NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE, BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON FOR WEEK 17 ON JANUARY 1
(On Pittsburgh playing Ben Roethlisberger)
BILL COWHER: I would not play him because it’s about risk and reward. Bottom line, I think I can beat Cleveland with Charlie Batch. And I know I cannot win a championship without Ben Roethlisberger. So if he’s healthy enough to start. Why not back him up? Keep an eye on that game in Cincinnati, and how Charlie is playing. He played well last week. If they have to play next week, why risk him going out there and re-injuring that ankle. I would not take that risk.
(On Cincinnati against Baltimore)
BOOMER ESIASON: I love the Bengals to come of age today.
COWHER: The most pressure on any quarterback today is on Tim Tebow. And I think he goes down to the Kansas City Chiefs.
(On Playoff scenario)
DAN MARINO: I think Baltimore’s going to be the fifth seed. Baltimore has not been a good road team all year. And A.J. Green is coming back for Cincinnati, that means Pittsburgh’s got to beat Cleveland, which I think will happen. They will be the No. 2 seed, and Cincinnati gets in the playoffs today.
► CHALK TALK
(On New England’s Tom Brady)
BOOMER: After last year’s Jets playoff loss, he said, ‘I’ll never get over that.’ I believe that’s fueling him this year. The most competitive player in the NFL, Tom Brady, will take his team to the Super Bowl.
(On Indianapolis’s Peyton Manning)
COWHER: If he’s not willing to restructure a $28 million bonus that is due on March 8th, he will not be in Indianapolis next year.
SHANNON SHARPE: I like the Giants because these guys (Boomer and Marino) tell me all the time, it’s all about the quarterback. I played with a pretty good one in Denver. Winner takes all – I’m going with the better quarterback. I want Eli Manning.
(On Denver’s Tim Tebow)
SHARPE: This is the biggest game of Tim Tebow's career. Everybody talks about the fourth quarter comebacks - all of that will be forgotten. You lose this game today, in your building, it doesn't matter if you had five, seven, eight, 10 fourth-quarter comebacks, it's all for naught. But I do believe that the Broncos will win a close ballgame, say 13‑10.
BOOMER: Well, all I know is I like John Elway. I always say great things about John. But this was a major screw‑up of mammoth proportions if Kyle Orton comes in here and beats them. You never release a player during the season. You heard Charley say it in segment two with J.B., that can come back and haunt you somewhere along the line. You have to control that. I don't care what the owner says, you just can't release the player.
►“INSIDE THE NFL” WITH CHARLEY CASSERLY
ON COACHES ON HOT SEAT
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CASSERLY: Let's start with Philadelphia and Andy Reid. I expect Andy Reid to be back as head coach of the Eagles next year. As far as defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, as of yesterday, no decision had been made. However it is Andy Reid's total decision. Now to the New York Giants and Tom Coughlin. He will be back next year as head coach, entering the last year of his contract. A decision has not been made on an extension. Here's Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts. There is strong sentiment in the building to bring him back because of how hard the Colts have played this year. Next up in San Diego, Norv Turner. I do not expect him to be back as head coach. However, I look for him to get many opportunities as an offensive coordinator in the league. Finally,
in St. Louis, expect changes to be made there and Steve Spagnuolo to be out as head coach. However, he'll be a highly sought after defensive coordinator next year in the NFL.
ON ADRIAN PETERSON’S RECOVERY
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