The Cowboys fire Phillips and other failures this past week.

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Wilson Football

It was a tough week for picking college games. I went 1-4 and now have a 23-14 record.

I did better on the pro game vs the point spread. I went 5-0 with Indy covering but losing. I now am 19-8 against the spread.

Cowgirl Owner Jerry Jones fired HC Phillips.

JJ finally had enough of the way the Girls were playing and fired the head cheerleader HC Wade Phillips. The 45-7 loss last week to the Packers on Sunday night football was the last straw. OC Garrett is now temporary HC. The team had quit on the coaching staff and that included the O under Garrett. The Girls will not be Boys again until JJ gives up meddling with the team and turns over the football operations to someone that knows what they are doing.

College Football:

#3 TCU 47 #5 Utah 7 – This was a landslide from the kickoff. As I predicted, Utah was badly over rated. TCU moved over Boise State in the latest BcS rankings to 3rd overall. If either Oregon or Auburn fall, TCU will be in the big game.

#10 LSU 24 #6 Alabama 21 – A 4th down trick play and the LSU D holding Bama RB Ingram to 97 yards was all it took to beat #6 at home. With 2 losses, Bama is out of the SEC Championship game and the national title hunt.

#7 Nebraska 31 Iowa State 30 – The three consecutive games against top 25 teams showed in the play of the Huskers. While they got lucky to get the win, they are still in the Big 12 Championship game picture. Iowa State is not a team any bowl opponent will look forward to finding on their schedule.

Texas A&M 33 #8 Oklahoma 19 – The first Oklahoma snap went out of the endzone for a safety. A&M scored a TD after the free kick and the game went down hill after that. Injuries have hurt this team but not enough to explain the problems they are having.

Texas Tech 24 #12 Missouri 17 – Missouri is in misery. The loss to Nebraska took the air out of this team. They started fast but when Tech got their O rolling, the Tigers could not respond. They are in free fall and could lose 1 or 2 more.

#16 Iowa 18 Indiana 13 – Iowa does not play well on the road. They were also recovering from physical games in the last few weeks. They had to come from behind to beat the Hoosiers, a team they should have beaten easily. They will have to play better to beat Ohio State in two weeks.


Browns 34 Patriots 14 – This might be a transformational win for the Browns. If not, the coaching staff can put their houses up for sale.

Jets 23 Lions 20 OT – The Lions are getting better. The Jets have to improve their O.

Bears 22 Bills 19 – This was the sinker of the week and neither may win another game all year.

Top 5

1. Ravens – The Ravens have the D and the O is developing nicely with the WR additions. If they can patch a D Backfield together, they will be in the Super Bowl.

2. Steelers – They handled a desperate Bagels team Monday night. They get #2 due to a couple of teams stumbling.

3. Jets – The Jets thought they had a couple of cupcakes in Detroit and Cleveland. Well, they were taken to overtime by the Lions and the Browns beat the Patriots soundly.

4. Giants – While the O is up and down, the D has really come on despite a number of injuries. This will be a tough out in the playoffs.

5. Falcons – The Falcons are perfect in the division and beat the Bucs.

Dropped out – Patriots – Even with the loss to the Browns the Pats are still just outside my top 5.

Bottom 5

28. Cards – This team is a shadow of they club in the previous couple of years on both sides of the ball.

29. Broncos – Any team that gives up 59 points to the Raiders deserves to be in the bottom 5.

30. Panthers – HC Fox really doesn’t have much talent to work with.

31. Bills – The combination of the AFC and bad drafting has pushed the Bills into the basement.

32. Cowboys – JJ didn’t expect this when he talked about the Super Bowl in Dallas. They have yet to win in the new stadium.

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 His first non-fiction work is at the publisher now and he has also published several novels on

and edits .

  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 5th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on NFL 2009 in a nutshell.

NFL 2009 in a nutshell.

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AFC East

Patriots will win the division easily if they can stay healthy. If QB Brady is hurt, all bets are off and the Pats will be 2nd and out of the playoffs. The D backfield is still a problem.

Dolphins take a step back due to a harder schedule and teams pointing for that game. They will not make the playoffs but will be a better team with a worse record than in 08.

Jets will improve. The team has some key players. They will not have the kind of start they had last year but this is a good team.

Bills are a good team in a very good division. The O line is a problem and the D is coming but a year away from being really good.

