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Tag:Rodney Harrison
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2012 7:37 pm
 

Gronkowski talks about post-Super Bowl partying

Gronk on dancing after Super Bowl loss: 'It is what it is.' (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been almost three weeks since the Patriots lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Which means it's been almost three weeks since Rob Gronkowski and Matt Light were caught on video dancing their troubles away at a postgame party.

Most people didn't have an issue with how Gronk chose to deal with defeat (even if it included taking his shirt off -- in public, no less!). He's a grown man and the season was over. NBC NFL analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison wasn't one of those people. He breathlessly proclaimed that Gronkowski had "disrespected himself" before adding “I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung. There’s no reason for that to happen.”

Settle down, Rodney.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft was more reasoned in his response, saying that “One thing I do know is the guy is 100 percent a passionate when it comes to football. He loves football. He wants to win. He doesn’t like losing. I don’t know specifically what people are questioning, but he’s an ultimate competitor.”

And now, finally, Gronkowski has weighed in. The tight end, who had surgery on his ankle on Feb. 10, hadn't spoken about any of this publicly until Friday.

“It is what it is,” Gronkowski said during an appearance on 97.5 in Philadelphia (via PFT). “We were just having fun with my brothers and stuff . . . family I haven’t seen in a while . . . and the chance of hanging out with LMFAO was pretty cool too. . . . Unfortunately we didn’t win and that was the number 1 goal.”

So there you go, Rodney. It is ... what it is. Hope that clears things up for you.

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Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:59 am
Edited on: February 12, 2012 1:52 pm
 

Report: Pierre-Paul to appear on TNA Wrestling

It looks like JPP and Kurt Angle have some differences to settle.  (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. ET -- Jason Pierre-Paul has decided against resolving his make-believe issues by donning tights. “He declined because he is exhausted,” Robert Bailey, the president of Rosenhaus Sports, told FOXSports.com (via PFT). 

The list may not be all that distinguished but it is long. And now, it appears, Jason Pierre-Paul will be the latest professional athlete to step into the squared circle in the name of entertainment. According to FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez, the Giants' defensive end is scheduled to make an appearance for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at a Monday night television taping in Orlando, Florida. The segment will air on TNA's Thursday night Impact Wrestling.

Pierre-Paul would join Dennis Rodman and Ben Roethlisberger as former champions to take up wresting. But non-champions can live out childhood fantasies, too; the Jets' Bart Scott, and former Titans Pacman Jones and Frank Wycheck have also been involved in TNA storylines.

Marvez's source reveals that JPP is "is expected to have an in-ring confrontation with TNA star Kurt Angle."

We eagerly await Tom Coughlin's response to questions about Pierre-Paul's offseason workout regimen. Silver lining: at least he's not dancing! 

(This gives us a fantastic idea: maybe Rodney Harrison and Rob Gronkowski should settle their differences in a pay-per-view wrasslin' match with the proceeds going to charity. If nothing else, it would be an opportunity for Harrison to keep his word about Gronk getting his "head rung" for dancing like he was in Footloose hours after the Pats' Super Bowl loss.)

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 7:31 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2012 9:43 am
 

Patriots president defends Rob Gronkowski

Jonathan Kraft on Gronkowski: "He hasn't brokan any laws."  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Rodney Harrison is particularly passionate and passionately particular. For instance, he proclaimed that Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski "disrespected himself" by partying (and dancing -- topless) in the hours after Sunday's Super Bowl loss. But the same sanctimony was nowhere to be found when coach Bill Belichick headed to California to play in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this week.

Is one worse than the other? Does a few days really make that big a difference? (Seriously, we're talking about mourning a game that includes dressing up in funny costumes and running into other similarly dressed people.)

Like most things, it depends. Unless, of course, you're Harrison, who appears resolute in his opinions that there are no gray areas when it comes to skimping on the self-flagellation after a devastating loss. (Although he conveniently forgets to call out everybody.)

Gronkowski reportedly had ankle surgery Friday, and that same day team president Jonathan Kraft went on ESPN radio to speak to those who felt compelled to criticize Gronkowski for his postgame party plans.

“One thing I do know is the guy is 100 percent a passionate when it comes to football,” Kraft said (via the Boston Herald). “He loves football. He wants to win. He doesn’t like losing. I don’t know specifically what people are questioning, but he’s an ultimate competitor. I think the team did accomplish a lot this year. Unfortunately, we fell a little bit short of the ultimate goal. I do think that he and other players probably have different ways of both celebrating what we were able to achieve and dealing with the disappointment of the night, and I think it’s hard to personalize how any individual would deal with that and project it on someone else.”

