Best of Times, Worst of Times

Quotes of the Week

I
“It’s not the right time or place to talk about my relationship with Dan Snyder. Or it’s not the right time or place to talk about something that happened a year ago.”

—Washington coach Mike Shanahan, declining after an embarrassing loss to Kansas City to talk about an explosive story from ESPN Sunday morning that claimed he almost quit at the end of the last season, in part because of the ultra-close relationship between Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III.

II
“Oh yeah. There is no doubt in my mind.”

—Denver coach John Fox, asked by NFL Network’s Michelle Beisner Sunday if he felt he was close to death when he was stricken with a heart ailment on a Charlotte golf course Nov. 2.

III
“The last straw was losing … We’ve got a lot better talent than Jacksonville, and to have them beat us twice, that’s not acceptable to us. If they’re better than we are, fine. But we didn’t play smart.”

—Houston owner Bob McNair, in announcing the firing of Gary Kubiak on Friday after almost eight seasons as Texans coach.

IV
“I’m gonna be honest with you: You look like a succulent baby lamb.”

—Will Ferrell, playing Ron Burgundy, interviewing the real Peyton Manning via satellite on ESPN.

Peyton Manning has been interviewed by a lot of people in his 16-season NFL career, and a lot of observations have flowed back and forth in those interviews. But I feel quite sure no one has ever told him he looked like an edible infant sheep.

V
“I want my son to know his story.”

—Saints center Brian de la Puente, on naming his recently born son Makenzie “Rivers”  de la Puente in tribute to former Saint Steve Gleason, now battling ALS, in comments to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Gleason and wife, Michel, decided to have a child after he was diagnosed with the fatal disease, and their son is named Rivers. Steve Gleason has been very public in fighting ALS, and NFL Films recently documented his rugged journey to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Stat of the Week

For the strangest coaching career in the last 30 years, I nominate Wade Phillips.

Notable notes on his résumé:

• He has been the head coach of six franchises in 28 years.

• He holds the NFL record (unofficial) by being the interim coach of three teams, including the interim coach of the Texans after being the short-term replacement for Gary Kubiak for three games while Kubiak recovered from a mini-stroke. That almost should count twice.

• He was the losing coach in the Music City Miracle game.

• He was the losing coach in the last NFL playoff game in Los Angeles, in 1993 (Raiders 42, Broncos 24).

• He replaced Dan Reeves twice—in Denver in 1993, in Atlanta in 2003.

• He was replaced by a Mora twice—Jim Mora (the dad) in New Orleans and Jim Mora (the son) in Atlanta.

• In his first game as a head coach, interim with the Saints in 1985, he beat Dieter Brock, Jeff Kemp, Eric Dickerson and the Los Angeles Rams, 29-3. That was the year the Rams made it to the NFC title game and lost to the Fridge, the Punky QB and the Super Bowl Shufflin’ Bears.

• He’s been the defensive coordinator on seven teams: New Orleans, Philadelphia, Denver, Buffalo, Atlanta, San Diego and Houston. He also coached Houston’s defensive line. The Oilers, that is.

• I once saw him at a U2 concert.

His career coaching record, via Pro-football-reference.com:

Year Age Team Interim/Permanent Games Coached Record
1985 38 New Orleans Interim 4 1-3
1993 46 Denver Permanent 32 16-16
1998 51 Buffalo Permanent 48 29-19
2003 56 Atlanta Interim 3 2-1
2007 60 Dallas Permanent 56 34-22
2013 66 Houston Interim 2 (so far) 0-2
    Six teams   145 82-63

Factoid of the Week That May Only Interest Me

Five of them, all involving the school with the most surprising sports result of the weekend, Coastal Carolina:

1. Coastal Carolina, competing in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, played its first football game outside the Eastern Time Zone Saturday—and this one was really outside the Eastern Time Zone. In Missoula, Mont., 2,489 miles from the school’s campus. In the Mountain Time Zone. Against favored Montana (if for no other reason than the Grizzlies are used to frigidity and the Chanticleers had never felt anything like this). It was minus-5 at kickoff, with a 20-below-zero windchill (75 degrees colder than the kickoff windchill temperature for Coastal’s game at home last weekend).

2. Coastal Carolina, whose campus is located nine miles from Myrtle Beach, won one of the coldest games in college football history, 42-35, over the Grizzlies.

3. The reward for Coastal Carolina in the next round of the playoffs is its first game ever in the Central Time Zone. The Chanticleers travel 1,592 miles to Fargo, N.D. (where the low Saturday was minus-18) next weekend to play the 12-0 North Dakota State Bison, who are looking to win the national FCS title for the third straight year. The Bison actually roam in a climate-controlled pen, playing home games in a dome.

4. The football coach at Coastal Carolina, Joe Moglia, was the CEO of TD Ameritrade six years ago. He left Wall Street to chase his dream of being a college football coach.

