Bryant McKinnie Visits Palmetto Elementary School in Miami

proCanes.com had the opportunity yesterday to follow Bryant McKinnie for a few hours while doing an interview to Palmetto Elementary School in Miami. Bryant was greeted with cheers by a large group of students in the Media Center of the school and spent time answering their questions, signing autographs and taking photos.

He walked students through a week in the life of an NFL player, answered questions like: “are you married?”, “what was your worst injury?”, “how is it blocking for Adrian Peterson and Brett Favre?”, “what’s the hardest part of your job?” and many more. Bryant spent almost two hours of his time with the kids and looked to enjoy every minute of it. Check out our exclusive photos below.











Bookmark and Share

Lance Hurdle Drafted in the NBA D League

Lance Hurdle was drafted on Thursday night in the 2009 NBA D League Draft. Lance was drafted in the 5th round by the Bakersfield Jam. Lance will be heading back to the state of California where he is originally from. Stay tuned next week for an exclusive Tracking proCanes feature with Lance Hurdle. Best of Luck Lance and Congratulations.




Bookmark and Share

Watch Leon Searcy & Gerard Daphnis Talk Hurricanes Football & An Exclusive Danyell Ferguson Interview

Click here to see the episode at Canes4Life.com




Bookmark and Share

D.J. Williams finally could make the Pro Bowl

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- This time last year, Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams was thinking Pro Bowl. Now, he doesn't care.

Williams started to consider the possibility of his first Pro Bowl last year, but missed some time with an injury and didn't make it. He vowed not to think about it this year.

"I think I was on good pace last year and was all excited about it," Williams said. "I just decided to play and whatever happens, happens."

The irony is this could finally be his year. Williams is on pace for 128 tackles, but he has also added some big plays. He has two sacks, a half sack behind his career best in a season. He has already tied a career best with two forced fumbles. Williams said his goal is to make more big plays in the last two months of the season.

Williams is the only linebacker who stays on the field in all situations for the Broncos, who have the top-ranked defense in the NFL. And team success could be what finally gets Williams enough Pro Bowl votes.

"You don't want to be the guy on a bad defense," Williams said. "I'd give away personal productivity for the productivity of the defense."

Williams said he likes the versatility of being the weakside inside linebacker in the new 3-4 scheme. He lines up in different spots, and can drop back in coverage or rush the quarterback based on the play. He took to it immediately, and others noticed.

"He looks very comfortable," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. "There's not a lot of hesitation that you might see from people who are part of a new scheme. It's obvious he has the instincts, it's obvious he worked hard to get comfortable quickly."


Bookmark and Share
(newsobserver.com)

Haji-Rasouli Nominated As An Outstanding Lineman

This morning, local chapters of the Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) have named their nominees for the Gibson's Finest CFL Player Awards. In this first ballot, FRC representatives from each CFL city plus the respective head coach submitted votes for the six categories. Voters were asked to select players from their local CFL club who through on-field performance excellence, best represent the five award catagories: Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Canadian Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman, Most Outstanding Rookie, and Most Outstanding Special Teams Player.

Sherko Haji-Rasouli gets his first nomination as the Lions' Outstanding Lineman after helping anchor the line from his right guard position. Haji-Rasouli, in tandem with fellow veterans Angus Reid and Jason Jimenez, head up one of the CFL's most intimidating offensive lines and have powered the Lions to rank second only to Montreal in passing TD's on the season (27).


Bookmark and Share
(oursportscentral.com)

Portis Says He's Not Performing To His Potential

Just a few weeks ago, Redskins RB Clinton Portis was proclaiming that "it's only a matter of time before I have a 200-yard game." On Wednesday he conceded that he isn't performing up to his potential. "If I felt like I've executed the way I executed in the past, I don't think we'd be 2-5," Portis said. "At 2-5, everybody has to look at themselves. I can't tell you nobody on this team who can go and say, 'Well, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.' Even if you are, you need to do extra."


Bookmark and Share
(gridironstuds.com)

Hester misses Bears Practice Again

As the Bears took to the practice field at Halas Hall Thursday, wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester walked out in sweat pants and not carrying his helmet.

Hester, who has an ankle injury, missed practice Wednesday as well.

On Wednesday, however, Hester said he would not miss the Bears game Sunday against the Cardinals.

If Hester can't play, the Bears likely would have to start rookie Johnny Knox and make Devin Aromashodu the third wide receiver.


Bookmark and Share
(chicagobreakingsports.com)

Reggie Wayne Doesn't Practice

Reggie Wayne did not practice Thursday, according to the Colts' official website. Wayne has been dealing with a groin ailment, but today's absence was non-injury related. The stud receiver should play against the Texans on Sunday, who are ranked 14th in pass defense.


Bookmark and Share
(gridironstuds.com)

Is Edgerrin James Hall-worthy? Chances iffy

Defiantly, or perhaps obliviously, Edgerrin James told reporters in Seattle last month, ``It's up to me how long I want to play and how far I move up that [all-time rushing] chart.'' If only.

The Seahawks cut James this week and, as a high-mileage 31-year-old running back in sharp decline, the great former Miami Hurricane might be done with his NFL career because the league says so -- not him.

James inched up to 10th on the all-time list with 12,246 yards and even as a reserve may have had the chance this season to climb to eighth, ahead of Jim Brown (12,312) and Marshall Faulk (12,279). Now, 10th might be as high as he gets.

The Hall of Fame could be James' next career climb, but that's steep and I'd call his chances iffy. Four Pro Bowls, two rushing titles and only one first-team All-Pro season (as a rookie in 1999) might be too modest a résumé for even a top-10 yardage niche to overcome. A 4.0 career yards-per-carry average doesn't help.

An indication of James' Canton hopes could come in 2010 when Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis become eligible. They rank fourth and fifth in career yards, yet are not seen as locks. If either gets in, James could have a chance, albeit one I wouldn't bet on.


Bookmark and Share
(miamiherald.com)

McGahee Could Be Long Snapper

The Ravens continued to miss defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (ankle) and long snapper Matt Katula (elbow) in Thursday’s practice. 

It was the second day in a row neither player could participate.

Ngata was nowhere to be found in the locker room on Thursday, but defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said he was optimistic he would have the 6-foot-4, 345-pound Ngata in the lineup this Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“That’s the trainers’ decision all the way, but I like Haloti,” Mattison explained.  “I think Haloti will do what he has to, to play.”

If Ngata does not play at Paul Brown Stadium, his likely replacement would be defensive tackle Justin Bannan, who was a regular starter last year for an injured Kelly Gregg.

“This is a very physical league,” said Mattison. “You always are going to be as good as the next guy coming in. So, we feel strongly that the next guy coming in is going to do his job, if [Ngata] is not there. But like I said, I feel very good about Haloti.”

Meanwhile, it is uncertain who the Ravens would plug in for a potentially absent Katula. 

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg quickly dismissed the question when he was asked by a group of reporters on Thursday.  The Ravens do not have a backup for Katula listed on the depth chart.

“You looked at the depth chart and couldn’t find one?” Rosburg said.  “Well, that’s curious.”

Running back Willis McGahee could actually be that substitute.  He attempted a few long snaps during the portion of practice open to the media, something he performed in training camp.

When asked about his outlook for Katula, Rosburg simply stated, “I have no information for you on that.”


Bookmark and Share
(blogs.baltimoreravens.com)

Wilfork welcomes Miami fight

FOXBORO - They fool no one, which is something Vince Wilfork [stats] likes, but what he likes even more about the Miami Dolphins [team stats] is that they come to do what he comes to stop.

Whatever else you may say about them, the Dolphins come to the stadium to run the football and Vince Wilfork comes there to prevent that from happening. There is nothing fancy about either end of that equation. For both, it means a day of pain and for one it likely means a day of frustration that will spell defeat when it’s over.

It is not often in this day of “hands off the quarterback” refereeing and “hands off the receivers” defending and “hand off the ball only when you have to” attacking that you will find a team that approaches offense the way the Dolphins do. They don’t play West Coast offense. They play “West Side Story” offense. They come to punch you in the mouth.
Vince Wilfork is all for that.

