Friday, January 26, 2007

Michels talks about post-Pack depression on TV - Greenbay Press-Gazette
Former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle John Michels, who played in the Super Bowl 10 years ago, discusses his post-career depression on “Outside the Lines” at 8:30 a.m. Sunday on ESPN and 11 a.m. Sunday on ESPNEWS.

Michels, a first-round pick in 1996, had his career cut short by a knee injury in 1999. The thought of no longer being able to play left him suicidal...

...Michels reached out to former teammate Ken Ruettgers, who also battled depression after retiring. They formed the organization Game’s Over to help retired players with emotional needs.

Michels, 33, is in his third year of medical school at the University of Southern California studying radiology...
Cause for concern - Bakersfield Californian
For Kelley Tarver, comfort is knowing her dad is in the stands when she's on the court.

...her father, Bernard, is fighting for his life...Bernard is undergoing chemotherapy to treat colon cancer...

..."It's a battle," said Bernard, who was listed as a 5-foot-10, 185-pound fullback during his playing days with the Trojans in the 1970s. He now weighs just 155...
[Dickey] Coaching receivers will age Kiffin - SF Examiner
The latest Raiders scapegoat, er, coach, Lane Kiffin will age rapidly as the Raiders decide their next important question: What should they do with receivers Jerry Porter and Randy Moss?

Kiffin will have no impact on the decision. The only thing he knows about the Raiders and the NFL is what he learned from watching game videos the night before his hiring was announced.

As usual, it will be Al Davis making the decisions — and more alone than ever...

Also, Kiffin to flop? All signs point to just the opposite - Oakland Tribune
A new age in coaching - Baltimore Sun
[Keisser] Pressure, potential await USC's Kreuter - LA Daily News
Chad Kreuter can talk about the nuances of pressure better than most college baseball head coaches.

He spent 16 years in the major leagues as your classic journeyman catcher who toured the nation's ballparks, playing for seven different teams including the Dodgers and Angels. He was behind the plate when Nolan Ryan struck out his 5,000th batter and when Barry Bonds hit record-breaking home run No. 715.

Then there was that May 2000 evening at Wrigley Field when a fan stole his cap and hit him in the head, sparking Kreuter to lead a parade of Dodgers in chase into the stands. As fan-player interaction goes, it wasn't exactly Pistons-Pacers at the Palace, but it's the thing most people remember about his career...
Pep talk urges kids to persevere - VC Star
Akash Swami clamored to get an autograph from Kyle Williams after the former USC football player finished speaking to his class Thursday afternoon.

But the Los Senderos Open School fifth-grader came away with much more than just a signed piece of paper.

"I learned to never give up and keep on trying no matter how tough things are," Akash said. "If you do that, things are going to work out."

Los Senderos, in Camarillo, has a word of the month, and the word for January is perseverance.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Williams recently became a fitting symbol for that noun during the final games of his collegiate career and was invited to share his story with more than 150 students during an assembly Thursday...
Dad's on the mind of ESPN's Salisbury - Sac Bee
Sean Salisbury went to USC a generation ago to play quarterback and to study to become a dentist. His father, Richard, had other visions...

..."My dad was blue collar, and I was never a kid who wanted to do plaster and things like that, so he thought I'd better go white collar," Salisbury said..."He said if I can't get it done with my arm in the NFL, then do it with my mouth."... might even notice his shorter-than-normal hair.

It's in honor of his father, possibly the toughest 66-year-old around, who is facing lung cancer...

..."I cut the hair to let my dad know I'm thinking of him,"...
Booty glad to have Sarkisian back - LA Times
USC quarterback John David Booty said Thursday that he was elated quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian chose to remain with the Trojans but was sad to see offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin go...

..."I was happy Sark stayed; I didn't want to start over new with somebody else," Booty said. "I would have understood if he was to go because it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. But to have him back makes it a little easier on me."

Booty said he could not predict how the offense would be affected without Sarkisian and Kiffin sharing responsibilities as they did the past two seasons...
At 90, Zamperini inspires all with his fortitude - LA Times
What do you give as a 90th birthday present to a man who survived a plane crash into the Pacific Ocean during World War II, only to endure unspeakable horrors as a prisoner of war, who admits he was "an alcoholic, chain-smoker, rotten, lowdown stinker" before he found redemption in his religion and never looked back?

