News and Sound Bites From Week 16 Edition of
NFL GAMEDAY MORNING
“You can’t tell your team we need to get better if you keep saying, ‘You’re the greatest linebacker, you’re the greatest running back, you’re the greatest left tackle.’ You have to temper your love for your team with some reality at times.” – Warren Sapp on Jets head coach Rex Ryan
“He is the most dynamic back in the National Football League this season…This guy is going to be the difference maker today and he’s going to keep them flying.” – Steve Mariucci on Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
“The worst decision you can make as a front office executive is to bring your depth chart into the draft room.” – Michael Lombardi
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:
“You can’t tell your team we need to get better if you keep saying, ‘You’re the greatest linebacker, you’re the greatest running back, you’re the greatest left tackle.’ You have to temper your love for your team with some reality at times. We live in a bottom-line business and sometimes you just have to keep it real.” – Warren Sapp on New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan
“The last five games, they’ve given up more than 50 percent conversions on third down. That’s never happened since the merger. That means they can’t get off the field. If Mark Sanchez can make some plays in the passing game down the field against this Giants vulnerable defense, the Jets have a great chance.” – Steve Mariucci on the New York Giants defense
“Eli Manning, he just needs [the running backs] to complement the offense. Mark Sanchez needs Shonn Greene to lead the offense. That’s the difference.” – Michael Irvin on the offenses for the Giants and Jets
“That win Thursday night that the Colts put on the Texans is exactly the win that knocked the Texans out of any chance at getting to the Super Bowl because you needed that bye.” – Michael Irvin on the impact of the Colts victory over the Texans on Thursday
“He is the most dynamic back in the National Football League this season…This guy is going to be the difference maker today and he’s going to keep them flying.” – Steve Mariucci on Eagles running back LeSean McCoy
“Greg Jennings, yes he’s a good player but they have receivers galore, tight ends galore, a lot of weapons. But who is protecting my franchise quarterback? That’s where the vulnerability comes in…They right now are a little bit concerned about protecting Aaron Rodgers. That’s what he needs: protection, not another receiver.” – Steve Mariucci on the Green Bay Packers following their first loss of the season
“At some point in time, they’re going to have to believe what I have been saying: Felix Jones is an accessory.” – Marshall Faulk on Cowboys running back Felix Jones
“He can win a lot of games for them, but if he has an off-day this team is done.” – Kurt Warner on quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots
“You commit to Brees, Manning, Romo, quarterbacks like that. Drew Brees has completed 20 or more passes in an NFL-record 34 straight games; Tim Tebow has completed 20 or more passes in one game. You do not commit to that.” – Warren Sapp on if the Denver Broncos should commit to quarterback Tim Tebow
“In this league, the minute that you’re out of it you become dangerous. You get out of the hunt, you’re dangerous. They started playing because they had nothing to play for.” – Marshall Faulk on the 6-8 Philadelphia Eagles
“This is where Tony Romo can make plays. In the playoffs, he can buy time to make plays with that group of receivers and there are going to be very few teams in this conference that are going to be able to go three or four deep at cornerback and stick with these guys.” – Michael Irvin on the Dallas Cowboys
“They’re so talented across the board; they can rush the passer, they have guys on the back end that can make plays on the ball, they have all of those weapons offensively. They don’t have to play the perfect game. I don’t know if they play consistent the next two weeks, but I definitely feel like they can win the next two weeks with all of the playmakers that they have.” – Kurt Warner on the Philadelphia Eagles
“In a game like this – a rival game that’s probably going to go down to the wire in the last drive – I’m saying Eli delivers because he’s the best quarterback in the National Football League in the fourth quarter; 14 touchdown passes, 111 passer rating, he’s been clutch. I say he wins it right at the end and he will bounce back.” – Steve Mariucci on Giants quarterback Eli Manning against the New York Jets
‘Front Office View’ with Michael Lombardi
On what the Rams and Vikings do should they get the first overall pick in the NFL Draft:
If the Rams get it, it’s an easy decision: they hold out and basically trade down to where they think they can still get a blue-chip player and sell the pick for a lot more draft picks. The Rams need a lot of help. If the Vikings get the first pick, to me that’s the interesting dilemma because is Christian Ponder that much better than whomever they may select in the first round overall in the draft? They need to address that. The worst decision you can make as a front office executive is to bring your depth chart into the draft room. You think you have a quarterback because you drafted one last year, so you pass on someone. The biggest depth chart mistake in drafting was made by the Portland Trailblazers when they had Clyde Drexler and they passed Michael Jordan. You don’t want to do that. Leave the depth chart out. The Vikings are the ones that really need to study this completely.
