• Author:
  • Published: Aug 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

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nflNews:

NOTE:  Next week I will discuss in some detail all the preseason game performances by the starters.

Injuries continued this week.  TE Dustin Keller MI tore all the ligaments in his knee and has a dislocated knee cap.  He is out for the season.  The Fish may trade for a starting quality TE.  But this injury will really hurt the development of QB Tannahill.

The Broncos lost 3 players Saturday against the Seahawks.  CB Champ Bailey left with a serious foot sprain, WR Wes Welker had an regular (not a high) ankle sprain and G Louis Vasquez had a knee injury.

The Browns lost 4 players to injury including OG Pinkston (high ankle sprain), RB Dion Lewis (broken leg),  and TE Barnidge (knee sprain).  In addition first round pick Barkevious Mingo suffered a bruised lung and spent 2 nights in the hospital.  He should be ready for the opener against the Dolphins.  The Jets lost LB Quinton Coples (ankle) and the Giants lost WR Victor Cruz (heal).

Bills QB E.J. Manuel has a knee issue and will not play the rest of the preseason.  He had a minor knee procedure on Sunday.  The bad news for QB Kevin Kolb is that HC Doug Marrone said the injury will not affect the QB competition.  In my opinion Kolb is not a starting quality QB.

Notes:

Kevin Kolb

Kevin Kolb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of the scores of the preseason games were very low again this week.  While I wish I could tell you it was due to great play of the defenses, I cannot.  In most cases the offenses look pathetic.  Turnovers, penalties, missed passes to open receivers, and poor execution have been the hallmark of this preseason.

Mark Sanchez NJ was himself on Saturday.  He went 5 for 5 driving the ball down the field against the Jags then threw a pick in the endzone.  With 24 seconds left in the first half the Jags muffed a punt.  The Jets got possession on the Jags’ 3.  And in typical Sanchez fashion he ran out the clock on 3rd at the 6.  The Jets came away with nothing.  This team is going nowhere until they replace Sanchez.  He is a disaster waiting to break the hearts of Jets fans.

We saw RB Eddie Lacy GB for the first time this preseason.  He looked very good.  He broke tackles and looks like the winner of the back of the future for the Pack.

The Jags are horrendous and the issue is not all QB Gabbert.  He left the game with an injury.  The D is playing a little better than last year but the O is abysmal.

The Colt O line is very poor at both run blocking and pass protection.  QB Andrew Luck took way too many hits last year.  The team has been unable to find quality O linemen in recent drafts.

Rumors:

The NFLPA is planning to file a grievance against the Pats on behalf of TE Aaron Hernandez because the team did not pay him for a workout bonus.  The union is walking on VERY thin ice here.  It should leave the issue alone.  There is no good PR that will come out of representing Hernandez.

Having seen two Jags games we know a couple of things.  First, the team needs better quarterbacking to be successful.  Second, the helmet looks like the new team owner could not afford the extra money to paint the entire hat gold.  Instead, the front looks like it is flat black primer.  Maybe if they win more they can have the front of the helmet painted gold as well.

Fantasy Football hints:

Look for RB Adrian Foster (HO) to have a great season.  The injury is a concern but for the first time in a while Foster will have an outstanding FB leading the way.  FB Greg Jones comes over from Jacksonville to become the lead blocker for Foster.  He is a solid blocker that can catch out of the backfield as well.

As much as I like QB Russell Wilson SE, I am concerned about the O line.  Be careful about taking him too early.  He has lost a real weapon in WR Percy Harvin and the O line is not protecting him as well as it should.

Unless RB Monte Ball comes through the Broncos are going to depend on QB Payton Manning more than last year.  RB Ronnie Hillman is not effective enough to provide a balanced pass/run ratio.

RB Steven Jackson AT looks very good behind a line that can block the run.  While his carries and yards will be significantly higher than last year’s group (ranking 29th in rushing), the gross numbers for QB Matt Ryan may go down.  It should however make the Falcons more successful in the playoffs.

