Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"It Girl" of the week: Dolly Castro

The "It Girl" of the week is Dolly Castro.

Carson Palmer says the Eagles got a steal in Matt Barkley

Quarterbacks out of USC haven't exactly lit the NFL on fire. There have been gaudy stats and playoff wins when you look at the quartet of Arizona Cardinals signal caller Carson Palmer, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez and Matt Leinart. Statistically Palmer is the best of the bunch and from a wins and losses standpoint the nod goes to Sanchez. But neither will have a bust in Canton.

The latest USC quarterback coming into the NFL is Philadelphia Eagles fourth round draft pick Matt Barkley. Barkley was projected to go in the late first or early second round of the NFL Draft. For reasons beyond my knowledge Barkley slipped all the way to the fourth round. Barkley is ready to prove that him slipping that far was a mistake. Palmer says the Eagles got a steal.

"I know Matt can play. I've had the opportunity to work out with him over the last couple of years. And I've obviously had a chance to watch him play," Palmer told NFL Network's Andrew Siciliano in an interview that will appear Tuesday on "NFL Total Access."

"For him to go in the fourth round is an absolute steal. I think the bigger question is how he fits into that system, and only time will tell that. But whether the guy can play or not, he can absolutely play, and I know he's excited to prove a lot of people wrong."

I know he didn't live up to all the hype he had coming into his senior season, but only time will reveal if Barkley can excel at the NFL level or just another overhyped USC product.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Can C.J. McCollum be another Damian Lillard?

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had a fantastic rookie season. The 6-3 Weber State product had questions about whether he could play against elite level competition, but he put those to rest by having the best season of the 2012 draftees and more than likely winning the NBA rookie of the year.

Another small school guard, Lehigh's C.J. McCollum will face some of the same questions as he gets ready for the 2013 NBA Draft. Can he play point guard after being a dynamic scorer in college. Can he produce consistently against players on a higher level. More importantly, will he be fully recovered from a broken foot that sidelined him for most of his senior season. McCollum says he's ready to go and that he's 100 percent.

In my opinion he can play against elite level competition. Look what he did to Duke in the 2012 NCAA tournament. My question is, can he become another Damian Lillard?

Many thought that Lillard wouldn't be able to make the transition to the NBA game. He seemingly looked for his shot first and couldn't make his teammates better. Furthermore he played in the Big Sky conference. Not a conference known for churning out first round NBA draft picks. He wasn't a true point abut he didn't have the size for a shooting guard.

When you look at McCollum's size he almost mirrors Lillard. Lillard is listed at 6-3, 190 pounds. McCollum is listed at 6-3 and 200 pounds. He isn't known to be a "facilitator"  and scouts say he has work to do to become a true point guard. He played in the Patriot League and he was also hurt for most of his senior year.

I don't think you try to remake his game. You look at what Lillard has done as a pro and ask yourself can McCollum become the same type of player. I do think McCollum can be a solid pro if put in the right situation. Lillard came into Portland not to be a savior, but as a functional part of a team. The Blazers already had LaMarcus Aldridge so they had someone to build around.

For a team looking for a guard to plug and play right away, McCollum could be your man. Especially if that team isn't a perennial cellar dweller. He could fit in best with a team like Dallas, Chicago or the Los Angeles Clippers. But if a team wants him to be the man and not a contributor it might not work out too well.

Ole Miss forward Murphy Holloway, gets a shot with the Baltimore Ravens

Former Ole Miss basketball player Murphy Holloway just completed his senior season in the NCAA tournament. Being a 6-6 power forward, Holloway figured that he was a long shot to make the NBA, even though he finished as the school's all time leading rebounder.

Instead of plying his trade overseas, Holloway has signed with the Baltimore Ravens. My guess is that he'll be trying out as a tight end.Holloway will be the latest former hardwood star to convert to the gridiron in the never ending quest for teams that try to convert undersized power forwards into pass catching tight ends.

Holloway was bypassed in the NFL Draft. He averaged 14.5 points and 9.7 boards as a senior.

I don't know his background as a football player but I figure he'll have a long way to go before he sees the field. But if Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez can hit it big why not give it a shot.

