Tag:Antrell Rolle
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:59 am
Edited on: September 28, 2010 5:07 pm
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Top Ten with a Twist: Biggest problems

Mike Singletary has led his San Francisco squad to an 0-3 start to the season (AP).
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The first game, if your favorite team has a bad day at the office, you can forgive it. “Ah, it’s just one game,” you might say. “My men have plenty of time, and it was the first game of the season. Obviously, they haven’t worked out all the kinks.” You can still sleep at night.

The second game, if your team stinks up the joint again, you can forgive it. With reservations. “OK, it’s only two games. The season is still long. You can still make the playoffs if you start it out 0-2. They’re still figuring things out.” You still sleep at night, though probably not as soundly.

By the third game, though, if your team is still playing really, really poorly, you might have a tough time catching those Z's. By game three, problem teams – and problem players – are becoming more “the trend” and less “just a phase.” Your team might really suck, after all. Your favorite player might officially be over the hill.

You might officially have a problem.

10. Carson Palmer:
I’ve watched Palmer closely the past five or six years, and after the Jets beat Cincinnati in the playoffs last year, I wrote Palmer was no longer an elite quarterback (you can’t be elite, after all, if your stats fall somewhere between Jason Campbell and David Garrard). He’s continued his struggles this year, and though, the Bengals don’t need him quite as much if they have a healthy Cedric Benson, you can close the book on him as one of the best in the game.

9. Shawne Merriman’s Achilles/Andre Johnson’s ankle: Let’s combine two annoying injuries for players who would do well to stay on the field. Merriman, who missed much of the preseason because of a holdout/Achilles injury, played the last two weeks, but he had to leave Sunday’s contest because of a calf injury. Though he’s not the player he once was, he’s a better option for San Diego than Antwan Applewhite and Brandon Lang. And Johnson’s ankle is self-explanatory. If he’s not on the field – and he’s had to miss part of the past two games – the Texans offense isn’t nearly as potent.

8. David Garrard: I know, I hate putting two QBs on here in the first three picks, but, unlike Palmer, I’m not sure why Garrard is still playing with the first string. I mean, aside from Todd Bouman (hasn’t thrown a pass in five seasons) being his only backup. Coach Jack Del Rio was asked how much longer he could play Garrard, and Del Rio said as long as he was the team’s best option. Meaning he’s the team’s only option. Which is bad news.

7. Ben Roethlisberger’s return:
This isn’t about Roethlisberger necessarily and I assume coach Mike Tomlin will give him back his job when he returns from his four-game suspension, but the Steelers could be 4-0 playing a combination of Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. Roethlisberger obviously is a better QB than either of those two, but he’ll probably be rusty. What if he struggles against the Browns in his first game? What if Miami’s defense lights him up the week after that? Will Steelers fans be chanting Charlie Batch’s name (probably not, but you never know …)?

6. Brandyn Dombrowski:
So, how soon can Marcus McNeill return for San Diego? Dombrowski, playing LT and trying to protect Philip Rivers’ blindside, had a tough time against Seattle on Sunday, Chris Clemons toasted him a few times to sack Rivers, and on the Chargers’ first attempt to get within two late in the game – the first time Rivers hit TE Antonio Gates – Dombrowski was called for holding. San Diego coach Norv Turner has defended him, but Dombrowski had a rough one in the Chargers loss.

G. Hartley had a rough week for New Orleans last week and is in danger of losing his job (AP). 5. Garrett Hartley: It’s hard to believe how badly Hartley missed his game-winning 29-yard field goal in overtime of the Falcons victory against the Saints. Coach Sean Payton has shown plenty of loyalty to Hartley, but Hartley directly cost New Orleans the game Sunday. How many more games will he negatively impact the Saints before he’s off the team? Maybe, none. John Carney and Matt Stover apparently have tried out for the Saints this week, and at this point, if Hartley lasts the year in New Orleans, it’d be kind of a surprise. 

4. The entire AFC/NFC West: We’ll get into San Francisco’s Mike Singletary in a minute, but man, how inconsistent have these conferences been? Oakland has been terrible (against Tennessee), less terrible (a win against St. Louis), and almost not terrible enough to win again (a 24-23 loss to Arizona). Derek Anderson has worked his anti-magic for the Cardinals. And you still don’t know what you’re going to get when Seattle runs onto the field for the game. I'm still shocked St. Louis beat Washington. These divisions are wide open for the taking, especially when Kansas City starts 3-0 and leads the AFC West.

