Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Former Cowboys FB Robert Newhouse dies

The Dallas Cowboys lost one of their most iconic stars from their heydays of the 70s and 80s.

Robert Newhouse died from the effects of heart disease on Tuesday. He was 64. Newhouse suffered a stroke in 2010 and been in failing health ever since.

Newhouse played fullback for the Cowboys from 1972 to 1983 and was best known for his halfback option play in Super Bowl XII that cemented the 27-10 victory for the Cowboys over the Broncos.

Newhouse led the team in rushing in 1975 and is fifth all time on Cowboys rushing list with 4,784 yard and 31 touchdowns. He later became the lead blocker for running back Tony Dorsett who was drafted to the Cowboys in 1977.

After his playing career was over, Newhouse worked for the Cowboys in the player relations department before his declining health forced him to leave the organization.

Pat Bowlen Relinquishes Control of Denver Broncos

Sad news out of Denver on Wednesday as the Broncos deal with a shake up in their ownership.

According to the Denver Post, Pat Bowlen, the beloved long time owner of the Broncos, is handing over control of the team as he acknowledges he is battling Alzheimer's disease.

Team president Joe Ellis will assume control of the Broncos as Bowlen focuses on his health.
Bowlen placed the Broncos' ownership in the Pat Bowlen Trust that is controlled by non-family members. Final-say authority with the team is held by Ellis.

Bowlen's long-term goal for the team is that one of his seven children to run the team when they are ready to take over the reins. The Broncos will not be put up for sale.

Bowlen and his siblings bought the Broncos from Edgar Kaiser for $78 million in 1984. Forbes Magazine recently listed the Broncos' value at $1.16 billion.

Bowlen's wife released a statement through the Denver Post acknowledging that her husband has been quietly battling the progressive degenerative brain disease for many years but has kept the matter private to keep focus only on the Broncos and not his health.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement to the Denver Post calling it a sad day for the NFL. "Pat Bowlen's leadership has been critical to the success of the Broncos and the entire NFL. From building a championship team that is a pillar of the community to his important work for the league on television and labor matters, Pat's love of the game drove him and we have all benefited from his passion and wisdom. But the time has come for Pat to focus on his health and we fully support him. Joe Ellis has been a trusted executive for Pat for many years after working with us at the league office. Joe's deep experience ensures that the Broncos will continue to have strong leadership."

In 2011, Bowlen and Ellis worked together to reshape the football operations department of the Broncos and hired John Elway to run the department. Later that same year, Bowlen promoted Ellis to president and removed himself from the day to day business of running the organization.

Elway hired John Fox in 2011 and the team has since won three AFC division titles, made three consecutive playoff appearances and made one Super Bowl.

Bowlen was known to his team as "Mr. B" the type of owner who both held control but allowed the people he hired to do their jobs and run the organization. His style of ownership proved to be very successful over the years. Under his ownership the team has only had five losing seasons. He reached his 300th victory as owner last year, the first owner to do so by his 30th season at the head.

Broncos won the AFC championship six times- in the 1986, '87, '89, '97,'98 and 2013 seasons.They won back-to-back Super Bowls with Elway at quarterback in 1997 and 1998.

Bowlen's legacy is forever cemented with the Broncos and the NFL. The team will continue to thrive and grow under Ellis, who will now add CEO to his title. Bowlen will always be loved and appreciated for the work he did for his team and for the league as a whole.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jaguars Ace Sanders Takes Leave From Team

Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders has decided to seek help for his substance abuse issues.

Sanders is taking a leave of absence from the team. The young receiver is already facing a four game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Sanders spoke to the media on a conference call arranged by the Jaguars media relations department. During the call, Sanders wasn't specific if he would enter a rehab facility or seek one on one counseling. He specified he would be away for the entire training camp but would come back ready to play.

Sanders had 51 catches in his rookie season last year. While he is eligible to still participate in practices during the suspension, he won't make his debut for the team until October 5 against the Steelers.

Broncos Release TE Joel Dreessen

The Broncos have parted ways with nine year NFL veteran  Joel Dreessen.

According to their website, the organization designated the tight end as released/failed physical on Tuesday, ending his two-year run with the team.

The longtime journeyman joined the Broncos via free agency prior to the 2012 season, coming over from Houston after five seasons with the Texans after being drafted by the Jets in 2005.

In his first year in Denver, he started 15 of 16 regular season games and caught 41 passes for 356 yards and five touchdowns.

Last year, Dreessen played in 13 games and made seven catches for 47 yards and a touchdown.

Bills Marcell Dareus Enters Substance Abuse Program

Marcell Dareus is finally taking a step in the right direction.

