Tag:Jared Allen
Posted on: November 1, 2010 3:21 am
Edited on: November 1, 2010 10:53 am
 

10 stories that deserve your attention Week 8

Posted by Andy Benoit

1.) D.C. Drama

It was one of those scenarios that make you question yourself. You see Donovan McNabb standing on the sidD. McNabb (US Presswire)eline with 1:45 left in the fourth and the Redskins trailing the Lions 30-25. You see Rex Grossman taking the field. You pause a second. Once you’re sure it’s really happening, you say, Wait, what’d I miss here?

Benching McNabb for Grossman is a decision that’s somehow as downright stupid as it sounds. Most baffling is that this stupid decision was made by Mike Shanahan. It’s one thing to bench a veteran star quarterback. It’s another to bench him when he’s managed to lead your team to a decent 4-4 record despite having a fourth-string running back and a slew of fourth-string receivers playing prominent roles. And it’s another when he had been playing well in the very game you sat him down.

Behind a banged-up Washington offensive line that was overmatched by Detroit’s suddenly vibrant front four (Ndamukong Suh is the early favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year), McNabb endured five sacks, 10 hurries and 11 hits Sunday. Yet still, he was 17/30 for 210 yards passing, plus he ran for 45 yards on four scrambles. OK, sure there was the interception to Alphonso Smith and, before that, another bad ball that Smith should have picked and taken to the house. But fine, let’s say McNabb’s performance Sunday was only mediocre. There’s still the unforgivable factor in Shanahan’s stupid decision, which is that the guy he replaced McNabb with was Grossman.

That’d be the same Grossman who could barely find a team last season; the same Grossman who actually invented new ways to turn the ball over as a Bear. When you flip karma the bird like Shanahan did, karma tends to respond quickly. Sure enough, on his first snap, Grossman made a play that only Grossman could make, fumbling the ball on a nasty blindside sack. Karma was so ticked off at Shanahan that not even Suh’s foolish Leon Lett impersonation while returning the recovered fumble could prevent a Lions victory at that point.

Thanks to a bye, the Redskins now have two weeks to deal with the ensuing storm of controversy that is about to unload on D.C. And karma is not likely to throw them any breaks. The next time McNabb and the Redskins take the field will be Monday, November 15, when they host…the Eagles.



2.) NFC powers tighten gap on AFC powers

You had to know it wouldn’t last. Yes, the AFC is better than the NFC this year, but not by the ridiculous margin that September and October gave us. Outstanding defense brought us closer to equilibrium Sunday, as the Packers stifled the Jets and the Saints swarmed the Steelers. Both NFC teams dominated behind their defensive pass rush.

The Jets had no answer for Clay Matthews’ speed off the edge. It helped that Brandon Chillar had his best game of the season, and Green Bay’s young defensive linemen, B.J. Raji and C.J. Wilson, controlled the trenches.

The Steelers could not get ahead of the Saints’ über-aggressive blitzes. It was remarkable that Gregg Williams dialed up the attacks, considering he was without top three corners Jabari Greer, Tracy Porter and Patrick Robinson (who left early with a right ankle injury). The two most popular preseason Super Bowl picks from the NFC are now both 5-3.



3.) New York’s Gamble
S. Weatherford (US Presswire)
Sticking with the Jets-Packers game…

When Jets punter Steve Weatherford took off and ran from inside his own 20-yard line late in the first quarter Sunday, you could have sworn you were watching your idiot roommate playing Madden on the X-Box. The Jets actually fake punted from their own 20-yard line! And on fourth and 18! After replay, it was determined that Weatherford stepped out of bounds a yard-and-a-half short of the first down. Green Bay wound up getting three points out of the splendid field position – the only points the Jets D has allowed in any first quarter this season – and Rex Ryan left himself open to easy second-guessing.

