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LeCharles Bentley Almost Died from Staph Infection

Here’s your quick background on the Bentley. He was drafted in ’02 and quickly became a Pro Bowl center with the Saints. By 2006, he was one of the top free agents on the market (Drew Brees was another), and the Browns signed him to a big deal. Given the Browns’ luck, Bentley injured himself on the first play of practice in minicamp! Bentley was out for the year with the knee injury, but then he developed a staph infection that delayed his return by several months and even threatened his life. I had no idea that staph infections, which were pretty prominent on the Browns, could even be fatal. Check out his response on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio when asked his thoughts when the doctors were talking about amputating his leg:

At that time [getting my leg amputated] was the least of my concerns. It was more of me making it through the night and living. The amputation was possibly the best-case scenario. Purely through the grace of God, I’m here, I’m whole, and I’m ready to play football and be a contributor somewhere at a high level.

Being able to do the things now that I couldn’t do, little things just like going up and down stairs, for months and months I wasn’t able to do, I just get excited about it. The fact that I’m back running and lifting and cutting and doing all these football-like things — it was like man, I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to do. Two years ago, it was a concern of me being able to walk normal, getting my gait back normal, but here I am now doing these things.

I’m still stunned that staph infections have the potential to kill. That’s crazy to me. It’s nice to see that he’s made a comeback and will be ready to play in the upcoming season — that’s a story I can’t get enough of. As for potential suitors, Bentley responded to the rumor about him going to the Vikings by saying he’s open to any option but surprised the Vikings would have interest in him given how good their line already is. As for the Raiders, he says he’s always liked their colors. Hopefully he can get signed and return to Pro Bowl form. That would be a nice, success story.

Kardashian and Bush Talking Marriage?

Nothing can get a player focused on the upcoming season quite like planning a wedding. Not to mention dealing with a wife and kids at home. With that in mind, I present the latest words from Kim Kardassian on her relationship status with Reggie Bush and the possibility of marriage:

“That’s definitely where we are heading,” the reality star told Usmagazine.com at a Celebrity Family Feud taping in L.A. Saturday when asked about marriage.

“That’s something that we do talk about,” she said. “I think that when you spend so much time with someone who is such a big part of your life, that’s definitely the future.”

Nothing quite like marrying a woman you know RayJay was all over filming vids. Something about that would just leave a permanent taint in my eyes. But whatever Reggie, it’s up to you. Some advice if I may: Tony Gonzalez. That’s a man who knows how to operate.

Justin Tuck Has Jeremy Shockey’s Back

A big topic over the last month of the season that spilled into the offseason was the Giants and their relationship with tight end Jeremy Shockey. Shockey broke his leg in the third to last game, one which the Giants lost to the Redskins. The Giants then beat Buffalo without him, and put up 35 points in a three-point loss to the Patriots in the final week of the season without him. And what the Giants did in the playoffs — all without Shockey — you don’t need me to refresh. So the talks began to stir up that Eli and the Giants were better off without Shockey, and there was a lot of speculation that Shockey resented the success his team had without him on the field. Well, regardless of what the media wants to drum up, Giants defensive end Jason Tuck, who was one of the best players in the Super Bowl, had Shockey’s back in some comments made on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio:

For me, he’s a great teammate. [He's] a guy who loves to win and he loves to get the football — for good reasons. He’s probably a top three, four, five tight end in this league right now. I think what happens is he’s frustrated when we’re losing and he lets it show, and I think people take it the wrong way. I haven’t had anything negative to say about him ever, and won’t because he’s a great teammate. He’s the type of person you love to have on your team and you hate to have him against you because he goes out there and plays 100% every play.

There you go, so can we close the book on this issue now? I hope so. As for Tuck’s comments, true, Shockey can be one of the top few tight ends in the league. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Giants are better off with him, however. Without him in there, Eli clearly had more confidence, and he also targeted Amani Toomer a lot more. So no, Kevin Boss is not a better player than Jeremy Shockey, but for the Giants, Boss was a better fit. End of story.

Cedric Benson Continues to Repair Image

I actually was beginning to feel sorry for Cedric Benson given the way he responded to the arrest for drunken boating not long ago. After hearing the comments his mother and some of the witnesses made, I was buying Benson’s side of the story. Even if you didn’t believe completely buy Benson’s side, there still had to be some doubt in your mind. Well, how did Benson respond to garnering some sympathy for saying he was abused by the police? By going out and getting a drunken driving arrest, of course!

