Archive for category Tampa Bay

Afternoon News Blips

Some quick takes on some new stories…

Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger injured his shoulder on Sunday on a Mario Williams sack, though he stayed in the game and only had one incompletion out of 14 passes attempted. Given his overall stats, 137 yards and 2 TDs and the fact he didn’t have to throw much,you have to wonder if it would have affected him more if he had needed to toss the rock more. Expect him to play Sunday, expect him to put decent stats against a Browns team that got torched by Dallas and who was manhandled by the Dallas Oline. I think Big Ben and Fast Willie will be good plays this weekend.

Titans
The after affect of Vince Young’s injury is that Kerry Collins is in and the Titans are bringing in other guys as backup. Joey Harrington and Quinn Gray are both coming in today. Gray is intriguing in the event of Kerry Collins melting down but neither guy is worth rostering at this point.

Raiders
I reported earlier that Darren McFadden left the 4th quarter early with an undisclosed shoulder injury. According to Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, McFadden had a shoulder stinger. He’ll be looked at again today but it shouldn’t affect his play on Sunday.

What will? That awful offensive play calling. That might do it.

Buccaneers
One thing overlooked in the Brady-Vince Young-Oakland Meltdown-Aaron Rodgers-Favre news blasts was the pretty nice game Ernes Graham had in the Bucs loss to the Saints on Sunday. 91 yards on the ground plus 1 catches for another 27. Not bad for a guy Fantasy owners only had on their lists as a #3 back in many cases. What could be better? Let’s ask HC Gruden (or ask the St. Petersburg Times to ask him):

“We have to give it to him more,” he said, adding that Graham ran “extremely well.”

Warrick Dunn had 9 carries overall, many in the second half so an increase in work for Graham could mean anything from garbage touches to burning the clock out. Whatever it means, if Gruden does follow through, Graham could start to becoem a nice little value going forward.

That’s all for now – I’ll be back with more news, notes and strategy later.

More cuts on Black Tuesday

More cut updates – remember Saturday is the big day and lots of platyers will drop. I have high hopes that Blurb faves Steve Johnson (BUF), Joey LaRocque (CHI) and Josh Johnson (TB) will be on the squads on opening day.

49ers
DT Joe Cohen, TE Cooper Wallace, S Lewis Baker, QB Kyle Wright, G John Booker
Bills DB Kennard Cox, WR C.J. Hawthorne, P D.J. Fitzpatrick, DE Shaun Nua
Bucs WR Paris Warren, LB Antoine Cash, S Donte Nicholson

Added players from earlier:
Texans –
OL Scott Jackson (foot) onto IR

More should be coming – and Saturday could be brutal. Again, props to jeter23 over at the footballguys.com message board whose list thread is pinned at top and has been where I am going to make sure I miss nobody.

Other notes of notes -

Cincinnati Bengals
According to HC Marvin Lewis, Jerome Simpson could open the season as the Begnal’s #3 WR. that’s a huge turn of events from earlier this preseason, when Simpson was struggling. How much this will pay off will depend on two things – the health of the Dynamic Duo (Housh and CJ) and if Ben Utecht puts up numbers like we expect/hope at TE. Late pick at best.

Arizona Cardinals
Regardless of ESPN, Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, HC Whisenhunt says he won’t decide until post-Thursday’s game as the starter. I am not a big fan of this situation and frankly, don’t know who will end up any week as the starter. Leinart better look nails this week though, or Mort will be right and Whisenhunt – and myself – will be eating crow.

Green Bay Packers
HC Mike McCarthy is talking about decresing Grant’s carries over the season, I assume to integrate Brandon Jackson into the game mroe. It doesn’t kill Grant’s value, but it will lessen the chances he ends the season in the top 10.

Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall is in NY to protest his suspension – hoping to knock a game off the total 2-3 game time. This has a big impact on rookie Eddie Royal. Royal will be a starter during the time Marshall being suspended and will put up good numbers during that time, so every game counts. He should be ok throughout the year BUT he needs some time to lock that #2
spot up – he’s a borderline 3/4 now and will probably be no more than that.

