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Tag:Dave Rayner
Posted on: December 19, 2010 11:05 pm
 

Detroit breaks nasty streak

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

How much has your life changed in the past three years? Maybe you were a freshman in high school back then, and now, you’re a senior preparing for college. Maybe you were single back then, and now, you’ve got a wife and a kid. Maybe you couldn’t vote back then, and now, you can legally drink a beer while watching football.

You know what hadn’t happened since Oct. 28, 2007? The Lions winning a road game.

Until today.

When Dave Rayner kicked the game-winning 34-yard field in overtime to give Detroit a 23-20 win against Buccaneers, he helped end an NFL record 26-game road losing streak that was, at the same time, embarrassing and awfully impressive.

For a guy like Detroit T Jeff Backus – who’s been with the Lions since 2001 – a victory like this is simply awesome.

"When that streak's talked about, a lot of these players and coaches, they don't know what you're talking about," Backus said, via the Detroit News. "They haven't been a part of it. But Dom(inic Raiola) and I and some of the other guys have been here the whole time and it's nice to get that monkey off our back and hopefully that's the last streak that we have and we can start some positive ones and get this thing turned around.

"This was the first step toward getting this going in the right direction."

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Posted on: December 2, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: December 2, 2010 11:35 am
 

Jason Hanson to IR; future in Detroit?

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s been a little weird watching a Lions game this season and not seeing Jason Hanson jogging onto the field to kick. Hanson has been with the club since 1992.

Get used to the weirdness, though. Per multiple media outlets, the Lions are set to place the 40-year-old on Injured Reserve (leg). Dave Rayner will handle the kicking duties for the remainder of the season.

There’s an unfortunate fun (or unfun) fact with Hanson’s injury: he has played 295 games with the Lions. Bruce Matthews holds the record for most games played with one franchise (Oilers/Titans). Matthews’ mark? 296.

It’s not known whether Hanson will get a chance to surpass Matthews. When middle-aged players end the season on IR, they generally aren’t brought back the following year. It’s doubtful the Lions know what to do with Hanson at this point.

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Posted on: November 13, 2010 10:33 pm
 

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part IV

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Panthers at Buccaneers

Tampa Bay center Jeff Faine, who’s missed the past four games, badly wants to get back into action after dealing with a quadriceps injury, while T Jeremy Trueblood (out the past two contests with a knee) looks to return as well. Both are questionable and game-time decisions.

Faine had full participation in all three practices this week, while Trueblood was full-go for two of them, but Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris wants to see how they look in pregame warmups before giving them the go-ahead.

For Carolina, RBs Jonathan Stewart (concussion) and DeAngelo Williams (foot) are out and won’t play. So that’s, you know, not a great sign for the Panthers. LB Nic Harris, meanwhile, is probable.

Lions at Bills

It looks like QB Shaun Hill will get the chance to replace the injured Matthew Stafford for the second time this season. Hill, who broke his forearm the first time he took over the Detroit offense this year, is probable to make his return to the game. Among the questionables for the Lions: DE Cliff Avril, S C.C. Brown, CB Chris Houston and CB Alphonso Smith.

Also, K Jason Hanson is out, and in response this week, Detroit signed Dave Rayner. Which is unfortunate, because I think all of us would have liked to see Ndamukong Suh take another crack at kicking point after attempts and field goals.

Three players Buffalo really could use this week are out, including LB Andra Davis, LB Shawne Merriman, and WR Roscoe Parrish.

Eagles at Redskins

There are seven Washington players on the injury report. All of them are questionable. They include OT Stephon Heyer, S LaRon Landry  QB Donovan McNabb, LB Brian Orakpo, WR Brandon Banks, RB Clinton Portis, and RB Ryan Torain.

Of those seven, Portis won’t play but Torain will, along with McNabb. A decision about Banks will be made gametime. The Redskins would like to have him back, because he’s been so good as a return specialist.

Eagles G Max Jean-Gilles, who’s been feeling the effects of a concussion, was cleared to play today. He remains questionable, though, on the injury report. Meanwhile, G Nick Cole is probable, and coach Andy Reid hasn’t determined who will start between the two of them.

