24 May 2009

Wilfork frustrated with Patriots

Is nose tackle Vince Wilfork set to make a statement about his displeasure over stagnant contract negotiations? Wilfork, who sent out three "tweets" on his Twitter account yesterday at the same time the Patriots were practicing at Gillette Stadium, has been frustrated at the lack of progress on contract talks. The sides haven't negotiated this offseason.

The Boston Globe confirms that Vince Wilfork was not at the Patriots' OTA practice on Thursday.
Wilfork is upset with his contract, although this is voluntary work. Still, the Patriots seem unlikely to appease Wilfork if he's looking for Jared Allen or Albert Haynesworth money. They did draft some protection in Ron Brace.


Parrish frustrated, wants to do more on offense

With Josh Reed not in attendance at practice, Roscoe Parrish had more opportunities to make plays in the passing game Thursday. But Parrish is convinced that when the full receiving corps is on hand he’s viewed as a substitute on offense and nothing more. Parrish believes he’s a legitimate NFL receiver, but going into his fifth season he’s convinced the opportunity to prove he can make a difference on offense won’t happen with the Bills.

“It’s a tough situation that I’m coming into and as of right now I’m just coming in and know my main role is punt return and I know I made a couple of plays today because Josh Reed wasn’t here and if he was here I probably wouldn’t have made the plays,” said Parrish. ”It’s just… I’m just trying to take advantage of my opportunities and that’s all I can really say about it. It is what it is.”

When asked what it is that he can do to convince the coaching staff that he can be a bona fide wideout that makes plays for an offense, Parrish seemed at his wits end.

“I feel like there’s not too much more that I can do,” said Parrish. ”This is my fifth year and they’ve seen me and they know my ability and what I can do and if I’m given the opportunity, it’s just that I haven’t been given the opportunity.
“In the NFL it’s all about opportunity. If you give a guy an opportunity in the NFL he’s probably going to make plays. If you don’t give a guy an opportunity then you’ll never know the ability of what he can do.

“As far me I know I’m a true receiver, but going on my fifth year most people probably don’t see that,” Parrish said. ”Maybe if I was to go to another team, I’m not saying I want to, but I might blossom more as a receiver.

“But right now all I can control is what I do on special teams and I’ve done a good job at that. I’ve been in the NFL a few years and I’m going to keep doing the same thing and if that’s what keeps me in the NFL that’s what I’m going to do and what I’m going to stay on top of. As far as receiver there’s nothing more I can do about that. I can’t control my own destiny with that.”

Knowing there were reports of trade talk involving Parrish this offseason, he was further asked if he was disappointed he wasn’t traded, and this was his response.

“No, not really,” Parrish said. ”I don’t want to put too much emphasis on that. That’s all I’m going to say about it.”


Leggett Looking Impressive

PLAYS OF THE DAY: Brady Quinn hit a wide-open Lance Leggett on a deep pass down the left sideline. The young wide receiver is looking impressive.


Ray Lewis Foundation Kicks off Summer with 5th Annual Ray's Summer Days

Baltimore – May 28, 2008 - Baltimore area residents can expect an action packed three days of bowling, paintball and fitness education at the Fifth Annual Ray’s Summer Days being held from June 4 – 6. Ray Lewis’ Ray’s Summer Days has established itself as the premier summertime fundraising event in the Baltimore area providing healthy fitness related fun for children and exciting events for adults, while raising money for the Ray Lewis Foundation to help disadvantaged youth and families in distress. Over $100,000 was raised at last year’s event.

“I count it as such a blessing that I can put together a fundraising event that raises awareness and funds to provide assistance to disadvantaged youth throughout Baltimore,” said Ray Lewis, founder and namesake of the Ray Lewis Foundation. “I built my life and career here in Baltimore and it is important to me to give back to the city and the people that have been a big part of my success.”

Event participants will be joined by Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens players, Hall of Famers and other athletes and Hollywood celebrities involved in this year’s Ray’s Summer Days. Participants can once again look forward to the annual bowling tournament and evening cocktail party and auction, along with a youth fitness clinic and an exclusive celebrity paintball tournament.

Ray Lewis:
“Our foundation is grateful for all of the support by local and national organizations like American Airlines, Sun Products Corporation, Bacardi, Pev’s Paintball and many many more. Without our corporate support and the support of the community, our commitment to helping these children would not be possible”

About the Ray Lewis Foundation
The Ray Lewis Foundation is a 501C3 non-profit tax-exempt corporation whose mission is to provide personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth and families in distress in Baltimore and the surrounding areas. For more information about Rays Summer Days please visit www.rayssummerdays.com or contact Jason Venger at 786-368-5494. For more information about the Ray Lewis Foundation please visit the website at www.raylewis52.com

Press Credentials are required for access to each event. Contact Jason Venger for credentials.


Thursday, June 4th 2009
Event 1: Bacardi VIP Kickoff Party Venue: Ruth Chris’ Havana Club: 600 Water Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 Time: 7:30pm-10:30pm Cost: Individual ticket - $500

Event 2: Havana Nights Kickoff After Party Venue: Ruth Chris’ Havana Club Time: 11:00pm-2:00am

Friday, June 5th 2009
Event 1: American Airlines Celebrity Bowling Tournament Venue: Brunswick Perry Hall Lanes: 4359 Ebenezen Rd, Baltimore, MD 21236 Registration: 6:30pm Cost: $2,000 per lane (four bowlers per lane) ; $500 per spot

Event 2: RSD After Party Venue: Hightopps Backstage Grille Time: 11:00pm-2:00am

Saturday, June 6th 2009
Event 1: Sun Products Corporation Youth Fitness Clinic Venue: Patterson Park (Utz Field): 200 S. Linwood Ave, Baltimore, MD 21224 Time: 9:00am-12:00pm Cost: Free for children ; By invitation only

Event 2: Pev’s Celebrity Paintball Tournament & BBQ Venue: The Lewis Residence Time: 1:00pm-5:00pm Cost: $1,000 per team (five players per team) ; $100 non-player (RLF approval required)

Event 3: RSD Wrap-Up Party Venue: TBD Tickets can be purchased by calling (786) 368-5494


Santana Moss Celebrates 30th Birthday At Eden Roc South Beach Read more: "Santana Moss Celebrates 30th Birthday At Eden Roc South Beach

Miami Beach, FL (CNS) - Since acquiring stardom in the NFL, Redskins receiver Santana Moss has made sure to come back to his hometown of Miami every chance he gets.

Moss celebrates his 30th birthday with "A Night at Eden Roc: Reloading life through the world of fashion" Friday May 29th.

The event, held at the newly-renovated Eden Roc hotel in South Beach, features Frederick's of Hollywood and a Bullets 4 Peace fashion show hosted by E! television's Cindy Taylor.

Frederick's of Hollywood, the innovative and world-renowned lingerie brand, will be showing their "Seduction" collection. Bullets 4 Peace, a celebrity-favorite jewelry line, will be showing their beautiful pieces on models clad in body paint.

"The Eden Roc is an ideal partner for a sexy summer event and we are thrilled to bring a piece of Hollywood to Miami," said Frederick's of Hollywood President & CEO Linda LoRe in a press release. "We really believe our brand is a perfect fit for the Miami audience and it will show with sexy looks from our Seduction collection and bright, flirty pieces from our special occasion line on the runway."

