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Tag:Ryan Wilson
Posted on: February 8, 2012 8:42 pm
 

Report: Tom Brady's injured shoulder not serious

Tuck's sack changed the complexion of the Super Bowl. (AP)
By Ryan Wilson

We wrote about this moments after the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI: Tom Brady pre-Justin Tuck sack was a completely different player than the one after Tuck took him to the Lucas Oil Stadium Turf late in the third quarter.

Brady completed 20 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns (this includes breaking Joe Montana's Super Bowl record for consecutive completions) before Tuck got a hold of him. He was 7 of 17 for 75 yards with an interception afterwards.

At the time, we figured Brady had aggravated a left shoulder injury and that, in part, had something to do with the abrupt drop-off in production. That Brady slowly made his way to the bench and was surrounded by team doctors as they checked him out (not to mention the sight of Brian Hoyer getting loose) only confirmed the suspicions.

Well, on Wednesday, the Boston Herald's Ian Rapoport shared what he knows:
Brady landed hard on his left shoulder, aggravating the sprain from earlier in the season. The key word is “sprain.” This is the same injury that forced him to miss a practice during the AFC Championship week, an ailment he needed to manage. The aggravation didn’t lead to major injury, though, and Brady did not need to come out of the game for treatment. It also is not believed to be the kind of injury that will need to be dealt with much in the offseason.
Put differently: Tuck's hit hurt like hell but didn't cause lasting damage. Hoyer told Rapoport that “I don’t know if I’ll ever meet someone as tough as he is."

(Clearly, Hoyer hasn't met Gisele.)

After the game, one in which Brady sat dejected at his locker for a very long time, he finally spoke about the play that probably decided the outcome: the Brady-to-Welker throw-that-wasn't with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"Wes was running down the field and it looked like they messed the coverage up a little bit and I threw it to him," Brady said. "(Welker) went up to try and make it, as he always does, and we just couldn't connect. He's a hell of a player. I'll keep throwing the ball to him for as long as I possible can. He's a phenomenal player and teammate and I love that guy."

For his part, Welker didn't make excuses.

"The ball is right there," Welker said when asked if he was looking for it on the other shoulder. "I've just got to make the play. It's a play I've made a thousand times in practice and everything else. It comes to the biggest moment of my life and I don't come up with it. It's discouraging."

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 6:51 pm
 

Warner thinks Haley will be good for Big Ben

Can Haley make Roethlisberger a better quarterback? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

There has been some consternation by Steelers fans -- if not flat out gnashing of teeth -- over the news that Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Haley, whose dad served in the Steelers' personnel department from 1971-1990, replaces Bruce Arians, who "retired" (read: was fired) last month.

It's not that Haley hasn't had success as an NFL assistant, it's just that his abrasive style doesn't seem to mesh with "The Steelers Way." Put differently: Haley's sideline demeanor is 180 degrees from that of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. That alone isn't an indictment against the man; he is a football coach, after all. Yelling and screaming is more coming than not. And one of the reasons Arians was let go was because he had become too chummy with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Why chumminess was a concern when the Steelers had gone to two Super Bowls (winning one) under Arians and regularly had a top-10 offense still remains a mystery. But this is a transient business; coaches get fired all the time. Just ask Haley, who was canned during the 2011 season after less than three years as the Chiefs' head coach, where he went 19-26.

Before Haley's arrival in Kansas City, he was a successful though sometimes combative coordinator in Arizona. One of the league's most mild-mannered players, former quarterback Kurt Warner, can attest to that.

"It doesn't matter where you stand on the totem pole," Warner, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"If he sees something you can do better, he lets you know about it. That was a reason for our success."

In general, that's all well and good. But it's not like Roethlisberger was struggling to find himself on the football field. He entered the "elite quarterback" conversation several years ago and other than debilitating injuries, he remains one of the league's most dangerous players. He did that under Arians. Whether that success continues under Haley remains to be seen.

"I enjoyed playing for him," Warner continued. "I'm a guy who loves to be challenged in a lot of different ways, and that's what Todd is about. He pushed me and wanted me to be great. He pushed the guys around me to be great."

As for all the sideline ranting and raving, Warner doesn't think it will be a problem.

"It's not about the yelling and screaming; I'm OK with that," said Warner, who along with teammates, got into it with Haley.

"He just wants you to do the right thing. Instead of getting offended, maybe you have to look at yourself and say, 'OK, that's a legitimate concern.' That's the way you get good. That's how you stay great. He will be good for Ben, not that Ben needs a lot of help. He's a great quarterback."

