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Tag:Super Bowl 46
Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:03 am
 

Kurt Warner had big impact on Coughlin in 2004

Tom Coughlin (left) got some much-needed help from Kurt Warner in 2004. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- While Kurt Warner only started nine games when he played for Tom Coughlin in 2004 during his only season in a Giants uniform, his impact lasted much longer than that. And it’s not just the wisdom he imparted on Eli Manning who took over the starting quarterback position for good the next season.

No, it’s the wisdom Warner imparted on Coughlin that ultimately made him a better coach.

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As the Newark Star Ledger writes in an interesting story, Warner used to sneak into Coughlin’s office several times a week -- at the risk of being labeled a mole by his teammates -- and talked about football issues and about life as his coach tried to figure out how to connect with the rest of the team.

“I saw a great man, a great coach, but I also saw a man who, for some reason, didn’t know how to combine those parts of his personality when it came to football,” Warner told the paper. “He could connect with his family on such an intimate level, but had no idea how to connect with his players. He was struggling badly.

“Tom was searching for the right way to lead without compromising his principles. I wanted to help. I thought I could help. I tried to help.”

As the paper writes:
But before Warner left, Coughlin asked him for a favor: “Go home and make a list of all the things you think I need to do better as a coach,” Warner recalled Coughlin saying, “and don’t hold back.”

Warner did as he was asked, scribbling “page after page after page,” he said. “There were times when I was worried that I would hurt his feelings or damage our friendship,” Warner said. “But deep down I knew he’d never hold it against me as long as I did it with his best interests at heart.”

On Friday, Coughlin acknowledged he had reached out to Warner for help.

“I have such great respect for Kurt because of how he earned everything he got and because of the professionalism he showed as we transitioned to Eli,” Coughlin said. “I welcomed any thoughts he had on how we might improve.”

Make sure to click the link and read the rest of the story. It gives you a rare insight into a football coach who’s in desperate need of help and a player who was willing to do it.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 9:58 am
 

Pats release Underwood day before Super Bowl

T. Underwood (AP)

By Josh Katzowitz


INDIANAPOLIS -- While much has been made of Bill Belichick’s seemingly happy mood since the Patriots arrived here for Super Bowl XLVI, at least one of his former players has to be mighty upset with him tonight.
 
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That’d be wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, who was released from the squad about 24 hours (!) before New England faces the Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. In his place, the Patriots have signed rookie defensive end Alex Silvestro to the active roster.

As the Boston Herald points out, Underwood almost surely would receive a Super Bowl ring if the Patriots win and that the move was not disciplinary.

Speculation has centered on the Patriots perhaps wanting an extra defensive linemen to move into the rotation and that, without Underwood in the lineup, Chad Ochocinco most likely will be active for Sunday’s game.

Underwood’s classy reaction, via Twitter? “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION.... I Been Thru A LOT...But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head....Thank You Lord … Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates... #PatsNation”

But even though the Giants can't claim Underwood via waivers (they couldn't do so until Monday), I honestly love the idea presented by the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch, who writes “Giants should ... hire him as a "quality control coach" like Josh McDaniels. I'm serious.”

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:28 am
 

Giants.com posts ad declaring Super Bowl champs

You might see the same thing in the Pats locker room. (Giants.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are hundreds of preparations that go along with the Super Bowl. Hats and t-shirts are made, speeches are written and interstitial ads on websites are created. In the case of Giants.com, that ad was accidentally placed live on the site a touch early. Like, today.

If you visited Giants.com during the day on Saturday, you might have seen this ad, which gave you the option to represent your team strat via social media, shop for championship gear or just continue on to the site.

"It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl," the NFL said in a statement. "In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night."

Fortunately, this is the Internet age and someone snapped up a picture of the mistake. That's precisely what this is -- every team in the Super Bowl would create the same ad (you best believe the Patriots have one ready) but someone at the Giants website turned it live too early.

And now it's going to be a motivational tool for Bill Belichick and a perceived slight at the Patriots.

It's not, but that's how it's going to look.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:39 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Rodgers wins MVP, Brees and Suggs get POY Awards

Your 2012 NFL MVP is Rodgers. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Aaron Rodgers won the 2012 NFL MVP Award on Saturday night with Peyton Manning presenting him the hardware at the first-ever NFL Honors awards in Indy, the night before the Super Bowl.

"Looking forward to seeing you on the field again," Rodgers said as Peyton walked off the stage, before thanking his teammates and fans.

