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IDP Notes
Week 2
9/15/04

Quick Hits (Details in individual team notes)
- No byes Week Two
- Reviews of valuable new starters and rookies galore!
- Debut in DEN for Champ Bailey, on both sides of the ball
- NYJ Cowart explodes, rookie Vilma does little more than watch
- PIT LB Clark Haggans shows why Jason Gildon was expendable
- TEN rookie DE Antwaan Odom starts career like a Freak
- WAS rookie S Sean Taylor doesn't start, barely sees field
- DET S Bracy Walker almost single-handedly ends road losing streak
- How OAK lined up in their new base scheme
- GB CB holdout Mike McKenzie to return?
- IND S Mike Doss out a few weeks with hamstring injury
- DET CB Dre Bly may miss two weeks
- MIA Jay Williams doesn't start, but fills O-Gun's DE production
- CLE Kenard Lang abuses BAL replacement tackle for 3 sacks

Week Two Injury Report

Arizona

An 87-yard TD on an INT return by LB James Darling was nullified by a holding call on LB LeVar Woods. Darling started at OLB, with Ray Thompson inactive due to knee problems, and recorded 5 solo tackles and a forced fumble. New starting FS Quentin Harris did have an INT that counted, along with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and 5 tackles.

CB Duane Starks led the team with 10 solo tackles and 3 passes broken up.

Atlanta

SS Bryan Scott continues to develop into a standout, posting 6 solo tackles, a sack, and 2 passes defended.

Playing through hamstring problems, OLB Keith Brooking has 5 tackles (4 solo). New MLB Chris Draft, who has been plagued by asthma problems, didn't go far to prove he's 100%, totaling just 2 tackles.

Baltimore

While not giving up a huge day to the Browns, the Ravens D failed to display their trademark disruption, causing no turnovers and registering only 2 sacks. Ray Lewis had one of those sacks, along with leading the team in tackles with 14 (13 solo).

NT Kelly Gregg suffered a knee injury that required minor surgery performed Monday. He could miss 2 weeks. Gregg is one of the better tackle-producing interior linemen in the league and a key cog in the Ravens defense.

Buffalo

Coy Wire started at SS in place of the injured Lawyer Milloy and had 7 tackles (2 solo). FS Izell Reese and CB Nate Clements both had INTs returned into Jacksonville's red zone. Clements added 6 tackles (5 solo) and is also the punt returner, making him an even better DB to have in leagues that count return stats.

Chris Kelsay started at LDE, over Ryan Denney, and had 3 tackles (1 solo).

Carolina

A defense that led the Panthers to the Super Bowl was a shell of itself in the season-opener. They had no turnovers and were handicapped by an impotent running game that resulted in almost twice as much time of possession for the Packers offense. GB ran the ball 47 times for 152 yards, resulting in some nice individual tackle numbers, but horrible overall results.

MLB Dan Morgan picked up where he ended last season, with a huge effort in the Super Bowl, to have a game-high 13 tackles (9 solo). No one questions the former first round pick's ability to be an impact player, but his health has made him a dangerous fantasy pick. If he plays 16 games, there's no question he'll have a breakout year (since he has yet to play every game of a season, it's not going out on much of a limb).

Colin Branch had a solid debut as the new FS, with 6 solo tackles. 1st round pick Chris Gamble started at CB, but wasn't tested much with GB running at will. He looked to have been beaten for his first TD, but WR Robert Ferguson pushed off and a flag for offensive pass interference erased it. He finished with just a solo tackle. Gamble may see work as a punt returner, with the loss of Steve Smith.

LB Mark Fields return from Hodgkin's Disease was a great story, despite the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, Fields suffered a rib injury and his status for next week is unknown. Brandon Short would likely start if he's unable to go.

Chicago

MLB Brian Urlacher, sidelined through the preseason with a hamstring injury, was not only in the starting lineup, but on the field for every defensive down. More importantly, his play appeared much improved over last year. He just missed an INT on an acrobatic leap at a pass and led the team with 10 tackles (9 solo). Urlacher says the hamstring is not 100%.

