NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Packers Training Camp News

Posted: 06 Aug 2011 04:07 AM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi highlights training camp.

Credit: Evan Siegle GBPG.

1. RB Starks having strong camp. Starks continued what coach Mike McCarthy termed "a very good camp" with another strong day, including one of the best runs of camp thus far. Working in a short-yardage 11-on-11 period, Starks accelerated through a hole between left guard T.J. Lang and left tackle Derek Sherrod and blew through the defense en route to a 40-plus yard run. "I think he's just as explosive as he was in the playoffs last year," McCarthy said. "I think he looks more powerful." 

2. ROLB competition has Walden favorite? In the three-way battle between Erik Walden, Frank Zombo and Brad Jones at ROLB has taken a turn in Walden’s favor. Walden has been the most dynamic of the three, throwing his body around with reckless abandon and making life miserable for the team’s left tackles. Walden still needs to develop better pass rush moves, but when he rushes it’s with force. And he has consistently played well against the run, stacking the line of scrimmage by getting under the tackle’s pads and giving him a good shot. Walden also has shown his versatility by dropping into coverage and had outstanding coverage.

3. Linebacker depth issue. A lack of depth at inside linebacker hasn’t been too much of an issue so far. Robert Francois showed decent range in coverage again. Then Cardia Jackson may have supplied the unit’s play of the day. Jackson stayed with Randall Cobb on a drag and stepped in front of the rookie to pick off Matt Flynn.

4. Wilson struggles. If defensive end C.J. Wilson doesn’t pick up his play, he’s going to be in danger of losing his spot on the roster. Wilson had a bad day in one-on-one pass rush drills. In the first week of practice, he’s been nothing more than a guy playing the run. The Packers are looking for a player to team with B.J. Raji in the middle on third downs. While second-year pro Mike Neal is the favorite, someone else is going to have to emerge to back up both.

5. K Crosby starting another poor early camp. Crosby went 4 of 8 on his field goal attempts missing from 45, 53, 49, and 53 and hitting from 37, 37, 42, and 45. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Crosby's early struggles were "to be expected." "I know what the numbers are," McCarthy said. "That's a little bit of a rough day from a statistics standpoint. That's why we practice. That was Mason's first live opportunity.

6. Offense looking sharper. QB Aaron Rodgers hooked up with Jordy Nelson on a designed rollout bomb. Catching the pass over Josh Gordy, Nelson could have scored in an actual game. The first-team offense in general was much sharper Friday. With Jennings out, Donald Driver made several grabs.

6. Practice schedule: Saturday, Packers conduct annual Family Night Scrimmage at Lambeau Field f at 6:30 p.m. 

Rumors: Dashon Goldson to Seattle Seahawks

Posted: 06 Aug 2011 12:45 AM PDT

What was envisioned as a potential long term at the solution has suddenly turned into a chopping block for the 49ers as starting safety Dashon Goldson has let it be known he will not be returning to the team.

Taylor Mays is also expected to be traded or released, he was drafted in the second round just two drafts ago.

Goldson is a former Washington Husky and the Seahawks have shown an affinity for former Pac-10 (12) player, safety is also a position of need in Seattle. Sources have linked the two together as a possible match.

This has become a saturated buyers market and it won’t likely cost more than $2 million annually to obtain his services, someone will be getting a proven young talent at a discount.

You can view all Seahawks comings and goings as they happen on our Free Agency Tracker as well as Seahawks Roster Needs

You can view up to date Seahawks free agency news and rumors by clicking here.

NFL Expected To Make Announcement On Supplemental Draft Soon

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 06:20 PM PDT

According to a league source, the NFL is likely to make a decision about this summer’s supplemental draft in the next 24-36 hours. The supplemental draft became a “back burner issue” for much of the summer as the NFL and the NFLPA worked out their differences.

Now that the CBA has been agreed to and officially ratified, however, the special eligibility draft is likely to become much more of an area of focus. Despite what others have theorized, the supplemental draft does not appear to be (and perhaps never was) in danger of being cancelled. The only time the supplemental draft has been cancelled in the past has been when there have been no players to be eligible.

