Thursday, September 14, 2006

Reggie Bush Voted Rookie Of The Week By Diet Pepsi



Winner Selected By Fan Vote on and Via Sprint Wireless Service Voters on and via Sprint wireless service have made their choice. Running back REGGIE BUSH of the New Orleans Saints is the DIET PEPSI NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK for games played on September 7-11, the NFL announced today.

Bush ran for 61 yards on 14 carries and caught eight passes for 58 yards in the Saints’ 19-14 victory over the
Cleveland Browns. Bush, who added three punt returns for 22 yards, recorded 141 all-purpose yards in his NFL debut.

More than 38,500 fans voted this week on and via Sprint wireless service. Bush was selected from among five finalists. The other finalists were running back MIKE BELL of the Denver Broncos, defensive back CORTLAND FINNEGAN of the Tennessee Titans, punter RYAN PLACKEMEIER of the Seattle Seahawks and linebacker DE MECO RYANS of the Houston Texans
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on and via Sprint wireless service throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLI in South Florida.

This is Pepsi’s fifth year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the second year that Diet Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.


Wk 1 RB Reggie Bush (Southern California)


280 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
(212) 450-2000 * FAX (212) 681-7573

Joe Browne, Executive Vice President-Communications
Greg Aiello, Vice President-Public Relations

NFL 9/12/06
NFL Games Top Ratings in 27 Local NFL Markets

Beginning with the Thursday night NFL season opener, viewers across the country tuned their televisions to NFL games in impressive numbers last week.

Fox’s doubleheader game on Sunday (mostly Cowboys-Jaguars) was the week’s mostwatched show (22.7 million viewers), while the Sunday night opener on NBC (Colts-Giants) ranked second (22.6 million viewers).

NFL games topped the local ratings in 27 of 29 NFL markets*(*New Orleans data excluded by Nielsen).

Following are the NFL markets where football was the top-rated program for the week of September

Week of 9/4 - 9/10 HH HH RTG
Market Game Date RTG SHR Rank
Pittsburgh Dolphins @ Steelers 9/7/06 50.5 67 1
Indianapolis Colts @ NY Giants 9/10/06 43.3 58 1
Milwaukee Bears @ Packers 9/10/06 39.1 61 1
Buffalo Bills @ Patriots 9/10/06 37.9 69 1
Dallas Cowboys @ Jaguars 9/10/06 32.2 54 1
Kansas City Bengals @ Chiefs 9/10/06 31.2 57 1
Denver Broncos @ Rams 9/10/06 28.5 59 1
Jacksonville Cowboys @ Jaguars 9/10/06 28.2 45 1
Chicago Bears @ Packers 9/10/06 27.5 50 1
Charlotte Falcons @ Panthers 9/10/06 27.4 51 1
Cincinnati Bengals @ Chiefs 9/10/06 27.1 57 1
Tampa Ravens @ Bucs 9/10/06 26.1 48 1
Philadelphia Eagles @ Texans 9/10/06 25.1 53 1
St. Louis Broncos @ Rams 9/10/06 24.0 49 1
Nashville Colts @ NY Giants 9/10/06 22.4 32 1
Miami Dolphins @ Steelers 9/7/06 22.1 32 1
Boston Bills @ Patriots 9/10/06 21.5 52 1
Seattle Seahawks @ Lions 9/10/06 21.2 49 1
Baltimore Ravens @ Bucs 9/10/06 19.9 43 1
Detroit Seahawks @ Lions 9/10/06 19.1 38 1
Phoenix 49ers @ Cardinals 9/10/06 17.8 33 1
New York Colts @ NY Giants 9/10/06 17.7 26 1
Houston Eagles @ Texans 9/10/06 16.9 33 1
Washington, D.C. Colts @ NY Giants 9/10/06 16.9 27 1
San Diego Colts @ NY Giants 9/10/06 16.6 28 1
San Fran./Oakland 49ers @ Cardinals 9/10/06 15.7 39 1
Minneapolis Dolphins @ Steelers 9/7/06 14.2 25 1
* Local affiliate & ESPN combined
Source: NFL & Nielsen Media Research

NFL General Council Jeff Pash Interviewed By Bob Ley of ESPN



ESPN’s Outside the Lines

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ley: Let’s say good morning now to the executive vice president of the National Football League, Jeff Pash. Good morning, Jeff.

JP: Good morning, Bob.

Ley: If you think of the popularity of the NFL as a pie chart in front of you, how big a slice of the popularity of this league is because folks can bet on it?

