Archive for August, 2006

Don Nelson is Back

Gee, his old team went to the NBA Finals without him. So how long did it take Don Nelson to get back into the “Association”? 2 months.

No surprise here. Nellie came to Dallas in 1998 and did great rebuilding job. Avery Johnson took over after Nellie got tired of dealing with Mark Cuban and AJ became the NBA Coach of the Year and the Mavs advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in team history.

Only Nellie’s old media drinking buddies gave him props. The rest of the national basketball media loved up Avery so that’s another reason why I think Nellie is back.

I don’t care what he says, he wants to win a championship. Nellie played for the Boston Celtics in the glory days. The man has played on championship teams and with Hall of Fame players. He wants to win a title.

If Art Shell can come back and coach the Raiders… why not a Nellie re-run in Golden State?

They’ve been trash since he left. They haven’t made the playoffs since Nellie skipped town after a fallout with the owner. The Bay Area would love to see the old Run TMC days.

Richie Whitt wrote on the Dallas Observer blog that Nellie hated Cuban so much he quit. I think that’s fair. Lord knows he wasn’t working towards the end. Avery and Del Harris ran practice.

Good luck to Nellie. Dallas is better off with A.J. and the Warrior fans have a guy who can help them get back to the playoffs.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

It’s About The Real Games

The Cowboys look ready for the season. Their 17-7 win over San Francisco on Saturday night proved the defense is good and if they O-line can protect the quarterbacks they will win some games. They are 3-0 in the 4 game pre-season.

Still no Terrell Owens or kicker Mike Vanderjagt. Right now, I’d be more concerned about the kicker. Fill in Shaun Suisham shanked an easy 35 yarder and those kinds of misses kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs last season.

Vanderjagt has only missed one NFL start in his career. Like T.O., the kicker is going to rest his injury (groin) until he’s ready. Both high dollar free agents insist they’ll be ready for the season opener in Jacksonville September 10th.

Unlike some media members crying to see these two big money guys in practice, I can wait for the games that count.

Just look at the Redskins. Their fans and media got to watch Clinton Portis break his shoulder in a pre-season action. They also got to watch quarterback Mark Brunell re-injury his groin in a 41-0 blowout loss to New England.

Now I ask you again Mr. Upset and or Mr./Mrs. Jaded Fan Club Member, what matters more meaningless pre-season games or regular season ones?

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

And The Media Hate Dealing with "The Hamstring"

And you thought I was going to talk about Terrell Owens of the Dallas Cowboys. Nope.

Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers is a royal pain to cover, according to longtime respected columnist, Joe Menzer, of the Winston Salem Journal.

T.O. gets all the headlines about his hamstring injury, but a list of players have/are battling the injury this preseason. Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward of the Steelers. Bears running back, Thomas Jones, and Carolina’s Steve Smith.

Jones and Owens are the only ones of that group who are rumored to by jaking it. Contract disputes will do that to a player and Jones is in one with the Bears. Fair or not.

Interesting, Jones and Owens are clients of agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Smith was the best receiver in the NFL last year. Smith hurt his hamstring the first day of Panthers training camp and missed over two weeks of action. ESPN didn’t really care to travel down to Panthers camp and set up shop like the did for T.O.’s injury.

Smith wouldn’t speak to Panther beat writers for 17 days. When he did it was a nightmare…according to Menzer: “he’s (Smith) been under the mistaken impression that reporters are out to undermine everything he does.”

Menzer went on to write how he thinks Smith talks out of both sides of his mouth, “When Smith finally talked to those who carry pens, pads and tape recorders, he said he didn’t talk for 17 days because he was tired of “rhetorical questions,” mainly ones involving his budding relationship with Keyshawn Johnson, a fellow wide receiver and also a new teammate.

He casually accused the media of creating “anxiety” between him and Johnson when there is none, even though it was Smith who, during his boycott of local media, granted a national television interview to ESPN and said that this is Steve Smith’s receiving corps and Steve Smith’s team. ‘

“(Johnson) may have been in the league 10 years, but he hasn’t been with this team for 10 years,” Smith told ESPN then.’

