|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘Virtually impossible’ for Patriots to live up to dynasty expectations||01.22.13 at 12:25 pm ET|
Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots in the wake of their loss to the Ravens in Sunday’s AFC championship game.
The Patriots continue to be successful in the regular season, but they have not won a Super Bowl since 2005.
“Every NFL team is a challenge. There’s so much parity now that the gap between the best team and the worst team is narrower than ever before,” Florio said. “It’s just the reality that when you get to the postseason, it’s so intense and everybody is reaching for that brass ring. To be in the conversation every year — you think back over the last decade, there’s only one year where the Patriots haven’t qualified for the postseason, and they were 11-5 without Tom Brady that year.
“This is a team that is consistently knocking on the door, and you get spoiled by that run of success early on. Those three Super Bowls in four years set a standard for the franchise, a standard for Bill Belichick, a standard for Tom Brady that it’s just virtually impossible to continue that. Every other ‘dynasty’ we’ve seen fades at some point not long after winning their last Super Bowl. These guys haven’t faded. They continue to hang around. They continue to get to the final four. They continue to get to the Super Bowl. The only problem is they haven’t won one in eight years and counting.”
Wes Welker, who had eight receptions for 117 yards and the lone Patriots touchdown on Sunday, again enters the offseason with uncertainty, as his contract is up.
“He falls into the category of a veteran player who’s going to have to see what else is out there before he realizes whether or not he’ll take what the Patriots are offering,” Florio said. “The risk that you take as the Patriots is that there’ll be some team that has an owner who decides to make what could be a bad football decision but what definitely is a good business decision and jump on Wes Welker for the name recognition, to have the press conference in March where you hold up the new jersey and you get people excited and you get them to buy tickets, and maybe you can also hurt a division rival if you’re the Bills, the Jets or the Dolphins — not that any of those three teams are going to go after him. But that would be the kind of formula — a team willing to spend more than the Patriots will spend and a team willing to maybe make what would be a bad decision because maybe Welker isn’t the same guy in any other offense.”
Added Florio: “Those teams that would make good football sense also have good business sense. They’re not going to go out and overpay Wes Welker. Now, the question is, would he take less money to go somewhere else? If he got to the point where he doesn’t want to play for the Patriots — I haven’t sensed that. He got paid a heck of a lot of money in 2012. He still had a good season. He’s still got some gas in the tank, but does he want to stay with the Patriots, with Tom Brady, with Bill Belichick? Nationally, people just assume that everybody in that locker room has a Super Bowl ring. Wes Welker doesn’t have one. The vast majority of those guys don’t have one, they’re still pushing for their first one, so there’s still a sense of unfinished business I would assume that Wes Welker has after completing his six seasons with the Patriots.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: Bills’ Mario Williams signing comparable to Packers with Reggie White||03.16.12 at 8:14 am ET|
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com checked in with Dennis & Callahan guest hosts Dale Arnold and Chris Mannix Friday morning to discuss the flurry of NFL free agent moves this week. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Mario Williams signed a six-year deal worth $100 million with the Bills, as 93-year-old owner Ralph Wilson pushes to make his team relevant.
“From the standpoint of getting a team that has been overlooked and disregarded for much of the last decade some legitimacy, I think it was [a good move],” Florio said. “They went out and overpaid for a guy that isn’t Reggie White but they treated him like Reggie White. Maybe he’ll have the same impact on the franchise that White did in Green Bay. At the time the Packers got White back in ’93, they weren’t regarded as a very good team. They’d just been kind of dog-paddling for 20 years or more. He turned that franchise around from a perception standpoint.
“And I think that’s what the Bills want. They want players to want to come and live in western New York. And convincing Mario Williams to do it could be the first step toward getting other players there, improving the team, becoming competitive. It’s not going to be easy, given the division they’re in. But this is a step in the right direction, and it gives the fan base something that every fan base craves this time of year, and that’s genuine hope.”
Peyton Manning continues to visit with teams that are looking to do whatever they can to land the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.
“Some rumors and scuttlebutt have been trickling out that Peyton is trying to leverage his current situation — where there are teams falling all over themselves to try to sign him — into a post-playing career job like John Elway has in Denver,” Florio said. “And I look at that and I say, well, you start diluting your priorities in the present if you’re worrying too much about the future. Go find the best place for you to play football. And if it’s Denver, it’s Denver, even though John Elway is not going to give you his job when you’re done playing.
