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Tag:Bob Sanders
Posted on: September 28, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Stop me if you've heard this: Bob Sanders to IR

B. Sanders was placed on the IR list by San Diego (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Chargers signed safety Bob Sanders to a one-year deal in March, this was the reaction from general manager A.J. Smith: "We have always held him in high regard. He's a smart, physical, instinctive player. His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense."

Smith, though, forgot this caveat: “… When Bob is, you know, healthy.”

Which he hasn’t been for much of his career and which he’s not right now, as the Chargers proved today when they placed Sanders on the Injured Reserve List while signing former Bears defensive tackle Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowler who was cut by the Colts in the preseason.

Sanders seemed on his way to having a nice bounceback year -- I, sigh, put him on the Top Ten list of comeback player of the year award possibilities -- recording 12 tackles through the first two games of the season. But he missed last week with a knee injury. And though it sounded only two days ago like the swelling in his knee would keep him out only a short time, that diagnosis apparently changed.

"My career is not really about showing people how tough I can be," Sanders said earlier this week. "I've been down that road. Right now, I'm just trying to be smart."

And now he’s gone for the season.

“All we wished for Bob was good health and hoped to turn him loose to do his thing, which was being one great, physical, highly-competitive player,” Smith said in a statement. “It didn’t work out for him or us, and we wish him the very best. He was with us a very short time, but made a positive impact with our team in many ways, and I’ll always appreciate that.”

Where can Sanders possibly go from here? It’s impossible to answer because the guy is never healthy. After this season, he’ll have played only 48 of 128 possible games in his eight-year career, and you have to wonder if another team will take a chance on a player who’s never participated in a full NFL season.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: September 14, 2011 10:43 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Comeback players

M. Stafford, if he stays healthy, could be a candidate for comeback player of the year (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some had disappointing seasons last year only to find themselves in a brand-new setting this year. Some had worn out their welcome in one city and were rewarded with a new home in a new part of the country. Some were injured, and some just flat-out stunk.

But this is a new season, and it’s never too early to make predictions about the 2011 comeback player of the year, especially since two-time winner Chad Pennington is out for the season and won’t be eligible for his third award until 2012.

You won’t find Albert Haynesworth on this list, because a man who duped one organization out of tens of millions dollars only to find himself holding a golden parachute to the league’s most respected franchise doesn’t need another reward if he potentially plays well (or, unlike in Washington, plays at all). But pretty much everybody else is eligible for a spot on our latest Top Ten with a Twist: Potential Comeback Players of the Year.

10. Kevin Kolb: I originally wasn’t going to put him on this list, because simply put, I’m not entirely sure he’s going to live up to his $63 million ($20 million guaranteed) contract in Arizona. But after his 18 of 27, 309-yard, two-touchdown performance in the Cardinals win against the Panthers (all while getting sucked into the “Cam Newton is awesome” maelstrom), it’s at least a possibility Kolb will play like Arizona believes he can. Kolb supporters point to an impressive two-game stretch he had in 2009 for why he’s worth all that money. I’m more interested in his 130 quarterback rating from Sunday and where he can go from there.

9. Chris Johnson: You might not know this, but last year, Johnson had a disastrous season. When you compare him to 2009, his performance declined by more than 600 yards and he scored three less rushing touchdowns. If that’s not the sign of a guy who has already become much less effective … wait, what’s that? Johnson still rushed for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns last season? Oh, never mind. But here’s the thing with Johnson. He keeps proclaiming that he’s going to rush for 2,000 yards, and while he did it in 2009, he fell woefully short last year. And yes, he won’t make it 2,000 in 2011 either. But he’ll also be better than last year, particularly since he now should be completely happy with the money he’s making.

8. Bob Sanders: We all know Bob Sanders can’t stay healthy. Not after missing 64 of 112 career games with the Colts. And because we’ve barely seen the guy (only nine times in the past three seasons) we always seem to lose sight of the fact that Sanders was once a premier safety threat  mentioned in the same breathe as Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed. One good sign for Sanders’ return to respectability: he didn’t have to spend this offseason rehabbing an old injury. But Sanders also is 30 now, where the aches and pains increase rather than diminish. In his first game with San Diego, he accumulated six tackles. But at least he didn’t leave the game with an injury. Which, with Sanders, is pretty good news.

7. Tim Hightower: You’ll recall that Hightower had a bit of a fumbling problem as the No. 2 running back behind Beanie Wells in Arizona -- he had eight lost fumbles combined in the past two seasons -- and though Hightower had good production in place of the injured Wells, the Cardinals decided they’d rather have Wells than Hightower. The Redskins, who were saying goodbye to Clinton Portis, went after him, and their interest was rewarded this week when Hightower looked solid, rushing 25 times for 72 yards and a score. Just as important, though, is his pass protection and his versatility (he’s a pretty good receiver as well). Just as long as he doesn’t fumble, he could be a really good addition for Washington.

