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Tag:David Garrard
Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:01 pm
 

Tomlin hangs up on Jacksonville scribes

TomlinPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Man, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin really doesn’t like to talk about his team’s 2008 playoff loss to the Jaguars, does he? And if we didn’t know that before, the scribes who cover Jacksonville certainly are aware now of his distaste for those kinds of queries.

As recounted by Florida Times-Union beat writer Tania Ganguli, Tomlin hung up on the Jaguars beat hacks Wednesday during a teleconference when they asked one too many questions about Pittsburgh’s 31-29 defeat to the Jaguars after the 2007 regular season.

According to Ganguli, AP reporter Mike Long asked Tomlin if he had any memories from that game.

"Not really," Tomlin said. "I remember David Garrard, of course, on the draw on fourth down. That's one of those plays you'll never forget. It was a big play."

Tomlin might be bitter about that play because it was determined afterward that officials had missed a holding call. Tomlin was asked if he had sent a complaint to the league about that play, and after he said no, he was asked why.

"Guys, come on man,” Tomlin said. “I'm not going to cry over four-year-old spilled milk. Anybody got any legitimate questions? Goll-lly.”

The reason he asked the question, Long explained to Tomlin, was because, from a Jacksonville perspective, that was a huge game and a huge play, and it led to big-time contract extensions for coach Jack Del Rio and for Garrard.

"Guys, that was four years ago," Tomlin said. "I understand that might have been a big game in Jacksonville but that's old news. Many of those guys are no longer here and definitely many of the guys that were in Jacksonville are no longer there. Anybody got any questions relative to this week?"

After another reporter began a question, presumably not related to the previous Jaguars-Steelers clash, Tomlin interrupted, said goodbye, wished everybody a nice day and hung up the phone.

So, fair warning. If you ask Tomlin about the Jaguars, you’d better keep it current. Otherwise, he’s going to end the conversation as quickly as possible.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2011 10:36 pm
 

Money not reason Garrard didn't sign with Miami

It wasn't about money for Garrard, but that the Dolphins were 0-4. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne played surprisingly well through the first four weeks of the season. Unfortunately, the shoulder injury he suffered against the Chargers Sunday will keep him out for the rest of the year. Which meant that Miami was in the market for a backup quarterback behind newly elevated starter Matt Moore.

The team reached out to NFL veterans David Garrard and Jake Delhomme earlier this week and were told "thanks but no thanks" by both.

The Dolphins finally settled on Sage Rosenfels. Conventional wisdom (based on what Garrard's agent had told multiple outlets) was that Miami wasn't offering Garrard enough to get off his couch. Turns out, it wasn't about the money.

Details via the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero:
I am hearing from multiple team sources that, in fact, the reason Garrard is not on the Dolphins today has nothing to do with money. I'm told that if Garrard wanted his base salary guaranteed, the Dolphins would have done that. I'm told that although reports are Garrard would have played for $1 million, the club might have gone to three times that amount and "probably" paid it.

I'm told that the reason the Dolphins didn't get Garrard is, in fact, because he simply didn't feel like playing right now. Garrard apparently talked to the team and showed no great desire to play. He is, according to this version of the story, quite content sitting out this season, spending time with his family, and hitting free agency next March.
Salguero writes that this account makes more sense than the version previously being pushed -- namely, that the Dolphins were too cheap to pay Garrard, which could be interpreted as the organization giving up on the season after a month.

And while Garrard wanting to spend more time with his family is admirable, there's still more to the story.

"Garrard sure enough wasn't all that enthusiastic about playing right now -- but mostly because the team that came calling has such little chance of winning as the 0-4 Dolphins do," Salguero explains. "If, say, the 3-1 New England Patriots suddenly lost Tom Brady and needed a starting QB, he'd be on a plane in a heartbeat."

So the Dolphins settled on Rosenfels who, according to coach Tony Sparano will serve as Moore's backup. “Yeah, it’s Matt’s job," Sparano said. "We’ve got to get Matt ready to go."

In case you're wondering, Miami also worked out Kellen Clemens, JP Losman, Jim Sorgi, and Charlie Frye before settling on to Rosenfels.

