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Tag:LaDainian Tomlinson
Posted on: August 23, 2010 9:49 am
 

Hot Routes: No Favre here whatsoever

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to josh [dot] katzowitz [at] cbsinteractive [dot] com.

-Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com has a nice breakdown of how well the 49ersfirst-team offense and first-team defense played in their 15-10 win vs. the Vikings on Sunday. Most impressive on defense was LB Patrick Willis, who had four tackle on just nine snaps played. Most impressive on offense was QB Alex Smith, who completed 5 of 6 passes and completed all three of his third-down attempts on San Francisco’s opening drive.

-The Minneapolis Star Tribune is already looking forward to Saturday’s third preseason game against Seattle. It’s because, like most every team when it heads into the third exhibition of the year, the starters likely will play into the third quarter.

-San Diego allowed disgruntled Vincent Jackson to speak with Seattle’s representatives, but Michael Lombardi of NFL.com thinks that might have been a bad idea.

-With Rams QB A.J. Feeley injured, don’t be surprised if No. 1 overall pick Sam Bradford gets the start in the team’s third preseason game Thursday at New England. Feeley is thought to have a sprained thumb, but he underwent an MRI Sunday to better determine the damage.

-With Michael Matthews turning his ankle in practice Sunday, the Bills are down to just one tight end . That lucky man is Jonathan Stupar. Expect Buffalo to take a look at the free agent market.

-Apparently, New York Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson loves playing in the preseason. I mean, he absolutely LOVES it . Which is probably news to everybody in the NFL.

-With the return of Patriots WR Wes Welker and Seahawks RB Leon Washington from gruesome leg injuries, Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated discusses Gale Sayers’ shot knees and the pain tolerance the Bears legendary RB has. Pretty awesome/gruesome stuff there.

-Cowboys S Gerald Sensabaugh will miss the rest of the preseason and his status for Dallas’ season-opener is in question because of a subluxation in his shoulder.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 12:14 am
 

NYJ and NYG answer some of our questions

(US Presswire) Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I know it’s the middle of training camp. I know it was a preseason exhibition that means absolutely nothing. But man, the Jets looked good. Man, the Jets looked like they could contend for a Super Bowl.

Ugh, I hate myself for writing something like that based on one measly preseason game in which the team I’m touting lost by 15 points. But the first-team offense, for the most part, looked very good – except when the Jets got to the red zone – and the defense, like last year, looked pretty nasty. They looked like a team that still could be playing in February.

If ….

If, that is, they get back Darrelle Revis. Because without Revis, New York might not be the Super Bowl team coach Rex Ryan thinks they can be. A virtual unknown WR named Victor Cruz made that pretty clear tonight during the Giants 31-16 win against the Jets.

Earlier today, we had three questions for each team entering tonight’s game. Let’s look at the answers (which are in bold.)

Jets

1) How will Kyle Wilson look? Without Darrelle Revis around, Wilson is sure to get looks with the first team. How he performs could affect the team’s negotiations with Revis. If Wilson looks completely competent, the Jets can afford (perhaps) to take their time with Revis. If he looks overmatched, maybe they’ll give Revis’ agent a quick phone call post-game. It wasn’t Wilson that looked overmatched. It was the rest of the secondary, minus Antonio Cromartie. We’ll get to him later, but Victor Cruz beat three different Jets CBs for touchdowns (Dwight Lowery, Drew Coleman and Marquice Cole). More than perhaps anybody else associated with these teams, Revis might have gained the most tonight. Except maybe for Cruz.

2) Can Mark Sanchez handle a more high-profile passing attack? Last year, Sanchez could allow his running game and his team’s defense to help him win games. This season, the Jets likely will allow him to test his arm a little more. We might get a few chances to see that tonight. Aside from the tipped INT on his first pass of the game – a throw into double coverage Sanchez shouldn’t have made – he was very impressive, completing 13 of 17 passes for 119 yards and a TD.