3. Chargers kick return coverage:
OK, so you saw what Leon Washington did against San Diego on Sunday, returning a kick for 101 yards for the TD and then returning another kick for 99 yards. That was unreal. But don’t forget about Kansas City’s Dexter McCluster, who had a 94-yard punt return in the season opener vs. San Diego. On Monday, several Chargers veterans volunteered for special teams duties in order to help improve that unit. Hey, it certainly couldn’t hurt.

2. Giants discipline:
Remember how Antrel Rolle complained about how much control the coaching staff held over the players? Well, that’s not exactly true, especially when we’re talking about New York’s 11 penalties, including five personal fouls that occurred after the play was over, in its bad loss to Tennessee. Two 15-yarders came courtesy of RT Kareem McKenzie (behavior McKenzie called “despicable” the next day), and Rolle incurred one when he tried to punch Tennessee TE Craig Stevens. With performances like that, you have to wonder what kind of control coach Tom Coughlin actually asserts over his players. And how much longer he’ll be in control of the Giants at all.

1. Mike Singletary:
After the 49ers 31-10 beatdown by the Chiefs, word filtered out that Kansas City’s defenders apparently were calling out San Francisco’s play calls before the plays were actually run. Now, the 49ers are 0-3, and maybe, aside from pulling down his pants to motivate his team, Singletary doesn’t exactly seem like an X’s and O’s guy. He actually was asked after the game if he had been outcoached, and he said, “I would not say ‘outcoached.’ When you have a loss like this, a lot of things look wrong.” Like the offense. And a day after backing his offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye and saying he’d be around the rest of the season, Singletary fired him. That means new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson continues the streak of Alex Smith never playing for the same coordinator in back-to-back seasons. I’m sure that will help.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: August 22, 2010 10:19 am
 

Hot Routes 8.22.10: Injuries and rookie hazing

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

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-In Baltimore’s win against the Redskins, Terrell Suggs – coming off, by his standards, an unimpressive year – had a good showing . He credits an offseason diet in which he came to training camp considerably lighter.

-Of course, Suggs’ explosion could also be credited to the fact that Redskins rookie LT Trent Williams, who was burned much of the night by Suggs, sustained an elbow contusion . He said the injury would not keep him out long.

-Seahawks RB Leon Washington, who suffered a season-ending injury last year while playing for the Jets, made his Seattle debut an impressive one, rushed for an 11-yard TD (overall, he carried the ball four times for 19 yards). Afterward, Washington declared that he felt healthy.

-Last night, we told you Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman was done for the preseason after fracturing the tip of his thumb. Freeman is just relieved it’s not a more serious injury . His backup, Josh Johnson, went 6 for 10 for 133 yards and a TD. Third-stringer Rudy Carpenter also performed well, completing 8 of 11 attempts for 79 yards and the game-winning score.

-According to Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette, the Dolphins exposed the Jaguars defense during Miami’s one-point win Saturday night. Miami and QB Chad Henne scored on four-straight possessions against Jacksonville’s No. 1 defense.

-In case you figured the injuries to A.J. Feeley’s thumb and elbow would catapult rookie Sam Bradford into the starting QB slot, you might have to rethink that theory . After the game, Feeley said he expects to be back for the team’s next preseason game. The X-rays on his thumb and elbow were negative.

-Neither Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw nor S Antrel Rolle started New York’s game Saturday night, because both were late to team meetings. “I've been around long enough to understand there are consequences, so I took it like a man,” Rolle said.

-And while we’re on the Giants, let’s talk for a second about RB Brandon Jacobs and his stiff neck that kept him from playing. According to Tom Coughlin, the injury came out of nowhere. Apparently, Jacobs hurt himself by doing shrugs while working out.

-If Ben Roethlisberger had his choice, he would have played the entire Steelers-Jets game. Alas, he was just happy to be back on the field.

-Speaking of Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette thinks the battle for the center spot is finished. Give the job to dominant rookie Maurkice Pouncey now, Bouchette writes.

-Brian Urlacher said the calf injury he sustained on the first series of the Bears game was not a big deal .

-The art of the rookie hazing is not dead in Tennessee. On Saturday, the Titans splashed all of safety Robert Johnson’s non-uniform clothes into the cold tub . Johnson’s cell phone was spared, but not his $160 pair of Jordan’s. The hazing was totally unexpected for Johnson, he said.

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