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Tim Tebow Calls Out Mel Kiper Jr. About His Pro Future

One of the best questions of the college football season is how Tim Tebow will fit in the pro game. Lots of successful, running quarterbacks in college often have to switch positions in the NFL to find a job. Take a look at Matt Jones, Michael Robinson, and Brad Smith to name a few. While I don’t believe Tebow could do his thing in the NFL the way he does it in college, I still have to believe there’s some sort of place for him the pros. My main issue is that Tebow takes a lot of pounding already, but he can withstand the hits in the college game; he wouldn’t last two months doing the same thing against the heavy hitters in the big leagues. For some reason though, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. is convinced Tebow’s future is as an H-Back, something Tebow’s not having any of as he said on ESPN Radio:

“You tell me this,” Tebow said to Kiper during the radio exchange. “What do you think I need to do to be an NFL quarterback? You tell me that.

“You’re just too good with the ball in your hands not to think, Could he be Frank Wycheck? Could he be Chris Cooley? That’s why,” Kiper said. “You’re too good, doing what you do, Tim, running with the football.”

Tebow replied, “The quarterback has the ball in his hands every play.”

Tebow’s right on, but it seems like Kiper chickened out not wanting to really call Tebow out to his face. Tebow will have plenty of doubters to prove wrong when he goes to the next level, and how and when he gets drafted will be a great question. The even better question is how the team that selects him chooses to utilize his talents. I’m still saying he won’t make it as a quarterback.

(via Ballhype)

TV Ratings Show Dallas Cowboys Are America’s Team

You know, we’re just kind of taking Nielsen’s word for it, but since I have no way of measuring television audiences I guess we have to go with their figures. It was brought to my attention in an email from Nielsen that the Dallas Cowboys have consistently been the biggest draw on TV this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the Terrell Owens/Romo/Witten drama, or because Romo’s dating Jessica Simpson, or just because they have the reputation of being America’s team, but you can’t dispute the evidence. Check out the two charts provided by Nielsen Wire:

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How Did Wes Welker Make the Pro Bowl Over Randy Moss?

Of all the Pro Bowl snubs — John Abraham, DeAngelo Williams, Philip Rivers being the most egregious in my eyes — there’s one in particular that stands out to me. It’s not so much that Wes Welker made the Pro Bowl because I do believe he’s deserving over All-Star-type accolades, but I’m wondering how Welker made it to the Pro Bowl over his teammate and fellow receiver, Randy Moss. Sure, Welker has more catches and yardage this year than Moss, but it’s a chicken/egg type discussion that goes in favor of Moss.

While Welker is a very good possession receiver, Randy Moss is one of the most dangerous play-making threats in the NFL. It’s Randy Moss who teams need to double-cover and shade with a safety to avoid giving up the big play. It’s the type of attention that Randy Moss attracts from defenses that allows the short passes and underneath stuff to work so well for the Pats. No doubt that Welker has excelled in his role and should have been a Pro Bowler last year, but it’s because of Moss that Welker looks this good. Take Moss and stick him on any team with any quarterback and he’s still scoring touchdowns. Do the same with Welker and he won’t have anywhere near 100 catches and 1,100 yards.

Moss’ overall numbers aren’t stellar, but he does lead the AFC with 10 receiving touchdowns. The one game he was left with single coverage he scored three of those touchdowns. It’s that big-play explosiveness that strikes fear into the hearts of opposing defenses and allows Welker to accumulate the stats he does. Not the other way around. The Pro Bowl voters need to get it right.

