Photo of the Week - Champions Are Made Here

Check out’s exclusive photo from the 2011 University of Miami Pro Day. This photo was taken as Ryan Hill was performing his Bench Press reps of 225 pounds. Many Champions have been made there, and there are many more to come.

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Mel Kiper sees 6 proCanes going in Rounds 2-3

2nd Round
40. Dallas
Brandon Harris CB Miami (Fla)

47. St. Louis
Leonard Hankerson WR Miami (Fla)

55. Kansas City
Orlando Franklin OL Miami (Fla)

57. Seattle
DeMarcus Van Dyke CB Miami (Fla)

3rd Round
65. Carolina
Allen Bailey DL Miami (Fla)

84. Tampa Bay
Colin McCarthy LB Miami (Fla)

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Soon to be stars: Sam Shields

The Super Bowl champions had many young players step up in a big way and there is a substantial list of players to choose from for this feature. And now this entire roster is pretty much made up of household names. So I probably will not be able to unveil “The Next Great Thing” for the Green Bay Packers. But Sam Shields’ story is pretty remarkable and with the age of Charles Woodson, his role should only increase. But as many of you know, Shields is already a heck of a cornerback.

At 5-feet-11 and 184 pounds, Shields isn’t the biggest corner around, but he should continue to add bulk to his frame as he ages and gains strength in the process. He is only 23 years old. And he does have long arms and can play bigger than his size would suggest in addition to his great leaping ability. He also isn’t afraid to throw his body around in coverage or as a run-support player. There is a lot of talent here that is just starting to be tapped.

Although he has noticeable ability, Shields was considered a raw player coming out of college. Many looked at him as an undrafted free agent and thought Shields’ ceiling was that of a slot corner who would take a while to develop. But Shields already has proven that he can hold up on the outside. That allows Green Bay to be very aggressive with Woodson when it goes to its three-cornerback alignments, which the Packers feature often -- even against base offensive personnel.

Green Bay has the best secondary in the NFL and Shields is a big reason why.

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Ray Lewis says he's unsure whether there will be full NFL season this yea

Ray Lewis said he doesn't have a gut feeling on whether there will be a full 16-game NFL season this year.

Asked why he doesn't, the Ravens linebacker offered this cryptic response Wednesday: "I don't know. I'm more on the inside of it of talking to [NFL Players Association leader] DeMaurice Smith and talking to all those guys. But a lot of it, I'm totally away from them because I look at it totally different, and I'll share that at another time."

The NFL and the players disagree on who should oversee talks after a judge handling the injunction urged the sides to go "back to the table." Quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are plaintiffs in the case.

The players have been locked out by the owners since March 12. Lewis said he isn't angered by the fact that there are no offseason workouts at team headquarters.

"I would hope and pray all the guys I talk to … the thing I try to tell them is please do something else," Lewis said after an autograph signing session at That Sports Store at the Harford Mall. "You have to have many things going on. To me, this is probably the greatest window of opportunity I've ever had in my life. It's been 25 years of my life that I've never had a summer to myself."

Lewis said he is completely healthy after finishing his 15th NFL season and didn't need any surgeries this offseason. He has begun his training regimen, but he's been "working out for a lifestyle" rather than football, he said.

On the business end, Lewis has been busy promoting his clothing line, RL52 Style; a workout application available on iTunes; a pre-training formula; and his annual "Ray's Summer Days" in Baltimore next month.

"When you get time off, you build something different," Lewis said. "You don't sit around and say, 'If they lock us out, what are we going to do?' What we're going to do is I'm going to keep building empire after empire after empire."

Lewis added: "Don't get me wrong, that's our job and I love it to death. But when somebody abuses your heart and what you do, you've got to move on. If you don't, you'll find yourself bitter and mad. That's too much."

Click here to order Ray Lewis’ proCane Rookie Card.

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Dolphins working out Colin McCarthy on Friday

University Miami inside linebacker Colin McCarthy is set to work out for the Miami Dolphins on Friday along with other Hurricanes players.

McCarthy has previously worked out for the Atlanta Falcons,

McCarthy recorded 95 tackles as a junior and 105 tackles as a senior with nine tackles for losses. He finished his career with 308 tackles, 34 for losses and was twice named all-conference.

McCarthy is regarded as an old-school linebacker who plays with sound instincts, but is relatively undersized.

The 6-foot-1, 235-pounder is currently projected to go in the third to fourth round.

An NFL scouting director had solid praise for McCarthy.

"Yeah, he’s a tough kid," the executive told National Football Post. "He runs around. He’s active. He’s instinctive, always working to the football. Gives up a little in terms of size, he's not 250, 260 pounds, but he plays pretty solid for an undersized guy.

"Very competitive player, great intangibles, comes with high remarks from the staff at Miami. So, he’s definitely a quality player and a quality kid.”

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Brandon Harris not seeking escape from Liberty City

MIAMI – As Brandon Harris stares at the tiny, 600-square-feet home on 62nd Terrace in Liberty City, he doesn’t simply see the boarded-up windows or its general state of disrepair. He doesn’t even really see the “For sale” sign.

Instead, Harris sees his first childhood home. He remembers the days spent hustling home from elementary school to drop off his books before heading through the back alley to 62nd Street and the laundromat his grandfather Floyd McPhee owned.

He’d pass by the old men playing cards under the shade tree next to the laundromat and maybe head to the convenience store across the parking lot to get Now and Later candy. Then he and his grandfather would make the rounds through town, checking on the houses and dry cleaning stores his grandfather owned.

As Harris retraces that drive, he doesn’t see a section of South Florida reputed to be one of the most crime-ridden in the region, the home of the 1980 Liberty City riots. He sees Charles Hadley Park, a giant recreation complex where he played pee-wee football and where rapper Luther Campbell provided the uniforms and equipment.

He doesn’t see a place that corporate America has largely deserted. Aside from a McDonald’s that stands next to the I-95 offramp and a couple of KFCs, there aren’t even that many fast-food places in town. The restaurants are a smattering of family-owned businesses advertising soul food, fried fish and grits. Harris talks proudly about the MLK Restaurant, which he claims “serves the best breakfast in the state.

Where the cynic sees limited potential, Harris’ vision has no boundaries. Where other athletes, such as Chad Ochocinco(notes), have seen a place they can’t wait to escape, Harris sees a home he wants to improve. He ignores the fact that getting here has required some luck already, such as the night two young people were shot to death and five others were wounded at a birthday and high school graduation party he attended in June 2007.

