Jim Carrey Is a Devin Hester Fan


Jim Carrey's new movie, The Number 23, has opened today to terrible reviews. But if film critics don't like Carrey's work, at least one football player does: Bears return man Devin Hester joined Carrey at the film's premiere and posed with him in the picture you see here.

Hester had heard that Carrey admired him but didn't know for sure until speaking to the actor at the movie premiere Tuesday night. "They told me he was a big fan, but I didn't know [for certain] until I actually got a chance to meet him in person. He was going crazy," Hester said. "He was talking about how he had told the press before the Super Bowl that No. 23 Devin Hester was going to do something special in the Super Bowl."

Get it? Hester wears 23 on his jersey, and Carrey's movie is called The Number 23. Carrey was right about Hester doing something special in the Super Bowl, but Carrey's performance in the movie is more likely to draw comparisons to Rex Grossman.


Willis McGahee Update

Jauron put any rumors about Willis McGahee's position with the team to rest.

"Willis is our starting runningback," Jauron said. "He's a performer. He works hard. He works through injuries, an awfully tough guy. Willis is our runningback as we go into the offseason."


UM's Olsen may be best of tight ends class

INDIANAPOLIS UM's loss is the NFL's gain.

Greg Olsen's decision to leave UM after his junior season has bolstered what is generally considered a weak year for tight end draft prospects. Olsen began making his push Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine to become the first player at the position selected in April's draft.

"Every year Miami does have guys who come out early, but this was purely an individual decision on my part," Olsen said. "I'd already obtained my degree [in criminology] and graduated early, so I didn't have to worry about going back at a later date. I played a lot of games at the college level the past three years, so I thought I was ready."

McIntosh back in his hometown

GAFFNEY -- Fresh off his NFL rookie season, Roger "Rocky" McIntosh is only too happy to be in his first offseason.

The Gaffney native is especially glad to be back in the South, where the weather is warm -- warmer, anyhow -- than up north where his Washington Redskins play.

"Oh man, don't even start talking about (cold weather). I spent three days trying to dig out my garage, my driveway, my sidewalk before I came here," McIntosh said Thursday night. "I'm glad to be back down here. It's pretty warm.

"The only thing I really wanted on draft day was to end up somewhere pretty warm, but I'm in Washington … so it is what it is."

Mike Piazza adjusting to a world without glove

PHOENIX - One of the arguments in favor of the designated-hitter rule is that it allows star hitters to extend their careers.

Growing up outside Philadelphia, following the Phillies, Mike Piazza probably didn't think that was a good enough reason to mess with baseball's traditions. Spending his entire career in the NL wouldn't have changed his mind, especially while he was in the process of amassing more homers as a catcher than any player in history.

But Piazza is 38 now. All those years of crouching behind home plate have taken their toll on his knees and his back.

Which is how the future Hall of Famer found himself sitting outside the Oakland Athletics' clubhouse at the Papago Park Baseball Complex on Thursday.

Winslow's surgery was more extensive

CLEVELAND (AP) - Kellen Winslow underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee last month, a more extensive procedure than was initially revealed and one that will require a longer recovery.

The Browns' tight end, who tied a team record for receptions last season despite being slowed by a bad knee, remains on crutches following the Jan. 30 operation to remove scar tissue and repair cartilage .

The microfracture surgery involves holes being drilled into bone in the knee to promote blood flow and form scar tissue, which replaces any damaged cartilage. Typically, patients need four months of rehab following the procedure.

In a statement following Winslow's most recent surgery, the Browns didn't mention the microfracture procedure, indicating only that the 23-year-old had surgery to "remove scar tissue and repair some cartilage damage."

Piazza Catching Up With Life in the AL

PHOENIX - Mike Piazza appears perfectly comfortable with his new gig, even if he's really not. He smiled Thursday as he made his way onto the field minus catching gear for the first time in his career, the last member of the Oakland Athletics to get outside for stretching as he embarked on becoming a full-time designated hitter.

At 38, Piazza is ready to begin a new baseball life. The A's don't want him to catch at all to ensure that he stays healthy _ and manager Bob Geren asked him to take it easy in drills Thursday.

Piazza stood in the back of the group once he was on the field, doing some warming up on his own before the A's got going because he couldn't stay still on Day 1.

