Thursday, July 10

Rip Van Winkle of the Day

I almost couldn't believe it. How could that be important? Of all things in the world of sports, how is that a top story? By this point, I'm sure you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about. Right before I sat down to write this article, I checked my one fantasy football league. I clicked on one of the widgets, (an awesome word by the way, widgets) the ESPN Bottomline. I clicked on the "Top Stories" button and much to my surprise, the following showed up on my screen: "Citing Achilles injury, veteran Dilfer plans to retire" No, the fact that he was retiring didn't surprise me, in fact, he probably should've hung up the cleats a few seasons ago. The fact I thought it was under Top Stories stunned me. How does something that seems to be so little, like a veteran QB not named Brett Favre retiring, end up being such a big story? I then realized something I have known about myself my whole life; I'm an idiot. I noticed that I was reading under the "NFL" section of the Bottomline, not the Top Story part. Turns out that there were no Top Stories so far so it skipped that section and moved onto the next, the NFL. Only I can tie this into something fantasy football. Sometimes, in this crazy game we play, the little moves can have big impacts on players. This leads up to my Rip Van Winkle of the Day. Drew Bennett/WR St. Louis: Like most Rams in 2007, Bennett didn't produce. He certainly wasn't the free agent pickup he was expected to be. However, that could all change in 2008. For starters, Bennett is well...starting. Issac Bruce is sporting a 49ers uniform and Bennett's only competition are rookies Keenan Burton and Donnie Avery. In other words, it's safe to say that Bennett has the #2 job secured. The Rams offense should fare much better this year; Bulger, Steven Jackson, the offensive line, and Torry Holt are all now healthy. Aside from TE and FB, that's the whole offense that is now healthy! But the most important piece, a subtle one to the causal fantasy footballer, is the addition of offensive coordinator Al Saunders. Saunders is an offensive mastermind coupled with a Rams offenses that can be explosive when all the wheels are turning. I don't think we'll see the second coming of "The Greatest Show on Turf", but the Rams offense should greatly benefit because of Saunders. And so will fantasy owners.
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Wednesday, July 9

NFL News Wire Rundown - 7/9

I was scanning youtube today and found a great clip that I had never seen before. Dave Dameshek, an ESPN radio personality in Los Angeles, with guests Jimmy Kimmel, Jeff Ross, (Cousin) Sal Iacono, and Bill Simmons. During the course of watching this, I realized a couple things. 1. Bill Simmons is not very funny when surrounded by real, funny people. and 2. Making fun of people is even funnier and more successful at entertaining people than I originally thought. This makes me very depressed. First off, the fact that a decently funny at best sports writer is ESPN's golden boy really makes me wonder how another sports media company can't compete with the WWL. Secondly, and a whole lot more relevant to what I'm getting at, is if people love when other people make fun of others in a comedic manner, why do I have approximately 12 people who read this blog? Am I really not that funny? This turned my depression into happiness and joy. I'm just like Bill Simmons! Except with about 12 million less readers. This made me depressed again. It also made realize that this pathetic excuse for an introduction has made me bipolar and made you very, very bored. Moving on... Legedu Naanee. Do I need to say anything other than his name? Chargers WR Legedu Naanee is expected to see his role increased this season.
He caught everything thrown his way during OTAs and impressed the coaching staff with his grasp of the playbook. Now that Eric Parker has nary a role, Naanee has a chance to unseat Craig Davis as the team's third receiver. Dynasty leaguers should keep an eye on his progress this summer.
No wonder San Diego is just fine with trading Eric Parker or letting him walk. They have a replacement named Legedu! This guy is obviously going to jump boring old Craig Davis on the depth chart. The only successful Craig I know is this dude who has a famous online list. How many unsuccessful Legedu's do you know? Dynasty leaguers, definitely keep an eye on Naanee. Dilfer Out for Four Months Free agent QB Trent Dilfer suffered an Achilles tendon injury recently while playing basketball.
Dilfer, whose season ended early last season following a serious concussion, tore his right Achilles tendon back in 2002. He was recently forced to drop out of the American Century Championship golf tournament and won't be able to golf for four months. When timeframes are measured in terms of golf rather than football, it's probably time to call it a career and start lining up as one of the better analysts around.
Well this just sucks. I drafted him in my fantasy golf league. Rodgers Refrains From Bashing The Media That Is Bashing Him Aaron Rodgers says he isn't letting talk of Brett Favre coming out of retirement affect his preparation.
"I’ve been up in the mountains hanging out with my family, so I’ve been pretty immune to any media reports out there," Rodgers said. "The media has a job to do, so they’re reporting the information they get. But other than that, I’m not really going to speculate on any rumors that are out there."
So Aaron tells fans to shut up when they say that Favre is coming back, that Rodgers stinks, and that Favre is way better. But when the media does it, he says it's their job? Aaron. You want the fans to love you, not the newspaper writers. Also, how is that preparation coming really? You're juts chilling in the mountains? Ya, make sure that those Favre rumors don't affect your hiking skills. SJax Is Fully Healthy and Fully Motivated Steven Jackson says he is "100 percent" healthy after nursing minor groin and ankle injuries during OTA season.
We wouldn't even know if he practiced in 7-on-7s because Rams reporters took the spring off. Jackson, who's in a contract year, says he's "looking to...lengthen my career with St. Louis. Hopefully, I’ll retire as a Ram." There shouldn't be a more motivated running back in the league this season.
Because he's pushed by the hope of lengthening his career, he's the most motivated running back in the league this season? I agree. Those guys who want MVP awards and Super Bowl trophies don't have anything to play for. Jordan Not Wanted In Detroit LaMont Jordan recently paid the Lions a visit, according to his agent.
Oakland has given Jordan permission to seek a trade and held him out of June camps. However, the agent says he's had little contact with Detroit since the visit, indicating the team may not have been impressed. Jordan will turn 30 this season and has dealt with chronic back problems.
Don't worry Lamont. The last big name that the lions avoided became Chief of Governor's and was known for his wisdom. Dilfer Retires Trent Dilfer announced his retirement from football.
Dilfer says he planned to retire before injuring his Achilles playing basketball recently. He had a reputation as a "game manager" but he played excellent football throughout Baltimore's Super Bowl run in 2000. Dilfer finished his career with a 113:129 TD to INT ratio. He was the No. 6 overall pick in 1994 and threw 21 touchdowns in back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998, but ultimately had a journeyman career. Dilfer will likely move on to an analyst role and excel at it.
Source: Reno Gazette-Journal Well this just gets worse and worse doesn't it. I took him in the first round too.

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Tuesday, July 8

Rip Van Winkle Day

Sorry to keep all my readers waiting (all 3 of them). Instead of a midnight snack, tonight, I present to you a midnight sleeper. Taylor Melhaff/K New Orleans: Yes, I actually cared enough to write about a kicker. Last year, the surprise kickers were Nick Folk and Mason Crosby. In 2006, it was Robbie Gould. Could Melhaff be next? In the Saints offense, why not? New Orleans has a strong offense, and it has seemed to benefit rookie kickers in the past. Folk was in the high octane Dallas offense, and Crosby was the guy in the Brett Favre gunslinging Packers offense. Melhaff isn't facing much competition either. Martin Gramatica is the only other possibility and well, that isn't much. Teams usually don't draft kickers and those who do want that selection to prove worthwhile.
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NFL News Wire Rundown - 7/8

