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Tag:Hines Ward
Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:03 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:05 am
 

Hot Routes 9.22.10: It's a dog-eat-dog world

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  • The Philadelphia Daily News , even amid a Phillies playoff push, is most concerned with reminding you about Michael Vick's past (see: right). Because, as Mike Florio points out , everyone needs to remember that Vick is getting a second chance! DO NOT FORGET THAT HE DID SOMETHING EVIL AND NOW IS GOOD. Otherwise this whole "he's starting now and the Eagles are winning" thing isn't any fun.
  • Chan Gailey is apparently exactly like Mike Shanahan -- because of his hatred for fantasy football players and use of as many running backs as possible -- except for the fact that his teams and running backs aren't worth playing/owning/using. To sum up: he's refusing to name a starter but he may or may not give C.J. Spiller more touches.
  • Pete Carroll, however, is all business, yo. You play like poop and he's gonna let you know. Optimistically, of course, but he'll let you know. In fact, he called out his main bro Matt Hasselbeck for playing so poorly against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
  • Derek Anderson shouldn't worry about getting yelled at. Well, maybe he could get yelled at, but he won't be benched immediately, as the Arizona Republic reports the team will be "patient" with him. That's probably because they don't have another choice.
  • John McClain of the Houston Chronicle writes that the rivalry between the Cowboys and the Texans is just "a figment of fans' imagination." I've only been to Texas like once or twice, so I can't say for sure, but something tells me that if the Texans beat the Cowboys and push them to 0-3, they will be talking a lot. And something else tells me that if the Texans represent the state at Jerry Bowl 2K11, a certain Cowboys owner and his fans will not be very happy.
  • With Luke McCown out for the year, Todd Bouman is the winner in the "David Garrard Replacement" sweepstakes. Guess we can take him out of the controversies column now.
  • And we'll close with awesome news for the always awesome Hines Ward, who was sworn into President Barack Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Tuesday.
Posted on: September 12, 2010 10:28 am
 

Hot Routes 09.12.10: Gameday No. 1

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- According to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, Tim Tebow has won the No. 2 QB spot in Denver behind Kyle Orton. He also will have a package of plays to run today in Jacksonville.

-The Akron Beacon Journal came up with 20 questions about the Browns this year. The most important one in my eyes: How well will QB Jake Delhomme fit in with the offense?

- It’s unclear if Kansas City rookie Dexter McCluster will play in Monday’s season opener against San Diego. He practiced in front of the media Saturday, but the team listed him as doubtful with an unspecified illness.

- Each of the Raiders top-three picks (LB Rolando McClain, DE Lamarr Houston, and C Jared Veldheer) of the 2010 NFL Draft will start today against the Titans.

- A nice column by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell on Rams starting QB Sam Bradford. Burwell writes that Bradford is ready for the job.

-Steelers WR Hines Ward isn’t done talking about QB Ben Roethlisberger quite yet. Ward, who has been a critic of Roethlisberger in the past but has publicly lent support during Roethlisberger’s latest off-field troubles, said his teammates are the ones suffering through the QB’s four-game suspension.

- The Texans will have a chance to improve upon their 1-15 alltime record against the Colts when they play host to Indianapolis today. “We’re tired of losing ,” SS Bernard Pollard said. “It’s to the point now where it has to hurt.”

- Jaguars WR Jarett Dillard’s season is over before it began. Jacksonville placed him on the IR list Saturday. He missed most of training camp with a foot injury.

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 9:12 pm
 

Steelers fans cheer Roethlisberger

B. Roethlisberger and B. Leftwich at Pittsburgh practice today (AP). All Ben Roethlisberger wants from the Steelers fan base is a second chance (or, more accurately, a fourth chance. That’s what he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for today’s editions.

Roethlisberger mentioned how nervous he was driving to camp, simply because he didn’t know the reaction he’d receive after another turbulent offseason that resulted in a (for now) six-game suspension to open this year.

"I am hoping and praying that I get a warm reception,” he told the paper Friday afternoon. “I hope people want to give me another chance and that they will give me that chance to prove to them ... It would tear me apart if (booing) happened at home. On the road we are used to it anyway. I can block that out; but it touches my heart because I love Pittsburgh.”

Those prayers seemed to work.

From the Associated Press :

What Roethlisberger didn't expect was this: Waves of cheering supporters wearing his No. 7 jersey and knocking over temporary security fences to get the autograph of a player whose vulgar off-field behavior led the NFL to suspend him for six games.

Roethlisberger, so disliked in Pittsburgh a few months ago that he wondered if he'd ever regain a sliver of his previous support, was greeted warmly by an enthusiastic crowd estimated at 10,000 on Saturday at Saint Vincent College. He heard few, if any jeers, and many fans appeared to go out of their way to embrace him.

There were cheers when Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward arrived on the practice field together, and more when the quarterback found Antwaan Randle El on a pass route.

Pumped up by the response, Roethlisberger couldn't recall throwing a single incompletion during a nearly two-hour practice.

"I was nervous, scared, anxious, a lot of emotions," Roethlisberger said.


Roethlisberger, after practice, signed and gave away both of his shoes. Even Ward – no stranger to criticizing Roethlisberger – had nice things to say.

"For many years, people didn't know what was really going on with Ben," Ward said. "He's starting to open up and be more personal with guys. Today he was talking to everybody. I really think he understands the situation. I think you could really see the excitement in him, competing and playing football again. ... He's working on trying to improve himself."

