Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement top moments

CANTON, Ohio — The Pro Football Hall of Fame‘s enshrinement ceremony is one of the most magical and underrated nights in football. It’s a night for the junkies. For the men who shaped the game and all the fans who love it more than they probably should.

Seven men were enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Saturday: Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Larry Allen, Bill Parcells, Curley Culp, Warren Sapp and Cris Carter. Here were some highlights from all the speeches:

Allen’s speech surprises

Former Dallas Cowboys guard Larry Allen was well known for his taciturn style with the media.

“During my career, I didn’t talk that much, but I didn’t have to. I used my helmet,” Allen started his speech.

What followed was the most hilarious, surprising and memorable speech of a terrific night. It was the most honest. Allen’s message to his wife was an all-time classic.

“On our first date, she cooked for me. She cooked me two chickens, french fries, baked me a cake, and gave me a 40 ounce. I knew then, that was my wife right there,” Allen said.

Allen relayed how getting destroyed by Reggie White motivated him to get stronger:

“I got in that weight room and became the strongest man in the NFL. And I did it naturally,” Allen said, to laughs. “Once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me twice a week for the rest of my career.”

Allen was hoping that his bust would have a dip in it. It doesn’t, but the bust does have a scar. And Allen’s story about that scar says so much about him.

“I was protecting my little brother from the guy who was a little older than me. He ended up stabbing me,” Allen said. “Three months later my mother said, I’m not raising any punks, so she made me fight this guy. She said you will fight him until you win. First day, I lost. Second day, I lost. The third day, I finally won. That was one of the most valuable lessons I learned in my life, never to back down from anybody.”

Ogden begins the night with class

When you think Baltimore Ravens, you think of offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden.

The franchise’s first draft pick was introduced by his general manager, Ozzie Newsome.

“I’ve often thought about that day back in 1996 when you drafted me instead of Lawrence Phillips,” Ogden cracked to Newsome. “I think that worked out well for everybody.”

Ogden’s speech was typical of everything we know about him: classy, light-hearted and smart. His support of former Ravens owner Art Modell was greeted with some boos in this Cleveland Browns-heavy area, but even that couldn’t take the huge smile off Ogden’s face. Ogden towered over his Hall of Fame teammates, and stands tall as a historic figure in his franchise’s history.

“I am so very proud to have been the Baltimore Ravens‘ first-ever draft choice, and I am so humbled to be the Baltimore Ravens‘ first-ever Hall of Fame inductee,” Ogden said.

Robinson makes impression to new audience

Green Bay Packers great Dave Robinson isn’t known well enough by today’s fans, but his speech Saturday night should help that.

“I have friends, family, and fans and everybody else that live just about 25 miles from here,” Robinson said. “But it took me 38 years to get here, and I tell you, I enjoyed every step of the way.”

Robinson clearly enjoyed every moment on stage, even if so many of his contemporaries couldn’t be there with him. The linebacker is one of nine siblings, and only one other one was alive to see him inducted.

“I don’t know if you caught it, but there’s been a lot of coaches in my life, and a lot of them have left here, so I don’t think anybody else wants to coach Dave Robinson. They don’t last long,” he said with a laugh. “There’s a lot of people looking down up there, my family and friends. And some of my friends may be looking up at me, but I just hope they’re all proud of me.”

Robinson played in an era under Vince Lombardi that we barely could recognize now. He and his wife moved to Green Bay at a time when there were no other black women in the entire town.

“There were rumors there was one black lady that lived in town, one in the whole city,” Robinson said. “I never met her. But the rumor was she was there. Yeah, I know. You’re thinking what I thought. She’s probably passing.”

Robinson had to wait so long for induction. But there was not a trace of regret on his face about it. He seemed so thankful to be included.

“I’m finally here. I’m here forever,” Robinson said. “I’m here now, they can’t get me out.”

