Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall ranks fourth in the NFL with 59 catches and is within three scores of his career high of 10. Houston cornerback Johnathan Joseph, like Charles Tillman, has two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.
Marshall is 6-4 and expecting to see a great deal of 5-11 Joseph, the Texans tallest cornerback. They were teammates on the 2011 AFC Pro Bowl team.
He's playing the position better than most guys in this league right now, he's confident, he's tough to play against, you know the way he plays his technique, he plays within the system. I'm going to have my work cut out for me this weekend.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak was on the AFC Pro Bowl staff last year when Marshall was a member of the squad.
Of course I got to see Brandon firsthand up at the Pro Bowl, Kubiak said. We had him this year and you all know what he did there so I know what type of talent he is.
And Marshall, whose entire pre-Chicago career was spent in the AFC, knows Joseph, a No. 1 pick of Cincinnati in 2006. He has faced Joseph four times, catching 19 passes for 235 yards but only one touchdown, last year in a loss to the Texans.
This is a team where I'm going to have some one-on-one coverage with their Pro Bowl corner, Joseph, Marshall said. I've gone up against him a few times, and he's a top-three corner in this league right now.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.
Everything. Must. Go.
Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.
“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”
Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.
Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.
Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.
Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.
As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.