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Tag:Alphonso Smith
Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:33 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Cards RB Ryan Williams officially out for season

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (Aug. 20; 5:39 p.m. ET): It's official: Cardinals RB Ryan Williams is out for the season, as Rapid Reporter Craig Morgan writes.

Said coach Ken Whisenhunt on Saturday: "The human element gets lost sometimes. You’re so excited about a young man like Ryan and you build a relationship with him over a short time. You want to see him have success and then that’s put on hold.”

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While Tim Hightower was performing impressively for the Redskins on Friday night (six carries, 70 yards, TD), his former team might be longing for a backup to its starting RB.

Ryan Williams Injury
That’s because rookie Ryan Williams -- selected in the second round by the Cardinals to compete with Beanie Wells for the starting spot -- most likely ruptured the patella tendon in his right knee during Arizona’s preseason loss to the Packers. That was what coach Ken Whisenhunt told reporters, via Cards Chatter, after the game, and if that injury is confirmed, Williams will miss the rest of the season.

Williams had to be carted off the field after he was tackled by Green Bay rookie S M.D. Jennings and awkwardly landed on his right leg. Williams’ teammates surrounded him before he left for the locker room, and he held his head in his hands as he left the field.

Without Williams in the lineup, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Alfonso Smith are the RBs that would back up Wells -- who was brittle himself last season. Either way, it’s a devastating loss for the Cardinals.

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Posted on: April 8, 2011 5:44 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Detroit Lions

Posted by Andy Benoit

C. Johnson (US Presswire)


Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



If we’re to stick strictly to the metaphor here, a team that always finishes in ICU was at least hobbling around one of the more respectable rehabilitation wards when the 2010 season ended.

The Lions went 6-10, ranking 15th in points scored and 19th in points allowed (the 15th scoring offense ranking was partly due to a penchant for fun but unfulfilling garbage time comebacks). It’d be interesting to find out if the Lions brass would have been willing to trade the 6-10 finish for a 4-12 finish if had meant Matthew Stafford getting a chance to develop. This team likely would have been better than 6-10 had Stafford not missed 13 games with shoulder problems. But the point is, his development is crucial to the franchise’s long-term growth, and he didn’t develop while on the sidelines.

At least rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh developed. He went from “monster” early in the year to “mega monster” late. Suh headlined a revamped defensive line, which headlined a defense that still sorely needed revamping at the linebacker and secondary levels.

 

An unsung hero

How did this story slip through the cracks in 2010? Pettigrew, a first-round draft choice out of Oklahoma State in ’09, was operating at full strength on the field just nine months after tearing his ACL. In his return, the 265-pounder was an even quicker, more fluid runner than before.

Pettigrew’s newfound receiving prowess gave the offense an underneath dimension that was crucial in capitalizing on defenses rolling coverage over the top against Calvin Johnson. Augmenting this was Pettigrew’s ability to snag balls on the move.

Pettigrew’s newfound receiving prowess gave the offense an underneath dimension that was crucial in capitalizing on defenses rolling coverage over the top against Calvin Johnson. Augmenting this was Pettigrew’s ability to snag balls on the move.



1.Cornerback
Having a zone-based playmaker like an Asante Samuel would do wonders for Gunther Cunningham’s secondary. Last year’s corners were too focused on fundamentals to even listen to whatever instincts they may have had. It’s questionable whether Chris Houston is wanted back, and it should be questionable whether Alphonso Smith deserves to be welcomed back (at least to the starting lineup). Nate Vasher has experience in a Cover 2 scheme, but a few decent games down the stretch in Detroit don’t override his last few disastrous years in Chicago.

2. Outside Linebacker
You actually have to have a strong side to your game in order to be a starting strongside linebacker in the NFL. Which is why finesse-based journeyman Bobbie Carpenter is not the answer. Last year’s strongside ‘backer, Zack Follett, is penciled in as the replacement for gargantuan disappointment Julian Peterson on the weak side. Follett, however, doesn’t begin to have the necessary athleticism to play this position.

3. Interior Offensive Linemen
Center Dominic Raiola’s lack of power has become too much of an issue. An upgrade there could help keep thoroughly average guards Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman afloat.



The Lions could very well become the trendy pick of 2010. A lot of the hype will depend on how people feel about Stafford.