Except, it wasn’t Ryan’s decision. Turns out, Weatherford made the call. That’s right, the punter – the punter! – called his own number. Whoa, talk about gall. Take any receiver willing to go over the middle, any quarterback willing to step into a blitz and any linebacker willing to shoot the gap against a steamrolling running back and, chances are, none of them have the stones Weatherford must have. Afterward, he explained himself:

"It would have been a good decision had it been fourth-and-nine, but that’s my fault. I made the decision to try to make the play, but it didn’t work out for the team. We’re a team that’s willing to go out there and lay it on the line, but it just didn’t work out today. It’s a situation where I don’t have the green light, but if I do it, he’s not going to be mad if I get it. It has worked out in the past. It worked out in Oakland, it worked out in Miami, (but) today, it didn’t. It could have been a huge swing for us in the game, but obviously we came up about a half-yard short."



4.) Little Big Men

Let’s shift to a positive special teams note and go back to the Lions-Redskins game. Did you see the electrifying return artists in that contest? In order to, you may have had to squint in order to. Detroit’s Stefan Logan (5’6”, 180 pounds) and Washington’s Brandon Banks (5’7”, 150 pounds – that’s right, 150) put on a show.

Logan had a dazzling 71-yard punt return in the second quarter to set up one of Calvin Johnson’s three touchdowns. (Johnson, by the way, spent all afternoon taking advantage of the inconsistent safety help on DeAngelo Hall’s soft man coverage.

Banks had a 96-yard kick return for a score. He also had a 46-yard kick return, a punt return that went for 35, and another kick return score that got called back for holding. And before he was aware of that holding penalty, Logan celebrated his score by dunking the ball over the goalposts. That’s a 5’7” man dunking over a 10”-high crossbar while wearing full padding and still catching his breath after running the length of the field.



5.) The bad NFC team we should be talking about

I refuse to discuss the Dallas Tin Men, errrr, Dallas Cowboys this week. We just saw them last week on Monday night. We have to see them next week on Sunday night at Green Bay (apparently, that is “America’s Game of the Week”). We have to see them on Thanksgiving and again a few weeks later on NFL Network. There will be plenty of chances to talk about what’s wrong with America’s team, what changes Jerry Jones will make, how obvious it is that Wade Phillips is a dead man walking, etc. And mind you, the Cowboys will be irrelevant in the playoff hunt this entire time. So, knowing that’s ahead, I’m going to rest upB. Green-Ellis (US Presswire) and save my sanity by pretending the game against the Jaguars never happened (this, by the way, makes me feel like a Jacksonville native).

I will, however, talk about the NFC’s other fallen team, the Vikings. While it’s chic (and easy) to assume that everything is Favre’s fault, the reality is, the Vikings defense has been one of the great underachieving units in football this season. Jared Allen dressed as a ghost for Halloween. Come to think of it, Allen actually busted out that costume a few weeks ago. His teammates haven’t stepped up, either.

For the first time in team history, the Vikings have gone three straight games without a sack.

With a nonexistent pass rush, Minnesota’s ho-hum secondary has been exposed. Madieu Williams put on a clinic Sunday for how not to make plays; Pats receiver Brandon Tate should have given the veteran safety a game ball afterwards. And scouts are finally figuring out what’s wrong with cornerback Asher Allen: he’s not good at playing football. Allen gives up separation in his man coverage technique, he struggles to locate the ball in the air and his open-field tackling is hit or miss.

What’s more, the Vikings’ once-impenetrable run defense is giving up only 3.9 yards per carry, but overall, it ranks 13th in yards per game. That’s as startling drop considering this group ranked second last year and first in each of the three years before that. Late in the fourth quarter Sunday when the Vikings needed a stop on the ground, they plain couldn’t get one. On New England’s final possession, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran the ball six times for 60 yards to ice the game.



