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  • Published: Oct 15th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
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News, Notes & Rumors for week 6

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Note:  Join us for the live version of NNR Mondays and Fridays on The Bill Smith Radio Show. The Monday show with co-host Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports reviews the NFL week and Browns game.  The Friday show includes Samantha and Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York and previews the weekend games.

 

News:

Texan QB Matt Schaub was hurt and could be out next week.  The team also lost SS Danieal Manning with a broken Fibula.  He will be out 6-8 weeks.

 

The Packers lost WRs James Jones and Randal Cobb with knee injuries.  They also lost LB Nick Perry with a broken foot.

 

Pats WR Danny Amendola suffered a concussion.  CB Aqib Talib hurt a hip and LB Jerod Mayo suffered a shoulder injury.

 

The Cowboys RB Demarco Murray hurt a knee and DE Demarcus Ware will miss several weeks with a quad injury.

 

The Vikings have lost LB Desmond Bishop for the season with a torn ACL.

 

The Bills signed former Raider QB Matt Flynn.

 

The Steelers have placed OT Levi Brown on IR.  The team traded for him on Oct. 2 and he never played a game for them.  He injured his tricepts in pregame warm-up.  This is just one more example of the questionable moves by team management.  Brown has had a history of injury.  Check out my analysis of the Steelers drafts “Why did the Steelers fall so far so fast?”
Read more at https://fryingpansports.com/#KYl3oHXhIGVQedFl.99.

 

 

Notes:

Patriots 30 Saints 27 – The key to this game was a brain cramp by DC Rob Ryan.  With 10 seconds left Ryan decided to not double the receivers in the endzone.  There was 1 on 1 coverage on WR Kenbrell Thompkins and QB Tom Brady hit him for the game winner with 5 seconds left.

 

Rams 38 Texans 13 – Those that wanted someone else (anyone else?) to play QB for the Texans got their wish.  But only after the Rams had built a 31-6 lead was starting QB Matt Schaub hurt.  T.J. Yates came in and promptly threw a 98 yard pick 6 to Alec Ogletree.  The Texans were never in the game and looked like a team that has given up.  They had 95 yards in penalties and gave the ball away 4 times.

 

Eagles 31 Buccaneers 20 – Eagle QB Nick Foles was extremely effective and efficient.  He ended up 22 for 31 for 296 yards and 3 TDs without a pick.  He also ran for a TD.  HC Chip Kelly has backed off his plan for 80+ plays a game at least with his backup starting.  The Eagles had only 65 offensive plays.  Bucs QB Mike Glennon played pretty well going 26-43 for 273 and 2 TDs and 1 interception.  The Bucs simply were overmatched by the Eagles speed and efficiency on offense.

 

Chiefs 24 Raiders 7 – Raider QB Terrelle Pryor was running for his life all afternoon.  He was sacked 10 times behind the patchwork line.  The pressure was unrelenting and forced 3 interceptions as well.  Chiefs QB Alex Smith was only 14-31 for 128 yards without a TD or a pick.  The Raider D is playing very well but the injury plagued O line was the culprit for the loss.  The line could not protect Pryor or block to get the running game going.

 

Bengals 27 Bills 24 OT – The Bengals built a 24-10 lead going into the 4th quarter and then tried to hang on for the win.  But new Bills starting QB Thad Lewis threw two long TDs to tie the game including a 40 yard TD with just 1:08 left.  He ended up with 19 for 32 for 216 yards and 2 TDs but no picks and 1 fumble lost.  The comeback took a lot of effort and the Bills just did not have enough left to get over the hump in OT.

 

Packers 19 Ravens 17 – The Raven running game disappeared and it was up to QB Joe Flacco to carry the O.  He failed.  The running game generated 47 yards in 22 attempts.  Flacco was sacked 5 times and converted only 2 of 14 third down attempts.  The Pack was up 16-3 going into the 4th quarter but the Ravens scored 2 late TDs including the last one with 2:04 left in the game.  The Pack found a running game with rookie RB Eddie Lacy gaining 120 yards on 23 carries.  QB Aaron Rodgers was 17-32 for 315 yards with a TD and a pick.

 

Panthers 35 Vikings 10 – Expect the Matt Cassel experiment to be over soon in Minnesota.  The Vikings were never in the game.  The Vike D made Panther QB Cam Newton look like a Hall of Famer.  Newton was 20-26 for 242 and 3 touchdowns without an interception.  Cassel was 32-44 but threw 2 picks.  The running game was understandably down.  Adrian Peterson had 10 carries for 62 yards but got 31 on a single carry.  The Vikes never got the O going.  The Panther D had something to do with that but most of the problem was inconsistency of the Vike O.  They scored their one TD with 1:00 left in the game.

 

Seahawks 20 Titans 13 – This gets the weird game of the week award.  The only TD that the Titans scored was on a return of a blocked FG.  Seahawk QB Russell Wilson drove the team down to the Titan 2 with 2 seconds left.  But their FG kicker was hurt.  The punter Jon Ryan tried to kick a FG but the new holder dropped the ball and tried to throw it.  The ball went backward and Jason McCourty ran it 77 yards for the TD.  Titan QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 2 interceptions but the Seahawks fumbled twice including the botched FG.  Wilson was 23 for 31 for 257 with no TDs or picks.

 

Lions 31 Browns 17 – The Browns led at halftime 17-7.  Then the Lions scored 24 straight points aided by a QB Brandon Weeden meltdown.  For my opinion about the game check out my live game notes on fryingpansports.com.

 

 

Rumors:

After watching the Eagles with both Michael Vick and Nick Foles, it is clear to me that Foles should be the QB going forward.  Vick is on a one year contract and has only completed a 16 game season once since returning from his stint as a guest of the state for dog fighting.  Foles is young, talented and more accurate passing than Vick because his mechanics are stable.  Even after years behind center, Vick’s mechanics are never consistent.

 

With the announcement that Brandon Weeden will remain at QB for the Browns it is clear to me that upper management wants to tank the season for a higher draft choice.  It is hard to watch Weeden play.  A good coach can correct inaccuracy due to mechanics or footwork.  A good coach can correct a flawed throwing motion.  There is no hope for a QB that wets his pants every time he gets rushed.  If the team wanted to win they would (1) bench Weeden, (2) start Jason Campbell and (3) sign a young QB free agent.  I would like to see the team sign Tyler Wilson off the Raiders practice squad.  Going into the 2012 college season he was considered a first round pick.  Arkansas had a horrendous season due to a change in head coach and lack of talent around Wilson.  He has well above average arm strength, is accurate even when getting hit and has experience behind a less than optimal offensive line.

