RB Rhodes signs with the Buffalo Bills

“I do not see myself as a backup.” Those were some words from the eight-year veteran running back Dominic Rhodes, one of the newest piece on the Buffalo’s offense team.

Dominic Dondrell Rhodes signed a two year contract deal with the Buffalo Bills last April 17, 2009.

As Rhodes signed the deal for the backup running back position, Dominic on the other hand doesn’t see himself that way. The RB exclaimed that he doesn’t consider himself being a backup, and that he doesn’t go there to sit on the bench, but instead to start the season, specifically the Buffalo’s game against the New England Patriots. Dominic also added that when he plays the game, he would not provide any reason for anyone to take him out of it, but to keep him in action inside the field. Rhodes even told that through intensive training and hard play, he’ll definitely show them everything he has to offer.

Rhodes started his pro career with the Indianapolis Colts, as he signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent in the 2001 NFL Draft.
During the 2001 season against Kansas City Chiefs, starting running back Edgerrin James of the Colts, accidentally had a knee injury, resulting to Rhodes, playing for his position for the rest of the 2001 season. Although Rhodes happen to start only the last 9 games for that season, he had recorded to ran the most rushing yards being an undrafted rookie, with 1104 yds. Unluckily, Rhodes didn’t get the chance to play for the whole 2002 season because of anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. Although after recovering, he once again was shown great action for the rest of his years with the Colts. Under the Colts, Dominic had received a Super Bowl ring during the Super Bowl XLI on February 4, 2007.
After seven seasons with the Colts, Rhodes signed with the Oakland Raiders, a two year deal amounting to $7.5M on March 9, 2007. Although only after a month, he was freed by the Raiders on April 28, after choosing RB Darren McFadden during the 2008 draft.
May 7th, when Dominic reunited with the Colts for a one-year contract. And until a year later, Dominic is now under a two-year contract with the Buffalo Bills, signed last April 17, 2009.

At the moment, as RB Marshawn Lynch will be unavailable because of his suspension, together with RB Fred Jackson and rookie Xavier Omon, Rhodes is expected to fill and solidify the running back position.

John Beck, now a part of Baltimore Ravens

On May 2, 2009, QB John Beck signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

Formerly played for the Miami Dolphins, Beck was selected as 40th pick overall in the 2nd round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Dolphins, out of Brigham Young University. John signed a four year contract with the Miami’s amounting to nearly $3.25 million, including incentives and guaranteed money totaling to $4.5 M, or a grand amount of $6.5 million for four years.

During his first training camp with the Miami’s, Beck was the team’s third-string quarterback, and on the 2007 season, he was assigned to play the role for Trent Green, a former Miami Dolphins’ QB, who was seriously injured during those times.

Under the hands of Miami’s Head Coach Cam Cameron during those times, Beck happened to serve his role in the team for the 2007 and 2008 seasons only, as he was released by the Dolphins last April 27, 2009. Now, as Beck signed a deal with the Baltimore Ravens last May 2, 2009, he is united for the second time with Cameron, which happens to be the current offensive coordinator of the Ravens.

But this wasn’t the first time that the Ravens had taken to consider about Beck being drafted by the team. Although, during the 2007 Draft, Baltimore’s passed up John and give way to QB Troy Smith of the Ohio State. Now that Beck and Smith belongs in the same team, these two quarterbacks are anticipated to contend as Joe Flacco’s backup.

According to Gen. Manager Ozzie Newsome of the Ravens, John Beck is a player that they have evaluated vigilantly since the 2007 draft. Newsome also added that Beck’s competitiveness is what really amazed them saying that they, the team, likes to bring in good athletes who love to compete, and that surely counts John Beck.

Brown of the Philadelphia Eagles- focusing at football above anything else

Thursday evening, April 24, Eagles’ cornerback Sheldon Brown arrived at the NovaCare Complex to attend for the Philadelphia Eagles meeting about their coming post-draft mini-camp.
There had been earlier issues about Brown dissatisfactions with his contract, although Brown cleared to everyone but he just wanted to share what he feels but it has nothing to do with the game. It never came to his mind to miss the team’s mandatory off-season practices and trainings. Sheldon also explained that his goal is to focus on football and that he’s going to do his job regardless of anything. Brown subsequently apologized to the fans about the matter.

