WARREN SAPP CALLS OUT THE CHICAGO BEARS DEFENSE:
“THIS DEFENSE ISN’T ELITE ANYMORE”
PHIL SIMMS QUESTIONS THE GREEN BAY PACKERS:
“HOW CAN YOU NOT BE ALARMED…WHEN YOU WATCH THEIR DEFENSE PLAY?”
NEW YORK (Dec. 7, 2011) – Host James Brown and analysts Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Warren Sapp discuss whether the contenders have separated themselves from the pretenders with four games remaining in the 2011 NFL season on tonight’s episode of INSIDE THE NFL
Additionally on this week’s show, the formidable foursome will tackle the impact of key injuries to possible playoff participants like the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans. The episode – which premieres tonight, Dec. 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME – also covers the mental meltdowns of Week 13.
INSIDE THE NFL, now in its 33rd season, airs every Wednesday night through the NFL season on SHOWTIME for a total of 23 episodes, with multiple replays each week on SHOWTIME and SHOWTIME EXTREME® and availability on SHOWTIME On Demand.
INSIDE THE NFL is produced by CBS Sports and NFL Films. The executive producers are CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and NFL Films President Steve Sabol. Pete Radovich Jr., the Emmy Award-winning Creative Director for CBS Sports, serves as coordinating producer.
Following are excerpts from this week’s episode:
On the league’s best teams…
SIMMS: When I look at this whole list of teams, the one that really jumps out at me – the two – Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I don’t see the glaring weakness in their football teams. The Green Bay Packers? How can you not be alarmed a little bit when you watch their defense play? I would not feel comfortable knowing that my offense has to go out there and score a lot of points.
On whether the Houston Texans can continue to win with a third-string quarterback…
SIMMS: I think [Houston] has the fever. Gary Kubiak definitely has the fever. And I think they can overcome the fact that they’ve lost their first two quarterbacks.
COLLINSWORTH: I do think Houston can keep it going. One, I don’t think their schedule is impossible. But the thing I like about Houston, you don’t have to have a pocket thrower to win in that offense. They have great running backs. I still think Arian Foster is so underrated as a player, as a receiver, as a runner. He just gets it done up front. But it’s all bootleg action off of that. So now you’re getting your quarterback out on the edge. It’s not that sit-in-the-pocket, takes-a-lot-of-experience-to-
SAPP: First time I’ve ever looked at a team and said, “A third team quarterback just might beat me.” I think they’ll separate themselves with that schedule and that defense and Wade Phillips calling.
On the Chicago Bears situation heading into Week 14…
SAPP: This defense isn’t elite anymore, fellas. [The Bears] don’t have an elite defense and in the last two weeks, they are minus four in the giveaway/takeaway [category]. The biggest thing I question: [offensive coordinator] Mike Martz. You’ve got to pull that offense back. You can’t just keep handing every quarterback that did something the whole game plan, the whole package and say, “Go out there and get it done.” And now Matt Forte is gone? I don’t see it.
SIMMS: The Bears have a good team; Why didn’t they have a backup [quarterback] that was a proven veteran who if you lose Jay Cutler – who is a big part [of the team] – that it won’t be such a fall off?
COLLINSWORTH: Did they really understand how important Jay Cutler was? That to me is the issue. There are a couple of defensive coordinators I talked to here lately [and they] have just said, “They had no idea what they had in Jay Cutler.” I mean, he saved that offensive line. Three runners coming at him and he’s making somebody miss, making a play like a Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.
On the Detroit Lions recent meltdowns…
SAPP: I understand when you are a doormat for a long time because I played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it’s a mindset you have to change within your organization and your opponent because we’re not just [an easy] win anymore. But the way [Detroit is] doing it is a little bit chippy, a little bit echo-of-the-whistle and now it’s coming back to them. And I don’t think they can play on that edge. You know it’s a fine line between genius and madness and I think they fall on the madness side.
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