• Author:
  • Published: Oct 20th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
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The Eagle D is coming around

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The Eagle D is coming around.

NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, injuries from week 6, our views of all week 6 games including the Browns/Broncos.

On Monday night the Giants scored a TD on their 1st possession. But then the Eagle D shut them down. While the Eagle O is still trying to fit all the new gadgets into the game, the D has figured it out and is playing very well. The early issues on defense were primarily caused by the lack of rest. When the O can’t convert 3rd downs in a no huddle O, the D is on the field a lot.

The team has missed ILB Mychal Kendricks for a couple of weeks. Despite that the D is playing aggressive defense. Rookie 3rd round pick Jordan Hicks has been outstanding. He has helped the D continue to improve. His instincts are outstanding.

Two early interceptions, one of which was a pick 6, made Giant QB Eli Manning tentative. That combined with WR Odell Beckham Jr. being the primary target made the job of the Eagle D much easier. The D would have been better had they not committed so many penalties. That is still a problem for the Eagles.

The problem with the offense is that the players that the Eagles brought in do not fit what HC Chip Kelly is running. One example is QB Sam Bradford. While he ran a no huddle O in Oklahoma, several injuries have limited his mobility. He struggles to make stretch hand offs and even more to run the read option.

Another addition, running back DeMarco Murry, is also a bad fit. First of all any back in the NFL that had nearly 500 touches the previous year has never done well the following year. Add Murry’s injury history and this was a bad signing from the start. At Dallas Murry ran down hill. But the Kelly O has him running east/west to get to the hole. As a result Murry has not been productive.

The key to the rest of the Eagle season is the offense giving the D some rest between possessions. If they do, there is a good chance that the Eagles could win the NFC Least.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 26th, 2015
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on What’s wrong with the Eagles?

What’s wrong with the Eagles?

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NOTE: On NNR Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discussed the news of the day, previewed week 3 in the NFL including the Browns & Raiders. Check it out on fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

In short, there is a lot wrong with the Eagles.
The offense is the biggest issue. They have not been able to convert 3rd downs. In game 1 they were 3 for 12 and just 2 of 11 at home against Dallas. Without converting 3rddown, the Chip Kelly speed up offense wears down the Eagle D not the opponent.
A big reason that the running game is not working. It was a bad idea to bring in RB DeMarco Murray. He had almost 500 touches last year in Dallas. Running backs that have had 400+ touches have not done well the following year. But an even bigger issues is the running system. Kelly wants to pull 2 O linemen for runs at the edge. That works in college but in the NFL the D linemen are way too fast and experienced. The Eagle runners are caught in the backfield way too often by a D linemen or linebacker that shoots through the whole left by the pulling blockers.
The passing game depends a lot on play action. But with Murray having gained 11 yards in 21 carries, no linebacker or safety is going to be affected by play action. There are also concerns about QB Sam Bradford fitting the Kelly system. While I believe that the injury last year was due to the Rams bringing him back too soon, Bradford has a nasty history of injury. He is not a running threat and has shown some bad decision making so far in the Kelly system.
Kelly is stubborn. He is not going to change his system. As a result Santa may not be the only one that Eagle fans boo.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work athttp://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.
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Live game notes Browns/Cowboys

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 2008 National Football League Pro Bowl football game at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 10, 2008. VIRIN: 080210-N-8623G-010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Live Game Notes Browns/Cowboys

 

Good move to defer after winning the coin toss.

 

Nice stop by the D.

 

 

Good catch by Little. Maybe he is beginning to get it.

 

No room for the run. WE NEED A FB!

 

Cooper shows his youth and goes just sort of the LTG.

 

The punt almost got blocked. Bad news. That will cost us sometime soon.

 

=

 

OLB JMJ’s speed to cover good to see. It is a refreshing change from the slow old guys that played there last season.

 

Robertson and JMJ are the best OLBs we have. They need to start full time.

 

Hagg with nice coverage.

 

 

Good run by TRich on his own. Shows vision and strength.

 

Great catch by TRich.

 

Gordon reaches behind him to pull in the pass

 

No hole again for TRich. He is not dancing he is looking for a hole.

 

Obbi1 as a FB? What is that?

 

Good block by Cribbs on the pass.

 

The O line needs work on run blocking.

 

Great catch by Watson for the TD.

 

What is this thing called TOUCHDOWN? I have never seen it before.