On Monday Dareus agreed to enter a NFL substance abuse program. He was allowed to enter the program during a hearing at Calhoun County Court in Alabama earlier in the day.

Dareus, was arrested in Calhoun County, Alabama on May 5 and charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

By entering the program, Dareus hopes the charges will be dismissed and potentially expunged should he successfully complete it.

Dareus is still facing court on charges stemming from a drag racing accident. Dareus was racing teammate Jerry Hughes when he crashed his 2012 Jaguar into a tree near a busy intersection close to Ralph Wilson Stadium. He was charged with reckless endangerment and other traffic violations. He is scheduled to appear in court on September 9 for those charges.

Dareus could face a potential suspension from the NFL. Meanwhile he faces issues in training camp after he failed a conditioning test on Saturday and was placed on the active/non-football injury list. He must pass the test before he can be cleared to practice with his teammates.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why the Raiders and 49ers Should NOT Share a Stadium

The San Francisco 49ers opened their new stadium on Thursday. The $1.2 billion stadium in Santa Clara is the first LEED Gold Certified stadium and features 165 luxury suites, 9,000 club seats and even a green roof-top deck that includes solar panels and harvested herbs for on-site food preparation. Free Wi-Fi will be available at the stadium, and a smartphone application will allow fans to have food delivered to any seat and check waiting lines at concession stands and bathrooms. It holds 68,500 but can expand to 75,000 for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.

Meanwhile their cross-town neighbors, the Oakland Raiders, have long been trying to replace the outdated Coliseum. The Coliseum host both the Raiders and MLB's Oakland Athletics but has had sewage and lighting problems for years. It is the only facility left that host both MLB and NFL. The Raiders want to demolish the Coliseum and build a new stadium on the existing site.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony for Levi Stadium on Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suggested an idea that the Raiders share the 49ers new stadium, an idea the 49ers CEO Jed York did not dismiss. However, Raiders owner Mark Davis has said he doesn't want to be a renter in the 49ers' facility.

While the suggestion of the Raiders sharing the new state of the art facility in Santa Clara rather than continue to fight with the Oakland city council to build a new stadium in Oakland seems like a no-brainer, the idea is not as great of an idea as it is presented.

First off, Levi Stadium is now fitted with red seats and posters of past and present San Francisco greats. To add the addition of the Raiders would mean either painting seats in different colors or alternating seats different weeks and also adding posters of past and present Oakland greats. Sounds easy but what colors do you paint the seats? Where do you put posters of Oakland greats?

Secondly, Santa Clara is 45 miles away from San Francisco, a problem some fans of the 49ers have already complained about. The drive is just under one hour for their faithful, but for the Raiders the drive would be just over one hour and this is not including traffic. A game between the two teams would turn into a complete nightmare traffic-wise.

Third, currently there are two teams in the NFL that share one stadium-the New York Giants and the New York Jets share MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. While two teams sharing one stadium isn't new, two teams representing two different cities would be. The Jets and Giants both represent New York so playing in the same stadium in the tri-state area isn't an issue. While Oakland and San Francisco are just 20 minutes apart, they are still separate and distinct cities.

Which leads us to fourth, and probably most important-the fans. While Oakland and San Francisco are close geographically, economically they are light years apart and their fans are as different as night and day. When you think 49er fans you think opulence, the red and gold, the faithful but subdued fans. When you think of the Raider fans you think "The Black Hole"- the brash, loud and sometimes obnoxious fans that have dutifully followed the Raiders from Oakland to LA and back again. While both fans are loyal to their teams, each is very distinct on how they show that loyalty.

When you think 49ers you think the golden boys-Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice. When you think of the Raiders you think of the hard nose rough gritty players most teams came to hate-Jim Otto, George Atkinson, Jack Tatum. Yes Levi Stadium is state of the art and a phenomenal facility to play in, but being the renter inside another team's stadium is not something that would sit well with the owners, players or fans of the Raiders. Love them or hate them, the Raiders don't play second banana ever.

Bills Marcel Dareus Fails Conditioning Test

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcel Dareus has run into more trouble, this time during training camp.

Dareus failed a conditioning test after reporting to training camp last week.

Dareus remained on the active/non-football injury list as the Bills held their first training camp practice Sunday evening.

While Dareus was not the only player to show up to camp out of shape, his condition is more troubling because of his off-field issues.

Dareus was arrested twice over the summer, in May he was arrested in Cleburne County, Alabama, on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In June he was arraigned in Hamburg, New York on charges over a car accident stemming from an alleged drag race.

Dareus could face an NFL-imposed suspension though the team remains optimistic he will be ready in time for the start of the season.