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That's What They Said: Oooh... Front Page.

As announced previously in this space, XFINITY from Comcast has generously agreed to support the best NFL community around -- us!  As part of that effort, between now and the end of the 2010 NFL season XFINITY will be sponsoring a variety of special editorial and interactive features on our site.

Well, I got the call. Like Ebby Laloosh from Bull Durham, after some time spent in the minors, the show came calling. Bumped to the main page, so I hope I can meet the expectations of the masses. As always, feel free to let me know how you feel at Your input will be taken in to account, as I can only get better with the feedback of my bretheren. It takes a village to raise a child.

I'll have to take in the words of Crash Davis, when talking about performence:

Relax, all right? Don't try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.

So, here are some ground balls for you to hit back up the middle at me. Oh wait... this is a football blog. I'll get better at this, I swear.

What better way to start off then with a quote from BTSC Hall of Famer, Sir Isaac Redman of Bowie.


I looked out of shape, I'm a rookie, undrafted. They could have sent me right home.

Steelers runnigback Isaac Redman on his first go 'round with an NFL Training Camp, last season. In Scott Brown's Pittsburgh Tribune Review article highlighting the Bowie State products attitude towards this season, Redman talks about how his performance went from "comical" (per Kirby Wilson) to impactful, as Redman makes a push to make the 53 man roster this season, after spending one game there last year. If you want to know who to thank for all that is Redman, look no further then Bruce Arians.

It was an experience of a lifetime, once in a lifetime. The most meaningful thing for me, truly, honestly, was having our team over there. I said several times I wouldn’t want to be there without them. It was so gratifying to look over there and see our Steelers over there.

Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau to's Teresa Varley, commenting on his Hall Of Fame induction Saturday. It's been said, but it can never be said enough, Dick LeBeau was a great player, is a great coach, and more importantly a great man. It's no wonder he's referred to as "Coach Dad" by his players, as he glows with the pride of a father when he talks about his men. I know seeing our team sitting just like fans, wearing their coach's 44 on their back was the most memorable part of the Hall of Fame weekend for me (although a close second was watching Emmit Smith gush with affection for his fullback, Moose Johnston. Fullbacks deserve more love from the Hall).

Congratulations again on a well deserved honor Coach LeBeau!

I want the guys to trust me, to believe they have a good guy out there who's not a drop-off from Santonio. I have some big shoes to fill -- he's a great player, that's my guy. We talk all the time. (But) I plan on doing an even better job than he did.

Steelers second year wideout Mike Wallace talking about his increased role in our offense this year with John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. A topic of great debate on BTSC and Steeler Nation a like, it will be Mike Wallace's ability to adjust to the expanded role that will, in my opinion, be the catalyst in our passing offense. Can he out work number two corners? Will he suffer a sophomore slump due to increased scouting and 16 games worth of tape to review? We will see. One thing is for certain, if this offense can be special through the air, it will be Mike Wallace's speed and playmaking ability that will need to be on call.

I kicked two calls in the fourth quarter and I impacted the game, and as an official you never want to do that. It left me with a lot of sleepless nights, and I think about it constantly.

Superbowl XL referee Bill Leavy, referring to two calls specificly that were made during our Superbowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks a few seasons ago. For an interesting look at how the calls (and several others) really effected the game itself, be sure to check out this great article at They, more specifically Brian Burke, uses a win probability quotient to quantify the impact of the calls. Whether you agree with the calls or not, in a game officiated by human beings mistakes will be made, unfortunately these controversial calls were made during the biggest game of the year. What gets forgotten most often is the impact a mistake can have on said officials. The game is their life, and all they get for it normally is grief.

Regardless of the legitimacy of the calls, and regardless of the backlash against Mr. Leavy, what is is. The Steelers won the game, they're never going to take it away from us. I applaud Bill for apologizing, as he clearly believed an apology was warranted. I hope he can find a little more peace in his conscience as a result.