6.) Uh oh

You ever noticed the amount of misbehavior the youngest kids in families with a lot of children can get away with? It’s stunning. While the parents are getting drained dealing with the older kids breaking curfews, fighting amongst each other and bringing home ugly report cards, the younger kid is secretly living a dream that includes watching raunchy movies, stealing bits of cash from around the house and detonating fireworks in the elderly neighbor’s mailbox. It isn’t until something goes really wrong before the parents realize that they’ve been neglecting their biggest handful of all.

Think of Randy Moss as the rebellious youngster in Minnesota. While everyone is focusing on Brad Childress and Brett Favre and, perhaps now, Jared Allen and the defense, the newcomer at wide receiver is subtly stewing about what’s turned out to be a lost season in his contract year. Did you hear what Moss said after the Patriots game? Here are the big pieces:
R. Moss (US Presswire)
On his relationship with the media…

"I got fined $25,000 for not talking to you all, and me personally, I really don't care, but at the same time, I do ask questions, I mean answer questions throughout the week. The league can fine me $25,000. I'm not going to answer any more questions for the rest of this year. If it's going to be an interview, I'm going to conduct it. So I'll answer my own questions. Ask myself the questions, then give you all the answers.”

On his former teammates…

"Man, I miss them guys, man. I miss the team," Moss said. "It was hard for me to come here and play.

"Been an up-and-down roller-coaster emotionally all week. And then to be able to come in here and see those guys running plays that I know what they're doing, and the success they had on the field, the running game -- so, I kind of know what kind of feeling they have in their locker room, man, and I just want to be able to tell the guys that I miss the hell out of them. Every last helmet in that locker room, man."

On his preparation with the Vikings coaching staff for this game…

"The bad part about it -- you have six days to prepare for a team, and on the seventh day, that Sunday, meaning today, I guess they come over to me and say, 'Dag, Moss, you was right about a couple plays and a couple schemes they were going to run.' It hurts as a player that you put a lot of hard work in all week, and toward the end of the week, Sunday, when you get on the field, that's when they acknowledge about the hard work you put in throughout the week. That's actually a disappointment."

His final word…

"I'm definitely down that we lost this game. I didn't expect we'd lose this game. I don't know how many more times I'll be in New England again. But I leave coach Belichick and those guys with a salute: (and yes, Moss actually saluted while saying this). 'I love you guys. I miss you. I'm out.'"

Read into all that what you will. I read into it that this is Moss’ way of telling the Vikings, I hate being on this team.



7.) The NFL’s best team?

According to the standings, it’s the Patriots. They’re the only team that has just one loss on the season. It’s kind of hard to believe, given that New England pairs a ball control offense with a defense that ranks 28th in yards allowed and dead last on third down. But no team manages in-game situations better than the Patriots. (That’s why their games always feel so choppy.)

At least that 28th-ranked defense is improving by the week. Jerod Mayo is a star at inside linebacker. He’s a rock of a run defender and a sterling open-field tackler against the pass. First-round rookie Devin McCourty is blossoming into a bona fide No. 1 corner. The defensive linemen around Pro Bowler Vince Wilfork have elevated their games; Mike Wright has a sack in four-straight contests, and last year’s second-round pick, Ron Brace, showcased his development on the fourth-down goal-line stop in which he blew up Phil Loadholt and stuffed Adrian Peterson. Finally, safety Brandon Meriweather is close to regaining his ’09 form. Overall, this is a young defense that should only get better.



8.) Do we believe the nautical villains?

I’ve been saying all season that the Buccaneers are not good enough in the trenches to make the playoffs, and that the Raiders’ greatness on paper is matched only by their embarrassing ineptitude on the field. I’m not ready to eat crow yet, though I’m fingering my silverware (I’ll assume crow is something you’d eat with a knife and a fork).

