Archive for September, 2006

Curtis Martin is Charitable

September 15, 2006

Curtis Martin and Tom Coughlin

Curtis Martin can’t help the Jets on the field until at least week six of the NFL season, but tonight he’ll be helping New York Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin’s Jay Foundation:

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin and Jets running back Curtis Martin will be teammates for an evening to benefit children’s charities when the duo host the second annual Pigskin Ball on Friday night, September 15, at Cipriani at 42nd Street in New York City.

The gala and dinner will benefit the Tom Coughlin Jay Foundation, for families going through the crisis of a child with cancer, and the National Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation. 

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Moore Downgraded to Doubtful for Sunday

September 15, 2006

We reported yesterday that Tampa Bay tight end Dave Moore‘s prospects of playing Sunday were looking better and head coach Jon Gruden was optimistic. That has changed, and now Moore has been downgraded to doubtful. Neither of the potential replacements that the Bucs brought in will be used though according to the Ledger Online:

Long snapper and tight end Dave Moore was downgraded to doubtful with a rib injury. For now, the team will go with tight end Doug Jolley as the long snapper.

Bryant’s Temper Making Headlines

September 14, 2006

Couple of articles out of the Bay Area following the 49ers loss to Arizona on Sunday focusing on Antonio Bryant‘s temper. Apparently his reputation preceded him and it took all of one game for it to rear it’s ugly head.

I’ll give you some article excerpts first, but then check out the video from NFL Live and listen to Salisbury defend him…I have to agree, AB was obviously dragged down out of bounds and appears to be pointing it out to the ref, not taunting. You can decide for yourself after the jump.

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Barlow Hits Milestone

September 14, 2006

Something I forgot to mention in the Sunday NFL Roundup. We did an article here before the season began on Panthers in hte Pros that are approaching milestones this season.

It didn’t take long for the first one to be reached, as Kevan Barlow needed only one score to get his 25th career rushing touchdown. He got that Sunday for the Jets in the second quarter to put New York up 7-0. Kevan also has three career receiving touchdowns.

As reported here yesterday, Barlow could start on Sunday for the Jets and should get the majority of carries. As he learns the offense each week he could eventually become the sole feature back in the Big Apple.

Spencer Going Against the Best Early

September 14, 2006

To say Charles Spencer is getting a baptism by fire in his first starts in the NFL would be an understatement. Last week in his first NFL start he faced Darren Howard and Javon Kearse. This week it’s even tougher with Dwight Freeney lining up across from him:

Rookie left tackle Charles Spencer began his career blocking Philadelphia defensive ends Darren Howard and Jevon Kearse. Now he faces Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, one of the NFL’s best pass rushers.

“I always like going against a rookie, obviously, but the thing is that he’s very athletic and strong,” Freeney said. “You don’t really know how the guy’s going to play against you until you get out there.

It doesn’t sound like Freeney is exactly intimitaded…more like licking his chops. Charles did receive some praise from head coach Gary Kubiak for his play in week 1:

“I thought Spencer played like a rookie, but he played like a talented rookie,” Kubiak said. “He’s going to only get better, and I’m really looking forward to watching him make progress.

“Now, he’s got a whole new world this week, so it’ll be a learning experience for him.”

“I thought he actually protected the edge well,” Kubiak said of Spencer. “Technique-wise, he’s still late off the ball. He’s still getting used to playing in this type of (NFL) environment and this type of speed.

“He’s very physical. He shows you a talent level that should be able to hold up for a long, long time.”

Injury Update – Moore, Dinkins, Goings

September 14, 2006

Some injury news from around the league, some encouraging news for at least one former Panther…

Let’s start with the good news. It looks like Dave Moore could be playing Sunday in his regular long-snapping role for the Buccaneers, according to Jon Gruden:

“We’re hopeful and optimistic that Dave will play, but he is questionable. Doug Jolley is a guy who we think can snap but we’ll update you as the week unfolds.”

Just in case though, the Bucs have signed two potential replacements to their practice squad, and have a potential replacement in TE Doug Jolley who was already on the roster:

With Dave Moore unavailable to practice on Wednesday due to his rib injury, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made not one but two moves to replace his on-field contributions.

The team brought in two new players for that eight-man unit: long-snapper Andrew Economos and tight end Keith Heinrich.

After Moore was injured in the Bucs’ season opener against Baltimore on Sunday, the Bucs quickly conducted a series of tryouts with long-snappers, including Economos, the former Jacksonville Jaguar. After practice on Wednesday, Head Coach Jon Gruden also reiterated that tight end Doug Jolley as a possible replacement for Moore if the veteran snapper is not ready to play by Sunday. Jolley handled the snapping duties in the opener after Moore sustained his injury.

Now the bad news. Darnell Dinkins is definitely out for Cleveland‘s game this Sunday with a hamstring injury.

Nick Goings is listed as questionable for Carolina but should play.

VIDEO: Pitt @ Cincinnatti Highlights

September 13, 2006

I know this is a site for Panthers in the NFL/NBA (I created the site, so I guess I should), but considering the lack of video highlights readily available for recent Pitt games I have decided to take this task upon myself.

When a game is available on tv in the Pittsburgh area and my Tivo cooperates in recording it, I will be posting video highlights of the games within a few days or so. This game is a little late because I just decided to do this yesterday.

I usually keep the games on my Tivo until the next week’s game, so if there are plays you want to see that aren’t here, leave a comment on the highlight post with a description of the play and as close to a time in the game when it happened as you can and I’ll do my best. Usually I will post scoring plays and turnovers by default, but probably not field goals. Oh, and this is a PITT site showing PITT highlights, so by default there will be no scoring plays for other teams or bad plays by Pitt, unless they are requested.

