Tag:Jerome Simpson
Posted on: November 9, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Film Room: Bengals vs. Steelers preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



So let’s get this straight: the Steelers, at a respectable 6-3, are in third place of the AFC North? And it’s not the soft-scheduled Browns they’re chasing, but rather, the dysfunctional Bengals?

We’re going to find out over the next two months whether the Bengals are a Cinderella story or a farce. First, let’s establish some expectations by examining what the film has revealed over the past two months.



1. The ginger rookie & Jon Gruden’s brother
There’s a growing movement to anoint Andy Dalton the Offensive Rookie of the Year instead of Cam Newton. That’s a fair. Dalton’s team is 6-2, Newton’s is 2-6. But let’s keep our perspective and remember that Dalton is NOT the physical specimen that Newton is. He doesn’t have Newton’s arm, wheels or athletic improv skills. And he’s not being asked to do the same things as Newton.

That said, Dalton has been much closer to Newton’s athletic level than anyone would have ever guessed. He has shown the arm strength to make just about every throw that first-year offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has asked of him. He’s been poised when operating from a muddied pocket, and he’s very good at releasing the ball on the move.

Gruden has done a phenomenal job playing to Dalton’s strengths. The Bengals have a balanced attack that hinges on play-action and rollouts, two concepts that slice the field for a quarterback and help define his reads (see graphic). Gruden also incorporates a lot of three-and five-step drops – another simplification tactic. As a result, the Bengals offense has not only been nearly mistake-free but also calm and consistent.

A play-action rollout simplifies things for a quarterback by essentially slicing the field in half. In this sample (against a basic two-man coverage), a fake handoff compels the defense to flow left. The only defenders who go right are the ones responsible for the two receivers running their patterns to the right.

Quarterbacking 101 teaches you to never throw across your body or back across the field. Thus, after the quarterback rolls out, he only has to read the right side of the field, which consists of nothing but his two receivers and their defensive matchups. Often, the read is simplified even more by throwing to wherever the free safety is not giving help-coverage. If a play is there, it’s easy for the quarterback to see.

If nothing’s there, the quarterback has plenty of room to throw the ball away or scramble.

2. The “sure thing” receiver & other weapons
Wideout A.J. Green has been exactly what you’d expect a No. 4 overall pick to be in Year One. He’s averaging roughly five catches, 75 yards and a little more than half a touchdown per game. He’s clearly Dalton’s go-to guy, being targeted almost automatically when facing one-on-one coverage. Green has a wide catching radius thanks to uncommon body control and a great vertical leap. He’ll climb to the top echelon of receivers once he polishes his route running (he has a bad tendency to yield ground and inside positioning on downfield patterns).

The receiving weapons around Green have been solid. Jermaine Gresham can cause matchup problems in the flats. Veteran Donald Lee has filled in well in the wake of Gresham’s hamstring injury the past two weeks. Jerome Simpson has shown why the team did not discipline him harshly after police found Costco amounts of marijuana in his home this past September. To be blunt, Simpson’s quickness is too valuable to take off the field. He’s much more reliable than Andre Caldwell.

Surprisingly, the black-and-blue ground game that figured to define Cincy’s offense has been extremely average thus far (the statistics support this, as Cincy ranks 28th with 3.7 yards per carry). Cedric Benson is a methodical, patient runner who needs steady blocking in order to thrive. He has gotten that, but not at the level he did two years ago when he averaged nearly 100 yards per game.

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth, despite a poor outing last week, has played at a Pro Bowl level, and right tackle Andre Smith has flashed astonishing power a few times. But the interior line and ancillary blockers (such as a sixth offensive lineman/fullback/tight end) have been up-and-down.

3. Defensive Overview
The Bengals have a deep, active defensive line that’s extremely potent against the run but just so-so against the pass. Tackles Geno Atkins and Pat Sims both regularly win phone booth matchups in impressive fashion, and Domata Peko almost always punishes teams who try to block him one-on-one. If he’s not penetrating, he’s stalemating in a way that allows teammates to make plays.
 