5. (I am now about to write the strangest short paragraph in the history of Monday Morning Quarterback.) Coastal Carolina University has salt-water angling and Quidditch as club sports. Quidditch is a game adapted from the Harry Potter book series, played by two teams of seven players, who ride flying broomsticks and shoot at six different goals using balls called the Quaffle, the Golden Snitch and the Bludger. They do use broomsticks, but my understanding is, players run on the ground and do not actually fly.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

Went to Louisville the other day to speak to the good people of the RV industry. Back at the Louisville airport waiting to fly home, I sat in the terminal restaurant with SI publisher Frank Wall and Chicago-based ad exec Tom Buerger. “There’s Chris Matthews,” Wall said, nodding at a table a few yards away. “Wonder what he’s doing here?”

“Bet he was here for a speech,” I said. “Google ‘Chris Matthews, University of Louisville, speech.’ ”

Wall went to work. “Yup,” he said. “Spoke at the University of Louisville Author’s Forum.”

Even I sometimes surprise myself with my consistent strokes of genius!

Tweets of the Week

I
“Thank you Mike Tomlin for being in Pittsburgh #MPtakeover #purplesnowday”

—@ravens, which was used by Baltimore native and Ravens fan Michael Phelps Sunday, after Jacoby Jones walked a tightrope down the sideline to score a crucial late-fourth-quarter touchdown to help the Ravens stun Minnesota.

II
“Indoors in the dome.. outdoors in the snow..the Lions are a turnover waiting to happen.”

—@wingoz, ESPN’s Trey Wingo, after Detroit’s sixth fumble of the day at Philadelphia. In the first half.

III
“@bryan_croley: @TonyDungy ‘Are you officially retired for good? If not, would you take a job coaching a college team?’ Retired for good.”

—@TonyDungy, answering a Twitter follower’s question Sunday morning.

I guess that settles that.

IV
“Re Mariners/Cano/Jay Z, deals that close usually don’t go away. After testosterone lowers a bit, sense they’ll find common ground.”

—@adbrandt, The MMQB Business of Football columnist Andrew Brandt, tweeting at 8:44 a.m. Thursday, not long after it was reported talks between Robinson Cano and the Mariners had broken off and he wouldn’t be signing there.

Within three hours, Cano and the Mariners had a deal, pending a physical.

Seems like Mr. Brandt has been through these things before.

V
“Asked 15 Pens last year if fighting should be banned from hockey. Only one said yes: Brooks Orpik. Doesn’t want to be a vegetable someday.”

—@JoshYohe_Trib, Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, after Orpik, himself a noted agitator, was pummeled in the head twice while on the ice by Bruin Shawn Thornton and taken on a stretcher to a Boston hospital.

The violence in hockey is out of control. It has to be fixed.

VI
“From a press release announcing a policy luncheon in Hartford with Sen. Chris Murphy: ‘During the luncheon Senator Murphy will discuss: XYZ’ ”

—@capitolwatch, Connecticut political reporter Daniela Altimari.

From the files of Press Releases Sent Before Being Proofed Dept.

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390 comments
toadworth
toadworth

Dear Peter:

Suck it.


Josh McCown

Mood_Indigo
Mood_Indigo

Frank Gore's greatness

Savor on

For one more season

willisdownsouth
willisdownsouth

If you actually watched a South Carolina football game, you can clearly see how teams game planned away from Clowney's side of the field. The SC DT Kelcy Quarles will be taken somewhere in the top 3 rounds, most likely because of the way teams double teamed Clowney. He also had a solid outing against Clemson. Not sure what's so underwhelming there.

aeb0507
aeb0507

Well peter King, you blew it again for the monday matchup. You like Tony Romp over Josh McCown....really

akdonner2
akdonner2

My question is why is shanahan even considered a great coach. He was terrible in Oakland and Washington and he was gifted 2 super bowls by elway and Davis. After elway retired the struggles began and slowly but surely, the broncos began to resemble what the redskins are and what the raiders were. Completely overrated coach.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

Greg Bedard reports from Columbia, S.C. Clowney, the South Carolina pass rusher, has been on everyone’s radar all season


Including, apparently, the SC highway patrol.  At 110 mph.  If only his motor revved like that on the field.

RobertSmith
RobertSmith

In 14 games, NFL teams scored 88 touchdowns, the most on any day in the 94-year history of the league.


Was it the most per game?  Comparing it to 1960 when the league had half as many games is lazy.   A technically "true" statement that is nonetheless potentially misleading in the implications a reader might derive from it.

Sabahtwit
Sabahtwit

Shanahan played RG3 2nd 1/2 Seattle game and This Year bc of RG 3& OUT's INSECURITY about KC taking his job AND Snyder ENABLED him. It is pretty clear that Shanahan may be the HEAD of the Redskins, but RG3 is the NECK, and he makes the HEAD turn Anyway he wants it to. Please don't blame coach on this debacle.

