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  • Published: Oct 15th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
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News, Notes & Rumors for week 6

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Note:  Join us for the live version of NNR Mondays and Fridays on The Bill Smith Radio Show. The Monday show with co-host Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports reviews the NFL week and Browns game.  The Friday show includes Samantha and Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York and previews the weekend games.



Texan QB Matt Schaub was hurt and could be out next week.  The team also lost SS Danieal Manning with a broken Fibula.  He will be out 6-8 weeks.


The Packers lost WRs James Jones and Randal Cobb with knee injuries.  They also lost LB Nick Perry with a broken foot.


Pats WR Danny Amendola suffered a concussion.  CB Aqib Talib hurt a hip and LB Jerod Mayo suffered a shoulder injury.


The Cowboys RB Demarco Murray hurt a knee and DE Demarcus Ware will miss several weeks with a quad injury.


The Vikings have lost LB Desmond Bishop for the season with a torn ACL.


The Bills signed former Raider QB Matt Flynn.


The Steelers have placed OT Levi Brown on IR.  The team traded for him on Oct. 2 and he never played a game for them.  He injured his tricepts in pregame warm-up.  This is just one more example of the questionable moves by team management.  Brown has had a history of injury.  Check out my analysis of the Steelers drafts “Why did the Steelers fall so far so fast?”
Read more at https://fryingpansports.com/#KYl3oHXhIGVQedFl.99.




Patriots 30 Saints 27 – The key to this game was a brain cramp by DC Rob Ryan.  With 10 seconds left Ryan decided to not double the receivers in the endzone.  There was 1 on 1 coverage on WR Kenbrell Thompkins and QB Tom Brady hit him for the game winner with 5 seconds left.


Rams 38 Texans 13 – Those that wanted someone else (anyone else?) to play QB for the Texans got their wish.  But only after the Rams had built a 31-6 lead was starting QB Matt Schaub hurt.  T.J. Yates came in and promptly threw a 98 yard pick 6 to Alec Ogletree.  The Texans were never in the game and looked like a team that has given up.  They had 95 yards in penalties and gave the ball away 4 times.


Eagles 31 Buccaneers 20 – Eagle QB Nick Foles was extremely effective and efficient.  He ended up 22 for 31 for 296 yards and 3 TDs without a pick.  He also ran for a TD.  HC Chip Kelly has backed off his plan for 80+ plays a game at least with his backup starting.  The Eagles had only 65 offensive plays.  Bucs QB Mike Glennon played pretty well going 26-43 for 273 and 2 TDs and 1 interception.  The Bucs simply were overmatched by the Eagles speed and efficiency on offense.


Chiefs 24 Raiders 7 – Raider QB Terrelle Pryor was running for his life all afternoon.  He was sacked 10 times behind the patchwork line.  The pressure was unrelenting and forced 3 interceptions as well.  Chiefs QB Alex Smith was only 14-31 for 128 yards without a TD or a pick.  The Raider D is playing very well but the injury plagued O line was the culprit for the loss.  The line could not protect Pryor or block to get the running game going.


Bengals 27 Bills 24 OT – The Bengals built a 24-10 lead going into the 4th quarter and then tried to hang on for the win.  But new Bills starting QB Thad Lewis threw two long TDs to tie the game including a 40 yard TD with just 1:08 left.  He ended up with 19 for 32 for 216 yards and 2 TDs but no picks and 1 fumble lost.  The comeback took a lot of effort and the Bills just did not have enough left to get over the hump in OT.


Packers 19 Ravens 17 – The Raven running game disappeared and it was up to QB Joe Flacco to carry the O.  He failed.  The running game generated 47 yards in 22 attempts.  Flacco was sacked 5 times and converted only 2 of 14 third down attempts.  The Pack was up 16-3 going into the 4th quarter but the Ravens scored 2 late TDs including the last one with 2:04 left in the game.  The Pack found a running game with rookie RB Eddie Lacy gaining 120 yards on 23 carries.  QB Aaron Rodgers was 17-32 for 315 yards with a TD and a pick.


Panthers 35 Vikings 10 – Expect the Matt Cassel experiment to be over soon in Minnesota.  The Vikings were never in the game.  The Vike D made Panther QB Cam Newton look like a Hall of Famer.  Newton was 20-26 for 242 and 3 touchdowns without an interception.  Cassel was 32-44 but threw 2 picks.  The running game was understandably down.  Adrian Peterson had 10 carries for 62 yards but got 31 on a single carry.  The Vikes never got the O going.  The Panther D had something to do with that but most of the problem was inconsistency of the Vike O.  They scored their one TD with 1:00 left in the game.


