Ochocinco of the Cincinnati Bengals, will finally wear his new name for the 2009 season

At last, Chad Javon Ochocinco, formerly known as Chad Johnson, is finally allowed by the NFL to wear his jersey with his name “Ochocinco” behind it, for the 2009 season.

As we can recall, this Bengal’s wide receiver legally changed his last name from Johnson to “Ocho Cinco” (which means “8-5” in Spanish, although the proper way of saying 85-being his jersey number is “ochenta y cinco”) last August 29, 2008. But due to some paperwork technicality, it ended up to a single word “Ochocinco.”

After changing his surname, the Cincinnati Bengals decided to allow him to use his new name on his jersey, although the NFL disallowed it. Since Chad needs to pay first for the large amount of inventory that the Reebok already stocked-having his jersey for the coming season produced with his old name. However, Chad declined and it ended up that he still wore his jersey with the name “C. Johnson” on it for the rest of the 2008 season.

And now, for the coming 2009 season, the NFL finally agreed and permitted Chad to wear his new last name. Although Chad wanted it to be a two-word name “Ocho Cinco”, the league only allowed Ochocinco, since this is what is legally registered to be his surname.

In the end, whatever name this wide receiver might be wearing, it doesn’t change the Chad Johnson or Chad Ochocinco that we have always known. He will still be one of the Bengals’ greatest wide receivers in the history of NFL.

The first ever Fan Forum Call of the Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings, headed by Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf and VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman facilitated on a Season Ticket Owner Conference Call last April 27, exclusive for the Vikings season ticket owners.

The idea of the move is to increase the enjoyment of the Vikings season ticket holders by giving them the opportunity to hear directly from the Vikings staff the latest happenings about the team particularly for the coming 2009 NFL season.

In cooperation with the company Broadnet, the conference calls were exclusive only for the Vikings season ticket owners.

The first ever Vikings Fan Forum flowed tremendously well as they had thousands of fans who participated, giving mostly positive comments and feedback, according to the Vikings VP of Sales & Marketing/CMO Steve LaCroix. LaCroix added that the team is looking forward in doing this kind of move again, in the future.

The forum was hosted Vikings and KFAN radio personality Paul Allen. The program lasted for more than an hour, having smooth and light conversations among Allen, Wilf, Spielman, and the callers who were given the privilege to talk and ask questions about their beloved Minnesota Vikings.

The team is still in the arrangement of conducting the Vikings Fan Forum again, may be two or more programs to go before the 2009 season ends. This move is a continuous effort made by the Minnesota Vikings to maintain a harmonious regular communication with the Vikings fanatics and followers, and of course, to encourage more fans to purchase their season tickets.

Let us feel for the Dallas Cowboys

All of us, may you be a Cowboys fan or not, were somewhat affected with the recent tragedy that happened to the team as their indoor facility at Valley Ranch collapsed last May 2 because of strong winds that devastated the entire area. If we are distressed about the tragedy, what more to the people, particularly to the Cowboys staff who were present and directly affected by the incident. There are those who acquired minor cuts and injuries, but there are those, as well, who were deeply wounded and misfortuned by the tragedy. Let’s feel for those unfamiliar faces, playing significant roles, behind success the Dallas Cowboys.

Chris Hall is the Cowboys’ college scouting coordinator since 2001. He had a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear in his left knee and had dislocated his right shoulder. Hall needs to undergo further surgery to fix the damage by the dislocation.

Joe DeCamillis, at age of 43, has been active in the NFL for 20 years and now the Cowboys special teams coach this offseason. DeCamillis had fractured cervical vertebrae because of the incident.

Rich Behm, Cowboys scouting assistant, had sustained a severed spinal cord, resulting to permanent paralysis in the lower part of his body, from waist to toe. Behm remains in the intensive care unit at Parkland.

