Tag:Jason Smith
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
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Top Ten with a Twist: Draft needs

A. Luck should be a No. 1 selection in next year's draft. Who will select him, though (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

As we enter the final weekend of the season, a number of squads are just playing out the string, hoping to put a solid performance on film, ready to clean out their lockers and look ahead to next year. While only four games on this week’s schedule mean absolutely nothing in terms of the postseason, quite a few of those teams are just looking to play spoiler.

And looking to the 2012 draft, where they can begin to rebuild their team or shore up that one position that could put them over the hump for next season. That’s why we’re taking the 10-worst teams in the league this year and finding one major flaw that needs to be fixed from April 26-28 in New York City’s Radio Music Hall.

For these teams -- and their fans -- the time has come to salivate at the prospects of landing the exact right guy that could change their fortunes for years to come.

10. Bills: Defensive line -- I didn’t like the Ryan Fitzpatrick $59 million extension earlier this year, and I hate it now. But I think Buffalo has other concerns for the moment, and they come on defense. For one, Buffalo has a tough time stopping the run. First-round pick Marcell Dareus has been a bit inconsistent at the nose tackle, but he also has the ability to play like a monster. The 3-4  ends, though, need to be better. Injured tackle Kyle Williams obviously will help when he returns next season, but the ability to rush the passer once in a while also would help (Buffalo’s 25 sacks ranks 30th in the league).

9. Dolphins: Quarterback -- Look, the Dolphins have some talent. They proved that when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, and they started winning games. They proved it by nearly beating Tom Brady, and they proved it by nearly beating Tim Tebow (that last point was a joke). While Matt Moore has been much better than expected after taking over for Chad Henne, he’s a Band-Aid. I think most of us would agree that Henne isn’t the answer as the starter, and perhaps, he and Moore could have a battle to see who could back-up a legit starting quarterback. Reggie Bush established himself as a 1,000-yard rusher, and with a talented quarterback like Robert Griffin III (if he lasts that long in the draft), the Dolphins could begin pushing for AFC East crowns.

8. Browns: Pass rushers -- Cleveland got two defensive linemen early last year (tackle Phil Taylor in the first round and end Jabaal Sheard in the second), and they’ve done a nice job on the left side of the defensive line. But the defense ranks 25th in the league in sacks, and defensive end Jayme Mitchell hasn’t had a great season. Marcus Benard, coming off a solid rookie season last year, is on IR, and if the Browns could get one more high-end rusher in the draft, they’d have talent and depth.

7. Redskins: Quarterback -- It’s probably time for Mike Shanahan to come to the realization that his quarterback picks the past two years have been disastrous (Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck). He said the other day that the rebuild of this franchise has taken more time than he thought, but a standout quarterback obviously would help that process along. Shanahan also said that there was no question in his mind that he’d be back next season, but unless he finds a way to invigorate his offense, that might be a different story this time next year.

6. Chiefs: Right tackle -- Looking across Kansas City’s depth chart, there’s not one position group that so obviously needs to be overhauled. The Chiefs have talent, even if some of those positions don’t have much depth. But right tackle Barry Richardson has badly struggled this season. According Pro Football Focus, Richardson is the worst-rated offensive tackle in the league (the decision to cut Jared Gaither near the end of the season was a bad one). Left tackle Branden Albert is solid, but the right side of the line needs to be reworked.

Minnesota's secondary has been a big concern this year (US Presswire).5. Buccaneers: Run defenders -- The Buccaneers tried to shore up their defensive end spots last draft, taking Adrian Clayborn in the first round and Da’Quan Bowers in the second round. Considering Tampa Bay ranks dead last in sacks, the experiment hasn’t paid off immediate dividends. But the Buccaneers are also terrible against the run, and even though tackle Albert Haynesworth has played better than most of us had a right to expect, there are still huge holes to fill in the lineup.

4. Vikings: Secondary -- The Vikings rank as the 31st-worst defense in the NFL, but in reality, their front seven has talent (for instance, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway). Minnesota lost Antoine Winfield (its best corner) early in the year, Chris Cook has legal troubles, safety Jamarca  Sanford has struggled badly and the rest of the safeties have been ravaged by injuries. It’s no  wonder opposing quarterbacks dominate the Vikings defensive backs. On the season, Minnesota has recorded seven interceptions, worst in the NFL. The Vikings need to find somebody who can force turnovers in order to improve this unit.

3. Jaguars: Receivers – Oh, how they need receivers. Yes, Blaine Gabbert has been, by far, the worst rookie quarterback to play this year, but Jacksonville, even with new ownership and a new coach, probably needs to give him more than a season to see if he’s a quarterback of the future. He also needs somebody who can catch his passes. Here are Jacksonville’s top-three receivers: Mike Thomas, Jarret Dillard, and yeah, nobody else. In fact, there’s a good chance running back Maurice Jones-Drew will end up as the team’s leading pass-catcher this season. Hard to blame Gabbert completely when his receiving corps is so bad.

