Kosar files first income report since bankruptcy

Bernie Kosar, the former professional football quarterback who entered Chapter 11 protection on June 19, said in a court filing that his personal business income was $1,000 from the time he entered bankruptcy until the end of the month. The income came from an appearance on The Drew Carey Show. Kosar listed assets of $9.1 million against debt totaling $18.9 million. Kosar filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in Fort Lauderdale.

A filing in the bankruptcy of KHOC LLC, which holds Kosar's interest in the Florida Panthers, valued his 6 percent interest in the hockey team at $14.4 million. The team is reportedly close to being sold for $240 million.

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Photos From The Grand Opening of Dan Morgan's New Resturant

Here are photos from the grand opening of Cheese Mo'z Coal Fired Pizza Resturant located in Charolotte which was opened by former Carolina Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan. The grand opening was attended by two fellow Panthers and proCanes Jon Beason and Damione Lewis. Click here to visit the restaurant website.

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Top training camp questions and predictions

4. Now that Chicago has a quarterback, where are their big-time receivers?
This has been the question ever since the Bears acquired big-armed Jay Cutler from the Broncos while preaching that Devin Hester will simply run deep, Cutler will fire away and life will be grand in Soldier Field.

Yes, the Bears could use Plaxico Burress, but they managed to find a couple fine young kids in the draft — Juaquin Iglesias and Johnny Knox — and don't forget that Earl Bennett, who didn't catch one Kyle Orton pass last season, was a star receiver at Vanderbilt with Cutler.

Czar's Prediction: The Bears win with this summer's rebuilt offense around Greg Olsen, actually a tight end who will emerge as Cutler's top receiving option while doubling his production from 2008.

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Alex Cora gets thumbed from lineup

WASHINGTON - Alex Cora's right thumb, which is expected to require surgery after the season to repair a torn ligament, kept him out of the lineup for Wednesday night's series finale against the Nationals.

Cora tweaked the thumb Tuesday while bracing himself as a throw from Jeff Francoeur came in from right field, Jerry Manuel said. The manager indicated that he saw Cora wince while swinging during his final at-bat in that game.

Angel Berroa made his first start as a Met last night, replacing Cora at shortstop. He went 0-for-3. Former Rockie Cory Sullivan also started for the first time with his new team, in left field, and went 0-for-4.

Cora has started 42 games at shortstop this season, seven more than Jose Reyes, and has begun to wilt in the everyday role while dealing with the hand issue. He's hitting .211 in 35 games since June 11.

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Ken Dorsey Is the QB For the New York UFL Team

It looks like Ken Dorsey has landed a job as quarterback of the New York UFL team which has yet to be named. Dorsey was a two-time Heisman Trophy finalist in 2001 and 2002. In both of those seasons he was the NCAA QB of the Year and the Archie Griffin Award winner. During his NFL career (2003-08) Dorsey passed for 2,082 yards, 8 TDs and 18 INTs.

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Matt Mosley of ESPN on Kenny Phillips

Reed, Wayne and Others Motivate Young Hurricane Receivers

The affable and outspoken broadcast major, Laron Byrd, wears the No. 47 of former UM great Michael Irvin, and regularly watches old film of him with the Cowboys and UM. This summer he has been under the tutelage of NFL stars and UM alums such as Ravens safety Ed Reed and Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. The latter two grew up in the New Orleans area, also home to Byrd.

Byrd said Reed told him, `` `Don't embarrass Louisiana.' The second thing he'll say is when you represent Miami you represent them right. Take every play like it's your last, because you never know. . . .

``Reggie was like, `You've got to represent the receiver spot right. Every time you run a route, run it full speed. Always expect that the ball is going to come to you.'

``I've seen a lot of guys, like Andre [Johnson]. I'm trying to work hard to be his size. The Andres, the Reggie Waynes, the Ed Reeds, the Phillip Buchanons, the Antrel Rolles. A lot of guys roll in and out [of UM], and for me it's motivation.''

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Lions Trade For Orien Harris

The Lions have traded wide receiver Ronald Curry, whom they had just added this offseason, to the Rams for defensive lineman Orien Harris.

Harris was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round in 2006. Well the Steelers sure do a fine job of drafting right? So Harris should be a pretty good player. Well, he never played for the Steelers. When the 2006 season started, he was already on the Browns. He never played a down in Cleveland. Then, he started 2007 with the Bills, but before the season started was a Saint. Once again, he never played a down for New Orleans. Last season he finally got on the field... for Cincinnati. He recorded 14 tackles, only four of those solo. He was then traded to St. Louis, and before he ever played a down there he's now a Lion.

Clearly, Harris isn't the most highly thought of player. However, he has one very important thing going for him; he's a defensive tackle (I know the link says DE as of right now, but everything else I see about him says he's a DT). The Lions are incredibly thin at defensive tackle. It's Grady Jackson (whose currently injured and might be suspended), raw rookie Sammie Hill, aged veteran Chuck Darby, and Andre Fluellen, whose been putting on weight to get up to size for the new defense. That, and a bunch of a guys of little to no consequence. Now, Harris provides some depth for the Lions at defensive tackle, depth they desperately needed.

