Thomas Decoud, Atlanta Falcons
More on the headlines above, plus news on one pro Bear who will be at the Wazzu game, and find out where some of your favorite Golden Bear hoopsters are now playing overseas after the jump. Also, two Golden Bears got signed to two NFL 53 man squads, find out who by checking out the rest of the post!
Justin Forsett, Seattle Seahawks
ESPN's Mike Sando reports that Forsett could be seeing more action, mainly because his pass blocking abilities might be the best of the three in the corps! Good job Coach Gould and Coach M!
Justin Forsett is earning -- and will get -- more touches in the regular offense. My take three weeks ago was that Forsett, primarily a third-down back to this point, had done enough to start getting touches on earlier downs. Seattle left Forsett alone in the backfield six times in the first quarter against the Jaguars, more than he had in the first quarters of the previous four games. Forsett is challenging to become the best pass-blocking back on the team even though Julius Jones and Edgerrin James are strong in that area. He lacks top-end speed, but he's quick and appears trustworthy in key situations. He did a nice job chipping on his way out of the backfield, helping the left tackle substantially on one play.
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Lots of stuff here about the matchup between Gonzalez and Dallas's returning strong safety , who is returning with a cast on one hand due to a broken thumb. He's also expected to see lots of double coverage.
"My whole career I've always tried to look at when they played against maybe Kellen Winslow, and see what they did to him, because I know he's such a threat in the receiving game," Gonzalez said during a conference call Wednesday. "But even sometimes teams will switch it up. Earlier this year we played against New England and I didn't really anticipate getting bracket coverage as much as I was that game, and because of that I only had one catch."
The Cowboys held Winslow to four catches for 30 yards and one score in the season-opener. Gonzalez has had plenty of practice adapting to varied schemes over the years.
"It's always something," Gonzalez said of the different looks he gets. "That's something I've been used to my whole career and whatever they want to do hopefully we can adjust and move the ball down the field."
Tony G was also on Pardon the Interruption for Five Good Minutes on Wednesday--check out his interview starting at about 9:55.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
Asomugha was surprised at what happened on Sunday--in terms of Oakland's defense actually following through on what they run in practice.
On Sunday, the Raiders brought a different look to the Eagles game on defense. They blitzed and played zone -- a departure from the defensive scheme Davis prefers. It was something of a revolution, according to cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Asomugha said he lobbies every week for a more aggressive attack and less predictable coverage, but usually to no avail.
"We were shocked," Asomugha said, "because coaches say we're going to run it in practice, but we come to a game and that never happens."
Asomugha said defensive coordinator John Marshall finally agreed to make changes. "He said that he might get yelled at for it, but he'll keep going," Asomugha said.
When asked about Asomugha's claims, Cable evaded the issue.
"I think we'll do what we can, and what we think it takes to win every Sunday," Cable said.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
Football Outsiders thinks they know why Aaron is struggling to develop a good rapport with one of his primary targets (HT Acme Packing Company):
Aaron Rodgers didn't pad his stats; after a third-quarter sack and fumble, he threw only one pass in the fourth quarter, an interception. A more important question: What's up with Greg Jennings? We thought the star wideout would have a big game against the Lions, but Jennings only ended up with 38 yards on six catches in eight attempts. Our theory: Rodgers is struggling to get the protection he needs to allow Jennings to run double moves and get open downfield.
Zack Follett, LB, Detroit Lions
At least one more time, Follett will be patrolling the California sidelines on his bye week.
Rookie linebacker Zack Follett is heading back to California. He grew up in Clovis and played college football at Cal. He said he's planning to go back to Berkeley to see Saturday's game against Washington State.
"We've got three days off. I'm going to fly home and go back to the Bay," Follett said. "Catch a Cal football game and kind of refresh the mind a little bit and get ready to get back to work.
"I've already been here three months. To stay another two, it would be a tough stretch, especially with this cold weather getting up on me. I'm getting my mind ready for these winters."
Lorenzo Alexander recorded 3 tackles in a 14-6 loss to Kansas City. You can see him against the Eagles and Desean on Monday night.
- Desean Jackson caught 6 passes for 94 yards (as you saw above), as well as having 4 punt returns for 43 yards.
- Dante Hughes was signed by the Chargers! Hopefully now that he's right next to the Pacific coast, he'll be able to regain his "intercepting of North Korean nuclear missiles" abilities.
- The Seahawks signed Mike Gibson off the Eagles practice squad...lots of Golden Bears piling up there in Seattle!
- Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 19 times for 61 yards, and 2 receptions for 11 yards.
- Alex Mack was sidelined by flu-like symptoms; it's not yet known if it was H1N1 that was ailing him.
- Ryan Longwell kicked four field goals, including the game-winner against Baltimore.
- Brandon Mebane recorded three tackles for the Seahawks in their loss to Arizona.
- Tully Banta-Cain was let go by New England...and then immediately resigned for a multi-year deal, according to Adam Schefter. He recorded 3 tackles in the 59-0 dressing down of the Titans.
- Apparently long snapper David Binn once dated Pamela Anderson. Wait, WHAT?
- Desmond Bishop remains on the special teams with AJ Hawk still the starter, although he is in a good spot to replace him in the future if the team chooses. He recorded one tackle in that capacity against Detroit.
- Kyle Boller isn't likely to compete for the starting spot with Marc Bulger in the near future; Bulger still is the de facto #1.
- The Hogs, an independent Redskins site, did an interview with Andre Carter the week before Kansas City. Carter had 7 tackles and the pass deflection you saw in the video.
- Scott Fujita did not practice Wednesday because of a strained right calf he suffered against the Giants. Still not sure if he will play against Miami.
- Kansas City head coach Todd Haley has found his starting right tackle in Ryan O'Callaghan.
- Nick Harris punted 5 times for a 39.2 yard average for Detroit.
- Jason Kidd is averaging 7 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals through five preseason games. Since the Spurs are the favorites to win the division, here's what Mavs Moneyball thinks Kidd should do to slow down Tony Parker (hint: he won't): "First Jason Kidd must force Parker into becoming a passer more than a scorer. This is not going to be easy for Kidd, in fact it may be impossible! If Kidd cannot at least slow down Parker's ability to get to the basket the Mavericks will be forced to try and win a shootout, and at this point I do not feel confident enough in their rotation defense to say they can win that type of game with these Spurs."
- Ryan Anderson is averaging 14 points, 4 rebounds, and over 50 percent from downtown per game for the Magic in the preseason. According to Third Quarter Collapse, his offensive rating is an astounding 118.7 (translation: very very good) with a usage rate of 23.7%. If you haven't seen it, check out danzig's highlight reel of him against the Bulls, where he hit the go-ahead bucket in the fourth quarter. You can see Anderson in action in the final preseason game tonight on ESPN against the Hawks at 8 PM EST/5 PM PST; considering that starters usually are rested a lot in these games, this might be the most Anderson plays all year long.
- Sean Marks? 2 points, 5 rebounds, 30% shooting, 4 fouls per game. We should expect a lot of updates like this; pray for a gamewinning dunk here and there.
- Leon Powe met with his old Celtic battery mates during the last preseason game between the Cavs and Cs (he is of course still far away from playing). It was, in his own words, 'strange'.
Rod Benson was released by the Pacers. Sigh. He'll probably be back in the D-League soon enough. Interesting stuff about dissent between Benson and his agent from Ridiculous Upside.
Week 3 - Natalie Coughlin - Dancing With The Stars (via ABCNetwork)
- Natalie Coughlin was eliminated prematurely from Dancing with the Stars, because people who watch Dancing with the Stars obviously hate beautiful women and prefer C-list celebrities. For those who wanted to catch her dances (all in HD!): Week 1 with the salsa, Week 2 with the quickstep, Week 3 with the rumba (her best one) is the embedded video above, Week 4 with the bolero. Here's her post-elimination interview from Good Morning America, where they wake her up at 4 to 5 AM local time the night afterwards and drag her back to the studio for an interview to ask her how much it sucks to be eliminated. You stay classy ABC.
- At least it led to this gem by one of the judges. You should spot what's wrong pretty quickly.
"Unfortunately for Natalie, I think that people didn’t know who she was," said the cheorographer, actress and dancer [Carrie Ann Inaba]. "Maybe the fan base of her sport isn’t watching our show or maybe it isn’t as big as someone like Michael Irvin’s fanbase, which is basketball."
- Toronto FC's Stefan Frei is a dark horse candidate for MLS Rookie of the Year.
- Finally, Joseph Cannon of the Daily Cal wrote up about several Golden Bear hoopsters playing overseas. Ayinde Ubaka's starring in Australia for the Gold Coast Blaze, DeVon Hardin's been hopping from Oklahoma to Greece to Turkey and now Greece again for EO Athens, and Eric Vierneisel's been everywhere (New Zealand, Syria, Jordan), before settling on Heidelberg, Germany.