Tag:Jason Campbell
Posted on: November 6, 2010 11:50 pm
 

Week 9 injury report analysis Part IV

Posted by Andy Benoit

Colts @ Eagles
D. Jackson (US Presswire)
These days, it’s almost easier to list which Colts players are NOT injured. Actually, there’s only one that needs to be mentioned: Peyton Manning. He’s fine, so the Colts are fine.

Though if you MUST know more details, Anthony Gonzalez went on IR with a knee, but Austin Collie (finger) could be back this week, so it’s all a wash. Joseph Addai (shoulder) is doubtful; Mike Hart is unavaila nble after not practicing on a bad ankle all week. Cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Justin Tryon did not practice either, due to foot injuries (or would it be feet injury?). LB Clint Session, who deserves serious Pro Bowl consideration, was hoping he could fight through a dislocated elbow and fractured forearm, but he’s out Sunday.

The Eagles have Michael Vick 100 percent healthy now that his rib injury has healed. The hope is that Vick’s favorite target, DeSean Jackson, will be able to return from his Week 6 concussion. Jackson practiced and is probable. LT King Dunlap is out with a knee, but fortunately, the man Dunlap was filling in for, Jason Peters, is back from his own knee injury. No Ellis Hobbs (hip) for Philly, which is crucial because he has always killed the Colts as a return man.

Chiefs @ Raiders

Dexter McCluster was limited in practice for the Chiefs with a high ankle sprain. The rookie did not play last week and it would probably behoove the team to be safe and sit him one more game.

Speaking of ankle sprains, Raiders superstar Nnamdi Asomugha has one. He sat out practice all week and is doubtful. It’s actually amazing Asomugha’s status is even that hopeful; on Monday, speculation was he’d miss about a month. Tight end Zach Miller was on crutches during the week and is doubtful (i.e. 99 percent certain to be out) with a foot injury.

Wideouts Louis Murphy (chest) and Chaz Schilens (knee) remain sidelined. Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski’s shoulder is still not 100 percent, which is why Jason Campbell gets the nod. Most people believe the hot-handed Campbell should keep the job anyway. This gives us a chance to pass along this tidbit from Mike Tanier, arguably the funniest football expert in the biz:

“Of course, leave it to Oakland to get stage fright after a two-game winning streak: the team was considering benching Jason Campbell in favor of Bruce Gradkowski, generating a quarterback controversy for its own sake. The Raiders ultimately decided to go with Campbell, but have said Gradkowski will return as the starter when healthy. With decisions like these, they’ll be back to punchline status by Thanksgiving.”


Cowboys @ Packers

Does anyone care who plays and doesn’t play for the Cowboys at this point? (Included in that “anyone” are the 53 Cowboys themselves.) Out of principle, we’re going to skip right ahead to the Packers.

For only the second time in a little over six years, the Packers will take the field without wide receiver Donald Driver. The veteran was ineffective the past two games trying to fight through a quad injury. Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett will once again test his injured ankle. RT Mark Tauscher remains questionable with a shoulder injury (first-round rookie Bryan Bulaga has started in place of him the past four weeks). Both starting linemen on the left side, T Chad Clifton (hamstring) and G Daryn Colledge (back), are probable. Despite constantly battling for his job, Colledge actually has a 72-game consecutive starts streak that he’s continuing to build on.

Steelers @ Bengals

DE Aaron Smith (out, triceps) is the only Steeler listed on the injury report. The Bengals’ injury report reads like the first string of the defensive depth chart. S Roy Williams, CB Johnathan Joseph, DT Tank Johnson, LB Keith Rivers, S Chinedum Ndukwe, DE Jonathan Fanene and DE Frostee Rucker are all banged up. Their status for Monday night has not yet been declared.

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 11.05.10 NFL election week news

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit


Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll is the son of Florida's new Lieutenant Governor-elect, Jennifer Carroll.



A column mentioning that a player’s cellphone went off when Wade Phillips was giving a speech about discipline. (And apparently Phillips let it slide.)



Ross Tucker, a rising NFL analyst who offers fantastic insight, uses a firsthand experience he had as a Cowboy to argue for why Wade Phillips needs to be fired right now.



