Tag:Andre Johnson
Posted on: June 28, 2011 10:16 am
Edited on: June 28, 2011 10:54 am

Finnegan does something nice

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Yes, Titans CB Cortland Finnegan can be a bit of a jerk-face. Which is why the normally reserved Texans WR Andre Johnson went after him last year with fists flying and why Finnegan is generally regarded as one of the dirtiest players in the league.

But kudos to Finnegan in this case. He’s gotten to know a high-school volleyball player named Kelsey Towns, who developed a rare form of cancer. The first time they met -- when Finnegan and Titans DB Ryan Mouton were visiting a hospital -- Finnegan and Towns hit it off.

So much so that Finnegan and his wife made their newborn daughter’s middle name Kelsey in honor of Towns, who’s been in remission for the past six months and who’s planning on attending Western Kentucky University this fall to study nursing.

"I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world -- besides my wife," Finnegan told News Channel 5 in Nashville. "She lit my day up with her smile. And the rest is history."

Nice story about a guy who’s maybe not such a jerk-face after all.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 8:40 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 12:51 pm

Cortland Finnegan latest to question new NFL rule

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan is annually considered one of the league's dirtiest players. In 2010, he was fined $40,000 for various forms of unnecessary roughness, including $25,000 after he and Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson staged an impromptu, mid-game throwdown.

Finnegan seems to do most of his talking -- both within the rules and well outside them -- on the field. So maybe it isn't a surprise that he doesn't think Roger Goodell is well-positioned to make decisions regarding player punishments since the commissioner doesn't regularly settle his disputes by going all Neo on adversaries

Specifically, Finnegan tells The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt that Goodell is “A guy who has never played the game.” He said that Goodell doesn't understand the impact of the latest rules on illegal hits.

“You have milliseconds — not even seconds — and it’s not like you try to do it. It just so happens in that split-second you have a chance to tackle a guy and sometimes it happens to be that way,” Finnegan told Wyatt. “Last year having to dive at guys’ knees because you’re not sure … If they duck, and you’re still helmet-to-helmet with them, then it is your fine, it is a penalty on you.

“It has sort of taken the edge of the players who really like the physical play. But I’m not surprised. It’s crazy.”

The "You've never played the game!" talking point is typically the last refuge of the meathead. But whatever you think of Finnegan's style of play (and I think we can all agree any description will be prefaced with synonyms for "dirty"), he has a point. It's the same point Steelers linebacker James Harrison made recently, although he took it a step further than accusing Goodell of never playing football -- he just called the rule makers "idiots."

This probably won't make Finnegan feel any better, but Goodell doesn't make these decisions alone. NFL VP Ray Anderson and former 49ers defensive back Merton Hanks play some part in all this, as does former NFL coach-turned "appeals officer" Ted Cottrell.

Whoever is contributing their two cents to these conversations, the current players are right to question the NFL's motives as well as the rules' effectiveness. The conspiracy theory regarding the former is that the league is making a PR push to show the game is safer so at some point in the future they can argue for an 18-game season. ("We've addressed concussions, now we can play more games. More fun for everybody!")

As for the latter, here's a question no one is asking: does the NFL have the data to support their claim that all these rule changes will increase player safety? Because arbitrarily meting out punishments doesn't magically mean that offending behaviors disappear. If it did, the United States prison system wouldn't be full of small-time drug dealers incarcerated under the mandatory minimum sentences introduced in the 1980s. The law was intended to curb the drug problem and all it did was clog up cells with mostly non-violent offenders. And illegal drugs are still pervasive in this country.

Put differently: it's important to know what effects -- intended and otherwise -- a policy change will have before you implement it. We're all for player safety, it's just not clear if Goodell knows the best way to achieve it.

via PFT

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Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:07 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 12:37 pm

Offseason Checkup: Houston Texans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:

When the Texans beat the Colts 34-24 in the 2010 season-opener, Houston was well on its way to winning the AFC South and the first-ever playoff appearance for the club. Matt Schaub was going to continue emerging as one of the top QBs in the game, Andre Johnson was going to cement his place as the top receiver in the NFL, RB Arian Foster was going to build on his first-game performance (231 yards and four total TDs on 33 carries) and Houston’s secondary was going to be just fine without Dunta Robinson.

That’s what we thought anyway.

