Tight end Tyler Eifert won't be the only player that played at Notre Dame last year headed to Paul Brown Stadium this weekend during Cincinnati's rookie minicamp. Following the 2013 NFL draft, the Bengals signed wide receiver John Goodman as an undrafted free agent. We can't speak about the range of emotions a young player endures trying to sustain hope for an eventual NFL career. But it showed for the former Irish receiver.
"I went from sulking about not getting a call to extremely ecstatic and on cloud nine, Goodman told Steve Warden with the Journal Gazette. "Some people think that's not very healthy; but you know what, with the life that we live, with the road that we're trying to go down, that's always something that's going to happen to you. And I'm really excited to go to the Bengals. They're a great organization that has been on the rise for the last few years now."
Goodman and Eifert weren't just teammates at Notre Dame; their relationship goes back to high school.
"I'm extremely excited to go with a friend of mine, and that's what I wanted; I didn't want to be on a team where I didn't know many people," Goodman said. "Being with one of my good friends, you can't get any better than that. I'm going to have someone there for me, and he's going to have someone there for him. You can't beat that."
We asked Patrick with One Foot Down (SB Nation's Notre Dame blog), to give us an idea of what to expect from Goodman.
"More of an outside possession receiver, and a little better at the jump ball than (Michigan wide receiver Roy) Roundtree (a Bengals invite), but same ceiling really - fifth or sixth guy on an NFL roster," writes Patrick. "Most of our blog readership know him as 'Fair Catch' Goodman, as he was our safe option for punt returns. So at least he has the hands."
Goodman has a significant road to make the 53-man roster, but it's not entirely impossible especially through special teams. Assume that A.J. Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones are locks. Andrew Hawkins is another. Beyond that the Bengals don't appear too vested in Brandon Tate and there's a wealth of younger talent competing for limited spots at the bottom of the roster. Goodman will have his opportunity.
Now go forth with your Roseanne/Big Lebowski jokes as if South Bend hasn't totally cornered the market on that.
"Is Zac Robinson still eligible to be on the practice squad?"
According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are eligible for the practice squad if they have no Accrued Season of NFL experience. Free agents with fewer than nine regular season games during their only Accrued Season(s) are also eligible. Players may be on the practice squad for a third season, only if the club has 53 players on its Active/Inactive List during the entire period of his employment.
Robinson was an active-DNP in one game with the Seahawks, an active-DNP in two games with the Lions in 2010 and inactive an additional six games in Detroit. Robinson spent the last two seasons on the Bengals practice squad.
So, no. Robinson is not eligible.
And if you don't believe me:
"Do any of your readers know how prolific the Tampa offence was when (Jay) Gruden was involved?"
Prolific might be a bad word. They just weren't very good. During Jay Gruden's time in Tampa Bay as an assistant offensive coach from 2002-08, the Buccaneers offense ranked inside the top-20 three times and only once in the top-ten (2003). Their scoring offense never ranked higher than 18th.
That being said it's an unfair connection, largely because his older brother Jon was calling the plays and managing the offense. And frankly Jay's experience in Tampa Bay wasn't a leading reason for Cincinnati's decision. Jay was an experienced head coach and offensive coordinator throughout the Arena League and UFL; a coaching career that began in 1997 as an offensive coordinator with the Nashville Kats. And within two seasons as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator, he's already interviewed for a handful of head coaching opportunities in the NFL. He's quickly rising around league circles and he'll be a head coach soon.
"We are excited to have Jay join us and give us a new direction offensively," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said when Gruden was hired in 2011. "He has proven himself a consistent winner in a variety of positions and has earned tremendous respect in the coaching profession. He's going to provide the energy and attacking style that will best suit our offensive skill players and quarterback."
+ Though hatred is often used indiscriminately for fans of a rival NFL team, there has to be some measure of sympathy for the Cleveland Browns. For a time things were looking up for
the mistake by the lake Cleveland, starting with enthusiastic ownership, a new head coach and coordinators, general manager -- the whole enchilada.
Instead of celebrating the good vibrations, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is adding significant distraction (which could cost him his team) from a federal investigation of fraud into his company, Pilot Flying J. Jimmy Haslam apologized to Browns fans this week, who like Bengals fans for the longest time, invest feelings of hope while withdrawing negative vibes for the proverbial blow to the head.
"I apologize to the city of Cleveland, Northeastern Ohio and all Browns fans because the last thing we ever wanted to do as a new owner was detract from football and the Browns and just what a great football area this is, and so I apologize for that," Haslam said.
"We feel badly about it and we're very comfortable we'll work through this situation."
Oh, and only two of Cleveland's five draft picks were selected within the first five rounds.
+ Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, currently negotiating a $38 billion state budget, had enough time question the Vikings decision to release Chris Kluwe.
"I just think sports officials ought to be honest about what the heck is going on, same way I think public officials should be honest about what’s going on, so that bothers me probably as much, if not more, than the actual decision," Dayton said.
We're comparing sports to public office? In sports people strive to win. In politics the hope is that the loss isn't that painful.
+ Pittsburgh Steelers great Joe Greene, who retired this week after 27 years with the team, is worried about the team's culture of players.
"The scary thing is that players have a one-upsmanship about money; they sign a contract and they like it until someone signs a bigger one and now they don't like it. I don't like that," Greene, who retired this week from his front-office job with the team, told the newspaper. "I don't begrudge anyone money but it disrupts the football team."
In the meantime, here's an iconic commercial that Greene shot in 1979 for Coca-Cola.
+ You're not Dominic Toretto, Titus Young. You're not even Brian O'Conner. But damn if you don't get arrested twice on Sunday. Fifteen hours after being arrested for driving under the influence, Young was arrested again for "allegedly trying to steal his own car out of a California tow yards."
The testicles of a man to scale a fence owned by the police to recapture his own car. Impressive -- in the "I don't care about my job, or freedom really" category.
+ I received feedback from a recent posting that used a name. Gregg Doyle one-ups everyone by attacking every Tim Tebow fan -- and there's a certain peacefulness to that.