Archive for June, 2010

Horn Makes One Final Call…

Late last week word spread through the NFL grapevine that a 12-year veteran receiver was announcing his retirement. Joe Horn came from obscurity to have some impressive seasons with the New Orleans Saints, but he is likely to be remembered for…something else.

After attending high school in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Horn was all set to attend the University of South Carolina, but poor SAT scores prevented that from happening. Instead, he attended Itawamba Community College for the 1991 and 1992 seasons and drew virtually zero attention with his performance on the football field. He returned to North Carolina without a pro football offer until May of 1995, when the CFL’s Shreveport Pirates drafted him. Within months he was dealt to the CFL’s Memphis Mad Dogs, which is where he made his pro debut.

Horn must have made an impression while in Memphis because the Kansas City

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Horn Makes One Final Call…

Late last week word spread through the NFL grapevine that a 12-year veteran receiver was announcing his retirement. Joe Horn came from obscurity to have some impressive seasons with the New Orleans Saints, but he is likely to be remembered for…something else.

After attending high school in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Horn was all set to attend the University of South Carolina, but poor SAT scores prevented that from happening. Instead, he attended Itawamba Community College for the 1991 and 1992 seasons and drew virtually zero attention with his performance on the football field. He returned to North Carolina without a pro football offer until May of 1995, when the CFL’s Shreveport Pirates drafted him. Within months he was dealt to the CFL’s Memphis Mad Dogs, which is where he made his pro debut.

Horn must have made an impression while in Memphis because the Kansas City

Read more…

Jason Fox Battling for Starting Job in Motown

Reports out of Detroit indicate that the Lions have declared their right tackle position “wide open.”

Mancini’s Take: It looks as though the Lions have had it with Gosder Cherilus at right tackle. The heavy-footed third-year lineman continues to make mental errors and his pass protection has been unacceptable. Coach Jim Schwartz has no obligation to turn the Boston College product around since he wasn’t in the Motor City when Detroit reached for him with the 17th pick in the first round in 2008 (thank you, Matt Millen). Schwartz may opt to go with the 34-year-old Jon Jansen on the right side or rookie Jason Fox. While Jansen is as technically sound as they come, he’s also proven to be very injury prone in recent years. Fox, on the other hand, is just as big as Jansen, but is much more mobile than the grizzled veteran. The ex-Hurricane, in fact, can

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Jason Fox Battling for Starting Job in Motown

Reports out of Detroit indicate that the Lions have declared their right tackle position “wide open.”

Mancini’s Take: It looks as though the Lions have had it with Gosder Cherilus at right tackle. The heavy-footed third-year lineman continues to make mental errors and his pass protection has been unacceptable. Coach Jim Schwartz has no obligation to turn the Boston College product around since he wasn’t in the Motor City when Detroit reached for him with the 17th pick in the first round in 2008 (thank you, Matt Millen). Schwartz may opt to go with the 34-year-old Jon Jansen on the right side or rookie Jason Fox. While Jansen is as technically sound as they come, he’s also proven to be very injury prone in recent years. Fox, on the other hand, is just as big as Jansen, but is much more mobile than the grizzled veteran. The ex-Hurricane, in fact, can

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Report: Players Using New Drug ‘Purple Drank’

ESPN reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada examines the use of a drug said to be gaining popularity among pro athletes. “Purple Drank” is a mixture of prescription cough syrup, Sprite and Jolly Ranchers (no kidding, and no pun intended). Fainaru-Wada’s report, according to a summary of it provided by ESPN, will look at the “use of the drug-laced drink and the social and cultural phenomenon associated with it.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Dave Wannstedt Cranking Out Talent In Pitt

After Pitt’s first 10-win season since 1981, Dave Wannstedt knows that the best way to generate positive interest is to keep winning. The Panthers are being billed as a Big East favorite, thanks to the return of conference offensive and defensive players of the year in tailback Dion Lewis and end Greg Romeus as well as fellow All-America candidates in receiver Jon Baldwin and left tackle Jason Pinkston. They are being counted on to lead a team that has only nine scholarship seniors — including starters Romeus, Pinkston, end Jabaal Sheard and safety Dom DeCicco — but has as much depth and talent as any since Wannstedt took over in 2005. “We have a lot of potential,” Wannstedt said. “A year ago at this time, nobody would have been talking about Dorin Dickerson, no one would have been talking about Billy Stull

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An Update On Chad Jones And What It Means

Updating a ongoing story, Rocky Arceneaux, agent for New York Giants FS Chad Jones (leg), said he believes Jones will be able to run again after he recovers from his major leg injury, reports Robert Stewart, of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

In the aftermath of this horrific experience, its time to put this loss in perspective. Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft to provide depth behind Deon Grant and Kenny Phillips. There was a strong possibility that Jones may had even been named a starter entering week one.

The Giants are now suddenly thin again in the secondary at the safety position, especially with Phillips status up in the air. A veteran such as Nick Ferguson or Ty Law could be considered. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jones and his family during this time of recovery. Get well

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Browns Rookie Safety Tandem Look To Make Mark

Cleveland Browns S Larry Asante appeared ahead of S T.J. Ward initially, but Ward has seemed to be moving ahead in the competition, writes Terry Pluto, of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. That came to an end when Ward missed some time with injury towards the end of offseason workouts. The Browns need one of the two to step up and man a starting position at safety opposite of S Abram Elam.

Some scoffed at the Ward selection, whom the Browns chose in the second round but we think he’s legitimate. There are injury concerns but sometimes you gamble on talent. Meanwhile, Asante was a great value pick in the fifth round. Both safeties are very physical and attack the line of scrimmage, the type of play that will help improve the run defense. Elam is a ‘hold-the-fort’ guy and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ward eventually

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Did Someone Say Playoffs?!? In Detroit?? Yes.

Motown Talking Playoffs…

Count Jonathan Wade as the latest Lion to predict a playoff appearance. The fourth-year cornerback doesn’t want excuses. He wants to deliver. And in doing so, he wants to send the Lions to their first playoff game since the 1999 season. “I’ve got to find a way to help this team get to the playoffs,” Wade said Thursday. “It’s been said. I’ve heard it. I want you to write this down. It’s been said. (Jon) Jansen said it. (Louis) Delmas said it. (DeAndre) Levy said it. Jonathan Wade now says we’re going to the playoffs: 9-7. We’re going to the playoffs.” — Detroit Free Press

For the record, we tend to agree with the upstart Lions. The roster has been completely overhauled since GM Martin Mayhew has taken reins. This team is not your Jon Kitna’s Lions, this team is ready to make some noise. On paper,

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Scouting The Safeties: Class of 2013

Here’s a look at the top sophomore safety prospects entering the 2010 season.

1. Ray Ray Armstrong (Strong Safety) – Highly touted coming out of high school, Armstrong starred in the Sunshine state not only as a safety but as a duel-threat quarterback. Many had him slotted as the top safety in his class and while we didn’t see him flash that vast potential on a game-in, game-out basis, it was hard to deny he was among the top athletes on the field whenever he stepped on the gridiron. Against the Oklahoma Sooners the Florida product was all over the field, recording a season-high seven tackles while drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd. If we can see more performances like that in 2010 then Armstrong could be well on his way

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