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Texans offensive guard Chester Pitts Calls Rashad Butler Suprise Texan Lineman of the Season

When asked about who would be the surprise offensive lineman this year, Pitts said Rashad Butler.  Pitts said that for a guy who hasn't played much, his technique is really good and that he looks like he's 310-315 lbs. now.  That's a far cry from where he was a few years ago.

The first thing that came to mind while reading about Ephraim Salaam signing with the Lions was, "I hope Butler is ready."

Not that there was much of a chance that Salaam would return to the Texans anyway, but this drove home the fact that Rashad Butler is now a 'heartbeat away.'

Salaam is entering his 12th season and will be 33 years old next month.  He was a starter his entire career, until last season when he played behind rookie first round pick Duane Brown. 

But even though Salaam didn't start a game for the Texans in 2008, he got plenty of reps relieving Brown whose head was left spinning more than once during his rookie season.

Those days are over as Salaam was released in February in favor of Butler, who has no career starts and only eight game appearances in three seasons.  Brown will be expected to play full time in 2009 and Butler is the primary backup.

Butler is an interesting case.

He was a 3rd round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2006 but was released during training camp in 2007 because he couldn't make weight.  But it wasn't because he was too heavy - he was too light - dropping as low as 270 lbs which is far too light to play tackle in the NFL. 

Butler's weight issue was due to a digestive condition called ulcerative colitis which wasn't being properly treated until he arrived in Houston. 

Butler is listed at 6-4, 293 on the Texans and NFLPA websites, but nfl.com lists him at 309.  That's a large discrepancy so I'll try to find out what's right.  The low 290's is a little light by NFL standards for offensive tackles although Alex Gibbs would prefer an agile 300 pounder over a 330 lb. mauler any day. 

Whatever he weighs, he's clearly the #3 tackle for now since the only other tackles on the roster are Cliff Washburn, and two undrafted free agents.

At any rate, the Texans lost  experienced depth at tackle with Salaam's departure.  So ready or not, Butler's time is now.

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Edgerrin James Free Football Camp

Children in Immokalee scrimmage during a free football camp hosted by the Edgerrin James Foundation and the Collier County Parks and Recreation in Immokalee Tuesday.

Clinton Portis joined a long list of Edgerrin James’ football friends on the camp coaching staff: Fort Myers High grad and former Atlanta Falcons receiver Jammi German, former Hurricanes linebacker Rod Mack — who brought a van full of kids from Miami — and even the other James’ relative to put Immokalee on the football map: Edgerrin’s cousin and current Miami running back Javarris James, who showed up around noon.

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McGahee ready to challenge Rice at running back

Proclaiming that he's healthy and in shape, Willis McGahee seems more prepared this year for the rigors of Ravens training camp.

Perhaps the first challenge: Win back his starting job.

Four days before he reports to Westminster, the former Pro Bowl running back said he expects Ray Rice to be ahead of him on the depth chart.

"I'm pretty sure Ray is going to be the guy when we start out, but it's training camp," said McGahee, who signed footballs for about 100 fans Wednesday in a downtown event coordinated by his charitable foundation and Boost Mobile. "It's a long season. No pressure. Like I say, it's not how you start. It's how you finish."

Last year at this time, McGahee didn't report to training camp in shape and was sidelined most of the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. He subsequently finished with 671 yards rushing and eight starts, both of which were career lows.

After undergoing another knee surgery this offseason, McGahee was sidelined for most of this year's minicamps. When he returned, McGahee was primarily taking snaps with the second team while Rice was running with the starters.

"Yeah, well, Willis showed up to see if he can do something for the team," quarterback Joe Flacco said at an early June minicamp. "We all expect him to be here and expect him to do a good job when he's here."

Rice, who finished third on the team in rushing and fourth in receiving as a rookie, could not be reached for comment. Quarterbacks, rookies and select veterans report to training camp Monday. The first-full team practice is July 31.

Unlike last year, McGahee said he is "100 percent" healthy and is in shape after running regularly.

"I've got a lot of doubters out there," McGahee said. "It's going to be fun. They can look at me and smile and say, 'He's in great shape. He's doing this, he's doing that.' It's about me proving that I can be Willis McGahee. Yeah, they're sleeping on me, but I want them to sleep on me.

"I just want to show them. They've been counting me out since Day One, since I got into the league. What's another day? Let them keep counting me out."

The Ravens fans who met McGahee on Wednesday weren't shy about their expectations for the seven-year veteran.

"We gotta go all the way to the Super Bowl," said Patricia Strout, 41, of Easton. "I put the pressure on him."

Demonte Reid, 16, from Baltimore, was excited for the chance to meet his favorite Raven. "I told him he was the best and he said, 'that's right,'" he said.

The Ravens traded three draft picks (third and seventh-round picks in 2007 and a third-rounder in 2008) to the Buffalo Bills for McGahee in 2007. In his first season with the Ravens, McGahee produced immediately, leading the team with 1,207 yards rushing on a career-high 294 carries.