Seahawks 20 Titans 13 – This gets the weird game of the week award.  The only TD that the Titans scored was on a return of a blocked FG.  Seahawk QB Russell Wilson drove the team down to the Titan 2 with 2 seconds left.  But their FG kicker was hurt.  The punter Jon Ryan tried to kick a FG but the new holder dropped the ball and tried to throw it.  The ball went backward and Jason McCourty ran it 77 yards for the TD.  Titan QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw 2 interceptions but the Seahawks fumbled twice including the botched FG.  Wilson was 23 for 31 for 257 with no TDs or picks.


Lions 31 Browns 17 – The Browns led at halftime 17-7.  Then the Lions scored 24 straight points aided by a QB Brandon Weeden meltdown.  For my opinion about the game check out my live game notes on fryingpansports.com.




After watching the Eagles with both Michael Vick and Nick Foles, it is clear to me that Foles should be the QB going forward.  Vick is on a one year contract and has only completed a 16 game season once since returning from his stint as a guest of the state for dog fighting.  Foles is young, talented and more accurate passing than Vick because his mechanics are stable.  Even after years behind center, Vick’s mechanics are never consistent.


With the announcement that Brandon Weeden will remain at QB for the Browns it is clear to me that upper management wants to tank the season for a higher draft choice.  It is hard to watch Weeden play.  A good coach can correct inaccuracy due to mechanics or footwork.  A good coach can correct a flawed throwing motion.  There is no hope for a QB that wets his pants every time he gets rushed.  If the team wanted to win they would (1) bench Weeden, (2) start Jason Campbell and (3) sign a young QB free agent.  I would like to see the team sign Tyler Wilson off the Raiders practice squad.  Going into the 2012 college season he was considered a first round pick.  Arkansas had a horrendous season due to a change in head coach and lack of talent around Wilson.  He has well above average arm strength, is accurate even when getting hit and has experience behind a less than optimal offensive line.


The biggest impact that the Browns decision to keep starting Weeden may be their inability to keep their own free agents and sign those from other teams.  No quality NFL player wants to play for an organization that is willing to tank a season for a draft pick.  C Alex Mack, S T.J. Ward and LB Craig Robertson will be free agents at the end of this season.


The Chargers showed other teams the formula for beating QB Andrew Luck and the Colts.  The Bolts held the ball for 38:31 and scored on 5 possessions.  They also held the Colts to 2 of 10 3rd down conversion attempts.


There are a bunch of trade rumors floating around.  Last season the trading deadline would have been 4PM EDT today.  This year it was moved back 2 weeks.  The majority of rumors are about the bottom feeders trading players for 2014 draft choices.  There are usually few deals done around the trading deadline.  But with so many injuries around the league this year for teams in contention, 2013 could be the exception.


After week 6 it is time to look at the coaches on the hot seat.


Bucs HC Greg Schiano has irritated the other coaches, his players and this season is 0-6.  He is dead man walking.


Texans HC Gary Kubiak is on the hot seat with his team at 2-4.  The struggles of Schaub should put team management on the hot seat as well.


Giants coach Tom Coughlin has 2 super bowl wins but with the team at 0-6 the heat is on.  Despite injuries the team has not won this year and has not been a factor in the NFC East in the last couple of seasons.


Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has struggled this year.  The issue is not coaching.  The problem is the lack of quality draft choices.  GM Kevin Colbert is the guy that should go.


Atlanta coach Mike Smith is on the hot seat but should not be.  The injuries combined with a lack of depth have caused the team to go 1-4.  He should survive and coach next year.


Jaguars coach Gus Bradley is in his first year but the team has been bad.  He is likely to stay but will be on shaky ground next season.  He is not a very good head coach.



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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

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


News, Notes & Rumors Week 5

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Ex Bucs QB Josh Freeman was signed by the Vikings on a 1 year deal.  At least in Vikes land he will have a great running game.


The new starting QB for the Bills is former Browns QB Thad Lewis.  He has had only one start (Browns) and threw a TD and a pick.  He ended the game with a QB rating of 83.3.


After Terrelle Pryor led the Raiders to a win over the Chargers, the team cut QB Matt Flynn.


