Tag:Brad Smith
Posted on: November 19, 2011 11:16 am
 

Jackson one reason for Spiller disappointment

SpillerPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Fred Jackson has been so effective these past two years -- some would say “so surprising,” although Jackson wouldn’t use that verbiage -- that it’s made C.J. Spiller, the Bills first-round pick last year, and free agent pickup Brad Smith all but irrelevant in Buffalo’s offense this season.

Which, quite frankly, has surprised those in the Buffalo front office, especially considering Spiller was supposed to do great things after leaving Clemson.

"I don't think anybody foresaw how good Fred Jackson was going to be," Bills coach Chan Gailey, said via the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "When we drafted (Spiller), we thought there would eventually be a need there that has not shown itself to be. It's not his fault. Fred Jackson's playing extremely well right now. How do you take him out of the ball game? Receiver is not (Spiller’s) natural position, so we'll just have to see how it works as time goes on. It may be one of those things where this year he doesn't get as involved as we all would maybe have thought he might. That's the way it is."

Since Jackson has been so good for Buffalo’s offense -- he’s averaged 5.6 yards per carry (a league-leading 913 yards overall on the season), he’s scored six touchdowns and he’s made 34 catches -- the coaching staff moved Spiller to receiver earlier in the season. But he’s only got 13 catches and 18 rushes this year, and for now, he’s biding his time.

"I'm playing behind a great player in front of me, and I'm trying to soak up as much as I can from him," Spiller said. "Sooner or later my opportunity is going to come and I'll be ready. I'm not discouraged and I'm not going to stop working. I'm going to continue to be prepared and be ready to go."

The problem with Smith is that he’s been used mostly in the Wildcat offense the Bills occasionally use, and lately, that scheme has become almost non-existent for Buffalo. Smith also was hurt by the lockout, meaning he had no offseason with his new team and, therefore, couldn’t learn the offensive intricacies, and by the new kickoff rules which have limited his abilities as a returner.

"I didn't come with any preconceived thoughts," Smith said. "I was hoping to (play more), but it hasn't necessarily been that way. As a competitor and a player I want to be out there. I'll keep working, stay focused and be ready to help the team at any time."

For now, though, it looks like Jackson isn’t ready to give away any of his playing time.

“We did draft C.J. last year. I knew I had to keep working and keep working, even at the beginning of (last) year when I had my hand broken,” Spiller said in a September edition of Five Questions (or more). “I had to keep plugging away at it. I was accustomed to working and seeing how things work out afterward. But C.J. still wants to play, and he still wants to start. That’s what we’re here for. I expect nothing less of him.”

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Plaxico injures ankle; Mason in, Cotchery out?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets wide receiver corps is in serious flux as the head into 2011. With the exception of Santonio Holmes -- who also signed a five-year deal worth $50 million in the offseason, if you want to count that -- it's entirely likely that the group catching balls from Mark Sanchez will look entirely different.

For starters, there's the presence of Plaxico Burress who, by the by, is dealing with an injured ankle after "tweaking" it on Wednesday while "running around, trying to stay sharp." And it's not even the same ankle injury he's deal with in the past. So that should be concerning, right?

Well, coach Rex Ryan said, per our Jets Rapid Reporter Lisa Zimmerman, it's "nothing serious."

And, according to Burress, if this were a game week, he'd be able to practice and/or play.

In other news, the Jets appear on the verge of signing former Ravens wideout (and therefore "teammate" of Ryan's) Derrick Mason, who was cut by Baltimore during their Borders-like employee cuts last week.

To make room for Mason, it looks like Jerricho Cotchery will get the axe.

"If [Mason] passes the physical, he's on the team and I won't be," Cotchery said, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. "It's time to move on."

So that means in a very short time, the Jets will have gone from Santonio Holmes/Braylon Edwards/Jerricho Cotchery/Brad Smith to Santonio Holmes/Plaxico Burress/Derrick Mason in terms of their wide-receiver depth chart.

If that happens, is that an upgrade?

No, I'm pretty sure it's not. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that it's a huge downgrade.

Cotchery was praised last year for his toughness, despite playing the slot and not getting any of the love that Edwards/Holmes did. And while Santonio might be one of the most explosive playmakers in the NFL, he's going to see a lot more coverage coming his way if the only two options on the field are both 30-plus, with one of them just a few months removed from a lengthy absence from football.

All that being said, you can't fault the Jets for some of the moves -- the Santonio signing is justified as long as he doesn't get suspended, Edwards is a troublemaker and not worth the money they might give him, and there's no way they could have paid Brad Smith what the Bills gave and justified it.

But giving Burress $3 million guaranteed and dumping a locker room leader and consistent on-field presence like Cotchery? That reeks of a mistake, even if Cotchery's dealing with offseason back surgery.

Fortunately for the wideout, he's probably got options. As I noted on Twitter, both the Panthers and Chargers stand out as great options for Cotchery. The Panthers could use veteran wide receiver help to draw coverage away from Steve Smith and mentor David Gettis and Brandon LaFell.

