Leaf arrest came month-long investigation

Police in Montana arrested Ryan Leaf after a month-long investigation of suspicious cash transactions involving the former NFL quarterback.

The Great Falls Tribune reported that Drug Task Force in Central Montana received a tip from the post office that Leaf was receiving C.O.D. packages with packages with cash payments of between $500 to $700. The drug task force searched Leaf's home and car and found 20 Oxycodone pills for which he did not have a prescription.

Leaf was arrested on burglary and drug possession charges, both felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanor theft. To make matters worse, Leaf is still in the midst of probation on a 10-year suspended sentence from a drug charge in Texas. His latest arrest could cause that probation to be revoked.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

NFL Draft: Breaking down a Jenkins 'pick six'

Click here for the entire Inside the Playbook series.

North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins has first round talent at the CB position. I could see that back at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile and he followed it up with a solid workout (mid 4.4 40) at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. And despite some off the field concerns, Jenkins should still be viewed as a potential first round pick.

Today, let’s check out Jenkins on video when he was at the University of Florida and breakdown one of his interceptions. A base zone blitz concept vs. the “stick” route from the spread alignment. Take look at the replay and then we will get into some coaching points.

Quick coaching points…

– Rush five and drop six. This is a basic scheme from the Gators that we will see at both the pro and college level. Three-deep, three under with the SS and Will LB playing the “seam-flat” and the open (weak) side DE dropping to the “middle hook.”

– Miami of Ohio is running the “stick” concept: four short curls (or hitches) that act as “hot reads” vs. pressure. The QB reads pressure to the closed (strong) side of the formation and immediately looks up the outside “stick” vs. Jenkins.

– Is Jenkins sitting on this route? No question—and I like it. There is no need to backpedal out. If you know pressure is coming (and you trust your ability to open and run), then go ahead and play through the 3-step game (slant, hitch). Too often we see DBs at the college level backpedal and give up the slant or hitch routinely because they don’t trust their skill set. If your cushion (distance between DB and WR) isn’t threatened by the initial release, then don’t give ground.

– Jenkins is using what I call a “taxi” technique (short shuffle off his initial alignment). While I would like to see him stay square (easier to play the fade or outside breaking concept), check out his eyes. This is why he makes the play. Read through the release on the WR, plant and get your eyes back to the QB once you identify the route concept. Good football right here.

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NFL Draft: Ranking the tight end class by tiers

Breaking down the tiers of tight end prospects…

Tier 1

Coby Fleener: Stanford (6-6, 244)
An impressive pass catcher who can win both down the field and underneath vs. man coverage. Has the frame and flexibility to develop into a solid blocker as well and looks like a future starting caliber NFL TE.

Tier 2

CharlesICONCharles looks like a receiver with the ball in his hands.

Orson Charles: Georgia (6-3, 241)
A gifted athlete who can create a lot of mismatches in the pass game. Should be able to improve as a route runner as well. Not quite as polished as Aaron Hernandez as an H-back coming out, but could end up playing a similar type role.

Tier 3

Dwayne Allen: Clemson (6-4, 255)
Is a solid, strong athlete with good hands and body control when asked to go get the football. Lacks ideal balance/leverage into contact as a blocker and would like to see him be more sudden in tighter areas with defenders who want to be physical. However, he's an NFL talent who can be used in a number of ways on an NFL offense.

Tier 4

Deangelo Peterson: Louisiana State (6-4, 243)
An athletic kid who can run and get down the seam. However, is raw in all areas of the game and doesn't seem to have put much work into his trade, I don't know if he wants to or ever will. Nevertheless, physically the guy is worth a look.

Ladarius Green: UL Lafayette (6-6, 236)
He's a big slot guy who can make plays down the seam and can release off the line. However, he's not an in-line blocker and doesn't play well in tight areas vs. man. He has tools to be productive in the pass game, but there are limitations and you need to be creative to get the most out of him.

Tier 5

Chase Ford: Miami (6-6, 245)
Had a good showing at this year's East-West Shine game and for a guy at his size with his body control looks like a option you can draft late and try to mature into an every down type option. Has the frame to add weight and get much bigger.

