Tag:Patrick Willis
Posted on: April 11, 2011 4:35 pm
  •  
 

Hot Routes 4.11.11 kick off week with legal news

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:13 pm
 

Rodgers the favorite for Madden '12 cover

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

And from the “why shouldn’t Bodog.com put out odds for who will be voted as the Madden ’12 cover?” department, here are the odds for who will win the honor (and perhaps the vaunted curse).

Aaron Rodgers               2/3

Michael Vick                   3/2

Adrian Peterson             12/1

Jamaal Charles              12/1

Peyton Hillis                   12/1

Danny Woodhead           14/1

Drew Brees                     25/1

Patrick Willis                   30/1

If it’s me, I, of course, would go with Rodgers, because that seems so freakin’ obvious. Plus, you have to discount the PETA influence on Vick’s voters (that’s sarcasm, people). But if I was to go with a darkhouse, I’d go with Woodhead. His run in the past year has simply been outstanding (from the outhouse with the Jets to a major star with the Patriots), so why wouldn’t it continue?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Woodhead, Hillis advance in Madden tourney

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots RB Danny Woodhead continued his remarkable run in the Madden ’12 cover vote, but considering he’s matched up against Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the third round, his streak is probably about to end.

Woodhead, a dark-horse candidate at the beginning of the 16-man tournament, knocked off Giants WR Hakeem Nicks 57 percent-43 percent, but he’ll face a tough candidate in Rogers, who blasted Lions DT Ndamukong Suh 72-28 in the first round and Rams QB Sam Bradford 76-24 in the second round and appears only to be growing stronger.

In the other half of that side of bracket, Browns RB Peyton Hillis – originally a No. 10 seed as compared to Woodhead’s No. 4 – surprisingly edged Falcons QB Matt Ryan 51-49 and will meet Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles.

On the other side of the bracket, 49ers LB Patrick Willis – who upset Steelers WR Hines Ward in the second round – will meet PETA favorite/Eagles QB Michael Vick.

The final quarterfinals matchup between Saints QB Drew Brees and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson might be the most intriguing vote of the third round.

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

Posted on: November 22, 2010 6:24 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.22.10: Week 11 boxscore tidbits

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

Did you notice the Giants only had 208 yards of total offense against the Eagles Sunday night?

Justin Tuck had three sacks and was phenomenal in containment outside and against the run.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis racked up 96 yards on 21 carries against the Colts.

Donald Brown had 68 yards on 17 carries, but 36 of those yards came on one good run. Brown was his usual ineffective self for most of the night. J. Mayo (US Presswire)

Jerod Mayo led the Patriots with 15 tackles, though fellow inside linebacker Gary Guyton stood out more. Guyton had nine tackles.

Ryan Fitzpatrick: 21/34, 316 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Fred Jackson and Cedric Benson both rushed for over 115 yards.

For the second week in a row, the Bills won and Lee Evans caught just two passes. (Not trying to suggest there’s a correlation between the two.) Steve Johnson has become Buffalo’s No. 1 wideout. He had eight catches for 137 yards and three scores against the Bengals.

For the second straight week, Felix Jones gave the Cowboys 51 yards on the ground. That is his second highest rushing output of the season.

Jahvid Best, who is battling a bad foot, had just two yards on three carries. Or maybe it was three yards on two carries. Anyway, he was a non-factor.

Dez Bryant averaged minus-two yards per catch on all of his non-touchdown receptions Sunday.

Very rarely does a DT lead his team in tackles. That’s what Ndamukong Suh did for the Lions (eight stops).

Before leaving with a re-aggravated groin injury, Clinton Portis looked fresh on five carries (32 yards).

Pilloried all week for poor route running, Redskins wideout Joey Galloway caught three passes for 32 yards. That was three more than Randy Moss caught, by the way.

Titans rookie Marc Mariani recorded his second touchdown return of the season (87 yards on a punt).

It came predominantly in garbage time, but Derek Anderson was 25/46 for 295 yards and a touchdown. And Matt Cassel, who raised the bar for garbage time excellence last week, was a sturdy 15/24 for 193 yards and two touchdowns.

Dwayne Bowe caught two touchdowns, giving him a Chiefs record six-straight games with a touchdown. Bowe is on pace for 1,100 yards and 18 TD’s.

