Quick-Hits: Haynesworth and Bush’s big moves, Dolphins building winner and are Texans in lead for Asomugha?

New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush gives a stiff arm to New England Patriots cornerback Darius Butler on a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts on August 12, 2010. UPI/Matthew Healey

In today’s quick hits, Albert Haynesworth and Reggie Bush have new homes, the Dolphins could be ready for big things this season and are the Texans now the new front-runners for Nnamdi Asomugha?

– Can I sing the praises of Bill Belichick for a moment? Ah what the hell, I’m going to do it anyway – with or without your permission. Has the man ever been had in a deal? He traded a second round pick for Corey Dillon, who helped him win a Super Bowl. He traded Richard Seymour, who was due a raise, for a first round pick and netted a potential starting offensive lineman in Nate Solder. He traded a fourth round pick for Randy Moss, who helped him reach the Super Bowl. He then traded an older, more disgruntled Moss for a third round pick. And now in his latest move, Belichick landed Albert Haynesworth, who is undoubtedly one of the best interior defensive tackles in the game when his head is on straight, for a messily fifth rounder. Granted, in the end the Patriots are just acquiring talent, much like any team would. But they’re not like any other team because they have Belichick, a man players like Dillon, Moss and now Hanyesworth will fall into line for in exchange for the chance to win. The man never ceases to amaze me.

– The Jets and Patriots will still get the bulk of the attention in the AFC East but I really like what the Dolphins have done the past two offseasons. They hired a solid defensive coordinator in Mike Nolan, signed the most versatile linebacker in the league in Karlos Dansby, acquired a No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall, have drafted good young talent in Mike Pouncey and Daniel Thomas, are on the verge of trading for the underrated Kyle Orton, and on Thursday nabbed Reggie Bush for a late round pick. Bush has proven that he isn’t an every-down back but he’s the type of game-changer that Miami needs. (How good will Bush look out of the Wildcat?) Assuming Thomas pans out, the Dolphins now have more explosiveness in their backfield and will soon reunite Marshall with Orton, a duo that worked well together in Denver. The Dolphins are slowly building a winner, folks.

– I want to see the incriminating photos that Carolina GM Marty Hurney and head coach Ron Rivera have on Steve Smith in order to get the 32-year-old receiver to back off his desire to be traded and essentially state that he wants to remain a Panther for life. Not that Smith has been making a big fuss about being traded, but if there were one player I thought was a shoe-in to be dealt this summer, it was Donovan McNabb. But if there were two players I thought were a shoe-in to be dealt this summer, it was McNabb and Smith.

– NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi tweets that the Texans have “moved into the lead” for free agent Nnamdi Asomugha. Considering their defense was scored on more times than Jenna Haze last season, I would like to think that the Texans would be aggressive in their pursuit of Asomugha.

– The Cardinals and Eagles are getting close to completing the Kevin Kolb deal according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Arizona has to be stoked to get a quarterback that can actually play. Wait, Kolb can play can’t he? Ah whatever, the Cardinals will worry about that later…

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Panthers’ Steve Smith breaks arm while playing flag football

Panthers’ wideout Steve Smith broke his arm while playing in a flag football game at his annual youth camp over the weekend. It was the same arm that he broke last season against the Giants.

According to the Charlotte Observer, Smith has already undergone surgery and will likely miss all of training camp, although he’s expected to be healthy by Week 1 of the regular season.

“Steve has talked to me and feels terrible about it,” says Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney. “Now his focus is on the rehabilitating process and getting back as quickly as he can.”

While the situation is certainly unfortunate, it’s hard to fault an athlete for injuring himself while doing something good for the community. It was a freak accident.

Someone that could benefit from Smith not being able to practice is promising rookie Armanti Edwards, who was taken in the third round of April’s draft. The former Appalachian State quarterback has impressed Carolina’s coaching staff in OTAs this offseason and could earn more playing time in the Panthers’ offense if he continues to turn heads in training camp and during the preseason.

Update: Check that, the Charlotte Observer is now reporting that Smith was actually playing flag football in an adult league – not at a youth camp. Rut-oh.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Steve Smith denies calling Clausen a “punk”

Last week, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Panthers’ rookie Jimmy Clausen had already “pissed off multiple receivers” during a recent mini-camp and also claimed that Steve Smith “basically thinks Jimmy is a punk.”

Today, Charlotte Observer writer Charles Chandler denied the rumors cooked up by the hit-or-miss PFT.com.

Earlier today, Smith strongly denied having a problem with Clausen.