Pats QB Tom Brady’s streak of 52 games with a TD pass was broken Sunday by the Bengal D.



Bengals 13 Patriots 6 – The NFL would like to thank those of you that slept without snoring.  That would have disturbed the others nodding off.  I would like to say that the game was a result of two great defensive efforts but it was two inept offenses that caused the napping.   The first quarter ended with Bengals QB Andy Dalton throwing a horrible pick to LB Brandon Spikes on the Pats’ 8 yard line.  That says it all.


Broncos 51 Cowboys 48 – Things started so well for the Cowgirls. Late in the first they were up 14-0. But in the end QB Tony Romo threw a pick in the last 3 minutes of the game that gave Denver a chance to win the game with a field goal.  Despite over 500 yards passing by Romo, it seems like he always does just enough wrong to help the other team win.  The Bronco D is not the overwhelming force some thought.  Again this year they will go as far as QB Payton Manning takes them.


Cardinals 22 Panthers 6 – Carolina QB Cam Newton threw 3 picks and lost a fumble which totally ended any chance they had to win.  The Panther defense is solid but Newton is not getting the offense going.  The Panthers have not beaten a good team yet and the team has to wonder about the development of Newton.  Cards QB Carson Palmer threw three picks as well and two were in the Panther end zone.  Both defenses played well enough to win but Cards did just enough on offense to win.


Chiefs 26 Titans 17 – The Chiefs are 5-0 but QB Alex Smith is not a guy that can carry a team to a championship.  He did enough to get the Chiefs this win.  He is too conservative and does not have the arm to make the big throws.  He was 20 for 39 against a very average Titan D.  RB Jamaal Charles is the real thing even at just 200 pounds.  He is a three down back that can catch and run equally well but only when he is healthy.  Titan QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw one more pick than Smith did.  The Titans don’t have enough fire power to win a big game.  Fitzpatrick was getting the ball in the hands of the receivers but they kept dropping it.


Raiders 27 Chargers 17 – Raider QB Terrelle Pryor used his arm and legs to build a lead that the Chargers could not overcome.  He threw 2 TDs without a pick.  In trying to play catch up Charger QB Philip Rivers threw three interceptions.  That was uncharacteristic of him his year but the picks did in the Chargers.


49ers 34 Texans 3 – Texans QB Matt Schaub threw three interceptions including a pick 6 and a lost fumble.  While the 49er offense looked mundane at best, it did enough to take advantage of the Schaub gifts.  The 49ers are struggling with the O line and inability of receivers to get open.  The biggest issue of the Texans is QB Schaub.


Colts 34 Seahawks 28 – Perhaps the biggest mess in the NFL is the O line of the Hawks.  The only reasons the team has been able to go 4-0 is the great play of RB Marshawn Lynch QB Russell Wilson and a very good defense.  The D failed them against a great effort by Colt QB Andrew Luck.  Luck brought the Colts back from a 10-0 early deficit and led the team to the win.  The Colt D is much better this year.






More than a few people are wondering why the Patriots did not improve their receiving crew sooner.  When QB Tom Brady agreed to restructure his deal I am sure he assumed that the freed up cap space would be used to get him some veteran help.  Not only did he not get help, management let his best receiver Wes Welker go in free agency.  This team cannot win with the group they have now.  Even when their receivers get healthy, this team is doomed to fail in the playoffs.


Brady is struggling not only with drops but also with accuracy.  A number of his incompletions were not catchable.  It could be he is starting to show his age.  It is more likely that he is suffering with an inconsistent line and receiver group.


With Texans QB Schaub setting a league record with interceptions returned for TDs in four straight games, the Texans have to wonder about the future of their 66 million dollar guy.  Schaub has never been able to advance in the playoffs beyond beating the Bengals.  The Texans don’t have a legitimate replacement so they will live (and the GM and HC will die) with Schaub.


There are concerns about the 49er offense.  While they are justified, the issues are not about QB Colin Kaepernick.  The offense has changed since last year and even since the game 1 win over the Packers.  The running game was missing in the two losses.  The O line is a mess.  The play calls have changed as well.  I pointed out that the WR triangle that was so effective at getting guys open against the Packers has not been part of the game plan since.  When given any protection, Kaepernick is accurate and he has made key 1st downs with his legs.



