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Tag:Ryan Wilson
Posted on: February 5, 2012 1:45 pm
 

Manning's next contract to be incentive-laden?

Brees talks to the media about his Offensive Player of the Year Award while Manning announces the NFL Player of the Year. Indianapolis, February 4, 2012. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

Peyton Manning, who has been in the news almost as much as his brother this week, finally made a public appearance Saturday night at the NFL Awards Show. He didn't say anything new about his future in Indianapolis -- Manning was there to present the 2011 NFL Most Valuable Player award -- although reports Sunday from ESPN's Adam Schefter indicate that should the Colts and Manning part ways in the coming weeks (and that looks like a real possibility), the future Hall of Fame quarterback would be willing to agree to an incentive-based contract for little or no guaranteed money.

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The thinking: Manning would find a new home as quickly as possible, put his Colts playing days behind him, and get on with the rest of his career. Schefter says that incentives could include roster bonuses due on the first day of the regular season, or bonuses tied to playing time.

A source tells ProFootballTalk.com that such measure won't be necessary because Manning, completely healthy or not, will be in such demand that those teams interested in his services will set demand. If the Dolphins' owner Stephen Ross truly is "infatuated" with Manning, and the Redskins and Daniel Snyder are similarly intrigued, that's reason enough to think that he won't have to concern himself with performance-based incentives.

As it stands, Manning is still a member of the Colts. He's due a $28 million roster bonus on March 8 but unless something changes between now and then, there's no way owner Jim Irsay makes good on that payment given that Manning's health is still a huge question.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:37 pm
 

Does Tim Tebow have a future in politics?

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By Ryan Wilson

Tim Tebow is 24 years old, a former Heisman Trophy winner, a starting NFL quarterback and outside of Madonna, probably the biggest celebrity in Indianapolis this week. On Saturday night, he won the the GMAC Never Say Never Award for his game-winning touchdown run against the Jets during the regular season. But Tebow is more than a football player. He's deeply religious and his foundation's initiatives include building a hospital in the Philippines and granting wishes to terminally ill patients.

So it should come as no surprise that after Tebow's football career is over he may pursue other endeavors. Likes, say, politics.

"It could be something in my future," Tebow told David Feherty during an interview on Feherty Live. "It's something I'll have to think about and if I pray about, you know, I have no idea right now. But possibly."

Political offices at the local, state and federal levels are littered with former athletes. But nobody anywhere has Tebow's charisma. That said, once you get past the winning smile and sunny disposition, there are the issues.

Tebow, an evangelical Christian, appeared with his mother in a pro-life commercial during the Super Bowl two years ago. Needless to say, the ad was divisive. He would have very little trouble energizing a flaccid Republican base, but winning national elections are all about appealing to moderates in both parties. It's not clear Tebow could -- or would -- do that. (Such concerns would be less an issue if he ran for a senate seat in a conservative state.)

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves; Tebow told Feherty that "I have no idea right now." But while he prays about his future, some Republican candidates are already counting on Tebow's endorsement. That's something Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin might want to look into, too.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 12:00 pm
 

DPOY Suggs talks about losing Chuck Pagano

                 (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Terrell Suggs has played for several great defensive coordinators during his nine-year Ravens career, the most recent one lasting just a season before landing a head-coaching job. The Colts hired Chuck Pagano last month to replace Jim Caldwell and rebuild a franchise that, after losing Peyton Manning for the year to a neck injury, fell to 2-14.

Pagano has been busily assembling his coaching staff, and Saturday night, Suggs, in Indianapolis to accept the Defensive Player of the Year Award at the inaugural NFL Awards Show, spoke about Pagano.

"I kind of predicted it Week 1 because I knew the defense that we had and I knew what kind of coach he was and how he was calling the game," Suggs told the media. "He definitely deserves it -- I'm sad to see him go because of things we did this year. I just wish we got the opportunity to see what we'd do next year, with him having a second year of experience under his belt being a defensive coordinator.

"But the world decided he didn't need anymore experience and it was his time to go and be a head coach (in Indianapolis)," he said. "He's going to do some great things and he definitely has the weapons to do it."

One of those weapons will be the Colts' yet-to-be-determined quarterback. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is apparently infatuated with Peyton Manning, who is still recovering from multiple neck surgeries. And the Colts hold the first-overall pick, which they will undoubtedly use on a quarterback. The only question is if it will be Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.