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Posted on: October 4, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Report: Henne could have separated shoulder

David Garrard and Jake Delhomme aren't interested in playing for the Dolphins...yet. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

If you were wondering how things could get worse for the 0-4 Dolphins, here ya go: quarterback Chad Henne, the fans' preseason punching bag who has played surprisingly well through three weeks, might be on the shelf for awhile. He left Sunday's game against the Chargers with an injury to his non-throwing shoulder and now the organization fears it could be a separation, a source tells NFL.com's Jeff Darlington.

"Henne has made it clear he'd like to play through the pain of the injury, but word out of the team's facility is that it might not be as simple as that," Darlington wrote Tuesday. "[A] second opinion is being sought to confirm the team's original findings, which the source did not yet want to elaborate on."

For now, head coach Tony Sparano's fate rests with backup Matt Moore, who the Dolphins pulled off the quarterback scrap heap prior to the season. Moore was in Carolina last year, and while he was serviceable as Henne's replacement Sunday, he's not the long-term answer.

Which is why the Dolphins are looking for a capable backup. The problem: none seem interested in coming to Miami. NFL.com's Jason La Canfora tweets that "Miami made unsuccessful attempts (at least for now) to sign David Garrard and Jake Delhomme this week, with Chad Henne ailing. Still lookin'."

While that's embarrassing (for the time being, anyway), the reality is that neither Garrard nor Delhomme was going to save the Dolphins' season. Partly because they've been out of the league for all of 2011, but also because they don't know Miami's offense. And if your response to that is to say, "but Garrard/Delhomme can get a crash course during the bye week," then that should tell you all you need to know about the current state of things in South Beach.

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Posted on: September 21, 2011 9:33 am
Edited on: September 21, 2011 9:39 am
 

Starting Blaine Gabbert the right move for Jags

Posted by Will Brinson

Wednesday, Jack Del Rio finally came to the realization that everyone else had before the 2011 season began: his needs to start Blaine Gabbert this season.

Del Rio should have made this move as soon as he made the decision to cut David Garrard a week before the season began.

Really, the only acceptable excuse for not starting Gabbert is if Del Rio believed that Luke McCown could be a starting quarterback for a team in the playoff hunt.

It seemed like a bad idea at the time, and it didn't seem brilliant even after a Week 1 win. It seemed like a worse idea two interceptions in to his debacle against the Jets and by the time he finally brought Gabbert in, it was patently obvious that McCown and his 1.8 quarterback rating weren't dragging this team to a division title.

Gabbert might not either. He is, after all, a rookie. But Gabbert offers the most upside. We knew what Garrard could do on the field. It wasn't that impressive, the now-looking-like-a fluke 2007 season aside. And we've certainly seen McCown's limitations on full display for Jacksonville. He's a decent backup quarterback and could be the right starter in the right situation. Like say, if he were given a full offseason to prepare with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens.

Gabbert's more of an unknown quantity right now, but is that necessarily bad? I don't think so -- we know enough about Gabbert that he's the best option for the Jags right now.  We know that it looks like he can at least compete right now. We know that he's got talent. We know he has more upside than Garrard and McCown. And we know that the Jaguars paid a pretty hefty price to make him the franchise's quarterback of the future.

It's probably not helping Del Rio that right now there are two rookies -- Cam Newton and Andy Dalton -- who've managed to get their respective teams off to starts that are, arguably, better than Jacksonville's.

Gene Smith has to be wondering if Gabbert can do the same. Del Rio should be wondering if Gabbert performing well can help extend the life of his contract another season in Jacksonville.

We'll get the answers to these questions soon enough. The biggest mystery to me is what took so long?

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Posted on: September 19, 2011 3:01 am
Edited on: September 19, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson



Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 1 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.

(Ed. note: Week 2 Podcast will be live first thing Monday morning. Thanks for your patience.)

1. Michael Vick doesn't gets Michael Vick'd
Vick was going to get injured this year. That's just what happens when you combine a quarterback who runs like he does with an offensive line that blocks like Philly's doesn't. But what an unlikely way for him to get injured -- getting tackled in the pocket and falling into a head-to-head, concussion-inducing hit with Todd Herremans, his own offensive lineman.

And even though Mike Kafka looked pretty darn good in an impromptu relief appearance, and even though he provided an endless amount of philosophy-fueled jokes on Twitter, he's not Michael Vick, and he's not going to steal the starter's job or become the single-biggest story of the NFL season.

