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Saturday, June 30, 2007


From the NFL. The official press release annoucing the death of NFL Europe.

280 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000 * FAX (212) 681-7573
Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations



The NFL has determined that it will switch the focus of its international business strategy to
presenting the NFL to the widest possible global audience, including broader media visibility and the
staging of international regular-season games, and will discontinue NFL Europa.

“The time is right to re-focus the NFL’s strategy on initiatives with global impact, including worldwide
media coverage of our sport and the staging of live regular-season NFL games,” commented Mark
Waller, senior vice president of NFL International.

“We will continue to build our international fan base by taking advantage of technology and
customized digital media that make the NFL more accessible on a global scale than ever before and
through the regular-season game experience. NFL Europa has created thousands of passionate fans
who have supported that league and our sport for many years and we look forward to building on this
foundation as we begin this new phase of our international development.”

Last October, NFL owners passed a resolution to stage up to two international regular-season games
per season. The new international series will launch on Sunday, October 28 when the Miami
Dolphins host the New York Giants at London’s Wembley Stadium.

In addition to the 2007 game in the United Kingdom, the NFL is preparing to stage regular-season
games in future seasons in Germany, Mexico and Canada, with Germany being a strong candidate to
host a regular-season NFL game in 2008.

NFL Europa began in 1991 as the World League of American Football, with 10 teams competing in
the United States and Europe. After a two-year hiatus (1993-94) following the 1992 season, the
league returned in 1995 as a six-team, all-European venture, with five teams in Germany since 2005,
and has existed in that format through its final season in 2007.

# # #

Friday, June 29, 2007


From NFL Media.com

NFL Rookie Symposium
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – June 25, 2007

Re: How the Symposium has lasted this long and the concern about
players in their first year...

RG: The focus for us is how do we make these guys better men. What can we do
to help prepare them for the decisions they will have to make as NFL players?
It’s a big transition from college, so I think we’re providing some tools for them.
The big focus for us is how do we expand on this, how do we make it better? It’s
a great start but we want to make sure that we continue to promote these
messages and give the players the kind of resources and tools they need to
make good choices.

Re: On the rookies and if they asked questions of him...

RG: Yes. I thought they were great. There were a lot of questions. They were
good questions, direct questions. I think that’s terrific and I’m glad they felt
comfortable enough to ask them.

Re: If this will help the players in the long term. Is the goal to help them no
matter what kind of career they have?

RG: The whole focus is how do we make these men better men, and how do we
make sure that they understand that the skills they learn here are life skills;
things that will help them throughout their lives and well beyond their NFL career.

Re: How the message on player conduct is getting across...

RG: I think we’re being more clear with them of what we expect. There is a
higher standard of behavior being that they are football players. The vast majority
of our players do understand; only a select few of our players don’t. They get a
lot of focus, they get a lot of attention, and it has a negative impact on the players
in our league and the NFL in general. I think they have a better understanding of
what we’re going expect from them in the future.

Q: Why do they have a better understanding?

RG: Because we reinforce it at every opportunity. We feel very strongly here. The
clubs are doing it at the club level and I think what we’ve done with the personal
conduct policy came out just great. There are not many people who are unaware
of what our standards are.

Re: Why some players still don’t seem to grasp it...

RG: I’d be naïve to think that everyone will understand it. We’re going to have to
make it a priority going forward. Again, we’re making players more aware of our
standards of behavior. Secondly, we’re giving them more tools and resources to
make sure that they can make those decisions, and hopefully that will have a
great impact.

Re: What you discussed with the players...

RG: Several things. I just tell them a little bit about my own background, being in
the league for 26 years. I told them about what I think is important with respect
to supporting the NFL shield. I did discuss personal conduct. I did talk about our
responsibility to them, and about the resources we’re providing to them. I spoke
to them about how important it is making their families proud in everything they
do both on and off of the field.

Re: The reaction of the players while he was speaking...

RG: I thought they were outstanding. It was a little difficult in the room to survey
every conversation. You could tell the players were engaged. They asked very
good questions, very responsive questions to what I had said, and I think they
listened very intently.

Re: The process in evaluating a violation of the policy...

RG: First we get the facts, and then once we’ve done that we make an evaluation
of where it sits in our personal conduct policy and make a determination.

Re: Overall goal of the symposium and this class of rookies...

RG: That we are concerned about them as men. Not only how they become
great NFL players but how they become great men. How they conduct
themselves appropriately for the remainder of their lives, not just in the National
Football League.

Re: How did the players ask questions? Did they raise their hand, stand up,
grab a microphone?

RG: They did both, they had a microphone. They asked a lot of questions about
the services they have available to them, what we could do to help them, am I
available, what is my perspective and how I go about making decisions. They
were very good questions.

Re: Your perception of how the fans perceive personal conduct issues...Do
you believe personal conduct is a problem in the fans’ eyes?

RG: The reaction I’m getting from the fans is quite supportive. We are standing
up; we are making sure our players are held to a higher standard. They want
that. People have put an awful lot of time, energy, money, into the National
Football League, and I want them to feel good about what they’re doing.

Re: Whether the symposium always has the same focus...

RG: We adapt the symposium to whatever the issues are at the time. We
obviously have adapted the agenda here to some extent to make sure it’s
responsive to issues that they may be facing, that they’re comfortable making the
transition to pro football from college football.

Re: Congressional hearing on retired players...

RG: The focus on retired players is that we have an obligation and a
responsibility to retired players. I think we’ve done some very positive things for
retired players and we’re considering doing some additional things that I think are
quite responsive to the issues. I’ve spent a fair amount of time listening to retired
players and listening to what the issues actually are. Both Gene and I will be
having a meeting with the retired players on July 24th to talk about some of the
ideas that we’ve been developing and hopefully we’ll be able to move this
forward. I think we’re being very responsive to our retired players and I
understand the interest in this. I hope were going to be seen in a very positive
light in terms of being responsive to this.

Re: The London Game and the loss of a home game for the Dolphins...

RG: I understand that and that’s why we’ve said all along that we’re going to
have a limited number of regular-season games overseas because we recognize
that it can be difficult for fans and they lose one of their eight regular-season
home games. It’s not going to happen on a frequent basis. Even if we did two a
year it wouldn’t happen frequently. On the other hand, any time a fan loses a
home game we understand it’s a negative. We’re glad it’s on television. It’s not
the same experience, but I think the club should be proud that their fans are
going to be able to see it on television and more importantly they’re expanding on
a global basis. Hopefully some good will come out of that. There’s not much I can
say other than that. The fact is they are losing a regular-season home game.

Re: Reaction to Pacman and Tank’s latest issues...

RG: We’re waiting to get the facts. They’re both under suspension right now so
we’ll look at the facts and take it under consideration. They understand, as part of
their suspension, that we’ll be evaluating every activity that is going on with them.
They understand that so we’ll take that under consideration.

Re: Hearing their names continually coming up in the news this

RG: I would rather them be making good choices. They know that and knew that
when I met with them, and they each pledged to try to make good choices going
forward. We’re trying to do everything we can to support them to make choices. If
they don’t, that’s the decision they make and it will affect their future.

Re: Reaction to hearing these names again...

RG: Disappointment, more than anything else. Either they aren’t getting the
message or they don’t have the ability or the desire. It’s disappointing.

# # #

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Joe Montana - Brady Quinn Needs To Work On Touch

In an interview with a Kirk Bolh , former SF 49ers, Chiefs, and Notre Dame QB Joe Montana said “He throws the ball vertically very well, but the touch things, he’s got some work to do. He tries to knock a few guys over.”

Brady would do well to listen to Joe, considered the greatest QB of our time. Montana also offered this about the Raiders JaMarcus Russell: "“He’s obviously got a tremendous arm, but I don’t know what he’s got happening in Oakland. That’s an uphill battle.”

But Bohl's didn't ask Joe why he believed this, making for an imcomplete conversation.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

(ESPN's) "Tony (Kornheiser) Is Extremely Neurotic" - Joe Theisman On New “Monday Night Football”

Wow. I can understand that he's upset, but calling someone -- specifically ESPN's Tony Kornheiser "extremely neurotic" is a bit much. Well, it's one thing to say that in private conversation, but another to just hall off and make the comment before a media person. But Joe had a lot to say in this interview covered by MetroBostonNews.com . He dished more on Kornheiser saying "“Monday Night Football” cannot be an extension of “Pardon The Interruption,” because the game is too important."

