Tag:Josh Katzowitz
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:48 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 4:15 pm
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Report: Bucs to hire Bill Sheridan as DC

By Josh Katzowitz

Bill Sheridan hasn’t had much success in the NFL recently, getting fired as the Giants defensive coordinator after the 2009 season and then coaching linebackers on the ill-fated 2011 Dolphins squad.

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Actually,  he was recently hired to Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State, but now, he’s leaving that job to go work for the Buccaneers.

Which is great news for a guy whose squad allowed 427 points, the second-most ever allowed by a Giants squad, in his only year as the defensive coordinator.

The Lantern, Ohio State’s student paper, broke the news and wrote that the school confirmed Sheridan is leaving the Buckeyes program.

Sheridan will join a franchise that now includes Butch Davis as an advisor to Schiano, Mike Sullivan as the offensive coordinator and former 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye as an offensive assistant.

Also, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bucs also will hire former Dolphins linebacker Bryan Cox as a defensive assistant.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:54 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 3:38 pm
 

Bengals hire Hue Jackson as assistant

JacksonBy Josh Katzowitz

Whatever faults you  might find with Bengals owner Mike Brown -- and I haven’t been ashamed in pointing them out -- you never can begrudge the man his loyalty. And he made another example of that today as the Bengals have announced they’ve hired former Raiders coach (and former Bengals receivers coach) Hue Jackson as an assistant helping the secondary and special teams*.

Jackson, you might recall, was fired only one season into his Oakland tenure after leading the team to an 8-8 record and trading first- and second-round picks to the Bengals for quarterback Carson Palmer.

*It should be noted that Jackson doesn't appear to have ever coached defense, though he did work with special teams when he was at Cal State-Fullerton in 1990 and the World League's London Monarchs in 1991. So yeah, this totally seems like a loyalty hire.

After Al Davis’ death and the hiring of general manager Reggie McKenzie, Jackson’s stay with the Raiders was doomed. Particularly after he tore into his team following a Week 17 loss, saying he was pissed off and disappointed. “I’m going to take a stronger hand in this whole team, in this whole organization,” Jackson said at the time. “There ain’t no way that I’m going to feel like I feel today a year from now. I promise you that."

Well, that’s totally true now, because Jackson should be in Cincinnati in Week 17 of 2012.

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It’s a place where he spent 2004-06, helping mold Chad Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh into two of the better receivers in the league. And while he had the Raiders in the race for an AFC West title this year -- until, that is, a guy named Tim Tebow emerged for the Broncos -- McKenzie decided to bring in his own coach after the season.

“A the end of the day, I didn’t win enough games, didn’t get to the playoffs,” Jackson said in January. “Once Mark (Davis, Al’s son) saw where the franchise was, after he hired Reggie, he gave Reggie the opportunity to bring in his own coach.”

There has been speculation on who actually brokered the trade that seems like it’ll pay off awfully well for the Bengals -- Jackson now says he only helped bring the Raiders and Bengals together and that those on a higher pay-grade made the final decision.

But now, Jackson is in the strange position to see how the deal works out from the opposite side of where he was when he first helped make it.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 1:22 pm
 

Sounds like the Patriots want to keep Brian Hoyer

It seems that New England would rather have Hoyer, right, in the No. 2 role, rather than Mallett. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

After so much offseason talk last year about Ryan Mallett, his behavior at the NFL combine, his admitted drug use, whether he blew off pre-draft meetings with teams and how far he would fall in the draft, we haven’t spent much time talking about him during the regular season.

That probably has something to do with the fact he was active for only one game this season as he sat behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer in New England. And while Mallett believes he’s in the perfect situation with the Patriots, the team might not feel he’s ready to handle the weight of being the franchise’s No. 2 quarterback.

That’s the word from the Boston Herald, which writes that two sources say the team will tender Hoyer because the Patriots don’t believe Mallett is quite ready.

Hoyer is a restricted free agent, and if New England tenders him at the first-round compensation level, that would be worth $2.742 million for a one-year deal. As the Herald writes, “it would probably preclude other teams from making a play for Hoyer.”

Mallett, though, might be OK with the arrangement for now.

“It’s been awesome,” he said during the Super Bowl media day. “It’s good for me to sit back and watch and not have to do media stuff all the time and be out in the spotlight. But as a competitor, you want to be on the field and be playing in the game.”

As Green Bay’s Matt Flynn has proven, even if you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league, having a backup that can enter a game on short notice and play well is an important need -- and a need that is not overly common in the NFL.

