Willis McGahee & Katrina Campins at the ESPYS

Willis McGahee pauses for a photo with fellow University of Miami Alum and Real Estate Mogul Katrina Campins backstage at the ESPYS. Katrina has a large clientele base of proCanes and actually works very closely with Kara Olsen, Greg Olsen’s wife, as she works out of the Campins Company Chicago office. Click here to see Katrina Campins’ website.

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Redskins' McIntosh scouts NFC East

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Kevin Everett Wins An ESPY

ESPY Awards 2009 winners- The Nokia Theater in Los Angeles was the venue last night for the 2009 ESPY Awards and hosted by Samuel L. Jackson. On July 19, 2009 at 9:00 ET on ESPN, the annual event recognizes excellence in sports performance and will air.

Jimmy V Award for Perseverance: Kevin Everett, former Buffalo Bills TE

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Chris Perez to require offseason surgery on left foot

Clubhouse confidential: Chris Perez, the relief pitcher the Indians received for Mark DeRosa before the All-Star break, will need surgery after the season to remove an extra bone in his left foot.

"I've been getting cortisone shots for it all year," Perez said.

Perez says it doesn't bother him when he pitches, but he can feel it when he's walking or shagging balls in the outfield. He says the extra bone is located by the heel.

The Indians almost backed out of the deal when they found out about the surgery, reportedly.

"It's not supposed to be serious," Perez said.

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Braun Provides Plenty of Punch in Short Fantasy Week

Continuing on a theme, Ryan Braun should also have a good series in Cincinnati. With many other teams only playing three games this week, Braun will get a few extra at-bats.

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Alex Brown Calls Bryant McKinnie the "Biggest Human"

Q: Would it put an extra hitch in your giddyup to see Brett Favre at quarterback for the Vikings?
A: We're always jacked up. Minnesota is a scary team without him. Defensively, we will have more of a problem if they have a Hall of Famer at quarterback. They already have a great running game and five of the biggest humans I've seen on the offensive line, starting with Bryant McKinnie. It makes sense for them, and it makes sense for him.

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Q & A Recap from ESPN Chat with Sinorice Moss

Hey Sinorice...what have you done differently this offseason to make sure you stay healthy throughout the season?
I've been stretching a lot and I've taken up yoga which really helps.

How's the hammy? What are your personal goals for the coming season?
The hammy is great. I want to stay consistent, healthy, and become the best that I can be for this team.

Is the U going to be back this year?
They definitely are!

Whose faster, your or Santana?
We never race so we really don't know who's the fastest.

Will we see you returning kick off or punts?
Yes, I did it a lot this offseason at OTA's and mini camps.

Hey Sinorice, do you try to beat out your brother every game against him?
Of cousre! He's only beat me once since I've been in the NFL.

Hey Sinorice, I was wondering what your favorite route to run is. Personally I thought you were unguardable when you worked the ten yard come back.
I like running the 10 yard comeback.

What do you miss the most about playing at the "U"? good luck and rep the "U"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Playing in Orange Bowl Stadium.

Sinorice - did you or Santana make it back to the U to train this offseason? I know a lot of old U players do that
Yes, I go back every year. That's something all us University of Miami guys do every year.

Who is your favorite player besides yourself on the team? the whole nfl?
My favorite player in the league is Santana Moss. My favorite player on the Giants is Justin Tuck.

Click here to read the rest of the chat!

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Gore will be great

So what should we expect from the 49ers in 2009? Clearly, the hiring of Raye means the 49ers are going to focus more on a ball-possession, grind-it-out attack with a huge emphasis on keeping the rock in the hands of Frank Gore. Further proof of this de-emphasis of the high-flying attack favored by Martz was the drafting of running back Glen Coffee out of Alabama, as well as the re-signing of fullback Moran Norris, who had been a solid lead blocker for Gore in the past.

That's not to say the 49ers are going to forget the pass altogether. However, Isaac Bruce is no spring chicken. At 36, he's more than a decade older than fellow wide receivers Josh Morgan, Josh Hill and first-round draft pick Michael Crabtree. Brandon Jones was brought in from Tennessee to add a little bit more experience to the young group, just in case Bruce has nothing left in the tank. While this unit may well shine several years down the line, we're not sure 2009 is going to be all that bright, especially with the leadership under center being so unclear going into camp.

Because of the division they play in, the 49ers could well finish 8-8 and still possibly end up in first place. However, any success at all hinges on the play of Frank Gore. If he can return to his 2006 form, rushing for more than 5 yards per carry and avoiding the fumble-itis that plagued him last season, this team might well be able to find its way back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. The fear is, though, that the team could get off to a slow start with three divisional matchups in the first four weeks and we would be treated to more tirades on the sidelines and hear tell of zany locker room "antics" from a coach who just might not have the patience to wait a few seasons for his team to improve and become a consistent contender.