The Giants were 9-7 last season.  But they lost 3 games by 4 points or less in part because they were not able to execute at critical times in those close games.  This season the first string has exhibited the same lack of execution at key moments in games.  If they want to contend, they will have to clean up those details.

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

You can listen to the NNR podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. 

News, Notes and Rumors

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By Bill Smith

News:

Five US Senators have introduced legislation to eliminate NFL Blackouts.

The NFL has announced that they will play 13 Thursday night games next season.  The games will continue after the traditional Thursday night league kickoff and run through week 15.

The league also announced that every NFL team will get at least 1 prime time game.

The Eagles announced they will plan to put the franchise tag on WR DeSean Jackson.  They will try to work out a trade.  That would mean if he signs the tender he would get around 9.5 million dollars for 2012.  He has said he would accept the tender but the tag cannot be placed until Feb. 26th.  The Eagles would get two first round picks from any team that signed him as a tagged player.  The Eagles will try to trade him this offseason for a first and another player.

The Jags have named Mark Lamping as their team president.  He will oversee all non-football operations.

 

Notes:

Agent Tom Condon has said “Peyton’s not done.”  Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to play by his doctors in 2012.   However, he has not been cleared by the team.  The Big question is where will he play?  Odds are good that the Colts will pay the 28 million dollar bonus to him and keep both Manning and Andrew Luck the likely first overall pick in the draft.

Former Browns and current Chief OC Brian Dabol has said he wants competition for starting QB Matt Cassel.   The team trusts their QB but not enough to guarantee him the job.  HC Romeo Crennel said Dabol will not coach a position.  The HC wants his OC to focus on calling plays.

The Bills have announced they will change their D to the 4-3 in 2012.  That means that several of their D players may be on the trading block because they no longer fit the system.   Dwan Edwards might be one such player.

The Plain Dealer reported that the Browns feel QB Colt McCoy will be better in 2012 because of a full season under HC Pat Shurmur.  That of course assumes Shurmur can help Colt develop.

RB Cadillac Williams is now Chevy Williams.  He turns 30 this year and will not be back with the Bucs.  He has never been the same after his injuries in 07 and 08.  He has never been the back he was expected to be when he was drafted.

The Saints are trying to resign QB Drew Brees before they address any other position.  WR Marques Colston is expected to be addressed after they sign Brees.

Steelers WR Hines Ward said he is willing to renegotiate his contract.  The Steelers are not sure they want him back at all.  They may keep him if they can.  He is a slot guy and they don’t have that without him.

The Steelers also are planning 2012 without RB Rashard Mendenhall.  He is in the last year of his contract and it will take a full year to recover from his ALC injury late in the season.

The Steelers have already gotten some cap relief by reworking the contracts of CB Ike Taylor, and LBs  LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons.  Even with these moves the team is still more than 10 mil over the cap.

The Pats and HC Belichick have not won a Super Bowl since the Video Gate controversy broke.

KC HC Romeo Crennel recently said that he would like to have a QB to challenge starter Matt Cassel.  Chief fans can only hope Romeo does not decide the starter by flipping a coin like he did in Cleveland.

 

Rumors:

QB Peyton Manning spent a couple of days in the Cards facility working with the coaching staff and receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  That would be a great place for Manning to continue his career.  It would also signal the end of the Kevin Kolb experiment.  Kolb is owed a 7 mill roster bonus next week.  He lost the starting job to John Skelton and will not get the bonus as the 3rd QB.  If he is allowed to become a UFA, look for the Browns to get involved in bidding for his services in 2012.  He is well schooled in the West Coast Offense and has ties to Browns’ GM Tom Heckert.

Look for several teams to be interested in FA WR Randy Moss.  Because he was a FA at the end of 2011 season he can sign immediately.  The Pats are one of the teams reported to be interested.  The lack of downfield speed has been one reason the team has failed to win another Super Bowl.  If Moss still has most of his speed, he will likely be signed for 2012.

Titan UFA CB Cortland Finnegan will be looking for around 10 mil a season in a new deal.  He is going to get multiple offers but given the 120 mil salary cap for 2012 he will not get that much.  He should get 7-8 mil.

