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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Aaron Rodgers Efficient; Peyton Manning Robbed By Officials

Aaron Rodgers
Preseason games are generally meaningless affairs, unless it's The Green Bay Packers vs. The Indianapolis Colts on ESPN Thursday (Monday) Night Football.

Then, the small value of the contest is overshadowed by Colts QB Manning's feud with NFL Officials and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers continued passing efficiency.

The Packers won 59 to 24, but the game was over when the head NFL Official decided to use his power to rob Indy Quarterback Peyton Manning of a game.

Aaron Rodgers finished the game with 21 of 29 for 195 yards and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 124.9. Over three preseason games, Rdogers has had 41 completions in 53 attempts for 470 yards, six touchdowns, and no interceptions. The former California Quarterback's passer rating is a blistering 141.23.

Colts Manning Robbed

While Rogers was enjoying the continuation of a blistering performance that may be a set-up for a regular season fall, Manning was involved in what became a personal battle with the NFL officiating crew.

The new NFL rules governing where the umpire stands - now behind the quarterback rather than near the football on the side of the defense - have effectively blunted any attempt at a hurry-up offense.

As expertly pointed out by the ESPN crew of Mike Terrico, John Gruden, and Ron Jaworski, Manning set out to test the new rule because it harmed the Colts' up-tempo offensive approach.

Constantly using check-with-me play calls at the line-of-scrimmage, Manning gave the officiating crew fits by forcing them to hurry up, get their act together, and have the ball in place and ready before he was ready.

More often than not, the Umpire and crew looked like a bunch of weekend warriors trying to keep-up with the pace of play. After a time, it was too much for them, and flags for "illegal snap" started to fly. The last one of two illegal snaps came just before an obviously flustered Peyton Manning fumbled the football away to the Packers, who returned it for a touchdown.

Game Score Not Reflecting Game Reality

That game-long feud between Manning and the NFL Officials negatively impacted Colts momentum and the team slowly gave up the game. After a time, a once competitive contest became a route, and Manning had proved his point.

NFL Needs To Give Umpires Pads

Rather than move the Umpire, the NFL should have the person wear football gear to reduce the chance of injury. In that way, Umpire could go back to the old and more efficient position on the defensive side yet worry less about play-related injury.

The Colts lost the game because of the officials and in a way seldom seen. The NFL needs to correct this problem in some way before the 2010 season starts. Otherwise, the issue will come up again and again and taint the quality of the game.

Aaron Rodgers Terry Bradshaw-like Delivery Key to Passing Success

Aaron Rodgers

One reason for Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers passing success in the NFL 2010 Preseason and in 2009, has been his short, efficient release.

Unlike Denver Broncos Rookie Tim Tebow, who's still working to improve his delivery, Rodgers has had six years to work on his. The result is a form that's not unlike Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

Here's Bradshaw below. Watch his throwing motion. The arm comes up to his shoulders, as the forearm is cocked back to just behind his head. Then his elbow comes forward before his forearm; then his forearm launches forward to release the ball.

Now, watch Aaron Rodgers against The Seattle Seahawks this preseason, and take note of his passing style:

It favorably compares to that of Bradshaw's in form. There's little wasted motion in getting the ball to its receiving target.

The Packers still have a long way to go defensively. They can get into shootouts, but this space questions their ability to come out of them on the winning end.

The preseason matters little.

Monday, August 23, 2010

2010 Cincinnati Bengals Preview Part 2


By Don Stokes contributing writer Southeastern Ohio region-Football Reporters Online