 

=CL 7 DA 0

 

D does a great job of getting Boys off the field.

 

 

Great play by TRich to move the ball deep into Boys land.

 

=CK 10 DA 0

 

Double TE working on the sweep. The Boys are struggling to set the edge against the run.

 

Greco doing a nice job pulling on the inside run. He reminds me a little of Steinbach.

 

Bubble screen won’t work with Small WRs blocking.

 

The Boys shoot themselves in the foot again with a roughing the QB call.

 

The communication breaks down again and the Browns call a TO.

 

Hardesty with a nice run. Showing better vision than last year.

 

On 3rd and 7 Weeden should have run. He needs to be encouraged to tuck and run when the field is open like that.

 

=CL 13 DA 0

 

Good pressure again and Hughes gets the sack

 

The challenge is a bad idea. And the Browns lose the TO

 

Skrine bad move to cover Bryant. He is way too short to cover a big WR.

 

At least the call was not pass interference.

 

On the next play they get the call again.

 

On the long pass to Austin Skrine could have been called again. He has to stop using the arm bar and trust his speed to keep contact with receivers.

 

 

=half time

 

The first down run TRich got hit on the ribs again. He is still no where close to 100%.

 

Bad thow on 2nd and 5 wide of the mark.

 

TRich gets the catch and the FD. THAT is what he can do that others can’t.

 

Another FD on a pass to TRich.

 

Shurmur is being way too conservative in play calling. He is playing not to lose.

 

Great pickup of the blitz by Smith on the long pass to Little.

 

Thomas gets beat by Ware for a sack and the punt goes into the end zone.

 

They have to get a better punter.

 

=

 

Bryant should have scored but the whistle blew.

 

Jones for 12 and the Boys O is moving

 

Hughes chased Romo and the throw was off but they get the face mask despite no one being tackled

 

Parker puts pressure on Romo and gets the holding call against the Boys. He has been playing very well for an old guy.

 

-CL 13 DA 3

 

JMJ shows his football instincts with a great recovery of an onside kick.

 

Greco got no push on the run by TRich.

 

Shurmur is getting too conservative on the play calls.

 

=

 

Bryant gets the long pass. Look for him to be more involved.

 

With the long penalty against Ward the wheels begin to fall off.

 

Skrine is giving too much ground and the DL is not getting pressure against the 3 step drop. That combination will take DA to the win.

 

The Boys score the TD and the wheels are off.

 

=CL 13 DA 10

 

Cribbs fumbles and the Boys get it. The call was bad because he was down.

 

Hockley got it right. I was surprised they reversed the call.

 

Weeden panicked and threw the ball into the crowd. Can’t do that.

 

Another season another NEW starting QB.

 

Three and out and the Boys get the ball outside their 40.

 

=

 

Skrine jumped and knocked the ball away at the 5 Good play.

 

Rubin stuffed the 3rd and 1 run.

 

Vickers catches the 4TH down pass. He was allowed to go free agent because they said he couldn’t catch.

 

Pass for the TD and the game is over

 

-DA 17 CL 13

 

Special teams blow it again and the team starts from the 11

 

The ball was almost picked at the 17 but the penalty against Ratliff gave the Browns a 1st.

 

Weeden under pressure loses his cool and throws it away.

 

Weeden fumbles and that is the ball game.

 

With the second overall pick in the 2013 draft the Browns take …

 

=

 

The D forces a fumble but Romo’s knee was down.

 

WHAT? A break for the Browns? I can’t believe it.

 

 

A pair of great catches by Little and Gordon move the ball inside the Boy’s 20.

 

Shurmur will go for the FG and hope to get the ball ball.

 

Bad call on the 4th down fade pass to the TE. Should have given Weeden a pass run option. I can not remember the last time a fade worked for the Browns. SHURMUR WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

 

=

 

Great stop by the D gives the Browns the ball in good field position

 

 

Great throw by Weeden gives the Browns a 20-17 lead. But cheer up draft fans, they will still not win.

 

=cl 20 da 17 1:07 left

 

Fouls by the D give the Boys a field goal.

 

-DA 20 CL 20 OT

 

Romo takes the Boys right down the field.

 

Robertson gets the sack but Romo recovers for the 1ST

 

The Browns get off the field but not soon enough.

 

 

 

 

“Great” call by Shurmer results in a 3 and out and a punt.