Kraft also pointed out that Gronkowski “...hasn’t broken any laws, he hasn’t done anything else, and I think it’s hard to place value judgments.”

How this isn't obvious to Harrison might be the biggest post-Super Bowl story.

In related news: it's clear that, in addition Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork, Julian Edelman, Tiquan Underwood's flat top and Robert Kraft don't care about winning, either. This must pain Harrison to no end. 

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Posted on: February 10, 2012 12:56 pm
 

Report: Rob Gronkowski had ankle surgery Friday

Perhaps we can stop talking about Gronk's ankle for a while now? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, the subject of an unholy amount of media scrutiny over the past two weeks, reportedly underwent ankle surgery on Friday to repair the high-ankle sprain that he injured during the AFC Championship Game.

That's according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, who reports that the arthroscopic surgery was successful and that the recovery time for Gronkowski is "expected to be 10 weeks."

Gronk suffered the injury when he was tackled by "Pats Killer" and Ravens safety Bernard Pollard in the AFC title game. Gronk's ankle was the focus of pre-Super Bowl media coverage to an annoying extent and the tight end managed to play, but was essentially a decoy, catching just two passes for 26 yards.

Since then, Gronkowski's been spotted dancing shirtless at the Pats post-Super Bowl party and taken way too much guff from former Patriots like Rodney Harrison.

The fact is, Gronk suited up for the Super Bowl with an injury that many athletes wouldn't be able to play with; he wasn't necessarily effective, but he was still on the field and running routes.

He got his surgery done immediately following the season and though he probably won't get to dance much in the future, there's really no need to criticize him for what he did once the season was over. Unless you want to rip Bill Belichick for playing golf this week too anyway.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 11:56 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 2:50 pm
 

Harrison: Gronkowski 'disrespected himself'

Gronkowski was a maniac on the floor. Harrison did not approve. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Ryan Wilson

There was plenty of blame to go around In the hours and days following the Patriots loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. For the most part, it seemed like a collective knee-jerk reaction from media and fans (and family members) not accustomed to losing. Of course, this is what happens when the hometown team wins three Super Bowls in five seasons and Tom Brady begins his postseason career by going 10-0.

NFL Offseason Begins

Depending on your perspective, any number of people were at fault for the outcome: Brady, Wes Welker, Bill Belichick, the defense and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was limited by a high-ankle sprain.

But it wasn't Gronkowski's lack of production, or even that he didn't battle Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn for a Brady arm punt that became an interception that upset his critics. It was his after-game exploits that got some folks worked into a lather.

In case you missed it, Gronkowski, along with teammate Matt Light, were spotted dancing (topless, no less!) at an Super Bowl party hours after the game.

Scandalous, we know.

(If the sarcasm dripping off that last sentence isn't obvious enough, we'll just repeat what we said on the Pick-6 Podcast: what's Gronkowski supposed to do? Sit in his room and cry himself to sleep? Will that make him a better player for the Pats' next game in six months? No? So what's the problem then?)

This makes no difference to NBC analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who is very upset with Gronk's decision to gyrate his hips after a loss.

“I guarantee you this, if Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour or myself had been at that party, [Gronkowski] probably would have got his head rung,” Harrison told ESPN 1000 in Chicago (via PFT). “There’s no reason for that to happen.”

Oh god. Nothing like an old-timer invoking old times. Yes, Rodney, we know. You had to walk 10 miles to practice, uphill each way, you didn't have shoes and it always snowed.

(Worth mentioning: back in September, the aforementioned Bruschi happily called out Chad Ochocinco for tweeting. We have yet to hear his mock outrage over Gronkowski blowing off steam early Monday morning.)

Harrison wasn't done. 

“When we lost the Super Bowl, any of my Super Bowl losses, I was so devastated the last thing I ever wanted to do was party, let alone dance or take off your shirt,” Harrison said. “It’s just immaturity. It’s not right. He made a mistake and I’m sure he feels absolutely stupid about it at this point. There’s a time and place for everything.”

Rodney's right: there is a time and place for everything. Time: after the season is over -- check. Place: party where music is played and dancing is encouraged -- check.

This is almost as ridiculous as Gronkowki having to apologize for having his picture taken with a porn star. Almost.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 9:00 am
Edited on: January 24, 2012 11:51 am
 

Giants-Patriots is a SB XLII rematch in name only

The uniforms are the same but these two teams most definitely are not. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The more things change, the more things … change. The uniforms may be the same but four years later, the Giants and Patriots are different teams who, after 20 weeks, find themselves in a familiar position: about to face off in a Super Bowl. Four years ago, in the fortnight leading up to their first encounter in February 2008, the storylines were some variation of: "New England will absolutely obliterate New York."

