Tag:Colt McCoy
Posted on: November 7, 2010 2:40 pm
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Browns surprisingly lead the Pats

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You rarely can write this, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick is getting outcoached and his New England squad is getting outclassed by an inferior team. On this occasion, Browns coach Eric Mangini, Belichick's former assistant, is the one who’s making New England look bad, and Cleveland leads 17-7 at halftime.

How did it happen? Browns RB Peyton Hillis had a big first quarter – 62 yards and a touchdown – and rookie QB Colt McCoy, making just his third start, is effectively efficient.

And two trick plays have confused the Patriots.

The first: On a fourth-and-one at mid-field, the Browns lined up in a power-run formation. McCoy made a presnap gesture, and suddenly, Cleveland split four wide. Then, as New England scrambled to cover the quartet of receivers, McCoy went straight ahead for the QB sneak and the first down.

The second: Midway through the second quarter after the Patriots had pulled to within three points, the entire offensive line, minus the center, stood as McCoy hiked the ball. Unbeknownst to New England, Chansi Stuckey was hiding behind right guard Billy Yates.

After the snap, McCoy faked to Joshua Cribbs on the end-around. Instead, he stuck the ball into Stuckey’s arms, and he dove for the pylon in the corner of the end zone for the 11-yard TD.

Meanwhile, the Patriots run game (36 yards) has been irrelevant, and Tom Brady hasn’t looked sharp. New England has been a good second-half team this year, but the Patriots have some work to do to get back in this game.

And just because it’s a cool stat: McCoy is the only QB in NFL history to start his first three games against Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks. And how did that go for him? Respectable loss to Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger. A big win against New Orleans’ Drew Brees. And so far, so good vs. New England’s Brady.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 11:40 am
Edited on: November 7, 2010 12:04 pm
 

AFC Inactives, Week 9

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The following are ACTIVE for today’s game: Ravens WR Donte Stallworth, Patriots G Logan Mankins

The following are INACTIVE:

Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers: Opposing defenses can’t bring him down, but apparently a bad case of plantar fasciitis is enough to knock Gates out of the game. If Gates could have played today, he would have been Superman. As it is, he’s still a TE superhero.

Owen Daniels, TE, Texans: He continues to struggle with injuries this season. Daniels played last week, catching one pass for eight yard, but he’s having multiple leg problems. A bad hamstring will keep him out this week.

Ryan Wendell, G, Patriots: The big casualty of the Logan Mankins re-signing is Wendell. He had been starting in Mankins’ place, but now that Mankins is back, Wendell is back to the bench.

Deion Branch, WR, Patriots:
Bothered by a hamstring, Branch - who's found new life in New England - won't play today. He hadn't practiced all week, so the news shouldn't be that surprising. Um, just kidding. He's active.

Jake Delhomme/Seneca Wallace, QB, Browns:
This means that, once again, Colt McCoy will start at QB for Cleveland.

Shawne Merriman, LB, Bills: Not a surprise, because of how late Merriman reported to his new team once he was claimed off waivers from San Diego. Expect him to be ready for next week's game.

Malcom Floyd/Legedu Naanee, WR, Chargers:
And somewhere, Philip Rivers is weeping. At least Antonio Gates is acti ... oh, never mind.

Patrick Chung, CB, Patriots:
He's been bothered by a knee injury, and he'll miss his second-straight game. It's unfortunate for New England, because Chung is a tackling machine.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 11:17 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 11:28 am
 

McCoy almost certain to start again for Browns

Posted by Andy BenoitC. McCoy (US Presswire)

With each passing week, it seems less and less likely that Jake Delhomme or Seneca Wallace will get back under center for the Browns this season. Both missed practice Wednesday still nursing their high ankle sprains.

Thus, as CBS's Clark Judge suggested earlier this week, rookie Colt McCoy is a virtual lock to get the nod against New England.

''I'm here for whatever they ask me to do. Again, that's a coaches' decision,'' McCoy said Wednesday of a possible third consecutive start, according to the Beacon Journal. ''I know Jake and Seneca aren't practicing today, and I treat it the same way I have the last several weeks — to prepare like I'm the starter every time. Whether it ends that way or not, I'm going to be prepared to play.''