Lovie Smith's aggressive approach to defense didn't turn into results on the field. The Bears had only one turnover, a Mike Green INT, and one sack, by Michael Haynes. New addition DE Adewale Ogunleye didn't show up much in the box score (3 solo tackles), but was getting into the backfield and just missed a sack, catching Harrington scrambling just past the line. It may take him a few weeks to get into game shape after missing camp and the preseason as a holdout.

Cincinnati

The defense failed to record a sack or force a turnover, and did little to stop the running game. Not exactly the trademarks of a Marvin Lewis team. New hand-picked MLB Nate Webster got off to a slow start, posting 3 tackles (2 solo).

With Deltha O'Neal inactive, rookie Madieu Williams started at CB and finished with 9 tackles (8 solo) and a pass defended. O'Neal is expected to return next week and Williams will go back to being the third safety. SS Rogers Beckett left the game in the first quarter with a concussion, his second this year, and FS Kim Herring is doubtful with leg injuries. Keep Madieu Williams on your waiver wire speed-dial.

Another rookie, Caleb Miller, got the start at WLB with Brian Simmons inactive due to knee problems. However, it was fellow rookie Landon Johnson who excelled when inserted at OLB, registering 9 tackles (6 solo) and a forced fumble. Both injured their ankles during the game, Johnson was able to return, but Miller was not.

Cleveland

After running for 500 yards against the Browns last year, Jamal Lewis was limited to 57 in the season-opener. The absence of injured OT Jonathan Odgen hurt Baltimore in more than just the running game. DE Kenard Lang abused Odgen's replacement Ethan Brooks. Lang tied a career-high with 3 sacks, adding another assist and a forced fumble, as well.

MLB Andra Davis, the only member of the LB group with a lock on a starting job, had 6 tackles (3 solo) and an INT. Kevin Bentley and Warrick Holdman started at OLB, with Chaun Thompson and Ben Taylor working in. Bentley led all LBs with 8 tackles (5 solo).

DT Gerard Warren hurt his shoulder in the first quarter and did not return.

Dallas

The secondary was absolutely smoked by the Vikings passing game. They not only allowed 279 yards and 5 TDs, they didn't even get close to stopping it. They had one pass defended on the day, and that was a ball knocked down at the line by DT LaRoi Glover.

LB Bradie James did not start, but did see significant time, mostly at Al Singleton's expense. He was second on the team with 7 tackles (6 solo). MLB Dat Nguyen led the team with 8 tackles (5 solo).

The switch to RDE by Greg Ellis and the addition of Marcellus Wiley opposite him paid no immediate dividends to the pass rush. Ellis had 3 solo tackles and Wiley had 2. No one in the front seven had a sack.

Denver

1st round pick D.J. Williams started at OLB, along with Donnie Spragan, and paid immediate dividends. He led the team with 8 tackles (6 solo) and also knocked down a pass.

The big story was the first game of Champ Bailey in a Bronco uniform. After Clinton Portis made an instant impact on his new team earlier in the day, Bailey did the same for his. He intercepted a pass in Denver territory ending a KC drive and finished with 6 tackles (2 solo). He also saw time on offense, catching a third down pass for 11 yards, setting up a fourth and one that Denver converted on a drive that ended with a FG, their first points of the game. If Bailey remains this involved in the offense, his fantasy value is helped significantly. Another point or two in receiving yards a week, and possibly an offensive TD or two, will add up by the end of the year.

Detroit

When Bracy Walker was slotted in the starting SS role, after Brian Walker was out on the IR, expectations were not high. By Sunday afternoon, he was the player most responsible for ending the Lions 24-game road losing streak. Walker took a FG blocked by Shaun Rogers 92-yards for a TD and a 10-point swing that Chicago never recovered from. He also sealed the victory with an interception of an ill-advised Rex Grossman pass into double coverage in the end zone with seconds left in the game.

