Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:04 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:04 am

Randy Moss says he will attempt comeback

In what was at times a strange, highly intelligent, and extremely bizarre hour-long video chat, Randy Moss said he will attempt to return to the NFL.

"Your boy is going to come back and play some football," he said.

More on this later.
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL, Patriots
Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:32 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 10:25 pm

Parcells has HOF chops, his exclusion a mystery

I'm not going to be one of those whining, smirking people who complains about the Hall of Fame voting process. I know some of those men in the room. Many are skilled, brilliant and extremely smart about the game. A handful are arrogant jerks with hardcore agendas but the vast majority know what they are doing.

So I'm not going to complain as much as simply be stunned over the omission of Bill Parcells. I'm not a Parcells fan. He treated many people in my business terribly and wasn't exactly a great human being. But to me, in history, there are few better coaches.

The two greatest motivators in NFL history, the coaches who got players to do things and go places in their careers they thought they never could, were Don Shula and Parcells. The best pure motivators ever. Period. That is a coach's primary job. Nothing happens before that -- not the Xs and Os, nothing -- before getting a player mentally ready. Shula was the best at that (what he did in Miami with the then expansion Dolphins is borderline miraculous) and Parcells was second.

He turned around the Giants, the Patriots and Jets when those latter two organizations were absolutely awful.

My guess as to what hurt Parcells. First -- and no one will admit this but it's true -- the way he treated some writers played a factor. Writers have long memories and we can be just as petty anyone else. There likely were a few writers in the room who were either treated poorly by Parcells -- or know people who were -- and this was a form of payback.

I've also heard some writers over the years (including some in that room) say that Bill Belichick made Parcells and Parcells never made it back to a Super Bowl without Belichick.

But most importantly it is accurate that when Parcells left organizations he left them atomized. His departures were sometimes very ugly and it likely also did not help Parcells that he left the Dolphins in semi-ruins.

But overall his record -- he took the Giants, Jets, Patriots and Cowboys to the playoffs while winning two of three Super Bowl appearances -- was more than enough to overcome his faults.

No, not a complaint here. Just sort of stunned.
Posted on: February 3, 2012 9:35 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2012 11:11 pm

The Eugene Robinson danger zone

INDIANAPOLIS: This is the time. This is it. Late Friday night into early Sunday morning. This is what one player once told me he called The Eugene Robinson Danger Zone.

It's the most dangerous time to a player because just about all of the Super Bowl preparation is complete and now boredom sets in and when boredom sets in there is the greatest danger a player will make a critical off the field mistake like, say, soliciting a prostitute the night before a Super Bowl.

The player called it the Eugene Robinson Danger Zone, or ERDZ for short, because it was Robinson who had one of the most humiliating moments in Super Bowl history. He was busted, the night before Super Bowl XXXIII, for soliciting a female police officer for oral sex. Robinson offered the officer $40. This came on the same day he received an award from a Christian group for his outstanding character.

Hey, I'm not judging, just making an observation. Yes, the ERDZ is in full effect. Whoop! Whoop! Red alert.

Robinson isn't alone. Stanley Wilson went on a cocaine binge the night before Cincinnati's Super Bowl and Oakland's Barrett Robbins disappeared for much of the day before the Raiders Super Bowl and was left off the roster. Yet it's Robinson who has become the greatest symbol of ERDZ.

One of my longtime player sources named this time period after Robinson because since then Robinson has become one of the great cautionary tales. Many teams that since reached the Super Bowl use Robinson as a an example of what not to do.

So fingers crossed no player enters the ERDZ this year.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:24 am

Brady punks Ochocinco

INDIANAPOLIS-- Media day at the Super Bowl is normally a joke. Reporters scratching themselves while standing amid circus clowns and smirking players. Usually there is little news or insight. But this one, my 12th or 15th or 17th -- I forget -- actually had an interesting moment.

Some yokel from OCNN -- I believe that's the Ochocinco News Network -- had a question for Brady. Brady could clearly see that the reporter was from Chad Ochocinco's online network. No question. The "reporter" asked Brady if he would please throw a pass to Ochocinco.

Brady didn't hesitate with his response.

