Tag:2011 NFL Preseason
Posted on: August 25, 2011 10:02 am
Edited on: August 25, 2011 12:46 pm

Reggie Wayne isn't sure Collins should be starter

CollinsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

One of the more interesting stories from Wednesday was the Colts signing Kerry Collins to a $4 million contract just in case Peyton Manning isn’t ready to begin the season as the team’s starting quarterback.

Even though CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman has gone on record as saying that the Colts could make the playoffs even with Collins in charge of the offense, at least one of Collins’ new teammates disagrees.

That’s receiver Reggie Wayne, who said, via the AP, that “We don't even know him, we ain't vanilla, man, we ain't no simple offense. So for him to can come in here and be the starter, I don't see it. I think that's a step back."

Wait, wait a minute. Is Wayne saying he would rather have Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky start instead of Collins -- who certainly is past his prime but is far more accomplished than Painter and Orlovsky combined*?

*If you multiplied by 10 the combined careers of Painter and Orlovsky, Collins still would be far more accomplished.

"Who says Kerry's going to be the starter?" Wayne said. "Just because we bring him in doesn't mean he's the starter. He's got to learn too, right? Unless they gave him a playbook months ago, he's got to learn too.

Peyton's Place ... on the sidelines?
"I don't care who you are, I mean I'm not going to let anyone just come in here and just push someone (like Painter) aside like you're that dog now, you know what I mean?"

No, I have no idea what Wayne means.

As CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson pointed out Wednesday, “Anyone who has watched a Manning-less Colts offense led by the likes of Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky knows that it might be a four-win outfit. Collins may be a fossil in NFL years, but he's also the same guy who manned the controls when the Titans won 13 games in 2008.”

Which is why Wayne seemingly makes no sense when he says he’d rather see Painter start than Collins. After all, Collins has thrown for more than 40,000 yards and 200 touchdowns in his career, while Painter has accumulated 83 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 8:55 pm

Del Rio says David Garrard is his starting QB

J. Del Rio watches D. Garrard, his starter (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio's head, there’s not a doubt who will start at quarterback for his squad when Jacksonville opens the regular season vs. the Titans. In his mind, there was really never any question.

That person is David Garrard and not rookie Blaine Gabbert, and on Tuesday, Del Rio said it as simply as he could.

“David’s our starter,” Del Rio told the media, via the Florida Times Union.

Fair enough. But before Garrard gets comfortable, he should know this: Del Rio isn’t completely happy with the way he’s played thus far in the preseason (Garrard is 7 of 12 for 99 yards and an interception through two games, while Gabbert is 20 of 39 for 181 yards).

"We need more efficiency offensively and certainly the trigger man plays a large role in that," Del Rio said. "I think it all ties together. You know how I feel about it being a team game that we play and the timing of the routes with the receivers and the protection up front and the quarterback making good decisions delivering the ball. It all comes together and then you're able to do things offensively, where you're a beat off here or a beat off there and the play breaks down and when you have that timing it looks beautiful. So we're doing some things better and we've been in camp long enough.

"We have the same system, we have the same quarterback, we have the same players. We should expect to play at a higher level. I expect us to play at a higher level and now would be a good time."

Eventually, the person playing at a higher level will probably be Gabbert, a point made by CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco earlier this month when he tabbed him as a future top-10 quarterback.

Wrote Prisco: "I watched his tape in college, and Gabbert did some things that were unsettling. He felt phantom pressure at times. But you could always see the arm and the athletic ability. I liked Florida State's Christian Ponder more -- still do -- but Gabbert looked much better than I expected Thursday.

“I know it's only one practice, and it's not live contact, but he does things that you want from a quarterback. The coaches aren't publicly saying all that much about him, but they know. The scouts know. And you better believe general manager Gene Smith knows.”

For now, Del Rio doesn’t know. Or he will pretend he doesn’t know so Gabbert can continue improving or because he feels Garrard gives Del Rio a better chance of keeping his job after this season. But someday soon, when a reporter asks who the starter is, Del Rio will be saying (as if it’s been obvious the whole time), “Blaine’s our starter.”

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 6:09 pm

Bryant McKinnie gets a chance with Ravens

McKinniePosted by Josh Katzowitz

Bryant McKinnie’s long wait to sign a new deal with a new team is over. The former Vikings offensive tackle who was cut earlier in the preseason has reached an agreement with the Ravens, the Baltimore Sun reports.