Texan UFA DE Mario Williams will not be back.  He does not want to play OLB in a 3-4 D and will opt to a 4-3 team.  He made 1.8 mil last year and could become the highest paid defensive player in the league with an income of up to 14 mil.

The NFL has secretly been looking for ways to fix the Pro Bowl.  As usual I have the ultimate solution.  Pick the teams as always.  But rather than spending all that money to send everyone to Hawaii, use Madden to play the game.  The “winning” network could still broadcast the game and use its announcers to call it.  There would be a lot better tackling and the new use of a contract corporation would promote the video game and save the 25 fans that attend the game the cost of the tickets.

Last week on my show I threw out the name of possible Browns’ QB targets.  I added the name of ex-Eagle, ex-Redskin and ex-Viking QB McNabb as a joke.  Now, the longtime Eagle is rumored to be in the mix for the Browns.  If he is signed by the Browns, I will be scheduling the Pitchfork and Torch demonstration before game 1 rather than after another 4-12 season in 2012.

Denver 9News is reporting that the team is looking into the possibility of signing Peyton Manning if he is available.  The goal would be having him tutor QB Tim Tebow and filling in until the team decides if Tebow is the QB of the future or it finds the next guy.

 

If you enjoyed this, join us for the Internet version of News, Notes and Rumors on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/  Monday –Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST. 

Follow me @NNRonDSN

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 and has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

 

Is Eagle HC Reid on the hot seat?

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Several months ago on NFLDraftDog.com I mentioned that Eagles HC Reid was on the hot seat.  This
was just one more example of my information and instincts being right.  More than a year before OC Weis left the
Chiefs for a lateral move to the OC spot at Florida, I reported that there was a conflict between him and HC Haley.

Last Sunday, a local Philly paper reported that the Reid era of the Eagles may be coming to an end.  There
are several reasons that is happening.   First, and most significant, there is a growing split between Eagle
owner Jeffrey Lurie and HC Reid.  The clearest evidence of that split was the issue of the starting QB between Mike
Vick and Kevin Kolb.  Reid named Kolb the starter for the 2010 season.  When he got hurt Vick became an exciting fan favorite.
But Reid announced that when Kolb recovered he would regain his starting spot.  Less than a week after that Vick
was named the starter for the rest of the season.  As the 2011 season finally got underway, Kolb was traded to the Cards and the spitting contest between the owner and coach over this issue was settled.

But there are other reasons that the relationship is cooling.  While Reid has led his team to multiple NFC Championships, he has gotten to only 1 Super Bowl which he lost.  While some blame the talent and tendency of long time QB McNabb to perform under pressure, others say that Reid was outcoached by the opponent.

To try and get over Lurie has gone all in this season.  As I was the first to report on my radio show before the lockout was over, he committed to spend the money on UFA QB Vick, all pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha,  WRs Sinorice Moss and ex-Giant Steve Smith, RB Ronnie Brown, DL Jason Babin and Cullen Jenkins, TE Donald Lee  and backup QB Vince Young.  The feeling in Philly is that now Reid has all the toys he needs to win it all.
But it takes a lot more than talent to win in the NFL.  It also requires teamwork.  It is clear that there is a team chemistry
issue with the Eagles.  Now the team is 1-3 with a very tough game tomorrow at 3-1 Buffalo.

But there is another reason that coaches’ lose their jobs after 10 years or so that is unique to pro football.
In high school and college ball, every year a new group of players comes into the program and the oldest guys
leave.  That keeps the coach’s messages and techniques relatively fresh due to the turnover.  However, in the NFL key players often stay
for 8 or more years.  Even the best coach can lose the ear and the heart of long term players after a while.  Even Bill Parcells  admitted that 10 years is about the limit of how long a coach in the NFL can be effective.   Reid has been the Eagles HC for 13 seasons.

So unless the Birds turn things around and get to a Super Bowl don’t be surprised if Reid is not the HC in 2012.

That is what I think.
Tell us 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 http://www.eBooks-Library.com/Contemporary/ and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .

  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 12th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The injury bug bites the Eagles tail feathers.

