The Houston Texans might no longer have the services of one of the NFL’s all-time great pass rushers, J.J. Watt, for the rest of the season, but that doesn’t mean they no longer have a pass rush.
The Tennessee Titans fully expect to have their hands full protecting Marcus Mariota when they face their AFC South rivals Sunday.
‘They have other guys that are very disruptive’
“They still have a number of other guys that are, we call them, game-wreckers, that if we don’t handle them, if we don’t help some of our guys up front, they can be an impact just as J.J. is,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey told Bruce Murray and James Lofton on the SiriusXM Blitz. “You always hate to see a player hurt. That’s no different than (the Vikings losing quarterback Teddy) Bridgewater (before) our first game. It’s unfortunate and disappointing for them. But they can play because I know (what kind of) competitors they are. But there’s other guys that they have that are very disruptive that we’ve got to be able to handle.
“(Vince) Wilfork in the middle, who’s still playing, I think, at a high level for his age. And (John) Simon outside has two-and-a-half sacks. Where their sacks are all coming from are from everybody, even their inside linebackers. It’s just a balanced defense, so there’s really no way to protect everybody on every play.
‘There are going to be some one-on-ones’
“You’ve got to have some protections that you think are going to help somebody, but they can’t help everybody. So there are going to be some one-on-ones that are guys have to stand up to and block them.”
Jackson talks Pryor’s ‘unique skill set’; wants Gordon ‘to move on, do great things’
The good news for the Cleveland Browns is discovering they have something special in multi-talented Terrelle Pryor, who besides playing wide receiver, also contributed as a passer, runner, and a safety in Sunday’s loss against the Miami Dolphins.
Pryor entered the NFL in 2011 from Ohio State, as a supplemental draft pick of the Oakland Raiders.
‘We try to do anything we can to move the football’
Wide receiver Josh Gordon also joined the NFL as supplemental pick of the Browns in 2012.
Their careers have gone in opposite directions. Pryor is a viable part of the Browns, perhaps the most viable, while Gordon entered rehabilitation only days before he was supposed to return from a suspension for repeated substance abuse.
“He has a unique skill set and we try to do anything we can to move the football,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said of Pryor while appearing with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “But we also understand we’ve got to be very cautious with that because we are teaching him how to play receiver. But he does give us flexibility to attempt to try to do a lot of different things.”
‘We wish Josh well’
It’s a far different story with Gordon.
“We wish Josh well and we want to see Josh move on and do great things in his life and do what’s best for him,” Jackson said. “But at this time, I’m going to refrain from answering any questions that deal with Josh because I think it’s fair to our football team. What’s becoming more important than the story about Josh Gordon is the story about the Cleveland Browns playing the Washington Redskins.”
Cris Carter: Odell Beckham Jr., ‘goes a little too far’ with outbursts
Cris Carter had his share of emotional outbursts on the sideline during his career as a Hall-of-Fame wide receiver.
He can remember those fiery moments as a member of the Minnesota Vikings. And that’s why he can be viewed as a bit of an expert when it comes to discussing the over-the-top emotional display from New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., during his team’s loss last Sunday against the Washington Redskins.
‘How does the team feel about it?’
“The number one thing is, you have to be able to weigh how does the team feel about it?” Carter told Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on Movin’ The Chains. “I’m sure I have plenty of shots of me on the sideline saying things or doing things and sometimes my teammates didn’t like it, sometimes my teammates were glad to have me there, because I would say the tough things. So you have to be able to weigh that.
“Does he have a championship-type attitude? I believe he has that type of attitude, but I believe he goes a little too far. I mean, some of the things that he’s done, they’re just unnecessary.”
Carter remembered what his former coach, the late Denny Green, used to do to get him under control.
‘Denny Green used to give me that little eye’
“Denny Green used to give me that little eye, give me the little wag of the finger to come to him,” Carter said. “He used to take his headset off so none of the other coaches hear it and he used to have a few choice words with me and would let me know that, ‘There were probably at least three or four cameras on both of us right now. And I’m done talking and you can leave and act like I didn’t say anything.’
“So that’s how I was able to get my attitude under control, because I had a coach who wouldn’t wait until Monday, he wouldn’t wait until a press conference. He would address it on the sideline. And it made me better. It made me a better team player and it made me more consistent in learning how to utilize my emotions so that it was better for the team. And when the team needed it, compared to being contradictory, and especially when the coach mentions it in the press conference. Because if he mentions it in the press conference, that means he’s mentioned it to you.”