Tag:DeMarcus Ware
Posted on: June 3, 2011 7:10 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 7:36 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.3.11: Cooley is a Jerky Boy?

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • I hate to keep talking about zany members of the Washington organization, but this story about Chris Cooley's prank-call love is just too good to pass up. Apparently, Cooley spent the offseason playing jokes and jokes and jokes on people via the phone. Via Andrew Sharp of SB Nation, Cooley went on Rich Eisen's podcast and told stories about pranks he likes to pull. He called Carson Palmer, he claims, and pretended to be John Elway and told him, "Listen, I hate Tim Tebow. I want you. I want you out here in Denver." And then he called Elway and pretended to be Carson and then he called John Fox ... and, well, it really doesn't sound like it can be true. But either way, it's enjoyable.


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

Posted on: May 16, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.16.11 Rejecting Hard Knocks?

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit



The Bucs have turned down an opportunity to be on HBO’s Hard Knocks, thus robbing viewers of a chance to potentially see Aqib Talib or LeGarrette Blount in a training camp fight.

Broncos cornerback Parrish Cox appeared in court Monday and pleaded not guilty in his sexual assault case. Trial is set for October.


Expect to see plenty of Cam Newton on TV in the very near future.


Thanks to deferred payments, DeMarcus Ware is the one NFL player who has received a check from his team during the lockout.


Roger Goodell bumped into Von Miller before the draft and went out of his way to say hello and be nice.


Julio Jones recently leant a helping hand to tornado victims in Alabama.


Former Cardinals linebacker Seth Joyner is hosting a high school football clinic this week. Unfortunately, it’s scheduled for May 21, which everyone knows is the Day of Reckoning.


Jon Beason has sued the man who sued him over an alleged punch in the face (Beason claims he never hit anybody). The trial is underway and filled with plenty of drama. If you’re into that sort of thing (and let’s admit, deep down, most of us are) then click here.


Jake Locker plans to work out with his new NFL teammates soon.


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

Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:42 am
 

DeMarcus Ware is being selfless

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Ware
DeMarcus Ware is a team player. Right now, the NFLPA is his team. That’s why the Cowboys outside linebacker is putting his share of the lockout fund provided by the NFLPA.

“We have $60,000 that is supposed to be paid to us,” Ware told Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I gave my money back to help out other guys that don’t have as much money. That is going to help out and bring us closer together.”

Players who were on the roster for all 16 games last season receive $60,000. Players who were on the roster fewer weeks receive less. It’s easy for Ware to pass on the 60K; in 2009 he signed a seven-year, $79 million contract, including $40 million guaranteed.

On the lockout progress itself, Ware said "I'm not frustrated at all. You've got to be disciplined with what you do and be ready when the time comes."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Report: Pat Dye was agent to be cuffed (UPDATED)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (2:40 p.m.):
Liz Mullen from the Sports Business Journal spoke with Dye, and he claimed “I have done nothing wrong or illegal.”

According to Dye, the incident occurred at the players hotel Thursday night, not at the stadium Friday. He said he was invited to the hotel by Under Armour to finalize a seven-figure deal for his client, former Alabama WR Julio Jones, and he was led through security by Under Armour personnel and was issued Under Armour credentials.

Apparently, he spent less than 15 minutes in the hotel and did not have contact with any players, but when he left the hotel, he was arrested.

Mullen tweeted that she’d have more in the SBJ, and I hope so, because I’m not sure I understand Dye’s story at all.

----------

News broke late Saturday night from the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson when he reported that at least one player-agent was handcuffed and led out of Lucas Oil Field Stadium when he (or they) was found to have illegitimate passes to watch the workouts.

Now, Sports By Brooks has reported their names. According to the website, the offender was Pat Dye Jr., who was handcuffed, detained and led away from the stadium, while his partner, Jimmy Sexton, escaped arrest.

The two broke the rules and obtained their passes from Under Armour, and apparently, the person who gave them those passes was sent home immediately.

Sports by Brooks was unable to reach either agent for comment, and the NFL declined comment.

More from the blog posting:

Sexton’s NFL client list includes Tim Tebow, Ravens left tackle Michael Oher, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.  Sexton’s coaching clients include Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Steve Spurrier, Houston Nutt and Tommy Tuberville.

