Tag:Nick Fairley
Posted on: May 21, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Detroit Lions also turn down 'Hard Knocks'

Posted by Will Brinson

Things are getting a little awkward for HBO, as another team -- this time the Detroit Lions -- has declined to appear on "Hard Knocks."

Previously, the Bucs said no, and then Denver declined to appear, now the Lions.

Per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, the Lions turned down the opportunity earlier this month, though no one's issuing a comment about the decision.

"It’s one thing to have cameras on the practice field. These guys are used to that and every day there’s cameras, fans watching them practice and things like that," Schwartz said last year about the show. "But when you start getting into meeting rooms, when you start getting into the cafeteria, into the dorms, into the locker room and things like that, it changes the vibe."

The Lions would actually be a pretty spectacular show to watch -- Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh will be an epic defensive tackle tandem starting as soon as there's football, Detroit is -- already -- a popular playoff sleeper in the NFL, and Matthew Stafford's ability to overcome injury heading into 2011 is a major storyline.

Plus, I'd tune in just to watch Jim Schwartz listen to Metallica in his office. But, the front office also knows this is a team trying to shed a losing culture that's permeated the entire organization for many years, and it's probably a smart move to keep egos, etc., in check by leaving the cameras at he door.

But, hey, there's always the Atlanta, guys!

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Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:16 am
Edited on: May 16, 2011 9:17 am
 

Ndamukong Suh likes Detroit's D-line

Posted by Andy BenoitN. Suh

Sometimes when a player sees his team draft another player in the first round at his position, he tends to get perturbed. Unless, of course, that other player will join forces with him and form a potent one-two punch.

That’s the case in Detroit with sensational second-year defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and this year’s first-round pick, Nick Fairley.

“It’s going to be exciting to be able to have a guy like that come out and be really a truly impact guy from the first couple days of him getting on the field,” Suh recently told the Detroit Free Press.

“I think on paper we have one of the strongest defensive lines across the board,” Suh said. “It’s going to be exciting with that, but we’ve got to go out there and prove it. It may look good on paper, but you definitely want to get out there and make some noise.”

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Posted on: May 14, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: May 16, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Skins, Steelers had draft deal, but guy was gone

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (Monday, 11:00 AM): So, this is weird: the Redskins are saying now that Dan Snyder never appeared on Sirius. Which makes Wexell's tweet really odd. Read the anatomy of a rumor post right here.

The 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, but here's an interesting little nugget about something that could have happened, involving a Redskins-Steelers trade for the No. 16 overall pick.

Per Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Dan Snyder, appearing on Sirius Radio this past week, said that Washington and Pittsburgh had a deal in place for the No. 16 overall pick, but "the player was gone."

As you probably recall, the Redskins traded down from 10th to 16th via a deal with Jacksonville where the Jaguars picked up Blaine Gabbert.

The logical guess is that the Steelers wanted Mike Pouncey, brother of their center, Maurkice Pouncey. Can we be sure though?

Well, not positive, but pretty close. Hopping in the not-so-way-back machine and taking a look at our Draft Tracker, we can pretty much reach that conclusion.

We have to make the assumption that the player in question was taken in between the 11th and 15th picks, as Washington had access to both the 10th and 16th picks and Pittsburgh didn't make a move.

Scratching the one quarterback taken in that range, Gabbert and Christian Ponder, off the list isn't a reach, considering that the Steelers still have Ben Roethlisberger.

J.J. Watt and Robert Quinn were both strong picks, but it seems unlikely that Pittsburgh would trade valuable assets for a defensive end in a year when there was depth at the position. Additionally, Cameron Heyward -- the guy they got -- fits their scheme nicely.

Nick Fairley could have been under consideration, as he would have represented outstanding value, but, I'm not so sure that what he does best would necessarily equate to making him the long-term answer at DT for Pittsburgh, assuming they don't make a scheme shift once (if??) Dick LeBeau retires.

And then there's this: many people thought the Dolphins would take Alabama running back Mark Ingram, but went with Pouncey right before the 'Skins 16th pick instead. So it seemed like Pouncey might be there at 16; clearly the Steelers are fans of that family, and wouldn't need to play him at center, as many teams felt they might.

And with their second-round pick, the Steelers nabbed Pouncey's linemate at Florida, Marcus Gilbert. That's not to say they loved the other Pouncey just because he's related to one of their players, or because he's from the same school.

And it's tough to guarantee that's what they were hoping for, but it sure does seem like a strong possibility.