Predictable, sure. But in much the same way gravity is predictable. Except that night the Giants had no use for immutable laws of nature. (Evidenced nicely by David Tyree's physics-defying grab that set up the winning touchdown.)


The Patriots' offensive firepower led by Brady and Randy Moss didn't matter. And neither did did the Spygate soap opera which served to galvanize the team earlier in the year and perpetuate the "us vs. them" mentality that gave guys like Rodney Harrison Tony Robbins-like purpose. (Harrison was known almost as much for his reliance on the "no respect for motivational purposes" shtick as he was for his tenacious, sometimes dirty style.)

This time will be different. Or least that's the thinking going in. The head coaches and quarterbacks are the same, but Eli Manning has matured and the Patriots' defense has regressed. The difference in talent between these two clubs that was once measured in miles is now better gauged in yards.

Put differently: it only seems like we've already seen this movie.

So before we take a look ahead, we thought it made sense to first take a look back.

The Rosters

The Giants head to Indianapolis with 16 players (nine starters) from the Super Bowl XLII-winning squad. The Patriots, meanwhile, have just seven players (five starters) remaining. You can view the 2007 rosters for both teams below; the players in red are still with their respective teams.



The takeaway from the list above: only one defensive player from Super Bowl XLII remains on the Patriots' roster. Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Richard Seymour, Asante Samuel -- all either retired or playing elsewhere -- and just Vince Wilfork, the team's 2004 first-round pick, is left. (Granted, Wilfork saved the best game of his career for last Sunday's AFC Championship matchup against the Ravens, which is timely.)

During the '07 regular season, the Patriots defense ranked 12th in league (fifth against the pass, 21st against the run), according to Football Outsiders. Four years later, and their travails have been well documented (30th overall, 28th pass, 28th run).

The one name that has remained constant: Tom Brady. He doesn't have Randy Moss but he doesn't need him. The offensive may not be as explosive without Moss but it's much more dynamic with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

On the surface, the 2011 Giants don't seem much different from the 2007 version. They won nine games this season (with 30 percent of the personnel from the Super Bowl XL roster), nine in '07; ranked 12th in team efficiency this time around versus 16th four years ago. But the similarities end there because like Brady in New England, Eli Manning has everything to do with the Giants' recent success.

For almost the entire '07 season, Manning was one of the league's most inconsistent quarterbacks. He ranked 38th in total value among NFL QBs, sandwiched between the likes of Brian Griese and Chet Lemon. Now Manning's fifth behind Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Romo and Stafford. That, more than anything else New York has done this season, is the reason they're playing one more game.

In Super Bowl XLII, the Giants had no expectations. In Super Bowl XLVI there will be plenty. And the question goes from "Can this team avoid embarrassing itself in front of a worldwide audience?" to "Can they play up to their potential and win this thing?"

Pregame Hype: A Look Back

Given these two offenses -- one record-breaking, the other aimless for much of the season -- it wasn't surprising that the Giants were getting Washington Generals-type odds to win this game.

Then:
the Patriots opened as 13.5-point favorites, according to Las Vegas. Five weeks before, in Week 17, New England was favored by 13 to beat the Giants in New York. Instead, the Pats needed a fourth-quarter comeback to eke out the 38-35 victory. (Now: the line opened Sunday with New England favored by a more modest 3.5 points.)

Then: AccuScore ran 10,000 simulations of the Giants-Patriots matchup and gave New York a 25 percent chance of winning. Sounds high -- Manning could throw that middle-of-the-field-Hail Mary to Tyree 100 times and Tyree comes down with it once. Tyree, it turns out, has impeccable timing.

Then: Cold Hard Football Facts called it the "mismatch of the century," complete with subheadings breaking down each individual mismatch ("on offense," "at quarterback," etc…).

Football Outsiders was less definitive, writing that "Most likely, the Giants won't pull a shocking upset like the 2001 Patriots, and they won't get blown off the field like the 1985 Patriots. Instead, they'll end up like a third team from New England's Super Bowl past: the 1996 Patriots, a good team outclassed by a great team. … (The 2007) Patriots will probably dispatch the Giants in a similar fashion, completing their historic 19-0 season. Not definitely. Just probably."

Then: CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco was one of the few national voices to pick the Giants. You don't even have to look it up because we've done it for you:


"I like the +11.5," Prisco said. "I think the Giants -- not only will they cover the number, they may win the game. … I think the Giants could definitely win the football game."

Then: Princess the camel (yep, you read that right -- the terrestrial counterpart to Paul the Octopus) also picked the Giants to win.