Then, the Texans, sitting at 4-2, lost eight of their next nine games to kill their season. Foster still went on to win the rushing title, and Schaub had a pretty good season. But Johnson didn’t have one of his better years (though to be fair, he WAS dealing with a painful ankle injury that he played through), and the secondary, to be kind, was absolutely horrid. Overall, in fact, the defense was terrible. Yet, coach Gary Kubiak has been retained for another season, and the Texans continue to be slightly worse than mediocre.

But something must change …

New defensive system

That something might be new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. While Phillips’ reign as Cowboys head coach ended in disaster in the middle of last season, he’s still well-respected as a defensive coordinator. In 2011, though, he’s got a big job in front of him.

1. Um, the secondary
Yes, the Texans will need to rethink their entire defensive back roster, because it repeatedly got torched last season. After saying goodbye to Robinson, who went on to a so-so season with the Falcons, the secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.

2. Nose Tackle
Houston hasn’t had to worry much about this position in the past because of the 4-3 scheme it used to play, but now that the Texans will go to the 3-4, they need to find a massive NT to eat up blockers and allow his linebackers behind him to make plays. Maybe Shaun Cody is that guy, but he might not be good enough and he certainly hasn’t been an impact player thus far in his career.

3. Second Wide Receiver
It looked for a time like Kevin Walter might be that guy, but he was little more than solid last year. Jacoby Jones is fine on kickoff returns, but he drops the ball too much as a receiver. Though the Texans obviously have much bigger problems, it wouldn’t be a huge shock if the Texans went after Julio Jones in the first round of the draft.

It’s hard to be confident that a Kubiak-led team will ever make the playoffs, but the Texans better accomplish that this year if they want to keep him around. Defense, like we’ve pounded in your head over and over in this checkup, is the true test, and there is plenty of talent in the front seven on that side of the ball. If Phillips can help get that unit in gear, the AFC South is ripe for the taking.

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 9:58 pm

Finnegan vows to change bad-boy ways

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Titans CB Cortland Finnegan isn’t one of the most popular guys in the NFL.

He’s the one who got into a knockdown, drag-out fight with calm-minded Texans star WR Andre Johnson (video below), though his former coach, Jeff Fisher, defended Finnegan afterward.

This didn’t receive nearly the attention the Johnson brouhaha did, but Finnegan also got into it last year with Broncos lineman Chris Kuper (which led Kyle Orton to call Finnegan “ridiculous”).

Basically, Finnegan is generally regarded as one of the dirtiest players in the NFL (if not, THE dirtiest).

Now, Finnegan says he needs to change his persona.

“It’s the last year of my contract and I’ve got to be on my `ones and twos,’” Finnegan told the Tennessean after a voluntary Titans workout at a local high school. “A leader needs to step up for this team. I feel like last year, due to certain circumstances, I wasn’t that guy. So I need to be that way now – to the reporters, to everyone, man. I need to be more accountable.”

Finnegan said there was no catalyst to why he figured he needed to change. Just felt like it was time, I suppose.

“For whatever reason, sometimes we can get selfish, and sometimes humility and talking to the right people (who have that) is good,” Finnegan said. “So I apologize to the media and all of that. I just need to be ready for the good times and the bad times.”

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Posted on: January 1, 2011 11:48 am

Injury Report analysis Part I

Posted by Andy Benoit

Because a handful of teams have nothing to play for in Week 17, deciphering the injury report can be a very inexact – and, frankly, pointless – science. Thus, we’ll only bother analyzing the injury reports from games that carry playoff implications.

Bengals @ Ravens

Chad Ochocinco is once again out with an ankle. Have we already seen his last game as a Bengal? TE Jermaine Gresham is doubtful with a knee. Cornerback Jonathan Joseph, who has missed five games this season, is fighting an ankle.

The Ravens will be without LB Tavares Gooden (shoulder). Gooden is a nice athlete with iffy on-field awareness. TE Todd Heap is questionable with a thigh injury; fortunately Baltimore has plenty of depth at his position.

Steelers @ Browns

Pittsburgh has been hoping all season that DE Aaron Smith can return from his October triceps injury. He has resumed workouts but isn’t ready to play in Week 17. A win would give the Steelers a bye and, ostensibly, a greater chance at getting Smith on the field in their first playoff game. Same concept applies to SS Troy Polamalu, who has missed the past few weeks with an Achilles injury. Polamalu may actually not need the bye, though. He was a full participant in practice this week and is listed as questionable.

Browns RB Peyton Hillis did not practice and is questionable with a ribs injury. DL Shaun Rogers has missed the last two games and is questionable with an ankle. DE Kenyon Coleman is also questionable (kM. Jones-Drew (US Presswire)nee).