“One thing is sure, we’re gonna have to tackle,” Wilfork said yesterday of the task that awaits Sunday in facing the NFL’s third-most productive rushing attack, one that attacks not only with Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams but often with both of them in the hybrid, Wildcat offense that undressed Wilfork and his teammates when first unveiled a year ago. “They want to run the football. That’s the challenge for us. On Sunday, you’re gonna see a big-time match.”

To date, that match has served the Dolphins well, although judging from their 3-4 record, not as well as the Dolphins would have hoped. They are third in the NFL in rushing, averaging 153.4 yards a game on the ground, and have been gashing defenses for 4.6 yards a carry.

When they have gone to the two-back, no-quarterback Wildcat (in which Brown takes the direct snap and most often either runs a sweep, hands off to Williams on a speed sweep or bolts up the middle), they are averaging 5.8 yards per carry, having used it 44 times (40 runs, four passes) this season. In other words, they move the chains by moving back guys like Wilfork.

What Wilfork surmises from this is, Wildcat or not, the Dolphins are coming to Gillette Stadium hell bent on running over him, around him or through him. This intention is verified in many ways, but the easiest is the fact that of the 32 teams in the NFL only three - the Dolphins, the Jets and, surprisingly, the Saints - run the ball more often than they throw. The likelihood that will suddenly change Sunday is like the end of most soccer games: nil and nil.

Some people who do what Wilfork does for a living (which could be loosely described as hand-to-hand combat without bayonets) might not be too excited about spending an afternoon slugging it out with such a team, one that has rushed for no less than 137 yards in five of the year’s first seven games.

Wilfork pondered that fact and what it meant for a moment before concluding, “Gonna be a fight.” He did not seem daunted by the thought.

“We’re going to have our mind right,” Wilfork said, smiling broadly. “That’s my style of game. They’re not trying to trick you. They’re going to try to run the ball.”

Stopping the run is what Wilfork is built to do. Nose tackle in a 3-4 front is a job requiring many things but the major prerequisites are relentlessness, a blind refusal to acknowledge pain and a low center of gravity. That and, in Wilfork’s case, surprising athleticism for a man who is 6-foot-2 and weighs somewhere between 325 and a few steaks more than that.

It is a nasty job under the best of circumstances and Sunday it will be at its nastiest because Wilfork must not only cope with an offensive line that averages 325.6 pounds and is surly by nature but also with two of the league’s most dangerous combinations of power and speed, Williams and Brown.

Wilfork willingly acknowledged all that yesterday. He talked about how Miami’s linemen are “powerful, strong, physical guys.” He said Williams is “a tough runner to bring down and Ronnie Brown is, too, now.”
He gave them their props, and then he had a little reminder for them.

“They’re strong, they can move, they’re powerful and they want to be physical,” he said. “If we don’t have our mind right it’s going to be a long day for us, but I think we understand how we want to play this game. We’re looking forward to it and I’m sure they’re looking forward to it.”

He wasn’t smiling then. Not smiling at all.


Bookmark and Share
(bostonherald.com)

Olsen limited in practice

According to Brad Biggs on Twitter, tight end Greg Olsen was limited in practice on Wednesday due to an ankle injury.

Our View: Olsen injured himself in Sunday's game against the Browns, but it isn't considered to be serious. He should play against the Cardinals, but doesn't have a great matchup. If you have a better TE1 option or flex play at this point it's probably safer to go with that one.


Bookmark and Share
(rototimes.com)

Reed not a fan of Ochocinco's "tweets"

The Twitter wave may have washed through the NFL ranks, but don't count Ed Reed among the devotees.

In fact, the free safety was practically disdainful when asked if he reads Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco's Twitter postings.

"No, I don't," Reed said. "Next question. I don't care for his tweets."


Bookmark and Share
(baltimoresun.com)

Hester misses Wednesday practice

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester claims his injured right ankle is fine, and he expects to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

"I'll be ready this week," Hester said Wednesday.

Hester hurt the ankle in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

"It was on the screen pass that I caught," Hester said. "When I got tackled at the one-yard line, the guy just rolled and landed on my leg awkwardly. Bent it back a little bit. I'll be alright."

Bears head coach Lovie Smith is hopeful Hester will return to practice Thursday.


Bookmark and Share
(espn.com)

Reggie Wayne & Devin Hester Intrguing Players of Week 9

Reggie Wayne — When you watch this master craftsman ply his trade, it's almost inconceivable that he was considered something of a disappointment early in his career. Wayne was a first-round draft pick in 2001 but didn't become a full-time starter for the Colts until 2003, and he didn't have a 1,000 season until 2004. Now, he's working on a sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season and is on pace to record career highs in catches, receiving yardage and TDs. But Wayne's excellence goes beyond the numbers. To watch him is to appreciate just how brilliant he has become. Wayne has neither exceptional size nor track speed, but he knows every nuance of his position, and it seems as if he and QB Peyton Manning have some sort of supernatural telepathy between them. The Colts host the Texans this week, so Wayne will get to compare his skills to those of Andre Johnson in a game that should add new fuel to those best-receiver-in-the-league debates. And here's another debate worth having: When Manning's career is over, who will be considered the best receiver he ever played with - Wayne or Marvin Harrison?

Devin Hester — Compared with his exploits as a kick returner, Hester's steady development as a receiver has drawn relatively little notice. Over his last three games, Hester has hauled in 21 passes for 265 yards. He leads the Bears in receptions and receiving yards, he has become QB Jay Cutler's favorite target, and obviously, Hester is capable of taking it to the house any time he's on the field. However, lousy blocking has been the Bears' bête noir this season, limiting the team's offensive success. If Cutler has time to throw against the Cardinals this week, he and Hester should be a productive pitch-and-catch tandem. If Cutler's protection against Arizona is lousy, all bets are off.


Bookmark and Share
(profootballweekly.com)

Nobody Claims Edgerrin James

Adam Schefter reports on his Twtter feed that no team claimed RB Edgerrin James on waivers. He now is an unrestricted free agent. But the fact that no one claimed him doesn't bode well.


Bookmark and Share
(twitter.com)

Bryant Mckinnie Tours ESPN on Wednesday

Bryant McKinnie flew up to Connecticut Wednesday morning on his off week to go to the ESPN headquarters to film several shows. He kept everyone up-to-date on his whereabouts through his twitter feed. Here are some of his photos.












Bookmark and Share
(twitter.com)

Moss doesn't want fulltime punt return duty

Santana Moss doesn't want to be the fulltime punt returner although he believes he has a knack for it.

"Obviously, when I'm out there, I want to be out there," Moss said. "I just take it the way they give it to me. I don't want no more than what they give to me. I think I still have a knack for doing it. I love the position because it got me to this level, but when it comes to being out there fulltime, I don't really care for that. I've had my share of fulltime duties in New York [for the Jets]. I did enough of that. Now my focus is bigger and different. But when it's asked upon, I'll go out there because I know it's for the team."

Moss said it's not a question of returning punts hurting him as the team's No. 1 receiver.

"Especially when you haven't had the ball a lot offensively, it helps me get into the game," Moss said. "It kinda breaks the ice a little bit if I hadn't had a catch yet. It's just something that certain guys can do. I relish teh moment just to be out there because I know that I'm one block here or one missed tackle from making a big play. A good punt returner is a guy who can make most of the guys miss. Our goal is always to make the first guy miss and get 10 yards."


Bookmark and Share
(washigtontimes.com)

Lewis won't rein in his style

The $25,000 fine that the NFL docked from Ray Lewis' paycheck for his helmet-to-helmet collision with Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco on Oct. 11 won't deter the Ravens middle linebacker from patrolling the middle of the field.

"The game is always going to play out," Lewis said earlier today. "That's what I do, just like what he does is catch the ball. I roam the middle of the field. My job is to be coming in there and delivering whatever blow there is. I don't think [anything] will change. He understands if he comes in there, what's going to go down."

Asked if the hit left an image with opponents who entertained visions of going over the middle, Lewis joked, "Yeah -- the image it left on my doggone checkbook. I'm not running by Chad [any]more."


