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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


This is not getting press, but it's more important than the Commissioner's stance on conduct. It's a signal that the NFL will finally take care of people like Baltimore Colts' Tight End John Mackey, who suffers from Alzheimer's, and other stars who didn't see the millions of dollars the athletes of today get. This is a good story.

5/22/07 GREG AIELLO, NFL (212) 450-2000
CARL FRANCIS, NFLPA (202) 463-2200


The NFL and its related organizations have agreed to work together to support former players in
need of medical care, NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL announced today.

Commissioner Goodell informed NFL clubs at a league meeting in Nashville today that the NFL,
NFL Players Association, NFL Retired Players Association, NFL Alumni Association, NFL
Charities and the Pro Football Hall of Fame will form the first-ever alliance to coordinate medical
support services for former players in need of medical care.

“All of us in the NFL want to help former players that now find themselves in need of medical
care through no fault of their own,” said Commissioner Goodell. “Several NFL-related groups
have been working independently over the years to provide medical assistance, but now we will
work together to identify and help players more effectively in a common effort.”

HAROLD HENDERSON, the NFL’s executive vice president of labor relations, will serve as the
lead executive in this new initiative.

“Everyone wants to do the right thing to help former players with medical needs,” said
Henderson. “We want to do it in a coordinated, structured fashion. There have been ongoing
discussions with GENE UPSHAW (executive director of the NFLPA), and I know he sees this as
a high priority.”

The NFL is exploring a wide range of new ideas to address the medical needs of its former

“We are seeking to determine how we can creatively approach the medical issues of former
players and guarantee their access to high-quality medical care at reasonable cost,” said
Commissioner Goodell. “This is principally directed toward those who are in dire need or can’t
afford the proper kind of care.”

Among the ideas being discussed:

• Better identification of players who need assistance and making the system more
efficient so that help can be delivered to these players.

• Arrangements with facilities in different areas of the country where former players can
obtain high-quality care at a reasonable cost.

• Collaborating with outside service groups to provide players with education and
guidance on obtaining medical care at reasonable costs that would expand access to
care for retired players.

• Ensuring availability of affordable assisted living facilities for former players.

Former NFL players who want to support these efforts will have the opportunity to contribute to
their former teammates by participating in fund-raising efforts, including golf tournaments and
online auctions.

The distribution of funds for medical needs will be managed by representatives of the
participating groups.

The 88 Plan, named after Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN MACKEY, is an example of one
such fund that was created as part of the extended Collective Bargaining Agreement between
the NFL and its players in 2006. Former players in various stages of dementia, including
Alzheimer’s disease, may receive as much as $88,000 annually to assist in their medical care.

In recent weeks, the NFL office has spoken to SAM HUFF and JACK KEMP and several other
former players and the New York Jets’ CURTIS MARTIN for their views on how to address
these medical issues in the most effective way.

More than 900 former players and/or their families have received financial help in recent years
from either the NFLPA’s Players Assistance Trust or the NFL Alumni Association’s Dire Need

In addition, 284 former players are receiving disability payments which total $19 million this
year, including some that receive as much as $224,000 annually.

# # #

Friday, May 25, 2007

Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis Is Right About Racial Profiling - Garry Edmondson Should Appologize To NFL And Chris Henry

Bengals Coach Marvin Lewis made this comment a few days ago:

"I think there's profiling, no question," Lewis said when Patrick asked him if he thought players were profiled. "We're (Cincinnati) a small place - our guys stand out, and they know that, and you've got to do things the right way. But when you are arrested for, or you are pulled over for, not putting on your turn signal, there's something wrong there. Many people make right turns without putting on their turn signals and it's unfortunate that we've had a guy that's pulled over for not putting on his turn signal."

The NFL stepped in and as a results, Coach Lewis was forced to take back his statements. But he's right. Cinncinati's police department does racially profile, and indeed was the target of a lawsuit and a fact-finding effort in 2001. In addition, if one does a search on Cinncinati and racial profiling, they find a littany of informatn connecting that city to the issue of racial profiling.

And now, we have this:

Kenton County Attorney Garry Edmondson on Thursday called Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry a "lowlife" and said he doesn't think he owes anybody an apology.

Edmondson on Monday had told reporters that Henry had failed a drug test, then later said results were "inconclusive."

His office has yet to issue any statement about the test results.

Henry's lawyer said Wednesday that test results show Henry is clean, and that he is owed an apology.

On Thursday, Edmondson said he's "shocked" anybody would be sympathetic toward Henry.

Comment on this story and Chris Henry

"This is a lowlife not worth the attention," said Edmondson, who made the comments in an interview with David Wells, The Enquirer's editorial page editor.

This is terrible. Garry Edmondson should be made to appologize to the NFL and to Henry for this statement. He's trying to convict Henry via the news media, which in itself should be illegal.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


In my opinion, this is the most exciting compeitition for the Super Bowl I've ever seen. I can't say I have a favorite in this race. However, I must admit from a technical standpoint that the D-FW Metroplex has more top quality hotels than in Indianapolis, but these competitions always come down to the most popular owner.

May 17, 2007



The annual NFL Spring Meeting will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville,
Tennessee on Tuesday, May 22.

The agenda for the one-day business meeting includes a vote on the awarding of Super Bowl
XLV in 2011. The finalists are Arizona, Indianapolis and North Texas. Super Bowls are
awarded by a vote of the ownership. A decision and announcement on the 2011 Super Bowl
is expected at the end of the morning session on Tuesday (approximately 1:00 PM Nashville

There will be a series of committee meetings on Monday afternoon before the league
meeting begins at 8:30 AM on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s agenda will include a wide range of league matters.

