We continue our Sunday NFL pregame quotage with ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown stuff.
ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown host Chris Berman and analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson previewed today’s NFL action. Some excerpts:On the Vikings playing better under (new coach) Leslie Frazier, like the Cowboys…Jackson: “I don’t think so. Jason Garrett took over a (Dallas Cowboys) football team that was talented but not playing hard. There is a difference between that and a dysfunctional locker room, which is what Leslie Frazier is dealing with.”Johnson: “The locker room was dysfunctional because of Brad Childress. That locker room has somewhat rallied around Leslie Frazier. I think that they feel like, this is a guy that’s been on both sides of the table, as a player and now as a coach, understands what it takes to be successful as a player. Then, he’ll transfer that to Brett Favre, the offense, the defense will get better … I think he will have that little bit of magic like Jason Garrett.”Ditka: “To be successful, he has to do it his way, not the quarterbacks’ way. It is not a popularity contest right now … These guys to me, they sound like a bunch of cry babies. I know the old Vikings, I played against them, I coached against them, they went after you. They played the game the way you’re supposed to play the game.”Carter: “The only way you are going to change the offense is if Brett Favre has a tremendous impact. I want Brett Favre to stand up. He’s telling Ed (Werder) about his injuries – my foot hurt, my elbow hurt, my everything is hurting. When are you going to play better? He is the worst quarterback in the NFL … Brett Favre has stunk this season …“Let me tell you what the Vikings got. The Vikings got a bunch of chumps on their team – talking, whispering, ‘Oh, I don’t like the coach’.”On whether the Jeff Fisher-Vince Young relationship is beyond repair…Ditka: “When respect is gone out of a relationship, the love is gone and then the divorce is final. Jeff (Fisher) wants to move forward in a different direction. Vince Young has had every chance in the world. He’s shown a great amount of immaturity, I feel sorry for him … But you can’t do what he did.”Johnson: “He’s definitely a winner, we all know that. But Jeff Fisher has to be the guy to bring this relationship closer again. I don’t know that Jeff would do that … And now you have the owner taking sides saying you have to embrace this quarterback. At some point in time, people have to go their separate ways.”Jackson: “Beyond repair, I believe it is. People have to understand, first of all, what was said to Jeff Fisher in that locker room. We cannot repeat it. The expletives were such that you totally showed disrespect for your coach … And then to text. Let me tell you how you do this Vince. You issue your apology the same way you issued the insult. You get the team together, with the coach in front of you, and you say, ‘I’m sorry what happened. I hope I can win the respect of Jeff Fisher and my teammates back again.’ With the same passion and intensity with which you cursed the coach out and left that locker room. Try that, and see if it works by March. Right now, I don’t see that happening.”Carter: “It’s just like a marriage … The thing about marriage is to keep them successful, you can’t fall out of love at the same time. The first incident in 2008, Fisher was still in love with him, so they brought him back into the team. Now, after this incident where Fisher has been embarrassed, they have to have a divorce. The only problem is, the judge is Bud Adams and he’s writing the check.”On how Michael Vick vs. Bears defense will play out…Carter: “The Bears are going to try to keep Michael Vick in the pocket. My biggest concern is playing in Soldier Field, I played there 14 games. This surface is not like any other surface in the National Football League. The grass is very very thick … This is not like Lambeau Field. Lambeau Field, they have heaters under the field, so the players don’t slip as much. The grass is longer. Michael Vick would have to stay in the pocket.”Jackson: “He is dealing with the team that has outstanding athleticism … This team has Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher. These guys would be able to track him down. I don’t know if they’ll get the sacks, but it is the hits on him that will take their toll. Let’s see how he looks going into the third quarter, fourth quarter.”Ditka: “The reason we don’t have those heaters (on the field turf) in Chicago was a political decision. We have problems with that in Chicago … Bears are a pretty good defense. They play that cover two and they’re going to have a lot of guys looking at him.”Carter: “One thing the Bears have to do is swallow their pride. Earlier in Bran Urlacher’s career, he could spy. He can’t spy on Michael Vick, because he can’t run the field like that.”Who has the edge – Josh Freeman vs. Ravens defense?Johnson: “He’ll come out okay, but he won’t come out with a ‘W’. Ray Lewis isn’t going to let a young guy come into his stadium and come out of there with a victory. Warm weather teams going to a cold weather city, no matter what anybody says, that’s a problem. Those receivers are not accustomed to running routes in cold weather, catching those types of football. Not only that, you’ve got Ed Reed back – four games, four interceptions. Enough said.”Carter: “The graphic said six comebacks in the 4th quarter. That means they’ve been down a whole bunch. That’s what Ed Reed and Ray Lewis; they key right in on what you’re going to do. You become one dimensional, and you’re behind in the game, Baltimore will dominate.”Ditka: “I guarantee you, he (Freeman) doesn’t care about Ed Reed or Ray Lewis. All he cares about, getting his team in the end zone. This is a pretty good young football team. They emulate their head coach.”Which team needs the win more: Chargers or Colts?Jackson: “The Chargers – that slow start this year included a couple of division losses … As bad as the Colts look to us right now, they’re still tied for first in their division with a couple of games coming.Johnson: “It’s the San Diego Chargers. They can’t afford another loss.”Ditka: “The Colts have lost two out of three. If they lose another one, that’ll be three out of four. If they get three out of four, they’ve got a problem.”On the unwritten NFL rules each Sunday NFL Countdown analyst subscribes to…Jackson: “No spitting.”Carter: “I don’t believe in all that shake your hands before the game.”Johnson: “Players talking about other players’ contracts, publicly.”Ditka: “They talk about all these shots head-to-head. Mine was, you never go low on a guy if you don’t have to.”Special Thankgiving “No Huddle”Biggest “turkey” in the NFL this season?Jackson: “Randy Moss. Considering that he’s had the chance to play with so many different people this year and deliver a few things at every stop.”Carter: “(Randy) Moss has had a bad year.”Johnson: “The Washington Redskins, the Shanahans, the staff, everybody there, plus the Monday night when they bamboozled us on the (Donovan) McNabb contract.”Ditka: “It’s Randy Moss.”
NBC’s Football Night in America’s preview of tonight’s interviews is next.