Fortunately for the Eagles, they've got a reasonably cushy schedule the next four games, facing the Giants, the 49ers, the Bills and the Redskins. But it's a quick reminder to those ready to crown the "Dream Team" as the likely Super Bowl champion: quarterback is a very talented, but very fragile position for them, and if they can't keep Vick upright, it's going to be tough sailing.

Three other notes on that game, while we're here. One, that was an embarrassing display by Falcons fans as Vick left the game, spitting out blood, to boo him mercilessly. I get that many folks won't get past what he did, and how much he might have cost the Atlanta franchise. But to boo a guy who could have suffered a serious head injury is just lacking in class. And kind of surprising for a sports city that typically doesn't show up to scream that loudly.

Two, can the NFL please do something about these "neck injury" classifications? Vick's neck might be sore, as Andy Reid said shortly after the game, he did in fact suffer a concussion. The only difference is that listing him with a concussion would rule him out for the game. A "neck injury" is a loophole for Vick to return to a potentially dangerous situation in terms of his personal health. The NFL needs to make teams get honest on these injury reports if they're going to be serious about player safety.

And finally, big ups to Matt Ryan for his performance in that game. Anyone who left the Falcons for dead after they were smacked around for the Bears obviously doesn't understand the importance of jumping to conclusions after a week's worth of football. The Falcons still got a little greedy when it came to forcing balls downfield to Julio Jones, and they could probably benefit from targeting Roddy White more, but Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner were dynamite. Ryan suffered an injury, too, but stood strong and led his team to a win with four touchdowns.

Absolutely a signature win, especially when you consider the opponent and the circumstances.

2. Dunta Robinson should be suspended
No need for a cute title here, and yeah, I'm adding one more point to the Eagles-Falcons game, but it's an important one. And it's pretty damn cut-and-dry when it comes to the hit of the Falcons cornerback on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in the third quarter on Sunday night: it was dirty.

Maclin caught a ball over the middle, was running after the catch and got absolutely head-hunted by Robinson, who did the exact same thing to another Eagles wideout (DeSean Jackson) when these teams played in 2010.

Robinson was fined $50,000 for the monster helmet-to-helmet shot on Jackson. But that's not enough punishment -- he needs to be suspended.

The league said in 2010, immediately following Robinson's hit on Jackson mind you, that they would begin making an example out of repeat offenders by suspending them. We haven't seen that yet.

But we should; Robinson's decision -- and make no mistake, it absolutely was a decision, not a "reaction" -- to launch himself into Maclin helmet first was similar in a manner similar to the headbanging shot on Todd Heap that landed Brandon Meriweathear a big fine.

And it's similar, if not nearly identical, to his shot on Jackson last season.

There was a flag and there was a penalty, and Robinson was not ejected, as he should have been for the flagrant nature of the hit.

There'll absolutely be a fine coming his way in the middle of the week, but if Roger Goodell and Ray Anderson truly want to make an example out a classic case of a repeat offender, Robinson needs to be suspended.

3. Detroit Swag City
The Lions were one of the sleepiest of sleeper teams to begin the 2011 season. And with good reason -- if Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson can stay healthy, there's reason to believe Detroit's got enough potency on offense to compete with a playoff spot.

But here's the thing: they're actually doing it. It almost never works like that (ask the 2010 Houston Texans) but it's working right now.

Perhaps the biggest difference in these Lions, though, is the heretofore unseen amount of swagger present in Detroit football.

Before the 2010 season began, Chiefs GM Scott Pioli accused the Detroit front office of tampering. In response, the Lions would like offer Exhibit A: a 48-3 beatdown of Kansas City on Sunday in which they absolutely mangled KC in every aspect of the football game. It's the single-biggest margin of victory in Detroit's history, tied with their 45-point victory against Cleveland way back in 1957.

Exhibit B? The Lions decision to run Keiland Williams up the middle on fourth-and-one, leading 41-3, with just over five minutes remaining in the game. Just don't expect them to admit they were rubbing it in.

"We're not trying to do anything other than trying to win the game," Schwartz said.

Exhibit C? The Lions were "thrilled enough with the win" to give defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham a Gatorade bath with 28 seconds left:



This would be totally normal except for the fact that Cunningham is a defensive coordinator and this is the second week of the season. Oh right: Cunningham's the guy the Chiefs accused of tampering during the 2010 season.