Adrian Wilson led the Cardinals with seven tackles after struggling a week ago.

Thanks to the big deficit, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson got only 14 carries Sunday (72 yards). That was only two more carries than the Packers gave Dimitri Nance (37 yards).

Sidney Rice’s debut: three catches, 56 yards.

Clay Matthews added another sack to his records (league-high 11.5 on the season). He also had two tackles for a loss and two hits on the quarterback.

LaDainian Tomlinson still looks fresh. He only managed 36 yards on 12 carries, but he turned in 71 yards on seven receptions.

Joel Dreessen could wind up keeping the starting tight end job even once Owen Daniels is healthy. Dreessen, who is a slightly better blocker than Daniels, caught four passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.

With RT Damien Woody out, the Texans got three sacks (two from Mario Williams) and seven hits on Mark Sanchez.

Pittsburgh held Oakland to 61 yards rushing, which is par for the course for the Steelers this season.

Jason Campbell was 7/19 for 70 yards and a pick before getting benched in the second half. Bruce Gradkowski finished 13/24 for 98 yards and a pick.

Rashard Mendenhall’s 59 yards rushing were just four more yards than Ben Roethlisberger had on the ground.

James Harrison had two sacks, two tackles for a loss and two hits on the quarterback (one of which drew a ridiculous roughing the passer flag)…and those numbers still don’t describe the depth of his impact Sunday.

Joe Flacco had his first 300-yard passing game of the season against the Panthers.

Ray Lewis got his 30th career interception (and took it to the house).

The Jaguars won despite six turnovers (four from David Garrard).

Peyton Hillis was held to 48 yards on 21 carries, though he produced 95 yards on six receptions.

The Jaguars sacked Colt McCoy six times. Six sacks used to be a half-season for Jacksonville.

Interesting: Michael Turner got 28 carries for Atlanta (131 yards) and Jason Snelling got just one.

Who needs Pierre Thomas? Chris Ivory turned in99 yards on 23 carries for the Saints.

Brandon Stokley, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu all had at least five catches and 75 yards for the Seahawks.

The 49ers generated only 71 yards on the ground against Tampa Bay’s bottom-feeder run defense. Forty five of those yards came from Troy Smith scrambles.

Mike Williams, barely 48 hours removed from a DUI arrest, caught all three passes thrown his way. Williams finished with 54 yards and a touchdown.

Patrick Willis stamped his ticket to Hawaii: two sacks, two tackles for a loss, two QB hits and a team-high 13 tackles.

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

Posted on: August 23, 2010 9:49 am
 

Hot Routes: No Favre here whatsoever

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to josh [dot] katzowitz [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

-Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com has a nice breakdown of how well the 49ersfirst-team offense and first-team defense played in their 15-10 win vs. the Vikings on Sunday. Most impressive on defense was LB Patrick Willis, who had four tackle on just nine snaps played. Most impressive on offense was QB Alex Smith, who completed 5 of 6 passes and completed all three of his third-down attempts on San Francisco’s opening drive.

-The Minneapolis Star Tribune is already looking forward to Saturday’s third preseason game against Seattle. It’s because, like most every team when it heads into the third exhibition of the year, the starters likely will play into the third quarter.

-San Diego allowed disgruntled Vincent Jackson to speak with Seattle’s representatives, but Michael Lombardi of NFL.com thinks that might have been a bad idea.

-With Rams QB A.J. Feeley injured, don’t be surprised if No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford gets the start in the team’s third preseason game Thursday at New England. Feeley is thought to have a sprained thumb, but he underwent an MRI Sunday to better determine the damage.

-With Michael Matthews turning his ankle in practice Sunday, the Bills are down to just one tight end . That lucky man is Jonathan Stupar. Expect Buffalo to take a look at the free agent market.

-Apparently, New York Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson loves playing in the preseason. I mean, he absolutely LOVES it . Which is probably news to everybody in the NFL.

-With the return of Patriots WR Wes Welker and Seahawks RB Leon Washington from gruesome leg injuries, Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated discusses Gale Sayers’ shot knees and the pain tolerance the Bears legendary RB has. Pretty awesome/gruesome stuff there.

