Tag:Kendall Langford
Posted on: February 27, 2012 1:08 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Defensive End Rankings

It sounds like Houston isn't remotely interested in letting Williams test free agency. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the defensive ends.

Most of the categories in our 2012 free agent rankings are fairly straightforward. Running backs are running backs. Tight ends are tight ends. Quarterbacks are quarterbacks. But when it comes to the defensive line, the category gets a little blurry.

Some defensive ends also play defensive tackle. Defensive ends in a 3-4 scheme oftentimes line up as an outside linebacker. That makes ranking them in a single list a bit more complicated. Though some of the following players won’t always line up as a defensive end, the idea that each of these players will be asked to rush the passer remains the same. So, we list them as defensive ends.

1. Mario Williams

Breakdown: Williams quickly caught on to Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme where he played as more of an end/linebacker hybrid and recorded five sacks in the only five games in which he participated last year. Williams likely will return to terrorizing tackles and quarterbacks on nearly every snap if he leaves Houston and signs with a team that uses the 4-3. True, Williams is coming off a pectoral muscle injury that sent him to the IR list, but he says he’s healthy and the former No. 1 overall pick is going to be expensive. That said, Texans general manager Rick Smith continues to say that re-signing Williams is one of the teams’ top offseason priorities, though there’s a real question whether Houston has the cap room to do so. Even though Williams has failed to reach double-digits in sacks for the past three years, he still could win the richest defensive player contract of all time if he leaves Houston.

Possible Landing Spots:Texans, Jaguars, Seahawks, Titans
Avril made a name for himself in 2011. (Getty Images)

2. Cliff Avril


Breakdown: Although he’s not as well-known as teammates Ndamukong Suh or (probably) Nick Fairley, Avril emerged as one of the nastiest ends in the league this year. His 11 sacks were a career high, and he even managed his first career interception. The problem on Avril’s end is that there’s almost no chance Detroit will let him get anywhere near free agency. The Lions and Avril are working on a long-term deal. General manager Martin Mayhew said that while he doesn’t want to franchise-tag Avril, he’s also not willing to lose him. If that occurs, Avril -- who has hinted at holding out -- will have to decide if he wants to be on time for training camp.

Possible Landing Spots: Lions

3. Calais Campbell


Breakdowns: The past three seasons, Campbell has been consistent, and he has consistently improved, increasing his tackle totals every season and notching a career-high eight sacks in 2011 for the Cardinals. But like Avril, he’s got very little chance to test himself on the free agent market, because it sounds like if Arizona can’t come to terms on a long-term contract, the Cardinals will tag him. But unlike Avril, Campbell said he’s OK with that scenario. Besides, if he is tagged and makes close to $11 million for 2012 and puts forth another career-best performance, he’ll have the chance to set himself up with a huge contract.
 
Possible Landing Spots: Cardinals

4. Robert Mathis


Breakdown: Since he’s spent his entire nine-year career in Indianapolis, it’s hard to imagine Mathis in a non-Colts uniform -- almost as tough, I suppose, as imagining Peyton Manning in something other than blue and white. The potential problem, though, is new coach Chuck Pagano seems intent on installing the 3-4 scheme, and that will be a transition for somebody who’s always been a 4-3 end (it’s worth noting that CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco doesn’t seem concerned with the Colts turning Mathis into a pass-rushing linebacker). The Colts have said they want to keep Mathis in Indianapolis, but Dwight Freeney will cost $19 million against the salary cap. Another possibility for Mathis is the Colts placing the franchise tag on him, but considering Mathis is 31, the delaying of a long-term contract isn’t necessarily a great option for him.

Possible Landing Spots: Titans, Falcons, Colts

5. John Abraham

Abraham believes he's worth $12 million a year, even though he'll turn 34 before next season. (US Presswire)

Breakdown: Although Abraham will turn 34 before the start of the 2012 season, he still should draw plenty of interest throughout the league, simply because he continues to be one of the elite ends around. He’s durable, playing at least 15 games per season in the last five years, and he continues to churn out double-digit sack totals on a near-annual basis (his 9.5 sacks in 2011 just missed the cutoff). Can he command a long-term contract? Probably not, because of his age. Is he still a top-10 defensive end? Probably, yes. But is he worth $12 million? According to Abraham, the answer is: absolutely. “Check out the five top ends,” Abraham told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Everybody is getting 12-plus. I made $8 million last year. Everybody is saying, ‘Oh, he’s so greedy.’ How am I greedy when I’m just trying to get paid the same thing they are getting paid?” The chances of Abraham getting $12 million? Slim to none.