 

=

 

TOLD YOU WE WOULD FIND A WAY TO LOSE.

 

 

 

Final thoughts:

 

As a coach the worst thing that anyone can say is the coach took away our chance to win. By getting too conservative, Shurmur ended the chances of the team to win. He should not be permitted to continue to call plays. In the 2nd half the difference was the number of 3rd and long situations the Browns faced. The Boys made adjustments and the Browns were not able to understand what was happening and adjust themselves.

 

When you look in the eyes of TRich and the other young players used to winning, you see a frustration that is going to drive them to leave when their deals expire. THAT will kill any chance the team will ever become competitive.

 

Shurmur needs to be fired now so that the team doesn’t lose all hope for the season.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

 

He edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.

 

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

Image via Wikipedia

Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

Having a good quarterback is a key to success in fantasy football. Every year, the league is based more around passing than running. A lot of teams will throw to their running backs almost as much as they hand them the ball. When you are drafting, you should consider the following three QBs to be at the top of the list.

Most fantasy football players draft quarterbacks early, but not as early as they draft their running backs and wide receivers. That’s in spite of the fact that fantasy football quarterbacks will consistently score more points for a team than a running back or a wide receiver. The difference is that you can only start a single quarterback, but you can almost always start two running backs and two wide receivers.

That being said, quarterbacks are important, and here are some tips and suggestions about some quarterbacks to keep an eye on in 2011.

1. Tom Brady

Last year, he got the ball to Danny Woodhead, a Division Three, undrafted rookie, and two rookie tight ends. He got no help from Randy Moss and had to throw to Deion Branch, who is well out of his prime. He still threw for a nine to one touchdown to interception ratio. With Ochocinco in the lineup this year, he will be unstoppable.

2. Aaron Rodgers

All he did was win the Super Bowl, and he will have more talent this year with the return of both Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley.

3. Philip Rivers

Rivers just puts up numbers. Even when the Chargers lose, he throws for two hundred and fifty yards. With Vincent Jackson returning, he will have a huge year.

4. Tony Romo

People like to make fun of Tony Romo, and maybe he deserves some of this derision. But with starters like these, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten, he’s going to put numbers on the board this year for sure.

5. Matt Schaub

Schaub would be higher on this list, but the running game on his team is going to reduce the number of passes that he’s going to throw. That’s going to affect his fantasy football performance. He’s still a good pick, but he’s not as good as some of the other quarterbacks on this list.

6. Matt Ryan

He’s been playing long enough to consider him a veteran. He could be a great value pick in your league this year, because he usually goes late. So keep your eye on him.

7. Matthew Stafford

If he can avoid getting injured, he should be able to put numbers on the scoreboard for you.

There are a few QBs not mentioned that could contend for these spots, including Peyton Manning.

John Clifton has written more about fantasy football quarterbacks at FantasyFootballTips.org.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Jul 31st, 2010
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Questions in the NFC East and North training camps

Questions in the NFC East and North training camps

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NFL

Note: We will look at all the divisions of the NFL with this same point of view over the next few issues of Fryingpansports.com.

NFC East

Cowboys

1. Will the new LT be able to protect the blind side of QB Romo? The team cut previous starter Flozell Adams and will try Doug Free and Alex Barron at that critical position. Neither has proven he can be an effective RT let alone face the talented REs around the league.

2. Will the ground game get back to a high level in the running back by committee system? Last year there was too much Jones and not enough Barber. The line was inconsistent and the running game suffered. Beware of taking either of these guys high in your Fantasy Draft.

3. Will former 1st round pick Roy Williams ever be worth what Jerry Jones paid for him in the trade? NO and rookie Dez Bryant will have his spot before week 3 unless the injury takes him our for longer than we think.

Giants

1. Will the D line return to the top of the NFL or repeat a disappointing 2009? Going into last season, the DL was supposed to be a strength. It was not. The Giants replaced DC Bill Sheridan with new DC Perry Fewell. 2008 star DE Osi Umenyiora has been advised to get surgery to fix his hip. How will DE Justin Tuck bounce back from his shoulder injury? The D is going to have to play better and stay healthier than it was in 09.

2. Will the running game return to a high level? In 2009, problems on the O line and at RB caused the running game to disappear during games against Dallas and other top teams. If the Giants are going to become a contender again, the running game is going to have to improve.

