Skip to comments.IN THE NFL TODAY: Preseason Week 1 scores & the NFL NewsWire
Posted on 08/14/2005 11:15:02 AM PDT by cgk
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Ex-NFL player Robbins arrested on marijuana charge - AP (1:47 PM ET)
Panthers, at almost 100 percent, are excited after preseason win - AP (1:25 PM ET)
Raiders assistant taken to hospital after fainting on sideline - AP (2:08 AM ET)
Schottenheimer sticking with errant kicker Kaeding - AP (10:15 PM ET)
Q&A with Zygi Wilf: Vikings owner talks about his new team - AP (5:52 PM ET)
Bears quarterback Grossman sidelined by broken ankle - AP (3:28 PM ET)
|Saturday, August 13, 2005|
NFL ping... whomever wishes to ping the list. :)
|Letters | T.O. wasted chance to be toast of town|
| The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 14, 2005
T.O. could have had it all! After his heroics of last year he could have owned the hearts of fans until kingdom come. Sponsorships would have come begging at his door. He would have been the kind of legend that could have adorned billboards and Wheaties boxes, all for a sum of money that would far exceed the dollars he's seeking right now. But alas, stupid is as stupid does. And pride is a deceitful master. Mr. Owens, you gave away the farm while looking for fool's gold. You have squandered a marvelous opportunity. Greed wins, you lose!
T.O. no hero
I have been an Eagles fan and a reader of The Inquirer for over 40 years. I find it appalling that a picture of T.O. appears on the same page as pictures of Spec. Gennaro Pellegrini Jr., Spec. John N. Kulick and Pfc. Nathaniel DeTample.
If Owens ever thought of anyone but himself, he would understand that he doesn't belong anywhere near these heroes.
Barnegat Light, N.J.
Act made for TV
It is my considered opinion that T.O. should be traded to Desperate Housewives. His agent might be happy with that, since he could take 10 percent instead of the 3 percent he now gets.
Land O'Lakes, Fla.
T.O. a role model
Thank God for T.O. He's the greatest entertainer with a cause since Muhammad Ali.
T.O. should be viewed as a role model, not a villain, by the general public masses of hypocritical couch potatoes who don't understand football. T.O. is teaching and demonstrating that if one becomes so good and dominant in his field that he can materially affect an entire organization's success, he shouldn't be ostracized for requesting and getting fair monetary compensation. Why should T.O. play this year for less than a quarter of his true market value? Pay him, play him, and go to the Super Bowl. The Eagles are a much different, and worse, team without him. T.O. is the man.
Looks other way
Isn't it curious that it took congressional intervention to get Bud Selig to do his job? How many times has he looked the other way or handled the problem with tokenism? Our children, as a result, have inherited a more tarnished national pastime. The last modicum of courage and integrity in this office died with Bart Giamatti.
There's a visual
Re: The Eagles cheerleaders' lingerie calendar.
Yo, Iggles! Please don't forget that you have a devoted female fan base. How about something for the ladies? Maybe something on the order of Andy Reid seductively looking over his shoulder pulling down his thong with a come-hither stare? What's good for the goose is definitely needed for the gander.
Updated on Sunday, Aug 14, 2005 6:01 am EDT
The nagging question is whether the Eagles have enough talent at wide receiver to get back to the Super Bowl and win it.
The answer is that the Eagles have the quarterback to get back to the Super Bowl, although, of course, Donovan McNabb still has to prove he is the man to win it.
If this becomes the Season After T.O., it will be up to McNabb to run an offense with Greg Lewis, Billy McMullen and rookie Reggie Brown as the wide receivers. You can assume that Andy Reid will add another legitimate wideout to the roster, but you can also assume he won't be as explosive as Terrell Owens.
However it shakes out, McNabb is the answer to the question.
All the talk about young receivers struggling in Reid's system has missed a major point: When Todd Pinkston was a rookie, McNabb was in his second season and first full year as the starter. When Freddie Mitchell was a rookie (miscast as the world's smallest slot receiver), McNabb was in just his third season.