3) Does LaDainian Tomlinson still have it?
This obviously won’t be answered tonight. But if Hard Knocks is any indication – and that’s debatable – Tomlinson still has speed and the ability to make the big play (even while catching it out of the backfield). I imagine he’ll get some playing time tonight to see how he performs in a game-like atmosphere. Tomlinson played the entire first half and showed some bursts of speed that were exactly what the Jets wanted to see. Shonn Greene is still the starter – no question about that after blowing away the Giants defense – but Tomlinson looks like he has some fuel left in the tank. The 16-yard TD that was called back because of a hold was pretty exciting for Jets fans to behold.

V. Cruz had quite a night, catching three TD passes for the NYG (AP). Giants

1) Will the Giants defense be better than last year? It’d be tough to have been worse. As Clark Judge so astutely points out in his Giants camp report , the squad allowed 427 points last season, the most since 1966. To say that’s embarrassing is an understatement. Let’s see how new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s men perform. Not all that impressively actually. Sanchez pretty much accomplished whatever he wanted, and Greene gashed them for mid-sized gains. Plus, the personnel confusion on Sanchez’s TD pass to Brad Smith was embarrassing.

2) How will the Giants’ new additions on defense help? New York get safety Kenny Phillips back and the Giants have added LB Keith Bulluck, first-round pick DE Jason Pierre-Paul and safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant. How will they all mesh? The Giants have added some veterans, but does that mean all of these players still have the ability to dominate on defense? Phillips and Bulluck didn’t play. Rolle and Grant were pretty good early. Pierre-Paul was, at times, dominated by Jets OT Damien Woody, but he managed to elude Woody with his speed late in the second quarter and sack Sanchez. Less than a minute later, though, Pierre-Paul was whistled for offsides.

3) How much will the Giants miss Domenik Hixon on returns? Last year, he averaged 15.1 yards on punt returns and performed relatively well on kickoffs. But he tore his ACL early in training camp, and it sounds like RB Danny Ware will handle kickoffs and CB Aaron Ross will take punts. Yet, Ware only has returned two kicks in his career, and Ross hasn’t done it at all (though he seemed pretty decent at it his final two years at Texas) The loss of Hixon could be a pretty big deal. Let’s talk about special teams as a whole here. P Matt Dodge was fairly horrendous, line-driving his punts and having another one blocked. Three of Andre Brown’s kick returns didn’t extend past the 22-yard line. Ross did nothing of note while fielding two punts.

-A few other observations: Eli Manning said the mix-up between him and Brandon Jacobs was the quarterback’s fault. In case you missed it, the two collided on what was supposed to be a handoff, Jets LB Calvin Pace then blind-sided Manning and popped off his helmet and Manning’s forehead smacked into Jim Leonhard’s helmet, opening a three-inch gash on his forehead that needed 12 stitches to close. Said Manning in quotes distributed by the team: “I feel fine. I feel normal. Sometimes you make a mistake and get hit in the head."

-Cruz was a joy to watch. He made a one-handed catch on a 64-yard TD pass, and he was the most remarkable subplot of the evening. He’s battling with Sinorice Moss for the sixth WR spot. Moss didn’t play because of a groin injury. Moss, in the next three games, should make sure he finds a way to get on the field.

-The Giants first-team offense recorded five yards in the first quarter. Don’t forget that.

-Kellen Clemens replaced Sanchez to start the second half. Wait a minute, I thought Mark Brunell was the backup QB.

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




Posted on: August 16, 2010 7:25 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 8:35 pm
 

What to watch for in NYG-NYJ game

NYG defensive coordinator Perry Fewell will begin to show his wares tonight against the NYJ (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Only one game on the preseason docket tonight, but it should be an interesting one. New York Jets vs. New York Giants in the new stadium the two squads share. HBO’s Hard Knocks cameras will be there. So will Rex Ryan and his never-ending string of F-bombs. So will the Giants, who have claimed they have no idea what Hard Knocks is.

I’m sure the fans in attendance will be on their best behavior, and since they’ll want to study up on tonight’s most important storylines while eschewing any type of alcoholic beverage that could impinge on their abilities to break down the game, here are three pressing questions for each team.

Jets

1) How will Kyle Wilson look? Without Darrelle Revis around, Wilson is sure to get looks with the first team. How he performs could affect the team’s negotiations with Revis. If Wilson looks completely competent, the Jets can afford (perhaps) to take their time with Revis. If he looks overmatched, maybe they’ll give Revis’ agent a quick phone call post-game.

