A quick game of catch-up

I longed to remain in the Bristol area, spending time on the ESPN campus, collecting business cards of bosses and colleagues while brainstorming. But I have returned home.

We thank you for your patience, and hope it won’t be long before the payoff from some of the things I was involved in appears right here.

We’ll restart here by catching up on the significant developments around the division.


In many ways it’s unfortunate that Brian Cushing is branded going forward in a way that many who tested positive for a banned substance before him were not. It’s a result of The Associated Press’ decision to revote on his defensive rookie of the year award and the approach he and his advisers took to addressing it and defending him.

Too, I think there is a cumulative affect from the sins of those before him and more of an inclination to compare an NFL incident to baseball that have both increased the degree to which he’s suffered image-wise.

That may not be fair, but it's part of the risk that comes with a positive test. Yes, HcG can be naturally produced. Cushing's argument that's the case with him seems filled with holes. Some fans/media on the periphery have gone a bit overboard with an intense defense of him.


Former Colts offensive line coach Howard Mudd is part of this Mike Sando piece about the potential for assistant coaches to unionize.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for anyone who’s going to wind up “suffering” as a result of the likely lockout next spring. But assistant coaches are the exception, as they’ll just kind of be left in limbo and never known when owners could lay down new and difficult rules for them.

My tendency is to say if you’re a good assistant who can impact a position group, there will always be a place for him and good job security. But the uncertain labor situation is probably as stressful for this group as anyone.


Wayne Weaver’s nephew, Mackey Weaver, is now a high-ranking team executive who’s ability to sell the Jaguars could have a big bearing on their future.

Because the Jaguars have 15,000 season-ticket accounts, Macky Weaver is asking each season-ticket holder to find one more friend to buy a season ticket.

"If every one of our season-ticket holders found one person, whether it's a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a neighbor, and got them to buy one ticket, we'd be sold out,'' he said.

Hey, enthusiasm and new ideas are what the Jaguars need in their front office and overall approach to ticket sales. But if I’m a happy season-ticket holder watching the Jaguars, wouldn’t I have already made such inquiries?

And while I understand the attempt to create a ripple effect starting with their most devoted fans, isn’t there an element of passing the buck on to your best customers in this plan?


The Titans weren’t in the market for an additional vice president, and hiring one always means selling Bud Adams on the value of an additional salary.

Ruston Webster’s entrĂ©e as vice president of player personnel, then, is no small development. He was a candidate for the GM job when Mike Reinfeldt was hired in 2007 and has a strong connection to Reinfeldt through the Seattle Seahawks.

Reinfeldt said it was a job he simply hasn’t had an opportunity to fill until this point and he wanted time to see how things worked before filling the post, so perhaps Adams signed off on the idea a good while ago.

Webster’s addition shows that Reinfeldt’s got good pull in Houston and gives the GM an additional, experienced sounding board. The Titans were long too thin in the scouting department, and Reinfeldt’s been able to beef it up some. More isn’t always better, but it could be a big help here.