Tag:Brandon Marshall
Posted on: August 18, 2010 1:15 pm
 

It's the last day of school feeling

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After a loooong stay at Lehigh University, the Eagles broke camp today. As the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, it sounds like it was a scene directly out of “Dazed and Confused” when Alice Cooper sings, “School’s Out” where papers are flying and students are ripping up their text books and kids are jumping out of windows (I can’t find a video clip, but I’m sure you know what I mean).

By all accounts, it was a grueling camp, but the best news for Philadelphia was that the team suffered no major injuries.

From the Inquirer:

(Coach Andy) Reid said that there were an extra 200 plays this camp as a result of the extra week of practices. With 13 drafted rookies, more than a dozen undrafted rookies and plenty of other new faces, the extra time allowed all the newbies to get acquainted with the Eagles' ways. And that meant enduring Reid's brutal two-a-days.

“I think that built a foundation," Reid said. "In particular, a young group, and I think they need to be introduced to what the National Football League is all about. It’s faster, there’s more pressure put on you mentally and physically than what you had at the college level, and there’s no better place to figure all that out than right here."

According to Reid, camp also showed that quarterback Kevin Kolb could handle all the responsibilities that come with the job and exemplified further that the Eagles weren't misguided when they traded away Donovan McNabb and promoted Kolb.
 
The best part about this scene was what occurred on the basketball court in the parking lot after school let out.

Apparently, RB LeSean McCoy didn’t believe that QB Michael Vick could dunk the ball and bet him that he couldn’t. Vick proved him wrong, and without taking a running start, flushed the ball through the hoop with a two-handed jam.

Unlike Broncos WR Brandon Marshall, who might have an inflated self-worth of his basketball skills , maybe Vick actually could play in the NBA if there’s an NFL lockout next year.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 4:49 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 5:23 pm
 

McNabb also interested in an NBA future

Posted by Will Brinson

Remember when Brandon Marshall wanted to be in the NBA? Well, we debunked that prospect to much that he's resorted to becoming a punter as well, in hopes of making some extra cash.

Turns out though, he's not the only NFL'er interested in balling it up in the L. You can go ahead and add Donovan McNabb to the list. McNabb told NBC Washington's Dan Hellie (via the Washington Post' s Dan Steinberg ) that if the NFL gets locked out, he's headed to the Wizards.

"Well, we just drafted John Wall, [have] Gilbert Arenas, they're looking for kind of a power guard that can come in, get a little physical down low," he said. "I can go play with the Wizards if things don't really work out. Drop about 10, 15 basketball pounds...slap some boards a little bit, get up on the rim.

Obviously McNabb is joking a little bit more here than Marshall appeared to be, but it still warrants discussing whether or not he could succeed. For that, we turn to our NBA expert and my good buddy, Matt Moore.
"Oh, that would be great. The one thing you want is a plodding bruiser who's longest part is his mid-section. Should work well. I've got an idea. Let's just shorten Andre Iguodala's arms by four inches and add 25 pounds. Should be about the same." Interesting that Matt referenced Philly there, right? (And quick aside: I really only asked Matt for a quote because it cracks me up that he gets auto-tagged as the Carolina Panthers quarterback. LOL, ammaright?)

Especially since McNabb said "us" when he was talking about the WASHINGTON Wizards. Guh, guess the guy has no loyalty.

Just kidding -- McNabb's a pretty awesome dude. Also, he repeated the mantra that he wants to be with the Redskins for "years." And considering the stark juxtaposition of a guy like Donovan and guy like Brett Favre (not just in how they treat teams, but how teams treat them ), it's refreshing to see someone be entertaining, honest and loyal.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:14 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:48 pm
 

Brandon Marshall punting practice balls (again)

Posted by Will Brinson

The Dolphins traded for Brandon Marshall because they wanted an elite, tough, pass-catching receiver on the roster. (Or a versatile swingman , one or the other.)

Thus far, at least in real game action, they have to have been disappointed, given Marshall's case of the dropsies -- a.k.a. "The Braylons" -- against the Bucs and his lackluster performances in their scrimmage.

