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ESPN Segment and USA Today Blog appearence

Hey Folks

Now that most of the rankings are done, I wanted to post two things I did today that I didn’t want buried under the other posts…

Of course, one is my usual appearance on ESPN 1230 for the guys on the show ‘There It Is’. You can stream the whole show if you want at the Jake Stevens site OR you can listen or download here. We cover the Chargers Defense, Ryan Grant, The Manning Bros – who is better, Mike Turner and my top position picks for the week. Good ten minutes, listen in….

Also, Brian Moore (a frequent and great chatroom fellow for both the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show and The Drive Block) asked me to help him out by being a guest interview on his USA Today Fantasy Blog. You can check my answers out here – we chatted about my recent Kyle Orton love, who is dissappointing and who is impressing and how the returns and injuries of Kevin Curtis, Tony Scheffler and Eddie Royal might impact teams and owners – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

You can also check out Bri’s work at his site, FootballHangout.com.

Enjoy!
USA TODAY INTERVIEW

ESPN 1230 APPEARENCE

Monday Stampede

Hey folks – great first week of football. Some pretty big injuries we’ll have to watch and wait on to know for sure how bad they are.

We touched on Tom Brady’s injury yesterday and while Belichick was tight lipped (shocker!), reports are surfacing that he told the team to be prepared to play the season with backup Matt Cassel as their starter. That, coupled with reports of Chris Simms and Tim Rattay showing up to workout for the Pats point to the reports of Brady being done for the season as accurate.

You’ll downgrade Moss & co. of course, but how much remains to be seen. Cassel and Moss seemed to get on fine and Moss will be his top option. Wes Welker caught 6 for 51 yards, so that’s not great but not bad. But adjustments to the rest of the offense could change that and we’ll have to see whether the Pats run the ball more or if Cassel looks to different guys more often. Certainly Cassel is no Tom Brady – he’s not a guy you can just replace. There will likely be a drop off somehwhere – it’s just hard to say where.

In other news -

Vince Young
We all know by now that VY tore his MCL. What is interesting is that the Nashville Tennessean is reporting that right before the play when he tore it, he tried to take himself out with what was apparently tightness in his hamstring. He didn’t look for treatment, but wasn’t in the huddle when the team was on the field. Furthermore, the cloumnists seems to think that HC Jeff Fisher forced him back out there when he wasn’t 100%. Fisher waffled on it during his presser. In some ways, it’s almost irrelevent given that Young is gone for at least 2-4 weeks, but it’s an intriguing back story to the injury. It’s certainly a rift worth noting if true.

Marion Barber
Barber had a great performance Sunday with 101 all purpose yards and 2 TDs but was out the 4th quarter with an apparent rib injury. In all likelyhood, Barber could have finished out the game, but with the game a blow out, why risk it? Regardless, X-rays came back negative but ESPN has reported he had some damage to the cartiledge in his rib cage. He says it’s nothing and expects to be ready to go next Monday against the Eagles.

Chris Johnson
Johnson limped off the field yesterday late in the game against the Jaguars but came back later. His performance at that point had been everything we’d hoped for and more (15 carries for 93 yards, 3 receptions for 34 yards and a TD). It appears the rookie cramped up which only highlights what we all know about rookies – they will have moments where they get a bit overwhelmed. Still, Johnson will impact LenDale White’s carries as long as he isn’t cramping up and while it’s early to crown him, could be a good play the rest of the way as a #2RB.

That’s all for now – join me on the Daily News Blurb at noon EST/9am PST and I’ll catch you up to date with all the info from Sunday’s games and the injury aftermath.

Thoughts on the Saturday Games

Hey folks -a quick ‘Around the League’ on today’s games and one note from yesterday -

Charlie Batch broke his collarbone and will be gone for a couple of months – so today the Steelers signed both Byron Leftwich and Daunte Culpepper. Will Culpepper be able to live as second fiddle or is he in Tomlin’s office right now lobbying for first chair? Funny how both MIA QBs landed in the same gig – they can compare notes for sure….

