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Tag:John Carney
Posted on: March 3, 2011 10:34 am
 

Hot Routes 3.3.11: Lesnar's conquerer retires



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • It’s always nice to see a player, after he retires or is released, take out a full-page color advertisement in the local newspaper to thank the fans and city. That’s what former Bears DE Tommie Harris did today in the Chicago Tribune. Classy move.
  • Perhaps another reason why former Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left the organization to take the same position at the University of Florida: he didn’t want his salary slashed because of the potential lockout.
  • Former Alabama WR Julio Jones, who took part in the NFL combine with a fractured freakin’ foot, will have surgery Saturday so doctors can insert a screw into his foot. Jones should be healed in six to eight weeks.
  • This isn’t football-related, but I thought it was relevant to the continued concussion storylines. Former hockey enforcer Bob Probert, who died last year at the age of 45, was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Just like Dave Duerson and a host of other NFL players who have died recently.

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Posted on: October 12, 2010 5:29 pm
 

Saints sign Julius Jones, release John Carney

Posted by Andy Benoit

Injuries to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas have left the Saints thin at running back. Undrafted rookie Chris Ivory has been decent as a fill-in starter. Veteran Ladell Betts impressed in his debut two weeks ago. However, at Arizona on Sunday, Betts was responsible for two turnovers that led directly the two Cardinals touchdowns.

So, to improve the backfield depth, the Saints signed former Cowboys/Seahawks running back Julius Jones. Jones offers better quickness and agility than Betts, though he’s not the home run threat many believe him to be. The 29-year-old has never responded well to contact, and he lacks the vision and downhill change-of-direction skills needed to be a creator.

In short, Jones requires open space in order to thrive, which is why he’s always been so good on draw plays but bad behind a lead-blocker. Open space ability may seem fine, but ask yourself: Which running back wouldn’t thrive in open space?

As a temporary fill-in piece, Jones would be an upgrade over Betts. However, that doesn’t mean he’ll take Betts’ playing time. In order to make room for Jones, the Saints waived sluggish runner DeShawn Wynn.

Jones was not the only roster move New Orleans made Tuesday. The John Carney experiment came to a quick end as the team released the 46-year-old kicker. That means Garrett Hartley has his job back. Hartley did not win his job so much as Carney lost his. Carney was 5/6 on field goals, but his range was limited and his accuracy – even on the makes – was sporadic.

Filling Carney’s roster spot will be newly acquired backup safety Matt Giordano, a former fourth-round pick of the Colts.

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Posted on: October 10, 2010 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 9:10 pm
 

Numerology Week 5: Parity Party

Posted by Will Brinson

The jury is still out on science, but the verdict on math is F-U-N, so we present the week in NFL from a numbers perspective.

0 - Undefeated teams remaining in the NFL. If an expanded schedule is coming, this might have been the last decent shot at running the table, and no one even wanted to give an effort at making Mercury Morris cry.

2 - Blocked punts by the Raiders in the first quarter as the Chargers, resulting in a touchdown and safety against the continually awful special teams unit of San Diego.  

4 - Straight games in which the Bills have allowed 30-plus points, which is the first time that has happened in their franchise's history. That is not good news.

5 - Field goals by Josh Scobee, tying a Jaguars franchise record.

7 - Losses that the NFC West has taken while traveling.  

13  - Number of times the Raiders had lost to the Chargers in a row until Sunday, when they snapped the longest losing streak to another team with a shocking 35-27 upset.

29 - Yard missed field goal by John Carney, which should do wonders for the "kicker controversy" chatter.

44 - Games since the Detroit Lions last won by more than 30 points -- they beat Denver 44-7 on November 4, 2007 and then St. Louis 44-6 on Sunday.  

90 - Number of seconds  in which Carson Palmer managed to throw quarter interceptions while doing his "best Jake Delhomme impression" and helping the Bengals hand the Buccaneers a win.  

140 - Characters in which Darrelle Revis announced that he'll be playing on Monday before the team could tell anyone. Well, technically it was 110, but either way: OchoCinco News Network strikes again!

147 - Total passing yardage that FOUR quarterbacks (Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore, Caleb Hanie and Todd Collins) combined for in the miserable-to-watch Bears-Panthers tilt. They also managed to throw SEVEN interceptions.

