PADI, diving and Instructor Development (IDC)

PADI, diving and Instructor Development (IDC)

Camille's Samui Info blog: Koh Samui, Thailand daily weather update; 1st March, 2011 []

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 04:23 PM PST

Daily weather update for tropical island destination Koh Samui in Thailand by long term resident Camille Lemmens

Camille's Thailand Hotel recommendations: Four Seasons Resort, Chiang Mai []

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 07:35 AM PST

Review of the Four Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand by long term resident Camille Lemmens

Camille's Samui Hotel recommendations: Mercure Samui Buri Resort, Maenam []

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 07:09 AM PST

review of the Mercure Samui Buri Resort in Maenam on tropical island destination Koh Samui in Thailand by long term resident Camille Lemmens

Camille's Samui Info blog: Goodbye to February 2011 []

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 06:04 AM PST

A recap and Goodbye to February 2011 on long term Samui resident Camille Lemmens' Samui info and weather blog.
Dance Manila

Dance Manila

Street Fuzion 11: Reconnect

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 03:12 PM PST

Time Saturday, March 5 · 7:00pm – 10:00pm Location University Theater, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City More Info UP STREET’S ANNUAL DANCE CONCERT COMING THIS MARCH 2011 STREET FUZION 11: RECONNECT. in the UP Theatre 7PM ONWARDS TICKETS AT 100, 200, and 500. IT WILL BE A NIGHT TO REMEMBER. SAVE THE DATE! [...]
NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

Link to NFL Gridiron Gab

Five Possible Landing Spots for Running Back Clinton Portis

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 05:21 AM PST

All indications are the Redskins are going to dump veteran running back Clinton Portis, meaning that he will be free to go to any team he chooses.

There’s going to be plenty of interest out there for Portis, this despite him only playing in five games and rushing for 227 yards and two scores a season ago.

Here’s five teams that will give Portis a look once he’s released.

1. New Orleans Saints – Last season with injuries to Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush the Saints were forced to go with Chris Ivory, that is until he got nicked up as well. Portis would fit in well with the offense, and the Saints very well may release Bush, setting up room for the Saints to pickup Portis.

2. Indianapolis Colts – Another team that was so beat up at the RB spot a season ago, they could use another vet in the backfield that could help opponents respect the run. Indy averaged just 92.7 yards per game a season ago, and Donald Brown and Joseph Addai just are not giving Peyton Manning enough help in the backfield.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Ced Benson is a free agent, and Portis could be plugged in and help an offense that could have a new QB under center if Carson Palmer gets his wish. Benson rushed the ball 321 times a season ago, so Portis likely would be one of two new backs in the backfield if Benson leaves.

4. St.Louis Rams – Sure Steven Jackson is the workhorse back for the Rams, but Portis could fit a needed role as the stud backup for St.Louis, a team that seems poised for a playoff run in 2011. After Jackson it was Kenneth Darby with 34 carries, and Portis could double that helping out Jackson and making him fresher later in games and the season.

5. San Francisco 49ers - Brian Westbrook won’t be back with the Niners in 2011, and the team will need someone to back up Frank Gore. Portis would fit in well with new coach Jim Harbaugh, and could help grind out some yards as they only averaged 103 yards per game last season.

Notes from the 2011 Peter King Tweet Up at the NFL Combine

Posted: 28 Feb 2011 02:50 AM PST

For those of you who live under a rock Peter King is one of the most well known and respected sports writers in the business.  He covers the NFL for Sports Illustrated, writes Monday Morning Quarterback one of the longest running internet columns in sports, and also appears on NBC's Football Night in America.  King also embraced the Twitter world and a few years back started a small gathering of his followers in what became affectionately referred to as Tweet Ups.

The Tweet Up "format" is basically a meet and greet with open questions sent King's way.  The Tweet Ups frequently feature guests and have gained popularity with each one.  The Indianapolis Tweet Up (held during the NFL Scouting Combine) has evolved into the Super Bowl of Tweet Ups as it is heavily attended and features a who's who of guests.

Last night I attended my first Tweet Up and met the following individuals; Peter King, George Atallah (Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs for the NFLPA), Dominique Foxworth (CB for the Baltimore Ravens and NFLPA Executive Committee Member), Chester Pitts (OL for the Seattle Seahawks), Albert Breer (, Jason Wilde (ESPN Milwaukee), Aaron Schatz, Will Carroll and Doug Farrar (, Ian Rapoport (Boston Herald), Aaron Nagler ( and Gregg Rosenthal ( and

There was a lot of dicussion about the labor negotiations which lasted an hour, but then the questions turned to more general football inquiries.  Some of the highlights:

  • Question to Peter King: "How many full seasons will Matthew Stafford play?" King: "Six"
  • Peter King: Listed the Lions as one of his up and comers if Kyle Vanden Bosch stays healthy.
  • Will Carroll: Heard that Jay Cutler refused to try a knee brace after injuring his knee in the NFC championship game.