BrianHayden
BrianHayden

I never thought I'd say these words, but "your link is to the wrong LaVon Brazill touchdown"

BillyG
BillyG

Tom Coughlin has been head coaching in the NFL for 18 seasons.He has won a playoff game in only 5 of 18 them.The 2 seasons he won the SB, he was either a 9-7 lousy division “winner” or a 10-6 wild card.In each of his 2 SB runs he was the beneficiary of some of the most fortuitous plays and calls of all time (including the playoffs leading to the SB).In his last 5 years he is 41-36 AND missed the playoffs 4 of the last 5 seasons…even though he is coaching one of the highest payroll teams, with one of the highest paid (although nowhere near best) QB’s.Two questions…1) should he be fired after this season (or graciously allowed to “retire”), and 2), is there any possibility he DESERVES to make the HOF?

srkusa
srkusa

The team to watch is the Patriots - last time they pulled these late game wins by playing the full 60 minutes they went all the way and won the super bowl. Best damn coached and quarterbacked team in the history of the NFL based on their consistent winning record over the last decade and their desire, determination and dedication to winning no matter who the opponent is - they do just enough and you can say they got lucky on some plays but let's not forget they capitalized on them!

DeeEmm1
DeeEmm1

Senator Murphy was clearly going to discuss Pokemon X and Y and the upcoming Z version. Get with the times Peter.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The refs are spectacularly bad. Could there be a Tim Donaghy in the ranks? Just wondering if anyone else has had this thought. Because the kinds of mistakes being made are all but inexplicable. 

Stevo1
Stevo1

So, who is going to replace Shannie?   Can't imagine anyone decent taking the job.  Where's Joe Gibbs when we need him?  Again, that is.  And where will Shannie and his clone end up?  Hopefully out of football.  He never should have let RGIII on the field after the first half of last year's playoff against Seattle.  And he never should have let RGIII near the field until the 7th or 8th game this year.  He's done.

drudown
drudown

Although Edelman does not cite Ray Kroc for his paraphrase "when you’re green, you grow; when you’re ripe, you rot"…great quote.

Rama
Rama

Excuse me. The injury of the year award belongs to Aaron Rodgers. No comparison between an oft injured tight end, who Brady can win without vs Rodgers who is arguably the best player in the league.

SemperFiDTM
SemperFiDTM

So vicious hits that are legal in the NFL that end careers are OK....but fighting in hockey is "revolting". Very Costas-esqe of you Petey, keep riding that arbitrary-moral high horse! (For the uninformed, Bob Costas is the self-appointed moral compass of the nation)

blorjr
blorjr

The football gods got even with Tomlin for his actions in Baltimore .

cgladish
cgladish

Come on, no mention of the MLS cup at all?  An amazing game happened in front of an incredible crowd this weekend for the MLS championship, you figure there might be a sentence or two about it.

Paul_Conrad
Paul_Conrad

Peter King's plantation owner mentality is on full display with his attacks on Jadeveon Clowney.  King and his ilk profit off the free labor of college kids, and feel the need to trash any player who challenges the current billion dollar scam that is the NCAA's student athlete. Peter King is obviously protective of his income source. It's just too bad his nonsense "love of football" doesn't translate into much compassion for the people football exploits.

Frotoon
Frotoon

"a church-fart performance in the desolate pews at FedEx Field"

That's a tacky analogy. Low class.

RayIsBipolar
RayIsBipolar

Was Polamalu getting ran over by Chuck Clay for his 2nd TD vintage as well?

George
George

Niners 19 - Seattle 17


- Sea-hens exPOSED aGAIN!  Can't win on the ROAD!!

They laid an egg and lost the GAME!


The Super Bowl (if the hens even GET there!) is not being played in their noise-nest, but instead at a neutral site

 - where they will be exPOSED in the season finale!

;D

YinkaDoubleDare
YinkaDoubleDare

Really wish the Bears had found a way to retain Toub. It wasn't just Hester, the Bears were good at kick/punt returning in general with Toub, and were one of the top teams in special teams DVOA at Football Outsiders year in and year out.

granite.burner
granite.burner

No mention of the first game changing mis-call in the Patriots game.  That quick whistle while the player was still in mid-air took away a Pats' fumble recovery and gave Cleveland their first score.  Instead of the Patriots having their first drive in a scoreless game it gave the Browns three points and ensured that the Pats were behind before they ever got to call a play.  Blowing the whistle while the player is still upright shouldn't happen on an open field tackle, and this was an egregious example of why not.