If he’s sharp, the Lions might be able to mask their middling offensive line. In that case, it would come down to how much the young secondary improves. If it’s lofty goals you like, 9-7 wouldn’t be an unfairly high bar for this club.

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Posted on: November 25, 2010 3:53 pm
 

At the end of the day, no surprises in Detroit

Posted by Andy Benoit

Well, the Lions at least gave us a half a game on Thanksgiving. At Fords Field Thursday we saw a simpleT. Brady (US Presswire) contrast between a team that knows how to win and a team that knows how to lose. Detroit’s defensive line was dynamic in the first half, with Ndamukong Suh getting an early sack on Tom Brady and Kyle Vanden Bosch delivering a pair of crushing quarterback hits. That effort was matched by an impressively efficient Lions offense (who knew Maurice Morris still had some wheels?). But it only lasted two quarters.

Brady and the Pats offense turned in a masterful – perhaps even perfect – second half. Deion Branch made Alphonso Smith his turkey (sorry). Rob Gronkowski took advantage of Detroit’s tentative safeties. And, late in the fourth, BenJarvus Green-Ellis exhibited the downhill running prowess that has blossomed him into a bona fide feature back. Pretty simple.

Phil Simms made a fantastic point about the Lions: they don’t play for 60 minutes. Effort isn’t the issue so much as simple know-how. Detroit’s lack of depth becomes startling noticeable late in the second of games. It’s all part of the rebuilding process (the never-ending rebuilding process).

As for the Patriots, the story of this game was Brady taking a firm lead in the NFL MVP race, no?

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 10:33 pm
 

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part IV

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Panthers at Buccaneers

Tampa Bay center Jeff Faine, who’s missed the past four games, badly wants to get back into action after dealing with a quadriceps injury, while T Jeremy Trueblood (out the past two contests with a knee) looks to return as well. Both are questionable and game-time decisions.

Faine had full participation in all three practices this week, while Trueblood was full-go for two of them, but Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris wants to see how they look in pregame warmups before giving them the go-ahead.

For Carolina, RBs Jonathan Stewart (concussion) and DeAngelo Williams (foot) are out and won’t play. So that’s, you know, not a great sign for the Panthers. LB Nic Harris, meanwhile, is probable.

Lions at Bills

It looks like QB Shaun Hill will get the chance to replace the injured Matthew Stafford for the second time this season. Hill, who broke his forearm the first time he took over the Detroit offense this year, is probable to make his return to the game. Among the questionables for the Lions: DE Cliff Avril, S C.C. Brown, CB Chris Houston and CB Alphonso Smith.

Also, K Jason Hanson is out, and in response this week, Detroit signed Dave Rayner. Which is unfortunate, because I think all of us would have liked to see Ndamukong Suh take another crack at kicking point after attempts and field goals.

Three players Buffalo really could use this week are out, including LB Andra Davis, LB Shawne Merriman, and WR Roscoe Parrish.

Eagles at Redskins

There are seven Washington players on the injury report. All of them are questionable. They include OT Stephon Heyer, S LaRon Landry  QB Donovan McNabb, LB Brian Orakpo, WR Brandon Banks, RB Clinton Portis, and RB Ryan Torain.

Of those seven, Portis won’t play but Torain will, along with McNabb. A decision about Banks will be made gametime. The Redskins would like to have him back, because he’s been so good as a return specialist.

Eagles G Max Jean-Gilles, who’s been feeling the effects of a concussion, was cleared to play today. He remains questionable, though, on the injury report. Meanwhile, G Nick Cole is probable, and coach Andy Reid hasn’t determined who will start between the two of them.

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Posted on: September 7, 2010 5:32 pm
 

Browns part ways with 2nd round pick

Cleveland released D. Veikune today, a year after drafting him in the second round (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s not all that often a team will cut the second round pick taken the season before. Even if the experiment hasn’t gone well, it’s not the norm for that squad to pull the plug as it enters that player’s second season.

But lately, there have been a couple teams that have given up on their 2009 second-round choices.

Already, Miami got rid of Pat White, and the Broncos traded Alphonso Smith (whom they traded up to get). Now, the Browns are washing their hands of LB David Veikune.

Veikune, a defensive end from Hawaii, was tried at outside linebacker and at inside linebacker last season. He was touted as a project – never a great description when you’re taking somebody in the second round – and the switching between positions might have hindered his progress, because he never could really settle in and learn one spot.