The Chargers added a desperately-needed wide receiver Thursday: veteran Kelley Washington. And, so far, all reports indicate that Washington has not yet suffered a hamstring injury. So he should be good to go Sunday. He can also help out those downtrodden special teams.



Donte’ Stallworth is turning into Socrates.



Neither Detmer brother, Ty nor Koy, made the NFL’s Top 100 Players of All-Time list.



Neither did Phil Dawson, though some believe he’s at least the greatest kicker in Browns history.



Packers LG Daryn Colledge could see his streak of 72 consecutive starts end this Sunday (he’s dealing with a back issue -- at least he was able to practice Friday). Packer fans might be saying, “72 straight starts? Ha! Big deal! We once had a quarterback here who started…you know what, never mind.”



The South Florida media enjoys the weekly Thursday visits with Brandon Marshall.



Believe it or not, but the Saints have not defeated the Panthers two times in a row in five years.



A great matchup this Sunday will be Jets underrated right guard Brandon Moore against Lions sensational rookie defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.



Bruce Gradkowski is making progress with his shoulder, but Tom Cable is still going with Jason Campbell against the Chiefs this week.

Will this be the week Andy Reid suffers his first head coaching loss after a bye?



NFL Players recently voted James Harrison as the hardest hitter in the league. (It’s not known whether illegal hits were included or not included in the players’ decision.)


Niners LB Takeo Spikes and CB Shawntae Spencer had a heartfelt Q and A in front of the media recently.


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Posted on: November 4, 2010 7:02 pm
 

Campbell will start at QB for Raiders

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The suspense is over. Raiders coach Tom Cable announced today that Jason Campbell will start for Oakland when it plays host to Kansas City on Sunday.

As Brian McIntyre points out, Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski – who’s been out with a shoulder injury – split the first-team snaps at Wednesday’s practice. But Campbell took over all the snaps Thursday, as Gradkowski continues to recover.

Plus, would it be smart to send Campbell to the bench anyway? After all, he’s helped direct Oakland to back-to-back 500-yard games in two huge wins. Yet, Cable still contends that when Gradkowski is healthy enough to play, he and not Campbell will be the starter.

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Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:21 am
Edited on: November 1, 2010 10:53 am
 

10 stories that deserve your attention Week 8

Posted by Andy Benoit

1.) D.C. Drama

It was one of those scenarios that make you question yourself. You see Donovan McNabb standing on the sidD. McNabb (US Presswire)eline with 1:45 left in the fourth and the Redskins trailing the Lions 30-25. You see Rex Grossman taking the field. You pause a second. Once you’re sure it’s really happening, you say, Wait, what’d I miss here?

Benching McNabb for Grossman is a decision that’s somehow as downright stupid as it sounds. Most baffling is that this stupid decision was made by Mike Shanahan. It’s one thing to bench a veteran star quarterback. It’s another to bench him when he’s managed to lead your team to a decent 4-4 record despite having a fourth-string running back and a slew of fourth-string receivers playing prominent roles. And it’s another when he had been playing well in the very game you sat him down.

Behind a banged-up Washington offensive line that was overmatched by Detroit’s suddenly vibrant front four (Ndamukong Suh is the early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year), McNabb endured five sacks, 10 hurries and 11 hits Sunday. Yet still, he was 17/30 for 210 yards passing, plus he ran for 45 yards on four scrambles. OK, sure there was the interception to Alphonso Smith and, before that, another bad ball that Smith should have picked and taken to the house. But fine, let’s say McNabb’s performance Sunday was only mediocre. There’s still the unforgivable factor in Shanahan’s stupid decision, which is that the guy he replaced McNabb with was Grossman.

That’d be the same Grossman who could barely find a team last season; the same Grossman who actually invented new ways to turn the ball over as a Bear. When you flip karma the bird like Shanahan did, karma tends to respond quickly. Sure enough, on his first snap, Grossman made a play that only Grossman could make, fumbling the ball on a nasty blindside sack. Karma was so ticked off at Shanahan that not even Suh’s foolish Leon Lett impersonation while returning the recovered fumble could prevent a Lions victory at that point.