So, yeah, message sent. But don't expect this swagger to suddenly disappear -- the guy who instilled it, Schwartz, doesn't see a whole to love about the victory.

"We can play better," Schwartz said after the game.

That's a pretty scary thought considering the Lions forced three fumbles (and recovered all three) and picked Matt Cassel three times. But Schwartz is right -- they've started slow on offense in both of their wins this year, and didn't look exceptional against the run early against Kansas City.

4. The Chiefs are dead, long live the Chiefs
There's a lot to love about the second week of the NFL season, but while we're here, we might as well go ahead and note that the Chiefs are donecakes when it comes to competing in the 2011 NFL season.

They're 0-2, they look lost on offense and defense, their best players are dropping like flies, and they have a negative 79 point differential through two games.

Considering they just got done with the "easy" part of their schedule -- the Bills and the Lions -- this does not bode well for the rest of their year. And Jamaal Charles' injury -- the running back is believed to be done for the year after tearing his ACL while colliding with the Lions mascot Sunday -- is the most tragic part of this Icarusian swoon back to reality.

Charles is truly one of the most exciting players to watch in the NFL, he's a home-run threat every single time he touches the ball, and he's the reason the Chiefs led the league in rushing last year and barnstormed their way to the AFC West title.

There will be no more excitement this season, and there will be no such division title.

In fact, the only drama remaining for the Chiefs is whether or not Todd Haley can hold onto his job for the rest of the year. To his credit, he's certainly willing to take the blame.

"The season will not be canceled as far as I know," Haley said on Sunday. "What we have to do is we have to stop doing those things that are costing us dearly, and putting us in very difficult positions."

Haley might wish the season would be canceled, though. A quick glance at the Chiefs schedule pegs their Week 5 game against Indianapolis as the easiest contest remaining, as they've got two matchups with Denver, Oakland and San Diego remaining and play one of the most brutal five-game stretches in the NFL starting in November: at New England, versus Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at the Jets, versus Green Bay.

No one has a warmer seat than Todd Haley right now.

4. Yes We Cam 2.0
Normally I might be cheesed that people are jacking my "Yes We Cam" swag (unless that's been around since Auburn and I just missed it), but being on board the Cam Newton bandwagon's too fun to get worried about anything.

Newton now has two of the three-highest passing games in Panthers history, he's one of only seven quarterbacks to throw for 400-plus yards in two-straight games, he owns the rookie record for most passing yards in a debut, he owns the rookie record for most passing yards in a game (ever), and, yeah, I get it -- he's 0-2.

The fact that people are screaming about win-loss records by a rookie on a team that's coming off a 2-14 campaign tells me two things. One, either they don't understand that quarterbacks don't play defense (much like pitchers don't score runs in baseball; wins aren't relative to success). Or two, they're sitting back in a corner and chugging a warm glass of Haterade, just because they can.

Newton's a guy that's always inspired critics. And he probably always will. But right now, he's making the right throws, he's saying the right things, and he's showing some of the most impressive progression we've ever seen in a young NFL quarterback.

Does he make mistakes? Absolutely. His three interceptions were pretty terrible. One might even call them rookie mistakes. And one might even note that they were a result of Rob Chudzinski taking the gloves off on the offense and winging the ball around. But there's no real need in ripping Chud, because he and Ron Rivera's coaching staff are the guys putting Newton in a position to succeed, and they deserve credit.

Just like Cam, regardless of the record.

It's been mentioned before, and it'll be mentioned again -- the Panthers probably won't win a lot of games when Newton's throwing for 400 yards. But that's a byproduct of lacking balance in the offensive attack, not because "Cam's not a winner."

5. Is 400 the new 300?

Speaking of 400-yard games, you've probably noticed that we've seen a number of games this season that have featured 400 or more passing yards. Six to be exact, which is quite a lot. In fact, we're currently on pace -- barring another offensive outpouring on Monday night -- for a whopping 48 400-yard games and and an absolutely insane 176 300-yard games in 2011.

Year 300-Yard Games
400-Yard Games
2006
65 7
2007
81 4
2008
76 8
2009
100 7
2010
96 11
2011
22 6

Now, there's a bit of caveating that needs to occur here. First of all, Newton is on pace to throw for something like 6,538 passing yards in 2011. While it would be foolish to guarantee it won't happen, it's pretty unlikely that Newton shatters Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record by nearly 1,500 yards. (Tom Brady is, of course, more likely, but it's still a long ways off.)

