Tag:Carolina Panthers
Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 12:54 pm
 

DeAngelo, Stewart talk Panthers at Playboy party

Eye on Football hit Playboy's Super Bowl party Friday night. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, known as "Double Trouble" for the combination of their rushing attack with the Panthers, were at the Playboy blue carpet on Friday night. As everyone who reads this blog knows, there's no one who works here who's a homer at all when it comes to the Panthers.

We talked to them about Cam Newton, the rushing attack, the new Panthers logo and then made them give a shoutout to my buddy Zeke. Good times all around.



Also check out the full slideshow of pictures from the Bud Light blue carpet:


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: January 29, 2012 8:08 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:32 pm
 

Carolina Panthers introduce new team logo

The new Carolina Panthers logo is more refined. (Carolina Panthers)
By Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers have had the same team logo since the team began playing in 1995. But that's about to change, as the team announced the change on Sunday evening during the Pro Bowl.

"We have one of the finest and most recognizable logos in the NFL and wanted to make it as modern as possible without losing the dramatic essence of the mark," said Carolina Panthers President Danny Morrison. "It is a cleaner style that is easier to read and should be more applicable to different uses."

As you can see, there are some significant differences, although nothing that should scare fans too much.

Here are the new Carolina Panthers logos. (Carolina Panthers)

The head of the Panther is now streamlined, and there's less of a emphasis on the blue outline that had previously surrounded the Panther's head.

Additionally, this cat's a little less hairy -- the whiskers are significantly reduced from the old version, and the eyebrows (Panthers have eyebrows right?) are reduced as well.

It's a more streamlined cat and, frankly, a little more ferocious and realistic looking of an animal. The team's calling it "a tougher, more defined panther" and that's an accurate assessment.

The Panthers typeface is also different: it's no longer written in 80's hair-metal font. Or cat scratch font. Or whatever.

The team should continue to use silver helmets (a common question thus far), as they have a colorway that'll fit with that appropriately.

The only real downside of the new logo, which partially relates to Nike taking over jersey production for the NFL in 2012, is that it'll require the purchase of all-new gear.

Check the evolution in video form right here:



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: January 24, 2012 4:57 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:08 pm
 

You decide: Best Super Bowl game-winning finishes

All right, who ya got? (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

We have approximately 290 hours to fill between now and the kickoff for Super Bowl XLVI. Which means that we'll cover every conceivable storyline, probably multiple times, just to make sure you don't miss anything. But before we look ahead, let's take a look back and some of the best finishes in Super Bowl history.

Super Bowl XXIII, Bengals-49ers

Super Bowl XXXVI, Patriots-Rams

Super Bowl XXXVIII, Panthers-Patriots

Super Bowl XLIII, Steelers-Cardinals


And, of course (don't call it a rematch!)…

Super Bowl XLII, Giants-Patriots


Feel free to vote for your favorite finish in the poll below or let us know what you think in the comments.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.

Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:27 am
 

Report: Dolphins to interview Denver's Mike McCoy

Miami will reportedly interview McCoy on Monday. (US Presswire)
By Will Brinson

Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's name shot up coaching candidate lists after a season that saw him turn Tim Tebow and an unconventional offense into a division winner. And according to multiple reports, he'll interview with the Dolphins for their head-coaching position on Monday.

Both the Miami Herald and NFL Network report that McCoy will head to South Beach for an interview.

McCoy's worked under John Fox with the Carolina Panthers for several years before taking the offensive coordinator position under Josh McDaniels in Denver beginning in 2009; he was retained when Fox replaced McDaniels in 2011.

In his three years in that position, he's authored the league's No. 1 ranked rushing offense (2011) and a passing offense that ranked in the top 15 in passing yards twice (2009, 2010).

Perhaps most impressive about McCoy, who's just 39, is what he's done with limited resources. The Broncos traded away Jay Cutler before the 2009 season and under McCoy, Kyle Orton still threw for more than 3,500 yards in two consecutive seasons. After the Broncos traded Brandon Marshall following the 2009 season, Brandon Lloyd became a Pro Bowler.

And, of course, in 2011, McCoy re-engineered the offense in the middle of the season to fit Tebow's skills and helped Denver win a division title.

