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Tag:Jimmy Clausen
Posted on: November 9, 2010 12:58 am
 

F&R NFL Approval Matrix, Week 9

Posted by Will Brinson

Our affinity for graphs and charts and purty pictures knows no bounds, so (with a nod to the smartypants at NY Mag), we present the NFL Approval Matrix. Suggestions, complaints and intellecutual property lawsuits may be directed to us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).

Click to embiggen.

Posted on: November 8, 2010 1:11 pm
 

Panthers lose Matt Moore for season

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be harder for the Panthers to flip flop on quarterbacks during the second half of the season. CBS’s Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed reports that quarterback Matt Moore is out for the season with a torn labrum (shoulder). Moore left Sunday’s debacle against the Saints in the first half.

One would think the Panthers would turn to second-round rookie Jimmy Clausen here, though on Sunday sixth-round rookie Tony Pike saw action late. Clausen was just 8/18 for 47 yards and a touchdown. Pike came in and finished 6/12 for 47 yards. John Fox has not said whether it will be Clausen or Pike starting under center at Tampa Bay in Week 10.

The Panthers also placed starting middle linebacker Dan Connor on IR with a crack in his hip bone. Outside linebacker Thomas Davis, who has not played all season due to an ACL injury, was also placed on IR.

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Posted on: November 7, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: November 7, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Matt Moore injured, Clausen enters game for Cats

Posted by Will Brinson

Things are going pretty well for the 1-6 Panthers Sunday against the Saints -- not only are they struggling on offense and barely getting lucky on defense, but they're down to their third-string running back after Jonathan Stewart suffered what appears to be a concussion.

And now, following a sack by Sedrick Ellis, they're being forced to go to their backup quarterback. Matt Moore is being attended to in the locker room after getting jacked by Ellis; the Panthers QB attempted to throw on the sideline and appeared to be bothered by his side (rib/oblique area maybe?) as well as his hand.

So, naturally, Jimmy Clausen warmed up up on the sidelines and entered the game whenever Carolina gives up morepoints/gets lucky enough to fall backwards into another turnover on the next possession.

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Posted on: November 4, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: We Talking About Stamina

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, Mike Shanahan inexplicably pulled Donovan McNabb in favor of Rex Grossman. Were it not for Randy Moss and Brad Childress, that's all anyone would have talked about Monday and Tuesday.

To counter said distraction, Shanahan and the Redskins brought in Jamarcus Russell for a tryout.

As much as all of that reads like an Onion Sports story, it's the truth, folks -- and as such we have some sort of a quarterback controversy going down with the 4-4 Redskins.

Well, perhaps "controversy" is too strong a word. After all, Grossman isn't as good as McNabb, and Russell, who weighed in at 286 pounds, might have trouble making a Lingerie Football League team. (Actually, he might have an easier time getting on an NFL squad than that, but you see the point.)

The hemming and hawing of Shanny was the worst of it all -- he originally claimed that Grossman was better at running the two-minute offense (clearly a) a lie and b) patently wrong) and then decided that McNabb wasn't in good enough shape to stay on the field.

Regardless of why, Kyle Shanahan (yes, son of Mike) protege Grossman entered the game and immediately guaranteed the Lions a win with a fumble-turned-touchdown.

We understand now that there are locker room issues with Washington (I mean, duh, right?) thanks to Shanahan's decision, and that while he certainly doesn't have the problems of the aforementioned Childress, he's getting dangerously close to blowing up a Washington season that once had promise.

Will Grossman start for the Redskins the rest of the way home? We can only hope so -- after all, that means when the Vikings sign McNabb next year, Leslie Frazier will finally get the respect he deserves.

Whatever, that's a lot of projection, but is it really worth discussing whether or not Grossman should replace McNabb in the starting lineup? Of course it's not -- if the possibility of David Carr replacing Alex Smith in San Francisco a mind-boggling mishap of mediocrity (and it was, as I said and then we saw) then this is just a slap in the face to common sense.

Most coaches go out of their way to avoid quarterbacks controversies like these -- somehow, Mike Shanahan has managed to invite one, while also insulting his veteran leader and the only talented quarterback on the roster.

No amount of humiliation-based motivation is worth the obvious downside to this. And swapping out McNabb for Grossman at this stage would just be proof that Shanny had his brain surgically replaced with Dan Snyder's.

****


Speaking of the 49ers, Troy Smith did a pretty good job of making sure that David Carr won't be seeing the field as a starter (there are always injuries, and he'll seemingly always get a job based on just potential, sigh) any time soon.

But what happens when Alex Smith returns in a few weeks? At that point, Troy will have had multiple weeks with reps as the starter and possibly even more wins than Alex, in many less tries.

