Tag:Atlanta Falcons
Posted on: September 17, 2010 10:44 am
Edited on: September 17, 2010 11:02 am
 

Podcast: Week 2 early game previews

Posted by Will Brinson

It's Friday, which means we're one good night's worth of sleep from getting about 48 straight hours of glorious football.

Saturday is fun, of course, but Sunday is where the real action happens -- Andy Benoit and I hopped on the old podcast machine this week to preview the games that will be played. This particular segment previews the early games on Sunday, and we discuss whether Marshawn Lynch to Green Bay makes sense (and whether Buffalo can beat Green Bay), what the mess is wrong with the Jets offense (and whether they can hang with the Pats), if Jimmy Clausen's time has come in Carolina, whether Chad Henne needs to just go ahead and retire and give his starting job over to Chad Pennington, and whether or not teams like Kansas City and Arizona can magically go to 2-0.

Click play below or make it easy on yourself and Subscribe via iTunes .

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 13, 2010 3:00 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2010 4:10 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.13.10: first Monday of the season

Posted by Andy Benoit

A lot of people are wondering why Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley got back in for a few plays after suffering concussions. Fair question.

Pat Yasinkas points out that the Saints have a chance to start 2-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in franchise history. They’ll have to beat the 49ers in order to do it.

The huge Week 1 television ratings pretty much confirm that anyone who doesn’t watch the NFL is a loser.A. Hawk (US Presswire)

We’ll join the Revis vs. Moss hype later this week, but here’s a little taste to let you know that, even with the Jets still yet to play, it’s already starting.

Roddy White caught a career-high 13 passes against the Steelers. Matt Ryan targeted him 23 times!

A.J. Hawk did not see the field Sunday against the Eagles because Green Bay spent the entire game in nickel defense. Brandon Chillar is the club’s nickel linebacker.

Here’s another reason to like star running back Ray Rice.

The Giants may want to consider lowering their ticket prices.

Marshall Yanda will start at right tackle for the Ravens Monday night. Jared Gaither and Oniel Cousins are both injured.

The Redskins might still be trying to figure out their offensive line personnel.

Vince Young says he “definitely wants the Heisman” and that he wouldn’t turn it down. But Young also said that Reggie Bush won it “fair and square”. (Of course, if Bush won it “fair and square”, no one would be talking about Young getting the Heisman.)

The Browns started fullback Peyton Hillis ahead of Jerome Harrison at tailback against the Bucs. Hmmm…


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

Posted on: September 8, 2010 10:41 pm
 

Podcast: Week 1 early game previews

Posted by Will Brinson

Are you ready for some football? No, seriously, are you?

Because it's football time, people. Less than 24 hours from kickoff.

And that's why Andy Benoit and I are here to run over the Week 1 games with you, doling out helpful information to help you understand who will win, and answering all the important questions about Week 1, like "Is Tampa Bay-Cleveland the worst game of the season?"

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)

Oh, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 4, 2010 11:32 am
Edited on: September 4, 2010 9:23 pm
 

NFL cut day: updating the latest noteworthy moves

Posted by Andy Benoit & Josh Katzowitz

On this NFL cut day, we're monitoring all the media outlets and waiver wire action like a hawk so that you can make this is your one-stop shop for instant news and analysis on all the latest noteworthy cuts. Stay with us throughout the day.

Troy Williamson, WR, Jaguars
This isn't a hugely surpising move, because it never seemed that Williamson had a chance to make this team. The Jaguars are stocked with talented young receivers, and in the end, there wasn't a need for a former first-round pick who's had such a disappointing career (eight catched in the past two years with Jacksonville).

Dre Bly, CB, Lions
The Lions secondary has been brutal the past few years, and Bly was signed in the offseason to add a veteran presence. Bly wasn't that bad last year with San Francisco, but if he can't make a Detroit squad that's still in need of secondary help, that's not a real good sign for the health of his career.