 

The biggest impact that the Browns decision to keep starting Weeden may be their inability to keep their own free agents and sign those from other teams.  No quality NFL player wants to play for an organization that is willing to tank a season for a draft pick.  C Alex Mack, S T.J. Ward and LB Craig Robertson will be free agents at the end of this season.

 

The Chargers showed other teams the formula for beating QB Andrew Luck and the Colts.  The Bolts held the ball for 38:31 and scored on 5 possessions.  They also held the Colts to 2 of 10 3rd down conversion attempts.

 

There are a bunch of trade rumors floating around.  Last season the trading deadline would have been 4PM EDT today.  This year it was moved back 2 weeks.  The majority of rumors are about the bottom feeders trading players for 2014 draft choices.  There are usually few deals done around the trading deadline.  But with so many injuries around the league this year for teams in contention, 2013 could be the exception.

 

After week 6 it is time to look at the coaches on the hot seat.

 

Bucs HC Greg Schiano has irritated the other coaches, his players and this season is 0-6.  He is dead man walking.

 

Texans HC Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat with his team at 2-4.  The struggles of Schaub should put team management on the hot seat as well.

 

Giants coach Tom Coughlin has 2 super bowl wins but with the team at 0-6 the heat is on.  Despite injuries the team has not won this year and has not been a factor in the NFC East in the last couple of seasons.

 

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has struggled this year.  The issue is not coaching.  The problem is the lack of quality draft choices.  GM Kevin Colbert is the guy that should go.

 

Atlanta coach Mike Smith is on the hot seat but should not be.  The injuries combined with a lack of depth have caused the team to go 1-4.  He should survive and coach next year.

 

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley is in his first year but the team has been bad.  He is likely to stay but will be on shaky ground next season.  He is not a very good head coach.

 

 

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 https://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 https://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 7th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Bills Live Game Notes

Browns/Bills Live Game Notes

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NOTE:  Tune in Monday Oct. 7 at 6 PM Eastern for a recap of the week 5 games by Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York paper and yours truly.  Hear it live on or the archives on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

 

Little’s return did not give Hoyer any favors.  1st at their 8.

Gordon drops the ball WIDE open.  Perfect pass despite having Williams in his face.  Lauvao wiffed on Williams.  That would have been a TD.

Bad start 3 and out on their 10.

=

Great field position for the Bills after a great return of 26

PI on Haden against Johnson. 1st and Goal at the 1.  Both guys were holding the other.

TD by Jackson.

BF 7 CL 0 13:16 left 1st

Second stupid return by Little.  WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

Little fumbled the ball but the Bills did not challenge

Nice out by Bess.  Perfect throw.

Great pass to Bess in the middle of the field.

Hoyer is down after a run for a 1st.  If he is out there goes the season.

Weeden in and back to form.  pass 10 yards over the head of the receiver

A short run and another Weeden airmail to nobody and the Browns kick

=

On the 1st down pass not any pressure by the D.

Nice pass by Manuel over the middle.  Got tipped by the intended WR and caught by the TE Chandler

Nice 5 yard run by Choice.

Skrine on Johnson prevents the catch

Manuel reads the blitz and is complete to Johnson for the 1st

Rubin with the sack loss of 9

Two missed tackles on Graham by Haden and Skrine.

Mingo with a huge hit on Graham forcing him to drop the 3rd down pass.

52 yard FG GOOD

BF 10 CL 0

With Weeden at QB 10 points are as good as 100.

Little benched on KO returns Rainey takes the TB

The O line is still rotten.  Weeden does complete a throw to Gordon

Lauvao pulls and runs right by LB Alanzo that tackled McGahee for a 5 yard loss.

The O line breaks down and Weeden is sacked.  Both Thomas and Greco went to the DT on a T E game and Williams gets the sack with no one on him.

=

Skrine with great coverage on Woods breaks up the pass.  Good pressure on Manuel.

Great blocking gives Jackson 10 yards.  Gipson missed the tackle.

Choice for 6 yards Haden on the tackle.  The O line is getting blocks on the second level.

Mingo chases down Manuel and forces the hurried throw

GREAT return by Benjamin 58 yards on the return

Cousins gives up a hit on Weeden because he was holding it too long.

Williams helmet to helmet on a pass to Bess.  1st down 12.5 Weeden is confused.

On that play Weeden hung Bess out to dry by throwing late and high.

Weeden is sacked.  Loss of 4 because he was confused by the play and coverage.

Weeden ran into the sack with his total lack of vision.

Sweep by Rainey is not blocked at all and he gets just 1 yard

3 yard pass to Cameron on 4th and 13.

30 yard FGA GOOD

BF 10 CL 3

=

Robertson gets Spiller for no gain.

Hughes with a good play to get Spiller for 2 yards

Manuel on a crossing pattern to Woods for the 1st.  Zone did not break down fast enough to prevent the completion.

Mingo gets Jackson for no gain.  Nice play by the rookie

Kruger knocks down the pass and forces the punt.  He dropped into the zone for the block.

Ogbonnaya drops the ball and is hurt on a 3 yard pass.

The O line can’t get any push on a run by McGahee for 2 yards.  He is not dancing he is looking for a hole.

Nice throw by Weeden and the O line picked up the blitz. 1st

Weeden late on the throw to the sideline and Roby almost picks it.

Weeden on time with a slant to Little for the 1st

Good throw by Weeden to Gordon to the 23.  Ball took a LONG time getting there

Good run by McGahee for 11.  Blocks by Mack and Greco.

TO Cleveland Weeden can’t get the guys lined up correctly.

McGahee with good vision gets to the 6.

Browns blow another TO because the personnel didn’t get in quickly enough

McGahee gets the first with Grey at FB

Cameron gets pulled down by Searcy 1st goal at the 1

McGahee blown up by DT Williams

He is nailed for a yard loss by Alonso

McGahee with good vision sees a crack and gets the ball in for the TD off right tackle

BF 10 CL 10  3:52 left 2nd Q

=

The Bills run at Mingo but not much there.

