Tag:Hue Jackson
Posted on: September 9, 2011 7:09 pm
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Terrelle Pryor asks NFLPA to join his appeal

Posted by Will Brinson

Former Ohio State star and current Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor is scheduled to miss the first five games of the 2011 season due to a suspension from the NFL. That suspension stemmed from Pryor's decision to leave college with a five-game suspension waiting for him in Columbus.

Pryor's camp went back and forth on whether or not they would appeal the suspension, and while it appeared they might bail on appealing, Pryor ultimately alerted the NFL and NFLPA he would appeal the suspension, following the Colts hiring of former OSU coach Jim Tressel.

The next step is formally asking the NFPA to join the appeal which, according to the NFL Network's Albert Breer, Pryor did on Friday. It's believed that the NFLPA could file the appeal as early as Monday.

As you'll recall, the NFLPA hasn't been exactly thrilled at the news of Pryor's suspension, because it represents a dangerous precedent in terms of future control for the NFL over players leaving college early.

Which precisely why there shouldn't have ever been a question about Pryor appealing. This isn't exactly the sort of situation where the players want to just lay down and let the league have its way, setting a precedent for suspending players for actions that were committed while they weren't even in the league.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 2:38 pm
 

Batch: NFL 'took it to another level' on Pryor

Posted by Will Brinson

The Terrelle Pryor suspension -- he received five games at the NFL level for actions he performed while at Ohio State -- is unprecedented in professional sports.

So it's no surprise that plenty of players and agents and lawyers aren't thrilled about the news. Go ahead and count Steelers backup quarterback and NFLPA executive committee member Charlie Batch among the group that's not thrilled about Roger Goodell's decision to suspend Pryor.

"He took it to another level when he said he was going to suspend Terrelle Pryor for five games and he wasn't even in the NFL last year," said Batch, via Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "How can you do that? It's not right. It's not right at all."

It probably isn't "right," in that it's seems random and a touch unfair, but that doesn't really matter.

The NFL had a situation where college athletes were primed to begin utilizing the supplemental draft as a way to escape NCAA punishment, thereby making the NFL look like a safe harbor for wrongdoing at the amateur level.

Though it is convenient that the NCAA serves as a cost-free minor league of sorts for the NFL, that convenience dies out quickly if and when players know that they can laugh off the rules imposed by college athletics and skate to the pros without any punishment.

Hence the suspension for Pryor and what will be an interesting precedent. One that, clearly, won't be well-liked by the players.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Terrelle Pryor to play QB in final preseason game

Posted by Will Brinson

It feels like we've written about Terrelle Pryor a million times since he decided to bolt Ohio State and head to the NFL. (The actual answer is 62. So there's that.)

Perhaps that's because of his up-and-down status for the NFL's supplemental draft. Or perhaps that's because he's such a talented player who presents tons of upside but remains an enigma, particularly with respect to what position he'll play as a professional.

Whatever, for those that want to see Pryor as a quarterback, you're in luck -- Raiders head coach Hue Jackson told Michelle Tafoya of NBC on Sunday night that Pryor, who didn't play in the third preseason game against New Orleans, will begin his career with Oakland as a quarterback.

"We're gonna start there first and see where we go," Jackson said.

Pryor, who recently signed a four-year deal with Oakland, did some warm-ups under center and was briefly in the silver-and-black uniform and on the sidelines during Sunday's game, but eventually left.

Tafoya also reported that Pryor would be available for the Raiders final preseason game against the Seahawks.

This makes a lot of sense, actually, because you don't see starters get a ton of time during the final exhibition affair, and Pryor will be missing the first five games of the regular season; getting him out there and giving him some run under center won't put anything at risk and it'll at least the Raiders see what Pryor can do in live NFL action.

And since this is the Raiders we're talking about, it wouldn't be shocking to see them give Pryor plenty of run as a quarterback if he looks even remotely competent during the final week of the preseason.

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Posted on: August 27, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2011 12:07 pm
 

Comparing and contrasting Pryor and Mallett

PryorPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Rookie quarterbacks Ryan Mallett and Terrelle Pryor are not so dissimilar. Both were third round draft picks -- Mallett last April and Pryor in the supplemental draft -- and both come to the NFL with character marks that have been branded on them by a lack of discipline.

Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole compares the two and tries to explain why they will or will not succeed with the team that drafted them.

And while we’ve already discussed how these two players will affect their teams as rookies, Cole presents some interesting theories.

Yeah, it doesn’t take a soothsayer to predict that Pryor might be in trouble now that the Raiders have their paws on him, but Cole writes that Pryor’s biggest career problem is that nobody has had the audacity to tell him no. Not in high school and not former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.