Cotchery was Philip Rivers' No.-1 target in college and the Chargers are currently looking for someone to line up opposite Vincent Jackson.

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Posted on: July 5, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.05.11: Somebody wants Haynesworth



Posted by Ryan Wilson
  • Michael Clayton, the Bucs first-round pick in 2004, says his football career isn't over. In the last two seasons he caught 18 passes for 249 yards. After spending the first six years of his career in Tampa Bay, Clayton played with the Giants in 2010.
  • When Plaxico Burress was released from prison last month, the Eagles were considered one of the teams most likely to sign him. Now that the new-freedom smell has worn off, it sounds as if Burress is near the bottom of Philly's offseason to-do list.
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Posted on: June 24, 2011 3:37 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.24.11: Negotiations go on and on



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman reports, the owners and players are negotiating again today. They’re just not doing it in person.
  • Jets WR Brad Smith, who’s been working out with Mark Sanchez at player-led workouts, thinks it’s a bit awkward for him to be with potential former teammates. That’s because Smith is a free agent and doesn’t know if he’ll be back in New York next season.
  • CBSSports.com’s own Andy Benoit, writing for the NY Times, ranks his top-10 safeties in the NFL. Unlike Pete Prisco, Benoit doesn’t think Troy Polamalu is overrated at all.
  • Looks like we have another locked-out football player who’s taking up boxing to stay in shape. That would be Chargers RB Mike Tolbert, who says boxing is the roughest workout he’s ever had.
  • The Jets will not be traveling to Cortland, N.Y., this season for their regularly-scheduled training camp. Instead, because the lockout hasn’t been lifted, they’ll prepare themselves at their regular home in Florham Park, N.J. The Jets plan to return to Cortland in 2012.
  • In a heartwarming tale, 136 members of the Chiefs organization traveled to Joplin, Mo., to help clean up the town that was decimated by tornados.
  • Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan don’t think former Giants RB Tiki Barber should attempt a comeback. In the case of Strahan, there are clearly still some hurt feelings for the way Barber criticized the Giants after he retired and became a network analyst.

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Posted on: June 15, 2011 9:52 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2011 2:48 pm
 

Mayock on Pryor: He's a 4th-round pick

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Another day, another expert weighs in on Terrelle Pryor's NFL prospects. Appearing on NFL Network's Wednesday edition of Total Access, respected draft analysts Mike Mayock spoke about Pryor.

But before we get to Mayock's levelheaded and well-reasoned evaluation, a quick trip in the time machine. Tuesday, Pryor's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, convened a press conference to offer up his own scouting report on his client. Enjoy.
For anybody who questions where he's going to be drafted, I expect him to be a first-round pick in the supplemental draft. This league needs quarterbacks. Are you kidding me? Middle round for this guy?

You talk about Cam Newton being the first pick of the draft and he deserves it? Let me tell you what, I'll make all the comparisons all day long: [Pryor] is 31-4 at Ohio State. He has 8,000 total yards in three years. He holds 59 touchdowns -- a record at Ohio State. This is Big 10 football that he has dominated.

He is going to be a great NFL quarterback.
Back on earth, Mayock shared his thoughts on Pryor.
Nobody is better than Drew Rosenhaus in driving perceived value. Now, that's his job and I have no problem with that. Sometimes perceived value is almost as good as real value if he can get enough people talking about [Pryor] as a first-round pick.
Terrelle Pryor's NFL future

I watched four hours of tape yesterday, and I only did three games. Off my tape evaluation, if I'm Vegas Vic, I set the over-under line at the fourth round. Can somebody take him in the third round? Absolutely.

The value for [Pryor] as a rookie is in packages. In other words, I think the New York Jets are the best wildcat team in the NFL. Why? Because Brad Smith can throw the football just well enough to keep you honest.

And I think that's what this kid can do. He can be a package quarterback Year 1 while you develop his skill set. Is he raw? Absolutely. Does he have a lot to work on? Yes, he does. And that doesn't even get into all the intangibles off the field.
As for those off-the-field issues, Mayock thinks that the short timeframe between now and the supplemental draft will ultimately hurt Pryor in two areas.
One: off-the-field intangibles and how well are teams willing to get to know this kid. And No. 2: look at Colin Kaepernick, who's kind of a similar big kid, great athlete. He got himself up into the high second round. Now he's got a cannon for an arm, but he also had the benefit of the process, meaning he played in the Senior Bowl, he went to the combine, he went through his pro day, all the teams got to know him. The San Francisco 49ers fell in love with his upside and took him as a high second-round pick.

Terrelle Pryor does not have the advantage of the process a) to clear his name, and b) to show us that he can drive the football with accuracy.
Mayock is more bullish on Pryor than other experts but still pegs him as a fourth-rounder. This is a far cry from Rosenhaus' "first-round pick" decree Tuesday, although it reinforces Mayock's earlier point that "sometimes perceived value is almost as good as real value."