Dye, Jr., who is the son of former Auburn football coach Pat Dye, represents Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The Sexton/Dye firm also represents DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones and Sam Acho in this year’s NFL draft class.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:32 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 1:43 am
 

DeMarcus Ware talks Cowboys, Garrett and fame

D. Ware pushes incoming rookie Cameron Heyward at the Gatorade Sports Institute.

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When nobody was looking at the end of the season, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware seemed to emerge from nowhere to finish 15 ½ sacks, the most in the NFL. It’s the fifth-straight season in which he’s recorded at least 11 sacks, and though you might not think of him in these terms, he’s one of the best defenders in the NFL.

This week, he’s been in Dallas to work with Ohio State’s Cameron Heyward in the Gatorade Sports Science Institute where, as Ware puts it, he’s helping teach Heyward “about nutrition, how to play at a peak performance and learn your body better and learn about yourself.”

We caught up with Ware today for a Super Bowl week edition of Five Questions (or more):

CBSSports: Tell me about the entire spectrum of the year for you. Wade (Phillips) getting fired and Jason Garrett taking over and the team being disappointed with the season but you having high individual performances. It was a crazy year, huh?

DeMarcus Ware: It was a rollercoaster year. First, you have the Super Bowl coming to your stadium, and you have the high hopes of playing in it. Then, your season starts off 1-7, and then all of a sudden, you have a coaching change where Jason Garrett comes in and sort of sparks us and gives us a little bit of motivation to play a lot better. Our season turned around a little bit, and you hoped it could have turned around a lot earlier.

But no matter what, it’s a job. You have to have your individual goals, and with me, it’s rushing the passer and making big plays. You have to do that regardless of how the season is going. I think I did that this season. There’s a lot of things I need to do better, but as a whole, I think I did my role.

CBS: I’ve been around a lot of teams that have the “dead coach walking” thing going, and I know what the clubhouse or locker room is like in that situation. Was that tough to experience, and when Jason was hired, it seemed like he sparked you a little bit. How much of a change …?

Ware: I think it wasn’t really a spark. But sometimes guys do well with change. The team did really well with change with a new coach and a new philosophy on how he does things. Also, putting the pads on (us at a mid-season practice) changed us too …

CBS:
Yeah, what was the reaction to that?

Ware: I didn’t like it.

CBS: I bet.

D. Ware works with incoming rookie Cameron Heyward. Ware: I don’t like to wear pads at practice during the season. For the older guys, either you know how to do it or you don’t, regardless of whether you have pads on or not. You should know how to practice. But that changed for us. It really helped out the younger guys. Sometimes they have to put the pads on and go through the fundamentals and be taught those things.

CBS:
There are a lot of pass-rushers around the NFL, like Clay Matthews and Jared Allen, who get a lot of pub. But you were the sack leader. From a national perspective, it doesn’t seem like you don’t get the same kind of attention they do.

Ware: I don’t.

CBS:
Why is that?

Ware: The thing is I’ve never thought about that. From when I had 20 sacks (in 2008), I didn’t get any pub. From getting 16 or 17 sacks a year, I didn’t get any pub. I think it’s the person that I am. Sometimes it’s the team you play on, but even when we were 13-3, I still didn’t get any pub.

CBS:
But you play for the Cowboys.

Ware: Yeah, but I don’t know. People have favorites, and maybe I’m not a favorite. To the fans, I am. To certain guys, I’m not.

Photos courtesy of Gatorade


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: December 20, 2010 11:44 am
 

DeMarcus Ware's surprising sack accomplishment

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Ware
Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware has had a relatively quiet season by his standards. But on Sunday, he recorded two sacks against the Redskins, giving him a total of 11.5 on the year.

So why are we giving special coverage to a two sack game? Because, as Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram points out, Ware has posted double-digit sacks in five straight seasons. The last player to accomplish that feat was Simeon Rice, from 2001-05.

Isn’t it at least a little surprising that no one else has done it? Jared Allen has reached double digits in four of the last five seasons (he had just 7.5 sacks in 2006). Osi Umenyiora was injured in 2008. Mario Williams has only done it two straight years (he had 9.5 sacks last season and 8.5 this season). Dwight Freeney hasn’t really come close, having just nine sacks COMBINED from ’06’-’07.

Ware, obviously, is a model of consistency. The last five years, starting with ’06, his sack totals have been: 11.5, 14, 20, 11 and 11.5 (and counting).

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

Category: NFL
Posted on: November 25, 2010 10:12 am
 

Making the best of the Thanksgiving games

Posted by Andy Benoit

If the NFL were to implement the Thanksgiving game tradition today, no way would the league give the Lions and Cowboys the home game each year. Television has become too significant in today’s NFL – nationally-televised games are gold for clubs. But, tradition is tradition, and there’s some 40 years of it behind Detroit and Dallas playing on America’s favorite Thursday.

