NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 15 ON DECEMBER 19
(On whether Jets’ Rex Ryan is ultimately responsible for actions of strength coach Sal Alosi)
DAN MARINO: Yeah, he is ultimately responsible, so is Mike Westhoff. But at the same time I talked to Mike Westhoff. They say they did not teach this at any time. They did not know this was going on with the team, especially him and Rex Ryan both. I played on the Dolphins for 17 years. Mike Westhoff, 16 of those years was the special teams coach. He wouldn't lie to me. He said he doesn't teach it. He doesn’t know anything about it.
BOOMER ESIASON: It's all semantics here. What doesn't he teach? He doesn’t teach to stick the knee out. That's what he's not teaching. But he does teach to line them up on the sideline. And I will tell you this, Sal Alosi is not a rat. He will not throw the coaches under the bus. Although I do think that Mike Westhoff did throw Sal Alosi under the bus this week by playing semantics with his language.
(On whether Washington Head Coach Mike Shanahan should have benched Donovan McNabb)
SHANNON SHARPE: I don’t want the bloggers or the pundits to make this about race. This is a production and a results League. And Donovan McNabb's production has not resulted into the Washington Redskins winning football games. His last five games, they're 1-4. They've averaged 12 points a game in their last three ballgames. More interceptions than touchdowns, you can't. Mike Shanahan has an obligation to this football team to put someone in there that he feels can get them… He knows Donovan is not going to be there next year. He's made that fairly clear by his decision to bench Donovan McNabb the last three games.
He really wants him to succeed. And the Washington Redskins were the only team. Brad Childress was Donovan McNabb's offensive coordinator for seven years in Philly. He was the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and he would not trade for Donovan McNabb. Andy Reid traded him. Doesn’t that tell you something?
► QUICK HITS
(On whether St. Louis’s Sam Bradford will be voted as Offensive Rookie of the Year)
DAN MARINO: Absolutely. Besides throwing for 3,000 yards, I think his team is going to win their division. No doubt about it, he is the Rookie of the Year.
(On whether Randy Moss will be playing in NFL next season)
BILL COWHER: No, he'll be on unemployed.com. He will not be playing in the NFL. But he may be in a studio somewhere, because he really knows the game.
(On playoff scenario for AFC West and San Diego Chargers)
BOOMER ESIASON: There are a lot of scenarios in terms of breaking it down and all this stuff for wildcards. Simply, if you are a St. Louis Rams fan today, if you are a San Diego Chargers fan – if the Rams are able to beat Kansas City or if Kansas City loses one of their final three games. San Diego controls its own destiny by winning their final two games, they will win the AFC West.
(On Dallas Interim Head Coach Jason Garrett)
DAN MARINO: Jason Garrett has been doing a terrific job with that football team. They're scoring a lot of points. They are not as sloppy as they were earlier in the year. I think Jerry Jones, give him the job. I think he's going to get that job and keep it.
► “INSIDE THE GAME” WITH “NFL TODAY GENERAL MANAGER” CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On Jets sideline formation)
CASSERLY: (reviewing tape of last week’s Jets-Miami game) Here you going to see Jets personnel lined up side-by-side together on the sidelines in an illegal area. You're also going to see strength coach Sal Alosi trip the Dolphin player and he'll go to the ground here. Now this is not the only time the Jets did this. (reviewing tape from past Jets game against Cincinnati on Nov. 25) Looking at tape I saw it against Cincinnati. Here you can see the Jet personnel lined up together in a very similar fashion. This occurred in the third quarter as they did in the Dolphin game last week. Also the NFL is not only reviewing the Jets, they're reviewing Carolina and other teams for this kind of activity during the course of the season. Here's what's going to happen today, the referees in all games will go to the head coaches and remind them what the sideline rules are for where they should stand and where the players should stand. Also in the command center here in New York at the NFL office, for all games today, they're going to monitor sideline behavior. If they see anything out of the ordinary that they don't like, they're going to call the in-game supervisor in that particular stadium and have him warn the team to correct their actions.
(On division in Tennessee locker room over Jeff Fisher-Vince Young incident)
CASSERLY: First of all in analyzing the situation and talking to multiple sources, they feel this is a minor rift in the locker room. Bo Scaife, who is a good friend of Vince Young, who by the way is conveniently inactive today after speaking out on Vince Young's behalf, and only a few other players really felt Vince Young was treated unfairly. Multiple sources told me the vast majority of the team felt that Jeff Fisher treated Vince Young fairly in this situation. Vince Young was back in the locker room Friday. Someone close to Vince Young told me that his intent is to be with the team the rest of the season.
(On labor front)
CASSERLY: There was a league meeting this week, club executives and owners. First of all, they talked about the lockout procedures. The draft will go on as scheduled, April 28 to April 30th if there is a lockout. A couple of changes though, teams will not be allowed to contact or sign players that are not drafted, which they were able to do that in the past. They cannot trade players during the draft, but they can trade picks both present and future during the draft. Final couple of points, players during the lockout will not be allowed in their team facility. The only personnel that they can communicate with would be trainers, doctors, and HR personnel. The final note from the League meeting, it was recommended to ownership for next year, that all players, mandatory, that they will have to wear thigh pads and knee pads.