NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“I don’t know what it’s going to take for a returner to get voted in the Hall of Fame, but I’m going to make sure that it’ll be a hard decision to pass me up. There’s a first for everything: I want to be the first.” – Bears WR Devin Hester
“I believe what has helped him is that there is not another Manning for people to compare him to right now… We don’t compare Eli to anyone else but Peyton. There’s no Peyton to compare Eli to, so Eli is great right now.” – Marshall Faulk on Giants QB Eli Manning
“They’re too dependent on one thing. It’s not so much about a team, it’s about a guy.” – Kurt Warner on QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots
“Their skilled players have let them down. The great players that they have that can score points and make first downs have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate.” – Steve Mariucci on the Philadelphia Eagles
NFL GameDay Morning analysts on Giants Eli Manning:
NFL Network’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ This Week Features
New York Jets vs. Denver Broncos
NFL GameDay Morning is the FIRST pregame show on the air Sunday morning at 9:00 AM ET, taking viewers straight up to kickoff. Host Rich Eisen joins analysts Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci and new analyst Kurt Warner to bring fans the latest news, injury reports, pregame analysis and game previews.
Michael Irvin 1-on-1 with Devin Hester:
Michael Irvin catches up with the NFL’s most dynamic returner and gets an inside look at Bears WR Devin Hester’s view of the field that allows him to create some of the game’s most electrifying kick and punt returns. Additionally, Minnesota’s Ryan Longwell weighs in on ‘to kick or not to kick’ dilemma all NFL kickers face with Hester on the field and Hester’s career-best 98-yard kickoff return against the Vikings in Week 6:
“It’s the vision, seeing holes open up before they actually open up, being able to set guys up. I feel like I make it so much easier on my guys that are blocking by the way I take angles. I lure guys in to slow down and break down.” – Hester on what makes him special as a returner
“The first thing you’re doing is seeing where the kicker lines the ball up. Once you get the ball in your hands, I’m getting out as quick as possible, eating up as much ground as I can.” – Hester on returning a kick
“The moment you see a hole, it’s a timer going off. There have been times where there has been a hole this small where I know he was going to get an arm tackle on me, so coming through the hole I brace myself to break that tackle. From the 20 [yard line] to the 50, I’m accelerating. It’s all about keeping your speed [while] making moves; it’s hard to do that.” – Hester on his vision of the blocks while running
“It’s just a God-blessed talent. I don’t think everybody can do that. To be able to be running this way full speed and then [move] and not lose speed.” – Hester on how he keeps his speed while making moves
“Once I get past the 50, my eyes go up to that jumbotron. I’m watching to see who is chasing me and how far they are from me.” – Hester on when he gets past the 50-yard line
“We knew if we got them to overplay it that we had a small crease. Sure enough, it was there. Hit the crease and the only person I had to beat was the kicker.” – Hester on his 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown Week 6 against the Vikings
“You always have a plan going into a game. But when he’s out there, you’re definitely focused on ‘this has to be perfect.’ It’s a catch-22: do you take a chance you can cover him, or are you just giving up field position and points? That’s the battle that you always fight.
