• Author:
  • Published: Nov 12th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
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News, Notes and Rumors for wacky week 10

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NOTE:  Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.  On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend.  On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.

 

NOTE:  Thursday at 6 PM EST Join David Kay of walterfootball.com and the Sports Bank for a preview of the college basketball season on The Bill Smith Radio Show.

 

News:

QB Jay Cutler missed only 1 game (and the bye week) and returned to start for the Bears against  Detroit.  However, he was forced to leave the game with a possible ankle injury.

 

Titan QB Jake Locker suffered a Lisfranc injury early in the game against the Jaguars.  The team believes it will end his season.

 

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder injured his left non-throwing shoulder in the game Thursday.  He is expected to miss some time.

 

Texan RB Adrian Foster has a bulging disk in his back.  It will require surgery which will end his season.

 

Packer backup QB Seneca Wallace left the game against the Eagles with a groin injury.  He was not playing very well with a healthy groin.  Scott Tolzien replaced him.  In his press conference after the game head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Tolzien would start next week.

 

49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree could return to the field soon.  He has been cleared to practice.

Future Hall of Fame S Ed Reed said after the last loss by the Texans that the team was out coached.  The team then released him.  Moral of the story–The truth may set you free but it does not guarantee employment.

 

Notes:

Seahawks 33 Falcons 10 – Despite a patchwork line the Hawks gave up only one sack.  The combination of passing by QB Russell Wilson (19-26-287 yards-2 TDs-0 interceptions) and the rushing of RB Marshawn Lynch (24-145-1TD) overwhelmed the depleted Falcon D.  The Hawks built a 23-3 half time lead then ran the ball in the second half.  The Falcon O ran the ball only 16 times for 64 yards.  The Falcons’ big FA addition RB Steven Jackson got just 11 yards on 9 carries.  That put the game in the hands of QB Matt Ryan.  He had a decent day going 23-36 with 1 TD and no picks but for only 172 gross yards.   The Hawk D held the Falcons to convert only 4 of 12 third down attempts.  The Hawks converted 9 of 15.  The Hawks scored 4 TDs and 4 FGs.  The only Falcon TD came with just 1 minute left in the 3rd quarter.

 

Panthers 10 49ers 9 – The O line of the 9ers is very over rated.  While they run block fairly well, QB Colin Kapernick was beaten down.  The Panther D got 6 sacks and more than a dozen hits on him.  The Panther D held the 9ers to just 151 yards and allowed just 2 of 13 third down conversions.  The 9ers allowed two long drives for a TD and a field goal.  The 9er O could do very little.  They had to settle for field goals in the first half and did not score after the intermission.  The 9ers also lost both safety Eric Reid and TE Vernon Davis. Both suffered concussions.  The Panthers proved they are for real at least on D.  The 49ers will go nowhere until they fix their O line.

 

Lions 21 Bears 19 – The Bears scored with 40 seconds left in the game.  They had two tries at a 2 point conversion to tie but both were unsuccessful.  Cutler started the game but was only 21-40 for 250 yards 1 TD and 1 pick.  He went out on the final drive due to an ankle issue.  Josh McCown came in and drove the Bears to the final TD.  The win put the Lions in first place in the NFC North.

 

Eagles 27 Packers 13 – In a battle of backup QBs, the Eagles showed more offense and defense than the Pack.  Eagle QB Nick Foles was outstanding again.  He was 12-18 for 228 yards with 3 TDs and no picks.  RB Leshawn McCoy ran for 155 yards on 25 attempts.  Tolzien was 24-39 for 280 yards with a TD but threw 2 picks.  It is clear that the Packers (5-4) are in deep trouble until QB Aaron Rodgers returns from a broken collarbone.  The win put the Eagles (5-5) back into the NFC East race.

 

Jaguars 29 Titans 27 – The Jags got their first win of the season.  The Titans had more passing yards, a better 3rd down conversion rate and fewer sacks allowed.  But they lost 3 fumbles and an interception.  One fumble was returned for a Jags TD.  Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Locker lost a fumble.  So did RB Charles Johnson.  Fitzpatrick did pretty well going 22-33 for 264 and 2 TDs without an interception.  But the Jags build a 13-0 lead and the Titans could never catch up.