Greg Gaither, is one of the Cowboys’ four-man training staff, and had just entered his 8th year with the team. He underwent surgery because of fractured fibula and tibia in his right leg. The surgery is needed to eventually help the broken bones to stabilize and grow properly.

These people have suffered not just physically, but mentally as well because of the trauma caused by the tragedy. Let us pray, not just for them, but for all the folks who had been wounded and affected- to eventually recover, move on, and continue living their lives after the tragedy.

Delhomme’s stay extends with the Carolina Panthers

Last April 23, 2009, Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme had signed a 5-year contract extension with the Carolina Panthers, amounting to $42.5 million, with $20 million guarantee. The deal makes Delhomme tied with the Panthers till 2014.

The three day mini camp marked a new beginning for the Panthers, as the team met their new quarterback coach Rip Scherer. Rip formerly served as the quarterback coach and the assistant head coach for the Cleveland Browns. Rip started his coaching career in 1974 at Penn State. Mike McCoy, the Panthers former quarterback coach, is now the Broncos offensive coordinator.

The new coach introduced fresh schemes as shown in the quarterbacks’ individual drills during the minicamp. Instead of throwing into a barrel from different distances, the passers have to throw the ball into bags placed in different locations. The idea here is to practice and enhance the Panthers passers passing accuracy.

Also, Scherer aimed to develop further their passers footwork, by making them run over a series of bags while the coach hit them with a blocking dummy. This practice is also to develop the passer’s agility and alertness while protecting the ball against the opponent and while trying to pass it to a teammate.

Delhomme on the other hand, feels excited of having quarterback coach Rip Scherer. He’s excited about the new ideas the man has introduced and impart to the team and he’ll more than ready to learn those. Delhomme thinks that the changes are great, and to be a good player you must really go back and dig into the basics.

At 34, spending 6 seasons with the Saints from 1887 to 2002, and from 2003 to the present with the Carolina Panthers, Delhomme knows that he’s not getting any younger and an injury or anything like that might be the end of his career. According to Delhomme, above anything else, you must just look on how much you enjoy it, because you just never know what will happen next.

Jacksonville Jaguars’ predicted starters for the 2009 season

Quarterback David Garrard did not sound bothered at all even if his last seasons’ running back, left tackle, and wide receivers were all gone.

During the Jaguars’ mini camp, Garrard shared that he feel excited about how the Jaguars staff was coming up to the plan of welcoming new faces this 2009 season.

Talking about head coach Jack Del Rio and Gen Manager Gene Smith, Garrard told that he thinks these two did made a great decision and he is looking forward to see what these new talents will have to show in the coming playoffs.

As the air is packed with new players surrounding the Jaguars field, and while others have become undrafted, it definitely means that the Jaguars’ roster continuously moves.

Garrard explained those players who were released, namely wide receivers Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, is not to be called the ‘bad apples’, but instead, the guys who made the mistakes. And by doing so, that is the result of what has been done. The two remains as undrafted free agents.

However, newly recruit wide receiver Mike Thomas, who played for the Arizona Wildcats, is one great potential to the Jaguars, and definitely the team has big plans for the young athlete.

Thomas had been a great player for the Wildcats, and will surely be, for the Jaguars also. He was even match up to Carolina star Steve Smith. In which on the other hand, Thomas, said, that he’s very humbled and truly love it to be compared with the fellow wide receiver.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew is planned to be the new team’s running back, the former role of Fred Taylor, who’s now the with the New England Patriots. Newly drafted Eugene Monroe from the University of Virginia, will play as the offensive tackle of the Jaguars, replacing Khalif Barnes, who presently belongs to the Raiders. Monroe will now serve as Garrard’s left tackle. Wide receiver Torry Holt, however, is predicted to be the no. 1 receiver of Garrard.

Will there be another mix and match with the Jaguars roster? Let’s just find out as the Jaguars heads towards their organized teams activity days.

