Tag:Nick Collins
Posted on: September 30, 2011 9:15 pm
 

Nick Collins has surgery; career on hold

CollinsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Right now, we don’t know if Packers safety Nick Collins will ever play football again. Nobody does. Not after he underwent cervical fusion surgery to repair a herniated disk that he sustained in Week 2 vs. Carolina.

We actually won’t know for some time if Collins can return to the game. Probably for at least six months.

"He felt good about everything," his agent Alan Herman said, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He felt it went well. The point that was made was you don't know until six months down the road. You see how the healing process goes.

"You can't gauge what will happen, whether there will be any narrowing with the (spinal) canal or remaining tissue. That will be the determining factor as far as his career. It's all based on the healing process."

But it seems clear that Collins -- who will miss the season (obviously) though he still hasn't been placed on injured reserve -- wants to play football again, because Herman told the paper that Collins wouldn’t have necessarily needed the surgery if he was going to retire (but if he wanted to play, he absolutely needed the surgery). Now, Collins will wear a hard collar that will restrict the movement of his head for several weeks. Then, he’ll begin using a soft collar and try to kick-start the process of returning to the game.

"It was a fluke hit," Herman said. "It was like Dennis Byrd, only a different result. It was a player with his neck extended at impact. These guys have these collisions every day. This one, he was just hit the wrong way. He was in an unfortunate position on the tackle."

Hopefully for Collins, his career doesn’t end because of it.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Ryan Grant out for Packers Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

In theory, the Packers shouldn't have any real trouble dispatching the Broncos on Sunday -- if you ask our experts, the only real consideration is if they'll win by more than two touchdowns -- but there are at least a couple of warning flags for Green Bay.

For starters, Nick Collins is out for the rest of the season, meaning Charlie Peprah is manning one safety position. There's also the fact that Ryan Grant's out for the game against Denver with a bruised kidney.

The Packers listed Grant as one of five players (Bryan Bulaga, Collins, Frank Zombo, Mike Neal are the others) who are already ruled out for Sunday.

Grant's absence shouldn't be that much of a problem, considering the Packers have been their most effective this season when they let Aaron Rodgers sling the ball around. Plus, they did OK last year without the running back.

And James Starks is available, and if the Packers get up, could see a pretty substantial workload for Green Bay.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 3:31 pm
 

Ryan Grant out for Packers Sunday

Posted by Will Brinson

In theory, the Packers shouldn't have any real trouble dispatching the Broncos on Sunday -- if you ask our experts, the only real consideration is if they'll win by more than two touchdowns -- but there are at least a couple of warning flags for Green Bay.

For starters, Nick Collins is out for the rest of the season, meaning Charlie Peprah is manning one safety position. There's also the fact that Ryan Grant's out for the game against Denver with a bruised kidney.

The Packers listed Grant as one of five players (Bryan Bulaga, Collins, Frank Zombo, Mike Neal are the others) who are already ruled out for Sunday.

Grant's absence shouldn't be that much of a problem, considering the Packers have been their most effective this season when they let Aaron Rodgers sling the ball around. Plus, they did OK last year without the running back.

And James Starks is available, and if the Packers get up, could see a pretty substantial workload for Green Bay.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: September 19, 2011 4:54 pm
Edited on: September 19, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Neck injury ends Packers S Nick Collins season

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Packers safety Nick Collins suffered a scary neck injury that forced him to be carted off from Bank of America Stadium. He spent the evening in a Charlotte hospital, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy confirmed on Monday that his season was over.

"We're not far enough along in the evaluation process" to determine if surgery is necessary or if it may be career-threatening, McCarthy said, per our Packers Rapid Reporter James Carlton.

Given the dangerous nature of the injury, it's just fantastic that Collins is OK. And McCarthy indicated that Collins appeared to be doing well after informing the team of his injury.

"He has a neck brace on and he's walking around," he said. "You would never know (he's injured)."

As far as football implications go, this is a pretty huge loss for the Packers, especially given that the talent-filled secondary is currently the subject of some scrutiny, given that they've allowed two-straight 400-yard passing games.

Charlie Peprah is the "next man up" once again, as he filled in for Morgan Burnett last year. The difference, of course, is that when he replaced Burnett in 2010, Peprah had lining up next to him.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 7, 2011 12:24 am
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:23 am
 

Turnovers tell the tale of Steelers struggles

Posted by Will Brinson



DALLAS -- How many times over the past week was this phrase -- the team who wins the turnover battle will win the game -- used to analyze Super Bowl XLV? My best guess is right around 5,345,042 times. That's hyperbole, of course, but there's a reason why lines like that are such go-to cliches for people who analyze sports: they're true.

While the Pittsburgh Steelers aren't immune to turning the ball over, you'll almost never see them fire a couple of rounds into their own feet. But they did just that on Sunday en route to their first Super Bowl loss in the Ben Roethlisberger era.

Mistake-laden football isn't not a common sight because Pittsburgh's a well-coached team that's sustained success by making big plays on the defensive end and letting other teams force their own errors. But the script was flipped Sunday, and it led to the aforementioned typical results.

"Usually when you lose it's because of penalties and turnovers," Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said.

Covered that already.

"When you turn the ball over like we did, you put yourself in a bad position to win the game," running back Rashard Mendenhall said.

And he's one of the guys who coughed the ball up.

"You can't turn the ball over and win football games in the NFL," center Doug Legursky said. "That's just Day 1 stuff."

Even a last-minute replacement knows that.

"No excuses," Roethlisberger said. "Regardless of the situation, you just can't turn the ball over."

Not if you plan on winning. Want me to keep going with these? Because I can -- every single Steelers' player who spoke with the media mentioned the turnovers and they know that despite being outplayed by the Packers, they didn't exactly help their own cause.

Just look at the final game stats: The Steelers finished with 19 first downs (to Green Bay's 15), they held the ball for 33:25 (to Green Bay's 26:35), they converted 54 percent of their third downs (to Green Bay's 46 percent), they piled up 387 net yards (to Green Bay's 338).

In other words, the either dominated the Packers or at least broke even with them on the stat sheet … with two major exceptions: Pittsburgh turned the ball over three times (to Green Bay's none) and committed seven penalties for 67 yards (to Green Bay's six for 55).

The penalties came at inopportune times (illegal block to set up Ben's pick six, and terribly-timed holding calls) for sure, but the turnovers were particularly brutal.

That was patently obvious to everyone, including the guys who made the biggest mistakes. Asked about his own game-changing fumble to start the fourth quarter, Mendenhall didn't make any excuses.

"I just got hit and the ball came out," Mendenhall said. "It just happened and it should not have happened."

This particular instance isn't exactly indicative of poor preparation, but the vibe around the Steelers after the game seemed to be one of stunned shock at their poor performance.

"I don't know, I had some opportunities to make some plays," Troy Polamalu said. "I was just a step off here or there."

He wasn't exactly alone, though, considering that the entire Steelers team spent 28 minutes of the first half doing their best impression of Robert Downey, Jr., at a wine-tasting, looking wobbly as hell, out of synch, and doing things the Steelers don't usually do.

Roethlisberger looked off most -- if not all -- of the game, repeatedly over-throwing receivers en route to racking up an embarrassingly bad 16.7 passer rating in the first half. It was the type of performance that will have people wondering what the hell Ben did in Dallas all week, his tradition of taking linemen out to karaoke bar to sing Billy Joel tunes notwithstanding.

Green Bay, on the other hand, looked as prepared as you can possibly ask a team to be. Even when they lost their defensive MVP Charles Woodson and saw Pittsburgh rally to within four points at 21-17, the defense managed to capitalize on a mistake by the Steelers as Clay Matthews tattooed Mendenhall in the backfield for a fumble that Desmond Bishop recovered.

"It's really film work and preparation," Matthews said. "I had a good feeling that play was going to come."



