Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Kerry Byrne: Vive les kickers!

The NFL's Week 12 Unsung Heroes
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

Punter Britton Colquitt pinned the Chargers inside their own 10 yard line in three of his nine punts Sunday, while allowing virtually zero return yards all day. In fact, San Diego’s Patrick Crayton totaled just 15 yards on three returns in nine opportunities…If not for a big day by Colquitt and Prater, Tebow-Mania is probably running a little less wild today.

Del Rio is first head coach to go

Sources: Jags fire Jack Del Rio
espn.go.com

Jack Del Rio has been fired as the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, according to team sources. The Jaguars, who are 3-8 heading into a Monday night game with the San Diego Chargers, plan to announce the move at noon Tuesday.

Not that the Chargers are expected to axe Norv this week, but how do you suppose the Worldwide Leader would spend the 18-hour pregame show next Monday with two interim coaches making their debuts? Don't you want to find out?

He just keeps getting up

Waiting for Tebow to Go Splat
online.wsj.com

So far, Tebow has shown a remarkable ability to absorb punishment. In Sunday’s win over the San Diego Chargers, there were 20 hits on Tebow during the game—and a few of them were the sorts of brutal shots that an average running back would attempt to avoid.

The worst one came at the end of the first quarter. On a second-and-9 on the San Diego 39, Tebow took a snap out of shotgun, faked a pitch right to running back Willis McGahee, then cut to the left and ran toward the line of scrimmage.

Chargers outside linebacker Travis LaBoy grabbed Tebow’s facemask and yanked his face down, preventing him from seeing in front of him. Defensive end Corey Liuget grabbed Tebow’s shoulder pads and started pulling him down, but not before Vaughn Martin, a 300-pound defensive lineman, came barreling at Tebow with a full head of steam and used the crown of his helmet to pound Tebow like a veal cutlet.

This is the kind of physical punishment that would make most people quit football entirely. But Tebow popped right up, seemingly unscathed. He was really upset that the officials didn’t call the facemask penalty (he had a point—it was blatant).

I'll admit I didn't think Tebow could take the punishment he's been taking as a runner.  I thought he'd be injured by the fourth game taking shots like he did against the Chargers.

This article tells you what I was oblivious to when I made that assertion--the guy just keeps getting up.

Kurt Warner agrees with Jake Plummer

Super Bowl Hero Kurt Warner Gives A Little Spiritual Advice To Tim Tebow
www.thepostgame.com

“I’d tell (Tebow), ‘Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you’re living,” Warner told the Arizona Republic. “Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony. There’s almost a faith cliche, where (athletes) come out and say, ‘I want to thank my Lord and savior,’ ” Warner told reporter Dan Bickley. “As soon as you say that, the guard goes up, the walls go up, and I came to realize you have to be more strategic. The greatest impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that. You set the standard with your actions. The words can come after.”

Some will see this as a negative story, but it's actually just the opposite.

I am floored by Kurt Warner's words--just stunned.  I never thought Warner, of all people, would be agreeing with Jake Plummer.

Football aside, I hope Tebow takes Warner's advice.  Not only do I agree with it on a personal level, it will ultimately get Tebow more converts, not less.  Warner seems to get that.

In my view, if Tebow becomes the long-term QB of the Broncos, I think he goes in this direction as he matures both on and off the field.

CHFF: Tebow sticking to the plan; Norv could be done soon

10 Things We Learned: Professional Week 12 Edition
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

And then there was Tebow. He followed the same blueprint he has in all five of his wins this year; don’t turn the ball over, hit a few big passes, stay close until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. Win. People seem to think the fascination with Tebow has to do with his religious beliefs, but they don’t make him the lead story every week. It’s the winning, and the weirdness of it all…GM A.J. Smith hasn’t shown much penchant for sentiment, trading Drew Brees, kicking LaDainian Tomlinson to the curb at the first signs of wear, firing Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season. So, if the Chargers lose next week at Jacksonville on Monday Night (ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!?!?!) and Oakland beats Miami, Smith could make his move.

