News and Sound Bites From Week 17 on
NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“THEY’VE GOT TO GET RID OF THAT REVOLVING DOOR. THEY’VE GOT TO HAVE SOME CONTINUITY WITH STAFF, FRONT OFFICE AND PLAYER PERSONNEL IN ORDER FOR THAT TEAM TO GROW AND GET BETTER FROM YEAR TO YEAR.”– Mariucci on the Detroit Lions
“YOUR PAST IS WHAT MAKES YOU. IT BUILDS CHARACTER…EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING THAT THEY WISH THEY COULD TAKE BACK, BUT IT MADE ME THE MAN I AM TODAY.”– Jared Allen
“HE HAS NO FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK, HE HAS NO PRO BOWL WIDE RECIEVER, IT’S JUST HIM.”– Marshall Faulk on his MVP choice, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
NFL GameDay Morning, the first information packed show on the air Sunday mornings, checks in at 9:00 AM ET on the only network dedicated entirely to football. Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk and Steve Mariucci alongside hosts Spero Dedes and co-host Alex Flanagan with news reports by Adam Schefter, bring fans the latest news, injury reports, pregame analysis and game previews on NFL Network.
Schefter’s News Reports:
- Patriots VP of Player Personnel Scott Pioli’s name keeps coming up in connection to job openings, but very few people have tried to hire him. There was talk that Detroit would hire Pioli, but they never did. The only two jobs he’s ever been offered were with Seattle in 2005 and with the Giants in 2007. He’s been tough to get out of New England, but the fact is that he hasn’t had too many opportunities. For the right price and the right situation, Pioli could be pried out of New England. Cleveland would be a logical landing spot. It is expected that the Browns will part ways with GM Phil Savage, who has not represented the organization well in the eyes of some people in Cleveland. If that’s the case, Pioli has worked in Cleveland before and he would be a logical target for the Browns now.
- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was adamant this week that Wade Phillips will be his coach next season. So either Jones is telling the truth and is going to prove everyone wrong or he’s this year’s version of Nick Saban. The scenario to watch in Dallas now that Phillips is presumably safe for this season is Mike Holmgren coaching the Cowboys in 2010. Holmgren is the big fish that’s out there that now that Phillips is safe, other teams will focus on after next season.
- In Philadelphia, QB Donovan McNabb’s request for a new contract is all about commitment and security. McNabb plans to sit down with Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and head coach Andy Reid after the season to get some answers to some questions that have been asked since he was benched during the game vs. Baltimore. If the Eagles can commit to McNabb that he will be their starting quarterback without any questions being asked and they give him the contract extension that he wants, which is an issue of security, McNabb most likely stays. If not, the possibility of a trade for McNabb opens wide and he could become this year’s offseason version of Brett Favre.
- Raiders-Buccaneers was going to be the ‘Kiffin Bowl,’ but former Raiders coach Lane Kiffin took the head coaching job at the University of Tennessee and will be taking his father Monte with him. The two will not square off today, but it will be Monte Kiffin’s last game in Tampa. Raiders owner Al Davis did not make the trip to Tampa for today’s game and it’s one of the rare road games that he’s ever missed. Davis’ knee and ankle have been bothering him from a fall he took in San Diego earlier this month. Doctors told him it’s not a good idea to get on a cross-county flight. Davis wanted to be in Tampa, but he did not make the trip.
- There are real questions in New York on whether this will be the final game for Brett Favre and head coach Eric Mangini as well. There were discussions within the organization this week about how to handle Mangini’s future. There was even some consideration given on whether to give him a one-year extension. The fact that the extension did not go to Mangini this week is an ominous sign for the Jets head coach. There is a growing feeling within the organization that Mangini did not connect with the players. If you look at the loss last week vs. Seattle to a backup quarterback with the Jets high-priced defensive line going up against a backup Seahawks offensive line and could not produce any sacks, this could be the final game for Mangini in New York if the Jets do not make the playoffs.
- I’ve been told that Bill Cowher is not mentally ready to return to football in 2009, despite the fact that there are repeated calls for him to be hired in Cleveland and other cities. Cowher just is not ready to come back to football yet. 2010 is the soonest that we would see Cowher coaching on the sidelines.
- There’s no real feeling on whether Tom Cable will or will not be back. Cable definitely has some support within the organization and ultimately Raiders owner Al Davis will decide whether or not he wants to bring back Cable, but there will be changes in Oakland. 19 of the 20 assistant coaches all have contracts that are expiring after today’s game. James Lofton is the only Raiders assistant coach under contract with the team for next season.
- All the talk about 49ers interim head coach Mike Singletary staying on as head coach in San Francisco is expected to become official this week. The two sides are discussing a four or five-year contract extension.
- The future of Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards all depends on who they hire as General Manager. That search is ongoing right now. Some of the names you’ll hear come up with that job are Jimmy Raye from San Diego, Mark Dominik from Tampa Bay. There are any number of candidates that could come in as the GM in Kansas City. That man will decide whether Edwards stays or goes, but Edwards has already told his staff to start looking for jobs in 2009.
- In Detroit, now that they’re bringing back Martin Mayhew and chief operating officer Tom Lewand, it would be very difficult to bring back the coaching staff. The guess there is that all the coaches will be gone after this disastrous season. In Buffalo, head coach Dick Jauron signed a three-year extension and it will very difficult for the Bills to eat that money now. They are not in a financial position where they can do that.
Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:
“They’ve got to get rid of that revolving door. They’ve got to have some continuity with staff, front office and player personnel in order for that team to grow and get better from year to year.” – Mariucci on the Detroit Lions.
“When Matt Millen took over the team eight years ago, he took over a 9-7 team. He dismantled that team and he dismantled the front office. He wanted to take that team to the next level, but in starting over, those pieces weren’t put in place yet.” – Mariucci on the Lions under former GM Matt Millen.
“Talking about the draft, you have to have a certain batting average in the draft. You don’t hit on everybody. Of the five top-ten draft picks they’ve had in the past, a quarterback and four wide receivers, only one is still with the organization – Calvin Johnson. That’s a lot of salary cap dollars wasted…it’s just culminated into not having enough weapons, not having enough good players, not enough depth compared to other teams and here we are at 0-16. They need to rebuild at every level.” – Mariucci
“This is what they do best. Run the football and stop the run. Their play-action football lives off this.” – Steve Mariucci on the Giants’ running game.
“Brian Westbrook is the most complete back in football right now.” – Mariucci
“Arthur Blank is a great owner and he deserves this.” – Faulk on Falcons owner Arthur Blank, whose team has clinched a playoff berth and has a chance to win the NFC South division title
“It shows you what a difference a year can make. Last year, Tom Coughlin and the Giants had to play because no one expected them to win. Now they’re the favorite and are resting guys.” –Faulk on the Giants choosing the rest players vs. the Vikings.
“Bad weather is the great equalizer.” – Mariucci on the weather in Buffalo.
“The Buffalo Bills have one of the biggest offensive lines in the league. It doesn’t matter who the running back is when you have a big offensive line.” – Faulk on the Bills running game having the advantage in inclement weather vs. New England, despite the loss of Marshawn Lynch.
“I believe Donovan McNabb (is out) in Philadelphia, but not in a bad way. He gets it in a good way because he gets to leave. The Philly fans are the ones that are going to be suffering because they don’t know what Kevin Kolb has and he’s the quarterback of the future.” – Faulk on whether QB Donovan McNabb or head coach Andy Reid is the odd man out in Philadelphia following the season.
“He’s just trying to carry too much of the load. With Gus Frerotte out, he feels as if he has to carry the load and when he runs as hard as he does, the ball will come out at some point in time. He just needs to play his role and allow Tarvaris [Jackson] to do what he needs to do.” – Faulk on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson’s recent struggles.
“This team is dangerous. Matt Cassel is a legitimate starting quarterback in the National Football League. They have weapons galore on both sides of the ball. If this team gets in they should do some damage in the playoffs.” – Mariucci on the New England Patriots.
“I’ve said this about three or four years in a row – it could be (Favre’s last year). Watching him play this year, I don’t know if it’s been as much fun in his new surroundings.” – Mariucci on Favre.
“That’s why Green Bay is okay with being 5-9 right now. They don’t have to answer that question anymore.” – Faulk on the Packers not being asked about former QB Brett Favre.
“When you talk about the strength of their ball club, you have to start at the top with Peyton Manning.” – Warren Sapp on the Indianapolis Colts.
“There’s two things that Jet fans want to know – how and when? How does our season end and when does it end?” – Sapp on the New York Jets.
“They did make progress. Enough progress? We’ll see.” – Mariucci on Jets head coach Eric Mangini’s future after doubling the number of wins this year.
“This is the reason why a young rookie quarterback can play in this league because the running game is a rookie quarterback’s best friend. Michael Turner for MVP.” – Mariucci on his MVP pick of the season, Falcons RB Michael Turner.
“He has no franchise quarterback, he has no Pro Bowl wide receiver, it’s just him.” – Faulk on his MVP pick of the season, Vikings RB Adrian Peterson.
“I hope his plays today because he needs to get back in the saddle.” – Mariucci on Titans QB Vince Young.
“The one bright spot is Calvin Johnson. He’s the best receiver in the game, but the bad part is that it’s easy to be the best receiver in the game when you’re on the worst team.” – Faulk on the Detroit Lions and WR Calvin Johnson.
“They have been mentally healthier.” – Mariucci on the Chargers success late in the season.
NFL GameDay Morning Analyst Picks for MVP, Coach of the Year and All-Disaster Team:
|Analyst||MVP||Coach of the Year||All-Disaster Team|
|Steve Mariucci||RB Michael Turner, ATL||Tony Sparano, MIA||QB Vince Young, TEN|
|RB Edgerrin James, ARI|
|WR Roy Williams, DAL|
|Marshall Faulk||RB Adrian Peterson, MIN||Mike Smith, ATL||Jon Kitna, DET|
|RB Tatum Bell, DEN|
|WR Jerry Porter, JAX|
|Warren Sapp||QB Peyton Manning, IND||Mike Smith, ATL||QB Carson Palmer, CIN|
|RB Larry Johnson, KC|
|WR Plaxico Burress, NYG|
**To access video link of NFL GameDay analysts picks for MVP, Coach of the Year and All-Disaster team, please visit:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?videoId=09000d5d80dac6d7 – MVP and Coach of the Year picks