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Bill Belichick Only Coach Who Blew off Media Breakfast at Owners Meetings

Prepare yourselves for one of the most shocking tales you will ever read here on LBS.  On Tuesday morning, the NFL asked that every team’s head coach meet with members of the media during a one-hour breakfast before proceeding with their daily schedule at the owners meetings.  Of the 32 head coaches in the NFL, 31 showed up to the voluntary breakfast to entertain the media’s questions.  That leaves only one missing coach.  That coach was — brace yourselves — Bill Belichick.

According to Shalise Manza Young, the Patriots coach showed up after 8 a.m. (the scheduled start time for the media breakfast), poked his head into the ballroom where it was being held, and continued walking.  Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald later added that Belichick walked out of a meeting on proposed rule changes later in the day and said, “Sorry I overslept this morning.”  When he was told he missed a good meal, the coach responded, “Do I look undernourished.”

Overslept, huh?  One of the most meticulous men in all of sports waking up even a second later than he wanted to?  Somehow I don’t believe that.  One thing I do want to congratulate Belichick on is successfully emerging as one of the biggest dicks in sports over the years.  Honestly, could he be any better at it?  Everything the guy does just radiates f-you.  He may not like the media, but the same is true for most coaches in sports.  Belichick hates them, wants you to know about it, and wants you to know that he knows there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Kickoffs Moving Back to the 35, Prepare for Touchbacks Galore

A proposal that will likely lead to an abundance of touchbacks in the NFL next season — or whenever football resumes — was passed Tuesday afternoon.  The spot of a kickoff will be moved from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line, which is where kickoffs were spotted prior to 1994.  Another proposal that would have made things even more interesting was to move the spot of a touchback from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line, but that proposal did not pass.

Several changes have been proposed for kickoffs this offseason in an attempt to protect players on one of the game’s most dangerous plays.  Players will now only be allowed a 5-yard running start on kickoff coverage, compared to the 10 to 15 yards they were allowed before.  Surprisingly, the return team will still be allowed to use the two-man wedge — a maneuver that has been blamed for many serious injuries throughout the league over the years.

NFL players are getting bigger and stronger with each passing year, and kickers have not necessarily been an exception.  We now have jacked place kickers like Jay Feely and guys who can kick the ball a mile off a tee like Stephen Gostkowski.  A lot of return men like to put on a show in today’s game, which makes choosing to return a kick from three yards deep in the end zone a fairly common occurrence.  Any kick from 2010 that was three yards deep in the end zone will nearly find its way out of the end zone in 2011, and will likely not be returned.

Overall, we can expect this rule to result in less injuries, more touchbacks, and worse starting field position for NFL offenses.

Rex Ryan Compares Himself to Babe Ruth Calling His Shot

Could somebody please get this guy a muzzle? Sure, a lot of us are tired of hearing about the current labor situation in the NFL, but I would rather listen to that never-ending issue than read about Rex Ryan repeatedly guaranteeing the Jets will win the Super Bowl in 2012. We know you’re confident. Good for you. Enough is enough.

Rex’s latest comments are particularly absurd — even by his ridiculous standards.  The Jets coach told the NY Daily News, via Pro Football Talk, that he likes to think of himself as Babe Ruth calling his shot.

“They talk about walk softly and carry a big stick,” Ryan told the NY Daily News on Monday. “I love that. I agree with that 100 percent. But I guess I feel more like Babe Ruth. I’m going to walk softly, I’m going to carry that big stick, and then I’m going to point and then I’m going to hit it over the fence.”

Has this moron ever heard the story about The Babe calling his shot in the 1932 World Series? According to the legend, Ruth stepped to the plate, pointed toward the center field fence, and belted a homer on the next pitch.  The pointing isn’t exactly as epic without the part about the ball going over the fence.

Rex has pointed enough.  Any baseball player who calls his shot is eventually going to be right.  The luster wears off a bit when you do it year after year and have yet to cash in.  If New York ends up winning the Super Bowl next season — assuming there is a Super Bowl — Ryan will get plenty of credit for winning a championship, but he shouldn’t get any for calling it.  If all 32 head coaches guarantee their team will win the Super Bowl in 2012, someone is going to be Babe Ruth.

Chris Kluwe Mocks Roger Goodell’s Letter, Lockout on White Board

The white board of Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is back, and that is good for everyone. In case you don’t remember, Kluwe took to his cartoon figures to point out the hypocrisy in the NFL’s punishments of hard hits. The former Bruin continued his critical ways when he tweeted that TCF Bank Stadium had an “unplayable” surface back when the Vikings were set to play there.

Now that he has plenty of time on his hands because of the lockout, Kluwe’s back to his creative drawings. He tweeted out the picture above on Friday and shortly thereafter this “letter” from Roger Goodell:

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Kevin Mawae Turned Down 49ers, Was Never Blackballed

Kevin Mawae is a 16-year NFL veteran who retired last year in September after being unable to find a job. The eight-time Pro Bowl center went so far as to accuse the NFL owners of blackballing him, believing that his status as the NFLPA’s president made teams unwilling to offer him a job. His exact quote on the radio last April was “It’s kind of befuddling to me that I just came off my eighth Pro Bowl and a 16-game season and I can’t get one phone call.”

At the time Mawae said that it may have been true, but that’s not the case. Speaking to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, Mawae said that he was offered a job with the San Francisco 49ers in August but decided not to sign with them. “It was a four-hour flight (each way) for a six-month season,” Mawae explained “I was going to be the starter, a team leader and coach on the field. All this — and it was for a one-year minimum (salary). Now, minimum for my age ($860,000) was really, really good. But at the end of the day, it wasn’t worth leaving my family.”

When Mawae announced his retirement in September, he said he got one offer but it came too late and he decided to turn it down. Now we know it was the 49ers that offered him the job. Also, his comment that the Niners wanted him to be a leader proves the point that teams care about winning more than player-owner beef. If that were such a factor, he wouldn’t have been offered a gig to come in and be a leader.

Jay Cutler Needs to Invest Himself, Trent Dilfer Says

Count former quarterback and current NFL analyst Trent Dilfer as the latest critic of Jay Cutler. The Chicago Bears quarterback was ripped to shreds after leaving the NFC Championship Game with a knee injury, and most people feel it’s because he’s not well-liked around the league. Cutler is full of cockiness and poor body language which makes a frequent target for the media and fans.

During a SportsCenter segment on Thursday, Trent Dilfer offered some level criticism of the quarterback. The topic of discussion was the Bears, and Dilfer said “Can they be as good or better? I can see this team going 8-8 if Jay Cutler doesn’t invest himself like the true pros in this league. He has to work the details. He has to go a whole other level to earn his PhD in quarterbacking for this team to meet their expectations.”

After someone else chimed in the roundtable discussion, Dilfer continued on Cutler. “He’s gotta be willing to do the boring things and that’s the thing. There is some glamorous stuff that any quarterback wants to do, but you have to do the boring things day-in and day-out. Footwork, the mental prep, the grind in the off-season that’s not fun at all, we need to see that investment for Jay Cutler and it will show on Sundays.”

I’m sure the Cutler supporters — including his teammates and coaches — will come out and defend the man, and possibly question Dilfer’s credentials to offer the critique. But you know what? What Dilfer said could apply to almost any quarterback on any team. They all need to invest themselves in order to maximize their abilities and have the best chance at leading their team to success. In Cutler’s case, I’m not around him enough to know how hard he does or doesn’t work. I sure hope Dilfer is informed about Cutler’s practice habits to say such things.

Nick Lachey: Cincinnati Bengals Are a Joke

Singer and performer Nick Lachey is a hardcore Cincinnati sports fan and actually almost bought the Reds several years ago. I used to call him a man-bander and think he was just a storefront fan posing as a hardcore guy, but I have to admit I was wrong. After reading his interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina earlier in the week, I have to say Lachey comes across as a true Cincinnati sports fan who knows his stuff.

The best part of the interview was when Traina asked what it’s like being a Bengals fan. As someone who has divorced from the team, I can relate and I agree 100% with Lachey’s answer. Here’s what he said:

“At one point, I tried to defend the team. But if you care about your city, your fanbase and ultimately your team, you can’t defend that ownership any longer. It’s a joke. I’ve been pretty vocal about saying there needs to be a change there. Quite frankly, I think Mike Brown would love nothing more than if this labor situation ended the season because then he wouldn’t have to pay any players, he can run scabs out there and make guaranteed money. For him, no season is a best-case scenario.”

It’s so true. You want to defend your team, but their ownership is a joke. They’re too cheap to get a new coach, too cheap to get a proper scouting department, and too cheap to get their first-round picks in camp on time. It is a joke there. I also agreed with Lachey about Ochocinco whose act in Cincinnati is played out. But the area I disagree with him on is Carson Palmer.

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