D Bryant and Kruger get to Manuel and the 3rd down pass is INC

Benjamin with a 79 yard TD return.  Great vision and speed.

CL 17 BF 10 2:20 left

=

Manuel zone read off Mingo but the run nets only a couple.

Personal Foul on RB Jackson takes the ball back to the 16.

Browns tackling on the runs by Jackson not crisp

Jackson gets tackled for loss by Taylor and Jackson

Browns almost block the punt.

CL 17 BF 10 HALF TIME

 

Rubin stuffs Spiller for just a yard

Woods gets away from Haden and gets to the 46  Good throw by Manuel under pressure

Spiller takes it 54 yards for the TD.  Ward came inside and Spiller went outside with the TD

CL 17 BF 17

Lauvao gets pushed down by the D line and McGahee gets a 3 yard loss.

Olay block by LG Greco lets Williams run right by him for the sack.

Browns 3 and out with a loss of 10 yards on the possession.

=

BF 46 YL 11:47

Manuel to Woods with soft coverage by Skrine 1ST down

Bills O line getting a push against the Browns

Skrine with a great pass breakup on Woods

Choice runs vs. a blitz by the Browns for the 1st at the 29

The Bills OGs are getting to the second level against the Browns.

Skrine with a great tackle on Manuel on 2nd and 7

Manuel runs and is hurt on his right knee.  1st down by the run

Ward called for PI 1st goal on the 1

TD by Jackson Browns lose contain again.

BF 24 CL 17

Nice throw by Weeden but it was late.  Little was wide open early then DB caught up at the ball got there.  Protection was good.

Fade is inc.  Weeden has never been able to make that throw.  Greco with a 15 yard penalty to the 37 Face mask.

Another late but accurate throw by Weeden to Gordon but he double caught it in the endzone for the score.  Good read by Weeden.

CL 24 BF 24 5:35  3rd Q

=

Hughes and Kitchens get the tackle on Spiller for 1

Bad throw by Tuel INC

TE Chandler drops a perfect pass by Tuel.  3 and out by BF when Tuel could not stand up against the blitz.

Weeden misses a wide open Little did not see him

Thomas with a false start.  May have been a late snap by Mack.

Weeden has no pocket feel and gets the ball stripped by Hughes.  Thomas recovers after he let Hughes get to the QB.

Three and out for Browns.

=

Ward nails Spiller for no gain.

Flee flicker to Woods is almost picked but Woods knocks it out of Gipson’s hands

Armonty Bryant gets the sack on 3rd and long.  Mingo got an assist by forcing Tuel off his spot.

Bad punt and 69 yard return by Benjamin puts the Browns at the Bill’s 31

Des Bryant DE is taken the Cleveland Clinic

Gordon drops a bubble screen pass 2nd and 6

Great run by McGahee with good block by Greco to the BF 12

END of the 3rd quarter

 

Another great run by McGahee Lauvao with the block to spring him to the 2

Weeden on a QB sneak for the 1st at the 1

Run to the left side nailed at the 2

McGahee nailed at the 6

Fade to Cameron bad throw by Weeden.  Fron the 1 why not a QB sneak for the TD?

FG from the 6 just inside the left upright.

CL 27 BF 24 12:31 left

=

Robertson and Jackson get RB Jackson for no gain at the 19

Tuel completes a bad pass to 11 but Haden and Jackson keep it from getting to the 1st

The ball hit the ground but the Browns don’t challenge.

11:15 left Browns on their 33

Greco stuffed but McGahee gets 4

Weeden to Cameron for 13 Barnage blocked the blitz but could have been called for a hold.

Hughes gets Weeden because he held it forever.  He is still staring down the WR.

3-15 Ball behind Bess and nearly got picked.  Weeden was late again.

=

Punt rolls to the BF 7

Pass by Tuel gets his first down

Haden was step for step with Woods and knocks the ball away at the Browns 45

Nice return by Benjamin of 12 yards get the ball out to the 43.  The Browns just missed the block.

 

Holding on Mack 1st and 20 6:50 left

Lawson gets Rainey for a loss of 5 on the screen pass

Late play call but Weeden gets it off to Rainey for 7

3-18 Great pass Weeden to Gordon for 18.5 and the 1st

Little drags McKelvin for 5 more yards and a 15 yard gain.

Lauvao misses everyone on a pull block but McGahee gets 2

Weeden can’t make up his mind where to go with the ball and has to throw it away to avoid the sack.

Any time Weeden feels pressure he tends to panic.

44 y FGA GOOD drive took 4:41 off the clock

CL30 BF 24 2:19 left

Tuel pass caught but Hogan was out of bounds.

Screen pass good to the 32.

Short pass to Hogan.

Tuel’s pass is jumped by Ward and pick 44 yards for the TD.

The Browns were playing zone and Tuel stared down his receiver.

CL 37 BF 24 1:44 left

=

Taylor chases the receiver 12 yards for the tackle

A Bryant forces a throw away by Tuel

 

FINAL Cleveland 37 Buffalo 24

 

Offense:  QB Brandon Weeden did well considering he was coming off injury and the short week.  The most important statistic was 0 picks.  It is too bad that QB Brian Hoyer was hurt.  The biggest impact of the injury is that the team will not see enough of his play to tell if he could be a long term solution.  In my opinion he was not the long term answer.  The team will draft a QB in the early rounds.  Will Hoyer start next year until the rookie is ready?  Quite possibly and the hope will be that Hoyer or Weeden can keep the team competitive until the new guy is ready.

Yes, Weeden is still staring down the receivers and panicking under pressure.  But IF he continues to play like he did against the Bills Weeden will be OK.  For the Browns to have any chance to win Weeden cannot give the ball away.

 

The running game began to show some spark.  RB Willis McGahee runs hard and he looks more comfortable in the offense than he did last week.  RB Bobby Rainey has potential and I liked undrafted rookie Fozzy Whittaker as well.  He is raw as sushi but has speed and toughness.

 

It was great to see WR Greg Little catch the ball with his hands.  He has way too much physical ability to allow his career to be ruined by bad hands.  Even WR Davone Bess drops the occasional ball as we saw this week.  WR Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron did OK in this game but neither had their usual spectacular catch we have seen with Hoyer at QB.  Hoyer has more touch than Weeden will ever get.