Rookie Teddy Lehman started at SLB, finishing with 4 tackles (3 solo) and a vicious strip on the first play from scrimmage for the Bears after the deflating blocked FG TD, that got the Lions the ball right back.

Pro Bowl CB Dre Bly left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury, around which there is some debate if it occurred on the play or during a celebratory dance after. He missed the rest of the game, was diagnosed with a sprained ligament, and is expected to miss at least two weeks. Andre Goodman replaced him and had an INT, to go with 6 tackles.

Green Bay

Nick Barnett started the season where he left off last year, one of the top young playmaking MLBs in the game. He tied for the team lead with 7 tackles (5 solo), an INT, and a sack. A more aggressive Packer defense under new DC Bob Slowik resulted in only 2 sacks, but had players in Jake Delhomme's face many times.

DT Grady Jackson dislocated his knee in Monday's game and is expected to miss a minimum of 4-6 weeks. This will hurt a Packer front seven who last week exploited a patchwork offensive line on the Panthers and limited them to only 38 yards rushing.

New SS Mark Roman had a solid debut. He tied for the lead in tackles with 7 (4 solo) and shared a sack with LB Hannibal Navies.

CB Michael Hawthorne started in place of holdout Mike McKenzie. Hawthorne was decent, working mostly on Mushin Muhammad, and finished with 2 tackles and 2 passes defended. 1st round pick Ahmad Carroll saw working in nickel and dime packages, knocking away 2 passes. On the heels of this performance, McKenzie is being reported to be rejoining the Packers Wednesday. Looks like somebody lost some bargaining power after the subs were adequate. However, his agent, Drew Rosenhaus says he still hopes to be traded.

Houston

Rookie LB Jason Babin, a standout collegiate DE expected to help the Texans pass rush, didn't get to the QB, but did have 7 tackles (6 solo). As usual, LB Jamie Sharper led the team in tackles (9 solo).

Indianapolis

SS Mike left last Thursday's game early after injuring his hamstring. He's expected to miss three weeks. Anthony Floyd replaced Doss and finished with 7 tackles (4 solo). Donald Strickland, who started at CB and led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo), could move to SS while Doss is out.

Cato June, who earned the fantasy-friendly WLB spot, had only 4 tackles (2 solo) in his first career start. 2003 breakout player David Thornton, who moved from the weakside to the strongside this year, had 5 tackles (4 solo).

Jacksonville

With Hugh Douglas and Tony Brackens gone, Paul Spicer and Lionel Barnes, not Rob Meier, were the starting ends. Spicer had 5 tackles (4 solo), while Barnes had 3 solo tackles and a sack.

Rookie SLB Daryl Smith, whose name has been on the rise recently, had 4 tackles (2 solo) and a pass defensed. WLB Akin Ayodele, whose name has been on the decline lately, had 10 tackles (8 solo), a forced fumble, and a pass defensed. MLB Mike Peterson led the team with 13 tackles.

SS Donovan Darius had 5 tackles (4 solo), a pass defensed, a forced fumble, and 2 fumble recoveries.

Kansas City

The Chiefs obviously blamed former DC Greg Robinson for their 29th ranked defense last year, as they fired him and added no free agents. Every starter on their defense Sunday night was with the team last year. New DC Gunther Cunningham was the big change, but the results weren't any different.

Monty Beisel had a solid debut at MLB. He finished with 5 solo tackles and intercepted the first pass of the second half, setting up a KC FG. Beisel should hang on to the job for now, even when Kawika Mitchell is healthy.

DE Vonnie Holliday was solid, but unspectacular, as a big free agent addition last year, finishing with just 5.5 sacks. He got off to a strong start last week, already recording his first sack, as well as 3 other solo tackles and deflecting a pass.