When the Dolphins struck out on landing Jeff Fisher Friday, they began turning to other candidates. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's a hot name in South Beach right now, Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin could get a second interview and according to the Herald, Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has been "discussed internally."

If the Dolphins are truly looking to become a potent offensive team, McCoy could very well be their best choice.

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: January 13, 2012 3:35 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 3:44 pm
 

Winners/losers from the Jeff Fisher saga

In every contest, even coach hirings, there are winners and losers. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With the news that Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins now confirmed by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, we figured we'd take a look at the saga from the knee-jerk perspective of picking winners and losers.

Trust us, someone always wins. And someone always loses. It's life. Leave yours in the comments.

WINNERS

Jeff Fisher: Stop us if we're being too obvious, but the dude straight cleaned up, you guys. We don't have contract details yet, but Mike Freeman's already reported that the Dolphins feel "used." If that's the case, Fisher's getting a pile of money from the Rams and the word on the street is he'll be picking his own general manager. He got everything he wanted and more when he became the top candidate in the coaching candidate class, even if he's not worth it.

Mike Zimmer: As Albert Breer of the NFL Network notes, Zimmer now moves to the front of the Dolphins coaching list. He's previously worked with 'Fins general manager Jeff Ireland in Dallas, and could be a good fit in Miami. He's also getting mentioned for the Buccaneers gig (and will interview with Tampa Bay), which means the Dolphins might feel a need to hurry things up on Zimmer and get something done, which could land him his first job as a head coach. At the very least, he has leverage now.

Carolina Panthers: When Jay Gruden pulled out of the running for the Rams gig, it looked like Fisher picking the Dolphins could really open up the door for St. Louis to hire Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. Instead, Chud's primary option is to bolt for the Bucs, which seems less likely.

Gregg Williams: Williams is doing just fine with the Saints now, but his contract's up and there's a decent chance he bolts to work with his old boss in Tennessee. It's not like he was going to get canned from New Orleans (we don't expect him to anyway), but now he has leverage with both the Saints and Rams and could potentially pick the job he wants. Or, if New Orleans wanted to move along after a bad defensive year, Williams wouldn't be burnt. Plus, if he can turn around the Rams defense, he'll likely parlay that into another head-coaching gig.

Lake Dawson: The current VP of Football Operations for the Titans has already interviewed with the Rams. He seems like a pretty solid bet to land the general manager position with St. Louis now.

Mustaches: Fisher's got one a stash that's strong enough to grow icicles, store lunch for later and generally support the weight of a pint of Guinness head. Him patrolling the sidelines for an NFL football team only enhances the manly allure of lip fur.

LOSERS

Stephen Ross: For the second year in a row, Ross' Dolphins have come in second place while chasing a big-name coaching candidate. Last year it was Jim Harbaugh (how's that working out for the 49ers?) and this year it was Fisher. At least this time Ross wasn't already employing a coach when he went chasing after a big name.

Stan Kroenke: If the reports that Fisher doesn't have a contract are true, um, WUT? Why would Kroenke let himself get in this situation? No general manager, a coach who "picked" him and no agreement with that coach in place other than "you get power"? Doesn't this mean Fisher kind of runs the negotiations on his contract and salary from here on out?

Jeff Ireland: Whether or not the rumors about Fisher demanding power are true is irrelevant, because they're out there, and that means it looks like, to many people, that the Dolphins front office is a bit of a mess. (The "Carl Peterson might be running his own coaching search" rumors don't help much either.)

St. Louis Rams: Oh yeah, we went there. Though it's entirely possible that Fisher will be a good hire and he'll lead the Rams back to respectability quickly, St. Louis is still going all in on Fisher at this point. What if they're wrong and just handed a pile of cash, the power to select a general manager and a long contract to a guy who only won 10-plus games six times in his 17-year career with the Titans? Oh, right. They did just do that.

Justin Blackmon: Given that the Titans only once used a first-round pick on a wide receiver (1998, Kevin Dyson), it would be somewhat surprising to see them pull the trigger on Blackmon at No. 2 overall. Obviously this can change depending on how he works out and what sort of trades emerge, but Fisher's spent a lot of picks on defense during his days in Tennessee.

LeBron James: Because one of Fisher's highly-publicized choices was the Miami area, everyone and his brother will now use the line "Take his talents to St. Louis." It won't ever die, LeBron.