2) Can Mark Sanchez handle a more high-profile passing attack?
Last year, Sanchez could allow his running game and his team’s defense to help him win games. This season, the Jets likely will allow him to test his arm a little more. We might get a few chances to see that tonight.

3) Does LaDainian Tomlinson still have it?
This obviously won’t be answered tonight. But if Hard Knocks is any indication – and that’s debatable – Tomlinson still has speed and the ability to make the big play (even while catching it out of the backfield). I imagine he’ll get some playing time tonight to see how he performs in a game-like atmosphere.

Giants

1) Will the Giants defense be better than last year? It’d be tough to have been worse. As Clark Judge so astutely points out in his Giants camp report , the squad allowed 427 points last season, the most since 1966. To say that’s embarrassing is an understatement. Let’s see how new defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s men perform.

2) How will the Giants’ new additions on defense help? New York get safety Kenny Phillips back and the Giants have added LB Keith Bulluck, first-round pick DE Jason Pierre-Paul and safeties Antrel Rolle and Deon Grant. How will they all mesh? The Giants have added some veterans, but does that mean all of these players still have the ability to dominate on defense?

3) How much will the Giants miss Domenik Hixon on returns? Last year, he averaged 15.1 yards on punt returns and performed relatively well on kickoffs. But he tore his ACL early in training camp, and it sounds like RB Danny Ware will handle kickoffs and CB Aaron Ross will take punts. Yet, Ware only has returned two kicks in his career, and Ross hasn’t done it at all (though he seemed pretty decent at it his final two years at Texas) The loss of Hixon could be a pretty big deal.

And if you didn’t think this preseason game was huge enough, consider the following: this will be the first contest where officials will experiment with starting and stopping the game clock themselves from the field.

From USA Today :

Four officials will wear a smartphone-sized pack by which they can control the pace of the game clock with the press of a button. The officials will work in concert with the game clock operator in the booth, and the system will activate whenever the first official hits the button.

The goal is to be more accurate and reduce lag time between when a play ends or when the ball is set and when the game clock officially starts.


If all goes well, the league could consider adding the system in 2011.


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Posted on: August 15, 2010 8:43 pm
 

LT not thrilled by Gates and Rivers' comments

Posted by Will Brinson

A few weeks ago, we discussed a feature out of San Diego in which Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates addressed the departure of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Neither Gates nor Rivers bashed LdT by any means, but their comments, which indicated that Tomlinson was the rough equivalent of a dark cloud floating around the locker room, weren't exactly filled with effusive praise.

In an article from Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times from Saturday, Tomlinson responded to their quotes.

"I thought they were my guys," Tomlinson said. "People always say, and my family has said it to me, that you know who your real friends are when you're at your lowest point and you don't have a job or whatever. And guys, they said what they felt, whether they were taking shots at me or really just saying what they felt needed to be said."

Tomlinson also addressed his leaving the Chargers, stating that he "started to see my departure out of San Diego way before" the media did ... although it was apparently only two years ago. (Which, you know, is when we ALL knew it.)

"Obviously, they had to start to build that team around Philip and get the guys they needed around him," he said. "I didn't fit that. That's why I kind of found myself on the outside looking in, and looking for work after this past season."

It's understandable that he'd be upset by the comments from Rivers and Gates -- even if it's their team (and it may have been before even this year), what they said is tough to hear regardless of how far removed Tomlinson is from San Diego.

That being said, though, Gates and Rivers were both honest and accurate and it's tough to fault them just for being candid. Just as it's tough to fault the Chargers for making a smart business decision and letting LT go, even if it was a year too late.

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Posted on: August 7, 2010 11:30 pm
 

Ryan: LT is 'best 3rd down back in the league'

Posted by Will Brinson

Plenty of superlatives have been dropped around LaDainian Tomlinson's name throughout his career in the NFL. At this point, it seems pretty hard to think we could add more (even "best running back to never win a ring" seems like a stretch with Barry Sanders out there; besides, the Jets already won the Super Bowl in 2010).

Rex Ryan found a way on Saturday though. According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News , Tomlinson is the "best third down back in the league."

