Athlete Weekly Rundown: Aaron Rodgers & his zone experience, Rick Rypien's tragic death & Jerricho Cotchery moves on
by Matthew Allinson 08-21-2011 11:57 PM
- Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can reach the top. Aaron Rodgers' Super Bowl run is case in point. This article has excellent insight about an athlete having the allusive zone experience. After suffering his second concussion of the season and being forced to take some time off, Rodgers had this to say about last season: "So when I got an opportunity to get back to my preparation, get back to my football team, I just wanted to make the most of that and be a better leader, be more prepared, be a better practice player, so all that kicked in and I went on a run and the rest is history.” [Week off helped Rodgers see the light]
- Free agent wideout Terrell Owens recently told ESPN.com that he is healing ahead of schedule while preparing for the start of this NFL season. Owens, who once played in Super Bowl XXXIX seven weeks after breaking his fibula, must be fully healthy for any teams to have an interest in signing him. While teams seem weary of signing the 15-year vet, Owens is confident in his abilities and focused on proving all the doubters wrong: "This is another challenge for me. Another opportunity to show people that age is nothing but a number. You can do anything you put your mind and body to. I don't allow naysayers to deter me from my goal." [T.O. 'way ahead of schedule' in surgery rehab]
Since NFL lockout rules prohibited contact between players and team personnel, many rookies and veteran players could not learn their new offensive and defensive assignments, especially on teams that had significant coaching changes. Yet, Browns starting QB Colt McCoy thought outside the box by spending the offseason learning about the West Coast offense from future Hall of Famer Brett Favre. It's always smart to find mentors who have tons of experience and success to guide you through your athletic development. [Brett Favre tutored Colt McCoy
It seems every NFL offseason, there is a major contract dispute between a team and high-profile athlete. Tennessee All-Pro RB Chris Johnson seems to be that case. Yahoo Sports! offers some advice to the Pro Bowler holding out for a newer contract: Don't show up! [Johnson Would Be A Fool To Trust Titans
- There’s nothing quite like organized sports: the sacrifices, work, and dedication of a group of athletes focused on achieving a common goal. Yet, there are times in which it benefits a player to decide in favor of their own personal goals, in spite of the interests of the team. Former Jets (and now PIttsburgh Steelers wide receiver) Jerricho Cotchery felt his request to be released from his former team was the best action for him. As the teams always say when they cut a player, "It's just business." Cotchery said: "People on the outside looking in might say, 'Well, you been there that long, you're part of the future,' but I didn't really see it that way. I think it would have been beneficial for both sides to move on." [Jerricho Cotchery: 'Time to move on']
- The recent Yahoo! Sports investigative story on the University of Miami and former booster and convicted ponzi schemer Nevin Shapiro had everyone clamoring last week about the latest NCAA scandal. One thing that struck me the most was this quote by Shapiro and the lesson that athletes who are on the take can learn from it: "We always said we were family. Be consistent with me. Don’t take my money when you need help and then turn your back when I need help. This is what boys do for each other.” Regardless of whether you think you're entitled to extra benefits and your opinion on the current NCAA rules, the bigger lesson is that if you get involved with shady people like Shapiro and accept their gifts, you will become beholden to them and eventually it may come back to haunt you. Remember, nothing is really free! [Who is Nevin Shapiro?]
- University of Maryland football coach invited an FBI agent to come speak and address his squad. According to Edsall, the agent's message to his players was "how they have to be careful of who they're associating with." [Edsall invites FBI agent to talk to Terps]
- Just because you're an elite athlete, who by most people's standards, "has everything going for you," doesn't mean you're insulated from mental illness. The recent tragedy of former NHL player Rick Rypien committing suicide is a painful reminder that athletes have everyday issues like everyone else, and if untreated, it can lead to disastrous situations. [Family, friends struggle with Rypien’s death]
- This ESPN Page2 Guide to Social Media will guide you through the perils and faux pas of being an athlete in the social mediasphere. [@Page2 guides athletes on social media]
More social media. Can you remember back to when social media didn’t exist? No, me neither. As social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have become nearly a standard in communication, their influence in sports and pop culture has happened nearly overnight. It has also changed the landscape of college athletic recruiting. These days players would rather receive a direct message on Twitter than talk to a coach over the phone. Yes, it's the world of instant gratification. At the same time, coaches, assistants, and coordinators alike are rapidly learning how to use these items in order to stay ahead of their competition. [Coaches’ New Friends
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