290 - Total passing yardage from Philip Rivers against the Raiders … in the first half.

314 - Yardage for Kyle Orton, which keeps him on pace to break Dan Marino's record. It's worth noting that he picked up about 65 or so of those in junk time though, and that the only number that really matters here is the "1" win the Ravens picked up.

1970 - The last season no one in the NFL made it to 4-0. Parity reigns supreme.

Posted on: October 5, 2010 5:23 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: The Old Hanging Chad(s)

Posted by Will Brinson

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park .


As late as Monday afternoon, this column had the potential to be BOR-ING. But bless you both, Chad Henne and Buddy Nix, for your beautiful run of incompetence -- Chad Henne decided to get his interception on against the Patriots in a Monday night South Beach slaughtering and Nix shipped Marshawn Lynch out to Seattle on Tuesday afternoon for a fourth round pick, totally changing the landscape of people fighting for jobs in the NFL.

As a result of Monday night's performance, there's all kinds of wild conjecture flying that the Dolphins will consider looking to Tyler Thigpen (you may recall him from mop-up duty last night) or Chad Pennington.

In part, the latter makes sense -- Pennington led the original 'Fins revival a few years ago. The reluctance to bail on Henne stems from the fact that he has "all the tools" (as the old saying goes) and Miami invested a second-rounder in him

And the fact that bailing from Henne, regardless of how robotic some of his throws look, is a knee-jerk mistake.

Look, again, some of his decisions in the pocket were beyond embarrassing, but if you take away the three picks (it's okay, I'm laughing while I write it too), he went 29 of 36 for 302 yards and two teeters, and that's the type of game that will win most of the time.

Now as to why we so willingly yanked out all the mistakes from his line, well, look no further than the special teams issues on Monday night -- when the third branch of your team coughs up 20-plus points, it changes your gameplan entirely. In the case of the Dolphins, it switched them from a run-heavy/run-often team looking to keep the ball out of Tom Brady's hands into a team that was forced to pass more than it wanted to.

Or, as Tony Sparano said, it "puts a lot of stress on the position."

Panic is inevitable in South Beach -- the Dolphins fired their special teams coach within 12 hours of the Pats loss -- and that's okay. But they're 2-2 headed into the bye, just a game (plus tiebreakers) back of the Pats and Jets and firmly in a convoluted playoff race just a quarter of the way into the season.

Giving up on Henne now would be overkill -- especially when games against Green Bay, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Baltimore after the bye will give them plenty of opportunity to make a move.

****
"Beast Mode" should end up starting for the Seahawks -- Julius Jones was released after Seattle acquired Lynch, Leon Washington is best used in situational running and special teams, and Justin Forsett just hasn't looked like a feature back.

As has been bandied about many a time between Andy and I, Lynch isn't exactly an elite running back. But he does possess some traits -- most notably an ability to actually be physical when running -- that the rest of the Seattle backs just don't have. Add in Pete Carroll's disappointment with the running game following the loss to the Rams, a bye week to prep Marshawn for the team's system and there's no reason to think he couldn't garner the majority of carries right off the bat.

The fascinating subplot of this job fight is that Lynch was in Forsett's wedding recently -- the two were roommates at Cal, which means it should at least be congenial.

****
Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb just WON'T LEAVE ME ALONE. Stupid Vick had to go and get his stupid ribs stuck in between two stupid Redskins on a stupid run near the stupid goal line (why yes, I do own him in like four fantasy leagues, why do you ask?) and now Kolb takes the reigns as starter.

Again.

The Eagles get the 49ers on national television this week and then get a bye, so it's unlikely that Kolb could perform so well in two weeks to warrant Andy Reid changing starters for the rest of the season. But I'm fairly certain I've said that like twelve times this season already.

****
Jake Delhomme is healthy which means we can just move on past that whole Mini-Seneca Wallace Era that featured a win and ... oh, I see. We can't move on? There's some sort of controversy in Cleveland? NO!