Benson has done his usual job of covering things up, naturally. He refused a blood test and breathalyzer and was released on bond (taking notes, gentlemen?). He said he wasn’t drunk or driving impaired and that he crossed an intersection while the light was yellow. He had an answer for everything. But my favorite quote, and the one that sums things up best, comes from Bears GM Jerry Angelo who said, “Disappointment is too much an often-used word when we’re talking about Cedric. The No. 1 lesson for every player is: Protect your job. We’re all held accountable for our actions. I’m not going to say any more than that until we know for sure what the facts are.” No more facts are needed to come to the conclusion Angelo did. Benson is just one big disappointment. Guy needs to lay off the booze and get prepped for the season. Man, is there any wonder why he’s not exactly a favorite amongst his teammates?

Parcells Pulling ‘The Player’ Crap Again

We’ve been over this before back when the Tuna was in charge of Dallas. He obviously clashed with Terrell Owens, which isn’t much of a shocker given the way T.O. behaved in previous stops at Philly and Baltimore (never amounted to be a stop). Even with the way T.O. destroyed the Eagles — which he did — I’m not quite sure Owens deserved the lack of respect he was given by his head coach. Parcells never referring to him by name, but as “The Player,” was a childish game that probably wasn’t necessary. And now that Parcells is gone, T.O. had a great year and has been rewarded with a superb contract, and he hasn’t even been a problem. Well, looks like The Tuna never learned his lesson since he’s up to the same tricks again:

In his interview with The Palm Beach Post (and in other quotes that have been published so far) he didn’t mention Taylor by name, instead referring to him as “the player,” just as he did with Owens two years ago.

“We’re not actively trying to trade the player, I can tell you that,” Parcells said. “We have never been actively trying to trade the player. We’re not trying to do that.”

Associated Press reporter Tim Reynolds said during his 30-minute interview Parcells called Taylor “the player” once and otherwise didn’t name him at all.

See, I missed this part of the story. I knew that yesterday Parcells kissed and made up, if not because he realized his errant ways, but maybe because he realized it would provide him more trade leverage if it appeared Taylor would play with the Dolphins this year. Why I ask, why must he call him “The Player?” How disrespectful is that? What’s the reason for it? Taylor’s priorities may not be in line with the team’s current mission and that of the younger players, but he’s still the franchise player. Give him the respect he’s due and at least name him by name. That’s weak Parcells, weak.

DeSean Jackson, Too Cool for School?

DeSean Jackson came into the college football season with plenty of hype, even starting out as a Heisman hopeful. Much like his Golden Bears football team, Jacksons’ draft status and Heisman chances plummeted as time went on. From a sure first-round pick to a late second-rounder by the Eagles, not everything went to plan for Jackson. And even when he was running hot, MeSean struck me as a total I-guy who cares more about individual success than anything else. Some players are just that way, and MeSean is one of them. Well, that suspicion was more or less confirmed by Jason Cole at Yahoo!, whose description of Jackson at camp with the Eagles helps explain why he slipped in the draft:

The problem is that Jackson has this tendency to act like a kid who thinks it’s cool to sit in the back of class and stare at the ceiling tiles with a disaffected attitude. During every individual drill, Jackson was the last in line to do the exercise. When wide receivers coach David Culley stopped to talk to the group, Jackson was the first (and often the only) one to take off his helmet. He looked off in every direction except directly at Culley.

About the only time Jackson seemed to pay full attention was when Reid was observing up close. In the NFL, you have to work harder than just when the big boss is looking.

Hopefully the kid matures and grows up because he doesn’t sound too responsible. I’d like to see him be successful because I want to see Donovan have some decent weapons for a change and we know MeSean has plenty of speed. Man, I can already tell those veterans are going to enjoy putting MeSean in check.

(via FanHouse)

Odell Thurman Could be Worse than Ricky

Aside from being a Bengals fan, what disappoints me most about Odell Thurman is that he’s such a talented player. In his rookie season in 2005, Thurman was the stud on the Bengals defense (yes, I realize that’s like an oxymoron), racking up well over 100 tackles, five interceptions, and five forced fumbles. The guy clearly had tremendous talent. But then he was suspended the first four games of ’06, and that was extended the entire season after he was caught driving drunk. The one thing I never quite understood was why Thurman didn’t get reinstated for ’07 when he applied. I guess there was more going on with Odell we never found out about that caused Roger Goodell to keep him out of the league. And now that he’s been reinstated for ’08, the Bengals finally cut Thurman. And get this, SI says Thurman failed yet another drug test.

Apparently Thurman has admitted to being an alcoholic. I’m guessing pothead must be mixed in there as well. I just don’t get how guys can flush entire careers down the toilet over a matter of drugs and or booze. Sticky Ricky walked away from the game so he could travel the world smoking dope whenever he pleased. Koren Robinson saw his career tailspin due to alcohol and drunken driving. Josh Hamilton was a disaster as a crack addict until he made his way back. Hopefully Odell can do the same, cuz man, did he have talent. And all along I saw what LT did and figured there was an upside to linebackers on drugs … maybe not.