2. Colts: Running backs -- Assuming Peyton Manning returns healthy next season -- admittedly, a huge assumption -- his receivers should continue to be fine (this, of course, depends on what happens with free agents Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon). But we’ve seen this year that without a running game, a Manning-less Colts squad has very little chance of doing anything (mostly because Manning makes up for SO many team deficiencies). Joseph Addai, who’s averaging 3.8 yards per carry and probably won’t get to 500 rushing yards on the season for the second year in a row, might be released into free agency, and Donald Brown, while improved, isn’t a legit No. 1 running back. The Colts obviously have a big decision to make regarding Manning and Andrew Luck, but taking a running back probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

1.Rams: Offensive linemen -- There’s been talk that maybe the Rams should grab Luck if they end up with the No. 1 pick. Which, with Sam Bradford on the team, would be ludicrous. Instead, St. Louis should be focused on how to put together an offensive line that doesn’t lead the league in sacks allowed. The biggest problem, not including injuries to Jason Smith and Jacob Bell that have hurt the unit, has been the line’s interior. Linemen aren’t the sexiest position, but damn, St. Louis needs to find some that can stay healthy and keep Bradford and Steven Jackson out of danger.

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Posted on: October 23, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Jason Smith leaves Rams game on stretcher

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Rams tackle Jason Smith was badly injured at the end of the first quarter of the St. Louis-Dallas game, and he had to be stretchered off the field with his head taped down in a scary scene.

After a Rams fumble, Cowboys safety Abram Elam made the recovery and tried to advance the ball down the sideline. As Smith went to make the tackle, his facemask connected with Elam’s thigh, and it appeared to jam Smith’s neck. The official injury is being called a blow to the head.

Fox reported while trainers worked on him that Smith’s breathing was labored and that officials removed his facemask before loading him onto the stretcher.

But there was a piece of good news: as Smith was being driven off the field, he waved his hands at the crowd and made his hands into what looked like a heart sign.

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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: February 8, 2011 9:55 am
 

'Tis the season for base salary increases

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Mac’s Football Blog has an interesting chart on its website today which tells of each of the NFL players whose performances in 2010 triggered, through their specific contracts, base salary increases for 2011 (assuming, of course, there is a 2011).

Some interesting players/salaries listed here. For instance:

- Falcons QB Matt Ryan gets a $1 million raise to $11.25 million, while Ravens QB Joe Flacco will increase his salary $1.7 million to $4.485 million. Did you realize that Ryan makes nearly three times as much as Flacco? I did not.

- Browns WR Joshua Cribbs will see his base salary increase to $957,000. Which is about three times less than Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will make ($3.195 million). Also, Cleveland CB Joe Haden, who will enter his second season, will earn about $2.55 million.

- Lions WR Calvin Johnson will lose about $1.5 million in base salary.
 
- Did you know that Dolphins tackle Jake Long will make $11.2 million next season? Did you know that OT Jason Smith (I believe he plays for the Rams) will earn $8.5 million next season?

- Finally, Buccaneers LB Geno Hayes ($1.04 million) will earn slightly more than franchise QB Josh Freeman ($940,000).

Are those figures cool with everyone? Because I think few of them are a little out of whack.

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Posted on: October 31, 2010 11:47 am
Edited on: October 31, 2010 11:58 am
 

NFC Inactives, Week 8

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s who IS active in the NFC: Packers DL Cullen Jenkins, Bears TE Chris Cooley, LB Brian Orakpo, 49ers TE Vernon Davis, Rams RB Steven Jackson

And here’s who is out:

Alex Smith, QB, 49ers: We, of course, knew this already since Smith suffered a separated shoulder last week. It’s officially official. Troy Smith will start for San Francisco.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers:
Jonathan Stewart will get a chance to improve upon what has been a surprisingly weak season for him.

Mark Tauscher, OT, Packers: Once again, rookie Bryan Bulaga will get the start in Tauscher's place.

Danario Alexander, WR, Cardinals: We know this already - Alexander will miss two to four weeks with a knee injury, but his loss further underscores how thin St. Louis' WR corps is.

Jason Smith, RT, Cardinals:
He suffered a concussion this week during practice when he banged heads with Chris Long. Renardo Fisher will start in place of him, and that's not a good thing for QB Sam Bradford.

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Posted on: October 30, 2010 5:38 pm
 

Week 8 injury report analysis Part II

Posted by Andy Benoit

Bills @ Chiefs

Right tackle Cornell Green (knee) remains the only Bill who has battled a significant injury this season. That’s noteworthy considering this team has led the league in IR players two of the last three years. Buffalo defensive backs Terrence McGee (back) and Jairus Byrd (thigh) are both questionable, though both were full participants in practice this week.