Other than the Head football coach I normally do not point out any individual members of a coaching staff of any team that I cover but I believe a special mention should be made to Bengals Defensive Coordinator Mike Zimmer. “Zim” as he is affectingly called by his defensive players became extremely popular from both the visibility of the “HBO Hard Knocks” show and also the sudden passing of his wife in October 2009. The Bengal team defense closed their ranks and played as a cohesive unit for the remainder of the season. This defensive turnaround was completed with no real impact lineman, linebackers or secondary players in their system (No All-pro or pro bowlers from this group). Cincinnati’s defense rose from ranked 19th in the NFL in 2008 to number 6th during the 2009 campaign. In 2010 the Bengals will employ a 4-3 defense (with a 4-4 sprinkle), so they must get maximum effort from their down linemen, which at times was a concern in 2009.
On the Defensive Line starting from the Left side is 7 year vet 6’3 280 Robert Geathers. He started 15 games in 2009 and registered 3.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. The Bengals could use a 7 to 8 sack season from Robert to balance the QB pressure from the left. On the right side a big return to form will be 6’5 275 Antwan Odom who was injured and lost for the year during game 6 with an Achilles tear. Odom was having a fantastic start in 2009 but his unfortunately his season ended in October. Despite the injury Antwan still led all Cincinnati players with 8 sacks (A Bengal record 5 in one game against GB during the season 2nd game) A clean bill of health from Odom should bring double digit sacks from both DE’s. The Defensive End backups are 6’4 292 Jonathan Fanene who had 6 sacks in 2009 from the Left defensive side. On the right side is 4 year vet 6’3 280 Frostee Rucker. He played in 12 games and contributed with 1.5 sacks. Also seeking to contribute is 2010 2nd round pick 6’6 270 Carlos Dunlap a physical specimen from Florida. The Defensive Tackles starters are solid run stoppers who are both similar in size and strength. From the left is 6’3 320 Damota Peko (23 tackles) and the right is 6’3 315 Tank Johnson (29 tackles and 2 sacks). The DT backups are 6’3 308 Orein Harris, 6’1 293 Geno Atkins, 6’2 325 Pat Simms who led the linemen with 34 tackles in ‘09 and 6’2 297 Clinton McDonald.


In 2009 The Bengal Linebacker play was what would be best described as steady but not spectacular. On the left side 6’2 255 Ray Maualuga who will play the “SAM” (strong side) must continue his growth as an impact NFL linebacker. Maualuga, who had 59 tackles from the LLB position, started 15 games in 2009. Ray had his season cut short in week 15 snapping his fibula. The Bengals were expecting a bit more big plays from their 2009 3rd round pick who was 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the year MLB Houston Texans Brian Cushing teammate at USC. MLB was manned by the veteran 6’1 236 Dhani Jones who led the team in tackles (113) and had a career high 3.5 sacks in 2009. The now 10 vet has played with 4 different teams over his career appears to found a home and has now become a solid defender for Cincinnati. At RLB former 1st rounder 6’2 232 Keith Rivers is the incumbent starter. The former USC alum after missing 9 games in 08 played 13 games in 2009 and recorded 72 tackles. The Linebacker backups are 6’5 240 Brandon Johnson who had 58 tackles in 2009. 6’7 268 Michael Johnson, 6’0 236 Abdul Hodge, 6’2 240 Vincent Rey, 6’2 252 Dan Skuta and 6’2 243 Rashad Jeanty.

With a former All-pro and some possible future ones, other than the wide outs this is the deepest position on the team. Cincinnati’s DB picked 16 passes in ‘09. At the SS position the starter is the former All-pro 6’0 222 Roy Williams. Williams has battled forearm and back injuries the past 2 seasons. He has played but 7 of 32 games since his last pro bowl season in 2007. A return to form by Williams would really give the Bengals a shot in the arm (no pun intended) in the secondary in 2010. At FS is NFL journeyman 5’11 202 Chris Crocker who in 2009 had 38 tackles and 2 INT.
The real Bengal strength is the CB’s. The cornerback tandem of 5’11 195 Leon Hall and 5’11 190 Jonathan Joseph who had similar numbers in 2009 and is considered two of the league’s best. On the right side Hall, who normally drew the toughest assignment against the opponent’s top receiver had 24 pass defended 71 tackles and 6 INT. The left corner is the steady Joseph with 20 pass defended, 69 tackles and 6 INT. Pressure from the pass rush will really make both shine brighter in 2010. A trip to the Pro Bowl in Hawaii awaits both in the near future. The backups are also solid with the return to the NFL of 5’10 188 LCB Adam (Pac man) Jones. Once considered a bright and up and coming star with fantastic talent, Jones (who will also help with the return game) has missed numerous games and an entire season because of suspensions. If Jones can stay clear of these past transgressions the Bengals will get a solid contributor on defense.
If Roy Williams continues his recent injury woes then ball hawk S 6’0 210 Gibril Wilson can take over. Wilson who had 93 tackles for the Dolphins in ’09 and with 13 NFL INT makes Wilson a nice insurance policy. Another backup is last season’s SS starter6’2 224 Chinedum Ndukwe. He had 89 tackles in ’09 starting 12 games. The rest in the defensive backfield are 6’1 193 Morgan Trent, 4th year pro 6’0 197 David Jones, 3rd yr pro 6’3 222 Kyries Herbert, 5’11 202 Rico Murray. Special team ace 5’11 200 Tom Nelson, and rookies 6’2 210 Jeromy Miles, 3rd round pick 6’0 Brandon Ghee and 6’0 184 Johnny Sears rounds out the secondary.

