Tag:Patrick Peterson
Posted on: September 12, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 6:30 pm
 

Sorting the Sunday Pile: Week 1

Posted by Will Brinson



Sorting the Sunday Pile takes all of Sunday's NFL action and figures out the most important storylines for you to digest. Send your complaints, questions and comments to Will Brinson on Twitter. Make sure and listen to our Week 1 podcast review below as well and feel free to subscribe via iTunes.



It's rather unfair to the rest of the NFL to expect a legitimate follow-up to the Thursday night spectacular that was New Orleans and Green Bay. To the extent that folks wanted drama, the most spine-tingling moments came before the action on Sunday, as the NFL and the nation honored the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

Fantastic job all around by the NFL and the various broadcast partners and the players and Reebok and everyone involved for really making Sunday a touching tribute to one of America's greatest tragedies. Can you really imagine what would have happened if there hadn't been football on the anniversary because of the lockout?

Obviously the nation would have moved on -- it's just sports. But the public relations hit would have been 100-percent inverse of the boost the league received on Sunday.

Not that it matters. There was football. And it was good and there were lots of stories. Many of whom we'll break down below. In the words of Jay-Z, "let's rock."

1. Yes We Cam
What did you expect from Cam Newton in his first start as an NFL player?

Because, no offense, but it doesn't really matter -- Newton set the world on fire en route to throwing for 422 yards and two touchdowns, plus rushing for another score.

Carolina still lost to Arizona in a close game, but that's not really important, as they're not a Super Bowl contender right now. What's important is that they appear to have finally gotten their franchise quarterback. And that makes one guy -- Steve Smith -- pretty happy.

"He was everything everybody didn't expect him to be," Smith said after the game. "He was on point, he made some great runs, he made some great reads, made some fantastic throws. He made some throws out there that honestly as a receiver it made it easy to catch them."

In case you missed it, Smith wanted out of Carolina all of last year while catching (or, if you prefer not catching) passes from Jimmy Clausen but after the Panthers drafted Newton, Smith eventually got back on board with staying in Carolina over the long(ish) haul.

It worked out pretty well for him on Sunday, because he caught eight passes for a 178 yards, numbers which should have the same effect on Smith as Newton's totals have on fans: obscuring the win-loss column.

As we noted on Sunday, Newton's 422 yards was the highest passing yardage total by a rookie, in their season opener, in NFL history. It's tied for the highest total for a rookie in any game, with Matthew Stafford's 422 in 2009 against the Browns.

And perhaps most crazy of all, it's the fifth-highest season opener total in NFL history. Not rookie history -- NFL history. Damn impressive stuff is what it was -- maybe Bo Jackson was right after all.

Newton, by the way, is already 11th on the Panthers all-time passing yards list.

2. Most Valuable Peyton

In a brutal twist of irony, while Kerry Collins was starting his first game as a Colt, stinking up the joint and causing Colts fans to start researching Stanford's schedule in 2011, he somehow managed to pass Joe Montana for the 10th-most passing yards in NFL history. That Collins did so was the lone bright spot for a Colts team that got absolutely drubbed by the Texans in the first game without Peyton Manning at the helm since 1998.

Sunday was just the second time since Indy drafted Manning that they trailed 17-0 after the first quarter, and the 34-0 halftime deficit for Indy was the largest in franchise history.

Look, everyone knows that Peyton is really good. And everyone knows that Peyton meant more to this team over the past few years than anyone could possibly imagine, and that the Colts wouldn't have won as many games as they have without him.

But is it possible to give someone an MVP award when they don't even play for an entire season simply based on how poorly their team plays without him? Of course not. If it was, though, Manning would warrant consideration in 2011 just based off what we saw in Week 1.

As for the long-term issue of Manning's health, it's really hard to imagine that the Colts would even consider trying to bring him back in 2011. There's a very good chance that by the time we get halfway through his aggressive rehab schedule the Colts are 0-4.