Click HERE to read the rest

Browns GM Tom Heckert Sidesteps Talk of Trading for Eagles QB Kolb

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 07:15 PM PST

Browns GM Tom Heckert gave QB Colt McCoy a vote of confidence Saturday even as he continues to be linked with Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, who was drafted in 2007 when Heckert was in Philadelphia’s front office. “My opinion on Kevin, and I’ve got to be careful talking about that, Kevin’s a very good football player,” said Heckert. “But Colt, we think Colt’s a great football player as well. We’re happy with Colt, we expect Colt to improve, and I think he’ll have a good career for us.”

Browns president Mike Holmgren recently deemed McCoy, set to enter his second season, as “the guy” but also suggested Cleveland will draft a developmental prospect at quarterback. But it seems a good bet that Kolb could end up somewhere else in 2011 given he’s currently ticketed for free agency in 2012 and could be a valuable trading chip for the Eagles. “Kevin’s a great player,” said current Eagles GM Howie Roseman.

“We have a lot of confidence in Kevin, obviously, we gave him the starting job and traded Donovan (McNabb) last year. He’s obviously looking forward to being a good starting quarterback, and a lot could happen.”

Packers Coach McCarthy Wants LB Hawk Back in 2011

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 05:45 PM PST

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is stating the obvious – he wants free agent LB A.J. Hawk to be back for a shot at back to back Lombardi trophies in 2011.

Linebacker A.J. Hawk has a $10 million base salary with the Green Bay Packers for 2011, just a notch below the $11 million Reggie Bush is set to earn this coming season from the New Orleans Saints. Neither player figures to get that kind of base pay. The question is what will the Packers get done with Hawk, the inside linebacker who has turned his career around after a slow start. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has reported the money becomes guaranteed for Hawk on the first day of the league year.

One thing is evident: Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy wants Hawk to return. "A.J. Hawk is a Green Bay Packer as far as I'm concerned," McCarthy said. "I'm not going to get into business situations. You just hope they'll work out. … A.J. as a football player and a person, he's exactly what you're looking for. There is a business side of this. You want all your players back. That's how coaches always view these types of situations. A.J. grew tremendously, not only as a player, but as a leader in our locker room this year. Thought had a heck of a year. Hopefully everything works out."

Cardinals GM Graves Happy with Contract Talks With WR Fitzgerald

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 04:31 PM PST

Cardinals general manager Rod Graves is optimistic about talks on a new contract for perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. “Those negotiations are ongoing, and at this point I have all reasons to be optimistic,” Graves said at the Combine on Friday. “That’s more my personality than anything else. But Larry means a lot to our football team. I think that’s an understatement, but we’re going to work and try to do everything we can to try consummate the deal and keep him as part of our history.”

Fitzgerald will earn $7 million in 2011, after which his contract will void. The Cardinals will not be able to use a franchise or transition tag to restrict Fitzgerald’s movement in the 2012 off-season, which is why the two sides are discussing a contract now. The 27-year old caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 2010 season that saw the Cardinals start four different quarterbacks in the first season in the post-Kurt Warner era. A five-time Pro Bowler, Fitzgerald has 613 receptions for 8,204 yards and 65 touchdowns in 108 games.

QB Cam Netwon Chats With Six Teams at the Combine

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 03:19 PM PST

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that five teams have interviewed Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton this week. The Dallas Cowboys were known to have met with Newton, but that list has expanded to include the Dolphins, 49ers, Seahawks, and Titans.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated adds the Panthers to that list, as well. More teams are expected to include Newton among their allotted 60 interviews during this week’s Combine, for no other reason than to get a better feel for a first-round quarterback they may end up facing twice in a season. Carolina has the number one overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Rams Scout Arrested for Public Intoxication and Public Nudity at Combine

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 02:42 PM PST

The NFL combine is going on in Indianapolis without a scout for the Rams. Luke Driscoll, 33, was arrested early Friday morning for urinating on a building near Union Station downtown.

Metro police said he also exposed his genitals to a female officer. His speech was reportedly “very slurred” at the time. Driscoll is charged with public nudity and public intoxication.

Driscoll is an 11-year vet of the Rams scouting department. Misdemeanor public nudity is punishable by no more than 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Driscoll also could be subject to discipline under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Driscoll, part of the Rams’ contingent working at the NFL scouting combine, was arrested at 3:20 a.m. in downtown Indianapolis. According to the police report, he was “found to be urinating on a building and found to be intoxicated.”

The National Football Post’s Chalk Talk Seminar at the Combine

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 01:49 PM PST

As I mentioned several days ago, the impetus behind my trip to Indianapolis was a seminar I was attending, the National Football Post's Chalk Talk Seminar.  The National Football Post is a website created and run by individuals who have all worked in some capacity in professional football and like several years ago, they are currently flying under the radar of casual fans.

As many that read this site know, I detest that so many football media outlets have started to lean towards hype and player promotion rather than covering the intricacies of the game.  NFP is the shining beacon for the hardcore fans that want to learn about the game from every angle, front office, coaching, scouting and player perspectives.