David Siguaw, the Director of Marketing and Sales at the Eden Roc added "We are honored to host these amazing partners in an evening of fashion, fun, and philanthropy at the Eden Roc and showcase the design of this historic property."

In addition to Moss and Taylor, other celebrities expected to attend are: Lou Gossett, Jr. (Academy Award-winning actor), Sammy Sosa, Steven Bauer (Actor; Scarface, Que Pasa USA), Clinton Portis(Washington Redskins), Alonzo Mourning, Sinorice Moss (NY Giants), Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis Colts), Andre Johnson (Houston Texans), Ed Reed(Baltimore Ravens), Edgerrin James, and Ed Weinberger (Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and television producer), among others.



During his weekly Thursday radio appearance with Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami, agent Drew Rosenhaus addressed the bizarre incident that occurred on Sunday involving Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey.

While attending a pool party at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Shockey became ill.  He was taken out by stretcher, and it later was determined that he was dehydrated.

In explaining the situation to Rose, Rosenhaus had this to say:  “I don’t think [Shockey] was drinking.” 


It's all good for D.J.

Will, Sam, Mike and now Jack.

Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams has played them all.

Williams played all three linebacker positions — the weakside or Will, strongside or Sam, and middle or Mike — for Mike Shanahan during Williams' first five seasons in the NFL. So while other Broncos teammates might privately fret about the transition to a 3-4 scheme under new coach Josh McDaniels, Williams isn't concerned.

Williams will play what is called the "Jack" linebacker position — meaning he will be the inside linebacker who is lined up away from the opponent's tight end.

"I love my new position," Williams said Wednesday in his first public comments since the 2008 season ended. "I think the position highlights what type of player I am. It allows me to do what I do best."

The fact Williams is happy should come as welcome news to Broncos fans after Williams endured one of his most challenging seasons last fall. Williams, who never missed a game in his first four seasons in the NFL, suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament in November and sat out five games.

He also played through shoulder pain and had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in January.

"It was kind of an off-and-on thing. Some weeks it would be fine, and you know I'd do an awkward hit or land funny and then it would be painful," Williams said.

After months of rehab, Wednesday marked Williams' official return to the practice field. Williams admitted he felt "a little rusty" but said months of meetings and film study have helped him adjust to his new role on a revamped defense. "This is my first day out, but just being in the film rooms and Coach telling me, 'On this play you have this' and 'On this play you have that,' I think that, because this and that is what I do best," Williams said.

Williams' role could be similar to that of Patrick Willis with the 49ers, who in 2007 led the NFL in total tackles while playing in the same spot for Mike Nolan, Denver's new defensive coordinator.

Williams said the new spot gives him the potential to be just as productive here in 2009.

"I like to say I like to go to the ball and make plays," Williams said. "I can't make plays if I've got a thousand guys on me."

Williams figures to be the only returning member of the team's starting linebacker corps from the end of last season after the new coaching regime released Jamie Winborn and did not re-sign Nate Webster.

Along with cornerback Champ Bailey, defensive end-turned-linebacker Elvis Dumervil and possibly defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, Williams is one of only a handful of 2008 holdovers to retain a starting spot on the defense.

"We still have a positive attitude. We don't have a chip on our shoulder like we've got to prove this and prove that to the world," Williams said. "We feel that we knew we had talent last year, because of injuries and things like that, a play here, a play there, things didn't go too well. This year, we see it as a chance to make that up."


Damione Lewis back on practice field

Panthers DT Damione Lewis has already resumed practicing after undergoing rotator cuff surgery in January.

Lewis, returning as a starter next to Maake Kemoeatu, is coming off his best season as a pro. However, he may lose some snaps this year to third-round pick Corvey Irvin. Both play the penetrating "three technique" tackle position.


Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester must show progress quickly

Watching Devin Hester run past defenders in mini-camp this week made it easy to forget that his move to full-time wide receiver last season clearly was a failure if viewed within the context of a one-year vacuum.

Unless, that is, your idea of success is finishing 49th in the NFL in receiving yards and not having a single 100-yard receiving game.

The Bears clearly are counting on Hester progressing this season. That is not an unreasonable expectation, given his inexperience and ability.

But how much better will he be?

The thinking behind putting Hester at wide receiver full time was to get the ball in his hands more often. That barely happened. He had 120 touches in 2008, only seven more than the previous year, when he was primarily a return man.

His inexperience at receiver hurt his progress. According to STATS, Hester was thrown to 91 times but caught only 56 percent of those passes. By comparison, Carolina’s Steve Smith, the player with whom Hester often is compared, caught 60.5 percent of the passes thrown to him.

What Hester can give a team is rare big-play capability. That was diminished, however, as he returned fewer kicks.

In 2008 on offense and special teams combined, Hester had 15 plays of 25 yards or more. The year before, despite having fewer touches and despite opponents making a more concerted effort to prevent him from returning the ball, he had 22 big plays of 25 yards-plus.

When he was primarily a returner in 2007, 19.4 percent of his touches went for big plays. When he was primarily a receiver last year, 12.5 percent of his touches were big plays.

The quality of his big plays was better the year before too. He averaged 46.9 yards on his plays of 25 yards or more in 2007, compared with 33.6 yards on them last year.

Ultimately, this is what it is all about—two years ago Hester put the Bears in position to score more points than he did last year.

They scored 76 points in 2007 either with his big plays or on the ensuing drives and only 45 last year.

When Hester had a big play in 2007, points were the result 54 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent last season.

For all the offensive snaps he had in 2008, he had only five more big plays as a wide receiver—seven total—than he did the year before. But he had seven fewer as a punt returner and five fewer as a kickoff returner.

Hester, obviously, was not as effective as a return man when he was a full-time wide receiver.

Consequently, the Bears were more dynamic when his principal duties were on special teams.

The Bears won’t reduce his role on offense now, in part because they don’t have any other wide receivers who could take his place in the lineup.

Moreover, they already have bet too much on this hand to fold at this point. There still is a chance that they can win the hand—and win big.

Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski, who probably watches more game tape than any current NFL quarterback in his job as host of ESPN’s “NFL Matchup,” has studied Hester’s transition. And he is thinking like Bears coach Lovie Smith.

“He has improved dramatically as a wide receiver,” Jaworski said. “He has improved in every area, … I thought he learned how to run routes, he learned how to read coverages on the move and he learned now to stem and separate from cornerbacks and safeties.

“I saw a guy who got better and better and better the more experience he got. I think he is going to make a significant contribution as a wide receiver.”

The Bears need for Jaworski to be right.

But if Hester does not improve rapidly and dramatically on offense in 2009, going back to special teams would be the best return he ever could make.

Alex Cora puts thumb to test in Buffalo

Alex Cora expects to begin a three-game rehab assignment tomorrow with Triple-A Buffalo. The tune-up, which will include a game apiece at second base, DH and shortstop, will more clearly determine whether he's capable of being activated from the disabled list when he's eligible on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Cora hopes to avoid surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb until after the season.

Ryan Church (hamstring) and Jose Reyes (calf), who both landed on the disabled list on Tuesday, expect to head to the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie today and Sunday, respectively.


