Tag:Terrell Owens
Posted on: November 5, 2010 4:25 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:58 pm
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Five Questions (or More) with Keyshawn Johnson

Keyshawn Johnson had strong comments today regarding R. Moss, Brad Childress and Mike Shanahan (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Keyshawn Johnson is a busy man. Since retiring from the NFL in 2007 after an 11-year career in which he made the Pro Bowl three times, he’s been an ESPN analyst, the host of an A&E show called Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design, and a business man.

Now, he’s partnering with Captain Morgan for a year-long project that allows fans to post their own Captain Morgan’s pose on Facebook , and for every pose uploaded, the company will donate to the First Mate Fund, which was created to benefit non-profit organizations. “It’s all for charity,” Johnson said. “Every time you upload a picture, Captain Morgan donates a dollar.”

We caught up with Johnson, and he gave us some interesting answers regarding Randy Moss, Brad Childress’ authenticity, Mike Shanahan’s truth-telling skills, and why the Bengals haven’t produced with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens lining up on the field.

Previous Five Questions (or More):

Oct. 29: Chargers LS Mike Windt

Oct. 22: Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard

Oct. 15: Redskins WR Anthony Armstrong

Oct. 8:
Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich

Oct. 1: Kent Babb of the KC Star

Sept. 24: Texans WR Kevin Walter

Sept. 17: former Bengals, Titans DT John Thornton

Sept. 11: Seahawks RB Leon Washington

1. CBSSports.com: Obviously, the big topic this week was Randy Moss. Now that he’s going to Tennessee with a guy you know pretty well in Jeff Fisher, how do you think he’ll do with the Titans?

Keyshawn Johnson: I think he’ll do well. You have a strong-minded coach with a strong head there, and I really think Jeff has done a tremendous job in terms of getting players to play for him and do the things he’s asked in his 16-year tenure. He gets players to respond for him. There are only a handful of coaches who can do that, and he’s one of them.

CBS: Is that what you need for a guy like Moss? Obviously, it didn’t work with Brad Childress, but it did work with Bill Belichick. It seems like Fisher is a coach that can command that kind of respect.

Johnson: It’s really about how you approach people and how you talk to people. You don’t have to scream, you don’t have to yell. It’s the way you approach a guy like Randy. If you approach him and you’re authentic and not being some phony fake-ass guy, he’s going to respect it. You think he was born yesterday? He knows phony when he sees it. I’m sure he realized Brad Childress isn’t for real and that he’s a phony guy. He went in with no respect for him. Then, Childress recognized it and thought the best thing he could was to cut bait.

2. CBS: When a guy yells at the people who cater the food in the locker room, though, what …

Johnson:
If that happened, it’s shame on Randy. You don’t demean somebody for their cooking skills. Just don’t eat it. I’ve been on many teams where I didn’t like the food. So I brought my own food.

CBS:
But when you have a guy being a jerk like that, how does that affect the rest of the locker room?

Johnson: I wouldn’t say that it would affect the locker room. It’s always one or two guys on the team who are trying to be the coach’s pet and who are going to stand out and take on the big fish. There are always one or two guys. That’s the realness about it. That’s the normal way it goes. Every team, you have one or two guys that side with the coach and not the players. The other 50 guys side with the players.

CBS: If that’s the case, how do the rest of the guys respond to those one or two players?

Johnson: You deal with those guys at face value. You don’t give them much. You don’t tell them anything, because basically, you know they’re going to snitch.

3. CBS:
The other big story this week was Donovan McNabb and how Mike Shanahan pulled him and replaced him with Rex Grossman with the game on the line. I was watching that game, and when he did that, I was very confused.

Johnson:
Very, very confusing to those of us that don’t really know how coaches work. Since I know how they work, it wasn’t confusing to me. But he could have explained to Donovan or explained to the media a little bit better than just lying. All you have to do is lie to me once, and I won’t let it happen again. Players know it. But they’re not going to say it, because they have families to feed.

4. CBS:
Regarding the Bengals, with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens and a good running game, did you think T.O. and Ochocinco would have had more of an impact on the team? Did you think that team would be better than it is?

Johnson: I thought they would be better. But statistics aren’t going to make you better. You need to have some cohesiveness in terms of how you deal with each other and the team and players around each other. There has to be something there to be able to deem yourself a championship-caliber football team. They don’t have that. That’s why they struggle. They’re 2-5, and at the end of the year, they’re probably going to have be looking for a new head coach.