At that point, the season's over for all reasonable intents and purposes. By Week 8, when Peyton might be ready? Yeah, there's a good chance Indy's done then. And if they are, there's little-to-no sense in bringing him back at the risk of busting up his career to try and ruin a good shot at landing Andrew Luck.

3. The Steelers are terrible
Just kidding. But I really wanted to make sure we make at least one absolutely incorrect knee-jerk decision in this column. The Ravens might have been favored by a field goal against the Steelers on Sunday, but the consensus amongst all the experts was that the Steelers are a significantly better team, though because of the rivalry factor things would come down to a field goal in a close, bloody game.

Whoops on all counts.

Well, except the blood -- Pittsburgh strolled into M&T Bank Stadium and got absolutely stuck in the face by their rival and then spent all afternoon trying to figure out how to make the gushing stop, only it never did.

Ben Roethlisberger threw three picks and fumbled twice and the Steelers committed a whopping eight turnovers as they generally looked like a boxer against the ropes getting continually pummeled.

"That playoff taste, now it's over," Rice said. "Now we’ve got that burden off our shoulders, boom! We’re one up on them right now.”

The two biggest concerns for the Ravens coming into this season were the offensive line and the secondary.

The Ravens were mocked for their desperation in signing Bryant McKinnie shortly before the season began, mostly because McKinnie was reportedly clocking in around 400 pounds. (As reported Sunday, he's now making more money for weighing less. So that's nice.)

But he was a tremendous difference for Baltimore on Sunday afternoon, as he provided stability at the left tackle position and made some key blocks. He wasn't perfect, of course, but that's OK.

Especially because the most important benefit he provides Ravens is the ability to slot their offensive lineman in correct positions. If he's motivated, he could be a difference maker.

4. Falcons get mauled
Mea culpa time I guess: the Bears probably won't finish in last place in the NFC North. Ha. Yeah, I predicted that. They still could, and as long as that offensive line is as porous as it was against the Falcons, I'll stick by that prediction.

After all, New Orleans and Green Bay -- Chicago's next two opponents -- are not only good but they're not shy about blitzing heavily. That could mean plenty of Cutler getting tattooed six-and-a-half steps into his drops. If that.

And if Caleb Hanie has to play, the Bears will struggle mightily. But they'll have their defense which, well, yeah, per usual it's the reason the Bears are dominating.

"We still have to play up to the defense's level," Cutler said. "They're still carrying us."

Brian Urlacher and Julius Peppers, in particular, were beasts on Sunday. Peppers picked up two sacks, recovered a fumble and forced another fumble that Urlacher scooped and took the house. And Urlacher himself looked particularly spry, picking up an impressively athletic interception.

I'd still argue that the Bears have the makings of the third-best team in their division, but they are the defending champs and for some reason they will just not go away. Which should mean one or two angry comments from Bears fans every week. Sigh.

5. Living the dream
Many a writer ruthlessly mocked the Eagles this offseason for hogging the headlines, particularly when backup quarterback Vince Young decided to refer to Philly's squad as "The Dream Team."

It's still a stretch and I remain adamant that the metaphor is largely irrelevant for the game of football. (Case: in point, Philly's linebacking corps wouldn't exactly be starting for most other NFL teams.)

But my goodness -- the Eagles are just as explosive as last season, aren't they? LeSean McCoy is so sneakily fast for an every-down back that you don't realize it until re-watching him take the ball around the corner, past a defender and into the end zone.

The defensive line will swarm opposing quarterbacks and obviously the combo of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson gives the Eagles the ability to score from anywhere. Seeing how Andy Reid operates in a close game going forward will be interesting though -- I saw some chatter about the Eagles running the ball immediately after Vick would get touched.

That pretty clearly, um, is a tell. And even if it's not something the Eagles are going to do every single series, it's something they have think about doing, because exposing Vick to multiple shots in back-to-back instances during games simply won't work if the Eagles want to dominate the way Vince Young expects them to.



6. These are your brother's Cowboys
They are not your father's Cowboys. And they're not even your uncle's Cowboys. These Cowboys like to score frequently and play quite well for about three and a half quarters.