You can listen to the podcasts at https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live Mondays and Fridays at 6PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  The Monday show is a review of the previous week and the Browns game.  The Friday show previews the upcoming games.


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

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

  • Author:
  • Published: Oct 1st, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4

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News, Notes & Rumors for Crazy week 4


NOTE:  This week’s radio version of NNR with my co-host Samantha Bunten will be Friday Oct. 4 at 6PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  A special NNR will be on Monday Oct. 7 at 6PM to wrap up week 5 with Samantha and Giants beat writer for Metro New York Tony Williams.



Week 4 key injuries:  Vince Wilfork DT (NE) torn Achilles out for the year.   Dwight Freeney LB (SD) torn quad out indefinitely.   Brian Cushing LB (HO) and Eric Fisher T (KC) both suffered concussions.


Titan QB Jake Locker was hospitalized after taking a big hit in the game against the Jets with a hip injury.  At this point it looks like he will be out several weeks.


After week 4 a few QBs have had their meeting chairs move a lot closer to the emergency exit door.  Bucs QB Josh Freeman was not only replaced as the starter by rookie Mike Glennon, Freeman was deactivated this week.  Josh asked to be traded but few teams are going to be willing to eat over six million dollars to rent him until the end of the season given his low completion percentage and lack of leadership.


Browns QB Brandon Weeden can’t hold a ball yet but that is mute point since QB Brian Hoyer has led the team to back to back wins.  Brandon, let that thumb heal.  You might need it stacking groceries at the Piggly Wiggly store.


Jets QB Mark Sanchez had better put his house up for sale soon because he too will be moving down significantly in job status and salary.  Geno Smith has not been lighting it up but Sanchez is history.  He will have season ending surgery on his throwing shoulder this week.  He is lucky the previous administration gave him his 20.5 million dollars guarantee.  If he is in the league at all next season he can expect the veteran minimum.  Maybe he can join Weeden stacking groceries.



ESPN 1500 Twin Cities reports that despite backup quarterback Matt Cassel engineering a win over the Steelers, head coach Leslie Frazier reportedly said there is no quarterback controversy and Christian Ponder is still the starter.


At 0-4 the Giants are the worst team in the state of New York.  The Jets and Bills are 2-2.




Bills 23 Ravens 20 – The starting D backfield of the Bills was out.  So the Bills didn’t have a chance to beat the Ratbirds.  WRONG!  Raven QB Joe Flacco evidently felt sorry for the Bills so he threw 5 interceptions including a key pick as they were in range for a field goal to tie the game.  Rookie QB EJ Manuel was just OK but did not give up the ball 5 times.  The Bills lost to the Jets last week.  This week they beat the Ravens.  That means the Jets would beat the Ravens???


Chiefs 31 Giants 7 – NY QB Eli Manning cut down on his picks but the O still could do very little.  The Giants were 1 for 14 in 3rd down coversions while the Chiefs converted 9 of 16.  That was the critical difference in the game.  The Giant D could not get off the field on 3rd down.  One of 14 on 3rd down will not get a win.


Lions 40 Bears 32 – The Lions were up 40-16 with less than 9 minutes left in the game.  Bears QB Jay Cutler brought them back to the final score with two garbage time TDs.  But Cutler also threw 3 picks and was sacked 3 times.  Lions RB Reggie Bush had 139 yards and DT Nick Fairley returned a fumble for a TD.  Both teams are now 3-1.


Redskins 24 Raiders 14 – The Skins had their usual slow start.  A blocked punt and TD pass by Raider QB Matt Flynn replacing Terrelle Pryor had the Raiders up 14-0.  The Redskins scored 24 straight points.  But the Skins D scored on an interception return and an improved game from QB Robert Griffin III led the team back.  Flynn did OK with a final rating of 87.3.  Griffin was 18-27 227 yards and a TD.


Seahawks 23 Texans 20 OT – “Schaub giveth and Schaub taketh away.”   The Hawks had three starting O linemen out and the Texans D took full advantage of that.  QB Matt Schaub and RB Arian Foster built a 20-6 lead going into the 4th quarter.  But Hawks QB Russell Wilson and the D took over from there.  Wilson who had suffered pressures and dropped passes began to run the ball.  He drove the team to the three then faked a run and gave it to RB Marshawn Lynch for the score.  Then Schaub suffered a brain cramp.  He threw the ball into a crowd of Seahawk defenders.  It was picked off by CB Richard Sherman and returned for a shoe-less TD.  Schaub ended up with 2 TDs but 2 critical picks as well.