But they're not the only ones. According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post , Marshall, who said he was "not going to make any excuses" for his drops, reverted to an old trick of his: punting the football in practice!
Monday, his frustrations finally played out on the practice field. Toward the end of practice, after Marshall dropped a short pass in the end zone, he picked up the ball and punted it over the fence. He then spent the rest of the practice standing by himself on the sideline, though it is not clear if he was ordered to do so, or was just brooding by himself. Oh, memories. Marshall devotees will recall that he pulled a similar little stunt in Denver , albeit with less enthusiasm. Only this time it's not like he's feuding with his coach (as far as we know anyway). He's just frustrated with his personal play.

Unfortunately, when you finally get the trade out of town that you've wanted for two years and then get a huge extension from your new team that expects you to be the focal point of their passing game and help them make a run at a division title, well, it's probably time to man up, work harder and stop acting like a five-year-old every time you drop a ball.

Update (1:44) : Well, it turns out that in the time it took me to write that post, Marshall actually punted ANOTHER ball . This time, though, it was after he scored a touchdown. And it was apparently a "statement" to the media (and the coaches and his teammates?) who were silently judging him for -- you guessed it -- punting the ball .

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm
 

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 13, 2010 9:11 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 9:13 am
 

Harvey Steinberg: Marshall's NBA shot needs work

Posted by Will Brinson

Yesterday, Brandon Marshall let the world know that he wanted to play in the NBA , should the NFL become locked out for 2011. NBA blogger Matt Moore and I discussed the possibility of this happening (although, as noted by one reader at the NBA blog, we left some names out of the discussion -- namely, Calvin Johnson; I'd also throw out a younger Randy Moss as someone we should have talked about) and the unlikelihood of it working.

Harvey Steinberg, Marshall's agent, confirmed our suspicions to the Denver Post 's Mike Klis -- Marshall's basketball skill set isn't ideal.

Steinberg claims that he and Marshall recently played a game of three-point shootout at Steinberg's "palatial Denver-area home." The result?

"He lost," Steinberg said, adding," His inside game better be a lot better than his outside game."

I have no Earthly idea what kind of game Harvey Steinberg has -- he's a lawyer/agent-type, though, and I've never seen a TON of those guys be really, really good at sports. (So good, anyway, that they can beat a professional athlete a game that said pro jock feels he can make money engaging in.)

But if what's he's saying is true, then Marshall needs to quickly rethink his backup plan for the NFL lockout in 2011 and just start stuffing cash into mattresses -- even if his inside game is superior to his apparently awful three-point shot, it's not like (at 6'4") he's going to be posting up Dwight Howard or anything.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 10:02 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Could Brandon Marshall play in the NBA?

Posted by Will Brinson

That's the question NBA blogger Matt Moore (what, even the Panthers quarterback needs a hobby) and I set out to answer in a series of emails Thursday night when Brandon Marshall announced he was heading to the NBA if the NFL lockout actually occurs. These are those emails.

Brinson : So, Brandon Marshall wants to play in the NBA when/if the NFL gets locked out. Unfortunately, there's not enough roster spots to go around for my NFL peeps to just make the jump (not to mention 75% of them couldn't make it in the L), but it kind of brings up an interesting question: which guys from the NFL could ball it up in the NBA?

I think at some point we've discussed crossing over the other way (Bron would be an epic tight end and Allen Iverson's high school tapes still make me drool) but who the hell is your first pick from the NFL pool if you're creating a basketball team? Or, alternately, could Marshall make it? At 6'4", 230 he at least has the body, if not the game.

Moore: As I said in my post (SYNERGY, BABY), he's got a combo-guard's body, but a small forward's skillset. Maybe with his soft hands and awareness, his handle would actually be pretty good. Wait, why does it sound like I'm building his Match.com profile? Anyway, his athleticism would transfer, and that's really the big determining factor. Athleticism is at a premium in the NBA. Work ethic and focus are much more important in the NFL, and that's why guys like Wes Welker likely wouldn't translate well. But Marshall is kind of an ideal candidate.

I'd be interested to see some of the taller, slimmer defensive ends at power forward and center. But even then, most would be too small. Julius Peppers is 6-7 and 283. That's small forward height with power forward weight. As a comparison, Josh Smith is 6-9 and 234. That weight differential is what would probably make the most awkward translation. Then again, most NBA players would likely be destroyed by the sheer physical nature of these guys.

Brinson: I love that you thought of Wes Welker, who's barely taller than me . (Although, hey, Earl Watson, Muggsy and Spud made it ...) But you're right -- Marshall would be a good candidate to shift leagues.

