Tag:Calvin Pace
Posted on: February 28, 2012 6:05 pm

Report: Dielman close to announcing retirement

DielmanBy Josh Katzowitz

San Diego’s Kris Dielman has been one of the best offensive guards in the league, but after suffering a scary seizure on the Chargers flight home from their Oct. 23 contest vs. the Jets, Dielman is close to announcing his retirement, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

It’s not a stretch to believe that this decision, which could be announced as early as Thursday, is a direct result of suffering a concussion early in the fourth quarter against  New York -- it went undiagnosed at the time -- and then being allowed to fly back with the team afterward.

On the flight, Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure, and a few weeks later, he was placed on the IR list. That incident led the NFL to place mandated officials in league press boxes to monitor potential head injuries.
The Union-Tribune writes that Dielman -- a four-time Pro Bowler -- wants to play, but that he won’t on the advice of doctors who are looking to his future. Of course Dielman wants to play. After colliding with Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, a wobbly Dielman waved off an official who had approached to make sure he was OK. The Chargers, who expected Dielman to return in 2012, said at the time that they handled Dielman’s injury appropriately.

If Dielman does, in fact, retire, he’ll leave a $4.5 million salary (and a $1 million bonus) on the table, and considering he was scheduled to be a free agent after the 2012 season, he could have made tens of millions of dollars more.

To Dielman, though, apparently his health is worth more than that.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: December 14, 2011 11:31 am

Film Room: Broncos vs. Patriots preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

It might just be the most anticipated matchup of the season: Tom Brady vs. Tim Tebow. One quarterback inspires because he has it all and wins, the other inspires because he has none of it and wins. Let’s break it down.

1. Evaluating Tebow
If you want a rehashing of Tebow’s quarterbacking strengths and (many) weaknesses, or an opinion on whether the Broncos should invest long-term in their unconventional “star”, or a theory about motivation and inspiration and divine intervention, hit the message boards or talk radio. The focus of this post is on what Tebow has shown on film the past few weeks.

In short, he’s getting better as a passer but still has a long ways to go. He’s been very good against Cover 2 looks. He made the Vikings pay for their frequent (and, frankly, mind-boggling) mistakes two weeks ago, and he conjured up several critical late-game completions the week after, when the Bears moved from man coverage to a soft Tampa 2 (where a few goofs by the secondary and a lack of pass-rush killed them down the stretch).

Tebow remains slow in the pocket – in terms of progressions, decisiveness and ball release – and he falls back on sandlot tactics if his first read is not there. This isn’t the worst thing, though, as he’s clearly proven to be clutch in this style. He’s very effective on the move, both as a scrambler and passer. He can extend the play with a unique Roethlisberger-like sense for avoiding and shedding pass-rushers.

But unless the Broncos can continue to win while averaging less than 20 points per game offensively, they’ll need more aerial dimension, progression reads and overall consistency from their young quarterback.

2. Denver’s run game
When offenses put a bunch of bodies on the line of scrimmage, the natural assumption is that they’re relying on sheer human mass to bulldoze the defense and clear a path for the running back. In actuality, what they’re often doing is creating more running options for the back. The more players there are along the line of scrimmage, the more gaps there are for the defense to worry about.

This is why you frequently see the Broncos bring a receiver in motion down to the tight end spot just before the snap; it’s not the receiver’s blocking prowess that the Broncos like, it’s that his presence expands the run front surface. Generally, the defense responds to this by matching players to gaps (in other words, crowding the line of scrimmage).

The brilliance of Denver’s zone-option run is that it forces defenses to crowd the line of scrimmage when there’s still the threat of a pass. Granted, this passing threat is weak – usually only two or three receivers run routes, and defenses are happy to see Tebow throw – but it’s not weak enough for defenders to completely ignore. Thus, they’re distracted ever so slightly from their run-stopping assignments.

More than that, the zone-option presents a myriad of run possibilities on a given play. The ball could go to Willis McGahee, fullback Spencer Larsen, a sweeping receiver or stay with Tebow. And with so many options, the ball does not necessarily have to follow the direction of the blocking scheme.

