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Jeff Fisher: Vince Young Still has Ability to Win in NFL

It’s been a long, long ride for Vince Young in the NFL, and he hasn’t fit in with Jeff Fisher most of the way. First off it was owner Bud Adams who wanted to draft Young, so the team did. Fisher, the longtime Tennessee coach, didn’t want to play him at first but Adams essentially ordered that he be played. Young lost respect when he reportedly asked out of a playoff game, and as recently as 2009 it seemed he wanted out of Tennessee. Then this past season Young was benched by Fisher in favor of Rusty Smith and supposedly was disrespectful towards Fisher in the locker room. Needless to say, the two didn’t exactly get along swimmingly while they were together in Tennessee. That’s why it was so surprising to hear Fisher praise Young in an interview with NFL Network.

“Vince has won a lot of games. He’s led teams to the playoffs before, and I believe he can [win in the NFL],” Fisher said. “It’s just a matter of him finding a place that suits him and be in the right place and working hard, but he certainly has that ability.”

Chalk this up to Fisher being nice? As many coaches have previously said, if Young can’t get along with Jeff Fisher, you’re going to have a hard time in the NFL. I agree that VY has the talent to win in the NFL but the biggest obstacle is his attitude and ability to work with coaches and teammates. He needs to mature and grow as a role model the way a proper quarterback should, but like Fisher says, he has the ability to win.

via Rotoworld

Chad Ochocinco Gets Challenged by PBR to Ride Bull in Duluth Event

Last week we told you that Chad Ochocinco was planning to ride bulls during the NFL lockout on the Professional Bull Riding tour. Now we have some details on the actual event.

PBR COO Sean Gleason issued Ochocinco a challenge which he accepted (no surprise). Here are the details for the challenge:

> Show up at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, get on a bull and the PBR will give Ochocinco $10,000

> If Ochocinco successfully rides that bull for the required 8 seconds, the PBR and Ford Trucks will give Ochocinco a brand new Ford F-150 with EcoBoost Engine, as well as allow him to permanently rename the bull as he chooses

> If Ochoccinco does not show up for the challenge, the PBR will permanently re-name the bull “#58 No Show Cinco.”

I kind of like that name — No Show Cinco. The Bengals would have done well last year if it weren’t for No Show Cinco. I wonder what NFL team will trade for No Show Cinco when the lockout ends. Tom Zbikowski wanted to fight but too bad No Show Cinco was too scared. Ha, this is fantastic.

Ty Murray told LBS in February that the PBR wasn’t going to rest until SportsCenter was playing PBR highlights. I guess this was one way of achieving that goal because you know everyone will want to see No Show get bucked off a bull. That will be the highlight of the offseason.

Chad Ochocinco to Ride Bulls in Lockout with PBR

NFL players are finding different ways to spend the lockout. Some are trying careers in new sports, others are getting in trouble, while dedicated players are leading offseason workouts. Chad Ochocinco is one of the players who has tried another sport (check out his soccer tryout for KC), and it looks like he’ll be trying a third pro sport.

Ocho wrote on his twitter account Thursday “Due 2 the lockout I’ll be participating n the PBR as a professional bull rider n Duluth,GA. May13th-14th Lil Taco … Valdiron de Oliveira vs. Lil Taco May13th-14th Duluth,GA. Who coming to watch the longest 8 seconds of my life?”

I have no idea if Ocho is serious or not, but given the way this guy operates I’m going to have to assume it’s not a joke. And if there was any doubt about the sincerity of Ocho’s tweet, the PBR’s official twitter retweeted his tweet, making it seem like this is the real deal.

So there you have it, Ochocinco will be riding on the PBR. My only question is how he’s going to pull this off. What’s he going to do, ride on a mechanical bull? Tryout a donkey? No way he does this, right?

Chest bump to Eye on Football

Rashard Mendenhall Dropped by Champion for Osama bin Laden Tweets

For those of you wondering how long it would be before Rashard Mendenhall started suffering monetary consequences for his Osama bin Laden tweets, we have your answer. It only took three days for sports apparel company Champion to drop Mendenhall.

Champion announced the news in a statement that was posted by Game On! The text of their full statement:

Champion is a strong supporter of the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall, who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers. While we respect Mr. Mendenhall’s right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best.

Couldn’t have put that better myself. Mendenhall tried to cover his butt with a “clarification” he wrote on his blog Wednesday, but he didn’t address his comment that he couldn’t believe an airplane took down the World Trade Centers. It’s that comment that loses me and most people. If I were in Champion’s position, I would have distanced myself with Mendenhall as well.

The good news is people have freedom of speech in this country. Unfortunately, you don’t have the freedom of consequence as Champion’s actions have shown us.