As would Peppers, who, I'm sure you know, played ball at Carolina. So he's got a pedigree, not to mention being a freakish athlete. Size would be an issue, though: you almost never see NFL players even sniff the high end of six feet.

Also, think about guys like Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates (who also played basketball). Gates is 6'4", 260 and fast, which makes him an unbelievable tight end prospect. But in the NBA? He'd be a fat shooting guard. (Or, so Gates doesn't beat me up next time I see him, how about "stocky"?)

Moore: I mean, that's really the issue. It's not a matter of the NBA guys being more athletic, it's that they're athletic at the things which make them good at basketball. How's that for some obvious analysis? Essentially, all those high flying catches you see in the NFL? That's an average NBA jump. That's "kind of trying for a rebound on the perimeter" in the NBA.

Now, the explosiveness would probably translate. The way tight ends, defensive linemen, linebackers, running backs, and receivers come out of their breaks? That would work well on the perimeter, provided they could dribble. Of course, they'd have to be able to finish at the rim, but then you'd think the hyper aggression might get them there.

Hey here's an idea. Ray Lewis versus Kevin Garnett. I know they're both past their primes, but think of the insanity on the floor.

Brinson: Yeah, I'm pretty confident that Gates can dunk without any real issue, but he's not going to be going against six-foot-tall DBs when he's attacking the hoop or boxing out people on the block. Or as you put it "kind of trying for a rebound on the perimeter," a.k.a. a "Vince Carter Rebound."

Here's the other problem -- how many shots is Gates going to get off with J-Smoove guarding him? Like 10 out of every 20 with a lot fadeaways mixed in?

How about instead, we just bring Tractor Traylor out of retirement and have he and Andre Smith go NBA Jam style with Garnett and Ray-Ray? Fat AND crazy -- that's something I can get behind.

Moore: Bringing it back home, if Marshall can shoot, then I think he could conceivably make a roster. I mean, how many guys at the end of a bench are there only for their athleticism? I think that the size differential between NFL (shorter and more muscle) and NBA (longer and lankier) means it's going to be difficult for anyone, but Marshall's receiver-to-combo-guard may be the model.

You know, if we can't get Tractor Traylor back.

Do you think Marshall could ball in the NBA? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @cbssportsnfl and @cbssportsnba .

Posted on: August 12, 2010 7:57 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2010 8:04 pm
 

Brandon Marshall's lockout plans? Play in the NBA

Posted by Will Brinson

Brandon Marshall has a financial plan, if NFL players are locked out by owners before the 2011 season (as many people believe they will be).  That plan isn't exactly "save" (financial stability will be of paramount importance, and the union is telling the players to do just that) or "invest" or something logical like that. It's "play in the NBA."

No, seriously.

"My first team will be the Nuggets and my second team will be the Heat -- I'm serious," Marshall told ESPN's Adam Schefter .

"There's not going to be any football," Marshall predicted. "If there's a lockout, I have to find a job. I figure the Nuggets will be a better choice because of the welcome home cheer I'll get -- a couple of boos at first. I'm gonna get with a basketball coach and get to work, prepare for the lockout."

Marshall was QUITE firm about his prediction, pointing out that he was "not pursuing" the dream, he is "going to be on an NBA team. Seriously."

Tony Sparano was less optimistic, saying, "I've seen him jump -- he's not playing basketball."

We'll have more on this soon, because it's an interesting topic, but for now, let's just hope that Marshall is wrong. About the lockout, that is -- if he's forced to play in the NBA, we're all going to be a bunch of sad people about this time next year.

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Posted on: July 16, 2010 1:16 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Position rankings: wide receivers

A. Johnson makes a TD catch over Chicago's C. Tillman (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on wide receivers.

Andy Benoit’s top five

5. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins

4. Calvin Johnson, Lions

3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

2. Reggie Wayne, Colts

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I wish we could do top 10 receivers – this position is flooded with talent. A lot of times, a receivers’ success depends on the system he’s in. For example, Miles Austin, with his fluidity and speed, produces like a top five receiver in Dallas’s catch-and-run offense. But could he succeed in a downfield “power-throwing” offense like Vincent Jackson does in San Diego? Probably not.

As you can see, I like receivers with freakish athleticism and size. These five guys can dominate in any system. Shuffle Fitzgerald, Wayne and Andre Johnson in any order you want – just don’t drop Wayne from the Top 3 and tell me it’s because he plays with Peyton Manning. Wayne might be themost fundamentally-sound player in the entire NFL.