Jaguars @ Texans

This injury report might as well read “Jacksonville’s playoff hopes tarnished”. QB David Garrard is out for the season after surgery to repair ligament damage in his right middle finger. RB Maurice Jones-Drew is once again on the shelf with a knee. He’ll need surgery after the season, as well. TE Zach Miller is out with a concussion. SS Courtney Green continues to be hampered by a shoulder. The Jags D has been gashed with Green’s backup, Sean Considine, filling in.

Fantasy owners take note: the Texans will be without superstar WR Andre Johnson.

Titans @ Colts

Tennessee’s entire roster is questionable with a heart issue. Aside from that, everyone is healthy.

Injuries have defined Indy’s season. The only major change on the injury front this week is that LB Clint Session (elbow) might finally return.

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Posted on: December 31, 2010 5:34 pm

Andre Johnson to have ankle surgery

A. Johnson will have ankle surgery next week. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You have to applaud his heart and pain tolerance level, and you have to admire his loyalty to his team. But sometimes (much of the time?) playing through injuries only makes them worse.

Which is why Texans WR Andre Johnson will have to undergo ankle surgery next week in the first week of Houston’s offseason.

“Because I kept playing on it, some things like loose particles developed in there, and now I’m going to get them cleaned out,” Johnson said, via the Houston Chronicle.

Johnson will have missed the past three games of the 2010 season, and though he didn’t have his most brilliant year, he still managed 86 catches for 1,216 yards and eight touchdowns in yet another Pro Bowl season.

“The biggest thing was just being smart about the situation,” Johnson said. “The best thing I felt was for me not to be out there to have something else bad happen or me re-injure the ankle like I’ve been doing the whole season.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: December 29, 2010 12:33 pm

Hot Routes 12.29.10: Doing good deeds

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

- Ever wonder what happens to all the pink wristbands, gloves, cleats and towels that NFL players use during the month of October to raise awareness about breast cancer? The answer is, they’re auctioned off as part of the league’s A Crucial Catch breast cancer awareness campaign. On Tuesday, the NFL announced that the program raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

- It wouldn’t be surprising if all Bengals fans wanted to take their team to court for the way it’s played this season. One person actually is, though for alleged injuries. My man, Kimball Perry, writing for the Cincinnati Enquirer, details the lawsuit filed by Rebecca Dunn for injuries suffered in the stands during a 2009 contest.

- Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio thinks Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio has done a damn good job this season.

- The Buccaneers coaching staff has to feel a little unsettled. That’s because most of the assistants don’t have a contract for next season. Blame the potential 2011 lockout.

-  Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth, snubbed for the Pro Bowl despite winning the fan vote, can’t help but wonder if where a player was selected in the NFL Draft has an impact on his Pro Bowl status, even many years later.

- It seems unlikely Texans WR Andre Johnson will play in the Pro Bowl. Maybe Whitworth can take his spot at wide receiver.

- The Green Bay Press Gazette doesn’t think Packers T Chad Clifton and CB Charles Woodson should have been given Pro Bowl berths.

- Forbes.com writes Redskins owner Daniel Snyder should use a potential lockout as a chance to do some spring cleaning. And hire Bill Parcells.

- The San Diego Union Tribune thinks the Chargers should re-sign WR Vincent Jackson. That would probably be a popular sentiment in San Diego.

- What happened to Cardinals WR Steve Breaston, why isn’t he playing and what is his future in Arizona?

- David Garrard will have surgery on his finger Thursday and won't play in Jacksonville's game Sunday.

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Posted on: December 26, 2010 3:08 pm

Andre Johnson inactive for Texans Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

The Texans Andre Johnson is officially listed as inactive for Sunday's game at Denver.

Johnson traveled with the team and was expected to test out his injured ankle on the field before the game -- clearly any work he did on the ankle didn't go so well as the wide receiver won't play against the Broncos.

Johnson, who has 1,216 receiving yards on the season, seemed like a good bet to become just the eight player in NFL history with 1,300 receiving yards or more in three straight years.

That milestone is still within reach if Johnson plays, but it seems very unlikely that Johnson can become the first receiver in NFL history to record three-straight 1,500 yard seasons now. He and Marvin Harrison are the only two players to record back-to-back seasons over the marker and unless Johnson returns in Week 17 and posts nearly 300 yards, he'll fall short.

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