And then things get tight and they choke.

The most disturbing thing about the way that Tony Romo handed the game to the Jets -- a pass intended for a gimpy Dez Bryant that Jessica Simpson could have intercepted, much less Darrelle Revis -- in typical, um, Tony Romo fashion.

As my man Mike Freeman wrote, it's precisely the kind of late-game debacling that causes people to think that Romo can't win big games or even close little games for the Cowboys.

"We win that football game if I don't do what I did," Romo said afterwards.

You simply can't fumble on the one-yard line (when a score would all but guarantee you victory) and then proceed to gift wrap a turnover for the other team when there's less than a minute remaining on the clock and the score is tied.

Going into what eventually turned out to be the final drive, Jason Garrett and Romo need to be on the same page regarding a few things. One, nothing stupid. Two, if you're going to force a pass, then you need to force the pass deep so the Jets don't get a free field goal. And three, nothing stupid.

Look, I get that the Jets used a defense designed to confuse Romo into thinking Dez was in single coverage and therefore force a ball his way. But he has lots of weapons. In fact, I was in the middle of writing how good I felt about my pick of Dallas to the Super Bowl because of their creative defense (Rob Ryan did outstanding work last night with limited manpower) and a high-octane offense so stocked with weapons that Kim Jong-Il is jealous.

All they need is Romo to put it together and stop being the stereotype that people put on him. He was doing all that until the Cowboys got in a position to put a tough road game against another Super Bowl contender on ice and he absolutely melted down.

7. Detroit hope city
Matthew Stafford's been getting pumped up all offseason long -- that he exploded in the preseason didn't help matters much, and that he was overdrafted by most fantasy football players helps even less.

So there were some funny moments in his eventual breakout on Sunday. First there was the early interception -- a pick-six by Aqib Talib -- against Tampa that made everyone realize that there were a lot of eggs in a basket. And no one really knew what the basket was built out of, except that it was probably the most fragile type of straw a man can find.

Then Stafford started going off ... except after his first touchdown pass he began cramping up. (Lots of cramping Sunday in case you didn't notice.) The world collectively held its breath as Stafford was examined on the sideline because, my goodness, it's early to be injured even if you're Stafford.

Instead, the former Georgia standout and No. 1-overall draft pick returned to the game and kept slinging teeters to Calvin Johnson, eventually finishing with 305 yards and three touchdown passes in Detroits 27-20 win over Tampa Bay.

Let's not get out of hand and start giving the Lions a playoff berth quite yet -- they certainly have problems, most notably in the secondary -- but there's reason to be excited for football in Detroit.

As long as Stafford can stay healthy anyway.

8. Rex Grossman is ... not bad?

I know, it's weird, but it might be true. Grossman appeared to be pretty darn competent most of Sunday. He threw for 305 yards on two touchdowns and backed up Mike Shanahan's seemingly inexplicable to name him the starter during the preseason.

It's not that John Beck is such a logical choice, it's just that, well, he's Rex Grossman. It seems to make no sense.

"Any typical kickoff weekend, your emotions are high," Grossman said after the game. "Being it's Sept. 11, 10th anniversary, Colin Powell's in the locker room giving you the pregame speech, and then coming out and the fans are chanting 'U-S-A.' I was overwhelmed. It was a fun day. It's a day I'll never forget."

Let's not get too high on Grossman just quite yet, because the Giants were basically trotting out a practice squad of players on defense after their starting lineup was ravaged by a ridiculous run of injuries during the preseason.

Maybe he is the answer at quarterback and maybe the Redskins could win the NFC East and maybe the Shanahans really are able to turn contaminated water into a Colt 45.

But we've seen Grossman light teams up -- like he did while tossing four touchdowns and 322 yards against Dallas in Week 14 of last year -- and immediately follow it up by laying an absolutely egg. Let's reserve judgment until we see his body of work over the span of a few weeks.

9. Go West, Young Man
We already covered Newton and his impressive rookie performance, but he wasn't the only rookie to have a big impact in Week 1.

