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Transcript: Schefter on D&C

04.13.10 at 3:56 pm ET
By

Adam Schefter

Adam Schefter

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter made an appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning. Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click here.

What are Goodell’s powers when he meets with Ben Roethlisberger?

They’re very interpretive. I don’t think we’re not going to get a decision from Roger Goodell today that he’s decided to discipline Ben Roethlisberger in the form of a fine or of a suspension. I don’t think that happens today. I think Roger Goodell is a very thoughtful man. I think he’s going to take some time today, he’s going to listen to Ben, and it’s no assurance that he is going to be the one that does the disciplining — it could turn out to be that it’s the Rooneys and the Steelers themselves that discipline Ben Roethlisberger. What creates an interesting dynamic here is if it’s the Steelers that ultimately fine and/or suspend Ben Roethlisberger, then he would have the right to appeal that to an arbitrator and go to a special master, who would make a ruling. But, if the commissioner imposes the disciplinary action, i.e. fine or suspension, and Ben Roethlisberger wants to appeal that, then it goes back to the commissioner, who hears the appeal, and you know how that’s going to go.

Why would the Rooney family want to suspend their starting quarterback? Do they really want to play 2-4 games without him?

I think that, do they want to, no. But do I think that action is going to be taken against Ben, I do. And the reason that I say that is because he’s now basically brought embarrassment and unwanted attention to the shield, the NFL shield. And because of that, the raw powers of the personal conduct policy, which by law he didn’t really violate, because he was not arrested, nor was he charged, but again, we’ve seen the commissioner act the way he wants. And I think there are a lot of players around the league, in fact I know there are a lot of players watching around the league, watching to see to see whether a Super Bowl winning quarterback is handled differently than some other players who have trudged through the commissioners doors. And I think partly because of that, the league wants to send a message, and certainly, the argument could be made that it’s worthy of being sent at this particular point in time.

Can the commissioner force him to go through alcohol rehabilitation?

Well, I don’t know how you define that. I know he can order him into mandatory counseling or evaluation to determine whether he needs counseling. Now, is that alcohol rehab? I don’t know, I don’t know how that works, I’m not familiar enough with that to be honest with you. I know that the commissioner reserves the right to send him into evaluation to determine whether he needs further counseling.

Why wouldn’t the commissioner suspend him? Why wouldn’t he give him 2-4 games? What’s the downside?

Well, because, again, he wasn’t convicted of the charges — what did he do wrong here?

Well I think it was pretty well outlined by the D.A., we know the charges

You know what, he used terribly poor judgment and poor taste, and again, we have not had an incident like this, and we know the commissioner is taking a harder lined approach on these things than the previous commissioner, so it’s not like we’re dealing with precedent here, that’s part of the issue — we’re making up the rules as we go.

But he can do that — didn’t Pacman Jones get suspended before he got convicted of anything?

Yeah, that’s correct. And we’ve seen incidents like that before, and again; it is up to the commissioner to decide what he deems to be worthy. And that’s why I think in this particular case, you’ll probably see it come form the commissioner’s office, just because it avoids any messy entanglements that could follow if it comes from the Pittsburgh Steelers, which, I have to tell you, some people around the league thought that it would be the Steelers that took action against Ben Roethlisberger.

Any theories why high-profile athletes, even after the humiliation, continue to do this again and again?

Why in every segment of society are there people who continue to do dumb things? There are people who get caught stealing who go back and steal again. There are people who get caught cheating on their wife and go back and do it again.

Right, but they aren’t on the cover of The New York Times, the lead to every news story, in press conferences — my point is, while they have the money to buy the defense, the downside is you get exposed. And they don’t seem to mind.

I think the only way to explain that, and I think that we are all of the same age. I think back to when I was 23, as opposed to the 43 that I am now, not that I have all the answers because I clearly don’t, but I don’t think that you have the same judgment and maturity level at 23. And when you’re 25 years old, and more money than you know what to do with, and you’ve been allowed to do whatever you wanted your entire life and there are people bowing at your feet, you think that you are invincible, and that you can do anything and get away with anything. And even if you get caught, the pattern of behavior still goes on, you still have the money, you still have the people cow-tailing to you, you still get to do what you want, you still have this remarkably privileged life, and it enables you to go on and do what you want. Now, let’s not make the sweeping statement that it is everybody, because there are people who use this to their advantage and are wise and mature about it. But there are certain people who continue to do dumb things. And that doesn’t mean everybody does, but there are the select people who do these things. And again, I’m not trying to rationalize it or explain it, I’m giving you a theory as to why it could happen, and that is because they do what they want, and I know they’ve been caught, and they have the money, and I know it doesn’t last forever, but this is to me part of what happens here.

Is he just a bad drunk?

