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Tag:Carolina Panthers
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: 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 28, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 4:19 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Wither Trent Edwards?

Dey Took Er Jobs takes a look at the various job controversies around the league. If you don't get the title, you don't watch enough South Park .

Posted by Will Brinson


The Buffalo Bills, probably the most quarterback-desperate team in the NFL over the past 10 or so years, made the surprising decision to cut Trent Edwards yesterday. He is jobless and homeless right now, but -- thank goodness for that Stanford education! -- certainly not unemployable.

Still, don't feel that sorry for him. After all, by 4:00 PM EST today, when the NFL process all the waiver claims on Edwards , he's going to have a new job and it will likely be in a place that is less like Buffalo potentially more productive for his future.

That's the beauty of getting kicked out of Buffalo: the grass is always greener, even once you've been on the other side for 10 years. Of course, if you're Edwards, you have to be disappointed that the gig didn't work out -- after all, he was drafted by the Bills out of Stanford and given plenty of opportunities to win the starting job and resurrect the franchise. Clearly, that didn't happen.

So knowing that he'll end up somewhere, the question becomes "Where does he get his second chance?"

According to the NFL, the teams with the worst record this year will have priority on waiver claims, and assuming that multiple teams with the same record make a claim on Edwards, a tie will be broken "based on current strength-of-schedule of the involved clubs or by lot if a tie still exists."

Let's say that all the 0-3 teams make a claim as well as the Vikings, Seahawks and Jets. The order would be thus: 49ers/Browns (7-2 opponent record), Lions/Bills (6-3), Panthers (5-4), Jaguars (4-5), Vikings (4-5), Jets (6-3) and Seahawks (2-7).

According to Jason LaCanfora , though, "no winless teams" made a claim on Edwards, thereby eliminating six teams from consideration and wasting about 15 minutes of my time, primarily because I'm horribly bad at math.

Out of those teams, the 49ers are most surprising (see below), but, considering that LaCanfora has a knack for being correct and also happens to work for a media outlet owned by the organization who takes the waiver claims in from the teams, it seems that one fo the 26 other squads will be going after the former team captain in Buffalo.

The Vikings haven't been rumored insofar as I can tell but they still make sense, especially if you buy into the theory that Brett Favre might get hurt. (Oh, and the theory that everyone's scared of having to put Tavaris Jackson into the game.)

The Jets are considered a team that would be heavily interested in having Edwards on board -- but probably only to steal secrets from the Bills in anticipation of their upcoming ... HAHAHAHA, sorry. Okay, actually because they'd prefer to have someone more lively than Mark Brunell to step in if Mark Sanchez is injured or falters.

And the Seahawks make absolute sense because Edwards is a cheap third option when should Matt Hasselbeck suffer an injury and they realize that Charlie Whitehurst isn't cut out to run their offense.

***
Why the Niners didn't make a claim is beyond me -- they're a team who needs to find an offensive identity, having been continually perplexed by the inconsistency of Alex Smith, who looked to have "arrived" during a close loss to the Saints in Week 2, only to have "checked out for the duration" against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Oh, and they're the only 0-3 team,

Edwards would provide them an option that's not David Carr to either push or replace Alex Smith. And look, Mike Singletary just fired his offensive coordinator only a few days after publicly defending him and acting outraged that anyone would question whether Raye knew what he was doing (um, he didn't, duh).

Plus, they could've claimed Edwards and Singletary could have done the whole "just for depth" and "Alex is our starter" dance, only to put him in the game after Smith's second interception in the first quarter against the Falcons in Week 4.

***
The Cleveland Browns decision not to pursue Edwards isn't as odd, I suppose, although Jake Delhomme hasn't looked great when he's been healthy, and while Seneca Wallace is a Mike Holmgren favorite, outside of tossing a bomb past an out-of-place Eric Berry, he hasn't been that great (370 yards, two TDs and a pick in two games).

But the decision not to spend a roster spot on adding a potentially gimpy donkey to their stable of already ugly horses is understandable, except that unless Delhomme can stay healthy, Cleveland's one bad break away from putting McCoy under center and really slapping a postage stamp to the season.

***
An argument could be made that the Panthers need to at least make a run at Edwards as well, but he's really nothing more than Matt Moore sans familiarity with the team and coaching staff.

The bigger problem for Carolina might be that John Fox already regrets his blatantly panicked decision to put Jimmy Clausen under center after an 0-2 start that only got uglier in a home loss to Cincinnati.

The good news is that the Saints -- as shown by Atlanta plowing through them in the Bayou -- are vulnerable against the run, and if there's one thing the Panthers should do well, it's pound the rock. They haven't been great about it thus far, but that's because they're staring down stacked boxes on nearly every play as teams refuse to respect whoever's under center.

