Tag:New Orleans Saints
Posted on: October 2, 2010 3:54 pm
Edited on: October 9, 2010 4:21 pm

Week 4 injury news & analysis, part II

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Lions at Packers

Good news for Lions fans. RB Jahvid Best (turf toe) practiced Friday and is expected to start.

Detroit WR Nate Burleson, meanwhile, planned to make the flight to Green Bay, but he’s listed as doubtful. That means the Packers can focus even more of their attention on Calvin Johnson. MLB DeAndre Levy finally made his season debut last week, but then he injured his ankle. He’s questionable.

QB Matthew Stafford is out, but it’s looking like he could return for Week 5.

Most of the Packers questionable and doubtful players are backups, so that shouldn’t affect Green Bay all that much. And while DE Cullen Jenkins, who has been making noise about a new contract this week, is probable, there’s a slight chance he won’t play with a broken hand. If that happens, the Packers might have a problem on the right side of their defensive line (Backup Mike Neal is also questionable).

49ers at Falcons

Three important keys for Atlanta are questionable. Rookie LB Sean Weatherspoon had to leave last Sunday’s game because he was cramping. But he’s also been nursing an ankle injury, and he didn’t practice at all this week. Meanwhile, S Erik Coleman, who’s missed the past two weeks with a strained MCL, has improved and could play.

WR Michael Jenkins has begun taking more reps in practice, and if he can play, that likely will help the team’s running game because of Jenkins’ blocking abilities. Considering he’s been out since early training camp, the team likely won’t rush him back.

San Francisco WR Ted Ginn Jr. hasn’t played since spraining his MCL in Week 2, and it doesn’t look like he’ll participate this week either, considering he’s listed as doubtful. Assuming he doesn’t play, Dominique Zeigler will see even more reps. The good news about that – according to reports, QB Alex Smith trusts Zeigler more than he does Michael Crabtree.

Panthers at Saints

One of the key cogs of the Saints defense, Roman Harper, is questionable with a hamstring injury. But after not practicing Wednesday or Thursday, Harper was limited Friday. Pierre Thomas is also questionable, and perhaps in a clue of what his availability is for Sunday, the team added DeShawn Wynn to the active roster today. Without Reggie Bush, though, the Saints would seem to be in desperate need of Thomas – especially since the team is ranked last in the league in rushing.

And of course, notice who isn’t on the injury report. QB Drew Brees, who apparently is battling knee problems, will play Sunday and was not included on the report.

Rookie QB Jimmy Clausen has to be somewhat relieved that two of his starting offensive guards, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Travelle Wharton, are probable. RT Jeff Otah, though, still is out with a knee injury.

Seahawks at Rams

The second-most important player on the Rams squad, RB Steven Jackson, is questionable because of a groin injury. He didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday and was very limited Friday. One of the Rams most important players on defense, S O.J. Atogwe, also is questionable after missing the second half of last week’s game with a thigh injury. He’ll be a gametime decision.

If both of those guys can’t play – and that is a real possibility – the Rams, it goes without saying, could be in big, big trouble.

The big news for Seattle is that rookie LT Russell Okung – who hasn’t played since the preseason because of a high ankle sprain – is probable to play. Assuming Okung plays (coach Pete Carroll downplayed that possibility a bit this week, but come on, he’s got to play, right?), QB Matt Hasselbeck should feel a little more comfortable. After all, Tyler Polumbus had been manning the LT spot in Okung’s absence.

After missing all of the second half last Sunday, because of a shoulder injury, WR Mike Williams is probable. CB Marcus Trufant, whose absence was sorely missed in the second half of last week’s game when San Diego QB Philip Rivers ripped apart the secondary when Trufant had to leave with an ankle injury, is questionable.

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Posted on: October 1, 2010 11:13 am
Edited on: October 1, 2010 1:15 pm

NFL Week 4 Preview Podcast

Posted by Will Brinson

Another week of the NFL is upon us, and that means another preview podcast with Andy and me.

Below, we talk about whether or not it's time for to readjust our expectations for the AFC East now that the Jets are out front, the Panthers chances of beating the Saints (no, no, seriously), whether the Steelers can move to 4-0, if we should already be celebrating Mike Singletary's demise, whether Andre Johnson will be a decoy on Sunday against the Raiders, if Tiki Barber will be booed at his own Ring of Honor celebration, and, of course, what will happen when Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick square off for the rights to decide all of humanity.