On the possibility of the Rams trading Sam Bradford:
No, and I think Bradford would matchup to anybody they could pick in the first round. He’s got that much talent.
On if the Steelers sit quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the last game of the regular season:
No question. Ben Roethlisberger needs to be healthy for the playoffs, and healthy means be able to move around. They have to rest him. It was a mistake playing him. Once you saw him in the San Francisco game, one series you knew he couldn’t move and he was a lame duck. They need to rest him, get him healthy. Charlie Batch, whether he can play the entire game I don’t know; Dennis Dixon be ready to go. Ben Roethlisberger needs to return the first week of the playoffs.
On what committing to quarterback Tim Tebow entails:
What you need to do if you’re the Denver Broncos is continue to build your defense, continue to be strong in the defensive line and realize that the way to win football games is [Tim] Tebow running around, the running game of the Denver Broncos and keeping games close. Make sure you’re very good in the kicking game and your defense is outstanding – that’s what they have to fix. Last week against New England, they had some severe holes in their defense, especially at safety; Rahim Moore couldn’t tackle very well, their corners are getting up there in age. Fix the defense and continue to run the football – that’s the recipe for the Denver Broncos to win under the Tim Tebow administration. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are like two extra tight ends; when you put those two big guys on the field, it helps the running game. Put all of your resources in the defense, rebuild the defensive line, you have two great edge rushers in Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. Continue to be strong up the middle of the field.
On Jets head coach Rex Ryan:
Any time you stand in front of your team, and our players know, your message has to change. If you say the same things over and over again, unfortunately guys tend to tune you out. My message in the column was this: you don’t have the most talented team. If you’re watching the same tape that I’m watching, your quarterback is inconsistent, your defense can’t slow down a tight end, you’re having real problems – that’s why you’re 8-6. You’re not the greatest team in the history of football, and I think he needs to back away and face a little bit of reality instead of always saying we’re the greatest because sometimes you’re just not the greatest.
For the latest from the ‘Front Office View,’ visit:
‘Inside Slant’ with Jason La Canfora
On if Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could sit out for the rest of the regular season:
That could very well be the case. They’ve been very pragmatic about this. Ben played Monday at least in part because the Ravens lost; it was an opening to get the first overall seed in the AFC. That’s not really there anymore, scenarios have changed. He’ll be an emergency guy today who can come in and try to win that game, save that game for them. Perhaps in Week 17 as well. The real question will be how long do they stay with Charlie Batch? Bruce Arians, the offensive coordinator, is very loyal to him and likes veterans; others in the organization feel like Dennis Dixon, he’s inexperienced but gives them a better chance to win – more mobile, more athletic. That dynamic will be one to watch.
On the Chargers late-season surge and the impact on head coach Norv Turner:
People have ignored the role of Philip Rivers in all of this. He and Norv Turner are joined at the hip; that’s his quarterback guru, that’s essentially his offensive coordinator. That’s the guy who calls all of the plays; that may even be Philip Rivers’ strength because he’s gotten Philip out of that slump, he’s humming along now. You have a new special teams coordinator, a new defensive coordinator; that entire staff seems to have gelled. Management – the Spanos family – knows that if you fire Norv Turner, now you might start to alienate your franchise quarterback. They know the relationship that Turner has with Rivers and he is saving his job by the week. The question is do they do something with the management side of things with GM A.J. Smith or shake things up in personnel? You wouldn’t disrupt that coach-player dynamic in that regard if you went that route.