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Antrel Rolle enjoys giving back to those in need

Football free safety Antrel Rolle may be getting ready for another season with the Arizona Cardinals -- but he's also hard at work helping his hometown.

He has set up scholarships and given $30,000 to the athletic department at his alma mater, South Dade High. He's also given scholarships to Homestead High and helped sponsor a Florida City youth baseball team. And he's paying for Southridge High's new football jerseys.

Coming up: A football camp.

''If you are blessed -- and I am -- you should give,'' Rolle said in a telephone interview. ``It's the right thing to do.''
Next Tuesday, South Dade High formally will rename its weight room ''The Rolle Room'' at a 2 p.m. ceremony to honor the 26-year-old for helping pay to renovate it.

''He came to us -- we didn't have to ask him. He has always been generous and given to us,'' said South Dade High Athletic Director Joel Furnari.

''It is the case of local man who does well and doesn't forget where he came from,'' Furnari added in an e-mail.

''Antrel is aware of high school athletics,'' said his father, Alexander E. Rolle, who also happens to be the Homestead police chief.

``He knows it's really difficult raising money.''

Indeed, his son's giving is a family affair.

His mother, Armelia Rolle, a Homestead High career counselor, helps scout worthy charitable projects for his Antrel Rolle Make a Pledge for Change Foundation.

She came up with the foundation's name while listening to a Barack Obama speech before he became president.
She was moved by Obama saying that all should pledge to make a change -- no matter how small an effort.
'I called Antrel and said, `Hey, I've got a name for your foundation' '' she said.

Rolle likes to help out in the neighborhood he grew up in -- and still lives in.

He looked at homes in Pinecrest and Miami Beach, his mother added, but eventually settled on a house blocks away from his alma mater, South Dade High. ''He jogs by the school,'' his father said.

His new home also is not too far from his parents'. ''I'm a big-time momma's boy,'' Rolle said.

Plus, he said, he's got ''a million little cousins'' and other family members whom he wants to stay near. ''I want to make it convenient for everyone,'' he said.

While Rolle keeps a high profile in his neighborhood, he has kept a lot of his charity work off the radar.
''He's kept quiet over the years,'' his father said.

Lately, he has decided to be more public about his giving because of the sour economy and trying to encourage others to give.

''He thinks it is so important during the budget crisis to help the kids out,'' his father said.

That has meant giving to schools not in his immediate neighborhood.

Southridge, for example, needed new jerseys, his mother said.

They cost $4,000. His uncle, Harvey Clayton Sr. -- who also played pro football -- is Southridge's athletic director.

At South Dade, Rolle's mother said she remembered how her son trained on South Dade High's rusty weight equipment, so part of his $30,000 donation to the athletic department is helping renovate the weight room.
Rolle also has been focused on encouraging kids to excel in academics. Rolle graduated with honors from South Dade High and UM.

He has given tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to South Dade and Homestead students, his mother said.
This spring, his foundation gave $2,500 scholarships to three South Dade seniors and to six Homestead High seniors.

Rolle said he looks to help motivate kids who have ``that extra push and motivation.''

In Florida City, Rolle also helped this spring as many as 140 kids by helping sponsor of the newly created Florida Marlins RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) team.

He knows the need firsthand: He grew up playing sports in Homestead and Florida City.
Rolle started playing football as a 6-year-old at Harris Field.

That's where he met another future football star -- the late Sean Taylor, who played for the Washington Redskins before he was murdered at his Palmetto Bay home in 2007.

The two learned the beginnings of football in Homestead before then playing for the Florida City Razorbacks.

They went to different high schools. Rolle was a Parade All-American high school player at South Dade.

However, the two reunited at the University of Miami where they were both stars and recruited to play for the pros.

Since then, Rolle has earned a hefty salary playing for the National Football Conference champion Cardinals ''but everybody has told me: He hasn't changed -- he's the same kid who went to South Dade and the University of Miami,'' his father said.

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PBC Sports Commission selects ICYG as 2009 Golf Clinician

RIVIERA BEACH, FL — For the sixth consecutive year, Inner City Youth Golfers’, Inc. Executive Director, Esmeralda H. Knowles has been chosen as the 'Golf Clinician' along with her team of volunteers for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s Annual “Kids Fitness Festival” July 16-17, 2009. Each July, South Florida youth gather at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds, West Palm Beach, Fla., for two days of fitness and fun. ICYG will provide a fun golfing experience to at least 5,000 youth in the two days along with prizes, 'do's and don’t', literature, and a “Say No To Drugs – Say Yes To Education, Culture & Golf” goody bag (a program signature water bottle, book mark, and pencil) for them to take home and show to their friends thanks to its support from Palm Beach County Sheriff, Ric L. Bradshaw. Mrs. Knowles stated, “It is an excellent and well planned event. We hope to continue sup-porting it and being part of it for years to come.” She further stated, “We’re very excited a-bout this year’s event and all that the Kids’ Fitness Festival has to offer.”

