Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Donald Penn
Posted on: October 19, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Keep an Eye On: Week 7's finer points of analysis

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Saints vs. Colts
New Orleans’ two new weapons
The Saints have redefined their passing attack. It now runs through Jimmy Graham and Darren Sproles. Graham has been far and away the best tight end in football this season. All onlookers could observe last season that the former Hurricanes power forward possessed considerable raw talent, but few could have predicted he’d polish it this quickly.

Graham has a natural feel for gaining positioning against pass defenders (insert obligatory “like a rebounder” comment here) and, best of all, he’s a hands-catcher who snags the ball away from his body. This makes him nearly impossible to defend, given his size and elevation abilities. Helping the cause is that the Saints align Graham all over the formation, which gives defenses fits in deciding what personnel package to use (most, including the Bucs this past week, have been going with nickel and treating Graham like a slot receiver).

Graham is Brees’s go-to guy. Sproles might be Sean Payton’s.

When the Saints are trying to dictate the tempo of a drive, they often look to get Sproles the ball underneath. The key is putting him in positions to run after the catch. This could mean screens, though often it has meant short outs and ins on spread plays where wideouts run deep to lift the coverage. Sproles has remarkable quickness and elusiveness, amplified by a rare-found ability to start and stop. He’s been much better in this offense than Reggie Bush ever was.

So how will the Colts defend the two new weapons? They’re a zone-based defense with fast linebackers. That helps against Sproles, but it does little for containing Graham. If the Saints can find ways to pass protect long enough to run vertical routes outside, that’ll prevent the Colts safeties from running under and over Graham’s routes. This would spell a fifth-straight 100-yard game for the rising star.



Dolphins vs. Broncos
Tebow’s limited resources
You couldn’t ask for more favorable conditions for a new starting young quarterback: two weeks to prepare, a game at Miami (where the weather is nice and the crowd is irrelevant) and facing a defense that, even with a beast like Cameron Wake, has for some reason completely forgotten how to rush the passer.

Trading your No. 1 receiver just days before the game might not seem favorable to a young quarterback, but that receiver was unenthused about playing with Tebow and hadn’t been getting open in Denver’s new ball-control offense anyway. Plus, he was liable to leave after the season, and his spot is ready to be filled by a now-healthy (hopefully) Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas is a possession target, whereas Brandon Lloyd was more of a vertical threat (though not a burner). The Broncos already have a litany of possession targets, such as Eric Decker, Matt Willis and, when healthy, Eddie Royal. This lack of vertical speed compresses the field and narrows throwing lanes, which isn’t good with a slow-reading young quarterback who has a long windup and prefers to improvise outside the pocket.

The Dolphins are healthy at cornerback again; with no downfield threats to worry about, don’t be surprised if this is the week they finally figure out how to reach the quarterback.

Bears vs. Buccaneers (London)
Forces up front
When playing well, these teams offer two of the faster defensive front sevens in football. The Bucs defensive ends – vastly improved Michael Bennett and explosive rookie Adrian Clayborn – feasted on the shoddy Saints tackles last week and should be licking their chops for J’Marcus Webb and Lance Louis (a guard by trade who has taken over for the overwhelmed Frank Omiyale on the right side).

Linebacker Geno Hayes played with instincts and speed against the Saints, which hasn’t always been the case this season. He’ll have a big say in whether the Bucs can contain Mr. Do It All, Matt Forte.

For Chicago, the mission will be attacking right tackle Jeremy Trueblood. Julius Peppers, bum knee and all, is a force who can matchup with Donald Penn on the left side. Same goes for underrated Israel Idonije. But over the years, when it’s rained on Trueblood, it’s poured. He’s the guy to go after.
The Bucs don’t have a backfield star like Matt Forte to build around, though Earnest Graham is a productive receiver who, as he showed last week, can add a dimension of surprising (though subtle) inside quickness and elusiveness.

