Tag:2011 NFL Training Camps
Posted on: August 2, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2011 7:13 pm

Andre Johnson dislocates finger, leaves practice

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE via the AP (6:15 p.m.): Houston Texans All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson will miss "a day or two" of practice after dislocating his left index finger in a morning workout, according to coach Gary Kubiak.

Johnson wore a bandage on his finger as he watched the Tuesday afternoon walk-through from the sideline. Kubiak said Johnson went to the hospital, but "is going to be OK."

Things have been going pretty, pretty, pre-tah well for the Houston Texans. They grabbed Wade Phillips to revamp their defense in the offseason and then shored up their secondary with free agents Johnathan Joseph and Danieal Manning. They look poised to make the leap into the playoffs. Perhaps things were going too well.

Fortunately, we have the solution: an Andre Johnson dislocated finger!

Per our own Pete Prisco (currently at Texans training camp), Johnson left the field on a cart -- Steph Stradley of the Houston Chronicle also points out that Johnson wasn't "carted off" per se, in as much that it means "suffered a devastating injury" -- and the Texans have since informed folks that Johnson dislocated his finger.

"He dislocated his finger in a one-on-one drill this morning and we’re getting it looked at, so hopefully he’s back here this afternoon," head coach Gary Kubiak said at the post-practice press conference. "We’ll have to wait and see.  I wasn’t at the drill so I just got the information. 

"I have a big lump in my throat like everybody else, but hopefully he’ll be fine."

Said finger has also been popped back in, which not only inspires "ew" but also a Googling of a classic "Lethal Weapon" scene.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: August 8, 2011 6:24 am

Five teams interested in Osi Umenyiora trade?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Giants gave Osi Umenyiora's permission to seek a trade recently. There's just one problem: New York wants a first-rounder in return for Osi, which might make it kind of tough to move him.

Still, there's interest in the defensive end -- Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that there are five teams that have "expressed some level of interest" in acquiring Osi's services.

Those teams? The Ravens, Rams, Chargers, Seahawks, and Broncos.

The Rams are a logical fit because their head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, once worked with Umenyiora when he was the defensive coordinator for the Giants. (They had a little success there too, if you recall Super Bowl XLII.)

And Ravens fans wouldn't be upset with Osi either -- in an informal poll by our friend Bob Haynie of 105.7 the Fan in Baltimore shows nearly half of the folks asked would be willing to give up a No. 1 for Umenyiora.

Don't count on anyone doing that, though, because first-round picks just recently got a significant bump in value thanks to the new CBA rules. They're no longer the big-money risks that they once were, and giving up a first rounder for a guy who's going to demand a new contract once he lands in a new situation isn't an ideal scenario.

Indeed, Osi's agent, Tony Agone, told CBSSports.com's Clark Judge on Tuesday morning that he finds the notion of being forced to get a first-rounder in return a "rather dubious situation."

Still, Osi's a relatively young (29) and highly-talented defensive end who holds not just the Giants record for most sacks in a game (six) but also the NFL record for most forced fumbles in a season (10). He's made two Pro Bowls and he's helped anchor a Super-Bowl winning defensive line.

There's a market for him, but the Giants are going to need to lower their asking price -- perhaps a second- or third-round pick? -- before he gets moved.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 9:29 am
Edited on: August 2, 2011 11:49 am

Orton running away with Broncos QB competition

Posted by Will Brinson

All offseason long, two things about the Broncos have been assumed. One, that Kyle Orton will be traded at some point. And two, that Tim Tebow will just take over and run the Denver offense and succeed like he did at Florida.

OK, we didn't all assume that -- some of us knew John Fox wouldn't want a youngster like Tebow running his offense. But Denver seemed headed in that direction anyway.

One problem: Tebow's getting absolutely torched by Orton thus far in camp.

Like, to the point where Orton is the only guy getting reps with the No. 1 offense, according to the Denver Post's Mike Klis.

"[Tebow] and Brady Quinn are neck and neck in the battle for the No. 2 quarterback spot," Klis wrote Monday.
Orton's Offseason

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, also dispatched to Denver's camp, writes that Orton has "clearly separated himself" from Tebow and Quinn, though he notes that it's not out of the realm of possibility that Tebow could still wind up starting.