Then, last year, McGahee couldn't stay healthy. After undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in training camp, McGahee dealt with injuries to his eye, ribs and ankle and managed a career-low 170 carries.

He started the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, rushing for 60 yards and two touchdowns. But he left with a neck injury after a crushing blow by Steelers safety Ryan Clark.

"[Injuries are] something that you can't control," McGahee said. "It was just one injury after another. It was an injury bug last year and hopefully it's all behind me."

McGahee's foundation received a $5,000 check Wednesday from Boost Mobile, which will also donate $500 to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center for every touchdown by McGahee this season.

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MLB's Top 100 Players

13. Ryan Braun, LF, Brewers
Everyone knows about his immense power, but improved plate discipline -- his .388 on-base percentage is more than 50 points higher than last year -- is taking him from star to superstar.

Click here to see the rest of the rankings.

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Sanchez gets call to Florida Marlins later than expected

A University of Miami product, Sanchez is filling the 25-man roster spot vacated late Monday when the Marlins optioned left-hander Andrew Miller to the Zephyrs. Sanchez was hitting .284 with nine homers, 39 RBI and a .791 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Going into spring training, Sanchez was expected to win the first-base job. He got off to slow start offensively and then injured a knee.

"It's always a disappointment when you're going into something knowing you have a chance to make the ball club and it doesn't happen," he said. "It's part of the game, and I can't just hang my head down and look at what's happened in the past. I have to rise above that and try to do my best now.

"My mind-set in April was to go down and have fun, play the game right and not think about what I need to do to get back here. I knew that if I went down and played the game the way I know how to play, eventually it was going to happen."

Sanchez's season almost ended prematurely. On May 3 he suffered a Grade 2 tear of his right medial collateral ligament while covering home plate. The initial prognosis called for four to six weeks of inactivity.

"That was a big blow," said Sanchez, who returned to the Zephyrs on June 6. "Going out there knowing I was doing well and I was having the type of season I wanted to have, to have that kind of a setback is tough. Mentally I tried not to let that get to me too much. … A month of not playing is a long time, but what it could have been was even greater. It could have been two months or season-ending if they needed to go in for surgery."

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Huff appears to be staying in Baltimore

Back in 2005, the Boston Red Sox seriously investigated acquiring Aubrey Huff from the Tampa Bay Rays. One team official opined, on the condition of the anonymity, "We think he's the type of guy who enjoys the spotlight and would thrive in high-pressure situations."

That evaluation remains largely theoretical; this marks Huff's 10th season in the big leagues, and only once, with the 82-80 Astros in 2006, has he played so much as half a season on a winning team. At best, we've seen Huff enjoy high-profile moments, like when he pumped his fist after a home run off first-pumper Joba Chamberlain earlier this season.

Now, as his contract with the rebuilding Orioles winds down, he yearns to play on a winner. But with nine days to go before the non-waivers trading deadline arrives, the safe bet falls on Huff staying in Baltimore.

"From what I'm hearing, they're not interested in trading at all," Huff told Midweek Insider of the Orioles. "They wanted to finish strong. We've really tanked it the last couple of years in August and September. I think (president of baseball operations) Andy MacPhail has expressed he wanted to finish strong."

Multiple reports have indicated that the O's like the idea of receiving compensatory draft picks assuming Huff, who turns 33 in December, rejects arbitration and signs elsewhere as a free agent. Huff will likely be a Type A free agent. Yet given the current trends in baseball's economy, the first baseman-designated hitter-outfielder might very well feel compelled to accept arbitration.

In truth, it appears that Huff, despite his impressive resume , isn't in high demand.

"I just don't see him as a difference-maker," one official from a National League club said, on the condition of anonymity. "He plays in a hitter's park and is very limited defensively. He's probably an AL-only player and he makes a lot of money ($8 million this year).

"Also, the Orioles are somewhat difficult to deal with on trades. I think it's a long shot (that Huff gets traded), as many teams don't have money and the Orioles would want a ton back if they were going to eat the rest of the contract."

Great points, all. Nevertheless, given that there's only one potential impact bat available in Oakland's Matt Holliday, you'd think someone might take a chance on Huff if the Orioles will split the difference on money and prospects. Huff entered Wednesday's game against the Yankees with a career OPS+ of 115. He put up a 135 OPS+ just last year, slamming 32 homers.

This season has been more trying, as Huff's .324 on-base percentage and .418 slugging percentage put him below the AL average.

"I think a lot of it has to do, we've been facing a tremendous amount of left-handed pitching this year," the lefty-hitting Huff said. "I think I've had the most at-bats in my career against lefties, and we've got two more months left."

He's a little off there, but his greater point holds. Huff entered the day with 144 at-bats against lefties this year, and a .272 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage. Last year, he tallied 196 at-bats against lefties and put up a superior .313 OBP and .439 SLG.