Once a coach, always a coach

Bill Parcells still is coaching. His speech was full of thanks to those we’d expect who helped him along the way. But he just couldn’t help but try to motivate others in the crowd, starting with former assistant coaches like Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin.

“I just want to say I take pride in their individual accomplishments, and I’m looking for a couple more championships out of some of them, so let’s go,” Parcells said.

The Big Tuna knew that each player and assistant required different handling. Some needed to be watched more closely than others.

“The only thing I would ask them to do is when they put my bust in the Hall tomorrow, I’d like to be somewhere near Lawrence Taylor, so I can keep an eye on that sucker.”

Parcells had one of the longest speeches on a quick-moving night, and his most memorable passages were about the special nature of an NFL locker room.

“We’ve got happiness, we’ve got humor, practical jokes, hilarity, success, achievement. Then we’ve got that momentary time of exhilaration where you hoist that championship trophy over your head, and I don’t know what happens, but some mystical blood kinship is formed, and although it’s a fleeting moment, that kinship lasts for the rest of your life. …

“I wish all of American society could have experienced what I experienced in this place, because, ladies and gentlemen, it is a priceless, priceless education.”

Curley gets his due

Curley Culp is considered by some to be one of the greatest nose tackles of all time. He played primarily for the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers, and he finally was honored by the senior’s committee with induction this year.

“You know, this is an occasion that’s long been in my dreams and now lives in reality,” Culp said. “I cannot express how glorious a feeling this is for me and my family who have long hoped with me that this day would come. So to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame gives me joy and inspiration that would last the rest of my life.”

It’s a ‘Cane thing

Warren Sapp is the first Hall of Famer to have a bust with cornrows in it. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers legend’s speech largely was about where he came from, Plymouth, Fla. As Sapp called it, “the dirt.” Sapp, like so many players, talked about his high school and college coaches with reverence. He thanked Dennis Erickson, who coached him at the University of Miami, just for finding him.

“I want to thank coach (Erickson) for getting on a plane and flying up from Miami to Orlando, Fla., and getting on (U.S. Route 441) going North, and just like I told you, coach, drive until it gets real dark like you’ve gotten lost, then all of a sudden you’ll see the flashing lights and it’s going to say ‘Girls, Girls.’ It was just a little trucker stop, but I lived behind that trucker stop.”

Sapp had the first Rich Eisen mention in a Hall of Fame speech, going out of his way to thank his NFL Network teammates. Sapp’s most emotional moment came in thanks of his ex-wife. But his passion for football stood out more than anything else.

“I love this game. I love the passion of it. I sit here with the greatest among the great. As Michael Irvin said the other day, this is the Bible of football because you can read it, get inspiration, gain strength and look to tomorrow.

“This game is so great, there is nothing else I know and love that’s taken me from a dirt road to heights I’ve never even seen and now to a gold jacket. Oh, my goodness.”

A fitting end

Cris Carter had to go last. No one could follow his energy, his bombast, his love of family, his use of the third person. The former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver went through the people who mattered most in his life and punctuated his remarks to them with, “You’re going to the Hall of Fame with me!”

He thanked former Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan for releasing him at a time when his substance abuse problems were going out of control.

Carter said Ryan’s wife told the coach not to cut Carter because he “‘was going to do something special with his life.'”

“So Buddy Ryan and his wife, I thank you,” Carter said, “You’re going into the Hall with me tonight.”

Carter, Ohio-born and Ohio State-bred, capped the night with local flavor.

“Buckeye, Born and Bred, Now HOFer, even after I’m dead.”

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NBA News: The Latest on Derrick Rose, Greg Oden and Al Harrington

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This time of the year is usually slow in the NBA. But even as free agency winds down, Derrick Rose and other impact players have made headlines recently.

Most NBA teams have their rosters pretty much set, but this year has seen some late movement. Whether it’s adding or dropping players, there have still been several intriguing moves made.

