Tag:Matthew Stafford
Posted on: October 15, 2010 11:47 am
Edited on: October 15, 2010 11:49 am
 

Week 6 NFL Podcast Preview

Posted by Will Brinson

It's the return of Ben Roethlisberger, and, conveniently, also the return of Andy and I previewing the weekly NFL games. (Although, in fairness, we never actually left, but still, you get the point.)

We ask the tough questions and find even tougher answers -- will Big Ben's presence change the Steelers offense? Who would you rather have to start a franchise: Sam Bradford, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning or Matthew Stafford? Can the Bucs upend the defending champions and what does Brees:Andy's TVs::Freeman:Brinson's TVs mean??? What happens when talented mediocrity smashes itself together as Dallas and Minnesota face off? Answers to all those questions and much, much more.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .
Posted on: October 6, 2010 4:26 pm
 

Hot Routes 10.5.10: No Randy Moss here



Posted by Andy Benoit and Josh Katzowitz

- Bengals coach Marvin Lewis isn’t a big fan of the fact that Tampa Bay is paying Cincinnati draftee Dezmon Briscoe the league minimum of $325,000 when practice squad players usually make about $90,000 a year.

- Nobody seems to be sure what’s going on with Matthew Stafford’s throwing shoulder. Great news for Shaun Hill.

- One Carolina writer is calling for the Panthers to get electrifying (or, at this point, potentially electrifying) rookie Armanti Edwards on the field.

- Not a bad Q and A from Indy Star readers. One asked why we haven’t seen more of Colts first-round rookie Jerry Hughes (this link was actually found because Andy was Googling that very question). Another asked – and it’s shocking this question actually made it into the article – why Josh Scobee was not flagged for removing his helmet after his 59-yard field goal. Real quick: the Hughes answer – he’s coming along slowly and still transitioning to the NFL. The Scobee answer – the game clock had expired (which is why the question about his helmet removal is completely ridiculous).

- Aaron Rodgers was voted as the new Player Rep for the Green Bay Packers. It is unknown how much the quarterback spent on his campaign.

- Beanie Wells is not happy with his role in Arizona. On Monday he vowed to meet with Ken Whisenhunt.

- Ravens waive Prince Miller. Noteworthy because, hey, who knew the Ravens had a guy on the roster named Prince?

- Here’s one way to fight an inevitable blackout. O.J. Atogwe is from Windsor, MI, which makes the Rams at Lions game somewhat of a homecoming for him. Atogwe purchased 60 tickets for the game.

- Mike Shanahan said something nice about Albert Haynesworth. Seriously.

-There is talk about the barfing rookie Joe McKnight being a two-way player for the Jets. That’s a considerable promotion from his current zero-way player role. Apparently, McKnight has been impressive as a scout team corner.

- Ray Edwards is always calling out the NFL, it seems. And, unfortunately for the NFL, Edwards seems to be a pretty smart guy.

- Like the Jets, the Packers also have a get safe home emergency plan. It’s a good bet Braylon Edwards wouldn’t use either service

- A couple of wins have quickly changed the atmosphere in St. Louis

- Willis McGahee is romantically linked to reality TV star Kandi Burruss of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”. We have our own Josh Katzowitz, an Atlanta-area resident as of August, investigating.

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Posted on: October 5, 2010 10:14 am
Edited on: October 5, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Curse of Wally Pipp

P. Hillis has taken over the Cleveland running game (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’re a quarter of the way into the season, and some players who were originally slated to be backups suddenly have emerged as starters. Maybe it was through an injury to the former starter. Maybe it was because the starter wasn’t as good as the team thought and the backup was better. Maybe it was because – and Wally Pipp could relate to this – somebody just needed an off-day.

In fairness to the old-time Yankees first baseman, who was replaced one day (permanently, it turned out) in 1925 by a guy named Lou Gehrig because Pipp had a headache, that story might not be true exactly. Instead, he might have been benched because manager Miller Huggins simply wanted to shake up the lineup. Either way, Gehrig played the next 2,130 games, and Pipp ended up in … Cincinnati (and apparently, he was also one of Sports Illustrated’s first writing hires, one of those cool but useless facts).

