Thurs practice notes and injuries
NFL illegal hits: How fines, suspensions decided
October 20, 2010 7:38 PM | 1 Comment
Tribune News Services
NEW YORK -- The trail from the field to NFL offices to announcements of fines and suspensions for illegal hits.
-- Games are monitored in the league's officiating command center in New York. Any hits, particularly ones that draw penalty flags that the observer in New York thinks might be fineable fouls are logged.
-- Game officials make a report that is presented to officiating executives in New York.
"What they put into their report is certainly taken into consideration very much; they are the ones on the spot at the stadiums," says NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, who ultimately hands out discipline. "They note if it is an egregious foul, as will the officiating observer at every game."
-- On Sunday night and all day Monday, the New York officiating crew evaluates every play, particularly those marked for possible discipline. The crew's reports are sent to director of football operations Merton Hanks and his staff.
"They will meticulously go through the videos and give their opinion to whether they think a discipline foul has occurred," Anderson says. They will go through what rule was violated and recommend what the discipline should be."
-- In cases of flagrant fouls or where injuries are concerned (often called danger-zone fouls) Hanks brings the information to Anderson. They review the video together and, as necessary, also will consult with vice president of player personnel Joel Bussert, officiating chief Carl Johnson and his assistant David Coleman and VP of football operations Ron Hill.
-- Anderson will make a recommendation to Commissioner Roger Goodell whether to issue a fine or a suspension.
-- The league announces any discipline.
Grossman expecting boos from Soldier Field faithful
Rex Grossman said he doesn't know what kind of reception he will receive when he comes back to Soldier Field wearing a Redskins jersey on Sunday.
''It's hard to anticipate, but I would assume it's a boo,'' he said. ''I don't think it should be, but you know how it is there; you never know what is going to happen. I've seen former players come in there and they've usually gotten booed. Either way, I don't care, I still love Chicago. I love the city, the tradition, the team and everything about it. I'm very proud to be a part of it.''
Grossman's greatest memories surround the team's Super Bowl run. The controversy and criticism are mostly forgotten.
''Definitely the 2006 season,'' Grossman said when asked what he remembered most. ''All the great, great games. The kind of team chemistry we built during that season and the momentum we had to start off the season on offense. Some of the great moments: overtime of the Seahawks game, obviously the NFC Championship Game in the snow celebrating. All of those types of memories will stick with me for the rest of my life.
''All the negative, bad comments are just a blur.''
Grossman joined the Redskins in the offseason after spending 2009 as a backup for the Houston Texans.
Never a worry
Although a report in the Tennessean said Jay Cutler suffered three concussions at Vanderbilt, former Denver Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said that was never a concern when he picked Cutler with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft.
''He's such a tough guy, he doesn't even let you know when he's got a concussion, unless it's to an extreme,'' Shanahan said. ''So that's never been a concern of mine.''
In praising Cutler, Shanahan pointed to their last season together in 2008. Cutler went to the Pro Bowl.
''He did a great job getting rid of the ball,'' Shahanan said. ''He set the record that year for the fewest sacks -- one out of every 56 passes.''
Linebacker Brian Urlacher (groin) and Lance Briggs (ankle), safeties Chris Harris (knee) and Danieal Manning (back), cornerback Zack Bowman (foot) and guard Roberto Garza (knee) did not practice Wednesday. Safety Major Wright (hamstring) had limited participation
The Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys by seven points in week two. The Washington Redskins beat them by six in week one. The Bears beat the Green Bay Packers by three in week three. Washington upset the Packers, in overtime, by three in week five…
Washington has won nine of the last 11 games against the Bears dating back to 1989…
Big fella comin’
The Washington Redskins expect massive but enigmatic defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to be active for Sunday’s game. Haynesworth, in and out of the lineup during the offseason because of conditioning and positioning issues, was gone for the last two games in the wake of his half-brother being killed in a motorcycle accident.
“He’s been back here since Thursday, working out and getting ready to play some football,” said coach Mike Shanahan. “I wouldn’t say anybody is ‘definitely’ active. But we plan on him being active.”
Linebackers Lance Briggs (ankle) and Brian Urlacher (groin) sat out practice, as did safeties Chris Harris (knee) and Danieal Manning (back) and cornerback Zackary Bowman (foot).
