Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:34 pm
The Miami Dolphins have completed their coaching search and hired Joe Philbin, according to a team source.
Philbin was the Packers' offensive coordinator and by many accounts he is one of the league's bright young talents. Now, it's easy to be a bright young talent when you have Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback but Philbin is still extremely innovative.
The Dolphins need an offensive mind and it also doesn't hurt the Dolphins that Philbin is tied to Matt Flynn, the quarterback in Green Bay.
A source close to Flynn told me that Flynn would "love to the challenge of being a starter" but emphasized he's loyal to the Packers. But if you had to wager don't put a lot of cash on Flynn staying in Green Bay.
It's been an emotional ride for Philbin and his family. Philbin lost his son in a tragic accident and now, just a short time later, he's set to become coach of the Dolphins.
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:39 am
OPENING HIT: Jim Irsay revealed his draft plans in an interview with ESPN. Just gave it all up. No waterboarding required. Here you go, peeps, what we're going to do: it's going to be Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin. So, there's that. Mystery solved.
“With Griffin and Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft — could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf,” Irsay said. “It’s most likely one of those quarterbacks that you really feel is the best player in the draft, and where we’re at moving forward you can’t pass that up. I don’t think anyone would expect that.”
Posted on: January 19, 2012 11:03 am
Edited on: January 19, 2012 12:02 pm
There was a report the Indianapolis Colts are at least considering disgraced former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel as head coach, who is on the Indianapolis staff as a gameday consultant. I checked with a Colts source and he said this: "No way in hell."
But this is the interesting part. The source explained that owner Jim Irsay likes Tressel and does want him to have some sort of role in the organization (a new head coach will have some say in that of course). Which is, well, incredible. If you remember Tressel resigned as Ohio State coach after it was determined the Buckeyes had numerous rules violations under his watch. Ohio State later self-vacated its entire 2010 season.
It would be totally out of the question for the Colts to make Tressel a head coach now. The Colts would be the laughingstock of the NFL.
But it's possible the Colts may keep Tressel in some capacity. Possible, not definite.
Posted on: January 19, 2012 7:29 am
OPENING HIT: Rob Lowe tweeted that Peyton Manning would retire and the entire sports world lost its freaking mind.
This is a story about the power of social media and gullibility with a dash of ego to boot. It’s documented that Lowe is friends with Colts owner Jim Irsay who is a master tweeter and a guy who likes to have fun, too.
This is what I think happened. Lowe pulled the Manning news out of his ass. He tweeted it. Irsay saw his tweet and then decided to play along. So washed up actor s--- stirrer + social media + rumor = gold.
Now, my belief is that Manning just might retire. I’ve long believed that but I don’t think Lowe knows a damn thing. This is the NFL, not St. Elmo’s Fire. Future plans of one of the great passers of all time don’t get leaked to actors. Unless it’s Jim Brown. Or maybe Burt Reynolds.
So here we are. Another historic moment in social media. An 80s star tweets about Manning retiring and we all lose it. Not sure who that speaks more ill of. Lowe……or us.
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:33 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 10:10 am
OPENING HIT: Drew Brees' contract expires soon. It'll get done, of course. Right. Right? Hello? Is this thing on?
That's what the Saints continually say. Brees will be back, a new deal will come. I do believe that. Mostly. Kind of. But in speaking with sources on both sides of this there is a certain amount of digging in. The talks between the two sides (for now at least) have gone nowhere. That can change in an instant but for the moment the gap is wide.
I was once told months ago this would get done fairly easily but now there won't be anything easy about it. This has the potential to get long and nasty and could extend into off-season workouts and well into training camp.
I don't understand the Saints' handling of this at all. For everything Brees has done for that organization -- a Super Bowl, a class act, a great representative off the field post-Katrina -- you roll out the ATM machine for Brees. You pay the man. You freaking pay the man.
Trust me on this: Brees feels the same way. He'll never say it publicly but he does and I can't blame him. His contract status should have never, ever reached this point. It's a blemish on Saints ownership and management that it has.
According to NFL blogger Brian McIntyre, the Saints have $125M in cash committed (guaranteed and non-guaranteed) to players over 2012 and 2013. That's the second lowest in league to Cincinnati's $90M. That's pretty bad.
