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As One Blog Favorite Departs ... Another Resurfaces

So, Casey Bramlet is gone but not forgotten (Europa, RIP), but another of our favorite Europa vets is back in the NFL.

Remember Philippe Gardent, the French linebacker (and by French linebacker, I mean exactly that - dude played his college ball at NSC Marseille) who was on the practice squad all of last season? Last year he was essentially an intern, who was allowed to stay on the squad all year as an exemption and did not count against the roster limit.

By all accounts the young man handled things as well as could be expected. And now he's in the NFL on a legit contract. Gardent is with the Carolina Panthers, signed by them in July. He's still in camp now.

I had no idea about any of this, but the other day I was asking LB Khary Campbell about Philippe, 'cause I knew they were close, and he told me he has been talking to him and Gardent was in Carolina on a real contract. Good for him. I liked that dude a lot.

Campbell had planned to visit Gardent in France this offseason, but Khary got married and wasn't able to get over there. Maybe next summer. Anyway, I wish Philippe well. He's the ultimate longshot, but it would be a pretty cool story if someone he grabbed a roster spot.

Oh, and since I know where this thread will be going ... Our boy Nick "The Kick" Novak is with the Bears. He had an up and down spring in NFL Europa, and has pretty much no shot of beating out Robbie Gould for the kicker spot there, but he is in camp and anything can happen I suppose.

By Jason La Canfora  |  August 7, 2007; 6:01 AM ET
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Next: More Ouchies - Who's Going To Block?


Gardent en Caroline? Sacre bleu!

Posted by: KK | August 7, 2007 7:20 AM | Report abuse


I think 'CaveMan' Sellers came from the old cartoon Captian CAVEMAN!!!

And finally, some hitting. Better take the panties off ladies, this is football. I want our guys to be the hardest, most battle tested MF'ers (SJK) in the league... so in the 4th quarter, when someone hits us, we know how to ht them back and do so with a knock-out punch.

Posted by: Zebra | August 7, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and if anyone considers themselves an activitist... The Adam Walsh Child Protection Act is held up in congress.

John Walsh, creator and host of Americas most wanted and co-founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is on DC101 and is speaking about how the funding they need for the bill costs the same as one heat shield on the Space Shuttle. - and write your congressman.

Soapbox off

Posted by: Zebra | August 7, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

I love that the Reaper isn't talking with the press. He is lighter with more muscle mass. Damn (SJK) he is going to be laying the wood on people this year.

Posted by: jm220 | August 7, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Buck Ortega is competing for the #3 TE on the Browns' roster (where Lennie Friedman also lives as the #2 center).

See also

Posted by: dcsween | August 7, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Sellers is notorious for his hard hitting style, but all those damned special teams/kickoff personal fouls over the last couple years kept him off my "fav skin" list. Those penalties implode momentum in a heartbeat, but he has gotten a lot better I suppose.

If you were to substitue "Landry" for Sellers, I'd be a VERY happy fan.

Posted by: Pub Golf | August 7, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Nice article on the downfield game today, JLa. Keep those Joe Bugel quotes coming! Hard for me to accept recently learning you're a Baltimoron, but I'll forgive you that and your Quayle-like grammar and spelling issues because you give us good, neutral coverage of our 'Skins. Just don't feed any cellphone video of the closed practices to Coach Billick!

Posted by: J in SoCar | August 7, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Hey JLa, can you do me a favor and give me a full report of the "Freshman Talent" at Towson U next time ur in B-more....havn't had time to get up there since I graduated. If you do that I'll forget that you actually call that city home....Haha. Keep up the good RI coverage, appreciate it buddy.

Posted by: Esmydee13 | August 7, 2007 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Man, does Nate ever sleep?

Just caught up on the posts after I crashed last night and the Nickname for Sellers was definitely not Mike "Cluseux" Sellers. Dead ant, dead ant, dead ant...

It was however "Captain Caveman". Excellent memory Zebra. Was it Doc Walker that coined that?

By the Way, JLC, Shane McGowan is not only alive; he's immortal.

Posted by: Larry Bud | August 7, 2007 9:56 AM | Report abuse


Nail on head...I have been preaching since i came on hear about the state of our put it very well that we have been in the company of many of the perinial bottom dewelers in the league.

offensive production is the key to having success in the league score consistently in the 20's and even if your defense is just avg at best you will find yourself in the playoff hunt year after year.

good offense comes with good (qb) play and a sound philosphy (Coach)....obviously good line play, running the ball/balance etc... but absent the qb not so much... over history offensively over the almost last 10yrs is living proof.

all about JC and the O ...defense will be fine..... say it with me.