These are all factors that defenders must mentally process after the snap. That’s not how defenders are accustomed to playing the run.
Also, keep in mind, defenses do not generally account for quarterbacks in the run game; Tebow’s threat as a runner has a wildcat effect that gives the offense a numbers advantage if the D does not bring an eighth man in the box.

3. How the Patriots will defend the run
A smart, fundamentally-sound run-defending front seven can still stymie the zone-option. Usually, it takes two stud linebackers and two stud defensive ends. The Bears and Jets both had these resources and, aside from a play or two, they both shutdown the Broncos’ ground game. The Bears did it out of a base 4-4 (safety Craig Steltz played in the box all game); the Jets did it out of a base 3-5.

Whatever the defensive alignment, the basic principles are the same: the linebackers must see the field well enough to track the ball and identify gaps. More importantly, they must run well enough to catch up to the ball (because, as we’ve examined, defending the zone-option is strict assignment football, where the reads are more details-oriented than in conventional run defense). The defensive ends must have the physical strength to penetrate against one-on-one blocking, as well as the discipline to stay within the strict confines of their edge duties.

It’s unknown whether the Patriots will follow Chicago’s 4-4 scheme or New York’s 3-5 scheme Sunday. They’ve alternated between various defensive fronts all season. More pressing is whether the Patriots even have the personnel. Inside linebacker Jerod Mayo is elite, but whoever’s next to him is most certainly not (Bill Belichick has tried a litany of different players here). At left end, Vince Wilfork is obviously a monster.

On the defensive right side, Andre Carter has been outstanding at times, but he may not have the necessary size to trade blows with a left tackle like Ryan Clady for four quarters. If the Patriots go with a 3-5 approach, they may want to rotate massive youngsters Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick at end and use Carter’s flexible movement skills in space (ala Calvin Pace of the Jets).

Keep in mind, the Broncos have a sound rushing attack even without the zone-option. McGahee has a league-leading six 100-yard games on the season, and his front five is capable of winning one-on-one battles across the board. The Patriots got abused last week by a Redskins rushing attack that entered the game ranked 31st.

4. Back to the air
It’s entirely possible that Tebow and the Broncos will be able to move the ball through the thin Mile High air this Sunday. The Patriots’ pass-rush has been more “miss” than “hit” in 2011. Their secondary currently features a journeyman special teamer at strong safety (James Ihedigbo), a wide receiver and career-long special teamer at free safety (Matthew Slater) and another wide receiver at nickelback (Julian Edelman).

That’s the type of lineup you only see when someone is screwing around playing Madden.

If the Patriots bring Ihedigbo into the box, they’ll have to play either Cover 3 (zone) or man-to-man downfield. Because defensive backs must face inside when playing Cover 3, the way to attack them is with outside routes. Broncos wideouts Eric Decker and Matt Willis are effective on these patterns.

In man, cornerbacks must obviously stay with their assigned wide receiver. This season, Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty have simply not done that. Arrington improved his ball skills but has still been exploited. McCourty has been just plain porous.

5. Patriots previous blueprint for Tebow?
We’ve looked at how the Patriots might defend the Broncos offense as a whole. What about defending Tebow specifically? One player who is somewhat similar in style is Vince Young.

The Patriots devised a shrewd gameplan when they faced the Eagles backup in Week 12. Using a mix of 3-4 and 4-3 looks, they focused on keeping Young in the pocket, forcing him to be a passer. They did this by jamming his tight ends and wing/flex receivers with defensive ends and blitzing linebackers.

That disrupted a lot of Young’s quick outlet throws and forced him to make reads downfield. When Patriot blitzers did actually go after Young, they always came from the front side. That way, Young would see the blitz and instinctively scramble to the backside. On that backside would be a defensive end in containment.

At the end of the day, this approach generated three sacks and 21 incompletions for the Patriots defense.