That's not necessarily an insane compliment, considering that it affirms the belief that Tomlinson will play second fiddle to Shonn Greene.

And it's much easier to throw props to LdT when he's ripping off 70-yard touchdown catches on the first play during the team's Green/White scrimmage, as Tomlinson did on Saturday afternoon.

“That was kind of my plan just to show people that I can still play this game,” said Tomlinson, who had two catches for 85 yards and a TD. “I still got a lot left in the tank. People are starting to see that I still got a lot left in the tank.”

Doubting Tomlinson's remaining skill has been plenty trendy this offseason, but that's partially why the chip on his shoulder heading into 2010 is so large.

Fortunately for everyone involved with the Jets, Ryan knows how to make it even bigger, all while complimenting him.

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 10:27 pm
 

Was LaDainian Tomlinson holding the Bolts back?

Let's be perfectly clear on one thing: LaDainian Tomlinson is a future Hall of Famer, a class-act of a football player (and a person), and -- most importantly to this subject matter -- he helped make the San Diego Chargers a dominant franchise of the 2000's.

However, in reading what is a fantastic piece by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune , one gets a very clear sense that Tomlinson's veteran/legend status was something that made many of the other players -- including equally high profile players like Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates -- on the Chargers' roster uncomfortable.

“I don’t know how everyone feels or if they felt it,” said Rivers, who answers questions about Tomlinson the way someone walks through a minefield. “Maybe it was a little bit of a relief. Maybe it’s a feeling of, ‘I can do a little more without wondering what he thinks.’ ”

"Sometimes you would get the sense that people felt bigger than the team,” Gates said. “Not to say it was an issue, but we know it’s not an issue for sure now.”

Acee makes it very clear that his story is not "about the Chargers being better off without Tomlinson" but instead about a locker room "metamorphosis" that wasn't happening with LT on the roster.

And really, I recommend reading the entire thing; not just because I'm an unabashed Rivers homer (I am), but because of the candor that comes through from some of the quotes, including this relative bombshell from the former NC State product:

“That got real touchy the last 18 months,” Rivers said.

Specifically, he's referring to Tomlinson's unhappiness at his reduced role in the Bolts' offense. But the full assessment of the quotes show that it wasn't just on the field where Tomlinson had drifted behind Rivers -- it was the locker room too. Apparently, playing in the AFC Championship Game without a freaking ACL (and you'll recall, LT was on the sideline for that one) will garner some respect from your teammates.

And that's why it's Phil Rivers' team now, and probably for a long time down the road.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 5:37 pm
 

AFC West Preview, Podcast Style

We're incredibly close to having weeks and weeks and weeks of football without a break. It's a wonderful feeling, no? To celebrate, the Facts and Rumors blog decide to fire up the old podcast machine.

We're getting things rolling with an AFC West preview -- Chiefs' fan and NBA F&R blogger Matt Moore joins us to tell you exactly how things are going to pan out in the incredibly weak division.

Will Ryan Mathews replace LaDainian Tomlinson's production? Are the Raiders really on the right track to winning again? Can Tim Tebow save the Broncos? And will Yoda Charlie Weis teach grasshopper-in-training Matt Cassel how to revive a failing franchise?

All that and more, all for the low, low price of clicking a play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .


-- Will Brinson

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

Posted on: July 29, 2010 11:12 pm
 

Joe McKnight fails Jets' physical

Good news, Jets fans. Since HBO apparently couldn't fit in any more drama out of Jets camp for "Hard Knocks," they've decided to have Joe McKnight provide some comic relief.

Either that, or he's horribly out of shape. Because, according to Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman, McKnight failed his physical today.

It's the next step in a bit of a nightmare off/pre-season for McKnight, who spent most of rookie camp vomiting and cramping up . (Aside: Is it just me or is 100x more noticeable when a former USC player does something that's the opposite of "good" these days?)

The Jets can't be too pleased either. Shonn Greene is great, but the probably wouldn't have drafted McKnight if they were completely confident in LaDainian Tomlinson's ability to back him up.

Plus, having a fourth-round draft pick start out like this can't be entirely too pleasing to those that invested in him.

-- Will Brinson

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


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com