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Without Campbell, Raiders should take a look at Garrard

by | CBS Sports

What did not air Sunday on Sunday's The NFL Today show

1. Derrick Mason trade: I mentioned that Jeremy Kerley beat him out for the third receiver position. Most people feel Mason got demoted because of his attitude and the New York Daily News article from Oct. 9 that reported that Mason, among other Jets receivers, complained about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer. The reality is the Jets had been trying to trade him before the article. Also, last week when I was at NFL Films, I got a chance to look at every ball thrown to Kerley and Mason this year starting in preseason. There was a clear difference to me in watching the two players. Kerley was quicker, faster and more athletic. Where this shows up is in getting open. Kerley can get better separation from the defender. He also gives you some return ability and can play in the Wildcat. He can help you on special teams, too. As a GM, it's always a difficult move to bench a veteran player during the season, but when you have a young, talented prospect, you need to make the move. Simply put, Kerley was a better player.

2. Rex Ryan's talk to the team: When I asked the Jets about the "turmoil" in the building, they said they didn't see it. Most of the time, the media makes more of it than usually exists. Rex made a number of points to the team. He told them to not get off track, keep their eye on the goal. He told them this job is hard enough without bringing problems on themselves. Win "one game," meaning the Miami game. He did not single out any players in the meeting, but instead talked to the whole team in a stern, but positive way. He also reminded them of one of his rules when talking to the media, is to always mention another player in the interview in a positive way. It is one of his ways to develop team spirit.

3. Eagles defensive consultant: As for the Eagles seeking a defensive consultant and contacting Eric Mangini ... I checked that out, and there was no truth in that story. Though I do believe he would make an excellent defensive coordinator for a team. Personally, I do not believe in bringing in a consultant during the season. All it does is undermine the present coach's authority. It gives the players a ready-made excuse for not performing well. They can blame their inferior play on the coach. Normally when you bring in someone in a consultant's capacity, it is because you don't have someone in your building with expertise in a certain area. That is not the case for the Eagles.

4. Broncos wide receiver trades: If they are serious about trading Eddie Royal, the Redskins would be a logical team to be interested in him. Royal had his best year for Mike Shanahan. He is in the last year of his contract, so you would want to get him for a late pick because there is no guarantee you would have him for next year, but by having him for half of a season, he could get familiar with your system and you with him, thus giving you more knowledge of him. It is always better to sign one of your own than signing somebody else's players. The reason is you know your own better. I would be concerned about Brandon Lloyd -- his career has been marked by more average years than good years. Also, there have been attitude questions about him. I am sure Josh McDaniels is pushing hard for him in St. Louis.

5. Carson Palmer: Why don't the Bengals trade Palmer to help their present team? I agree with the Bengals' position not to trade him. Some people would call it stubborn, but as a GM, you don't want to create a situation where a player who is not happy can force his way out by demanding a trade. If I were the Bengals, I would sit on this for a long time. Palmer is still a good player, and unless I could get a first-round draft choice plus a sliding scale to equal another first-round pick if Palmer performs at a high level, I wouldn't even discuss a trade. This guy could come back to haunt you.

Sunday's games

1. A.J. Hawk: He used an obscene gesture toward the sidelines after he made a sack. I don't know why, but that won't matter to the NFL. The minimum fine for that is $10,000. In 2006, Michael Vick was fined $10,000 for giving the same gesture to the fans. He also made a donation of $10,000 in addition to the fine. It will be interesting if the NFL fines him anymore than the $10,000. I wouldn't, unless there is a prior history on A.J. Hawk of similar behavior.

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2. Washington QB situation: I was going to talk about it in my segment, but I did not have enough time to get to it, which was ironic the way things played out against the Eagles. What the Redskins had told me is they would not change QBs as long as they were winning, unless Grossman played poorly, which he did on Sunday. They also emphasized they still liked John Beck a lot. The Redskins are not an overly talented team on offense. They don't have a player you have to build your defensive game plan around. So the way they need to win is to play good defense -- which they are -- and be efficient on offense. They know what Grossman is and ultimately they need to replace him. I would be surprised if they did not make the move to Beck now. Grossman had a poor game Sunday, but the last two games were average. They also have to find out if Beck is their solution at QB or not before they go into the off season.

