Cutler decision was tough but right

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Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler decided to take himself out of the game in the third quarter of the NFC Conference Championship Game after suffering a knee injury at some point during the game.

As tough as Cutler’s decision was it was the right one

Cutler up to that point was ineffective as he completed six of 14 passes for 80 yards passing and a interception. To pretty much sum it up Cutler out right just stunk.

However, since it is the NFC Championship many former and current National Football League players are questioning his heart. If anything Cutler has one of the biggest hearts in the NFL and also shows what a team player Cutler is.

If he was playing well Cutler just like any other athlete would have toughed it out. However, he wasn’t and was also hurt, so rather than be selfish and tough it out Cutler made a tough choice to step aside and see if someone else can spark the offense.

That exactly happened as after backup Todd Collins was yanked for also being ineffective Bears third string quarterback Caleb Hanie came in and led the Bears to a touchdown and had the Bear driving for the tying touchdown, but a interception sealed the Bears fate.

Its not chicken to step aside for a backup as they are paid to be able to come in and perform for an injured or ineffective player.

In the end, it’s hypocritical to bash a player for not being tough when it is that very same mentality that everyone is trying to break for sake of athletes long term health.

Was Cowher really trying to help Pittsburgh?

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher picked the New York Jets to beat his old team.

That begs the question was Cowher really trying to help his old team?

Cowher coached the Steelers for 15 seasons and led them to the first Superbowl victory in over 20 years in 2006. So, for Cowher to join the rest of the media band wagon just brings up a whole lot of red flags.

Cowher didn’t win a Superbowl and appeared in another by being stupid. He got there by knowing what it takes to win and one of those factors is intensity.

Cowher knows the Jets are highly motivated as nobody picked them to go to the Superbowl after entering the playoffs as a wildcard. So, Cowher knew the only way to get his old team fired up for sure is a direct slap in the face.

In the end, Cowher will deny that what his intentions were, but as the saying goes blood is thicker than water.

Bills aren’t going anywhere anytime soon

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Many National Football League experts have been speculating for years that the Buffalo Bills would move to Los Angeles when their current lease expires in 2012 and now Toronto as of late.

The fact of the matter is that the Bills aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

The only way that the Bills will leave is if there is a brand new stadium just built that is available.  The fact is the only two that could be built is in Los Angeles, but those will probably be occupied by the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings as both teams look to be gone as current proposals for new stadiums in their current locations have fell through.

Even the Bills themselves stated last year that Ralph Wilson Stadium can out last all of us if it is properly taken care of. Currently, Erie County pays for all the renovations to the stadium with a yearly $2.9 million payment to the team. That means the Bills would easily enter into a new lease if the county and New York State gave them financial guarantees.

Yes, that means the amount that is paid to the Bills will go up. However, even a payment of $10 million a season would be a bargain to have the Bills still play at the Ralph as new stadiums cost at least $800 million. That means the tax payers would be paying $40 million a year over the next 20 years, because the Bills know that they can get whatever they want from the government due to the poor economy of the city.

So, Bills fans what is it that you want to pay? A brand new facility at $40 million a year for the next 20 years or a$10 million a year payment with up to an additional $10 million in stadium improvements for a total cost of $20 million a year for the next 15 years, and still play at the Ralph.

In the end, the Bills best stadium deal after 2012 is still right here at home.

It’s Wannstedts defense now

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Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey after the season stated that George Edwards would remain the defensive coordinator in 2011.

However, with former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins head coach Dave Wannstedt, according to Fox Sports via Pro Football Talk, you can be sure it is his defense now.

Many people in the media may say that Wannstedt joining the Bills may be surprising. However, if you look at the big picture Wannstedt decision makes sense.

The other two teams that were interested in Wannstedt services were the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers. Two unproven rookie head coaches in Browns head coach Pat Shurmur and Panthers head coach Ron Rivera. Gailey on the other hand he knows to be one of the best in the National Football League on the offensive side of the football and the two together make a very formidable pair.

You can basically say that with Wannstedt being hired as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach he is Gailey’s co-head coach as he will oversee the entire defense. That would also mean what formation and who calls the plays on defense will be left up to Wannstedt.

In the end, it may be only the beginning of the offseason, but for Bills fans things are already heating up.

Goodell making NFLPA look like fools

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National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell went on ESPN’s “Jim Rome Is Burning” and stated that round the clock talks are need to get a deal done by the start of the new NFL season on March 4th.

Once again Goodell is making Smith look like a fool.

Time and time again Goodell has gone on the record calling for more talks and time and time again there has been nothing from the NFLPA. Wednesday was the first time in a while that Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith met face to face.

Goodell is running  circles around Smith in the public relations department and what is Smith doing? Nothing, but whining, complaining and filing motions against NFL owners instead of talking with Goodell.

It is starting to become increasingly apparent that Smith wants the collective bargaining agreement to expire that way he can exert his connections within the legal community.

Outside of the courts political figures, except maybe President Barrack Obama, is not going to want to touch this situation with a ten foot pole with the fight over health care still looming, even though most Americans have realized by now that the health care bill that democrats passed is actually good for the country, especially for former NFL players.

