Tag:Brandon Jackson
Posted on: October 31, 2011 3:42 pm
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Browns RB corps grows even thinner

M. Hardesty will miss some time with a calf tear (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During his Monday news conference, Browns coach Pat Shurmur said there would be no excuses why the Browns are 3-4 while scoring a combined 16 points in the past two games. But who could blame him if he started feeling sorry for himself just a little bit?

Especially after the news he brought today when he said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer, that running back Montario Hardesty will miss time with a moderate calf tear.

Though it doesn’t sound like a major injury, the loss of Hardesty leaves Cleveland with a bare cupboard at the running back spot. After rushing 33 times in Week 7 vs. the Seahawks, Hardesty missed the final three quarters of Sunday’s loss to the 49ers because of the injury.

Considering Peyton Hillis is still day to day with a bum hamstring and Brandon Jackson has been affected by a toe injury, the only healthy tailback on the roster is Chris Ogbonnaya, who was on the Texans practice squad a few weeks ago. Cleveland also has Armond Smith on the practice squad, and, if the team was desperate, the Browns could use Josh Cribbs as a running back.

Shurmur also said the team would try out free agent running backs on Tuesday (though I’m pretty sure Terrell Owens couldn’t pass as a running back).

As for how long Hardesty could be out? “It's going to take some time to heal,” Shurmur said.

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: September 3, 2011 10:15 pm
 

NFL cuts: Teams down to 53 by Saturday evening

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Getting to 53
On Tuesday, teams had to cut their roster size from 90 to 80, and while some interesting names were axed.

Included among them werelong-time San Diego long snapper David Binn, Cowboys center Andre Gurode and draft bust Vernon Gholston), and more are sure to come today.

So keep an eye on this post, where we’ll highlight the biggest names who get pink-slipped; at some point, somebody surprising is going to lose his job.

  • Though we're unsure what he did, ESPN.com is reporting that free agent running back Dominic Rhodes has been suspended by the commissioner for at least one year.
  • Browns running back Brandon Jackson has been placed on the IR list and will miss the season.
  • Receiver Donnie Avery has announced, via his Twitter page, that he's been released by the Rams. Wrote Avery: "Its been real St.Louis. I had a good 3 years. The feelings were mutual. We both thought I need a fresh start somewhere else. #NoHardFeelings"
  • The Titans have traded an undisclosed draft pick to the Packers for Quinn Johnson. The move is likely in response to the four-game suspension of Tennessee fullback Ahmard Hall.
  • The Jets announce they've traded defensive back Dwight Lowery to the Jaguars for an unconditional draft pick. The Jets also have received guard Caleb Schlauderaff from the Packers for an unconditional draft pick.
  • Apparently, the Texans are planning on scoring a lot this year. They've released Brad Maynard, the only punter on the roster.
  • With the Cowboys shaving their roster to 53, kicker Shayne Graham has had the pleasure of being cut twice this preseason.
  • The Jaguars have placed backup running back Rashad Jennings on the IR list with a knee injury.
  • The Dolphins have cut cornerback Will Allen and running back Larry Johnson, according to the Miami Herald. Allen had restructured his contract and took about a $4 million paycut in base pay for 2010, but still, that wasn't enough to save him a spot on the squad. Miami could bring him back at another reduced rate.
  • According to scout.com, the Raiders have parted ways with cornerbacks Lito Sheppard and Walter McFadden.
  • Though numerous reports said the Patriots were trying to trade defensive back Brandon Meriweather, he has been cut by the team. Also, in a bit of a surprise, New England has released receiver Brandon Tate.
  • Bears tight end Desmond Clark has confirmed that he's been released. Writes Clark on his Twitter page: "I played my butt off but sometimes it's more about the business. That's what it boiled down to."
  • The Broncos have announced they've also released receiver David Anderson and defensive tackle Jeremy Jarmon.
  • According to his agent, the Patriots have released veteran running back Sammy Morris.
  • Dan Orlovsky, in contention with Curtis Painter and Kerry Collins, to back up Peyton Manning, has been cut by the Colts.
  • The 49ers have cut quarterback Josh McCown. Here's what he'll do next, according to CSN Bay Area. "I'd love to come back," McCown said. "As for right now, I'm headed home to coach (high school football in North Carolina) and will continue to stay ready."
  • With plenty of personal baggage and a terrible end to the preseason, the Broncos have cut cornerback Perrish Cox, writes Rapid Reporter Lee Rasizer.
  • Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner reports that Cincinnati has cut Max Jean-Gilles. A bit of a surprise considering Jean-Gilles was reportedly competing for a starting job. He simply didn't have a great camp.
  • The Colts have released Tommie Harris. You'll recall the Colts gave him a one-year deal after the Bears cut him in February. Though Harris is a three-time Pro Bowler, his projection has been hurt by numerous injuries in the past few seasons.
  • The Eagles have released receiver Sinorice Moss.
  • A bum hamstring has done in Titans defensive lineman Jacob Ford. He has been waived/injured.
  • New England has released defensive lineman Eric Moore -- who, at one point, seemed a pretty safe bet to make the squad.
  • The San Diego Union Tribune writes that Chargers receivers Laurent Robinson and Kelley Washington are gone.
  • The Newark Star Ledger has declared Steve Weatherford the winner in the Giants punting competition. That means Matt Dodge will be released, despite a solid preseason.
  • According to his agent, Brandon Ghee, a 2010 third-round pick for the Bengals in 2010, has been cut by Cincinnati.
  • The Broncos have released tight end Dante Rosario. He's probably surprised, considering he played the last four years for John Fox in Carolina.
  • The Gronkowski family suffered a double-whammy, as PFT reports that Dan and Chris will be released from the Lions and Cowboys, respectively.
  • Two years ago, the Cowboys gave Igor Olshansky a four-year deal worth $18 million (with $8 million in guarantees). Today, according to ESPN, the Cowboys have released him.
  • According to the Carroll County Times, the Ravens will release linebacker Tavares Gooden, despite holding trade talks with the 49ers at one point.
  • According to the Chicago Tribune, Bears running back Chester Taylor has been informed he’s been cut. Again. For real, this time. We think.
  • With the Saints maintaining a good depth of running backs (Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas), the team has placed Chris Ivory on the physically unable to perform list. After six weeks, when he’s eligible to return, New Orleans will have to make a decision about which running back is most expendable.
  • The Rams have cut 2010 fourth-round pick wide receiver Mardy Gilyard. He obviously wasn’t stellar in St. Louis, but the scribes will miss him because of his immense interview skills. As an example, this is what he tweeted when he found out the news: “Jus got released isshhh is getting real na ugh!!!!”