McKinnie was a Pro Bowler in 2009*, but he upset the Vikings when he showed up to this year’s training camp far out of shape. Though the Vikings never actually came out and said that was the reason they got rid of McKinnie, coach Leslie Frazier said this before axing him: "There are a number of things that we want to work on with Bryant and some other guys as well. Conditioning is part of it. We just want to try to make sure that we're doing the right thing by every guy that's wearing the purple."

The Vikings also apparently were upset that McKinnie refused to budge off his base salary of $4.9 million, and for a guy who supposedly weighed in at nearly 400 pounds** when he arrived at camp, that was unacceptable.

*You might recall that McKinnie partied a little too hard in Hawaii, and he was not allowed to play in the game.

**McKinnie is 6-foot-8, but even for that height, 400 pounds is rather rotund.

McKinnie's drama
But now, he gets another chance with the Ravens -- who, according to the Carroll County Times, will sign him to a two-year deal worth $7.5 million (with a $1 million bonus).

It’s an interesting move by the Ravens, considering they failed to re-sign free agent tackle Jared Gaither earlier this offseason, essentially paving the way for Michael Oher to return to the left tackle spot, which used to belong to Gaither.

But as I’ve been saying, Oher, though he has a great backstory, isn’t always such a great left tackle. Perhaps the Ravens will give McKinnie, who can be a wonderful tackle when he’s in shape, the chance to prove himself worthy of protecting Joe Flacco’s blind side instead of Oher.

Remember this, though. In order for the deal to be consummated, McKinnie still has to pass his physical. As we’ve seen in the not too recent past, that’s not necessarily a slam dunk for McKinnie.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: August 23, 2011 5:21 pm

Giants defenders keep falling; this time, Austin

ThomasPosted by Josh Katzowitz

If you’re a Giants defensive player, it might be time to crawl into some sort of bomb shelter, because injuries after injuries after injuries are beginning to pile up for coach Tom Coughlin’s crew.

The latest setback came Tuesday when second-round defensive tackle Marvin Austin tore his left pectoral muscle. He will be lost for the season after he undergoes surgery, and it’s another blow to the rookie class (first-round pick Prince Amukamara won’t return for at least two months while he deals with a broken foot).

Plus, after losing Terrell Thomas for the season with an ACL tear in Monday night’s preseason game -- not to mention the loss of cornerback Brian Witherspoon after Monday’s game and cornerback Bruce Johnson -- the Giants will need to call in some replacements for the defense.

Coughlin was asked in his news conference Tuesday, via Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, if he thought about moving Antrel Rolle from safety to cornerback, but he said he was reluctant to do that unless the move was permanent. For now, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen, even though Coughlin is well aware that Rolle used to play cornerback and even though Rolle said he’d be willing to do it.

Instead, Coughlin said he’ll count on Aaron Ross to fill the void.

“Aaron played well tonight, thank goodness,” Coughlin said after Monday’s game. But there’s also the possibility of other moves to help offset the loss Austin, Thomas and Witherspoon. Maybe even some trades?

Said Coughlin: “I’m sure we’ll consider it.”

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 4:23 pm

Raiders, 49ers preseason series is history

Oakland and San Francisco fight before the postgame shootings (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the wake of two shootings that occurred after Saturday’s Raiders-49ers preseason game, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami is reporting that the annual preseason game between the two sides will end.

According to Kawakami, the local police departments and the NFL strongly encouraged the two teams to discontinue the series. There probably won’t be an announcement on the matter, Kawakami writes. Instead, the annual event probably will just fade away.

As CBSSports.com’s Ryan Wilson wrote Sunday, one of the men, who was shot in the stomach before he drove his truck to a security station to get help, was wearing a “F--- the 49ers” shirt. Police then pulled a man wearing a Raiders jersey off a party bus and considered him a suspect.

Also coming off the incident, 49ers owner Jed York told the Sacramento Bee that there was increased security at Saturday’s game and that there will be even better security for the team’s next home game against the Texans.

Obviously, more lights around the stadium would be a start.

"I don't know if you're going to be able to get up a bunch of light poles in four days before the next game," York told the paper. "But you're going to have a lot of security out there. You're going to have a lot of SFPD. We're going to work with them to make sure we have the appropriate levels of security to make sure all our fans feel safe and comfortable."

Then, strangely, York seemed to make the case that going to an 18-game schedule -- which the owners certainly haven’t forgotten about -- would eliminate postgame violence like this.