The meeting is expected to conclude by 5:00 PM on Tuesday. NFL Commissioner Roger
Goodell will hold a news conference following the conclusion of the meeting.



XLII February 3, 2008 Arizona
XLIII February 1, 2009 Tampa
XLIV February 7, 2010 South Florida
XLV February 6, 2011 TBD



XLIV 2010 South Florida Dolphin Stadium 2/7/2010
XLIII 2009 Tampa Raymond James 2/1/2009
XLII 2008 Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium 2/3/2008
XLI 2007 South Florida Dolphin Stadium Indianapolis Chicago 29-17
XL 2006 Detroit Ford Field Pittsburgh Seattle 21-10
XXXIX 2005 Jacksonville ALLTEL New England Philadelphia 24-21
XXXVIII 2004 Houston Reliant New England Carolina 32-29
XXXVII 2003 San Diego Qualcomm Tampa Bay Oakland 48-21
XXXVI 2002 New Orleans Superdome New England St. Louis 20-17
XXXV 2001 Tampa Raymond James Baltimore Ravens NY Giants 34-7
XXXIV 2000 Atlanta Georgia Dome St. Louis Tennessee 23-16
XXXIII 1999 South Florida Pro Player Denver Atlanta 34-19
XXXII 1998 San Diego Qualcomm Denver Green Bay 31-24
XXXI 1997 New Orleans Superdome Green Bay New England 35-21
XXX 1996 Tempe Sun Devil Stadium Dallas Pittsburgh 27-17
XXIX 1995 South Florida Joe Robbie San Francisco San Diego 49-26
XXVIII 1994 Atlanta Georgia Dome Dallas Buffalo 30-13
XXVII 1993 Pasadena Rose Bowl Dallas Buffalo 52-17
XXVI 1992 Minneapolis Metrodome Washington Buffalo 37-24
XXV 1991 Tampa Tampa Stadium NY Giants Buffalo 20-19
XXIV 1990 New Orleans Superdome San Francisco Denver 55-10
XXIII 1989 South Florida Joe Robbie San Francisco Cincinnati 20-16
XXII 1988 San Diego Jack Murphy Washington Denver 42-10
XXI 1987 Pasadena Rose Bowl NY Giants Denver 39-20
XX 1986 New Orleans Superdome Chicago New England 46-10
XIX 1985 Stanford Stanford Stadium San Francisco Miami 38-16
XVIII 1984 Tampa Tampa Stadium LA Raiders Washington 38-9
XVII 1983 Pasadena Rose Bowl Washington Miami 27-17
XVI 1982 Pontiac Pontiac Silverdome San Francisco Cincinnati 26-21
XV 1981 New Orleans Superdome Oakland Philadelphia 27-10
XIV 1980 Pasadena Rose Bowl Pittsburgh LA 31-19
XIII 1979 Miami Orange Bowl Pittsburgh Dallas 35-31
XII 1978 New Orleans Superdome Dallas Denver 27-10
XI 1977 Pasadena Rose Bowl Oakland Minnesota 32-14
X 1976 Miami Orange Bowl Pittsburgh Dallas 21-17
IX 1975 New Orleans Tulane Stadium Pittsburgh Minnesota 16-6
VIII 1974 Houston Rice Stadium Miami Minnesota 24-7
VII 1973 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Miami Washington 14-7
VI 1972 New Orleans Tulane Stadium Dallas Miami 24-3
V 1971 Miami Orange Bowl Baltimore Colts Dallas 16-13
IV 1970 New Orleans Tulane Stadium KC Minnesota 23-7
III 1969 Miami Orange Bowl NY Jets Baltimore Colts 16-7
II 1968 Miami Orange Bowl Green Bay KC 33-14
I 1967 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Green Bay KC 35-10

# # #

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jets' Justin Miller charged with third-degree assault

This is a terrible example of "wrong place, wrong time, wrong behavior." He's just 21, so the rest of his life's ahead of him.

Jets' Miller charged with third-degree assault

Jets kick returner Justin Miller was arrested early Sunday and charged with third-degree assault after a fight at a New York City nightclub.

"I want to apologize to everyone for this situation, including my family, my teammates, the Jets organization, our fans and the entire NFL," the cornerback said in a statement released by the team Sunday night.

"I understand that serving in the NFL is an honor and that I have an obligation to behave in a manner that reflects the privilege I have been given."

ESPN.com reported Sunday night that the 23-year-old Pro Bowl returner was arrested after allegedly punching a woman in a nightclub. He was apprehended following a police chase at 4:20 a.m. According to the report, police said Miller swung at a man, but hit the woman when the man ducked out of the way.

In light of the NFL's new conduct policy, the Jets have already notified the commissioner's office of the situation.

"We expect our players to adhere to the highest standards of conduct off the field and take any allegation of personal misconduct very seriously," the team said in a statement. "Until we've had an opportunity to review all the facts, we will refrain from further comment."

The speedy Miller was selected for his first Pro Bowl last season, his second in the NFL, after leading the league with 28.3 yards per kickoff return. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns: a team record 103-yarder in Week 4 against Indianapolis, and a 99-yarder four weeks later at Cleveland.

He also had 52 tackles, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries while playing right cornerback.

