Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Plaxico injures ankle; Mason in, Cotchery out?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets wide receiver corps is in serious flux as the head into 2011. With the exception of Santonio Holmes -- who also signed a five-year deal worth $50 million in the offseason, if you want to count that -- it's entirely likely that the group catching balls from Mark Sanchez will look entirely different.

For starters, there's the presence of Plaxico Burress who, by the by, is dealing with an injured ankle after "tweaking" it on Wednesday while "running around, trying to stay sharp." And it's not even the same ankle injury he's deal with in the past. So that should be concerning, right?

Well, coach Rex Ryan said, per our Jets Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman, it's "nothing serious."

And, according to Burress, if this were a game week, he'd be able to practice and/or play.

In other news, the Jets appear on the verge of signing former Ravens wideout (and therefore "teammate" of Ryan's) Derrick Mason, who was cut by Baltimore during their Borders-like employee cuts last week.

To make room for Mason, it looks like Jerricho Cotchery will get the axe.

"If [Mason] passes the physical, he's on the team and I won't be," Cotchery said, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "It's time to move on."

So that means in a very short time, the Jets will have gone from Santonio Holmes/Braylon Edwards/Jerricho Cotchery/Brad Smith to Santonio Holmes/Plaxico Burress/Derrick Mason in terms of their wide-receiver depth chart.

If that happens, is that an upgrade?

No, I'm pretty sure it's not. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that it's a huge downgrade.

Cotchery was praised last year for his toughness, despite playing the slot and not getting any of the love that Edwards/Holmes did. And while Santonio might be one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL, he's going to see a lot more coverage coming his way if the only two options on the field are both 30-plus, with one of them just a few months removed from a lengthy absence from football.

All that being said, you can't fault the Jets for some of the moves -- the Santonio signing is justified as long as he doesn't get suspended, Edwards is a troublemaker and not worth the money they might give him, and there's no way they could have paid Brad Smith what the Bills gave and justified it.

But giving Burress $3 million guaranteed and dumping a locker room leader and consistent on-field presence like Cotchery? That reeks of a mistake, even if Cotchery's dealing with offseason back surgery.

Fortunately for the wideout, he's probably got options. As I noted on Twitter, both the Panthers and Chargers stand out as great options for Cotchery. The Panthers could use veteran wide receiver help to draw coverage away from Steve Smith and mentor David Gettis and Brandon LaFell.

Cotchery was Philip Rivers' No.-1 target in college and the Chargers are currently looking for someone to line up opposite Vincent Jackson.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:52 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 11:57 am
 

Top 10 CBSSports quotes from insane NFL 10 days

Posted by Tim Cary

(Ed. Note: Tim's our social media editor here at the Eye and he did a fantastic job of compiling the 10-best quotes from our stable of stupendous NFL writers over the past 10 days. His post -- and the collection -- is below. But, Tim, really, No. 9?)

Has there ever been a crazier time in NFL history?

CBSSports.com has been bursting at the seams the last couple of weeks as football came back with a bang – from lockout stakeouts…to the free agency frenzy…to training camps opening with half-full rosters…the NFL beat has been anything but slow since the CBA vote.

Unless reading our site is your full-time job, I can pretty much guarantee that you weren’t able to read everything our NFL staff wrote. (Actually, reading CBSSports.com is my full-time job and I’m sure I missed a story or two somewhere.)

So to help you out, we recap the wildest 10 days in NFL history (starting after the owners approved the CBA in Atlanta) with the top 10 quotes from the dozens of articles, blogs, and columns we published between July 22 and August 1.

Without further ado…

10. Story: Randy Moss retires. Hall of Fame awaits, hopes to avoid full moon on induction night.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Once again I have to remind my righteous peers that it isn't the Life Hall of Fame. It's the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and there is no denying [Moss] should be there, no matter what you think about him.”

9. Story: Jets enlist movie star to recruit Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha apparently doesn’t like movies, signs with Eagles.
Quote (Will Brinson): “Is Adam Sandler really the most famous Jets fan that Ryan could call on?”

