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#pounditThursday, January 26, 2023

Articles tagged: Troy Aikman

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman share what Tom Brady told them about next season

Aug 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) jogs off the field after a game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady is once again facing an uncertain future following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ postseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, and it sounds like he may be legitimately undecided about whether he will play in 2023.

During the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s 31-14 loss, ESPN announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman started talking about Brady’s future. Buck said he believes Brady when the 45-year-old says he will take some time to weigh his options.

“He was very open and honest. Maybe he’s acting, I don’t think Tom Brady knows what the next step is in his life and his career. I think he’s going to take time after the season,” Buck said.

Aikman said he felt the same way as Buck after talking with Brady.

“In visiting with him, I came away from that feeling like he honestly has no idea right now,” Aikman added. “Because I knew he wouldn’t tell us if he knew, but I just said, ‘Do you know? Do you know what you’re going to do?’ And he really doesn’t. He said he wants to get away from it. It’s been a tough year.”

Buck and Aikman then spoke about the situation on “SportsCenter” after the game. Buck emphasized how Brady’s divorce from ex-wife Gisele and the issues in his personal life may have impacted the seven-time Super Bowl champion this year.

“He had a real heart-to-heart conversation with us about this. I think he’s been through a lot off the field and probably more than we give credit for,” Buck said. “When I talked to these players and people on this coaching staff tonight before the game, they said Brady’s kind of been back to himself over the last three weeks. That tells me for a while that he was really out of it with everything that was going on with the team and everything that was going on in his life.”

Brady told reporters after the game that he hadn’t thought much about his future and would continue to take things “one day at a time.”

Brady was not sharp against Dallas. He went 35/66 for 351 yards, 2 touchdowns and a brutal red-zone interception. The same accuracy issues we saw throughout the regular season were also an issue for him.

If Brady does decide he would rather his career not end on a bad note, he will have plenty of suitors. The Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans have been mentioned as a few possibilities for him. A reporter this week also named one surprise team that could pursue Brady this offseason.

Cowboys made Troy Aikman look bad with easy touchdown

Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL Half of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Being an announcer on NFL games is not an easy job, and Troy Aikman knows that well. Once you get into sharing opinions on strategy, things can backfire as they did for Aikman.

Aikman and Joe Buck were on the call for the Monday night NFC Wild Card Playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dallas was leading 6-0 and had a 4th-and-goal at the Tampa Bay 1 with over six minutes left in the second quarter.

Right as the Cowboys were lined up to go for it, Aikman said that he would attempt a field goal.

“Boy, I think I’d take the three,” Aikman said.

Just a second after Aikman said that, Dak Prescott faked a handoff and bootlegged into the end zone untouched on a perfect play call.

Dallas’ call and how easily they scored made Aikman look pretty bad.

It’s not easy to be on the spot and share your opinion with 20-plus million people watching. But it makes you look even worse when you’re wrong like that.

That was the right decision and a perfect call by Mike McCarthy, and it was perfectly timed with Aikman’s commentary.

Troy Aikman critical of Trevor Lawrence over poor play

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Aikman did not hold back when it came to providing honest analysis during the Week 18 game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

The Jags entered the game favored to win by 5.5 or 6 points, but they fell behind early and trailed until their defense came up with a huge touchdown in the fourth quarter. Trevor Lawrence’s stats looked OK (20/32 for 212 yards and a touchdown), but he missed some very important throws that would have made a huge difference on the scoreboard. Aikman, who was calling the game for ESPN, took note.

Early in the third quarter, Jacksonville had a 3rd-and-7 from the Tennessee 8 down 13-7. Lawrence had a wide open Zay Jones in the end zone but missed him.

“That one’s kinda hard to even try to explain how you can miss a guy like that. He’s just as open as you could be … he’s got 10 yards,” Aikman said. “You don’t see many misses like that in the NFL.”

A quarter later, Lawrence missed Marvin Jones Jr. on a throw down the right sideline with his Jags trailing 13-10. Aikman was critical of Lawrence for missing the pass attempt.

“He’s got him beat, and a ball that just sails. Now at the end of that, Lawrence does take a hit … but that had no effect on the throw itself. He had a chance to be able to step up into the pocket, deliver a football,” Aikman said of the throw.

Aikman went on to point out just how much Lawrence was letting his team down in a big spot.

“If Jacksonville fails to win this game, boy, it’s going to be a long offseason, because there’s been a lot of opportunities in this game for them. They’ve left a lot of points out there on the board,” Aikman said.

The Jags won the game 20-16 to claim the AFC South, but that doesn’t mean Aikman was wrong. Lawrence was not playing his best and missed throws he needed to complete. Credit to Aikman for not sugarcoating things when honest analysis was called for.