Ultimately, either as a businessman (after he gets his MBA) or as a politician, Harris is intent on making this place, which is a cradle of NFL talent, better.

The first step to making that improvement will require a detour. Later this month, Harris is expected to be one of the top cornerbacks selected in the annual NFL draft. The University of Miami product is widely projected to be a late first-round pick, likely to go somewhere after LSU’s Patrick Peterson and Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara.

While Harris gives up nothing to either Peterson or Amukamara, he also doesn’t much care if he’s a first- or fourth-rounder.

“Just give me a chance and I’ll show what I can do and we’ll go from there,” Harris said with subdued confidence. He is the son of a high school coach, well-schooled in how to walk the line between bluster and humility.

To put it another way, Harris has ridden the bus.

Taking a different view
When Tim Harris Sr. took over as the head coach at Booker T. Washington High School in the Overtown section of Miami in 2003, he was returning home. Harris, Brandon’s dad, grew up in Overtown, which neighbors Liberty City and rivals powerhouse Northwestern where Harris previously served as an assistant. He had come back after getting a chance to see another way.

Instead of being sucked into the swirling vortex of crime that has turned Overtown and Liberty City from once-proud neighborhoods to just plain ‘hoods, Harris went off to play small-school football at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis.

“First time I saw snow, first time I rode on a plane, first time for a lot of things,” said Harris, who has returned to Booker T. after serving as a special assistant to former Miami coach Randy Shannon for three years. In the process, Harris’ world got bigger and larger – experiences that stuck with him and that have been passed on.

“You go out there and try to help these kids get out so they can go out into the world and then come back to make this place better,” said Harris, who coached Brandon in high school. “Maybe they get a chance to go to the league. Maybe they get a college education and come back and run a business or teach school, but they get some skills and some ideas.”

One of the first things Harris did after he took over at Booker T. was take his players on a field trip.
Around the neighborhood.

One evening after school, as most residents were returning home from work, Harris put his team on a school bus and drove around Overtown. Harris simply asked his players to look around at the neighborhood, take a good view of the people and places around town from a different perspective.

“Most of them were just so used to looking at their neighborhood by walking around. It was always the same … when we rode around, they could really see what was going on. They could see that a lot people were just hangin’ out, doing nothin’. They were flat-lining through life. After that, I had so many of my players come up to me and say, ‘Coach, I want to do something more with my life,’ ” Harris Sr. said.

To this day, all the Harrises are working on doing more. Tim Harris Jr. already has his degree from Miami, where he was an All-American in track. Brandon is a semester away from earning his business degree. Harris Sr. is still working on his degree, taking classes online after raising his family and getting into coaching.

However, the positive influences in Brandon’s life extend beyond family and elders. Friend Chevis Grant, who was a year ahead of Harris at Miami, has served as a source of inspiration by teaching at Booker T.

Subsequently, Harris has a bigger view of life than simply where he is going to play in the NFL and how much coin he’s going to make. Like so many young men who have made it from his neighborhood (Harris will be the fourth player in a five-block section in Liberty City to get to the NFL), getting here has been a matter of survival.

Aside from the 2007 shooting during the party at the Polish American Club of Miami (the incident remains unsolved even though there were four gunmen) following his junior year of high school, Harris went to UM only two years after former defensive lineman Bryan Pata was gunned down, execution-style, outside his apartment near the school. It’s another crime that remains unsolved.

“There’s crime everywhere,” Harris said, pragmatically. “You can’t run away from it. It’s always there. Even if you’re trying to do the right thing, something bad can happen.”

Harris knows that all too well. He was friends with Jasper Howard, a Miami native and cornerback at the University of Connecticut who was stabbed to death outside a party on the UConn campus.

“What do you think about when that happens? You give thanks that it wasn’t you and you understand how fast it can all be gone,” Harris said.

A matter of talent
There is a question among scouts and coaches about just how good Harris can be. He has the requisite speed (he ran a 4.43 40 at the NFL scouting combine in February) and he has a very strong build at 5-feet-11, 195 pounds. He played in primarily a bump-and-run, man cover system at Miami, making him pretty easy to translate to the next level.

“At worst, he’s going to be a solid professional,” said a scout with an AFC team. “I would say that his ceiling is sort of low. You’re not talking about a perennial Pro Bowl player, but he’s a guy who will be very effective for a long time and, the way even mediocre corners get paid in this game, a guy who will make a lot of money some day.

Of course, this is the time of year when even the greatest players can get picked apart by draft analysts, so Harris has taken his share of criticism. Draft analysts like Mike Mayock of the NFL Network have consistently criticized Harris for his lack of big-play ability (Harris had only four career interceptions before leaving after his junior season), his flaws in zone coverage and the belief that he has trouble covering taller receivers.

Or as Mayock put it recently, “After Peterson and Amukamara, there is a big drop-off [at the cornerback position].”

When asked about the criticism, Harris remains composed, but his eyes focus sharply as he tries to drive home the point.

“I gave up one touchdown all season and now everybody thinks I have a problem with tall receivers,” said Harris, admitting that the one score he gave up to Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd in the Sun Bowl was his mistake. The problem with that score is that it came in Miami’s bowl game. As the saying goes in football, you’re only as good as your last game.

“That’s fine if people want to say that stuff. I’ll show them what I can do,” Harris said. As for the lack of interceptions, Harris said the problem was that the cornerbacks rarely got a chance to look back at the quarterback at UM, limiting the chances to anticipate plays. Harris, who also has decidedly small hands, said he believes he dropped another 10 possible interceptions during his three seasons.

The obvious positives for Harris is that he’s a strong tackler who has little fear of coming up in run support or fighting with a receiver.

“He’s not going to fail for lack of toughness, put it that way,” the scout said.

Strong background
On a warm Sunday afternoon in March, the Harris home smells of a family dinner. Harris’ mother Chonita has oxtail, collard greens and potato salad cooking in the afternoon, creating a mouth-watering fragrance.

The entire Harris family is at the house, including Harris’ grandmother. The living room of the working-class home is lined with trophies from the Harris boys. In an area where broken homes are a norm – according to the 2000 census, only 9.1 percent of Liberty City households featured married couples with kids – the Harris family is obviously strong.

These are people as dedicated to one another as they are to their community.

