Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:10 am

The Daily Shoutout: Garrett ready for big time?

OPENING HIT: Before Jason Garrett was named coach of the Cowboys several teams had taken a good hard look at hiring him. That's no secret. Some teams looking to fill vacancies were extremely high on him. They slobbered over his Princeton background and he was viewed as a next-gen type of coach. A younger guy who could be the next offensive genius.

But there was one concern among teams looking at Garrett as a possible head coach. The concern was Garrett might be too heady, almost too studious, heads in clouds type guy, and not be able to handle the daily, ugly pressure of practices and games. Head coaches have told me the hardest part of the job is managing a team full of egos. The second is managing a game. The latter was one of the biggest concerns about Garrett.

Garrett's complete, utter brain spasm at the end of the Arizona game was either an anomaly that may never happen again or an indicator the concern Garrett could freeze up during the volcanic activity that is game time was a fair one.

We won't know the answer and it may be unfair to even examine Garrett in this manner. Lots of coaches, great ones even, have screwed up clock management. But Garrett's flub was practically historic and if the Cowboys don't make the playoffs the cause will be traced back to that moment.

And the question will be asked -- fairly or unfairly -- was Garrett ready for this job?
Category: NFL
Tags: Cowboys
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:59 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 7:19 am

Police report: Suh passenger fears retaliation

The car accident in Portland, Ore., involving Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has taken an interesting turn. A passenger in the vehicle says she fears retaliation from what she said were Suh's family and friends for claiming the circumstances that caused the accident were contrary to what Suh told Portland police.

In an amended incident report from Portland police one of the passengers in the car, an unindentified woman, asked that police remove her name from all the reports out of fear of retaliation. has obtained a copy of the report.

The woman's name is blacked out in the report, but in interviews with officers the woman contradicts what Suh told police about the accident and in a statement at the end of the report she pleads that her name not be released to the public.

"[Name redacted] requested that her name remain confidential," the officer writes in the report, "because she fears for her safety. [Name redacted] said that Suh has a lot of friends and family and fears retaliation. She requested her name not be included in a future press release."

Portland police say there is no evidence that a crime was committed and they don't plan to file any charges.

The woman goes into extensive detail about the accident and claims of Suh's unsafe driving caused the wreck. Suh told police the accident happened because he had to make an extreme maneuver to avoid colliding with a taxi.

It's highly unlikely we've heard the last of this.
Category: NFL
Tags: Lions
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:45 am

The Daily Shoutout: Giants will make run

OPENING HIT: You can see it coming. The run. No, the Giants aren't great, but look at this conference, look at this league, and then look at this team's history. No, a run is coming.

The Giants have four games remaining, two against Dallas, then Washington and the Jets. All tough games but all games that can be won. The Cowboys are unreliable and have an unprepared head coach who got a job he wasn't ready for. The Redskins are terrible and the Jets are beatable. I think the Jets will be the Giants' toughest game and that's a non-conference one.

Around them, everyone stinks, except the Packers and 49ers, and they've captured their divisions so they aren't a factor. The Bears are done. The Eagles are done. The Lions are going to penalize themselves out of the playoff picture. The Falcons are hard to predict. Parts of the NFC are falling apart, a gap is being created because so many teams are average, bad or putrid. The Giants are the team to step into that gap.

If the Giants collapse in the second half, again, it's a good bet Tom Coughlin loses his job, and I think he knows this, and that factors into all of this. Coughlin is a great coach -- a great one -- and a fighter and I'd take him over almost any of these other jabronis like Jason Garrett who iced his own damn kicker.

And we all know the Giants are capable of making a run. See: Patriots, Super Bowl, almost undefeated season.

But Coughlin's Giants teams have also atomized at the end of a season so there is that possibility. But I don't see it this time.

Because the teams around them are in even worse shape.

Category: NFL
Tags: Giants
Posted on: December 4, 2011 7:46 pm

Packers beat Giants, 38-35

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- How do you stop them?

When Aaron Rodgers is this accurate. When the Packers are this good. When the Packers are this opportunistic. When the Packers are this lucky.

How do you stop them?

Packers 38 Giants 35. Losses: zero and counting.

The New York Giants have been, well, giant killers but this monster proved too much. Even when the Packers are flawed, they win. Even when Rodgers is on his ass and throwing picks and his receivers are dropping passes like the football is covered in buttermilk. They win.

Rodgers has 37 touchdown passes this season two short of single-season team record held by Brett Favre (39) in 1996.

How do you stop them when they win every which way there is to win?

You don't.

Category: NFL
Tags: Giants, Packers
Posted on: December 3, 2011 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 8:40 pm

Stop the stupidity: LSU could not beat NFL team

Several minutes after LSU atomized Georgia, LeBron James, who has said a few dumb things in his life, may have stated the dumbest thing he has ever contemplated. He tweeted this:

"Man I think LSU could compete with a pro team! They D that good."

That was his tweet. That was really his tweet.

Goodness, gracious that's dumb.

But James wasn't the only moron caught in the immediacy of LSU's dominating win. ESPN analyst Craig James said Aaron Rodgers, one of the most accurate and deadly quarterbacks in recent NFL history, maybe ever, wouldn't want to go against LSU's defensive backs.

