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Mark Sanchez may be fragile but his mental state isn’t the only one that matters

As you can see, took a modest approach to the Tebow-to-Jets story

A couple seasons ago we had a drinking game. If the Dolphins were playing (and you have the misfortunate of having to watch) take a drink every single time you hear the term “wildcat.” That season, if you played that game, you AND Ronnie Brown would be drunk by the end of the 2nd quarter. We tried to do it last season and were sober all game. The wildcat went the way of some other trends in the NFL. And I, for one, was glad to see it go.

Fast forward to this offseason (we need another word cause the NFL truly does not have one of those), the Jets have acquired former Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to run their offense and now Tim Tebow to…to…well, isn’t that the question? What exactly do the Jets want Tebow to do? Of course it’s possible that the Jets acquire Tebow as a true backup. A guy that only gets 2nd team reps and only plays if the starter cannot. But this smells like something more. Actually, it’s not a smell…it’s more like a stench.

Last year, to “motivate” Sanchez Rex Ryan started giving over-the-hill-no-chance-in-hell-he’d-ever-play-wasn’t-that-good-when-he-did-play back up QB Mark Brunell some of Sanchez’s reps. When the media and bloggers (including myself!) pointed out how effing ridiculous it is to try to motivate a starter by giving reps to someone who hasn’t a chance in hell of taking that person’s job the Jets pretended as though the change in reps was just par for the course and nothing to worry about.

Except people did worry. They worried that Sanchez wasn’t mentally tough enough to deal with all the pressure of being an NFL QB in a major media market. Fast forward to the end of the season and the Jets had a complete meltdown with the first of the strong rumblings coming after safety Eric Smith took a bad angle and couldn’t tackle Tebow costing the Jets an opportunity to win the game. When the season was officially over anonymous receivers named Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress couldn’t wait to criticize Sanchez. Next thing you know there were fingers being pointed everywhere and the Jets drama was dominating the news cycle with 8th string QBs giving us the 411.

You’d think a team that had gone through all of that would take the low key approach to fixing the mess in their franchise. But not the Jets. They first pursue Peyton Manning and after being brutally rebuffed make an odd gesture to Mark Sanchez by extending his contract unnecessarily — and without much extra money added to it. So basically they began yet another exercise in just plain being insulting. They barely waited a week before they jumped into the Tebow fray announcing the deal was done before reading Tebow’s contract and finding out they’d have to add another 5 million to the price. Yet another embarrassment. But not to be discouraged they ended up going through with the deal anyway.

[To read the rest of this post, click on the Read More tab below]



The NY Jets’ Expensive Apology to Sanchez and the mixed message it sends

When most of us heard about the NY Jets extending Sanchez's contract, this is the face we made.

As most of the football world was trying to decide if the Washington Redskins gave up too much to the St. Louis Rams to move up to the 2nd pick and grab Robert Griffin III, the Jets surprised everyone by extending their QB Mark Sanchez’s contract by 3 years and 40.5 million dollars. This came, of course, after the Jets expressed an interest in Peyton Manning who was officially released by the Colts last week. I think the general consensus is that this is a move to smooth things over with Sanchez so that he doesn’t feel so jilted knowing that the Jets have pursued a replacement.

I don’t understand this move. Yes, I understand the intention behind it. And I’d love it if someone would apologize to me with 20 million dollars in guaranteed money. But I think it’s one of a slew of mixed messages the NY Jets have ushered into the atmosphere. Last season, Mark Sanchez definitely wasn’t the only problem. As I’m typing this, the Jets are are shopping OL Wayne Hunter in hopes that someone, ANYONE, will take the backup-cum-whiffing-starter off their hands. And certainly Sanchez’s receivers deserved some blame as did a defense that was so scattered they were easily overcome by the Broncos late in the season.

But this extension is sort of like telling the whole team “it’s not Sanchez, it’s YOU” and that’s obviously not the case. Sanchez has shown he’s about as fragile as they come. Any lick of a pass rush seems to put his nerves on edge. The psychological moves the Jets keep trying in an effort to motivate Sanchez (like giving Mark Brunell extra reps)  are becoming the stuff of legend. At some point the game on the field has to take precedence over these mental ones. If Sanchez had one year left on his contract it might make sense to throw him a little more security. But he had two years left and I don’t think it would have been too much to ask to have him complete next season without an extension given how he’s played so far. If he couldn’t do that without crumbling into a pile then he’s probably not the guy you want anyway.

