Sapp And Curry Progressing Very Well...

Angry Pope

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Nice to hear....

Sapp and Curry progressing with rehabilitation

ALAMEDA -- The return to full strength of several key players injured last season figures to be critical to the Raiders' fortunes this season. So far, so good, coach Art Shell said.

To that end, Shell said starting defensive tackle Warren Sapp and No. 3 wide receiver Ronald Curry are on schedule with their rehabilitation from a torn rotator cuff and a ruptured Achilles tendon, respectively.

Sapp attended the team's first minicamp early last month and offered visual proof that he can be counted upon to make a strong return, Shell said.

"He did well with (the shoulder), so he's coming along well," Shell said. "He didn't work but he's coming along well. We're going to take our time with these guys."

Curry missed most of last season after sustaining the same injury he had the previous season. It took well into training camp last year before Curry felt near 100 percent.

"He's further (along) now than when he hurt the thing before," Shell said. "He's doing much better. So the report that I've gotten from Rod Martin, the trainer, is that all of our guys are coming along very well. By the time we get to training camp, we expect everybody to be at full speed."

Small world

Oakland's second-round draft pick, Thomas Howard, arrives with an interesting twist. His father, Thomas Howard Sr., played against Shell from 1977-82, when Shell played offensive tackle for the Raiders and Howard played linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

"I remember Mr. Howard," Shell said. "I asked Thomas (Saturday), 'How is your dad going to feel about you coming to the Raiders?' He said, 'He has to accept it now. He has to become a Raider fan.'"

Howard said he hasn't had a chance to hear his dad reminisce about his confrontations with Shell, though he expects to in the coming days.

Quote of the day

"He amazes me every time I am around him when you go through this process. The knowledge of all the players in this league and the recall of all the players that have gone through the draft; he is amazing. He can talk about a player we chose today and compare him to somebody who played in 1970 just like that, off the top of his head. He'll say, 'Remember this guy?' and then you'll have to think for a while. And he knows the name, the guy's wife's name, he knows everything. It is amazing." -- Shell on what it's like taking part in a draft with managing general partner Al Davis for the first time since 1994.

Camping time

The Raiders' second minicamp is scheduled for Friday through Sunday in Alameda. Shell said this one is mandatory and that he expects full attendance.

This camp gives the players drafted this weekend and the free agents signed since last season their first opportunity to don a Raiders uniform and participate in full-squad drills.

Even so, the rookies and newcomers won't get any extra attention at this camp, Shell said.

"The focus is on our football team," Shell said. "We'll get our team ready to go. We did some things with the first minicamp. We'll do some more with this particular minicamp. We're moving forward with what we're doing. We'll get the rookies caught up between now and training camp."

Extra points

The Raiders selected the final player in the draft for the third time in four years. They drafted wide receiver Ryan Hoag in 2003, linebacker Andre Sommersell in '04 and Maine receiver Kevin McMahan on Sunday in the spot that comes with the title "Mr. Irrelevant." Neither Hoag nor Sommersell made the team.
 
Browns called us about Tui and were supposedly interested in Tui last season....

Missed quarterback sack
Savage inquires about Harrington, Tuiasosopo, but no deal materializes


By Patrick McManamon
Beacon Journal sportswriter

BEREA - The Browns made calls during the second day of the NFL Draft to try to boost their depth at quarterback.

The team was not successful, but inquired about the Detroit Lions' Joey Harrington and the Oakland Raiders' Marques Tuiasosopo.

``We made a lot of calls,'' General Manager Phil Savage said with a shrug Sunday.

Savage said the Browns were trying to bolster the position and said adding another quarterback would ``absolutely not'' have led to the release of Trent Dilfer.

``Sometimes you just make exploratory calls just to find out what's going on for your own information,'' Savage said when word of the Harrington deal broke on ESPN.com.

However, the Browns have been made aware that other teams might be interested in acquiring Dilfer, so if they had another young quarterback, then they might be more able to trade Dilfer and acquire a draft pick in return.

Dilfer had knee surgery in February to repair a partially torn patella tendon. He is still rehabbing his knee, coach Romeo Crennel said.

Asked if the talks to acquire Harrington were a reflection on Charlie Frye, Savage said: ``Absolutely not.'' He added Harrington would have been acquired as a backup.

