AFC East: Matt Jones
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper explains why Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor will be hurt by not going through the usual draft process of playing in the Senior Bowl, going to the combine and holding pro days.
Kiper says Pryor will be no better than a third- or fourth-round draft choice in the supplemental draft. Kiper calls Pryor's athletic ability "top notch," but adds he "throws some bad balls, makes some bad reads, some bad decisions. ... The pure passing skills you need are not there yet."
- Sports Illustrated writer Don Banks thinks Sunday will determine whether the Bills are contenders or pretenders.
- BuffaloBills.com reporter Chris Brown writes about the loss of cornerback Ashton Youboty and the signing of linebacker Teddy Lehman.
- Allen Wilson of the Buffalo News takes a look at the Bills' rookie cornerbacks, who will be needed down the homestretch.
- Andy Kent of MiamiDolphins.com crafts an insightful story on the making of a route-runner.
- Kevin Hench of FoxSports.com writes about linebacker Joey Porter's "downright goofy war of words" with Jaguars receiver Matt Jones.
- South Florida Sun-Sentinel reporter Harvey Fialkov writes about the Dolphins making moves at guard.
- Miami Herald columnist Armando Salguero hands out his midseason grades.
New England Patriots
- Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe takes a look at how new quarterbacks have impacted the AFC East race.
- Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges checks in with Larry Izzo, who is wary of Buffalo's special teams.
- Providence Journal reporter Shalise Manza Young looks back on the first half of a newsworthy season.
New York Jets
- Alan Faneca had his first seizure when he was a high school freshman. Now he's committed to helping others deal with epilepsy, writes Greg Bishop of the New York Times.
- Newark Star-Ledger reporter M.A. Mehta writes the Jets, with a game against the Patriots five days later, aren't looking past the Rams. Or so they claim.
"Matt, I'm sorry to bring it up," Porter said to a group of reporters here at the Dolphins facility. "I wasn't trying to use you like that."
In a Wednesday conference call with Seattle Seahawks reporters in advance of Sunday's game in Dolphin Stadium, the NFL's sack leader brought up Jones' felony arrest for cocaine possession in discussing the unfairness of Porter's recent $20,000 fine for criticizing officials.
"I'm still trying to figure out how a guy gets caught with cocaine in the car and he still plays the game and nothing happens to him," Porter said. "They ain't had no penalty or nothing. I'm trying to figure that out.
"He got caught with some cocaine in his pockets. Everybody knows it. But Matt Jones is still up there playing football and nothing's ever happened to him. So I'm still trying to figure out how you get away with that, and you're fining people $20,000 for making comments about media or refs."
Jones shot back Thursday by openly wondering if Porter had a crush on him.
Here is what else Porter had to say Friday:
"Our focus right now is on the Seahawks, but, obviously, he got the whole comment mixed up and how it came about. Somebody asked me about what I think about the fines and how guys getting fined in the league.
I hated to use [Jones] as an example. I didn't really want to put him that type of position. But it was the best example I had. You talk about guys getting fined and stuff like that. It's clear cut about what happened. There's no need for me to repeat what happened [with Jones' arrest]. So you put that versus making a comment of a game and giving your opinion -- that's all it was was my opinion -- and you get fined $20,000 for that? Then you take his situation and nothing happens? You tell me you're cracking down on stuff, is that cracking down? What are we saying what's good? We're saying that's OK to do that? But you give your opinion that's not OK, that cost $20,000. So my words ... I don't even know what to say now because I'm scared if I say something bad again, they can come get me again.
He didn't miss no games. So nothing happened. If you're suspended that takes effect immediately. You get caught with something like that ... OK, my fight [in Las Vegas on March 18, 2007]. Take it back to my fight. I didn't even get a ticket or nothing. I didn't get arrested or nothing. [Roger Goodell] stepped in and made his decision we're going to fine you $60,000 -- right off the top. Right or wrong. Didn't go to jail. Never got a ticket. So you're saying it's OK to do drugs, but fighting's not. That's what we're teaching our kids. Fighting, that's a no-no. Drugs, we'll find a different way to deal with it.
