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Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:41 am
 

Marshall likes Pro Bowl QBs, talked to Matt Flynn

Marshall would trade all the trophies in the world for a quarterback in Miami. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Brandon Marshall had a monster game at the Pro Bowl, catching six passes for 176 yards and four touchdowns in an MVP performance Sunday night. Considering he had just six touchdowns all of last year, Dolphins fans probably want to know what the difference was.

Well, no defense for one thing. And there's another difference: the guys who were getting Marshall the ball.

"Down in Miami getting a feel for different quarterbacks with having three or four throughout my two years there, the quarterbacks make it easy for me," Marshall said.

Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Andy Dalton had six touchdowns between them, and just 15 incompletions combined. They lit up the scoreboard, as well as the NFC defense en route to 59 points.

They are very good quarterbacks. But Marshall's pretty clearly making a point here: he wants to play with a better quarterback than the group that's on the current Dolphins roster.

Lest you think we're reaching for this based on his comments, we're not. Jeff Darlington of NFL.com reported over the weekend that Marshall reached out to Packers quarterback (and soon-to-be free agent) Matt Flynn and the possibility of him coming to South Beach.

"Hey man, listen, I'm out here at the Pro Bowl, and I'm not getting no balls thrown to me!" Marshall joked to Darlington. "I need a quarterback. You've got Big Ben throwing to [Mike] Wallace, you've got Philip throwing to [Antonio] Gates and Vincent [Jackson], you've got Andy throwing to A.J. [Green]. I'm the only guy out here, man!"

What, you might ask, should happen with Dolphins incumbent quarterback Matt Moore? Well, he's signed for 2012, but Marshall doesn't really seem to care all that much.

"Obviously, Matt [Moore] had a great year," Marshall said. "You don't want to take anything away from Matt, but I think we really bring in somebody who can compete and make the team better."

Moore's not the franchise quarterback the Dolphins and Marshall want. That's OK -- he wasn't supposed to be when they signed him to compete with Chad Henne last year.

But he's also not a punching bag. And it's not really his fault Marshall signed a $50 million extension to stay in Miami even without

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:51 pm
 

Ravens hire Jim Caldwell as quarterbacks coach

By Will Brinson

Because Mike Tomlin and Jim Caldwell worked together under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay, the prevailing theory's been that Caldwell's going to end up on the Steelers offensive staff. So it's pretty bizarre to hear that the Ravens hired Caldwell as their quarterbacks coach.

The team announced the news, as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN, on Monday afternoon.

"I am really excited to work with coach Harbaugh, Cam and the rest of the coaching staff," Caldwell said. "It's a great fit for me, and I'm happy they saw it that way. I can't wait to get started with the Ravens, an organization that from top to bottom is one of the NFL's best."

Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron took over as quarterbacks coach this past season with the departure of Jim Zorn but when Cameron was extended last week, the Ravens made it known that he wouldn't continue on as quarterbacks coach.

Caldwell, who served as the Colts quarterbacks coach prior to becoming head coach, was 26-22 as Colts coach but saw his stock drop when the team went 2-14 in 2011. He now puts himself in a position to really get some positive reviews, should Joe Flacco make big steps forward in 2012.

"After spending considerable time with Jim over the last week, we think he will be an excellent fit with our team, coaching the quarterbacks and helping with our offense," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We believe he enhances our staff. Jim has a tremendous history coaching at the college and pro level, especially working with quarterbacks and providing help with offenses.

"The timing is right to add a quarterbacks coach after Cam and Joe worked so closely and well together this year. It's the right step for us now."

Unless, of course, hiring Caldwell is just a ploy to land Peyton Manning if/when/should he be healthy enough to play next year. That seems like a stretch, but we talked about this with Andy Benoit on a recent Pick-Six Podcast: Flacco's only got one year left on his deal and the Ravens are quite conceivably the perfect team for Manning.

They've got a veteran defense with a small window remaining, talent on the offensive line and plenty of offensive weapons in Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and the Dennis Pitta/Ed Dickson combo.

That being said, they're probably just trying to land a quarterbacks coach who can offer Flacco the sage wisdom necessary to grow into a talented quarterback at the next level.