``Detroit was out there trying to sell Joey Harrington,'' Savage said. ``A call was made to see what is it they're looking for. He's a former No. 1 pick, and we've seen them cycle through the league, and the second time they're better wherever they land. We said we'll make the call and see what it is.''

Crennel tried to call Harrington, too, but said he and Harrington only exchanged phone messages.

What did they say?

``That's between me and Joey,'' Crennel said.

Harrington apparently balked because he already had been given permission to find a new team and had committed to the Miami Dolphins, pending the Dolphins working out a trade with the Lions for a 2007 draft choice. The Lions were hoping to get a pick in this year's draft but were not successful.

As Savage said: ``Harrington is going to the Dolphins. It's a dead issue.''

Dilfer declined to comment.

The Raiders evidently said no to trading Tuiasosopo, who has played five years and has 75 career passes. There were rumors that the Browns liked him last year and tried to acquire him, but they instead turned to Dilfer.

The Browns touted Dilfer as the perfect backup quarterback and mentor to Frye, and Crennel has refused to name Frye the starter.

Savage has said part of Crennel's reluctance was to show proper respect to a veteran quarterback. Dilfer completed 60 percent of his throws last season with 11 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

David Dunn, the agent for Harrington and Tuiasosopo, did not return a phone message.

Edwards' status

Savage again said the Browns do not know when they will be able to count on receiver Braylon Edwards, who is coming back from knee surgery.

``It's something in question,'' Savage said. ``The conservative way to look at it would be the opening of the season, but it may very well be later than that. It could be earlier than that. His rehab is going well.

If Edwards does not come back, the Browns would lack the big-play receiver that their offense needs, which would cause defenses to stack the line of scrimmage to stop running back Reuben Droughns. It also would put more emphasis on the return of tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. from knee surgery.

Savage indicated that the most likely timetable for Edwards' return is October, and nobody knows if he will be full speed when he does come back.

``It's a nine- or 10-month injury,'' Savage said of Edwards' return from a torn knee ligament. ``He had surgery at the beginning of January and got hurt in December.

``Nine plus one is 10, so you guys can do the math.''
 
We have an interest in this CFL'er....

The Edmonton Eskimos' gamble on Adam Braidwood is looking much better today.

In fact, there is now a real good chance the highly touted defensive end will be with the club this season.

After grabbing Braidwood with the first-overall pick in the CFL Canadian college draft two weeks ago, the Esks knew there was a chance the Washington State product could be chosen in the NFL draft or scooped up in the free-agent frenzy that follows.

NO FREE-AGENT DEAL

But the B.C. native wasn't among the 255 players selected in the marathon NFL draft in New York during the weekend and hadn't been signed to a free-agent deal as of late last night.




"My agent has been talking to a few teams, but I haven't had any offers ... and from what I have been told, the priority free agents (after yesterday's draft) have already been signed (by NFL teams)," said Braidwood.

"I definitely think there is a real good chance you guys will see me out there on the 19th (of May for Eskimo training camp)."

Braidwood started 22 consecutive games for Washington State over the last two years.

He recorded 8.5 tackles for losses and 6.5 sacks last year, which was good enough for eighth in the highly regarded Pac-10 conference.

But it was his brute strength that really caught attention. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 31 consecutive times during the school's showcase day for NFL scouts this winter.

A FEW NIBBLES OF INTEREST

With the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans and Oakland Raiders talking with Braidwood before the weekend draft, some were projecting he could be a late-round pick or receive an invitation to a training camp in the hours afterward.

And the six-four, 265-pounder did have his eyes glued to the TV watching the draft for more than four hours yesterday.

"I didn't really expect anything (during the draft) and I was just hoping for the free-agent deal and that didn't even come true (yesterday)," he said.

There is still a slight chance an NFL team could present an offer with a legitimate chance to compete at training camp this summer, but if the door is officially slammed shut in the next couple of days, Braidwood won't be moping around his parents' home in Delta, B.C.

"I don't really see the CFL as a secondary opportunity or a fall-back plan and obviously, being the No. 1 overall pick in the CFL was a great honour," said Braidwood. "I saw them both (the NFL and CFL) as equal opportunities.''
 
