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Tag:Tim Tebow
Posted on: September 2, 2010 10:08 am
 

Hot Routes 9.02.10: And so it begins ...

Actually, "it" (meaning NFL football) will begin a week from today. But college football starts tonight and whether or not you love the college game is irrelevant: it's FOOTBALL. Real, live football and it will be quickly followed by the professional game.

It's like Christmas times eleventy billion. Anyway, follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and feel free to suggest links you'd like to see here.
  • Since it's the start of football season (college anyway) and since Jay Cutler won't play tonight against the Browns , I nominate someone to come up with a delicious new drink called the "Todd Collins." Perhaps it could just be a "Tom Collins" with severely aged grapefruit juice?
  • No Dez Bryant on Thursday night, which means he'll make his debut in the regular season. Jerry Jones' excuse : 'he's got some conditioning work to do.'
  • Bob Glauber of Newsday discusses talked with ex-Giant Antonio Pierce, who "just [doesn't] see the energy" in the team this year. He also calls them "just another team" -- what's the deal with former Giants getting television jobs and ripping their old teammates these days?
Posted on: September 1, 2010 11:20 am
 

Hot Routes 9.1.10: September: also elite, I guess

Sorry these are so late (I know, I know, you've had more cups of coffee than Matt Leinart's had trade rumors this morning), but in the interest of NOT making them about Leinart, I tried to dig up some funkier links. Enjoy.

Also, if we do these every morning, you know, so feel free to follow us on twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) and send us links. Either there or via email .
  • John Clayton, whom I actually like quite a lot, has ranked the NFL quarterbacks before we start the season (in eight days - OMFG). He has 14 "elite" quarterbacks (yes, having FOURTEEN does destroy the meaning of the word), 8 members of the "Chad Pennington Division" and 11 in the "Hit/Miss Division." Now, Matt Ryan isn't elite (yet), Brett Favre isn't better than Aaron Rodgers and/or Philip Rivers (right now), and if Matt Moore has a 5 percent chance of being elite, how is he ranked one spot lower than Trent Edwards? There are LOTS of questions on this list.
  • Josh Wilson, the newest Raven after yesterday's trade from the Seahawks, says he "couldn't be happier." Duh -- he's a former  Terp so he's closer to home, and while Jim Harbaugh isn't as enthusiastic as Pete Carroll, his team certainly is better.
  • The Denver Post appears to be having some fun with their new toy, Tim Tebow, page/DEN">Broncos)&utm_content=Google+Reader" target="_blank">using the phrase "rise to top backup" in a headline about the depth chart. Or maybe I'm reading too deeply into it -- let's just say that when he "resurrects the Broncos red zone efforts" then it's officially awkward.
  • LOOK OUT, DALLAS! Here comes Houston, who has sold page/HOU">Texans+Football)&utm_content=Google+Reader" target="_blank">a record number of season tickets . Also, Gary Kubiak thinks that it's their time to win the AFC South .
  • Wade Phillips thinks Tony Romo is "ready." Well, that's good. Actually, I think he may means Romo is ready to "win this division, have a monster statistical year, take us to the Super Bowl and keep my job alive."
  • It's Clinton Portis' birthday today ! I actually didn't realize that until Jamie Mottram pointed out that he has the same bday as Portis which, considering Mottram is a Redskins' fan, is mildly awesome. My "athlete matchups" are Michael Vick, Chad Pennington and Derek Jeter. Lame. Who you got?
Posted on: August 30, 2010 12:08 am
Edited on: August 30, 2010 12:15 am
 

Burning questions revisited

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

D. Dixon didn't do himself any favors Sunday night (US Presswire). Earlier this evening, we presented three burning questions the Steelers and the Broncos would face when they met at Invesco Field. After Denver finished off a 34-17 win, we have a few more answers (which are in bold).

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why? I still don’t know the answer, but I’ll tell you this: Dixon lost any chance he had to be a starter by tossing two interceptions and showing his inexperience and poor decision-making.

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams. He had some good moments against Williams and some bad moments where he allowed the Broncos to penetrate the backfield and get pressure on Dixon. But overall, this is a move that should work out well for Pittsburgh.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight. Of course, he played. No surprise there. He was workmanlike with 28 yards on five carries before calling it a night. But the breakout RB belonged to Steelers rookie Jonathan Dwyer, who recorded 89 yards and a score on just 13 carries while looking strong on one play and fast on the next.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass. Dwyer was awesome tonight, though it came mostly against second and third-stringers. Still, the Broncos allowed 175 rushing yards on the night. Obviously, that’s not what Denver’s coaches wanted.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup. No, he didn’t play. Instead, we saw the return of LenDale White, who actually looked pretty good. He had 34 yards and a score on 12 yards, and if he didn’t have to sit out a four-game suspension to open the season, he’d have a better chance of making the squad.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays. He played, and he threw a god-awful interception. But he also showed a nice touch and good awareness on his 3-yard TD pass to Eric Decker. Either way, he looked more competent than Brady Quinn.

