Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: August 3, 2011 11:05 pm
 

Mike Wallace wants 2,000 receiving yards

WallacePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Nobody in the history of the NFL has ever recorded 2,000 receiving yards in a season. Not Jerry Rice, who holds the record with 1,858. Not Terrell Owens. Not Tim Brown, Randy Moss or Marvin Harrison.

But that apparently is not going to stop Steelers WR Mike Wallace from planning on breaking that 2,000-yard mark. Sounds crazy, right?* Wallace understands your concerns. But he still believes in himself that he could accomplish something so monumental.

*That’s because it IS crazy.

"I'm not saying that I'm better than any of those guys, but I feel like I'm Mike and I'm my own person," Wallace said, via the Detroit Free Press. "I don't care what Jerry Rice did. I don't care what Randy Moss did."

For the record, in his first two seasons in the league, Wallace has combined for 2,013 receiving yards. His career yards per catch, at 20.3 yards per reception, is pretty darn impressive, but he’d need to record 100 catches this year with that kind of average in order to follow through on his prediction.

Last year, he had 60. So, let me make a brief prediction: it ain't going to happen.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 10:12 pm
 

Frazier: Cutting McKinnie was best for team

McKinniePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Say this for former Vikings T Bryant McKinnie: if he really was cut because he apparently weighed close to 400 pounds and because of high cholesterol, maybe we should blame Venus Williams.

After all, McKinnie worked out with Williams in the offseason (and took tennis lessons from her) and said at the time that he wanted to cut his weight from 360 to 340. Apparently, she’s not quite as good at being a personal trainer as she is at winning major tennis titles, because McKinnie certainly didn’t report to Vikings camp at 340* (or 360 for that matter).

*Of course, apparently spending $100,000 at a bar in one night doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re on a major health kick either.

Coach Leslie Frazier tried to be diplomatic today while talking to reporters about McKinnie, who figures to draw interest from the rest of the league assuming his health is OK.

"We made a decision for our organization that we thought was the best thing as we're trying to bring a world championship to Minnesota," Frazier said, via ESPN 1500. "In order for us to do that, there are certain things I talked to our team about on that first night, that Sunday night, that we got together as a group and I talked to them about the criteria and what I thought was necessary to win in our league. In order for us to get where we need to go, there are certain things that ha(ve) to happen.

"In Bryant's case, he's been a terrific player for the Vikings. I love him as a person. We've got a great relationship together. But at this point, for all parties involved, I just thought it was the right thing to do, and I'm sure he's going to catch on with a team and he's going to do well. He's a terrific player right now, but for where we are right now and where we're trying to go to, it just wasn't the right fit for the direction that we want to go."

Though Frazier was careful to tip-toe his way through reporters’ questions (he never actually admitted that the sole reason for McKinnie’s release was because of the weight issue), he wanted to make sure that everybody knew he wasn’t trying to send a message to players during his first full season as head coach.

"Not at all,” he said. “I didn't look at it that way at all. The only thing I've tried to do from the moment I stepped in this position, from January and even in the interim basis (last season), is to help shape this team into a championship football team. And none of that means doing this to get people's attention -- just handling every situation independently and that's what I've tried to do."

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 8:27 pm
 

Report: Tiki Barber works out for Dolphins

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In case you were wondering if you would ever again hear about Tiki Barber’s attempted comeback, wonder no more. Foxsports.com’s Jay Glazer is reporting that Barber had a tryout with the Dolphins on Tuesday.

Tiki Time
Glazer writes that Barber looked good working out, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll catch on with Miami because the Dolphins want to test out their current RBs.

The Dolphins backfield certainly will look new this season after drafting Daniel Thomas in the second round and then dropping Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Then, they acquired Reggie Bush to complement Thomas.

It’s possible Barber could find a place on the squad, but Lex Hilliard and Kory Sheets also are on the Dolphins depth chart, and those two are probably who Miami personnel want to see before they think about making a move on Barber.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 7:36 pm
 

A sick Jeremy Maclin still not practicing

J. Maclin hasn't practiced yet because of an unknown illness (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In April, we told you that Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin – a member of the so-called Dream Team in Philadelphia – had lost about 15 pounds after dealing with a “mono-like illness” but then had recovered to gain back about half of that weight.

Said Maclin at the time: “It was off and on. I went for a week where I felt good, and then all of a sudden the feeling would be back.”

Which leads us to Wednesday’s report in the Philadelphia Inquirer which states that Maclin hasn’t yet practiced this training camp* because he’s dealing with an unspecified illness.

*As is evident in the picture to the right as Maclin talks to Jason Avant; it’s evident because Maclin is not wearing shoulder pads.

"He's not done with his tests so the doctors are still looking at a few things," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "He's up here, he's in good spirits, he looks good. He's able to do some conditioning things. ... From what he's gone through it looks like he's in good shape."

The paper also writes that Maclin is noticeably thinner than he was earlier this offseason when he participated in player-led workouts -- he’s listed, by the way, at 198 pounds. Maclin won’t speak to reporters until he begins practice.

That, according to the paper, might not be very soon.