On the impact of quarterback Matt Barkley returning to USC:
There are some dejected fan bases, I can tell you that. You look at teams like Miami, Washington, Cleveland – they all probably have to go with a stop-gap quarterback again in 2012, or at least some of those teams because they’re not going to finish high enough to get that first overall pick. That’s not in the cards. Now Barkley isn’t going to fall to them and you continue to hear there are other underclassmen who are leaning towards staying in school at quarterback as well. So now these teams have to figure out if the guy is not there in the draft, maybe he is there in free agency. Even more value in a very shallow free agent quarterback class; we’re talking Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell, Matt Flynn – that’s the cream of the crop. Those guys are going to get jobs elsewhere and be starting in 2012 if these underclassmen stay in school.
For the latest from the ‘Inside Slant,’ visit:
On NFL.com the following video clips from NFL GameDay Morning are available for viewing:
A Christmas Story – Relive some of the most memorable moments through the years in the NFL from the holiday season.
New York Showdown – Which team will show up today in the matchup of New York teams with playoff berths on the line?
Giant Letdown? – Warren Sapp and Kurt Warner discuss if either has confidence in quarterback Eli Manning and the New York Giants today against the Jets.
Confidence in Cowboys? – Michael Irvin believes even without running back DeMarco Murray, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has enough targets to get Dallas into the playoffs.
Players Only – New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been outspoken on how good he believes his team is, but is the message getting old?
Playoff Implications – A few big games Saturday will help make the playoff picture a little clearer. The NFL GameDay Morning crew breaks down some of the key matchups.
Saturday Menu – As the season winds down key matchups will determine who goes to the playoffs, including the tight race in the NFC East.
What will we Learn? – Steve Mariucci sees a couple of players making a big difference today, including Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith.
A Texas-Sized Problem – With a loss to the Colts on Thursday night, Warren Sapp and Michael Irvin believe the Texans are in major trouble come playoff time.
Are the Packers Vulnerable? – Green Bay suffered its first loss last week at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, but Kurt Warner says being 13-1 still says a lot.
The Marshall Plan – Marshall Faulk breaks down the late-season surge of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and explains why Cowboys running back Felix Jones is an important factor for Dallas.
QB vs. QB Killa – Kurt Warner and Warren Sapp try to figure out why the Ryan brothers struggle against Michael Vick and how long Tom Brady can carry the Patriots defense.
M&M: Christmas Edition – Michael Irvin and Marshall Faulk debate which New York quarterback is playing better and who should be the MVP.
Is Home Field Really an Advantage? – NFL GameDay Morning discusses whether playing at home throughout the playoffs is really beneficial to a team.
Truly Wild West – With two weeks left to play, all four teams in the AFC West have a chance to take home the division title. NFL GameDay Morning predicts which team will make the playoffs.
- The Longest Game Ever Debuts Christmas Day at 6:00 PM ET on NFL Network:
On the 40th anniversary to the day of the 1971 AFC Divisional Game between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Network presents a one-hour NFL Films-produced special on the game, The Longest Game Ever, Sunday, December 25 at 6:00 PM ET. On Christmas Day in 1971, the Dolphins defeated the Chiefs 27-24 in double overtime after 82 minutes and 40 seconds of play. Featuring never-before-seen NFL Films footage, the original Dolphins and Chiefs radio broadcasts and interviews with players and coaches, The Longest Game Ever provides the most comprehensive production ever surrounding the classic game. To view a sneak peak of The Longest Game Ever, please visit: http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-
- 2012 Pro Bowl Rosters Announced on NFL Network & NFL.com Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 7:00 PM ET: Who will be the starting quarterback for the NFC, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees? Which running backs will be represented in each conference? Who will be the surprise selections, and who should have made it? Find out the answers to these questions and more when the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl squads are announced on the NFL Total Access 2012 Pro Bowl Selection Show Tuesday, December 27 at 7:00 PM ET on NFL Network and NFL.com. Hosts Andrew Siciliano and Kara Henderson, along with Charles Davis and Steve Wyche reveal both rosters, analyze the players selected and debate who should have made it. For more information on the 2012 Pro Bowl, visit http://www.nfl.com/probowl.
- 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.
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