Who set a track record for the scholastic mile at Torrance High that lasted 20 years, and a collegiate mile record at USC that stood for 15 years. Who roomed with Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, stole a Nazi flag from the chancellery during the Games and was invited to shake the hand of Adolf Hitler...

...A necktie wouldn't cut it...
[Dilbeck] 'SC feels the burn on Bush - LA Daily News
These are nervous times at USC, unfamiliar and uneasy times.

Not because the offensive coordinator has checked out, some hot prep prospect was lost to Florida or Pete Carroll gazed briefly back upon the NFL.

These are the kind of anxious times where breaths are held while the smoke clears, or fingers are crossed and it's hoped the smoke clears.

Maybe it really is nothing...

Also, [Lopresti] There's a growing cloud in USC's sunny sky - USA Today
[Solomon] Don't try to rewrite history because of alleged payoffs - Houston Chronicle
'Patsy' Takes His Place In Two Halls Of Fame - New London [Conn.] Day
...the family of Pat Cannamela got to soak in two separate Hall of Fame induction ceremonies...

...Cannamela...was inducted posthumously into...the University of Southern California Hall of Fame.

Cannamela...graduated from Chapman Tech...before enrolling at Southern California. At Southern Cal, the tough linebacker/guard was an All-American and All-Conference player in 1951. He lettered for two seasons and was the Trojans' co-captain, along with Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, as a senior.

He also was named Troy's Most Inspirational Player...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hancock gets more eligibility - OC Register
USC fullback Brandon Hancock received a sixth year of eligibility this week from the NCAA, the school confirmed, enabling him to resume his career after sitting out the recently completed season.

Hancock tore knee ligaments in training camp last summer, ending his senior season before it began. He underwent medical tests this week, including an MRI, to determine whether he was physically able to play a sixth year.

He told a crowd at a USC-sponsored event Tuesday night that the paperwork was finalized by the NCAA, but he will have additional tests to "see what kind of possible long-term effects there would be...

Also, Hancock granted sixth year of eligibility; may return - Daily Trojan
Coming soon: A cartoon Carson - Cincy Enquirer
Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer will make his acting debut on the animated series "The Replacements," Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel.

Palmer guest stars as himself...

..."I thoroughly enjoyed working with Disney ... It was a great experience and I was proud to play a part in teaching children the importance of sharing. I am very thankful that Disney afforded me this great opportunity..." Palmer said in a statement.

Also, Palmer on arrests: 'It has to stop' - Cincy Enquirer
USC football coach Pete Carroll Sticking around - Desert Sun
..."There's a whole different atmosphere in college that I like," Carroll said. "There's a tolerance for younger kids that's healthy. The NFL's standard expectations are so difficult to deal with, and the media conflict - it takes away from the fun."

Rumors swirled earlier this month about the possibility of Carroll resigning from USC to coach the Miami Dolphins, whose owner Wayne Huizenga flew to Costa Rica to speak to the vacationing Carroll about their vacancy. Though impressed with the sales pitch, Carroll said he never seriously considered the possibility of coaching the Dolphins...
Sarkisian will make offense run - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
...with the keys to the USC offense completely in his hands, from play-calling to game-planning, Sarkisian didn't hesitate to say what he was thinking.

"Without doubt we need to find a consistent way to run the football," USC's assistant head coach said...

..."And we need to find a way in the passing game to throw the ball deep down the field the way we did the second half of the season at times," Sarkisian said. "We have to build on (John David Booty's) confidence...

...What is a winning formula for USC, Sarkisian said, is getting back to the two-back attack...
Whose stock is up? - Mobile Register
Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's draft expert, believes Southern Cal center Ryan Kalil may be the player creating the most momentum for himself during Senior Bowl week as the April NFL draft approaches.

"Ryan Kalil was a guy I knew was a good football player," Mayock said after Wednesday's South team workout at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. "I had him a late first-round, early second-round center, which is an anomaly.

"I think he's been the best offensive lineman down here as far as technique. He's throwing a shutout right now. I really like the way Ryan Kalil moves, so I think he's making himself some money. He could be a first-round center."...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trojans' offense has one leader - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
...For the past two years, assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach Sarkisian and offensive coordinator Kiffin divided up responsibilities. Kiffin did the play-calling in the booth and Sarkisian had veto power on the sidelines, while both worked to prepare the weekly game plan. Those duties now fall completely to Sarkisian...