The NFL aimed to appease the other 30 teams by implementing a third Thanksgiving game, but unfortunately, it’s on NFL Network, which means most fans don’t get to see it. Thanksgiving tends to be held at an older relative’s house; without any official statistics to cite, we’ll assume that the older someone is, the less likely it is they have a satellite dish. Most people, of course, get their NFL Network via satellite dish.

Anyway, this year, we have three excellent teams playing on Thanksgiving (Patriots, Saints, Jets). Unfortunately, none of them play each other. It’s possible – maybe even probable – that all three games will be blowouts. This will be especially painful for you the viewer because you’ll probably already be watching these games with family members who don’t know jack about football. Thus, you’ll have boring football buttressed by boring conversation.

So what can you do to ameliorate a potentially-frustrating situation? Try dialing in on a matchup within the matchup and just focusing on the pure art form behind it. Here is a compelling matchup within the matchup for each game:

Patriots @ Lions

Ndamukong Suh against interior Patriots O-line

Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins has been fantastic since joining the team midseason after a prolonged contract dispute. Mankins is not a pure mauler, but he delivers one of the better hand punches in football. Suh, of course, IS a pure mauler. The No. 2 overall pick is on his way to the Pro Bowl, which is rare for a rookie defensive tackle. Center Dan Koppen is one of the better help-blockers in the NFL. Koppen’s double-teaming prowess will be needed against the behemoth rookie. (Worth noting: the Patriots will be without starting RG Stephen Neal in this game.)

Saints @ Cowboys

DeMarcus Ware vs. Jermon Bushrod
D. Revis (US Presswire)
Ware’s domination of Bushrod last season is what propelled Dallas to a December upset of the then-undefeated Saints. You might think the Saints will not allow Bushrod to go one-on-one against the superstar pass-rusher. However, Sean Payton could be willing to take that gamble if he decides to go with four wide receivers and spread the Cowboys out (which he likely will).

Bengals @ Jets

Darrelle Revis vs. Who?

Last year, Revis shutdown Chad Ochocinco in back-to-back weeks (Week 17 and the Wild Card round). Ochocinco has been drawing constant double coverage this season, but many believe that Terrell Owens has emerged as Cincy’s top wideout. The Jets will tell you which receiver they most fear by how they choose to use Revis. Don’t think Ochocinco and Owens won’t take note of which guy is paid the ultimate respect. Whoever draws the Revis matchup will almost certainly be held to under four catches (the guess here is it will be Owens, as the Jets could then implement some of the double-team concepts that have hindered Ochocinco this season).

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

Posted on: September 27, 2010 4:10 am
Edited on: September 27, 2010 2:33 pm
 

10 Sunday stories deserving your attention Wk 3

Posted by Andy Benoit

1.) Cowboys justify the hype

It’s disappointing not to have two weeks of Wade Phillips Hot Seat chatter to look forward to. (What can you say? The guy is fun to dump on.) But at least we have reason to believe the Cowboys will be in the thick of the NFC East race now. Even if you’re not a fan of America’s Team (and Mexico’s Team), you have to admit, because their NFL-high five primetime games left (counting Thanksgiving), football is more exciting with the Cowboys being relevant.

Dallas’ 13-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter against Houston – capped by a Marion Barber one-yard touchdown burst – was the type of drive that turns a season around. It was also a microcosm of Sunday’s game. On the drive, Tony Romo completed three different third downs of nine yards or longer. He bought himself time in the pocket and worked deep into his progressions on several throws, hitting four different receivers on the drive, including Roy Williams three times. T. Romo (US Presswire)

We should probably give Williams a week off from his whipping boy duties. The former Texas Longhorn was tremendous in catching a game-high five passes for 117 yards and two scores. Williams consistently won battles at the line of scrimmage, and he showed commendable fluidity making catches on the move. The key was that Jason Garrett played to Williams’ strengths by asking him to run straight-line patterns, as opposed to direction-changing routes.

The Cowboy defense was equally impressive. DeMarcus Ware posted three sacks, and it wasn’t simply a case of him feasting on backup left tackle Rashad Butler (Butler actually wasn’t bad this game). Ware benefitted from having excellent man coverage behind him.