“It’s fun to see him do it when you’re sitting on the couch watching it; not so much fun when you’re diving at his feet trying to make a tackle and he’s running past you. Ten, 15 years down the road, you’ll be able to look back and say you played in a time where the greatest returner in the history of the game played.” – Vikings K Ryan Longwell on Hester
“I don’t know what it’s going to take for a returner to get voted in the Hall of Fame, but I’m going to make sure that it’ll be a hard decision to pass me up. There’s a first for everything: I want to be the first.” – Hester on making history while he’s playing
To view Irvin’s 1-on-1 with Hester, please visit:
Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:
“You must get L.T. and Shonn Greene involved in this game. You cannot become one dimensional when you have a quarterback like Mark Sanchez, who we know has peaks and valleys because if you hit a valley in this game and you turn the ball over too much to your defense, Tom Brady can have success.” – Marshall Faulk on the Jets facing the New England Patriots
“The very fabric that they stand on in New England where Bill Belichick stands before his team on Saturday night and tells them this is the way the game is going to play out, and then they go out and play that type of game on Sunday, that’s gone. They’re out there trying to manufacture how they’re going to play as a New England Patriot now.” – Warren Sapp on the New England Patriots
“This isn’t about wins and losses, this isn’t about talent; it’s not about ‘well, we’re youthful.’ To me, this is about discipline. When I watch the Dallas Cowboys play, I see no discipline. You have to start that from day one; you can’t wait 16 games, you can’t wait two seasons before you start teaching discipline.” – Kurt Warner on the Dallas Cowboys
“If the Cowboys are on the right track, what track are the San Francisco 49ers on? Because those two tracks don’t look the same to me. [In San Francisco] I see a very disciplined team that’s good on offense, getting things done, not turning the football over; and on defense, they are playing aggressive.” – Marshall Faulk on if the Dallas Cowboys are on the right track
“He’s still winning games as he’s making that transition. He’s done a great job as a matter of fact and yes, they are on the right track. They have a young running game, they have a young receiver; if they can get Dez [Bryant] playing four quarters with the young Sean Lee on defense, you have nucleus you can build around.” – Michael Irvin on the Dallas Cowboys under head coach Jason Garrett
“They’re too dependent on one thing. It’s not so much about a team, it’s about a guy.” – Kurt Warner on QB Tom Brady and the New England Patriots
“They keep losing people and yet Bill Belichick and Tom Brady remain the glue of this organization. They’re a little bit light in some personnel areas, especially on defense, but right now this is a team that can win on any given Sunday and they’re a dangerous team as long as those two guys are showing up on game day.” – Steve Mariucci on the New England Patriots
“Their skilled players have let them down. The great players that they have that can score points and make first downs have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate…If they take care of the ball, they have a chance to dig out of this hole. If they keep laying it on the ground, it’s over.” – Steve Mariucci on the Philadelphia Eagles
“If this defense rises up and eliminates a lot of points being scored against them, Michael Vick and this offense are going to take off. The defense has to give them a chance and the offense can win it for them.” – Warren Sapp on the Philadelphia Eagles
“I just texted DeSean Jackson and asked about the situation. He said he just overslept, the alarm clock did not go off. He’s not starting, he wants to play football but they are sitting him. He’s going to try to do whatever the team says.” – Michael Irvin on Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson listed as inactive for the game against the Arizona Cardinals
“Although they want to be called the Greatest Show on Turf No. 2, they have a lot to show me. I see a lot of inconsistencies on offense. I don’t know their identity right now.” – Marshall Faulk on the Atlanta Falcons
“Maybe he considers finding another play caller. You’ve got some guys like Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden, Norv Turner and Sean Payton that want to keep that responsibility. Some of us – myself, Denny Green, Tom Coughlin, Andy Reid, [Mike] Shanahan, we eventually found a guy like-minded that you can [have] veto power and maybe Jason Garrett should consider something like that. Then he can manage and be a head coach on game day.” – Steve Mariucci on Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett
“I’m going to say no right now. … You have to beat somebody to prove to me that you’re a contender, especially in that division when you’re talking about Baltimore and the Steelers. But we’re going to see real soon if they’re a contender.” – Kurt Warner on if the 6-2 Cincinnati Bengals are a legitimate AFC contender
Truth or Eli?
Is Eli Manning due for a disastrous game or can he maintain his consistency? The NFL GameDay Morning crew discusses:
Marshall Faulk: “I’m going to say no, and I’m not going to say no because of Eli; his play is good. But I believe when you switch out receivers and your tight end is different, your backs are different and you have guys in and out of your lineup like the Giants have because they have a lot of injuries although they have been winning, the communication will break down when you get into these big ballgames late in the year. It happened in the game against New England – the interception and miscommunication of where he wanted the tight end to go and where he threw the football. That play right there lets me know that the inconsistencies, they will be back. Now, Eli has done a great job taking care of the football. I believe what has helped him is the fact that there is no other Manning for people to compare him to right now: it’s all Eli. Eli can be Eli and we’re taking what we get from Eli. … We don’t compare Eli to anyone else but Peyton. There is no Peyton to compare Eli to, so Eli is great.”
Steve Mariucci: “They expect him to be consistent; they should and they do, and they will for a long time. This is their fearless leader; there is nobody else. He’s got a Super Bowl, he’s been to the Pro Bowl, he’s won. Yeah he’s been up and down like everybody else, but here’s the advantage that he has: he’s got continuity in scheme. Kevin Gilbride has been there since he was drafted; he was his quarterback coach for three years, now he’s been the offensive coordinator and he’s got Eli’s ear. There’s continuity with Kevin and that’s a comforting thing knowing that I’m going to be playing in the same system for a long time, and the quarterbacks that benefit from that usually are consistent.”
