Category Archives: NFL

Bill O’Brien needs to stop talking about loyalty

To me there are few things more annoying in sports then a college coach who talks about loyalty when it is so obvious that they don’t mean it at all.

Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien is just the latest one.

Here is what he told Pennlive.com:

“I’m not a one-and-done guy,I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.” 

He interviewed for a job with the Cleveland Browns this week. If he made a commitment and wasn’t going to “cut and run” why did he take the interview? His buyout is somewhere north of $9 million according to Fox and that is one of the two reasons he is still the coach at Penn State with the other being that he got an extra $1.3 million courtesy of the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Why didn’t he mention that in his statement?

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t have a problem with college coaches making the jump to the NFL because of the limited number of those jobs and the chances to get them but please spare the BS about loyalty, commitment and integrity. Bill O’Brien is not the first or the last but it is a shame that we continue to let these guys have a pass.
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Greg Schiano to the Buccaneers

The first thing I saw when I woke up today was this tweet. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out what was going on.

 I have to say that I was surprised when reports surfaced today that Rutgers Football Coach Greg Schiano was talking to the Tampa Buccaneers about their coaching vacancy. For a few years I had thought that if Schiano was to leave Rutgers it would be to follow Joe Paterno at Penn State. When the whole Penn State scandal broke I figured Schiano would stay especially in light of the strong recruiting class they were putting together. In retrospect though you have to wonder if the way things ended up going at Penn State with Paterno served as a reminder to him that no one stays in one place forever anymore.

I don’t entirely blame Schiano here. How do you say no to the NFL? There has been a lot of negativity towards the program here in New Jersey from people who aren’t football fans given his stature as the highest paid public employee in the state.  The Big East mess had to play a big factor here but him leaving this close to signing day will leave a little bit of a sour taste. He has built this program up well but he has done a disservice to the Rutgers Family (or Scarlet Nation as they are beginning to call themselves) and the “State of Rutgers”. Sports are a business and you have to expect things like this but there is unfinished business here. I wonder where the school goes from here? Would offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti be able to hold the recruiting class together? Or do they turn to someone like Greg Toal who has built at a dynasty at Don Bosco Prep? Keith Sargeant, who is one of the Rutgers beat writers put together this possible short list.

What kind of a contract did Schiano end up getting? I read somewhere that he got a five year deal but the money will be interesting too. He was making north of $2.3 million at Rutgers. I was surprised to hear Adam Schefter mention that Schiano was a finalist for the Rams job too.

Rutgers fans will be angry for a while but Schiano does need to be praised for the work he did while he was here. No, we never did get that BCS game but he did leave the program in a better place then the situation that he inherited and you don’t always get that. Rutgers won’t go back into obscurity. The program has come far enough in the past decade to ensure of that. J.A Adande mentioned on ESPN’s Around the Horn today that Rutgers has 21 players in the NFL right now. Alabama has five. That is a truly remarkable stat given where this program was not that long ago. People will say that he took the easy way out or even make this about money but if Schiano was really chasing that wouldn’t he have taken the jobs at Michigan and Miami when they came his way? An NFL coaching job doesn’t give him anywhere close to the security he had at Rutgers where he could easily have stayed for the next 25 years. I really can’t fault him for wanting a NFL gig. As Atheltic Director Tim Pernetti told the media today, there are only 32 such jobs in the world. If you are a football guy how do you say no to that? You can read a transcript of Pernetti’s comments to the press here.

Just yesterday the program had posted this video online for season ticket renewals. I’ll have my seats again next year. I do want to see where this program goes from here. Hopefully the program  continues to build using the building blocks Greg Schiano left here.
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2011 San Francisco 49ers

What a great day of football.

Hats off to the San Francisco 49ers. The team definitely surprised me this year. When the season got under way I wasn’t expecting anything close to this. I thought that there was a good chance that the team would be in the mix for Andrew Luck next year. Jim Harbaugh deserves a lot of credit for the work he did with this team this year. It was great to see the 49ers back in the playoffs and hopefully next year will be another bright one.

How much money will David Tyree end up making in the next couple of weeks? He’ll be everywhere in the lead up to the Super Bowl. How many times do you think you’ll see a clip of his catch in the next two weeks?

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NFL Playoff Predictions

With the games getting underway shortly I wanted to take a moment to post my playoff predictions. Looking back at my preseason predictions I ended up getting 8 out of the 12 playoff teams. If it wasn’t for the disappointing years from the Chargers and Jets they would look a lot better. I’m a 49ers fan and I didn’t pick them for the playoffs so I’m glad I was wrong on that one as well.

I am going to take the Bengals +4 to win outright against the Texans. Hats off to Marvin Lewis for the great job he has done with this team. The whole Carson Palmer situation should have been a big distraction for the team but not only did they pull off a great trade with the Raiders they still got to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton. Once Peyton Manning went down this really should have been the year of the Texans in the AFC. They should have locked up a bye but ended up being caught up in injuries themselves. They’ve done well to get to this point but I think their season ends today.

The Lions finishing 10-6 and making it to the playoffs is a great sports story given where that franchise and more importantly where that city has been but in a way even with the Green Bay Packers being in that division they almost seems like an underachieving team given the way they started the year. If Ndamukong Suh can keep head on straight this should be a start of great things to come for the Detroit Lions in the coming years. I think the Lions will cover the 11 point spread but the Saints will pull out the win. What a year Drew Brees had. I think Aaron Rodgers slowing down late in the season will help Brees pull out the MVP. The Saints probably are the one team in the NFC who can stop the Packers from repeating.