JP: Very, very small, Bob. People like the NFL, and our popularity is a result of the great players, the coaches, the close and exciting action, and the physical nature of the game. It doesn’t have anything to do with gambling or point spreads for the vast, vast majority of people who follow the NFL.

Ley: Even though those in the gaming world point out that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year? And point out that fall Sundays like this are, by far, the high blips in revenue handle?

JP: It might be the high blip in a revenue handle, but it’s a small, small slice of the overall pie. Keep in mind, people who point to that are people that have an interest in promoting gambling and an interest in using the NFL as a vehicle for their own operation.

Ley: What’s the league’s position? Do you want online gambling on the NFL prohibited?

JP: Absolutely. It is prohibited. That’s our position. We think that law today, both federal and state law, stops this and the legislation that Congressman (Jim) Leach, Congressman (Bob) Goodlatte, Senator (Jon) Kyl and others are supporting would give law enforcement additional enforcement tools. But the question of whether it’s legal or not, that’s been answered a long time ago.

Ley: (It’s illegal) to take bets, but folks at home, according to experts now, can legally make a bet.

JP: You have to have someone to take the bet and complete the transaction. Ley: Two to tango?

JP: Exactly.

Ley: What does the league gain by prohibiting it?

JP: We’ve always said there needs to be a clear-cut separation between gambling and the NFL. It’s an “integrity of the game” issue. It’s a “perception” issue. One of the things that gives us the popularity that we have, Bob, is people believe our games are honest. People believe there is that separation and they respect it. You can look at other sports where that separation hasn’t been quite so clear and their popularity has, rather sharply, declined. That’s not the case with the NFL.
Ley: You heard the US Attorney that is prosecuting this case talk about the money leaving the country untaxed and unregulated. If it was taxed and it was regulated and there was piece of the pie to be derived to the leagues involved
here, what would your league’s position be?

JP: We could take money today. We could take advertising from casinos and the like. We don’t do that now. We’re not looking for money. It’s not a money issue to us.

Ley: Jeff Pash, the NFL executive vice president. We appreciate you taking the time this morning, Jeff.

JP: My pleasure, Bob.