When I found out they were doing a seminar for those interested in breaking into the business at the scouting combine, I would have delivered a forearm shiver to Ndamukong Suh to get there, so I packed up the Civic and drove five hours South to the Circle City to get some NFL knowledge dropped on me from the guys at NFP.

Andrew Brandt opened up Chalk Talk with a brief meet and greet and then we got underway.  Andrew Brandt is the President of NFP, but prior to that, he was an agent, the GM of the Barcelona Dragons of the World League and the Vice President of the Green Bay Packers.  Brandt has logged over 20 years experience in his various professional football roles and in addition to his work with NFP he is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Andrew also recently joined ESPN to break down the looming labor situation.

Brandt presented for two hours on a variety of topics ranging from how he got his start in the agent business, to literally throwing a football team together in a few months in Barcelona and his time with the Packers.  He moved onto some of the nitty gritty details about the CBA and the differences between the pre-2006 CBA and the one that's about to expire.

Anecdotes, suggestions and behind the scenes explanations were sprinkled throughout the presentation as it was both instructional and informative.

Brandt then gave way to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune to discuss the media aspect of working in the NFL.  Biggs has been on the Chicago Bears beat for nine years, written for the Sporting News and is the NFC North representative for the Pro Football Writers of America.

Click HERE to read the rest

A Few Options for Dolphins at Running Back in the Draft

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 01:46 PM PST

With the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine now underway, the Dolphins and their staff will be gleaming over every bit of information they can gain on players from now until draftday. So to prepare for the draft ourselves, we brought in draft expert Gil Alcaraz from, to analyze some of the prospects at the positions of need for the Dolphins. Gil’s first intake on Miami’s situation is on the running backs that will be available in this years draft.

With the 15th pick in the first round, the Dolphins should have their choice of any running back in the draft barring a team like New Orleans or New England trades up to snag one. With both of their top two running backs, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, most likely heading out of Miami this off-season, there is a dire need for a new number one runner in the Dolphins' backfield. Here are a few of their options in the first two rounds that could come in and make an immediate impact.

Mark Ingram, Alabama

There is no running back in this draft class that is more NFL ready than Ingram. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner is one of the most promising running back prospects to enter the NFL in recent years, offering an excellent mix of power, size, speed, and quickness. He has terrific vision and finds cutback lanes with ease. There are some injury concerns in his past, but he proved this season that he could make a quick recovery and play just as hard after reentering the starting lineup. The Dolphins would be getting the next great NFL running back by taking Ingram with their first round pick.

Mikel LeShoure, Illinois

LeShoure burst onto the scene in 2010 with an impressive junior year for the Fighting Illini. He displayed tremendous burst and acceleration in open field, while still having the power to bowl-over defenders when he needed to. When running, he has a full head of steam and does everything he can to pick up tough yards after contact. Although he may not show as much on film as Ingram does, he has a very high ceiling and could easily be the best running back of the class. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg on LeShoure's potential.

Click HERE to read the rest

Gridiron Gab 2011 NFL Draft Prospect Scouting Report – OG Rodney Hudson

Posted: 27 Feb 2011 01:21 PM PST

Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida St., 6′2 282

Position Ranking: #2

Strengths: A very good athlete for an offensive lineman- as good as you’ll find at any level. Consistently wins the snap of the ball and gets low inside hand placement to win leverage in run support. Extremely agile when releasing laterally and can quickly reach the second level to pick off defenders; readjusts well in space and finds the loose man. A finisher and consistently plays to the whistle. Knows when to initiate a cut block and does it cleanly in space. Very good on pulls towards the outside and immediately gets underneath the defender- seals the corner. Quick and efficient when setting in pass protection, widening base and extending arms while staying on his toes. Good awareness of coverage and was seen calling out protection checks. Stamina holds steady for four quarters. Very disciplined in his technique, no holding or false start calls in games I observed. Has been a mainstay on the offensive line since his freshman year. Two time winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy.

Needs Improvement: Lacks size and can get overpowered by a strong inside bull rush in pass protection. Will overextend at the waist at times and lunge to catch a defender, leaving him unbalanced. Has trouble driving lineman back on straight ahead blocks in run support. Strength/size must improve to maintain level of play even in a similar blocking scheme. Handles speed much better than pure size and strength.

Bottom Line: Rodney Hudson would’ve been one of my top two lineman had he chosen to declare for the draft last year. He’s an extremely impressive prospect athletically and always has his head in the game- he doesn’t lose focus. All Hudson lacks is pure size and strength to be as complete a lineman as you could ask for at the NFL level. His athleticism and football IQ jump out at you and he should continue to be a mainstay in a similar zone blocking scheme at the next level. If Hudson is able to add 10-15 pounds to his frame, he’ll become a perennial Pro Bowler in the NFL, and may become one anyway with continued effort on technique consistency. I really enjoyed evaluating Rodney Hudson the past two seasons.

Draft Projection: Mid 2nd to early 3rd round.

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