Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

McCoy shocked Chargers offered head job so quickly

Mike McCoy: Philip Rivers is a “Great Guy to Have as the Face of Your Franchise”
sportsradiointerviews.com

On being surprised that the Chargers told him they were ready to hire him during the interview:
“To be perfectly honest, it kind of caught me off guard a little bit because I had not been here very long. By the time the interview process started, after I came out here Monday morning … when the job was offered to me I said, ‘Listen, I can’t say yes or no right now,’ because I have to go talk to my family. I had no idea where they were in the process. We had not talked to them before that point in time, so it all happened extremely fast and then I went home and made the decision to come down here.”

On the importance of having a franchise quarterback in this league:
“In this league you’ve gotta have a franchise quarterback to have a good opportunity to do great things. So it’s gonna start there.”

Let's imagine how this conversation went, shall we?

McCoy: Hey, Honey, you want to live in San Diego and make more money?

Family: Cool.  Do you like Philip Rivers?

McCoy: It doesn't matter.  If we lose, he's the first-year scapegoat.  After all, he's moving a little slower these days.

Benoit: Considering Denver’s free-agent options at DT

Four Downs: AFC West
www.footballoutsiders.com

The interior rotation of Justin Bannan, Kevin Vickerson, Mitch Unrein, and Derek Wolfe was sensational at holding ground and drawing double-teams in 2012. But the 34-year-old Bannan is set to become a free agent. So is the more explosive (and wildly underrated) 30-year-old Vickerson. The losses of those players would impact whoever is at middle linebacker.
...
Elway could re-sign all three interior defensive starters and still have a little money left over. Or, he could trust his existing linebacker depth to fill Brooking’s void, lowball Vickerson, say goodbye to Bannan, and try to upgrade by luring a second-tier free agent defensive tackle -– say a Randy Starks, Terrance Knighton, or Alan Branch-type –- to Mile High.

FWIW, Starks just turned 29 in December, graded out at +3.5 over 826 snaps for Miami according to PFF, and drew $3.85M in compensation last season. Knighton saw 666 snaps with the Jaguars, graded out at +4.2, made $1.26M in the final year of his rookie deal, and will turn 27 on Independence Day. Branch recently turned 28, netted a +1.8 grade over 645 snaps with Seattle, and was paid $4.3M.

All three were second- or third-round picks and figure to draw heftier deals than either Bannan or Vickerson.

Eagles, Vick pare contract to one year

Michael Vick signs with Eagles for '13
espn.go.com

The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed Michael Vick on Monday to a one-year deal for the 2013 season, league sources said.

This contract replaces the one Vick had signed and he now is scheduled to be a free agent after next season.

Vick was reportedly paid a $3M roster bonus last week, and had been due to draw a $15.5M salary for 2013, in a deal that ran through 2015.

Instead, the former number-one overall pick has taken a hefty pay cut, with a one-year deal that has the potential of topping out at around $10M.

Broncos likely to play SNF opener at Giants, visit Cowboys on Thanksgiving

Broncos most likely to open on SNF, play on Turkey Day
milehighsports.com

Broncos @ Giants – Peyton Manning versus Eli Manning. The huge New York television market. According to sources, it will be a “major upset” if this is not the SNF opener.

If Denver opens at home on Monday Night Football, the logical match-ups would be the Chargers, with former Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy now at the helm in San Diego, and the Chiefs, with Andy Reid making his regular-season debut as the head coach in Kansas City.

While the plan for opening weekend is still being finalized, one game on the Broncos schedule is all but set in stone. Denver will be playing on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 28) in Dallas. “It’s a lock,” said a league source.

As you might recall, the Broncos' last trip to Dallas was also on Thanksgiving, and ended on a Jason Elam chip shot that followed a 55-yard OT run (video) by Ron Dayne in 2005.

Is the NFL the new Phillip Morris?

THE NFL: FOREVER BACKWARD
www.sportsonearth.com

Suppose you work for Phillip Morris. Er, Altria. Whatever. And suppose you’re making a commercial, highlighting advances in cigarette filter technology. The theme is forever nicotine. The target audience is moms, kids, potential customers, anyone with a sneaking suspicion that smoking might be, you know, bad for them. Crazy, right?