5. CBS: How much of it falls on Marvin Lewis? I know he was a popular guy in the locker room …

Johnson:
It’s so hard to win in places like that. It’s just hard. It’s a constant losing vibe. You can win 50 games, and you feel like you lost. It’s just a whole perception, and it’s hard deal to deal with.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 4, 2010 9:35 am
Edited on: November 4, 2010 12:41 pm
 

Owens agreed with Shanahan's benching of McNabb

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s not a part of the job I like, believe me. Every time I acknowledge the T.Ocho Show, I feel like I’m mortgaging a portion of my self respect. But I’m not naïve: people might not watch the show, but they care about all things Ocho or T.O. related. (You’re reading this right now, aren’t you?)
T. Owens (US Presswire)
So what did Owens say on his show about the benching of former teammate Donovan McNabb? Here’s the exchange he had with Ocho:

“That’s just wrong,” Ochocinco said (of McNabb’s benching). “It really makes no sense. What message are you really trying to send?”

“Well, I don’t really want to start anything, but I did play in the Super Bowl and there were rumors where he couldn’t get our two-minute offense going at the end of the game,” Owens said. “I’m just saying.”

Hmmm…regarding those “rumors” Owens refers to, does anyone happen to recall who actually started them? Or, how about the second part of Owens’ quote: “I’m just saying.” You’re just saying WHAT? You have a talk show. The point of the talk show is for you to actually say it. WHAT, exactly, are you just saying?

Owens actually did elaborate – sort of.

“(Mike Shanahan is) the head coach, so (the benching) has to make sense,” said Owens, who, as you know, has made a career of respecting the opinions of coaches. “Well, this is a situation where Mike Shanahan, he sees these two quarterbacks on an everyday basis. ... So he’s had a chance to observe.”

Ocho was actually far less vague. “If anyone else out there feels that Rex Grossman gives the Washington Redskins a better chance than Donovan McNabb to win a game with two minutes left on the clock, they need to slap they selves,” he said.

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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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: October 31, 2010 8:46 am
Edited on: October 31, 2010 8:47 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Halloween costumes

A. Cromartie would look great if he went as a dandelion for his Halloween costume (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Today will be a packed day for you. Naturally, you’ve got a full slate of NFL games to watch – either on TV or in the stadium of your choice – and then there’s going to be the few hours you need to recover from your team winning (beer!) or from your team losing (beer mixed with tears!). Then, you’ve got to take the kids trick-or-treating, because, lest you forget, it’s Halloween.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with the top-10 best costumes the NFL could make use of this year. Most would require a sense of humor from the individual player, but if that player DID dress up in what we’re suggesting, they would automatically be included in our Awesome Hall of Fame.

There were quite a few costumes we left off, because they simply weren’t good enough (or were too obvious). One of which was Terrell Owens/Chad Ochocinco as Batman/Robin. We’ve been there, done that. We also had a Wizard of Oz theme working with Albert Haynesworth as the tin man, Norv Turner as the scarecrow, Bryant McKinnie as the lion, and referee Gene Steratore (the official who had to make the replay calls on the Calvin Johnson non-TD catch and the Ben Roethlisberger non-TD fumble) as the actual Wizard (pay no attention to that man behind (or, in this case, underneath) that curtain!)

10. Joe Flacco = The Situation. This is the reason we had this idea in the first place. The other day we told you about Flacco dressing up like the Jersey Shore’s biggest star (complete with faux-hawk, racing stripes and the state map of New Jersey shaved into the back of his head). Yes, Flacco, at face value, doesn’t seem to have much in common with The Situation. But he was the impetus for our idea, so we include him.

9. Tom Brady = Justin Bieber. Obviously, the hair. And yes, this story has been a bit played-out, but we can’t get over the fact that Bieber tried to call out Brady in his terrible bit of freestyling on that ridiculous video. It makes me sad.

We miss J. Allen's mullet, but probably not as much as he does (Getty). 8. Jared Allen = Samson. You know, the biblical character. The guy who had so much strength because of the length of his hair, and then cut it all off because of that damn Delilah (that’s the basic framework of the story, right? It’s been a long time since I was in Sunday school). Well, Allen – who’s recorded only one sack in six games this year – has been invisible for most of the season after cutting off his mullet, because of, sigh, a woman (now his wife).

7. Brett Favre = Bill Clinton. The only prop he needs is a cigar.

6. Brett Favre = Verizon cell phone guy. Actually, this one wasn’t my joke, but I think it’s funnier than the Bill Clinton gag. Yet, IF Favre went as the Verizon guy with a pair of the No Fly Wranglers made famous by SNL, he might shoot to No. 1 on this list.

