Kyle Orton’s Incomplete Pass Hits Windshield of Willis McGahee’s Porsche

We weren’t joking when we said John Fox was messing with fire by demoting Tim Tebow to third string on the Broncos’ quarterback depth chart. If this isn’t a sign from above, I don’t know what is.

During Broncos practice Thursday, quarterback Kyle Orton threw an incomplete pass in the end zone that hit a car in the players’ parking lot. Turns out it hit the windshield of Willis McGahee’s Porsche. Broncos beat writer Lindsay Jones tweeted about the incident.

Inc pass into the end zone just cracked windshield on Porshe in players parking lot. Whoops. Came in fast and hard, off the bounce. For what its worth, only about 10 yards from back of end zone to the players’ parking lot. No fence. Not some crazy errant pass here.

Mystery solved: The Porsche belongs to Willis McGahee. Insurance will cover it. Broncos employees already taking care of it.”

The best part of the story was Willis’ response. According to Andrew Mason, “Willis McGahee came over to examine the damaged windshield on his Porsche. He said it’s no big deal because he needed a new car, anyway.” Ahh, now that’s the life, isn’t it? Just replace your entire sports car if the windshield gets damaged, right? Can’t imagine why some players end up broke. I think the Broncos may need to look at doing what the Braves did with their parking lot as a solution.

Helmet knock to Shutdown Corner for the story

ESPN Explores ‘What if Michael Vick Were White’ with Illustration (Picture)

ESPN The Magazine has officially gone there.  In fact, they went way beyond there.  Discussing the issue of race is nothing new to the world of sports media.  Just ask Stephen A. Smith.  If you want to debate whether or not Michael Vick has been treated differently over the past few years than a white American would be treated, I’m sure you could dig up enough material to hold a detailed discussion.  Is creating an illustration of what Vick would look like if he were right a necessary component of the discussion? You be the judge.

If you ask me the image is completely unnecessary and even uncomfortable to look at.  As for ESPN the Magazine’sWhat if Michael Vick Were White?” piece: Feel free to explore that on your own time.  Personally I don’t see how a white quarterback who was involved with torturing and killing dogs would be treated any differently from Vick, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Buccaneers Replacing Players’ Playbooks with iPads

Coincidence?  I think not.  Just one day after a trash truck mishap resulted in parts of the Packers playbook being scattered about the streets of Green Bay, we find out that the Buccaneers have handed out iPads to their players instead of traditional playbooks.  Head coach Raheem Morris has decided to try the new approach with his players, one that they will probably enjoy more than having to thumb through a traditional binder.

“We give these playbooks out, and by the end of training camp, we collect them so nobody sells them on the Internet,” Morris told the St. Petersburg Times via Shutdown Corner. “They become game books. If you need a reference to go back, you can pull up a blitz from camp and look at it.

“Then it got to the point where we said, ‘Hey, let’s put some of the video on there … from the season. How about practice? How would (Josh) Freeman like to go home and watch practice again? How would ‘Free’ like to sit there and watch third down from Detroit and Miami so when he comes to work the next morning, he’s seeing the tape again and putting it all together?'”

Frankly, I’m stunned more teams haven’t adopted this approach.  You can do so many things with the iPad that one would think it would destroy the limitations of a regular binder full of sheets of paper. How long before someone designs an app specifically for football coaches to create plays on an iPad? Or does that already exist?  Maybe someone should propose the idea to Carl Crawford’s agents.

Rex Ryan: Bill Belichick is the Best Coach in the NFL By Far

The Patriots have always been a team without a need for bulletin board material.  If a team goes out and beats New England on Sunday, it usually has nothing to do with the trash talk leading up to the game.  A team coached by Bill Belichick rarely loses its focus during the verbal war that goes on prior to important games.  It’s doubtful, but Rex Ryan may be finally starting to understand that.

In an interview with Michael Irvin on the NFL Network that aired Wednesday night, Ryan praised Belichick and said there is no better coach in the game of football. The Boston Herald shared the details:

“I can put my resume out there, stats, with anybody that’s ever coached in this league,” Ryan said. “That’s a fact. Defensively, that’s a fact. But I don’t need any credit; I just want to win. I want what Bill Belichick’s got. I think Bill Belichick is the best coach in this game; I don’t even think it’s close. But I’m trying there. I know one thing, and he knows: I’m going to compete with him every time we play him. If it ever comes down to just me versus him, we’re going to end up on the short end of the stick. But when it’s about us and it’s about our football team versus his football team, that’s where I have even more confidence.”