Bookmark and Share
(baltimoresun.com)

Coach More Talks About Releasing Edgerrin James

Coach More was asked specifically why he cut Edgerrin James now, and not earlier or later ...

"In our attempt to get Louis Rankin some plays and a look and see if we can utilize the speed he has, see if he’s a legitimate possibility as a running in the NFL, you have to put someone down," he said.

Rather than ask Edgerrin James and man of his stature in this league to be inactive and relegate to a position on the scout team during the week, I felt the honorable thing was to let him go."

For all the things that Mora praised James about - professional, good in the locker room, hard worker at practice - the results just weren't there. Edge didn't produce on the field. He rushed for 125 yards on 46 carries and his longest run was 10 yards.


Bookmark and Share
(thenewstribune.com)

Feagles Struggling?

Feagles is the master of punt placement, but for the first time since he has been here Feagles is starting to show some diminished production. We will watch how he performs the rest of the season to determine whether we would bring him back.

Action: If he picks it up and finishes the season strong we would try to squeeze another year out of him.


Bookmark and Share
(nyg.scout.com)

Cops getting fit with Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis leans over Dennis Rafferty (left), their faces inches apart.  Ray yells: "Focus. Focus. Focus."

Rafferty's face winces in pain. He's doing situps, twisting his upper body as it rises, his feet held by Sabrina Tapp-Harper.

The Ravens star linebacker is in his face, screaming words of encouragement, as if this were Sunday and he's motivating players to crush the opposing team.

"Finish! Finish! Finish!

Finaly over, laughs as he helps the large man to his feet. "That's what I'm talking about," Ray says.

Rafferty gives a high-five to Sabrina and looks like he's going to collapse.

"They're killing me," he says, wiping his forehead.

It's Tuesday evening and Ray Lewis and his team of trainers are in a Baltimore police gym at the training academy on West Northern Parkway in Park Heights, helping city cops get fit. Several months ago, Ray approached police and asked to help with something, and free work-out sessions on Tuesdays is what they came up with.

Rafferty, a 21-year veteran, is a former homicide detective who now works at the training center helping new recruits become cops. Four years ago, doctors diagnosed him with leukemia, and he battled through treatment and is now in full remission. Now he wants to lose 140 pounds.

The workout session done, leaving even Ray with a sweaty shirt, Baltimore's football icon handed Dennis an award for consistency and told him, "Forget everything else. the only thing that follows work is results. And that's what I tell Dennis every step of the way."

About a dozen cops participated in Tuesday's session and Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III watched from the sidelines, joking and challenging his public affairs team to join him next week on the mats. He even took out his Blackberry and assured Agent Donny Moses that his schedule was clear for next Tuesday.

The commissioner said Ray's sessions "gives back to the whole city. ... We're grateful for his community commitment. These are things that we teach in the police academy, but we get caught up in the daily crime fight and in our lives and it's not something that we continue."

Lewis treated the workout session like a football training drill, minus, of course, the hard hitting.

"Speed it up!" he yelled.

"Up one, Up two, Up three ..."

"That's work right there. That's work right there. We just got better right now."

"No pain, no gain. No pain, no gain." "Mind body spirit. Mind body spirit."

"That's somebody who wants some. That's someobody who tasted some."


Bookmark and Share
(baltimoresun.com)

Wilfork: “If we don’t come to play, it’s going to be a long day for us.”

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork can always diagnose a situation, whether in the trenches or at his locker. Predictably, the big man is, as he’d say “quite sure” the Dolphins will run the ball, run the ball and run the ball.

And, thanks to Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, they’ll be tough doing it.

“Oh yeah. You have a couple teams in the league that are built like this,” said Wilfork, right, in Matthew West’s picture from today’s practice. “They’re strong, they can move, they’re powerful, they tackle well, they do a lot of good things well and they want to be physical. If we don’t have our mind right, once again, it’s going to be a long day for us again, but I think we understand how we want to play this game.”

Wilfork, the birthday boy, recalled the Dolphins torching them last year with the Wildcat to a tune of 119 yards on six carries. Expecting a surprise this time?

“We haven’t seen what they’re going to do,” Wilfork said. “But they’ll want to run the football, so that’s a challenge for us.“


Bookmark and Share
(bostonherald.com)

Portis: No need for Snyder to apologize

As far as running back Clinton Portis is concerned, owner Daniel Snyder didn't need to apologize to fans Tuesday. But maybe the players do.

"It didn't take him to speak. We know we're a disappointment. I hear people [say], 'You just gotta hear it out of somebody else's mouth.' We know we haven't played up to par. It didn't take Mr. Snyder to step up and say, 'We apologize,'" Portis said. "We'll apologize to our fans. We'll apologize to our coaches. It's us. We got to play up to par. We can't put that on him.

"Him saying he apologized won't make our record better than 2-5 or make people forgive us for being 2-5 or make everyone say, 'We're coming to the game. He apologized.'"

Quarterback Jason Campbell said he hadn't heard Snyder's apology to fans. But he was asked whether fan frustration is more intense than past years and responded, "Obviously."

"You can hear it; you can see it," he said. "And we're frustrated also."

Receiver Santana Moss said fans who turn their back on the team, "To me, that's not a real fan.

"For the ones that's truly behind us, you feel sorry and we are ashamed," Moss said. "But to the ones that's not, we're still ashamed. But there's nothing we can do about what you're letting out to us with your anger and signs and whatever else you got going."

Portis also used his media availability Wednesday to clarify his relationship with Snyder. The joke around Redskins Park is that Joe Gibbs used to call Portis an assistant general manager.

"Our relationship has been under so much scrutiny, and everyone think I get my own way and that I run to Mr. Snyder. I don't," Portis said. "I have a working relationship with Mr. Snyder. ...I think it's a great thing when you can go into work and speak to your boss. I've never had a 9-to-5, but I'm sure in the regular world, you speak to your boss when you go to work.

"So many people feel that I'm in charge and so many people [are] so worried about our relationship. I don't think our relationship is nothing major. I think we speak, we talk, we laugh, we joke and so on. I've never spent the night at his house or did anything special. It's just a cool relationship.

"But because I'm under so much scrutiny everyone thinks I have so much power. I kind of keep my distance. I speak and keep it moving. There's so much ill will toward me or what I'm doing. Not knowing, people always assume, 'How did Clinton get out of this?' It's not Clinton trying to get out of anything or being an [butt] kisser or running to Mr. Snyder. But I think I go out and bust my butt on the field, and he appreciates that."


Bookmark and Share
(washigtonpost.com)

UM Sports Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2010

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce its Class of 2010, headed by football All-American tight end Bubba Franks, All-American pitcher Alex Santos and current major league baseball player Jason Michaels.  Joining them are Olympic diver Jenny Keim Johanson, tennis star Sid Schwartz, football player Jim Cox, basketball's Ed Morris, and women's athletic administrator Connie Nickel.

The Class of 2010 will officially be inducted at the 42nd annual UM Sports Hall of Fame Induction Banquet to be held in the Spring.

The UM Sports Hall of Fame is located next to the Hecht Athletic Center on the university campus and is open free to the public.   For information on the banquet go to UMSportsHallofFame.com.

Bubba Franks                Football                    1997-1999

Daniel "Bubba" Franks won the 1999 Jack Harding Award as UM's Most Valuable Player.  A two-time first team All-Big East selection ('98 & '99), he was named first team All-American by The Sporting News and The Football News, and a 2nd team All-American by the Associated Press in 1999.  His 12 career touchdown passes caught is a UM record for  tight ends, and tied for 6th all-time among all receivers, along with fellow inductee Jim Cox.  He amassed 77 receptions for 1,038 yards.  Born in Riverside, Ca., he came to Miami out of Big Spring (Tx.) High School.  Drafted in the 1st round of the 2000 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers (14th overall), Bubba would be a 3 time Pro Bowl selection and in his 9 NFL season, catch 262 passes for 2,347 yards and 32 touchdowns.
 