The Bucs got their fifth consecutive road victory with a 38-35 win at Arizona Sunday. But Tampa’s MVP that game was Cardinals quarterback Max Hall. When the undrafted rookie threw his first career touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, the veteran receiver, rushed over and gave Hall the ball (it was a truly classy move by Fitzgerald, considering how justifiably frustrated he’s been with the team’s quarterback play this season). Along these lines, it would have made sense for Bucs corner Aqib Talib to give Hall a souvenir ball on the second quarter pick-six he threw, as that was Hall’s most precise touchdown strike on the afternoon. D. McFadden (US Presswire)

That was also Hall’s second pick-six on the day, which is why Ken Whisenhunt decided that maybe Derek Anderson is the best guy to lead the team after all. (If Anderson and Whisenhunt were dating, all of Anderson’s friends at this point would be pleading with the quarterback to stop letting the head coach just use him like this.)

My point? The Bucs are 5-2, but their most recent win came against a hapless Cardinals club. Obviously, a win is a win in the NFL. But if the Bucs’ head coach wants to talk about his team being the best in the NFC, then the “they haven’t beaten anybody” argument is fair game. The combined records of the teams Tampa Bay has defeated (Cleveland, Carolina, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Arizona): 12-24. The combined record of the teams Tampa Bay has lost to (Pittsburgh, New Orleans): 10-5. So, I’m skeptical. It will be easier to gauge this team after it faces division foe Atlanta next week.

Regarding the 4-4 Raiders, wins over Denver and Seattle don’t exactly merit great acclaim, but the convincing nature of those wins does. After spanking the Broncos 59-14, the Raiders pounded the Seahawks 33-3. Darren McFadden – whom I was shocked to learn, led the league in yards after contact heading into this game – rushed for 121 of the team’s 239 yards. This against a Seattle run defense that ranked second in the league prior to Sunday.

Jason Campbell was a sterling 15/27 for 310 yards and two scores – and those numbers aren’t inflated by one or two Jon Kitna garbage time-like plays. Campbell threaded the needle on both touchdown strikes. The first was to fullback Marcel Reese, a versatile second-year pro who can best be described as “exactly what 49er fans erroneously claim Delanie Walker SHOULD be”. Reese is an effective route runner when lining up as a wide receiver. Campbell’s second touchdown was to Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is inconsistent, but in a good way (given that last season he was consistently dreadful).

Is Oakland a legit contender? In the AFC West, perhaps. But overall...well…at least they can win in the trenches. (The defensive line was every bit as dominant as the offensive line Sunday.) That makes them more stable than Tampa Bay. Still, at the end of the day, a team must be able to throw in order to win. The Bucs at least have an upstart first-round quarterback in Josh Freeman. The Raiders still have a controversy between Campbell (who played well Sunday but, throughout his career, has proved to be a robot programmed for mediocrity) and Bruce Gradkowski (a poor man’s Jeff Garcia).



9.) NFL makes a good impression in Europe

So the Brits wound up seeing a pretty good game between the 49ers and Broncos. Dammit all. The hope to avoid having to share the truest American sport with the rest of the world looks more futile than ever.

On Sunday, after a slow start that probably still had Wembley Stadium’s soccer-acclimated sellout crowd of 83,000-plus on the edge of its seats, the offenses for both teams came to life late in the second half. Thirty of the game’s 40 points were scored in the fourth quarter. Both teams relied on their usual identity. For the Broncos, that meant riding Kyle Orton (28/40, 396 yards). For the Niners, that meant riding Frank Gore (29 carries, 118 yards).

Though a compelling contest it was, and though interesting is the debate over whether it was a mistake for Josh McDaniels to keep the team in the U.S. until Thursday (three days longer than the Niners), the story of this game is the success of the NFL’s British venture. Not only did the game sell out, but approximately 38,000 fans filled Trafalgar Square for an NFL block party Saturday. Earlier in the week, Roger Goodell said the league’s goal is to put a team in London. Maybe that’s just lip service the Commissioner had to pay in the days leading up to this game, but if the world has learned anything the past 10 years, it’s that in whatever way globalization can happen, it will.

So start getting your minds wrapped around it, football fans: the NFL is only going to ingrain itself deeper in London. And, perhaps, other foreign markets. Maybe you’re cool with that. If you are, great. If you’re not (like me), Sunday was just another reminder that you’d better start getting used to it.