Rodgers was in a close race with Drew Brees for MVP late in the season but blew away the Saints quarterback in the voting, as he received 48 of a possible 50 first-place votes.

Brees got the consolation prize of winning the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award on Saturday night in a season where he broke Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a single season, throwing for 5,676 yards and a record-setting 468 completions. Brees received 43 votes for the award.

"Some pretty remarkable things happened that we were all lucky to be a part of," Brees said, reminiscing about his season. "The older you get the more you appreciate the opportunities and the moments."

The Ravens Terrell Suggs landed the award for Defensive Player of the Year Suggs, also known as T-Sizzle, delivered the funniest line of the night during his acceptance speech.

"I want to thank my parents for deciding to go through with it," Suggs said.
Newton is the NFL's rookie of the year. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

Cam Newton, the Panthers star quarterback, was the first award-winner at the first-ever NFL Honors ceremony, netting the AP Rookie of the Year Award in Indianapolis at the Super Bowl. He also won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award, voted on by fans. Broncos linebacker Von Miller won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Newton received 47 of 50 votes from AP voters; Miller received 39 of 50 possible votes. Andy Dalton and Aldon Smith were the respective runner-ups.

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"Even with the lockout, that still didn't stop my process for preparing for the NFL," Newton said. "Whether it with Chris Weinke, George Whitfield, IMG -- everyone had a major role in the success I had this year."

Miller recorded 11.5 sacks with the Broncos and helped lead them to a shocking AFC West division title. Newton broke a number of different records, throwing for the most passing yards (4,051) by a rookie in NFL history, breaking the mark that Peyton Manning set in 1998. Newton also set the record for most rushing touchdowns by any quarterback, scoring 14 times on the ground.

Jim Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and garnered 45 of 50 votes for the AP Coach of the Year Award. Mike McCarthy netted three votes and Denver's John Fox received two.

Matthew Stafford received 21 of 50 votes in winning the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award. The presumed favorite, Alex Smith, only finished third.

Ravens center Matt Birk was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

"This award is not about the recipient, but rather a celebration of the decades-long tradition of NFL players using their unique platform to touch lives and make a positive impact in the communities in which they work and live," Birk said.

He wouldn't comment on whether or not he would return to play again in 2012.


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

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:37 pm
 

Brandon Lloyd would consider Rams return

Brandon Lloyd's pumped about the Rams coaching change. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Brandon Lloyd blew up under Josh McDaniels in Denver and he said earlier in the season that he wants to play wherever McDaniels is coaching, which will be New England in 2012. (And, um, now.)

But Lloyd said Friday night that he wasn't entirely sold on bouncing out of St. Louis just yet, and that with Jeff Fisher and the new coaching staff in place, he's seriously contemplating a return to the Rams.

We also chatted with Lloyd about his time in Denver, the trade and, of course, Tim Tebow.



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Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 12:54 pm
 

DeAngelo, Stewart talk Panthers at Playboy party

Eye on Football hit Playboy's Super Bowl party Friday night. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, known as "Double Trouble" for the combination of their rushing attack with the Panthers, were at the Playboy blue carpet on Friday night. As everyone who reads this blog knows, there's no one who works here who's a homer at all when it comes to the Panthers.

We talked to them about Cam Newton, the rushing attack, the new Panthers logo and then made them give a shoutout to my buddy Zeke. Good times all around.



Also check out the full slideshow of pictures from the Bud Light blue carpet:


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Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:06 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 10:02 am
 

Pats S Ross Ventrone just happy to be here

Ventrone won't play Sunday, but he does a decent Steven Tyler impression. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- You couldn’t keep the smile off Ross Ventrone’s face last Tuesday at Media Day. He was taking requests to sing Aerosmith songs, and he was discussing why his long brown hair was a better look than teammate Tiquan Underwood’s fade. Basically, Ventrone was having a blast, and for a guy who’s on the New England practice squad and won’t play in Super Bowl XLVI, the safety drew a decent crowd during the hour of media availability.

Ventrone, you see, is happy just to be here.

He was cut eight times this season. And re-signed to the practice squad eight times. And promoted to the active roster five times. Ventrone can never get comfortable, because by the time he settles into a routine, he’s involved in another transaction.

“I just kept plugging away and working hard,” Ventrone said. “Everything worked out. I’m here, part of the organization. I’m glad things went the way they did.”

Ventrone has played in eight games this season and made a grand total of two tackles. But it’s not bad for a former University of Pittsburgh walk-on who transferred to Villanova and went unselected in the 2010 NFL draft. He spent most of his rookie year on the practice squad, and this season, he’s had a little more impact on his team. You know, when he was actually a member of it and not being released by the Patriots.