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: January 4, 2012 10:23 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 1:47 pm
 

2012 NFL Postseason Awards

Brees and Rodgers could square off three times this year, if you count awards. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We won't bore you by listing our preseason predictions (you can read those here), but suffice to say, all of mine were correct. Take a peak at the midseason hardware if you want too, but right now we're interested in dishing out the awards for the full season.


Speaking of which, I've already ranted on Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers for the MVP, but I find it fascinating that at midseason, no one even picked Brees for Offensive Player of the Year, much less MVP. I'm not here to knock Brees, I'm just saying the award's for an entire season's worth of work.

Anyway, below are our full season picks. (You can also read Pete's full season picks here and Clark's full season picks here.)

Most are obvious but "BFA" is "Best Free Agent Addition," "WFA" is "Worst Free Agent Addition," and "DOH!" is "Pick I'd Like to Have Back." (Haha, yes I did pick the guy who eventually iced his own kicker to win "Coach of the Year." At least I was driving the Camwagon though.)

Dive in below and leave your gripes and complaints in the comments.

Award Brinson
Wilson
Katzowitz
Prisco
Judge
MVP
Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers
OPOY
Drew Brees Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers Drew Brees Drew Brees
DPOY
Jared Allen Terrell Suggs Jared Allen Jason Pierre-Paul Jared Allen
OROY
Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton Cam Newton
DROY
Von Miller Aldon Smith Aldon Smith Von Miller Von Miller
COY
Marvin Lewis Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh Jim Harbaugh
ASST
Rob Chudzinski Rob Chudzinski Wade Phillips Wade Phillips Wade Phillips
BFA
Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles Darren Sproles
WFA
Sidney Rice Braylon Edwards Santonio Holmes Ray Edwards Ray Edwards
Comeback
Steve Smith D'Qwell Jackson Aaron Maybin Matthew Stafford Matthew Stafford
Most Improved
Matthew Stafford Antonio Brown Victor Cruz Rob Gronkowski Rob Gronkowski
Surprise
Bengals Broncos Broncos Bengals 49ers
Disappoint
Eagles Jets Eagles Eagles Eagles
Executive
Rick Smith Rick Smith Rick Smith Martin Mayhew Mike Brown
DOH!
Garrett for COY Rivers for MVP Rivers for MVP Fins in/Lions out Rams in NFCW

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: January 2, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Report: Jags contact Panthers about OC Chudzinski

By Will Brinson

Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski's probably the hottest coordinator name in the NFL right now and at least one team has contacted the Panthers to seek permission to speak with "Chud" about their open position, Ron Rivera confirmed on Monday.

According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, that team is the Jaguars. Person also notes that Rivera intimated at his year-end press conference the possibility of getting Chudzinski a raise and an extension.

In 2011, the Panthers finished a shocking seventh in the NFL in total offense (389.8 yards per contest) after ranking 32nd in the NFL in offense in 2010, and won six games almost entirely on the strength of their offense and the amazing performance of rookie quarterback Cam Newton. Chud is getting the lion's share of the credit for Newton's success, and rightfully so.

Back when Jack Del Rio was fired, we listed Chudzinski as a possible candidate to fill JDR's shoes.

The logic is pretty obvious: Newton's quick adaptation undoubtedly is appealing to a team like Jacksonville, who struggled mightily on offense with rookie Blaine Gabbert (the second-rated quarterback, behind Newton, on most draft boards) at the helm.

The Jags were dead last in offense in the NFL in 2011, posting just 259.3 yards per game. The question will be whether or not the talent level in Jacksonville appeals to Chudzinski. As Panthers tight end Greg Olsen told Person, Chudzinski will become a head coach at some point "whether it's tomorrow or two years from now."

Gabbert's shown talent as a young quarterback, but he's clearly not the rarified athlete that Newton is. The Jaguars lack any wide receiver talent, although Marcedes Lewis could appeal to Chudzinski, who's shown an ability to develop tight ends since he was at Miami University.

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: January 1, 2012 11:39 pm
Edited on: January 2, 2012 8:53 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile, Week 17: Brees for MVP?

Posted by Will Brinson


Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action, figures out the winners and losers and asks the big questions. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Listen to the Pick-Six Podcast Week 17 recap below and don't forget to
subscribe via iTunes
.

Drew Brees for MVP?