Thanks to a bye, the Redskins now have two weeks to deal with the ensuing storm of controversy that is about to unload on D.C. And karma is not likely to throw them any breaks. The next time McNabb and the Redskins take the field will be Monday, November 15, when they host…the Eagles.



2.) NFC powers tighten gap on AFC powers

You had to know it wouldn’t last. Yes, the AFC is better than the NFC this year, but not by the ridiculous margin that September and October gave us. Outstanding defense brought us closer to equilibrium Sunday, as the Packers stifled the Jets and the Saints swarmed the Steelers. Both NFC teams dominated behind their defensive pass rush.

The Jets had no answer for Clay Matthews’ speed off the edge. It helped that Brandon Chillar had his best game of the season, and Green Bay’s young defensive linemen, B.J. Raji and C.J. Wilson, controlled the trenches.

The Steelers could not get ahead of the Saints’ über-aggressive blitzes. It was remarkable that Gregg Williams dialed up the attacks, considering he was without top three corners Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter and Patrick Robinson (who left early with a right ankle injury). The two most popular preseason Super Bowl picks from the NFC are now both 5-3.



3.) New York’s Gamble
S. Weatherford (US Presswire)
Sticking with the Jets-Packers game…

When Jets punter Steve Weatherford took off and ran from inside his own 20-yard line late in the first quarter Sunday, you could have sworn you were watching your idiot roommate playing Madden on the X-Box. The Jets actually fake punted from their own 20-yard line! And on fourth and 18! After replay, it was determined that Weatherford stepped out of bounds a yard-and-a-half short of the first down. Green Bay wound up getting three points out of the splendid field position – the only points the Jets D has allowed in any first quarter this season – and Rex Ryan left himself open to easy second-guessing.

Except, it wasn’t Ryan’s decision. Turns out, Weatherford made the call. That’s right, the punter – the punter! – called his own number. Whoa, talk about gall. Take any receiver willing to go over the middle, any quarterback willing to step into a blitz and any linebacker willing to shoot the gap against a steamrolling running back and, chances are, none of them have the stones Weatherford must have. Afterward, he explained himself:

"It would have been a good decision had it been fourth-and-nine, but that’s my fault. I made the decision to try to make the play, but it didn’t work out for the team. We’re a team that’s willing to go out there and lay it on the line, but it just didn’t work out today. It’s a situation where I don’t have the green light, but if I do it, he’s not going to be mad if I get it. It has worked out in the past. It worked out in Oakland, it worked out in Miami, (but) today, it didn’t. It could have been a huge swing for us in the game, but obviously we came up about a half-yard short."



4.) Little Big Men

Let’s shift to a positive special teams note and go back to the Lions-Redskins game. Did you see the electrifying return artists in that contest? In order to, you may have had to squint in order to. Detroit’s Stefan Logan (5’6”, 180 pounds) and Washington’s Brandon Banks (5’7”, 150 pounds – that’s right, 150) put on a show.

Logan had a dazzling 71-yard punt return in the second quarter to set up one of Calvin Johnson’s three touchdowns. (Johnson, by the way, spent all afternoon taking advantage of the inconsistent safety help on DeAngelo Hall’s soft man coverage.

Banks had a 96-yard kick return for a score. He also had a 46-yard kick return, a punt return that went for 35, and another kick return score that got called back for holding. And before he was aware of that holding penalty, Logan celebrated his score by dunking the ball over the goalposts. That’s a 5’7” man dunking over a 10”-high crossbar while wearing full padding and still catching his breath after running the length of the field.



5.) The bad NFC team we should be talking about

I refuse to discuss the Dallas Tin Men, errrr, Dallas Cowboys this week. We just saw them last week on Monday night. We have to see them next week on Sunday night at Green Bay (apparently, that is “America’s Game of the Week”). We have to see them on Thanksgiving and again a few weeks later on NFL Network. There will be plenty of chances to talk about what’s wrong with America’s team, what changes Jerry Jones will make, how obvious it is that Wade Phillips is a dead man walking, etc. And mind you, the Cowboys will be irrelevant in the playoff hunt this entire time. So, knowing that’s ahead, I’m going to rest upB. Green-Ellis (US Presswire) and save my sanity by pretending the game against the Jaguars never happened (this, by the way, makes me feel like a Jacksonville native).