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 2:43 pm
 

Lions declined to give Fairley playbook

N. Fairley didn't get a playbook from his employer while Detroit had the chance (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When the lockout briefly was lifted last week, there was talk that those taken in the first round of the NFL draft could receive playbooks and interact with their new coaches – a courtesy that couldn’t be extended to the rest of those drafted in the later rounds because the lockout was put back into place during the middle of the second round.

But the Detroit Free Press writes that the Lions didn’t bother getting DT Nick Fairley any new reading material.

And if it seems like a curious decision – why wouldn’t you get the guy your information when you had the legal authority to do so?!? – coach Jim Schwartz feels he has a perfectly good explanation.

“Our blood pressure's pretty low on stuff like that," Schwartz said. "We don't want to rush things. You give somebody a set of instructions without being able to communicate with them, it really might not do a whole lot of good so we haven't done a whole lot."

Yes, but what if the lockout extends deep into the summer and then the lockout is lifted with only a short training camp possible before the regular season begins? Won’t Fairley be hampered because the Lions didn’t give him the opportunity to familiarize himself with the material when they had the chance?

In Schwartz’s mind, that theory is almost irrelevant when it comes to discussing Fairley, because he says his scheme isn’t complicated for defensive linemen and that Fairley’s obstacles will be more physical than mental.

Still, he doesn’t want Detroit’s draft class to get lazy during the lockout.

“Whenever they get the call and we're back to work, they don't need to be worrying about whether they're in good enough shape," Schwartz said. "What they need to be worried about is learning and doing all those other things, and if they're trying to do both it's going to be too much for them.”

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 1:23 am
Edited on: April 29, 2011 3:17 am
 

First-round NFL Draft winners and losers

Posted by Will Brinson



WINNERS
Cam Newton: Not like it was a surprise to see him go No. 1 overall or anything, but now he gets his wish, and gets to become an entertainer and an icon in a city that needs reviving.

Von Miller: Everyone knew he could go high, but it was still surprising seeing him at No. 2. It's a great deal for both sides and he could be really dangerous in John Fox's scheme. He's produced a few good linebackers in his day.

Cleveland Browns: Holy freaking haul, Batman. The Browns could have really used a field-stretching wide receiver like Julio Jones (and Colt McCoy wanted one), but maybe Atlanta knew that, and it's why they gave up FIVE picks for the rights to grab Jones.

Nick Fairley: He fell, as everyone predicted. But as almost no one predicted (except Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News) he fell to the Lions. Which means unless he's traded, he'll never see a double team in his life playing next to Ndamukong Suh.

New Orleans Saints: Like the aggressiveness to come back and get Mark Ingram. Adios, Reggie Bush.

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Detroit Lions: See above. They needed a cornerback, but my goodness their defensive line is going to be absolutely ridiculous. Jim Schwartz can coach Fairley up and Suh can mentor him.

Indianapolis Colts: Bill Polian didn't have to do any magic. All he had to do was sit back and wait and let the tackle he needs to protect Peyton Manning's final years fall on down.

LOSERS:
Houston Texans: I can definitely see why they like JJ Watt. He's quite good. But Prince Amakamura was on the board and the Texans secondary makes swiss cheese look opaque. How they decided to pass on him is beyond me.

Carolina Panthers: Newton's either a home run or a total bust. There's no in-between with him. And that makes the pick difficult.

Atlanta Falcons: They gave up way too much in order to jump up and get Julio Jones. He's not a quarterback who changes every play with his presence, even though he'll help.

Minnesota Vikings: They drafted Christian Ponder ... because he helps them now? And they did it at the 12-spot?

Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker was a reach. Plain and simple.

Carson Palmer: Bluff. Called. (For now at least -- Andy Dalton in the second could change that.)

San Francisco 49ers: Unless they are actually trading for Kevin Kolb, anyway.

Da'Quan Bowers: Unless he magically got drafted and I missed that.

Chicago Bears: Just for causing the Ravens to miss their pick. For shame, Jerry Angelo.
Posted on: April 26, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Is Andy Dalton really a top-10 pick?

Dalton Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since when did Andy Dalton become a top-10 pick for this week’s NFL draft? Hell, when did he become a first round pick? I must have missed that memo, but apparently, somebody thinks quite highly of the former TCU quarterback.

That team, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora is the Titans – who apparently are thinking of picking Dalton with the No. 8 pick (rather than, as convention (and our mock draft gurus Rob Rang and Chad Reuter) dictates, go with Auburn DT Nick Fairley).

La Canfora’s sources told him that Tennessee – which, after losing Vince Young and probably Kerry Collins, is in desperate need of a starting quarterback whose name happens not to be Rusty Smith – considers Dalton an elite prospect who is less of a risk than the other quarterbacks who might fall to No. 8.