Calvin Johnson hasn’t done anything yet, but that’s only because he’s stuck in Detroit. He’s at least 125 percent as gifted as anyone on this list.

I’m willing to have just about any discussion that pertains to the best receiver in the game – just as long as you don’t try to sell me Randy Moss. As a deep threat, Moss is the best ever. As an all-around receiver (route running, blocking, reading coverages, etc.), he’s average.

Josh Katzowitz’s top five

5. Calvin Johnson, Lions

4. Wes Welker, Patriots

3. Reggie Wayne, Colts

2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

1. Andre Johnson, Texans


I agree with everything you said about Johnson. He’s the best WR out there today. He seemingly has it all. He runs great routes, he can make the tough catches in traffic, and he has great athleticism.

Fitzgerald has recorded 25 touchdown catches the past two years, more than any other receiver. Plus, his dad is a sportswriter – which bodes pretty well for my children. I like him just a little bit better than Wayne, who’s more experienced but not quite as athletic and who, like you said, has the benefit of catching balls from one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. But I agree with the top-three – which, truth be told, is hard to argue against.

I’ve got to go with Welker at No. 4. He has sneaky speed, he can read any defense, and his yards-after-contact numbers are extraordinary. Will he be the same receiver after his knee problems? Well, we won’t know that until the regular season begins, but for now, Welker is a top-five guy. I’m interested to hear your take on Welker, Andy. I dropped Johnson to No. 5, because he flubs too many catches.

I thought hard about putting San Diego’s (for now) Vincent Jackson on the list. He has a very high yards-per-catch average, and he’s a very good blocker. But with the three-game suspension and the fact he might hold out for much of the season, I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I also thought about Sidney Rice, but one season doesn’t make a career. Where do you stand with those guys?

Andy’s rebuttal

I have no problem with Welker being top five. The numbers are there – 346 catches for 3,368 yards over the last three seasons – and there isn’t a little thing he doesn’t do right. Welker is the sustaining element of New England’s offense. I left him off my list because he’s essentially confined to the slot.

Jackson might be the best deep threat in the NFL right now. And while I’m on numbers, I’ll mention that 58 of Jackson’s 68 receptions last season resulted in a first down. Of everyone you mentioned, Josh, Rice is the only player I never considered. He had a great ’09 campaign, but given his (albeit short) track record, I need to see him do it at least once more.

Josh, you surprised everyone by not taking a principled stand and including a “solid, scrappy (read: white)” backup receiver like Mike Furrey or Austin Collie on your list. Since this made our lists virtually identical, how about we do the top three wide receiver duos in the NFL? But let’s put a wrinkle in it: top three duos, but no member of the duos can be on our top five list (i.e. no Moss-Welker, Wayne-Garcon or Johnson-Walter). Here’s what I have:

1. Donald DriverGreg Jennings, Packers. Perfect fits for Green Bay’s quick-slanting system.

2. Vincent Jackson – Malcolm Floyd, Chargers. Their size and speed creates nightmares for defensive coordinators and allows Antonio Gates to work against safeties and linebackers.

3. DeSean JacksonJeremy Maclin, Eagles. Jackson is fast becoming the best big-play weapon in the game. Maclin, in only his second season, could soon emerge as another version of Jackson.

Josh’s final word

Jeez, Andy, you make it sound like I put backups on my top five lists. Hey, I wasn’t the one who put Chad Greenway on my 4-3 outside linebackers list. That was you.

I’ll play your game, though.

1. Driver – Jennings, Packers. You’re absolutely right about these guys, Andy. Driver has been really good for many years, and though neither of these guys are top 10 by themselves, they help make Aaron Rodgers look really good.

2. Sidney Rice – Percy Harvin, Vikings. These guys are young – 23 and 22, respectively – and with Brett Favre throwing passes their way probably for the next … oh, say … five or 10 years (psst, he’s never going to retire), the Minnesota offense will continue to be very dangerous.

3. Jackson - Floyd, Chargers. We've talked about Jackson, but Floyd was solid last year after the Chargers waived Chris Chambers. He obviously needs to score more touchdowns - he only had one last season - but his 6-foot-5 stature will continue to grab the attention of QB Philip Rivers.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle   | Center | Offensive Guard | Tight End )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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