Eric Adelson

  • Cam Newton expected to do too much with too little in Panthers' offense

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    TAMPA, Fla. – You know your offense needs a bit more juice when your defense has as many catches in a game as your leading receiver.

    Brenton Bersin had four receptions in the Carolina Panthers' 37-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here on Sunday, and the Panthers' defense had four interceptions of Jameis Winston. Josh Norman's 80 yards on two interceptions was nearly two-thirds of the total receiving yards for the Carolina offense. That says a lot about the quality of Carolina's defense, but it also raises questions about whether a 4-0 team is ready to beat a team like the Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks. Cam Newton isn't just the leader of the offense in Carolina; he's the whole offense. And on Sunday he had only 124 yards passing.

    "It's not pretty, but we're getting wins," said Ted Ginn, Jr., who had two catches Sunday and two touchdowns.

    Asked if it needed to be prettier, Ginn said, "Yes, definitely. I think we all want to go out and just dominate – both sides of the ball."

    Newton is doing it all to help his team; now the organization needs to figure out a way to do more to help him.

  • How bad are Bucs? Panthers DB says he planned celebration before pick-6 of Jameis Winston

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    TAMPA, Fla. – Even before the opening kickoff of the Carolina Panthers' 37-23 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here, Panthers cornerback Josh Norman was already planning his end zone celebration.

    He said he spoke with a league representative to vet his dance, which he calls "riding Delta" after his Saddlebred horse (who has his own Twitter account).

    "I told the guy, 'Look, man, this is what I'm gonna do,'" Norman said in the locker room after the game. "He was cool with it. He was like, 'OK.' I don't think he believed me. But I did."

    The referees thought otherwise. Norman was penalized for "riding Delta," ostensibly because the dance was fine but using the ball as a prop is not, but the bigger story is that a cornerback was so confident he'd score on the Bucs that he was making plans before the coin toss.

    "I got a little tip," Norman said. "I knew he was going to continue throwing at me. I was bound to get one of 'em, shoot."


  • Jeff Reed takes break from car dealer to 'get the leg loose' in case Steelers call

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    Jeff Reed doesn't have a ton of time on his hands these days, but on Friday he had an afternoon free after attending a morning funeral. He changed out of his suit, put on some sweats, and went to a Charlotte-area park to "get the leg loose."

    Just in case the Pittsburgh Steelers call.

    The former Pittsburgh kicker has become quite popular over the past couple of weeks, as Josh Scobee has struggled after being traded from the Jaguars to the Steelers. Scobee's two misses on Thursday night were the difference in a gut-punch of a home loss to the division-rival Baltimore Ravens. "I feel like I let the team down," Scobee told reporters after the loss. "It's not something I want to ever remember doing."

    On Friday he brought up the mischief without being asked.

    "Pittsburgh weather," he said.

  • Is Andrew Luck's time behind a shaky line the new normal across the NFL?

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – September sacked a lot of quarterbacks.

    The news of Andrew Luck's shoulder ailment put a wretched bowtie on a month that claimed Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo to injuries. Other passers, like Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford, are banged up as well.

    September also revealed some galling offensive line play in places like Philadelphia and Miami and yes, Indianapolis. It's too facile to say poor offensive line play leads to quarterback injuries (especially in Dallas), but it's not a stretch to say pro football's blocking issues are putting offenses and seasons at risk.

    "What you end up seeing is a lot of panic," said former NFL offensive lineman LeCharles Bentley. "There are pockets of players at a very high level. But there are more and more players and teams that aren't very good."

    Two major culprits have compounded this problem: the preponderance of the spread offense at the collegiate level, and the reduction of offseason practice time at the pro level.

    More NFL coverage on Yahoo Sports

  • What controversy? Why Ohio State shouldn't be worried about QB situation

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    Murmurs rippled throughout college football when Ohio State coach Urban Meyer admitted he had no idea who his starting quarterback was after three games.

    Should it be Cardale Jones? Should it be J.T. Barrett? Doesn’t Meyer have to settle on one?

    Maybe not.

    Sure, the old football truism is “if you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.” And the Ohio State offense hasn't looked crisp after an opening romp against Virginia Tech. Toggling back and forth between Barrett and Jones seems unwise, as neither feels secure and a certain offensive rhythm is lost. Momentum seems to depend on routine, and the quarterback sets the routine.

    Yet Meyer’s own coaching history strongly suggests the two-quarterback rule can be broken.

    Most college football fans know Meyer used Chris Leak and Tim Tebow during Florida’s national championship run in 2006. The fan base had strong views on who the starting passer should be – remember the jeers for Leak? – but both fared fine. Better than fine. Both fared seamlessly. And when Braxton Miller got hurt in Meyer’s first year in Columbus, Kenny Guiton stepped in without a blip. The team went undefeated.

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  • It's a bittersweet London return for Dolphins rookie RB Jay Ajayi

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    It's a dream come true … in every way but one.

