Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Qadry Ismail: Cris Carter was no Shannon Sharpe

As Cris Carter preps for Hall of Fame induction, former teammate rips his ‘extreme selfishness’
sports.yahoo.com

[T]he greatest guy that I played with was Shannon Sharpe, because he raised the game up for me as a player. I know there would be times when we’d get in the huddle and he’d look over at me and go, ‘Q, we need to make a play.’ Or whatever it might have been in that moment. And I swear to you it would be like, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to make a play because Shannon just called me out.’ And sure enough, boom, it would be there. Shannon was that kind of a guy that you just knew that he was in your corner. You couldn’t say the same thing for Cris Carter. You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude towards his teammates. You couldn’t say the same thing as far as his attitude as far as the coaching staff. You knew that he had a selfishness to him that was an extreme selfishness.
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When you talk about Shannon’s talent you are talking about that team elevating and winning championships. When you are talking about talent, there’s one thing to have talent but, to me, if you’re a complete, amazing football player, others around you rise up to whatever their level of talent is.

You know what makes for a horrible teammate? Raining on a guy's parade as he's entering the HOF, even if it's with the truth.

Still, it's never a bad day to extol the virtues of the NFL's greatest-ever tight end.

Mays: Denver experience “kind of left a sour taste in my mouth”

Joe Mays looks to remove “sour taste” from his mouth
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

“Everything that happened in Denver, it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth,” Mays told FOX 26.  ”At the same time I was able to get out and get on a great team like Houston.”

Mays said he chose the Texans over the Redskins, 49ers, Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders.

Let's see, Joe...the Broncos rescued you from special teams oblivion in Philly, gave you multiple chances to be an NFL starter, overpaid you egregiously, and then let you go once they realized what they'd done...and you're the unhappy one?

If anyone should feel any bitterness, we're thinking it's John Elway and his director of drunk personnel.

Saturday not an option; Ramirez working as starting center

Jeff Saturday not expect to leave retirement
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

According to Saturday’s ESPN co-worker Ed Werder, the longtime Colts center isn’t interested in making a comeback, and has already dropped to the 230-240-pound range since retiring.

Manny Ramirez continues to work as the first-team center following the season- and possibly career-ending injury to Dan Koppen. C.J. Davis is back practicing as a center today after having injured his ankle over the weekend.

According to Lindsay Jones, following Ramirez and Davis on the team's center depth chart are Philip Blake and Quentin Saulsberry.

PK: Von’s suspension possibly caused by ‘extenuating circumstances’

Hoping on an Unknown: With Von Miller facing a potential suspension, fifth-round rookie Quanterus Smith is unexpectedly in the Denver spotlight
mmqb.si.com

It’s unlikely Miller will beat what The Denver Post claims is a looming suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, though there are growing suspicions there could be extenuating circumstances to Miller’s proposed ban. Neither he nor the Broncos were talking about it on Thursday.

Mike Klis first suggested on Wednesday that Von's suspension may stem from a missed drug test.

But whatever the details, it's hard to imagine the ironfisted jury/judge/executioner/appeals judge Roger Goodell reversing a ban on appeal. Accordingly, Denver's best hope may be for a reduced suspension.

PK: Quant Smith could be early key for Broncos

Children are Their Future: Two rookies will be key; other thoughts from Denver Broncos training camp
mmqb.si.com

They may lose Von Miller, depending upon league discipline, for the first four games of the year. If that happens, look for Quanterus Smith - who might be the most important fifth-round draft choice in the NFL this year - to play a big role, especially in the nickel pass rush.

One wouldn't expect King to arrive at a conclusion like this on his own, so it would appear the Broncos coaching staff expects early contributions from Smith, who tore his knee up in November.

Wharton $kips Denver visit

Fox: Business as usual with Miller
espn.go.com

Offensive lineman Travelle Wharton has cancelled his visit to Denver. I get the sense he is looking for more than what Denver is offering. He will sit and wait. Denver could always revisit.

I get the sense...classic Bill Will.

The NFL, back in Los Angeles?

Might be soon or never for NFL in L.A.
espn.go.com

Stan Kroenke, who owns the Rams, lives in Denver and has a beachfront home in Malibu, Calif. He is a longtime friend and business partner of fellow Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz, who owns Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and is behind the company’s proposed football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, Farmers Field. Kroenke made a failed bid to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers and has been seen courtside at several Los Angeles Lakers games and frequently talks with Anschutz, raising the possibility that the Rams could be coming home after the 2014 season.

Arash Markazi of ESPN also speculates about the Raiders and Chargers possibly moving back to LA.

Brady: Peyton’s my brother from another mother

Tom Brady’s first words on Aaron Hernandez, and playing—he’s serious—past 40
mmqb.si.com

KING: You’re unusually friendly with Peyton Manning. Will you still be friends when you’re 70?

BRADY: Yeah, I hope so. We’re pretty good friends. I like that. It’s important to me. Peyton has two brothers he’s really close to; I don’t have a brother. We’re competitors on the field, but there’s no reason we can’t be good friends off it. There’s not many people who understand what our jobs are really like, on and off the field. Over the years, I’ve taken my cues on how to act as a player and a leader from lots of guys I respect around the league. Peyton’s one of those. He always knows how to act, what to say, how to represent the game right way. That’s how I want to be.

Big brother Peyton is just 4-9 against Brady, including 1-2 in the playoffs; he's 3-2 against Drew Brees (including a SB loss), who is sometimes described as Archie's fourth son, and he's 2-0 against his actual brother.

Peyton and the Broncos will visit Eli and the Giants in Week 2, and visit Brady in New England in Week 12.

Shaun Phillips, step right up (please)

Veteran linebacker Shaun Phillips could be crucial for Denver’s pass-rushing potential
sports.yahoo.com

To put that in perspective, per Football Outsiders’ game-charting metrics, Dumervil and Miller combined for 65 percent of Denver’s hits, and 70 percent of their hurries. No matter how you slice it, that’s a problem.
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And that’s how Phillips operates now—he shoots through gaps and exploits gap mismatches to bring above-average pressure. it’s not done at a top-tier level, per se, but the Broncos can’t afford to be choosers right now, and Phillips could be more helpful in his new environs than many imagine.

It's no mystery that the role of Shaun Phillips became far more important with yesterday's news that Von Miller faces a four-game suspension.

Mind you, he doesn't need to replace Miller's production; he just needs to do enough to help them win while Von is out, which is a much more manageable task.

Choose Your Own 2013 NFL Adventure: Elo-style ratings

Wisdom of Crowds: Team Power Rankings (Elo-Style)
www.footballperspective.com

You can read more about how Elo Rankings work here, but the beauty is in its simplicity. All you need to do is answer one question: is Team A or Team B going to be better in 2013?

Clicktastic!