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Tag:Jacksonville Jaguars
Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.16.11 Rejecting Hard Knocks?

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit



The Bucs have turned down an opportunity to be on HBO’s Hard Knocks, thus robbing viewers of a chance to potentially see Aqib Talib or LeGarrette Blount in a training camp fight.

Broncos cornerback Parrish Cox appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty in his sexual assault case. Trial is set for October.


Expect to see plenty of Cam Newton on TV in the very near future.


Thanks to deferred payments, DeMarcus Ware is the one NFL player who has received a check from his team during the lockout.


Roger Goodell bumped into Von Miller before the draft and went out of his way to say hello and be nice.


Julio Jones recently leant a helping hand to tornado victims in Alabama.


Former Cardinals linebacker Seth Joyner is hosting a high school football clinic this week. Unfortunately, it’s scheduled for May 21, which everyone knows is the Day of Reckoning.


Jon Beason has sued the man who sued him over an alleged punch in the face (Beason claims he never hit anybody). The trial is underway and filled with plenty of drama. If you’re into that sort of thing (and let’s admit, deep down, most of us are) then click here.


Jake Locker plans to work out with his new NFL teammates soon.


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Posted on: May 6, 2011 11:54 am
 

Toronto Councillor: Um, never mind about Saints

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Toronto Councillor Doug Ford talked about petitioning commissioner Roger Goodell to convince him that his city needed an NFL franchise, he talked about how the Jaguars or the Saints could be the franchises who would move north.

The Jaguars was a pretty obvious guess, but the city of New Orleans, I thought, kind of came out of nowhere, and the citizens of the Crescent City weren’t all that appreciative of Ford’s musings.

And apparently, Ford didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, because he told the New Orleans Times Picayune that he should not have included the Saints in his remarks. Particularly problematic for Ford is that his brother, Rob Ford, is Toronto’s mayor and is also a Saints fan.

"Have they put me on the most-wanted list down there?" Doug Ford asked the T-P.

More from the story:

"It was more a comment made off the cuff," he said.

In fact, he and Rob Ford were stunned when a variety of sources mentioned New Orleans as a possible team in the mix.

"We were like, 'New Orleans? No way!' " Ford recounted. "But it was rumor that had it, it was just a rumor, and I should have been more careful with rumors. I apologize to all of the folks in New Orleans and Louisiana. After all the struggles they've been through, the last thing in the world we would want to do is take away the Saints."

Although the matter seemed farfetched at the outset, the Saints moved with alacrity to squelch it. Saints vice president of communications Greg Bensel released a terse e-mail almost as soon as Ford's words hit the Internet.

"Reports about the Saints as a potential team moving to Toronto are completely false," Bensel wrote. "The New Orleans Saints are committed to the city of New Orleans."


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Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:28 am
Edited on: May 5, 2011 11:28 am
 

Toronto wants an NFL team, thinks it could happen

Toronto would have to revamp Rogers Centre or build a new stadium entirely in order to attract the NFL (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, Toronto feels like it has a pretty good shot of landing an NFL team at some point in the future.* But I’m thinking the city will have to wait just a little while longer.

*Personally, I think that’d be great if the NFL came to Toronto full-time. Toronto is a great city with fantastic restaurants, friendly people with awesome accents, and a strong public transportation system.

“They have to take care of the problem in Los Angeles first,” Toronto councillor Doug Ford told The Score. “Two teams are kind of in play here: Jacksonville’s number one; New Orleans is the other. So there’s two teams. Once they take care of Los Angeles, we’re going to fly over to New York, set up a meeting with [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell and give him our pitch.”

One problem with Ford’s theory is that there’s little chance the NFL would present a franchise to Toronto if the city doesn’t improve its current facilities (or just build a new one). Rogers Centre – where the Bills play once a season – is not exactly a state-of-the-art, gleaming-new stadium.

But Ford has talked about the possibility of building a new waterfront stadium or providing more seats for the current facility (to do that, apparently the hotel inside could be yanked out or the stadium floor could actually be dropped deeper into the earth in order to create more seats, the latter of which would make Jules Verne a proud man).

But to compare this potential new franchise with playing host to Buffalo’s franchise once a year is not the right association to make, Ford said.

“If we had our own team, we’d treat it like it’s our own and build up a fan base,” he said. “They want to expand internationally. But what better expansion than down the street to Toronto? They can’t keep ignoring a market this size.”

Funny, the NFL has basically ignored Los Angeles the past 16 years. And if Ford believes the NFL will “take care of the problem” in L.A. first, he might have a long wait in front of him.