Now you have a situation where Sachez’s APY is right below Roethlisberger’s and slightly above Aaron Rodgers’. Regardless of whether there is an “out” (like when the Skins tried to fool the world with the McNabb extension),  if contracts are an indication of how a team feels about its QB the Jets just told the world he’s our guy and there’s no questions about it. Except, there are questions. Which makes this extension a puzzling move to everyone on the outside.


**Update: Andrew Brandt says the real increase of this contract is 2.5 million dollars. And that although 20.5 million is now guaranteed there’s a strong possibility that he would have gotten 17.75 million anyway. So…does this still work as an ego-smoothing gesture toward Sanchez???? Is there a point to this that I’m missing?


Tough Transitions: Patriots running back Kevin Faulk cried after learning he wouldn’t dress for Superbowl

If there’s one thing the Patriots Super bowl run proved this year is that the team doesn’t mind hurting some feelings. Move over Randy Moss, Chad Ochocinco and Tiquan Underwood, and welcome Kevin Faulk to the Patriots discard bin (though I hear Underwood has been picked up by the Pats for the 4th or 5th time after being released the night before the game). On the day of Super Bowl when I saw that Faulk was designated inactive I felt bad for the guy. I think on most teams, if a guy has been around 14 years and you know full well it’s likely the end of the line for him you dress him for the Super Bowl just because.  I just think that that’s what  classy organization would do when possible.

Yeah yeah, it’s all about winning. Patriot way. Belichick system. Trust me I get it. That’s why I cringe whenever Vince Wilfork refers to the late Myra Kraft as mom. You’re part of the family, sure…until suddenly you’re not. .

On the bright side(?) the Pats didn’t win anyway and Faulk knows that 14 years in the league is three lifetimes for any player ESPECIALLY a running back. He has a lot to be proud of and a lot to look forward to even if he doesn’t realize it right now.

From his interview with Greg Bedard:

That’s probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in a long time – a very long time. It’s what’s been taking care of me and my family for a long time and I have to make a decision based upon what’s best for me and my family. Right now and with the emotions that are going on and with the game that just happened last week, I know everyone was speculating that I was going to make a decision, probably today or what not; it’s kind of early. I don’t want to tie my emotions into exactly what went on Sunday that passed, what went on the course of the season, I just think it’s something that I have to sit down and talk with my family and my agent, teammates, former teammates that I’ve talked to, people that I really trust, for me to base my decision off of,” Faulk said.

Kevin went on to describe how he felt after finding out he wouldn’t dress including the tears that he couldn’t fight.

“That morning, when I got the word that I wasn’t going to dress…wow. I went in the room, cried a little bit, because 75 percent of me knew that this could be my last game playing, not playing, just dressing. If I dress there could be that chance that I could play. So that really crushed me a whole lot…

I thought it was interesting that later in the interview Faulk mentions former Patriot Troy Brown who was inactive the final game of his career and Faulk says he draws some inspiration from him. And there’s your “it’s all business” moment for the day. Happy now???

Fittingly, after football season is over we always get a post mortem on the Super Bowl but it’s also the time when guys we love walk away from the game and we start talking about just how hard it is for them. Faulk’s comments were right in line with this ESPN piece that touches on how the decision to walk away from football is a difficult one that not only involves health but finances and emotions.

My favorite line about why it’s so difficult for some guys to walk away was from the Ravens Matt Birk.

It’s the greatest high a person can legally get, Birk said. It builds all week, from meetings to practice to the moment he runs out of the tunnel.

I was complaining the other day about how I HATE how much the end of football season affects me. I feel addicted to the excitement every week. I guess you’d have to multiply that X 100000000 in order to feel the way most players feel. And that is kind of scary.

Speaking of players after the game, I will be returning to LaMar Campbell’s Life After The Game Monday around 6:30 to talk about athletes and love. oo la la






The Super Bowl Where Jerry Reese Looked Like a Genius and Everyone Else Looked Like An Idiot

Hakeem Nicks, one of the Giants dynamic receivers.

When the season first began I was (and many other bloggers and members of the media)  put off by the Giants off season moves-if you can’t call them moves. I think Reese’s conservatism had everyone off kilter but as it happens sometimes his choices proved successful. Now neither he or Tom Coughlin  have to worry about being in the proverbial “hot seat” for at least the next few years.