 

Steelers 23 Bills 10 – Bills QB EJ Manuel was back but looked very rusty.  He was 22-39 for just 155 yards with a TD and a pick.  The Bills could not get the O going in the air or on the ground.  They ran for just 95 yards.  They scored their only TD with only 3 seconds left in the game.  Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was not much better throwing for just 204 yards with a TD and a pick as well.  The Steelers won by taking advantage of better field position and a 37 yard punt return.  Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season.

 

Ravens 20 Bengals 17 – The story of this game was in the last few seconds and overtime.  On the last play of regulation Bengal QB Andy Dalton threw a 51 yard Hail Mary.  Rather than knocking it down, a Raven DB tipped it up in the air and A.J. Green caught it for the score.  In overtime the Ravens stopped the Bengals and drove for a winning FG.  Both teams were busy all day giving the ball away.  They each committed 3 turnovers.

 

 

Rumors:

I have never coached at the NFL level.  As a coach I never allowed rookie hazing.  But my years of experience at the semi-pro level leads me to believe that a guy like Jonathan Martin would not have lasted a week on my teams.  If he did not have enough guts to stand up against a team mate, how could he be expected to stand up under the pressure of a big game?  The answer is he will not.  Because the team is only as strong as the weakest link, the team can’t allow someone like Martin to play.

 

The Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin uproar will end the jobs of both Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland.  Philbin will be fired because he should have known about the situation and should have stopped it.  Ireland will be fired for wasting a high second round pick on a mentally weak O lineman like Martin.

 

There was a rumor that Roethlisberger was irritated by the Steelers poor line play and had asked for a trade.  First it is doubtful that a team would take on his salary at his age with his history of injury.  Second there is no indication that he has asked for a trade.

 

Several coaches are on the hot seat.  The Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is one of the latest rumored to be in jeopardy of losing his job.  But he is not the one that drafted badly for so many years.  Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is the one that should be fired.  I outlined his draft failings earlier this year.  Check out my editorial http://fryingpansports.com/steelers-fall-far-fast/.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 23rd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 7

News, Notes & Rumors for week 7

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NOTE:  Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.  On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend.  On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.

 

News:

Rams QB Sam Bradford suffered a torn ACL and will be lost for the season.  The only other QB on the team is Kellen Clemens so the team will need to find one.

 

Bears QB Jay Cutler left the game with a muscle tear in his groin.  Backup Josh McCown played well in his absence.  The injury to Cutler will keep him out for at least a month.  The Bears are thinking of signing QB Josh Palmer.  They also lost LB Lance Briggs.

 

Bengals top CB Leon Hall suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury.  If it is torn he would miss the rest of the season.

 

The Eagles lost QB Nick Foles to a groin injury but Mike Vick should be able to play next week.  That is a good thing for the team since QB Matt Barkley threw 3 interceptions.

 

Colt WR Reggie Wayne suffered an ALC tear and is out for the year.  At 35 it is not certain if he will try to return next season.

 

Ravens RB Bernard Pierce suffered a leg injury which is not considered serious.

 

Texans LB Brian Cushing suffered a torn LCL and broken leg.  He tweeted he would be back.

 

Redskin S Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for 2 games for illegal hits.  He has appealed the suspension and it will be heard soon.

 

The NFL lost two of the old timers in the league.  Titans owner Bud Adams and former Oiler coach Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr., both 90 years old, died this past weekend.

 

 

 

Notes:

Jets 30 Patriots 27 OT – The Jet defense harassed QB Tom Brady all afternoon.  The Jet D held Brady and the Pat O to 1 of 12 third down conversions.  Despite the 3rd down failures the Pats built a 21-10 lead at half time.  QB Geno Smith was 17-33 with a TD and a pick.  He looked sharp.  The Jets traded with the Saints to get RB Chris Ivory.  He proved his worth for the first time this season running for 104 yards on 34 attempts.

 

Cowboys 17 Eagles 3 – While QB Foles may have looked like a legitimate starter in Chip Kelly’s O last week, that was the defenseless Buccaneers.  Against the Boys, Foles was exposed.  He was slow to react and make down field reads.  He lacks the speed to challenge the D outside on the zone read.  That hurts the run up the middle and allows the D to play man to man.  He also struggled badly with accuracy.  The Boys were not an offensive juggernaut either against one of the worst defenses in the league.  The Boys scored just 3 points in the first half.  That was bad but the Eagles scored just 3 points for the game.