Following is a list of injured players for Week 2 Games (September 17-18):
Detroit Lions
OUT TE Casey Fitzsimmons (Wrist); WR Shaun Bodiford (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE G Ross Verba (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Casey Fitzsimmons; Shaun Bodiford; Ross Verba
Chicago Bears
QUESTIONABLE WR Justin Gage (Rib); S Chris Harris (Ankle); DT Tommie Harris
(Ankle); LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (Concussion); DE Israel Idonije
(Ankle); TE Gabriel Reid (Back); RB J.D. Runnels (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Chris Harris; Gabriel Reid
New Orleans Saints
OUT RB Keith Joseph (Knee--Injured Reserve); RB Mike Karney
(Calf); S Bryan Scott (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE DE Michael Haynes (Back); DT Rodney Leisle (Knee)
PROBABLE CB Dejuan Groce (Hamstring); LB Terrence Melton (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Keith Joseph; Mike Karney; Bryan Scott; Michael Haynes
Green Bay Packers
OUT T Junius Coston (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE G Jason Spitz (Thigh); RB William Henderson (Knee); CB Will
Blackmon (Foot)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Junius Coston; Jason Spitz; Will Blackmon
Carolina Panthers
OUT LB Dan Morgan (Concussion)
QUESTIONABLE WR Steve Smith (Thigh); RB Nick Goings (Thigh); C Justin
Hartwig (Groin)
PROBABLE LB Jason Kyle (Shoulder); DT Jordan Carstens (Elbow); LB Na'il
Diggs (Knee)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Dan Morgan; Steve Smith; Nick Goings; Justin Hartwig
Minnesota Vikings
PROBABLE RB Ciatrick Fason (Shoulder); CB Will Hunter (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED All Players Practiced
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OUT G Davin Joseph (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE G Dan Buenning (Ankle); TE Dave Moore (Rib); LB Shelton
Quarles (Groin)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Davin Joseph; Dave Moore
Atlanta Falcons
QUESTIONABLE LB Edgerton Hartwell (Knee); DE John Abraham (Groin)
PROBABLE RB Fred McCrary (Foot); WR Roddy White (Hamstring); DE
Patrick Kerney (Triceps)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Edgerton Hartwell; John Abraham; Roddy White; Patrick Kerney
Oakland Raiders
QUESTIONABLE CB Nnamdi Asomugha (Foot); DE Kevin Huntley (Foot)
PROBABLE TE James Adkisson (Knee); QB Aaron Brooks (Knee); TE John
Madsen (Ankle); LB Sam Williams (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Nnamdi Asomugha; Robert Gallery; Chris Carr; Kevin Huntley;
Sam Williams
Baltimore Ravens
QUESTIONABLE RB P.J. Daniels (Thigh); C Mike Flynn (Ankle); DT Aubrayo
Franklin (Thigh); TE Todd Heap (Back); RB Jamal Lewis (Hip); S
Ed Reed (Thigh); K Matt Stover (Back); TE Daniel Wilcox (Back)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED P.J. Daniels; Mike Flynn; Aubrayo Franklin; Todd Heap; Jamal
Lewis; Ed Reed; Matt Stover; Daniel Wilcox
Cleveland Browns
OUT WR Joe Jurevicius (Ribs); TE Darnell Dinkins (Hamstring)
DOUBTFUL DE Nick Eason (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE S Brian Russell (Elbow); CB Daylon McCutcheon (Knee)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Joe Jurevicius; Darnell Dinkins; Nick Eason; Brian Russell;
Daylon McCutcheon
Cincinnati Bengals
OUT WR Antonio Chatman (Groin)
QUESTIONABLE DE Frostee Rucker (Shoulder)
PROBABLE WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Heel); T Levi Jones (Ankle); CB
Deltha O'Neal (Knee); DT Sam Adams (Knee)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Antonio Chatman; Frostee Rucker; T.J. Houshmandzadeh; Levi
Jones; Deltha O'Neal; Sam Adams
Houston Texans
OUT CB Demarcus Faggins (Foot); CB Phillip Buchanon (Ankle)
PROBABLE C Mike Flanagan (Groin)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Demarcus Faggins; Phillip Buchanon; Mike Flanagan
Indianapolis Colts
OUT RB De De Dorsey (Ankle); DE Josh Thomas (Hip)
QUESTIONABLE TE Ben Utecht (Finger); CB Nicholas Harper (Ankle); TE Ben
Hartsock (Hamstring); CB Tim Jennings (Ankle); LB Freddie
Keiaho (Knee); G Ryan Lilja (Knee); LB Rob Morris (Foot); DT
Montae Reagor (Knee); S Bob Sanders (Knee); G Jake Scott
(Knee); DT Corey Simon (Knee); QB Jim Sorgi (Right Shoulder);
WR Brandon Stokley (Ankle); LB Gary Brackett (Calf); CB Jason
David (Tooth); T Ryan Diem (Hand); LB Gilbert Gardner (Hand)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED De De Dorsey; Josh Thomas; Ben Hartsock; Freddie Keiaho;