The Bengal Punting duties should be taken care of for many years to come. 2009 rookie P Kevin Huber with a 43.2 yard average and 36.3 net is as good as they come in the tough AFC North with the cold windy December months to come. The PR position is in good hands with both Quan Cosby (47 ret 470 yd 11.9 avg) and Adam Jones (4 lifetime punt returns). At KR Bernard Scott (16 ret 504 yds 31.5 avg 1 TD) and Andre Caldwell (29 ret 18.6 avg) who handled kickoffs in ‘09 are the incumbents.
With their recent additions (Owens, Pac man, Bryant etc.) the Bengals are making a strong push for a trip to SB XLV at Dallas. Unfortunately Cincinnati will not sneak up on anyone as they did last season. On their 2010 schedule the Bengals play 6 playoff teams from 2009 (Ravens, Jets, Saints, Colts, Patriots and Chargers) plus the annual 2 game challenge from the Steelers will make it tough. This should test whether Cincinnati is a serious contender or pretender. With the situation Pittsburgh must content with (QB Roethlisberger’s pending 6 game regular season suspension) this should help Cincinnati get off to a good start within the AFC North. A repeat 10-6 record from 2009 is attainable but it will be a reach. This would be enough to bring Marvin Lewis back for 2011 season and beyond. A 6-10 record will surely sign Lewis his walking papers for good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

49ers Bill Walsh Offense Not Adopted Much on High School Level

Steve Mariucci 
An interesting blog post over at SmartFootball.com has it that high schools have largely stopped using the Bill Walsh / San Francisco 49ers Offense after a few seasons. Mainly because many high school coaches have tried to throw the whole playbook at their kids.

That means terminology, formations, and plays. In many Bill Walsh Offenses there are thousands of plays. A novice coach can't determine which ones to pick.

That's where the problem lay.

The real idea of the Bill Walsh Offense is in the approach to the passing game. As then-Cal Head Coach Steve Mariucci, and the late Bill Walsh himself told this blogger, the difference is in how we think about the passing game. Or footwork, vision, and throwing.

In other words, you can use any formation you want to and still run the basics of the offense. In fact, one can have a Wishbone Formation and still run a play with the split end going 12 yards downfield to an In Pattern, the right halfback running a Swing Pattern, the fullback running a Circle Pattern, the left halfback running an Up Pattern, and the other wideout running an Out Pattern.

The Quarterback takes five steps, reading the outside linebacker, takes a hitch step, and throws to the split end.

And still, the coach can run the Triple Option.

Sometimes football coaches are in such a hurry to try the newest flavor, they forget they don't have to force-feed it to their players.

That's the case with Bill Walsh' Offense.
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Giants’ Sorgi: Injury Worse Than Expected « CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

Giants’ Sorgi: Injury Worse Than Expected « CBS New York- News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Giants Rolle and Cruz to Victory in New Meadowlands Opener

Giants Rolle and Cruz to Victory in New Meadowlands Opener-By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer At Large-Football Reporters Online

It won’t begin to make up for the awful way in which the New York Giants closed the Giants Stadium chapter of their storied history last season, but two newcomers helped Big Blue open its New Meadowlands Stadium era with a 31-16 preseason comeback victory over their co-tenants, the New York Jets, in the first NFL game ever played in the brand new $1.6 billion stadium on Monday night.

The names were fitting as free safety Antrel Rolle (expected to play a big role this year) got the Giants rolling with a big pick before Victor Cruz, an undrafted free agent rookie from small school Massachusetts, rallied his new team with three second-half touchdowns to send the Giants cruising to an easy win.

Rolle made a huge early impression in his first game as a Giant after spending five years in Arizona. The former first-round draft pick had a team-leading three tackles in the opening quarter and set up the first score of the game by intercepting Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez and returning the ball 59 yards to the Jets’ 1 yard-line.

