All Canes Radio With Olivier Vernon

OlivierVernonCanes
Every Thursday Night proCanes.com joins All Canes Radio to bring the latest news on not only current Hurricane football but also proCane news and exclusive interviews with current and former proCanes live from the All Canes Store in Coral Gables. Click here to listen to this week’s show and hear our exclusive interview with former Hurricane and new proCane Olivier Vernon. Vernon talks about being drafted by the Miami Dolphins, how OTAs have gone so far, why he left early from the University of Miami and much more!


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Ray Lewis on Miami Dolphins’ Decision to do ‘Hard Knocks’ and His Son’s Commitment to University of Miami

Ray Lewis is preparing for his 17th NFL season with the same approach he’s used his entire career. In fact, when the 37-year-old joined Michael Irvin on his radio show Wednesday, you could barely hear what Lewis was trying to say because he was in the midst of a 30-mile bike ride as part of his training regimen.

Ray Lewis joined Michael Irvin and Curtis Stevenson on WQAM in Miami to discuss the Miami Dolphins’ decision to undergo the “Hard Knocks” treatment and his son’s decision to follow in his footsteps at the University of Miami.

On the Miami Dolphins agreeing to be the subject of the 2012 season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks”:
“For us, we had the right group of men. We had the right group of characters, who understood. So it wasn’t as much of a distraction as people have talked about it being. And I think for us, we enjoyed every moment of it just being ourselves. And if I have any advice to the Dolphins, it’s just try to do something in the game, let the cameras be the cameras. And just remain yourself, bottom line. … All we did was maintain being ourselves, and I think that was the beauty of how it came out the way it came out.”

On how he felt when his son committed to the University of Miami (Fla, obviously.):
“There’s no greater reward, as a father, to have that. To walk into your alma mater and look at your baby — my baby — who was born on that campus. That’s what’s so special about what all happened. That boy was born on that campus my senior year, 1995. And when I walked him back there, Coach (Al) Golden looked at him and said, ‘We want you to be a Hurricane.’ Remember Michael, I didn’t have that opportunity. I got the last scholarship the University of Miami had. So for my son to be a junior and get that scholarship? C’mon, man. All my hard work, all my pain. … That thing right there, it kept motivating me all over again this offseason. I got me pissed off all over again, Mike, because I realized what I had sacrificed for my kids. And now I realized, now I keep sacrificing for my kids.”

Listen to Ray Lewis on WQAM here


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Jonathan Vilma says: “We asked for evidence and (Goodell) wouldn’t give it to us.”

JonVilma
I just spent the last 10 minutes talking with Saints LB Jonathan Vilma about his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with other things related to the bounty issue. For the first time, Vilma explained why he refused to participate in the NFL’s investigation against his team. And he addressed the possibility of sitting out 2012.

Here is what I wrote in this NFL.com story:

Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he would not cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into his team’s bounty system because Commissioner Roger Goodell would not show him the evidence of his alleged wrongdoing.

In an exclusive interview with NFL.com at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Vilma spoke publicly for the first time since he filed a defamation lawsuit against the league. He also addressed his year-long suspension, which he is appealing.

While Vilma has been vocal on Twitter about his innocence after the punishments came out, he refused to be interviewed during the league’s extensive investigation. He explained why.

“We asked for evidence and he wouldn’t give it to us,” Vilma told NFL.com. “How can I defend myself when I don’t know what I’m defending against? It’s just logical, things that people decided to ignore.”

Asked specifically whether the union told him not to cooperate, Vilma said he asked for evidence, Goodell would not share it, and he responded, “How can I defend myself if I don’t know what I’m defending against?”

League spokesman Greg Aiello responded: “He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline. He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence.”

As for his defamation lawsuit, Vilma’s lawyers are arguing that by publicly punishing him, Goodell specifically is making it hard for him to work in the NFL and ruining his post-career opportunities. There is no court date yet, and it’s not clear if the case will be heard.

“There was no bounty program in place,” Vilma said. “I never paid anybody, intended to pay anybody, that’s the truth. Never sought out to injure people. That’s the truth. That’s really about it. I can’t really go into detail.”

As for the possibility of sitting out 2012, Vilma hasn’t let himself think that far.

“There was really no need,” Vilma said. “There’s a process we’re going to go through right now, hopefully it’s in my and our favor and we go from there.”


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(nfl.com)
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Olivier Vernon Will Start As 3rd-Down Pass Rusher

OlivierVernonCanes
Rookie Olivier Vernon, the third-round pick from the University of Miami, will start his career as the new third-down pass rusher, a role held by Taylor last year.

"He's definitely got a motor on him, and that's one of the things you can't teach," Wake said of Vernon.

Vernon, who started just 16 games in college and missed half of his 2011 season at UM because of the scandal involving ex-booster Nevin Shapiro, admits he has a lot to learn between now and the start of the regular season.

"I don't know that much about football. I'm still fresh," he said. "So I pretty much just learn by watching, try to observe and take it all in, because you only get one shot when you get in there."


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(palmbeachpost.com)
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Jason Witten: Cowboys don't throw at Kenny Phillips

KennyPhillipsGiants
Jason Witten told Giants DBs coach Dave Merritt at the 2011 Pro Bowl that the Cowboys don't even try throwing deep when Kenny Phillips is at free safety.

"Witten said, when 21 (Phillips' number) is in the post, we don't even throw anything deep because we know he can go and get it," Merritt recalled. "(Witten) said, 'But if I see anybody else back there, Romo knows, we're going deep.'" It's probably no coincidence that Phillips played more free safety in 2011 than ever before. He finished with 82 tackles and a career-high four interceptions.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Late selection fueling Brandon Washington

BrandonWashington
Brandon Washington was told he could be drafted as early as the second round. If not the second, surely the third. Worst case scenario, the fourth.

Washington talked it over with his family, considered his options and decided to take the plunge. He would leave the University of Miami one year early and enter the NFL draft.

You can imagine the sinking feeling in Washington’s stomach as he watched the draft unfold. He was not selected in the second round. Or the third. Or the fourth. Or the fifth.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the sixth round that Washington’s name finally was called. The Eagles selected him with the 200th overall pick. He was not in a mood to celebrate.

“If I knew I was going to be drafted that low, I would’ve stayed in school,” the 6-2, 320-pound lineman said. “It was disappointing. I mean, I know I’m a better player than that.”

But that was a month ago, enough time for Washington to get over the disappointment and focus on the opportunity he has in Philadelphia. He is taking part in the OTAs at the NovaCare Complex and hoping to show the Eagles that he is a keeper. He is using the draft experience as motivation.

“My goal was to get a chance to play in the NFL,” Washington said. “I’m here now. I’ve got the opportunity. Most guys never get this far. I’m looking at it like that. I’m in a great situation with a great team. Now it’s up to me.”

Washington was the next-to-last pick in the Eagles’ draft. His name is in the fine print at the bottom of the page underneath Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks and Vinny Curry. But don’t be surprised if Washington emerges as a pleasant surprise this summer.

He was a two-year starter on the offensive line at Miami. He played right guard in 2010 and moved to left tackle last season. He was an all-conference selection at guard and he adjusted well to the tackle position. He graded out highest among Miami’s linemen last season.

An explosive drive blocker, Washington had 56 pancake blocks in one season. When he was invited to play in the Astroturf NFLPA Bowl in January, he was the best offensive lineman on the field even though he split time between guard and tackle.

So why did he slip in the draft? There were several factors.

Some scouts felt he was a little raw and could have used another year in college. Also, the fact that he switched positions was problematic for some evaluators. They could not decide whether he was a guard or a tackle so he did not fit neatly into every draft board.

Some reports referred to a “lack of urgency” in his play. In other words, he appeared to loaf at times. Scouts love guys with a high motor but no one used those words to describe Washington. Once a guy like that starts falling in the draft, he can wind up falling to the bottom of the barrel, which is what happened to Washington.

But there comes a point where a team – in this case, the Eagles – looks at the tape again, sees the athletic ability and decides to take a shot. That’s what you see in Washington, a big man with power and balance. If you are looking for sheer tools, he has an impressive array.

The Eagles drafted Washington as a guard and that is probably where he is best suited to play in the NFL. He can use his strength to its fullest advantage in close quarters. He is hard to move when he drops his hips and anchors against a bull rusher. When he comes off the ball, he knocks people backwards.

“I like the physical part of the game,” Washington said. “I like to steam roll people.”

The Eagles changed their blocking scheme last season under line coach Howard Mudd. They got away from big mauling linemen and went with smaller, quicker blockers who could execute Mudd’s zone techniques. 

At a glance, Washington would not appear to fit the Mudd mold. He is built more like an old school road grader. But Washington says that’s not the case. He is not the second coming of Max Jean-Gilles, in other words.

“The man who coached me at Miami, Jeff Stoutland, studied coach Mudd,” Washington said. “We talked after the draft and he said it was a good system for me. You have to be able to move. You need quick hands and quick feet. Bend your hips. Those are all things I can do. I’ve done them.

“I’ll learn from the (players) here, I’ll learn from the coaches. I’m studying the playbook and learning the concepts. I’m trying to get better every day. I have a lot to prove.” 


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(csnphilly.com)
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Damien Berry might have the longest hill to climb to earn the spot, but he isn’t backing down

DamienBerryRavens
Sooner or later, Ray Rice will return to running with the Ravens’ first-team offense. But until he does, rookie Bernard Pierce and second-year backs Anthony Allen and Damien Berry have their chance to stake their claim to the No. 2 running back job.

Pierce would seemingly have the inside track based on his status as a third-round draft pick. Then again, Allen boasts NFL experience, albeit limited, with three carries for 8 yards during an injury-played rookie season in 2011. Berry spent the 2011 season on the practice squad.

All three figure to get a long look with Rice sitting out the minicamps, and all three are going through the Ravens offseason program for the first time. Allen and Berry couldn’t take part in team activities last spring and summer because of the NFL lockout.

Speaking after the team’s OTA workout on Wednesday, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said all three have impressed.

Pierce “is physical, smart and fast,” Cameron said. “Now, he just needs to keep learning the system, listen to what (running backs coach) Wilbert Montgomery is asking him to do, listen to the guys in the room.”

