News and Sound Bites From Week 7 Edition of
NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“It’s going to be like the Beatles going on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ It’s going to be highly anticipated.” – Steve Mariucci on Brett Favre returning to Lambeau Field in Week 8 for Vikings-Packers
“Some people say I like to hit guys when they’re not watching…well watch, look – it’s football.” – Steelers WR Hines Ward on his playing style
“The interceptions we knew would come. We didn’t expect this young guy to go through the season without having a game like he had last week. The key is to see how he responds to last week and I think he will respond well.” – Michael Irvin on Jets QB Mark Sanchez
“He’s carrying the load for the Cincinnati Bengals running the football, leading the league in carries…those are a lot of the thing you do when you’re called a franchise running back and he’s all of that for Cincinnati right now.” – Marshall Faulk on Bengals RB Cedric Benson
“Even though you’re going through a tough year, the stability has to remain.” – Joe Theismann on the Washington Redskins organization
“If you are a player on this team and you’re upset, you should have already been upset…seriousness starts at Week 1, not when you’re 0-6.” – Marshall Faulk on the Tennessee Titans and Jeff Fisher wearing a Peyton Manning jersey
NFL GameDay Morning, the FIRST pregame show on the air Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM ET with a new four-hour expanded format, taking viewers straight up to kickoff. Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Jason La Canfora and hosts Spero Dedes and Stacey Dales bring fans the latest news, injury reports, pregame analysis and game previews.
Last week, NFL GameDay Morning, courtesy of the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints, featured an inside look into the preparation of both teams’ head coaches through two segments entitled “The Belestrator” and “Payton’s Plan.” This week featured Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress on his team’s preparation for the Steelers.
‘Sunday Sit-Down’ – Solomon Wilcots 1-on-1 with Steelers WR Hines Ward:
NFL Network’s Solomon Wilcots sits down with Steelers WR Hines Ward to discuss Steelers’ QB Ben Roethlisberger, the new style of Steelers’ offense and the playing style that has made him successful through his 12 NFL seasons:
“It wasn’t anything that the opponent did. It was more of us not finishing what we started.” – Ward on the Steelers’ 1-2 start to the 2009 season
“It’s not like the old run first, run second, pass on third down team. We’ve got weapons surrounding Ben (Roethlisberger). Plus, when you give $100 million to a quarterback, you might as well get your money’s worth.” – Ward on the new Steelers offense
“This is one of the games you want to play in. Brett is the all-time leader in everything. I’m not going to be sitting on the sidelines; I’m going to be cheering my guys on.” – Ward on the Steelers’ Week 7 matchup against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings
“I only know one way to play this game. I’m not out there to try to hurt anyone. People try to say I’m dirty. Football is dirty itself. Some people say I like to hit guys when they’re not watching…well watch, look – it’s football.” – Ward on his playing style
To view Wilcots’ entire interview with Ward, please visit:
Joe Thiemann Weighs in on the State of the Washington Redskins:
NFL Network’s Spero Dedes talks 1-on-1 with former Redskins quarterback and current NFL Network analyst Joe Theismann on the Washington Redskins organization:
Dedes: Should Jim Zorn and Vinny Cerrato be fired?
Theismann: No, not at this point. That’s one of the big problems with Washington is that there’s been so much change at the top, so much change as far a coaches go. Even though you’re going through a tough year, the stability has to remain. I’d say that Dan Snyder did that, then he’s throwing up his hands and then he’s going to open himself up to a whole lot more criticism because everyone will say, once again, ‘look at the instability and look at all the changes.’ Both of them have to weather out this storm for the rest of the year.
Dedes: When did this whole thing all go wrong?