Exactly.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 5:37 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:51 pm
 

Indy writer on Peyton: His 'arm is a noodle'

Assuming he's healthy, all signs are pointing to Manning playing elsewhere in 2012. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Peyton Manning's change in fortune has been swift. Prior to the 2011 season, the general perception of what he meant to Indianapolis went something like this: he had singlehandedly saved the Colts from themselves, led them to a Super Bowl title in 2006, and his accomplishments were the currency that helped fund Lucas Oil Stadium.

NFL Offseason Begins

Now, days removed from Super Bowl XLVI -- hosted in Indianapolis by the way -- Manning has gone from patron saint of the city to public enemy No. 1. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but not by much.

In the weeks prior to the Giants-Patriots matchup, Manning spoke with the Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz about his future with the Colts. The takeaway: Peyton had no intentions of retiring, even if his future wasn't with in Indy.

Owner Jim Irsay fired back, calling Manning "a politician," the two then issued a joint statement professing great love and admiration for one another. And that appeared to be that. Neither side spoke in specifics about their situations during Super Bowl Week … until Thursday evening, when Manning's camp leaked word that Manning had been medically cleared to play. This was news to everyone, including Irsay, who tweeted hours later that "Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for The Indianapolis Colts."

And it was at that point that the public, which had firmly supported Peyton basically since the moment he was drafted in 1998, began to view the franchise quarterback differently.

During a Wednesday appearance on "The Tony Kornheiser Show," Kravitz talked about the he-said, he-said back-and-forth posturing by both camps and what it means for the future of Peyton and the Colts.

"I think people are starting to sway over to Jim Irsay's side on this," Kravitz told Kornheiser. "… It's such a no-brainer. It's been a no-brainer since they went to 0-13. He could give them money to play football. Andrew Luck has got to play, okay? It's not even about the $35 million anymore. I mean, the guy's arm is a noodle, he can't throw like an NFL quarterback, and by March 8, there's no way of knowing whether he's going to be ready or not."

Wow. "Arm is a noodle" is nowhere near "been medically cleared to play." But that doesn't mean Manning won't be healthy at some point. It's just that nobody knows when.

“I know some of the people that have seen him throw,” Kravitz continued. "They say he’s not throwing like an NFL quarterback yet. That doesn’t mean he never will.  This thing is going to take time. Structurally, he’s sound. Structurally, he can take a hit.”

In response to a question from Kornheiser that "Manning hijacked the Super Bowl," Kravitz responded, "I'm quite sure [Peyton] did it deliberately.

"I lost a lot of -- I don't want to say respect for him -- but I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and not say that his conversation with me was political and calculated, but there's no doubt in my mind that that story breaking Thursday night right around the time every single TV station is doing an exclusive on Andrew Luck (and, it turns out, blog).

"It comes out on Thursday night about six o'clock -- that doesn't come out unless the Peyton Manning camp wants it to come out. They're putting public pressure on Jim Irsay. It was calculated, it was deceptive, I didn't think it was a good time to do it. And, yes, he absolutely stole the Super Bowl. … I don't think there's any doubt that he stole some of the attention away from the Super Bowl.

"Look, that story was going to be there whether he opened his mouth or not, but he had given us every indication that he was going to go underground and only do his Gatorade and DirecTV thing and then shut the hell up," Kravitz said. "And he didn't do that. I thought that that was kind of smarmy. …

"You got Andrew Luck, just start over, I wish they could make the decision today or tomorrow and move on with it. Instead we're just … holding onto something that doesn't really exist."

So, yeah, if it wasn't obvious before, we think it couldn't be clearer now: Peyton's played his last game for the Colts, and Eli was the last Manning to play in Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2011 season.

Now the only question is if the Redskins are still interested in Manning's services. (Obvious answer: of course they are!)

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:24 pm
 

Pick-6 Podcast: One last look at Super Bowl XLVI

Revisiting the week that was in Indianapolis: Super Bowl XLVI. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The Giants are champs, the Pats are left wondering where it all went wrong, and the 2011 NFL season is officially in the books.

After a whirlwind week of press conferences, Media Day, red-carpet events and, of course, the Super Bowl, we recap our eight days in sunny, temperate Indianapolis (seriously, the only thing better than the weather was the hospitality). 

We start off by talking about the pass -- you know, the one that Wes Welker couldn't pull in and that probably changed the outcome of the game. We also discuss Tom Brady's suddenly tarnished legacy. Somehow, a three-time Super Bowl winner has gone from hero to goat in 20 minutes of uninspiring football (not helping: his supermodel wife blasting the Pats' receivers for not being able to catch). 

And no conversation of Super Bowl week in Indy would be complete without a mention of Peyton Manning and his future, so we hit that too.