I will, however, talk about the NFC’s other fallen team, the Vikings. While it’s chic (and easy) to assume that everything is Favre’s fault, the reality is, the Vikings defense has been one of the great underachieving units in football this season. Jared Allen dressed as a ghost for Halloween. Come to think of it, Allen actually busted out that costume a few weeks ago. His teammates haven’t stepped up, either.

For the first time in team history, the Vikings have gone three straight games without a sack.

With a nonexistent pass rush, Minnesota’s ho-hum secondary has been exposed. Madieu Williams put on a clinic Sunday for how not to make plays; Pats receiver Brandon Tate should have given the veteran safety a game ball afterwards. And scouts are finally figuring out what’s wrong with cornerback Asher Allen: he’s not good at playing football. Allen gives up separation in his man coverage technique, he struggles to locate the ball in the air and his open-field tackling is hit or miss.

What’s more, the Vikings’ once-impenetrable run defense is giving up only 3.9 yards per carry, but overall, it ranks 13th in yards per game. That’s as startling drop considering this group ranked second last year and first in each of the three years before that. Late in the fourth quarter Sunday when the Vikings needed a stop on the ground, they plain couldn’t get one. On New England’s final possession, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran the ball six times for 60 yards to ice the game.



6.) Uh oh

You ever noticed the amount of misbehavior the youngest kids in families with a lot of children can get away with? It’s stunning. While the parents are getting drained dealing with the older kids breaking curfews, fighting amongst each other and bringing home ugly report cards, the younger kid is secretly living a dream that includes watching raunchy movies, stealing bits of cash from around the house and detonating fireworks in the elderly neighbor’s mailbox. It isn’t until something goes really wrong before the parents realize that they’ve been neglecting their biggest handful of all.

Think of Randy Moss as the rebellious youngster in Minnesota. While everyone is focusing on Brad Childress and Brett Favre and, perhaps now, Jared Allen and the defense, the newcomer at wide receiver is subtly stewing about what’s turned out to be a lost season in his contract year. Did you hear what Moss said after the Patriots game? Here are the big pieces:
R. Moss (US Presswire)
On his relationship with the media…

"I got fined $25,000 for not talking to you all, and me personally, I really don't care, but at the same time, I do ask questions, I mean answer questions throughout the week. The league can fine me $25,000. I'm not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year. If it's going to be an interview, I'm going to conduct it. So I'll answer my own questions. Ask myself the questions, then give you all the answers.”

On his former teammates…

"Man, I miss them guys, man. I miss the team," Moss said. "It was hard for me to come here and play.

"Been an up-and-down roller-coaster emotionally all week. And then to be able to come in here and see those guys running plays that I know what they're doing, and the success they had on the field, the running game -- so, I kind of know what kind of feeling they have in their locker room, man, and I just want to be able to tell the guys that I miss the hell out of them. Every last helmet in that locker room, man."

On his preparation with the Vikings coaching staff for this game…

"The bad part about it -- you have six days to prepare for a team, and on the seventh day, that Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, 'Dag, Moss, you was right about a couple plays and a couple schemes they were going to run.' It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week, and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that's when they acknowledge about the hard work you put in throughout the week. That's actually a disappointment."

His final word…

"I'm definitely down that we lost this game. I didn't expect we'd lose this game. I don't know how many more times I'll be in New England again. But I leave coach Belichick and those guys with a salute: (and yes, Moss actually saluted while saying this). 'I love you guys. I miss you. I'm out.'"

Read into all that what you will. I read into it that this is Moss’ way of telling the Vikings, I hate being on this team.



7.) The NFL’s best team?

According to the standings, it’s the Patriots. They’re the only team that has just one loss on the season. It’s kind of hard to believe, given that New England pairs a ball control offense with a defense that ranks 28th in yards allowed and dead last on third down. But no team manages in-game situations better than the Patriots. (That’s why their games always feel so choppy.)

