Tag:John Fox
Posted on: October 4, 2010 6:11 pm
 

Steve Smith day to day but probably won't play

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Panthers coach John Fox told reporters today that WR Steve Smith, who sprained his ankle in Carolina’s close loss at New Orleans, is day to day. But the Charlotte Observer slightly disagrees with that notion, writing that Smith is unlikely to play next week vs. Chicago.

After making a catch in the third quarter, Smith rolled over his ankle and had to be taken off the field with a cart. The X-rays taken Sunday were negative, but that doesn’t mean Smith can suit up for the Bears game.

Here’s a nice exchange with reporters and Smith after the game.

Asked how he felt, Smith shook his head: "I feel like a trillion dollars ... I feel like a money order, that's what I feel like."

When asked if he feared the injury would keep him out of next week's game against Chicago, Smith's eyes shot wide with dismay.

"Go next week? I'm just trying to walk to the bus," Smith replied. "I'm having trouble walking. Is it serious? I can't walk. That's pretty serious. It hurts to walk."


Without Smith, the Panthers game, it figures, might as well shut down. They have a rookie quarterback who has two games of experience, WR Dwayne Jarrett and three rookie WRs. Not that Carolina with Smith was anything other than a last-place NFC South squad, but without him … oh boy, it ain’t good.
 
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 1, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2010 2:02 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.01.10 (cool looking date, huh?)

Hot Routes
Posted by Andy Benoit


C. Ochocinco (US Presswire)
Chad Ochocinco is sorry for the sex-line flap (even though he has nothing to apologize for since he wasn’t at fault). This is at least the second time we’ve mentioned this story about Ocho’s cereal, and it’s probably the fifth or sixth time you’ve heard about it. This begs the question…could the mistake have been a clever publicity stunt? (Think about it: would we be talking about the cereal without the sex-line controversy?)

The Redskins couldn’t practice Thursday because it was raining. Seriously.

Football wasn’t the only thing Braylon Edwards was thinking about last Sunday.

Eagles second-year running back LeSean McCoy is getting some well-deserved props for his improvements in pass-blocking. (By the way, that was three hyphens in one sentence!)

John Madden remembering George Blanda.

Our own Will Brinson continues to sit by the window, staring off blankly as he thinks about the bum ankle of his beloved Sean Weatherspoon. The Falcons linebacker missed practice again on Thursday.

Titans running back Javon Ringer wouldn’t mind getting more action behind Chris Johnson. Jeff Fisher has hinted a few times this week that the second-year man will get a heavier load. (Ringer has 13 carries on the season.)

Normally, homemade music videos don’t make it anywhere on CBSSports.com (except maybe the message boards). But this Redskins hip-hop video is an exception. (Notice the notice editing on the superhero bit about 30 seconds or so in.) Oh, also, my editor pointed out that, thanks to a quick few seconds of iffy content, we need to add a NSFW warning. Or, maybe it is suitable…depends on your view of animal behavior. We'll say nsfw (lowercase)."

Sean Payton thinks John Fox would be the top free agent available next year if the head coach doesn’t stay in Carolina.

Is this the most unforeseen NFC Offensive Player of the Month recipient of all-time?

Packers rookie linebacker Frank Zombo (what a name, by the way), was fined $7,500 for his hit Monday night on Jay Cutler. (Going by Shaun Smith’s fine…for just $2,500 more, Zombo could have nailed Cutler where it really counts.)

For some reason, Dwayne Jarrett thought now would be a good time to reveal that his agent approached the Panthers about trading the receiver during the offseason.

Ray Rice is a go for Sunday.


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

Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Wither Trent Edwards?

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park .

Posted by Will Brinson


The Buffalo Bills, probably the most quarterback-desperate team in the NFL over the past 10 or so years, made the surprising decision to cut Trent Edwards yesterday. He is jobless and homeless right now, but -- thank goodness for that Stanford education! -- certainly not unemployable.

Still, don't feel that sorry for him. After all, by 4:00 PM EST today, when the NFL process all the waiver claims on Edwards , he's going to have a new job and it will likely be in a place that is less like Buffalo potentially more productive for his future.

That's the beauty of getting kicked out of Buffalo: the grass is always greener, even once you've been on the other side for 10 years. Of course, if you're Edwards, you have to be disappointed that the gig didn't work out -- after all, he was drafted by the Bills out of Stanford and given plenty of opportunities to win the starting job and resurrect the franchise. Clearly, that didn't happen.

So knowing that he'll end up somewhere, the question becomes "Where does he get his second chance?"

According to the NFL, the teams with the worst record this year will have priority on waiver claims, and assuming that multiple teams with the same record make a claim on Edwards, a tie will be broken "based on current strength-of-schedule of the involved clubs or by lot if a tie still exists."