10.) Quick Hits

***Todd Haley went for it again on fourth down Sunday. This time the Chiefs had fourth-and-two and were deep in Buffalo territory. For the past few weeks, people have been commenting on Haley’s gutsy fourth down calls. But we’re discovering that this is just the way the man coaches. He’s attempted 11 fourth downs this season, tied for fourth most in the NFL. The difference is that very few of them have been of the desperation variety. Haley believes it’s a numbers game, and he usually makes the decision to go for it a few plays before reaching fourth down (to help the play-calling, he tell offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss ahead of time when it’s four-down territory). It’s an unusually aggressive approach.S. Smith (US Presswire)


***Interesting that the Jets had Darrelle Revis play left cornerback in the first half and then had him shadow Greg Jennings in the second half. Revis was effective in both cases – it was just fun watching Rex Ryan change up the game plan.


***Steve Tasker, who spent the entire overtime period between the Chiefs and Bills trying to add a soothing calm amidst the lovable screaming of Gus Johnson, had a great line about Ryan Succop’s first field goal attempt in OT. When Succop’s ball got caught in the wind and suddenly hooked sharply left, Tasker said “that ball had a left turn signal on it”.


***The Rams wore their blue and yellow throwback uniforms to honor the retirement of Isaac Bruce’s number 80. It’d probably be good if we started debating Bruce’s Hall of Fame credentials now. Given the length of the Art Monk trial, and the Andre Reed-Cris Carter-Tim Brown dilemmas, Bruce’s candidacy is going to be particularly complicated.


***Turns out cornerback Sean Smith didn’t fully regain his starting job for the Dolphins this week, but against the Bengals he played extremely well. Smith got some help from an erratic Carson Palmer on the game-sealing interception, but before that, he was very active covering receivers with underneath technique.


***I’m not affiliated with the San Diego Chargers, but even I felt a little awkward seeing Vincent Jackson standing on the sideline in street clothes Sunday.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: October 31, 2010 8:46 am
Edited on: October 31, 2010 8:47 am
 

Top Ten with a Twist: Halloween costumes

A. Cromartie would look great if he went as a dandelion for his Halloween costume (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Today will be a packed day for you. Naturally, you’ve got a full slate of NFL games to watch – either on TV or in the stadium of your choice – and then there’s going to be the few hours you need to recover from your team winning (beer!) or from your team losing (beer mixed with tears!). Then, you’ve got to take the kids trick-or-treating, because, lest you forget, it’s Halloween.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with the top-10 best costumes the NFL could make use of this year. Most would require a sense of humor from the individual player, but if that player DID dress up in what we’re suggesting, they would automatically be included in our Awesome Hall of Fame.

There were quite a few costumes we left off, because they simply weren’t good enough (or were too obvious). One of which was Terrell Owens/Chad Ochocinco as Batman/Robin. We’ve been there, done that. We also had a Wizard of Oz theme working with Albert Haynesworth as the tin man, Norv Turner as the scarecrow, Bryant McKinnie as the lion, and referee Gene Steratore (the official who had to make the replay calls on the Calvin Johnson non-TD catch and the Ben Roethlisberger non-TD fumble) as the actual Wizard (pay no attention to that man behind (or, in this case, underneath) that curtain!)

10. Joe Flacco = The Situation. This is the reason we had this idea in the first place. The other day we told you about Flacco dressing up like the Jersey Shore’s biggest star (complete with faux-hawk, racing stripes and the state map of New Jersey shaved into the back of his head). Yes, Flacco, at face value, doesn’t seem to have much in common with The Situation. But he was the impetus for our idea, so we include him.

9. Tom Brady = Justin Bieber. Obviously, the hair. And yes, this story has been a bit played-out, but we can’t get over the fact that Bieber tried to call out Brady in his terrible bit of freestyling on that ridiculous video. It makes me sad.