Or something -- either way, click play below and get your podcast on people. Oh, and seriously, be a friend and subscribe via iTunes .

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .

Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:08 am

Carney grabs Hartley's job in New Orleans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In perhaps some of the least surprising news of the week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that newly-signed K John Carney will take over the place-kicking duties for the Saints.

After watching Garrett Hartley miss a 29-yard chip shot that would have won the Atlanta game in overtime – only to see the Falcons win a few minutes later – the Saints brought in the 46-year-old Carney this week to lend some stability.

New Orleans also used Carney last year when Hartley was serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for a banned stimulant. He went 13 of 17 on his field goal attempts when Hartley was out.

Through it all, Saints coach Sean Payton continues to treat Hartley with infinite patience and has kept him on the roster. Perhaps that’s because Hartley did send New Orleans to the Super Bowl with a 40-yard field in overtime to beat the Vikings.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:45 am

Smith says sideline Clausen comments overblown

Posted by Will Brinson

Fiery Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith was reportedly yelling and screaming at Jimmy Clausen following Carolina's meltdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, a loss fueled largely by Clausen repeatedly fumbling the ball, staring down receivers, and being unable to get Smith the rock.

Now, he claims that the reports that he was screaming at the rookie are silly and that the people reporting them are "jokes."

"It was said that I was just about to 'go off,' and I wasn't," Smith said after Wednesday's practice. "I thought it was interesting because here, I was obviously agitated and frustrated, but sometimes people think they know me better than I know myself. I think that's a joke, and I think the people that reported it are jokes."

Smith also added that Clausen did "as well as he could with the current situation" when asked about the rookie's debut.

And Clausen, for his part, also got the wide receiver's back when it came to discussing their sideline chatter against the Bengals.

"There really wasn't anything between me and Steve," Clausen said. "Like I told you after the game, it's just his competitiveness as a football player. He wants the ball. I think it's a good thing for your receivers to want the ball as much as they can get it."

Here's the order of events in Carolina with something like this: Steve Smith gets mad, Steve Smith does something aggressive in public, Steve Smith thinks people overreact about the thing he did when everyone sees it (note: we are right here in the scale of what Steve Smith does), teammate gets Steve Smith's back, Steve Smith finally realizes he did something a little wrong, Steve Smith apologizes.

Now, this situation is less serious since it's a rookie we're talking about, and Clausen doesn't really have much of a choice outside of playing along with whatever Smith wants; ignoring the only real receiving threat on the team as a young quarterback isn't precisely an intelligent move.

"I can't force anything," Clausen said. "I tried to force that one into him (Sunday), and it got intercepted. And that is what you get more times than making a completion. I have to be smart. Steve is a great player, and I want to get the ball to him as many times as I can, but I can't force it because it causes turnovers and interceptions."

And Smith might have a pretty good point about this being overblown; remember that there were rumors circulating early on during the offseason that Smith though Clausen was a "punk" and didn't particularly care for his attitude.

Whether that's true or not (Smith said it wasn't), it's going to remain the underlying stereotype for Clausen and Smith's relationship until they prove differently. Winning a game this season would probably help, too.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 29, 2010 12:58 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 3:26 pm

Report: Brees has strained left MCL

Posted by Will Brinson

The Saints' start to defending their championship has been auspicious at best, even with a 2-1 record. So the report coming out of New Orleans on Wednesday that Drew Brees has a strained left MCL can't be considered "good," and certainly not "well-timed."

According to our Saints Rapid Reporter Larry Holder , WIST-AM in New Orleans is reporting just that, though, "citing a source familiar with the situation."

The station is also reporting that "the plan" is for Brees to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, meaning that the reported injury can't be that serious, at least for now.

But the reason to freak out (if one were so inclined) and/or consider this problematic is that Brees is absolutely the key to the Saints success; that's not insider knowledge or anything that's not obvious, clearly.

However, Brees' role with the Saints is similar to Peyton Manning's with the Colts -- if you take him out of the lineup, a potential Super Bowl champion suddenly becomes a middle-of-the-road contender that can easily be exposed.

UPDATE (3:22 p.m.): According to Rapid Reporter Larry Holder, Brees wore a brace on  his knee but that he took every snap in practice today and didn't appear on the injury report. Coach Sean Payton said the knee is sore but there's no specific injury.

