Tag:Oakland Raiders
Posted on: June 22, 2010 10:51 pm
 

Asomugha given public service award

The San Francisco Chronicle had a nice story today about Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha and his drive to participate in charitable endeavors and, you know, help people.

"Since a young age, I have always wanted to help," Asomugha told staff writer Vittorio Tafur. "Family and friends did it, and it rubbed off on me. It was infectious."

The reason for the article: Asomugha, along with Charlotte Bobcats Tyrus Thomas, has been given the Jefferson Award, known as the “Nobel Prize for public service.” This is the first year a “professional athletes” category has been included, and Asomugha seems like a good choice.

As Tafur wrote:

In 2007, the Cal product founded the Asomugha College Tour for Scholars, an annual college tour and mentoring program that provided high-achieving high school students of color with the opportunity to visit college campuses across the country. This March, he took 16 kids to Washington D.C.

Asomugha also serves as the chairman of his family's foundation, Orphans and Widows in Need, which provides food, shelter, medicine, vocational and literacy training, and scholarships to widows and orphans in Nigeria.


We’re at a point in the offseason where so much of the talk focuses on contract disputes and a potential lockout for 2011, so it’s nice to hear about somebody doing something good for somebody else.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.




Category: NFL
Posted on: June 21, 2010 6:28 pm
 

Two stories that make the NFL sad

Some bad PR news for the NFL today.

Story No. 1:
Forbes.com released its list of most-disliked athletes, and those with NFL affiliations sat in four of the top-five places. No. 1 was Eagles QB Michael Vick (for obvious reasons, a 69 percent disapproval rating). No. 2 was Raiders owner Al Davis (66 percent), No. 3 was Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (a 59 percent disapproval rating, but with the photo the web site ran, that should be closer to 100 percent), and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (53 percent) roped himself into the No. 5 spot. Golfer Tiger Woods, for those who are interested, was No. 4.

I was a little surprised there continues to be such vitriol for Davis. Forbes.com writes he’s “A football owner who's always walked to the beat of his own drum. Davis has signed renegade players and yanked his team back and forth between Oakland and Los Angeles, spurring lawsuits and run-ins with the league. And his ‘Just win, baby’ mantra hasn't been working in recent years.” Yet, this seems like old news to me.

With some smart draft picks this year, Davis has won back a little respect. If the Raiders can improve on their five-win season from a year ago, he might not reside in the top-five for much longer.

The Facts & Rumors blog congratulates all winners.

Story No. 2:
ESPN.com has a story that might make some NFL players awfully nervous. According to investigative reporter Mike Fish , more evidence has been found that link league players with Dr. Anthony Galea, a former team doctor with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts who has been accused of supplying players with the banned substance HGH.

Fish writes:

According to court documents ESPN obtained Monday, the lengthy list of items authorities seized (from Galea during a search of his office in October) includes an "NFL file folder," "Professional Players Journal" and "daytimer with football dates.”

The seven-page document filed with the Canadian court after the execution of the October search warrant does not identify any patients by name.


But the Buffalo News reported last month that WR Santana Moss has been treated by Galea. Are there others who are waiting with bated breath to see if their names are released? The odds say: yes.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


Posted on: June 20, 2010 5:43 pm
 

Breaking News: Russell booed in Oakland

While most of the fans in attendance at the Oracle Arena enjoyed watching hometown boy Andre Ward beat up Allan Green in a middleweight title fight Saturday night in Oakland, one athlete very close to the city’s heart received some attention of his own.

And it wasn’t pretty.

Former Oakland quarterback JaMarcus Russell attended the fight (well, part of the fight. He didn’t show up until two-thirds of the main event was complete), and when he was spotted, fans began to boo and to taunt him.

Considering how much money the Raiders spent on Russell – the No. 1 draft pick in 2007 – and how badly he busted out of Oakland, the derision shouldn’t have been unexpected. Why Russell decided to show up in the first place also didn’t help us further understand his decision-making process – the same train of thought that’s confused nearly everyone the past three seasons.

But the main question is this. Russell went to LSU, so why in the heck was he wearing a University of Alabama jacket and hat at the fight? I know he’s from Mobile, but come on. For that decision alone, he deserved every jeer he received.


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 19, 2010 3:21 pm
 

Richard Seymour Signs Franchise Tender

Richard Seymour announced on his Twitter account that he has signed his exclusive rights franchise tender. The deal pays Seymour roughly $12.4 million in 2010. He can still negotiate for a long-term deal as well.

What’s interesting is that the Raiders tendered the defensive end as an “exclusive rights” franchise player. This means that Seymour was not allowed to negotiate with other teams. Even if another team had wanted to give the Raiders two first-round picks for the rights to sign the 30-year-old, they would not have been able to. That’s a lot of love the Raiders are showing Seymour.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL new, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 18, 2010 1:26 pm
 

Woodson tries his hand at coaching

CINCINNATI – Rod Woodson is one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history. He’s an 11-time Pro Bowler – at three different positions, mind you – and he was All-Pro as a CB and a FS. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year on the strength of 71 career interceptions – including eight for Oakland when he was 37 years old.

But as great as he was, he found himself this week starting on the bottom rung of the coaching ladder. He was fitted with unfamiliar clothes, and though he received instant respect from anybody that walked within 15 feet of him, he’s a coaching intern and he knows he’s the lowest of the low.

“It doesn’t bother me,” he told CBSSports.com this week. “You have to start somewhere. I came in the league as a rookie, and you were frowned upon as a rookie. I had to work my way up. Hard work for me isn’t a problem. I know a lot of football, but it’s a process of learning how to coach. The players are going to take what they want to take from you. They won’t take everything. As a coach, you have to realize that.”

