Tag:Kevin Mawae
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Mawae isn't impressed with Vince Young

Kevin Mawae, an old teammate of V. Young, said Young lacked leadership (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When a respected former player like Kevin Mawae talks, many people listen. So when he candidly discuess an old teammate, Titans QB Vince Young, Mawae is probably making sense.

Though this isn’t a huge shocker, Mawae intimated to ESPN.com that Young isn’t exactly professional in the way he handles himself. Of course, it’s not a revelation, but you also haven’t seen many of Young’s teammates speak so critically of him (with the exception of Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher).

Reporter Paul Kuharsky asked Mawae about Young’s leadership.

“It might be time for a change of scenery,” Mawae said. “I played with Warren Moon, I played with Vinny Testaverde, I played with Kerry Collins, I played with Chad Pennington, and the one thing all those guys had in common is that they were all field generals and leaders on the field. And there is one name missing that’s very obvious. And there is a difference in those four players versus the one that plays for the Titans.

“... It is disappointing because the kid’s got all the talent in the world and has had an opportunity to step up and hasn’t done so. He’s a great athlete and he wins games. That’s one thing you can never take away from Vince is that he wins ballgames. ... But as far as being the consummate pro like some of the other guys in the league, it’s disappointing that he hasn’t taken that step.”

Disagree? All you have to do is recall how Young left his teammates in the locker room while storming out to his car following an overtime loss to the Redskins. Not what you’d call a chivalrous showing of top-notch leadership.

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Posted on: October 9, 2010 5:57 pm

Could a collusion case be forthcoming?

K. Mawae said the NFLPA has been researching to see if a collusion case can be made (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The NFL Players Association is possibly readying a collusion case against the NFL owners, according to the Washington Post, and sources tell the paper the case could be filed in the next month.

“The players continue to gather evidence on possible collusion," George Atallah, the union’s assistant executive director of external affairs, told the paper Friday.

On Saturday, USA Today spoke to NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, who said he didn’t know about a possible collusion case. But he also said the union has discovered some interesting nuggets about the owners’ spending habits on free agents.

"It (collusion) is something we have talked about," Mawae told USA Today. "We have been looking at spending habits this year to see if there is an overall (blueprint). What we're finding is that teams are spending a lot less now than what they have in the past — even with the cap.

That includes smaller contract offers to restricted free agents – and a decreased level of activity overall in the free agent market.

From the Post:

The union's prospective collusion case also could cite trades between the Washington  Redskins and St. Louis Rams and public comments made by Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, according to one individual.

The case would question, this person said, whether the Redskins and Rams made two trades before the season to avoid releasing rookies that they'd drafted and circumvent a rule requiring a team to allocate 85 percent of the $320,000 rookie minimum salary to other rookies on its roster if it releases a drafted rookie.

On a conference call with the Tampa Bay media this week, Lewis talked about his dismay that the Buccaneers signed Bengals draftee Dezmon Briscoe – a WR the Bengals definitely wanted to sign to the practice squad – to the Tampa Bay practice squad and gave him a $325,000 rookie minimum contract (rather than the approximately $90,000 most practice squaders make).

"When you overpay a guy on the practice squad, you create a problem for teams,” Lewis was quoted as saying. “I don't know that teams want to set that precedent and they did with Dez.

"That's not a great precedent for teams to set as we try to keep the NFL and doing the things we're trying to do as a league. It's still a league of 32 teams and things are put together a certain way."

We’ll continue to monitor this story. A collusion case would certainly make for some interesting copy.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 29, 2010 8:38 am

Players says 18-game schedule isn't done deal

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple days ago, we told you about the comments made by Colts president Bill Polian regarding an 18-game schedule. We wrote how he said it was a done deal, and I mentioned that I’d like to hear the response of the NFL Players Association, because I found it hard to believe that this issue would have been agreed upon already.

On Tuesday, the owners presented the players with the first formal proposal on the expansion – strange, because how could Polian say it was a done deal before the owners even let the players know what their idea is? – and NFLPA president Kevin Mawae told the Boston Globe the players weren’t particularly delighted to hear such strong words from Polian.

Especially when the owners hadn’t even made the formal proposal.

“My knee-jerk reaction is that I didn’t know [Polian] had the authority to make announcements on his own,’’ Mawae told the paper Tuesday night. “But the way I understand it — and I had meetings all day — he said he wasn’t in favor of it.”

Again, it’s strange that a guy who doesn’t necessarily want to see the schedule expand to 18 games would be so enthusiastic about announcing it on his weekly radio show. Either way, the owners can expect a counter-proposal from the players who actually have to … you know … play two more regular-season games a season.

They’ll want more money, and they’ll want better health care in exchange for the extra two games – emphasis on the latter rather than the former. Which means this deal isn’t exactly signed, sealed and delivered.

