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Tag:New Orleans Saints
Posted on: September 24, 2011 10:32 pm
 

Reggie Bush says Saints had fake injury play

Bush: the Giants looked "real bush league" on the fake injury play during MNF. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The biggest story of Week 2 didn't emerge until Monday night, specifically the moment when Giants safety defensive back Deon Grant (allegedly) faked an injury to slow down the Rams' no-huddle offense.

In the ensuing days, Grant defended himself, inexplicably, Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell did not, and plenty of folks have come forward to share their thoughts on what it means to pretend to be hurt.

Next up: Reggie Bush, who admitted that the Saints had a such a play in their playbook (via the Miami Herald): 

“We actually had that before in New Orleans,” Bush said, referring to the fake injury play. “It’s just one of those things when you get those hurry-up offensive teams. I mean, it’s legal. They haven’t made any rules yet to say it’s not legal.

“... For the most part you’re supposed to have a designated guy for that. It’s not supposed to be four or five guys falling on the ground at the same time. Obviously that looks real bush league.”

Faking injuries: everybody's doing it

Remember all the mock outrage in the days and weeks following the Patriots Spygate scandal? And then we found out that, to varying degrees, almost every NFL team taped opponents' signals? Sounds like faking injuries isn't much different.

Don't misunderstand, New England was rightly punished for Spygate. But it's not like they were the only team with a video recorder pointed at the opponent's sideline. And, as Bush mentioned above, the Giants had guys going down like there were snipers in the stands. The takeaway: moderation is the key to avoiding detection and ultimately, league sanctions.

Either way, we're with Ed Reed on the whole faking injuries phenomenon.

“I don’t know if they were pretending, man,” Reed said earlier this week. “Sometimes guys get tired. But it’s all within the game. It’s all tactical stuff that you need to use. Whatever it takes.”

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 2:41 pm
 

Ben Tate likely starter for Texans Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

The saga of Arian Foster's injured hamstring continues this week, as the breakout star from 2010 sat out of practice again on Wednesday. Joining him on the DNP list was Derrick Ward, who's dealing with an ankle injury.

Which means it's looking more and more like Ben Tate, who's been breaking out in his own right this season, will be the starter for Sunday's game in New Orleans. Texans coach Gary Kubiak wouldn't confirm who's a go, but said the team's prepared to roll with just two running backs.

"Yeah, I think it is [too early to name a starter]," Kubiak said Wednesday. "Arian didn’t practice, but he worked real hard. We’re putting him through a program. It may be a routine right now on Wednesdays. We’ll see where he’s at, but obviously we’ve got two guys unless we would do something with [Chris] Ogbonnaya. You can play a game with two guys.

"You don’t like two. You’d like to suit up three, but we’ll see. We’ll see where Arian’s at."

The second back, of course, would be Steve Slaton, the former star back for Houston who logged two carries for 12 yards and a reception for six yards on Sunday in Miami.

This harkens back to what we said earlier in the week when discussing Foster's re-aggravation of his hamstring injury. The Texans and Foster continued to talk about making sure that Foster's fully healed before getting back on the field, and yet somehow failed to ensure that when he suited up against the Dolphins.

That was a game in which the Texans won handily, and it wasn't even necessary for Foster to take snaps if he wasn't 100 percent. In fact, having him get an extra week of rest for the Saints matchup seems like, with the benefit of my super-human 20/20 vision, like the prudent move.

It's too late for that, but getting Foster back to full health should still be the goal, which is why you can expect to see a healthy dose of Tate come Sunday.

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Posted on: September 22, 2011 9:38 am
Edited on: September 22, 2011 9:39 am
 

Jay Cutler on surviving 2011: 'I don't know'

Posted by Will Brinson

Jay Cutler got the old rag-doll treatment on Sunday as Gregg Williams and the New Orleans swarmed on him, pushing the Bears into dead last in sacks allowed (11). Somewhere in the mix he was literally kicked in the throat.

Given the beatdown that Cutler's been getting this year (and the year before) because of Mike Martz offensive designs, it makes sense to ask him if he think he can survive this season. Which is exactly what Mike C. Wright of ESPN Chicago did.

"I don't know," Cutler said hoarsely, when asked if he could survive. "I don't know."

Cutler was also asked about the league-high 11 sacks and whether spending most of his time at the office on his back was making him uncomfortable.

"I'm not worried about it," he said. "We're 1-1. There's still a lot of football to be played. If this continues, then obviously we're gonna have a problem. We're gonna have to address it. But I'm looking forward to this game. I know the guys are gonna bounce back, as will I."

And Cutler, who typically gets hosed any time he makes a comment in public, might not even be using "we're gonna have a problem" to mean he'll start getting mad at his offensive line.