If you’ll recall, Maclin missed some time last training camp due to a knee injury and then a shoulder problem, which prompted our own Andy Benoit to write, “One criticism of Maclin as a rookie was that he lacked toughness and was hesitant to take on contact.” Though we don’t know what the illness is and how much it’s impacting his ability to practice, Maclin’s inability to stay healthy won’t help that kind of reputation.

That’s probably an unfair indictment on Maclin, but that doesn’t mean it’s untrue.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 6:47 am
 

Pro Bowler, actor Bubba Smith dies at 66

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Bubba Smith, a two-time Pro Bowler who was one of the stars in the Police Academy movies, was found dead at his home Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Officials tell the paper they believe Smith, 66, died of natural causes.

Smith played for the Colts, Raiders and Oilers from 1967-76, and he made the Pro Bowl in 1970 and 1971 as a defensive end.

But today, he’s probably better remembered for playing Lt. Moses Hightower in the Police Academy movies, as seen below.



Either that or as a spokesman for Miller Lite beer.



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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 3, 2011 5:39 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Fairley will miss 'significant' portion of camp

FairleyPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When we told you Tuesday that Lions rookie DT Nick Fairley wasn’t practicing -- and was, in fact, in a walking boot -- it might have caught you off guard.

Fairley said the ankle injury wasn’t a big deal and that he was doing whatever it took to get back as soon as possible (though he also let on he didn’t know exactly when that would be).

Well, we have a better idea today. As Lions Rapid Reporter John Kreger writes, Fairley underwent surgery today in Charlotte. Although an exact diagnosis of Fairley’s injury was not released, he’s expected to miss a “significant portion” of training camp while he rehabs.

The Lions decided to send Fairley to Charlotte after observing him Tuesday. Apparently, the team was concerned because the injury was more serious than previously believed.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Roundtable: Are the Eagles the Heat of the NFL?



Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Throughout the 2011 season we'll assemble our crew to discuss important NFL issues, Roundtable style. Though there are more pressing concerns for Philly right now, and though we've discussed this topic on the podcast, we want to know: Are the Eagles the NFL's version of the Miami Heat?


Will Brinson: The Philadelphia Eagles -- or, at least, Vince Young -- believe they're building the NFL's version of the Miami Heat. Obviously, this involves acquiring one of the top-five players at three-fifths of the starting positions on the roster? Oh wait, they didn't do that? Yeah, I don't think the analogy really works either.

That being said, I'm open to the idea that the Eagles are going out and turning themselves into villains while picking up all the biggest names in free agency. Or at least that they're putting a target squarely on their backs as we prepare for the 2011 season to start.

Josh Katzowitz: I find it awesome that it was Vince Young -- I mean, VINCE YOUNG!!! -- was the one who made the comparison. As if he's the key cog of that Dream Team that everybody in the league was trying to secure. I actually think Young gets a bad rap because of his attitude, because I think he's got talent and, most importantly, he's a proven winner. But in this case, he's the guy who's going to be holding the clipboard for Mike Vick. If this were the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Young would be Christian Laettner. No, he'd be Christian Laettner's valet.   Anyway, I don't see the Eagles as the villains. Unlike the Heat, this wasn't some kind of conspiracy. It's not like Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins decided to join forces because they're such good friends. It's not like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie somehow orchestrated the Kevin Kolb trade. And no matter what you think about Nnamdi Asomugha's intentions, he didn't ask for a one-hour national TV special to announce his decision.    To me, the Eagles -- and Vince Young -- aren't the bad guys. They're just the guys who have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and are trying to take down the pot with the best hand. Which, if the Eagles want to win a Super Bowl, is exactly what they needed to do.

Ryan Wilson: We talked about this on the Eye on Football podcast, but the Eagles can't be the NFL's version of the Miami Heat because if we're going down that road, the Jets have already done it. In the three offseasons Rex Ryan has been in New York he's yet to meet a player with more baggage than talent that he wouldn't acquire if he thought it meant more wins.  The Eagles have Nnamdi and, well, that's about it for big-name talent. Rodgers-Cromartie is a nice player, but the Cardinals traded him for a reason. Vince Young, as Josh points out (and to tie this back in to the Cards) is who we thought he was.  The Jets, meanwhile, have had LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie mosey through the organization since Rex's arrival. And whether you agree with the personnel philosophy, it's hard to argue with the results; the Jets have appeared in AFC Championship games twice in two years, and the 2011 team looks to be the best of the bunch. Plus, as Josh notes, it's hard to hate the Eagles because they haven't won anything. In fact, I half-expect them to falter under the weight of all the preseason expectations, and then all that will be left is to find a way to blame it on Donovan McNabb.

