September 13, 2008
NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND
BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 1 ON SEPTEMBER 13
SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS
MARINO: MINNESOTA – NEW ENGLAND
COWER: N.Y. GIANTS – PITTSBURGH
SHARPE: GREEN BAY – NEW ENGLAND
BOOMER: GREEN BAY – NEW ENGLAND
(On why Cleveland coach Eric Mangini held off naming a starting quarterback)
BOOMER ESIASON: God only knows. I have no idea. Thirty other teams told us who the starting quarterback was going to be, and for competitive disadvantage, he decided he wasn’t going to tell us. Eric Mangini can take the fun out of a 10-year-old’s birthday party with Big Bird there. That’s how miserable this guy is becoming. Cleveland deserves better. This is a proud franchise with great fans and you have one of the most stifling, if not the most stifling, of all head coaches in the NFL there.
(On Denver trading Jay Cutler)
DAN MARINO: When you think about the off-season, I look at Jay Cutler and the Denver Broncos, how did they trade that guy away? A franchise quarterback. It’s going to haunt them for years to come. I think it was a dumb move on their part.
(On Michael Vick as Donovan McNabb’s back-up in Philadelphia)
BOOMER ESIASON: We all know that Donovan McNabb is a great quarterback. We all like Donovan McNabb. We all root for him to play well, but he’s also one of the most insecure players in all of the NFL. And with Michael Vick…I know it’s (Philadelphia) a tough place to play but if he has trouble and struggles, Michael Vick has said he’s a starting quarterback, he’s not a gimmick. He’s not a wild card. Those two stories, I can’t wait to see where we are come November.
(On Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers)
BOOMER: Aaron Rodgers was one of the best stories last season even though his team didn’t go to the playoffs…I think Aaron Rodgers gets off to a great start. And don’t be surprised when Aaron Rodgers gets named the NFL MVP at the end of the season.
(On Rookie quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford)
BOOMER: I think both are going to have great NFL careers. They show the poise and presence that you want from a young quarterback. Sanchez is going to be more successful early on in his career. He’s got a much better team, a better running game, better offensive line and a much better defense, and a head coach who went through this last year in Baltimore with Joe Flacco. Matthew Stafford is on a team that is trying to reinvent itself. He has Calvin Johnson at least, but I don’t think either one makes the playoffs this year.
SHARPE: I’m the same way, Boomer. I think yes and no because I do believe Mark Sanchez will win Rookie of the Year as Matt Ryan won last year. But will their teams enjoy the success that the Ravens and the Falcons enjoyed last year? No, I don’t think so. But considering Detroit only won – no, no games, anything they do is a success for them.
(On NFL changing Overtime rules)
COWHER: It’s about equal opportunity. Yes, both teams need to touch the ball. The NFL rules are promoting offensive play. You cannot allow the coin toss to determine the outcome of a football game.
(On which player has most pressure on them going into season)
MARINO: I’m saying Brett Favre. It’s squarely on his head, 40-years- old, all the drama in the off-season coming up there. He didn’t come into camp early. He has a defense that’s a great defense to get him to the Super Bowl. He has the best running back in the league in Adrian Peterson, so the pressure is squarely on Brett Favre’s head to get them to the Super Bowl. If they don’t get to the Super Bowl, the staff will get fired and Brett will probably go play in Tampa or somewhere else at 41. But the pressure is on Brett Favre.
COWHER: The pressure is on Donovan McNabb. I go back to what Boomer said in this segment, when you look at Donovan McNabb, he’s tied to Andy Reid and Andy Reid is the longest tenured coach in Philadelphia sports since Connie Mack and they have not embraced him. He’s been to the Super Bowl, but he’s lost four AFC Championship games. He’s (McNabb) coming off a season where he was benched and now you bring in Michael Vick. And you know in Philadelphia, if he does not perform there are going to be Vick chants. I think there is going to be a lot of pressure. He has said all the right things, but to me the pressure is on Donovan McNabb.
BOOMER: I like all your picks but I say Jay Cutler…He whined his way out of Denver and got a chance to go back home to his favorite team, the Chicago Bears.
►“INSIDE THE NFL” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On NFL having a team in Europe)
CASSERLY: There is European money. There is interest in purchasing an NFL team and moving it to London. They’re going to look in to buying the St. Louis Rams, who are for sale now, or perhaps another NFL team. The Rams, by the way, are only contracted to be in St. Louis thru 2014. After that point, they could move, of course, pending NFL approval.
(On Pittsburgh’s Troy Polamalu possibly being fined for hits in Thursday’s game)
CASSERLY: That’s right, not only is he going to be out 3-6 weeks because of a strained knee but the NFL is going to be reviewing these plays to see if he should be fined.
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