“Where I come from has its problems, but it also has huge potential. You need people to come back to the community and give something so that the next group of kids can make it,” Harris said. “We’ve had a lot of guys make it from this area and we can have a lot more if we work at it.”
That’s a wonderful long-range vision, a perspective that is about more than simply one’s self. At the moment, however, Harris needs to take care of his own career.

“I know that. The NFL is maybe 10 or 12 years of your life if you’re lucky enough to play that long. I have more things I want to do with my life after that. But right now, I’m dedicated to football and everyone knows that,” Harris said. “What people are going to get with me is a guy who is totally dedicated to football, totally focused on being great, who is going to give it all and who isn’t going to get in trouble.”

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Zach Railey Has His Eye on the Prize

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Zach Railey knows what it takes to win and he is constantly striving to do so at every event.  But there is an end goal in sight and for Zach its the Games in London 2012.  Just like any athlete who is working on their game, trying to improve it, it comes one step (or race) at a time.

Currently sitting in fifth place out of 82 boats at the Princess Sofia Trophy Race, Zach can see the leader board with two GBR teams tied for first.  But he isn't that far away and with all the top sailors now sailing together in Gold fleet, the stakes just got a bit higher.  So how does Zach feel about the scores on the board?  He tells us in this video interview.

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Todd McChay has Brandon Harris Going in the 1st Round

26 Baltimore Ravens
Record: 12-4
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
With no worthy offensive tackle to fill a need and wide receivers available later who can address holes at that position, this pick comes down to a defensive end like Ohio State's Cameron Heyward or a cornerback like Harris. Heyward comes with some medical concerns after offseason Tommy John surgery on his elbow and the risk might be too great after last year's first-round end, Sergio Kindle, did not play in 2010 because of injury. Colorado CB Jimmy Smith is more talented than Harris but comes with a lot of character flags, and while Harris needs some work he has the speed and athleticism to contribute as a sub-package corner early on and eventually become a starter.

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Kiper Has DeMarcus Van Dyke Going in the 2nd Round

In the 2nd round, Mel Kiper of ESPN has the Seattle Seahawks selecting Miami CB DeMarcus Van Dyke. He's 6'0, 175 lbs and extremely fast - he ran a 4.28 at the Combine, the fastest time for any player this year and the fastest since Chris Johnson ran it a few years back. This speed is good, but by some reports, he's raw in coverage and lacks size for the position. Still, if he can bulk up a bit and develop better coverage skills, his speed is rare. Before the combine he was being projected in the 6th round by some sources, so this sudden 2nd round consideration must be due to his Combine performance.

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Todd McChay has Orlando Franklin and Allen Bailey Going in the 2nd Round

Todd McShay has the following proCanes going in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds of the upcoming NFL draft.

2nd Round:

50. San Diego
Allen Bailey DE Miami (FL)

57. Seattle
Orlando Franklin G Miami (FL)

3rd Round

70. Cleveland
Leonard Hankerson WR Miami (FL)

89. San Diego (from Seattle)
Colin McCarthy LB Miami (FL)

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Media barred from Sean Taylor hearing

MIAMI -- Reporters and cameras will be barred from a key evidence hearing in the case against four men accused of fatally shooting former Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor during a botched 2007 robbery at his home, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy agreed with defense attorneys that the hearing on whether to allow purported confessions or incriminating statements at trial should be closed so that prospective jurors aren't exposed to material that might skew their view of the high-profile case.

"There is not an automatic right to be present for pretrial hearings," Murphy said. "Closure is necessary for these defendants to receive a fair trial."

Murphy set the closed hearing for May 20.

A trial date has not yet been scheduled for the four men, all from the Fort Myers area: 20-year-old Eric Rivera Jr., identified by police as the shooter; Charles Wardlow, 21; Jason Mitchell, 23; and 19-year-old Timmy Lee Brown.

A fifth suspect, 23-year-old Venjah Hunte, pleaded guilty to murder and burglary charges and is expected to testify against the others.

Taylor, an All-Pro safety with the Redskins who also starred at the University of Miami, bled to death after he was shot in the thigh during a confrontation with the robbers at his Miami-area home. Police have said the group did not expect Taylor to be home because the Redskins had a game that weekend, but he was out with an injury.

Attorneys for The Miami Herald and Post-Newsweek tried to persuade Murphy not to close the evidence hearing. They said Miami's population is easily large enough to find jurors not exposed to reporting about the Taylor case and that defense lawyers hadn't provided any proof that media attention would be pervasive.

"Common sense says not everyone is going to read the articles, and common sense says not everyone is going to retain it," said Herald attorney Scott Ponce, adding that questioning during jury selection is sufficient to weed out biased jurors.

But Murphy, who has also issued a gag order on attorneys in the case and sealed key documents, would have none of it. He pointed out that several reporters were in the courtroom Wednesday.

"That's evidence, right?" he said. "As we get closer to trial, I have no doubt we will have pervasive and extensive coverage of this case."

The four men each face potential life sentences if convicted. Prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty under U.S. Supreme Court rulings because the alleged triggerman, Rivera, was only 17 when the crime was committed.

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DeMarcus Van Dyke worked out for the Ravens

University of Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke conducted a private workout for the Baltimore Ravens a few weeks ago, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Van Dyke visited the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday and Tuesday.

He previously worked out for the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons.

Van Dyke ran the 40-yard dash between 4.25 and 4.28 seconds at the NFL scouting combine.

He's regarded as a late-round draft target.

In 50 games, he started 21 games and recorded 80 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass deflections.

He also ran track.

He started three games last season.

At the combine, he posted the third-fastest time in the past decade.

Van Dyke met with the Ravens during the combine.

An angular 174 pounds, the 6-foot defensive back ran the fastest time since Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (4.24, 2008) and Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt(notes) (4.27, 2005).

Van Dyke's lack of size and strength are a concern, but his speed is rare.

He bench pressed 225 pounds five times at the combine.

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Ryan Braun's Graffito: Tomato Mozzarella Salad Recipe

Salad Dish Serves Four


1 lb fresh mozzarella
2 pints cherry tomatoes
3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
3 oz. honey
10 sprigs fresh thyme
4 oz. arugula
1 oz. shaved red onion
1 oz. shaved fennel
3 egg yolks
6 oz. balsamic vinegar
2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Take half the tomatoes and toss with the evoo, honey, and thyme sprigs. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
2. Mix the arugula, red onion and fennel in a bowl.
3. To make the balsamic dressing blend the egg yolks and balsamic. Slowly add the evoo in a stream to make a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble the dish mix the greens with the desired amount of dressing. Place on plate and garnish with the oven roasted tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

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Bochy not planning to move Aubrey Huff from right

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he hasn't been tempted to move Aubrey Huff out of right field.