It's not like we're discussing someone off the street either -- Troy has the credentials to a degree (the Heisman Trophy has to be worth something, right???) and reasonable stats when he started. His accuracy isn't as good percentage wise as Alex, but he doesn't cough the ball up as much, and San Fran is very much a Frank Gore-based team.

Just saying we shouldn't be so quick to roll right back to Alex just because he was the top pick a few years ago.

****
Matt Moore and Derek Anderson will continue getting the nod -- both moves are the smart play, in reasonably similar situations -- both teams are equal at -65 in point differential, both have star wide receivers, both have a talented pair of running backs that are underperforming, both teams have rookie quarterbacks they believe to be the future, etc., etc. The only difference is that the Cardinals are in a crappy division. And given the way Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall have played, which is to say, "not good," it behooves both coaches to allow their youngsters to develop on the bench and learn while watching for a little while.

****
Pants on Fire (Hot Seat Watch)

- Brad Childress: If I fired Andy right now, no one would notice or care, but the bosses would probably say "um, why did you do that without telling us?" and then fire me too. (Just kidding, I don't have hiring/firing power. And if anything, I'm the Randy Moss of the group. You should see what happens when my coffee isn't premium brand.) Thin ice for Chilly.

- John Fox: Someone asked Sean Payton if he would be willing to hire Fox as an assistant next year, even though Fox still has a job (technically). That's an indication of something, insomuch as 1-6 is at least.

- Wade Phillips: At some point, the awkwardness of Wade's eventual firing will wear off. Thank goodness he doesn't have a primetime game this week!

- Jack Del Rio: Betting against Del Rio when his job is on the line is like betting against Michael Jordan these days. Still, the Jags are going to be hard pressed to make the playoffs in that division with that talent and you have to think Wayne Weaver will at least explore something new once the CBA gets sorted out.

- Mike Singletary: The bright side of eventually losing the NFC West race to the Seahawks and Rams is that he'll be immediately employed as a six figure motivational speaker.

- Marvin Lewis: No one's really talking about Lewis' job being in jeopardy because it's too easy to place blame on Carson Palmer for stinking. But there's a lot of talent on this team and they're underachieving badly.

- Josh McDaniels: The biggest problem for Pat Bowlen is that admitting he messed up with McDaniels is about as fun as Mike Shanahan admitting he messed up with Grossman. Which is like full circle or something, man.

- Norv Turner: A win against the Texans on the road would go a long way towards keeping Norvell safe, particularly with divisional games coming up and Vincent Jackson returning. He should also give Philip Rivers 10 percent of his paycheck for winning games with a receiving corps only outflanked in mediocrity by the Bolts' special teams.

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Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:29 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: New Faces

L. Tomlinson has been one of the most impressive players in the NFL this season (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Some arrived via free agency. Some were left on the garbage pile and only had one or two teams show interest. Some didn’t have much of a choice if they wanted to continue playing NFL football. And some were highly-touted rookies who commanded humongous signing bonuses and who have lived up to their end of the bargain.

Today, we spotlight the top-10 players who are performing brilliantly in their first year with a new team. We’re talking about rookies, we’re talking about free agents, we’re talking about those whose careers were left for dead.

All of the following have impacted their new teams in many ways and all have made the front offices who signed them seem clairvoyant in the process (though, in the case of a couple players, the decision to add them wasn’t exactly brain surgery). So, here’s to those who have found a new lease on life (or a new burgeoning career) with their new team.

10. Jason Babin, DE, Titans: The career-high sack total for Babin, a seven-year veteran, was five coming into this season – set in 2006 while in Houston. This year, through eight games, he’s got seven. So, what happened this season, especially after recording just 16 tackles and 2.5 sacks last year with the Eagles? According to Babin, it’s just been a matter of getting more playing time. OK, if you say so.

9. Colt McCoy, QB, Browns: Aside from any rookie QB not named Sam Bradford, McCoy has done pretty darn well as a first-year signal-caller. He’s only played the past two games for Cleveland, but he’s hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for a touchdown, two picks and a QB rating of 76.5. OK, he’s not great, but he’s been light years ahead of Jimmy Clausen and Max Hall. Plus, he’s coming off a win against the Saints.

8. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals: You still have to take the good with the bad when it comes to Owens. He’s the kind of player who, often times, doesn’t put out special effort to knock down a bad pass so the opponent doesn’t pick it (this happened at least twice last week), but he’s also still the kind of player who can rack up a team-leading 45 catches for 629 yards and five touchdowns. Ultimately, it was probably the right move for Cincinnati to sign him. In three weeks, though, that might not be the case.