Troy Aikman shares the big winner of the Nathaniel Hackett firing

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos on Monday fired Nathaniel Hackett, who was in his first season as the team’s head coach. The firing came after the 4-11 squad got destroyed 51-14 by a 5-10 Los Angeles Rams team.

The Broncos were arguably the biggest disappointment of the NFL season, with the poor play of Russell Wilson leaving many perplexed.

There is no doubt that the Broncos need to turn things around and get some better coaching. According to Troy Aikman, Denver needs someone like Sean Payton.

“They’ve gotta get some credibility back,” Aikman said of the Broncos during the Week 16 “Monday Night Football” game between the Chargers and Colts. “They’ve gotta get some goodwill within a fanbase that’s been highly disappointed.”

Aikman mentioned Payton as a big winner from Hackett’s firing due to the demand for an accomplished, offensive-minded head coach.

“I just think the price went up exponentially for Sean Payton. He’s the guy in the driver’s seat. [The Broncos] can’t take a chance on anybody,” Aikman said. “Sean Payton is going to be a high commodity for a lot of teams that are in need of a head coach. So he becomes a hot commodity. He’s the winner when it’s all said and done.”

Payton won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints and helped turn Drew Brees into a (likely) Hall of Fame quarterback. The Saints still own Payton’s rights through the 2024 season, so they would need some compensation to let him coach elsewhere if the 58-year-old wants back in for 2023.

Payton reportedly has two teams atop his wishlist. Will he consider the Broncos now that they have an opening?

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman have high praise for Ohio State over 1 thing

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are very impressed with one thing Ohio State has been doing.

While calling the “Monday Night Football” game between the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 13, the ESPN announcing tandem praised Saints rookie receiver Chris Olave.

Olave entered Week 13 with 56 catches for 822 yards. The Saints traded up to draft him No. 11 overall this year.

Not only are Buck and Aikman impressed with Olave, but they believe that Olave’s excellence is part of a trend by the Buckeyes in producing top receivers.

“Ohio State, they’re cranking out wide receivers left and right,” Buck said.

Aikman agreed.

“Oh they are, they really are,” said Aikman. “And they come into the league ready to play. It’s one thing to crank ’em out. It’s another thing when they’re game ready when they hit the field in the NFL.”

Aikman particularly praised Olave as an “outstanding” route runner.

In addition to Olave, the Buckeyes produced Garrett Wilson, who was has 57 catches for 790 yards and 4 touchdowns for the Jets. The Jets took Wilson a pick before the Saints grabbed Olave.

The Buckeyes have several other receivers in the NFL currently. Michael Thomas, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, Parris Campbell and Noah Brown are some of the top Ohio State receivers around the league.

Over the years, Ohio State has produced several other excellent receivers, like Cris Carter, Terry Glenn, David Boston, Joey Galloway and Santonio Holmes. Their tradition is strong and it has not slowed down recently.

Troy Aikman had brutal description of Colts’ offense

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Indianapolis Colts looked completely inept on offensive in the first half of their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and no one was more disgusted with the effort than Troy Aikman.

Aikman was highly critical of the Colts’ offense during the “Monday Night Football” broadcast. He made it clear that he does not believe Matt Ryan has anything left in the tank and called the Indy passing offense “pretty dreadful” at one point in the second half. Aikman later said he did not expect the Colts to throw so much.

“They’ve thrown the ball a lot more than I would have anticipated,” the analyst said bluntly.

Aikman made similar comments throughout the broadcast, and most of them were warranted. The Colts had just 71 yards of total offense in the first half of their 24-17 loss to the Steelers. Ryan went 5/13 for 36 yards and an interception in the first two quarters. Though, Aikman did point out that Michael Pittman Jr. stopped running his route and was partially responsible for the pick.

Ryan finished 22/34 for 199 yards, a touchdown and an interception. After managing only a field goal in the first half, the Colts finally got things going a bit. They committed more to the run in the second half, which is something they should have done from the start. That is likely what left Aikman so puzzled and a big reason he was so critical of Indy.

The Colts actually had a chance to win despite playing so poorly. Interim head coach Jeff Saturday had some highly questionable clock management late in the game.

Joe Buck, Troy Aikman want to change 1 thing about the NFL playoff picture

Joe Buck and Troy Aikman want to change one thing about the NFL playoff picture, though it’s not what you would expect.

During the second quarter of the Week 12 “Monday Night Football” game between the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers, ESPN shared a graphic regarding the AFC playoff picture.

The graphic showed the seven current playoff teams: conference leader (Kansas City Chiefs), division leaders (Miami Dolphins, Tennessee Titans, Baltimore Ravens), and wild card teams (Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets). For the final category of teams that are close to the playoffs but not currently in, the graphic used the term “in the hunt.” The New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts were considered to be “in the hunt.”

