NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“I’ll trust any Manning – I’ll take Archie and Cooper right now over Romo.” – Marshall Faulk
“You’re going to have to win a game opposite your strength and that’s what I don’t think the Patriots can do.” – Kurt Warner
“Tebow’s proven everybody wrong – that bothers people, it’s hard to swallow. That’s why there is Tebowmania like wildfire right now.” – Steve Mariucci on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow
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.
Quotes from NFL GameDay Morning:
“I’m going with the known here, and that’s it. I can trust Eli. I’ll trust any Manning – I’ll take Archie and Cooper right now over Romo.” – Marshall Faulk on which quarterback he trusts more: Giants’ Eli Manning or Cowboys’ Tony Romo
“Often times in the playoffs, you have to win a game outside of your strength…You’re going to have to win a game opposite your strength and that’s what I don’t think the Patriots can do. I like them against some teams, but there is going to come a time Tom Brady has that off-game, and I don’t think they can win.” – Kurt Warner on the New England Patriots
“They can go all the way to the Super Bowl because you’re talking about a solid defense and a run game.” – Warren Sapp on how far the Houston Texans go in the playoffs
“T.J. Yates will lead the Texans to their first playoff berth. And he can’t be looking over his shoulder [thinking], ‘There is Jake Delhomme over there, he’s been to a Super Bowl; Jeff Garcia just showed up, he’s been to four Pro Bowls.’ No. He has to play football and manage the game like he has been.” – Steve Mariucci on Texans rookie quarterback T.J. Yates
“One of these two coaches will have to do some answering to an owner. Jerry [Jones], he did not bring Jason Garrett up underneath Wade [Phillips] for Jason to make the mistakes that he’s made. Tom Coughlin, I don’t know how you can explain another debacle after a 6-2 start. I just don’t know how you can sell this…There is fallout, and fallout might mean changing various coaches on your staff or changing a [head] coach.” – Marshall Faulk on head coaches Jason Garrett and Tom Coughlin
“I look at Gillette [Stadium]. When Eli [Manning] had to go on a drive, Tom Coughlin said, ‘Go ahead son, do what you need to do Eli.’ Win, touchdown. [Tony] Romo, we’re handing this thing off three times because there is no way I’m going to let you throw this ball in Gillette, and that’s a loss. So if your head coach doesn’t trust, I don’t trust you.” – Warren Sapp on Giants quarterback Eli Manning vs. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo
“Their season is over if they lose tonight.” – Kurt Warner on the 6-6 New York Giants
“When he leaves the pocket he remains a passer – that might be the most important step that he’s taken so far. But I see him evolving because their gameplan is evolving a little bit too. They’re running a little bit less option than they did earlier in the year, they are throwing the ball from the pocket a little more often…He’s taking off the training wheels a little bit and this is by design. Dare I say, he’s becoming a little bit more of a conventional quarterback.” – Steve Mariucci on the evolution of Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow
“It’s been said many times that [Tim] Tebow can’t throw the ball well enough, that option football in the NFL is not going to work, that we’re going to blow that quarterback up if they try. Tebow’s proven everybody wrong – that bothers people, it’s hard to swallow. That’s why there is Tebowmania like wildfire right now.” – Steve Mariucci on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow
“It’s almost like he graduated first because the last thing usually a young quarterback learns is how to win games late. He knows how to do that. Now we say let’s go back to first grade and teach you how to read and write.” – Michael Irvin on Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow
“We’re all going to point to the quarterback because Jay Cutler was playing so well, but I look at this team and it’s a whole team effort. These wide receivers, I watched them last week against Kansas City and there was no separation – there is no place for Caleb Hanie to throw. That’s going to be the question: can Mike Martz get creative – not only with Caleb Hanie and what he can do – but can he get creative with the new backs that they have in there and these receivers, and find ways to create some space so they can make some plays because they’re going to have to put some points on the board today and the rest of the year if they want to kee in the playoffs.” – Kurt Warner on the Chicago Bears, who have lost two consecutive games
“With this defense giving up this amount of yards, they’re not built for the playoffs because in the playoffs points become a premium, possessions become a premium. If you can’t go out and either [force a] three-and-out or get the ball back, you’ll have a hard time in the playoffs. New England will have a hard time.” – Warren Sapp on if the New England Patriots are built for the playoffs
“When you give a back the line of scrimmage and now he’s getting up on the linebackers and safeties, you can go far with the ball. This guy I’ve been saying it all along: he is not a different back, he just has not been blocked for the way that he had been blocked for the last several years.” – Marshall Faulk on Titans running back Chris Johnson, who has 343 rushing yards in his last two games
“I really don’t have a problem with anything that Cam Newton is saying, outside of ‘on my level;’ I would have liked for him to end it up with ‘I have to get this team on one heartbeat’…But changing a culture is very difficult, and sometimes somebody has to step out and say, ‘This is where we’re going.’” – Michael Irvin on Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton’s comments
“He was speaking to more than just the guys on the field; I think this is a front office thing too…He wants a commitment; he wants a commitment from his teammates, from his players. This guy is digging in, doing everything he can to win and he wants that from everybody…He wants to make sure that from top to bottom the commitment is there, and hopefully everything that he does just won’t be done in good faith.” – Marshall Faulk on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
‘Front Office View’ with Michael Lombardi
On Giants head coach Tom Coughlin:
The Giants really genuinely like Tom Coughlin. They believe in him as a coach, they gave him an extension after last season, and I think ultimately the injury factor and the lack of depth within the offensive line has kind of crept up and really hurt this team down the stretch. Four games to go, Tom can still turn it around. They have two against the Dallas Cowboys, but I don’t look for the Giants as everyone thinks to make a change. The Giants are a patient organization, they don’t make rash decisions, they think long-term instead of next week and I think ultimately they believe in Tom Coughlin.