Theismann: Everybody is culpable in this deal. Everybody has a role with where the Redskins are. But, I really believe that it’s the fans as well as the players and the organization simply because of the expectations that came with the signing of big money people in the beginning of this year. Adding Albert Haynesworth for $100 million, adding DeAngelo Hall for $60 or $70 million, the expectations about young wide receivers like Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas to step up and be a part of the offense. So you add all of these guys and they’re supposed to be experienced, and Coach Zorn is supposed to have the experience to be able to call plays, and then you look at this offense, and you can go back to Week 7 of 2008 and Week 6 of 2009 and you really don’t see a whole lot of difference. Sooner or later, somebody’s got to change. So, everybody has a responsibility. If I do want to look at one area, I’d have to say it was giving Jim Zorn – an inexperienced play-caller and an inexperienced head coach – to put him in charge of a football team at an operation that he may not have been ready to take on.
Dedes: Why would any high-profile coach want the Redskins head coaching job?
Theismann: First of all, when you look at this football team, it’s talented. The defensive side of the ball is fine. What you have to do is you have to fix the offensive side. They need to get some offensive linemen. They need to stop this shuffling system of trying to get everybody on the field. It’s package after package after package. If you look at this Redskins offense, you’d think you wandered down Christmas morning and you looked under the Christmas tree because there’s umpteen packages under it. You just need to stick with guys on the football field. I don’t see Randy Moss come off the field. I don’t see Wes Welker come off the field. Why do you take Santana off the field? If Malcolm Kelly’s going to be the guy, let him go out and play. There’s no continuity or consistency in this offense.
Dedes: Will Vinny Cerrato have to go for those high-profile candidates to come to the Redskins?
Theismann: It’s hard to say. Everybody wants to jump down Vinny’s throat. When you look at the additions that Vinny has added in just the two years he’s been there – remember, Joe Gibbs was head of player personnel until a year ago when Vinny took over. You’ve got Chris Horton, you got Brian Orakpo, you’ve added Albert Haynesworth, you’ve got Malcolm Kelly, Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Chad Rinehart who’s starting now. You have a lot of young guys that have come on to this football team. Vinny’s responsible for the guys who are on the field. I’d love to go back to the Bill Parcells-type – If you’re going to ask me to do the cooking, you’d better just let me go buy the groceries. And that’s going to be the issue that Vinny’s going to be faced with at the end of this year if a decision is made. It would depend on who comes in, if there is a change made. Does he have a relationship with him? Will the person that comes in evaluate the talent and say, ‘You know what? This guy did a pretty good job at putting some talent together.’ If Vinny can look back at one thing, it would be the inexperience of Jim, both as a play-caller and as a coach, on this football team with the expectations that it had, those didn’t marry up.
NFL Network’s Vic Carucci Pregame 1-on-1 with Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin:
“Troy is marching his way back. Is he 100%? No, but not a lot of guys are who play in this league. He’s above the line and we look forward to him playing well today.” – Tomlin on Steelers S Troy Polamalu
“At different points of the game, both guys are going to be centerpieces of their offense. It’s our job to determine which guy is going to take center stage and win. Hopefully, our defense will call plays to combat that.” – Tomlin on containing Vikings QB Brett Favre and RB Adrian Peterson
NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi Pregame 1-on-1 with Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell:
“With the bye week, we had the opportunity to keep our skills sharp. We did a lot of 1 vs. 1 activity to make sure we had a lot of competitive drills going on. The young guys have been developing. It’s one of the things about this offense – you mature week after week and they continue to work hard and get better each week.” – Caldwell on the Colts bye week and the progress of their young players
“It does, but not very often.” – Caldwell on if the ball ever hits the ground in the Colts offensive practices
‘Super Bowl Journey,’ Week 7 Edition – New Contributor Vernon Davis Spends His Bye Week with Little Brother and Dolphins Rookie CB Vernon Davis
“I want to be the best tight end ever.” – San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis
To view the Week 7 installment of Super Bowl Journey, plus previous editions, please visit: http://sbjourney.nfl.com/
Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:
