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Tag:Stewart Bradley
Posted on: April 19, 2011 11:12 am
 

Stewart Bradley's concussion helped change rules

Posted by Will Brinson

Early in the 2010 season, Andy Reid and the Eagles medical staff made a curious -- and perhaps dangerous -- decision in allowing linebacker Stewart Bradley to return to the game after what was a diagnosed concussion.

As it turns out, while the move isn't defensible, per se, it actually led to some good: the implementation of a standardized concussion test on the sidelines for football.

"Had that not happened, we may not have had the NFL sideline examination [for concussions] this year," Richard Ellenbogen, Co-Chair, NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee, said on a conference call Monday.

Yes, that's right. Had we not endangered the long-term health of one player, all players currently would be in danger of suffering a traumatic brain injury. Thank you, Stewart Bradley, for saving everyone in the NFL.

Pardon my sarcasm, but as I've noted on Twitter, when baseball -- baseball! -- beats the NFL to the implementation a concussion-related disabled list, there's something amiss in the world of football.

That's not to say that the NFL is ignoring concussions; in fact, it's obvious that they do understand the importance of making wholesale changes in the nature of the game if they want to avoid everyone who ever set foot on their field walking around like a zombie for the rest of their life.

But it's just scary to think that if the Eagles hadn't foolishly put Bradley at risk in Week 1 against the Packers, we might not even be having these offseason conversations about concussion concerns.

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:18 am
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Super Bowl contenders

New England has to be considered a Super Bowl contender (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s getting to be about that time.

The time when we really can crack down on the best teams in the NFL and really figure out which squads are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Preseason favorites (like, ahem, the Jets) have begun to show cracks in the foundation, while other teams – in this case, it’s just one team, really – have begun pulling away.

Three weeks left in the regular season, so we should have a pretty good indication of which team is going to do what once it makes the playoffs (if it, in fact, makes the playoffs at all). Without further ado, here’s your guide to which squad will be spending February in Dallas.

10. Jaguars: Why they will: Why the hell not? I mean, they won’t really. But RB Maurice Jones-Drew is fun to watch, and QB David Garrard has played great football lately. Jacksonville is just a fun underdog to watch. Why they won’t: I’m not even sure they’re good enough to get to the playoffs.

9. Chargers: Why they will: QB Philip Rivers is still having a fantastic season and is still an MVP candidate. Plus, San Diego is the No. 1 defense in the NFL (you can look it up!). Why they won’t: They simply haven’t played well for most of this season. Losses that look like this: 27-20 to the Seahawks; 35-27 and 28-13 to the Raiders; 20-17 to the Rams.

8. Bears: Why they will: They’ve surpassed many people’s expectations for the season while dragging coach Lovie Smith off the hot seat, so why can’t the surprises continue? I mean, if Jay Cutler can play fairly well on a consistent basis, anything can happen. Why they won’t: The offense isn’t good enough, and the defense isn’t good enough to overcome one of (statistically) the worst offenses in the league.

7. Ravens: Why they will: They’ve got plenty of talent at the WR position, and much of the time, QB Joe Flacco can even get his receivers the ball. Plus, there’s always Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis. Why they won’t: Did you see the way the defense collapsed Monday vs. the Texans? That’s unlike the Baltimore defense we’re accustomed to seeing every season. That secondary struggles, as well.

The duo of B. Jacobs and A. Bradshaw has been big for New York this year (US Presswire). 6. Giants: Why they will: The Giants offense, though beat up in the WR corps, still picks up the yards. Once they figured out their roles, the running back duo of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw has been outstanding. Why they won’t: For one, Eli Manning doesn’t have very many healthy receivers. For two, the team won’t stop turning the ball over to its opponents.

5. Eagles: Why they will: Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson can lead this team anywhere. The proof lies in the league-leading 402 yards of offense Philadelphia produces per game. Why they won’t: Some injuries on defense – CB Asante Samuel, LB Stewart Bradley and DE Brandon Graham – certainly don’t help. Plus, it seems like Vick would have to play perfect all the way through, doesn’t it?

4. Steelers: Why they will: The Steelers played well without QB Ben Roethlisberger, and now with him in there – even though he’s less than 100 percent – they’re nearly unbeatable. Plus, you know, Troy Polamalu. They don’t win ‘em pretty, but they win ‘em anyway. Why they won’t: The offensive line isn’t very good. Like, not very good at all.

