9, 2006

Curtis Martin has a "bone-on-bone" condition in his surgically repaired right knee, a setback that has the Jets' coaching staff privately wondering if the future Hall of Famer will be able to suit up for the start of his 12th season.

"The guy is bone-on-bone on the knee and can't play," a person with knowledge of Martin's injury said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity. "No one has said he's not going to play, but I don't know how much more they're going to get out of the guy."


The person confirmed earlier reports that Martin has virtually no cartilage in his right knee, which was repaired arthroscopically in December.

Coach Eric Mangini said yesterday that Martin's status hasn't changed and that he's at the complex every day for rehab, all of which is done out of the media's view. Martin is attending all team meetings and functions, Mangini said.

But when asked about Martin's recovery and demeanor, several players said they haven't seen Martin much at all. "I've been going from the meetings to eating and back to meetings," Chad Pennington said. "Our schedule has been so full."

Martin was seen walking with a distinct limp Sunday at Giants Stadium, where the Jets held an intrasquad scrimmage. It was quite a contrast to the last time reporters saw Martin for any extended period, at the June minicamp, when he ran and did individual drills.

It is not known if Martin has had further surgery on the knee. Mangini declines to address the specifics of injuries, and a high-ranking team official with knowledge of Martin's condition declined comment yesterday on whether he had to have another scope.

"We know what Curtis means to us as an organization, especially to me as a person with all the things I've gone through these last three years," Pennington said. "He's been a solid rock for me to lean upon and we just can't wait to see him out here."

Martin has not been available for comment since July 29, when he said the situation hasn't forced him to think about how much longer he can play. "My fire will burn until the day that I'm done with football," Martin said.

The Jets continue to explore the running backs market. The latest names added to the list are the Cardinals' Marcel Shipp and the Chargers' Michael Turner, who worked with Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer the past two years.

Martin, the NFL's No. 4 career rusher and the Jets' most accomplished player since Joe Namath, has slipped into the past tense in the minds of some teammates.

"He was a mainstay, he was a guy you could look to to be a professional," linebacker Jonathan Vilma said. "That's what he still is. He's a bona fide professional and always did the job right. It's different right now in training camp not having him around."

Notes & quotes: Mangini refused to confirm that S Erik Coleman had his appendix removed ... WR Justin McCareins, already in Mangini's doghouse, had two drops ... WR Dequawn Mobley, an undrafted rookie from the Bronx, was waived.

ROGER GOODELL PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - NFL



August 8, 2006 - http://www.nflmedia.com and ASAPSports

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

An Interview With:

ROGER GOODELL

ROGER GOODELL: I certainly want to thank the ownership for their confidence. I committed over the last several months that I would do my best to help promote the National Football League. I told them that we've had the two greatest sports commissioners in the history of all sports with Paul Tagliabue and Pete Rozelle; I've been fortunate to work for both of them. I can't think them enough for the opportunities they have both given to me.

And I'm thrilled by this challenge. I'm excited. It hasn't hit me yet how big a job it's going to be, I'm sure, but I look forward to the challenge and thank them again for their confidence in my abilities.

So thank you very much. I look forward, and if you've got some questions, I'd be happy to take them.

Q. This goes back to Paul. The first thing Paul said when he was elected commissioner was somebody asked him why he wanted the job and he said because it would be fun. You've worked in the league almost your entire career. Do you think it's going to be fun?

ROGER GOODELL: I wouldn't say that. The Commissioner said that.

No, I think it's a great challenge. I must tell you, I'm very fortunate, and I know that. I've spent my life following my passion, what I always loved to do. And I know that from my standpoint, I can't think of a greater job and a greater league to be associated with, so I'm thrilled.

Q. How did you get the news that you had been selected as the next commissioner?

ROGER GOODELL: The gentleman here to my right came upstairs when I was sitting upstairs. I was not watching the NFL Network. I was doing some work trying to be distracted, and Mr. Rooney came up and knocked on the door and told me. Thankfully I just put my pants on. (Laughter).

