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Bengals Draft DT with Criminal Record

Clearly disturbed by the Miami Dolphins infringing upon their reputation as the most delinquent team in football, the Bengals responded in the only way they knew how: they used the NFL draft to stockpile on questionable character characters. That’s right, the team with more jail birds than Pro Bowlers added yet another bad dude, drafting DT Jason Shirley from Fresno State in the 5th round. And whatever the Bengals lost from their criminal record when they cut Chris Henry, they certainly got back with Shirley:

The 6-foot-5, 330-pound former Bulldog was suspended for Fresno State’s first two games for conduct detrimental to the team.

Shirley was then arrested after crashing his car into an apartment building Oct. 8.

He was charged with three misdemeanors: hit-and-run, driving under the influence, and driving with a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, according to The Fresno Bee.

Shirley was suspended from the team for the season, but returned four weeks later when athletic director Thomas Boeh reversed his decision. Shirley had medical documents that showed a concussion he received days before the crash, the Fresno Bee said.

His reprieve didn’t last long: Shirley was dismissed from the team almost one month later. He was cited on suspicion of driving with a suspended license and expired tags.

I do have to say it is reassuring that Marvin Lewis says the Bengals did their homework on Shirley before taking him. Clearly he fits right in with the team concept. Give him one or two years in the league, that rap sheet will take up half the page here at LBS. I sure am looking forward to his time in Cincy. Carry on Bengals, carry on.

Packers Send Message to Rodgers, Favre

And that would be … we don’t need you, old man, and … we’re not satisfied with you, young man. The Packers matter of fact passed this message onto Favre a few days ago by placing the QB on the retired/reserve list, even though Favre hinted yet again that he might be interested in coming back. The message was made pretty clear to Aaron Rodgers late in the day on Saturday, when with the 56th overall selection, the Packers made Brian Brohm the third quarterback chosen in the draft. How’s that for a confidence builder if your Rodgers. Nothing says “you’re our franchise quarterback” quite like drafting a “backup” in the 2nd round.

I don’t get the pick for multiple reasons. For the obvious reason, it’s not exactly going to work wonders to Rodgers’ confidence. If you’re Green Bay, you want your former first-round pick to become your franchise guy and to feel secure in the job. He already has the unenviable task of having to replace an irreplaceable legend, and now he has some hot-shot second round pick breathing down his neck. What they eff are they trying to do to Rodgers? Besides that, now they’ll have 2nd round money and 2nd round roster pressure invested into Brohm. You don’t just take a quarterback in the 2nd round and only expect him to be a solid backup; you take a guy in the 2nd because he impresses you enough to be a starter. If you’re just looking for more quarterback depth and a potential backup to Rodgers, you take one on the second day, like in the 5th or 6th round or something. But taking the third quarterback in the draft, in the 2nd round no less, tells me they’re not counting on Rodgers as a long-term answer. I don’t know how you could possibly spin it any other way, Ted Thompson.

(note: that picture really doesn’t have to do too much with the subject of this post, I just couldn’t resist the urge, for obvious reasons.)

Spygate Tapes Like Girls Gone Wild Video

The infamous Jay Glazer who somehow procured a copy of the Spygate video tapes has been making the rounds lately to promote his participation in a Subway commercial. The NFL on FOX reporter did a little stop and chat with A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin on Thursday and spent most of his time reminding all of us how cool he is. But then he actually strayed from his regimen of self-aggrandizement to give us this nugget about the Spygate tapes:

The tapes go back and forth between… Well, the first part of the tape, the guy recording it , all he’s focusing in on are the butts of the Jet City Dancers. He’s going from chick, to chick, to chick, and then you see, like, Tom Brady step in and then he’ll [the dude taping it] hit the coaches a little bit, but when there’s a break? He goes into the stands and then focuses on T and A. It is classsssic. It is like Spygate meets “Girls Gone Wild.”

Yeah, so in that respect it’s just like any other camera guy shooting the “scenic” shots for a game. Glazer does go on to say however, that the tapes show the Pats were blatantly trying to steal signs in their taping. He also says he and his friends watch em when they come over for parties. I guess in that respect they’re also similar to GGW tapes. It will be interesting to see what comes about with Goodell’s meeting with Walsh next month. I’m guessing things will get ugly for the Patriots.