Okay, there's not a controversy, per se, but Eric Mangini did say that starting Delhomme wasn't "a knock on Seneca" because he'd, after all, "decreased the amount of turnovers the last couple of games." Translated from Coach on the Hot Seat Speak, that means that if Jake throws more than one interception in the first half next week, he's getting yanked.

****
Cadillac Williams actually acknowledged that he might not be Tampa Bay's feature back for much longer; presumably that means that LeGarrette Blount makes a play for the starter's role, which, by the way, is bat-s insane.

And also just kind of gross from a karma perspective, considering that it should definitely be Stafon Johnson starting somewhere. But whatever -- Cadillac has been awful this year, and if he can't average more than three yards per carry, you certainly can't blame the Bucs for putting some fresher legs in there.

****
Ryan Torain could be stealing a job, too. Clinton Portis, always a charming interview, hopped on the radio Tuesday and gave Mike Wise an on-air scoop (yes, the same one, irony alert, thanks) when he told him that he didn't think he'd play this week.

Torain's been a better runner, a more physical runner, is healthier, doesn't fall down randomly when running in the middle of the open field, has fresher legs and has more to prove. Plus, this is Mike Shanahan we're talking about -- it wouldn't be appropriate for him not to have a random dude come storming up from the practice squad to rush for 1,000 yards in his system.

****
Quickly ...

- Forgot to mention the Bills whole RB situation, but the presumptive notion has to be that Fred Jackson will see some carries and C.J. Spiller will get a much-increased role.

- The Jags dumped Todd Bouman which means Trent Edwards gets promoted which means that David Garrard slightly thinner ice than Jack Del Rio.

- Darren McFadden, who's been pretty daggum good this year, could miss Week 5. If he does, Michael Bush gets to really make a power play for the starter job in Oakland (although they'll still split carries when McFadden's healthy); Bush looked better against Houston and was considered a distinct possibility to begin the season as starter before a hand injury.

- Poor Garrett Hartley. That's like having your dad beat you in basketball. When you're 29.
Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:14 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Curse of Wally Pipp

P. Hillis has taken over the Cleveland running game (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re a quarter of the way into the season, and some players who were originally slated to be backups suddenly have emerged as starters. Maybe it was through an injury to the former starter. Maybe it was because the starter wasn’t as good as the team thought and the backup was better. Maybe it was because – and Wally Pipp could relate to this – somebody just needed an off-day.

In fairness to the old-time Yankees first baseman, who was replaced one day (permanently, it turned out) in 1925 by a guy named Lou Gehrig because Pipp had a headache, that story might not be true exactly. Instead, he might have been benched because manager Miller Huggins simply wanted to shake up the lineup. Either way, Gehrig played the next 2,130 games, and Pipp ended up in … Cincinnati (and apparently, he was also one of Sports Illustrated’s first writing hires, one of those cool but useless facts).

Anyway, there have been some impact players to emerge this season so far, simply because they, like Gehrig, were given that chance to shine. Some have won a starting position. Some are just holding it until the real starter returns. But they’re all making a (mostly good) impression. It sounds like the perfect Top Ten With a Twist list to me.

10. Lance Moore, WR/PR, Saints: The story of Moore’s career. A Saints starts gets injured. Moore steps in and makes plays. Remember in 2008 when Moore caught a team-high 79 passes for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns after Marques Colston was hurt? Obviously, when Reggie Bush returns from his broken leg, Moore will fade back into the background – maybe. But man, he looked electric against the Falcons (six catches, 149 yards, two touchdowns), and he’s become a big target for New Orleans when it’s in the red zone.

9. Max Hall, QB, Cardinals: Look, we all know Derek Anderson isn’t a very good quarterback. But I didn’t think he would have a chance to lose his job this early. Hall, meanwhile, was a 2010 undrafted free agent (seriously, how poor is Anderson to lose to an undrafted free agent?). Not that Hall was great when he replaced Anderson on Sunday, because he wasn’t, but he might be Arizona’s best option at this point. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, meanwhile, isn’t talking. “I think we're going to go without [a quarterback) this week,” he joked Monday. “I think we're going to go with all Wildcat."