Don’t be stunned if Graham becomes a bigger component in the run game even after LeGarrette Blount gets healthy. Graham, however, is facing a much greater challenge this week than he faced last week; Chicago’s linebackers are just as fast as New Orleans’ but a lot more physical.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 7 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: June 4, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Jeff Faine misses his Buccaneers teammates

J. Faine was delighted to bump into Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One aspect of the lockout that has not really been discussed (at least in these parts) is the fact that friends that are used to hanging out this time of year have been kept apart by forces beyond their control.

Which, on the surface, sounds a bit silly, I guess.

But think about it: what if the dude who you hang out with seven days a week for a six-month span and consider a teammate and (possibly) a brother didn’t come around any more? Or worse, what if your employer made sure you guys didn’t come into contact because he locked the doors to your place of employment?

You probably wouldn’t cry in your beer or anything, but you’d probably be bummed out a little bit. Hell, you might even miss your boss (somewhat).

That’s the situation in which Buccaneers C Jeff Faine has lived lately, and the Tampa Tribune shares a quick anecdote about what happened when Faine found himself within spitting distance of Tampa Bay GM Mark Dominik.

Basically, the two were attending a local soiree in which the local sports heroes were being honored, and Faine and Dominik accidently conducted interviews within a few feet of each other.

"It's good to see Mark's face,” Faine told the paper. "I miss (offseason workouts) because I miss being around the guys. I had dinner with (left tackle) Donald Penn the other night and it was fantastic just to see his face. These are the guys you go to work with every single day. You have a relationship with them that goes beyond football.

"You're friends and this situation we're in right now is taking us away from our closest friends. I am an optimist at heart and the next couple of days will tell us a lot about what direction we're heading.''

When a big, tough offensive lineman is telling a newspaper reporter that it was just good to see his boss’ face for a few seconds, well, that tells you all you need to know about how badly some of these guys want to get back on the football field.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 24, 2011 12:23 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Pro Bowl replacements for SB players announced

Posted by Andy Benoit

Last season the NFL decided to move the Pro Bowl from the week after the Super Bowl to the week before the Super Bowl. The idea was to take the utterly irrelevant All-Star event and make it just regularly irrelevant. It’s been an alright ploy, though a consequence is players from the competing Super Bowl teams cannot compete.

Thus, the league had to replace all of the Steeler and Packer players on the roster. So who did they tap?
 
For the Packers:

CB Tramon Williams replaced by Antoine Winfield

CB Charles Woodson replaced by Brent Grimes

FS Nick Collins replaced by Roman Harper

OLB Clay Matthews replaced by Brian Orakpo

WR Greg Jennings replaced by Larry Fitzgerald

LT Chad Clifton replaced by Donald Penn


For the Steelers:

OLB James Harrison replaced by Tamba Hali

S Troy Polamalu replaced by Eric Berry

C Maurkice Pouncey replaced by Jeff Saturday

DE Brett Keisel replaced by Randy Starks

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

Posted on: January 24, 2011 10:53 am
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: December 29, 2010 9:25 pm
 

Pro Bowl awards and bonuses

Posted by Andy Benoit

Kudos to ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinkas for having the presence of mind of tenacity to examine player contracts looking for notable bonuses for Pro Bowl honors. It’s hard to find these kind of specifics in contracts, but Yasinkas was able to dig up two fairly interesting tidbits:
--Falcons receiver  Roddy White can earn up to $5 million in Pro Bowl bonuses over the course of his contract. It’s not known how that $5 million is divided up. White signed a six-year, $48 million contract in 2009. Since then, he has earned two trips to the Pro Bowl.

--Bucs left tackle Donald Penn was considered a snub in the NFC. Penn better hope he doesn’t get snubbed next season. The new contract he signed late this past summer has Pro Bowl clauses that take effect in 2011. Those clauses are worth a total of $5.5 million; Penn’s deal is through 2015.

There is an interesting discussion to be had here: What constitutes a Pro Bowl honor? Suppose Penn does not make the initial Pro Bowl roster next season but gets to play in the game as an alternate because someone ahead of him gets injured. Would that count? Should it count?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 10:38 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.06.10 interesting Randy Moss news

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit


According to Albert Breer of NFL Network, the Titans would not have claimed Randy Moss on waivers if not for the Kenny Britt injury.