Allen, a seventh-round draft pick last year out of Georgia Tech who also spent two years at Louisville, was slowed much of his rookie season by a hamstring injury and appeared sparingly in five games.

At the NFL Combine in February, after Ricky Williams had abruptly announced his retirement, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said, “We like Anthony Allen. We’re going to give him every opportunity to be that guy” who would fill Williams’ former role as Rice’s primary backup.

Cameron at this week’s OTA described Allen as “a guy that we think can play all three downs. I see nothing but upside.”

Ditto for Berry, who is getting his share of reps with the first team in Rice’s absence. Berry might have the longest hill to climb to earn the spot, but he isn’t backing down.

“I'm ready to come in and compete," Berry said, according to CBSSports.com. "Competition brings the best out of all of us. If you're going to be great, you have to compete."

Cameron said Berry, listed at 5-10 and 211 pounds, has gotten bigger and stronger since last season.

“You can tell that he has done a ton of work. He has done a great in our weight room,” Cameron said.

“I think he is primed to have a great preseason, and then we’ll go from there,” he added.


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(csnwashington.com)
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Santana Moss Celebrates His 33rd Birthday Friday But Not Begrudgingly

SantanaMoss
Santana Moss threw himself a big party three years ago when he turned 30 even though that’s a birthday that scares many athletes, especially those whose success is based on quick feet.

But as he turns 33 tomorrow, Moss has a bit of a different mindset. The only older Redskins are punter Sav Rocca, kicker Neil Rackers and inside linebacker London Fletcher. Speed is irrelevant for the first two and not as critical for the indestructible Fletcher as it is for receiver Moss.

While Fletcher and almost surely, Rocca, are cinches to keep their jobs and the newly-acquired Rackers is a challenger to incumbent Graham Gano, Moss is in a fight for his position in the wake of the signings of younger receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan as free agents. Then there’s Leonard Hankerson, a third-round draft choice in 2011 who had a 100-yard game as his rookie season was ending prematurely with a torn labrum in his right hip. So Moss could be Washington’s fourth receiver or even an ex-Redskin considering his $2.65 million base salary and the fact that he doesn’t play special teams other than returning punts, a duty he has seldom performed for the burgundy and gold.

“You’re going to get guys coming in year after year from college, from other teams, and when you have guys that played on the level those two guys played on, teams are going to want them,” Moss said of Garcon, 25, and Morgan, 26. “All that can do for you is motivate you to be on that same level.”

Coach Mike Shanahan neglected to mention Moss in discussing his receivers during his April 25 pre-draft press conference, his first session with the Washington media since the end of last year. If Moss felt dissed by Shanahan extolling Garcon, Morgan and Hankerson and leaving him out, he didn’t show it.

“I don’t play worried about something,” Moss said when asked if he’s concerned about where he stands with the Redskins. “I just handle what I can, handle what there is to handle, and as long as I handle my business, that’s all I can do.”

But after not ranking as Washington’s leading receiver for the first time since he arrived via a trade with the New York Jets in 2005 and with the young guns primed to make him obsolete, Moss decided to handle his business differently this offseason. He dropped 15 pounds from his 5-foot-10 frame, getting back to the 190 he weighed in his 20-something days.

“I just wanted to get back to what I do,” said Moss, who caught a career-high 93 balls in 2010 but for a relatively sedate 1,115 yards and six touchdowns. “The last four years, I’ve probably played a little heavy. Yeah, I still played at a high level, but I can tell there are certain things I wasn’t doing. I just want to get back to that.”

In other words, Moss is well aware that he averaged 15.1 yards per catch from 2005-07 when the Redskins made the playoffs twice in three seasons, but averaged only 12.7 over the last four years as Washington went just 23-41 and never topped .500.

That included last season when he missed four mid-season games with a broken hand. But even in the 12 games he played, Moss’ numbers were far from spectacular: 46 catches for 585 yards and four touchdowns. He also slipped to 4.1 yards after the catch, down about 25 percent from his 2008-10 average. Since-released receiver Jabar Gaffney and tight end Fred Davis, who also played in just 12 games, both outperformed Moss.
“I’ve just seen myself, watched myself, critiqued myself for the last three or four years, and said, ‘Hey, I’ve got to do a little extra to do what I need to do,’ ” said Moss, who looked quick during the organized team activity practice that the media was allowed to watch last Monday.

With 65 more catches, Moss will rank behind only Hall of Famers Art Monk and Charley Taylor for the most in Redskins history. Only Monk, Taylor and four-time Pro Bowl pick Gary Clark have more receiving yards. But will the “little extra” that Moss has done to prepare for this season be enough to fend off Garcon and Co. or even keep him in a Washington uniform?


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(washington.cbs.local.com)
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Goodell granted 21-day delay for response in Jon Vilma's Defmamation Suit

JonVilma
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been granted a 21-day delay for responding to a defamation lawsuit filed against him by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

The delay is considered routine, and Goodell's lawyers now must respond by July 5 in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

The suit claims Goodell, "relied on, at best, hearsay, circumstantial evidence and lies" in making comments about Vilma while discussing the NFL's bounty investigation of the Saints. Goodell has said Vilma was a leader of the team's bounty program that put up thousands of dollars for hits that targeted opposing teams' star players from 2009-11, including $10,000 each on then-Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and then-Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre during the playoffs in 2010.


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(ap.com)
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Trent Dilfer responds to Warren Sapp ripping him

WarrenSapp
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer responded to his former teammate Warren Sapp, who ripped him in his new book titled Sapp Attack.

Dilfer, who’s now an NFL analyst for ESPN responded:

Just heard @warrensapp rips me in his book. I have no hard feelings, he was a gr8 player and gr8 teammate. I wish I would have played better
— Trent Dilfer (@TDESPN) May 29, 2012

There really isn’t much Dilfer could say in response to Sapp’s criticism.


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Vince Wilfork: Super Bowl loss has 'no effect

VinceWilfork
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork isn’t interested in looking back as he enters his ninth NFL season.

Less than four months after falling to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, Wilfork insists the loss has no effect on him today.

“No effect on me. No effect on me. You start back to where you started at, from zero. That’s where I’m at right now. You can’t dwell over spoiled milk,” Wilfork told reporters at Gillette Stadium on Thursday afternoon. “Last year was last year. That’s how you have to look at it. You have to be a professional. When it comes down to it, you have to be a professional about everything, and that plays a big part now. We have to be able to move forward, I’ve moved forward.”

Part of the process in moving forward for Wilfork is the addition of new teammates and a new position coach for the first time in his career. As Patrick Graham takes the reins as defensive line coach (with Pepper Johnson moving back to tutor the linebackers), Wilfork doesn’t believe the switch will have a major impact.

“It really won't affect us in a different way," he said. "I think we all talk the same way and that’s one good thing that you can always count on, being talked the same way. Everybody knows each other’s job. That goes for coaches also. So that move really isn’t big for us.”

Wilfork admits he was a little surprised by the switch, but added that Johnson won’t have moved too far, as the linebackers will work closely with the defensive line.

Graham will oversee Wilfork in his new role, as well as a handful of youngsters added this offseason, notably first-round pick Chandler Jones and third-rounder Jake Bequette.

The Patriots' defensive anchor isn’t ready to offer up his impressions of the newcomers, but trusts the organization he plays for and its ability to add talent.

“You never can doubt the capability of this organization and what they do. I’m just happy to be back started, and whoever we have, we have a lot of faith in them,” Wilfork said. “If we didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. Hopefully we can get this thing started fast. I’m excited about this upcoming season.”

One area of focus for the Patriots' defense –- a young group in Wilfork’s eyes -– is re-establishing a swagger that former Patriots left tackle Matt Light recently suggested was lacking last season.

“I think he’s right, there’s a level, you have guys in this game for a long time, been in this system for a long time, they just know how to play,” he said. “When you’re around something for so long, you adapt, you can start doing different things because you know it so well. Being a young defense, I think guys with the lockout and all that, I think we struggled at certain points at some of the things that we did.

“Hopefully it can be better this year, but I think the OTAs are good for us. It’s definitely good for a younger team, especially with us being a younger defense. And not saying we’re too young, but just being able to get together and getting little things out the way that can make a big, big difference down in the season,” Wilfork continued. “I think some of those things we can get done now, and we’re trying now. With OTAs we’re trying, every day we’re putting something in, every day guys are coming to work, and we’re just going to work.

“That’s what its going to take, you have to strive to get better, and that’s where I’m at right now, striving to get better and hopefully my teammates are doing the same thing,” he said.


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(espn.com)
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Knox grateful to Hester for 'keeping me positive'

DevinHesterBears2
Johnny Knox realizes he has full support from all of his Chicago Bears’ teammates, but there is one guy in particular he can lean on.

Devin Hester became emotional Wednesday when talking about Knox’s laborious recovery from spinal fusion surgery. The two receivers spend much time together away from football, and Hester has joined Knox for his rehab sessions
at Halas Hall.

"Devin has been there for me on and off the field throughout my career," Knox said. "He’s someone I’ve always looked up to since the first day I got here. He is someone I truly trust as a friend."

Knox already admitted there is a chance he could miss the 2012 season. His recovery has been complicated by a slow-healing bruised nerve.

"The pinched nerve in his spine, it’s a tough process," Hester said. "It’s tough to be around a person you’re close with and see him go through that."

Knox suffered the injury after absorbing a blow from Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove in a Dec. 18 loss to Seattle. He wore a back brace for 21/2 months and loss 30 pounds. Knox has since gained 10 pounds back.

Hester noted how Knox sometimes gets frustrated with the recovery process, but Hester won’t let his close friend give up.

Knox appreciates the encouragement.

"Devin has done a great job of keeping me positive," Knox said. "He has been more worried about my health than if or when I am going to return to the field. That means a lot to me -- that he is more concerned about my health than when I am going to play again."


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(chicagotribune.com)
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Murielle Ahoure wins Women's 100m race - Diamond League Rome



Ivory Coast sprinter Murielle Ahoure sets a new personal best and national record of 11.00 seconds to win the women's 100m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.

The 24-year-old pushed Jamaican duo Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart into second and third after the 60m specialist capitalised on a great start.