 

Steelers 19 Ravens 16 – The Ratbirds still have not solved their O issues.  All of the Raven stats look decent but QB Joe Flacco could not make the play at the critical time.  The Raven O line struggles to handle a blitz.  The pressure forced Flacco to move and that is not his strength.  The Steeler O was not much better.  They also moved the ball between the 20s but failed to get it into the endzone.

 

Bills 23 Dolphins 21 – QB Ryan Tannehill threw 3 TDs but also lost a fumble and threw 2 interceptions including a pick 6.  The Fish O could not stay on the field converting just 3 of 13 third down attempts.  Bills QB Thad Lewis was just OK but threw for 202 yards without a TD and one pick.  The game turned on Lewis leading two scoring drives in the 4th quarter for field goals.  Starting on his 26 Lewis led the Bills for a field goal early in the 4th quarter to bring the score to MI 21 BF 20.  Tannehill was not able to increase the lead.  When he was sacked he fumbled late in the 4th.   DE Kyle Williams recovered at the Miami 34.  Lewis drove the team to the 13 for the final kick to win.

 

Redskins 45 Bears 41 – The Bears not only lost their QB early in game, they lost their lead in the NFC North.  But it was not QB Josh McCown that let the Bears down.  It was the Bear D that caused the loss.  The D gave up 499 yards including 209 on the ground.  Time will tell if this was a one time thing or an indication the Bears are a pretender.  Redskin QB Robert Griffin is looking better every week.  With just under 4 minutes left the Bears led 41-38.  RG3 drove the Skins on an 80 yard drive and scored on a run with just 45 second left for the winning TD.

 

Packers 31 Browns 13 – Browns O was offensive in a bad way.  Check out my in game notes right below this article on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

Texans owner Bob McNair gave head coach Gary Kubiak the feared “vote of confidence” after the team almost upset the undefeated Chiefs.

 

The Rams may have lost Bradford due to a punch.  Earlier in the game OT Chris Long was ejected because of an alleged punch.  On the play on which Bradford was hurt he was forced out of the pocket due to the pass rush.  He was hit on the sideline and is out for the season.

 

The Bronco loss to the Colts showed the two major flaws in their game.  First the O line is below average but has been disguised by Payton Manning’s quick release.  This loss also showed that the Bronco D is not as strong as it appeared.

 

Mike Florio reports that Jags WR Justin Blackmon could be traded by Oct. 29th the trading deadline.  There are several teams that have lost WRs or need another one.  Those rumors also include a possible trade of Browns WR Josh Gordon who will be suspended for at least a year if he fails another drug test.  NBC Sports Pro Football Talk reports the Gordon trade is not “probable.”

 

Despite a near record level of ineptness in his game Monday night, Vikings Coach Leslie Frazier said QB Josh Freeman could start Sunday against the Packers.

 

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski announced that Jason Campbell will be the starter against the Chiefs Sunday.

 

 

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

First round QBs in the NFL Draft may disappear.

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Not that long ago most NFL teams gave a rookie QB 2 or 3 years to mature and learn the game. However, that has changed in recent years and it may be changing again.

First round QBs are expected to start quickly and some of them are able to do that. The recent success of Roethlisberger (PT), Sanchez (NJ), and Ryan (AT) make us forget the list of those that have crashed and burned in recent years.

We start with 2007 because it is too soon to evaluate players being a bust from the 08 or 09 drafts.

2007-1st pick JaMarcus Russell Oakland Russell has thrown a total of 18 TDs and 23 picks since joining the league. He has a career passer rating of 65.2. In the 2010 draft the team traded for Campbell to replace him.

2007-22nd pick Brady Quinn Cleveland He didn’t get thrown into the game immediately but that still didn’t help him. In 3 years he had a rating of 66.8. He was traded to Denver this year for a bucket of water. They were so impressed with Quinn that they used a 1st round pick on QB Tim Tebow.

2006-3rd pick Vince Young Tennessee His first 2 years he was the starter and had passer ratings of 66.7 and 71.1. He got benched in 08 and the first part of 09 but came back after learning a little more about the game and had some success.