Ryan Lilja; Montae Reagor; Bob Sanders; Corey Simon; Brandon
Stokley; Jason David
Buffalo Bills
OUT S Troy Vincent (Hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE S Matt Bowen (Shin); LB Takeo Spikes (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Troy Vincent; Matt Bowen; Takeo Spikes
Miami Dolphins
OUT G Joe Berger (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE CB Travis Daniels (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Joe Berger
New York Giants
OUT RB Derrick Ward (Foot)
QUESTIONABLE G Chris Snee (Ankle)
PROBABLE TE Jeremy Shockey (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Derrick Ward; Chris Snee; Jeremy Shockey
Philadelphia Eagles
OUT CB Lito Sheppard (Ankle)
PROBABLE DE Jerome McDougle (Rib); S Quintin Mikell (Thumb); LB
Jeremiah Trotter (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Lito Sheppard
St. Louis Rams
QUESTIONABLE LB Jamal Brooks (Knee); DT Jimmy Kennedy (Hand); LB Pisa
Tinoisamoa (Foot)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Jamal Brooks; Jimmy Kennedy; Pisa Tinoisamoa
San Francisco 49ers
OUT G Larry Allen (Knee); TE Delanie Walker (Shoulder)
DOUBTFUL DE Parys Haralson (Foot); T Jonas Jennings (Ankle)
PROBABLE TE Vernon Davis (Hip)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Larry Allen; Delanie Walker; Parys Haralson; Jonas Jennings;
Vernon Davis
Arizona Cardinals
PROBABLE DE Calvin Pace (Ankle); G Milford Brown (Ribs); LB Karlos
Dansby (Toe); T Oliver Ross (Knee)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Milford Brown
Seattle Seahawks
OUT LS J.P. Darche (Hip); TE Jerramy Stevens (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE LB LeRoy Hill (Shoulder)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED J.P. Darche(IR-Hip); Jerramy Stevens
Tennessee Titans
OUT DE Antwan Odom (Knee); TE Erron Kinney (Knee)
QUESTIONABLE RB LenDale White (Ankle); T Jacob Bell (Toe); RB Ahmard Hall
(Ankle); G Benji Olson (Hamstring); RB Travis Henry (Toe); DT
Robaire Smith (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Antwan Odom; Erron Kinney; LenDale White; Jacob Bell; Ahmard
Hall; Benji Olson; Travis Henry; Robaire Smith
San Diego Chargers
DOUBTFUL TE Aaron Shea (Back)
QUESTIONABLE TE Ryan Krause (Hamstring); T Leander Jordan (Neck); G Kris
Dielman (Hamstring); DE Igor Olshansky (Knee)
PROBABLE CB Cletis Gordon (Wrist)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Aaron Shea; Ryan Krause; Leander Jordan; Igor Olshansky
Kansas City Chiefs
OUT QB Trent Green (Head)
PROBABLE DE Tamba Hali (Glute); LB Boomer Grigsby (Foot)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Trent Green; Tamba Hali; Boomer Grigsby
Denver Broncos
DOUBTFUL DE Courtney Brown (Knee)
PROBABLE WR Brandon Marshall (Knee); RB Mike Bell (Finger); DE Patrick
Chukwurah (Ankle); RB Cecil Sapp (Hamstring)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Courtney Brown
New England Patriots
QUESTIONABLE TE Garrett Mills (Flu); LB Tedy Bruschi (Wrist); WR Chad
Jackson (Hamstring); T Nick Kaczur (Shoulder)
PROBABLE WR Doug Gabriel (Hamstring); QB Tom Brady (Right Shoulder)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Garrett Mills; Tedy Bruschi; Chad Jackson; Nick Kaczur; Doug
New York Jets
DOUBTFUL C Trey Teague (Ankle)
QUESTIONABLE CB David Barrett (Hip); WR Tim Dwight (Thigh); G Pete Kendall
PROBABLE DE Trevor Johnson (Neck); S Kerry Rhodes (Ankle); CB Derrick
Strait (Chest); LB Matt Chatham (Foot)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Trey Teague; Tim Dwight
Washington Redskins
DOUBTFUL CB Shawn Springs (Abdomen)
QUESTIONABLE RB Clinton Portis (Shoulder)
PROBABLE TE Christian Fauria (Shin); DE Renaldo Wynn (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Shawn Springs; Clinton Portis
Dallas Cowboys
QUESTIONABLE WR Jamaica Rector (Ankle)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED All Players Practiced
Pittsburgh Steelers
QUESTIONABLE TE Jerame Tuman (Hamstring); QB Ben Roethlisberger
(Appendectomy); S Troy Polamalu (Shoulder)
PROBABLE T Max Starks (Knee); WR Hines Ward (Hamstring); WR Nate
Washington (Knee)
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Hines Ward
Jacksonville Jaguars
QUESTIONABLE TE Marcedes Lewis (Ankle); LB Mike Peterson (Knee); S Gerald
Sensabaugh (Ankle); DE Paul Spicer (Groin); DT Marcus Stroud
Listed players who did not particiapate in ''team'' practice:
(Defined as missing any portion of 11-on-11 team work)
WED Practice Not Conducted


