College football needs more playoff games
Tom Waddle, former NFL wide receiver who is now a TV analyst, does not believe a two-game playoff system is the best way to determine the college football champion.
He said on ESPN’s Sports Reporters: “A championship season is about overcoming adversity, peaking late and delivering in crunch time. Look at the NFL, where it’s been ten years since the team with the best regular season record won the Super Bowl. Asking any 19-year-old to be perfect for three months is absurd. . . . Bring us a legitimate playoff system.”
Also on Sports Reporters, Adam Schefter said: “In a real-time world in which society craves instant gratification, owners should understand that firing shouldn’t be done as quickly as tweeting. Many of these owners needed years to build their business empires. Why don’t the men they hire to build their football teams deserve the same?”
Winston ponders dual sports: baseball with football
Jameis Winston, Heisman Trophy winner and freshman quarterback of national champion Florida State, is considering a two-sport professional career, as Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders achieved.
He’s ready to rejoin the FSU baseball team, which is ranked 5th in the country. The strong-armed Winston, who turned 20 this week, was drafted on the 15th round by the Texas Rangers and is considered a prospective closer.
“A lot of people are going to say, no way, he’s a quarterback, Bo Jackson was a running back,” Winston told Jon Solomon of AL.com. “The one thing I always seem to do is gain the trust of my teammates. If I can convince those guys I can be your quarterback and still go play baseball for the Atlanta Braves or New York Yankees. . . .”
Curiously, he did not mention the Rangers.
Manziel rising as an NFL draft prospect
Johnny Manziel combines the improvisation of Brett Favre with the under-6-foot elusiveness of Doug Flutie and Russell Wilson. So said college football analyst David Pollak, appearing on ESPN’s Colin’s New Football Show.
“It’s hard to bet against Johnny right now,” Pollak said. “He’s improved big time as a passer. I’ve never seen a more elusive player. He’s Mike Vick but can throw. I think he has a chance, especially in today’s NFL. He’s small but so is Russell Wilson. . . . He has the knack for making the big play.”
The Houston Texans are considering trading down with the No. 1 overall pick and choosing Manziel at the top of the second round. But some see Johnny Football as unlikely to slide out of the first round. His stock rose a notch with his electrifying playmaking in the Chick-fil-A bowl against Duke
Scouts are less worried about his size – 5-11 ½ — than his tendency to improvise too often.
“He has to learn to throw on time,” Pollak said, and avoid “too much scramble drill, too much wanting to buy time.”
Recruits can lose their stars for no good reason
Charlie Strong, who has left his head coaching position with Louisville to succeed Mack Brown at Texas, does not trust the “stars” assigned by recruiting evaluators to blue-chip recruits
“When Teddy Bridgewater went to Miami,” Strong said, “he was 5-star. When LSU wanted him he was still a 5-star. But when he commits to Louisville he drops to a 4.”-
Reid and his Chiefs ‘choked’ in Indianapolis
The Kansas City Chiefs’ Wild Card Playoffs collapse in Indianapolis, blowing a 28-point lead, brought criticism of coach Andy Reid for clock mismanagement and for not focusing on Colts receiver T.Y. Hilton.
Woody Paige, appearing on ESPN’s Around the Horn, said: “That was gagging and heaving. . . . Hilton is the only wide receiver (Andrew) Luck’s got. You can’t double-team him or triple team him?
“You’ve got a quarterback (Alex Smith) who’s thrown four touchdowns and no interceptions and you can’t produce anything in the second half after that first drive? . . . They choked it.”
CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome said the Chiefs “just gave up. And they let T.Y. Hilton run wherever he wanted. T.Y. stood for Thank You.”
Dalton under scrutiny from media and teammates
Andy Dalton’s third consecutive postseason defeat puts him in “a really tough situation,” said Phil Simms on CBS Network’s NFL Monday QB. “The fans are against him. . . the national media was crushing him. If he does overcome it, it’s going to show me how tough he is.”
Steve Beuerlein, appearing on the same show, said: “He’s experienced more in his first three years than a lot of young quarterbacks. The question is how is he going to bounce back from this, because his teammates will see right through him if he doesn’t have that confidence.”
Beuerlein said he “could see the doubt creeping in” when Dalton lost a fumble and then threw an interception early in the 27-10 loss to visiting San Diego. “I could see that look in his eyes, like ‘Here we go again.’ I didn’t see that look out of Andrew Luck (who fell behind 38-10 in his playoff game against Kansas City).”
Simms expects the Bengals to sign an experienced backup QB—“somebody that’s gonna challenge him. Andy Dalton’s window for mistakes is gonna be really tight.”
Harbaugh calls Crabtree ‘greatest catcher of all time’
The best hands in football? Hands down it’s Michael Crabtree. At least according to his coach, Jim Harbaugh, who has a flair for controversial statements.
“People talk about cold weather and that it would be tough to catch balls,” said Harbaugh, coach of the San Francisco 49ers. “But I mean the greatest catcher of all time, Michael Crabtree, catches everything.
“If my life depended on it and somebody had to catch a ball, I’d enlist Michael Crabtree to do it.”