Houston Texans needs a Dunta Robinson

Cornerback Dunta Robinson has been staying in New Jersey as his agents negotiate about his contract with the Houston Texans. Surprisingly, the cornerback showed up for the Texans’ youth football camp and helped his teammates linebacker DeMeco Ryans and wide receiver Andre Johnson facilitate in the event.

Between the drills, Dunta is giving updates about his situation with the Texans, specially his contract with the team. Dunta explained that he understands that it’s the franchise’s business and he knows it’s nothing personal. The only thing that he had been so affected was when the team used a tag on him, in whom Dunta admitted, felt betrayed.

Dunta made it clear that all he wants to do is just to try to get what he thinks he deserves. And despite of the scenario, Dunta still pays high credit to his team; telling that the Houston Texans is the team that gave him the chance to show what he got and he definitely wants to be a part of it. He even pointed out that he’d love to retire being a Texan.

Although Dunta had not been visible during their offseason workouts, he, still, has a constant communication with selected teammates, who had been supportive to him since the franchise tag incident.

Andre Johnson shared his feelings about Robinson’s absence. It feels different, especially if you are close to your teammate, that’s what Andre told about Dunta. Johnson added that he, Dunta and DeMeco were the closest guys and it doesn’t feel the same if one of them is not around.

DeMeco Ryans as well, was having some contract issues, making him missed two weeks of the Texans’ offseason workout program. But after a while, the linebacker decided to come back and let his agents handle the problem. DeMeco shared that he really appreciates the support that his teammates have been giving him, and he believes that Dunta will overcome those issues and hopefully be back for good soon.

Ryans explains the importance of support for each other. As these players technically belongs on the same team, on one family. And being a family, they have to love and support each other. Ryans pointed out that the Texans definitely needs a Dunta Robinson, and Ryans knows Robinson will indeed be ready for action this coming season.

St. Louis Rams 2009 season schedule

Finally, the St. Louis Rams announces their schedule for the 2009 season. Surely, it will be thrilling for both the Rams and the Rams fanatics out there.

Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo said that the Rams are definitely excited about their 2009 schedule on the league’s calendar, and it will be as much as exciting for the Rams fans for sure.

The Rams will open its season on Sept 13, against its fellow NFC Wester Seattle Seahawks.

After that, the Rams will head its way to east to face the Washington Redskins on Sept 22. Sept 27 is the day against the Green Bay Packers which will travel from the North to face the Rams. On week 4, the Rams will move west to San Francisco and face the 49ers on the game scheduled on Oct 4. The game against the Minnesota Vikings will shortly follow on Oct 11.

Oct 18th is scheduled against their first AFC opponent Jacksonville Jaguars, followed with a home game on Oct 25 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Before the bye week comes, a game against the Lions will be held on Nov 1, as the Rams travels to Detroit before reaching the mid-point of the season.

The game resumes on Nov 15, as the Rams is scheduled to go back in action against the New Orleans Saints, and a week after that, Nov 22nd is the day against the Arizona Cardinals. And again, a week later, the Seahawks will come in town to face the Rams on Nov 29.

The St. Louis Rams will again head north to play against the Chicago Bears dated Dec 6, following a game against the Tennessee Titans a after a week. The Rams returns home as they will play against the Texans on Dec 20, then back to Arizona and play with the Cardinals the following week. The Rams ends the season with the San Francisco 49ers on Jan 3.

For the preseason, the Rams will travel to New York and face the Jets on Aug 14.

However, all the regular season games starting week 11 are subject to flexible scheduling.

Season Ticket Referral Program by the Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders conducts a new agenda on making its way of thanking their avid fans, most especially those Season Ticket Holders, and give credit to those that are referring their friends, families, classmates and colleagues to purchase Season Tickets as well.

With the Raiders Referral Program, existing ticket holders are entitled to be given the 3% of the value of each purchased referred Season Tickets. Aside from that, they will also be given 250 Raiders Rewards points for every new account they refer.

