This is the first pre-season highlight we’ve bothered to post here at R&R, and not surprisingly, the clip has very little to do with the action on the field. During the final moments of last night’s 34-31 win over the Redskins, Ravens’ LB Ray Lewis was being interviewed on the sideline when his attention was diverted by his team’s last-minute comeback attempt.
Watch as Lewis drops straight into play-by-play mode as he encourages rookie QB Tyrod Taylor (aka “the human highlight reel”) in leading the Ravens on a game-winning drive:
Love or hate the Ravens, you can’t help but appreciate Lewis’ pure, unadulterated love of the game.
If you, like most Americans, find in-depth investigative journalism to be “just too darn hard”, then this is for you. The folks over at Taiwan’s NMA.tv have been making a name for themselves of late with their series of US news and pop culture “reports”, which are delivered by stilted animation and, unfettered by the rules & confines of factual reporting, often include blatantly slanderous remarks and innuendo.
It was only a matter of time before these modern day Woodward & Bernsteins set their sights on the NFL Lockout, and they have just delivered this hard-hitting expose, which blows the lid off the labor dispute. In it, we learn that due to the lockout, Mark Sanchez is now running an SAT Tutoring business, and that Brett Fave has been forced to open a cell phone shop. And they’re not afraid to tackle the big issues, like how the lockout might affect the sales of chicken wings worldwide, or players (like Big Ben) running amok without the guidance of their clubs. Leave it to the Taiwanese …
You probably also noticed the “Dan Snyder: Asshole” link at the top of the video, which we certainly couldn’t resist. This clip actually does a brilliant job of summarizing the Redskins’ owner’s general incompetence and douchebaggery.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
For picks 1 through 5, go here.
Let’s continue with picks 6 through 10.
6. Cleveland Browns – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: Cleveland’s in a terrible spot. They’re moving to the 4-3, but have nothing along the defensive line. They have a promising young quarterback in Colt McCoy — and they’re moving to the West Coast Offense — but he’s got almost nobody to throw to. They just cut NT Shaun Rogers along with a flock of grizzled defensive veterans — a fiscally sound move, but one that’s left Browns fans wondering who will take the field next season. Changing offensive and defensive philosophies during a lockout-hampered offseason in which coaches cannot communicate with players is tougher. The free-agency window possibly opening for mere weeks, if at all, is tougher. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh and Baltimore have stayed the course. This draft is critical for the Browns, forced to address needs all over the place. Pat Shurmur was brought in to groom McCoy and flip the switch on offense — and Green is the kind of sizzling wideout the team’s been missing since Braylon Edwards broke free in 2007 — and before that, since Webster Slaughter. Still, many could question the Browns passing up one of the blue-chip defensive linemen — but how do you meet two needs at once?
7. San Francisco 49ers – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: This is a tough one for me. In a mock with trades, I see Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers pressing for a quarterback, or possibly even trading down into a spot where they can gather picks and select Florida’s Christian Ponder late in the first. Honestly, how many more coaches can call Alex Smith their starter? That experiment needs to cease. With Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert off the board, the 49ers select Bowers, a defensive end who comes with question marks around the health of his knee, but, if ruled healthy, could serve as defensive stronghold while Harbaugh seeks a quarterback elsewhere. Moroever, there are some promising young passers to be had later in the draft, such as Washngton’s Jake Locker and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick – not to mention the polarizing Ryan Mallett out of Arkansas.
Picks 8-10 after the jump.
This is pretty awesome. The NFL Films cameras were in the New York Giants locker room after their week 17 win over the Redskins, which left the Giants on the outside of the playoffs looking in with a 10-6 record. Head Coach Tom Coughlin took the opportunity to tell his players exactly what he thinks about their critics:
(Video via Inside the NFL)
In case you couldn’t make out everything Coughlin said, it went like this:
“From the bottom of my heart and everybody’s, we have a 10-and-6 season, a 10-win season in the NFL, okay?” Coughlin said. “They can kiss my ass, okay? They can line up and kiss my ass. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
At that point, one of the players interjected, “Can we quote you on that, Coach?” To which Coughlin replied, “You can quote me on a lot more than that. The priest is here or I’d say a few more things.”