 

The O line got RG Shawn Lauvao back but he is at best a quality reserve.  He was pushed around a lot by the Bills D line.  LG John Greco is not much better.  He was fooled over and over on the T E game and allowed pressure and sacks on the QB.  He seems to be a better run blocker than pass protector.  Neither guard anchors well against a bull rush.  Both also struggle to read the blitz or games by the D line.  RT Mitchell Schwartz has some nice blocks but is not a starting quality OT.  Next the serious OG issue, he looks better than he is.

 

Defense:  Other than the 54 yard TD run by RB C.J. Spiller, the Browns did a great job of keeping the Bills offense under control.   On that play SS T. J. Ward blitzed and FS Tashaun Gipson did not go to the middle of the field like he should.  The Browns D held the Bills to 5 third down conversions in 17 attempts.  When E. J. Manuel went out with an injury, the Bills were no longer a threat to score.  Undrafted rookie QB Jeff Tuel is not an NFL quality QB.  He completed only 8 of 20 throws for 80 yards.  The Browns D looked good but this was not much of a test.

 

Special Teams:  PR Travis Benjamin was electric with two great returns including the 79 yard TD run.  We have not seen anything like that in a long time.  Spencer Lanning did a great job punting and Billy Cundiff was 3 for 3 including his 44 yard field goal and did well in kickoffs.

 

Coaching:  The second half of the game was better for Weeden because of the adjustments made by the staff at half time.  They put back the long balls with which Weeden was much more comfortable.  In previous seasons we have seen coaching staffs that were either unable or unwilling to make half time adjustments.  It was great to see the staff realize that the playbook had to change when Hoyer went down.

 

The Bottom line:  Perhaps the biggest question now is what kind of QB should the Browns bring in be the 3rd guy?  Here is an out of the box suggestion:  Sign former Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson.  He is on the Raiders developmental squad but going into the 2012 college season was expected to be a first round pick.  I scouted him and felt that he was much better than any of the top QBs.  He suffered from the change of coaches just prior to the 2012 season and a very poor line and receiver corps.  He has an above average arm and almost single handedly kept the team in contention.

 

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 https://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 https://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: Sep 24th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

News, Notes & Rumors for week 3

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News:

There is trouble in 49er land.  The passing game has gone south because the O line can’t protect Colin Kaepernick and the receivers can’t catch, the running game has disappeared and the D can’t get off the field.  Now LB Aldon Smith’s locker has been cleaned out and the team reports he has been given a leave of absence indefinitely while he goes to a rehab facility.

 

The Giants and Redskins are equally miserable.  Both are 0-3 but for different reasons.  The Giants can’t run the ball and QB Eli Manning throws as many to the other team as he does to his own.    The Redskins are waiting for Robert Griffin III to get back to where he was last year.  He is getting better every week but needs his receivers to catch the ball.  The Redskin defense stinks.  Neither team is getting into the post season but the Skins have hope.  The Giants do not.

 

The Browns traded RB Trent Richardson who was the third pick overall in 2012 to the Colts for a 2014 1st round pick.  For my thoughts on the  trade check out my editorial The Browns’ 2013 season has just been “Bannered” right here on FryingpanSports.com.

 

Notes:

Bengals 34 Packers 30 – Bengals founder Paul Brown once said “I would rather be lucky than good.  Goot teams lose.”  While the Cincy D played great, the offense did its best to give the game away.  In the 2nd quarter alone QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals gave the ball away four straight times inside their 40 yard line.  The Pack took a 30-14 lead in the 3rd quarter but Dalton led them back to the win with some help from Packers’ turnovers.  While the Bengals are 2-1 they are not that good.  The Pack was driving for the clinching TD when rookie RB Johnathan Franklin fumbled and DB Terence Newman returned it 58 yards for the winning TD.  QB Aaron Rodgers drove the Pack down to the Bengal 20 but the 4th down pass was deflected.  The Pack at 1-2 needs to watch out for the Bears 3-0.  But the Pack O will be OK in the long run as long as they can protect Rodgers.  Their D is a serious issue.

 

Bears 40 Steelers 23 – In the second half the Steeler offense started to gel but they were too far behind to finish the comeback.  The Bears D scored two TDs off of pressure on Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger.  The O line is a disaster and there is no running game.  The D still plays hard but do not get the turnovers they did in previous years.  The Bears are doing OK on O but depend too much on scores from the D.  QB Jay Cutler is spreading the ball around more than last year and is having a good season.  But he has O line issues too that have not yet cost the team.

 

Colts 27 49ers 7 – Kaepernick had a bad game but so did the O line and the defense.  Kaepernick does not have his TE.  The opponents are doubling WR Anquan Boldin and the other WRs were not getting open.  The running game with Frank Gore looks old and slow.  With no running game the play action was ineffective.  The WRs are not getting off press coverage.  In game 1 vs. the Packers, they used the bunch formation and used a lot of motion.  They did not in the last two losses.  I wonder why?

 

The D could not get off the field on 3rd down and Smith did not have a sack.  The 49ers are no longer as physical as they were last year on both the O and D lines.  Part of that is the poor season Gore is having.  But Kaepernick is not running effectively either.  Defenses have solved the read option to some degree.  When the up the gut running does not work, the read option will fail as well. The Colts played well but the win came from the poor play of the 49ers.  QB Andrew Luck is outstanding. The 49ers will get better and so will the Colts.

 

Panthers 38 Giants 0 – Manning was punished by the Panthers D line with 7 sacks and a bunch of hits.  The O line is struggling badly and the running game has disappeared.  They are -9 in turnover ratio.  The team is in disarray.  I doubt Coughlin can get it turned around any time soon.  The Panthers are OK but not outstanding.  QB Cam Newton has had an up and down season so far but the Giants D made him look great.  He led the team to their first win.

 

Browns 31 Vikings 27 – The Vikes were so bad the city has traded them to London.  The team will play the winless Steelers there next week and that will be a LONG flight.  Check out my Live game notes right here on https://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

There are rumbles that the Giants management is not at all happy with Coach Coughlin.  HC Tom Coughlin is in serious trouble.  It looks to me like the team has tuned out the coaching staff.  The pass rush is missing in inaction and the O line is a mess.  There is no running game and Manning is getting pounded.  The front office is in part to blame for the issues.  They have allowed key players to walk away in free agency.  If someone becomes the fall guy it could be the coach and the GM.  That is something to watch.

