Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Brian Robison
Posted on: November 25, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: November 26, 2011 11:31 am
 

Former ref: Suh should get multi-game suspension

Suh's having a hard time convincing people that stomping on a Packers player was an accident. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The fallout from Ndamukong Suh's two-step on Packers gaurd Evan Dietrich-Smith's arm during the Thanksgiving Day game continues unabated. The Lions defensive tackle offered a mealy-mouthed explanation for actions that can't be categorized as anything but intentional.

"I was on top of a guy being pulled down," Suh said, according to CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco. "I was trying to get up off the ground. You see me pushing his helmet down because I was trying to remove myself from the situation. As I'm getting up, I'm getting pushed, so I'm getting myself in balance and getting away from the situation. I know what I did and the man upstairs knows what I did. Not by any means [did he intentionally step on Dietrich-Smith]."

Uh-huh. Suh's words don't agree with Suh's actions.



CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Thursday that any punishments coming Suh's way (which could very well include a suspension) won't happen until the rest of the Week 12 games have been played.

But former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira, who now works for FOX Sports, thinks that Suh's "not dirty, he's filthy" and that his latest antics should lead to a multiple-game suspension.

Is Ndamukong Suh dirty?

"Suh met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recently to discuss his on-field play and afterward said he had a better understanding of how to play the game within the rules. I would say he needs another lesson — or two. Maybe three."

We wrote Thursday that the league suspended Albert Haynesworth five games for stomping on the head of then-Cowboys center Andre Gurode, but we also noted that Suh's kick, while clearly dirty, unnecessary and intentional wasn't nearly as malicious or dangerous as what Haynesworth did. Then again, it's not clear Goodell weighs actual harm inflicted vs. intent when handing down sanctions.

But as PFT.com's Gregg Rosenthal points out, what Suh did was no worse than what the Vikings' Brian Robison perpetrated on an unsuspecting T.J. Lang (incidentally, also of the Packers) earlier this season when he kicked him in the family jewels. Robison was fined $20,000. Unlike Suh, however, Robison wasn't a chronic offender. Also unlike Suh, Robison apologized.


Lang, who now undoubtedly wears a cup every time he leaves the house, was asked Thursday about the play that got Suh ejected.

"That's (expletive)," he said, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Tyler Dunne. "He clearly had Evan by the face mask pinned to the ground. His explanation is crap. There's no room for that. It's a dumb penalty. He hurt his own team today."

Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was even more unimpressed.

"He was lucky I wasn't on the field," he said. "Lucky. I'm a New York guy. I don't go for that stuff. It was very unnecessary. I can understand you might get in a scuffle, but you never stomp on a guy. That's like hitting a guy when he's down. You don't do things like that. I was this close to running on the field."

Finally, there's this from radio host and Houston Chronicle blogger Lance Zierlein, via Twitter: "Heard from some people at Nebraska that Suh was just as dirty in practice vs his own teammates. Angry dude."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 10:50 am
 

Robison apologizes to Lang for kick to groin

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since I’ve assumed all of you have finished your lunch today -- apologies to those in the Pacific Time Zone -- let’s go back to the videotape (thanks to the magic of Sorting the Sunday Pile) to see what transpired Sunday between Vikings defensive end Brian Robison and Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang.

In effect, let’s watch Robison kick Lang in the nuts again.


OK, now that we’ve done that, here’s the aftermath of that kick to the groin, which weirdly did not draw a penalty (though likely will draw a fine).

Lang awesomely tweeted Sunday night, “Glad to report my genitalia are in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery!” And on Monday, Robison apologized on Twitter: “My apologies to @tjlang70 , my team, my fans and the @nfl . I am not a dirty player and did not maliciously aim for the groin, just happened to be where it landed.”

Responded Lang: “All joking aside, I think @Brian_Robison is a heck of a player.. Just caught up in the emotion of the game.. apology accepted.”

Wonderful. But now I have a question: which is worse: Robison’s foot to the groin or LeSean McCoy’s punch to the stomach?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 9:43 am
 

Film Room: Bears vs. Vikings preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Few people are excited about this week’s Sunday Night game. The 1-4 Vikings and 2-3 Bears look like non-contenders in an NFC North division housing a pair of 5-0 clubs. This Film Room post is not about the Bears-Vikings game. We’ll touch on the matchup towards the end simply because it’d be weird not to. But the main point here is to examine why the Tampa 2 defense – which both these teams run – is on its death bed.