Still, winning in the NFL always involves a bit of luck. Last night on twitter Mark Cuban said something to the effect of good teams get to the playoffs but the hot teams win. And I think there’s a lot of truth to that. The Giants ended this season with a brutal schedule, but they got hot (and healthy) at the right time.

The Patriots, on the other hand, had a fairly light schedule all season and were never really exposed for their inability (refusal?) to run or cover the pass. Or, even, to rush the passer consistently. I definitely didn’t go into the Super Bowl (or leave it!)  thinking the best or most dynamic teams competed for the trophy. In fact, everything about the Super Bowl was a let down for me except the very brief and controversial (I guess?) appearance of M.I.A. during halftime and Belichick’s decision to let Ahmad Bradshaw score a TD to keep time on the clock.

But here’s the kicker: If the NFL comes down to what team is better on a particular day, you have to say the Giants met that mark time and time again this season. And that’s the kind of thing you have to reward. The cliches: rising to the challenge and capitalizing on mistakes.

I guess I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about all the debate about who’s the greatest team/QB/QB/coach and whatnot. I’ve complained over and over again about the lack of nuanced thinking in sports. I’m also perpetually annoyed by the rush to compare or assign labels. Before Super Bowl, people were talking about whether winning would mean that Brady and Belichick are the best QB/Coach combo ever. REALLY? Then, of course, we have to compare Eli and Peyton. Then, of course,  you have to compare Eli and Brady.

For those who really wanted to ratchet up the “stakes” they made this Super Bowl an arbitrary litmus test for Brady’s legacy as though he doesn’t already have 3. As though starting in 5 Super Bowls is something to scoff at win or lose. As though he’s retiring this year. And by the way, the same people who set that litmus test will next tell us that Super Bowls aren’t the only measure of a great player cause Dan Marino doesn’t have one.

Oh by the way…that “Patriots Dynasty” was over a long time ago. Talk about catching a late bus.

Anyway, I’ve written this before, but I’ll say it again: it doesn’t hurt to appreciate what different players are bringing to the table without seeking comparisons. I don’t know what it is about entertainment that causes people to immediately seek a frame of reference. I guess I understand the impulse but not when it interferes with judging people on their own merits.

Speaking of judging folks on their own merits, Manningham and  Nicks were very impressive last night. The web will be buzzing about Manningham’s sideline reception for a while. What’s funny is that early in the game Manningham’s tendency to fade out cost the Giants some yards, but on Manning’s backside throw to Manningham I think it paid off to know the man’s tendencies especially with Cruz and Nicks covered on corner routes.

Now for the stuff you must read:

Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated grades NBC’s Super Bowl telecast. Overall, he thought they did a good job. I didn’t see any of the pregame so I can’t comment on that. But I do think that the broadcast of the game itself was very well done. Some hiccups with Al Michaels but still Michaels and Collinsworth are one of my favorite duos. I know many people don’t agree. Before the game we chatted on twitter a little bit about whether there is a need for such a long pregame anyway. Well, I’m of two minds on this. No, there isn’t a need. However, had two teams I was interested in been playing I probably would have watched it for the video profiles. One thing is for sure: I’m over the two week build up to the game. But we ain’t talking about that right now. [Super Bowl Media Grades. Sports Illustrated.]

If you’re over the story lines you can get to the nitty gritty of the game by reading Chris Brown’s breakdown of the two biggest plays of the game. The first play was the Welker drop that still has everyone (including Brady’s wife and Welker himself) having fits. I’m still seeing lots of debate about whether or not the drop belonged to Brady or Welker, this post might help with that conversation.  [Draw it up: Super Bowl Edition. Grantland.]







4 Reasons I’m Rooting for a Superbaugh…Harbowl…the Ravens and 49ers in the Super Bowl

If ever I wanted to see two QBs squash my doubts it is the Ravens Joe Flacco and the 49ers Alex Smith pictured above. Smith will face a solid Giants defense.

Neither the Eagles or the Falcons made it to the playoffs (No that’s not a typo. The Falcons showed up to the stadium but that’s about it). So what is a fan with no team in the playoffs left to do? You can sit back and enjoy the games without any pressure or you can ratchet up the experience by rooting for somebody…ANYBODY!

If you’re into the latter (and, I am!) I say the Ravens and 49ers are great teams to root for to make it into the Super bowl. I have 4 specific reasons I am rooting for each of the Harbaugh brothers to take their teams all the way.

The Ravens Are So Relatable 

We all have goals we want to accomplish in a certain time period. We have things we want to do before we’re dead and even before we turn 30 (which if you’re me feels like the same thing). To see Ed Reed accomplish his goal of winning of Super Bowl before retiring would be a treat. There are just some players who are so good you begin to feel like you traveled this journey with them. Ray Lewis is one of those players as well and although he has won a Super Bowl before, it was toward the beginning of his career and with a different crop of players. When you see this current group of Ravens together you buy into Lewis’ sales pitch that they’re brothers. You root for Ray Rice, you root for Terrell Suggs and you root for camaraderie, humility, and hard work. Seeing the Ravens in the Super Bowl would be a triumph of those principles.

The 49ers Have Had a Rough Road

Poor Alex Smith. Poor Vernon Davis. When you see two guys do well when many had previously described them as busts it just makes you a little warm and fuzzy. I’m still not completely confident in Smith-and neither is that offense which accounts for their kicker David Akers’ record-breaking season. But I do realize that he’s been through several coaches and several OCs and there’s still a lot of time left for Smith to grow into a more complete QB if this team remains stable. A Super Bowl visit or win by the 49ers would feed into every great storyline I love: players redeeming themselves, the difference coaching makes, and the importance of great defense. On coaching: Jim Harbaugh might not be able to shake a hand right but that man damn sure knows how to coach a team. On redemption: As a resident of DC, I appreciate that Carlos Rogers is playing like he never heard of the capital. Like he never lived here, never played on the disastrous Skins, never voted or anything otherwise related Washington. Speaking of DC, I’m also glad that now I can say Davis is good for something beyond keeping our club scene hopping with his brother Vontae.



Patriots - Ravens: Looking At The Weaker Side Of The Ball

Did Terrell Suggs actually play against the Texans? I don't remember much from him. But his team will NEED him against the Patriots.

Now that the 49ers, Giants, and Ravens have all won games with great defense we can pull out the “defense wins championships” narrative. And really, we can keep it out unless the Patriots win the Super Bowl and then we’d have to put it away. But as we talk about great defenses-my favorite thing to do-we can’t forget about matchups. And that’s why when I think of Patriots-Ravens, I’m less inclined to say the Ravens will win this one with their defense. I’m more inclined to say that this game will come down to which team’s weaker side of the ball performs better. And in the Ravens’ case it’s their offense and for the Patriots it’s the defense.

I said the same thing about the 49ers and the New Orleans Saints. The 9ers pedestrian offense stepped it up when it mattered and the Saints barely-there D couldn’t get it done. The weaker side of the 49ers righted its ship (temporarily) and they won.

You didn’t really need to catch the Ravens/Texans game today to know that the offense almost blew it for the Ravens. But what you may not know is that it wasn’t just Flacco. It was the receivers and the overall game plan. The Ravens really never got into any sort of rhythm during the game. They didn’t seem to have any “plan of attack” to speak of. The Texans, on the other hand, clearly came in ready to run the ball and get a nice mid-game going on those few times when passing was preferred. I think the rookie QB Yates had a pretty good showing, but the downfield passes weren’t clicking, and that resulted in 3 interceptions (2 by CB Webb and 1 by FS Reed).

The Ravens weren’t able to capitalize the way they should have been able to on those mistakes. They were up by 4 for what seems like forever. Punt punt punt punt punt. That simply won’t work against the Patriots unless the Patriots totally fall apart on offense the way the Packers did against the Giants. And yes, the Giants played well on defense, but 8 drops by 7 different receivers, among other foolishness committed by the Packers, is a horse of a different color. I don’t think the Ravens can depend on the Patriots to make many mistakes that aren’t directly forced by their smothering defense. And that’s why they are going to have to score at regular intervals and not spend an entire quarter not putting points on the board.

Earlier, because the Texans and Ravens were so sloppy, I said whichever team goes on to play the Patriots might be looking at a slaughter. I’ve softened my position…sort of.