Justin Hartwig, C, Steelers
He'd been the starter the previous two seasons in Pittsburgh, but along came rookie Maurkice Pouncey and took away his starting spot. Now, Hartwig's spot on the roster is gone. The team apparently had been trying to work out a trade for him but obviously failed to do so.

Spencer Havner, TE, Packers
Perhaps you haven't heard of Havner, who has recorded only seven catches in his two-year career. But reporters close to the team expressed surprise that Havner was sent packing, mostly because of his versatility and because he was decent-to-pretty good in so many different areas (receiving, blocking, special teams).

Max Jean-Gilles, OG, Eagles
This was an interesting transaction and didn't have much to do with his performance in the preseason. Since the Stacy Andrews trade occured after the 6 p.m. cutdown deadline, the Eagles had to cut Jean-Gilles to complete the 53-man roster. The Eagles are expected to sign him Sunday - Jean-Gilles is a vested veteran that doesn't have to clear waivers. Unless, that is, somebody else comes to him with a better offer.

Chase Coffman, TE, Bengals
The 2009 third round pick of the Bengals didn't see any playing time last year, because even though he was a strong receiver, he had tons to learn on how to block (he never really had to do it in college at Missouri). Though we didn't know it at the time, the first-round selection of Jermaine Gresham this year and the comeback by Reggie Kelly probably sealed Coffman's fate

Sam Aiken, WR, Patriots
He was the special teams captain for New England, and it appeared he had landed one of the final WR spots. But apparently his deficiencies as a WR were too much for the Patriots to handle. Plus, he lost his gunner job on special teams earlier in the preseason.

Derrick Burgess, LB, Patriots
He had a league-leading 16 sacks in 2005, and he was a Pro Bowler that year and the next. But his skills have steadily declined since then, and against the Giants in New England's final preseason game Thursdasy, Burgess was terrible. He couldn't defend the run or rush the passer. And if you can't do either, New England - which will struggle to rush the passer this season - doesn't want you.

Trent Guy, WR, Panthers
Not a big-name guy, but he's got a great story. In July 2008, Guy was shot in the back while leaving a nightclub, and he barely escaped paralysis and/or death. Read the complete story here on the Charlotte Observer web site. Alas, he'll likely end up on Carolina's practice squad.

Troy Smith, QB, Ravens
After signing Marc Bulger in the offseason, the Ravens shipped away John Beck and now have released Smith. The former Heisman Trophy winner had wanted a trade in the offseason, but the Ravens never got around to it. But who would take him? He's got speed but his accuracy is questionable, and he doesn't appear to have the tools to be an NFL starter. The Ravens will keep only two QBs on the roster for now.

Chad Jackson, WR, Bills

Thought to have first-round potential, Jackson was picked in the second round of the 2006 Draft by the Patriots. So far in his career, he's made exactly 14 catches. Jackson was out of football in 2009, and that's exactly where he's going in 2010 as well.

Kraig Urbik, OG, Steelers
A third-round pick out of Wisconsin in 2009, Pittsburgh expected big things out of the 6-foot-5, 325-pounder. But he had a rough preseason last year, and he struggled while adjusting to the NFL speed. He eventually lost his backup spot, and apparently, the Steelers - who even tried him out at center in the offseason - have no use for him anymore.

Tank Tyler, DT, Panthers
The Panthers gave up a fifth-round pick to get Tyler last season. He had his moments but, as was the case in Kansas City, he never put it all together.


James Hardy, WR, Bills
The 6’5”, high-leaping ’08 second-round pick has not been the same since blowing out his knee. The Bills were hoping he could capture the starting job vacated by Terrell Owens.


Rhys Lloyd, K, Vikings
He was brought in to be a kickoff specialist. Vikings likely decided he wasn’t worth the extra cost (perhaps because they’re already paying a little extra to that old guy playing quarterback). Ryan Longwell will be pleased – he didn’t want to give up the kickoff duties in the first place.