Pau Gasol will go to Germany to get treatment on knees

This season has turned out to be a huge struggle for the Los Angeles Lakers, and with the team down 0-3 heading into Sunday's game 4 matchup against the San Antonio Spurs, it seems probable the suffering will end soon.  The biggest reason as to why it has been such a tough year is because of all the injuries the members of the squad have experienced, as the team never was healthy enough to develop the proper team chemistry necessary to cause serious damage.  One player who has dealt with his fair share of injuries is 7 footer Pau Gasol.  Currently, the big man is playing through soreness in his knees due to tendonosis, and it seems he may consider flying to Germany this summer to undergo the legendary platelet-rich plasma procedure.  Via Mark Medina of the LA Daily News:

Gasol was asked if he might consider going to Germany in the offseason to undergo a derivation of the platelet-rich plasma procedure.

"I have to do something to regenerate the tissue," Gasol said, "so I don't have to play with this pain."

'I'll go to wherever I need to go," Gasol said. "It's a possibility.'"

I refer to the procedure as "legendary" because Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant underwent the exact same process on his injured right knee in July of 2011.  The procedure did wonders for the Mamba, as his knee did not bother him at all the next season and he was able to run up and down the floor smoothly.  Hopefully for Pau Gasol, the PRP therapy will work the same way it did for Bryant and he no longer will have to play through constant knee pain.

It is worth mentioning Gasol will also be playing through the pain from the torn plantar fascia in his right foot he suffered in February.  In addition, it seems the power forward suffered a torn ligament in his right middle finger and will be playing game 4 with a splint.  Via the OC Register's Kevin Ding on Twitter:

"Pau told and showed me yesterday he tore a ligament in his right middle finger in Game 3. He plans to wear a splint today."

Just add this to the list of injuries which have destroyed any hope of the team succeeding in the postseason.

Chargers wanted Tomlinson for 10-12 carries a game

It's hard for a professional athlete to retire. You no longer have an extraordinary stream of money coming in, the cheering stops and no more free travel and perks. It's not rare for your former team to ask you to come back but usually it's in a front office capacity.

Former San Diego Charger great LaDainian Tomlinson told Yahoo's Michael Silver that new San Diego general manager Tom Telesco and coach Mike McCoy asked him to come out of retirement and play for the team this season. 

Tomlinson will be 34 in June never entertained the thought of playing again but was surprised by the offer.

"I met [new general manager] Tom Telesco and [rookie head coach] Mike McCoy at the [NFL scouting] combine, and they asked me to come back and play," Tomlinson said. "I saw [executive vice president] John Spanos at a restaurant in Indy, and he introduced me to them, and they brought it up. At first I thought they weren't really serious, but they kept talking about it, and I realized it was real. They said, 'You can come back and carry it 10 or 12 times a game. We'd like to have you here.' " Though flattered, Tomlinson said he didn't seriously consider the offer: "No, because when I made the decision to walk away, I wrestled with it long and hard, and I knew it was final. Once I retired, that was it. My mind is in a different place. Mentally, going back would have been too hard."

I guess that shows how much confidence they have in their incumbent running back Ryan Mathews. They signed former New England Patriot Danny Woodhead in the offseason and now asked the guy he basically replaced to come in for a cameo appearance.

Nate Montana gets invited to 49ers minicamp

Nate Montana, son of San Francisco 49ers legend Joe, has received an invite to the 49ers rookie minicamp according to various reports. 

Montana had a journeyman career in college that started at Notre Dame and included stints at Pasadena Community College, the University of Montana and West Virginia Wesleyan. At the Division II school last season, Montana threw for 2,480 yards and 19 touchdowns, leading the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in both categories.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks sees Montana as a long shot at the NFL level.

"It's going to be hard for him to transition to the next level," Brooks told Around The League before the 2013 NFL Draft. "His passes don't have zip. He has difficulty making pro throws."

Montana attended the 49ers pro day last month but is viewed as someone that won't be making an NFL roster.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

St. Paul Saints will play an umpireless game

The St. Paul Saints have prided themselves on doing some of the wackiest promotions in the minor leagues. Their next promotion will probably wind up as the longest game played that wasn't an extra inning affair.

The Saints will play an exhibition game against the  Gary SouthShore Railcats. The catch to this game is that it will feature no umpires. That's right, they'll be playing an umpireless game.

