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Tag:Cadillac Williams
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:20 am
 

Spagnuolo: Steven Jackson a 'tough call' Monday

Posted by Will Brinson


Steven Jackson was one of roughly 347* Rams to suffer an injury last Sunday in their loss to Philadelphia. And given the nature -- a strained quad/hammy -- of the injury, it's seems like Jackson's all but guaranteed to be out for Monday night's game.

Not so fast though -- Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said that there's a chance Jackson could play Monday and that the team rested him all week for that specific possibility.

"We knew the only shot he had was to rest it all the way through," Spagnuolo told Albert Breer of the NFL Network. "It’ll be a tough call."

Jackson still looks like a bad bet to play against the Giants on Monday night -- if he struggles at all in the pregame workout, there's little chance the Rams will roll him out.

And they've got Cadillac Williams in the proverbial garage, so it's not as if there's absolutely demanding need to have Jackson on the field. Clearly, they'd rather have their top running back available for the game -- the Giants are vulnerable defensively, and a healthy S-Jax is a difference-maker on Monday night.

But the Rams would be wise to heed the lesson the Texans learned on Sunday: the NFL season is a grind, and bringing back your star running back too early is a sure-fire recipe for losing him for a longer period of time.

*All numbers approximate

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Posted on: September 12, 2011 3:44 pm
 

Rams RB Steven Jackson likely to miss Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson

Earlier today, we noted that the injuries to the Rams were one of the bigger storylines from Week 1. Not only did Sam Bradford suffer a finger injury in the loss to Philadelphia, but wideout Danny Amendola will miss several weeks or more with a dislocated elbow and running back Steven Jackson injured his quad on an early 47-yard touchdown scamper.

X-rays on Bradford's finger came back negative, so that's good news -- but coach Steve Spagnuolo said on Monday that he doesn't expect Jackson to suit up for the Rams on Monday night against the Giants because of the quad injury.

"Bradford's right index finger is bruised," Spagnuolo said, via the Rams official Twitter account. "He'll be monitored this week but no nerve damage, nothing broken."

That was the "good" news. The bad news involves Jackson.

"Jackson does have a strained quadriceps," Spagnuolo said. "He's likely out this week but will be watched on a day to day basis."

If Jackson is indeed forced to miss the Monday night game against the Giants, the newly acquired Cadillac Williams will get most of the run for St. Louis. Caddy was actually pretty impressive against the Eagles, piling up 140 total yards on Sunday (91 rushing, 49 receiving) and given how badly the Giants defense looked against the Redskins, could conceivably be in line for a big game.

Right tackle Jason Smith also suffered an ankle sprain, but the Rams said it's not of the "high variety" which means that Smith could still suit up for St. Louis on Sunday.

All-in-all, the news has to be considered somewhat positive for St. Louis -- the number of injuries they suffered on Sunday offered the possibility to derail their season and now it looks like things are at least a little less ominous than they were 24 hours ago.

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Posted on: September 11, 2011 2:14 pm
Edited on: September 11, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Steven Jackson (quad) will miss rest of game

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED 3:02 p.m. ET: Steven Jackson is out for the game. Apparently, his quad tightened up during halftime, and the Rams are being cautious with their star running back.

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On his first touch of the game, Rams running back Steven Jackson took it 47 yards for the touchdown to give St. Louis an early lead on the Eagles. But somewhere along the way, he suffered a quadriceps muscle injury in his right leg and has been used sparingly since.

After that initial score, Jackson went to the locker room. He later returned to the game, gaining another nine yards. But for a long stretch of the game after that, he stayed on the sideline and rode a stationary bike to keep himself loose. The Rams likely will be very careful using him the rest of the game.