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San Diego Padres Call Up Yasmani Grandal

YasmaniGrandal
Welcome to San Diego, Yasmani Grandal. The top prospect acquired in the Mat Latos trade this past offseason has been told he's been promoted to the major leagues following today's Triple-A Tucson game, reports Daniel Berk of the Arizona Daily Star.

Yasmani Grandal was told after the game tonight that he's being called up to San Diego. Not sure what the corresponding move is. - Daniel Berk

Grandal, 23, has absolutely torn apart the Pacific Coast League this year hitting .317/.421/.500 with 4 home runs and 10 doubles. The backstop also has walked 21 times to 27 strikeouts in 34 games (145 plate appearances). I'm assuming Grandal will takeover the starting catching role, but the Padres might take it slow with him for a few weeks since he isn't a particularly good defensive catcher. Nonetheless, he should be up here to stay.


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(yardbarker.com)
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Ryan Braun held out due to Achilles flare-up

RyanBraun
Los Angeles - Brewers leftfielder Ryan Braun was out of the starting lineup Thursday night due to a flare-up of the right Achilles tightness that has bothered him at times this season.

After a hard slide into second base Wednesday night in the 6-3 victory over the Dodgers, Braun mentioned to manager Ron Roenicke that he felt the tightness again. The two talked earlier in the day Thursday and Roenicke posted a lineup without Braun before Braun arrived at Dodger Stadium.

While it's difficult to imagine the inflammation in the Achilles completely disappearing while Braun plays regularly, Roenicke said there have been times when it has not been an issue.

"He tells me at times that it's real good," said Roenicke. "He'll say it feels real good and he'll steal a base. I think some of the slides get him. He slid late into second base last night and said he felt it."

Asked what the approach will be with Braun going forward, Roenicke said, "You need to feel like you're making progress (with the ailment). If not, you need to change something."

So, the teams' best players were not on the field. The Dodgers announced before the game that Matt Kemp, the runner-up to Braun as 2011 NL MVP, had been placed back on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain after being activated for just one game. Kemp re-aggravated the hamstring scoring from first base in the first inning Wednesday night.

Oddly enough, had Braun not successfully appealed a pending 50-game suspension for a positive drug test over the off-season, the series finale would have been his first game back.


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(jsonline.com)
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Graig Cooper Released

GraigCooper
The Eagles trimmed the roster on Wednesday prior to the start of the second week of Organized Team Activities as they released running back Graig Cooper and wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad. The Eagles roster currently stands at 87, three short of the 90-man limit.

Cooper was originally signed by the Eagles as a rookie free agent out of Miami in 2011. Cooper played with the team through the preseason until he was released prior to the start of the regular season. Cooper was re-signed by the Eagles to a reserve/future contract back in January.


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(philadelphiaeagles.com)
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Willis McGahee lashes out at reporter for false allegations

When Willis McGahee saw these tweets from reporter Les Shapiro, the Denver Broncos running back was NOT at all happy to say the least.

McGahee obviously wasn’t present at OTAs, but it wasn’t because he was in Vegas like Mr. Shapiro thought. He was actually spending the day with his daughter and his niece.

Les-Shapiro

Willis-McGahee
Les-Shapiro-2

McGahee provided a picture as proof he was with his daughter and Shapiro apologized.

Never get caught assuming.

There is something else you should know, but I will let you figure that out for yourself.


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Warren Sapp will remain on NFL Network

WarrenSappHurricanes
Despite reports that he was on the outs, Warren Sapp will remain on NFL Network.

Eric Weinberger, executive producer at NFL Network, told USA Today that “this is probably going to be news to some blogs and articles out there who’ve said his time is up here, but we picked up an option year on his contract.”

Sapp was reminded by the league-owned network that he’s supposed to be an analyst, not a reporter, when he said an unnamed source had told him that Jeremy Shockey had “snitched” on the Saints in the bounty scandal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell later called Sapp’s report inaccurate. There was much speculation after that flap that Sapp was done, and Sapp said in his recent bankruptcy filing that he wasn’t sure if he would be able to keep the job, which pays him $45,000 a month.

But while Sapp has been removed from his spot on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, he’s not losing his job at NFL Network. According to the network, Sapp will remain in the same on-air role, offering the same analysis. Just no more reporting from anonymous sources.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Santana Moss showed speed in full-squad drills

SantanaMoss
Santana Moss "flashed" during last week's full-squad drills, "consistently getting separation over the middle on short and intermediate routes," according to the Washington Times.

Beat writer Rich Campbell notes that Moss looked like "the Santana of old with his quick-burst movements." Campbell adds the caveat that it was only practice, but Moss is starting to look like not only a good bet to make the final roster but to start over Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan opposite Pierre Garcon.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Warren Sapp’s book looks like a must-read

WarrenSapp
It doesn’t come out until August, so you can strike it from the early phases of your summer reading list.  But few football books figure to be more entertaining than Sapp Attack, the first written offering from former NFL lineman Warren Sapp.

Gary Shelton of the Tampa Bay Times recently previewed the 314-page effort, in which Sapp apparently perfectly captures his essence:  “[H]e is loud, and he is profane, and he is stepping on a different set of toes every time you turn a page,” Shelton writes.  “You may like it, you may hate it, and you may stay up late laughing about it.”

Sapp shares his views on his coaches and teammates, telling it like he sees it.  Sapp says he chose to play college football at Miami over Florida State in part because coach Bobby Bowden referred to one of his other players as a “fat ass.”  Sapp says that his first NFL coach, Sam Wyche, tried to motivate “by making snide comments, by belittling people.”  Sapp says that “Tony Dungy put the damn cake in the oven, and then Jon Gruden came in and put the icing on it.”

Sapp’s views on the men he played with include outing former Bucs defensive tackle Brad Culpepper for cheating.  Sapp claims that Culpepper, now a lawyer and one of the many former players suing the NFL for concussions, used silicone to make it harder to be held.  “Now that [Culpepper] also is retired, I’ll confess for him that he was one of the people who did that,” Sapp writes.  “He practically bathed in silicone before a game.  Trust me, if he had ever tried to hug his wife before a game, she would have slipped right out of his arms and gone straight up in the air.”

Um, does that make Sapp a snitch?

Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the book is that the cover art features an image of Sapp wearing the Super Bowl ring that, according to his bankruptcy filing, he lost several years ago.  Though it’s quite likely that the picture was digitally altered, it’s a detail that Sapp will surely have to explain at some point to one of Sapp’s colleagues in the judiciary.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Darryl Sharpton still not participating

DarrylSharpton
Houston Texans LB Darryl Sharpton (quadriceps) is still not participating in organized team activities (OTAs). "He's behind. How far is he behind? When he comes back, we'll find out," head coach Gary Kubiak said.




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(kffl.com)
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Frank Gore ready for some competition this season

FrankGore2
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Frank Gore is embracing change and competition at age 29.

The three-time Pro Bowl running back is taking part in the San Francisco 49ers' offseason workouts, arriving earlier than usual in the Bay Area this spring from his offseason home in Miami.

While Gore is determined to do his part to duplicate San Francisco's special comeback season of 2011, he has other motivation, too: The defending NFC West champions already have a busy backfield, and Gore will get a daily push from backup Kendall Hunter, newly signed Brandon Jacobs and rookie second-round pick LaMichael James.

Gore has long prided himself on being a durable, every-down back who can carry the load for the Niners year after year. Yet coach Jim Harbaugh knows Gore will need his share of breaks.


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(cnnsi.com)
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Bears planning Devin Hester-specific package

DevinHesterBears2
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It turns out the concept of the much anticipated 'Devin Hester package' of plays had been floated to Pro Bowl return man as early as 2007, the first season he transitioned from cornerback to wide receiver. But over the past five seasons, the plan to build Hester a unique role in the Bears' offense never materialized. It sounds as though that changed when Mike Tice was hired as the club's new offensive coordinator early this offseason.

"This offense, I really do truly think that Mike Tice and (quarterbacks coach) Jeremy Bates and those guys really want to put this in this year," Hester said Wednesday. "I'm looking forward to it and Mike Tice is more excited than anybody in this organization about putting in this Hester package. So if anybody, he's the guy that's going to control that."

Hester provided a simple definition of the 'Hester package' without going into great detail.

"Just getting the athlete the ball," Hester said. "Getting the guy who you know can do a lot of damage with the ball in his hands ... getting him the ball regularly.'

"I can go a season with 40 catches ... the way the offense is designed I only need about 40 to 50 catches and I can get close to 800 or 900 yards receiving. With this offense you might not have a lot of balls but you're going to have a lot of big plays."

Hester caught 20 balls in 2007 in a limited role, but became a staple in the Bears' starting lineup the next several seasons. In 2009, he set career highs with 57 receptions for 757 yards. But his numbers began to dip the following season when he made 40 grabs for 475 yards. Then the bottom appeared to fall out for Hester last season when he managed to haul in only 26 passes for 369 yards, his lowest totals since 2007.

Hester, however, believes those statistics are misleading. Apparently, so does new Bears Pro Bowl wideout Brandon Marshall, who along with quarterback Jay Cutler, has raved about Hester's performance in the club's offseason program to date.

"It's tough when you're listed as the No. 1 receiver and you don't have the stats," Hester said. "I know the media, that's what you all go off of is stats and you really don't know what type of player this guy is. That's the mentality he (Marshall) came with from what he heard and seeing the stats that I wasn't able to put up 1,000 receiving yards. But when you go out each and every day and you watch a guy and see how good he really can be, then you know if the ball is thrown his way 20 times you know what type of player he is. Just from these past couple of weeks of seeing our route running with the quarterbacks, and our individual route running, he's seen what type of guy I am as a receiver.'

"Brandon is going to attract a lot of attention from the defense. There is going to be a situation where he is going to get double coverage and it's going to leave me backside one-on-one (with the defender). When I come up and start making big plays the coverage is going to start rolling to my side and that's when it's going to open up for him. It's going to be a rotation. I don't think every week it's going to be a bunch of guys making big plays. This receiver group is going to alternate each and every week. There is going to be one week where Brandon might catch 20 balls, then the next two weeks he might catch one or two balls, then Earl (Bennett) or somebody might come up with a 20 (catch) game. This offense is going to be divided into a bunch of balls going around. Everybody is going to have their fair share of balls."