In the end, if Smith doesn’t step the negotiations up NFL fans will fully turn against the players.

Things don’t seem as they appear

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The National Football League has bragged about how it has one of the most toughest drug testing program in North American sports.

Well things don’t seem as they appear when it comes to the program.

According to the Wall Street Journal, via Pro Football Talk, the NFL allows teams to give notice to a player of a drug test on a day of a game. The NFL’s reasoning is so that the player will show up for the drug test.

What usually happens is that after the game players are told that they have to show up Monday for a drug test. In the NFL Monday’s are usually an off day for players since Sunday’s are game day.

Many experts don’t agree with that including Travis Tygart who is the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“It’s obviously concerning,” said Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. “The world knows you can’t give advanced notice for testing for it to be effective.”

David Howman, director general of the Montreal-based World Anti-Doping Agency, even stated that the NFL might as not well test at all if they are going to give advanced notice.  The reason being there are drugs like endurance boosting EPO that will leave no trace by the time the test is administered on Monday.

In the end, if the NFL doesn’t start changing its policy they can expect a phone call from the government calling them to appear before Congress, and this time it won’t be pretty.

There is a fine line when it comes to reporting

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When it comes to reporting the news there are countless stories that never hit the news stands or airways as it is a balancing act with sources.

Unfortunately, ESPN’s Bob Holtzman never learned that lesson

According to the USA Today, via Pro Football Talk, before the divisional round game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens Holtzman reported that the Steelers have a trick play ready to go if they catch the Ravens in the right defense. For those who would like to be journalist in the future take some notes.

For those who aspire to be a journalist within the National Football League, or sports in general, never reveal what a team will do in a game before it happens, especially if you don’t have the permission to go with it on air. The reason being is that if you anger your sources their is a distinct possibility that they will no longer be sources for you.

So, it is not a surprise that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin took a shot at Holtzman when talking to the media today as Holtzman asked if Tomlin how much extra time is needed to prepare for the Jets defense.

“It depends on whether or not you give him my plays, you know,” Tomlin said with steely eyes and without elaboration, according to the USA Today.

In the end, when reporting on a sporting event don’t be an idiot and pull a Holtzman.

It doesn’t look good

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The National Football League Players Association have been trying to keep the status quo when it comes to the collective bargaining agreement.

However, after two recent announcements by two separate teams it doesn’t look good for the players.

According to Pro Football Talk, the San Diego Chargers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have both announced that they are cutting the prices on tickets.

The Chargers announced on Wednesday that they will be cutting 15 percent off the price 6,500 in the “View Level” end zone seats of Qualcomm stadium. The Buccaneers on Tuesday announced that tickets for adults in various sections will be reduced by up to 31 percent. Also, for season ticket holders parking and concession stands will also be reduced.

If a team has to reduce prices to get fans to fill the seats that means fans in the market are tapped out. That also means businesses in the market are close to being tapped out if not already.

In the end, if the NFLPA wants to keep jobs they are going to have to make major economic concessions.

Ahanotu is another example of a messed up system

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Time and time again I hear countless stories on the radio and on the internet of how men get taken to the dry cleaners in divorce court.

Former Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Chidi Ahanotu is just another example of a broken system.

Ahanotu on Tuesday was ordered by Judge Elizabeth Rice to surrender his 2002 NFC Championship ring he earned while with the Saint Louis Rams to pay for his ex-wife’s attorney fees of more than $130 thousand. The order is just simply outrageous.

No price can ever be put on something like that as the sentimental value of it far outweighs the fee’s.  What irks me though is that no other alternative was given to Ahanotu to pay off the debt.

According to the Tampa Tribune, via Pro Football Talk, Ahanotu has stated that he doesn’t have that type of money anymore.  The last time Ahanotu played in the NFL was in 2004 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So, it is not surprising that Ahanotu doesn’t have a lot of money as National Football League players and their families live extravagant life styles and once they retire all their money is gone within years to help maintain that kind of lifestyle

The other thing that bugs me is that there are countless programs out there that offers very little to no payment for legal help. So, to pay for a decision that a former spouse makes is just down right wrong.

In the end, now we know why NFL players are so greedy, because they have to thanks to their wives and ex-wives.

Wang’s development will affect the draft

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The Buffalo Bills need a right tackle as the signing of offensive tackle Cornell Green was a complete disaster.

The Bills decision on whether or not to draft a offensive tackle early in the draft will come down to the development of offensive tackle Ed Wang.

Wang missed some time last year due to a hand injury that required surgery. However, it was not season ending and that allowed him to be active for six games last year.

The Bills seem to be good at drafting tackle later in the draft and developing them into quality starters.  They done so with former Bill Jason Peters and current starting left tackle Demetrius Bell.

With collective bargaining negotiations not doing so well there might not be a free agency period to help address the need immediately with a veteran.  That means the Bills best choice is Wang as he knows the Bills playbook and will have a whole offseason of strength and conditioning.

In the end, Bills fans may want to take a offensive tackle high, but that most likely won’t happen, especially if they go with a quarterback with the third overall pick in April.