The Ravens, meanwhile, have named linebackers coach Deen Pees as Pagano's replacement. He'll join Marvin Lewis, Mike Nolan and Rex Ryan as coaches who have served as Baltimore's defensive coordinator.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to be a defensive coordinator for anybody in this league,” Pees said two weeks ago. “But it’s especially humbling to be one for Ravens. . . . The tradition of this defense will continue, and it will flourish and it will get even better.”

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It certainly helps to have the Defensive Player of the Year on the roster.


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Posted on: February 3, 2012 12:28 pm
 

Coughlin not concerned Giants are too cocky

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The seven days leading up to the Super Bowl feels more like seven months when you're looking for stories that haven't been beaten into the ground by Wednesday. It must be even more interminable for the coaches and players who have to endure it.

Before the Patriots left New England, Tom Brady told fans gathered at a pep rally that “We’re going down there, and we’re going down there for one reason. We’re going to give it our best and "hopefully" we have a lot more people at our party next weekend.”

The New York media ran with Brady's words -- ESPNNewYork.com's headline: “Brady planning victory party," The New York Post: “Tom’s taunt,” and the New York Daily News went with: “Tom’s talkin’ trash.”

Brady, of course, was asked about it once he arrived in Indy.

“Well, it was a pep rally,” he said smiling. “People were pretty excited. Certainly players were excited. I know 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well. It was great to see the support. We get great support, home and away, and hopefully we have some Patriots jerseys in the stands next Sunday night.”

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Giants defensive end Justin Tuck echoed Brady's sentiments when asked about it at Tuesday's Media Day: "Man, it was a pep rally," he said. "What was he supposed to say? I don’t think it’s Tom doing anything but getting fans riled up."

On Friday, it was Giants head coach Tom Coughlin's turn. He was asked whether he worries about his team being too cocky.

“I’m not sure what you’re referencing," he said. "I know that there are one or two quotes out there, but, to be honest with you, I don’t know that either one of them is any different than Tom Brady’s quotes. I think it’s just a matter of our team has played good football against a great football team. We always focus our team on confidence enough to get there and confident enough to get back. That’s the way we look at it.”

Mercifully, there's just one more day until the Super Bowl is here.


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

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Posted on: February 3, 2012 11:50 am
 

Like Coughlin, Belichick has no plans to retire

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Earlier this week, CBS analyst and former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that he tells players that when they think their career is over to "play two more years. ... Because the rest of your life is a long time."

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No idea if that tenet holds for head coaches, too. On Friday, in his last meeting of the week with the media, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked if there was a chance he'd retire should New England win Sunday. It would be Belichick's fourth championship since 2001 and further solidify his Hall of Fame credentials on a career in coaching that began with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

“Right now, I’m really thinking, ‘What’s the best thing I can do to help our football team on Sunday against the Giants?’ I want to really try to do a good job in the job that I have," he said. "I enjoy all the aspects of the job. I enjoy the team-building, the drafting, the free agents, team acquisitions, those kind of things.

"I enjoy bringing in the young players and working with guys who haven’t been in the NFL and teaching them the basic fundamentals in how to become a professional football player for the New England Patriots. I enjoy working with the veteran players, the Tom Bradys and the Vince Wilforks and the Wes Welkers and all those kind of players that can do really special things because of their not only talent, but experience."

He continued: "I enjoy the competition on a weekly basis. Not just on Sundays, but the preparation leading up into the game. I enjoy all of it. It beats working. It’s fun to address those challenges on a daily basis, so right now I’m really focused on the game and that’s where my energy is going to go, toward doing the best I can for the New England Patriots against the Giants on Sunday.”

If Belichick's words aren't convincing enough, his newfound effusiveness appears to be. So for now, the 59-year-old ain't going anywhere, sharing the sentiments of his counterpart Sunday, Tom Coughlin.

CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco asked Coughlin after the Giants beat the 49ers in the NFC Championship game if, at 65, he had any thoughts on calling it quits.

Retire to do what?” Coughlin said. "I feel good … I still love what I do."


Super Bowl XLVI Preview
Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another Super Bowl title? Pat Kirwan joins Scott Braun for the preview.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 8:02 pm
 

JPP: Brady reacted to pressure that didn't exist

                                     (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The last time the Patriots and Giants met in the Super Bowl, quarterback Tom Brady was sacked five times. On Wednesday, Brady was asked about the implication that he can be rattled in the pocket.