Let's say that all the 0-3 teams make a claim as well as the Vikings, Seahawks and Jets. The order would be thus: 49ers/Browns (7-2 opponent record), Lions/Bills (6-3), Panthers (5-4), Jaguars (4-5), Vikings (4-5), Jets (6-3) and Seahawks (2-7).

According to Jason LaCanfora , though, "no winless teams" made a claim on Edwards, thereby eliminating six teams from consideration and wasting about 15 minutes of my time, primarily because I'm horribly bad at math.

Out of those teams, the 49ers are most surprising (see below), but, considering that LaCanfora has a knack for being correct and also happens to work for a media outlet owned by the organization who takes the waiver claims in from the teams, it seems that one fo the 26 other squads will be going after the former team captain in Buffalo.

The Vikings haven't been rumored insofar as I can tell but they still make sense, especially if you buy into the theory that Brett Favre might get hurt. (Oh, and the theory that everyone's scared of having to put Tavaris Jackson into the game.)

The Jets are considered a team that would be heavily interested in having Edwards on board -- but probably only to steal secrets from the Bills in anticipation of their upcoming ... HAHAHAHA, sorry. Okay, actually because they'd prefer to have someone more lively than Mark Brunell to step in if Mark Sanchez is injured or falters.

And the Seahawks make absolute sense because Edwards is a cheap third option when should Matt Hasselbeck suffer an injury and they realize that Charlie Whitehurst isn't cut out to run their offense.

***
Why the Niners didn't make a claim is beyond me -- they're a team who needs to find an offensive identity, having been continually perplexed by the inconsistency of Alex Smith, who looked to have "arrived" during a close loss to the Saints in Week 2, only to have "checked out for the duration" against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Oh, and they're the only 0-3 team,

Edwards would provide them an option that's not David Carr to either push or replace Alex Smith. And look, Mike Singletary just fired his offensive coordinator only a few days after publicly defending him and acting outraged that anyone would question whether Raye knew what he was doing (um, he didn't, duh).

Plus, they could've claimed Edwards and Singletary could have done the whole "just for depth" and "Alex is our starter" dance, only to put him in the game after Smith's second interception in the first quarter against the Falcons in Week 4.

***
The Cleveland Browns decision not to pursue Edwards isn't as odd, I suppose, although Jake Delhomme hasn't looked great when he's been healthy, and while Seneca Wallace is a Mike Holmgren favorite, outside of tossing a bomb past an out-of-place Eric Berry, he hasn't been that great (370 yards, two TDs and a pick in two games).

But the decision not to spend a roster spot on adding a potentially gimpy donkey to their stable of already ugly horses is understandable, except that unless Delhomme can stay healthy, Cleveland's one bad break away from putting McCoy under center and really slapping a postage stamp to the season.

***
An argument could be made that the Panthers need to at least make a run at Edwards as well, but he's really nothing more than Matt Moore sans familiarity with the team and coaching staff.

The bigger problem for Carolina might be that John Fox already regrets his blatantly panicked decision to put Jimmy Clausen under center after an 0-2 start that only got uglier in a home loss to Cincinnati.

The good news is that the Saints -- as shown by Atlanta plowing through them in the Bayou -- are vulnerable against the run, and if there's one thing the Panthers should do well, it's pound the rock. They haven't been great about it thus far, but that's because they're staring down stacked boxes on nearly every play as teams refuse to respect whoever's under center.

That could change this weekend -- weather won't be a factor (see: three fumbles by Jim-Jim), and if Clausen can take his progression blinders off, quit staring down his receiver every play, the Panthers could be primed for a "where did that come from oh right it's the matchup" upset. You heard it here first.

***
The Jaguars would actually be an ideal situation, at least for Edwards. He'd face relatively limited competition -- by all accounts, Jack Del Rio wants to replace David Garrard in the starting lineup, he just doesn't have the bodies to do it after Luke McCown went down with an injury ... immediately after replacing David Garrard .

And let's face it, that offensive line has been putrid thus far; putting Todd Bouman, who is either 18 or 45 years old and who has backed up big names like Kyle Boller, Jamie Martin, Gus Frerotte and Quinn Gray en route to being signed by the Jaguars FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES , won't end well.

***
The notion that Ben Roethlisberger might not start when he returns from suspension following the Steelers' bye in Week 5 has been tossed around in the media. Like, kind of a lot.

And Charlie Batch has been very good in replacing Ben, at least, you know, relative to what everyone expected from Charlie Freaking Batch. But let's not lose our minds just because we (read: you) kind of want to see Roethlisberger punished by karma and riding the pine. He's by far and away the best quarterback option for Pittsburgh, and Mike Tomlin is going to start him as soon as he's allowed to.

