Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Ryan Harris back in orange and blue

Broncos re-sign Ryan Harris to help offensive line
www.denverpost.com

Tackle Ryan Harris, a starter from 2008-2010, re-signed on Monday, according to a team source, filling the roster spot left by guard Chris Kuper, who was placed on injured reserve. Kuper broke his lower left leg and suffered a dislocated ankle in Sunday’s 7-3 loss to Kansas City. Harris, a 2007 third-round draft pick, was an unrestricted free agent before this season and nearly re-signed with the Broncos then. He chose instead to sign with Philadelphia, but suffered a back injury during training camp.

AJ “The Head” Smith and Norv Turner likely to remain

Source: Turner, A.J. could return to Bolts
www.cbssports.com

There seems to be a lot of waffling on the future of San Diego coach Norv Turner, and, according to a source close to the organization, there’s good reason. He believes that Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be retained. Of course, that’s not set in concrete. Nothing is this time of year. But it’s the first tangible sign that both will return next season. Turner has two years left on his contract at $3 million per, and Smith has three years left at $2 million per season. According to the source, he believes that ownership is reluctant to fire each or both, then have to pay them.

But there’s more to it than that. Quarterback Philip Rivers is a big fan of Turner and voiced his support Sunday for his embattled head coach. Owner Dean Spanos is reluctant to fire Turner, too, one reason he wants time to sit on the decision.

In a related story, a lot of Broncos fans experienced group orgasm.

So, you’re telling me there’s a chance

Steelers lose Rashard Mendenhall to torn ACL
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

The news is in on Rashard Mendenhall’s right knee injury, and it’s as bad as it could be. Mendenhall has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament, ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports. Obviously, Mendenhall won’t be playing for the Steelers in the playoffs, and the question with an ACL tear is whether he can even be ready for the start of next season. He may be at less than 100 percent when the 2012 regular season begins.

When I wrote yesterday that I would get excited if the Steelers went into the playoffs with their starting QB, RB, and WR all going down, I didn't, at the time, realize that Mendenhall had sustained an injury.  Things may suddenly get more interesting.  I wonder if Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace want to play some pick-up basketball today.  Stranger things have happened to the Broncos' opponents this year (see Culter, Jay and Forte, Matt).

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...