Jason Michaels                Baseball                1997-1998

Jason was one of Coach Jim Morris' most potent offensive weapons during the school's NCAA record streak of College World Series appearances.  The Tampa native still holds school records for most doubles in a season (32 in '97), most total bases in a season (189 in '97) and is tied for the record for most hits in a season with 106 in 1997, when he led the team in hitting with a .411 batting average.  His RBI total for that same year (89) is 2nd all-time.  He is 2nd in career slugging (.744), 3rd in career batting average (.396) and has the 2nd longest hitting streak in school history at 23 games.  Michaels had his most dramatic impact in an elimination game during the 1997 Atlantic Regional at Mark Light Field, hitting a one out Grand Slam in the bottom of the ninth against Arizona State to keep the Canes alive for another trip to Omaha !  He was drafted by the Phillies in 1998 and has also played for Cleveland, Pittsburgh and last year for the Houston Astros.
 
Alex Santos                       Baseball                1997-1999

In 1998, Alex had one of the best years for a pitcher in Hrricanes history, garnering consensus All-American honors.  He won 15 games against one loss, had an earned run average of 2.54 with 142 strikeouts in 110 innings, including 7 starts with 10 or more K's and went 2-0 in the postseason for UM.  He played on the 1998 U.S. National Team.  Recently described by Coach Jim Morris as the "best player in his 16 years at UM", Alex is 2nd all-time in strikeouts (386) and 6th in career wins (37), his 15 victories in '98 are the 3rd highest total in school history, and he is tied for a school record with 8 consecutive K's, against the Gators, in '98.  The Lake Worth High product was also a 1997 Freshman All-American and was selected to the 1999 Verizon/CoSIDA Academic All-American team.  Drafted by Tampa Bay in the 1999 MLB Draft, he spent 8 years in the Rays' and Oakland A's organizations, and is currently a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley.


Bookmark and Share

Former `Cane Kyle Bellamy Joins the Arizona Fall League

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Former University of Miami All-America closer Kyle Bellamy has joined his former Hurricane teammates Yonder Alonso, Scott Maine and Jemile Weeks in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

Bellamy, a prospect for the Chicago White Sox organization, joined the Peoria Javelinas of the AFL over the weekend, tossing a scoreless inning in first appearance on Monday.

"This is a big opportunity for me and I'm looking forward to playing alongside and against some of the game's top prospects," Bellamy said. "I'm just thankful for the chance to go out there and compete in such a prestigious league."

The Arizona Fall League is six-team league owned and operated by Major League Baseball and is comprised of many of the game's top young players, including the top overall pick in the 2009 draft in right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

As a junior for Miami in 2009, Bellamy was among the national collegiate save leaders with 16. In 46 1/3 innings pitched, the Davie, Fla. native allowed just five earned runs while striking out 63 and holding his opponents to a .147 batting average against him. In a team-high 30 appearances, Bellamy went 3-1 with a miniscule 0.97 ERA, giving up just two extra-base hits all year while converting all of his save opportunities. Twelve of his 16 saves on the year came in more than an inning of work.

The 18th Annual Arizona Fall League began on Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 19. The Rising Stars game is slated for Nov. 7, with the league championship game set for Nov. 21.

While at UM, Bellamy played alongside Maine in 2007 and Alonso and Weeks in 2007 and 2008. Maine was selected in sixth round of the 2007 draft, Alonso and Weeks were taken in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft while Bellamy was taken in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.

Weeks currently plays for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, Maine plays for the Scottsdale Scorpions while Alonso plays for Peoria's other the team - the Saguaros.

Every game of the fall league can be followed live on Gameday on MLB.com and MLBFallBall.com.


Bookmark and Share
(mlb.com)

NFL U Week 8 Photos

Check out Week 8 photos from around the the NFL of our proCanes. Click here to see the photos.





Bookmark and Share

proCanes Extend TD Streak to 113 Regular Season Weeks

Did you know that a former Miami Hurricane/current proCane has scored at least one touchdown in 113 consecutive regular season NFL weeks? Dating back to Week 15 of the 2002 season where Clinton Portis scored 4 TDs, at least one proCane has scored a TD in each regular season week since then. We have chronicled every touchdown since 2002. See below:

Week 8 2009:
Frank Gore - 1 TD - San Francisco 49ers
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts

Week 7 2009:
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts
Brandon Meriweather - INT returned for a TD – New England Patriots
Devin Hester - 1 TD - Chicago Bears

Week 6 2009:
Jeremy Shockey - 1 TD - New Orleans Saints
Greg Olsen - 1 TD - Chicago Bears

Week 5 2009:
Clinton Portis - 2 TDs - Washington Redskins
Ed Reed - INT returned for a TD - Baltimore Ravens
Kellen Winslow - 2 TDs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Andre Johnson - 2 TDs - Houston Texans
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts

Week 4 2009:
Greg Olsen - 1 TD - Chicago Bears
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts
Willis McGahee - 2 TDs - Baltimore Ravens
Santana Moss - 1 TD - Washington Redskins

Week 3 2009:
Santana Moss - 1 TD - Washington Redskins
Willis McGahee - 2 TDs - Baltimore Ravens
Sinorice Moss - 1 TD - NY Giants
Devin Hester - 1 TD - Chicago Bears
Greg Olsen - 1 TD - Chicago Bears
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts

Week 2 2009:
Antrel Rolle - Blocked Field Goal Return for a TD - Arizona Cardinals
Andre Johnson - 2 TDs - Houston Texans
Willis McGahee - 2 TDs - Baltimore Ravens
Kellen Winslow - 1 TD - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Frank Gore - 2 TDs - San Francisco 49ers
Bruce Johnson - 1 TD - New York Giants

Week 1 2009:
Willis McGahee - 2 TDs - Baltimore Ravens
Kellen Winslow - 1 TD - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Reggie Wayne - 1 TD - Indianapolis Colts
Jeremy Shockey - 2 TDs - New Orleans Saints
Frank Gore - 1 TD - San Francisco 49ers
Devin Hester - 1 TD - Chicago Bears

Click below to see the rest of the list:


Bookmark and Share
Read More...

proCanes Stats from Week 8 of NFL U

Andre Johnson: 6 catches for 63 yards

Vince Wilfork: NO GAME, Patriots Bye Week

Brandon Meriweather: NO GAME, Patriots Bye Week

Jeremy Shockey: Led the Saints with 4 catches 55 yards

Jonathan Vilma: 6 tackles, 5 solo tackles, 2 pass deflections

Santana Moss: NO GAME, Redskins Bye Week

Clinton Portis: NO GAME, Redskins Bye Week

Rocky McIntosh: NO GAME, Redskins Bye Week

Calais Campbell: 8 tackles, 6 solo tackles, .5 sack

Antrel Rolle: 4 tackles, 4 solo tackles

Edgerrin James: 6 carries, 17 yards

Kelly Jennings: 1 solo tackles, 1 pass deflection

Frank Gore: 13 carries 91 yards, 1 TD, 5 catches 43 yards

Kellen Winslow: NO GAME, Buccaneers Bye Week

Roscoe Parrish: DID NOT PLAY though he was active and listed as the 3rd string QB

Greg Olsen: 3 catches, 40 yards

Devin Hester: 7 catches, 81 yards, 4 punt returns 47 yards

Darrell McClover: 1 solo tackle

Willis McGahee: 2 carries -1 yard, 1 catch 4 yards

Ray Lewis: 7 tackles, 6 solo tackles

Ed Reed: 4 tackles, 3 solo tackles, tackle for loss, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass deflection

Tavares Gooden: 3 tackles, 2 solo tackles

DJ Williams: 11 tackles, 8 solo tackles, 2 tackles for loss

Sinorice Moss: did not record a reception

Jeff Feagles: 3 punts for 114 yards with a 38 yard average and 1 inside the 20-yard line

Bruce Johnson: 2 solo tackles, 1 sack

Reggie Wayne: 12 catches 147 yards 1 TD

Jon Beason: 11 tackles, 8 solo tackles and 1 pass deflection

Damione Lewis: 1 solo tackle

Phillip Buchanon: 5 solo tackles

Antonio Dixon: 2 solo tackles, 1 sack


Bookmark and Share

What Did Former Canes Think About the Win Against Wake Forest?

