Tag:Owen Daniels
Posted on: September 10, 2010 6:31 pm
 

Owen Daniels to start Sunday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Great news for the Texans: Gary Kubiak told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that tight end Owen Daniels will start Sunday against the Colts. Daniels tore his ACL in Week 7 last season. Prior to the injury, he had been the NFL’s most dynamic receiving tight end in 2009. O. Daniels

Daniels is the second most viable weapon in Houston’s offense. His ability to snag passes on the move allows him to consistently capitalize on the over-the-top coverage defenses commit to wideout Andre Johnson.

I spoke over the phone with Daniels a few months ago. He told me, without a hint of arrogance, “It’s all about beating man coverage in the NFL. And I have a hard time finding anyone who I’m scared to run a route against.” In that same conversation, he also said that Colts safety Bob Sanders is the toughest opponent he’s faced. That’s precisely who Daniels will primarily face this Sunday, as Sanders himself is returning after missing most of 2009 with various injuries.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:44 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 2:45 pm
 

Madden '11 simulates the entire NFL season

Posted by Will Brinson



Putting too much stock into an EA Sports simulation of Madden 11 is pretty aggressive -- I won't fault you for not doing it. But that doesn't make the simulation any less interesting, does it? Exactly, and since you already I enjoy the super cool world of virtual sports based on my review of the game , here's a quick breakdown.

Last year, Madden had the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl, with Tom Brady garnering MVP honors. Other playoff "teams" included Pittsburgh, Tennessee, San Diego, Philadelphia, Arizona, Atlanta and Chicago (who all won their division) and the Colts, Ravens, Giants and Panthers sneaking in as wild cards.

To recap quickly: whoops.

Anyway, Aaron Rodgers is the star to watch, as he wins MVP and gets the Packers homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. Same deal with the Ravens, who win the AFC North. New England, Indianapolis and San Diego are the other AFC division winners, while the 49ers, Cowboys and Saints win the other NFC division spots.

In terms of the wild card, Minnesota (who actually ties with Green Bay for the best record in the NFC at 12-4) and Atlanta are the winners in the NFC, while the Texans and Jets secure wild card spots from the AFC side.

In other words, nothing crazier than what a lot of people are thinking.

Terrell Suggs takes home Defensive Player of the Year, Joe Haden wins Defensive Rookie of the Year and Jermaine Gresham wins Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Some interesting individual performances that people might care about include Greg Jennings having a MONSTER year (102 catches, 1438 yards, 13 TDs), Owen Daniels finishing as the second-best TE in the league, Jerome Harrison rushing for 1235 yards and 9 TDs and Darrelle Revis snaring seven interceptions.

Of course, EA doesn't have teams dealing with holdouts or players struggling back from injuries (like Daniels).

Still, that shouldn't stop you from putting the deed to your house on an "Aaron Rodgers for MVP" prop bet in Vegas.

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Posted on: August 31, 2010 12:03 am
 

Owen Daniels 'officially' returns to Texans

Posted by Will Brinson

The Texans and coach Gary Kubiak announced recently that Owen Daniels would be ready to play at the start of Houston's season .

In all the "WOOO DRAFTED HIM LATE IN FANTASY!" optimism, we forget that he had to actually take a physical. Good news again: he passed and started practicing on Monday.

I felt good," Daniels said. "I was gassed, that's for sure. It's a lot different than just running sprints and catching passes and sprinting up the field. We work on that play clock, that's good, in terms of simulating what it's going to be like in the game. My knee felt really good, but my lungs were hurting."

However, just because he's healthy doesn't mean he'll get any reps against the Bucs in Houston's last preseason game.

"We know what type of player he is," Kubiak said of the 2008 Pro Bowler. "We don't risk that. We get him healthy and get him ready to go. We've got a long way to go."

I like that move -- would anything be worse than Daniels, who's returning from a brutal ACL injury, getting hurt again ... before the season starts? I think not, and I would be that Kubiak agrees with me, which is why you'll apparently see him get 15-20 snaps during the Colts in Week 1. Which, um, isn't as awesome for fantasy as we thought.

But it doesn't make his return any less impressive.

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 5:41 pm
 

Daniels cleared to play for Texans

Posted by Will Brinson

Used to be a time (I vaguely recall something about walking miles uphill in the snow) when a man tore an ACL, a man stayed down for more than a couple months. That time is no longer now -- following on heels of Wes Welker's absolutely amazing recovery , Owen Daniels is back as well.

So sayeth the Houston Texans' website , where we find out that Gary Kubiak got the good news from Dr. James Andrews while running practice.

"Owen's been cleared; totally healthy," Kubiak said on Wednesday. "I was out on the practice field during special teams and he called (head athletic trainer Geoff Kaplan) and we talked to Dr. Andrews, and boy, he's fired up. It's great for our team."

Indeed it is -- especially when you consider how nice a morale boost it has to be for a team that just lost rookie Ben Tate for the season.

Daniels, by the way, was on pace for an absolutely monster season in 2009, when he blew out his knee in the eighth game of the year: project his 519 yards, five TDs and 40 receptions across a full season, and you have the makings of a top five tight end season , pretty comfortably.

