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Michael Irvin pulls the race card over Robert Griffin III benching

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsThere has been no shortage of controversy surrounding Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season. Between speculation that Shanahan is intentionally trying to get himself fired and reports that RG3 is furious, the situation has turned into a full-blown circus. And now, Michael Irvin has attempted to introduce the race element.

During halftime of Thursday Night Football, Irvin and the rest of the NFL Network panel discussed the mess in Washington. Deion Sanders said he thought RG3 “needed a little humble pie.” Irvin basically said the Redskins wouldn’t be handling the situation the same way if they had a white quarterback.

“You are tearing him down,” Irvin ranted, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “I doubt that any man can come back from this, walking around three weeks around these guys that you have to lead. And I don’t want to hear about teammates either; we understand as teammates and players, quarterbacks do get special treatment.

“You don’t see people arguing when Peyton Manning or Tom Brady gets (special treatment) — I don’t want you arguing when this kid gets it. He’s the quarterback, and the rest of us brothers have to understand that and treat him as such. I’ve got an issue with all of it. … You think they could do this to Andrew Luck? Let me ask you that, you think they could do this to Luck?”

First of all, comparing RG3 to Peyton Manning or Tom Brady is so absurd we don’t even need to bother getting into detail over it. Brady and Manning receive “special treatment” because they’re Super Bowl MVPs, league MVPs, and future Hall of Famers.

Moreover, I refuse to believe that Shanahan’s decision to bench Griffin has anything to do with the color of RG3′s skin. Would the Redskins do the same to Luck if he was their quarterback, had played horribly, had a 3-10 record this season and was coming off his second reconstructive knee surgery? Yeah, I think they probably would.

Michael Irvin: Tony Romo is ‘best quarterback in the NFC, period’

Michael-Irvin-pressure-on-Tony-RomoTony Romo is off to a hot start to the 2013 season, despite the Dallas Cowboys’ 2-2 record. He was sharp in a loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday and has a quarterback rating of 105.0 through four games this year. That’s almost a full ten points above his career QB rating.

However, Romo has become known as a player who makes crucial mistakes in clutch moments and has not been able to win the big game. Unlike Super Bowl MVPs Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, Romo turtles when his team needs him most. Despite that, Michael Irvin feels he is the best quarterback in the NFC.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the NFL Network’s pregame show panel agreed on Sunday that Romo is “the most dependable quarterback in the NFC.” Irvin went as far as to declare Romo “the best quarterback in the NFC. Period.”

They were joking, right? Rodgers and Brees are probably two of the three best quarterbacks in the entire NFL. Romo puts up stats, but he’s not a proven winner. The aforementioned two have already won a Super Bowl and could easily win another. Romo could very well go his entire career without winning a championship. You call that “dependable?”

In reality, Romo falls somewhere between Irvin’s insane declaration and this former NFL defensive lineman’s exaggerated bashing of the 33-year-old. He’s certainly above average, but his play down the stretch leaves a lot to be desired on an annual basis. Irvin has acknowledged that in the past, but apparently he has changed his mind.

San Diego Chargers stick it to Michael Irvin with win over Philadelphia Eagles

The San Diego Chargers are off to their usual hot start this season. Fans are hoping they can keep it together under head coach Mike McCoy and avoid the type of implosion that plagued the Norv Turner era. But for now, sticking it to Michael Irvin will have to do.

Irvin, an analyst on the NFL Network, said that he expected the Philadelphia Eagles and Chip Kelly’s new high-powered offense to hang at least 60 points on the Chargers. After watching what Philly was able to do against the Redskins last week and seeing San Diego blow a massive lead against the Houston Texans, the idea was not all that far-fetched.

Michael Irvin Chargers eagles

Instead, the Chargers traveled east and defeated the Eagles 33-30 on Sunday. And from the look of it, some players were able to use Irvin’s bold prediction as motivation.

Again, we’re talking about the Chargers. If they’re still winning games on the road in November, people might start taking them seriously. Until then, they’re simply singing a familiar tune.

Image via Twitter/SDFAN2378

Michael Irvin, Deion Sanders hard on Tony Romo following loss

The Dallas Cowboys finished 8-8 for the second straight season and missed the playoffs for the third straight year after losing to the Washington Redskins 28-18 Sunday with the NFC East on the line. Tony Romo threw three interceptions, including picks on back-to-back possessions in the first quarter, and a third to ruin a comeback attempt late in the game. The performance cemented nearly everything about Romo’s reputation as a player; he commits too many turnovers and chokes under pressure.

Former Cowboys legends Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders, who work for NFL Network, were among the commentators who were hard on Romo following the poor ballgame.

“I’m never going to say 8-8 is a success, not a guy who holds three rings. Playing hard is good. Winning is better,” said Irvin, via the Los Angeles Times. “You watch all these guys, Robert Griffin III, Eli Manning, Michael Vick — these are top quarterbacks, drafted in top spots, they know and feel like they belong in that situation. Tony Romo is the only undrafted QB in the East and sometimes, in those moments, he feels like, ‘I have to prove to everybody I belong here,’ and tries to do so much and that gets him into trouble.”