This is not Miller's first brush with the law. He was considered a potential first-round pick in 2005, but his stock fell when he was arrested for disorderly conduct a week before the draft. The Jets selected him out of Clemson in the second round with the 57th pick.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Mutual Interest Between Titans & Keyshawn Johnson

Mutual Interest Between Titans, Keyshawn
AP Sports Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans need an experienced receiver to help Vince Young, and said Thursday they are interested in veteran Keyshawn Johnson. "There's mutual interest I'd say right now," coach Jeff Fisher said. "I think we'll probably look into the possibility of pursuing things. Where that goes, I can't tell you."

Johnson will visit the Titans on Friday. His relationship with Fisher goes back to Southern California, when the coach played for the Trojans and Johnson was a ball boy.

"I know Jeff, but I don't know the organization and I don't know the makeup of the team and the coaching staff. I know a little bit about Norm Chow. I know Norm from college. At the same time, I want to make sure everything's the right fit," Johnson said.

"I was in a situation last year I thought was the right situation, and wind up a year later going in another direction. I want to make sure it's something everybody is committed to for the next couple of years. They're committed to me, and I'm committed to them, whoever it is I go play for."

The Carolina Panthers released Johnson, who turns 35 in July, earlier this month after drafting Dwayne Jarrett. He had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns last season and became the 16th player in NFL history with 800 career catches.

His 70 catches for 2006 easily tops the receptions of all the receivers currently on the Titans' roster who played in the NFL last year.

Center Kevin Mawae, who played with Johnson when both were with the New York Jets, said he wasn't sure if Johnson's personality -- which earned him the nickname Me-Shawn -- would click with the young Titans.

"One thing I do know about Keyshawn, he's absolutely an incredible athlete and a wonderful receiver. The guy works harder than most guys in this league," Mawae said. "He plays hard and he practices hard. That's the kind of guy you need in this locker room."

Young called Johnson a great receiver who would be welcomed.

"I really feel like he could come in and help some of the young guys at receiver and then also come in and help us," Young said.

David Givens is the Titans' only receiver with more than five seasons in the NFL and the only one with more than 65 career catches (166). But he had a second surgery on his left knee seven weeks ago and isn't expected to be ready for the start of the season.

The Titans' receivers include Justin Gage, a four-year veteran signed as a free agent who has 64 career catches; a trio of players drafted in 2005 led by Brandon Jones with 27 catches in 2006; and another trio of draft picks last month -- none taken before the third round.

Compare that to the 6-foot-4 Johnson, who was the No. 1 pick in the 1996 draft. He spent last season with Carolina after being released by the Dallas Cowboys to free up enough salary cap space to sign Terrell Owens.

Johnson said last year he wants to play a couple of more seasons to reach 1,000 career receptions. But productivity has never been his problem.

He clashed with Jets teammates and wrote the book "Just Give Me the Damn Ball" after his rookie season.

Mawae was a teammate in New York in 1998 and 1999 and still remembers Johnson's feud with fellow receiver Wayne Chrebet.

"I'd like to think everybody has matured since then. I know Keyshawn's a great player, and that's ultimately what you need in this locker room -- a great player and a guy who comes in and works hard with a great ethic," Mawae said.

Johnson helped Tampa Bay win a Super Bowl in 2002, only to be deactivated for the final six games the next season after feuding with coach Jon Gruden.
I'm happy to See "Key" find a place. Even though he is "outspoken" is nowhere near the issue maker that T.O. Is. I also feel after having talked with "Key" Briefly at the draft, that he has matured somewhat. He deserves more then a legit shot at his "1,000 Catches." He can Only make Vince Young a better QB as well. We all know The Titans need the help on offense.......


Thursday, May 17, 2007

How NFL Tells JaMarcus Russell, Brady Quinn How To Win In League - NFLMedia.com

This is part of the NFL's effort to better endoctrinate rookies into the League.

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
AFC-N-2 5/16/07 CONTACT: STEVE ALIC (212/450-2066)


Fresh out of college and starting their first job, new recruits tend to sit and observe in the background before building a
boardroom presence. Once NFL rookies are handed a key card to their new workplace – a 100-yard football field -- they
are to immediately boost their company’s bottom line. And that bottom line is winning games.

Says Tennessee Titans head coach JEFF FISHER: “The key is getting them past the idea that they are ‘just rookies’ and
convincing them that they can help us win games early in the season.”

Here’s how some NFL coaches get that idea through to their youngest and newest players:

Herm Edwards,
Kansas City Chiefs “I tell them that the league is ever-changing and that every player before them, at one point in their career, was a rookie. They were actually rookies – they didn’t just grow up being pro
football players. They went through the same type of situations that you are going to go
through and they were successful. As a rookie, when you come in, the first thing that you have
to understand is that your talent alone gets you here. How you work, study and prepare is
what keeps you here.”
Dick Jauron,
Buffalo Bills “We treat them pretty much like we treat everyone else on our football team. We do talk about the fact that they need to show up quickly as everybody in camp does. They need to compete
from the very first moment on and that we do not have a lot of time. There is a sense of
urgency in everything that they do and that we do. They get right to work and we treat them
like they are part of it until they prove to us or show us that they are not part of it.”
Jack Del Rio,
Jacksonville Jaguars “We work hard to let them learn what our fundamentals are, what the principles of our offense and defense are so they have a chance to let their athleticism take over. I think the one thing
that we really pride ourselves on is preparing guys to utilize what they can do. While we are
working on making them complete players, we like to find things that they can do and a role
that they can have.”

