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Tag:2011 NFL Preseason
Posted on: August 18, 2011 7:16 pm
 

Shonn Greene held out with skin infection on foot

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Jets have announced that RB Shonn Greene won’t play Sunday vs. the Bengals because he has a skin infection on his right foot.

GreeneStemming from that declaration, the big question would be: is it a staph infection, which, of course, would not be good news? The team, via the Newark Star Ledger, said it’s unknown because skin infections can’t be cultured.

Either way, the Jets feel confident they caught the infection in time and that the use of antibiotics should make the problem go away.

Without Greene at practice Thursday, LaDainian Tomlinson took the first-team reps, while rookie Bilal Powell continued to get reps as he competes with Joe McKnight for the team’s third RB position.

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Posted on: August 18, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Are the Bengals screwing with Jordan Palmer?

C. Palmer and J. Palmer both might not be playing in Cincinnati this year (US Presswire)Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Carson Palmer is retired for now. The Bengals are looking to start second-round draft pick QB Andy Dalton, and they’ve signed veteran Bruce Gradkowski to help mentor him. But the Bengals, according to WCPO’s Denny Janson are still trying to mess with the Palmer family.

On his Twitter account, Jensen writes, “Carson Palmer tells friend, #Bengals are toying with brother Jordan. Few reps etc. Expects him to be cut but too late to sign elsewhere.”

If that’s true, that wouldn’t be real nice of the organization, especially since Carson Palmer has been such a big part of the team and helped lead the squad to two AFC North titles (suffering a variety of injuries for a team that gave him a ton of money coming out of college).

Actually, that would be a real jerky thing for the club to do, especially if it’s maliciously trying to mess with Jordan’s career. On the flip side, the Bengals did sign Jordan three years ago after he had been released from the Redskins and his career was in jeopardy, even though it’s pretty clear he’ll never be a starting QB in the league (even a free agent named Dhani Jones thinks so!).

The question: would the management take out its frustration with Carson on Jordan? My opinion: I kind of doubt it. If the Bengals release Jordan Palmer -- who had designs on winning the starting job in June -- it would probably be because he simply hasn’t shown the team enough since 2008 to qualify for even a third-string QB position. I'd also like to think the Bengals have a little more class than meanly shoving out Jordan just to get back at Carson.

In other Bengals news, fans didn’t seem all that interested in watching Cincinnati’s training camp this year as it attracted just 1,330 cars to Georgetown, Ky., to watch the Bengals practice. That, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer, is the lowest total since the team began training at Georgetown College, about an hour south of Cincinnati.

Last year, although the team trained in Georgetown for just two weeks, the college parked 7,362 cars.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Cam Newton will start Friday vs. Dolphins

NewtonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Cam Newton, it’s now your time to be in the spotlight.

OK, you’ve already been in the spotlight quite a bit these past few months. Let’s rephrase. Cam Newton, it’s now your time to make an NFL start.

That was the word Wednesday from Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who said after practice that Newton will start Friday’s game vs. the Dolphins.

That’s via Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who quotes Rivera saying, “It's pretty much following the line of what we had planned throughout training camp, and that's to go back and forth and back and forth with our guys. It's a good opportunity."

That said, Rivera doesn’t know who will start Carolina’s season opener against the Cardinals. He’s not ready to make THAT decision quite yet. But he started Jimmy Clausen in the preseason opener and then brought Newton in to work with the first-teamers midway through the half, and now, he’s going to do the exact opposite thing Friday.

“We want to make sure everybody gets a chance to play and work with the guys and keep that competition going,” Rivera said.

In that first game, Clausen completed 4 of 7 passes for 69 yards, a touchdown and an interception while Newton’s accuracy was off (he was 8 for 19 for 134 yards). He’s hoping he can make a better impression when he’s the first Panthers quarterback to take the field Friday. And perhaps even solidify his chances of starting the regular season?

“Just know that we have a plan and we're sticking to it,” Rivera said. “And as we go through the process sometime next week, we'll have a real good feel for what we're going to do as we go into the regular season.”