1. Tampa 2: What it is
The Tampa 2 (aka Cover 2) is a classic zone scheme. Four pass-rushers up front; three linebackers underneath; a left and right cornerback outside; and, as the "2" refers to, two safeties over the top.

Against the pass, as the illustration to the right (click to enlarge) shows, the safeties each cover half the field deep. The linebackers and cornerbacks each cover 1/5th of the field underneath. The middle linebacker is responsible for any vertical routes inside. Up front, the linemen shoot the gaps. There’s no blitzing.

The advantages are that all pass defenders have straightforward responsibilities and the action (for the most part) always takes place in front of them. As for the disadvantage ...

2. Run Defense
In football there are two traditional ways to stop the run: have a defensive line that wins battles in the trenches or have a strong-tackling safety drop down as an eighth man in the box. A Cover 2 naturally misses on both of these. The defensive linemen are instructed to rush the passer first and play the run if it’s convenient along the way.

Defensive line penetration is great for stopping the run, but it can be hit or miss (especially if the offense knows that the defensive linemen are trying to penetrate on every play). The safeties must stay back and cover deep. If they step forward, they run the risk of biting on play-action (which is a great way to get beat deep).

Because of this, Tampa 2 defenses rely on their linebackers and cornerbacks (yes, cornerbacks) to stop the run. More on this in item 4.
Worth noting is that not all Tampa 2 defenses are bad against the run. In fact, the Vikings and Bears have been spectacular in run defense over the years. That’s a product of phenomenal personnel.

The Vikings have had the Williams Wall at tackle (and Pat Williams actually played a nose tackle role, which is a twist on a traditional Cover 2 front) and the Bears have had star linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs. But Tampa 2 teams without top-echelon run-stuffers (like the Colts) are very susceptible to the run.

3. Tampa 2 vulnerabilities
Cover 2 defenses are vanilla by nature. That was fine in the late 90s and early 2000s when the scheme was still new and offenses weren’t spreading the field every down. But complex, motion-oriented offenses have an easy time creating mismatches against a Cover 2.

Heck, even basic offensive formations can create mismatches. For example, something the Eagles do against a Cover 2 is line up their speedy receivers in minus splits (close to the formation).

Because Cover 2 cornerbacks always line up outside, this formation dictates that DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin run their routes against linebackers and safeties. Talk about a mismatch.

There are other avenues for mismatches. For a long time, Cover 2 defenses did not have No. 1 and No. 2 corners, but instead, left and right corners. If the left corner stunk, offenses would simply align their best receiver over there. Mercifully, most Cover 2 defenses (the Bears and Vikings included) have recently shown a willingness to at least move their corners from one side to the other based on where they expect certain receivers to be.

That still doesn’t mean a defense will get the corner-on-receiver matchup it desires. This past Monday, Calvin Johnson ran what amounted to a slant-and-go against the Bears’ Cover 2. Charles Tillman stayed with Johnson for about 15 yards. He should have jammed Johnson in an effort to reroute him. Instead, he played the basic Cover 2 technique, which meant he let Johnson go once Johnson went inside towards safety Chris Harris’ deep zone. That left the most athletic wideout in the world matched up on a strong safety. The result was a 73-yard touchdown.

Besides matchup issues, there are natural voids in the Cover 2 that everyone knows about. The gaps 15-20 yards downfield outside the numbers are the main ones, though the voids behind the linebackers in the seams can be enticing too. Really, Cover 2 is the new Prevent Defense. And because the Cover 2 became such a popular defense in the early 2000s, every offense in the NFL has a special chapter in its playbook specifically designed for beating it.

4. Stringent personnel needs
Obviously, a Cover 2 is not a completely hapless defense. If it were, nobody would run it. With the right personnel, the scheme can be quite viable. A great defensive line can sometimes be enough; look at the 2011 Lions or previous years’ Colts, for example (But keep in mind, great defensive lines are going to make any scheme look good.)

