Archive for the ‘2010 Pro Bowl’ Category

2010 NFL Pre-Training Camp Top Stories – Injuries by Lloyd Vance

No matter in what point of the season, there is always an injury risk which can turn an NFL franchise’s plans upside down (Giants receiver Domenick Hixon pictured)

This time of year all every NFL team wants to do is get their starters and key people through OTAs, training camp, and preseason games with good health for the regular season.  I know every team in the league has to deal with injuries on a daily basis.  But you would have thought pre-training camp workouts in t-shirts and shorts could have spared players from being injured.

Even before 2010 NFL training camps have opened (Buffalo Bills report on July 25th) unfortunately there have been some serious injuries that have made teams make alternate plans.  Some notable pre-training camp injuries have been to Philadelphia Eagles FS Marlin Jackson (Torn Achilles Tendon – out for 2010); Giants WR Domenick Hixon (ACL – out for 2010); Carolina Panthers WR Steve Smith (broken arm from playing a flag football game – out for training camp w/ start of regular season questionable); Carolina Panthers LB Tommie Davis (second ACL injury – probably out for 2010); Pittsburgh Steelers WR Limas Sweed (Torn Achilles – out for 2010); Denver Broncos LT Ryan Clady (Torn left patellar tendon – hurt playing basketball and will probably miss at least 6 weeks of regular season); Washington Redskins OG Mike Williams (blood clots – out for 2010) and New York Giants rookie safety Chad Jones  (leg injuries after car accident – out for 2010).

The other side of the “injury bug” are NFL players coming back from major injuries suffered during the 2009 NFL Season.  Some of the high-profile players coming back from injury are:

New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez (knee surgery – ahead of schedule and should be back for the start of training camp)

Philadelphia Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley (ACL – Ready for the start of training camp)

New England Patriots WR Wes Welker (ACL and Shoulder surgery – ahead of schedule with the hope of being ready some time before the 1st regular season game)

Philadelphia Eagles center Jamaal Jackson (ACL – will probably not be ready until into the regular season)

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglass (ACL – ready for the start of training camp season)

Indianapolis Colts SS Bob Sanders (knee surgery – ready for the start of training camp)

Oakland Raiders WR Chaz Schilens (broken foot – probable for the start of training camp)

Arizona Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (knee – questionable for the start of training camp)

Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner (ankle – should be ready for the start of training camp and has lost 20 pounds)

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed (hip – questionable for the start of regular season)

Miami Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall (hip surgery – will be ready for the start of training camp)

Bengals DE Antwaan Odon (Achilles – questionable for the start of training camp);

Green Bay Packers DB Al Harris (ACL — questionable for the start of regular season)

Indianapolis Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez (knee – should be ready for the start of training camp)

New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips (knee – questionable for the start of training camp)

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss (knee – probable for the start of training camp)

St. Louis Rams RB Steven Jackson (back surgery – probable for training camp)

Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre (ankle surgery – if he comes back…wink, wink.. he should be ready for training camp).


Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


The AFC wins the Pro Bowl 41-34 over the NFC, but Does Anyone Care by Lloyd Vance

Not even a new venue and great performances from players like Cleveland Browns WR/KR Joshua Cribbs could make the 2010 Pro Bowl more noteworthy

Though it was a change in venue and playing date, the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl proved once again to being  just another ”blip” on most sports fans’ radars.  The AFC won 41-34 over the NFC in a game that featured defensive players basically taking the game off — the AFC totaled 517 yards and the NFC 470 with both teams throwing for more than 400 yards.

Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub after throwing for 189 yards and two touchdowns was named the most valuable player of the 2010 Pro Bowl.  The game’s longest play was a 58-yard touchdown pass from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (15-of-18, 197 yards, 2 TDs) to Philadelphia Eagles WR DeSean Jackson (2TDs in the game and showed his explosiveness) at the start of the 3rd quarter.

Some good news was that the stadium hosting the game was full for a change with a crowd of 70,697 showing up — the largest for a Pro Bowl since 1959 in Los Angeles.  But most emailers, texters, and callers that I talked to, had no intention of watching the game.  I think the new location (Miami, Florida) and play date (week before the Super Bowl) might have helped the in-stadium attendance, but overall it took away what little panache that the Pro Bowl possessed.

At least when the game was in Honolulu, there was the built excuse that people after watching the Super Bowl forgot to tune into the NFL players’ annual vacation in paradise.  Now with the game being a “speed bump” before the Super Bowl, interest amongst the masses was lost even further by everyone getting ready for the week long media blitz before the Super Bowl.

To make matters worse, players also seemed to be less interested in the honor of playing in the Pro Bowl by staying away in droves — nearly 40 percent of the players originally selected for the game didn’t play. Many of the players seemed to come up with more excuses than ever this year as they were not as thrilled for the game.  And who could blame them as most had already been to South Beach to party and a good majority were disappointed to not have the chance of going to paradise for the game/vacation.

The “carrot” of playing in Hawaii – had hosted every Pro Bowl since 1980 — and getting away from everything after a long season always made players, league personnel, and coaches usually show-up for the game.  Did I also mention that the NFL in their infinite wisdom said that defenses could not blitz or run zones and offenses could not run the Wildcat formation – no wonder the Pro Bowl is the least anticipated game on the NFL calendar.

Unfortunately this year, the biggest buzz around the game was Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie being sent home – already lived in Miami – for missing Pro Bowl practices — missed four of the NFC’s five practices — due to “Partying”, which he basically gloated about via his Twitter account.  McKinnie said he withdrew because of “injuries”.  But his early morning tweeting didn’t help his case.  “If U coming 2 (Mansion Miami nightclub) 2nite U better hurry! Getting packed!”.

NFL spokesman Greg Aeillo has said the NFL is reviewing why McKinnie failed to show up for multiple practices in advance of tonight’s Pro Bowl game, which prompted the league to remove him from the NFC roster.  It will be interesting to see if the Vikings pay McKinnie the $5 million dollars tied to incentives in his contract for making the Pro Bowl.

In the end, the AFC players won $45,000 dollars which will help for their room service and bar bills, while the NFC team got $22,500 compensation.  “It’s different. It was like 7 on 7,” Washington Redskins rookie Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo said. “Everybody came out here trying not to get hurt and give the fans a good show”.

The AFC still leads the all-time series 21-19.  The game will return to Honolulu in 2011 and 2012, but the league hasn’t decided whether to hold those games before or after the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl site for 2013 and beyond hasn’t been determined.

You have to feel bad for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as there really is no way to “spice-up” the Pro Bowl on the mainland or in Hawaii.  Because most players don’t want to get hurt and some quite frankly don’t care about the game, money or not.  Unfortunately football can never be played at half-speed — especially defensively — and still be enjoyable to most astute fans.

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)