Over the next month, until the MVP is announced before the Super Bowl, there's going to be an intense debate about whether or not Drew Brees' incredible hot streak to close out the season vaulted him past Aaron Rodgers for the MVP award.

Four weeks ago, this wasn't a debate. Even with Brees having a monster year, the Packers were undefeated and Rodgers was eviscerating defenses on a weekly basis.

Their numbers were close enough to tell anyone suggesting a debate to kindly close their piehole.

Now? Well it's a lot closer than it was. The numbers (below) make that much obvious even though the actual premises behind the argument are just frustrating from the sense of measuring a season by its full extent.

Player
Comp % Pass Yards
Pass TDs INT
W-L
Aaron Rodgers
68.3 4,643 45 6 14-1
Drew Brees
71.2 5,476 46 14 13-3

The bigger problem for Rodgers may be a confluence of events around 4:00pm ET Sunday afternoon: as Brees was throwing his fifth touchdown pass (hey, just one more than Rodgers!), Packers backup Matt Flynn was going absolutely bananas against the Lions, slicing up Detroit's secondary for six touchdowns and 480 yards, a Packers franchise record.

Take a look at the list of the guys who've thrown for six teeters in a game since the merger. Spoiler alert: it's short, and full of awesome quarterbacks.

Flynn's on the list now and as a result, he's blatantly going to cost Rodgers a ton of "Well if the backup can do that" votes, while Brees staying in much longer than needed against the Panthers netted him a significant boost in the eyes of "What have you done for me lately?" voters.

But let's get one thing out of the way first: Aaron Rodgers is not a "system quarterback." Yeah, there's actually a debate raging as to whether he is or not. And if you believe that Rodgers is only successful because of the Packers "system" then you're as foolish as anyone who thought Tom Brady was a system quarterback when Matt Cassel had a big year filling in for the Patriots.

Every team has a "system" on offense and some -- the Packers and Patriots stand out -- are better than others. But Flynn's a good quarterback who's succeeded before (he nearly beat the Patriots in prime time last year), has a great pedigree (BCS title anyone?) and has spent multiple years working behind Rodgers. That's not going to make him worse. There's a reason the Packers, winners of 21 of 22 games since LAST Christmas, have him on the roster. And it's not because he makes a mean gumbo.

Look, less than two weeks ago, Rodgers carved up a very (very) good Bears defense on Christmas night. All season long he commanded the Packers offense like a conductor, made ridiculous throws that no one else in the NFL can make and generally let the world pencil his name in for MVP. 

His season's been so magnificent that it's somehow getting railroaded by the Packers losing to the Chiefs late (but don't forget, the Saints lost to the Rams and, uh, the Packers), sitting out Week 17 (a smart move with homefield clinched) and Sean Payton and Brees running up the score in order to break records (which is fine, but let's call it what it is).

There's no question that Drew Brees is a viable MVP candidate. He's had an all-time season in 2011. But judging the MVP race based on a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately attitude is shortsighted, and it diminishes the incredible season Rodgers had in Green Bay.

Winners

Tom Coughlin: Coughlin won the NFC East, despite sitting on the hot seat most of the season, and the Giants suddenly have a look of a team that could absolutely be a playoff sleeper. They can rush the passer mercilessly when they get hot, Victor Cruz is turning into a salsa-dancing monster and Eli Manning's smoking hot right now. Given the success wild-card teams have had in recent years -- hello, 2007 Giants! -- it would be foolish to count them out.

Maurice Jones-Drew:
"Mojo" ripped off a season-high 169 rushing yards on Sunday against Indy. That not only gave him the NFL rushing title for 2011, but also gave him the Jaguars single-season record for rushing yards, as he broke Fred Taylor's previous high of 1,572 in 2003. In a very dismal season for Jacksonville's offense, MJD's been an absolute workhorse. He's up there with Tony Boselli, Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith in terms of all-time greats for the Jaguars.

Jason Taylor
: The only way Taylor's exit -- as a Dolphin, on the shoulders of his teammates after taking down the Jets -- could have been better is if the fumble he returned for a touchdown wasn't overturned. Taylor's a classy dude, a gamer, a hell of a dancer and at sixth all-time on the sack-leader list (not to mention a media favorite!), he'll find his way into Canton. Awesome career.

