Archive for January, 2007

Mark Blount All-Star

January 26, 2007

Babes That Love Basketball (a Timberwolves Blog) are reporting that Mark Blount has made the NBA All-Star team. This would be the former Panthers first All-Star appearance.

I can’t find any other independent source printing this yet, as the league just announced the starters voted on by the fans yesterday, but wanted to get this out if it’s true. Will be updating tonight and tomorrow if I can find some more links to verify this.

Palko finishes Senior Bowl Practices

January 26, 2007

Senior Bowl practices have finished, all that is left is playing the game Saturday. Be sure to check back Sunday for some video of Palko, who is third in the rotation behind Troy Smith and Drew Stanton:

“He’ll (Troy Smith) give way to Drew Stanton (Michigan State), and Tyler Palko (Pitt) will be third in our rotation. We are going to play all three to get a look at all three men.”

Fox Sports has an in-depth review of the quarterbacks from the week’s practice, and they don’t have much good to say about Tyler:

Tyler Palko, Pitt — Not big, not fast, average arm. He doesn’t have the raw measurables compared to the other prospects. Simply put, this week showed he can’t throw at an NFL level and might not be more than a backup.

I think we all knew going in that Tyler didn’t have the typical NFL QB build or arm strength, he’s more of an “intangibles” guy…leadership, heart, football IQ, etc…but this still isn’t encouraging. A lot of great QBs (Tom Brady, anyone?) have come out of nowhere in late rounds of the draft, and that’s where it looks like Tyler will get his call. Here’s hoping he can have half the career Brady has put together.

Update:

Great Blue North has a great wrapup of the practices up for each position, and has this to say about Palko:

Jordan Palmer of UTEP and Tyler Palko of Pitt looked more like fre-agent types, although some team is sure to take a late-round chance on Palmer’s size, arm strength and blood lines.

So maybe the late-round pick we spoke of earlier isn’t as likely as we thought.

Curtis Martin, When not If

January 26, 2007

A lot of stories around the web today about our favorite Martin and his now quickly approaching retirement. Curtis had another surgery on his knee in December and it looks like the recovery hasn’t been going well enough for him to have one final year for the Jets. A shoe-in Hall of Famer, probably first-ballot, Martin will probably officially announce his retirement after the Super Bowl:

“I believe that we’re going to wait until afterwards so we can sit down and brainstorm on when the best time is for myself and for the team,” Martin said, regarding the front office’s involvement with the Senior Bowl and Super Bowl. “We’ll probably follow up after that. I’m just not really sure right now.”

Martin said he is looking forward to broadening his involvement in philanthropic endeavors once he has officially closed the book on his playing career. He said he has put aside 12 to 15 percent of every paycheck he has earned in the NFL for his self-funded foundation that helps the homeless, single mothers, inner-city children and others.

“While I was playing, I wanted to keep football as my focus and do what I could off the field when time permitted,” he said. “Now that that moves to the forefront and football seems to be somewhat behind me, I believe you’ll see more of what I’ve been doing and what I am planning to do.”

We did a story on one of Curtis’s charitable givings in September.

Martin will finish his career as the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with over 14,000 rushing yards and 90 rushing touchdowns.

The one positive to this may be that if Ruben Brown also retires after winning the Super Bowl this year and somehow makes first-time ballot entry as well, Pitt would have two players being inducted in the same class.

Ruben Brown Heading to Hawaii

January 26, 2007

Looks like this is going to be pretty much Ruben Brown week until the Super Bowl is over…More good news for Ruben and his Hall of Fame chances that we mentioned yesterday, as he was named to the Pro Bowl to replace injured shawn Andrews this morning:

Chicago Bears left guard Ruben Brown Thursday was named to his ninth NFL Pro Bowl.

The 12-year veteran replaces Philadelphia’s Shawn Andrews, who will miss the game after suffering a neck injury in the Eagles’ Jan. 13 playoff loss to New Orleans.

That makes 9 Pro Bowls for Ruben, and if he can add a Super Bowl ring to his resume you have to think he’s got more than a good shot at making the Hall.

Senior Bowl Practice Update, Palko and Blades

January 25, 2007

Tyler Senior Bowl

Checking around the internets to get some notes on yesetrday’s Senior Bowl Practices…

Tyler Palko

From DraftBoardInsider.com, who had Tyler in a group of players being downgraded after practice Wednesday:

2 QBs/2 WRs

Tyler Palko threw the first ball with any zip to David Clowney in the corner of the end zone, followed by another strike to Brandon Myles who made a nice catch on a skinny post. Palko also struggled with accuracy.

