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Cris Collinsworth defends comments about the Patriot way

cris-collinsworthCris Collinsworth took some time during NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcast last weekend to praise the New England Patriots for getting previously troubled players to fall into line. He was talking specifically about cornerback Aqib Talib, which makes sense given the way Talib has stayed out of trouble since New England traded for him last season. However, Collinsworth seemed to completely ignore some guy who is currently in jail after being charged with murder.

[Video: Cris Collinsworth praises the Patriot way]

During an appearance on “Amani and Eytan” on NBC Sports Radio Tuesday, Collinsworth tried to clarify what he meant.

“I took a little heat in the game for saying (Bill Belichick) has a way of making issues go away,” he said. “A guy like (Patriots cornerback) Alfonzo Dennard still had an issue. (Bellichick) is not a cure-all. He’s not a magician out there. But they do seem to not have problems to the same extent playing for him.

“Some of it’s fear. Some of those guys, one more mistake and their career is going to be over. Nobody works that better than Belichick does. When you first come to that team, even if you’re a seven-year veteran, you don’t talk to the media. Some of those guys are more afraid of doing a press interview than they are of black cats and ghosts. They know if they screw up they’re gonna catch hell from Belichick.”

As I said before, I understand the point Collinsworth is trying to make. He just happens to be making it a season too late. Plenty of players who were known to have off-field issues have joined the Patriots and done nothing but produce. However, the team knew of Hernandez’s troubled past but drafted and signed him anyway. They also took a chance on cornerback Alfonzo Dennard after his issues at Nebraska, and he has another court date upcoming for suspicion of DUI.

Belichick loves trying to find value in talented players who have had issues off the field. Guys like Talib, Randy Moss and Corey Dillon are examples of that approach working out. Hernandez is the other end of the spectrum.

Cris Collinsworth praises Patriot way, forgot about whole Aaron Hernandez thing

Aqib-Talib-PatriotsThe New England Patriots have long had a reputation for bringing in troubled players and getting the most of them on the field. That is, until one of their best players was arrested and charged with murder.

On Sunday night, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth was discussing the fantastic game cornerback Aqib Talib had against the Atlanta Falcons. He seemed to forget about the most shocking drama of the NFL offseason.

“We all know about Aqib Talib and his history and what happened in Tampa,” Collinsworth said during the Sunday Night Football broadcast. “All Bill Belichick does is bring them in here and there hasn’t been one ounce of a problem. There’s something about when they come in and play for the Patriots. Whatever their issues were before, they disappear.”

We know the point Collinsworth was trying to make. Talib is known for things like getting into fights with teammates and not going to class in college. Despite that, he has been nothing but a shutdown corner for New England since he was acquired via trade last season. Other players like Corey Dillon and Randy Moss, who caused locker room problems elsewhere, were able to do the same for the Patriots.

However, Hernandez has pretty much put a damper on the entire thing. Belichick and company knew Hernandez liked to smoke weed and had a history of hanging out with a rough crowd, but they drafted him and signed him to a $40 million contract anyway. Now, he is awaiting trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd and could be linked to a separate double murder. It sure sounded like Collinsworth momentarily forgot about that.

Video via @cjzero

Tony Dungy, Cris Collinsworth overhyped Joe Webb who was a flop

joe webb vikingsMinnesota Vikings quarterback Joe Webb played an absolute stinker of a playoff game on Saturday, which is shocking if you actually believed the absurd hype some of NBC’s analysts tried to feed us about him before the game.

NBC was hoping for a good game between the Vikings and Green Bay Packers, but they learned Saturday that starting quarterback Christian Ponder could not play because of an elbow injury, and that Webb would be starting in his place. NBC executives may have panicked and worried that fewer people would be interested in watching Webb, who did not throw a pass the entire regular season, but luckily their analysts assured viewers that the former sixth-round pick was quite capable. Actually, they started hyping Webb like he was in the same quarterback class as Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, and as if he was a Pro Bowl candidate this season.

“No matter who plays quarterback, the goal is always to take pressure off of Adrian Peterson,” Cris Collinsworth said of the Vikings before the game. “If Christian Ponder is the quarterback, you have the threat of the play action passing game. But with Joe Webb, you have the threat of the play action passing game, and you have this read option offense which Green Bay really hasn’t had a chance to prepare for, so it’s going to be a really interesting matchup.”

When play-by-play man Al Michaels asked Collinsworth what the change meant for Green Bay, Collinsworth went even further off the Webb deep end.

