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Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: August 12, 2011 9:16 am
 

NFC North podcast preview featuring Dale Jr Jr

Posted by Will Brinson

We're taking a spin around the NFL with our Podcast Preview series this week and our latest stop is in the NFC North. Ryan and I break down a slew of issues relating to the division and I'm joined later by Josh Epstein of the white-hot band Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. (buy their new album "It's a Corporate World" on iTunes here; check them out on Facebook here).

Lest you think it's just random awesomeness, Josh is actually a huge Lions fan. And, hey, speaking of the Lions, can they finally "make the leap" to become a non-terrible team this year? Because that's one of the questions we ask. We also wonder if Donovan McNabb is the worst quarterback in the division, if the Vikings are destined for a last-place finish, whether anyone in the entire world will have the stones to pick against Green Bay, if we actually remembered that Chicago won the division last year.

All that -- and much, much, more -- by clicking the play button below. Also, SUBSCRIBE VIA ITUNES.


If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.



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


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 9:22 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:18 am
 

Podcast: Previewing the AFC North

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

We're rolling out the NFL previews and first up on the podcast: the AFC North.

Unlike other divisions, where any team could win, the AFC North will come down to the Steelers and Ravens, although there will be a race to the basement between the Browns and Bengals. That said, both Cleveland and Cincy have relatively easy schedules and there's a chance (remote but not impossible) that one or both of these outfits could win more than six games.

For that to happen, young quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Andy Dalton will have to play out of their minds and get a lot of help from their teammates. McCoy performed better than anybody expected last season, and with expectations predictably low for Dalton, there really is no place for him to go but up (assuming, of course, he doesn't get maimed by the Ravens' or Steelers' defenses at some point during the season).

Baltimore fans may not be sold on Joe Flacco, but the front office's decision to cut ties with two of his favorite receivers -- Derrick Mason and Todd Heap -- won't magically make him a better player. As it stands, the Ravens have Anquan Boldin and, well, that's it. Rookie Torrey Smith could be forced into duty, which while great for getting him some early experience, won't do much for the passing game. The solution: more Ray Rice.

Pittsburgh returns basically the same team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. If you're a Steelers homer and looking for a silver lining from that loss: there won't be any Super Bowl hangover. So there's that.

Alright, talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 10:48 pm
 

Rex Grossman predicts Redskins will win NFC East

Posted by Will Brinson

If there's one thing we know about Rex Grossman, it's that he doesn't lack confidence. (John Beck, by the way, isn't short on competitive enthusiasm either.) But the prediction he dropped in a recent interview, following his ascension to the unofficial No. 1 quarterback in Washington, well, it's just delusional.

Grossman, in speaking with Kelli Johnson of CSN Washington, predicted that the Redskins would win the NFC East.

"We're fine being the sleepers right now," Grossman said. "We're just waiting in the wings waiting to take over the NFC East. No one's talking about us. IT's right where we want to be. You look at us from top-to-bottom out here, there's a bunch of great players.

"We don't need people saying we're the best right now. When it's all said and done I really feel like we're going to win the NFC East."

Um, yeah. Look, you gotta admire Grossman's confidence, however misplaced it seems.

But the odds of the Redskins winning the NFC East? Well, they're not good. And actually, if you want to put a number on them, they're 25/1, according to Sportsbook.com.

That wouldn't be bad if it were their Super Bowl odds, but when Vegas drops a double-digit number on a team to win its division, it's a pretty clear-cut indicator that they won't be doing that. (The 2-14 Panthers, in fact, are only 20/1 to win the NFC South.)

Anyway, back to the Redskins. They are simply not going to win the division, regardless of the fact that Grossman's done it before.

"This offense, from top to bottom, is better than that offense I had in Chicago," Grossman said. "And the defense is going to make a ton of strides this year. I know they are. I know we're going to be a good team."

Maybe so. (Not likely, but maybe.) Predicting that the Redskins defense could suddenly turn into 2006 Bears and help a quarterback who completed 54 percent of his passes, threw 20 interceptions -- against just 23 touchdowns -- and averaged under 200 passing yards is probably closer to "foolish" than it is "bold."

But, hey, if Grossman wants to get 20/1 on any sort of bet, I'm more than happy to oblige.

HT: DC Sports Bog

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 2:32 pm
 

Adrian Wilson has torn bicep muscle, back Week 1?

