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Tag:Rex Ryan
Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:02 pm
 

The Belichick-Ryan hype is full throttle already

Posted by Andy Benoit

For this week’s overhyped lightning quote, Rex Ryan has said that Patriots-Jets is “about Bill Belichick vs. Rex Ryan.” Ryan also added that “it’s personal.”

One of the best-kept secrets in football is that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is funny. Seriously.

Belichick was asked Monday about Ryan’s comments: "(If it’s me vs. Ryan) I've probably got a little quickness on him, he's got strength on me,” he said, according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald.

Belichick added, "I don't think any of us will be making any blocks or tackles. At least, you won't see me doing that."

You likely won’t see Belichick talking this specifically about Ryan again this week. Letting the hair down with a sprinkle of dry humor for a Monday divisional round week press conference is enough to hold Belichick until Super Bowl media day.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 1:01 pm
 

NFL Wild Card Podcast Review

Posted by Will Brinson

This past weekend was one of most exciting wild-card weekends in NFL history.

But was it the most exciting? That's one of the questions Andy and I answer in this week's podcast review. We also debate whether or not Seattle fans should be sending such vitriolic emails, where Marshawn Lynch's powerful scamper ranks in the pantheon of all-time single runs, just how impressive Dom Capers' defense was Sunday, whether Jim Caldwell's seat should be hot, how clutch Mark Sanchez really is, and whether or not we should have seen the Ravens pummeling of the Chiefs coming.

All that (plus much,  much more) -- just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Posted on: January 10, 2011 12:28 am
Edited on: January 11, 2011 1:32 pm
 

10 Divisonal Round Stories Worth Your Attention

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. Goofy scheduling?

We can only hope that the divisional round is half as exciting as the wild card was. The NFL keeps the at-home viewer first in mind when scheduling the playoff games. But is that fan-friendly outlook coming at the expense of fairness to teams?

The schedule, which was set before the postseason began, looks like this: Baltimore @ Pittsburgh Saturday 4:30 p.m.; Green Bay @ Atlanta Saturday 8 p.m.; Seattle @ Chicago Sunday 1 p.m.; New York @ New England Sunday 4:30 p.m.

Because of when the wild card games occurred, Baltimore and Green Bay both have a six-day week ahead of them, while Seattle and New York get an eight-day week.

The NFL used to wait for the outcome of wild card games before determining the divisional round schedule (some might remember that in the ’02 postseason Bill Cowher was irked because the league gave the Steelers a Saturday divisional game after a Sunday wild card game while the bigger market Jets got a Sunday divisional game after their Saturday wild card contest).

If the Ravens or Packers wanted to raise a stink about the scheduling, they would have a legitimate argument. But the counter argument would also be legit. That counter argument? Television has made the NFL a cash cow. If coaches and players like being millionaires, they can deal with mild scheduling inconsistencies.


Baltimore Ravens (No. 5 seed; 13-4) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2 seed; 12-4)


T. Suggs (US Presswire)2. R
aven D playing Ravenesque D

It’s tempting -– and rational –- to opine that the Kansas City Chiefs looked every bit like the young, untested playoff team it was Sunday. This was especially true offensively. Matt Cassel completed 9/18 passes for 70 yards and three interceptions. And, aside from a handful of impressive first half bursts from Jamaal Charles, Kansas City’s top-ranked rushing attack was unimpactful.

That said, Sunday’s game was more a case of the Ravens winning than the Chiefs losing.  Only three of Kansas City’s turnovers were relevant. All three of them were forced by Ravens defenders. The two fumbles resulted from scrawny finesse players getting blown up by thundering hits (Terrence Cody on Charles, Ray Lewis on Dexter McCluster). Cassel’s lone costly interception was a product of Dwan Landry lurking from his centerfield spot (earlier, Cassel’s first pick wound up netting a positive gain for the Chiefs because during his run back, Ravens rookie Haruki Nakamura fumbled while foolishly acquiescing to Ed Reed’s request for a lateral).

It wasn’t just the turnovers. Baltimore’s best linebacker, Terrell Suggs, and the rest of the front seven swarmed the Chiefs backfield all afternoon (Cassel was sacked three times, hit six and hurried umpteen). When the Ravens weren’t blitzing, their secondary, unafraid of a Kansas City receiving corps that boasted midweek free agent pickup Kevin Curtis as its No. 2 starter, sat in a zone and enjoyed free ball-hawking reign.