That set up running back Brandon Jacobs’ 1-yard touchdown plunge on a third straight attempt, to give the Giants a 7-0 lead just 3:11 into the game.

The errant pass returned by Rolle was a continuation of last year’s problem for the right-handed Sanchez, who often wasn’t right when he went left, throwing across his body. A season ago, the majority of Sanchez’s picks came throwing to the left side of the field. Sure enough, Rolle caught a deflected pass that was intended in the left flat for new Jets’ running back LaDanian Tomlinson.

Sanchez and Tomlinson each rebounded very nicely after that, however.

Although Tomlinson amassed only 17 yards on 8 carries, the 31-year-old, new Jet showed that he might still have some gas left in the tank after playing nine years as a San Diego Charger. Tomlinson showed some explosiveness at times and had one nice reception for 14 yards which set up the Jets’ first touchdown on the next play, to tie the game, 7-7.

That score angered Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin as occasional quarterback/wide receiver/wildcat specialty, sort of utility offensive threat Brad Smith literally walked into the end zone as a completely confused Giants’ defense left Smith wide open on a quick screen pass from Sanchez.

Tomlinson’s contributions were a welcome sign for Jet fans to see. They suggested that the former superstar and first-round pick might have plenty left after his production declined significantly each of the past three seasons.

Smith’s touchdown concluded a 68-yard, 14-play drive in 8:34 during which Tomlinson was a key factor. ESPN’s Mike Tirico joked during the drive that after having just one carry in the 2005 preseason and missing each of the next three preseasons before getting just twelve preseason carries last year, Tomlinson “Played more on [that] drive than he played in the past five preseasons [combined].”

Sanchez meanwhile, was sharp overall, avoiding any further turnovers and finishing a very accurate 13 of 17 for 119 yards while spreading the ball around to several different receivers.

Comparatively, the Giants were just happy that their own starting quarterback, Eli Manning, left the field well enough to play another preseason game after getting injured during his last play of the game, about four minutes into the second quarter.

Manning was supposed to hand off to Jacobs on short yardage in the red zone, but decided at the last moment to throw a fade route to the right corner. The result was Jacobs running into Manning, causing a fumble before Jets’ linebacker Calvin Pace delivered a vicious hit into Manning’s back which made Manning lose his helmet and lunge forward. Manning ended up smacking his forehead squarely against the facemask of Jets’ safety Jim Leonhard and heading to the locker room with a gushing three-inch gash that needed twelve stitches to close.

Fortunately, Manning will be fine, but he may miss some practice time depending on how long it might be before he’s able to again wear a helmet.

The play concluded a fairly tough night for Manning who was just 4 of 8 for 77 yards, 51 of which came on a very nice scamper up the right side by running back Ahmad Bradshaw after Manning avoided a sack and on a broken play, dumped a short “hot potato” type of shovel pass to Bradshaw.

One play after Manning’s injury, the Giants tied the game, 10-10, on a Lawrence Tynes field goal before the Jets grabbed a 13-10 halftime lead on a field goal by newly acquired kicker Nick Folk, who true to his earlier form in Dallas, made three short field goals, but missed when challenged from 46 yards away.

While the Giants’ first string offense failed to run the ball much or get anything going on a consistent basis with the passing game, their reserves stepped things up thereafter.

The second half show was stolen by Cruz, whose name suddenly became synonymous on national television with Terrell Owens. The Patterson, NJ native from the FCS had the final three scores of the game to become the first NFL rookie with three touchdowns in a preseason game since Owens accomplished the feat in 1998.

Although he got away with an offensive facemask, Cruz made a great one-handed grab of a pass by quarterback Jim Sorgi during a 64-yard sprint up the left sideline to put the Giants ahead to stay, 17-16, in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Cruz added a 34-yard touchdown catch from Sorgi and then a 5-yard touchdown reception from fellow FCS product, quarterback Rhett Bomar, from Sam Houston State.

Cruz finished with game highs of 6 catches and 145 yards and after losing David Carr in the offseason, the Giants might have at least discovered some competency (though it was hard to tell against the Jets’ reserves) with which to back up Manning.

Sorgi, who was brought in to help coach Manning after four years of tutoring under Manning’s brother Peyton, was 8 of 15 for 146 yards and no turnovers to go with his two touchdown passes. And, Bomar, in limited action, was a solid 6 of 7 for 67 yards, with no turnovers to go along with the touchdown throw to Cruz, who is now making a strong push to make the final cut for the 53-man roster to be announced by September 4th.