3. Can FS Kenny Phillips recover from microfracture knee surgery and will UFA SS Antrel Rolle solidify the last line of defense? The loss of Phillips was a major factor in the D’s decline in 09. Rolle had an off year in 09 for the Cardinals and they were willing to let him go. The D will depend on the S position as much as anything if it is going to become effective again.

Eagles

1. Can QB Kevin Kolb become the QB that the team hopes he can? Probably not this year and it will be a down year for the Birds.

2. Can the running game be resurrected? In a word, no. The Eagles are talking like they have a running game but LeSean McCoy ran out of gas as a part timer last year. With Westbrook gone, he will have to carry the main load.

3. Will the D line produce sacks like they did in the beginning of the season last year? The team traded for DE Darryl Tapp and drafted undersized DE Brandon Graham in the first round. The D line ran out of gas last year. DE Trent Cole is getting older and neither LDT Mike Patterson or RDT Brodrick Bunkley are much of a pass rusher.

Redskins

1. Will Albert Haynesworth settle in at DE? 21M just doesn’t buy as much as it used to. That is what the Redskins paid Haynesworth to play NT but he wasn’t thrilled about being hit by 900+ pounds of OL every play. He lost 25 pounds so that he would be too light to play NT but still couldn’t pass the conditioning drill.

2. How good will the O be with Donovan McNabb at QB? McNabb will be a great improvement over Campbell. But he will really miss the quality receivers he had in Philly.

3. How will the OL protect an aging QB? The bookend pro bowl Ts are gone. The replacements are 4th overall pick LT Trent Williams and ex-Saint RT Jammal Brown. Brown can play LT if needed and is a 2 time pro bowler. Williams is a questionmark.

NFC North

Bears

1. How will QB Jay Cutler preform in OC Mike Martz’s offense? Cutler looked lost in a very simple O last year. Martz’s O depends on timing which has not been a strength of Cutler or the Bear WRs. Look for the Cutler/Martz marriage to end in a quick and ugly divorce.

2. Will the running game recover? 09 starter Matt Forte struggled badly and the lack of blocking up front didn’t help. Ex-Vike Chester Taylor was brought in to compete with Forte but he is not a full time guy at this point in his career either. Beware of these guys in the Fantasy draft as well.

3. Will the DBs finally come around? The coaching staff have been shuffling the lineup in the D backfield more often than they do in Las Vegas. The team has not had good coverage since they finally gave up on the oft-injured S Brown. Getting MLB Brian Urlacher will help a lot because he can cover the deep middle in the 2 deep zone.

Lions

1. How well will 2nd year QB Matthew Stafford play? He was up and down as expected in 09 but should improve with a year of experience. Forget what you hear about better WRs for the Lions. There is Calvin Johnson and a bunch of “never was” guys.

2. Will the team have a running game? 09 starter Kevin Smith is coming back from an ACL. It takes 20 months to fully recover from that injury. Rookie Jahvid Best has talent but there is no indication he can hold up for 16 games. Look for the running game to struggle.

3. How much will the D line be improved by the addition of DT Ndamukong Suh and DE Kyle Vanden Bosch? A lot! Suh is the real deal and has more pass rush than you think. Vanden Bosch is a solid pass rush guy and won’t face as much double teaming as he did last year.

Packers

1. How good will the D be without DT Johnny Jolly the year? That may sound like no big deal but Jolly played more downs than any other D lineman last year. Look for NT Ryan Pickett to move to LE leaving NT B.J. Raji to man the middle. Raji tends to wear down and there isn’t another legitimate NT on the roster if Pickett is not able to play there.

2. Will the O line look as old as it did late last season? LT Chad Clifton got old in a hurry last year. He has to play better. RT Mark Tauscher was OK but beyond that there is nothing special on the line. While there will be some challenges from the bench, there is no real depth there either.

3. Will the conversion to 3-4 continue to go as well as it did last year? The team lost multi-year pro bowl DE turned reluctant LB Aaron Kampman. The left OB looks like a problem with Brad Jones filling in for Kampman. He is solid rushing the passer but does not hold the point of attack against eh run. The rest of the LBs are solid.

Vikings

1. Will the league be able to suspend the Williams boys at DT this year or will the court fightes go on until they retire? Don’t worry Vike fans, they are safe for 2010.

