Former Buckeye hoping to impress the Bengals

Published: Saturday, May 06, 2017 @ 9:59 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 06, 2017 @ 10:18 PM

Corey Smith talks about his uphill battle to make it to the next level.

Corey Smith says all he wants is a chance to prove he can play, which is something he never really got in four years at Ohio State. The former Buckeyes receiver gets that chance as one of several free agents trying to make an impression at the Bengals rookie minicamp.

“I’m just going to go out there and compete and do what I’ve gotta do,” Smith said. “I know how to get open, I know how to catch the ball, and I’ve got a very high IQ of what to do when I’m out there.”

Ohio State’s Corey Smith, right, runs with the ball after a catch as Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller (11) and Kyshoen Jarrett (34) pursue him on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff(WHIO TV)

A rare junior college recruit at Ohio State, Smith caught 2 passes for 76 yards in the Buckeyes win over Oregon in the 2014 national championship game. The next season he broke his leg and missed the last of the 2015 schedule.

Smith spent more time on the sidelines than on the field in 2016, but he saved his best for last with a pair of catches against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.

“It’s feeling like I just got to Ohio State,” Smith said during a break in practice at Paul Brown Stadium. “I have to pick up the speed of the game, but it’s funny because everything coach (Urban) Meyer talked about is actually true.”

Report: Miami Dolphins QB Jay Cutler out against Patriots

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:16 PM

The Miami Dolphins will be taking on the New England Patriots Sunday without quarterback Jay Cutler.

He left the Dolphins Week 11 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a concussion. Cutler has still not been cleared from concussion protocol and Matt Moore will start in his place, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Dolphins are one of several 4-6 teams in the AFC hoping to earn wild-card weekend berth, but it doesn’t appear likely. They’ve lost four games in-a-row, and three of them by multiple possessions.

Cutler has missed one other game because of injury this season, and that was the beginning of their losing streak—a 40-0 loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football.

The quarterback situations of these two franchises offer a great explanation for the direction these AFC East rivals have headed since the retirement of Dan Marino following the 1999 season.

Bill Belichick became the coach of the Patriots in 2000, and the next season he won the Super Bowl with Tom Brady who is still his quarterback. Brady could win his third MVP award at 40-years-old this season. Also, the Patriots have won a total of five Super Bowls, and all but three division titles this millennium.

On the Southern end of the east coast, the Dolphins have gone through numerous coaches and general managers and quarterbacks since the retirement of Marino. They won the AFC East in 2000, and once more in 2008. They’ve made the postseason four times this millennium, and haven’t won a playoff game since Marino’s final season.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn: No ACL tear for WR Mike Williams

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:26 PM

The Los Angeles Chargers had an injury scare on Thursday with rookie wide receiver Mike Williams.

He went down with a right knee injury during the first quarter of the Chargers’ 28-6 victory against the Dallas Cowboys, and had to be carted off of the field. He was scheduled to have an MRI on Friday.

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said that Williams is still being evaluated, but that an ACL injury has been ruled out, per the team Twitter account.

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster ruled out against the Packers

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:11 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has officially been ruled out for the game against the Green Bay Packers. He has been battling a hamstring issue and just will not be ready to go.

“Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster [hamstring] is out Sunday night vs. the Packers,” wrote ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The team hasn’t been sure how this would pan out all week long. They don’t think it’s anything incredibly serious, but he’s also a rookie and they know he needs practice time.

“JuJu Smith-Schuster, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ productive and popular rookie, is dealing with a ‘small’ hamstring injury that the team will monitor this week, coach Mike Tomlin said,” wrote ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Tuesday. “Tomlin acknowledges that a rookie needs reps to prepare to play, so the Steelers hope Smith-Schuster’s injury improves well before Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.”

Smith-Schuster trails only star wideout Antonio Brown in touchdown catches and receiving yards, with 5 and 568, respectively.

To some degree, though, this is not a game the Steelers need to rush him back for. The Packers are missing star quarterback Aaron Rodgers [collarbone] and still don’t know if they’ll have starting running back Ty Montgomery [ribs]. They just got shut out by the Baltimore Ravens. If there is any question about Smith-Schuster’s longterm health, it’s wise to wait.

Greg Olsen activated off Carolina Panthers Injured Reserve list

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:26 PM

On Friday afternoon, the Carolina Panthers offense officially got a major boost when the team activated All-Pro tight end Greg Olsen off their Injured Reserve list.

Olsen broke his right foot against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, and has been on IR while rehabbing the injury ever since. He returned to practice on Monday, and is expected to play against the New York Jets on Sunday.

“I feel great,” Olsen said on Thursday (via Panthers.com), “progressing good, practiced again in full and so far, so good. In my mind I’m prepping myself like I’m going to play a normal workload.”

Olsen’s return is great news for the Panthers, who, thanks to their current three-game winning streak, are in the midst of a tight NFC playoff race.

Veteran Ed Dickson filled in admirably for Olsen while the former Miami Hurricane star was out of action. But at the end of the day, very few tight ends have the ability to effect games the way Olsen does when he is healthy.