Re: [GoRaiders-BAM! Right in the eye!] Rice hanging on, looking for a receiving job in camp
- What is it with the 49ers????? Why not let Jerry Rice retire in there uniform? I do not get it... I guess it is more to it than we know.Mz Tana
Rice hanging on, looking for a receiving job in camp
Sunday, July 24, 2005
By CAM INMAN
NFL training camps are opening across the country this week, and for
the first time since 1984, wide receiver Jerry Rice won't be found at
either the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders camps.
Suddenly, Rice personifies the desperate plight of hundreds of other
campers, those simply looking to make an NFL roster. He -- the
greatest receiver of all time -- is vying for a backup gig with the
After the 49ers refused to offer him a stage for his farewell tour,
Rice, 42, signed with Denver two months ago for what he termed "my
last little dance."
"Jerry's come in and been very impressive. He's in great shape. He
always catches the ball well," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said
earlier this month at the American Century Championship golf
tournament in Lake Tahoe.
"He's definitely going to have a chance to compete and hopefully help
us. ... If he can help us, he'll be with us."
If not ... could Rice be joining former Raiders teammate Tim Brown in
retirement? Could it really come down to this? A camp tryout?
"It's a long time between now and the first game," Brown said at his
recent retirement ceremony, "so you don't know what's going to happen
to" Rice "at this point."
Here's what other camp topics are lining up on the NFL's hash marks:
RICKY'S REUNION: A year after ditching the Miami Dolphins on the eve
of camp, running back Ricky Williams returns Sunday. How will
Williams' once-abandoned teammates welcome him? They should be more
concerned about keeping up with new coach Nick Saban. Unlike last
season, the Dolphins aren't reliant on Williams, having spent the No.
2 overall draft pick on Auburn running back Ronnie Brown.
T.O. WATCH: All camps will be running by the time the Philadelphia
Eagles' veterans -- including disgruntled wide receiver Terrell Owens
-- are due to report on Aug. 1. Don't expect the Eagles to give in and
tear up Owens' contract after only one season of service (and one
offseason since he demanded a trade to Philly.) Owens says he'll
reluctantly show for camp, which could be his last with the Eagles.
Where's the brotherly love?
OTHER BEGGERS: Other possible holdouts include Seattle Seahawks
running back Shaun Alexander, Indianapolis Colts running back Edgerrin
James, New England Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour and Green
Bay Packers wide receiver Javon Walker and defensive tackle Grady Jackson.
Walker's threatened boycott has been the juiciest, with quarterback
Brett Favre verbally blasting Walker's stance and that of his agent,
TEDFORD TRILOGY: The three quarterbacks on the hot seat the most are
all former pupils of Cal coach Jeff Tedford -- the Baltimore Ravens'
Kyle Boller, the Lions' Joey Harrington and the Houston Texans' David
Boller has the best chance to succeed. The Ravens have a stud running
back in Jamal (just-out-of-jail) Lewis, a stout defense, new wide
receivers in Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason and a new, energized
offensive coordinator in Jim Fassel. Harrington has a talented but
young supporting cast, as well as Jeff Garcia breathing down his neck.
Carr still lacks protection.
THIRTY-SOMETHING: Four quarterbacks in their 30s are looking to extend
their careers with new teams, and all are probable opening-day
starters -- the Arizona Cardinals' Kurt Warner, 34; the Dallas
Cowboys' Drew Bledsoe, 33; the Cleveland Browns' Trent Dilfer, 33, and
the Miami Dolphins' Gus Frerotte, 33.
STILL COORDINATED?: The two-time defending champion New England
Patriots were the first to open camp, doing so Wednesday without
former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis (now Notre Dame's coach) and
former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (now the Cleveland Browns'
coach). They're also missing linebacker Tedy Bruschi because of his
February stroke. But they still tout arguably the best coach (Bill
Belichick) and quarterback (Tom Brady) in the league.
RIPPLE EFFECT: Don't be too surprised if the 49ers have No. 1 overall
pick quarterback Alex Smith under contract by this time next week.
Players must report Friday, and Smith's agent, Tom Condon, has a
commendable record of getting No. 1 picks in on time. Plus, the 49ers
knew they'd have to break the bank when they picked Smith over Cal's
If Smith doesn't sign on time, it likely will impact when subsequent
top picks Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards and Cedric Benson report to
their teams, as they'll want to spy Smith's haul before agreeing to
their own deals.
SPLIT DECISION: The biggest negotiations to track are those among NFL
owners, who are debating how to share their locally generated revenue.
That issue must be resolved before the league forges a new collective
bargaining agreement with the players' union. If a new pact isn't set,
there won't be a salary cap in 2007 and baseball-type spending would
ensue, something neither owners nor the players' union want. The
owners huddle again Aug. 10-11 in Chicago.
HOME SWEET HOME: Nearly half of all teams (15 of 31) will be holding
training camp at their regular-season practice facilities. The Atlanta
Falcons, St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers are the latest
"homies." Only six teams camped at home 10 years ago.
MINNESOTA MAKEOVER: A slew of new defensive starters will deflect some
attention from how the Vikings cope without Randy Moss. But don't bank
on a remake of the Purple People Eaters, the Vikings' famed defense
front that dominated the NFL 35 years ago.
CHIEFS: For all offensive muscle the Chiefs have flexed under coach
Dick Vermeil, they're 34-30 in regular-season games in his tenure,
which is expected to end this year. Cornerback Patrick Surtain and
linebackers Kendrell Bell and Derrick Johnson arrive to boost a
defense and better Vermeil's chances of a successful sendoff.
HALL MONITORS: Steve Young and Dan Marino headline this year's Hall of
Fame class that will be inducted Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio. Other
enshrinees are Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard, who entered the pro
ranks in the 1920s. Rice could be joining them in 2010 if he can't
land a backup role to Rod Smith and Ashley Lelie in Denver.
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