Heeding their coaches’ words, rookies blossom into contributors and 2006 was no exception. Entering minicamps as
second-year veterans in 2007, below is insight from 2006 rookies illustrating when they knew they could help their teams

WR Marques Colston,
New Orleans Saints “It was a gradual process. I didn’t have a great minicamp and realized right away that I needed to change some things and get ready for training camp. I worked hard to get into the best
possible shape that I could get in. My goal was to just keep improving and take the coaching
and apply it to the field and become someone that the coaches and other players could depend
on. I was aware that I was getting more and more reps and eventually I was in with the
starters and didn’t want to let that opportunity go. It wasn’t something that happened overnight;
rather it was a day-to-day situation that required hard work and being reliable and dependable.”
LB Clint Ingram,
Jacksonville Jaguars “I think I was ready once they put me out there on the field and I strapped on my helmet. I still knew I was a rookie as far as rank and year, but it wasn’t like the person on the other side of
the ball was going to say, ‘That’s only a rookie going against me – let me take it easy on him.’
As soon as I got on the field with everybody else, all that rookie stuff went aside and I was just
like everybody else.”
RB Jerious Norwood,
Atlanta Falcons “I came into the league feeling that I would be able to play on this level. In our last preseason game I broke a 62-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. I gained 104 yards on nine carries
and that is when I knew that everyone saw that I could contribute as a rookie.”
QB Vince Young,
Tennessee Titans “I felt like a rookie for just about the whole season, but once we started winning I knew we were building something as a team. I’d say the Giants’ game (11/26), coming back and winning that
one (overcoming a 21-0 deficit), was when it really hit.”

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets

NFL Game in London Sells 40,000 Tickets
By Associated Press

LONDON -- The first regular season NFL game outside North America is shaping up as a hot ticket.

The first 40,000 tickets for the Oct. 28 game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at the new Wembley Stadium sold in 90 minutes Wednesday.

"The speed in which such a large number of tickets were snapped up ... demonstrates the great excitement and appetite for the game in this country," said Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK. "We know that the last few tickets available in this first batch will be gone very soon."

The first batch of tickets went to fans in Britain and the rest of Europe selected randomly from registered ticket requests.

Sales in the United States to Giants and Dolphins fans are expected to begin within a week. Further tickets will be released to fans in Britain next month.

About 10,000 fans are expected to travel from the United States, a fraction of the anticipated sellout crowd of 90,000.

Prices range from about US$90 (euro66.50) to US$180 (euro133), using a pricing structure similar to this weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice- AP

Reggie Bush Eyes Football After Social Buzz
AP Sports Writer

NEW ORLEANS -- Reggie Bush wanted to get away from football for a while to -- as he put it -- relax and be normal. Of course, when talking about a rising NFL star who has the looks, charisma and wealth to complement his mesmerizing talent, normal is a relative term.

For Bush, it meant appearing in one of R&B singer Ciara's music videos, dining with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a White House correspondent's dinner, filming a commercial with David Beckham in Spain, an appearance in Las Vegas during NBA All-Star weekend, partying at the Playboy mansion and otherwise enjoying life in his $5 million Hollywood home.

On Tuesday, the native Californian was back in New Orleans, where most of his teammates have been working out together for over a month.

The Saints gave their young star some leeway to enjoy the trappings of his first offseason as a pro, and Bush confidently predicted they wouldn't regret it.

"I expect to improve on last year," Bush said. "I don't have a number, but I definitely expect to be a lot better than last year and help my team get to the Super Bowl."

The Saints came one victory shy of reaching the Super Bowl last season, appearing in an NFC championship game for the first time in the franchise's four-decade history.

Bush played no small part in that. As both a running back and receiver, he gained over 1,300 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season. As he adapted to the speed and complexity of the NFL, the uncanny quickness and agility that helped him win the Heisman Trophy at Southern California began to show itself.

There was the 65-yard touchdown on a punt return against Tampa Bay in midseason, the 65-yard score on a screen pass at Dallas in December. And in the playoffs, there was the 88-yard touchdown in Chicago, during which he grabbed a short pass, outran numerous pursuers while cutting across the entire width of the field, pointed back triumphantly at linebacker Brian Urlacher, and then launched into a forward somersault across the goal line.

Performances like that only increased the attention he received during the past few months, and it wasn't always to his liking.

He said he enjoyed attending a party at the Playboy mansion, where it seemed to him that he was asked to be in more photos than many of the women there. Soon after, however, a Los Angeles publication reported he had been banned from the mansion for an unspecified conduct violation, which Bush denied.

"I don't even know where or what happened or why somebody would even ... write a story like that," Bush said. "I was at the Playboy mansion ... I had a great time and that's really all it was."

Bush chalked it up as a lesson of how difficult it can be for celebrities to control rumors.

"The story's already out there, so what are you going to do?" Bush said. "It's the way of the world and I've learned to just grow thick skin toward it and not play into it and just live my life the way I have been."

Bush, who first returned to New Orleans late last weekend, said he had one more short trip out of town planned this week before rejoining teammates here on Monday for offseason workouts leading up to minicamp in June.

It will mark the end of a lot of recent traveling. His trip to Spain also was his first trip to Europe.

Scheduling preventing him from seeing a soccer game, but he did catch a bull fight, which gave him a new perspective on showmanship and contact sports.

"Just seeing how close the bulls come to almost killing these guys, you know, it's a different type of sport," Bush said.

With a self-effacing laugh, Bush acknowledged the matadors, "didn't point at the bull."

As for the rest of his offseason, Bush said being in a music video is something he's glad he tried once, but won't be inclined to do again.

"That was a great experience but it's just something that's not for me," Bush said.

"I'm done with basketball, too," he added, a reference to his appearance in a celebrity game in Las Vegas, during which he twisted his ankle.

