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Marvin Lewis Not Happy to Have T.O.?

The Cincinnati Bengals have certainly had their fair share of problem players in the past.  Marvin Lewis has shown us that he’s not afraid to stick up for some of those players when they’re being criticized by the media, as evidenced by how quick he was to come to the defense of Cedric Benson, who’s arrested about once a year on average.  In fact, I’d even go out on a limb and call Lewis an enabler.

While we’ve yet to hear much from the Bengals coach publicly about the signing of Terrell Owens, sources close to the situation are saying he doesn’t seem thrilled about owner Mike Brown’s decision to bring him aboard.  Bob Glauber of Newsday is reporting that Lewis has “reservations” about the T.O. signing — although he may not be showing it — and that he’s not entirely in favor of the move.  Here’s what Glauber wrote about Lewis’ opinion on the pairing of Owens and Ochocinco, courtesy of Pro Football Talk:

He’s got big concerns,” a source with “direct knowledge” of Lewis’ mindset told Glauber.  “T.O. is more than just a receiver, and Marvin is aware of the potential for problems.”

In other words, Lewis is willing to defend criminals but it sounds like he’s nervous about bringing in another loud mouth.  I can’t say I blame him really, as T.O. and Ochocinco have the potential of turning into a huge headache.  The fact that they’re best friends is either going to translate into one of the best receiving duos in the NFL or the league’s most exquisite circus act.  Then again, given Ochocinco’s history with TD celebrations, it could very well end up being both.

Source:
Report: Lewis not “entirely on board” with Owens addition [ProFootballTalk]

Patriots Will Bring Young, Underrated Defense in 2010

There’s been a significant amount of chatter over the last couple of seasons that the New England Patriots are a franchise in decline, and rightfully so. Tom Brady has not signed an extension with the team and will turn 33 before the start of the 2010 season.  David Tyree’s miraculous catch prevented New England from enjoying the greatest season any team could ever put together.  Key pieces from their three-time Super Bowl champion roster like Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, and Richard Seymour are no longer a part of the team.  They were embarrassed by the Ravens in the opening round of the playoffs last season.  Bill Belichick’s legacy took a major hit as a result of Spygate, and he missed his chance at quieting the critics when the Pats lost to the Giants in 2008.

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Bengals Onus Falls on Carson Palmer

The Cincinnati Bengals were 25th in the league out of 32 teams last year in passing yards per game. Although their 10-6 record and AFC North title would suggest they had an excellent season, the Bengals lacked greatly in the air game. Quarterback Carson Palmer only had one 300-yard passing game — week 15 when the Bengals dinked-and-dunked up and down the field in San Diego. Their passing problems were magnified late in the year when the team threw for fewer than 150 yards in five of the final seven weeks (including the playoffs).

Coming off a year where Carson Palmer hurt his elbow and Ryan Fitzpatrick captained the league’s most impotent offense, the Bengals were expected to turn things around drastically. Only things didn’t work out that way. Laveranues Coles was signed to replace T.J. Houshmandzadeh but he never got on the same page with Palmer. Chris Henry provided somewhat of a deep threat but he broke his forearm and then later sadly died. While Chad Ochocinco served as the lone consistent receiving threat, something seemed to be off with the team, and it was more than the just the weakened receiving corps; the Heisman Trophy armed quarterback from USC was the problem.

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T.O. and Ochocinco: A Match Made in…

Brace yourselves everyone. T.O. and Ochocinco are coming to a town near you. The 36-year-old Terrell Owens agreed to deal with the Cincinnati Bengals on Tuesday. Win or lose, it should at least be as good HBO’s Hard Knocks.”

The question now is, of course, will this be a match made in heaven or hell? Well, that just depends on who you are and what week of the season it is. Right now it’s honeymoon time and Twitter accounts are aflutter with excitement over having the two reality stars on the same roster. By week eight, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if Cincinnati starts showing up on the midseason bust list and is more entertaining for self-destructive incidents than football.