From NFL

SEPTEMBER 10, 2006

James Brown: We are thrilled to be joined by the new man in charge of the NFL, Roger Goodell.

Dan Marino: Before we get started, real quick: We go back a little ways, and I figured I have to go to the top guy. The
Super Bowl’s in Miami, I’m going to need some tickets and some favors down there. It’s going to be a big game for us in Miami. Also, If you need a place to stay or anything you’re always welcome to stay with me.

Roger Goodell: I thought we were going to come to you for tickets.

J.B.: We heard you talk a number of times about the unparalleled success of the league as the number one sport in
America. You’re a big technology guy, and you want to improve the game. What in the world can you improve on the

Goodell: J.B., the most important thing is that we are not satisfied with our leadership position, and we keep trying to
find ways to improve the game and make sure that we find new ways in delivering football to our fans.

J.B.: Is there a number one area that you would consider in terms of technology on the field?

Goodell: I think one of the things that would be key for us is trying to find a better communication system between the
players. So let the quarterback be able to come up and call his audible at the line of scrimmage and allow our players
to play at the highest possible level. I think that is important as we go into some of these very noisy stadiums, which is
a great benefit for the home team but you don’t want to penalize the visiting team.

Boomer Esiason: You talk about leadership. The NFL was a leader back in the early ‘90s. I remember and Dan, I
think; we can all speak to this how you guys really combated the steroids, with testing and the NFLPA went right
along with you. Now the drug of choice seems to be human growth hormone. What is in the future of that and will the
NFL test for that?

Goodell: We don’t know if it’s the drug of choice. It’s really an issue that goes well beyond sports also. It’s a drug that
is being used by a lot of people because they want to try to feel younger. We’re not sure about its performance
benefits but the most important thing for us in keeping our leadership position is to make sure we do develop a test,
and there is no known test right now to be able to detect HGH. So we’re working hard with our experts to be able to
develop that kind of a test so that we can make sure that we do everything to protect the safety and health of our

Shannon Sharpe: We all know how important it is to the NFL to have a team or teams in the LA market. What makes
you think now that the LA market is ready for a team or teams when they haven’t been ready in the past?

Goodell: Well, Shannon, I think we’ve got millions of fans in southern California who are dying to have NFL football
back. Our challenge is to try to do it correctly. We want to make sure when we come back it’s a great success and
that’s what the people of southern California are looking for. That’s why we’re working with all of the public authorities
and all of the leadership in the private sector to figure a way to do it correctly.

J.B.: One of the teams mentioned prominently, in that context, are the New Orleans Saints, who by the way, are a
feel-good story. Season ticket sales at an all-time high but we know that corporate support is key to success there.
How long will you give New Orleans a chance to be successful?

Goodell: Well, J.B. you know there are a lot of questions about the New Orleans market right now. None of us seem
to know the answers to those long term about how is New Orleans really going to come back. The NFL has been
there from day one; we brought our team back in there as soon as we possibly could. We are
there as a good strong corporate citizen to make sure that we do everything possible to get that dome back up and
operating which they identified as a key factor in their economic recovery down in New Orleans. So we’re thrilled
about being back there for the opening of the dome in just two weeks.

J.B.: So you’re optimistic about corporate support?

Goodell: I am. I think they’re down there and going to do what’s necessary to make that team successful.

Marino: Commissioner, we want to see how authentic your autograph is. We got a (football), let me get you a pen.

Sharpe: Don’t sign that football; he’ll sell it.

Marino: That’s what I’m going to do when I get my Super Bowl tickets, sell them on EBay.

Goodell (Signing football): This is a change -- me signing something for Dan Marino.

Marino: It’s the real deal.

J.B.: Mr. Goodell thank you so much, buddy. A man that’s been with the NFL all his life.

Goodell: Thank you, guys.

Samkon Gado To Houston Texans For Vernand Morency - ESPN

The bottom line is the Texans should have picked Reggie Bush, then all of these moves would not have been necessary. Now comes the Indy Colts and the first real test of the logic of picking Mario Williams.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers traded running back Samkon Gado to the Houston Texans on Wednesday for another young running back, Vernand Morency.

The trade is pending both players passing physicals with their new team.

The Texans have been looking for reinforcements at running back since Domanick Davis, the franchise's leading rusher, was placed on the injured reserve two weeks ago. Houston claimed 1999 Heisman Trophy Winner Ron Dayne off waivers after he was released by Denver last week.

Coach Gary Kubiak said he made the trade for Gado because he wanted to add a big, power runner to his duo of smallish running backs -- rookies Wali Lundy and Chris Taylor.

Taylor, who has been on the active roster, is currently on the practice squad.

"We feel like it gives us two big, banging-type backs and we've got two younger smaller backs in Wali and Chris," Kubiak said. "We like the way that evens out and we hope he can help us."

Houston's running game struggled in a 24-10 opening loss to Philadelphia where the running backs gained just 55 yards. Morency had five carries for 13 yards.

Gado, in his second-season, was one of the few bright spots in the Packers' 4-12 season last year, advancing from the practice squad to become the team's starting running back near the end of the season. But Gado has struggled to adjust to the zone-blocking scheme being run by new Packers coach Mike McCarthy -- interesting to note since Kubiak employs a similar scheme.

Season-ending injuries to running backs Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport gave Gado, who started just two games in four seasons at Division I-AA Liberty University, an improbable chance to start for the Packers last year.

In eight games, including five starts, he gained 582 yards on 143 carries and scored six touchdowns.

Kubiak said Gado would be valuable in short-yardage situations, but Texans general manager Rick Smith said he thinks he could do even more.

"I think he's already proven that he can be an every-down back," Smith said. "He's a kid that is a power type of back with good speed and balance and agility. So to put him in this offense will be an asset for us."

