Tag:The Daily Shoutout
Posted on: June 17, 2011 7:54 am

The Daily Shoutout

Marcedes Lewis: The Jacksonville tight end says this--"I'm in the best shape of my life." More on that in a moment. But first his words about the lockout are interesting. "I think every player is in wait and see mode right now," he told the Shoutout. "There are encouraging signs it will end sooner than later. Players just want to get back on the field."

Lewis also had the most unique take I've heard from any player regarding the team lockout workouts that have sprouted across football. "Whenever you do something as a team with no coaches, and it's on your terms, the players' terms, it's a good thing. We're the ones that play the game, not the coaches." Wow. I'm not sure what to make of that. I just know I was fascinated by it.

While Lewis prepares for his one day free football camp in Long Beach, California to help disadvantaged youth, he's spent much of the lockout getting in what he calls the best shape of his football life. Many of his workouts have been MMA-styled, a trend among NFL players. The benefits of these workouts cannot be overstated. "When the lockout is over I'm going to return to football stronger and faster than I've ever been," Lewis said.

I believe it.

See you next week.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 16, 2011 7:50 am

The Daily Shoutout

THE CITY OF BOSTON OWNS US: Admit it. They do. Boston is the big dog and we're all tiny little peons. The championship dominance demonstrated by that city with seven titles in a decade-- anchored by the New England Patriots -- is astounding. In fact we may not see anything like this again for some time. (And yes I know the Patriots aren't technically in Boston but don't be stupid. They count as a Boston team.) The Bruins' capturing of the Stanley Cup gives Boston a championship in each of the major sports in the past 10 years. That includes the once woeful and cursed Red Sox and the Celtics that post-Larry Bird weren't very good until the uniting of the The Big Three.

Cities like Cleveland have become so title desperate fans there get their thrills from watching other teams fail (see: James, LeBron). Meanwhile Boston has a wealth of riches. They have enough titles for five cities. With all due respect to one of my favorite cities, Green Bay, there's a new Titletown.

See you Friday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 15, 2011 8:18 am

The Daily Shoutout

A CONVERSATION WITH Visanthe Shiancoe: One of my favorite guys in football because he's never taken himself too seriously despite being seriously good at what he does. I ask him that with the departure of Brett Favre (remember him) who will be the Vikings quarterback next season? Shiancoe doesn't hesitate. "I'm gonna be the QB," he jokes. "I could do it." He probably could. Shiancoe played the position in high school and was pretty good at it.

For the moment, he'll stick with tight end. Quietly, Shiancoe has become a darn good one. Now, however, like everyone else in the sport, he waits. "I follow news of the lockout," he said, "but the longer it goes on the more frustrating it becomes. I just want to play football."

"The big problem," he continued, "is for the young players. Rookies use the OTAs and off-season work as a way to help get their timing down with other players. They learn a little about the work ethic it takes to make it in the NFL. They learn the playbook. They learn tempo. Without a real off-season they're going to be way behind."

He discussed one other consequence of the lockout, something I've heard many times before. "The lockout will cause play on the field to be lagging once the season begins," he said. "It's not going to be good football early on. It's going to be ugly."

While the lockout continues, Shiancoe kidded that he's finally been able to get errands completed. "You know that little light on your car dash that says it's time to change the oil?" he said. "I finally got that taken care of."

He's also continued some extensive charity efforts. Shiancoe will hold a free one-day football camp for kids in graded 7-12 on June 18 at his Morgan State alma mater in Baltimore.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 10, 2011 7:51 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 8:39 am

The Daily Shoutout

OUCH, INDEED: This is how bad it's getting for LeBron James. Even NFL players are now mocking his fourth quarter efforts. From the Twitter of center Damien Woody: "If u ask @KingJames for a dollar , he'll only give u 75 cents , he never gives you the fourth quarter #Ouch!!!"

More Woody: "@KingJames.....stop w/ all this f***** passing & step tha f*** up!!!! Have u forgotten that this is the #NBA FINALS!!!"

Wow. I don't even know what to say to that.

It's incredibly rare for one athlete to publicly rip another and even more rare for athletes to cross sports and do so. Not that James is sitting around worrying what Damien Woody thinks of him but it's still pretty stunning since athletes generally stay out of this territory.

It's not just NFL players, either. An attorney who often represents NFL players in various legal matters took his shots as well. Tweeted David Cornwell: "Stop it! No more mention of LeBron in the same (sentence) as Jordan. 4th quarter performance alone ends discussion. Games 2 big...Lights 2 bright." Cornwell, a highly respected and well known attorney throughout the NFL community later tweeted: "Lebron has spoken...the Decision + 4th quarter performance = "I'm not a lead dawg." Tis what it is..."

Wow, again.

I'm guessing Woody takes back his Tweets or apologizes once they become more public. Or maybe not. Maybe James is such fair game even NFL offensive linemen are targeting him.