On if 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is the franchise quarterback in San Francisco:
They’ve always wanted to keep Alex Smith; they believed in Alex Smith since day one. I believe they will extend his contract, but for me if I was in that front office I’d wait until the playoffs come and I’d want to see Alex Smith perform well in the playoffs because ultimately that’s when he is going to be tested the most. He’s going to have to prove he can establish the passing game because running games in the playoffs at times have a hard time of being able to be effective. I would wait until the playoffs; I don’t think the Niners will. I think the Niners believe in him and they’re going to move forward.
On what Lions GM Martin Mayhew can do about the team’s penalties:
Ultimately you have to rely on the leadership group of the team – the veteran players – because what you’re seeing in Detroit is a lack of maturity by some of the young players; [Ndamukong] Suh, [Brandon] Pettigrew, that’s what is really causing the problems. You have to rely on Kyle Vanden Bosch and all your veteran guys. To me as a front office, that’s what you’re looking for: those guys to show the leadership to the young players, and really do that and handle that. Maturity is the key factor. Mayhew has to rely on his veteran players and they have to put pressure on them to handle these young guys.
On if the spread offense is here to stay:
No question, I think the spread is here to stay. But it’s a different spread than the Wildcat because both Cam Newton and Tim Tebow have to throw the ball to be effective. That’s the key component. Last night, Robert Griffin III won the Heisman Trophy; he’s a spread quarterback and can run with the football. Thirteen touchdowns for Cam Newton, it makes it very difficult. Remember, the defense doesn’t account for the quarterback in the running game typically, but with the spread they have to. And if they can throw the football effectively, it becomes a very difficult offense to prepare for on a weekly basis. You cannot simulate the speed. It’s here to stay for a long time. It’s very difficult to handle because there is so much and you can’t simulate the speed of it in practice; nobody has a Cam Newton on their practice squad to give you a look like he does.
For the latest from the ‘Front Office View’ of Michael Lombardi, including his article on Cam Newton, Tim Tebow and the spread offense, visit:
‘Inside Slant’ with Jason La Canfora
On Bears running back Matt Forte:
If there are any lingering questions about your value to your team, this would solve them: how good are you without Matt Forte? That’s likely what the Bears are looking at, at least for the duration of the regular season. I can tell you that multiple people are advising Matt Forte to get multiple outside opinions, don’t take any chances here; if the scale is 2-4 weeks, or 2-6 weeks you ride out the long end of that scale, you protect your knee, don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re vulnerable at all. I spoke to other GMs about this situation and I said what would you do in this situation if you’re the Bears? They said we’d be, to a man, almost bracing for the reality of no Matt Forte at least in the regular season. I caucused a bunch of agents as well and they all said the same thing: I could not advise my client to go back out there unless we had 100 percent assurance that that knee was as stable as possible.
On Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s future:
His head very much is trying to get the Bears in the playoffs, but if you talk about his overall future – we reported this weeks ago on this very football program – he was offered a short-term extension early in the season; he turned it down. If the Bears were to come at with something more lucrative or something that maybe made more sense for his future, that’s one thing. But obviously this is a two-way street. He’s been asked questions about this and it’s not something he wants to get into now, but it has come to light. The reality is if the right college head coaching position is out there, maybe that makes sense and maybe even another coordinating position. The Bears front office, there could be some instability there as well. There has been persistent chatter in the scouting community that Jerry Angelo could retire at the end of the season based on how this year goes. There could be more upheaval in Chicago.
On the repercussions for Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy:
Here’s what I can tell you that I know having talked to people in the league office: they will discuss a possible suspension with this hit. No official review will begin until Monday, but because he’s a repeat offender, because he’s had $75,000 fines doled out in the past, because this seems to be habitual behavior, that will be a part of this discussion. The best-case scenario for Harrison may be a fine in the range of six-figures. But suspension will be discussed.