 

Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that the NFL is quietly pushing the NFLPA for the 18 game regular season.  Most stadium leases require at least 10 games.  The league would not cut the preseason to 2 games without the agreement of the union to go to 18 regular season games.

 

Could the Vikings be tanking to get a QB in the 2014 draft?  There is little doubt that the one thing holding the team back is the poor play of QB Christian Ponder.  The team needs to fix the situation quickly because the key players on the defense are near the end of their careers.

 

The Steelers are in deep trouble and there is no help in sight.  The O has struggled because of injuries but also because the team has drafted poorly.  QB Roethlisberger has been beaten often and has no running game to fall back on.  He also misses Mike Wallace’s speed to stretch the D vertically.  The D has struggled badly as well.  It has gotten old and fragile.  It no longer forces turnovers.  The team is in freefall and there is no quick fix to their issues.  Again the front office has to take a lot of the blame for the team’s fall.

 

The Browns are reportedly taking offers for WR Josh Gordon.  That is not because they don’t want him on the team.  The team is worried about another off the field issue that could cause the league to suspend him for a year.  While that is a risk with a player in the drug program, the team needs to spend more time helping him stay clean.

 

 

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 https://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 https://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: Sep 23rd, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns/Vikings live game notes.

Browns/Vikings live game notes.

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BrownsLogo1

 

Good job by Rubin getting Peterson.

Robertson did a nice job tracking TE.

Peterson was one missed tackle away from a 70 yard TD.

Nobody even in the same area code of Jennings.  Where is the D?

Wright WIDE open too.  Anyone playing D?

Skrine had to jet back to get to the receiver.  Bad read by him.

9 yard run by Peterson.  GRAB GRAB GRAB

Gibson misses the tackle of Peterson.  1st & goal at the 2.

TD MN.

MN 7 CL 0

Rainey with a one yard run and Hoyer is 0-2.  Great start to the “New, new Browns.”

=

Good coverage by Skrine on Peterson.

Kruger gets by the block and gets the tackle of Peterson.

Haden missed the tackle but others fill in to force the 3 and out.

Bess has the first and gave it back trying to extend the run.

Ogbonnaya gets a third of a yard on his first two rushes.

Hoyer throws the ball into the ground.  Looked bad.

Great effort by Cameron to reach for the first down.   The O line did OK.

Hoyer finds a wide open Gordon.  Gordon got open on a stop and go that froze CB Jefferson.  Good throw by Hoyer.

MN 7 CL 7.

=

Sheard gets off the block and makes the tackle.  Rubin cut off the inside run.

Ponder had 2 guys open but didn’t get the ball anywhere close to either of them.

Winn gets the sack with a big assist by Mingo with pressure on the edge.  Browns get another 3 and out.

On the punt return Benjamin ran the wrong way and lost 9 yards but that does not work in the NFL.

Gordon avoids 4 tacklers and gets the first.  Great run but he almost dropped the ball on a scrape.

Hoyer runs the slowest QB keeper I have seen since Bernie Kosar.

Ogbonnaya gets the pass but Mitchell shuts it down quickly.

Bess is again the safety blanket for Hoyer.

Gordon with a great reverse run.  Mack got out on the run with a nice block.

Little catches the ball but loses a yard.

== end of the 1st quarter

Hoyer on a great pass to Cameron for the 19 yard TD.  Great catch by TE with keeping his feet in.

Hoyer has hit 7 straight passes.  Unlike Weeden he is not staring down his receivers.

CL 14 MN 7

=

Ponder is accurate despite Taylor’s pass rush.

Browns are playing a lot of zone to keep an eye on Peterson.

AP breakes three tackles and got 8 yards.

D line keeps its lanes and prevents Peterson from getting away.

Peterson burns Skrine again for 37 yards.  He looked like Moss.

Play action with Peterson makes completions easy.  The D reacted to the run fake and lost Jennings

Ward gets Peterson after the catch.  Nice tackle.

1st goal at the 7

Winn stops Peterson for a gain of 1

QB draw for the TD.  Nice run against a spread D.

MN 14 CL 14

McG gets 4 yards.  Longest run of the day.

Ogbonnaya gets the swing pass but is stuffed on a run.

Gordon a yard short on the crossing pattern.

Aubry takes a direct snap on the fake punt and runs the ball for 37 yards

McG held to a gain of just 2.  Maybe the lack of a running game was not TRich’s fault

Hoyer makes a business decision and throws it away rather than getting stuffed by the Vike D.

Third and 9 and the pass goes for just 4 yards.  Somebody see if Shurmur is calling the pass plays.

There is no excuse for running a pattern on 3rd down that is short of the LTG.  That is bad design.

CL 17 MN 14

=

KO short of the end line.  KR is 30 yards.

The Browns D is playing their lanes very well preventing a big run by Peterson.

Pass is tipped by Robertson and Ward picks it.

Sherills knocks the ball away from Gordon on the slant.  Nice defensive play.

Great throw by Hoyer on the crossing pattern to Gordon.

Bad no call on PI against Sherrils vs Cameron.  Hoyer put the ball in but the CB had his arm around the TE.

Rainey gets 6.

Throw to Bess is a little high and he can’t come up with it.

Fake FG by Lanning to Cameron for the TD.  This is the most wide open O we have ever seen by the Browns.  It was a player option.  When Lanning saw the TE without coverage, he threw the pass.

CL 24 MN 14

=

Taylor gets the sack of Ponder at the 12.  Taylor beat C Sullivan.

Jackson covers the TE keeping it to a short gain.

Ward and Gipson knock the ball down deep to Peterson.  Another 3 and out.

Benjamin muffed the punt and the Vikes recover it.

The NFL has to fix the 15 yard penalty on a coach challenging a call that cannot be challenged.  The ref declared the Benjamin gaff a muff which can’t be advanced.  The Vikes coach challenged and was penalized 15 yards for thowing the flag when

Jackson makes a tackle with

Haden gets Simpson after 8.

Haden gets Peterson after a 1 yard pass.

43 yard FG GOOD.  The Browns D did a great job holding the Vikes to 3 after the TO.

CL 24 MN 17

1:08 left and 1 TO for Hoyer.

