Saturday, April 22, 2006


I guess Roger Goodell -- while still the front runner -- isn't out of the woods yet.


NFL-25 4/21/06

The eight-member ownership committee leading the search for a new NFL
commissioner has selected the executive search firm of Korn/Ferry International to assist in
the process, committee co-chairs Jerry Richardson and Dan Rooney announced today.
Korn/Ferry International (NYSE:KFY) is one of the world’s leading executive recruiters,
having conducted more than 100,000 senior-level searches since its founding in 1969. Based
in Los Angeles, Korn/Ferry has 70 offices worldwide and has worked with many of the world’s
top companies. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paul Reilly will lead Korn/Ferry’s team
on the NFL search.

The members of the search committee, in addition to Richardson and Rooney, are Al
Davis of the Oakland Raiders, Lamar Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs, Woody Johnson of the
New York Jets, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys, Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots,
and Mike McCaskey of the Chicago Bears.

The committee will consider in the search process individuals of diverse experiences
both inside and outside the NFL and assist the league’s full ownership in reaching a
consensus on the person to be chosen as the league’s next commissioner. The selection of a
new commissioner requires the approval of 22 of 32 clubs.

The committee will report to the clubs on a regular basis during the search process,
including at a regularly scheduled league meeting on May 23-24 in Denver.
Paul Tagliabue, who has served as NFL commissioner since 1989, announced on
March 20 that he is retiring.
# # #

Lavar Arrington Becomes A NY Giant; Signs Deal For 7-Years At $49 Million - AP

NEW YORK -- LaVar Arrington signed with the New York Giants on Saturday, giving him a chance to play twice a year against his former team and helping fill a huge gap at linebacker for the NFC East champions.

Arrington agreed to a $49 million, seven-year deal late Friday, according to Kevin Poston, one of his agents. Poston didn't say how much was guaranteed but Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi indicated that it includes performance bonuses.

Arrington reportedly had been seeking as much as $18 million guaranteed and a $58 million deal, one reason Arrington stayed on the market while dozens of other players signed during the first few weeks of the free-agent period.

"We needed a big, power player to add to our defense and LaVar Arrington is that," Accorsi said. "He has a presence about him and he makes us a better football team.

"The agreement is a fair deal for the player and a fair deal for the organization."

Arrington, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft and a three-time Pro Bowler, bought his way out of Washington in March for $4.4 million after a tempestuous final two seasons in which he suffered from knee injuries and was benched by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for freelancing. He took a physical with the Giants on Thursday to ensure that his knees were healthy.

He joins a defense that features the defensive end tandem of Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora, who last year combined for 26 sacks. Both made the Pro Bowl and Umenyiora, in his third year, was an All-Pro.

Arrington also fills a huge hole for the Giants, who lost all three starting linebackers late last season to injuries and went into the playoffs with a backup and two recently signed free agents.

Last week, the Giants signed free agent Brandon Short, who played for them from 2000-2003. The addition of Arrington means the team could turn its attention to another position in the first round of next week's draft, perhaps cornerback or defensive tackle.

Poston said Green Bay, Jacksonville and Miami all were in the running for the 27-year-old Arrington. But in the end, he said, his client decided that he wanted to play against Washington twice a season and for Tim Lewis, New York's defensive coordinator.

"It came down to LaVar feeling most comfortable going to a good team in a familiar division with a defensive coordinator that he loves," Poston said.

Texans Now Talking Contract With Reggie Bush...And Mario Williams

A bit interesting this Houston Chron story, because just a day ago, Bush said he didn't want a $30 million signing bonus. A comment I'm sure sent his agent in search of Pepto Bismal.

April 22, 2006, 1:30AM
Bush, Texans try to hash out a deal
Team negotiator, USC star's agent exchange ideas

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

One week before the NFL draft, the Texans intensified negotiations with running back Reggie Bush in an attempt to get the Heisman Trophy winner from Southern California signed in time to make him the first overall pick.

Vice president of football administration Dan Ferens, who handles negotiations, exchanged contract proposals with agent Joel Segal. There are expected to continue negotiations as the Texans try to sign Bush before the draft.

Although no one in the organization will admit it publicly, owner Bob McNair prefers the top pick to be signed by the time commissioner Paul Tagliabue announces the Texans' selection at 11 a.m. on April 29.

Neither side would comment Friday on the negotiations.

The primary issue will be guaranteed money. Quarterback Alex Smith, taken first by San Francisco last year, received $24 million in guaranteed money. Segal is expected to argue that Bush deserves more because players almost always get an increase from the previous year.

How much more could be a sticking point. The Texans, known for overpaying players, will argue that Bush is a running back and doesn't deserve a huge increase over what a quarterback was paid the previous year.

The Texans also are interested in North Carolina State defensive end Mario Williams. He's the best defensive player in the draft. Ferens has been in contact with Ben Dogra, who represents Williams.