Woodson spoke with Bengals coach Marvin Lewis in January, and despite working as an analyst for the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network, he said he was ready to give coaching a try. The internship, which began this week for mini-camp and will continue through training camp in July and August, was a way for him to test the waters.

“I’ve got five kids, and I know the commitment coaches have to make,” said Woodson, whose oldest is a sophomore in college and whose youngest is 10. “That’s a deterrent at times. But for me to impact the young players’ lives outside of football is huge. You don’t have to be an ex-player to be a good coach, but I like to see a lot of ex-players come back that can give something to the players outside of football.”

Already, the former Pittsburgh Steelers great is making an impact on the players he’s now coaching.

“You immediately give that guy respect no matter what, just because of his production,” said SS Chinedum Ndukwe. “You can tell in the meeting rooms – he’ll break stuff down for us. He understands the game, and he still knows it. I think he still has the itch. I think if he could still play, he would do it.”

Secondary coach Kevin Coyle introduced his players to Woodson by showing them his stats during a DBs meeting. Immediately, Woodson, though he admitted it was strange to wear Bengals gear, immersed himself into the team.

“Can he be a coach of guys who don’t take it as seriously as he did? Because he took it very seriously,” Lewis said. “That’s the fun part of it. It didn’t take long for him to start coaching out there. He has so much to offer. His notes were like an encyclopedia. He’ll teach people how to learn.”

Woodson’s philosophy is to be a conduit between the players and the coaches.

“Trying to slow the game down and put it in layman’s terms when the coaches are speaking,” Woodson said. “When the coaches say one thing, players think another. Sometimes you have to try to find an even keel. Hopefully, I can try to bridge that gap. I think I’ve been out of the game long enough to know what the coaches really want. I’m trying to tell them what it took for me to get to the next level. That doesn’t really change over the years.”

First, though, Woodson will have to decide if coaching is a vocation he really wants to pursue.

“The only way to do it is to do it,” Lewis said. “He’s going to commit himself to do it. Only thing he can experience is training camp and this. He’ll know. He’ll have a great idea of it.”


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.





Posted on: June 17, 2010 11:58 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2010 12:05 am
 

More NFL teams violating the CBA

And then there were four. Four teams, that is, that have been forced by the NFL to cut back their OTA practices for failing to adhere to the Collective Bargaining Agreement where it pertains to the intensity and tempo of offseason workouts.

Already, Baltimore and Oakland had been busted for violating the CBA. Today, the NFL determined that Jacksonville and Detroit also had violated the rules, and therefore, the Jaguars and the Lions will have to forgo their OTA days for June 21-22.

Players are not permitted to be at the team site for those days, except for injury treatment, but they’ll still be paid.

Here’s what it says in the CBA regarding offseason workouts:

Contact work (e.g., “live” blocking, tackling, pass rushing, bump-and-run), is expressly prohibited in all off-season workouts.

Voluntary off-season workout programs are intended to provide training, teaching and physical conditioning for players. The intensity and tempo of drills should be at a level conducive to learning, with player safety as the highest priority, and not at a level where one player is in a physical contest with another player.

The following rules shall also apply to the fourteen (14) days of organized team practice activity:

• No pads except protective knee or elbow pads. Helmets are permitted.
• No live contact; no live contact drills between offensive and defensive linemen.
• 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills will be permitted, providing no live contact takes place.
• The NFL will monitor all Clubs during the off-season to ensure player safety and adherence to live contact guidelines.
• Maximum six (6) hours per day, with a maximum two (2) hours on field, for any player.

What’s so interesting to me is that, more than likely, a current member of that team turned in his squad to the NFLPA. The NFL, sometimes, has operatives who come to town to check that teams are adhering to the CBA and sometimes, it reviews teams’ practice videos, but it seems unlikely that was the case for all four teams.

So, what does that say? Is the fact a team member righted what was a CBA wrong a commendable action? Or does that make him a pansy?

“You don’t want to rat out your teammates,” one veteran DB told me. “I mean, something had to be said to the (NFL)PA. That goes back to the old saying, ‘If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying,’ but the PA is still there to protect the players.”

Does this happen quite a bit, though? The player to whom I talked, after all, has competed for four teams.

“It happens,” he said. “But you can’t worry about it. You have to worry about your own self.”

I also talked to a recently-retired defensive lineman about this issue, and he said the league should make it easy – have all OTAs be considered a passing camp. The linemen, he said, shouldn’t have to pound on each so much in the offseason, considering the beating they take during the regular season.

As for Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio, here’s what he told the media today: "Unfortunately it’s been decided by the (NFL) PA and the Management Council that we were somehow going beyond the limits that they had established for us, and while I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment of what we’ve been doing, we are going to respect that decision. … I don’t think in any way this diminishes the amount of work we were able to get done; the energy and the effort was outstanding. I feel like we accomplished a great deal as a young football team that’s very hungry, that’s very eager.”

Del Rio also said next work’s workouts were simply going to be a review of what already had been installed. The Florida Times-Union’s Vito Stellino tweeted this about the punishment: “The ironic thing is that the writers had nicknamed Del Rio's camps Cub Med in the pas(t) because of a lack of hitting in pads.”

As for the Lions, they’ll still hold their mini-camp June 23-25, and GM Martin Mayhew said in a statement the organization will continue to respect the league’s rules and regulations. Meanwhile, running back Kevin Smith said he expects his teammates to participate in cardio work on their own.

“You don’t want to take four or five days off before a minicamp that’s going to be pretty intense, Smith told the Detroit Free Press .


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.







 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com