That could change this weekend -- weather won't be a factor (see: three fumbles by Jim-Jim), and if Clausen can take his progression blinders off, quit staring down his receiver every play, the Panthers could be primed for a "where did that come from oh right it's the matchup" upset. You heard it here first.

***
The Jaguars would actually be an ideal situation, at least for Edwards. He'd face relatively limited competition -- by all accounts, Jack Del Rio wants to replace David Garrard in the starting lineup, he just doesn't have the bodies to do it after Luke McCown went down with an injury ... immediately after replacing David Garrard .

And let's face it, that offensive line has been putrid thus far; putting Todd Bouman, who is either 18 or 45 years old and who has backed up big names like Kyle Boller, Jamie Martin, Gus Frerotte and Quinn Gray en route to being signed by the Jaguars FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES , won't end well.

***
The notion that Ben Roethlisberger might not start when he returns from suspension following the Steelers' bye in Week 5 has been tossed around in the media. Like, kind of a lot.

And Charlie Batch has been very good in replacing Ben, at least, you know, relative to what everyone expected from Charlie Freaking Batch. But let's not lose our minds just because we (read: you) kind of want to see Roethlisberger punished by karma and riding the pine. He's by far and away the best quarterback option for Pittsburgh, and Mike Tomlin is going to start him as soon as he's allowed to.

If the Steelers happen to be undefeated at that point in time, well, watch out NFL.

***
Quickly ...

- Peyton Hillis didn't just put the whole "Eric Mangini hates  Jerome Harrison" conspiracy theory to bed, he shoved about 15 Ambien in its mouth and then wrapped it in a Snuggie.

- Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles, as much as I'd like to think so, aren't in a battle for a job. They're just two running backs with different style co-existing in a system that just so happens to make one of them less valuable. And the less valuable guy just happens to be Charles, who's more talented.

- The only awesome thing about drafting Kevin Kolb in fantasy leagues is that you had to pick up Michael Vick. That's worked out quite well.

- I really thought that Chan Gailey was trying to showcase Marshawn Lynch to increase his trade value. And even if he was, in the process, Lynch has just become the best running back in Buffalo (once again).

- Kevin Smith returns this week and Jahvid Best is injured ... it shouldn't matter, but that's what Wally Pip probably said too.

- Yeah, I'm really pumped about the "Garrett Hartley versus John Carney" lede in this column next week too, thanks for asking.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 11:00 am
Edited on: September 28, 2010 11:56 am
 

2010 records determine waiver order for Edwards

Posted by Will Brinson

Don't laugh, but NFL teams will be lining up for Trent Edwards' services this afternoon, just a few days after the Buffalo Bills decided to release him from their roster . Or, more accurately, they may have already lined up and are shuffling around trying to figure out who might be in front of them for his services.

See, if a player is dumped in the first three weeks of the NFL season, the prior season's records determine the waiver order. If it's after the first three weeks, the current season's records determine the order. Edwards was dumped on Monday, after the third Sunday of the season but not before the entire week was completed.

However, according to the NFL's clarifying statement to Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk , 2010 records will matter in this instance, because Edwards' contract is being awarded on Tuesday (which is today and which is after Week 3, obviously).

A quick glance at the standings reveals a few teams that stink this season, primarily because of quarterback problems: the Panthers, the Jaguars, the 49ers, the Browns and the Lions are all 0-3 and have either a) had a quarterback get injured, b) replaced their starting quarterback for poor performance at some point this season or c) been fooled for the 500th time by Alex Smith playing well in one game.

Oh yes, and the Bills. But it's at least "improbable" that they would release him and then claim him. ("Impossible" seems like a stretch, given the absurdity of releasing him this early in the season without even seeking some sort of trade with a quarterback needy team.)

Also in the mix -- according to Chris Mortensen -- are the Seahawks, Chiefs and Jets, although it seems pretty unlikely that, given their back-of-the-line status, any of those three would have a shot at landing Edwards.

But yeah, Trent Edwards is really popular, which is why it makes absolutely no sense that the Bills just cut him outright.
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.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 5:28 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.25.10 expectations and anticipation

Posted by Andy Benoit

A look at the Nnamdi Asomugha-Larry Fitzgerald matchup.

Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Time Picayune has plenty of interesting stats on Drew Brees and the Saints.

The Vikings are weak inside at center and right guard. How will they handle Ndamukong Suh?

Brandon Marshall skipped his 10-minute session with the media. So, naturally, the media wrote a story about whether the mercurial receive is acting out again.

A name you may want to soon learn is Tony Moeaki. The Chiefs third-round rookie tight end has been turning some heads.

Few players have to battle through injuries – namely knee injuries – the way Kellen Winslow has and does.

