Tag:Jason Babin
Posted on: May 27, 2011 1:06 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 1:32 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.27.11: Black bears beware!



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • If there is no new labor deal by July 15, the Bengals won’t hold their training camp in Georgetown, Ky. – the club’s regular preseason spot. Which means no more daily jaunts to the local Ruby Tuesday for players and scribes (to be fair, it IS a 30-second walk from the Fairfield Inn).
  • How many people have been tending to the gravesite for legendary coach Vince Lombardi for the past 25 years? Apparently, more than one. And they didn’t know about each other.

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

Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Tennessee Titans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



The Titans are in need of an overhaul, which is exactly what they’ll be getting this year (whether they want it or not). Long-time coach Jeff Fisher is gone, replaced by his former OL coach, Mike Munchak. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is gone, replaced by Jerry Gray.

So is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, replaced by Chris Palmer. So is QB Vince Young, replaced by, um, who exactly?

You might have forgotten this, but at one point last season, Tennessee was 5-2. Then, the Titans lost eight of their final nine games of the season to finish the season on a disastrous note. A note that signified that the organization needs a makeover and fast.




New coaching staff

The end of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee was awfully strange. Though it seemed like owner Bud Adams thought about picking Young over Fisher, he actually didn’t. He wanted Fisher to stay, and Fisher agreed to return. Until he didn’t, changing his mind and resigning his position. Which means that the Titans are going through a wholesale change, and considering the lockout is preventing the staff from meeting with the players, Tennessee will have a tough time catching up.

One of the biggest losses to the team, though, was when DL coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia. Jason Babin – who made his first Pro Bowl last season – was really upset with the transition, because he knows how much Washburn tutored him. Washburn also helped develop Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antwan Odom, and his loss will be felt, especially if Babin leaves via free agency.




1. Quarterback
Young is gone, and though he compiled a 26-13 record and two Pro Bowl appearances in his five seasons with the Titans, a clean break from the organization clearly was needed. So, who to replace him? Kerry Collins, but he’s 38 years old. Rusty Smith, but he’ll be a second-year player with only one start of experience. So, where do you go next? Backup Brett Ratliff? I don’t think so.

2. Interior Offensive Line
LG Leroy Harris and C Eugene Amano struggled last season – one reason RB Chris Johnson’s numbers weren’t as good as he expected. Harris is still young, so the Titans might continue to use him, but Johnson might be appreciative if the Tennessee played somebody else at LG and C. RG Jake Scott, meanwhile, is solid and dependable.

3. Defensive Tackle
When the Titans talked about trading back for Albert Haynesworth last season, you know they were desperate for another DT. Thus, the Titans have to be loving the recent supposed drop in value of Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Although the undersized Jason Jones is quite a strong player at one DT spot, Fairley could add big talent to the defensive line if he’s still available for the Titans to draft at No. 8.




Is there optimism for the Titans next season? I don’t see how. Not after they lost their quarterback and then hired a head coach who’s never even been a coordinator to lead the team. Munchak, a pro football Hall of Famer because of his playing skills, is well-respected inside the game, but it might take a year or two to turn around the organization that, let’s face it, was left in total disarray.

And while we can say the AFC South isn’t necessarily going to be dominated by the Colts next season, I’d put the Jaguars and Texans ahead of Tennessee in the race for the division crown. By far.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed
Posted on: February 26, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 2.26.11: I cry for Keisel's beard



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks the previous injuries suffered by former Colts S Bob Sanders were fluky and he doesn’t judge them to be a current problem. That's good news for the free agent Sanders.
  • I’ve been meaning to mention this for a couple days, but Adam Jones – you know him better as Pacman – got probation for his role in the 2007 Las Vegas melee.
  • Titans DE Jason Babin and the Tennessee organization haven’t spoken recently. Sounds like the Titans want to wait until a new CBA is finalized before they think about a new deal with the Pro Bowler.
  • Apparently, if Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara is available for the Lions with the No. 13 pick, they’d be happy to take him. If not, it’s not expected Detroit will take another CB instead.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: February 21, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2011 12:10 pm
 