On to the games!

Bills vs Redskins
Trent Edwards looked shaky tonight, but he’s in no danger of losing his job to JP Losman, but still looks to be a bye week filler at most…. James Hardy had a good news/bad news night – good news is he got a nice 16 yard TD, bad news is, he ran a horrid route, got nailed for a penalty and dropped a pass. Work in progress though he is, he’s a huge redzone target and if he can progress like I think he can, will put up some points this year…..This just in – Clinton Portis is still nails, but say goodbye until the opener – sounded in his in-game interview as if he is done with preseason….. LaDell Betts is also darn good, but won’t see the field this much in season, unless Portis gets hurt…. Colt Brennan – not as good as he looked in game 1, not as bad as he looked today (though really, not that bad today)….

Miami vs Tampa Bay
We know for sure Jeff Garcia is breathing better today without The Favre in town…. The Bucs offense ground out some drives and wore the D down – this grind it down style worked well but it WAS the Phins…. Mike Bennett looked good, but he won’t win the #1 and please see the previous sentance for perspective…. Ricky Williams looked very good and totalled 5 carries for 31 yards, while doing it with good burst and power…. Ronnie Brown is being slowly entered into game situations, so don’t read much into his 4 yards yet…. John Beck looked OK tonight which is as much as you will ever get from me in terms of a ringing endorsement. He is still odd man out in the QB sweepstakers, behind newly acquired Pennington, McCown and locker-room favorite Chad Henne…..

Atlanta vs Jacksonville
Matt Ryan looked pretty darn good in his preseason debut, going 9 of 15, for 113 yards and a touchdown. Chris Redman (3 of 6 for 13 yards and an int) was not so good…. Another few games like this and the Falcons will have all the excuse they need to put Ryan out there and make him the face NOW, so maybe he’s worth a very late flier in a draft…… Michael Turner was not so much the Burner tonight as he had 5 carries for 22 yards. The line didn’t do him any favors (my biggest concern with him this year) but he didn’t make anything happen either. Also, he’s not much of a pass catcher… Don’t overreact or anything, but this is worth monitoring….. Matt Jones had a good game and is really having a great camp, if just to spite me for saying he wouldn’t last the day after that cocaine charge… But don’t be fooled – he has done this before to some extent and honestly, this is still an offense that will spread the ball around a alot and Jones isn’t a guy who can fly down the field, and therefore not someone I think will give you many points. Watch him have a great season to anger me now…. Chauncey Washington had 12 carries for 33 yards and a TD, but he also fumbled…. Still, I believe he will end up the #3 there and overall I felt he looked good…. Greg Jones also looked his usual solid self, but I’m not sure he’s the guy I am waiting to break through, though he is a trendy pick in some leagues….. Falcons HC Mike Smith – a former defensive coordinator for Jacksonville – looked good in his own preseason debut against his old team….

Indianapolis vs Carolina
Pillsbury Throwboy Jared Lorenzon had a great game (12/23, 117 and 2TDs) while current #2 Qb Jim Sorgi looked shakey and off tonight….. Mike Hart looked good with 2 carries for 20 yards and 2 catches for 21, but he will have to work harder to crack the #2 spot behind Addai….. Oh yeah, Quinn Grey also had over 100 yards but got two INTs instead of TDs…… Dwayne Jarret suddenly remembered he was on the Carolina Panthers, posting 3 catches for 43 yards including some in traffic, which is impressive as the last time he was in traffic, he was securing a DUI, not a ball…. if Jarrett can pull it together like this consistently, he might still be a factor in the WR core, since DJ Hackett is still hurt and Steve Smith will serve a 2 game team suspension to kick the season off…. DeAngelo Williams had a great showing with 9 carries for 55 yards and 2 TDs, but he doesn’t have rookie Jonathan Stewart breathing down his neck yet…. Still, he had a nice showing and might hold onto significant carries as Stewart is still rehabbing his toe….

