Sports Outside the Beltway

Seattle trades QB Seneca Wallace to Cleveland

The Browns are in for more Quarterback controversy in 2010. From Sports Network-

The Cleveland Browns acquired the rights to quarterback Seneca Wallace on Monday, sending an undisclosed 2011 draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange.Seneca Wallace

The trade is contingent on Wallace passing a physical later this week.

Wallace was never the No. 1 quarterback for the Seahawks but made 14 starts during his seven-year career with the club, which made him a fourth-round selection in the 2003 draft.

In all, he has appeared in 48 games and thrown for 3,547 passing yards with 25 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, compiling a QB rating of 83.1 along the way.

Wallace has thrown for 3,530 yards and 25 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. His passer rating is 83.2. Those are all better numbers than Cleveland’s current Quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. Quinn is looking more like a draft bust with passing NFL. Granted Cleveland is a terrible team, but there has no almost no positives in Quinn’s performance up there. I won’t be surprised if Wallace is Cleveland’s starting Quarterback on opening day of the 2010 NFL season.

Update- Cleveland released Quarterback Derek Anderson.

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NFL may change overtime rules for playoffs

No sudden death for sudden death? From AP-

An NFL spokesman said Saturday the league could change its overtime format for playoff games at a meeting next month.

Under the new format, both teams would get the ball at least once unless the first team to get the ball scores a touchdown, Greg Aiello said. If the first team to get the ball makes a field goal and the other team ties the game, action would continue until a team scores again.

Under the current rules, the first team to score wins.

“There have been various concepts that have been discussed in recent years, but this one has never been proposed,” Aiello said.

The competition committee will discuss the new concept with teams and players at league meetings March 21-24 in Orlando, Fla., when it could come to a vote. At least two thirds of the teams would need to agree to the changes for new rules to be adopted.

It is my prediction that the NFL does make some kind of change. Personally, I’m ambivalent on the issue. I believe the statistics show that the teams who lose the toss win slightly more often in regular season games. What the playoff record, I don’t know. Honestly, who says life or sports has to be fair?


NFL considering mandatory echocardiograms

The NBA has required this test for its players since 2006. From ESPN-

Between the time of Bears defensive end Gaines Adams’ death last Sunday to his funeral Friday, the NFL’s Cardiovascular Committee began discussing the possibility of subjecting all players to a heart scan called an echocardiogram, starting with potential draft picks invited to the NFL scouting combine next month.

NFLPA medical director Thomas Mayer told ESPN that the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on Adams stated the enlarged heart that led to his death could have been detected by an echocardiogram.

But, as Mayer pointed out, the process is complicated.

Is the fear of legal liability going to influence a doctor? Are cardiologists going to agree on whether a player has an enlarged heart or an athlete’s heart? Does that mean he’s systematically finished as a football player?

More likely, a questionable echocardiogram could lead to more sensitive tests, such as a cardio catheter procedure.

As a person who had major cardiac surgery less than 18 months ago, I see mandatory electrocardiograms as a good idea. Putting the policy into place will be complicated, but it shouldn’t be used as a reason not to do this. My heart condition, a bicuspid heart valve and ascending aortic aneurysm was very serious, and till as little as two weeks prior to my operation, nobody knew I had those conditions. Some heart problems in addition to a enlarged hearts, show few or little warning signs.

I would also add that a large amount if not majority of NFL players, are grossly overweight. Heart testing is for their own good.


Seattle Seahawks to name Pete Carroll head coach

A press conference will announce the hiring at 6 p.m. From ESPN-

The Seattle Seahawks confirmed Monday they have agreed to terms on a contract with Pete Carroll to become their next head coach.Pete Carroll

“We are excited to add Pete as our coach,” said CEO Tod Leiweke in a statement. “He brings a great passion for winning and a positive attitude that is contagious. We now turn our full attention to the hiring process for a general manager.

“Our intended structure is for Pete and the new GM to work in a collaborative capacity on football matters.”

Carroll is jumping ship at USC just in time. The school is facing NCAA sanctions in the not too distant future.

How will Carroll do with the Seahawks? He’s had two chances in the NFL already, with the NY Jets and New England Patriots. Carroll’s combined record over 4 years with those teams was 33-31, hardly spectacular.