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Giants Fans Still Booing Matt Dodge for Punting to DeSean Jackson Last Year

The best part about a new season is the opportunity for a fresh start. Even teams like the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers head into week 1 filled with confidence and optimism. Mistakes from previous years are forgotten. Fans forgive players who cost them the season before — except in New York.

As you may remember, Giants punter Matt Dodge became infamous last season when he punted to the dangerous DeSean Jackson at the end of regulation.  Jackson took the kick to the house and sent the game to overtime, where the Eagles put the finishing touches on a miraculous comeback.

Dodge is still hearing it from Giants fans eight months later.  Tom Coughlin, who reportedly shunned Dodge from the locker room after the disastrous loss, came to the defense of his punter on Wednesday.

“First of all, he’s got to prove it, I understand all of that,” Coughlin told the Star-Ledger. “(But) it’d be good to think a guy playing in that uniform, at home, would be well received by his fans.”

Did Dodge make a mistake punting to Jackson? I don’t think there’s any debating that.  However, the coverage team still failed to make a play but fans don’t boo any of the other special teamers.  Letting Dodge hear about it last year is reasonable and any fan base probably would have done it, but it’s time to let it go.

Tim Tebow Criticism from Broncos Shows Change in Organizational Regimes

The new pastime for NFL pundits has clearly become picking on Tim Tebow. A few weeks ago ESPN’s Merril Hoge criticized Tebow, leading to LeBron James of all people firing off some pro-Tebow tweets. On Wednesday, USA Today passed along criticism of Tebow by Boomer Esiason who said the quarterback “can’t play” and “can’t throw.”

Media personalities taking aim at Tebow should be expected, but what was surprising was Mike Silver’s report at Yahoo! Sports Tuesday. Silver quoted Broncos sources who said the former Heisman Trophy winner is the team’s fourth-best quarterback and a “major project.”

The doubts within the organization contrasts the support Tebow had from former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels who was fired and replaced by John Fox over the offseason. Although Fox made it known around draft time that he liked Tebow, Kyle Orton has proved to be a vastly superior quarterback during training camp (same with Brady Quinn, apparently).

Fox finally defended Tebow Wednesday, saying the team holds the quarterback “in high regard.” Maybe he’s just trying to supply the quarterback with confidence. Or maybe the organization is trying to rebuild the nearly-worthless stock of its former first-round pick. Either way, what’s surprising is that members of the organization are saying the team no longer supports Tebow the way they did under Josh McDaniels. While Denver likely won’t trade him anytime too soon, it’s clear he’s not the quarterback of the future unless something drastically changes.

Joe Thomas Believes Browns Are Going to Win a Championship

Joe Thomas signed a seven-year $84 million contract extension with the Browns Monday, a move that will likely keep him in Cleveland most of his career. Since being drafted in 2007, he has made the Pro Bowl every year and has been named All-Pro twice. He has never missed a game, and perhaps more impressively, has not even missed a practice according to Rotoworld. The fans in Cleveland must love him because of his ability and work ethic, but they should also be enamored with him because of his optimism.

Though the Browns have gone 14-34 the last three seasons, Thomas says he signed with the team long-term because he believes they are going to win a Super Bowl. “I know a championship is coming to Cleveland and I have to be a part of it,” Thomas told The Plain Dealer. “That’s everything. That’s why I wanted to do a long-term deal. Five years ago when I started this thing, that was my top goal on my list was to bring a championship here and I see the huge strides we’ve made.

“Sometimes we’ve had to take one step back to take steps forward, but I see the direction this thing is headed and I want to be part of the championship.”

That’s an awfully bold statement by Thomas. Typically I support players who believe in themselves and their team, but I can’t applaud this move. Thomas is a fantastic player and his ideals are admirable. But just like I’d recommend a player on the Bengals leave Cincinnati as soon as possible, a Browns player who wants to win a championship has his best chance elsewhere. Again, he’s saying all the right things that will endear him to the Browns fans, I just disagree with his belief.

Helmet knock to Cleveland Frowns for the story