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Amani Toomer Compares Roger Goodell to a Nazi Gestapo

The potential of an NFL lockout has brought out the worst in all of us. As fans, we’re cranky. The owners want more money and have done a terrific job of making themselves look greedy. The players are annoyed with the owners’ unreasonable negotiating tactics. Since he happens to run the entire show, it should come as no surprise that Roger Goodell has been taking a lot of shots over the past few months.  Does that mean the commissioner should be compared to an officer in Nazi Germany?  I guess that depends on your viewpoint.

Former Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer appeared on ESPN Radio Thursday morning, as Pro Football Talk pointed out, and had some interesting things to say about Goodell.

“I think the way Mr. Goodell has handled this, the way he’s kind of using his power, is like the kind of a Gestapo-type situation, controlling the players, not letting the judicial system do its work,” Toomer said Wednesday. “It rubs a lot of players the wrong way, and that’s why you see a lot of players now lashing out at Mr. Goodell.”

What is he talking about?  Goodell offered to reduce his salary to $1 a year if there is a player strike!  No but seriously, I can see both sides of this.  Goodell has a reputation for being a stern ruler, but the NFL needs someone like that.  When he’s cutting down on concussions and levying larger fines for head shots, it’s tough to argue he isn’t making the NFL safer.  That being said, he tends to lean toward the owners over the players so it’s easy to understand why that pisses the players off in a labor dispute.  But is he a Gestapo?  I don’t think I’d go that far.

Andy Dalton Scrutinized for His Red Hair

Before NFL teams decide to commit a draft pick and potential millions of dollars to a player, they try to find out everything they can about the young man. They do background checks, investigations, talk to coaches, and occasionally ask you to break dance. Seriously. But the latest level of scrutiny easily beats all others. As Pro Football Talk noted from Peter King’s column, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton’s hair color can even be a cause for concern.

King wrote in his column that “At least one team is thinking not just about Dalton’s brains but also about what’s on top of them. “Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” a coach asked one reporter last week. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”

If Andy Dalton slips in the draft, you think he’ll hire a lawyer to file a suit alleging fur discrimination? You think Larry David would take the stand as a witness citing his theory of baldness bias? It could happen and frankly, I’m not sure the world is ready for it. Sadly, not even going with a hip mohawk can help Dalton against this sort of scrutiny.

Brandon Marshall, Roddy White Endorse Ryan Mallett as Future All-Pro QB

There are few college players entering the NFL draft who have been more scrutinized than Ryan Mallett. The former Arkansas quarterback has had his background and character questioned, and he even reportedly admitted to drug use during draft interviews. Many people, myself included, wonder about his ability to be a franchise quarterback in leader. Even though he has a rocket arm and can be a great pocket passer, his character concerns remind me of someone like Jay Cutler, who is still getting criticized.

The good news for Mallett is that even if the media questions him, it seems as if his contemporaries support him.

Dolphins Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall stated on twitter Tuesday “Listen to me. Ryan Mallett will be an All-Pro Qb.” Falcons Pro Bowl receiver Roddy White agreed with Marshall, and B-Marsh later called Mallett the “hip Matty Ice.”

I’m sure Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland appreciates hearing Marshall’s scouting breakdown of Mallett, but that’s not exactly what he’s around for. Still, hopefully the Dolphins take the subtle hint and realize they need a new quarterback. I’ve gathered that they’re interested in Colin Kaepernick, and picking at 15 he’ll likely be around while Mallett may not. Bottom line, they need a QB and should draft accordingly.