Denver vs Houston
As with every. single. preseason. The question is – who is the Denver Rb and who is the backup? Selvin Young struggled but will hold the job for the forseeable future, but Audible (and Blurb) fave Andre Hall was the guy who shone brightest tonight, carrying the ball 8 times for 43 yards, including some important 3rd downs….. Blurb Favorite Anthony Alridge had 20 yards on 4 carries and added 20 more on 3 catches… As I said on the Drive Block on Thursday, this is a battle worth watching as the value at Denver is often the guy BEHIND the #1…… Edge to Hall, but with Alridge’s speed, he’s an intriguing guy….. Eddie Royal had a few nice grabs (2-13) and looks like he is grabbing that #2 slot….. Brandon Marshall (2-9) and Darrell Jackson (1-14) weren’t shining much brighter…… Matt Schaub looked good in limited action and Sage Rosenfels looked great with the majority of the work going 10/15 for 137 yards and 1TD…… Steve Slaton looked the best out of a bunch of ‘meh’ running back performances…..

St. Louis vs Tennessee
With Steven Jackson still holding out, we got a look at both Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard and while neither destroyed the Titans, we got a look at a straight split (Pittman got 6 carries to Leonard’s 5)though Pittman won the first round, going for 21 yards and a TD, as well as tacking on 2 catches for 16 yards…. Leonard got 12 yards, 11 of which came on 1 carry….. Marc Bulger threw a pick 6 (that would be an INT returned for a TD) and that’s not a great start is it?….. This just in: Chris Johnson is fast…. The real deal steal in Tennessee hada 66 yard TD, though his total overall was only 77 yards on 6 carries. He added 1 catch for 13 yards….. Who is Quintin Ganthers? Well, just a dude who went for 8 carries for 115 yards and 2 TDs, including a 45 yard TD run… Too long a name? Call him Chris Henry’s (9 carries for 38 yards) ticket off the squad, maybe…. LenDale White had 6 carries for 33 yards and looked good, but all his targets will belong to Johnson now, so his value takes a hit, though he will be reliable for carries on the ground…. The Rams run D, by the way, is horrif right now and so maybe Ganthers just looked good by comparison….

Dallas vs San Diego
So Phillip Rivers showed us he is pretty freaking healthy, looking good and throwing a TD in limited action….. No Tonlinson, but he back-up may have made an appearence. No not Darren Sproles, though he was good in his time (5 carries for 7 yards and a TD) but I am talking about rookie Jacob Hesterwho came to play and got 13 carries for 49 yards and 2 TDs…. The Chargers want to use him in a ton of ways like as a fullback, H-back and backup running back so I think he and Sproles will split back up duties and in the event of the unthinkable (LT injury) they will split that too…. Keep in mind also – Hester got 2 goal line carries and got 2 TDs…… Dallas is still looking for that #3 WR and Miles Austin stated his case tonight, compiling 5 catches for 64 yards… I still don’t have much faith in Crayton, so I am not sure he’ll produce good numbers in the 2 spot (if he keeps it all year) so I am all for taking a very late flier on Austin to see what happens…. Felix Jones did well in his debut tonight, carrying 6 times for 32 yards and catching 2 balls for 29 more and he is exactly what the Cowboys want in a compliment to Marion Barber. But the guy who really stepped up was Tashard Choice who logged 7 carries for 40 yards and 1 TD…. Choice will not be a huge factor barring an injury to Barber, and scored in the 3rd quarter during mop-up duty…. But Dynasty owners will want to watch him – he’s got enough talent in my opinion to where he could be a factor somewhere down the road…
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That’s all for now – we have one more game – Cinci and Green Bay – on Monday night. Remember one thing – don’t read too much into any of these performances. Keep an even keel and don’t overreact – a good job isn’t always that impressive and a bad day isn’t always disasterous.

I’ll be here to help you sort one from the other…..