So how’s that going to work? For those Season Ticket holders who desire to partake in the Raiders Referral Program, they just need to call 1-800-RAIDERS to reach out their Ticket Service Manager and give them necessary info like the names and contact numbers of those who may be interested to purchase Season Tickets, which will later benefit too, through the referral program. And once the tickets were fully paid, the ticket holder who made the referral will surely receive 3% value of each ticket purchased plus 250 Raiders reward points for every referred account.

Definitely, the Oakland Raiders, along with their viewers and fanatics were all thrilled for this upcoming season. And through the Raiders Referral program, the Raiders expect for more fans to go out there and cheer for them this 2009 season playoffs. As more football enthusiasts appear and watch the play, and as more Raiders fans make their way to come and see the game, those Season Ticket holders will surely build an Oakland Raiders nation, and that’s in fact, what the team is looking forward to.

Ward honored to be a pure Pittsburgh Steeler

Hines Ward exclaimed that it is a big honor to start with his career, and eventually end up wearing a Pittsburgh Steeler Jersey.

Hines Ward, a ten year veteran wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, shares his thoughts about how privileged he is being started as a Steeler, and still being a Steeler ten years later. He told that not too many players are given that opportunity, to play his entire career belonging to a sole team. And as the Steelers signed him a four-year contract extension last April 25, 2009, Ward is pretty sure that before his playing days in the field will be over, he has definitely a few more seasons left to play for his beloved team.

Hines Ward was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft. In his pro career, Ward had already been into 4 Pro Bowl from the 2001 till the 2004 season. He was also named to 3 team MVPs, one of them was on Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006, when he was the Most Valuable Player, as the team won 21-10. Ward was also shown in action as being the all-time leading receiver for the Steelers, on November 27, 2005, with Hines’ 538th catch versus the Cleveland Browns, finishing the game in favor of the Steelers.

Aside from Ward’s goal to arrive at his 10,000 yards in his professional career, which is just 220 yards away, one incredible record he did in the history was to surpass wide receivers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth along the way, which he quoted as crazy! Ward even added that he’d never thought he can ever do that, and having done that, in fact, Ward doesn’t know what more to ask for.

Maybe the answer is a few more Super Bowl rings, as the WR veteran has nothing in mind but to play his remaining games with the team, and win the Super Bowl titles for the Steelers.

Communication, a bond that keeps Denver Broncos together

Last year can be considered as one the most impressive seasons for the Broncos talented offensive lines.

And it’s good to know that the team’s five starters are still solid as before, as one of them, center Casey Wiegmann, was previously having some thoughts about his retirement.

Ryan Harris, Broncos’ offensive tackle, told that they are happy knowing that Wiegmann stays with the team. He even added that the veteran lineman’s leadership is undeniably priceless. And as the weekend rookie mini camp arrived, Wiegmann had certainly made an impact serving as an inspiration to the greenhorns.

Seth Olsen, a new recruit of the Broncos from Iowa Hakeyes shared what the veteran had advised him. Wiegmann told him to be focused and to learn as much as he can, be a sponge, and just try to absorb everything.

Harris said that Wiegmann’s ways makes him a communicator, which happens to be, possibly, one of the most significant factors that the offensive linemen should keep in mind: to communicate quickly and clearly with each other. And as the communication is enhanced, the team got to move faster and got to play more efficient.

Blake Schlueter, another newly recruit center for the Broncos, highly praised the offensive line’s communication as amazing, and it is not difficult to figure out why the group has been so successful. Schlueter even added that everyone just jells together very well, and having that good relationship among the team just simply paid off well.

As the Broncos offensive linemen already set its record just in their first season together, what the group is looking forward to is how Head Coach Josh McDaniels’ offensive schemes, together with Running Backs Coach Bobby Turner’s and Offensive Line Coach Rick Dennison’s techniques will even surpass their performance last year. Hopefully, this year’s season will be a lot better, and through communication, that is definitely attainable.

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