SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 17 ON DECEMBER 30
► GREG GUMBEL INTERVIEWS COLTS HEAD COACH CHUCK PAGANO
THE NFL ON CBS’s Greg Gumbel previewed the Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts game with one of the most inspirational stories of the 2012 NFL season, an interview with Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano as he returns to the sidelines for the first time since Week 3 after fighting leukemia.
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/OuCARmIqG7Pg
PAGANO: …Mickey shaves her head like the cheerleaders did and the circumstances that she was dealt and what she had been through…to see the smile. Then you look at a guy, like a young man like Corey Lane, and he grabs you. He’s like, ‘You can beat this.’ These are 15 year olds. Just being with young people like that and see what they’re going through. It’s easy to come back and say, ‘Look, if you ever complain about one thing in your life ever again, there is something wrong with you.’
► QUICK HITS
(On Jets “Soap Opera”)
SHANNON SHARPE: I love the soaps, “Young and the Restless,” “Bold and the Beautiful” are two of my favorites. But “As The Jets Turn” has me befuddled. Everybody on the outside knew bringing Tim Tebow in was a bad idea. Everybody inside the Jets organization making this move thought it would be a great idea. And by not going to Tim Tebow, this tells me Rex Ryan did not sign on for Tim Tebow to be there. This was over his head. He said you can force me to take Tim Tebow on my football team, but you can’t force me to play him.
BOOMER ESIASON: I can also tell you that Rex Ryan did not sign up for Tony Sparano to be the offensive coordinator as well.
SHARPE: So moving forward, I think Rex is going to have to adjust how he handles the media and how he handles his own football team because this was a mistake from the word go.
BOOMER: Tony Sparano and Tim Tebow will be outta here before too long.
(On Pittsburgh not making the playoffs)
BILL COWHER: When Ben (Roethisberger) was hurt they were 6-3 and they never really recovered. He was never the same. He played poorly down the stretch… Defensively, while they ranked good statistically, they just didn’t create enough big plays or sacks or turnovers on that side of the ball.
DAN MARINO: I have to look at the continuity of the offensive line. There were a lot of different starting combinations. I think that hurt. But ultimately the last two games that they played in – Ben Roethlisberger, if he has the football in his hand at the end of the game, he is responsible for that football. He threw two interceptions. They were bad interceptions. And, they’re getting a little old, the team, in general.
COWHER: Old on defense, no question about it. Young on the offensive side with Ben and the young receivers and the young offensive line, but they’re definitely getting old and slower on defense. I think there is some concern moving forward, yes.
► INSIDE INFORMATION WITH JASON LA CANFORA
(On possible coaching carousel in off-season)
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/nfl-on-cbs/5q_DojPURIlG
(On possible front office shake ups)
Click to view: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/video/nfl-on-cbs/6oSYkXWxMGU6
(On chance of Michael Vick being back with Eagles next season)
JASON LA CANFORA: I would say nil right about now. It’s two-fold, first of all the Eagles aren’t going to pay him $15.5 million to stay, which is what he’s supposed to make. Sources tell me that Vick is not inclined to take a penny less to renegotiate and stay in Philadelphia. So this will come to a head shortly after the Super Bowl. He will be released and there will be a market for Mike Vick as a starting quarterback. And I wouldn’t be shocked if he ends up getting something close to $10 million, maybe a little more, on that open market. Buffalo, Oakland [are] among the potential suitors.
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In Week 8 on THE NFL TODAY, Shannon Sharpe had this prediction about the Denver Broncos:
“I believe they (Broncos) run the table from here on out. I believe they challenge the Houston Texans for home‑field advantage throughout. The only game they will not be favored in would probably be at Baltimore. But when you look at their schedule with two games against Kansas City, the Oakland Raiders and with Cleveland and KC still on their schedule, I believe the Broncos and Peyton Manning, playing as well as he is, run the table. They get to 13‑3.”