After 15 seasons as a catcher, he will be playing in the American League and as a regular DH for the first time, hitting cleanup for the defending AL West champions. His arrival at Oakland's Papago Park complex drew a Barry Bonds-like media crowd along with a large group of fans.

Alouettes look to Walter Payton's son Jarrett to add punch to running game

MONTREAL (CP) - Signing NFL legend Walter Payton's son was almost as big for Montreal Alouettes coach and general manager Jim Popp as it was for 26-year-old Jarrett Payton.

A Walter Payton poster adorns Popp's office wall and there are no fewer than six action figures of the former Chicago Bears running back in his collection of momentos. Now he looks forward to having Payton's six-foot, 225-pound son carry the ball in the Canadian Football League next season.

"Walter Payton was my favourite player," Popp said Thursday as Jarrett was introduced to the Montreal media after signing for one year plus an option.

Payton held up jersey No. 33 - his Hall of Famer father made No. 34 famous in Chicago - and said he was grateful for the chance "to show you my talent and help bring the Grey Cup back to Montreal."

Bunting boo-boo sidelines Graves

Tucson - After getting tattooed, reliever Danny Graves sat out today's practice.

No, hitters didn't pummel Graves into submission. He actually received a color touchup on his many tattoos Wednesday and was sidelined with a strained left oblique muscle suffered while bunting.

Graves skipped today's bullpen session, but plans to throw Sunday. He was more annoyed by his injury than concerned since he purposely didn't take batting practice to avoid getting hurt.

"I already have two home runs (in the major leagues). I don't need any more, so I was slug bunting," Graves said. "I could have thrown today, but there was no reason to rush it. I will be fine."

Alouettes sign Jarrett Payton


MONTREAL (CP) - The son of legendary running back Walter Payton has signed with the Montreal Alouettes.
Jarrett Payton agreed to a one-year deal with Montreal that includes an option.

Like his father, the 26-year-old Payton is a running back and has spent the past three years with the NFL's Tennessee Titans. He appeared in 13 games.

Payton also spent time in NFL Europe with Amsterdam, where he won a championship in 2005 while being named a league all-star.

Walter Payton dominated the NFL with the Chicago Bears between 1975 and 1987. He had 3,838 carries for 16,726 yards and 110 touchdowns.


Eric Winston Update

Offensive tackle: Even though the Texans drafted two tackles in the third round last season, left tackle Charles Spencer is still in the midst of rehab from a serious knee injury and right tackle Eric Winston may be best suited to play guard.


Winslow recovery will take months - Type of knee surgery isn't always successful

INDIANAPOLIS - Kellen Winslow's comeback from offseason knee surgery will be quite a bit more involved than first impressions indicated.

Winslow, a Browns tight end, had microfracture surgery on his right knee Jan. 30, a process that takes four months to rehab.

The surgery is delicate, and although results have improved, it has not always been successful.

Microfracture surgery replaces damaged or lost cartilage. Small holes are drilled in the knee bone to promote blood flow. Scar tissue forms, replacing the damaged cartilage.

Mike Mayock on Jon Beason

"At linebacker, there are some interesting kids this year because of the juniors that came out. Jon Beason from Miami is under some people's radar. He might be the best linebacker in the draft."


Bill Conlin | Can't blame Burrell for awful Aprils

IT IS ALMOST an article of faith that the latter-day Phillies crash and burn in April. It is not only their cruelest month,
it is the month when they are

autopsied and interred under the avalanche of the Eagles draft, minicamps and other

NFL minutiae.

Each spring training we are peppered by conflicted messages. The left channel says, "The exhibitions mean nothing; we're just getting in our work and waiting for the bell to ring." The right channel blares, "We've got to hit the ground running. A fast start is crucial."

Vernon Carey Update

At right tackle, Vernon Carey has emerged as a star… .or at least as much of a star as a right tackle can be. Carey’s selection on draft day 2004 was somewhat maligned since the team unnecessarily gave up a 4th round pick to get him, but the fact is this: Carey is the only legitimate top 10 player at his position on this line. That’s no small feat since he was shuffled among several different positions before he was finally settled in at right tackle. Football Outsiders tells us that the Phins were 2nd in the NFL in Adjusted Line Yards when they ran over right tackle, and 6th in the NFL when they ran over right end. He is a fixture, and should remain at right tackle for the next 10 years.