Precisely how the Bears plan to use Hester remains to be seen, but he did substantial work in the slot during Wednesday's OTA. That would mark a departure for Hester who previously lined up mostly outside at the Z position.

"It's pretty much easier in the slot," Hester said. "You're running your route off a third-string cornerback. Playing the slot, you kind of get an easier read on the defense."

Regardless of where Hester lines up on the field, he is convinced the package of plays will allow him to be a key figure in the offense, despite the offseason upgrades to the passing game. Not only did the Bears trade for Marshall, considered one of the NFL's elite receivers, they also traded up in the second round to select 6-foot-4 Alshon Jeffery out of South Carolina. Factor in the reliable Bennett, free agent signings Eric Weems and Devin Thomas, plus holdover Dane Sanzenbacher, and the Bears' picture at wide receiver is crowded as ever, even with Johnny Knox a question mark to play in 2012.

"That's my mentality every year is to be a top notch receiver in this league," Hester said. "Regardless if it comes from deep balls or catching hitches and making big plays. That's my whole mentality. I'm just looking at myself as a playmaker...whenever I get an opportunity to make plays that's what I'm going to do.'

"This offense is built around explosiveness, big plays. It's going to be a lot of rotation going in (and out of the game). It's going to be getting the ball quick and seeing what the playmakers can do with the ball in their hands."


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(espn.com)
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Kenny Holmes Named Defensive Coordinator

KennyHolmes
SEBASTIAN — Sebastian River High School football coach Randy Bethel helped recruit Kenny Holmes to the University of Miami when Holmes was a senior at Vero Beach High School, and now almost two decades later, he is bringing the former defensive end to his staff at Sebastian River.

Holmes, who played seven seasons in the NFL, takes over as the Sharks' new defensive coordinator, replacing Tony Perry, who will remain on staff in a different role.

A former defensive coordinator at Vero Beach for two years, Holmes spent last season as an assistant coach at New Mexico State University but resigned and returned home to Vero Beach about a month ago.

"He's an outstanding football coach," Bethel said. "He's got a wealth of experience to bring to what we are trying to do, and he enhances our program. Any time you can upgrade in anything you are doing, it's best to do that.

"Having him on our staff is an upgrade. We saw the opportunity, and it just worked out."

Bethel, also a Vero Beach High School alumnus, played for the Hurricanes from 1987-90 and was Holmes' host during his official visit at Miami in 1992. The two have remained friends since and talk on the phone often, so when Bethel learned Holmes was not returning to New Mexico State, he invited Holmes to attend a practice and take a look at the Sharks in their spring game against Treasure Coast.

Holmes liked what he saw and accepted when Bethel asked him to join his staff.

"What he's teaching the kids before sending them off to college, helping them in the classroom and helping them transcend into young men, I felt I could learn from what he was doing and I could help the program out at the same time," Holmes said. "The situation with Randy was a perfect opportunity to get back in the area and allow me to coach at a high level and continue to do the things I've learned as a player and coach.

"It just so happened he had the position available to hire a coordinator, and I just happened to come home around the same exact time, so it worked out great for both of us."


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(tcpalm.com)
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Jon Jay not progressing well

JonJayCards
ATLANTA -- With his sprained right shoulder not responding as expected, Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay is scheduled to get a second opinion regarding the injury in Florida on Thursday.

Jay traveled to the Cardinals' Jupiter, Fla., complex earlier this week, hopeful of first increasing his workouts and then taking the field in either extended spring training or Minor League rehab games. That timeline has been pushed back as Jay and the club await the results of Thursday's examination.

"He's still feeling a little something," manager Mike Matheny said. "But with everything that we're seeing, he should be further along. We're going to get one more look at it, and after that, we're probably going to push through."

Jay has been on the disabled list since May 16; however, the shoulder ailment has been bothering him for much longer. Jay first injured it on April 19, when he ran into the center-field wall while trying to make a catch. He missed the next six games before returning and playing through some discomfort. When that discomfort became debilitating to his swing, Jay was moved to the DL.

At the time, the expectation was that Jay would only need to miss the minimum 15 days. That's not the case, as Jay would be eligible to come off the DL on Thursday.

"It's gotten almost worse," Matheny said. "It will be nice to get another look at it and see what comes of that. That will give him a little peace of mind, too. Some guys are just hesitant to push through something."


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(mlb.com)
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Ryan Braun’s Girlfriend, Larisa Fraser, is a Lingerie Model

Ryan Braun, the reigning National League MVP is dating this girl, Larisa Fraser. We first saw Fraser on the field talking to Braun last September after the Brewers clinched the NL Central. Busted Coverage found a bunch of pictures from her work as a lingerie model in the UK.




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Chris Perez's gesture fuels Indians-Royals rivalry

ChrisPerezIndians
CLEVELAND -- Defiant Cleveland closer Chris Perez has thrown some gas on the simmering rivalry between the Indians and Kansas City Royals.
The animated Perez angered Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson for a gesture he made after striking out the Royals outfielder in the ninth inning of Cleveland's 8-5 win on Monday.

After fanning Dyson on three pitches, Perez walked off the mound and waved his hand in front of his face to mock Dyson, who was unaware of the gesture until seeing it later on videotape.

"It's just terrible," Dyson said. "Nobody told me about it. As soon as I got done with my at-bat, I went down to see where the pitch was because I felt like the pitch was in and I saw him do that and it (ticked) me off even more."

It's the latest incident involving Perez, who recently criticized Indians fans for their lack of support and was fined earlier this season by Major League Baseball for an inappropriate tweet after the teams had a contentious series in Kansas City.

Perez said teammate Tony Sipp, who is friends with Dyson, had told him the Royals weren't happy with some of the comments and they were "coming for me."

During Monday's game, Perez promised his teammates in the bullpen that if he struck out Dyson he would make the "you can't see me" gesture popularized by pro wrestler John Cena.

Perez said before Tuesday's game that the gesture was in response to what Dyson told Sipp.

"That's the only reason I did it," Perez said. "I said, 'All right, you're coming for me, I'm coming for you.' If I strike you out, you're going to get the 'can't see me face.'

"What happened? Three pitches. You can't see me," he said.

Dyson said he was already looking forward to his next matchup against Perez, who leads the majors with 17 saves.

"I can't wait to face him again," Dyson said. "I want to beat him. That's the good part of this game, you get to go back and try to beat a guy, beat a team. If I had seen it, I would have said something, probably jumped out of character. Usually, that's not me. Though that's not how our organization is.

"But that's the game. When you win, you can say what you want," Dyson added. "They beat us. We lost. We have nothing to say. You lose, you shut up and go out and try to beat them. Then you can have something to say."

Perez wasn't troubled that Dyson didn't appreciate his actions.

"If he took offense to it, oh well," Perez said. "It happened and it's the same as when a hitter hits a home run and they come back to the dugout and do all their hand-slapping stuff. We see that as pitchers and we don't take offense to it because he just hit a home run."

Dyson chalked up Perez's antics to "him just being him."

"I think that's just the way he is. That's just him. If he needs that to get motivated, whatever. It was a little bit of disrespect," Dyson said. "I guess he felt good striking me out. It's not like he struck out Albert Pujols."

Perez has been known to let loose with a primal scream after getting a save or pumping his fists in celebration. While it may annoy and even anger some of his opponents, the rebellious right-hander said he does it to motivate himself.

"(Winning) definitely gives me some leeway to do what I do," he said. "Nobody wants to hear this from a last-place team. I mean, who cares, you're in last place. You talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. We're in first place right now, and it's fun. I know that, if I'm blowing saves, I can't do that stuff, either.

"I'm enjoying this. This is fun," Perez continued. "It's not very often you can go on a streak like this, especially in the big leagues, and pitch as well as I have been. Not trying to pump myself up, but it's fun."


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(kansascity.com)
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Ryan Braun unfazed by booing at Dodger Stadium

RyanBraun
Los Angeles -- As expected, Ryan Braun has been booed heavily in the Brewers' first two games of a four-game series against Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. 

Already upset because they thought favorite son Matt Kemp should have been 2011 NL MVP, not Braun, Dodgers fans found another reason to voice displeasure when Braun's positive drug test became public over the winter, even though he won his appeal and avoided a 50-game suspension (which would have ended Thursday).

So, every time he has stepped to the plate, the boos rain down on Braun. He has heard catcalls from the bleachers while playing left field as well. 
"I wouldn't say it was something I was not anticipating," Braun told reporters after the Brewers' 2-1 win Tuesday night. "So it really didn't (bother him). As a competitor, it makes it fun. It's not the way I would choose for it to be, but it makes it enjoyable as a competitor."

Braun often responds to adversity favorably, and did so again with a two-run, opposite-field home run in the first inning that proved to be the difference in the game.

"I've seen him do it before," said manager Ron Roenicke. "Sometimes, it works in our favor."

Still, the booing has to be tough for Braun. He lives in the area and often came to Dodger Stadium as a youngster. His parents, other relatives and friends have been in attendance at the games and have had to listen to the rough treatment.

One thing is for sure: Braun loves to play in Dodger Stadium. He has hit safely in 11 of his 12 career games there with a .438 batting average (21 for 48), five doubles, a triple, three homers and 14 RBI.


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(jsonline.com)
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Steelers ink Sean Spence

SeanSpenceCanes
The Steelers previously had signed seven of their nine 2012 draft picks.  No. 8 is now under contract.

Per a league source, the Steelers have agreed to a four-year deal with former Miami linebacker Sean Spence.

A third-round pick and the 87th overall selection in the draft, Spence will likely earn dollars in the range of $2.67 million during the four years of his deal.  His signing bonus likely will be in the range of $545,000.

The rookie has some big shoes to fill; the team has issued Spence No. 51, most recently worn by James Farrior.

“I’m happy to have it but I think if they would have drafted another linebacker they would have got the same number,” Spence recently said.  “Luckily they drafted me.”

Spence is undersized at 5’11″ and 230 pounds.  But the Steelers, who know a thing or two about linebackers, see something special in him.