Jay Richardson, DE, Raiders
He was a starter a few years ago but has tailed off as of late. Teams should take a look at him, though. At his best, he’s one of the more impressive run-defending ends in football.


Will Blackmon, CB, Packers
The athletic but oft-injured cornerback/return specialist reached an injury settlement with the team.

Pierre Woods, LB, Patriots
We mention Woods only because the Patriots spent four years waiting for him to come around. Most non-achievers don’t last four months in New England. In the end, Woods never did come around. He was given an opportunity to work with the first unit last season, but in five starts he recorded zero sacks. (In fact, in four years total, he recorded just one sack.)


Chris Simms, QB, Titans
Known more for his name than anything. Would have been nothing more than the third-string option in Tennessee. Recent legal problems certainly could not have helped his cause. Titans will likely keep sixth-round rookie Rusty Smith as the No. 3.

Chevis Jackson, CB, Falcons
The competition for the starting cornerback job opposite Dunta Robinson has been so fierce that you forget about any Falcon corners being on the roster bubble. This explains the mild sense of astonishment we’re all feeling when we hear that Jackson, a third-round pick in 2008, has been waived. In his two years with Atlanta, Jackson mostly competed for reps at the nickel position. Jackson was never awful for Mike Smith; it’s a virtual guarantee that some team will quickly snatch him up.

Ian Johnson, RB, Vikings
By no means a big-name NFL player. But remember the Boise State running back who proposed to the cheerleader after scoring the winning touchdown against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl? This is him.


Matt Leinart, QB, Cardinals
What a disaster this whole saga turned out to be. Leinart is officially a first-round BUST. For more, click here .

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seahawks
Given that his $7 million salary was already guaranteed, the Seahawks basically said they simply didn't want the veteran wideout around. You have to figure attitude played a part . What else could result in the sudden release of a surefire 70-plus catch weapon?


Brandon Stokley, WR, Broncos

He was everyone’s favorite “scrappy slot receiver” before Wes Welker. But at 34 and having caught only 19 passes last season, he’s expendable. The Broncos have been impressed with Brandon Lloyd, and they figure to develop high-drafted rookies Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
Note: Stokley has a groin injury and, according to Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post, is still working out an injury settlement with the club. He's been placed on Injured Reserve, but when that's healed, he'll be released.


Jarron Gilbert, DT, Bears
Remember the San Jose State draft prospect who jumped straight out of a swimming pool last year? That’s about all the athletic defensive lineman is known for. Gilbert was drafted in the third round last season but hardly got on the field.

Allen Barbre, OL, Packers
Barbre, a fourth-round pick in 2007, showed up dripping with raw talent. However, things never materialized. Barber was victimized as a starter early last season and was never much of a factor in the ongoing job competition at guard.

Myron Rolle, S, Titans
The sixth-round rookie Rhodes Scholar was a favorite of the coaches. However, he lacked the necessary athleticism to thrive in the NFL. If he wants to continue with football, he could probably sneak on to a practice squad somewhere.


Jarvis Green, DE, Broncos
Seriously!? Green signed a four-year, $20 million free agent deal with the Broncos in March. He was a key contributor for eight years as a versatile downlineman in New England’s 3-4 scheme. But in Denver, Green eventually lost his starting job to Ryan McBean; the Broncos must have felt he was too expensive to be a backup (Green wound up walking away $3.225 million). With Ty Warren out for the season, the Patriots may want to consider bringing Green back.

Michael Clayton, WR, Buccaneers
Clayton has had one of the most enigmatic careers in recent NFL memory. He caught 80 balls for 1,193 yards as a rookie but has failed to top 38 receptions or 484 yards in the five seasons since. Injuries have never been a factor. Coaches say Clayton is the most impressive player in practice each week, but on Sundays, he pulls a Houdini. Bucs GM Mark Dominik must watch a lot of practice, as he gave Clatyon a new contract with $10 million in guarantees just last year.