Defensively for the Giants, fifth-year linebacker Gerris Wilkinson led all players with seven tackles and Big Blue got something out of three of this year’s draft picks. Second-round pick, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and fourth-round pick, middle linebacker Phillip Dillard, each had four tackles, while first-round selection, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, despite looking bad while getting thrown to the ground on an earlier pass rush, later recorded the game’s only sack.

Don’t expect the outspoken, cocky Jets of head coach Rex Ryan to tone anything down in the trash talk department over a preseason loss. But, for the time being, score one in the New York bragging rights column for the more quiet, sticking to going-about-their-business Giants.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Brian Westbrook to SF 49ers gets Twitter trash from Darnell Dockett

Brian WestbrookImage via Wikipedia
Brian Westbrook should look for #90 
After eight seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Running Back Brian Westbrook was released seven weeks ago. Westbrook, who's well-decorated career was marred by concussion problems during the last two years, joined the San Francisco 49ers for a one year, $1.25 million deal.

And upon news of the transaction, Arizona Cardinals Defensive Lineman Darnell Dockett, number 90, who will play Westbrook and the 49ers twice this year, took to Twitter to welcome Westbrook with some trash talking:

Ahhhhh hell naw Brian westbrook one of my best friends !! This is BS! Oh well I hope he know its not personal! but fuck it! #MNF #HITSTICK
about 3 hours ago via ÜberTwitter

And Darnell Dockett wasn't done with his trash tweets of the 49ers. His next target was linebacker Takeo Spikes:

@TakeoSpikes51 *cough * *cough* hmmmmm!
about 3 hours ago via ÜberTwitter in reply to TakeoSpikes51

It wasn't the first time Darnell Dockett took off after the San Francisco 49ers on Twitter. He saved from choice tweets for Glen Coffee when the Niners running back announced his retirement:

Dear: Glen Coffee, don't retire just yet! just wait till after the MNF game then you will have a legit reason to retire!! #EVL
4:14 PM Aug 15th via ÜberTwitter

In all, Darnell Dockett uses Twitter as an extension of his mouth, sparing no one from NFL players on enemy teams to friends. But some of his tweets are cool. Like the one about the Houston Texans Antonio Smith:

It was good playing against my brother from another mother @antoniosmith94 yesterday, I wish him success and a healthy winning season!
10:06 AM Aug 15th via ÜberTwitter

The San Francisco 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals Monday Night November 29th in San Francisco. It's a sure bet Darnell Dockett will have sent out more trash tweets by then.

Tim Tebow scores first TD; what do Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson think?

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys.Image via Wikipedia
Jerry Jones 
Former Florida Heisman-award-winning quarterback, now Denver Broncos NFL 1st Round Pick Tim Tebow had what has to be graded as an outstanding first go at being an NFL Quarterback, even with the matter of his throwing motion still an issue - at least here.

You've got to wonder what his detractors, like Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, think?

Remember that just days before the 2010 NFL Draft, Jerry Jones was recorded getting off a drunken blast against the idea of drafting Tim Tebow:

What does Jerry say now?

But that aside for a moment, Tim Tebow showed why Denver Head Coach Josh McDaniels said he's got "that something" that makes him a winner, and made the Broncos select Tebow as the 23rd pick in the 1st Round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Tebow started in the 4th quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals and finished 8 of 13 for 105 yards, and 10 yards rushing, with one touchdown. One near-fumble was ruled an incomplete pass, and it looked like the Bengals just missed picking off two of Tebow's passes because of that still-long wind-up of his.

But one play showed why Tim Tebow's going to be a star in the NFL.

The ESPN Play-by-Play reads like this:

1st and 10 at CIN 40 - (Shotgun) T.Tebow pass deep right to B.Davis pushed ob at CIN 7 for 33 yards (K.Hebert).

But what it doesn't show is Tim Tebow, a left-hand-thrower, scrambling to his right, then as he ran throwing a nice spiral down the field to Davis for 33 yards.

Even my Mom, who loves NFL football and misses watching it with my late stepfather (which is one reason I make these trips to Georgia), had to stop and watch Tim Tebow on the kitchen TV set. "He's one to watch, and I like him" she said. With that scramble play, Tim Tebow passed the Mom test, with flying colors - and that was before he scored his first touchdown.

