November 2005 - Football Wiretap
Raiders Claim Lenny Walls
A day after being waived by the Broncos, cornerback Lenny Walls was claimed by the Raiders. However, Walls will not be joining the Raiders because he failed his physical. Walls, who is in his fourth NFL season, was placed on injured reserve Nov. 1 with a right groin strain. He appeared in seven games (three starts) for the Broncos this season, finishing with 16 tackles, six pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Taylor Practices On Wednesday
Fred Taylor practiced with the Jaguars on Wednesday. He is listed as probable for Sunday's game at Cleveland. A decision on Taylor for the game is expected by Friday.
Fitzpatrick Looking At Potential Start
St. Louis Rams interim coach Joe Vitt has been coy all week about whether rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick earned his first career start. But it was telling on Wednesday when the rookie from Harvard, and not veteran Jamie Martin, met with the media, usually the duty for the No. 1 quarterback. And Fitzpatrick was taking snaps with the first unit while Martin, who had a concussion and blurred vision after absorbing a blow in the first quarter of last week's overtime victory at Houston, watched in sweat clothes. Regardless of Martin's status it's been more or less an open secret around Rams Park that Fitzpatrick, a favorite of Mike Martz's since he drafted Fitzpatrick in the seventh round, will get the nod this week against the Redskins. And why not? It's tough to bench the NFC offensive player of the week. Fitzpatrick threw for 310 yards in three quarters and got the Rams (5-6) to overtime with a pair of scores in the final half-minute before throwing the winning touchdown pass to beat the Texans. His yardage is the third highest by an NFL quarterback in his first game. Still, no official announcement. "I know, it's unbelievable, it's like the Kennedy assassination," Vitt said after practice. "We'll make that decision later in the week."
Dillon And Faulk Closer To Return
The truth about Corey Dillon's injury status is between the running back and his coach. The rest of us will have to settle for "day-to-day." Bill Belichick, notoriously secretive about the health of his players, gave Dillon the phrase, and Dillon kept repeating it Wednesday. "I got some wording today and if you heard the wording you would understand. I'm 'day-by-day,'" Dillon said with a laugh. "The message was heard loud and clear." Dillon and third-down back Kevin Faulk appeared closer to playing again for the New England Patriots, perhaps as early as Sunday at home against the New York Jets. But Belichick was his usual cagey self when asked just how close they were. "Day-to-day," Belichick said. "I think they're closer today than they were last week. I don't know that they're at the same point. I think it's two independent situations."
Holmgren 'Messed Up' Saying Referees Made Mistake
Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said Wednesday he "kind of messed up" when he said the NFL told him there were officiating mistakes made during last Sunday's overtime win over the New York Giants. "I think it's kind of a tempest in a teapot," Holmgren said near the end of news conference. "I kind of messed up. What I should have said was, 'I talked to the league, but what was said was confidential.' " Holmgren said he expected the league to fine him for breaching its confidentiality agreement between teams and the NFL officiating department regarding on-field decisions. The 14-year NFL head coach is one of eight members of the league's competition committee that oversees rules and game operations. "Now, because of the potential fines, my kids won't get Christmas stockings," Holmgren said, laughing.
Garcia To Start Against Vikes
Jeff Garcia will start at quarterback for the Detroit Lions on Sunday against Minnesota. Dick Jauron made the announcement Wednesday, two days after taking over as Lions coach on an interim basis in place of the fired Steve Mariucci. Jauron also said cornerback Dre' Bly apologized to his teammates at a meeting Wednesday morning. Bly was harshly critical of quarterback Joey Harrington and the team's management during media interviews Monday and Tuesday. "If we'd had production on offense, in particular the quarterback position, Mooch wouldn't have been fired," Bly told the Detroit Free Press earlier in the week. "If Jeff Garcia hadn't gotten hurt, we wouldn't be in this position today. Mooch wouldn't have gotten fired."