Bush said the ankle is fine now and he is in excellent shape because of a new workout regimen he began in Los Angeles last February. It's called fre flo do (pronounced FREE-flow-doe), which Bush described as a Chinese-inspired type of training that builds strength with exercises focused on flexibility, quickness and endurance.

Like a number of new-age physical fitness genres that seem to thrive in California, fre flo do also has a meditative and spiritual component.

Bush said he likes it because it plays to his strengths as an athlete.

"You know, some of my plays last longer than the average play, so I'm trying to simulate that ... going beyond the average time within a workout," he said.

Going into his second season, Bush already plays well beyond the level of an average running back. But when addressing his expectations for this season, he didn't want to talk about yardage and touchdowns.

"I've never been big on setting personal goals. The only thing I care about is Super Bowls," Bush said. "Your legacy is based on championships -- how many championships you win -- and you remember guys like Michael Jordan and Walter Payton and even a Tom Brady. That's the kind of caliber athlete I want to be remembered as. So that's what I shoot for when I'm training."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Demand for NFL Game at Wembley Stadium is High

Demand for NFL Game at Wembley High
AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK -- The grousing by some NFL fans over the first regular-season game to be played overseas might not be limited to this side of the Atlantic.

More than half a million ticket requests poured in soon after commissioner Roger Goodell announced the New York Giants would play the Miami Dolphins at the new Wembley Stadium in London.

That outpouring of interest for the Oct. 28 contest means many die-hard fans -- not to mention the curious observers the game is intended to reach -- will be stuck watching on TV.

"This is a game for Europe and a game for hardcore fans of both teams," said Alistair Kirkwood, managing director of NFL UK.

"The challenge we've got is to keep all the various stakeholders happy."

Ticket preference will go to season ticket holders and members of fan clubs, particularly in the United Kingdom. About 10,000 fans are expected to travel from the United States, only a fraction of the anticipated sellout crowd of 90,000.

Tickets go on sale in Europe on Monday and within the next week in the United States, but fewer than half will be immediately available. The rest will go on sale once team and league officials weigh the amount of interest the game generates among American fans and those abroad.

Giants co-owner Jonathan Tisch said the club has received about 3,500 requests.

"Not only has there been that response for initial tickets, when you look at our fan base that come to every game, then consider we have 120,000 people on our waiting list ... they also want to travel overseas," Tisch said.

Both teams have done research on how best to appropriate tickets, but Kirkwood admits that it comes down to "best guessing." How many tickets are ultimately available will also depend on the number purchased by a business tier of 15,000 people who have rights to purchase seats for any game played in the sparkling new stadium.

"What we're not going to have is the risk of unsold tickets out there," Kirkwood said, adding that about 2,000 will be reserved for general sale in the U.S. and Europe in September.

For those lucky enough to get a ticket, the game won't be cheap. Prices range from about $90 to $180, using a pricing structure similar to this weekend's FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea.

"When I was in Miami, one of the British journalists came up to me in the dour, sour way that most of the journalists have in Britain," London Mayor Ken Livingstone said. "He said, 'Wouldn't it be humiliating if there are a bunch of empty seats?' And I said, 'I suspect that won't be the case.'"

The game, which will kick off at 6 p.m. London time -- 1 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States -- comes after Arizona beat San Francisco in Mexico City in 2005. The league hopes to play regular-season games again in Mexico, as well as Canada and other cities in Europe in an effort to expand the game globally.

To accommodate the expansion, there has been increased discussion of replacing a preseason game with a regular-season game so that each team would play in a "foreign" market once a year without sacrificing a home game.

Tisch said that's an issue likely to come up at future owners meetings.

"We're all anxiously awaiting the start of the international games," Tisch said. "There is so much interest for this game that is emerging in lands far afield from the United States of America. We could easily add more international games to add to the fan base and the excitement of the NFL."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Goodell to NFL coaches: All access

Neil Best

Goodell to NFL coaches: All access
It's all but official now: Bill Parcells will not come out of retirement - ever.

Not if he reads a pointedly written memo in which the NFL updated media guidelines, tightening injury report rules, mandating regular access to assistants, liberalizing offseason access and much more.

Yikes! Call it Revenge of the Nerds MMVII.

The rules will most affect members of the paranoid Parcells/Bill Belichick coaching tree, two of whom happen to guide our local squads.

Tom Coughlin and Eric Mangini no longer will be permitted to bind and gag assistants when reporters are around. (Each had allowed severely limited access to assistants in the past; Coughlin was planning to open things up a bit in 2007 even before the directive.)

Fans and reporters can thank new commissioner Roger Goodell, a former Jets public relations intern who gets the concept that the news media is a conduit to paying customers, and that assistants can offer insights head coaches won't or can't.

The refined policy came out of meetings with the writers' association and was presented at the owners' meetings. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the commissioner "wanted more consistency and everybody operating at the same high level."

Any complaints from head coaches? "No," Aiello said.

Even Belichick? "No."

One rule seems aimed squarely at the Jets. It says a "credible" depth chart must be provided starting no later than the week of the preseason opener: "Listing players at each position on the depth chart in alphabetical order is prohibited."

Tommy Rowlands and Cole Konrad - Help wanted: Football background not required

Help wanted: Football background not required
Tom Rock

Football, apparently, is not a prerequisite for those trying to make the Jets this spring. Of the 30 players invited on a tryout basis to the three-day rookie minicamp, three of them did not play football in college and two of them have not played in nearly a decade.

