BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WILD CARD WEEKEND ON JANUARY 9
► It was announced today that THE NFL TODAY’s Shannon Sharpe is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
► FACE OFF
(On whether Drew Brees or Peyton Manning will ever win another Super Bowl)
BOOMER ESIASON: We’re talking about two of the greatest players in today’s game of football, of course they’re going to win the Super Bowl. As long as they stay healthy they’ll always keep their team in the playoffs, and as Jason Taylor found out yesterday, all you have to do is get in and win and you can make it. I think both of them will definitely have another Super Bowl ring.
BILL COWHER: I hate to say this, but I think, Peyton is 34-years-old, I think the Indianapolis Colts have caught up with that offense. They’ll have to revamp that whole thing. I don’t think you’re going to get back in time. And I think on the NFC side there’s only been one team that’s repeated since 2000, and that is the New York Giants. They did it with Collins and with Manning. I think on the NFC side it’s still wide open, I’m not so sure Drew will get back in time.
►NEW YORK JETS LINEBACKER JASON TAYLOR WAS LIVE ON “THE NFL TODAY” SET
(On playing New England next week in Divisional Playoff game)
TAYLOR: You throw the first two games out. This game is for all the marbles to move on to the AFC Championship game. Regardless of what happened in week 14, or whenever that debacle was, we’ll regroup and be ready to go this time.
► “INSIDE THE GAME” WITH “NFL TODAY GENERAL MANAGER” CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On Oakland coaching vacancy)
CASSERLY: First of all, Hugh Jackson, the offensive coordinator is a strong candidate, according to them, because of the outstanding job he did in his first season there. Also on a timetable, they told me it’s going to be sooner than later when they name their Head Coach. In my opinion, Hugh Jackson is going to be the next Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders.
(On future of Vince Young)
CASSERLY: Look for Young to be released by the Titans some time on-or-about February 27, the first day you can release players. However, I surveyed all of the teams that need a starting quarterback in the NFL, none of them were interested in Vince Young as a starter. But I believe he will be signed as a back-up in the off-season.
► THE NFL TODAY’s BILL COWHER BREAKS DOWN HOW TO STOP MICHAEL VICK
1. There are three elements to stop this player. The first being, make him rush to his right. Michael Vick is a left-handed quarterback, and when Michael Vick feels any type of pressure, he tries to escape to his left. So if you blitz him or rush him, the integrity and discipline of the rush lanes, right side of the defense must be maintained. If he breaks that containment and he gets outside, he’s a dangerous threat to run or throw the ball. When you make him rush to his right, he clearly is not as comfortable. He’s not as fast with the ball and it’s a lot harder to throw it.
2. The second element is discipline rush lanes. In week 16, the Minnesota Vikings showed the blueprint by sacking Michael Vick six times. And that blueprint was involved in having inside pressure when he’s being maintained. And the outside contain, not just running up the field and trying to beat him on the corner. You have to be under control. Play him almost like a two-gap run defender, and that allows other defenders to keep him pinned in.
3. The last element is mixing up the coverages. In the last five games Michael Vick has thrown six interceptions. Expect the Green Bay defense, and defensive coordinator Dom Capers to throw a lot of different looks at him today. A lot of those looks will be involved with blitzes and blitz zone concepts. Again, the integrity of the rush lanes must be maintained. Inside fresh lanes, outside contain. But play zone behind it. This way you can react to the run, and also be able to see the pass. And Green Bay will give them a lot of different blitzes.
► QUICK HITS
(On Michael Vick against Green Bay)
BILL COWHER: This is going to be a defining game for Michael Vick.
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