Let’s move to the NFL on Fox and its quotage from today. No videos this time.
Johnson: RG3 Would Be My First Pick
Johnson, Long, Bradshaw, Strahan Debate Quarterback Controversy in San Francisco
Strahan: “If You’re Looking For a Head Coach, Mike Nolan Should Be at The Top of Your List”
Analyst Jimmy Johnson would take RG3 if he was starting a football team: “He’s not going to be the MVP, I understand that. However, if I was going to start a team today as a rookie, Robert Griffin III would be the first pick on my football team. He’s got it all.”
FOX NFL SUNDAY insider Jay Glazer reminded viewers what sparked last season’s Jim Schwartz/Jim Harbaugh confrontation and corrected reports that the NFL’s competition committee has the authority to change the challenge rule that perhaps cost Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and his team a win on Thanksgiving. Schwartz threw a challenge flag when Houston’s Justin Forsett scored on an 81-yard touchdown after two Lions tackled him. Replays showed Forsett’s knee and elbow hit the ground near midfield and the automatic review that accompanies every scoring play likely would’ve called the touchdown back. NFL rules state that throwing a challenge flag on a scoring play negates the review and is an unsportsmanlike penalty: “If there is one guy who should never forget the rule, it’s Jim Schwartz. People don’t realize that this exact same incident happened last year and that’s what caused the little fight between Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh with the whole handshake.”
Glazer on if the rule can be changed: “It’s been falsely reported that the competition committee can change this rule. They cannot change this rule. The owners can change it and Commissioner Goodell can change it but I don’t see it happening during this season. As one league executive told me, ‘you know what is better than changing the rules – knowing the rules!’”
Analysts Jimmy Johnson, Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Michael Strahan debated whether 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is making the correct decision if he decides to bench quarterback Alex Smith (returning from injury) in favor of backup Colin Kaepernick:
Johnson: “Without question Kaepernick is the guy to be the starter. You can be safe and good or take a chance and maybe be great. Kaepernick won’t be as consistent but he gives you a chance to throw the ball down the field. If he’s going to be ready for the playoffs, you’ve got to play him now.”
Bradshaw: “I’m steamed if I’m Alex Smith. I’ve done nothing to hurt our football team. He has no reason to bench him, absolutely none.”
Strahan: “Personally, I went through this before with Kurt Warner and Eli Manning. It disrupts the team. When you’re a player and you see that they take a veteran that’s playing well, and put him on the bench for a younger kid it upsets the team and takes you a while to get over that as a player.”
Long: “It’s a quarterback friendly offense [in San Francisco] and they don’t ask a lot of the quarterback. For them to take the next step, the quarterback has to be able to make the bigger plays.”
Later in the show, FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer reported on Alex Smith’s future in San Francisco: “About two weeks after this league year ends, Alex Smith is owed about 8.5 million dollars in bonus money. I can’t see them paying that for a backup. This could be the end of Alex Smith in San Francisco, if he doesn’t regain his starting job.”
Analyst Michael Strahan believes Mike Nolan is a top candidate to eventually become a head coach: “As a defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan has done a great job to make sure the Atlanta Falcons are prepared with their schemes because they don’t necessarily have the horses that other teams have. If you’re looking for a head coach, Mike Nolan should be at the top of your list.”
Analyst Long talked about Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano: “Greg Schiano is tough, he’s unrelenting and he doesn’t do things because that’s the way they’ve been done for years and years. It reminds me of a guy sitting up here at the desk [Jimmy Johnson].”
And we’ll complete our the Sunday afternoon posts with NBC’s preview of tonight’s Football Night in America interviews.