Apple I-Pod - Video Introduction By Steve Jobs

The Apple I-Pod is as common and present as the car, and far easier to maintain. But seriously, it's fascinating to see the impact -- for good and bad -- this product has on American society. Some people use it to litterally tune out the World -- especially at the gym. Others buy it to download and liten to podcasts.

But with all this, it's easy to forget that the I-Pod was introduced with little fan fare in 2001. In this Video, Steve Jobs not only introduces the then-new device, but presents us with the simple and powerful business logicv behind it.

For example, he states that music is something we all consume to some degree. He's right.

Here's Steve Jobs presenting the I-Pod.

The Great Chinese Fake-Out

When I first saw this title, I thought it was a Chinese CIA-type leak. But it's a pretty interesting take via Maureen Dowd. By the way, how is it that the New York Times manages to have op-ed columnists who's writings constantly reach the top of Technorati searches? What's up?

The Great Chinese Fake-Out
By Maureen Dowd
The New York Times

Dick and Rummy are in Karl's old office, eating Chinese leftovers.

"Serves Karl right, by golly," Rummy says. "He's so arrogant. Won't listen to anybody about anything. Goodness gracious, imagine having somebody in such an important job who doesn't take any advice or pay attention to dissenting opinions. An autocrat ruthlessly ruling over his own little kingdom. Even Laura can't stand his peacock-preening."

Dick grunts his assent, his mouth full of ginger-scented dumplings.

The Bush mandarins are feeling more sweet than sour. It's been a fun week, sidelining Rove, firing the C.I.A. officer who was a source for reporters (including for The Washington Post's Pulitzer-winning articles) on the agency's overseas gulag, plotting against Iran, messing with China's head, rolling like a Tiananmen tank over the retired generals who tried to lead a democratic uprising against Rummy.

"Here's to winning the Battle of the Potomac," Rummy said with a wolfish grin, clinking Scotch glasses with Dick. "Another tactical mistake by the military."

The Kid whizzes down the West Wing hall on his Razor scooter. "Hey, dudes, listen to my fortune cookie," he calls out. " 'Though effective, appear to be ineffective.' " Dick and Rummy exchange knowing looks.

"Hu's on first?" Rummy howls, and cracks up, as he does every time he makes the joke. "Those Commies got what was coming to them. They're still trying to figure out how we could ruin Hu's trip by letting some woman with a press pass from The Falun Gong Gazette onto the White House lawn to heckle him.

"How the Dickens do they think? We let her in! That little Commie thought he could come here and act like we're the second-rate power, like we're supposed to kowtow to him just because China can call in its marker anytime on hundreds of billions of our national debt. This is America! We love dissidents on the press platform, as long as they're dissing the president of some other country."

"Hu let her in?" Dick says out of one side of his mouth. He may be laughing, or it may be a coronary.

"You let her in!" Rummy yelps, never tiring of their Abbott and Costello routine. "Boo-hoo," Dick growls. "Poor Hu."

"If we can let a male prostitute into presidential press conferences, why not a Falun Goolagong propagandist?" Rummy says. "What a gas that was, having the White House announcer call the People's Republic of China the Republic of China, as if we didn't know the difference? We know, all right. Taiwan's our democratic ally.

"What have the Commies done for us? They're killjoys who tolerate negotiations without end. They opposed the Iraq war. They're worthless on North Korea. They don't want us to bomb Iran. They support Chavez, or any other left-wing, U.S.-hating nut with the oil they need. They think we shouldn't be throwing our military might around to run the world. They believe in all that Sun Tzu 'It is best to win without fighting' piffle.

"They flood our markets with junk, knowing that Americans will spend all their savings on SpongeBob SquarePants dolls, video games and DVD's, while the Chinese people save their money because the Commies don't allow them to buy our junk.

"If Hu wants somebody to kiss his ring, he should have stayed in that other Washington. Those computer geeks and coffee beanheads treated him like a conquering hero. They're such die-hard liberals, but they don't seem to give a good google about a little censorship or mind collaborating with the state's crackdown on human rights crackpots when it comes to their Chinese meal ticket. They saw him coming and said, 'Ya-Hu!' "

They hear an echoing "Ya-Hu to you!" yodel coming from the hall, and the scooter races into the room. "Is Hu-Man mad at me for manhandling him?" the Kid asks pleadingly. "Is Karl mad at me for unmanning him?"

Dick shakes his head reassuringly.

"I like Josh!" the Kid says. "He did a good job in the 2000 campaign heading up Bikers for Bush."

He pops a wheelie and is off.

"The Kid thinks it's a real staff shake-up," Dick scoffs.

"Yeah," Rummy chuckles. "Throwing overboard a press spokesman who we'd been throwing overboard every day for three years. How painful was that? We might have shuffled the cards — including Andy — but we're still dealing. The Kid's wheeling and we're dealing."