The Saints “Umpireless Game” presented by Hamline University will take place on Saturday, May 11 in a game against the Gary SouthShore Railcats.  In this unique twist a judge in a robe will stand behind the pitcher’s mound calling ball and strikes strikes while a jury of both teams “peers” will act as the base umpires.  The Killebrew Box Seats, which are designated seating areas on the first and third base side at field level, will have 12 Little Leaguers in each area deciding if runners are safe or out.  There will be no hung jury, as majority will rule, but any ties will be decided by the judge on the field

 Instead of “Play Ball” hollered by an umpire, the judge will pound a gavel on home plate to signify the beginning of the game.  The players on the field will not be the only ones who will have a judge and jury preside over the proceedings.  Fans will have an opportunity to take their disputes to a “judge” that will be set up on the walkway in the main seating bowl of the stadium.

 While umpires have arbitrated games since 1876 there has never been a game void of umpires.  Networks use technology to define the strike zone and slo-mo instant replay is used to show viewers if runners are safe or out, but ultimately umpires have the final say.  The Saints and Hamline University are using the rules of the courtroom for one day to decide everything on the diamond.

“We respect all baseball umpires and believe this promotion will allow our ‘jurors’ and both teams to realize how important they really are to the game,” said Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Derek Sharrer.  “This is something that has never been attempted before and I think it will make for an interesting and intriguing nine innings of baseball.”

This will be the first game that will not have umpires. If you ask me this game has the potential to turn out to be an adult sandlot game. I know it'll last longer than the norm unless the Saints know something I don't.

Wisconsin trying to schedule a game against LSU in Lambeau Field

The Wisconsin Badgers football team has caught a lot of flak for their non-conference schedule in past years. But you have to give some credit to athletic director Barry Alvarez as he tries to beef up the slate in the near future.

The Badgers have a date with Alabama in 2015 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. A report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Badgers are looking to add another SEC heavyweight to the schedule. Alvarez would like to add LSU to the schedule and play the game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

Justin Doherty, UW associate athletic director for external relations, declined to say whether UW is pursuing such a game.

"I don't have anything I can tell you," he said after the regularly scheduled athletic board meeting.

"It has come up from time to time and it is something that we are pursuing," said Aaron Popkey, the Green Bay Packers' director of public affairs. "But it hasn't gotten to the point where there is anything on the books or where we're ready to announce.

"We continue to look into it and will certainly explore those opportunities."

With the BCS going to a College Football Playoff, strength of schedule might be looked upon as criteria to being included in the four team derby. Seeing how everyone loves the SEC, it's in the best interest to schedule a game like this and win. Considering that we've seen two SEC teams battle it out for the national championship (2012) and a two loss SEC team (LSU) win it all. A one loss Big Ten team might get shafted, whereas a one loss SEC team gets the benefit of the doubt.

Knowing how the SEC operates the Tigers may want a home game or a game in the Superdome in return.

But give some credit to Alvarez for looking toward the future and trying to schedule games that matter when it comes down to choosing the teams for a playoff.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

UNLV planning to build a statue of Jerry Tarkanian

To me UNLV basketball will always be about Jerry Tarkanian. Even though he was thought to be a renegade, Tarkanian lifted the Runnin' Rebels to their greatest heights.

In 19 seasons at UNLV, Tarkanian won 509 games and led the program to four Final Four appearances and a national title in 1990. Tarkanian was finally elected to the Naismith Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 class.

The school will make plans to build a statue of Tarkanian to honor the godfather of UNLV basketball.

UNLV will hold a press conference Wednesday to announce plans to construct a statue of former basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian outside of the Thomas & Mack Center, according to multiple sources.

Jim Ratigan, the executive director of the UNLV Alumni Association, confirmed the group is working on something for Tarkanian but added the specifics are still being worked out.

"We are spearheading an effort to work on a project honoring coach Tarkanian," Ratigan said. "We’re still working on all the details.”

The floor at the Thomas & Mack center, the Rebels' home court is named in his honor. The statue is long overdue as Tarkanian meant a lot to that program and the city.

Stephen Curry challenges Michigan's Nik Stauskas to 3 point contest

Michigan's Nik Stauskas burst onto the college basketball scene with his sharpshooting ability. After his latest YouTube video, Stauskus' reputation is growing.

Stauskus nailed 70 of 76 three pointers in the rain which prompted Golden State Warriors marksman Stephen Curry to throw out a challenge to Stauskus.

"3pt contest sometime @NStauskas11 ????? this is Impressive," Curry tweeted, linking Stauskas' video.

Staukus response: "Thanks for the s/o bro! Im always down fot a 3pt contest, wouldn't mind going up against the best shooter in the world!!," he tweeted. "I love waking up to a challenge by the best 3 point shooter in the world!!! Today might be a good day HA!"