That's my comparison. So that's where it came from. Matt, I'm sorry to bring it up. I wasn't trying to use you like that. They asked me a tough question, and when you ask me a question I'm going to give a real answer. It's not like I'm not the only guy that even thought about that. You have guys getting fined for all kinds of stuff and this happens and you see nothing happens. What do you get fined for? So what is good and what's not good. I'm still trying to figure that out.
I'm not even trying to get in a war of words with Matt Jones. I apologize for using you, but you were the example that was clear to everybody. Everybody in the league is looking at it like "He did this and nothing happened." I'm not making this up. This is real stuff that happened. So that's how that came about. Sorry, Matt."
When asked about Porter's colorful week with the media, Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano laughed and shook his head.
"I'm just worried about Sunday," Sparano said."I hope he has a colorful Sunday."
DAVIE, Fla. -- What a great day to be a reporter at the Miami Dolphins facility.
An opposing player, this time Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall, called out Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter the day before. Wednesday was Porter's first chance to respond, and with a day to formulate a response, the material promised to be blog gold.
To make the setup even juicier, Porter conducted a conference call with Seattle Seahawks reporters in advance of Sunday's game before appearing at his locker.
On the call, Porter bemoaned his recent fines for criticizing officials and openly wondered why Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Matt Jones hasn't been punished for being arrested on felony cocaine charges.
"I'm still trying to figure out how a guy gets caught with cocaine in the car and he still plays the game and nothing happens to him," Porter said. "They ain't had no penalty or nothing. I'm trying to figure that out. He got caught with some cocaine in his pockets. Everybody knows it. But Matt Jones is still up there playing football and nothing's ever happened to him. So I'm still trying to figure out how you get away with that, and you're fining people $20,000 for making comments about media or refs."
Those comments sounded like a warmup act for an explosive session with South Florida reporters.
But Porter switched gears. He briefly touched on Marshall's comments, but wanted to talk more about Barack Obama and how there's a belief in the Dolphins' locker room anything can happen in the AFC East race.
The first question was about Brandon Marshall:
Porter: I'm not going to spend no time on this guy. He's not a threat to me. That game is over. They got a game [Thursday], and he's worried about me. I mean, you might want to watch him, though, making comments about another man's muscles. That's not really want you want to be doing in the locker room. You shouldn't want to be making those comments about somebody's muscles.
What about Marshall's comments about you dancing shirtless in clubs?
Porter: I'm over that. Barack Obama. Today's a history day for me. I witnessed something great [Tuesday] night, so I'm not going to let Brandon Marshall mess with my day today. Today is a great day, a day for change. So Peezy's going to change today. I'm going to be the bigger man and turn the other cheek and not even worry about this young dude right here.
Would you like to meet the Broncos in the playoffs to settle this on the field?
Porter: See? That's the problem. We're giving this guy too much limelight right now. We're talking about him. Now we're getting caught in that same trap. Let's not talk about him. We're about to play Seattle. I need to be talking about how I'm going to try and stop Seneca Wallace and thee rest of these guys. I'm not giving [Marshall] no more attention. It worked. You get your little five minutes of fame. You was on TV. Hopefully, everybody in your family seen you on TV. I hope that worked for you. Now let's move on. We're supposed to be brothers! Barack Obama, man.
|AP Photo/Winslow Townson|
|Ronnie Brown ran for four TDs and passed for another against the Patriots on Sunday.|
Bill Belichick's library is believed to contain the world's third-largest collection of football books behind only the Library of Congress and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
His collection of more than 500 titles is housed at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where Belichick's father coached 33 years.
While his New England Patriots use their bye week to regroup from Sunday's incredible 38-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins, this might be the perfect occasion for Belichick to get away and center himself.
On a shelf somewhere in Ricketts Hall he likely will find "Winning Single Wing Football: A Simplified Guide for the Football Coach," written by Dr. Ken Keuffel, who played for Princeton in the 1940s.
At the top of the book's cover is a testimonial:
The principles of single-wing football are enduring, and they're all covered by Ken Keuffel. Every coach in football can profit by reading this book. -- Bill Belichick
Had he reacquainted himself with Keuffel's book while preparing for the Dolphins, Belichick might've gleaned a tip or two on how to neutralize an unusual offense that gave the Patriots fits.
At least by NFL standards, there was nothing by-the-book about Miami's fascinating victory Sunday in Gillette Stadium.