5. Ben Roethlisberger = a stop sign. First of all, Roethlisberger has the solid width to support an octagonal sign. Second of all, Roethlisberger would do well to heed the sign’s message the next time he’s out at a bar or a golf course or anywhere where there are females present. Roethlisberger would get even bigger props if he could pair the sign with a motorcycle helmet (safety first!). 

4. Wade Phillips = Bernie Lomax from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” At this point, Andrew McCarthy might as well be slapping flies off Phillips' forehead. Phillips obviously is still the head coach of the Cowboys, but the way the season has gone, he’s a dead coach walking. McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman don’t yet have to intertwine their shoelaces with Phillips’ to drag him out to the field, but if things get much worse for the Cowboys, we’re not far away from having a big boozed-out party at Phillips’ island getaway.

3. Jeff Fisher = CSI investigator. The Titans coach has become a private detective after his WR Kenny Britt was arrested last week at a club a couple days before Tennessee took the field against the Eagles (where he pounded Philadelphia single-handedly). Later, Fisher admitted he visited the Karma Lounge on a fact-finding mission to find out what had really happened with Britt. No word on whether he went inside wearing a trench coat and a top hat. Or whether David Caruso was with him.

2. Braylon Edwards = taxi driver. This might be a stretch for Edwards, considering it’s entirely possibly he’s never actually been INSIDE a cab before. Especially when he’s out for a night on the town and allegedly has had way too much to drink. Or, even better, Edwards could dress as a limo driver. Get the nice suit, the jaunty hat, maybe a scarf and (definitely) the driving gloves.

1. Antonio Cromartie = dandelion. Do you know why? Can you figure it out? Why would we compare the Jets cornerback to the flowering plant from the genus taraxacum? Think about what happens when you blow a fully-bloomed dandelion. The seeds scatter to the wind in an effort to reproduce and to make new dandelions. How does that relate to Cromartie? Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, check the video below. Happy Halloween indeed.




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Posted on: October 25, 2010 3:26 am
Edited on: October 25, 2010 3:13 pm
 

10 stories that deserve your attention Week 7

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. Favre Favre Favre Favre Favre

Two things about the Brett Favre hoopla:

a.) You like it. Even if you’re part of the vocal majority that loves to groan about how much you don’t like it, deep down you really do like it. Or, in the very least, you like that you don’t like it. You like that you can pretend to be above it all. But you’re not. None of us are. That’s why we all watched with keen interest Sunday night. B. Favre (US Presswire)

b.) As someone who loves the Favre hoopla, I’ll admit that it does distract from all the other storylines. That’s why we’ll take this opportunity to acknowledge those storylines here. They include…

**The Vikings are now 2-4 and go on the road to face the Patriots next week. Thus, we can crank up the “Is it all over in Minnesota?” talk again this week. It will take about 24 hours for that storm to gather, but make no mistake: it’s coming.

**Those of us who decided Chris Johnson is a better running back than Adrian Peterson may have to reconsider. Johnson was the better running back in 2009. But in 2010, Peterson is averaging an NFL-best 114 yards per game on the ground. Each of his 131 yards against the Packers was a testament to the very concept of manhood. In his fourth season, Peterson has improved in all of his areas of weakness. His fumbles have disappeared. He’s shown more awareness in blitz pickup (did you see the block he had on the Visanthe Shiancoe touchdown that was ruled not a touchdown but probably should have been ruled a touchdown?). And he’s a factor in the passing game (two crucial catches for 41 yards Sunday night, and he was averaging three catches per game coming into Week 7).

**I’m not going to issue a full mea culpa on my Matchup breakdown for a second consecutive week, though I will say the Vikings offensive line performed much better than expected. John Sullivan is finally healthy at center, which stabilizes things at least a bit. Bryant McKinnie had one of his better games of the season (his name wasn’t called once against the Packers). That said, Sullivan and McKinnie still cannot be fully counted on week in and week out.

**I will actually issue a mea culpa to Anthony Herrera. He played so well Sunday night, particularly in generating movement to the left as a run-blocker – than whatever criticism I laid on him last Friday has been rendered moot (or just plain incorrect) for at least the next two weeks.

**Bernard Berrian is a shell of his former self. If a person were to lose weight with the same speed and decisiveness that Berrian has lost confidence, we’d give him or her a pamphlet about eating disorders.