Backup Cadillac Williams has replaced him, and midway through the second quarter, he had gained 47 yards on nine carries.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:00 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.8.11: Tebow, Orton or Quinn?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Broncos coach John Fox has a vague idea who will start at quarterback for his team next season. But he is positive about one thing: "I prefer a gamer to a good practice player.”
  • In regards to Redskins QB John Beck, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano is pretty sure the Redskins aren’t trying to tank the season in order to grab Andrew Luck No. 1 in the 2012 draft.
  • Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs is going to be holding a reunion for those he coached from 1981-92 in Huntersville, N.C. Hopefully, all the cool kids will be fat and balding and all the nerds will have hot wives.
  • The Steelers have held training camp at St. Vincent College for the past 45 seasons. The organization and the school, if at all possible, would like to continue the streak, assuming the lockout is lifted in time.

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Posted on: December 31, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Hot Routes 12.31.10: Artest for Jets TE?

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Ron Artest apparently said at Christmas time that he wants to play tight end for the Jets. All "could this guy actually make the transition from the NBA to the NFL" analysis aside, is there an NBA player who fits better for a particular NFL team better than Artest and the Jets? "Crazy Pills," as Artest is commonly known, wouldn't even be a blip on the radar for that organization.
  • Mike Tice's stock is quickly rising when it comes to assistants who are potential head coaches. This is logical -- the Chicago Bears have one of the least talented offensive lines in football and yet Tice and Mike Martz have managed to make them pretty, pretty productive ever since the Bears' bye week.
  • Would a rookie wage scale increase the number of underclassmen who bolt for the NFL? Well, not necessarily, but maybe so if that makes any sense. If not, check out Mike Florio's breakdown on how the changes in a future CBA would impact kids leaving college early.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 5:55 pm
 

Explaining LeGarrette Blount's short-yardage woes

L. Blount (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

A question that was whispered by fans and media in Tampa, Florida a few weeks ago has evolved into a full-on shout: "WHY CAN’T 250-POUND RUNNING BACK LeGarrette Blount PICK UP FIRST DOWNS IN SHORT-YARDAGE SITUATIONS?"

No one from the coaching staff has publicly elaborated on the cause of Blount’s problem, but Raheem Morris indicated this week that the Bucs may consider turning to Cadillac Williams or, better yet, fullback Earnest Graham on third/fourth-down-and-short.

"It doesn't bother me," Blount said or the possible demotion, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times. "He's the head coach, he's the boss. He's going to do whatever he needs to do to continue our drives, to continue the success of our offense and our football team. If he looks at Earnest for short yardage situations, if he looks at Cadillac for short-yardage situations, either one of those guys will get it done. They're veterans, they know how to get it done. They know what to do in those situations. If (Morris changes it up), I wouldn't be mad at him at all."

Morris, as the head coach, can’t publicly elaborate on the cause of Blount’s problem. But we can. Against a crowded front, the undrafted rookie becomes indecisive (anyone can see that). WHY is he indecisive? Because he doesn’t like to get hit.

Blount is not a physical player. Watch closely and you’ll see that, often times, he stops his feet right before contact. In other words, he braces for impact. Short-yardage situations call for impact. It’s not in Blount’s nature to respond with ferocity. Blount sees impact in terms of something to receive; someone like, say Jerome Bettis, sees impact as something to deliver.

Blount’s most telling short-yardage failure this season was the fourth down goal-line play late in the game at Atlanta. The play was designed for Blount to steamroll inside. But his initial instinct was to bounce it outside. It was a snapshot of Blount’s mentality. Just because a player is big and hard to tackle once he’s running with momentum in the open field doesn’t mean that player is a power back.

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Posted on: December 4, 2010 9:00 pm
 

Running backs are the new, um, kickers?

Posted by Will Brinson

The fantasy football mantra "don't draft a kicker" holds true in real life most of the time -- there's plenty of reason not to burn an early on someone who's just a drunk idiot. Er, whatever, the point is that running backs, well, those guys are absolute first-round gold.

Maybe not so much anymore, though -- Michael David Smith of the Wall St. Journal took a look at the success undrafted running backs are having in the NFL this season, and, frankly, it's kind of astonishing.

