Adam Schefter on D&C, 11/20
|11.20.09 at 1:06 pm ET|
ESPN’s Adam Schefter made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to talk about Bill Belichick’s fourth-and-2 decision against the Colts, Brett Favre‘s impact on Brad Childress’ extension, the possibility of Mike Shanahan coaching the Bills, and JaMarcus Russell‘s future as a quarterback for the Raiders.
Click here to listen to the full audio. Read below for the highlights.
My sources tell me you kind of like the idea [of going for it on fourth-and-2]?
No, not kind of, I absolutely like the idea. Growing up I saw the ball punted or kicked backed to Roger Staubach on too many occasions to count and I seriously do not remember, maybe it’s just my youth, Roger Staubach ever failing in those moments. Every time he got the ball in the final two minutes, he seemed to always lead his team to a game-winning touchdown. Fast forward, me in Denver, 15 years of watching John Elway. He got the ball back in the last two minutes, I don’t remember him ever failing in that spot, in that moment. It just didn’t happen. Then, we fast forward to Peyton Manning. If, you kick the ball to Peyton Manning, I don’t care if he’s going to go 28 yards or 68 yards. He’s got four downs to do it. Four. You’re telling me at home, Peyton Manning, clock’s running, sirens are blowing, horns are sounding, game’s on the line, he’s not going to come through? I don’t believe that for a second.
Well, Adam, he did throw two interceptions …
I don’t care.
It wasn’t like he was infallible that night, Adam.
I’m not saying he was. I’ve seen games when the same happened with Roger Staubach, when the same happened with John Elway; they were terrible. I remember one stretch of time where John Elway and the Broncos hadn’t scored a single touchdown in 11 straight quarters and then scored two in the final minute and 56 seconds to beat the Chiefs.
What did you think when it happened? Where were you, who were you sitting with? What was your initial reaction?
The God’s honest truth; I’m up on Sunday morning at 5 a.m., and so I got in bed to watch the game, and I fell asleep in the third quarter and I got up at 4 in the morning to go to the bathroom and I had my Blackberry filled with e-mails and texts from people, “Can you believe this? Oh my God!” I’m like, “Oh, what did I miss?” So, I went back and watched the replays of it and my reaction was, obviously I knew how it turned out, so I viewed it from a different vantage point and maybe if I was watching it live, I would have had a different take. Number 1: I think it was the right call. Number 2: I think they got a bad spot. Number 3: if you’re going to tell me Tom Brady needs two yards to win a game and keep the ball away from Peyton Manning, that’s what I’m going to do.
Do you have as much faith in the rookie receivers as you did in whoever was catching passes for Staubach or Elway?
I have them both on my fantasy football team, so, yes, Gerry.
Would you agree that the Jets will encounter an angry, ornery, highly motivated Patriots team on Sunday, and how much difference does that emotion make in the outcome of the game?
I couldn’t think of a worse set of circumstances — short of maybe this being the game after the Jets turning the Patriots in on Spygate — for the Jets to come into Foxboro to play. This is, to me, the perfect storm of facts. Now, we’ll see how this plays out. You get a Jets team that beat up on New England in Week 2, that pumped their chests about it, that gets a Patriots team coming off a bad loss, that’s coming back home, that’s getting ready for this stretch drive around Thanksgiving where the Jets are struggling.
I think the real fascinating scenario to compare Colts and fourth-and-2 and what the Patriots will be doing in those similar kind of situations going forward won’t be Sunday in Foxboro. It will be the following Monday night against Drew Brees and the Saints because Brees more approximates Manning than Mark Sanchez does. It would be interesting to see a similar situation whether they go on it for fourth-and-1 or fourth-and-2 with Drew Brees waiting to get the ball back.
Right, but they’re not going to be in that same situation again. That would be very interesting and we’ll see how it plays out, but to be in that set of circumstances, we may not see that again for another decade.
If the Patriots had punted and won, would you today be saying, “That’s the best team in the NFL?”
I don’t know if you’d be saying the best team in the NFL, but you’d be saying, “Watch out for the Patriots, they’re back, they might be the team to beat.” I still think, right now to me, the best team in football right now today is the Minnesota Vikings. You know that Pittsburgh is going to be tough down the stretch even though they lost to the Bengals and are second place in that division. The Colts are still tough, as they’ve proven. There are some really good teams, the same old teams that are usually very good every year, and New England is right there with them.
Without Brett Favre, [Brad Childress] does not get that extension — because he fawned and begged and pleaded and convinced Brett Favre to come to Minnesota [he gets it].
Yep, that’s correct. And so, in hindsight, and it was at the time, it looked embarrassing, but it turned out to be the right thing, did it not?
Are you assuming he won’t end this year like he ended last year in New York?
Well, everybody has been waiting for that to happen, and it hasn’t happened just yet. So, until it does, Brad Childress looks smart. But, right now, to me, it’s situation where he went out, he did the right thing and if Brett Favre just stays healthy and stay upright, then Minnesota is the team to beat in the NFC. I really do.