You know what, the one thing we can say about Ben Roethlisberger is that he needs to change his lifestyle. I have no idea if he has a drinking problem, but when you’re a 20-something year old quarterback, and you’re hanging out at a college bar with 20-year-old girls, you can’t be doing that. You can’t do that. And just like there are certain privileges that come along with celebrity and fame and fortune, you must take certain measures to guard against anything happening, because your name is gold. And the second that you tarnish it, then you get instances like this.

On that note, how much of a risk have the Jets taken in bringing Holmes on board? I know it wasn’t a big price, but he’s suspended — how much are the Jets at risk?

They’ve risked to me a fifth-round pick. And we’ve seen plenty of fifth-round picks flame out over time. So, from that standard, they have not risked a lot. What could they gain? They gain basically the best receiver on the Steelers roster, the most talented, a tremendous player. Now, they may only have him for 12 games. I think it’s a roll of the dice that’s worth taking. For a fifth-round pick? Why not. The one thing I’ve thought of, is we’ve seen seasons fall apart in September. If the Jets have a slow start — let’s keep in mind they’re also probably going to play the opener without Braylon Edwards too, who could be suspended for one game. So, if they get a slow start, by the time they get Santonio Holmes back, it may be a little late – period.

Are they turning into the Oakland Raiders of the east? Give us your disenfranchised and we’ll clutch them close to our big head coach?

Well, I think that’s part of the reason. They believe that Rex Ryan, these guys under Rex, will behave, and fall in line and won’t be an issue. And that’s part of why they keep doing this. And I think part of the reason is, the value in these things. Again, Santonio Holmes for 12 games for a fifth-round pick — worth it or not. And the other thing is, Holmes will have one year left, Braylon Edwards is playing a one-year tender, they could look at these guys and they get to decide, you know what, we want to keep one of these guys long term, we want to re-sign one. And whichever receiver impresses them more, then they can do that. Now, my understanding is Braylon Edwards has not exactly tore it up in New York, both on the field and off the field. So it may just be, you know what, they want to take a look at another big-time receiver, and if they find that Santonio Holmes is a worthy investment, you do it. And you know what, it’s pretty simple. You just draw up that contract with language in there protecting yourself, that says if you get caught smoking pot again, if you act like a dumb idiot again, you forfeit your signing bonus money, that’s it. And you’re covered.

Are we to assume the Patriots passed on Homles, or was it a quickie?

That’s a good question. I don’t know the actual answer, but I can tell you that it was a quickie. Now whether or not New England knew or not, I don’t know. I’ll tell you this — that there are other teams I spoke to yesterday that did not know. And I know the Pittsburgh Steelers said they shopped him all around the league and this was the best they could do. I think that they were making a move this weekend period, that they were moving this guy period, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported they were releasing him if they couldn’t get anything. But I can tell you one NFC team I spoke with yesterday, they were disappointed they disappointed, because, “We could have given up a fifth-round pick for him.” It was better than the Jets’ pick — and they didn’t even know. So, maybe New England knew, maybe not, my guess on the base of that, is they didn’t call the Patriots. If you’re the Steelers, do you really want to make the New England Patriots that much better next year?

Well, you made the Jets better

I know, but I don’t know that you view the Jets in the same way you view the Patriots.

Give us your Brandon Marshall update. You are our source.

Well, Thursday is the deadline for signing your tender. So, if he doesn’t sign his tender, that means Denver will not, in all probability, be getting back a first round pick for him, which I think was going to be tough anyway. I still think he is moved by the daft. I still think he is dealt. And I still think you continue to hear the name Seattle out there. That’s a logical fit, and you never know, we heard the Raiders and Donovan McNabb, and boom, in came the Washington Redskins to sweep up McNabb, and these things happen with other teams sometimes. So, the one thing I feel confident in saying is that Brandon Marshall will be dealt. I don’t feel confident in saying where it will be right now.

Who will finish higher in the NFC East next year? McNabb and the Redskins or Kolb and the Eagles?

I still think Kolb and the Eagles are a pretty good team, and they’re loaded here in the draft, they got a lot of picks and they still have a good team. But I will say this — it’s a coach-quarterback league. And when you look at the coach and the quarterback in Washington right now, Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb, I think most NFL cities would happily enlist for that combination. Happily. And I think when you say would you rather have Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan or Andy Reid and Kevin Kolb, I think for this year I’d rather have Shanahan and McNabb. Long-term, I think Kevin Kolb is going to be a stud quarterback, I really do. I think he’s going to be a lot better than people realize. But like Aaron Rodgers, it takes a little bit of time to get that level, it just doesn’t happen. And it may be a year or two before Kevin Kolb begins to peak and perform at the level that the Eagles want him to.

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