Also worth mentioning: we "worked" the Playboy Party Friday night and the highlight of the evening for Brinson was meeting DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. We wish we were making this up.

All right, let's get to this...

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 7, 2012 11:05 pm
 

NFL inadvertently pulls Chrysler Super Bowl ad



By Ryan Wilson


The NFL is vigilant about protecting its product -- namely football -- especially online. That means doggedly ensuring that unlicensed videos are pulled from YouTube as soon as soon as they go up, and that was doubly true during Sunday's Super Bowl. Except that the zero-tolerance policy has some unintended consequences.

For Chrysler, it meant the NFL inadvertently having their Super Bowl ad pulled from YouTube, presumably because it was deemed controversial (inasmuch as it really bothered Karl Rove, anyway).

"This was a big deal for Chrysler," Suzanne Vranica of the Wall Street Journal wrote Monday. "The automaker was one of the few big-game advertisers that didn’t release its Super Bowl commercial prior to the game. That meant it missed out on the millions of dollars in free publicity that other advertisers got from online airings of their ads beforehand. Post-game online availability would have helped make up for that."

So why did the NFL yank the spot? Turns out it was a mistake.

"A third-party vendor monitoring game content mistakingly sent a takedown notice," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Jalopnik.com. "… The vendor thought the ad was part of the halftime programming, which is protected, and not a commercial."

Oy.

Put differently, the NFL was fine with the ad (it even showed up on NFL.com), Chrysler hadn't violated any copyrights, and neither Google (YouTube's parent company) nor NBC (the network that aired the Super Bowl) had an issue with the commercial's message. And yet Chrysler got hosed. But why?

More from Jalopnik:
Someone working on behalf of the NFL — maybe it was an intern at the NFL's social media monitoring company — neither Google nor the NFL will tell us specifically who it is — was apparently tasked with searching for anything related to the game once it started. Specifically, for anything "halftime" related.

It's possible that this person/persons searched through anything on YouTube with the word "Halftime" and sent a form-letter DMCA take-down request. That person was entirely wrong, but it cost Chrysler potentially millions of dollars because the ad was down within minutes after the game.
At the very least, it's a case of someone somewhere working for the NFL overreacting. At worst, it shows that Google's "act first, ask questions later" policy on copyright infringement probably needs to be revisited.

Upside: the commercial is again available on YouTube for everybody to enjoy. Well, everybody but Karl Rove.

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 9:50 pm
 

Theismann doesn't think Redskins need Manning

We've seen this cartoon before: player smiles, signs for big bucks, then underperforms, hates life. (CBSSports.com illustration)

By Ryan Wilson

There were two primary storyline during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis: the Patriots-Giants matchup and the day-to-day (and sometimes hour-to-hour) Peyton Manning soap opera. The Giants won in dramatic fashion, which elicited all types of responses. Some people couldn't comprehend how the Pats receivers could drop so many passes. And others relished the fact that they played a part in beating the Giants during the regular season not once but twice.

The former, Tom Brady's super model wife Gisele Bundchen, and the latter, Redskins returner Brandon Banks, have both taken criticism for their observations. Banks went on the Mike Wise show to explain himself.

“I wasn’t bragging at all,” Banks said, according to the D.C. Sports Bog. “I was going for the Giants, I wanted a team from the NFC East to win. It made me feel better that a team that we were capable of going out there and competing with and beating, that they won a Super Bowl, something that I want to do in my career.”

Banks says he thinks the Redskins can win the Super Bowl too, but that's what he's supposed to say, even if he doesn't believe it. Whatever, the Sports Bog's Dan Steinberg unearths a staggering statistic:
With the Giants winning the Super Bowl, that means the past 12 NFL champs have a combined 52 regular-season losses. And, remarkably, a full 11.5 percent of those losses — six games in all — came at the hands of the Washington Redskins, one of the stinkiest NFL teams of the past 12 years.

No other team has as many wins over Super Bowl champs in that span. In fact, only two other teams have even four wins over Super Bowl champs in that span: Dallas and Miami.
All that's missing? Why, a quarterback, of course. And while the previous sentence can't be refuted, who should replace John Beck and Rex Grossman is still up for debate. The word on the street is that organization is "expected to pursue" Manning.

This certainly seems reasonable -- except that not everyone agrees. Take the 'Skins last franchise quarterback, Joe Theismann, for example.

“It’s not a good idea, it’s not a bad idea — It’s a horrific idea,” he said during an appearance on told 106.7 The Fan last week. “It would be one of the poorest things that we could do as a franchise. Are we gonna go find another guy for just a couple of years again? Haven’t we done this before? Haven’t we seen this act before? And by the way, if you get Peyton Manning, don’t you have a concern about protecting him? Don’t you have a concern about who he throws the football to?"