It was that phrasing that Buck and Aikman questioned.

“Doesn’t matter what network we work for, that’s the only phrase that anybody’s ever come up for. ‘In the hunt,'” Buck said.

“Let’s see if we can’t change that by next week,” Aikman said.

“Sniffing around,” Buck said.

“Put our crack creative team to work on that one,” Aikman said.

“I like ‘sniffing around,'” Buck reiterated as his suggestion for a replacement.

One network started using that term, then others did it too, and before long, it became the only way to describe NFL teams that are not currently in the playoffs, but still have a chance of making it.

Is “in the conversation” any better? In college basketball, they’re called “bubble teams,” which is the same concept.

Get ready for a “still alive” graphic next week on “Monday Night Football.” Or if Buck has his way, maybe that column will say “sniffing around.”

Troy Aikman names the 1 coach he would hire if starting a team

Nov 21, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys former quarterback Troy Aikman attends the NFL game between the Houston Texans and the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers once again appear to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender despite a slow start to the season, and Troy Aikman feels there is one man who is primarily responsible for that — the head coach.

Aikman heaped praise on Niners head coach Kyle Shanahan following San Francisco’s 38-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night. The Hall of Fame quarterback said during ESPN’s postgame show that he believes Shanahan is the best coach in the NFL.

“I’m a huge buyer of the 49ers and I have been all season, and I have been for the last several years,” Aikman said. “A big reason for that is because of Kyle Shanahan. If I was in a position to hire a head coach, and I could hire anybody I wanted, Kyle Shanahan would be that guy.

“The way that he’s able to utilize his personnel … John Lynch, their general manager, has done a terrific job as well of assembling the players, but they play a style of football that you just don’t see around the league. It’s an old-school style. They are physical. In a league today where there’s so much emphasis on player safety, not much contact, not many padded practices during the week, they play the game as I used to know it.”

You can hear Aikman’s comments below:

The 49ers have done a terrific job of drafting and building their roster. Lynch deserves a lot of credit for that, but Shanahan has plenty of input in those decisions. A perfect example of what Aikman was referring to would be the way the Niners have utilized Christian McCaffrey after acquiring him in a trade.

Shanahan has been around the NFL for a long time, and it shows. His father Mike won two Super Bowls as a head coach. Kyle has implemented a similar offensive scheme to his father’s, and it is still extremely effective even though the NFL has changed a ton since Mike coached. That is one of the main reasons the 49ers contend almost every year.

Troy Aikman ripped Cardinals over ’embarrassing’ effort

Troy Aikman did not hold back when watching a pathetic display from the Arizona Cardinals late in their 38-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night in Mexico City.

The Cardinals were down 31-10 against the 49ers in the fourth quarter. San Francisco had the ball at the Arizona 32 and ran a bootleg left. Jimmy Garoppolo threw a pass to George Kittle, who was wide open. Kittle took the pass and raced down the left sideline, breaking a tackle at the 13.

As he approached the goal line, Kittle was bracing for contact and lowering his right shoulder, but the hit never came. Antonio Hamilton just gave up rather than try to tackle Kittle.

“This is embarrassing for the Arizona Cardinals. At the end of this play … Antonio Hamilton doesn’t come up after all the tackles he made last week and even try to make an attempt on George Kittle. They’re a losing football team, and they’re playing like one on that play,” Aikman said while calling the game for ESPN.

This kind of comment is exactly what makes Aikman good. He often tells the truth and doesn’t hold back. The Cardinals acted on that play like they had given up. It was evident to everyone watching, and they deserved to be called out for it.

The Cardinals are now 4-7, and they’re a losing team for the exact reason Aikman pointed out.

Troy Aikman shares his feelings on Jimmy Garoppolo

Oct 21, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL Half of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Denver Broncos at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Aikman shared his thoughts on Jimmy Garoppolo while broadcasting “Monday Night Football” between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals in Week 11.

Aikman gave a positive review of the Niners quarterback entering the game.

“I’ve liked him for a long time,” Aikman said of Garoppolo. “And I think when you look at this season, 2022, for the short term, I think he’s the right guy to be quarterbacking this team. He’s won a lot of games for the 49ers, and I think he’s playing really good football — especially on third down.”

Garoppolo has the fourth-best passer rating in the NFL this season on third down plays.

He’s excelled on third downs for several years.

Aikman also feels that Trey Lance has a lot of growing left to do. Many people felt the 49ers were a Super Bowl contender with Garoppolo, but not quite as good with Lance.

Lance was knocked out for the season after suffering an injury in Week 1, which allowed Garoppolo to regain the starting job.

The Niners entered the Week 11 game against Arizona 5-3 under Garoppolo this season.