Bill Parcells Might Want That One Back

We’ve all heard analysts get their share of predictions wrong over time. It happens. But we don’t often hear about the bad calls coaches make. I guess we only see it when they get fired. Anyway, Washington Redskins TE Chris Cooley is the latest athlete to begin blogging at Yahoo! Sports. In his first entry, he tells the story of the day he got drafted. Prior to being drafted in the 3rd round to the Redskins, Cooley says he flashed back to a visit with the Cowboys and Bill Parcells:

My mind drifted back to a trip to visit the Cowboys. Everything was great until I made my way into Bill Parcell’s office. After sitting down, the first words out of his mouth were, “I’ll be honest, the reason you’re here is because we like you as a special teams player. I don’t think you’ll ever be a starter in the league. We’re thinking about taking you around the sixth round.”

Let’s see, 27 touchdowns, three straight 700-yard seasons, and not a game missed in his entire four year career, I’d say Parcells could have been wrong about that one. Let it be a lesson to all aspiring players out there: believe in yourself and continue to work hard. Even Bill Parcells gets em wrong from time-to-time. Very wrong. Not like any of his teams could have used a Pro-Bowl tight end, right? Didn’t think so.

Dolphins Tip Hand, Leaning Defense?

It’s so hard to tell when it comes to the NFL draft whether information is just that, or if it’s misinformation. You don’t know what’s been planted by GMs and coaches for purposes of gaining leverage in trade negotiations. But of all the things they say, some turn out to be true. For instance, not long ago everyone thought the Texans were crazy when they talked about building a franchise around defense, with Mario Williams as a cornerstone who would pressure Peyton Manning for years to come. Everybody laughed it off (with the exception of one person I know). At a news conference on Tuesday, Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland did the same thing, only this may have been an unintentional blunder:

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Brett Favre Already Unretiring?

Last month I was uber-skeptical of Brett Favre’s sudden, unexpected retirement. Sure, he had contemplated it the past few seasons, but coming off the great year he had and near Super Bowl berth, what possessed him to retire? I wondered if it had anything to do with the Packers being unable to pry Randy Moss loose from New England. Then last week the LA Times reported that Favre’s agent was quietly contacting teams to gauge their interest in Brett, which the agent denied. And now we have these comments from Brett to the Biloxi Sun Herald:

When asked if he would return to football if the Packers called because of team injuries, Favre said:

“It would be hard to pass up, I guess. But three months from now, say that presents itself, I may say, you know what, I’m so glad I made that decision. I’m feel very comfortable in what I’m doing and my decision.

The rigors of staying in shape seem to be the only issue keeping Favre from giving an unequivocal “yes” answer to this question, but saying it’s “hard to pass up” is a pretty telling statement. I thought something was up when he abruptly retired last month, like there were external factors pushing him out. The fact that he says he would have a tough time passing up an opportunity says to me this dude really wasn’t set on retiring, and that something was pushing him out of the game.

Urlacher for Ocho Cinco, Anyone?

Commenter JS emails in with the most intriguing proposition. As a Bears fan, he suggested to me, a Bengals fan, that the teams swap problems and trade Brian Urlacher for Chad Johnson. Honestly, upon further review, Urlacher for Ocho Cinco could be the apotheosis of a win-win trade. There are several reasons why this trade would be only too perfect for each team. For starters, they’re each Pro Bowl players. There is no question that you are getting one of the Top Five players at their positions with these two guys. They’re each currently unhappy with their status on their teams. Urlacher is skipping workouts and wants a new deal. Ocho Cinco wants to go to a different team where he can start over. Why not swap them?

Now that Bernard Berrian has signed with Minnesota, the Bears have lost any sort of playmaking ability they might have had on offense. They truly need a game-breaker — someone who can provide Rex Grossman a serious target, someone who can put fannies in the seats, and I don’t just mean Greg Olsen. The Bengals on the other hand have one of the weakest linebacking corps in the league. They had to sign Dhani Jones who was cut by Philly because they were so thin at the position. What’s more is that each team is dealing from a position of strength, so it’s not like they would lose too much. The Bengals still have All-Pro T.J. Houshmandzadeh at WR, ditto for the Bears with Lance Briggs at LB. Now honestly, given all this information, tell me one reason why these teams shouldn’t be on the phone ASAP working out this deal. Broncos and Redskins dealt Champ for Clinton, right? Why can’t this work?