“He’s a good man, he’s a good coach, but it’s an unusual situation.” – Steve Mariucci on Redskins’ offensive consultant Sherm Lewis
“Dan Snyder has to be responsible for Vinny Cerrato.” – Warren Sapp on the Washington Redskins
“The system they have for picking a head coach hasn’t worked.” – Michael Irvin on the Washington Redskins
“They are not doing the fundamental and elementary things on defense you need to do to win a game.” – Mariucci on the Dallas Cowboys defense
“It’s time for Coach Fisher and everyone in the Tennessee Titans organization to get serious and find out why this football team is playing like this.” –Irvin on the Tennessee Titans
“I don’t think there’s any other coach in the league that wants to beat Peyton Manning more than Jeff Fisher…he’s making light of the situation. If you are a player on this team and you’re upset, you should have already been upset…seriousness starts at Week 1, not when you’re 0-6.” – Marshall Faulk on Titans head coach Jeff Fisher wearing a Peyton Manning jersey to a charity event
“The interceptions we knew would come. We didn’t expect this young guy to go through the season without having a game like he had last week. The key is to see how he responds to last week and I think he will respond well.” – Irvin on Jets QB Mark Sanchez
“It’s going to be like the Beatles going on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show.’ It’s going to be highly anticipated.” – Mariucci on Brett Favre returning to Lambeau Field in Week 8 for Vikings-Packers
“We are not in the world where you can just anoint or say someone is the number one receiver. You have to go earn it on the football field. Miles Austin showed number one receiver-type ability.” – Irvin on the Dallas Cowboys and WR Miles Austin vs. WR Roy Williams
“He’s carrying the load for the Cincinnati Bengals running the football, leading the league in carries, averaging 4.2 yards per carry – those are a lot of the thing you do when you’re called a franchise running back and he’s all of that for Cincinnati right now.” – Faulk on Bengals RB Cedric Benson
“The Miami Dolphins run the wildcat and they do it better than anyone else in pro or college football.” – Mariucci on the Miami Dolphins offense
“When you’re facing one of the premiere receivers in the game, you have to show up. We’re going to see what (ability) Nate Clements has.” – Sapp on 49ers CB Nate Clements matching up against Texans WR Andre Johnson
“All I needed to see was Tom Brady take control and say, ‘I will have confidence in my knee.’ It wasn’t a physically thing, it was a mental decision. Once he made that decision, we know he already has all the physical tools to make things happen. He’s starting to get back on track and that’s scary to a lot of people in this league.” – Irvin on Patriots QB Tom Brady
“My front runners for the MVP so far this year – Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre.” – Mariucci on his current picks for MVP
“Dumervil will break the sack record.” – Sapp predicting Broncos LB Elvis Dumervil will top 22.5 sacks this year
La Canfora’s News Reports:
- Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato came out this week and said that head coach Jim Zorn’s job is safe for the rest of the season, maybe even beyond. Looking at the big picture in Washington, there are going to be some changes in the offseason. Maybe in the coaching staff, certainly and maybe in the personnel. Former Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs’ name began to emerge as a candidate to replace Zorn a little bit in NFL circles this week. According to some in NASCAR, Gibbs is spread too thin as it is to take on a job like this. Others who know Gibbs say that if the deal was right and he gets a piece of the team (Gibbs used to own a piece of the Atlanta Falcons), if he’s able to work from Carolina part-time, if he’s able to assemble the personnel and orchestrate organizational change, maybe bring in someone like (Senior Director of Pro Personnel) Bobby DePaul from Chicago, whom he’s tried to hire in the past, it can’t be ruled out.
- Bears QB Jay Cutler went from a guy that was going to pocket about $1 million this year to a guy that will walk away with $17 million in 2009. Cutler signed a contract extension and got two news years and stacked on to that contract $30 million in new money. For the Bears it’s a win as well. Looking at the cap numbers, they’ve got him for around the $8-11 million range, which is phenomenal for a franchise quarterback. In terms of the actual dollars they’ll pay Cutler, $10 million a year is the average and for a quarterback of his stature, that is a steal.
- The NFL and the NFLPA met this week and it was a meeting that was dominated by the lawyers. Commissioner Goodell was headed to London, DeMaurice Smith was on his way to London as well and only in the meeting for about 45 minutes. There was one development – back in the summer Goodell guaranteed that retired players would not lose any benefits, any pension payments if there was an uncapped 2010 year. That was put in the CBA this week and agreed to formalize that.