A few more observations:

-There was plenty of talk about how punter Daniel Sepulveda would take Jeff Reed’s job as the kickoff specialist. Well, Sepulveda booted the game-opening kickoff out of bounds for a penalty. One word: ugh.

-James Farrior did his best Eli Manning impression with that cut on his head.

-There was a scary moment for Broncos fans when Kyle Orton tried to deliver a hit on Steelers LB James Harrison after he picked up and ran with an alleged fumble. We’ll say this: it didn’t end well for Orton, who briefly left the game following his tackle. Like I said on Twitter, you don’t want Orton anywhere near Harrison when the latter is returning a possible fumble.

-The Steelers accumulated four personal foul penalties in the first half. That’s pretty ridiculous. Not the sign of a real disciplined team.

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Posted on: August 29, 2010 7:59 pm
 

Burning questions for PIT-DEN game

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s only one game on the NFL preseason docket tonight, which gives us the chance to ask ourselves the three questions we really want answered after the Pittsburgh-Denver matchup is complete.

Steelers

1. What the heck is going on with the starting QB spot? This has been one of my favorite questions all preseason, because much of what the Steelers coaching staff has done hasn’t made sense to me. Like tonight, for example. Byron Leftwich most likely will be the starter once the season begins, but he probably won’t play tonight until the second half when the second-team is going, after Ben Roethlisberger – who, of course, won’t be playing the season-opener – and Dennis Dixon, who should be the starter in place of Roethlisberger, takes their reps. A bonus question: why?

2. How will C Maurkice Pouncey perform against a first-team defensive line? Earlier this week, Pouncey surpassed Justin Hartwig as the starting center, and tonight, he’ll test his wares against a very good nose tackle in Jamal Williams.

3. What’s up with RB Rashard Mendenhall? There have been rumors that Mendenhall suffered a broken arm in practice, but those talks have been debunked by reporters who actually are in the know. He is expected to start tonight.

Broncos

1. Will the run defense stop anybody? Last year, the Broncos ranked 26th in the NFL by allowing 128.7 rushing yards per game. So, after signing a plethora of defensive linemen in the offseason, where has that gotten the Broncos? Dead last in the preseason stats with 171 rushing yards per game. Tonight, Mendenhall will provide the next test for the Broncos defense to pass.

2. Can RB Knowshon Moreno play tonight? It doesn’t sound like it. As the Denver Post reports, Moreno doesn’t look anywhere close to returning, as he’s taking his cuts rather gingerly. The Broncos need him to return to the starting lineup, but it most likely won’t be tonight’s starting lineup.

3. Will Tim Tebow return? Of course, we have to ask this question, no matter how dirty it makes us feel. Pregame reports are saying he was throwing during warmups, so it sounds like he might dress. And if he dresses, there’s a decent chance he plays.

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

Posted on: August 21, 2010 2:34 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2010 2:37 pm
 

Broncos make brilliant move with Orton

Posted by Andy Benoit

Something we tend to overlook is how a player’s contract impacts the rest of the team’s morale. Players like to see their teammates get rewarded. It tells them management cares about the players and gives everyone in the locker room hope that they, too, will get a huge payday if they earn it. K. Orton (US Presswire)

This is why it’s dangerous for the Patriots to drag their feet with Tom Brady or for the Jets to extend the contracts of Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum but not cornerback Darrelle Revis.

On this note, Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post makes an excellent point about the new deal the Broncos gave quarterback Kyle Orton.

Orton, as we all know by now, just signed a one-year contract extension that will pay him $8.8 million in 2011 on top of the $2.62 million he will make this season as the team’s starting quarterback.

Other players were not available for interviews today — typical team policy for the day before games — but I imagine the news of Orton’s extension went over very well.

Not only is Orton a popular guy in the locker room and the unquestioned leader of the offense, it was clear throughout training camp that Orton is, by far, the team’s best quarterback. His teammates noticed, and know that Orton gives the team the best chance to win now. Not to mention that if the quarterback is happy, it certainly helps morale for the rest of the team.
Orton’s extension should also send a message to the rest of the team that players can work and play their way into more money and a longer contract.