Top prospect Brandon Belt made the team out of spring training, but the bad news is that Huff was pushed to right field. To say he's looked below average defensively would probably be a bit generous. Things could get very, very interesting in this lineup once Cody Ross is ready to return from a calf injury.

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Leonard Hankerson & Allen Bailey Projected To Go In 1st Round

Omar Kelly's 2011 NFL Mock Draft (2.0)

21. WR Leonard Hankerson Miami - KC Chiefs
Hankerson would be the perfect complement for Dwayne Bowe, providing a consistent weapon who could replace Chris Chambers. Team needs: WR, OL, NT, ILB

26. DE Allen Bailey Miami - Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are big on finding players with raw talent who have position flexibility. Bailey could be groomed to play three spots on the front seven. Team needs: WR, T, LB, DE

To see the rest of Kelly’s 1st round click here

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No longer talking retirement, Ed Reed enjoying healthier offseason

Two years ago in training camp, Ravens safety Ed Reed struggled with a nerve impingement in his neck.  Hip surgery last offseason kept him on the sidelines for months, including the first six weeks of the year.

Now 32, Reed quickly put away the retirement talk this year and is feeling healthy again.

“Stuff could come up, but right now, I feel good,” Reed told Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun. “If we had to play right now, I could go for it.”
Instead, Reed is healthy enough to talk about organizing workouts with his teammates.

“If it got later in the offseason, we would do something to come together as a team,” Reed said. “We know that just coming together as a team, guys seeing each other, it makes a big difference. We need that offseason camaraderie of just seeing guys, knowing that they’re putting in work.”

The Ravens are well suited to survive the lockout because of their veteran-laden roster and coaching staff stability.  Having Reed healthy going into a season for the first time in years would be another big plus.

Click here to order Ed Reed’s proCane Rookie Card.

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NFL draft Q & A: Meet Miami CB Brandon Harris

BIRDLAND –  The Falcons’ scouting and coaching entourage traveled to Miami last Wednesday to check out a few of the Hurricanes.
They put cornerback Brandon Harris, defensive end Allen Bailey and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke through individual workouts and then broke off into lengthy interview sessions.

Harris called The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from his limo while on the way to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Tuesday evening to give us an update.

Harris, a native of Miami, was highly impressed the Falcons.   Coming out of Miami’s Booker T. Washington High, he was selected to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super Southern 100 team and was rated as the third best corner in the nation by ESPN. Check out his bio.

Here’s a Q & A with the cornerback, who could be the team’s selection in the first round of the NFL draft, which will be held April 28-30.

Q: How is the draft process going for you?
A: The process is going great. I just had a team visit with San Diego. I went to San Diego on Monday. I stayed in San Diego for two days to meet the coaches and the rest of the staff.

Q: What are you doing out in L.A.?
A: I flew up to L.A. so I could go by the NFL Network and meet the guys. I did a couple of interviews.

Q: Have you talked to the Falcons yet?
A: Yeah, they came down for my Pro Day and they also came down last week to do an individual workout for me and for a couple of players on my defense. They brought down the entire staff. It was a good experience.

It shows that they are very interested based on the number of people that they brought down. That was good. We put on a great workout and they seemed to enjoy it.

I spent 45 minutes to an hour afterwards just talking to them about me and they wanted to let me know about the things they are looking for in their players. I pretty much spent the whole day with them on March 30th.

Q: How do you feel about some folks projecting you to go in the first round now?
A:  I feel strongly about it. I’m definitely worthy of a first round pick.  I’m just an all-around complete package. I’m not just a football player. I’m somebody who is going to bring a lot to the team off the field as well.

I keep hearing that a lot of coaches are looking at more and more tape. I’m hoping that they see that I can get the job done. It’s just a tribute to my hard work and dedication to the game that they’ve got me moving up the charts. That’s just more motivation for me to go out there and keep working.

Q: What led to your decision to come out after your junior year?
A: I looked at my school work to see where I was academically and how close I was to graduation. I’m only a semester away from graduating.
My mom pointed out that the degree is important. She saw that I was so close and said it was okay to come out.
I promised that I’d come back to graduate. It’s been a life long dream to play in the National Football League.

Q: So you had to promise your Mom that you’d get your degree?
A:  Yes, I had to sign a contract with my mother. I actually have to come back and get it within a year after my rookie season. I only have a couple of classes. I will go back and finish.

Q: What’s your major?
A: I’m a Business major.

Q: What do you think you can add to a pro team?
A: I bring a lot of knowledge about the game. At Miami, I played corner and nickel back. Not a lot of guys can do both.

I also played some safety. I’m going to try to do whatever the team needs. I figure if they are drafting me, they are drafting three guys because I can play multiple positions.

Q: Are the Falcons evaluating you as a safety or corner?
A: They are looking at me as a corner. They told me some positive things.  They were very supportive.

Q: Who was your favorite team growing up?
A: I was one of those people who changed teams a lot. I never had a steady team.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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AFC scout: Brandon Harris a low-risk prospect

One AFC scout describes Miami (FL) CB Brandon Harris as a low-risk, but potentially low-reward prospect.

"At worst, he’s going to be a solid professional," said the scout. "His ceiling is sort of low. You’re not talking about a perennial Pro Bowl player ... (but) the way even mediocre corners get paid in this game, a guy who will make a lot of money some day." No draft analysts seem to believe Harris has elite skill, but he could fit in as a nickel back at the next level.

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Sean Taylor shooting suspect wants media barred

MIAMI The accused shooter in the 2007 killing of former Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor wants the media barred from a key hearing.
A Miami-Dade County judge set a hearing Wednesday on the request from 20-year-old Eric Rivera Jr. His attorney contends that an upcoming hearing on what evidence will be allowed could jeopardize Rivera's chances for a fair trial.

Attorneys for The Miami Herald oppose closing the hearing, arguing there's no evidence media coverage will automatically taint a potential jury pool.

Rivera is one of five people accused in the killing of Taylor during a botched robbery at his Miami-area home.

Taylor was an All-Pro safety with the Redskins who starred in college at the University of Miami.

A trial in the case is expected later this year.

Click here to order Sean Taylor’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Kansas City Chiefs Second round: WR Leonard Hankerson

The Chiefs might like to draft a wide receiver in the first round but there will be no first-round talent available to them when they make their initial choice.