"It wouldn't be the Super Bowl if they (the Giants defense) weren't trying to knock me down or knock me out … but our offensive line gets paid too," he said. "We're going to try to eliminate (bad throws) … we had too many of those last time (against the Ravens). We're not going to be able to win the game playing like that."

The Pats and Giants met earlier this season too, and while Brady was sacked just twice, it was the perceived pressure that forced him into mistakes -- at least to hear Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

“I think it will have much impact on his performance because if you look at Week 9, when we played them, it’s like he felt us," Pierre-Paul said during Thursday's media availability. "When we looked back on the film, we watched the film, and we didn’t really rush like we can rush as a defense. He was throwing balls on the ground and stuff, but like I said, it’s going to be a battle. We have to get there. We have to. …

"(Brady) did react to pressure that didn’t exist, and he was just throwing the ball places where there wasn’t even a receiver there. Imagine us getting there even faster and actually doing our jobs and getting hits on him.”

Brady has a short history of underwhelming performances against the Giants (he's also played poorly in the games just prior to facing the Giants, too), but he's also one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history and a three-time Super Bowl winner.

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Following the Patriots' conference championship win over the Ravens two weeks ago, Brady said he "sucked" and promised owner Bob Kraft that he would "play a lot better" in the Super Bowl. Good news for New York, however: turns out, Brady's human. Pierre-Paul was asked if the Patriots quarterback was was a god.

"He's not," he responded.

Which was made clear from watching him play against the Giants.

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:30 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:31 pm
 

EoF on the scene: Super Bowl XLVI, Radio Row

Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Radio Row has gone from a ghost town to hopping in 24 hours. Almost all of this had to do with Tim Tebow (who we somehow missed) and Madonna (who we didn't). Enjoy.



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Posted on: February 2, 2012 5:12 pm
 

Colts' Pagano talks on new hires Manusky, Arians

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By Ryan Wilson

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts hired Greg Manusky Thursday to be the new defensive coordinator. He was fired by the Chargers last month and will now join Chuck Pagano's staff a week after Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler backed out of the job.

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Pagano met with the media to talk about the latest additions to his staff.

"[Greg's] been a player and coach in this league for a long time … and he'll bring great leadership and passion and energy to our organization and to the defensive side of the ball." Pagano also said that Manusky will call plays.

The new head coach was also asked about offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was Peyton Manning's first quarterbacks coach with the Colts back in 1998. And now, 14 years later, he's returning to Indianapolis, which means that there's a good chance Arians will soon get to work with another rookie franchise quarterback.

There's still much to sort out, from Manning's future, to who the Colts will target with the first-overall pick in April's draft. (Andrew Luck is the early runaway favorite but Robert Griffin III will likely get consideration as well.)

"Bruce's resume speaks for itself," Pagano said. "He called plays at the highest level and he's won a Super Bowl."

Arians comes to the Colts after the Steelers chose not to renew his deal. Two weeks ago, he told the York Daily Record (Pa.) that he retired when he "wasn't offered a contract." After that, "it was an easy decision for me."

Arians added that team president Art Rooney II didn't give him a reason. "I can't answer that question," he said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."

He had been in Pittsburgh since 2004, after working with Pagano on Butch Davis' staff in Cleveland the previous three seasons. Arians was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, head coach Mike Tomlin's first year with the Steelers. In four of five seasons, Pittsburgh was a top-10 offense, according to Football Outsiders (and the only year they weren't, 2008, they won the Super Bowl). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flourished under Arians, but the Steelers got away from what they had previously been known for: running the ball.

There will be no run-first subtexts in Indianapolis. The Colts need someone to nurture a young passer and you'd be hard-pressed to find a candidate more qualified than Arians.

"He understands how to develop quarterbacks, especially young quarterbacks," Pagano said. "Bruce and I go back a long time. His philosophy matches our philosophy, and the pieces we're going to put around him [match] his passion and energy. He's a brilliant guy, he thinks outside the box so I feel really fortunate that Bruce is with us."

It was a peculiar split for Arians and the Steelers. Not because it came out of nowhere -- Rooney reportedly wanted Arians out several years ago and Roethlisberger and Tomlin fought to keep him -- but because the Steelers' offense had regularly been a top-10 unit going back to 2007.

Part of that is due to Roethlisberger, but that claim can be made about most winning teams: sustained success starts with the quarterback. And that's exactly what Pagano seems ready to do: rebuild this team around a franchise player. The only question, at least initially, is if that player will be Manning, Luck or someone else.

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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