By looking at his splits, you see some evidence that Huff could do well in a pennant race. His numbers in situations baseball-reference.com identifies as "high leverage" (.350 OBP and .492 SLG, entering Tuesday night's game) -- "important" game situations, with close scores and late innings producing the highest leverage -- trump his overall numbers (.343, .478).

"When the game's on the line, certainly, that's what you want to be in," he said. "I've never been a real fan of garbage at-bats, I call 'em. Down 10-1 or up 10-1 in the eighth and there's nobody up with two outs. Obviously, you want to do well, but just that feeling of the focus and the energy and excitement is not there as in situations when the game's on the line."

And while he takes accountability for signing a three-year, $20-million deal with the perennially struggling Orioles prior to the 2007 season -- they offered the most years, he said, and no contending team made a serious offer -- he wants to play in more situations when the season is on the line.

"As many years as I've lost in this game, I'm not a selfish guy," he said. "You give me one playoff, and hopefully win a World Series ring, I'll take that one, and I wouldn't say I'd retire, but I'd definitely be happy with it. As many years as I've lost, I know how hard it is to get one of those things."

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Photos From Edgerrin James' Football Camp

Children in Immokalee scrimmage during a free football camp hosted by the Edgerrin James Foundation and the Collier County Parks and Recreation in Immokalee Tuesday. James, who graduated from Immokalee High School in 1996, played for the Indianapolis Colts and most recently for the Arizona Cardinals, has a history of giving back: in 2005, James donated $100,000 to Immokalee High School to provide for a new weight room.

Click here to see more photos!

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James confident he'll find job in NFL

IMMOKALEE — Edgerrin James, unsigned and hoping to enter his 11th NFL season as a running back, projected a carefree attitude regarding his future.

“There are not 32 backs out there who are better than me,” James said with a smile. Most NFL training camps begin Aug. 1. “I want to continue to play. I can play at a high level.

“I’m not saying where I want to go. It will all take care of itself.”

Surrounded by about 400 children at the Immokalee Sports Complex, the 11th all-time leading rusher in NFL history also projected plenty of confidence.

Click here to continue reading!

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Gore still wants to carry load

The 49ers saw what happened when running back Frank Gore missed two games late in the season last year with an ankle injury. The ground game virtually came to a halt. So the club was determined this offseason to add a young running back to take some of the workload off Gore throughout the year. But that doesn’t mean Gore necessarily agrees with those intentions.

The 49ers selected running back Glen Coffee of Alabama in the third round to spell Gore and keep him fresh throughout the season. But Gore is not going to willingly step aside to let Coffee get his carries, either.

"I haven't heard that they're going to take some of the load off of me," Gore said. "I know the coach has been telling me that I have to be in tip-top shape, and I have to be ready to take that load, so that's what I'm going to do."

Gore said he is the kind of running back that gets stronger when the game progresses, so he fears if he takes prolonged breaks during a game it might have a negative effect.

"I feel like the more I'm in the game, the more I touch the ball, the better player I am," Gore said.

Gore said his initial reaction to Coffee through the offseason program has been positive.

"The back they've got here is a pretty good back," Gore said. "He's working very hard and he's learning the offense. I like him. Whenever they feel they want to put him in, I feel that he'll be all right."

Gore and Coffee should fit into new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye's vision of a tough-minded, power-running team. Neither running back spends much time dancing, as their focus is on advancing the ball up the field as quickly as possible.

When asked to describe his style, Coffee was succinct, "Hard-nosed. Physical. One-cut runner."

He added, "I try to get up the field in a hurry. I try not to lose any yards. I don't like negative plays."

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Q&A with ... Saints LB Jonathan Vilma

In his five seasons, Jonathan Vilma has won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors and made the Pro Bowl, but he has also gone through his share of upheaval. He played for two coaches with the Jets -- Herm Edwards and Eric Mangini -- and then was traded to New Orleans after an injury-filled 2007 season. An All-American and three-time academic all-conference player at Miami (Fla.) who was part of a national championship team in 2001, Vilma told Sporting News Today's Albert Breer he thinks this could be the year he experiences such success at the pro level.

Q: You were a pretty serious student in college. What influenced you in that area?
A: It definitely came from my parents. If I wanted to play when I was younger, I was forced to have my grades up. My dad wouldn't let me play without a B average. And then I finally got to the point where I realized that your grades and your education … nothing can beat having those. I love football, but education is more important. It's something no one can take from me, and back then, I didn't need my parents to know that, which is a credit to them.

Q: So do you have a career planned for after football?
A: I did start preparing for that, I had a couple scenarios, depending on how long I played. But right now, I've already beaten the curve. I'm going into my sixth year, and most guys don't last this long. So for me, now, it's planning my retirement rather than another career.

Q: Have you thought about things you'd like to do after football?
A: Television would be fun, for longevity. But I'd really like to own my own bank. I have a finance degree, and I've always been into that.

Q: Was it jarring to be traded?
A: It's part of the business; it didn't really bother me. It was just adjusting to life, going to New Orleans from New York City and learning new teammates. It is what it is. I had a great time in New York. But at the end of the day, it's a business.

