Tag:Asante Samuel
Posted on: October 18, 2010 3:58 pm

Hot Routes 10.18.10 Week 6 boxscore tidbits

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Seahawks managed 111 rushing against a staunch Bears run defense. (A Bears run defense that was without WLB Lance Briggs, however.) Justin Forsett had 67 yards on 10 carries. Marshawn Lynch gained 44 on 17 carries.

Mike Williams had career-highs in catches (10) and yards (123) for Seattle. Deon Butler, who is essentially replacing Deion Branch, caught all four passes that were thrown to him, including a 22-yard touchdown.

Hours after signing a new two-year contract, Dolphins emerging slot receiver Davone Bess caught five balls for 37 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay.

Greg Jennings wanted his role elevated in Green Bay’s offense. The loss of Jermichael Finley made that easy. On Sunday Jennings had six catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. However, he was only targeted seven times.

Former first-round bust and current No. 2 corner Jason Allen got his third interception of the season for Miami.

Dolphins outside linebackers Cameron Wake and Koa Misi combined for four sacks, four tackles for loss and seven hits on the quarterback.

It appears Ryan Mathews has reclaimed the starting running back job in San Diego. The first-round rookie got 12 carries against the Rams. Fullback Mike Tolbert got just three.

Apparently the return of Marcus McNeill was not world-saving for the Chargers. Chris Long, Larry Grant and James Hall all recorded two sacks against Philip Rivers.

The Patriots lost the turnover battle 2-0 against the Ravens and still won.

Since we reported it a few weeks ago, we have to report it again: Aaron Hernandez set a new Patriots franchise record for longest run by tight end. This time he went for 18 yards. Hernandez holds the previous record of 13 yards.

Derrick Mason led the Ravens with eight catches for 100 yards. T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught every ball thrown his way, which left him with two receptions on the afternoon. Housh did at least finish the game with zero public tantrums.

Haloti Ngata was the most dominant player on the field in Foxboro Sunday. The thundering defensive lineman had seven tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and three hits on the quarterback (all of which we’ll assume Tom Brady argued for a flag on).

Brandon Spikes: 16 tackles. Jerod Mayo: 18 tackles.

The Lions leading rusher at New York was Drew Stanton (three carries, 30 yards). Jahvid Best managed just 16 yards on 12 carries. Best is averaging 3.2 yards per attempt on the season.

The Lions fumbled five times but only lost 2.

Michael Jenkins led the Falcons with five catches for 99 yards in his season debut coming off a shoulder injury.

Asante Samuel, back after missing Week 5 with a concussion, had three pass breakups and a pick against Atlanta.

Mike Wallace put up “Randy Moss circa 1998” type numbers against the Browns: three catches, 90 yards and a touchdown.

Ben Watson had his best game as a Brown, catching six passes for 88 yards and a score.

The Browns’ next two leading receivers were tight end Evan Moore (four catches, 84 yards) and running back Peyton Hillis (six catches, 49 yards). Not uncommon to see non-wide receivers leading the way when it’s an untested rookie quarterback making the throws.

Lawrence Timmons is a rising star in Pittsburgh. The fourth-year pro and second-year starting inside linebacker had 11 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss, two QB hits and a pass breakup Sunday.

The Chiefs gained 228 yards on the ground against the Texans. (Many of those yards came after DeMeco Ryans left the game.)

Matt Cassel had a passer rating of 122.9. Matt Schaub had a rating of 123.9.

Dwayne Bowe: 108 yards and two touchdowns. And, as a CBS graphic kindly pointed out, zero drops.

Owen Daniels had his most productive game of the season, catching five balls for 79 yards. Many of Daniels’ catches were the result of play design.

Tamba Hali had zero tackles and zero sacks. We point it out only because the tireless pass-rusher was far more effective than those numbers indicate.

Tim Tebow had six carries for 23 yards and a touchdown. He also had six “crowd quieters” (as in he had to motion for the crowd to be quiet prior to the snap six different times).

Antonio Cromartie held the NFL’s leading receiver, Brandon Lloyd, to four catches Sunday. Cromartie had three pass breakups and three tackles (which means he overcame his greatest fear on three separate occasions).

The 49ers out-Raidered the Raiders Sunday: 11 penalties for 143 yards.

Jason Campbell’s 10.7 passer rating was the worst rating for a Raiders quarterback since Ken Stabler’s 9.9 against the Bengals in 1975.

The Cowboys held Adrian Peterson to 73 yards on 24 carries.

For the second straight week, Felix Jones got more rushing attempts than Marion Barber. Barber had the better game running, though. He was 5/5 on third/fourth-down-and-one conversions. Jones, however, was better through the air: 10 catches, 61 yards.

Despite using a hurry-up most of the night, the Colts finished the game with four fewer plays (68) than the Redskins (72).

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Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

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Posted on: August 20, 2010 3:25 pm

Asante Samuel has a few things to say

A. Samuel had quite a few things to say in his interview (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eagles CB Asante Samuel sat down with Geoff Mosher of the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal , and he got a few things off his chest. A few of the topics of conversation Samuel broached.

1) He plays too unconventionally and he can’t tackle worth a crap.