Hot Routes 2.21.11: Quite a ride for Packers fans



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Titans DE Jason Babin explains why players don’t exactly love the franchise tag. “Everyone will say, 'How could you (not want) $12 million or whatever it is for a franchised defensive end?' But it's not as simple as that, unfortunately. Nothing in the NFL is simple,” Babin told the Tennessean.
  • The Jets reportedly will place their non-football employees on furlough if a new CBA isn’t reached by March 4. For every month there’s no agreement, those employees would have to take a week of unpaid leave. If no games are lost in 2011, though, the team would reimburse those employees.
  • Here’s CBSSports.com’s own Mike Freeman’s take on how the sports unions could be affected by what happens in Wisconsin.
  • Browns KR Joshua Cribbs is learning that the price of a friendship with LeBron James was perhaps more expensive than he thought. At least, in terms of suffering through not-nice comments to his Twitter feed.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: January 27, 2011 8:32 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 9:29 pm
 

Even more thoughts on Fisher

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here are some Fisher follow-up thoughts:

-  Just got finished doing Toronto radio, and host Bryan Hayes asked me about what Fisher will do this year. The more I talked while answering the question, the more it made sense that Fisher will not work at all.

There’s absolutely no reason for him to go to Philadelphia as the Eagles defensive coordinator, and as Foxsports.com is reporting, Fisher is going to get $8 million in 2011 not to coach Tennessee (though the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt says that number is greatly exaggerated and that the real buyout is maybe half that). At this point, why not just play golf and let your money grow in a safe investment strategy? Take a year off to recharge the batteries and see what's available in 2012.

- How in demand is Fisher going to be in 2012? Let’s see, an experienced, well-respected head coach and a guy who’s taken his team to the Super Bowl. I’d say pretty in demand.

If this year was the year of coordinators getting head coaching jobs (Ron Rivera in Carolina, Pat Shurmur in Cleveland, Hue Jackson in Oakland), 2012 could be the return of coaching big-wigs (Fisher, Jon Gruden, maybe Bill Cowher).

For teams that will have coaches on the hot seat – I’m looking at you Miami, Cincinnati, Houston, Jacksonville and San Diego – they could have a nice roster of potential new hires (if they’re willing to shell out the money, of course).

- Some player reaction has begun to filter in, including this wonderful quote from DE Jason Babin, who was upset when defensive line coach Jim Washburn left and who sent Rapid Reporter Bob McClellan this text message from the Pro Bowl in Hawaii:

 “It broke my heart when ‘Wash(burn)’ left and now they just poured salt on it. I’m going to miss that mullet.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: November 5, 2010 3:41 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2010 4:07 pm
 

An abundance of fines in NFL Friday

Posted by Andy Benoit

There were no major injuries from illegal hits last week, but that doesn’t make said hits any less illegal. Thus, James Harrison was not the only player who drew a fine after Week 8. Sorting through the various tweets that have been rolling out this Friday afternoon, here are other players who received a letter from the NFL, requesting (demanding) a charitable donation:

Jason Babin, DE, Titans $20,000 (hit on Philip Rivers; repeat offender)

Manny Lawson, LB, 49ers $12,500 (hit on Kyle Orton; repeat offender)

Ahmad Brooks, LB, 49ers $10,000 (hit on Kyle Orton; repeat offender)

Chris Clemons, DE, Seahawks $7,500 (unnecessary late hit on Jason Campbell; repeat offender)

Gary Guyton, LB, Patriots $7,500 (hit on Favre)

Myron Pryor, DL, Patriots $7,500 (hit on Favre – the chin shot)

Some of these hits were flagged, some weren’t. Obviously, the NFL didn’t feel any were as egregious as the one Ernie Sims ($50,000 fine) laid on Lavelle Hawkins in Week 7. But the point is becoming clearer and clearer: the NFL is serious about cleaning up the illegal hits.

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

Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: New Faces

L. Tomlinson has been one of the most impressive players in the NFL this season (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some arrived via free agency. Some were left on the garbage pile and only had one or two teams show interest. Some didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to continue playing NFL football. And some were highly-touted rookies who commanded humongous signing bonuses and who have lived up to their end of the bargain.

Today, we spotlight the top-10 players who are performing brilliantly in their first year with a new team. We’re talking about rookies, we’re talking about free agents, we’re talking about those whose careers were left for dead.

All of the following have impacted their new teams in many ways and all have made the front offices who signed them seem clairvoyant in the process (though, in the case of a couple players, the decision to add them wasn’t exactly brain surgery). So, here’s to those who have found a new lease on life (or a new burgeoning career) with their new team.