"Tell him to get open," Brady said, "and I'll throw it to him."

Oh. Wow.


That was, well, very blunt. In some ways, very cold-blooded of Brady.

I could easily be wrong but I don't think I've ever heard Brady be so blunt about Ochocinco.

I actually thought that moment was the most interesting and actually provided a lot of insight -- if not the definitive answer -- as to why Ochocinco has been a failure as a Patriot. It's not about his relationship with Brady. Ochocinco isn't hurt. It may not be about his lack of learning the offense. It's more simple than that.

He can't get open.

That's it. That is all.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 31, 2012 9:54 am
Edited on: February 1, 2012 5:43 am

Super Bowl Shoutout: Can Gronk be effective?

OPENING HIT: Part of me wonders if Bill Belichick is pulling a fast one. That somehow Rob Gronkowski isn't as hurt as the Patriots are saying but that's far-fetched even for the tricky mind of Belichick. Which means Gronkowski is really badly injured.

This isn't a question of whether Gronk will play. He'll likely find a way to be on the field. The real question is effectiveness, and based on everything I hear the chances of Gronkowski being a factor are almost non-existent. You don't recover from high ankle trauma this quickly and the fact he still hasn't practiced is the biggest indicator of the seriousness of the injury.

My guess is Belichick will try and use Gronkowski as a decoy. Put him in the game, run a few routes maybe, use him as a blocker if possible. But the idea that Gronk will be Gronk with that kind of injury is a bit far-fetched.

Unless Gronkowski is even tougher than we think which seems impossible.


Category: NFL
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:17 pm

Pats assistant O'Brien to coach Penn State

It's still stunning that it's true but it's true: a Patriots team source confirms that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has agreed to become the coach of Penn State.

It's rare for an NFL coordinator to make this type of move. It's happened before even with the Patriots but it's still rare. Most assistants like O'Brien want to become head football coaches in the NFL not college.

O'Brien's move is high risk/high reward. The Penn State job is one of the toughest now in football for obvious reasons. He could easily fail. But imagine if O'Brien turns things around there. He'd be an instant star and would have his picks of many great jobs in the NFL. If he wanted them.

And now the Patriots look for a new offensive coordinator.

An official announcement about O'Brien could come as early as Friday.
Category: NFL
Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:26 am
Edited on: January 5, 2012 11:39 am

An NFL first: four Super Bowl MVP QBs in playoffs

If we already didn't know this was the year of the quarterback -- or the past decade of the quarterback -- this incredible fact seals it.

For the first time in league history the playoffs will feature four Super Bowl quarterbacking MVPs: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers. This according to NFL PR guru, Dan Masonson.

That is a great deal of quarterbacking firepower and they're all in one playoff.

I'm thinking this record won't last long just like other offensive records that were obliterated this season. The NFL has geared the sport towards the quarterbacks and because of that it could be some time before a running back or defensive player, for example, earns MVP honors. Would it be a stunner if Ben Roethlisberger got to a Super Bowl this year, won the MVP, and then all five of these players make the postseason next year? No. See what I mean.

Quarterbacks have always ruled the sport but their dominance now is unprecedented and this latest interesting statistic only proves that.

Hell, who knows, with the way quarterbacks are dominating, maybe Andy Dalton will join the MVP Four next year.

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 18, 2011 7:30 pm

Tebow magic ends with Patriots blowout

DENVER-- There were five minutes remaining in Denver's game against New England and Broncos fans, in large numbers, began to depart Sports Authority Field. It was a mad rush for the exits. They knew not even Tim Tebow could bring them back from this.

Normally, fans here don't leave when there is time on the clock because they know there is always a chance Tebow will do something, well, Tebow-ish. Not today. Not this time.

Tebow met his match. Actually, two of them. Bill Belichick, who created the perfect game plan to stop Tebow (a game plan teams should have used in the past) and Tom Brady, who put up enough points to put immense pressure on Tebow.

The combination proved too much for the Broncos to handle and for the first time in a long time Tebow seemed ordinary and he was definitely beaten.

Patriots 41 Broncos 23 Tebow miracles: 0.

Category: NFL
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