Which is to say, it's still early, and you can't just simply project NFL numbers, particularly 400-yard passing games, across a season and expect continuity from here on out.

But as recently as 1998, we had just 52 300-yard games. At this year's pace, we're in reach of that many 400-yarders. It might not happen right now, but remember how 1,500-yard rushing seasons replaced 1,000 yard seasons as the new benchmark?

That transition is in process for the passing game right now, thanks to the entire league taking things aerial. It's a trend that won't go away and, sooner than later, 400 might actually become the new 300.

6. More like a Breathalyzer score
Not every quarterback's out there gunning the ball around with aplomb, though. Take Luke McCown of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who registered a quarterback rating on Sunday -- 1.8 -- that's impressive for all the wrong reasons.



McCown was 6/19 for 59 yards with four interceptions in the 32-3 loss to the Jets and inspiring only in the sense that his play makes you wonder what the hell the Jags were thinking when they decided to cut David Garrard one week before the regular season began. As my man Mike Freeman wrote, Garrard's kicking it somewhere much more fun than Jack Del Rio's office, cackling his ass off at McCown's performance on Sunday.

What makes it slightly more understandable is that it was against the Jets, who aren't exactly a cream-puff defense.

What makes it all slightly less understandable is that the Jaguars traded up to draft Blaine Gabbert this year, and seem hesitant to give him the nod. Why? Obviously Garrard wasn't the guy, because they cut him. And obviously McCown isn't the guy, because even Braylon Edwards is unimpressed with the digit he posted.

Gabbert was 5/6 in junk time, but let's see what the kids' got already. Jack Del Rio might be stringing out his job a little longer by playing the "you left me with no quarterback" card, but if my boss threw away my computer before the NFL season started, I wouldn't leave the other brand new computer I just bought sitting in a box in the sideline while fumbling through deadlines on a 10-year-old PC that I know doesn't work.

I'd crack that box open, see if the new computer is worth what I paid. Which is what Jacksonville needs to do.

7. Mmmmmm. [Fractured] ribs.
It's time to give Tony Romo his due -- the guy gets absolutely shredded when he makes stupid mistakes, like last week's debacle against the Jets. But on Sunday he returned after it was announced he'd suffered some fracture ribs and everyone assumed that it was Jon Kitna's ship to sink.

It was not. Romo came in, hit Jesse Holley for a big gain and the Cowboys took things to overtime where they ended up winning 27-24.

"I didn't want to be 0-2, and at the end of the day it's about winning and losing in this game," Romo said afterwards. "We needed a win. Why I wanted to be out there? I'm competitive. If I can play I'm gonna play."

Not the most convincing win against a 49ers team, but it was a win that an injury-ravaged Cowboys team badly needed to win. Things might be about to get rough for Jerry Jones squad, and we'll find out just how much of a creative mastermind Jason Garrett really is -- Miles Austin's dealing with a hamstring injury, Felix Jones has a separated shoulder and Romo's got a couple busted ribs.

If Romo can play and Dez Bryant can get back from his quad injury, there's still plenty of firepower on this offense, especially if DeMarco Murray can learn blitz pickups quickly enough to stay on the field in more than passing situations. The former Sooner is a highly-talented receiver out of the backfield, and has the potential to be a serious threat.

None (or all?) of that might happen, though, and this could be a situation where Kitna's trying to manage an offense that can't move the ball on the ground and can't stop anyone from passing on them until their secondary's back up to speed.

With Washington and Detroit on the schedule before their Week 5 bye and New England and St. Louis immediately after, that's a dangerous proposition indeed.

8. Living in the 90's
Man ... anyone else harking back to the Super Bowl heyday when we used to get "In Living Color" halftime shows lately? (Men on Football!) And I really hope you do, otherwise I'm suddenly old and busted.

That's back when the Bills used to get beatdown by the Cowboys and Redskins on the reg, and after two weeks of football, there's a sense of déjà vu circulating around certain cities, as Buffalo and Washington are both undefeated.

The Bills seem to be a little bit more "fa real" than the 'Skins, if only because their offense is more potent, but Washington, who plays the Cowboys next week, is a better bet to get to 3-0 than Buffalo, who host the Patriots.