2006-10 Matt Leinart Arizona He started in game 5 of 06 and threw 11 TDs but 12 picks. He ended that year with a QBR of 74. He was named the starter in 07 but was done after 5 games with a QBR of 61.9. He has started 1 game since. He will have to fight for the job this year because the Cards traded for Anderson after Kurt Warner retired.

2006-11th Jay Cutler Denver Cutler was quite successful in his first 3 years with QBRs of 88.5, 88.1 and 86.0 before wearing out his welcome forcing a trade to Chicago. There he threw 27 TDs but 26 picks and a QBR of a mediocre 76.8.

2005-1st overall Alex Smith San Francisco Smith started the last 5 games of 05 and all of 06. But 7 games into 07 he was pulled for an undrafted FA. Even with a QBR in 09 of 81.5 his career number is 69.2. In his first 3 seasons he threw 19 TDs but 31 picks.

2005-25th Jason Campbell Washington Campbell sat out 05 but started 7 games in 06, 13 games in 07 and every game since. Despite improving his stats each year, he was traded to the Raiders this season for a 4th round pick in 2012. That is the equivalent of a 6th round pick this draft.

So in the 3 seasons we looked at, there were 7 first round QBs picked and only Cutler has been successful enough to be named a replacement pro bowler after a couple of others backed out. Young may be on the upswing after sitting for a year and a half. The rest were pretty much busts. Those busts set their teams back several seasons except the Cards that had future Hall of Fame QB Warner in reserve.

So what is the problem? There are several factors that are making the drafting of a QB in the first round less likely now and perhaps prohibitive in the near future.

The first cause is cost. The price of a QB as the 1st pick in 2010 will be 50 million in cash guarantees. Bradford will get that even if he never plays a down for the Rams. The Rams were willing to take offers to trade down but even in an uncapped year there were no serious bids for the pick.

The more pressing issue is the spread offense of the College game. More and more college teams are using a version of the spread and QBs that play 3 or 4 years in that system are not at all prepared to come to the NFL.

The pass patterns that the spread runs are very limited. The most frequent pattern is the bubble screen. There are very few teams that use the route tree like that of the NFL. The favorite pattern in the NFL is the skinny post. Very few college QBs even know what that is.

WRs are wide open in college but are not open at all in the NFL. As a result, QBs are not forced to make the throw to the back shoulder of a WR. There is accuracy in college but that does not relate to accuracy in the NFL.

The average QB is in the shotgun 90+ percent of the time. They never have to worry about the 3, 5, and 7 step drop back. Footwork is critical to accuracy and almost none of the QBs coming into the league have consistent footwork.

The CBs that an NFL QB faces every week are better than any that a college QB in his career. The college kid has seldom seen a rotating zone or combination man/zone D. Those are used every week in the NFL.

The worst part of the spread is that QBs never have to make more than 2 reads of the defense. Bradford was not even looking at the D prior to the snap. He was always looking for the coach’s call from the sideline. It takes time to learn to do pre-snap reads. An NFL QB has to know where the pressure is likely to originate and has to adjust to it.

The more the rookie 1st round QBs cost the more pressure there is to put them under center Day 1. But given the complexities of the NFL defenses and the lack of NFL offenses in college, the more expensive QB is less prepared to come into the league.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio http://www.sportstalkcleveland.com/ Monday afternoons at 1 Eastern. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL Draft,NFL Draft grades,Bradford,Tebow,Russell,Campbell,Roethlisberger,Sanchez,Ryan,Quinn,Young,Leinart,Cutler,Smith,49ers,Browns,Steelers,Falcons,Jets,Raiders,Redskins,Bears,Bron
cos,Titans

Around the NFL for 10/17/09

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There aren’t many decent games this weekend. Most of the games are either the very good against the very bad or 2 bad teams playing each other. Here are a couple I like.

Game of the week NY Giants 5-0 @ New Orleans 4-0

Two undefeated teams meet to decide the early inside track to the top seed in the playoffs. The Giants come in off the closest thing the NFL has to a game week bye beating Oakland easily. The two issues that the Giants have to find an answer to are RB Jacobs who is under performing and the injury to their QB. QB Manning has a foot problem that is not going to get better during the year. It is a problem because there is no quality backup.