The entire article by Christopher Price of Metro is below.....

Theismann Unplugged

Analyst sounds off on the Pats, Belichck and “Monday Night Football”
Former NFL quarterback Joe Theismann has never been shy about expressing his opinions. So when Metro caught up with him yesterday, it was no surprise the former Redskins quarterback and “Monday Night Football” analyst let fly on a number of topics, including what he thought about the Patriots’ offseason moves, Bill Belichick’s management style, whether or not Donovan McNabb should be worried and his feelings about being replaced on the “MNF” broadcasts by Ron Jaworski.

What are your thoughts about the Patriots’ moves this offseason?
I love them. It all starts with Mr. Kraft — I don’t think there’s anyone like Mr. Kraft. I have the utmost respect for him as a man, for the way he runs his organization. The way he entrusts his people with the responsibility of keeping this organization at the top … I look at the 49ers and the way they handled that situation. I think New England is the modern equivalent of that. You’ve got the best if not one of the top two or three coaches in the league in Bill [Belichick]. He’s the best at what he does.

You lose a Willie McGinest, you add an Adalius Thomas. You basically get a younger, bigger version of Willie. You have Junior [Seau] coming back healthy. Tedy [Bruschi] coming back healthy, hopefully, Rosevelt [Colvin] coming into his own. You’ve added the defensive linemen a few years ago. And even with Asante [Samuel] and his situation, the secondary is pretty solid, because that’s what you do. Bill believes that he can put the right people into the right situation and make them a Pro Bowler. You aren’t necessarily a Pro Bowler that has come to save a system.

Offensively, there isn’t anybody in football who doesn’t believe that this wasn’t a tight end offense a year ago. And that was the way it was going to be to be successful. The thing that really got Tom [Brady]… for six weeks, Tommy Brady was in a funk. As an aside, I’d like to congratulate him on fatherhood. I think it’s wonderful. Being a dad, this will be the greatest year of his life. I congratulate him and his girlfriend. But you look at what they’ve added. They added Kelley Washington, a big receiver who’s proven. You add Randy Moss … Randy gets a bad knock. Randy doesn’t deserve the criticism that he gets. I’ve known him since Day 1. I would have loved to have played with him. I would have lined up alongside Randy Moss any day, and twice on Sunday. You add Wes Welker, the leading receiver for the Dolphins a year ago. He fits the role of Troy Brown. And then you add Donte Stallworth. You’ve added size, you’ve added red zone production and you’ve added speed.

The biggest travesty of the 2006 season was the fact that Tom Brady was not selected to the Pro Bowl. Are you kidding me? I felt like he had — and had to have — his best year for them to get where to they got to. People forget they were four points from another Super Bowl — and they were going to win that one. I just feel like — and you have to put the qualifier out there that if everyone can stay healthy — I think they offensively become very, very difficult to defend, because offensively, they have the young running back. They have the best quarterback in football. Probably, there isn’t a receiver on that team that will catch more than 55 balls, the way I look at it. They’re probably going to be between 45 and 55, maybe five of them. They’re probably going to be in the low 60s, but they’re touchdown production will go up in the red zone.

What stands out the most about Belichick and the way he approaches the game?
Bill Belichick believes in his system and he puts it on his players to deliver, and if you don’t deliver, you won’t be here. If you’re not a New England Patriot type of player, you will not be a New England Patriot. He has a very specific idea as to what he’s looking for in that type of player.

I just think that defensively, there isn’t anybody better than him. As a head coach … the two things he does as a head coach is discipline and direction. And he cuts to the chase. There is no sugarcoating with him and his ballclub. He’s upfront. He tells you what he expects from you and he tells you how you’re going to do it.

How would you react if you were in Donovan McNabb’s situation? What if the Redskins came in and drafted a quarterback?
They did. I have walked in Donovan’s shoes. Tom Flick was a No. 2 pick when I was there. In 1981, we went 0-5, and they go out and get a quarterback. I was going to be traded to the Detroit Lions. The Redskins went out and drafted Tom Flick in the second round. Joe Gibbs was a second-year head coach. They were after his job.

The only thing that Donovan has to concern himself with is staying healthy, because there isn’t anybody who can threaten Donovan McNabb. He’s one of the great quarterbacks in this game. I don’t throw the term “great” around lightly. He has really earned the moniker of greatness. His problem over the last two years has been injuries. Andy [Reid] has built the offense around Donovan’s ability. There are always areas he can improve in — throwing the ball over the middle. The shorter passes, he tends to jump and rush them a little bit, and he’s not as accurate as he can be. But he’s a great threat. I think they’ve added some weapons on the outside. And to go draft a young quarterback, that’s smart. That’s business. It’s what you have to do as a football team. In Donovan’s case, there’s so much being made about nothing, in my opinion. The addition of a young quarterback … this is a non-story. Donovan McNabb is the quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’ll be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles until such time he chooses not to.

What’s your opinion of the new “Monday Night Football” crew?
I love Ronnie. We’ve been friends for a long, long time and I think the world of Ron. [But] I’m not happy with what happened. When you sit down in a meeting and they tell you that you’ve had your best year ever, and the ratings have gone up 50 percent and the executives don’t even talk to my boss and tell me that they didn’t like the fact that I talked about football, you have a little trouble trying to process how you could have done better. For Mike [Tirico] and Tony [Kornheiser] and Ron, it’ll be a learning process again, because Ron hasn’t done television. Tony is extremely neurotic. And I think Mike really settled in. I felt like the last six games we really settled in as a real solid team, all of us. And now, they’ll have to re-create that chemistry again. I’m disappointed, certainly I never expected it. But the people at ESPN understand how to deliver a product. I will say this — I believe, 100 percent that you cannot insult the football fan. “Monday Night Football” is about football, and I hope that they continue to deliver that product to the fan. “Monday Night Football” cannot be an extension of “Pardon The Interruption,” because the game is too important. That’s just the way I feel.

Why are you here in Boston?
About five years ago, I was diagnosed with a what’s called an enlarging prostate. Fifty percent of the guys over 50 have it and 90 percent of men over 80 have it. If you’re getting older, there’s a real good chance your prostate is going to grow. When somebody mentions something about the prostate to a guy — bang — cancer is the first thing that pops into your mind. My dad had the surgery about two years ago, so I talked to my doctor with my PSA test and asked about my options. About that time, GlaxoSmithKline came to me and said they have a drug called Avodart that shrinks the prostate. There are drugs that make you feel like you don’t have to go to the bathroom. There aren’t a lot of drugs that shrink it. And this is one that actually shrinks the prostate. And the size of my prostate is down, based on the exam, because I get a physical every year. I just had my last one 2½ months ago. So it’s something that I’ve become very conscious of. I’m encouraging guys to take the time to go to the doctors and get examined. That is what it is. You owe it to your family, you owe it to yourself and you owe it to the quality of your life.

I’d go to Foxborough, and the first thing I’d have to do is time myself from the booth to the bathroom and back, because through the course of that game, I knew I’d have to at some point run out during a commercial. And since I started taking the drug, it’s worked for me. That’s why I’m such a big advocate for it.

It’s the kind of thing that every guys, as he grows older, will probably end up facing. Everybody says, ‘Oh, Jeez, I don’t want the exam.’ I say, ‘Look. If I can talk about this thing publicly and openly, I would hope that a lot of guys out there would be able to go to their doctors, and in the privacy of their doctors office and have an examination.’ So if there is a problem, it can be detected early on. If there isn’t a problem, it puts your mind and your family’s mind at ease. If you wait, what’s the alternative? It’s not very pleasant. That’s why I got involved in the campaign. It’s time for guys to be very conscious of their health and go to the doctor.

I get a chance to talk to some of the urologists and some of the doctors in the area from a patient’s standpoint and tell them that maybe there are some other ways that they can ask the people to ask the question. When people go to the doctor — and we do it with the doctor, we do it with accountants and we do it with lawyers — we assume that they’re the supreme authority and we assume that they have all the answers to all our problems. What I say is that if I’m not feeling good and I don’t ask you to look at something, maybe you can say ‘Hey, maybe we should take a look at this too.’ So it’s an opportunity to be able to share, maybe from a patient’s perspective information with the doctors.