If the Steelers happen to be undefeated at that point in time, well, watch out NFL.

***
Quickly ...

- Peyton Hillis didn't just put the whole "Eric Mangini hates  Jerome Harrison" conspiracy theory to bed, he shoved about 15 Ambien in its mouth and then wrapped it in a Snuggie.

- Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, as much as I'd like to think so, aren't in a battle for a job. They're just two running backs with different style co-existing in a system that just so happens to make one of them less valuable. And the less valuable guy just happens to be Charles, who's more talented.

- The only awesome thing about drafting Kevin Kolb in fantasy leagues is that you had to pick up Michael Vick. That's worked out quite well.

- I really thought that Chan Gailey was trying to showcase Marshawn Lynch to increase his trade value. And even if he was, in the process, Lynch has just become the best running back in Buffalo (once again).

- Kevin Smith returns this week and Jahvid Best is injured ... it shouldn't matter, but that's what Wally Pip probably said too.

- Yeah, I'm really pumped about the "Garrett Hartley versus John Carney" lede in this column next week too, thanks for asking.

Posted on: September 23, 2010 6:32 pm
 

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Last week, I brought you some of my favorite weekly picks from the brains of whoever makes the prop bets for bodog.com (this is a pretty cool job, but man, that would be a really cool job).

This week, I’ve got a new batch. Maybe I should start a weekly feature called, “For the gambler in you.” How much you wanna bet that I’ll do that?

Will a team from Texas win Super Bowl XLV?

Yes 4/1

No 1/6

At 4/1, I might be inclined to put my money on that, though I don’t think it’ll happen. Wait, the San Antonio Spurs are eligible to play, right?

How many games will Kevin Kolb start from Week 4 onward in the 2010 NFL Regular Season?   
 
  

Over/Under 2

Too many possible factors to go with the under here. Vick could get injured, he could get benched, Andy Reid could change his mind again before Sunday.

Completion % - Jimmy Clausen (CAR)


Over/Under 54%

There are quite a few backup-QB-turned-starter-this-week prop bets, but this is a pretty good one. Until Clausen proves me wrong, I’d take the under. His first year playing at Notre Dame, it should be noted, he recorded a 56.3 completion percentage.

How many sacks will Clay Matthews record in the 2010 NFL regular season?          

Over/Under 20  

This is a tough one. I don’t think he’ll break the NFL record of 22.5, but I’d have a hard time putting him at the under as well. So, if I had to spell it out in a mathematical equation, maybe I’d say: 22.5>Matthews>20. 

Which of these NFL coaches will be fired first during the 2010 NFL regular season? 
         
Eric Mangini 3/2

John Fox 2/1

Wade Phillips 3/1

Brad Childress 5/1

I was asked this week if I thought Phillips would be fired mid-season, and I said I doubted it because I think the Cowboys will (somewhat) turn themselves around. But if they don’t – if they start 2-6 or something like that – I wouldn’t be terribly shocked for Jerry Jones to give Phillips the mid-season pink slip. So, I’d go with him. 


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

Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:53 pm
 

Matt Moore practices in full, expected to start

Posted by Will Brinson

Matt Moore had an auspicious start for the Carolina Panthers on Sunday that culminated (in a negative way) with a concussion that opened up the door for Jimmy Clausen to potentially start this Sunday against Tampa Bay.

However, our Carolina Panthers' Rapid Reporter Steve Reed reports that Moore practiced in full today and that "barring an unforeseen setback" will start against the Buccaneers.

Andy and I discussed this issue on a forthcoming podcast preview, but it's odd that Fox would be so willing to push Moore here, given that he has a fairly good "out" to give Clausen a shot at starting.

Of course, he may simply not think Clausen's ready to start and that Moore gives the team the best chance to win -- if that's the case, he certainly would rather have his starter get his confidence back against a team in Tampa that's significantly easier to beat than the Giants.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 13, 2010 4:45 pm
 

Concussions factoring into QB controversies

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Moore (US Presswire)K. Kolb (US Presswire)
You never want to see a player get hurt – especially when the body part that’s hurting is the brain. So of course John Fox is not glad that quarterback Matt Moore suffered a concussion against the Giants. That said, the reality is, Moore’s concussion might make Fox’s life easier this week.

Moore was awful against the Giants (14/33 passing, three interceptions). But it would be impetuous to bench him prior to Week 2. Once you bench a young quarterback, it’s almost impossible to go back to him (Just ask the Cardinals).

But if Moore misses Carolina’s Week 2 game against the Buccaneers (and with the league’s more stringent guidelines for dealing with concussions, it’s possible he will), then Fox can get a free trial run with second-round rookie Jimmy Clausen. If Clausen shines during that trial run, Fox has his quarterback for the future. If Clausen flounders, Fox can go back to Moore and claim that he was the starter all along.