“From a players’ perspective, this is not a done deal,’’ said Mawae. “We spent three hours in the bargaining session talking about this and, as players, the thing that concerns us the most is the toll this will take on a player’s body. Look at someone like me, a 16-year vet — that’d be 32 more games.

“Of all the things we’re trying to sell to other players, the 18-game season is the hardest thing to sell.’’

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 11, 2010 9:39 pm

Kevin Mawae, poet

Posted by Andy Benoit

We all knew Kevin Mawae was smarter and deeper-thinking than most NFL players (and most people in general, in fact), but did you hear that the guy actually wrote and recited a poem at his retirement press conference?

Here is Mawae’s poem, as transcribed by Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean:

For 16 years, I’ve sweat and I bled, I beat my body and banged my head

The Hawks, the Jets, the Titans, too, my time has ended, I’m finally through

God has blessed me with wealth and fame, all because of this incredible game

(Coaches Tom) Flores, (Dennis) Erickson, (Bill) Parcels and (Al) Groh,

Herm Edwards and (Jeff) Fisher, curfew no more

No 3-techniques, no tilt-nose, no Mike (middle linebacker) and the A (gap), no film study, no practice, no more game days

Out of the tunnel, 65,000 cheer, it’s the end of my season, the crowd’s no longer there

It’s time to move on, I’ve hung up my cleats

No more practice or pads, no blitz packages to beat

The lights are turned out, the grass is all worn, to play or not? I’m no longer torn

God has given me a piece of my heart, it’s time to move on, and get a new start

I’m not quite sure what lies ahead, but He is my shepherd and I will be led

In his heart, a man plans his course, I am thankful to know that I am not that source

He determines our steps, the rest of it goes. What’s next for me? Only He knows

I lie down in green pastures, and I’m not afraid, knowing my plan, God’s already laid

One season ends, and another begins

It’s the dawn of a new day, and the rising of a new sun.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 10, 2010 10:58 am

Mawae set to retire

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Longtime center/right guard Kevin Mawae has called a news conference this afternoon in Nashville, and he’s expected to announce his retirement, according to the Associated Press.

Mawae had talked about wanting to play this year, but he couldn’t get an offer. He’s questioned whether that’s because he’s president of the NFL Players Association, and he might have a point. That probably doesn’t help the eight-time Pro Bowler’s cause. Whether he’s been blackballed because of that, though, is hard to say.

On the other hand, he’ll be 40 in January and has played 241 regular-season games, the most of any active (well, sort of active) offensive linemen, and he’s simply not as good as he once was. Apparently, he was a delight for the media to deal with, and for that, we wish him well.

According to George Atallah, an NFLPA official, Mawae will complete his term as president, which lasts until March 2012.

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Category: NFL
Tags: Kevin Mawae
Posted on: August 2, 2010 4:26 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 8:03 pm

Kevin Mawae criticizes Titans organization

Veteran center and possible future Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae was ignored as a free agent all offseason. Given the acrimonious CBA negotiations between the players and owners, Mawae’s position as the head of the Players Union could have something to do with his unemployment. K. Mawae (US Presswire)

Mawae spoke with Tennessean reporter Jim Wyatt and said he’s not bitter – he understands the business – but that Jeff Fisher had promised him a roster spot. But Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt has no intention of bringing in the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Most upsetting to Mawae – who, it should be noted, is one of the most respected individuals in football – is the way the Titans have handled the matter.

"It's a classic example of the coach and general manager not talking to one another, or the coach telling me one thing and them making another decision down the road. I am not surprised by it," Mawae said. Jeff told me in April he guaranteed me a roster spot.

Those were his exact words, 'I guarantee that you have a roster spot.' He said that to me twice. But apparently Jeff is not doing contracts. It would be great if the two were on the same page instead of sending me mixed signals.''

What upsets Mawae more than anything: his agent can't get a return call from the Titans. The agent for former Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck voiced similar frustration. Bulluck recently signed with the Giants.

"If I go in and do an interview for a job at a Fortune 500 company or if I am on the short list for a position with another company and I don't make that cut, somebody is going to call me and say, 'Hey, I appreciate your time, I appreciate you coming in and doing an interview but we went in another direction.' That is professional courtesy,'' Mawae said.

"At the end of the day, if your fingers aren't broke, my agent's phone number is only 10 digits and it's a toll free number, too. So it doesn't take but 30 seconds to call my agent and tell him what your plans are. That is not just me, that is for all the guys. … But that just seems to be their M.O.''

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 14, 2010 10:01 pm

What does the Packers financials mean?

Brad Biggs of the National Football Post has a good breakdown of the Packers opening their ledgers to the masses and how that will affect what the owners and the NFL Players Association say during their negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and how they spin it to the media.