I've been saying for some time the early part of this coming season might be ugly as hell. This NFL executive is basically saying the same thing.

See you next week.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 9, 2011 8:07 am

The Daily Shoutout

MEETINGS END: The second round of super duper califragilistic secret meetings between NFL players and owners have ended. Few details are emerging from the meetings but that doesn't mean no details are known. Based on interviews late Wednesday night with several sources from both sides that have knowledge of the talks this is what I've gathered:

--The owners and players have closed the revenue sharing gap differences dramatically. Though there are still issues to be worked out in that area (obviously) the owners continue to lower their ridiculous initial proposal of a $1 billion player salary rollback for a 5-year CBA. No one will say where that number is now but my guess is it's at least half of that. It's highly likely the owners coming down significantly in this area is the biggest reason why both sides are optimistic a deal gets done.

--Though Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith will never star in a buddy movie their dislike has cooled.

--I'm also told that in recent weeks Goodell has been able to control some of the more hard line elements of ownership. This has always been needed but hasn't happened until recently.

--An 18-game season remains off the table for the players. They hate the idea and truly believe it would do even more damage to the minds and bodies of players than football already does.

--Both sides have a great deal of trust in Judge Arthur Boylan who is running the mediation sessions.

Overall the level of hostility is far reduced from months ago and both sides are done posturing and want to get a deal done. This is always good news.
See you Friday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:15 am

The Daily Shoutout

SUPER, DUPER DOUBLE SECRET MEETING: The NFL owners and trade association members met again on Tuesday night and will attend mediation sessions on Wednesday at an undisclosed, underground bunker otherwise known as a New York City hotel. The not so secret meeting, I'm told, continues along a track I've been reporting for days. A person familiar with the talks said both sides continue to close the gap on significant issues and there remains a slim chance a deal is reached before the 8th circuit rules in July. The feeling I'm getting is that the season is no longer in jeopardy. Clearly, at the very least, the trust has grown between the two sides.

The biggest reason why is the lawyers are not heavily involved in the mediation discussions. That can't be stated enough.

The talks are expected to continue for several more days.

TERRELLE PRYOR: I'm just going to pass along the words of an NFL scout who has watched Pryor extensively. Ready. Here it is: "Very little accuracy...lacks on-field discipline...not as good an athlete as he thinks he is...needs at least two or three more years of college...headed for the CFL...not an NFL quarterback." Other than that, great pro prospect.

See you Thursday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 7, 2011 7:37 am

The Daily Shoutout

THE ESCAPE ARTISTS: Reggie Bush got his house while at USC. I'm sure it was nice. Picket fence. Full kitchen. Lots of bathrooms. Beautiful digs. Then the house led to Bush getting busted. This week, USC got the hammer. Bush is gone, though. He's in the NFL, earning his millions, and chasing fashionistas with round butts. Pete Carroll was coach at USC while Bush was violating NCAA rules. If you think Carroll didn't know that Bush was living in a 3,000-square-foot home rent free then you also believe this man's sweater vest has magical powers. So as the Trojans burn, Bush and Carroll go on fiddling, practically untouched.

Carroll is coaching in Seattle and Bush is still in the NFL. Will some of this follow the two men, particularly Bush? Sure. A part of the scandal will always stick to Bush. It's nonetheless not the same when a player or coach violates the rules, or turns a blind eye as rules are broken, and the people doing the rules breaking aren't there to take responsibility for what happened after being caught. What Bush basically did was overturn a garbage truck on a major highway and as stinky refuse splashed across the road, he got out of the vehicle, and quietly walked away. Carroll: What garbage truck? I don't see no stinkin' garbage truck?

USC will spend years, if not decades, recovering from one of the most humilating moments in its long and storied football history. It's a huge mess.

That others besides Bush and Carroll will clean up.

See you Wednesday.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 6, 2011 7:30 am

The Daily Shoutout

PLAX: He leaves the hoosegow hopefully a changed man. Plaxico Burress never deserved to go to prison as long as he did. Check that. He never deserved to go to prison. Period. Though my position on that has admittedly evolved, in retrospect, Burress shot himself in the leg. His public branding as an idiot and a shot up limb was plenty punishment enough. The city of New York, particularly its camera hog mayor, used Burress' high visibility to try and make a statement. What Burress did was idiotic but two years in jail? Really?

What is true is that Burress was an arrogant and irresponsible man who believed the rules -- the NFL's or those of society -- didn't apply to him. In many ways Burress was the wide receiver, dog-less version of Mike Vick. It's likely, as it did with Vick, prison changed Burress for the better. And the sanctimonious NFL which often portrays itself as a league of virtue keeping the barbarians in check, will sign him within seven minutes of the lockout's end. My guess remains Burress in St. Louis though for pure entertainment's sake I hope he signs with the Jets.

See you Tuesday.

Category: NFL
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