Which NFL Players Are Stuck in the Doghouse so Far This Preseason?
He is among five players who were either starters or big role players for their respective teams in 2011, but who are in danger of becoming obsolete in 2012.
Fortunes can change in the blink of an eye in the NFL, and these players haven't been able to do anything about their misfortunes so far this preseason.
Jeremy Kerley, Wide Receiver, New York Jets
The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE
If you watched the New York Giants destroy the Jets on Saturday, then you don't need me to tell you that the Jets have a talent problem at the wide receiver position.
Jeremy Kerley was one of Mark Sanchez's main weapons on offense in 2011, catching the third-most passes of any wide receiver on the team. He apparently had a terrible offseason, and head coach Rex Ryan wasn't afraid to let everyone know about it in a press conference at the end of July, according to the Star-Ledger:
Jeremy needs to step it up, because quite honestly, I was a little disappointed with Jeremy in the offseason. He's got to pick up this system, this new system. He's got to put the time into it.
Since then, Kerley hasn't managed to stay healthy with a sore hamstring, and therefore hasn't been able to "put the time into it."
This problem isn't going away any time soon, and the Jets desperately need someone else to step up in the meantime, otherwise Sanchez is going to be supplanted by Tim Tebow—something that will only make things more complicated and messy for the team.
Colt McCoy, Quarterback, Cleveland Browns
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If you need any proof, look no further than the comments McCoy made when Weeden was named the team's starter for the 2012 season, via to the Plain Dealer: "I would like to say that I haven’t taken any snaps in walk through or in practice with the first group. I thought coming in it would be a competition."
Sorry, sir. That's clearly not the case.
It obviously doesn't matter how effective McCoy is on game day, either. In the team's first two preseason games, he's looked really sharp, but the team hasn't allowed him to play very many snaps. He has compiled some impressive numbers—10-of-14 for 146 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Perhaps McCoy will finally be traded so he can move on and take his talents elsewhere. He's clearly not going to be the guy in Cleveland.
Jason Smith, Offensive Tackle, St. Louis Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Guys like Jason Smith are the reason teams are so skittish about drafting offensive tackles at the top of the draft. Smith, a former No. 2 overall pick, has finally been replaced as the starting left tackle for the St. Louis Rams after failing to live up to his potential after three miserable years.
Smith is well aware of his failures, too, according to CBSSports.com's Larry Hartstein. Smith spoke about himself recently, saying: "There's been flashes where I've done what he's asked me to do, or shown me. And there's flashes where I just look like somebody who's not even capable of playing football."
At least he's honest with himself about his shortcomings. That tells me that he may not be a completely hopeless cause. For the sake of the Rams' salary cap, I'm hoping he turns the corner and becomes the player he and the franchise envisioned when they drafted him in 2009.
Kevin Kolb, Quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Kevin Kolb has entered Rex Grossman's domain.
When he throws the football, he and everyone else watching the game cringes as we wait for the ball to land wherever it may land. Nobody—especially not Kolb—knows where it's going when it leaves his hand.
After the Arizona Cardinals' first preseason game, Kent Somers of the Republic reported that head coach Ken Whisenhunt said: "We had some one-on-one matchups with receivers down the field tonight and we didn't get to them. We didn't throw them. Those are things that are frustrating."
Kolb isn't the only quarterback Whisenhunt was talking about after that game, but we've seen him struggle with this ever since he was traded to the team over a year ago.
Then, Kolb completely broke down against the Oakland Raiders in the team's second preseason game. He started off with a terrific touchdown drive, but then the wheels came off. He was under pressure, sure, but half the time the pressure was of his own doing.
He panicked and ran into the pressure at least twice, prompting Raiders defensive tackle Greg Kelly to say, via the AP:
He is skittish. He is scared back there. Anytime anybody gets close to him, he starts looking at the refs. As a defensive lineman you love a quarterback like that. He ain't even trying to look at the routes no more. He is paying attention to us and you ain't going to get nothing done like that.
Somewhere, Whisenhunt is trying desperately to get rid of the migraine headache Kolb's atrocious play has given him.
Tarvaris Jackson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
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Tarvaris Jackson was the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks in 2011, but he hasn't even played a single snap thus far for the team this preseason. The team is trying to unload him, according to multiple sources, but so far, it seems that nobody is interested.
The truth of the matter is that we've seen the best that Jackson has to offer already. He doesn't see the field well and locks onto receivers. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are looking for someone who can actually turn the passing game into a legitimate weapon rather than a tool to keep the defense off-balance.
Surprisingly enough, the player they're looking for may not even be the guy they shelled out some serious cash for in free agency, but the diminutive rookie from Wisconsin. Russell Wilson should be the team's starting quarterback in 2012 over Matt Flynn, but it remains to be seen if Carroll will be willing to let a rookie take over so soon.
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