That’s it for now – we’re back at 6:30am PST/9:30am EST for the morning post and remember the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast is back tomorrow night at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Also, tonight we rebooted the BlogTalkRadio fantasy draft and actually got through it with minimal pain – I’ll talk a little about it tomorrow here or on the show.

Have a good night.

Monday Stampede

Of course, more things happened this weekend than merely the Willis McGahee injury I mentioned last post.

Let’s go over some of them.

Seattle Seahawks
Bobby Engram injured his shoulder in the game this weekend, in a way that didn’t give me all that much pause at the time. Turns out it was much worse than it looked – Engram cracked his shoulder and will be out now for somewhere between 6-8 weeks, best case scenario with him returning for week 3. How likely that is certainly is a good question with Engram being 35 and not as spry as he once was. This leaves Burleson at the 1 spot still and a veritable free for all in the 2 spot with Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Logan Payne. Payne and Taylor have been banged up but nobody has the full edge yet. Keep an eye – one of these guys could have huge upside as the number 2. On the other hand if they all falter, things will be tough on Hasselback and Burleson owners.

Pittsburgh Steelers
First off, reports from the weekend that Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Steelers were mistaken. I suppose one aging and inneffective QB a weekend is the limit for QB signings. Byron Leftwich – he of the release so slow my 3 year old can count to 100 before he gets the pass off – was signed for very little and will open as the #2 behind Big Ben. The minimal cap amount tells you three things, one you already knew – 1) They don’t expect to need him, so neither should you. 2) They can cut him at any time, meaning his long term prospects are almost exactly what they were before Batch went down. 3) That little money reminds you just how little interest there is in this guy. Again, rather than draft him to back up Big Ben, pick up even a marginal starting QB (Trent Edwards, JaMarcus Russell, Matt Leinart) instead.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers
The bucs are still dangling Chris Simms out there and there is interest – but most teams appear to be waiting for him to get cut. Sure, the Bucs could keep him on the roster, but word is that the rift between he and Chuckie Gruden is far too wide – so it wouldn’t stun me if he was outright cut if another team didn’t deal for him. Incidentally, the Cowboys supposedly had scouts at the Tampa Bay game this weekend and may still be in play to trade for him.

New York Jets
As a known Jets fan with a new Favre jersey on the way (NFL.com WHERE IS MY JERSEY?) it should come as a suprise to nobody that I was goaded by my fellow owners in the local league I play, in an attempt to get me to reach for Favre as my QB – it started in round 3 and went until he was picked by someone else in round 10 . As I know you really don’t care a whit for my league, I merely mention it to illustrate this point I have said many times already – Favre’s biggest effect on Fantasy will be for his supporting cast, not himself. It’s not to say Favre will not do well – he might. However, the difference in expectations between what Penningon/Clemens can do with a ball and what The Favre does are pretty significant. Thomas Jones, Cotchery, Coles, Leon Washington – those are the guys who will reap the benefits of success more than Favre himself. I’ll throw out Dustin Keller as well – the kid is just tearing up Training Camp and may get a lot of looks along the sidelines. Favre will be no more than a solid QB2. Any Jets fans (or Favre fans) out there, let them yell – just keep picking value and ignore the taunts.

Carolina Panthers
Steve Smith suffered a concussion in the preseason game this weekend and while it won’t matter longer term (especially since he will miss weeks 1 and 2) he probably won’t play in Thursday’s game against the Eagles. It’s nothing more than that, but at this point we’ll see a lot less of our usual veterans and considering Engram, McGahee and now Smith’s injuries, it’s all the better for most Fantasy Teams. By the way, reports from Panthers camp are that the thought that rookie Johnathan Stewart will easily replace DeAngelo Williams from the starter’s job when he returns from his toe injury might have been premature. First, Stewart has missed a ton of camp and even working every day in rehab and reading playbooks will not replace reps lost in camp and preseason games. Second, Williams has allegedly redoubled his efforts this off-season and is far more dedicated than he has been in the past. Thirdly, HC John Fox loves his vets and doesn’t hand anything over to rookies, as Williams’ Dynasty owners are very aware. The longer Stewart is out and the better Williams can do in camp, the closer to a regular RBBC this will be, so I hope you drafted accordingly.