Back then, the quarterback was learning the offense, too. Back then, when a play went wrong, the coaches had to explain to everyone what happened. Maybe McNabb made the wrong read. Maybe Pinkston read the wrong coverage. Maybe Mitchell didn't adjust to the correct route.
"When Pink came in," McNabb said, "I was just learning the offense and I had been a couple of years in. So they [the coaches] were throwing in different wrinkles and trying different things. You are trying to visualize it and make sure the guy is in the right position at the right time."
Reid's offense is just as complicated as ever, obviously. There is as much for Brown, the second-round pick from Georgia, to learn as there was for Pinkston and Mitchell. The difference is that the guy under center has mastered the system and has run it against every kind of NFL defense.
So Brown may feel as if he's underwater at this point in camp, but now the quarterback is able to throw him a lifeline.
"Now I am able, before we get out of the huddle, just to make sure Reggie knows what route he is running," McNabb said. "The rest of the guys as well. I can make sure we are on the same page and give him an idea that if we get certain coverage, he might get the ball if he's not the first or second read."
Don't misread this as saying Brown will step right in and fill the role Owens played last year. There's no substitute for experience. Owens understands the nuances of the system, how to slide across just in front of a safety and use his body to shield the incoming pass.
The point is that McNabb's experience and knowledge can help make Brown, Lewis and McMullen more productive than Pinkston, Mitchell and James Thrash were at similar points in their development.
Ironically, Owens is one reason for that.
For the first five years of his career, McNabb worked under Reid's philosophy that it was better to have a bunch of good, solid, smart receivers than a superstar who demanded the ball. People close to McNabb made it clear that he hungered to find out what life would be like with a true No. 1 receiver.
He found out last year. His collaboration with Owens was great fun to watch, and it will be a shame if that is lost. But there's no erasing the confidence McNabb picked up from it, or his awareness that you have to trust your receivers to make plays.
It's easier to trust Owens than McMullen, but the principle is the same. Case in point: With the Super Bowl on the line, McNabb threw the ball to Lewis, a rookie in whom he had developed trust over the course of the season.
"I think there's always a rapport any time you make a play for your quarterback," offensive coordinator Brad Childress said. "You make a play and then you have a tendency to get another ball thrown your way. You drop it on the ground, he may shortcut a read and look past you because he's not sure what he's going to get."
There is one more reason to believe that McNabb can be the answer to the most pressing question about this offense.
After a year with T.O., and an off-season of being insulted by T.O., you have to believe McNabb would love nothing better than to prove that Owens wasn't the key to the Eagles' success last year.
"We have been to three NFC championships with guys that everyone decided to turn their back on and talk bad about," McNabb said, referring to the likes of Pinkston and Thrash.
They can go back without Owens, and the reason is No. 5.
|Break in Ward talks looms Monday night|
| Jim Wexell - Scout.com
August 13, 2005 at 5:15pm ET
LATROBE - Hines Ward's holdout has gone full two weeks, but a break in the stand-off could occur Monday night.
The Steelers are talking with Ward's agent, although a source with the team said no numbers have been discussed, only a framework and basic contract structures.
The Steelers say Ward is asking for top-three money among wide receivers. They believe he ranks among the next tier. They're willing to pay at least $10 million in guaranteed money.
The Steelers are altering their policy slightly by talking with Ward's agent; they vowed they wouldn't at the start of his holdout.
However, they're adamant about committing to their regular-season policy. The Steelers won't negotiate once the season begins for fear of setting a precedent. Ward would have to return to play in six games to be credited for this contract year.
The current negotiations could take a turn either way Monday night when the Steelers host the Philadelphia Eagles in the first preseason game at 8 p.m. (ESPN).
If the Steelers' wide receivers perform poorly, as they have this week, the fans - and possibly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger -- would make their voices heard.
The Steelers have been playing with a new crop of receivers most of the week, and it reflected poorly on the quarterbacks. All five receivers from last year's roster were either out of town or injured. Even Walter Young of last year's practice squad has been out with an injury.
Randle El doesn't believe one game will have that much of an impact.
"People have already made up their minds either way," he said. "One preseason game isn't going to change anyone's mind."
Randle El will start at split end Monday, while Wilson will start at Ward's flanker position. Randle El has been struggling with hamstring and ankle problems, but is comfortable at split end.