They spooned into their leftover dessert from the Hu lunch, "Good Fortune melon three ways," sure that it would always be their way or the highway. They knew they would be hungry for power again an hour later.

Photo credit: Maureen Dowd (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times)

The Apprentice Introduction - "Money Money"

What's fun about The Apprentice other than the strategy, battles, hot women, and who gets fired, is the introduction. Without the O'Jay's song, "Money" it would be nothing. But you can thank Trump and Mark Burnett for giving the legendary R&B singers the proper platform for their timeless tune.

Here's "The Apprentice"

The Autumn Wnd - Oakland Raiders Theme and Video

"The Autumn Wind" is a poem associated directly with the Oakland Raiders. The "Autumn Wind" was written by NFL Film's Steve Sabol. Sam Spence wrote the music to Autumn Wind (the Raiders Theme music) and the late NFL Films announcer John Facenda is the voice you will hear reading "Autumn Wind." The video version appears below.

"The Autumn Wind is a Pirate,
Blustering in from the sea,
With a rollicking song,
He sweeps along,
Swaggering boisterously.

"His face is weather-beaten,
He wears a hooded sash,
With a silver hat about his head,
And a bristling black mustache.

"He growls as he storms the country,
A villain, big and bold,
And the trees all shake
and quiver and quake,
As he robs them of their gold.

"The Autumn Wind is a Raider,
Pillaging just for fun,
he'll knock you around,
and upside down,
and laugh when he's conquered and won."

DeAngelo Williams Is One Of The Top Draft Backs - See This Video

The Houston Chronicle profiled University of Texas - El Paso running back DeAngelo Williams one week before the NFL Draft. We've also got a video of his best touchdown runs. You can see how he accelerates to the hole, and how well he runs out of the "I" formation.

April 19, 2006, 10:13PM
White says he's Mr. Big
Williams offers a compact option at running back

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

Reggie Bush has dominated the headlines and the pre-draft banter, but he is hardly the only running back expected to be a first-round selection in the NFL draft April 29.

The talk surrounding other backs is much quieter, but Memphis' DeAngelo Williams, USC's LenDale White and Minnesota's Laurence Maroney likely will be selected before the second round begins.

Williams, who donned No. 20 in college, is often compared to another No. 20, Barry Sanders, because of his running style and his 5-9, 214-pound frame. He is a durable back who carried the ball more than 300 times each in 2004 and 2005. During his senior season, he led the nation with 1,964 yards rushing.

White originally was expected to go soon after Bush. But with a torn hamstring leaving White unable to work out, Williams has climbed on many teams' draft boards.

"I'm not one of those guys that's looking back," Williams said. "I'm not looking for LenDale White to pass me or Reggie Bush to pass me. I turned my rearview mirror off a long time ago. I'm chasing."

USC's Bush is expected to be drafted by the Texans with the No. 1 pick. It isn't as clear where the other backs will go. Last year, Ronnie Brown (second), Cedric Benson (fourth) and Cadillac Williams (fifth) were selected among the top five.

That won't be the case again. Teams in need of backs likely will find Maroney, Williams and White available in the bottom half of the first round. Williams is the smallest of the trio; White is a big back, measuring 6-0 3/8 and 245 pounds. Maroney is 5-11 7/8 and 217 pounds.

"That's what helps me a lot in this draft, just because how big I am," White said. "DeAngelo and Reggie are in a class of their own and then you have the in-betweens like Maroney. And I think how big I am and how strong I am helps me out a lot. I'm kind of happy to be in this class because you get a lot more touchdowns when you're big."

White led the nation with 24 touchdowns last season. He also topped 1,000 yards for the second consecutive year.

Maroney, who shared time with Marion Barber in 2003 and 2004, rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Minnesota. Some consider him a perfect fit to replace Edgerrin James in Indianapolis because of Maroney's vision and smooth running style. The Colts pick 30th in the first round.

Despite always sharing time with other running backs at Minnesota, Maroney said it will benefit him as a pro.

"Actually it was fun splitting time with a guy like Marion Barber," Maroney said. "We both brought something different to the table, kept defenses on their toes, not knowing what they're going to get. We always had fresh legs in the game, so splitting time was never a problem. We never had any complaints about who had the ball."

With college finished, the prospects have spent the past few months trying to convince NFL management they can be the next breakthrough back.

Last season, Brown and Cadillac Williams had significant impact on their teams as rookies.

Even though White, Maroney and DeAngelo Williams realize they will not be the first back selected on draft day, they want to prove they will be successful.

The first step in that process is finally discovering where they will play.

"That's the thing about it, everybody has poker faces around here," DeAngelo Williams said. "Everybody's playing with a World Series of Poker face.

"They all smile the same; they all ask you the same questions."

The Video: