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Posted on: December 12, 2010 6:59 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2010 7:34 pm
 

Some funny business in MIA-NYJ game (maybe)

This is what occured when N. Carroll was running down the sidelines and appeared to trip over a New York official.

Photo credit to @bubbaprog

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It appears an unidentified person on the Jets sideline might have intentionally tried to trip Dolphins CB Nolan Carroll.

In the video below and the photo above, the Jets member (no word on who the person is: an assistant coach, a staffer, an inactive or practice squad player) appeared to stick his leg out and trip Carroll – who was hustling down the sidelines on a punt return in the second half.

Carroll went sprawling and stayed down on the sideline, though there has been no immediate announcement about his health.

Right now, the identity of the alleged tripper is unknown.

UPDATED (7:32 p.m.):
According to Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, the consensus among writers in the New Meadowlands press box is that the tripper might be Sal Alosi, the Jets head strength and conditioning coach.

Here's the video:



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Posted on: November 9, 2010 1:48 pm
 

Is the Hillis trade the worst in DEN history?

P. Hillis was a trade that Cleveland can benefit from. Denver? Not so much (Getty) Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For those who think, “Worst trade ever,” when they reminisce about the Broncos swap of RB Peyton Hillis to the Browns for QB Brady Quinn (yep, much to Josh McDaniels’ chagrin, that actually happened), the Denver Post has some good news for you.

Well, “good news” might be stretching it. But Mark Kiszla does lend some perspective on a few of the worst trades in Broncos history. In effect, Kiszla writes the Hillis-Quinn deal won’t go down as the absolute worst thing ever.

But he has to go quite a ways back to make his point.

The three trades he remembers:

The trade of CB Willie Brown to the Raiders. Brown eventually made the Pro Football HOF. This occurred in 1967.

In 1968, Denver rid itself of Curley Culp, because they weren’t sure what position he should play. Kansas City figured it out, made him a nose guard, and thus, began the 3-4 defense that continues to be so in vogue.

In 1979, the Broncos traded Lyle Alzado to Oakland for Rulon Jones. Both went on make meaningful impacts on their new teams, but Alzado won a Super Bowl title with the Raiders. Jones did not.

For the record, the Post also has a poll on the website that asks which of those four should be considered the worst trade in team history. With 60.1 percent of the vote, Hillis for Quinn is the winner so far.

So, Mazel Tov to McDaniels for that.

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 11:19 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 11:20 pm
 

Kelly changes mind about Trent Edwards - again

Jim Kelly wrote that Buffalo's move to release T. Edwards was the right move (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You’ve got to love Jim Kelly’s ability to flip-flop-flip when it comes to talking about the Bills starting quarterback.

In July, Kelly talked about how he wanted Trent Edwards to beat out Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm to grab the Buffalo starting job. Which would have been fine, except for eight months earlier when Kelly told USA Today, "I like Trent personally. He works hard. But he's had three years. It's time to find somebody who is the future of the Buffalo Bills. If I'm the owner, that's what I'm thinking."

So the Jim Kelly of 2009 was in complete disagreement with the Jim Kelly of 2010 about whether Edwards was the right fit for the Bills. Until, rather predictably the Kelly of 2009 reemerged today and said the decision to replace Edwards with Fitzpatrick – and I assume the decision the Bills made to release Edwards entirely – was the move that had to be made.

Writing for the Bills official site, Kelly pens the following in his lede paragraph:

“They had given Trent (Edwards) many, many opportunities and it just didn’t work. I tip my hat to Chan Gailey for doing it and not waiting until later on. Trent is a good guy and a friend and unfortunately it just didn’t work out for him. I wish him nothing but the best of luck, but sometimes players need a fresh start and a different atmosphere. Hopefully this is something that will benefit Trent moving on to another team.”

Kelly continues by praising Fitzpatrick, though he admits he doesn’t know if the Bills new starter is the team’s quarterback of the future. Then, by complimenting Fitzpatrick he manages to insult Edwards – who’s now in Jacksonville.

“I definitely saw positive things that I wasn’t seeing from Trent. The good thing is Ryan is not afraid to throw the ball in there and take chances. Unfortunately two of those chances he took at New England didn’t work out for him and they resulted in turnovers. But at least it’s the right approach where he’s not afraid to stick the ball in there and take a chance to make a big play. You have to get defenses to respect you arm and respect your passing game before you can even be successful.

"Any time defensive backs are hunkered down and they don’t have to worry about the deep throw, they’re going to be right on the ball every time. They’re going to be making breaks on the ball and defensive backs won’t be in their full backpedal. Unfortunately for the Bills the opposing defensive backs weren’t worried about the deep throw much. They were making quick breaks on the ball and taking advantage of it.”

And just in case Kelly changes his mind, he hedges his bets later in his post by writing that it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to get Brohm some playing time as well.

Now we wait for the Jim Kelly of 2011 to dismiss Fitzpatrick and endorse Brohm as the starter. 

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 7:09 pm
 

Leroy Hill is done for the year

L. Hill was placed on IR, ending what has been a rocky season and offseason. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It will end up being quite a lost season for Seattle LB Leroy Hill.

The Seahawks placed him on IR Friday for an Achilles injury, and you have to wonder if his time in Seattle might be finished (actually, I’m kind of surprised it continued after his hellacious offseason).

It’s unfortunate for Hill, because he has talent and could have made an impact for the Seahawks this season – even if David Hawthorne had usurped him as the starter at OLB. But he doesn’t make it real easy to root for him either, and how much value does he have if he’s only a backup making quite a bit of money?