**For the past four months or so, Paul Charchian of KFAN and I have had an on-going debate about Jared Allen. My stance: Allen is a top five defensive end. Charch’s stance: Allen, in the past year and a half, has become overrated as a pass-rusher, and he only turns in major production against inferior competition.

The Packers deliberately game-planned for veteran left tackle Chad Clifton to block Allen one-on-one Sunday night. Clifton easily shut Allen out. I haven’t conceded the debate to Paul just yet, but in our next few email exchanges, my arguments will at least be ending in more periods and fewer exclamation points.



2. Prognosticators, just quit now

In this week’s preview podcast, Will Brinson and I clumped the Saints-Browns, Ravens-Bills and Broncos-Raiders game into one quick segment that lasted all of 10 seconds. We didn’t feel it was worth spending part of our 30 minutes previewing these games because the outcomes, we figured, were predetermined.

As it turns out, Drew Brees threw four interceptions, two of them resulting in scores to David Bowens, and the Saints were never really even in it against the Browns. (When you consider that the Steelers are visiting the Big Easy next Sunday for a nationally televised Halloween night showdown between the past two Super Bowl champions, it’s obvious that this was a classic trap game. Why did we not at least recognize that before!?)

The Bills, facing a stingy Ravens D and led by a Harvard quarterback whose three greatest attributes – heart, grit and guts – are euphemisms for his overwhelming lack of talent, generated 506 yards of total offense (or, in Buffalo terms, “a half season of offense”). If not for a Hall of Fame play by Ray Lewis in overtime (the strip fumble of Shawn Nelson), we might not be describing the Bills as “the league’s last winless team”.

By the way, regarding that strip fumble, what a poor sequence of events for Bills center Geoff Hangartner. The play would have almost certainly been blown dead on forward progress had Hangartner not come in and pushed Nelson and the pile forward for a few extra yards (it was during those extra yards that Lewis stripped the ball). Can’t fault the veteran captain Hangartner for the extra effort, though. Nineteen times out of 20, an effort play like that pays off. But you CAN fault Hangartner for exacerbating the mess by slamming his helmet on the ground afterwards. That resulted in a 15-yard penalty to help put the Ravens in range for Billy Cundiff’s game-winning field goal. D. Bowens (US Presswire)

Finally, regarding the Broncos-Raiders game: nothing much to say, other than the Broncos apparently talked among themselves about the league’s new emphasis on illegal hits and decided, just to be safe, they wouldn’t hit any opponent under any circumstance Sunday afternoon.

That obviously included Darren McFadden, the Raiders’ third-year running back who is finally coming into his own. Credit Oakland for using McFadden more to his strengths this season. He is not a physical runner, and he does not have agile hips and power to press a hole and consistently move the chains inside. McFadden does, however, have the acceleration and breakaway speed to be a force in space, which is why the Raiders have taken to running him off tackle and on halfback tosses more often. After his career-high 165-yard, four-touchdown performance Sunday, McFadden is averaging 111 yards per game on the ground, second best in the NFL.

So the Browns pound the Saints, the Bills take the Ravens to the limit and the Raiders, behind 328 yards rushing, hang 59 points on the Broncos. It’s the NFL; those of you who can guess what I’m going to say next, don’t worry – I have too much respect for CBSSports.com readers to use clichés about parity and “any given Sunday”. I’ll just say, good action, fun games.



3. Picked!

Let’s stay with the Browns-Saints game for a second so that we can talk about David Bowens. Yes, it’s impressive for any player to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game. (Bowens is the first Brown to do it since Bob Franklin in 1960.) More impressive is that Bowens, 33, is a former defensive lineman turned linebacker. But even MORE impressive is how he celebrated both scores. On the first TD, Bowens leaped and performed somewhat of a Pas de Chat while crossing the goal-line (it’s a ballet term – use your Wikipedia). As gracefulness goes, it was about a seven.

On his second score, Bowens came to nearly a complete stop before somersaulting across the goal-line. The gracefulness of that was a one-and-a-half, maybe a two. But the cleverness? A 10. Best of all was the half-second of reluctance the ref showed before signaling touchdown on that play. You just know he wanted to flag Bowens for taunting. But thankfully, it was during live action, and this is not college, so he couldn’t. (Don’t worry, purists, the NFL will probably make somersault touchdowns a suspendable offense within in the next few days.) Bowens had just one career touchdown coming into this game. Major props to him for having the presence of mind (and gall) to come up with two original celebrations on the fly like that.

