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Tag:Kevin Boss
Posted on: November 9, 2011 10:54 am
 

Film Room: 49ers vs. Giants preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit


The NFC’s top team from the East will travel some 3,000 miles to face the top team from the West in a game that could ultimately decide the No. 2 playoff seed. Here’s a five-point look at this matchup between two overachieving clubs.



1. Old School offenses
If not for HD quality picture and the first-down line, you could fool yourself into thinking the year is 1990 when watching these two offenses line up on Sunday. Both are built around traditional rushing attacks, operating predominantly out of classic 12, 21 or 22 personnel (12 personnel = 1 back, two tight ends; 21 personnel = two backs, one tight end; you can guess what 22 personnel equals).

The difference is that the Niners this season have successfully run the ball, while the Giants have not (San Francisco ranks sixth in the NFL with 137.6 yards rushing per game; New York ranks 29th with 88.8).

Jim Harbaugh has good horses in Frank Gore and the more dynamic but less experienced Kendall Hunter, but it’s not a glistening backfield like those found in Philadelphia, Houston or Oakland. To compensate, Harbaugh has done a masterful job manufacturing rushing yards through formation variations, motion and subtle subterfuge. The Niners show opponents a lot of different looks with their running back and tight end alignments. And with mobile guards like Mike Iupati and, to an extent, Adam Snyder, they can frequently change up their movement-oriented run-blocking techniques. They have the most variegated ground game in the NFL.
 
The Giants would like to mimic this, but Ahmad Bradshaw hasn’t been healthy and Brandon Jacobs hasn’t been impactful. More encumbering has been the shakiness of the offensive line. The center position has been particularly problematic. David Baas has battled injuries and struggled with gap-shooting defensive tackles against Miami two weeks ago; when Baas has been out, Kevin Boothe has looked how you’d expect a career backup tackle to look at center. Most telling is that recently, offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride has been almost exclusively aerial in his late-game play-calls.

2. The Quarterbacks
The Giants have managed six wins despite a sputtering ground game. The reason? Eli Manning has played the best football of his career. Herein lays the difference between New York and San Francisco. Both teams have former No. 1 overall drafted quarterbacks, but only one can put the game on its quarterback’s shoulders.

Manning is seeing the field clearer than ever (fortunately for him, New York’s front line struggles have not been in pass protection). His command of the offense and sound decision-making have propagated the eruptions of tight end Jake Ballard and slot receiver Victor Cruz. Ballard is an enhanced version of Kevin Boss; Cruz, with his unique body control and sticky hands, is a more explosive – though less stable – version of Steve Smith.

Something that’s not talked about often enough is Manning’s arm strength. He’s among the small handful of quarterbacks who truly can make all the throws; and he doesn’t need to be on balance or in perfect pocket conditions to do it.

Alex Smith, on the other hand, does need perfect pocket conditions. Smith is not functional with bodies around him. When he does have room, the throw usually has to target his first or second read, as he’s never had the poise to work deep in his progressions. This is one reason the Niners have spent so much time in 12 or 21 or 22 formations. When there are only three receivers running routes, defenses are more inclined to bring an eighth defender in the box, thus allowing for more one-on-one coverage concepts outside. This makes things simpler for the quarterback.

The Giants, on the other hand, are able to split into three, and sometimes four, receiver formations for long stretches and let Manning run the show.

3. Pass-rushes
These are two of the best pure pass-rushing defenses in the NFL. Pure meaning both are willing but not compelled to blitz. When they do blitz, it’s often primarily in an effort to command isolated matchups for rushers on the edge. For these defenses, those matchups will almost always be favorable.
 
For the Giants, Osi Umenyiora augments his incredible speed by being the league’s best snap-count anticipators in obvious passing situations. Opposite him, a healthy Justin Tuck is a versatile, fundamentally sharp force, and a rising Jason Pierre-Paul has willowy power and speed that make him a potentially more explosive version of Tuck. And don’t forget that linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka is a former first-round defensive end who can turn the corner.

You already know all this, though. What you may not know is that San Francisco’s pass-rushers are not too many rungs behind New York’s. Sixth-year pro Ahmad Brooks has finally learned how to apply his startling speed and fluidity on an everydown basis (even against the run, which close observers two years ago would not have predicted).