FO: Time to blow up the Chargers

Audibles at the Line: Week 12
www.footballoutsiders.com

I was actually ready to compliment Norv for balancing runs with passes on that last drive. Then he ran three straight times to settle for that 53-yard field goal. I was shouting “punt!” because I honestly felt they had a better chance pinning the Broncos and seeing if they could drive 50 yards. Instead, the Broncos get the ball in position to pick up two first downs and win the game. Man, you cannot make this stuff up…Von Miller saved them this game too—on third down he knifed in to drop Mike Tolbert for a four-yard loss. Miller just went right through Antonio Gates on the play. Novak’s field goal missed just wide, and likely would have been good from four yards closer. Easy to blame Norv here, but give Miller credit for being a straight baller.

Foxball bolder than Norvball, by a skosh

Calling Interference on Pass Interference
www.grantland.com

Turner pretty clearly gave up at the end of overtime…By taking an instant timeout, Turner could have forced the Broncos to run another play to try to run the clock down, and if anyone is aware of what can happen with an extra snap before a field goal attempt, it’s the Chargers…The Chargers ran Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert on three consecutive plays for no net gain, and Novak promptly failed to put his 52-yarder through the uprights. That’s the exact sort of overtime behavior Brian Burke noted in his research into why Mike Smith’s fourth-and-1 decision was correct; essentially, coaches clam up in overtime when they get anywhere near a reasonable field goal. And it’s also worth noting that the Broncos passed up two fourth-and-1 opportunities with their excellent running game and promptly let the Chargers drive down the field on them … only to get lucky when the Chargers gave up and then missed their field goal.

Can someone tell Fox about the fourthdownulator, please?

Suddenly Tebow is getting more interesting

Tebow
www.advancednflstats.com

The big reason Denver is winning is defense, RB play, and special teams. However, because of Tebow’s unconventional style and scheme, some of the success of the Denver running backs could rightfully be attributed to him. Plus, he may be the perfect fit for a team built around defense. He doesn’t turn the ball over or take sacks, and he can use the clock by playing keep-away with his running. But keep in mind, except for his possible effect on RB success, WPA already captures these considerations.

One thing that doesn't get enough press is Burke's point about the RB play and Tebow because the two relate.  The other way of getting at the same point is to ask, Would McGahee be running the ball as well as he has without the threat of Tebow's running?

We all know the answer to this question.

There were plenty of other quotes to pull from this interesting piece by Burke.  Here's another:  "I enjoy watching Tebow play because I love the unconventional offense and I love the innovation. I love that John Fox fits his scheme to his personnel and not the other way around.  And in an age when every minor successful play results in some ridiculous showboating, finger-wagging dance, Tebow's attitude is refreshing."

Agreed.  When dudes are making fun of other dudes by mocking gun play as their touchdown celebration, it's going a little far.

Elway can’t backpedal fast enough on Tebow

11-28 The John Elway Show Part 1
www.denverssportsstation.com

He’s really making strides each week…I was surprised that people took it to be a negative answer…it wasn’t meant to be a strike at Timmy at all…I need to do a better job of communicating…it’s something I’ll learn from.

In his day, John Elway could backpedal as fast as any quarterback to get into his drops.   Today, though, on his weekly radio show, he was faster.

There was no mention of third-down struggles.  There was no mention of championshp football.  There was barely a mention of Von Miller.

Elway just hugged it out (metaphorically speaking).  He had nothing but praise for Tim Tebow.  In fact, he claims he was surprised (yeah, right) the fans reacted so negatively to his comments about Tebow last week.

Best line: "We're tackling, catching, and running, and that's what it's all about."

2nd-best line: "He [Kyle Orton] is a good human being."

3rd-best line: "If you have a positive mindset, good things are gonna happen."

Let me see if I have this straight.  If you have a positive outlook, can tackle, catch, and run the football, you can kick ass? 

CHFF: Strip club + root canal = Tebow

Thou Shall Not Doubt: Tebow delivers another win
www.coldhardfootballfacts.com

Watching Tim Tebow play quarterback is like getting a root canal at a strip club. Excruciatingly painful yet wildly entertaining at the same time. For the fifth time in the last six weeks, the quarterback - incarnate has led the Denver Broncos from temptation and delivered them from defeat…Most importantly, for the fourth time in as many wins, Tebow did not commit a single turnover…Progress, albeit slow, is still a welcome sight, especially when it provides another exciting win and a lethal blow to a division rival.