Still, he gets to live in Toronto, which is pretty cool, eh?

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Posted on: May 4, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 2:05 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.4.11 Post-draft bragging

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Sydney Moss, star high school basketball player in Kentucky and daughter of Randy Moss, has made an oral commitment to the Florida Gators.

Less than a week after leaving Monday Night Football, sideline reporter Michelle Tafoya is joining Sunday Night Football.

Tashard Choice had a bin Laden tweet issue, as well. Unlike Rashard Mendenhall’s Choice’s was unintentional.

Tony Romo is once again trying to qualify for the US Open.

Redskins third-round pick Leonard Hankerson calls himself the best wide receiver in the draft.

And on a similar tiring note, Ravens first-round pick Jimmy Smith thinks he was the best cornerback in the draft. (And, of course, he also has naysayers he wants to prove wrong. Ironically, by boasting like this, the controversial Smith is so far proving his naysayers right.)

Free agent linebacker Kirk Morrison is open to a return to Jacksonville. (It’s a matter of whether the Jags want him.)

Andy Reid says Todd Herremans is unlikely to leave the left guard position. That means first-round rookie Danny Watkins will play on the right side. It’s very, very uncommon to see a first-round pick used on a right guard. Eagles had that need, though.

The Vikings still need a stadium site in order to push a bill for a new venue.


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Posted on: April 30, 2011 8:10 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 10:28 pm
 

2011 NFL Draft: Winners and losers

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- The grind of the NFL Draft -- and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, three days of straight picks is definitely a grind -- is finally over. Which means we should probably take our time to sit back and reflect on who did well and do not do well. Or, alternately, we can just start calling people names right ... now!



WINNERS
Atlanta Falcons: Been flopping on these guys all weekend long it feels like -- I like Julio Jones a lot, but I didn’t like all the picks the Falcons needed to get him. I do, however, freaking LOVE Jacquizz Rodgers. They got a steal when they landed a lot more offensive explosiveness in the seventh round. Couple that with a few more solid adds in Andrew Jackson, Akeem Dent and K/P Matt Bosher and it was a good haul for Thomas Dimitroff. Good enough to have me thinking about picking them to win it all. Again.

Peyton Manning: Not only is the best quarterback in the NFL going to get real paid as soon as we get a new CBA, but he’s going to have two new guys -- Anthony Castonzo and Benjamin Ijalana -- in town to help keep him healthy.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills started off their draft with a good blueprint: DEFENSE. And they stuck to that blueprint throughout the rest of the draft too, only diverting twice to pick up Chris Hairston from Clemson to beef up the offensive line and Johnny White for backfield depth and special teams. Da’Norris Searcy out of Chapel Hill could be a steal for them in the fourth.

Wade Phillips: Not that you expected the Texans to actually go out and get anyone that’s an an offensive player early in the draft, but did a great job with their first five picks, particularly in trading back up to grab Brandon Harris. Given all the limitations on that defense and the switch they have to make, it’s good for him to at least get a head start out of the draft.

Cleveland Browns: Giving up a top-10 selection when you’ve got a young quarterback that needs weapons is no easy move ... unless you’re getting five picks in return and turn those into serviceable offensive products and some defensive standouts. Buster Skrine’s value fell post-Combine but he could be a good find, Jason Pinkston out of Pittsburgh will help and already-physical offensive line. Phil Taylor/Jabaal Sheard immediately improve the defensive line and Greg Little and Jordan Cameron give Colt McCoy some guys with good hands and upside.

Ryan Mallett: My man Freeman thinks Bill Belichick might have taken too big a gamble, and there’s a good chance he might be right. But if Mallett goes anywhere else, you would have heard everyone saying that about the GM that grabbed him. (Can you imagine the reaction if Carolina took him or, dare I say, the Bengals?) The pressure of falling in the draft because of character issues and having to play/perform well at an early time is lifted with his move.

Green Bay Packers: Not that it’s hard to “win” if you’re Green Bay, coming off a Super Bowl-winning season and sitting on a young, stacked roster. But “In Ted We Trust” applies here, because Thompson beefed up the Packers’ offensive line depth, got a superb second-rounder in Randall Cobb to potentially replace and just generally marked everything he needed off his checklist. Standard Packers draft, really.