For instance, during Super Bowl XLVI after Tom Brady took a sack from Justin Tuck, it appeared that he might be hurt. Hoyer began warming up, and New England had to be confident enough in Hoyer that he could play immediately and play well.

For now, it’s clear the Patriots don’t feel that way about Mallett.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:04 pm
 

For the gambler in you (offseason edition)

MossBy Josh Katzowitz

Occasionally in the offseason, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read on this site. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will Randy Moss win NFL comeback player of the year for the 2012 regular season?     

Yes 5/1

The better question is: will Moss be in the position to win the comeback player of the year? As in, will a team actually sign and, then, play him? Didn’t work out so well for Terrell Owens last year, huh?

Who will sign Randy Moss next?

New England Patriots 5/2

Chicago Bears 7/2

Washington Redskins  5/1

San Francisco 49ers 5/1

New York Jets 11/2

St. Louis Rams 7/1

Dallas Cowboys 10/1

Philadelphia Eagles 10/1

I don’t see the Patriots grabbing him again -- after all, they traded him away last year, and they had a good reason for that. I could see the Jets going after him (we were talking about this last May), especially if Plaxico Burress leaves via free agency. But I’d rather take the bet that Moss isn’t playing at all.

Will Albert Haynesworth play Week 1 of the 2012 regular season?  
       
Yes +110

No -150

With all of my heart I want to say no. But I think he showed enough with the Buccaneers -- plus, he was on his best behavior -- that somebody else will give him a chance. I don’t know if he’ll be playing in Week 17. But there’s a strong chance he’ll be there in Week 1.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:47 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 11:08 am
 

N.Y. Times reporter was huge Packers fan

By Josh Katzowitz

In a heartbreak story for journalism and the world in general, news emerged Thursday night that star New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid, the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, died in Syria after suffering an asthma attack.

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It’s a loss for international reporting, and if you read this New York Times obituary, you’ll get a sense of how much his work meant to him.

He also was an unabashed Packers fan, and he told his story in the Jan. 30, 2011 edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

From the story:
For a fan, though, loyalty is never about wins and losses. It's about being there, and from thousands of miles away I managed to be, by way of a breathtakingly expensive satellite phone that brought me the radio broadcast.

"You're not going to believe the phone bill," my bureau chief, as alarmed as he was unknowing, declared to me right around the time the Packers had a 4-4 record.

I looked at him, shaking my head in insincere sympathy.

"Can they tell which computer ran up the bill?" I asked.

They couldn't.

Good thing for Shadid, who probably wouldn’t have stopped using the satellite phone, anyway.

But this is a good reminder to never underestimate the power of sports. As Shadid wrote, he brought the Packers around the world with him, and they gave him so much joy even as he encountered the dangers of his job.

With Shadid's death, the world has lost a splendid journalist. And the Packers have lost one of their biggest fans.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:15 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:16 am
 

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Art Rooney II tried to make it clear that Mike Tomlin was the one who wanted to hire Todd Haley. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Since former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' contract wasn’t renewed (and basically, was fired) and Todd Haley was installed as the new coordinator, there’s been much speculation that some of coach Mike Tomlin’s power has been cut within the organization.

Apparently, Tomlin didn’t want to part ways with Arians, and apparently, he didn’t want to hire Haley. Supposedly, team president Art Rooney II was the man to make those deals over the protests of his successful head coach.

Now, though, Rooney is denying he had much of a role in the Pittsburgh offensive upheaval.

"I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that's who he wanted to come in," Rooney said Thursday afternoon in an exclusive interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "It may be fair to say that when he started the discussions and Todd's name was on his original list, I don't think he expected that Todd was the guy he was going to wind up hiring. But as he had more conversations with him, he became more comfortable that he was the right guy for the job."

The paper writes that the reason Rooney talked to reporter Ed Bouchette was because he wanted “to counter rampant speculation that he, not Tomlin, hired Haley to replace Bruce Arians ….”

So, yes, there is spin involved in this story, and Rooney apparently didn’t dispel the notion that he, not Tomlin, was the one who didn’t want Arians around.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
Aside from Haley, Rooney said Jim Caldwell was the only other candidate that Tomlin brought to Pittsburgh to interview for the job. Rooney said he had conversations with Caldwell and Haley when they were in Pittsburgh, but he said it was more informal than a regular interview.