Palm Beach County Sports Commission Executive Director, Gerry Baron said, “Without the support of ICYG, their professional team and volunteers, the golf interest among the children in the event would not have grown to its present success. We are very thankful for their sincere donation of time over the past five years.”

The festival itself gives children the opportunity to learn and participate in over 40 different traditional and non-traditional sports clinics to get hands on experience and develop skills in areas such as archery, badminton, baseball, basket-ball, bowling, chess, cheer-leading, cricket, dance, fencing, field hockey, fishing, football, golf, hockey, judo, karate, lacrosse, netball, paint ball, power lifting, rugby, running, soccer, squash, tennis, tae kwon do, surfing, and many more.

Each clinic is conducted by a professional from that sports area. The clinicians share techniques, enhance skills, and provide an introduction to their sport.

The festival also features mascots, autograph sessions, special guests, demonstrations, a gigantic bounce house, rock-wall, mist tent, and much more. Local companies can showcase their healthy lifestyle products in their expo area as well. In attendance this past year were sports franchises, facilities, the Florida Marlins, and several professional athletes such as Bennie Blades, Donnell Bennet, James Pruitt, and Mike Rumph to name a few.

The festival is open to all individuals and groups. All donations and proceeds benefit the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, a non-profit organization that provides local youths the opportunity to learn sportsmanship, teamwork and citizenship through sport. The Sports Commission also promotes character development through sporting activities, lifelong physical fitness, a drug-free lifestyle, safe, and fun access to healthy activities. Please call (561) 233-3178 for information and to sign-up for the “2009 Kids Fitness Festival.”

Congratulations to ICYG, the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, other clinicians, Ronald McDonald House Chari-ties, other sponsors and volunteers from Palm Beach County Commissioner Priscilla Taylor's Office (District 7), and the entire Westside Gazette newspaper family.

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All-Star Break Report - Aubrey Huff

Huff started out on fire, but has been tailing off lately. He is tied for the team lead with 56 RBI, but his .259 average and his mediocre play at first base bring his grade down. It will be interesting to see if he gets moved before the trade deadline.

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Photo of the Week - Antrel Rolle’s Car - Red Maserati Gran Turismo

Here is Antrel Rolle with Alex Vega infront of his red Maserati staggered on 22″ Forgiato Capolavaro rims. 

The rims are chrome with red windows and red flange. Exclusive Motoring did another great job in advising their clients to choose a very very nice set of rims.

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Chat with Sinorice Moss

On Wednesday, New York Giants wide receiver Sinorice Moss stops by to the ESPN Sportnation Desk to chat about the NFL offseason as well as the upcoming season.

Moss was drafted by the Giants in the second round of the 2006 draft. Plagued by a lingering quad injury, Sinorice only has 38 career receptions in 29 games played.

Click here to send your questions now and or join Moss on Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET!

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Roscoe to the Ravens?

With the retirment of Derrick Mason, to say the Ravens are thin at wide receiver would be an understatement. Currently the Ravens only have Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams with their third receiver being Marcus Smith. Obviously the Ravens would love a receiver like Anquan Boldin or Brandon Marshall, but considering what the Cardinals and Broncos respectively are looking for in exchange may be too high of a price for the Ravens to pay. The Bills are loaded at the WR position and were shopping Roscoe Parrish during the days surrounding the draft. Could the Ravens make a play for Parrish who could also bolster their special teams considering he led the league in average yards per punt return? Roscoe has been adamant during the offseason that he wants to be and can be a reciever in the NFL, and does not want to only return punts. Stay tuned as we may see Roscoe reunited with fellow Canes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Tavares Gooden and Willis McGahee. Don't doubt that the guys from the U are pulling to pick up Roscoe.

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Greg Olsen Camp

Greg Olsen Back To Basics Football Camp will be held from July 13th to July 17th from 9am to 3pm at Wayne Hills Highschool in New Jersey. You will receive a $10 discount of you sign up online. Click here to sign up

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Quadtrine Hill Progressing Quickly As a Boxer

Kris Lawrence has a vision for the troubled heavyweight division in professional boxing. And he sees the potential in South Florida to begin a turnaround.

The boxing aficionado and businessman is trying to energize the lackluster division by taking young American athletes from other sports, primarily college football, and transforming them into boxers.

The unconventional method of grooming heavyweights has been discussed but never implemented -- until now..
''The average person off the street, to train them to be a boxer takes a long time, usually at least three to four years to be a pro -- if they have what it takes,'' said Lawrence, owner of Lucky Street Boxing Gym across from the Seminole Hard Rock Casino near Hollywood.

