View Full Version : Around the League 8/08/08

08-08-2008, 09:45 AM
The preseason season is into full swing, and unfortunately for me, with no NFLN, I am devoid of football on television this weekend, until Monday night. Although its just Cincinnati and Green Bay, I will be interested to see what Aaron Rodgers can do now that he is the man in Green Bay.

Last night I had the opportunity to watch the Chiefs for the first time this season. They took on the Bears and did win with a two-minute drive to take the lead, led by Tyler Thigpen. Thigpen has the best arm on the team, but made some pretty dumb throws last night.

Of course, Brodie Croyle just doesnít fit in the NFL. New offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has him trying to make offensive adjustments at the line of scrimmage, and has a young team trying to run a read and react-type offense. It was ugly, at times, last night. But, Croyle led the Chiefs down the field on a decent drive. There were still a lot of mistakes in judgment on his own, including two mix-ups with Dwayne Bowe, and probably three passes that should have been intercepted.

Itís still quite clear that Larry Johnson doesnít want to do anything but run the football. He botched a play where he was to motion out of the backfield, Croyle had to actually turn around and tell him where to go, and on two separate play-action, boot leg plays, Johnson was in the wrong spot to make the fake. Amazingly, the Bears defense didnít play the boot well at all, which pretty much led to the early score.

The entire city is still obsessed with how the Broncos ate the Chiefs alive with the boot leg during the Plummer years, with Jayice Pearson and Roger Twibell, the announcers, commenting several times that the Chiefs offense running more boot legs in practice will help the defense stop Denver.

Tamba Hali has made the move from his left defensive end position over to the right, to try and replace Jared Allen, and after just one preseason game, heís blaming the turf (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/738929.html) for being slow. Hey TambaÖthose left tackles are a little quicker off the ball, arenít they?

The other buzz news in Kansas City is the possibility that Chad Pennington (http://www.kansascity.com/sports/chiefs/story/738906.html) could be reunited with his former coach Herm Edwards, although the consensus around the league is that the former Jets quarterback will probably end up in Miami with Bill Parcells, who drafted him.

Sebastian Janikowski is hurt, requiring the Raiders to pick up a kicker (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/07/SPV1127925.DTL) for Friday nightís preseason game against the 49ers. David White also reports in that same story that Darren McFadden will not return kicks or punts tonight. The Raiders also released their first Depth Chart (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/05/SPK7125J0F.DTL) of the season.

On the other side of the ball for tonightís game, Alex Smith (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/07/SPV11270QF.DTL) has been relegated to the second team, with J.T. Sullivan receiving the starting nod. On a fantasy noteÖstay far, far away from San Francisco receivers, except maybe tight end Vernon Davis.

Journeyman Derek Smith (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20080808-9999-1s8chargers.html) will receive the starting nod at linebacker for the Chargers, as Stephen Cooper will sit out for four weeks after failing a drug test. And, as is predictable, and previously posted in this column, Antonio Cromartie (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/chargers/20080807-9999-1s7chargers.html) continues to run his mouth about how good he is.

The Lions bested the Giants 13-10 (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/sports/football/08giants.html?_r=1&ref=football&oref=slogin) on Thursday night, and Eli Manning was less than impressive in his first start since winning the Super Bowl. And, not surprisingly, Brett Favre is taking up a lot more of the Pressí (http://www.nytimes.com/pages/sports/football/index.html) time in New York.

On the Lions side of the ball, the most popular player, especially in the preseason, is always the backup quarterback. (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080808/COL08/808080436/1049/SPORTS01) In this case, itís local favorite Drew Stanton. Gosder Cherilus ( http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080808/SPORTS01/808080448/1049/SPORTS01) didnít look so hot in his NFL debut, and heís pissed off about it.

In one of the quarterback battles around the league, both Kyle Boller and Joe Flacco were unimpressive ( http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.ravens08aug08,0,1528271.story) in the Ravens first preseason game Thursday against New England. However, Yamon Figurs (http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.ravensnotes08aug08,0,687963.story) had a good night at the return position, and started at wide receiver for the Ravens. Maybe, if they want their quarterbacks to perform, they should find themselves some receiversÖsorry, just a thought.

The Globe holds nothing back when they evaluate last nightís game, that saw Matt Cassel start for the Patriots. They stink (http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2008/08/08/sorry_exhibition/) without Tom Brady, and, the 16-15 score reminds us how funny preseason football can end up. Not surprisingly, Chad Jackson (http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2008/08/08/jackson_not_yet_catching_up/) is still struggling.

The Saints beat the Cardinals 24-10 (http://blog.nola.com/saintsbeat/2008/08/saints_beat_cardinals_2410.html) on Thursday night, on ESPN, and the Times-Picayune reports that Aaron Stecker and Pierre Thomas (http://blog.nola.com/saintsbeat/2008/08/pierre_thomas_aaron_stecker_ca.html) were the players to carry the load. The Picayune, also reports that Robert Meachem ( http://www.nola.com/saints/t-p/index.ssf?/base/sports-4/121817349628420.xml&coll=1) had a good night, which might help erase last year.

In Arizona, they are fretting about all of the penalties (http://www.azcentral.com/sports/cardinals/articles/2008/08/07/20080807cardsnb.html) that the Cardinals incurred last night. And Kent Somers gives his first impressions ( http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/KentSomers/) of this year's version of the Cardinals.

As a season of expectations opens in Cleveland, the Browns fell to the Jets 24-20 (http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2008/08/jets_big_plays_against_backups.html) in mop-up time. Beau Bell, (http://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2008/08/browns_insider_bell_out_for_pr.html) a fourth-round choice, will miss his opportunity to impress the coaches, as he will sit the rest of the preseason. Heís currently third on depth chart at middle linebacker.

And, for your viewing pleasure, the Cheerleader (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/2008_swimsuit/cheerleaders/) link for the week.

08-08-2008, 05:46 PM
WTF Mo, pay the money, get DirecTV with NFLN and Sunday Ticket... What's the hold up?