The Patriots defense showed a lot of effort against the Broncos but they weren’t “great.” And if they let the Ravens hang around you just never know when Ray Rice will come up with a big play that will win the game for his team. The Broncos were no such threat because not only did they struggle in the passing game, they struggled with what was supposed to be their bread and butter-their run game and rushing by their QB Tim Tebow. In the Patriots game, Tebow struggled mightily (does that sound biblical? It’s not intentional) with reading the option and making the appropriate decision. As inconsistent as Flacco can be, the Patriots can’t rely on him to have difficulty with the basics…and given the fact that Flacco was able to have his offense hang in there against a strong Texans D, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t hang around against the Patriots and give his team a chance.

But damn that Brady sure knows how to get a ball into…well…into wherever he wants it to go.



Are the New York Jets Victims of Overconfidence?

Even the princely Darrelle Revis lost his cool at times this season.

I’ve never hidden my feelings about New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan. I think he’s too chatty. Much of his blustering is more agitating than entertaining. His preening in front of the press lacks the authentic eccentricity of his father, the great Buddy Ryan. It’s almost as if uses every opportunity to prove to everyone that he’s just as fiery as his father was during his prime.

That’s why I never thought I’d find myself in a position to feel sorry for Coach Ryan. But this week, I do.

As you know, the Jets began an epic team meltdown in mid-October when wide receiver Santonio Holmes, eschewing any tact or home training, publicly called out his teammates for something that only remotely seems relevant now. Fast forward to the Jets season ending with no appearance in the playoffs and suddenly you have Bart Scott flipping the bird to a reporter, and the usually princely Darrelle Revis refusing to talk to reporters (earlier this season he hung up on a badgering Mike Francesca, another sign of frustration), and an aging but still vocal LaDainian Tomlinson putting Holmes on public notice that his behavior wasn’t acceptable.

That was all in just one day. One day that ended with Ryan tearfully addressing his fractured team and urging them to come together. And by come together I’m sure he meant act professionally because with their season over the team won’t be physically coming together again until spring training begins. (Though if you listen to General Manager Mike Tannenbaum speak, you’d think they were headed full steam ahead into the playoffs this weekend).

At any rate, the team has ignored their crestfallen coach’s plea and continue to jaw and reveal their locker room’s deep divisions. This was certainly not how it was supposed to go for the Jets. This was, again, supposed to be their year. With two AFC championship appearances (but no wins) under their belts this year was supposed to yield that elusive Super Bowl appearance. And many of us in the public thought this year would, in fact, be a strong year for the Jets. If not a win or visit to the Super Bowl at least another AFC championship appearance which, by the way, is nothing to scoff at.

But after the Jets made a slew of poor decisions during the rushed free agency period that began as the lockout ended, the expectation that the Jets would blow into the playoffs and manage to beat the best teams despite a lesser roster were muted for most—but not Ryan. Despite the Jets having given away their jittery quarterback’s favorite receiver Braylon Edwards, neglecting to solidify a fresh running back to take the pressure off said jittery QB, and knowing the receiving core, offensive line and defensive line would be without the leadership and steadiness of Jericho Cotchery, Damien Woody, and Shaun Ellis, Ryan persisted in trying to convince us the Jets were something that they were not.

Earlier this season Michael Lombardi wrote that he felt Ryan’s bragging about the Jets was causing them more harm than good, calling Ryan’s overstatements “counterproductive.” Lombardi said:

His players know what he is saying is not true, because they watch the same tape he does. Do you really think star cornerDarrelle Revis thinks the Jets offense is Super Bowl-worthy? Revis is too smart for that. The fans in New York are too smart, too savvy to believe every word, as they can tell the difference between a good and a great team. And Ryan gives the opponents free bulletin-board material. This is where his bold predictions become counterproductive.

At the time, Lombardi’s take seemed perfectly logical-the team had to know that they weren’t as good as Ryan’s statements. But now I wonder if that’s not true. I wonder if rather than perceiving Ryan’s bold statements as part of the show, they instead bought into his insistence that they were a part of something great and not the so-so team they looked to be.

And I believe that may be a large part of why the team turned on each other. Each of them is looking for someone to blame for the fact that they underperformed. But the reality is that the Jets did not underperform. The Jets’ roster is consistent with that of the 8-8 team they were this year. A more realistic team wouldn’t have been surprised by its lack of playoff berth but rather could have taken pride in playing hard until the end despite some real challenges on the talent front.