Many former Canes tweeted their thoughts after the huge 28 - 27 win by the University of Miami over Wake Forest on Saturday afternoon. You can see each players twitter screen name if you want to follow them as well as their comments. Read below to see their thoughts:

rockym52 (Rocky McIntosh): Btw Go CANES yall thought they were gonna lose huh???

bigmacvikings (Bryant McKinnie): ok made it 2 our hotel! im in my room watching the Canes! come on Miami we r down by 6! Let's Go Get'em!

bigmacvikings (Bryant McKinnie): I'm @ dinner someone update me on the Canes score!

paytonsun (Jarrett Payton): Wow!!!! Thats all i can say!!! Lets go canes!!!

ericwinston (Eric Winston): Man I'm glad the Canes mad that come back win. I was gonna be depressed about that

theLAMARkable36 (Lamar Thomas): Canes gave me a scare! But I love em, and its all about the u!!!!!!

D_Hest23 (Devin Hester): Go canes!


Bookmark and Share

Seahawks part ways with Edgerrin James

A league source tells us that the Seattle Seahawks have released running back Edgerrin James.

James, an 11-year veteran, spent seven years with the Colts before signing with the Cardinals as a free agent in 2006.  He asked to be released after losing his starting job during the 2008 season, but the Cardinals kept him around.  Ultimately, he was re-installed as the starter for the team's inspiring playoff run.

The Cardinals continued to squat on his rights through the draft, during which they picked Ohio State running back Beanie Wells with the 31st selection in round one.

James drew mild interest before landing in Seattle during the latter portion of August.  He rushed for 125 yards on 46 carries, an average of only 2.7 yards per attempt.

Still, his performance was sufficient to pass Marcus Allen on the all-time rushing list.  Currently, James is at No. 10, 33 yards behind Marshall Faulk.

Since the trading deadline has passed, James will be required to pass through waivers.  He has a base salary of $1 million.  If unclaimed, he'll be entitled to collect the balance of base pay ($529,000) as termination pay.

It remains to be seen whether James, a very strong candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame, lands with another team this year.


Bookmark and Share
(profootballtalk.com)

Shockey Performs Well on Monday Night

Shockey performed once again at a very high level. He gets a pass for his drop because the Saints got an offsides penalty on the play. He finished with 5 catches for 72 yards, none bigger than the ridiculous one handed catch he made downfield on an overthrown ball by Brees late in the game. It didn't matter who was covering him, they couldn't stop him. He should have been targeted more.


Bookmark and Share
(canalstreetchronicles.com)

Hester Starting to Pick Up Steam

Anyone who doesn’t think Devin Hester is a legitimate No. 1 receiver hasn’t been paying attention to the past three games.

In that time, Hester has 21 catches, and only the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald has more. Hester’s 21 receptions have produced 265 yards. Maybe even more impressive, in the past two games, Hester has been targeted by Jay Cutler 17 times, and he has 15 catches, meaning that he’s getting open and he’s catching everything close.

For the season, Hester has 35 receptions, 10 more than the nearest teammate, Earl Bennett. Hester has 454 receiving yards, 120 more than Bennett, who is second. That puts Hester on pace for 80 catches and 1,038 yards, which look a lot like go-to-guy numbers.


Bookmark and Share
(min.scout.com)

Buchanon Starts

Phillip Buchanon started at cornerback instead of Anthony Henry, who was inactive. Demarcus Faggins replaced him in the third quarter, with Schwartz calling it part of a rotation. But Faggins left the game with a groin injury, and Buchanon came back in.


Bookmark and Share
(min.scout.com)

Coach Harbaugh talks McGahee

Running back Willis McGahee only got two carries on Sunday, going for minus-one yards, and continues to take a back seat to Ray Rice, who is absolutely on fire. McGahee, who had seven touchdowns in the Ravens' first four games of the season, has just 10 carries the last three games, but Harbaugh said he hasn't heard any complaining from the seven-year vet.

"We've been through this before here," Harbaugh said. "From one week to the next, it looks like a reduced role for this player or that player, and it doesn't end up being that, does it? All of a sudden a guy steps up, and the next game he is carrying the ball 20 times, or he has 10 catches, or he plays on the offensive line as part of a six offensive line package."


Bookmark and Share
(masn.com)

Buck Ortega Works Out For the Patriots

The New England Patriots worked out free-agent TE Robert Myers (Eagles) and free-agent TE Buck Ortega (Saints) Monday, Nov. 2. The team is not expected to sign any of them this week.

Bill Belichick explained the workout: ”It’s two-fold. you get this time of the year, you’re in November, you have some players, some veterans, who may have been on rosters in 2008, who may have been productive . . . there might be some good football players who may have been productive who are still out there, that’s part of it, the other part of it is, you start to look at players who might be able to go on your practice squad. If there’s a player you like coming out of college or the preseason, and you see some positive attributes on that player, you bring them in ,work them out, spend some time with them, have the medical information, and then make a decision on your practice squad, or maybe it’s something for next year.”


Bookmark and Share
(bostonherald.com)

More happy returns

Devin Hester had a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown called back by a holding penalty on Rashied Davis in the fourth quarter. It looked pretty blatant, and Hester, who is two touchdowns short of tying Brian Mitchell for the NFL record with 13 touchdowns, was understanding.

''I ain't tripping,'' he said. ''We still have nine more games left. It ain't the end of the world.''

Hester is averaging 12.5 yards per return, double his production from last season.


Bookmark and Share
(suntimes.com)

Q&A with running back Willis McGahee

Question: The Ravens are 3-1 when you get at least seven touches in a game, but 1-2 when you get six or fewer. Coincidence?
Answer: "I said that to myself, but you know, things just aren't going our way right now regardless of if I'm on the field. But I feel like when I'm on the field, I can help the team a whole lot more than not being out there."

Q: Are you comfortable with the coaches' explanation that there is only one football to share, but that you are still a critical cog in this offense?
A: "At this stage in my life right now, I've learned that you can't cry over spilled milk because if I cry, I'm not going to win that battle. It's just going to make it seem like, 'Oh, McGahee's pouting because he's not touching the ball.' I just take it in stride, man. I take whatever they give me. I try to make the best of my opportunities, but when you don't get as many opportunities as you did in the beginning of the season, there's really nothing I can do about it."

Q: Since 2007 when you gained 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns on 294 carries, you've rushed 217 times for 872 yards and 12 touchdowns. Is this the role you envisioned when the Ravens traded for you before the 2007 season?
A: "Not really, but you've got to look at it like this: Ray [Rice] is the future of the Baltimore Ravens. They brought Ray in, this coaching staff, and you can't do anything but expect Ray to play. It's not like they're going to let him sit on the sidelines. He was a second-round draft pick. So he can't sit on the sidelines. They're getting him ready. I don't know if I'm going to be here next year or the year after, but I'm content with whatever it [his role] is."

Q: Who is the toughest opposing tackler you've faced?
A: "I would say that in the seven years I've played, I would probably have to give it to [ Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy] Polamalu. He's everywhere. When you're running a stretch play and you get to the outside edge, he's right there. And he's not going to hit you high. He's going to take your legs out, so that right there is probably the toughest thing for me."

Q: Considering the punishment running backs absorb, what kind of mentality does it take to be a running back in the NFL?
A: "You have to be cocky. I'm not going to lie, but you have to be cocky. It's like being a DB [defensive back]. You don't want somebody who's out there and just going like, 'Uh, OK, I think I'll go out here and play.' No, you've got to go out there and have swagger. You've got to be ready to do whatever, and you've got to back it up. I've learned that over the years. I used to be a talker, but most people didn't like it when you talked. They would say, 'Shut up. Just play the game.' So now, I've learned to not just talk. I just stand back there and keep it to myself."

Q: What was your welcome-to-the-NFL moment?
A: "[Laughs.] When we played the Tennessee Titans in the preseason, my very first carry and Keith Bullock was like, 'McGahee ... You're not going to run here.' I was sitting there and thinking, 'I don't even know this guy, and he doesn't even know me.' From then on, I was like, 'OK, you can't be nice. You've got to talk [smack].'"