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 8:08 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 1:32 pm
 

Carolina Panthers introduce new team logo

The new Carolina Panthers logo is more refined. (Carolina Panthers)
By Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers have had the same team logo since the team began playing in 1995. But that's about to change, as the team announced the change on Sunday evening during the Pro Bowl.

"We have one of the finest and most recognizable logos in the NFL and wanted to make it as modern as possible without losing the dramatic essence of the mark," said Carolina Panthers President Danny Morrison. "It is a cleaner style that is easier to read and should be more applicable to different uses."

As you can see, there are some significant differences, although nothing that should scare fans too much.

Here are the new Carolina Panthers logos. (Carolina Panthers)

The head of the Panther is now streamlined, and there's less of a emphasis on the blue outline that had previously surrounded the Panther's head.

Additionally, this cat's a little less hairy -- the whiskers are significantly reduced from the old version, and the eyebrows (Panthers have eyebrows right?) are reduced as well.

It's a more streamlined cat and, frankly, a little more ferocious and realistic looking of an animal. The team's calling it "a tougher, more defined panther" and that's an accurate assessment.

The Panthers typeface is also different: it's no longer written in 80's hair-metal font. Or cat scratch font. Or whatever.

The team should continue to use silver helmets (a common question thus far), as they have a colorway that'll fit with that appropriately.

The only real downside of the new logo, which partially relates to Nike taking over jersey production for the NFL in 2012, is that it'll require the purchase of all-new gear.

Check the evolution in video form right here:



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Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:58 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:16 pm
 

Belichick jokes about 4th and 2, Indy hospitality

By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Bill Belichick, by virtue of the rivalry between the Colts and Patriots, isn't a really popular guy here in Indy. But he said at his introductory press conference on Sunday night that he's gotten much more "Hoosier hospitality" ever since his decision to go for a now-infamous 4th and two call against the Colts in 2009.

"I've never had much hospitality here until I went for it on fourth and two," Belichick joked on Sunday.

The play he's referring to has been dubbed "The Call" -- on fourth and two from his own 28 against the Colts with just over two minutes remaining, Belichick went for the first down, but Melvin Bullitt stuffed Kevin Faulk after the running back caught a short pass from Tom Brady.

That gamble was analyzed a million times and it's absolutely considered one of the worst moments of Belichick's distinguished coaching career.

His joke on Sunday was indicative of the mood of Belichick's presser, as well as the rest of the Patriots. They seemed light-hearted and energetic.

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage] 

Tom Brady was asked if his telling Pats fans he hoped next week brought a bigger party than the one they saw in New England prior to departing for Indianapolis was indicative of his confidence for this game, and the quarterback was just as glib as his coach.

"It was a pep rally," Brady deadpanned.

Expect the Pats demeanor to frost up a bit as the week goes on. It's been clear throughout the postseason just how much bringing home the Lombardi Trophy means to them.

For now, though, they're clearly quite happy to be in Indianapolis with a shot at redemption for 2007. And maybe 2009 as well.

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:42 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:18 pm
 

Madonna Super Bowl setlist revealed in NFL mag

We know at least three of the songs Madonna will play at the Super Bowl. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you're like us, you've been wondering exactly what songs Madonna would play at halftime of the Super Bowl. Sure, there's been some chatter about the various numbers she'll drop, but nothing official.

However, for our Sunday afternoon flight to Indy, we picked up a copy of the new NFL Magazine and three songs are confirmed by the league in a blurb about the Material Girl: "Gimme All Your Luvvin," "Ray of Light," and "En Vogue."

"Though Madonna's set list was not officially announced at press time, fans might expect her to give all her luvvin', provide a ray of light and be in vogue with her music," the magazine reads. "The Super Bowl is almost a national holiday, after all."

[CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage]

Though we wholeheartedly agree about the holiday aspect of things, we're kind of unsure exactly what that has to do with Madonna playing a new single.

Whatever, we appreciate the NFL dropping some nuggets in the magazine, which was a pretty enjoyable read. Also, for those that hadn't noticed yet, Madonna's going to have the people from Circque du Soleil with her. That alone's worth the price of admission.

Oh yeah, and if you can still get odds on what song Madonna's playing first, you might want to hustle up on that.