And honestly the Seahawks probably don’t need the distraction of keeping him around.

Just to recap – because this might be the last time we mention Hill’s name for a while – here’s what he’s been up to lately:

-In April, he was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence in Issaquah, Wash. When police investigated, his live-in girlfriend apparently showed signs of injury, but she declined to cooperate with authorities. Hill avoided trial by entering into stipulated-order of continuance, meaning that, in order to be cleared, he has to live under the court's guidelines for 18 months.

-Also in April, he pleaded guilty to a marijuana charge in Georgia.

-The Seahawks asked him to stay away from the team headquarters during spring workouts.

-He sprained his knee in August and missed much of the preseason.

-He took a paycut to stay with the team (from $6 million to $2.125 million).

-He was suspended for the first game of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

-He watched that game from the stadium, which violated the terms of his one-game suspension.

-In his first action of the series in Week 2, he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury.

Not that we should be feeling sorry for Hill, because we most certainly shouldn’t. But man, that’s a tough offseason, eh?

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Posted on: August 11, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: August 11, 2010 7:12 pm
 

Top moments of Hard Knocks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Hard Knocks premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on HBO, and it’s tough not to be a little excited. I’ve watched every season of the show, even when I was a casual NFL fan. Even when while watching teams I didn’t care much about, the drama, the film-making, the voice-overs and the interviews make for a beautiful viewing experience.

Last year, while covering the Bengals for CBSSports.com, I was a part of it. Early in training camp – actually, I believe it was in Episode 1 – TE Ben Utecht went down with a scary-looking neck injury, and it’s likely the last time Utecht will step on a field. After the ambulance took him away, Bengals PR extraordinaire Jack Brennan got all the reporters together on the side of the field to give us an update.

The Hard Knocks cameras were there, and they got each of our faces as we listened hard for the news. The next day, a buddy said to me, “Hey man, you look like crap in HD.” And that was the extent of my starring role on Hard Knocks.

I didn’t love the show last year, probably because I already knew what had happened by the time each episode aired – one of the best parts of the show is the drama that’s built by the fringe guys trying to make the 53-man roster – and because I learned a few of the tricks that go into making a TV show like that.

But aside from that, it’s just a cool behind-the-scenes experience (and frankly, most everything that HBO shoots is gorgeous), and this year, it should be extra fun because the ever-loquacious Rex Ryan will be one of the stars. I’ll watch the show tonight and get my review of it up on the blog about midnight or so. Until then, here are the top three moments (as picked by me) in Hard Knocks history.

3. Dallas’ Marion Barber playing the piano (I’m a huge fan of somebody who’s not a pianist that can actually play the piano. That’s one reason I love Chico and Harpo Marx, and why Zach Galifianakis has become such a big star).



2. Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard can dance! In his underwear! Like a stripper! With his teammates going wild around him!



1. Marvin Lewis, in a phrase the Bengals beat writers imitated all season long: “Be a pro!” Warning: this video has some naughty language.



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Posted on: June 17, 2010 6:42 pm
 

Whitworth speaks about expanded schedule

OK, I’ve had a chance to read the entire Mark Murphy transcript from Wednesday. Murphy, as you know, is the Packers president, and he’s the one who got the NFL universe buzzing about the expanded schedule, where the NFL would erase two preseason games and give you two extra regular-season games in return. He’s also an eight-year NFL veteran who made a Pro Bowl as a DB.

“I think the real roots of it are that as you look across the NFL and everything that we offer, we really try to provide top-quality value to our fans, whether it’s the regular season, postseason, the draft or the combine,” Murphy said in the conference call. “To me, the one that stands out as being different is the preseason. There just isn’t the same value there. I know from my position with the Packers, I get a lot of complaints (about the preseason). We actually just had focus groups with a number of our season-ticket holders and club-seat holders and had a lot of complaints about the preseason games. It just isn’t the same value there that you have in the regular season. I think there is a real issue there that we need to address.”

OK, but don’t you have to give the players more money if they’re going to play two more real games?

“Under the relationship that we have with the players, they get close to 60 percent of the revenue. If we grow the revenue, they are going to get more. They are currently playing 20 games, and we’re not increasing that. That would be the way that we would approach it. This is an opportunity for us to work together to grow revenue and improve the game.”

Sounds great for the fans who don’t have to pay regular-season prices to watch exhibition games, right? Yes. Sounds great for the scribes who don’t have to report on exhibition games, right? A double yes. But what about the players? Does it sound great for them?

Um, not quite as much. After the Bengals finished their final workout of the offseason today, I spoke to OT Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati’s NFLPA player rep.

The transcript from my interview:

CBSSports.com: Lots of talk today and yesterday about the 18-game schedule. What are your thoughts?

Andrew Whitworth:
We want to do anything to make the game better for the fans. If an 18-game schedule will do that, that would be great. But there’s also some things player-wise and health-wise that might be an issue. We feel like if we’re going to have to do that, there has to be some things that change as far as the offseason and training camp.

CBS:
Are you talking about just the offseason stuff, or are you also talking about increased health care?

AW: You have to do one of two things; you have to improve the situation now with improving the OTAs or during the season where there’s less contact or you’ve got to attack the health-care issue and give the guys better health care when they’re done. Right now, with most players, even if they play 15 years, they only have – at the most – five year of health care. That’s kind of ridiculous what guys go through.

CBS:
Do you think the 18-game schedule will happen?

AW:
I think the owners definitely want it. I know they’ve prepared for it in their future schedules from what I’ve seen. It’s something they’ll go forward with. But there has to be other things that improve for that to happen.


--Josh Katzowitz

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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