Anyway, there have been some impact players to emerge this season so far, simply because they, like Gehrig, were given that chance to shine. Some have won a starting position. Some are just holding it until the real starter returns. But they’re all making a (mostly good) impression. It sounds like the perfect Top Ten With a Twist list to me.

10. Lance Moore, WR/PR, Saints: The story of Moore’s career. A Saints starts gets injured. Moore steps in and makes plays. Remember in 2008 when Moore caught a team-high 79 passes for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns after Marques Colston was hurt? Obviously, when Reggie Bush returns from his broken leg, Moore will fade back into the background – maybe. But man, he looked electric against the Falcons (six catches, 149 yards, two touchdowns), and he’s become a big target for New Orleans when it’s in the red zone.

9. Max Hall, QB, Cardinals: Look, we all know Derek Anderson isn’t a very good quarterback. But I didn’t think he would have a chance to lose his job this early. Hall, meanwhile, was a 2010 undrafted free agent (seriously, how poor is Anderson to lose to an undrafted free agent?). Not that Hall was great when he replaced Anderson on Sunday, because he wasn’t, but he might be Arizona’s best option at this point. Coach Ken Whisenhunt, meanwhile, isn’t talking. “I think we're going to go without [a quarterback) this week,” he joked Monday. “I think we're going to go with all Wildcat."

8. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Patriots: He averaged about eight carries per game his rookie year in 2008, but with Kevin Faulk lost for the season – and Fred Taylor unavailable for the Miami game Monday – Green-Ellis (47 carries this year for 215 yards) has already nearly doubled his attempts from last year. He had his breakout in Week 3 against Buffalo when he carried the ball 16 times for 98 yards and a score, and vs. the Dolphins, he was impressive with a 16-carry, 78-yard, one-touchdown performance.

7. Shaun Hill, QB, Lions:
The reason Hill is so low on this list is because there’s no way he’ll take the job from Matthew Stafford. But still, how impressive has Hill looked the past few weeks? After Stafford went out with the shoulder injury in Week 1, Hill was terrible. But the past three weeks, he’s completed 61.9 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and six interceptions (he’s also averaging 301 passing yards per game), and he really impressed me in Detroit’s two-point loss to Green Bay.

6. Bruce Gradkowski, QB, Raiders: It didn’t take long for Raiders coach Tom Cable to figure out that, in order to save his job, he’d take his chances with Gradkowski instead of Jason Campbell. This is not to say Gradkowski is an elite quarterback, because that’s a laughable notion. But he played well at times when he was in Tampa Bay after Chris Simms ruptured his spleen in 2006 (Gradkowski failed to win the starting job in 2007). For now, though, Gradkowski is entrenched as Cable’s guy. As long as Cable is around.

5. Koa Misi, LB, Dolphins: Ikaika Alama-Francis was supposed to be the starter, but the night before the season opener, he caught some kind of illness and he’s been recovering ever since, losing 15-20 pounds in the process. Misi, the team’s second round Draft pick this year, has taken over his starting spot with consistent play and a smooth transition to the pro game. It was originally thought that Misi’s main objective would be as a situational pass-rusher – he was, after all, a defensive end in college – but he’s proven his worth as an every-down back with two sacks and a fumble recovery TD. In the meantime, he’s also Wally Pipp’d Alama-Francis.

4. Taylor Mays, S, 49ers: Mays so Wally Pipp’d former starter Michael Lewis that San Francisco released Lewis Monday, the day after Mays’ huge game against Atlanta. Mays had taken Lewis’ starting job already, and it sounds like Lewis asked for his release, but still, that’s pretty impressive for a rookie. Mays, in case you didn’t see it, had a phenomenal touchdown (both feet down!) after a punt block to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead. He also made 11 tackles.



3. John Carney, K, Saints: Carney, who will turn 65 later this year (I’m kidding, he’s 46), has returned once again to the NFL, and after making three kicks this past week, you have to wonder how much longer Garrett Hartley will stay on the roster – or why he’s on the roster at all at this point. Obviously, Carney isn’t the future kicker in this organization, and maybe the Saints are keeping Hartley around, because they’re hoping he can overcome what’s been a terrible start to the season for him. Otherwise, he’d already have been Pipp’d.

2. Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins:
Torain and Clinton Portis have split carries, but it seems that if this was the 100-meter dash at the Olympics, Torain would be Usain Bolt and Portis would be the other seven guys. Meaning Torain is pulling away and eventually will take Portis’ starting role. It could happen this week actually as Portis hurt his groin Sunday. Let me also briefly mention San Diego’s Mike Tolbert, who replaced first-round pick Ryan Mathews when he was injured and rushed for 255 combined yards the past three games (including a 100-yard performance Sunday when Mathews was in the game). But coach Norv Turner says he’s committed to keeping Mathews as the starter, so Tolbert doesn’t fit on this list all that well.

1. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns: It was supposed to be Montario Hardesty and Jerome Harrison running the ball in Cleveland. Hillis – who was traded from Denver in the Brady Quinn deal this past offseason – was supposed to be just an afterthought. Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs had never heard of the guy until he ripped off 180 total yards (144 on the ground, the most Baltimore has allowed in five years) against the Ravens. With Hardesty out with a season-ending injury and with Harrison failing to make an impression on the Cleveland coaching staff, Hillis has taken advantage, tying the league high with four touchdowns and averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Like Gehrig, it appears that Hillis has no future plans to give up his starting spot.

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Posted on: September 22, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Quarterback news: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland

Posted by Andy Benoit

With Dennis Dixon out at least six weeks after knee surgery, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced that Charlie Batch will get the ball against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Though Tomlin didn’t say so specifically, you can bet Batch will mostly be giving said ball to Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore.

Batch attempted only 11 passes in two-plus quarters of action against the Titans. Counting the sacks he took, Batch dropped back to throw 13 times. The Bucs are allowing 111 yards rushing per game this season, but last season they allowed an NFL-worst 158. Thus, expect Pittsburgh to challenge them on the ground.

Tomlin could have gone with Byron Leftwich. The veteran quarterback was re-signed earlier this week and, on Wednesday, participated in his first full practice since tearing his MCL in the preseason finale.

In other quarterback news, Batch’s former team, the Lions, will once again be without Matthew Stafford. The second-year darling is still recovering from a right shoulder injury. Jim Schwartz has been coy about Stafford’s status, but Sean Leahy of USA Today reports that Shaun Hill will get the start against the Vikings.

Finally, in Cleveland, Jake Delhomme once again missed practice because of the ankle injury suffered in Week 1. If Delhomme is unable to throw interceptions for the Browns again this week, Seneca Wallace will get the start. It almost doesn’t matter either way, as this Cleveland offense is facing the white-hot Baltimore defense.

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Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:33 am
 

Hot Routes 9.16.10: Video killed the NFL star

Got a link for the Hot Routes ? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or drop it in the comments.
  • We've been discussing how "locker room spies" are beneficial to their new team (although Eric Winston told me he doesn't think Kyle Shanahan will make that big of a difference) and the Giants have the best one of all in Jim Sorgi, who was Peyton Manning's backup for quite a while. (Of course they also have, you know, his brother Eli Manning, but he doesn't know the Colts offense.) Sorgi, however, doesn't think it'll matter. Because it's Peyton.
  • One of Brian Bassett's readers noticed that Kris Jenkins had a tough time making it up the stairs at Cortland. Provided this account is true, well, it kind of makes it seem like he shouldn't have even been on the field for Week 1. Or we should have seen another injury coming.
Posted on: September 14, 2010 3:10 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2010 3:45 pm
 

Week 2 Top Ten with a Twist: biggest letdowns

The NYJ provided us with the biggest letdown of the week (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


We all heard the hype before the first week of games was complete. We heard the boasts and the proclamations and the Super Bowl aspirations in the offseason and in training camp. Yet, this past weekend, we found out that some who had so much confidence perhaps shouldn’t have been so forthright about their thoughts.

