Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: August 9, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Stephen Bowen draws inspiration from death of son

S. Bowen is working through the death of his infant son (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For anybody who has children -- especially those who have children who were born prematurely and had to spend significant time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit -- this Associated Press story about Redskins DE Stephen Bowen is heartbreaking and tragic and, at the same time, inspiring.

Bowen, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million free agent contract with Washington this offseason after spending the past five seasons with the Cowboys, is still dealing with the feelings and heartbreak caused by the death of his infant son, Skyler. Now as Bowen attempts to regenerate his football career in a completely new city, he's far away from the rest of his family.

Bowen’s wife, Tiffany, gave birth to twins -- Skyler and Stephen III -- in June, but they arrived about four months early at the 24-week mark of their gestation (this is basically the border of whether a newborn has the chance to be viable). While Stephen III still makes progress in the hospital, Skyler died 10 days after he was born.

Bowen is still trying to come to grips with his son’s death.

“Things are a lot better," Bowen told the AP. "It's still hard. I still think about the son we lost every day. He was just an inspiration for us. While he was here, he was fighting every day to try to be here for us. So the least I can do is just work my butt off and try to be the best football player I can be."

For now, Bowen must wait while Stephen III is released from the hospital -- the family is hoping for next month -- and then, his wife, 21-month-old daughter Trinity and Stephen III will travel to Washington to join Bowen.

Until then, Bowen will continue to wade through training camp, spending his days and nights consumed by football so he doesn’t have to be tortured by the thoughts of what he’s lost.

"I don't think you can know how he feels unless you've been in his shoes," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Words can't express what he and his family are feeling."

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.9.11: Grossman takes the lead

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Posted by Josh Katzowitz
  • What kinds of consequences will Titans DB Cortland Finnegan have to face after missing practice last weekend because he was unhappy about his contract (and then lying to his fans about it)? Sounds like the team management will forgive, but might not forget.
  • Anthony Gonzalez isn’t exactly sure how many NFL players are taking HGH, but he’s pretty sure that those players are out there, lurking in the shadows. Said the Colts WR to the Indianapolis Star: "How many guys are on it, that's hard to say," Gonzalez said. "It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it's too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don't add up; they don't look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they're in the NFL and they look totally different."
  • The relationship between newly-minted HOFer Richard Dent and his former coach, Mike Ditka? Yeah, not too good. Ditka didn’t show for last weekend’s induction ceremonies, and Dent didn’t mention Ditka in his speech.
  • Browns DE Marcus Benard bulked up about 25 pounds during the offseason because he thought that would make him more effective. Funny thing about that. The coaches disagree and want him to lose the weight.
  • As a brief aside, we hit the 10,000th follower on our Twitter feed today. Many, many thanks to those who made it possible.
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Posted on: August 9, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Steve Smith leaves practice with finger injury

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (2:58 p.m. ET): According to the Charlotte Observer's Joe Person, the X-rays on Steve Smith's finger were negative.

UPDATED (3:57 p.m. ET): CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco, embedded Tuesday with the Panthers, writes that Smith said he dislocated his finger and that he'll need stiches. Smith estimated he'd be out of action for 7-10 days.

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Reports coming out of Panthers camp, including that of Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, are stating that WR Steve Smith had to be carted out of practice because of an injury, though the Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person reports that Smith is suffering from only a finger injury. Smith

Smith walked off the field under his own power following his apparent injury. But then, he was carted back to the team locker room, presumably for observation, leading to temporary confusion among the press corps.

Person then tweeted that Smith was getting an X-ray on his finger.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:47 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 5:40 am
 

Chris Johnson still hasn't reported to camp

JohnsonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With the new CBA rules stipulating that if holdouts don’t show up by August 9 they would lose a year of accrued free agency, that clause hasn’t stopped Titans RB Chris Johnson from not showing up for practice Tuesday.

Which means that Johnson loses his year. Which also means that it’s pretty clear Johnson doesn’t care about it -- unlike, say, Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, who reported Monday so he wouldn’t lose the season.

But as ESPN.com points out, Johnson probably isn’t worried about his free agent status because, assuming Johnson gets the long-term deal that he wants, the year he’s losing won’t matter at all.

The problem with Johnson’s approach, though, is that the Titans have been pretty clear that they won’t negotiate with Johnson if he’s not in camp. Johnson is set to make a base salary of $800,000 this year and $2.21 million for 2012 (he did get a nice pay raise to convince him to report last season), but since he’s in the absolute prime of his career (for a RB, anyway), Johnson feels like this is the time he needs to get paid.

And he’s probably right about that, though whether it’s a good idea to give a RB the $30 million guaranteed contract Johnson said last year that he feels he deserves isn’t so clear cut. But Johnson is also correct in thinking that Tennessee will get a hell of a deal to pay him only $3 million for the final two years of his contract and that the Titans need to up the ante in order to make happy one of the best runners in the league.

And if the Titans thought they had any kind of leverage over Johnson in the accrued free agency deadline, it looks like that notion was incorrect.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 11:05 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Talib ready to move on with season

TalibPosted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s been quite an interesting offseason for Buccaneers CB Aqib Talib (all of which you can read in our handy related box in the middle of this post). But to sum up, Talib was arrested and faces charges of attempted assault with a deadly weapon, and though many of us assumed Tampa Bay would release Talib the first chance it got, that obviously hasn’t happened.

Since he’s still in a Bucs uniform, Talib says he will focus only on his on-field performance.