Q: What do you miss about New York?
A: New York City was great; there's nothing like it. There was always something to do, whether it's eating or seeing a show, or fashion week. There's so much going on.

Q: What do you like most about New Orleans?
A: The food, by far. I don't think I've had a bad meal since I got here.

Q: Is this Saints team as close to getting to the Super Bowl as it was three years ago?
A: I think we're still right there. Any Sunday could be the one where we get over the top. Look at Arizona. It'll be a matter of us believing in each other.

Q: Were you really a bad fit in Eric Mangini's defense?
A: I think what happened is when you have two really good years to start in the NFL, you set the bar so high so that if you fall off at all, people notice. People would still say I was above average but that I didn't have 180 tackles and then say, 'He's not a fit for this defense.' It's hard to say if that was true. I'd rather play in the 4-3, of course.

Q: Do you marvel at the talent you played with at Miami?
A: Yeah, I think we all now realize that we were loaded. We had a good five-year stretch where we can look back and say we were loaded at pretty much every position. But we were all 18, 19, 20, just playing football. The craziest thing is a lot of us played against each other in high school. So at U of M, we didn't think anything of it. We didn't understand the talent we had. You look back now; we had some guys.

Q: What did you learn playing on those teams?
A: It really taught me that it doesn't matter how talented you are; you always have to prove it. It was about that in the spring, from practices to games at Miami. You prove it. From having the best backs to the linebackers to the receivers, you have to prove yourself. It has created a mentality. Even if you're a Pro Bowler, you work at it.

Q: Tough to see Miami struggle?
A: Oh yeah, it's tough. But I'm a true, diehard Hurricane, so I'm behind them.

Q: What will it take to turn it around?
A: Confidence. They have to win a couple of big games. They were closer last year. It didn't look close against Florida, but it was (9-3) going into the fourth. Then (Florida) started ripping off touchdowns. But you get those young guys experience, and confidence, and eventually they pull out those games and you're on your way.

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A Rolle model for pro athletes

The first time I interviewed Antrel Rolle, I was just getting my feet wet in reporting and he was just starting to get everyone's attention for his football talents at South Dade.

Ten years after I wrote my first high school football story on him -- one his father Al, Homestead's police chief, still keeps in his office -- I caught up Antrel for another on Tuesday. This time, it was about the South Dade kid who made good at The U and is doing even better now in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. And by doing better, I mean by his contributions to his community. Tuesday, South Dade High renamed its weight room in Rolle's honor after he gave the school $30,000 this past Christmas. It bought new football uniforms, the $10,000 weight room floor, $5,000 in weights and a bunch of other stuff.

If you've ever been in a Miami-Dade or Broward High School weight room or athletic facility, you know just how poor the facilities run down they are. Most of the time, the equipment is out of date or just flat out dangerous. Rolle's money is going a long way toward helping his alma mater build a new image with its new campus.

Click here to read the rest of this interview!

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Rolle Makes Sense of Boldin

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Romberg To Be Primary Backup?

ProFootballTalk reports that Jeremy Newberry, he of the bad knees and veteran pedigree, will retire before the season begins. This removes the veteran insurance from the equation if something happens to Troy Todd McClure and brings signing Brett Romberg into a backup role. The team might also crawl back to Alex Stepanovich and beg him to come back, which probably will result in a West SIde Story-style love, er, story. I just re-signed a lineman named Stepanovich...

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Eric Winston Blogs About Preparing For Camp

Two weeks from right now we will have completed our second day of practice.  It has been a brutally hot summer, so hopefully we will get a bunch of rain in August to cool things down. 

Getting ready for camp started already, though.  Constant amount of water is being consumed as we speak!  Getting ready for camp also entails getting your mind right as well, because training camp is a grind mentally as well as physically.  To accomplish that, I will be getting everything in my life in order so I will be able to concentrate completely on football.  That means getting all the bills paid early so you are not freaking out in the middle of a team drill because your DirectTV will be turned off when you get home.  Make sure to stock plenty of water, Gatorade, snacks, and any item that I will need over the course of the three-week span. 

Click here to read more!

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Huff To Be Traded?

Andy MacPhail, the Orioles president of baseball operations, is not kidding himself about where his team is in the trade market, even if he himself is not sure yet where his team is in the standings. "Clearly, we're in a seller's position," he said by phone Monday from his office in Baltimore. "We're nine games under .500, 14 games out or whatever it is, I'm not really sure. "

MacPhail was right about the team's record and place in the standings, and its place as the trade deadline approaches. But even though he is looking to deal, he cautions, "We're not going to be a farm system for everybody else, though."

Few teams figure to have as many intriguing parts as the Orioles do. One O's person said it should be "an interesting few days" for the franchise as they wait to see which (and how many) players will be sent off. Closer George Sherrill seems like the most likely to go. Other possible departures include first baseman Aubrey Huff, outfielder Luke Scott and perhaps pitcher Danys Baez -- who has asked MacPhail to inform him (rather than his agent) if he's about to be traded -- and infielder Melvin Mora as well.