Even with a four game losing streak (and two additional losses to the Washington Redskins) the Giants somehow managed to make the playoffs and save Tom Coughlin’s job. For whatever reason people like to knock Eli Manning but he took a big step forward this year. With the game on the line there are very few quarterbacks in the league who you’d want guiding that two minute drill. He is one of those quarterbacks. The Falcons should be a lot better at this point with Matt Ryan. I understand that being in the same division as the Saints doesn’t help but this team doesn’t excite me one bit. They do have a sour taste from last year’s playoffs but I believe they lose again this weekend. I’ll take the Giants -3.

“Tebow Time” is finished. I made a post earlier in the season saying Tebow would no longer be a starter by the middle of next season but a loss today could very well push that up to the start of next season. The Broncos offense continues to look awful. I think if they lose big today the Broncos will bring someone else at least compete with Tebow for the job next year. Given how banged up the Steelers are right now things are laid out pretty good with Broncos, the Steelers could very well lose this week……but I just don’t think the Broncos have it in them. I’ll take the Steelers -9.

For the heck of it here are my picks for the rest of the playoffs at this moment.

Divisional Round

Packers over Giants
Saints over 49ers
Patriots over Bengals
Ravens over Steelers

Conference Championship

Packers over Saints
Ravens over Patriots

Super Bowl XLVI
Packers over Ravens
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“Tebow Time”

I’ve been saying it on Twitter but wanted to post it here as well just so a year from now I could say “I told you so!” By November 17th 2012 Tim Tebow WILL NOT be a starting Quarterback in the NFL. Write it down.

I know he’s great for the league as far as selling merchandise is concerned but he just can’t play the position at this level. Yes, I am aware that the Broncos are 5-1 in their last six games but I credit that mostly to that defense. They’ve held their opposition to 15 points or less in four of those games. If you do that on a regular basis you will win a lot of games in this league. People have gone way overboard trying to credit Tebow for this run (no pun intended). We’ve even had people like Greg Doyle of CBS suggest he is an MVP candidate. If I had a MVP vote this year I would cast it for Peyton Manning long before I would do it for Tim Tebow.

“Tebow Time” to me is just like the wildcat offense. It won’t work long term at this level. Defenses in the NFL are too fast and smart for it.
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2011 NFL Predictions

Are you ready for some football?

Who are you picking to make the playoffs this year? Here’s how my picks shape up.

NFC Division Winners – Saints, Packers, Eagles and Rams
NFC Wildcard Winners – Lions and Falcons

AFC Division Winners – Jets, Chargers, Ravens and Texans
AFC Wildcard Winners – Patriots and Steelers

AFC Championship Game – Jets over Ravens
NFC Championship Game – Packers over Saints

Super Bowl – Packers over the Jets

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Peyton Manning

Now that it has been announced that Peyton Manning will miss Week 1, would it really surprise anyone if he missed like 3-4 weeks?

Why am I bringing this up? A lot of people already had the Colts as just a 8 or 9 win team. Being without Peyton Manning for any length of time obviously lowers that number significantly. Say the Colts end up as a 2 or 3 win team. What do they do with the #1 pick next year? Do they draft Andrew Luck and let him learn from the best for a couple of years? Do they traded down and get a ton of picks so they can give Manning a lot of new toys to make a run with?
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Green Bay Packers visit the White House

Barack Obama welcomed the Green Bay Packers to the White House on Friday.

The NFC North blog on ESPN.com has some cool photos of the Packers players at the White House. Linebacker Desmond Bishop wasn’t allowed into the White House because he forgot his ID on the team plane.

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Chris Kluwe/Donovan McNabb negotiations

It is not often that I write something about a punter.

Actually it is not often that anyone writes anything about a punter. I saw this on ESPN a few days ago but just haven’t had the chance to share this until now. By now you are aware that the Vikings got McNabb to be their quarterback for the upcoming season. You are probably also aware that McNabb has worn the #5 his entire career. #5 on the Vikings was already assigned to punter Chris Kluwe. How did they resolve the matter? Just take a look.

Normally these kind of negotiations lead to someone getting a Rolex, a ton of cash, beer, a vacation or something those lines.

The Jeff Feagles ones are somewhat funny as well.

Last year (2004), he sold No. 10 to rookie Eli Manning in exchange for an all-expenses-paid vacation on the Gulf of Mexico.

“The whole family is flying in, we rented a car, rented a house for a week and we’ll be relaxing on the beach,” Feagles said. “And we’re all going to be wearing No. 10 jerseys. I’m actually going to get Eli’s address and send him a postcard from there.”

But his good-luck tale doesn’t stop there.

After fleecing Manning, Feagles switched to No. 17 to commemorate his 17th professional season. But this year the Giants signed free agent Plaxico Burress on March 17 – and the former Pittsburgh receiver had to have the number. Turned out Feagles was happy to commemorate his 18th season – for the right price.

“I bought a new house in Arizona and I’m redoing it. … So there you have it,” he said. “This year it’s for an outdoor kitchen.”

By the way you follow Kluwe on twitter @chriswarcraft
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