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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

Ravens Torrey Smith Books it During Interview When Earthquake Hits (Video)

I’m sure by now you have all heard about the earthquake that shook the east coast from Virginia all the way up to Canada on Tuesday. The quake registered a 5.8 on the Richter scale, which is no joke. Somehow I’m the only person on the east coast who failed to feel any effect from it, but that’s beside the point.  It certainly put a scare into Ravens second-round pick Torrey Smith, who was filming a commercial for the University of Maryland (his alma mater) when the ground began to shake.  Check out the Torrey Smith earthquake video, courtesy of Deadspin:

Earthquakes are extremely frightening for everyone but even more so for us east coasters who are unaccustomed to them.  Everyone reacts differently when they experience something unfamiliar, but where was Smith going? I understand hiding under a chair or something if you’re in a building, but he Torrey was just OUT.  I guess until I’ve been caught in the middle of an earthquake while filming a commercial I shouldn’t judge.

Part of Packers Playbook Ends Up Scattered About City Streets

Time to change things up in Green Bay. The Packers have a crisis on their hands. You never want to see this happen to any team, but a trash truck malfunction has caused part of the Packers game plan to be compromised. When Deputy Jason Vogel was using his radar gun in Green Bay on Monday, he witnessed a trash truck cruise by with papers flying out of it. When the papers were picked up, it was revealed that some of them were pages from the Packers special teams playbook against the Cardinals a few days earlier. WBAY has the details:

The Packers say they are not overly concerned about the breach in security because they shred anything they throw away that is extremely important. While the mishap probably won’t give anyone the information a guy like Josh McDaniels would be looking for, it is still pretty funny to see something like this happen. With how seriously they take their football up in Wisconsin, I wouldn’t be surprised if fans are calling for the head of the person responsible.

Chest bump to CBSSports.com’s Eye on Football blog for the video.

Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson Would Like Cam Newton to Not Get Tattoos

The message Panthers owner Jerry Richardson had for Cam Newton recently would not be strange if it were kept behind closed doors.  Newton was drafted with the intention of making him the face of the franchise.  Richardson and the Carolina brass are hoping Newton can fulfill his potential and turn the Panthers into a contender.  Most importantly, they hope the former Auburn Tiger can put fans in the stands.

For those reasons, Richardson would like his No. 1 overall draft pick to maintain a clean-cut image.  That is not just our assumption, either.  As Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer pointed out, Richardson told Cam as much during the meeting he had with him after the Panthers drafted Newton back in April.

“I’m not a choirboy. I’ve never said I was. And I don’t want a roster of 53 choirboys. I told Jeremy Shockey (Carolina’s new non-choirboy tight end), ‘Don’t change your personality. It’ll be good for the team. I could do without the tattoos, though.'”

Richardson asked Newton if he had tattoos or piercings, and Newton said he did not.

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