Sure, some of us – many of us – bought into so much of the hype. And now we know better. Without further ado, here’s the top-ten list with a twist entering the second week of games.

Top 10 Biggest Letdowns After So Much Offseason Buildup

10. Kevin Kolb: It’s not really fair to completely dismiss the Eagles starting QB after he played just one bad half of football (that, unfortunately for him, came with a side of concussion). But after so much discussion about how Philadelphia made the right move by trading Donovan McNabb to the Redskins – who naturally won with McNabb on Sunday night – and giving the job to Kolb, this move fell flat with his 5-for-10, 24-yard performance. Now, there’s another quarterback controversy in Philadelphia.

9. Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian: I was on the bandwagon with the Vikings receiving corps, even after Sidney Rice underwent hip surgery that’s supposed to keep him out half the season. I had called Minnesota’s receivers one of the best units in the league. I might have been wrong about that – or, at the very least, underestimated the impact of Rice’s absence. Harvin and Berrian combined for two catches for 15 yards Thursday. That’s two freakin’ catches for 15 freakin’ yards.

8. Jake Delhomme:
Many of us figured Delhomme was nearing the end of his career – he was going to CLEVELAND after all – but he certainly had to be considered an upgrade over the awful Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn combination from last year. And besides, he couldn’t possibly be as bad as his last year in Carolina (eight touchdowns, 18 interceptions), right? Well, he might just be that bad. For a veteran QB, he made a terrible throw that was picked near the end of the first half that killed any momentum the Browns had when they led 14-3. Delhomme still is an upgrade from last year, but man oh man, he needs to play smarter.

Stafford 7. Matthew Stafford: Is it possible the 6-foot-3, 230-pound quarterback is brittle? Last year, he suffered a shoulder injury, though he showed huge guts by returning against the Browns to throw a game-winning TD pass (if you’ve got 6:27 to kill, check out Stafford’s killer Mic’d Up segment from that game – it’s cool as hell). On Sunday, he apparently suffered a Grade 2 separation of his right (throwing) shoulder that could keep him out 4-6 weeks. Considering how poor backup Shaun Hill played, some of that preseason Lions optimism has leaked away.

6. 49ers:
They were supposed to win what should be a very weak NFC West. And then they get blown out by a Seahawks team that shouldn’t have played as well as it did. But you know, coach Mike Singletary said Monday he was excited about QB Alex Smith, so that has to be comforting/horrifying to San Francisco’s fans. Perhaps the 49ers are vastly overrated. Or perhaps Seattle RB Leon Washington was inspired by our Five Questions (Or More) segment we did last week.

5. Terrell Owens:
Was he upset, already acting like a diva? Were his shoes bothering him? Was he getting himself checked out by a team doctor? These are the theories that have been bandied about since Owens, along with teammate Chad Ochocinco, left the field before the Bengals attempted a Hail Mary pass at the end of the first half. Any which way, Owens didn’t endear himself to Cincinnati fans after a smooth preseason. He had seven catches for 53 yards, but he certainly wasn’t the dominant force he and Ochocinco predicted he could be. Lucky Cincinnati got him cheap.

4. Bob Sanders: Sanders had been annoyed this preseason about all the questions he’s faced about his durability, and he was excited to be fully healthy for the start of the season. But he's torn a biceps tendon and could be out for the season. Again, his durability will take a huge hit, and once again, the Colts will have to find a way to win without him – something they couldn’t do against the Texans.

3. Concussions in Philly: remember all the talk about how the NFL was really serious – no, no, really, really SERIOUS – about concussions and keeping players from returning to the field too soon after a brain injury? Yeah, neither does the person(s) who somehow thought it was OK for Eagles LB Stewart Bradley and QB Kevin Kolb to return to the game after suffering concussions. Coach Andy Reid explained it like this: “They were fine. All of the questions that they answered with the doctors registered well, but as it went on, they weren’t feeling well, so we took them out.” Yep, Bradley really looked fine after stumbling around the field like Trevor Berbick after facing Mike Tyson. That’s a scary, disturbing scene.



