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Simms:  Great running backs ‘ruin quarterbacks’


        Phil Simms on Showtime’s Inside the NFL disputed the axiom that a good running game makes the passing game better.  He feels it’s difficult for a quarterback to maintain rhythm with his passes if he’s constantly handing off the ball.

“A lot of times these great running backs ruin quarterbacks, because you’re handing off and now it’s third and eight, we need to make a play.  It’s so hard to play that way. . .

“Do you think all that great running Denver did against New England took Peyton and his wide receivers out of the game?  Absolutely yes.”

Sunday’s game between Philadelphia and Minnesota supported Simms’ position.  Both Adrian Peterson and his backup, Toby Gerhart, were injured.  So in their absence Matt Cassel passed 35 times, completed 26 for 382 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

The Vikings rushed 30 times for a mere 85 yards, but they still won 48-30 because their passing game was more productive than it’s been this year with Peterson playing.


Mack Brown at his best as he leaves the stage


Longhorn great Earl Campbell, appearing on Inside the NFL, said it was time for Mack Brown to go.  “If you watch the University of Texas play football and you watch Georgia play football, it doesn’t look the same.  It looks like the effort is not there.  It’s just not enough push.  So maybe change is gonna be good.”

Brown managed a graceful exit, making it appear he retired on his own volition because “there are just too many negatives out there, and the players and assistant coaches shouldn’t have to be dealing with negatives about me, nor should our university.”

Steve Patterson, the athletics director who pressured Brown to leave, teared up and called it “a tour de force performance.”

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman wrote:  “Mack Brown couldn’t have been more glib or more gracious Sunday, but then, Mack always won the press conferences.  Just not all the games.”

Red McCombs, San Antonio billionaire who’s one of the biggest donors to University of Texas athletics, said the Longhorns can offer whatever it takes to sign a big-name coach to succeed Brown:  All of the money that’s not in the Vatican is up there at UT.  Budgets were an issue when Mack got there, but not now.”


McNabb says Redskins players ‘turned their back on RGIII’


Robert Griffin III has been benched for the rest of the season to protect him from assault by defensive ends and linebackers pouring through Washington’s ragged O-line.  But according to former Washington QB Donovan McNabb, the spotlight-seeking Griffin should worry about his teammates disliking him.

        “I think the locker room has turned their back on RGIII,” McNabb said on NBC Sports Radio.


Let’s fine players who quit the game before it’s over


      Steve Beuerlein on CBS Sports Network’s NFL Monday QB criticized Dez Bryant for walking off the field before the game against Green Bay was over, when, he said, he didn’t want people to see his tears.

 “You talk about a lack of discipline and a lack of leadership,” Beuerlein said.  “That’s it right there in a nutshell.  When a guy leaves the field he leaves his teammates.”

“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this.  We saw it with Andre Johnson earlier in the year.  It’s time the league starts fining these guys for this type of behavior.”


Rome takes down the Lions


Jim Rome (CBS Sports Network) unloaded on the Detroit Lions, who have squandered their lead in the NFC North.  “This was the year they had to shake that Lion stink off them. And they’re closing it by losing four out of five and getting their noses broken on national TV by an average Ravens team.  . . . Calvin Johnson did look like an old man, dropping things, falling down, forgetting where he was.

“Meanwhile his teammates were all remembering who they were:  the Honolulu-Blue Losers.  And when they finish this collapse and get run right into the off-season it will be the worst moment since running the table in reverse.”

On the same show, Tony Luftman pointed to Matt Stafford:  “Three interceptions last night.  Jon Gruden is as positive as it gets and even Jon Gruden was critical of Stafford.  This is 12 picks in five games. . . . They marched down the field on the first possession and looked terrific. They never looked as good the rest of the game.”

Also taken apart on Rome were the New York Knicks, who lost a game to Washington in the final half minute by giving up a layup when no defender was in the paint, and they failed to foul when they had a foul to give.  Down one point with 7 seconds left, coach Mike Woodson failed to call a timeout.  Carmelo Anthony dribbled the ball up court and ended up taking a futile running floater from the wing.

“That’s the trifecta of stupidness at the end of a game,” said Dan Woiko.  “It was the Knicksiest Knicks thing.  It was awesome.”


 Baltimore’s kicker is living a fantasy


Justin Tucker, who sings opera and speaks five languages, scored all of Baltimore’s 18 points with his perfect kicking at Detroit on Monday night.

“We kick six field goals and win the game,” Tucker said, “and my fantasy team is benefiting from it as well, so I’m happy about that.”

Especially happy since the fantasy playoffs were going on at the time.  Which Tucker acknowledged by saying:  “Fantasy owners around the world, I hope you appreciate the points as well.”

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