So they will have to wait until round two to fill this need, one big enough it can wait no longer. Hankerson, of Miami, is a good choice at this spot.
Like most young receivers, Hankerson will take some time to fully develop. Once he does, the Chiefs should have a dangerous receiver to pair with Dwayne Bowe.

“He has the potential to develop into a solid number two receiver,’’ said Shawn Zobel, who runs a draft website at “He’s got the size and speed and playmaking ability. There’s not a downside to him. He’ll be a good NFL player but probably not a superstar.’’

In the meantime, the addition of Hankerson gives the Chiefs a deep threat at wide receiver, something they’ve lacked for some time. He adds to their arsenal of speed and makes the Chiefs even more difficult to defend than they were last season.

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Bryant McKinnie discusses Africa trip

Pros for Africa and the Starkey Hearing Foundation have teamed to deliver more than 22,000 hearing aids to people in Africa during a month-long charity mission with the help of some of the NFL's biggest stars. caught up with the mission in Uganda and traveled with the Starkey/Pros for Africa team through Rwanda.

Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie was one of the NFL players on the trip, and he talked with "First Take" about what he took away from the mission.

Click here to order Bryant McKinnie’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Bears' Toub: New rules have 'devalued' Hester

Dave Toub was vacationing with family in Belize last week and spent three nights in a grass hut. If the animals in the wild didn’t keep him awake, the NFL’s new kickoff rules did.

The Chicago Bears special teams coordinator is trying to get a handle on how the new rules adopted last month at the NFL owners meeting will impact his unit, which has been one of the league’s highest-ranked since he joined the team in 2004. The Bears were tied for first in the NFL in average starting field position in 2010.

To review, kickoffs have been moved from the 30-yard line to the 35, leading to speculation that touchbacks will skyrocket from 16.38 percent in 2010. There already were 416 touchbacks last season, double the number from 2004. The kickoff team is no longer permitted to get a sprinting start, and all players but the kicker must line up within five yards of the kickoff yard line.

How much change does Toub expect on Sundays in the fall? He says half the kickoffs in the NFL could be touchbacks.

"We’ve invested in a lot of money in Devin (Hester) and our return game and players and they’ve basically devalued that for us," Toub said. "I don’t think there is any question. You’re hurting the teams that are good in the return game and you are rewarding teams that aren’t very good in kickoff coverage. With just the rule change, they got better on kickoff coverage. To me, it’s not real fair. That’s the way it is. We’ll play it out."

Toub and his assistant Kevin O’Dea have kicked around some possibilities but won't know how they will work until they start tinkering with players and formations on the field, which is impossible during the lockout.

"Now we have to adjust to what we think we’re going to get," Toub said. "You kind of rack your brain a little bit. How is it going to change your formation a little bit? How are you going to move back a little bit? Where are you going to set your wedge? What are your rules going to be as far as how deep will you come out with it? All of those different things you have to think about.

"What will the kickers’ mentality be? I think they’re going to try to drive the ball a little bit more. The danger of trying to drive the ball when you’re kicking from the 30 is that if you miss-hit it, you get a line-drive shot at the goal line. That’s very returnable. Now, with the extra five yards, you have a line-drive shot that will go five yards deep (into the end zone).

"So kickers will take more of a chance for kicking touchbacks. That is why I think there are going to be a lot more touchbacks than what people believe. It was almost 17 percent last year. I think it is going to be almost 50 percent touchbacks. I really believe it. For us, in the winter time, we’ll still get our returns, we’ll still get the ball when it gets cold. We’ll catch it right around the goal line or inside the 10.”

Toub’s rule for returners bringing the ball out of the end zone isn’t based on how deep the ball is kicked, but how long it is in the air. That still will apply, but changes will need to be made there too because the coverage team will be five yards closer. How much difference will it make?

"It might offset itself a little bit because they can’t get the running start anymore," Toub said. "That’s like a five-yard difference right there, going full speed when the ball is kicked, so that might offset itself.

"I also think there are going to be more inside-the-20 tackles because teams are going to bring it out of the end zone. Good teams are going to take a chance to come out with it, like us. There is risk/reward with our guys back there."

The Competition Committee pushed through the changes, saying that injuries were the primary impetus, something the Bears haven’t seen much of on kickoffs for the past decade.

"They must have had some numbers (for injuries)," Toub said. "They must have had something. They had to go to the owners and the coaches with something to show there were injuries and concussions. I figured injuries as a whole, maybe there are more pulled hamstrings on kickoffs. There must have been something. I can only assume that they had it broken down and it was mainly concussions they were talking about, hopefully."

A year ago, three-man wedges were eliminated. Talk was the two-man wedge would be eliminated for 2011, but that change was not implemented. While some special teams coaches were forced to adjust in a big way after the three-man wedge was taken out, it didn’t impact the Bears much because they employ more man blocking than zone principles.

While the focus has been mostly on Hester, he returned only 12 kickoffs last season. Of course, he had a 79-yarder and averaged 35.6 yards. Danieal Manning did the bulk of the work for the Bears on kickoffs, getting 33 returns.

How many will the team get with the new rules? It’s impossible to say, but the number will go down. The changes also will devalue top cover men that the Bears have had like Brendon Ayanbadejo, Tim Shaw and Corey Graham. There will be less plays for guys like that to make with Robbie Gould expected to increase his touchbacks from his career-high of 16 last season.

"We’ll see what happens," Toub said.

Click here to order Devin Hester’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Chris Perez earns first save of the season

Chris Perez earned his first save of the season Tuesday against the Red Sox, tossing a scoreless ninth inning.

Perez allowed a hit and a walk, needing 27 pitches to record three outs, but escaped unscathed. The 25-year-old righty is a top fantasy closer despite pitching for the putrid Indians. He posted a 1.71 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 23 saves in 27 chances last season and looks primed for another big season.

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Colin McCarthy To Go In 2nd Round?

Miami (Fla.) LB Colin McCarthy showed very well at his Pro Day, and in a class short on linebackers, could elevate as high as the second round.

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Orlando Franklin overweight at Miami Pro Day

Miami (FL) T/G Orlando Franklin reportedly showed up to his Pro Day out of shape and looked "non-athletic" in drills last month.

Franklin is also an inch and a half shorter than his 6-foot-7 college listing. At his Pro Day, Franklin weighed in at 319 after reporting to the Combine at 316 and being listed at 312 by Miami. It's not an excessive weight gain, but is concerning that he moved so poorly in drills. ESPN's Todd McShay previously predicted Franklin could be a first-round pick. Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki sees Franklin sliding to round three.

