Kendall Simmons preparing for a comeback

We’ve had a running discourse about the need for offensive linemen in this league, and with more preseason games on tap the next four days, it’s only natural that more injuries will occur. Free agent Kendall Simmons is working to overcome some health issues of his own, but is making good strides working with the Auburn football team and hopes to be back in the league soon.

Simmons was a first-round pick by Pittsburgh in 2002 and he won two rings with the Steelers. He has been a starting guard his entire career when healthy (he missed all of 2004 due to injury) and is coming off Achilles surgery that ended his 2008 season just four games in (he was released by the Steelers in February). He’s played 80 regular-season games, all starts. Yes, he’s 30, and yes his injury is essentially a 12-month deal, but several NFL teams are monitoring him, according to sources, and he is enthused about how well he is getting around and bullying a blocking sled down there at Auburn.

If I need a guard during the regular season, Simmons and Pete Kendall are high on my list as older guys who can solidify a position and help stabilize my line for a season. Seems like there isn’t a former starting offensive lineman in America who is not generating at least a modicum of interest. Teams have been making calls on Fred Miller. There just aren’t too many 300-pound athletes who can get the job done (or at least make the case for getting the job done) as the ranks of current linemen dwindle due to natural attrition.

Randoms: Am I the only person who goes through like three hose nozzles every summer? We don’t have that much grass, we don’t use the hose all that much, but man, whether I buy one for $20 or $5, it seems like the thing is cracked the next day. Could be this is all on me and my wife, a pox on our family, but after making another recent trek to the hardware store I’m starting to think this issue is bigger than us. These things, regardless of brand, must be made with a purposely-flawed plastic or something. Uggh … “Thomas The Train” (or “Tank Engine”, depending on the vintage of the DVD) has completely taken over our house. It’s sad. Our littlest one tends to develop fixations, and this Thomas stage is threatening to linger. There must be like 10 forms of this show – animation, filming with small train sets, filming with large train sets, partial animation, computer generated animation. The guy who runs the dang train station alone has multiple names (Fat Controller or Topham Hat??). I can’t tell half of the trains from one another. And, I don’t know exactly what’s going on over there in in jolly old England with the pound sterling, but over here, Thomas, we’re in a recession, my man. Give a bloke a break. A small train for $17, and $100 for a small wooden play set? That ain’t right …

Want to wish my mom all the best as she recovers from shoulder surgery after taking a nasty fall recently. I know she can’t wait until she can pick up the grandchildren again, but that’s probably not going to be for quite some time … For those who have emailed me this week, planning to spend a few hours catching up with them and getting back to people this afternoon. Going to get up to Philly pretty early for the game there tonight and look forward to seeing what you guys have thrown my way. Friday night I’ll check out the ‘Skins-Pats, the other game going on right down I-95 from my Thomas-infested home.

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