Pat White, QB, Dolphins
The biggest name to get the ax (or is it axe?...why hasn’t society agreed on one spelling yet? ) thus far. Talk about wasting a second-round pick. White suffered a bad concussion late last season and was rumored to be questioning his football future earlier this summer. He wound up competing in camp, but the Dolphins no longer had a need for him after retaining Chad Pennington and bringing in Tyler Thigpen. Running back Ronnie Brown can continue to be the wild cat ace.

Josh Reed, WR, Chargers
This was to be expected after the trade for Patrick Crayton. Both are underneath possession receivers; Crayton, however, is a bit quicker and has been more productive in recent years.

Dave Rayner, K, Bengals
This means Mike Nugent has won Cincy’s kicking job.

Shayne Graham, K, Ravens
The longtime Bengal was expected to beat out Billy Cundiff for the Ravens kicking job. Apparently he didn’t. Cundiff has the stronger leg.


Donald Thomas, G, Dolphins
Arguably the most surprising cut thus far today – not because Thomas is a particularly good player (he’s not), but because he’s a third-year pro who started 12 games last season. Thomas badly struggled with his footwork and was too much of a plodder at times. The Dolphins signed Richie Incognito and drafted John Jerry to fill the guard spots over the offseason. Looks like Cory Proctor will wind up being the top backup inside now.


Darrell Reid, OLB, Broncos
The veteran special teams ace was on PUP all preseason with a bad knee. Even with Elvis Dumervil on IR, Denver still saw fit to move on. This tells you Reid probably had little chance of physically being ready to play anytime soon. The coaches also really like soaring newcomer Jason Hunter.


Travis Fisher, CB, Ravens
Fisher’s NFL career has been hanging by a threat the past few seasons. The former Ram is an experienced veteran, but the Ravens saw no place for him after trading for Josh Wilson.

J.P. Losman, QB, Seahawks
Could be back to the UFL for the underachieving former first-round pick.


Willie Parker, RB, Redskins
It’s common knowledge that running backs hit a wall around age 30. Parker hit his last year at 29. Parker’s yards per carry had decreased every season in his career until 2009 (when he had very few touches with the Steelers). He was hoping for a resurgence behind Mike Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme, but with his speed diminished and body dinged up (injuries have hounded Parker the past few years), he couldn’t climb out from the fourth spot on the depth chart.

Brandon McDonald, CB, Browns
McDonald is best known for his disgraceful tweet about Terrell Owens earlier this offseason. Looks like his reputation will remain there for a while. McDonald’s playing career in Cleveland is over. He struggled mightily in man coverage as the Browns starting cornerback last season and was benched on more than one occasion. Throw in his flashy, irritating attitude and he became an easy player for Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren to dump.

William Joseph, DT, Raiders
The 2003 first-round pick of the Giants could be on done for good. Joseph is 31 and has never achieved consistent success at the pro level. Then again, he’s been shuffled on and off the Raiders roster since 2008 – maybe this is just another shuffle. He was fifth on the depth chart at defensive tackle. The news here is that Joseph’s release could mean John Henderson makes the final roster. We’ll find out.

Matt Jones, WR, Bengals
The only thing he had going for him was a history of legal problems (which seems to be an attribute Bengals owner Mike Brown covets in a player). Jones is too lethargic off the line to be a quality NFL receiver. The Bengals found that out.

Patrick Turner, WR, Dolphins
Turner was a third-round pick just one year ago. The Dolphins thought they’d found the next Marques Colston. Instead, they found the next Joe Nobody. Turner never earned the respect of coaches and teammates.

Jon Jansen, OL, Lions
No surprise here. Jansen is a sagacious veteran, but at 34, he has reached his physical end. He was a major liability wherever he lined up last season.

Bear Pascoe, TE, Giants
Thanks to injuries to starter Kevin Boss, Pascoe spent a great deal of the offseason working with the Giants first team offense. Because Pascoe played in only four games as a rookie last season, he is eligible for the practice squad if he clears waivers.