Brown was drafted by the Eagles on the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of the University of South Carolina. He earned the most attention during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game, when he prevented the New Orleans Saints’ Reggie Bush from catching a pass, and knocked Bush to the ground eventually. Some football analysts even considered it as the hit of the year.
Brown also has a record of 3 touchdowns returned, from 1 interceptions, and 1 fumble: (during the 4th week of the 2005 NFL season- a 40-yd touchdown from an interception; during the 5th week of the 2005 season- an 80-yd touchdown return from an interception; and during the 10th week of the 2006 NFL season – a 70-yd touchdown return from an interception). For his entire seven years in the league, Brown has never let pass any game yet.
As the Eagles enter their mini-camp, perhaps the deepest concern here is the team’s cornerback position. Since the Eagles had just welcomed New England’s Ellis Hobbs, when he was traded by the Patriots on the day 2 of the 2009 NFL Draft for two 5th round selections. Although Head Coach Andy Reid of the Eagles eventually exclaimed that the move is irrelevant with Brown’s issue about his contract, but instead a move to insert an experienced player to the team.
Brown on the other hand, is not affected about the possible competition between him and Hobbs. He even added that he actually likes Ellis, and if he makes the Philadelphia Eagles a better team, then he definitely needs to be one of them on the football field.

First time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hold its weekend mini camp from May 8-10, 2009, to give great opportunity to young hopefuls to be a part of the franchise, maybe in the near future, namely the 2009 NFL season.

Josh Freeman, a Kansas State’s pride, is now recruited as a new quarterback for the Bucs. Freeman was selected as 17th pick overall by the Buccaneers in the 2009 NFL Draft. Still having one year of college eligibility to finish, Freeman is seen to be a huge prospect that will surely play a good game for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Freeman was escorted by the team for months now and so far, the Bucs likes how this 21-year old guy plays and throws the ball. Freeman is now a part of the Buccaneers family, and on the start of the camp this Friday, he will be wearing the Bucs’ practice gear for the very first time and take the field, passing it to the Buccaneers receivers.

The Buccaneers management told that this three-day rookie mini camp will be an exciting and thrilling one; as they get their first look on Friday, May 7, aside from Josh, but on other 2009 draftees as well. About how the newcomers will be, will they be cooperative and fast learners to grasp every concept of how it takes to be a Buccaneer? Those questions will be answered once the camp progresses.
General manager Mark Dominik told that the camp will definitely be exciting for everybody. As the Bucs will be taking a closer glance to every young men aspiring for contracts, this camp gives a big chance to all hopefuls to show and give their bests on this event, which can later lead their way to the Pro Bowl in the future.

After the three day mini camp, rookies should return to their respective colleges till the school year is over. After that, that’s the time when the Bucs’ players, together with the rookies, can finally play together on the field in a sequence of OTAs, or organized team activity days.

The aspirants will arrive on Tampa on May 7, where they will be scouted to One Buccaneer Place, where they will get their physicals, get-together with the Bucs staff, and have a meeting with the Buccaneers Head Coach Raheem Morris.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers has indeed took the guts redirecting its path, with the partnership of Dominik and Morris, and involving lots of new players and giving them their first time opportunity to someday play under the Buccaneers, it will surely be a must see season and a breathtaking experience, for both sides – the Bucs management, the first time rookies, as well as for the audience, specifically the Bucs’ fanatics on what will be the outcome of this move and see how the team performs in the 2009 season and beyond.

Atlanta Falcon’s roster fine tuning continues

Atlanta Falcons is presently in the action of fine-tuning its roster last April 29-30, which includes welcoming some veterans to the Falcons family.
Supposedly, wide receiver Troy Bergeron re-signed with the Atlanta Falcons last April 28, 2009, just to be released by the Falcons the next day because of some problems with his physical.
That day, April 29, Verron Ulric Haynes, who formerly played running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was drafted by the Falcons and signed with the team the said day.
The next day, April 30, linebacker Edmond Miles also signed with the Falcons as addition to their roster.

Haynes was selected by the Steelers on the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and had spent his five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2002-2006. During his stay, Haynes has a record of 660 yards on 159 carries (4.2 average per carry) and 3 touchdowns. He also performed 39 receptions for 322 yards (8.3 average per reception) and 2 touchdowns, one of those is from wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. Although on the 2006 season, Verron missed most the games because of his knee injury.
To provide more space for their salary cap, however, Haynes was released by the Steelers on March 1, 2007. But eventually, he re-signed with the team on June 4, and was released again on September 1, 2007. And when Willie Parker, Steelers’ starting running back, was placed on an injured reserve, Haynes, once again re-signed with the Steelers on December 4. Until finally, he signed with the Falcons last April 29, 2009.

On the other hand, Edmond Miles, started his rookie career with the Miami Dolphins as he signed with them on May 4, 2007 as a college free agent. Later, he was released by the Dolphins, and afterwards signed with the New York Giants on December 17, 2008 as a free agent. Miles during his stay with the Dolphins on the 2007 season, was named to be the first rookie to led Miami Dolphins in special team tackles, since Sean Hill in 1994 , where he led with a total of 16 special team stops, and also performed two solo tackles. Miles had been in action and competed in all 16 games for the Miami’s for that season.
Edmond had also played in the field and had shown action in two games for the 2008 NFL season under the Giants. From AFC East to NFC East, Haynes is now with NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons, which happened last April 29.

