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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Former Buc takes shot, off the field
By JOANNE KORTH
Published August 7, 2005
Apparently, August is not too soon to start trash-talking in the NFC South.
Former Bucs safety Dwight Smith, who signed a free-agent contract with the Saints during the offseason, was only trying to say how much he liked his new surroundings when he unwittingly - or, perhaps, wittingly - submitted the first entry for Tampa Bay's 2005 bulletin board.
"Every day is fun here," Smith told reporters in New Orleans. "It got to the point in Tampa where it was like (winning) was supposed to happen. I like a place where the hunger is still there. Guys are still eager to win. We've got a lot of young guys who haven't tasted success and a lot of old guys who haven't tasted success."
Smith could have stopped there, no harm done.
But he didn't.
Unhappy with the Buccaneers' refusal to make him a lucrative offer at the end of four seasons, Smith fired this zinger:
"In Tampa, you have guys who are set money-wise and who won a Super Bowl, so that hunger and that drive isn't there anymore. I still have a lot of good friends down there that I keep in touch with, but when you have an egomaniac running the whole thing, it's tough."
The date to circle is Dec.4, Bucs at Saints.
Anybody have a thumbtack?
DEMOTION MAN: Even before the first drill of the season, Falcons receiver Peerless Price lost his starting job to second-year pro Michael Jenkins. Price was brought to Atlanta three years ago to be Michael Vick's go-to target but has not fulfilled the promise he showed as a No.2 receiver in Buffalo.
"You can never feel like you're the guy in the NFL, because the minute you think you've arrived, it's made known to you that you haven't," Price told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I always feel like my job is open."
RIM SHOT: The circus surrounding Terrell Owens at Eagles training camp reached the absurd when several reporters kept stats while Owens shot baskets in the parking lot at Lehigh University. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Owens was 7-for-9 from 3-point range and 41-for-65 at the free-throw line.
ONE OF THESE DAYS, ALICE: Reunited with coach Bill Parcells, quarterback Drew Bledsoe reported for his 13th NFL training camp with the Cowboys only to discover he had stepped into a time warp.
He was a rookie again.
Parcells, who coached Bledsoe with the Patriots in 1993, wants to go back to the low-risk offense that got the Cowboys in the playoffs two seasons ago. That means Bledsoe will be a "bus driver."
ESPN analyst Joe Theismann criticized the philosophy, saying a team can only go so far with a bus driver offense. Parcells was quick to challenge the former Redskins quarterback, whose arm was not the only threat in Washington's offense.
"(Theismann) would need to remember that he had that Mack truck behind him named Riggins, remember that? John Riggins?" Parcells told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "So, Joe was doing a little Ralph Kramden himself, to the best of my recollection, which is pretty vivid since I was coaching against him. He was handing it off quite a bit in those days."
ROLE PLAYING: Oscar-nominated actor Greg Kinnear was in Chiefs camp recently to study coach Dick Vermeil. Kinnear will play Vermeil in a Disney movie about Vince Papale, a substitute teacher and part-time bartender who walked onto the Eagles in 1976.
DARING LOOK: Titans center Justin Hartwig took new offensive coordinator Norm Chow at his word when Chow dared players to be different. Hartwig showed up at practice with a Mohawk. "He didn't say dare to be silly," teammate Brad Hopkins told the Nashville Tennessean. "But I commend Justin. It takes a lot for a guy to go out in public looking like that."