Time will pass, this will get done, but it may not be pretty along the way.
This could get nasty before it gets better.
Posted on: January 16, 2012 9:05 am
Edited on: January 16, 2012 9:29 am
OPENING HIT: One of the reasons why I've always liked fans of the Green Bay Packers is that I've always felt they're the best combination of smart, passion and non-jackass. Let me explain. Packers fans have the passion of the most rabid fan bases without the nastiness. Few fans are more informed about their team. It's a way of life for Packers fans. These aren't Gator fans or Ohio State fans who are insecure and nasty. These a true football fans who know how to have a passionate debate without getting ugly. It's the best component of their fandom.
On Sunday night, after a brutal loss, a handful of Packers fans -- malicious idiots -- engaged in some of the nastier acts by fans, any fans, I've ever seen. All on Twitter. This isn't an indictment of the entire Packers fan base. This is an indictment of a few knuckleheads and the age we live in. We live in a period where there are plenty of anonymous gangsters who have turned message boards into sewers and a nice medium like Twitter into, at times, garbage.
Some of these idiots went after Packers players on Twitter after the loss -- and the families of Packers players. They completely crossed a line. Jermichael Finley was attacked by fans for dropping a pass but some of the fans didn't stop there. They attacked his wife, Courtney, on Twitter. Leading to her posting this: "If ure bored tonight & want to see how disgusting people treat other people.. Feel free to go thru my mentions 2 see how heartless ppl r."
I won't repeat some of the stuff posted but it was truly nasty.
One fan actually went as far as to blame Joe Philbin for the loss. Philbin of course tragically lost his son.
Again, these animals don't represent the Packers faithful. But this was still bad. It was a sad moment, actually.
I've always believed the NFL should act against Twitter goons. Find out who they are and if they have season tickets, yank them. If they don't, ban them from buying anything NFL related. Use the best available technology to pursue and ban these jackasses.
This is how great the Packer fan base is: Packers fans began to blast the idiots who were posting the ugly things. It warmed my heart and gave me hope that the Internet hasn't turned completely into a cesspool.
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:27 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 3:52 am
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was one of the few moments during this stunning run, during this odds defying time, when Tim Tebow lost his cool. It was understandable. He was on the receiving end of a historic beatdown.
Tebow had been sacked and felt the hit merited a roughing penalty. No flag was thrown. Tebow screamed in the direction of the official. Screamed again. Screamed some more. There were several other similar outbursts as the score widened from huge to massive to humiliating.
At one point in the fourth quarter, Tebow had six completions to Tom Brady's six touchdowns. That just about says it all. The 45-10 final score doesn't do justice to what a stunning blowout this was. A few plays here and there and New England could have scored 60.
The end for Tebow and the Broncos was an ugly one. It was scary ugly. It was destiny altering ugly.
Tebow showed how not to play the position and Brady, as he has many times before, on many different fields, showed why he might be the best in history. The juxtaposition was as striking as the scoreboard.
Brady set a franchise playoff record with 363 passing yards. He had six touchdown passes. He attacked a frail, at times gutless Denver defense that was afraid to tackle tight end Rob Gronkowski. Brady even punted at the end of the game, the punt going 48 yards. The only thing missing from Brady's night was him hitting for the cycle.
It was a disrespectful move to have Brady punt, but it was still incredible to see.
Meanwhile, Tebow had one of the more miserable nights a quarterback has ever had in the playoffs, and Denver's season comes to an end.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 9:14 am
OPENING HIT: I remember Franco Harris as a Pittsburgh Steeler. He was smart and studious as a player -- everything he's not being now.
I'm not sure what Harris is doing.
I'm not sure Harris knows what he is doing. He's no longer the smart Steeler but something else. Loyalty is good but loyalty can also be dangerous and we're seeing that with Harris. In his stubborness to defend Paterno he's forgetting about the victims. Let me say that again. He's forgotten about the victims in all of this.
“A lot of the answers that we want from the university aren’t coming forward," Harris said on Thursday. "When they do say something, even today, what I most recently heard, they think we’re dumb. They want us to believe it was in the best interest of the school to fire Joe Paterno. No way was that in the best interest of the school.”