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Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: February 11, 2012 2:48 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 2:54 pm
 

Maualuga charged with misdemeanor assault

MaualugaBy Josh Katzowitz

We told you the other day that Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga had been accused by a downtown Cincinnati bar manager of punching him last weekend. Now, Cincinnati police have formally charged Maualuga with misdemeanor assault for the alleged incident that occurred at a bar called Luxe.

The Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the manager, Sammy Laham, accused Maualuga of punching him in the face about 3:15 a.m. last Sunday.

The team and Maualuga’s agent have declined comment.

The last time Maualuga was in trouble occurred in January 2010 when he pleaded guilty to DUI after he crashed a car with a blood-alcohol level of 0.157. At the time, the paper writes, he was put on probation for two years -- a probation that ended two days before the latest alleged incident in downtown Cincinnati.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum of 180 days in jail. Maualuga is due in court for his arraignment next Friday at 12:30 p.m.

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Routt drawing interest on free agent market

According to his agent, a number of teams already have shown interest in Routt.  (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Though the Raiders obviously had no interest in paying cornerback Stanford Routt the remainder of his five-year, $55.4 million contract -- which is why they released him Thursday, a day before they owed him $5 million -- Routt is becoming quite popular around the league.

As ESPN Dallas reports, the Cowboys, Bills and Titans have shown interest in acquiring Routt -- who was one of the Raiders better defenders but who struggled toward the end of last season.

Routt’s agent said the cornerback will visit Buffalo and Tennessee, while the Vikings and Chiefs also have reached out to gauge the possibilities of working with Routt.

While he had the best statistical year of his career in 2011 -- Routt had career highs with four interceptions and 15 passes defended -- the film-watchers at Pro Football Focus weren’t quite as impressed.

PFF points out that Routt’s 17 penalties led the league among cornerbacks (eight defensive holding, seven pass interference, one illegal use of hands and one personal foul) and writes, “Routt graded reasonably well in coverage, and numbers are OK, but offset a LOT of receiving yardage with penalty yardage. Skews data.”

Routt also allowed nine touchdowns, the most in the NFL.

While Routt won’t be the top free agent cornerback on the market, he could draw some interest at a reduced rate. Not the same kind of interest as, say, Kansas City’s Brandon Carr (who was No. 2 on the top-50 free agents list put together by CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco), Atlanta’s Brent Grimes (No. 8), Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan (No. 14), San Francisco’s Carlos Rogers (No. 14), New Orleans’ Tracy Porter (No. 20) or New York’s Aaron Ross (No. 27).

Actually, come to think of it, the free agent market will be stacked with top-flight cornerbacks, and though Routt almost certainly will draw legitimate interest -- maybe more than he already has -- he can almost certainly forget about making more than $10 million a year. Or as PFF writes, “Not saying Routt can't play, but he was being vastly overpaid. Can be a reasonable pickup for a team on a more sensible contract.”

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Posted on: February 11, 2012 10:33 am
Edited on: February 11, 2012 8:22 pm
 

Report: Ward won't return to Steelers in 2012

Ward

By Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 8:21 p.m. ET: According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Steelers sources are saying that no decision has been made regarding Hines Ward and his future.

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We already knew big changes were coming to the Steelers, whether Ben Roethlisberger wants it or not. Former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is out; former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley is in as the man who will run Pittsburgh’s offense. And we wonder how much power Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin really has.

Now, it seems like a distinct possibility that one of the organization’s all-time great receivers won’t return for 2012.

That’s according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, who said Friday that with all the contract and salary cap maneuvering the front office is doing, Ward’s $4 million salary and declining productivity might be too much bear and that he won't be back in Pittsburgh next season.

Already, Ward has said he will not retire and that he’d be willing to take a paycut with the Steelers because he wants to stay in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"I'd probably have to restructure my contract," Ward said last month. "That's fine with me. I recognize that. I'm telling you I want to be here, I'm telling you I'm willing to do that. And I understand the ramifications -- we have the cap number and stuff, but I want to be here."

Even with his reduced role in the Steelers offense -- Ward lost his starting position to Antonio Brown -- the team means so much to him that he’s willing to return for less money and less playing time.

"I'm just looking year to year, but I do want to play next year,” Ward said. “If they decide to part ways, I'll be devastated, but life's not over. I'm still young.

"My thing is, I want to be a Steeler, I'm here, I'm willing to restructure, do whatever. I don't want to be seen in another uniform but, if they decide to part ways, or whatever, I don't know, I'm not even thinking like that. I couldn't even fathom myself [in another uniform], but I still want to play football.”

Look for something to happen with Ward soon. If he’s still on the Steelers roster on March 1, he’s guaranteed to earn his 2012 salary. It’s seeming more likely, though, that if Ward wants to continue his illustrious career, he’ll have to do so somewhere other than Pittsburgh.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:59 pm
 

VIDEO: Coughlin already back to work

By Josh Katzowitz


If you thought two-time Super Bowl champion coach Tom Coughlin  was going to take a week or so off and soak in the organization’s Super Bowl XLVI victory against the Patriots, you really don’t know anything about Coughlin.

And he spells out that philosophy when talking to James Brown and Phil Simms on the latest edition of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.” At one point, Simms asked about Coughlin’s work schedule.

“No, we’re working today,” Coughlin said. “We have to get our stuff all cleaned up. The playtime evaluation, we’re grading all of our players. We’re going to go over the defense, the offense and special teams, trying to get them all ranked and graded. We’ll go from there."