Morency was a third-round pick in 2005 after running for 1,454 yards and 12 touchdowns in his last season at Oklahoma State. He's a bit older than most second-year players at age 26, having played four seasons of minor league baseball before enrolling at Oklahoma State.

He had 46 carries for 184 yards with two touchdowns in 13 games last season.

Kubiak wasn't too fond of his running style when he arrived in Houston and encouraged him to cut to the hole quicker instead of "dancing" in the backfield. He noted Morency's improvement in that area and praised him after he ran for 95 yards and two scores in a preseason win over St. Louis.

With the trade, Gado will be reunited with former Packers coach Mike Sherman, who was hired as an assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Texans after he was fired by the Packers.

"We've got coaches on our staff who know this player very well," Kubiak said. "We feel good about this kid's chances of helping us."

Gado also brought an infectious sense of optimism into an otherwise downtrodden locker room. Gado, who worked at a Green Bay hospital in the offseason, hopes to become a doctor after his football career is over and return to his native Nigeria to help fight the AIDS crisis in Africa.

Gado was in the middle of an interview session in the Packers locker room on Wednesday when running backs coach Edgar Bennett summoned him to a private meeting.

Gado had just been asked whether the Packers could recover from a 26-0 defeat by the Chicago Bears in their season opener at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

"The season's not over yet," Gado said. "It's just beginning. And we got off on the wrong foot, and I think it's just foolhardy to just go ahead and throw the whole season out."

Gado should arrive in Houston early Thursday and is expected to available for Sunday's game at Indianapolis.

Morency was informed of the trade about 10 minutes before Houston's afternoon practice, Kubiak said.

Trent Green Still Inactive - NFL Says Hit Not A Foul - ESPN

After seeing that Bengals defender Robert Gathers was blocked in the back, I'm forced to agree with this.

NFL says Geathers' hit on QB Green wasn't a foul - ESPN

The NFL ruled Wednesday that Robert Geathers' hit on Chiefs quarterback Trent Green was not a foul because he did not have complete control of his body.

"In other instances this contact might be illegal, since a defensive player has the responsibility to avoid unnecessary contact even when he is blocked by an opponent. However, in this case, the late slide and the block in the back were mitigating factors," NFL senior vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said in a statement.

Green, 36, one of the oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL, was going feet-first into a hook slide right in front of the Chiefs bench. The Bengals' Geathers, possibly pushed from behind at least somewhat by Kansas City wide receiver Eddie Kennison, came flying in. Geathers' right shoulder slammed Green's chest and head and snapped the back of Green's head violently to the turf.

Officials did not call a foul, explaining to the enraged Chiefs sideline that Geathers' momentum had carried him into the player.

"In my opinion, I think it was a late hit. I think it was obviously a very vicious hit,'' Chiefs president Carl Peterson said earlier this week, "one that unfortunately Trent Green and the Kansas City Chiefs are paying a price for."

"In other instances this contact might be illegal, since a defensive player has the responsibility to avoid unnecessary contact even when he is blocked by an opponent. However, in this case, the late slide and the block in the back were mitigating factors."
-- Ray Anderson
However, the NFL disagreed.

The NFL concluded that Geathers was indeed blocked from behind and the Bengals defensive end even twisted his torso to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact.

"I couldn't have done anything different," Geathers said Wednesday, choosing his words carefully and sparingly.

A source close to Geathers told's Len Pasquarelli that the defensive end was prepared to appeal a fine, had one been forthcoming.

Anderson said quarterbacks who want to take advantage of the protection of a slide must start it before the prospect of imminent contact.

He cited a play in the Seattle-Detroit game as an example of an illegal hit. In that case, Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck broke out of the pocket and began a slide. Lions rookie linebacker Ernie Sims, who had the opportunity to avoid contact, drove his helmet into Hasselbeck while another defender, Cory Redding, jumped over the quarterback.

Sims drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Anderson said the play is being reviewed for a possible fine.

Green spent two days in a Kansas City-area hospital for tests, but was released Tuesday. He's out for Sunday's game against the Broncos and a source close to the quarterback told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that he was likely to miss an additional game as well.

Michael Sliver Gives Great Interview With Chiefs Kyle Turley

This interview's a bit different than Sil's general more narrative approach, in that it's Q and A, but he does slip in that we should eat at Dick Clark's restaurant in Overland Park, KS.

Click on the link to read the article.

St. Louis Rams Top Predictable Denver Broncos 18 - 10

Rams ride defense, Wilkins past Denver wire reports

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 10, 2006) -- Jeff Wilkins ' nickname is "Money," as in money in the bank. Thanks to the St. Louis Rams' new-look defense, his franchise-record six field goals was just enough of a deposit.