On the Browns handling of quarterback Colt McCoy:
The league is always looking to beef up concussion protocol, add more doctors, do things like that. But will this be a watershed moment for the league? No. They investigate it and that’s what they do in this situation: they talk to people there. But I can tell you that the Browns correctly diagnosed two concussions at the half of that game; those players didn’t come back in. They asked the Browns about McCoy’s situation; they were told that McCoy did not really start to exhibit any of these concussion-like symptoms until after the game. But in that immediate time period, he seemed to be OK based on the tests that he was given. So yes, it’s something the league is always looking into; there are no exact answers or exact science with this, but I don’t expect any sort of penalty for the Browns. Again, they did in other situations act exactly as expected.
On Colts quarterback Peyton Manning:
There is a mounting expectation around the league that Peyton Manning won’t be back in Indianapolis next season, something several NFL executives and some within the Colts organization have told me recently. The Colts must decide whether to pick up Manning’s $28 million option by March 8; that’s five days before the start of the league year at a time when trades still are not permitted and when Manning’s health could still be in question. Manning could push that bonus day back or alter his contract to facilitate a trade, but it will be impossible for Indianapolis to pick up that option and then trade Manning. It would blow up their cap. Archie Manning has told confidants that Peyton’s offseason won’t be about money, but rather a chance to win. The Colts are the worst team in the NFL right now, pass protection is a big issue and Peyton knows his next hit could be his last. Plus, the Colts’ talent has decayed and the once big-spending team is in rebuilding mode with Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis likely leaving via free agency, and center Jeff Saturday possibly retiring. And then there is Andrew Luck factor. The Colts would shock the football world by not drafting the Stanford quarterback first overall, and Luck has let it be known he wants to play right away. Even if Manning is healthy for next season – a big if – parting ways would still make sense for both Manning and the Colts, and it may simply be a matter of how and when that departure takes place.
For the latest from the ‘Inside Slant,’ including Jason La Canfora’s article on Bears general manager Jerry Angelo’s future, visit:
Steve Mariucci: Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will score his first touchdown of the season
Marshall Faulk: Ravens running back Ray Rice will rush for 200-plus yards for the second consecutive game
Kurt Warner: Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins will each allow a 100-yard rusher
Warren Sapp: Saints safety Roman Harper will have more sacks than the entire Titans team
Michael Irvin: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will throw for 300-plus yards against the Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton 1-on-1 with NFL Network’s Michelle Beisner:
On how the team gets better at playing in inclement weather:
“You constantly work at it, and that’s getting outside, that’s dealing with wet balls. I don’t think you ever take the approach that you’re good for good; you don’t ever feel comfortable that you’re there, and no different than how we practice we’re always looking for a routine change. We came here Saturday morning early, practiced out on the field – all of those things are important. But ultimately in this type of a game, the turnovers, big plays, third downs – those are going to be the type of things that determine who wins and losses.”
On NFL.com the following video clips from NFL GameDay Morning are available for viewing:
Romo vs. Eli: Who do you Trust? – NFL GameDay Morning debate which quarterback they trust more: the Giants’ Eli Manning or the Cowboys’ Tony Romo?
Motivated to Beat Tebow – Why do defensive players so badly want to defeat Tim Tebow and the Broncos?
Which 7-5 Teams Will Make the Playoffs? – With nine teams currently sitting at 7-5, NFL GameDay Morning debates which team has the best chance to make the playoffs.
Should McCoy Have Returned? – Should Browns QB Colt McCoy have returned to the game against the Steelers after a possible concussion? NFL GameDay Morning discusses.
Front Office – Michael Lombardi discusses the futures of Giants coach Tom Coughlin and 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, plus how the Lions’ front office can handle the team’s discipline problems.
Bold Predictions – A touchdown for Chad Ochocinco? A 300-yard passing game for Tim Tebow? The NFL GameDay Morning crew offers bold predictions for Week 14.
Players Only: Cam’s Comments – Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner and Warren Sapp discuss Carolina quarterback Cam Newton’s recent comments about the Panthers organization.
- Atlanta Falcons Host Jacksonville Jaguars, and Dallas Cowboys Face Tampa Bay Buccaneers This Week on NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football:
NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football features two games this week as the race to the playoffs heats up. On Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 PM ET, quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons host running back Maurice Jones-Drew and the Jacksonville Jaguars in a critical matchup for playoff seeding. On a special Saturday edition of Thursday Night Football December 17 at 8:00 PM ET, quarterback Tony Romo looks to lead the Dallas Cowboys to the NFC East division title on the road against quarterback Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brad Nessler provides the play-by-play, while Mike Mayock serves as game analyst and Alex Flanagan provides reports from the sidelines. Coverage on each day begins at 6:00 PM ET with the Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears pregame show, providing the latest news reports and analysis live from the stadium and the NFL Network studios in Los Angeles. This season, viewership for each of the five Thursday Night Football games played this season is up over last year, averaging 7.0 million viewers, a 23 percent jump over 2010’s first five games.
- 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/?
- New NFL Network Programming: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-
network-gameday/ 09000d5d824ed655/The-third- Ryan-brother
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.
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