10. Jason Babin, DE, Titans: The career-high sack total for Babin, a seven-year veteran, was five coming into this season – set in 2006 while in Houston. This year, through eight games, he’s got seven. So, what happened this season, especially after recording just 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year with the Eagles? According to Babin, it’s just been a matter of getting more playing time. OK, if you say so.

9. Colt McCoy, QB, Browns: Aside from any rookie QB not named Sam Bradford, McCoy has done pretty darn well as a first-year signal-caller. He’s only played the past two games for Cleveland, but he’s hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for a touchdown, two picks and a QB rating of 76.5. OK, he’s not great, but he’s been light years ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall. Plus, he’s coming off a win against the Saints.

8. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals: You still have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Owens. He’s the kind of player who, often times, doesn’t put out special effort to knock down a bad pass so the opponent doesn’t pick it (this happened at least twice last week), but he’s also still the kind of player who can rack up a team-leading 45 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns. Ultimately, it was probably the right move for Cincinnati to sign him. In three weeks, though, that might not be the case.

7. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers: Pittsburgh’s first-round pick beat out Justin Hartwig at the beginning of the season for the starting center role, and Pouncey has performed well thus far. He’s really helped glue together a Steelers offensive line that had major questions raised about it coming into the season.N. Suh has begun to dominate the opponent's offensive line for Detroit (Getty).

6. Dez Bryant, WR/PR, Cowboys: One of the bright spots in Dallas this year. We knew Bryant was going to be a good one, and he has not disappointed, catching 29 passes for 349 yards for three touchdowns (Roy Williams, by the way, is 22 for 327 and five, respectively). But he’s been downright electric while fielding kicks, returning two punts for touchdowns and averaging 16.5 yards per punt, second in the NFL for those who have at least 10 returns.

5. Thomas Jones/Ryan Torain/Peyton Hillis, RBs, Chiefs/Redskins/Browns: Yes, I’m cheating a bit here, listing three players in one spot, but that doesn’t take away from how well these guys have played – and how unexpected their production has been. The Jets figured they didn’t need Jones any more, but he’s rushed for 538 yards through seven games with the Chiefs. Torain has replaced Clinton Portis pretty well, and Hillis (460 yards, five touchdowns) has been the biggest surprise at all (he certainly has surprised Denver coach Josh McDaniels, who let go of Hillis after last season).

4. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins: Marshall has typical diva receiver tendencies, but he’s been one of the best players in the league so far this season. After Marshall was traded away from Denver (ahem, McDaniels), he’s done nothing but produce in Miami, ranking fourth in the league with 47 catches for 588 yards. The one disappointing stat: he’s only recorded one touchdown.

3. Earl Thomas (Seahawks)/T.J. Ward/Ndamukong Suh, S/S/DT, Seahawks/Browns/Lion: Sigh, again I’m cheating. But considering all these first-year players are vying for defensive rookie of the year honors, it makes sense to lump them all together. Thomas has proven that he’s one of the most instinctual players in the league with four interceptions, tied for third-best in the NFL. Ward took some heat for the nasty hit he put on Cincinnati’s Jordan Shipley, but his big-hit ability has helped lead him to 60 tackles (fourth-most among safeties). And Suh is living up to his lofty billing, blowing up interior offensive linemen and recording 6.5 sacks. He’s going to be a monster for as long as he steps on the field.

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams: I’m not sure most of us could have expected Bradford, the No. 1 pick from last year’s Draft, to play so well a mere eight games into this pro career. He’s completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,674 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The numbers don’t look fantastic, but you have to take into account his poise and his savvy and the fact he doesn’t have a big-name receiver upon whom he can lean. Plus, he’s got the Rams, one of the worst NFL teams coming into the season, at the 4-4 mark. He has been pretty outstanding. Not bad considering he missed most of last year at Oklahoma with the shoulder injury.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets: Somehow, Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth. It wasn’t in San Diego apparently. Perhaps it was in New Jersey the whole time. On the season, Tomlinson has gained 544 yards and five touchdowns and has taken Shonn Greene’s job away from him. He has been perhaps the most surprising player in the league this year. He’s definitely been the No. 1 new face.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com