Tag:Marcus Benard
Posted on: December 30, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: December 30, 2011 4:58 pm
  •  
 

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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 5:26 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Despite charges, Marcus Benard is fortunate

The wreckage of M. Benard's motorcycle accident (AP).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Browns defensive end Marcus Benard is a lucky man.

He crashed his motorcycle after practice Monday, and during the accident he was thrown 241 (!) feet through the air after his Can-Am Spyder slammed into a guardrail. Let me repeat: he was thrown 80 yards (!!) through the air (I don’t think even Tim Tebow can throw the ball that far), and all Benard suffered was a broken hand.

He won’t necessarily get off scot-free, though. According to the Associated Press, Benard -- who led the team with 7 ½ sacks last season (he’s got three tackles and a half-sack this year) and is still hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic -- has been charged with driving under suspension and reckless operation.

Police said Benard was driving north on I-71 when one of Benard’s tires came off the road, and he lost control of his three-wheeler (two in front and one in back). After slamming into the guardrail, his bike continued on for another 687 feet before stopping (the end result is pictured above).

Last year, Benard fainted before practice and had to go to the hospital for a short time, and he later said it was because of the stress caused by the birth of his son.

So, although Benard is in trouble with the law and (I assume) his bike is ruined, today should be one of the best days of Benard’s life. After all, he’ll be alive to face the consequences of his charges, and he’ll be alive to see his young son again.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 2:32 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Hot Routes 8.9.11: Grossman takes the lead

0

Posted by Josh Katzowitz
  • What kinds of consequences will Titans DB Cortland Finnegan have to face after missing practice last weekend because he was unhappy about his contract (and then lying to his fans about it)? Sounds like the team management will forgive, but might not forget.
  • Anthony Gonzalez isn’t exactly sure how many NFL players are taking HGH, but he’s pretty sure that those players are out there, lurking in the shadows. Said the Colts WR to the Indianapolis Star: "How many guys are on it, that's hard to say," Gonzalez said. "It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it's too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don't add up; they don't look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they're in the NFL and they look totally different."
  • The relationship between newly-minted HOFer Richard Dent and his former coach, Mike Ditka? Yeah, not too good. Ditka didn’t show for last weekend’s induction ceremonies, and Dent didn’t mention Ditka in his speech.
  • Browns DE Marcus Benard bulked up about 25 pounds during the offseason because he thought that would make him more effective. Funny thing about that. The coaches disagree and want him to lose the weight.
  • As a brief aside, we hit the 10,000th follower on our Twitter feed today. Many, many thanks to those who made it possible.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: November 14, 2010 11:39 am
Edited on: November 14, 2010 11:52 am
 

AFC Inactives, Week 10

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

First, the players who ARE active: Titans QB Vince Young (though he won't start; Kerry Collins will) Browns QB Seneca Wallace, Browns LB Marcus Benard, Texans WR Andre Johnson, Colts TE Jacob Tamme.

Now, the players who are NOT active:

Chris Crocker, Bengals, FS: This isn’t a big surprise, because Crocker has been dealing with a calf injury. But Crocker is a solid centerfielder, and Chinedum Ndukwe, who isn’t quite as good, will take his place in the starting lineup.

Jake Delhomme, Browns, QB:
He still hasn’t completely recovered from his ankle injury, but it’s unclear whether the man who was the opening day starter would reclaim his role. Especially with the way Colt McCoy is playing. For the record, Seneca Wallace is active, but McCoy is starting.

Jason Allen, Texans, CB: There was talk that Allen, who was waived by the Dolphins earlier this week, could get some playing time this week for his new team in Houston. Apparently, that won’t happen.

Joseph Addai/Mike Hart, Colts, RBs: The top two Indianapolis backs are inactives. That means it's up to Donald Brown to jumpstart the Colts running attack.

Gary Brackett/Clint Session, Colts, LBs: Considering how many players Indianapolis will be missing, the Bengals might actually have a chance in this game.

Austin Collie, Colts, WR: I mean, seriously. How will the Bengals not win this game?

Owen Daniels, Texans, TE:
We knew this already, but now it's clear Joel Dreessen will take his place in the starting lineup.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 13, 2010 3:27 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 8:40 pm
 

Week 10 injury news and analysis, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots at Steelers


It was big news Friday when Tom Brady was listed as probable with a right shoulder on New England’s injury report (everybody in the Northeast let out a HUGE exhale). But he also was spotted limping Friday, and he declined to comment to the media about why. This obviously would be a problem if he’s called upon to move around in the pocket or to scramble.

