Friday, May 26, 2006

[Silver] Road to recovery - CNNSI
The message was one of many received by Carson Palmer in the dizzying two days between the severe knee injury he suffered against the Steelers in January and reconstructive surgery -- "So many," the Bengals quarterback recalls wryly, "it was like I was dying of AIDS" -- and it stood out only because it came from the sole NFL passer who'd had a better statistical season in 2005.

Then Peyton Manning called again, and again.
When the two quarterbacks finally spoke, Palmer thought, Wow, he must really want to get a hold of me. Why is he taking time out of his day to call a young punk like me?

Manning, who knows Palmer only on a casual basis, had his reasons for being supportive during the young Cincinnati star's moment of crisis...

Also, SI cover boy Palmer joins club workouts - Cincy Enquirer
[Daugherty] Palmer? A softie? Hardly - Cincy Enquirer
Report: Manning gave Palmer a call - Cincy Post
[Starkey] Foote fires back at Palmer - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Cody gets to use lessons from '05 - Detroit News
Shaun Cody will miss Dan Wilkinson's presence, but he welcomes the opportunity to step into Wilkinson's starting job.

Cody spent his rookie season with the Lions as an understudy to Wilkinson at nose tackle. Cody learned some of the nuances that made Wilkinson an effective starter for 12 NFL seasons.

The starting job became available when Wilkinson was released Monday.

For Cody, it is time to put into action some of the things he learned and observed as a rookie in 2005...

..."Shaun Cody is a good, young 310-, 312-pound kid who can really move. It's not just hold the point in a one-gap system. He's got to be a good rusher, and he's got to be able to play the field laterally a little bit. Balance always has been a good key for me."...
Charity ball: McAfee gives Bush No. 25 - Biloxi Sun-Herald
...Bush has said he will donate 25 percent of his jersey royalties to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Fred McAfee agreed to give it up the number in lieu of half of the 25 percent of what the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner earns through jersey sales.

In turn, McAfee will take that money and donate it to a charity of his choice...

..."Despite initially being disappointed, to wear 25 will help keep everyone aware of their struggles. And I thank Fred for making it available.".

"With this deal, many more people can benefit from the sale of the jersey," said McAfee. "This allows me many more options to help more people...

..."I look forward to donating my part of the proceeds to charities. And I think Reggie should be commended for making that commitment."

Also, A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER - New Orleans Times-Picayune
[Demasio] All eyes on Bush - CNNSI
Check-Out Time for Leinart - LA Times
..."I feel like I'm less in the spotlight," the former USC standout said in a phone interview Thursday, after the Cardinals concluded rookie workouts. "I was just so happy to get out of L.A. I love SC, and I'm from Orange County, so leaving my family was tough. But I've never been more ready just to go and experience something new, just get on with my life in the NFL."

Leinart gave a weary sigh when asked about recent reports linking him with hotel heiress Paris Hilton. He said they are simply friends, nothing more.

"It's so dumb, because if it was any other person … " he said. "If a group of friends goes out to lunch, and we're in that group, then all of a sudden we're an item? It's so ridiculous."...

Also, Cards' rookies take 1st steps - Arizona Republic
Here come the rookies - East Valley Tribune
Leinart should heed lesson of Lachey's - San Antonio Express-News
Kelly convinced he can contribute - Regina Leader-Post
Rookie receiver Kareem Kelly is supposed to be intimidated by his first CFL training camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders -- right?

Think again...

..."I've been in the big scenes before and I played in a lot of big games in college," continued Kelly, 25, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints (sixth round, 2003) and had subsequent tryouts with the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens. "I don't have much NFL experience but just being out there with Pro Bowl-calibre guys (in practice) has kind of helped me relax and understand the game itself. There aren't too many nerves (in Riders camp). It's more just focusing in, concentrating and executing my assignments."

Kelly is already proving to be a quick study...
Parks cheered by NFL study - LA Daily News
...Parks said he will pursue an explanation from the University of Southern California, which has been a tenant at the Coliseum since it opened in 1923. In a letter sent Friday to owners, but made public only on Tuesday, USC officials urged the league not to sign a lease with the Coliseum Commission until the university had signed its own sublease.

"Frankly, I'm confused," Parks said. "Two years ago, when I was chairman of the Coliseum Commission, I went to USC officials and they said they wanted to negotiate on their own with the NFL. We said fine.

"On May 18, I talked with the USC president and asked how things were proceeding in their negotiations and he indicated everything was satisfactory. Then he sent this letter on May 19."...