Considering that McCoy may have an upside (emphasis still on “may” at this point) and that the Browns are, as usual, playing for next season, what would be the point of turning back to a 35-year-old Delhomme or a perennial backup like Wallace?

Yes, the best way to develop a young team is for that young team to learn how to win. But that doesn’t always mean relying on the veteran quarterback. After all, in McCoy’s two starts, the Browns were decent against the Steelers and just good enough offensively to pull out a defensive win against the Saints.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: New Faces

L. Tomlinson has been one of the most impressive players in the NFL this season (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some arrived via free agency. Some were left on the garbage pile and only had one or two teams show interest. Some didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to continue playing NFL football. And some were highly-touted rookies who commanded humongous signing bonuses and who have lived up to their end of the bargain.

Today, we spotlight the top-10 players who are performing brilliantly in their first year with a new team. We’re talking about rookies, we’re talking about free agents, we’re talking about those whose careers were left for dead.

All of the following have impacted their new teams in many ways and all have made the front offices who signed them seem clairvoyant in the process (though, in the case of a couple players, the decision to add them wasn’t exactly brain surgery). So, here’s to those who have found a new lease on life (or a new burgeoning career) with their new team.

10. Jason Babin, DE, Titans: The career-high sack total for Babin, a seven-year veteran, was five coming into this season – set in 2006 while in Houston. This year, through eight games, he’s got seven. So, what happened this season, especially after recording just 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year with the Eagles? According to Babin, it’s just been a matter of getting more playing time. OK, if you say so.

9. Colt McCoy, QB, Browns: Aside from any rookie QB not named Sam Bradford, McCoy has done pretty darn well as a first-year signal-caller. He’s only played the past two games for Cleveland, but he’s hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for a touchdown, two picks and a QB rating of 76.5. OK, he’s not great, but he’s been light years ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall. Plus, he’s coming off a win against the Saints.

8. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals: You still have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Owens. He’s the kind of player who, often times, doesn’t put out special effort to knock down a bad pass so the opponent doesn’t pick it (this happened at least twice last week), but he’s also still the kind of player who can rack up a team-leading 45 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns. Ultimately, it was probably the right move for Cincinnati to sign him. In three weeks, though, that might not be the case.

7. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers: Pittsburgh’s first-round pick beat out Justin Hartwig at the beginning of the season for the starting center role, and Pouncey has performed well thus far. He’s really helped glue together a Steelers offensive line that had major questions raised about it coming into the season.N. Suh has begun to dominate the opponent's offensive line for Detroit (Getty).

6. Dez Bryant, WR/PR, Cowboys: One of the bright spots in Dallas this year. We knew Bryant was going to be a good one, and he has not disappointed, catching 29 passes for 349 yards for three touchdowns (Roy Williams, by the way, is 22 for 327 and five, respectively). But he’s been downright electric while fielding kicks, returning two punts for touchdowns and averaging 16.5 yards per punt, second in the NFL for those who have at least 10 returns.

5. Thomas Jones/Ryan Torain/Peyton Hillis, RBs, Chiefs/Redskins/Browns: Yes, I’m cheating a bit here, listing three players in one spot, but that doesn’t take away from how well these guys have played – and how unexpected their production has been. The Jets figured they didn’t need Jones any more, but he’s rushed for 538 yards through seven games with the Chiefs. Torain has replaced Clinton Portis pretty well, and Hillis (460 yards, five touchdowns) has been the biggest surprise at all (he certainly has surprised Denver coach Josh McDaniels, who let go of Hillis after last season).

4. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins: Marshall has typical diva receiver tendencies, but he’s been one of the best players in the league so far this season. After Marshall was traded away from Denver (ahem, McDaniels), he’s done nothing but produce in Miami, ranking fourth in the league with 47 catches for 588 yards. The one disappointing stat: he’s only recorded one touchdown.