LisaJDarln
LisaJDarln

I just want to point out that Brooks Orpik, although he is a hard-hitting, tough defenseman, is NOT an instigator, which you repeated several times. In fact, he has received only a handful of fighting majors in his career and none in the past five years. When a Pittsburgh Tribune Review reporter asked 15 Penguins players if fighting in hockey should be eliminated, only Orpik said yes.


RescuedfromESPN
RescuedfromESPN

Here's what I got with my algorithm:

1.DEN (.797)

2.SEA (.786)

3. NE (.713)

4. NO (.711)

5. CAR (.686)

bserious
bserious

The Patriots may well be, but they're not as overrated as people who try to get free advertising by putting links to their sites in a comment section.

blynder
blynder

@akdonner2

Denver fan here.  I think of Shanny as "flawed" like any human being.  He never did a good job with a defensive coordinator (although Haslett did have his moments) and he needed to either A) evaluate talent and be a GM or B) be a coach; and run the team.  He wasn't good  both.  I was surprised when Washington took RG III TBH; he didn't fit that mold of a Shanny QB and I think we're seeing that now.  Shanny wants an Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler type.  Certainly he did get "help" from Elway and T.Davis; but he also did some good stuff as the H.C. on those SB teams (finding and utilizing T.D., Shannon Sharpe, Rod Smith, Keeping Romo in line, working w/Alex Gibbs and keeping the ling going, etc.)  So I'll agree that he may not be "great" but he's certainly not garbage either.

GlennMiller
GlennMiller

@BillyG I would really like to hear what these "fortuitous plays" throughout the playoffs were.  And in case you aren't aware yet, the NFL is now a salary cap league.  Which means there aren't any "high payroll" teams.  You must be thinking of baseball, which means you have no clue what you're saying.  Coughlin has had success everywhere he has coached.  As far as your stat of missing the playoffs 4 of the last 5 years - why that arbitrary number of years??  How about this stat - Coughlin has won the super bowl in 2 of the last 7 years, which no other head coach can say.  You sound like a typical fan that never played football and really doesn't understand the game.  Go back to your mom's basement.

ILoveMyWife
ILoveMyWife


Sounds like Snyder is the one forcing RGIII down Shanahan's throat ala Bud Adams with Vince Young and Jeff Fisher.

RockOfGib
RockOfGib

@Rama I think he was talking about season-ending injuries. Rodgers isn't out for the year.

SemperFiDTM
SemperFiDTM

@Rama If he played for New England then yes it would definitely be injury of the year. Welcome to Bradyland - ahem - mmqb.com

russel.mcgee
russel.mcgee

@SemperFiDTM To compare the violence of any sport with the institutionalized thuggery of the NHL shows that NHL fans deserve the goons that put on the fights for them--but not in the playoffs for some reason. The fans are goons themselves.


JPM
JPM

And who appointed you?

drudown
drudown

@Paul_Conrad


Taken to its illogical conclusion, you conflate grown men receiving up to $50mm+ GUARANTEED to play a game as (ahem) some form of "slavery"? Sure, right. 


As for Clowney, he doesn't seem to display the zeal or will to excel this year that a GM and/or owner might see as a condition precedent to making him the #1 pick, i.e., in terms of a dispassionate risk/reward business decision analysis. 


Duh.

George
George

@Frotoon not if you're a latte-sippin' beer-suckin' no-neck who farts in church!

:D

Dr.RosenRosen
Dr.RosenRosen

@George First, I think your Shift and Caps-Lock key is broken causing random words to be capitalized for no reason.  Also, your period key is spitting out exclamation points.  You should contact IT and get that fixed quickly before you post again.  You don't want people to think you're an idiot typing nonsense.


Second, the 'Hawks are 5-2 on the road.  They lost both games by a total of 8 points.  I wouldn't call them "exPOSED" or POSED or whatever word you decide to capitalize next.  If you want to capitalize a word, call them GOOD.

Marima
Marima

Yep.  This conveniently gets left out in the 'Refs wanted the Pats to win' conversation.  Plus, on that PI call, how come no one mentions the all important fact that the defender never turned to look for the ball?  If he had ever attempted to turn his head, the flag most likely doesn't get thrown. 

ILoveMyWife
ILoveMyWife

Did you read the article? Peter King specifically mentioned that Orpik would rather there not be fighting. That way he can instigate with impunity.

Rama
Rama

With Rodgers in pain last week, he might get shutdown for the year. I hope Peter then would revise his statement.

ILoveMyWife
ILoveMyWife


Really? Peter's bias is way in favor of Peyton Manning over Tom Brady.

SemperFiDTM
SemperFiDTM

@JPM I appointed myself a commenter on this board. Just like you. Oh, and if you are really Bob Costas, I loved loved LOVED watching you wet your pants when you had Vince McMahon on your show.

sitefix
sitefix

Finally someone says it! How many times have the Pats been called for PI for doing exactly the same thing: not turning to play the ball? I can tell you: plenty. That's why that call was made.

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