My Dad and I, when I was a kid, we used to sit around and talk about how my Little League game went, or my Pop Warner game or high school game. Now, we talk about our prostates. [laughter] That’s how time has moved on.

For more information on prostate education, check out www.prostatecare.com.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NFL's Neil Glat Comes To Bay Area To See Stadium Sites - KCBS

NFL Officials See Possible 49ers Stadium Site in Santa Clara

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) -- A day after looking at San Francisco’s proposed site for a new 49ers stadium, NFL executives toured Santa Clara’s tentative stadium site.

On Monday San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom briefed league officials on his plan to keep the team in the city and build a new stadium at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard along the bay. The site is on the federal Superfund list because of toxic pollution. City officials have said the shipyard can be cleaned up in time to open a new stadium in 2012.

"It could be a special place, but the devil is in the details,'' NFL senior vice president Neil Glat said.

Niners owners favor a theme park parking lot south of Santa Clara, although Great America park officials recently announced they oppose the plan. ``We're concerned about a loss of parking and the construction process to build a new stadium,'' said Stacy Frole, spokeswoman for Ohio-based Cedar Fair, which owns Great America.

The NFL cannot directly dictate where the 49ers build a new stadium, but historically the league has lent teams money for new arenas. Three-quarters of NFL teams also must approve a team's move.

``We expect that a new stadium will cost $854 million ... and that some of that will include an investment from the team ownership and hope some will come from a loan from the NFL,'' 49ers Spokeswoman Lisa Lang said.

The 49ers announced in November they were abandoning a decade-long attempt to build a stadium at Candlestick Point, its San Francisco home since 1971.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Seattle Seahawks / Holmgren To Intall Offense Pre-Shift System

"Pre-shifting", or what was called "The Multiple Offense" is being installed by Settle Seahawk's coach Mike Holmgren for the 2008 season. This was reported and buried deep in an article on the Seattle Defense, and which appears below. But in my view, the writer missed the real story.

The strategy has been around since the turn of the 20th Century, but was used as a standard strategy by Dallas Cowboys Coach, the late Tom Landry during his 30-years as head coach. The idea is simply to have the offense "shirt" or move from one formation to the other before the ball is snapped. But the only West Coast / Walsh Offense team to use this until now has been the Tampa Bay Bucs under Jon Gruden.

There' a balance that has to be established between shifting and reading keys after the snap.


Hawks' defense eager to step up for second Super Bowl run

KIRKLAND -- It has been a defensive offseason for the Seahawks.

In the wake of the disappointment that was failing to defend their NFC championship in January, the club signed defensive end Patrick Kerney and safeties Deon Grant and Brian Russell as free agents in March.

April brought the NFL draft, which delivered cornerback Josh Wilson, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and defensive end Baraka Atkins.

During the post-draft minicamp in May and June minicamp, these players helped lead a surge of rejuvenation that at times confused and stifled the Seahawks offense -- the team's signature unit since coach Mike Holmgren arrived in 1999.

The events of the past 3 1/2 months have been enough to foster the notion that if the defense can rank among the NFL's top 10, the Seahawks have a chance to return to the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.

Top 10? Why stop there, says the smile that washes across the face of Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson.

"Seattle is known for its offense, but we want to eventually make it so the defense is what holds the team together," Peterson said Thursday after the team's final minicamp practice. "That's what we're striving to be -- we want to be one of the top five defenses in the league. We have the talent to do that."

Now that is saying something.

The Seahawks have not finished among the top 10 in defense since 1997, and have done it only three times in the past 15 seasons. They were 19th last season -- down from No. 16 during their Super Bowl run in 2005 -- when a seemingly endless avalanche of deep pass plays and long runs doomed the Seahawks to mediocrity, and too often came in critical situations.

"We were OK, at times, but not nearly consistent enough," Holmgren said. "They have a real chance to be better, and we have to be. It's a huge challenge."

Said Peterson, "We're just going to hold up our end on the defense and let the offense continue to do what they do."

But all this concentration on the defense might be masking the real key to the team's success in 2007 -- that offense, which is another year older and replacing several more pieces of the cohesive unit that used to be among the most productive in the league.

During the two-minute drill that ended Thursday's practice, a fiery Holmgren admonished his No. 1 unit after an unblocked defensive lineman was allowed a clear path to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. On the very next play, fill-in center Pat Ross and Hasselbeck botched the center exchange.

Holmgren gave the first unit another chance, only to have another fumbled snap.

It is asking too much for this up-tempo offense to function as efficiently in June -- or even early September -- as it always seems to by season's end. Especially since Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones and leading rusher Shaun Alexander were absent Thursday, when starting center Chris Spencer also saw his first, though limited, contact of the offseason after having postseason shoulder surgery.

But is it expecting too much to just get the ball into Hasselbeck's hands?

The offense worked extensively during this minicamp on pre-snap movement, which is designed to throw new wrinkles at defenses this season and also hold the attention of veteran players and coaches.

"If I find myself kind of standing at practice and going, 'Oh boy, if I have to look at that play one more time I'm going to faint,' then I know it's kind of time to throw in some new stuff," Holmgren said.

"It's healthy to stimulate the veterans that we have and get them thinking, so it's not just business as usual," he said. "And adding things to our repertoire is healthy, as long as it helps us."

Wrinkles aside, the offense that takes the field when training camp practices begin July 28 will not be the same seamless unit that led the Seahawks to three consecutive NFC West titles.

Spencer, left guard Rob Sims and a yet-to-be-determined right guard will man the interior of the line -- Spencer as a full-time replacement for the retired Robbie Tobeck and Sims as the latest option to try to make everyone forget about Steve Hutchinson's departure in free agency last offseason.

Deion Branch has moved to the flanker spot that opened when leading receiver Darrell Jackson was traded to the San Francisco 49ers during the draft. D.J. Hackett will replace Branch as the split end. Marcus Pollard and his 35-year-old body will try to supply what Jerramy Stevens couldn't -- consistent production from the tight end spot.

Regardless of the system and its past success, that is a lot of turnover for one offseason.

The suddenly defensive-minded Seahawks just can't allow it to create turmoil.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Q&A - Charlotte, NC – June 5, 2007

Q&A with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

Charlotte, NC – June 5, 2007

Re: What it means to present the award to Carolina Panthers Owner/Founder
Jerry Richardson?
A great deal. Jerry Richardson is not only an important person to the NFL, but he’s also
an incredibly important person to this region. What he’s done for this region and to be
able to honor him was a great honor for me.

Re: His relationship with Richardson.
It goes back now almost 20 years to when he began his effort to get an expansion
franchise. From the moment I met him, you just have a great admiration and respect for
his integrity, his values and for his can-do attitude. He’s always demonstrated that and
he’s been incredibly important both to me but more importantly to the league in his
tenure as the owner of the Carolina Panthers. I can’t say enough good things about
Jerry Richardson.

Re: What kind of addition to the NFL the Panthers have been?
I stated earlier I believe he’s put together a model franchise here. It’s representative of
his community. It’s representative of his family. He’s done everything he can to make
sure this franchise represents the community in the best possible way. I think he’s
somebody this region should be very proud of.

Re: Conduct being a focus this offseason.
It hasn’t been our focus. Obviously, we’ve had to deal with that and we believe we’re off
to setting some important standards to making sure our players and their coaches and
everyone involved in the NFL understand the importance of it. But it’s an ongoing issue
and it’s going to continue to be an ongoing issue.

Re: The feedback he has gotten from the players on his conduct policy.
We put this policy together with a lot of input from the players. I met with well over 100
players, including the union, and got a great deal of input to try to understand what are
the issues we’re dealing with and what should we do to try to address this issue. I think
the reaction has been quite supportive. Our players are outstanding young men, and
they are doing great things in their community. Obviously, we’ve had a few incidents
we’re not happy about and we’ve dealt with this and we’ve had the support of players in
doing that.