Championship contenders have pressure to make sure they are ready to go from the start of the season. Two of the biggest contenders in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, have had some promising news lately.

Ironically, every player on this list is coming off an injury.

Let’s check out some of the recent news around the NBA.

Cesc Fabregas: Man United still keen despite Barca claims

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Manchester United remain keen to pursue a deal for Cesc Fabregas despite Barcelona claiming they have given up on signing the Spain midfielder.

The Premier League champions have already had two offers for the 26-year-old former Arsenal captain turned down.

Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told a Spanish newspaper United have “renounced his signing”.

But sources close to the English champions have indicated they are considering a third bid for Fabregas.

Any bid over £30.75m would exceed United’s transfer record and the player remains the main target of new manager David Moyes with four weeks remaining until the summer transfer window closes.

Zubizarreta, speaking in Israel where the Catalan giants are currently on tour, told Spanish newspaper Sport the player is going nowhere.

Fabregas facts

  • He became Arsenal’s youngest player aged 16 years and 177 days against Rotherham United in League Cup in October 2003
  • Barcelona paid Arsenal £35m to sign him in August 2011
  • He has winner’s medals from the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and 2012
  • He won his first league title when Barcelona took La Liga’s top spot last season

“Manchester United are interested in the player, but it’s also true that they understand our position of not wanting to sell,” said the ex-Spain goalkeeper.

“They have renounced his signing. We aren’t going to sell him.”

Zubizarreta added on Barcelona’s official website: “He has a contract with us. We count on Cesc.

“He’s an extraordinary player who creates and finishes chances. We are delighted with him. He’s the number four of Barca.”

Fabregas moved to the Nou Camp from Arsenal in 2011 in a £35m deal and has since helped his boyhood club to a La Liga title, a Copa Del Rey victory, the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup.

Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino claims it would be up to the Spain international where he played next season and Arsenal are understood to have first option on Fabregas.

However, Gunners manager Arsene Wenger believes the player will remain in Spain.

“What I know is Fabregas will stay one more year at least in Barcelona,” said the Frenchman. “That’s the information I have. If that changes, I don’t know, but that is what I have been told.”

Gareth Bale: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas criticises Real Madrid

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Real coach Carlo Ancelotti revealed the Spaniards were in talks over signing the 24-year-old Spurs forward.

“The rumours that anything is imminent are not true,” said Villas-Boas. “We allowed ourselves conversations with Real Madrid, confirmed by their coach – I think wrongly.

Gareth Bale in numbers

Gareth Bale
  • Age: 24
  • Premier League games: 146
  • Goals: 42
  • Yellow cards: 15
  • Red cards: 1
  • Wales caps: 41

“But the only thing we’ve communicated is that the player is not for sale.”

He added: “Carlo is a person I appreciate a lot and we have great respect for each other but, bearing in mind this situation, they have decided to make it public.

“Normally, situations like this in England are scrutinised by the Football Association with lots of care and attention. We have seen lots of people speaking about a player that is not theirs and we are due some respect.”

Villas-Boas was speaking following his side’s 5-2 defeat by Monaco in a pre-season friendly on Saturday.

Wales international Bale did not travel with the rest of the Tottenham squad for the game in the French principality.

Former Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow, who has been around the Real Madrid camp in Los Angeles this week, said he expects Bale to join the Bernabeu club.

He told BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme: “The mood was very much one of confidence and expectation that Bale would go.”

However, despite Bale also indicating to Spurs that he wants to speak to Real about a move, Villas-Boas insists he is planning for the 2013-14 season with Bale, who scored 26 goals last season, in his plans.

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Bale would be Real success – Redknapp

“We are looking towards the future with Gareth,” said Villas-Boas.

“In football anything is possible but what we’ve communicated so far is that we are not willing to concede to their [Real Madrid’s] interest in the player.”

Bale played the first half of Tottenham’s pre-season friendly against Swindon on 16 July but not played since as the White Hart Lane club continue their build-up to the Premier League campaign.