Bly Blames Harrington For Mariucci's Dismissal
Cornerback Dre' Bly and quarterback Jeff Garcia both thought the blame for the team's poor record shouldn't have rested on the now ex-coach. "If we'd had production on offense, in particular the quarterback position, Mooch wouldn't have been fired," Bly told the Detroit Free Press. "If Jeff Garcia hadn't gotten hurt, we wouldn't be in this position today. Mooch wouldn't have gotten fired." Garcia missed the first five games after breaking his leg in the final preseason game. He started twice -- winning in Cleveland and losing to Chicago -- but then missed the Minnesota, Arizona and Dallas games with soreness in the leg. "We're all at fault, but I just feel like Joey [Harrington]'s been here four years, and being the No. 3 pick in the draft, he hasn't given us anything," Bly told the paper. "He hasn't given us what the third pick in the draft should give us." Garcia, who played for Mariucci in San Francisco, pointed to the Lions front office. "You start to question whether the organization has the people in place who can go about making the proper selections," Garcia told WXYT-AM, according to the paper. "You really have to question that."
Stones To Play Super Bowl Halftime
The Rolling Stones will take a brief break from touring to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. The rock 'n' roll greats will go on stage during the game Feb. 5 at Ford Field, the NFL said Tuesday. "We are thrilled to perform for millions of fans at one of the most exciting and highly anticipated sporting events of the year," the band, which earlier in the day announced its European tour dates, said in a statement. The Rolling Stones are currently touring North America to promote their latest album, "A Bigger Bang." The NFL has a history of getting top acts for its halftime show.
Thomas Will Try To Play With Torn Labrum
Middle linebacker Zach Thomas, the heart and soul of the Miami Dolphins' defense for a decade, will attempt to play the remaining five games of this season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Thomas visited noted Birmingham, Ala., orthopedic specialist Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Andrews cleared him to return to the field despite the injury. If Thomas can get through practices this week and handle the discomfort, he will try to play on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills and wear a harness to limit shoulder movement. Dolphins coaches and team officials have had no comment on Thomas' status for the Buffalo game. Rookie Channing Crowder moved from outside linebacker into the middle to replace Thomas in Sunday's victory over the Oakland Raiders. He will continue in that role if Thomas is unable to return this week.
Martz Wants To Return Immediately
Mike Martz is feeling better and would like to return to the St. Louis Rams' sideline this season, his agent said Tuesday. Bob Lamonte told ESPN's Chris Mortensen that the coach will ask his doctors for permission to coach again. "Mike's original plan was to retreat to San Diego and reflect on the future, but he has started to feel so well, walking two or three miles a day ... the bottom line: he feels great," Lamonte said. It is unknown whether the doctors will allow him to come back. Martz said Oct. 24 that he would not coach again this season after being diagnosed with endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the lining of the heart or a heart valve. On Thursday, he was taken off medication for the condition.
Motor Out Mooch
The disappointing Detroit Lions fired coach Steve Mariucci and some of his assistants on Monday.
Favre Considers His Future
?I have thought about it,? Favre said. ?Just because we?re 2-9, it hasn?t swayed my decision one way or the other direction."
Leftwich Breaks Left Ankle
"The best-case scenario is about a month out, depending on how quickly he heals, and it could be worse. We just won't know until we see how the injury heals," coach Jack Del Rio said after the game.
Franks Carted Off With Neck Injury
Bubba Franks had movement in all his extremities. He felt tingling in both of his shoulders and was having X-rays on his neck at the stadium.
Eagles File Charges Against Cowboys
The Eagles have filed a tampering complaint against Cowboys after owner Jerry Jones suggested that his team is often interested in players such as suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens.
Dillon Out For KC
New England Patriots starting tailback Corey Dillon made it clear that he is actually "out" for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Mooch To Last Another Day
Reports initially indicated that Steve Mariucci could be fired as early as Friday but John Clayton reports that the decision will not come today.
Taylor Could Be Held Out Against Arizona
Fred Taylor could be held out of the game entirely by head coach Jack Del Rio despite practicing all of this week.
Mariucci Close To Gone?
Lions coach Steve Mariucci's days might be numbered following a 27-7 Thanksgiving loss to Atlanta -- a game players called "ugly" and "embarrassing."