ESPN Might Restore Faith On "Monday Night Football" (Hill, That Is)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear not, football fans: Faith Hill, legs and all, may once again be gracing TV screens before football games - perhaps on ESPN, which revolutionized the form with Hank Williams, Jr. on "Monday Night Football."

Fear not, football fans: Faith Hill, legs and all, may once again be gracing TV screens before football games – perhaps on ESPN, which revolutionized the form with Hank Williams, Jr. on “Monday Night Football.”

Last month, Faith Hill announced a “difficult decision” to depart as the artist performing prior to “Sunday Night Football” on NBC for six seasons.

On Tuesday, NBC announced that another country recording artist, Carrie Underwood, would replace Hill on the broadcasts starting with the season kickoff game on September 5.

I would not be surprised if this news did not sit well with Faith Hill. This video from a country music award show tells you all you need to know:

Anyway, I have a gut feeling that Faith will eventually be back in the game before long.

Because there are two other nationally televised weekly football broadcasts that could definitely use her services as an upgrade.

And who are ESPN and NFL Network to say no to the woman who belted out a loose version of a Joan Jett song customized for the opponents of that night’s game on the top-rated show in primetime?

Last year, in conjunction with “Thursday Night Football” expanding from eight games per season to thirteen, NFLN brought in Cee Lo Green to perform a theme song to the beat of The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” As far as we know, the deal is for at least one season.

But with Faith Hill being a free agent, NFLN could very well tell Cee Lo, “forget you” – or something similar, anyway.

Then, there’s ESPN, whose “Monday Night Football” was for years the model for this device, with Hank Williams, Jr. being known for asking that burning question to viewers, “Are you ready for some football?” The song had been performed before “MNF” starting in 1989 on its original network, ABC, carrying over to ESPN in 2006, until he decided to compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler on the morning of October 3, 2011 – which happened to be a Monday; his intro was yanked from that night’s Buccaneers/Colts game. ESPN would later drop the singer from their “MNF” broadcasts altogether. Since then, they’ve been leaning on production pieces (similar to the “Journey” series on Fox’s NFL pregame show) and comedy bits airing before the game.

It’s clear that they can’t go this route forever; the current period of pregame pieces should act as a buffer between Hank Jr.’s tenure on “MNF” and his eventual replacement; further, there would be less backlash to let time subside before deciding on a new “MNF” artist, as opposed to just dragging a singer off the street to replace Hank Jr. on the October 10, 2011 broadcast. Certainly, Hank Jr., with his updated version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” being crooned into living rooms and bars for over two decades, has etched himself into football lore, and ESPN respects that.

And now that Bocephus is pretty much out of the football picture (his recent doubling down on Obama will all but cement that), it’s easier for ESPN to move on to a new artist for the “Monday Night Football” intro.

Could you imagine the innovator of the primetime football game open standing pat with generic intros, while the weekly primetime NFL broadcasts on NBC and NFL Network have artists belting one out?

I say, ESPN shouldn’t stand for being upstaged by the likes of Cee Lo Green. And by hiring Faith Hill to continue her career as an NFL kickoff singer, that would mean NFL Network will have to stand for, well, Cee Lo Green.

Of course, this is all contingent on whether or not Faith Hill’s schedule can accommodate getting back into the grind of recording a song for several weeks. She’d likely need to learn a new one, no doubt. She could also decide to take a year or two off from the NFL.

But something tells me the selection of Carrie Underwood to replace her on NBC is going to speed up this process rather quickly.

Are you ready for some… catfight?

A Ringing Endorsement For Warren Sapp

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Ring of Honor on Monday, November 11. Sapp played defenstive tackle for the Bucs for nine seasons.

NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp will be inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor on Monday, November 11. Sapp played defensive tackle for the Bucs for nine seasons.

2013 is turning out to be a banner year for Warren Sapp.

And a welcome one, considering the hellish 2012 he’s endured.

Just three months after he was voted into this year’s class of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, the team that made his NFL career possible, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who drafted him 12th overall in 1995, is inducting him into their Ring of Honor – a ring whose occupants will actually double, with the late Lee Roy Selmon being its lone inductee (2009).

Sapp will have his number 99 retired during the Buccaneers’ first Monday night game since the post-Hank Williams, Jr. era abruptly began. The ceremony will take place at halftime of the Bucs’ matchup with the Miami Dolphins on November 11. Everything about this is symbolic, not only because Sapp’s alma mater was the University of Miami, but Sapp is also known to tweet “11:11 Yes Zirr” at 11:11 local time on any given day.

“Full circle for me,” Sapp, currently an NFL Network analyst, opined on “NFL Total Access” last week. “11/11, 99 in the rafters… hanging over the stadium… what can be better than that?”

One thing that doesn’t top it is the New York Jets’ current quarterback situation. During Sapp’s appearance on “Total Access” on the day of the Ring of Honor announcement, host Andrew Siciliano threw some red meat at him in the form of the circus that is Gang Green.

“I tell all my Jet fans, relax: you have a Florida boy at the helm,” Sapp said of recently drafted quarterback Geno Smith. “Don’t worry, Geno got you covered. You’re in good hands, Rich,” he added, tweaking colleague Rich Eisen.

One thing that would make this year a true blessing for Sapp is if the network extended his contract long term. You may recall around this time last year that NFLN was reportedly dropping him from their squad; obviously, that never materialized. I would think this is the perfect time for NFLN and Sapp to agree to a new deal that would give him financial security for the foreseeable future, now that his bankruptcy case is behind him. I think he’s learned his lesson for calling players “snitches” on their air.