For a guy with a reputation as a no-nonsense, gruff head coach who can’t relate to his players, Coughlin certainly looks to be able to show his raw emotions to his team. And they definitely seemed to respond. Stuff like that can only serve to help his players feel more connected to the old man, and shows why the Giants ownership didn’t hesitate to bring Coughlin back for another year at the helm.
Well, this pretty much sums up the Redskins season so far.
In cold & rainy Landover this afternoon, Washington led Tampa Bay at halftime but trailed late in the 4th quarter. The home team rallied for a last-minute drive, and Santana Moss caught a 6-yard score from Donovan McNabb to cut the Bucs’ lead to 17-16 with :09 remaining. As Redskins Kicker Graham Gano lined up to attempt the extra point that would tie the game and force things to overtime, you knew that this PAT would be anything-but-routine. The wet weather had made the ball slick all afternoon … heck, even Daryl Johnston knew not to take this one for granted.
That’s when this happened:
Nick Sundberg’s snap was a bit high, but it went right through holder Hunter Smith’s hands. Gano – and the Redskins special teams in general – had an awful day, but he never got a chance at this one.
With the win, the Bucs snap a two-game losing streak and improve to 8-5 on the season. Meanwhile, the Redskins fall further into the abyss at 5-8.
As we all know by know, the Washington Redskins finally did something about the Albert Haynesworth debacle on Tuesday, suspending the $100 million dollar flop for the rest of the season without pay. The move brought a sense of relief around the Redskins’ organization, knowing they can focus on football now that the drama Haynesworth seemed to bring on a weekly basis is over with.
Yesterday, Mike Shanahan said that during their eight months together, Haynesworth was impossible to please, and it was simply time to part ways:
“He didn’t like the 4-3 defense a year ago,” Shanahan said. “He didn’t like the base defense. He didn’t like the nickel defense. He didn’t want to play nose tackle, didn’t want to play defensive end (in the 3-4 defense). We got him playing the nickel package, first and second and third down. He didn’t like first- and second-down nickel, wanted to play third-down nickel in passing situations. Hey, it was just time. It was just time to go in another direction.”
More surprisingly, Shanahan also said that he “hasn’t even discussed this situation with Dan” … meaning that overly-hands-on owner Daniel Snyder wasn’t aware of the suspension – which was officially for “conduct detrimental to the team” – before it happened. I don’t know about you, but I kind of love that.
Oh, and in case you’re still wondering if Shanahan made the right decision, we gently remind you of this.
Winners in BOLD.
All italics taken from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee:
“But even as I ran from room to room, trying to close the fourteen or fifteen windows on the side where the rain was coming in, it was too late, and the stills wet with puddles, and the water was collecting in streams along the floor.“
Cleveland @ Buffalo:
“It is the bold, the loud-mouthed, the cruel, the vital, the revolutionaries, the mighty in arms and will, who march over the soft patient flesh that lies beneath their cleated boots.”
Cincinnati @ Pittsburg:
“I have been feeling like a ‘new person.’ Like a shot of brandy went home, a sniff of cocaine, hit me where I live and I am alive & so there. Better than shock treatment.”
Green Bay @ Detroit:
“Another day in Hell”
Denver @ Arizona:
“Get a job. Learn shorthand at night. NOTHING EVER REMAINS THE SAME.”
Seattle @ San Francisco:
“Please, think – snap out of this. Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.”
Philadelphia @ Dallas:
“How long, since I noticed stars; no longer, now, mere inane pinpricks on a smothering sky of cheap cloth.“
NY Giants @ Minnesota:
“A lifetime is not long enough. Nor youth to old age long enough. Immortality and permanence be damned. Sure I want them, but they are nonexistent, and won’t matter when I rot underground. All I want to say is: I made the best of a mediocre job. It was a good fight while it lasted. And so life goes.”
Miami @ NY Jets:
“The first day of swelter: grey, wet, warm rain making a slither of streets. A dog barks far off. The milk bottle sweat drops, the butter slumps. The house begins to look untidy again.”
Tampa Bay @ Washington:
“Amazing how money would simplify problems like ours. We wouldn’t go wild at all, but write & travel & study all our lives – which I hope we do anyway. And have a house apart, by the side of no road, with country about & a study & walls of bookcases.”
Note: For the teams from 32-17, I’ve tagged them with my BERSERKER NUMBER (B#). Ranging from 1 to 100, it rates a team’s ability to cause havoc for teams attempting a playoff run. Young, developing squads just beginning to show power (but stuck with losing records) are helped, in my rankings, by a high B#.