2) He’d rather have nothing to do with the media.

3) Patriots coach Bill Belichick had a problem with him.

What he had to say:

Samuel doesn’t believe that’s true. Not for one second.

"I know in my heart, ain't nobody out there doing what I'm doing," he told Mosher. "If you can't respect that, you're hatin'. Anybody else had those stats, people would be going crazy."

2) Dealing with the media is only good for one thing.

“The only thing I need you guys [the media] for is to help me get into the Hall of Fame," Samuel said. "That's what they tell me."

3) For some reason, Belichick – whose Patriots organization drafted Samuel in the fourth round in 2003 – didn’t like him.

"I ain't never said it, but Belichick, I just felt like he had a thing for me," Samuel said. "He had something against me. I have no idea why."

After two Super Bowls, he said he wanted to leave. But …

Instead of enjoying the Patriots' two Super Bowls, Samuel's stormy relationship with Belichick enticed him into craving free agency after the 2006 season. But the Patriots used the franchise tag to keep him.

He added six more interceptions, 89 return yards and another touchdown that year, but said he never felt appreciated the way Bostonians celebrate other football greats that passed through, which he also pins on Belichick and the national media.

"Ty Law in New England, he's making all these picks. Oh, he's a great corner, this and that," Samuel said. "But I all of a sudden go and do it [and it's], 'Oh, he's in a Cover 2 defense, that's why he isn't as good and this and that.' But when Ty Law does it, it's all gravy."

Does he come across whiny? Yeah, I’d say so. But you can’t dispute his ability to grab interceptions (42 since he entered the NFL, more than anybody else). When it comes to that, he’s one of the best in the league. With everything else – tackling, dealing with the media, not holding grudges – maybe not so much.

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Posted on: August 3, 2010 2:42 pm

Revis hold-out might last a while

D. Revis, if he continues his hold-out, will have plenty of more time for photo shoots (Getty). I talked with Lauren Shehadi on Monday during the CBSSports.com Around the League video segment , and I told her I thought the New York Jets would take care of CB Darrelle Revis’ contract. They’d have to, I thought. He’s the best cornerback in the league and he has plenty of leverage.

But I also pointed out that New York had moved Antonio Cromartie to Revis’ side of the field, so it seemed that the Jets felt like a longer hold-out was a possibility. But – and I don’t think I said this – I didn’t expect his absence to last into the season.

Well, that might not be the case. At least, that’s the sense I got from reading this Boston Globe story about Revis’ holdout, which entered its third day today.

From Albert Breer’s piece:

What are the chances the Jets start playing games that count without Revis? Better than you think.

“The main issue with us at this point is total compensation,’’ owner Woody Johnson said. “The guaranteed money or length of a contract or all the things that are part of a contract. . . we haven’t even negotiated those, because we’re so far apart on the other one.’’

The gap is, indeed, cavernous, according to league sources. The Jets have made a one-year offer, giving Revis a hefty raise from his $1 million salary with a promise to revisit the situation later, and they’ve also made a blockbuster long-term offer. Revis’ opinion of both is represented by his absence.

But more than the dollars, the divide is philosophical.

Revis’ position is simple. He wants that highest-paid-cornerback designation. That distinction now belongs to the RaidersNnamdi Asomugha, who signed a three-year, $45.3 million deal with $28.3 million guaranteed in 2009 that brings him $16.585 million in 2010.

Breer then points out something I hadn’t thought about. Sure, Revis deserves to be one of the highest-paid players in the NFL – though I don’t see how New York will give him $15 million – but he’s still only a third-year player who still has three years left on his contract.

Oakland’s Asomugha played out a contract and then was franchise-tagged before getting his huge contract. Asante Samuel, Dunta Robinson, Nate Clements and Champ Bailey went through similar circumstances. Why shouldn’t Revis have to wait a little longer – prove a little more – before he gets paid like a big-boy cornerback.

I think eventually Revis will get more money, because he’s so invaluable to the Jets defense. But it might take longer to get him on the field than I originally thought. And New York – financially and defensively – will be the poorer for it.

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 31, 2010 5:46 pm

The extent of DeSean Jackson's injury unknown

D. Jackson catches a pass at Philadelphia's training camp the day before he injured his back (AP). By all accounts, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson was having a great start to Philadelphia’s training camp, catching long passes from QB Kevin Kolb and showing the front office brass why he feels he deserves a new contract.

Then, he fell to the turf during practice and didn’t immediately rise. The reason: he injured his back and had to be carted off the field. Not a great moment for Philadelphia, though the consensus seems to be that this injury isn't that big a deal.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer , it seemed to be a non-contact injury.

From the Inquirer:

The play occurred during a no-pads 7-on-7 drill. Jackson pulled in a 12-yard pass in between cornerback Asante Samuel and linebacker Omar Gaither. There didn't appear to be any contact, but Jackson looked as if he had to twist awkwardly to catch the ball. He dropped to the turf, rolled over and stayed down for several seconds before the training staff ran to him.

"I told coach, 'I didn't touch him. I don't know what happened,'" Gaither said.