And it's not -- Denver has a lot invested in him, would probably like to see him succeed (or at least succeed enough to trade him), and clearly doesn't see Orton as the answer (given that they put him on the block).

But as I said a few weeks ago, this is a Fox-run team and expecting to see Tebow take over for a vet like Orton is kind of a long-shot.

Especially when there's such a clear-cut talent discrepancy between the two on the field.

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Posted on: August 1, 2011 6:09 pm

Lewis: A.J. Green 'an upgrade' over Ochocinco, TO

Posted by Will Brinson

A.J. Green is, without question, a very talented football player. But is he going to make an immediate impact? And is he an upgrade over Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens already?

According to Marvin Lewis, yes, yes he is.

"He showed his physical prowess out there today," Lewis said, per Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. "He's an upgrade … we're improved athletically."

That's a pretty bold statement because, for all of their shenanigans, Ocho and Owens are pretty talented receivers.

And it probably needs to be taken with a grain of salt since it's coming from one of the guys who helped make the decision not to retain the pair.

But it also warrants mentioning that Hobson, who covers the Bengals for thet team, was pretty impressed as well.

"[Lewis] is like everyone else down here at camp raving about No. 1 pick A.J. Green," Hobson writes. "He catches everything, no one's covered him, and when he is, he jumps up and takes it away."

And, just to had fuel to the fire is safety Chris Crocker, who was the victim on one of Green's catches, when, according to Hobson, Green "launched himself over [Crocker] to make one of those "wow" catches where you can hear him snap the ball like some amphibian at the top of his jump."

"He's in the upper echelon right now, I'd say," said Crocker.

So, yeah, lots of bold praise for the rookie early in camp. There's a good chance he lives up to said praise. And, without question, he has the talent to become a great wide receiver. The only issue is that -- for now -- he's going to be catching balls from either Andy Dalton or Bruce Gradkowski.

Even Ocho and Owens didn't have to overcome that last year.

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:10 pm

Kreutz, Bears break up for good

KreutzPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, we told you about the difference in opinion between the Bears and longtime Chicago C Olin Kreutz about how much he was worth. The Bears had offered him a one-year, $4 million deal. Kreutz wanted $4.5 million, and if possible, a longer term than just one season.

Ultimately, with the signing of former Seahawks C Chris Spencer (which you could see right here in our free agent tracker!!!), the Bears made their decision, saying goodbye to Kreutz and possibly upsetting the chemistry of the locker room.

After the decision, GM Jerry Angelo called it “disappointing,” but he also said it wasn’t only about the half-million dollar difference.

“It goes beyond ($500,000),” Angelo said. “There’s more to it than just the dollar signs. It’s a big puzzle and you just can’t focus on one piece. It doesn’t work that way. It has to come together and we have a lot of things happening at a very fast pace. We didn’t have two months to draw things out, to be patient. We have to move now.”

There was also some speculation earlier about how the decision to send Kreutz on his way might be a rift between the coaching staff – which apparently loves Kreutz -- and the front office.

Reese, though, didn’t like hearing about that theory.

“I resent the fact that something was written that said there is a divide,” Angelo said. “Regardless of what anybody says, that’s not true. That’s a lie and it’s fabricated and I resented that when I read that. That to me was dirty pool. We talk about everything. Do we agree on everything? Absolutely not. You don’t agree on everything with your wife. How I’m going to agree with 18 coaches and 15 scouts? It doesn’t work that way.

“But at the end of the day, we’ve got to make a decision and we all agree on one thing, once we make a decision, we’re all for it. We’re going to make it work. That’s what teams do. So we talk through it. Very difficult. Things were said. We weighed them. We did the best. We had an offer. We bumped our offer. We did the very best we could. So now we’re going to just let t he chips fall where they may and we’re going to move forward.”

This might end up leading to Kreutz -- who’s been in the league for 13 years, all with the Bears, and is a six-time Pro Bowler -- possibly ending his career.

“Jerry has been good to me too. He’s given me a lot of money and I’ve been there a long time,” Kreutz told the Tribune in this story. “It felt like maybe it was time to move on. I just got that feeling. If I was right, if I was wrong, if the offer was fair. I have enough money. So the offer wasn’t a big hurdle for me. It was a feel I had, just maybe they wanted to move on no matter what the offer was.

