NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Seattle Seahawks Roster Roundup, Injury Updates, New Kicker

Posted: 06 Sep 2011 12:45 AM PDT

Just got in from that long *** drive from Seattle to Pullman, I swear it seems like it never ends, especially once you get off I-90 and go into the unknown of Highway 26.

After some minor roster (and one major) shuffling at the cut deadline the Seahawks have their final roster set and their week one depth chart nearly set in stone.

Filling the roster spots of K Jeff Reed,  DT Junior Siavii, (recent signee) LB David Vobora, and DL Pep Levingston are DT Landen Cohen, DT Al Woods, OT Jerriel King, and K Steven Hauschka.

That last one is the most significant because that’s Seattles replacement for Olindo Mare for the foreseeable future. His stats are very mediocre: 16/22 FG’s made and 37/38 XPM, that first one is good for a 72.9 percentage.

There was some good news on the injury front as well, Marshawn Lynch, David Hawthorne, and Russell Okung have all been confirmed for week one. Robert Gallery and Sidney Rice have yet to be confirmed though, which is a problem considering those were two of the teams biggest free agent splashes.

Six names were confirmed for the practice squad as well, including:

UTL Jameson Konz

OL Brent Osborne

S Josh Pinkard

WR Ricardo Lockette

DE Maurice Fountain

WR Owen Spencer

Perhaps the most notable name os Lockette, who was the fastest receiver at the NFL combine.





Gary Kubiak Claims Donnie Avery Is Signing With the Colts

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:59 PM PDT

In an appearance on The Odd Couple with Barry Warner on Sportsradio 610 out of Houston, Gary Kubiak said he had heard that Donnie Avery – former Houston Cougar and St. Louis Rams wideout – had signed with the Colts.

If Avery is back healthy from his knee injury from last season (and he was listed as questionable for the final preseason game due to his knee), this would be a great addition and create an all-world receiving corps. Avery had 5 TD receptions in 2009 and 53 receptions for 674 yards and 3 TDs as well as 10 carries for 69 yards and 1 TD as a rookie.

The Colts still have Reggie Wayne. His best season, 2007: 107 receptions, 1510 yards, 10 TDs. He also had 111 receptions for 1355 yards and 6 TDs last season.

They still have Pierre Garçon, whose best season was actually this last one: 67 receptions, 784 yards, 6 TDs.

They still have Austin Collie who has 15 TDs in 25 regular season games.

They still have Anthony Gonzalez who, though listed as questionable, practiced with the team today. He has 10 receptions, 176 yards and 1 TD in two playoff games. His best season was 2008: 57 receptions, 664 yards, 4 TDs.

They also have rookie RB Delone Carter, RB Joseph Addai, and TEs Dallas Clark and Jacob Tamme to bail out Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins until Peyton Manning is ready.

UPDATE: Adam Caplan of Sirius/XM Radio has reported that Avery didn’t sign. WR Derrick Williams should be getting a job offer somewhere. Step up, GMs.

LIKE this post if you want to see Avery as a Colt.

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Cowboys To Work Out WR Laurent Robinson

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 03:15 PM PDT

WR Laurent Robinson has tweeted that he has joined the Dallas Cowboys.

Robinson was signed by San Diego before they were sure they would get Malcom Floyd back. He goes from one of the best receiving corps to another one of the best. Robinson instantly becomes the second-most experienced wideout on the team, which will be good as Dwayne Harris and Kevin Ogletree learn the pro game. Robinson has 89 receptions, 1000 yards and 4 TDs in four seasons with the Falcons and Rams.

UPDATE: He’s just getting a work out for now.

Can Seattle Seahawks Offensive O-Line Even Stay Together?

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 01:14 PM PDT

When the Seahawks selected James Carpenter in the first round of the NFL Draft, even his college coach couldn’t believe it. That horse has been beaten dead, but you generally assume that a players college coach would react in a more positive manner than “James Carpenters a first round pick?”.

I didn’t like the selection very much either, and Carpenter has done nothing to prove me or Nick Saban wrong, he has struggled during the pre-season and has been especially awful in pass protection.

Moffitt, the third round draftee that is currently slotted in as the starting right guard has been the better player out of the two, maybe it’s clear why the Seahawks were prepared to take him with their second round draft choice.