As glad as we all should be to see the Cowboys avoid the irrelevance that generally awaits an 0-3 team, let’s hope Jerry Jones’ men don’t turn in too many more performances like this. Otherwise, we’ll once again get the nonstop reminders that the Super Bowl is in Cowboys Stadium this year, and that Jones REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wants to have the first true home field advantage in the game’s history.

2.) Hold your horses, Texans fans

On Houston’s side of things, that secondary that gave up over 400 yards passing to both the Colts and Redskins – you know, the secondary we all conveniently overlooked these past two weeks while hastily editing our preseason picks and branding Gary Kubiak’s club as the breakout club of 2010? – is officially porous.

Romo, in completing 23 of 30 passes for 284 yards, exposed Houston’s flaws at cornerback. First-round rookie Kareem Jackson struggles early in coverage. If it’s zone, Jackson’s not always sure how long to carry the receiver. If it’s man, he doesn’t always deliver an effective jam (no rhyme intended). Opposite Jackson, second-year pro Brice McCain had trouble when Cowboy receivers redirected late in their route.

Both young corners have the talent to improve. It’d help if safeties Eugene Wilson and Bernard Pollard – especially Pollard – flashed the same big-play prowess they flashed late last season. And it would also help if superstar Mario Williams (and “superstar” is not an appellation to be used lightly) broke his habit of vanishing every few weeks. Williams was a nonfactor this game despite facing single blocking most of the afternoon.

3.) Saints get marched on

No need for a “What’s wrong with the Saints?” piece – it’s just one loss. And let’s refrain from chalking up the home loss to the absence of Reggie Bush. Heck, we talked in the Week 2 Preview Podcast about how whenever Bush goes down, Lance Moore steps up. Sunday, the unheralded fifth-year veteran caught six balls for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He also set up a first quarter touchdown by returning a punt 72 yards. M. Turner (US Presswire)

The Saints still lost, of course. Why? The Falcons’ rushing attack. Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and lead-blocking fullback Ovie Mughelli confirmed what we already knew: the way to beat the good-but-certainly-not-great New Orleans defensive front seven is to run right at it. Not only does a power run game keep Drew Brees off the field while allowing a team to control tempo and tone, but it also minimizes the creativity and aggressiveness of Gregg Williams’ blitzes. This brings to mind that brilliant Mike Tyson axiom (and yes, those last four words really did just show up in that order): everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth. The Saints defense is crafty…until it gets hit in the mouth.

The Falcons hit the Saints in the mouth in the form of 50 runs for 202 yards Sunday. Turner, looking every bit like the 244-pound bowling ball he is, ran 30 times for 114 yards. Snelling, a more upright runner with comparable downhill power, had 14 carries for 62 yards. And Mughelli – well, he basically punched his ticket to Hawaii simply because he is a fullback and his name has now been mentioned twice on a mainstream website.

One last note: Falcons head coach Mike Smith went for it three times on fourth down, including twice on fourth-and-two in a first-half series. The Falcons reached the end zone after being successful on both of those fourth-and-two attempts. They later failed on a fourth-and-six inside the final four minutes of regulation, and the Saints promptly capitalized on by matriculating downfield for a game-tying field goal. But credit Smith for sticking to his plan and playing to win.

4.) Killer kickers

Those of us who shrewdly picked the Falcons to be serious contenders in the NFC South this year (and there actually wound up being quite a few of us) can thank Saints kicker Garrett Hartley for those satisfying feelings of smugness we’re all enjoying. Hartley badly missed a 29-yard field goal in overtime (actually, no need to say “badly missed” – the only way to miss from 29 yards is “badly”), prompting Sean Payton and the front office to schedule a tryout for kickers on Monday.

A kicker tryout? That’s like the Saints and Hartley dating for three years, getting into a fight and the Saints deciding to go home with a stripper the same night. The Saints will regret acting on their anger in the morning.

Hartley is the same kicker who booted three 40-plus-yard field goals in Super Bowl XLIV (by the way, let’s lose the Roman Numerals on the Super Bowls now – they’re a pain to decipher). He’s the same kicker who nailed a 40-yard game-winner in the NFC Championship two weeks before that. Oh, and he’s also the same kicker who booted the game winner just last week at San Francisco!

Yes, Hartley is 4/7 on the season. But do three misses in the regular season really trump four huge makes in the postseason? Besides, the only kickers out there who are any good are Dave Rayner and Kris Brown, and they’re out there only because, lately, they’ve gotten quite good at doing what Hartley just did against the Falcons.