Because of the Cover 2’s simplicity and NFL offense’s familiarity with it, the “right personnel” has gone from being “strongly recommended” to “absolutely required”. And the bar for the “right personnel” has risen considerably.

In a Cover 2, you must generate a pass-rush with only four defensive linemen. Thus, you need top-notch speed rushers and defensive tackles with outstanding initial quickness. Those types of players are usually found only in the first rounds.
 
Because the cornerbacks only defend the first 10-15 yards outside, and because the safeties are aligned so deep, Cover 2 cornerbacks are counted on as part of the run defense. Thus, they need to be good tacklers. This is why Antoine Winfield is so potent in Minnesota’s D. Or why, in part, Ronde Barber has stuck around for so long in Tampa Bay. Or why Indianapolis always brings in firm-tackling corners.

It’s also why you’re always hearing about Tampa 2 teams needing fast linebackers. Yes, the linebackers need speed in order to play the pass (especially the middle linebacker, who must run with any targets running vertically between the numbers). But really, Tampa 2 linebacker speed is needed for stopping the run. With the cornerbacks lined up along the front, the defensive linemen are told to shoot the gaps and force runners to that help outside. It’s up to the linebackers to chase them down along the way.

Finding quality Cover 2 type players is certainly not impossible. Problem is, if you don’t have the right guy in every spot, offenses can easily punish you. If a team like the Packers has a weak spot on D, they can use disguises and zone blitz concepts to cover it. If a team like the Bears or Vikings have a weak spot, they can only hope that their defensive ends reach the quarterback before the quarterback exploits it.  

5. Studs and Duds
The star defensive players for both teams have lived up to their end of the deal. For the Bears, middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has moved with more quickness and fluidity than in any of the past three seasons. Monday night’s game aside, Lance Briggs has been the fierce hitter he always is. Julius Peppers has only two sacks, but he’s been a force in bits, if not chunks. Opposite him, Israel Idonije, who has great movement skills and a real feel for executing moves based on the situation, remains one of the most underrated ends in the game.

For the Vikings, Jared Allen has recaptured his 2008/2009 form. End Brian Robison has been fast and tenacious. In fact, he’s having a much better season than Ray Edwards is having in Atlanta. As usual, defensive tackle Kevin Williams has shown his uncommon mobility/power combination. Cornerback Cedric Griffin has been stout in coverage, and E.J. Henderson, while not always great versus the pass, remains a smart, assertive downhill force against the run.
 
The problem is both teams have had a propensity to give up big plays, in part due to iffy play at safety. It’s worse with the Bear than the Vikings. But, on the flip side, the Vikings’ offense has been worse than the Bears’. We could write a thousand posts explaining what’s wrong with both offenses. In short, neither has a good line nor the receivers necessary for their respective systems.

Perhaps this is the week that these offenses find their rhythms through the air. After all, both will be facing plenty of Cover 2 looks.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 6 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: May 19, 2011 9:59 pm
 

Ray Edwards ready to start new career

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Vikings DE Ray Edwards will start a new career Friday. A career where he’s going to get hit in the face quite a bit.

As we’ve written about before, Edwards will face former kickboxer T.J. Gibson in a pro boxing match. It will mark Edwards’ pro debut – and he reportedly will be getting a $5,000 payday and half the gate receipts for the card at Grand Casino Hinckley in Minnesota.

And he continues to claim that if he doesn’t get more money from the Vikings – or more likely, a trade to somebody who WILL pay him more money – he’ll simply continue merrily along on his boxing career.

NFLers freelancing as boxers
"I've openly said I won't play for the Vikings, because of the simple fact of my backup is getting paid 70 more percent than I am -- there's no way I can do that to myself,” Edwards told 1500 ESPN. “I'd rather do what I love doing. I love doing football as well. But if there's nobody that's going to trade for me, I will be definitely focusing on boxing."

He also talked about Brian Robison, his backup who signed a three-year, $14.1 million contract (as opposed to Edwards $2.836 million tender), and DE Jared Allen – who is in the middle of a six-year, $73.26 million deal.