3. Earl Thomas (Seahawks)/T.J. Ward/Ndamukong Suh, S/S/DT, Seahawks/Browns/Lion: Sigh, again I’m cheating. But considering all these first-year players are vying for defensive rookie of the year honors, it makes sense to lump them all together. Thomas has proven that he’s one of the most instinctual players in the league with four interceptions, tied for third-best in the NFL. Ward took some heat for the nasty hit he put on Cincinnati’s Jordan Shipley, but his big-hit ability has helped lead him to 60 tackles (fourth-most among safeties). And Suh is living up to his lofty billing, blowing up interior offensive linemen and recording 6.5 sacks. He’s going to be a monster for as long as he steps on the field.

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams: I’m not sure most of us could have expected Bradford, the No. 1 pick from last year’s Draft, to play so well a mere eight games into this pro career. He’s completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,674 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The numbers don’t look fantastic, but you have to take into account his poise and his savvy and the fact he doesn’t have a big-name receiver upon whom he can lean. Plus, he’s got the Rams, one of the worst NFL teams coming into the season, at the 4-4 mark. He has been pretty outstanding. Not bad considering he missed most of last year at Oklahoma with the shoulder injury.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets: Somehow, Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth. It wasn’t in San Diego apparently. Perhaps it was in New Jersey the whole time. On the season, Tomlinson has gained 544 yards and five touchdowns and has taken Shonn Greene’s job away from him. He has been perhaps the most surprising player in the league this year. He’s definitely been the No. 1 new face.

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Posted on: October 29, 2010 11:03 am
Edited on: October 29, 2010 11:06 am
 

Hot Routes 10.29.10 injured players returning

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Steven Jackson underwent finger surgery this week, but he says he is definitely going to play.


With Roberto Garza’s return to health, the Bears offensive line will once again be tweaked.


Donte’ Stallworth could return to the Ravens November 7th (as if the Ravens need another receiver). Stallworth has been out since the preseason with a foot injury.


Falcons veteran safety Erik Coleman is learning to cope as a backup.


Rex Ryan and Ray Lewis have settled any differences they may have had. They chatted at a banquet dinner on Saturday night.

Here’s one writer already making a case for John Fox to coach the Cowboys.


Here’s another saying it should be Jon Gruden.


Carson Palmer sat out practice for the Bengals on Thursday. He has a sore hip.


The sentiment around Cleveland is that the Browns need to stick with Colt McCoy at quarterback. (Oh, and that LeBron is still a jerk.)


Everyone is talking about how DE Derrick Harvey got benched in Jacksonville. Few headlines have actually mentioned who got promoted. For the record, the new starter is Jeremy Mincey.


Remember Mark Simoneau? He’s a Chief now.


With Charles Woodson and the Packers coming to town this Sunday, Rex Ryan can’t let the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year debate go.


Russ Grimm will be trying to beat his son’s team when the Bucs face the Cardinals this Sunday.

Posted on: October 28, 2010 12:16 am
 

Browns should pick one QB and stick with him

S. Wallace thinks Cleveland should pick one QB and stick with him when all three are healthy (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When quarterbacks Seneca Wallace, Jake Delhomme and Colt McCoy are all healthy for the Browns, Wallace knows who he’d like to see serve as the starter. Himself, obviously.

But if not, he’d like to see something else – the same starter week after week.

"This isn't college," Wallace said via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "We don't switch quarterbacks in and out. I think when it comes down to rhythm and gelling together, when you have a quarterback in for one week and then the next week it's somebody else, that's not a good situation. You want a guy that's going to be in there, be able to move the team and continue to do that week to week."

This, of course, makes sense. But if we’re talking about a quarterback who’s playing fairly well and helping his team win a game – and this comes even though Wallace, who had replaced an injured Delhomme as a starter, played surprisingly well before he sprained his ankle – McCoy should be that guy. At least for now.

McCoy hasn’t been great, but he helped Cleveland to a big road win against New Orleans, and he is performing above expectations for a rookie who was just thrown into the game without much preparation – against the big, bad Steelers no less.

But before we get too crazy here, Wallace thinks he should be the one to start. After all, he made a pretty strong statement when he completed 63 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and two interceptions as the Browns went 1-3.

