Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Elway: Hard for us to comprehend how big of a schmuck Te’o is

John Elway on Manti Te'o: 'Why wouldn't he know?'
www.usatoday.com

“It’s a little bit mind-boggling to think what did happen, what he did know,” Broncos executive vice president John Elway said. “He’s going to get asked about it probably 32 times at the Combine. Everyone is going to ask him about it. It’s hard for us to understand—why he wouldn’t know?”

Granted, it's lying season (as if there's any time of year when football execs actually tell the truth). But it's really difficult, even if Te'o were to fall to them at #28, to picture the Broncos drafting the kid.

What, he (best case) falls for some fake Facebook/Twitter advances and doesn't figure it out for years, and he's supposed to quarterback Denver's defense against the likes of Tom Brady, Eli Manning, RG3, and Andrew Luck next year?

Worst case, of course, is that he was in on it and is a delusional, pathological liar...

Researchers diagnose CTE in living ex-NFLers

CTE found in living ex-NFL players
espn.go.com

Brain scans performed on five former NFL players revealed images of the protein that causes football-related brain damage—the first time researchers have identified signs of the crippling disease in living players.

Researchers who conducted the pilot study at UCLA described the findings as a significant step toward being able to diagnose the disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, in living patients.

With such a small study, plenty more work will need to be done to ascertain whether CTE can be diagnosed reliably.

But it's an encouraging step, and that the NFL's concussion committee is chaired by a neurosurgeon instead of a freaking rheumatologist is pretty great, too. Gee, I wonder why that change occurred?

Ginger Hammer unbans Sean Payton

NFL reinstates Saints' Sean Payton
espn.go.com

The NFL reinstated New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton on Tuesday from his season-long suspension as a result of the league’s investigation into the team’s bounty program.

The league said the decision to reinstate Payton was made after a meeting between the coach and commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in New Orleans.

Can't help but wonder when this would have happened if the Super Bowl weren't taking place in New Orleans...

Meanwhile, Gregg Williams is free to search out a new job, and the Rog will apparently review his possible reinstatement if and when Williams finds one.

McGahee: concussions aren’t really injuries

Theater of Pain
www.esquire.com

I called McGahee recently. He now plays for the Denver Broncos and was recovering from a torn medial collateral ligament. With the playoffs approaching, and with NFL injuries becoming ever more of “an issue” — the global warming of American sports fans, something to be fretted over and put aside — I wanted to talk to someone whose career has been defined by very public injuries and whose very public injuries have defined the state of football over the last ten years. But he didn’t see it that way. “Injury has not been part of my career,” he said. “I’ve only gotten hurt twice. I got hurt once in college and once in the pros.”

Right, but that second injury, against the Steelers…

“No. I mean now. The MCL.”

“So you don’t consider the concussion an injury?”

“That’s what they consider it. But getting a concussion and hurting your knee are two different things. You get back up from a concussion.” Willis McGahee was knocked out cold against the Steelers. He went out on the board. He didn’t consider himself injured, though, because like all NFL players he considers himself an expert in what qualifies as an injury and what doesn’t. The loss of consciousness he suffered in Pittsburgh didn’t qualify because it didn’t require rehabilitation. It didn’t put his career in jeopardy. It didn’t exile him from his teammates.

And most of all, it didn’t hurt.

There might have been a time when this Esquire article would have shocked the American public.  After all, players keeping pain journals (before they become human veggies), taking Toradol like it's a daily multi-vitamin, and distrusting team doctors so much they bring in their own are all disturbing revelations.

But apparently they're not disturbing enough.  The NFL is as popular as ever, the current generation of players knows the risks, and the ranks of college players continues to swell.

It's sad to say, but it's probably going to take an actual death in front of a live television audience on a big stage to shock anyone at this point.

Carry on,  Mr. Goodell.

Manning: look, Pa, I got me a duck and a deer

Peyton Manning hunts following Denver Broncos' loss
www.nfl.com

Life could be worse for Peyton Manning. Yes, his Denver Broncos were upset by the Baltimore Ravens in last week’s divisional playoffs. Still, things are just fine for Manning. His neck works. He hasn’t been Catfish’d. He’s nowhere near the crime blotter.

Instead, he’s traveling the country with old friend, Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, shooting rifles in the woods. We imagine this brings him great peace. “He told me he killed, in one day, a duck in Colorado and a deer in Mississippi,” Archie Manning told The Associated Press on Saturday.

While we're still bitching about the loss last week, Peyton Manning is going Ted Nugent.  