"It's a position designed for playmakers, go-getters, ballplayers," Randle El said. "That fits me."
With a 99-degree heat index on the field, the players were relieved to practice Saturday in shells instead of full pads, and thus the celebrated goal-line drill was canceled.
Ricardo Colclough and Ike Taylor were the first-team kick returners during drills, but Cowher did not say whether they'd be used first in the game. Cowher did say Jerome Bettis would start at halfback, "but he won't be in there real long," Cowher said.
Rookie tight end Heath Miller made a sensational one-handed catch of a high Roethlisberger fastball to start practice, but then dropped an easy pass to his chest from Batch a few plays later. Cowher was asked for what he likes about the first-round pick.
"The way he's picked up the offense," Cowher said. "We've moved him around quite a bit and he really has not missed an assignment. We put him in situations in the backfield, trying to look up safeties, and I like the fact he's picking things up very quickly."
And the rest of the tight ends?
"(Matt) Kranchick is a big target and he's catching the ball very well; Jerame (Tuman) is having an excellent camp; and (Walt) Rasby is probably one of the better blockers we have on this football team. So it is a very, very good crew."
Undrafted rookie John Kuhn of Shippensburg could see playing time at tailback in the second half Monday.
The 255-pounder was moved from fullback to tailback at the beginning of the week because of Staley's injury.
Born in York, Kuhn played at Dover High School and went on to set 27 school records at Shippensburg, including 4,685 career rushing yards and 53 touchdowns.
"I'm a little excited," he said. "It was a little bit of a shock for me Monday when he said it to me, and now I'm a little excited it's become a reality."
Updated on Saturday, Aug 13, 2005 6:15
|Limbaugh wants to help Owens, McNabb settle dispute|
|August 13, 2005
This time, Rush Limbaugh wants to help Donovan McNabb, not criticize him.
Limbaugh, who once said the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback was overrated because the media wanted to see a black quarterback succeed, wants to help McNabb and wide receiver Terrell Owens settle their differences on his radio show.
``I am here to offer and to assist. I can,'' Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio show Friday, according to a transcript on his Web site. ``I could bring these two guys together. I've been there, folks, and I could do this, and I'm serious in my desire to do it.''
Owens has been unhappy with the Eagles over his contract and took some of his frustration out at McNabb, calling the quarterback a hypocrite and saying the two of them could not be successful together.
McNabb insisted he wasn't stung by the criticism, laughing off the outrageous receiver's remarks before turning serious and telling Owens to ``keep my name out of your mouth.''
Limbaugh resigned from ESPN nearly two years ago after sparking outrage by saying on a pregame show that he didn't think McNabb was as good as perceived from the start.
``I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well,'' Limbaugh said on ``Sunday NFL Countdown.''
Now Limbaugh wants to help mediate, inviting both Eagles to appear on his show.
``This rift cannot be allowed to continue, ladies and gentlemen. It just can't, and I would like to offer this program as a means of getting these two Americans and star players back together,'' Limbaugh said. ``They may not want to talk to each other face-to-face, but perhaps they would join me on this program and speak to each other telephonically via this program and settle this.''
Updated on Saturday, Aug 13, 2005 5:09 pm
|Carolina Panthers||Chad Mustard TE||Signed|
|Chicago Bears||Derek Abney WR||Acquired from waivers|
|Cleveland Browns||Braylon Edwards WR||Signed/draft choice
|Indianapolis Colts||Solomon Bates LB||Cut|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Eric McCoo RB||Cut|
|St. Louis Rams||Bryan Barker P||Signed|
|Buffalo Bills||Kevin Everett TE||Signed|
|Carolina Panthers||Dwight Anderson CB||Acquired from waivers|
|Detroit Lions||Jon McGraw S||Traded to Detroit
(for a conditional draft pick)
|Miami Dolphins||Deveron Harper S||Signed|
|Ray Green CB||Signed|
|Alphonso Roundtree CB||Cut|
|New York Jets||Pete Hunter CB||Cut|
|Jon McGraw S||Traded to Detroit
(for a conditional draft pick)
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Chris Doering WR||Signed|
|St. Louis Rams||Alex Barron T||Signed/draft choice
A toast of water to the memory of my beloved Dolphins--the current team ain't worth alcohol.