We miss J. Allen's mullet, but probably not as much as he does (Getty). 8. Jared Allen = Samson. You know, the biblical character. The guy who had so much strength because of the length of his hair, and then cut it all off because of that damn Delilah (that’s the basic framework of the story, right? It’s been a long time since I was in Sunday school). Well, Allen – who’s recorded only one sack in six games this year – has been invisible for most of the season after cutting off his mullet, because of, sigh, a woman (now his wife).

7. Brett Favre = Bill Clinton. The only prop he needs is a cigar.

6. Brett Favre = Verizon cell phone guy. Actually, this one wasn’t my joke, but I think it’s funnier than the Bill Clinton gag. Yet, IF Favre went as the Verizon guy with a pair of the No Fly Wranglers made famous by SNL, he might shoot to No. 1 on this list.

5. Ben Roethlisberger = a stop sign. First of all, Roethlisberger has the solid width to support an octagonal sign. Second of all, Roethlisberger would do well to heed the sign’s message the next time he’s out at a bar or a golf course or anywhere where there are females present. Roethlisberger would get even bigger props if he could pair the sign with a motorcycle helmet (safety first!). 

4. Wade Phillips = Bernie Lomax from “Weekend at Bernie’s.” At this point, Andrew McCarthy might as well be slapping flies off Phillips' forehead. Phillips obviously is still the head coach of the Cowboys, but the way the season has gone, he’s a dead coach walking. McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman don’t yet have to intertwine their shoelaces with Phillips’ to drag him out to the field, but if things get much worse for the Cowboys, we’re not far away from having a big boozed-out party at Phillips’ island getaway.

3. Jeff Fisher = CSI investigator. The Titans coach has become a private detective after his WR Kenny Britt was arrested last week at a club a couple days before Tennessee took the field against the Eagles (where he pounded Philadelphia single-handedly). Later, Fisher admitted he visited the Karma Lounge on a fact-finding mission to find out what had really happened with Britt. No word on whether he went inside wearing a trench coat and a top hat. Or whether David Caruso was with him.

2. Braylon Edwards = taxi driver. This might be a stretch for Edwards, considering it’s entirely possibly he’s never actually been INSIDE a cab before. Especially when he’s out for a night on the town and allegedly has had way too much to drink. Or, even better, Edwards could dress as a limo driver. Get the nice suit, the jaunty hat, maybe a scarf and (definitely) the driving gloves.

1. Antonio Cromartie = dandelion. Do you know why? Can you figure it out? Why would we compare the Jets cornerback to the flowering plant from the genus taraxacum? Think about what happens when you blow a fully-bloomed dandelion. The seeds scatter to the wind in an effort to reproduce and to make new dandelions. How does that relate to Cromartie? Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, check the video below. Happy Halloween indeed.




For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: October 15, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Jared Allen: struggling or not struggling?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Did you know Jared Allen has only one sack through four games this season? Most people didn’t, what with all the Favre and Moss coverage lately. It’s difficult to pinpoint the cause of Allen’s statistical slow start. And we say statistical slow start because there are plenty who believe Allen has still been as effective as ever through the first quarter of the season. Count Allen amongJ. Allen (US Presswire) them.

"You could count four, five, six, maybe," Allen told Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press about his near-sacks this season. "Look at the Detroit game. I would have had two in the Miami game. That half-step, that half-second, is huge. Huge! There's always what ifs, but eventually it comes back. They seem to come in spurts."

Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said, "(Allen is) playing well. What's happening with (him) is that he's still in a lot of situations where there are backs chipping and tight ends to his side, and what it does is help other guys and helps our pass defense. Our pass defense is really improved primarily because of the type of blocks we're getting from offenses right now.

"He's going to have a bust-out game, and hopefully it will be this weekend. He's not a disappointment by any means, whether it's our run defense or pass defense. People pay a great deal of attention to him. We just have to get the other guys who are getting one-on-ones to step up and help us in those areas."