``The athletes we have now, most with high school and college football backgrounds, are so far above the curve already. They are young, athletic and physically superior. They don't need three to four years to be ready . . . why not do this? The best athletes in the country are here in South Florida.''

One of those elite athletes is Quadtrine Hill, 26, a 6-2, 230 running back who starred at Sunrise Piper High and the University of Miami.

''I found Quadtrine Hill to be one of the best kids I ever started with,'' longtime boxing trainer Stacy McKinley said.
McKinley's résumé is impressive, working at the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit and touting 17 world and five heavyweight champions, including Mike Tyson.

'It took Quadtrine six weeks' training to be where it took [others] two years to be,'' McKinley said. ``He is strong, determined, mentally strong. He's explosive, fast and has a short, tight punch. Like when he played football, he has an aura that he can't be beat.''

Click here to read more!

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Hester under pressure to live up to his salary-cap

During the next few weeks, Football Outsiders will look at the salary cap of each NFL team, division by division -- including the player under the greatest pressure to live up to his salary-cap number in 2009.

CHICAGO BEARS 2009 salary cap: $135,634,883 Player with highest cap number: LB Brian Urlacher ($10,185,511; 7.5 percent of cap) Player no longer with club who has highest cap number: RB Cedric Benson ($2,509,000; 1.9 percent of cap; 14th-highest on club) Player who has to live up to cap number: WR/KR Devin Hester ($6,885,833; 5.1 percent of cap; third-highest on club)

One could argue that the offseason signing of tackle Orlando Pace ($5,333,333 cap number in 2009; sixth-highest on the club) makes him the player who most needs to live up to his salary. In the past three seasons, the soon-to-be-34-year-old left tackle has missed 26 games while playing in only 22. However, if Pace's challenge is to stay healthy, Hester's challenge is to develop into the No. 1 wide receiver his cap number suggests he can become.

There is no doubting that, with the ball in his hands, Hester is one of the most electrifying players in all of football, but on special teams, the opponent can manage Hester's touches by kicking away from him. To fully maximize his game-breaking capacity, Hester must improve upon his 2008 wide receiver performance. Last year, he ranked 64th among wide receivers in Football Outsiders' advanced DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) stats. This year, with Jay Cutler at quarterback, Hester has to prove that rating had more to do with the players throwing him the ball and less to do with his ability to combine his speed with the technique required to be a top wideout.

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Hester willing to give up punt returns, just not immediately

It was interesting to see Jamie Dukes of the NFL Network rank Devin Hester the fifth-best return man in the league. Dukes said Hester would be No. 1 without the title of receiver behind his name.

Wonder what Dukes and other NFL observers would say if Hester gave up returns, period? It could happen.

The Bears star, who surrendered his kickoff return duties to Danieal Manning last season, said he would be willing to give up punt returns, too ... just not immediately.

``I think a return man simply has to be a return man,’’ Hester said. ``There’s really no other position he should go out and play. A return man is a totally different ball game from trying to be a return man and starting receiver, or the starting cornerback, or a starting safety. I don’t think it’s going to work. That’s why you never really see it last that long in the NFL. You can’t do it.

``But with me right now, I feel like at punt returns there are going to be opportunities where we’re going to need big returns,’’ he continued. ``With all the success we’ve had at the return game, it would be real crazy to just give it up now. Plus I’m looking to break this record. In the back of my mind, I’ve got to get this record before I give (punt returns) up.’’

Hester displayed a confident smile as he completed his thought. He enters the 2009 season with 11 career kick returns for touchdowns (not counting the opening kickoff in the Super Bowl or the return of a missed field goal), two shy of the record held by Brian Mitchell. Although shattering the mark would be a great personal achievement, Hester understands that his team often feeds off his electric returns. The Bears went 9-2 in games Hester returned a kick for a score.

But Hester was unable to break one for a touchdown last season as his continued to evolve as a receiver.

``Me being partially the guy last year and doing returns, it was real tough on me,’’ he said. ``It’s a tiring thing. You’re running eight, nine plays in a row and you’re going deep. Then you come back on punt returns, kickoff returns, and you don’t have any juice back there.

``It’s a beast. You see guys show glimpses of it, but they never had a full return game. Look at Deion Sanders, a great returner, but you never saw him take over the full job as punt returner and kickoff returner. You can’t do it. Steve Smith (Carolina) came in as a great kickoff/punt returner. Now that he's got that role at receiver, he didn’t have any juice (to return). It’s tough.’’

With Hester touted as the team’s No. 1 receiver, one would think relieving him of punt returns would be the next step. Time will tell as the Bears get deep into the season. Rookie D.J. Moore could be a capable replacement in the future. Nathan Vasher had six punt returns last season, second behind Hester’s 32.