Tracking proCanes - Kevin Brinkworth - Part II

Part II: Kevin’s thoughts on the current state of the program, favorite things, word associations and more! Click here to read Part I

pC: Alright, let’s now talk about your playing days. At what age did you start playing football, and did you play any other sports?
KB: I started playing football when I was 7 yrs old and played every year throughout high school. I also wrestled.

pC: What was your favorite team growing up?
KB: I’ve always been more of a college than pro-football fan, even though, just like all kids my generation, I loved the Dallas Cowboys.

pC: Who was your favorite player growing up and why?
KB: My favorite player growing up was Danny White, of the Dallas Cowboys. He was the QB and the punter. He was the man! 

pC: What position did you play growing up?
KB: I always played linebacker and then moved to fullback in high school.

pC: Were you a Hurricane Fan growing up?
KB: Of course I was a Hurricane fan! Without a doubt, they were my favorite college football team, actually, my favorite team overall. I always liked Notre Dame until Miami beat the snot out of them Nov. 30, 1985 Miami 58 - Notre Dame 7. I went to the game with my father and do you wanna laugh?  I wore Notre Dame boxer shorts to the game with UM shorts over the top. Needless to say, I never took off my pants. 

I was always a huge fan of George Mira Jr. First off, because he was the toughest white undersized middle linebacker in college football at the time, and he created a legacy by following in his fathers footsteps and becoming an All-American at the University of Miami.

pC: Who recruited you out of High School?  KB: There were many – based upon my wrestling and football ability combined, I had my choice of school nationwide, mostly in the northeast. 

pC: What coach at Miami recruited you out of high school?
KB: Art Kehoe found me. He was really impressed with my wrestling skills. I won a few state titles, a national, and a world title before going to Miami. 

pC: A world title?
KB: Yeah, 16 an under world title. I beat a guy from Italy that looked about 22. He had a beard.

pC: So, you're a Cane but you almost went to....
KB: I’m a Cane, but I almost went to Iowa to win national titles in wrestling versus football.

pC: What was the toughest thing about playing at the U?
KB: The toughest thing about playing the University of Miami was adjusting to the speed of the game.  I played in the Northeast where strength was emphasized more than speed.

pC: What's your favorite memory of your time at Miami?
KB: My favorite memory at Miami is the camaraderie of being around all these great guys that were my friends and we were just all focused on the same goal. It was just like being in the ultimate fraternity. I miss the friendships, the trust. I miss always having someone at my side at all times

pC: What games stand out from your days at the U?
KB: FSU, 91’, wide right. I red-shirted that year but drove up to Tallahassee on Friday night and suited up for the game. I’ll never forget the Doak Campbell tomahawk chant and the utter silence at the end of the game. My first start against UCLA was right up there too, but it ended in injury, so that silenced my career.

pC: Which former teammate was the toughest to go up against in practice?
KB: Ray Lewis . He never took a play off.  He thrived on catching you “slippin” as we would say at the U.

pC: Who do you think was the best player at Miami while you were there?
KB: K.C. Jones (pictured to the right). He took football to a whole new level, whether it was his heated battles with Warren Sapp, or ripping Ray Lewis’ helmet off.  K.C. Jones was by far the toughest and most skilled football player I’ve ever met in life.

pC: Who was your best friend while playing?
KB: (laughs) K.C. Jones. I knew it was better to be his friend, than his enemy, but I really hung out with everyone.  I was one of the few players that didn’t see color.  I hung out with Warren Sapp one night, K.C. Jones another night, and Ray Lewis the next.  Everyone was my friend at UM. I even hung out with non-descript players and even walk-ons.  I’m still friends with guys like Jason Budroni and Larry Luttrell.  Geez, I couldn’t run my business without Larry Luttrell’s legal advice.

pC: What other former teammates do you keep in touch with?
KB: As I just said, I couldn’t run my business without Larry, KC Jones is my financial advisor.  I was just in Ryan Clement’s wedding, and yesterday I talked to Warren Sapp.  I went to Jamaica with Rohan Marley last year, and I haven’t missed a former player’s reunion since we started it back in 02’.  If you were to ask any of the former players who is a conduit to the former players database, I’d rank right up there in the top 3.  I love the U and I consider all of my former teammates my brothers and I always stay in contact with family. 

pC: Any coaches you still talk to?
KB: Of course.  I religiously stay in contact with Don Soldinger, Mario Cristobol, Art Kehoe, and Coach Shannon.  A lot of people don’t know, but my first year at UM was also Randy’s.  We’ve known each other for almost 20 years.

pC: You won a National Championships, talk about that experience.
KB: That was amazing.  It happened in my first year at UM – imagine going from an undefeated high school team to an undefeated college team and winning a national title.  I’m probably one of the luckiest college football players around.  And don’t forget, we went 11-0 and played for the National title in the Sugar Bowl in 92’ as well.  During that 3 year period of my life, I only experienced losing once!

pC: Talk about Dennis Erickson as a Coach. We have heard many stories about his lack of discipline, among other things.
KB: Coach Erikson was Coach Erikson. You’ve heard the stories, and some are just that, stories.  Coach Erikson prided himself on being a player’s coach. He let players play and be themselves.  You’re right, he wasn’t much of a disciplinarian, but you try keeping Warren Sapp, Rohan Marley, and James Stewart in 7 nights a week (chuckles). As far as I’m concerned, Dennis Erikson gave me my opportunity to play at the UM and I will forever be grateful for that.  At the end of the day, he couldn’t  be that bad, he did win 2 National Championships.

pC: Talk about the whole U is Family and the tight bonds players make and keep.
KB: As I said before, the U is a family, and we all stay in touch.  Just this past year, 250 players showed up at our player’s reunion.  Like I said, there isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t talk to one of our former players regarding business or life in general.

pC: Do you go back often? When was the last time you went back? You go to any games?  KB: Come on Dude, you know I’m at the U twice a week.  I’ve only been to one game at Dolphin Stadium, but that’s because I celebrated the birth of my son, Kevin Jr., in September of last year and we’re stationed back home in Buffalo, NY.  Prior to that, I didn’t miss a home game for the previous 3 seasons.  If you wanted to find me on any given college football Saturday, I was on the sidelines at the Orange Bowl with my video camera.

pC: What did your teammates call you? Did you have a nickname?
KB: My nickname was Brink, but somehow, that turned into Stink, so I guess in a way, I’ll always be known as Stinky.  Not because of my hygiene, though, but because of my prankster personality.

pC: In a road game, whose opposing fans rivaled the West End Zone?
KB: FSU was always loud and Penn State wasn’t quiet either. Nothing compared to the Carrier Dome (Syracuse University) on sold out road games.  

pC: You were part of that last second win at Syracuse where they driving down the field and your buddy Rohan stopped them just short. What do you remember from that game? 
KB: I remember it like yesterday. I had four tackles on kickoffs. I ran the “the missle” Rocket Ismail’s brother down from behind.

pC: What one person was the most influential in the development of your game?
KB: Don Soldinger, hands down.  He helped me realize my true potential by forcing me to discipline myself.  He taught me there are no short-cuts in life and the only way to be a true success is to do every little thing right.  That meant never missing work-outs, never missing class, putting in extra film time, and basically, holding yourself accountable to your teammates, your family.  That was paramount in Don Soldinger’s eyes.