Michael Egnew: Missouri (6-6, 245)
Has a long frame and the skill set to learn to play with his hand on the ground, but is going to need time. Isn't the type of dynamic athlete either to simply out run NFL defenders and looks limited in the type of routes he's going to be able to separate in. More of a vertical threat guy who needs to adjust to the ball in order to make plays.

Check out the NFP Draft page here…

Charles Rogers yet to surrender on two outstanding warrants

Detroit Lions’ draft bust Charles Rogers is in trouble with the law again.

He’s facing multiple unrelated charges, according to MLive.com, and has yet to turn himself in on two warrants seeking his arrest.

Rogers is charged with five misdemeanors, including conspiring with his uncle Ronie Rogers, 51, to make a threatening phone call to Charles Rogers’ mother, Cathy Rogers. Ronie Rogers faces similar charges in that case from March 5 and March 6.

Rogers has also been charged with possessing marijuana, possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle on a suspended or revoked license from a Dec. 2 traffic stop.

This is the third alcohol-related incident for Rogers, who previously pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle while visibly impaired after he was discovered pass out in his car. He was also sentenced to 93 days in jail for contempt of court after passing out in a restaurant, according to the report.

We’ll see where these latest incidents lead Rogers. He’s seemingly been in trouble since his career fizzled out.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Cowboys add Leon Lett as assistant coach

The Dallas Cowboys have bulked up their coaching staff by adding Leon Lett to work with the defensive line.

Lett has three Super Bowl rings from his playing days, and he will work as an assistant under defensive line coach Brian Baker, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. The idea is Lett can help bring along some of the young players. He spent last summer with the club as part of the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship Program.

Lett played 10 seasons and made one Pro Bowl in his career. Since finishing his playing career, Lett earned a degree from UNLV. He’ll also be able to teach young defensive players not to showboat before they reach the end zone on fumble returns. That happened to him in Super Bowl XXVII.

He’ll also be able to warn them about the pitfalls of attempting to recover a blocked field goal as he did in the 1993 Thanksgiving Day game against the Miami Dolphins after a 41-yard field goal was blocked. Lett muffed the attempt to recover the ball and it allowed the Dolphins to kick a game-winning field goal.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Raiders, Wheeler agree to one-year deal

The Oakland Raiders have agreed to a one-year deal with linebacker Phillip Wheeler, according to NFL.com.

Wheeler will man the strong side linebacker spot for the Raiders, who released Kamerion Wimbley due to salary cap concerns.

Wheeler had 80 tackles and one sack in 13 games for the Colts last season.

“We're excited to add another veteran to complement our talented linebacking group,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “He gives us a lot of athleticism and versatility. He's a player that can do a lot of things.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

Leaf in trouble again

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been arrested in Great Falls, Mont., on charges of burglary and drug possession, according to the Associated Press.

Leaf, freed on $76,000 bond, issued a statement on the matter, saying, “I've made some mistakes, and have no excuses,” Leaf said Friday night in a statement. “I am using the tools I've learned to move forward rather than backwards, and will be open to talking about the details in the days to come. I am confident that there will be further understanding when the facts are revealed, and feel very blessed for all of the support, especially from my friends and family.”

Leaf was the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, taken by the San Diego Chargers. The Indianapolis Colts took Peyton Manning ahead of Leaf in that draft. Manning, of course, went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in league history, while Leaf became one of the biggest draft busts in league history.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

Tebow 'not sure' he will be a starting QB again

In an interview with ESPN 1050 in New York, Tim Tebow said he is “not sure” if he will be a starting quarterback again in the NFL.

Tebow, acquired by the New York Jets from the Denver Broncos, said that is really not his focus right now.

“I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds my future,” Tebow said. “That's something that has always given me peace and comfort. That's why I don't have to worry about the future. I can just worry about today and worry about becoming better as a football player and a person.”

Tebow also said he respected cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who on Twitter was critical of the Jets' pursuit of Tebow before the trade went down. Tebow said Cromartie was simply defending current Jets starter Mark Sanchez.

