Tag:Keith Rivers
Posted on: May 8, 2011 2:31 pm
 

AFC North draft truths revealed

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the best things about the draft is that from it we can find out what teams really think about their current players. Excluding examples of teams filling obvious needs, here are some of the more revealing draft picks from 2011, with a quick blurb of what the team was really saying by making this pick.

Baltimore Ravens

2nd round, Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
We’re not sure we want to re-sign T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and we need a downfield playmaker anyway. Plus, Derrick Mason can’t play forever…right?

3rd round, Jah Reid, OT, UCFA. Dalton (US Presswire)
Jared Gaither is far too flaky to bank on, and we prefer to play Marshall Yanda at guard.

4th round, Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana
We’re aware of the Torrey Smith-Darrius Heyward-Bey comparisons.

Cincinnati Bengals

1st round, A.J Green, WR, Georgia
We’re as sick of Chad Ochocinco as everyone else.

2nd round, Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
We’re not going to give an inch with Carson Palmer. Problem is, we don’t think he’ll give an inch with us either.

3rd round, Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
We’re not sure Michael Johnson has the ability or drive to be a stud starting linebacker. And we might be starting to realize the same thing about Keith Rivers.

Cleveland Browns

1st round, Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
We need defensive linemen in the worst of ways. Taylor is perfect because he’s Shaun Rogers without being Shaun Rogers.

2nd round, Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
Why spend a first-round pick on Julio Jones when you can get a handful of extra picks and a player who, talent-wise, is not all that far off from Jones? All it takes is a little maneuvering and a slight willingness to overlook character concerns.

Pittsburgh Steelers

2nd round, Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
At some point offensive line coach Sean Kugler won’t have the patience of Job and will start pounding his fists on the table.

3rd round, Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
Yeah, yeah, we know about Green Bay’s spread formations in the Super Bowl. But a third-round pick isn’t going to do the trick. That’s why we’re praying we can re-sign Ike Taylor.

Check back throughout the week for other division’s Draft Truths Revealed. To see all Draft Truths Revealed, click the “Draft Truths” tag.

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Posted on: January 22, 2011 11:40 am
 

Jets think Hines Ward is rather dirty

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the debate about whether Steelers WR Hines Ward is a tough, gritty, blue-collar WR who makes hard, but clean blocks on defenders or a dirty, cowardly head hunter, I usually lean toward the former.

I’m pretty sure a wide variety of players – like Jets LB Bart Scott, Ravens S Ed Reed and Bengals LB Keith Rivers, all of whom have been hammered by Ward – would disagree with my assessment.

You can add Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to the list.

“Our guys I think called him the toughest guy in the league when nobody’s looking,” Pettine said, via ESPN New York.

Considering Ward was voted by his peers in Sports Illustrated as the dirtiest player in the league, Pettine’s comment might have some merit. That doesn’t mean the “tough, gritty, blue collar” thing is wrong, though.

“That works for them,” Pettine said. “He’s kind of the spark that gets them going and we are well aware of it.”

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 11:35 am
Edited on: September 19, 2010 12:05 pm
 

AFC Inactives: Week 2

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Names of people who are ACTIVE include Todd Heap and Lardarius Webb.

Keith Rivers, LB, Bengals: He's been bothered by a bad foot, and that's bad news for the Bengals defense. Rivers might be the best LB on the roster, and Cincinnati's run defense will suffer from his absence. Brandon Johnson will take his place.

Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns:
This is no surprise. He was doubtful coming into the weekend with an ankle injury, and now, it's official. Seneca Wallace, who doesn't have the throwing potential of Delhomme but has good scrambling ability, will get the start.

Jon McGraw, FS, Chiefs:
He was expected to start - especially after being in the lineup in Week 1 - but instead, Kansas City's coaches are going with the youth movement. The Chiefs will start fifth-round pick Kendrick Lewis, who's exceeded expectations in his first season, and together with Eric Berry, that's a very young safeties corps.

William Hayes, DL, Titans: After missing the season-opener last week, it was thought Hayes possibly could play today. Hayes, in fact, said this week that if he was needed, he definitely could go against Pittsburgh. Ultimately, a lack of conditioning might have been the reason he's not playing.

