FOX NFL SUNDAY NOTES – 12/21/08
Contact: Bob Broderick in New York (212) 556-2412
Dan Bell and Liliana Rosales in Los Angeles (310) 369-6326
Jay Glazer Reports Rams President & GM Jay Zygmunt Will Be Out By Tuesday
Howie Long: Bill Belichick Has Done His Best Coaching This Year But Won’t Get Any Credit Because He’s One Of The Most Hated Coaches In Football
Jimmy Johnson: Cowboys Won’t Beat Eagles and Will Miss Playoffs
Howie Long’s Coaching Candidates
FOX NFL SUNDAY Insider Jay Glazer reports on the latest movement within NFL front offices:
Why Chiefs GM Carl Peterson resigned before the end of the season: “The reason Carl Peterson left prematurely is because they want to make sure that they are the first out of the blocks to get one of the new GM candidates. Whoever they bring in has the fate of coach Herm Edwards in the palm of their hands.”
Zygmunt out in St. Louis: “The Rams are doing the same exact thing this week. President/GM Jay Zygmunt will be out of there by tomorrow or Tuesday.”
What the removal of Zygmunt means for interim coach Jim Haslett: “Ownership had a series of meetings this week to get an idea of what everyone in the organization thinks of Haslett and some of the potential coaching candidates. EVP of Player Personnel Billy Devaney is leading the charge and he is very close with Haslett.”
Analyst Jimmy Johnson on the Cowboys playoff hopes: “The Cowboys are too inconsistent in the big games. They lead the league in penalties, they turn the ball over, they have breakdowns in special teams, they just don’t play consistently enough in the big games. I do think the door is going to be open for them to get into the playoffs but I don’t know if they can beat Philadelphia.”
Analyst Howie Long on the New England Patriots: “Matt Cassel in my mind has been the best quarterback in the division. Bill Belichickhas done as good a job coaching as he’s done at anytime during his career, but he won’t get any credit for it because he’s one of the most hated head coaches in football.”
During FOX NFL SUNDAY’s ‘Rapid Fire’ segment, Howie Long discusses what will happen if the Eagles don’t make playoffs: “I don’t think anyone wants to play the Eagles right now. They are playing very well. If they don’t make playoffs, the bigger question becomes who is going to be the head coach and who is going to be the quarterback? I think Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid are both really good and both should stay.”
Analyst Jimmy Johnson responds: “They’re both staying! They are both the best the Eagles can get.”
Co-host Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long stress the importance of RB Brandon Jacobs to the Giants success:
Bradshaw: “They can win without Plaxico Burress; they cannot win without Brandon Jacobs.”
Long: “Brandon Jacobs is the MVP of this football team, no question in my mind. Plaxico is a big-game receiver but to get to those big games, they don’t get it done if they don’t have Brandon Jacobs.”
Analysts Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson explore the importance of gaining home-field advantage throughout the playoffs:
Strahan: “It’s very important. You’re at home. Let’s say it’s the Giants, it’s cold and you’re bringing in a warm weather team. The familiarity and comfort of being in your environment goes a long way in the playoffs. Then you only need to win two games to get to the Super Bowl.”
Johnson: “The most important thing is having that bye in the first week. Being in the top two seeds is the most important thing.”
Howie Long looks at the 2008 Panthers and sees the 2007 Giants: “Who are the Carolina Panthers right now? They look a lot like the New York Giants from last year at this time.”
This week, analyst Howie Long was Fired Up: “It’s late-December and the only thing that’s more harsh than the weather back east is the fact that a number of NFL head coaches are going to get a pink slip for the holidays. You can be certain that owners are looking at the quick turnarounds in Miami, Baltimore and Atlanta and saying, ‘That could be us.’ The question is: how do they do it? For one, by not listening to talk radio. There is no way fans were screaming we need (Dolphins coach) Tony Sparano, (Ravens coach) John Harbaugh, (Falcons coach) Mike Smith or (Steelers coach) Mike Tomlin a couple of years ago. Perhaps the days of the re-tread coach hire are dead. Who are the current assistant coaches that could be the next generation of head coaches?
Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan: He has a proven track record and his father’s (former NFL head coach Buddy Ryan) passion. At 46-years-old, he could be a coach for a long time.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels: He’s 32-years-old and just one year removed from overseeing the most prolific offense in NFL history.
Titans defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz: Talk about blueprints, he’s been with head coach Jeff Fisher for eight years and if that isn’t enough, he’s spent another four years with Bill Belichick.
Dolphins defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni: He had a front row seat on one of the NFL’s most-historic turnarounds. Both Sparano and Bill Parcells swear by him.
Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: Spagnuolo turned down an opportunity to be a head coach last year to come back and win another ring with the Giants.
Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier: Frazier took over for Mike Tomlin with very little drop off.
So when you don’t hear the names of the usual suspects being bantered around your city, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to turn things around quickly. If you want to eliminate the guesswork, go ahead and hire Bill Cowher for about $8 million a year. You’d be right to do that but there’s one problem, as good as Bill Cowher is, he can only fill one position.”