Kurt Warner: “I want to say yes, but I have to say no. The thing is when I think of Tom Brady, when I think of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, I don’t ever wait for a bad game; I expect them to play well every time they step on the football field. With Eli, he’s not there yet for me. When I think of Eli, I still go ‘OK, when is it coming?’ Over the last two years, he hasn’t gone through games without multiple turnovers at any point in time. To me, I’m still waiting. He hasn’t gotten to that point yet where I say OK, he’s elite, I expect him to play well every week and the aberration is the bad game. I have to say no, even though I want to say yes.”
Michael Irvin: “As you talk about putting these guys in position – the young guys – and I want to look at it from the receivers’ standpoint. He has a guy like Victor Cruz – zero catches last year, 34 [for] 388 [yards] this year. Jake Ballard – zero catches last year, 23 for 395 this year. What I see is an Eli that is mastering an offense, and how do you know he’s mastering? He’s taking guys with absolutely nothing, putting them in position and then throwing the ball in places where they can win. I’m telling you, the rest of his team is watching this and saying, ‘that’s our leader; look at what he’s doing with those young guys. If we listen to him, this is how he will lead us.’ I say yes, you can trust Eli. He has crossed the threshold.”
Warren Sapp: “No. It’s just that simple. He’s overdue. There is a reason why Deion [Sanders] sits on every highlight show and says ‘I believe in Eli’ after he’s done it. It’s one thing to believe after he’s done it; it’s another thing to believe before he goes out on the field. That back foot throw, those passes – Eli is overdue and we expect him to have that bad game. The consistency that we’ve seen, we all applaud it and we all love it, but that bad game is coming.”
Additionally, Kurt Warner offered his thoughts on Eli Manning today against the San Francisco 49ers:
“For me, it’s still all about Eli Manning. Down the stretch here they have a tough schedule; Eli has played really well up to this point, but he’s going to have to continue to play well. I look at it today: here is a defense that’s not going to give you anything running the football. They’re going to have to win this in the air. [San Francisco is] good at preventing the deep passes, which is what the New York Giants love to do, so this is a great matchup. Eli has to get the ball out of his hands; this team can come after you as well, but to me all eyes are on Eli. To win this game in San Francisco, he has to play well again.” – Warner on Eli Manning and the Giants vs. San Francisco
Steve Mariucci: The 0-9 Colts get their first win of the season vs. Jacksonville
Marshall Faulk: Bears RB Matt Forte and Bills RB Fred Jackson will have 100+ yards rushing and receiving today
Kurt Warner: QBs Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers will NOT have 300+ yards passing today
Warren Sapp: For the first time in 14 games, Packers will trail in the 4th quarter vs. the Vikings
Michael Irvin: Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco will have five catches today vs. the Jets
Steve Cyphers Pregame Interview with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin:
“It was pointed and focused, as it should be. We’re coming off a sub-standard performance for us and it’s a bounce back week for us. I like the tone of the guys and the focus, so we’ll see if it pays off for us today.” – Tomlin on the tone of practice this past week
“I think its two parts. I think first and foremost, he deserves a lot of credit. He’s an intelligent young man, he’s making good decisions, he’s making quick decisions. He’s only been sacked 12 times in eight games. I also think that Jay Gruden is doing a nice job of managing the game for him and keeping him out of spots, staying on schedule and utilizing Cedric Benson. They’re a great offense and we respect them, but we have to do our job today.” – Tomlin on Bengals QB Andy Dalton and the reason behind his success this season
‘Front Office View’ with Michael Lombardi
On the New England Patriots:
I don’t know if you can fix their defense. I think their defense has to complement their offense. Last week against the New York Giants, they stopped the Giants six times in the first half, but their offense didn’t score any points in the first half; there lies the problem. This is a team that has to play from out front. The other factor that you have to consider is Tom Brady has to work the entire field. People talk about this man-to-man coverage, but the reality of it is he’s only thrown 23 passes over 20 yards. The width of the field is not being challenged, nor the length of the field, so it’s like a zone in basketball; people are packing the middle of the field, forcing the Patriots to take the three-point shot. They’re not taking it right now and they’re not hitting it right now. So they’ve got to expand their offense. The other factor – they’re not immune to anything, like turnovers. All teams are devastated by turnovers. They missed the field goal at the end of the first half [vs. Giants]; that’s a turnover. So the turnovers, the lack of expanding the field and the Patriot offense has to complement their defense.