While Raiders coach Hue Jackson will try to make his mark on Pryor, it’s also documented that Oakland owner Al Davis doesn’t exactly back up his coaches when it comes to disciplining his players. Writes Cole: “Davis picked [JaMarcus] Russell, seeing him as the second-coming of [Jim] Plunkett from an athletic perspective. Davis then let Russell run wild over coaches Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable. Those coaches tried to discipline Russell from time to time, but Davis either waived the fines or didn’t do anything until it was way too late.”

And we all know where Russell is these days (well, actually we don’t, which is kind of the point).

R. Mallett is adjusting to his new surroundings in New England (Getty).Patriots coach Bill Belichick doesn’t have a problem letting his players know the way he wants things done, which means Mallett will have to adjust. And Cole has another interesting tidbit about all the partying Mallett is alleged to have done before training camp began. Writes Cole: “Aside from the sordid tales of him from college, the latest story about him was the all-night partying he did at the NFL Players Association rookie symposium in Sarasota, Fla., in July, according to two sources.”

Which probably isn’t a good idea, especially if the biggest predraft concern by teams -- and probably the reason he slipped to the third round -- was because of his off-the-field behaviors.

You can’t be stupid and play quarterback in the NFL, and right now, the jury is still out on how much sense Mallett has in his brain.

So, aside from what round they were drafted and the concerns about their character, you have to wonder how we’ll be discussing Pryor and Mallett five years from now. Obviously, there’s now way to tell, but if we’re discussing which of the quarterbacks has a better chance to succeed on where he was drafted, you’d have to give the nod to Mallett at this point.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 9:38 am
 

Who we want to see on Hard Knocks '11

Hard Knocks (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Throughout the lockout that seems neverending -- now at 114 days and counting!!! -- we’ve seen players get arrested, we’ve seen the NFL and the NFLPA come together and then bicker and then come together and then bicker, and we’ve seen players sue their girlfriends for their engagement rings.

Most disturbing, we’ve seen the signs that Brett Favre might want to return for another season.

We’ve also heard plenty about how a lost preseason would cost the NFL $800 million if the lockout continues through August and into September.

But when it comes to the preseason and how much is on the line, you know what we haven’t heard about? We haven’t heard which squad will be the subject of the annual highlight of August –- HBO’s "Hard Knocks."  

Oh, we know which teams have already declined the invitation (or supposedly, declined the invitation). Among them are the Buccaneers, the Broncos, the Lions and the Falcons (who might be open to doing it in the future), and at this point, it seems as if nobody wants to be on the show. Making matters tougher are those who say cooperating with Hard Knocks is a mistake.

Assuming we’ll see a preseason this year that would provide a platform for the Hard Knocks crew to start filming -- and CBSSports.coms’ Mike Freeman writes that it’s getting close --here are five teams we’d like to see featured on Hard Knocks. Many of them might not be interested for one reason or another, but if we have a fantasy roster, this is it.

Panthers


NewtonThe big storyline: Simply put: the entertainer and the icon, Cam Newton. We want to see how he learns the offense; we want to see if his teammates rally around him; we want to get an early idea of whether Carolina made a bad decision last April. Or maybe he’s the next superstar in the game. Either way, he’s one of the biggest storylines of the preseason, and we want to be inside the locker room to see what happens.

The foil: Jimmy Clausen. How is he going to react to Newton? What happens when Newton badly fakes out some defender destined for the practice squad and gains 30 yards on a broken play? Will the director then cut to Clausen as he raises a fist to the sky in anger? And what happens if Clausen, um, actually outplays Newton?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) NFL.com’s Gil Brandt has mentioned in the past couple of days that Favre has offered to help mentor Newton. Can you imagine the video that could come from this, especially if the camera caught Favre alone in the locker room sending a text message? 2) WR Steve Smith: is he going to play for the Panthers or not?

Patriots


The big storyline: The same guy who makes sure this show would never feature his team on his watch. That would be coach Bill Belichick. How fascinating would it be to see how Belichick builds a team and how he relates to his players? Would we get to see Belichick’s team meeting in which he implicitly tells his team how to answer questions from the media (in the most uninteresting way possible)? Kidding aside, we want to see a future Hall of Fame coach behind the scenes and uncensored.

The foil: Rex Ryan. Is there any way to get a split screen of the Jets coach talking trash about Belichick -- hey, he’s not here to kiss anybody’s ring! – while Belichick coldly goes about finding a way to make Ryan pay for his words?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Danny Woodhead: he was on Hard Knocks with the Jets last season, and though he’s not in danger of being cut with New England, I still want to know why Woodhead, all of a sudden, is so freaking good. 2) G Logan Mankins (and his agent) has said some not very complimentary things about the Patriots management, all in the name of landing a large contract. Will he be kinder and gentler this preseason?