6. Other side of the ball
Even though Tebow has been at his most comfortable throwing against Cover 2, the Patriots would presumably love to play that defense often this Sunday, as that’s the tactic they tend to fall back on when protecting a big lead. The reason Tebow has not had to put together four good quarters of even semi-traditional quarterbacking during this six-game win streak is because no team has managed to jump way out in front against the Denver defense.

New England will certainly look to change that. Expect some form of hurry-up early in the game. Even if playing with a lead weren’t extra important this week, Tom Brady would still come out throwing, as it’s difficult to run against Denver’s base 4-3 (their tackles Broderick Bunkley and Marcus Thomas hold ground well, and their linebackers all cover ground well).

Most offenses would prefer facing Denver’s nickel D. It’s a much easier group to run inside against, and the revolving door at No. 3 slot cornerback has been a weak spot for the Broncos since Day One. The Broncos will likely use their nickel D against the Patriots’ base 12 offense (one back, two tight ends, two wide receivers). This will make John Fox’s group somewhat vulnerable to the run, but Fox would rather see Brady handing off than throwing.

Because so much of New England’s offense is horizontal, it’s important for a defense to have as much speed at linebacker as possible. In this sense, nickel linebacker Wesley Woodyard is better suited than starter Joe Mays. What’s more, in nickel, the Broncos can go with three downlinemen and create more space for their excellent inside blitzers, Von Miller and D.J. Williams.

Generating pressure inside is a must against Brady. The only way to disrupt him is to move him off his spot and make him play frenetic. The more Brady moves, the less likely he is to throw between the numbers. That’s critical, as these statistics show:

                            Tom Brady 2011 Passing Stats
          Between the Numbers         Outside the Numbers
   COMP %
                  73.4                     54.7
    YPA                   9.44                     7.31
  QB Rating
                 118.2                     86.8

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 15 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:45 pm

Jets think they can go 6-0, make playoffs

Can New York win out and make it to the postseason? (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Jets last played nine days ago against the Broncos, in a game just about everybody had them winning. But that was when we were still underestimating the awesome power of Tim Tebow. (Truthfully, that win had more to do with Von Miller and Denver's defense but who wants to talk about that? Oh, right: us!)

New York's now 5-5, two games back of New England in a division they have little chance of winning, and they're facing long odds of earning a wild-card berth, too.

The road to playoffs starts Sunday against the Bills, a team they demolished three weeks ago, 27-11. After that, it's at Washington, Kansas City, at Philly, New York Giants, and at Miami. Not the easiest slate of games, but also short of impossibly difficult. Which is good because the Jets will probably have to win out to have a shot at qualifying for the playoffs.

The news gets better: that's exactly what they intend to do.

“Six-and-0,” linebacker Calvin Pace said, according to the New York Daily News. “Sometimes when you get caught losing to teams you’re not supposed to lose to, you end up kicking yourself in the butt saying, ‘Man, we put ourselves behind the eight-ball. These are games we should win.’ ”

There's been a lot of self-flagellation through 11 weeks for the Jets then. The Pats whipped up on New York four days before the Broncos loss. And the Jets dropped three straight games to Oakland, Baltimore and New England after beginning the season 2-0.

“I feel like we do have to win these last six games,” said LaDainian Tomlinson. “That would put us at 11-5; that should be enough to get us in. You look at 10-6 and I don’t know if that is enough.”

In most years, 11 wins guarantees you a wild-card spot, and sometimes even a division title. But as it stands, the Jets are ninth in the AFC, and behind three teams for the sixth and final playoff slot. That said, they're only one game out of the No. 6 spot (Cincinnati is 6-4).

But it's still November. A lot can change in the next six weeks. We're just not sure if part of that change includes the Jets going on a six-game winning streak.

After a tough loss to the Broncos last week, the New York Jets hope to bounce back as they prepare to take on the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz have the preview. Watch the game on CBS at 1 PM ET.

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Posted on: November 23, 2011 9:33 am

Press box officials to aid in concussion battle

K. Dielman had a grand mal seizure after suffering a concussion Oct. 23 (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Chargers guard Kris Dielman suffered a concussion in the Oct. 23 game vs. the Jets, the game officials sensed something was wrong with the way he wobbled and fell down after his collision with Calvin Pace. But Dielman ignored the officials’ advances and stayed in the game, and the Chargers coaching and training staff didn’t force him to return to the sideline.