“He picked up a pain in his foot from his individual training so he’s recovered from the [earlier] injury he had to his gluteus,” explained Villas-Boas.

“The medical department has examined him and given the red light to his involvement, so we can’t have him training or playing at this moment.”

Luis Suárez: Arsenal are lacking class, say Liverpool

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Luis Suárez: Arsenal are lacking class, say Liverpool

• Brendan Rodgers attacks Arsenal over transfer attempt
• Luis Suárez stays away from Gerrard testimonial dinner

Luis Suárez playinmg in Steven Gerrard's testimonial

Luis Suárez, who is wanted by Arsenal, played for Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images

Brendan Rodgers has accused Arsenal of lacking class with their attempt to activate a disputed clause in Luis Suárez‘s contract by one pound.

Suárez was the only member of Liverpool‘s first-team squad not to attend a testimonial dinner for Steven Gerrard on Saturday, having earlier received a warm reception from the Anfield crowd during a 2-0 friendly defeat of Olympiakos. The gala dinner at ACC Liverpool was part of the captain’s efforts to raise more than £1m for his charitable foundation.

Suárez and his representatives believe the 26-year-old should be allowed to open talks with Arsenal after they offered £40,000,001 almost a fortnight ago. Liverpool insist a bid over £40m entitles Suárez to be informed of rival interest and for the club to enter negotiations if they wish but nothing more. And Rodgers has described the sum offered as disrespectful as he reiterated Liverpool’s intention to hold the Uruguay international to a further 12 months of a contract that has three years remaining.

“I was surprised,” said the Liverpool manager of Arsenal’s second bid for Suárez. “I’ve got to say I’ve always associated Arsenal as a club with class and so there was a wee bit of a game there. For us, it’s about moving on and doing our own work. There will come a point where they understand our position. Obviously they have an interest and they put that interest in with two bids which were nowhere near what the player is worth. That’s within their right. There is a market in football for players but from us the message is constant. We do not want to sell.”

Suárez has told Liverpool he wishes to join a club in the Champions League, having previously claimed he wanted to leave England due to criticism from the media. Rodgers insists Liverpool have control of the transfer saga and that the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, is not looking to cash in on the outstanding but controversial forward.

Rodgers, who spoke to the principal owner, John W Henry, about Suárez on Friday, said: “I’m extremely confident that Luis will be here [next season]. The offers have come in as you would expect for one of the world’s leading strikers but as time goes by I’m gaining more confidence because I have a chance to be with him on a day-to-day basis and he gets the chance to be around his team-mates. We’re in total control of the situation as a club and that’s how it will remain.

“The owners have been brilliant. If it was another club needing the money or desperate for the money it could have been a different story. But John Henry and Tom [Werner, the chairman] have been first class through the whole process, so there are no arguments there and it gives you the confidence they are not in any hurry to sell because they understand we are trying to build here.”

Rodgers refused to divulge details of his conversations with Suárez since the club rejected Arsenal’s £40,000,001 offer. “Any conversations with a player are private,” he said, while admitting all players have their price and that Real Madrid’s world record offer for Gareth Bale exposed the weakness of Arsenal’s move for Suárez.

The manager said: “Gareth Bale is a wonderful player and if they are prepared to pay that money, that’s where he is, but there is no way he is 100% better than Luis Suárez. But it’s not something we want to entertain this year. We understand it could be different next summer. A player with two years left on his contract is totally different but Luis has three and we want to bring people in to play around and with him so we can sustain a challenge this year. That’s the simplicity of it. I know the board are standing strong and I know where I am at and Luis knows exactly what my thinking is. From speaking with the club and the board there is no actual date [on a cut-off point] but certainly there is a timeline beyond which you would never sell, and really we are at that stage now because it is so close to the start of the season. We’re focused on Luis being here and getting more in so we are part of the conversation about being at the top of the table.”