On if the Patriots would make a move to acquire Randy Moss:
No. They really believe in that building that Chad Ochocinco is going to develop in the second half of the season. They feel he’s got quickness, they feel he can win on the outside; they have to get him integrated into the offense. I don’t think they make that move to Randy Moss unless Chad Ochocinco proves he can never learn the offense. I think they’re optimistic that he will.
On the 4-5 San Diego Chargers:
They’ve been trying to add players, but unfortunately they’re just in one of those situations where the drafts have not been fulfilling, they haven’t been able to keep some of their players healthy and they can’t guide guys off the street thinking that they’re going to make a serious impact to their team. They’ve lost three in a row to the Raiders and have been physically dominated. They’ve got to take a real hard look at trying to improve their offensive and defensive lines to get control of the game.
On the Patriots release of DT Albert Haynesworth:
Albert Haynesworth tried. He came in and lost a lot of weight, but unfortunately, he couldn’t get his back to really feel comfortable and then ultimately, he didn’t fit within the scheme. You saw last week on Giants RB Brandon Jacobs’ touchdown run, Haynesworth has out of position. He tried to do the old ‘swim move that should be only used on the beach,’ as Warren Sapp would say, but he used it in the game and unfortunately got driven out of there. The Patriots couldn’t trust him to be disciplined within the defense and he was on the ground way too much. Ultimately, they just felt like it was in their best interest to move on, they weren’t going to play him any further.
On if DeSean Jackson’s benching due to a missed meeting will affect his contract negotiations with the Eagles:
I don’t think so. The contract talks have been going along pretty well so far and I think DeSean Jackson’s been happy with the direction. I think this is truly a situation where the alarm didn’t go off and he feels really bad about it because ultimately he’s responsible to get to practice on time, to get to the meetings on time. But I don’t think the two are really going to affect one another. The benching here will end this. This happened before with Correll Buckhalter; Andy Reid benched him before a game, so Jackson is going to get benched this week. I think the progress that they’re making in terms of a contract is not going to be derailed because of this incident.
For the latest from the ‘Front Office View’ of Michael Lombardi including his latest column on the San Diego Chargers, please visit: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/
‘Inside Slant’ with Jason La Canfora
On Steelers S Ryan Clark’s $40,000 fine from the league office:
In terms of the fine amounts, this is off of a schedule that was agreed to by the NFL and the NFLPA, so it isn’t arbitrary. Ray Anderson and folks at the league office review these plays, they’re going off a schedule. Ryan Clark a week before that had a $15,000 fine for a hit out of bounds, unnecessary roughness. [The league] believes this was unnecessary roughness as well. Those two in succession like that will be $40,000 as a repeat offender. Something else to consider in regards to Ryan Clark’s claim that the Steelers are singled out: They are 1 of 14 teams with at least seven roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness calls combined. That’s not exactly exclusive company. They are also 1 of only 5 teams that have not been called for roughing the passer. So from a league office standpoint, they don’t believe that [the Steelers] are exceptional in how they are treated with these issues.
On the relationship between Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz:
Both Jay Cutler and Mike Martz can be a little bit stubborn and hard to work with at times, but talking to people in that organization, there’s a sense that their trust has grown; they’ve become closer, they’re more on the same page. And this is tactic as well. The Bears made a change at tackle; that’s been huge. They got Earl Bennett, Cutler’s favorite target, back. And Cutler’s footwork has been better as well; he’s never been a textbook guy, he still throws off the back foot, but people out of that organization over the past month feel that his mechanics have been better than ever. Martz goes to the seven-man protections a little bit more. Spinning it forward, you’ll have to see if there’s change in the air because Martz rejected a contract extension earlier in the season; he doesn’t have a deal beyond this year. Some think he may end up in college, maybe even at UCLA.
On Eagles WR DeSean Jackson being benched today vs. Arizona:
There have been concerns about his attitude and his maturity at times, which is why he hasn’t gotten that big contract that he’s been looking for. In this instance, there was a Saturday morning special teams meeting and he’s obviously a big part of special teams – he missed it. He’s told teammates his alarm clock didn’t go off, it malfunctioned. At this level, really from a management standpoint, that’s not going to matter. So it’s a team policy with the Eagles, he missed a meeting, he won’t play today. Spinning this one forward, you have to wonder, he’d looked like maybe he’d be getting the franchise tag. Will the Eagles let him go entirely? Will they have some meeting of the minds? That remains to be seen. Certainly in terms of his contract negotiations, it won’t help his standing.
