Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

There are no silver (and black) linings in Oakland

Raiders' Carson Palmer considers season a failure
www.sfgate.com

Carson Palmer was asked after the Raiders’ season-ending loss Sunday whether the midseason trade for him - at the cost of a first-round pick and a second-rounder - was a failure. “It was this year,” he said. “It didn’t work out for us this year. I always feel like when you don’t win, the quarterback can always play better, and I can definitely play better. It stinks to sit here and say next year, what are we going to do next year.

I am completely amused by this, I must say.  Hue-bris Jackson (Jason Whitlock's nickname for Jackson) got exactly what he deserved.

You mess with the Manning, you get the horns

Source: Polians out with Colts
espn.go.com

Colts vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian are out in Indianapolis, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

The Colts (2-14) finished with fewer than three wins for only the second time since moving to Indianapolis in 1984, and fans have been calling for the ouster of the Polians and coach Jim Caldwell.

As they say, the fluttering of Peyton Manning's wings can create climate change on the other side globe. Oh, and close to home?  It can get you fired in a matter of 16 games.  

All kidding aside, this probably means the end of the Manning era in Indy.

Update on Dawkins

Denver safety Brian Dawkins is doubtful
espn.go.com

Denver safety Brian Dawkins is doubtful for Sunday’s game against Kansas City with a neck injury that has been bothering him for several weeks.  He did not practice all week. It will be up to rookies Quinton Carter and Rahim Moore to anchor the defense in a critical game against the Chiefs. Denver will win the AFC West with a victory over the Chiefs and former Denver quarterback Kyle Orton.

If Denver losses, we may not see Dawkins in a Denver uniform again. He is 38 and there is concern in Denver about the neck injury. He has been the unquestioned leader of the team since he arrived as a free agent from Philadelphia in 2009.

For Kansas City, running back Jackie Battle (foot) is out and safety Jon McGraw (ankle) is doubtful to play Sunday.

Sock! Pow! Zok! Tebow now a superhero

Denver's Tebow now officially a 'super hero', thanks to Marvel
www.examiner.com

The three pieces, rendered in full color, are the work of Marvel comic artists Bong Dazo, Scott Koblish and Todd Nauck and all depict Tebow in various states of on-the-field action. One shows Tebow racing downfield while a scoreboard behind him shows the “visitors” with a (temporary?) 14-7 lead with 2:24 left in the fourth quarter. Marvel says Tebow has been “nothing short of a super hero” for the Broncos this season due to his heroics, which makes the work of the artists appropriate.

“Like the Marvel heroes who pull off last minute victories, Tim Tebow has fans around the world on the edge of their seats and believing that in our own lives - when time is running out and all looks lost, we can dig deep inside and use our various strengths to triumph over insurmountable odds,” said Marvel Custom Solutions spokesman Bill Rosemann.

Na na na na na na na na...Tebow!

Josh McDaniels has a shadow; his name is Brandon Lloyd

Rams' Lloyd will follow McDaniels
www.stltoday.com

“I can’t even lie about that,” Lloyd said. “I’m tied to McDaniels. He uses me differently than other offensive coordinators used me in my entire career. He uses me as an every-play receiver. The short game, mid-range game, gimmick passes, deep balls. I do everything in this offense as opposed to other coordinators who would just run me off as the deep guy; run me off into double coverage and then say I’m not open. So I really like how Josh uses me within the offense. I’m extremely comfortable in the offense.”

When informed of those comments by Lloyd, McDaniels replied: “I appreciate that, and he knows I feel that way about him, too. I would love to have an opportunity to continue working with him. I think you grow fond of certain players; you grow fond of all of them. But some of ‘em you may get closer with than others, and that’s definitely true with him.”

Chiefs Week will be that much more interesting if it involves Josh McDaniels, Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd all suiting up for KC, won't it?

Sources: Tebow not the best teammate, after all

Tebow, Orton motivated for different reasons in season finale
www.nfl.com

Four days after a billboard in Denver on 58th Avenue one block east of Interstate 25 publicly called for coach John Fox to bench Orton in favor of No. 15, the quarterbacks decided to begin fining Tebow every day that it remained up.