None of these inside players are dominant pass-rushers, though. And there isn’t much firepower outside. End Michael Johnson uses his athleticism in myriad ways but is not a regular presence in the backfield. Intriguing second-year pro Carlos Dunlap replaces Robert Geathers on passing downs. Dunlap, with his unusual upright style and sinewy explosiveness, is certainly capable of reaching the quarterback, but he’s also capable of disappearing for long stretches.

An impotent pass-rush can put considerable pressure on a secondary. Leon Hall is an elite cover corner who does not command a lot of safety help over the top. Using him in isolated solo coverage is a double-edge sword that has stabbed opponents slightly more than it’s stabbed the Bengals this season. Safeties Reggie Nelson and Chris Crocker are hit-or-miss in coverage but capable of playing in space or the box. They give Mike Zimmer options.

Veteran Nate Clements has done a commendable job replacing Johnathan Joseph. Clements has been especially aggressive in short, underneath coverage. Helping in this facet is the fact that linebackers Thomas Howard and Manny Lawson both move well in the flats. It’s a little surprising that Lawson, who is replaced by Brandon Johnson in nickel (Johnson is the more comfortable of the two between the tackles), hasn’t been asked to put his hand in the dirt on passing downs.

4. Something to consider
This is a sharp, fundamentally sound defense that plays well as a unit in Mike Zimmer’s fairly aggressive scheme. But it’s also a defense that has yet to be tested. Look at the Bengals’ schedule thus far. They opened against Cleveland and Denver, two teams with major problems at wide receiver.

They faced San Francisco in Week 3, a good team but a very, very basic offense. They beat Buffalo in Week 4. Buffalo has a much-improved offense, but they’re not exactly Green Bay. Or even Dallas (never mind what the stats might say). After that it was Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Seattle, three teams with a total of zero proven quarterbacks. Last week the Bengals handled a Tennessee offense that’s respectable but nothing close to dynamic (especially through the air).

You couldn’t ask to face a more banal collection of offenses. This defense is fantastic against the run, but it remains to be seen how it will respond against a rhythmic, up-tempo passing attack.  

5. Matchup with the Steelers
Pittsburgh does have an elite, formidable offense. Cincinnati’s ho-hum pass-rush is not ideal for defending Ben Roethlisberger’s late-in-the-down magic.

The Bengals at least catch a break with wideout Emmanuel Sanders being out (arthroscopic knee surgery). Sanders would have given the Steelers aerial attack third source of speed, which Zimmer’s nickel unit may not be equipped to combat. Instead, it will be either Hines Ward or Jericho Cotchery threatening to catch six-yard slants out of the slot.

On the other side, the only defense comparable to Pittsburgh’s that this Cincy offense has faced is San Francisco’s in Week 3. The Niners were physical in taking away the receivers’ quick routes. The result was eight points and a 1/10 third down success rate for the Bengals. However, Dalton’s game has expanded since then. If need be, it’s possible, though not probable, that he’ll be able to put the team on his back and open things up for the first time this season.

Unless there continues to be slews of the fortuitous field position breaks that this Bengals offense has frequently enjoyed this season, he’ll need to.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 10 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 25, 2011 12:05 pm
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Posted on: September 25, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Jerome Simpson to play vs. 49ers

Jerome Simpson will play for the Bengals Sunday (AP/ US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been a busy week for Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson, and for all the wrong reasons. First, he was detained and question by police because somebody at his house accepted a package containing 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana. Then, after searching Simpson's home, authorities found six more pounds of marijuana.

On Friday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis hadn't ruled Simpson out for the Week 3 matchup against the 49ers. On Sunday, Simpson is active and will play, but he will not start, NFL analyst Charley Casserly said during the CBS Pregame Show.