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Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: September 4, 2010 9:23 pm
 

NFL cut day: updating the latest noteworthy moves

Posted by Andy Benoit & Josh Katzowitz

On this NFL cut day, we're monitoring all the media outlets and waiver wire action like a hawk so that you can make this is your one-stop shop for instant news and analysis on all the latest noteworthy cuts. Stay with us throughout the day.

Troy Williamson, WR, Jaguars
This isn't a hugely surpising move, because it never seemed that Williamson had a chance to make this team. The Jaguars are stocked with talented young receivers, and in the end, there wasn't a need for a former first-round pick who's had such a disappointing career (eight catched in the past two years with Jacksonville).

Dre Bly, CB, Lions
The Lions secondary has been brutal the past few years, and Bly was signed in the offseason to add a veteran presence. Bly wasn't that bad last year with San Francisco, but if he can't make a Detroit squad that's still in need of secondary help, that's not a real good sign for the health of his career.

Justin Hartwig, C, Steelers
He'd been the starter the previous two seasons in Pittsburgh, but along came rookie Maurkice Pouncey and took away his starting spot. Now, Hartwig's spot on the roster is gone. The team apparently had been trying to work out a trade for him but obviously failed to do so.

Spencer Havner, TE, Packers
Perhaps you haven't heard of Havner, who has recorded only seven catches in his two-year career. But reporters close to the team expressed surprise that Havner was sent packing, mostly because of his versatility and because he was decent-to-pretty good in so many different areas (receiving, blocking, special teams).

Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Eagles
This was an interesting transaction and didn't have much to do with his performance in the preseason. Since the Stacy Andrews trade occured after the 6 p.m. cutdown deadline, the Eagles had to cut Jean-Gilles to complete the 53-man roster. The Eagles are expected to sign him Sunday - Jean-Gilles is a vested veteran that doesn't have to clear waivers. Unless, that is, somebody else comes to him with a better offer.

Chase Coffman, TE, Bengals
The 2009 third round pick of the Bengals didn't see any playing time last year, because even though he was a strong receiver, he had tons to learn on how to block (he never really had to do it in college at Missouri). Though we didn't know it at the time, the first-round selection of Jermaine Gresham this year and the comeback by Reggie Kelly probably sealed Coffman's fate

Sam Aiken, WR, Patriots
He was the special teams captain for New England, and it appeared he had landed one of the final WR spots. But apparently his deficiencies as a WR were too much for the Patriots to handle. Plus, he lost his gunner job on special teams earlier in the preseason.

Derrick Burgess, LB, Patriots
He had a league-leading 16 sacks in 2005, and he was a Pro Bowler that year and the next. But his skills have steadily declined since then, and against the Giants in New England's final preseason game Thursdasy, Burgess was terrible. He couldn't defend the run or rush the passer. And if you can't do either, New England - which will struggle to rush the passer this season - doesn't want you.

Trent Guy, WR, Panthers
Not a big-name guy, but he's got a great story. In July 2008, Guy was shot in the back while leaving a nightclub, and he barely escaped paralysis and/or death. Read the complete story here on the Charlotte Observer web site. Alas, he'll likely end up on Carolina's practice squad.

Troy Smith, QB, Ravens
After signing Marc Bulger in the offseason, the Ravens shipped away John Beck and now have released Smith. The former Heisman Trophy winner had wanted a trade in the offseason, but the Ravens never got around to it. But who would take him? He's got speed but his accuracy is questionable, and he doesn't appear to have the tools to be an NFL starter. The Ravens will keep only two QBs on the roster for now.

Chad Jackson, WR, Bills

Thought to have first-round potential, Jackson was picked in the second round of the 2006 Draft by the Patriots. So far in his career, he's made exactly 14 catches. Jackson was out of football in 2009, and that's exactly where he's going in 2010 as well.