Still, it's a remarkably fascinating story that two teams that literally no one picked to find their way to undefeated at any point past the first week of the season. And I don't want to start laying bets on Rex Grossman or anything, just yet, but kudos to the guy for finding ways to win in Washington when no one -- including yours truly -- even bothered to take him seriously after his "we'll win the NFC East" prediction.

They still won't, of course, but two weeks into the season Grossman looks a lot more right than anyone would have ever thought.

Meanwhile, Chan Gailey looks a lot more smart than anyone would have thought (good thing Todd Haley fired that guy, huh??), pushing the Bills to a remarkable 2-0 after beating Oakland 38-35 in the most exciting game of the day, particularly when you consider the Bills came out of halftime down 21-3.

"That was an amazing gutcheck by our team," Chan Gailey said.

Yes, ripping off five touchdowns in five second-half possessions is a "gutcheck." Or a guy doing remarkable things with unlikely personnel. Story of Gailey's career.

9. Same old, Same old
Being the lone expert to pick the Chargers for the upset over the Patriots on Sunday wasn't a bad spot -- San Diego could/should have won that game. Or at least not lost by two touchdowns anyway.

A brutal fumble from Mike Tolbert blew the game wide open, but it was kind of indicative of how San Diego operates in September; last week it looked like the Chargers might have kicked that monkey off their back.

Then they roll into Foxboro with a loaded gun and "pull a Plaxico" on themselves, firing repeatedly at the ground underneath their feet, whiffing three times inside the Patriots 20 and giving the ball away at the most inopportune times.

It's standard operating procedure for the Bolts, or at least it feels that way because it's September. And they'll probably be fine because the division is down (though you can argue the Raiders are dangerous and I'm fine with that) and they'll probably make the playoffs on the strength of a big November and December run.

But this is a team that's supposed to make a Super Bowl run. And they're not there right now. Which is, well, not that surprising.

10. Reviews under review?
The new NFL system for reviewing all touchdowns has been irritating through two weeks only in that every announcer in every game has to mention it after every touchdown, as if NFL fans weren't already aware of what's going on.

Oh, and the fact that there's some bizarro miscommunication going on with how the officials on the field and the people working in the booth are handling the issue of checking out plays.

Buffalo's interception by Da'Norris Searcy required a 10-minute break in which the officials finally came back on the field and announced, after everyone had left, that Searcy did in fact pick the ball off.

And Darren Sproles had what looked like a controversial score to end the Saints game in which he stepped out of bounds, yet no replay was deemed necessary.

Aaron Hernandez had a score against the Chargers Sunday that looked like a lock for a review under the dreaded "Calvin Johnson Rule," but the replay officials didn't even bother checking. Or it was so clear that they didn't need to.

If we're going to take the time to check out every single touchdown, let's make sure we actually check out every single touchdown. NFL fans might not be the most patient bunch, and it stinks seeing a touchdown celebration held off because of a potential rules issue, but getting the call right is the biggest deal, and providing a streamlined process for ensuring integrity of all necessary reviews is something the NFL needs to get in place immediately.

Put an APB out for:
Chris Johnson's rushing skills. It's one thing to be a star running back who really disappoints his fantasy owners (joke) by not producing at a high clip. It's an entirely different thing to be a star running back who's drawing boos from fans because you held out of training camp, demanded "Manning money" and then decided to start averaging less than 40 rushing yards a game.

Pop-culture referencing Jim Irsay tweet that's sure to drive Colts fans insane of the week
"All u negative,Colt haters.....ahhhh,well...ummm...that's just YOUR opinion...man!"

Hate to break it to, you Jim, but the bums lost. Again.