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






Posted on: September 3, 2010 12:25 am
 

Ranking the NFL owners

Posted by Andy Benoit

Everybody everywhere is always ranking quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. And, earlier this week, the Sporting News ranked all 32 head coaches. So why not rank owners?A. Davis (US Presswire)

Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver – one of the best football writers in America – published Part 1 of his annual NFL owners rankings. Silver offers extensive analysis on each owner. It’s absolutely worth reading the entire article. Here are some of the highlights:

--Silver ranks Al Davis No. 32 and absolutely rips the Raiders organization. You may recall that Silver was the one who first reported the Tom Cable-Randy Hanson incident, and that the Raiders denied Silver a press pass to a game later that year. (We’re not implying that Silver has an axe to grind – we’re pointing out that the Raiders will hate him even more after this.)

--An anonymous NFC owner gave Silver a golden quote on Bengals owner Mike Brown (whom Silver ranks 31st): “He doesn’t have a conscience. He’s all about revenue-sharing – he comes right out and says, ‘I just want some of your money.’ He’s worn out his welcome with 99 percent of that room. He came out and said that new stadiums are the worst thing to happen to the NFL because they raised the bar for other clubs. Unbelievable.”

--On Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (ranked 25th), Silver writes, “After I broke the news in April that Miami general manager Jeff Ireland had asked Dez Bryant in a pre-draft interview if the receiver’s mother was a prostitute – a great day for the Dolphins’ brand – I thought Ross might finally overcome his fear of executive vice president Bill Parcells’ shadow and assert his authority. But Ross, from what I can tell, did little more than throw out hollow rhetoric, which is one of his specialties.”

--On Falcons owner Arthur Blank (ranked 20th): “In owner circles Blank is regarded as a man with a huge sense of self – and in a room full of rich folks, that’s saying something.”

Silver only published the first part of his rankings (teams 32-18). We’ll provide the final rundown here, but it’s highly recommended that you read the entire article (Silver’s blunt analysis is fantastic).

32. Oakland Raiders – Al Davis
31. Cincinnati Bengals – Mike Brown
30. Detroit Lions – William Clay Ford (Bill Ford Jr.)
29. Cleveland Browns – Randy Lerner
28. Chicago Bears – Virginia McCaskey (George McCaskey/Michael McCaskey)
27. Arizona Cardinals – Bill Bidwill (Michael Bidwill)
26. Buffalo Bills – Ralph Wilson
25. Miami Dolphins – Stephen Ross
24. Tennessee Titans – Bud Adams
23. Jacksonville Jaguars – Wayne Weaver
22. New Orleans Saints – Tom Benson (Rita LeBlanc Benson)
21. Seattle Seahawks – Paul Allen
20. Atlanta Falcons – Arthur Blank
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bryan, Joel and Ed Glazer
18. St. Louis Rams – Stan Kroenke
17. Denver Broncos – Pat Bowlen


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

Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 11:16 am
 

Falcons don't mind new position of ump

Collisions were a major reason the NFL decided to reposition the umpire (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past week or so regarding the umpire’s new position about 10 yards behind the offensive line and how it affects hurry-up offenses because the ball will be spotted a little slower. Like, say, the Colts and QB Peyton Manning.

Andy wrote about it yesterday, so check that out for some background.

But you know who’s not worried about the new positioning? The Falcons. That’s what D. Orlando Ledbetter writes in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta has run its no-huddle offense in all three of its preseason games, and so far, the team hasn’t had problems adjusting.

"Obviously it's different, the way they set the ball," Ryan said. "But we have not had any issues thus far with it."

The Chargers, though, can sympathize with the Colts. This, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune , which quotes QB Philip Rivers as saying, “It’s a problem. We’re down 11 with five minutes to go and we have to wait and look for people to snap? It’s an issue.”

Let me just put in my two cents. I can understand why the Colts would be frustrated with this, but the NFL says it made the move because of the umpire’s safety. More than 100 collisions and a handful of concussions suffered by those officials last year seemingly make this a pretty good idea.