“Hey, I’ve never been the biggest guy in the room,” Spence said. “I never let that bother me and I’m not going to let it happen now.”

With Farrior gone and guys like James Harrison and Larry Foote getting older, Spence is part of the future at the position.  The Steelers wouldn’t have picked him if they didn’t believe he could fill the role.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Damien Berry gets first-team reps with Rice missing OTAs

DamienBerryRavens
With Ray Rice missing OTAs, RB Damien Berry, an undrafted free agent signing in 2011, has received a large number of reps with the first team. "I'm ready to come in and compete," Berry said. "Competition brings the best out of all of us. If you're going to be great, you have to compete."

Berry, who spent 2011 with the practice squad, remained after the season ended to work out at the team facility. He said he's worked on catching the ball out of the backfield, as well as his footwork. Berry's competing for the No. 2 RB spot behind Ray Rice.

Berry's playing catch-up this offseason because of the lockout in 2011. "I'm way ahead of the curve than where I was last year -- way ahead of it," Berry said. "There's a lot of stuff I didn't know last year. This year, it makes the game a lot easier."


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(cbssports.com)
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Lamar Miller expected to be ready for camp

LamarMillerCanes
The player rep for Dolphins rookie RB Lamar Miller (shoulder surgery) expects him to be cleared for contact before training camp.

Miller himself said he was "coming along pretty good" earlier this month, and fully expects to be ready for camp. Miller underwent surgery in December, but has been able to run for months. Barring a setback, the injury shouldn't be a concern for the Dolphins' third-string back as a rookie.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Sam Shields faces critical OTAs, minicamp

SamShields2
Green Bay -- Two years ago, he was one unheralded force keying Green Bay's Super Bowl run. An undrafted player providing huge plays in huge moments, Sam Shields punched the Packers' ticket to North Texas. So, naturally, a progression was expected.

And in 2011, the cornerback regressed. Shields missed tackles, allowed nine pass plays of 20 yards or more and was one (of many) reasons Green Bay allowed the most passing yards in NFL history. In Dom Capers' defenses, Green Bay needs a reliable cover corner opposite Tramon Williams to give Charles Woodson more leeway elsewhere. Most of last season, Shields didn't do that.

As the pass defense struggled, options were low for coaches. Shields had to play. That might not be the case in 2012. The team drafted Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward in the second round of the NFL Draft, a smart player who made a slew of big plays in college. Davon House, a fourth-round pick in 2011, is a year older. And Jarrett Bush probably sees the field more after inking a contract extension.

Shields is taking the no-panic approach to organized team activities and minicamp.

“No, there’s no pressure," he said. "I know what I have to do. And everybody else knows what they have to do. It’s you, though. You know what you have to do so you have to do it. My mind-set is that I’m going to get it done. The tackling part, I’m going to get that done. I’m not worried about that.”
These tackling woes probably were most irritating to coaches. Shields' make-up speed is rare -- he'll close a passing window quicker than most. That's what got him on the field over Bush a year ago. Shields did finish with four interceptions and 12 pass break-ups. But whereas the physical Bush isn't afraid to mix it up, Shields had problems wrapping up throughout the season. The Packers want to see a better effort than this attempt to bring down LaGarrette Blount at the 30-yard line. Or these dives at ankles.

There is one legitimate excuse. The lack of a full off-season before last season probably hurt Shields as much as anyone on defense. He played the position all of one year at Miami (Fla.). In high school, he was the nation's No. 9-rated wide receiver prospect, per ESPN. Not a shutdown corner. Coaches only plugged Shields into the secondary on the occasional, obvious passing down. Defense, in general, was still fairly new to him.
Tackling will be an emphasis for him this off-season.

“Just the repetition," Shields said. "For me, I never, ever tackled anybody. So it’s just working on the dummies, learn how to just wrap your arms. Wrap your arms, wrap your arms, wrap your arms. Do it in practice and carry it on into the game.”

Green Bay has been patient. But now, entering Year Three, Shields probably won't get the benefit of the doubt as much. Hayward and others could push him. He needs this full off-season of work with cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt. So far, he's off to a decent start. At Green Bay's first organized team activity last week, Shields picked off Aaron Rodgers' deep pass down the middle intended for Jordy Nelson.

Shields has the speed teams covet at cornerback. Now, he must improve his tackling and discipline to secure his role on the defense.

"It’s going to get done," Shields said. "If that’s something I have to get done, I’m going to get it done."


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(jsonline.com)
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Jason Fox healthy and ready to compete in year three

JasonFoxLions
When Lions general manager Martin Mayhew was asked about offensive tackle Jason Foxicon-article-link after last season, he said 2012 was going to be a big year for Fox to prove to the Lions he can stay healthy.

A fourth-round pick in 2010 (128th overall), Fox has played in a grand total of four games during his first two seasons with the Lions because of injuries. Entering year three, Fox knows it's time to prove himself.

“It’s been a run of bad luck,” Fox said of his first two seasons with the Lions. “It’s just so exciting now that I can go out there and just compete and try to learn and improve without worrying about injuries and just go out and get better all day.”

He never fully recovered from a knee injury he suffered in college at Miami and it lingered into his rookie year. Last year, it was a broken foot.
Fox has remained at the Lions training facility in Allen Park training and rehabbing this entire offseason. He says he’s ready make good on some high hopes the Lions had for him in 2010.

“I’m very comfortable with this offense and my assignments and being able to play different positions,” he said. “I think that’s going to help down the road.”

The Lions selected offensive tackle Riley Reiff in the first round of this year’s draft to be the left tackle of the future.

Fox, like Reiff, is versatile in that they both can play left or right tackle and possibly even guard. Fox has been working with the second-team offense at both left and right tackles this offseason.

Ideally, the Lions would like to have two interchangeable parts for the future of their offensive line in Fox and Reiff.


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(detroitlions.com)
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Orlando Franklin in studio

27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0">


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Vince Wilfork ranked one of NFL's best DTs

VinceWilfork
Vince Wilfork, 30, is still a tremendously talented defensive tackle. The four-time Pro Bowler and four-time Second Team All-Pro has been the key cog in New England's defensive line since 2004.

Might he be one of the NFL's finest?

The Sporting News ranks Wilfork behind just Haloti Ngata and Geno Atkins on its list of the league's 10 best DTs.

"He has been doing it well for a long time, but there is no reason to think Wilfork will slow down anytime soon," wrote Clifton Brown. "Wilfork shows up big in big games and has become a locker room leader as the Patriots‚ defense has transitioned to younger players. He is an indispensable piece of their defensive unit."

Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and Cowboy Jay Ratliff round out first five. Click here to see the rest of the rankings.


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Pete Carroll excited about matchups offense has with Kellen Winslow

KellenWinslowBucs
Pete Carroll says the Seattle Seahawks know what it takes to manage Kellen Winslow Jr. and his knee issues.

The Seahawks surprised some by trading for the veteran tight end and they’ll work him into the offense with Zach Miller, the tight end they added in free agency last year.

“Zach Miller had a really good year for us last year,” Carroll said in a visit on 710 ESPN, according to sportsradiointerviews.com. “He did a good job of blocking and making the plays we asked him to make. We were pretty conservative trying to grow with the young guys up front, but we will continue to expand. We wanted the two tight end group and the factor that it brings to have a catching tight end that can really strike you. A guy that can block and do all the stuff. Zack can do everything. This matchup gets us back on track on how we wanted to express our offense. We like when Michael Robinson is in the game too. Michael Robinson is a good football player. He’s a Pro Bowl guy at fullback, but when he’s out of the game and we go with the second tight end let’s get a guy like Kellen Winslow that can catch the football and make plays and really change the games and be a factor.

“I think this was a tremendous get for us and as we manage our way through bringing him into our team we see so many aspects of how he can help us and you can just picture the third down and end zone stuff that he can really be a star and we’ll fit that in together.”

Carroll said he understands the knee issues Winslow has and the key is keeping him in shape to perform on Sundays.

“Really doing a great job on how we monitor him,” he said. “I have great sympathy for this knee thing myself. I know what he is going through and there’s time where he just won’t be able to work, but the magic in here will be our ability to keep him up to speed with the quarterbacks, so we have good time and opportunities to sync the timing of the passing game. He’s smart. He gets it. He studies. He loves the game. He is a great competitive kid.

“He wants to practice everyday, so it won’t max out a lot of walk through time and we’ll just have to really be efficient with the reps we get to get him right with the quarterbacks. That’s really the big issue. He’ll learn his assignments. It will be the timing of the whole thing. That will take us awhile, but we plan on doing a great job of taking care of his body, so that he can play on Sundays.”


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(nationalfootballpost.com)
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Jon Vilma lawsuit against Goodell hits temporary snag

JonVilma
Jonathan Vilma wants his defamation lawsuit against Roger Goodell to be taken seriously. What happened in a Louisiana court will not be a step toward that goal.

A Louisiana district court would not allow Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, to act Pro Hac Vice, fancy smancy legal words which basically means Ginsberg can't act as Vilma's lawyer in that court.

Now, this is expected to be temporary. Ginsberg can file some additional paperworkto get himself back in the game but this isn't exactly a sterling beginning.

The court wrote it was concerned about a previous Ginsberg case in which he was cited by another court.

"The applicant attorney's Certification attached to the Motion does not state under oath whether any criminal charges have ever been instituted against him, as required under Local Rule 83.2.5. (Rec. Doc. 2-2). Furthermore, the Certification is unclear as to whether the sanctions and discipline he was subject to in 2008 constitutes the only instance in which disciplinary proceedings were instituted against him."


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(cbssports.com)
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Jon Beason tackles Alex Smith -- again

JonBeason
The battle of words over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith’s comments about Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s passing statistics being inflated isn’t over yet.

Appearing on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio on Tuesday, Carolina linebacker Jon Beason, who previously took a shot at Smith via Twitter, had some more words for Smith.

“I think if you look at the body of work -- and we’re going to talk about stats here since (Smith is) about stats -- I think [Cam Newton] is way ahead of Alex was as a former first-round pick," Beason said. “You know, going into a situation where you’re on the worst team in football, or in an offense that finished 32nd in scoring last year, to an offense that finished fifth, I think you should at least take your hat off to him and understand the situation and the type of pressure that Cam Newton was under this year.”

