Canceled rookie symposium means more NFL trouble

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Canceled rookie symposium means more NFL trouble

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

Yesterday the NFL canceled its first official event, the annual rookie symposium, because of the ongoing lockout.

The summit is important; new pros learn about money management, PEDs, and other facets of the NFL lifestyle.

Canceling the event could have dire consequences.

In light of what Ray Lewis said this week about current pros committing crimes because they have nothing else to do, we should all fear for these rookies. Apparently, NFLers can't handle life without having handlers and structure. What will happen to these young men without any guidance?

WGS has created a Top-5 Mock Draft of Doom to clue people into the gravitas of the coming weeks.

1. CAM NEWTON HAS MONEY TROUBLE

The 1st overall selection of 2011 really could have used financial advice.

"My dad said he'd take care of my accounts for me," a distraught Newton says. "How am I bankrupt before the season even starts?"

2. JAKE LOCKER OUT"DOES" ANTONIO CROMARTIE

The Titans first round selection impregnates 12 different women. When asked about the absurd amount of children he's fathered, Locker says, "Look at me! I'd never get chicks if I wasn't an NFL quarterback."

"After the draft, there were about a million women who wanted to get with me. I got kind of excited about all the attention, I guess, and without the symposium I didn't know how to handle it. But, clearly, I don't get too excited when it matters. Amirite?" he laughs. He and Cromartie become best friends. Their kids play together all the time.

3. PATRICK PETERSON MISINTERPRETS THE RULES

Peterson, selected 5th overall by the Cardinals murders five wide receivers. Not on the field, but like, for real. With some blunt object or his bare hands or something. The cornerback is shocked when taken into custody by police.

"I know it's against the law to kill people," Peterson says in interrogation. "But I thought the league's conduct policy was different. Isn't Goodell the only guy I have to listen to?"

4. PATRIOTS FALL FROM GREAT HEIGHTS

Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Ryan Mallett, Marcus Cannon, Lee Smith, Markell Carter and Malcolm Williams all get busted for possession of marijuana. Each player is caught somewhere in Massachusetts with exactly one ounce of cannabis. They all say exactly the same thing: "An ounce is LEGAL in this state!" and they're right.

However, Goodell notes the personal conduct violations. When the season resumes, the Commissioner fines, suspends and sends to counseling those players who made the team. All feel "hoodwinked".

5. MUHAMMAD WILKERSON MISHANDLES THE MEDIA

One week after the symposium is cancelled, Azteca Deportes broadcasts a sex tape depicting Wilkerson and Inez Sainz.

According to the Jets first rounder: "She just showed up at my apartment! She said she really, really likes the Jets and wanted to show me how much she really, really likes the Jets."

Why wasn't he thrown off by the camera crew? "She's a journalist!" Wilkerson says. "She said they go with her wherever she goes. How am I supposed to know what's wrong if nobody tells me?"

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

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Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.

Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

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Hayes knows he's a good player, wants to silence the critics

BOSTON, Mass. – There’s a long way to go toward a complete resurrection from last season’s misdeeds, but Jimmy Hayes made a nice little statement that he’s learned some lessons in Boston’s preseason debut. The Bruins lost the game, 3-2, in the shootout to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but Hayes scored one of the two goals for the Black and Gold as one of the few veterans in a very youthful lineup for Boston.

The Hayes goal was a nice give-and-go with Jake DeBrusk at the end of a nice transition play in the second period, and was the highlight of a night playing on the right wing with DeBrusk and center Austin Czarnik. The score and a team-high four shots on net for Hayes represent a good start for what he hopes is a gigantic rebound season after last year’s disappointment.

Clearly Hayes heard some of the unflattering chatter about him on sports talk radio and otherwise last season, and may even understand how his difficult season in his home city of Boston -- whether he actively expressed it to him or not -- might have been a factor in his buddy Jimmy Vesey ultimately choosing New York over Boston.

It appears the former Boston College standout is looking to change the conversation in Boston. 

“Yeah, sure am. I’ve got a lot to come out here and…[there were] a lot of comments about myself, but I know I’m a good player. I got to this level for a reason,” said Hayes, who dropped from 19 goals and 35 points with the Panthers to 13 goals, 29 points and a career-worst minus-12 for the Bruins last season.

“To be able to play at the NHL level and continue to play at that level on a consistent basis is what I expect out of myself. I do it for myself and our teammates, and to help our team win. I’ll continue moving forward.

“It’s funny being the old guy on the line. It’s nice to see those young guys and see how excited they are, and how excited I am to get back out there. That’s what I said to the guys, they still have the jitters and they still have them for the first preseason game. It shows that these guys want it and it’s been a lot of fun skating with those guys. They’ve got a lot of speed and to keep pushing the pace. Trying to keep up with them has been a lot of fun.”

There is still a long way to go for the 26-year-old winger, and his willingness to stick around the danger areas on Monday night was a welcomed one for a Bruins team that needs his 6-foot-6 body in front of the net. Hayes paid the price with stitches and a fat lip after taking a Dalton Prout high-stick to the mouth in front of the Columbus net that went uncalled on a Bruins PP at the end of the second period.

That’s all part of the big man’s game on the ice, however. It’s also the kind of battle and determined fight that Hayes will need to show much more consistently in his second season with the hometown Bruins if he’s truly looking to bounce-back from last year’s mediocre performance.