Kansas City’s only injury of note is Dexter McCluster’s high ankle sprain. The budding multifaceted rookie is listed as questionable, though word is he’ll likely be out multiple weeks.

Redskins @ Lions

Of the 12 Redskins listed as questionable this week, only five had less than full participation in practice: offensive tackles Jammal Brown (hip) and Stephon Heyer (ankle), safeties LaRon Landry (Achilles) and Kareem Moore (knee) and fullback Mike Sellers (foot). The Skins are growing more and more concerned about Brown’s ailing right hip – the same hip that kept him out all of last season. If he can’t play, and if Heyer can’t play (well, it’s clear Heyer CAN’T play, but in this case, we mean if he can’t play because of his ankle) then guard Artis Hicks will slide over to tackle.

The Lions will get quarterback Matthew Stafford back from the shoulder injury he suffered on Opening Day. In fact, Stafford isn’t even listed on the injury report. Rookie RB Jahvid Best is. He’s probable with a toe (and he admits it has hindered him as of late). MLB DeAndre Levy is questionable with an ankle injury that has kept him out all but one game.

Panthers @ Rams

Don’t expect Carolina’s suddenly-stagnant running game to finally get rolling this week. The team is still without RT Jeff Otah (knee) and now, RB DeAngelo Williams is out (foot). St. Louis’ own star RB underwent finger surgery this week, though Steven Jackson vows he’s going to play.

Danario Alexander is the latest Rams wide receiver to hurt his knee. At least he’s only out a few weeks, though (cartilage). Defensive tackles Fred Robbins (toe) and Darell Scott (ankle) were both limited in practice. RT Jason Smith showed concussion-like symptoms after dinging his head in practice; he’ll be replaced Sunday by Renardo Foster. It’s worth noting that Smith missed the second half of last season with a concussion.

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Posted on: August 28, 2010 9:28 am
 

Hot Routes 8.28.10: Good News, Bad News

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

Fellow Blogger Fantasy Football League member (and Football Outsiders overlord as well as a really swell guy) Aaron Schatz got the hook-up from the NFL to show the official video of the NFL's rule changes . Check it.

Just how important is DeSean Jackson to the Eagles? Well, as the Eagletarian mentions , the offense went to a pile of mess when Jackson left with injury, so that should be a good clue. Of course, maybe it was just Kansas City's, um, vaunted defense? Not good times.

The Finsider points out that it's "good news-bad news" re: the Dolphins starting cornerbacks. Vontae Davis was "outstanding" while Jason Allen "proved … he is not an NFL starting cornerback." Harsh words, but it's important, especially if you're one of those idiots who picked the Dolphins to finish ahead of the Jets in the AFC East. /raises hand

One of my favorite interwebs spots, Cat Scratch Reader, notes that the third preseason game enerally provides a good indication as to how well the Panthers will do in the coming season.

The Rams have to be pleased with everything outside of the loss of Donnie Avery -- Turf Show Times says that the play of Jason Smith and Roger Saffold, for different reasons, is also encouraging, particularly in relation to how the combination of "Sam Bradford + Saffold" >>>>> "Russell Okung + Jimmy Clausen." Or something.

Some mildly tangential football news, in that Dan Steinberg discusses where Stephen Strasburg's injury stacks up against the all-time worst for DC Sports -- the chief comparison is that of Joe Theismann when Lawrence Taylor wrecked his life and forced us into bad football broadcasting and, eventually, a crappy movie rendition of a great Michael Lewis book.

Well, well, la-ti-da. Doesn't Chicago just have sooooo many trophies from professional sports teams ? Actually, as the only town to own all four major trophies over the past 25 years, all the owners got together and had a big party where they made fun of the Cubs and then cracked jokes about whether or not anyone would bother hiring Lovie Smith next season.

Our old pal SbB brings to light information that should totally remind everyone in Los Angeles: UR NOT GETTIN' OUR SOUTHERN FOOTBALL. Actually, Brooks ends the post optimistically, but let me tell you what, if they take football from Jacksonville, Thanksgivings are going to be REALLY awkward for my family. No offense, cousins and such.

Zerkle's rundown of Peyton Manning's issues with the umpire is worth it if only for the Madden '11 photoshop.

Haters gonna hate all they want, but Gregg Rosenthal still managed to work up a positive piece about LaDainian Tomlinson at PFT. It's logical too, because, well, as much we all suddenly want LdT to fail miserably, the good news is that he's not as awful as Willie Parker. Careers fade fast when you're from Clinton, NC, son.
 
 
 
 
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