2. Tim Tebow: Two measly carries for two measly yards. That was Tebow’s stat line from Denver’s loss to Jacksonville on Sunday. Of course, he is a backup QB playing his first NFL game, so we shouldn’t expect the moon from Tebow (I could echo those sentiments for the rest of the season, in fact). But for the amount of hype we got, doubly so because Tebow was opening his career in his hometown, it wasn’t much of a payoff. Unless you like your hype short-lived and ineffective.

1. Jets: I knew that if I kept talking about the possibility of the Jets winning the Super Bowl, they’d make me look like an idiot. And so they have. Still, there’s little doubt that with a defense like that, New York could (should?) make a run in the playoffs (though losing NT Kris Jenkins for the season with an ACL tear could complicate those plans). The problem, of course, is the offense. QB Mark Sanchez went 10 for 21 for 74 yards, and starting RB Shonn Greene had five carries for 18 yards (plus a tough time holding onto the ball). With an offense that plays that poorly, the Jets have no chance for the Super Bowl. And maybe not even the playoffs. 

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Stafford injured as Lions struggle into halftime

Posted by Will Brinson

The good news for the Chicago Bears is that Julius Peppers appears to care (he sacked Matt Stafford near the end of the half to land the Bears a field goal) and that Matt Forte appears to be closer to his first season than his second (he took a screen pass 89 yards to the house). The good news for the Lions is that Jahvid Best appears to be "for real" (he has two touchdowns in the first half) and they appear, as a team, to be better than last year (they're winning at halftime).

The bad news was that Mike Martz' offense managed to produce three turnovers ... against the Lions. The really bad news, though (at least for the Lions), is that Stafford suffered a shoulder injury on the sack by Peppers and was seen on the sidelines without his pads or jersey on.

Needless to say, the Lions will be careful with him, but considering that last year he managed to get back on the field and win a game with a shoulder injury, the news that he could be out for the second half is not good at all.

A strong showing by Jay Cutler, whose numbers are quite deceiving at halftime, in the second half could go a long way towards making Chicago fans feel less worried about their team this year. And likely towards keeping Lovie Smith and Martz' pants a little cooler.

Update (2:49): Shaun Hill entered the game for Stafford and the Lions' starter's return is officially listed as "questionable" -- he kicked the bench in frustration when being told that he wouldn't return.

Update (3:00): The NFL tweets that Stafford is OUT for the game and will not return, leaving the Lions hopes in Hill's hands.

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 8:36 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2010 8:50 pm
 

Which NFL players make the most total money?

Sports Illustrated has published its list of the highest paid athletes in sports. Peyton Manning leads all NFL players with a salary of 15.8 million and endorsements of $15 million, totaling – can you guess? -- $30.8 million. Manning ranks ninth amongst all athletes.
P. Manning
In a sign that the NFL rookie salary system has truly spiraled out of control, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks second in the NFL in total earnings. Stafford is hauling in just $750,000 in endorsements, but his rookie contract is paying him $26.9 million.

Third is Eli Manning, with $19.5 million salary (part of the contract extension he signed last August) and $7 million endorsements. Manning ranks 13th amongst all athletes, which is 30 spots higher than he ranked a year ago.

SI writes:

Our findings consisted solely of salary, winnings, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees. We consulted players' associations, tour records, agents and news reports. Our endorsement estimates for 2010 came from Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing, other sports-marketing executives and analysts, and agents. Salary figures were based on current or most recently completed seasons (the upcoming 2010 season for the NFL).

Here’s the rest of the NFL’s top 10 (most of these players recently signed long-term contracts with rich bonuses).

4. Philip Rivers, $25.6 million salary, $250,000 endorsements, $25.85 million total

5. Terrell Suggs, $24.9 million, $75,000, $24.975 million total

6. Albert Haynesworth, $24.6 million salary, $150,000, $24.75 million total

7. Brett Favre, $17 million, $7 million, $24 million total

8. Darrius Heyward-Bey (yeah, seriously), $21.43 million, $150,000 endorsement, $21.505 million total

9. Jason Smith, $20.57 million, $75,000,$20.645 million total

10. Julius Peppers, $20 million, $75,000, $20.75 million total

-- 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