Packers


The big storyline: Obviously, the Lombardi Trophy. Hard Knocks has never followed a team the preseason after it won the Super Bowl, so it’d be cool to see the ring ceremony the public wasn’t allowed to witness a few weeks back (I’m assuming Hard Knocks wasn’t actually there, but it’d be cool nonetheless) while watching the Packers attempt a repeat.

The foil: Charles Woodson vs. Tramon Williams. Woodson is the bigger name, but he’s older than Williams and there’s a pretty good chance Williams is the better CB these days. Maybe we’d really get to see if Woodson is close to the end, and if Williams can replace Woodson’s outrageous production.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Would Aaron Rodgers sign autographs for the fans at training camp? Because, as we all know, he doesn’t like signing for cancer patients (I kid, I kid). 2) Last year, little-used cornerback Brandon Underwood had a sexual assault charge hanging over his head all season (he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge). Now, he’s been charged with disorderly conduct after an alleged physical altercation with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Underwood isn’t a great quote, but his story might make for an interesting change of pace on the show.

PhillipsTexans


The big storyline: The will-they-or-won’t-they-fire-him as it relates to coach Gary Kubiak. I’m kind of surprised he’s still coaching in Houston actually, and the last time Hard Knocks featured this kind of storyline, it was Wade Phillips with the Cowboys. Now, Phillips is Kubiak’s defensive coordinator. How hot can that boiler room get anyway?

The foil: The secondary. This is what I wrote in the Texans offseason checkup: “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.” I don’t disagree with that.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Though he came off a bit bumbling in Season 4 with the Cowboys, Phillips is a sympathetic figure. And the man has proved he can coordinate a defense. I want to see how he transforms a 4-3 sieve-like defense into a 3-4 defense that potentially could save Kubiak’s job. 2) Will QB Matt Schaub ever get into the playoffs? He’s the best quarterback in the league who hasn’t gotten there.

Raiders


The big storyline: Obviously, Al Davis, and the one question I want to know. How hands-on is he these days?

The foil: Nnamdi Asomugha: Just like Darrelle Revis last season with the Jets, we’re not going to see too much of the talented free agent cornerback on the TV. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of Antonio Cromartie either (psst, see video below).

Two other compelling reasons: 1) New coach Hue Jackson finally gets his chance at running a team. Forget that Tom Cable went 6-0 in the AFC West last year without making the playoffs -- still a pretty damn impressive feat. Davis got rid of him, just like he gets rid of everybody after a couple years. Will Jackson be an exception? 2) Al Davis: Seriously, I want as much Al Davis as possible.



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Posted on: April 22, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2011 12:41 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.22.11: Sand-bagging special



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In case you missed the CBSSports.com draft chat with Andy Benoit, Will Brinson, Rob Rang and Mike Freeman (with a cameo appearance by yours truly), you’re in luck. Click the link for the archived version.
  • Read this story from Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez about the potential of players sand-bagging their baseline concussion tests. It’s scary, and I’m sure it will happen.
  • All Falcons WR Roddy White wanted was some of his jerseys framed. Now, he’s asking for an arrest warrant to be taken out on the person who, according to White, is demanding $10,000 for the jerseys to be returned. Apparently, the two originally had agreed on a $400 fee for each jersey to be framed.
  • Former Ravens coach Brian Billick on why it’s so hard to get that first-round quarterback pick right. Money line: “I am living proof that if you miss on a first-round quarterback, as I did with Kyle Boller, you end up broadcasting games and writing about the NFL instead of coaching.”
  • Boomer Esiason sympathizes with any future Bengals QB. Said Esiason: "I have to completely sympathize with Blaine Gabbert if he does get drafted by the Bengals. I do believe he would make a great fit there, but as Cris (Collinsworth) and I both know, he is going to have to be a better player than advertised in order to be successful there because of the lack of support."
  • Lynn Chandis, who starred on Steelers teams in the 1950s and is second only to Gayle Sayers for career kickoff return average, died at the age of 86.
  • Positive news story of the day! Falcons owner Arthur Blank has donated $3 million to the Child Protection Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Nice gift.

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Oakland Raiders

Posted by Will Brinson



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


For every single team in NFL history, sweeping the division has resulted in a playoff spot. As it should -- that’s six wins and an incredible headstart on the postseason race.

Then the 2010 Raiders came along.

They won all six of their division games and yet still somehow managed to go 2-8 in the remaining contests on their schedule. That resulted in Tom Cable’s firing and a lot of angry confusion in the Bay Area.