"I think when you have a preseason game, when you don't have your regular-season ticket holders coming to the game, I think that plays a big factor into it," York said.

While that explanation seems unlikely and inappropriate in this circumstance -- the intra-Bay rivalry probably had more to do with the violence than non regular-season ticket fans attending the game -- we all can agree that providing more security and more lights hopefully will curtail the violence we’ve seen at pro sporting events.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 3:36 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 3:39 pm

John Fox: Kyle Orton to be Broncos starter

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So much for Tim Tebow as the Broncos starting quarterback. So much for Denver trying to trade away Kyle Orton. While perhaps those were decisions former coach Josh McDaniels would have made, those scenarios didn’t interest John Fox.

Which is why he told reporters today, via the Denver Post, that Orton will be his starting quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season.

Broncos and Quarterbacks
This shouldn’t be a huge surprise, because it’s been clear since the first practice of training camp that Orton was many levels ahead of Tim Tebow when it came to performing as a legit starting NFL quarterback (and, you know, when Fox called Tebow “a work in progress,” that wasn’t great news for him either). In the second preseason game, Orton completed 10 of 13 passes to seal his spot.

Meanwhile, Fox said he wasn’t going to name a second-string quarterback any time soon, though it’s clear that it very well could be Brady Quinn, who played well in the second preseason game after he replaced Orton.

Another sign that Quinn could be No. 2 was when the Denver Post’s Jeff Legwold wrote, “The feeling is that if Orton got injured in a regular-season game, it would be Quinn who would go in for him because of his experience. Quinn has shown big-time improvement over last season when previous coach Josh McDaniels rarely worked him in practices -- Quinn called 2010 a 'very, very tough year' -- and may have the most raw arm strength of any Broncos quarterback."

For now, it seems like Tebow has fallen to third on the depth chart, and he’s got many miles to go to catch Orton.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: August 22, 2011 12:26 pm

Irsay isn't on a quest to find Favre, is he?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re big fans of Colts owner Jim Irsay’s Twitter updates* because he’s either tweeting the lyrics to deep track Pink Floyd songs, occasionally breaking news, or reassuring his team’s fans about Peyton Manning’s neck.

*Of course, we are. We named him No. 4 among our favorite NFL tweeters last year.

He’s a bit of jokester on Twitter, which is why we’re assuming (hoping?) that he was kidding when he tweeted this on Sunday, “I'm in Mississippi,down at the crossroads....looking 4 that deal Mr. Johnson cut so many years ago....I'm in Hattiesburg...is it right or left at the Firechief?”

J. Irsay screenshot 1

J. Irsay screenshot 2

OK, some clarification. Hattiesburg, Miss., is the home of an old-time gun-slinging QB you might have heard about named Brett Favre, who insists that he’s retired. Considering we don’t know when Peyton Manning -- who had offseason neck surgery and hasn’t practiced yet this preseason -- will return to action and considering it’d be hard to stomach either Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky starting the Colts season opener, Irsay and the Colts might be in a tight spot if Manning can’t play.

Hopefully, though, Irsay is only pretending to seek out Favre to take over for Manning.

Moving the joke along a little further is Irsay’s reference to “Mr. Johnson” cutting a deal. If you’re in need of a rock history lesson, Irsay is referring to Robert Johnson, the old blues guitarist who supposedly sold the devil his soul at a Mississippi crossroad so he could be a master guitar player. So, in effect, Irsay is saying he’s selling his soul to the devil in order to obtain Favre’s services.

I didn't think about it at the time, but one of my editors pointed out that the "Brad" in Irsay's second tweet might be refering to Brad Childress, a former Colts assistant coach who, as you know, was Favre's final head coach in Minnesota.

Good stuff. But for now, we’ll just assume he’s kidding and move on with the rest of our day. Unless Favre, like the devil, is going to put us through eternal hell and keep returning to play.

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Posted on: August 20, 2011 9:19 pm

Jason Campbell knocked out of Raiders game

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Starting Raiders QB Jason Campbell has been knocked out of the team’s preseason game against the 49ers.

As the pocket collapsed around him in the second quarter, Campbell ran to his left, fumbled the ball (without anyone touching him), and took the sack from 49ers DE Justin Smith (LB Ahmad Brooks then smacked him across the left shoulder or the head when Campbell was on his way to the turf).

Campbell walked off the field with the Raiders trainers by his side, and he’s been replaced by Trent Edwards. No word yet on Campbell’s condition.

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