Joe Nedney is now $7,500 poorer after his behind-the-head finger flick-off incident in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. The fine was slightly more than former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer ($5,000) received several years ago for a similar gesture and less than what Michael Vick ($10,000) got last year for his double-barreled bird. Nedney said the fine he received in the mail included language about how the league’s new conduct policy is cracking down on those types of actions.
Nedney was appropriately contrite, and said that he was absolutely steamed after his kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Saints the ball at the 40 yard line. Coming off the field, he threw the kicking tee, tossed his helmet and then kicked the bench with his kicking foot. One of the fans behind him said something nasty (let’s just say it involved the F-bomb) and Nedney reacted by “scratching” the back of his head with his middle finger. It was caught on tape.
“You’re supposed to have the thickest skin on the team – kickers and quarterbacks,” Nedney said. “Apparently, I need to go out and buy some skin-thickening cream.”
In other mid-Wednesday news ….
Alex Smith said he “definitely” thinks he’ll be ready to play in Sunday’s game in Atlanta. He said his roughed-up right shoulder felt better than it did Sunday evening but not necessarily better than it did last Wednesday. He said he would tape his shoulder tight for practice, something he did not do last week in practice or at the beginning of Sunday’s loss to New Orleans.
How tough is Smith? Forget about him absorbing all those hits in the Saints game. The dude was watching “Gone Baby Gone” with his girlfriend in a San Jose area movie theater last night when that “moderate” earthquake hit. He said other people got up and ran out of the theater. He and his gal pal, however, didn’t budge and stayed through the rest of the movie. By contrast, I reacted by running full sprint out my back door and into the courtyard of my downtown San Jose condo complex. In my underwear. Go ahead, laugh at the cowardly east coaster who until that point had not experienced an earthquake. Let's see you guys deal with a dreaded Virginia summer. Oh, the humidity!
I saw Jonas Jennings in the locker room! Why is this big news? Well, we reporters had not seen hide nor hair of him in the last week and a half, prompting some to ask Mike Nolan whether he was still with the team. Nolan reacted surprised to the questions, saying that Jennings was rehabilitating a high-ankle sprain. Jennings’ unexplained absence a few weeks ago may have prompted the suspicion.
Some of you are laboring under the misperception that the Patriots’ spy scandal cost them the first-round draft pick they obtained from the 49ers last April. That’s not correct. While the Pats forfeited their own 2008 first-round draft pick (No. 32?), they’ll get to keep the 49ers’ first-round pick (No. 4?).
-- Matt Barrows