Arsène Wenger feels Arsenal have acted with respect and class towards Liverpool during their attempts to sign Suárez. “We try to do it properly,” the manager said on Sunday. “A transfer is always an agreement between three parties and we have always done that until now.”

Liverpool’s attempts to get players in include a £21.8m bid for Diego Costa of Atlético Madrid and they are hopeful the Brazilian striker will this week inform the Spanish club he wants to move to Merseyside. Liverpool had also agreed a fee with Benfica for Lorenzo Melgarejo but Rodgers has cooled on a move for the left-back. The manager wants either Guilherme Siqueira of Granada or Valencia’s Aly Cissokho to increase the competition on José Enrique.

Arsenal sunk by Galatasaray’s Didier Drogba double in Emirates Cup

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The script had been written for Yaya Sanogo. Talked up on the eve of his Arsenal debut by Arsène Wenger as a player of high class rather than a high price tag, the club’s only signing of the summer so far found himself in on goal with his first touches for the club. Only 42 seconds had elapsed. This stood to be quite a way to announce himself and, perhaps, to buy a little breathing space for Wenger.

The 20-year-old’s burst and ability to skate away from his defender, after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had won possession to spring him forward, were encouraging. Yet the right-foot drive was snatched and it produced a regulation save out of the Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera. Sanogo’s instincts in front of goal until his substitution on 61 minutes betrayed him. Perhaps it was the nerves; the scrutiny upon him was great.

He was touched through by Santi Cazorla on 41 minutes only to rush his low shot and allow Muslera to block – he was extremely grateful to see the offside flag – and there was a wild slash over the crossbar.

Yet he and Wenger could reflect with a measure of satisfaction upon his efforts, particularly as he was only just back from a holiday after his participation at the Under-20 World Cup with France. The free agent from Auxerre has limited experience, never before having played on such a stage, in front of 59,608 fans – to him, this was no friendly. There was a positivity about his movement and link-up work and his physique marked him out as a player that will not be pushed around.

He was eclipsed, however, by an old Arsenal nemesis, a player who most surely does not get pushed around. Didier Drogba has departed from Chelsea, where he hurt Arsenal on countless occasions, but he returned to haunt them here in Galatasaray colours.

On as a half-time substitute to pantomime boos, he won and converted a penalty after the Arsenal substitute Ignasi Miquel had lost his bearings and touched into the back of him. “It was very, very, very, very, very, very soft,” Wenger said, torn between amusement and frustration. “It was a classic Drogba.” His reaction after a competitive match would have majored on the latter.

This was a cameo of bullying authority from the Ivorian and yet there was glorious finesse to him as he crafted the game’s decisive moment. From the substitute Wesley Sneijder’s floated pass, he peeled away from Per Mertesacker to bring the ball down and back inside in one touch before thumping a left-foot finish past Wojciech Szczesny.

He had celebrated his first goal by referring the Arsenal support to the name across his shoulders and he slid upon his knees after bringing Arsenal to theirs with only three minutes to go. Galatasaray are this summer’s Emirates Cup winners and the sting for the home support was the sight of Emmanuel Eboué, the one-time Arsenal cult hero, hoisting aloft the trophy at this stadium. Eboué had been named as the Galatasaray captain to commemorate his return.

Wenger’s continued attempts to make a statement signing had provided the backdrop to the occasion. It is ever thus. ‘You can’t buy class,’ read one supportive banner in the crowd but that, of course, is not true. The market does contain it. Arsenal’s top target Luis Suárez, for example, is class.

Maybe it was a taunt? Wenger, you can’t buy class. He continues to try his best during the current window, although the updates here concerned outgoing business. Gervinho is close to an €8m (£7m) transfer to Roma; Marouane Chamakh to a move to Crystal Palace, possibly on loan.

Wenger, who has an interest in the 18-year-old Freiburg centre-half Matthias Ginter, was pressed on a timeframe regarding signings and he did not sound positive. “It’s very difficult to predict if something will be sorted out before we play in the Champions League qualifier,” he said. The first leg of the tie is scheduled for 20 or 21 August.