Could the Steelers really have been that predictable? Losing by just six and scoring 25 against a very good defense doesn't seem to indicate as much, but Packers safety Nick Collins -- a former high-school running back who scampered his way into the end zone for an early backbreaker of a pick six -- and his take on the play might show that they were after all.

"I was just reading [Ben Roethlisberger's] eyes," Collins said about the interception. "I was able to get a nice jump on the ball and when I saw it floating up there, I just wanted to make sure that I caught it."

Those eyes told a MUCH different tale after the game -- Roethlisberger limped around the locker room with red, puffy eyes that showed some an overwhelming amount of emotion even for a guy who's had his share of troubles this season and probably thought things would end better once he got this far.

They obviously didn't, but unfortunately, neither he nor anyone else in Pittsburgh's locker room has anyone but themselves to blame for walking off without a championship this time around.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 6, 2011 10:12 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:22 am
 

Rodgers leads Packers to Super Bowl win

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – The Super Bowl experience of the Steelers didn’t matter a bit to the Packers. Neither did Ben Roethlisberger’s toughness, the Pittsburgh defense’s resolve or Brett Keisel’s beard.

Green Bay wasn’t fazed by its youth, its receivers’ inability to make relatively easy catches, or the fact EVERYBODY seemed to pick the Packers to win this game (usually meaning the Steelers would run right over Green Bay). Hell, Green Bay wasn’t even fazed by the furious comeback(s) by Pittsburgh after the Packers took an 18-point lead in the second quarter.

None of it mattered.

Not when Aaron Rodgers, playing in the biggest game of his life, refused to be intimidated by a Steelers offense that never stopped scoring points and narrowing the lead he had built in the first half. Not when he led Green Bay to a 31-25 win.



The biggest drive in the biggest game of his life came after the Steelers cut the lead to 28-25 with 7:34 to play. He was sacked on first down, and on third down, LG Daryn Colledge was called for a false start penalty to make it third and 10. Rodgers’ response: a 31-yard laser to Greg Jennings for the first down to keep the clock running.

Later in the drive, he hit James Jones for a 21-yard pass, and the Packers eventually kicked the field goal. It wasn’t exactly what Rodgers (who finished 24 of 39 for 304 yards and three touchdowns) wanted, but it gave Green Bay some breathing room. Which, it turned out, was all they needed.

Despite an iffy second half on offense and despite the fact the Packers defense clearly was impacted by the loss of CB Charles Woodson, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, Green Bay managed to win its first Super Bowl since the 1996 season, returning the Lombardi Trophy to the town that Lombardi put on the map.

After grabbing a 21-3 lead in the second quarter following a Jordy Nelson touchdown catch, a Nick Collins 37-yard interception return and a Jennings touchdown pass, the Packers seemed in control of the game. No, it didn’t just seem like it. The Packers WERE in control of the game.

But the Steelers made an important score late in the second quarter when WR Hines Ward caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to cut the lead to 11 before halftime.

Despite an extra-long halftime – an intermission show, mind you, that not even Slash could save – Green Bay couldn’t retake the game’s momentum.

The Steelers forced Green Bay to punt on the first drive of the second half, and five plays later, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall completed the five-play, 50-yard drive with an eight-yard scoring run. The fact Green Bay didn’t gain a first down in the third quarter and the fact the Packers receivers couldn’t handle Rodgers’ passes didn’t bode well going into the last 15 minutes.

Until the beginning of the fourth quarter, that is, when Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett forced a fumble from Mendenhall to take possession at the Packers 45-yard line. And despite another terrible drop from Nelson, he redeemed himself with a 38-yard catch on a third down to keep the drive going.

After a Rodgers sack, he found Jennings, who had dominated Troy Polamalu on the route, in the corner of the end zone for the eight-yard score and the 11-point lead.

Rodgers, entering the postseason, had never won a playoff game. Now he’s won a Super Bowl. He might not be the best quarterback in the league. But he’s pretty damn close. And now he’s an NFL champion.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: February 6, 2011 7:18 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Flozell Adams injured; questionable to return

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (7:21 p.m.):
Early in the second quarter, Adams returned to the game.