Broncos 52 Eagles 20 – The Chip Kelly offense is failing to win primarily due to the pathetic defense.  After a win over the Redskins and “not ready for prime time” Robert Griffin III, the Eagles have lost three straight.  In first two losses the O has had the ball about half the time of the opponent.  The O can’t score enough and the D can’t get off the field.  Nobody is going to have an easy game against the Broncos in Denver.  Mike Vick suffered a number of drops and there were some serious problems on special teams like the 100 yard TD kickoff return.  But the Eagles do not have enough of the Kelly type players to make this work.  The three main producers for the Eagles (TE Brent Celek, WR DeSean Jackson and RB LeSean McCoy) had a total of 15 targets but just 6 catches.  The Eagles D cannot tackle at all.  Payton Manning is just outstanding.  He finished with 28 of 34 for 327 yards and four TDs.


Chargers 30 Cowboys 21 – The Cowgirls found another way to lose.  They jumped out in front only to see the D wilt under pressure from QB Phillip Rivers and the Charger O.  Dallas QB Tony Romo struggled with accuracy in the second half and ended up 27 for 37 but averaged only 6.1 yards per attempt. Even a defensive TD couldn’t save the Boys.


Vikings 34 Steelers 27 – The Steeler’s biggest problems are the O line and the defense’s inability to tackle.  With no D and no running game QB Ben Roethlisberger feels like he has to do it himself.  There is no one to take the top off the coverage and the lack of receivers hurts Ben most.  He is the one getting hit on almost every play.  Two Steeler garbage time TDs only made the score more respectable.  The Vikes started backup Matt Cassel and he did OK.  RB Adrian Peterson broke open over and over.  He ended up with 140 yards rushing on 23 attempts.


Browns 17 Bengals 6 – This game was not as close as the score indicates.  The Browns missed two chip shot field goals and the first Bengal FG came on a 30 yard drive.  For the first time in a long while the Browns are tied for the AFC North lead at 2-2.  For more on this game check out my Live Game Notes right here on FryingpanSports.com.




NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport “Tampa Bay Buccaneers ownership is behind head coach Greg Schiano. Ownership knew it would take time to correct the mess left by the previous coaching staff.”

However Schiano did not get any more popular with the fans or the team by his change of QBs to Glennon.  I think the deactivation of Freeman was as much about his unauthorized interviews as it was about his play.  That just proves the truth may set you free but it does not guarantee employment.


According to Giants Beat writer Tony Williams of Metro New York, I was wrong about the team tuning out HC Tom Coughlin.  On my NNR show Friday, Tony said the team likes playing for Coughlin.  That may be but the team was thumped again this week 31-7 by the Chiefs despite the Giant D getting three turnovers.  I still think Coughlin is in serious trouble unless he gets the team turned around soon.  Given the issues with the team that is not likely.


There might be some pressure on Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin due to the team losing four in a row.  However, that would not be fair.  The issue of the Steelers has much more to do with the drafting by team management than it does with the coaching.  In the near future I will analyze the recent drafts of General Manager Kevin Colbert to show the poor choices he has made.  Look for the analysis here on FryingpanSports.com.


The NFL has not given up on the 18 game regular season schedule but is now pushing a change to the preseason and playoffs.  The latest trial balloon being filled with hot air is the reduction of 1 preseason game.  To offset the revenue loss, there would be one more wild card playoff team in each conference meaning that only the top seed would get a bye.  This will be put up for a vote of owners at the next league meeting but probably not go into effect until 2015.


Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the league is considering fines for Jets defensive ends Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples for their actions on the hit on Titan QB Jake Locker.  Is any tackle on a QB now a finable offense?


The NFL Channel showed a picture of a Texans’ fan burning a Schaub jersey.  The fact is that he is not an elite NFL QB and the team is now wondering if it is time to move on.  While he is good enough to lead the team into the playoffs, it is clear he is not good enough to get to the Super Bowl.  The problem is that team management gave Schaub big time contract extension.  The team would be hit with a 3.5 million dollar cap hit in 2014 and 7 million in 2015 if they cut him after the June 1 deadline next season.


Before the regular season started I predicted that the Redskins and Vikings would not return to the playoffs.  So far that prediction is right on target.