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Suh apparently fined $20,000 for Dalton hit

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

For his helmet-popping hit on Bengals QB Andy Dalton in the Lions first preseason game, Lions DT Ndamukong Suh has been fined $20,000. We think.

There’s been no official confirmation by the NFL, but judging by Suh’s Twitter update, it seems to be so.

Quoth the Suh: $20,000REALLY???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #NFL #BIGFAIL"

Though the hit didn’t appear dirty, the league will almost always come down on the side of protecting the quarterbacks, and since Suh has built a nice little history of playing not-nice with the league’s QBs, the fine isn’t a surprise. Maybe he hasn’t crossed a line yet, but he’s getting ever so much closer.

And his wallet is getting lighter.

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Posted on: August 16, 2011 9:25 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 10:28 am
 

Osi Umenyiora contract saga not over yet?

Posted by Will Brinson

Osi Umenyiora returned to practice with the Giants Monday. So it's all good, let's move on, get back to the business of football and there's nothing to see here, folks, with respect to Osi's still maybe lingering contract demands.

Right? Yeah, not so much. Giants teammate Justin Tuck, considered a "confidant," said as much on Monday afternoon.

"Just because he's back on the football field doesn't mean this whole saga is over," Tuck said, per Tom Rock of Newsday. "But he's doing what he thinks is best to help this football team and himself, and you have to give him credit for that."

Read: Osi is going to work with the team but he's not happy about his situation with the Giants, regardless of whether or not he showed up for practice. Osi's situation, coupled with his health and the potential emergence of Jason Paul-Pierre, should make for some pretty spicy rotations in 2011.

"I wouldn’t be surprised if, from time to time, [Osi] has to stay out of [the game]," Tom Coughlin said, per our Giants Rapid Reporter Alex Raskin, when discussing whether Umenyiora would rest during the season.

So what does this mean for blooming-star-in-the-wings J P-P? Well, lots of moving around.

"Basically, it is going to be a rotation again, and the coaches already told me that I am going to be working both sides," Pierre-Paul said, via Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News. "I am not going to be on one side. I will be playing right end and left end."

Paul-Pierre looked stupendous in the early going against the Panthers on Saturday and prompted many a scribe -- yours truly included -- to urge Osi to scramble for a pen and sign his incentives contract to bump up his pay before he lost his starting job.

That was/is primarily a joke, but the Giants are in an enviable position: they have a older star defensive end who finally showed up to camp and is playing and because of the youngster that's blossoming into a solid draft pick, they maintain the leverage of not being forced into acquiescing to Osi's demands.

Worst case is Osi starts sitting out again and Paul-Pierre becomes a starter. Or the Giants deal Osi and get something in return.

Best case? They have one of the strongest defensive-end rotations in the NFL.

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Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Myron Rolle on Ponder: 'He's borderline genius'

Posted by Will Brinson

Christian Ponder didn't -- at least according to one expert opinion -- get off to the greatest start on Satruday night as Minnesota lost his debut to Tennessee 14-3. But that doesn't mean he can't become a good, great or just plain smart quarterback.

Or all of the above. According to Myron Rolle, that should be easy. Rolle, Ponder's former teammate at Florida State and a Titans safety, says the Vikings quarterback is, in fact, "borderline genius."

"He’s a very smart person, incredibly smart, one of the smartest I've met," Rolle said Satruday, per John Glennon of The Tennessean. "He’s borderline genius. So I don’t think it will be an issue for him at all to get adjusted mentally to the [professional] game."

If there's one NFL player (or human being in general, actually) who knows a thing or two about being intelligent it's Rolle.

Rolle, a Florida State graduate and former freshman All-American, eschewed the 2009 NFL Draft to pick up a Masters of Science in Oxford and then entered the 2010 draft, where Tennessee took him in the sixth round.

So, yeah, if you're talking about big brains, Rolle's a guy you want to check in with. And he worked with Ponder for some time in Tallahassee so while there's potential for bias, but it's pretty hard to argue with since, as Glennon points out, Ponder's got his bachelor degree, an MBA degree and is casually still rolling through FSU's sports management program.