Re: When he will know if the steps he has taken are successful?
I think it’s an ongoing issue you just have to address. You have to recognize we’re
dealing with young people, a large number of people, 2,000 young men, and mistakes,
they’re going to make mistakes. What we need to do is provide as many resources as
we possibly can to help them make good decisions. But it’s going to happen, and when
it happens, they have to understand the consequences of that also.

Re: Richardson stressing the importance of character in his players.
It’s important for Jerry Richardson because this franchise represents this community
and his family, and it represents the National Football League. It’s no mistake he’s got
the NFL shield at the 50-yard line of Bank of America Stadium. It means a great deal to
him. I know he’s supportive of the policy and so are the players, having met with them
this morning.

Re: The rift between retired players and NFL Players Association Executive
Director Gene Upshaw.
The retired players are important to us. They helped us build the game. I don’t think
there’s anybody that I know of that’s done more for retired players or players in general
than Gene Upshaw. I think he’s done a tremendous amount toward that. I think it’s
unfortunate that this kind of thing is going on. I think that’s the reason Gene and I have
talked about forming this alliance to make sure we can address these issues in a
responsible fashion. I don’t think it’s helpful, but I understand it’s an emotional issue

Re: What say to both sides?
I don’t think there are both sides. I think we have a genuine interest, and Gene leans
that way, to try to do what’s responsible for our players. No one has done more for
players than Gene Upshaw.

Re: Upshaw saying he would break Joe DeLamielleure’s neck.
I wasn’t part of those discussions so I don’t have any response to it.

Re: The prospect of a competing professional football league involving Dallas
Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban.
I don’t know many of the details of it so I really couldn’t comment too much on it.

Re: How much bigger the NFL can get?
I think our game is a great game. I think it’s healthy on all levels, and we’re looking for
ways to expand the popularity of our game, not only in the United States but on a global
basis. We think there’s still tremendous growth out of the National Football League
because the game is so strong and our fans are so passionate.

Re: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s status for the 2007 season.
We don’t deal with hypotheticals. We’re waiting to make sure we gather all the facts and
we understand what the circumstances are. Michael and I have met. We’ve talked on
the phone. He understands what is expected of him, and I expect he’s going to make
the changes necessary in his life to make sure he avoids these things going forward.

Re: Role as the NFL commissioner and being comfortable in his new position.
Non-stop. It’s always an issue we have to deal with, but I knew that getting into it. There
weren’t a lot of surprises when you start this job after being in it 25 years. You
understand the role and the responsibility and the accountability we have to our fans.
It’s an awesome responsibility, but I enjoy it. I love the NFL and I want to contribute
whatever I can to that.

Re: Conduct being his stamp and other issues he hopes to advance.
I understand why the media is focused on the player conduct issue. We are not. We
have a number of challenges we are dealing with on a daily basis, mostly on how we
continue to expand the popularity of the game. I think the player conduct issue is
something that’s important to the league, to make sure people respect our players and
the NFL in general. But we’re focused more on how we can continue to promote the
league on a broader basis.

The media world is changing. We have to be responsive to that and make sure we can
find ways to continue to deliver NFL football to future generations of NFL fans. So we’re
continuing to make sure we stay up with those changes and making sure we’re
positioned properly to continue to do that.

Re: Looking forward to the end of his first year as NFL commissioner:
I can’t wait.

Re: His first year as NFL commissioner.
There have been no surprises. When you work for the NFL for 25 years, when you work
for the two greatest sports commissioners, as I did with Pete Rozelle and Paul
Tagliabue, you’re not surprised by much. On the other hand, feeling that awesome
responsibility is really something you feel as much to the fans as to the ownership or
anyone associated with the NFL.

# # #

NFL Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agent Signings - June 14th

This is from NFLMedia.com

AS OF 6/14/07

(Based on official notification to NFL office)

1) 126 UNRESTRICTED free agents have signed with a NEW team:


ARIZONA DE Rodney Bailey Pittsburgh 4/13
CB Ralph Brown Cleveland 4/13
T Mike Gandy Buffalo 4/3
S Terrence Holt Detroit 3/8
CB Roderick Hood Philadelphia 3/13
C Al Johnson Dallas 3/6
NT Ross Kolodziej Minnesota 4/11
WR Sean Morey Pittsburgh 3/15
DE Joe Tafoya Seattle 4/13

ATLANTA K Billy Cundiff New Orleans 5/7
G Toniu Fonoti Miami 3/15
T Leander Jordan San Diego 5/9
FB Ovie Mughelli Baltimore 3/2
CB Lewis Sanders Houston 3/7
LB Marcus Wilkins Cincinnati 3/3

BUFFALO G Derrick Dockery Washington 3/3
RB Josh Scobey Seattle 5/3
T Langston Walker Oakland 3/3
C Jason Whittle Minnesota 3/3

CAROLINA S Deke Cooper San Francisco 3/26

CHICAGO DT Anthony Adams San Francisco 3/30

CINCINNATI DT Kenderick Allen Green Bay 5/14
DT Michael Myers Denver 4/20

CLEVELAND DE Antwan Peek Houston 3/5
DT Robaire Smith Tennessee 3/16
G Eric Steinbach Cincinnati 3/3
CB Kenny Wright Washington 3/6

DALLAS T Leonard Davis Arizona 3/5
S Ken Hamlin Seattle 3/26

DENVER TE Daniel Graham New England 3/9
LB Warrick Holdman Washington 4/26
G Montrae Holland New Orleans 3/5
LB D.D. Lewis Seattle 4/26
DT Alvin McKinley Cleveland 3/21
P Todd Sauerbrun New England 4/20
RB Paul Smith St. Louis 3/6

DETROIT RB T.J. Duckett Washington 3/16
CB Travis Fisher St. Louis 3/13
WR Shaun McDonald St. Louis 3/19
WR Troy Walters Arizona 6/1
DE DeWayne White Tampa Bay 3/5

JACKSONVILLE WR Dennis Northcutt Cleveland 3/5
T Tony Pashos Baltimore 3/3

GREEN BAY CB Frank Walker NY Giants 3/15

HOUSTON LB Shawn Barber Philadelphia 3/21
T Jordan Black Kansas City 3/9
WR Andre Davis Buffalo 4/12
RB Ahman Green Green Bay 3/5
LB Danny Clark New Orleans 3/7
CB Jamar Fletcher Detroit 4/5

DT Jeff Zgonina
G Rick DeMulling
TE Mike Seidman
DT Alfonso Boone
LS J.P. Darche
LB Donnie Edwards
San Diego
LB Napoleon Harris
S Jon McGraw
G Damion McIntosh
K Jay Feely
NY Giants
WR Az-Zahir Hakim
G Chris Liwienski
San Diego
TE David Martin
FB Cory Schlesinger
Green Bay
S Cameron Worrell
LB Vinny Ciurciu
S Mike Doss
WR Cortez Hankton
TE Visanthe Shiancoe
WR Bobby Wade
N.Y. Giants
CB Tory James
RB Sammy Morris
WR Donte’ Stallworth
LB Adalius Thomas
WR Kelley Washington
TE Eric Johnson
San Francisco
S Kevin Kaesviharn
LB Kawika Mitchell
Kansas City
CB Michael Stone
QB Anthony Wright
NEW YORK JETS FB Darian Barnes
DE David Bowens
DE Kenyon Coleman
QB Marques Tuiasosopo
OAKLAND G Cooper Carlisle
T Cornell Green
FB Justin Griffith
Tampa Bay
C Jeremy Newberry
RB Dominic Rhodes
San Francisco
TE Tony Stewart
WR Travis Taylor
TE Fred Wakefield
WR Kevin Curtis
St. Louis
WR Bethel Johnson
DT Ian Scott
C Sean Mahan
Tampa Bay
ST. LOUIS WR Drew Bennett
LB Chris Draft
S Todd Johnson
RB Travis Minor
CB Lenny Walls
LB Tully Banta-Cain
Kansas City
New England
DB Nate Clements
NT Aubrayo Franklin
WR Ashley Lelie Atlanta 3/6