Rookie Aldon Smith plays with Manny Pacquiao-like hand-quickness to go with natural leverage that punctuates his first-round athleticism. What’s more, most 3-4 defenses don’t bank on getting pressure from their ends. But they don’t have a weapon like Justin Smith. He wears opponents out and makes three or four splash plays a week. Opposite Smith, Ray McDonald, when healthy (he injured his hamstring in Week 8) has been equally dynamic this season.

Both defenses have the versatility to create pass-rushing mismatches through position relocation and group concepts. All of the men mentioned above are outside players who can align inside, stand up as de facto blitzing linebackers or properly set up and execute crashes and stunts with teammates.

4. The Coverage Effect
These difficult-to-block four-man pass-rushes force quarterbacks to throw under duress into seven-man coverages. As they showed at New England last week, the Giants linebackers and safeties are getting more comfortable recognizing and attacking passing lanes. It helps that their cornerbacks, though inconsistent early in the season, can play press-man coverage outside.

Corey Webster has been particularly impressive in recent weeks, often shadowing the opposing team’s top receiver. He’s well equipped to defend the lithe but inexplosive Michael Crabtree.

The Niners love to play two-man out of their nickel defense. This puts cornerbacks Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver man-to-man on the wideouts and allows the two safeties, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson, to roam free over the top. Rogers, who starts outside but plays the slot in nickel, is having a career-year. Brown blends into the scheme in a good way. Culliver, a precocious third-round rookie, always plays with a great sense for his surroundings.

Even if Hakeem Nicks, discreetly a top-10 NFL receiver, returns from his hamstring injury this week, the Giants are going to have a tough time consistently getting wideouts open against this Niners secondary.

5. The inside linebackers
We saved the best for last: San Francisco’s inside linebackers (and just San Francisco’s – New York’s entire linebacking corps is very mediocre).

Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman form the best inside linebacking duo in football. The past few years, Willis has rightfully been regarded as the best in the business. This season, he may be the second best on his own team, as Bowman, a 2010 third-round pick, leads San Fran in tackles.

Setting these two apart is the fact that they both play all three downs. That’s incredible in this day and age of spread offenses. In nickel and dime defense, Willis and Bowman perform coverage assignments normally reserved for defensive backs. They have the speed, change-of-direction prowess and awareness to do it. Both are quick-closing tacklers, instinctive run-defenders and innate playmakers.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 10 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:05 pm
 

Film Room: Raiders vs. Chiefs preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



Imagine you get sick. You call your girlfriend to tell her that you’re sorry but you’re not going to be able to go with her to the ski resort this weekend. She says that’s no problem, she’ll just go with one of her friends. But when she scrolls through her contacts, she realizes she doesn’t have any friends nearby who are good skiers.

So, she calls to tell you to get well soon and also that she’s going to the ski resort with that guy her cousin knows from the gym. Oh, and the guy and her are moving in together after the trip but can the two of you still be friends? You can’t help but realize that if you’d never gotten sick, your girlfriend would not have started thinking about someone else.

If you can imagine this, then you can imagine how Jason Campbell is probably feeling right now. Let’s examine Jason Campbell’s Carson Palmer’s 4-2 Raiders as they head into their matchup against a Chiefs club that has won two straight coming off its bye but has been rocked by injuries and turmoil.


[Raiders vs. Chiefs PreGame]

1. The Decision
Forty-three million over four years, along with a first-and either first-or-second-round pick in exchange for a quarterback who became inconsistent after a slew of injuries and failed to manage the oversized personalities infiltrating his locker room and huddle in Cincinnati? That’s a steep price – probably too steep, in fact.

But you can understand the Raiders’ logic in going for a potential franchise quarterback. Like the skiing girlfriend, they’re attracted to strong-armed prototypes and are looking for a ring.

The Raiders knew they couldn’t get that ring with Campbell. Caretaking quarterbacks don’t cut it in today’s NFL. Campbell has always been too methodical in his reads and mechanics. He locks onto receivers, which limits what Hue Jackson can do with his gameplans. Campbell is athletic but seems to forget it whenever defenders flash in his face. In short, he has always been exactly what he’ll be when his collarbone heels: a quality backup.
That said, when a team goes all-in like the Raiders have here, they’d better be set in virtually all areas around the quarterback.