How Three Dumb Draft-Day Trades Crippled the Carolina Panthers

It was only 2008 when the Carolina Panthers were 12-4 and tied for the best record in the NFC. In those playoffs, Jake Delhomme went vintage Delhomme with six turnovers against the Cardinals, paving the way for Arizona’s Super Bowl run. Sure, Jake’s collapse into a colorblind quarterback who kept throwing the ball to the other team weighed heavily on their issues, but how is it possible that the Panthers destructed from 12-4 to 2-14 in only two years? How could they have had the seventh best offense in football in ’08 and by far the worst last season? If you want to find out where things went wrong in Carolina (besides with Jake Delhomme), you don’t have to look further than three horrific trades made by GM Marty Hurney (pictured).

In the 2008 draft, the Panthers picked Jonathan Stewart with their first selection. Then they decided they wanted to hit the Daily Double and traded a second, fourth, and first-round pick in ’09 to move back into the first round to take Jeff Otah with the 19th pick. They surrendered a first rounder, second rounder, and fourth just for another first-round pick. Does that sound like good value to you? Of course not. And the worst part is Otah was hurt last season and has only played 25 games in three years.

As a result of the Otah trade in ’08, the Panthers didn’t have a first-round pick for ’09. Because they had a 12-4 season, they were picking at the back of the draft and didn’t have a selection until the 59th overall pick. That wasn’t good enough for Carolina, so they decided they had to get into the action and made another absurdly foolish trade. They traded their first-round pick in 2010 just to get a second-round pick. Yes, a first for a second. Does it get any dumber than that? Their logic was that Everette Brown was still around with the 43rd overall pick and they rated him as a first rounder, plus with Julius Peppers leaving, so they needed another pass rusher. Still, the math sucks — you don’t trade a first for a second.

Now if you thought Carolina’s draft day stupidity ended there, you would be wrong.

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Willie Parker: Redskins Are about Partying

Willie Parker’s dropoff in production and relevance has been swift. He was once considered to be one of the fastest running backs in football, and his greatest accomplishment was running for a 75-yard touchdown in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks. Injuries and the strain of hundreds of carries sapped Parker’s speed, and the Steelers got rid of him.

Parker signed with the Washington Redskins last season and ended up being released before the season began after he suffered a groin injury. You can’t really fault the Redskins for cutting a running back who was old and banged up, but it left a bitter feeling with Parker. In fact, Parker shared some of his feelings during an interview on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.

“Being in Washington, they don’t care about football. I didn’t feel good from day one there,” Parker said. “They weren’t about football. They were about partying. You appreciate Pittsburgh a little bit more after going somewhere else and seeing what another team has to offer.”

Parker also took a shot at owner Daniel Snyder when comparing him to the Steelers’ owners, but that’s about as unfair of a fight in the octagon between Big Bird and Elmo. It’s no surprise to hear Parker make those comments. The Steelers have had a reputation of being a classy, no-nonsense organization. Daniel Snyder gets routinely turned down by big-name coaches and offers embarrassing insults towards others.

I can’t speak about the issue of partying, but I do know the Steelers are said to have a pretty straight-edge reputation. Well, except for their quarterback and wide receiver who seem to have been distracted the past year.

You can listen to the entire interview here

Drew Brees Covering Most of Saints’ Workout Costs During Lockout

A football team is only as good as its leader. Sometimes that leader comes in the form of a head coach, while other times it’s a player. In New Orleans, the Saints turn to their quarterback.  Sean Payton is a tremendous coach, but there is no questioning the fact that Drew Brees is the most important leader for the Saints.  Otherwise, they would have more trouble putting together organized team workouts with a  30-plus player turnout during the lockout.

Not only has Brees done everything necessary to make sure his team is practicing together during the labor dispute, he’s even covered most of the cost.  According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, via Pro Football Talk, the man who allegedly played through two serious injuries a season ago has reached into his own pockets to make sure his team can continue workouts.

The Saints signal caller has paid for Tulane staff to help out during practices and flown in his personal trainer to oversee the team’s conditioning program.  He also arranged for the Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine to provide insurance for those who need it, and he provided lodging for some of the younger players on the team.

Brees is going to make a lot more money than his teammates, but that doesn’t mean he has to do this stuff.  I can’t think of a better way to show your commitment to the team than by tapping into your own bank account to keep workouts on schedule.  Think about it, we’ve seen some players resort to working out in parking lots during the lockout, so there is little doubt New Orleans is going above and beyond. If the Saints win the Super Bowl in 2011, this will be what everyone turns to as a main reason why.  Every NFL team should have a Drew Brees.