BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 5 ON OCTOBER 7
► JAMES BROWN SITS DOWN WITH REPLACEMENT REFEREE LANCE EASLEY IN AN INTERVIEW TALKING ABOUT SEATTLE-GREEN BAY GAME
Click to view full interview: http://cbsprt.co/Pi39Jl
EASLEY: They were wrapped around that thing like a meatball and their arms were like spaghetti.
JAMES BROWN: So as you processed it, there was no doubt in your mind the simultaneous catch and touchdown, the tie going to the offense.
EASLEY: No, not a doubt.
JB: Why didn’t your other official signal touchdown.
EASLEY: Well, I had the play the whole way. That was in my area.
JB: Your call.
EASLEY: Yes, it was. He went up with stop clock, which is the signal to give us the opportunity to discuss it. However, I had come to the conclusion that’s what we had.
JB: And you’ve played this over in your head I’m sure a thousand times. Absolutely, no question, still a touchdown in your mind.
JB: Certainly that week that you lived, is that week you were arguably the most vilified man in America. The amount of vitriol and antagonism being spewed your way was pretty intense, incivility in the public arena. How did you and your family deal with all of that.
EASLEY: Well, one thing I want to say is I wanted to come out and let people know I’m okay. This is a part of the deal. Officials, the guys that are out there now, any official, we understand that going in. It’s not a popular place to be begin with…I’m a former college coach. I’ve been involved with the game since I was a child, and people know that I’m a person of character. I did the best job I could…
JB: Although you stated very clearly to those who say you Robbed the Packers, your answer is —
JB: Did not.
EASLEY: Not at all…
JB: Would you do it again – the NFL officiating experience – given all that’s transpired?
EASLEY: In a heartbeat.
► QUICK HITS
(On Michael Vick)
BOOMER ESIASON: Today is a litmus test for Michael Vick. A couple weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals he had the struggle of his life, reading the defense, playing against that defense. Well, today it’s against the Pittsburgh Steelers who played the same exact defense as the Arizona Cardinals. I want to see him go on the road and not have an error‑filled game. Interceptions, fumbles, they may not win the game, but I want to see him play error‑free football.
(On Sean Payton being at the New Orleans Saints game)
SHANNON SHARPE: I don’t want to rain on Drew Brees‘ parade, but the commissioner doled out unprecedented punishment to Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis and Joe Vitt. He said suspended for a year. No contact with the team, no coming to watch the team practice or the games. Now Drew Brees should break the record, going to break this record. He’s allowing these guys to come watch the game. That sends a very bad message, because players that get suspended don’t get this kind of leeway. Either they did what you accused them of or now you’re having regret because you’re saying the punishment that I doled out in the beginning was too harsh.
JAMES BROWN: So players can’t even buy a ticket to come to the game.
SHARPE: No, they can’t. He should have stuck to his guns and said no. This is what you should have thought of.
JASON LA CANFORA: Sean Payton, this is a one‑time deal at the request of Drew Brees. Payton was not behind this. Brees wanted him to be there. He relented, he’s going to go. But he was told no college games, no pro games. He’s not seeking any further clarification. This is it for Sean Payton as a football fan.
(On Cleveland making any immediate changes)
LA CANFORA: Jimmy Haslam, the new owner, said this week I’m not going to do anything immediately with the head coach or the GM. But my sources continue to tell me that long time Eagles executive Joe Banner will be joining Haslam this month to be his top official in that organization. And that would likely mean the end of Mike Holmgren as the Browns team President. But to this point, Haslam has not communicated anything about what he plans to do after he takes over this month.
(On Tony Romo)
SHARPE: I’m tired of people making excuses for Tony Romo. We’ve made excuses for eight or nine years. First it was TO (Terrell Owens) ruining the team. Dez Bryant doesn’t know the playbook, Rob Ryan. At some point in time fans will have to realize what I already know. He can’t get it done. He hasn’t gotten it done.
BOOMER: As far as Tony Romo is concerned. Here’s a guy that completes about 65% of his passes, throws for about 270 yards a game, has thrown for 154 touchdown passes. He can’t catch it. He can’t block for himself. And he can’t deal with the Owner like no other owner there is in the league. So in my estimation, he’s not a Top 5 quarterback, but he’s certainly a Top 10 quarterback. And he will have his day, mark my words.
LA CANFORA: Well, in this case, let’s talk a little Tony Romo. We heard the debate earlier with Shannon and Boomer. We’ll put Jerry Jones firmly in the Tony Romo camp. He believes that this guy can get it done. He wants him to be a Cowboy for life. These sides were talking contracts quietly into the season. Romo has tabled those discussions, but Jerry Jones generally gets his guy, and I expect them to work something out in the coming months that keeps Romo there beyond 2013 when his contract expires.
(On future of Rex Ryan)
BOOMER: I think he and Mike Tannenbaum have really got to worry about the way this team looks as the season goes on. If they look like they looked last week against San Francisco, they’re going to be gone. But I will say this, their season doesn’t really start, I believe, until after Monday night’s game in Houston when their schedule gets a little bit easier.
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