A much worse trait’s percolating around the Black Hole though: cautious optimism. Since Oakland’s fall from grace following their 2002 Super Bowl loss to the Bucs, Oakland hasn’t just been a lost cause. They’ve been the poster child for bad management.

2010 didn’t change that, but Raiders fans will probably try and tell you otherwise. Hue Jackson moving from offensive coordinator to head coach will give Jason Campbell some much-needed stability, and it should bode well for both the continued improvement of Darren McFadden and Oakland’s stockpile of burners at the wide receiver position.

But personnel losses on the other side of the ball -- Nnamdi Asomugha, mainly -- and a focus on scoring points might not exactly guarantee any more success in 2011.


Delusion, Stopping the Run

Part of the Raiders second-ranked passing defense was Asomugha’s ability to shut down half of the field. But part of it was also their inability to stop opposing offenses from piling up yardage on the ground; running backs averaged 133.6 yards per game (and 4.5 yards per carry) against Oakland.

That was good for 29th in the NFL and it’s pretty clear that “losing games” and “not stopping the run” go hand-in-hand. Chris Johnson (142 yards), Arian Foster (131), Frank Gore (149), Ricky Williams (95), Rashard Jennings (109) and even Dominic Rhodes (98) all put up pretty big numbers when Oakland lost.

Oddly, not once in a Raiders’ win did an opposing back tote the ball more than 20 times. Many times -- though not always -- that was because Oakland jumped out to big leads early.

And it’s possible that Jackson can continue that trend into 2011, but improved defense against the rush will avoid the need to make big and sometimes luck-driven leads a requirement.


1. Secondary
Stanford Routt’s the new No. 1 in Oaktown with Asomugha now departing to, um, somewhere. (We don’t know where yet, but he’s probably not coming back to Oakland.) Routt and Chris Johnson can work well together, but there’s a pretty good chance that losing Nnamdi will expose other areas in the secondary as teams work the entire field against Oakland. It’ll also stretch their safeties even thinner than before, something that could become a problem if Michael Huff and Tyvon Branch can’t step up their game.

2. Front Office Contract Guy
No, but seriously -- the fact that Asomugha and Kamerion Wimbley somehow BOTH managed to end up with funky as all get-out finales to their contracts is pretty indicative that something ain’t stirring the Kool-Aid in the front office when it comes to the guy who draws up the deals. Either that or Oakland really wanted to dump Nnamdi this offseason. Which makes less sense than accidentally messing up a pair of big-time contracts.

3. Outside linebacker
Branch and Huff were the leading tacklers for Oakland in 2010, which is good, because tackles are nice. It’s bad because it means that teams were pretty easily getting to the furthest layer of the Raiders’ defense. Letting people break big plays (the Raiders allowed 17 rushes over 20 yards, third-worst in the league, and 51 passes over 20 yards, 11th worst) was a nasty little problem for Oakland last year. And even with "franchise" player Wimbley sitting on the outside, Oakland needs some more run stuffers.


There'll be optimism in the Raiders' fanbase, because there always is. But there's not that much of a reason for it. They're losing one of the top two cornerbacks in the NFL, there's no guarantee that McFadden can continue his much-delayed breakout, there's a 100-percent certainty that Richard Seymour is a year older, and they're still starting Jason Campbell.

Oh yes, and they're still the Raiders too.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:47 pm
 

Chuck Bresnahan named Raiders DC

Posted by Will Brinson

The search is (finally?) over -- the Oakland Raiders announced on Monday night that they Chuck Bresnehan will be the team's new defensive coordinator.

Bresnehan isn't exactly a new face in the Bay Area, however, as he's actually been with the team for nearly a month, under the presumptive title of linebackers coach (following the promotion of Greg Biekert), though many believed he might eventually become the DC.

"This is an incredible opportunity for me to come back to the Raiders and work again where we had so many great years," Bresnahan said. "It's so exciting to be reunited with Hue Jackson because of the passion and energy that he brings. I'm also thrilled to be a part of this talented staff, many of whom I’ve shared previous success with."

Additionally, Bresnehan previously served as the Raiders defensive backs' coach before being promoted to the same position he'll now hold (again) from 2000-2003. During that time, the Raiders won three AFC West titles and made it to the Super Bowl, before former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocked them into a 10-year span of irrelevancy with a vicious title-game beatdown.

"The fact that I’ve had the chance to be in defensive meetings with Chuck and watch him lead the defensive staff made it an easy decision to name him our defensive coordinator," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said. "I am impressed with his passion, attention to detail and energy. This staff gives us the opportunity to have one of the top defenses in the NFL."

That remains to be seen, of course, and because Bresnehan is a retread and not necessarily a fan-favorite hire, if Oakland struggles early, he'll be quickly introduced (again) to the nasty spotlight that is the Black Hole.

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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