So how set are the rest of the Raiders?

2. Pass offense
It’s difficult to gauge Oakland’s passing attack because it has been tailored to hide Campbell’s limitations. But a safe assumption is that with Palmer aboard (whenever he does play), it will become downfield oriented. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore might be the fastest receiving trio in the league. Also, tight end Kevin Boss is not fast, but he’s effective stretching the seams.

Still, speed isn’t everything. The Raiders wideouts all remain raw. Heyward-Bey’s elevated reception total has been partly a function of facing favorable off-coverage. His hands are improved but still not naturally soft. As for Ford, durability and route running can be hit or miss. And Moore? He has done next to nothing since his breakout game at Buffalo.

Still, we’ve seen that (when healthy) these guys can give the Raiders firepower. And because Darren McFadden and fullback Marcel Reese are such dynamic weapons out of the backfield, Hue Jackson can comfortably sacrifice an extra receiver in the formation in order to employ a sixth offensive lineman.

Doing this makes for a better play-action game (a run-oriented team throwing out of a run formation) and also ameliorates right tackle Khalif Barnes’ weakness in pass protection.

3. Run offense
McFadden has blossomed into a legitimate top-five running back. The difference between now and two years ago is he’s staying healthy and has figured out how to get to the perimeter early in the run. That’s important because being such a stiff-hipped, straight-line runner, McFadden doesn’t have the type of agility and lateral burst needed to elude defenders at the line of scrimmage or second level. But he has uncanny speed and acceleration, which, when turned on full blast, make him hard to tackle cleanly.

The Raiders blockers have helped ignite Oakland’s explosive outside run game. Rookie guard Stefan Wisniewski has good movement skills (particularly in short areas) and center Samson Satele has been getting out in front with much greater consistency.

The Raiders also spend a lot of time in six-offensive linemen sets, with the nimble Khalif Barnes serving essentially as a 325-pound blocking tight end. Factor in Michael Bush’s between-the-tackles power and you have the making of a potent, sustainable rushing attack.

4. Defense
When the Raiders don’t surrender big plays they’re tough to trade blows with for four quarters. The defensive line is enormous and athletic, particularly inside where Richard Seymour (future Hall of Famer?) and Tommy Kelly present thundering power augmented by uncommon initial quickness.
The key to creating big plays against Oakland is isolating their linebackers.

Middle linebacker Rolando McClain plays slow (both mentally and physically) and can be exploited. Aaron Curry has only been in town one week, but if his track record from Seattle means anything, he too can be exploited, mainly in space outside the numbers or when forced to cover receivers horizontally. It’s surprising that Curry was handed Quinton Groves' job right away (Groves had been up and down but was getting more comfortable).

The secondary does indeed miss Nnamdi Asomugha, but any secondary would miss Nnamdi Asomugha. Stanford Routt has been adequate on the left side, and the versatile Michael Huff is having the best season of his career. Anytime a team plays predominant man coverage (like the Raiders do), the defensive backs are vulnerable. A pass-rush can help relieve this. The Raiders have great interior rushers but could stand to use a little more speed on the edges.

5. Kansas City’s chances
The question is whether the Chiefs can find some sort of run game without Jamaal Charles. So far, the answer has been no. Don’t expect that to change Sunday; Oakland’s defensive tackles should feast on Kansas City’s struggling interior line.

In the air, teams have been attacking the Raiders defense with play action and rollouts. Matt Cassel has the mobility and arm to make throws on the move (he did so frequently against the Vikings) but that’s usually by circumstance, not design. This is a shotgun passing offense, with success hinging on whether Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston can separate from Stanford Routt and DeMarcus Van Dyke (or Chris Johnson or Chimdi Chekwa, should either return from their hamstring injuries).

On the other side of the ball, Tamba Hali is one of the most disruptive players in all the land. He plays with perfect leverage and physically strong quickness in all cardinal directions. The Raiders don’t have anyone who can block him. Hali can’t do it alone, though, which is why Justin Houston needs to play with more decisiveness (tough to ask of a rookie sometimes). Kansas City’s secondary misses Eric Berry but has two physical corners (Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers) who can compensate, especially against raw wideouts.