Cam Newton Struggles to Call an Audible in Jon Gruden Football Camp

People who had draft concerns about Auburn Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton had them reinforced if they saw his session with former coach and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden. During his meeting for Gruden’s quarterback camp, the former coach put him on the spot and asked him to call an audible. The results were not pretty, as Sports by Brooks showed us:

I’m not going to exaggerate and tell you that this means Newton is a horrible quarterback who won’t be able to succeed in the NFL. I’ll also add that things get too complicated sometimes and that just doing playground-style football works best at times. This doesn’t mean that Cam won’t be successful in the NFL, but it’s an important clip because it shows why some people have concerns about Cam’s ability to succeed at the next level. If he didn’t have to use complex language in play calling in college, will he be able to adjust in the pros? This video would suggest it would be difficult for him.

In the end, a clip like this shouldn’t change how you felt about Newton before. If you felt he would be successful in the NFL, you probably still feel that way. If you thought he wouldn’t do well, this will only aid your belief. As for me, I’ve felt all along that he would only be an average NFL quarterback. Maybe he’ll have some spectacular moments here and there and some ugly moments, but I don’t think he’ll be the special player he was in college in the NFL.

Ryan Mallett Reportedly Admitted to Drug Use During Draft Interview

Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett is thought to have the best arm in the draft, but he’s also facing obstacles in gaining approval from NFL teams. There have been some serious character concerns for Mallett, including his rough interactions with the media which drew comparisons to Ryan Leaf. Additionally, there have been widespread rumors about Mallett’s drug use throughout college and an analyst saying Mallett is a “Caucasian street guy” like Eminem or Vanilla Ice. Even Mallett’s coach at Arkansas, Bobby Petrino, tried to improve Mallett’s slang because of concerns over image and appearance.

Though Petrino and Mallett have defended his character, a report from Pro Football Weekly says the young quarterback actually admitted to drug use during a draft interview.

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Ben Roethlisberger Keeps Reminder of Super Bowl Loss in His Bathroom

Ben Roethlisberger’s goal is to win more Super Bowl rings than any other quarterback in NFL history. He missed a big opportunity in February when he played poorly in Pittsburgh’s loss to the Packers so he’s using the defeat as daily motivation.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Big Ben shared something he’s done to remind himself of the loss. “The day I got back, I took my nameplate from my locker — ‘Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl XLV’ — and it’s sitting underneath my mirror in my bathroom. I want to see that every day.

It hurts a lot. To see that every day is just motivation for me to work out, to bust my butt to not let it happen again because I want to be a champion. And, right now, I’m not a champion.”

It’s cool to read that Roethlisberger is motivated to win and that he uses the loss as a daily reminder to improve, but there’s just something weird about placing the name tag in his bathroom. When most of us think of Big Ben and restrooms, we think of this. Maybe it’s a P.R. ploy to cleanse our minds, but sorry Ben, not working here. But oh yeah, keep doing what you’re doing buddy.

via Pro Football Talk

Greg Olsen Kicked Off High School Field Trying to Practice

With the NFL lockout going on, one issue players have been facing is finding a place to practice. Unlike when business is operating normally, players are locked out of their teams’ facilities and must find their own place to work out. Some athletes like Matt Hasselbeck and John Carlson have resorted to practicing in store parking lots while other practice at local fields. Unless you’re Bears tight end Greg Olsen, in which case you’re finding that to be a challenge.

On Thursday, Olsen went on the radio in Chicago on ESPN 1000 and said he had a tough time practicing. “The other day I got kicked off a high school field trying to go out and do some field work, so it’s not easy,” he said. Olsen continued, “I live right down the street from Stevenson. The other day I went out there, done it a bunch of times, and all of a sudden they kicked me off. I tried calling everyone over there to see if I could, and no one would call me back.”

Since doing the interview, Olsen has complained that the story was blown out of proportion. I guess that could be possible, but forgive me if I’m wrong here but wasn’t Olsen the one who shared the story and made it public in the first place? How can you complain about your words being twisted when you’re the one saying it? Anyway, that’s besides the point for me. What stands out to me is that this is another example of a football player finding it tough to practice because of the lockout. If there weren’t one, Olsen would probably be getting in work at Halas Hall with some of his teammates instead of worrying about hanging out at high school fields.