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Brian Baldinger: Jon Gruden Wouldn’t Work at Tennessee or in College Football

There’s been a tremendous amount of speculation about Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden leaving the NFL to fill the head coaching vacancy at Tennessee now that Phil Fulmer is out. A lot of the rumors and speculation revolve around Gruden’s ties to Tennesse as a one-time grad assistant with the Vols, and the fact that he still owns property in the area. But NFL analyst Brian Baldinger disagreed with the speculation saying that Gruden would be a bad fit at Tennessee. He gave his reasoning on The Arnie Spanier Show:

“Jon [Gruden] might have the most complex playbook in the whole NFL. That’s why he can only co-exist with a veteran quarterback. Chris Simms didn’t have a chance of digesting that playbook — you’ve gotta have Jeff Garcia or Brad Johnson or Rich Gannon. If you took that playbook to college with 20 hours a week, with 15 spring practices, he would be doing back flips in angst when they couldn’t digest his playbook. It would be a horrible fit, just that alone would be a horrible fit.”

When you think about the point Baldy makes, it’s hard to disagree. The facts are staring you right in the face. And that’s coming from the same analyst who proclaimed on the radio that the Falcons would be the surprise team in the NFL this year, winning around eight games as opposed to the four or less most idiots thought. His reasoning? He broadcasted their preseason games and felt that Matt Ryan was the best quarterback to enter the league since Peyton Manning. I’ll take his word for it. As for Chucky, maybe he can continue to stroke the Tennessee position to gain leverage for a fatter contract with Tampa Bay.

Video: Belichick/Mangini Postgame Handshake, Belichick a Jerk Again

Whenever the Jets and Patriots meet, the postgame handshake is a big deal. Mangini’s used to coach for the Patriots under Belichick until he got the Jets job and decided to blow the lid off the whole “Spygate” issue last year. That pissed Belichick off something good as you could imagine, and since that point, their postgame handshake hasn’t exactly been a matter of exchanging pleasantries. In fact, spygate or not, we found out that Belichick has a history of snubbing people in postgame handshakes dating back to his days with the Browns. As you could imagine, particularly after losing at home to the Jets, Bill Belichick wasn’t exactly the most gracious of losers following the game:

I love the way Mangini tries to hold on extra long to emphasize what a jerk Belichick is. He wasn’t letting him go, wanted his moment of satisfaction. Of course we all know the difference-maker in this one — and it wasn’t the coaches. No Brady + Favre = victory for the Jets. Of course I’m still wondering what happened to that formula the first time around …

Warren Sapp on Keyshawn’s Interior Decorating Show: He’s a Bitch

Even though he’s been off acting as a diva on Dancing With the Stars lately, Warren Sapp still hasn’t lost his magical touch of talking smack. The guy got off some good blasts on the ’06 Raiders team, and some even better ones on Al Davis recently. But as MDS at PFT tells us via Adam Schefter, Sapp may have saved his best blast for Keyshawn Johnson when answering a viewer’s question for Inside the NFL:

(On whether he would ever watch Keyshawn Johnson’s reality show about interior design)
SAPP: Me, watch Keyshawn on an interior decorating show? Keyshawn, I knew you were a bitch. And thanks for making it all clear.

MDS points out that this isn’t the first time Sapp’s taken a shot at Keyshawn. He’s called him a bigger malcontent than T.O., and diminished Key’s skills as well. Seems like much ado about nothing, but maybe Sapp’s just one of those guys that always has to have the serrated edge. And believe me when I say that I’m eagerly awaiting Keyshawn’s response. Maybe he’s just the bigger man between the two children, though Key does have a pretty big mouth too so I am optimistic.

Mike Martz: Officials Cost 49ers the Game on Monday Night

When Jason Hill got tackled at the 1 with like 20 seconds left, I said the worst thing that happened was that Hill slipped and went down shy of the goal, knowing it would be tough to punch in from there. I was right; the Niners were unorganized and dysfunctional in the final 20 seconds of their loss to the Cardinals. Still, the one thing I said on the final play is, “Why would they call that run from the two and a half or three yard line? From the half or one yard line, it’s a great call, but not from the two or three.” Well, good to know that Mike Martz isn’t that much of an idiot and he’s on the exact same page as me here. He says the refs screwed them over by giving them poor information:

“We go to the 1 — or the half-yard line — then spike the ball when, all of a sudden, officials tell us they’re going to look at the replay. While they’re looking at it, the ball stays at the 1. So we send in a play. Then, when they make their decision, they move the ball back to the 2½ and tell us they’re going to start the clock on the official’s wind.