7. Maurkice Pouncey, C, Steelers: Pittsburgh’s first-round pick beat out Justin Hartwig at the beginning of the season for the starting center role, and Pouncey has performed well thus far. He’s really helped glue together a Steelers offensive line that had major questions raised about it coming into the season.N. Suh has begun to dominate the opponent's offensive line for Detroit (Getty).

6. Dez Bryant, WR/PR, Cowboys: One of the bright spots in Dallas this year. We knew Bryant was going to be a good one, and he has not disappointed, catching 29 passes for 349 yards for three touchdowns (Roy Williams, by the way, is 22 for 327 and five, respectively). But he’s been downright electric while fielding kicks, returning two punts for touchdowns and averaging 16.5 yards per punt, second in the NFL for those who have at least 10 returns.

5. Thomas Jones/Ryan Torain/Peyton Hillis, RBs, Chiefs/Redskins/Browns: Yes, I’m cheating a bit here, listing three players in one spot, but that doesn’t take away from how well these guys have played – and how unexpected their production has been. The Jets figured they didn’t need Jones any more, but he’s rushed for 538 yards through seven games with the Chiefs. Torain has replaced Clinton Portis pretty well, and Hillis (460 yards, five touchdowns) has been the biggest surprise at all (he certainly has surprised Denver coach Josh McDaniels, who let go of Hillis after last season).

4. Brandon Marshall, WR, Dolphins: Marshall has typical diva receiver tendencies, but he’s been one of the best players in the league so far this season. After Marshall was traded away from Denver (ahem, McDaniels), he’s done nothing but produce in Miami, ranking fourth in the league with 47 catches for 588 yards. The one disappointing stat: he’s only recorded one touchdown.

3. Earl Thomas (Seahawks)/T.J. Ward/Ndamukong Suh, S/S/DT, Seahawks/Browns/Lion: Sigh, again I’m cheating. But considering all these first-year players are vying for defensive rookie of the year honors, it makes sense to lump them all together. Thomas has proven that he’s one of the most instinctual players in the league with four interceptions, tied for third-best in the NFL. Ward took some heat for the nasty hit he put on Cincinnati’s Jordan Shipley, but his big-hit ability has helped lead him to 60 tackles (fourth-most among safeties). And Suh is living up to his lofty billing, blowing up interior offensive linemen and recording 6.5 sacks. He’s going to be a monster for as long as he steps on the field.

2. Sam Bradford, QB, Rams: I’m not sure most of us could have expected Bradford, the No. 1 pick from last year’s Draft, to play so well a mere eight games into this pro career. He’s completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,674 yards, 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions. The numbers don’t look fantastic, but you have to take into account his poise and his savvy and the fact he doesn’t have a big-name receiver upon whom he can lean. Plus, he’s got the Rams, one of the worst NFL teams coming into the season, at the 4-4 mark. He has been pretty outstanding. Not bad considering he missed most of last year at Oklahoma with the shoulder injury.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets: Somehow, Tomlinson has found the fountain of youth. It wasn’t in San Diego apparently. Perhaps it was in New Jersey the whole time. On the season, Tomlinson has gained 544 yards and five touchdowns and has taken Shonn Greene’s job away from him. He has been perhaps the most surprising player in the league this year. He’s definitely been the No. 1 new face.

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Posted on: October 28, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: October 28, 2010 5:18 pm
 

Carolina's running attack is struggling

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Many people realized there was a pretty good chance the Panthers would have a tough time passing the ball this season. Matt Moore was inexperienced, and rookie Jimmy Clausen couldn’t be expected to a) win the starting job or b) perform well if for some reason he did have to start a game.

But the running game was supposed to (sort of) make up for it with RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart – both of whom rushed for more than 1,100 yards last year in Carolina.

Williams That hasn’t happened, though. Through the team’s first six games, Stewart has recorded 148 yards (a 3.0 yards per carry average) and one touchdown, while Williams (top mugshot to the right) has gained 361 yards (a 4.1 average) and one score.

So, what’s the problem?

“This game's a lot easier when your opponent's one-dimensional," coach John Fox said, via the Charlotte Observer. "I think to be dual-dimensional's important. Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to do that.

"We haven't done it effectively enough, yet."

Stewart To make matters worse, Williams’ foot is hurt and he missed practice Wednesday, and Stewart continues to have pain in his left Achilles.

Stewart (bottom mug shot), meanwhile, tries to remain optimistic.

"Instead of building up frustration, you've just got to believe in the guys in front of us that eventually things will start opening up the way they're supposed to," Stewart said. "That's not just the guys up front. That's everybody on the whole entire offense doing their job. It's a collective deal."