Hartley wasn’t even the worst kicker in football Sunday. That distinction went to Oakland’s $16 million man, Sebastian Janikowski. The Polish Whatever His Nickname Is These Days missed three field goals in the Raiders loss at Arizona, including the would-be game-winner from 32 yards. If Janikowski weren’t an Al Davis favorite, the Raiders would be competing with the Saints for bum kickers to bring in. You just hope Janikowski’s awful day doesn’t stay with him and create a Mike Vanderjagt-like fall from grace.

5.) The lost fumble that’s not a turnover

One more note from the Saints-Falcons game, then we’ll move on. In the third quarter, the Saints gave the ball to backup running back Chris Ivory on a fourth-and-one play. Ivory fumbled and Atlanta recovered. The play goes in the books as a turnover. But it shouldn’t.

Technically, there was no turnover of possession by the fumble because the play yielded the same result as if Ivory had been held short of the first down (which, by the way, he would have been if he’d held onto the ball). The point of the turnover statistic is to reflect sudden changes in possession. This was not a sudden change of possession.

An interception or lost fumble on fourth down or on the final play of a half should not be classified as a turnover. Just like we don’t classify red-zone field goals as red-zone scores.
This, coincidentally (or not), is a perfect segue to…

6.) The Denver Broncos

Have we ever seen a team play as well on offense as the Broncos did Sunday and score only 13 points? It’s amazing what zero touchdowns on five red zone trips will do to a bottom line. The Broncos racked up 519 yards, including 476 passing from Kyle Orton. Remarkably, Orton did not set a franchise record for single game passing yards. Even more remarkable is that the man who holds that record is not named John Elway. (Jake Plummer has the mark at 499.)

There are two ways to look at the Broncos after Week 3. K. Orton (US Presswire)

One: Josh McDaniels has an ingenious system and four excellent receivers to execute it (a willowy, speedy, budding star in first-round rookie Demaryius Thomas, a silky smooth role player in Jabar Gaffney, a shifty underneath threat in Eddie Royal and a highlight reel wizard in Brandon Lloyd, who leads the NFL with six catches of 25-plus yards this season). The Broncos showed they can dominate with this system and talent – they just need to do a better job at finishing drives.

Or, two: the Broncos just played a team that doesn’t mind letting the Denver skill position players “get theirs” because that team knows it can stop this offense when it counts. Of the two scenarios, the second is most likely. Recall that Indy gladly let Brandon Marshall catch 21 passes for 200 yards against them last season. In that game, they still held the Broncos to 16 points.

The Broncos talk about how they accept the fact that Peyton Manning will move the ball up and down the field, and how if they can just bog down in the red zone, they have a serious chance to win. What they don’t realize is that the Colts take the exact same approach to them. The only difference is, the Colts succeed.

Denver does have plenty to be excited about offensively, though. Their front line, despite starting two rookies and untested first-year guard Stanley Daniels, kept the Colts pass-rush in check. (Left tackle Ryan Clady was particularly good against Dwight Freeney.) And Orton’s arm looks stronger than it did last season.
 
But it doesn’t matter in this matchup as long as Manning is on the other side. He loves facing the man coverage scheme of the Broncos, mainly because he’s willing to let Champ Bailey win against Reggie Wayne in order to exploit mismatches elsewhere. Sunday, Manning found Austin Collie 12 times for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

He also hit practice squad call-up Blair White (most predictable, yet still agreeable, nickname ever: The Blair White Project) for a score.
In case you didn’t know, appearance-wise, White lives up to his last name. And, chances are, you already know what the BYU grad Collie looks like. This begs the question: before today, had any quarterback in NFL history ever thrown touchdown passes to two different white wide receivers in the same game?

7.) Drunk driving = superstar status

Is it just me, or did the mainstream media – and especially NBC during the Sunday night telecast – propel Braylon Edwards into superstar status this week? Last I checked, Edwards is a gifted receiver who often runs slipshod routes and, at times, seemingly plays with oven mitts on. That makes him not a superstar but, at best, a solid No. 1.

But you would have thought the man was Jerry Rice 2.0 the way everyone played up the story of his one quarter suspension. Too bad Edwards couldn’t have gotten busted during the offseason or in a smaller market. That would have made his DUI more forgivable, right?)

Of course, in the end, Edwards was a difference-maker against the Dolphins (two catches, 87 yards and a touchdown, plus sensational run-blocking). So maybe the hype was worth it. The most damning part about this whole ordeal for the NFL is that the Jets are right when they point out that players that have gotten a DUI on other teams have not been disciplined at all. Edwards’ de facto one-quarter suspension was a first.