Kellen Winslow Update

Tight end Kellen Winslow is still on crutches after surgery to repair cartilage damage in his knee. "We're expecting him to be back and ready to go sometime in June or July," Savage said.


How Does Michael Irvin Rank Amongst the Top Receivers of All-Time?

Last week I wrote a couple of posts about methods for ranking the great wide receivers. Based on some good discussion in the comments following those posts, I’ve modified the method somewhat and am close to being comfortable calling it a Definitive Ranking System (as definitive as such things can ever be, anyway). But that’s a post for later in the week if all goes well.

For now I want to talk about the one guy who always appears near the top of these kinds of lists but who isn’t usually thought of as one of the all-time greats: Michael Irvin. Among all receivers whose careers started since the merger, Irvin ranked #2 in the receiving yardage category of the Gray Ink rating system I posted last week. He ranked #1 among all receivers debuting in 1978 or later according to this system that I posted back in May, and he ranked #7 among all receivers debuting since 1970 in my favorite WR ranking system EVER (though I admit it’s one that probably doesn’t produce the “best” rankings, it’s the one I like best in theory).

Irvin’s prime was something to behold:

Video Feature of Jeff Feagles' Career

Check out a feature that was done by the NFL Network on Jeff Feagles' career. It's a funny feature and gives great insight in the league leader in consecutive games played. Click at the top on NFL U Video Highlights or click here!

Andrew Williams Update

The Orlando Predators waived defensive lineman Andrew Williams.


Miami's Olsen aims for first round in NFL draft

Greg Olsen has been preparing for the job interview of a lifetime for six weeks.

He has a degree in criminology from the University of Miami in his back pocket.

His previous work as a tight end, first as a high school All-American at Wayne Hills and then for three seasons at Miami, is complete. Attractive footnotes on his football resume.

His professional future -- at least the start of it -- now depends on how impressive Olsen can be during this week's NFL combine in Indianapolis.

Michael Irvin, ESPN part ways

FORT WORTH, Texas - Michael Irvin has lost his ESPN gig, barely two weeks after being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Cowboys' all-time leading receiver spent four years as an NFL studio analyst for the all-sports network.

ESPN decided Friday "as part of an annual evaluation" not to exercise an option in Irvin's contract, it was confirmed Saturday.

"Michael Irvin will not be returning to ESPN," said network spokesman Bill Hofheimer.

"We thank him for his contributions and wish him well."

Huff excited to get started

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. // With more than one type of glove in his locker, Aubrey Huff says he doesn't care where the Orioles play him this season. It's obvious that he's satisfied just being in their clubhouse.

Huff reported today, the latest position player to arrive before Tuesday's due date. After spending parts of seven seasons with the Devil Rays, and still living in Tampa, he didn't have far to travel.

"This is a short drive for me to come down here," he said. "I wanted to get here early and get everything set up, get my apartment set up over here and meet everybody slowly but surely."

More from Huff

Here's a little more on Aubrey Huff:

Before coming to Fort Lauderdale, he did an internet search to find the list of players who would be in camp. That's how he learned that he'd be reunited with former Tampa Bay teammate Rob Bell. The guy clearly is excited to be an Oriole.

Huff's busy winter included being married on Jan. 27. "Hopefully, she'll bring us some good luck this year," he said of his new wife.

Asked which Orioles pitcher was the toughest for him to face as a member of the Devil Rays, he replied: "Bedard, by far, lefty on lefty. Cabrera, when he was throwing strikes and he was on...man. We would go to the dugout and say, 'How does this guy get hit when he throws strikes?' He's amazing when he throws strikes."

Last Week's Top proCanes.com Stories

- Update: Irvin Parts Ways with ESPN
- Burrell Unfazed By Off-Season Criticism
- Walter Payton's son receives award
- Myths about Burrell exposed
- Time for Phillies' Pat Burrell to answer his critics
- Willis McGahee Update
- Rob Hite update
- Martin Bibla Update
- Wayne helps AFC gain win - Colts WR totals 6 catches, including 72-yard TD