In a scary scene Sunday night, CB William Bartee had to be carted off the field with a neck brace after a collision. Fortunately there appears to be no permanent damage, but he has a concussion and sprained neck, so he may miss some time.

Miami

David Bowens started in Adewale Ogunleye's vacated LDE spot and recorded 1 solo tackle. Jay Williams, who rotated with Bowens, registered 3 solos, a sack, a forced fumble, and a pass defended. Looks like he could be the guy to have in that committee. Everyone talks about how O-Gun will play sans Taylor, but in his first game without O-Gun, Taylor posted just 1 solo tackle.

Space-eating DT Tim Bowens was inactive with a back injury that could cause him to miss 2-3 more weeks. His absence was immediately felt, as the Dolphins surrendered 100 yards in the first half to Chris Brown, after not allowing a 100-yard rusher all last season.

Antuan Edwards, who beat out Arturo Freeman to start at FS, had 5 solo tackles and a forced fumble.

Minnesota

A huge day by the offense overshadowed the fact the defense still couldn't stop the pass, allowing Old Man Vinny to total 355 yards. The front seven couldn't get to him and they didn't pick one, either.

1st round pick DE Kenechi Udeze had 2 tackles (1 solo) and a pass defended. DT Kevin Williams appeared the most disruptive, but the box score only shows 2 tackles. There is an APB out for Chris Hovan. The coaching staff is reportedly upset with his effort, in particular.

New MLB E.J. Henderson and OLB Chris Claiborne have high expectations this year, but both only had a handful of tackles. Rookie Dontarrious Thomas led the LBs with 6 (3 solo).

CB Antonie Winfield was on of many stars in new uniforms that proved their worth right in Week One. He led the team with 9 solo tackles, forced 2 fumbles, recovered 1, and tipped away a pass.

Ken Irvin was suppose to start at CB for Brian Williams, who was bothered by a sore knee. However, Irvin blew his Achilles in pre-game warm-ups, and now his season is done.

New England

The Pats D showed why they are one of the best units in the league in two crucial drives with less than four minutes left. With New England up by 3, Eugene Wilson forced an Edgerrin James fumble at the goalline that 1st round pick Vince Wilfork recovered. The following drive, with the Colts in easy FG range, Willie McGinest registered the Pats only sack of the day for a 12 yard loss on third down, resulting in Mike Vanderjagt's first missed FG since 2002 on the next play. Wilson also added 8 tackles (7 solo) and recovered a fumble too.

Roman Phifer led the team with 14 tackles (8 solo) and Tedy Bruschi had 12 (5 solo) as well as an interception that ended another Colts drive in the red zone.

New Orleans

Rookie MLB Courtney Watson led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo). 1st round pick DE Will Smith got a start with Darren Howard inactive, but finished with only 2 tackles. Howard is bothered by a neck injury and his status for next week is not known.

New York Giants

Kevin Lewis swooped in and took the starting MLB role away from Nick Greisen just before the season started. After his first start, Greisen has an uphill battle to try and regain it. Lewis led the team with 9 tackles (6 solo) and had a sack.

Michael Strahan had a Michael Stahan day, with 4 solo tackles and a sack. Keith Washington started over Osi Umenyiora opposite Strahan at RDE. Neither did anything noteworthy.

New York Jets

Ridiculous insinuations that 1st round pick Jonathan Vilma should replace Sam Cowart at MLB can finally stop. Vilma will be great one day, but it wasn't last Sunday and it won't be at Cowart's expense. Sam reminded doubters he's still one of the best LBs in the game, leading the team with 14 tackles (12 solo) and a forcing a fumble that was returned by CB Donnie Abraham for a TD. In fact, Vilma only had 1 solo tackle in his debut, with DE John Abraham being the fourth LB in a hybrid role in their new defense. John picked up where he left off after missing most of 2003 due to injury. He registered the team's only sack and another solo tackle. Shaun Ellis won't begin this year with a sack streak. He posted only 3 assisted tackles. 2003 was a career-year, expecting similar numbers is not a good bet.