To view Jason La Canfora’s Inside Slant, including his latest post on Rex Grossman returning as starter for the Redskins, please visit: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/
On NFL.com the following video clips from NFL GameDay Morning are available for viewing:
Can Dalton break LeBeau’s rookie curse – Rookie quarterbacks haven’t exactly lit up Dick LeBeau’s Steelers defenses over the years. To break the mold, the NFL GameDay Morning says he has to play it safe.
Players only: Talking 19-0 – Can the Green Bay Packers back up their claim to go 19-0? The “Players Only” crew discusses.
Flying though Brady – How will the Jets attack Tom Brady and the Patriots? Steve Mariucci gives a preview of what to expect from New York’s defense.
Week 10 bold predictions – Should we expect the unexpected? The NFL GameDay Morning crew gives you their bold predictions for week 10.
Eagles flying with turbulence – The Eagles will be without WR DeSean Jackson in a must-win game vs. the Arizona Cardinals. Can Philadelphia’s season be saved, or are they bound to crash?
Lack of Patriotism – Are the New England Patriots just another team, or are they built to become elite? The NFL GameDay Morning crew discuss.
A black hole in the AFC West? – It is currently a race between four teams for the AFC West division title. Which team will end up on top?
Fantasy greats for Week 10 – Need last minute fantasy advice? Warren Sapp and NFL.com fantasy editor Michael Fabiano give you this week’s fantasy greats.
What to look for in Week 10 – The NFL GameDay Morning crew gives you a preview of what to look out for in this week’s marquee match ups.
- It’s Tebow Time as Thursday Night Football Heads to Denver for Jets vs. Broncos:
Following a 24-17 victory by the Raiders over AFC West rival San Diego that kicked off the sixth season of Thursday Night Football, NFL Network heads to Denver as the Broncos kick off Week 11 against the New York Jets Thursday, November 17 at 8:00 PM ET. Broncos QB Tim Tebow looks for his first win at home against the league’s No. 7-ranked defense, while Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who has appeared on Thursday Night Football every season of his NFL careers, looks for his second win on NFL Network. This season, Thursday Night Football is headlined by new booth announcing team Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock. Both are currently also calling college football games with Nessler lending his voice to primetime matchups on ESPN and ABC, while Mayock provides analysis of Notre Dame contests for NBC. Despite their college expertise, they are no strangers to the NFL broadcast booth as Nessler called the Raiders-Broncos Monday Night Football opening weekend game this season, while Mayock provided analysis on Seattle’s Wild Card playoff upset over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints last year. As the third member of the broadcast team, Alex Flanagan returns for her second season reporting from the sideline.
- The Coaches Show is Back: The Coaches Show returns for its third season airing Mondays at 6:30 PM ET. The weekly half-hour show features former head coaches Brian Billick and Jim Mora who have been on the sidelines and experienced the ups and downs associated with being at the helm of a team in the National Football League. During the 30-minute show, the duo share situations and experiences from their careers that remain applicable to today’s head coach.
- Third Season of Wildly Popular NFL RedZone: After a successful sophomore season that has transfixed NFL fans across the country, NFL RedZone is back for 2011 at 1:00 PM ET/10:00 AM PT. Hosted by Scott Hanson and produced by NFL Network from its state-of-the-art studio in Los Angeles at NFL Network’s headquarters in Los Angeles, NFL RedZone whips around every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they happen and in high definition. When a team goes inside the 20-yard line, fans see the crucial plays live. The channel keeps fans up-to-date in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights and a chance to see every important play. NFL RedZone has more than quadrupled its distribution roster since its rookie campaign last season with availability more than 140 affiliates across the country. In addition, the channel is also available at every NFL stadium. For more information visit: http://redzonetv.nfl.com/?
NFL GameDay Morning begins the NFL Network schedule on Sundays, which will now be called “NFL GameDay.” Following NFL GameDay Morning will be NFL GameDay StatZone at 1:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Scoreboard at 4:00 PM ET, NFL GameDay Highlights at 7:30 PM ET and NFL GameDay Final at 11:30 PM ET.
NFL Network airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis and is the only television network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football. For more information, log on to www.nfl.com/nflnetwork. NFL.com is the exclusive Internet home of NFL videos and NFL Network.
– NFL NETWORK –