Wilkins bailed out a shaky offense, accounting for all the scoring in an 18-10 opening victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. In the process, he became the first Ram to score 1,000 points.

"He's almost automatic and when he misses one, you sit there and you're a little bit dejected because you think he's always going to make them," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "We know when the game's on the line or it's really, really important, he's going to make it. He has for years now."

The Rams' aggressive schemes on defense forced five turnovers. Jake Plummer's third interception, by Corey Chavous with 2:26 to go, was the clincher.

"They made a couple of big plays, but we didn't let it shake us up and say: 'Oh wow, here it goes,"' middle linebacker Will Witherspoon said. "We dug back in and stuck our feet in the ground and went back at it."

Plummer, who was 13-for-26 for 138 yards, expects Broncos fans will be clamoring for first-round pick Jay Cutler. The Broncos committed 16 turnovers all last season, and only seven interceptions.

"I'm sure they will," Plummer said. "They've been calling for him since he got drafted."

The Rams defense pressured Jake Plummer into a number of mistakes.
Scott Linehan's NFL coaching debut was a success, but much of it was owed to Jim Haslett, the new St. Louis defensive coordinator who was Saints head coach the previous six seasons.

"I couldn't be more proud of our team," Linehan said. "I think there's no such thing as style points in winning."

Defense ruled for both sides in a game that bore no resemblance to the last time the Rams and Broncos opened the season, a 41-36 shootout won by St. Louis in 2000. The only touchdown was a 1-yard run by Denver's Mike Bell in the second quarter.

Linehan was hired by the Rams after his success reviving the Dolphins' offense last season, and he helped the Vikings rank at the top of the league three straight seasons before that. His attack mostly sputtered in the opener, though, with Bulger looking shaky at times and the Rams mostly settling for short gains.

Linehan scoffed at criticism when the Rams' first-string offense scored no touchdowns in 11 preseason possessions. In the opener the regulars were 0-for-11 again, including the end of the game when they killed the clock at the Denver 6.

Wilkins, who tied his career best of six field goals with the 49ers in 1996, hit two long field goals, from 51 and 48 yards, and also connected from 26, 38, 29 and 24 yards.

"I always try to predict for myself to try and get ready, but six wasn't anywhere near the prediction this week," Wilkins said. "But I'll take it. I love the opportunity."

In the fourth quarter, Witherspoon tipped Plummer's pass for Rod Smith into the arms of Fakhir Brown, and Brown's 20-yard return gave the Rams possession at their 40 with 2:26 left.

Rookie Tye Hill, the Rams' first-round pick, and Chavous also had interceptions. Leonard Little had two of St. Louis' four sacks, forcing a Plummer fumble that ended up giving the Rams the ball at the Denver 3.

The Broncos' defense kept it from becoming a blowout, holding the Rams to only six points off three consecutive takeaways in the first half. St. Louis ran 23 straight plays in Denver territory at one point, but the offense kept stalling.

St. Louis held a 12-7 lead at halftime. Wilkins missed a 44-yarder on a fifth attempt in the half.

The Broncos' lone highlight came in the second quarter when coach Mike Shanahan, trailing 12-0 and frustrated by a lack of production, elected to go on fourth-and-1 from the Denver 31. Mike Bell got 2 yards and the Broncos ended with an 11-play drive capped by Bell's 1-yard run with 26 seconds to go in the half.

New England Patriots Survive Buffalo Bills Challenge 19-17

If J. P. Losman avoids the safety, the Bills may have escaped with a win.

Patriots squeak past Bills, 19-17 wire reports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Sept. 10, 2006) -- The scoreboard looming over J. P Losman as he scrambled behind the Bills ' own goal line showed a tie game. Ty Warren was determined to change that.

"My priority was to get him in the end zone," the Patriots defensive end said. "We're tied up, so I'm thinking, 'Let me get this dude.' "

Losman went down, the official's arms went up and New England beat the Buffalo Bills 19-17 with poise under pressure and increasing pressure by a defensive line.

"I should have gotten rid of the ball, but the game was on the line," Losman said. "I dipped under one defender, but then there was another guy."

Warren's game-winning safety with 8:33 left completed a comeback from a very poor start that had the Patriots trailing 17-7 at halftime. Even the pregame activities were missing something.

For the first time in three years, the Patriots' season opener was not preceded by the unveiling of a championship banner. Kicker Adam Vinatieri, wide receiver David Givens and linebacker Willie McGinest were elsewhere after leaving as free agents.