Ryan Kerrigan returned an interception for a touchdown to help push the Redskins over the Giants, J.J. Watt terrorized the Colts defensive line, Patrick Peterson returned a punt for a touchdown that proved to be the difference maker against Carolina, A.J. Green caught the go-ahead touchdown pass for the Bengals, Randall Cobb trended on Twitter Thursday night thanks to his holy return, Tyron Smith was big on the line for the Cowboys, and Andy Dalton started out white hot … until Phil Taylor knocked him out of the game.

So yeah, very impressive week -- thus far anyway -- from an impressive group of young NFL players, especially given the shortened time frame they're working on.

10. Injured Rams
Not a great day for Steve Spagnuolo, huh? The Rams were seen by many, including yours truly, as a team on the rise in 2011. They play in a terrible division, they have anchors on both sides of the line, they have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford and they easily could have been a playoff team in 2010.

But a number of injuries during Week 1 are a quick reminder of how fragile success is in the NFL.

Steven Jackson pulled his quad which has "lingering" stamped all over it, Danny Amendola dislocated his elbow and could likely be done for the year and most terrifyingly, Bradford hurt his finger.

We don't know precisely what will happen to Bradford, but there was discussion of "nerve damage," which is scary as hell. Bradford downplayed the injury after the game.

"I don't see any way I'm not going to be on the field, to be honest with you," Bradford said.

Well, here's one way: if you're at risk for a bigger injury, the franchise won't let you near the Big Apple, even it's for a matchup against the would-be hapless New York Giants.

Put an APB out for:
Charlie Weis. Because from what I saw of the Chiefs offense on Sunday, they might be missing the guy who turned Matt Cassel into a Pro Bowler, Jamaal Charles into the best running back in the NFL last year, and Dwayne Bowe into a touchdown monster. We've touched on the fact that the Chiefs had a REALLY easy schedule in 2010. That's fine. But the offense has too many weapons to be scoring seven points against the Bills and not consider "If we did X last year and we're doing Z this year and Y isn't there anymore, gee what could be the difference?"

Muffed Punts
Leftovers from Sunday ...
... Anyone ever notice that Rex and Rob Ryan really look like George and Oscar Bluth?
... 49ers punter Andy Lee posted the third-highest average for punts in one game, smoking his 59.6 yards per punt.
... How does Joe Torre -- the Yankees coach during 9/11 -- not let baseball players wear NYPD and NYFD hats?
********

Worth 1,000 Words




Hot Seat Tracker

I'm hoping to have my fancy mathematical formula to track who's most likely to get canned up and running by next week, but in the meantime, we can break down coaches in trouble pretty simply. (That's mainly because of all the first-year head coaches -- it's pretty unlikely we see a lot firings between now and next season.)
  • Tom Coughlin -- Coughlin's got a plethora of injuries to fall back on, so maybe he can buy some more time. But the way the Giants lost to the Redskins Sunday, it's hard to imagine New Yorkers won't continue the annual tradition of calling for Coughlin's head.
  • Todd Haley -- What's worse: showing up for work without wearing pants or getting beat by the Bills 41-7 at home? Gotta be the latter.
  • Jack Del Rio -- Yeah, he won, but we need people to add to this list. Plus, he beat the Titans.
  • Jim Caldwell -- The "Manning Factor" for his job will be fascinating to watch this season.
MVP Watch
Peyton! No, but seriously, in the way-too-early glance at the MVP race, I'll go ahead and throw Philip Rivers out there, since he's fourth in passing yardage right now and the Chargers are 1-0. Also: Michael Vick.

And Ryan Fitzpatrick.

What? It's Week 1.

Posted on: July 9, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:20 am
 

Peterson: 'Those guys aren't telling us anything'

Posted by Will Brinson

BEAVERTON, Ore -- Patrick Peterson, like most rookies, is in the dark when it comes to NFL labor negotiations.

That's part and parcel of being a first-year player -- with the apparent exception of NFL v. Brady plaintiff and Broncos rookie Von Miller -- because rookies don't have a lot of input into big NFL-related decisions.