The injury bug bites the Eagles tail feathers.

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t

Head coach Andy Reid is not known for running a particularly physical training camp. Even so, this year injuries have take down some starters critical to the success of the team in 09. MLB Stewart Bradley is one of the best young IB in the league but blew out a knee and was put on IR ending his season. Starting G Todd Herremans (foot) will miss the entire preseason because of a stress reaction in a bone in his foot. Others missing time include starters on the O line T Shawn Andrews (back) and G Stacy Andrews (knee). Starting WR Hank Baskett (knee) has been diagnosed with a hyperextension of the right knee. He is listed as day-to-day. And the star RB Brian Westbrook is recovering from foot surgery and will sit out the preseason. The injury list represents the best and most experienced starters on the team. That is not a good sign for 09.

The offense revolves around two guys—QB Donovan McNabb and RB Westbrook. McNabb has been criticized, benched, and yet has always come back to lead a team with very limited receiving options in the past. This year his corps of receivers looks a lot better. McNabb has the ability to carry the team on his back when he needs to. He is among the most productive QBs in the league. But he will be 33 before the season ends. That makes finding the next Eagle starter a timely issue. The team picked Kevin Kolb with their first pick in 07 (second round). He may be the guy but we haven’t seen enough of him to tell. We won’t see him this year either unless McNabb goes down.

Westbrook has been as much as 70% of the offense in previous seasons. Last year he was limited by nagging injuries and hits the magic 30 age for running back before the season starts. At just 203 pounds he can’t be expected to take the punishment of 250-270 carries a year for much longer. LeSean McCoy and Lorenzo Booker are his backups. Rookie McCoy looks like a capable replacement but so did Booker who proved to be less than advertised. FB Leonard Weaver is a solid blocker but not much of an offensive threat.

The starting WR are DeSean Jackson, who has sparkled in camp this year, and Kevin Curtis. Curtis had a great year going until he went down with an injury. Reid has rookie 1st round pick Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and Hank Baskett in reserve. Both Avant and Baskett have experience and Maclin has the tools but will have to develop into a more consistent route runner. TE Brent Celek filled in nicely for the injured L.J. Smith last year and starts in 09.

The O line will be much improved IF the walking wounded return to play. LT Jason Peters was all pro last year despite not earning it. He wanted to be rewarded for a below average season with an above average increase and the Bills traded him. LG Herremans, RG Stacy Andrews (knee in 08), RT Shawn Andrews (back) are all fighting injuries. If healthy, this group is solid. C Jamaal Jackson needs to improve run blocking. The prime members of the bench are Max Jean-Gilles and Winston Justice. They are just adequate.

The D will have to get over a lot more than injuries. Sean McDermott will replace the long time and much loved Jim Johnson as D coordinator. Expect McDermott to keep the same system with no changes this season.

The team ranked 4th in run D last year. The D line did fine again the run but need to generate a lot more pass rush in 09. The base rotation includes starters Es Victor Abiamiri and Trent Cole and Ts Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley. Trevor Laws, Darren Howard, Chris Clemons, Juqua Parker who started last year at E are the reserves in the rotation. Out of necessity, the Eagles have always blitzed a lot. They would like to reduce the blitzes if the D line generates more pressure.

SLB Chris Gocong and WLB Akeem Jordan are set but the question is who will replace Bradley? Omar Gaither who lost the WLB spot to Jordan last season is the best bet. He has played there before.

The corners are solid with Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown. Samuel is an all pro and plays like it. Brown is fine but the team traded for Ellis Hobbs to provide a little extra incentive. The loss of team leader Brian Dawkins to free agency is going to hurt. He was the emotional leader as well as a coach on the field. Quintin Demps will get the first shot but the team also signed UFA Sean Jones from the Browns. Joselio Hanson and Jack Ikegwuonu play the nickel and dime spots and have experience.

OVERALL: The Eagles will be one of the most improved teams in the league if they can overcome the losses on D. With the new line and receivers, they should score a lot of points. If the D can do as well as it did last year, the team will make the playoffs and should make it to the NFC Championship game as well.

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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