In all, there was a record nine pick-six’s on the day Sunday. (I’m sure I’m the only one who cares, but for what it’s worth, when I first heard this, I was able to immediately remember/visualize eight of those pick-six’s; out of pride, I refuse to look up the one I’m forgetting.) One of those pick-six’s was turned in by DeAngelo Hall. Hall’s 92-yard interception return was just one of his four – FOUR! – second-half interceptions.

That’s a great accomplishment. And, quite frankly, it couldn’t have happened to a more obnoxious guy. Hall had a great game, but poor Jim Haslett now has to deal with the even-more-inflated ego of a cornerback who has no problem publicly demanding a bigger role in the defense or questioning the scheme.
D. Hall (US Presswire)
I hate to be negative about Hall when he’s just had the game of his life, but a week ago experts were saying that the film was revealing the slight diminishments in his speed. Hall’s man coverage technique can be iffy, and his tackling – though excellent against the Bears – is generally poor. I bring this up only because you’re going to be offered an awful lot of DeAngelo Hall Kool-Aid this week.



4. Da Bears

While we’re on the topic of Hall and this game…

Bears fans, I assume, will have no problem this week if I go ahead and point out that their team is still a mess offensively. No need to rehash everything here. We all know the Bears aren’t running the ball worth a cent right now (the debate is whether you blame Matt Forte, Mike Martz, the offensive line or all three). The pass protection has been poor – unless, for some reason, you consider blowing simple assignments a key asset, in which case the pass protection has been superb. Guard Chris Williams was particularly shaky Sunday.
Finally, there’s the standard Jay Cutler scrutiny. Cutler made some spectacular strong-armed throws in this game, but he’s not the type of quarterback who can thrive when players around him aren’t performing. Thus, if the blocking doesn’t get better and receivers like Devin Hester and Johnny Knox don’t become more consistent in their technique, the Bears will only continue to flounder. It wasn’t until just over four minutes to play in the third quarter against Washington that Cutler ended an 0/28 drought on third down.



5. A lesson for the kids: it’s okay, maybe even good, to get in fights

Sorry, but what else can you deduce here? Kenny Britt gets in a bar fight at 1:45 Friday morning. It isn’t his first off-field incident, so the NFL could wind up suspending him soon. With this dark cloud hanging overhead, Jeff Fisher benches Britt for the first quarter against the Eagles. All Britt does is go on to set a Titans franchise record (not Oilers, just Titans) with 225 yards receiving. He also scored three touchdowns. All this just days after getting in trouble. Coincidence…or pure genius?

Actually, Jeff Fisher says coincidence. "His performance has absolutely nothing to do with what happened [Friday], OK? Absolutely nothing," Fisher told reporters after the game. "It was a great performance. I mean, an outstanding performance. It is two separate issues right now."

Fisher may further punish the second-year pro once he learns more details of the fight. Britt is probably rooting for that, as a punishment from Fisher would likely mean he wasn’t punished by the NFL or Nashville authorities (which could still happen).

Britt has now caught a touchdown in five straight games. However, prior to Sunday, he had only topped 45-yard receiving mark once. (You didn’t know 45 yards was a mark, did you?)



6. The NFC’s best wide receiver

Larry Fitzgerald used to hold this title. But through no fault of his own, that title is now out on loan until the Cardinals get a real quarterback. (Looks like they could be going back to Derek Anderson now that Max Hall, who left the loss at Seattle with a head injury, has had a fair chance to show everyone why he wasn’t drafted.)

With Fitzgerald gone, the best wideout in the NFC is Roddy White. (Sorry, Miles Austin fans.) Entering Week 7, White led the conference in receptions and yards. His 11-catch, 201-yard performance against the Bengals only wR. White (US Presswire)idened his lead. If you were to put White’s six-year career on a line graph, it would come out looking a lot like Facebook’s traffic numbers over that time. The former first-round pick has progressed in each season as a pro.

This week, White made no bones about wanting to steal the spotlight from Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. He even starred in his own homemade trash-talking video. On Sunday, he backed it up, proving to be an elite vertical threat, underrated possession target and vastly underrated run-blocker (White’s not Hines Ward, but he’s close.). Most noteworthy is how White bounced back with a touchdown and two-point conversion after Adam Jones ripped the ball away from him in the third quarter for what seemed to be a momentum-shifting 59-yard fumble return for a score.