Katzowitz: Well, I think you can still not win a thing and yet be hated. Look at the Heat, for instance. I think the reason the Heat were hated so much is because it was clear LeBron James felt like he couldn't win the title on his own, so he was willing to join forces with his buddies (and take a back-seat role!) to try to buy his way to a ring. There's a big difference between that megalomaniac (and egotistical) approach and improving your team with what looks like pretty smart (though costly) acquisitions. Even with a convicted felon starting at QB, the Eagles aren't hateable. They're just a team trying to win a Super Bowl. Just not in the manner that James and company tried to employ.
Brinson: You can totally lose and be hated -- it's just easier to hate teams and people who win all the time, especially if the folks involved are especially hateable. That's what strikes me as odd about this Eagles team: there isn't anyone you can really hate. I mean, you can dislike VY, but can you really hate him? He's a 28-year-old quarterback who's already fighting his way along the comeback trail, having dealt with mental issues and repeated benchings for Kerry Collins. (That's not hate-worthy material; more like mocking sympathy or something.)

And is Nnamdi the equivalent of signing LeBron James? Um, no, and for several reasons. One, he's not even the best player in the NFL, even if he is the best at his position. And two, he's like a really nice, soft-spoken guy who takes kids to the Met when he's visiting New York City. That's the total opposite of generating money for the Boys & Girls Club by doing a one-hour ESPN special with Jim Gray.

Vick, I guess, is worthy of folks' scorn, but only if you're really, really adamant that anyone who ever harmed a dog deserves never to be given the liberties associated with the Constitution despite having served the required amount of jail time.

Or if you're a PETA member.

Wilson
: Here's the deal, at least in my mind: no, the Heat-Eagles comparison doesn't really work. And even though Philly is imminently likable (even lovable when you see Andy Reid on the sidelines) by fans outside the NFC East (and cat lovers), that will all change if they start winning consistently. Part of that is our fault -- if the Eagles jump out to a 10-0 start the media will be all over it, and fans won't have any choice but to hate them. That's how these things work. The Pats, Colts and Steelers are the most obvious examples, sort of the NFL equivalent of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Eagles are a long way from that level of hatred, but a nice winning streak and wall-to-wall media saturation can change that in a hurry. So in honor of T.O., former Philly wide receiver who really had a knack for getting people to loathe him, I will get my popcorn ready. Just in case.

Brinson: I'd agree with you except the just signed Ronnie Brown and, obviously, that put them over the top. Except not at all, but that's the narrative we'll be hearing the rest of the week I presume.

Vick will be a great litmus test for the symptoms that come with over-exposure to winning. There's absolutely no doubt that the Eagles will be shoved down the public's throat in 2011 -- I count a whopping five (!) national television appearances, and that doesn't include another five (!) that are all but guaranteed to be the CBS or FOX national games of the week.

People didn't hate getting too much of Vick last year because it was an out-of-nowhere comeback story for the ages that polarized the opinion of everyone watching -- either you didn't believe he deserved a second chance or you were thrilled to see redemption on a national stage. Plus it didn't hurt that he was single-handedly marching millions of people to fantasy football titles.

This season will be vastly different because there are expectations -- in both real and fantasy football -- and that always changes the way we perceive athletes. Fans of other teams who rooted for Vick's story won't be doing so this year and if he struggles at all, it won't be nearly as sweet.

Plus, NFL is all-in on the Eagles, so we will be seeing a lot of them even when there's not football being played -- they're the premiere team when it comes to updates, peak-ins, discussions and (duh) roundtables.  So in that sense maybe they are the Miami Heat, who somehow warranted their own section on many a sports website during the 2010 season.

Which means we've somehow come full circle on this analogy. At least until Mike Kafka's under center in Week 5.
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Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:50 am
 

Report: Umenyiora's price drops to 2nd round pick

UmenyioraPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When we first heard that Giants DE Osi Umenyiora was on the trading block, the rumor made sense. Umenyiora wants more money and more years on a contract that New York didn’t want to give to him. So, the Giants would trade him, get something in return and everybody would walk away happy.

Until we read the report from CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge about what the Giants apparently wanted. A first-round pick in return for the rights to Umenyiora, which, honestly, seems overpriced at best and ridiculous at worse.

One day later, the Giants have apparently dropped their price. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Giants are now sending out feelers that Umenyiora could be had for the low, low price of a second-round pick.

As we wrote about Tuesday, five teams appear interested in Umenyiora (including the Ravens, Rams, Chargers, Seahawks, and Broncos, while another report also had the Patriots interested as well), though none were intrigued enough to take New York’s original first-round bait.

The Ravens, though, might be interested in dealing a future second-rounder. The Sun reports that some within the Baltimore organization are urging GM Ozzie Newsome to make the deal, though he remains unsure of Umenyiora’s injury history and whether the team could actually afford him (remember, this whole thing started with the Giants because Umenyiora wants to get paid big-time money, and that won’t change if and when he’s dealt).

Apparently, some of this depends on DT Haloti Ngata, who would be one of Umenyiora’s mates on the defensive line if this deal comes to fruition. The newspaper writes that if the Ravens can agree to a new multi-year deal with Ngata, that would free up some salary cap room for the team and mean they could fit in Umenyiora. If not, though, the Ravens probably won’t make a play for him.

So, what will happen? We don’t know. Especially if the Giants haven’t dropped their first-round demand. As the New York Daily News writes, “I can only tell you what I think I know, and at this point it's that the Giants are holding strong on their demand of a first for Umenyiora. Things, though, tend to change fast.”

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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