-Cowboys S Gerald Sensabaugh will miss the rest of the preseason and his status for Dallas’ season-opener is in question because of a subluxation in his shoulder.

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

Posted on: August 23, 2010 8:37 am
 

Favre plays one series; result: Meh

B. Favre reacts after taking a sack from P. Willis on Sunday (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With all the talk about Brett Favre and Vikings coach Brad Childress – and how selfish Favre is and how much money he’s making and blah, blah, blah – we overlooked one thing Sunday night. How did he actually play in his first action of 2010?

Against the 49ers, Favre started and played one series and took four snaps. He hit Adrian Peterson on a swing pass for a 13-yard gain but then lost 10 yards when San Francisco LB Patrick Willis crushed him for a sack on a block missed by Peterson.

Here’s what Favre said after his brief appearance (via the Minneapolis Star Tribune ):
 
"I don’t know if we accomplished a whole lot," Favre said. "Like last year when I came in against Kansas City, I didn’t expect a whole lot. I really wanted to call plays in a game environment. I completed the first pass, a swing pass, which can be the hardest throw in football. Got hit a little bit, which I could have done without. Had to get it out of the way sometime."

Favre said he wishes he could have had another series.

"I would have liked to but I understand the situation," he said. "San Francisco is a very good football team. Probably the worst I felt all year physically overall was against these guys last year. We were fortunate to win on the last play. They’re a very physical active football team. Their scheme puts a lot of one-on-one blocking on our offensive line so I knew it would be that type of game. Really just kind of get in and get your feet wet."

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

Posted on: July 31, 2010 10:09 pm
 

Franklin's absence at 49ers camp looms large

NT Aubrayo Franklin didn’t report with his 49ers teammates today, and it seems like a pretty good bet he won’t be around when San Francisco officially opens training camp with its first practice Sunday afternoon.

The unsigned Franklin apparently didn’t like the one-year, $7 million tender the 49ers offered, and coach Mike Singletary hasn’t talked to him all offseason. So, what happens now?

Though 49ers observers seem to think a deal will get done in the preseason, it’s hard to tell when he’ll report.

"There's no mistaking about it: Aubrayo is one of a kind," linebacker Patrick Willis told the Press Democrat . "I love playing with Aubrayo. At the same time, I know this is a business and, at the end of the day, we have to work with who we have here. I know everything is going to work itself out and that's out of my control. If I could snap my fingers, and make him be here, I would. But I can't."

--Josh Katzowitz

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




Posted on: July 7, 2010 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Position rankings: inside linebackers

P. Willis celebrates (US Presswire) Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on inside linebackers.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Jonathan Vilma, Saints

4. London Fletcher, Redskins

3. Ray Lewis, Ravens

2. Brian Urlacher, Bears

1. Patrick Willis, 49ers


Unlike our 3-4 and 4-3 outside linebackers list – which, frankly, weren’t easy to put together, because there just aren’t many stars at those positions – we’ve hit a motherload of talent at the inside linebackers spot. 

Willis seems pretty clear cut to me. He has the phenomenal statistics, he’s proven he can play the run and the pass equally well, and he’s still only 25. He’s going to be a dominant linebacker years into the future. It’s hard to believe Urlacher has been in the league since 2000. His 2008 season was unimpressive (by his standards), and he didn’t play most of last year. But is he still a top-two ILB? Yes.

Lewis is still very, very good. But he’s lost a step, and he’s not quite as feared by offensive coordinators as he once was. Notice the “not quite.” He can still rush a passer, and he still clogs up the middle of the Ravens defense, but he’s not a machine anymore and he has a tougher time in pass coverage. Though Fletcher is 35, he’s coming off one of his better seasons and he finally made his first Pro Bowl last year. Vilma racks up the statistics, in part because he’s easily the best LB on the team. But without him, the Saints might not have won the Super Bowl.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. DeMeco Ryans, Texans

4. London Fletcher, Redskins

3. Ray Lewis, Ravens

2. Brian Urlacher, Bears

1. Patrick Willis, 49ers


I figure our editors wouldn’t appreciate me responding to your top five with a simple “ditto," but what more can be said? I’d love to debate you about Urlacher – I’m sure more than a few readers will disagree with us – but I think his instincts are second to none. I’ve heard of a few players around the league privately criticizing Urlacher’s toughness – word is he’d would rather side-step a lead blocker than attack him square on – but I simply haven’t seen that on film.

