“On closing out the regular-season home slate with a win:
“‘It was very important. I think we were 4-3 at home, and our road record is better than our home record. We definitely know we are going to have a home playoff game so we need to get in the condition of winning at home and this is the first step.'”
As noted by Dan Pompei, also at the Tribune, though Forte is doing well lately Chester Taylor‘s lack of success is worrying. Taylor’s getting hit in the backfield a lot but he’s running behind the same line Forte is.
“‘There’s always room for improvement in everything we do,’ (Bears cornerback Charles) Tillman said. “Our disguises, our blitzes, our man coverage — everything.”
Amen to that.
“I keep hearing about how much Brian Urlacher is playing this year. I think it’s pretty simple why — look at how much better the defensive line is playing in front of him. The big question I would like to know — was it Lovie (Smith) or was it (defensive coordinator Rod) Marinelli who decided to move Julius (Peppers) to the weak side? I give them all the credit in the world — John Fox never did that in Carolina — and I think it’s made a world of difference and affected the whole team. The million-dollar question is — who decided to turn Julius loose and let him go (after the quarterback) and made (Israel) Idonije the strong-side end? The Bears never did that in the past. It was a great move. I would guess it was Rod.”
- Not everyone agreed with the decision to postpone Sunday night’s Eagles-Vikings game until Tuesday. Via the AP:
“The postponement did not sit well with Gov. Ed Rendell, who told KYW-TV he did “not at all” agree with the decision.
“‘This is football; football’s played in bad weather,’ Rendell said. ‘I think the fans would have gotten there, the subways work and the major arteries are still open, and other fans would have stayed home — but you play football regardless of the weather.'”
With two more days to recover from his concussion suffered on Monday night, Brett Favre could supplant Joe Webb. (We assume that facing Favre would be a bad thing for the Eagles. That could be the subject of a reasonable debate.)
“Singletary said he doesn’t know much about ‘coaching etiquette’ when it comes to how he handles his quarterbacks. And, he said, the way Troy Smith responded is ‘fine.'”
One wonders if a little more “coaching etiquette” would have helped Singletary a lot more in the long run.
“It was around 25 years ago the last time the (NFL) players when on strike. All I keep reading about is how high the NFL ratings are. The two sides need to get moving. No one wants to be responsible for cracking the golden egg. I know it’s not easy, but how hard could it be to divvy up a few billion dollars? If you’re an owner or a player it’s still real money, and real money they stand to lose, if they don’t figure it out. When you look at how the NFL is going to be affected, I don’t see it affecting scouts a lot. There is still going to be a draft no matter what. College football is not going away. The job description of scouts is not going to change much. But obviously, it could dramatically change the job of coaches. There will be no OTAs or offseason coaching. What worries me the most is that (NFLPA executive director) DeMaurice Smith has so little connection to the league and history and what the game does for everyone and how big it really is. A work stoppage could really screw things up.”
One Final Thought
Fred Mitchell at the Tribune describes the moment when the Redskins beat the Jaguars in over time and Jets officially made the playoffs:
“‘When (Jay) Cutler‘s hot, he’s as good as there is,’ (Jets head coach Rex) Ryan was saying. ‘He made some big plays against us, then eventually it comes down to …’
“‘By the way, I think we’re in the playoffs,’ Ryan announced with a big smile. ‘It ain’t the way I wanted it, but I’ll take it. Whew! My goodness! I can’t even hide that fact.'”
Better to back in than not to be in at all.