(For the record, Fox said Monday afternoon that Moore is “feeling a lot better”.)

On the other side of the concussion story, Andy Reid could have a mess on his hands if Kevin Kolb’s concussion keeps him out against the Lions this week. (And it probably will; Reid has said Kolb won’t practice until at least Friday.)

Chances are, Philly will beat Detroit no matter who is under center. So if Michael Vick goes out and leads the Eagles to victory, fans will say that all of the team’s success so far has come with Vick under center. Technically, they’d be right. But that wouldn’t mean Vick is the better quarterback. (Remember, the Packers didn’t game plan for Vick; had they prepared to face a scrambler, things may have been different.)

Fans may want Vick to start, but Reid does not want to immediately bench the guy he believed in enough to trade Donovan McNabb. And he won’t.

But imagine if Kolb sits against Detroit, Vick lights it up, then Kolb gets healthy for Week 3. Reid would have to explain to volatile Eagle fans why he’s benching an electrifying, fun-to-watch athlete and going back to the quarterback who was 5/10 for 24 yards in a lackluster first half against the Packers. Think those fans will understand?

In Reid’s perfect world, Kolb would be cleared to play this week. He’d start against the Lions, post good numbers and get the Eagles to 1-1. Even this scenario wouldn’t completely hush the inevitable “We want Vick!” chants that are about to sweep across the City of Brotherly Love. But it would at least minimize the damage.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: August 27, 2010 12:43 pm
 

John Fox NOT on hot seat (technicality)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer makes a great point about Panthers head coach John Fox. Many are saying that Fox is on the hot seat in Carolina. Sorensen’s response? J. Fox (US Presswire)

I don't know if Fox will coach the Carolina Panthers in 2011. I'll be surprised if he does. But if Fox goes, it's as likely to be his idea as it is the team's. Engines wear out, knees wear out and relationships wear out, too. The relationship between Fox and the Panthers probably is in danger of expiring.

The NFL, however, thinks more highly of Fox than fans of the Panthers do. I can easily see him coaching the New York Giants or Cleveland next season.

Fox, in the final year of his contract, is in an unusual position. If he succeeds in grand style this season, he’ll likely leave Carolina for greener (green as in money) pastures. If he fails in grand style, he’ll likely be the equivalent of fired (owner Jerry Richardson won’t offer him a new contract).

The Panthers gave Fox permission to seek a new job this past offseason, but nothing transpired. Thus, we have the unusual circumstance of a coach in his prime entering what is essentially known to be his final year with the organization.

Sorensen sums it up best by saying, “So is Fox on Carolina's hot seat or is Carolina on Fox's? In this case, the term doesn't apply.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 23, 2010 10:49 am
 

What to do about Carolina's QBs?

M. Moore and the rest of Carolina's quarterbacks have struggled in the preseason (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So far this preseason, the Carolina quartet of quarterbacks has been unimpressive.

Matt Moore was the expected starter coming into the season – we thought he would have to be absolutely terrible to get passed on the depth chart – followed by some combination of Hunter Cantwell and rookie Jimmy Clausen. Then, the fourth-stringer was Tony Pike, and it wasn’t out of the question that the Panthers would try to keep all four quarterbacks.

Now, the Panthers would settle for just one quarterback who can play productively.

As Steve Reed of PanthersGrowl.com asks, is it time to panic yet?

It may be, because this preseason is beginning to look remarkably similar to last year’s preseason.

And that’s not good.

The Panthers managed just one touchdown pass during a winless 2009 preseason and the problems in the passing game carried over into the regular season resulting in three straight losses to open the season. The Panthers never recovered and finished the season 8-8 and out of the playoffs one year after winning the NFC South.


So far, the quarterback ratings of Moore and Clausen are pathetically tiny, stuck in the mid-30s. Coach John Fox doesn’t seem concerned, but Moore understands that there’s still plenty of aspects of their game that need to be fixed.

“We need to keep working,” Moore said. “There are plays there that need to be made and we’re capable of making them. We’re just going to keep grinding it out and keep working on it and take these next two preseason games and keep learning and be ready to go in Week One.”

Moore, who went 4-1 last year after replacing Jake Delhomme, was expected to hold down the starting job until Clausen was sufficiently ready – maybe not this year, but probably next season. It’s still the preseason, but if Moore doesn’t improve, it might not be a terrible idea to start Cantwell.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a very good idea at all, but at this point, that’s probably a better option than throwing Clausen into the mix so early in his career.

In reality, Moore, even if he continues to struggle, will start, and the Panther will just have to see how it goes.

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