Anyway, you need celebrities. Familiar faces. Names viewers can trust. Like Walt Disney. He was a smoker. As was Paul Newman. And Peter Jennings. Thing is, all three men died of lung cancer. With that in mind, would you still include them—well, actors portraying them, touched up with a little digital magic—in your spot? No? Congratulations. You’re officially less cynical than the NFL…

....When Deion Sanders says on NFL Network that he doesn’t “buy all these guys coming back with these concussions … half these guys are trying to make money off the deal … I wish they’d be honest and tell the truth because it’s keeping kids away from our game,” Goodell could levy a fine. Or maybe pretend to be as upset as he was with BountyGate. When CBS announcer Jim Nantz cites an imaginary statistic that women’s soccer players are 2.5 times more likely to get a concussion than college football players, the NFL’s new-and-improved concussion committee could provide accurate numbers…When concussion expert Dr. Robert Cantu—a senior advisor to the NFL’s new committee—says that children under age 14 shouldn’t play tackle football because their immature bodies and developing brains are particularly vulnerable to injury, the league could concur, and perhaps even lead the way, signaling to concerned parents and a confused public that a multibillion-dollar industry cares about something beyond its public image and publicly-subsidized bottom line.

Whatever your view on the NFL and concussions, can you imagine if Cantu's advice was heeded, and kids didn't play football until they reached the 9th grade?

I think you can safely assume Roger Goodell and the NFL want no part of that nightmare.  Kids would gravitate to other sports, NFL jersey sales would plummet, and MMA (or I suppose baseball, in another universe) might become America's national pastime. 

Further research must precede legalizing use of deer antler fuzz

Recovery remedies worth a look
espn.go.com

What struck me, though, was the idea that some banned substances might actually be re-evaluated if indeed they do help with recovery. Commissioner Roger Goodell stresses safety, and he’s right in doing so. Safety is a major topic in the NFL, but shouldn’t recovery be a priority too?

If deer antler spray can make a player recover quicker, should the NFL allow trainers to apply it? As physical as the game of football is, protecting the player is one thing, but getting him back on the field should also be a priority.

Deer antler fuzz as a topical preparation has some benefits - it helps speed muscle repair, and that’s going to draw interest from athletes, both pro and amateur. However, deer antler fuzz has an uncomfortable side effect - it’s a carcinogen.

There is somewhat less absorption into the bloodstream when used topically as opposed to orally, but you still have the same problem, just slightly lessened. It’s still going to get into the bloodstream, and you’re going to see higher rates of cancer among those using it.

Pro athletes are notorious for being willing to accept health issues down the road as a tradeoff for short-term outcomes, but that doesn’t make it an intelligent choice. This is a substance that cries out for further investigation, especially if it’s going to be the next ‘big’ thing in athletic rehabilitation. 

The most Jay Cutler thing ever

A Heart-Warming Tale of Jay Cutler Romance
kissingsuzykolber.uproxx.com

“It was so silly. I was in the airport, leaving Chicago,” Cavallari said. “We had just spent however many days together and we were texting and somehow it came up, like, ‘Oh, shall we get married?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, OK.’ And then he sent my ring in the mail. So I actually had my ring sitting at home for a couple of weeks before I put it on.”

I could totally see Cutler dropping a wedding ring in a small empty envelope, slapping a stamp on it and dropping it in a mailbox. “Will it get there? Whatevs, I could get another. No big whoop.” To Cutty’s credit, at least he knew the woman wanted to marry him before sending her a ring in the mail. Take notes, Roy Williams.

Ah, love...

Independent neurologists to staff NFL games in 2013

NFL will have independent neurological consultants on sidelines next season
profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

According to Andrea Kremer of the NFL Network and sideline reporter for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, the NFL will have unaffiliated neurological consultants on the sidelines during games beginning next season.

This move stands in stark contrast to the inane comments made last November by Richard Ellenbogen, the co-chair of the NFL's concussion committee. We heartily applaud the league for taking an important step toward better handling of head injuries.

Civil claims against Thomas dismissed

Civil suit against Demaryius Thomas dismissed
blogs.denverpost.com

A lawsuit filed against Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas case has been dismissed.
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Although Thomas was never charged of any wrongdoing, he was considered a witness in the alleged incident involving Cox and the accuser. Cox’s accuser had filed eight complaints in a lawsuit against Thomas. However, Denver District Court Judge Martin Egelhoff signed an order on Jan. 10 dismissing all claims with prejudice against Thomas. (With prejudice means claims cannot be asserted again.)

This is great news for Demaryius and the Broncos. While 2012 was a breakout season for the wideout, and the first in which he did not miss time due to injury, one has to figure the removal of this burden can only help his 2013 performance.

The Ray Lewis puke fest

Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis denies report he took deer antler extract to recover from triceps injury
www.nydailynews.com

“My only purpose in life is to find different ways to help people and encourage people and make our world a better place,” Lewis said on Tuesday…

...He was asked about his lowest point during his “last ride,” the time that tested him the most. He said it was when a doctor told him would be out for the season with the triceps injury. “She was like, ‘Ray, you know, nobody’s never came back from this,’” Lewis said. “I said, ‘Well, you know, nobody’s ever been Ray Lewis either.’”

I'm not sure what's worse, having to bear witness to Ray Lewis's narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), or knowing that the only reason Ray Ray gets to prattle on this week is because Rahim Moore can't play prevent defense properly.