Kraig Urbik, OG, Steelers
A third-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2009, Pittsburgh expected big things out of the 6-foot-5, 325-pounder. But he had a rough preseason last year, and he struggled while adjusting to the NFL speed. He eventually lost his backup spot, and apparently, the Steelers - who even tried him out at center in the offseason - have no use for him anymore.

Tank Tyler, DT, Panthers
The Panthers gave up a fifth-round pick to get Tyler last season. He had his moments but, as was the case in Kansas City, he never put it all together.


James Hardy, WR, Bills
The 6’5”, high-leaping ’08 second-round pick has not been the same since blowing out his knee. The Bills were hoping he could capture the starting job vacated by Terrell Owens.


Rhys Lloyd, K, Vikings
He was brought in to be a kickoff specialist. Vikings likely decided he wasn’t worth the extra cost (perhaps because they’re already paying a little extra to that old guy playing quarterback). Ryan Longwell will be pleased – he didn’t want to give up the kickoff duties in the first place.

Jay Richardson, DE, Raiders
He was a starter a few years ago but has tailed off as of late. Teams should take a look at him, though. At his best, he’s one of the more impressive run-defending ends in football.


Will Blackmon, CB, Packers
The athletic but oft-injured cornerback/return specialist reached an injury settlement with the team.

Pierre Woods, LB, Patriots
We mention Woods only because the Patriots spent four years waiting for him to come around. Most non-achievers don’t last four months in New England. In the end, Woods never did come around. He was given an opportunity to work with the first unit last season, but in five starts he recorded zero sacks. (In fact, in four years total, he recorded just one sack.)


Chris Simms, QB, Titans
Known more for his name than anything. Would have been nothing more than the third-string option in Tennessee. Recent legal problems certainly could not have helped his cause. Titans will likely keep sixth-round rookie Rusty Smith as the No. 3.

Chevis Jackson, CB, Falcons
The competition for the starting cornerback job opposite Dunta Robinson has been so fierce that you forget about any Falcon corners being on the roster bubble. This explains the mild sense of astonishment we’re all feeling when we hear that Jackson, a third-round pick in 2008, has been waived. In his two years with Atlanta, Jackson mostly competed for reps at the nickel position. Jackson was never awful for Mike Smith; it’s a virtual guarantee that some team will quickly snatch him up.

Ian Johnson, RB, Vikings
By no means a big-name NFL player. But remember the Boise State running back who proposed to the cheerleader after scoring the winning touchdown against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? This is him.


Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals
What a disaster this whole saga turned out to be. Leinart is officially a first-round BUST. For more, click here .

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks
Given that his $7 million salary was already guaranteed, the Seahawks basically said they simply didn't want the veteran wideout around. You have to figure attitude played a part . What else could result in the sudden release of a surefire 70-plus catch weapon?


Brandon Stokley, WR, Broncos

He was everyone’s favorite “scrappy slot receiver” before Wes Welker. But at 34 and having caught only 19 passes last season, he’s expendable. The Broncos have been impressed with Brandon Lloyd, and they figure to develop high-drafted rookies Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
Note: Stokley has a groin injury and, according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, is still working out an injury settlement with the club. He's been placed on Injured Reserve, but when that's healed, he'll be released.


Jarron Gilbert, DT, Bears
Remember the San Jose State draft prospect who jumped straight out of a swimming pool last year? That’s about all the athletic defensive lineman is known for. Gilbert was drafted in the third round last season but hardly got on the field.

Allen Barbre, OL, Packers
Barbre, a fourth-round pick in 2007, showed up dripping with raw talent. However, things never materialized. Barber was victimized as a starter early last season and was never much of a factor in the ongoing job competition at guard.

Myron Rolle, S, Titans
The sixth-round rookie Rhodes Scholar was a favorite of the coaches. However, he lacked the necessary athleticism to thrive in the NFL. If he wants to continue with football, he could probably sneak on to a practice squad somewhere.


Jarvis Green, DE, Broncos
Seriously!? Green signed a four-year, $20 million free agent deal with the Broncos in March. He was a key contributor for eight years as a versatile downlineman in New England’s 3-4 scheme. But in Denver, Green eventually lost his starting job to Ryan McBean; the Broncos must have felt he was too expensive to be a backup (Green wound up walking away $3.225 million). With Ty Warren out for the season, the Patriots may want to consider bringing Green back.