It’s worth noting that Allen is one of the best run defending ends in the NFL. And he has indeed been in top form as a disruptive perimeter run stopper this season. But if six-year, $73.26 million contracts were awarded to great run defending ends, guys like Jay Richardson, Jamaal Anderson and Derrick Harvey wouldn’t be minor role players.

Allen’s sacks do come in spurts. Some have argued that makes him overrated. Last season, 7.5 of Allen’s 14.5 sacks came against the Packers during the first half of the season (when Green Bay was having major issues with its offensive line). Two more of Allen’s sacks came against the Bears, owners of the perhaps the league’s worst front five in ’09.

The opinion here (i.e. my opinion) is that at the end of the day Allen is a top five defensive end. The ’09 numbers suggest he might prey on weaker opponents, but isn’t that what good players do?

Nevertheless, the Vikings have only six sacks this season after leading the league with 48 a year ago. They’d undoubtedly love to turn their pressure into production. That starts with their star on the right side.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 17, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 7:47 pm
 

Favre is in Minnesota, watch him drive

Posted by Will Brinson

So, Brett Favre is in Minnesota now. That whole "on a plane" "heading north" thing wasn't a hoax. Neither was the Flight Tracker.

This is REAL, PEOPLE. And you can watch it. No, seriously, you can watch it live on ABC 5 in the Twin Cities.

Let me warn you, though. If you tune into this, you will be a) bored by watching a black SUV drive down the highway slightly faster than OJ, b) angry that this guy keeps hijacking our lives every season, c) eventually even angrier that people pretended his retirement was somehow real, and d) eventually resigned that this will happen again next season with similar results.

Either way, if you're at an office and can't watch ESPN News (where Favre is also being tracked live), you can do so at that link. Or you could do the more entertaining thing and listen to what our own Pete Prisco has to say. We recommend the latter.



By the by, if this is somehow the most awesome hoax of all-time and Favre is just pulling a prank on everyone and about to drop his pants on the ground at the microphone before retiring, well, we'll be pretty thrilled.


UPDATE: The Vikings are expected to officially announce Favre's status for 2010 in a press conference Wednesday.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:54 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Report: Favre on plane, heading north, 'back in'

Posted by Will Brinson

Brett Favre is reportedly on an airplane and headed to (presumably) Minnesota -- NFL Network's Scott Hanson reported on Twitter that Favre "is on a jet heading north."

We earlier mentioned the report that Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson (three of Favre's best friends on the Vikings) were in Minnesota visiting Favre and urging him to either a) return to the team or b) just make up his freaking mind about playing in 2011.

It would seem , at least based on Hanson's report, that the trio of ambassadors were successful in convincing Favre to return. (Or fly to Minnesota just to announce that he WON'T return, which given Favre's history, is totally within the realm of possibility.)

Either that or we have a very awkward and very public case of kidnapping on our hands.

It's worth noting too that Favre must really be getting old, because he's losing his touch on dragging out his press coverage -- a younger gunslinger would have let the story about the Vikings football-style intervention marinate in the press for a few hours before generating a new story.

Update (2:57): Bob Holtzman, who has likely been living in a tent at the Haittesburg airport for the past three months, reports that Favre "boarded a plane" about "40 minutes ago" ... that plane is indeed headed to Minneapolis.

Update (2:59): Jay Glazer tweets that Favre told the trio of visitors that he is "back in."

Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) for all the Favre updates you can possibly stand.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:55 pm
 

Report: Longwell, Hutchinson, Allen visit Favre

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE (2:50): Favre is reportedly on an airplane heading "north," which we presume means he's going to Minnesota.

In a story that's sure to crash the Star-Tribune 's website (again), "Access Vikings" writer and Brett Favre expert Judd Zulgad is reporting that Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson and Ryan Longwell were all absent from Minnesota's practice today.

The reason? They're believed to be in Mississippi visiting Favre and urging him to come back to the team -- or at least give the Vikes the answer that Allen recently requested from the quarterback.

