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Tag:Jake Delhomme
Posted on: August 29, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 7:31 pm
 

Ndamukong Suh: I'm dirty 'when my mom tells me'

Posted by Will Brinson

Following the recent Detroit whipping of New England, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote a column about Ndamukong Suh and how he's offically become a dirty player at this (early) point in his career.

The piece generated a groundswell of opinion from fans and media alike and on Monday, Suh was asked what he thought about being dirty. And he continued to defend his play, as well as use his mother as a reference for clean play in the NFL.

"I’m going to continue to play hard and play within the rules as I have been," Suh told CBSSports.com's Lions Rapid Reporter John Kreger. "When I'll consider myself a dirty player is when my mom tells me [I am]."

Suh also discussed the "punch" he threw at Logan Mankins, which he claims was necessary for the defense of a teammate.

"Everything happens in the trenches," Suh said. "You’re not just going to sit there [as a] teammate and walk away from ... your (teammate) being grabbed by his facemask."

Additionally, Suh said he didn't regret the incident and that he felt it fell within the "legal" boundaries of what's acceptable on a football field.

"Do I regret (the incident)? No," Suh told Kreger. "The funny thing about the whole situation is that I wasn’t the one who got the 15-yard penalty for grabbing the facemask ... I didn’t know you can’t help protect one of your teammates."

You can protect your teammates, but throwing punches at another player is a pretty quick way to pick up a large fine from the league. Suh said he didn't receive any penalty, however, because he discussed the incident with the officials at Saturday's game.

"I had a great conversation with the ref who saw the (incident)," Suh told Kreger. "He said, 'Next time, make sure you let me handle the situation, but I understand what you were doing, helping your teammate out.'"

The question is whether or not the league will understand what Suh was doing. And even if the guys who hand out fines at the NFL do get that he was protecting his teammate, it might not matter much, as Suh could certainly be facing a fine from the 280 Park Avenue.

In the meantime, expect plenty of continued debate about whether or not Suh is a dirty player (and feel free to weigh in below!). I'm personally of the opinion that he's so freaking strong it's nearly impossible for him not to look dirty and that certain incidents -- namely, the Jake Delhomme rag-doll toss in the 2010 preseason -- have led to the development of a reputation that Suh will find very hard to shake.

That's precisely why everyone was in an uproar (the league to the tune of $20,000) when he accidentally popped off Andy Dalton's helmet, and it's precisely why when he throws a punch there's more concern than if another NFL player did so.

But that's also part of being a defensive superstar with freakishly terrifying strength -- people are going to be keeping a closer eye on you.



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Posted on: August 18, 2011 9:02 am
Edited on: August 18, 2011 9:08 am
 

Suh will appeal $20,000 fine for hit on Dalton

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tweeted Wednesday that he had been fined $20,000 for manhandling Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the Week 1 preseason game between the two teams.

(One of the setbacks to communicating through social media, texting or email is that it's difficult for the reader to divine the true emotions being conveyed by the sender. Emoticons, ironically, only confused things. That said, Suh's tweet left little room for misinterpretation. The all-caps, rhetorical question marks, 108 exclamations points (!), and the "BIGFAIL" hashtag sorts gave him away.)

It should come as no surprise then that Suh will appeal the fine.

“Am I going to appeal it? Who wouldn’t?” Suh said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free Press's Dave Birkett. “I mean, that’s my motto. Who wouldn’t? If you would, why wouldn’t I?”


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) tosses an interception against Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, right, on his first play of the game in the first quarter of a NFL football game on Friday, Aug. 12, 2011, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman was at Bengals training camp this week and he asked Dalton if Suh was a dirty player.

"I can't answer that. I don't know," said Dalton. "I thought what he did with me was a little over the top. I can tell you some of my teammates weren't happy about it. ...It was good to see those guys get my back. Suh is a big guy."

This makes the third time Suh, the Lions' 2010 first-round pick, has been fined for hits (or, as you'll soon see, pushes) to the quarterback. During the 2010 preseason, Suh appeared intent on removing Jake Delhomme's head from his body during a game against the Browns. That cost him $7,500. During the regular season Suh was docked another $15,000 for shoving Jay Cutler. (Yep, you read that right -- it was a hard shove. We know what you're thinking: the savagery tackle football has become.)

Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said there's "no malicious intent" in Suh's game.

“I think what’s happened to him is I've never seen this player in my life, meaning there’s no one that’s ever played like this at defensive tackle," Cunningham said. "And if you watch the tape and you have any sense for athletes, that’s what you’re going to see. What happens to him, there were two guys blocking him in the game, he beat them both, clean as a whistle, and he felt like he had the tackle. The quarterback had the ball in his hand, and that was it, he took him down. And that’s what he's supposed to do."