It's entirely possible that he's talking about "a problem" as the Bears losing lots of games. Or the offensive line managing to get their starting quarterback decapitated.

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson


Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 2 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Romo Wilfork Cromartie  Belichick
Judge  Brady Cromartie  Hanson  Munchak
Prisco  Romo Cromartie  Kasay  Munchak
Brinson Stafford Wilfork  Bailey  Munchak
Katzowitz Jackson Woodson  Akers  Gailey
Wilson  Britt Wilfork  Bailey  Gailey
Week 2's wrapped up now and we saw one of the most interesting two-week swings in NFL history. That's right -- the public perception of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He was a choker after Week 1 and now he's suddenly become one of the toughest guys in the NFL. Whether those two are mutually exclusive or not doesn't matter -- Romo wins the Eye on Offense Award for Week 2. It's a well-deserved win considering his willingness to play with a punctured lung (!) may have saved the Cowboys season.

Dan Bailey, the Cowboys rookie kicker, deserves some love too, for punching in a pair of field goals that eventually gave the Cowboys the win over the 49ers. And he got it, as he's the Eye on Special Teams Award winner for Week 2.

Perhaps the flashiest move of Week 2, though, was Vince Wilfork's interception of Philip Rivers shortly before halftime in the Patriots win over the Chargers. Wilfork tipped the ball, made a fantastic grab and nearly found the end zone. It was enough for him to squeak by Antonio Cromartie as our Eye on Defense Award winner this week. (And it also makes for an amazing replay.)