"He's a fine player," Kubiak said. "He's a good young man. He's what we stand for as a team, and for our players to see what he's been through and then to see how disappointing it was for him to have a setback and now he's still going to be there opening day, (that) just tells you a lot about what he's all about.

"No kid's worked harder to get back."

Welker might have an argument with that, but Daniels' recovery is still pretty darn impressive.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 12:35 am
 

Recapping the 2010 BFL fantasy draft

You may have seen some of our tweets about 2010 BFL, a fantasy league full of famous bloggers (woo oxymorons), in which I'm repping CBSSports.com and this here blog.

For the draft, we traveled to New York City this past Thursday in order to all meet up and create fake teams. The trip seems pointless, until you realize that we drafted in the NFL headquarters. Yes, like where Roger Goodell works. Yes, it was spectacular. Yes, the winner of the league gets some Super Bowl action as well as a large charitable donation to the local charity of their choice. Yes, you will have to suffer occasional posts about how I'm doing (and you can read more about the league here .)

And yes, I'm quite confident I'm winning; after all, look how alert I was just moments before the draft began.



Of course, that didn't stop me from drafting a kick-A fantasy team. Or at least one that I think kicks some A. Before we get to that, though, let's talk about the participants, in draft order:
By the by, you can actually check out the P&G sponsored league , as it's public I belive. So if you care to see the draft results, here they are. If not, I'll tell you about them anyway.

First of all, I heart my team. A lot. I'm totally fine with taking Maurice Jones-Drew second overall, especially after seeing how the Vikings offensive line looked on Sunday. I really, really wanted DeAngelo Williams to fall to 23, but I'll deal with Beanie Wells. DeSean Jackson is a clear No. 1 wideout, so I'll absolutely take him in the third round. Wes Welker in the fourth? Yes, please.

Dwayne Bowe is primed to blow up this year (I like the Chiefs a lot, actually), so having him as a WR3 isn't something I'm unhappy about. Myself and two others waited to draft a quarterback and I think it paid off nicely with a combo of Matt Ryan in the sixth and Matt Cassel in the 11th.

Didn't particularly love my Jerome Harrison pick in the seventh -- although I ended up with Owen Daniels at tight end in the 10th, leaving Tony Gonzalez and Vernon Davis on the board at that point was just stupid. Kenny Britt I like as a solid backup wideout, especially paired with Julian Edelman on the bench; Edelman's insurance if Welker goes down again and Britt can fill in on the bye.

Marion Barber is still starting in Dallas last I checked, no? Okay, thought so. 9th round for him is silly. Levy hosed me on Dexter McCluster in the 12th and I panicked a touch and took Demaryius Thomas, but, again, I think he's a good backup, particularly since someone has to catch passes in Denver. Niners defense, as good as it is, in the next to last round is something I'm thrilled about, insofar as one can be thrilled about drafting a D. Same with Rob Bironas in the last round, I suppose.

It's not worth discussing any other teams. They're clearly inferior to mine. (I do like Bassett, Jerod and Zerkle's teams the best out of the other squads, though, I think. Except that Zerkle decided to draft a sampler platter of running backs for five rounds instead of wideouts.) But I certainly welcome your thoughts on the squad below.

Also, huge, huge tip of the cap to everyone involved at the NFL for making this happen: they couldn't have possibly been kinder to a fairly dangerous looking bunch, or more accommodating in terms of showing us around, peppering us with cool NFL stuff and letting us spin around in Goodell's desk chair until Sebek got sick and threw up.

Just kidding. That last one never happened. But the NFL rules for letting us swing up to the Big Apple and get our geek on in their offices.

So to does P&G -- for the purposes of FTC biz, they helped hook it up.

Posted on: August 20, 2010 12:21 am
 

Welker takes next step of comeback

W. Welker had two catches for 20 yards in an impressive return to the field (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

He didn’t officially start the game, and he didn’t make his way onto the field until the second play (well, officially, it was the first play, because the real first play was a penalty). But Patriots WR Wes Welker made his presence felt immediately.

He caught a six-yard pass, and then he made a nice catch on a pass thrown behind him for 14 yards and the first down. On the next play, Falcons DB Chris Owens blasted him on an incomplete screen attempt. But Welker got right up and was ready for the next play.

It’s just an awesome story. He had ACL surgery in February, and a little more than six months later, he was on the field and playing at a high level. Two catches, 20 yards, one good collision.

Amazing stuff from Welker.

And I was just about to post this when the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain Tweeted this. Just for some perspective: “I watched Texans TE Owen Daniels blow out a knee in the 8th game and he's not ready. I watched Wes Welker do the same in the 16th game.”

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Posted on: July 15, 2010 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Position rankings: tight ends

A. Gates makes a TD catch against Cincinnati last year (Getty). Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on tight ends.