Tony Hunt did a nice job reeling in a ball thrown over his head by Tyler Palko, who then sailed another ball out of bounds.

1-on-1 WR/DB

Aaron Rouse picked off a Tyler Palko throw intended for Aundrae Allison. Tanard Jackson looked good throughout practice, had a nice play to break up a Palko pass.

9-on-11 (no WRs)

More fumbled snaps, this time from Tyler Palko with Brian Leonard at tailback.

Other notables

In the red zone drills, Eric Weddle had a nice INT on a Tyler Palko pass.

GridironNation.com doesn’t go into as much detail, but seems to have the same feeling after Tyler’s Practice:

Struggling early out of the gate is Pitt QB Tyler Palko who has the athleticism but is having a hard time with mechanics and ability to hit targets.

HB Blades

It’s a little harder to find practice reports mentioning Blades. Apparently he left practice for a pretty large amount of time Wednesday with an arm or shoulder injury, but did return to practice later on.

Scout does have this from Thursday’s morning practice though:

Again- is able to stay on his feet and get to the play but really shows limited speed to the flanks. Beaten on several occasions to the sidelines on running plays.

Ruben Brown Riding into Miami

January 25, 2007

Ruben BrownThe biggest story we’ve missed since our absence probably has been our panthers in the NFL playoffs. The original count was four (Brown, Rob Petitti, Hank Poteat and Kris Wilson)…but now we’re down to only big Ruben Brown. The 8-time Pro-Bowler finally has his chance to get a Super Bowl ring to cap off a stellar career.

You can expect to see a lot of personal stories on Brown leading up to next weekend, as he is considered the leader of the Bears Offensive line and is a long-time veteran who has been waiting for this chance a long time. We were somewhat surprised though that most of the early stories and notes on Ruben are from the city where he made a name for himself, Buffalo…

From BuffaloBillsInsider:

The Chicago Bears crushed the New Orleans Saints by a score of 39-14 on Sunday in the NFC Championship game, propelling them to the Super Bowl for the first time in two-plus decades. Leading the way offensively for Chicago was offensive guard Ruben Brown, a once-revered Buffalo Bill.

Drafted by the Bills in 1995, Brown went on to play in eight consecutive Pro Bowls for the AFC between 1996-2003. Although many thought Brown was overrated during that time span, it’s become fairly evident he probably wasn’t.

The 34-year-old is simply a winner; he’s the type of leader teams love to have. Just ask quarterback Rex Grossman, who leapt into Brown’s arms after a second-half touchdown pass in Sunday’s game. Or ask running back Thomas Jones, who followed a pulling Brown into the end zone on a first-half scoring scamper.

And the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

Ruben Brown, an offensive guard for the Chicago Bears, is headed to Miami after Chicago beat New Orleans Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

The popular Brown, who was drafted by Buffalo in 1995, played in eight consecutive Pro Bowls between 1996 and 2003 with the Bills before moving on to the Bears. Ruben and his family still live in Buffalo.

The D & C added speculation to Ruben’s Hall of Fame chances deep in a notes article this morning:

If the Chicago Bears win Super Bowl XLI, it might put former Buffalo Bills offensive guard Ruben Brown over the top as a future Pro Football Hall of Famer. The voters respect championship rings and Pro Bowl appearances (he had eight with the Bills). He’s still going strong three years after the Bills let him go.

This is just the start to the articles I’m sure, but it’s nice to see a Panther so loved by a city that he doesn’t play for anymore. He must love Buffalo as well, since he still makes his home there.

We’re back

January 25, 2007

After a long hiatus, including a few times of almost returning too soon when we knew it wasn’t possible because of family issues and upheaval going on, we are finally back and ready to update this blog with the 2-3 posts per day that we started at last year. Hopefully after some time all of you faithful readers re-add us to your RSS feeds and become regular visitors again.

A few notes…

  • We’re going to be updating players already in the pros, players preparing for both the NFL and NBA drafts as well as former Panthers in general whether they be in broadcasting, advertisements or just in the news in general.
  • We are still capable of posting videos, however due to the recent crackdown of NFL copyrighted videos on YouTube, those may no longer be available. We plan on somehow finding the time to get full versions of Pitt basketball games up to YouTube and a file server somewhere so that you will be able to download the games in much better quality than YouTube provides.
  • If you have a former Panther you’d like us to keep tabs on, just let us know in the comments of any post and we’ll be sure to note it and get some info asap for you.