8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots: He averaged about eight carries per game his rookie year in 2008, but with Kevin Faulk lost for the season – and Fred Taylor unavailable for the Miami game Monday – Green-Ellis (47 carries this year for 215 yards) has already nearly doubled his attempts from last year. He had his breakout in Week 3 against Buffalo when he carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards and a score, and vs. the Dolphins, he was impressive with a 16-carry, 78-yard, one-touchdown performance.

7. Shaun Hill, QB, Lions:
The reason Hill is so low on this list is because there’s no way he’ll take the job from Matthew Stafford. But still, how impressive has Hill looked the past few weeks? After Stafford went out with the shoulder injury in Week 1, Hill was terrible. But the past three weeks, he’s completed 61.9 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and six interceptions (he’s also averaging 301 passing yards per game), and he really impressed me in Detroit’s two-point loss to Green Bay.

6. Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Raiders: It didn’t take long for Raiders coach Tom Cable to figure out that, in order to save his job, he’d take his chances with Gradkowski instead of Jason Campbell. This is not to say Gradkowski is an elite quarterback, because that’s a laughable notion. But he played well at times when he was in Tampa Bay after Chris Simms ruptured his spleen in 2006 (Gradkowski failed to win the starting job in 2007). For now, though, Gradkowski is entrenched as Cable’s guy. As long as Cable is around.

5. Koa Misi, LB, Dolphins: Ikaika Alama-Francis was supposed to be the starter, but the night before the season opener, he caught some kind of illness and he’s been recovering ever since, losing 15-20 pounds in the process. Misi, the team’s second round Draft pick this year, has taken over his starting spot with consistent play and a smooth transition to the pro game. It was originally thought that Misi’s main objective would be as a situational pass-rusher – he was, after all, a defensive end in college – but he’s proven his worth as an every-down back with two sacks and a fumble recovery TD. In the meantime, he’s also Wally Pipp’d Alama-Francis.

4. Taylor Mays, S, 49ers: Mays so Wally Pipp’d former starter Michael Lewis that San Francisco released Lewis Monday, the day after Mays’ huge game against Atlanta. Mays had taken Lewis’ starting job already, and it sounds like Lewis asked for his release, but still, that’s pretty impressive for a rookie. Mays, in case you didn’t see it, had a phenomenal touchdown (both feet down!) after a punt block to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead. He also made 11 tackles.



3. John Carney, K, Saints: Carney, who will turn 65 later this year (I’m kidding, he’s 46), has returned once again to the NFL, and after making three kicks this past week, you have to wonder how much longer Garrett Hartley will stay on the roster – or why he’s on the roster at all at this point. Obviously, Carney isn’t the future kicker in this organization, and maybe the Saints are keeping Hartley around, because they’re hoping he can overcome what’s been a terrible start to the season for him. Otherwise, he’d already have been Pipp’d.

2. Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins:
Torain and Clinton Portis have split carries, but it seems that if this was the 100-meter dash at the Olympics, Torain would be Usain Bolt and Portis would be the other seven guys. Meaning Torain is pulling away and eventually will take Portis’ starting role. It could happen this week actually as Portis hurt his groin Sunday. Let me also briefly mention San Diego’s Mike Tolbert, who replaced first-round pick Ryan Mathews when he was injured and rushed for 255 combined yards the past three games (including a 100-yard performance Sunday when Mathews was in the game). But coach Norv Turner says he’s committed to keeping Mathews as the starter, so Tolbert doesn’t fit on this list all that well.

1. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns: It was supposed to be Montario Hardesty and Jerome Harrison running the ball in Cleveland. Hillis – who was traded from Denver in the Brady Quinn deal this past offseason – was supposed to be just an afterthought. Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs had never heard of the guy until he ripped off 180 total yards (144 on the ground, the most Baltimore has allowed in five years) against the Ravens. With Hardesty out with a season-ending injury and with Harrison failing to make an impression on the Cleveland coaching staff, Hillis has taken advantage, tying the league high with four touchdowns and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Like Gehrig, it appears that Hillis has no future plans to give up his starting spot.