Josh Katzowitz's top five

5. Vernon Davis, 49ers

4. Dallas Clark, Colts

3. Jason Witten, Cowboys

2. Antonio Gates, Chargers

1. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

To pick a top-five list of tight ends, you can go the easy route or you can get it right. It’d be easy to sit back, click on last year’s receiving stats and pick the tight ends who had the most catches and/or touchdowns. But it’s not just about pass-catching ability. You also have to block the defensive end, linebacker or blitzing safety. Duality is important. You can make a lot of money catching passes as a TE, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily top-five in my eyes.

Gonzalez isn’t only top-five currently; he’s top-five all time. Heck, he might be No. 1 all-time, and even though he’s 34, he’s found new life with the Falcons. He’s been catching and blocking well since 1997.

Gates has grown into his TE role. He’s 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds – who can defend him? Not a linebacker – he’s too fast for him. Not a safety – he’s too big for him. Who then? Defenders have to hope that maybe the plantar fasciitis from which Gates is suffering will slow him.

I really like Witten. He blocks well in the run game, he catches a higher percentage of the passes that are thrown to him than just about any other tight end and he’s made the Pro Bowl six years running.  Dallas Clark had 100 receptions last year. That’s just impressive. Vernon Davis has great blocking skills to go with his ’09 78-catch, 13-touchdown season. The No. 5 spot was between him and Kellen Winslow, but ultimately, I like Davis’ consistency just a little more.

Andy Benoit's top five

5. Dallas Clark, Colts

4. Owen Daniels, Texans

3. Vernon Davis, 49ers

2. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons

1. Antonio Gates, Chargers


Tight end is one of the most difficult positions to rank. We’re basically in agreement on Gates and Gonzalez. Gates might be the greatest mismatch exploiter in the NFL. And you’re right about Gonzalez’s blocking. Vernon Davis is a monster athlete. He’s not the most natural all-around receiver – changing direction as a route runner and tracking off-target passes can challenge him at times – but he is far and away the best seams weapon in the sport. Mike Singletary has called Davis the best blocking tight end he’s seen. That’s a little hyperbolized, but only a little.

Most people will think I’m a joke for leaving Witten off. To be honest, I feel like a joke. But Clark is a lynchpin in arguably the best offense in football, and I can’t have a top five list without Daniels. He has become the best pass-catching tight end in football. Privately, I’ve heard a few well-known, universally-respected NFL analysts say he is THE best tight end – period. He is coming off major knee surgery, though.

I’m going to give you a prediction: by this time next year, every intelligent football observer will have Packers tight end Jermichael Finley No. 1 on their list. Finley is Gates with more size and athleticism.

Josh’s rebuttal

So, you’ll see my Bobbie Williams, my Jon Stinchcomb and my Manny Lawson, and you’ll raise me a Jason Witten. A bold move, my friend. Obviously, I don’t agree with you excluding Witten – at the very, very least, I’d pick him over Clark – but I don’t think you’re a joke. Maybe a pun that isn’t very funny, but not a joke. Honestly, I think Daniels is a sturdy pass-catcher, but his blocking is too much of a factor (or a non-factor) for me to consider him a top-five guy.

Andy’s final word

I’m fine with criticism of Daniels’s blocking, but in Houston’s system, it really doesn’t matter. Since we’re on the topic, I’ll take this opportunity to give props to Broncos veteran Daniel Graham, who is far and away the best blocking tight end in the NFL. And Kellen Winslow, who Josh mentioned earlier, is the league’s best route-running tight end.

To anyone out there who feels the urge to say “Hey! What about Brent Celek?!” or “Hey! Aren’t you forgetting Visanthe Shiancoe!?”, save it. Both players are classic examples of guys who benefit from having stars around them. Celek gets to operate against linebackers on just about every snap, and Shiancoe is primarily Brett Favre’s dumpoff option.

I’ve also noticed that Steeler fans are particularly sensitive about Heath Miller. Yes, Miller has soft hands and he’s incredibly sound fundamentally, but he’s also the fourth option in Pittsburgh’s offense. Just to finish things off, don’t try to sell Chris Cooley, either. Josh and I both put a better version of Cooley on our list, called Dallas Clark.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 5, 2010 10:38 am
 

Coming back from an ACL tear

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post has a story talking about ACL tears, and he discusses how players like New England WR Wes Welker and Houston TE Owen Daniels will perform this year, the season after injuring their knees.

What’s most interesting about the story is when Bowen – who played seven seasons in the NFL for four teams – talks about his experience in returning from an ACL injury in 2004.

Had the surgery, rehabbed and was back for 2005. But, I would be lying if I sat here and told you everything was great—because it wasn’t. The swelling, the daily maintenance, the pain and the lack of explosion I felt when the knee got tired. And, this was with the best rehab I could get from the Redskins training staff.

Unfortunately, it is natural. It wasn’t until my last season in Buffalo during training camp, the season after that I felt normal. Yes, the tightness was still there—as it is today—but I felt more like an athlete, instead of a player coming off of a major knee injury.


It’s impossible to say how Welker and Daniels will respond to their offseason surgeries. But as Bowen points out: when Welker and Daniels talk about how good their knees feel – and you know they will, because that’s how elite athletes are wired – it might not necessarily be true.

--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