Key matchup to watch: Darren McFadden against Derrick Johnson. Speed on speed.

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: October 13, 2011 11:37 am
 

Keep an Eye On: Week 6's finer points of analysis

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Raiders vs. Browns
Keep an eye on: Raiders passing game
The Raiders are a run-first team, no doubt. That shouldn’t change against the Browns.

Cleveland can stop the run well enough, especially if middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson stays clean from blockers. But at some point, Jason Campbell will have to make a play or two through the air. Expect Darren McFadden to be the primary receiving weapon out of the backfield.

Throws to McFadden have easy, defined reads for Campbell (who often flounders late in his progressions and when his pocket gets too crowded for him to take a full step into his throw) and they should be available given the way Cleveland’s linebackers have struggled in underneath coverage. Most of those struggles have come against athletic tight ends.

The Raiders, however, are more inclined to run tight end Kevin Boss down the seam and swing McFadden underneath. The Browns will likely commit a safety (perhaps T.J. Ward) to tight end coverage and allow Scott Fujita to cover McFadden (expect zone principles since Fujita doesn’t have a prayer at running with McFadden in man coverage).

This isn’t to say Campbell won’t go to his wide receivers. He’s been attacking deep more in October than he did in September. That’s a response to the new speedy duo of Denarius Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Both are raw but potentially lethal. (No. 3 receiver Jacoby Ford is also a burner.) They’re not a potent one-two punch yet, though. Moore’s only big game came against the Bills, when Heyward-Bey was out of the lineup.

We may find out which receiver the Raiders like better this Sunday. Campbell has avoided throwing at top-flight corners this season (he hardly looked to Darrelle Revis’ side in Week 3 and rarely challenged Houston’s Johnathan Joseph in Week 5). Browns second-year sensation Joe Haden is most definitely a top-flight corner (he may have the most natural change-of-direction ability of any defensive player in football).

If Haden returns from his sprained knee, he’ll likely line up on the defensive left side. Whoever Oakland puts on the offensive left side (i.e. away from Haden) figures to be the go-to target. That could tell you what wide receiver pecking order the Raiders prefer.



Ravens vs. Texans
Keep an eye on: Brian Cushing
The third-year pro has been arguably the best inside linebacker in the AFC this season. That’s significant considering how mightily Cushing struggled as the middle linebacker in Houston’s 4-3 scheme last season.

But the inside duties are different in Wade Phillips’ new 3-4. With less field to cover, Cushing has been able to be more of an attacker than a reader-and-reactor. That’s a style best suited for his speed and ferocity.
 
Cushing hunts down outside runs extremely well and shows vigor when tasked with clearing out a lead-blocker. Both are critical traits for containing a Ravens ground game featuring a dynamic B-and C-gap runner like Ray Rice and a fullback like Vontae Leach.

Cushing is also noteworthy because of what he means to Houston’s pass-rush. Against the Raiders last week, Phillips resorted to frequent inside blitzes in an effort to instill panic in Oakland’s pass protectors and command one-on-one matchups for the rushers outside. Cushing continuously stood out for timing his blitzes well and executing them with reckless abandon.

With Mario Williams out, Phillips may feel compelled to be even more aggressive with linebacker blitzes. And he’s certainly seen the Week 4 film of Joe Flacco and the Ravens struggling to sort out many of the Jets’ inside blitzes.

Lions vs. 49ers
Keep an eye on: the tight ends
The 49ers and Lions are very different offenses. The Lions run a modern, semi-spread, aerial attacking offense. The 49ers run a 1980s, compact, ground-pounding offense.

That’s primarily a function of the quarterbacks. Though both are former No. 1 overall picks, Matthew Stafford is gun-slinger while Alex Smith is, comparatively, a spitball shooter. (To be fair, Smith did have a terrific game against the Bucs. He diagnosed coverages well and made a few stick throws.)

Though vastly different, both offenses are built around the same base personnel package: two tight ends. The Lions frequently line up with Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew while the Niners often feature Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker. The conundrum that two tight end personnel presents for a defense is in deciding what personnel to respond with.

Go with nickel and you risk getting run on (especially when facing the Niners, given that Davis and Walker are both solid run-blockers). Go with a base defense and you risk getting thrown on (especially with the Lions since Scheffler often splits out as a third receiver in the slot).
 