Bess gets the 1st on a great out pattern.  Rainey with a nice block to protect Hoyer.

Hoyer throws a bad pick. He never saw the safety doubling.  MN has 3 TOs and 47 sec.

=

Kruger gets to Ponder.  Winn hurt.

Patterson is being covered by Jackson and gets the 1st.

Ponder runs for 12.

Gerhart to the 11 on a pass from Ponder.

Skrine knocks the ball away from Jennings preventing the TD.

Ponder fumbles the ball on a hit by Sheard and Roberson picks it up and runs out the half.

CL 24 MN 17 Half time.

 

Browns are forced to take a TO on 3rd and 8 because the play is not in.

Bess with a great scoop up for the 1st.

Bess again with a 1st down catch.

Bubble screen nets only a yard.

Little on a slant with a great throw by Hoyer.

Hoyer picked again.  He never saw OLB Greenway in the zone drop.  He was staring down the receiver and Greenway saw it.

=

Jackson hits Peterson and forced the fumble.  Sheard recovered.  Sheard hurt on the play.

McGahee with a nice run for 8.

Hoyer missed two passes in a row and the Browns punt.  Gordon was going long Hoyer throught he would break off the pattern.

38 yard punt puts the Vikes inside the 10.  Well done.

=

Nice pass breakup by Haden on Patterson.

Rudolph drops the ball.  Mingo on the coverage.

Sheard returns

Ward knocks Peterson out of bounds short of the LTG.  Browns with a 3 and out.

Great punt return by Benjamin to the 43 for 27 yards.  HE CAUGHT THE BALL!

Rainey runs for 6.  Running game beginning to open up.

Hoyer just a little too far out to let Gordon make the catch.

Hoyer’s pass is knocked down on 4th and 4.  The play and personnel were too late.

=

Peterson has 9 with Mingo getting bulled over.  Sheard’s return is doubtful.

Haden good coverage on 82.

Hughes sacks Ponder on a stunt with Taylor.

Mingo gets the sack on 3rd down.

McGahee is not following the play and spins around and gets blasted.

Penalty for 12 men in the huddle.

2nd and 21 pass is tipped and picked on the Brown’s 8.  The right side of the line collapses under the pressure for the pick.

=

Webb wide open but is missed by Ponder.

Taylor gets Peterson.

QB run again for the TD.

MN 24 CL 24 2:36 left

Hoyer sacked.

Screen pass is again blown up and Hoyer is called for grounding.

3rd and Los Angeles. Ogbonnaya get to the 28 but can’t make the LTG.

=

Peterson for 3 Bryant and Jackson on the hit.

Browns lose contain and Ponder runs for the 1st.  If they do that against Peterson it will be a TD.

END OF THE 3rd quarter.

 

Jennings pushed over the LTG by Kalil.

Ponder flings it down field but no one is home.

Kruger and Jackson both miss the sack and Jackson called for a face mask.

Peterson runs for 5 to the Browns 15.

Ward throws Rudolph out of bounds short of the LTG.  3rd and 2

Roberson plasters Ponder for a hurry.

30 yard FG Good MN37 CL 24

Bubble screen to Gordon almost picked again.

Hoyer Got Gordon for the first.

Hoyer goes for Gordon up the middle and it just about was picked again.

Hoyer gets past Schwartz and is sacked by Allen.

3rd 19 Hoyer throws behind Cameron and the Browns punt again.

=

Kruger forces a hurry.

Hughes slams Peterson again.

3rd and 10 Skrine grabs a leg of TE Rudolph and calls for help.  Ownes makes sure he did not get the 1st.

  • 7:11 left

Great throw into tight coverage to Bess for the 1st.

Hoyer gets nailed by a late blitz by Henderson for a 10 yard loss.

After illegal motion 3rd and 19 so Hoyer throws a 3 yard pass.

=

Gipson and Jackson stop the WR sweep by Peterson.

Two incompletions force the Vikes to punt.

  • 3:21 Browns on the 45

When pressure comes on Hoyer he tends to throw the ball away.  He does not have much sense of pocket.

Gordon catches a ball behind him for 11.

 

Long throw almost picked.

Throw to an Open Cameron to the 20

Gordon to the 7 with 1:19 left.  Clock running.

Fade to Little Incomplete. 1:00 left

Hoyer throws it away with no one open. 0:55

Cameron reaches up over his head and brings in the TD.

CL 31 MN 27 0:51 left.

=

Ward and Jackson knock down the hail Mary.  04 left

Bryant gets the sack and the BROWNS WIN—THE BROWNS WIN.

 

 

Conclusion:

Offense:

A lot of Browns fans were “Hoyerfied” about the QB change during a tough week.  However, it was unfounded.  Hoyer brought the team from behind to win the game with a final drive.  That is something that has not happened in a number of close losses with Weeden at the helm.   Hoyer did throw three picks but did a number of things that improved the overall O.  He was fooled by the defense on two of the picks.  That is not unexpected for a QB that has started just one game prior to this.  He was mobile in the pocket which helped reduce the pressure of a leaky O line.  He also was much more decisive and threw the ball quicker than Weeden does.  Part of that is his ability to make pre-snap reads.   Hoyer has great touch and throws the fade very well.  He was very accurate putting the ball in the best place for the WR to make the play.  While he made some mistakes, he fought through them and made the plays to win.

 

The development of TE Jordan Cameron has given the team some hope.  He has come a long way and this coaching staff is owed some of the credit for that.  He caught three TDs yesterday.  The addition of Gordon was critical.  He looked like he had been with the team since day 1.  Bess is a major upgrade from Little as a starter.  Bess catches the ball in traffic and gets the key first downs to continue drives.  He runs great patterns and always gets past the sticks to get the first if he gets the ball.

 

While some will say that the O line played much better, unfortunately that is not true.  The fact is Hoyer did a much better job of getting rid of the ball.  Weeden waits to see a receiver break open.  With the guys on this roster (without Gordon) that did not happen often.  Weeden got sacked before the WR ever got open.  Hoyer throws with anticipation.  He throws to the spot where the WR will be.

 

The play calling was nothing short of spectacular.  The fake punt and run for the first was good.  The fake field goal and pass for the TD by P/Holder Lanning was outstanding.  OC Norv Turner was also more aggressive by throwing on early downs.  That was good because the running game is appearing on a milk carton.  The best run was the fake punt.  While it is possible to beat the Vikes without a running game, it will cost the Browns against good Ds like the Bengals.