S Michael Lewis Philadelphia
SEATTLE S Deon Grant Jacksonville
DE Brandon Green St. Louis
DE Patrick Kerney Atlanta
S Brian Russell Cleveland
TAMPA BAY RB B.J. Askew N.Y. Jets
LB Patrick Chukwura Denver
QB Jeff Garcia Philadelphia
LB Cato June Indianapolis
DE Lance Legree San Francisco
TE Jerramy Stevens Seattle
TENNESSEE WR Justin Gage Chicago
CB Nicholas Harper Indianapolis
QB Tim Rattay Tampa Bay
CB Bryan Scott New Orleans
WASHINGTON LB London Fletcher Buffalo
CB David Macklin Arizona
S Omar Stoutmire New Orleans

2) 88 UNRESTRICTED free agents have re-signed with their OLD team:


ARIZONA LB Monty Beisel
DT Chris Cooper
S Hanik Milligan
RB Marcel Shipp

BALTIMORE DE Jarret Johnson
S Gerome Sapp
RB Musa Smith

BUFFALO RB Anthony Thomas
CB Kiwaukee Thomas

DT Kindal Moorehead
CHICAGO G Ruben Brown

RB Kenny Watson
C Lennie Friedman
DALLAS T Marc Colombo
K Martin Grammatica
DENVER WR Quincy Morgan
DE Kenny Peterson
DETROIT RB Aveion Cason
DE Corey Smith
GREEN BAY C Tyson Walter
LB Tracy White

HOUSTON TE Mark Bruener
RB Ron Dayne
DE Ndukwe Kalu
CB Dexter McCleon
T Ephraim Salaam
P Chad Stanley

DT Dan Klecko
WR Aaron Moorehead
LB Rob Morris



RB LaBrandon Toefield 3/29
KANSAS CITY DT Ron Edwards 3/15
QB Damon Huard 3/2
DT James Reed 4/16
DE Jimmy Wilkerson 3/21
MIAMI CB Michael Lehan 3/19
LB Donnie Spragan 4/25
S Travares Tillman 4/13
NT Keith Traylor 3/8
MINNESOTA LB Jason Glenn 4/4
NEW ENGLAND FB Heath Evans 3/2
LB Larry Izzo 3/6
LB Junior Seau 5/21
N.Y. GIANTS C Shaun O’Hara 3/3
C Grey Ruegamer 3/27
N.Y. JETS T Anthony Clement 3/19
C Wade Smith 3/12
NEW ORLEANS S Jay Bellamy 4/2
CB Dejuan Groce 3/9
NT Antwan Lake 3/5
T Jon Stinchcomb 3/5
OAKLAND T Chad Slaughter 3/12
CB Duane Starks 3/26
WR Alvis Whitted 3/9
PHILADELPHIA RB Correll Buckhalter 3/21
CB William James 3/15
DE Juqua Thomas 3/2
PITTSBURGH S Tyrone Carter 4/2
RB Najeh Davenport 3/6
CB Chidi Iwuoma 3/15
ST. LOUIS LB Raonall Smith 5/3
T Todd Steussie 3/7
SAN DIEGO G Kris Dielman 3/5
LB Carlos Polk 3/22
C Cory Withrow 3/9
SAN FRANCISCO WR Bryan Gilmore 3/3
LB Hannibal Navies 3/16
RB Moran Norris 3/5
SEATTLE WR Bobby Engram 3/23
G Chris Gray 4/9
TE Will Heller 3/5
G Floyd Womack 3/12
TAMPA BAY CB Philip Buchanon 3/2
CB Torrie Cox 3/3
TENNESSEE QB Kerry Collins 3/12
DT Rien Long 3/2
S Donnie Nickey 4/2
T Seth Wand 3/8
LB LeVar Woods 3/12
WASHINGTON S Vernon Fox 3/2
CB Ade Jimoh 3/6
T Todd Wade 3/20
TE Todd Yoder 3/15

3) 4 RESTRICTED free agents have signed with NEW teams:
CLEVELAND DT Shaun Smith Cincinnati 3/16

NEW ORLEANS CB Jason David Indianapolis 4/27
ST. LOUIS P Donnie Jones Miami 4/18
TENNESSEE LB Ryan Fowler Dallas 3/16

4) 88 RESTRICTED free agents have re-signed with their OLD team:

ARIZONA C Nick Leckey 4/13
ATLANTA TE Dwayne Blakely 4/4
QB Matt Schaub 3/22 (Traded to Houston)
LB Demorrio Williams 4/23
BALTIMORE WR Devard Darling 5/15
WR Clarence Moore 4/24
PR B.J. Sams 5/10
BUFFALO DT Tim Anderson 4/17
DE Tony Hargrove 4/5
CAROLINA DT Jordan Carstens 3/20
WR Drew Carter 4/18
TE Michael Gaines 5/4
CINCINNATI G Stacey Andrews 4/23
CB Greg Brooks 4/2
LB Landon Johnson 4/20
P Kyle Larson 3/20
LB Caleb Miller 4/24
CLEVELAND T Nat Dorsey 4/27
NT Ethan Kelley 4/20
LB Mason Unck 4/25
DALLAS WR Patrick Crayton 4/5
CB Nathan Jones 4/13
CB Jacques Reeves 4/20
DENVER RB Kyle Johnson 4/2
RB Cecil Sapp 4/11
DETROIT LS Don Muhlbach 3/2
S Keith Smith 4/24
HOUSTON LB Charlie Anderson 4/24
S Glenn Earl 4/28
CB Von Hutchins 4/3
RB Vonta Leach 3/26
LB Shantee Orr 4/23
INDIANAPOLIS LB Gilbert Gardner 3/16
G Ryan Lilja 3/20
G Jake Scott 4/19
QB Jim Sorgi 4/11
DE Josh Thomas 4/24
JACKSONVILLE CB Ahmad Carroll 4/4
LB Jorge Cordova 4/19
QB Quinn Gray 4/20
DE Bobby McCray 6/13
K Josh Scobee 3/2
WR Ernest Wilford 4/20
KANSAS CITY DE Jared Allen 5/22
LB Keyaron Fox 4/24
WR Samie Parker 4/26
T Kevin Sampson 4/26
S Benny Sapp 4/3
LB Rich Scanlon 4/24
K Lawrence Tynes 4/4
MIAMI S Yeremiah Bell 5/21

QB Cleo Lemon 5/29
WR Wes Welker 3/5 (Traded to New England)
MINNESOTA G Anthony Herrera 4/23
DT Spencer Johnson 4/24
TE Richard Owens 4/19
RB Artose Pinner 4/23
DE Darrion Scott 6/1
NEW ENGLAND CB Randall Gay 5/29
G Gene Mruckzowski 3/22
NEW ORLEANS WR Terrance Copper 3/27
NT Rodney Leisle 4/3
NEW YORK GIANTS LB Reggie Torbor 4/23
RB Derrick Ward 5/29
S Gibril Wilson 5/2
NEW YORK JETS TE Sean Ryan 3/26
LB Cody Spencer 3/28
OAKLAND RB Reshard Lee 5/7
PITTSBURGH QB Brian St. Pierre 4/23
T Max Starks 4/25
ST. LOUIS LB Brandon Chillar 4/23
G Adam Goldberg 4/19
TE Aaron Walker 4/17
SAN DIEGO RB Michael Turner 4/26
SAN FRANCISCO RB Maurice Hicks 5/3
P Andy Lee 3/8
SEATTLE CB Jordan Babineaux 5/4
WR D.J. Hackett 4/23
LB Niko Koutouvides 4/20
T Sean Locklear 4/24
DT Craig Terrill 4/3
LB Robert Reynolds 4/4
TAMPA BAY G Jeb Terry 5/7
TENNESSEE C Eugene Amano 4/17
T Jacob Bell 6/14
TE Ben Hartsock 4/24
DT Randy Starks 4/17
WASHINGTON P Derrick Frost 4/2

5) 0 FRANCHISE players have signed with NEW teams:

6) 3 FRANCHISE players have re-signed with their OLD team:
CINCINNATI DE Justin Smith 5/8
NEW ORLEANS DE Charles Grant 4/27
SEATTLE K Josh Brown 5/2

Friday, June 15, 2007

Browns TE Kellen Winslow Dumps Poston's As Agents - Hires Drew Rosenhaus - Profootballtalk.com

This indicates that Winslow's interested in preparing for a larger contract in the not-to-distant future.