White was the main reason Atlanta won Sunday, though also give credit to Michael Turner and his downhill tackle-breaking abilities. Turner, capitalizing on Atlanta’s offensive line beating Cincy’s defensive line for most of the day, racked up 121 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.



6B. On that note….what’s the deal with Cincy?

The Bengals, meanwhile, have Dallas Cowboys Syndrome: talented team that plays well on paper, but at the end of the day, somehow still loses. Carson Palmer was a surgeon, throwing for 412 yards and orchestrating a hurry-up offense that took advantage of Atlanta’s fairly rudimentary zone scheme. Cedric Benson was phenomenal in setting up his blocks and creating his own space (his 70 yards on 20 carries don’t accurately illustrate his performance). The Bengal defense was poor, but the offense overcame that in the third quarter, going up 25-24 after trailing 24-3 at the half.

So what gives? Hard to say without studying the film. But we do know, on the surface, the Bengals, like the Cowboys, have a very hands-on owner, a head coach with tenuous job security (Marvin Lewis is in the final year of his contract) and a bunch of talented individuals but no clear cut leader (admittedly, I’m a little uneasy implying here that Palmer isn’t a leader – but that’s a whole other discussion best saved for another time).



7. It could be worse

The San Diego Chargers were out to prove to the world Sunday just why they’re a legit 2-5 team. The Chargers had three turnovers (it was actually four, but Philip Rivers’ interception to Devin McCourty was essentially the same as a 36-yard punt, so we won’t count it), including Richard Goodman and Jacob Hester fumbles that truly embodied the term “giveaway”. K. Brown (US Presswire)

After making his first career catch, the undrafted rookie Goodman went to the ground, wasn’t touched but, thinking the play was over, let go of the ball. "I'll be the first one to admit that it was my fault," Goodman said afterwards. "I've got to learn from my mistakes. After making that catch, I've got to give it back to the ref." (Since he wants to learn from the mistake, someone should probably tell the poor guy exactly what the mistake was: it’s not about handing the ball to the ref, it’s about making sure you’re actually down). Hester’s fumble is a little harder to criticize, as even the Patriot players thought it was an incomplete forward pass. The man who should get credit for the recovery is Pepper Johnson, New England’s defensive line coach who was standing on the sideline and shouting at his oblivious players to jump on the loose ball.

The two gimme fumbles were costly, though not costly enough to prevent the Chargers from attempting a game-tying field goal in the closing seconds. Kris Brown, who was signed to fill in for injured Pro Bowler Nate Kaeding earlier in the week, would have had a 45-yard attempt if not for a Louis Vasquez false start. After that penalty moved the Chargers back five yards, Brown’s 50-yard boot hit the right upright. Mind you, this came after Brown’s second errant pooch kickoff of the day went out of bounds (his first errant pooch kick hit a Patriot and came out looking like a horrendous onside attempt). The Chargers also missed a few tackles on a 34-yard Julian Edelman punt return that helped set up a Patriots field goal to end the first half.

To be fair, the Chargers did get a great special teams play when they recovered a surprise onside kick in the fourth quarter. But in the end, turnovers, special teams errors and a few penalties cost Norv Turner’s club. (This is a sentence that could have been copied and pasted from any number of previous 2010 Chargers stories.)



8. Kudos to FOX studio analysts

Normally I wouldn’t do this, but the FOX studio analysts deserve acknowledgement for their late shift Sunday. They didn’t have to stay any later than usual, but they did have to stick around and do a halftime show for the Cardinals-Seahawks game, even though that was the lone late window contest on FOX. That must have been rough. Think about it: only the states of Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and parts of Montana, Kansas, and tiny parts of Florida and Ohio, got that game. This means FOX’s big dogs spent an entire afternoon at work just so they could talk for two or three minutes about what amounted to a locally televised contest. How tempting must it have been for Curt, Terry, Howie, Michael and Jimmy to simply record a generic halftime report at the end of the early window games so that they could just head out and enjoy the rest of the NFL action from the comfort of their living or hotel room?



9. Being an American pig

Call me jingoistic, but I’m glad the British are getting an absolute clunker of a game next week (the 1-6 Niners face the 2-5 Broncos in London). I know I’m not doing myself any favors with the folks at 280 Park Avenue by saying this, but I can’t stand the NFL sharing any part of its regular season with our friends across the pond.

We have our football and they have theirs. If we share ours, they’re going to eventually realize how boring theirs is. Then they’ll be clamoring for more and more of ours, and the league will oblige because, dammit, it’s a business and there’s money to be made. Before we know it, we’ll be forking over a significant piece of our great American sport.