At least that 28th-ranked defense is improving by the week. Jerod Mayo is a star at inside linebacker. He’s a rock of a run defender and a sterling open-field tackler against the pass. First-round rookie Devin McCourty is blossoming into a bona fide No. 1 corner. The defensive linemen around Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork have elevated their games; Mike Wright has a sack in four-straight contests, and last year’s second-round pick, Ron Brace, showcased his development on the fourth-down goal-line stop in which he blew up Phil Loadholt and stuffed Adrian Peterson. Finally, safety Brandon Meriweather is close to regaining his ’09 form. Overall, this is a young defense that should only get better.



8.) Do we believe the nautical villains?

I’ve been saying all season that the Buccaneers are not good enough in the trenches to make the playoffs, and that the Raiders’ greatness on paper is matched only by their embarrassing ineptitude on the field. I’m not ready to eat crow yet, though I’m fingering my silverware (I’ll assume crow is something you’d eat with a knife and a fork).

The Bucs got their fifth consecutive road victory with a 38-35 win at Arizona Sunday. But Tampa’s MVP that game was Cardinals quarterback Max Hall. When the undrafted rookie threw his first career touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, the veteran receiver, rushed over and gave Hall the ball (it was a truly classy move by Fitzgerald, considering how justifiably frustrated he’s been with the team’s quarterback play this season). Along these lines, it would have made sense for Bucs corner Aqib Talib to give Hall a souvenir ball on the second quarter pick-six he threw, as that was Hall’s most precise touchdown strike on the afternoon. D. McFadden (US Presswire)

That was also Hall’s second pick-six on the day, which is why Ken Whisenhunt decided that maybe Derek Anderson is the best guy to lead the team after all. (If Anderson and Whisenhunt were dating, all of Anderson’s friends at this point would be pleading with the quarterback to stop letting the head coach just use him like this.)

My point? The Bucs are 5-2, but their most recent win came against a hapless Cardinals club. Obviously, a win is a win in the NFL. But if the Bucs’ head coach wants to talk about his team being the best in the NFC, then the “they haven’t beaten anybody” argument is fair game. The combined records of the teams Tampa Bay has defeated (Cleveland, Carolina, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Arizona): 12-24. The combined record of the teams Tampa Bay has lost to (Pittsburgh, New Orleans): 10-5. So, I’m skeptical. It will be easier to gauge this team after it faces division foe Atlanta next week.

Regarding the 4-4 Raiders, wins over Denver and Seattle don’t exactly merit great acclaim, but the convincing nature of those wins does. After spanking the Broncos 59-14, the Raiders pounded the Seahawks 33-3. Darren McFadden – whom I was shocked to learn, led the league in yards after contact heading into this game – rushed for 121 of the team’s 239 yards. This against a Seattle run defense that ranked second in the league prior to Sunday.

Jason Campbell was a sterling 15/27 for 310 yards and two scores – and those numbers aren’t inflated by one or two Jon Kitna garbage time-like plays. Campbell threaded the needle on both touchdown strikes. The first was to fullback Marcel Reese, a versatile second-year pro who can best be described as “exactly what 49er fans erroneously claim Delanie Walker SHOULD be”. Reese is an effective route runner when lining up as a wide receiver. Campbell’s second touchdown was to Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is inconsistent, but in a good way (given that last season he was consistently dreadful).

Is Oakland a legit contender? In the AFC West, perhaps. But overall...well…at least they can win in the trenches. (The defensive line was every bit as dominant as the offensive line Sunday.) That makes them more stable than Tampa Bay. Still, at the end of the day, a team must be able to throw in order to win. The Bucs at least have an upstart first-round quarterback in Josh Freeman. The Raiders still have a controversy between Campbell (who played well Sunday but, throughout his career, has proved to be a robot programmed for mediocrity) and Bruce Gradkowski (a poor man’s Jeff Garcia).



9.) NFL makes a good impression in Europe

So the Brits wound up seeing a pretty good game between the 49ers and Broncos. Dammit all. The hope to avoid having to share the truest American sport with the rest of the world looks more futile than ever.