----------

DALLAS – Late in the first quarter, the Steelers got a double dose of bad news.

One play after Packers WR Jordy Nelson caught a 29-yard touchdown pass, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger was pick-sixed by Nick Collins to give Green Bay a 14-0 lead.

But perhaps even worse, Steelers RT Flozell Adams was injured near the goal line on the interception return, and he’s out of the game for now. He’s questionable to return with a left shoulder injury.

He’s been replaced by backup Trai Essex.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: February 2, 2011 2:24 am
Edited on: February 3, 2011 8:45 am
 

Green Bay Packers defensive roster breakdown

Posted by Will Brinson & Andy Benoit

Perhaps the most fascinating thing if you look (at a glance anyway) at Pittsburgh and Green Bay is that they've built their teams "properly." (AKA "the opposite of Dan Snyder.) They draft smart, and they sign smarter. At least that's what we're lead to believe, right?

Andy and I set out to check the roster breakdown for both teams. En route, we* managed to figure out not only where they're coming from, but what they'll do for their respective teams in the Super Bowl.

Name POS Acquired Scouting Report
Ryan Pickett
DE 
Drafted 29th overall 1st Round 2005, STL; 2006 FA
Tough guy to move in the trenches; never gives up on a play.
B.J. Raji
DT
Drafted 9th overall, 1st Round 2009
Did not truly come on until late in the year, but once he did…wow. Haloti Ngata of the NFC.
Cullen Jenkins
DE
UDFA 2003
Incredibly nimble for a 300-pounder. Can rush the passer (eight sacks on the season despite missing time and fighting through a calf injury) and also anchor against the run.
Howard Green
DL
Drafted 190th, 6th Round, 2002, BAL; FA 2010
Ate himself out of New York but offers some power whenever one of the starters needs some oxygen.
Clay Matthews
LOLB
Drafted 26th overall, 1st Round 2009
Skims the edge with astonishing speed. Can change directions and hunt down the ball in the blink of an eye. (OK…in 10 blinks of the eye. But blink 10 times in a row and you’ll realize that’s still incredibly quick.)
A.J. Hawk
LILB
Drafted 5th overall, 1st Round, 2006
Fundamentally sound system player, but not enough of his tackles come near the line of scrimmage. Plus, you don’t draft “fundamentally sound system players” fifth overall.
Desmond Bishop
RILB
Drafted 192nd overall, 6th Round, 2007
Green Bay’s most dynamic inside linebacker. Instincts aren’t dazzling, but very good at reacting to what he sees. Gets downhill with alacrity.
Erik Walden
ROLB
Drafted 167th overall, 6th Round, 2008, KC; FA 2010
Plays because he’s a better athlete than all of the other “non-injured” outside linebackers.
Frank Zombo
LB
UDFA 2010
Can make the play that’s right there in front of him, but that’s about it.
Tramon Williams
CB
UDFA 2006 Hard to believe he went undrafted given that he’s such a natural talent. Ball skills have flourished now that he’s comfortable with one-on-one technique.
Charles Woodson
CB**
Drafted 4th overall, 1st Round 1998, OAK; FA 2006
Matthews is fantastic, but this is still Green Bay’s most valuable defensive player. His versatility is what makes Dom Capers’ defense thrive.
Charlie Peprah
SS
Drafted 158th overall, 5th Round 2006
Not bad, but completions seem to occur most often in his area of the field.
Nick Collins
FS
Drafted 51st overall, 2nd Round 2005
Excellent range. Has a knack for sniffing out the ball when in attack mode. Very good tackler, too.
Sam Shields
CB
UDFA 2010
Undrafted rookie has terrific speed. Less than two years of cornerbacking experience explains why he sometimes struggles to feel-out his safety help.
Atari Bigby
DB
UDFA 2005
Was looking like the next big thing until injuries derailed much of his 2010 season.

*Scouting smarts credited to Benoit. HTML and research credited to Brinson.

*Classification is really unfair for him.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com