November 26, 2006
NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS' "THE NFL TODAY" WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 12 ON NOVEMBER 26
"NFL TODAY INSIDER" CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On Denver possibly changing quarterbacks in thick of playoff hunt)
Casserly: Quite frankly, I wouldn't make the move because Jake Plummer didn't play bad the other night on Thanksgiving Day. The other thing is, you have the five most critical games of the year. At some point the rookie (Jay) Cutler, he's going to have a learning curve and he might cost you a game. Now, they started with this decision back on draft day. When they drafted Cutler, Jay Cutler, they made a decision to bench Plummer. The only question is when. In talking to the Broncos, what they told me, they said if we lose a game, we're going to consider it. If we lose two, we'll make a move. Cutler played outstanding in preseason. From what I gather he's looked real good in practice. There's one other factor to consider. There are very few coaches in the league that have the job security that Mike Shanahan does to make this move at this point.
(On Joey Harrington being mocked in Detroit on Thanksgiving with Billy Joel's "Piano Man" being played over the Public Address system during an unplanned introduction)
Casserly: The first thing is, in talking to the Miami Dolphins, they asked for the defense to be introduced with the express purpose that Joey Harrington would not be booed before the game. This decision (introducing Joey Harrington) was made by the Stadium personnel. The football personnel had nothing to do with this decision. There's two points here. Number one, I thought this was a classless act. In 29 years in the League, I've never seen a player mocked in pre-game introductions before. The second thing is the whole organization has to work together. All week long what are the coaches saying? Don't give the other team bulletin board material. Here in pre-game warm-ups, what do you do? You give the Dolphins bulletin board material. I didn't like it at all.
(On Top Young quarterbacks in NFL)
Casserly: Carson Palmer is number one in my book. He has the best overall skills of all these players - pin-point accuracy, can throw the ball deep, best pure passer.
James Brown: Eli (Manning) and Philip Rivers
Casserly: This was the one I struggled with the most. Eli Manning has more physical talent to throw the ball better than Philip Rivers. Rivers is playing better right now. The question that I would really have is this, if you put Philip Rivers in the New York fish bowl with all that pressure and losing (Luke) Petitgout and (Amani) Toomer right now, would he be playing better than Eli Manning? I'm not sure.
(On Atlanta Owner Arthur Blank saying entire organization is under evaluation and he expects Falcons to make playoffs)
Sharpe: The first change I would make would be to tell Arthur Blank to stay up in the booth. You barely know the difference between a screen porch and a screen play. And you only know about a screen porch because you worked at Home Depot. You stay up in the booth and let ...
Boomer: He didn't work at Home Depot. He owned Home Depot.
Sharpe: Stay up in the booth and let Jim Mora do his job. Second of all, no, I don't think they're going to make the playoffs. The defense is not playing very well and Michael Vick, who is my Presidential candidate, has not played very well the last four weeks.
(On Giants' Tiki Barber criticizing play calling by Giants' coaching staff)
Boomer: All of us up here don't agree with questioning the coaches publicly, and I think Tom Coughlin said it best when he said you don't need to take this stuff to the press, especially here in New York. I think Tiki (Barber) is doing this for a reason. He's the leader on this offense. Eli Manning is under tremendous pressure here in New York. And by Eli going through all of this stuff, Tiki goes to the press and takes the pressure off of Eli. I think that's why he did it.
(On Houston-New York Jets)
Steve Tasker: It may look like one of those old games between Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason - whichever quarterback has the ball in his hands at the end - he's going to get a chance to throw that winning interception.
(On San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson)
Sharpe: This is the most complete player in the National Football League regardless of position. He is a guy that we call the Gospel - the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He can rush for 1,600, catch a 100, throw a touchdown, block it up in the passing game for you when he's not going out to catch a pass ...You can talk all you want about if you want to start a football team, you start with a quarterback. Well, I'm not starting a football team. I want the best player in the National Football League right now, and LT is it.
Marino: What I like about LT ...when he gets in the end zone, he just throws the ball. He acts like he's been there before. San Diego is also going to have a chance to win the Super Bowl because of that young quarterback Philip Rivers. How does a quarterback play when the game is on the line? This guy in the fourth quarter has been great. He's number two in the league on third down conversions and they're scoring a lot of points. They're going to have a chance to win it all because of him and LT.
DALLAS QUARTERBACK TONY ROMO IN LIVE INTERVIEW ON "THE NFL TODAY"
(On Coach Bill Parcells commenting he could've thrown two of the five touchdowns Romo threw on Thanksgiving Day)
Romo: Well, I'll tell you, unless he's going to have a walker going out there to help him, I don't know. That's going to be tough. Yeah, they were easier throws. But it was good.
SAM RYAN FEATURE WITH SAN DIEGO'S LADAINIAN TOMLINSON
Ryan: You are breaking records on the field, fastest player to 100 touchdowns. What does that mean to you?
Tomlinson: You know honestly right now, it hasn't sunk in because I'm the guy that always looks forward. I never like to look back. When I'm done with my career, I'll look back and say I think I've done a great job. That's the way I handled it.
Ryan: Those little kids today going over and picking the number 21 jersey, how do you want them to remember you?
Tomlinson: I want them to remember me as a guy that they not only enjoyed watching on the football field but someone that they felt like was helping other people and making the world better and the community better and showing the way. Being the leader is the most important thing. A play on Sunday, they might remember that for a week. But this here - hopefully they remember it for the rest of their life.
Boomer Esiason: Huge games today for both Pittsburgh and Buffalo. They have to win. I think if you get to seven losses, you're going to be out of the playoff race. Denver, I still think, is in very good shape not only because they are 7-3 in the conference. That's a huge advantage for the Broncos. When you look at the teams with six losses, if they have seven losses, they're probably going to be out. I think Kansas City did everybody a favor by beating Denver and I think five and six are still going to be there until the end of the season.
Shannon Sharpe: I really think the Wild Cards are going to come out of the South and the East. The Carolina Panthers, New Orleans and Atlanta. New Orleans goes to Atlanta today. Carolina is going to have to go to New Orleans and Atlanta later in the season. So I think two teams are going to come out of the South, and I think the Wild Cards are definitely coming out of the East and the South. And I think the Giants and the Cowboys, whoever wins that division, the other team is going to be the Wild Card. Philadelphia, I know they're right in there. They went 5-5 with Donovan (McNabb), who was having, for the first seven games, an MVP-type season. I don't see how they muster enough to get into the playoff picture. San Francisco, very good feel-good story, but I don't think they have enough to get it done.
CBS SPORTS' THANKSGIVING WEEKEND COLLEGE FOOTBALL RATES
CBS Sports' Thanksgiving weekend coverage of college football on Friday, Nov. 24, No. 9-seeded LSU against No. 5-seeded Arkansas, earned an average overnight household rating/share of 3.4/8, +42% from last year's 2.4/5 (Arkansas-LSU). Saturday's coverage on Nov. 25, No. 16-seeded Georgia Tech vs. Georgia, earned an average overnight household rating/share of 3.6/8, +6% from last year's 3.4/7 (Georgia Tech-Georgia).