Just in case you haven’t heard, Jets safety Eric Smith was fined $7,500 for a hitting Wes Welker in the chops.

The Giants offensive line isn’t quite as old as everyone thinks it is (only center Shaun O’Hara qualifies as someone in his “mid-30s”, and he’s coming off the best three-year stint of his career), but nevertheless, here’s an article about how the line is ignoring whispers about its age and decline.


Some good things have been said about undersized DE Everett Brown this season, but that didn’t stop the Charlotte Observer from writing this headline: “Panthers pass-rush not living up to its billing.” (Of course, if you watched this team on film last season, then projected what things would be like without Julius Peppers, you’d have to say the Panthers are living up – or down – exactly to their billing.)

For some reason a big deal has been made about Andy Reid’s “crucified” quote.


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

Posted on: September 25, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: September 25, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Week 3 injury report & analysis - early games I

Titans @ Giants

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

DE

Jason Babin

ELBOW

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DT

Tony Brown

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

CB

Cortland Finnegan

THIGH

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Jacob Ford

KNEE

OUT

08/15/10

LB

Gerald McRath

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

LB

Chase Blackburn

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

TE

Kevin Boss

CONCUSSION

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Phillip Dillard

HAMSTRING

OUT

09/26/10

S

Michael Johnson

BACK

OUT

09/26/10

WR

Mario Manningham

ILLNESS

PROBABLE

09/26/10

C

Shaun O'Hara

ANKLE, ACHILLES

DOUBTFUL

09/26/10

CB

Aaron Ross

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Justin Tuck

SHOULDER

QUESTIONABLE


Michael Johnson helps the Giants D most by not playing – the guy has really struggled in coverage the past year and a half.
O’Hara’s leadership and grittiness would be sorely missed. His replacement, Adam Koets, is inexperienced, undersized and has spent most of his young career as a backup offensive tackle.

Brown is one of the quickest players off the snap in all of football. Ford brings length and athleticism on the edge as a pass-rusher, though the Titans can live without him. 


B
engals @ Panthers

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

DE

Jonathan Fanene

HAMSTRING

OUT

09/26/10

DT

Tank Johnson

TOE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

CB

Adam Jones

SHOULDER

DOUBTFUL

09/26/10

RB

Brian Leonard

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Antwan Odom

WRIST

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

WR

Terrell Owens

BACK

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Keith Rivers

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Frostee Rucker

TOE

QUESTIONABLE

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

TE

Gary Barnidge

RIBS

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Tyler Brayton

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Charles Johnson

CALF

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

WR

Brandon LaFell

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DT

Louis Leonard

ELBOW

PROBABLE

09/26/10

T

Jeff Otah

KNEE

OUT

09/26/10

LB

Jordan Senn

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Steve Smith

THIGH

PROBABLE

Jones won’t be missed because the Panthers have such poor receiving depth.

Carolina needs Otah in the worst of ways. Even with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the team has just 208 yards rushing on the season. (Of course, it’s not like opponents have had to worry about getting burned through the air by Carolina’s passing attack). Still, Otah is the primary source of run-blocking power on the right side.

Steelers @ Buccaneers 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

QB

Dennis Dixon

KNEE

OUT

09/26/10

NT

Casey Hampton

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

G

Chris Kemoeatu

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

T

Max Starks

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Hines Ward

CALF

PROBABLE

09/03/10

QB

Ben Roethlisberger

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

C

Jeff Faine

CALF

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

QB

Josh Freeman

RIGHT THUMB

PROBABLE

09/26/10

RB

Kareem Huggins

GROIN

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

LB

Niko Koutouvides

ANKLE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

CB

Myron Lewis

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

RB

Carnell Williams

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

TE

Kellen Winslow

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/22/10

DB

Tanard Jackson

Suspension

 

The Bucs are averaging barely over three yards per carry on the ground. Don’t expect them to get anywhere near that amount if Casey Hampton is back. Hampton outweighs center Jeff Faine by at least 60 pounds.


Bills @ Patriots

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

LB

Keith Ellison

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

S

Cary Harris

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

G

Andy Levitre

NECK

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Paul Posluszny

KNEE

OUT

08/20/10

TE

Shawn Nelson

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

QB

Tom Brady

RIGHT SHOULDER

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Taylor Price

ANKLE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

RB

Fred Taylor

TOE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

CB

Terrence Wheatley

FOOT

OUT


Posluszny has been used at outside linebacker early this season, which goes to show how thin the Bills are in their pass-rush. Because of this, expect Buffalo to play a coverage-based defense against the New England offense and focus on stopping the run.

With Wheatley out, struggling corner Darius Butler gets to keep his starting job at least one more week.


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