There was also a mention in the aforementiond item that Carolina tight ends were upset at Clausen for yelling at them. The most vivid memories I have of Clausen from minicamp were two passes he threw in red zone drills through traffic for touchdowns to tight ends Jeff King and Gary Barnidge. Both of those guys looked extremely happy. King even spiked the ball through his legs in a much more expressive gesture than he normally does.

A lot of people love PFT.com because of its rumor mill section. But the problem that I have always had with the site is that it rarely, if ever, cites its sources. So you don’t know whether or not the rumor is coming from a general manager, the team janitor or Mike Florio’s neighbor.

PFT.com is standing by its story, but I’m more apt to believe Chandler, who covers the Panthers for a respectable news outlet and who was actually in attendance during the mini-camp. Plus, as Chandler notes in his report, Smith isn’t the type to hide his feelings. He’s a fiery guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve, so if he did have a problem with Clausen, the whole world would probably know about it by now.

As usual when it comes to a rumor by PFT.com, this story is probably much ado about nothing.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Fox taking a huge risk sticking with Delhomme

For the past couple days, I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out why in the world the Panthers would stick with Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

To say that Delhomme has struggled this year would be a gross understatement. He is 2-4 as a starter, is leading the league in interceptions and has somehow found a way to make explosive receiver Steve Smith non-existent. So why stick with him instead of giving A.J. Feeley or Matt Moore an opportunity?

One reason is because the Panthers have so much money invested in Delhomme after they signed him to a five-year, $42.5 million extension in April. They thought Delhomme would shake off his brutal performance in last year’s playoffs and at the very least, be able to turn around and hand the ball off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

But Delhomme has been a disaster thus far and head coach John Fox is taking a huge risk in sticking with him. If Delhomme continues to struggle and Fox doesn’t make a move, then he’s basically saying to upper management that he can’t evaluate his own players Neither Feeley nor Moore would come in and light the world on fire, but as long as they didn’t turn the ball over they’d be more efficient than Delhomme.

Fox better hope Delhomme turns things around or else they both could be gone at the end of the year. The Panthers have been a model organization for inconsistency under Fox and I highly doubt management would stick with a head coach that can’t make a change when one is needed. Fox is essentially putting all his eggs in the Jake Delhomme basket and that’s a risky endeavor to say the least.

Smith was worried he would be traded

I think Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith is one hell of a receiver. He’s a threat to take it to the house every time he gets the ball in his hands and he still finds ways to make plays when he’s double-covered. I’ve written several times in the past about how he is the Panthers’ offense.

That said, the guy needs a small reality check.

Following Carolina’s win over Tampa Bay in Week 6, Smith had this to say about his role in the Panthers’ offense:

“It’s bittersweet. We get the win, but I have a limited role. So, obviously, I see this game as showing I’m no longer an asset to this team. That’s all I got. My name’s Steve Smith and I stand by that.”

He’s no longer an asset to this team? Give me a break. Jake Delhomme has looked Smith’s way so many times throughout his career that I’m surprised the quarterback doesn’t have No. 89 tattooed on his retinas. Now all of a sudden Smith doesn’t feel like he’s an asset to his team?

Recently, Smith admitted that he was worried that Carolina was going to trade him at the deadline.

From Carolina Growl.com:

Steve Smith said he received several text messages from friends around the country about the possibility of him being traded to another team, one of those being the Miami Dolphins, prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline.

In fact, Smith received so many that he went as far as to contact his agent to see if there was any truth to them.

“I heard multiple teams I was going to,” Smith said during the team’s open locker session on Wednesday. “You hear the stories about waking up and being traded. You never want to be a guy who wakes up Carolina and hears there is a flight for you going somewhere else, so when you hear that you ask people. I asked my agent if there was anything going on. I got a few texts from different people in different states, so I had to make sure and investigate it.”

When contacted about the rumors, Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said they were completely false.

“We had no conversations with anybody about trading Steve Smith,” Hurney said.

Not that I’m Adam Schefter, but I didn’t read/hear any trade rumors involving Smith. Not one; not even from Profootballtalk.com, which makes up rumors on a daily basis around the deadline.

Maybe he wasn’t worried that he was going to be traded, but hoping that he would. Either way, the reality is that he is under performing, has a huge salary and is liable to punch one of his teammates during practice. Why would any team trade for him?

Again, I think Steve Smith 1.0 is a fantastic player outside of his slow start this year. But for some reason, his name doesn’t get mentioned enough when people criticize the other prima donnas in the league.

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