Expect defensive coordinator Greg Mattison to shy away from that zone concept against Pittsburgh. Ben Roethlisberger is simply too dangerous when he bides time. But also expect Mattison to stay in attack-mode with his front seven, as the Steelers’ makeshift offensive line has struggled with blitz recognition at times this season.



R. Rice (US Presswire)3. Best rivalry in football
?

It’s hard to argue against Steelers-Ravens currently being the best rivalry in the NFL. Colts-Patriots is great, but aside from playoff time, those matchups have not always carried huge implications. The plethora of NFC East rivalries are fun but tend to wash each other out. The AFC West teams don’t like each other, but who cares? Bears-Packers is great rivalry from an all-time perspective, but currently, it’s only average because this is the first time since 2001 that both teams have reached the postseason.

The Ravens and Steelers, on the other hand, have been fistfighting for AFC North division titles for most of the past seven years. Their last six regular season matchups have been decided by four points or less (the Steelers have won four). In ’08, Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 23-14 in the AFC Championship. In Pittsburgh’s previous Super Bowl year (’05) they beat Baltimore 20-19 on Halloween and 16-13 in overtime in November.

These games have been like prize fights – most of which have been decided with 12th-round knockouts.



New York Jets (No. 6 seed, 12-5) @ New England Patriots (No. 1 seed, 14-2)


4. Or is THIS the best rivalry?

It depends if you view NFL coaches and players as athletic competitorsR. Ryan (US Presswire) or entertainers. Football-wise, Patriots-Jets is good but not great. The Patriots embarrassed the Jets 45-3 in the last meeting, though Rex Ryan’s Jets had won two of three before that.

It’s Rex Ryan’s personality that has given this rivalry most of its juice as of late. Months after getting his first head coaching job, Ryan famously said “I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s, you know, rings.” Just recently, Ryan complimented Peyton Manning’s work ethic by taking a jab at Tom Brady’s.

Garrulous as Ryan is, it’s that other coach -- the cranky, taciturn one -- that built the foundation for this rivalry. Recall that long before all the Eric Mangini handshake drama, Belichick was Bill Parcells’ top assistant with the Jets (’97-’99). He was nabbed as the Tuna’s successor in 2000 but announced his resignation during his introductory press conference. Shortly after that, he wound up in New England (the Jets received the Patriots’ first-round draft choice in exchange).



5. New York’s unheralded defensive lineman

Defensive end Shaun Ellis is the longest-tenured Jet (11 seasons). Aside from 14-year veteran Trevor Pryce, injured nose tackle Kris Jenkins is the most recognized name along the defensive line. Backup Vernon Gholston is the next most recognized name, but only because the former No. 6 overall pick has been a monumental bust.

The most important name on New York’s three-man line this Sunday, however, will be Mike Devito. The fourth-year pro from Maine was the primary reason that Indy’s recently-surging rushing attack was stifled Saturday night. It’s a shame there wasn’t a way for Devito’s constant penetration and destruction of interior blocking schemes to show up next to his six tackles in the box score.

The Patriots are pass-first team, though they fed BenJarvus Green-Ellis the rock at least 18 times in six of the team’s final eight games. They have the talent to block Devito -- Logan Mankins has been the most dominant left guard in football since Thanksgiving and left tackle Matt Light has some of the best feet in the game -- but every team has the talent to block the former undrafted free agent. Matching Devito’s energy and tenacity is a different challenge.



Green Bay Packers (No. 6 seed, 11-6) @ Atlanta Falcons (No. 1 seed, 13-3)


6. That Packer defenseB. Raji (US Presswire)

Second week in a row the Packer defense has been highlighted here. Did you see the job this unit did on Philadelphia’s explosive playmakers? Everyone, including Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg, was expecting Dom Capers to blitz the daylights out of Michael Vick. Capers did so late in the second half, but for much of the game, he had superstar Swiss Army Knife Charles Woodson spy the quarterback. He dropped his linebackers into a safe zone coverage, which took away running lanes and Philly’s potent screen game. And, most surprisingly, Capers trusted that corners Tramon Williams and Sam Shields could contain wideouts DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin -- which they did.