Terrell Owens: Being the Villain Has Cost Me Endorsement Dollars

T.O. sure has been the center of controversy in the football world lately, but what else is new? He was the subject of a report suggesting he was jealous of the Tony Romo/Jason Witten circle, one that T.O. has said was false. Owens even went so far as to call out Ed Werder for reporting that story based on an anonymous source. Then in an interview with Stephen A. Smith also of ESPN, Owens said that the league creates heroes and villains in order to generate more fan interest. T.O. says he’s a victim for being cast as one of the villains and even complained that the image the media has created of him has cost him endorsements:

“[The villain characterization] does bring a level of concern especially when I’m trying to market myself or brand myself. I’ve noticed over the years that I can’t get this endorsement or that endorsement because of the image that I have. And it’s tough to deal with because I know I am a marketable person … I’m very handsome but I’m not [a villainous] type of person.”

Alright, well at least the comment confirms that T.O. does have an agenda in creating his persona. He is working on a brand, he is trying to make himself marketable. It’s just not going well for him. Between Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and LaDainian Tomlinson, there isn’t much of a market left over for him to crack anyway. While I believe ESPN screwed T.O. last week with their tabloid reporting, Owens can only blame himself for drawing significant amounts of negative attention to his feet.

Dominic Raiola Is Not Remorseful for Flipping Off Lions Fans

I’ll tell you, after hearing Dominic Raiola’s interview Tuesday on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio, I don’t want to see the team go 0-16. At first I did just to spite the organization for being so poorly run; it would be the ultimate insult if they were to go winless. But after hearing Raiola talk, I really started to realize that there are some solid players on the team — guys who are trying, who do care, who want to win, and who hate losing. It’s because of guys like Raiola that I now want the Lions to get into the win column and avoid a lifetime of embarrassment. Because Raiola’s been with the team since ’01, he’s taken the brunt of the criticism from Lions fans (at least in his mind). His emotions boiled over on Sunday in the loss to the Vikings when he flipped off the Ford Field fans, a move that cost him $7,500. The organization said they were disappointed with Raiola’s move and said that’s not how they treat their fans. Raiola is saying otherwise:

“You know, if you’re not happy, why are you coming to the game? I understand that they haven’t seen a winner in eight years, so don’t come — don’t come until we turn it around. If they want me to be quiet and just take it … I don’t agree that I should do that.

You get booed a lot in the NFL — we get booed every week. Fans pay a lot of money and times are really hard right now, and we understand that they want to see a winner. When they get personal [with] myself and my family, I’m just not going to put up with that. I’m a human being, I’m just not going to deal with that.”

About the worst thing a player can do for an organization is criticize the fans the way he did. He had several chances to take his comments back or apologize but instead stuck with his true feelings. And you know what? Eight years of consistent losing will do that to you. The gesture is taking it too far, and telling fans not to come to games is probably the wrong thing to say, but because of Raiola I now want the Lions to actually win a game.

Video: Antonio Bryant Amazing Touchdown Catch Against Panthers

Seems like I’ve been hearing great things about Antonio Bryant the last 10 years, dating back to his days at Pitt. He was a late second round pick, touted as having all kinds of talent, and then he really disappointed in the NFL. Until this year with Tampa Bay. Bryant has become Jeff Garcia’s top receiving weapon with the Bucs and truly showed off his talent in primetime on Monday Night Football. Check out this amazing catch he made to pull Tampa within a score of Carolina late in the game:

If there’s one positive aspect of Joey Galloway being hurt it’s the emergence of Bryant. Seven years into the league and he’s just now finally finding himself. What an incredible catch.

FOX TV Catches Visanthe Shiancoe in Loose Post-Game Pose

I totally missed this — and I really have to wonder about the people who catch it — but FOX TV was apparently pretty careless in bringing us the postgame celebration in the Vikings locker room on Sunday. See for yourself:

I swear, if I have to start curbing my language on the radio because of this, I’m not going to be happy. Whatever happened to the waist-up rule for cameras in the locker room? And how about Visanthe Shiancoe, the guy catches the go-ahead touchdown to beat the Lions, and he becomes a household name because part of his shlong is exposed in a post-game TV shot. Gotta love it. (BTW, anyone else wondering what Childress was looking at?)

(via The Sporting Blog and PFT)