Does Childress revert to the same mediocre coach who was on the hot seat some point in his career there without Brett Favre?
Well, and I thought about this also, the Buffalo Bills last year go out and give Dick Jauron, who is a very good man, an extension when he’s 5-1. The Vikings give Brad Childress an extension when they’re 8-1. I know that Brad Childress was putting pressure on them to get it done, to get this extension resolved and get it out of the way, and I get all that. It makes sense. But what would have been the harm in the Minnesota Vikings just waiting and saying, “We love you. You’re our coach. You’ve done a great job.”
Coaches don’t jump from team to team like players do. It’s a myth that they have to lock him up or he’s going to take off.
Well, you know, my point is why can’t they just wait to the end of the season and see how it goes. Why now? He had another year left after this season. I don’t understand.
Something could go wrong between now and the playoffs, right?
Does Ralph Wilson really think that Mike Shanahan would consider coaching the Bills in Buffalo?
Well, let me say this to you. If you’re the Buffalo Bills, you make that call and you find out if there is any way you can get Mike Shanahan. Do I think Mike Shanahan will ultimately wind up in Buffalo? My guess would be no. Everybody’s guess will be no. Nobody is expecting that is the spot where he will end up. But, who’s to say that Buffalo doesn’t make a certain recurring pitch. Who’s to say Mike Shanahan’s not going to get another job offer. Who’s to say that certain factors go to the line and he does end up there. Again, an outside chance, but still a chance at least now unlike the Cleveland Browns last year who went and hired Eric Mangini right away, you could say to your fans, “We went big bear hunting. We took our shot, and we didn’t hit the big bear. We tried, though.”
Won’t this be a job for the next “hot” coordinator to take?
Well, I don’t know about that because, again, why do you say, with all those factors, because they’re not going to pay? Is that your argument?
Where on the ego slide do you think [Mike] Holmgren and [Bill] Cowher and Shanahan are as it applies to coaches in the National Football League?
One other thing about Buffalo is that the Bills recognize that the way they have spent money in recent years hasn’t worked. So, I think that they have done a cost-benefit analysis this year and as an example, last year they gave [Terrell Owens] one year, $6.5 million. T.O.’s salary, his contract runs out after this year, 6.5 freezes up. So, let’s say, who means more to your franchise next year? Re-signing T.O., or Mike Shanahan. The point is, you know, let’s just say you are going to spend $130 million on players next year. That’s the budget. I’m just throwing out random numbers here. So, you know what, you make the budget $122 million. I’m going to give a little extra money to the head coach, the big name head coach that we could lure here to Buffalo be it Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, anyone that’s willing to go there. That is what one of those coaches is going to do.
You picked Oakland over Cincinnati as the upset of the week.
I just think Cincinnati, in this particular case, everybody is telling is now them how good they are, which they are a good team, and they are probably not going to have Cedric Benson, The Raiders are changing quarterbacks, and the Bengals are going out West. I just think that’s going to be a tough game for Cincinnati to win. I think Oakland’s terrible and I think Cincinnati is a legitimate playoff contender. They’re a good team. I picked them to go to the playoffs at the start of the year.
Is JaMarcus Russell officially done?
Well, he’s done for now. Vince Young was done in Tennessee, too, and all of a sudden he got a chance. Now, Vince Young had accomplished more at this point in his career than JaMarcus Russell had certainly, but the feeling is for now that he’s done in Oakland and I think the feeling around the league is that, to JaMarcus Russell, football is not that important to him. He’s not demonstrated that he cares, he’s not demonstrated he’s willing to work, he’s not demonstrated that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to be the top quarterback of that organization and to be a starting kind of guy. The quarterback has to be the leader. He has not been the leader. He has been an abject failure so far, and it goes back to Al Davis at the press conference last year when he fired Lane Kiffin saying, “Lane Kiffin didn’t want JaMarcus Russell and I told him, ‘JaMarcus Russell is going to be a great quarterback.’ ” It didn’t work out, and maybe one day down the line it will, but it is going to take a massive attitude change from JaMarcus Russell to have that happen.
Rob e-mails us and asks, “Can you please ask Adam why he was on “NASCAR Now” on Wednesday?”
What happened was — and I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails and tweets about this — is when I was in Bristol, and I know nothing about NASCAR, zero. But I know that Jimmie Johnson, he’s going for his fourth championship, did he already win it or lose it? I don’t know. Anyway, this guy is going to do something historic in NASCAR, so they got together some reporters/analysts from each sport to talk about what makes a dynasty, what comprises a dynasty, so I represented the football side and Buster Olney the baseball side and Tim Legler the basketball side and Barry Melrose the hockey side and we just debated what makes dynasties and what’s the challenge there, and then they applied it how they did to NASCAR and I don’t know how they did.
So you’re not a fan?
I wouldn’t know what was happening if a car ran me over.
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