Curry shot 45.3 percent from deep in the NBA while Stauskus shot 44 percent and set a  Michigan freshman record for three pointers in a season.

I wonder would this be from NBA range or a college shootout.

Eastern Michigan basketball player suspended for assault charge

Eastern Michigan basketball player Glenn Bryant has been suspended indefinitely by the school after his 19-year-old girlfriend said he choked her during an argument at an off-campus apartment.

Glenn Bryant was arraigned Wednesday in Ypsilanti District Court on assault by strangulation and aggravated domestic violence charges.

The 22-year-old from Detroit was arrested Monday.

Interim Athletic Director Melody Reifel Werner says in a statement that Bryant's suspension under the school's student-athlete discipline policy will continue "until the charges are dropped, dismissed or otherwise resolved."

Bryant was a transfer from Arkansas and averaged around 10 points after sitting out the 2011-2012 season.

Pistons will interview Lindsey Hunter for coaching job

The Detroit Pistons might look to another former player to coach the team.

Reports say that the Pistons will interview Phoenix Suns interim head coach Lindsey Hunter for the vacant coaching job. The Pistons asked the Suns for permission to interview for the opening.

I know Hunter was a long time Piston (1993-2000, 2003-08) and has family in the Detroit area but I don't like the idea of Hunter coaching the team.

For starters look at his record in Phoenix (12-29). I know the Suns didn't have the best team but when you have a player (Michael Beasley) say that he plays better when he's not listening to the coaches, that's an indictment on the coach and his staff. The Suns finished with the worse record in the Western Conference.

Secondly, it would be Joe Dumars being loyal Joe. The last time the Pistons hired a former as coach was the Michael Curry experiment which lasted only one season. Hunter doesn't have much experience in the coaching ranks and if Dumars hires Hunter the Pistons will be looking at another season in lottery land.

The very last thing this team needs is another former Piston as Head Coach. I have great respect for Lindsey Hunter and Joe Dumars but it would be a mistake to appoint him as the next coach.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"It Girl" of the week: Kimmy Maxx

The Just Sports & Just Us "It girl" of the week is Kimmy Maxx.

Louisville's Russ Smith returning to school

After Louisville won the national championship, Cardinals guard Russ Smith had announced his intentions to go pro. Well it was more his dad than Smith, as he seemed to be on the fence about leaving for the NBA.

After a few weeks of "sleepless nights", Smith had a change of heart and will be returning to Louisville for his senior season.

At a press conference Smith admitted to not being a surefire firs round pick and his love for Louisville.

"Obviously I wasn't a clear-cut first-round pick, so coming back for me was because of coach, my teammates, the Louisville campus and community and graduating," Smith said. "I never really got an official goodbye, so that stuck with me. I want to do senior night. There were just a lot of things as a person that I want to do."

Smith's return makes the Cardinals a threat to repeat as national champions. Louisville will be loaded on the perimeter with Smith, Luke Hancock, Wayne Blackshear and perhaps Kevin Ware on the wings and newcomers Chris Jones and Terry Rozier combining to run the point. Gorgui Dieng's departure leaves a void in the middle, but Chane Behanan will be back at power forward and Montrezl Harrell showed enough flashes of promise as a shot blocker and rebounder to suggest he may be ready for an increased role.

With Jones and Rozier coming in it's doubtful that Smith will get to show that he's an NBA ready point guard to scouts, but Smith likes winning so that probably doesn't matter too much to him.

"I love to win," Smith said. "With the group we have coming back, I want to go out as a winner, as well as to get my degree."

Look for Louisville along with Kentucky and Michigan State to be at the top of the polls once the college basketball season starts.

Colts' Dwayne Allen "can't stand the draft"

Every player eligible for the NFL Draft just wants to hear his name called and be given a chance to compete at the highest level of their sport. While some will consider it a dream no matter where they're drafted, some will come in with a chip on their shoulder due to where they were drafted at.

Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen falls into the latter category. Allen was an All American tight end at Clemson and was the winner of the John Mackey Award which is given to college football's top tight end. The draft advisory panel gave him a first round grade, but when the draft rolled around he ended being picked in the third round. Allen wasn't too pleased with his draft experience.

“I want to say congratulations to all those guys whose dreams are going to come true,” Allen said of the 254 players who will be drafted. “But I won’t be watching.

“I can’t stand the draft.”

The Colts passed on Allen early in the second round when they selected quarterback Andrew Luck's college teammate Coby Fleener. He thought the Carolina Panthers would take him with their second round pick and the Panthers chose Midwestern State guard Amini Silatolu.