...It's expected that, much the way former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow was the highest-paid assistant in college football with a reported $750,000 salary, Sarkisian's paycheck will reflect the new responsibilities after he backed out of consideration for the Raiders' job Friday...

Also, Sarkisian will be the glue that keeps the offense together - Daily Trojan
Carroll moves to fill the void - LA Times
In Kiffin, Raiders Are Putting Young Face in Tough Job - NY Times
At 3 months old, Pressley Kiffin already looks to be in the market for silver makeup, metal spikes and a Darth Vader mask.

Her father, Lane Kiffin, visited the Oakland Raiders’ ticket office yesterday to buy seats for next season. Considering that Kiffin is the Raiders’ new head coach, he probably could have arranged for a luxury box.

But because Kiffin was getting tickets for his family, he wanted something more appropriate, in a section where his wife and two daughters could really feel comfortable.

“In the Black Hole,”
he said.

With that, Kiffin might have alarmed anyone at Child Protective Services, but he endeared himself to Raiders fans everywhere...

Also, Vow to restore the Raiders - Oakland Tribune
[Poole] Caution, Raider Nation, Kiffin's bravado rings false - Oakland Tribune
[Spander] Lion in winter gives reins to a young lion - Oakland Tribune
[Inman] In Kiffin, Davis sees chip off his old block - Contra Costa Times
[Ratto] No way possible to ignore the past - SF Chron
Raiders turn to fast Lane - SF Chron
REACTION: Oakland players welcome the change - SF Chron
[Killion] Killion: Davis refuses to see the depth of problems - SJ Merc
Can this baby just win? - Sacramento Bee
Kiffin sticks to script - Stockton Record
Many Trojans Fans Won't Miss Kiffin - Inland Empire Press-Enterprise
[Dilbeck] There's a silver (and black) lining with Kiffin's departure - LA Daily News
[Spiegel] Al Davis is embarrassment-proof - Sporting News
Early rise not a surprise for Hill - Fresno Bee
Fresno State coach Pat Hill said he isn't surprised Lane Kiffin, the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, became the NFL's youngest current coach.

The way Hill sees it, the 31-year-old has been on the coaching fast track since Kiffin gave up his final two years of eligibility at Fresno State to serve as a student assistant.

"He's always had a great football mind," Hill said. "He understands the game really well. I think he's very qualified to be an NFL head coach.

"NFL people always are looking for bright, young offensive minds...Lane Kiffin fits the description. And I think that's great."...

Also, Kiffin had a zeal for coaching at an early age - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Dungy Proteges Proliferate - Lakeland Ledger
Raiders Look Past Age To Hire Kiffin - Tampa Tribune
CSU pipeline to success - Denver Post

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cole Cameron Leinart in Public - AP

Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter and Southern California's red shirt junior basketball player Brynn Cameron sits with her son Cole Cameron Leinart during a basketball game between USC and Arizona State on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007, in Tempe, Ariz.

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
[Kawakami] Well, he's better than nothing - SJ Merc
Very exciting news out of Raiders headquarters Monday night: Yes, there actually is somebody who wants to coach the team!

After an exhaustive search of various 30-something coaches...the Raiders finally picked Lane Kiffin.

Surprisingly, and to the franchise's great relief, Kiffin did not shove the offer back in Al's face. He took it. Sucker!

Who's Kiffin, and why is he the heir to the throne of Shell, Turner and Callahan? Wonderful questions, and I'm not entirely sure even Al has an answer.

Oh, wait I've got it: Kiffin's better than nothing...

Also, [Waldner] Wacky Davis living in the past - Daily Breeze
Kiffin is leaving USC for Raiders - LA Daily News
Raiders hire Kiffin - LA Times
Davis brings Kid Kiffin to a fixer-upper - Contra Costa Times
Raiders finally end search - Contra Costa Times
[Gilmore] Welcome to the quicksand, Lane - Contra Costa Times
Raiders hire USC's Kiffin - SF Chron
[Knapp] Hey, Al: It's your hire, so let the guy coach - SF Chron
Raiders take Kiffin as coach - Minneapolis Star-Tribune
[Silver] Raiders hire Kiffin - CNNSI
[Banks] Fountain of youth - CNNSI
Kiffin Named Head Coach - Official Raiders Website