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Posted on: October 4, 2010 10:26 am
 

John Carney solid in latest Saint debut (sort of)

Posted by Andy Benoit

So Garrett Hartley wound up losing his job to veteran mentor John Carney after all. The 46-year-old Carney will remain on the roster for the remainder of the season – even if Hartley, who is still with the team, wins the job back. (Why, exactly, the Saints would keep both kickers is hard to say.)J. Carney

The question is, Does Hartley strictly have to win his job, or can Carney lose HIS job? Carney was 3/3 on field goals in the team’s narrow 16-14 victory over Carolina. (Drew Brees had a great line afterwards, saying “This was a 30-point day we turned into 16 points with turnovers and a lack of execution.”)

All three of Carney’s kicks were inside 40 yards. His last kick, a 25-yard game-winner, would probably have been wide left from 35 yards.
Carney does not have great range, but the Saints, with their prolific offense, don’t often rely on range. So can Carney stay accurate? And does a “barely made” 25-yard attempt constitute accuracy?

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Posted on: October 3, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Numerology: NFL Week 4

Posted by Will Brinson

The jury is still out on science, but the verdict on math is F-U-N, so we present the week in NFL from a numbers perspective.

1 - Middle fingers extended by Titans' defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil to an official upon not preferring the call on the field. Bad news: his fine is probably going to be a bigger number. Good news though is that Bud Adams will probably pay it, given his history for, um, flying birds at football games .

3 - 200-yard receiving games that Terrell Owens (and seven others) has in his career. Couldn't happen to a better guy!

8 - Consecutive games by Antonio Gates with a touchdown, just another record that he owns as a tight end. Once Tony Gonzalez retires in 2055, Gates can really work on catching his records.

25 - Yards that John Carney was able to move the football with his foot in order to ensure that Garrett Hartley is unemployed come Monday.

59 - Length of Josh Scobee's game winning kick for the Jaguars to topple the Colts Sunday. (Incidentally, that's also the number of Jags fans in attendance!)

60.2 - Quarterback rating for Donovan McNabb on Sunday. Of course, the number "one" is important too, since it's how many victories he has in Philadelphia.

67 - Games it took Maurice Jones-Drew to get 50 career rushing touchdowns, tied for the 13th fastest in NFL history. Yes, his fantasy owners are wondering why it wasn't somewhere between 64 and 66.

74 - Length of Arian Foster's third quarter touchdown run, which actually may be less important than ZERO, which is the number of carries he got in the first quarter after being benched for a "coach's decision" that made a lot of fantasy owners a whole lot of angry.

145 - Total yards from scrimmage by Charlie Batch as the Steelers lost their first game of the year. I assume everyone still thinks there's some sort of quarterback controversyin Pittsburgh?

158 - How many times Jeff Saturday and Peyton Manning have started a game together, which is the longest in post-merger NFL history. You wouldn't think you could get comfortable with your hands underneath another man's buttocks on a weekly basis, but I suppose after that many times it becomes routine.

165 - Speaking of Peyton, that's how many interception-less passes he'd tossed in a row until the third quarter against the Jaguars.

254 - Yards Steven Jackson needs to catch Eric Dickerson as the St. Louis Rams' all-time leading rusher following a 70-yard performance that helped him pass Marshall Faulk for second on the list and give him 6,991 for his career.

1,419 - Kyle Orton's passing yardage total thru four games of the 2010 season. Only Kurt Warner has a higher number in NFL history. (This is the part where we pause to let you pick up your jaw.)

12,012 - Career receiving yardage for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, the only tight end in history to cross the 12k barrier. It cannot be understated just how fantastic his career has been and, perhaps more impressively, continues to be .
Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:08 am
 

Carney grabs Hartley's job in New Orleans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In perhaps some of the least surprising news of the week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that newly-signed K John Carney will take over the place-kicking duties for the Saints.

After watching Garrett Hartley miss a 29-yard chip shot that would have won the Atlanta game in overtime – only to see the Falcons win a few minutes later – the Saints brought in the 46-year-old Carney this week to lend some stability.

New Orleans also used Carney last year when Hartley was serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned stimulant. He went 13 of 17 on his field goal attempts when Hartley was out.

Through it all, Saints coach Sean Payton continues to treat Hartley with infinite patience and has kept him on the roster. Perhaps that’s because Hartley did send New Orleans to the Super Bowl with a 40-yard field in overtime to beat the Vikings.

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