On the plane ride home, Dielman suffered a grand mal seizure, and since then, the NFL has come under greater scrutiny, even though San Diego coach Norv Turner said at the time, “Everything was handled extremely well."

Obviously, the league has disagreed. Although the NFL told officials to be on the lookout for players suffering from head injuries, the league is giving them some help. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that league observers who sit in the press box for every game now will be responsible for communicating with each teams’ training staff in order to care for players who might have suffered concussions.

In a memo sent to each team obtained by ESPN, the league writes, “A direct ring-down phone line must be in place from the NFL Observer position in the press box to both the home and visiting bench areas. This line should be clearly marked on the NFL Observer's phone. The purpose of the additional phone lines is to allow the NFL Observer to alert the Athletic Training staff to a possible injury that may have been missed at field-level."

After receiving a call from the observer, the training staff will be responsible to double-check the player to determine whether he can continue to play.

The reason the observer could be a better judge of whether a player should be observed than an on-field official is because the observer will have access to game broadcast replays to determine more accurately where a player was hit and what his reaction was.

After the Dielman incident, this is what NFLPA medical director Dr. Thomas Mayer had to say:

"I've looked at the play at least a hundred times. And not only does the broadcast footage provide a clear visual record, you can hear the collision loud and clear on the audio. It really was an unfortunate event, but this is a process and an opportunity to further strengthen our protocol. There are a lot of lessons to be learned here.”

And one lesson to be learned is that an extra set of ears and eyes can be helpful in helping a player avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Because as we see time and time again, players are willing to ignore their head injuries in order to get back in the game. We need somebody to save them from themselves.

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 2:50 pm

Report: Pat Dye was agent to be cuffed (UPDATED)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (2:40 p.m.):
Liz Mullen from the Sports Business Journal spoke with Dye, and he claimed “I have done nothing wrong or illegal.”

According to Dye, the incident occurred at the players hotel Thursday night, not at the stadium Friday. He said he was invited to the hotel by Under Armour to finalize a seven-figure deal for his client, former Alabama WR Julio Jones, and he was led through security by Under Armour personnel and was issued Under Armour credentials.

Apparently, he spent less than 15 minutes in the hotel and did not have contact with any players, but when he left the hotel, he was arrested.

Mullen tweeted that she’d have more in the SBJ, and I hope so, because I’m not sure I understand Dye’s story at all.


News broke late Saturday night from the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson when he reported that at least one player-agent was handcuffed and led out of Lucas Oil Field Stadium when he (or they) was found to have illegitimate passes to watch the workouts.

Now, Sports By Brooks has reported their names. According to the website, the offender was Pat Dye Jr., who was handcuffed, detained and led away from the stadium, while his partner, Jimmy Sexton, escaped arrest.

The two broke the rules and obtained their passes from Under Armour, and apparently, the person who gave them those passes was sent home immediately.

Sports by Brooks was unable to reach either agent for comment, and the NFL declined comment.

More from the blog posting:

Sexton’s NFL client list includes Tim Tebow, Ravens left tackle Michael Oher, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.  Sexton’s coaching clients include Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Steve Spurrier, Houston Nutt and Tommy Tuberville.

Dye, Jr., who is the son of former Auburn football coach Pat Dye, represents Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The Sexton/Dye firm also represents DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones and Sam Acho in this year’s NFL draft class.

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 3:27 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 8:40 pm

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots at Steelers

It was big news Friday when Tom Brady was listed as probable with a right shoulder on New England’s injury report (everybody in the Northeast let out a HUGE exhale). But he also was spotted limping Friday, and he declined to comment to the media about why. This obviously would be a problem if he’s called upon to move around in the pocket or to scramble.

In other New England injury news, RB Fred Taylor is listed as questionable with his turf toe injury. He was limited in practice all week, but the team also might want to hold off inserting him into a game before he’s completely healthy. He hasn’t played since Week 3.