Finally, big ups to the Titans Mike Munchak who won his first game by barnstorming the Ravens -- he also barnstormed his way to the Eye on Coaching award for Week 2. Even if it isn't as amazing as Chan Gailey nearly winning back-to-back weeks with the Bills, it's still quite impressive.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Tony Romo Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
He showed mental toughness and guts this week two things I didn't think were there in abundance. He played with a punctured lung and broken rib. (Punctured freaking lung?) And perhaps in one moment changed his image from pretty boy stat machine incapable of winning the big one into hardcore player. I don't know if Romo has changed permanently or not. I just know I'll never doubt him again.
Tony RomoTony Romo, QB, Romo
He suffers a cracked rib and a punctured lung, then returns to rally the Cowboys to victory? He shouldn't have been in a game; he should have been in Stanford hospital. This should silence his critics for, oh, maybe one week.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Tom Brady Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Can I retire this award? Two weeks in a row I had to go with Brady. He threw for 423 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Chargers. I wanted to go somewhere else, but where? He might win this thing every week. We know he's the leader in the MVP race already.
Matthew StaffordMatthew Stafford, QB, Lions
Stafford started slow again on Sunday, throwing a pick against the Chiefs. And then he got his evisceration on, helping Detroit roll to a 48-3 redemption beatdown for Gunther Cunningham. Stafford threw for 294 yards and four touchdown passes ... and it might have been more if Detroit hadn't been up by so many points in the second half.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Vincent JacksonVincent Jackson, WR, Chargers
Last week, I selected Cam Newton after he threw for an obscene amount of yards in his NFL debut. This week, he threw for an even obscener amount of yards. But, once again, the Panthers lost so I turn in the direction of Jackson. Though maybe I should have picked Tom Brady last week, Jackson was fantastic against the Patriots, recording 10 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe New England should have tried doubling him every once in a while.
Aaron Rodgers Kenny Britt, WR, Titans
It was easy to make fun of Britt during the lockout because he spent much of his time going from one legal entanglement to another. But when he's on the field and healthy, he's among the best wide receivers in the league. Against the Ravens Sunday, he caught nine passes for 135 yards and a touchdown as the Titans made easy work of the Ravens, 26-13. Also worth noting: Britt inflicted this damage without much help from Chris Johnson, who rushed for 53 yards on 24 carries.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Vince WilforkVince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
If he's under 400 pounds, I'd be stunned. On a light day, he's 3-fiddy. Minimum. Despite that girth, I've said for years that Wilfork, pound for gigantic pound, is the most underrated athlete in the NFL. His blubber hides the fact that he moves far quicker than you'd ever think. This was the case against San Diego when he lept that big ass into the air, picked off a pass and rumbled down the sideline. Easily the best play of the week.
Antonio Cromartie Antonio Cromartie, DB, Jets
So the Jets don't sign Nnamdi Asomugha and get Cromartie as the booby prize. Some booby prize. He has two interceptions, 149 all-purpose yards on five touches and a reason to make Jets' fans think they'll be OK without Nnamdi.
Prisco Brinson
Antonio CromartieAntonio Cromartie, CB, Jets
He had two picks, one almost for a touchdown, against the Jaguars. Not bad for the "other" corner. Cromartie will get a lot of opportunities to make plays playing opposite Darrelle Revis. He made the most of it against Luke McCown Sunday. Of course, it helped that McCown was horrible.
Vince WilforkVince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
Woodson and Cro had great games, but against inferior teams -- Wilfork was the absolutely difference maker on a day when Albert Haynesworth didn't show up. His interception, which (sadly) didn't end in a touchdown, was one of the most athletic moves I've ever seen from a defensive lineman.
Katzowitz Wilson
Charles Woodson Charles Woodson, CB, Packers
It was deemed Heisman on Heisman crime when Woodson intercepted Cam Newton twice (and also recovered a fumble). More importantly, Woodson helped settle Green Bay’s defense after the Panthers jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Playing without Tramon Williams by his side, Woodson continued to impress in the 14th year of his eventual Hall of Fame career. 
Vince Wilfork Vince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
He got the first interception of his NFL career when, just before halftime, he batted a Philip Rivers pass into the air before hauling it in and rumbling 36 yards. With seconds in the 2nd quarter, Tom Brady complete two quick throws to set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal that gave the Pats a 20-7 lead. The 10-point end-of-half swing sealed San Diego's fate.
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Antonio CromartieAntonio Cromartie, CB, Jets
You can tell something great is about to happen with Cromartie. He just looks on the verge of becoming maybe the best return man in football. The Jags may not be the best test since the franchise is hurting right now but on the first play of the game he returned the kickoff 39 yards. That helped the Jets score a first quarter offensive touchdown, the first one in a 16 games.
Jason Hanson Jason Hanson, K, Lions
He played in his 297th game for the Lions, breaking Bruce Matthews' longevity record with one team. What's more, he played all those games with the Lions, a club that makes changes like McDonald's makes burgers.
Prisco Brinson
John KasayJohn Kasay, K, Saints
When the Saints lost Garrett Hartley with an injury, they turned to the 41-year-old Kasay. He is in his 21st season and appeared to have moved on with his life. So what does he do Sunday? He makes three field goals, including one from 53 yards. You have to love the old guys.
Dan BaileyDan Bailey, K, Cowboys
In a week with just one return (Michael Boley's fumble recovery to the house Monday), a kicker needs to win. Dan Bailey, for knocking down the game-tying and game-winning field goals in a crucial victory for Dallas, with the pressure of being a Cowboys kicker AND a rookie, deserves it.
Katzowitz Wilson
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
Akers hit three extra points and just one field goal this week. But the field goal was a record-breaker. In the always-tough Candlestick Park Akers nailed a 55-yarder, the longest kick in stadium history. Yeah, San Francisco didn’t win the game, but props to Akers for a record-breaker.
Dan Bailey Dan Bailey, K, Cowboys
The rookie honked a 21-yard field goal on the Cowboys' first drive, but he nailed a 48-yarder as time expired in regulation to tie the game. And he calmly converted a 19-yard chipshot to give Dallas its first win of the season Sunday.
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickBill Belichick, Patriots
The best coach of all time again has his Patriots in the mix of the best teams in the NFL. Lots of work needed to fix that defense but he'll get it done. He always does. The best thing about Belichick this week? The show that aired chronicling his daily life. It gave a rare look at a coach few people know well.
Mike Munchak Mike Munchak, Titans
Not only does he score his first pro win; he does it at the expense of a Baltimore team that just obliterated Pittsburgh. I never saw this coming. I bet the Ravens didn't, either.
Prisco Brinson
Mike MunchakMike Munchak, Titans
His team lost the opener, and didn't look very good in doing so, but Munchak made his team bounce back and upset the Ravens in Week 2. The Titans have been a run-centric team, but Munchak let Matt Hasselbeck throw the football to beat the Ravens. It was Munchak's first victory as a head coach.
Mike MunchakMike Munchak, Titans
There's little reason to think the Titans could succeed in a year where change is especially detrimental. Even with RB Chris Johnson stalling out, Munchak got his team prepped enough to pick up his first regular-season win as an NFL head coach by beating down the previously high-flying Ravens.
Katzowitz Wilson
Chan Gailey Chan Gailey, Bills
Just like we all predicted, the Bills are 2-0 after dominating the Chiefs in Week 1 and completing a fantastic comeback victory against the Raiders in Week 2. Gailey, in his second season, continues to turn around a moribund franchise that hasn’t been relevant since Marv Levy. The Bills still probably won’t beat the Patriots and the Jets, but, with Gailey in charge, they’ll certainly have a better chance.
Chan Gailey Chan Gailey, Bills
I was on the Gailey bandwagon and after a come-from-behind win over the Raiders I see no reason to hop off now. Buffalo scored 21 fourth-quarter points to outlast the Raiders by three, and in two weeks, they've scored 79 points (they didn't score that many points until Week 5 of the 2010 season). If the Bills can beat the Patriots this week, I'm running for president of the Chan Gailey fan club.