What gave Capers the confidence to burden his back seven with intense coverage assignments was knowing that Eagles right tackle Winston Justice -- who was eventually benched for King Dunlap -- could not handle Clay Matthews. (It’s curious that Philly did not slide protections and align help-blockers to the right side.) Capers also correctly figured that B.J. Raji would be too much for Philadelphia’s interior offensive line to handle.

Raji will be key in Green Bay’s next game, as Atlanta employs the purest downhill rushing attack the NFC has to offer. Michael Turner broke tackle after tackle en rout to 110 yards in Green Bay’s fruitless Week 12 visit to the Georgia Dome. To prevent a repeat performance, the Packers front seven will have to get stout and adjust from Reid’s speed-oriented West Coast sets to Mike Mularkey’s power-oriented two-back, two-tight end formations.



7. Coming out party

As was suggested late last week, the Packers found a new backfield weapon in James Starks Sunday afternoon. The sixth-round rookie may be a star in the making (only time, or another 100-yard rushing performance, will tell) but the story heading into Saturday night is the man under center. Same goes for the Falcons.
M. Ryan (US Presswire)
No matter what happens Saturday, an indisputable star will be born. Or, more accurately, baptized. Either Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan is going to lead his team to a conference title game. Both are stars already, though without celebrated postseason success, the only observers who truly appreciate the young flamethrowers’ greatness are those who study film for a living or those harbor a marriage-jeopardizing passion for fantasy football.

The national notoriety these two quarterbacks receive is not quite commensurate with their level of skill. This is especially true for the 25-year-old Ryan, who will be looking to do what the 27-year-old Rodgers just did: win his first playoff game (prior to 2010, both men had 0-1 postseason records, courtesy of the Cardinals).

Ryan and Rodgers will come away as majestically illuminated stars if their performance matches the one both gave when their teams squared off in Week 12. In that game Rodgers, who threw for 344 yards, tied the score at 17 with a 10-yard touchdown strike to Jordy Nelson with 56 seconds to play. But following that, one of Eric Weems’ many outstanding kick returns wound up giving Atlanta the ball at the 49 with 47 seconds to play. From there, Matty Ice calmly completed passes of nine, four, four and three yards to set up Matt Bryant’s game-winning field goal.

Rodgers and Ryan have a similar skill set. Rodgers offers slightly better arm strength and scrambling speed, while Ryan plays with slightly more fluidity and fundamental integrity. Both will be a blast to watch, one will take that “next step” in the eyes of fans.



Seattle Seahawks (No. 4 seed, 8-9) @ Chicago Bears (No. 2 seed, 11-5)


8. Mea Culpa (sorta)

M. Lynch (US Presswire)

I have received harsh emails from two different fan bases this season: Chicago’s and Seattle’s. Bears fans called me out early in the season for saying their team’s success was a mirage; Seahawks fans called me out late last week for saying their team didn’t deserve to be in the playoffs

To Bears fans: I’m more than happy to admit I was wrong. I incorrectly believed Mike Martz would be unwilling to compensate for Chicago’s shoddy offensive line by altering his complex offensive system. Martz was shrewd in the way he employed help blockers into his pass protections and he showed admirable humility (and sensibility) in substituting a few passes for runs.

To Seahawk fans: sorry, no mea culpa here. And no mea culpa is on the way, either. Even if the Seahawks go on to win the Super Bowl, it won’t change the fact that they did not deserve to be in the postseason in the first place. I know, I know, the rules state that a division champion gets a playoff spot. So, from a technical standpoint, Seahawk fans are right when they say their team deserved to be in. But it’s a flawed system when a sub-.500 team plays in the tourney while a pair of 10-6 teams (Bucs and Giants) sit home.

Divisions are cyclical -- I get that. That’s why I’m fine with a 9-7 division champ – and maybe even an 8-8 division champ -- beating out a 10-6 non-division champ for a playoff berth. But when you talk about a losing record getting in? Sorry, the math is too ugly at that point.

Unfortunately, because the Seahawks upset the Saints (again, a well-deserved win, as Seattle clearly outclassed New Orleans on Saturday), the NFL probably won’t amend the playoff rule by establishing an eight-win minimum. If this is the case, the league will be putting too much emphasis on the postseason and not enough emphasis on the regular season. That may sound silly, but look at what an uphill battle this kind of distortion has given the NBA.

