Category:NFL
Posted on: February 23, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:11 pm
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Peyton Manning's giant shadow hasn't left Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning remains everywhere. The coach of the Colts at a press conference here was asked about him. The Arizona Cardinals wouldn't rule out Manning coming to their team. Jets coach Rex Ryan wouldn't rule out Manning coming to his team. That should be Manning's nickname: Won't Rule Out.

Manning is associated with seemingly every team that needs a quarterback or has a quarterback that stinks. In Florida, fans are putting up billboards in a desperate attempt to lure him there.

So as Manning overshadowed the Super Bowl he does the same at the combine. He remains the biggest topic here. At the Super Bowl, he dwarfed Tom Brady and his brother Eli. Now, he minimizes Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin.

The Colts coach and general manager both said they had no new news on Manning and neither had seen him throw. He remains the hottest topic in football despite there being nothing original to report.

Manning and Irsay are talking but there isn't any clear indication a resolution is near. This could go down to the final day. The question is why? Everyone, including Manning and Jim Irsay, knows this relationship is over.

So everyone waits and while everyone does Manning remains the biggest story in football...still.


Category: NFL
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:33 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 3:49 pm
 

Is any combine question too much?

INDIANAPOLIS -- A few years ago the general manager of the Dolphins, Jeff Ireland, was forced to apologize after he asked wide receiver Dez Bryant if Bryant's mom was a prostitute. The story became a huge national one and an embarrassment to the NFL.

You'd think after something like that teams would be slightly more reserved in their questioning but apparently that isn't happening. According to one agent, during a combine interview this week, his client was asked extremely personal questions including several about how many times a day he has sex. (Per day?)

I've been wondering how in the hell the amount of sex a player has affects what happens on the field. Or why a team would need to know that? (Too tiring, possible weight gain from post-intercourse ordering of Chinese food, what?) It seems to cross a line. The agent said his client answered the question.

That may be a question asked a lot by teams but I'd never heard of it being asked before.

The agent explained he will consider telling all of his clients not to answer questions they deem as invasive. That would be a highly risky approach since then the player would be seen as hiding something.

But some of this stuff is getting a tad ridiculous. Maybe more than a tad.

Category: NFL
Tags: Combine
 
Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:46 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 2:47 pm
 

Manning long-term prognosis continues to be bleak

The propoganda that continues to emerge from certain corners of the media universe is this: Peyton Manning is getting better. Peyton Manning will be fine. Peyton Manning is throwing with more zip. It all sounds pretty good but increasingly the more I hear from around the NFL, the more I doubt the accuracy of those statements.

Then there's the latest from Sports Illustrated which says that Manning has actually had four neck surgeries (not three as previously believed), has bone spurs in his neck and may have some sort of genetic neck issue.

People across the NFL continue to have doubts that Manning will throw a football effectively ever again and this new medical information only boosts that belief. Maybe Manning is a miraculous healer but four surgeries? Four? In two years? On the neck? And we're supposed to just believe he's doing well? Manning isn't from Krypton, last I checked.

This increasingly looks very bad for Manning despite so many leaks about positive outlooks and a flowery prognosis. This also explains the more aggressive stance the owner of the Colts recently took regarding Manning's contract. He knows all of this. He knows the major risk it is to sign Manning.

No, despite what you hear from some media corners, this is not good.

And the doubts that he'll ever play at a high level again remain high.
 
Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
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 13, 2012 9:32 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 9:33 am
 

Manning and Irsay to meet this week?

I can't remember the last time an upcoming meeting between an owner and player drew so much attention but the anticipated gathering between quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay has the NFL, and in some ways all of sports, slightly holding its breath.

One league source said the two might finally have a sit-down this week to talk. That's not definite but it seems likely. One thing that's become clear is the two men don't want another circus. Both sides don't want to meet, I'm told, the week of the combine and thus have Manning news dominate the way it did Super Bowl week.

It remains possible the two men wait until after the combine but the feeling seems to be they want to get the meeting over with sooner than later. It's highly likely they meet in secret and no one finds out until afterwards.

Irsay wrote on his Twitter account Friday, speaking of last week: "Things r quiet this week n weekend, getting ready for NFL Combine, completing coaching staff, analyzing roster. There's no news on Peyton."

My guess -- everyone in football's guess -- is that the two men will basically say their goodbyes. No one, and I mean no one, expects Manning back. Stranger things have happened but it appears almost certain the meeting is the first step in the departure of Manning from the Colts. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
Posted on: February 13, 2012 9:31 am
 

Manning and Irsay to meet this week?

I can't remember the last time an upcoming meeting between an owner and player drew so much attention but the anticipated gathering between quarterback Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay has the NFL, and in some ways all of sports, slightly holding its breath.

One league source said the two might finally have a sit-down this week to talk. That's not definite but it seems likely. One thing that's become clear is the two men don't want another circus. Both sides don't want to meet, I'm told, the week of the combine and thus have Manning news dominate the way it did Super Bowl week.

It remains possible the two men wait until after the combine but thye feeling seems to be they want to get the meeting over with sooner than later.

Irsay wrote on his Twitter account Friday, speaking of last week: "Things r quiet this week n weekend, getting ready for NFL Combine, completing coaching staff, analyzing roster. There's no news on Peyton."

My guess -- everyone in football's guess -- is that the two men will basically say their goodbyes. No one, and I mean no one, expects Manning back. Stranger things have happened but it appears almost certain the meeting is the first step in the departure of Manning from the Colts. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Colts, Manning
 
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
 
 
 
 
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