As usual, I present you with the quotes from 3 network NFL pregame shows. Today, I’ll shuffle up the order.
First, NBC’s Football Night in America.
AL MICHAELS ON MADDEN MISSING THIS GAME: "About every 28 years John Madden gets a planned holiday and this is that weekend. John is resting at home, so out of the "Football Night" studio comes the old Gator himself, Cris Collinsworth. Cris, welcome and John wants me to tell you he left you the telestrator, three "booms" one "doink" and everything else is premium service."
AL MICHAELS TO COSTAS SITTING ALONE ON SET: "You look lonely there but I have a feeling some other guys might show up before the hour is done."
PETER KING ON RUMOR THAT FAVRE SHARED SECRETS WITH LIONS ON HOW TO BEAT THE PACKERS: "Favre text messaged me this afternoon before he went out to play the Oakland Raiders and said that was "total B.S." He vehemently denied the story. I also spoke to the Lions COO and he said, "Our coaches are perplexed. There was no coaching of our coaching staff by Brett Favre."
KEITH OLBERMANN DURING JETS-RAIDERS HIGHLIGHTS: "Brett Favre telling our Peter King that reports he gave tips to the Lions on how to beat the Packers are total B.S. or TBS if you prefer."
KEITH OLBERMANN DURING COLTS-PACKERS HIGHLIGHTS: "I don't know if Brett Favre told the Colts anything, but it ain't working."
JEROME BETTIS ON THE COWBOYS DeMARCUS WARE NOT PLAYING THE RUN: "He's sack happy. You have to wonder if this individualism starting to creep into the defensive side. We know it's already on the offensive side. Or is it the scheme defensively. If either one of those are the case this spells big trouble in Big D."
TIKI BARBER ON THE TITANS: "They don't have a lot of weaknesses. When you have a running game that is so dynamic it demoralizes the other team. Tennessee is sitting pretty at 6-0 and they go into Indiapolis next week. If they win that game they are the front-runner in the AFC."
DAN PATRICK ON THE LIONS: "The Lions have licked the stamp and mailed in the season."
Over to ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown:
On Dallas Cowboys Drama
(Following a taped segment outlining various challenges of “America’s Team” the Dallas Cowboys – suspension of Pacman Jones, T.O., Tony Romo’s injury and trade agreement of receiver Roy Williams – highlighted in a parody of the popular TV show, Dallas.)
Keyshawn Jackson: “We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Dan Snyder and how he collects talent and Al Davis and the problems with trying to get a winning football team to do things the way he does them. I think the same thing could be said of Jerry Jones. When you talk about Pacman Jones, those problems right on down, Jerry Jones likes being in charge of this football team. He likes dictating everything single thing that they do. You can see now it’s rather dysfunctional and not working. And, I’ve got to add this, how do you convince Terrell Owens that you’re bringing in a guy who plays his position, just like him, another No. 1, and sit him down and say, ‘It’s alright, don’t worry about it, plenty of balls to go around, you’re going to be fine because I don’t know if T.O. is buying into that.”
Mike Ditka: “We’re going to find out a lot in the next month about the character of this football team. Do they have the proper leadership in place to push this team forward.”
Cris Carter: “Right now Jerry Jones is the No.1 enabler in the NFL. Pacman should have never been in the NFL. They should have never let him back into the NFL. For the first time in history, they traded for a player that was suspended. And then last week, Jerry saying, ‘Oh that’s just two guys jiving around’, at some point somebody has to be a gatekeeper for the National Football League.”
On newly acquired Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams – Is he that good?
Cris Carter: “He is truly a No. 1 receiver. He is the sure enough, beginning to the end of T.O. in Dallas. They can say what they want to, but this is the end of T.O.’s story in Dallas.”
Keyshawn Johnson: “He is a really good receiver. They gave up good numbers to get him, good draft picks. I believe that with Tony Romo at quarterback – being able to improvise, move around in the pocket, get him free and he can run routes, he’ll be effective in the offense.”
On Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s Injury and Brad Johnson in for the Cowboys
Tom Jackson: “I don’t know how it went from out four weeks – to coach/gm/president saying, ‘look, he’s going to be ok. Don’t worry about it.’ If you think about the way he throws the ball. Awkward, half-motion underhand, outside the pocket – I think you risk him the rest of the year if you let him play today.”
Keyshawn Johnson: “You definitely let him sit and Tony Romo shouldn’t even be thinking about playing football right now. The one thing he can’t worry about it getting back. You’re job is not in jeopardy, we all know that. You don’t have to be a hero. Don’t be excited to play with Williams, heal yourself.”
Cris Carter: “I think right now Dallas could use some toughness. So if he was right on that borderline of playing, I’d say play. Because there is something that the Dallas Cowboys don’t have, they have the talent, they have all the stars, but do they have the toughness that you need that we know it takes late in the year to be a championship caliber team.”
Keyshawn Johnson: “…Being tough is one thing, but being a fool is another.”
Tenessee Titans Defensive Line Unity: Enough to Carry the Team?