All this being said, Seahawk fans, this is your time. Make no apologies for your team. Keep gloating and boasting. And keep sending harsh emails with words like moron, idiot, loser and jackass in the subject line to any sportswriter who criticizes your club’s postseason presence. Seriously -- that’s part of what being a fan is all about. All I ask is that if you were one of the fans who, before Week 17, said that you’d prefer to see Seattle lose to St. Louis and maintain a top 10 draft position, you at least refrain from sending your hate email in all caps (some things should be left for only the true fans).


9. No extended bathroom breaks
D. Hester (US Presswire)
Better stay in the room when specials teams units take the field this Sunday. For the first time in modern NFL postseason history, we have a kick returner with three touchdowns on the season (Leon Washington) facing a punt returner with three touchdowns on the season (Devin Hester). Washington’s contributions are remarkable; midway through last season, the then-New York Jet suffered what appeared to be a career-ending broken leg. Hester has also had a resurrection in 2010, though granted, he was never injured. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in non-defensive touchdown returns, but prior to Week 3 of this season, Hester had not scored a return touchdown since 2007.

10. Quick Hits: what went wrong for the wild card losers

  • New Orleans’ sixth-ranked ’09 ground game dropped to 28th in ’10 and proved problematic down the stretch. Of course, the ground game had nothing to do with the plethora of missed tackles and blown coverages at Seattle.
  • Peyton Manning’s genius was not quite enough to overcome Indianapolis’ copious injuries (yours truly turned out to be wrong about that one). By the way, did you happen to catch Reggie Wayne’s quote after the loss? After Darrelle Revis held him to one catch for one yard Saturday night, Wayne told Mike Chapell of the Indianapolis Star, “It's bull. It's bull, man. I give everything I've got no matter what. Every day, I give it everything. And . . . one ball, that's all. I shouldn't have even suited up. I should have watched the game like everybody else. I was irrelevant."
  • Chiefs rookie safety Eric Berry looked every bit like the No. 5 overall pick Sunday. Berry – like Seattle’s first-round rookie safety Earl Thomas, in fact – might have a little learning to do, but athletically, he’s outstanding.
  • With the offense regressing in the final weeks of the season, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Eagles use a franchise tag on Michael Vick, rather than invest a long-term contract in the 30-year-old. Vick’s vulnerable health and inconsistent decision-making (wild card game aside) might give a few people in that organization a bit of pause.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: January 9, 2011 11:04 am
 

Tom Brady spent Saturday night at 'Lombardi'

Posted by Will Brinson

If there ever was a game that Tom Brady might have some interest in, it was Saturday night's Jets-Colts tilt (the Jets eventually won on a last-second field goal, thanks in no small part to Jim Caldwell's foolish timeout with 30 seconds left).

But even though the Patriots are now playing the winner of that contest (a Colts win wouldn't have produced the same result, natch) Brady wasn't watching. In fact, he wasn't even close to watching -- according to Ian O'Connor of ESPN New York, he was at a playhouse taking in "Lombardi."

"Everybody prepares differently," Bart Scott said after the Jets won. "Obviously Tom Brady's doing something right because he's got three Super Bowl rings. To each his own."

Not to mention, there is such a thing as "DVR" in today's world, and it's entirely possible that he had this trip scheduled long before the Jets and Colts got matched up.

Or maybe it was a scenario where he told Gisele he wanted to stay home and watch football and she said "Honey, you watch football all week for work. We're spending tonight together." Although considering they were watching football anyway, that's probably unlikely.

Either way, we're less than 12 hours removed from the Jets getting matched up with the Pats for the third time this year, and the storylines have already started emerging. It should be a fun week.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 9, 2011 12:11 am
Edited on: January 9, 2011 12:19 am
 

Jets-Pats III promises to build on great playoffs

Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Manning marched down the field and Adam Vinatieri kicked a clutch 50-yard field goal to put the Colts up two points with 53 seconds left and a somewhat shaky Mark Sanchez needing to march the field for the Jets to win.

You'd think that would have been the end of that, but, somehow, Antonio Cromartie broke a big return, Braylon Edwards made a big catch, Sanchez hit some big throws and Rex Ryan finally got the Manning version of a monkey off his back.