"He has a mind outside of just book-smart," Rolle said of Ponder. "What I like to call it is applied knowledge. He can understand things. He grasped our teams at Florida State very quickly. He grasped social concepts at Florida State very quickly. He’s very impressive."

And, as Rolle points out, he's in a pretty good situation for applying said knowledge. Sitting behind Donovan McNabb and learning the Vikings offense, adjusting to the speed of the NFL game and growing into a professional quarterback.

Absolute worst-case scenario? It doesn't work out for Ponder and, like Rolle, he falls back on one of his many collegiate degrees to earn a nice living elsewhere, which is the real advantage of being a smart NFL player.

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Posted on: August 14, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 1:02 pm
 

'One or both' of Ocho, Haynesworth to get cut?

Posted by Will Brinson

Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco are now Patriots. This is because, we're all told and we all believe, Bill Belichick is a genius, capable of controlling anyone that enters his locker room and turning a malcontent into a productive player.

But Dan Pompei, writing at the National Football Post, says the Patriots may have other ideas, and that he was told last week that "one or both" of the dynamic duo could be cut before the season begins.

"One NFL executive familiar with the Patriots ways told me he believes one or both of the big name acquisitions will be cut before the season starts," Pompei writes. "The front office man thinks coach Bill Belichick will use the controversial players to help control and send a message to his locker room."

That either could be cut isn't that shocking -- as we've previously noted, both Haynesworth and Ochocinco restructured their deals. Haynesworth is owed almost zero (!) dollars for 2011 if he's cut, and Ocho will make just $2.5 million.

Both players have their deals set up so that the money would spike in 2012 and 2013 ... if they stay around.

So will they? Well, maybe not. After all, the reason both Ocho and Big Al were such "smart additions" is that they're cheap, talented options who can still produce if they manage to fall in line.

Patriots Preseason

For my money, Haynesworth seems the more likely fella to get cut. Belichick has always been enamored of Ochocinco, who actually fits what the Patriots need offensively.

That being said, this could all be another grand scheme orchestrated by Belichick to motivate his newly acquired, low-paid, big-name veterans. (Though that's not likely; but it would be amusing.) Or it could, as Pompei was told, be designed to motivate the rest of the team.

But what it really boils down to is whether or not Belichick believes that Haynesworth and Ocho can contribute to helping this team win a Super Bowl in 2011 -- as our own Pete Prisco writes, the "real message" sent by cutting either/or of the new additions is that they can't help achieve that goal.

The money they could and should get in 2012 and 2013 is irrelevant right now, as it's certainly not guaranteed to be there at the end of the year.

And, for all we know, it might be off the table by the end of the preseason.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 10:09 pm
 

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

Posted by Will Brinson

You've certainly heard about the NFL's new rule on kickoffs: they're happening from the 35-yard-line now. Not the 30.

Maybe the Chicago Bears missed the memo?

Because they spent their first preseason game on Saturday night (as you can see from the photo to your right) kicking off from the 30-yard-line.

Per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, the press box official at Soldier Field has been screaming at the Bears -- "They cannot kickoff from the 30!" -- in vain. (It's very far away from the field, as you might guess.)

For whatever reason, Chicago's simply refusing to kick from the 35-yard-line.

"The team is simply evaluating our kickoff coverage unit," a Bears spokesman told CBSSports.com.

So then it's not anything to do with the fac that three teams truly got hosed by the NFL's decision to change things up: the Bears, the Seahawks and the Browns. The latter two recently extended return specialists (Leon Washington and Josh Cribbs, respectively) and the Bears rely on Devin Hester to be a gamechanger on special teams.

That's good. Although Mike Pereira, former VP of Officiating at the NFL, tweeted that "Carl Johnson called and put a stop to it." So clearly someone at the NFL wasn't too thrilled that the Bears were using the preseason to practice kickoff coverage by sacrificing safety.

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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