The plan looks great on paper, especially with Tom Cable in the fold. Four offensive lineman that are in their first or second seasons (Unger missed one), with arguably the best offensive line coach in the game guiding them for the long haul

I don’t think even Cable envisioned the early struggles that have been compounded by durability issues courtesy of a pair of players who have had them their entire NFL career.

I lauded the signing of Robert Gallery, arguably the best available guard on the open market this off-season; but he already is having an MRI and it’s not even week one yet.

Russell Okung, yeah, that’s another dead horse, and that’s the problem; Okung is only entering his second season and he has had three ankle injuries after going through college without any games missed.

I might as well add John Carlson in here as well, yes, having Zach Miller is a saving grace, but Carlson was going to be relied upon to block in multiple two TE formations and his career as a Seahawk is likely over.

So in short they have…

A struggling tackle who can’t pass protect and entered training camp in poor condition (maybe he should come to Pullman cause I have dropped 6 pounds from all these hills)…

A duo at guard and center with 17 total NFL games under their belt that includes one player who has been lost to injury for an entire season already…

and the best two players situated on the left side that can’t stay healthy, Okung has missed essentially the entire pre-season with another ankle injury and Gallery is having knee issues. That’s three players with legitimate injury concerns and the other two have never even played in an NFL game before. It’s easy to look at this unit and see all of the promise of having four players in only their second season (or less), but that’s just one way to view it. I see a struggling unit that has already unraveled without Okungs presence with 3/5′s of the line having legitimate injury concerns and the other 2/5′s having no idea what they’re doing.

In addition to this, Pete Carroll decided to let go of guard Mike Gibson, arguably his most steady backup presence at guard. He has failed to pursue any significant reinforcements in case when they find out Gallery will sit out for 3-4 games. Andre Gurode just signed as a backup to Matt Birk in Baltimore (he couldn’t start for us?). Only one body was added and that was tackle Jarriel King off waivers from the Giants; I will excuse you if you’ve never heard of him before because I honestly haven’t either.

This offensive gameplan is getting muddled. Multiple pro bowl pass catchers were acquired in mega deals but this offensive line hasn’t even been able to block for a guy who couldn’t do much with the leagues best offensive line and running game in Minnesota.

If Hutch couldn’t get it done, what makes you think John Moffitt or Robert Gallery will?

I’m starting to believe this season is really a throw-a-way season, the Seahawks need Jesus to avoid a 3-13 campaign, and those are strong words for me, I loathed that trade.





Grossman to Start for Redskins Sunday in Opener vs Giants

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:57 AM PDT

Rex Grossman will start for the Washington Redskins on Sunday according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network. The decision was made over the weekend.

Grossman and John Beck had been battling for the starting job this preseason. Grossman, a nine-year veteran who led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006-07, has career totals of 7,081 passing yards, 40 touchdowns and 40 interceptions.

Grossman said in early August he thought the Redskins were due for a breakout season.

“We’re fine being the sleepers right now,” Grossman said in an Aug. 9 interview with Comcast SportsNet. “You know, we’re just waiting in the wings, ready to take over the NFC East.

“Nobody’s talking about us. That’s right where we want to be. You look at us from top to bottom out here, there’s a bunch of great players. And we don’t need people saying we’re the best right now, but when it’s all said and done, I really feel like this team’s gonna win the East.”

Chiefs QB Matt Cassel Could Miss Opener with Cracked Rib

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 10:41 AM PDT

Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, who left Thursday’s preseason finale, is apparently dealing with a cracked rib. 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City reported the news Sunday afternoon, re-iterating that his status for the season opener is “not yet determined.”

Cassel was originally believed to have the wind knocked out of him. Cassel has dealt with several injuries over the years. He injured his knee in his initial campaign with the Chiefs, went through an appendectomy last season, and now has a rib issue.

Carson Palmer to the Jaguars, An 0-16 Team, Terrell Owens to the Bears, Other Baseless Speculation

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 09:25 AM PDT

Where is Carson Palmer going to go?
The obvious destinations are Seattle, Miami, Indianapolis and San Francisco if Baalke feels like trying to keep the Seahawks from acquiring him. Ultimately, I don’t think the Niners would do that, just because I think Alex Smith is better for the Niners offense anyway. Competition never hurts, but I think you can take the 49ers out and put the Jaguars in. The Jaguars are in a “win now” season to save their coach’s job and to prevent a team relocation to L.A. from being negotiated. If Chad Henne has landed on the hot seat for how his season ended when his first start was week 4 in 2009, then a slightly-better late season David Garrard who made his first start week 17 of 2002 should be on the hot seat. Garrard played mediocre-to-bad in two playoff games, and pretty good in another but the Jaguars – despite having a top running back and top offensive playcaller – have been shut out of the postseason three straight seasons.