Simpson was excused from practice on Thursday and Friday while the organization decided how to proceed. “We’re still taking to people and figuring out what the best thing is for Jerome,” Lewis said at the time. “Any decisions I make on it are going to be based on what people recommend is the best thing for him.”

Apparently, people recommended that Simpson be allowed to suit up. This is good news for rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, who will now have two of his best receivers on the field (rookie AJ Green being the other one). If Simpson didn't play, No. 4 wide receiver Andre Caldwell would have likely earned the start.

Simpson has yet to be charged with a crime. "The league has told me that they will wait for the law enforcement authorities to complete their investigation before they do theirs, but the league will investigate at some point," Casserly said.

Offensive lineman Anthony Collins, who was at Simpson's house when the police arrived, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by Kentucky prosecutors and Lewis. If he's guilty of anything it's being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


After a tough loss last week in overtime, the 49ers look to bounce back as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Lewis hasn't ruled Simpson out for 49ers game

Simpson could still play Sunday. (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Earlier this week, police detained and questioned Bengals players Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins after someone at Simpson's house signed for a package containing 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana from California. No arrests were made, but authorities found six more pounds of marijuana inside Simpson's home.

Collins has been cleared by coach Marvin Lewis -- and more importantly, a Kentucky prosecutor -- of any wrongdoing, and according to a statement released by Collins' lawyer, the only thing he's guilty of is poor timing.

Simpson, meanwhile, missed practice on Thursday and Friday as the team figures out what to do with a player recently found with more than eight pounds of pot in his home. Simpson is listed as questionable on the Bengals' injury report, although there's a chance he plays Sunday when Cincinnati hosts San Francisco.

“We’re still taking to people and figuring out what the best thing is for Jerome,” Lewis said, according to Cincinnati Enquirer 's Joe Reedy. “Any decisions I make on it are going to be based on what people recommend is the best thing for him.”

Lewis has spoken with Simpson in recent days and says that “he’s as anyone would be caught in a situation like that. We have to continue to support him and help him that way.”

Reedy reports that Simpson, who caught four passes for 136 yards during last week's loss the Broncos, has become one of the most followed Bengals on Twitter. But after this week's incident, he has shut down his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

While it's easy to dismiss this as the latest example of the Bengals being the Bengals, it's a tad more complicated than that.

“There hasn’t been a non profit, a school visit a visit to a hospital that Jerome Simpson hasn’t been involved in,” Lewis said. “He’s done as much as anyone on the team in being part of the community. I think that’s why everyone feels the way they do. The process really has to (carry itself out) and unfortunately it became more public than we expected it to be. But it is what it is right now.”

And "what it is" includes the possibility that Simpson might be on the field Sunday. If he doesn't, Andre Caldwell, normally the team's No. 4 receiver, could be in the starting lineup.


After a tough loss last week in overtime, the 49ers look to bounce back as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Jason Horowitz and NFL.com's Pat Kirwan preview this game.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 23, 2011 3:15 pm
 

Anthony Collins: I was in wrong place, wrong time

Marvin Lewis says Antony Collins "wasn't involved in anything at all." (AP/ US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


It appears that the only thing Anthony Collins is guilty of is bad timing. The Bengals offensive lineman happened to be at teammate Jerome Simpson's home earlier this week when authorities showed up and detained and questioned them both.

This all had to do with another person at the Simpson's house signing for a package that contained 2.5 pounds of high-grade marijuana from California. No arrests were made at the time, but according to CaliforniaWatch.org, police allegedly found six more pounds of marijuana inside Simpson's home.

On Friday, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis cleared Collins of any wrongdoing.

"The only thing I know is that Anthony Collins wasn't involved in anything at all," Lewis said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The other thing (the investigation of Simpson), I'm not allowed to comment about anything so we'll just move forward and get ready to play football."