Already, the team roster posted on the visitor's clubhouse door at Yankee Stadium had one adjustment to it. The typed name of Oscar Salazar had been crossed out and the name Cla Meredith had been written by hand above it (the O's added the sidearming reliever from the Padres in a minor deal on Sunday). That almost certainly won't be the last adjustment to the team's roster before these next two weeks are done.

As for the players whose names have popped up, Sherrill said, "A few guys [on the team] have joked with me, being like, 'What are you still doing here,' " he says. "I definitely don't want to leave, but there are positives and negatives to it. The negatives are I wouldn't be on this club anymore. The positives are I would be going to a contender. It wouldn't be as a closer, so that would be a job change, but it wouldn't be anything that would affect me."

Huff has grown so tired of the constant questions about him being traded that he's threatening to post a sign over his locker with his pat answer of "I don't know" and just point to it and say, "Read this" whenever he's asked about it. "I've been in trade rumors six of the nine years I've been playing," he says. "I don't want to hear about it, I just want to play baseball. [The rumors] are annoying. I don't care. I can't wait until this is over and done with."

Huff will have to hang on a little longer -- MacPhail said teams have mostly "kicked the tires" about his players and that "lots of teams aren't prepared to commit" to a deal since so few know for certain if they should be buying or selling yet. Entering play on Tuesday, nine of the 14 American League teams were within 4 1/2 games of a  playoff berth and 12 of the 16 National League teams were no more than 6 1/2 games out.

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Lions Ink Left Tackle Chris Rutledge

The BC Lions announced Monday that import offensive tackle Chris Rutledge has signed with the team.
Rutledge attended training camp with the Montreal Alouettes earlier this year and was released just prior to the regular season. Rutledge attended the University of Miami from 2004 to 2008 and was the school’s starting left tackle in his final two seasons. Rutledge participated in his first workout. He’s a University of Miami product who played the pre-season with Montreal. Rutledge is injury protection for Lions’ two import tackles, Jason Jimenez and Daren Heerspink.

Chris Rutledge - 63
Miami (Import)
Left Tackle (Miami)
Ht: 6.05   Wt: 311
Born: 05/30/86 – Miami, FL
Yrs with Lions: 1st 
Yrs in CFL: 1st

The BC Lions take on the reigning Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders on Friday, July 24th. 

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Explosive Hester hopes to make return trip to end zone

Devin Hester set the bar ridiculously high in his first two seasons, breaking NFL records with five kick return TDs in 2006 and six in 2007. After he failed to reach the end zone on special teams last year, what’s the plan to get him back on track? 
He’s going to be a starter [at receiver] and I think he feels a lot more comfortable with the offense now. So I think that returning can come back into the forefront for him. He wants to be back there. He showed that during OTAs and the offseason.

Will the approach with him be any different?
Not really. Late last season we talked a lot about taking the ball and getting north and south, hitting returns and getting your 10 yards, and then anything after that is a bonus. I think he’s on board with what we’re talking about. Most importantly, some of our young guys on special teams are now older, so we have a real good nucleus of guys having a year under their belt. Those young players now are going to be taking another step. And he was hitting his stride toward the end of last year. We busted a couple of long  returns.

What do you think accounted for his decline in the return game and how confident are you that he will regain the form he displayed in 2006-07?
I think it was a combination of a couple of things. We had a lot of young players blocking for him, so he had a different picture of what was in front of him. And then taking a lot of reps at wide receiver was a factor too. But he’s still the same guy. He still makes people miss. He’s got great vision. He’s still a threat back there. He still has a lot of respect from other teams. Teams aren’t going to just want to punt him the ball, I guarantee that.

How much of a luxury was it for you to be able to replace Devin on kickoff returns with someone like Danieal Manning, who ended up leading the NFL with a 29.7-yard average?
We’re very fortunate to have two guys at such a high level. Danieal is a Pro Bowl-caliber kick returner. The way he finished up last year in the last seven games was unbelievable. He’s so strong and tough. We’re lucky to have two guys. I wouldn’t feel bad having Devin back there also. He’s still better than 95 percent of the returners out there.

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Phillip Buchanon could be the key to Lions' secondary issues

The Detroit Lions have made so many personnel changes in the off-season that even some of the most significant moves haven't drawn much notice. The acquisition of veteran cornerback Phillip Buchanon falls into that category.

The Lions have some real issues in the secondary but Buchanon can solve some of those problems if he continues to play like he has throughout the off-season program. Buchanon is going into his eighth NFL season and he's had an up-and-down career - make that up-and-down-and-back-up-again career.

A first-round draft pick by Oakland in 2002 - 17th overall -- Buchanon was a full-time starter in his second and third seasons before getting traded to the Houston Texans where the wheels came off. Buchanon struggled for a year and a half before he was released by the Texans early in the 2006 season.