Broncos QB Tim Tebow Fires Back at His Critics

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 05:15 PM PDT

Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow fired back at his detractors Thursday, saying criticism over his NFL potential was unwarranted and that none of the resulting distractions will be a deterrent. In the face of perceived setbacks for a former first-round draft pick, Tebow stood steadfast during an interview with The Denver Post.

“I’m trying to insulate myself from what people in the media are saying, but I’ve seen some of it, and it hurts because it’s coming from people who haven’t seen me practice, haven’t seen me play, haven’t seen what I can do,” Tebow told the newspaper.

“I did an interview the other day with someone on the NFL Network who said last year I’d never play a down in the NFL. He was wrong. “Others who say I won’t make it are wrong. They don’t know what I’m capable of and what’s inside me. My family and my friends have been bothered by what’s gone on, and I tell them to pay no attention to it. I’m relying as always on my faith.”

It’s been a rough week for Tebow. ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge said on Twitter that “it’s embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow.” Tebow was reminded of the NFL Network prediction that he’d never play a down as a pro, and he continued to practice with the reserves at training camp, despite starting the final three games for Denver last season, but Tebow vowed to emerge a better quarterback. “I’ll always use the negativity as more motivation to work even harder and become even stronger,” Tebow told The Denver Post Thursday.

“I’ll practice as good as I can, but I know that I play even better, with the qualities I have — leadership, my ability to make something happen in games, winning. “And I know there are a lot of people who believe in me as a player and a person, and I don’t want to let them down.”

On Wednesday, after taking to Twitter, Hoge offered a scathing on-air critique of Tebow’s skill set and how it translates to the NFL. “He is awful as far as accuracy goes and what’s kind of even more disturbing, he’s probably worse moving and running around with the football and throwing than he is from the pocket,” Hoge said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “Can you get better there? A little bit. If everything is perfect, the pocket, your feet are good, all your fundamentals come into place, the coverage is what you want it, you can be successful. But that doesn’t happen at the National Football League. Rarely does that happen.”

Hoge also appeared Thursday on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” saying: “They think it’s a personal attack. It’s purely a football evaluation … I never said he’s a bad guy. In fact, I know he’s a great guy. I’ve met him. It’s a football evaluation based on over 25 years of studying this league, working in this league.”

Ex-Titans Linebacker David Thorton Retires

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 03:12 PM PDT

Former Titans linebacker David Thornton has decided to retire after nine seasons in the NFL. Thornton said in a statement released by his foundation Friday that his passion for the game has not wavered but he believes his decision to retire is the right thing for him.

He thanked his former coaches and said he hopes to remain connected to football during retirement. Thornton had 809 tackles, five sacks, five interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 121 games. He missed the 2010 season recovering from hip surgery.

Andy Reid and the Eagles Ready to Win in 2011

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 02:06 PM PDT

By Eagles Gab Columnist Chet Cashley

Let's face it Philadelphia, we've got a hard time giving credit where credit is due when it comes to our sports teams, and nobody takes more of a beating from our passionate fans than Eagles' head coach Andy Reid.

As Philly fans, it's easy to get frustrated with coaching.  Before the Phillies won the 2008 World Series, we'd been in a championship drought that spanned decades in all sports.  And not only did we lose, but we had our hearts broken.  We've been so close to victory that we could almost smell it over the hot dogs and beer, only to have our hopes crushed as we watched our heroes take an opportunity of a lifetime and vomit all over it in the end-zone.

No Philly coach has been responsible for more Philly sports fans' broken hearts than Eagles' coach, Andy Reid.  Big Andy's taken the Eagles to the playoffs nine times since taking over the team in 1999.  Five out those nine times, we've seen his trademark hat and mustache combination on prime-time TV in the NFC Championship Game, resulting in only one Super-Bowl appearance and no ring.

