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Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:27 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 8:59 am
 

Goodell: NFL 'considering eliminating' Pro Bowl

Goodell said the Pro Bowl could be eliminated. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Last Sunday's Pro Bowl was a sloppily-played joke of a game that was ripped by fans and the media. Aaron Rodgers came out and said some of his NFC teammates should be "embarrassed" by the way they played. LeSean McCoy told us that he was "one of those guys" who didn't try.

Which may explain why Roger Goodell said on Sunday morning that the NFL is "considering eliminating" the Pro Bowl.

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"I really didn't think that was the kind of football that we want to be demonstrating for our fans," Goodell said on Mike and Mike Sunday morning. "And you heard it from the fans. The fans were actively booing in the stands. They didn't like what they were seeing."

At the very least, Goodell said, something's going to change or the game will go away.

"We're either going to have to improve the quality of what we're doing in the Pro Bowl or consider other changes or even considering eliminating the game if that's the kind of quality game we're going to provide," Goodell said. "I know players love to be in Hawaii but we have to start with the quality of what we're doing.

"If the fans are responding negatively to what we're doing, we better listen. And that was my message."

Say whatever you want about Goodell (and if you're a Steelers fan, you'll probably say a lot), but the guy knows how to make the game of football more popular. If getting rid of the Pro Bowl does that, then Goodell won't hesitate to do so.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:12 am
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:45 am
 

Report: Fins owner Ross 'infatuated' with Peyton

Peyton's next trip to Miami might look a little different. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The idea of Peyton Manning playing for a team other than the Colts in 2012 seems like a lock after all the back and forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay in Indianapolis this week. One team that's always mentioned as a possible landing spot for Manning is the Miami Dolphins, and over the past two days, the notion of Manning's gotten revved up a little bit.

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There's a report Sunday from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, where Jackson writes that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is "infatuated with the idea of signing" Manning.

Adding fuel to the fire is a report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the Dolphins are on the "short list" of teams that Manning has interest in, if/when he leaves the Colts.

The marriage makes sense: Manning owns a condo in South Beach so he's familiar with the area. The Dolphins have a decent set of weapons headlined by Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush. Miami already has a good defense.

Much still has to unfold with Manning, and the pursuit of No. 18 could potentially blow up in the Dolphins face. Manning could be released as late as March 8; free agency begins on March 13. If Ross and Jeff Ireland chase Manning and fail to get him, Packers backup and would-be free-agency cash cow Matt Flynn could sign elsewhere.

That's not a situation that will make anyone's heart flutter in South Beach.

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Posted on: February 5, 2012 11:03 am
 

Kurt Warner had big impact on Coughlin in 2004

Tom Coughlin (left) got some much-needed help from Kurt Warner in 2004. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- While Kurt Warner only started nine games when he played for Tom Coughlin in 2004 during his only season in a Giants uniform, his impact lasted much longer than that. And it’s not just the wisdom he imparted on Eli Manning who took over the starting quarterback position for good the next season.

No, it’s the wisdom Warner imparted on Coughlin that ultimately made him a better coach.

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As the Newark Star Ledger writes in an interesting story, Warner used to sneak into Coughlin’s office several times a week -- at the risk of being labeled a mole by his teammates -- and talked about football issues and about life as his coach tried to figure out how to connect with the rest of the team.

“I saw a great man, a great coach, but I also saw a man who, for some reason, didn’t know how to combine those parts of his personality when it came to football,” Warner told the paper. “He could connect with his family on such an intimate level, but had no idea how to connect with his players. He was struggling badly.

“Tom was searching for the right way to lead without compromising his principles. I wanted to help. I thought I could help. I tried to help.”

As the paper writes:
But before Warner left, Coughlin asked him for a favor: “Go home and make a list of all the things you think I need to do better as a coach,” Warner recalled Coughlin saying, “and don’t hold back.”

Warner did as he was asked, scribbling “page after page after page,” he said. “There were times when I was worried that I would hurt his feelings or damage our friendship,” Warner said. “But deep down I knew he’d never hold it against me as long as I did it with his best interests at heart.”

On Friday, Coughlin acknowledged he had reached out to Warner for help.

“I have such great respect for Kurt because of how he earned everything he got and because of the professionalism he showed as we transitioned to Eli,” Coughlin said. “I welcomed any thoughts he had on how we might improve.”

