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Jim Harbaugh Sends Message to Niners Players with Blue Collar Shirts

If Jim Harbaugh plans to revive a San Francisco 49ers franchise that has not had a winning record since the early part of the decade, a ton of hard work will be required.  The Niners finished 8-8 in 2009 and appeared as though they may finally be headed in the right direction.  However, injuries and poor play set San Francisco back once again last season, resulting in a disappointing 6-10 campaign.

In an attempt to send a message to his new squad, Harbaugh has issued gas station work shirts with personalized name patches to each player on his roster.  The message in handing out the blue-collar shirts is simple: Work hard.

“I love ‘em. They seem to love it to, as you see the guys wearing it,” Harbaugh told the Mercury News. “It’s not real complicated what it stands for — a motivational symbol, if you will.”

If one person needs to take the gesture seriously it’s Alex Smith.  Harbaugh is sticking with Smith despite many critics calling for his head.  All of the teams in the NFL need to work hard to be successful, but the 49ers have to make up for a lack of talent with a strong work ethic if they hope to have a shot at making the playoffs.  Playing in the NFC West never hurts.

Randy Moss Reportedly a ‘Player of Interest’ for Saints

Randy Moss decided to retire from the NFL after not receiving an offer of interest during the offseason. We said there was no way he was retiring, particularly because it wasn’t on his terms. A recent report said Moss would want to return to the Patriots. On Saturday, WWL-TV in New Orleans reported that Moss was at the team’s facility.

Pro Football Talk called the report “erroneous,” saying that if Moss visited the facility he did so without the team contacting agent Joel Segal. Jason La Canfora of NFL Network added that “there is nothing cooking” between the two sides.

Regardless of whether or not Moss was at the Saints’ facility, it’s pretty obvious that Randy wants to play this year. The Patriots don’t seem to be interested in him, but with Marques Colston out four weeks with a broken collarbone, and Lance Moore day-to-day with a groin injury, it makes sense for the Saints to consider all options. I don’t view Moss as a Pro Bowl receiver anymore, but he still is a good deep threat. It probably would be a good idea for New Orleans to at least work him out.

Colts Won’t be Dreadful Without Peyton Manning

The Colts learned this week that four-time MVP quarterback Peyton Manning would miss 2-3 months after undergoing a third neck surgery. Even if he does return this season, which I don’t believe will happen, the Colts will play most of the year without him. They signed veteran Kerry Collins three weeks ago and plan to have him start their season opener. A lot of folks are projecting the Colts to be the worst team in football without Peyton. Some are thinking they could end up with the top overall pick in the draft. I agree that Indy won’t be anything close to a playoff team without Peyton, but I don’t think they’ll be dreadful.

Organizationally, the Colts have things together. Having Peyton at quarterback has led to consistent winning for the past decade, but Indy has also drafted well. They have some good receivers, a decent line, and an above average defensive line. They also have a bunch of professionals who don’t figure to be the quitting type.

If Collins were in camp earlier and working with the team, they would be in much better shape. They probably will need at least a few weeks to get the offense on point, but there is no reason the defense shouldn’t play well. The Colts will compete, and I don’t even think they’ll be the worst team in their division (the Jags are). Indy probably stacks up with Denver, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Seattle, San Francisco, Washington and some of the other poor teams in the NFL. They won’t be good, but I don’t envision a two-win mess of a season coming on. I think six wins is the number.

Michael Strahan’s Eli Manning Impression is Fantastic (Video)

Former Giants defensive end Michael Strahan made the rounds at ESPN Wednesday. The highlight was his guest stint on Mike and Mike in the Morning where he broke out the Eli Manning impression. It was simply sensational. Observe:

And Plaxico Burress really expected Eli to come visit him in prison? Not everyone is a cheerleader in there offering support during times of need. Come on, Plax.

via NESW Sports

Charles Woodson Punched Dave Thomas, Avoids Ejection, Will be Fined

Packers safety Charles Woodson took a swing at Saints tight end Dave Thomas in Thursday night’s season opener and somehow managed to avoid ejection. What’s even more stunning is that the event took place right in front of a referee. Woodson was penalized for the play but he should have been tossed. The Pro Bowl defensive back admits he lost his cool on the play. He should be happy he didn’t get thrown out the way other players who have thrown punches have been. The referee may have missed the play, but the NFL won’t. A fine is assuredly coming.

Lance Briggs Wearing 9/11 Tribute Gear Sunday, Fine from NFL or Not

Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs is in a defiant mood to start the season. Not only has he asked for a pay raise from the Bears, but he’s now subjecting himself to fines from the NFL.

Briggs plans to wear red, white, and blue gloves and cleats Sunday for his team’s season-opening game against the Falcons. The accessories are intended to pay tribute on the 10-year anniversary of 9-11. Briggs says Reebok advised him he could be fined for wearing that gear. The linebacker says he’s prepared to pay it.

Briggs also pointed out that fining players for paying tribute to 9/11 could be hypocritical given that the NFL allows players to wear pink gloves and cleats for Breast Cancer Awareness. Briggs is right on, and this is something for which the NFL should make an exception.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles likely will be wearing the duds, as will Matt Hasselbeck.

Thanks to Jimmy Traina for the tip

UPDATE: The NFL won’t fine players for wearing 9/11 tribute gear

Jimmy Graham Mocks Aaron Rodgers’ Belt Celebration in Loss

That was New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham mocking the belt celebration Aaron Rodgers made famous throughout Green Bay’s playoff run last season. You know what’s cool? Scoring on the Packers and throwing the celebration back in their face. You know what’s not cool? Celebrating when your team is down by nine points with three minutes left in the game.

Get a clue, meat. If you’re going to celebrate, make sure your team is WINNING.