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Posted on: October 27, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: October 27, 2010 11:30 am
 

Hot Routes 10.27.10: Jimmy Clausen is a Teletubby

Posted by Will Brinson


Got a link for the Hot Routes? Send it to Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • The Bears haven't scored yet in the third quarter this season. As the Sun-Times notes, this is a pretty big indictment of the halftime work that Lovie Smith and Mike Martz do at halftime. Also an indictment? Lovie's response: "I just think the odds say we're gonna get that part taken care of."
  • Randy Lerner is apparently quite impressed with the work that Mike Holmgren's done since coming to Cleveland, calling him "eager and hungry." Or perhaps he just always hangs out with the walrus in the team cafeteria.
  • The Green Bay Packers lead the NFL in both "players on injured reserve" and "important players on injured reserve." Neither of those are good statistics.
Posted on: October 20, 2010 2:25 pm
 

Dey Took Er Jobs: Always QBing in Philadelphia

Posted by Will Brinson



The Michael Vick/Kevin Kolb saga is the most amazing thing to happen to someone charged with writing a job competition column since Trent Green's spinal cord Jeff Garcia.

That being said, I think Vick's still getting the nod when he's healthy -- the "chubby" and "happy' Andy Reid pointed out (again) that he's got a "beautiful" situation and he does, primarily because Vick and Kolb are besties. (Or "BFF's" if you prefer.)

The Eagles travel to Tennessee for a tough Week 7 matchup, but there's no real reason to use Vick there -- the Titans put tons of pressure on the quarterback, Philly's offensive line is banged up and Vick isn't entirely healthy.

Make him the third quarterback, let Kolb prove himself at a high level again and cruise into the bye, at absolute worst, just one game back of the NFC East division lead.

Following the bye, Reid's decision isn't even that tough, because he's established that Vick is his starter. Once the speedster's healthy, hand him the reigns and let Michael Vick do what Michael Vick do.

Is that a slight to Kolb on Reid's part? Sort of, but not anything that's worse than what happened to him earlier this year. Plus, Kolb's under contract, he's not going to become worse by getting more time to develop, and Vick, regardless of the outcome against Atlanta, gives the Eagles the best chance to win.

Look no further than some of the "big" throws that Kolb made -- his bomb to Jeremy Maclin was fantastic, but it was also underthrown a little bit. Watch the replay and you can see Maclin, who was way past wide open, hesitate a little.

Similar things (wobble much?) could be said for some of the throws he made earlier in the game. That's not to say he's bad by any stretch. It's just that Kolb throws darts, Vick slings lasers and if Vick's healthy, he needs to be Philly's guy.

****
Steve Young, in recapping Monday night's game, suggested vaguely that David Garrard's concussion might actually be more of a "concussion," if you know what I'm saying.

If you don't, Young was implying that perhaps Garrad didn't suffer a concussion (in fairness to the Hall of Famer, the contact with his head on the turf was light and Garrard wasn't exactly playing lights out) and that he got yanked for stinking up the joint.

Enter Trent Edwards, who actually kind of inspired the Jaguars' offense for the final two minutes of the first half.

Of course, one Mercedes Lewis fumble later, and Edwards spent the first two minutes of the second half helping put Jacksonville in a worse hole.

Young's skepticism aside, it seems like the injury to Garrard is legit -- on Wednesday, he wasn't at the Jags' practice facility and the team had already signed Todd Bouman for the 4,535th time this season.

Plus, they added Patrick Ramsey to the roster on Wednesday; desperation is clearly in the air.

The only logical move is to roll the dice with Edwards and pray that he does well. If that happens, Jack Del Rio needs to dump about 10,000 pounds of Rophenol in the Jax River and hope everyone forgets about that Garrard extension.

****
Colt McCoy "didn't look lost" against the Steelers, which is pretty freaking impressive, considering he's a rookie, he has zero offensive weapons, and Pittsburgh brings the devastating pain on defense.

As such, there's no reason to consider starting anyone else -- McCoy gives the team at least hope for the future, because of his success at Texas and the fact that Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme are, combined, probably 80 years old.

Of course, that essentially turns Delhomme into a $7 million paperweight, but it's not like no one saw that coming when Mike Holmgren signed him.

****
Matt Moore is the starter in Carolina once again, and, well, it seems pretty obvious that the Panthers are about to rip off a six-game winning streak, right?

Wrong. That's the homer in me talking. Oh, and by the way, I totally took Carolina with my pick this week, like an idiot, again.

So you can probably expect two or three picks from each QB. Unless, you know, Moore wants to do what he did at the end of last year (read: not be terrible), in which case I called it above. ****
Quickly…

- The Chiefs might have lost two straight, but it's totally conceivable that they could still be undefeated. As a result, it's hard not to concede that Todd Haley's done a pretty darn good job managing the Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles combo. Sure, Charles' fantasy owners hate it, because he's not guaranteed monster touches, but it's probably better for him all around.

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