But, as Peterson told CBSSports.com at the Nike's 7-on-7 challenge "The Opening," it's also because no one has bothered to tell them anything.

"I haven't heard any news about what you just discussed," Peterson said, referring to the recent ruling from the 8th Circuit that affected rookies and free agents. "It's confidential -- those guys aren't telling us anything. The only guy in the rookie class is Von Miller, and I know him personally, and he's not saying anything as well.

"So those guys have to stay true to what's going on in court."

Again, this isn't that odd -- the rookies aren't supposed to be involved in a whole lot when it comes to labor talks. And it's also worth noting that Peterson wasn't contentious about the issue about not being informed on the legal proceeding end of things.

But it's definitely weird that they're not being told anything, especially when serious decisions are being made about their future by people who aren't, well, them.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Kafka ready, Kolb to bring 'surprise' in return?

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a reasonable argument that no one's benefited more from the lockout than Eagles' quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Sure, he might be the starter for a team right now if the league weren't locked out, but his value's gone through the roof as teams have found themselves in need of capable signal callers and unable to make personnel moves.

In fact, Kolb's been getting so much love that Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter tweeted today that the Cardinals, where Kolb landing is supposedly a "slam dunk" are offering up a name for the quarterback that "will surprise" people.

Right off the bat, Patrick Peterson pops in my head for this, if only because he was initially considered a strong possibility as a draft-and-trade, and it would be pretty shocking if the Cards ended up handing a No. 5 overall pick for Kolb.
Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now

Other names that would qualify as a "surprise" include: Larry Fitzgerald (not happening), Darnell Dockett (the tweets would make it worth it), Alan Faneca (since he's, you know, retired), Beanie Wells (the Eagles don't need a running back and wait, what, he still has value?), and Max Hall (because that would be a bamboozling).

Realistically, Peterson is the only name that can shock at this point, but even that seems like a stretch, right?

But, hey, you never know, and if the Eagles have that deal in place, they have to take it. Especially since Mike Kafka's already got John Beck-like confidence coursing through his veins.

"I definitely think they’re confident I can run their system and run the plays they call," Kafka said recently, per Tim McManus of Philadelphia Sports Daily. "I’m excited for the opportunity to go out and do that."

Alright, that's a stretch, but Marty Mornhinweg's got even better things to say, pointing out to McManus that Kafka might "be the best rookie that I’ve ever had in 15, 16, 17 years."

That's high praise, and a clear-cut indication why the Eagles will be willing to move Kolb for a player that can improve their team in another area.

Fortunately for them, the offseason's given plenty of teams reason to up the ante.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Would the Cards trade DRC for Kolb?

D. Rodgers-Cromartie is rumored to be traded to Philadelphia (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Cardinals, without question, need a quarterback for 2011. The Eagles, without question, would like a cornerback to play opposite Asante Samuel.

So, what would make more sense than a trade for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb and Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?

And with all the rumors, started by a Philadelphia radio station, that have occurred the past couple days linking these two teams together for an impending trade, it almost seems like the swap is just about complete.

Except it’s not, according to Arizona’s official website.

Writes Darren Urban: “To begin with, the Cards, who have been looking to solidify their third cornerback spot, finally seem to have that lined up with (Patrick) Peterson, DRC and Greg Toler. That becomes an issue all over again if DRC is dealt. Peterson hasn’t even proven he can play cornerback yet – remember, there are some who think he’ll be better suited as a safety, a la Antrel Rolle – and giving up the team’s best current corner is a pretty big risk in today’s pass-happy NFL. Also, for whatever DRC’s faults might be, his resume is still more complete than Kolb."

And so continues the idea of Kolb as the biggest potential acquisition of the offseason. But, like Urban, I don’t see why the Cardinals would make this move, especially since nobody really knows if Kolb is any good. That’s the point that’s baffling to me. Kolb has started seven games in his career and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Is that enough to know for sure? Would you want to give up one of your starting cornerbacks to take a chance that Kolb is that much better than Derek Anderson or John Skelton or, if the Cardinals go the free agent route, Marc Bulger?