Also, USC claims NFL Coliseum team would hurt program - LA Daily News
Will the Coliseum Forsake USC for Pros? - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
Raiders say SI story about sale is 'fiction' - Contra Costa Times
Rumor mongers working overtime - Oakland Tribune
Cat to the rescue - Hamilton Spectator
Tiger-Cat offensive line prospect Malcolm Woolridge is a life-saver. And that's before he even picks up the blitzing linebacker coming for a free shot at his quarterback.

In September 2000 while a member of the University of Southern California Trojans, Woolridge was one of four players involved in a rescue of a young woman who had fallen backwards out of a second floor apartment window and become impaled on the prongs of two wrought-iron security bars as she dangled six feet above the ground.

While two teammates sought help, the 6-foot-2, 330-pound Woolridge and Bernard Rily took turns supporting USC student Danielle Dauenhauer's 165-pound frame to keep the metal bars from penetrating any more than the four inches deep they had already imbedded into her body. Woolridge said the ordeal lasted some 30 minutes before paramedics reached the scene. Dauenhauer lost a ton of blood but had her life saved by Woolridge's actions...
No. 3: New talent takes over at USC - Athlon Sports
Let’s review the last four years at USC, shall we? A record of 48–4, including a 34-game winning streak. A still-active 27-game home winning streak. Four BCS Bowl appearances. Four AP Top 4 finishes. Four Pac-10 titles. Two national titles. And rivers of talent rolling in...

...The Men of Troy travel to Arkansas to open the season, followed by a visit from Nebraska in Game 2. The late season slate shows consecutive home games against Oregon, California and Notre Dame before the finale at UCLA.

Athlon’s Pick: Pac-10 champions...
2006 Heisman 100 - College Football News
...11. QB John David Booty, USC ...Such is life these days at USC, where the supporting cast, media crush and league titles are practically built in to a quarterback’s candidacy...

...21. WR Dwayne Jarrett, USC – ...USC’s biggest star now that Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and LenDale White have departed. He...has quickly made Trojan fans forget Mike Williams...

...31. RB Chauncey Washington, USC...The star tailback of USC should be in the top ten, but there's a whole slew of next-level caliber freshmen coming in to take away time...

...37. RB Stafon Johnson, Emmanuel Moody, Kenny Ashley or Stanley Havili, USC – The early departures of Reggie Bush and LenDale White and season-ending knee injury of Hershel Dennis mean one of the Trojans’ talented quartet of incoming freshmen could immediately be a new star if something happens to Chauncey Washington...
USC to Focus on U.S.-China Ties - LA Times
USC plans to open in September the first research institute dedicated to the study of United States and China relations, college officials announced during a trip to Beijing on Tuesday.

University officials, who are on a weeklong tour of China, said USC is an ideal location for such an institute, with California boasting some of the largest populations of Chinese Americans in the nation.

"We have a lot of students in and from China. We have leadership relations in China," Associate Vice Provost Howard Gillman said Tuesday in Los Angeles. "The institute just seemed like a natural extension."

Although numerous institutions focus broadly on Asian studies, Gillman said USC's institute, with about 30 scholars, will be the first one dedicated to studying the relationship between the United States and China...
USC wins Lexus Gauntlet award - Daily Trojan
USC has been awarded the prestigious Lexus Gauntlet trophy given to the victor in the famed USC-UCLA rivalry. Outscoring UCLA by 10 points, 60-50, USC was presented the trophy in a ceremony featuring USC athletic director Mike Garrett.

The trophy weighs 150 pounds, is cast in pewter and will be on display for the next year in Heritage Hall. This is the third time in five years USC has been declared the winner of the prized trophy...
Baseball loses three-game series with Wichita State - Daily Trojan
No. 25 Wichita State shocked the unranked USC baseball team, completing a non-conference weekend series sweep after rallying for a 10-8 victory at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kan.

Brandon Hall tapped Trojan closer Paul Koss for a two-run, bases loaded single into left field in the eighth, which proved the winning margin. The Shockers entered the inning down by a run, but Koss walked in a run after Brian Spear worked a full-count. Koss had recorded two strikeouts after loaded the bases with no outs. He pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on four hits...

...All-American ace Ian Kennedy was credited with four of seven runs in 6 1/3 innings in the loss.

The Trojans (25-29) would have to win its four remaining games - last night's match-up with No. 2 Cal State Fullerton and the three-game weekend series against unranked Arizona - to be considered for the postseason.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Safety Harris out for season - LA Daily News
USC safety Will Harris tore knee ligaments for the second time during a pickup basketball game and will be out for the season.

Harris originally tore knee ligaments last fall and underwent surgery. He was expected to return in the fall before suffering the injury. Harris appeared in only three games last season and will use next year as his redshirt year.