Rookie Erik Coleman showed why he won a starting job, totaling 5 tackles (4 solo) and intercepting a pass with less than two minutes left to seal the victory. However, this week Coleman started at FS with Jon McGraw inactive, and the man Coleman beat out, Reggie Tongue, got the start at SS.

Oakland

With a lot of questions about Rob Ryan's new schemes and where people are playing, here is how the front seven lined up the first play: Tyler Brayton and Warren Sapp at ends, Ted Washington on the nose, Travian Smith and DeLawrence Grant at OLB, Danny Clark and Bobby Hamilton at ILB. Napolean Harris and Sam Williams were inactive with injuries. Harris will be at one of the ILB slots when he's healthy and Williams could beat out Grant when he returns. The star last week were Travian Smith, who led the team with 11 tackles (7 solo), a pass defended, and a fumble recovery. Brayton also had a good game, With 4 solo tackles, a sack, and 2 passes defended. Sapp had 4 tackles (1 solo) in his Raider debut.

After all the off-season drama, Charles Woodson was in the starting lineup and looked great, spending the day shutting down Plaxico Burress, who he held to 1 reception for 13 yards. Woodson finished with 6 tackles (5 solo) and a pass defended.

Marques Anderson got the start at SS and finished with 7 tackles (3 solo). David Terrell only saw time on special teams.

Philadelphia

The big story was the debut of Terrell Owens, but several significant sub-plots on defense are worth noting. First, the MLB situation. As was promised, Mark Simoneau was the starter. In fact, most of Jeremiah Trotter's time was on special teams. Simoneau finished with 5 tackles (3 solo), a sack, and a pass defended. Trotter has only 2 tackles, both on special teams, and his most notable play was knocking down a punter.

Next, OLB Nate Wayne was a late scratch with a hamstring injury that occurred in the preseason and flared up Sunday. Keith Adams started in his place. His availability for next week is unknown.

The big debut on defense was the Eagles other major off-season acquisition, DE Jevon Kearse. Kearse had 3 tackles (2 solo), a pass defended, and a fumble recovery. He also tweaked his notoriously problematic right ankle, but returned to the game. While Kearse didn't have any sacks, new starting DE Derrick Burgess and returning prodigal son DE Hugh Douglas did, as well. Former first round pick DE Jerome McDougle didn't appear in the box score, but got in a highlight reel lick on rookie QB Eli Manning. As long as he's healthy, Kearse is set on the left side, but who produces opposite him could vary week-to-week.

SS Michael Lewis won't steal many highlight cameos from his high-profile teammates, and is overshadowed by some other bigger names at safety, but he is an emerging star. He led the team with 12 tackles (10 solo) and had 2 passes defensed.

CB Lito Sheppard broke his thumb. He's expected to be able to play next week with a cast.

Pittsburgh

Kendrell Bell was inactive against Oakland with shoulder problems. Larry Foote started at ILB in his place, and led the team with 6 solo tackles. However, the star was new starting OLB Clark Haggans. He finished with 5 solo tackles, 2 sacks, a pressure that forced an INT throw, and 2 forced fumbles, including one returned 49 yards by DE Aaron Smith setting up a touchdown. That one might have been a gift, too, as it appeared Rich Gannon was in his throwing motion when Haggans knocked it free (though it was challenged, the call stood). In addition to the fumble recovery, Aaron Smith had a big game across the board, with 4 tackles and a sack he forced a fumble on that Haggans just missed recovering.

Troy Polamalu was solid as the new SS, finishing with 7 tackles (4 solo). His coverage skills still need work, as he bit on a pump fake and he gave up a 58-yard TD to Doug Gabriel.

St. Louis

DE Leonard Little, dealing with off-field problems related to a DUI, was a non-factor. He totaled one assist. New starting DE Bryce Fisher had 5 tackles (3 solo) and a sack. Rookie DE Tony Hargrove had his first game cut short after suffering a concussion on the kickoff.