Washington Redskins’ mix and match for 2009

What’s the latest twist for the Redskins? Well, the coaches headed by Jim Zorn, is currently in the process of mix and matching the Redskins’ veteran players with some of the new faces in the team.
As Marcus Washington was released by the Redskins last February 9, 2009, a job for a strong side linebacker was opened up.
Brian Orakpo, Redskins’ current defensive end, was prospected to be playing as a linebacker as well. Head coach Zorn said that Orakpo could be in the action of a linebacker on first or second down, then move to defensive-end later. Brian, subsequently, told that he had done that before and is very open to the challenge if needed.
Alongside with Orakpo, linebacker Rocky McIntosh is also planned to move from the weak side to the strong side. Zorn added that the two, McIntosh and Orakpo, gives them some flexibility, and while trying to mix and match everything, they do not exactly know what will be the outcome, but they are currently working that out.
H.B. Blades, as well, who played as a strong side linebacker last year, is thought to be placed as a middle linebacker. Also, there had been discussions about defensive end Chris Wilson, moving back to the strong side linebacker.

As McIntosh was moved to the opposite side, Redskins creates an opening for his old position.
#94 Robert Thomas, a seven year veteran linebacker, is one prospective to the team, as he signed with the Washington Redskins last April 9, 2009.
Also, Alfred Fincher, who formerly played for the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, and the Washington Redskins, has re-signed with the Redskins last March 10, 2009. Fincher has experience playing at the weak side, but as a strong side linebacker as well. He is also expected to play on the special teams.
The rookies Cody Glenn and Robert Henson were also drafted by the Redskins as potentials for the weak-side linebacker position.
Glenn, who played mostly at the weak-side side for Nebraska, was the 22nd pick of the Redskins in the 5th round on the 2009 NFL Draft.
Henson, on the other hand, who played as middle linebacker at TCU, was selected as 13th pick in the 6th round of the draft.
The two were also planned to have their spots and play for the Redskins’ special teams.

However, linebacker London Fletcher, retains his position as the Redskins’ middle linebacker.

San Francisco 49ers’ pushup for a cause

On April 24, 2009, the San Francisco 49ers conducted a pushup contest, together with the Stanford University School of Medicine, which aimed to raise funds for the research studies and to find a cure for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is a heart condition which is often asymmetrical, meaning one part of the heart is thicker compared to the others. Although it may not show any symptoms to some, some may experience very abnormal heart rhythms, which eventually causes sudden collapse or even death. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is one cause of death that happens to youthful athletes who seem to be in perfect shape but suddenly die during a heavy workout. This heart condition is usually inherited and passed through genes, and is believed to be the effect of some defects on the genes that control heart muscle growth. Dr. Euan Ashley, MD, the director of Stanford Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, told that the said genetic disorder doesn’t have a cure yet, though surgery and medicines can provide some relieve once the symptoms are recognized.

Emceed by the 49ers former linebacker and now their Vice President of Football Affairs Keena Turner, the pushup contest was participated by the cardiologists of the center, showing their strengths against the 49ers Coach Mark Uyeyuma. Michael Lewis, 49ers safety and linebacker Parys Haralson served as the official counters for the pushups. Despite of Uyeyuma’s impressive performance with a total of 84 pushups in a row, he was overpowered by one of the Stanford Cardiologists who totaled 113 pushups.

As the fun continued, the group eventually talked about the purpose of the event – that is, to fight hypertrophic cadiomyopathy.
Michael Lewis enlighten his thoughts about the event- the fundraising and the heart disorder they are fighting to. He shared that he, as well, was diagnosed of a heart condition called atrial fibrillation, and he hopes that through this event, people will be more aware and educated about those heart conditions, and will always strive to live a healthy life, and live their lives normally.

After the event, the 49ers representatives together with the group, headed to the Stanford Medical Center to the Cardiac Care section, and visited the children suffering with heart problems. They also conducted room by room visits to other patients, taking pictures and signing autographs, aspiring to put a smile on their faces, to hopefully uplift their spirits, to help the children fight their own battle against the illness.