Posted by: Old School | August 7, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

... and Shane McGowan,
he's not my type
because his teeth are green and mangled,
but Jesus Christ Almighty
I's love to kiss the Bangles!"

Posted by: cload and daggar | August 7, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like a lot of guys are getting banged up out there at practice. I guess its good to know they are taking it more seriously, but I hop they dont get anyone seriously hurt.

I guess its d(SJK)d if you do and d(SJK)d if you dont.

Posted by: Cheyenne, WY | August 7, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

now that's immortal!

Posted by: cload and daggar | August 7, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Well, Cooley was called captain chaos, so now I dont trust my own memory.

Esmydee13, I am also a grad of the Tigers... when did you graduate? My legacy to that instiution was being the first grad class to have his tuition raised to pay for the Logo upgrade.

Seriously, check out and check the 'swoosh' above the W... they paid 1 mil plus for a company to design that... looks like the TP when wipe (SJK!)

Oh and also, My class graduated right after the newest President of the university was found out as one who goes to universities with fake credentials and steals funds... great school

Posted by: Zebra | August 7, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse


Hmmm... It is a riddle, wrapped in a paradoxical cunundrum while shrouded in mystery. I like Caveman, though. Or Mike "Best" Sellers, either way.

Dirty ol' town...

Posted by: Larry Bud | August 7, 2007 10:13 AM | Report abuse

JLaC, great article, awesome writing, waaay perceptive. My favorite line summing up where they've been: "There have been built-in excuses -- whether Gibbs's staff adjusting to a very different NFL in 2004, or the players adapting to associate head coach Al Saunders's new offense in 2006 -- and flashes of brilliance."

Built-in excuses and flashes of brilliance. Perfect summary of Gibbs II. [Just like "Lost Season" is the perfect term to describe last year.]

Posted by: dcsween | August 7, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Here's a link to an awesome site called "poguetry". The page I like the best has references made to Shane in other works.

I really like the one from The Onion.

Posted by: Larry Bud | August 7, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

i'm with you dcsween --

JLaC, you have stepped up your game the past two weeks and are really nailing it. Much props.

Posted by: CMoney | August 7, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

As for Mike Sellers nickname, I was figuring something along the lines of "LOCOmotive", myself - he's hauling whomever's coming along in his wake, and if you're in front of him, watch the SJK out....

"Caveman" does have that neolithically splendored charm, though!

Also, as far as longshots are concerned, Heyer's actually the guy I'm quietly rooting for in camp. Not the best specimen physically, but definitely has the character that bears cheering him on.

Posted by: FlimFlam | August 7, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Of course he's french. Where do you think he got that outrageous accent?????

Posted by: Skinz | August 7, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

OK, here's my only quibble with JLC's latest prose (actually it's a matter of definition more than anything else); we don't have to hit 50 yard strikes to stretch the field. It doesn't hurt, but the underexploited area of attack has been the middle of the field at mid-depth. It is the perrenial weakness of the cover two and the best way to draw off a blitz.

Brunell hated that part of the field. Campbell's one moment in the scrimmage was a mid depth ball to Thrash, I think. We, those of us who are his most ardent supporters seem to be forgetting that during the glory years the Skins had a couple of guys who loved the middle of the field: Arthur, Gary, Doc and Clint (to a lesser extent).

I'm not saying they didn't take their shots down field or that Monk never caught a button hook at the sticks to get out of bounds, but we exploited the middle.

We have a couple of guys who might be able to do that now: Caveman and Chaos mainly. But Santana and ARE and Chicken Little are going to have to get to the middle of the field between 15 and 20 yards.

Posted by: Larry Bud | August 7, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Heyer will make the team. It's my mantra.

Posted by: Larry Bud | August 7, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse


I have to disagree. I used to hate Sellers but last year he cleaned up his act. He used to be selfish and easily goaded to be sure.

In the Jax game last year he blew up their entire LB core and when they couldn't beat Sellers at the game of football they started talking smack and pushing him after plays. He would just turn and walk away.

He was one of the very few players that showed up last year every game and he's on my fav's list now.

Posted by: Skinz | August 7, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: Anonymous | August 7, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

And now I finally get AMTTS... I thought he moved to the country or something... boy am I dim sometimes

Posted by: Zebra | August 7, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse


Graduated in 05'....Tuition kept going up and so did the student #'s. Had a good time up there, but as any alum knows the sports teams were a joke so I don't know why they need such a fancy logo. I like knowing that me and my roomate weren't the only Skins fans at that school.

Posted by: Esmydee13 | August 7, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

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