Multiple league sources have informed us that Browns tight end Kellen Winslow has hired agent Drew Rosenhaus. Winslow previously was represented by Carl and Kevin Poston.

Carl Poston was summarily suspended by the NFLPA in 2006 due to alleged delays in the resolution of Poston's appeal of a two-year suspension resulting from his admitted failure to read the final draft of a new contract for then-Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington. The contract allegedly was supposed to pay two separate $6.5 million roster bonuses in 2006, and Poston claimed that the team pulled one of the roster bonuses from the last version of the deal. He said that he didn't notice the omission because he didn't read the contract. A league source tells us that the hearing on the original suspension will be conducted in September.

It's unclear whether Winslow made the change because of Carl Poston's status, or whether there were other factors. We've previously pointed out that Winslow's rookie deal contained a multi-million-dollar bonus tied to minimum playing time, but that it applied to his rookie season only. Most contracts of this nature allow for the payment to be triggered by reaching the 35-percent threshold in any year of the deal. Because Winslow broke a leg while playing special teams in 2004 and did not qualify for the payment, it was forever lost.

The hiring of Rosenhaus could be a sign that Winslow wants a new contract. However, it was only a year ago that the Browns and Winslow resolved the unfortunate "vroom-vroom, smash" incident by taking back some bonus money, adding a year to the deal, and giving him the opportunity to earn back the lost bonus money via incentives.

He currently is signed through 2010, and is due to earn a salary of $2 million in 2007. Rosenhaus will be eligible for no fee unless and until a new contract is negotiated.

But Winslow has bigger issues than his contract. He is recovering from microfracture surgery, and there are indications that he will be limited at the start of training camp. Still, he played well in 2006 and, if his knee allows him to play, he likely will continue to perform at a high level.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Titans' Pacman Jones Accepts 1 Year NFL Suspension

Titans' Jones Accepts NFL Suspension
AP Football Writer

NEW YORK -- Adam "Pacman" Jones dropped his appeal of a yearlong suspension Tuesday, pledging to repair an image that made the Tennessee Titans cornerback the poster child for NFL misconduct.

His decision came after a third meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.

"I understand my responsibilities to my teammates, the Titans and my fans and I am committed to turning my life around and being a positive member of the NFL," Jones said in a statement issued by newly hired agent Michael Huyghue.

Jones was suspended after 10 encounters with police and five arrests since he was drafted in 2005.

"Last week, I asked for an opportunity to meet privately with commissioner Goodell," Jones said. "I met with him earlier today to tell him about the steps I have taken to change my life since being suspended by the NFL. I accept the discipline that's been imposed on me and I am withdrawing my appeal."

Neither the NFL nor the Titans commented.

Still pending is a case in Las Vegas involving a fight and shooting at a strip club during the NBA All-Star weekend that left one person paralyzed.

The outcome of that case could determine whether the suspension is reduced from 16 games to 10 games. That could happen if Jones adheres to the conditions set by Goodell and is not arrested again. If he misses the entire season, the suspension will cost him his salary of nearly $1.3 million.

Lt. George Castro in Las Vegas said police still have not connected what happened inside the strip club and the shooting that took place outside. No new suspects have been identified and police are not seeking new charges based on new information developed during the three months since District Attorney David Roger first declined to prosecute, Castro said.

Until now, Jones had been represented primarily in his dealings with the league by his lawyer, Manny Arora. After he was suspended by Goodell on April 10, Arora filed an appeal on Jones' behalf.

But this time, Jones was accompanied by Huyghue, who was his agent when he was drafted sixth overall in 2005 and is a former league office employee and former senior vice president of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Earlier this year, the players' union listed Jones as being without an agent, although Arora said Huyghue had been involved in case from the start.

Arora said he would have been at Tuesday's meeting, but was tied up with criminal cases. He emphasized that he remains Jones' lawyer, but that Huyghue's knowledge of the NFL was important in dealing with Goodell and other league officials.

Huyghue said Jones intended to keep working out and would go back to school, taking courses online from West Virginia University, where he played.

Jones' suspension was the most severe of three handed down this spring by Goodell as part of the commissioner's crackdown on player misbehavior during a year featuring the arrest of nine Cincinnati Bengals.

Tank Johnson of Chicago and Chris Henry of Cincinnati each got eight games. Johnson served two months in jail for violating probation on a gun charge. Henry, Jones' teammate at West Virginia, was arrested four times in 14 months. Henry served a two-game suspension last season.

Last week, the Titans took steps to fill Jones' vacancy by signing Kelly Herndon, a former starter at cornerback for Denver and Seattle.

So Adam must think that if he "cleans up his act" he'll get back after game 10, and if the titans are in the Playoff race he'll get a shot to contribute. Ofcourse all that goes doen the drain if he gets convicted in the "Vegas incident."
Meanwhile they are still trying to figure out weather they will file charges in that case. stay tuned for the saga of Adam Jones in a new movie entitled " the whole world doesn't like me and they just wanna keep a man down."

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Johnson's competition in match race could be tougher than he looks

From Pro Football Weekly

Johnson's competition in match race could be tougher than he looks

By Mike Wilkening
June 7, 2007

Bengals WR Chad Johnson is racing against a horse on Saturday. We know all about Johnson, and we are not surprised.

But what do we know about the horse?

His name is Restore the Roar, and he was named after a Bengals cheer bearing the same moniker. He has yet to win a race, but he has one second-place finish and one third-place finish in five career starts. The 4-year-old gelding has raced from distances from three-quarters of a mile to a mile and 70 yards, and always on dirt. Saturday’s race, at Cincinnati’s River Downs racetrack, will be his first try on grass.

Johnson, a turf sprinter if there ever was one, will have a head start. He'll break from the outside rail of the turf course at the sixteenth pole and run to the finish line, 110 yards in all. Restore the Roar, with retired jockey Patricia Cooksey in the saddle, will be breaking from a starting gate set up an eighth of a mile, or 220 yards, from the wire.

Restore the Roar is used to having to make up a lot of ground. He has never officially held the lead at any point in any of his five starts, and he has been at least 4½ lengths behind the leader entering the stretch in all of his races.

However, should Johnson make any Calvin Borel-like peeks over his shoulder, he could be alarmed at what he sees. The horse will be quickly covering ground, likely more than 20 feet per stride.

“That adds up pretty fast,” said River Downs publicity director John Englehardt.

The idea is to produce a photo finish, which is exactly what happened the last time a Bengals receiver raced a horse. The year was 1993, the Bengal was Cris Collinsworth and the horse was a first-time starter who defeated the talkative wideout by a nose. Cooksey had the mount that day. Now the deputy executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority, Cooksey joked that she was coming back to ride Restore the Roar because she was “undefeated against the Bengals and I plan on keeping it that way.”

This latest match race was the idea of Cincinnati radio host Andy Furman. Johnson, wanting to raise money for the charity Feed the Children, was game. Now they just needed four-legged competition.

That’s where Restore the Roar, son of Musical Dreamer and out-of-the-stakes-winning mare Princess Hawkins, comes in. The name made him a natural, as did his temperament. “You could probably blow a firecracker under his belly and he probably wouldn’t turn his head,” Englehardt said.

Englehardt approached the horse’s owner, Patricia Genn, who agreed to the race. She and her husband, Wilhelm, keep 15-20 show-jumping horses at Rheinland Farm in Lebanon, Ohio. They have only three of the racing variety, and Patricia Genn doesn’t rule out the possibility that Restore the Roar could change careers if he doesn’t take to racing. However, she believes the horse is simply going through a long, slow maturation process.

“He’s just figuring his job out,” she said.

Restore the Roar is coming off what may have been his worst race of his career, a six-furlong sprint vs. fellow Ohio-bred horses at River Downs on May 29. Restore the Roar was not quick enough to keep pace with the leaders, and he could not muster a closing kick in the stretch. He finished sixth in the field of 12, beaten by 14½ lengths.

Sprints, Genn admits, are not Restore the Roar’s game. “He can run all day,” she said. “Short distances, I don’t know.”

Advantage, Johnson.

Or is it?

If Restore the Roar takes to the grass, what a race Johnson could be in for, and what a race this could be. “His father’s biggest win was on the turf at River Downs,” Englehardt pointed out, referring to Musical Dreamer’s triumph in the Green Carpet Stakes 10 years ago.