Washington tight end Chris Cooley (concussion) did not practice Wednesday but is expected back for full participation Thursday. Haynesworth and linebacker Rocky McIntosh were full-go in practice, as were cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall (back) and Carlos Rogers (shoulder) and tackle Trent Williams (toe/knee).
Quarterback Jay Cutler drew a comparison Wednesday between his coach/coordinator in Denver – Mike Shanahan – and his current chief offensive officer – Mike Martz. The latter wasn’t sure he saw the similarities.
“I think I’m much taller and much better looking than Mike [Shanahan],” Martz deadpanned, then paused and looked around. “Don’t you think so?”
But seriously, folks… “I actually replaced Mike Shanahan in Minnesota back in 19 (cover-cough),” Martz said (actually, the “19” was “82," as an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota). Shanahan left in 1979 to become Florida's offensive coordinator. “He went down to Florida, I came in about a year or two after him. That’s about as close as I am to Mike. He runs a completely different offense. He’s brilliant, an absolutely brilliant head coach.”
The Bears re-signed defensive lineman Ervin Baldwin to their practice squad, the second time the Bears have placed their 2008 seventh-round pick on that unit. Baldwin spent 2008 and early 2009 with Chicago, briefly on the active roster but not appearing in any games for the Bears. He played in three games last season with the Indianapolis Colts and recorded 14 tackles.
Baldwin takes the roster slot previously belonging to defensive end Barry Turner, who was moved from the practice squad to the active roster Tuesday after the Bears released veteran Charles Grant.
No more excuses for Martz, Bears offense
By John Mullin
The Bears on offense have had one major excuse on which to fall back, certainly during preseason, and on into the early parts of the 2010 season. It doesn’t work anymore and the Bears know it.
The excuse has been the “learning a new offense.” That was an explanation for breakdowns, mistakes, any of myriad errors occurring when the Bears had the ball.
Coordinator Mike Martz has blamed himself for putting too many things on young players or putting in things that were too far along the learning curve from where his players were.
Jay Cutler, the player most tasked with triggering the execution of those assignments, doesn’t want to hear it.
“Mike’s gonna take the blame because that’s just kind of how Mike is,” Cutler said. “As players, we’ve got to take more responsibility for this. We’ve been in the system long enough. Everyone should know what to do and we should be able to execute better on the field.”
Right guard Edwin Williams did not arrive until Sept. 5, signed first to the practice squad, then elevated to the active roster and then into the starting lineup. He wasn’t in Chicago in the offseason, but as far as a timetable for when an offense should be fully operational:
“The first week,” said Williams, one of those young players who has been given a pass but clearly is not taking one. “It’s not like it’s a new offense. Obviously I haven’t been here but this offense has been installed since the beginning of OTA’s and off-season training. So most of the guys have a pretty good knowledge and grasp of what we want to do. So we need to just be on the same page and go out and do it.”
Martz indirectly appears to be placing more blame or responsibility squarely on the players’ shoulder pads. More than a few times he has used the phrase, “we just have to play better,” and that points directly at players.
Most of them in any case.
“I think for the offensive line and the young guys in there, that’s a bit of an issue, but for the perimeter people, that shouldn’t be an issue at all,” Martz said. “It should never be an issue at this point. We just have to play better.”
Martz admitted that the Bears should have run the ball better in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks but “most of the stuff is just routine,” he said. “We were really careful about what’s new. I will flat tell you that there’s something we’ve done, and I think we should have run the ball more in the second half.
“But we can play better. We’ve just have to execute and do what we’re asked to do, do it as well as we can, and we do, we’ll be fine.”
nice to see unrest in washington:
Redskins' DeAngelo Hall and Jim Haslett have heated disagreement over coverages
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett got into a contentious exchange Tuesday over pass coverage instructions, a development Coach Mike Shanahan followed by meeting privately with Hall and singling Hall out at a team meeting Wednesday morning, according to three Redskins employees familiar with the events.
The argument centered on Hall's feeling that he was receiving mixed signals on how to play a certain pass coverage, according to two of those three employees. But Hall and Haslett have a good relationship and there should be no lingering animosity as a result, the employees said.
It is the second time this season that Hall has voiced his frustration over the team's defensive approach. Last month, Hall said he would assign himself to cover the opponent's top receiver regardless of Haslett's strategy, a remark he later withdrew.
Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie declined to comment on the events. Approached by reporters in the locker room, Hall said he had to undergo treatment and did not return during the time that players were available to the media.
On Wednesday morning, Shanahan singled out Hall at a team meeting at Redskins Park, citing a need for better communication among players and coaches, the three employees said.
As the Redskins gathered to begin preparations for this week's game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, Shanahan mentioned Hall by name at a team meeting, according to the team employees, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal personnel matters.
Hall apparently has been playing through the pain of a back injury for weeks, though the problem was listed on the team's injury report only before the Week 4 game against the Philadelphia Eagles and this week for the Bears game. Hall participated fully in practice Wednesday, according to the report.
Apparently, Hall has received conflicting diagnoses about the source of his pain, the three team employees said. A team physician initially diagnosed the problem as something the team employees declined to reveal. But Hall sought a second opinion because of the lingering pain, and another doctor called into question the accuracy of the first diagnosis.
Shanahan told the team that players must be forthcoming about physical limitations caused by injuries and trust that the players behind them on the depth chart are capable of performing well as replacements.
Shanahan stressed he would do everything he could to protect veteran players during the week, including limiting their practice workload to just a few plays if need be, the employees said. But players, Shanahan said, are responsible for providing the medical and training staff with the information the coach needs to help them.
Hall and Haslett had words Tuesday after reviewing film of Sunday's 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
After the game, Hall acknowledged that he blew the coverage on a 57-yard Colts touchdown pass in the first quarter. That play, however, was not what prompted the brief argument between coach and player, said two of the three employees.
Rather, there was some confusion about Haslett's instructions for the cornerbacks to play a certain coverage that would be best in certain situations. Defensive backs coach Bob Slowik explained the coverage to Hall and cornerback Carlos Rogers one way, but Haslett, the two employees said, contradicted Slowik's explanation, saying he wanted Hall to play deeper in the coverage. The result was that Hall expressed his frustration about the conflicting information before leaving the complex.
Haslett and Hall have had a good working relationship since the new regime assumed control of the football operation under Shanahan in January. Both are passionate about football and winning, many players said.
But the outburst is not Hall's first this year. Frustrated by late defensive breakdowns during the Redskins' Week 2 overtime loss to the Houston Texans, Hall said he planned to shadow each opponent's top receiver regardless of which side of the field the receiver was on. He said at the time that Haslett's opinion on the subject was not of great importance to him.
"It don't matter what he say," Hall said on Sept. 20. "This my team. This my defense. So I'm [going to] follow the receivers around. That's what I'm [going to do]. If we got to do that to win games, that's what we do."
Later in the day, however, Hall said his remarks had come out harsher than he intended and that he did not mean to criticize Haslett. Haslett later said he admired Hall's aggressiveness and desire to improve the defense.
Hall is among the veteran leaders of a Redskins defense that has struggled during the first season of a transition from a 4-3 base front to a 3-4 scheme. Washington ranks last in the league, giving up an average of 420 yards overall. The Redskins also are 31st out of 32 teams in defense against the pass (298.2 yards).
Shanahan did not criticize Hall for his performance in last week's loss to the Colts, or directly reference Tuesday's Hall-Haslett exchange. But some in the room said they believe the head coach's remarks were prompted by Hall's argument with Haslett.
Hall has played a significant role in the team's 3-3 start. He scored the Redskins' only touchdown in the season-opening 13-7 victory over the Cowboys, stripping the ball from Dallas running back Tashard Choice and returning it 32 yards for a touchdown as time expired in the first half.
In the Week 4 game against the Eagles, Hall was credited with five tackles, including four unassisted. He intercepted a pass and defensed another in the 17-12 victory at Lincoln Financial Field. Late in the first quarter, Hall and Moore combined on a hit that knocked Eagles quarterback Michael Vick out of the game. Vick suffered rib cartilage damage and has not played since.
The Redskins signed Hall in November 2008 and resigned him in March 2009. They rewarded him with a six-year deal that included $23 million in guaranteed money.
The Redskins renegotiated Hall's contract in March, moving up his $15 million signing bonus to this season for accounting purposes. Hall has a $3 million base salary this season and received a $500,000 workout bonus.