If you’re the owners, you can look at the fact that Green Bay’s overall revenue and net profit rose.

However …

From the article:

But like most things, it’s not quite that simple. The operating profit, the number the owners are going to cling to, dropped significantly. The Packers reported an operating profit of $9.8 million, which is less than half of the $20.1 million it was at a year ago and far off from the $34 million the figure stood at from 2006-2007. Team president Mark Murphy said player costs are growing at twice the rate of revenue. Yes, you can expect to hear more of that in the near future.

So, let’s hear what the NFLPA had to say. In his response on the association’s web site , NFLPA president Kevin Mawae wrote, "It’s 1/32nd of the financial information we’ve requested in response to their demand that we give back $1 billion and increase our risk of injury by playing two additional games."

Vikings DE Jared Allen seconded that notion in a statement released by the NFLPA: "I agree with Kevin Mawae. First it was 18 percent, then it was 18 games. I can't believe that a CBA couldn't be done quickly if teams gave us the same information that Green Bay just did."

Maybe, maybe not. But the owners aren’t going to allow that to happen. Until then, we’ll wonder if Green Bay’s financial details are the rule or the exception to it.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 13, 2010 12:22 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2010 12:18 pm

Position rankings: centers

 Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on centers.

Andy's top five list

5. Matt Birk, Ravens

4. Andre Gurode, Cowboys

3. Alex Mack, Browns
N. Mangold chomping on a burger (Getty)

2. Olin Kreutz, Bears

1. Nick Mangold, Jets

The veteran stability provided by Matt Birk is a big reason the Ravens' young offensive line will be the best in football this season. Birk has always made his teammates better. Gurode can be comically inept in shotgun snaps at times, but opponents never laugh after facing him in the ground game.

Mack amazed me on film as a rookie. He plays with the savoir faire of a 10-year veteran. He sustains well in pass protection despite having questionable strength, which speaks to his well-honed technique. Most importantly, Mack gives the Browns a second source of mobility inside next to left guard Eric Steinbach.

Kreutz is aging, which only makes him meaner. He uses his hands as well as any blocker in the game. I’m part of the rest of the football universe that has decided Mangold is, far and away, the NFL’s best center. The fifth-year pro has no particularly-glaring weakness.

Josh's top five list

5. Jeff Saturday, Colts

4. Olin Kreutz, Bears

3. Andre Gurode, Cowboys

2. Matt Birk, Ravens

1. Nick Mangold, Jets

There’s no reason to argue the pick of Mangold, who only sometimes stuffs his face with a burger (pictured at right). He’s the best center in the NFL, and considering he’s entering only his fifth season, he has plenty of years left. Memo to the New York Jets: you might want to lock up this guy to a long-term deal.

Birk has been around forever, and he, somehow, doesn’t have any weaknesses. His run-blocking – as backs like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Willis McGahee will attest – is some of the best around. Gurode is tough and a punishing run-blocker. You mentioned his shotgun snaps – a fair criticism – but I’ve got another critique. He takes way too many penalties. He had nine of them last year, which led the league. He had six the year before. You know who that doesn’t impress? Albert Haynesworth.

Kreutz, at 33, isn’t quite as good as he was, and he’s coming off Achilles tendon surgery. But you know what I like about him? He can get out in space on sweeps and screen passes, and he can make a block downfield. I LOVE centers who hustle to do that. Saturday has helped keep Peyton Manning upright for the past 192 starts. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler, and although he just turned 35, he’s still one of the best centers in the league.

I don’t mind the Mack selection, but I’m going to need to see him do it for more than one season before he displaces one of the veterans on my list who have been doing it for years. You see, I like my centers like I like my women: old and gritty and, if possible, missing some teeth.

Andy’s rebuttal

And I like MY centers like I like MY women: young, flexible and willing to do anything. That’s why I anticipate the 24-year-old Mack being at least No. 2 on my list by season’s end. But I understand you wanting to see more evidence at this point.

If you like old and gritty, you could have also gone with Kevin Mawae. He’s an unsigned free agent right now – owners might be blackballing him because he heads the NFLPA – but there isn’t a craftier, steadier leader in the game. The Titans will really miss Mawae in 2010. Another gritty veteran worth mentioning is the Giants’ Shaun O’Hara, an outstanding second-level run-blocker.

Two guys who didn’t make our lists were Tampa Bay’s Jeff Faine and St. Louis’s Jason Brown. I point them out because Faine became the league’s highest-paid center in ’08, and Brown became the highest-paid in ’09. Both have been decent, but only decent.

Josh’s final word

We also didn’t talk about Carolina’s Ryan Kalil, who grades out as one of the better pass-blocking centers in the league. I probably would have made him my No. 6 or No. 7 if we had expanded our lists.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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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