As the trainers looked him over, Eagles coach Andy Reid came over to examine the scene. Jackson eventually got up, but he was wobbly and looked as if he might fall over again. He was visibly distraught as he was carted away.

Later, Enquirer reporter Jeff McLane wrote on his Twitter page , “DeSean walked out of the locker room on his own, got into his car and sped away without comment.”

The extent of Jackson's injury is not known at this point, but if he's out for a significant amount of time, look for Jason Avant (who’s more of a possession receiver) and Jordan Norwood (who’s not quite as good as Avant) to get those reps. Both obviously are big steps down from Jackson, who’s quickly become one of the top play-making receivers in the league. 

--Josh Katzowitz

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Posted on: July 1, 2010 11:55 am
Edited on: July 1, 2010 12:38 pm

Positional rankings: Cornerbacks

Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, this time taking a look at the top five cornerbacks in the NFL. (To view top five safeties debate, click here).

Josh Katzowitz’s top fiveD. REvis  Photo: US PressWire
5. Leon Hall / Johnathan Joseph, Bengals
4. Champ Bailey, Broncos
3. Charles Woodson, Packers
2. Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders
1. Darrelle Revis, Jets
I covered the Bengals last season. As a Bengals beat writer, you know that when the guy who never shuts up finally keeps quiet, he’s really worried about what will happen on the next Sunday. Thus, when Chad Ochocinco grows thoughtful, saying nothing but nice things about Revis, you know he greatly respects the man. Of course, that could be because Revis, like a defensive magician, made Ochocinco disappear (he had a combined two catches for 28 yards vs. Revis in back-to-back games last year). That said, Ochocinco also faced Asomugha, Bailey and Woodson last year and had more success on his stat line. Revis is the kind of CB who shuts down his entire half of the field – which is helpful, because he doesn’t usually get help from a safety over the top. This, of course, is invaluable.
Asomugha has only recorded three interceptions the past three years – after eight in 2006 – but that’s because nobody wants to throw to his side of the field. According to the Dallas Morning News, only 28 passes were tossed his way in 2009. That’s less than two a game. Unreal. 
Woodson, at the age of 33, had a career-high nine interceptions – also a league high – last year, and oh yeah, he hits pretty hard as well (four forced fumbles attest to that) while playing four different positions for the Packers.
Bailey has been one of the best corners for the past decade. Although he’s a step slower than he once was, he still jumps routes with the best of them. He’s certainly still feared by offensive coordinators. Yeah, I’m cheating a bit by putting Hall and Joseph into one two-headed monster, but they’re so similar and they’ve been so good together that it’s impossible to separate them. They are the best young CB tandem in the league. Might as well keep them together in my list.
Andy Benoit’s top five
5. Asante Samuel, Eagles

4. Cortland Finnegan, Titans

3. Nnamdi Asomugha, Raiders

2. Charles Woodson, Packers

1. Darrelle Revis, Jets

First off, totally agree with everything you said about Revis, Woodson and Asomugha. I have Woodson ahead of Asomugha only because Woodson does a larger variety of things for a Green Bay D that has enjoyed far more success than Oakland’s. But that’s nitpicking. What’s especially impressive about the Asomugha stat (28 pass attempts) is that the Raiders operate almost exclusively in man coverage, which taxes the corners. 
I’m replacing Bailey with Finnegan. I actually thought Andre Goodman was Denver’s best corner last season. (That’s not to say I think Bailey is washed up… I’d rank him No. 6 if I could.) Finnegan is a stopper in all phases. He defends on an island downfield incredibly well, he’s physical in underneath coverage, he’s a playmaker (five interceptions in each of the last two seasons) and he’s formidable in run support.
I agree with the rest of the world that Asante Samuel can’t tackle to save his life, but he’s the best off-coverage corner (i.e. zone defender) in the league. That has to mean something, right?
P.S. I was prepared to solve the Hall/Joseph dilemma for you and pick one guy, but looking back through my film study notes, I too failed to declare one over the other. Hall seems to require less safety help, and in the games I studied, he was targeted less than Joseph. But Joseph is the more physical tackler and one of the NFL’s most athletic deep-ball defenders. 

Josh’s rebuttal
I’m not sure why, but whenever I happen to see Finnegan on TV, he’s usually in an opponent’s face, taunting or boasting or whatever. It always seemed to me that perhaps his bark was worse than his bite, that the 5-foot-9 Finnegan had some sort of Napoleonic complex. But you’re absolutely right. He is a top-notch CB. Regarding Samuel, I think tackling is such an important part of a defensive back’s job that it’s hard for me to overlook how bad he is after an opponent catches the ball. It’s the Deion Sanders “Ole!” method, and for me, it’s a deal-breaker. No doubt, his nine interceptions last year were outstanding. But when your head coach is calling you out, albeit very mildly, during the offseason, that’s not a particularly good sign.
Andy’s final word
You’re right about Samuel. I regret putting him on the list. I can live without the tackling – Deion Sanders is the greatest cornerback of all-time, after all – but Andy Reid’s gripes about Samuel’s freelancing are tough to ignore. Consider Champ Bailey now on my list (No. 5), with Mike Jenkins or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the verge of overtaking him.

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

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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