Smith was the first overall pick by San Francisco in the 2005 draft, but didn’t really have much success until leading the 49ers to last season’s NFC Championship Game. Carolina took Newton with the first overall draft pick last year. Newton set all sorts of rookie records and was the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year, but the Panthers went 6-10.

“I’m a big fan of stats, I think they tell the truth more than not," Beason said. “I think their defense was unbelievable last year. You know, I think 19 touchdown passes is, you know, not going to get you in a Super Bowl. I think five interceptions is an amazing stat, but it is just like in basketball, if you don’t shoot you can’t score. So based on what they were able to do and the parts around him, the coach, the defense, I think they did a great job. You win 13 games you’re the best in the league. I think that’s the right formula for them but that wouldn’t have been the right formula for us. So do you take your hat off to Alex Smith? Yes. Should he feel good about himself? Yes. Should he get upset about having to answer questions about him finishing 29th in the league in yards per game? That’s a stat. If you don’t like it maybe fix it but, like I said, in the meantime don’t take shots at other people or other players because you are tired of dealing with that question.”

You can hear the audio of the Beason interview here.


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(espn.com)
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Jon Jay expected back Friday

JonJayCards
The Cardinals expect both Allen Craig and Jon Jay to be back with the big league club by the end of the week, according to Fox Sports Midwest.

Jay was hitting .343 with a pair of home runs when he went down with a shoulder injury. Craig was batting .373 with five home runs and 19 batted in with only 13 games under his belt after missing the first month of the season following knee surgery. 

The pair will be a welcome addition to a team that has been inconsistent lately in scoring runs. Outfielders Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers seem the most likely candidates to be sent out to Class AAA Memphis.

Robinson was shipped out and barely had time to unpack before he was summoned back when Jay's shoulder flared back up. Chambers, who contributed significantly in late 2011 as an injury fill in, was called up when Craig strained his hamstring.

Those players are expendable because Skip Schumaker has been able to step up and play some centerfield lately. 


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(bnd.com)
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Blake Tekotte balances life in majors, minors

BlakeTekotte
Blake Tekotte stationed himself in the middle of the Tucson Padres clubhouse at an idle table and quickly scarfed down a burrito.

Relief pitcher Josh Spence interrupted Tekotte's meal to give him a hug. First baseman Matt Clark joined the center fielder at the table and wanted to know if he enjoyed facing New York Mets knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey a few days earlier.

That 15-minute window was a perfect glimpse into the 25-year-old Tekotte's life these days: a lot of quick meals, some reuniting with old friends and family and plenty of questions about the big leagues.

He returned to Tucson and Kino Stadium on Tuesday after a nine-day stretch in the major leagues with San Diego - Tekotte's second big-league stint this season after a promotion in late April for 11 days. And he likely will be with the big-league club again at some point this season.

The outfielder has become San Diego's "swing guy" this year, a role held by pitcher Wade LeBlanc last season. Tekotte could be called up, often with very little notice, because of an injury or other roster situation. He could be hitting a ball into the bullpen at Kino Stadium one day, and the next could be taking batting practice at Wrigley Field.

"He's logging good time up there," said Tucson manager Terry Kennedy before Tuesday night's 11-10 win over Las Vegas. "He's getting to see how it's done. He's making some money. You have to look at it that way. He's always great when he comes back; always ready to produce."

Tekotte, who hit leadoff Tuesday, went 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.

The Star talked to Tekotte, a Columbia, Mo., native, about his stints in the big leagues and what he's learning.

On what he tries to improve on when he's in the majors: "I've been working on the whole mind-set of being there to pinch hit. You never want to go down looking at strikes. Some coaches and other players have talked to me about being aggressive, and that first fastball you see in the zone, take a hack at it. Pinch-hitting isn't the most fun thing in the world, but I feel more comfortable and confident when I go up there now."

On what it's like to come back to Tucson's clubhouse: "I love playing with these guys. I came up with most of them. I don't know too many of the guys up there. It's more comfortable in the clubhouse down here for me just because I know these guys so well. … It's always good to see them. Even though it's getting optioned down, it's good to be back with them."

On being promoted and demoted so often: "It is definitely tough. I'm trying to become more like a robot in that sense, so I don't take it personal. It is business. I would like to go up there and start every day obviously. For now, I take what I can get and sit there and listen and try to learn as much as I can. The game can be a lot different because everything is so much more magnified."

On some of the major differences between Triple-A and the majors: "Well, in the minors, we come out and it's, 'Who's throwing? Is he a righty or a lefty? What's he throw?' Up there, they got everything you could want to know, including the guy's shoe size. Sometimes you start to overanalyze things up there, instead of just playing your game."

On his best day in the big leagues so far: "Getting to play the Cardinals at Busch Stadium was very special. I used to always go to their games. Even my dog is named Ozzie Smith. He's a fat, little pug, who can't walk without breathing hard. Definitely not like the real Ozzie Smith. But, it was real fun playing there. I got a hit and heard a big cheer from a section, who was there to see me play. You don't forget stuff like that."


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(azstarnet.com)
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Ryan Braun's HR propels Brewers' 2-1 win over Dodgers

RyanBraun
LOS ANGELES — Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the first inning, getting back at Dodgers fans who booed his every move and leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Mike Fiers (1-0) allowed a run and five hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking none in his first major league start and third appearance after being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. The 26-year-old right-hander gave up his only run when Andre Ethier doubled home Ivan De Jesus in the sixth for his NL-leading 43rd RBI.

Fiers' catcher was Martin Maldonado, who also was promoted from the Brewers' top farm club Tuesday after Jonathan Lucroy was placed on the disabled list because of a broken right hand that is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks. It was the first time in Brewers history that both members of their starting battery were making their first start in the majors.

Fernando Rodriguez pitched a perfect eighth, and John Axford got three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances. Matt Kemp ended a nine-pitch at-bat with a leadoff double against Axford and Ethier was hit by the right-hander's next delivery. Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded into a double play, sending Kemp to third, but he was stranded there when James Loney grounded to short.

Dodgers 21-yearold right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-1) made his seventh career start and first this season, allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings with four strikeouts and a walk while filling in for the injured Ted Lilly.

The crowd of 51,137 booed Braun lustily every time he came up – as they did in Monday's opener of the four-game series. He responded with a first-pitch homer into the right field bullpen after Nyjer Morgan singled with one out in the first inning. It was his 14th of the season, two more than Kemp, who returned to the lineup from the disabled list after missing 13 games with a left hamstring strain.

Braun beat out Kemp for NL MVP last season. The first time Kemp came up Tuesday, he was welcomed with chants of M-V-P! M-V-P!" He struck out and finished 1 for 4.

One fan displayed his contempt for Braun during the Dodgers' third, throwing a baseball back onto the field after the Brewers' left fielder picked up a foul ball A.J. Ellis hit down the line and tossed it into the stands. When Ethier flied out to Braun to end the fourth, Braun faked like he was going to throw it to the fans – but kept it and trotted in.


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(huffingtonpost.com)
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Allen Bailey slated for increased role

AllenBailey
Chiefs DE Allen Bailey is expected to see an expanded role this season after coming off the bench for most of his rookie year. Bailey can play either left or right end and will rotate in as a pass-rushing replacement for starters Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey. With both Jackson and Dorsey nearing the end of their contracts, Bailey could be in line for a starting job in 2013 if he proves himself this coming season.


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(profootballweekly.com)
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Leonard Hankerson on Redskins Nation




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Darnell Jenkins Signs With BC Lions

DarnellJenkins
VANCOUVER — He’ll be going to B.C. Lions rookie camp, but, at age 29, receiver Darnell Jenkins is expected to have a little more polish than most first-year CFL prospects.

After spending two seasons on the practice roster of the New England Patriots -- one of four NFL organizations he’s spent time with -- Jenkins has had his rough edges worked over significantly by head coach Bill Belichick, offseason training partners Randy Moss and Deion Branch and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Brady has a reputation for being his own harshest critic. He not only places lofty expectations upon himself, he does so with his teammates.
Jenkins can attest to that.

“He’s very sharp mentally, and he expects you to keep up with him, or you get chewed out,” said Jenkins, one of four import receivers whose signings were announced Monday by the Lions. “He’ll call plays in the huddle, then change it at the line, and he expects you to run your routes properly, or he’ll have something to say about it.”

Even if Brady is one of the most accurate throwers in NFL history, his deliveries are not always on the money -- purposefully so, Jenkins said, to maintain an admirable touchdown-to-interception ratio. So a receiver had better be prepared to field a low or high throw or one that requires him to leave his feet.

“He’ll throw a ball low, to protect the route, and you better be able to get it,” Jenkins said. “He’s very strict about route running and ball placement. You need to be able to make the difficult catch.”

Jenkins was released by the Patriots after training camp last September and spent the winter in Boston training with NFL receivers Moss and Branch, who were equally demanding and gave him an earful if he slacked off. The former Miami Hurricane caught the Lions’ attention at an offseason free-agent camp in Dallas, for which Jenkins was prepped by his college teammate, Lions defensive back Anthony Reddick.

“Anthony told me that Canadian football is a very aggressive game,” Jenkins said. “And I consider myself an aggressive receiver. That’s something that Randy and Deion taught me. I loved working with those guys.”

The Lions other receiver signings include Mike Moore from Georgia, Juan Nunez from Western Michigan and Correy Earls from Georgia Tech. Moore (Detroit Lions) and Nunez (Cleveland Browns) also have some NFL experience.

The search has been on-going in B.C. to find a deep-threat, pass receiving complement to take away defensive pressure from Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce. Jenkins, who also returns kicks, feels he can be that guy.

Rookie camp opens Wednesday at Thompson Rivers University/Hillside Stadium in Kamloops. Veterans report on Saturday.


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(vancouversun.com)
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Lamar Miller's time to impress Dolphins is now

LamarMillerCanes
DAVIE— The slick moves of Lamar Miller have stirred the imaginations of some inside the fences of the Miami Dolphins' guarded training facility.

The first tangible evidence Miller had something to offer the NFL came last week whenever he clutched the football in open space, weaving through NFL defenders for the first time.