After he signed with the Lions, I asked Buchanon what had happened in Houston and he didn't want to go into details, preferring to put it behind him. Buchanon, though, indicated it had been his own problems and didn't try to lay it on the coaching staff, teammates, scheme or any of the other usual suspects.

Buchanon said he's corrected his shortcomings and his 2 ½ years in Tampa would seem to prove that. After getting cut by Houston, Buchanon signed with the Bucs during the season and rebounded and played well - he started all 16 games last year and had two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.

Buchanon, though, was going to get pushed out of a starting job by Aqib Talib, a former first-round pick, who is now ready to become a starter. The Bucs wanted Buchanon to re-sign and stay with the team but Buchanon opted to leave in hopes of finding a starting position.

There's no question Buchanon will be a starter in Detroit, the issue is just how good he's going to be. A strong man-to-man player, Buchanon has been impressive in the off-season and has been making plays on the ball. If Buchanon is reliable in one-on-one coverage, it gives the Lions some defensive versatility. Not only can the Lions give help to the other cornerback, but they'll also be in better shape to do some blitzing because they won't be worried about putting Buchanon on an island.

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Over 400 signed up so far for Edgerrin James' free kids camp in Immokalee on Tuesday

Former Pro Bowl running back Edgerrin James, along with Collier County Parks and Recreation, is hosting a free mini-camp for local children from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Immokalee Sports Complex. More than 400 kids have already registered for the camp, but walk-in registrations will be accepted until 9:30 a.m.

To sign up for the camp, call the Immokalee Sports Complex at (239) 657-1951. The Immokalee Sports Complex is located at 505 Escambia St.

The camp is for ages 6 and up, including high school students. The Edgerrin James Foundation will provide food for the children, and Vitamin Water will provide drinks for campers throughout the day. Children must wear comfortable athletic clothing and shoes.

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Jack McClinton's NBA Summer League Stats

McClinton didn’t give the performance he would have liked for the Spurs, but don’t expect to see this stop him from making the Spurs roster.

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Marlins Calling Up Gaby Sanchez

The Marlins are calling up corner infieler Gaby Sanchez from Triple A New Orleans to take the roster spot of LHP Andrew Miller, who was optioned late Monday.

Sanchez went into spring training as a contender to win an Opening Day roster spot. But an injury and sluggish spring landed him in New Orleans. The 25-year-old University of Miami product is hitting .289 with nine home runs with the Zephyrs.

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Come To Me Now - Kellen Winslow ESPN The Magazine Feature

Click on the images below to read ESPN The Magazine’s feature on Kellen Winslow from their August 2009 Issue.

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Wayne puts on his annual celebrity basketball game

In two weeks, Reggie Wayne will focus on his day job as the Indianapolis Colts' three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.

Saturday night at Conseco Fieldhouse, he was out of his element but having a ball. With a pulsating hip-hop backbeat setting the tone, he helped pull off the annual Amp Harris and Reggie Wayne "Saving Our Youth'' celebrity basketball game as part of Indiana Black Expo.

At halftime, Wayne's team -- it included Colts teammates Bob Sanders, Marlin Jackson, Robert Mathis and Pierre Garcon -- was trailing by double digits. Yet he sat on the scorer's bench, smiling as he looked around at young fans who had crowded the court seeking autographs and photo ops.

"It's all about giving back to the community, seeing everybody having a good time,'' Wayne said. "The whole thing with the Expo gig is to have fun. Whatever problems you have, you have an opportunity to come out here and enjoy the festivities.

"You get to leave your problems at home.''

On his own level, Wayne could relate. His celebrity event annually represents his final fling before the start of training camp. The Colts report Aug. 2 to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute and practice for the first time the next morning.

"This is always my last banana before camp,'' said Wayne, the Colts' top receiver following the release of Marvin Harrison in February. "I get to forget all about my workouts, forget all about the fact training camp's coming, forget about football.

"I get to come out and enjoy myself.''

Wayne plans to spend his remaining offseason time in Miami in preparation for his ninth training camp with the Colts.

"I've got to get that sunshine as long as I possibly can,'' he said. "I know in due time I'm going to be up here in the good ol' white stuff.''

The basketball game, Wayne added, "is the last thing I do. After this, I'll sit back and completely do nothing -- no traveling, nothing. You sit back and wait for Aug. 2.''

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Tuesday, July 21 ∙ 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Collier County Parks and Recreation is proud to host the Edgerrin James and Immokalee Sports Complex Football Camp on Tuesday, July 21, when local children will have the chance to spend the day with pro football player Edgerrin James. The NFL running back will be hosting a FREE football mini-camp at Immokalee Sports Complex for all local children. James has a close connection to Immokalee, because he was born and raised in Immokalee. After being recruited from Immokalee High School, James played for the Indianapolis Colts and most recently for the Arizona Cardinals.