Q: Is there an athlete, entertainer or actor you would pay money out of your pocket to see?
A: "I would pay money to see Beyonce. Who wouldn't pay money to see Beyonce? And I want to see Beyonce. I want to talk to her and give her a hug and try to talk to her. Just about how things are going and if things don't work out, you know. [Laughs.] Can't do nothing but try."

Q: I read that back in 2006, every car you owned was painted black. Is that still true today?
A: "I've got an Infinity truck, which is gray. I switched it up. Just something different."

Q: Who is the bigger car aficionado: you or former Ravens linebacker Gary Stills?
A: "I would give it to Gary, but I go for the more exotic cars. I'm different. I like the Porsche trucks, the [Mercedes Benz] CL600. I try to get things that I know nobody is really going to go out and try to buy. I had a Bentley, but I didn't like it. Eastern Motors gave me a Bentley to drive around, and it was cool at that time, but it wasn't me."

Q: What is your go-to meal? Is there one food you will not touch?
A: "I will not touch liver. [Laughs.] It smells good when you're cooking it, but when you bite into it [Shivers.] Liver and cauliflower. My go-to meal is fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and yams."


Bookmark and Share
(baltimoresun.com)

Reggie Wayne answers all questions

Wide receiver Reggie Wayne entered Sunday’s game with a question mark beside his name.

He exited the Indianapolis Colts’ 18-14 victory against the San Francisco 49ers with an exclamation point.

Wayne caught 12 passes for 147 yards, and he was center stage for the game’s most enduring highlight.

His diving catch of Joseph Addai’s 22-yard pass in the back of the end zone at Lucas Oil Stadium clinched the tight victory.

The trick play was installed in 2006 shortly after Addai, who had been an ESPN All-America quarterback at Sharpstown High School in Houston, was drafted out of LSU.

The Colts only called it once before, and Wayne was flagged for offensive pass interference breaking up a bad pass.

But it resurfaced this week, and Addai was 5-for-5 in practice.

With the Colts’ offense stuck in neutral on the first snap of the fourth quarter, Addai was thinking only about avoiding a turnover.

“You always hear (offensive coordinator) Tom Moore saying it is our ball, or it is nobody’s ball,” Addai said. “Peyton kind of throws it to wherever the defender can’t get it. Obviously, Reggie was by himself.

“Like I said, my rookie year I almost threw an interception. So I was just thinking, ‘Don’t throw an interception.’ Throw it over him or make it go out of bounds. That was pretty much the situation. Reggie, he made me a believer.”
Wayne also made the San Francisco defense believe.

He sold a block on cornerback Shawntae Spencer, pulling him up toward the line of scrimmage. Once Wayne sprinted into the end zone, there were no defenders in sight.

“That was solely my fault,” Spencer said. “All week they told me to focus on the pass and focus on Reggie Wayne. I saw the handoff, and then I came up. I watched hours and hours of film, and it was something I hadn’t seen.

“Talking to Reggie after the game, he said they hadn’t run that play in nine years. It was my fault. I had one responsibility, and that’s pass coverage the whole day. It was one play, and it cost us the game.”

The hardest part for Wayne, apparently, was waiting for the ball.

“It seemed like it was up there forever,” Wayne said. “Plus, (Addai’s) a left-hander. So the ball was spinning the opposite way (from right-handed quarterback Peyton Manning’s). It felt like when I caught it, I was in there by the bathroom somewhere. That’s something we’ve been practicing for years, and we’ve never actually had a chance to do it.”

Wayne stretched out to nearly his full length before landing with the football in the back corner of the end zone.

He then rolled over and spread his arms wide in apparent disbelief.

Tight end Dallas Clark said the catch had a high level of difficulty.

“Joe put it in a very tough place that only Reggie could catch it, and thank goodness Reggie caught it,” Clark said. “It was a great throw, but maybe if somebody was all over Reggie and covering him. When he’s wide open like that, just throw a little lob ball — just a little easy one. Reggie is thinking it’s going to be a layup, and he had to go into an extra gear to get it.”

Wayne entered the game nursing a groin injury, and he had been listed as questionable on the injury report.
There was little questionable about his performance, however.

His day also included a 32-yard gain on a screen pass that helped jump-start Manning after a slow start.

“It’s frustrating for everyone,” Clark said of the offensive struggles. “As players, you’re just kind of waiting for a guy to step up. And it took Reggie getting that little screen for 30-some yards. That was kind of the play where we could kind of breathe.”

Wayne said Sunday’s action left him no worse for wear.

“We won. So whenever you win, you feel good,” he said. “My groin is a little sore, but that was expected. I’m going to get some treatment for it and move forward.”

Wayne and the rest of the Colts will continue to move forward with a 7-0 record.

But you won’t find much celebration in the Indianapolis locker room.

The main goal remains a return trip to Miami in February.

“We need these games,” Wayne said of close battles like Sunday’s. “We’re going to continue to push for our goal, which is the Super Bowl. We’re going to need these close ones. We’re going to need to fight through a little adversity and push forward.

“We were able to do that (Sunday). The team did a good job. Coach (Jim) Caldwell said he was proud of the way we finished (Sunday). It was a grinder, and we figured out a way to win.”


Bookmark and Share
(theheraldbulletin.com)

Olsen excited about hosting country music benefit concert

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Greg Olsen plans to briefly jump on stage when he hosts the “Shake the Lake Music Festival” Nov. 13 at Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago. But the Bears tight end makes one promise.

“I’m going to thank everyone for coming, but I won’t be singing,” Olsen said with a smile.

That job will belong to Keith Anderson and David Nail, who will perform a country music concert to benefit Receptions for Research—The Greg Olsen Foundation. Funds raised will go to organizations dedicated to breast and brain cancer research and treatment and to Children’s Memorial Hospital.

“A lot of guys do great charity events throughout the year, but no one does anything like this,” Olsen said. “It’s different. Joe’s won an award as a top live music venue and the bar itself is a great place to go. So when we were able to team up with them and get such good talent, it was a no-brainer.”

Anderson was born and raised in Oklahoma, but he has at least one tie to the Windy City.

“My lead guitar player grew up in Chicago, and I just kind of took up his passion,” Anderson told CMT.com. “We didn’t have a pro football team when I was growing up in Oklahoma, so I had to pick Steelers or Cowboys. I’m a Steelers fan, but now I’m a Bears fan all the way.”

While the Bears play in San Francisco the night before the concert, a handful of Olsen's teammates—including quarterback Jay Cutler—are expected to attend the event. Olsen's mother is also slated to be there. Sue Olsen is a breast cancer survivor who was the inspiration behind the creation of the Receptions for Research foundation.

Tickets for the event are on sale now at www.Ticketmaster.com or in person at Joe’s (cash only).  General admission tickets are $50 each. VIP tickets are $100 and include the opportunity for a meet-and-greet with Olsen’s teammates as well as the performing artists.

For more information, log onto www.ReceptionsforResearch.org.


Bookmark and Share
(chicagobears.com)

Irvin, Dacascos get the 'Dancing with the Stars' boot

No surprise, Michael Irvin and Mark Dacascos were sent packing from "Dancing with the Stars" tonight. It's unfortunate because Irvin had been steadily improving as the weeks went on; Dacascos on the other hand seemed to lose his footing in the past few competitions regardless of his partner (Lacey Schwimmer came down with a miserable case of the flu and did not dance Monday night with Dacascos). But both celebs have been consistently toward the middle or bottom of the pack, and as we head into week 8, it's dog-eat-dog out on that dance floor and this is where it comes down absolutely to fan base. Regardless of the judges' scores we're down to a pack of scoring leaders --- there really isn't a weak link left --- so it will be up to the fans to pour on the votes.


Bookmark and Share
(blogs.suntimes.com)

Weeks Wins Weekly AFL Honor

Infielder Jemile Weeks of the A's organization and left-hander Donnie Veal of the Pirates were named Arizona Fall League hitter and pitcher of the week on Monday.