Obviously, the Broncos didn’t have to pay Orton. They have his long-term replacement, Tim Tebow, already on the roster. And $8.8 million is a lot of money for a middle-of-the-road passer. But with Orton locked up through 2011, all immediate distractions under center are at least curtailed. And, should Tebow prove to not be ready by next season, the Broncos won’t find themselves negotiating with Orton without any leverage.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 21, 2010 2:31 pm
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Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Preseason games tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

There is a hefty slate of preseason games for Saturday night. It’s only the second exhibition contest for most of these teams, so don’t expect the starters to play past the first half. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. We’ll take a stab at selling each game on tonight’s schedule. Here we go…

Ravens @ Redskins
Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams flashed remarkable athleticism early on against the Bills last week. He’s going up against considerably tougher competition in the blitzing, physical Ravens front seven. How will he perform?

Steelers @ Giants
Ben Roethlisberger makes his preseason debut. It’s surprising that Mike Tomlin chose to debut his controversial star quarterback on the road. After all, this only maximizes the Big Ben distraction. Then again, it’s just preseason, so perhaps Tomlin views the distraction as a valuable learning opportunity for his club. That’s something the young Super Bowl-winning head coach would think about.

Chiefs @ Bucs
Um…hmm…this would be a tough game to sell even during the regular season.

How about this: Chiefs second-round rookie wideout/running back Dexter McCluster has turned some heads in camp. So has Bucs fourth-round rookie wideout Mike Williams. Both should see plenty of action in this game.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
The Jags insist there isn’t a quarterback controversy. But if David Garrard goes out tonight and stinks up the joint, and Luke McCown comes in and has another three-touchdown performance, that tune will be harder to sing.

Rams @ Browns
Everybody loved watching Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy square off in college. Well, here’s your chance to see it on the pro level.

Texans @ Saints
If a photographer can get a good shot of Mario Williams tackling Reggie Bush, we’ll have an excellent excuse for a look-back story on the 2006 NFL Draft. We can even call CBS analyst Charley Casserly and listen to the former Texans G.M. pass up another chance to gloat about proving millions of armchair G.M.’s wrong.

If the Williams-Bush angle doesn’t do it for you, this game features two of the most explosive offenses in football. (New Orleans ranked first in total yards and fourth in passing last season; Houston ranked fourth in total yards and first in passing.) The unofficial over/under for total first half points is 50.

Jets @ Panthers
Watch the game and try to predict which plays will make it on Hard Knocks. (Really clever fans could probably turn this into some form of a drinking or gambling game – or both.)

Raiders @ Bears
Jay Cutler is still getting acquainted with Mike Martz’s offense. If Cutler throws too many picks in this contest, Al Davis might try to sign him to a record-breaking contract.

More seriously, the Bears receivers will have a good opportunity to showcase their progress in the new system. The Raiders run a traditional man-to-man scheme, which helps reveal a receiver’s true raw talent. The Raiders are planning on moving Nnamdi Asomugha around this year; it will be interesting to see which wideout he lines up across from most often, Devin Hester or Johnny Knox.

Cowboys @ Chargers
Is there anything more annoying than a preseason matchup being touted as a possible “Super Bowl preview”?
If the Chargers struggle to move the ball through the air, will that impact the Vincent Jackson trade developments? (Probably not, but the idea is worth floating.)

Lions @ Broncos
Tony Scheffler makes his epic return to Denver…?

Okay, how about Tim Tebow possibly making his first appearance at home? You know if Tebow plays after missing some practice time this week (sore ribs), at least one idiot columnist or radio host will take the opportunity to praise the Florida star’s legendary toughness.


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Posted on: August 19, 2010 10:12 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 10:25 pm
 

Broncos extend Orton; Tebow fans gnash teeth

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

According to various media reports, the Broncos have extended QB Kyle Orton’s contract an extra year through 2011. The extension is for $9 million ($5.5 million of that is guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfor a, and it speaks to the fact the club likes Orton quite a bit.

That might be because backup Brady Quinn was so bad in the first preseason game against the Bengals – he’s been pretty crappy throughout his career, come to think of it –  and Denver simply doesn’t trust him. It might be because nobody is sure what exactly Tim Tebow will become. Or it might simply be because Orton (62.1 percent completed, 3,802 yards, 21 TDs, 12 INTs last year) impressed the Broncos front office in his first season with the team.

I actually like the move quite a bit. I certainly don’t think Orton is the next John Elway, but he’s solid enough, especially in that division – only San Diego’s Philip Rivers is clearly a better QB.

While we wait to see whether Tebow can play QB in this league, the Broncos have a pretty good one in Orton who coach Josh McDaniels can feel comfortable with every week.

UPDATE (10:23 PM ET):
Kyle Orton's statement as released through the team. "This is the place that my wife and I definitely want to be. Considering the labor environment, I'm aware of how difficult it was to get this deal done and am extremely appreciative of all of the hard work and support from [general manager] Brian Xanders and Coach McDaniels during this process. I'm eager to get this season started and will do whatever I can to help this team be successful."

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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