No one ever gave him a reason, but according to sources, this was it: Tebow never made any attempt to publicly admonish the divisive gesture by the fan base. So they fined him. For six days. Until he eventually replaced Orton and there was no longer a reason for the billboard to exist.

During that span, while fans were up in arms after the team started 1-4 with Orton under center, there were never any confrontations between the players. Never tense words exchanged. Never anything that would indicate a problem at all except for the strange and awkward situation surrounding that billboard. But all of it—even if unspoken—was not unnoticed.

Of course Tebow wouldn't say anything to admonish the billboards.  Why would he purposely hurt his FRS/Jockey/Nike brand?

Some things really are more important than football.

Lombardi: Chiefs may keep Orton, Jeremy Bates could run Bears offense in 2012

Sanchez gets pounded because the run game is grounded
www.nfl.com

Speaking of Orton, the Chiefs will make an effort to sign him this offseason and bring him back for another year to compete with starter Matt Cassel…[Sam] Bradford will know soon that the Rams won’t be picking a quarterback with the first or second pick and that they will hopefully parlay that pick into a much-needed infusion of talent…Something tells me the next head coach at Penn State will come from the pro ranks…The word out of Tampa seems to indicate that Raheem Morris will be coaching his last game on Sunday.

Mike Martz is not expected back with the Bears even though head coach Lovie Smith seems annoyed with all the questions. Martz has told people that he did not sign an extension and is not going back. Who would the Bears go after? Maybe Jay Cutler’s former offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, who is now available. Last time the Bears had a position open they wanted to talk to Bates, but he took the Seattle job before they had a chance.

Plenty of interesting nuggest from Lombardi today - having Josh McDaniels reunite with Kyle Orton in KC, and Jeremy Bates with Jay Cutler in Chicago? Ugh, the memories...

Hillis: I was cursed by Madden

Cleveland Browns' Peyton Hillis a believer in the 'Madden Curse': Browns Insider
www.cleveland.com

He’d appreciate if you didn’t remember the public missteps he had with Browns management about his contract renegotiations, the medical advice he took from his agent to skip a game when he was sick, and the closed-door meeting he had with teammates who reached out to the foundering running back. And please, most of all, don’t recall the many times Hillis proclaimed he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. Because he does.

“No doubt about it,” Hillis finally admitted Thursday. “Things haven’t worked to my favor this year. There’s a few things that happened that made me believe in curses. Ain’t no doubt about it.”

Oh, and here's what he said back in May about the Madden Curse:

Actually, I don’t even believe in curses. It’s really sad how many people believe in curses. This is football; everyone gets hurt. If you run the ball 40 times a game, you’re going to get banged around and get nicks and bruises here and there, but I don’t pay too much attention to that. I’ll let it take care of itself.

(via LBS)

Banks: McDaniels coming to KC no matter what happens Sunday

Definitive guide to Black Monday and the 2012 coaching carousel
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Win or lose Sunday at Denver for Romeo Crennel (although a win and a 2-1 interim head coaching record makes the rationale a much easier sell), there’s a pretty good shot he gets elevated to the full-time gig. League sources then expect Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli to go out and hire Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to the same post in Kansas City, with the expectation that McDaniels will be let go when Spagnuolo is canned. Pioli will then have made his own locker room very happy with the retention of the popular Crennel, who he likes and greatly respects, but also will have put in a place a succession plan with the arrival of McDaniels, who could use another couple seasons to let the radioactivity from his failed Denver head coaching tenure die down. Crennel is 64, and gives Pioli a trusted short-term coaching option. McDaniels is 35, and gives Pioli a trusted long-term coaching option.

Shanny as confident as he’s ever been

Mike Shanahan has “no doubt” he’ll return to Redskins
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Mike Shanahan is the first Redskins coach to preside over back-to-back seasons with double-digit losses since Norv Turner in the mid-90s. Turner survived those seasons to stick around a while longer, but that was before Dan Snyder bought the team. Snyder has fired every one of his Redskins coaches in two years or less except for Joe Gibbs. That’s why it’s not that crazy to think Shanahan could be a surprise coach to lose his job at the end of this season. It would certainly surprise Shanahan. Shanahan said there is “no doubt” in his mind that he’ll be back next season.  But he knows it’s not his decision to make.