Michael Clayton, WR, Buccaneers
Clayton has had one of the most enigmatic careers in recent NFL memory. He caught 80 balls for 1,193 yards as a rookie but has failed to top 38 receptions or 484 yards in the five seasons since. Injuries have never been a factor. Coaches say Clayton is the most impressive player in practice each week, but on Sundays, he pulls a Houdini. Bucs GM Mark Dominik must watch a lot of practice, as he gave Clatyon a new contract with $10 million in guarantees just last year.


Pat White, QB, Dolphins
The biggest name to get the ax (or is it axe?...why hasn’t society agreed on one spelling yet? ) thus far. Talk about wasting a second-round pick. White suffered a bad concussion late last season and was rumored to be questioning his football future earlier this summer. He wound up competing in camp, but the Dolphins no longer had a need for him after retaining Chad Pennington and bringing in Tyler Thigpen. Running back Ronnie Brown can continue to be the wild cat ace.

Josh Reed, WR, Chargers
This was to be expected after the trade for Patrick Crayton. Both are underneath possession receivers; Crayton, however, is a bit quicker and has been more productive in recent years.

Dave Rayner, K, Bengals
This means Mike Nugent has won Cincy’s kicking job.

Shayne Graham, K, Ravens
The longtime Bengal was expected to beat out Billy Cundiff for the Ravens kicking job. Apparently he didn’t. Cundiff has the stronger leg.


Donald Thomas, G, Dolphins
Arguably the most surprising cut thus far today – not because Thomas is a particularly good player (he’s not), but because he’s a third-year pro who started 12 games last season. Thomas badly struggled with his footwork and was too much of a plodder at times. The Dolphins signed Richie Incognito and drafted John Jerry to fill the guard spots over the offseason. Looks like Cory Proctor will wind up being the top backup inside now.


Darrell Reid, OLB, Broncos
The veteran special teams ace was on PUP all preseason with a bad knee. Even with Elvis Dumervil on IR, Denver still saw fit to move on. This tells you Reid probably had little chance of physically being ready to play anytime soon. The coaches also really like soaring newcomer Jason Hunter.


Travis Fisher, CB, Ravens
Fisher’s NFL career has been hanging by a threat the past few seasons. The former Ram is an experienced veteran, but the Ravens saw no place for him after trading for Josh Wilson.

J.P. Losman, QB, Seahawks
Could be back to the UFL for the underachieving former first-round pick.


Willie Parker, RB, Redskins
It’s common knowledge that running backs hit a wall around age 30. Parker hit his last year at 29. Parker’s yards per carry had decreased every season in his career until 2009 (when he had very few touches with the Steelers). He was hoping for a resurgence behind Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, but with his speed diminished and body dinged up (injuries have hounded Parker the past few years), he couldn’t climb out from the fourth spot on the depth chart.

Brandon McDonald, CB, Browns
McDonald is best known for his disgraceful tweet about Terrell Owens earlier this offseason. Looks like his reputation will remain there for a while. McDonald’s playing career in Cleveland is over. He struggled mightily in man coverage as the Browns starting cornerback last season and was benched on more than one occasion. Throw in his flashy, irritating attitude and he became an easy player for Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren to dump.

William Joseph, DT, Raiders
The 2003 first-round pick of the Giants could be on done for good. Joseph is 31 and has never achieved consistent success at the pro level. Then again, he’s been shuffled on and off the Raiders roster since 2008 – maybe this is just another shuffle. He was fifth on the depth chart at defensive tackle. The news here is that Joseph’s release could mean John Henderson makes the final roster. We’ll find out.

Matt Jones, WR, Bengals
The only thing he had going for him was a history of legal problems (which seems to be an attribute Bengals owner Mike Brown covets in a player). Jones is too lethargic off the line to be a quality NFL receiver. The Bengals found that out.