pC: What do you think about the last couple of years and the current state of Hurricane football?
KB: It’s been a bummer, but people would have said the same thing about USC in the 80’s.  Don’t worry, we will be back on top before you know it.  And all of sudden everyone will love the Canes’ all across the country, all over again.   

pC: What do the 'Canes have to do to become an elite team again?
KB: Like I said before, the little things.  It’s the extra work-outs and literally holding yourself accountable to your teammates, your family, and the former players who have created what is the University of Miami’s legacy. 

pC: Why do you think the program fell off the way it did?
KB: It happens.  College football is cyclical.  One year all of the good players go to USC, the next year they go to Texas. As you have seen recently, all of the good players are coming back to the U.  It’s about recruiting and getting the right players, with the right mindset at the U.  I think Randy Shannon has the right mindset and the right mentality.

pC: What is a misconception people have about the University of Miami?
KB: That we’re a bunch of thugs.  As you can see, some of us produce films, some of us try cases, and some of us dance the Samba in front of 30 million viewers once a week on Dancing with the Stars. We’re a very unique group of individuals, all of us having our own talents, but in the end, we’re all family.  I can’t stress that enough.  Once the U brings this family atmosphere back, not only will we start winning again, the city of Miami as well as the whole country will want to be back in our home.

pC: What do you think about the move to Dolphins stadium?
KB: No comment.  Home will always be where your heart is. We will always live in the Orange Bowl.

pC: Tell us the craziest story from your UM football days that you can remember either with another player or coach on or off the field
KB: My attorney, and former UM player Lawrence Lutrell, has advised me to plead my 5th amendment right to silence on this question.  But I will tell you this, within those 5 years I created friendships that will last a lifetime. If someone told me that I could go back to 1991 and repeat those years I would walk through that time machine in a NY minute. I would give up all the winning we did just to go back and be a part of the team.  

pC: Come on, one story.
KB: Ok there was this one time that K.C. and I took out this top recruit from Texas in 94’. When we met him, he told us he was going to Texas, but he thought he’d come check out Miami to see what it was like down in the sunshine.  K.C. and I didn’t really appreciate that, so we really showed him a good time.  Long story short, after feeding him lobster tails and strip steaks at the Rusty Pelican, we took him to the Grove for a night at the Tavern.  Somewhere around closing time, 3 lobster tails and 2 strip steaks ended up on the floor along with 6 pitchers of warm beer.  The remaining 2 lobster tails, steak, and 2 pitchers of beer, ended up on the Greentree practice field because we made him run 100-yard sprints for embarrassing us in our local establishment.  We dropped him off at the pool at the University Holiday Inn.  He deposited one more lobster tail poolside and I think he regrets ever coming to Miami and wasting our time. We were the U and U don’t disrespect us.  
  pC: Word Associations, Give me the first thing that pops in your head when you read the following:    Randy Shannon: Head coach  Larry Coker: My man  Orange Bowl: Home  Dolphins Stadium: Where?  Sebastian the Ibis: Superman  Dennis Erickson: Wow  Coral Gables: 33146  The Fiesta Bowl: Ouch (’93)  Ohio State: Thieves    pC: Favorite NFL Team?

pC: Favorite NBA Team?
KB: Who? 

pC: Favorite Baseball Team?

pC: Favorite Food?
KB: Pizza 

pC: What Band/Group I would find most of on your iPod?
KB: Bob Marley. I have every album. 

pC: One movie you could watch over and over?
KB: Rebel Music – The Bob Marley Story 

pC: One TV show you cannot miss?
KB: Miami CSI 

pC: What do you do in your spare time?
KB: Work 

pC: Two websites you have to check daily?
KB: proCanes and Google 

We at proCanes.com would like to thank Kevin Brinkworth for being so gracious with his time to do this very insightful interview for our new feature "Tracking proCanes."Click here to check out our past interviews with Leon Searcy, Steve Walsh, Frank Costa and more!

Sportingnews Inside linebacker rankings

4. Ray Lewis, Ravens. As long as he is protected by big guys like Kelly Gregg, Justin Bannan and Haloti Ngata, Lewis can do what he does best -- attack the ballcarrier. Lewis is a good tackler and run defender, and in '08 he proved he is surprisingly effective in coverage.

5. Jon Beason, Panthers. Beason has 278 tackles in his first two seasons, showing no struggles in filling Dan Morgan's role. Beason is a tremendous athlete with great range and an aggressive style of play.

20. Jonathan Vilma, Saints. He, coming back from knee surgery, was a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year honors in '08. He didn't miss a snap last season and recorded a team-high 132 tackles. New coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme will help Vilma even more, allowing him to use his speed and athleticism to run to the ball and make plays sideline-to-sideline.

To see the rest of the rankings click here.


Rosenhaus says he has been re-hired by Shockey

As renowned sports agent Drew Rosenhaus stated back in April, New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey has re-hired the firm he had separated from in March.

"We (Rosenhaus Sports) are pleased to announce that we re-signed Jeremy Shockey," reported Rosenhaus on tuesday through the social networking website Twitter.

Rosenhaus, considered a super agent of sorts due to a long list of high profile clients including Terrell Owens, owns the Miami-based sports agency, Rosenhaus Sports. He has made a name for himself with aggressive representation of his NFL clients, often generating highly lucrative contracts for them.

Shockey and Rosenhaus engineered a trade between the New York Giants and the Saints last July. Shockey cost New Orleans second and fifth round selections in this year's draft.

Shockey continues to make more headlines off the field; he was rushed to a Las Vegas hospital after dehydration caused dizziness and other symptoms at a poolside casino party during the Memorial Day weekend.

Rosenhaus confirmed that his client is "100 percent and feeling great" after being hospitalized Sunday for dehydration.

"He's doing fine," Rosenhaus said Tuesday. "You guys will see him next week (at mandatory minicamps)." Shockey passed out at a pool party in Las Vegas on Sunday, but was released from the hospital later in the day.

Safety rankings: Reed, Polamalu are pure playmakers

1. Ed Reed, Ravens. Reed was the only unanimous selection for the 2008 All-Pro team and rightly so. He led the NFL with nine interceptions and returned two for touchdowns, and he tacked on another TD in the playoffs. The system won't change in Baltimore this year, and Reed is on his way to a Hall of Fame career if he can stay healthy.

17. Brandon Meriweather, Patriots. He came on strong late in 2008 as the injury replacement for Rodney Harrison. Meriweather is a tough, hard-working run defender who eventually will excel as a deep safety, where his explosive speed and ball skills will be highlighted.

See the rest of the rankings here.


Part 1 Of Santana Moss's Birthday Tonight

Santana Moss will apparently be celebrating his thirtieth birthday as a three part affair, and part one is tonight at the ESPN Zone downtown in D.C. According to the ESPN Zone website:

Star receiver Santana Moss is turning 30 - and he wants to celebrate with you!

Join us on Wednesday, May 27th at 6 p.m. for the birthday festivities. The event will include question-and-answer session with Moss and nine of his Redskins teammates. Ask the athletes whatever's on your mind, bid in a silent auction benefiting The Moss Foundation, and more!

Plus, don't miss ESPN Zone's popular Play Against the Pros event, starting at 7 p.m. Don't miss this priceless opportunity to play in ESPN Zone's Sports Arena against your favorite D.C. athletes. Suggested donation of $10 per game will go directly to The Moss Foundation.