"Straight football,'' Talib told the Tampa Tribune. "I'm focused only on the stuff I can control. If I can't control it, I'm not going to focus on it. It's about setting that alarm, waking up, making it to meetings, coming out here on the practice field and making (wide receiver) Mike Williams better. It's about seeing Calvin Johnson early, Sept. 11th, when it all starts.''

Talib's Timeline
That last sentence, of course, assumes that commissioner Roger Goodell won’t suspend Talib for his supposed actions. And as we’re all aware, Goodell isn’t shy about pressing the “suspension” button whether a player has been found guilty or not (ask Ben Roethlisberger if you even need to be INDICTED in order for Goodell to make his decision).

Talib won’t go to trial until next spring, so he won’t miss any football this fall because of the legal system.

He also can count on coach Raheem Morris for support apparently.

"That's my dog,'' said Talib. "If anybody's got the real true story of what happened, Rah does.''

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: August 10, 2011 7:00 am
 

Jerry Rice rips Randy Moss on his work ethic

MossPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With WR Randy Moss announcing his retirement last week, there’s been plenty of talk recently about Moss’ legacy.

On Tuesday morning, Hall of Famer Jerry Rice weighed in on the topic, and he wasn’t completely complimentary.

During an interview on ESPN Radio, and transcribed by Pro Football Talk, Rice talked about Moss’ penchant for taking off plays and how that affects how people will think of him.

“It was hard for me to swallow because I was not as talented and I had to work harder,” Rice said. “To see a guy with that much talent not give it 100 percent, it was almost like a little slap in the face. But Randy was Randy.”

And if Moss HAD worked a little harder?

“He could have been one of the greatest,” Rice said. “I don’t think he wanted to give it 100 percent. You never knew what you were going to get with Randy. Sometimes you’d get the unbelievable guy, the amazing guy. Other times you’d get the guy that took a couple plays off.”

This, I believe, is one reason teams who need WRs this year will think twice about contacting Moss. He proved last year that instead of being effective while being a bad influence in the locker room, he’s now ineffective while being a bad influence in the locker room (does anybody remember the story about Moss yelling in front of the Vikings caterer the opinion that, “I wouldn’t feed this to my dog!”).

Which is why Moss probably will – and should – stay retired. And why HOF voters might remember his antics five years from now.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 9, 2011 8:44 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Mason: Jets give me better chance at Super Bowl

D. Mason is now in New York and seemingly happy about it (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that 37-year-old WR Derrick Mason is with the Jets instead of the Ravens, he thinks he has a better chance of reaching the Super Bowl with his new team. Well, OF COURSE, he’d say that after Baltimore shocked him by getting rid of him.

"It's the business of football, and I understand it. Was I blindsided? Yeah, I was, and when you're blindsided, yeah, you're upset about it," Mason said, via USA Today.

"If you felt that you were going into a situation where you were on the cusp of something special, and you never thought that you would be released, or fired, or whatnot, you would be a little bit upset. But I had my moment. After that, I understood it's the business of football. It happened to me before, and it happened to me again. It happens to everybody in this business, whether you're great at your position or not.”

Even after the Ravens released him last month, Mason thought hard about re-signing with Baltimore anyway. But when the Jets came along and offered him a one-year deal with a guaranteed salary of $910,000 (the veteran’s minimum), he decided he wanted to rejoin coach Rex Ryan, who was a defensive assistant for many years in Baltimore.

While the Jets WR corps isn’t overly-impressive -- the addition of Mason, still a solid player who caught 61 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns last season, and Plaxico Burress doesn’t make up for the loss of Braylon Edwards -- it’s in a better position than the Ravens, who feature Anquan Boldin and a bunch of younger guys who haven’t done anything (or had the chance to do anything) at the pro level.

"When you have someone sitting across from you that understands and knows your work, and knows that you can play this game and still play it at a high level and respects that, that means a lot," said Mason. "That's what Coach Rex basically echoed to me: 'You still can play this game. I've seen tape of you last year. You still can play this game at a high level and you can help us.'

"That's all it took, was someone else believing that you could still play this game. So, like I said, why not come down here with the big fella and try to win a championship?"

At least with the Jets, Mason feels wanted. Which seems like the opposite of how the Ravens felt about him.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:17 am
 

Did the Lions tamper with a player again?

WilliamsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

RB Ricky Williams made big news today signing a two-year deal with the Ravens to bolster Baltimore’s running back corps and to help take some of the load off Ray Rice.

But as the eagle eyes at Pro Football Talk point out, Williams’ interview with the South Florida Sun Sentinel about why he chose the Ravens might be grounds to charge the Lions with tampering. Yet again.

As Williams explains it, Scott Linehan -- former Dolphins offensive coordinator who worked with Williams when Nick Saban coached in Miami -- was (and still is) with Detroit as the offensive coordinator, and after a Lions-Dolphins game last year, he approached Williams and apparently said something along the lines of, “If you need a home, we’d love to have you on our team.”

That, of course, is a violation of the agreed-upon rules, since Williams was under contract with the Dolphins at the time. Williams’ final two choices for 2011 were the Ravens and the Lions, so Detroit ultimately didn’t cash in on the apparent recruiting job. But it’ll be interesting to see if the NFL investigates the matter and decides to punish the Lions.

As you might remember, the Lions aren’t that far removed from the NFL punishing them for tampering (last February to be exact). In that case, Gunther Cunningham, Detroit’s defensive coordinator, made comments to the media about wanting to pick up defensive players from his former employer, the Chiefs. As punishment, Detroit had to exchange its 2011 fifth-round pick for Kansas City’s fifth-round pick (a 14-pick swing) and the Lions lost their sixth-round selection in the 2012 NFL draft.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com