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Randy Moss to the Jets could be a reality

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For most NFL teams, the ubiquitous "character concerns" are enough to steer clear of a player, whether a draft prospect or a potential free agent. For the Jets, it's a term of endearment to be embraced. At least that's the perception.

Since Rex Ryan was named the Jets head coach prior to the 2009 season, the organization has welcomed with open arms Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. All former first-round picks, all immensely talented, and all with off-field issues. But not only was Ryan able keep disparate personalities in check, he managed to motivate his team all the way to the AFC Championship Game twice in two years. It's not a personnel philosophy many teams would endorse, but then again, there isn't another coach like Ryan.

Which is why it's not surprising that the Jets may have legitimate interest in wide receiver Randy Moss. On Monday, in a post about potential landing spots for Plaxico Burress, we speculated that the Jets could be in the running for Moss. Stop me if you've heard this before.

NFL Network's Albert Breer writes that between the league rumor mill and divining the words of Jets owner Woody Johnson, "it's not hard to see some reality" in a Moss-to-New York scenario.

"There's no question that Randy Moss has the capability, has the God-given talent to be a superstar, and he has been a superstar, particularly with the Patriots," Johnson told Breer last week. "That's about all I can say about him, other than I admire his skill and what he's accomplished during those years."

Breer reports that the Jets have worked on "scenario development," which is a fancier, pithier way of saying "How we will deal with free agency should the lockout end tomorrow -- because it's going to be Thunderdome-type chaos around the league." It's good to have contingency plans, especially when the Jets have an abundance of would-be free agents, including Cromartie, Edwards, Holmes, and Brad Smith.

But Moss is 34 and his 2010 production suggests that his best days are firmly rooted in the past. And unless he can get his hands on a time machine, his biggest contribution to an offense will be the weekly complaints about not getting the ball. Of course, there were similar claims in 2006 that Moss was done. He had just finished his second season in Oakland and managed 42 receptions for 553 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots took Moss off Al Davis' hands in April 2007 for a fourth-round pick and then everyone watched in awe as Moss hauled in 98 catches for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, and New England went undefeated in the 2007 regular season.

The seven-figure question laded with incentives then becomes: is the 2007 Moss still inhabiting the body of a man who looked disinterested and slow in 2010? It's doubtful. Moss is on the wrong side of 30, and his most explosive weapon -- his speed -- is waning. Plus, Mark Sanchez continues to improve as an NFL quarterback, but he's not Tom Brady. On more than one occasion, Moss has shown that his effort level is directly proportional to the number of passes accurately thrown his way. That could be a problem for Sanchez, whose career completion percentage is 54.4. 

Then again, Ryan has a way of getting the best from his players. Maybe he's exactly what Moss needs.

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Posted on: April 4, 2011 11:45 am
 

Hot Routes 4.4.11: Rams interested in Rice?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • In this Pro Football Weekly report, sources tell the publication that the Rams could have some interest in Vikings WR Sidney Rice. Considering how lackluster the current crop of St. Louis receivers are, the move would make sense. But the Rams organization apparently also is leery of Rice’s hip injury that cost him much of last season.
  • The Boston Herald wonders how Tom Brady’s image will be affected by the upcoming Brady v NFL case. Apparently, he can expect a hit to his short-term marketability.
  • The creator of the Madden NFL video game is suing EA Sports for many, many millions of dollars. It could even reach into the b illions. And get this: Robin Antonick’s original game was released in 1988, and it was for Commodore 64, MS Dos and Apple II.
  • Further cementing the idea that Da’Quan Bowers could fall out of the top-10 is Peter King of Sports Illustrated reporting that only one head coach (Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt) and two GMs (Atlanta’s Thomas Dimitroff and Buffalo’s Buddy Nix) were in attendance at his Pro Day last week.

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Posted on: February 7, 2011 7:11 pm
 

Revis: 'I want Chad to come here and play for us'

Posted by Will Brinson

The New York Jets have a pile of people leaving via free agency after this season and a few of them are wide recivers (Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith).

Even if they don't bring those guys back, there might be another option: Chad Ochocinco.

Well, at least if Darrelle Revis has his way -- according to Metro in New York, the wide receiver's been lobbying Ochocinco to join him in the Big Apple. 

"I want Chad to come here and play for us, to be a Jet," Revis said. "I've been in his ear a lot about it this week ... I think he could do well here. I've been telling him to come here."

Ochocinco would actually work out alright with the Jets, because he's a talented wideout (even if he's lost some of his speed) who can still produce and he'd fit especially nicely on the other side of the field from Santonio Holmes.

But there's the small matter of everyone putting up with him. Ocho is a notorious publicity-hound and there's nowhere with a stronger media spotlight in New York.

Though that might seem like a perfect union, the city and the player aren't the only ones who have to put up with the experience. The New York fans would have to be on board (not a problem until he fails to produce) and then there's the collateral damage that is every single other person unable to tune out the noise coming out of the potential new partnership.

Still, the Jets have't shied away from acquiring players of Ochocinco's ilk, so while we can hope it doesn't happen, there's really no reason to rule out the possibility.

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