(Following Jackson’s piece on how the Tennessee Titans Defensive linemen are an unbreakable “chain”)
Mike Ditka: “A football is only as good as its weakest link. I think what Jeff Fisher preaches, ‘We’re not going to have a weak link, we may have some links that aren’t as strong, but we’re going to overcome that.’ I think this football team is more than that front four … Here’s the key, turnover ratio, they’re No.1 in the league, if they don’t turn the football over they have a chance.”
Cris Carter: “This is a very physical football team. This is the kind of team that when you talk to guys the week after they play the Tennessee Titans, they’re still sore Wednesday and Thursday.”
Chris Berman: “What I see in the AFC … they bring this defense every week. No one brings something like this every week.”
On Patriots’ Matt Cassel: Does he deserve a vote of confidence?:
Cris Carter: “I don’t know why he’d get a vote of confidence because he hasn’t done anything to warrant it. Whose fault is it? – New England, they blew it. On a 53-man roster the back-up quarterback is a critical position. They didn’t have someone confident if their leader, the great Tom Brady, got hurt. The record right now is two losses early in the season and zero touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and we judge our quarterbacks by what they do in the fourth quarter.”
Keyshawn Johnson: “I think he does deserve a vote of confidence because if this is your quarterback and all the things that are going on in the media are saying that it’s his fault, you want to give this young man a vote of confidence. You want him to have the ability to go down the field and lead this team from an offensive standpoint.”
Tom Jackson: “Key is right, you’re (Carter) wrong, and let me tell you why. Brady never got hurt, so there was no reason to go out and get a guy …how good was the guy going to be. And Matt Cassel is not the reason they lost those two games … Matt Cassel hasn’t played since high school, he’s doing fine.”
Cris Carter: “When you put a high school quarterback on your team, it’s your fault.”
Chris Mortensen’s Sunday Headlines:
Chris Mortensen, NFL Fines around the League and the reasons behind them … “Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out memos in the past four weeks to executives, coaches, players, saying hey listen, if you have criticism we’re going to do it internally. We’re not going to do it in public or else I’m going to fine you. Roger said on Tuesday in the owners meetings, maybe I’m not communicating well enough with them. Maybe you guys aren’t getting my message, so I’m going to make it a little bit louder and fine you.”
Mike Ditka: “The officiating (fine) thing I understand, but the hitting thing I do not understand. You cannot legislate hitting on football, it’s an aggressive sport …It’s a game of hitting. It’s reaction, it’s instinct, It’s split second!”
Cris Carter: “There has to be some type of legislation from the commissioner’s office or competition committee for three reasons. Number one is size of players and the speed, second retired players and overall health of them, we know what’s at stake, and third is the worldwide appeal. We have to make sure that this is a game that is still the most popular in the United States.”
And to Fox NFL Sunday:
FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer reports that former
Analyst Howie Long on who is responsible for Adam Jones’ latest suspension: “Ask the average American if they would take a job that paid them over $1 million a year and all they had to do was not get arrested. Each of our previous NFL commissioners had significant issues and accomplishments that defined their legacy. It’s important that players today understand that Commissioner Roger Goodell has chosen protecting the image of the NFL shield and its players to define his. Adam Jones has been given multiple opportunities to get it right and after the “zero tolerance” edict, he’s been given yet another. What he does with it will define his legacy. Make no mistake about it, it is Adam Jones who will dictating what that legacy will be.”
Analyst Michael Strahan on who this year’s Saints team is reminiscent of: “Watching these guys reminds me of a team that I used to hate to play – the Rams in their hey day. Drew Brees makes faster decisions than any other quarterback out there right now. Reggie Bush is a lot like Marshall Faulk and Drew Brees is like Kurt Warner.”
FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Jimmy Johnson assesses the
- “The defense is pretty shaky so run the ball more. Grind out some long drives to keep the defense off the field and fresh. With Felix Jones banged up, give rookie Tashard Choice a lot more work in practice so Marion Barber doesn’t have to shoulder the load.
- Offensive play calling has relied on Tony Romo’s mobility and no matter who takes the snap, protection must improve. Frankly, 40-year-old Brad Johnson isn’t mobile at all and if we see Romo, his control will be off with that broken pinkie especially since he’s prone to run while holding the ball with one hand, so call for more screens and draws.
- Teams are taking T.O. out of the game by jamming him at the line of scrimmage with safety help deep, so have more offensive formation shifts and motion him more to get him free.
- Let’s not forget about Special Teams. Some players think Special Teams is the rest period between offensive and defensive drills – it’s not. It’s about intensity. I say, double the time spent on special teams in practice.
- Finally, you have the second most penalties in the league. Make some changes and you’ll be back on the championship track.”
FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Howie Long on the many advantages of the Cowboys acquiring WR Roy Williams earlier this week: “Whoever is playing quarterback for the Cowboys has the added benefit of the acquisition of Roy Williams. He’ll help them on their run game and he’ll help them in their passing game. You know, there is a wag the dog element to this. One, it gets the attention off of Pacman Jones and two, it accomplishes keeping their fan base enthusiastic in selling season tickets for their new stadium.”
FOX NFL SUNDAY analyst Michael Strahan comments on how