Arizona Cardinals: They had a good first two days nabbing Patrick Peterson and Ryan Williams and then fared quite well in the later rounds, particularly with their selection of Quan Sturdivant, a pretty stupendous value in the sixth round. Some would argue they didn’t address their QB need and that’s fair, but they’ll be the leaders in the clubhouse for a veteran or a Kevin Kolb trade.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The rich get richer, per usual. Cameron Heyward is the future at defensive end, Marcus Gilbert -- a reliable offensive lineman -- is exactly what the Steelers need, and the Steelers stepped up and addressed their cornerback issues early on Day 3 of the draft by grabbing Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen.

America: For awesomeness’ sake, I’m going to hold out eternal hope that the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, Ricky Stanzi ends up shirtless in a downtown BBQ joint with an American flag as a cape, holding a huge turkey leg while belting out the “Star Spangled Banner” in celebration and this scene makes its way onto YouTube. America needs that.



LOSERS
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers were a classic example of how trading early-round picks and finding yourself extremely weak at certain positions can kill you: in a draft with ridiculous defensive line depth, they still couldn’t add to a weak position until the third round when they picked up a pair of undersized defensive tackles in Terrell McClain and Sione Fua. Kealoha Pilares was a good grab at the top of the fifth, though. And, of course, they were essentially forced to take Cam Newton at the top spot. If he busts, this draft is a total nightmare. It might even be a situation of Carolina just taking their medicine in the best-case anyway.

Carson Palmer: Marvin Lewis says the Bengals have “moved on” for Palmer too; you gotta think they’ll try and trade him just to get something in return, but it’s shame because the best scenario for him might actually be returning to the ‘Nati and helping to bring A.J. Green and Stanford product Ryan Whalen into the fold of Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley. Those are nicer weapons than he’ll find in retirement.

Jacksonville Jaguars: I think Blaine Gabbert will end up being pretty good. If he’s great, this ranking could change, but if Jack Del Rio’s job is on the line, how does he not convince Gene Smith to go out and get him some freaking secondary help before fourth round? (Caveat: Smith has killed drafts since he got to J-Vegas, so if he thinks Gabbert’s “the guy” going forward, more power to him.)

Ronnie Brown: There was some talk Brown might stick with the Dolphins even after they took Daniel Thomas out of K-State in the second round. Nabbing Charles Clay -- even if he’s a fullback -- probably means Brown is done with the ‘Fins. (And it might also mean they’re not as set on paying DeAngelo Williams whatever he wants too.)

Washington Redskins: All weekend long, the Redskins looked like winners as they kept avoiding making huge mistakes by trading down and piling up picks. But did they really end up getting anything of substantial value for it? Leonard Hankerson could be a nice pull in the third round, certainly, but for all the Redskins’ surprising patience, they didn’t once address their (very serious) quarterback issue or linebacker issue.

Reggie Bush: Sean Payton’s saying that he’s open to Bush coming back. That might be true. And it might not be true. But what he’s not doing is making a dumb, knee-jerk reaction on Twitter simply because his team drafted Mark Ingram. Which is what Bush did and it’s not going to help him in the short or long term.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos accumulated a lot of picks, and added a linebacker trio that could be dominant in a few years (Von Miller as the pass rusher, Nate Irving as the tackler and Virgil Green as the cover guy). But two tight ends and not a single defensive lineman? Did someone show John Elway the wrong depth chart before this thing kicked off on Thursday?

Oakland Raiders: Al Davis didn’t have a first-rounder, so it’s okay to temper expectations a little bit, but Al really isn’t going to stop over-drafting athleticism until the day he dies. And considering how hot it was in Radio City Music Hall when they played “California Girls” for the second time on Saturday, I can’t imagine hell’s freezing over any time soon.

David Akers: With the Eagles’ decision to reach up into the fourth round and grab Alex Henery out of Nebraska, as well as the fact that Akers wasn’t happy about his transition tag, it’s pretty obvious that the incumbent kicker’s days as a Philly legend are numbered. (You could also add Henery as a loser here, too: having to come in and kick in front of Eagles’ fans sounds worse than listening to drunk Jets’ fans boo everything for eight-straight hours.)

Seattle Seahawks: Maybe Pete Carroll’s drafts are just too “zany” for me to understand, but the James Carpenter pick strikes me as possibly the biggest reach of the first round, maybe even ahead of Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. Unless bring Matt Hasselbeck back or land another veteran QB in the offseason, it’s almost impossible to imagine them sniffing the playoffs again.

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 11:18 am
 

Jags predictably downplay QB controversy

Posted by Andy Benoit

Jack Del Rio said everything you’d expect him to say shortly after his team traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert Thursday night. “Our intention is to have David (Garrard) as our quarterback and have Blaine come in and push David,” he told a group of reporters that included Vito Stellino of the Florida Times Union.