Could Anyone Go 0-16? Once Cam Newton was named starter, I was able to remove the Panthers from my “hardest to predict” teams. The list right now includes the Bears, Raiders, Vikings and Dolphins.

With the Dolphins and Bears, it’s easy to figure out on what each team’s destiny lies: for Miami, they go as Chad Henne goes. The O-line affects Chicago the same way. Whether they go 5-11 or 12-4, neither team could possibly go 0-16.

With Oakland and Carolina, it’s unfortunate for Ron Rivera and Hue Jackson that Raheem Morris set such a high standard for “new coach with young team” expectations. In their defense, Morris was in his second season with the Bucs when he got them to 10-6.

I expect the Raiders to have the second-worst record in the NFL, based solely on how few experienced players they have on offense and how few playmakers they have on the second and third level of their defense. I think they’ll be physical on both sides of the ball, develop their passing game and sweep the Chiefs. Matt Cassel has just 3 TDs in 4 games against them since he became a part of Kansas City while he had 4 TD throws in his one game against the Raiders as a Patriot in 2008. They will eventually be good, but it’ll just be hard in 2011 when the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos have more continuity in their coaching staff and players (Denver OC McCoy was a McDaniels staff member) and did more to “win now”.

As it stands, I have Carolina with the worst record in the NFL. Could they get 0-16? Probably not, I’m going to predict them to actually win 3 games: vs. the Titans coming off the bye, at the Lions one week later, and a road game week 17 against the Saints back-ups.

My top 2012 10 draft order: 1. Panthers, 2. Raiders, 3. Bengals, 4. Browns, 5. Bears, 6. Bills, 7. Chiefs, 8. Seahawks, 9. Jaguars, 10. 49ers. The Bears, Jaguars and Chiefs are the only teams kind of falling on their faces by drafting so high. The rest are all rebuilding and will be off this list next year, with the Bills and Bengals as possible exceptions.

T.O. could get a tryout soon. The Chicago Bears have the Falcons, Saints, Packers and Panthers to start the season. If they lose those three tough games and their highly-touted October 10th road game against the Lions, they would be 1-4. Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith would be desperate to get back in the playoff hunt. Terrell Owens has been productive in each of his five stops and the Bears haven’t had a 1000-yard WR since Marty Booker’s 2001 season. A renaissance season for an in-shape Roy WilliamsJay Cutler claimed recently that Roy is not – is all that would keep the Bears from being desperate.

Looking at all the primetime games, you realize the influence and longevity of Bill Parcells as a coach. The kick-off game features Mike McCarthy vs. Parcells’ old OC Sean Payton (Cowboys, 2003-2005). Sunday Night Football features Jason Garrett, who got his first coaching job (Dolphins QBs coach 2005-2006) under Nick Saban, who was Browns defensive coordinator from 1991-1994 under Bill Belichick, who was Giants DC under Parcells. Rob Ryan, Dallas’s new defensive play-caller, was on the 2002 and 2003 Belichick Patriots staff, including the 2003 Championship team.

Monday Night Football’s doubleheader is an outdoor festival of Parcells disciples: Bill Belichick heads to Miami to square off against former Parcells O-line coach Tony Sparano’s Dolphins. The finale features John Fox, who was DC under Jim Fassel, who was quarterbacks coach under former Parcells offensive coordinator Ray Handley from 1991-1992.

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Start ‘em, Sit ‘em: Week 1

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:23 AM PDT

START: Patriots QB Tom Brady, @ Dolphins.
The Patriots have executed scary well on opening days with the exception of the Bernard Pollard nightmare of 2008. Tom Brady has thrown 2+ TDs in all of his last 6 opening days and he has a healthy Welker, an increasingly dangerous TE duo, an improving run game and Chad Ochocinco.
SIT: Rams QB Sam Bradford, vs. Eagles. It’s Sam Bradford’s first game in the McDaniels offense and there will be growing pains. I am enough of a believer in the scheme and the quarterback try to draft him in one league, but remember he only scored multiple TDs in six games last year (the last one being week 12 @ Broncos) and they added Jerrious Norwood and Cadillac Williams.