Patrick Turner, WR, Dolphins
Turner was a third-round pick just one year ago. The Dolphins thought they’d found the next Marques Colston. Instead, they found the next Joe Nobody. Turner never earned the respect of coaches and teammates.

Jon Jansen, OL, Lions
No surprise here. Jansen is a sagacious veteran, but at 34, he has reached his physical end. He was a major liability wherever he lined up last season.

Bear Pascoe, TE, Giants
Thanks to injuries to starter Kevin Boss, Pascoe spent a great deal of the offseason working with the Giants first team offense. Because Pascoe played in only four games as a rookie last season, he is eligible for the practice squad if he clears waivers.


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






Posted on: August 8, 2010 6:23 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2010 6:52 pm
 

2010 Hall of Fame Game Preview: 10 to watch

Posted by Will Brinson


All due respect to Christmas, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Why? Because, well, football's here people. Hope springs eternal right now for nearly every team in the league, and for everyone who loves Sundays the way they should be enjoyed.

And though tonight's game between Cincinnati and Dallas isn't a regular season game, it's still the metaphorical starter waving his proverbial flag for us to get pumped for football. As such, let's run through 10 things to watch for tonight.

First things first, though: make sure to follow us on Twitter , so you can discuss all things NFL as the football season kicks off.

1. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Bengals
Obviously, Bengals fans are going to be interested to see how he fits in with the team. Certainly, timing between Carson Palmer and Owens will be of tantamount importance, but there's no reason to discount watching the defense as well; the Cowboys have a good idea of the damage that TO can do, and seeing the initial schemes that they throw at Chad Ochocinco -- based on Owens' presence on the other side -- will probably give a reasonable indication as to what he should see all season long (provided Owens doesn't prove to be a total non-factor throughout the year).

"I'm a playmaker," Owens said. "I know Michael Irvin has adopted that title, but that's what I do and have done throughout my career is make plays. The coaches know what I'm capable of once the ball is in my hands. They're going to get all of Terrell on the field."

Andy also makes an excellent point about Owens -- how will his demeanor be towards Tony Romo and the rest of the Cowboys throughout the game? More on this in just a second.

2. Who's carrying the Cowboys' weight?

As we detailed previously, Jones bulked up in the offseason, while Marion Barber lost a few pounds. There's a certain school of thought, expressed quite nicely by Will Carroll at SI.com , that adding pounds to certain body frames can actually be a bad thing.

"Health is a skill, one that linebackers try to take away with every hit. Jones' problem hasn't really been those kind of hits, but in holding together his own body. Bulk often is accompanied by a reduction in flexibility and any additional tightness is going to be even more risky for the tightly-wound Jones. It also isn't going to keep him on the field for his pass blocking either. (It's still bad.)"

Personally, I'm still high on Jones, but concern over someone who traditionally hasn't been able to stay healthy changing his body style (potentially for the worse in terms of health) is certainly understandable. Also understandable: wanting Tashard Choice to look good on Sunday night. He's definitely the third option for the Cowboys, but because of, well, Jones' health he's seen plenty of playing time in the past few years.

3. Cincy's other new weapons
Lost -- somewhat -- in the hype that is Batman and Robin are the signings of Antonio Bryant and Jermaine Gresham since the Bengals last took the field for meaningful football. Bryant won't likely be playing for the Bengals, but Gresham should. And considering that he's supposed to provide the high-end receiving option from the tight end position, well, Bengals fans should be curious to see how he performs, especially with a recent report that he "looked lost" not offering immediate enthusiasm.

Also of interest is the possibility of seeing double tight end sets out of Cincy -- 2009 third-rounder Chase Coffman (who won the John Mackey Award for the best tight end in college his senior year) will likely get some action tonight -- which, given the receiving talent at the position, could provide for some very interesting formations during the season.

4. Trickeration time?
It's fairly obvious that Owens and Ochocinco like attention. So do the Dallas Cowboys, duh. And since this is the first game of the 2010 season, it seems like a reasonably awesome moment to bust out some first quarter fanciness. If I had to put money on one thing, it would involve Ochocinco throwing a pass to Owens on some sort of end-around. If you've got better ideas, leave them in the comments.