Jags GM Gene Smith, “David is our quarterback. We’ve got Luke McCown behind him. He’s a proven starter."
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Smith’s sentiments about McCown are just plain wrong. There’s a difference between being a proven starter and being a guy who has filled in under center a time or two. And Garrard is not Smith’s quarterback; Garrard is the guy that the previous GM hitched his wagon to before getting fired.

So yes, it’s a quarterback controversy in Jacksonville. But really, the Jags had a controversy beforehand. After all, they had to have realized at some point last season that Garrard isn’t their long-term guy. The difference now is there is a new quarterback in town who makes the controversy an actual competition.

“We’ll have fun. C’mon. That’s part of the deal,’’ Del Rio said. “We all know you guys are going to have fun with it. ... We’ll keep the focus on the team. We have two good young men who are going to be battling. They’re the right kind of guys. Very unselfish.’’

Garrard should understand how this all works. Remember, he’s the guy who beat out former No. 7 overall pick Byron Leftwich.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.27.11 so are we locked out or not?

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:57 am
 

Ranking the NFL's 32 final draft decision makers

Posted by Andy Benoit

There are many ways a person could rank the top draft decision makers for each NFL team. Among those criteria: team history of success; number of first-rounders who have panned out; the number of late-round gems discovered; consistency of the players developed within the organization.

But without a scientific formula, sometimes the best rankings can derive from a standard eyeball/smell/gut test. Thus, here is a ranking of all 32 “final draft decision makers” in the NFL.

Lists like these tend to attract criticism and rebuttals. Have at it -- this is meant to be a discussion starter.

1. Bill Polian, ColtsB. Polian (US Presswire0
Sticks unwaverlingly to his formula: invest in a small handful of elite skill position players on offense and playmakers on defense, and then surround them with low cost youngsters who fit your scheme. In the 2000s he led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl win and annual division titles. In the '90s he ushered in the most successful expansion franchise in NFL history (Carolina Panthers) and oversaw the four-time AFC Champion Buffalo Bills.

2. Kevin Colbert, Steelers
Doesn't get much attention because A) he rarely does interviews; B) the Steelers are often drafting late in the first round and C) he's almost always looking two or three years ahead when drafting players, which minimizes the hype of Pittsburgh's rookie class. These methods have brought in guys like LaMarr Woodley, Troy Polamalu, Lawrence Timmons, Mike Wallace and Maurkice Pouncey to name five.

3. Ted Thompson, Packers
It took major intestinal fortitude to pull the trigger on Aaron Rodgers when Brett Favre was still on the roster and many believed the 2005 Packers were in position to "win now." Virtually the entire Packers Super Bowl roster this past year was comprised of players who were drafted by the organization and in their prime. That's perfect planning paying off.

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4. Bill Belichick, Patriots
The best trader of picks the NFL has seen since Jimmy Johnson. Like an alchemist, he regularly turns one late first-round selection into two or three solid contributors who fit the Patriots' ever-changing system.

5. Mickey Loomis, Saints
Is batting about .750 with his high-round draft picks, and has managed to snag several small-school gems in middle to late rounds (See: Jahri Evans, Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham, who was primarily a basketball player at Miami).

6. Ozzie Newsome, Ravens
Simply has a knack for connecting on stars. His latest include Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, Ray Rice and (maybe) Michael Oher and Joe Flacco. Because of good mid-round drafting, depth is generally a plus for this club. The only true black eye on Newsome’s resume is the Kyle Boller pick, for which Brian Billick shares equal blame.

7. A.J. Smith, Chargers
Supposedly not the most likeable guy in the room, but that's in part because he has a gift for ruthlessly getting the most out of his resources. Part of that is replacing players a year too soon rather than a year too late.

8. Andy Reid, Eagles
Aside from Green Bay, Philadelphia is the only NFC team that has consistently drafted for the future first and the present second. Because of that, the Eagles are able to stay afloat when they do miss on a high-round pick.

9. Mike Holmgren, Browns
Jury is still out in Cleveland, obviously. But a person's track record has to count for something, right? And Holmgren's is pretty good.

10. Mike Tannenbaum, Jets
Home runs (D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis -- who was a grand slam -- and possibly Mark Sanchez) outnumber strikeouts (Kellen Clemens, Vernon Gholston). Willing to be aggressive and trade up to get his guy. So far, it's worked well.

11. Jerry Reese, Giants
Has done a superb job building off the foundation that Ernie Accorsi put in place.

12. Thomas Dimitroff, FalconsT. Dimitroff (US Presswire)
Ex-New England front office executive instantly turned the rudderless post-Vick Falcons around by nailing the Matt Ryan pick. Has since retooled the offense with solid role players and upgraded the speed on defense.