Weeks, playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, went 8-for-15 (.533) for the week with three doubles, two triples, three RBIs and four runs scored to continue a strong start to the prospect-laden league. He entered week four of AFL play riding a seven-game hitting streak during which he has batted .379 and scored eight times.

The 22-year-old Orlando native is the younger brother of Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks. Jemile was Oakland's first-round Draft pick in 2008 out of the University of Miami and he topped out in 2009 at Double-A Midland.

Weeks numbers aren’t necessarily reflective of how he has been playing [as of Thursday]. He has been putting together a lot of good at-bats. And he has looked good defensively. He’s definitely been on the upswing defensively. He’s cleaned up his footwork and has made improvements all around.


Bookmark and Share
(athletics.scout.com)

Ricky Henderson Working with Former 'Cane Jemile Weeks

OAKLAND -- Rickey Henderson, who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer but never officially retired, is finally getting to do something for which he's publicly lobbied since his playing days in the big leagues came to an end.

He's back on the field with the Oakland A's.

Yet instead of tormenting pitchers and wreaking havoc on the bases -- two hallmarks of a career that led Henderson to Cooperstown -- he's teaching Jemile Weeks to do the same type of things.

Henderson, who will turn 51 on Christmas Day, recently spent three days at Oakland's Minor League complex at Papago Park in Phoenix working with Weeks, whom the A's selected in the first round (12th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

"Rickey came down for our instructional league in early October to work with Jemile, and it was an outstanding event," A's director of player development Keith Lieppman told MLB.com this week.

Henderson, who is depicted on his Hall of Fame plaque wearing an A's cap, is under contract with Oakland as an ambassador of sorts, but he made it clear on the day before joining baseball's immortals that he planned to work with the club's young players.

"Any way I can get back out there and share some of the things I can do, I'd like to do that as much as they want me to do," Henderson told MLB.com. "I think I can be a good teacher of the game."

Weeks, a switch-hitting second baseman out of University of Miami and the younger brother of Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, got a late start in 2009 after recovering from hip surgery, but batted .299 with a .386 on-base percentage over 50 games at Class A Stockton before moving up to Double-A Midland, where he hit .238 with a .303 OBP.

One of the faster players in the organization before the injury, Weeks stole nine bases in 10 attempts overall this season and has made 14 errors in 92 career games at second base for a .968 fielding percentage.

Oakland's No. 1 goal for Weeks this offseason is for him to improve defensively. To that end, Minor League roving infielder instructor Juan Navarrete has been working with Weeks, who is playing for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the prestigious Arizona Fall League.

"He's played really good defense there," said Lieppman, who is based in the Phoenix area. "Everything Juan has been doing with Jemile has been going really well."

Also high on the organization's list of priorities for Weeks, 22, is to become more of a prototypical leadoff man, and Henderson, considered the best leadoff man of all-time, is his new mentor in that regard.

"We don't expect Jemile to be another Rickey; Jemile has some pop to him, but there's only one Rickey in terms of the power he brought to the leadoff spot," Lieppman said. "But we want Jemile to be the kind of baserunner that Rickey was -- stealing bases, bunting more to take advantage of his speed, being aggressive, being disruptive [on the base paths]. That's why we hooked them up."

Weeks was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts in the AFL through Thursday.

"It's not something that's going to happen overnight, but Jemile has the skill set to be an excellent leadoff man," Lieppman said. "Rickey took him through a lot of different things, from how to read pitchers and time jumps to stealing third base, and even though Rickey didn't do a lot of bunting, that was probably because he didn't need to and wasn't asked to; he did know how to do it well.

"It was just a great experience, and Jemile kind of ran with that."


Bookmark and Share
(mlb.com)

Wayne Has Career-High 12 Catches

Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne had a career-high 12 catches in the team's victory over the 49ers.

The win marked the team's 16th straight regular-season triumph. Unlike many of their wins this season, the Colts beat the 49ers by a narrow margin of 18-14.

Wayne (groin) had 12 receptions for 147 yards with a touchdown.

Interestingly, Wayne scored the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter on a pass from Joseph Addai, not Peyton Manning. Wayne missed a couple of practices during the week, but his status for Sunday's game was never truly in doubt. He should be fine moving forward.

"We need these games if we're going to push toward our goal, which is the Super Bowl," Wayne said. "We're going to need these close games, we're going to need to fight through a little adversity and push forward. We were able to do that today. It was a grinder. We figured out a way to win."


Bookmark and Share
(rotowire.com)

Edge-ing into history

Edgerrin James rushed for 17 yards on six carries and moved into the top 10 in career rushing yardage in the NFL. James now has 12,246 yards rushing in his career, moving past Marcus Allen who gained 12,243. James is now 33 yards behind Marshall Faulk for No. 9 in league history.


Bookmark and Share
(seattletimes.com)

Beason Shows Off Some Moves

Linebacker Jon Beason showed running-back moves after picking up what appeared to be a Larry Fitzgerald fumble in the first half. The call was reversed – Fitzgerald never had possession of the pass from Kurt Warner – and Beason’s shaking and baking went unrewarded.


Bookmark and Share
(charlotteobserver.com)

Sinorice Moss Injures Foot

Sinorice Moss left the game to have an X-ray on his foot.

Coach Coughlin said: “Moss was a foot, but I don’t know anything more about it,” he explained. “And Hixon was just a recurrence of a hip.”

Moss told proCanes.com when asked about his injury: “I’m Good.”


Bookmark and Share
(nyg.scout.com)

Antonio Dixon Records His Frist Career Sack

In the Eagles 40-17 blowout of the New York Giants Antonio Dixon got plenty of playing time and recorded his first career NFL sack when he took down Eli Manning. Dixon also recorded 2 solo tackles and 1 QB hit.



Bookmark and Share

McGahee takes a back seat to Rice again

Willis McGahee rushed two times for just -1 yards and caught one pass for four yars against the Broncos in Week 8.

The Ravens never had a goal-line carry, so it's tough to tell if McGahee remains a touchdown vulture. Regardless, he's not worth carrying on fantasy rosters expect as a handcuff for Ray Rice.


Bookmark and Share
(rotoworld.com)

Olsen on pace for worse numbers in 2009

Bears TE Greg Olsen is on pace for fewer yards and catches than he had in 2008.

Olsen is receiving extra defensive attention due to the summer's breakout-season hype. The Bears have also unknowingly gotten out of their game plan on occasion, leaving Olsen on the sidelines for long stretches. "That's not going to happen again," OC Ron Turner said. "It's on us, and we've addressed it."

Olsen exited the game against Cleveland in the second quarter with an apparent right ankle injury. Not good timing on the injury for Olsen, who was injured on a 12-yard catch that landed the Bears in the red zone. No additional information is currently available on the severity of the injury.


Bookmark and Share
(rotoworld.com)

Bears honor Payton at halftime

CHICAGO—Ten years to the day he died, Walter Payton was honored by the Chicago Bears with a ceremony at halftime of Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

The crowd roared during a video tribute that showed highlights of his career and included praise from Mike Ditka and owner Virginia McCaskey, along with former teammates such as Otis Wilson and Richard Dent. Besides dodging and leaping over defenders, Payton was also known for his work ethic and his tendency to pull pranks.
The video showed that, too.

There was Payton running up a hill in suburban Barrington and setting off a firecracker at training camp, as he was known to do. When the tribute was over, his wife Connie asked the crowd, "Wasn't that awesome?"

Flanked by their son Jarrett and daughter Brittney, Connie Payton ended her brief speech by saying, "We love you. And one more thing: Go Bears!"

The NFL's all-time leading rusher when he retired, Payton was first diagnosed with a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis and then cancer before he died on Nov. 1, 1999.


Bookmark and Share
(contracostatimes.com)

Rolle fined for hit vs. Giants

Last Sunday's game against the Giants was a costly one for several members of the Arizona Cardinals.

Safety Antrel Rolle was fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness for striking a defenseless receiver, tight end Kevin Boss. No penalty was called on the play. Tackle Levi Brown was fined $5,000 for a chop block that was called.