On Sunday, after a slow start that probably still had Wembley Stadium’s soccer-acclimated sellout crowd of 83,000-plus on the edge of its seats, the offenses for both teams came to life late in the second half. Thirty of the game’s 40 points were scored in the fourth quarter. Both teams relied on their usual identity. For the Broncos, that meant riding Kyle Orton (28/40, 396 yards). For the Niners, that meant riding Frank Gore (29 carries, 118 yards).

Though a compelling contest it was, and though interesting is the debate over whether it was a mistake for Josh McDaniels to keep the team in the U.S. until Thursday (three days longer than the Niners), the story of this game is the success of the NFL’s British venture. Not only did the game sell out, but approximately 38,000 fans filled Trafalgar Square for an NFL block party Saturday. Earlier in the week, Roger Goodell said the league’s goal is to put a team in London. Maybe that’s just lip service the Commissioner had to pay in the days leading up to this game, but if the world has learned anything the past 10 years, it’s that in whatever way globalization can happen, it will.

So start getting your minds wrapped around it, football fans: the NFL is only going to ingrain itself deeper in London. And, perhaps, other foreign markets. Maybe you’re cool with that. If you are, great. If you’re not (like me), Sunday was just another reminder that you’d better start getting used to it.



10.) Quick Hits

***Todd Haley went for it again on fourth down Sunday. This time the Chiefs had fourth-and-two and were deep in Buffalo territory. For the past few weeks, people have been commenting on Haley’s gutsy fourth down calls. But we’re discovering that this is just the way the man coaches. He’s attempted 11 fourth downs this season, tied for fourth most in the NFL. The difference is that very few of them have been of the desperation variety. Haley believes it’s a numbers game, and he usually makes the decision to go for it a few plays before reaching fourth down (to help the play-calling, he tell offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss ahead of time when it’s four-down territory). It’s an unusually aggressive approach.S. Smith (US Presswire)


***Interesting that the Jets had Darrelle Revis play left cornerback in the first half and then had him shadow Greg Jennings in the second half. Revis was effective in both cases – it was just fun watching Rex Ryan change up the game plan.


***Steve Tasker, who spent the entire overtime period between the Chiefs and Bills trying to add a soothing calm amidst the lovable screaming of Gus Johnson, had a great line about Ryan Succop’s first field goal attempt in OT. When Succop’s ball got caught in the wind and suddenly hooked sharply left, Tasker said “that ball had a left turn signal on it”.


***The Rams wore their blue and yellow throwback uniforms to honor the retirement of Isaac Bruce’s number 80. It’d probably be good if we started debating Bruce’s Hall of Fame credentials now. Given the length of the Art Monk trial, and the Andre Reed-Cris Carter-Tim Brown dilemmas, Bruce’s candidacy is going to be particularly complicated.


***Turns out cornerback Sean Smith didn’t fully regain his starting job for the Dolphins this week, but against the Bengals he played extremely well. Smith got some help from an erratic Carson Palmer on the game-sealing interception, but before that, he was very active covering receivers with underneath technique.


***I’m not affiliated with the San Diego Chargers, but even I felt a little awkward seeing Vincent Jackson standing on the sideline in street clothes Sunday.


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Posted on: October 21, 2010 2:07 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.21.10 over the moon for Moss return

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit


If you have a Hot Route, hit us up on Twitter @CBSSportsNFL.


David Garrard (concussion) was not at the team facilities again on Thursday. It’s highly unlikely he’ll play against the Chiefs.

Chris Cooley took part in a few light drills on Wednesday. Cooley suffered a concussion Sunday night against the ColtsR. Moss (US Presswire).


Randy Moss’ appearance at Lambeau Field Sunday night will be his first since the 2005 mooning celebration.


Titans cornerback Jason McCourty has been cleared for contact after rehabbing the fractured forearm suffered September 28. It could still take a little time for McCourty to return to game action, though. And when he does he may no longer have his starting job, considering how well rookie Alterraun Verner has played.


Gerald McCoy has fellow rookie Sam Bradford in his sights.


Alex Smith wouldn’t mind being left alone on the sideline a little more during games.


Kris Brown will fill in as the Chargers kicker for at least one week while Nate Kaeding nurses a groin injury.


The Cardinals are getting healthy (including at wide receiver, with Steve Breaston and Early Doucet).