Despite leading the Browns to two straight wins, Head Coach Rob Chudzinski refused to make QB Brian Hoyer his starter beyond Thursday’s game against the Bills.  Can this group really want to see Brandon Weeden play more before deciding he is not the guy?



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 https://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 https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.  

He also edits .  

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



  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 7th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on 10 Critical Questions for the AFC

10 Critical Questions for the AFC

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 Note:  Join Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and me for the Browns and NFL week recap show every Monday at 6 PM Eastern time live on http://www.justin.tv/papaburl or the archives on https://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

10.       Which AFC team will get the first pick in the 2014 draft.  The choices are Oakland, Jacksonville and Buffalo.


9.         Will the new system of HC Rob Chudzinski make QB Brandon Weeden an NFL quality starter?


8.         Will QB Ryan Tannehill improve enough to help the Dolphins challenge for a playoff spot?


7.         How much will HC Andy Reid and QB Alex Smith improve the Chiefs’ record?


6.         Will the Colts get back into the playoffs?


5.         Can the Bengals get enough out of QB Andy Dalton to do deep in the playoffs?


4.         Will the Steelers be able to run the ball?  The top back Le’Veon Bell has a Lisfranc injury the line is below average.


3.         How effective with the Ravens be on offense?  Most are more concerned about the Ravens’ defense but it will be fine.


2.         How much will the loss of his key targets hurt QB Tom Brady and the Pats offense?


1.         Will the Broncos get enough pass rush to go deep in the playoffs?




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 has also published several novels on .

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


Thoughts about Black Monday in the NFL

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English: LOVIE SMITH, of the Chicago Bears, in...

English: LOVIE SMITH, of the Chicago Bears, in action during the Bears game against the Cleveland Browns on November 1, 2009 in Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thoughts about Black Monday in the NFL


Browns:  The one gift I had to wait for was the firing of HC Pat Shurmur.  I am not a fan of former Bronco HC McDaniel but he would be better than Shurmur.  Of the coaches expected to be released my choice for the Browns would be Ken Whisenhunt.  He is a D guy but a good coach that made the best of the bad personnel decisions made by a poor GM.  My second choice would be Lovie Smith if he is let go.  Both have been to a Super Bowl and would run a tight ship without being a dictator.


I have mixed feelings about GM Tom Heckert being fired.  While he has by far done the best job of any GM the team has had since 1999 that is not a very high standard.


Cowboys:  They are out of the playoffs thanks to QB “Captain Collapse” (I want a copyright on that phrase) Tony Romo.  It will not cost his HC a job but this team has underperformed for years.  Maybe Jerry should think about firing his GM—himself.


Cardinals:  Ken Whisenhunt deserved better than he is going to get.  He deserved to have an NFL caliber QB.  But the blame for the collapse belongs on the shoulders of GM Rod Graves.  All indications are it was his choice to trade for QB Kevin Kolb.  Graves did not choose wisely.


Bears:  The Bear cubs are the first team to start a season 7-1 and not make the playoffs.  The total collapse of the O line and injuries on the D ended any chance of the playoffs.  HC Lovie Smith may be fired but deserves better.


Chiefs:  There is no hope for fans of the KC Chefs.  They will be cooking up another bad batch of BBQ because they fired HC Crennel but kept inept GM Pioli.  If the GM stays look for the Chefs to hire ex-Bronco HC McDaniel.  McDaniel will want to try to recover the career of QB Cassel.


Chargers:  The firing of both HC Norv Turner and GM Smith are 2 years too late to prevent the need to rebuild rather than tweak the roster.  Under less than brilliant leadership of these two the team got old and inept.


Jaguars:  Who cares?  GM Smith was fired but it looks like HC Mike Mularkey may be safe for now.  This team is dying as quickly as the town in which it plays.


Eagles:  HC Andy Reid is out.  He will not be unemployed for long unless he decides to take a year or two off.  He is a very good coach but 14 years is long enough for any coach to grow stale.


Jets:  The team fired GM Mike Tannenbaum but not HC Rex Ryan.  Frankly both should have gone.  The team needs to produce more and talk a lot less.


Panthers:  Some changes are not for the better.  This team fired HC Fox 2 years ago and now may fire Ron Rivera.  Rivera is doing the best he can with a less than stellar roster.  He has a hc (head case) at QB and a lot of holes on the team.



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 https://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

He edits .  

Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.

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Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutig...