Alex Rodriguez is now officially getting a divorce. He's all over the news. Michael Vick is going bankrupt. He made it onto (I was linked there, I didn't visit the site on my own. Don't worry.) Tony Gonzalez is being covered on because he saved a man from choking to death. (Choking to death? Really? That still happens? What a way to go out. I wasn't able to swallow a bite of Top Sirloin...) All this left me wondering, why are people so infatuated with athletes being involved in stuff other than sports? Does the fact that they have lives other than playing with a prolate spheroid (oh wow that sounds dirty) on Sundays excite people that much? I'm a member of the media, barely, and I'm (desperately) trying to gain a large readership here. If I talk about Eli Manning having a cavity, could that help me accomplish that goal? You tell me, after reading what I have to say on today's set of NFL news, all of which will have nothing to do with anything directly football related, and everything to do with what players do when they're off the gridiron. Enjoy (hopefully). Darrion Scott Has Interesting Ways of Having Fun With His Kids Free agent DL Darrion Scott pleaded guilty to child endangerment Monday for putting a plastic bag over the head of his two-year-old son.
The charge is considered a "gross misdemeanor." Scott claims he had no intention of hurting the boy and was just fooling around. Scott's lawyer says two felony charges of assault will be dismissed on July 24.
Source: Associated Press Darrion stated that he was simply using the bag to make sure his child would cover his eyes during a game of hide and go seek. The boy allegedly has a bad habit of peeking before he gets to 50. Scott did mention that it might be because the kid can't count that high and acknowledged the possible stupidity of his action. "Teaching him to count would probably have been a wiser thing to do." BREAKING NEWS: FAVRE TEXTS TED THOMPSON! Brett Favre reportedly sent Packers GM Ted Thompson a text message over the weekend.
The text's content is unknown, but Thompson replied that he is on vacation and the two could speak later, according to WTMJ-Milwaukee. Thompson has also ignored calls from Favre's agent and sent an intermediary to talk to Favre at his Mississippi home. Thompson can avoid Favre all he wants, but if Brett requests to be taken off the retired list, Thompson must grant his wish.
Oh the intrigue! What if he was just seeing if Ted wanted to fill out a foursome? Maybe he was just wondering if Thompson wanted to go see Hancock when he gets back from Hawaii? Find me a professional athlete who doesn't ever send text messages. Then tell me how this is the most important news story of the day. Ridiculous. The thing I don't get about this though is how the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel found out about this text message. Do they have sources who work for Verizon Wireless? And how do you know what Thompson's response was but have no idea what Favre sent to him? Did the AT&T worker look in on the text conversation just a few seconds to late to catch what Brett said? Biggest Non-Story of the year. Actually, of my life. And my parents' lives. DA Tries To Enhance His Mobility Derek Anderson worked out at the SPARQ training facility this offseason in an attempt to enhance his mobility.
SPARQ stands for Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, Quickness. Browns OC Rob Chudzinski has added more rollouts to the playbook this season, so perhaps this will help Anderson improve on those. You can bet that Brady Quinn would still whoop him in a foot race.
This may be somewhat directly related to football, but I just had to get my two cents in. SPARQ training, from what I know, goes around the nation testing and training high schoolers at schools and camps. Is Derek Anderson really that unathletic? Just picture him doing the 40 yard dash alongside some pimple faced 16 year old. I would hesitate to draft a player like this. Another Brush Up With The Law For Brandon Marshall Brandon Marshall was ticketed by Denver police for more traffic violations in June.
Marshall was pulled over for an illegal lane change, then found to be without his license or proof of insurance. These sound like minor and routine traffic violations, but they can't help if Marshall plans to plead not guilty to DUI on September 16. He'll be in court July 24th for these new infractions.
Source: Denver Post
Marshall, Marshall, Marshall. Do you even know how to drive? Did you ever earn a license? I'm trying to decide if Brandon is a better driver when he's drunk or sober. Con-Vick Goes Bankrupt Michael Vick filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.
Vick owes between $$12.8 million to his seven largest creditors, and probably much more to smaller creditors. The court papers suggest that Vick wants to resume his career after he is out of prison. Some of the money owed is to the Atlanta Falcons.
Source: Associated Press Holy crap that's a lot of debt. Mike must have been a really crappy dog fighter... Oh well, he can always ask his NFL playing brother to help him out financially. Oh wait, he's in prison too? Henry's Court Case Will Start All Over Next Week Chris Henry will face a retrial next week in his assault case.
The original case had a hung jury. Profootballtalk believes Henry may be reinstated to the league right away if he's proven innocent. Two of eight jurors on Henry's last trial wanted him found guilty.
Another court case, another opportunity to illegally park your car outside the court and get it towed. I almost feel sorry for this guy.
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Monday, July 7