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: August 26, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Eric Steinbach might be lost for the season

E. Steinbach might miss the season with a back injury (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Browns running back corps, while still fairly deep, just got a little more shallow, and one of the anchors of their offensive line is hurt and might miss the season.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, guard Eric Steinbach might miss the season because of a back disc injury, while third-down back Brandon Jackson might be lost for a while because of a toe problem

With Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty already looking to split carries at the running back spot, the loss of Jackson, while certainly not a positive, isn’t devastating. But if Steinbach is gone for good, that would be a big deal.

"At this point, he's going through some treatments that we're hoping will get him back, and there's no real final call yet on whether he'll be back  -- or when actually,'' Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. The Plain Dealer writes Steinbach is seeking a second opinion, but if he needs surgery, the team would put him on the injured reserve list. Rookie Jason Pinkston would likely take his place in the starting lineup.

Jackson hurt his toe in the second preseason game vs. the Lions, and he’s been in a cast since then. Shurmur said, though, it could take a while before the team can determine how long Jackson would need to be out. ESPN's Adam Schefter is repoting that Jackson has turf toe and will be out a maximum of six weeks.

Either way, not such great news for a Browns offense that ranked 20th in rushing offense last year.

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Packers have a decision to make on Ryan Grant

Posted by Andy Benoit

There’s an interesting decision to be made in Green Bay soon (or hopefully soon – depends when the 2011 league year actually starts). Ryan Grant is due $5.25 million in 2011. According to Fox Sports’ Adam Caplan, $1 million of that money is a rosteR. Grant (US Presswire)r bonus, due on the 15th day of the new league year.

This is hefty cash for a 28-year-old running back coming off a season-ending ankle injury. Even if Grant is 100 percent healthy (which will likely be the case), the Packers obviously had success without him in 2010. And they appear to be fond of last year’s sixth-round rookie running back James Starks.

“You could see the talent the first day he arrived,” head coach Mike McCarthy said at the scouting combine. “It was a very unusual situation with his medical history coming out of college, not being able to play because he was on PUP (physically-unable-to-perform list). I think everybody got a clean look at what he’s able to do in the playoffs. The opportunity to go through training camp and have a full year of training under his belt, he definitely has big days ahead of him.”

What’s more, the Packers tendered an RFA offer to third down back Brandon Jackson. And fullback John Kuhn has been effective as the short-yardage ballcarrier.