    Jay Ajayi grew up wanting to play at Wembley Stadium. He was born in London, and he grew up an Arsenal fan. (His dad used to work for FIFA.) Ajayi imagined himself rushing out onto the pitch at one of England's soccer meccas with the crowd roaring. What he didn't imagine was rushing out as a football player – the American version. He had no idea what the sport was.

    "I didn't know about American football in England," he said in August. "I learned about American football when I moved to the States. I moved to the States in 2000. I didn't play until 2003."

    A dozen years later, he's a rookie for the Dolphins, on his way to London, where his team will face the New York Jets on Sunday at Wembley.

    But Ajayi won't be playing; he broke his rib in the preseason. And his thoughts on this game, given to Yahoo Sports before his injury, are bittersweet now:

    "I've never even been to Wembley," he said. "For a homecoming to be like this, it will be very special to me. It's a little ironic to me – a fitting tale to my story, very surreal."

  • Eagles' frustration bubbles as Chip Kelly can't get DeMarco Murray, offense flying

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly traded away LeSean McCoy, let Jeremy Maclin get away and gave away DeSean Jackson.

    The worst crime, though, might be what he's doing to the star who's wasting away here.

    DeMarco Murray had two yards rushing in a 20-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, his former team, on Sunday. He mustered only nine yards rushing last Monday against the Atlanta Falcons. This poor early showing is hardly because last season's rushing champ has lost his talent in one summer. It's because of Kelly's offense – or lack thereof.

    "They got a lot of weapons," said Murray's former teammate, Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey. "I just don't think they use them all right."

    Sunday was a catastrophe for the Eagles. The vaunted Kelly offense was by turns bumbling, jumbled, inert and inept. Quarterback Sam Bradford looked like a rookie, throwing only one garbage-time touchdown against two interceptions, one of which happened in the end zone on a second-and-goal. He had a fumble and somehow led the team with nine rushing yards.

  • Devastating injury to Tony Romo leaves Cowboys unhappiest 2-0 team in NFL

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago

    PHILADELPHIA – Tony Romo called Jerry Jones, who at the time was in the visitors' suite at Lincoln Financial Field when he learned the news.

    "We both were sick," Jones said.

    Romo's broken left clavicle, sustained in the third quarter here Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles as he scrambled for a fumble, is the same injury that shelved him for the season in 2010. It came on a similar play, a crunching tackle that drilled Romo shoulder-first into the turf. Romo winced immediately after hearing a pop. He mouthed, "It's broken," on his way to the locker room. He was right.

    Is the season broken too?

    Jones said he felt "about as low as a crippled cricket's ass" when he saw Romo lying on his back again. He wasn't alone.

    As the Cowboys walked off the field Sunday, having crushed the rival Eagles 20-10 to go 2-0 on the season, it was hard to sense what they had truly accomplished. Two division wins also bequeathed two season-threatening setbacks. Few of the Cowboys smiled, or spoke, as the players entered the victorious locker room.

  • Lost in Rob Gronkowski's growing legend: His speed

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 21 days ago

    Sonny Dykes met Rob Gronkowski on a recruiting visit in 2007, and he remembers the décor of Gronkowski's spartan dwelling as much as anything. The prep star was living with his dad in a mostly empty apartment in Pittsburgh, after moving from the Buffalo area the year before.

    "We walk in and it's pretty cool," says the Cal coach, who was an offensive coordinator for Arizona at the time. "Gordy, his dad, he's a piece of work. He's got a bench press and a leg press machine sitting in a living room. We did the whole interview with my legs on the leg press."

    This is another in the growing list of Gronkowski tales, virtually all involving either sheer strength or sheer goofiness – sometimes both. Fans are equally mystified by the tight end's ability to catch everything thrown at him and then dance in the end zone (or after the game) like only the worst athlete possibly could. After scoring three touchdowns in the Patriots' season opener last Thursday, Gronkowski arrives in Buffalo this weekend as one of the most dominating and entertaining people in the NFL.


  • Mariota had debut for ages, leaving many to wonder if Winston was right pick for Bucs

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 25 days ago

    TAMPA, Fla. – The hopes escalated as rapidly for one side as the concerns did for the other. Marcus Mariota, on his first NFL regular-season drive, tossed a long touchdown pass to Kendall Wright. Moments later, Jameis Winston, on his first NFL drive, threw a pass that defender Coty Sensabaugh saw coming, intercepted and ran into the end zone.

    The Tennessee Titans cornerback ran straight to Mariota on the sideline and said, "We both got our first today!"

    Mariota grinned. It was 14-0. And two thoughts crept over the stadium and anyone watching the game:

    "The Titans got this pick right." And, "Did the Bucs get this pick wrong?"

    "I don't think we had no drops at all," Titans wide receiver Harry Douglas raved. "He was putting the ball right in our hands, right when we could catch it."

    But there may never have been a Week 1 game that engendered as much belief and disbelief as this one did.

    "He was the only pick for this organization," Douglas said of Mariota. "He was the best pick for this organization."

    "Whichever way he went," Sensabaugh said, "I knew I could undercut him."