“A guy I had never heard of,” Allen said of the selection.

As the second round came and went Allen grew more upset.

Allen’s phone came to life. His eyes widened.

“Hold on for Mr. Irsay,’’ the voice at the other end said. “I was like, ‘(expletive) it’s the Colts,’ ” he said. “(Owner Jim Irsay) gets on and said, ‘Hey, Dwayne, we’re going to take you with the next pick. We’re excited to have you. Hold on for coach Pagano.’

“Coach starts talking to me and the entire time I’m emotionless. I was more pissed than anything else.”

Allen knew that he lost a few million dollars on his rookie contract so that explained why he was so upset. Not how most prospects watching the draft are thinking.

“You’re just watching as that money goes away,” Allen said. “You’ve never had it, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking, ‘Man, I’m losing money.’

Allen did admit to being kind of a jerk to Colts coaches and after thinking about it he realized that he was more fortunate than others and gave a call to tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts to apologize.

 “I apologized for my rudeness,” Allen said. “I told him I was ready to get to work and this was going to be the best pick you’ve ever made.

“It took me time to calm down and realize how much of a blessing it was just to get that phone call. How many guys are sitting at home and their phones didn’t ring?” 

Good thing that Allen did turn out to be the better than Fleener, but Allen is also lucky that the Colts didn't take his bad attitude personally when they called. If he can outperform his contract he'll end up making that money back and more.

Lions' Ronnell Lewis arrested for his role in a bar fight

The Detroit Lions had seven offseason arrests last season. This offseason hasn't been too kind to the Lions either. They've had two so far after defensive end Ronnell Lewis was arrested in his role in a bar fight in Norman, Oklahoma over the weekend. 

Lions defensive end Ronnell Lewis was Tasered twice over the weekend and arrested on three misdemeanor charges for his role in an alleged bar fight in Norman, Okla., police said Tuesday.

The 22-year-old was arrested on charges of disturbing the peace, public intoxication, and interfering with official procedure after fighting inside and outside a bar, according to an affidavit provided by police to NFL.com.

According to the report, Lewis was thrown out of the bar for fighting with another man, and the fight continued outside. Once officers arrived, Lewis failed to comply with commands to stop fighting and police Tased both men involved in the altercation.

Lions officials haven't had too much to say about the incident other than the normal we're gathering information quote.

 "We are aware of the incident involving Ronnell Lewis," the Lions said in a statement. "We are in the process of gathering more information and have no further comment at this time."

It never seems to stop with the reckless off field behavior. You don't want a team full of Boy Scouts, but they must exercise better judgement when they're away from the team.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rumeal Robinson's 1989 NCAA championship ring up for sale

A historic piece of Michigan basketball history appears to be up for public auction.

A seller on eBay has posted an ad for a 1989 Michigan basketball national championship ring, which appears to belong to former Wolverine star Rumeal Robinson, with a "buy it now" price tag of $89,899.89.

Photos of the ring feature Robinson's name and No. 21 on the side, and also has the inscription "A Mission That Will Shock The World" engraved inside. The scores of Michigan's six NCAA tournament victories are also engraved inside the ring.

The seller, who runs the site www.championshipsportsrings.com, claims the ring is an original, and did in fact belong to Robinson.

Robinson famously hit two free throws during an overtime win over Seton Hall to seal Michigan's 1989 national championship victory, the school's only men's basketball crown.

Recent times haven't been as kind to Robinson, who is currently serving time in federal prison after being convicted of "bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution" in 2010.

Robinson was recently interviewed by Yahoo! Sports' Dan Wetzel during the Wolverines' run to the national championship game.

He was expected to watch the Final Four from prison.

Eric Decker and his fiancee get a reality show

Another professional athlete will be getting a reality show. Denver Broncos receiver Eric Decker and his fiancee, country singer Jessie James, will have a realtiy show on the E! network. According to James filming will not occur during the football season. 

The show will be titled "Love and Other Contact Sports: Eric and Jessie."  Decker and James have been engaged since April 2012.

From Khloé & Lamar to Kendra & Hank, E! has followed the romantic celebrity relationships of popular athletes and their gorgeous companions for years. The new Love and Other Contact Sports franchise will take viewers inside the confines of even more celebrity/athlete romances starting with country/pop singer Jessie James and her fiancé, Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker whose wedding is quickly approaching. The series will chronicle the sexy young couple's road to the altar as they juggle careers, relationships, family and more. Currently residing in their Denver dream home, they share an ambition to succeed, a charmingly fun and unfiltered outlook on life, and most of all, a red-hot attraction for each other.