Q. Was it a nerve-wracking process, just the wait?

ROGER GOODELL: You mean this afternoon or the entire process?

Q. Both.

ROGER GOODELL: Yes, both were as a matter of fact. It was a very good process. In fact, I've said to people over the past several days, that I think the process has been very good for me personally and very good for the National Football League. It was open. I think there were some very strong candidates put forth. As I said, I'm honored they selected me.

It helped me reflect a little bit on what I've done, what I think I can do for the league in the future, and it was very helpful in preparing me for this opportunity.

Q. What do you think the biggest issue facing you is, Roger?

ROGER GOODELL: It's pretty tough to focus on one issue. I think the league is fortunate to have great success. It's also got a great foundation on which to build.

But I think we've got a lot of challenges to face, and the good news is I think we'll face them together with 32 owners that are focused and prepared, because I think the process allowed us to talk about a lot of those issues and what we need to do together to address those.

Q. When does it sound like you are officially taking office?

ROGER GOODELL: That's a good question, Adam. The Commissioner and I have not discussed it other than very briefly downstairs. We will agree to that sometime over the next several days, but I would assume before the regular season starts.
Q. Paul had some pretty big shoes to fill when he started, and now you succeed a very successful commissioner. How daunting is that challenge to you?

ROGER GOODELL: As I said, I think I've had the good fortune of working for the two greatest sports commissioners, and I know how big those shoes are, both literally and figuratively.

He is a gold standard for me. I will do my best, and I'll work hard at it, but I know they are big shoes.

Q. What do you think is the one thing that you learned from Pete that you can take into this job and the one thing that you learned from Paul that you can take into the job?

ROGER GOODELL: I think it's the same with both of them, Gary. It's the importance of the game. The game of football is the most important thing, and we can't lose focus of that. That's why the fans love the NFL, and we have to keep producing that and giving them that.

Q. Because of the way the process played out, because you knew what the process would be, and the questions, what you might be asked, did it allow you over the last month or so to be not only introspective, but also forward-thinking to maybe crystallize and galvanize some of your own thoughts on how you might operate if you got this job?

ROGER GOODELL: It absolutely does. It forces you to go through that process, and I spent an awful lot of time thinking about it. And I think that this process required you to tell the ownership how you saw the future, what you thought the National Football League should be doing to prepare for that future.

Obviously I must have told a pretty good story along the way, because they have given me the opportunity. So I'm grateful for that, and we'll carry out what we talked about over last several days.

Q. Sorry to ask a homer question, but what happens next in southern California?

ROGER GOODELL: Alan, I just got the job ten minutes ago, and you just -- (Laughter).

Q. I'll going to be asked by my editor, so I might as well ask you.

ROGER GOODELL: I know that that's one of the things the ownership wants to focus on, but we haven't given much thought to it the last couple days.
Q. Can you build a bridge between large market owners and the small market owners?

ROGER GOODELL: I think the ownership has gotten a lot more incumbent than you think. I think they certainly have differences of opinions on certain things, but they I think always do what's in the best interests of the game. I think they will continue to do that.

So I believe that those issues, while they need to get addressed, will get addressed properly and quickly.

Q. What are some things you did talk to the owners about as far as your vision of the future?

ROGER GOODELL: Well, I had a number of things that we talked about and that I focused on. They really came under three simple headings: The game, strengthen our 32 teams and innovation. And I think those are the things that made the NFL great in the past, and I think they will help us keep our focus and make the game great going forward.

Q. What do you mean by innovation, media, international?

ROGER GOODELL: I think we've been very innovative with our media packages, as one example. But I think the league has always tried to find a better way of doing things and be responsive before we need to. And I think that has been a hallmark of our leadership under both Commissioner Rozelle and Commissioner Tagliabue, and I certainly hope to carry that on.

The NFL HoF Class of 2006


The NFL HoF Class of 2006, originally uploaded by Ed Roth.

Reggie White's wife, Harry Carson, Troy Aikman, John Madden, Warren Moon, Rayfield Wright.

A photo for the ages.

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