There will be obligatory columns about Peyton Manning's legacy: after all, he's only 9-10 in the postseason. Seven of 11 times since making the playoffs, he's gone one-and-done. He piles up stats, but his team doesn't always win.

"Well I tell you what, it feels awesome, because this is a playoff and we're moving on," Ryan said. "The guy's the best there is and he almost did it to us again coming back, but our offense had to pick up the defense again and that's how we played all year.

It was a dogfight and we knew it would be coming here and playing against Peyton Manning and the Colts. But man, what a great feeling. What an amazing feeling."

Ryan's got bigger things to worry about than beating Peyton, of course -- early reports had the Patriots opening as nine-point favorites against the Jets next week in Foxboro.

Thankfully, because of a cornucopia of storylines, this should be one of the most entertaining weeks in the NFL postseason in a while.

Rex Ryan's Foot Fetish still looms (although if anyone wasn't going to talk about it, it's the Patriots). Ryan complained about the Pats running up the score after that recent game.

Recently, he said that Peyton Manning prepares a lot more than Tom Brady. Because, you know, there wasn't already enough reason for the Jets and Pats to really hate each other.



Fortunately, Mark Sanchez actually seemed to take a leap during the second half, meaning Bill Belichick won't completely confound the Jets' offense; whatever simplifications of the playbook Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer busted out worked brilliantly. In the first half, Sanchez looked completely lost and/or injured, as he made a critical goal-line interception and consistently overthrew receivers.

"You gotta tip our hat to our offense -- it was unbelievable," Ryan said about the halftime adjustments. "We totally dominated the second half offensively and on defense we had to hold serve. It was one of those things against Peyton where you're never going to stop him completely but our guys played well enough to get it done and keep him out of the end zone and our offense was just spectacular."

Of course, Sanchez didn't "dominate," but he only threw three incompletions in the second half. That's not as amazing when you consider how much the Jets pounded the ball, consistently piling up yardage, melting the clock, keeping the ball out of Manning's hands and doing what they do best: ground-and-pound.

That simplistic style of football won't be the basis for a ridiculous over-hyped week of media discussion about Jets-Pats III (a treat even though Manning's out of the playoffs and seeing he and Brady square off is always fun), but if Ryan's crew can keep balling the way they did in the second half Saturday, the football will be as entertaining as the sideshow.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 11:31 am
 

Rex Ryan takes a swipe at Tom Brady

Posted by Andy BenoitR. Ryan (US Presswire)

Take a look at this comment Rex Ryan made on Thursday (via Nate Davis of USA Today). In an attempt to praise Peyton Manning, the Jets head coach took a bit of swipe at Tom Brady. You be the judge: fair or foul?

"It's not just a coach on the field. You give the coaching community too much credit. This guy is one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. He is one of the smartest guys," Ryan said of Manning, who carved the Jets up in last year's AFC Championship Game.

"The guy is tremendous. There is no one else like this guy in the league. Nobody studies like him. I know (Tom) Brady thinks he does. I think there's probably a little more help from (Bill) Belichick with Brady than there is with Peyton Manning."

Whether you think Ryan's comments are fair or foul, can we all agree they're unneccessary? If the Jets win Saturday, they'll have to play Brady and the Patriots in the divisional round.

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Posted on: January 6, 2011 8:35 am
Edited on: January 7, 2011 11:14 am
 

Colts vs. Jets: 7-Point Playoff Wild Card Preview

Posted by Andy Benoit

CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point playoff preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. And as an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. New York Jets (No. 6, AFC, 11-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (No. 3, AFC, 10-6)

Rex Ryan is getting yet another crack at a legendary quarterback who is 5-0 all-time against him (counting Ryan’s days as the Ravens defensive coordinator…and NOT counting the Week 16 Curtis Painter Game from last year). Ryan calls his matchup with Peyton Manning “personal” – almost like it’s a foot fetish issue or something. Or maybe by “personal” Ryan means that he takes the losses personal (yeah…probably that one). In that case, someone can inform Ryan that Manning isn’t making it personal – he tries to exploit the holes of every opposing coach’s system.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking (On a scale of 5 'Jim Mora Faces')



AFC Championship rematch? Definitely worthy of primetime slot and 5/5 Jim Mora Faces. (And any game that follows an NFC West-related game is going to naturally look great by comparison.)

