Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Barnwell: Tebow was tangibly great yesterday

Tim Tebow Silences All
www.grantland.com

Well, on Sunday Tebow delivered one of the finest performances a quarterback has delivered in recent memory. Not in some intangible quality — leadership, heart, grit, you name it, whatever — but an actual quantifiably great game.

One game doesn’t make a career. For all we know, we might have just seen the best passing performance of Tim Tebow’s life, a fleeting glimpse into what could happen if Tebow got to play backup free safeties with excellent pass protection every week. With that being said, if any other rookie quarterback from the past three years put up numbers similar to what Tebow did against anything resembling the Steelers pass defense in the playoffs, we would be falling all over ourselves to describe it as the first big sign that a new franchise quarterback had arrived on the scene.

Pats got their spy back in the fold just in time

Patriots happy Josh McDaniels is back
espn.go.com

“He obviously has some inside information on that team and those players because he coached them,” Brady said during his weekly interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “I haven’t seen Josh yet, so I really don’t know. l think coach (Bill) Belichick has a pretty good idea of what he’s going to want Josh to do. I talked to Josh briefly, but I really haven’t had a chance to sit down with him. He’s a great coach and we’re lucky to have him. I’m excited to get back to work with him. How that plays into this week, we’ll see. We’ll try to figure that out in the next five or six days.”

Lombardi: Tebow is Willy Loman, or Tiger Woods

Tebow crafting Hollywood script with each passing week
www.nfl.com

Tim Tebow is like the encyclopedia salesman that gets turned down door after door, but it never sways a belief that he’ll one day make the big sale. Nothing can shake Tebow’s confidence or his competitiveness. He always looks forward to the next play, the next game, the next challenge. No outside factors affect him. Tebow has the mental makeup of a great golfer that never allows a bogey from the previous hole to linger. And every time people think the end is near, Tebow rises up and adds another incredible chapter to his young career. After performing horrendously in Week 17 at home against the Chiefs, Tebow turned around to play his best game of the season against the Steelers’ top-ranked defense.

Benoit: McCoy out-coached LeBeau; Broncos out-executed Steelers

How Tebow and His Helpers Beat Man Coverage
fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com

Tebow disproved (at least temporarily) his legions of naysayers by connecting on throws against man coverage. That’s what all the experts – including, apparently, the Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau – decided he couldn’t do. Don’t blame the experts. They were simply going by what they’d seen on film the past two weeks. Credit Tebow for finally “pulling the trigger” and playing with pocket poise against the Steelers’ intentionally soft pass rush. More than that, credit his offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, and top receiver, Demaryius Thomas.

McCoy designed some very shrewd routes against the Steelers’ coverages. Instead of going with the tight bunches and myriad crossing patterns that most coaches use to beat man coverage, he went with a barrage of outside fly routes…The idea was to use Troy Polamalu’s aggressive decision-making against him. It worked masterfully…It’s easy to criticize Taylor for the poor game, but really, this was more about Denver’s phenomenal execution.

Chargers staying in sunny San Diego for 2012

Canepa: Chargers to stay in '12, but new stadium still needed
www.utsandiego.com

The Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium lease with the City expires in 2020, but each year, from Feb. 1 through April 30, the franchise can trigger an out clause and negotiate with other cities or move as it sees fit. This morning, in conjunction with Mayor Jerry Sanders’ office, the Chargers will formally announce they have no intention to exercise that option and will play its 2012 games in Qualcomm.

Veronica Corningstone: For the entire Channel 4 news team, I'm Veronica Corningstone.
Ron Burgundy: And I'm Ron Burgundy. Go @#$% yourself, San Diego.

Martyball could return

Bucs, Marty Schottenheimer to talk
espn.go.com

Marty Schottenheimer, whose last season in the NFL ended with his firing in 2007 after a 14-2 record in 2006 as coach of the San Diego Chargers, will interview Tuesday with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their head coaching vacancy, according to league sources.

Dean Spanos fires Marty after a 14-win season, keeps Norv after his team underachieves, wins 17 total games, and misses the playoffs two straight years. How so many crappy retread guys have gotten jobs in these intervening years over Marty is beyond me.

Silver: Tebow pulled himself from the brink

Broncos given no choice but to embrace Tebow
sports.yahoo.com

In the aftermath of his dreadful, 6-for-22, 60-yard outing against the Chiefs, Tebow’s bosses – Elway, Fox and other powerbrokers in the organization – were in full-fledged panic mode. A couple of weeks earlier, they’d considered him their unquestioned starter heading into the 2012 season. Now, even that was open for reassessment.

Last Monday, as preparations began for the Steelers game, some radical short-term alternatives were considered. One, according to two organizational sources, involved playing Tebow only on first downs and inserting his backup, Brady Quinn, for second- and third-down plays. Another plan called for Tebow to be benched in favor of Quinn if he were to struggle early.

Silver also thinks the league shouldn't have allowed New England to hire Josh McDaniels before the Pats are out of the playoffs. He writes:

The 2011 season should be treated as a separate entity, and if a coach such as McDaniels wants to line up a new gig, it should be effective after the team in question’s final game of this season. That’s certainly the spirit of the rule that applies to players, who are saddled with a mid-October trade deadline and, after that, are at the mercy of their employers’ kind-heartedness (as Kyle Orton was in surprisingly securing his Broncos release from Elway) and a waiver system before choosing their same-season relocation scenario.

I continue to disagree with this sentiment - the Pats are free to sign Kyle McCarthy and Quan Cosby, whom Denver recently cut; the Broncos could likewise sign ex-Pats DE Eric Moore if they so desire. Why should it be any different for coaches?

Crennel officially Chiefs HC; Jackson’s status murky

It's done: Crennel is Chiefs new coach
chiefsblog.kansascity.com

The worst kept secret in Kansas City is now official: Romeo Crennel is officially the new head coach of the Chiefs.

The talk out of Oakland is that new GM Reggie McKenzie may prefer a handpicked HC, which would make sense considering the amount of powre Hue Jackson wielded this season, especially following the death of Al Davis.

Tebow cashes in; McCoy’s Jags interview will be rescheduled

Source: Tim Tebow earns $250K bonus
espn.go.com

Tebow has an escalator of $250,000 in his contract for each playoff win and 70 percent playtime during the requisite season, according to an NFL source. Being that he played 73 percent of the plays this season, Tebow cashed in on a quarter-million salary escalator for Sunday’s 29-23 overtime victory and could earn another $250,000 with another victory Saturday night at New England against the Patriots.

McCoy was scheduled to interview in Jacksonville on Monday for the Jaguars’ head coaching job if Denver had lost Sunday, according to an NFL source. But now that interview will have to be rescheduled. McCoy is allowed to talk with the Jaguars this week but it will be challenging with the Broncos’ short week of preparation for Saturday’s game.

Hopefully McCoy's interview won't hamper his preparations this week; presumably the Jaguars' brass can come to Denver and make it a quickie?

Tebow > Steelers

Tim Tebow Is No Good. Except for When He’s Great.
fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com

So on Tebow’s first three passes, he was 0 for 3 and in danger of being pulled. On his next three he was 3 for 3 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Then he bulled his way up the middle for an 8-yard touchdown run. The stadium shook.

Talent evaluators everywhere shook their heads, the pro-Tebow ones knowingly, the anti-Tebow ones incredulously.

What a second quarter!