Titans' Murdock Dead From Apparent Suicide
Tennessee Titans wide receiver O.J. Murdock died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Tampa, Fla., Monday. Police said he shot himself on the grounds of Middleton High School, the Tampa Tribune reported.
Murdock was on the Titans' did not report list Saturday and coach Mike Munchak said the designation was "personal reasons."
"We are shocked and saddened to hear of O.J. Murdock's death this morning," the Titans said in a statement. "In his brief time here, a number of our players, coaches and staff had grown close to O.J., and this is a difficult time for them. He spent the last year battling back from an Achilles injury as he prepared for this year's training camp. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they try to cope with this tragedy."
A former Middleton and South Carolina football player, he spent last season on injured reserve with the Titans due to an Achilles injury. Murdock entered the NFL in August 2011 as an undrafted free agent with Tennessee.
Murdock had been with the Titans in the offseason to rehab from his injury.
He was discovered Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. in front of the high school, according to the Nashville Tennessean, and transported to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition. He was pronounced dead at 10:36 a.m.
|Kolb has failed to impress since leaving Philly.|
---The Arizona Cardinals aren't calling the quarterback competition days into training camp, but Kevin Kolb was designated the team's No. 1 quarterback on the initial depth chart released Monday.
Kolb, competing with John Skelton for the starting spot, was acquired in July 2011 from the Eagles and went 2-6 as Arizona's starter before missing much of the season with injuries (toe, concussion).
Skelton went 6-2, though his play was often unpredictable because of scattershot accuracy and limited mobility.
Kolb said he expects to win the job last week. He's being paid like a starter in the second year of a five-year, $63 million deal.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt plans to name a starter before the third preseason game if possible.
Getting In Shape
--Cowboys running back Felix Jones hasn't been cleared to practice by coach Jason Garrett, who said Jones' issue wasn't related to offseason shoulder surgery.
Jones failed the team's conditioning run -- which entailed running two sets of 10 sprints of 50 yards in less than seven seconds -- as did safety Brodney Pool.
"I don't want to get into the reasons why any of those guys were not able to do it, the fact is, they didn't do it," Garrett said.
Rookie Struggles In Miami
--Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is finally swimming with the competition at Miami Dolphins' training camp, where a three-way battle will include veteran David Garrard and incumbent starter Matt Moore.
Tannehill was up and down through two days of training camp, including an erratic day Monday. The Dolphins were given an off day by coach Joe Philbin Tuesday, but Tannehill is expected to continue studying film and getting in the work it will take for him to chase down Moore for the starting job.
Pass Catching TE For The Pack
--The Packers signed tight end DeMarco Cosby.
Cosby was undrafted out of Central Missouri in 2011 and was on the St. Louis Rams' practice squad for one game.
He caught 71 passes for 970 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior.
|Tannehill's delayed arrival, not a good start for Miami.|
--Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas and linebacker Michael Boley were sent to the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan for tests after suffering injuries Monday.
Thomas, who is trying to come back from a torn ACL, had swelling in his knee and coach Tom Coughlin indicated his injury could be serious.
Boley had a hamstring injury, of which the severity was not known.
Backup Plan In Philly
--The Eagles are committed to lightening the workload running back LeSean McCoy takes on this season. To do that, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and coach Andy Reid must identify a steady backup who they can trust on all downs. They'll also have to convince McCoy to accept a breather from time to time.
"With our running back position, I think that (general manager) Howie Roseman and our personnel department have done an outstanding job," Mornhinweg said. "All of our running backs have a chance to play in this league. Chris Polk from the University of Washington, (Jeremy) Stewart from Stanford. There are some excellent players here. We have a pretty good crew there of runners. Some of them have very little experience, so that's why we put in the hard work on the field to get them experience and they'll certainly get some in the preseason."
Lack Of Trust
--Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a member of the players' union executive board, told Sports Illustrated that respect and trust are issues that should concern commissioner Roger Goodell.
"Nobody trusts him. Nobody trusts him," Brees said. "I'm not talking about a DUI, or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations. I think there're too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a facade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached."
--Darrelle Revis was back on the field in team drills with the Jets at training camp in Cortland, N.Y., on Monday.
Revis, who reported to camp Thursday to quell concerns of a third holdout from the All-Pro cornerback, injured his hamstring on the second day of practice and missed most of Sunday's worjout.
Texans Add A King on Defense
--Defensive lineman Mitch King signed with the Texans and participated in Monday's padded practice.
King is undersized for a defensive tackle in the 3-4 defense and will work mostly at defensive end.
At 280 pounds but brings quickness and agility as a potential inside nickel pass rusher. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will use multiple fronts more regularly this season.
King's adequate foot speed gives Phillips another candidate, along with defensive end J.J. Watt, to drop behind zone blitzes.
|Patriots moved up to grab O'Connell in the 3rd, then cut him after one season.|
---Quarterback Kevin O'Connell signed with the Chargers.
San Diego signed Kyle Boller to temporarily replace injured Charlie Whitehurst (knee), but Boller abruptly retired the following day.
A former star for San Diego State, O'Connell has spent time with the Patriots, Lions and Dolphins. Whitehurst is expected to miss about two weeks with a sprained MCL.
Big Adjustments In Indy
---For all the turnover the front office, coaching staff and roster underwent in the offseason, a pair of the Colts' most venerable veterans are going through their own growing pains during the first week of training camp.
Longtime bookend pass rushers Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are no longer defensive ends. They're outside linebackers, tasked with attacking the edge from a standing position while also handling coverage duties in head coach Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defensive scheme.
Asked how much experience he has standing up at the snap, Freeney said, "zero," before recalling about 4-5 plays against Auburn while in college. Mathis had to go back to high school to remember the last time he didn't line up with his hand on the ground.
Gore Fine With Workload
---Frank Gore doesn't much believe in being overworked.
While the 49ers went to great lengths to expand their depth chart behind Gore, the team's leading rusher with 1,211 yards last season, it's not in the prideful 29-year-old's job description or genetic fiber to hand the ball off.
He's not only leading by example at practice, Gore is giving younger running backs like rookie LaMichael James an example to follow. Gore greets the sunrise spending 30 minutes every morning on the elliptical trainer and then spends an intense weight-training session with conditioning coach Mark Uyeyama. He takes the approach that his morning workout is the equivalent of a first practice, harkening back to his rookie year when the 49ers had two-a-day training camp sessions.
"It's not a matter of being a ballhog," coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Frank likes to work.