“So, that’s a strange complication to all of this. And when you have the owner of the [Titans], Bud Adams, saying that they want to give Peyton Manning a contract for life, on the surface it looks ridiculous. It looks like something the NFL would never approve because of the salary cap. But we had an item yesterday that they can do that. They can hire him now and later at the same time. There would have to be two contracts, it would have to be a real job, it would have to be fair market value for whatever it is that he’s doing after he retires, and he’d have to actually do it. And if there’d be any shenanigans on the back end, the NFL would swoop in and impose all sorts of penalties. But it can be done.”
Florio said if the Broncos land Manning, that means the end of Tim Tebow‘s tenure there.
Said Florio: “One of the big reasons that the Broncos are in this is because John Elway believes getting Peyton Manning is the only way to get rid of Tim Tebow, that any other quarterback — Matt Flynn, any of the free agents, trade for somebody — no. Peyton Manning is the only guy that they can bring that allows them to then move Tim Tebow.”
|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘I think the owners thought they would do better’||07.15.11 at 9:02 am ET|
ProFootballTalk.com editor Mike Florio checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show with guest hosts Steve Buckley and Bob Halloran Friday morning to discuss the NFL labor negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
There have been widespread reports that the owners and players are closing in on a deal that will end the lockout in the coming days.
Said Florio: “I think it’s time to really just sit back and wait for that puff of white smoke to come out of that chimney, and it’s going to either today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday — some point before they go meet with Judge [Arthur] Boylan, the mediator, who was instrumental in getting this thing done.”
However, Florio cautioned that the owners might make one more push to get some additional concessions from the players before signing off on a deal.
“What happens is, once there’s a sense that it’s inevitable a deal’s going to get done, that’s when the owners start being a little more hard-headed, because they think the players are going to agree to anything,” he said. “So, we could see another bump today, where the owners decide [to be tough on] all the remaining stuff. And there still are some issues left — not major issues, not issues as challenging as the ones they’ve already worked out — but there’s still issues.
“So, maybe the owners decide to take a harder line and capture the reality that the players are ready to get this thing completely done. And the players may have to put their backs up a little bit and get the owners to stand down. So, that could still happen. I think that happened with the rookie wage scale. I think it was happening a couple of weeks ago when things almost fell apart on June 30 and then finally got back on track.
“I think the owners have a habit, when there’s a sense it’s going to get done, of drawing a line in the sand and hoping that the players blink. I think that could still happen on these remaining issues.”
|Devin McCourty talks about rookie life, playing against Randy Moss and motivation||05.19.11 at 4:35 pm ET|
Do you hope they’ll be a day where you and your brother play on the same team at the NFL level?
“Yeah, I think that’d be pretty cool. Coming through Pop Warner and high school, and being fortunate enough to play together in college, I think it would be excellent for my Mom to come to one game and watch her two sons play together in the NFL. Hopefully, some day we can pull that off.”
On being successful as a rookie — what do you attribute that to? How did that happen?
“Really, the coaches and my teammates. I was able to stay after it a little with my corners coach, Josh Boyer. He helped me out a lot, watching extra film. And then, the older guys in the secondary — James Sanders, Brandon Meriweather, Leigh Bodden and Jarrad Page — a lot of those guys would just tell me little things like how to keep my body right during the season, watching film with them, they could tell me little things that they see that I couldn’t see yet. Just being able to learn from those guys and me putting in extra work myself, I think that was a big part of why I had success this year as a rookie.”
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|Mike Florio on D&C: Pats ‘want to continue this phony Randy Moss love-fest’||11.03.10 at 9:33 am ET|
Mike Florio of profootballtalk.com joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to offer his insight on the latest NFL news, mainly the Randy Moss waiver situation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Said Florio: “My first thought when this all went down Monday is that New York had better get ready for Randy Moss, because he fits the profile. … Rex Ryan presses the right buttons and gets maximum performance out of these guys. But the Jets are down near the bottom of the list when it comes down to the waiver priority.”
Florio is convinced the Patriots have no interest in bringing back Moss but might put in a claim anyhow. “I think he’s going to get claimed,” Florio said. “The question is who is he going to get claimed by. I talked to a GM yesterday who said he believes a boatload of teams are going to claim him. The person I spoke to yesterday thinks the Patriots are going to claim him, not because they want him, but because they want to continue this phony Randy Moss love-fest, because it seemed to take a little steam out of him when he played the Patriots on Sunday.”