Muffed Punts
Leftovers from Sunday's action ...
... Andy Dalton and A.J. Green turning into a potentially dangerous connection in Cincy definitely deserves more love.
... Did anyone watch the Stanford-Arizona game on Saturday night? Because Andrew Luck is the real freaking deal, man. Kid is smart, strong, has a cannon for an arm, and can make all the throws. I'd tank my season for him.
... If you want to try a ridiculously delicious sandwich, and you live near a Village Tavern, hit it up for Sunday brunch and get the fried egg BLT. Standard ingredients but add cheddar cheese and an over-medium egg. It's unreal.
... Not even sure how to feel about this one -- some clown of a Bears fan mocked New Orleans devastation thanks to Hurricane Katrina a few years back, and some Saints fans got their revenge on Sunday. Or something.
... Does any good running back in the NFL have less breakaway speed than Michael Turner?
... Larry Fitzgerald and Adrian Peterson, two guys with Vikings history, are both franchise leaders for touchdowns (receiving and rushing, respectively) for their franchises now, and it happened on the same day.
... Josh Freeman is such a closer -- he stormed back against the Vikings on Sunday, giving him eight comeback wins in 14 career victories.

Worth 1,000 Words


Hot Seat Tracker
Long story, but I'm still waiting on the fancy math stuff. Whatever, not much has changed from last week, where the same small number of suspects find themselves with warm pants.
  • Todd Haley -- It just stinks that he might not get to hang around and coach Andrew Luck.
  • Jack Del Rio -- See: above. It's just an unbelievable mangling of the quarterback position.
  • Tony Sparano -- The Dolphins are 0-2, can't defend against the pass and despite Chad Henne looking much better, are not as good as we thought.
  • Jim Caldwell -- No idea if Jim Irsay would even can Caldwell at any point, as the Colts might actually like a figurehead with Manning around.
  • Tom Coughlin -- A loss Monday would not go a long way in helping his job security.
Chasing Andrew Luck (Plus Odds)
Chiefs (2/5): Like I said, the schedule is brutal down the stretch.
Colts (2/1): As Pete Prisco likes to say, the snake has no head.
Seahawks (3/1): Seen Pete Carroll screw up too many things to think he can get picking up Luck right. Still, this team is bad.
Jaguars (5/1): Yeah, they've got a win, but they're throwing out Gabbert now. We hope. Which is awkward.
Dolphins (7/1): Surely they can't be this bad.

MVP Watch
Mark my words: a quarterback will win this year. Bold, eh? Whatever. Matthew Stafford's my leader in the clubhouse, but I wouldn't scream at you if you screamed at me for not picking Tom Brady, considering he's looking like, well, Tom Brady. Ryan Fitzpatrick deserves some love and no, I am not joking this week. And sure, Aaron Rodgers if you want. It's early still.

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:25 pm
 

For the gambler in you, Week 2

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will a quarterback throw for 500 or more yards from Week 2 on in the 2011 regular season?
   
Yes +400    

No -700    

Let’s see, who is Tom Brady (517 yards last week) and the Patriots playing this week? The Chargers? Hmm, ok. Who are the Chargers cornerbacks? Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason? Hmm. Um, no. Nobody is going to throw for more than 500 yards this week. Not Brady. Not anybody. What about for the rest of the season? Probably, but I'd still go with the longshot and say no.

Will Peyton Manning play in a game in the 2011 regular or postseason? 
     
Yes +250    

No -400

I just don’t see it, because by the time Manning is ready to return (maybe in late December at best?), there’s no chance that Indianapolis will be in the running for a playoff spot. So, there will be no point to play him. Therefore, Colts owner Jim Irsay will forbid Manning from playing. And it will be the right call.

How many times will Michael Vick be shown in a Falcons uniform during the live broadcast of the Eagles/Falcons game Week 2?
    
Over 1½ (-150)

Under 1½ (+110)

When you count all the video highlights they’ll show and the still photos, it’s got to be at least five times, right? Go with the over.

Who will be the next team to sign David Garrard? 
      
Indianapolis Colts 3/2       

Cincinnati Bengals 5/2       

Seattle Seahawks 5/1
      
Miami Dolphins 5/1 
     
San Francisco 49ers 6/1

Oakland Raiders 7/1

Pittsburgh Steelers 15/2  
  
New York Jets 10/1  
  
There were reports this week that Garrard was approached by several teams and that he’s waiting to make a decision to whichever squad will be the best fit. Looking at the above teams, the only squad I see as a real possibility is the Seahawks. For one, they’ve got Tarvaris Jackson as the starter. For two, they’ve got Charlie Whitehurst as a backup. For three, coach Pete Carroll certainly isn’t afraid of turning over his roster. All those factors make Garrard an obvious choice to go to Seattle.