Broncos executive John Elway is on board with the project, but probably won't have the show on his watch list. "I gave him my blessing. I don't think [the reality show] will affect him," Elway told USA Today.

I don't know how big of a hit the show will be as the casual NFL fan probably doesn't know too much about Decker and this is the first time I've heard of James. Considering the  reality TV boom, it may last awhile.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Dolphins' Jared Odrick victimized by investment advisor

You've heard the story before. Pro athlete with a lot of money puts his trust in someone that he really doesn't know but figures what's the worse that can happen. All of a sudden, the athlete gets taken for a lot of money before he catches on.

This story involving Miami Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick is just a bit different than the rest. Odrick was ripped off by an investment advisor. Here comes the twist. The advisor was cleared by the NFLPA. Yes, the union that is supposed to protect people like Odrick from such predators green lighted the guy that ripped him off for a substantial amount of money.

Odrick has filed a lawsuit with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, claims he was one of more than 50 people swindled by Success Trade, the investment firm referred to Odrick.

“They cleared this guy,” said Jeffrey Erez, who along with his partner, Jeffrey Sonn, and Aaron Resnick is representing Odrick in the suit.

“That’s what the horrible part is. Jared’s a good kid. He did exactly what he was supposed to do.”

The “guy” to which Erez referred is Jinesh “Hodge” Brahmbhatt, a suburban Washington-based investment advisor who until recently was a registered stock broker at Success Trade Securities, Inc. — the subject of several fraud-related investigations.

And the “they” to which Erez referred is the NFL Players’ Association, which Erez claims gave Brahmbhatt “the stamp of approval” when Odrick inquired about him before investing.

An email requesting a comment from George Atallah, an NFLPA spokesman, was not immediately returned Saturday.

I feel bad for him and all people who get screwed like that. The answer is to have much more severe penalties for white collar crimes. On the other hand before giving someone the reins to your money you have must do your due diligence. Hopefully everything works out for Odrick and he learns something from this.

Andre Johnson hopes the Texans draft a receiver in the first round

Leave the drafting up to Andre Johnson and the Houston Texans would be drafting a wide receiver in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Johnson told reporters that he hopes the Texans draft a receiver in the first round with the 27th selection. The last time the Texans drafted a receiver in the first round was in 2003 when they drafted Johnson.

“I’d like to have another (receiver),” Johnson said Saturday at his annual football camp for kids. “I’m all for it. I’ve asked for it for awhile. The more weapons we have, the better it’ll be for the team.”

Kevin Walter has been released due to salary cap issues but Texans general manager Rick Smith drafted DeVier Posey and  Keshawn Martin in last year's draft and may not find the need to to one of the top rated receivers in the draft. Picking 27th the Texans are in best player available land right now.

But that won't keep Johnson from wishing that the team takes another receiver.

“If we’re able to add another guy, it would probably be the best group of receivers we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Johnson said. “Adding another guy (to go with) Posey, Lestar (Jean) and Keshawn — that’s a lot of talent. Not only would it be good for now, but it would be good for our future.”

“If we draft a receiver, I’m going to help him as much as I can,” Johnson said. “I’ll answer any questions he has because I want him to perform well.”

It remains to be seen if Johnson gets his wish granted but we all know that players don't necessarily make good general managers.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Terrell Owens eyeing the Chicago Bears for a possible comeback

The last time we saw Terrell Owens he was trying to latch on with the Seattle Seahawks. He didn't make it but Owens has had lots of time to keep himself in shape with the hope of catching the eye of another NFL team.

A report by David Kaplan from CSNChicago.com says Owens has an eye on the Chicago Bears for a possible comeback. Owens is hoping that his past with Bears coach Marc Trestman will help him get a job in Chicago. Owens has been working out with former NFL linebacker and Illinois State Senator Napoleon Harris.

Owens is reportedly in great shape despite not playing since 2011.

"I played my first early years in San Francisco with [Bears head coach Marc Trestman] and shortly after that, he left to do some things," he said. "I haven't talked to Marc in a long while. I know he's gone on and done some things, now he's back in the NFL. So, I never really thought about it until myself and Napoleon were talking about it earlier, but I would definitely welcome it if they would give it some serious consideration. To think about [Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall] on the other side and me on one side, that's really dangerous. I'm keeping myself in shape just for any opportunity that may come about."