Make sure to click the link and read the rest of the story. It gives you a rare insight into a football coach who’s in desperate need of help and a player who was willing to do it.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 9:58 am
 

Pats release Underwood day before Super Bowl

T. Underwood (AP)

By Josh Katzowitz


INDIANAPOLIS -- While much has been made of Bill Belichick’s seemingly happy mood since the Patriots arrived here for Super Bowl XLVI, at least one of his former players has to be mighty upset with him tonight.
 
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That’d be wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, who was released from the squad about 24 hours (!) before New England faces the Giants at Lucas Oil Stadium. In his place, the Patriots have signed rookie defensive end Alex Silvestro to the active roster.

As the Boston Herald points out, Underwood almost surely would receive a Super Bowl ring if the Patriots win and that the move was not disciplinary.

Speculation has centered on the Patriots perhaps wanting an extra defensive linemen to move into the rotation and that, without Underwood in the lineup, Chad Ochocinco most likely will be active for Sunday’s game.

Underwood’s classy reaction, via Twitter? “This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION.... I Been Thru A LOT...But There Are Ppl In This World w/ More Serious Problems So I Cant Hang The Head....Thank You Lord … Good Luck To The New Enland Organization, The Coaches, & All My Teammates... #PatsNation”

But even though the Giants can't claim Underwood via waivers (they couldn't do so until Monday), I honestly love the idea presented by the New York Post’s Bart Hubbuch, who writes “Giants should ... hire him as a "quality control coach" like Josh McDaniels. I'm serious.”

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 7:14 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 11:28 am
 

Giants.com posts ad declaring Super Bowl champs

You might see the same thing in the Pats locker room. (Giants.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are hundreds of preparations that go along with the Super Bowl. Hats and t-shirts are made, speeches are written and interstitial ads on websites are created. In the case of Giants.com, that ad was accidentally placed live on the site a touch early. Like, today.

If you visited Giants.com during the day on Saturday, you might have seen this ad, which gave you the option to represent your team strat via social media, shop for championship gear or just continue on to the site.

"It is common practice for both teams to create web pages in advance of the conference championship games and Super Bowl," the NFL said in a statement. "In this case, the hidden URL for the page was inadvertently available for a brief period of time while it was being positioned on the NFL server for possible post tomorrow night."

Fortunately, this is the Internet age and someone snapped up a picture of the mistake. That's precisely what this is -- every team in the Super Bowl would create the same ad (you best believe the Patriots have one ready) but someone at the Giants website turned it live too early.

And now it's going to be a motivational tool for Bill Belichick and a perceived slight at the Patriots.

It's not, but that's how it's going to look.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:39 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 12:02 pm
 

Rodgers wins MVP, Brees and Suggs get POY Awards

Your 2012 NFL MVP is Rodgers. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Aaron Rodgers won the 2012 NFL MVP Award on Saturday night with Peyton Manning presenting him the hardware at the first-ever NFL Honors awards in Indy, the night before the Super Bowl.

"Looking forward to seeing you on the field again," Rodgers said as Peyton walked off the stage, before thanking his teammates and fans.

Rodgers was in a close race with Drew Brees for MVP late in the season but blew away the Saints quarterback in the voting, as he received 48 of a possible 50 first-place votes.

Brees got the consolation prize of winning the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award on Saturday night in a season where he broke Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a single season, throwing for 5,676 yards and a record-setting 468 completions. Brees received 43 votes for the award.

"Some pretty remarkable things happened that we were all lucky to be a part of," Brees said, reminiscing about his season. "The older you get the more you appreciate the opportunities and the moments."

The Ravens Terrell Suggs landed the award for Defensive Player of the Year Suggs, also known as T-Sizzle, delivered the funniest line of the night during his acceptance speech.

"I want to thank my parents for deciding to go through with it," Suggs said.
Newton is the NFL's rookie of the year. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

Cam Newton, the Panthers star quarterback, was the first award-winner at the first-ever NFL Honors ceremony, netting the AP Rookie of the Year Award in Indianapolis at the Super Bowl. He also won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award, voted on by fans. Broncos linebacker Von Miller won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Newton received 47 of 50 votes from AP voters; Miller received 39 of 50 possible votes. Andy Dalton and Aldon Smith were the respective runner-ups.

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"Even with the lockout, that still didn't stop my process for preparing for the NFL," Newton said. "Whether it with Chris Weinke, George Whitfield, IMG -- everyone had a major role in the success I had this year."