Considering Auburn’s Cam Newton and Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert likely will be off the board by the time the Titans pick, Tennessee could want to avoid Washington’s Jake Locker and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett and pick Dalton instead. The Titans also could be worried that by the time they get to their second-round pick, Dalton would be gone.

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Greg Cosell of the NFL Network disagrees, telling the Sacramento Bee that Dalton is no better than (gasp!) a fourth-round pick.

“He won't go there. He'll go higher," Cosell said. "But he doesn't throw it very well. He doesn't spin it very well. He's a guy you'll have to camouflage. He needs a strong running game to be successful."

Either way, it’s nice to know that Dalton’s red hair might not be that big a consideration with at least one NFL team.

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Posted on: April 21, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.21.11: Who will replace Brady?



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt thinks Roger Goodell’s letter from last month to the players is beginning to work (as far as dividing and conquering the NFLPA goes). But Brandt also points out there could be cracks in the owners’ foundation at some point as well.
  • Yesterday, we told you about a report that there was a major internal rift in the NFLPA and that as many as 70 mid-tier players have broken away from the trade association and signed on with another law firm so they can have a seat at the negotiating table. Well, the Biz of Football refutes that story. 
  • The roof repair for the Metrodome is underway (with a cool pic, as well).
  • Who loves crepes? Former Patriots LB Matt Chatham apparently. Chatham is opening a crepe restaurant where he will attempt to market the thin, delicious pancake-like meal into an everyman food. The name of the restaurant? Skycrepers, of course.
  • Chargers GM A.J. Smith, welcome to the hot seat. The awesome response from Smith: “I have a small fan under my desk that cools down my seat and makes it tolerable so I can work. I have a refrigerator right here, and if it gets really hot, I leave the door open for about 20 minutes. Between the two of ’em, I get by.”
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Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Tennessee Titans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz



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



The Titans are in need of an overhaul, which is exactly what they’ll be getting this year (whether they want it or not). Long-time coach Jeff Fisher is gone, replaced by his former OL coach, Mike Munchak. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil is gone, replaced by Jerry Gray.

So is offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, replaced by Chris Palmer. So is QB Vince Young, replaced by, um, who exactly?

You might have forgotten this, but at one point last season, Tennessee was 5-2. Then, the Titans lost eight of their final nine games of the season to finish the season on a disastrous note. A note that signified that the organization needs a makeover and fast.




New coaching staff

The end of Fisher’s tenure in Tennessee was awfully strange. Though it seemed like owner Bud Adams thought about picking Young over Fisher, he actually didn’t. He wanted Fisher to stay, and Fisher agreed to return. Until he didn’t, changing his mind and resigning his position. Which means that the Titans are going through a wholesale change, and considering the lockout is preventing the staff from meeting with the players, Tennessee will have a tough time catching up.

One of the biggest losses to the team, though, was when DL coach Jim Washburn left for Philadelphia. Jason Babin – who made his first Pro Bowl last season – was really upset with the transition, because he knows how much Washburn tutored him. Washburn also helped develop Albert Haynesworth, Kyle Vanden Bosch and Antwan Odom, and his loss will be felt, especially if Babin leaves via free agency.




1. Quarterback
Young is gone, and though he compiled a 26-13 record and two Pro Bowl appearances in his five seasons with the Titans, a clean break from the organization clearly was needed. So, who to replace him? Kerry Collins, but he’s 38 years old. Rusty Smith, but he’ll be a second-year player with only one start of experience. So, where do you go next? Backup Brett Ratliff? I don’t think so.

2. Interior Offensive Line
LG Leroy Harris and C Eugene Amano struggled last season – one reason RB Chris Johnson’s numbers weren’t as good as he expected. Harris is still young, so the Titans might continue to use him, but Johnson might be appreciative if the Tennessee played somebody else at LG and C. RG Jake Scott, meanwhile, is solid and dependable.

3. Defensive Tackle
When the Titans talked about trading back for Albert Haynesworth last season, you know they were desperate for another DT. Thus, the Titans have to be loving the recent supposed drop in value of Auburn DT Nick Fairley. Although the undersized Jason Jones is quite a strong player at one DT spot, Fairley could add big talent to the defensive line if he’s still available for the Titans to draft at No. 8.




Is there optimism for the Titans next season? I don’t see how. Not after they lost their quarterback and then hired a head coach who’s never even been a coordinator to lead the team. Munchak, a pro football Hall of Famer because of his playing skills, is well-respected inside the game, but it might take a year or two to turn around the organization that, let’s face it, was left in total disarray.

And while we can say the AFC South isn’t necessarily going to be dominated by the Colts next season, I’d put the Jaguars and Texans ahead of Tennessee in the race for the division crown. By far.

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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