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“Honestly, I don’t even think of it like that,” Ventrone said. “I just think that they want me on the team. They want me back. I keep working hard and try not to let that bother me or keep me down at all. I’m a positive person.”

And a funny dude. While mugging for the cameras, he referred to himself as “Rusty Benson 35” (his Twitter handle) and “Mr. Really.” He sang the climax of Aerosmith’s “Dream On” in a decent-enough falsetto. He talked about the last time the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, when he watched from the stands as his brother, Raymond Ventrone (now a Browns defensive back) played for New England and made a big-time special-teams tackle late in the game.

“Being in a similar position as him, it’s cool,” Ross Ventrone said. “We played at the same high school and same college and now we’ve played for the Patriots. It’s cool to walk in the footsteps of your older brother.”

Now, he’s just hoping that his Super Bowl experience turns out differently than the final result of Raymond’s experience.  Not that he’ll have much say about it either way since he’ll be on the sideline dressed in civilian clothes.

“Aw man, I’m just having fun with this,” Ross Ventrone said. “I love this stuff. I love doing all the silly stuff. I’m just trying to take it all in.”

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 10:00 am
Edited on: February 4, 2012 11:18 am
 

CBSSports.com's Super Bowl XLVI predictions


Super Bowl XLVI Preview: Will the Patriots get revenge this time around or will the Giants continue their run to another title?

Gregg Doyel

I've never felt so good about a pick in my life, because I've never seen anything as rock-solid as the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants have already beaten the Patriots this season, at New England, and they did it despite the unavailability of leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and 1,000-yard receiver Hakeem Nicks. Plus, the Patriots weren't playing that game with receivers Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater forced to play key roles at defensive back, as will be the case Sunday.  

Forget what Vegas is saying. Everyone else is saying the Patriots will lose ... which is why I feel 100 percent certain that the Patriots will win. When everybody's convinced they're right, I'm convinced they're wrong. History shows people just aren't that smart.

Final score: It'll be a slugfest, but the Patriots will win 42-38.

Mike Freeman

Initially, I thought the Giants would actually beat the Patriots handily. Eli Manning would look at the Patriots defense, lick his chops, and light that defense on fire. Tom Brady would get harassed, an injured Gronk would be controlled, and Wes Welker would have a solid though not dominating day. It was all shaping up to a healthy Giants victory.

Then at the beginning of this week the Giants started chirping. And chirping. And chirping some more. It was a jab-fest for them with the team’s main message being they could get to Tom Brady both physically and mentally.

Normally, as Tom Coughlin would say, talk is cheap but this is Brady who thrives on talk and doubters. I’ve seen it happen with Brady on more than a few occasions. Not to mention the Patriots are on a revenge tour. I think the Giants would have been better served shutting the hell up. I know they are talkers. I know the Giants thrive on emotion and yapping but don’t pull on SuperBrady’s cape.

The Giants will still win but their mouths just turned this game from a comfortable win for them into one of the tightest Super Bowls ever.

Final score: Giants, 28-27

Clark Judge

I’ll take the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, and here’s why: Because they’re more balanced than New England, they’re hot, they’re confident and they have the pass rush to flummox the usually unflappable Tom Brady.

Oh, yeah, they also won their last two vs. the Patriots – including a 24-20 defeat this season.

But it’s that pass rush that convinces me. The Giants can bring pressure with their defensive line, allowing everyone else to drop into coverage, and if you don’t think that will affect Brady you weren’t watching the Giants shred Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Brady struggled in his last two starts vs. New York. He was sacked seven times, hit on countless other occasions and had more turnovers (4) than touchdown passes (3). He also lost both games. That counts for something, and I say it counts for a Giants’ victory.

Final score: Giants, 24-17

Pete Prisco

Quarterback and pass rush.  

That's the key to winning in the NFL these days. Get a great thrower and have a lot of guys to knock down the other team's thrower. The New England Patriots have the great passer in Tom Brady, but they lack the great pass rushers. The New York Giants have a very good passer in Eli Manning, but they have a lot of pass rushers.

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That's why the New York Giants will win Super Bowl XLVI. This time, unlike the last time they played in a Super Bowl, the Giants aren't huge underdogs. What I can't figure out is this: Why they aren't they favored.

The Giants are the better team. 