On April 23, 2009, James was inducted to the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. The Edgerrin James and Immokalee Sports Complex Football Camp is for school aged children age six and up including high school students. More than 200 children have already signed up for the football camp. Walk-in campers are welcome, however they must be registered for the Edgerrin James and Immokalee Sports Complex Football Camp by Tuesday, July 21 at 9:30 a.m. The Edgerrin James Foundation will provide food for the children, and Vitamin Water will provide drinks for campers throughout the day. The camp will be held Tuesday, July 21 from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Children must wear comfortable athletic clothing and shoes.

Following the football camp, James and the Immokalee Sports Complex will host a pool party for the kids as a “cool off” at end the day from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Parents will be invited to attend as well. Let your little football player play with a pro! Sign up for this camp today by calling the Immokalee Sports Complex at (239) 657-1951. The Immokalee Sports Complex is located in Immokalee, Florida at 505 Escambia St.

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Devin Hester in Under Armour's New Ad Campaign

Devin Hester looks to become Under Armour’s main spokespearson for their upcoming line of football cleats. Check out the print ad below (click on it to see if bigger and download) we scanned from ESPN magazine and click here if you would like to see his upcoming commercial that will be released Sunday July 19 during the ESPYs. A big thanks to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald for posting the commercial.

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James Jones & Opa-locka organization help low-income home buyer

On a sweltering hot morning, Tina Coats and her 2-year-old daughter Shania Mears fan themselves under a tent in front of a home in Opa-locka, one that Coats hopes will be hers soon.

''I want a better life for me and my children,'' the mother of two said.

About 25 community supporters and dignitaries were on hand to kick off Opa-locka Community Development Corporation's Neighborhood Stabilization Program of South Florida.

''At some point someone will be handed the key to this house and to their future,'' said president of AT&T Florida, Marshall Criser.

With a $50,000 check from AT&T and a commitment from Miami Heat forward James Jones to assist in the down payment and closing costs, the Opa-locka Community Development Corp. plans to place 70 low-income families into foreclosed or abandoned properties.

For a family of four, that is less than $50,000 a year.

So far, 20 applicants have been mortgage approved.

''If we had 20 homes right now, they could move in immediately,'' said Willie Logan, president of Opa-locka Community Development Corporation. Funds for the program will come from the organization's $250,000 home budget and assistance from Jones.

Organizers hope to gain more financial backing by partnering with municipalities to use money from the federally funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Jones, a Miami native who grew up in nearby Carol City, used the opportunity to remind the audience of the importance of community building.

''You can't help but notice how the foreclosure crisis has affected our community; families and children are being cheated out of a stable environment. If we can do something to help a family find a place in this community, then we should do it,'' he said.

The three-bedroom two-bath turquoise home at Northwest 33rd Avenue and 177th Terrace is a dream for Coats, who was renting a three-bedroom duplex until the property owner went into foreclosure last year.

``It was a very bad situation for me and my kids because we didn't find out until someone came knocking on the door serving us papers. I don't ever want to experience that again.''

Before Coats can move into her dream home, two illegal room additions by the previous homeowner and a porch must be torn down. Hogan expects the home to be ready by the end of December.

In the meantime, Coats faces an obstacle that may thwart her homeownership vision. After attending homeowners counseling and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, she was fired from her job as manager at a retail chain. ''The assumption is that she'll find a job by the time the home is completed or she gets passed over for the next available applicant,'' Logan said.

Now a full-time student, Coats is hopeful she'll find employment. ''I'll be working by the time the house is ready,'' she said. `I claimed it, it's mine.''

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Burrell showing signs of turnaround

KANSAS CITY -- Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer Friday night and had an RBI double Saturday night, which turned out to be huge hits in the Rays' come-from-behind wins against the Royals.

Burrell entered Sunday's game hitting .237 with five home runs and 32 RBIs, which is far from the production that was forecast for the veteran slugger heading into the season, but he is definitely showing signs of coming around.

"I'm starting to feel pretty good," Burrell said.

Burrell started the season in a slump, which likely had a lot to do with the fact his stiff neck never seemed to heal until after a stint on the disabled list from May 11-June 11. Burrell won't make excuses, but Rays manager Joe Maddon believes the nagging injury had a lot to do with Burrell's slow start, as such an injury can create bad habits.

"When you're protecting something like that, I think you can develop a bad habit," Maddon said. "You don't realize you're doing it. All of a sudden, you wake up one day and your neck hurts and your swing is different."

Not only has Burrell had crucial hits the past two games, but he also had a walk-off homer against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field on July 7.

"He's using his hands a lot better," Maddon said. "I don't see as much of a push of the bat through the strike zone. I'm seeing the bat head snapping through the zone. And I do believe the neck was a big issue in regard to that."

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Braun returns to starting lineup

CINCINNATI -- A day after he was out of the lineup with a sore left wrist, Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun was back in the lineup Sunday against the Reds.

Braun told Brewers manager Ken Macha that he could play and Macha inserted Braun in the third spot in Milwaukee's lineup.

Braun originally injured his wrist Friday when he was struck by a pitch from Reds starter Bronson Arroyo. In the seventh inning after hitting a grounder, Braun told Macha that he couldn't grip the bat.

Macha replaced Braun with Frank Catalanotto the following inning.

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