On the day he was drafted, Denver Broncos running back Tatum Bell declared his intentions to lead the league in rushing. That goal quickly turned into a nightmare for the young rookie, thanks to a fractured pinkie, torn rib cartilage, a pulled hamstring and a separated shoulder.
Welcome to the NFL - it can be a humbling experience. Now in his second year a quieter Bell rings in the Mile High City.
"I'm hitting the weight room hard, and I'm trying to be in the best shape so Coach won't have to pull me out unless I'm tired," Bell proclaimed on the teams' official web site.
"I feel like I've just got to keep proving myself to the coaches that it's mine and that I've got what it takes to last all 16 games. It will all hit the fan when training camp comes."
Speaking of hitting the fan -
That's exactly what will happen in Philadelphia should Terrell Owens decide to hold out on training camp while his agent Drew Rosenhaus attempts to rework a new contract.
When Rosenhaus puts his spin on the situation, you'd think he was in heavy negotiations with Eagles head coach Andy Reid.
"I think people have the sense that I don't have a professional dialogue with him," Rosenhaus told the Philadelphia Daily News. "It's not like he and I don't have a dialogue.''
In reality, Rosenhaus called Reid on his cell phone and the head coach answered, not knowing who the call was coming from. Sources claim the conversation lasted somewhere between 5-10 seconds.
Yea, that sounds like dialogue to me.
Positive Thinking –
Despite a disappointing 2004 season Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden is ready to fire things up for 2005. During initial practice sessions at Raymond James Stadium the team turned on the scoreboard, lit up the cannons and pumped in artificial crowd noise to try and replicate an actual game day experience.
"It's more realistic that way," Gruden told reporters.
In other words, it gave the rookies and newcomers an opportunity to experience something they more than likely won't be experiencing once the official season gets under way.
The Unemployment Line -
At one point he was the backbone of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense, but as of today Kordell Stewart is still without a job. Even as a backup quarterback, few, if any, teams have expressed interest in bringing in the former Colorado Buffalo star, and as training camps approach his chances grow slimmer each day.
Maybe there's a "I could step in if someone gets hurt" possibility, but I wouldn't hold my breath.
For that matter, I wouldn't hold my breath for the Arena Football League either.
Breathtaking Miami -
It was a rough week in Miami last week with Dolphins safety Quintin Williams being arrested for DUI as well as drag racing charges after he was stopped near the teams' practice facility on Thursday, driving 111 mph on the interstate with teammate and passenger Travares Tillman.
Now that's brilliant, apparently Williams decided to risk his life, as well as that of his teammate's, drag racing a young woman named Brandy Lynn Richards, who claims to be a Dolphins cheerleader. Adding to the stupidity of the situation is the fact that a team spokesman says that no one by that name is even employed as a Dolphins cheerleader.
After failing a roadside sobriety test Williams was taken into custody by the Broward County Sheriff's Department, where he registered a .087 alcohol level, above the .08 Florida State limit.
Tillman, who was not charged at the scene, showed his brilliance by leaving with the so called cheerleader, who was cited but not arrested, after clocking in at a cool 109 mph.
Speaking of Williams -
After driving cross country with all of his worldly possessions, Ricky (I'll hide the pipe) Williams has arrived in Florida and taken up residence in Miami Beach. The one-time weed guru has decided to return to professional football and is hoping to be reinstated by the league on July 27th, one-year after his official retirement.
Despite the fact that the NFL and NFL Players Association have denied having recent conversations with Williams regarding his reinstatement, both organizations believe Williams would have to sit out the first four games of the season for violating the league's drug policy for the third time last summer.
One Williams popped for a DUI while drag racing, another Williams trying to work his way back from a bong addiction – toss in the fact that it appears the Dolphins are going with thirty-four year old journeyman quarterback Gus Frerotte, whose best known for injuring himself while head butting a brick wall, and you've got all the makings of another Miami meltdown. It's got to be great to be a Dolphin's fan right about now.
Wait….there's more -
Not intentionally bagging on Florida, but since I am anyway, I couldn't end without noting that the Davie Town Council voted earlier this month to let the Dolphins use the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds as a backup practice site in case of bad weather.
Apparently the Dolphins picked the rodeo site because it's near their practice facility at Nova Southeastern University and the rodeo's roof will protect players from rain and lightning strikes.
Now, I know what you're thinking, but there's no need to worry. Special Projects Director Bonnie Stafiej assured the team that a crew will clean up the facility prior to the players' arrival around 10:00 am.
"That would give us plenty of time to pick up any poop," she said.
A spokesman for the Dolphins declined to comment.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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Schon: Rumors, Rants & Raves 6/27/05
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