Harris, a sophomore, was listed as the No. 2 free safety following spring practice...

Monday, May 22, 2006

[Maisel] Coaching visits guided by unwritten protocol - ESPN
...Edsall said he had been turned down only once. When he first got to Connecticut in 1999, he wanted to visit the New York Jets camp. Head coach Pete Carroll told him no, because Edsall had been an assistant for then-Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin, and Carroll didn't want to risk that any information would trickle down to an AFC rival. Edsall understood...

...Now that Carroll is at USC, he allows no outside coaches to visit. Not even legends.

"I talked to Pete a couple of years ago," Bowden said. "I said, 'I sure would like to go out there and talk to Norm Chow. He said, 'We don't do that.'"...
Reduction for increased production - Detroit Free Press
Wide receiver Mike Williams has made such progress this off-season, the Lions have changed their expectations of him. They had told him to report to training camp at 230 pounds. Now they're telling him to report at 220...

...he has given up bad habits like eating late and staying up late, he said recently.

"They were all things that weren't good for me," he said. "Now I come to work, I've got energy. I'm excited to be here, excited to learn this offense and get out there and go."

Williams is under 230 -- 227 or so -- and he can feel the difference...

Also, Soward feels for Williams - Toronto Sun
[Robinson] Looking for the next L.J. - Yahoo Sports
...If he's healthy, don't be surprised if LenDale White wins the Tennessee Titans' starting running back spot. The Titans think White can play tougher than either Chris Brown or Travis Henry and still stay healthy. As it stands, White is expected to be a big part of red-zone packages, but his role could increase exponentially if he fares well in training camp. The big concern is getting him onto the field in time to learn the pass-protection packages. Since rookie minicamp, White has been weighing around the high 230s consistently – a weight the team has deemed acceptable as long as he dedicates himself to the weight room...
Bush's decree cuts against NFL fabric - New Orleans Times-Picayune
Reggie Bush's "decree" last week he had instructed his agent to get his contract done by the start of training camp was refreshing, and it gained a good deal of national attention.

But it was hardly a guarantee, and it may have been taken too literally by some. The Saints rookie was simply responding to a specific question when asked how important it is for him to be there for the first day of training camp.

"Very important," Bush answered. "I told my agent I wanted to be here in camp on time, and whatever it takes I want to be in camp on time. I don't want to get caught up in holdouts and things like that.

"I think it is important to start off on a good foot and a good note, not only with the team but with the city."

His heart is in the right place. But time will tell...

Also, If Saints train here, they better bring Bush - Jackson Clarion-Ledger
[Barnhart] Parents stepping over the line - Atlanta Journal Constitution
Bush star in collectors show - Houston Chronicle
City jazzed about Saints - Ft Worth Star-Telegram
Bush Says He Was Advised Not to Talk to Investigators - LA Times
[Grant] Make Bush Pay for Five - ESPN
Relaxed and ready to go - Honolulu Advertiser
Life has been good recently for University of Hawai'i football coach June Jones...

..."Reggie Bush is the perfect guy for my (four-wide) system. He's not the perfect guy for a normal NFL system."...

...On Bush's USC teammate, quarterback Matt Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner:

"He's not a real mobile guy. And his arm strength, I mean, on a scale of 1 to 10, it's 6. I don't think it's a real powerful arm."...
Coaches focus on academics - USA Today
Southern California wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett has never had a problem excelling on the football field. Excelling in the classroom is another story.

Jarrett says he always did just enough to stay eligible to play football at New Brunswick (N.J.) High School. But he began to realize his academics weren't going to be good enough for him to play at an NCAA Division I-A school.

The National Football Foundation's Play It Smart program got Jarrett started on the way to improving his grades.

"Because of the Play It Smart program, I took school more seriously and (developed) my study habits,"...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Family, friends say goodbyes - Baton Rouge Advocate
More than 1,000 “best friends” of slain Southern California basketball player Ryan LeChanc Francis packed the Greater King David Baptist Church on Saturday to bid farewell.

USC head coach Tim Floyd said the 19-year-old man known for his respectful and unselfish nature made coaches, teammates and everyone he came in contact with feel like they were his best friend.

“All of us were wrong because his best friend is sitting right here,” Floyd said pointing to Francis’ mother...

Also, [Fambrough] Hard to make sense of Francis tragedy - Baton Rouge Advocate
Man denies killing Francis - Baton Rouge Advocate
Francis friends agonize - Lafayette Daily Advertiser
Francis remembered for class on and off court - New Orleans Times-Picayune
USC's Francis Mourned - LA Times
Suspect says he did not shoot Francis - LA Daily News