"I wouldn't want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff,” Rooney said. “Even though there's always a discussion between me and Mike about who he's hiring and how much we're paying him and those kinds of things, it's normally a discussion of the business side of the arrangement than, 'Are we going to hire a guy who's going to run the ball so many times a game.' It was a fairly normal process as far as I'm concerned in terms of how we've done those kinds of hirings in the past."

It’s good that Rooney recognizes the need to let the public believe that Tomlin is the one calling the shots on his coaching staff. Because, for the most part, Tomlin should be the one to make those decisions.

But if Rooney was the one who wanted to let Arians walk -- and that seems fairly clear at this point -- he needed to let Tomlin save face with the Haley hire. No matter who actually wanted Haley, Rooney has accomplished that now with this interview.

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Posted on: February 17, 2012 12:00 am
 

Could the Vikings be interested in Luck, RG3?

Ponder will start for the Vikings again in 2012. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Assuming Andrew Luck goes with the No. 1 pick to the Colts in April’s draft and then somebody trades up to take the Rams spot at No. 2 to select Robert Griffin III -- still somewhat of an assumption, of course -- the Vikings won’t have a shot at either of them.

That’s because Minnesota will pick at No. 3 and because the Vikings took a quarterback in the first round last year. And while it seems somewhat silly that Minnesota would entertain the idea of replacing Christian Ponder so quickly -- Ponder began the year behind Donovan McNabb and played decently for one of the worst teams in football before injuring himself and giving way to some spectacular performances by Joe Webb -- it’s not out of the realm of possibility I suppose.

Especially when general manager Rick Spielman goes back and forth when discussing Ponder’s future with the club.

"I know we're very confident in Christian, but if one of those quarterbacks is too good to pass up, you also have to weigh that in too," Spielman told local reporters, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But we're very, very confident in what Christian Ponder brings. As we go through this process and our coaches come into this process and we put this thing together in April, I don't know where we'll be."

Although Luck and Griffin could be categorized as “too good to pass up” by Spielman, that might say more about the team’s confidence in Ponder -- who was 2-8 as a starter while completing 54.3 percent of his passes for 1,853 yards, 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year -- than anything else. The Rams, for instance, most likely won’t stick around the No. 2 spot because they’ve already got full confidence in Sam Bradford.

The Vikings, though, will vet Luck and Griffin, interviewing them at the NFL combine and perhaps having them make visits to Minnesota.

“We'll be at their workouts, yeah," said Spielman, who said last month that Ponder would be his starter heading into offseason workouts. "We'll be doing full monty on [Luck] and RG3."

Chances are, Ponder will be safe from having to compete with Luck and Griffin for Minnesota’s affections (Webb, though, might be a different story). But the Vikings will do its due diligence either way.

Said Spielman: “You never know what happens on draft day, and I would rather be over-prepared than under-prepared."

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:48 pm
 

Slauson played season with bad shoulder injuries

Slauson played with a multitude of shoulder problems in 2011.  (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

The other day, the Chicago Tribune revealed a report in which Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson, who tore his biceps muscle in training camp but still played the entire 2011 season, was on the field for 1,134 snaps -- the most of any defensive player in the NFL.

That was pretty impressive.

Now, we bring you this Newark Star Ledger story that reports that Jets guard Matt Slauson started every game this year despite suffering a torn labrum, rotator cuff and bicep in his left shoulder.

Obviously, Slauson played the season in a cringe-worthy amount of pain after injuring his shoulder in December 2010, and after the season, he underwent surgery on his arm that will keep him out for five to six months.

“I knew something was wrong, but I was like, 'OK, I'll keep on playing as long as I can play,' and I was able to get through it all," Slauson told the paper. "I felt like I had a fairly successful year personally with it. So I'm really excited about next year without having pain."

Slauson initially thought the injury wasn’t a big deal because he could still play and lift weights. It was only until after the season that he discovered the magnitude of his shoulder problems.

Pro Football Talk makes an interesting point on the matter. Considering the Jets were fined $125,000 after not disclosing the fact that Brett Favre had a partially torn biceps in 2009, you’d figure they’d be extra vigilant about making injuries known during game week. This year, Slauson was never listed on the injury report as having any shoulder problems.

Though Slauson might not have known the extent of his injuries, it seems unlikely that he didn’t tell the team -- or receive any treatment from the team -- about his shoulder injury. And despite Slauson’s pain tolerance, you have to wonder if the league will check back in with the Jets to see what was happening in the training room.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com