Camp is cool. Camp for 14 days is not cool. 9 down.
Terrell Owens story of the day …I promise, this isn't a big deal. Training camp is too long. But, the media is convinced this is the start of the end already...I don't.
The Cowboys receiver, who hasn't practiced since Wednesday because of a sore left hamstring, isn't expecting to play in Dallas' preseason opener in Seattle on Saturday night.
"I doubt it," Owens said after he sat out Monday morning's practice.
And as for the rest of practice this week?
"Probably not," he said.
Owens reiterated that stance Monday night.
"The main thing is I'm not 100 percent healthy," he said. "The big picture is September is when I'm needed. September is a while away, and I still have a chance to be in the best shape possible."
Dallas opens the season Sept. 10 at Jacksonville.
Excellent stuff: Rafeal Vela’s take on the roster ….
Bill Parcells uses his early camp to locate his best 40 players, 20 on offense and 20 on defense. He adds his specialists, usually a kicker, punter and snapper and then apportions his last 10 spots for special teams aces, developing young players or both.
The top 40 system makes sense when you consider teams can only dress 45 players on game days plus a third QB. With this template in mind, let’s see if we can whittle the team down to the top 44 or 45 and venture some guesses on the final ten. Remember, these are the guys you would dress if this Saturday’s game was for keeps.
Top 20 offense
• QBs (2) — Drew Bledsoe and Tony Romo;
• RBs (2) — Julius Jones and Marion Barber;
• TEs/F-backs (4) — Jason Witten, Anthony Fasano, Ryan Hannam, Lousaka Polite;
• WRs (4) — Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn, Patrick Crayton, one of Terrance Copper, Jamaica Rector or Sam Hurd;
• OTs (3) — Flozell Adams, Rob Petitti, Marc Columbo or Jason Fabini;
• Cs (2) — Andre Gurode, Al Johnson;
• Gs (3) — Kyle Kosier, Marco Rivera, Corey Proctor;
That’s 20 players. Eighteen are firm. The only spots in that top 20 up for grabs, in my opinion, are the backup RT, where Colombo and Fabini are duking it out and the fourth receiver spot. You might also carry a third running back, but he would have to show skills as a kick returner to dress on game day.
Top 20 Defense
• DE (4) — Marcus Spears, Jay Ratliff, Chris Canty and Jason Hatcher;
• NT (2) — Jason Ferguson and perhaps Thomas Johnson or Montavious Stanley;
• OLB (4) — Greg Ellis, Al Singleton, Demarcus Ware, Kevin Burnett;
• ILB (4) — Bradie James, Akin Ayodele, Bobby Carpenter, Rocky Boiman;
• CB (4) — Terence Newman, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Jacques Reeves;
• S (2) — Roy Williams, Keith Davis;
I’m thin at safety. I may add Willie Pile here for depth and move Boiman to my specialist list.
Backup nose tackle is by far the most uncertain position. Thomas Johnson shows flashes but plays better as a rusher than a run plugger. Stanley looks lost; he was run over in the morning drills and seems the draftee most likely to wind up on the practice squad. If Johnson doesn’t cut it, you’ll see Dallas scanning the waiver wires for a backup NT or perhaps trying to swap a surplus LB to get one.
If I’m greedy and give the defense the third safety, I’m up to 41. I’ve got my kicker, snapper, punter and Drew Henson as my emergency QB. Voila! That’s 45. Your third QB doesn’t count against your offical 45, so you’ve still got a spot open. Do you keep a kickoff specialist? Mike Vanderjagt has yet to kick off during a camp drill.
Despite the trades and the excitement, we may all have to accept the idea of the Rangers run as a mediocre squad continues …
The loss, the Rangers' third in a row, dropped them below .500 (56-57) and 5 1/2 games behind the division-leading A's. It also helped crystallize just how large the Rangers' task is if they intend to win the division. If Oakland (61-51) plays .500 baseball the rest of the season, the Rangers would have to go 31-18 the rest of the way to overtake the A's.
And that doesn't even factor Los Angeles, which sits between the Rangers and the A's in the West. The Angels beat Chicago on Monday to move 21/2 games up on Texas and stay within three games of the A's.
Over the last week, the equation of Rangers starters plus Rangers relievers has equaled critical mass.
Rangers starters have combined to pitch 36 innings in the first eight games of the 10-game road trip. The relievers have pitched 34. Equal division of labor between the two is not a recipe for baseball success.
It means the starters aren't going deep enough into games, and the relievers are overworked.
It's been painfully evident on this road trip but has been lurking all season. The heavy workload on this trip has pushed the Rangers' relievers to the second-highest workload in the AL. Only Kansas City's bullpen has worked more innings (405) than the Rangers' (373 1/3 ).
Brad Wilkerson trade not quite working …
Seriously, there is no way to sugarcoat it, the Soriano trade with the Washington Nationals has not worked out for the Rangers. There is no shift in philosophy; the Rangers simply thought Wilkerson would be a more productive offensive player.
There is little doubt that Wilkerson's shoulder has been a factor. He needs surgery but said twice on the roadtrip that he wants to postpone it until the end of the season because he thinks he can still do it as a Ranger. It will be as a part-time player.