“This is the third time [the Packers have] played the Minnesota Vikings in five weeks, so they come in here thinking, ‘we know everything there is to know about what they’re going to do on offense.’ And then you get this Joe Webb X-factor. There is an uncertainty going into this game now, which is going to make it really, really interesting to watch.”

“This is like Saturday night mystery theater,” added Michaels.

Saturday night mystery theater, X-factor, really interesting matchup, uncertainty — I mean shoot, the Packers should have really been worried, right?

That sort of hype about the game was nothing compared to Tony Dungy, however.

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Cris Collinsworth predicts Chargers will lose on sack play before it happens

Cris Collinsworth correctly predicted the ending of the Chargers-Saints game on Sunday night after noticing that San Diego left tackle Jared Gaither could hardly move.

Gaither was beaten by Saints defensive end Martez Wilson on a 2nd and 10 play which forced Philip Rivers to release the ball earlier than he wanted to. The result was an incompletion leaving San Diego in a 3rd and 10 situation with 19 seconds left.

“Gaither looks lame,” said Collinsworth while analyzing a replay of the second down play. “He’s going to have to get some help here or Wilson’s going to get a sack to end this game. They have to realize now that Jared Gaither’s really hurt. He’s having a tough time moving.”

Sure enough, Wilson beat Gaither on the play and recorded a sack, strip, and fumble recovery to give New Orleans the ball and their first win of the season, 31-24 over the Chargers.

This is the exact reason why I enjoy Collinsworth as an analyst. Unlike other broadcasters who speak in generalities and cliches, Collinsworth actually watches the game and reacts to what he sees in front of him. He’s not using planned lines to describe players, he’s calling things based on what’s unfolding. And in that situation, he could tell Gaither was injured and that the Chargers would be in trouble if they didn’t replace him. He was right.

Cris Collinsworth Rescued from Floating Restaurant That Broke Loose

I suppose this isn’t the strangest thing I’ve heard on a Saturday morning — maybe. When Jeff Ruby’s Waterfront restaurant broke free and starting drifting down the Ohio River on Friday evening, firefighters were called to rescue 83 patrons who were dining inside the restaurant.  Among the rescued was Sunday Night Football’s Cris Collinsworth.

According to the Associated Press, via Pro Football Talk, the barge-sitting restaurant traveled 85-to-100 feet down the flowing river before getting caught up on a bridge.  A rear line kept tension on the barge until emergency personnel arrived, at which point they proceeded to rescue the patrons one by one using life vests and “precariously perched ladders and ropes.”

We’re happy to hear that Collinsworth — who was reportedly not wearing his cat costume — and the other patrons got out safely. If you ask me, this incident proves that there’s really no need for restaurants to sit on top of an actual river.  The view is just fine from spots along the river bank.  I don’t see the need to challenge mother nature while you’re trying to sit down for a nice meal.  Hey, that’s just me.

Collinsworth: Peyton Manning Is a Player-Coach for Colts

I’m sure many of us have thought to ourselves that coaching Peyton Manning is the sweetest gig in the world. The guy calls his own plays, makes audibles at the line, and is practically the team’s offensive coordinator. With Peyton doing everything, what the heck does a coach need to do?

Obviously people have a lot of respect for Tony Dungy. We saw the way he coached up Tampa Bay’s defense and later Indy’s D, so he’s earned our respect. But how many of you have wondered how good Jim Caldwell really is and what he really does? The guy had a career .292 winning percentage in eight years at Wake Forest. Jim Grobe has been a .575 coach since taking over for Caldwell. With those stats in mind, it’s not a stretch to think that Peyton Manning is running the Indianapolis show.

Count NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth as one who believes that is the case. To make things clear, Collinsworth was simply praising Manning on Sunday Night Football rather than bashing Caldwell, but after hearing his description of Peyton as a coach on the field, it does make you wonder who is the brains behind the Colts’ operation. Here’s what Collinsworth had to say:

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Cris Collinsworth Looking Cat-Like

These pictures of Cris Collinsworth in cat makeup were posted on Warren Sapp’s Twitter page before the news came out that Terrell Owens will sign with the Bengals, so that rules out the possibility of there being a connection with that story line.  As You Been Blinded notes, Sapp provides no explanation for the photos so we’re left to assume it has something to do with Showtime’s Inside the NFL…we hope.   I think I’m annoyed already and I don’t even understand the concept of the bit, so it’ll be interesting to see where this is headed.

Sources:
Cris Collinsworth in Cat Makeup [You Been Blinded]
Photo Credit: Warren Sapp on Twitter