8. Story: Decade of guaranteed labor peace makes everyone except UFL commissioner happy.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Lockout is now officially the most-hated word for NFL fans, surpassing officiating.
It's also a word that doesn't have to matter for another 10 years. By then, Peyton Manning will have broken all of Brett Favre's records, DeMaurice Smith might be running for the Oval Office and the NFL might have rules fining players just for tackling.”

7. Story: After more than a month of hearing that “a deal is close”, the deal is finally done. Merriam Webster immediately and permanently removes all synonyms of “close” from the dictionary (including “near”, “almost”, “on the verge”, “virtually”, “on the cusp”, “practically”, “imminent”, “around the corner”, “basically”, “at the brink of”, and 206 other variations).
Quote (Mike Freeman): “Do the owners and players deserve credit for saving themselves? I don't know. Does a man deserve credit for throwing himself into a swimming pool knowing he can't swim?”

6. Story: NFL owners approve deal. NFL players take their good old time. Because they can.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “After scanning the details of the NFL owners' proposal for a new labor deal, I have some advice for DeMaurice Smith.
Race to get that thing approved.
When [the deal gets done], Smith should put on the championship belt. He knocked the snot out of the owners with a nasty right hook to the head.”

5. Story: Lockout ends. Much hugging ensues. David Stern purchases new best-selling book by Jeffrey Kessler entitled “How To Decertify A Union And Still Make It Home For Lunch”.
Quote (Clark Judge): [Lawyers for the NFL and NFLPA] scored a bigger haul than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Based on the billing hours accrued for over 130 days of a lockout, I figure each attorney has enough money now to make a down payment on the state of Texas.

4. Story: While NFL general managers prepare for free agency to open by consuming roughly twice their body weight in caffeine, visions of dollar signs begin to dance in agents’ heads.
Quote (Pete Prisco): “Here's one of the toughest questions facing NFL general managers and coaches as they ready for the next four weeks, which will be a virginal path the NFL has not taken in August in past years: How do you truly find out if a guy's heart pumps Kool-Aid?”

3. Story: NFL players start signing mammoth contracts. NFL punters (yes, there is a difference) start signing ridiculous contracts. The national debt expands.
Quote (Mike Freeman): "If you are an NFL player, immediately do the following: Get on a plane, train or hop inside your Lexus. Head to Washington. Best possible speed. Go inside the offices of the National Football League Players Association. Brush by the secretary. Find DeMaurice Smith. Wheel him around in his chair and kiss him. On the cheek. Mouth. Ring. Whatever your comfort level. Just kiss him.”

2. Story: As a prank, Jets coach Rex Ryan sneaks into Bill Belichick’s office and replaces 2011 calendar with 2006 version. This proves extremely successful.
Quote (Pete Prisco): "New England needed speed. Not another possession receiver. My thoughts on this [Ocho-Slow-O] trade: Child, please."

1. Story: Patriots sign “Fat Albert” Haynesworth. In related news, Bill Cosby becomes a Patriots fan.
Quote (Mike Freeman): "Belichick will have his work cut out for him. Ochocinco is difficult to harness and Haynesworth is so larded up his blood type is strawberry Pop Tart."
Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:56 am
Edited on: August 4, 2011 10:08 am
 

Mike Patterson has brain condition, needs surgery

Posted by Will Brinson

Eagles defensive lineman Mike Patterson went to the hospital yesterday after suffering a seizure at training camp. Updates later in the day had him "doing well" but appears to have been premature -- Patterson is now reportedly suffering from brain AVM (arteriovenus malformation) and will require surgery.

That's according to ESPN, and the AVM condition is quite serious -- it essentially means that several blood vessels in his brain have become intertwined and will require surgery and/or radiation to untangle them. Yes, it's quite scary.

Several tweets from his representatives also indicate that things have taken a turn for the worse.

"Our client Mike Patterson's condition is more serious than doctors originally thought," Brian McLaughlin of National Sports Management tweeted.
"Please keep him in your prayers."

"Please keep Mike Patterson in your thoughts and prayers," JR Rickert tweeted as well. "He is getting the best care to address the condition."