Art on Langston....

Langston Walker, a starter at right guard last season who was lost for the season after an intra-abdominal hemorrhage, is back to full strength, Shell said.

Walker is a converted tackle, taken in the second round of the 2002 draft. Where he fits in on Oakland's offensive line in the Shell regime — which includes co-coaches Irv Eatman and Jackie Slater — is unclear.

"It's too early to start putting this guy here, that guy there," Shell said
 
Angry Pope said:
Art on Langston....
Langston Walker, a starter at right guard last season who was lost for the season after an intra-abdominal hemorrhage, is back to full strength, Shell said.

Walker is a converted tackle, taken in the second round of the 2002 draft. Where he fits in on Oakland's offensive line in the Shell regime — which includes co-coaches Irv Eatman and Jackie Slater — is unclear.

"It's too early to start putting this guy here, that guy there," Shell said
But DAMN! His "natural position" is RT. Art should have committed to putting him there or were just wasting time. :rolleyes:
 
Sportsbooks lost money with us....

BetCRIS.com: Online Sportsbooks Take Large Financial Hit During NFL Draft
BetCRIS.com

BetCRIS Sportsbook Pays Out Huge for Reggie Bush Going #2


May 1, New York – Experts and analysts everywhere penciled in running back Reggie Bush from Southern California as the guaranteed number one pick overall in the 2006 NFL draft. Even online bookmakers such as BetCRIS Sportsbook gave 1 to 8 odds the Houston Texans would select him. However, the Texans had other plans and late Friday night signed defensive end Mario Williams from N.C. State solidifying him as their number one pick the following afternoon.

Because of this, BetCRIS took a huge hit and paid out big to bettors. The online sportsbook set the odds at 6 to 1 that Houston would not draft the running back some were calling the next Gale Sayers. Meaning, for every $100 bet placed on Bush not being taken by the Texans, $600 were paid out.

“Reggie Bush is one of those athletes that only come around once in a lifetime,” said BetCRIS CEO, Mickey Richardson. “I’m still floored by the fact that the Houston Texans passed on him.”

In addition, BetCRIS Sportsbook also lost money on the odds set for Bush’s USC teammate QB Matt Leinart. They had the Oakland Raiders with the number seven pick as the favorite. Unfortunately for BetCRIS, Leinart dropped all the way back to Dennis Green and the Arizona Cardinals.

“We took a bath on both of these,” Richardson continue to say. “But that’s sports betting for you. A lot of wise NFL fans are enjoying a big payout this week.”

Sports odds and other offbeat proposition bets can be found at: www.BetCRIS.com

BetCRIS Sportsbook, “Where the Line Originates,” is a recognized industry leader since 1985. BetCRIS.com provides safe, legal, and secure sports wagering on sporting events, as well as horse racing, casino, poker, cash games and bingo from any location in the world, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
 
John Madden wins an Emmy....

Perfect 10 Emmys for ESPN networks

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

By Paul J. Gough

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - "Monday Night Football" received a few awards for its swan-song season on ABC, but ESPN Networks made the biggest score Monday night with 10 trophies at the 27th annual Sports Emmy Awards.

ESPN's haul included four each for ESPN and ESPN2, as well as one each for ESPN Classic and ESPN.com. ESPN sibling ABC Sports received three awards during the ceremony at the Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Time Warner Center.

HBO received six awards, the most for a single network, including outstanding sports journalism for a "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel" story about racism in soccer. Fox Sports won five awards, TNT got two, and CBS, NBC (shared with HBO) and USA Network each took one.

John Madden won for outstanding studio analyst in his last season on "MNF" before he and Al Michaels move on to NBC's "Sunday Night Football" this year. Michaels lost the play-by-play award to Fox's Joe Buck, who does baseball and football. And "MNF" lost live sports series to NASCAR on Fox.

HBO/NBC's Bob Costas won for studio host. It was his 18th career Emmy.

TNT won the live sports special category for its British Open coverage that featured an appearance by Jack Nicklaus. It beat out NBC's Preakness Stakes, ABC/ESPN's Little League World Series, Fox's World Series and CBS' Masters coverage. The live daily studio show award went to "Inside the NBA -- Playoffs" on TNT. HBO's "Inside the NFL" won for weekly studio show. HBO's Cris Collinsworth -- who took ribbing from other sports personalities for his well-traveled media career -- won for studio analyst.