A fair question being asked is why the Rangers didn't force Soriano to play the outfield. The best answer is that Soriano was a two-time All-Star second baseman for the Rangers and highly respected by his teammates. A forced move would have caused much more complications than with the Nationals, where he was new to the team and the players.
The tougher question is Wilkerson is making $3.9 million this year and has one more year of arbitration before he can become a free agent. The Rangers may face a difficult decision when it comes to either offering him a contract or making him a free agent by non-tendering.
Wilkerson was a very good player for the Nationals/Expos. The question is if shoulder surgery is the answer.
This is kind of weird, but on the very same day I have been notified of the emergence of two new Dallas Mavericks blog-type sites. So, without giving them my full seal of approval yet, here they are:
On both sites, I found Keith Van Horn news! …
VAN HORN TO RETIRE?: Former University of Utah coach Rick Majerus told the Rocky Mountain News that former Ute Keith Van Horn might retire, although at least the Denver Nuggets are interested in signing him, though for a lot less than the $15.7 million he earned last season with Dallas. Van Horn lives in Evergreen, Colo., with his wife and four children.
"That's always a possibility," Majerus told RMN writer Chris Tomasson. "His family is very important to him. It's much more important than the NBA."
Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told Tomasson the same thing. He said Van Horn "made a lot of money in his lifetime" and retirement is "always an option."
MORE MAVS: The Mavericks had the Jazz draft 7-foot-5 Russian Pavel Podkolzin for them at No. 21 in 2004. Friday they released Podkolzin, who played only six games in two seasons but did play in last month's Rocky Mountain Revue. "Pavel has made big strides and had a very bright future, but at 21 years of age, playing experience is imperative to his development," said Nelson in an Associated Press story.
What can we expect on Saturday from the Seahwaks? Not much from the starters …
With all but one or two starting positions decided, the Seattle Seahawks will probably rest their starters more than usual during the upcoming NFL exhibition season.
Backups will be given every opportunity to earn the last few roster spots, starting with the exhibition opener Saturday against Dallas at Qwest Field.
“I think we have some things that are a little bit more known, but at the same time, in fairness to the young guys on the football team, you have to create a situation where it is competitive and they have a chance to make the team,” coach Mike Holmgren said early in camp.
One more note or two from my big night with Barcelona and Chivas. I know almost nothing about the Mexican Soccer League, partly because there is almost no English coverage of it anywhere. Not in print, not on tv. It might be great, but it is much easier to follow every league in Europe because I don’t speak Spanish. But now, after watching Club America in Frisco last week, and Chivas on Sunday, I am at least familiar with the concept of Mexican Football. Anyway, with that comes a notice of instability.
Look at this picture:
And this one:
See anything weird? That’s right. This guy is wearing #100!
Bofo Bautista …
Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista Herrera (born May 15, 1979 in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato) is a Mexican footballer who is currently playing for Chivas de Guadalajara. He is a forward/midfielder. He is better known as Bofo, as well as for his bald head cabeza calvo and triple digit jersey number, 100.
No explanation why, but there he is. #100. Boy, is that stupid.
Sweet Nike commercial with Ronaldinho
Kimmel versus Eminem in hoops
And finally, this from AggieMarc
Bob I heard your Ronaldinho story today and thought I would share my own with you. Let me start this off by saying I am not a diehard soccer fan. I dont stop down to see an FC Dallas game on TV, or a Jueventas or Chelsea game and if I do its to watch 10 minutes mx. However I really got into the World Cup this year and watched probably 90% of the matches.
Well I went to Spain in July and went to Barcelona and then to Pamplona for the Running of the Bulls. When we got to the Barcelona airport I saw this guy that I thought looked like Brazilian soccer player Adriano. I hadn't slept in 24 hours and had just gotten off a 13 hour flight so I figured I was just a little out of my mind and didn't think any more of it. A few minutes later a couple of girls went up to a guy that had his back to me (standing next to the guy I thought was Adriano) and as Donovan said it was like they had seen Elvis and they had their picture taken with him.
I decided these guys had to be famous and maybe they were musicians and maybe that was why I recognized one of them. I called my wife over and said we need to figure out who these guys are. I walked around to get a look at the guy from the front and it was none other than Ronaldinho (he had his hair up in a hat) and I was just kind of in awe. My wife and I scrambled to get the camera out before he left. I have met famous people before (never met Tiger, never met Jordan, and never met Gretzky) but this was probably the only time I found myself really starstruck.
I had my picture taken with him and he was very nice considering less than 24 hours ago he had been knocked out of the World Cup.
As I said, I am not a huge soccer fan but I was starstruck for probably the first time in my life.
What was weird is because he was wearing this weird hat with his hair pulled up in it and sunglasses only about 5 people recognized. In Barcelona everywhere you go you see pictures of Ronaldinho whether its on billboards, sides of buildings, every magazine, posters in every store window, street artists drawing character scetches of him, etc, etc. This might sound crazy to non soccer fans, but I really think he might be bigger there than Jordan ever was in the U.S.
Just thought I would share my Ronaldinho story with you.
Jealous am I! (Yoda speak)