6. Steve Smith (Eagles version): We still don’t know how healthy Smith is, but the fact that he was active for the first game -- much to the chagrin of the Giants, I imagine -- is awfully impressive, considering he was coming off microfracture surgery on his knee. He wasn’t targeted by Michael Vick, and he didn’t play all that much. But the fact he was out there at all was pretty ridiculous. Smith probably won’t be healthy enough to produce the stats that would give him a legit shot at the comeback player of the year, but he’s already gone to extraordinary lengths to return this soon, so why not?

Henne5. Steve Smith (Panthers version): Aside from all those Panthers fans who now have hope, receiver Steve Smith has to be one of the biggest Cam Newton fans around. For a guy who wanted out of Carolina as soon as possible (and as receiver, why would he want to try to field passes from Jimmy Clausen?), the infusion of Newton into this offense was the main reason Smith exploded for eight catches, 178 yards and two touchdowns. Considering he only accumulated 46 catches for 554 yards and two (!) scores in 2010, a little Newton in his life apparently has gone a long way.

4. Chad Henne: Despite Miami fans chanting that they wanted Kyle Orton (who now has to hear the chants of “We want Tebow” in Denver) in the preseason, the popular storyline out of south Florida is that Henne finally will turn himself into a legit starting quarterback. Henne was a major storyline in the offseason -- coach Tony Sparano said “we’ll see” about Henne’s chances of starting and receiver Brandon Marshall laid out in detail why Tyler Thigpen was a better player until Henne began to make believers out of his teammates, who voted him offensive captain. It’ll continue to be a storyline as long as Henne plays the way he did against the Patriots (30 of 49 for 416 yards, two touchdowns and a garbage-time interception) in one of the best performances of his pro career.

3. Rex Grossman: Based on the way he played against the Giants on Sunday, I thought about putting Grossman higher on the list. But I just don’t see him as a top-15 quarterback -- this season or any other. Maybe if he got to play against the Giants shell of a defense every week. But until that happens, I don’t see him taking home the hardware. That said, Grossman surprised many people this week -- including, I imagine, John Beck -- and didn’t look like the same quarterback who was Donovan McNabb’s two-minute offense replacement. At least, he played like a legitimate starting quarterback.

2. Bryant McKinnie: Surely, McKinnie would be the first comeback player of the year award winner to have weighed 400 pounds (allegedly) and gotten released from his old team for it (not to mention earning $75,000 for getting down to a trim 372). But McKinnie, as the new left tackle for the Ravens, helped set the tone last Sunday when, on the first play of the first Ravens drive, he dispatched Steelers linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison, allowing Baltimore running back Ray Rice a 36-yard gain. Baltimore ended up beating Pittsburgh by four touchdowns, and don’t think McKinnie wasn’t a big reason for that. If he keeps it up, perhaps McKinnie can make history as the first offensive line ever to win the award.

1. Matthew Stafford: The Lions quarterback scared the daylights out of just about everybody when he hobbled to the sideline with an apparent injury in Detroit’s season-opening win against the Buccaneers. For a guy who’s missed 19 games the past two years with various ailments, that was not a moment for the weak at the heart. But it was only cramps, and during Detroit’s victory, Stafford showed that he still has the talent to be a top-five quarterback. And considering most of the comeback players of the year happen to be quarterbacks, that doesn’t hurt his chances either.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Clint Session leaves Indy for Jaguars

SessionPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Whether the Colts have a chance to compete for another Super Bowl isn’t necessarily dictated by Indianapolis’ offense. With QB Peyton Manning and his ability to make any receiver look like an All-Pro, the ability for the team to score points is rarely in question.

For Indianapolis to compete, the Colts defense has to be tenacious and strong. Going forward, Indianapolis will be fine on the defensive line -- ends Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney are still pretty scary -- but oft-injured, yet very-talented safety Bob Sanders is gone to the Chargers.

And now, making the Colts defense just a little bit weaker, LB Clint Session has signed a five-year, $30 million ($11.5 million guaranteed) deal with the Jaguars, writes NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora (via the Indianapolis Star).

He’s coming off a season in which he played only five games due to injury, but when he’s on the field, he can be a force -- he combined for 197 tackles in 2008-09 and was playing awfully well before injuries cut short his 2010 season.

And lest you forget, Session is a tough, tough man.

After breaking his forearm and dislocating his elbow, Session left the game briefly and then returned in the second half (!) to play well. Ultimately, the injury ended his season, but that’s a pretty strong mindset for a guy who now will go to a division rival and try, at least twice a year, to stop the Colts offense from advancing to the postseason.

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 9:47 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 9:52 pm
 

Colts might have plenty of free agents to sign

ManningPosted by Josh Katzowitz

The biggest worry for the Colts franchise when the lockout ends is the contract of QB Peyton Manning and whether the two sides will agree to a long-term extension. For now, Manning has been franchise-tagged for 2011, though his agent would like to get rid of that designation by dropping it in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But aside from Manning, Indianapolis has plenty of work to get done in order to secure the services of some of its most important free agents, especially if the new CBA allows unrestricted free agency after four years of service.

That means RB Joseph Addai, LB Clint Session, OT Charlie Johnson and S Melvin Bullitt would be eligible to leave.