I have no problem with Vilma being top five. I chose to go with Ryans because I thought he finally made more tackles near the line of scrimmage last season. Of course, I realize Ryans had better players around him and didn’t lead his defense to the postseason.

What’s most impressive about Willis is the way he’s improved in coverage. That was a weakness for him as a rookie. He also made more big plays in the backfield last year.

Fletcher and Lewis are machines. It’s remarkable the way they make their teammates better.

Since we’re in agreement here, want to expand to top eight? My next three ILB’s are: 6. Jerod Mayo (struggled with injuries last season but was, in my opinion, the best inside linebacker in all of football as a rookie in ’08) 7. Bart Scott (arguably the most versatile inside ‘backer in the game) and 8. David Harris (a thumper against the run). I’d put Vilma at 10, though again, tell me he’s five and you won’t get a very passionate debate.

Josh’s rebuttal

I really don’t see how one can argue at this point that Urlacher is better than Willis. Urlacher is on the downside while Willis continues to climb. The only question I have: will Willis consistently reach the level at which Ray Lewis has played for so many years as one of the best middle linebackers of all time? Time will tell. I accept your top eight challenge. 6. Ryans (I like him too, especially because his physical tools aren’t that great – he’s not big, and he’s not all that fast. He just makes plays). 7. Barrett Ruud (he disrupts plays in the middle of the field and has consecutive 135-plus tackle seasons). No. 8 Curtis Lofton (He has a chance to be a star, and the foundation for the Falcons defense. He hits hard and does well vs. the run and the pass.) I’ll reserve judgment for Mayo until after this season, but I agree that he’s a top-10 guy.

Andy’s final word

Okay good, we’ll get a debate here after all. I’m sick of everyone cramming Barrett Ruud down our throats. Ruud is nothing more than an average player (and I hesitate to even honor him with that distinction). He isn’t physical at the point of contact, he lacks ideal speed and agility, and his instincts are good but not great. I don’t understand how the middle linebacker for the league’s worst run defense (Tampa Bay allowed 158.2 yards per game on the ground last year) can get so much love. Yes, Ruud makes tackles, but most of them are miles downfield. There’s a reason the Bucs haven’t given him a long-term contract.

Feel free to argue back (we got away with going past the “final word” in the 3-4 outside linebackers debate, we can push the envelope again). I’m curious what kind of specifics a Ruud supporter can drum up.

Josh’s rebuttal to the final word


Your criticism of Ruud not doing much more than tackling runners downfield is not a new one. Ruud hears it as well. From a recent St. Petersburg Times story: "I read that I make all of my tackles seven yards downfield. But a lot of times, a tackle seven yards downfield is a great tackle, because you can keep a guy from going 60 yards. When I evaluate the great linebackers of the NFL, I see a lot of guys making tackles seven yards down the field. They're making a great play when a guy looks like he's about to break it outside.''

You might say that’s a cop-out, but he tells the truth there. Sometimes, it’s not about making the fabulous play that will get you on a highlight show. Sometimes, it’s about stopping the other guy from doing so.

The argument of not giving him a long-term deal holds no water with me, because of the impending lockout and the fact that hardly anybody is getting long-term deals this year. And now that the Buccaneers have made a commitment to their defense by drafting DT Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, that only will help Ruud – who, as I said, does a nice job causing havoc in the middle of the field even without the help of a defensive line who can disrupt a play up front. Plus, coach Raheem Morris calls him “The General.” That’s a pretty sweet nickname.

Andy’s final, final word

If Ruud is “The General”, he’s a lot more McChrystal than Petraeus. The Bucs denied Ruud’s contract request last year, even though they were well under the salary cap and focusing on securing young building blocks. Sure, a tackle downfield is certainly better than no tackle at all. But the reality is this topic never comes up with the Ray Lewis’s, Brian Urlachers, Patrick Willis’s and perhaps even James Farriors of the world. Again, the Buc run defense that Ruud spearheaded last season ranked dead last.

(Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


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