What might make matters more intriguing is the development of the defense. If Lovie Smith’s crew regains its swagger, then there could be a lot of three-and-out situations, meaning more punt returns for Hester. That might not be an ideal situation if Hester is quarterback Jay Cutler’s go-to guy.

``Everybody’s saying receiver this, receiver that,’’ Hester said. ``I think it really starts with the quarterback and the offensive line, and we have both. I feel like we’re going to be a better team than we were last year. I look for big things. Hopefully, we will win the Super Bowl.’’

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James Jones To Jazz For Boozer?

No concrete evidence has materialized -- yet -- that the Heat are preparing to send Udonis Haslem's expiring contract to Utah for the expiring contract of Carlos Boozer.

But one trade scenario, presented online Monday by David Aldridge of TNT and NBA.com, would appear to have some promise for the Jazz, who long to find a way to move Boozer and take back less money, which generally requires the involvement of a third team.

Trading Haslem and James Jones to the Jazz would allow Miami to give Boozer a one-season test drive without endangering its 2010 salary-cap space and conceivably would help Utah out by fitting C.J. Miles into its $4.3 million trade exception in exchange for a future draft pick in another transaction.

It's also true that the Jazz have until February to find a new trade home for Boozer before the luxury-tax implications of matching Portland's offer sheet to Paul Millsap start setting in. Which means they don't have to rush and make the first Boozer trade they can complete.

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Andreu Swasey's Tennis Ball Reaction Drill

Find static stretching to be stale? Freshen up your flexibility routine with a tennis ball drill, courtesy of Andreu Swasey, University of Miami football strength and conditioning coach.

This drill enhances elasticity. To perform it correctly, Swasey says, “you’ve got to be able to bend at the hips, and be fluid and flexible.” Furthermore, it works your first-step quickness because you react off what you see—just like in a game.

The current crop of ’Cane superstars use this drill every day to stretch their lower bodies before or after activity.
What you need: Two tennis balls, a hard surface [e.g., gym floor], coach, teammates

Setup: Behind line on floor, get in 40-yard dash or position-specific stance // Teammate assumes same stance an arm’s length to your left or right // Coach stands five yards in front of you with arms raised at sides, holding tennis ball in each hand

• When coach simultaneously drops balls straight down, explode out of stance and retrieve ball in your “lane” • Bend at hips to catch ball • Sprint 5 to 10 yards after catch

Sets/Rest: 3-6/30-45 seconds between drops

Note: Drill can be performed solo, but competing against teammates spices it up and builds camaraderie
Coaching Points: Stay low when shooting off the line // Always keep back flat and low // Maintain a straight angle to ball // Don’t reach or dive for tennis ball

Benefits: Recruits hip and lower-body flexibility // Develops quickness and explosion off the line // Enhances hand-eye coordination // Forces you to react by sight instead of sound or cadence.

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Jets cut Bubba Franks

Tight end Bubba Franks was let go Monday by New York after playing with the organization for one year.  Franks caught six passes for 47 yards while serving primarily as a blocker.

Franks, who made three Pro Bowls earlier this decade in Green Bay, spent a few months on the free agent market before the Jets re-signed him in May.

Franks was too banged up to practice after the Jets signed him in May. Now 31 with bad knees, Franks' future is in doubt. If Franks is done, the longtime Packer will finish with 262 career catches and 32 TDs in nine seasons.

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Olsen scouts the Bears

Bears tight end Greg Olsen paid a visit to ESPN's First Take on Friday and hit on several key topics -- the biggest being the team's depth at wide receiver.

"I know there are a lot of names there that most people don't recognize, but I really believe that those guys are going to have a good season," Olsen said. "Obviously Devin [Hester], everyone knows about Devin and what he's been able to do. I think he's going to surprise some people. What he was able to do this off-season and the way he looked in OTA's and minicamp, I think he looks like a top-tier receiver. Some of those young guys, Earl [Bennett], and obviously Rashied [Davis] is a veteran who's played for a while, and some of those rookies we drafted, so I think we've got a lot of guys who are going to surprise some people."

As for the never-ending speculation/hope that Bears management will make a move to bring in another wideout, Olsen declined to lobby for another player to be added to the mix.

"I don't think it's out of the question but I think right now the management -- as do the coaches and the players -- feel pretty confident with the team we have right now going into training camp," Olsen said." I think we're confident that if these are the guys we have for Game 1. I think we're pretty confident that we have a chance to be successful."
Switching to the defensive side of the ball, Olsen marveled at Brian Urlacher's offseason, saying he anticipates a big year out of the middle linebacker.

"I think he's trying to show people he can get back into his true mold," Olsen said. "He wasn't coming off any injuries this year, you know he had the neck and the back and I think that set him back in his offseason training, but I think he's back in his old mold. He's bigger, he's stronger, he looks like he's 25 again. I think he's going to go back to being the dominant force that he was for us, and I think that people are going to be real excited to see him this year."