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Five Concerns About the Packers Heading Into 2011

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 02:03 PM PDT

By Packers Gab Columnist Billy Needham

Every year, each team in the NFL has its weaknesses and/or concerns. The Packers are no exception for the upcoming 2011 season. I have reviewed the roster, the management, and the upcoming season, and have come up with my top five concerns for our Packers.

1. The September 8th game vs. the New Orleans Saints! This is our first title defense, and against the Super Bowl Champions from two seasons ago. These Saints are coming off what I consider one of the most embarrassing playoff exits in recent history. These guys let the Seahawks carve them up like a Thanksgiving turkey, and then Marshawn Lynch goes all Jim Brown on us, bowling over Saints defenders like they were the local JV high school team. Being from Mississippi, and despising the Saints, I had more fun watching that run over and over, I really got behind on prepping for the Pack playing the Eagles the next day. In all honesty though, the Saints have a All-Pro QB with a good set of receivers, and a underrated defense. Then again, we have a dual threat All-Pro QB with great receivers and a fantastic defense! By the way, their top DE will be suspended for this game for using diuretics like three years ago, so yaaahh for the good guys! 31-21 win, wish it were colder when they visited but a win is a win!!!

2. Linebacker Depth! It has been well documented, how the Packers have let Nick Barnett and Brandon Chillar go in free agency, one due to salary, and one apparently due to a possible lingering injury. I think we all expected Barnett, who gave us seven good years, to go, but our next top backup, Chillar, was a surprise to me. He was touted as a great cover LB, even though the only INT he had all season was a tipped pass against Detroit, but regardless, all of our experience has left the building. Now, if either A.J. Hawk or Desmond Bishop go down, who do we have coming onto the field? Well, we have a young Robert Francois, who had 3 tackles last season, we have our 6th round pick D.J. Smith from Appalachian State, and we have a few undrafted free agents fighting for roster spots, uuuggghhhh! Hawks’s hyperbaric chamber and Bishop’s whatever better hold up because those other options make me want to run and sign my 181 lbs. up, the new CBA is paying good minimum salaries. No injuries, no foul!

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Jaguars QB David Garrard Hurt’s Back in Night Practice

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 01:24 PM PDT

During Thursday night’s camp practice, Jaguars quarterback David Garrard suffered a back injury and was taken off the field.

Afterword, coach Jack Del Rio told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union, “David’s back got a little tight, so we’re just icing him down. He’ll get treatment and all that. But he should be fine, so nothing major there. He came to me after the first team period, then to Mike Ryan, and said it was getting tight. It’s not the time to push through that kind of thing, so just let it settle down.”

Del Rio indicated he did not think Garrard would need X-rays, but said that decision was up to Ryan, the team’s head trainer. Del Rio also said he would be surprised if Garrard didn’t play in Saturday night’s scrimmage.

Colts DT Fili Moala Convicted Of Drunk Driving Charge

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 10:28 AM PDT

Colts defensive tackle Fili Moala was convicted today of drunken driving and public intoxication but will not spend any time in jail according to Carrie Ritchie of the Indianapolis Star.

Instead, Moala, who is supposed to be participating in the Colts' training camp this week in Anderson, will spend 180 days on probation. Moala, 26, was arrested early Sept. 3 after a police officer pulled him over for speeding on South Illinois Street. police officers who testified during Moala's trial last week said that Moala told them he had had five or six drinks that night at a bar Downtown. They said he failed two of the three field sobriety tests they administered.

Oakland Inks Former Giants Tight End Kevin Boss

Posted: 05 Aug 2011 10:13 AM PDT

The Raiders have gotten their replacement for former TE Zach Miller. Today the club agreed to terms with Giants free agent tight end Kevin Boss. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says Boss’ four-year deal is worth $16 million.

A fifth-round pick (157th overall) out of Western Oregon in 2007, Boss has 119 receptions for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns during his career, with most of that production coming as a full-time starter over the last three seasons.

The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Boss replaces Miller, who signed a five-year, $34 million contract with the Seahawks earlier this week. Miller’s contract contains $17 million in guaranteed money, a figure the cap-strapped Raiders were unable to match.

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