The humans involved in this match race are primarily concerned with its charitable goals. River Downs is holding a silent auction of items autographed by Johnson, and the track will book “wagers” on the race, drawing winners for cash and prizes and donating some of the proceeds to Feed the Children. Also, Genn has pledged to donate a share of Restore the Roar’s future earnings to the charity.

To date, he’s made $4,354 for his owner. On dirt, he’s a one-paced plodder. On turf? No one knows, except maybe his daddy, and he isn’t talking. And that’s why Chad Johnson, who can cover 110 yards perhaps as fast as any human in the Cincinnati area, better not underestimate his competition, no matter what the racing form says.

Ok So Chad's gonna race a horse. thats great, he just better not wind up looking like the horses rear!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mike Nolan Wants To Wear Suits Full TIme All Season

According to a small news bit in the SF Chronicle, SF 49ers Head Coach Mike Nolan wants to have a suit on for every game. I personally support this, and I really don't understand how this casual kick was allowed to become institutiionalized. Apparently Reebok likes the idea, too, but for just two games. Yikes. Make it for all games.

You'd think that in an NFL that wants to give kids the right images, they'd back Nolan's call in a hurry, eh? Next, they should make Hybrid Cars the official vehicles of the league.

49ers Add Defensive Tackle Sam Rayburn - SF Chronicle

This is a huge addition -- excuse the pun -- for the 49ers. Depending on how they scheme, the Niners may be building the best defense in the NFC West. They've certainly got the right mix of youth and experience.

49ers sign Rayburn, bolster line
Kevin Lynch, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The 49ers bolstered their defensive line by agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with former Philadelphia Eagles tackle Sam Rayburn. The contract includes a small signing bonus and some playing-time and sack incentives, according to Rayburn's agent, Jason Brown.

Coach Mike Nolan, when asked about the prospect of signing Rayburn on Monday, said he admired the lineman's toughness. Rayburn fits Nolan's model of a rugged, run-plugging player, who's not averse to occupying blockers while linebackers make the tackles.

Rayburn made the Eagles as a rookie free agent in 2003, had his best season in '04 with 46 tackles, six sacks and eight quarterback hurries. Before the '04 season, former 49ers general manager Terry Donahue tried to trade Terrell Owens for Rayburn, but instead the Eagles sent Brandon Whiting, who lasted only a few games in San Francisco before injuring his knee.
Rayburn dipped in production while struggling with an elbow injury (35 tackles, one sack) in 2005 and last year, he hardly played.

"They wanted to play the first-round guys" Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson, Brown said, "which they should."
Brown also said Rayburn lost weight, dropping from 310 to less than 300 pounds.

"He's in great shape now," Brown said. "He's about 310."

Rayburn is to sign his agreement Sunday and will take part in next week's team practices. Brown said that Rayburn would compete as Bryant Young's backup or possibly play nose guard.

Heitmann ready: Center Eric Heitmann's first assignment Monday after returning from his broken leg was to drive-block 320-pound nose guard Aubrayo Franklin.

"I was like, 'Oh, this will be a good test,' " Heitmann said. He passed that test and took part in most of the team's practice Monday and Tuesday.

Heitmann's tibia was shattered Dec. 14 when Seattle's Darryl Tapp fell on him.

Heitmann was greeted by cheers when he entered the huddle this week. So far, he has taken 12 of 18 snaps with the first team during scrimmage. He'll probably be up to the full complement soon.

"All the drill work, pushing sleds, it feels great." Heitmann said.

Whew, Mangini wasn't whacked

(From Newsday's Neil Best-His Coverage of Sports on the Air

Whew, Mangini wasn't whacked
June 5, 2007

Someone had to do it, so I broke the news early last night to Eric Mangini:

The Emmy Award presentations are Sept. 16 in Los Angeles, the same day his Jets play in Baltimore.

"That's OK," he said. "I don't think they give awards for non-speaking parts."

Mangini was being modest. He nailed his cameo on the penultimate episode of "The Sopranos" on Sunday night, his most compelling acting since a stint last year on another of his favorite shows, "Sesame Street."

In a scene taped Feb. 8 at Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, Mangini and his wife, Julie, dined at Artie Bucco's fictional restaurant, where Artie informed Tony Soprano that "Mangenius" was in the house.

Tony said he should go over to say hello, which he did, in a series of shots seen only from a distance. Mangini was seen clearly in profile, but Julie only from behind.

"The back of her hair looked really good," the coach said sheepishly.

Mangini called himself "a huge fan of the show" but is not entirely sure why he was invited. "They're very secretive about how scripts evolve," he said.

He initially thought it was a joke when he learned he was wanted. It was not, and two days later, he was on the set. Julie, an avid Bruce Springsteen fan, was most excited about meeting Steven Van Zandt, who plays Soprano's consigliere, Silvio.

Left unexplained in the script was why Mangini was dining in New Jersey.

"It could have been after a game," he said. "We didn't explore the motivation very deeply."

And why did Soprano act as if he knew him? Did it have something to do with the bet Tony made on the Jets earlier this season before a fictional 42-10 rout of the Chargers?

"I was pleased with that," Mangini said, meaning the final score, not the betting part.

The coach and his wife kept the cameo a secret from all but a few close friends. Now he can fully bask in the honor of taking part in one of the most honored shows in history, after only one season as a head coach in New York.

"It was fantastic," he said. "I love the show and just have always respected the story lines and think it's incredibly well done ... I'm disappointed it's coming to an end."
Too Bad They didn't get him in last year! he could have come back this year as a Football coach in over his head with Tony. Yeah Right.............At least it wasn't something to do with gambling.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mark Cuban's Wrong - Potential UFL Team Owner Says No Based On Zennie's Blog Post

I just received a call from a friend of mine back east, who -- I can't use real names, corporate or otherwise, to protect the persons involved -- told me that a family member who works for a major comunications and media organization with significant monies in sports, happened to be talking about my blog post called "Why Bill Hambrecht and Mark Cuban's UFL - United Football League - Will Fail" while her bosses were overlooking the article on her computer.

"Wow," one of them was reported to have said, "Maybe this guy ( referring to me) -- knows what he's talking about. After all he's made this XFL Simworld and had the Oakland (Alameda County) Sports Commission. He must know something."

Fully on the basis of my post, this organization that owns a large and famous arena decided to avoid making overtures to establish a UFL team.

It proves that, unlike Mark Cuban in the case of the UFL (I don't know the man), there are people out there who listen to the voices of reasons and analysis. "Competing With The NFL", as Cuban puts it, is purely silly.

"With Leather" Gets On "ProFootballtalk.com" - Mike Florio Whines Over A Taste Of His Own Medicine

I had to laugh when I saw this on today's Profootballtalk.com website:

There's a blog thing out there called WithLeather.com, which has said mean things about us in the past.

Hey, we can take it. We've been called a lot of things, many of which are accurate. But we never, ever, ever, ever (did we say "ever"?) make stuff up.

Another thing we never, ever, ever, ever (did we say "ever"?) do is go with a tip that a guy has been arrested or committed any other type of misconduct that could damage his reputation, unless we have solid sources who have verified the information.

Over the years, it has caused us to miss out on "breaking" many a story that eventually became public, such as the rumors that Joe Horn fathered a baby with Willie Roaf's wife. But, on the bright side, we've never been taken to People's Court (or any other court of law).

It's one of the benefits of that law degree thing that the Poobah picked up 16 or so years ago. We know where the line of liability is, and we stay the hell away from it.

On Monday, WithLeather.com is doing the lambada on that line by going with unverified tips that Bengals linebacker Odell Thurman beat the crap out of some dude over the weekend, returned with a gun-wielding posse, and later tried to buy the victim's silence.

Maybe the information is completely accurate and, if so, kudos to the site for getting the truth out there. But it's one thing to be wrong about a trade rumor; it's quite another to be wrong about something that inflicts even more damage to a guy's image than he already has inflicted himself.

In this case, if the tip turns out to be embellished at best or fraudulent at worst, the folks at Fat Penguin Media will need to be ready to post a retraction before the process server shows up at the headquarters in Mesa, Arizona.