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Asbury Working Out For Heat

Undrafted University of Miami forward Brian Asbury said he had a pre-draft workout with the Heat and had been working out at AmericanAirlines Arena for two weeks before participating in Monday's opening sessions of the team's camp Dozier, the 60th and final pick of last month's NBA Draft, said his preference is to try to make the roster without a contract guarantee, rather than play overseas. "He has the skill set to be in this league," Spoelstra said of the forward out of Memphis.

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Ryan Braun to hit 4th for NL in All-Star Game

The starting lineups for the Major League Baseball All-Star game were announced Monday, and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers will bat cleanup and start in right field for the National League.

Braun, who was the NL's top outfield vote-getter, will move from his normal left field position to right field.  Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies will be the left fielder.

Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays and Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants will be the starting pitchers.  First baseman Prince Fielder and closer Trevor Hoffman will represent the Brewers along with Braun.  Fielder will participate in tonight's Home Run Derby at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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Future proCanes - 2010 Draft

ESPN's Todd McShay said Darryl Sharpton and Jason Fox enter 2009 as UM's highest-rated seniors (''third- or fourth-round grades''). One NFC scout said the player he's most excited to see is junior Graig Cooper -- ``good lower body, with power and speed.'' . . . Another NFC scout said sophomore Jacory Harris ''has a better feel for the game'' than Purdue/former Canes quarterback Robert Marve, who became teary-eyed when he visited former UM teammates recently at Lucky Strikes. (Purdue is hooking up Marve with Drew Brees.)

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Quadtrine Hill puts away Clive Lowe late in 3rd round

DANIA BEACH - With the crowd chanting "Let's go Q, let's go Q," Quadtrine Hill established himself as the front-runner at the Lucky Street Boxing Gym after winning an amateur bout Saturday night.

The former Piper and University of Miami running back scored a third-round victory over former Douglas and Montana State football player Clive Lowe.

The referee stopped the contest with two seconds left in the bout. Hill was leading on scorecards and also forced two standing-8 counts in the second and third rounds.

"Every fight matters as much as any other fight you're ever going to have," Hill said. "Every fight is the most important fight of your life and this was the most important fight of my life.

"I was too quick and too strong, he couldn't get inside on me. I loved having that crowd behind me. You land a good shot and sometimes the crowd can see better than you and they know and react."

Hill and Lowe train at the gym known as the "Heavyweight Factory." The gym is the brainchild of Hollywood businessman Kris Lawrence, who is trying to develop the next heavyweight champion from South Florida. The plan is to turn well-conditioned football players and other athletes into top amateurs and eventually pro boxers. Hill, the son of former Dolphins running back Eddie Hill, was dominating with his power punches and left-right combinations.

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Benton Has a Big Day in Loss

Without starting quarterback Chris Wallace, the Florida Firecats’ lost to the South Georgia Wildcats 52-35.

Magic Benton though had a big night leading Florida with 10 receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns.

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Devin Hester gives kids a thrill at football camp

Everyone wanted a piece of Devin Hester, and there were no signs of Packers, Lions, or Vikings in the vicinity.
The 200-plus boys and girls bouncing around the Niles West High School football field Saturday afternoon barked and hollered, danced and snickered – did just about anything to attract the Bears superstar’s attention during Hester's Old Spice Football Camp, presented by Fifth Third Bank.

Hester soaked it all in wearing an infectious smile, realizing he was like these overanxious kids back in his day.

``My first camp, I remember having Tony Dorsett,’’ Hester recalled. ``It was down in Florida, really exciting, and very crowded. So I know how it feels for these kids to see a football player. Whatever the football player says, you want to listen to him and just kind of hang around and talk to him.’’

Hester had his share of followers Saturday, some of them adults that tiptoed close enough to the Bears receiver to take a picture. But this was about the kids – 210 of them, to be exact.

``It got bigger this year,’’ Hester noted. ``Whenever you start off something like a camp, it’s always a slow, gradual process. Hopefully by the fifth, sixth year, it will be really packed.’’

Hester spent most the day playing quarterback, although he took time to teach some of the techniques of the receiver position.  But Hester’s instruction was by no means limited to offense.

``I learned how to do a two-point defensive stance and I learned about how to charge the opponent,’’ said Ramon Bell, an 11-year-old camper from Chicago’s south side and a Pirie Elementary student. ``And of course, I learned how to run a route . … Meeting Devin Hester, it was just fun.’’

For Hester, mission accomplished.

He closed the day emphasizing the importance of having fun in every aspect of life. Check out Hester’s speech below, along with a couple other video clips from the camp (above), which concludes Sunday.

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Right Tackle vs. Left Tackle According To Eric Winston

So my friend has finally won out, this blog will be about the differences between Right Tackle and Left Tackle.  It’s probably good that I am talking about this topic because there are many common misconceptions about the position.  I’m not sure how to do this so I will answer typical statements I hear.   