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

Posted on: September 29, 2010 11:46 am

Kickers have advice for Hartley

G. Hartley reacts after missing a 29-yard field goal in overtime of New Orleans-Atlanta game (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple of former Saints place-kickers have some advice for Garrett Hartley, the major goat from New Orleans’ overtime loss to the Falcons on Sunday.

Namely, don’t watch TV or read the newspapers. And maybe take some aspirin.

That’s what Tom Dempsey and Morton Andersen told the New Orleans Times Picayune when the newspaper contacted them to ask about Hartley – who apparently will stay with the Saints for the time being, even though they signed John Carney on Tuesday.

“I happen to think Garrett is a damn good kicker," said Dempsey, who kicked in the NFL from 1969-79. "He has made enough big kicks at his age to show that he is. My advice to him is simple: Don't read the newspapers and don't watch TV. Just keep this in mind: You're never as good, or as bad, as people say you are. Comes a time when the best kickers miss. Look at the tape. You'll see what you did, what went wrong. In kicking, you're always dealing with three things: snap, hold and kick. Look at what you did right. Your rhythm, kicking through the ball."

And Andersen’s advice?

"I've been watching, and you may be suffering from somewhat of a Super Bowl hangover,” he said. “Maybe you hit a wall in regard to handling the basics, based on the amount of work you've done. Trust the process that got you there."

And maybe have a Bloody Mary or something.

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

Posted on: September 28, 2010 7:09 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 11:11 am

Saints sign kicker John Carney

Posted by Andy Benoit

Nakia Hogan of the Times Picayune reports that the Saints have signed kicker John Carney. The 46-year-old veteran (that’s right – 46!) is embarking on his third stint with the team.

Don’t’ assume this marks the end for Garrett Hartley in the Big Easy. The Saints signed Carney early last season when Hartley was suspended for the first four games. They wound up keeping both kickers on the roster for most of the ’09 season.

Hartley is just 4/7 on field goals this season, but he has superior range to Carney. It's possible Carney could be around to serve as a short-term mentor.

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

Posted on: September 28, 2010 10:38 am

Hot Routes 9.28.10: Schwartz' auspicious record

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Shout at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Jim Schwartz is rather improbably one game away from the worst 20-game start by a head coach in Detroit Lions history, according to Tom Kowalski of the Detroit Free Press . This isn't improbable because the Lions are good, clearly. It's improbable because Schwartz is, in my estimation, a very good head coach who'd done a pretty good job making lemonade out of the rotted out lemon seeds that Matt Millen left hanging around the greater Detroit area. Additionally, Schwartz has dealt with injuries to Matthew Stafford in two straight seasons, a total lack of an offensive line and one of the worst defenses in NFL history last year. The simple fact that he's won a few games is actually impressive; even if he starts off with the worst record in Detroit history (through 20 games) it seems unlikely that the cautious optimism permeating the Lions organization and fanbase these days will cease to exist.
  • Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic believes that the Cardinals need to change quarterbacks "immediately" even though they're 2-1. There's no argument against the fact that Derek Anderson isn't "great" or even "good" but right now he's at least winning (even if it's not deservedly), and considering how high Ken Wisenhunt is on BYU product Max Hall, you'd certainly think that if he thought he could get the job done as a starter, he'd be getting the opportunity.
  • The possibility of Michael Vick getting injured after such a hot start has to be terrifying to Eagles fans. Bleeding Green Nation points out that Vick is "still taking too many hits" which is probably symptomatic of a porous offensive line. But Vick also holds the ball longer than a normal quarterback too, and that creates some danger. (Like that he might also score rushing touchdowns for my fantasy team!)
  • Ryan Grant wanted to know if he could tweet during the Packers-Bears game on Monday night. Apparently, that's totally legal -- Brian McCarthy of NFL PR let him know (via Twitter, duh) that as long as he wasn't on the sidelines or locker room, he was fine to hit up the social media during games.
  • Did the Dolphins blow a chance to "make a statement in the division?" That's what the Phinsider believes -- I'm inclined to agree, especially considering the way in which the defense got pure-tee shredded by the Jets on a nationally televised game.
  • And of course it's not a party without some discussion of the junk-grabbing Shaun Smith -- Arrowhead Pride has video of the "incident" and a nice little recap of Smith's awkward little problem.
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