Make sure to click the video above to discover what Coughlin said to his men the night before the Super Bowl and what the Giants ticker-tape parade felt like. And just remember, while you’re sleeping, somewhere in this world, Coughlin is out there, not taking a day off.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:28 pm
 

Report: Maualuga accused of punching bar manager

By Josh Katzowitz

According to Fox 19 in Cincinnati, a downtown bar manager has accused Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga of punching him, “causing him to be injured.”

The TV station reports that police are still investigating last weekend’s incident that occured at Luxe, a bar in downtown Cincinnati. Maualuga has not been charged. Maualuga’s agent, Gary Uberstine, declined to comment to Fox 19.

Maualuga pleaded guilty to drunk driving in February 2010 after crashing his car in Covington, Ky., but he was not suspended by the NFL.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Who hired Todd Haley as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator? (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

How much power does Steelers coach Mike Tomlin really have within the organization? That’s the question the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Ron Cook asks in a column written after Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as the new offensive coordinator.

It seems that Tomlin wanted to keep former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians but was told by owner Art Rooney II that Arians would not be brought back for 2012 (Arians subsequently retired and then took a job as the Indianapolis offensive coordinator).

As we wrote last month, “The organization was not going to renew Arians’ contract, and in essence, was going to fire him without officially having to fire him. ‘That decision,’ writes reporter Gerry Dulac, ‘appears to have come from team president Art Rooney II, even though coach Mike Tomlin told Arians several times since the playoff loss in Denver that he wanted him to return next season.’ Now, it appears Tomlin was overruled by his boss.”

Was Tomlin overruled again by having to hire the former Chiefs coach to replace Arians?

As Cook writes:
Hey, all speculation is fair until we hear from Tomlin or more from Rooney. I can't say for sure one way or the other who hired Haley. We might never know. But I do know this: If Rooney forced Haley on Tomlin after forcing out Arians after a 12-4 season, Tomlin can't possibly like it.

Nor should he.

It would be enough to make Tomlin at least consider his long-term future with the Steelers, especially now that Rooney II appears to have taken nearly complete control of the franchise from his father, Dan.

Tomlin has done a wonderful job here. He is as successful as just about any coach in the NFL. In five years, he has convinced me he's a better coach than Bill Cowher before him. And Cowher was terrific.
That said, the Steelers have done well by Tomlin as well, so in reality, he can’t complain that much. And besides, the Rooneys are some of the most respected owners in all of sports.

But they haven’t just risked alienating Tomlin. They’ve also risked upsetting their franchise quarterback.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about (Haley),'' Roethlisberger told the Post Gazette. "Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion."

But Roethlisberger also made sure the owners heard his voice after Arians’ contract wasn’t renewed. And he gave a hint of future frustrations.

"That was my biggest talking point to Mike and those guys -- I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it,” Roethlisberger said.

"I hope we don't have to start over and if we do, you know what, here we go. Let's do it. We'll do it. We're not going to complain about it. But I would hate to have to set certain guys back who are doing so well right now."

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:52 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Report: Schiano hires Butch Davis as assistant

By Josh Katzowitz

Late last month, we told you that new Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano reportedly would hire former Browns coach Butch Davis. We called it a good move, because Davis, formerly at the University of Miami before moving to the NFL, could help ease Schiano’s transition from the Rutgers head coaching job to the pros.

NFL Offseason Begins
Now, Foxsports.com is reporting that the Buccaneers hired Davis on Thursday and named him a senior defensive assistant. The Tampa Bay Times, however, writes that the deal is not yet completed.

And what does a senior defensive assistant do? As Alex Marvez writes, “Davis will work closely with new Bucs head coach Greg Schiano and whomever the team ultimately names its defensive coordinator.” The Times also writes the new job could be more of an advisory role for Davis.

Schiano worked as Davis’ defensive coordinator at Miami, so the two obviously have a relationship.

Considering Davis was fired from the University of North Carolina last July, Schiano has provided Davis a nice landing spot to resume his coaching career.

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Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:27 pm
 

Chad Ochocinco, meet Chad Johnson once again

By Josh Katzowitz
The player formerly known as Chad Johnson will be Chad Johnson yet again. (US Presswire)
Chad Ochocinco will become Chad Johnson once again. The reason, part I: a woman. The reason, part II: sound financial advice.

As Ochocinco reported on OCNN Twitter (via Yahoo Sports), Ochocinco will transform himself into Chad Johnson again by July 4, so, as TMZ reports, his fiancé Evelyn Lozada* won’t have a made up last name.

He changed his name before the 2008 season, and with his newest surname, his production dramatcially declined from when Chad Johnson was in his prime (particularly in 2010 when Terrell Owens was the top Bengals receiver and 2011 when Ochocinco was barely an afterthought with the Patriots).

*At the Indianapolis airport on Monday afternoon, CBSSports.com colleague and reality TV show junkie Pete Prisco pointed her out to me as we were going through the security line. I wish I could have asked her about this topic.

Eye on Baseball’s C. Trent Rosecrans makes an interesting point on the timing of the name change (if Ochocinco actually goes through with it). Although many of us in the Cincinnati market figured he would change his name back to Johnson after he retired, he might be making the move now because the league is switching from Reebok to Nike as the NFL’s official uniform provider.

With that move, the players won’t have to buy the entire backstock of their jerseys for changing their numbers and names, like they would have if Reebok still supplied the uniforms. Thus, it makes more financial sense for Ochocinco/Johnson to change his name this year, when every player hypothetically could switch numbers and names for free, than it would at any other time he is playing.  

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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