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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Droughns ready to fit in

Droughns Ready to Fit in With Giants-See my comment below
AP Sports Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Giants plan to replace the retired Tiki Barber with two running backs.

At least that's what they have told newcomer Reuben Droughns, who was acquired last week in a trade with Cleveland for receiver Tim Carter.

"They said it's definitely going to be a 1-2 punch," Droughns said in a conference call on Monday, shortly after he passed a physical and officially joined the Giants, where he will pair up with Brandon Jacobs.

"Brandon and me will be kind of a pound-it-out running style, so we'll try to wear down the defenses and work together," Droughns said.

The two Super Bowl teams both alternated halfbacks last season. Indianapolis used Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai, while Chicago used Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson.

With Jacobs and Droughns, coach Tom Coughlin is going to have a pair of big bodies to run behind fullback Jim Finn. Droughns is 5-foot-11 and 220, small compared to Jacobs, 6-4 and 264.

The two met for the first time on Monday and Droughns, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards in both 2004 and 2005 and 750 last season, was impressed.

"Oh, yeah. He's a big young fella," the seven-year veteran said.

Droughns took the blame for his drop in production last season, but he noted that the Browns' offensive line was ravaged by injuries. Coming to the Giants, he said was a fresh start.

It's so new, it was obvious that he did not want to create waves with Jacobs, the third-year running back who rushed 96 times for 423 yards (4.4 yard average) and nine touchdowns.

"It's not my job," Droughns said when asked if he considered the starting halfback job open. "It's Brandon's, because he was the guy who's here. Brandon's next in line. It's his job to lose, but I'm sure he doesn't want to lose it. It's going to be a good competition in training camp."

There wasn't going to be a competition for the Browns' starting job this season. Droughns realized that last week after former Baltimore Raven Jamal Lewis to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Browns.

"I knew my role was slimming down," Droughns said. "Our union had basically fallen apart. They were either going to release me or trade me."

That's just the kind of Rushing game the Giants want to run. It's the same kind of game they had in 2000 with Tiki and Ron Dayne(thunder and lightning) except i don't know if Ruben is "Lightning" fast. But he's surely smaller then Jacobs!

Emmitt Smith Hired By ESPN

Emmitt Smith to Join ESPN As Analyst-My comment below end of story..
By Associated Press

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith has been hired by ESPN as a studio analyst for its NFL pregame coverage.

Smith, the National Football League's all-time leading rusher, will appear on the network's NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown shows. He will also appear as an analyst on ESPN Radio and ESPN.com, the network announced Monday.

"I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and insight of football with the fans of the NFL," Smith said in a statement released by the network. "I am excited to be joining the ESPN family, particularly the highly respected Countdown crews."

Smith will join Chris Berman, analysts Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Ron Jaworski, and reporter Chris Mortensen on NFL countdown. He, Berman, Jackson, Mortensen and analyst Steve Young will do the Monday Night Countdown show each week from the site of the Monday Night Football game.

This could be one of the smartest moves ESPN could make regarding their Football coverage. Emmitt's personality is so much different then his predecessor and former teammate. Irvin was at times, to argumentative with his elders, and i'm sorry, as skilled as Irvin was on the field, he was not always well spoken off it, he also clashed with the styles of Ditka and Tom Jackson. Smith Knows how to play nice......

CAA Taking A Bath On Sports Division? - Buying Matt Leinart, Tom Condon, and IMG

Someone -- perhaps Leigh Steinberg -- is reading this with glee. But if Hollywood Reporter Nikki Finke's any indication,
Creative Artists Agency , the super-firm of talent agents started by Ron Meyer and Mike Ovitz in 1975, and recently the epicenter of Hollywood's move into athletic talent mining starting with players like Arizona Cardinals QB Matt Leinart, may be losing money in its sports division.

To understand, read this post from Nikki's blog:

If CAA agents this week are looking inconsolable, it's because they now have to give up flying first class. (Those conversations you're trying to overhear at lunch in Century City are the CAA tenpercenters kvetching about it.) So what happened? My sources tell me that CAA called a big all-agents meeting and read the riot act to its spendthrift tenpercenters. To cut expenses by a whopping 20%. To start flying just business class instead of first class. And to take to heart this warning: If you want to get paid, then get your clients jobs.

I hear the motion picture agents are the most upset about the new edicts because they live the high life more and so got hit harder. Look, I've been saying this for a while now: CAA can't keep spending like drunken sailors without having cash flow issues: buying a bevy of agents from other shops and wooing clients by the hundreds, and moving into swank new headquarters while still paying rent back at the I.M. Pei building, and starting a money pit of a sports division where most of the endorsement deal money will be heading back to IMG for years, etc. Now CAA is having the same woes every other agency in town has been having: for instance, William Morris last year asked its departments to slash spending by 20%. What's next? Richard Lovett on Avenue Of The Stars with a metal detector looking for loose change and lost jewelry?

If it's true that CAA's gotten into a deal where it's giving most of its' cash from sponsorship deals back to IMG, then it's officially taking a bath in its sports division. Everyone in the sports business knows its the sponsorship deals that drive the industry, and this is especially true for NFL agents, which are limited to 3 percent takes of an athlete's contract.

By contrast, CAA comes from the world of the 20 percent deal, where they can get as much as that for an actor or actress. So they're giving up 17 percent of a deal, plus a big chunk of endorsement money? Wow. All that plus the fact that CAA and the other Hollywood agencies aren't savvy enough in new media to promote their talents to such an extent they make up for this. One firm I will not name has an extensive website, but you can't find it on Google! (They need to use SBS-ON!)

At first, I thought CAA's foray into sports would restructure the industry and cause a shakeout of some of the small-time -- at least in behavior -- agents. But given the appearance of their business model, I remain skeptical. It's now logical to me why IMG would give up its NFL operation to CAA without the appearance of a fight; they're getting paid! Moreover, it seems everyone, from Leigh Steinberg to Matt Leinart's trainer Steve Clarkson of Air 7 (which has a better website now), to IMG, and Tom Condon (who was lured from IMG to CAA) has been paid by CAA just so it could leap -- head first -- into the sports business without a battle.

In other words, CAA really did create a money pit!

Let's give it five years, and then review. Unless CAA starts making a ton of sports movies with Matt Leinart and Paris Hilton as the stars, they may see the NFL and sports as a waste of money. It's not, really. It's just that they don't really understand what they've gotten themselves into.

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