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Jets DB's Drew Coleman & Dwight Lowery vs. Colts Blair White & Jacob Tamme

The winner of this weakness-on-weakness matchup could very well determine the outcome of the game. About 10 seconds after they learned they were playing the Colts, the Jets announced that shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis would shadow 111-catch wideout Reggie Wayne. In the past, Manning has had no problem going elsewhere with the ball when Wayne is bracketed by safety help or facing a superstar cover artist.

Manning’s No. 2 option Saturday is Pierre Garcon, though Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie poses a tough challenge. Cromartie does not have the physicality or technique to grind with the über-strong Garcon, but his lanky 6’2” frame and ball skills give him lethal playmaking prowess. Manning knows all about that playmaking prowess – he’s been picked off four times by the ex-Charger (three coming in an ’07 Sunday night contest).

And so we get to Manning’s third read: wideout Blair White or tight end Jacob Tamme (depending on the formation). Both are better options than you’d guess but, of course, worse options than their injured predecessors (Austin Collie and Dallas Clark). What makes White’s and Tamme’s wild card contributions significant is that the Jets ancillary pass defenders have struggled mightily at times this season. The 45-3 shellacking from the Patriots, for example, was a product of Tom Brady throwing repeatedly to whichever receiver New York’s backup corners lined up against. That said, White and Tamme are not as dynamic as Deion Branch and Aaron Hernandez.

As defensive backs go, Coleman and Lowery are both very good blitzers. Though he hasn’t done so nearly as often this season, perhaps Ryan will elect to gamble. Manning, however, is revered around the league for his ability to punish a blitz (he has mastered “the little things”). In all likelihood, the Jets are going to have to rely on their backup defenders winning their man-to-man matchups. Ironically (and fortunately), those matchups are against Indy’s backups.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

There is a certain video involving a certain member of the Jets coaching staff circulating around the internet these days, but at some we have to commit to having maturity and class. So, we’ll pass along something else. Because interceptions were a bit of a bugaboo for Indy’s quarterback this season, and because this game (like all playoff games….and all games in general) will probably come down to turnovers, we’re going with The Manning Face.



5. The Colts will win if ...

Their defense can hold an opponent to 80 yards rushing or less for a fourth straight game. In fact, keeping the Jets’ sixth-ranked rushing attack under 125 yards would probably do the trick.

6. The Jets will win if ...

They can maintain a simplistic, ball-control oriented gameplan for Mark Sanchez. Doing that involves playing for field position, keeping the score close by limiting the Colts’ possessions early and banking on at least one big play (think Brad Smith kick return, Santonio Holmes catch-and-run or a turnover that leads to immediate points).

7. Prediction: Colts 24, Jets 17
Posted on: December 31, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Our last post of the year (hopefully)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We’ve come to the last NFL Facts & Rumors blog post of 2010. But don’t be sad, dear reader. Be happy, because in 2010, you only got a half year’s worth of entertainment (or, if you’re so inclined, a half-year of you wondering how in the hell Andy Benoit, Will Brinson and I got these jobs) after we jump-started this bad boy in June.

Either way, we appreciate your reading eyes, your argumentative nature in the comments section and your passion for the NFL. Without your hunger for news at all hours of the day, this blog would have a very hard time surviving. And we thank you for being here and for inviting us onto your computers every day.

We look forward to 2011, because it’s the playoffs, it’s the Super Bowl in Dallas, it’s the NFL Draft and hopefully it’s the agreement of a new CBA. Hopefully, it’s not Brett Favre or Albert Haynesworth or an owner lockout.

And hopefully, nothing more about foot fetishes.

And speaking of foot fetishes (I can’t believe I waited until New Years Eve to break out my strong segue skills), I thought we should end this year on an appropriate note – briefly discussing, once more, what simply isn’t our business.

More photos have surfaced of a woman that looks like Ryan’s wife getting her feet fondled by somebody who isn’t Rex Ryan. I won’t bother linking to the website; if you want it, it’s not too difficult to find. Instead, I’ll give Ryan the last word on the matter (and of the year).

"It's a personal matter and I'm not going to discuss it," said Ryan, according to ESPN New York.

And that (hopefully) is that.

Happy new year to all.

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