BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 5 ON OCTOBER 9
(On passing of Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis)
BILL COWHER: When you think of Al Davis there is no question about the fact that he was well respected. I think of two words that come to mind, confrontational number one. At league meetings he was the guy that would stand up to the Commissioner, speak outwardly about rules and always abstained when it came to voting. And number two, controlling. Word had it, he would call in to the coaches booth if he wanted that ball thrown down the field. And he would say I want more bump and run, man‑to‑man. The guy was respected, but he was also confrontational and controlling.
BOOMER ESIASON: He loved his players. The interesting thing moving forward, from my perspective here, is they haven’t been very good since 2003 – 39‑93 has been their record; four last place finishes. No winning seasons during that time. How is this team going to transition without his micro-managing style above those coaches? I think Hue and his coaching staff definitely have an opportunity here to do it their way now, as opposed to Al’s way.
DAN MARINO: He was a football coach that happened to own a football team. He was always a coach-at-heart. I loved his style of play and brand of football that the Raiders brought to the field. In pre-games, I remember him, in my case anyway, he would always come up to me and shake my hand and go, ‘Do you want to be a Raider?’
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►“INSIDE THE NFL” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On who will take over ownership of Raiders)
CASSERLY: Right now the control of the team will be in the hands of his wife, Carol, and his son, Mark. Through the years, in my many conversations with Al Davis, he told me this was exactly what his plan was. The Raiders verified it to me yesterday. The biggest decisions you make in-season from the football point of view are roster decisions. [I] Talked to the Raiders yesterday. The mechanism is in place for the scouting department to handle that. Obviously head coach Hue Jackson takes a bigger control and voice in those decisions. On the business side, CEO Amy Trask there represents the team at the league meeting on Tuesday. And she is more than capable of handling the business decisions.
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(On whether a team would sign Terrell Owens upon him being healthy)
When I was general manager, I had the opportunity to sign him. I didn’t sign him. I wouldn’t sign him today. I go back to Cincinnati last year to watch him play and here’s what I see. You watch him play – wouldn’t come across the middle, wouldn’t block. My sources in Cincinnati told me a couple of things; he still has that selfish attitude, and he was still a disruptive guy in the locker room, not for me.
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(On future of Miami head coach Tony Sparano)
CASSERLY: Owner Steve Ross, I was told never was considering firing Tony Sparano. In fact, he wants to give him every opportunity to turn this team around this season.
(On Pittsburgh Steelers)
MARINO: Wine gets better with time. Football players don’t. The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting old. They just look like that. They’re not the same physical football team and with the problems with their offensive line, Ben Roethlisberger has to change his game…It’s going to be tough for him because it’s tough to break old habits.
COWHER: When you lose, you’re old. When you win, they’re experienced. I will say there are alarming signs, no question. Turnovers are the bottom line. They’ve turned the ball over more than anybody in the NFL. You can correct that. Stopping the run. This is a big challenge today…Are there signs? Yes. But this team can still turn it around.
(On Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick)
ESIASON: Who is the marquee face in Philadelphia? It has to be Michael Vick. It falls right at his feet. Two reasons why. Number one, he can’t finish a game, and number two, he turns the ball over. Three interceptions, three fumbles, it’s Michael Vick’s team. It’s about him. And he’s the guy that’s got to play better than he’s playing now.
SHANNON SHARPE: He’s playing as well as he has at any point in his career. But at some point in time you have to stop somebody from scoring.
►BOOMER ESIASON FEATURE WITH JETS HEAD COACH REX RYAN
New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan has led his team to two straight AFC Championship Games. After starting this season 2-0, the Jets have suffered back-to-back, double-digit defeats for the first time in the Ryan era. Former Jets quarterback and THE NFL TODAY’s Boomer Esiason sat down with Ryan as he prepared the Jets for their divisional rivalry game against the New England Patriots. Deb Gelman is the producer.
(On criticism from Joe Namath)
RYAN: Everybody has the right to their opinion and can voice it. He has that platform, so that’s fine. Joe Namath was fantastic, a great player. And when you think of the Jets, obviously he’s the guy that pops into your head. To me, it’s Weeb Ewbank. But Joe Namath certainly has been a great player here in New York.
To view the feature, click: http://bit.ly/pNay9u
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