T.O. gets the bad rap and the media attention but it’s Smith who’s pulling out the “it’s my team” card.

Dallas is America’s Team and Smith is down in NASCAR country so he doesn’t get the big news or the I Love Me Some Me Award this summer.

Smith does have the backing of his head coach, John Fox, when it comes to his hamstring injury. You can’t say Bill Parcells’ soundbites are convincing when he speaks about Owens injury and his recovery process.

In the end, all that really matters is both guys are in the field for the season openers.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

The Rangers Are Done

As I used to say to my ESPN radio partner, Chuck Cooperstein, “right on time.”

You can go ahead and give up on the Rangers 2006 season. It’s over. They won’t play some magical baseball and overtake Oakland to win the AL West.

The Rangers are now 7 and half games out of 1st place. They lost 3 straight in Tampa. It’s officially time to put the Rangers at the end of the sportscast each night.

Right on time.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

Cowboys Out Of The Baseball Business

What’s that old saying, three strikes out you’re out? Yeah, that’s the old baseball saying.

Now somebody go repeat it to Jerry Jones. The Cowboys GM (he’s the only also) should stay away from failed baseball players who can’t convert into pro football quarterbacks.

Quincy Carter, Chad Hutchinson, and now Drew Henson.

Henson will not be on the roster this season. The Cowboys are trying to trade him, but with his contract reportedly going until 2011 I don’t see it.

One player told me last year that Bill Parcells wasn’t a Henson fans and he’d be surprised if he ever played while Parcells was the coach. The Tuna wasn’t the Henson fan, it was Jerry Jones. That player was right on the money.

I was in Oxnard for the final week of training camp and man, Henson just never got any real reps. You could see free agent, Matt Baker, taking all types of reps while Henson barely got any work.

On August 17th, I interviewed Henson about the lack of work in camp and the Seattle pre-season game. He gave a politically correct answer, but you could see the kid was frustrated.

Henson needed to be gone, for his sake and the fact Parcells wasn’t going to play him. The Tuna didn’t see a future for him so he let the kid go. That’s the fair thing to do.

He got one start with the Cowboys. A Thanksgiving Day game in which Parcells pulled him after two quarters for his pet Vinny Testaverde.

The Cowboys gave Houston a 3rd round draft pick for Henson in 2003.

Maybe next time Jerry Jones will use a draft pick on a player with a better on field college resume.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

Cowboys Camp Update 8-7-06

TO missed his sixth straight practice today. Terrell Owens is nursing a sore left hamstring. Terry Glenn sat out the morning practice with blisters on his feet.

TO also told the media he would miss Saturday’s pre season game in Seattle.

Coach Bill Parcells didn’t tell us that at his morning presser, but TO told the media about 15 minutes into the Tuna media session.

With the starting wide receivers out, Drew Bledsoe had to throw to Patrick Crayton and free agent rookie Sam Hurd. This is not what the Cowboys had planned for camp.

TO and Bledsoe are missing valuable time together. TO is also learning a new offense.

Ron Wolf, the former GM of the Packers is out at camp. Wolf came for the late session.

I sat down with linebacker Bradie James, he’s hoping to hit the jackpot. The soon to be free agent is “in the batter’s box” when it comes to contract extension. Roy Williams and Jason Witten got paid so James is looking for his loot. The Cowboys are working on a deal for him.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com

Friday Camp Notes

TO sat out Friday’s 1st practice. It rained last night so the field was very wet. No need to risk injury.

Quarterback Drew Bledsoe does not look very good. In 7 on 7 drills he threw behind Terry Glenn on a route, overthrew Patrick Crayton in the end zone, and got Jason Witten blown up by Roy Williams.

I just think Bledsoe is not sharp. He admitted as much after practice.

But that is what camp is for. I talked about those issues with Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram on the NBC5i.com web cast. Please check it out if you have not.

Corners Terence Newman and Anthony Henry are really looking good. I think Jacksonville’s receivers will have trouble on opening day.

It’s early, but look for Andre Gurode and Marc Colombo to be starters at center and right tackle if they keep up there current work.

Saturday will be a 90 play scrimmage.

Newy Scruggs
www.newdawg.com