The D has played as well as it ever has and is holding the opponent to a 24% 3rd down conversion rate. That is outstanding. They have 14 sacks and is holding the passing game to 4.9 yards per passing attempt.

The Saints have played much better on D than anyone expected them to. They have stuffed the run holding opponents to 3.7 per carry. There is no question about the power of the O through the air. QB Breez is a top player and has a passer rating of 108.4. But the running game is struggling. RB Bell ran very well but has been hurt and should return this week. The Saints have had a week off and that should help but the Giants are the 2nd best team in the conference and will win on the road.

Baltimore 3-2 @ Minnesota 5-0

This game could end up 6-3 without the benefit of a 50 MPH wind like Buffalo/Cleveland faces last week. The Ravens have the most improved player in the league this year in QB Flacco (90.2). He was a care-taker last year but is making plays to win games this season. He will be without his LT Gaither (neck) but still should make some plays. The question is will he make enough? The running game has passed from McGahee to Rice and the latter is averaging 5.8 per carry. They will have to run the ball this week because the Vikes D puts a lot of pressure on the QB in passing situations.

The Vikes have had running problems this season. RB Peterson is fine averaging 4.9 per carry but his partner Taylor is not. He is getting only 2.5 per attempt. Peterson is not a 30 carry a game guy. The Vikes are going to have to find someone to reduce the burden on AP. Favre is doing what he needs to in order win. The D is outstanding but has not yet played up to their level last year. They are giving up too many yards on the ground and have trouble getting off the field despite an easy schedule so far.

The Ravens are mad and will come in and take Minnesota out of the undefeated category.

Chicago @ Atlanta

Two 3-1 teams face off in a critical game for both because they are chasing undefeated teams leading their respective divisions. This game could determine which team gets a wild card spot in the NFC. Both teams have struggled with the running game averaging only 3.8 per attempt. But this game highlights two of the best young QBs in the game—the Falcons’ Matt Ryan (102.9 passer rating) and the Bears’ Jay Cutler (89.3). There will be a lot of balls in the air.

Both teams depend on a well above average D. The Bears have allowed 78 points and the Falcons have given up just 68. The Bears are +3 and I will take the points and Chicago.

Denver 5-0 @ SD 2-2

The Chargers have their backs to the wall in the division. No question that DV has been very lucky to be undefeated. SD is 2.5 games behind and needs a win to get back into the race for the division. DV has 2.5 signature wins including the .5 win over NE because they won the toss in overtime. QB Orton has proven to be a good fit for the short and medium throws he is asked to make. He has assembled a passer rating of 97.4. RB Moreno is averaging 4.2 but struggles to get the key short yard 3rd down coversions. The Bronco D has played well but racked up better numbers against Cleveland and Detroit. The one thing that the D has been able to do is put pressure on the QB. The team has 16 sacks with DE/LB Dumervil having half of those.

The Chargers are struggling running the ball averaging only 2.7 yards per attempt. RB Tomlinson has been a non factor most of the season so far. The team placed the Franchise tag on RB Sproles to keep him in SD. But he is only getting 2.4 yards per carry. The lack of a running game has put a lot more pressure on the passing game and QB Rivers. He has a passing rating of 90.6 which is hard given the lack of quality protection from the O line and the opponent knowing you have to pass on almost every down.

Denver will run out of luck soon but not this week. The Broncos put the SD hopes for the division title on life support.

Stinker of the week:

There are several nominees for this “honor” but one stinks beyond all others. The NFL should pay people to watch the Rams @ the Jags. The winner? The UFL.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,Saints,Giants,Jacobs,Manning,Breez,Bell,Ravens,Vikings,Flacco,Favre,McGahee,Gaither,Rice,Bears,Falcons,Cutler,Ryan,Broncos,Chargers,Orton,Rivers,Dumervil,Tomlinson,Sproles,Rams,Jaguars
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 29th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Niblets for August 2009

Niblets for August 2009

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Best comment of the month: on Tuesday morning QB. Analysis: Sanchez has all the tools except experience in the NFL

from Crime Scene Cleanup

I am very interested to see where Sanchez is in 5 years. Looks like he is a great guy, but I’m still not sold on him being a franchise QB or anywhere close to it…Time will tell

Crime: That is the beauty of Pro Football, time will definitely tell.