To Suh's credit, he understands that his freakish combination of strength, speed and athleticism can sometimes make the mundane spectacular. And occasionally, spectacularly expensive.


“Honestly, I really feel that I put the refs in a tough situation because of my strength," he said. "A lot of us players growing up and coming in, we’re getting faster, stronger, and some guys just have incredible strength on that football field. So I feel like we put them in tough situations … I’m not going to fault them for making a call that they’re erring on the safer side, because safety is important. It’s important for myself, it’s important for a quarterback, it’s important for every last 22 players on the football field."

Despite concerns from some teams (most notably the Steelers), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell retained the ability to punish players for both on and off-field behavior as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. Using history as a guide, Suh can go ahead and make that check out to his favorite NFL charity.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:17 am
 

Ndamukong Suh: 'I haven't crossed any line'

Posted by Will Brinson

There are a number of folks that believe Lions defensive lineman and general manchild Ndamukong Suh is a "dirty" player. He got this reputation partially from two preseason games -- in 2010 he treated Jake Delhomme like a rag doll against Cleveland (he was eventually fined $7,500 after the NFL reviewed the hit) and then this past weekend he squeezed Andy Dalton so hard the rookie's helmet popped off.

Oh right, and for the hit on Jay Cutler that ended up costing him $15,000 last year. But Suh said Sunday that he doesn't believe he's "dirty."

"There's always a fine line of dirtiness and a fine line of aggressiveness," Suh said Sunday, per Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. "I know to this point that in my own heart that I haven't crossed that line by any means."

I've spoken to Suh a couple times and on occasion (one happened to be right after the Cutler hit), I've asked him about whether he plays dirty or not. And he always says the same thing -- he's not dirty. He's aggressive.

And I think there's an argument to be made for both sides. Suh's actions against Delhomme were clearly dirty, especially considering he extended the play beyond the actual contact with the quarterback (read: the sack). But I didn't feel like his "hit" on Dalton necessarily was "dirty" insomuch as it was "aggressive."

But Suh is -- quite obviously -- developing a reputation for being a dirty player. Whether or not he actually is won't matter when there's a call that's close.

Because in those situations the referees will continue to flag him and the league will continue to fine him. Although those hits may not matter much if Suh keeps playing as well as he does the rest of the time.

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Posted on: July 17, 2011 4:33 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Is QB job Tim Tebow's to lose in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Josh McDaniels era began in 2009 with a 6-0 start, but a 5-17 finish sealed his short tenure in Denver, and he was fired with a month left in the 2010 season. The Broncos now have a new coach, John Fox, but many of the problems that happened on McDaniels' watch remain. Chief among them: the offensive backfield. Specifically, who will be the team's starting quarterback in 2011.

Since coming to Denver from Chicago two seasons ago, Kyle Orton has started 18 games and thrown for more than 7,400 yards. He ranked 12th in both 2009 and 2010 in QB efficiency, according to Football Outsiders, yet indications seem to point to Tim Tebow winning the job for 2011.

McDaniels drafted Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft, and opinions varied widely about not only what type of NFL player Tebow would be, but where he would play. Some thought of him as a wildcat specialist, others suggested he should move to tight end or H-back, and a few teams wanted him to stay at QB. Denver was one of those teams.

NFL.com's Steve Wyche, speaking on the Cover Two Podcast (via Rotoworld), says that "…unless [Tebow] gets hurt in training camp or is absolutely awful," it'll be his job to lose. And a previous report from NFL.com's Jason La Canfora suggested the Broncos will "hold firm" on their second-round price tag for Orton, though Wyche believes the organization would settle for a third-rounder. Denver will then look to sign Jake Delhomme as a mentor once he's released by the Browns.

This isn't the first time we've heard the Delhomme-to-Denver rumors; he was close with Fox when both were in Carolina, and appears to be at the point in his career where he'll happily serve as a backup and mentor to a young quarterback (which is what he ended up doing the second half of the 2010 season in Cleveland, when injuries forced rookie Colt McCoy into the lineup).

It also means that what Fox said last month -- the QB job is wide open among Tebow, Orton and Brady Quinn ("I've said it before and I mean it: It'll be a competition.) -- may still be technically true, but if Orton is traded, Tebow would have to have a miserable training camp for the Broncos to go into the year with Quinn under center. In fact, we don't think Tebow could play poorly enough to lose the gig. Worst case: you put him out there and let him learn by doing. It's not like Denver can do much worse than their 4-12 effort in 2010.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:04 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Fox: Orton, Tebow, Quinn will compete for QB job

Posted by Ryan Wilson

New Broncos coach John Fox may not have access to his players, but he's used the lockout to watch film of every game of each player on Denver's roster.