"As far as me coming back or being gone, I don't know,” Johnson told the Indianapolis Star. “I will just take it as it happens. I'm working out, trying to get better and hoping a deal gets done. But I can't concern myself with 'what ifs' at this point."

Indy's offseason
But Bullitt, taking over Bob Sanders’ old position, definitely wants to return to the Colts.

"I'm probably the strongest I've been in two years," Bullitt said. "I want to play in Indy again. That's what I'm planning on. But the reality is I'm not signed with anyone … I want to finish my career in Indianapolis, but I will have to make a decision quickly."

Returning to Indianapolis seems like a no-brainer for many of these free agents, especially if they can get somewhere close to market value for their services. With Manning running that team, the Colts are always going to be in contention for a Super Bowl.

But if, for some reason, the Colts can’t re-sign Manning, they’ll be in a world of trouble. Not just because they’ll be letting go one of the top quarterbacks of all time, but because without him, it’ll be tougher to convince top-flight free agents to return to a team that would have Curtis Painter at the top of the depth chart.

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Posted on: March 23, 2011 12:19 pm
Edited on: March 23, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.23.11: Buddy Ryan has cancer



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Once again, former coaching standout Buddy Ryan has cancer, according to Jets coach Rex Ryan. But Rex is confident in his father. Said Rex: "He's 80 years old, but he's doing great. He's tougher than (s---). He's had other things in his life. He overcame encephalitis. He's overcome cancer twice. He's tough."
  • Sounds like the students at Assumption Catholic Church in St. Louis had a blast with Rams RB Steven Jackson. Even if this was a team-sponsored event (the Rams had to get special permission before Jackson could appear).

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Posted on: March 3, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 8:26 am
 

Chargers sign Bob Sanders to 1-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Bob Sanders has been on a tour of various NFL teams over the past week or so -- he swung by Buffalo, visited with Jacksonville and checked in with Rex Ryan's New York squad -- since being released by Indianapolis. But a surprise suitor: the San Diego Chargers, who announced Thursday night that they've signed the former Defensive Player of the Year.

"We are all very excited to add Bob Sanders to our defense," General Manager A.J. Smith said. "We have always held him in high regard. He's a smart, physical, instinctive player. His intensity and playmaking ability can make an immediate impact on our defense."

The Chargers didn't exactly struggle against the pass last season -- they actually ranked No. 1 in passing yards allowed -- but Sanders equates to a calculated gamble that could pay off huge dividends.

[Judge: Sanders the difference in San Diego?]

"There’s no question I'm excited. The fact that Bob was available and excited about being here and then having it work out is great," Head Coach Norv Turner said. "Our guys have unbelievable respect for him and what he's done through the years. Certainly he knows what we’re capable of doing, so it’s a great fit."

The timing is quite interesting, because the NFL and NFLPA just reached a 24-hour extension on CBA negotiations, leaving the window for teams to sign players open another day (although Sanders would probably have had until 11:59 PM EST to ink the deal anyway).

[Prisco: Signing Sanders a good move for Chargers]

While many teams have spent the day dropping costs like crazy by cutting players, the Chargers apparently felt the need to take a calculated gamble on the oft-injured Sanders in an attempt to strengthen to their defense. If Sanders returns to his Pro Bowl form, he'll make one of the best defenses in the league from last year even more dangerous.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Bob Sanders visiting Jets Wednesday

Posted by Will Brinson

Free agent safety Bob Sanders continued his tour around the NFL Wednesday, stopping by to check out the New York Jets.

That's according to Manish Mehta of the New York Post, who also notes that the top priority for the Jets is determining if Sanders can pass a physical.

Sanders, released by Indianapolis last month, had previously visited the Bills and Jaguars. Rex Ryan's crew is an intriguing fit for the oft-injured Sanders, because he'd be a tremendous asset (if he can stay healthy) and the Jets don't exactly have a pile of healthy safeties laying around.

There's some belief that the Colts could be waiting to see what the market Bears out for Sanders and then attempt to re-sign him; his five-year, $37.5 million deal with Indy was just too much to bear for the team given the nine games he'd played in since 2007.

If Sanders can clear physicals with a number of teams -- he already cleared the Jaguars' test according to Jack Del Rio -- then he'll stand a pretty good chance of eventually landing a decent veteran deal from a team with a safety need.

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Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 2.26.11: I cry for Keisel's beard



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks the previous injuries suffered by former Colts S Bob Sanders were fluky and he doesn’t judge them to be a current problem. That's good news for the free agent Sanders.
  • I’ve been meaning to mention this for a couple days, but Adam Jones – you know him better as Pacman – got probation for his role in the 2007 Las Vegas melee.
  • Titans DE Jason Babin and the Tennessee organization haven’t spoken recently. Sounds like the Titans want to wait until a new CBA is finalized before they think about a new deal with the Pro Bowler.
  • Apparently, if Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is available for the Lions with the No. 13 pick, they’d be happy to take him. If not, it’s not expected Detroit will take another CB instead.

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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