No word yet on the rumor that Rahim Moore is fly fishing in Montana.  

Mike Pereira changes his tune: refs in Ravens-Broncos game struggled after all

Drew and Scott hour 2 1/17/13
www.1043thefan.com

“The performance of that crew really to me was not up to playoff level. They had some areas of the game that they struggled in that you shouldn’t. If you’re this supposed all-star crew, you shouldn’t have the difficulties that you have with the passing game specifically, you know, where they were pretty inconsistent on what they called and they didn’t call…it just wasn’t their best performance.”

Last week, Mike Pereira wrote how pleased he was with the refs in the Ravens-Broncos game.  We told him to go do something to himself reserved only for the double jointed.

I guess when he spoke to a Denver-based audience, he changed his tune--either that or he did the thing we told him to do and the feel-good endorphins were running through his body.  

Gase: 2013 Broncos offense to raise tempo

Gase: ‘We’re going to try to play faster’
milehighsports.com

“You’re not starting over, and in April we’ll be ready right from the get-go,” Gase said Thursday.

Tempo will be paramount, Gase noted, and he admitted that the offense is “going to try to play faster” than it did in 2012.

The notion that Manning was a de facto offensive coordinator was dismissed. “Peyton wants to be coached,” Gase said, adding that he learned how to be on point, because there was no end to how many questions Manning would ask. Gase also said Manning tweaked calls. “If you call something and it’s not good, he fixes it and puts you in a better play,” he said.

Playing faster? With a year of familiarity under the belts of Peyton & Company?

Sounds great. Now, about fourth downs...

Deadspin commits an epic act of journalism, and exposes Manti Te’o as a fraud

Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax
deadspin.com

There was no Lennay Kekua. Lennay Kekua did not meet Manti Te’o after the Stanford game in 2009. Lennay Kekua did not attend Stanford. Lennay Kekua never visited Manti Te’o in Hawaii. Lennay Kekua was not in a car accident. Lennay Kekua did not talk to Manti Te’o every night on the telephone. She was not diagnosed with cancer, did not spend time in the hospital, did not engage in a lengthy battle with leukemia. She never had a bone marrow transplant. She was not released from the hospital on Sept. 10, nor did Brian Te’o congratulate her for this over the telephone. She did not insist that Manti Te’o play in the Michigan State or Michigan games, and did not request he send white flowers to her funeral. Her favorite color was not white. Her brother, Koa, did not inform Manti Te’o that she was dead. Koa did not exist. Her funeral did not take place in Carson, Calif., and her casket was not closed at 9 a.m. exactly. She was not laid to rest.

Read this article.  It's an outstanding piece of journalism.  That is all.

Update 7:52pm ET - Te'o and ND have each released statements claiming Manti was a victim of an internet hoax, but the story all along included claims of in-person meetings between Te'o and his alleged girlfriend.

Tom Moore wants an OC job.  Know anywhere he might fit?

Moore looking for OC job, and one makes too much sense
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Moore didn’t mention any specific possibilities, but there just so happens to be a team that just lost an offensive coordinator, which just so happens to employ a quarterback Moore is familiar with. Moore has only the thinnest background working with Denver coach John Fox, as they were with the Steelers together in 1989. But since the Broncos catered the offense to Peyton Manning this year anyway under now-Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, and Moore called that offense with the Colts, it’s simply a logical step to make.

This is a very logical step to make; I agree with Darin Gantt completely.  It's maybe just as logical to promote QB coach Adam Gase to OC, but I think he and Moore represent continuity, and that that's the most important thing for the Broncos offense.  I'm less of a fan of the ideas of hiring Ken Whisenhunt or Pat Shurmur.  Whisenhunt will probably be gone for another HC job within a year or two, and Shurmur is a scheme guy from a West Coast background.

Mayor Hancock should have read this article before making his Broncos/Ravens bet

Lewis Follows in Fancy Footsteps, but Few Can Follow in His
www.nytimes.com

The dance comes fraught with risks, however. Some advice? Stretch beforehand. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith recalled seeing an online video clip of a young man who tore up his knee trying — and failing — to imitate Lewis’s routine.

“Just some random dude,” Smith said glumly, adding that only Lewis can truly execute his trademark moves — those elongated slides, those dramatic chest pops. “I’ve never seen any dances like that. You ever seen any dances like that? Nobody dances like that.”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock apparently injured himself today while warming up for his version of Ray Lewis's pre-game dance, which is his end of a bet made with Baltimore's mayor.