Added Florio: “The Patriots could do it as a ceremonial gesture. And anybody who gets it realizes the Patriots have no desire to get him. But as long as it makes Randy Moss think he’s love by the Patriots, then that advances whatever this weird agenda is to have man-hugs with Randy Moss after you play him, which is better than seeing Randy Moss celebrate touchdowns when you play him.”
Florio said the Patriots are playing it smart, and Sunday’s game is Exhibition A. “The point isn’t to get Randy Moss,” he said. “The point is to get Randy Moss continuing to believe that everybody in New England loves him. Which, it worked. He was not nearly as motivated and driven and passionate on Sunday as we’ve seen him in past instances. And I don’t know whether it’s because he was fed up with the Vikings or he was longing for the Patriots. But we saw what he said after the game, and all the bouquets to the Patriots players and coach Bill Belichick. Something caused the guy not to reach out and catch the ball that was falling down.”
Added Florio: “I think the Patriots have been very careful in their separation from Randy Moss not to say or do anything that would give him extra external motivation when he would face the Patriots again. And I think they’ve taken it to another level with the love-fest. Why not continue to perpetrate that? You don’t know where you’re going to meet this guy. He could be on your regular-season schedule, he could be on your postseason schedule, you could see him in the Super Bowl. And that’s why Bill Belichick, as Randy Moss says, is the greatest coach of all-time.”
Another controversial player, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, also was placed on waivers Monday. “I think that you’re going to see somebody make a claim on Shawne Merriman,” Florio said. “There’s enough desperate teams out there that think if he comes in healthy, he can help a bad team get better.”
|Florio on D&C: Jets might not even make playoffs||08.03.10 at 11:16 am ET|
Profootballtalk.com founder Mike Florio joined the Dennis & Callahan show Tuesday morning to discuss the extremely competitive AFC East, why the Jets may not be as good as everyone is predicting, and why the Patriots need to sign Tom Brady.
Regarding the Jets, he explained, ”I just think that it’s going to be a very tall order for the New York Jets to be competitive this year. They welcomed the bull’s-eye that’s on their back, and I don’t know if that’s going to play that well.”
Following are highlights of the interview. To hear the full interview visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Where do you see the Jets finishing this season?
I think they’ll have a very difficult season. I just don’t know that they planned very well how this was going to play out. They finished strong last year, and were just kind of in the right place at the right time. They beat a Colts team that wasn’t trying to win, they beat the Bengals back-to-back, that pretty much everyone pretty much everyone figured out by the end of the season. They won in San Diego in the playoffs, who hasn’t done that? And now all of a sudden they’re a great team, and they go out and bring in a bunch of veteran players with big personalities who may or may not jell.
They have a guy in camp, or not in camp [Darrelle Revis], who wants more money. I just think that it’s going to be a very tall order for the New York Jets to be competitive this year. They welcomed the bulls-eye that’s on their back, and I don’t know if that’s going to play that well. They were a mediocre team in November last year and into December. I think there’s a good chance they don’t even make the playoffs.
What is the possibility of Aaron Shobel joining the Patriots?
It’s very confusing right now. And I think that haze of confusion is the overall atmosphere in Buffalo at this point. The general manager [of the Bills] Buddy Nix said they are not going to let him go, even though there was a report that the Bills were going to release him. They could be trying to trade him, it’s been a big subject over the offseason, will he or won’t he retire. The Texans are interested.
I think maybe what’s going on is that the Bills are trying to get some value, instead of just walking away and cutting him. If he retires then they still hold his rights. If they trade him then they get something for him. If they cut him, he becomes eligible at that point to sign with any other team. It looks like maybe they figured out that’s what he’s up to. And maybe he’s trying to pull a Brett Favre here, get out of Buffalo and go play for a contender. And that’s only going to happen if there’s a draft pick or a player who changes hands.
|Florio on D&H: Brady a ‘different guy’ than he used to be||07.21.10 at 3:58 pm ET|
NFL writer and Profootballtalk.com creator Mike Florio joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to discuss the competitive AFC East and the contractual situation of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, as well as offer his guess as to how the Brett Favre saga will play out this summer.
Regarding Brady, Florio said: “I keep hearing it from more and more people in the know, that he’s a different guy than he used to be. Some people think there’s a little bit of the Yoko Ono factor going on with his wife who makes $30 million a year, either telling him to try and get more money, or not play football at all and stay out in Los Angeles with her.”
Following are highlights of the interview. To hear the full interview visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Can you explain the collective bargaining agreement in a way people can understand?