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite losing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles via the Kevin Kolb trade, the Cardinals still have a pretty stout secondary for 2011. So the report Monday that Pro Bowl safety (and High Point, North Carolina native!) Adrian Wilson has a torn muscle in his bicep is pretty disturbing.

Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Wilson "is determined to try and play with" the tear in the muscle and is going to get a second opinion on the injury.

Wilson also told, per Kyndra de St Aubin of 620 KTAR, Patrick Peterson that he would be back in time to play for Week 1.

Paul Calvisi of KTAR cites sources who tell him that a "non-surgical option exists" that would allow Wilson to "rehab [and] play most of the season."

Don't expect to see Wilson play in the preseason, and there's a very good reason why the Cardinals re-signed free agent safety Matt Ware, who played 14 games for Arizona last year.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 8, 2011 1:34 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Ravens sign RB Ricky Williams to two-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

The Ravens went out and made one of the more underrated signings of the offseason, picking up fullback Vonta Leach before he could re-sign with the Texans. One problem: they'd already cut Willis McGahee and lost Le'Ron McClain to the Chiefs, leaving Ray Rice as the only running back worth using on their roster.

Enter Ricky Williams, who agreed to terms with Baltimore on Monday, according to Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the deal is a two-year contract "worth up to $4 million."

It's a pretty tremendous signing for the Ravens, who get to reunite Williams with his former head coach in Miami Cam Cameron (the OC with Baltimore, natch).

2011 NFL Free Agency

But, more importantly, Baltimore has upgraded their running game at this point, because adding Williams gives them a perfect power complement to the elusive (but also strong) Rice out of the backfield.

With Leach blocking and Williams giving Baltimore a different speed out of the backfield, don't be shocked if the Ravens running game is once again impressive in 2011.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 10:48 am
 

Podcast: Tim Tebow vs. Merril Hoge - Who ya got?

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Merril Hoge took to Twitter earlier this week to share his thoughts on Tim Tebow, NFL quarterback. Hoge, to put it mildly, was unimpressed with what he saw. So, naturally, we talk about it on the podcast.

We think most rational folks would agree that Kyle Orton gives the Broncos the best chance to win now, although Tebow could one day be an NFL starting QB. It's just that the day hasn't arrived yet. So while Hoge's sentiments aren't particularly controversial, the way he delivered them clearly rubbed some people the wrong way, including Tebow. So is that a problem? Or is public criticism part of the implicit deal professional athletes make when they sign lucrative contracts and play on national television every week?

In other news, we discuss the Dolphins' quarterback situation, the Jets' wide receivers situation, and pose the hypothetical question: of the three wideouts, who would you want: Randy Moss, Plaxico Burress or Braylon Edwards?

Talking starts below. (Just hit the play button and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.)


Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Eye on Football's free agency winners and losers



Posted by Will Brinson

Free agency isn't done yet (you can follow the latest updates at our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker) but wow, what a freaking week that initial run was, huh?

We saw big names sign big contracts in surprising places, we saw various players value drop tremendously and we saw the Carolina Panthers spend eleventy billion dollars*. Well, a full week in, it's about time for some knee-jerk winner/loser reactions, yes?

WINNERS
Philadelphia Eagles: There's no way around it -- the Eagles are the biggest winner in free agency. The last-second signing of the biggest free agent cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, guarantees that, especially when coupled with their ability to pawn off backup Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick and then pick up Vince Young to replace him. Also, they signed everyone else available. Or that's what it feels like.

Carolina Panthers: Well, maybe "Charles Johnson/DeAngelo Williams" is a better way of putting it, because they got straight paid. So did Thomas Davis, by the by. But in general, the Panthers stepped up in a big way by bringing back a ton of their players and convincing Steve Smith to hang around and kick off the Cam Newton Era. (Yes, it warrants mentioning that Newton's reduced contract is how they're able to afford all these guys.) Even if they don't win their division -- and it's unlikely they will -- they're still reinvigorating a fanbase that was pretty complacent after last year.

Rams/Lions: Everyone who roots for these teams keeps asking why they're not spending money, and that's exactly why they're winners -- they recognized that now's not the time to go out and blow up the plan by spending a pile of cash on a big-name free agent. Both teams landed quality guys (Eric Wright for Detroit, Harvey Dahl for the Rams, to name a pair) and I'd add the Buccaneers in here but anyone who spends $19 million on a punter isn't winning.

