Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Steelers take look at Louisville receiver Urrutia

Steelers take look at Louisville receiver Urrutia

The Pittsburgh Steelers Monday�took another long look at another tall receiver, which was on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's wish list for 2008.

Louisville's Mario Urrutia, who is 6-5 , 232 pounds, is spending part of the day at the team's training facility. Urrutia, a junior, caught 35 passes for 501 yards last season, which was disrupted by a turf toe injury.

Independent scouting services consider Urrutia a late-round draft pick, at best.

Pacman won't apply for reinstatement until after trade
Pacman Jones said on the Michael Irvin radio show Tuesday that he would wait until he's traded before applying for reinstatement from his year-long suspension from the NFL. Jones was expected to apply for reinstatement Tuesday according to the Dallas Morning News.

Jones, a cornerback for the Tennessee Titans, has been suspended since last April for violations of the NFL conduct policy. The Dallas Cowboys continue to be in trade talks with Titans.

"I'm hoping it will be done this week, but that's just agent talk," Jones said on the radio show of reports that his agents believe a deal can be completed. "We'll see how it goes and I'll be tuning in and I'm going back to my house and get in front of the TV and hope it will get done today."

The Cowboys increased their offer for Jones, according to a source, and Jones has made some financial concessions, including forgoing some incentive money due to him, to help facilitate a deal.

Will he stay or will he go? Strahan won't say
Michael Strahan had his annual meeting with the New York Giants general manager last week, but he told Jerry Reese that he's not yet ready to make any decisions about his future according to a report in the New York Daily News.

That meeting, which was first reported by the NFL Network, was confirmed by a team source and it apparently lasted for about an hour at Giants Stadium, just a few days after Strahan returned from his African vacation. The 36-year-old defensive end had said he hoped to make up his mind whether or not he wants to retire before the NFL Draft.

The draft is now just 12 days away. It's not clear exactly what Reese and Strahan discussed, and whether any of that included Strahan's desire for more money. He has one year left on his contract and is due $4 million, but co-owner John Mara has said the team is open to possibly sweetening his deal. A friend of Strahan's said the Giants' willingness to do that could nudge him in the direction of playing one more year.

He's my best friend, best of all best friends ...
Terrell Owens and Andy Roddick have their cell phones set that this song plays as the ringtone when one of them calls the other.

The Titans continue with the Pacman Jones price gouging
The line to acquire Pacman Jones is exactly one team long. And yet, the Titans continue to act like there are 20 teams bidding to acquire his services, and they keep jacking up the price on the Cowboys.

According to The City Paper of Nashville, the Cowboys originally offered a late-round pick, but the Titans are insisting on a 4th-round pick "plus more."

It seems like that's an awfully bold stance to take, considering that Pacman (pictured to your right, after having settled for his second choice, after learning that the "Feed the Strippers" t-shirts were sold out) is not currently eligible to even wear an NFL uniform.

I understand that the Titans want to get all they can, and obviously, there's nothing wrong with that. But I wonder if they aren't overplaying their hand a bit. If the Cowboys end up saying, "No, you're asking too much," and closing the door on negotiations, then what?

What are they going to do, keep him? Yeah, that's a fantastic idea, if you're looking for a fan revolt. And I don't mean that fans would stop coming to the games ... I'm talking about an actual violent revolt. I'm talking about Pacman getting loose on a punt return, and just as he breaks into the open field, every paying ticketholder in section 109 running onto the field with bats and clubs and knifes and murdering him. I'm talking about Pacman diving into the stands after a touchdown, and never returning to the field.

Just something to think about it during negotiations, Titans.

Giving her the ol' 'exotic smashmouth'
Michael Turner stars as Jerome Bettis in ... Exotic Smashmouth. Sounds like something you'd have to be 18 or older to see, or a sailor on shore leave to perform.

Russian roulette among episodes Walker reveals in new book
Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, once played Russian roulette with a loaded pistol as he struggled with a personality disorder.

"To challenge death like I was doing, you start saying, 'There's a problem here,' " he said during an interview broadcast Monday night on ABC's "Nightline."

Walker suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder. His experiences are chronicled in his book, "Breaking Free," which is released this week. Walker, 46, was a standout running back at Georgia. He played for four teams — Dallas, Minnesota, Philadelphia and the New York Giants - in a 12-season NFL career.

The NFL schedule fairy is visiting today!

As I'm sure you know, at 2 o'clock ET today, the NFL announces the schedule for the '08/'09 season. ESPN's airing a special 2-hour show to commemorate the occasion (I'm primed and ready for a hefty offseason dose of Emmitt Smith), and the NFL Network is, of course, having a special of their own.

Keep in mind, this isn't even really a true unveiling of the NFL schedule. Everyone already knows who they're going to be playing, and where they're going to be playing them. At 2 o'clock, the NFL simply announces the order of the games. ESPN is having a two-hour special to breakdown the order of NFL games.

I would say that's ridiculous, but we're talking about a Tuesday afternoon in the middle of April. What else am I going to do with those two hours? Watch Law & Order reruns on TNT? As the World Turns? Bring it on. I might even liveblog the damn thing.

And from NFL Total Access, here's a video preview of today's schedule announcement. That's right, a preview of people talking about the order of this year's games.

I'm not waiting for the regular season to start the ogling

One of the worst things about the NFL offseason is that the opportunities to post cheerleader pictures are rare. For today, at least, we get a brief reprieve.

All around the country right now, teams are having open competitions to determine who exactly will be the targets of your binoculars at NFL games this year. FanHouse's Stephanie Stradley was fortunate enough to judge the first rounds of the Texans cheerleader tryouts, and the Hater Nation checks in with an update on the Chargers cheerleading tryouts.

Four-hundred women showed up for the chance to be Charger Girls, and that will have to be trimmed down to 28. The competition is stiff.

You might also be interested in the knowledge that Stephanie's FanHouse post includes a photo essay, and that the San Diego Union-Tribune also has a large photo gallery of the tryouts. Unless you happen to be the lotion spreader for one of these squads, David Brooks of SignOnSanDiego.com has a better job than you do.

Which NFL teams are getting the primetime love?

I've counted up the number of national television games (including Thursday nights, a Saturday game, Thanksgiving games, Sunday night games, and Monday night games), and here's how it breaks down:

Six National Games:
Dallas Cowboys

Five National Games

Four National Games:

Three National Games:
Two National Games:

One National Game:

Zero National Games:

Quick reactions:

•�The freaking Bears get four games? Awesome. Four times this year, our undivided attention will be on the Grossman/Orton/Griese double-headed suckmonster. Outstanding.

•�I thought the Dolphins might get at least a little bit of early-season shine. The involvement of Bill Parcells makes them intriguing, and early on, people might want to tune in and get a look at the #1 overall draft pick. Nope.

•�I'd like to thank the schedule-makers for keeping the Brodie Croyle-led Chiefs, and the possibly Chris Redman-led Falcons out of primetime. That's a beneficent and merciful decision.

•�The TV people are absolutely sold on the Browns, it appears. The Steelers and Eagles each getting five games isn't a surprise, as they're consistently a good TV draw, even if the teams aren't very good, but the Browns? Checking in with more games than the Patriots or Colts? Color me surprised.

•�I'm a little disappointed that the Packers get four games, too. Aaron Rogers won't be able to hide, and I've got a hunch that in those broadcasts, there might be some talk about Brett Favre. They probably won't overdo it, though.