NCAA heavyweight wrestling champions Tommy Rowlands from Ohio State and Cole Konrad from Minnesota, along with basketball player Jesse Pellot-Rosa from Virginia Commonwealth, found themselves on a football field for the first time in years yesterday. It's part of the Jets' no-stone-unturned philosophy when it comes to searching for talent.

"Whether it be wrestlers, basketball players, track athletes, Australian Rules football players, whoever it is, if they have core characteristics, good work ethic, intelligence, the things that we look for, then it's our job to teach them and their job to take advantage of the opportunity," Jets coach Eric Mangini said.

Pellot-Rosa, trying out as a wide receiver, was giving grief to his new teammates who had Duke in their NCAA bracket in March (VCU beat Duke in the first round). He last played football in prep school but was recruited by Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.

The wrestlers, though, have not suited up for football since eighth or ninth grade. In fact, suiting up may be a problem; both admitted they aren't sure where all of the pads fit on a football uniform. Rowlands said his mind was on training for the world championship qualifiers in June when the Jets called three days ago to invite him for a tryout. "I was shocked," he said. "I thought it was a prank call."

Rowlands and Konrad, roommates this weekend, often have battled each other on the mat, most recently at the national championships in Las Vegas in April. Rowlands won to take the No. 1 ranking. Rowlands is trying out as an outside linebacker; Konrad is trying out as an offensive lineman even though he had to be instructed on how to take a three-point stance.

"It's hard to feel natural. I don't have much of a background," said Konrad, the NCAA champ in 2006 and 2007 and winner of 76 straight matches. "They're mainly seeing if I have potential."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Ricky Williams Tests Positive For Pot - Again!

This was just in from a phone call from Bill Chachkes and confirmed at ESPN: Ricky Williams tested positive for pot, and his doctors are recommending that his re-entry into the NFL be delayed.

I feel sorry for Ricky, as he apparently sees nothing wrong with taking a toke or two, but can't understand that the NFL does. If he wants to play in the NFL, he's going to have to stop taking his weed. It's that simple.

But then would he be able to hang with hot women? Well, I forgot, he has a significant other, ...who's that lady?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Raiders Exec Mike Lombardi Fired; Raiders May Select Mike Mayock Or Pat Kirwan

This just happened on Wednesday:

Posted by Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer on Wednesday at 12:15 pm
Personnel executive Mike Lombardi is out in Oakland, which at this point is like reporting spring will give way to summer next month.

In other words, no surprises, and also no way to know how it affects the Raiders because of their method of operation.

Lombardi joined the Raiders personnel department in 1999, eventually ascending to "senior personnel executive." He took over some of the duties of senior assistant Bruce Allen upon Allen's departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so it's clear he was a valued member of the organization by Al Davis.

Exactly how good Lombardi is as a personnel man is hard to determine because when it came to speaking on the record, he adhered to Oakland's in-house policy. There are those who believe Lombardi, along with now retired Chet Franklin, were at the core of Oakland's ability to land veteran free agents at bargain prices when the team won three consecutive division titles from 2000 through 2002.

But since he was never out front and open like the 49ers Scot McCloughan, or others in the league, the credit basically went to Davis and Jon Gruden. Davis, after all, makes the final call. Only he knows how much he leaned on Lombardi, and he's not saying.

Lombardi's slow exit began the moment Bobby Petrino turned down the job as Raiders head coach. It was Lombardi who gave Davis the hard sell, with Petrino even being offered the job.

Jerry also reports that the Raiders have considered hiring Mike Mayock and Pat Kirwan of the NFL Network and NFL.com, respectively. But the real burning question is what caused the Silver and Black to start looking around, first, then dump Lombardi?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Panthers Sign WR Steve Smith to 3-Year Extension

Panthers Sign Smith to 3-Year Extension

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Receiver Steve Smith agreed to a three-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday in a deal that will keep him with the team through the 2012 season.

His agent, Derrick Fox, said he wasn't authorized to release exact figures, but said Smith's new deal makes him among the five highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

"Steve wanted to complete his career with the Panthers and bring Carolina a Super Bowl," Fox said. "This gives him peace of mind."

The 28-year-old Smith had three years left on a six-year, $27 million contract. He was scheduled to make $3.l, $3.6 and $4.2 million over the next three seasons, but now will make significantly more.

Smith had been hoping to get a new deal for some time and the Panthers had made a long-term deal one of their top priorities after they released veteran receiver Keyshawn Johnson last week.

Smith, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, led the NFL with 103 catches for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2005. Fox said negotiations with general manager Marty Hurney began after that season.

"When he had the Triple Crown season, Marty came to us and said he had outplayed his contract," Fox said. "But it was a hard process, because he was just two years in (to a six-year contract)."

Smith's numbers declined last season. He missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, and finished with 20 fewer catches, 400 fewer receiving yards and four fewer touchdowns and Carolina finished a disappointing 8-8.

Offensive coordinator Dan Henning was fired, and Smith said at last weekend's minicamp that he was pleased with new coordinator Jeff Davidson's offense. Davidson had said he wanted to find new ways to get Smith the ball.

Smith was Carolina's third-round pick in 2001. Used primarily as a kick returner as a rookie, Smith became Carolina's go-to receiver in their Super Bowl season in 2003.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Carolina Panthers Cut Keyshawn Johnson

Carolina Panthers Cut Keyshawn Johnson
AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When the Carolina Panthers drafted Southern California receiver Dwayne Jarrett in the second round Saturday, Keyshawn Johnson was ecstatic.