Bookmark and Share
(azcentral.com)

Vince Wilfork Playing Well

NT Vince Wilfork had another big game Sunday and is making his case for a lucrative contract extension if the Patriots are willing to open their pocketbook. After trading Richard Seymour, it seems logical they'll keep Wilfork, but his performance lately only ups the asking price in the long run.


Bookmark and Share
(nwe.scout.com)

Phillip Buchanon's benching not 'wake-up call'

Cornerback Phillip Buchanon was one of the Lions' big off-season acquisitions. He signed a reported $8.5-million, two-year deal in March and was expected to beef up a depleted secondary.

He missed the opener at New Orleans with a neck injury. The severity caught coaches off guard. He started the second game against Minnesota and failed to contain Adrian Peterson on a long run. By the third game, Will James replaced Buchanon in the starting lineup. After three games on the bench, Buchanon started in place of Anthony Henry at Green Bay.

Buchanon has declined repeated interview requests but Friday he finally spoke about his benching and other topics.

"As far as I know, I was hurt," Buchanon said of his benching. "I'm going to leave it at that. No comment to what's going on with the whole benching thing. They're the coaches. They do what they think is best for the team."

Buchanon, a first-round pick of the Raiders in 2002, is a seasoned veteran who has spent the past seven seasons with three teams. Still, was the benching needed as a wake-up call?

"I wouldn't say 'wake up,' but just understanding, coming from a different scheme, what we expect from him, what we want from him," coach Jim Schwartz said. "I wouldn't say 'wake-up call.' But he does understand it more and he's getting more comfortable in our scheme at what he's asked to do."

One of the key requests is for the secondary to contain runs -- that will be crucial Sunday against St. Louis running back Steven Jackson, third in NFL rushing yardage.

"I don't think that's a problem," Buchanon said of his run coverage. "I never did think that's a problem but, you know, people felt that way. I just try to do my best and leave it on the field."

Schwartz said he has been encouraged by Buchanon's overall play.

"Phillip has always been a good cover guy, but the one thing he's done recently is he's taken his run fits and things like that a lot more seriously," Schwartz said. "He's a cover corner, but when you have running backs like Steven Jackson, those guys, defeating the run game isn't just the front seven's job; it's all 11, and our corners, our safeties are going to have to tackle well."


Bookmark and Share
(freep.com)

Ramifications of the Kosar Hiring

In a season that has already lost the interest of many fans because of the team’s monumental struggles, one of the most interesting things to watch play out will be how much influence – if any – the hiring of former quarterback Bernie Kosar as a consultant to team owner Randy Lerner will have on the day-to-day operations of the Browns, both on and off the field.

Last Friday during his weekly media availability, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll was asked what he thought of bringing in Kosar. He said all the right things, but it was clear from the surprised and serious look on his face that the inquiry had hit a nerve.

If you’re the coordinator – especially the first-year coordinator -- of an offense that is ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in most statistical categories, the last thing you want is someone being brought in who has a strong – and we do mean strong – offensive resume to look over your shoulder. To make matters worse, Kosar, in his previous unofficial role as advisor or consultant, has for years had the ear of Lerner. There’s a strong kinship between the two. They are about the same age, have the same love for the Browns and have been going through some of the same unfortunate personal issues recently

Kosar sits with Lerner in the owner’s box on game day. So when Lerner watches the offense continue to struggle and struggle and struggle and asks honest questions of Kosar as to the reasons why, the ex-quarterback’s honest answers, if he chooses to answer that way and cut straight to the point, may not reflect well on the current offensive coaches.

Or head coach Eric Mangini.

Up until the arrival of Kosar, Mangini had been given a free hand to re-construct the team – and the football end of the organization – the way he saw fit. That’s the norm for any new coach coming in. He has to be given a chance to fully implement his program and people. That’s especially true for a team such as the Browns, who were 4-12 last season after losing their last six games and not scoring an offensive touchdown in the process.

And Mangini has done a thorough job of eradicating most of what he inherited as he tries to build a new foundation and move forward with it. He has said many times that he has great respect for the Browns’ tradition, but always adds that what went on with the team before he arrived, in terms of negative issues, is not his problem. He’s concerned only about what has gone on during his watch.

Understandable.

However, in bringing in Kosar in an official capacity, the Browns have for the first time in the nine months the coach has been on the job, incorporated an “outsider” into the football end of the operation – that is, someone Mangini didn’t hire and probably never would have hired. Because Kosar reports directly to Lerner, Mangini has no say or control over what he says or does.

Now, Lerner has for a long time wanted to hire Kosar, but the native of Boardman Township in suburban Youngstown, Ohio always had family responsibilities that kept him from making the needed commitment. But he has somehow finally been able to work around that.

However, the timing of his arrival is interesting in that it comes at a time when the Browns are en route to setting all kinds of team records for low offensive production, both for the team and, in some cases, individually, especially at quarterback.

If the offensive problems continue and the outcry from the fans – and media – gets more and more pronounced, then it will be up to Lerner as to how much he stock he puts in what Kosar is telling him and then takes action on it.

Even if little – or even nothing – happens in that regard, Kosar’s mere presence is something that Mangini and his people do not want, but must be constantly wary of. Although the coach and his staff would never consider any suggestions from Kosar, there is always now the possibility that Lerner will. He’s a hands-off owner who would never mandate his coaching staff to do anything, but he could suggest it, if only in a roundabout way so as to not appear to be meddling.

Keep this in mind: There is absolutely no question that Lerner desperately wants to get the Browns righted, and if that means making some tough decisions – or even simply adjustments to the way things have done since Mangini arrived – then so be it. The bottom line – on the football field, that is – is all that matters to him, and he is willing to spend – and has been spending – the money needed to make the Browns successful.

The hiring of Kosar also has to be looked at from the standpoint it coincides almost simultaneously with the recent dismissal of director of team operations Erin O’Brien. For those who came to training camp, she was the person running the audio board and playing the musical selections that, at Mangini’s orders, blared at various times during practice. She is the first person brought in by Mangini to have been let go by the club.

So there have now been two actions Mangini didn’t want – the arrival of someone he didn’t hire, and the removal of someone he did hire.

Are they connected in some way? Would either of the moves have occurred if the Browns were 6-1 instead of 1-6?
We’ll never know. But at least the moves, especially the one involving Kosar – and why they may have been done – give Browns fans something interesting to chew on in a season that has been – and may continue to be – otherwise hard to swallow


Bookmark and Share
(cle.scout.com)

Salmons begins to turn it around against Heat

John Salmons started to get his shooting stroke back after a rough start to the week, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting (1-of-5 from downtown) with four rebounds, two assists, and four steals.

Salmons had shot a combined 5-of-29 in his last two games, and may have been out of sync after the birth of his child. It looks like he's righted the ship, and now he just needs to get that 3-point shooting percentage up.


Bookmark and Share
(rotoworld.com)

Jason Michaels receives 'tremendous honor'

After spending eight-plus seasons as a major-league outfielder, Jason Michaels has plenty of memorable moments. But few can compare to the one at UM's Mark Light Field that still gives him goose bumps 12 years later.

Michaels, who lives in Tampa and plays with the Houston Astros, learned last week that he will be inducted next year into the UM Sports Hall of Fame.

During the 1997 NCAA Regional, the Hurricanes -- two outs from elimination -- trailed Arizona State 6-3 with one out in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded. Michaels crushed a 3-1 fastball beyond the left-center-field fence for the walk-off victory. Later that night, his three-RBI performance catapulted the Hurricanes to the College World Series.

``I don't even remember running the bases,'' Michaels said by phone. ``Once I got to first it was almost like a blackout -- `What just happened?!' It was euphoria.''

UM baseball coach Jim Morris said every time he thinks of Michaels, he thinks of the grand slam. ``The place absolutely went bonkers.''

Michaels, 33, and his wife, Pamela, are expecting their first child in December, a girl to be named Payton Lynn. He hopes to drive with his wife to the UM home football game Saturday against Virginia. Michaels and the other UM inductees, who have not yet been announced, will be introduced to the crowd at halftime.

``I'm ecstatic,'' Michaels said. ``It's a tremendous honor.''


Bookmark and Share
(miamiherald.com)