AFC North

Steelers win the division but are pressed all year by the Ravens. The O line is the only soft spot on the team. If they get Roethlisberger hurt, the team will fall like Skylab. The D is still top notch.

Ravens will make the playoffs and get to the divisional round. The development of the O line will determine if they can get past that point or not. They have everything else.

Bengals will look much improved and improve their record because of the easier schedule. The D is under rated. With a healthy Palmer and Benson running the ball the O will be good. The question here is the O line.

Browns are in for another long season. Quinn will be better by 2010 but the poor running game, soft spots on the O line and ex-Jets on the D will prevent much progress on the win/loss record.

AFC South

Titans win the AFCS because they have fewer holes than the Colts. A great running game and D and a passing O that is OK is enough.

Colts fall a little due to problems on D. They will make the playoffs but not advance beyond the 2nd round.

Jaguars will battle the Texans all year for the 3rd spot in the division. Toss a coin to pick one. The team is not as good on O or D and the lack of production from the QB will keep them out of the playoffs.

Texans go as far as their D carries them. Lots of 1st round picks but not much production on D. The running game is solid but I have doubts if QB Schaub can stay healthy all year.

AFC West

Chargers win the division by default. They are very solid on D and very good passing game keep them in it as the worst division winner from the worst division in the league.

Broncos, Chiefs and Raiders Who cares? They won’t win 8 games between them. Denver will be 2nd with KC third and Oakland 55th. The best hit among these three might have been the one that broke the jaw of the Raiders assistant coach.

NFC East

Eagles win the division because everyone else is worse. They should have a little better O and an improved O line to go with a solid D.

Giants could really fall due to a total lack of NFL quality WRs. The running game can’t make up for 3rd rate wideouts and they will miss RB Ward. Manning will be glad he got his money early.

Cowboys will have to beat out the Giants for 2nd to get a playoff spot. Even if they do make it to the playoffs thanks to their coach, they will fail again in the big show. TO was not the problem. Wade Phillips is.

Redskins will be taking a QB in the 2010 draft. Campbell is not the answer now and will never be. The running game with Portis will face 47 guys on the D line. O line also need repair. This is going to be a long year for the Skins.

NFC North

Vikings will win because of a great running game and outstanding D. Favre does just enough to keep them in it. They will win in the playoffs and could get to the Super bowl if they can stay fairly healthy.

Bears take a major step forward due to QB Cutler. The D is still very solid and the running game will improve because they can pass the ball this year. They could upset the Vikes but will make the playoffs either way.

Packers will struggle on D because of the change from 4-3 to 3-4. Rogers is fine but the running game is a question as the O line gets old fast.

Lions might end up last in the Ivy League. They are not very good but no one will notice because the stadium will be empty most of the time.

NFC South

Falcons and the Saints will battle for the title. QB Ryan is really good. The running game will propel the team over NO. The D is better than people think.

Saints have as good a passing game as there is in the NFL. The D and inconsistent running game will keep them behind Atlanta.

Panthers are slipping on both O and D. The QB is a problem and the D has fallen off a little. They will be in the playoff race but fall short. The only thing that can get them in is the running game.

Buccaneers have fallen and can’t get up. The team is not good and QB Freeman is a long way from being ready to help much. Leftwich is just OK and the running game is suspect. The D is slipping also.

NFC West

Cardinals should win the West if Warner is healthy all year. The O is solid. The O line and D will determine if they get into the playoffs and how far they go.

49ers will take a step up. QB Hill is the best choice. The D is really coming on and RB Gore is as good as any. The WRs are better even without Crabtree.

Seahawks will challenge the 49ers for 2nd but fall short due to D. QB Hasselbeck looks good but not much running game and less ability to stop the run.

Rams are improving but no where close to competitive yet. RB Jackson and QB Bulger are good but injuries are already hitting the O line. LB Laurinaitis and DE Long are a good start building the D.

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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

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Dallas needs a new head coach to get to the next level

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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 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

Cutting Owens is a positive sign for Cowboy fans.

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Fryingpan Sports

Cutting Owens is a positive sign for Cowboy fans.


By Bill Smith

For months Cowboy Jerry Jones has said that he was keeping head coach Wade Phillips, and WR Terrell Owens (TO). When former Bronco coach Mike Shanahan was hired as an offensive consultant, Jones told the press Shanahan would become a key part of the organization for the long term. For months Jones has said there is nothing to reports that team chemistry in the locker room makes the tough man cage matches look friendly. The fact is that despite Jones having TOTAL control, none of what he has said is necessarily true.