Is this fear talking? You bet. But the football gods don’t want the NFL to go international, either. That’s why they’ve done their best to make the Broncos-Niners game as unattractive as possible. What’s funny is that the 49er fans who have been chanting for David Carr over Alex Smith may actually get their wish, but they won’t get to see it because the Niners’ home game won’t be in Candlestick.

And on the subject of chanting for the backup quarterback…if you were one of the Bronco fans chanting for Tim Tebow in the first half Sunday, you’re a moron. Kyle Orton, like the rest of the Broncos, was not good against the Raiders. But he’s nowhere remotely close to deserving a benching.



10. Quick Hits


**Josh Freeman has now led two game-winning drives in the closing seconds of a fourth quarter (vs. Rams and vs. Bengals). The Bucs are 4-2 and, according to Raheem Morris, the best team in the NFC (insert laugh track audio here).M. Williams (US Presswire)

**Marshawn Lynch (24 carries, 89 yards) looks a little trimmer than I remember. He’s proving to be a very solid pickup for the Seahawks.

**For the second straight week, Seattle’s Mike Williams set a career-high for receptions (10 last week, 11 this week). Williams has incredibly strong hands and, for a 6’5”, 235-pounder, uncanny body control.

**The Jaguars’ biggest problem remains their tendency to give up big plays. Dwayne Bowe (two touchdowns) proved this, as did Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles.

**For what it’s worth, Devin Hester cut his dreadlocks. He also had zero punt returns Sunday because the Redskins wisely refused to kick anywhere near him.

**It came in a losing effort, but Israel Idonije had a terrific game for the Bears. He was a big reason why Donovan McNabb was uncharacteristically off kilter.

**The Redskins have scored 17 points or less in all four of their wins this season. This is remarkable considering they entered Sunday with, technically speaking, the league’s 32nd-ranked defense.

**It was surprising to hear that Roger Goodell actually called James Harrison this week.

**Even if this is only Quick Hits, I refuse to mention anything specific about the Panthers-49ers game.

**Imagine if the Chargers had won – then we’d all have to recycle the “Belichick going for it on fourth down” debate. Glad we don’t. (Though in case we do, my stance: it was absolutely the right call, just like last time; the problem on this particular play was BenJarvus Green-Ellis not trusting his blocks and bouncing it outside, where end/linebacker Antwaun Applewhite, who had a marvelous game, made the play.


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Posted on: October 24, 2010 3:16 pm
 

Terrell Owens reaches the 150-TD mark

Posted by Andy Benoit

Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens became just the fifth player in NFL history to score 150 touchdowns Sunday when, with Cincinnati using a no-huddle offense, he caught a 19-yard TD pass from Carson Palmer.

We’ll assume this means Owens holds the unofficial all-time record with 150 touchdown celebrations, as it's unlikely that the four players ahead of him – Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Moss – turned each of their scores into theatrical performance.

When all is said and done, Owens will be either the second or third most prolific wide receiver in NFL history. He is fifth all-time in receptions and needs less than 100 more to pass Marvin Harrison for second all-time. He’s already third in yards and should catch Isaac Bruce for second place sometime around Thanksgiving.

For the record, he's caught 147 career TDs and rushed for three scores.

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Posted on: October 24, 2010 2:13 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2010 4:33 pm
 

Jenkins: Ocho, Owens 'not serious about football'

Posted by Will Brinson

Kris Jenkins joined the CBS Sports gang on The NFL Today Sunday, and there weren't any questions about the Jets locker room behavior (Jenkins isn't scared to be blunt, so his opinion would have been interesting, but he's also a big, big man, and you don't want to make him angry, so there's that).

There was an interesting discussion of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens who Jenkins doesn't believe "are serious about football". That will probably go over really well with the Bengals' wide receiver corps.  Watch said exchange right here.
Posted on: October 22, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2010 6:54 pm
 

5 Q's (or more) w/ Cincy WR coach Mike Sheppard

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bengals were supposed to have one of the best receiving corps in the league. With the addition of Terrell Owens – no matter what you think of him off the field, he can still produce – joining Chad Ochocinco, rookie WR Jordan Shipley and rookie TE Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati successfully fulfilled its offseason mission in providing weapons for QB Carson Palmer.

Why, then, are the Bengals struggling on offense?