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:16 am
 

LeBron James takes to Twitter to defend Tim Tebow

Posted by Will Brinson

On Wednesday, ESPN analyst Merril Hoge came a bit unhinged on Twitter (and then later on television) in ranting against the ability of Tim Tebow to play quarterback. He said some things that wiil -- should Tebow become a successful NFL quarterback -- probably come back and haunt him in the form of spliced-up highlight reels.

For the moment, he simply has to deal with millions of people complaining about him on Twitter. That group of folks include Miami Heat forward and NBA superstar LeBron James.

"Listened to Merril Hoge today on SC and he was just blasting Tebow," LeBron tweeted on Wednesday night. "The man hasn't even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in."

"Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played," LeBron added shortly after the initial tweet. "How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!"

Well, one of the reasons Hoge went 'naners on Tebow is probably explained not just in LeBron's tweets but this very post: attention. As an analyst, Hoge wants people talking about him and right now, they certainly are.

I don't have beef with Hoge's ranting for the reasons that LeBron does -- it's Hoge's job to get on television and provide analysis of current NFL players, regardless of whether or not he was "all world" when he played.

My beef is that he's basically taking a no-risk proposition on Tebow. What are the odds that Tebow becomes successful this year? Pretty low -- he's on a franchise in transition with a coach who only likes veteran quarterbacks and a "traditional" quarterback running the show. He's still got lots of transition before he's ready to actually play in the NFL.

In fact, Kyle Orton would need to suffer a serious injury -- and Tebow would need to make serious strides -- in order for Hoge to get torched on this argument any time in the near future.

And in that sense, LeBron is right, because Hoge's approach (which drew/is drawing a TON of attention) could have been calmer, more professional and, actually, much nicer.

Perhaps he just hates unorthodox quarterbacks. As you can tell from the second link from the top, Hoge isn't a big fan of Vince Young. He's been proven right over the long run on VY, but man-oh-man did Young torch him for a while.

Hoge's rant rallied support behind Young the last time around. As he continues to inexplicably crusade against Tebow, you can expect the former Gator to -- somehow -- continue to become even more popular.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

Posted by Will Brinson

Football's been back for more than a week now. Well, kind of -- there's still the whole pesky notion of an actual CBA getting ratified in time for the beginning of the league year on Thursday, August 4.

Per the language in the NFL's official 2011 NFL Calendar on August 4, "All 2011 contracts signed on or after July 26 become effective at 4:01 p.m. ET, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA." (Emphasis mine.)

Reached for comment on Wednesday, the NFL also added emphasis to the language above.

"The League Year would start after the CBA is ratified by the players," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told CBSSports.com.

It's been assumed by most folks that such a ratification is as good as done (though if you were smart and subscribed to the CBS Football Podcast, you'd already know it wasn't guaranteed after our convo with NFLPA spokesman George Atallah).

But Steelers player rep Ryan Clark, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, spun a different story at Steelers' training camp on Wednesday.

Bouchette notes on Twitter that Clark "doubts" the CBA will be "ratified in time for those vets not practicing to join teams" by the start of the league year on Thursday.

Clark, according to Bouchette, says the "major holdup" with the ratification of the CBA "is Roger Goodell's disciplinary power." Bouchette doesn't note whether Clark's concerned with Goodell disciplining players who broke the personal conduct policy or whether the players are concerned with the actual disciplinary process going forward, but both could be considered obstacles in negotiation.

Adding fuel to the fire? Steelers' cornerback William Gay, who signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh this offseason after hitting free agency, tweeted on Wednesday that he "probably wont be able to practice to tomorrow as accepted."

He likely means expected, but spelling's not the issue here -- the problem is that right now the public thinks football's moving full steam towards starting the league year at 4:01 p.m. ET on Thursday and there is apparently still a speed bump or two to clear first.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:40 pm
 

Roundtable: Are the Eagles the Heat of the NFL?



Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Throughout the 2011 season we'll assemble our crew to discuss important NFL issues, Roundtable style. Though there are more pressing concerns for Philly right now, and though we've discussed this topic on the podcast, we want to know: Are the Eagles the NFL's version of the Miami Heat?


