NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 14 ON DECEMBER 11
(On players going back into games after taking vicious hits)
BOOMER: There is also another troubling trend that continues in the NFL, and that is players going back on the field after taking vicious hits. There were two problems with this. Number one, James Harrison's going to be fined significantly. I would not be surprised if he is suspended one game. He's a repeat offender. But number two, the Cleveland Browns putting Colt McCoy back into the game after this hit, after missing only two plays. I'm not going to put this on the head coach Pat Shurmur, because he's got so many other things to worry about in the midst of that game, and they were actually on the drive to try to get the game‑winning touchdown. But I will put it on the medical staff. And once again, I'm going to say it, and I've been saying it the entire season, there has to be an independent person on each of these sidelines making these decisions protecting these players from themselves…Why Colt McCoy was on the field after that, I have no idea why.
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(On Denver’s Tim Tebow)
BOOMER: I bought into Tim Tebow. He's a great guy. He's a great player in the fourth quarter. He showed that he now can win high-scoring games like he did last week and low scoring games. (He) Doesn't make the mistakes.
SHARPE: I’m sipping the Tim Tebow Kool-Aid.
► HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER BAYLOR’S ROBERT GRIFFIN III VISITED SET OF “THE NFL TODAY”
(On coming out early for NFL draft)
GRIFFIN: I'd be lying if I told you it hadn't crossed my mind. But the thing is I want to focus on what's in front of me right now. That is being a Baylor Bear. We have a Bowl game coming up with an opportunity to win 10 games for the first time in 20 years. So that's what I'm focusing on. I'll talk to my parents and my coach after the game.
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(On Indianapolis and Peyton Manning)
JAMES BROWN: Archie Manning said on Tuesday he did not think it would be a "good fit "for the Colts to take Andrew Luck in the draft. On Wednesday, he backed off from that statement. Assuming Peyton is healthy. Should they: A) trade luck, B) trade or cut Manning, or C) keep both.
COWHER: I think they need to trade a quarterback, and I think they need to trade Peyton Manning. I say that from this standpoint, it happens in our profession right now. It's the state of where it's at. Thank you for everything you've been through, facing this organization. They will not know whether he's healthy until he plays a football game. Neither party can afford to wait that long. I think I draft the quarterback. I trade him (Manning). I say thank you, and wish him nothing but the best. He'll go into the Hall of Fame as a Colt.
SHARPE: Looking at Peyton Manning's body language, listening to what Archie Manning says, he's got a clean Bill of health. There is no way on God's green earth am I trading Peyton Manning for an unproven commodity in Andrew Luck.
COWHER: I would make it contingent on him passing a physical with the trade. You cannot give him $28 million until he plays another game.
MARINO: One thing you have to be is be fair to Peyton Manning. This guy's been here his whole career. Be fair with this guy up front. He should have the choice to a certain extent.
►“INSIDE THE NFL” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY
CASSERLY ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO THURSDAY NIGHT GAME SCHEDULING
There is an owner’s meeting this week…What will be talked about is eliminating all coast-to-coast travel for a Thursday night. One of the concepts that they’re going to talk about is possibly implementing having time zone travel. You can only travel one time zone on a Thursday night. As a general manager, I’d be in favor of that.
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CASSERLY ON INDIANAPOLIS QUARTERBACK SITUATION WITH PEYTON MANNING AND POSSIBLY ANDREW LUCK
If he’s not healthy, I think the Colts will go to Manning and ask for an extension of that March deadline to pay the bonus, with the hope that will be more healthy later on to do it. Finally, I don’t see any scenario that Peyton Manning is traded.
I don’t think I’ve met any young man like him (Luck), maturity, leadership, the way he carries himself, intelligence. This guy’s a no‑brainer to me to take. One of the most impressive people I’ve ever met in interviewing college players.
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CASSERLY ON TIM TEBOW’S FUTURE IN DENVER
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CASSERLY ON POSSIBLE JAMES HARRISON SUSPENSION
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► SHANNON SHARPE GOES ON THE OFFENSE WITH GREEN BAY’S DEFENSE
THE NFL TODAY’s Shannon Sharpe previews the Oakland Raiders-Green Bay Packers Week 14 game by sitting down with members of the Packers’ defensive corps, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji, to talk about the pressure they face trying to go a perfect 19-0 and winning a second-straight Super Bowl title.
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(On going undefeated)
WOODSON: We feel like we can. So if we do it, it would be great. It’s still about one thing and that is the Super Bowl. It will always be about that.
COWHER: We’re watching greatness. In my opinion, this team (Packers) has never been greater. They’ve never trailed in the fourth quarter of these 18 games. You’re going to give up some yards. They take the ball away. We are watching the greatest team in football history unfold before our eyes. Let’s enjoy it, and embrace it.
BOOMER: The greatest ever? I can’t go there yet.
MARINO: Until they become perfect, then you can say that.
COWHER: I'm watching a team right now that has the swagger. They have the look. They have the belief. And they have the edge. Yes, I'm saying it now. You can say it afterwards. But I'm going to say it right now.