START: Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, @ Bills. This is not a strong weekend for running back match-ups. The best ones are basically either dinged up (Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew) or facing great defenses (Ray Rice vs. Steelers; Adrian Peterson vs. Chargers). I expect the Bills run defense to eventually be much-improved, thanks to the spark plug Marcell Dareus, but not week 1. They were last in yards rushing allowed and 27th in rushing TDs allowed last year. The Chiefs ran for 274 yards last year vs. the Bills in Kansas City.
SIT: Colts RB Joseph Addai; Colts RB Delone Carter, @ Texans. I know they’re facing a new defense with probably the most new starters in the NFL but – with Manning likely out -, the Texans will probably put 7-8 in the box and challenge the Colts QB to throw. I know I just picked against this logic by endorsing Charles with his QB likely out but the Texans have far better athleticism and speed than the Bills do.

START: 49ers RB Frank Gore, vs. Seahawks. The most intriguing match-up is Adrian Peterson against the Bolts, given his torrential 297-yard performance in his last game against them, four years ago. His ability has only increased since then, but the line has fluctuated and the Bolts defense has improved. Therefore, I’m going with with Frank Gore against the Seahawks defense. My guess is that their defense will be worn out by Tarvaris Jackson’s inability to keep the offense on the field and that Gore will slice through a defense that was 18th in rushing TDs allowed last season and has moved over Brandon Mebane to nose tackle and has a new starter next to him.
SIT: Dolphins RB Reggie Bush, vs. Patriots. The beefed-up New England D-line will rise to this occasion. Bush is a guy I’m pretty high on, just not this week unless he’s getting big receiving yards from dump passes vs. prevent defense because the Patriots are blowing them out.

START: Ravens WR Anquan Boldin, vs. Steelers. Boldin has had good games against this secondary while Cam Cameron will give the Ravens a more aggressive gameplan. I typically hate starting anyone against the Steelers but Talib is going to limit Calvin, Finnegan will be on Andre and Fitzgerald is an obvious start. Boldin will be targeted often.
SIT: Giants WR Mario Manningham, @ Redskins. Hakeem Nicks can get fantasy numbers against any defense but the new Redskins defense has added some truly special athletes in O.J. Atogwe, Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen and Ryan Kerrigan. Shanahan has won three straight opening day games, all for teams that didn’t make the playoffs.

START: Jets WR Santonio Holmes, vs. Cowboys. Both Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman missed the preseason with injuries. They will be going up against a well-conditioned Holmes, who will be hard to double now that Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason are there. This is also the Cowboys D’s first game in a new system. I also feel good about Brandon Lloyd going into Oakland.
SIT: Rams WR Mike Sims-Walker, vs. Eagles. Given his physicality, the Eagles will have at least one guy on him at all times and it’s likely to be either Asomugha or Samuel.

START: Browns TE Evan Moore, @ Bengals. A pure, athletic wonder who plays with a chip on his shoulder going up against a Bengals defense that has given up touchdowns to Browns tight ends three of the last four games against them.
SIT: Panthers TE Greg Olsen, Panthers vs. Cardinals. Jeremy Shockey doesn’t figure to take away a big chunk of targets from Olsen, but this is Cam’s first career game. His accuracy was awful in the preseason and I think it will be worse now with new Cardinals DC Ray Horton inevitably sending guys at him to keep him from being able to step into his throws.

START: Eagles DST @ Rams. If this match-up were later in the year, I would not suggest starting the Eagles defense. Simply put, the Rams will not be executing the McDaniels offense superbly this early in the season. The Eagles want to come out and make a big statement on defense. It’s their offense I’d be more worried about in terms of fragile confidence.
SIT: Packers DST vs. Saints. There are lots of times to play the Packers defense, but I wouldn’t get cute. This is an intriguing match-up between a team that did a lot of player-organized workouts and a team that didn’t do any.

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Walter McFadden Agrees to Terms With the Lions

Posted: 05 Sep 2011 06:22 AM PDT

Raiders Blog’s Chris Hansen reports that CB Walter McFadden – a rookie last year who appeared in four contests as a rookie last season – has agreed to terms with the Detroit Lions after being let go by the Oakland Raiders.

While a small guy, McFadden does have strong upside. Two of his cousins play in the NFL, Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals and Bryant McFadden of the Steelers. He had six interceptions across 24 games in two seasons as a starter for the Auburn Tigers.

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