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Tag:Michael Johnson
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.

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

Posted on: May 2, 2011 11:15 pm
 

NFC East 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.

Dallas Cowboys

1st round, Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Many believe this pick means that our left tackle Doug Free will move to the right side. That could be. But we can cross that bridge later. Right now, we’re just glad to have an upgrade over slow-footed right tackle Marc Colombo.
 
3rd round, DeMarco Murray, RB, OklahomaP. Amukamara (US Presswire)
The rumors about Marion Barber being on the way out are true.
 
New York Giants

1st round, Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
We are tired of waiting on Aaron Ross to polish up and stay healthy.
 
2nd round, Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
Does RFA Barry Cofield want to play hardball for a long-term contract now?
 
3rd round, Jerrel Jernigan, WR, Troy
OK! OK! Sinorice Moss was a bust.
 
6th round, Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
We haven’t been pleased with the play of Michael Johnson the past few years. Now, thanks to one of the highest rated safeties in the draft falling clear down to Round 6, we can do something about it.
 
Philadelphia Eagles

2nd round, Jaiquawn Jarrett, FS, Temple
Free agent Quintin Mikell might not be back after all. We historically get rid of defensive players a little too early rather than risk holding them a little too late. Mikell will be 31 in September.
 
3rd round, Curtis Marsh, CB, Utah State
We need some competition for starting corner Dmitri Patterson.
 
4th round, Alex Henery, K, Nebraska
We gave David Akers a transition player tag because we don’t want him here past 2011 (if that).
 
Washington Redskins

1st round, Ryan Kerrigan, OLB, Purdue
We don’t like Andre Carter (he’s a free agent anyway). And we acknowledge that Lorenzo Alexander is a versatile role player, not a starter.
 
Check back throughout the week for other division’s Draft Truths Revealed. To see all Draft Truths Revealed, click the “Draft Truths” tag.

Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

Posted by Andy Benoit



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



After the Bengals fell behind the eight-ball with a devastating turnover-infused loss to the Bucs in Week 5, they went into their bye a lowly 2-3 and searching the depths of their character for answers.

Problem was, the depths of their character included the collective souls of Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Pacman Jones, Rey Maualuga, Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Michael Johnson, Andre Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and whatever other players on the roster who, at one point or another, have raised the red character flag.

None of these guys were individually heinous in 2010 (save for Owens), but collectively, they created a staggering void in the leadership department.




Offensive scheme

Bob Bratkowski is out as offensive coordinator, and deservedly so. In terms of complexity and sophistication, the Bengals’ system in 2010 was comparable to that of a really sophisticated Pop Warner team’s.

The receivers’ route combinations rarely worked off one another, making them easy to defend. The play-action game was non-existent, which was fitting because the run game was an afterthought.

Which brings us to the change: more power runs under new coordinator Jay Gruden. Expect Cedric Benson to re-sign and get about 25 carries a game. Not only is he best suited to be a bell cow, but the Bengals powerful but heavy-footed offensive line is best suited to play downhill, rather than in the frequent drop steps of pass protection.




1. Quarterback
Carson Palmer insists he’s retiring if the team doesn’t trade him. Owner Mike Brown may be great at playing hardball, but it would take a hardhead to keep Palmer around at this point. Besides, Palmer’s skills have declined (though not as much as you’d probably guess) and he clearly doesn’t trust his offensive line or receivers.

2. Pass Rusher
This need is almost as glaring as the potential need at quarterback. Antwan Odom has not been the same since injuring his Achilles. Robert Geathers was never the same after blowing out his knee. (Unfortunately for the front office, both players were inked to long-term deals before their injuries.) Athletic ex-Gator Carlos Dunlap earned some high marks as a second-round rookie last season, but equally as prominent were his low marks.

3. Interior Offensive Lineman
Right guard Bobbie Williams is aging. Left guard Nate Livings is the definition of average. Or maybe center Kyle Cook is. Whatever; the Bengals need more athleticism inside up front.




A healthy goal for the Bengals would be to regain respect. Self respect, that is. Individually, the Bengals are more athletically gifted than a lot of teams.

But their athletes have not lived up to potential or played well together. Ushering in a new wave of leadership would plant some positive seeds moving forward.

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Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:16 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2010 4:17 pm
 

Patriots G Neal, Bengals DE Odom to I.R.

Posted by Andy Benoit

Two teams placed key players on Injured Reserve Thursday. One team is still relevant, the other is not.

The relevant team? New England. Lost for the season is right guard Stephen Neal (shoulder). Neal will be replaced by Dan Connolly, who did a solid job filling in at left guard when Logan Mankins was holding out. Connolly doesn't have Neal's raw power, but he's a decent athlete. The bigger story may be that Neal’s career could be over. Injuries over the year have left the ninth-year veteran in rough shape, particularly his bad shoulders. Neal contemplated retirement before the season.