I don’t see why Arizona would take that chance. It doesn’t sound like the Cardinals will.

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Posted on: May 18, 2011 9:38 pm
 

Podcast: Are fans even relevant in labor battle?

Posted by Will Brinson

Did you hear??? Chad Ochocinco went bullriding. Well, the only thing to really do, then, is to fire up the old podcast machine and talk about it. 

Andy and I also tackle some real football issues in this podcast, including the importance of fans in the lockout, the current labor situation, what Kevin Kolb is worth and much, much more.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: May 4, 2011 10:31 am
 

Lions tried to trade up for Patrick Peterson

Posted by Andy Benoit
P. Peterson
Most mock drafts had the Detroit Lions taking a cornerback in the first round. Apparently, the Lions’ own mock draft was no exception.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Lions tried to trade up to No. 5 in order to draft LSU corner Patrick Peterson. They offered the Cardinals their first, second and fourth-round picks. Obviously, the Cardinals rejected and took Peterson themselves.

Detroit’s interest in Peterson was more about the player than filling a need at the position. When the Lions picked at No. 13, all of the other corners were still on the board. Lions GM Martin Mayhew, however, chose Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Mayhew also passed on corners in the second round – twice.

Posted on: April 28, 2011 9:59 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:31 am
 

Green, Peterson would take less money at No. 1

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Being the No. 1 overall draft pick entails a lot of expectations. It also entails a lot of cash and a pretty big signing bonus.

Interestingly, two of the top choices in play for Carolina at No. 1 -- A.J. Green and Patrick Peterson -- both said that they would take less money to be picked at the top of the draft.

"Oh yeah," Peterson told CBSSports.com. "Being No. 1 -- that means a lot. A cornerback's never done that before."

Green agreed, though he obviously wouldn't be the first wide receiver taken at the top of the draft.

"Oh, definitely," Green said while speaking before his workout at the Gatorade Sports Science Lab. "It doesn't matter. Whatever it takes."

It's a pretty fascinating question (and, um, why I asked it, right?), because being taken in the No. 1 slot of the NFL Draft means that you're in the history books forever, be it for better or for worse.

NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
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There would be substantially more pressure on Green, as an offensive player, because his stats can't ever be chalked up to "they won't throw his way" or any of the rationales sometimes applied to the success of cornerbacks.

That's not knocking Peterson, who clearly understands the impact and importance that being taken No. 1 would involve; the scrutiny on him as the only cornerback taken with the first pick would most certainly be intense.

But, by all accounts, he seemed ready to deal with whatever comes with being the first guy off the board.

And while both guys, if they're taken first, will almost inevitably be compared to Cam Newton for the rest of their careers, it probably behooves the Panthers to consider whether or not they could pull off an even bigger discount by making an unorthodox choice at the top of the draft.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 11:58 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:46 am
 

Report: Panthers are down to four choices

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s either going to be QB Cam Newton, DT Marcell Dareus, CB Patrick Peterson and WR A.J. Green. One member of that quartet, according to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, will be the Panthers’ No. 1 pick Thursday night.*

NFL Draft
NFL Draft Coverage More NFL Draft Coverage
Mock Drafts | Risers/Fallers
Prospects | Full Draft Coverage
Like I wrote earlier this evening, Newton is the most likely to hear his name called first (his advisor Warren Moon thinks so anyway), but Green also could make sense, especially if Panthers WR Steve Smith keeps his locker cleaned out and doesn’t want to return to Carolina.

For the record: in their mock drafts, Rob Rang and Chad Reuter had the Panthers taking Newton, the Broncos taking Dareus at No. 2 and the Bengals grabbing Green at No. 4. Rang has Peterson going to the Browns at No. 6, and Reuter has him going to the 49ers at No. 7.

*Isn't a little hard to fathom that, less than 24 hours before the NFL draft, the Panthers STILL don't know who they're going to take and that they've ONLY narrowed it down to four players? That, for me, is rather hard to believe.

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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