The Morning Banter (which isn't the Bengals Banter) is an experiment on "other" stories around the league in a nice single post.
+ There are 46 Super Bowl winners in NFL history and their record during kickoff weekend is 37-8-1. Of the 490 teams which have won openers since 1978, 258 went to the playoffs. Of the 491 teams which lost openers since 1978, 116 went to the playoffs. The 1982 abbreviated season was excluded from the league's press release.
+ The National Football League's Players Association is investigating Drew Rosenhaus' relationship with a former financial adviser, Jeff Rubin, reports Rand Getlin and Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports. The investigation, according the report, centers on Rubin's "bankrupcy filing for the failed casino that cost" players Rosenhaus reprepresented by "as much as $43.6 million."
The NFLPA is looking into whether Rosenhaus should have paid closer attention and kept his clients away from Rubin, founder of Pro Sports Financial. Multiple sources, including free agent NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens, indicate Rosenhaus actively recruited players with Rubin and valued that association because it helped him increase his business. Although Rosenhaus specifically denied any relationship to the casino and there is no evidence to indicate he profited in any way from the project, his client base grew to more than 100 players during the seven years Rosenhaus and Rubin were associated. Rosenhaus currently represents about 140 players, more than any other agent in the NFL.
The report continues:
Multiple sources say at least $25 million of the $68 million the gambling operation claims to have lost has been identified as player money. Bankruptcy filings indicate that figure could be as high as $43.6 million for all the players, including those not represented by Rosenhaus. Among the 18 Rosenhaus clients who invested in the bingo project were Jevon Kearse, Fred Taylor, Frank Gore, Plaxico Burress, and Owens. Owens has since fired Rosenhaus.
Another player identified in the report is former Bengals wide receiver Peter Warrick.
In another report filed by Cole and Getlin several weeks ago, a longtime advisor to Dez Bryant named David Wells "accused high-profile agent Drew Rosenhaus of offering him a prohibited cash payment and trip to Miami in an effort to sign Bryant." And just last week Rosenhaus Sports Vice President Danny Martoe, currently on suspension, alleges that the organization "owes him more than $1 million in comissions and compensatory damages, according to an arbitration filing with the NFL Players Association."
+ Much like the Cincinnati Bengals, a handful of injured Baltimore Ravens players are returning from injury. According to the Baltimore Sun, rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw's strained shoulder has largely healed. Offensive guard Marshal Yanda, who sprained his MCL in his right knee, feels completely recovered.
"I feel great, I'm 100 percent, the knee's good," Yanda said. "It was loose for a while, but it's definitely tightened back up. I just wear the brace and tape it up as a precaution. It was loose, so I wasn't going to fight through it during the preseason and make it worse. We were just going to let it heal all the way, and that's what it's done.
+ Steelers safety Ryan Clark will miss Pittsburgh's regular season opener because sickle cell trait forces him to miss games whenever the Steelers play the Broncos in Denver. The last time he played in Denver (Oct. 21, 2007), he "lost his spleen, his gallbladder, 35 pounds and nearly his football career -- not to mention his life."
Clark is determined to find a cure.
"I'm extremely excited to get this thing going this week," Mr. Clark said at the news conference in the Steelers training facility on the South Side, "to try to put smiles on the faces of those who have learned to smile through pain."
+ Heading into Wednesday Night's game, the following franchises have the highest winning percentage on kickoff weekend (ties prior to 1972 did not count towards the winning percentage).
|TEAM||KICKOFF WEEKEND RECORDS||WIN PCT.|
|New York Giants||49-55-5||.598|
+ So much for punishing players for holding out because of a contract dispute. As soon as Mike Wallace returned to the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, the wide receiver lined up with first-team unit during practice. Not that we really have a problem; any team would be foolish to "punish" a starter just to prove a point when that starter needs as many repetitions as possible before the season starts.