13. Mark Dominik, Buccaneers
Made the bold commitment for the Bucs to get younger on both sides of the ball. Already, those young players have turned out a 10-6 record, putting the team a year or two ahead of schedule. The decision to draft Josh Freeman one day could lead to a Lombardi Trophy.

14. Marty Hurney, Panthers
For the most part, Panthers have been consistently competitive for 10 years despite the absence of a star quarterback. How? Solid offensive line (Jordan Gross and Ryan Kalil were successful high draft picks), good running game (DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart were two more successful high picks) and a staunch defense (Jon Beason has more than lived up to first-round billing).

15. Scott Pioli, Chiefs
Was an integral part of the Patriots dynasty and is showing a knack for finding players who fit the Chiefs’ scheme.

16. Billy Devaney, Rams
Has not been at the helm long; will soar up this list if his 2011 draft class turns out to be anything like his 2010 class.

17. Mike Shanahan, Redskins
A nod to experience more than anything. Shanahan The GM has never been as good as Shanahan The Coach. But Shanahan The GM has still been around the block a time or two and knows exactly what he wants. Having Bruce Allen handle some of the technical GM duties is helpful.

18. Ken Whisenhunt/Rod Graves, Cardinals
Only one player they've taken in the first three rounds has not contributed (Cody Brown). The rest all have been part of a club that has won postseason games two of the past three seasons.

19. Jerry Angelo, Bears
Seems to have a slightly better feel for the veteran market than the rookie market, but we're nitpicking. Has done a fine job finding players who fit Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 defense. Offensively, he’s building around Jay Cutler (for whom he traded significant picks to get).

20. Mike Reinfeldt, Titans
The assumption is he occasionally has to cater to the demands of Bud Adams, which could be a challenging wrinkle to his job. Overall, has constructed a deep roster and seen a few gambles pay off (notably Chris Johnson in 2007).M. Reinfeldt (US Presswire)

21. Rick Spielman, Vikings
Too many busts early in his tenure, though some of that was beyond Minnesota's control (Kenechi Udeze's health issues, Erasmus James' injuries). While forcing a few picks into the lineup, the Vikings also have gotten their money's worth from top picks Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Adrian Peterson (considered a risk because of injury problems at Oklahoma).

22. Jerry Jones, Cowboys
Yes, the Cowboys have a talented group. But a bulk of that talent was acquired when Bill Parcells was around.

23. Martin Mayhew, Lions
Still waiting to see what becomes of the major investments on offense (outlook appears good but still not certain).

24. Jeff Ireland, Dolphins
Brand new in his role as top decision maker. It wouldn't be fair to judge him based on what his former boss (Parcells) did.

25. Gene Smith, Jaguars
In two years has shown willingness to rebuild in bunches by using back-to-back draft picks on the same position. In that time, not a lot has changed in Jacksonville's bottom line, though there is legitimate optimism about this franchise's direction.

26. Pete Carroll, Seahawks
It's way too early to judge. His first draft class looks like it could turn out to be spectacular at the top (Russell Okung has star traits, Earl Thomas has shown flashes and many like Walter Thurmond) but very few men have successfully worn the GM hat while coaching.

27. Trent Baalke, 49ers
The Niners' draft record during his two years as VP of Player Personnel was iffy, but he wasn't the final decision-maker then. His first draft class will likely prove to have produced long-term starters with the first four picks (Mike Iupati, Anthony Davis, Taylor Mays and NaVorro Bowman). Iupati, in fact, seems destined to be a perennial Pro Bowler.T. Baalke (US Presswire)

28. Buddy Nix, Bills
Bills are full of overachievers, but part of overachieving is not being very talented. The Aaron Maybin air ball in 2009 puts a damper on what was otherwise a solid draft class. But Nix, a national scout at the time, wasn't fully responsible for that draft class. His 2010 draft class is off to a slow start but its still in the judgment phase.

29. Rick Smith, Texans
Houston is overhauling its defensive scheme after spending five years investing first-round picks on players who were supposed to fit that scheme.

30. Mike Brown, Bengals
He would be a great fantasy drafter because he always takes the best player. Problem is, in the real draft, team chemistry needs to factor into your decisions. Those "best players" Brown takes are often available because of character red flags.

31. John Elway, Broncos
No track record to evaluate.

32. Al Davis, Raiders
One apparently solid draft (2010) does not erase years of atrocious ones.

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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