It's a tribute to Brady that the Patriots are here, but in watching him play the Giants in the past, he isn't the same Brady when he faces that the New York defense. Like I wrote this week, the Giants seem to be in his head. In the Giants' victory this season in Foxboro, Mass., Brady looked ordinary.  

That's the big edge for the Giants. They have the pass rushers. They don't fear Brady. They rattle him. That's why the Giants will beat the Patriots again in a Super Bowl. 

The NFL is all about quarterback and pass rushers -- and the Giants will show on Sunday. 

Final score: Giants, 31-24

Paul Dehner

Forget Gronkowski's ankle. Forget Aaron Hernandez. The defining story line of Super Bowl XLVI will be how the Patriots offensive line handles the intense Giants pass rush. Recent history of all New York's opponents on their postseason run insists that's more of a fleeting wish than a likelihood. The Giants have pounded every quarterback in their way into submission and eventual defeat. Tony Romo was sacked six times, Matt Ryan twice, Aaron Rodgers four times and Alex Smith three. The opponent didn't matter.

Tom Brady's only the next in line. When Brady can't throw, the Pats don't go. The Giants front four is coming and there isn't too much Brady can do about it. Jason Pierre-Paul and the rest of the Giants own the rare ability to disrupt timing -- the ultimate equalizer in the new, pass-happy NFL. They'll do it again on Sunday. That's the reason they'll loft the trophy.

Final score: Giants, 21-17

Alex Raskin

Another scoreless first half — like the one the New England Patriots and New York Giants had back in Week 9 — is improbable, but another defensive battle isn’t. Everyone is rightfully talking about each team’s respective high-powered offense. However, this game will be won on the defensive side of the ball and the Giants are up to the challenge.

New York has forced and recovered five fumbles in the postseason and the secondary has played significantly better since the Week 15 loss to the Washington Redskins. Throw in the Giants’ reliable linebackers and fearsome pass rush, and the advantage swings heavily in favor of the NFC Champions.

The Patriots’ defense intercepts passes and buckles down in the red zone, but the Giants’ big-play offense has a way around that. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham allow quarterback Eli Manning to throw touchdown passes from anywhere on the field by going over or underneath opposing coverages.

Final score: Giants, 24-16

Will Brinson

It absolutely terrifies me that everyone -- and I mean everyone -- is on the Giants bandwagon. Eighty-five percent of the public money is on the Giants. Almost everyone at CBS is picking the Giants. Everyone outside of Boston is picking the Giants. It makes sense, because New York's front four is going to get pressure on Brady.

The Patriots best offensive weapon, Rob Gronkowski, is going to be limited. And how are the Patriots going to defend Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham? Not with Julian Edelman playing defensive back. Of course, the problem with all this is that the entire world's betting against the combination of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. That's somewhat illogical. Two things are going to make this a very close game: Gronk's ankle forcing him to stay in and block and Vince Wilfork turning into an animal for the second straight game. (Wilfork's my darkhorse for MVP.) In the end, though, it's going to come down to who has the ball last and I think it ends up being Eli.

Final score: Giants, 27-21

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Josh Katzowitz

Seems to me like the buzz this week in Indianapolis is how the Giants will beat the Patriots for the second time this season. And for reasons I’m having a hard time explaining, I don’t think that will happen. Give New England coach Bill Belichick two weeks to figure out how to beat the Giants, and I think he does it.

Obviously, New York has some solid advantages. The Giants front four will provide plenty of issues for the Patriots as they try to keep Tom Brady untouched. Eli Manning shouldn’t have a problem picking on New England’s secondary. And assuming Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t 100 percent effective, New England’s offense will be a little less versatile.

So, really, the Giants should win.

But I can’t pull the trigger on predicting them to do so. And I don’t know why. Which, I guess, isn’t much of answer why I’m picking the Patriots to win. I just kinda think they will.

Final score: Patriots, 24-22

Ryan Wilson

It's hard to believe that Vegas has had New England as the favorites for nearly two weeks now because almost everybody likes New York. Never mind that Giants have issues in the secondary and Tom Brady is a future Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl winner, New York's front four somehow makes up for all that.

Four years ago, the Pats came into this game undefeated and unstoppable. The Giants' pass rush changed all that. And that's what happened this season, in Week 9, when the two teams met. We get the feeling that New England won't be able to protect Brady on Sunday either.

Meanwhile, Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career even without much of a running game behind him. The Patriots' defense has been better in recent weeks but they still struggle in both phases. And that's bad news if Brady isn't his usual self.

Final score: Giants, 24-21

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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