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DeMarcus Van Dyke visited the Eagles

University of Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke began his Philadelphia Eagles visit today.

He previously worked out for the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons.

Van Dyke ran the 40-yard dash between 4.25 and 4.28 seconds at the NFL scouting combine.

He's regarded as a late-round draft target.

In 50 games, he started 21 games and recorded 80 tackles, three interceptions and 10 pass deflections.

He also ran track.

He started three games last season.

At the combine, he posted the third-fastest time in the past decade.

Van Dyke met with the Baltimore Ravens during the combine.

An angular 174 pounds, the 6-foot defensive back ran the fastest time since Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (4.24, 2008) and Oakland Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt (4.27, 2005).

Van Dyke's lack of size and strength are a concern, but his speed is rare.

He bench pressed 225 pounds five times at the combine.

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Ravens want McGahee back at lower rate?

ESPN's James Walker says that the Ravens will try to get Willis McGahee back at a lower rate after they release the veteran running back.

McGahee is intent on getting a bigger role, so he's a poor bet to be back in Baltimore. He had just 100 carries while playing behind Ray Rice last season. Once released, McGahee will garner interest from teams as a rotational runner.

Click here to order Willis McGahee’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Lovie Smith, Greg Olsen avoided each other at basketball event

NFL players and coaches aren’t allowed to have any contact during the lockout, which created an awkward situation when Bears coach Lovie Smith and tight end Greg Olsen both agreed to serve as judges at the McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk contest at Chicago State University.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Smith didn’t say a word to Olsen during the event and barely looked Olsen’s way the entire time.

Smith told the Tribune he could say hi to Olsen and nothing else.

“You want to talk, but you know what it is,” Smith said of the policy against coach-player contact during the lockout. “Greg knows what it is, and I know what it is. . . . We both understand the landscape of what’s going on right now. We just hope that, eventually, we’ll be able to do a lot more than just see each other.”

Smith said he would have liked to ask Olsen if he’s staying in shape, but he knows that’s not allowed. So he’s just going to hope that whenever the lockout ends and players are back in Chicago, they’re ready to go.

“I’m assuming right now, guys are doing what they normally do,” Smith said. “It’s not like we’re talking about of bunch of junior high and Pop Warner kids. These are professionals. They work out. Players just don’t work out because coaches tell them. They take this seriously, so I assume they all are working out, like they normally do.”

But when Smith sees those players out and about, it’s anything but normal.

Click here to order Greg Olsen’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Wants in For ‘Call of Duty’ Movie

As an editor of Screen Rant in addition to running its sister site, Game Rant, it hurts me deep down inside seeing franchise after franchise irreparably tarnished by awful and disappointing video game adaptations. One such film was Doom which debuted back in 2005 to a powerful 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, launching the career of director Andrzej Bartkowiak into one more directorial gig in the six years since: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li.

A sad story indeed, but one that certainly did not hold back Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s career, who starred as the film’s villain. Despite being part of a failed video game adaptation, The Rock would certainly not say no to doing another if the script was “good.”

MTV chatted with Johnson before his special return appearance, hosting WWE’s Wrestlemania, and the subject of video games and video game movies came up.

“I think if the right one came along. I thought we had an opportunity with ‘DOOM.’ Didn’t work out the way we wanted it to, creatively. But yeah, if the right opportunity came along and the script is good, sure.”

From the current state of the genre, one could say that a “good” video game script is hard to come by, assuming they exist. Doom 2 is not in the works, so what game specifically, would The Rock like to help bring to life on screen?

“‘[Call of Duty] Black Ops,’ that’d be bad ass. Let’s make it happen, let’s do it… That and ‘Black Swan 2.’”

The latter was a joke, but there’s no doubt he (and everyone else in the business) would take a role in an adaptation of the most popular and successful video game franchise on the market. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a character who resembles The Rock or his physical build in the film.

Call of Duty: Black Ops did however, feature a big-name Hollywood cast as the voice talent. Sam Worthington voiced the game’s protagonist, with a supporting cast played by Ed Harris, Gary Oldman, Ice Cube and Topher Grace, among others.

There has been talk previously of a Call of Duty film, especially after the growing and record-breaking successes of the latest installments. Which of the games such a movie would base itself on is a big question though.

Johnson was previously attached to star as the lead in an adaptation of Spy Hunter, a video game that Johnson also appeared in as that same character. That never went anywhere though and the franchise is dead.

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Have you heard the saying, “It’s who you know?”  Taking that to another level, especially in this economy, it’s “Who knows YOU!”  Networking has been a trademark of how I’ve built my brand, gotten my message out in a noisy world and of course, stand shoulder-to-shoulder within the community I serve to get real-time feedback in how I can better provide solutions to existing problems.

Chicago may be called “Second City” but in my opinion, second to none when it comes to finding events literally EVERYDAY to meet hungry, excited and motivated people to help syngergize in making your American dream a reality.

Since meeting Jarrett Payton over Twitter, thanks to a #FF (Follow Friday) tweet out from Steve Green and guesting on the Jarrett Payton Show, I’ve been impressed with the events Jarrett creates to connect others as well as benefiting their family, child-oriented charities.  Namely, the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation and Jarrett Payton Foundation that is dedicated to neglected, abused and underprivileged children in addition to Brittney Payton (Jarrett’s sister) speaking on the importance of being an organ donor.

As you can see from the pics at Public House Chicago, it all comes back down to the basics of people meeting people and allowing the relationship buildling process begin.  At the end of the day, we ALL do business with people we know, like and trust.

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Best spot for Aubrey Huff is designated hitter

We've never been a big fan of the designated hitter, but isn't it time for the National League to join the rest of professional baseball and add another hitter to its teams' lineups?

Watching the Giants' Aubrey Huff's adventures in right field against the Dodgers on Sunday – and seeing him diving, sliding, etc., over and over and over, thanks to ESPN – should make Giants fans long for the designated hitter.

Hey, we're not blaming Huff, who came to the Giants from the Tigers and played a key role in last season's championship. He's taking one for the team so can't-miss rookie Brandon Belt can play first base. The Giants figure Belt is the future at first – and Huff is, after all, 34 years old.
When Cody Ross returns from the disabled list to his spot in right field, where does that leave Huff?