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Posted on: September 10, 2011 10:02 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 4:16 pm
 

For the gambler in you (Week 1)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Each Saturday, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by bodog.com for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Top-five Super Bowl picks

New England Patriots 11/2 
     
Green Bay Packers 7/1

Philadelphia Eagles 15/2  
    
San Diego Chargers 11/1

New Orleans Saints 12/1

Bottom-five Super Bowl picks

Cleveland Browns 100/1

Washington Redskins 100/1 
             
Carolina Panthers 125/1

Cincinnati Bengals 150/1

Buffalo Bills 150/1

The big change in the Super Bowl odds has to do with Peyton Manning and the Colts. Bodog’s head oddsmaker Adam Young explains: "When someone as important to a team as Peyton Manning is questionable for one or more games to start a season we are almost forced to pull down their season win total and divisional odds and in turn those of the Texans.  We have left up the Super Bowl odds with the Colts moving up from 16-1 to 20-1 and the Texans down from 28-1 to 20-1."

So, my advice: don’t put your money on the Colts. Instead, I’d put your money on New Orleans to win the whole thing.

Will Tiki Barber play in a game in the 2011 regular season? 
       
Yes 3/1   

Nope. Only the Dolphins have thought enough of Barber to give him a workout, and we’re not flabbergasted enough to think that somebody else will be that desperate to give him another chance.

Who will be the first coach fired in the 2011 regular season? 

Jack Del Rio 3/1

Tony Sparano 7/2

Gary Kubiak 11/2

Marvin Lewis 15/2

Tom Coughlin 15/2

Mike Shanahan 10/1

Norv Turner 10/1

Lovie Smith 12/1

Andy Reid 15/1

Field 2/1

You have to think the decision to release David Garrard and start Luke McCown until Blaine Gabbert is ready to play will seal Del Rio’s fate. At least with Garrard as the starter and with Manning out for the time being, you’d think the Jaguars would have a chance at the postseason and the chance to save Del Rio’s chance. There’s no chance now.

Terrelle Pryor -- total starts at quarterback in the 2011 regular season  
    
Over ½ (+110)

Under ½  (-140)

It’s the Raiders. Of course you go with the over.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 10:50 pm
 

David Garrard's agent: QB has 'gotten some calls'

Posted by Will Brinson

David Garrard was stunningly released on Tuesday afternoon by the Jaguars, and, this might not come as "news," but he was as surprised as everyone else.

According to his agent, Al Irby, he was "shocked" even, because they believed Garrard was starting Week 1 for Jacksonville.

"Been assured that the job was his this year," said Al Irby, Garrard's agent, said, per Tania Ganguli of The Florida Times-Union. "That's why we're all shocked, and so was he. This had to be a last minute decision, that's the only thing I can say. I don't think these guys would purposely tell me one thing and [do another]."

Perhaps the most logical reason for waiting so long to release Garrard? The Colts situation at quarterback -- though it stinks to wait so long for Garrard to get on the open market for his own personal reasons, he might have been a nice fit for the Jags division rival Indy.

The 2011 Jaguars
But given that the NFL is a quarterbacks league that doesn't feature all that many good quarterbacks, it stands to reason he'll find work somewhere. Which is why it makes sense that, also according to Irby, he's "gotten some calls."

"The system's going to do what it's going to do," Irby said. "He has gotten some calls, they know there's some interest. David can still play it's obvious. He knows he's gonna have options and he's gonna just sit back and let the offers come in and make a decision."

There are still plenty of teams that need quarterback. The 49ers brought in Josh McCown due to their concern with Alex Smith as a starter, and wouldn't that be a potentially ironic landing spot given that Luke McCown took over as the starter for Garrard?

The Panthers are rolling with Derek Anderson as their backup, and the Carolina quarterbacks coach Mike Shula had some serious success with Garrard when he coached in Jacksonville from 2007-10. Seattle's quarterbacks coach, Carl Smith, was Garrard's offensive coordinator in Jacksonville for two years, from 2005-06.

The Ravens (Tyrod Taylor) and Raiders (Kyle Boller) could both use a capable backup. Tennessee might be interested at the right price to help protect the need to shove Jake Locker into a starting role if Matt Hasselbeck gets hurt.

So it's not surprising to hear that teams are inquiring about Garrard's availability. The only question is whether it's too close to the start of the season for another team to really make the investment in Garrard worth the cost.

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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