"I like the guys on our team right now, but I can't tell you how much yet," Fox told the Denver Post. "I've only spent one day with them. You find out how much you like them when you get on the field with them. There's nothing like seeing them with the naked eye."

And despite the rumors that Kyle Orton could end up elsewhere when the 2011 season starts, Fox still contends all three quarterbacks -- Orton, Tim Tebow and even Brady Quinn -- will compete for the starting job.

"I've said it before and I mean it: It'll be a competition," Fox said. "Competition is what this game's about, whether if it's an opponent or a depth chart. It's been this way as long as I can remember."

Fair enough, but Tebow seems to be the favorite; Orton appears destined to be traded; and Quinn, as has been the case for most of his NFL career, could be the odd man out.

Not that it means anything because players from around the league often work out together in the offseason, but Orton trained with Larry Fitzgerald recently. That the Cardinals are in the market for a new quarterback only fuel the rumors.

Depending on when the lockout ends, there's also the slim possibility that Fox might want to acquire veteran QB Jake Delhomme (they were together in Carolina) to serve as a mentor. And since Orton is entering his seventh year in the league, it's safe to assume Delhomme would be working with Tebow. That's another sign that Orton might not be long for Denver. But that's less surprising than Fox saying Quinn has a legit shot at the starting job.

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Jake Delhomme in demand as QB mentor?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For having settled comfortably into the twilight of his career, quarterback Jake Delhomme sure is popular. Pretty much everybody was shocked when the Browns paid Delhomme $7 million to be their starter in 2010. Injuries and lack of ability eventually landed him on the bench, where he was much more valuable as rookie Colt McCoy's mentor.

And it's his relationship with young quarterbacks that makes Delhomme marketable, even after his quarterbackin' skills have long since deserted him. The Denver Post's Mike Klis suggested last week that Delhomme would be a great fit with the Broncos and Tim Tebow.

Upon hearing that Delhomme's days in Cleveland could be numbered, former Panthers teammate Ryan Kalil took to Twitter to make the case that Carolina should re-sign him.

“Dear Marty Hurney, (slow chant) bring him back..bring him back..bring him back…BRING HIM BACK!” Kalil continued. “‘We’ve got to talk about where we want to head as far as the veteran back up is concerned.’ – Ron Rivera #BringJakeBack”

The Charlotte Observer's Darin Grantt notes that "Kalil jokes around a lot," before adding: "But if Delhomme was available, there would be a groundswell in the locker room to bring him back to Charlotte."

The lesson: don't burn bridges on your way out the door.

Delhomme makes sense in Carolina. The Panther drafted Cam Newton and he's going to need help transitioning to the NFL (while we're on the subject, Jimmy Clausen could use a confidant, too). Delhomme shows a knack for working with inexperienced, wide-eyes QBs, and he doesn't seem preoccupied with ever being a starter again. Basically, he's a coach who gets to wear a uniform on Sundays.

Rotoworld warns that Delhomme makes sense as a mentor, "but there's no way they could put him on the field." Well, they could. Not because Delhomme should be out there, but it's not like we're talking about the New England Patriots. The Panthers had the first overall pick for a reason: they were 2-14 in 2010. If, god forbid, Clausen and Newton get hurt and Delhomme has to play for a few weeks, what's the worst that can happen? Carolina loses two or three games? Big whoop -- they had two separate five-game losing streaks last year.

On the other hand, if Delhomme's presence accelerates Newton's growth as an NFL quarterback, then the growing pains will be worth it.

Then again, if Delhomme is the missing piece to a successful offense, the Browns not only should keep him, they should give him a raise.

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Posted on: June 6, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: June 6, 2011 11:38 am
 

Maybe Delhomme can mentor Tebow in Denver?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It happens every time a team hires a new coach: he populates the roster with players from his previous team, ostensibly because he knows them better than the players he just inherited. Rex Ryan brought Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard with him to New York from Baltimore, Josh McDaniels had Jabar Gaffney from New England, and the Cardinals are now known as Steelers West because Ken Whisenhunt has yet to meet a former Pittsburgh player he wouldn't sign in Arizona.

Which brings us to John Fox, the new guy in Denver, who likely spends his days trying to figure out who will be the Broncos starting quarterback once the season starts. Kyle Orton seems the obvious choice after passing for almost 7,500 yards and 41 touchdowns the last two seasons. But Denver also drafted Tim Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft, and it wasn't to convert him to tight end. Like it or not, Tebow will be in the mix for the job once training camps start, and there has been interest from quarterback-needy teams in Orton's services should he become available.