The Giants need Huff's bat at the No. 3 spot in the lineup, so he'll likely get the majority of his starts in left, taking at-bats from Pat Burrell, who has hit two home runs in the Giants' first four games.

Good managing – no matter the business – is understanding your people's strengths and weaknesses and putting each in the best possible position to succeed.

To us, that means using Huff as the designated hitter.

Too bad, Giants fans, that the National League hasn't joined modern baseball yet.

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Aubrey Huff’s chalk outline: Hitting too close to home?

We all got a good chuckle when ESPN showed the clip of Pat Burrell(notes) (left) drawing a chalk outline around Dan Runzler(notes) (ground) in Dodger Stadium's right field before Sunday night's game. Pat the Bat's impromptu Banksy moment was designed to poke fun at the pair of exhausting diving catches that Aubrey Huff(notes) (inset) made during the San Francisco Giants' 10-0 win on Saturday.

Make no mistake: It was all in good fun. And in a vacuum, it was one of the funnier stunts we've seen in awhile. Huff was the Giants' first baseman until Cody Ross'(notes) injury pushed him out into the right-field pasture. A chalk outline perfectly portrayed the way he was splayed on the ground after the catches.

But as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News wrote a few hours later, the pregame prank became a lot less amusing after Sunday's game, a 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers that dropped the defending world champs to 1-3 on the season.

Huff misplayed two balls during the only two innings during which the Dodgers scored. He couldn't grab Marcus Thames'(notes) tiebreaking triple in the four-run seventh (video) nor could he keep Jamey Carroll's(notes) low liner in front of him (video) during the three-run first inning.
"It was slicing, it was over my head, and I didn't know what the hell was happening after that," Huff said about Thames' triple. "I'm comfortable out there, OK? I'm going to make a routine catch."

That may be. But the unpredictable route he takes to get there will cause all Giants fans to hold their breath. They could also cause Brandon Belt's(notes) spot on the roster to be a little less secure once Cody Ross returns and hiding Huff's defensive shortcomings at first base again becomes a better option.

Also, as our pal Rob Iracane points out, Burrell's field graffiti was a little awkward for reasons other than the realities of Huff's defense. With a 42-year-old Giants fan remaining in a coma after being assaulted from behind by two Dodgers fans on opening night, the sight of Burrell's chalk outline — unintended as it might have been — was still a bit sobering.

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Aubrey Huff in right field put to test in opening series

LOS ANGELES -- Before Sunday's game, Aubrey Huff was given the chalk body outline treatment. He was the victim of some good-natured ribbing from his Giants teammates, who had a laugh as they opted to immortalize his clutch, albeit clumsy, diving catch a day earlier.

But by the end of the seventh inning, Huff was, ingloriously, a trending topic worldwide on Twitter, the laughs having turned against him as the Dodgers' fly balls seemed to be equipped not with heat-seeking but Huff-seeking technology.

Two were particularly perilous -- the Jamey Carroll liner that skipped under his glove and past his diving body for an RBI triple in the first, and the Marcus Thames deep fly in the seventh that turned him around nearly half a dozen times before bouncing in for an RBI triple as he crashed into the wall.

As the defending champs fell, 7-5, to finish off a disappointing season-opening set against the rival Dodgers, Huff looked completely miscast -- a first baseman moonlighting as a right fielder with results that would be comical if they weren't so costly.

Still, a little perspective was in order, and Huff was quick to provide it.

"Guys, those plays aren't easy," he told reporters afterward. "Let's be honest. You guys are going to act like those are routine plays, but they're not. I tried my best. I didn't catch them."

Perhaps Huff will catch on in time. It's important to remember that he saw very little time in the outfield this spring. It wasn't until the eve of the season opener that the Giants decided to keep hot prospect Brandon Belt aboard and install him at first base, prompting Huff's selfless, last-minute switch to the corner outfield.

"He's such a good team player," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's unselfish. It's not easy to make a move late like that. It's not that easy a position to play if you haven't been out there a lot. He'll get back into a groove out there with more time."

Certainly, the more innings Huff plays in right, the better his reads could be.

That being said, in spite of his tongue-in-cheek claims to be this team's fittest athlete, the 35-year-old Huff isn't expected to wake up tomorrow with a suddenly sharpened skill set. What you saw Sunday night very well might be what you get from Huff, who, it should be noted, logged 57 starts in the corner outfield just last year before settling in at first for the championship run.

And that brings us to the root of the issue, which is the decision the Giants brass will have to make later this month, when October legend Cody Ross makes his return from a calf strain.

In embedding Belt in the lineup, the Giants have accepted a tradeoff, in the form of the defensive downside that is Huff in right and Pat Burrell in left. When Ross returns, something will have to give. Either Burrell becomes a part-timer to accommodate Ross, or Belt heads to Fresno for his first extended look at Triple-A.

Ultimately, Belt should be the one who dictates the direction of the decision. And if his first weekend at this level is any indication, he'll give the Giants plenty to think about.

While the raw data -- a 2-for-13 showing in four games -- might not dazzle the eyes trained to behold batting average, Belt consistently put up solid at-bats all weekend. In addition to cranking his first home run -- a towering shot to straightaway center after working Chad Billingsley to a 2-0 count Friday -- Belt also drew four walks, a testament to his superior plate patience that is all the more impressive when you consider he was in Class A ball just one year ago.

So while it's easy to pile on Huff -- and the national broadcast crew assigned to Sunday's game sure took advantage of the opportunity -- Belt might have the bat that makes it all worthwhile.

Huff, though, has to hold up his end of the bargain. He can't afford too many nights like this one. And neither, come to think of it, can the Giants, for whom this opening set was anything but an artistic success. Huff's bat clearly has tremendous value in the No. 3 spot of the lineup, but the Giants proved this weekend that damaging defense can upend their superior starting pitching.

"I'm coming around," Huff said. "I'm going to make the routine plays."

Little was routine for Huff in this game. When Belt wept upon being informed that he had been added to the active roster, Huff had joked that he ought to be the one crying, given that he'd be stuck in right all year. That line took on added meaning on a night in which what happened to Huff in right bordered on cruel.

The Giants have a few weeks to evaluate Huff's glove and Belt's bat. And when Ross returns, they'll have to decide if the trade they've taken on is worthwhile.

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Ed Reed says he won't need to have surgery this offseason

ABERDEEN, Md. -- Unlike last year, Baltimore Ravens star free safety Ed Reed won't be going under the knife.