Terrell Suggs keeps firing shots at Tom Brady.


We’ll keep one eye open on Kyle Boller and the Raiders quarterback situation. If healthy, Jason Campbell is expected to start. But will he finish?


The 49ers are delaying the opening of their new stadium until 2015, due to financing and labor issues. The team originally expected to open in 2014.


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Posted on: October 18, 2010 7:35 pm
 

Boller could be the Raiders next starter

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One quarterback – the starter who replaced the starter because the original starter was no good – is still hurt, out with a sprained A/C joint in his shoulder. The original starter who had to start once again was terrible in the Raiders loss to the 49ers Sunday, and in the midst of it all, he hurt his knee.

That means Oakland might be getting yet another starter.

Boller Yes, third-stringer Kyle Boller – who you might remember from his five-season, 53-game stint as the starter in Baltimore – might take over the reins in Oakland in lieu of Bruce Gradkowski (still out with a shoulder injury) and Jason Campbell (who was impressively unimpressive vs. San Francisco).

Boller could start perhaps even if Campbell, coming off an awful 8-of-21, 83-yard, two-interception performance, is healthy enough to play. That’s what happens, though, when your quarterback rating is 10.7.

“I always take the approach that it’s your job – it doesn’t matter what position you play or what position you are on the depth chart - to be prepared, because you never know when your time’s coming,’’ Boller told the Contra Costa Times. "I’ve done a pretty good job with watching tape and staying in the game plan, because it’s also our job to help out the guys that are in there. And they need you to know what’s going on.”

Campbell underwent an MRI on his left knee Monday, and there was no structural damage found. Still, coach Tom Cable said Boller absolutely has a chance to start. And, with the way Campbell has played this season, he probably should.

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Posted on: October 14, 2010 3:58 pm
 

Bush starting for Oakland, McFadden '50-50'

Posted by Will Brinson

Michael Bush, fresh off a very solid performance against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, will remain the starter against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 6, according to coach Tom Cable.

Via our Oakland Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore, Darren McFadden says he is "50-50" to play Sunday.

"I'm still feeling it right now," McFadden said of the hamstring injury. "I haven't gone out there and tried to go 100 percent."

As we wrote yesterday, it makes a lot of sense for the Raiders to take their time with McFadden -- Bush is a completely capable back and more physical than McFadden. Additionally, hamstring injuries have a way of not healing through additional wear and tear.

As for the quarterback situation, it looks like Jason Campbell will get the nod in place of the injured Bruce Gradkowski.

"That’s yet to be totally determined, but it looks that way right now until we know exactly what’s happening with Bruce," said OC Hue Jackson.

Campbell struggled early during the season but looked like the quarterback the Raiders hoped he would be while leading the team to a win against the Chargers Sunday.

And in good news, if/when he starts hearing the old boo birds chirping on Sunday, he can probably just assume it's for Alex Smith.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 3:32 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 3:35 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Baby, don't drive that Carr

Posted by Will Brinson



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.

"We want Carr!" echoed throughout Candlestick Park on Sunday night as 49ers fans expressed their deep (and understandable) frustration with Alex Smith.

The problem is that they don't want the former first-rounder to use some the money the team wasted on him to purchase them all shiny new Kias. No, instead, they wanted to see David Carr enter the game and attempt to lead San Fran to glory.

And what a dumb idea that is.

Reports started circulating Monday that Mike Singletary had told Smith a (paraphrase party coming) real quarterback wouldn't want to get taken out of the game, nor would he let a coach take him out of the game. Apparently, Vernon Davis went over to Smith, gave him a big pep talk about being a grown man and what not and then Smith challenged Singletary's potential decision to bring in Carr.

Eventually Smith won out (although didn't Singletary kind of WANT him to win?), stayed in the game and nearly led a charge back against the Eagles.

Said charge fell short, notch, but that's why you saw Carr maybe getting ready, Singletary and Smith yelling, confusion in the broadcast booth and awkwardness on the sidelines.

Anyway, now Smith is "week-to-week" as the starting quarterback -- apparently, that's the sort of motivation that a quarterback of his caliber needs. (Ironically, of course, fear was the primary motivator for another bust -- in the Canton sense though -- of a 49er, Jerry Rice.)