AFC North

They’re going to have to make a trade for a cornerback, and I think the team will be active in searching for a cornerback. As the preseason goes on, they’ll keep close tabs on other teams and what they need.

ESPN's Adam Schefter's thoughts on the Ravens cornerback depth issues. The Ravens front office is always prepared to make a move when needed, and they seem to make a lot of good choices when prompted. It will be interesting to see if they share Adam's opinion, with Schefter being one of my most trusted voices when it come to rumors, I wouldn't be surprised to see something from the Purple and Black at some point.

You have to take the bitter with the sweet, and you move on. Do I think I should probably be there? Yeah. It was short-lived. I was prematurely let go. Things like that happen.

Bengals newest receiver Terrell Owens' comments about an old team, The Dallas Cowboys, made right around the time he was playing against Dallas on Sunday. In a sense, I agree with TO, as the Cowboys let him go because they felt they had adequate talent in Roy Williams to replace him. But, at the same time, at a certain point you have to actually move on, as TO alludes to in his comments. Easier said then done, with reporters undoubtedly looking for that sound clip that sells best in the lead up to their game Sunday.

Ever since I've been here I knew the expectations were going to be for me to be on the field and play. Ever since the first rookie minicamp, I've been trying to work hard and show that I deserve to be here.

Browns top draft pick, rookie corner Joe Haden on his experiences so far in Browns camp, and what he believes he should be doing this year for Cleveland. Despite mixed reports out of camp, Haden is expected to hold down nickel duties, while Eric Wright and newly acquired Sheldon Brown maintain number one and number two roles respectively. Wright was injured in practice recently, so Haden may be called on for more important coverage responsibilities sooner than expected.

Around the NFL

There's no real estate.  There's no social life, no social networking.  All the people who have something going on leave Cleveland.  So Cleveland has nothing, and I came in there with a New York-type of essence.  So what?  That was the attitude I came in with.  Like, this is who I am.  They didn't like the flash.

New York Jets receiver Braylon Edwards, to the NY Times, talking about his time spent in Cleveland. In another case of a receiver needing to just learn how to move on with his life, Edwards looks back on his four years in Cleveland with a touch of disdain. For those wondering, the Browns also didn't care for the dropped passes (of which there were plenty), the diva attitude, and the fist fights with good friends of the biggest star of the city at that time. Get over it Braylon, you're in a good spot in New York, and you've got enough to worry about there. Like actually catching passes, and beating out the other receiving options for a number one role. Cleveland has taking enough of a beating recently.

I had a unique situation where something like this occurred and we have the science to back it up. It's taken months. It's really beyond what we ever thought and it's beyond the regular medical doctor.

Currently suspended Houston linebacker Brian Cushing, on his new appeal to Commisioner Goodell. Apparently Cushing has spent the offseason in the lab, and his thesis on the human genome should be due out week one or so. Joking of course, as I have no knowledge what so ever on the topic, or how working out too much can lead to a positive test. It's a good effort at the very least.

First of all, it is the "Ratings Czar" my fine friends at! ;) I’ve worked at EA Tiburon since 1999. I was part of the first ever testing group here at Tiburon when we tested NCAA Football 2000 and Madden 2000. I actually got the testing job offer after winning a NCAA Football 99 tournament at the University of Central Florida (I was talking to the now current Madden Senior Producer Phil Frazier and NCAA Football Creative Director Jeff Luhr about bugs in the game, new things they needed to add, told them which players were rated incorrectly, etc).

Donny Moore, the man behind the curtain when it comes to player ratings in EA Sports' Madden franchise. Interested to know more about how each player is rated, or get some inside dirt on the behind the scenes at Madden, check out his interview with (part one and part two). Madden 2011 hit store shelves today, so be sure to grab it, because without you, how will the Steelers ever win a pixilated Lombardi? I'm getting mine on my lunch break... right now.