- On the matter of an NFL team moving to Los Angeles, it seems this is going to happen, it’s just a matter of which team and when. Every guidepost along the way has been hit. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law that took away the last environmental hurdle. This group has already met with 12 owners and they expect to meet individually with every NFL owner throughout the next coming months. They’ll eventually need two-thirds of the owners to sign off of this ownership group, but speaking to Texans owner Bob McNair back at the owner’s meetings in Boston, McNair raved about the project, calling it ‘very viable’ and says Ed Roski, head of Majestic Realty, the group putting a team in Los Angeles, would make a good owner. There’s a lot momentum here. Starting after the Super Bowl, this group in Los Angeles is going to focus on about six teams and they’re going to use the window of time between the Super Bowl and the start of training camp – they don’t want to disrupt any team’s season – to look at teams that have stadium issues. It’s easy to figure out who those teams are – St. Louis, Minnesota, teams in California, Jacksonville. Those are teams that are going to be in the mix and it’s clear the NFL would like to have team in Los Angeles. It has to make sense for all parties, but this group looks good.
- Online at NFL.com: The NFL has continued its evaluation of the allegations by Raiders assistant coach Randy Hanson that head coach Tom Cable broke his jaw by striking him, but any action against Cable would be minimal at best, according to a league source. The Napa District Attorney’s office released detailed accounts of the incident and the prevailing thought within the league office is that the information was “damaging” to Hanson’s claims. The DA announced this week that no charges would be forthcoming and the league has not commented on the situation to this point, saying only that they would continue to review the available information.
For additional thoughts from La Canfora, check out his blog at http://blogs.nfl.com/category/jason-la-canfora/.
Lombardi’s News Reports:
- The Bill Parcells bug is going around the NFL. A lot of coaches would like to return in a Bill Parcells-type of role. After speaking to two people very close to former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, they’ve indicated that Holmgren would like to return maybe as a General Manager and the place I believe he has his eye on is Seattle. The Seahawks current GM Tim Ruskell is under a contract that expires at the end of this season. If Seahawks owner Paul Allen chose not to renew that contract, Holmgren still has a very good relationship with Allen and he would like to go back there.
- Next week on ‘NFL GameDay Morning’ – Steve Mariucci 1-on-1 Interview with Vikings QB Brett Favre: Long-time friends Mariucci and Favre reunite for a 1-on-1 interview prior to Favre’s return to Lambeau Field to discuss Favre’s return, the Vikings success and the emotions he’ll face returning to Green Bay.
- NFL RedZone – Bringing Fans Every Touchdown From Every Game: NFL RedZone is hosted by Scott Hanson from the new state-of-the-art NFL RedZone studio at NFL Network’s headquarters in Los Angeles and debuts today at 1:00 PM ET/10 AM PT. Produced by NFL Network, NFL RedZone whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they happen and in high definition. When a team goes inside the 20-yard line, fans see the crucial plays live. The channel keeps fans up-to-date in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights and a chance to see every important play. NFL RedZone is available on AT&T, Comcast, DISH Network, RCN, Verizon and other distributors. For more information visit: http://redzonetv.nfl.com/.
Fans can comment on the New York Times blog asking for reviews of NFL Network’s new NFL RedZone. http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/reviews-of-redzone-channel/
- Sunday Night Football Extra Returns: Arizona Cardinals vs. New York Giants will stream live on Sunday Night Football Extra on NFL.com and NBCSports.com. Complementing that stream will be a number of extra features to enrich the viewing experience including additional camera angles, in-game highlights, picture-in-picture technology, live statistics and other interactive elements. Sunday Night Football Extra will also include in-game studio updates from the NBC Football Night in America team and NFL Network talent.
NFL GameDay Morning begins the NFL Network schedule on Sundays, which will now be called “NFL GameDay.” Following NFL GameDay Morning will be NFL GameDay StatZone at 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Scoreboard at 4:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Highlights at 7:30 PM ET and NFL GameDay Final at 11:30 PM ET.
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Contacts: Brenna Webb, 310-841-4807 firstname.lastname@example.org
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