I think Carroll is in for a even rougher time in the NFL. It isn’t a for a successful college coach to transition to pro ball. For every Barry Switzer, there’s at least three Steve Spurriers, Rich Brooks, and Bobby Petrinos. Jeffri Chadiha at ESPN pretty much says what I’m thinking also-

What those other coaches eventually learned is that there is a substantial difference between leading grown men and leading boys who are becoming men. Like Carroll, most of those coaches came from places where they had dictatorial power and a gift for nabbing hordes of talented players who could elevate their programs. The NFL is different. It’s easy to suffer through lousy personnel moves that haunt your franchise for years and even easier to end up with players who don’t respect you.

Carroll should know this last fact better than anybody. He never became a top head coach because the perception was that he was too soft. As much as his hypercaffeinated, rah-rah nature excited college kids who gravitated to his affable personality, it had an opposite effect in the league. The players didn’t merely see a players’ coach. They saw a pushover, which is the last thing an NFL head coach can afford to be.

Seattle will still be struggling in 2013 and again looking for a new coach to lead them out of the wilderness.


Seattle Seahawks fire Coach Jim Mora Jr.

He had only been at the helm of the Seahawks for one season. Before coming to Seattle, Mora was head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. From the Seattle Times-

The Seahawks have fired Jim Mora as coach, his coaching staff has been informed.Jim Mora

The news was first reported by FOX Sports.

Mora coached Seattle for one season, finishing 5-11. His firing comes at a time when the Seahawks are still looking for a president.

Mora, 48, considers Seattle his home. It’s where he went to high school and attended college, and he returned to work for the Seahawks as an assistant coach after he was fired in Atlanta following the 2007 season.

He served as Seattle’s secondary coach for one season and in 2008 was designated Seattle’s successor to Mike Holmgren when it was announced Holmgren would coach one more season, fulfill his contract and leave the organization.

He becomes the shortest tenured head coach in Seahawks history. Mike McCormack coached seven games in 1982, but he was a replacement for Jack Patera, who coached only two games that season.

Mora’s firing has at least as much to do with the change of team President as it does with the lack of success on the field. One year isn’t much time to really rebuild a football team.


Seattle Seahawk Kevin Hauser hospitalized with collapsed lung

He collapsed Sunday midway through the 3rd period of Seattle’s game against Tampa Bay. From AP-

Seattle Seahawks long snapper Kevin Houser is hoping to be out of the hospital in time for Christmas Eve after doctors re-inflated his collapsed lung.

Seattle coach Jim Mora said the 32-year-old veteran of 10 seasons was sitting up in his hospital room Monday and watching “Ren and Stimpy” cartoons with his wife and kids.

“He’s doing much, much better,” Mora said.

Houser got hurt while covering a punt in the second quarter Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The Seahawks’ only true kick snapper then went into a photographer’s shed on the sideline to get a painkilling injection. He returned to snap for Seattle’s only extra point later in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, Houser ran at Tampa Bay’s Sammie Stroughter at the end of a 33-yard punt return and collapsed in pain on the sideline.

Get well Kevin Hauser. If you tire of Ren and Stimpy, may I suggest Sabrina The Teenage Witch?


NFL changes return to play concussion rules

Nearly 1/5th of NFL players surveyed said they hidden or downplayed the effects of a concussion. From AP-

NFL teams now have new, stricter instructions for when players should be allowed to return to games or practices after head injuries, guidelines that go into effect this week.

In the latest step by the league to address a hot-button issue, commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the 32 clubs Wednesday saying a player who gets a concussion should not return to action on the same day if he shows certain signs or symptoms.

Those include an inability to remember assignments or plays, a gap in memory, persistent dizziness and persistent headaches.

The old standard, established in 2007, said a player should not be allowed to return to the same game if he lost consciousness.

Wednesday’s memo also says players “are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”

The new guidelines sound good in practice(I think they were overdue. A player not able to think clearly has no business being on a football field.) but I doubt they will be adhered to. Coaches are under pressure to win and most NFL players aren’t inclined to challenge these people who have authority over them. A person is also more likely to press on and shrug off any ill feelings they have. I know I have for maladies large and small, including a slight concussion I suffered six years ago after an auto accident.