Take the opportunity now, because the events get progressively more exclusive. Saturday night's event has age restrictions and a "strictly-enforced" dress code, and Sunday night's event is so exclusive that it's invitation only with no information provided on the website other than that it exists. So, realistically, tonight is your best bet. (Unless you already have your invitation for Sunday, in which case you can disregard all of that.)


Leggett Making Plays in Camp

On one play, wideout Lance Leggett got open deep along the left sideline. Quinn unloaded but was short. Leggett had to turn and wait a half second for the ball to arrive.


Broncos LB D.J. Williams eager for new role

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos value D.J. Williams' versatility at linebacker even if at times it's vexing for him.

This season, he'll be asked to relocate to another new linebacking spot, his fourth change in six seasons.

But he's not grumbling because Williams feels like he just landed a plum position. With Denver switching to a 3-4 formation, Williams will play inside and away from the tight end.

That frees him up to roam around, react and wreak havoc.

"I love my position," Williams said Wednesday on Day 2 of the Broncos' passing camp. "I think the position highlights what type of player I am. It allows me to do what I do best."

Since he was drafted by Denver in 2004, Williams has bounced around from one linebacker spot to another, just depending on which defensive coordinator wanted him where in their particular scheme.

He's enjoyed his time at middle and weakside linebacker, detested his stint at strongside. That's one spot he never wants to play again.

Williams was moved to strongside linebacker in 2005 to make room for Ian Gold, and didn't have much fun. In that position, Williams came out on passing downs.

"As long as I don't have to go back to Sam (strongside), they can put me anywhere," Williams said.

Under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, Williams will have more flexibility to make reads. When asked to give an overview of his duties, Williams grinned and said, "Go to the ball and make plays."

Sounds similar to what Nolan allowed Ray Lewis to do when Nolan was in charge of the Baltimore Ravens' defense.

"I'm enjoying what it is so far," Williams said.

And that's been all of one day.

Williams wasn't cleared to participate in team drills until Wednesday. He's been recuperating from offseason surgery to fix his right rotator cuff.

"It went pretty well, still a little rusty," he said of his first day back.

Williams said the shoulder injury really didn't bother him much during the season.

No, what bothered the Broncos co-captain was a partially torn MCL in his knee that sidelined him for five games — not to mention the disastrous play of the defense.

The Broncos finished at or near the bottom in every major defensive category, contributing to the team blowing a three-game lead with three to go and failing to make the playoffs. That ultimately led to the firing of Mike Shanahan, a coach Williams was sorry to see go.

"He's a great coach," Williams said. "Honestly, I put that on the players more than anything ... You can do all the coaching you want, but the players still have to play the game."

Williams realizes a dark cloud looms over a disappointing defense that surrendered 448 points last season. It's even guilt by association for newly signed free agents such as defensive backs Renaldo Hill, Brian Dawkins, Andra Davis and Andre Goodman.

"We've got 10 or 12 guys that have chips on their shoulders that weren't even here (last year)," said Williams, who was the team's second-leading tackler in 2008. "They just take the burden of what we did last year on them."

Hill said the reputation of Denver's defense wasn't exactly flattering, especially the play of the secondary.

"I was hearing it wasn't a good year," he said. "A lot of injuries, a lot of deep balls going over the head. That's just the perception I heard."

Now that he's here, Hill has a different take.

"We should be the top secondary in the league," he said. "I don't think anyone is expecting anything less. That's how we're approaching it. We all hold each other accountable and are expecting to be that."

Broncos defensive lineman Kenny Peterson has already flipped the page on last season, preferring to forget all about the past.

"You can't worry about what the defense did last year. This is a new era, a new coaching staff, a new philosophy, a new everything," he said. "Pretty much what we did last year is null and void. You can't even count it. We have new faces, new everything. New is the word of the day."

Williams definitely knows that as he's relocating to another new position. So far, he likes the construction of this defense.

"We had talent last year, but because of injuries and things like that — a play here, a play there — things didn't go too well," Williams said. "This year, we see it as a chance to make that up."


Franks Is a Pro with Unfinished Business

Bubba Franks' 2008 was not the highlight of the venerable tight end's career. Even Bubba said so.

"I got hurt pretty early, so I was kind of like a fan. I had to sit back and watch," Franks told me last week after an OTA practice. "I disliked sitting on the sideline or even standing. It's something I really never had to do. Then all of a sudden you're on the sideline pretty much watching the rest of the games.

"That just didn't sit well with me. So I'm back here for unfinished business. I've got work to do . I've got a lot of things I need to prove."

It's hard not to like Franks. He's not afraid to converse in a vernacular that fans understand. A lot of players back away from talk about unfinished business and proving things. Franks embraces it.

And why not? The Franks we saw last year was not the Bubba of his first eight NFL seasons with Green Bay. His six catches and 47 yards were both career lows. He had no touchdown catches in a season for only the second time.
Then there was his health. In six of his first seven seasons, he rarely came off the frozen tundra. But last season, after injuring his hip on a slip in Game 6 at Oakland, he sat out eight of the last 10 games, getting in for about 20 plays without a catch in each of the December Buffalo and Seattle games.

Despite the understated debut in Green & White and his supposed venture into unrestricted free agency, there had always been a hint that he was coming back. For instance, his stall in the Atlantic Health Training Center locker room was never dismantled. Franks confirmed to me that he was figuring all along to return for Year 2.

"I was coming back all along. It was just a matter of I had to do some training down in Miami, clean up a couple of loose ends here and there," he said. "Then when they told me to come up here, I'm here. We had already discussed all that. I knew I was coming back."

The cleaning-up, head coach Rex Ryan said last week, involved another body part besides Franks' hip.

"Bubba has a little thing with his knee. We don’t think it’s serious. Obviously we wouldn’t have signed him if that was the case," Ryan said. "The thing I'm really impressed with is the kind of leader he is, a charismatic guy. You can tell that his teammates really like him and he's really a pro. Ed Reed called me about him, and he's a guy whose opinion I value, and he certainly wasn’t wrong with Bubba."

That's why Franks will probably continue to watch the Jets play some more from the sideline through the rest of OTAs and the June 9-11 full-squad minicamp, then begin practicing again at the start of training camp. For now, after the departure of Chris Baker for points northeast, he's tutoring the rest of the team's tight ends, a young lot consisting of second-year man Dustin Keller, newly converted Kareem Brown and undrafted free agents Andrew Davie, Rob Myers, Jack Simmons and J'Nathan Bullock.

"Most of them don't know too much about the position. They're young, just coming in now," said the grizzled vet. "Plus you're only as strong as your weakest link. They're going to be a part of this core group. We've got to be pretty close. They're a bunch of good guys. Some of them area little more talented than others, but I think it's all going to come down to how quick they can pick up the offense.

"You can't really show what you've got until you know what you're doing."

Franks knows what he's doing and what he's about, even though, as I kidded him, this will be his first NFL season without Brett Favre as his quarterback, whether as a Packer or a Jet.

"It's definite. He's not going to be back, so this'll be my first year without him," Franks said with a chuckle. "I don't know how it's going to feel, but hey, we'll see what happens."


Beason Back at OTAs

Panthers MLB Jon Beason (shoulder surgery) returned to OTA work Wednesday after sitting out early minicamps.