When right, Grant has shown he’s good for 1,200 yards a season. But the reality is he’s probably the most replaceable 1,200-yard back in football. His mechanical downhill style of running is heavily dependent on the run-blocking of the offensive line. Unlike an Adrian Peterson or a Chris Johnson, Grant doesn’t have the lateral agility or quickness to create his own space. That’s why he was undrafted coming out of Notre Dame.

It’s possible, perhaps even probable, that the Packers will keep Grant around. They may want to find out if Starks is actually the real deal. (Remember, it wasn’t long ago that Samkon Gado put up some impressive numbers late in the season for the Packers; what did Gado amount to?). But it’s also possible that Grant could go the way of Nick Barnett, which is to say he loses his starting job to injury.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 11:52 am
 

Packers actually did tender Jackson and Jones

Posted by Andy Benoit

It was believed last week that the Green Bay Packers opted not to tender key backup restricted free agents Brandon Jackson and James Jones. Not true, apparently.

Pro Football Talk confirms that Jackson, a fifth-year running back, and Jones, a fifth-year wideout, were both given one-year RFA tenders. Jackson received a third-round tender (meaning any team that chooses to sign him would have to give the Packers a third-round draft choice). It is not known what level of tender Jones received.

These particular RFA tenders will likely be a moot point in the end; if a new CBA is hammered out, players with four years of experience are expected to be unrestricted free agents. Thus, the real significance of this news is that the Packers do actually care -- at least to a certain extent -- about keeping Jackson and Jones around.

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Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:02 am
 

Packers free agents want to get paid

C. Jenkins could be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s never too early to think about the potential free agents that could leave the Super Bowl champion Packers. I mean, it’s only been THREE days since they bathed in confetti in Dallas, and that obviously means it’s time to discuss who’s eligible to leave and if they’re going to do so.*

*The caveat being that if the owners lock out the players, none of this will matter.

Assuming we’re playing by normal rules, here are some of the unrestricted free agents who, if they leave Green Bay, could impact next season’s squad.

K Mason Crosby, RBs John Kuhn and Brandon Jackson, DE Cullen Jenkins, G Daryn Colledge and WR James Jones. Most of them are replaceable (though Kuhn developed a nice little fan following) but Jenkins is an effective pass-rusher and Colledge is certainly above average on the offensive line.

Though Jenkins told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he’d like to stay in Green Bay, he also understands that by not having signed a deal during the season, he’s at far greater risk to leave the squad.

“I understand it’s a business,” Jenkins said. “Hopefully, there’s not a lockout and even if there is, we can get something done. Hopefully, we can get it ironed out quickly.”

One sticking point that the Journal Sentinel points out:

Green Bay will owe LB A.J. Hawk a $10 million base salary next season. What the Packers decide to do with him – keep him, renegotiate his deal or release him to avoid paying him – will impact how they deal with the rest of their unrestricted free agents, all of whom feel they deserve to cash a nice payday after winning the Super Bowl.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:59 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 8:45 am
 

Green Bay Packers offensive roster breakdown

Posted by Will Brinson & Andy Benoit

Perhaps the most fascinating thing if you look (at a glance anyway) at Pittsburgh and Green Bay is that they've built their teams "properly." (AKA "the opposite of Dan Snyder.) They draft smart, and they sign smarter. At least that's what we're lead to believe, right?

Andy and I set out to check the roster breakdown for both teams. En route, we* managed to figure out not only where they're coming from, but what they'll do for their respective teams in the Super Bowl.