The next chance is this morning, when the Dolphins continue organized training activities for the second straight week.

Even an untrained pair of eyes could recognize the running back's speed as Miller would prance up field, often with a powerful kick.

The Dolphins' new coaching staff sees plenty of opportunity for their fourth-round draft pick out of the University of Miami, if he can overcome durability concerns.

Most concerning is a surgically repaired shoulder. He suffered the injury Sept. 24 in a 28-24 loss against Kansas State but did not miss any games.

Miller's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told "The Joe Rose Show" on 560-WQAM last week Miller has not fully recovered.

"Remember, the shoulder was the primary reason he was drafted really two rounds later than what we had anticipated," Rosenhaus said. "There was a lot of concern around the league with the shoulder. Fortunately, he hasn't had any setbacks. It's healing up really nicely. He's able to go out there and do pretty much everything anyone else is doing right now. But would he be cleared for pads right now? No. Will he be come training camp? Definitely."

If Miller continues to progress without any setbacks, he could become a significant contributor in a utility role. He captured the attention of many at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine in February, where he posted a 4.40 40-yard dash — fastest among running backs and tied for eighth best among all position players.

"He's got dynamic speed," Hurricanes coach Al Golden said last week. "He's got a great lateral cut that he can do at full speed, which is unique. ... He was exceptional at running outside scheme runs and outside zone plays because of his ability to either capture the corner or stick a foot in the ground and get positive yards. And clearly he's got the size and the lower musculature to be a powerful back as well."

Miller (5 feet 10, 212 pounds) left the Hurricanes following his redshirt sophomore season. In two seasons, he played in 23 career games with 335 carries for 1,918 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 28 catches for 181 yards, including a highlight worthy touchdown reception in a 38-35 loss at Virginia Tech on Oct. 8.

"He's got real good hands," Golden said. "He's a guy that you can deploy in other areas to catch slants or to run verticals or to get the matchup versus an outside linebacker that you're looking for."

Beyond running back, Miller could line up in the slot as a wide receiver, offering an opportunity to take advantage of mismatches with linebackers and offer openings to use his feet. He also is being looked at in kickoff returns and punt returns.

"Lamar is a very fluid player," said Dolphins first-year coach Joe Philbin. "I think he has multiple skills. I don't think that he is just a runner. I think he is a guy that can catch the football and move him around."

Miller, 21, was a Parade All-American out of Miami Killian. He has the unique opportunity to play high school, college and professional football in his backyard, where he can continue to share the experience with close family and friends.

A successful start in the NFL will very likely hinge on his healing shoulder.

"I'm certain that he's not 100 percent," Golden said. "So all of the positive feedback that we're getting from the Miami OTAs and practices is awesome because that means he's ahead of schedule. If they like him now, they're gonna love him when he is actually 100 percent."


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(sun-sentinel.com)
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Warren Sapp's book, Sapp Attack, is as coarse as the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer himself

WarrenSappHurricanes
In the world of literature, there are writers who can turn a phrase. There are those who can paint a scene. There are those who can develop characters so real that you can see their faces.

Then there is Warren Sapp, author.

On third and long, I am relatively sure that he could kick William Faulkner's butt.

Not only that, I am also fairly certain that if you put Sapp Attack, his upcoming book, on your shelf, it will instantly frighten the other books that are there.

And here he comes again. Sapp, the most colorful, most discussed athlete in Tampa Bay history, is on another one of those brutal, relentless rushes again. One more time, he is loud, and he is profane, and he is stepping on a different set of toes every time you turn a page. You may like it, you may hate it, and you may stay up late laughing about it.

In other words, yeah, it's full of Sapp.

For 314 pages, the former defensive tackle rambles through his career in the same familiar bluntness of his better news conferences. To sum up, he loved Tony Dungy, he liked Jon Gruden and he hated Sam Wyche. He admired Derrick Brooks, he didn't care for Keyshawn Johnson and he thought Monte Kiffin was an overrated self-promoter. Also, he knows a lot of words your children should not read.

Let's be honest: They aren't likely to teach Sapp Attack in schools. If you are a great fan of prose and allegory, this isn't a work your book club will be interested in. Literature, it is not.

On the other hand, it's fun. Besides, let's face it: After his recent bankruptcy, Sapp could use the money.

A sampling from the Book of Sapp:

On coming to the Bucs: "Everything about the organization was bad; bad coaching staff, bad practice facility, bad bright-orange team colors, even a bad team logo. Bucco Bruce was the logo. The NFL had lions and giants, cowboys and panthers. We had the sappy pirate. C'mon, how intimidating is that, Bucco Bruce? He was this sad-looking pirate who actually had his earring in the wrong ear. What kind of pirate has an earring in his wrong ear? He was supposed to be sneering but actually looked like he was winking."

On Wyche, his first head coach: "Sam Wyche and I never did arrive on the same planet. … Wyche thought you motivated people by making snide comments, by belittling people. … So it wasn't a surprise his coaching staff was disloyal. We spent the whole season watching defensive coordinator Rusty Tillman trying to sabotage Wyche so he could get the head coaching job."

On the way his teammates treated him as a rookie: "Once a week, right into the season, I got my a - - taped to the uprights. One time, they taped (Brad) Culpepper and me back-to-back in the middle of the floor."

And on it goes. For those who have been around Sapp during one of his better news conferences, the tone is familiar. No matter what else you think of him, Sapp has always been a gifted storyteller, ribald and funny.

That said, the book does feel as if it was written a little too soon. It would have been nice to have read more about Sapp's bankruptcy problems, for instance. I would have liked to have read a bit more about his new TV show, or his thoughts about his potential Hall of Fame induction, or some of his thoughts about the current state of the Bucs, or how long ago the cover photo was taken before he says he lost his Super Bowl ring.

All in all, however, it's a nice little memory jog. During the best days in the history of the franchise, Sapp was one of the best players.

On the Bucs coaches he played for: ''I always said that Tony Dungy put the damn cake in the oven, and then Jon Gruden came in and put the icing on it. Of course, Sam Wyche couldn't even get the mix out of the box."

On Kiffin, the former defensive coordinator: "I always believed Kiffin (blitzed) so much because he wanted the glory; it made him feel like a great defensive coordinator."

On how some defensive linemen illegally coated their jerseys with Vaseline or silicone so the offensive linemen couldn't hold them: "Now that Whitey (his nickname for Culpepper) also is retired, I'll confess for him that he was one of the people who did that. He practically bathed in silicone before a game. Trust me, if he had ever tried to hug his wife before a game, she would have slipped right out of his arms and gone straight up in the air."

And on and on. Sapp talks about why he didn't go to Florida (his mother got a bad feeling there) or FSU (Sapp says Bobby Bowden referred to one of his players as a fat a - -, and Sapp wondered if he would say the same about him to another recruit in two years). He talks about former teammate Eric Curry, who once went 17 yards deep on a pass rush, far past the quarterback. He talks about what former Packers coach Mike Sherman said to him after he hit tackle Chad Clifton (it's unprintable).

Mostly, he talks about the Bucs, the teammates he admired and the teammates he did not.

On Johnson, the receiver: "Among the biggest problems we had on that 2003 team was Keyshawn Johnson. … It wasn't a big secret Keyshawn didn't fit into our locker room: he came to us from a different football culture, and he never could make the adjustment. Everything was about him."
On defensive end Chidi Ahanotu: "We played alongside each other, but we didn't get along. … Chidi was a good player; he was known for putting pressure on quarterbacks but not getting sacks. He owned a nice jazz bar named Sacks. … I stood up and said, 'I got one thing to add.' … They changed the name of the restaurant from Sacks to Pressures."

On quarterback Trent Dilfer: "Dilfer … basically was an interception waiting to happen. There were times we practically pleaded with him, 'We know you're not going to score a touchdown, but please, just don't turn it over.' "

On it rolls, uncensored and unapologetic, from the bounties at Miami to the turnaround in Tampa Bay to the final days in Oakland. It is as raw, as boisterous, as loud as Sapp himself. As books go, it kind of snarls.

If you watched Sapp play, what else would you expect?


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(tampabay.com)
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Kellen Winslow shows off moves during Seahawks practice

KellenWinslowBucs
RENTON — Looking for some instant offense, the Seattle Seahawks hope they added some explosiveness to the passing game with the addition of Kellen Winslow.

"He's a wide receiver in a tight end's body," Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. "He's got all of that ability and route-running like I mentioned, but more than that he makes plays. As well as — the thing that I love about the guy the most — is that he's a great competitor. He just loves to play the game and we can't have enough of that around here."

Winslow talked to reporters for the first time on Thursday since Seattle traded a conditional, seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay for the University of Miami product's services.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound athlete looked smooth running routes and catching the ball during practice.

The Seahawks plan to pair Winslow with tight end Zach Miller, using them both in two-tight end situations to force defenses to choose between running more heavy fronts to stop bruising running back Marshawn Lynch, or use more defensive backs to deal with Winslow and Miller in the passing game.

Seattle used two tight-end formations nearly 40 percent of the time last season.

Winslow averaged 73 receptions and 792 yards for the past three years in Tampa Bay. Miller finished with a career-low 25 catches last season, but Winslow believes the two tight ends can create a dynamic similar to New England's two tight-end sets.

New England's Rob Gronkowski finished with 90 receptions for a tight-end record 1,327 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011, while teammate tight end Aaron Hernandez totaled 79 receptions for 910 yards and seven touchdowns.

"Zach Miller is a proven veteran here," Winslow said. "Hopefully we'll be able to do something like the Patriots are doing, with Gronkowski and Hernandez. We kind of fit that mold, so I'm sure we'll be fine."

However, Winslow, who turns 29 on July 21, could be losing a step. He's had six knee surgeries since he's been in the league, including reconstructive knee surgery after he tore his ACL in the motorcycle crash in 2005 while with Cleveland, and microfracture knee surgery in 2007.
Winslow also had the most penalty yards of any Tampa Bay player last season, 76 total yards on seven accepted penalties, including three for offensive pass interference.

Winslow also finished in the top 25 in the league in drops with five.

Carroll said the team is aware of Winslow's knee issues, and the team will manage the situation.