Beason's injury isn't a concern for the season. The 2007 first-round pick has ranked third in the NFL in tackles in each of the last two seasons. He's one of the safest IDP picks around, and at age 24 should only get better.


Winslow Likes The Offensive Scheme

Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow said he like the new offense offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski has brought to the team. "It's a very simple offense and I like it because it's not too much in terms of volume of words. It's tight end friendly, it's running friendly and it's wide receiver friendly. Whoever gets open is going to be open and get the ball. We're also going to run the ball. I'm just going to do my best to be a piece of the puzzle and make plays," Winslow said.


D.J. Williams looking for clearance

Between a torn-up knee and a bum shoulder, the past seven months have been a pain for Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams.

A return to full health, though, is approaching. Williams will meet with head trainer Steve "Greek" Antonopulos this morning with the expectation he will be cleared to participate in the team's practices on a limited basis. It would be Williams' first organized action since shoulder surgery in January.

A torn rotator cuff was just one of the physical maladies Williams endured last season. Williams was leading the NFL in tackles through the first seven games, but he suffered a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee Nov. 2 against Miami.


Aubrey Huff Q&A, ESPN Zone: Write-up and Pictures

Yesterday afternoon, the ESPN Zone at the Inner Harbor in conjunction with the Baltimore Orioles held their second Q&A Session with first baseman Aubrey Huff. I've been going to these events for years, and I'll say the crowd at the popular restaurant was the biggest I've seen in long time -- save for Nick Markakis and Erik Bedard years back -- as every seat was practically filled and standing room only (barely).

The overflowing crowd and the candor of Aubrey Huff made the event memorable as he was pretty much direct and open about his life along with his humble beginnings, career, and yes, the infamous fist pump a few Sundays ago that involved Yankee fireballer Joba Chamberlain. After the Q&A, he signed autographs for the huge crowd in an auxiliary room in the restaurant.

Cora expected to return June 2

Alex Cora (thumb) is expecting to delay surgery on the torn ligament his thumb until after the season and plans to return from the DL when eligible on June 2.

Cora says he can only be a part-time player due to the injury, which is perfect because that's exactly what he is. The reserve infielder isn't worth using in NL-only leagues.


Brewers' Braun returns to lineup

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is back in the lineup after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch in Tuesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Braun says he used a brace overnight that helped keep the swelling down and he felt fine heading into Wednesday's game with the Cardinals.

The All-Star slugger was hit in the third inning of Tuesday night's 8-1 loss to St. Louis and left the game before the start of the fifth inning in favor of Frank Catalanotto.

Braun is hitting .323 with eight homers and 31 RBIs in 44 games. But he's struggled recently, batting .259 with no homers and three RBIs since May 10.


Tracking proCanes - Kevin Brinkworth - Part I

proCanes.com is continuing our “Tracking proCanes” feature with former University of Miami linebacker, Kevin Brinkworth. Kevin was a member of the ’91 University of Miami National Championship Team and played at UM from 1991 to 1996. Brinkworth now calls himself a jack of all trades. Since graduating from the University of Miami Kevin has been involved in an array of mixed media ventures. Whether it’s producing exclusive content from the Official NASCAR Members Club, or creating infomercials for the “the slicer and dicer” he has done it all successfully. After a stretch of B movie appearances after graduating from UM with a degree in advertising and marketing, Kevin decided to use his degree behind the camera. In 2001 Kevin opened his own Direct Response studio and started producing print, radio and television advertisements for companies looking to brand their products in an unconventional method; direct to the consumer. Today, the Direct to Consumer Market accounts for over 4 Billion dollars in advertising sales. 

Part I: Kevin’s project of documenting the history of the U and the Orange Bowl.  

pC: So what are you up to now Kevin?
Kevin Brinkworth:  The film [a film that Kevin has been heavily involved with being produced by Rakontur which chronicles the history of University of Miami football and will air on ESPN in the fall] takes up time, but it’s my business that runs my life. I am currently the President of KDAA, Inc. a Direct Response Agency and Big Brand Consulting firm who happily boasts a client list including NASCAR, Bob Marley Music, Inc., and The Thomas Kinkade Company. Recently I just celebrated the birth of my son Kevin Matthew Brinkworth Jr. so I’ve been spending a little more time at home. I’ve been focusing on our client’s online sales and membership acquisition strategies for the last 7 months because it allows me to stay close to home. In 2007 I think I traveled every week. One week I was in Talladega for a NASCAR event and the next week I was in NYC visiting Bob Marley Music. I think I even threw in a few trips to Jamaica. If your interested in reading a bit about our company visit www.kdaainc.com. 

pC: So you started working on a film about the last season in the Orange Bowl. Talk about how you came up with the idea and how you went about doing it.
KB: Ever since graduating in ‘96, I knew that someone needed to tell the story about the University of Miami family, and that’s exactly what it is, a family. You hear people talk about former players supporting each other and coming back for reunions and hanging out on the sidelines and it’s true. The camaraderie is like no other. It really is a family and someone needed to tell the story of how close we are.  So, in 2006 I came up with the idea of creating a series about the University of Miami’s football program.  At the time I had friends working at Pilgrim Films (American Choppers, American Casino) and it inspired me to pitch them my story, and that’s just what I did. 

I can remember the meeting vividly as it took place during the filming of American Casino at the Green Valley Ranch Resort (Kevin chuckles). KC Jones was with me and we can even be seen in an American Casino episode sitting around the pool as we discussed the UM series. After chasing licenses and approvals \ from Collegiate Images and the University of Miami, I wrote the first three episodes of what would have been “A Season at the U.” I scheduled meetings and booked conference calls to pitch to ESPN, Spike TV, and the History Channel. None of the networks thought I had the access to get this done so I grabbed my video camera and started taking footage of the University of Miami practices, meetings, games and the day to day life of Miami football players and coaches.  I would especially like to thank Mario Cristobal (now FIU head football coach) for allowing me to follow him around back in 2006 through his rigorous daily schedule as UM’s Offensive Line Coach. So, that’s how it began. 

So, while I’m out there trying to secure funding and a network “green light,” the final season at the Orange Bowl starts sneaking up on us. I figured with my blessings from Collegiate Images and the U, why wait for ESPN or SPIKE TV to give me the green light to create my show. I knew that someone needed to go out and capture a former player’s view of the final season in our home, the Orange Bowl.   So I contacted Tony Hernandez, UM’s Assistant Athletic Director, who in turn got approval from Randy Shannon and I started bringing my video camera to every home game of the final season in the Orange Bowl to capture at that time what I called, the friends, former players, and family footage. So, I grabbed my video camera, put on my Nikes, and attended every 2007 home football game, including tailgating, pregame, halftime and post game interviews. I captured over 100 hours of video including interviews with former players about their most memorable Orange Bowl moments, their favorite times at UM, and their disbelief that an era was coming to an end. 

pC: Talk about how you linked up with Rakontur.
KB: In the Spring of 2008 the University’s Alumni Association contacted me regarding my documentary and published a feature article in our Alumni Digest about the project. Somehow that Alumni Digest ended up in the hands of Rakontur’s Billy Corbin, another UM Graduate and director of Cocaine Cowboys, and he reached out to me regarding licensing my footage for an upcoming documentary they were producing for ESPN on the University of Miami and its championship seasons. You can imagine my surprise! Just one year earlier I’m sending emails to ESPN Original Entertainment about my dream quest to produce a series on the University of Miami and now ESPN’s contracted producers are calling me about my footage, very surreal.