3. Saints: Why they will: New Orleans has played progressively better as the season has neared its end. Even if the Saints can’t catch the Falcons in the NFC South, the wild card should be there for the taking, and hopefully for them, they would catch one of the NFC West teams on the road. Why they won’t: They’re not as good as they were last year.

2. Falcons: Why they will: They have the quarterback, they have the running back, they have the receivers, they have the TE and they have the coaching (and a pretty decent defense). There’s a lot to like about this Atlanta squad. Why they won’t: Not a ton of guys on the team have been on teams that have made deep playoff runs. Unlike, say, the New Orleans Saints.

1. Patriots: Why they will: It’s obvious. Rewatch their last two games – destructions of the Jets and the Bears. Why they won’t: Can Tom Brady really keep up this unbelievable pace? Isn’t the young – and, at times, ineffective – secondary eventually going to get the team in trouble? Especially if the Patriots face somebody like Philip Rivers or Drew Brees?

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Posted on: December 13, 2010 12:06 pm
 

Major injury news for Eagles defense

Posted by Andy Benoit

Good and bad news from Philadelphia. First, the good news: Stewart Bradley will only miss a couple of weeks with a dislocated elbow. Anyone who saw Bradley’s elbow get bent in the wrong direction Sunday night thought that the Pro Bowl caliber middle linebacker would surely miss the rest of the season. But Andy Reid said Bradley will not need surgery and he is NOT headed to Injured Reserve. In all likelihood, he’ll probably shoot for a return in the playoffs.

As for the bad news: defensive end Brandon Graham tore his ACL Sunday night. The first-round rookie had been Philly’s pass-rushing specialist after losing his starting job earlier in the season. Graham had three sacks on the year. He’ll go under the knife and spend his first NFL offseason rehabbing.

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Posted on: November 22, 2010 12:29 am
 

Eagles can adjust when Vick isn't at his best

A. Samuel notched two interceptions in Sunday's win against New York

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Although Michael Vick has been an MVP candidate all season long – No turnovers! Video game athleticism! Unbelievable arm strength! A complete quarterback now! – you knew, at some point, the Eagles were going to have to win in spite of his mistakes.

Tonight, Philadelphia showed it’s more than capable of doing that.

Vick wasn’t as electrifying as usual – though he was still very good in Philadelphia's 27-17 win – and he made a few mistakes en route to a 24-of-38, 258-yard performance. He lost a fumble because he lazily held the ball away from his body. He allowed the Giants to seal him into spots where he couldn’t escape (to be fair, New York was actually pretty effective in making him more one-dimensional than normal and only allowing him 34 rushing yards). He didn’t look like the absolute best player in the NFL.

But Philadelphia still managed to turn back a tough Giants squad which took a 17-16 lead with 13:35 to play.

They did it without much help from WR DeSean Jackson. Instead, WR Jeremy Maclin had big game, WR Jason Avant (his bumbling of what should have been a wide-open TD pass, notwithstanding) had a big catch as the Eagles drove the field on what was their game-winning drive, and RB LeSean McCoy took a fourth-and-one pitch 50 yards to a touchdown before putting the game out of reach with a 40-yard run late in the fourth quarter.

And they did it with their defense, intercepting Eli Manning three times (one by LB Stewart Bradley was in garbage time, and CB Asante Samuel had the other two picks (though he fumbled the ball right back to the Giants on one of them)) and forcing fumbles from Ahmad Bradshaw and Manning.

Obviously Philadelphia still has its faults, and there’s little question that if the teams played next week in the New Meadowlands, the game would be a pick ‘em. But the Eagles proved something tonight. Even when Vick isn’t at his best, they’re still an effective squad that could make a deep run into the playoffs.

With Vick at his best, they’re Super Bowl contenders.

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am
 

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

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Posted on: September 14, 2010 3:10 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Week 2 Top Ten with a Twist: biggest letdowns

The NYJ provided us with the biggest letdown of the week (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


We all heard the hype before the first week of games was complete. We heard the boasts and the proclamations and the Super Bowl aspirations in the offseason and in training camp. Yet, this past weekend, we found out that some who had so much confidence perhaps shouldn’t have been so forthright about their thoughts.

Sure, some of us – many of us – bought into so much of the hype. And now we know better. Without further ado, here’s the top-ten list with a twist entering the second week of games.

Top 10 Biggest Letdowns After So Much Offseason Buildup

10. Kevin Kolb: It’s not really fair to completely dismiss the Eagles starting QB after he played just one bad half of football (that, unfortunately for him, came with a side of concussion). But after so much discussion about how Philadelphia made the right move by trading Donovan McNabb to the Redskins – who naturally won with McNabb on Sunday night – and giving the job to Kolb, this move fell flat with his 5-for-10, 24-yard performance. Now, there’s another quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.

9. Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian: I was on the bandwagon with the Vikings receiving corps, even after Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery that’s supposed to keep him out half the season. I had called Minnesota’s receivers one of the best units in the league. I might have been wrong about that – or, at the very least, underestimated the impact of Rice’s absence. Harvin and Berrian combined for two catches for 15 yards Thursday. That’s two freakin’ catches for 15 freakin’ yards.

8. Jake Delhomme:
Many of us figured Delhomme was nearing the end of his career – he was going to CLEVELAND after all – but he certainly had to be considered an upgrade over the awful Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn combination from last year. And besides, he couldn’t possibly be as bad as his last year in Carolina (eight touchdowns, 18 interceptions), right? Well, he might just be that bad. For a veteran QB, he made a terrible throw that was picked near the end of the first half that killed any momentum the Browns had when they led 14-3. Delhomme still is an upgrade from last year, but man oh man, he needs to play smarter.

Stafford 7. Matthew Stafford: Is it possible the 6-foot-3, 230-pound quarterback is brittle? Last year, he suffered a shoulder injury, though he showed huge guts by returning against the Browns to throw a game-winning TD pass (if you’ve got 6:27 to kill, check out Stafford’s killer Mic’d Up segment from that game – it’s cool as hell). On Sunday, he apparently suffered a Grade 2 separation of his right (throwing) shoulder that could keep him out 4-6 weeks. Considering how poor backup Shaun Hill played, some of that preseason Lions optimism has leaked away.

6. 49ers:
They were supposed to win what should be a very weak NFC West. And then they get blown out by a Seahawks team that shouldn’t have played as well as it did. But you know, coach Mike Singletary said Monday he was excited about QB Alex Smith, so that has to be comforting/horrifying to San Francisco’s fans. Perhaps the 49ers are vastly overrated. Or perhaps Seattle RB Leon Washington was inspired by our Five Questions (Or More) segment we did last week.

5. Terrell Owens:
Was he upset, already acting like a diva? Were his shoes bothering him? Was he getting himself checked out by a team doctor? These are the theories that have been bandied about since Owens, along with teammate Chad Ochocinco, left the field before the Bengals attempted a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half. Any which way, Owens didn’t endear himself to Cincinnati fans after a smooth preseason. He had seven catches for 53 yards, but he certainly wasn’t the dominant force he and Ochocinco predicted he could be. Lucky Cincinnati got him cheap.

4. Bob Sanders: Sanders had been annoyed this preseason about all the questions he’s faced about his durability, and he was excited to be fully healthy for the start of the season. But he's torn a biceps tendon and could be out for the season. Again, his durability will take a huge hit, and once again, the Colts will have to find a way to win without him – something they couldn’t do against the Texans.

3. Concussions in Philly: remember all the talk about how the NFL was really serious – no, no, really, really SERIOUS – about concussions and keeping players from returning to the field too soon after a brain injury? Yeah, neither does the person(s) who somehow thought it was OK for Eagles LB Stewart Bradley and QB Kevin Kolb to return to the game after suffering concussions. Coach Andy Reid explained it like this: “They were fine. All of the questions that they answered with the doctors registered well, but as it went on, they weren’t feeling well, so we took them out.” Yep, Bradley really looked fine after stumbling around the field like Trevor Berbick after facing Mike Tyson. That’s a scary, disturbing scene.



2. Tim Tebow: Two measly carries for two measly yards. That was Tebow’s stat line from Denver’s loss to Jacksonville on Sunday. Of course, he is a backup QB playing his first NFL game, so we shouldn’t expect the moon from Tebow (I could echo those sentiments for the rest of the season, in fact). But for the amount of hype we got, doubly so because Tebow was opening his career in his hometown, it wasn’t much of a payoff. Unless you like your hype short-lived and ineffective.

1. Jets: I knew that if I kept talking about the possibility of the Jets winning the Super Bowl, they’d make me look like an idiot. And so they have. Still, there’s little doubt that with a defense like that, New York could (should?) make a run in the playoffs (though losing NT Kris Jenkins for the season with an ACL tear could complicate those plans). The problem, of course, is the offense. QB Mark Sanchez went 10 for 21 for 74 yards, and starting RB Shonn Greene had five carries for 18 yards (plus a tough time holding onto the ball). With an offense that plays that poorly, the Jets have no chance for the Super Bowl. And maybe not even the playoffs. 

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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