Jim Racalto

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Seahawks agree to trade Percy Harvin to Jets

According to a tweet from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to trade wide receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. The Seahawks said Harvin “wasn’t a good fit.”

This move was probably made to free up cap space to sign Russell Wilson long-term, otherwise it makes very little sense, as Harvin is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.

Steelers bench CB Cortez Allen after $26 million extension

2014 was supposed to be the season the Pittsburgh Steelers regained their dominant form on defense after an influx of younger players and free agents. However, injuries to Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones, coupled with just downright horrible execution, has led to the defense being gashed on the ground and through the air. Pittsburgh currently sits at 3-3, and some major changes were made this week in hopes of the unit improving.

The most glaring change is that Cortez Allen, the cornerback who was given a five-year, $26 million contract extension, has been benched in favor of Brice McCain. The change was confirmed by defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. Allen has struggled with his consistency this season, and is ranked last by Pro Football Focus out of every corner in the league.

Per NFL.com:

“Sometimes, there are ups and downs out there. I have great confidence that he’ll fight himself through this and be a very strong player,” LeBeau said.

Allen was also benched for a stretch of play last season and seems like a player that can struggle with his confidence at times. When things are going well, he can inspire his bosses to pay him long-term money. When things start going poorly, he crumbles.

It’s easy to place the blame on one guy like Allen, but realistically the defense as a whole has been sub-par.

In addition to benching Allen, rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt will get his first career start Monday night when the Houston Texans roll into Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in a primetime matchup.

Jay Gruden on Kirk Cousins’ interceptions: “I wish I could explain it”

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has thrown eight interceptions in five games this season, including three last week against the Arizona Cardinals – a game the Redskins were in the whole way and had a chance to win.

Cousins has shown flashes of brilliance, but his interceptions have robbed Washington of the chance to win several games.

Head coach Jay Gruden wishes he had an explanation for Cousins’ Jekyll and Hyde play:

I don’t know. If I knew, I wouldn’t call those plays,” Gruden said, via the Tennessean. “They’ve come in bunches. The fourth quarters haven’t been very good to us and I think those are the most important times for us to make plays and get the win. I don’t know if he’s forcing them too much or just maybe hesitating on a couple of them. Sometimes you force them, sometimes you just miss the throws. . . . Some of it’s an accuracy issue, some of it’s a footwork issue, some of them are just not believing in what he’s seeing, and some of them are forced.”

However, Gruden is fully supportive of his quarterback. This is Cousins’ first time starting an extended period of games, and he’s going through the developmental phase, which always comes with bumps in the road at that position.

The real question is whether or not Robert Griffin III will take back the starting job when he returns, and if Cousins continues at his current pace, it’s safe to assume he will.

Jason Worilds: “They’re taking me out of position to make plays”


(Credit: SK)

The Pittsburgh Steelers applied the transition tag during the offseason to linebacker Jason Worilds at a price tag of almost $10 million. Worilds recorded a team high 8 sacks in 11 starts in 2013. This led many to believe that Worilds had a high ceiling and would have no problem replacing LaMarr Woodley.

Fast forward to now. Worilds only has 2 sacks through 6 games, and many are starting to think the Steelers may have made a bad investment.

However, Worilds has a different take on the situation. He believes some of the defensive schemes are forcing him into pass coverage far too often instead of strictly pass rushing.

Per the Post-Gazette:

“I would think they understand that,” Worilds said Wednesday after practice. “I would hope that they know that I rush the passer, so if they put me out of position, they do it knowing that they’re taking me out of position to make plays.”

Worilds was not particularly complaining about it, just stating facts as he sees them.

“Some of the things that we’re doing, some of the positions that they’re playing [us] is kind of to help the defense, more so than from, I guess, a schematic standpoint with me individually rushing.

Worilds has rushed the passer 128 times out of 385 total snaps. Not a bad total of rushes by any means, and Worilds should be getting more pressures and sacks. However, he has not been able to get into a rhythm or get a feel for blockers when he isn’t consistently pass-rushing.

Overall, Worilds hasn’t done an awful job in coverage, but he’s being paid to sack the quarterback, not cover receivers. If Pittsburgh is going to start winning games, they’ll need to start getting more consistent pressure, and that starts with Worilds.





Marvin Lewis gives idiotic answer regarding concussions

In the old school days of the NFL, concussions were, for some reason, not seen as very serious. The landscape has changed with many former players filing lawsuits against the league because of concussion related issues. This is why head injuries are now treated on the sideline by independent doctors.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone in every organization realizes the serious nature of concussions. Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis falls into that category, as he gave the most ridiculous answer when asked about linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s health. Burfict has a history of concussions.

Per PFT:

Well, he had a concussion against Atlanta,” Lewis said of their Sept. 14 game. “That’s that biggest concern that way. You don’t want him to have, you know, but again I coached defenses and linebackers for a long time and concussions didn’t linger. Now we have found that because of the media and things they seem to linger longer. There’s a lot of attention paid to it. I don’t know why they linger longer. I don’t remember them lingering like they do now.”

So, concussions are more serious than they were before because of the media? Gotcha, Marv.

Lewis exemplifies perfectly with this idiotic comment why coaches should not be determining the severity of head injuries.


Kelvin Benjamin: “I didn’t know you could tie”

The Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals played an exciting game Sunday that went into overtime. However, even OT wasn’t enough, as the game resulted in a 37-37 tie when Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a field goal as time expired.

We’ve heard before of players not knowing certain overtime rules, or not being aware that teams can tie because there is only one OT session in regular season games. This time, it’s Panthers rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

Per NFL.com:

“I didn’t know you could tie in the NFL,” Benjamin told The Charlotte Observer following the game.

Aside from not knowing you could tie in the NFL, Benjamin has been a nice surprise for Carolina and quarterback Cam Newton so far this season. He’s already caught four touchdowns, and looks well on his way to being the #1 guy for years to come.

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