So, without further babbling…

We’ll start off with a 37 yard pass from Tyler Palko to Derek Kinder. Unbelievable hands and concentration by Kinder to hold on. This was with about 5 minutes left in the 2nd quarter:

More highlights after the jump…

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Barlow Learning Fast, Could Be The Starter Sunday

September 12, 2006

Kevan Barlow

Kevan Barlow has only been a Jet a few weeks, but he’s doing his best to learn the offense as fast as possible. A couple articles around the web today touch on the fact that the Jets rushing offense might depend entirely on Barlow being a quick study. Some writers don’t seem to have much confidence:

How do you replace a future Hall of Fame running back?

Certainly not the way the Jets are doing it.

In Martin’s place, none of his replacements has proved worthy as a bona fide No. 1 back, so the team plans to go with a running back-by-committee approach. If you believe new coach Eric Mangini, the Jets could run out Derrick Blaylock, Kevan Barlow, Cedric Houston and Leon Washington on any down and in any situation.

So we’re talking about a career backup, a deposed starter, a fill-in starter and a rookie. Jets fans are already turning green at the prospect.

That doesn’t sound too good. However, he seems to give the most respect of the four (which isn’t saying much) to Barlow:

Barlow is a proven commodity, even if his stock has dropped. He was a 1,000-yard gainer with the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His per-carry yardage dropped from 5.1 to 3.4 in 2004 and dipped even further last season to 3.3 as he found his way into coach Mike Nolan’s doghouse. Upon his exit, Barlow compared Nolan to Adolf Hitler; the Niners said it was addition by subtraction.

The New York Times has a feature praising Barlow’s study and work habits. He plans on putting in 11 and 12 hour days this week, being grilled by coaches on the offense:

While the N.F.L. is sleeping Tuesday, Barlow will head to the Jets’ facility before 7 a.m. He planned to stay there until at least 6 p.m. and do whatever it takes to get in sync with his new teammates. “I’ll be here all day, so hopefully, I’ll be able to answer the questions that Coach Mangini throws at me,” Barlow said.

Eric Mangini’s penchant for quizzing his players during meetings made Barlow feel like a high school senior thrown into an upper-division college class. “You know, basically I came in here two weeks before the season started and these guys have been here since March learning this whole offense,” Barlow said. “So I’ve got to try to absorb as much as I can to get out there and compete so I can help the team.”

Mangini has liked other things Barlow has done since joining the Jets. “The most encouraging thing to me about Kevan is how he’s making progress each week, how aggressively he’s approaching the learning and getting to know his teammates and coaches,” Mangini said. “I felt like going into the game we did have quite a bit of exposure to the things that he could do, strengths and things like that. Now with another week under his belt, I think he’ll continue to improve.”

This all stems from Barlow having to be told before plays where to go and what to do…sounds like Chad Pennington was one step from drawing up the plays for him in the dirt:

The no-huddle offense the Jets used was almost as challenging to Barlow as it was to the Titans’ defense. He ended up relying on quarterback Chad Pennington to point him in the right direction on a few plays.

“When I get kind of puzzled a little bit, Chad does a really good job of getting me lined up,” Barlow said. “I just want to get to a point where I know the calls and don’t have to think about it.”

Coach Eric Mangini seems to think Barlow is the top back, and if he can learn fast he should be the starter. NJ.com thinks that could be as soon as this Sunday:

RB Kevan Barlow (11 carries, 35 yards, TD vs. Titans) has impressed Mangini and could get the starting nod (or at least more carries) against the Patriots. Barlow, criticized for not running hard in San Francisco, hit the hole with authority against Tennessee.

Petitti…Homeless but Happy

September 12, 2006

Rob Petitti has landed on his feet in New Orleans and seems to be happy with the situation there…or at least his Cowboy-hating friends are. As for Rob, he has no home and looks like he will be battling for any significant playing time all year:

For Rob Petitti, there was a silver lining to his 10 hours of unemployment last weekend.

“All my friends have been like, “Great, now we can start hating the Cowboys again,’ ” said the former Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School standout.

For Petitti, it hammered home just how much of a business the game he loves truly is. As a rookie, he started all 16 games, earning a league-high $271,000 performance bonus in addition to the $284,000 his contract as a sixth-round pick paid him. But as the first full weekend of games approaches, he’s living in a hotel and searching for a place to live near the Saints’ training complex in Metarie, La., while preparing to sell his home in Dallas.

“I really didn’t see it coming because that’s totally contrary to what they were telling me,” said Petitti. “I’m glad I got a chance to start there, but I knew I’d get picked up. Now I’m just hoping to get some playing time this season.”

He didn’t dress for the Saints’ first game, but hopefully will be backing up the tackle spots in the near future.

Fitz – Part of the Best 1-2 Punch

September 12, 2006

Fitz & BoldinPretty good blog post by Dan Benton on the new AOL Sports Blog Network type thing they have started over there. Asks the question if the Cards have the best pair of receivers in the league.

I’m not sure anyone would even attempt to say another team has a better pair, so the need for the post isn’t really great, but it’s always nice to see some good press for Larry:

After watching yesterday’s game I can not help but think that the Cardinals have the best one-two punch in the NFL with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. This could be up for debate obviously, but what other team puts out two receivers with the talent and desire that Boldin and Fitzgerald show on a regular basis?

They both have great hands and the desire to win. For Kurt Warner it must remind him a lot of St. Louis with the Rams. Although Torry Holt was more of a deep threat than either of these two (not that they don’t have deep threat ability, just that Holt has more) these two can break a game wide open just like Holt and Bruce could.