I feel bad for A.J. He did played great in Philly when he had to, and now he can't stay healthy it seems like.
I feel bad for the whole team.
8-8 this season, if we're lucky.
Watch out for the rook Giants RB Brandon Jacobs out of Southern Illinois. 6'5", 266, 4.4 second 40.
He looked good last night. Could be a fantasy football steal (yeah--and a bit of a longshot).
:) I like longshots. I picked up Droughns in my fantasy league last year because all my other RBs were injured. He was just an AFC special teams player of the year - a kick returner but his numbers looked good for giving me points. They moved him up, and he racked in the yards.
Rams Dfense looked pretty good...Claiborne, Coakley, Pisa at LB.
I watched the 49-Raiders game...it was actually kind of fun....
The guy's a player.
|PITTSBURGH -- After two weeks of no-shows and sideshows, distractions and departures and wide receivers who don't show up or don't shut up, the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers finally play a game Monday night that Pennsylvania preferred to see in February.
Just don't expect anything resembling playoff-style football from the Eagles, who play for the first time since losing to the Patriots in the Super Bowl, or the Steelers, whose fourth loss in the AFC title game in a decade's time prevented an all-Keystone State Super Bowl.
The starters for teams that were a combined 28-4 last season will play about a quarter apiece -- that is, those regulars that are around. Plenty of marquee names are missing on both sides, from the chatty Terrell Owens and absentee defensive tackle Corey Simon of the Eagles to holdout Hines Ward and the injured Duce Staley and Joey Porter of the Steelers.
For quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Ben Roethlisberger, that means barely enough time to get in a few tosses to mostly unfamiliar receivers before they sit down. Philadelphia's starting receivers will be Greg Lewis and rookie Reggie Brown, rather than Owens (tossed out of camp) or Todd Pinkston (season-ending injury), and Pittsburgh will start Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson rather than 2004 starters Ward (holdout) and Plaxico Burress (signed with Giants).
Big changes, yet with so little time to make them. Neither Eagles coach Andy Reid nor Steelers coach Bill Cowher is willing to risk injury to a key player, especially with important personnel already missing.
The pregame messages to their players from both coaches were almost identical: Get in there, get your work done and get out safely -- and, oh, yes, don't dwell on who's not around.
"I expect them to do a nice job," Reid said Sunday of Lewis and Brown. "If you focus in on the football and run the routes the right way, you'll be fine."
The Eagles' second units will start the second quarter and play into the third. Cowher will use his personnel similarly, with some starters -- such as running back Jerome Bettis -- likely going less than a quarter. All four Pittsburgh quarterbacks may play, though backup Tommy Maddox was bothered for several days last week by a flu-like ailment.
Despite Ward's absence -- he has a year left on his contract, but wants a new deal -- Cowher doesn't expect any sustained problems on offense, even if rookie Fred Gibson spent several days with the first unit last week after Randle El sprained an ankle.
"Maybe in two or three games, it's going to start to come together," Cowher said. "I certainly want to see our first units go out and show some continuity. We don't need to be on all cylinders, but we need to show some positive steps."
Still, the Steelers' offense will be watched more closely than normal for a preseason game to determine the effect, if any, of Ward's holdout. Randle El thinks the Steelers can keep winning even if the four-time Pro Bowl receiver's layoff extends into the season, but Porter said, "We can't win without him."
And while Owens' constant talking and training camp banishment last week seem to have divided the Eagles, with McNabb visibly wearying of the entire mess and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter saying Owens deserves more money, the Steelers' veterans appear to be behind Ward.
One reason: After years of traditionally honoring contracts, the Steelers forced several veterans in recent seasons, including Bettis and since-departed tight end Mark Bruener, to renegotiate for much less money to stay with the team. Ward is set to make $1.66 million this season, which barely ranks among the NFL's top 40 for wide receivers.
Perhaps that's why Bettis concluded a TV interview last week by yelling, "Free Hines Ward!" though he said he did so playfully.
The difference is remarkable. It's hard to describe.
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