pC: How did the project change with Rakontur’s involvement?
KB: The project hasn’t changed that much, but this is definitely their vision. If you have seen Cocaine Cowboys you may be familiar with the format. Basically, Rakontur and I entered into an agreement where they would have the opportunity to view and license my footage for the upcoming ESPN documentary as well as hired me as a project consultant to act as a liaison between the University of Miami administration and help introduce and coordinate further former player interviews. Considering I had already interviewed over 50 former players, it was a no-brainer for Rakontur to bring me on board.

pC: So did this cooperation change the idea of the film?
KB: It’s a Rakontur deal.  They have a format that works. They pitched it to ESPN and my footage and access to the University was just a bonus.  I came on board to help further their vision of “The U” in any way that I could. 

pC: What would you say is the focus of the film?
KB: The film will focus on the University of Miami’s Championship seasons, mainly between the championship years 1987-1991, but it’s not going to be a highlight reel. It’s going to be an account supported by former players and administration, recaps of how the University of Miami changed the sport in both positive and negative ways, and how a small virtually unknown southern school with an enrollment of 5000 grew to a national phenomenon in less than10 years. UM changed the face of college football on and off the field forever. 

pC: Talk about who you have interviewed? Players? Coaches?
KB: I interviewed over 50 former players including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who I caught off guard at the final game of 2007. He was a bit surprised to see me, especially with a video camera and asking questions about the Orange Bowl, but that quickly changed as he turned the tide on me and went into a story about how it was the first time he had ever been interviewed by a “gay former player and reporter.” It’s really funny and very impromptu.  

Michael Irvin and Steve Walsh gave me one of the most animated interviews to date when at the half-time of the NC State game they reenacted their most memorable Orange Bowl moment for me in front of 50,000 fans. “Walsh drops back, Michael Irvin runs a go off the right side line entering the visitors tunnel…touchdown…Michael Irvin jumps in the stands… UM beats FSU.”  Michael Irvin loves to talk about Michael (chuckles). Some of the most insightful interviews came from some of our former senior players like Ted “the mad stork” Hendricks and George Mira Sr. They really gave great accounts of the University prior to our championship years, which made me appreciate the foundation that they laid for players like me. Coach Howard Schnellenberg, Art Kehoe, Larry Coker, Jimmy Johnson, Mario Cristobol, Don Soldinger all gave wonderful interviews from a coaching perspective, but it really was the down and dirty interviews with guys like Lamar Thomas, Jonathan Harris, Rohan Marley, James Stewart, K.C. Jones, Rich Mercier, and Ryan Clement that take the cake! But don’t worry, we’ve also interviewed Warren Sapp, Russel Maryland, Cortez Kennedy, Greg Mark, Bill Hawkins, Gino Torreta, Alonzo Highsmith, Bernie Kosar, Cleveland Gary and many many more Hurricanes greats. 

pC: Talk about one player interview that really stood out.
KB: I would have to say our interview with Mario Cristobal just a few weeks ago was intense because Rakontur has a specific format which all of the interviews are filmed in. My video is all ‘live’ so it will be peppered throughout the documentary, but the Rakontur interviews are in the studio. Mario is now the Head Coach of the FIU Panthers so he was a bit worried about doing the interview. With all the NCAA rules and rgulations he has to adhere to, imagine he’s giving an interview to the guys who produced “Cocaine Cowboys” (laughs). Mario and I were roommates at UM for two years and have been very close friends ever since graduating so I promised him we would keep the interview on a very professional level. Well, he started off a little “stiff” and administrative but by the end of the 3 hour interview he was as animated as he was during his playing days at UM as an All Big-East Offensive Tackle. He talked about the City of Miami, his Cuban heritage and the pride he felt playing for the U. Don’t forget he had some big shoes to fill because his brother also played at UM. He also went to Columbus High School which I think is partially responsible for the birth of UM Championship seasons. It all started with Alonzo Highsmith and then guys like Matt Britton, Carlos Huerta, Lou [Cristobal] and Mario. The interview was intense and I’d like to thank Mario again because as Billy said, “Dude that was the most intense and insightful interview to date. I just couldn’t stop asking him questions.” Big up’s Mario! 

pC: How will UM be conveyed in the film?
KB: Rakontur will have the final cut, but I know were trying to portray the University in a positive light. ESPN commissioned the documentary and will air it part of a series called “30 for 30,” covering sports events of the past 30 years, which celebrates ESPN's 30th anniversary in 2009. We’re really trying to tell the story about the University of Miami family and how, as a team, a band of brothers, we came together to produce five national titles in a decade and one of the best college football sports programs in history

pC: What stage are you at now?
KB: We’ve just concluded our interviewing process, ending with an amazing interview I coordinated and booked with coach Jimmy Johnson at his home in Islamorada.  Again, I’d like to personally thank coach Johnson for inviting us into his home and giving us one of the best accounts of Miami football we’ve had to date. Hopefully we can put together our timeline within the next few months and get ready for a first cut before the season begins. 

pC: When will it be released?
KB: It will air this December on ESPN immediately following the 2009 Heisman Trophy presentation so don’t be upset if you miss the Heisman presentation, because the real award begins right after. We’re also planning to create a 2-hour feature documentary post ESPN’s airing to submit to film festivals. 

Come back tomorrow and read Part II of our interview with Kevin Brinkworth and see what he has to say about his playing days at the U, Coach Erickson, the current state of the Hurricanes, and more! 

Winslow arrives at OTAs

Tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr., made good on his promise to arrive this week at OTAs. He's at One Buc Place today, presumably working out with the team and will meet with the media shortly. 

Practices were closed today, so it's hard to gage Winslow's level of participation. He opted not to attend the voluntary workouts the past two weeks in order to complete moving his family from San Diego.

Stay tuned....


Bears think Hester 'turned the corner'

The Bears' coaching staff believes that Devin Hester "turned the corner" as a receiver when he caught 25 passes in the last six games last season.

Hester also finished as the fantasy WR35 overall from Week 5 on, showing how much he improved on a week-by-week basis. He'll probably never be a great red-zone threat and still has never had a 100-yard game, but Hester is setup for a career year as the Bears' No. 1 receiver with Jay Cutler at QB.


Cora to skip surgery until after season

Alex Cora plans to return from the disabled list on June 2 when he's eligible after serving 15 days, and expects to wait until after the season to undergo surgery, he tells the Daily News.

Cora devised a splint for his right thumb and tested it throwing Tuesday from 70 feet and it was passable. He doesn't think he could be an everyday player with the injury, but he can play with the torn right thumb ligament on a part-time basis, he suggested.

He batted without wearing the splint.


Pat Burrell's return pushed back to weekend

Pat Burrell's return from a stiff neck has been pushed back to this weekend, at the earliest.
Burrell was eligible to return Tuesday, but he had to cancel a hitting workout when the stiffness refused to subside. In a best scenario, Burrell will resume the hitting workout Friday and be activated if all goes well.


Photos of Jeremy Shockey at Las Vegas pool party

The celebrity news web site tmz.com has posted photos of Jeremy Shockey at the Hard Rock Hotel pool party Sunday in Las Vegas.