Redskins work with Donovan McNabb on his throwing motion
For 11 years, Donovan McNabb has essentially thrown a football the exact same way, relying on his quick feet and impressive upper-body strength to make passes that other quarterbacks simply can't. Early in his tenure with the Washington Redskins, though, coaches have spotted areas where McNabb's mechanics could use work, and they say they've already noticed improvement.
Let's face it, he's always been a great passer," said Washington quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur. "It's something that we always thought, if he did it a little more consistently, he'd get even that much better."
Coaches have been trying to improve McNabb's accuracy, and to do that they've focused on his footwork. In studying tape, coaches noticed that when McNabb's stance is more narrow, he strides into his throws and isn't as balanced as they'd like. By widening his stance, they hope a more steady base leads to better throws.
"Quarterbacks in general, when you have a base, there's a lot less moving parts, and it allows you to throw more accurately," LaFleur said.
While young quarterbacks often tinker with mechanics, veterans don't often undergo major overhauls.
Some, such as Chad Pennington, might alter their mechanics following injuries or surgeries. Others, such as Rich Gannon, might continually tinker with their throwing motion, much like a golfer tweaks his swing or a batter fiddles with his stance.
McNabb played down any changes, saying his footwork is "one of many" areas coaches have been trying to improve. "There's people with footwork worse than mine," he said.
Entering Sunday's game at Chicago, McNabb's home town, the bigger question becomes: Can Redskins coaches still teach a veteran quarterback new tricks?
Cris Collinsworth, the NBC analyst who called the Redskins' loss to Indianapolis last Sunday, met with Coach Mike Shanahan in the days before the game and made passing reference to McNabb's footwork during the telecast.
Clinton Portis is the only player to miss Redskins practice
Six Chicago Bears players missed practice with injuries Wednesday, but only Clinton Portis (groin) missed the Redskins' first practice session of the week as the two teams began preparing to play each other Sunday.
Tight end Chris Cooley (head) and fullback Mike Sellers (heel) were both limited for Washington, according to the injury report.
For Posters that care about cap/contracts, an intersting one on mcneil's new deal( and expect deals like this next year to continue) and what the bears will need to offer for a F/A olineman in the offseason. And the rolling Guarantees was started by Cliff Stein on bears in 2007, good to see other teams copying him : )
The concept of “rolling guarantees” -- guarantees that kick in not at the time of signing but rather at the start of next year’s League year (and beyond) -- have become vogue in this uncapped year. Technically, these deals – McNeill, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Elvis Dumervil – are only additions of money for this season. The teams can release all of these players prior to the beginning of next year without liability for the large guarantees, in McNeill’s case an additional $22.25 million guaranteed.
Would the Chargers/Jets/Broncos actually release McNeill/Ferguson/Dumervil before the first couple of days of the 2011 League Year? In theory, they could. In practice, they would lose any semblance of trust with their players.
McNeil’s structure is extremely similar to that of the deal done by Denver with Elvis Dumervil, although Dumervil has almost twice the amount ($43 million) of “rolling guarantee”.
McNeill’s guarantee pales to that of the other recent top-of-market tackle, the Jets’ Ferguson ($34 million) but does have much more guaranteed for skill, injury and Cap whereas Ferguson’s entire guarantee is for skill only.
McNeill was also advised/encouraged to report to the Chargers by the NFL Players Association -- as have been Jackson and Mankins -- as to not throw any wrenches in the overall objectives of the union in negotiating free agency issues in the CBA negotiations.
Bears know they have to change play calls
Martz acknowledges needs for more running plays and quick drops
Rogers isn't convinced about any growth on the line, either, saying, "We have some (blitzes) that we put in. I've seen a lot of nickel blitzes open up, a lot of linebacker blitzes, a lot of D-line rushing get to him. They've been leaving holes open everywhere
dabears54, that quote from the Redskins cornerback is embarrassing. The Bears blocking woes are a laughing stock to the rest of the league.
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dont worry Tice will fix everything with his magic wand! Just like Marinelli improved a lackluster group of dlinemen last year by 2 sacks lmfao. A coach cant do crap if they dont get the talent to improve things with. We gave Marinelli Peppers and look at the transformation of the D. We gave Tice a bunch of practice squad players and guess what? you get what you pay for.
Originally Posted by GeorgiaJeff
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