This week, we talked to Cincinnati receivers coach Mike Sheppard, who’s been in the organization for the past four years and who previously was the head coach at New Mexico and Long Beach State. We asked him about the addition of Owens, why Ochocinco has scored only once this year and what it’s like to be a Hall of Famer.

1. CBSSports : Coming off a loss and a bye week, you’re one of those teams that – and there are probably 10 teams out there like this – you’re not sure what you’re going to get out of them every week. You just don’t have any idea. Where are you guys right now?

Mike Sheppard : From my standpoint there’s still an adjustment with a lot of the players together. It looks like we have some better players, but in the passing game, in reality, Palmer is throwing to only one guy he’s seen before. Terrell, for all that he’s achieved, he’s still new here. We have a rookie tight end and a rookie slot receiver. For anybody, there’s always that adjustment period. We’re still going through it.

CBS : Obviously, you can’t put a number on how long that lasts, but you’d like to think – we’re in the middle of October – that at some point soon, that adjustment will get to where you want it to be.

Sheppard : Yeah, I think so. It has to happen soon. Everybody is aware of it. Everybody is working hard to continue to play together and learn each other better. Sometimes you can’t construct the experience in practice that they’ll see in a game. It’s a matter of playing together. I think we get a little better each time. It’s a matter of being able to put it all together.

2. CBS : There was a lot of talk in the offseason about Owens and whether anybody wanted him. For a long time, nobody did want him. I know he worked out here(in the offseason, and he was just OK. But now that he’s been here, he seems to be playing well.

Sheppard : He’s been great for me.

CBS : Tell me about that whole thing. I know there was some trepidation in the organization about signing him. It was between him and Antonio Bryant, and you guys signed Bryant originally.

Sheppard : The decision there was more about youth. They’re both good players. At that point, that was that decision. In the beginning, we all felt (Owens) would make us better. That’s been true. For me personally, he’s hungry. He listens. He wants to do it your way. He’s like Chad in both of those guys have had some success doing things that are instinctive. He’s been a hard worker. He’s been a player for us. So far, it’s just a matter of getting that experience with Carson.

3. CBS : How disappointing was the Bryant thing? The team sunk a lot of money into him, and he never got healthy.

Sheppard : All of us were. Not disappointed in him, but disappointed he never kicked that (injury). Now, he’s a football player. He has the right approach. He went hard. He talked, and he backed it up. He would have been an excellent addition if he was physically the player he was in the past.

4. CBS : Chad Ochocinco is struggling a little bit. He’s not getting the ball thrown to him as much as T.O. What’s going on with him?

Sheppard : If I’m not mistaken, he got 12 balls thrown to him in the first game. You look at that, and maybe it’s not so true. He’s had some chances. But things tend to come in bunches. In his case, he hasn’t had the same opportunities that he had that first game. Those are things where it’s a lot more about the opportunities. Everything has to be right to get the ball, not just have the play designed to go to you. It has to be right with the style of coverage they play. Sometimes we call the right play and get the wrong coverage.

CBS : Chad has been one touchdown away from breaking the club record for touchdowns for, like, six weeks. It’s bizarre he’s not scoring touchdowns. It just seems a little odd, because it’s been so prevalent the past six or seven years.

Sheppard : If you look at it, you’re going to be hard-pressed to remember any throws in the end zone to him. He’s the straw that stirs the drink here. He’s the guy that everybody knows we’re going to attempt to get him the football. They start with him (defensively). A lot of it is because they’re aware of Chad and what he’s doing.

CBS : The only one I remember is when Chad was going across the back of the end zone, and it was tipped or he missed it or something like that.

Sheppard : That was a hard deal, because the throw was supposed to go the other way. It can come back to Chad late, but the way it worked out was it was more of a quick scramble by Carson, and as Chad started to come open, Carson had to throw it before he knew where (Ochocinco) was going to be. So, he just took a guess, and it was a little bit overshot.

5. CBS : You went back to your high school last week because you were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame. Now, when somebody asks you if you’re a Hall of Famer, you can say that you are. Sheppard: It’s such a great honor, especially when you know how many people that were around you that were better than you. You know? Sometimes I think to myself if it isn’t more a recognition of professional achievement as a coach in the NFL.

CBS : You said all three of your kids were there …

Sheppard : Actually, all four were there.

CBS : But that’s got to be a pretty cool to be recognized for something like that.

Sheppard : It’s a great honor. It’s almost embarrassing from the standpoint that really, deep down, you ask how many others are more deserving than you. But yeah, no one will ever appreciate that honor more than I.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com