The photos purport to show the New Orleans Saints tight end collapsing. Tmz headlined the photos, "Jermey Shockey goes down."

The team issued a statement Sunday evening saying Shockey was dehydrated. He was taken to a Las Vegas hospital and released.

Eric Winston Hits a Few Homeruns

Reggie Wayne & AJ Working With the Young WRs

Good to hear Andre Johnson and Wayne plan to work with UM receivers this summer. ''That's my way of helping,'' Wayne said. ``This group is way more talented than the group of me, Santana Moss, Andre King and a young Andre Johnson. I like their speed and size.''


Carl Walker Named Aaron's Defensive Player of the Game

Walker in his Stockton Lighting’s loss to the Boise Burn had 4 tackles and one interception with a 17-yard return.


proCanes RosenhausSports Twitters

Redskin OLB Rocky McIntosh is having a great offseason. Hopefully it will lead to a contract extension as he is in the last yr of his deal.

Another former 1st round pick who has rebounded is William Joseph. After moving on from the Giants, William's found a home with the Raiders.

Despite drafting a center, you can bank on Chris Myers having his best year in Houston this season. Chris is a great fit in that scheme.

Phillip Buchanon has made a smooth transition from Tampa to Detroit as their top cb. He is on a mission this year to have his best season.

Santana Moss is working hard with Jason Campbell to ensure they are a successful combo this year. Another year in Zorn's system will help.

Sinorice Moss is determined to have a breakout season for the Giants. It looks like he is now getting a fair opportunity to show his skills.

The Bills need to take better advantage of Roscoe Parrish's skills this yr. He was underutilized in 08. He's much more than a punt returner.

It's time Jon Beason gets more recognition. The "Beast" is as good as it gets in the NFL. He tore it up in 08 & will be even better in 09.

(rosenhaussports twitters)

49ers running game could provide relief for Gore workload

The 49ers have finished their first session of OTAs and the team is slowly figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of both the offense and defense. Earlier in the week, the 49ers were hit with the injury bug and the hardest hit was on cornerback Walt Harris. Harris suffered an ACL injury and would more than likely be out for the rest of the year.

The 49ers then immediately signed veteran Dre Bly to a one-year deal to fill in for Harris' spot. Bly now will more than likely battle Tarell Brown and Shawntae Spencer for the open starting job.

One of the biggest things on offense that the team will focus on is the running game. The team already have an established star running back in Frank Gore. After three consecutive seasons of 1,000 rushing yards, a lot more pressure will be put on Gore and the running game.

Gore's best season came when Norv Turner ran the offense in 2006. Since then, Gore's numbers have dipped under the offense of Jim Hostler and Mike Martz.

Gore calls Martz's offense very finesse as the passing game was the main focus of attack. But now under the running style of offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, we should expect a similar offense as the one from 2006. Gore has already expressed his liking to the new playbook.

"Yeah. I like it so far. We're running the ball a lot. We're doing a lot of downhill runs, and that's my type of running style," Gore said in comments transcribed by the team.

A part of Gore's running game is the straight ahead, downhill style. The new offense should provide that opportunity for him. Raye's playbook offers a lot of counters, which will allow the guard to pull out of the line to block for Gore. With that style, Gore will be allowed to follow his blockers through the hole.

Another part of Gore's success from 2006 came from his fullback Moran Norris. After spending one season in Detroit, Norris returned to San Francisco. Norris was a great complimentary back to Gore's running style and the 49ers are hoping that they can repeat such success.

In an earlier post, I had talked about a observation from the Sac Bee's Matt Barrows. I had mentioned that third-round draft pick Glen Coffee's running style might need improvement. The style, a galloping type, was something that I had initially believed to be something could require work. Obviously, such a style has seen success in the NFL (Roger Craig, Walter Payton) and I was quick to criticize it. However, the projected style of offense the 49ers have installed doesn't look to be something great for a galloping style.

The style itself is a style that can work if the rest of the running attack is smooth. Gore and Coffee are expected to be a 1-2 punch in the running game, but Gore does expect to see the majority of the carries. If Gore does take a majority of the rushes as he expects to, Coffee will be that "change of pace" back that so many teams have used in recent years.

Teams like the Jaguars (Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew), Vikings (Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor) and Giants (Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward) all featured backs with two distinct styles of running. That is what the 49ers are looking to establish themselves.

Watching Coffee at Alabama showed me that he is capable of going outside or going downhill. A little background on Coffee from the 49ers website:

In 35 games (17 starts) for the Crimson Tide, gained 2,107 yds. on 410 carries with 14 TDs, and 42 catches for 351 yds. with 2 TDs receiving. In his final season at Alabama, the All-SEC selection and Doak Walker Award semi-finalist rushed for 1,383 rushing yds and 10 TDs. His rushing yds. tied Shaun Alexander as the 2nd-best total in school history, while his 5.9 yds. per carry in 2008 ranked 6th all-time. In 2007, played in 9 games (3 starts) and rushed for 545 yds. and 4 TDs, and had 18 catches for 118 yds. and a TD. Granted a medical redshirt in 2006 after recording 179 rushing yds. and 91 receiving yds. as a true freshman.

The two-back system for the 49ers could very well provide the type of running success the previously mentioned teams have had. If the 49ers offense isn't all downhill running like I had initially predicted, Coffee can excel with his galloping style.

Coming out of Alabama, scouting reports said that he will be best suited as a downhill runner. Looks like he may be fit for both downhill and outside running. That definitely will be a great compliment to Gore this upcoming season. And as the 49ers continue to build their offense around the strengths of the passing game, we know clearly that the strengths of the running game have already been in place. Let's hope that it gels for this upcoming season.


Kareen Brown Loses 30 Pounds

LoHud.com is reporting that Jets DT Kareem Brown has lost 30 pounds so he can play tight end.


Huff hammers decisive RBI

The Orioles (18-25) took a one-run lead in the third inning on an infield single by Nick Markakis, and the Nationals (12-30) answered in the fifth with a solo home run by Cristian Guzman. Huff came up with two outs and a man on first in the seventh inning and tripled to left-center field to chase home the decisive run. "Obviously, I'd rather be jogging than running three bags," Huff said. "The ball has to bounce off the wall. Adam Dunn has to chase it down after the guy falls down in center field. That's pretty much what has to happen." And with that timely hit, the Orioles made up for a quiet night at the office. Baltimore tied a season low with three hits, and two of them came late in the game. Catcher Gregg Zaun doubled in the seventh and was thrown out on a fielder's choice at third, and then Huff tripled off Ron Villone to take the lead. "Huff was the secret weapon tonight. He was up here hitting in the cage," Trembley said. "I thought we had one shot late in the game, so let's do it. Tonight was kind of a team game. You're not always going to get one aspect of the game vs. another. You got a timely hit with Huff. You got very, very good pitching [and] very, very good situational pitching. You got tremendous infield defense. All that adds up to winning the game." (mlb.com)

Offensive players poised for breakout seasons

Tight ends: Now that Jay Cutler is under center for the Bears, one of the primary beneficiaries could be Greg Olsen. He has made steady progress his first two years, and his production could improve significantly. The Bears plan to line him up at multiple spots, making it difficult to defend him.