- Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan at the Chicago Tribune overheard this:
“‘Times have changed since I played. … Abe Gibron (former coach) and I used to argue when I was nearing the end of my career and I was playing on one leg,’ former Bear Dick Butkus told us. ‘He’d say, ‘Dick, you are better on one leg than the backup is on two.’ That was silly though.'”
- Dan McNeil at the Tribune wants to end the talk about Bears quarterback Jay Cutler‘s toughness and has a valid alternative:
“I’d welcome some conversation about how the Bears are going to make him better because the Cutler who now has played five NFL seasons isn’t good enough.”
How about they schedule surgery at Northwestern. They can install a brain and heart that has the desire to do the tough things necessary to correct those problems. Oops. I said “tough” didn’t I? Sorry, Dan.
- And yet the Cutler talk still continues. This time its John Madden on Sirius NFL Radio via Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com. Like Cutler, Madden’s grandson has Type I diabetes:
“In defending Cutler, Madden was passionate, emotional, and as angry as we’ve ever heard him.
“’I’ve been in football for over 50 years,’ Madden said, prefacing his remarks. ‘I’ve never questioned a player’s toughness. I never have. Whether it was in coaching, broadcasting, whatever.’”
Which is, of course, the most disturbing point. Only Cutler seems to be receiving this kind of abuse from his peers and it may reflect the deeper problems that he has as a player.
Which means its tough to just set aside the Cutler talk when that talk and the poor play are likely connected. Again, sorry, Dan.
Here is a recording of the interview:
- Michael Wilbon agrees with McNeil and Tony Kornheiser calls Twitter a “plague” as PTI debates:
- We also have this interesting note from Pro Football Weekly‘s Whispers:
“When the season is over and they don’t have to gear so much of their focus toward game planning, Mike Martz and Jay Cutler could devote significant time to working on mechanics, particularly when it comes to Cutler’s footwork. Martz recently said Cutler has improved in that area since the start of the season, but he admitted that he’s not where his quarterback needs to be yet. ‘I think some of the footwork (criticism) — and (Cutler) knows that — is fair. You can’t go through a lifetime with those kinds of habits and just fix them in one season,’ Martz said.”
- Brad Biggs, also at the Tribune, says that the Bears face a decision on Caleb Hanie. Essentially pay him 1.8 million next year to presumably be the number 2 quarterback or match an offer from another team. Tough call.
- Jeff Fisher is out as coach of the Titans. This is surprising after owner Bud Adams appeared to have chosen to keep Fisher of quarterback Vince Young, who Fisher has problems with.
It would not surprise me if we learned in the coming days that Fisher forced his way out. Adams is generally believed to be one of the worst owners in the NFL.
- Florio points out that the influential Competition Committe will probably now be looking for a butt to fill Fisher’s vacant slot.
- FOX Sports is reporting that Fisher will receive $8 million as part of a settlement to walk away. I’ll believe it when I see it confirmed. I think its more likely Adams will pull an Al Davis and try to use litigation to get out of paying Fisher the salary from the final year of his contract.
- This comes from Pro Football Weekly‘s Whispers feature:
“New Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels on how he feels about Steven Jackson as the Rams’ primary back: ‘I know from competing against him that he’s very unique and multitalented. He can create long plays, takes great care of the offense. … I can’t wait to get started to work with him.'”
Cynics will recall that he said the same thing about Cutler when he came to Denver.
- Here’s another interesting Whisper which addresses something fans might want to keep an eye on:
“Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver has said that he plans to sell the team eventually but he is not thinking about doing so right now. Some of the Jaguars’ offseason moves, however, hint at the possibility that Weaver is planning to sell after a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. We’re hearing that Weaver’s reluctance to fire head coach Jack Del Rio and his refusal to extend the contracts of the coaching staff could be a sign that the owner is trying to clear the decks before a potential sale.”
I might add that a move to Los Angeles is always a possibility after any sale of th team.
- I’m underwhelmed by Roger Goodell‘s offer to cut his salary to $1 if there is a work stoppage. This kind of grandstanding is more characteristic of the NFLPA and its disappointing coming from either side. To restate the obvious, the only thing fans want to hear is that there’s an agreement.
- Florio also believes that the Ravens, who had a poor showing in the playoffs, are making now former quarterback coach Jim Zorn the fall guy. The quarterback coach is their excuse? They can’t do better than that?
- The Sports Pickle explains how science is equivalent to football.
- More fun with Twitter as Jets quarterback Antonio Cromartie called the NFLPA leadership “a-holes” has threatened to smash Matt Hasselbeck‘s face in after he Tweeted back at Cromartie. Good times.
One Final Thought
On a note related to the last item above this comes via Florio. Packer linebacker Nick Barnett says he wishes he hadn’t popped off via Twitter about not being initially scheduled to be in the team’s Super Bowl photo. Coach Mike McCarthy called it a “poor decision”. Via Florio.
I’m constantly amazed by the people in all walks of life who believe that Facebook is “personal” and don’t think that they are “on the record” when they post things to the Internet. Even people who put things in emails and are shocked when you pull them out and remind them of what was said.
Bottom line, when you put things in writing, you have to assume that the world is going to see it. And that means you’d better think about it and you’d better mean what you say at the time. Otherwise regret is sure to follow.