That’s all for now – back with more later….

Cowboys Camp and the news update

Hey folks,

Just returned from lovely Oxnard, California and Dallas Cowboy Training Camp. It was a short practice, as the ‘boys needed to both get into makeup for another edition of Hard Knocks and then head to San Diego for their Saturday night tilt with the Chargers.

And while one of those things is certainly true, the other probably is as well if you’ve seen HBO’s series yet.

In all seriousness though, the team looked loose and ready. Adam Jones (the man formerly known as Pacman) is still lining up against TO whenever he can, even when it’s a no contact drill. I think – and it’s early – but I think he finally gets what it takes to succeed in the league.

Anyway, I will be trying to get out at least once more in the last two practices next week, so we’ll see if there are any nuggets to pass along.

On to the news -
Philadelphia Eagles
Big news out of Philly and comforting too, for those of you who are already Westbrook owners. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News , the Eagles have signed Westbrook not so much to an extension as it is a reworking of his current contract with more money and years. Here’s what they say about the details, none of which is concerned:

Neither France nor the Eagles would disclose the terms of the deal, but a source close to the situation said there is $13 million in new money. The source said that $13 million in the first two seasons is guaranteed and that Westbrook will make $21 million over the next three seasons. The source said that there are escalators based on playoff appearances and individual performance that could increase Westbrook’s salary to $24 million.

All that means really is Westy is happy – and a happy Westy is a productive fantasy Westy, if he also remains a helthy Westy.

Great news for the Eagles though and while we may not see much of him tonight against Pittsburgh, you will see Lorenzo Booker and see if the hype I and Cecil have been building around his involvement start to pan out.

San Francisco 49rs
According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat , Alex Smith is running out of time and ‘may be too intelligent for his own good and isn’t exactly a fast learner.’ I have no idea how you can be too smart BUT not a quick learner, but point has been made. Smith has not run away with this job. Matt Barrows over at the 49rs blog at the Sac Bee says not too read too much into O’Sullivan’s start though as HC Mike Nolan has said it’s just a case of having not seen O’Sullivan play in a game before, whereas he knows what Smith and Hill do durign a game.

Not a ringing endorsement though. I still say the wide receivers will be ok plays, but the QB spot is way to risky for me in Fantasy leagues.

Tampa Bay Bucaneers
Well, here’s some insult to injury. Apparently a deal the Packers rejected from the Bucs involved Chris Simms. Is it me, or is Simms jst snakebit? Somebody fly him to Dallas, quick.

Denver Broncos
With Brandon Marshall on the pine for 2-3 weeks, Eddie Royal will line up opposite Darrell Jackson for the first few games. Whereas the depth chart made it look like Jackson was slipping behind the rookie yesterday, he has merely moved into Marshall’s posotion for the time being. They should both shift backwards when Marshall comes back, but if Jackson stumbles out of the gate and Royal continues to impress, the rookie could pull a Dwayne Bowe and end up as the #2.

New York Jets
It’s not all roses with the Jets, according to an article in Newsday. Here’s what they say:

One player said the locker room is hardly unanimous about the move to get Favre, telling Newsday that a significant portion of the team was not in favor of giving up on Chad Pennington. The players loyal to Pennington were upset to see the team simply toss him overboard after he’d given so much to the team during his time with the Jets.

It is, of course, more about Pennington than Favre and I think they will warm to it. But as has been pointed out by others, Laveraneus Coles was a big Chad guy and allegedly left the hotel in Cleveland when he heard the news. Yes, he came back, but let’s face it – he wasn’t happy.