“Yeah, I feel that way," Wallace said. "At the end of the day, it comes down to the coaches. Whoever's doing the job the best, moving the team, scoring points, making the right decisions, then that should be the guy."

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 3:28 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 5:48 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: 'What's Best for the Team'?

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park . 

Week 7 might see an unusual number of coaches actually doing 'what's best for their team' (Brad Childress' words) when it comes to quarterback decisions.

Or perhaps not -- many an external factor can change a coach's choice on who to start.

Let's begin in Minnesota, or, technically, in New England -- where the Vikings will take on the Patriots in a game that's got a storyline or two.

There's Randy Moss' return to New England after being traded from the Pats earlier this season, a monumental factor that's being even more monumentally overshadowed by the fact that every single bone in Brett Favre's foot has been reduced to little tiny pieces in the past week or so.

OK, that's a stretch, but we do know it's a pretty severe injury. Or, at least some of us do.

"You're talking to the wrong guy to rate severity," Childress said. "I just know how they were advertised to me, and I didn't use any [medical definitions] that weren't said to me."

Chilling words (pun intended) from a coach who seems to be more passive-aggressive than anything when it comes to making a decision about who'll start for him under center.

The pervasive understanding sure seems to be that Childress, if he had his druthers or any, ahem, "juevos rancheros" at all, would start Tavaris Jackson at quarterback for the Vikings. This would require Childress being in charge, though, and his description of Favre's injury ("an evolving situation") is pretty indicative that he's not.

Favre doesn't call the shots, of course, but it's pretty clear that if he wants to play, he's going to play, despite what he says; and yeah, the same thing applies to his streak of 291 consecutive games.

"I don't want to go out there for one play, I don't want to go out there for three plays," Favre said. "If I'm able to play, I want to play the whole game and give us the best chance to win."

That's utter baloney, regardless of how nice it sounds coming from Favre. He prides himself on his iron man status as much as anything, and it's pretty obvious that if he can get that next start, he's going to get that next start, even if it's at the expense of Minnesota's success.

The only thing that could stop him is Childress stepping in, telling everyone involved that Favre is going to take a week off, get rested and thereby putting the burden on Adrian Peterson to control the game and Tavaris Jackson to make one or two big throws without any huge mistakes.

It's a plausible proposition, but probably one that won't come to fruition. But only because Favre wants to keep his streak intact grit out a win just too damn much.

****


The Titans might offer up the spiciest of all job situations, because Jeff Fisher's shown in the past he doesn't give a flip who throws the ball for his team, as long as they help Tennessee win.

Kenny Britt's emergence as a potential true No. 1 wideout -- even if he's facing future discipline -- under Kerry Collins might make the decision easier.

Clearly Vince Young has potential and whatnot, but he's remarkably inconsistent, and Collins has had tremendous success with Fisher, most notably in stealing V.Y.'s starting spot two years ago and last week against the Eagles, when he lead a measty comeback in Nashville that featured Britt catching three touchdowns for 225 yards.

As long as Tennessee has Chris Johnson, it'll obviously be dangerous, and with a bye week coming after the Titans tangle with the Chargers in San Diego Sunday, it makes a whole lotta sense for Fisher to give V.Y.'s a quite convenient extra week of rest on his injured leg.

Will ownership want that no? Probably not. Will Vince? Definitely not. Does Fisher care? Absolutely not -- a win in San Diego gives Tennessee establishes the Titans as a legitimate threat to win the AFC (if that wasn't clear already), and "CSI:Nashville" knows that keeping Collins under center for now gives them the best chance to win.

At least until he does his best "Kerry Collins in the first of 2009" impersonation -- but that's what Vince Young's sitting there for!

****
The Eagles finally make their way to the bottom of this piece (or at least the middle anyway), and with good reason -- Kevin Kolb showed Sunday why Michael Vick should be the starter.

(Ironically, yes, that was while Collins showed he should start over Young, but that's neither here nor there.)

Look, we've said it plenty of times, but Kolb's plenty good and will play plenty of snaps for the Eagles at some point; he's just a different animal than Vick.

Last week we talked about how Kolb, even when posting monster numbers against Atlanta, still looked a little weak-armed. This won't change. Ever.