Being in shape has never been a problem for Owens. In the past it's been his mouth and attitude. Nowdays it's his hands that are betraying him.

"The guy was a great player and he is in tremendous physical shape," Harris said. "We worked out this morning and after we ran five miles, he did sprints and lifted and he looks great. The Bears would be smart to give him an opportunity. He is motivated and ready to play."

Even though Owens played in Trestman's system when both were with the San Francisco 49ers, there's no guarantee that Owens will get a call from the Bears coach.

Owens is doing his best to sell himself to the Bears but with Alshon Jeffery looking like he might be ready to come into his own I doubt the Bears will give Owens a chance to prove he has something left to give.

New Mexico coach Craig Neal's wife accused of battery

Newly hired New Mexico basketball coach Craig Neal is already dealing with off court issues but it doesn't involve any of his players. Neal's wife Janet has been accused of battery for allegedly grabbing a school official after one of her son's high school basketball games, police reports and the district attorney's office confirm.

This is the same high school team their son Cullen plays for, who will be attending New Mexico on a basketball scholarship after being released by St. Mary's.

 Eldorado High School assistant principal Susan Stanojevic told police that after a Feb. 21 game, Janet Neal "lunged at me and aggressively grabbed my left arm, yanking me to face her," according to an Albuquerque Police Department report. "At the same time, she put her face close to mine and in an angry, loud voice, stated, 'the next time you want to accuse me of using profanity at a basketball game, you need to talk to me first.'"

Mrs. Neal had been accusesd of yelling profanities and verbally abusing the referees following a game that involved her son.

 The case was referred to the Bernalillo County district attorney as battery on a school employee, a fourth-degree felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 18 months, and is under review, according to spokeswoman Kayla Anderson.

Following the initial confrontation, Albuquerque Public Schools officers asked Neal to leave the area, but she resisted, reports show.

"I then advised (Mrs.) Neal she could leave in handcuffs or on her own. That was up to her," community service officer L.G. Valenzuela said in his report.

In a supplementary report by APD investigator officer Christian Baker, Neal said that she "did not grab Susan forcefully nor did she threaten her."

Janet Neal has denied allegations to police and her attorney.

I feel this could've been handled differently unless Mrs. Neal is so intimidating that the cops had to be called in. On the other hand Mrs. Neal sounds worse than some of the fathers out there who get a little too involved with their kids' sports teams.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Broncos-Ravens highlight NFL week one schedule

After a devastating playoff loss sending the high flying Super Bowl ready Broncos home early, and sending the Baltimore Ravens on the road to win the second Super Bowl of legendary linebacker Ray Lewis's career. The Broncos have been chomping at the bit for the last 3 months to know when they will get their shot at revenge against the defending Super Bowl champs, and they won't have to wait long as the Ravens will be making the trip into the Mile High city on week one for a rematch of the double overtime thriller in Denver last postseason.

Cordell Broadus, Snoop Dogg's son, gets a scholarship offer from USC

First Lil' Romeo attended USC on a basketball scholarship. Then P Diddy's son went to UCLA on a football ride. Nate Dogg's son might be headed to Oregon. Now USC has offered Snoop Dogg's son, Cordell Broadus a scholarship.

The Trojans aren't the only program interested in Broadus,who will sign with the class of 2015 . The 6-foot-2 and 180-pound wide receiver has scholarships from Pac-12 Conference schools Cal, Oregon State, UCLA and Washington. In terms of being recognized nationally, that could be on the horizon considering he possess an ACC offer from Duke.

Snoop is a Trojan fan and USC has long been a favorite of Cordell.

“Things are happening fast, it's crazy, I haven't had the chance to tell my parents or my dad about the USC offer yet,'' Broadus said. “I'm going to tell him soon. He's going to be shocked and happy at the same time. In the end, he won't put pressure on me to pick a college. He's like any other dad and wants the best for his kid in the future.''

“I have nothing but good things to say about USC. It's one of the best schools in the nation. I like coaching staff too. It's a good look for me. I'm not ready to make a decision and commit or anything. The plan is to ride this thing out. I want to take my time with recruiting. I'll pick my college during my senior season.''

Cordell is intent on emerging from his famous father's shadow and is eager to make a name for himself.

I know that Snoop probably wants his son to make the college choice himself, but deep down he wouldn't mind seeing Cordell suit up for the Trojans on Saturdays.

Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III returning to Michigan

University of Michigan basketball fans can breathe a little easier today after freshman Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III both pledged to stay another year at Michigan. Guards Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. recently gave up their remaining eligibility to go to the NBA.

Both players sought evaluations of the NBA stock with the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee and had until April 28 to make their decisions. ESPN.com's Chad Ford had Robinson and McGary both going in the first round.

"After gathering all the information and sitting down with my family, I've decided to continue my career here at Michigan," McGary said. "There's still plenty for me to work on and get better as a player and a person. I'm excited for what lies ahead."

"We feel like this university has a lot to offer us and we're excited to come back for another season, and hopefully competing in another national championship and take this university for a ride we haven't been on yet," Robinson said.

Their return eases the sting out of Burke's and Hardaway's departure. With incoming freshman Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin and Mark Donnal, also the return of sharpshooter Nik Stauskas, the Wolverines should be formidable in the Big Ten.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Phil Jackson ready to go back to work

Apparently former Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson has had enough of retirement. After nearly two seasons in retirement, Phil Jackson has become increasingly interested in working in the NBA next season, according to sources familiar with his thinking.

Jackson turned down the Brooklyn Nets coaching job earlier this and has said that he's finished coaching. That still won't keep teams that are interested in his services from asking. Jackson is reported to be interested in a front office job taking on a role similar to Pat Riley's in Miami or Larry Bird in Indiana.

Jackson has been mentioned for a front office job for the ownership group in Seattle attempting to buy the Sacramento Kings.    

The Nets provide the best opportunity to come in and have wide-ranging powers. GM Billy King has been Mikhail Prokhorov's man in the rebuild, but there's a way to give Jackson president powers while keeping King as the point man on deals. It would be interesting and innovative to see Jackson as part-time coach, full-time president, without having to do the actual negotiating. But if anyone's willing to make exceptions and put the money together for a part-time coaching position for Jackson so he doesn't have to travel with his health issues, it's the devil-may-spend-er Prokhorov.

Jackson has never held a front office or personnel position so that may be a deterrent in hiring a man with 11 championship rings to his credit

Bengals and James Harrison break off contract talks

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker is still looking for a team. It looked like he would continue his AFC North tour with the Cincinnati Bengals but reports say that talks have broken down between the team and Harrison and the Bengals may go in another direction. The Bengals reportedly are interested in Karlos Dansby.

 Harrison was cut by the Baltimore Ravens before being picked up by the Steelers and making a name for himself. If he can't come to terms with the Benglas I don't see him staying in the division with the Cleveland Browns.

Harrison was asked by the Steelers to take a 30 percent pay cut but he refused. Even though Harrison is a five time Pro Bowler, he might have overestimated his value.

Rasheed Wallace announces his second retirement

Rasheed Wallace has decided to retire from the NBA once again. Wallace, who signed with the New York Knicks at the start of he season, returned from a foot injury Monday night against the Charlotte Bobcats and still felt sore.

He hasn't been able to recover from the injury suffered in December and wouldn't be healthy enough to join the in the upcoming playoffs. Wallace had played surprisingly well after a two year layoff and was a key part to the Knicks' strong start.

Coach Mike Woodson was hoping that Wallace would be ready to join the rotation for the playoffs.

"Rasheed has given this team everything he had," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said in a statement provided by the team. "He is a winner, true professional and leader on and off the court. Due to his injury, he will not be available to play for us during the playoffs."  

It's a damaging blow for the Knicks, who loaded up on veteran big men this season but have now lost two of them for good in Kurt Thomas and Wallace, and have gotten almost nothing from Marcus Camby. Also, Amare Stoudemire's status for the postseason is unclear as he recovers from right knee surgery. The Knicks added another big man Wednesday by signing Earl Barron.

Titus Young looking to play defense?

Former Detroit Lions receiver Titus Young is a major headcase. After being jettisoned by the Detroit Lions and then the St. Louis Rams in a week's time, Young's  fledgling NFL career is on life support.

The former wide receiver sent an apologetic tweet to Detroit Lions fans Tuesday around 1 a.m. Then he deleted it.

That was weird, this might be stranger. The bio on his Twitter account says in part: “Looking to play defense #34 #21 #29 #22 any league.”

Have no idea what that could mean unless he thinks switching sides of the ball will revitalize his career. Good luck Titus because you were the one that sabotaged what looked like a promising career in your rookie season.

Monday, April 15, 2013