Sanders seemed even more fed up.

“How many times are we going to sit here as fans and say, ‘Here we go again?’” Sanders said. “I love to win at all costs. 1-6 in elimination games, that’s telling me something is not getting better around here. The kind of person I am, I need to jump off and try to correct this thing…. I can’t put this one thing all on Tony. But Tony brings me to the same situation at the conclusion of every year. Take a picture, this date, and see if we’re playing the same picture next year. We always think it’s going to get better, but it’s the same-old same-old.”

I don’t really agree with Irvin that Romo is out to prove he belongs with these other quarterbacks, but how can you not agree with Deion? It feels like the same thing over and over with Romo. The guy makes some spectacular plays and can move the ball, but he’s so unreliable with the game on the line. Dallas’ front office would have to be foolish not to see that by now and realize they need to make a change.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Irvin: Bill Belichick’s name should also be on the Vince Lombardi trophy

Forget spygate. Forget asterisks. Forget all the snarky, condescending remarks at the podium. Not only does Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin feel as though Bill Belichick is one of the most accomplished head coaches in NFL history, he thinks the NFL should eventually give him one of the most significant honors a coach could receive.

“I think the world of Belichick,” Irvin told the Boston Herald recently. “I told him this, ‘Man, if it was up to me, that (Super Bowl) trophy would be called the Lombardi/Belichick.’ I don’t care what they think. It would be called the Lombardi/Belichick. That’s how good he is to do what he’s doing in this day and age, what the league is now.

“I would call it the Lombardi/Belichick.”

Belichick is the only coach to win three Super Bowls in four years. His 139-53 regular-season record and 16-6 postseason record speak volumes to what he has been able to accomplish since taking over in New England at the turn of the century.  By the numbers, Belichick is easily one of the greatest NFL coaches of all time.

That being said, there will always be the spygate issue. Vince Lombardi’s name was not attached to the Super Bowl trophy until he had passed away. Perhaps after Belichick passes, the scandal will be completely forgotten and people will simply look at what he was able to accomplish during his coaching career.

And in the rare event that it happens, we can then begin our discussion on how ridiculous the name “Lombardi/Belichick Trophy” would sound.

Photo credit: Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Irvin: Now that LeBron James has a ring, the pressure’s on Tony Romo

LeBron James is now an NBA champion, which raises an important question for all the sports fans out there who love celebrating the misfortunes of famous athletes: Who do we turn to next? Prior to last week, LeBron was the ultimate case of a superstar athlete who has never won a thing. Before LeBron, we had Alex Rodriguez. What about now? As Michael Irvin reminded us this past weekend, Tony Romo seems like a decent candidate.

“Now LeBron’s got the title, who do we turn the thing to and say, ‘When are you going to get one?’” Irvin asked according to the Dallas Morning News. “That noose has been put around (Tony Romo’s) neck. It better be soon. Jerry Jones has already said that. That’s where it’s going from here. It’s going back to Tony Romo now.”

Romo isn’t exactly to the NFL what LeBron is to the NBA. If not for some of the huge mistakes he has made in crucial situations, people would have a lot less to say about Romo’s inability to win a championship. However, the pressure certainly exists for the mere fact that he is a quarterback and plays for one of the most popular teams in the NFL.

Like one of his teammates recently said, Romo will be criticized until he wins a championship with the Cowboys. He may not be one of the best players in the NFL like LeBron is in the NBA, but the fact that there is one less person to harp on certainly won’t help alleviate any of the pressure the Cowboys quarterback already faces.

H/T Pro Football Talk
Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Irvin Says Dez Bryant Will Be the Best Receiver in the NFL

Dez Bryant is widely considered to be one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. As a first-round pick, he has been somewhat disappointing. The Cowboys expected Bryant to have an immediate impact on their offense and he has done just that — when he plays. A combination of injuries and mental check-outs in the second half of games have resulted in Bryant being an underachiever. Former Cowboys receiver and current Hall of Famer Michael Irvin believes Bryant will get it together. When he does, Irvin thinks he’ll be tough to stop.

“I thought Dez made great strides this year on the football field,” Irvin said according to the Dallas Morning News, noting that the third-year receiver will have to work on his conditioning. “He has a lot of room to continue to grow, but he made great strides. When Dez really locks it all in, understands it, Dez will be the best receiver in the NFL.”

Irvin didn’t say “one of the best,” he said “the best.”  We already know who his favorite NFL receiver was this past season, and it wasn’t the guy who will likely stand in the way of Irvin’s prediction Bryant prediction over the next several years.  That guy I’m referring to is Calvin Johnson.  Megatron is only three years older than Dez, and he is already one of the best — if not the best — receivers in the game.  With a young quarterback in Matthew Stafford who continues to improve, he’ll be tough to dethrone as the NFL’s best receiver over the next five years or so.

On a separate note, the Cowboys are likely thankful Irvin decided to provide some words of encouragement for their young star.  As we saw earlier in the season, some of Dallas’ former wide-outs haven’t exactly been supportive of Bryant.