Six (!) undrafted backs are leading their teams in rushing, including Arian Foster, who leads the entire NFL is rushing. This is the most teams have relied on undrafted backs since the merger in 1970, and it's particularly astonishing when you consider who these guys replaced.

Foster took Steve Slaton's job (Slaton was the 89th overall pick when he was drafted), the law firm BenJarvus Green-Ellis made Laurence Maroney (21st overall) tradeable, Fred Jackson's finally come into his own even after the Bills took C.J. Spiller (9th overall), Mike Tolbert is the guy making LaDainian Tomlinson forgettable instead of Ryan Mathews (12th), Chris Ivory's made it easier for the Saints to live without Reggie Bush (2nd) and LeGarrette Blount just straight-up replaced Cadillac Williams (5th).

That's a ton of "wasted" draft picks given how well their "worthless" replacements have played since getting significant carries. Foster's situation is particularly impressive, as MDS notes, since he's on pace to break the record for rushing yards by an undrafted player, owned by Priest Holmes, who piled up 1,615 yards for the Chiefs in 2002.

Perhaps, then, everyone with a first-rounder in 2011 should reconsider snagging Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Actually, given how poorly first-round running backs have performed over the past decade or so, maybe anyone desperate for help should just wait until after the draft's over to start grabbing hep.

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Posted on: November 25, 2010 9:22 pm
 

Key Matchup Week 12: Blount vs. Ravens

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had their schedule flexed before – just not in a positive direction. Instead of getting moved out of a favorable time slot, the Bucs got moved into a favorable 4:15 slot for their game at Baltimore. This is a testament to the progress that Raheem Morris’ 7-3 club has made. Unfortunately, this Sunday could prove to be a testament to how much progress Tampa still needs to make.
L. Blount (US Presswire) R. Lewis (US Presswire)
The Bucs have failed every “prove it” test they’ve taken in 2010. The Steelers shellacked them in Week 3, the Saints pummeled them in Week 6 and the Falcons held them off in Week 9. The Ravens, 7-3 and as explosive offensively and defensively as any team in football, will be “prove it” test number four.

If the Bucs are to pass this test, they’ll have to rely on rising quarterback Josh Freeman even more than usual. One thing that really stood out in the loss to Atlanta was LeGarrette Blount’s shortcomings as an NFL running back.

Blount has started just one game this season, but he essentially replaced Cadillac Williams as the featured back in Week 7. Since then, he has averaged a solid 82 yards per game on the ground (4.5 yards per carry). The numbers are somewhat misleading, however, as the rookie from Oregon has taken advantage of a few gaping-hole opportunities.

In short, Blount is not a creator. His shortcomings center around a lack of awareness and aggression. He’s a 250-pounder, but his upright running style and hesitancy to dip his shoulder and deliver contact afford him little power. Too often, Blount does what scouts call “running to get tackled”. This is to say, he stops his feet and braces for contact. Weaknesses like this can’t be overcome at the NFL level. This is the main reason Blount went undrafted (the character concerns stemming from his meltdown at Boise State were a SECONDARY reason).

At times, Blount flashes a willingness to be physical. But as we saw with the Steelers and Darren McFadden last week, inconsistent running backs don’t muster up the courage to be the aggressors when they’re facing a hard-hitting defense. And perhaps no defense hits harder than Baltimore’s.

Odds are, Blount is going to be tempted to elude Raven defenders and run to space. The problem is that Blount has the acceleration of a John Deere tractor. Also, his instincts are lacking (at times, you can actually see him making a decision about where to run; with most running backs, it’s all instinctive).

With Tampa Bay’s offensive line being good but not great, expect the Ravens to have little trouble devouring Blount on Sunday. In fact, because Cadillac Williams is the superior pass-blocker, don’t be surprised if Blount finds himself on the sidelines for a majority of the snaps. And don’t be surprised if Baltimore forces a few critical turnovers, given that Tampa Bay will almost certainly become one-dimensional in this game.

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