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Horse Tracks - 7/12/10

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Get To Know: LeKevin Smith -
For Le Kevin Smith, the 2009 season was a year of firsts.

Frei: Twitter-style musings, starting with Mark Schlereth - The Denver Post
In honor of Twitter, here are Monday musings, all limited to 140 or fewer characters:

Carmelo wedding upstaged by Patrick Smyth | All Things Broncos
To all those men out there who are trying to find the right man for their sisters or daughters, bad news. Patrick Smyth just got hitched.

New HGH testing method hailed as effective - The Denver Post
A new test that provides a breakthrough in detecting human growth hormone in blood is expected to become available soon and make it more difficult for athletes to use HGH.

Don't forget about Urlacher in Chicago | National Football Post
Is the BearsBrian Urlacher ready to have a bounce back season and perform at a high level at the middle linebacker position? I ask this because in an offseason highlighted by Mike Martz, Jay Cutler and Julius Peppers in Chicago, Urlacher has been lost in the shuffle.

Woodson: a free agent signing that worked | National Football Post
In my writings this week about the dangers of free agency in the NFL, I received many messages and comments about a successful free agent signing I was involved with at the Packers, that of Charles Woodson. Yes, sometimes free agency in the NFL does work, although in this case, the Packers were fortunate the circumstances played out the way they did.

Dolphins agree to four-year deal with Reshad Jones | National Football Post
The Miami Dolphins have agreed in principle to a four-year, $1.95 million contract with rookie fifth-round safety Reshad Jones, a league source confirmed

Union, NFL disagree about HGH test | National Football Post
In the wake of the report about a new human growth hormone test that's regarded as a step forward in performance-enhancing drug testing, the president of the NFL Players Association is skeptical.

Bradford contract talks to start next week | National Football Post
The St. Louis Rams are expected to launch contract discussions with top overall pick Sam Bradford next week, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Ochocinco, Owens return tonight on VH1 | National Football Post
For Terrell Owens, it's a television show about a career crossroads or perhaps a career ending as well as other life matters.

Giants weigh in on Bob Sheppard's passing | National Football Post
The New York Giants have released a statement honoring the late New York Yankees public address announcer Bob Sheppard, whom Reggie Jackson called the "Voice of God."

Michael Vick a no-show at celebrity golf tournament | National Football Post
Not allowed to travel out of the state of Pennsylvania by probation officers, Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Michael Vick was a notable absence at his celebrity golf tournament today.

Leigh Bodden gambled on himself and won | National Football Post
When veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden became an unrestricted free agent last year after being cut by the Detroi Lions, he opted for a one-year deal for the veteran minimum with the New England Patriots.

Leigh Bodden gambled on himself and won | National Football Post
When veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden became an unrestricted free agent last year after being cut by the Detroi Lions, he opted for a one-year deal for the veteran minimum with the New England Patriots.

Report: Vick could still be on chopping block | National Football Post
The Philadelphia Eagles recently issued a strong denial that they were considering cutting backup quarterback Michael Vick because of the fallout from a shooting at his 30th birthday party in Virginia Beach.

Elliot Vallejo retires from Raiders | National Football Post
Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Elliot Vallejo has battled multiple injuries in his brief NFL career, including a fractured kneecap last August.

Dolphins plan to induct Jason Taylor into Ring of Honor | National Football Post
Even though it was a messy divorce between the Miami Dolphins and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Jason Taylor with him leaving the team this offseason to sign with the New York Jets, that apparently isn't going to keep the veteran pass rusher out of the team's Ring of Honor. news: Teams believing in 'convenient truths' as camps approach
July normally is supposed to be the quiet time around the league, but so far it's been very active. From players complaining about their contracts or tender offers, guys getting hurt, veterans deciding whether to suit up to another hosting (stupidly -- more on that later) a birthday party, there has been plenty to discuss. news: Draft value may have declined for linebackers, but not talent level
Over the past 10 years (2001-2010), only four inside linebackers have been drafted in the first round of the draft -- the only position with less first-round picks over that time is fullbacks with none (not including specialists). news: Redskins, Browns among most improved teams for 2010
The following is a list of five teams that appear to have made the greatest improvement since the end of last season: news: Contract option will compel Revis to attend Jets' camp
Disgruntled Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will not hold out from training camp as he seeks a new contract, sources have told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi. news: Lions president Lewand pleads guilty to driving while impaired
Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand pleaded guilty Friday to driving while impaired, two weeks after he was pulled over in northern Michigan for driving erratically near a bar. news: Vikes WR Rice downplays injury rumors, says he's on the mend
The agent for Sidney Rice, Drew Rosenhaus, said on Thursday that his client has a lingering hip injury from the playoffs but that he hopes to be ready when the Minnesota Vikings open the regular season against the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 9.

Effect of concussions poses challenges after playing days - NFL News - FOX Sports on MSN
Cam Cleeland’s pinkies and thumbs don’t work properly. His shoulder's separated, his knees need arthroscopic surgery and he has a sports hernia. There are bone spurs from prior Achilles’ tendon surgeries. Bone fragments in his neck also require removal.

Dolphins use full-page ads to welcome Heat 'Big 3' - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Even the Miami Dolphins are talking about LeBron James’(notes) arrival in South Florida.