Is this a warning sign for Fantasy Owners? I’m not sure – Coles is a professional and isn’t stupid. Favre can do things Chad couldn’t. But I understand the loyalty – I just doubt it will blind him to what Favre can bring to the table.

Hopefully he can react like Kellen Clemens who, when asked how he felt to go from QB battle to instant back-up, had this to say:

“What can I say? Now I’m backing up a future Hall of Famer,” Clemens said. “I’ll be able to further my education.”

Smart kid, that Clemens.

More later, maybe some thoughts on the Pitt/Philly game.

Wednesday Morning Stampede

So FAVREWATCH 2008 is far from over, but we knew that would be the case.

All that and some running back news below for the Morning Stampede…

Green Bay Packers
As was reported yesterday, Favre is probably close to being traded and soon. Both the Jets and Bucs are allegedly interested – the Tampa Tribune says Favre will be a Buc be days end, with Brian Griese heading to Wisconsin to back up Aaron Rodgers (which as I wrote last night, only made sense). Not so fast says Jay Glazer of FoxSports – the NY Jets have offered a much better trade package. Apparently, Favre currently prefers the Bucs, though he is talking to the Jets, and supposedly feels that the Packers are asking too much from the Bucs just because they are a NFC team.

I think this will clear up by Friday, maybe before, but it continues to be somewhat ugly between the Pack and their once favored son.

Both the Bucs and Jets would be good, not great fits, for Favre and neither is a Super Bowl contender though the Bucs seem closer on the surface. Favre may help them make a run while he merely makes the Jets an 8-8 team with Wild Card aspirations. That’s not a slam on Favre – the Jets are just farther away. But you never know.

Either team would put Favre back on the Fantasy radar and make him – at the very least – a #2 QB.

Chicago Bears
Kevin Jones is definitely healing well and while he might still open the season on the PUP list, he is supposedly running close to full speed. He’s been in pads, though sporting a heavy knee brace. It’s the brace that reminds you he is still coming back from a nagging injury and is a guy who the Bears probably picked up more for later in the season. Jones could be a pick during the last half or third of your draft, but you shouldn’t draft him for anything but bench depth. Matt Forte is still the starter and will be for some time, barring him struggling mightily.

San Francisco 49rs
Frank Gore could have a huge season if he is involved in the pass game the way I (and others) suspect he might, yet I still see him slipping late in the 1st round of drafts. Gore has worked hard to get into better shape, including dropping wieght. With the concerns for just about every running back pick after #3 (Westbrook or Peterson, depending on who you ask), Gore is someone to look at closely and consider for your #1 back.

Most of the 49rs have a long way to go to prove themselves fantasy worthy and Gore could still face 8 man fronts if Martz’s offense struggles. But Gore has faced them before and done well. Dropping the weight and getting into better shape will hopefully keep him healthier and get rid of nagging injuries that have plagued him for his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Just when we thought Fast Willie Parker had lost his goal line touches for good with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall – not so fast. According to HC Mike Tomlin (by way of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ), Parker is once again under consideration for goal line duties. Now, I need to look into this but this may be a sign Mendenhall is struggling a little in camp. I’ll see what I can find out. Parker will get you the yards – but his touchdowns were completely absent last year and it killed his owners. If he can get even a few more goal line touches, it would really help his value to you. I have been, and still do, assume that the rookie Mendenhall will get a ton of short yardage looks, including in the red zone. Parker hasn’t got the size for it and concern still is he might wear down. But he has been effective on occasion and could be again if the offensive line is back on it’s game. That was the biggest problem last year – the Ol-ine struggled as much as he did.

He’s your rock solid RB2 – with a ton of upside if this plays out.

That’s all for now – more later.

Favre to Bucs – Garcia to Packers?