Roethlisberger worked out with the first team today, but that could change Sunday. It sounds like Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich and Dennis Dixon will rotate with the different teams.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Position rankings: wide receivers

A. Johnson makes a TD catch over Chicago's C. Tillman (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on wide receivers.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins

4. Calvin Johnson, Lions

3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

2. Reggie Wayne, Colts

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I wish we could do top 10 receivers – this position is flooded with talent. A lot of times, a receivers’ success depends on the system he’s in. For example, Miles Austin, with his fluidity and speed, produces like a top five receiver in Dallas’s catch-and-run offense. But could he succeed in a downfield “power-throwing” offense like Vincent Jackson does in San Diego? Probably not.

As you can see, I like receivers with freakish athleticism and size. These five guys can dominate in any system. Shuffle Fitzgerald, Wayne and Andre Johnson in any order you want – just don’t drop Wayne from the Top 3 and tell me it’s because he plays with Peyton Manning. Wayne might be themost fundamentally-sound player in the entire NFL.

Calvin Johnson hasn’t done anything yet, but that’s only because he’s stuck in Detroit. He’s at least 125 percent as gifted as anyone on this list.

I’m willing to have just about any discussion that pertains to the best receiver in the game – just as long as you don’t try to sell me Randy Moss. As a deep threat, Moss is the best ever. As an all-around receiver (route running, blocking, reading coverages, etc.), he’s average.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Calvin Johnson, Lions

4. Wes Welker, Patriots

3. Reggie Wayne, Colts

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I agree with everything you said about Johnson. He’s the best WR out there today. He seemingly has it all. He runs great routes, he can make the tough catches in traffic, and he has great athleticism.

Fitzgerald has recorded 25 touchdown catches the past two years, more than any other receiver. Plus, his dad is a sportswriter – which bodes pretty well for my children. I like him just a little bit better than Wayne, who’s more experienced but not quite as athletic and who, like you said, has the benefit of catching balls from one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. But I agree with the top-three – which, truth be told, is hard to argue against.

I’ve got to go with Welker at No. 4. He has sneaky speed, he can read any defense, and his yards-after-contact numbers are extraordinary. Will he be the same receiver after his knee problems? Well, we won’t know that until the regular season begins, but for now, Welker is a top-five guy. I’m interested to hear your take on Welker, Andy. I dropped Johnson to No. 5, because he flubs too many catches.

I thought hard about putting San Diego’s (for now) Vincent Jackson on the list. He has a very high yards-per-catch average, and he’s a very good blocker. But with the three-game suspension and the fact he might hold out for much of the season, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I also thought about Sidney Rice, but one season doesn’t make a career. Where do you stand with those guys?

Andy’s rebuttal

I have no problem with Welker being top five. The numbers are there – 346 catches for 3,368 yards over the last three seasons – and there isn’t a little thing he doesn’t do right. Welker is the sustaining element of New England’s offense. I left him off my list because he’s essentially confined to the slot.

Jackson might be the best deep threat in the NFL right now. And while I’m on numbers, I’ll mention that 58 of Jackson’s 68 receptions last season resulted in a first down. Of everyone you mentioned, Josh, Rice is the only player I never considered. He had a great ’09 campaign, but given his (albeit short) track record, I need to see him do it at least once more.

Josh, you surprised everyone by not taking a principled stand and including a “solid, scrappy (read: white)” backup receiver like Mike Furrey or Austin Collie on your list. Since this made our lists virtually identical, how about we do the top three wide receiver duos in the NFL? But let’s put a wrinkle in it: top three duos, but no member of the duos can be on our top five list (i.e. no Moss-Welker, Wayne-Garcon or Johnson-Walter). Here’s what I have:

1. Donald DriverGreg Jennings, Packers. Perfect fits for Green Bay’s quick-slanting system.

2. Vincent Jackson – Malcolm Floyd, Chargers. Their size and speed creates nightmares for defensive coordinators and allows Antonio Gates to work against safeties and linebackers.

3. DeSean JacksonJeremy Maclin, Eagles. Jackson is fast becoming the best big-play weapon in the game. Maclin, in only his second season, could soon emerge as another version of Jackson.

Josh’s final word

Jeez, Andy, you make it sound like I put backups on my top five lists. Hey, I wasn’t the one who put Chad Greenway on my 4-3 outside linebackers list. That was you.

I’ll play your game, though.

1. Driver – Jennings, Packers. You’re absolutely right about these guys, Andy. Driver has been really good for many years, and though neither of these guys are top 10 by themselves, they help make Aaron Rodgers look really good.

2. Sidney Rice – Percy Harvin, Vikings. These guys are young – 23 and 22, respectively – and with Brett Favre throwing passes their way probably for the next … oh, say … five or 10 years (psst, he’s never going to retire), the Minnesota offense will continue to be very dangerous.

3. Jackson - Floyd, Chargers. We've talked about Jackson, but Floyd was solid last year after the Chargers waived Chris Chambers. He obviously needs to score more touchdowns - he only had one last season - but his 6-foot-5 stature will continue to grab the attention of QB Philip Rivers.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle   | Center | Offensive Guard | Tight End )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


Posted on: June 24, 2010 12:04 am
 

What Ward expects from Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Hines Ward never seems at a loss for words, and if he believes something, he’s not afraid to share his views with you. Thus, as Pro Football Talk writes, he made an interesting comment Wednesday on the NFL Network’s Total Access regarding Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

"A lot of players really don't know the situation, other than what we hear in the news or the media," Ward said.  "I think when he addresses the whole team going into training camp, we can all put it behind us and move forward."

Not if he addresses the whole team, but when he addresses the whole team.

I’m not sure why the team needs to hear about the incident that occurred in Georgia, and I wonder if Ward – who hasn’t shied away from discussing Roethlisberger in the past (you might remember this incident, as preserved by Fanhouse – is simply needling the QB that’s not so popular with his Steelers teammates. Legally, it also would be the height of stupidity for Roethlisberger to speak on this subject.

Forget “if” and “when.” Try “not going to happen.”

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

 
 
 
 
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