“We couldn’t change the play. We had to go with what we called. If it would’ve been at the 1, we would’ve made it. But they moved it and didn’t give us any time. So what are we going to do? If they would’ve moved it to the 10 we still would’ve had to run the play that was called. We got screwed because of the spot, first and foremost.”

The head of officials says that the ball was spotted at the two because Frank Gore was ruled as down for a loss of one on the run where he was tapped and fell. Moreover, had the spike following the Gore run stood, the Niners would have been flagged for illegal formation and penalized five yards. Now that we have more information … I’m just relieved to know that Martz is on the same page as me here. Additionally, the final 20 seconds of the game was managed so poorly by the Niners that it really reflects negatively upon the coaching staff. How could they be so lost about something so critical like time on the clock and spot of the ball? They really cost their team on this one. And where was Shaun Hill to audible out of the call realizing it wasn’t going to work?

Jeremy Shockey Fights with Drew Brees, Ends Up in Dog House

Jeremy Shockey isn’t exactly the most well-liked guy in the league. He pretty much ran his way out of the Giants and became a controversial figure in the playoffs because he was out with a broken leg and there were questions whether or not he’d be there to support his team during their games. The Saints traded what seemed like was too much to acquire him in the off-season and have been rewarded with, well, nothing. Kevin Boss is completely outplaying him, and what’s worse, Shockey’s supposedly already hated on his own team. It’s gotten so bad that Shockey was even benched in the 4th quarter against the Falcons on Sunday for missing an assignment earlier in the game:

Facing third-and-10 from the Saints’ 37-yard line and still within two touchdowns, Shockey failed to pick up a rushing Falcons defender, forcing Brees to unload a quick dump-off pass to him in the left flat to avoid a sack.

Not only did Shockey miss the block, he missed the ball, dropping it with a half-hearted effort that spurred Brees to sprint toward him and emotionally voice his frustration. The animated discussion continued on the Saints’ sideline.

Shockey took the blame for missing the assignment and really took some verbal abuse from Brees after the play. It was kinda cool to see a badass like Shockey get undressed by a cool customer like Brees — it shows who has the respect and who runs the team. It’s unfortunate that Shockey has been so useless for them when he was supposed to be another offensive weapon. Now he’s just another talented player that isn’t performing. Too bad there aren’t any pictures or videos available because that was awesome.

Video: Kevin Boss Hurdles Eagles Quintin Mikell, Jeremy Shockey Who?

As the season goes on, Kevin Boss has become more and more of an integral part in the Giants offense. Eli goes to him on 3rd downs and has made him a favorite red zone target as well. Perhaps it’s this type of athleticism that has instilled confidence in Boss:

He’s no Knowshon Moreno, but that hurdle job was pretty sweet. Of course, as John Madden said, if the big man hurdles and fumbles like Brandon Jacobs, then he’s a dumbass. If it works, then it winds up a highlight. Whatever, I’ll take that play a million times.

Worse QB Situation: Raiders or Lions?

The Raiders sure have found plenty of ways to provide us with laughs this season, centered largely around the dysfunction of the organization. At least the team was competitive under Lane Kiffin — now they’ve become an embarrassment without him. Their dysfunction has been so distracting that it’s even made many of us forget the fact that the Lions are still winless, and that the Bengals and Chiefs have fewer wins. The Bengals are in dire straights because Carson Palmer is hurt. The Chiefs are pretty horrible, but Tyler Thigpen did put together a productive game last weekend. And that’s what leaves us with the Raiders and the Lions.

Detroit entered the season with interception and yardage machine Jon Kitna as their quarterback. He has a back injury and is done for the year. Backup Dan Orlovsky, despite lacking a sense of space on the field, at least kept the team competitive the past few weeks. Unfortunately for Detroit, he’s now out with a thumb injury. They were forced to sign Daunte Culpepper earlier in the week who hasn’t played all season, and their other option is Drew Stanton — a second year player who their coach said would “embarrass” himself if he played. The Raiders are down to backups after starter JaMarcus Russell is now being deemed as doubtful because of knee tendinitis. That might not be a bad thing considering Russell threw for a paltry 31 yards last weekend. Or maybe it might be considering the backup options are Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo. So, which team has the worse QB situation, Raiders or Lions?