Hey guys

In case you were asleep, Adam Shefter says the Packers have placed Favre on the declared non-injury inactive list and told him once and for all – no, you cannot get your release. They are talking to the Bucs and Favre is thinking it over. And of course we have talked about what this could mean for Favre and the Bucs – but what about a wrinkle?

Could Garcia be a part going back to the Pack?

Let’s face it, the Pack has very shaky QB depth behind Rodgers who has a bit of an injury history. They need a veteran back-up and I was shocked they didn’t pursue one. So why not?

Well, Garcia still thinks he can start. He can. too. Maybe he can gamble that Rodgers will not work out or get hurt, but I doubt he’d be happy. On the other hand – well rotoworld put it better than I ever could -

….and Jeff Garcia would certainly throw a hissy fit to be remembered.

I think Garcia could do well in Green Bay but he may not go. I would think Brian Griese or Chris Simms will be more likely.

But anyway, I thought it an interesting notion. Jets are also getting mentioned a lot on NFL Total Access.

Camp Stampede – Midday report

Howdy folks!

Thanks for all the great feedback I am getting on the Thundering Blurb show! We’ll be there every week until season’s end – and possibly beyond!

Let’s get to the news –

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It appears that Jeff Garcia’s injury does NOT appear serious. Still, it got the mind racing – and maybe will kick something forward if they start to worry about Garcia’s durability. The snag I didn’t touch on earlier? Maybe favre doesn’t want to play there. That’s always a problem as the bucs are aware*coughJakePlummercough*.

Green Bay Packers
Favre has chartered a plane to Green Bay. I expect he will be at the practice facility tomorrow. I expect NFL Total Access to have nothing but conjecture about it. I expect to enjoy it all…. In Non-Favre news (yes the Packers have that) and lost in the Favre debacle is the hold-out of Ryan Grant. Well, Grant may want to get into camp as reports are that his back-up – second year man Brandon Jackson – is doing very, very well in camp. So well, in fact, that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is saying they will probably split carries when Grant ends his hold-out. Now I don’t know about THAT but RB pairing has become more common so it’s not impossible. But the real message here might be that the Packers might find themselves having leverage in this situation, unlike the Favre one. If Jackson is doing well, Grant – while not replaceable – certainly can find himself in less of a sure position and more likely to settle for less, or even status quo, in terms of his contract money.

Houston Texans
I love the Texans and I can’t tell you why. They intrigue me. And they signed a guy who has also caught my attention in the past – former Denver RB Mike Bell. The Denver-to-Houston pipeline set up by Mike Kubiak continues. With Chris Brown already banged up, Ahman Green not looking phenomenal in camp and the rest of the running backs not locking the job up, Bell could have a shot at a starting job. Or at worst, lock up the short yardage back role.

New York Jets
As of this morning, we finally have a positive Kellen Clemens report where he actually out-performed Pennington and threw no INTs. That’s big for his backers, as Clemens has thrown some ugly picks the first practices. A lot of the picks it seems (reading Erik Boland’s excellent blog at Newsday.com and Rich Cimini’s good work at the Daily News) have come in the 2minute drill practices and that’s not good. But Clemens looked good today. All along, people have said it’s not that Pennington looked better bu that Clemens looked worse. Looks like Clemens finally played to his potential. Can he keep it up?

Apparently the hit of the day according to both bloggers was during a non-contact drill (isn’t it always?). Safety Kerry Rhodes absolutely decimated WR Chansi Stuckey as Stuckey went across the middle. Just laid him on his tail. During a practice where Mangini was angry because many people were lagging, Rhodes sent the message that he was here to play and everyone had better keep up.

Cimini said it and I’ll echo it – the Jets need more guys liek that if they want to top their pathetic win total for last season.

That’s all for now – more later — and don’t forget – The Drive Block goes live at 10pm EST/ 7pm PST! Catch me, Cecil and Sigmund Bloom as we give you the latest on the events of the day!

Jeff Garcia Hurt

Just saw this item at TampaBay.com.

Looks like self-proclaimed ‘I am the starting quarterback’ Jeff Garcia is pranged up.

