ALAMEDA, Calif. -- This is the second consecutive Labor Day that the Oakland Raiders have replaced a starting quarterback with a youngster. The Raiders hope their decision to make rookie Derek Carr the starter -- the team's first rookie quarterback to start a season and the 18th starter since Rich Gannon left nearly 10 years ago -- ends the quarterback turnstile in Oakland. While the process hasn't been smooth, I think the decision to go with Carr, a smart, polished second-round pick from Fresno State, is the right one.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- James Ihedigbo hasn’t played in two weeks. He didn’t even travel to Buffalo for the Detroit Lions' preseason finale against the Bills. If you listen to the Lions’ starting safety, though, he is not concerned. “I’m just resting,” Ihedigbo said Monday. “Getting ready for Monday night. That’s what really the mindset going in is.” It’s a curious statement, because Lions coach Jim Caldwell indicated after Thursday’s preseason finale that Ihedigbo had stayed behind to receive treatment.
BEREA, Ohio -- One of the biggest takeaways from how coach Mike Pettine -- and by extension GM Ray Farmer -- want to build their roster came in how many defensive backs the Cleveland Browns kept on the roster. The magic number was 12: seven cornerbacks and five safeties. That’s a big number, indeed, and clearly the combination of Pettine-Farmer believes that the best way to rush the passer is to have receivers covered so the pass rush has time to reach the quarterback.
Henry Melton, the Dallas Cowboys' key offseason defensive acquisition, said he’s ready for the season opener against San Francisco after not playing in the preseason. Melton said his knee and his groin, which he tweaked during training camp, are fine and he expects to start Sunday against the 49ers. Melton said he’s not sure how much he will play against San Francisco but won’t be opposed to the coaching staff putting him on a play limit.