“It's great because he had his quarterback's back,” Tebow said. “That's what you want. You want guys that are supporting your quarterback. I think that's great, and I commend him for doing that.”

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

Giants' RB Andre Brown suspended for 4 games

The New York Giants lost one running back when Brandon Jacobs was released after the sides could not reach agreement on a restructured contract.

Jacobs has since moved on by signing with the San Francisco 49ers. Now, the Giants are down another running back, at least for the first four games of the season. Andre Brown has been suspended for the first four games in 2012 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

What does it mean? Well, Brown spent the entire 2011 season – including the postseason run to the Super Bowl – on the practice squad. Now, if the Giants were thinking of promoting Brown right away, they’ll need another plan.

Right now, the Giants have three other backs on the roster – Ahmad Bradshaw, who had an injury-plagued season, D.J. Ware and Da’Rel Scott.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

NFP On Campus

Let’s open up this weekend’s notebook and see what’s happening on campuses across the country.

Spring practice notes

• We discussed earlier this offseason the changes that new Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder wanted to make to his unit moving forward, such as bringing in bigger linebackers instead of the smaller, quicker 'backers the team had previously been targeting on the recruiting trail. The former Atlanta Falcons DC also wants to beef up the defensive line. One change VanGorder is immediately instilling is a more aggressive yet simplistic approach on his defense. The defensive linemen cared more about their gaps under Ted Roof, who is now running the defense at Penn State, than getting off the football and hitting the opposing offensive linemen. Meanwhile, new Tigers offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler has been using less shotgun and more tight ends in the early days of camp, with the running backs being a lot more involved catching passes out of the backfield. Certainly, it's a different offense than the one run by Gus Malzahn, who is now the head coach at Arkansas State.

Jordan RodgersICONJordan Rodgers has competition for the starting job at Vandy.

• The fact that James Franklin is the head coach wasn't the only reason why many had thought Danny O'Brien would be smart to transfer to Vanderbilt. Incumbent starting quarterback Jordan Rodgers had an uneven first season as a starter, struggling with his accuracy and throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and he ended 2011 with a rough performance in the team's bowl loss to Cincinnati. O'Brien, of course, chose Wisconsin on Wednesday, so the only obstacles standing in the way of Rodgers starting the opener are Wyoiming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels and early enrollee freshman Patton Robinette. So far, Rodgers remains ahead of both competitors. While Franklin has said he is more worried about how Carta-Samuels looks in the second half of spring drills, he also said that this competition will last into fall camp. However, that could be a good thing for Rodgers, as being pushed could help maximize his talent level and elevate the Commodores' offense.

• With Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps departing, and head coach Will Muschamp desirous of the Gators having a strong downhill rushing attack, former receiver/tight end Omarius Hines has been moved to the backfield to help out Mike Gillislee and Mack Brown, both of whom sit atop the Gators' depth chart. Muschamp and new offensive coordinator Brent Pease have been pleased by the progress of Hines, although it's way too early to tell how much of an impact he will make on Saturday afternoons in the fall. Hines certainly gives the Gators a more powerful force in the backfield, and he's athletic and explosive enough to make his presence felt as a third-down back and as a pass-catching threat. Florida expects to use Trey Burton in the backfield as well, and he certainly proved in his freshman season that he can be dangerous operating out of the backfield.

• In my Ohio State spring practice preview, I discussed the importance of head coach Urban Meyer and new line coach Ed Warinner figuring out how to assemble the team's offensive line. During the team's first practice this week, Jack Mewhort was at left tackle after starting at guard last season, and Corey Linsley was at center after playing guard in 2011. Converted tight end Reid Fragel, as expected, was lined up at right tackle, while the guard spots were occupied by Andrew Norwell and Marcus Hall.

• Al Golden is looking for playmakers on Miami's offense with receivers Travis Benjamin and Tommy Streeter headed to the NFL. One name to store away is Rashawn Scott, who is turning heads in spring practice thus far. Scott had five catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns in a recent scrimmage. Golden likes his work ethic along with his obvious talent. Meanwhile, Ryan Williams is reportedly ahead of the pack in the quarterback derby.