Updates on previous articles:

The Bengals will go as far as their O takes them. Carson Palmer is hurt already with a high ankle sprain. The team says that he will be fine for game 1. Don’t believe it. The dreaded HAS is the kind of injury that will linger all year.

Major League Baseball gets “BALCOed” right between the eyes The Federal court has ordered that the samples and test results be destroyed. Now that is a decision that would have meant a lot more to MLB 3 years ago!

Bronco Owner Bowlen shoots his team in the leg. Now the 2nd best player on the team, WR Brandon Marshall, has been suspended until Sept. 6th. He is not happy and wants to be traded like QB Jay Cutler. The QB that they got for pro bowl Cutler looks like a gun shy rookie and the Bears are coming to Denver to play. Nice job Bowlen. Stay away from Marshall as a top 4 rounds list in your Fantasy Draft. WR Eddie Royal’s value is now higher.

Dallas needs a new head coach to get to the next level WR Roy Williams was hurt on Thursday when he collided with a DB in a no pads half speed practice. X rays were negative on his shoulder. Nice job Coach Phillips. The yellow pages to find a Realtor are holding up the leg of your desk.

Tampa Bay—Pick a quarterback; any quarterback Friday night the Bucs announced that Byron Leftwich would be the starter game 1. In my opinion this is the right pick but Tampa is a long way from being competitive. Stay tuned because this is likely to change any time.

Fresh pickings off the cob:

The next challenge for the America’s Cup is to be held in the Persian Gulf (???) All kinds of law suits are grinding through the courts. Was the water off Somalia not available? How stupid can they be to put yachts in the middle of the Gulf wars? Hopefully the yachts won’t get run over by an aircraft carrier or Iranian war ship.

Jerry Jones and his JumboTron vs. the NFL The NFL has backed off of forcing JJ to move the world’s largest HDTV. The only thing bigger than the Tron is Jerry’s ego. Jer, next time hire an engineer.

What do preseason games mean? Not much except PS Week 3. We will take a long look at week 3 results of the 1s vs 1s and what those games mean after we finish the NFC West.

Two 1st round picks are not yet signed. Guess who? Andre Smith (OT Alabama) has yet to sign with the Bengals. Nothing surprising here because Mike Brown (the cheapskate of the league) always struggles to sign early picks. The other is WR Michael Crabtree (Texas Tech) is the other with the 49ers. Crabtree believes he was the best WR in the draft but the Raiders didn’t think so and drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey before Crabtree. Don’t look for either to be a factor this year. The critical aspect of the preseason and training camp is to get the O line working together as a unit. Smith will be too far behind. Besides, Smith was not known for his work ethic. He was the one that walked out of the Combine because he wasn’t ready despite knowing when it would be held for 2 years. He isn’t a bust yet but might already be a “bu.”

Crabtree faces 4 problems. First, it usually takes WRs 2 or 3 seasons to blossom. Second, very seldom is a college junior at all successful in their rookie season. Third WRs coming from the run and shoot type O like the one at TT struggle more than those from a more pro style program. And 4th, he has really pissed head coach Mike Singletary off and that is not likely to get him on the field any time soon.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: MLB,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football
Technorati Tags: Bengals,Palmer,Balco,steroids,Bowlen,Broncos. Raiders,Cowboys,Jerry Jones,America’s cup,Persian Gulf,Williams,Phillips,Bucaneers,Leftwitch,Cutler,Orton,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,MLB,law suit,Marshall,Jason Smith,Crabtree,bust
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 24th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

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Chargers @ Cardinals

The Charger O  line is not playing nearly as well as it did last year. They are giving up sacks more often than they should. Even all pro tackle McNeil is slacking. LG Goff is not doing the job.

The SD Defense looks sharp in the red zone but not so much in the middle of the field. They totally stopped QB Kurt Warner and the Cardinal O in two 1s vs 1s series in the red zone. They picked Warner off in the endzone and forced a 4th down when the Cards had the ball 1st and goal inside the 10 from a great kick return.

In the middle of the field Warner was able to find receivers wide running open. The Card running game was just OK against the Charger D. They did not have their #1 pick RB Beanie Wells. He is out with ankle problems.