In other New England injury news, RB Fred Taylor is listed as questionable with his turf toe injury. He was limited in practice all week, but the team also might want to hold off inserting him into a game before he’s completely healthy. He hasn’t played since Week 3.

UPDATE (8:38 p.m.): New England has downgraded three players to "out." That includes OG Stephen Neal, RB Fred Taylor and DE Myron Taylor. None of them will play Sunday.

Steelers DE Brett Keisel has missed three straight games because of a hamstring injury, and he’s doubtful again this week. He was supposed to start last Monday vs. the Bengals, but he re-aggravated the injury in warmups. OG Chris Kemoeatu also is doubtful after spraining his knee in Cincinnati. It sounds like Ramon Foster will take his place in the starting lineup.

LB James Harrison was a late addition to the injury report with back spasms. He’s listed as questionable.

Titans at Dolphins


The big question mark for Tennessee obviously is QB Vince Young. I wrote earlier today that it doesn’t sound like he will play , and that means Kerry Collins would get the starting nod.

WR Kenny Britt is out with a hamstring – potentially for the rest of the regular season – but that’s where Randy Moss is supposed to come in and perform.

For Miami, a couple backups (CB Tyrone Culver and WR Roberto Wallace) are questionable, and although some of the team’s most important players (T Jake Long, LB Karlos Dansby, S Chris Clemons and TE Anthony Fasano) are on the injury list, all of them are probable and should play.

Jets at Browns

One of the stranger stories of the week was Browns LB Marcus Benard who collapsed in the locker room Thursday and was sent to the hospital for tests. He didn’t practice Friday and is questionable to play. But Benard, who leads the team with 4 ½ sacks, wants to be out there, and it’s certainly possible Cleveland could allow him to do so.

Meanwhile, Cleveland QBs Jake Delhomme (ankle) and Seneca Wallace (ankle) are both questionable, but at this point, it’s hard to see how coach Eric Mangini could insert either given the way Colt McCoy has played the past three games.

The Jets are pretty healthy. CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), LB Calvin Pace (foot) G Matt Slauson (knee) and T Damien Woody (knee) are on the injury list, but all are listed as probable.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 11, 2010 10:25 pm
 

Good news for Marcus Benard

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Browns LB who collapsed in the locker room earlier today was released from the hospital at 8:15 p.m. tonight, the team announced.

Marcus Benard will undergo further testing Friday.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 19, 2010 9:10 am
 

Hot Routes 8.19.10: No Favre news here

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chargers left tackle Marcus McNeill met with GM A.J. Smith Wednesday. McNeill requested the meeting, but according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, little progress was made.

Wide receive Brandon Jones signed a five-year, $16.5 million contract with the 49ers last offseason but was released Wednesday. Jones hurt his shoulder in ’09 and fell to the bottom of the depth chart. Speculation is the current coaching staff was never taken with Jones.


Cowboys left guard Kyle Kosier sprained his knee Wednesday and will miss 4-6 weeks. Journeyman Montrae Holland will fill in. Kosier is Dallas’s prime source of mobility inside.

Chargers rookie nose tackle Cam Thomas is impressing some people early on. He seems to have good perspective, too.

The Jets are trying to trade third-string quarterback Kellen Clemens.

Finally! Some good news for the Ravens and their cornerback situation. Fabian Washington, back from last year’s ACL injury, will play against the Redskins Saturday.

With Brent Grimes having a groin injury, the Falcons cornerback competition could be opening up.

Redskins rookie left tackle and No. 4 overall pick, Trent Williams, faces a reckless driving charge from an incident in June.


In either a marketing ploy or a sadly confused effort to beat the summer heat, the Arizona Cardinals will wear black jerseys in their next preseason home game (vs. Redskins). (Perhaps with Kurt Warner retired, the Cardinals are already mourning their 2010 season.)

We knew the Browns were extremely high on strong, athletic outside linebacker Marcus Benard, but is the 2009 undrafted free agent really in line for a starting job?

Maybe the NFL is right when it says fans can’t stand preseason games. Looks like a game featuring two marquee teams, the Chargers and Cowboys, could be blacked out.

Because it’s late in training camp for most teams, there’s probably four or five worthless stories out there about coaches cancelling practice and sending their players to the movies instead. To save you from the temptation of wasting two minutes of your life reading one of these stories, we won’t even provide a link.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com