We don’t know how serious – if at all – it is right now but if he’s even kinda hurt…..

How bad would the Bucs want Favre?

I think Gruden would do everything he could to get the soon-to-be-ex-Packer. Something will happen and it looks liek the Pack is talking or considering talking to the Bears or Vikings. If the Bucs made a strong offer, the Packers would probably try to move him there to avoid the nightmare of a trade within the division…

I’ll report back on more as I hear it…..

Tuesday Wrap Up

A few notes to end the Tuesday Camps – and remember – The Thundering Blurb goes live at 6pmPST/9pm EST tomorrow!

Jacksonville Jaguars
Reggie Williams hurt himself again today, re-injuring his knee (recently sprained) and being carted off the field. Did I mention enough lately that I dislike Williams and think Mike Walker, John Broussard and almost anyone else in the core. Again, Marcedes Lewis looks good to me as well.

New Orleans Saints
Sedrick Ellis has finally signed and should be in camp. If he can catch up, he can still make an impact off and on during the season and might work as a bye week filler guy on your IDP squad.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Cowboys are still interested in Chris Simms but the Bucs are still asking for too much. Would that change if they acquired Favre. we may soon find out. The Cowboys certainly would be happy to upgrade the #2 slot from Brad Johnson.

Buffalo Bills
JP Losman jammed his right thumb – for those of you who thought he might sneak in and be a fantasy force…. all two of you in the Buffalo/Canada area….

Thats all for now – see you tomorrow!

FavreWatch 2008

I feel like I need to be standing in a downpour with no umbrella, no hat and no jacket discussing flooding – which is a reference only my fellow SoCal folks might get.

With Packers camp a day away, the Packers are allegedly trying to finish the Favre saga (or part 1, as you and I both know this story will never completely go away).

ProFootballTalk is reporting that Jay Glazer at FoxSports is saying that the Tampa Bay Bucs have been given permission to talk to his Favreness to work out a trade. This comes on the heels of an earlier ESPN report that my beloved Jets were given permission to talk to him.

It seems like the Packers are trying their best to work this out prior to tomorrow and it comes down to this – does Brett want to play or play for the Packers? If he wants to play and (aside from contending) doesn’t care where, we’ll see a trade I think sometime in the next week or so. If he wants to remain a Packer though – and he might – all he needs to do is show up in camp and play like he did in 2007.

Of course, that’s a mess for the Pack, no doubt, but that’s kinda where it stands. If Favre really is the complete prima donna he has appeared to be at many moments in this ridiculous mess, then he could go to camp, sulk and try to make them release him or make a stupid trade to somewhere like the Vikes. I’m hoping that isn’t the case and the last few weeks are merely a bunch of bad moves by someone who has let his passion run away with him.

As for the Bucs vs the Jets -

Favre would certainly pick up the Tampa offense a little quicker, though the West Coast the Jets run wouldn’t be a stretch. HC Mangini says he’s happy with the QBs on their roster yada yada but 1) that’s coachspeak and is worth less than the current value of the US Dollar and 2) he’s on the hotseat, the Jets spent LOADs of cash to win now so 3) they would LOVE to have Favre. As much as it would screw with the Clemens/Pennington Debate – I think they would care. They can sort that out next year in a way I think the packers don’t feel they can.

Tampa Bay would be good as well, and not just for the aforementioned ability for Favre to get the offense quick. While the recievers aren’t as good (aside from Galloway – I’ll put Coles/Cotchery against any Bucs combo) Gruden works magic with older QBs. He could be very successful there if the Oline holds together (you could say that last part abotu the Jets as well). He could mentor Josh Johnson as I think he’s a few years away from playing, although we’ve seen how that worked out in Green Bay.

I think either of these would be a very good fit and I think if Brett wants to play – and wants to gracefully exit the mess he has created most of – he should work things out with one of those teams.

And soon.

Join us again later for BRETTWATCH!
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