One year removed from undergoing hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, Reed said he won't require any procedures this offseason as he continues to strengthen the joint.

And the All-Pro safety said he could play now if he had to.

"I don't think anything will have to be done, but you never know going forward because that's how it was last year," Reed said this weekend during fellow Ravens safety Haruki Nakamura's charity event at Ripken Stadium. "I was rehabbing and working out and it just kept bothering me. Stuff could come up, but right now, I feel good. If we had to play right now, I could go for it."

Last spring, the seven-time Pro Bowl selection underwent surgery and wound up beginning the season on the physically unable to perform list.
After missing six games, he led the defense with eight interceptions and didn't miss any games.

Reed returned to play earlier than advised, but wanted to get back on the field. He wound up having a resurgent season and wasn't bothered as much as years past by a painful nerve impingement that affects his neck and shoulder.

"I'm still rehabbing my hip because it was a year-long process," Reed said. "I came back earlier than I was supposed to, but my doctors and trainers with the team helped me make sure I stayed in shape.

"Me staying up on my treatments, acupuncture, everything that I had to do, the stuff that you never see, has helped maintain. Years of taking care of yourself helps you maintain."

Reed said he has stayed in contact with former Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle, whose career ended due to a neck injury.

As the NFL lockout continues, Reed said he's staying in good shape and has spoke to wide receiver Derrick Mason about eventually organizing informal workouts.

"If it got later in the offseason, we would do something to come together as a team," Reed said. "We know that just coming together as a team, guys seeing each other, it makes a big difference. We need that offseason camaraderie of just seeing guys, knowing that they're putting in work."

Click here to order Ed Reed’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Bears not down on Devin Hester, despite declining receiving numbers

After setting career highs in receptions and receiving yards in 2009, Bears WR Devin Hester's numbers dipped in '10. He made 40 catches for 475 yards, which were his lowest totals in those two statistical categories since he was first moved from defensive back to receiver in '07.

Chicago signed Hester to a contract that paid him like a high-impact receiver before the start of the '08 season, but he hasn't developed into a true No. 1, even though head coach Lovie Smith had insisted that he fit the bill. The Bears have not soured on Hester, though. Smith has said he wants to find ways to get Hester the ball more often next season, but the team is also mindful of keeping him fresh so that he's at full strength while returning kicks, where he always has stood out the most.

The NFL's new kickoff rules could limit Hester's opportunities to return kickoffs, but his punt-return chances will not be affected, and 10 of his NFL-record 14 career TD returns have come off of punts.

Click here to order Devin Hester’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Jason Geathers Comes Up Big In Victory

Trailing 21-0 after a quarter to one of the Arena Football League's elite teams, Rattlers coach Kevin Guy kept telling his players, "It's a 60-minute game."

They need every second to pull out an improbable 48-47 victory Saturday night over the Orlando Predators at US Airways Center.

Jason Geathers didn't play offense until the final series with 29 seconds left. He promptly turned a catch-and-run into a 31-yard play. He then caught Nick Davila's 14-yard pass for a touchdown that cut the score to 47-46 with eight seconds left.

With kicker Joe Schroeder missing two point-after touchdowns, Guy decided to go for the lead.

Davila found Trandon Harvey in the back of the end zone for a two-point conversion and the Rattlers' first lead.
Riley Swanson finished off the comeback by intercepting Nick Hill's desperation pass in the end zone as time expired.

"We've got a special group," Guy said. "They played 60 minutes. It was a full team effort."

Guy was emotional afterwards. Not just by the comeback but by loss of his 2008 kicker, Eric Houle, who was killed in a car accident in Michigan last week. There was a moment of silence before the game for Houle.

"To look up at that screen, and see Eric's face, he's a special human being," Guy said. "We dedicated the game to him. We're all signing the game ball and mailing it back to (Houle's wife) Nichole and the kids."

It was a great comeback for Davila, who was intercepted three times in the first half, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Marlon Moye-Moore 21 yards that gave the Predators (2-1) a 21-0 lead with 1:13 left in the opening quarter.

Davila threw four, second-half touchdown passes and finished 25 of 39 for 344 yards. It was his first 300-yard game of the season.

Davila's fifth TD pass with a little under five minutes left appeared it would be the last time he would touch the ball. Orlando was on its way to killing the remaining time, but Hill's pass at the Rattlers' 5-yard line was intercepted by Virgil Gray.

That is when Geathers made his entrance.

"Hats off to him," Davila said. "He did a great job of staying in the game mentally throughout and coming and making an impact. It just goes to show you that you're never out until you're out."

Davila threw four of his TD passes to Harvey, who shook off two, first-half drops and finished with nine catches for 117 yards. Rod Windsor also had nine catches for 112 yards.

Guy said that the chemistry between Davila and Geathers was off the first three games. Not in the final 29 seconds.

"Jason worked hard at it in practice to try to get on track with each other," Guy said. "He ran a great route. Nick gave him a great ball and it was a great play by Jason."

The Rattlers (4-0), who came into the game ranked No.1 in the Arena Football League's coaches' poll, have a bye week before playing Kansas City.

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Bernie Kosar will be honored with the Dino Lucarelli Lifetime Achievement Award

Cleveland, Ohio—The Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation has selected the 2011 Dino Lucarelli Lifetime Achievement Award, Bernie Kosar, and the inaugural Dick Zunt Ohio Sportswriter’s Award, Dan Couglin, winners. Both of these winners will be presented at the Chapter's 23rd Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Monday, April 25 at LaCentre Banquet Facility in Westlake.

Click here to order Bernie Kosar’s proCane Rookie Card.

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Ryan Braun's Graffito opens this weekend

Ryan Braun’s Graffito is having its grand opening Monday, but you can get a sneak peek Friday and Saturday.

After a week of previews for invited guests, the restaurant announced a surprise soft opening. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday before closing Sunday to get ready for its — and the Milwaukee Brewers’ — opening day.

This is the second try at a restaurant named after Brewers slugger Ryan Braun in the space at 102 N. Water St., Milwaukee. Ryan Braun’s Waterfront closed in November after its April 2010 opening. Since then, the restaurant's lease has been bought by SURG Restaurant Group, Oak Creek, and undergone renovations. It also has a new, scratch Italian menu under executive chef Dominic Zumpano.

The restaurant also announced plans Thursday for the Ryan Braun Bash after the Brewers-Cubs game on Sunday, April 10 from 4 to 7 p.m. Braun will make an appearance, and the party will feature 2-for-1 Miller products and live music.

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