Shanahan lasted less than a week. “Philosophical differences” was the excuse to explain Shanahan leavings. Frankly, I suspect he took one look at the job and ran. No one could blame him.

As to the chemistry, according to multiple reports the Cowboy locker room makes the Hundred Years War seem like a weekend in Vermont. Last week, things were so good that Jones established a gag order on everyone in the organization. Yea, Bill Parcells used to do that all the time—NOT! Late last night, Jones cut TO.

Jones had to be convinced that TO was a drama queen. Remember the baby tears in his news conference after a playoff loss? How about the suicide attempt/accidental overdose? Any parent with a teenage girl knows how mentally and physically draining a drama queen can be. Some of the players and coaches and even Jones’ son Steve coming to the Boy’s facility evidently were instrumental in changing Jones’ mind.

So where is the good news I promised?

My Analysis:

The good news is that cutting TO after so many protestations that he was an integral part of the Boys’ plans for 09 was the first sign of backbone in the organization since Parcells quit, was fired or whatever. It was also the first time that Jones had acted against the interests of his wallet. The cut will cause a cap hit of around 9 million on the Cowboys this season.

Phillips is as weak as any coach in the NFL over the last 15 years. In the case of Dallas, the inmates run the asylum not because they want to but because head warden Phillips gave them the keys the day he walked in. There has been a total vacuum of leadership in Cowboy land and the players got sucked into filling it. By Jones cutting TO, he has reestablished authority in the locker room. He needed to do that after the gag order fiasco. The players were not talking since the order because they haven’t stopped laughing at it yet.

The cut shows the rest of the inmates that no one is safe regardless of how often Jones tells the press otherwise. A little fear goes a long way in getting players to focus on their game. But now everyone in the organization is on notice.

Wade, you might want to start interviewing real estate agents and moving companies. You lucked out last year but one more season out of the playoffs, and you will be next to feel Jerry’s boot on your backside.

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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

Technorati Tags: Ownens,Jones,Cowboys,Dallas,Parcells,Shanahan,Phillips,cut,salary cap,unrestricted free agemt
  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 31st, 2008
  • Category: NFL Football
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Before you fire your head coach…

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at ...

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher at the White House- Cropped from original image. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Bill Smith

There are a lot more open coaching positions in the NFL than there are qualified candidates. On average, about 8 of the 32 coaches are fired every year. Last year only 6 got the ax so you can look for a few more before too long.

NFL stands for “Not For Long” as far as coaches and players are concerned. “Mangenious” last year turned into one of the dismissed coaches this year after the Jets jettisoned Eric Mangini and his staff. Team management totally ignored the fact that the problem this year was the QB Bret Favre and that was a move that Mangini did not support. He also did not support the release of QB Chad Pennington. Farve did not at all fit the Mangini system which was ball control/low turnovers. Pennington doesn’t have the arm to throw deep but that is not part of the Mangini offense. If management had done the right thing, it would have fired itself. Don’t hold your breath for that.

Management faces a huge problem when the expectations far exceed the results. Just before the fans form a mob and storm the castle with burning torches, the management decides to throw the head coach out the 8th story window. They do that in hopes that the act placates the mob below. But the mob will just move out of the way of the falling bodies and continue to charge. Usually however, the problem is not the coach but the lack of talent that management has collected. But you can’t fire a whole team—can you?

The question is do you take the hot coordinator flavor of the month and hope (and if you are the GM pray) he develops into a Bill Cowher or do you hire a formerly fired head coach and hope the second, third or in some cases sixth time is the charm that turns him into the next genius. Then there is the option of selecting the hot college head coach. Each of the approaches have worked great in some cases and failed miserably in others.

For those that take the coordinator of the month path. While former assistant coach hires John Harbaugh (Baltimore) and Mike Smith (Atlanta) might have worked out well, I remind you that Romeo Crennel was the hottest coordinator in the market just 4 years ago. That certainly worked out great for the Browns, didn’t it?

Retreads usually don’t work out either. Bill Belichick that learned by driving the Browns into the ground and then turned genius in New England. For every Bilichick there are dozens of second time around failures. Most coaches were fired for losing. Since the team that fires a coach is already good at that, why would they want to hire someone that lost someplace before?

