NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 16 ON DECEMBER 26
►“THE NFL TODAY’s” BILL COWHER ADDRESSED REPORTS AND SPECULATION SURROUNDING HIM AND POSSIBLE COACHING POSITIONS
JAMES BROWN: Let me turn to Coach Cowher. There were a number of reports last week that had you with a wish list, if you will, of teams that you would like to coach next season. Let's address this. Any truth to any of that?
BILL COWHER: I answered this question with USA Today two weeks ago when they asked me. And I said I would not deal with hypothetical situations and I’m certainly not going to speculate. Let me say this, for anyone to insinuate that I have a wish list of coaches to be fired at this time of the year, I have too much respect for the profession. I know how hard it is. I don't wish for anybody to be fired. And for someone to insinuate that I'm doing that right now is disrespectful to them, and I'm insulted by it. I would not do that to the profession. I hope that every one of these coaches have an opportunity to come back. I'm not naive to say there won't be change at the end of the year, but I will address that at the end of the year. Besides I have a pretty good team up here right now. And we're going to the playoffs. And I'm going to enjoy and embrace every moment of it. Like I said before, I'm insulted by the fact that someone would imply that I'm out there wishing anybody would get fired.
► “INSIDE THE GAME” WITH “NFL TODAY GENERAL MANAGER” CHARLEY CASSERLY
(On status of Vince Young with Tennessee)
CASSERLY: Look for the front office to meet with Owner Bud Adams and try to convince him this is enough. We should move on from Vince Young, let him go. Last week Randy Moss said he wanted to come back. Guess what? He's not coming back. Last week he only played 15-to-20 plays in the game. He's not shown the speed and acceleration to beat tight coverage and separate from defenders like he had in the past.
(On Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh being a hot coaching commodity)
CASSERLY: He's (Jim Harbaugh) told people he's going to explore other opportunities. Rich Rodriguez has a buy-out, and when that buy-out drops to $2.5 million after January 1st, certainly Michigan will look at Harbaugh if they let go of Rodriguez. Every other NFL team that has a short list, he'll be on it - Harbaugh that is. And how about this as a package deal – Jim Harbaugh and junior quarterback Andrew Luck. What a package there.
(On changes expected with Cincinnati Bengals)
CASSERLY: First of all, Carson Palmer will be back as quarterback next year. Who he's going to throw to, I think you'll see changes. T.O. (Terrell Owens) will not be back, the act has worn thin. Our man Chad Ochocinco, he tweets last week he'd like somebody to pick up his option. Guess what? They picked it up three years ago. You're under contract for next year, $6 million, not guaranteed. I wouldn't bring the guy back. He's done enough tweeting. That act has worn thin.
(On who is this year’s MVP – Tom Brady or Michael Vick)
DAN MARINO: Well look, Michael Vick is just an incredible player. He's having a great year. But I say it's Tom Brady all the way – hands down. The guy only has four interceptions. Dealing with…some of the rookie guys on his team. A defense that was young, too. It's Tom Brady no matter what. I don't want to hear about Michael Vick?
SHANNON SHARPE: In 2003-04 there were co-MVPs with the late Steve McNair and Peyton Manning. If there's ever a year there should be co-MVPs, this would be the year.
(On which New York coach is in more trouble – Giants’ Tom Coughlin or Jets’ Rex Ryan)
BOOMER ESIASON: I know that Rex has had a lot of issues around the team and the latest one notwithstanding. As long as you're winning and you go to the playoffs, you're going to keep your job. For Tom Coughlin on the other side, two years ago they lost a playoff game in which they were the number one ranked seed in the NFC to Philadelphia at home. They had a disaster last year at the end of the year and fell apart. Now they're on the verge of falling apart again this year. If they don't make the playoffs, I believe Tom Coughlin's job could be in jeopardy.
SHARPE: As much as I want to say Rex Ryan…I just think it is Tom Coughlin. Because as you mentioned, his team is starting to self-destruct down the final stretch again. I agree, I think it is Tom Coughlin.
►COACH COWHER ON SOME WAYS TO MAKE NFL BETTER
♦ I want to talk about re-seeding the playoffs. Look at these records. Listen, playoff games should be given to the team with the best record, not just by winning the division.
♦ These guys are bigger, stronger and faster. It's time to widen the field. Give them room to run. Why 53 yards? Let's go to 60 yards. It's only seven more and it's time to open up the game.
♦ Throw back the throw back jerseys. I'm not a fashion designer, but really. Some of these jerseys are just plain ugly. I mean, the Packers throw back, please.
♦ And do we really need a long post-game press conference?...Let's limit it to five minutes. Some of these guys go way, way too long.
♦ There should be no limit to how many challenges you get when the coach is right and the call is wrong.
♦ No Super Bowls in the North. Weather is okay in the regular-season, but weather should not be a factor in the Super Bowl.