Possible Landing Spots: Giants, Buccaneers, Patriots

6. Cory Redding

Breakdown: He had a rough year in 2009 in his only season with the Lions, but since moving to Baltimore and playing with the Ravens for the past two seasons, Redding has returned to being a solid end who can stop the run and who occasionally can muster a sack (he’s got 7.5  combined in the past two seasons). But Redding will turn 32 next season, and he had injuries at the end of last year that slowed him a bit (even though it was one of the best seasons of his career). He’s probably not a great long-term value for most teams in the league, but the Ravens are a fan of him, particularly since he took on a leadership role when linebacker Ray Lewis missed four games. Redding just seems to fit in well with Baltimore’s defense. But remember, Pagano lurks to the west in Indianapolis.

Possible Landing Spots:Colts, Ravens

7. Jeremy Mincey


Breakdown: Mincey certainly picked the best time to have a career year. In his contract year, he recorded 57 tackles, eight sacks and an interception. Considering he didn’t combine for those numbers during the first five seasons of his career, that should tell you about Mincey’s mindset entering 2011. Or, it should tell you that last season was simply an anomaly (or, I suppose, you could say that it just took Mincey a long time to develop). Either way, Mincey is looking to get paid -- he’s on record saying he won’t give Jacksonville a hometown discount -- and though it appears the Jaguars would like to keep him, they’ll have to figure out where he fits in with the team’s finances (it should be noted that Jacksonville has plenty of room under the salary cap).

Possible Landing Spots: Jaguars, Bills

8. Israel Idonije


Breakdown: He obviously doesn’t get the love that’s reserved for teammate Julius Peppers, but Idonije notched a career-high 52 tackles last season (along with five sacks). Even better for Chicago, Idonije seems intent on returning to the Bears. “I want to be here,” Idonije said earlier this month. “I have an incredible relationship with the coaching staff, and I understand the system. So my No. 1 focus is to stay.” He even intimated he would give Chicago a hometown discount. He probably won’t command an expensive long-term deal, and he’ll probably be worth it for the Bears.

Possible Landing Spots: Bears

9.  Mark Anderson


Breakdown: Anderson is a strange case, because as ESPN Boston pointed out, he only played 47.6 percent of the Patriots snaps last year. Yet, he still managed 10 sacks. Also, he played all but one snap in the team’s final two games after Andre Carter suffered a quad injury.  Carter also is an unrestricted free agent, but reportedly, Anderson is a better bet to be re-signed by New England.

Possible Landing Spot: Patriots, Dolphins

10. Honorable Mentions


Unrestricted: Kendall Langford, Raheem Brock, Red Bryant, Andre Carter

Restricted: Phillip Merling, Michael Bennett

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 2:33 pm
 

Reggie Bush out as Fins look to 'shatter' Jets

Bush won't play as Miami looks to 'shatter' the Jets' playoff hopes. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday, the Jets will try and keep their slim playoff hopes (you can read all about them here) alive in Miami. The Dolphins are already eliminated, but don't think that means they won't be trying to knock the Jets out of the postseason. They will. But they'll have to do it without leading rusher Reggie Bush.

Bush, per interim coach Todd Bowles, is out with a knee injury for Sunday's matchup at Sun Life Stadium. Bush is the team's leading rusher and with 1,086 rushing yards, he's having by far and away the best rushing season of his career. (His 519 rushing yards since Week 13 lead the NFL in that time span.)

That means Daniel Thomas, Miami's second-round pick in 2011, will get the bulk of the carries as the Dolphins try and "shatter" the Jets playoff hopes.

"As a Dolphin, that’s all you want to do is shatter their dreams," Kendall Langford, Dolphins defensive lineman, said, per the Miami Herald. "I'm sure the fans would love it, too. I'm sure the New York fans would hate it."