Posted on: September 16, 2011 9:46 am
 

Randy Moss says he's done

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Despite what you might have heard about Randy Moss returning to pro football (he wants to go to the Patriots! He was spotted in New Orleans!), he finally has made a definitive statement on the matter.

Moss' Retirement?
According WEEI.com, a couple of Boston-area radio men caught up with Moss in the parking lot of the Bungay Brook Golf Club and asked him if they’d see him in Gillette Stadium anytime soon.

Responded Moss: “No, I’m done … I’m just here golfing, minding my business.”

So, there you have it. Moss is retired. Unless the Patriots call. Then, maybe he wouldn’t be so done anymore.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Charles Woodson fined $10K for punch in Week 1

Posted by Will Brinson

In Thursday night's NFL season opener, the Packers and Saints threw down. Some more than others -- Charles Woodson threw a punch towards New Orleans David Thomas but wasn't ejected for the flagrant action.

It was expected that Woodson would get one of the fine-filled envelopes from the league office and, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, such a notice came in the mail on Wednesday and will cost Woodson $10,000.

We noted at the time that Woodson should have been ejected -- and noted afterwards that the refs' lack of awareness probably hurt the Saints chances of winning.

Now we'll note that $10,000 is a pretty cheap cost for intentionally striking an opponent on the field of play. Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson went to blows last season and each ended up being nailed with a $25,000 fine. The same goes, as we noted when Johnson/Finnegan were fined, for Oakland's Richard Seymour, who received a $25,000 fine for punching Ben Roethlisberger.

Given the emphasis on not, you know, punching other players as well as historical precedent, it's pretty safe to say that Woodson got off light for his actions against New Orleans.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:57 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 8:37 pm
 

Report: Randy Moss spotted at Saints facility

MossPosted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 8:35 p.m. ET: Pro Football Talk has thrown some cold water on the report by the New Orleans TV station, writing that if Randy Moss visited the Saints facility, he did so without the knowledge of his agent, Joel Segal.

Since that's extremely unlikely, I wouldn't bet on Moss, if he plays again, taking his next snap with the Saints.

----------

Randy Moss is known to be interested in returning to play another season with the Patriots. Tom Brady has gone on record as saying he’d welcome Moss back to New England with open arms.

That is unlikely to happen.

But despite his forced retirement -- not to mention Jerry Rice ripping Moss for his work ethic and former Vikings coach Brad Childress describing how Moss metaphorically vomited on Minnesota’s locker room -- it seems that Moss isn’t necessarily done playing pro football yet.

That’s because WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that Moss has been spotted at the Saints facility and is a player of interest for the club.

Given the fact that Saints receiver Marques Colston will be out the next four weeks while recovering from a broken collarbone, the move seems to make sense. Even if it’s just to see what Moss has left on the practice field.

But remember: Moss destroyed Childress’ reign in Minnesota last year and he was a complete non-factor after going to Tennessee. At this point, other than a bad attitude, Moss simply might not have anything left.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 6:11 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 6:39 pm
 

Report: Colston broke collarbone, out 4 weeks

Posted by Will Brinson

A tough night for the Saints -- Thursday's 43-35 loss at Green Bay -- got even tougher on Friday, as it appears New Orleans may have lost its top pass-catcher for the next few weeks as Marques Colston reportedly broke his collarbone.

Earlier on Friday, our Saints Rapid Reporter Larry Holder passed along the news that Colston sustained an injury during Thursday night's game, as confirmed by Sean Payton. Now Jay Glazer of Fox Sports is reporting that Colston broke his collarbone and will miss "approximately four weeks."

Colston's clearly a huge loss for the Saints -- he's been the team's leading receiver three out of the last four years and was a pretty big factor on Thursday as well, catching six balls for 81 yards.

The good news (if you want to call it that) is that the Saints have a system in place that allows for a bit of plug-n-play. While Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem aren't elite options like Colston, they're still plenty talented and can fill his shoes to a degree.

Lance Moore's also hurt, but when he returns that'll help things as well. And both Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles proved themselves to be non-wideout pass-catching options on Thursday, so it's not as if Drew Brees will be completely without weapons.

Plus, the schedule is reasonably friendly for New Orleans over the next four weeks, as even though two of their games are on the road, they get to play the Bears and Texans and then hit the road for the Jaguars and Panthers.

None of that is to say this will make things any easier for the Saints. It won't. As long as Colston comes back in a reasonable amount of time, it's not the type of break that kills a season.

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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