Nate Burleson said even the homeless are heckling him about Lions

Nate-Burleson-LionsThe Detroit Lions are doing it again. If Aaron Rodgers was not sidelined with an injury, Detroit would probably not be clinging to first place in the NFC North division. The Lions have lost three of their last four games, including a 34-20 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. As usual, their fans are starting to get restless.

According to wide receiver Nate Burleson, even the homeless are becoming disgusted with the Lions.

The Lions could catch a break if the Chicago Bears lose to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, which would give Detroit sole possession of first place in the division. Still, they have not been impressive. I’d venture to say that they have looked better than the “same old Lions,” but anything less than a playoff appearance would be a letdown given some of the injuries across the NFC North.

H/T Tom Pelissero

Redskins expected to pursue Art Briles as head coach

Art Briles Robert Griffin BaylorThe Washington Redskins could be dreaming of a reunion between Robert Griffin III and Art Briles, his college coach at Baylor.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Washington is expected to pursue Briles when Mike Shanahan’s tenure as head coach comes to an end.

ESPN reported on Sunday that Shanahan thought about quitting after last season because of frustration over the way owner Daniel Snyder favored RG3. They say Shanahan, who is in the fourth year of a 5-year, $35 million contract, stuck with the team because he didn’t want the perception to be that he walked away because his franchise quarterback got hurt. Reports indicate Shanahan could be fired this week.

Briles would be a natural candidate for the position because of his success with RG3 in college. Briles and RG3 began their careers at Baylor in the 2008 season. The Bears went 4-8 in their first year, 4-8 the next year (Griffin tore his ACL that season), 7-6 in 2010 and 10-3 in 2011. The 2011 season saw RG3 win the Heisman Trophy and lead Baylor to a win in the Alamo Bowl. He threw for 37 touchdowns and six interceptions under Briles that season, and rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Since losing RG3, Briles has maintained a strong level at Baylor. The Bears went 8-5 last season and are 11-1 this season. His excellent coaching and explosive offense resulted in him being rewarded with a 10-year contract extension last month that runs through 2023. The contract calls for him to be paid him more than $4 million next season, but La Canfora says it does not preclude him from jumping to the NFL.

Though the appeal of coaching Griffin could be high for Briles, the failures of so many other coaches in Washington could be a turnoff. Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy said this week that he would not want to work for Snyder.

It remains to be seen whether Briles would be open to the challenge when the time comes.

Jeff Triplette gives BenJarvus Green-Ellis touchdown on terrible call (GIF)

Referee Jeff Triplette and his crew massively blew another call in a football game, and this one awarded a team with a touchdown.

The Cincinnati Bengals had a 4th-and-goal at the 1 with 1:14 left before halftime against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. They handed the ball to BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who fell short of the goal line. The play was initially ruled as the Colts getting a stop but, since there was less than two minutes remaining in the half, the play went for a booth review.

After a lengthy review, Triplette overturned the call. He said that Green-Ellis tripped on his own and therefore was not down. However, the replay showed that Colts DT Josh Chapman tripped Green-Ellis, causing him to stumble and go down before the goal line:

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Jameis Winston walks away from Heather Cox interview after fourth investigation question (video)

Jameis Winston Heather CoxJameis Winston had another fantastic game on Saturday as he led his undefeated Seminoles to yet another win and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

Winston went 19-of-32 for 330 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, and he rushed for 59 yards and a touchdown in the 45-7 win over Duke. Winston has been able to stay focused and play well even while being investigated for an alleged sexual assault. After the game, ABC/ESPN reporter Heather Cox asked him how he’s been handling the investigation. Winston answered three consecutive questions related to the investigation but, after the fourth, he walked away.

I don’t have a problem with what either of them did. Winston answered the questions, and Cox asked the pertinent ones. I don’t care about the setting; those questions were a huge part of what’s going on with Winston and were absolutely relevant. The only thing was Cox maybe didn’t need to go for a fourth question after realizing Winston wasn’t giving her the answer she sought.