Defensive end Jared Odrick added that "obviously, yeah, that's motivation" when asked about booting a rival from the postseason race.

It's not surprising to hear this from the Dolphins; they're a team that was 0-7 and managed to fight their way back to a very respectable 5-10 record, despite many folks believing they should simply make a run at a winless season and the prospect of Andrew Luck in South Florida.

A win over the Jets in the season finale, at home, to close out Jason Taylor's career, would just be icing on the improperly-baked-but-still-kind-of-
tasty cake that's been the Fins 2011 season.


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Posted on: October 25, 2011 11:03 am
Edited on: November 1, 2011 2:39 pm
 

Dolphins were in wrong defense on Tebow score

How to be 0-6 without really trying: look shocked when Tebow runs a QB draw. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

This goes a long way in explaining a) why the Dolphins are 0-6, and b) why they seemed like the only people surprised when Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow ran the Tebow Sneak on the game-tying two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter (Hint: you don't have plays named after you unless you have previously done something to make them famous. In Tebow's case, he ran some variation of the quarterback draw approximately two billion times in college.): On the game's most important play, Miami was in the wrong defense.

In case you missed it, the video evidence:


Denver Quarterback Tim Tebow capped off a miraculous 4th quarter comeback by sending the game to overtime, with this 2 point conversion in the final seconds of regulation against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

After the loss -- one that saw the Broncos score 15 points in the final minutes -- Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford admitted that "everyone in the stadium knew he was going to run it." Everyone, it seems, except head coach Tony Sparano and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. On that fateful, game-tying play, Miami had five defensive backs, three linemen and three linebackers on the field, apparently under the impression that Tebow, who had amassed a whopping 24 passing yards midway through the third quarter, was going to throw the ball.

The Palm Beach Post's Brian Biggane notes that "Run-stoppers Langford, nose tackle Paul Soliai and defensive end Randy Starks typically are on the field in Miami's goal-line defense. But all three were on the sideline in the scheme defensive coordinator Mike Nolan used against the Denver formation that employed four wide receivers."

Defensive lineman Tony McDaniel, who played nose tackle on the play, was more succinct: "We had the wrong personnel on the field, to be honest. They spread us out and ran it up the middle."

He then echoed teammate Langford. "I always knew (Tebow) was going to try to run the ball when they got in the red zone. He just found a way, made a play and they got a win."

And just in case it wasn't clear, Langford reiterated the point one last time.

"We weren't in a goal-line package," he said. "Everybody at home watching knew what the call was. That was obvious."

Obvious to everyone but Nolan. Which brings us to this: what happened? Nolan got the 49ers head coaching gig in 2005 after coordinating up the Ravens' defense. He lasted three years in San Francisco and spent a season with the Broncos before landing in Miami.

The Sun-Sentinel's David Hyde points to a string of "wait, what did he just do?" decisions by Nolan in 2011:

1. Karlos Dansby wasn't on the field for Cleveland's game-winning touchdown drive.
2. Cameron Wake was asked to cover Santonio Holmes, which resulted in a touchdown.
3. The aforementioned two-point Tebow conversion

If you're looking for a silver lining, this is the best we can do: there's only 600 minutes left in the Dolphins' season.


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Posted on: December 1, 2010 10:10 am
 

Surprise! Dolphins get Phillip Merling back

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s not quite like Tom Hanks’ return to society at the end of Castaway, but it’s startling to see that the Dolphins suddenly have Phillip Merling back. Five months ago, the defensive end was thought to be lost for the season with an Achilles injury.

However, Merling was never placed on Injured Reserve. This week, Miami activated him from the non-football injury list. Quarterback Patrick Ramsey was cut in order to make room for the former Clemson star.

Merling, 25, has not taken an NFL field since August, but he could boost the Dolphins’ front line right away. He had a slow start to his promising career but played into his size down the stretch last season. Merling will give the Dolphins more physicality on the edges than starter Kendall Langford, but expect him to initially come off the bench (he didn’t even have a completely firm grasp on a starting job before the injury).