LB Pisa Tinoisamoa played much of the game with a dislocated shoulder. X-rays show no break, and he's expected to play next week with a harness.

San Diego

Early results indicate the move to a 3-4 won't hurt the stats of Donnie Edwards. He tied for the team lead in tackles with 10 (6 solo) and defended a pass. Terrence Kiel looks like a promising fantasy prospect now that he has the starting SS job. He also had 10 tackles (7 solo), a sack, and a fumble recovery.

Rookie Shaun Phillips is off to a good start in following in the footsteps of Rosey Colvin and Akin Ayodele, fellow Purdue DE alums converted to rush LBs. He recorded a sack in limited duty his first game. Phillips may not take over starting OLB Steve Foley's position soon, however, as the unheralded free agent addition to the group finished with 6 tackles (4 solo), intercepted a pass that resulted in a the go-ahead TD for the offense on the ensuing drive, and recovered a fumble late in the fourth quarter that protected the lead and allowed the offense to run out the clock.

San Francisco

LB Julian Peterson was unaffected by his late holdout. He had 5 solo tackles, 2 sacks, and forced 2 fumbles. LB Jaime Winborn successfully returned from two injury-plagued years to register 3 tackles (2 solo), a pass defensed, and a sack. LB Derek Smith led the team with 11 solo tackles.

CB Mike Rumph checked out after the first half with a groin injury. He's expected to miss one to three weeks. Rookie Shawntae Spencer is expected to start in his place.

Seattle

Terreal Bierria started at SS and led the team with 9 tackles (5 solo), as well as adding a pass defended and a forced fumble. S Michael Boulware still made his presence felt in his first NFL game, registering 3 solo tackles and intercepting a pass deflected by DE Grant Wistrom.

New starting MLB Orlando Ruff managed only one solo tackle, but did recover a fumble.

1st round pick DT Marcus Tubbs was inactive due to poor condition. He is expected to make his debut next week, but has been disappointing and doesn't look to be a starter anytime soon.

Tampa Bay

The Buc D appeared to miss some of their departed veterans last Sunday. The team failed to register a sack or force a turnover. A fumbled snap by Mark Brunnell was capitalized on, CB Rhonde Barber returned it 9 yards for a TD.

MLB Shelton Quarles led the team with 13 tackles (10 solo).

Tennessee

Rookie Antwaan Odom started at LDE and although he finished with only one tackle, he immediately flashed his playmaking ability. His one tackle was a sack on which he also forced a fumble. He also knocked a pass down. Expect rookie struggles some games, but this guy can be an impact player. Odom is the first rookie to start on the Titans DLine since Jevon Kearse did and won ROY in 1999. Another rookie, DT Randy Starks, also recorded his first sack, as well. DT Rien Long had the team's other sack and two other tackles.

S Lamont Thompson and CB Andre Woolfolk aren't technically starters, but are important pieces on a team that runs a lot of packages with 5 and 6 DBs. Woolfolk had 5 solo tackles and a pass defensed, while Thompson had 2 tackles and returned an interception for a TD.

Washington

Despite a stellar preseason, S Sean Taylor did not start his first NFL game and saw little time. DC Gregg Williams downplayed it, claiming the packages he played in didn't match-up with how the Bucs were lining up. Andre Lott started in his place, posting 4 solo tackles and a pass defended. It was SS Matt Bowen who was the star of the defensive backfield, leading the team with 8 solo tackles and 2 sacks, as well as adding a forced fumble.

With Mike Barrow inactive, Antonio Pierce started at MLB. Barrow is nursing a knee injury and will likely miss next week, as well. Barrow's presence wasn't missed, as Pierce had 7 tackles (5 solo) and a fourth quarter interception while the game was still tied, that swung the momentum when it resulted in the go-ahead FG.



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