"I can't explain it, but her predictions, more often than not, are right on the money," said John Bergmann, general manager of Popcorn Park Zoo where Princess has lived since 2004. "I'm hoping she's right this time because I'm a Giants fan."

Turned out, Princess had a thing for the Mannings more so than the Giants; she picked Peyton and the Colts to win the year before. (Then again, maybe she'd seen then-Bears quarterback Rex Grossman play.)

From the ridiculous to the sublime…

Then: Another national columnist driving the Giants' bandwagon: Dr. Z. He admitted that picking New York was an opportunity to right a past wrong, when he picked the Colts to beat the Jets in Super Bowl III even though he had a feeling New York, 19-point underdogs by kickoff, had a chance to pull the upset. Forty years later, Dr. Z wasn't going to make the same mistake. Here's what he wrote on January 22, 2008:

"And gradually it dawned on me, as I toured the (Giants) locker room (after their NFC Championship game win over the Packers), picking up a quote here and there -- there isn't a way to stop Brady and Welker and Moss and Faulk and Maroney ... the whole riotous bunch. A team just has to be tougher, more resilient, more able to sustain high-level pressure on both sides of the ball for a longer period. And I honestly feel that the Giants can do it. Just look at what this improbable team has done so far."

And that's exactly how it played out.

Now: We mentioned above that the Patriots' defense has just one player from the last Super Bowl team. But much like the Giants' offense during the 2007 season, New England's D has come on of late. But will it be enough?

From CBSSports.com's Clark Judge: No team went to a Super Bowl with a defense ranked lower than 25th. Now you have the league's 27th-ranked unit (the Giants) and its 31st-ranked defense (New England), but, just a hunch, defense makes the difference in Indianapolis. It did when these two met in Super Bowl XLII, with the Giants sacking Tom Brady five times and holding the league's highest-scoring offense to 14 points.


The NY Giants and Patriots will face off in the Super Bowl once again. NFL on CBS analyst Solomon Wilcots joins the Tim Brando Show to discuss how the rematch will play out.

Now:
There used to be a time when you were never certain if Good Eli or Bad Eli would show up from one week to the next, one quarter to the next, and sometimes, one play to the next. Manning has transformed into one of the league's most consistent quarterbacks and now he has a chance to double up his older brother on total Super Bowl rings.

From Prisco's most recent column on Eli's evolution: "it all starts with Manning. He's no longer another star's little brother hoping to become special. He's arrived, which is what's so different from 2007. 'You're right there,' head coach Tom Coughlin said in the locker room late Sunday night (after the win over the 49ers). 'It is Eli. He is special now. He's the biggest difference between the two teams.'

Now: And that leads us to this, from colleague Will Brinson who wrote Sunday about two ancillary storylines could morph into something much larger should the Giants win: Is Eli 1) better than his brother and 2) now in the same class as Brady? 

The Game: What Happened

Obviously, you know exactly what happened. And depending on your perspective, you'll either take great joy in reliving the Super Bowl XLII memories or, as Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday, choosing instead to forget it ever happened.

"I’ve never been able to watch it," he said (via ESPN.com), echoing remarks made by quarterback Tom Brady earlier in the day. "I do remember the end of the game, a ball going through our cornerback’s hands [Asante Samuel] that if he had caught that ball and it hadn’t gone through his hands, we would have been able to take a knee and we would have won the game.

"And, you know, that Eli [Manning] doing a great job escaping from that pile of guys that we had on him, and whether the whistle blows and the great catch and all these things. In the end, there are a lot of little things. That was a great game, that was a great team, and we’re looking forward to having the privilege of going to Indianapolis."


Michael Strahan: excited about Super Bowl XLII's outcome.

As for what will happen … well, we'll find out shortly. And if you can't wait, we know a camel...

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Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:31 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 11:21 pm
 

Harrison calls Favre 'immature', 'classless'

One teammate thinks Aaron Rodgers will be motivated by Brett Favre's remarks. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Add another name to the list: Rodney Harrison, the former NFL player who now serves as a studio analyst for NBC's Football Night in America, is unimpressed with Brett Favre and his backhanded compliments. In case you missed it, Favre went on an Atlanta radio station to talk up Aaron Rodgers' successes since the ol' gunslinger left Green Bay after the 2008 season, but qualified his remarks by adding, "He just kind of fell into a good situation … [and] I’m really kind of surprised it took him so long" to win.

That went over about as well as a naughty text message.

A day later and folks are lining up to unload on Favre. Cue Harrison, who went on a two-minute tirade during an appearance on NBC SportsTalk.