Name POS Acquired Scouting Report
Aaron Rodgers
QB
Drafted 24th overall, 1st Round 2005
He lacks is a weakness. One of the smartest, savviest and most athletic quarterbacks in the NFL. A Super Bowl ring might even legitimize the inevitable Is he better than Favre? discussion.
James Starks
RB
Drafted 193rd overall, 6th Round 2010
ixth-round rookie arrived on the scene just in time for Green Bay’s playoff push. Not a star, but the upright runner gives the backfield some of the burst it’s been missing.
Brandon Jackson
RB2
Drafted 63r overall, 2nd Round 2007
Doesn’t have the initial quickness or agility to be a quality NFL runner, though has at least found a niche as a pass-blocker and screen pass receiver on third downs.
John Kuhn
FB
UDFA 2005, PIT; FA 2007
Now synonymous with the term “folk hero” around Wisconsin. Has a knack for moving the chains.
Chad Clifton
LT
Drafted 44th overall, 2nd Round 2000
Superb technique and consistent pass protection earned him Pro Bowl honors for the second time in his 11-year career.
Daryn Colledge
LG
Drafted 47th overall, 2nd Round
Was finally kept at one position for 16 games, and responded with a career year. Not the strongest ox in the field, but dexterous at the second level. Packers would be wise to give him the long-term contract he wants.
Scott Wells
C
Drafted 251st overall, 7th Round
Reliable as they come. Will get jolted by bull-rushing nose tackles, but very rarely let’s that disrupt the entire play. Good mobility out in front.
Josh Sitton
RG
Drafted 135th overall, 4th Round
Arguably the best right guard in football this season. Outstanding brute force on contact, has little to no trouble reaching linebackers in the run game. What’s more, he’s at his best in pass protection.
Bryan Bulaga
RT
Drafted 23rd overall, 1st Round 2010
First-round rookie was drafted to eventually become the left tackle, but he might not have the quickness for that. Sound mechanics have made for a fairly smooth debut season.
T.J. Lang
OL
Drafted 109th overall, 4th Round 2009
Versatile player but limited athlete.
Greg Jennings
WR
Drafted 52rd overall, 2nd Round 2006
Known for his catch-and-run prowess, though his best asset is his innate feel for working back to the ball late in a play.
Donald Driver
WR
Drafted 213th overall, 7th Round 1999
The elder statesman saw his production dip in 2010 (thanks in part to a quad injury). But there’s still plenty of speed and quickness left in him.
James Jones
WR
Drafted 78th overall, 3rd Round 2007
When he’s not dropping balls he’s burning teams for long plays. Was actually Green Bay’s second most productive receiver this season.
Jordy Nelson
WR
Drafted 36th overall, 2nd Round 2007
The fact that he’s white and not constantly compared to Wes Welker or Brandon Stokley tells you what a viable field-stretching target he can be.
Andrew Quarless
TE
Drafted 154th overall, 5th Round 2010
Not Jermichael Finley, but then again, Antonio Gates isn’t even Jermichael Finley. The fifth-round rookie improved as the season wore on. Can catch what you throw him within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage.
Donald Lee
TE
Drafted 156th overall, 5th Round 2003
Scaled-back role because he’s not the blocker that Tom Crabtree is. Still athletic, though. Packers try to get him one or two touches a game, usually on a screen.

*Scouting smarts credited to Benoit. HTML and research credited to Brinson.
Posted on: January 9, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 9:35 pm
 

Packers have (gasp) a running game (VIDEO)

J. Starks had a breakout game vs. Philadelphia (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With their win vs. the Bears in Week 17, the Packers established themselves as the “non division winner nobody in the NFC wants to face in the playoffs.” Tonight, they showed you why.

Aaron Rodgers continued to establish himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league – if you had to pick between Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning to lead your offense, that would be a tough choice at this point – and the Packers are tough on defense (Clay Matthews, Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, et al).

But here’s the scariest part about Green Bay. The Packers now apparently have a running game. And with a running game, they very well might be the best team in the NFC.

Funny, they haven’t had one of those for most of the year. After Ryan Grant was lost in the season-opener, Packers fans have been subject to watching Brandon Jackson be rather mediocre and John Kuhn try to convert himself from a fullback into more of a tailback (Kuhn has been pretty decent, actually).

But with the emergence of rookie RB James Starks, the Packers become that much more dangerous, because they take less pressure off Rodgers and because they make the play-action pass that much more effective.

Here's Rodgers talking about his running game:



Against the Eagles, Starks carried 23 times for 127 yards, including a key first down late in the fourth quarter that kept Green Bay’s last drive alive for another three plays, and behind that performance, Rodgers threw for three touchdowns. And think about this: Starks only played THREE games in the regular season (he was on the physically unable to perform list for much of the year). Most notably, he had 18 carries for 73 yards in Week 13 vs. the 49ers, but then he only played once in the next three games.

After tonight, I doubt he will be absent again.

So why hasn’t he been playing lately? Well, there have been whispers about his practice habits. Not necessarily his work ethic, but about what he actually accomplishes while at practice.

"Keep in mind this is a young kid who is still continuing to grow and continuing to develop," Packers running backs coach Edgar Bennett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week. "Each and every one of our backs, they have a role and when their number is called they'll jump in and respond. He certainly has all the capabilities of being (an every-down back). He's talented."

Yes, we saw that tonight.

And now the Falcons have to figure out a way to stop him. The last time these two squads faced off – in Week 12 with Atlanta needing a last-second field goal to pull out the victory – Green Bay’s running game was obsolete. Jackson carried the ball 10 times for 26 yards (actually, Rodgers led all rushers with 51 yards), and the Packers passing game was what led them to their near win.

Now, Green Bay has Starks, and he might just be the difference.

That's what the Eagles will tell you, anyway.

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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