3. Oakland: Tough loss of Jason Campbell. He was playing efficiently for the Raiders, who rely upon a running game and play action. It will now be Kyle Boller's turn. His history has been to be inaccurate and inconsistent in his decision making. The Raiders will try to do what they did with Campbell and run the ball to set up the play-action passing game. It was mentioned to me that they should trade for Kyle Orton. I don't think Denver would trade him to a division rival. I never believed in trading in the division. Also, he has turned the ball over for the Broncos and doesn't have the strong arm to take advantage of the deep speed of the Raiders receivers. All of a sudden, Terrelle Pryor becomes the backup QB, unless the Raiders sign another QB, which I think they should. This is where David Garrard should be called and should sign.

4. Atlanta: Without Julio Jones in the lineup to tempt them to throw the ball more, the Falcons got back to the formula that proved so successful for them last year. They ran the ball 35 times for 166 yards against the Panthers. They threw the ball 22 times and Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 101.1. I think this is the way they need to go. It will mean less catches for their receivers, but I think it is going to make Matt Ryan a better QB that he can be and also help the defense by keeping them off the field more.

5. Cam Newton: Even though he has won only one game, he has proved to me he will be a successful QB. What I thought was interesting on Sunday was the three interceptions. The Bears felt they should have had five interceptions against him but only got one. The Jaguars felt they should had six against him. This is all part of the learning process with Newton. Maybe the law of averages caught up with him on Sunday. It is hard for the Panthers to win right now with their defense. If the interceptions start coming now, it will be even harder.

6. Al Davis: Classy move by the Raiders to have John Madden flip the switch to light an eternal flame at the Oakland Coliseum to honor Al Davis. I thought the symbolism was fitting because his presence will always be felt with the Raiders and shouldn't be forgotten. Teams and business want to have mottos. The Raiders have two slogans, which are as good as you can get: "Just Win Baby" and "Commitment to Excellence". They should live forever with the Raiders as should the eternal flame to remind everyone of Al Davis.

7. Cincinnati at 4-2: This story has been lost with all the attention the Bills and Lions have received. Andy Dalton had another efficient day, going 25 of 32 for 264 yards. Though the Bengals only averaged 3.0 yards running the football, they ran it 31 times, which helps their pass protection and defense. The defense for the Bengals, without any superstars, is very solid, physical and well coached. If they continue to play that way, the Bengals will be in every game. Where they will be hurt is if they lose Cedric Benson to suspension, because Bernard Scott is not the same type of inside-the-tackles, punishing runner to move the chains.

8. San Francisco: I was very impressed with the road victory against the unbeaten Lions. The 49ers used their formula to win. They ran the ball for 203 yards -- impressive on the road at Detroit. I am anxious to watch the tape this week and see how Ndamukong Suh played in the game. For all his big-play qualities, he has had trouble this year when teams run the ball right at him. In the game, he had only two assisted tackles. Also, you could see San Francisco's mental toughness as they weathered the early storm of being on the road and then fought back to win in the fourth quarter. Their defensive front is one of the best in the NFL. Rookie Aldon Smith continues to impress as a pass rusher with two sacks, one tackle for a loss, one QB hurry, one pass defended, and a fumble recovery. He has been impressive every time I have seen him.

9. Houston: You can really see the difference when Andre Johnson is not in the lineup. They look slow. When he is in there, his explosiveness makes everyone look better. It also opens up the field for the rest of the receivers. He was running last week and I was told not to rule him out of next week's crucial game against Tennessee for first place in the AFC West.

10. Tampa Bay: Give Raheem Morris credit for bringing his team back from a disastrous loss last week to San Francisco. The Buccaneers have played New Orleans very well under Morris, so I was not surprised they won. This is a good, young team that will keep improving.

11. Dallas-New England: Credit Rob Ryan for having a good plan against the Patriots. The edge the Patriots continue to have, besides Tom Brady of course, is their running game, where TE Rob Gronkowski does a terrific job of securing the edge on running plays. How predictable of an ending can you have when Dallas can't score a TD from inside the 10 and then Brady drives New England down to win it.

12. Sean Payton: Sad to see him get injured on the sideline. It is a surprise more coaches are not hurt on the sidelines. His loss certainly had to have an effect on the Saints offense since he is not only the play caller, but a brilliant one at that. Whatever role he had in the second half, it was not the same as if he were on the field.

13. Jim Harbaugh vs. Jim Schwartz: Saw the videos and I would expect both coaches probably would change what they did at the end of the game if they had to do it over again. The postgame handshake, if they meet in the playoffs, will be the most covered one since the Bill Belichick-Eric Mangini one.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: There were a number of reasons why the Eagles won. But the most compelling one is that they committed only one turnover. If the Eagles had done that in the previous five games, we would be calling them the Dream Team because they would be 6-0.

Follow Charley Casserly on Twitter at CasserlyCBS


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