1 » After weeks of posturing, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and the St. Louis Rams finally came to terms Tuesday evening on a four-year rookie contract that will pay Jenkins $5 million over its duration including $3.1 million guaranteed. As first reported by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the contract ensures that Jenkins will be in camp on time. He will compete for a starting role immediately and could prove to be the steal of the drat that St. Louis hoped he was when the team selected him No. 39 overall.
2 » Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap has proven that he can be an effective pass rusher when he is on the field; unfortunately nagging injuries have kept him from being as consistent as either he or his team would have liked over the first two years of his career. In a recent conversation with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer indicated that Dunlap could be dominant if he finds a way to become a tougher player. “He doesn’t know how to fight through nagging things yet,” Zimmer said of Dunlap. “In this game, you can’t be a track guy. You’ve got to be a football player. Because you’re going to have bruises and bumps and be sore, so you’ve got to fight through it. That’s a little bit of immaturity and growing up. Usually they say with defensive linemen it takes about three years before they really kind of figure it out. So this is his third year, and I’m hoping he can live up to my expectations.”
3 » The ways in which the New York Jets plan to use quarterback Tim Tebow seemingly increase by the day, which is why it should probably come as no surprise that the team is now considering using him on its kickoff coverage team. According to the New York Daily News, Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff thinks there may be a benefit to throwing a quarterback on the field for one of the roughest plays in all of sports. “There are certain situations [on kickoffs] where he might be on the field that he could be utilized possibly to block or possibly to field a ball,” Westhoff told the paper. “If a team squibs it at you or pops it at you, he might be the perfect guy to put in that could make an adjustment. If they kick it deep, he could block. If they squib it or pop it, he could be a guy that we’d have with a ball in his hands.” He went on to clarify that stance. “His role with me won’t be a paramount role,” Westhoff added. “I’m not counting on Tebow coming in and being a hardcore special teams player. That’s not what we want. We have a limited role for him, but it will be one that presents problems. That’s what Tebow is all about. He presents problems to good football teams in a lot of aspects. You have to be aware of it. If you’re not aware of it, it could jump up and smack you.”
Read three more BITS on Lochte, Florida/Georgetown and Taylor…after the break!
4 » In a pair of articles posted early this week, The Daytona Beach News-Journal takes a close look at swimmer Ryan Lochte as he prepares for the 2012 London Olympics. The first discusses Lochte’s ability to cash in on the numerous endorsements that have been thrown his way recently, while the second notes that he plans to return for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics no matter what happens in London, England this time around. “I just need a different training program with a lot less yardage. I’m getting older in the sport of swimming,” Lochte said of what he will do to prepare. “I’ll still be working with Gregg Troy [in Gainesville, FL], but it will be different. He understands that. It will be good to come [to Gainesville] and train for a week or two, and then go over [to Los Angeles, CA] and train something totally different.” Lochte has been training in Gainesville for the last 11 years.
5 » It was announced on Tuesday that the 2012 Navy/Marine Corps Classic basketball game between the Florida Gators and Georgetown Hoyas set to be played off the cost of Jacksonville, FL on Nov. 9 will be held on the deck of the USS Bataan. The LHD 5 Wasp Class amphibious assault ship, which will eventually move to the Mayport Naval Station on a permanent basis in 2013, was commissioned in 1997 and can hold up to 3,200 soldiers and crew members. It “memorializes the valiant resistance of American and Filipino troops on the Bataan peninsula in the dawning days of World War II” and was created “to enable the Navy and Marine Corps team to accomplish a seamless transition ‘…from the sea’ to the land battle, as the lead ship and centerpiece of an Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG).” The USS Bataan has most recently been used to assist in the Iraq war, humanitarian efforts following weather disasters in New Orleans, LA and Haiti, and political unrest in Libya. Joining the ship in Jacksonville will be the USS Mesa Verde (LPD 18) and USS Carter Hall (LSD 50).
6 » Former Gators jumper Christian Taylor, set to compete in the triple jump at the Olympics, recently set down for a question-and-answer session with the Southeastern Conference’s official website. Taylor discusses being the favorite to win the gold medal, competing with his former Florida teammates and his mindset heading into the Olympics.