Since his strength was at rushing the passer, perhaps it didn’t make much sense to use him at inside linebacker either. He played 10 games and didn’t earn a single tackle, which also isn’t … you know … real good. Therefore, it was probably real easy for team president Mike Holmgren, who didn’t draft Veikune in the first place, to part ways with him.

In part, the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes, the Browns waived Veikune so they could give a roster spot to CB Derrick Roberson, an undrafted player who’s been on the practice squad of three teams.

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Posted on: September 5, 2010 11:12 am
 

A dead money debate

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Mark Kizla of the Denver Post analyzes the moves (mistakes) Broncos coach Josh McDaniels has made in the past year.

First, he traded up to draft Alphonso Smith in the first round, meaning the Broncos gave him a $2.15 million signing bonus. Then, Denver gave Jarvis Green $3.25 million guaranteed. Then, the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow after trading for QB Brady Quinn to back up Kyle Orton.

So, where do the Broncos stand after Saturday?

Smith was traded to the Lions. Green was cut. Quinn has looked horrendous this preseason.

And Kizla is not impressed:

We salute McDaniels for not letting his ego get in the way of ushering Smith and Green to the exit.

But McDaniels had better be right on first-round draft picks Knowshon Moreno, Robert Ayers, Demaryius Thomas and Tim Tebow. If the Broncos fail to develop anything less than two Pro Bowl players from that quartet in the coming years, then the 34-year-old McDaniels will be long gone from Denver before his hair turns gray.

All of this raised the ire of the Mile High Report, a Broncos blog, on Twitter.

With Smith, Green and the $600,000 in bonuses paid to Brandon Stokley – placed on the IR list until he’s healthy enough to be cut – that’s about $6 million of dead money for the Broncos this season. But as the blog points out, that’s less than what Seattle will pay for T.J. Houshmandzadeh (cut Saturday and owed $7 million guaranteed) and Cincinnati has paid Antonio Bryant (released and paid $8 million).

The MHR makes a good point, but Kizla’s point is well taken also. McDaniels has made some high-profile moves in his short tenure, and some of those moves have not turned out well. If his decisions continue to haunt him and his squad, he won’t be around for the long-term.

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 4:05 pm
 

Denver takes it on the chin with Alphonso Smith

Posted by Andy Benoit

How’s this for a disastrous personnel move: in 2009, the Broncos traded their 2010 first-round pick to move up and select cornerback Alphonso Smith in the second round (37th overall). Saturday, according to Smith’s agent Drew Rosenhaus, the Broncos have traded the corner to the Lions for tight end Dan Gronkowski.

The Lions desperately need help at corner. They brought in Chris Houston over the offseason, but he had trouble holding onto a starting job in Atlanta (his aggressiveness in man coverage is inconsistent). The No. 2 corner is Jonathan Wade, a fringe player who would not have continued to start if he’d stayed with the Rams. Smith should compete for Detroit’s No. 2 job right away.

To further emphasize how disastrous the Smith pick was for the Broncos: the man Smith was traded for, Gronkowski, was also drafted in 2009. Detroit selected Gronkowski in the seventh round. Seventh! Thus, the Broncos essentially traded a first-and second-round pick for a seventh-round pick.

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Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:08 am
 

Hot Routes 9.02.10: And so it begins ...

Actually, "it" (meaning NFL football) will begin a week from today. But college football starts tonight and whether or not you love the college game is irrelevant: it's FOOTBALL. Real, live football and it will be quickly followed by the professional game.

It's like Christmas times eleventy billion. Anyway, follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and feel free to suggest links you'd like to see here.
  • Since it's the start of football season (college anyway) and since Jay Cutler won't play tonight against the Browns , I nominate someone to come up with a delicious new drink called the "Todd Collins." Perhaps it could just be a "Tom Collins" with severely aged grapefruit juice?
  • No Dez Bryant on Thursday night, which means he'll make his debut in the regular season. Jerry Jones' excuse : 'he's got some conditioning work to do.'
  • Bob Glauber of Newsday discusses talked with ex-Giant Antonio Pierce, who "just [doesn't] see the energy" in the team this year. He also calls them "just another team" -- what's the deal with former Giants getting television jobs and ripping their old teammates these days?
 
 
 
 
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