5. Terrell Owens' interaction with the Cowboys
Yeah, I know. Giving the VH1 star TWO of 10 bullet points is kind of feeding the monster. So we'll add Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson too. Since, you know, all three are former Cowboys. That's not to say that we should expect TO to try and extract revenge on his former team. Or do we ?

"Do I think I probably should still be there?" Owens said about his time in Dallas. "Yeah. But that's not the case. You deal with that situation as it comes. I think a lot of people know there are some unfortunate things that happened there ... Again, I still stand by the things I said and what was done and I know it wasn't my fault.''

You may recall that Owens shamed the entire state of Texas by mocking the glory of the Cowboys' star. They temporarily forgave him when he joined the 'Boys for his run there, but considering how many Cowboys fans were in attendance to see Emmitt Smith's spectacular speech last night, would it be surprising to hear some boos for Owens? Of course not.

The only thing less surprising would be Owens abstaining from some action designed to rib Dallas' fans and players a little bit.

6. What do you know about pressure ?
Kickers are considered an afterthought for many people (and "idiots" by folks like Peyton Manning), but the reality of the NFL is that they matter. A lot.

Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner are battling it out in Cincinnati, while the unproven -- but quite brash -- David Buehler should be the guy to take the Cowboys through the season. However, kicking in practice and kicking in an actual game situation are two completely different things. And while preseason games might not matter much for first-stringers or guaranteed starters, for someone looking to lock down a job with an NFL team for pushing an oblong ball between two poles, performing well before the regular season starts is an absolute  must. (Quick update: Looks like THE NUGE isn't bringing his leg to the field today, so it's up to Rayner to try and not look stupid in kicking action for the Bengals tonight.)

7. Will Doug B. Free?
To not worry about his job stability, that is. Doug Free takes over for Flozell Adams on the left side of the line in Dallas, and the reason Adams is gone is that Wade Phillips (and presumably Jerry Jones as well) was confident enough in Free's ability as a blind-side protector to make the move.

Whether Free wants it or not, that's an ample amount of pressure on him. And while Alex Barron wasn't signed in the offseason to compete with Free, he's still there, which only adds to the pressure. Free's been very good in camp thus far (his first two snaps excepted), but that performance would be worthless if Tony Romo got decapitated on the first play from scrimmage.

8. The Big Backup D
Wade Phillips has already said that Jason Hatcher "needs to play anyway" while calling Marcus Spears' 4-6 week injury a "good opportunity" for Hatcher. That's true, and with 8.5 of the Cowboys' 42 sacks from 2009 on the mend, it'll be interesting to see how Hatcher can step in and play. Optimistically, the Cowboys won't need him immediately, but optimism isn't always warranted.

Additionally, Sean Lee won't see time tonight, which means that Jason Williams and Victor Butler should get plenty of backup-LB action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Again, you don't WANT to use them, but finding out that your team is deep at an already strong position isn't exactly a bad thing. If they actually are.

9. Sack lunch
The Bengals defense was superb last year, with one exception: putting the quarterback on the ground before he throws the ball. They ranked 16th in the NFL with 34 sacks, but this year should be different. As Pete Prisco noted in his love/hate for the Bengals camp tour , the line has a lot of depth heading into 2010. The return of Antwan Odom, who was leading the NFL in sacks before he tore his Achilles' last season, is particularly beneficial. If they can generate more pressure on the quarterback than they did last year, it won't be hard to duplicate it. We just need to see that the depth is there.

10. Emmitt Smith's Interview
Another excellent suggestion from Andy -- who tweeted about it earlier -- because, if you recall Emmitt's speech from last night, he was wonderful. Shockingly wonderful, in fact, having memorized the entire lengthy speech, which he delivered without any of his trademark bumbling.

If you're Norby Williamson or George Bodenheimer, are you wondering "Where was that guy when he worked for us?" Because you should be. Smith's time as a commentator was a bit rough and he was an absolute gem as a speaker last night ... with a little preparation. It's worth seeing how he does when he steps back into the booth.

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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