Photo of Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano around 1979. Taken in the team’s lockerroom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christmas gifts for NFL Teams.



Browns:  I give the Browns a head coach that will let Weeden be Weeden.  Shurmur is way too much of a control freak to allow his QB to even audible out of a bad play.  He has to go.


Steelers:  The team needs an offensive line.  Being a Browns fan I give them a subscription to Direct TV so the players can watch the playoffs on the team set.


Bengals:  I give them a steep decline of both the Steelers and Ravens.  That not only helps them but helps the Browns as well.


Ravens:  I wish the Ratbirds nothing but bad luck forever.  They stole the Browns and deserve to suffer for it.  I also wish that former Browns owner Art Muddle never gets elected to the HOF.  He deserves to be elected to the hall of infamy.


Chiefs:  The team needs a QB.  But the 2013 draft class is not stocked with sure fire QB prospects.  They “won” the first overall draft pick by being a team that could not beat the Sisters of Perpetual Misery.  That must be the school where they got both QBs Cassel and Quinn.


Chargers:  I give them a coach that has a sense of urgency to win and a new GM as well.  HC Norv Turner has sleepwalked through several seasons.  It is WAY past time for him to go.  GM Smith has not chosen wisely.


Broncos:  For a Browns fan, wishing anything good to Denver is hard.  But I would like to see Payton Manning get a 2nd Super Bowl win.  He deserves it.  If not, he should get the football version of the movie Career Achievement Award.  He is a sure first ballot HOF selectee.


Colts:  My wish for the Colts is that coach Chuck Pagano recovers fully from his illness.  He deserves to and the team under interim HC Bruce Arians has earned a playoff spot.  Arians deserves to be a candidate for a HC job based not only on his job as interim but also his offensive expertise.


Texans:  I wish the Texans a heart.  To lose games at home like they have is inexcusable.  They have a very solid QB and great RB so how do they score 6 points last week against the Vikes.


Titans:  A do-over on the decision to let a great HC go.  Letting HC Fisher go was stupid.  They have a good running back in Johnson.  His only problem is being slowed down by a over-stuffed wallet.  QB Locker needs better coaching to get up to an NFL starting level.


Pats:  My wish for the Pats is early retirement of QB Brady.  I want to see if Brady made Belichick or if it was the other way around.  My guess is Billy B will not find it as easy to win without a HOF QB.


Bills:  The Bills are in need of just about everything.  But most of all they need a QB.  Fitzpatrick has the head but not the physical skills to be successful.


Jets:  For them I wish a muzzle.  If I never heard the word Jets again it would be WAY too soon.





Giants:  I wish the Giants better health in 2013.  The team always seems to be decimated by injuries.  The question that keeps recurring is that the result of bad luck or an outcome of practice techniques.


Cowboys:  I wish them and Jerry Jones a nice off season.  It will be longer because JJ can’t select the right people in the draft and will not give up his role as GM.


Eagles:  My gift to them is the luck to find a coach good enough to last 14 years like Reid.  That will not be an easy job.  I also wish coach Reid the peace he deserves.  He has suffered a lot over the last few years.  He is a good man and deserves better.


Redskins:  I wish the Skins a healthy RG3 for the future.  He is fun to watch and I hope he can continue to play for a long time.


Bears:  I wish the team and QB Cutler better OL play.  He has been beaten badly game after game.  He deserves better protection.


Lions:  I wish the Lions a brain.  They are way too talented to continue to play stupid football.


Vikes:  This team needs a QB to take pressure off of RB Peterson.  Ponder is not the answer in my opinion.


Saints:  The team needs some closure on the bounty scandal.  The scandal and its publicity have destroyed the 2012 season of a good team.


Bucs:  I wish QB Freeman some WRs that can catch.  With an outstanding young RB like Martin, some quality receivers would really help the O.


Cards:  I give coach Whisenhunt a job with a better GM than he has at Arizona.  He is a great coach but GM Graves couldn’t find a QB in the Football Hall of Fame.  My first choice for the Browns would be Whisenhunt.


49ers:  I wish them luck with QB Kaepernick.  He is solid and will develop into a top 5 QB.  Like RG3 he is fun to watch as well.


Seahawks:  They already got their gift in 3rd round QB Russell Wilson.  As I said in my pre-draft radio shows he was the 3rd best QB in the 2012 draft and will be a champion before he is done.


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 https://fryingpansports.com.  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.

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