The man responsible for giving us "Norman Einstein" makes a lot of sense. Manning is a prototypical Dan Snyder free-agent acquisition: one-time great player clearly on the downside of a Hall of Fame career.

“We’re tired of looking for stop gaps,” Theismann continued. “It’s time to draft one of your own, or make a deal for a young one of your own, and nurture him, and then put the players around him. If we’re gonna be 5-11, if we’re gonna be 6-10, let’s do it with somebody who’s [learning as he goes], instead of guys that have been here, making mistakes.”

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:00 pm
 

Antrel Rolle on Patriots: 'It wasn't their time'

New York's secondary blew a coverage on what turned out to be the turning point in the game. (NFL.com)

By Ryan Wilson

In the hours and days since the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, the prevailing storyline has been about wide receiver Wes Welker and the drop. Except that the play in question -- a fourth-down pass with 4:06 left in the game and the Pats leading 17-15 -- wasn't so much a drop as a poor throw from Tom Brady. We said as much at the time although those sentiments weren't universally shared. (And never mind NBC's Cris Collinsworth announcing that Welker makes that grab "100 times out of a 100." Uh, no he doesn't.)

On Monday, Giants safety Antrel Rolle appeared on 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego to talk about the Brady-to-Welker misfire that set up New York's game-winning drive.

“Well actually there was a communication error on that play," Rolle said via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "That was guys playing two different coverages and we tried to relay the right coverage down, but once you’re locked in…you are locked in. We tried to relay the coverage a little too late. Some guys were playing one coverage while others were playing another, but through it all things like that happen. Things like that tend to get away from you in the game and we just thank god that Wes didn’t make that catch."

Rolle's right. Looking at the replay, before the snap, safeties Deon Grant (No. 34) and Kenny Phillips (21) appear to be relaying coverage information to cornerback Corey Webster (21) and Rolle (26). As Rolle noted Monday, there was some confusion.

Not everybody in the Giants' secondary was playing the same coverage on the play.  (NFL.com)

Welker, in the slot, comes off the line of scrimmage untouched and when Rolle slows up while Welker continues running down the seam, it creates a huge window (see the image at the top of this post). One that on any other day, Brady stripes, hits Welker in stride, with a touchdown the likely result. Just not Sunday night. (After the ball falls to the turf, Phillips turns immediately to Rolle and they talk about the coverage responsibilities on the play.)

"It wasn’t their time," Rolle said. "It wasn’t their time. Everyone has a fair…has a time where…they needed their time. [Sunday] just wasn’t New England’s time. They’re an outstanding football team. One of the best football teams I have ever played against and I don’t like going up against them too much because I know what they bring to the table. With that being said we got to go out there and do what we need to do as a team. Go out there and be the best we can be.”

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Posted on: February 7, 2012 7:04 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 7:05 pm
 

Charles Barkley lost $100K on Super Bowl?

Sir Charles should've bet that the first score of the Super Bowl would be a safety. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's too bad Charles Barkley didn't bet that the first score of Super Bowl XLVI would come by way of a safety. It would've offset the $100,000 he eventually lost.

During a radio appearance before the game, Sir Charles explained his decision to put 100 large on New England.

“I’m a big believer in ‘In God We Trust,’ and I trust in Belichick, bro," Barkley said via SportsRadioInterviews.com. "I’m going with the New England Patriots. … I’m almost changed the plane to go to Vegas because I wanted to get the 2.5. … Three scares the hell out of me.”

Barkley was also asked about a host of prop bets, none of which he got right (though he pushed on two!), and predicted a final score of 31-17, New England.

"I tell you, I don’t think it’s going to be close," he said. "As quiet as it’s kept, New England had the worst defense ever to make the Super Bowl, but if you look back at the playoffs, they’ve been one of the best defenses in the playoffs and I think that’s going to continue.”

Well, Chuck was right about one thing: the Pats' defense wasn't the reason they lost. It was some combination of Justin Tuck, Tom Brady and Wes Welker.

Barkley weighed in on the second biggest storyline of Super Bowl week, too: Peyton Manning, who appears to have played his last game for the Colts.

“My first opinion is I don’t think Peyton Manning should play football again. You’re talking about a neck," Barkley said. "I know he’s got a couple young twins. I don’t think he should play football at all. But I think the Colts have got to let him go. You can’t pay two quarterbacks. First of all, the team’s not going to be very good next year, to be honest with you, so why would he want to play on a bad team?”

And that's a question we could very well be asking when Peyton signs with the Dolphins or Redskins. The answer, obviously: they paid him a ton of money.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com