"He's got some health issues that we're going to deal with to make sure we monitor them really well, so he can play his best," Carroll said. "We're absolutely tuned into it, and we know a lot about the history. We'll learn a lot more.

"But we think it's such a fantastic addition because he can make things happen. He can make plays. He should be a big factor on third down and in the red zone."

Winslow said he's developed an understanding of how to take care of his injury situation.

"I will have to manage my practice time but ever since the accident, I do have to live with what I have," Winslow said. "But I've been playing the last three years 16 games and the last five out of six years, I've been five years healthy. So I'll be okay. Just be smart with it and I'll be there on Sunday."


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(kitsapsun.com)
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Kelly Jennings Still a Free Agent

KellyJennings
Kelly Jennings: The speedy 29-year-old spent one season with the Bengals after five campaigns with Seahawks. Though not a playmaker - only two interceptions in 91 career games - Jennings is a solid pass defender best suited for nickel duty as a slot cover option.



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(csnwashington.com)
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Santana Moss: Robert Griffin III has a lot to learn

SantanaMoss
Santana Moss has caught passes from a lot of different quarterbacks since coming to the Redskins.

From John Beck to Jason Campbell to Donovan McNabb, plenty of those quarterbacks have been put forth as the solution to the long-term problem under center in D.C. None of them have actually solved that problem, though, and that’s why the team ponied up a king’s ransom to draft Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. Expectations are high for the rookie, but Moss doesn’t want the expectations to be unrealistic on him this season.

“It’s one of those situations where he is a young guy and at the end of the day regardless how much his skill level is better than other young guys like himself he still has to learn a lot day by day, so that’s one thing I want everyone to understand that he comes here with the big hope of turning everything around. We are all hoping that,” Moss said in an interview with ESPN 980, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “We all want that, but I don’t want that pressure on him as if he has to be the one. Together we have to be a team around him to help him bring us to where we have to be at. I feel like everyday we are out there all we can do is get better together and he can get better as a whole just knowing what this offense is going to bring to him.”

The recent success of rookie quarterbacks makes it seem like no sweat to make the transition from college to the pros, but things aren’t always that easy. As Moss points out, Griffin is much more likely to succeed if his teammates are playing well around him. Moss also thinks one of those previous Redskins quarterbacks can help the new kid out.

“I’m still a big supporter of Rex Grossman. Rex is a guy you can always count on. I think most definitely he can be a great attribute to RGIII. I feel like both of them are RGIII-I and RGIII-2.”

That’s nice of Moss to say, but you can be sure that there will be a lot of disappointment in the nation’s capital if that turns out to be true.


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(profootballtalk.com)
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Warren Sapp dropped from Showtime's Inside the NFL

WarrenSapp
It hasn't exactly been the best year for Apopka native and retired NFL star Warren Sapp judging from the headlines.

Seven-time Pro Bowler Warren Sapp filed for bankruptcy this year in Florida, New Orleans Saints' Jeremy Shockey threatened to sue Warren Sapp for his controversial comments on twitter regarding the Bounty scandal, and now, Warren Sapp his getting dropped from his NFL analyst gig with Showtime's Inside the NFL.

The network confirmed to the Sentinel Warren Sapp would not be returning but said there could be other TV opportunities in the near future for the retired lineman.

Inside the NFL is a weekly cable studio show hosted by James Brown, Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth.

Seven-time Pro Bowler Warren Sapp filed for bankruptcy this year in Florida, New Orleans Saints' Jeremy Shockey threatened to sue Warren Sapp for his controversial comments on twitter regarding the Bounty scandal, and now, Warren Sapp his getting dropped from his NFL analyst gig with Showtime's Inside the NFL.

The network confirmed to the Sentinel Warren Sapp would not be returning but said there could be other TV opportunities in the near future for the retired lineman.

Inside the NFL is a weekly cable studio show hosted by James Brown, Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth.


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(orandosentinel.com)
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jon Vilma full participant despite bounty troubles

JonVilma
Acting head coach Joe Vitt said LB Jonathan Vilma has been at the Saints practice facility throughout everything that's happened to him in the bounty investigation, including OTAs. Vitt said Vilma goes through all the meetings and attends the beginning of the OTA session, then rehabs his injured knee. Vitt said last week that Vilma wouldn't be healthy enough to start OTAs.


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(cbssports.com)
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Glenn Cook Now A Scout For Green Bay

NFLU2009
Glenn Cook is now a Pro Scout for the Green Bay Packers. Cook served as a scouting assistant for the Indianapolis Colts in 2011. He also worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Miami after lettering four times (2004-06, 2008) for the Hurricanes at linebacker. Cook appeared in 47 games with 17 starts at Miami and led the team with 76 tackles as a senior.


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(packers.com)
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Jon Beason makes brief appearance on field

JonBeason
In the final stages of his Achilles rehabilitation, LB Jon Beason briefly appeared on the OTA practice field Thursday and lined up as first-team “Mike.” Mostly, Beason kneeled on the sideline and watched reserve LB Jason Phillips take a majority of his reps. “It's all precaution,” Beason told The Charlotte Observer. “They have a point. It is May.”


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(cbssports.com)
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Blake Tekotte Gets Optioned… AGAIN

BlakeTekotte
CHICAGO -- Outfielder Carlos Quentin has been activated from the 15-day disabled list by the San Diego Padres ahead of Monday's series opener against the Chicago Cubs.

Quentin, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in December, had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in March.

He was slated to bat cleanup in his Padres' debut.

To open a roster spot, the Padres optioned outfielder Blake Tekotte to Triple-A Tucson. The 25-year-old was 2 for 15 (.133) in 11 games with San Diego.

Cameron Maybin was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day. He left in the sixth inning of Saturday's 9-0 loss to the New York Mets with a sprained right wrist.


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(espn.com)
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Jon Jay participates in first workout since injury

JonJayCards
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay took a step forward in his return from a sprained right shoulder before Friday's game against the Phillies.

Jay hit off a tee and did some soft toss in his first workout since the injury that sent him to the disabled list on May 16. He said he is hopeful to rejoin the team during its upcoming 10-game road trip to Atlanta, New York and Houston.

The outfielder, who hit .343 with two home runs and eight RBIs in his first 27 games this season, wasn't sure if he would need a rehab assignment before returning to the active roster.

"We'll see how these next couple days go," Jay said. "Today was just the first day. I still have to do a couple more things. It's coming along. It's definitely getting better."

General manager John Mozeliak said Jay was on track to return soon after his 15 days on the disabled list were up.

"Jay may be a day or two extra, but he swung the bat today and felt pretty good," Mozeliak said.


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia showing positive signs in Minors

DannyValencia
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's getting positive reports about how third baseman Danny Valencia has been doing at Triple-A Rochester.

Valencia was optioned to Rochester on May 9 after struggling with the Twins, as he hit .190 with a homer, triple and five doubles in 100 at-bats.
He's been faring better in the Minors, as he entered Monday hitting .268 with two homers and three doubles in 56 at-bats. He overcame an early slump and is hitting .325 with a .341 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage over his past 10 games.

"He's doing fine," Gardenhire said. "He's putting some good swings on the ball. He hurt his wrist, but got back at it. So he's hanging in there pretty good. He's driving the ball. I've watched a couple games and saw him bang one off the center-field wall on an 0-2 fastball."

Gardenhire added that Valencia has continued to make progress with his defense, which wasn't his problem in 27 games with the Twins this season.

"He was fine here and was a lot better and working hard at it," Gardenhire said. "We asked him to do that and he's been doing fine down there."


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(mlb.com)
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Yonder Alonso Welcomes NY's Spotlight

YonderAlonsoPadres
NEW YORK — The team plane from St. Louis got into JFK at 3 a.m. EDT, the team bus arriving at a Manhattan hotel at 4:15 a.m. A car awaited Yonder Alonso a little after noon, taking him to Secaucus, N.J., where he was interviewed by the MLB Network tag-team of Larry Bowa and Matt Yallof for a national baseball-talk show.

Only a few hours later, Padres pitcher Clayton Richard walked into the visiting clubhouse at Citi Field, pointed at the nearest of several televisions in the room and shouted “Whoa!!!” Just about the only person in the room not watching the replay of the aforementioned interview, featuring several close-ups of Alonso, was Alonso himself. Fact is, everyone was impressed with how comfortable their young first baseman looked fielding questions and handling the spotlight

Indeed, it’s New York, and this could be the start of something big.

“I think it’s a little early, real early, but yes,” said Padres manager Bud Black. “The last three weeks or so — I can’t point to a certain day, but it coincided with him getting a few hits and started playing better defense — but whatever it was, it seemed to I think it triggered a better feeling of who he is as a player. He’s been able to hit his entire life, and when that’s the case, I think it gives you a certain confidence.

“I get the sense about him now that now we’re seeing who he truly is. But, again, it’s really, really early.”

So much about the current Padres club is in the “really, really early stages,” as evidenced by a wretched record and last-place status and the makeshift roster with call-ups throughout the clubhouse. But it’s also quite evident that Alonso is asserting himself as not only a player — batting an even .300 as he arrived in the Big Apple — but as a budding leader who stands out and stands up in desperate times.

“It’s important that you have those guys,” said Black, “ those guys who, even when they’re not playing well, they stand up and speak on behalf of the team and represent the organization on a daily basis. Guys who don’t walk away from it. Every day. Good or bad.”

Alonso is only 24 years old, barely more than a rookie in terms of big-league experience, having played 69 games over two call-ups with the Cincinnati Reds before this season. He said he quietly studied the veteran ways of Scott Rolen, Joey Votto and Ramon Hernandez and learned much about how to carry yourself, but he also feels that his exposure to big-time ball at the college level with the University of Miami program prepared him for the attention that comes in the majors.

Thursday was Alonso’s first appearance in a major league game in New York. He busts into a huge smile when he someone says that there are those who take to New York — and the bigness of it — and those who don’t.

“I like it,” said Alonso. “I like New York. I like Chicago. I like Miami. I just like places like this. It brings the best out in you. You’ve gotta bring it. Of course, you’re going to have bad series wherever you are, because that’s baseball. But I welcome it.”


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(utsandiego.com)
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