You can't help but wonder what all of his detractors think. Remember Kelly at Aventine Bar in San Francisco, who got off this hilarious anti-Tebow rant:

Or what about Eric Berry, the Tennessee Volunteer who was the 1st Round Pick of the Kansas City Chiefs, and who said to this video blogger that Tim Tebow was the hardest player he'd ever hit?

What do all of these people - Jerry, Kelly, and Eric - have to say? What about the rest of the Tim Tebow hater-nation? Which, come to think of it, has it's own website, TimTebowHaters.com. As of this writing, they're silent on his first game performance.

Or what about former NFL Head Coach Jim Johnson, who came into the NFL when Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys, and who said Tim Tebow couldn't play in a pro-style offense?

What do all of these geniuses have to say? Stay tuned.

Oh, and Tim Tebow's next objective should be to learn to throw the classic three-quarter-to-overhand delivery starting from his shoulders, not his mid-chest region.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oakland Raiders finally show timed passing game

Oakland Raiders logo

This blog post was written in the head of this blogger before it was obvious the Oakland Raiders were going to win their first 2010 NFL Preseason game, 17 to 9, against the Dallas Cowboys under the Hue Jackson / Jason Campbell offensive regime. Because, even with dropped and tipped passes, what was most interesting and pleasing about the Oakland Raiders, was the real, timed, precision passing attack.

What was impressive was that from the snap of the football, to the quarterback's footwork, to the quarterback's hitch step, to the throw, to the receiver's routes, the Oakland Raiders quarterbacks are obviously drilled in the classic Bill Walsh fashion, with the objective of getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands and to the receiver as quickly as possible as part of a timed set of movements between passer and catcher.

Yes, Jason Campbell completed 7 of 13 passes. Yes, Darrius Heyward-Bey didn't have a catch. But the passes got out of the quarterback's hands with remarkable quickness, and little wasted movement.

It didn't matter if it was Campbell or Carrie Prejean's husband Kyle Boller at the helm, the passing personality was the same. Once the little things like the kind of pass thrown and how high it's delivered are worked out, the Raiders will be ready for what's going to be a good year.

Jamarcus Russell's not the issue

But the entire difference in the Oakland Raiders offense is that it's the most efficient in the passing game it's been since the John Gruden / Bill Callahan era. It's not that Jamarcus Russell isn't there, because if Russell's head was in the game, as some claim it was not, he too would have been part of this new approach for the Oakland Raiders' offense.

What you will pay attention to is what happens when the ball gets to the receiver; what I'm paying attention to is what happens to cause the ball to get to the receiver; that's the big difference in this 2010 team.

Oakland Raiders fans should be excited for what's to come, because with more practice and a clear offensive game plan (it was preseason) the Raiders' passing game will be so hard to defense, it will be lethal.

Indeed, it already is.
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Jamarcus Russell - former Oakland Raiders QB in court

Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell o...Image via Wikipedia
The sad story of Oakland Raiders 2007 NFL 1st Round Draft Pick Quarterback Jamarcus Russell continues. Jamarcus Russell appeared in court Wednesday, in Mobile, Alabama. According to WKRG via Pro Football Talk, a friend, Marcus Stevenson, tried to take the fall for Russell.

When he did that, Stevenson was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, as PFT reports. But the WKRG report is more interesting:

Stevenson, when questioned by prosecutors, said he and Russell had partied at clubs the night before and returned home around 7:00 am on July 5th. "We were still hanging out," said Stevenson, who told the judge that Russell took a woman to his bedroom when he went to sleep in the early hours of the morning. The woman was gone before police arrived that afternoon, according to the testimony.

If you're reading that, are you thinking perhaps the woman had something to do with the police bust? Also, it's obvious Jamarcus Russell was in a state of denial about his future, electing to party like a rock star after his ouster by the Oakland Raiders.

WKRG.com News

Additionally, Jamarcus Russell seems to have talked one of his friends into taking the fall for him. Jamarcus Russell pleaded not guilty last month to one count of possession of a controlled substance.

And regarding his NFL and pro football career, Russell rejected an offer from the UFL to join a team in that league. Instead, another former Raider Jeff Garcia, will join the UFL.

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