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:59 am
Edited on: January 29, 2012 10:59 am
 

Irsay denies Manning decision was made weeks ago

Irsay denies he's already made a decision on Manning. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Saturday we brought you the report that a decision on Peyton Manning's future was made "weeks ago," and that Jim Irsay and the Colts were prepared to move on without No. 18 before they ever hired Ryan Grigson as the team's general manager.

That news spread like wildfire and eventually made its way into Irsay's ears, which means that his opinion made its way onto his Twitter feed.

"No he hasn't been released nor was a decision reached weeks ago," Irsay tweeted on Friday night.


Of course Manning hasn't been released: Manning wouldn't be talking about himself as the Colts quarterback if he'd been released. And he'd probably already be negotiating with other teams.

And perhaps a decision, in the official sense of the word, hasn't been reached yet. Irsay has until March 8 to make a final call on Manning and jumping the gun on his final decision wouldn't be prudent, particularly considering that Manning could make progress, physically, over the next month or so.

Neither would admitting that Manning's done in Indy immediately before the entire world turns its collective football-watching eyes onto the Colts hometown for the next week plus.

And maybe Irsay's simply leaning strongly one way and giving himself the option to flip-flop as the deadline nears.

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Posted on: January 28, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Lions fan admits calling bomb threat to Superdome

A Lions fan admitted calling in a bomb threat to the Superdome. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

During the Lions-Saints playoff game on January 7, a Lions fan named Shawn Payton (no, really) called in a bomb threat to the Superdome, he admitted this past week.

After Jimmy Graham caught a Drew Brees touchdown to give the Saints a 21-14 lead in the third quarter, a receptionist at the Superdome received a bomb threat from Payton.

"I will blow up your building," Payton told the receptionist, according to a federal affidavit obtained by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Later, Payton called the Superdome again, after the Lions attempted an onsides kick that the Saints recovered, and asked to pass along a message to Sean Payton, in which he threatened "severe consequences" if the Saints won the game.

"Hi, I want you to relay a message to the sideline," the caller said. "If your stupid Southern team keeps winning, there will be reper ... severe consequences. OK?"

The FBI traced the calls back to Payton, who's quickly trying to make up excuses for why he called in a bomb threat.

"I'm not a bad person. I was just so proud of the Lions finally making the playoffs for the first time in God knows how long," he said, per the Times-Picayune. "I got caught up in the heat of the moment, and I seriously, highly regret making those calls."

Our non-legally-binding guess on how the FBI responds to that excuse? Not well. This isn't something that's forgiven because a team made the playoffs. There were tens of thousands of people in the Superdome at the time, and it doesn't really matter whether Payton "meant" to threaten harm to these people.

He did. And now he'll appear before a judge on Monday, who hopefully will feel the same way.

Via MDS at PFT

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Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:23 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 6:32 pm
 

Report: Colts made Manning decision 'weeks ago'

The Manning decision was reportedly made "weeks ago." (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Friday, Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay released a joint statement that pointed out their desire to "dispel any misconceptions" about their relationship. It was meant to prove that, even if Manning's not staying in Indy, the two can co-exist with the Super Bowl in town.

The likelihood of Manning playing in Indy in 2012 seems slim, at best. According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, it's an absolute zero proposition, as the decision to cut bait on Manning next year was made "weeks ago."


"According to sources who were involved in the Colts’ GM search, the organization was planning to move on from Manning weeks ago, well before this public squabble between the quarterback and his owner," LaCanfora said Friday. "So Friday’s joint statement won’t be changing a thing."

Irsay said prior to hiring new GM Ryan Grigson that he (Irsay) would be the one making the decision on Manning, not the new general manager. It makes a lot of sense that he'd have a strong idea of what he'd do with Manning before hiring a GM though, because he'd want said GM to be on board with his decision.

And if Irsay made up his mind weeks ago, the public sniping and "campaigning" actually makes more sense. No offense to LaCanfora, but if he knows about Manning's imminent departure, there's a strong chance Peyton knows about it too.

Meaning: the Manning-Irsay exchanges aren't those of two people hoping to make up. They're the exchanges of two people who already know they've broken up and are just waiting to see which side their collective friends take.

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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