Man Crush Monday

I came down with what Tosten has, writers block. It's pretty contagious, especially when I took the weekend off to try out this thing called a social life. Let's just jump right into the pool, shall we? Clinton Portis/RB Washington: Will this finally be the year that Portis gets the credit he deserves? He is never high on ranking lists, but almost year in and year out, he produces big. Excluding the year he missed 8 games, Portis has rushed for at least 1200 yards and double digit TD's in all but one year. Last year, Portis rushed for 1262 yards and 11 TD's. He also caught 47 receptions. Keep in mind he did this without starting offensive tackles Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas, both of whom will be returning from injuries this year. Guard Pete Kendall, acquired last year from the Jets, has a year under his belt in Washington. The Redskins pass offense got an upgrade this year too, drafting WR's Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly along with TE Fred Davis. All of that should help raise Portis' stats, including his YPC, a low 3.9 in 2007. Head coach Jim Zorn will be implementing the West Coast offense this year, a system that RB's responded well to in Seattle. When Gil Haskell, offensive coordinator for Seattle, first came to the Seahawks and implemented the West Coast, then starting running back Ricky Watters rushed for over 1200 yards and 7 TD's, while boasting a 4.5 YPC. Watters also hauled in 63 catches. Keep in mind that Watters was 31, Portis is only 26. When Zorn became Seattle's QB coach in 2001, Shaun Alexander ran for over 1300 yards and 14 TD's. This was Alexander's first year as the full time starter in the West Coast, and he had an outstanding season. My point is that even though there will be a new offense in Washington this year, Portis should not be negatively affected. This is the year everyone should realize Portis is a top 5 back. Consistency, productivity, versatility, other adjectives ending in "y". Like clockwork, Portis shouldn't dissapoint fantasy owners this year.
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Rip Van Winkle of the Day

If you're a Browns fan, you probably didn't watch too much of the 2008 NFL Draft. Because they weren't a big part of it. For those of you who forget, the Browns traded away their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks. With the few picks they did have, the Browns drafted one player who could end up being a steal in both the actual draft and your fantasy football draft. Paul Hubbard/WR: Granted he's only a rookie, but he has a lot of talent in an offense that is chalk full of it. Hubbard has blazing speed and when he is on his game, he's very tough to beat. Consistency is an issue, however, reason being he wasn't selected higher in the draft. With Joe Jurevicius still battling knee problems which could continue the whole year, the door is open for another WR to make noise. The Browns' offense, as much as I hate to say it as I'm a Steelers fan, is potent. A strong offense is never a bad thing for a rookie wide receiver. Don't count on Hubbard to always put up points, heck I wouldn't count on him too much; he's a pretty deep sleeper, but he could be a bye week fill in who may end up being the key to your team winning that week.
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NFL News Wire Rundown - 7/7