All four tight ends are weapons. For the Lions, Brandon Pettigrew is surprisingly mobile given his 265-pound frame and ’09 knee injury (from which he’s seemingly gained mobility through rehabbing). Scheffler is a swift downfield target.

For the Niners, Vernon Davis is as athletic as they come. No one save for maybe Jermichael Finley is as dangerous down the seams. Delanie Walker is not as good as Bay Area fans think, but he’s versatile in patterns and can block from a standstill position, off of motion or in a lead out of the backfield.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Raiders take Terrelle Pryor in third round

T. Pryor was taken by Oakland in the third round of the supplemental draft (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


In a move that was ridiculously predictable and (probably) predictably ridiculous, the Raiders have taken Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it was with the No. 18 pick.

According to NFL.com's Albert Breer, Pryor immediately got on the phone with Raiders coach Hue Jackson and said, "I'll be there, and I'll be ready ... I can't wait." Breer also quoted agent Drew Rosenhaus saying, "I'm optimistic we'll get a deal done tonight."

The move isn’t a surprise, especially since we know the Raiders’ obsession with speedy draft picks and with the news that Pryor ran between a 4.38 and a 4.41 40 during his Pro Day last weekend. While the rest of his Pro Day was uneven for a quarterback -- his accuracy wasn’t that great -- his speed really stood out, especially considering he’s 6 foot 5 and 230 pounds.

Pryor's Journey to Oakland
Assuming Pryor, who will miss the first five games of the season because of a suspension, remains a quarterback, he would be entering a position that’s actually pretty deep in Oakland with Jason Campbell as the starter and Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller as the backups.

Which might mean the Raiders could try to turn Pryor into a tight end. And considering Oakland lost standout tight end Zach Miller to the Seahawks and replaced him with a lesser talent in Kevin Boss, a move like that would make a little bit of sense.

Still, the third round seems a bit high, right? As one of my editors pointed out, the Vikings got Donovan McNabb for a sixth-round pick this year, and the Raiders were willing to wager a third-rounder on Pryor? Are there many in the league at this point who would feel more comfortable playing Pryor at the quarterback spot instead of McNabb? I can't image so.

It’s interesting that the Raiders would take him so high, but in their mind, they might have felt like they had no other choice. They didn’t have a fourth-round pick because they’d already traded that selection to the Redskins to bring in Campbell. If they waited until the fifth round to select Pryor, there was a real chance he’d already be gone.

As of now, the Raiders have mortgaged half of next year’s draft, because they’d already traded their second-round pick to the Patriots -- meaning they don’t have a second, third or fourth-round draft pick for 2012. That’s not to say Oakland won’t be involved in trades that gets the club a draft pick in those rounds, but for now, the Raiders really have to hope the Campbell and Pryor picks were the right moves to make.

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Posted on: August 5, 2011 12:20 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 3:16 pm
 

Raiders sign Boss to replace Miller

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Seahawks signed Zach Miller away from the Raiders with a five-year, $34 million deal with $17 million in guarantees. To replace their leading receiver from 2010 (and one of the few pass-catching threats not named Darren McFaddenwho is currently on the shelf) Oakland inked former Giants tight end Kevin Boss. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the contract is for four years and worth $16 million, about half what Seattle paid for Miller.

Which immediately raises the question: was Miller worth it? Put differently: should the Raiders, who need all the downfield passing help they can get, have made more of an effort to keep Miller in Oakland?

Looking at the raw numbers, Miller had 60 catches for 685 yards and 5 TDs last season. Boss had 35 receptions for 531 yards and also had 5 TDs. According to Football Outsiders' advanced stats, Miller ranked 19th among all NFL tight ends in total value, and 22nd in value per play; Boss was 32nd in both measures.

To add some context, Yahoo.com's Doug Farrar (who's also a Seahawks fan and watches a ton of film) tweets that "Boss and Miller (are) not the same player. Boss: speed for shorter routes, good blocker. Miller: size and speed to stretch seam. Different level."

Boss' blocking acumen will come in handy given that the Raiders like to run the ball, but he won't magically make up for the lost downfield production now that Miller is in Seattle.