UPDATE (8:38 p.m.): New England has downgraded three players to "out." That includes OG Stephen Neal, RB Fred Taylor and DE Myron Taylor. None of them will play Sunday.

Steelers DE Brett Keisel has missed three straight games because of a hamstring injury, and he’s doubtful again this week. He was supposed to start last Monday vs. the Bengals, but he re-aggravated the injury in warmups. OG Chris Kemoeatu also is doubtful after spraining his knee in Cincinnati. It sounds like Ramon Foster will take his place in the starting lineup.

LB James Harrison was a late addition to the injury report with back spasms. He’s listed as questionable.

Titans at Dolphins

The big question mark for Tennessee obviously is QB Vince Young. I wrote earlier today that it doesn’t sound like he will play , and that means Kerry Collins would get the starting nod.

WR Kenny Britt is out with a hamstring – potentially for the rest of the regular season – but that’s where Randy Moss is supposed to come in and perform.

For Miami, a couple backups (CB Tyrone Culver and WR Roberto Wallace) are questionable, and although some of the team’s most important players (T Jake Long, LB Karlos Dansby, S Chris Clemons and TE Anthony Fasano) are on the injury list, all of them are probable and should play.

Jets at Browns

One of the stranger stories of the week was Browns LB Marcus Benard who collapsed in the locker room Thursday and was sent to the hospital for tests. He didn’t practice Friday and is questionable to play. But Benard, who leads the team with 4 ½ sacks, wants to be out there, and it’s certainly possible Cleveland could allow him to do so.

Meanwhile, Cleveland QBs Jake Delhomme (ankle) and Seneca Wallace (ankle) are both questionable, but at this point, it’s hard to see how coach Eric Mangini could insert either given the way Colt McCoy has played the past three games.

The Jets are pretty healthy. CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), LB Calvin Pace (foot) G Matt Slauson (knee) and T Damien Woody (knee) are on the injury list, but all are listed as probable.

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Posted on: September 27, 2010 6:17 pm

Revis likely out; Pace could be back

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Revis It doesn’t sound like Jets CB Darrelle Revis will play next Sunday vs. the Bills, but in some good news, it appears that LB Calvin Pace might see the field. 

Not playing Revis makes sense. The Bills QB situation is pretty ghastly – even with Buffalo releasing Trent Edwards today – and I wouldn’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to challenge New York’s secondary enough for the Jets to feel Revis’ absence. Plus, with a hamstring injury, the team will be extra cautious with Revis so this doesn’t become a long-term problem.

“He’s moving around better and he feels better,” Ryan told reporters, including the New York Post. “But you almost have to be 100 percent to play corner or you’re going to be facing this the whole season.”

Pace Pace, meanwhile, has missed all three games after breaking his foot in the preseason. But Ryan said Pace could return to practice Wednesday.

In Pace’s place, Jason Taylor has received much more playing time at outside linebacker than he originally might have expected.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 3:14 pm

Ryan confirms Jets' interest in Adalius Thomas

Posted by Will Brinson

Adalius Thomas, currently a free agent after being released by the Patriots, has been a hot name lately -- Calvin Pace is reportedly out for up to six weeks , Jason Taylor is apparently made of string and kitten furr these days and as much love as Vernon Gholston's gotten on "Hard Knocks," Rex Ryan would probably prefer a more reliable option at outside linebacker.

Enter Thomas, who the Jets are interested in talking to/signing/being BFF's with; this is according to Ryan following practice on Sunday.

"I have talked to [Adalius Thomas]." Ryan said, according to Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger . "I would say it would be a possibility. I'm not going to rule that out."

Manish Mehta of the Daily-News notes that Thomas' "arrival is a fait accompli" (which was like the most awesome phrase in the world until Josh Elliott killed it when Brett Favre de-tired this year); Mehta also points out that Ryan also said he wasn't "concerned" that the defense doesn't have Pace or Darrelle Revis.

I mention that last part only because it's about as insane as bringing in Thomas is smart at this point.

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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