Tag:Inside the NFL
Posted on: January 25, 2012 7:48 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 11:05 am

Lawrence Taylor: Football was easy, life is hard

For as great as Lawrence Taylor was on the field he has been just as troubled off it. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

In January 2011, Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor pled guilty to two charges of sexual misconduct. Two months later, Taylor received six years probation.

On Wednesday, the former Giants great joined James Brown and Cris Collinsworth on Showtime's Inside the NFL for his first extensive sit-down interview since his sentencing last March.

Taylor spoke about his 2010 arrest: "As a football player, I know everything about football, I mean as far as defense and stuff. I know what every player is supposed to do. I know where every player is supposed to be. I can see the play before it happens. I know where I’m supposed to be. I know how to manage a football game. The problem with me is, sometimes, managing my life. Because I make a lot of bad decisions and that’s the process that I’m going through now."

Taylor's life away from football has been a tumultuous existence. He was once asked what he could do that no other linebacker could, and he replied, "drink." But alcohol wasn't his biggest vice. He used drugs during his playing days and it got worse after he retired in 1993, writing in his autobiography that "I saw coke as the only bright spot in my future (after football)."

James Brown and Cris Collinsworth recently sat down with Lawrence Taylor to discuss his sentence for solicitation of a minor, his battles with substance abuse as well as modern day defense in the NFL. 

Taylor told Brown and Collinsworth that "I cannot stress enough that this has not been a great ordeal for me. And I’m quite sure this is not a great ordeal for the girl.  And it’s not a good ordeal for my family – my wife, especially. I hear it every day, every day, every day. ...

"What was I thinking?" Taylor asked. "According to my wife, I wasn’t thinking and she reminds me of that every day for the last year-and-a-half. We, as boys, think that we can do certain things and we’re still going to have that same life we did when we were younger, and sometimes my decision process is not very good. I make mistakes and I make bad decisions. Do I wish this had gone another way and that that day had never happened? Of course I do. The embarrassment I gave my family, the embarrassment of myself.

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that, ‘Hey, I’m a chronic bad person. I’m just going out and doing.’  I just get caught up and sometimes you think, you know life is not the same way it was 10 years ago, or 15 years ago. As an athlete, they may overlook a couple things.

"No. Nowadays, you guys are on 24-hours-a-day so everything that happens is actually exploited a little bit more or is blown up a little bit more and more people know about it. So now you have to really discipline yourself. For years, I had no discipline. I could do what I wanted to do as far as playing in New York.  I could do what I wanted to do as long as it was still within the law….Life…sometimes it just throws you some curves and just have to realize that this is a different time and different age and you have to tell yourself to be a man, boy."

Taylor said that "There is always a heart desire to do the right thing" but conceded that "as easy as football is to me…is as hard as life is to me."

He also talked about today's NFL compared to the one he left nearly two decades ago, as well as his thoughts on the Giants' return to the Super Bowl.

This week’s episode of Inside the NFL premieres tonight, January 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.

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Posted on: November 11, 2011 11:00 pm

Tony Romo seems to understand his critics

Posted by Will Brinson

This Sunday, CBS Sports analyst and NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe will sit down with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in advance of Dallas home game against Buffalo.

Because it's Tony Romo, Sharpe asks why the quarterback receives so much criticism and if it bothers him. And Romo, as you'll see in the preview below, has a pretty smart answer about it.

"It's just an easy thing to say until you win the Super Bowl," Romo said. "Until then any time you lose a game it's a big game. But if you win, then it really wasn't that big of a game. That just goes with the territory."

This is a great point, actually. If you win a Super Bowl, there is really only so much "choker!" screaming that can go on whenever you lose a close game. If you need further proof, just look at Eli Manning. As we've detailed previously, Romo and Eli have nearly identical stats. One big difference is that Manning's won a Super Bowl.

Which is precisely why he, unlike Romo, can get away with an the occasional rough ending to a game. And if you don't believe me, just ask people what they think of Philip Rivers, who's basically Romo's NFC criticism doppelganger.

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Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:21 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 3:00 pm

Eddie Royal on block, Lloyd had 'confrontations'

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We told you a couple days ago about the Broncos supposed desire to trade receiver Brandon Lloyd, in part because of Denver’s apparent move toward a ball-control, run-oriented offense under new starting quarterback Tim Tebow.

Now, it’s beginning to appear like a fire sale, as CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported on The NFL Today that Eddie Royal is also on the trading block for Denver.

"Both [receivers] are in the last year of their contract," Casserly said Sunday. "Four teams -- I've been told by one of these four teams -- are interested: San Francisco, New England, Tennessee and St. Louis.

"Another team told me that Denver said one of the reasons they're trying to move Lloyd is he's had some confrontations with the coaching staff."

Considering both are in the final year of their respective deals, it might make sense for Denver to get rid of them if they’re not in the team’s long-term plans.

As CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson wrote the other day, Lloyd apparently is being pursued by the Rams and the Titans (but not the Panthers), though it’s looking less likely Denver will move him before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. trade deadline. Royal, by the way, has only played two games this year, and he’s got four catches for 51 yards.

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Posted on: September 14, 2011 7:27 pm

Sapp says Steelers are 'old, slow and itís over'

Posted by Will Brinson

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime -- one of the many wonderful properties owned by the mothership -- "Inside the NFL" will, as usual, go inside the world of professional football.

And Warren Sapp, as usual, will have a spin on things that's going to offend a few folks. In this instance, I'll go out on a limb and say the Steelers won't be loving what he has to say, as he basically leaves the Pittsburgh football dynasty for dead.

"The Pittsburgh Steelers. I have three things: old, slow and it’s over," Sapp says. "It’s just that simple. James Harrison told us that he was 70-to-75 percent. It looked more like 40 percent to me if you are looking at the ballgame I was looking at. And Hines Ward, Mercedes Sapp can cover Hines Ward right now. You have to be kidding me ... Mercedes is my 13-year-old daughter. She will cover Hines Ward in a heartbeat.

"And Troy Polamalu, Ed Dixon runs this crossing route. Troy Polamalu is trying to grab him to have a pass interference and he can’t even get close enough to grab him. [It] looked like he was dragging a wagon behind him. Touchdown Baltimore. Pittsburgh Steelers done."

Them, as we say in the South, is fightin' words. And while Sapp has a point about the problems that plauged the Steelers in Week 1 against Baltimore, I'd probably lean more towards Phil Simms' take on things.

"That’s a tremendous over-reaction to Week One," Simms says.

Look, the Steelers looked downright dreadful as Baltimore was beating them up and down the field in every aspect of the game. But lots of teams have looked bad in the first week of the season and then circulated right back around to have good seasons.

This is especially true of teams that turn the ball over seven times in the first week of the season. That's not on Harrison, that's not on Polamalu, and I'm not even sure it's really on Ward.

Most importantly, though, is the fact that just last year, this was an AFC Championship-winning team. They are most certainly older, but they are not dead just yet. In fact, if anything they're a motivated giant that might not be sleeping anymore.

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Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:45 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2010 12:49 pm

Steelers remember heroes of Flight 93

Posted by Will Brinson

Flight 93 will forever be remembered because of the fatal implications it had on the passengers, and the near-devastating implications it had on the United States.

The passengers on the plane became legendary heroes, as they should have. Art Rooney, II, of the Steelers, and CBS Sports' Bill Cowher (at the time the Pittsburgh head coach) took the team to see the family members and the Steelers team, as well as Steelers legends like Franco Harris, made a connection with the families involved. They honored the passengers by helping create a memorial in tribute to those who gave their lives to help save our country.

On Sunday, during The NFL Today, the following segment aired, documenting the memorial. Please enjoy -- it's a touching reminder of what those people gave for the greater good.

Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2010 4:05 pm

Casserly: Vick's value between Eli and Cutler

Posted by Will Brinson

Michael Vick is a front-runner for the MVP award this year, but there's also plenty of concern about how the Eagles will handle his long-term future. As we've mentioned, they can franchise Vick (assuming the franchise tag survives the CBA), or they can sign him to a long deal and, most likely, try to trade Kevin Kolb.

Charley Casserly of CBS Sports discussed the issue with James Brown on Inside the NFL and provided a pretty good baseline for Vick and Kolb's respective valuations.

"He's unrestricted free agent next year," Casserly said of Vick. "However, the Eagles can franchise him at a one-year contract for $16 million.

"If I'm the Eagles, I would look to sign Michael Vick to a long-term contract. However, I'd wait until the season's over so I can get a true picture of what his value is. The second thing is I wouldn't want any distractions during the season."

Most interesting, though, is what the Eagles would look to pay Vick over the long run.

"Eli Manning's contract is valued at $16.2 million by the NFL Players Association," Casserly said. "Jay Cutler? $14.6 million by the NFLPA. I would put Michael Vick in the middle of that around $15 million."

Anyone who's seen Cutler play (versus Vick) knows that's a steal, particularly when the Eagles could save some money next year by inking him for the long run.

Speaking of saving money, many people will recall that Vick still owes the Falcons money -- Casserly reports that any money paid back by Vick next year could result in the Falcons seeing a boost in their cap space.

"Michael Vick still owes [the Falcons $6.5 million]," Casserly said. "Any money he pays them in a cap year, next year, will be credited to the cap, so the cap will actually increase [for the Falcons]."

And then there's the Kolb issue -- what do you do with a really talented pocket passer stuck behind Michael Vick? Well, you do the same thing that the Falcons did with Matt Schaub when he was on the depth chart behind Vick back in the day; you trade him.

If the Eagles decide to take that route (and, as Casserly notes, there won't be any trades if a lockout is in progress), he believes they'd probably seek something similar to what the Texans paid for Schaub -- two second-round picks.

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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