“At this point in my career, the offer of money is not a big deal to me. It’s just a feel I had. I don’t want to taint anyone. Both sides have won since I’ve been here. I’ve won. They’ve treated me good. They’ve given me everything I’ve asked for and I think I’ve played my ass off for them.”

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2011 1:42 pm

Tarvaris Jackson zooms to top of QB depth chart

JacksonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

When the Seahawks lost touch with QB Matt Hasselbeck and decided instead to bring in Tarvaris Jackson, it made sense that he would battle with backup Charlie Whitehurst and then eventually beat him out for the starting spot.

Except Jackson doesn’t have to worry about the competition any more. At least for now. Seattle coach Pete Carroll announced Saturday morning that the No. 1 job belongs to Jackson.

Considering Jackson is well-versed with former Minnesota offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who now runs the Seahawks offense, that’s a big advantage Jackson holds over Whitehurst (there’s also the matter that Jackson has started 20 games in his career, as opposed to Whitehurst’s two).

"In this situation, to make it the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now," Carroll told reporters, via Rapid Reporter John Boyle, writing for the Everett Daily Herald. "He comes in as our starter, he’s going to own that position until Charlie and the next couple of fellows at that spot get a chance to catch up, and then the competition will begin from their end.

“Things changed during this offseason ... The more we saw it coming, the more we realized we needed continuity and we needed continuity we could generate in a very short amount of time, and without question as a staff across the board, we realized that because of our background in our offense with Tom and Darrell coming together, if we could capture Tarvaris into this thing, who has been with Darrell for five years, we could hit it running full speed.”

That’s not to say, though, that Whitehurst couldn’t compete and then take the starting job away from Jackson.

“This is just a competitive decision because of the timeframe that we’re dealing with,” Carroll said. “It’s strictly that. This is not the purely competitive situation I would like it to be, but the other side of it, I think that to compete for our team, this is the right thing to do. So that overrides the individual. Charlie, as soon as he can get caught up, then I can say, ‘Charlie, the competition is dead on, let’s go. Let’s see where you sit with us.’”

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:59 pm

Nearly a dozen Ravens felled by minor injuries

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Oh, so this is what happens when a lockout ruins all of your offseason workout plans and you have to start compressing an entire pre-2011 schedule into late July and early August. You get hurt and you get cramps, and you can certainly expect to hear more about this.

According to the Baltimore Sun, 11 Ravens players suffered minor injuries at practice today during the first day of training camp.

At least seven players went down with cramps, including rookie WR Torrey Smith, while OT Eric Vanden Heuval and LB Jason Phillips had to be carted off the field.

Meanwhile, LB Terrell Suggs, who wore a wrap around his right hamstring, did not practice. Neither did S Ed Reed, who is dealing with a family situation and could report to camp by Saturday.

So yeah, not a great start to the actual NFL season for the Ravens.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:12 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:54 pm

Michael Crabtree out 4-6 weeks; put on PUP list

CrabtreePosted by Josh Katzowitz

While the Bengals were plotting with the Patriots to trade Chad Ochocinco, the 49ers also apparently were in the hunt, and the Sacramento Bee had a good reason why.

It’s because WR Michael Crabtree’s foot is hurt worse than expected, and the paper’s sources say he’ll miss four to six weeks of training camp and the preseason. He'll be placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list.

The foot originally caused him to sit out a few offseason workouts with his team. From that story, the injury didn’t seem like a big deal.
Apparently, the cause of his injury is because the cleats he wore Monday were too new and he hadn’t broken them in yet, a problem compounded by the Fieldturf at San Jose State.

“Everybody's good. Crabtree's all right," WR Josh Morgan told the San Jose Mercury News. "His feelings aren't hurt. Nothing wrong with him. Just his feet were too sore to come out here. That's all it is."

In retrospect, the old “hey, it’s just his new shoes” excuse is pretty flimsy.

Either way, this continues a pretty awful offseason for Crabtree (you'll remember that he dissed QB Alex Smith at one point) -- who, so far, has had a pretty unimpressive career as a first-round pick. Perhaps one reason for that is because Crabtree is never around in the preseason.

In his rookie season, he sat out 71 days during a contract dispute, and last season, he missed all four preseason games after injuring his neck during practice.

Now, without Crabtree or Ochocinco, Morgan becomes Smith’s No. 1 target for the time being.

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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