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Posted on: October 20, 2010 8:17 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 8:23 pm
 

Dolphins lose first-round rookie for the season

Posted by Andy Benoit

Dolphins rookie defensive end Jared Odrick has been battling back from a fractured fibula suffered in the season opener against Buffalo. The first-round pick was hoping to return sometime around Week 5 (it was just a hairline fracture). J. Odrick

That will not be the case. Odrick was placed on Injured Reserve Wednesday night, according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network.

The Dolphins essentially became prepared to march forward without Odrick once coaches moved Randy Starks from nose tackle back to his more natural end position. Kendall Langford, inconsistent at times though very agile against the run, remains the other starting defensive end.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 5:51 pm
 

Kendall Langford's missing bling

Posted by Andy Benoit

There’s a great NFL Films clip of Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer telling Derrick Thomas to take his earring out before running onto the field. Hopefully, Steve Sabol and his crew can get their hands on some footage from Dolphins prMissing Earring (Palm Beach Post)actice today.

Defensive end Kendall Langford forgot to remove his earring before a drill – and, of course, he lost one of them. No big deal, except that it was a 2.5 carats diamond. For those of you who aren’t married or familiar with hip hop culture, that’s roughly $50,000.

According to the Associated Press, at least nine teammates helped Langford look for the missing bling. They had two practice fields to cover.

The Palm Beach Post was savvy enough to shoot a video of players raking and scanning the field in hopes of finding something shiny.

Langford abandoned the search after an hour (he had a team meeting). To make matters worse, the grounds crew started mowing the grass shortly after. (You'd think Langford would have begged them to hold off for a day, or perhaps he could have paid someone a few hundred bucks to see to it that the mowers mysteriously stopped working.)

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 29, 2010 11:05 am
 

Dolphins add another DE

C. Grant signed with Miami to compete for a DE spot (Getty). The Dolphins still are trying to make up for the loss of DE Philip Merling, who suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the offseason. After signing Marques Douglas to the squad on Tuesday, Miami took a chance on former New Orleans DE Charles Grant, inking him to a two-year deal.

As the Miami Herald writes, Grant has plenty to prove.

He missed the Saints playoff run last year because of a torn triceps muscle, and he has faced legal issues the past two years.

The Herald has the particulars:

Grant, you see, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a February 2008 altercation in a bar – what else? – in which a pregnant woman was shot to death. Grant initially denied being an instigator or a participant in the incident.

But that changed when the issue went to court. He pleaded no contest to affray, which means fighting. Assistant District Attorney Ron Smith told the Associated Press Grant was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 restitution to the Early County Sheriff's Office for his role in the fight.  Grant, who is from Colquitt, Ga., was stabbed in the neck during the fight in nearby Blakely that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Korynda Reed.

Smith said Grant's longtime friend, Laquient Macklin, and Grant's cousin, Marshae Stromer, pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and affray and paid $1,000 fines and were put on two years probation.


Grant won’t automatically move into a starting spot. He’ll have to compete with Douglas and Kendall Langford for that position – it appears first-round pick Jared Odrick will take the other DE spot – and Grant will play in a 3-4 defense for the first time. But based on past production, Grant, who’s more accomplished than any other DE on the Dolphins roster, will have a good shot at earning plenty of playing time.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 20, 2010 2:14 pm
 

Future could be cloudy for Phillip Merling

Yesterday was a bad day for Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling. The Palm Beach Post Reports:
P. Merling
The state attorney’s office in Broward County officially filed felony charges against Merling on Friday for aggravated battery on a victim he should have known was pregnant. No court date has been set (it will likely be set within a week), but prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy found enough evidence that Merling, 25, battered his pregnant girlfriend to move forward with the case.

Merling’s attorney already entered a plea of not guilty and requested a trial by jury, the state attorney’s office confirmed.


Merling was a second-round pick in 2008 but has not consistently fulfilled expectations. He was expected to start this season, though his legal issues could throw a wrench into those plans. The Dolphins drafted another end in the first-round, Jared Odrick, plus Merling’s fellow third-year end, Kendall Langford, is a very solid run-defender with starting experience. In other words, Miami can certainly use Merling, but they don’t direly need him.

-- Andy Benoit

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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