Will Brinson: The Philadelphia Eagles -- or, at least, Vince Young -- believe they're building the NFL's version of the Miami Heat. Obviously, this involves acquiring one of the top-five players at three-fifths of the starting positions on the roster? Oh wait, they didn't do that? Yeah, I don't think the analogy really works either.

That being said, I'm open to the idea that the Eagles are going out and turning themselves into villains while picking up all the biggest names in free agency. Or at least that they're putting a target squarely on their backs as we prepare for the 2011 season to start.

Josh Katzowitz: I find it awesome that it was Vince Young -- I mean, VINCE YOUNG!!! -- was the one who made the comparison. As if he's the key cog of that Dream Team that everybody in the league was trying to secure. I actually think Young gets a bad rap because of his attitude, because I think he's got talent and, most importantly, he's a proven winner. But in this case, he's the guy who's going to be holding the clipboard for Mike Vick. If this were the 1992 Olympic Dream Team, Young would be Christian Laettner. No, he'd be Christian Laettner's valet.   Anyway, I don't see the Eagles as the villains. Unlike the Heat, this wasn't some kind of conspiracy. It's not like Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins decided to join forces because they're such good friends. It's not like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie somehow orchestrated the Kevin Kolb trade. And no matter what you think about Nnamdi Asomugha's intentions, he didn't ask for a one-hour national TV special to announce his decision.    To me, the Eagles -- and Vince Young -- aren't the bad guys. They're just the guys who have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and are trying to take down the pot with the best hand. Which, if the Eagles want to win a Super Bowl, is exactly what they needed to do.

Ryan Wilson: We talked about this on the Eye on Football podcast, but the Eagles can't be the NFL's version of the Miami Heat because if we're going down that road, the Jets have already done it. In the three offseasons Rex Ryan has been in New York he's yet to meet a player with more baggage than talent that he wouldn't acquire if he thought it meant more wins.  The Eagles have Nnamdi and, well, that's about it for big-name talent. Rodgers-Cromartie is a nice player, but the Cardinals traded him for a reason. Vince Young, as Josh points out (and to tie this back in to the Cards) is who we thought he was.  The Jets, meanwhile, have had LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie mosey through the organization since Rex's arrival. And whether you agree with the personnel philosophy, it's hard to argue with the results; the Jets have appeared in AFC Championship games twice in two years, and the 2011 team looks to be the best of the bunch. Plus, as Josh notes, it's hard to hate the Eagles because they haven't won anything. In fact, I half-expect them to falter under the weight of all the preseason expectations, and then all that will be left is to find a way to blame it on Donovan McNabb.

Katzowitz: Well, I think you can still not win a thing and yet be hated. Look at the Heat, for instance. I think the reason the Heat were hated so much is because it was clear LeBron James felt like he couldn't win the title on his own, so he was willing to join forces with his buddies (and take a back-seat role!) to try to buy his way to a ring. There's a big difference between that megalomaniac (and egotistical) approach and improving your team with what looks like pretty smart (though costly) acquisitions. Even with a convicted felon starting at QB, the Eagles aren't hateable. They're just a team trying to win a Super Bowl. Just not in the manner that James and company tried to employ.
Brinson: You can totally lose and be hated -- it's just easier to hate teams and people who win all the time, especially if the folks involved are especially hateable. That's what strikes me as odd about this Eagles team: there isn't anyone you can really hate. I mean, you can dislike VY, but can you really hate him? He's a 28-year-old quarterback who's already fighting his way along the comeback trail, having dealt with mental issues and repeated benchings for Kerry Collins. (That's not hate-worthy material; more like mocking sympathy or something.)

And is Nnamdi the equivalent of signing LeBron James? Um, no, and for several reasons. One, he's not even the best player in the NFL, even if he is the best at his position. And two, he's like a really nice, soft-spoken guy who takes kids to the Met when he's visiting New York City. That's the total opposite of generating money for the Boys & Girls Club by doing a one-hour ESPN special with Jim Gray.

Vick, I guess, is worthy of folks' scorn, but only if you're really, really adamant that anyone who ever harmed a dog deserves never to be given the liberties associated with the Constitution despite having served the required amount of jail time.

Or if you're a PETA member.