Matt Flynn: As noted above, Flynn had a decent day on Sunday. That's going to translate well when he becomes an unrestricted free agent and potentially becomes the most desirable quarterback on the market. There are lots of teams that need a quarterback and Flynn will be on everyone's radar just as much as Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. If someone falls in love with him, he might get Kevin Kolb money.

Cincinnati Bengals: Nothing like losing and still ending up in the winner's column, huh? The Bengals played the Ravens well on Sunday but Ray Rice was too much for them. Fortunately, KC beat Denver (or, if you prefer, San Diego beat Oakland) and the Bengals backed their way into a playoff matchup against a Texans team that will either start T.J. Yates or Jake Delhomme.

Sanchez is no lock for the Big Apple in 2012. (AP)

Losers

Mark Sanchez: The Jets never even got a shot at backdooring their way into the playoffs, as Sanchez picked apart his own offense and gave the Dolphins nine points off of three interceptions, two of which were to defensive lineman Randy Starks. It wouldn't ultimately matter, because the Titans won and eliminated Rex Ryan's crew, but anyone who justified Sanchez' performance with the old "He just wins!" argument has packed up their shanty and moved to Denver to make that argument. He didn't play like a $14 million quarterback this year -- even though he got paid like one -- and it would almost be surprising if the Jets didn't make a swap at the position.

Detroit Lions: They haven't won at Lambeau since 1991 now, dropping a mind-blowing 20 consecutive games at the Packers homefield. Of course, that's not why they're on this list, although it doesn't help. They're on this list because they just gave up 480 passing yards to the Packers backup and losing in Green Bay (coupled with Atlanta rumbling over the Bucs) means Detroit's next game will be in New Orleans. Against Drew Brees. You should go ahead and put your mortgage on the over.

Raheem Morris: I'm hesitant to include Morris because I'm pretty sure he'll have already been fired by time I hit publish. I mean, if there was ever a time not to let your opponent get out to a 42-0 lead it's definitely the final game of the season when you're riding a nine-game losing streak and barely clinging to your job.

Rob Ryan: Dallas looked absolutely flat early on Sunday night and somehow managed to storm back on the Giants, only to have the secondary shredded by Eli Manning when they cut the lead to seven points. Ryan's defense hasn't backed up his mouth all season long and even though you want your coach to make better late-game decisions and you don't want your quarterback turning the ball over late, there

John Elway: Kyle Orton didn't do anything crazy like throw for 500 yards to beat the Broncos on Sunday, but they win that game against Tyler Palko. Not that it mattered, because the Broncos made the playoffs anyway when the Chargers topped the Raiders. But Elway put himself in the position to miss the postseason by releasing Orton and even if it helped the team's chemistry they're barely hanging on right now and look like a lock for a first-round exit.

The Big Questions

 
The Broncos didn't exactly storm into the playoffs. (AP)

1. Is the Tim Tebow magic finally gone?
It just might be. The Broncos still made the playoffs, of course, and anything can happen once you get to the postseason. But Denver limped their way there, backing into a title at 8-8 on a three-game skid. Teams seem to have figured out that playing press-man coverage against Tebow severely limits what he can do on offense (he's much better at picking apart zones and makes fewer mistakes) and Denver proved that if they can't generate turnovers, they're in trouble. It's hard to imagine them beating the Steelers, even at home.

2. Who's the AFC favorite going forward?
The Ravens are my pick. They get homefield up to the AFC Championship and only lose it then if they have to play the Patriots. They've beaten the Bengals twice and they've beaten the Steelers twice. They've beaten New England in New England in the playoffs before, and the Pats have no defense. And the Ravens are nightmare matchups in Baltimore for Houston and Denver, neither of whom can keep pace if the Ravens start scoring.

3. How about the NFC?
Say what you want about how hot the Saints are -- and they are white hot -- but the Packers are still the favorites. They've got homefield throughout, they have two weeks to rest their starters and they can score on anyone. One bad week against the Chiefs does not a 15-1 team unseat. Their defense isn't great, but few teams do have a good defense and if they matchup against New Orleans in the NFC Championship Game, it's going down at Lambeau Field.