Casey Hampton, NT, Steelers: With Titans RB Chris Johnson coming to town, this isn't great news for Pittsburgh, even though everybody knew this was going to happen. Chris Hoke likely will take his place.

Jared Gaither, OT, Ravens: The right side of Baltimore's offensive line still remains in limbo, because Gaither still hasn't recovered from his back injury. He says he's doing well and recovering, but that hasn't translated into anything on the field. Marshal Yanda gets the start in his place.

Ikaika Alama-Francis, LB, Dolphins:
He missed last week with an illness, and he was scratched about 90 minutes before Miami's win at Buffalo. Apparently, he's still sick, and apparently, Koa Misi, who had a good game last week, has passed him on the depth chart.

Paul Posluszny , LB, Bills: We knew this already. Posluszny is out a couple weeks with a knee injury. But it's worth noting that perhaps the happiest player about this news is Green Bay TE Jermichael Finley. He might be in for a big day.

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Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 12:06 pm
 

Matchup Focus: Bengals DB vs. Patriots WR

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be strength on strength when the Bengals corners line up against the Patriots wideouts (Sunday, 1:00, CBS).

First, understand something: New England’s receiving corps features the same two stars as 2007 (Wes Welker and Randy Moss), but it does not feature the same explosiveness.
R. Moss (US Presswire)
At 33, Moss has dissolved into strictly a straight-line receiver. This isn’t the end of the world – we’re talking about arguably the greatest deep threat of all time. Moss doesn’t quite have the wheels he had in Minnesota, but his speed still ranks in the NFL’s upper 20 percentile. More importantly, he’s a master at tracking a deep ball and disguising his intentions when exerting for a catch. That’s why he was still able to post 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

The problem is, Moss is no longer a premium threat when changing directions. He has stiff hips and limited agility. Thus, instead of running any route on the tree, he now only shines running the 9 Route (fly pattern). Moss has never been a good route runner, but he at least used to be dangerous enough to command safety help simply by being on the field. Now, if the Patriots want Moss to command safety help, they have to design plays specifically for him to do so. This ultimately limits the rest of their offense (just a bit).

The Bengals will likely play a safety over the top against Moss, though in cornerback Johnathan Joseph, they have perhaps the best deep-ball man-defender in the AFC not named Revis. Joseph has excellent catch-up speed and a keen sense for timing his attack on a hanging ball. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie is the best deep-ball man-defender in the NFC.)

More concerning to the Bengals should be Wes Welker. (We’ll assume Welker, in his first meaningful game back from ACL surgery, will be his usual self. A big assumption? Perhaps. But the man looked sharp throughout training camp and the preseason.)
J. Joseph (US Presswire)
Welker, obviously, thrives as an underneath receiver. Leon Hall is a Pro Bowl caliber corner, but he’s not a press corner (neither is Joseph). That’s virtually a moot point, though, because the Patriots almost always line Welker up in the slot or flanker position (two yards off the line of scrimmage). Still, Hall must be physical with Welker early in his route. Hall is usually tremendous in this capacity, but he’s also a tad inconsistent.

The key to Cincy’s defense will be whether Hall can control Welker in the five-to eight-yard range. Fortunately, Hall is an adequate tackler. But for preventing Welker from even catching the ball to begin with, the Bengals may want to have weakside linebacker Keith Rivers patrolling the underneath flats (stopping Welker in motion over the middle is nearly impossible). By committing Rivers to the flats, Cincy would be gambling with Chris Crocker against athletic tight end Rob Gronkowski in coverage – but at least that matchups pits an intelligent eighth-year veteran against a first-game rookie. Plus, if Rivers is in zone coverage in the flats, he can combat Kevin Faulk’s receiving prowess out of the backfield.

If we’re to follow this train of thought, then it all comes back to whether Joseph can handle Moss. If Joseph can’t, then Crocker will be needed in deep coverage, which means the Bengals would likely end up counting on Roy Williams to cover in the box. Just the idea of Williams in any sort of coverage gives defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer nightmares.

What to expect: a modest day for Moss (say in the neighborhood of five catches, 65 yards), a solid day for Welker (eight or nine catches, 100 yards) but the contest ultimately decided by whether the Patriots can find a third weapon in the passing game.

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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