H/T Bryan A. Graham

Florida Gators enjoy Urban Meyer’s loss to Michigan State

Urban MeyerThe schadenfreude was strong following Ohio State’s upset loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.

After a week of debate about who should play in the national championship game, the Buckeyes went out and lost 34-24 to the Spartans, rendering a discussion moot about whether a one-loss SEC team deserved to be in the title game over an undefeated Buckeyes squad.

The reaction from Florida senior offensive lineman Jon Halapio pretty well summed things up for the anti-Ohio State and Urban Meyer faction:

Halapio quickly deleted the tweet.

Redshirt junior wide receiver Quinton Dunbar, whose first year with the Gators was Meyer’s last, took a shot at his former coach:

Meyer infamously left Florida citing medical issues and the desire to spend time with his family, so that’s what the “play sick” was referencing. Meyer returned to coaching after taking a year off.

Current sophomore tight end Kent Taylor tweeted this:

Former Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins tweeted this:

Kicker Brad Phillips, who started at Florida in 2010, had this to say:

Halapio was at Florida in 2009 and 2010 when Meyer was the coach, so it’s understandable why he had some delight in seeing his former coach lose a shot at the national championship. Shoot, I know I’m happy that the Buckeyes lost, and that’s for the same reason — I didn’t want to see Urb in the title game.

And if you’re wondering how Meyer handled the loss, well, he sadly ate some pizza inside Lucas Oil Stadium with his family around him:

We’ve all been there before.

Jon Gruden reportedly a candidate for Houston Texans coaching job

Jon GrudenWhenever a head coaching vacancy in college football or the NFL stirs speculation, Jon Gruden is frequently tossed into the mix. Despite the endless rumors though that have tailed Gruden, who last coached at Tampa Bay before being canned in 2008, he hasn’t budged from his broadcasting perch as an analyst on Monday Night Football.

Cabin fever?

“I haven’t lost a game in 3½ years. But no, I would like to give coaching one more try,” Gruden said in October during a speaking engagement in Ocala, Fla.

That comment didn’t raise as many eyebrows as ESPN’s John Clayton floating Gruden’s name at the top of a list of candidates to replace Gary Kubiak, who was dismissed earlier this week by the Texans. The respected Clayton has to know something, no?

Gruden hasn’t spoken publicly about Houston, but with Clayton mentioning his name, the subject could come up when Monday Night Football airs.

It might be another case of much to do about nothing. Still, the rumors never seem to cease. USC AD Pat Haden might have inadvertly fueled them during an interview Wednesday on “The Dan Patrick Show.”

“I talked with Jon a while back,” Haden said when Patrick asked if he had spoken to Gruden about the Trojans’ head coaching job, which went to Steve Sarkisian. “Yeah, he wants to coach in the pros. If he’s going to coach, he’s going to be a pro coach.”

Since Gruden fancies himself as a quarterback guru, no one needs a mentor more than the basket case known as Matt Schaub. Or maybe Gruden salivates at the thought of grooming a young gun like Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater or Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, expected to be among the first QBs taken in the NFL Draft, while rebuilding the Texans back to respectability.

Or maybe it’s another tease. It won’t be the first time. Probably not the last either.

Cade Foster, AJ McCarron respond to David Pollack tweet

Cade-Foster-AlabamaNorthern Illinois was shockingly blown out by Bowling Green on Friday night. There were very few highlights for the Huskies, as Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch had a terrible night passing the ball and threw two interceptions. However, Northern Illinois kicker Mathew Sims did showcase his powerful leg.

Before the game got away from the Huskies, Sims kept them in it by nailing field goals of 51 and 45 yards in the second quarter. This impressed ESPN analyst David Pollack, who used the kicks as an opportunity to take a shot at Alabama.

Alabama kicker Cade Foster, who infamously missed three field goals in Bama’s loss to Auburn last weekend, did not appreciate Pollack’s insight. Foster felt that Pollack was singling him out after a week in which Foster received death threats and was harassed by Crimson Tide fans. AJ McCarron was also quick to come to his teammate’s defense.

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