2. Will MLB E.J. Henderson (leg) and CB Cedric Griffin (ACL) be ready for the season? The D suffered when these two went down last year. The biggest value of the great DT play of the Williams boys is that it frees up the LBs to make plays at the line of scrimmage. The loss of Henderson was exposed in the Vikings loss in the playoffs last year.

3. Will QB Brett —? Who cares at this point?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl football,NFL,Super Bowl,playoffs,NFC East,NFC North,Cowboys,Eagles,Redskins,Giants,Vikings,Lions,Packers,Bears,Farve,Stafford,Urlacher,Fantasy Football,Fantasy draft
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Dallas needs a new head coach to get to the next level

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t

I live at a lake. I see people fall off their jet skies all the time. The craft just goes around in a circle. That is what has happened to the Cowboys. They have not won a playoff game since Romo was in high school. Without a coach in control of a pro team, the franchise will not advance.

The reason that Wade Phillips is still the coach must be that Jerry Jones wants to surround himself with lackeys. We know that Jones knows a coach when he sees one because he has had a couple of the best in the history of the game. So why Phillips? Because Jones wants to be “the” star of stars in Dallas. Phillips couldn’t be a star in a basketball league of 5 year olds.

QB Tony Romo is more of a pop culture star than an NFL star. He seems to lack the discipline to move from good to great. Can you imagine him lacking discipline in a Bill Cowher or Bill Belichick locker room? Romo has “weak-itis.” He rolls up big numbers against the weak teams but folds in the big games in the 4th quarter when it counts the most. That in part has prevented the Cowboys from getting to the Super Bowl. Experienced QB John Kitna is now the backup and have drafted the QB of the future in Rudy Carpenter. The future may be sooner rather than later if Romo doesn’t play better this year.

The Boys took the “excuse” of Terrell Ownes away. But in doing that, they also took the best WR on the team away as well. What the Boys are left with are two “maybe’s.” The starters are Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. Williams has yet to prove he can be the #1 guy. Crayton will make an unbelievable catch then drop two easy ones. He also has difficulty getting open. The bench consists of Miles Austin, Sam Hurd and a group of rejects and newbies.

The one guy that Romo can count on is all pro TE Jason Witten. He is consistent, tough, and seems to always be open. 6-7 Martellus Bennett is his backup.

The Boys might be better off being a run first team. They are loaded at RB. Marion Barber is a top back and Felix Jones isn’t far behind. Add to that Tashard Choice and Keon Lattimore and you have a stable of very good RBs.

Three starters on the O line are fine. G Leonard Davis and C Andre Gurode should be probowl players again. RT Marc Colombo is OK and can be good if he applies himself. The left side of the line is the potential problem. G Kyle Kosier is coming off of an injury in his foot. LT Flozell Adams is no where close to what he was and seemed to get old in a hurry. He needs to be replaced this year but there is no replacement on hand. He will be gone next season for sure.

On the D line, the questions are at end. LE Marcus Spears has shown flashes of great ability but is consistently inconsistent. He is in the final year of his deal and will produce or move on. Ex-Charger Igor Olshansky replaces UFA Chris Canty. Igor is average at best but there is no quality depth. The NT is pro bowler Jay Ratliff. He collapses the pocket and had 7.5 sacks last year. He needs help at E. His backup will be Junior Siavii orTim Anderson.

The backers include sack master DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer who replaces Greg Ellis and is questionable. ILB Keith Brookings is fine and fellow ILB Bradie James is adequate but a little old. The depth is very suspect.

The only solid player in the secondary is CB Terence Newman. His running mate will be either Mike Jenkins or Orlando Scandrick neither of whom has proven himself. The safeties are Ken Hamlin and Gerald Sensabaugh. Hamlin fell off last year and needs to rebound. Sensabaugh replaces Roy Williams who was a nightmare in coverage. There is little behind the starters but potential.

OVERLL: Teams that put a lot of their salary cap in a few players will always lack quality depth. That has hurt the Cowboys in the past. The biggest reason that they will not make it to the Super Bowl in 09 is lack of both preparation and discipline. The team commits penalties at crunch time then makes key mistakes that keeps them from challenging for a title. Sooner or later even Jerry Jones has to realize that Wade Phillips is not up to the job.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Cowboys,Jones,Phillips,Super Bowl,NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Romo,Belichick,Cowher,Ownes,Witten,Crayton,Ware,Williams,Hamlin
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