In Sunday's Denver Post, Mike Klis writes about the ambiguity surrounding the Broncos quarterback situation and the issues that come with naming Orton or Tebow the starter.

"Orton would be a controversial starter to the enormous contingent of Tim Tebow followers, and to those who believe the Broncos can't move on until they find out whether the memoirist can cut it as a winning NFL quarterback," Klis notes before adding, "Tebow would be a controversial choice to those who don't believe he's ready, and because his enormous fame and squeaky-clean image seems to polarize the masses.

"The Broncos could begin the season with Orton as the starter and Tebow the backup, so long as Fox understands that the tension of starting the clock on Tebow Time would be wound tight. If Tebow is the starter, Orton would be too disgruntled, and rightly so."

That last bit sounds familiar.

Klis then puts forth an idea that only Fox could get behind: "For Tebow to properly develop, he needs a backup who knows his place. ...Jake Delhomme would make sense in helping Tebow and the Broncos transition into the Fox era."

The only problem is that if Tebow got injured during the season, Delhomme would, you know, have to actually play. Fox has firsthand experience with what Bad Jake can do to an offense, although the man did cry when the Panthers released Delhomme a year ago. But no one -- not even Fox, presumably -- thought the Browns were shrewd in paying Delhomme $7 million in 2010 when it was clear he had nothing left.

That said, Delhomme dutifully assumed his role as backup and mentor to rookie Colt McCoy last season. There's no reason to think he wouldn't be willing to do the same for Tebow, especially if it reunited him with Fox. It just has to be with the understanding that Tebow is a long way from being a consistent NFL starting quarterback. If fans have the patience to let Tebow learn by doing (and let's be honest, "fanaticism" and "tolerance" aren't often mentioned in the same breath), it could accelerate his progress.

On the other hand, the Broncos traded franchise quarterback Jay Cutler to the Bears after the 2008 season. We're not convinced moving Orton just so Tebow can play is in the long-term best interests of the organization. It probably goes without saying, but Broncos fans have McDaniels to thank for all this.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: April 17, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cleveland Browns

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



Another year turned into another rebuilding season for the Browns (it turned out to be the last of three in Eric Mangini’s tenure). Injuries rocked all three mistake-prone quarterbacks (Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace and third-round rookie Colt McCoy, who performed OK but was limited to a cliff-noted playbook).

It maybe wouldn’t have mattered anyway, given the paucity of quality receiving options (No. 1 wideout Mohammad Massaquoi improved just enough to pass for being a low-end No. 2, while tight end Ben Watson was the go-to guy by default).

Defensively, the young secondary at times seemed overburdened by the volume of sub-packages in Rob Ryan’s complex system. But often, Ryan’s scheme compensated for shabby pass-rushing resources. The Browns were the only team not to give up 30 points in any of their first 15 games. Still, that wasn’t enough to save Ryan from the coaching staff overhaul in January.




Defensive scheme

The task of installing a 4-3 scheme is substantial, especially given this team’s prior commitment to the 3-4.

Linebackers Chris Gocong and Scott Fujita and nose tackle Ahtyba Rubin (who will now play more one-gap techniques) are the only players from last year’s team who are truly equipped to operate in a 4-3.

And Gocong never did blossom in Philadelphia’s 4-3. Restocking the defensive line will be the biggest challenge.




1. Defensive End
Marcus Benard is a fantastic athlete who, as an outside linebacker, often played bigger than his 256-pound size suggested. That doesn’t mean the undrafted third-year pro is ready to start – especially given that he’ll be learning how to play with his hand in the dirt. Jayme Mitchell, another undrafted guy, is penciled in on the other side. What does this tell you? The Browns need at least three, and maybe four, defensive ends.

2. Defensive Tackle
Rubin can be an adequate two-down player, even if he’s not a true Pat Williams-like clogger. Brian Schaefering, however, does not get off blocks well enough to play inside. Even if he did, the Browns would still need more one-gap quickness here.

3. Wide Receiver
Very few quarterbacks could succeed with Massaquoi, Brian Robiskie, Chansi Stuckey and Joshua Cribbs as their top four wideouts. Massaquoi is not dynamic enough to create on his own; Robiskie has barely seen the field his first two seasons; Stuckey’s quickness is impressive but best suited for the slot, while Cribbs is simply a gadget player.




Let’s hope new head coach Pat Shurmur is a patient man. The defense that Dick Jauron is installing is not complicated schematically, but it will take at least two years to accumulate the front seven personnel needed to run it.

That’s about how long the offense will take to develop if Shurmur decides that Colt McCoy is indeed the long-term solution for his West Coast system. A third straight 5-11 season seems likely.

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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