My sympathy for Ryan comes not from agreeing with his tactics—I assure you I do not. But it comes from understanding that this is a man who has motivated his team using a certain method. And suddenly that method has blown up in his face in very public fashion. That’s a painful experience for someone who obviously cares so much. Even still, I’m not letting Ryan off the hook. He, of all people, knew the limitations of the individuals on his team and still he insisted upon ramping up expectations. So much so that the two AFC championship appearances in 2 years with second year coach and QB seemed like a failure on the surface. He has no one to blame but himself for that one.

When reporters asked Ryan if he was planning to change his style he said he wasn’t and that he’s a “confident” person. But next year I fully hope to see a further dialing down. This season it became clear that the New York Jets are not annoying trash talkers — Rex Ryan is an annoying trash talker. There was a point as the game between the Jets and New York Giants approached where you realized that the trash talk between the teams involved a bunch of mouthy giants and one Jet in the form of the coach. When responding to what the Giants players said about him, Revis’ defenses of himself were more obligatory than passionate. He just didn’t seem to care all that much about talking up a storm. In this instance, the player was much more mature than the coach. And that’s not a good thing.

People have already compared Rex Ryan to Tom Coughlin who relaxed his preachy ways in 2008 leading a team that had been full of drama the previous year to a Super Bowl win. And I think this is a valid comparison because at the root of both Coughlin’s initial issues with the Giants and Ryan’s issue with this year’s Jets is a motivating style that has outlived its usefulness. The question is whether Ryan is too confident to change.







Remember That Time Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Fired A Rapist Who Then Went to Play for the Giants?

Character smhracter! Here's Christian Peter during his short stint with the Bears.

As much as coaches and leagues (from the NCAA to NBA to NFL) like to talk about “character issues” and how they won’t be tolerated, that line of thinking RARELY trumps the desire to win. But sometimes we get a surprise. Every now and then someone stands up for the greater good. And in this story that person was New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Natalie Tysdal, now a reporter for KDVR in Denver, came out last week and told the story of how a football player she met while in college tried to rape her. The guy, Christian Peter, had been rumored on campus to have raped or sexually assaulted other women on campus. Despite being arrested several times, charged  with and CONVICTED OF third degree sexual assault (which includes rape) and sentenced to 18 months of probation, the University of Nebraska still allowed Peter to play. In fact, he ended up meeting the President when they won a national title.

Fast forward and Peter is drafted by the New England Patriots. But when owner Robert Kraft found out about Peter’s sordid sexual history (post-draft), he cut him from the team.

He cut Peter from the team just days after the draft. It was the first time in the league’s 75 year history that a player had been relinquished after the draft and before spring training. It was a move that spoke volumes and the man behind it was a rookie owner in the NFL. Successful and powerful in his own right, businessman and Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a statement that set off a firestorm in the New England area. Kraft said that Peter’s behavior was “incompatible with our organization’s standards of acceptable conduct.”

Recently, Tysdale got a chance to meet Robert Kraft and she retells the the story in this post (from which I grabbed the above quote). I think the story is worth reading, especially when she talks about how they both exchanged something meaningful with one another.

On Peter, other women over the years have come forward with their experiences with him. In 2004, Kathy Redmond who founded the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes told her story to The Globe.

Kathy Redmond still remembers Christian Peter’s eyes, nearly 13 years later. “I told him, `No,’ both nights, and it didn’t register,” she said. “His eyes were very predatory. Just blank. There was nothing there. I remember that vividly. Nothing behind those eyes. It’s like these terrorists, you wonder how they can do what they do. It’s just a lack of conscience.”

The 5-foot-2-inch, 120-pound Redmond, then 18, was enrolled at the University of Nebraska for just one week when she met the 6-2, 265-pound Peter, a nose tackle on the football team. She says Peter, who could bench-press 450 pounds, lured her to his room and raped her. The next day, she says, Peter pushed his way past dorm security and into her room, where he raped her again, this time with two of his teammates keeping watch.

Now it is Redmond who is keeping watch. She is the founder of the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes, a nonprofit watchdog group based in Colorado. Between the Kobe Bryant rape case and sexual-abuse scandals at the Air Force Academy and Colorado University, Redmond says she is at the epicenter of a “rape culture.”

Controversial and outspoken, Redmond has been hailed as a hero by some of the 250 women she has counseled. Others label her a liar, an egomaniac, and worse. She calls her detractors the “Good Ol’ Boys Club,” one that holds athletes accountable only on the playing field.

Ironically, it was not Peter but one of his New York Giants teammates that motivated Redmond to change her life. She created NCAVA after the suicide of a 22-year-old woman who said she was assaulted by Giants defensive back Tito Wooten.


