Training Camp Notes – Wednesday, August 20th August 20, 2014  |  Ian Goldsmith


 

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“Da Beard” will be returning to Pittsburgh. Brett Keisel, the 12 year NFL veteran defensive end who has spent every season with Pittsburgh has agreed to resign with the Steelers for two years. This contract likely ensures that the 2010 Pro Bowler and BYU Cougar will finish his career in the Steel City, which has to thrill Big Ben, who was seen sporting a #99 jersey on the first day of training camp.

 

Former Bengal great and NFL Today analyst Boomer Esiason ripped Johnny Manziel on his radio show yesterday.

“I’m telling you right now, he is not even remotely close to being ready. If he opened as the starting quarterback in Pittsburgh in Week 1, he would get his ass kicked. And his ass would be driven into the ground. Because I’m telling you, other teams hate this guy. Hate him.”

 

The Eagles are slowly, but steadily becoming Oregon East. In a move that should surprise nobody, Chip Kelly traded for former Duck RB Kenjon Barner, who should act as a backup running back and kick returner for Philadelphia. In return, Carolina gets only a conditional 2015 7th round pick. While that may seem fair now, something tells me that Barner’s stock will go up after playing in a system in which he’s already comfortable. He seems, to me, like a guy who could eventually step into a Sproles-like role for the team when the former Saint retires. There are currently NINE former Oregon players on the roster. Obviously not all will survive the upcoming cuts, but it shows that Kelly likes players who know his system.

 

Malcolm Smith, Super Bowl XLVIII MVP, participated fully in practice yesterday for the first time this offseason. Somewhere in the distance, Peyton Manning was seen covering his tear-filled eyes, huddling in a corner and repeating to himself: “It was just a dream, wasn’t it?”

 

WARNING: Mini Rant Ahead

Maybe Mark Cuban was right when he said that the NFL is on its way to implosion in the next ten years. Yes, that may be a bit hyperbolic, but Tuesday’s news that the NFL has asked the three candidates for the Superbowl XLIX halftime show to pay for the privilege of performing is just another step in the wrong direction. Halftime acts already play for free. I, for one, am extremely frustrated with the increasing greed of the NFL. Whether it’s the years of denial about the effects of concussions on their players or the refusal to step in and support a name change for that Washington franchise, the green that the NFL bleeds is slowly turning me off of the game that I love.

It’s too bad, really. I was hoping to see Weird Al as the Superbowl 50 headliner. I guess that dream is gone.

 

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