But why did the Jets announce the one quarter plan before the game? They should have told the players and then kept it quiet. The media would have speculated, sure, but by then, the game would have already been going on. Thus, there would have been no distraction. Instead, the one quarter plan was announced, which is why the Dolphins wisely deferred to the second half after winning the coin toss (they knew that this likely meant one more possession for Edwards to miss).

There has, at least, been some good that has come from this whole mess: Edwards, knowing his image needs serious repair and that the NBC cameras would be all over him, finally shaved his hideous beard.

8.) Who the Hillis?
P. Hillis (US Presswire)
It came in a losing effort, but how about the game Browns running back Peyton Hillis had against the Ravens? The former Broncos fullback who has somehow crept into Cleveland’s starting tailback position carried the ball 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown against the staunch Ravens D. he also added 36 yards receiving.

The Browns front five dominated a Ravens front seven that came out looking like a group that was thinking about the Steelers (next week, CBS, 1:00). Hillis is a mechanical, if not choppy, runner, but he’s an absolute battering ram once he establishes downhill momentum.

9.) Okay, let’s start learning more of the Chiefs players

The Chiefs are 3-0. Their most recent win was a blowout of a disoriented 49ers club that, on Sunday, showed serious signs of the Tin Man Syndrome. Still, the win legitimized this rising young Kansas City squad enough to warrant a “get to know their names” feature. Disclaimer: this positive attention isn’t to suggest that the Chiefs are a playoff contender – it’s still very, very early. But it is positive attention nonetheless.

So, who to learn about? You already know Matt Cassel is a caretaker being paid like a superstar. You already know Jamaal Charles is an uncommon home-run threat. You already know Dwayne Bowe is a talented wideout who occasionally lands in Todd Haley’s doghouse. You already know Dexter McCluster is Percy Harvin Sans Migraines. You already know Glenn Dorsey is a former first-round pick who could finally be coming to life as a 3-4 defensive end. You already know that the same goes for Derrick Johnson at inside linebacker.
Okay then, here are two more names to add to the file (we’ll see how this week goes and, if necessary, add even more names down the road).

Tony Moeaki, tight end. The third-round rookie out of Iowa has the strong yet supple frame that coaches covet in a “big, athletic tight end”. He also has long arms and soft hands, which has allowed him to snatch a team-high 12 passes and two touchdowns on the season.

Brandon Flowers, cornerback. The third-year starter is close to being described as the “third-year sensation”. Flowers intercepted a pass for a second straight week Sunday (he ran last week’s pick back for six points). More impressive has been his shutdown ability, which he started to flash in 2009.

10.) Quick Hits

Unable to decide on a final story to create a nice round 10, I’m going to take the easy way out and drop in here some one-liner observations from all the other games.

***Patriots inside linebacker Jerod Mayo looked extremely fast against the Bills, particularly in closing on the ball. Looks like he’s regained his ’08 form.

***Charlie Batch’s pocket presence was close to flawless against the Bucs.

***Jimmy Clausen looked every bit like the unprepared rookie that he is. This isn’t meant as a harsh criticism of the Golden Domer. In just about any other situation, Clausen would still be learning from the bench. But the Panthers realize they have next to no chance with Matt Moore. So, Clausen, fairly or unfairly, is forced to play. He consistently held the ball too long against the Bengals Sunday. That was the crux of his problem. It will be interesting to see how much quicker he can get by next week. (If it’s not dramatically quicker, Carolina is in trouble.)

***It’s strange to see Redskins defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander lining up at outside linebacker, though he wasn’t too bad in this role against the Rams.

***The Seahawks won because they got two kickoff return touchdowns from Leon Washington. Great comeback story, but this is the exact type of game we shouldn’t read too much into. San Diego must get better in special teams coverage; Seattle is dangerous at home. Both true statements. A third true statement: anyone who thinks the Seahawks are better than the Chargers is crazy.

***With Donovan McNabb headed back to Philly in Week 4, I figured you’ll be glad for a break from Eagles quarterback stories this week. Thus, I won’t acknowledge Michael Vick’s magnificent performance in Jacksonville. (Oops.)

***Nnamdi Asomugha won the matchup against Larry Fitzgerald Sunday (two catches, 26 yards), though Asomugha may have gotten some help from Derek Anderson.

***Bears fans, sorry I couldn’t irritate you this week, but your team didn’t play Sunday.

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