And if the players’ major argument against an 18-game schedule is because they fear for their safety, they should sympathize for men who are older, slower and not in as good a shape but still share the same football field.

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

Posted on: August 27, 2010 11:55 pm
 

ATL hearts the 'Spoon

Posted by Will Brinson

I'm a spork man myself, but that's mainly a result of growing up on a healthy (not in the actual sense of the word) diet of dirty rice and BoBerry biscuits from Bojangles.

Still, when it comes to fave utensils in Atlanta, you'd be hard pressed to find one more popular than "the 'Spoon" right now. Or, as my lengthily drawn-out and likely shoddy analogy may have indicated, Sean Weatherspoon, the rookie linebacker who's drawing rave reviews out of Falcons camp.

The kid's already speaking like a leader, as judging from his quote following the Falcons' 16-6 win over Miami on Friday night.

“I felt as a defensive unit we went out with that attitude that we weren’t going to take anything," Weatherspoon said, "we were going to shut down the running game and we did a good job of that."

That's certainly a justified statement following the Falcons shutting down the 'Fins rushing attack -- they held Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown to 14 yards rushing on 12 carries combined, and the rest of the four Dolphins' "rushers" included Pat White and Chad Pennington and they still only totaled an extra 32 yards.

Jim Corbett of USA Today paints a solid profile of the impression that Weatherspoon's made thus far in his rookie season, telling the story of a kid who, when signed, cost Mike Smith $200 for checking his cell phone during a team meeting and then quickly repaid it with a note that said "I got your back, coach."

He's also a kid who's drawn "raves" from Tony Gonzalez and Matt Ryan and endeared his teammates to the "bravado and playmaking" he pulls off on the field.

"I've never seen a rookie defensive guy come in like Spoon," Gonzalez says. "Just his whole swagger, it's going to help us a lot."

"He understands the game well beyond his years," [Thomas] DeCoud says. "We're on our way to being one of the elite defenses. We have a chip on our shoulders."

And it seems pretty clear that 'Spoon is one of the primary reasons Atlanta can, ummm, feed the fuel to the fire.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS feed.
Posted on: August 27, 2010 4:32 pm
 

Friday's preseason action: what/why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Four preseason games on the docket tonight – all considered “dress rehearsals” for Week 1. Here’s what/why to watch.

Falcons @ Dolphins

You have brothers Peria and John Jerry squaring off. You have cornerback Benny Sapp’s highly-anticipated Dolphins debut. You have a forecast for rain (which, in Miami this time of year, usually means a downpour).

Strictly football-wise, Dolphins young cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Sean Smith have struggled this preseason. If they have another rough night, you may start to here serious whispers of concern coming out of South Beach.

Redskins @ Jets

There’s always the Haynesworth watch (which is a reason to tune in for the postgame coverage, as well). There’s also the Hard Knocks drinking/gambling game (predicting which plays make it on next week’s episode of Hard Knocks – the payout from this obviously has to wait until Wednesday night, but you can lay the groundwork for it now).

Donovan McNabb is not playing, which means you get to see Rex Grossman square off against Rex Ryan’s defense. Watching Grossman at the line of scrimmage against the swarming Jets will be like watching a rattled foreigner ask for directions in the middle of oncoming traffic. Should be entertaining.

Chargers @ Saints (8:00 ET, CBS)

We’d play the “Drew Brees versus his former team” angle here, but one has to assume Brees’s Super Bowl ring – and San Diego’s lack of Super Bowl rings – makes that rivalry somewhat of a dead issue. Especially in the preseason.

So, instead, we’ll watch this game to once again see how the Charger offense performs without star left tackle Marcus McNeil and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. For most fans, this will also be the first glimpse of first-round rookie running back Ryan Mathews.

Eagles @ Chiefs

Some are saying Matt Cassel has something to prove and a chip on the shoulder and whatever else it is that athletes supposedly find for motivation. Tonight will be Cassel’s truest test thus far in Charlie Weis’ system.

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