Fitz calls trip to Minny a 'business trip'. (What else would it be? Oh, wait, he grew up in Minny, that’s right. Gotcha.)

Ravens might not see much Wildcat from Miami, but if they do, they've got 'a guy' who'll get them ready for it -- Curtis Steele, who ran the Wildcat in high school and at Memphis, which is totally the same as doing it in the NFL. 



The fellas at the Bills' blog Buffalo Rumblings are always on the lookout for quarterback prospects, and they make a good point: five of the best signal-calling prospects are on television Saturday (Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Nick Foles and Ryan Mallett).



As everyone knows, if Bill Belichick even vaguely references Eric Mangini's team, he is taking a BIG-TIME CHEAP SHOT IN THE MEDIA at him. Like when he talks about the West Coast offense that the Browns are running.


No blackout for the Raiders this week! Not a joke. We repeat, No blackout for the Raiders this week!

Rex Ryan likes Vernon Gholston (and he also won’t try to convince us that the guy should have been the No. 6 overall pick).



In case you really don’t have a life, here’s our obligatory once-a-month link to a story about a long snapper. This one plays for the Rams.



Bucs LT Donald Penn believes he’s prepared to go up against Falcons speed-rushing demon John Abraham.



Don’t laugh: someone actually found a way to handout midseason awards for the 49ers.



When DeSean Jackson takes the field again (likely this Sunday vs. Atlanta), he’ll be wearing a bigger helmet (newer model).



Deon Grant shared with the Giants inside knowledge of his former Seahawks team. (Not sure how helpful he could be though, given that Seattle has a different coaching staff than it had when Grant played).


Have the Packers fixed their penalty woes?


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

Posted on: July 31, 2010 8:37 pm
 

Penn draws inspiration from Chad Jones

Earlier today, we told you about the Buccaneers signing Donald Penn and how much his presence will mean to keeping QB Josh Freeman in an up-right position this fall. But he’s got an interesting reason for ending his quick hold-out and signing a new deal worth $48 million over six years.
 
As the St. Petersburg Times writes, it’s because of Giants rookie Chad Jones and the car accident in which he nearly lost his leg.

“I got a 20-month year old son at home. You never know what tomorrow is going to entail,'' Penn told the Times. "Chad Jones was a great friend of mine and still is a good friend of mine. You guys see what happened to him. You never know what's going to happen the next day. You can try everything to be careful, but still, that was a freak accident. He couldn't have stopped that if he wanted to.

"My family was a big part. I wanted to get something now, because if I had gone out this year, knock on wood, I'm not injury prone -- but what if I got hurt? Where would that have left me? I just wanted to get it done because I felt it was well overdue and I think the organization felt it was well overdue.''

Penn – who happens to share an agent with Jones, as well – had refused to sign his restricted free agent tender offer of $3.168 million, and the club had gotten a little nasty with him, particularly GM Mark Dominik. Though it was thought Penn would hold out from training camp – particularly since, as of a few days ago, it didn’t seem like the two sides were negotiating at all – Penn said he called his agent and told him to make something happen.

"Do whatever it takes to be in there, because when it was getting closer, it was like, "Man, I've never missed a camp before. I don't want to do that. That's not the type of guy I am.’” Penn said. “I had a long talk with (agent Rocky Arceneaux) and said, "Let's get it done. I'll make some sacrifices if I have to, but let's get it done.”

Penn, with $20 million guaranteed, will return to his LT spot, filling one very large hole on Tampa Bay’s offensive line.

--Josh Katzowitz

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

Posted on: July 31, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: July 31, 2010 2:58 pm
 

Bucs make two major signings

The Buccaneers have signed two key tackles – one on each side of the ball. As expected, left tackle Donald Penn received the long-term contract he has been pining for. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Penn has received a six-year deal worth $48 million.

The Bucs also signed No. 3 overall draft pick Gerald McCoy. We know McCoy's deal is for five years, but it’s not yet known how many dollars are involved.

UPDATE: McCoy got $36.5 million guaranteed.

-- Andy Benoit

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