Schon: Rumors, Rants & Raves 9/14/07

Bill Belichick, JaMarcus Russell and the beautiful female fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers all grab their share of the spotlight in today's edition of Rumors, Rants & Raves.

Like anybody is really surprised at this one - Bill Belichick and the Patriots get popped videotaping the New York Jets sidelines - and stealing defensive signals the Jets' coaches were sending in. Wow - it's not like this hasn't happened before - rumors of a Belichick Spy-Cam have been since the days of black and white - what's surprising however, is who pointed it out - former assistant Eric Mangini, who's now with the Jets. Mangini had no problem at all dropping the bomb on his former employer when they noticed the camera.

On the other side Belichick won't say a word, but he did issue a one-paragraph apology to the organization, it's players and anyone else whose been affected by this. In other words - he did it - he got caught - and he's very, very sorry…that he got caught.

Get ready for the backlash - late Thursday NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell set the punishment - Belichick gets nailed for $500,000 - the Patriots get fined $250,000 and forfeit a number one draft choice in 2008, provided they make the playoffs (a pretty likely scenario), or a second and third round selection if they don't reach the preseason. Either way the Pompous One gets tagged with a rep that will take years to shake.

… There's got to be a law against scheduling major rivalries this early in the NFL season. Rivalries are the kind of games you sandwich somewhere between Week Five and Nine. - NOT in Week Two. The Broncos / Raiders match up is the perfect example. It's one of the biggest rivalries in sports - but rolling it out this early in the year makes it almost impossible for anybody to get fired up - Bronco fans are too busy trying to adapt to Jay Cutler and the Raiders fans are too busy trying to adjust to parole - obviously something needs to change.

Speaking of the Raiders - First round draft pick JaMarcus Russell has officially ended his 48-day contract dispute - Russell, who missed the teams' entire training camp, preseason and opening game, signed a record six-year $61 million deal, with $29 million in guaranteed cash.

"I personally think they should start him this week," Denver coach Mike Shanahan joked with reporters. "If they're paying him that kind of money they should throw him into the fire and put him in against the Broncos."

Don't hold your breath - Russell won't even make the roster for another two weeks.

…Great news in Buffalo - Surgeons backed off their prognosis for Kevin Everett after he voluntarily moved his arms and legs on Tuesday. Initially doctors were doubtful the Bills tight end would ever walk again, but the past few days have been very encouraging. According to Dr. Kevin Gibbons, the supervisor of neurosurgery at Buffalo's Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital, Everett's been able to wiggle his toes, bend his hip, move his ankles, elevate and kick his leg, extend his elbows and slightly flex his biceps. Continued prayers go out for a full recovery.

… Based on a recent survey by Scarborough Sports Marketing, the Pittsburgh Steelers have the largest fan base of women in the entire NFL. Not being familiar with Scarborough Sports Marketing, I'm not sure if they mean largest as in the amount of women - or largest as in actual size of the women. Either way - props to the Steelers.

David Boston's career is circling the drain pretty quick these days - Boston was dumped by the Chargers on Wednesday after police released the results of a urine test, that showed he had significant traces of GHB in his system when he was arrested and charged with a D.U.I. last month.

… On the injury front - Eli Manning tested his injured right shoulder on Wednesday taking snaps and a few handoffs, but it was backup Jared Lorenzen running with the first unit offense. Manning's status is day-to-day.

Dallas receiver Terry Glenn will be out the next four to six weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery to repair damaged cartilage. Two surgeries on the same knee in six weeks - that's not a real encouraging sign. Rams tackle Orlando Pace is done for the year with a torn labrum and rotator cuff - Pace is expected to go under the knife sometime in the next two weeks. Also out for the year is Chicago Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown and starting defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek - both of whom were knocked out during Sunday's loss to the Chargers.

Jets QB Chad Pennington is expected to sit this week in favor of second-year vet Kellen Clemens - Pennington jacked his ankle in the season opener and New York's not about to take any chances tossing him out against a defense like the Ravens this early in the season.

Chargers All Pro tight end Antonio Gates is nursing a sore back but is expected to see some time this week against the Patriots and Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis says he's ready to roll Sunday against New York - despite a severely strained right tricep. QB Steve McNair may not be so lucky - McNair pulled a groin on his first pass of the season and hasn't been the same since - you can almost bank on Kyle Boller getting the call.

… Here's one I know you'll appreciate - NAACP Speaker R.L. White giving us all a lesson in why it's important to enunciate when your talking about Michael Vick. I laughed so hard I swear I ruptured my spleen.

Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at

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