None of the trio has dealt with injuries thus far in training camp, so there's no plausible alibi on that end, and Zulgad's sources confirm that the three members of the Vikings weren't at the team's morning meetings either.

There's been a pungent air of desperation regarding Favre's return in Minnesota since he announced his re-retirement recently , but Brad Childress, the team and the front office have gone out of their way to make it clear that they're fine whatever he decides.

If they've really sent a entourage of Favre's closest friends down to his home in order to convince him to return, the thin veil of confidence in Tavaris Jackson has officially been lifted.

There's also the possibility that they just want an answer other than "maybe" -- in which case the Vikings can resume pretending that Jackson can help them contend for the division and make a run at the Super Bowl.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: August 17, 2010 10:12 am
 

Hot Routes 8.17.10: Empire State of Mind

Posted by Will Brinson

There's really no need to chastise me for the title. I've already hit my head on my desk 15 times since I put it in there. As always, if you've got a link for the Hot Routes, follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNFL or feel free to email links to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • It warrants mentioning what new Giant linebacker Keith Bulluck said to the New York Times before last night's contest that clearly decided who was New York's most important football team: “If you’re from New York, you know who New York’s football team is: the New York Giants,” Bulluck said. “I’m a Mets fan, but I know who New York’s baseball team is: the New York Yankees. The Jets haven’t won nothing since Broadway Joe. ” Who's excite for this "rivalry" to be as annoying as Red Sox - Yankees within the next six months? /raises hand
  • Like video highlights of football without feeling dirty for viewing them illegally? My man Brian Bassett at The Jets Blog has your one-stop spot for everything Jets and Giants related from last night.
  • Al Harris (he of the Chicago Bears in the 1980's) missed the Bears' 1985 Super Bowl run because he sat out the season with a contract dispute. Sound familiar yet? Because Gary Myers of the New York Daily News believes Darrelle Revis could also suffer the same fate. Unfortunately, the Jets ALREADY WON THE 2010 SUPER BOWL. IT'S TOO LATE, DARRELLE! MUAHAHAHA ... Er, sorry. I watched "Hard Knocks" again this morning.
  • The guys at "New Meadlowlands Stadium" (I'm waiting for their price to drop to seven figures before I cut the check and get it named "Brinsonland World Stadium") want to play the role of Switzerland , remaining neutral in the Jets-Giants semi-war. But, duh, that's just good bizness.

Posted on: August 13, 2010 1:23 pm
 

Vikes use 'left squad' exemption for Harvin

Posted by Will Brinson

The Vikings have plenty to worry about -- read: Brett Favre and the deadline that Jared Allen imposed for the quarterback's return -- without the absence of star second-year wideout and general NFL handyman Percy Harvin.

But that doesn't mean they're free from the literal headaches around the former Gator; in fact, the team was forced to use a "left squad" exemption on Harvin, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune "Access Vikings" blog .

Harvin's status is a result of two unfortunate scenarios (the death of his grandmother and the recurrence of his migraine headaches) colliding -- as such, he's been absent from the Vikes since July 31.

In order to completely process this exemption status, the Vikings had to send Harvin a letter informing him that in five days they hold the right to place him on the "reserve/left squad list." If Minnesota followed through with that action, Harvin would not be eligible to play for the entire 2010 season.

Needless to say, they don't plan on doing that; Brad Childress told the Star-Tribune that sending the letter was a requirement to get the exemption and that the team is being "supportive" of Harvin. (Of course, they didn't plan on failing to get a pick in during the 2008 NFL Draft, and you saw what happened there.)

But, as the fellas at AV point out, the simple fact that the team is being forced to even send the letter and use the left squad exemption is a pretty firm indication that Harvin won't be in camp any time in the immediate future.

For a team that's already dealing with the possible loss of it's most important offensive player (Favre), Harvin's status is likely only beefing up the stress level in Minnesota.

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