Matt Leinart was the 3rd QB in the game against the Chargers. He came in with only 8:35 left in the game but drove the team from his own goal line to the Charger 11 in 5:32. But on 2nd down and 3 he threw into double coverage incomplete. On 3rd overthrew WR Long in the endzone. On 4th he again threw into tight coverage and turned the ball over on downs. He looked sharp until he got to the red zone then couldn’t convert. In 2 games Leinart has a passer rating around 78. He is fighting journeyman Bryan St. Pierre for the backup spot.

The Card #1 D did a good job but the team just doesn’t have the depth of a top NFL team. Last year they had very few injuries on D. If they sustain some this season, the D will not be good enough to get the Cards back in the playoffs.

Giants at Bears

The Giants were focused on stopping the run with Forte. The Bears were passing more than running and passed the Giants #1 D crazy. The O line of Chicago looks very solid. Future Hall of Fame T Orlando Pace looks healthy for the first time in 3 years. The Giants D could not get to Jay Cutler much. Cutler was 8-13 121 yds 1 TD.

Forte looks very strong. He is finding holes and exploiting them. Given the improved QB and O line, he should be very close to the first teer RBs in fantasy football. Kevin Jones looks good as the #2 RB but is going to have to hold onto the ball better. The only problem the Bears O has is a lack of depth at QB, WR and in the line. Hester is the #1 WR which takes him out of the return game for the most part. The Bears receivers will look better than they are due to Cutler. This team is going to challenge for the NFC title if the key players stay healthy.

The Giants looked like they were in San Jose instead of Soldier Field. They are much better than they looked. The O line was harassed consistently by the Bears D. However, the lack of any NFL quality receivers will haunt this team the entire year. Eli Manning is not going to have as productive a year as he did last year. He just doesn’t have the guys to catch the ball. Look for more INTs and fewer TDs.

There is nothing wrong with the Giants running game. Brandon Jacobs is a beast. He was the only weapon the Giants had that worked against the Bears top D. He tore huge holes in the D line. He is a top teer RB in FF.

The Giants D will come around. It looked shell shocked against Cutler. They will be susceptible to the pass if their pass rush doesn’t produce more pressure than it did against the Bears.

Dolphins v Panthers

Miami: O sharp Pennington is accurate and has the touch that some lack. He has timed up even the new WR like Patrick Turner (3rd round USC) and Hartwell (4th round Ohio State). The running game looks very sharp against a good Carolina D. Brown is running hard inside. Getting Thomas back at guard has helped.

Other than stopping the run of Williams, the Dolphin D did real well. They are putting a lot of pressure on the opponent QBs. The D seems much more aggressive than it was last year. That should help.

Carolina: Delhomme is still inaccurate too often. He misses wide open WRs deep. Then there is Williams.

On the Carolina 2nd possession, he had been held to 1 yard on 4 carries. On 2nd and 8 from the Dolphin 26, he started left and changed direction when he saw the hole was not there. He was then hit in the backfield by 2 Dolphins, spun off it, was hit again by another broke that and scored avoiding two more tackles. That is why he is one of the top backs in Fantasy football.

RAMS vs FALCONS

Turner is an arsonist—he burns up defenses. He has a combination of speed and vision that is very rare. 2nd RB Norwood is also outstanding. He has excellent vision and a second gear that prevents him from getting caught from behind.

Falcon QB Matt Ryan is continuing to develop. He is seeing the field like a vet and has the arm to make all the throws.

The Rams look good and horrible from one play to another. The O line is still very poor. They are going to have to do a much better job protecting QB Bulger if they expect to win many games. They block the same way for a pass as they do for a screen. They touch the D lineman and let them right in.

RB Jackson has his jump step back and looks good. I still don’t recommend drafting him in Fantasy due to problems on the O line and the probability that the Rams will be playing from behind a lot in 09. Ex Falcon WR Robinson looks really improved. He is catching the ball in traffic, and running better routes. Getting open against the Rams isn’t that hard.

Ram tackling is awful. They couldn’t tackle a lamp post because it would be moving too fast. The #1 D gave up 9 yards per play in the first Q. There were a couple of semi-bright spots on D including 2nd round pick James Laurinaitis. He picked off a pass, blitzed effectively and best of all attacked the run down hill.

Cleveland vs. Detroit—See my complete game analysis at

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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