There's a video of LSU fans at the SEC championship game chanting, "We want Green Bay!"

Okay, everyone, let's get this straight.

No college team, none, not a one, can compete with even the worst NFL team. Aaron Rodgers is picking apart defensive backs that are the best of the best in the pros. He would obliterate LSU defensive backs.

And what James said was sheer lunacy. The Packers offense would shred LSU's defense. The Cleveland Browns would shred LSU's defense. The Jacksonville Jaguars would shred LSU's defense.

The winless Colts would beat LSU, 50-0.

Unreal. Just unreal some of the dumb things said by people who know nothing of the NFL. I expect LeBron to be knuckleheaded about this but Craig James? He knows the sport. He should know better.

LSU is great. LSU might even be legendary.

But they aren't pros yet. They are the minor league system for the pros. But they aren't pros. There is a huge difference.

So, stick to hoops, LeBron.

And might want to watch more tape of NFL teams.

Category: NFL
Tags: Packers, Tigers
Posted on: December 2, 2011 7:56 am

The Daily Shoutout: DeSean Jackson--quitter

OPENING HIT: DeSean Jackson has shut it down. Totally, undeniably, without question, without shame, unabashedly shut it the hell down. Jackson has quit on his team.

There was a shot of Jackson sitting on the Eagles bench during the team’s humiliating loss to a bad Seattle team and Vince Young was speaking to Jackson and Jackson just stared off into the distance. DeSean Jackson’s name began trending in social media because everyone who saw that knew what they had just witnessed: an uninterested receiver who had checked out on the season.

Now, most of this is Jackson’s fault but the Eagles are not totally blameless here. They should have anticipated this with Jackson. I could have told you Jackson was going to ask for the check if he didn’t get a new deal and if I knew, the Eagles should have. They should have paid Jackson or traded him. Those were the two options. The Eagles tried to do some sort of combo of those two options.

Now it’s too late. If they try to trade him next season his value has dropped precipitously. If they give him a new deal fans will wonder why they gave a guy who quit on the team a new contract.

I find it difficult to believe Eagles players trust Jackson. Same with the coaching staff.

In that game on Thursday night, Young was fighting hard. Other Eagles were fighting their asses off. Jackson, um, was not.

Because Jackson has flat out quit.


Category: NFL
Tags: Eagles
Posted on: December 1, 2011 6:19 am

The Daily Shoutout: Suh meets Shell

Ndamukong Suh could learn a great deal from the man who has his immediate future in his hands. Art Shell, in this case the arbitrator in the Suh appeal on Thursday, was one of the fiercest competitors the NFL has ever seen. He played on the Oakland Raiders and while the Raiders had reps for being dirty most of them actually weren’t. Many of them were like Shell: vicious, talented, hard working, but not cheap.

Shell is in the Hall of Fame because of his skill but he’s cherished by many who know him for his class. He’s been a head coach, and now an administrator, and hell, he’s smart enough to be damn commissioner one day.

Shell was feared not because he was dirty but because he was skilled and composed. His calmness was more intimidating than rage.

Yes, Suh could learn a great deal. About passion and self-control; about when to turn off the fierceness, how to harness it. Maybe after all of this is over, Suh and Shell could have a drink. Shell could tell stories about the Raiders or more importantly Shell could tell stories on how to be great without losing your composure.

Or the respect of the people around you.



Category: NFL
Tags: Lions
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:30 am
Edited on: November 30, 2011 10:46 am

The Daily Shoutout: Conspiracy in New York

OPENING HIT: Something happened on New York radio on Tuesday: there was an interesting, relevant, non-pandering, non-belligerent, non-bigoted conversation about sports. Specifically, this chat was about Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Sanchez has a weekly spot with Michael Kay, who is the television voice of the Yankees and has a talk-show in New York. Sanchez clearly sounded borderline depressed and there was chat between Kay and his sidekick about why. Then the conversation took an interesting turn. Kay began talking about the appearance of analyst Tim Hasselbeck earlier in the day on the station, and Hasselbeck said something even more interesting.

He claimed that one of the possible reasons Sanchez was struggling (and I don't think he is) was because Sanchez wasn't working hard enough. That is a serious, brutal claim. There is little worse you can say about a professional athlete than to say he's lazy.

It's also, in my opinion, a false claim. No one in the Jets organization has ever told me Sanchez doesn't work hard. Quite the opposite. Hasselbeck's words came completely out of nowhere.

Hasselbeck had noted early in the interview that he was good friends with Mark Brunell. Actually, went out of his way to say it. Hmmm ... really? And that's where Kay began speculating (and I think correctly) that maybe Brunell was the source of Hasselbeck's information.

The conversation, I have to say, was truly interesting for a number of reasons. I have never seen a young thrower who has won so much -- appearances in two conference title games -- criticized from so many different angles. Now, you have people saying he doesn't work hard enough. It's reaching absolutely stupid proportions.

And so here we are. Now Sanchez's work ethic is under attack and the conspiracy theorists believe Brunell, Sanchez's teammate, may be the source of that attack.

BRIAN BILLICK: Don't think the Jaguars would want you, anyway.
Category: NFL
Tags: Jets
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