Holy crap am I having writer's block right now. It's either the 17 hot dogs I ate on the fourth or the massive nirvanical (shut up that's a word now) breakdown I had yesterday watching the Nadal-Federer match, the best tennis match of my lifetime, but whatever the case, I can not think of a good way to introduce today's Rundown for the life of me. So I'm just gonna boast about being published on Fox Sports here, and get on with the news. Seahawks Starter Still In the Air Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren doesn't plan to name a starting tailback until late in training camp.
"You know Mo (Morris) and Julius (Jones) are going to carry the ball a good portion of the time," Holmgren said. "Leonard (Weaver) is going to be our starting fullback. The one I have to figure out a little bit is how we are going to use (T.J.) Duckett." Holmgren has stated that he wants to use a committee and doesn't plan on giving one primary back 25 carries in any game. We wouldn't use a top-fifty fantasy pick on any member.
Source: USA Today
When your choices are Julius Jones, Maurice Morris, and TJ Duckett, you would put off facing the issue and making a decision for as long as possible too. No One Will Take Brad Johnson's Role as the Crappy Backup In Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says the team has no interest in bringing competition for Brad Johnson to training camp.
"All the confidence," Jones said. "A lot of confidence in Brad. Had real good camps and real good work." A Fort Worth Star-Telegram report just after last season indicated Johnson would not be back in 2008, but he has two years left on his deal and will remain Tony Romo's clipboard holder. If Romo gets hurt, the weapons in Dallas could allow Johnson to approach QB1 numbers.
Jerry told the paper that he is sure that Brad is the best man for the job, saying that he has the strongest forearms he's seen in a long while, and, when paired with his extremely neat handwriting, there's no reason for him to bring in anyone else to hold the clipboard. Cleveland to Jurevicius: Don't Come Back Anytime Soon The Browns have told Joe Jurevicius to not try to rush back from knee surgeries.
Jurevicius is 33 and does not figure to heal quickly. Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Terry Pluto says the Browns don't plan to add a veteran wide receiver as insurance. Still, Eric Parker would seemingly make too much sense for the Browns to pass if he's released.
Translation: You pretty much suck, and we don't really want or need you to return. Despite your super cool name, we're going to acquire someone to replace you and push you out of the picture, but make it seem casual and nice by giving the idea that we are sincerely concerned with the health of your knee and want you to make sure it fully recovers. Oh by the way, Terry Pluto goes in the Bucky Brooks category of journalists who will have every single report they make discussed in this column because of their incredibly great names. Whitner Guarantees a 2008 Playoff Berth For the Bills Donte Whitner says he is "guaranteeing" that the Bills will make the playoffs this season.
It would be Buffalo's first postseason appearance this decade; a winning record would mark the Bills' second since 1999. The Bills need to stay healthy, but they have enough nice young pieces in place to make a run at a Wild Card spot.
Source: Donte graduated college with a 3.7 GPA. I may actually believe this guarantee. When I evaluate the legitimacy of guarantees, I expect the guarantor (that is honestly a word) to at least have had a C average. You hear that Anthony Smith? Martz To Not Utilize Three Receiver Packages? "Early indications" are that the 49ers will not feature their third wide receiver in the passing game, according to the Sacramento Bee.
This could be speculative since the 49ers haven't even decided on a QB yet, let alone a receiver depth chart. Arnaz Battle is San Francisco's presumptive third receiver at the moment, but the team may go with two tight ends or running backs more often than most Martz teams, which will limit the chance of a Shaun McDonald-like explosion from Battle.
I don't really have anything to say here, there are very few fantasy players in San Fran that have any value anyway, but I just wanted to let it be known that "The Sacramento Bee" is the worst titled newspaper I've ever seen. That's more like the name of a cartoon, not a major journalistic venue. Tatupu Gets a DUI Lofa Tatupu pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence Monday.
Tatupu initially pled not guilty, but changed his plea. He was sentenced to one day in jail and fined $1,255. If Tatupu gets another DUI, he'd probably be suspended. But he should be fine to play 16 games this season.
Another NFL alcoholic. My guess is that he inherited this. There is no possible way that his parents were sober when they named him Lofa. They had to have been drunks too. McKelvin To Be Sprinkled On Returns writer Chris Brown believes that first-round pick Leodis McKelvin will only be "sprinkled in" on returns as a rookie.
McKelvin, a prolific college returner, may only be used to give PR Roscoe Parrish and KR Terrence McGee breathers. Brown suggests that the Bills could use a "double return" look on punts to exploit mismatches in certain instances.
Brown also reported that wide receiver Lee Evans will be salted in the passing game and that quarterback JP Losman is going to be cheese grated off the roster.

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