For the teams from 16-1, I’ve added my DESTINY SCORE (DS). Again, 1 to 100. Here, I’m attempting to weed out teams resembling, for instance, the 1988 Chicago Bears. Teams with towering regular season records that (we all know) will not get to — back to — the Super Bowl. Teams, well, missing something special.
My (totally subjective, imperfect) Week 13 Power Rankings:
32 Carolina Panthers (1-10) (B#4)
31 Arizona Cardinals (3-8) (B#8)
30 Cincinnati Bengals (2-9) (B#14)
29 San Francisco 49ers (4-7) (B#22)
28 Denver Broncos (3-8) (B#33)
27 Detroit Lions (2-9) (B#28)
26 Buffalo Bills (2-9) (B#68)
25 Dallas Cowboys (3-8) (B#41)
24 Minnesota Vikings (4-7) (B#42)
23 Oakland Raiders (5-6) (B#52)
22 Washington Redskins (5-6) (B#43)
21 Seattle Seahawks (5-6) (B#54)
20 Cleveland Browns (4-7) (B#73)
¶ Quarterbacks Donovan McNabb and Brett Favre square off today during a season which has seen aging veteran passers struggle. McNabb is 4-2 vs. Favre, but has yet to face Favre post-Green Bay.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that Favre will start Sunday’s game in Washington despite battling what could be pneumonia. Favre told Werder that he required a steroid pack and an injection Saturday, and missed the first hour of team meetings because he couldn’t drag himself out of bed.
For his career, Favre is 70-of-118 passing for 802 yards, 4 touchdowns and 8 interceptions against the Redskins, according to the ‘Skins Twitter page. Favre hasn’t played at FedEx Field since 2004.
¶ Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune reports that Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian (groin) and cornerback Chris Cook (knee) are both inactive for today’s game.
¶ BTW, don’t assume we rate this Redskins-Vikings tilt a big deal. It’s not. What it is, is the meeting of two battered, lost teams — neither who have lived up to expectations this season.
¶ For my money, the game of the day is the Jacksonville Jaguars visiting the New York Giants, in what amounts to a solid test for both teams. The result will tell us a lot about both 6-4 teams as they fight for position in the playoff race.
¶ It will be interesting to see how the Denver Broncos respond today against the St. Louis Rams. The Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels were each fined $50,000 after Broncos’ video operations director Steve Scarnecchia violated NFL rules by taping a six-minute portion of a San Francisco 49ers walkthrough on Oct. 30, the day before the teams played each other in London.
MORE AFTER THE BREAK
¶ Jason Reid of The Washington Post reports that Redskins running back Clinton Portis has been placed on season-ending injured reserve by the team. Portis has been nagged by a groin injury for weeks, and the team has, in general, been nagged by Portis’ inability to stay healthy. I think we’re seeing his final days in D.C.
¶ Mlive.com is reporting that Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best, battling a toe injury for most of the season, practiced Tuesday and is expected to be ready to go for Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots. Defensive end Cliff Avril, on the mend from a hip injury, practiced and also should play. Not sure it’s enough to topple Brady and the Pats, but the Lions have seen improvements in their passing game, and New England’s defense has issues. I think this game might be closer than some think.
¶ The Tennessee Titans have not barred quarterback Vince Young from the team’s facility following Sunday’s mindmelt, but was asked to leave a team meeting Monday, according to The Tennessean, citing sources familiar with the situation. The newspaper states that Young was “visibly upset,” but left without issue.
Fisher and Young had it out Sunday following the team’s overtime loss to the Titans. As Young walked away, he told Fisher, “I’m not running out on my teammates, I’m running out on you.”
This seals Randy Moss as the NFL’s good-luck charm of the year.
¶ Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports that Eric Mangini told reporters during his Wednesday press conference that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy has a high-ankle sprain. Mangini said it’s different in scope than the sprains suffered by Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, and that McCoy is determined to get back as quickly as he can.
Mangini said “we’ll see” if McCoy can return this week.
Delhomme will get the majority of reps in Wednesday’s practice, a strong indicator he’ll get the nod against his former team, the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Mangini said he likes Jake’s familiarity with the Panthers in this spot.
Sidenote: What about their familiarity with Jake?