Defense:

The biggest part of the D’s contribution to the win was the ability to hold RB Peterson to 88 yards on 25 attempts.  The 3-4 has been very good against the run.  That continued this week.  The front 7 did give up two runs by Ponder for TDs which was due to the spread formation of the Vikes.  The inside backers need to be aware of that tendency.  The D did get 6 sacks one interception and forced two fumbles.  Overall a good day for the D.

The passing game of the Vikes is suspect.  But the backfield did a very solid job in covering the receivers.  Because the front 7 was able to keep the running game under control, the backs were free to cover.  The team played a lot more zone than usual in order to keep an eye on Peterson.  The zone allowed the Vikes to convert 8 of 17 third downs.  That is not acceptable.  In particular Buster Skrine played his best game of the year.  He was better but not yet a starting quality CB.

The Bottom line:

Is Hoyer the long term answer at QB?  Probably not but he showed enough to warrant another start.  If he plays as well against the Bengals, he should continue to start whether Weeden is healthy or not.  The Browns will still be looking for a college QB in the 2014 NFL draft.

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 https://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 https://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: Aug 26th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 3 of the preseason

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nfl

News

Later this week I will post the AFC and NFC projections for the league.

When asked which team might be a surprising team, Chris Mortensen of ESPN suggested the Browns will “make it very interesting in the AFC North.”  He mentioned the improvement of QB Brandon Weeden in the new offense and the additions on the defensive line.  Needless to say that was before the Browns choked at Indy.

The Steelers traded to get RB Felix Jones from the Eagles.  Steelers’ 2nd round pick RB Le’Veon Bell has a lisfranc injury in his foot.  It is not a good idea to draft a back that has carried the ball as much as Bell did at Michigan State.  His injury could not have been a surprise.  Look for Jones to be a significant factor this year for the Steelers but the running game will struggle.

“DANGER—DANGER”  The first team of the Pats turned the ball over on 4 of their first 5 possessions against the Lions Friday night.  QB Tom Brady has been harassed consistently in the first 3 preseason games.  Brady looked disgusted with the play of his team.  Those are not good signs for the Pats.  The good news is the Pats are in the AFC Least with no real competition for the division title and the playoff spot.

Several major injuries marred week 3 of preseason.  The Cards lost OG Jonathan Cooper for the year with a broken leg.  The Jets saw QB Mark Sanchez go down with an injury to his throwing shoulder.  It does not look to be significant.  The Giants lost S Stevie Brown for the year with an ACL. That is a big injury for the G Men because he had 8 picks last year.  OLB Jarvis Jones (PT) was hospitalized after an undisclosed lung injury.  It sounds similar to what OLB Barkevious Mingo (CL) experienced.

Former Browns QB Colt McCoy has won the backup spot for the 49ers.

Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notes:

The Raiders cannot start QB Matt Flynn if they expect to have a decent season.  He has looked miserable in the last two preseason games.  There is a reason he was a very late round draft choice coming out of LSU.  Against the Bears in game 3 he threw two picks and generated 0 points in almost a half under center.  Former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor seems to be the only QB that can survive behind a very offensive O line.  In four drives Pryor generated 20 points with the 2nd team O of the Raiders.  While Pryor was moving the team to scores, Flynn was sulking on the sideline and not even wearing his head piece to listen to the play calls.

The Seahawks O line issues continued in week 3.  QB Russell Wilson did throw a pick but had another because the O line did not keep the D line’s hands down.  The O of the Hawks can be explosive ONLY if they can solve the O line issues.  The D looks fine.

Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith has not targeted WR Dwayne Bowe yet this preseason.  It could be that by the time Smith makes his drop and turns around Bowe is out of range of his arm.  Don’t expect Smith to throw much down field.  That is not what he does best.  The team has also struggled to protect Smith. He needs good protection to be successful.

Rumors:

Lion head coach Jim Schwartz has to get his team back into the playoffs to save his job.  The Lions commit way too many penalties and Schwartz seems to be unable to correct that.

Bills’ QB Kevin Kolb’s concussion could end his career.  The Bills signed Matt Leinart and traded for Thaddeus Lewis for insurance.

The 49ers are trying to trade QB Colt McCoy.  So far there are no takers.  That is no surprise to Browns fans.

Jet HC Rex Ryan is taking a lot of heat from the NY Media over his decision to put QB Sanchez into a preseason game after QB Geno Smith threw 3 picks.  Sanchez got hurt.  As usual, Ryan is giving as good as he gets.  But this is the beginning of the end for Ryan in NY.  He is a nice guy but like so many others is a much better coordinator than HC.

QB Terrelle Pryor is getting first team reps with the Raiders because the Matt Flynn experiment is not going well.  Flynn will “rest” his elbow this week and Pryor will start.  Look for Pryor to end up as the #1 soon.  Flynn has proven he is not a starter in the NFL.

The Packers like what they see in QB Vince Young.  Look for him to be the #2 in Green Bay.

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

You can listen to the podcasts at https://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 https://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/. 

  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 12th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

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Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama ...

Brett Favre in Confessions Of An NFL QB Drama Queen (Photo credit: DavidErickson)

News, Notes & Rumors after Week 1 of the preseason

News
The injury bug seems to be alive and well despite a reduced uniformed practice schedule this season.  The injury de jure seems to be the dreaded torn ACL.  There were no ACL injuries on the first week of games.  All of them occurred during practice.
The NFL is still trying to get the 18 game season into the minds of the fans.  While preseason games are not popular, there will be a lot of player pressure against the move.  The NFL is even reducing the ticket cost of preseason games.  One thing that has not been talked about is the effect that 2 preseason games will have on the ability of undrafted players to make a team.  With the much more restricted practice schedule, the only real opportunity an undrafted player has is in preseason games.  Two less games will give the new guys only one game to show they belong.  The first preseason game will be used to prepare the starters for the season.
Browns color guy Bernie Kosar has been widely crushed for his opinions about the play of Rams players.  First, there is no Constitutional Guarantee for freedom from being insulted.  Second, if a color guy cannot express his opinion, why have one?   Rams Coach Jeff Fisher needs to get a lot thinker skin.  Jeff, shut up and pick better players.
 