Collins released a statement Friday through his attorney (via the Enquirer):
This past Tuesday morning I stopped by the house of my teammate, Jerome Simpson, on my way to the stadium. While I was at his home, several law enforcement officers unexpectedly entered the house. I had no idea what it was about and after identifying myself and speaking to the officers, they let me go on my way.

Unfortunately I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. However, I do want to take this opportunity to let my fans, friends and family know that I had no part in the reported activities at Jerome’s home. I have done nothing wrong and I have not been charged with doing anything wrong. So far as I know, I am no longer a part of any investigation.

In due time, I am confident that authorities will clear my name and announce I am not a person of interest and my name will be completely cleared from Tuesday’s incident. In the meantime, my focus will continue to be on playing football and helping my teammates, coaches and the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals organization have a successful 2011 season.
Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson tweeted that Simpson was excused from practice Friday and thinks it's "highly doubtful" Simpson will play this weekend.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 22, 2011 5:09 pm
Edited on: September 22, 2011 6:24 pm
 

Report: Cedric Benson gets 3-game suspension

Has NFL suspended Benson for 3 games? (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

Bengals running back Cedric Benson will face a three-game suspension for player-conduct violations that happened during the lockout, Yahoo.com's Mike Silver reported Thursday afternoon.

It's the first instance of the league punishing a player for something that took place during the four-month lockout. Interestingly, Aqib Talib, Kenny Britt and Brandon Marshall all had legal entanglements during that time but avoided NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's wrath.

Benson, who was sentenced to 20 days in jail earlier this month for assaulting an Austin, Texas bartender in 2010, will appeal the suspension next Tuesday.

Silver adds that "If the appeal does not result in a reduction or elimination of the suspension, Benson would miss Cincy's games vs. Buffalo, Jacksonville and Indianapolis," though he would be available for the Bengals' game this Sunday against the 49ers.

Through two weeks, Benson has 41 carries for 180 yards (4.4 average) and he's scored a touchdown. He's also been invaluable to rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, who will now have to rely on running backs Brian Leonard (2 rushes, 15 yards) and Bernard Scott (6 rushes, 13 yards) if Benson's suspension is upheld.

In other Bengals-related news, players Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins were questioned by authorities earlier this week after another person at Simpson's home signed for a delivery package that contained a 2.5-pound bag of high-grade marijuana from California.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 21, 2011 8:50 pm
 

Simpson, Collins questioned about pot delivery

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

As cited in a report by Californiawatch.org, Bengals offensive lineman Anthony Collins and receiver Jerome Simpson were detained and questioned at Simpson’s home Tuesday after another person at the house signed for a delivery package that contained a 2.5 pound bag of high-grade marijuana from California.

No arrests were made, according to the report, but authorities called it a controlled delivery to a house that was set up as a distribution network. Inside the northern Kentucky home, police allegedly found six more pounds of marijuana, empty parcels, scales and packaging material.

More from the story:

In recent years, drug agents have stepped up efforts to intercept California-grown pot being shipped out of state by drug-trafficking organizations seeking higher profits.

Michelle Gregory, spokeswoman for the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, said the operation was initiated by a special marijuana task force after agents discovered a suspicious package at a commercial sorting facility in Sacramento.

The agents then alerted law enforcement in Kentucky, who intercepted the package and monitored its delivery. Barb Schempf, spokeswoman for the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, confirmed that airport police participated in the controlled delivery but declined further comment, citing the ongoing investigation.


Said Bengals spokesman Jack Brennan: “There’s nothing of substance in the development of rumors that we’re aware of. There’s nothing to hang a hat on at this point.”

Federal prosecutors as well as Kentucky state and local law enforcement are continuing to investigate. 

According to the report, Simpson wrote on his Twitter account that his supposed arrest was "100% rumor." That account apparently has been deleted since.

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

NFL cut day: updating the latest noteworthy moves

Posted by Andy Benoit & Josh Katzowitz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chad Jackson, WR, Bills

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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

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


Brandon Stokley, WR, Broncos

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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