Miller recorded 11.5 sacks with the Broncos and helped lead them to a shocking AFC West division title. Newton broke a number of different records, throwing for the most passing yards (4,051) by a rookie in NFL history, breaking the mark that Peyton Manning set in 1998. Newton also set the record for most rushing touchdowns by any quarterback, scoring 14 times on the ground.

Jim Harbaugh led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and garnered 45 of 50 votes for the AP Coach of the Year Award. Mike McCarthy netted three votes and Denver's John Fox received two.

Matthew Stafford received 21 of 50 votes in winning the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award. The presumed favorite, Alex Smith, only finished third.

Ravens center Matt Birk was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

"This award is not about the recipient, but rather a celebration of the decades-long tradition of NFL players using their unique platform to touch lives and make a positive impact in the communities in which they work and live," Birk said.

He wouldn't comment on whether or not he would return to play again in 2012.


Follow all of CBSSports.com's Full Super Bowl Coverage (Photo credit: Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 6:10 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 7:04 pm
 

Curtis Martin leads 6 into Pro Football HOF

US Presswire

Curtis Martin (AP)By Josh Katzowitz

INDIANAPOLIS -- The official 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class is official, and center Dermontti Dawson, defensive end Chris Doleman, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, running back Curtis Martin, left tackle Willie Roaf and senior selection Jack Butler will be enshrined this summer.

That means Aeneas Williams, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Charles Haley and Bill Parcells, who made up the rest of the 10 finalist spots, were denied in the final vote by the selection committee.

While the biggest stunner of the night was that Parcells didn't make the Hall* -- I think most media members collectively agreed that he was the one guy who would make it in -- this is another year with the committee not selecting a single wide receiver. Before the selection show ever began, Tim Brown showed his displeasure on Twitter, writing "Raider nation!! Don't bother to watch tonight they passed on me again!! In fact, no wrs made it again. Gotta get some of y'all in there!"

Martin, meanwhile, was ecstatic at making the cut. He said he didn't deserve to make the Hall last year with Marshall Faulk on the list but that he felt better about his chacnes this year.

"They are a different class," Martin said during a phone interview on the NFL Network. "This year, my chances were a little better. When it was winding down to the show got close to starting, I felt a different kind of nervousness than I did last year."

*CBSSports.com's Clark Judge makes the case that if the Giants win Super Bowl XLVI and Tom Coughlin gets his second title, that will hinder Parcell's chances.

And our colleague Mike Freeman explains that he's stunned by the development. "I'm not a fan of Parcells," Freeman wrote. "He treated many people in my business terribly and wasn't exactly a great human being but to me, in history, there are few better coaches."

Even though Parcells didn't get in this year, he'll get the chance to present Martin.

"That's not a big decision for me," he said. "It's simple. There's no one I'd rather have present me than Bill Parcells. That man has meant everything in my career."

Among those who didn’t make the cut from 15 to 10: former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Will Shields, Kevin Greene, Tim Brown and Jerome Bettis.

Here's more reaction from the class.

Chris Doleman: "I'm blessed to be in this position. I'm very honored. ... There was a moment when you go through this process where you're like, 'If it happen, it happens. If it don't, it don't.' But I tell you what, when they call your name, you're numb. There are times when you ask yourself why you're getting the short end of the stick even though you're blessed -- maybe you might have been overlooked -- but I've always had the respect of my peers and my family, and I tried to go out to play to that level."

As for who will present Doleman, he pointed to his son, Evan: "I watched LT's (Lawrence Taylor) son present him. I watched Walter Payton's present him. I was fortunate enough to have a son who can speak on my behalf."

Cortez Kennedy: "(Former Miami Hurricanes coach) Randy Shannon, my roommate at the University of Miami, he taught me how to get in shape and played mind games on me so I could become a better person. He was very instrumental in my football days."

Dermontti Dawson: "This is something my kids can take their kids to see, that you're enshrined in the Hall of Fame and immortalized where they can bring family from here on out to see what their grandad did. It's a great honor."

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 2:37 pm
 

Brandon Lloyd would consider Rams return

Brandon Lloyd's pumped about the Rams coaching change. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- Brandon Lloyd blew up under Josh McDaniels in Denver and he said earlier in the season that he wants to play wherever McDaniels is coaching, which will be New England in 2012. (And, um, now.)

But Lloyd said Friday night that he wasn't entirely sold on bouncing out of St. Louis just yet, and that with Jeff Fisher and the new coaching staff in place, he's seriously contemplating a return to the Rams.

We also chatted with Lloyd about his time in Denver, the trade and, of course, Tim Tebow.



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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com