Seattle Seahawks cut RB Edgerrin James

He is the 11th leading rusher in NFL history. From AP-

The Edgerrin James experiment in Seattle is over.

The struggling Seahawks cut ties with James on Tuesday, releasing the backup running back who never provided the pop Seattle hoped to get when it signed the 31-year-old in late August.

James’ release was one of a handful of moves Seattle made two days after a lackluster 38-17 loss that dropped the Seahawks to 2-5. Seattle also released safety C.J. Wallace and cornerback Travis Fisher.

The two-time NFL rushing champ signed with Seattle near the end of training camp hoping to revitalize a career that fell flat after moving from Indianapolis to Arizona. After getting benched for the first time last season, James provided a spark the Cardinals needed in their run to the Super Bowl. But he was released by Arizona in the offseason, and remained unemployed until the Seahawks came calling. Before his release by the Cardinals, James had one year and $5 million remaining on the four-year, $40 million deal he signed with Arizona before the 2006 season.

James had gained only 125 yards rushing this year. I think his productive years in the NFL team are over but I wouldn’t be surprised if another NFL gives James a shot.


New England Patriots release WR Joey Galloway

He had played in just three games this season after the Patriots signed him last off-season. From ESPN-

The New England Patriots have released wide receiver Joey Galloway, the team announced Tuesday. The Patriots also re-signed linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, a team source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Banta-Cain was unexpectedly cut loose on Monday.

Galloway, a 15-year NFL veteran, has seven receptions for 67 yards this season. He has not been on the Patriots active roster for the last three weeks.

For his career, Galloway has 689 catches for 10,777 yards and 77 touchdowns in 188 games with the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Patriots.

Galloway looks washed up in my opinion. I will be surprised if he lands a starting job in the NFL again. Update- The Boston Globe reports the Baltimore Ravens may be interested in Galloway


Former Los Angeles Ram RB Cullen Bryant dead at 58

He scored a touchdown in Super Bowl XIV and was instrumental in causing the NFL to make a major policy change. RIP.

LOS ANGELES — Cullen Bryant, who spent 11 seasons with the Los Angeles Rams, was a running back on their 1980 Super Bowl team and fought the NFL’s trading rules to remain in town, has died. He was 58.

Unknown to his family, Bryant had been under a doctor’s care when he died Tuesday at his home in Colorado Springs, Colo., said his sister-in-law, Wanda E. Bryant. She did not supply other details.

Bryant was the Rams’ second-round draft pick in 1973. He played with the team until 1982, was with the Seattle Seahawks in 1983 and 1984 and returned to the Rams for his last pro season in 1987.

In 13 NFL seasons, Bryant scored 23 rushing and receiving touchdowns and ran back kickoffs for three others. He ran for 3,264 yards in 849 carries, and caught 148 passes for 1,176 yards.

He ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the 1980 Super Bowl, which the Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-19.

At 6-foot-1 and 234 pounds, he was the biggest player of the time to regularly return kickoffs.

“When Cullen hits those holes, nobody wants to stick their nose in there,” teammate Jack Youngblood told the Los Angeles Times in 1979. “Those little 180-pound (defensive backs) just jump on his back when he runs by.”

“He was an outstanding person with great character traits,” said Chuck Knox, Bryant’s coach with both the Rams and Seahawks. “When we asked him to do certain things, he’d do them. He never complained about anything. When he got that big body moving, it was something else, and he had muscles on top of muscles.”

Born William Cullen Bryant on May 20, 1951, in Fort Sill, Okla., Bryant attended high school in Colorado Springs and played football at Colorado University, where he received consensus All-American recognition.

In 1975, only two years after going to the Rams, Bryant went to federal court to challenge the right of then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to order him off the team. The Rams had signed former Detroit Lions receiver Ron Jessie. Under the “Rozelle Rule” on free agents, the team signing a free agent had to compensate the team that lost the player. If the teams couldn’t agree on compensation, the commissioner had the power to award either draft choices or players. He decided Bryant should go to Detroit.

At the behest of Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom, Bryant went to court in Los Angeles. A judge was unsympathetic to the NFL’s position during a hearing, and the league backed off several days later before a ruling could be made.

The Rozelle Rule eventually was modified.


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