"You know what, it's just so disappointing to see a guy retire, walk away from the game, and everything that he's accomplished in his career is now diminished," Harrison said.  "What point does it serve for him to come out and criticize a guy like Aaron Rodgers, who's been a complete gentleman, a complete professional, a guy that's had so much success? Why wouldn't you root this guy on?

"These are the type of guys we need in the National Football League. You hear so much negativity surrounding our players, why can't you cheer for a guy like that? It just shows how classless and immature this guy is."

Harrison was asked if the remarks change the perception about Favre.

"Let me tell you something: this little comment didn't change what everyone else had been thinking the last two or three years about Brett Favre," Harrison said. "They know what Brett Favre is about -- he's about himself. He's about nothing else but himself.  So I have a lot of respect for Aaron Rodgers and what he's accomplished. He's one of the top two or three quarterbacks in the National Football League, and he will continue to get better."

And what about the idea that Favre wasn't particularly interested in helping Rodgers after the Packers drafted him in 2005?

"Do you honestly believe … that Brett Favre was the type of guy that was going to help a young first-round stud coming in and taking his job?" Harrison asked rhetorically. "That's not in Brett Favre's nature. That's not in him to come out and help a guy like that. So does it surprise me? No it doesn't surprise me. Has the last three years of his career surprised me? No it hasn't surprised me. This is what Brett Favre is about. He's about Brett Favre and that's it."

Doesn't leave much room for interpretation.

PFT's Michael David Smith points us to Rodgers' teammate, linebacker Clay Matthews, who said Wednesday on Jim Rome Is Burning that while he doesn't want to make a big deal out of Favre's comments, he thinks it will motivate Rodgers nonetheless.

“I’m not going to get involved with that, but I know 12,” Matthews said, referencing Rodgers’ jersey number. “He hears those comments. It definitely fuels the fire. He’s playing outstanding ball but it’s only going to continue to exacerbate the situation and continue to step his game up, so I’m just looking forward to having him on my team and to see what he is able to do.”

Back in February, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote that Favre apparently wanted to reach out to Rodgers to settle their past differences, but was afraid he might come off looking bad.

“This is one of those situations where Brett can’t win,” the player, who didn’t want his name used, said. “If he calls Aaron it looks like he’s grandstanding. If he doesn’t, he seems like he’s selfish and inconsiderate. I can tell you Brett wants to speak to Aaron. He really does and it’s sincere. I don’t know if they’ve spoken yet. I just know Brett wants to bury the hatchet.”

The solution, clearly, was for Favre to take his message to the radio.

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Posted on: September 23, 2011 1:15 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2011 1:16 pm
 

Sanchez's love of hot dogs motivate Raiders

Are the Raiders using Mark Sanchez's eating habits as bulletin board material? (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson


Remember back in the mid-2000s, when Rodney Harrison would invent flimsily constructed reasons for why no one in the league respected the Patriots? It was an absurd notion, and surely Harrison knew this. But by saying it into a microphone somehow made it true, at least long enough for the New England locker room to buy into the idea and take it out on their next opponent.

The predictability (it seemed to happen almost every week) and lack of originality ("We get no respect!" has been done a time or two) quickly made it annoying. Well, there are no such concerns with the 2011 Oakland Raiders, who face the Jets this Sunday.

Apparently, they're still smarting from the 38-0 whuppin' New York put on them back in 2009. And while getting shutout at home is one thing, the idea that a rookie quarterback would come into their house and enjoy a delicious hot dog while the game was still being played is, well, unconscionable.

That's right: the Raiders are using Mark Sanchez's in-game snacking habits as motivation this week.


"Coach showed that to us," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said, according to the Oakland Tribune. "It was just a reminder. We're going to remind him of that during the game."

Kelly's kidding (we think). And even if he isn't, head coach Hue Jackson seemed unconcerned.

"I hope we can make it more interesting for him so he doesn't have to eat hot dogs," Jackson said. "Hopefully we can take the mustard and the relish and the onions and all that and put it away and play a little football." Asked if he would use the issue as motivation, Jackson said, "I can't let all my secrets out. The guy had a hot dog. Was it Der Wienerschnitzel? I don't know. It looked to be pretty good the way he was eating it. So I'm sure we'll have some fun this week."

No word yet on what Jets head coach Rex Ryan thinks about all this but we'll venture a guess (naughty language alert).


The New York Jets are in search for their third win as they prepare to take on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Who will come out on top? NFL.com's Pat Kirwan and Jason Horowitz preview this upcoming game. Watch the game on CBS at 4:05 PM ET.

* via Shutdown Corner

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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