I cannot do it in a way that will keep people’s eyes from glazing over, and I want no responsibility for any of your listeners who fall asleep while driving their cars, but I will try, I make no promises. Look, here’s the thing: there’s a bigger issue going on here between the league and the players union and it has many levels and layers and complexities. At the end of the day, the NFL has set up a labor situation that is designed, not necessarily to crush the union, but to get the best possible deal. And one of the ways that the NFL is applying pressure to the players, especially current players, is to refuse to sign current players to new deals with big money that they would then be able to rely upon if there’s a work stoppage in 2011. And that puts the players in a position where they’re anxious about a lockout, they don’t want a lockout, because they haven’t gotten these contract extensions. Key players like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, who otherwise could be leaders for the union effort, they don’t have that huge pile of money to sit on. Not that Tom Brady needs any more [money] when his wife is making $30 million in a year. But, I think these guys are getting caught up in a broader effort by the NFL to cut off the players as best they can, and they’ve been able to hold most of the teams together. I think there may be some collusion going on here, and that’s for the NFL [Players Association] to take up at some point in the future. But, when you see key guys on rosters, like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, not getting deals and teams saying we want to see what the new rules are before we sign these guys. I mean common, what are you going to do, you’re not going to sign Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to a big money deal because there’s a salary cap? I just don’t buy it.
Regarding Tom Brady, what are you hearing about his relationship with the Patriots?
I was intrigued by this one, because [ESPN NFL writer] John Clayton is a guy who doesn’t care too much for me, and [CSNNE.com NFL writer] Tom Curran, a good friend of mine, reported that what Clayton reported was ridiculous. I’ll tell you what, I don’t think that Clayton is all that far off the mark with this one. I don’t rule anything out in this craziest of years that we’ve ever seen. Something has changed with Tom Brady over the past few years. I keep hearing it from more and more people in the know, that he’s a different guy than he used to be. Some people think there’s a little bit of the Yoko Ono factor going on with his wife who makes $30 million a year, either telling him to try and get more money, or not play football at all and stay out in Los Angeles with her. That could be a factor in all of this. Brady has taken a more active role in the union, and what better way than to be a good soldier in the union, than to take a stand against what seems to be collusion on the part of the owners to try and squeeze the players as best they can.
What have you heard about the Logan Mankins situation?
Look, the bottom line is, if the Patriots aren’t going to extend Tom Brady or Randy Moss, then why in the world are they going to do anything with Logan Mankins? You could make the argument that you could find a guy that could do almost as good a job in the draft, or as a guy you could get in free agency, and is he worth the kind of money he’s looking for. Yeah, I think that relationship may be broken and it’s just a matter of time before he goes somewhere else. But so be it, if they’re not going to pay Tom Brady, I don’t see them giving big money to anyone else.
With all the hype surrounding the Jets, you’re not handing the AFC East to them this year?
No, I handed the AFC East to the Dolphins, which I’m sure people in Boston love to hear.
Why the Dolphins?
I think Brandon Marshall has a huge impact on that team. People just write off Brandon Marshall as kind of a flake, he’s been in trouble multiple times, he’s had injuries. One of the debates I often get into is what makes a great quarterback. Is it a great receiver, does a great quarterback make a great receiver? Look last year about what happened in Denver after Jay Cutler left. Who still had a great year and who didn’t? Brandon Marshall had a great year with Kyle Orton throwing him passes. Jay Cutler couldn’t do anything with that collection of stiffs they have in Chicago. I think you bring Brandon Marshall to South Florida with that very good running game, an underrated offensive line, a good defense that’s going to get a good kick in the butt from [Defensive Coordinator] Mike Nolan, who really helped turn around Denver’s defense last year. You’re going to have guys running free in single coverage, because they are going to be double covering Brandon Marshall. He’s going to open up the running game. I think the Miami Dolphins are a very dangerous team in 2010.
When will Brett Favre show up in Minnesota?
It’s going to be some point in the middle of August. He feels compelled to have an excuse to miss training camp. And he said recently that his ankle isn’t where it needs to be. I also think he wants to make people believe he’s not coming back. He wants that buzz, he wants that sense of relief when Lord Favre rides into town on a stallion to save the Minnesota Vikings, again. He wants that. And this year it’s harder because he’s already under contract with the Vikings. Last year, he had no obligation. So, I think he’s trying to create a sense that he’s not going to play, and then in the middle of August, like last year, he’ll show up out of the blue, and all will be right in the world for the Vikings, until they get into the playoffs and lose again.
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