"This is a great pick. We need another wide receiver," Johnson gushed while working as a draft analyst for ESPN. "This guy is much like me. I'm going to teach him how to play from the point of attack."

He won't get the chance.

The Panthers deemed their older former USC receiver was expendable Tuesday. Johnson, the 6-foot-4 possession receiver and 1996 No. 1 overall pick, was released to make way for a younger 6-foot-4 possession receiver taken with the 45th pick.

"We appreciated the contribution of Keyshawn in his season with the Panthers," coach John Fox said. "He brought us high production, but at this time, we are in a situation in which we have a number of young receivers and thought this was the right time to make the decision."

The Panthers also selected receiver Ryne Robinson in the fourth round of the draft. While he will likely be primarily used as a punt returner, he did catch 91 passes at Miami of Ohio last season. The Panthers also have receivers Drew Carter and Keary Colbert -- plus star Steve Smith.

Johnson, who will turn 35 in July, had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns last season and became the 16th player in NFL history with 800 career catches. The Panthers signed Johnson last year after he was released by Dallas in a salary cap move so the Cowboys could sign Terrell Owens.

It was hoped Johnson would take pressure off Smith, who was Carolina's lone option in 2005 and was shut down in the NFC championship game by Seattle. But the Panthers, plagued by injuries, stumbled to an 8-8 record and missed the playoffs.

Numerous calls placed to Johnson on Tuesday were not returned. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said he had a couple of phone conversations with him.

"I don't think he agreed with the decision. I think he feels like he could have come in and helped us in our goal of trying to get to the playoffs and win the championship, but I think he understood our thought process," Hurney said. "I would just say he didn't agree with it."

Johnson has said in the past he would like to work in television after his career his over. Recently he indicated he'd be interested in becoming a general manager of a team someday.

However, Johnson said late last season he wanted to play at least two more years and get to 1,000 career receptions. Johnson didn't appear to be slowing down last season and several teams are in need of receivers.

Johnson was taken by the New York Jets with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft. He's always been productive, but has also clashed with coaches and teammates while earning the nickname "Me-Shawn." He wrote the famous tell-all book, "Just Give Me the Damn Ball" after his rookie season that ruffled feathers.

Johnson later helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl in the 2002 season. But a year later, Johnson was deactivated for the final six games after a feud with coach Jon Gruden.

Still, Bill Parcells, who coached him in both New York and Dallas, called Johnson one of the best players he's ever coached, and there was no apparent rift between Johnson and Fox in Carolina. When Johnson signed with Carolina, he said he was content being the No. 2 receiver behind Smith.

Johnson did express strong support late last season for offensive coordinator Dan Henning, who was eventually fired. After the final game, Johnson said he might retire if Henning was let go, but later backed off that statement.

"I think all you have to do is look at the timing of this decision to figure out that there was nothing more to this than the fact we made the commitment to develop our younger wide receivers," Hurney said. "The decision was made that we had a big enough group of young wide receivers that we were going to commit in that direction."

Jarrett, who had a school-record 216 receptions and a Pac-10 record 41 touchdown catches, will be in town Friday for Carolina's minicamp. It was expected Johnson would spend the weekend razzing him.

Instead, Jarrett could be working with the first team.

"We feel the young guys will step up and fill the roles behind Steve Smith," Hurney said.
Guess Key Thought he'd be there for one more year to Train the Young-uns...Give Credit where it's due,.Like T.O, Key can sometimes have a big Mouth. Unlike T.O. there is no Hubris when Key screws up. He just owns up to it. when he was here in NY he wasn't always the most Likable Guy around Jets camp...But he always worked Hard....Maybe he'll return to Dallas if T.O. doesn't see eye to eye with Coach Phillips... or not...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

2007 NFL Draft Moves that Didn't Make Sense

The top of the first round didn’ t live up to the hype. The swirling rumors of multiple team trades and top three upheaval never happened. The first eight picks went by and the only eyebrow raisers were Brady Quinn’s notable descent, and Adrian Peterson falling out of the top five. But, even those weren’t too crazy. Peterson was still taken in the top ten and surely the Dolphins, with huge questions at quarterback would take the highly touted Notre Dame quarterback off of the board.

Then, with the ninth overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. My jaw hit the floor. Is Cam Cameron much more comfortable with Daunte Culpepper or Cleo Lemon than ANYONE could possibly believe?

I have said in the past that if anyone can bring Culpepper back to top form, a guru like Cameron can. But Cameron likes his quarterback to be quick, confident, decision makers. Culpepper hasn’t made a quick decision since Randy Moss exited Minnesota. However, talk of Cameron being disenchanted with Culpepper had to be premature. Given the status of Culpepper’s rehab, Cameron has yet to see Culpepper in action - at least from the perspective as Culpepper’s head coach.

And what of Cleo Lemon? Sure, Cameron made no secret that he liked the kid when the two were in San Diego. But does he have enough confidence in a kid who’s yet to prove anything on the field that he would pass up a top prospect like Quinn?

The passing up of Brady Quinn aside, why Ginn, Jr.? Forget for the moment that the Dolphins have issues at quarterback. Forget the question of drafting a receiver when you have no one to deliver the football. Look at the Ginn selection in its own right. The Dolphins selected a receiver who shows inconsistency catching the football and will likely be nothing more than a replacement for Wes Welker in the return game. Sure the return game is important and Ginn Jr. has the potential to be an even better returner than Welker but do you address the return game with a TOP TEN PICK? The Dolphins weren’t so stacked that they had no other needs that could have been addressed here. I certainly can't believe that they passed up a player who would touch the ball on every offensive down for one that would probably only touch the ball around 7 times a game.