Left Tackles are more athletic.
For the most part, yes.  Left Tackles are commonly your more athletic, less physical former basketball player or all-around athlete.  Right Tackles might not be as athletic but they are more physical, tougher players.  Right Tackles are asked to “open up” holes by moving the defensive player while Left Tackles “cover” their guy up by getting in front of the defender but don’t get as much movement.

Right Tackles are the better run blockers because teams are right handed and run right more than left.
Again, for the most part, yes.  I don’t have the exact numbers but I’m pretty sure we ran right more than left last year.  However, in our zone scheme the play side can be the backside quite a few times because of so many cutbacks the back is offered by good cutoff blocks on the backside. 

Right Tackles don’t have to be as good at pass blocking because they get more help than the left tackle.
Absolutely wrong.  The only time this is true is during most play-action passes, especially when the tight end is next to the Right Tackle.  Think about it, if a team runs right more, then a team is going to play action to that side as well, therefore the tight end does stay in and block some of those times.  To me, one of the hardest blocks to make is when you are to the open side (no TE next to you) and the play-action fake is coming your way.  Think about selling out at a defensive end on a play-action pass hoping that he reads it as run and doesn’t blow by you up the field.  It is a block that takes a ton of practice and self confidence.  An old vet used to tell me, “if you believe, he’ll believe” and he was exactly right.  (Thanks Ephraim.)  Generally speaking, the backside of the play-action pass is harder, giving the Left Tackle the most stress.

Click here to read the rest of Eric’s blog entry

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Greg Olsen on his new QB and Finding a Home in Chicago

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Palm Beach County youth sports camps filled with NFL pros

It's the off-season, one of a handful of weeks when NFL players who devote most of their year to football get some time off the sweaty field.

But today, in a 5-mile stretch of Palm Beach County, the fields will be full, sweat will be sweated, and you won't get far before running into a pro.

In a fluke of scheduling, two youth sports camps are being held today, practically next door to each other - one in Boynton Beach, one in Delray Beach, both aiming to let local kids and teens learn from professional athletes.

The first: Delray's Community Mentoring Youth Sports Camp, in its third year, this time headlined by the Kansas City Chiefs rising star Brandon Flowers. Fifteen to 25 college and professional athletes from different sports are expected to be there, including about a dozen football stars - among them, former Pro Bowl running back Jamal Lewis.

The second: Boynton's Police Athletic League's three-day Football Camp with the Pros, founded eight years ago and still anchored by retired NFL defensive back Mike Rumph. This year, Sabby Piscitelli of Boca Raton and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is helping out, and other pros (including Flowers) are expected to stop by today.

"It's right after minicamp and right before training camp," Rumph said. "This is the best time to get an NFL guy, while he's relaxing and he doesn't have a lot of obligations."

In light of the scheduling fluke - organizers on both sides say they didn't realize till after the dates were set - the similarities of the camps are striking.

Rumph grew up in Boynton, playing for the Police Athletic League's first youth team; Flowers grew up in Delray. Rumph's camp is taught by his high school coach; Flowers' mom works for the city and helped organize this year's event.

P.J. Williams, an assistant coach at Rumph's camp, said camps like these make a big difference. He's attended Rumph's camp every year, starting the first year it was held, when he was a camper. Now, the boy from Boynton is a rising junior at Lincoln University in Missouri on a football scholarship.

"It's a real good experience for the kids - something they can take away with them for the rest of their lives, a learning experience," he said. "Your role models, you see on TV every day, you come out here and get to meet them - that's like a dream come true."

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Feeling Minnesota

I'm pretty much done with vacationing and all that offseason stuff. I've been working hard getting ready for the season.

Right now I'm in Minneapolis working out with Larry Fitzgerald, getting some work in before training camp. Today we did a lot of agility stuff, working on vertical movement at the Velocity training facility. We broke out the parachute and did some sprints. I ran three 300-yard shuttles today too. Today was all about working on explosive movement. There were a bunch of other NFL guys here too. Jerry Rice, Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings and Michael Clayton were all here doing their thing.

I'm getting ready to head back home to Miami for a couple days. I might hit the beach and kick back. I need to recuperate a little bit. My body is pretty sore from working out. I'm going to continue to train all the way up until we report to Flagstaff on the 29th. I think I'll take a couple days off before camp starts just to rest up.

Click here to read the rest of Antrel’s Blog Entry at: www.rolle21.com.

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Hite Off To Vegas

Cleveland Cavaliers Summer league roster: Draft choices Christian Eyenga and Danny Green will join veterans Darnell Jackson, Tarence Kinsey and Jawad Williams and five other young free agents for the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, July 10-19, Ferry announced Friday.