Then there are the college coaches. Few college coaches bring the credentials that Butch Davis brought to Cleveland. As defensive coordinator in Dallas, he contributed to the championships won under head coach Jimmy Johnson. At Miami he turned around a program under NCAA sanction and laid the basis for a national championship under his successor Larry Coker. Even with all that, he failed miserably at Cleveland. It was so bad he quit with 5 games left in the 2004 season. College coach Bobby Petrino was hired by the Falcons and things went down hill so fast he didn’t last an entire season. He quit after 13 games.

So what is a beleaguered GM to do? There are a few—very few—coaches out there that left on their own. The name that everyone wants is Bill Cowher. But he isn’t excited about giving up a reportedly 2 million a year TV gig that takes less than 30 days of his time. The second most sought after guy is Mike Shanahan who was just fired from Denver. He was really good at coaching but picking players—not so much. Mike Holmgren agreed to retire after the 08 season but is having “Favre-like second thoughts.” Seattle has moved on so he is a good choice for someone. He also had the GM function there and may be looking more for a GM job, his weakness, rather than a coaching job, his strength. Mike, stick with what you do best!

Marty Schottenheimer is available after being drummed out of San Diego and he has won everywhere he has been. But with him there is that playoff game problem. He just can’t seem to win enough to get to the Super Bowl. Other retreads looking for a second or third chance include former Raven Brian Billick, and former 49er coach Mike Nolan. Former Rams head coach Mike Martz is available after being fired by SF from his offensive coordinator job. Anyone that hires him better be really deep at QB because his system tends to use them up like facial tissue. Reports about former Giant HC Jim Fassel indicate he is so desperate he would consider the Oakland job if it comes open.

There are several hot prospects from the coordinator group including Jet assistant head coach Bill Callahan, Brian Schottenheimer the Jet OC, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, and Cowboy offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (I thought he was the coach in waiting for the Cowboys).

Here is a hint for those owners that want a yes man as head coach. Call Jerry Jones. He will trade you Wade Phillips for a future draft choice and a player…. Well you had better talk to him.

That’s what I think. Tell us 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 He has also published several novels on and edits .

  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 30th, 2008
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on A few after Christmas Gifts for the NFL

A few after Christmas Gifts for the NFL

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Christmas Gifts for the NFL

by Bill Smith

I have some gift ideas for those of you that need to buy something for the NFL player, coach or administrator that has everything.

TO Romeo Crennel, the ex-coach of the Browns: A fire extinguisher. Given how hot your seat has been after the abysmal season you perpetrated on Browns fans, you need it. You are a nice guy but nice guys finish last. And the Tans are last after they lost to the Bagels and to Pittsburgh while Cincy beat KC. By the way, your back pants pocket is currently smoldering.

Romeo Crennel 2008

TO Phil Savage, GM of the Browns: An email editing program to delete expletives from your responses to fans and a financial advisor to help you invest your contract payoff. You really need to get a grip. The fans are your customers and we pay your salary. Before you write another email that would choke a dock worker, take a moment to appreciate your life. You may not have any job for quite awhile so spend your money wisely.

TO Mike Brown, owner of the Cincinnati Bagels: A long distance calling card. Face it, you are going to need it to find someone—anyone with football scouting ability that is willing to work for an idiot son of a Hall of Fame father. I feel sorry for Paul Brown. He must be spinning at 5000 rpm in his grave.

TO Al Davis, owner of the Raiders: A dump truck load of common sense. Al, who do you think will take the coaching job once you fire Cable? When the team stinks for a decade, the problem is not the players—they come and go. Its not the coaches. In Oakland they are like paper towels—strong and disposable. It is the owner. Put one of the other partners into your chair and stop aggravating the Raiders fans. Having seen that group, I wouldn’t want to be on their bad side.

TO Rod Marinelli, ex-coach of the Lions: A warm hug because if anyone needs one he does. He has been trying to fight the football equivalent of the Nazi tank blitz with the Polish army on horseback. You put up a gallant but hopeless fight. The problems weren’t your fault but that doesn’t pay the bills.

TO Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys: 10 prepaid sessions with a media consultant. Jerry, you can not throw one of the few guys on the team with toughness under the team bus. And every time you try to make up for it, you make it worse. It is bad enough to put your foot in your mouth. What is inexcusable is to jam your foot down the throat of your best player.

TO Wade Phillips, head coach of the Cowboys: A prepaid contract with an executive search firm and the phone number of a good Realtor. He took over the D and it is playing better but now the O is a concern. Wade, since you didn’t make the playoffs, you may need both soon no matter what Jerry tells you. You may find it necessary to change your name and move out of state. There will be a lot of crazy fans looking for you in Texas. And most of them are armed.

TO Mike Holmgren Seahawks ex-coach: A one way ticket to Cleveland. That isn’t so much a gift for him as it would be for Browns fans. He wants to coach again and Seattle management has indicated they are ready to move on. Browns fans are tired of being the training ground for pro coach want-to-bes. What we need is a pro coach with experience. Mike, come to a town that would welcome you with open arms. Being by the lake we have all of the water with much less rain.

TO Mike Shanahan Broncos head coach: A running back made of something more substantial than crystal. He has lost a covey of running backs. This year they have dropped like leaves in the fall. Perhaps Santa can put a healthy and effective back in Mike’s stocking. Of course that would be a pretty big stocking.

TO Kurt Warner, star QB of the Cardinals: The respect and love you deserve with a contract on a team that is ready to win. Anyone that watched Warner play last year with one arm after another brain cramp by the O line injured his left arm has to have a ton of respect for the guy. He deserves another MVP, a yellow Hall of Fame jacket, and a shot an one more Super Bowl. How do you feel about living in Minnesota? The weather is worse than Arizona but they play more than half their games inside.

TO Plaxico Burris, wounded former WR of the Giants: A trip to Oz to ask the Wizard for some brains. Guns don’t kill people—idiots with guns do. If you are not smart enough to put the safety on before you jam a loaded gun in your pants, you deserve to get your ****s shot off.

TO Terrell Ownes, WR and crier in chief of the Cowboys: A passing only football league that allows only one receiver on the field at a time. That would be the only place you could play and be happy.

TO Donavon McNabb, Eagle QB: A copyright on the phrase “Kolb? How do you like me now?” If you get run out of town, you will need a lot of bumper stickers with that printed on them. Forget selling soup, the Philly market for those will pay you more.

TO Braylon Edwards, the Monday night only WR for the Browns: A 20 session contract with a shrink along with the bill. Given the way you played this year, you deserve to pay $250 an hour to hear some ask “and how do you feel about that?”

TO Joe Thomas, pro bowl (??) tackle of the Browns: 1 million thank you notes for all those misguided people that voted for you. Of course, you might have already paid them to do it.

TO LaDainian Tomlinson, running back for the Chargers: 1 million sympathy cards with postage to say how sorry you are for killing their fantasy football seasons. We all drafted you with the first pick and got squat for our trouble. To tell you how bad it was, we had to start Pierre Thomas in your place to win the game in week 15.

TO Jason Peters, pro bowl (????) tackle for the Bills: A quart of oil for your turnstile pass blocking technique. To steal a phrase from ESPN “Com-on man!” You should be duct taped to a chair and be forced to watch all of the games you played this year. Here is an idea—if you want to make more money, play like you deserve it. After the season you played, your value has gone way down. While name recognition may have gotten you votes for the pro bowl, the owners aren’t fooled.

TO Ben Roethlisberger, Steeler QB: A really good medical plan. If your propensity for riding motorcycles and bad luck in general were not enough, you have gotten hit more an baseball at batting practice.

TO A.J. Smith, general manager of the Chargers: A do-over approved by the NFL. You decided to keep an aging Tomlinson and let Michael “Burner” Turner go as a free agent? What were you thinking? Tomlinson has struggled to get to a thousand yards this year and is averaging less than 4 yards a carry. Turner has a shot at 1700 yards and is averaging well over 4 a carry with 15 touchdowns.

TO Cleveland Tan fans: A bottle of your favorite adult beverage—make that a couple of cases. As a life long Browns fan, I want Bill Cowher to coach this team as much as anyone. But he is getting a couple of million dollars a year for working 23 days. That is a hard gig to give up. Besides, I am not sure we should trust the sanity of anyone that would sign up to try to make a team out of this group of head cases and miss-fits.

And finally TO Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL: A reasonable deal with the players. Somewhere there must be a compromise to split the billions of dollars that the Golden Goose known as the NFL generates. Figure one out and get the deal done. No one wants to see a strike filled with replacement players.

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.

Check out his new site! He currently is a senior writer for and his articles appear at . He has also published several novels on and edits

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