Thirteen picks later, the Dallas Cowboys take advantage of how the Mighty Quinn hath fallen and engineer a trade with Cleveland. The Cowboys take the #36 overall (4th pick of round 2) in this year’s draft and Cleveland’s first round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft to allow the Browns to grab Quinn at 22 before the Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to take the clock at 23. Dallas appears to have made off like bandits with no immediately pressing needs. But then the Cowboys negate the move by handing the #36 overall pick they wrangled from Cleveland to division rival Philadelphia along with their 3rd and 5th round picks to move back into the first round and take Perdue defensive end Anthony Spencer.

Now, Anthony Spencer is a great player who is NFL-ready. He’s got the tools and the ability to make an immediate impact at outside linebacker in Dallas’ 3-4 defense or at defensive end in their 4-3 nickel set. I recognize this. But did Dallas really need to trade away THREE picks for a player at a position where they are already very strong? With DeMarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, Kevin Burnette and Bobby Carpenter all playing well at outside linebacker and Ellis, Ware, and Burnette already great options in nickel, why did Dallas give up so much? If Dallas had an absolute NEED to get back into the first round, you’d think they would at least address positions where they had questions or lack of reliable depth. Auburn guard Ben Grubbs, Central Michigan tackle Joe Staley, Texas tackle Justin Blalock and Arkansas Guard Tony Ugoh all come to mind. Blalock and Ugoh were all available when Dallas would have picked at #36.

Dallas got a great player in Spencer. Dallas did a pretty good job with the picks they had left overall. But that trade back into the first round to take a player in a position that they did not have need surprised me.

Speaking of the #36 overall pick … Kevin Kolb? Kolb was a four-year starter at the University of Houston. He has a strong arm and is very intelligent. I don’t know that he was the best value for the Eagles who have Donovan McNabb and just resigned back up AJ Feely. Even if they wanted to start grooming a player for life after McNabb, Michigan State’s Drew Stanton, Stanford’s Trent Edwards, even BYU’s John Beck and Ohio State’s Troy Smith were still available.

But the Eagles overall draft - as always with Andy Reid at the helm - was very good. Taking Penn State running back Tony Hunt in the third round was an absolute steal. Hunt will be a perfect compliment to Westbrook. I just thought the selection of Kolb - not because he is not good - that high was perplexing.

Quite possibly the second biggest reach, right behind the Dolphins taking Ginn Jr., was the selection of Arizona running back Chris Henry by the Tennessee Titans in the second round. Obviously banking on Henry’s smokin’ time in the 40 yard dash at the combine, the Titans grabbed him to give underachieving LenDale White a run for his money. The Titans allowed Travis Henry and Chris Brown to exit via free agency.

The problem I had with this pick in the second round wasn’t because the Titans didn’t need a running back. But with Tony Hunt and even Rutger’s Brian Leonard still on the board, they had guys they could have picked who had actually carried the load at running back. Henry didn’t get much playing time at all his first three season. His senior year, off-the field issues resulted in a suspension. He didn’t actually start a game his entire NCAA career until the final four games of his senior season. Hunt carried the load at Penn State showing he could move the pile, had excellent hands, and while he didn’t exhibit Henry’s blazing speed, his 4.57 40 time is good enough. Leonard has sub 4.5 speed and has shown the ability to be a tailback and fullback. Henry was a risk in the second round that I did not expect any team to undertake. I am especially surprised that the Titans overlooked his off the field issues given recent events surrounding Titans CB Adam "Pacman" Jones.

Gator LB Brandon Siler, Auburn CB David Irons Among 2007 NFL Draft Late Round Steals.

Anyone can say Louisville RB Michael Bush and Ohio State QB Troy Smith were second day steals. Let’s take a look at some of the prospects that dropped to the final two rounds, and one that went undrafted.

Brandon Siler, a 6′2″, 238 pound linebacker from the NCAA National Champion University of Florida was easily the steal of round seven by the San Diego Chargers. Siler is fast and agile with 4.59 speed. He has fluid hips, flows to the ball well, can knife through gaps to stop the run and drop into coverage. The only knock on Siler is that he sometimes has trouble shedding blocks. He will sometimes try to avoid bigger blockers instead of taking them on and shedding them. With his speed and tremendous work ethic, Siler’s fall to the seventh round is more incredible than Brady Quinn’s drop to the 22nd overall. Siler was picked 240th overall (30th pick of round seven).

Auburn CB David Irons got much less hype than his brother, Auburn running back Kenny Irons. But at the senior bowl, David Irons’ nose for the ball and flat out speed popped a lot of eyes. He showed that he could excel against very good receivers in bump and run and zone coverage. He picked up schemes well and had a knack for finding the ball. At 194th (29th pick of round 6) overall to Atlanta, Irons is a great deal.

Oklahoma linebacker Rufus Alexander was taken by Minnesota 174th (2nd in the 6th round). Alexander is agile and rangy. Possessing 4.62 speed at 6′1″, 227 pounds, Alexander has a knack for being in the right place on the field to make plays. He plays hard against the run but is a bit undersized. He is a bullying pass defender with game speed that surpasses his 40 time.

Undrafted Notre Dame running back Darrius Walker should make a roster somewhere. at 5′10″ 212 Walker isn’t quite big enough to be a mauler but lacks the elite burst and break away speed that would make him a feature back. However, in today’s era of the short yardage specialist, Walker will make a perfect compliment to a team like Tampa Bay who will lose Mike Alstott to retirement sometime soon.

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