The atmosphere was spiced by thousands of Turkish fans, a little niggle between the players in the first half and Mexican waves after the interval.

Arsenal fans sought the usual clues as to Wenger’s thinking. He once again used Oxlade-Chamberlain in a central role while Bacary Sagna, again, played at centre-half. With Thomas Vermaelen injured and Johan Djourou loaned out, Arsenal look thin in the position. Aaron Ramsey, meanwhile, kept up his eye-catching pre-season form.

Arsenal went in front through Theo Walcott. The forward had missed a clear chance in the 18th minute but he profited when he bent an in-swinging cross from the left, which kept on going to find the far corner. Wenger’s team were slick in the first half yet they could not maintain their pace or rhythm. Drogba meted out the punishment.

Cristiano Ronaldo has now promised Real Madrid chief that he’ll stay put claims Spanish media

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Cristiano Ronaldo has promised Real Madrid president Florentino Perez that he will stay at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo has been the subject of interest from former club Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain.

But Spanish media claim Ronaldo met with Perez during Real Madrid’s US tour in Beverley Hills and promised that he will stay with the club.

Ex-United star Ronaldo insisted he is happy with new boss Carlo Ancelotti as he looks forward to potentially pairing up with Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.

Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are now hoping to reopen contract negotiations later this month to thrash out a new deal to take him up to 2018.

It will see Ronaldo push for an estimated £13m-a-year and a larger slice of image rights which has been the sticking point so far.

But Ronaldo has given Real Madrid assurances which is certain to be a hammer blow to Manchester United and PSG who harboured hopes of signing the Portugese superstar.

Jeremy Maclin has torn ACL

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin tore his right ACL during Saturday’s practice, the team announced.

According to multiple reports, the injury occurred during 7-on-7 drills. In the early part of camp, players are still practicing in no-contact drills without pads.

Maclin stayed on the ground for several minutes while the club’s medical staff attended to his lower leg.

After getting to his feet, Maclin had to be helped to a motorized cart.

Maclin thanked fans for their support on Twitter.

The oft-injured Maclin, entering the final season of his five-year rookie contract, has played an entire season just once in his career.

After catching a career-high 10 touchdown passes in 2010, Maclin has combined for just 12 scores over his past two campaigns. He had 69 receptions for 857 yards and seven TDs last season.

The Eagles are in their first training camp under new coach Chip Kelly.

Dennis Pitta done for year

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta underwent surgery Saturday night and will miss the entire 2013 season after dislocating his hip in practice Saturday, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The injury occurred when Pitta collided with safety James Ihedigbo in the back of the end zone vying for a pass from Joe Flacco. Pitta lay prone for several minutes before being carted off the field.

AFC North blog

Hensley ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley writes about all things AFC North in his division blog.

• Blog network: NFL Nation

“Dennis has a dislocated hip. We’ll have to take a look at that and see exactly what it is,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after practice. “It’s a serious injury. He is going to be out for a while. He will not be in the Denver game and we’ll just have to play it from there to see how long it goes.”

Late Saturday night, a Ravens official said the club had no update from doctors or Pitta.

The Super Bowl champions begin defense of their title on the road against the Broncos on Sept. 5.

Pitta was preparing for his fourth season with Baltimore. The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

In the playoffs, Pitta had 14 catches for 163 yards and three scores.

With Pitta gone, the Ravens are without two of their most productive receivers last year. Pitta’s 61 catches were tied for second with Ray Rice behind Anquan Boldin, who was traded to San Francisco during the offseason.

“Obviously, he was a very, very productive guy for us,” Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell said of Pitta. “He made a lot of big plays last year. We’ll see what happens. But somebody is going to have to step up. We do have some capable guys all across the flanks. We do have some weapons. We’re just going to have to have some guys make some plays for us.”