And Vick is, when healthy, one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL -- he'll start until he forgets how fragile his ribcage is and takes off on an ill-advised run down the middle of the field towards the goal line. Again.

****


Perhaps the best decision by any coach -- and it's an odd choice if only because of who the coach is -- will happen in London, where Mike Singletary decided to plug in Troy Smith as the starter while Alex Smith is out.

There's no telling if Troy will start for the entire two-to-three week duration that Alex is supposed to miss, but it doesn't really matter: Frank Gore would be a better option than David Carr.

Plenty of people probably weren't watching the stinker of a game he gave up in Charlotte, but believe me, he has no business taking snaps as a starter in the NFL ever again. It's like drafting Michael Clayton in fantasy -- just because he's a top pick and has tons of talent doesn't mean he has to succeed eventually.

Cut him and move on. (Oh wait, that happened in real life too. Ha.)

****
Los Pantalones Fuegos (We're talking about jobs so we might as well mentions who's seat is hot, no?)

- Mike Singletary: Right now he's getting a few too many votes of confidence. A blowout overseas at the hands of a Denver team that got torched by the Raiders last week could push him to the brink.

- Brad Childress: Weird how so many of the guys with quarterback situations are mentioned here right? 2-6 to start the season could make it worth Minnesota's while to see what Leslie Frazier can do as a head coach.

- John Fox: It's hot all season, but a win against the Rams would go a long way towards keeping him in town through 2010.

- Josh McDaniels: It wasn't the losses piling up, but the way in which they piled up (read: giving up nearly 60 points to division rival Oakland).

- Wade Phillips: Tony Romo's injury almost guaranteed that he won't be fired until the end of the season, if that's any consolation.

- Jack Del Rio: Losing to a Jon Kitna-led Cowboys team just before the bye could seal his fate. Kitna will do that to you.

- Lovie Smith: He's only slightly less delusional than Singletary. And he has four wins, so that helps.

****
Quickly …

- Needless to say, giving the job to Colt McCoy was the right call for Eric Mangini. Kid's kind of hard to root against.

- Max Hall's the starter for Arizona if he's healthy and that makes the most sense given that the only other option is still Derek Anderson. It's simple science, really.

- Apparently Washingtonians want Rex Grossman to get a shot over Donovan McNabb. Please go monitor a midterm, folks -- there's more value in that.

- Darren McFadden probably has his starting job back now, I think.

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Posted on: October 23, 2010 7:17 pm
 

Hines Ward: QBs might have some blame on big hits

Posted by Will Brinson

We talked to Thurman Thomas recently, and he made a funny (but salient) point -- some blame for big hits has to be placed on quarterbacks, especially if they continually hang their receivers out to dry over the middle.

Hines Ward agrees with this theory.

"It's funny, I was talking to [Mohamed] Massaquoi about quarterbacks pregame," Ward said. "I told him it's rough playing with three different quarterbacks. It's especially tough playing with a rookie. If he considers you his go-to guy, he's going to watch you run your route the whole way. That's what happened on that play when [Massaquoi] was hit. [Colt McCoy] followed him with his eyes the whole way. James saw that and knew that pass was coming."

Ward also pointed some blame towards Kevin Kolb on the hit that's knocked DeSean Jackson out for this week's game against the Titans.

"[Dunta Robinson's] quarterback didn't see the cornerback there and led him right into him," Ward said. "What was he supposed to do? He led with his shoulder. That's a good football play. If he tackles him low, he blows out his knees and ends his career. Is that what the league's trying to tell us it wants?"

Of course, Ward didn't put all the blame on the quarterbacks -- he also called the changes "ridiculous" (blame on the league) and told Massaquoi that he need not run through the middle of zone coverage (blame on the receiver).

Ultimately, it is up to the defensive player, because they're the ones making the hits, but there are absolutely steps that offensive players and coaches can take to help prevent their teammates from getting devastated -- you probably just won't see those on Sunday, now that the NFL put everyone on notice, opening up the possibility of dink-and-dunk exploitation of zone coverage throughout the day.

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