The first broadband Sports Emmy went to "Off Mikes," an animated webcast on ESPN.com produced by Animax Entertainment. ESPN had been nominated three times in the category.

The Dick Schaap Writing Award went to Schaap's son, Jeremy Schaap, for a feature on ESPN's "SportsCenter" for "Finding Bobby Fischer." Schaap thanked his late father for teaching him everything.

"Just in case you are listening tonight, Bobby Fischer is nuts, you were right," Schaap said.

The night's highlight was provided by Edvin Marton, who composed the theme for ESPN's "World Figure Skating Championships." Marton, who flew in from Budapest, Hungary, for the ceremony, brought along a Stradivarius violin and played the medley.

The lifetime achievement award was given to Olympics producer/filmmaker Bud Greenspan.

"He is the master of ceremonies," said Mark Shapiro, formerly a top programming executive at ESPN, in presenting the lifetime achievement award to Greenspan.
 
More on Tui...
Raiders add 3 more players

DENZEL WASHINGTON'S SON SIGNS WITH RAMS

Mercury News Staff and Wire Reports

The Raiders signed wide receivers Jayson Boyd of Texas-El Paso and John Madsen of Utah and tight end Derrick Miller of Maryland on Monday.

All three went undrafted last weekend and became free agents. They are expected to participate in Oakland's mini-camp Friday through Sunday.

The Raiders also are interested in signing Miami defensive end Javon Nanton, according to a person in the team's front office.

In other news, the Raiders said no to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when asked if they were interested in trading backup quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo. He is in the final year of the six-year contract he signed as a rookie in 2001.
 
I think we have some players on our team that will take it upon themselves to get better in the offseason and show vast improvement coming into minicamp. Gallery seems like a perfectionist that is never content with his play.

There is a player that we have been protecting for awhile now. Last season's training camp, he had a problem with a hamstring so we didn't see much of him.

Near the end of the season, teams were taking our practice squad players. We seemed to, almost immediately, make room on our roster to include him.

James Adkisson is his name and he is a WR. He is tall and fast and supposedly has good hands. Supposedly, we wanted him to bulk up to become a TE. It may be nothing but it seems that we have tried to hold on to him. Being the optimist, I want to see how this kid does.
 
Yeah, Adkisson is interesting. Does he have any more P-Squad time available? I know they changed the rules recently.

Michael Quarshie is also an interetsing guy. He was on the P-Squad when LAST pre-season began, which seemed rather odd. He's another of those project players.

Personally, I think the NFL needs to start a full-scale developmental league. Maybe run it in spring along with the NFL-Euro (maybe have US and Euro conferences like the original world league) and then have the two conferences square off. Although this season of NFL-Euro started a little early because of World Cup, I think they should all start this early so players could be available for the NFL season. The other option is a small-market Saturday league in non-college towns during the regular season like baseball's minor leagues.

I think the NFL needs expanded rosters to develop players since too many colleges use players in positions they'd never succeed in at the NFL level. Their options fall down to Canada, Arena, or semi-pro. Did I miss something?
 
I wonder if that exemption for foreign players on a practice squad still exists. Have you seen him play?
 
You know, I haven't seen him play at all. I would guess that the exemption exists since he was on the P-Squad when no-one else was. I can't remember who posted a profile of him, probably you, but he sounds like an interesting guy, sort of like the Brit DT we had in camp last year (I forget his name).

DL sounds like a reasonable place for a foreigner to make an impact. Doesn't require a lot of football experience to succeed. I guess kicker too.
 
I am hoping we sign the Brit you are talking about...Lorn Mayers. Art liked him last offseason.
 
Yes, Lorn Mayers (I'd rather say I forgot the name instead of say Mike Leinart). Guys like that are a great story. They want to succeed. They work hard. They know they're blazing a trail for their countrymen. They put their all behind it.
 
In regards to the McNair situation...

According to Berthelsen, the union dealt with the same matter nearly 20 years ago, when the Oakland Raiders banned running back Steve Smith from working out at their complex because they were looking to trade him. Smith won his grievance to re-enter the facility.
 
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