Houston Texans: The fact that Houston was able to pick up front-seven defensive help in the draft (J.J Watt) and then swoop in on Johnathan Joseph is huge. Even more impressive? That they realized when it was time to cut bait on chasing Nnamdi and nab Joseph, therefore giving them a top-flight cornerback and a serious chance to compete and/or win the AFC South.

Roger Goodell/DeMaurice Smith: After teetering on the brink of becoming the two most-hated men in a world that features no football, Goodell and Smith rallied their troops, repaired their relationship and got a deal done that will provide labor peace for the next decade. As a result, traffic, interest and excitement for football picked up right where it left off after an amazing 2010 season. They really should just pair up for a US presidential run in 2012.

LOSERS
Rookie quarterbacks: Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were supposed to be starters coming out of the gate. Um, not so much -- it sure looks like they're going to be sitting behind Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck during 2011. The only two rooks who have serious shots at taking early snaps are Andy Dalton and Cam Newton, and that's only because they are actually the best quarterbacks on their team.

Oakland Raiders: It would be one thing if they just lost Nnamdi. But they also lost tight end Zach Miller, who had previously been franchised. Topping it all off? They lost Miller because they shelled out $48 million for Kamerion Wimbley. Every time you think things are changing in Oak-town, they stay the same. /Googles "Weekend at Bernie's" clips

Linebackers: Well, linebackers not named Paul Posluszny, anyway. Poz is a nice addition to the Jaguars but I'm not entirely sure they should have given him $7 million a year over six years with $15 million guaranteed, especially with other available talent on the market. That available talent -- Nick Burnett, Stephen Tulloch and Manny Lawson, most notably -- ended up getting one-year deals as a result of the market swing after the Jags' overpaid.

New York Jets: The Jets made a lot of moves and nearly grabbed Nnamdi, but losing him isn't why they're on this side of the list. They're here because they paid a lot for Santonio Holmes and still saw the overall quality of their receiving corps drop drastically. In addition, they had to give $32 million to Antonio Cromartie in order to shore up the other side of their secondary. They'll probably end up going to the AFC Championship Game (again) and we'll hear plenty of Super Bowl guarantees, but this is an offense that could struggle in 2011.

Miami Dolphins: The Fins made a splash by trading for Reggie Bush, but, um, yeah, about that quarterback situation. When was the last time you heard fans chanting for Kyle Orton? Things are going to get ugly before they get pretty in South Beach, and if their chances at landing someone who can compete for the starting QB gig went so poorly that Brett Favre has to come in, well, you don't need me telling you whether they won or lost.

* Approximate. OK, I made that number up but either way, the Panthers dropped a lot of coin.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 6:29 am
 

Sparano on Favre: 'I can't rule anything out'

Posted by Will Brinson



UPDATE (4:00 p.m.): Bus Cook, Favre's agent, likened Favre to Elvis (no, really) in an attempt to downplay the rumors.

"Brett Favre's retired, that's all I can say," Cook told ESPN. "He's like Elvis now. People just won't let go."

------

The Brett Favre watch isn't dead, we're sorry to inform you. We thought it was dead when his agent Bus Cook told the press that Favre is "retired, period."

But then Tony Sparano, who's dealing with some major quarterbacking drama down in Miami, had to go and refuse to say he wouldn't look at Favre for the Dolphins.

"I can't rule anything out...I'm giving you the only answer I can give you," Sparano told reporters when asked about Favre, per Omar Kelly of the Miami Sun-Sentinel.

But all the fault isn't on Sparano -- Dave Hyde, a Sun-Sentinel columnist definitely poured a couple gallons of gasoline on the proverbial fire when he decided to write a column Thursday titled, "Why shouldn't the Dolphins call Brett Favre?"

His list of five specific reasons why the 'Fins should sign Favre are, actually, not that suspect, outside of the part about turning "the Dolphins from a team no one's talking about to one everyone is."

That's just silly, in my opinion. And not because all the publicity surrounding Favre with the Jets and Vikings the last two years has been terrible either. It's because the goal is to win football games, not "get attention." 

But, yeah, I'll recognize that Favre might sell more tickets than incumbent Chad Henne. And jerseys. And ... well, maybe that one works too, dammit.

Still, couldn't we at least just let the initial overtures on Favre begin in a way that doesn't require me to delete a bunch of comments telling me that "this isn't news"? Please?

Didn't think so -- and so we beat on, boat in the past and whatnot.

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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