Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Golden Flashes drawing NFL interest

Nine NFL teams, including the Browns, Ravens and Steelers, were represented at Kent State’s pro day this week.

Not a big surprise as the Flashes had 10 players in the NFL last season, including former Pro Bowlers Antonio Gates and Joshua Cribbs and 2008 defensive player of the year James Harrison.

Ten players and no NCAA violations. Maybe a certain school to the south should take notes.

Several eyes were on defensive end Monte’ Simmons, who finished his Kent State career with 21.5 sacks and 38.5 tackles for losses.

”He looks the part; he’s a specimen,” Raymond Jackson, Pittsburgh’s director of player development, told The Beacon Journal. ”He reminds me so much of Courtney Brown. Size-wise, he’s a rare specimen. If you go off of looks, he’s a day-one guy. The film doesn’t lie. If he can play he’s going to be on somebody’s roster.”

”I still feel like I had more in me to show,” said Simmons. ”I have another pro day on March 15, just to get myself seen more.”

Watch, the Steelers or Ravens will probably take a chance on him and Simmons will torment the Browns for the next 10 years.

Scouts were also looking at safety Brian Lainhart, who had 17 interceptions and 344 tackles as a four-year starter, and middle linebacker Cobrani Mixon.

***

According to Paul Hoynes at The Plain Dealer, Nick Johnson is expected to arrive this week at spring training for the Indians.

The oft-injured Johnson is recovering from wrist surgery and is still a few weeks away from being able to swing a bat. The minor-league deal he signed with the Indians has a July 1 out clause. If he isn’t in the big leagues by then, he can become a free agent.

If the Indians bring him to the big leagues, he’ll make $750,000. They can exercise a club option for 2012 worth $2.75 million. He can earn another $1.75 million in plate appearances.

Please don’t hurry back, Nick. No seriously, there’s no rush.

***

Every once in a while we feel a little guilty that we are not more adventurous. But then we read stories like this and realize that’s not such a bad thing:

A Weipa (Australia) fisherman desperately held on to a tree and screamed for help from his mates as a monster croc bit into his legs and tried to pull him under the water.

Rangers will converge on Weipa today to try to catch the aggressive croc that attacked Rio Tinto mine worker Todd Bairstow, 28, as he was fishing on the banks of Trunding Creek yesterday.

Mr Bairstow was fishing in the creek near Albatross Bay Resort, about 4.10pm, when the crocodile lunged at him and tore off his finger.

The crocodile lunged again, grabbed his legs and tried to pull him into the water.

A Queensland Police spokesman said while the man suffered extensive lacerations and dislocated bones, his injuries were not life-threatening.

Yeah, maybe hanging out on the couch isn’t such a bad idea after all. (h/t to Deadspin)

***

Good news as Browns running back Montario Hardesty’s recovery from a knee injury that cost him his rookie season is progressing nicely.

“Rehab is going well,” Hardesty said on the team’s website. “I think I have a little bit of work still left to get myself there. I wouldn’t say I’m well ahead of schedule, but it’s coming along great. I just have a little bit of a ways to go before I’m back to 100 percent.”

If Hardesty can give the Browns anything this season it will be much appreciated, especially by Peyton Hillis, who wore down by the end of the last. (h/t to Waiting for Next Year)

***

Not surprisingly, Zydrunas Ilguaskas is planning to retire after this season.

“I think I’ve had enough of this game,” Ilguaskas told alietuvis.com. “I’ve played enough. Sitting on the bench doing nothing is not what I want to do. The long trips and the intensive schedule have taken its toll – I’m not a 20-year-old anymore and my body is telling me that it would be the right time to retire from NBA after this season. I have given everything I could to basketball and now I’d like to spend more time with my family.”

It can’t be fun for Z to be riding the bench for a Heat team that is not as good as the Cavs teams Z played on the past two years.

***

Finally, this from The New York Times gave us a good chuckle.

Turns out Jim Tressel had to cancel a book signing appearance the other night to try and explain the web of lies he’s weaving at Ohio State.

Tressel was promoting his book, Life Promises for Success: Promises From God on Achieving Your Best.

It’s been a while since we were regulars in church, but we did go to a parochial school through eighth grade and we’re pretty sure lying to your bosses wasn’t one of those life promises.

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