The Patriots didn't have holdout wide receiver Deion Branch or injured linebacker Tedy Bruschi either.

And on the game's first play from scrimmage, Tom Brady fumbled as he was belted by Takeo Spikes, and London Fletcher ran the recovery in for a 5-yard touchdown.

"It's no way to start the season, but we recovered and came back and put together a nice drive after that," said Brady, who was disappointed with his performance: 11 for 23 for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Bill Belichick became the 31st coach in NFL history with 100 regular-season wins, improving his record to 100-77.

New England cut the lead to 17-14 with 2:52 left in the third quarter on Brady's 17-yard pass to Kevin Faulk after Buffalo went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Patriots 7-yard line and the line stopped Willis McGahee for no gain.

"That felt great," Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said. "The fans got into it and we got into it."

McGahee wasn't sure what was happening.

Corey Dillon and the rest of the Patriots are breathing easier now.
"I wasn't worried. I thought it was third down," he said. "It was the play to run."

The pressure was on again when Stephen Gostkowski, the rookie replacing Vinatieri, connected on a 32-yard field goal that tied the game at 17 with 9:33 remaining.

Exactly one minute later, the Patriots took the lead for good on the third play of Buffalo's possession, sending the Bills to their sixth straight loss against New England.

On the first two plays, Losman threw the ball away under a heavy rush and McGahee was thrown for a 1-yard loss.

Then Losman dropped about 4 yards into the end zone as linebacker Tully Banta-Cain rushed from Losman's left and got a hand on the quarterback. Warren, charging in from the other side, tackled Losman for the safety.

"We handled it early, but their pressure mounted as the game went on," Buffalo coach Dick Jauron said.

On the third play of the Bills' next possession, Richard Seymour sacked Losman for a 6-yard loss, Brian Moorman punted and the Patriots held the ball for the remaining 6:15. Losman finished 15 for 23 for 164 yards.

"You can tell why they have won three of the last five Super Bowls," defensive end Aaron Schobel said. "They know how to finish games."

Buffalo, with a new coaching staff, dominated early, starting with the sack by Spikes, who missed the last 13 games last season with a torn Achilles' tendon and left this game on the Patriots second series with a mild hamstring injury that he doesn't expect to hold him out of next week's game at Miami.

The Patriots tied it 7-7 on their next possession on Brady's 9-yard scoring pass to Troy Brown. Buffalo regained the lead on Rian Lindell's 53-yard field goal then made it 17-7 on an 18-yard run by Anthony Thomas.

The Patriots put together a 183-yard running attack with rookie first-round draft pick Laurence Maroney gaining 86 yards and Corey Dillon adding 73.

"He runs one way, I run another and we keep fresh legs in the game," Maroney said.

On defense, they were fresh enough to send Losman and the Bills to defeat.

"We're as good as we want to be," Warren said, but " it's too early in the season to be putting crowns on anyone's head."

"The Long Tail" - Book Points To An Economic Revolution But There's A Catch

Wired Magazine Editor Christopher Anderson just wrote a book with a title that's going to be the next phrase you hate to hear: "The Long Tail."

The idea of the book is that because of the Internet, the World is divided into smaller economies of scale. Economies of scale is defined according to the Investopedia as...

"Economies of scale gives big companies access to a larger market by allowing them to operate with greater geographical reach. For the more traditional (small to medium) companies, however, size does have its limits. After a point, an increase in size (output) actually causes an increase in production costs. This is called "diseconomies of scale".

Mr. Anderson's book points to the new dynamic, where I can make money from a small niche demand for my product. But in thinking about the perspective he introduces, it occurs to me that there may be an "enemy" of the Long Tail: the very idea that -- even for a moment -- people beyond the small target market may want that product, causing a potential increase in production costs.

Specifically, let's say you've got a new kind of online simulation game for a specific market as my company, Sports Business Simulations does, and it's existence is captured by a national TV news program (YIPPEE!). Now, you've got more traffic than your server can handle, leading toward 1) a crash, and 2) a higher cost to pay for a better server. (OUCH!)

That's the increase in production cost at play. It's not something he adresses in the book, and so this System Dynamicist may have uncovered a "limit to growth" in any Long Tail industry dynamic. What could break that cost logjam is that the very dynamic of increased demand via national exposure may -- may -- lead to investment in the product, thus removing the production cost barrier and allowing more dramatic growth in product sales.

But the limit to growth remains...

There's more to that dynamic relationship with respect to The Long Tail and I will explore it soon.

The book, released in June of this year, is very timely. A launch party was held in NYC, and you can see the highlights of it here: