Amish Rifle Ryan Fitzpatrick Finally Shaves Off the Beard

If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably figure the guy in the picture is a random European hockey player who’s been too busy on the road to worry about shaving his beard. The more in-tune fan realizes it’s none other than Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who began growing out his beard this season. Midway through the year, the beard grew so large his teammates began calling him the “amish rifle.” Given how pathetic and unoriginal nicknames are these days, it wasn’t bad at all.

After keeping the beard the entire season, Fitzpatrick finally decided to have it all shaved off on Monday — the first day after Buffalo’s season ended (though it can be argued that was well before January). Speaking about the beard, the rifle said “When I first started playing, I think it was laziness more than anything. And I let it go, and it became…something, so I figured I wasn’t allowed to shave it until the season was over with. I’m sad to see it go today.”

Here’s the video of Fitz getting the beard shaved off courtesy of WIVB via Fark:

Woody Calls Back into Radio Show, Confirms He Is Not Randy Moss

Two and a half weeks ago, a caller by the name of Woody phoned into Nashville radio show Three Hour Lunch on 104.5 the Zone. Woody gained national headlines because his voice and cadence sounded exactly like Titans wide receiver Randy Moss, and because he criticized coach Jeff Fisher. We said we didn’t think the caller was Moss (listen here), but his resemblance to the moody wide receiver was uncanny.

The story died down for a while but it reappeared when Woody called back into the show Monday. The hosts asked if Woody was Randy and of course Woody denied it. They even asked personal questions like where Woody was from and what high school he attended. Woody says he went to Antioch High in Tennessee, which seemed to be enough to convince the hosts. Here’s how the call went courtesy of 104.5 The Zone:

Eric Mangini Out in Cleveland, Browns’ Problems Extend Beyond Head Coach

The Cleveland Browns have fired head coach Eric Mangini after two-straight 5-11 seasons. Mangini was hired by the Browns in 2009 after being fired by the New York Jets. Mangini was 23-25 during his time in New York. He may not be a great coach, but when are the people in Cleveland going to realize there might be a bigger problem than the coach. Mangini has had his issues in Cleveland and certainly was not the most likelable guy, but he’s not the first coach to struggle there.

Since they were re-established in Cleveland in 1999, the Browns have had five coaches, including interim coaches. They’ve had more than four times as many seasons of at least 10 losses (9) than they have had winning seasons (2). In that time they’ve made the playoffs once. In that same span, only seven teams have employed more coaches than the Browns; the Falcons (6), Bills (6), Lions (7), Dolphins (6), Raiders (6), Rams (6) and Redskins (7). Every team on that list, aside from maybe the Falcons, has been generally horrible since ’99.

Those two winning seasons ties the Browns with the Cardinals, Bills and Bengals, and puts them just ahead of the Lions (1). That one playoff appearance ties them with the Bills and Lions for the least in that span. Are you noticing the common names on these lists? He’s another one. Cleveland’s nine seasons with at least 10 losses is matched only by the Lions.

[Read more...]

NFL Playoff Schedule: FOX Has Best Wild Card Weekend Matchup

The 2010 NFL regular season is in the books and the playoffs are set to begin on Saturday. The Pats and Steelers earned first-round byes in the AFC and all the teams in that conference have at least double-digit wins. The Falcons and Bears earned the byes in the NFC while the Saints (the second-best record in the NFC at 11-5) got in with a wild card berth. Oh yeah, and for the first time ever, a team with a losing record won its division, keeping two 10-6 teams (the Giants and Buccaneers) at home. Here’s your NFL playoffs TV watching schedule to prepare for the next month via NFL.com (all times Eastern):

Wild Card Weekend

Saturday, Jan 8th: (5) Saints at (4) Seahawks 4pm NBC; (6) Jets at (3) Colts 8pm NBC

Sunday, Jan 9th: (5) Ravens at (4) Chiefs 1pm CBS; (6) Packers at (3) Eagles 4:30pm FOX

Divisional Round

Saturday, Jan 15th: highest seed left between Colts/Chiefs/Ravens at (2) Steelers 4:30pm CBS; lowest seed left between Seahawks, Saints, Packers at (1) Falcons 8pm FOX

Sunday, Jan 16th: higher-seeded wild card game winner at (2) Bears 1pm FOX; lower-seeded wild card game winner at (1) Patriots 4:30pm CBS

Conference Championships

Sunday, Jan 23rd: NFC Championship Game 3pm FOX; AFC Championship Game 6:30pm CBS

Super Bowl XLV will be played between the Patriots and Falcons on Sunday, February 6th 6:30pm on FOX.

Arian Foster Closes Out Best Season by Undrafted Rookie Running Back

The first time we wrote about Arian Foster at LBS, he was blitzing the Colts in week one for a franchise record 231 yards. Not much has changed for the second-year player from Tennessee — Foster closed out the season with 180 rushing yards in a win over the Jags. The spectacular performances bookended a special season for the running back.

The 180 rushing yards helped Foster regain the league rushing lead from Jamaal Charles who surpassed Arian earlier in the day. Additionally, the monster game against the Jags gave Foster 1,616 rushing yards on the season, the most by an undrafted player since Priest Holmes ran for 1,615 in 2002 (read more of Foster’s story here). As if the 1,616 total wasn’t already impressive enough, Foster added 66 catches for 604 yards and two touchdowns.

Not only did Arian win the rushing title in the NFL, but he also ended the season as the top scoring running back in fantasy football, and depending on the league, the top scoring player overall. I was huge on Arian entering into the season, going so far as to make him a franchise player in a keeper league. The man did not disappoint, proving he was a perfect fit for Gary Kubiak’s offense based on the zone blocking scheme.

It seems likely that Houston will keep Kubiak’s offense around, but they also need a defense makeover in order to win more games. Could anyone have figured at this point that the answer to Houston’s problems would be none other than Wade Phillips?

Photo Credit: Bob Levey/Getty Images

Colt McCoy Takes Steps Back to End Season, Losing Franchise QB Status?

Colt McCoy’s NFL career started off on a disappointing note — he wasn’t drafted until late in the third round by the Cleveland Browns, and that was after the Browns said they would take him higher. Colt struggled in the preseason and went into the year as the team’s third stringer. After sitting on the bench the first five weeks of the year, starter Jake Delhomme and backup Seneca Wallace hurt their ankles, leaving McCoy as the only healthy Cleveland quarterback for week six.

Colt had the tough task of facing the Steelers in his NFL debut, but he didn’t play poorly. He had 281 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions against the best defense in the league at the time. McCoy appeared to be a revelation after that; he didn’t turn over the ball his next three starts, leading the Browns to upset wins over the Saints and Patriots, and a near win over the Jets.

McCoy hurt his ankle and missed two weeks, but he returned to start the final three games of the year for the Browns — all losses. He was intercepted three times in back-to-back starts, albeit against the strong defenses of Baltimore and Pittsburgh. It took two months, but McCoy finally began to endure typical rookie struggles. Now the question is whether McCoy is still the franchise quarterback he appeared to be, or just another average quarterback.

[Read more...]

Andrew Luck Reportedly Currently Leaning Towards Returning to Stanford, Not Draft

Andrew Luck is the consensus top NFL quarterback prospect in college football. The redshirt sophomore is expected to be the top overall pick in the draft if he elects to come out. Much like Matt Leinart in 2004, people expect the man who has led Stanford to an 11-1 season and Orange Bowl berth will come out of school. But what if he pulls a Leinart and returns? That scenario has been considered far less often, but it’s one proposed by Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler.

In a blog post relayed by Pat Yasinskas, Fowler quotes a source who says Luck is currently leaning towards returning to school for his junior season. According to Fowler, “The source said he ‘knew’ Luck was leaning toward staying at this moment.”

“A lot can happen between now and Jan.15th,” said the source, referring to the date underclassmen must declare themselves eligible. “There will be a lot of conversations still to come. And whenever he goes pro, he will be a fantastic NFL quarterback. But this is a kid who truly enjoys college.”

A kid who truly enjoys college. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, Matt Leinart. I don’t know how accurate Fowler’s source is, and we don’t even know whether Luck’s current mindset matters, but the point is valid. Though many people are talking about which team will get Luck, there is no certainty that he even comes out. Remember, Luck is only a redshirt sophomore; he has two years of eligibility left and is no sure thing to leave school.