4. Who're the most dangerous non-playoff teams in 2012?
Eagles, Panthers and Chargers for me. The Snooze Buttons finished 8-8 and if they'd had a full offseason, they might have won the NFC East. Their dominant defense down the stretch is reason for optimism if you're an Eagles fan. Carolina needs defense, but they suffered an insane amount of injury-related attrition in 2011 and if they draft all defense and get healthy, they can contend in the NFC South. Plus: Cam Newton. And the Bolts showed this year they could be as good as playoff teams but just made stupid mistakes. A new coach could clear those problems up.

5. Any chance Jerry Jones changes his mind on Jason Garrett?
Jones has been incredibly supportive of Garrett so probably not. But someone's taking the fall for the Cowboys not making the playoffs and the best guess here is that it's Rob Ryan. He runs his mouth constantly and his defense doesn't back up all the talk -- their secondary got absolutely shredded by Eli Manning right after they got back into the game Sunday night.

6. What is Stevie Johnson thinking with his celebrations?

He's not thinking, actually. Johnson's scheduled to be a free agent in what's a really, really deep wide receiver class in 2012 and reportedly wants $7.5 million. The only problem is he's now developed a stigma for dropping really important catches and oftentimes costing his teams 15 yards with penalties like he did on Sunday. Wishing everyone "Happy New Years!" is a cool thing to do ... when it's not bad for your job and you're looking for a raise. Johnson's one of the most fun and interesting guys in the NFL but he has to be smarter than that.

7. How smart do the Steelers look for that Santonio Holmes trade now?
You don't even know the half of it. Not only did the dump a guy who's clearly a locker room distraction (Holmes) and not LaDainian Tomlinson-approved as a captain, but Pittsburgh allowed Mike Wallace to emerge as one of the best wideouts in the game and let someone else (the Jets) pick up the tab for Holmes' long-term deal. Oh, and in case you didn't know, they used the pick they got from the Jets to draft 2011 breakout wide receiver Antonio Brown

8. Should my team draft a running back early this year?
Negative, ghostrider, the pattern is full. Full of guys who weren't drafted in the first round leading the league in rushing anyway.

Player
2011 Rush Yards
2011 Rush YPG
2011 Rush TDs
2011 YPC
Year/Round/Pick
Maurice Jones-Drew
1,606 100.4 8 4.7 2006/2/60th
LeSean McCoy
1,309 87.3 17 4.8 2009/2/53rd
Arian Foster
1,224 94.2 10 4.4 2009/None/UFA
Frank Gore
1,211 75.7 8 4.3 2008/2/55
Ray Rice
1,173 78.2 10 4.4 2005/3/65

This doesn't mean teams should avoid drafting someone who's a special talent in college (see: Adrian Peterson) but there's a real sweet spot developing in the draft for undersized, pass-catching running backs (go ahead and add in Jamaal Charles too) who turn out to be a lot better than where they were drafted.

9. How's that Carson Palmer trade working out now?
Not so good. The Raiders could have arguably won the trade if they made the playoffs. All they had to do was beat a downtrodden Chargers team at home and they couldn't, so they miss the postseason and give up a first-round pick and a second-round pick to the Bengals (who made the playoffs, naturally). With Palmer, the Raiders were 6-4 and he threw 13 touchdowns and 16 picks. Whoops. Add in the fact that Hue Jackson just coached the most-penalized team in NFL history and he has some explaining to do.

10. Is Romeo Crennel the Chiefs next head coach?
Hard to imagine he's not. KC finished 6-9 on the season and two of those wins were with Crennel in charge; they also nearly beat Oakland in Week 16 too. Surely Scott Pioli thinks that with Crennel in charge this season and better injury luck the Chiefs would've won the division. He might be right, actually, and that's why Crennel will get the gig.

11. How many records did the Saints break on Sunday?
Eleventy billion or thereabouts. Brees and Sean Payton were basically rubber-stamping their signatures all over the NFL's offensive record books. They set the record for points scored in a season, most points scored at home in a season, most passing yards in a season (Brees' own record), best completion percentage in a season (again, Brees'), most completions in a season, most all-purpose yards in a single season (Darren Sproles owns it) and most receiving yards by a tight end in a season (only Rob Gronkowski broke that one a little while later). I can't confirm it, but I'm pretty sure the Saints broke the record for most broken records as well.

GIF O' THE WEEK

Bryan Braman is going to get fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit that he made ... without a helmet.

Worth 1,000 Words


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