One thing that is usually present in these sorts of discussions is the idea that athletes somehow are more likely to be rapists or violent in general. I don’t think that’s true. However, what makes athletes dangerous is the level of privilege they enjoy. I think we’ve seen with the Penn State case as well as others (even as of late) that often people will go to great lengths to save sports programs -even if that means hiding or enabling someone who is dangerous. In this sense, athletes enjoy an even greater ability to get away with crimes, in particular, crimes against women and children.

For Peter’s part, he said the Patriots (if not Kraft) knew his rap sheet and had discussed it with him before the draft. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote at the time that the Patriots “fumbled” the Peters pick. Part of the implication was that issues with errors in the background investigation into Warren Sapp prior to him being drafted led to a reduction in information provided to teams. Once Peter was cleared the NY Giants picked him up and apparently made him promise to submit to regular counseling for anger and alcoholism with then team psychiatrist Dr. Joel Goldberg.

Peters spent 6 years in the NFL playing for the Giants, Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts.


A video of Peters posted without comment.


Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins Fire Their Coaches - Quarterbacks Still An Issue

We all saw it coming…

If you want more details about Todd Haley’s situation you can’t find a better source than Charles Robinson of Yahoo.


This is just a snippet. If you want all the juice, you have to read his entire timeline. There’s A LOT there. But ultimately, it comes down to a major clash of egos AND the quarterback situation in Kansas. I think the consensus is that nobody really knows what to think about Cassel’s potential. And apparently the Chiefs organization is no exception.

As for the Dolphins…there was a part of me that thought the Dolphins might keep Sparano…well at least until the end of the season.  Miami has really pulled it together the 2nd half of the season and you have to give Sparano some credit for that given the fact that he motivated a team that really has nothing to play for THIS season. Funny that up until yesterday when the Eagles beat the Dolphins both teams had the same record. Did the Eagles fire anyone yet?

I do think it’s possible that both teams could draft a quarterback next year. The Dolphins definitely have to-although I have a feeling that Matt Moore has played well enough for some team to at least consider him as their starter. I just don’t think the Dolphins will be willing to risk it when everyone will be looking at them to make a play for a QB. My guess is that Andrew Luck and this year’s Heisman winner Robert Griffin (assuming Griffin declares) will be gone by the time Miami gets a turn though.

I’m interested to see what happens next with Sparano. He never looked completely incapable to me. Miami is short on talent at some key positions and plus the Dolphins are such a drag as an organization. I looked at Miami’s roster from the past several years and I just don’t know what to think.

You tell me…[keep in mind, the Dolphins were 11-5 Sparano’s first season.








Jets Lose Safety Jim Leonhard For The Season — Why This is Huge

for the second year in a row, the Jets will finish the season without their leader on defense.

If this sounds like deja vu, it’s because it kinda is. Last year Jim Leonhard missed the end of the season due to a broken leg, this time it’s a torn patella tendon. Both injuries happened in early December. The Jets did regroup when they lost him last year…for the most part. But this season has been a little more stumbly for them and Leonhard is a lot more of a game manager than people realize. Earlier today on twitter, I compared Leonhard to Ed Reed. I remember Dawan Landry who played for the Ravens until this year when he went to the Jaguars, said that he basically would line up or position himself wherever Ed Reed said to go.

I think that also happens on the Jets with Leonhard. Leonhard is a miniscule man at his position (5’8 and around 185lbs) but he makes up for it by being the quarterback of the defense. Mike Pettine (Jets DC) spoke to Fifth Down blog and said this about Jim last year regarding his importance:

I think a lot of it starts with off-the-field. He’s not just a great football player; he’s a great person. I think his personality is just tremendous, (he’s) very funny guy (and) good-natured. I think he kept the room very light, was very quick to point things out, very quick-witted. That’s a big part of it, to me, is more the personal part of it, the off-the-field stuff. On-the-field, a lot of people do realize what an important part he was, he really did quarterback the back end. He was a big part of helping guys get lined up and he was usually a guy that was in the right place at the right time doing his job. That’s something that we are really going to miss.

The Jets have already said that once Jim recovers from his surgery and is able to be on the sidelines he will serve as an unofficial coach. So at least they will have him in some capacity helping out. But this is definitely yet another test for the Jets in a season when they really could use a break.

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