Wilson
: Here's the deal, at least in my mind: no, the Heat-Eagles comparison doesn't really work. And even though Philly is imminently likable (even lovable when you see Andy Reid on the sidelines) by fans outside the NFC East (and cat lovers), that will all change if they start winning consistently. Part of that is our fault -- if the Eagles jump out to a 10-0 start the media will be all over it, and fans won't have any choice but to hate them. That's how these things work. The Pats, Colts and Steelers are the most obvious examples, sort of the NFL equivalent of the Yankees and Red Sox. The Eagles are a long way from that level of hatred, but a nice winning streak and wall-to-wall media saturation can change that in a hurry. So in honor of T.O., former Philly wide receiver who really had a knack for getting people to loathe him, I will get my popcorn ready. Just in case.

Brinson: I'd agree with you except the just signed Ronnie Brown and, obviously, that put them over the top. Except not at all, but that's the narrative we'll be hearing the rest of the week I presume.

Vick will be a great litmus test for the symptoms that come with over-exposure to winning. There's absolutely no doubt that the Eagles will be shoved down the public's throat in 2011 -- I count a whopping five (!) national television appearances, and that doesn't include another five (!) that are all but guaranteed to be the CBS or FOX national games of the week.

People didn't hate getting too much of Vick last year because it was an out-of-nowhere comeback story for the ages that polarized the opinion of everyone watching -- either you didn't believe he deserved a second chance or you were thrilled to see redemption on a national stage. Plus it didn't hurt that he was single-handedly marching millions of people to fantasy football titles.

This season will be vastly different because there are expectations -- in both real and fantasy football -- and that always changes the way we perceive athletes. Fans of other teams who rooted for Vick's story won't be doing so this year and if he struggles at all, it won't be nearly as sweet.

Plus, NFL is all-in on the Eagles, so we will be seeing a lot of them even when there's not football being played -- they're the premiere team when it comes to updates, peak-ins, discussions and (duh) roundtables.  So in that sense maybe they are the Miami Heat, who somehow warranted their own section on many a sports website during the 2010 season.

Which means we've somehow come full circle on this analogy. At least until Mike Kafka's under center in Week 5.
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Posted on: August 2, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 9:44 am
 

Podcast: Chris Kluwe Talks Music, McNabb and more

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who you may remember as one of the only players to call out four of the named plaintiffs in the Brady v. the NFL lawsuit, joins the podcast to talk about -- what else -- his lockout comments.

Kluwe also weighs in on his band, Tripping Icarus (you can download their music from iTunes here and listen at their Myspace page here), giving up his No. 5 to new Vikings QB Donovan McNabb, and the fact that we now have actual football.

Co-hosts Will Brinson and Ryan Wilson then break down Randy Moss' retirement, the various free agency comings and goings around the league, whether the Eagles are the "Miami Heat of the NFL," and if Chris Johnson is worth "Adrian Peterson money."

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



Posted on: August 2, 2011 3:07 pm
 

Nick Fairley in walking boot at Lions practice

Posted by Will Brinson

There were many concerns surrounding Auburn DT Nick Fairley leading up to the 2011 NFL Draft. In fact, such concerns are precisely why he fell to the Lions at No. 13 overall. (For the record, we loved the pick.)

One of those concerns wasn't "injury" necessarily, but it's already become a problem for the Lions just a few days into the 2011 season, as Fairley's at Lions practice with a walking boot on his left foot after injuring it in drills Monday.

"It's not [a big setback] at all," Fairley said, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press. "I'm doing whatever I can do to get ready to get back as soon as I can."

Yes, it would be safe to wonder when exactly "as soon" as he can will be. Well, all Fairley could offer was, "really don't know yet."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz was a little less vague.

"Still doing some tests on him and having a lot of different people look at his stuff, but he’s down for now, and we’ll see what happens," Schwartz said, also per Birkett.

The walking boot isn't the end of the world, of course, and it's probably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a first-round investment like Fairley especially just 24 hours after his injury.

But concern will certainly arise with respect to Fairley's conditioning if the injury lingers and/or he's not available soon after the injury. That isn't necessarily a reflection on him, but it's how things work with NFL and the expectations that come along with being a first-round pick who slips because of work-ethic concerns.

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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