BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 16 ON DECEMBER 23
► QUICK HITS
(On N.Y. Jets)
BILL COWHER: They have no real plan. We’ve never seen a plan from the very beginning with Tim Tebow. We keep waiting for it. There is no foresight to see what happens if Mark Sanchez doesn’t work out. Right now what you have is a situation [where] you bench Mark Sanchez, then you leap frog to Greg McElroy. What happens to the back‑up quarterback? We have not seen Tim Tebow all year. What is taking place in New York defines dysfunctional.
► INSIDE INFORMATION WITH JASON LA CANFORA
(On New York Jets quarterback situation)
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/5NcKf9Jw5AVO
JASON LA CANFORA: As we reported weeks ago, the language in the contract makes Sanchez virtually untradeable or un-cuttable. He’s going to be there in 2013. He knows it. They know it. Even if they have a new General Manager, they know it; 8.25 (million dollars) fully guaranteed, no offsets. [If] they move him, it’s a $17 million cap hit…What no one is talking about is they don’t have money there to go get Alex Smith or a free agent because they have so much invested in Sanchez and because of their cap situation. So, he’s not going anywhere. The idea of a trade is farcical. And as for Tim Tebow, it’s Jacksonville or bust. Shahid Khan, the Owner there, obviously wants the hometown boy, wants to bring him home. Jacksonville was the only team, other than New York, that was interested in him last year when his market value was certainly higher than it is now. So, whether Woody Johnson decides to cut him or trade him or not remains to be seen. But, it’s Jacksonville or bust
(On latest coaching news)
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/CWMITpDOyhAM
JASON LA CANFORA: Let’s start with Nick Saban. There is a buzz about him maybe ending up in Cleveland. I’m told that Tom Heckert and Pat Shurmur, Cleveland’s GM and head coach, are virtually certain to be fired when the regular-season ends. And, [I] talked to someone close to Saban who says he estimates it’s 80‑20 that he stays at Alabama, but Cleveland does have a certain appeal to him. He’s coached there before. That could be an option. If they don’t get Saban, look for Cleveland to target Josh McDaniels from the pro ranks. They’re trying to re-energize their offense. McDaniels has been an offensive guru. He’s from the Ohio area, and they’re not sold on Brandon Weeden as their quarterback of the future. And finally Chip Kelly, it’s no secret that he is going to pursue leaving Oregon for the NFL. Look for Philadelphia to emerge quickly as a favorite there. Several executives who are about to begin their own coaching searches told me they believe you are going to have to beat out the Eagles to get Kelly. If he ends up in Philadelphia with that spread offense, does Mike Vick on a cheaper contract make sense for them.
(On possible front office shake ups)
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/UDfueANQriGa
JASON LA CANFORA: Bill Polian, I’m told, is intent on coming back to the NFL in 2013. There are a lot of people in the League that believe Kansas City could be where he lands. The Owner there, Clark Hunt, not so hands-on, not into running all the day-to-day minutiae. Bill Polian could do that. He’d bring his son, Chris with him to be the GM wherever he ends up. That could make the most sense for them. Staying in the AFC West, Mark Davis, the Owner of the Raiders, has mulled changing the coach or GM. He’s decided not to do that for another year. But he could make an addition to the front office. I’m told he’s very high on Ray Anderson, from the League Office. Ray has been seven years. [He] graduated from Stanford, has ties to the Bay Area. We know the Raiders are trying to beef things up in football operations and also get a stadium built. They are desperate to do that. Ray Anderson could be someone who is uniquely qualified to help them in their quest.
(On former Lions Offensive Lineman Lomas Brown revealing that he deliberately missed a block in 1994 with goal of letting his quarterback, Scott Mitchell, get hurt)
BOOMER ESIASON: The other thing about Lomas Brown, he was a tackle with me in Arizona. When I heard this this week I could not believe that he would say something like this. His job on the field of play is to protect your quarterback. Now supposedly he let Sean Jones of the Green Bay Packers hit Scott Mitchell and he broke a finger. To me, it’s an intent to injure play by Lomas Brown. I cannot believe that he would do something like this, and it’s bordering on criminal. I had a lot of respect for Lomas Brown until I heard this this week. That is above and beyond what he should be doing on the field.
BILL COWHER: He’s retired. It’s an isolated situation. I was in the league for 26 years playing and coaching straight, and every player played for his teammate. And if he did this, and intentionally, to me it’s gutless and classless for him as a player to do something like that. He let down his team.
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CBS’s Simms spot on in Cincy-Pitt preview
…THE NFL ON CBS’s LEAD ANALYST PHIL SIMMS PREVIEWED CINCINNATI-PITTSBURGH GAME ON THURSDAY WITH THESE THOUGHTS…
(On Cincinnati beating Pittsburgh): There are always more than one key in these games. The big thing when you watch the Cincinnati Bengals play is their defense is what really jumps out. In a game like this where I don’t think there will be a lot of scoring, it’s about which defense can make the big plays; get turnovers, sack the quarterback; intercept a pass, cause a fumble. Pittsburgh is ranked No. 1, but the Bengals can rush the passer very well and have speed on the defensive side. So it’s going to be a great contest.