The Cavs, coached by assistant coach Chris Jent, will play five games at the Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The Cavs will open Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers' summer team, followed by games Sunday against Milwaukee, Tuesday against Washington, Thursday against Dallas and Friday against Detroit.

The other players on the team are forward Leo Lyons of Missouri, center David Harrison of Colorado and guards Jamont Gordon of Mississippi State, Robert Hite of the University of Miami and Maureece Rice of George Washington.

Hite was in the Belgian league last year, averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 rebounds for Oostende.

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Burrell starting to get hot just as All-Star break arrives

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon has said that when DH Pat Burrell gets hot at the plate, he can stay that way for long stretches.

"That's his M.O.," Maddon said.

Burrell, 32, admits he has been feeling better the past couple of weeks and hopes that the better results from the recent home-stand — when he hit .304 with a homer, five doubles and five RBIs — are signs of things to come in the season's second half.

Burrell had two doubles Sunday, one of which knocked in two runs, giving him two games with multiple extra-base hits in the past three days after not having one since April 13.

"I had a year like this before where right at the break I started feeling pretty good and then, of course, we went to break," Burrell said.

"I feel good. Obviously there's lot of ground to make up here. But from two weeks ago, I've felt a lot better, and hopefully over the break you can somehow find a way to keep that feeling and have a good second half."

Burrell, the Rays' biggest offseason acquisition with a two-year, $16 million free agent deal, has struggled to find his way in the first half while having to adjust to a new position (DH) and a new league, and dealing with a neck strain that forced him to miss 29 games. He's hitting .232 with four homers and 28 RBIs.

Maddon has pointed to Burrell's track record — he averaged 31 homers and 99 RBIs the previous four seasons with the Phillies — and work ethic as reasons to believe the best is yet to come.

"Pat's looking better; much better at-bats," Maddon said. "I really believe he's on task, he's on track right now, and he's going to have a very good second half."

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Huff speaks

Aubrey Huff had some interesting pregame comments today on the O's first half and future. He was asked if he was satisfied with the club's play in the first half.

"We're not even at .500, how can you be satisfied," Huff said. "We haven't played that well on either side of the ball. When we pitched, we didn't hit, when we hit we didn't pitch. Sometimes we didn't do either or play defense that well and you're not going to win a lot of games that way.

"We have a lot of young pitching in the Minors. We've got some young guys that have already come up to lay a foundation for the future.

"We don't have a great record, but you know, a whole lot of that has to do with getting new faces in here, learning to play the game. Getting young players here, they are going to take their lumps and learn on the job. That's what they did in Tampa, it takes time."

Huff was asked what is different between a playoff team like Boston and the Orioles.

"You can't compare us to Boston. We're not going to go out and spend 200 million dollars a year. That's an unfair comparison. Anyone can go out and spend 200 million on a team and win. We have to build from within our organization, develop our young guys and get players from our farm system."

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Braun buys a foreclosed house

Ryan Braun, a Milwaukee Brewers outfielder who was chosen to play in Tuesday's All-Star Game, has purchased a foreclosed home in Malibu for $4.85 million.

Since selling for $4.2 million in 2004, the property had been through a series of owners and transfers before ending up as bank-owned. It was listed at a high of $8.9 million in 2007 and had been marketed at $5,299,900 since the fall.

The five-bedroom, seven-bathroom gated Mediterranean has ocean views and sits on more than an acre with a swimming pool, spa and built-in barbecue. The interiors include three fireplaces and travertine and hardwood flooring. There is a two-bedroom, one-bathroom guesthouse and a movie theater for a total of 7,587 square feet of living area.

Braun, 25, grew up playing baseball in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley.

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Rays, Burrell push back after troublesome Texas trip

ST. PETERSBURG - No, Pat Burrell had not forgotten his home run trot, though it would have been understandable if he had.

The problem, as he saw it, was just how to approach that mob at home plate after his two-run walk-off homer beat the Blue Jays in the 11th inning Tuesday night at the Trop. His teammates waited on him.

"If you don't go in firm, you're going to be in some trouble," Burrell said. "I figure I'd go in firm and try to push the pile."

"He kind of came in like a linebacker," teammate B.J. Upton said. "Never seen that one before. It was a pretty good one. I liked it."

As for the pile …

"He moved it," Upton said.

"You get rib shots and all that other stuff. I just figured I'd punch back," Burrell said.

There was Burrell, who has been in a slump all season.

"It's not from lack of opportunity," he said. I've been up there plenty of times with the game on the line. As a matter of fact, last week in Toronto, bases loaded, one out, I had a chance to put us ahead. You know, you just keep going."
In the 11th, he finally struck.

"We all feel good for Pat tonight," Maddon said. "That ball was really loud."

Maybe it moved this season along. Face it: There hasn't been enough of the stuff that made 2008 special.

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