Tag:2011 NFL Preseason
Posted on: August 13, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Report: Giants offer Osi incentive-laden deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Osi Umenyiora should be back on the practice field with the Giants come Monday. But the soap opera between he and the team isn't quite over yet.

There are still contract discussions to handle but it appears, as our own Clark Judge suggested recently, that the Giants are going to wise up get him some cash for finally coming in.

Unfortunately for Osi, though, it doesn't appear that they're willing to give as much as Clark suggested. Per Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Giants offered Osi a new incentive-laden deal on Friday that features "a range of $400,000 to $1 million in new money" dependent on production and incentives.

LaCanfora does note that Osi still prefers to be traded and has yet to accept any offers from the Giants. According to the report, Osi would need to finish in the top 10 of several defensive categories and time spent on the field.

Clearly, the requirements for those incentive clauses are going to primarily dictate whether or not Osi accepts the contract.

If he has to finish in the top 10 for sacks and forced fumbles while playing 10 games to unlock $1 million (and there aren't any poison-pill clauses in the deal), he might take it. Or at least consider taking it.

But unless it's good, don't be shocked if he passes and keeps pushing for a deal somewhere or a new, long-term deal. After all, there still plenty of teams that might be interested in Osi if the Giants actually drop their asking price. Meaning: the drama might not be over just quite yet.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 10:59 am
Edited on: August 13, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Dalton's first start 'wasn't a total debacle'

Posted by Will Brinson

Andy Dalton took his first in-game snaps as an NFL quarterback on Friday night, and things did not go as well as Ryan and I predicted they might in our recent AFC North preview.

In fact, they went quite poorly -- Dalton (under)threw a terrible interception on his first pass of the night, managed to have Ndamukong Suh -- literally -- pop his helmet off, and generally looked lost despite finishing with an 11-for-15 line that produced 69 yards.

But, hey, Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said it wasn't a "total debacle" for the rook!

"The game wasn’t a total debacle on his part," Gruden said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "He can get better as can everyone else. The good thing is there isn’t anyone that can say 'Hey, I'm awesome.' Everybody can say they have a lot of improvement to do."

Gruden also pointed out that Cincy's offense "has a long way to go" and pointed to the early interception as the team trying "to take a shot to A.J. [Green]" only to have Suh storm up the middle and pressure Dalton.

Said pressure might have been mitigated by waiting a little while for said shot, but, hey, whatever. He's the boss. (Well, not the boss. The boss is the guy who refuses to trade Carson Palmer and try to help Dalton down the line. But you get the point.)

And it's the first preseason game for the Bengals in a shortened year, and the first start in Dalton's career. So the "everyone has lots of improvement" argument does hold some water.

However, when you start throwing around the phrase "wasn't a total debacle" it makes you kind of sound like General Custer's publicist or something.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 8:48 am
Edited on: August 13, 2011 9:02 pm
 

Verdict in on Falcons Julio Jones: 'Outstanding'

Posted by Will Brinson

The Falcons made a bold move on draft day when they jumped 21 spots -- in a massive deal with Cleveland -- to land Julio Jones out of Alabama. At the time, we wrote that he "better be a home run" to justify the move, and we still stand by that.

Fortunately, the early results are in and Jones looks like a pretty solid draft pick for Atlanta. Granted, Friday night's loss against Miami was only one game of the preseason, but he drew some nice compliments from usually reserved Falcons coach Mike Smith.

"I think Julio got indoctrinated into what the NFL is about and in terms of the plays he made, I think they were outstanding," Smith said, per Jay Adams of the team's official website. "I think all three touches were for first downs. He showed some skills that we saw when he was playing at the University of Alabama, and we'll watch the tape I think we'll find some things that we've got to correct.

"We all made mistakes, starting with me in terms of the game management and all of that. I really thought that Julio did some good things."

He did indeed. Jones looked extremely explosive in the early going, catching two balls for 43 yards and taking a reverse around the right side for 12 yards.

Jones was targeted four times in total during the first three series that spanned about 12 minutes of the first quarter -- the Falcons first two offensive plays of the preseason targeted Jones but Matt Ryan missed the first throw and Vontae Davis was draped on Jones during the second one.

Yeah, it's safe to say that they wanted to not just establish Jones but their "new" identity as an explosive offensive team early on. It didn't work -- at first.

During the next two series, the Falcons marched down the field and punched it in the end zone, once with a Michael Turner score and then again when Harry Douglas made a fantastic catch on an even better throw from Ryan.

Those two possessions featured Jones being integrated much more seamlessly, particularly when Jones was able to take short passes from Ryan for big gains.

It's the explosive playmaking that Atlanta wanted to add this season and if Jones first few series are any indication of his ability, it certainly will be outstanding.

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Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:39 pm
 

Ike Taylor breaks thumb; should be OK for opener

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

In the first series of the Steelers-Redskins preseason game Friday night, CB Ike Taylor -- who was one of the Pittsburgh’s biggest free agent (re)signings -- broke his thumb and left the game for good.

TaylorBut according to Rapid Reporter Chuck Finder, the injury isn’t a huge cause for concern. Finder writes that Taylor should be back in time for the Sept. 11 season opener vs. the Ravens.

And Finder gets a nice shot in as well. Writes Finder: “For a cover guy known for dropping balls and missing chances at INTs, it shouldn’t alter his game.”

BOOM!

In other Steelers injury news, QB Ben Roethlisberger had to ice his hand and his hip after suffering minor injuries while playing in Pittsburgh’s first offensive series. Roethlisberger also should be fine.

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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