But, hey, maybe this is the year Darrius Heyward-Bey finally puts it together.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 1, 2011 1:26 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: New York Giants

Posted by Andy Benoit

E. Manning (US Presswire)

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our
Offseason Check-ups.




Stop me if you’ve seen this one before: very talented, much talked about Giants team gets off to a fast start. At midseason they’re 6-2 and looking like a legitimate Super Bowl contender. But in the second half, things start going south. There are rumblings about Tom Coughlin’s job security.

Moronic members of the press who only understand football on a box score level see that Eli Manning is leading the league in interceptions so, predictably, they question him. (Never mind that Manning, who had one of the best seasons of his career, was plagued by receivers’ drops and bad routes.)

There is a particularly heart-wrenching loss to the hated Eagles in Week 15 (apparently the punter not only kicked to DeSean Jackson but also singlehandedly gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter…right?), followed by what would turn out to be a playoff-hopes-slashing defeat at Green Bay the following week.




A change to consider: Antrel Rolle as the new Charles Woodson

The change here needs to be made by fans and the media. It’s time to start recognizing Rolle as the Pro Bowl caliber rover that he is. Thanks to iffy linebackers, depth at safety and a schedule that frequently pitted them against three-receiver offenses, the Giants essentially converted to a three safety starting lineup in 2010. .

Rolle filled what used to be one of the outside linebacker positions. This was done because the former cornerback has the cover skills to line up against wideouts in the slot, but also the tackling prowess to play the edge on the run. What’s more, Rolle is a terrific blitzer, which allows coordinator Perry Fewell to disguise his fronts. Sound like any particular Packer you know?



1. Middle Linebacker
Jonathan Goff is not a bad player, but there is nothing electrifying about him either. This defense has a chance to be special. You can’t be special with a banal force in the middle.

2 Receiving weapon
Steve Smith’s microfracture surgery (knee) leaves his future in doubt. The restricted free agent wideout will spend the entire offseason rehabbing and may not be ready come September. At tight end, the serviceable Kevin Boss is as tough as they come, but with the focus on vertical seam routes in Kevin Gilbride’s system, a better athlete in this spot would do wonders.


3. Center
Shaun O’Hara made the Pro Bowl last season but strictly on name recognition. The 33-year-old (34 in June) missed all but six games with various injuries. When O’Hara did return to action, he looked creaky. Time to groom a replacement.




Ladies and gentlemen….your dark horse Super Bowl contender for 2011! The Giants have a veteran star quarterback, elite rushing attack (thanks in part to a cohesive offensive line) and defense loaded with talent along the front and back fours.

And most of these players have significant playoff experience. If this team can overcome the Big Apple drama that creeps up every year, it’s as tough an out as any.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Kevin Boss carted off early for Giants

Posted by Will Brinson

Kevin Boss, the Giants top tight end, suffered what appeared to be a concussion on a free play against the Panthers.

After the Panthers went offsides, Manning went over the middle for Boss, but threw it too high and Boss took a monster shot from safety Sherrod Martin and lay on the ground for a while.

He was eventually carted off, leaving the Giants with just one tight end, and it has since been reported that his return is questionable with a neck injury.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 12:20 pm
 

Antrel Rolle to officials: 'Let us play ball'

Posted by Will Brinson

Antrel Rolle got flagged, got a personal foul and will probably end up getting a fine for a hit he laid on the Ravens' Mark Clayton Saturday night.

But that's not stopping him from getting really aggressive (or just silly if you want to look at it that way) on his stance towards officiating that involves stuff like "keeping people safe" and "not killing people. "

"I don't understand how they want us to tackle," Rolle said after the Giants' 24-10 loss to the Ravens. "It's pretty much out of control. You're running full speed. Just let us play ball. We're not intentionally out there to hurt somebody. Let us play ball."

Here's an idea: tackle without putting your head into someone else's head. It's pretty simple, actually.

"Honestly, I don't see any other way I could have done it," Rolle said. "He was bobbling the ball. He could've caught the ball had I not made the collision with him."

Really? We're supposed to believe that? From a guy who got fined $7,500 last year for a hit on now-teammate Kevin Boss?

Look, it stinks sometimes that the NFL takes the "big" out of "big hit" but we're talking about people's lives and long-term health here. It shouldn't be that difficult to learn how not to be over-aggressive.

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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