And if the tip is on the money, it might be time for Odell Thurman to throw out his cleats, because he'll never, ever, ever, ever (did we say "ever"?) need them again.

There's some truth to what Florio writes here. I've not know for Profootballtalk.com to make things up, but I have seen them use racially insensitive photos on too many occasions. I've called them on it, and pointed out the harm that that action causes.

So it's for that reason I'm not unhappy that Profootballtalk.com is getting negative press.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Mark Cuban Responds To My "UFL Will Be A Failure" Post

Mark Cuban , a key player in the proposed United Football League, responded to my blog post which states in detail why the UFL will fail. He writes

"then again, there are people who read press reports and think they are an expert on someone else's businessplans...

i like our preparation better.


What's interesting is this comment falls right into my take that much of the push behind football league proposals like the UFL is ego. Think about it. Cuban referes to "our preparation" as if he's not willing to listen to outside voices of reason. That's a sure receipe for disaster.

A good analysis must also take into account dissenting voices. Not true for Cuban and the UFL team, it seems. One has to admire -- to a degree -- the PT Barnum level of hubris, but it's also what blinds Mr. Cuban to the spectre of failure.

Moreover, Mark doesn't have a UFL simulation, so he's flying blind!!

But that aside, and while I hold and with a simulation that is the basis for my charge that the UFL will fail...Thanks for the response, Mark!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Does Ever Rising Salary Cap Put NFL Parity in Danger?

In 2005, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue closed out a stellar tenure by negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association. With that new agreement, the NFL salary cap jumped from just over $85 million to a whopping $102 million dollars providing cap releif to several NFL teams. This season, the salary cap has swollen to $109 million. Is the salary cap reaching a point where small-market teams cannot afford to reach the limit leaving big-market teams the ability to start stockpiling talent?

June 1, previously a red-letter day in NFL free agency came and went with a relative whimper this year. Usually a day where NFL teams discard high-priced veterans to find salary cap relief, many teams found themselves comfortably under the $109 million cap without releasing some of their bigger names.

Since the new CBA was signed in 2005, the cap has grown an astounding 27.5%. In 2005 alone, the cap grew nearly 20% from $85.5 million to $102 million. Even big-spenders like the Dallas Cowboys suddenly found themselves in the tens of millions under the cap. At the time the CBA was signed, small-market owners such as Cleveland's Paul Brown and Buffalo's Ralph Wilson expressed concerns that under the new CBA, even with provisions that spread some of the wealth to them, that the runaway cap would eventually spell doom for their ability to compete.

With the rising cap comes rising contract demands. But with more and more teams and agents opting to place roster bonuses on March 1 instead of June 1, free-agents find themselves released at the beginning of free-agency while teams are still flush with cash. So contracts will continue to rise because the market has adjusted to bear it.

The gap between the role-players and the superstars is also growing. In a case of entertainment mirroring life, the NFL middle class is slowly disappearing. While the CBA stipulates minimum salaries based on number of years, the real dollars are spent on signing bonuses and roster bonuses. A mid-level player may see a roster bonus in the tens of thousands if at all. But players like Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys received a $3 million bonus on June 1st just for being on the roster.

The NFL today is a league constantly in transition. As contracts of star players expire, more and more choose to enter the free agent bonanza rather than sign an offer sheet with their current team unless the offer already puts them among the top paid players at their position.

As the cap continues to swell, more and more of these free agents in smaller markets will move on where the pastures are as green as the money. Even with room under the cap, the Cleveland Browns of the world will eventually be at the limits of their budget before they are at the cap limit. Will Lee Evans make it to a second contract in Buffalo? It depends on whether or not the cap continues to soar.

On the other hand, General Managers across the league have learned to work the salary cap very well. A little creative financing can go a long way. But unless the profit shares to the smaller market teams grow in proportion to the cap, it is very feasible to say that buying consecutive championships will return to the NFL.

Why Bill Hambrecht and Mark Cuban's UFL - United Football League - Will Fail

Well, all I can say is "here we go again." A group of rich guys with egos -- no women involved here -- think that because they have enough money to start a football league, it will automatically work.

In the newest example, we have the to-be-called United Football League , or UFL. This is an idea started by San Francisco Bay Area investment banking maverick Bill Hambrick, who's firm WR Hambrick and Company I remember as Hambrick and Quist, and who employed a friend of mine from Skyline High School school, Marla Goldstein.

Ok, enough of that.

Hambrick managed to come up with this idea of the UFL and get Internet entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner (funny, how the word mavericks comes up here more than once) to sign on as the first owner of a team. As I understand the UFL concept, they're going to establish cities in areas where the NFL does not have a team, and "compete" with the NFL for players that come out of college "lower than the second round."

OK. Here's the foundation upon which their failure will be based -- if they ever get enough owners to start an eight team league. The lessons of football league failure are captured in that business school case study called The XFL.

In fact, I created a system dynamics online simulation now called the XFL Simworld , and with Forio Business Simulations created a company around it called Sports Business Simulations .

The idea of the XFL Simworld is to make the right business decision to cause the XFL to last longer than the one year it did in reality.

What I've learned after countless hours and years of analysis, and design, and play and test and watching others run the sim is this: people watch people. What I mean in detail is that the XFL's biggest mistake was that it didn't have players people cared to watch. Mark Cuban's right about the "pent-up demand for football" but that doesn't mean anyone will come out and watch you and me play pro football.

What I learned from the XFL Simworld is that the XFL, and now the UFL, stand a better chance of survival if they hire recently retired or close to retiring NFL players and mix them with college players. Why? Because each of the NFL players close to ending their careers either by choice or for other reasons has their own brand name. For example, you know who Keyshawn Johnson is if you're even a causal fan of the game. But do you know who Jacoby Jones is?


See that's my point. Jacoby Jones is a wide receiver from tiny Lane College, drafted by the Houston Texans in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. That's one of the rounds Hambrecht and Cuban say they're going to "compete" with the NFL for players. That's great for the player and for the NFL, because the NFL doesn't have to worry about paying that player who may have dropped to the lower rounds for weird reasons more than a third round pick, and the player at least has another place to go, but don't think there's going to be a bidding war -- in fact, I predict the opposite.

The Jacoby Jones of the world may try to use the UFL as a negotiating ploy, and wind up not being signed by the NFL team. It's basic math -- there are more "third round level" players, than first round level players, so someone else who fell past the eyes of NFL scouts may look better in free agency than the third round pick using an upstart league to cause a bidding war. So Jacoby Jones goes to the UFL and gets the same money he would have earned as a third round pick by the Houston Texans. Fine, so he's happy. Meanwhile, the UFL gets a player no one ever heard of, and no one save for his family, friends, and the curious, will come out to see or turn on the TV to watch.

What Hambrecht and Cuban miss is that football is entertainment. The bottom line is to put people in seats at the stadium and have them watch on television. People follow names. They'd sooner watch a team with Keyshawn Johnson than one with Jacoby Jones. That's one big reason why the XFL failed; it lacked name NFL players to maintain TV ratings. Without them, XFL ratings dropped like a rock, and the league folded after NBC pulled from its commitment.

The UFL faces the same fate for that reason, and one more that's in a way related to the first problem I discuss. It's team location. In the XFL Simworld, the player has the option of having XFL teams in NFL cities, cities of the actual XFL, and warm weather cities. Which combination brings the best attendance? The Warm Weather Option, of course. This scenario was created based on the problems the real XFL faced in having constantly high attendance in all cities.

The best city for this in the XFL system was San Francisco, where the February through May climate was constantly mild, and never burdened with snow. Snow's a big deterent to the fortunes of a new football league hiring players no one has ever heard of. People don't buy tickets to teams that hire unknown players to play in cold weather.

Better to have a Southern Strategy.

With all of this, you'd think Bill Hambrecht and Mark Cuban would have thought more carefully before launching the UFL as a business. But they didn't, and I'm not surprised. There's one common element in all of these "new football league" cases -- ego. Someone always thinks they can clobber, outdo, take advantage of, or just plain be the next NFL. And in all cases, that never comes to pass. The UFL has all of the color of failure for that reason and the ones I gave above. What Hambrecht and Cuban should really do is work to start an NFL team to LA.

In other words, they're not going to beat the NFL, so they might as well join them.

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