With the Ravens looking for a replacement, an NFL source told ESPN that one option is former Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

“The ball is in his court right now. It’s his decision to make,” the source said.

The Ravens were reportedly considering signing Shiancoe even before the injury to Pitta. Shiancoe played in just four games last season with the Patriots, and did not have any catches.

In his first three NFL seasons, Pitta has 102 receptions for 1,075 yards and 10 touchdowns over 43 regular-season games.

What we learned from NFL training camps Friday

We didn’t expect Bill Belichick to open up Wednesday on the topic of Aaron Hernandez. The New England Patriots coach surprised us by delivering a message that thoughtfully conveyed his disappointment and sadness.

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We were reminded of Belichick’s candor Friday, when Aaron Rodgers faced the media for the first time at Green Bay Packers camp. The subject of Ryan Braun and his performance-enhancing drug use admission is nowhere near the level of what’s going on with Hernandez. Still, it’s clearly an unpleasant subject for the quarterback, who acknowledged he had been misled by a close friend.

“It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that, and I’m disappointed about the way it all went down,” Rodgers said. “He looked me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations and said they were not true.”

Rodgers continued to answer questions about Braun until a Packers media liaison stepped in and asked reporters to move on. It wasn’t something Rodgers wanted to discuss, but he knew he had to.

Bill Belichick could relate.

Everything else we learned on Friday is below. And we broke down all the biggest stories on the Around the League Podcast Friday evening, coming soon on iTunes. …

Santonio Holmes is a huge question mark

Forget about Week 1. Santonio Holmes told reporters he’s not sure he’ll play at all this season. It’s another reminder of the catastrophic nature of his foot injury, which required two surgeries to correct. It’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever be close to the same guy. Only the Jets.

The day in PED news

On the same day Rodgers addressed the mistakes of a friend, we learned that Washington Redskins defensive end Jarvis Jenkins — an ATL Making The Leap nominee — will be suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. Jenkins said he was “shocked and confused” by the news. We’ve heard that before.

Adrian Peterson, meanwhile, said he’s certain players are using HGH today. We probably should get a test for that, huh?

Beware of the dreaded ACL monster

New York Jets cornerback Aaron Berry and San Diego Chargers linebacker Jonas Mouton saw their seasons end before they began after they were diagnosed with torn anterior cruciate ligaments. A cruel blow for two players who were clawing for roster spots this summer.

On a more positive note, A.J. Green‘s knee injury turned out to be only a scare.

Bryant McKinnie was allowed to practice (Yay!)

He didn’t finish. (Boo!)

A few things to watch

» Denver Broncos teammates are confident that linebacker Von Miller‘s four-game suspension will be lifted. An NFL source told The Denver Post that Miller did not test positive for performance-enhancing drugs or recreational drugs this year.

» Perhaps not surprisingly, Tim Tebow looked shaky throwing the ball at Patriots practice. He lined up with the receivers and running backs as well, a possible sign of things to come. “I think that we’ll use Tim wherever we feel like he’s best for the team,” Belichick said.

» The Jets and Arizona Cardinals are dealing with “offset” madness with cornerback Dee Milliner and guard Jonathan Cooper, respectively. Both first-round draft picks officially are holdouts.

» The Seattle Seahawks are hopeful wide receiver Percy Harvin can avoid surgery on his hip.

» Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak admitted it was a “little bit of a surprise” running back Arian Foster wasn’t cleared for the start of training camp. Foster strained his calf during a spring workout.

And now, a final word from Jim Harbaugh

“I got some scars,” the San Francisco 49ers coach said when asked about the hardest hit he took as a player. “Sometime I’ll have you over for a barbecue and I’ll strip my sleeves and show my scars. I usually do it about once a year for my neighbors. Feast my neighbors and talk about days gone by. But today’s not the day. You will be included for the yearly barbecue.”

As a guest or as the actual dinner?