The irrelevant team? Cincinnati. Lost for the season is defensive end Antwan Odom (wrist). You may have thought Odom was already out for the season due to the fact that he missed four games with a suspension and has been a complete nonfactor when on the field this year. The veteran pass-rusher has struggled to rebound from last season’s Achilles injury (most speed-oriented defensive ends do).

Odom will likely be replaced by Michael Johnson, a talented but inconsistent second-year pro who is practically the only Bengals end still healthy.

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

Posted on: September 29, 2010 9:53 am
 

Hot Routes 09.29.10: Questionable injury lists

B. Wells gains extra yards against Oakland (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

-Although coach Ken Whisenhunt completely misled everybody not in the Arizona Cardinals locker room regarding the health of running back Beanie Wells’ knee – he said it was a bone bruise when, in actuality, Wells had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus – Whisenhunt said he didn’t use the weekly injury report to his advantage. In the first two games Wells missed, he was listed as questionable.

-At least one 49ers player was excited by the ascension of Mike Johnson to the offensive coordinator position to replace the fired Jimmy Raye. And by excited I mean pumped. That’d be tight end Vernon Davis.

-Suddenly, Bears coach Lovie Smith is holding accountable – in very public ways – some of his team’s top players. If they’re not good enough to play – a la Tommie Harristhey’re simply not going to be on the field. With a 3-0 record, who’s to say Smith is wrong about this?

-The Green Bay Press-Gazette writes that tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are starting to look a little old. After watching Monday night’s game vs. the Bears, I was surprised with some of the mistakes made by Clifton (I didn’t notice Tauscher as much, though he had his fair share), especially with the penalties.

-Apparently nobody seems bothered by Ravens RB Ray Rice’s injured knee. It was not mentioned by anybody – not by coach John Harbaugh, not by radio host Gerry Sandusky, not by any callers – during Harbaugh’s weekly radio show.

-After watching the Dolphins lose 18 yards on eight attempts using the Wildcat formation, Sun Sentinel columnist Ethan Skolnick says Miami might want to dial it down a little. Skolnick calls the Dolphins victims of their own success and says the Wildcat has become rather predictable.

-The Jaguars re-signed S Gerald Alexander a few weeks after cutting him, and Alexander is happy to be employed once again. He said he wasn’t surprised by Jacksonville releasing him. In fact, he said he didn’t deserve to make the team, and he’s surprised he’s been re-signed.

-You might be wondering what’s up with Dolphins LB Ikaika Alama-Francis and why he hasn’t played this year (and subsequently allowed Koa Misi to have a big impact at that position). The answer is that Alama-Francis has been ill and has lost 15-20 pounds.

-Giants S Michael Johnson has been placed on IR with a herniated disc in his back.

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

Posted on: August 30, 2010 1:00 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2010 8:55 am
 

Bengals waive beloved leader Rashad Jeanty

Posted by Andy Benoit

Teams must trim their rosters from 80 to 75 by Tuesday afternoon. The Cincinnati Bengals are getting their work done early. After releasing wide receiver Antonio Bryant, Cincinnati waived linebacker Rashad Jeanty on Monday.
R. Jeanty
Jeanty, winner of the team’s Ed Block Courage Award, was waived on the basis of injury (failed physical). The backup strongside linebacker broke his fibula on the opening kickoff of the Wild Card loss to the Jets this past January. He underwent a medical procedure in spring and missed training camp in order to rehab in Florida.

After entering the NFL as a former CFL star in 2006, Jeanty earned a reputation as a ferocious hitter and reliable leader. Coaches greatly appreciated the way he helped Rey Maualuga navigate his rookie season.

The Bengals have plenty of depth to replace Jeanty -- especially given that 2009 third-round pick Michael Johnson has turned heads since moving from defensive end to strongside linebacker.

In other Bengals news, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports that the team has also put backup safety Tom Nelson on PUP (ankle).

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


Posted on: August 16, 2010 1:41 pm
 

Panthers' Smith off PUP, may 'chump proof' arm

Posted by Will Brinson

Steve Smith (the Carolina Panthers version) is one of the most quotable dudes in the NFL. Sometimes he makes people angry with his words -- sometimes he also cheeses them off with his actions, too! -- but for the most part, he's a hysterical dude.

An excellent example of that emerged today, when Smith told the Gaston Gazette 's Steve Reed that he "may have to wear something on [his arm] to keep it 'Chump proof.'"

That's a direct reference to Michael Johnson, the Giants' safety responsible for Smith's original arm-break last season; Smith believes that Johnson nailed him with a cheap shot, causing the break.

Of course, he could also be discussing himself, since he did break it a second time while playing flag football in the offseason ...

Either way, Smith escaped the PUP list and is apparently participating in drills with the Panthers on Monday. Preseason games aren't out of reach, but John Fox wasn't telling whether they were likely or not, so for now we'll leave them at unlikely, meaning Smith will probably make his debut in the Panthers' regular season opener.

Until further notice anyway.

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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