As the event ended, the group was able to raised over $10,000, surely a good amount to help the fight against hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

More than just Dhani of the Cincinnati Bengals

Dhani Makalani Jones pronounced as dah-HA-nee, is known to be the NFL linebacker for the the Cincinnati Bengals. But more than that, Dhani is also into basketball, wrestling, an avid bicyclist, actor, TV analyst, photographer, an accomplished bowtie company owner, musician, a traveler, and more! A traveler? Yes! In his recent series Dhani Tackles the Globe,” which airs every Monday at 9 p.m. on the Travel Channel, Dhani travels around the globe, exploring every country, every city, and every locale, where he endeavors to communicate with the community, discovering their culture and history, and exploring what the community has to offer to the public (the bests places to eat, drink, shop, etc.) and shares it to the viewers.
Through the show, and through Dhani, the series aims to show the connection between sports and culture of each locality. Every filming of each episode seemed to be a new experience for the 31 year old bachelor. There had been Dhani learning the Thai culture and the martial art of Muay Thai in Thailand; playing the sport of Schwingen in Switzerland; experienced dragon boat racing in Singapore; learned the art of kickboxing in Cambodia; exploring what it takes to be an Australian Surf Life Saver; and many more. Surely, Dhani loves his job, where he can truly say he’s enjoying the best of both worlds- that is, sports, and traveling.
But the trick is how can he manage to divide his time for taping, for the game practice, and for other important endeavors this busy man is engaged with? Surprisingly, Dhani managed to split his hectic schedule to travel between San Diego, New York, Cincinnati, and even to Washington D.C., to visit his family as often as he can. In fact, there were times where he had missed the Bengals offseason workouts because of the film, but Dhani, on the other hand, haven’t shown any regrets telling he’s taking his chances and it was a risk that he has to take.
Definitely, there’s nothing to stop the 10 year veteran from moving and fulfilling his dreams. Jones told that he wants to expand his knowledge, explore the world, and share them all to the people as much as he can.

Andre Tippett of the New England Patriots, a Jewish Sports Hall of Famer.

Andre Bernard Tippett, the New England Patriots’ former linebacker in the NFL, and now its Executive Director for Community Affairs, had been awarded the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame last April 26, 2009.
Originally a Baptist, Andre converted to Judaism when he got married to Rhonda Kenney in 1997. Today, they already have three daughters namely Jenea, Asia and Madison, and a son, named Coby.
Tippett had spent his entire 12-year career with the Patriots, where he had received plenty of honors and awards, for himself and for the team as well. Formerly selected by the Patriots in the 2nd round of the 1982 NFL Draft, Tippett had been chosen to five Pro Bowls in his career, where he recorded as 4th among all the linebackers in history of the league- having 100 sacks in 151 games, with an average of 0.662 sacks per game. Tippett was also awarded the AFC’s Linebacker of the Year by the NFL Players Association for the 1885 till the 1987 seasons. Andre was also named to the NFL Films All-Pro team in 1984, the Newspaper Enterprise Association co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1985, and the UPI AFL-AFC Defensive Player of the Year, also in 1985. Aside from being a pro football player, Tippett is also a licensed Godan/5th degree black belter.

The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, located at Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack, N.Y., is devoted to acknowledge and honor exceptional Jewish individuals who outshines in the field of sports. The Hall of Fame aims to remind us that in this world where racism and discrimination is still inescapable, in terms of sports- everything and everyone are equal.

Lucas reunited with the Seattle Seahawks; Griffith reunited with Seahawks’ Head Coach.

Both cornerback Ken Lucas and fullback Justin Griffith signed with the Seattle Seahawks last April 27, 2009.

Ken Lucas, who plays as a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL, was selected by the team in the 2nd round of the 2001 NFL Draft. His three seasons with the Seahawks (from 2002 till 2004) was remarkable enough, as he earned the NFL’s NFC Defensive Player of the Week during the 2002 season, ending it with a career high of 82 tackles. He also received the same recognition during the 2004 season, ending the season with six interceptions, two of which against quarterback Marc Burgler of St. Louis Rams.
At the end of the 2004 season, Lucas was released by the Seahawks, until he signed with the Carolina Panthers as an unrestricted free agent, prior to the 2005 NFL season. Just the start of his first season with the Panthers, Lucas did an impressive play, finishing the season with six interceptions. Although Lucas may have done enough for the team, it ended up losing the game against his old team, the Seahawks, which happen to be the 2005 NFC Champions.
Just this March, Ken was released by the Panthers. Until finally, reunited with the Seahawks last April 29.

On the other hand, Justin Montrel Griffith was originally selected by the Atlanta Falcons as 121st pick in the 4th round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He played under the Falcons for four seasons, then became a free agent in 2006, where Griffith, subsequently, became a part of the Oakland Raiders, and stayed with the team for two years.
He was released by the Raiders just this February. Until this April 29, Griffith signed a one year deal with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was reunited with the Seahawks head coach Jim Mora, which happens to be the previous head coach of the Falcons.

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