Notes
Starting QBs that could be replaced–Josh Freeman TB looked very shaky against the Ravens.  He did not have his starting OGs and was not productive.  He is in the last year of his rookie deal and will be gone unless he shows he is a franchise QB.
Mark Sanchez NJ should not have been an early 1st round pick.  He has not developed and is now in a QB duel.  He will be remembered forever in NFL circles for the Butt Fumble.  His best chance of keeping the job might be the ankle injury to Geno Smith but that is reported to be minor.
Blaine Gabbert JK has not developed and some of that is on the coaches.  The Jags just need to find someone that can move the ball.  Gabbert has regressed in his time there and needs to find his game to keep the job.
Christan Ponder MN is not developing.  The best thing he has going for him is that the backup is Matt Cassel and he has already proven he is not a quality starter.
Payton Manning DV—Just kidding although the Broncos did run 3 plays out of the pistol while he was in.  Don’t expect Payton to run the ball any time soon.
 
Many teams need backup QBs – The backup is much more critical this season than ever before.  Due to a rule change if a player suffers a possible head hit he must be taken into the locker room to get tested for a concussion.  That could mean a starting QB could be out as much as a quarter and a half even if he is not injured just for the test.
The Pack had Graham Harrell at QB2 last year.  If Aaron Rodgers gets hurt the season is over unless the team finds a better 2.  Harrell turns the ball over way too much.  The Pack is close to SB quality unless he has to play QB for any extended time.  Good news for Harrell is that the expected challenger is Vince Young who couldn’t make the Bills roster last year.
According to Kosar, the Rams could use a better backup than Kellen Clemens.  I agree with Kosar.
The 49ers traded for Colt McCoy.  In his first game for the team he did what he does best—get hurt.  Colt will likely be out for the year and the team needs a QB2 as well.  So far neither Scott Tolzien nor B.J. Daniels look like they can play at this level.
The Falcons are searching for a backup.  Dominique Davis is the current backup but he has yet to prove he can handle the job.  He has never thrown a pass in a game and is backed up by two rookie QBs.
Players that caught my eye—RG2 Lane Taylor GB The undrafted RFA did very well on the run and the pass.  He is someone to watch given the issues and age of the OL.
FS2 Tyrann Mathieu AZ had a standout game and should unseat Rashad Johnson very soon.  Mathieu just makes plays.  That is exactly what the Cards need at FS IF he can stay away from trouble.
FB2 Zack Line MN not only can block but is a receiver as well.  I talked about him on my show before the draft and in his first game looked like a player.
J.D. Woods PT really showed his ability to catch.  He had to try to catch balls thrown by John Parker Wilson.  Woods’ first catch was well over his head.  The second one was thrown out of bounds but he caught it and got both feet down.
Sloppy games of the Week—Bucs/Ravens game had more flags than the UN does.  Both teams looked shaky on O and shot themselves in the foot on a regular basis with penalties and turnovers.
Steelers/Giants was a turnover fest that included muffed punts, RBs running into the QB in their own endzone and missed passes, fumbles, and blocked punts.  The final was 18-13 with most of the points coming off mistakes.
 
Rumors
While Chip Kelly offense looked pretty common, the D did not.  Kelly has prohibited tackling to the ground at Eagle practices.  It looked like the Bird D forgot it is legal to tackle during a game.  There were more whiffs than you see at most Cleveland Indian games.  Look for the tackle rules to change at practice.
The Packers CBs got burned a lot and things will not get better until they get the starting CBs back.  Given the issues with the 2nd unit, look for the Pack to be watching the cut lists very carefully.
Before the draft I talked about WR Kenny Stills as a late round value.  The Saints took him in the 5th round.  Although there were some glitches in his first preseason outing, the Saints think a lot of him.  He could win the 3rd WR spot this year.
The Rams rookie WR Tavon Austin was very quiet in the game vs. the Browns.  Coach Jeff Fisher said the team had to get Austin more involved in the O.  While he can return kicks, getting him more involved in the passing game will be harder.  There is no question about his speed but he is very short.  The key to getting him more involved will be getting him down the sideline from the slot. That would match him against shorter DBs.  It would help if there was any other receiver that could threaten the D.  So far there have been more drops than catches by the Rams group.
Undrafted QB Matt McGloin (Raiders) has moved ahead of 4th round pick Tyler Wilson for the #3 QB spot according to the San Francisco Chronicle.  But don’t trust McGloin to make the team.  He has serious flaws as a passer.  He improved a lot at Penn State in his senior year but Wilson is a quality prospect.  A lot of NFL teams would love a shot at Wilson as a key backup.
The Seahawks are looking for a solid backup to RB Marshawn Lynch.  They may have found one in ex Texas A&M back Christine Michael.  He had 89 yards in 16 carries for a 5.6 yards per carry average.  He blocks well and can play FB or HB and even a little TE.
The sudden retirement of Cowboy OG Brandon Moore has the team scrambling for a vet.  ESPN reports that they are after former Pats’ OG Brian Waters who retired in 2012.
Don’t bet on Bills QB Kevin Kolb to be the starter.  E.J. Manuel is coming on strong and Kolb cannot stand that type of pressure.
Fantasy Football comments:
Look for SF QB Colin Kaepernick to explode this year.  In the months leading up to the 2011 draft I talked a lot about him.  He has had an entire off season as the starter unlike last year when he was getting backup reps.  He said he is faster than last year which should scare NFC Ds to death.  Don’t worry about him losing WR Michael Crabtree or about him getting hurt running the ball.  He has a lot of weapons and is a very solid guy that never seems to take a big hit.
Don’t draft any KC receivers unless you are in a PPR league.  QB Alex Smith does not have a strong arm.  The vast majority of his throws will fly less than 8 yards under the WCO of Coach Andy Reed.
KC RB Charles will also be a risk.  Reed likes to pass a lot.  He passed a league high 61% of the time last season in Philly.  While Charles may get some short TDs, he will not get enough carries to get a bunch of yards.  He will catch a bunch of passes however.
Eagle RB McCoy is going in picks 9 or 10 in most draft leagues.  Remember that at Oregon Kelly ran the ball over 60% of the time.  If he stays healthy McCoy should get a lot of carries and catch some passes as well.
That is what I think.  Tell me what you think.
You can listen to the NNR podcasts at https://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 https://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He also edits .

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