"I was happy for (Robison)," Edwards said. "He's definitely a great guy. I love the guy off the field, love him on the field. Great teammate. I wished him all the best, because we both were up for contracts. So, I told him that more than likely they're going to keep you because of the numbers situation.

"They're paying Jared. You've got Kevin (Williams), who's almost due for a contract and he's been there forever and he's a six-time Pro Bowler, I believe. I don't know if they're going to try to keep Pat (Williams) or not. It's just a numbers game.”

So, boxing it is – for now, at least.

But let’s be honest. How long will it take Edwards to earn $2 million a year by boxing? Most likely, never.

Perhaps he should just stick to football. Because he gets to, you know, wear a helmet.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:27 pm
 

Ray Edwards wants to be a boxer - maybe full time

R. Edwards might want to take up boxing full time (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like Vikings DE Ray Edwards is serious about pursuing boxing as his full-time career. If the lockout ends tomorrow, it seems hard to believe Edwards will give it up to start at the absolute bottom of another sport. But he seems pretty adamant about his change in careers.

And at the very least, he seems pretty sure that his career in Minnesota is complete.

He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he won’t play for less money than what his backup will receive (what he means by that is the Vikings gave him a one-year, $2.8 million tender while Brian Robison signed a three-year, $14.1 million deal with a $6.5 million signing bonus), so assuming the Vikings don’t give him a better contract, he’s not interested in playing with them.*

*To be fair, there’s no doubt that Edwards is one of those guys who could get absolutely screwed if the NFL returns to the 2010 rules that restricted his free agency.

He might not be interested in playing at all for that matter, though the Falcons seem to have interest in him as a free agent. Instead, Edwards says he’s content to receive a $5,000 payday (and half of the gate receipts!) when he makes his career debut May 20 against 34-year-old T.J. Gibson – who’s about eight inches shorter and 45 pounds lighter than Edwards – at Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn.

"I'm not worried," Edwards told the paper. "Nobody will get close enough to hurt me. I'm not making any guarantee, but I will get the job done. I'm not trying to go out there just to say that I did it."

But I would hold off on the comparisons between Edwards and Tom Zbikowski for now. Zbikowski had a long amateur career, and he had a strong foundation from which he could draw. And even then, he has struggled in at least one bout against a bottom-tier fighter.

Edwards, meanwhile, has trained somewhat seriously only the past two years and has no other experience. And while noted trainer Emanuel Steward was very complimentary when talking about Edwards’ abilities, we don’t know anything about his chin and his conditioning.

"I think it's very, very realistic for him to have an impact in the heavyweight division," Steward told ESPN (via the Star-Trib). "Ray is a natural boxer in terms of rhythm and coordination. But it's his speed that surprised me because he is such an extremely big guy.

"With the proper training and regular fights, I would say in about 10 months he could be a serious threat to any middle-of-the-road or Class B heavyweight. ... Ray would be a tough match for any heavyweight outside of the top 12 in the world."

If Edwards is serious about not returning to Minnesota, we might actually get the chance to see if Steward is right. But I can just about guarantee one thing when Edwards talks about bringing home the world heavyweight championship (to do so, he’d have to beat current champs Vitali and/or Wladimir Klitschko): he’s got absolutely no shot of doing that.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Nine players file lawsuit against league

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Brees (US Presswire)
The NFLPA decertification has taken place, and the aftermath is already underway. 

Superstars Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are among nine plaintiffs who have filed antitrust claims against the NFL in the 8th Circuit Court. The other plaintiffs are Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, Chargers WR Vincent Jackson, Pariots G Logan Mankins, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel, Vikings LB Ben Leber and Vikings DE Brian Robison. Also, among the players is Texas A & M first-round rookie prospect Von Miller, who is representing the rookies. (Nice -- and gutsy -- way to introduce yourself to the league.)

The players allege that the NFL conspired to deny the players' ability to market their services. This has been the players' silver bullet all along. After the American Needle vs. NFL case in May determined that the NFL consists of 32 separate entities, the league became vulnerable to antitrust laws. Separate entities cannot bind together to prevent players from working.

Expect the league to file a counter suit claiming that the NFLPA’s decertification is a sham. Per the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFLPA could only sue the league after decertifying.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com