At 36, T.O. is not half the player he once was, tallying the least productive season of his career since starting in the league with San Francisco. Optimists and Ohio sports fans looking to bounce back from LeBron can get excited for this, but with two personalities that big out on the flanks, the odds of this working are slim to none. Even if T.O. does not end up displaying the same character issues he offered in in Philadelphia and Dallas, career lows across the board are not going to make this a worthwhile signing for the Bengals.

I can only wish my most sincere good luck to QB Carson Palmer. The passing game was so poor for the Bengals that the guy actually campaigned for T.O. to sign with Cincinnati.

Samuel L. Jackson Reps the Atlanta Falcons in New Commercial

Samuel L. Jackson never met a script he didn’t like. Perhaps then it’s no surprise to see him pimping the Atlanta Falcons in a commercial for their ticket sales department despite Jackson being born in D.C, growing up in Chattanooga, and living in Los Angeles. I guess his ties to the Falcons come from his days at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Regardless of how Rev. Sultan swung this gig, it’s pretty amusing and worth watching. Check out this Samuel L. Jackson Atlanta Falcons commercial via The Sporting Rave and Jimmy Traina’s Hot Clicks:

If that video does not make you want to buy Falcons tickets, then nothing will. Right on, Rev.

Sources:
Samuel L. Jackson Wants Atlanta Falcons Fans to Rise Up [The Sporting Rave]
Samuel L. Jackson rallies Falcons fans [SI Hot Clicks]
Video Credit: BigDawgJP

Dez Bryant Already Irritated with Media Attention From Pads Story

On Sunday we told you about the mini-controversy at Dallas Cowboys training camp where Dez Bryant refused to carry veteran Roy Williams’ shoulder pads as part of the rookie initiation process. With the Cowboys being who they are and their owner loving to be the center of attention, everything that happens with the team is blown out of proportion. Such was the case for the Bryant shoulder pad story, and Dez is not happy about it.

With fans chanting “Leave Dez Alone,” in the background, Bryant responded to questions to the media while signing autographs. To say he was agitated is an understatement — he was visibly upset:

“I’ve been doing the right thing. I’m going to continue to do the right thing. Everybody on the team likes me and I like everybody on the team. Y’all are trying to put me and Roy against each other that’s not going to happen.”

Bryant has just learned his first lesson about being a member of “America’s Team.” Everything that happens with the Cowboys becomes something bigger than it is. If Bryant didn’t already know to, he’s quickly learning to watch his step and maybe he now understands Tony Romo’s difficult position where every action is questioned. Whatever target the media lost when the Cowboys cut T.O. they now are trying to fill with Dez. Clearly he wants no part of it, but avoiding it is nearly impossible to do.

Sources:
Dez Bryant: Shouldn’t Have to Say Anything [Dallas Cowboys]

Nate Newton’s Lost 133 Pounds and His Sex Life Is Great!

When you’re an obese person, your weight and overall size becomes a part of your personality. Whether it makes you more loving or more intimidating, being large helps identify someone. That was certainly the case for longtime Cowboys left guard Nate Newton who weighed around 320lbs during his playing career and had ballooned to nearly 400 pounds in retirement. Well Newton showed up to Dallas Cowboys training camp and was hardly recognized. As Pro Football Talk alerted us, Newton underwent a stomach surgery and has shed nearly 135 pounds in the past few months since the surgery.

Newton told The Dallas Morning News that the inspiration for the lifestyle change was the death of his father, making Newton feel like he wanted to ensure he was healthy to be around for his own son. In addition to the stomach surgery, Newton has changed his eating habits and begun exercising on a regular basis. His diabetes is in remission and his blood pressure is lower. And he’s hardly recognizable now that he’s only around 260lbs. It’s incredible! Oh yeah, and as he said in this video on the Cowboys site, his sex life is great!

SKINNY NATE NEWTON PICTURE (before and after)

Sources:
Nate Newton wastes away [Pro Football Talk]
The Cowboys biggest loser: Nate Newton edition [The Dallas Morning News]
Photo Credit: SportsGrindEnt on Twitter