Fast-forward to Week 6, though, where if Smith struggles against the Oakland Raiders, people will get antsy and start calling for Carr again.

Again, this is a dumb idea.

If you don't believe me, just ask any Texans or Panthers fan who suffered the indelible pain of watching a man once called "Mister Mittens" run their ship into the ground.

Look, Smith's not great, but he's not Carr. Carr is notoriously horrible at understanding pocket time, and if San Fran fans think that Smith has a sense for the worst possible time to generate a turnover, they really have no idea what they're in store for if they get their wish and Carr plays.

Anyway, if Smith doesn't turn his patented "two great drives per game" into something more consistent, there's a good chance that Carr plays. But that doesn't change the fact that putting Mittens in there is a huge mistake.

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Raiders fans also did a little bit of Jump to Conclusion Matting -- Jason Campbell, their flame, their muse, their Plunkett, was supposed to come right in and save the day. He didn't, and in fact, he was quite terrible as the Raiders quarterback, right up until the point when Bruce Gradkowski hurt himself and Campbell needed to step in and helped beat the Chargers Sunday.

Sure, the special teams (or "special" teams, if you're discussing the Chargers end of it) and defense deserve some credit for scoring, but Campbell looked composed, relaxed and accurate en route to completing 13 of 18 passes for 159 yards and a TD.

Tom Cable says that Bruce Gradkowski is still the starter (and, of course, Campbell didn't even consider trying to stir the pot; has anyone ever been more dumped on while remaining polite in the history of the NFL?) and that's fine. Gradkowski got the Raiders back on track after Campbell's shoddy play early in the season derailed them.

****
Jimmy Clausen or Matt Moore? That is the question that rings so … okay, you know what? It doesn't really matter. Clausen hasn't progressed since he got the starting nod, but Moore looked even worse in mop-up, blowout loss duty against the Bears on Sunday.

Jeff Otah's return (maybe in the next few weeks) will help the running game, but without a legitimate option at quarterback, which the Panthers don't have, it's hard to fathom that the Panthers have any prayer of contending this year.

Honestly, the smart thing might be considering shopping Steve Smith (if Deion Branch is worth a fourth to the Patriots, he has to be worth the second-rounder they already took from Carolina at least, right?) and possibly even DeAngelo Williams (Jonathan Stewart's contract situation is better, even if Williams is the better runner, which he might not be) in an attempt to totally reload for next year.

Yes, that's the rantings of a man who stayed up way too late crying that Bobby Cox is gone and all we have left in the world is a discussion of Brett Favre's cell phone, but it's also indicative of how shoddy the quarterback situation is in Carolina.

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It's Tuesday, and that means Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb talk. Woo! Right? Actually, this week it's quite important, since Kolb looked good against the Niners and Vick might be ready to return.

Conveniently (or perhaps not), the Eagles play the Falcons, with whom Vick has a little bit of history. Vick gives the Eagles the best chance to win against a very talented Atlanta team, but is it worth playing him if he's still dealing with a pretty serious injury?

Two signs point to yes: first that LeSean McCoy played against the Niners with a broken rib, and two, Andy Reid made sure to get Vick some action against the Falcons last year. In other words, redemption and giving the Eagles the best chance on Sunday will win out.

Which is a good thing for all of us, provided Vick isn't re-injured.

****
Quickly …

- Poor, poor Cleveland. Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace are both injured, so Colt McCoy will play. McCoy gets the Steelers, so best-case scenario for Cleveland is him being alive on Monday.

- David Garrard has staved off Trent Edwards for at least the foreseeable future, by beating the Buffalo Bills. Neither of those things is an impressive accomplishment.

- It's easy to refer to the Darren McFadden/Michael Bush situation as a "competition," but that's really based on how they've performed thus far in the year. The reality is that they're two backs who compliment each other, and Cable would be wise to recognize that utilizing Bush's brutish bulldozing as a defense-softener that sets up McFadden is the smart play here. Or, alternately, just don't play D-Mac if his hammy's busted.
 
 
 
 
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