But you know what the best thing about being inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Ring of Honor is?

Unlike the Super Bowl and national championship rings he won with the Bucs and the Miami Hurricanes, respectively, Warren Sapp can’t lose this one.

Blackhawks Throw The Book At Susannah Collins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Susannah Collins is no longer with CSN Chicago - and word on the street is the Chicago Blackhawks, whose games air on the network, had a hand in her firing.

Susannah Collins is no longer with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. Word on the street is the Chicago Blackhawks, whose games air on the network, had a hand in her firing, after learning of a series of “Sports Nutz” videos she hosted with Sam Raddock (right).

Imagine my incense when I learned today that Comcast Sportsnet Chicago rookie Susannah Collins was no longer with the network.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that it actually had little to do with her “sex-y” slip of the tongue during Tuesday night’s Blackhawks pregame show on CSN Chicago.

Certainly, it didn’t help matters, because after the flub received worldwide attention, it eventually led to the discovery of a series of videos Collins did with Samantha Raddock, titled “Sports Nutz”. And let’s just say that in some of these videos, including this one in which the duo reads from the Darryl Dawkins’ autobiography “Chocolate Thunder”, they can talk about having “a tremendous amount of sex” and get away with it.

Anyway, one of the entities that apparently discovered these videos for the first time was the Blackhawks.

That’s according to Dan Bernstein, who disclosed on the “Boers And Bernstein” program on WSCR/”670 The Score” that CSN’s dismissal of Collins was at the team’s “behest… Her gaffe brought the old videos to their attention, and they wanted ties cut.”

So let me get this straight: The Blackhawks failed to do their homework efficiently on Collins’ body of work, then only after the “tremendous amount of sex” utterance rears its ugly head on their broadcast partner’s air do they decide to no longer be associated with her?

Tough luck. Don’t think that you can play God just because the dog’s been eating your homework over the last year.

I mean, Collins was so proud of her tenure at “Sports Nutz,” she listed it on her “sportscasting” bio on her own website! But if she conducts herself on-air well, as she had most recently on Showtime, then what she did in her past is a moot point, and should not be held against her just oen year into her new position at CSN Chicago.

And if the Blackhawks are really concerned about their image, how come they haven’t been quick to pull their radio broadcasts off the mighty WGN-AM? The Tribune-owned radio station has been the home of the Blackhawks since 2008 – which just so happens to be the year that then-Tribune CEO Randy Michaels reportedly received sexual favors “from a young Tribune employee” on a terrace on Tribune Tower. Michaels would also be hit with a DUI charge shortly after leaving Tribune. Yet somehow, the Blackhawks’ radio broadcasts remain on WGN. I guess it’s not who you know, it’s who you — I mean, it’s an apparent double standard in play for the Blackhawks.

I’ve reached out to Collins’ agent, Seth Mayeri, in an attempt to set up an interview, and perhaps find out what her next step will be. Personally, I think she’s got a lawsuit on her hands. I’d also like to know if she’ll resurface at one of the previous broadcasting outlets she worked at: Showtime, where she appeared on “Inside The NFL” and “Inside NASCAR”; NFL Network, where she anchored “NFL Now” updates; and the CBS O&O in New York City, WCBS-TV, where she had been sports anchor on weekends (WCBS-TV received some unwanted attention earlier this year when their news anchor, Rob Morrison, resigned after reportedly abusing his wife, another CBS employee).

Or, who knows, Collins is always welcome to join us here at SportsRants. (Incidentally, this “Sports Nutz” business comes just as the SportsRantz website this week completes a rebranding phase to the more commonly spelled “SportsRants” name; naturally, “Sports Nutz” is not affiliated with SportsRantz – or, for that matter, SportsRants.)

Collins’ faux pas on CSN Chicago is the antithesis of the start of AJ Clemente’s news anchoring career, which came to an abrupt halt after just a half-hour when KFYR in Bismarck, ND fired him. In Clemente’s case, of course, he should have known better, with the newscast just seconds away from starting.

I’m not trying to compare the two instances; my point is, Collins has an impressive resume and years of experience – and didn’t even break any FCC violations, unless it’s suddenly the year 1956 – and was still shown the door, no thanks to her “tremendous” flub.

There is a saying that when one door closes – in this case, the Blackhawks literally squeezed her out of Comcast’s hallway – another door opens. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very big door. Maybe Fox Sports, whose new national cable network is set to launch in just over three months. And there’s a heavy hiring chase for Fox Sports 1 currently underway.

Whether it be Fox Sports, ESPN, NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Radio, or whoever, I think whoever lands the services of Susannah Collins will have – wait for it – a tremendous amount of success.

I mean it.

2013 NFL Schedule: The Primetime Games: Broncos, Falcons, 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Redskins Have Five Games Each

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins will play five games in primetime this season, starting with the 2013 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 9 on ESPN.

Here is the list of all the primetime games scheduled for the 2013 NFL season.

Commentary to follow… Actually, I’ll get the back-patting out of the way early: I called the Ravens/Broncos opener on September 5, and I called the Washington Redskins getting five primetime games this season, up from just one last year.

And here are the games:

Thursday, September 5 – Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, September 8 – New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 9 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins – 7:10 PM ET – ESPN

Monday, September 9 –  Houston Texans @ San Diego Chargers – 10:20 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 12 – New York Jets @ New England Patriots – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 15 – San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 19 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Philadelphia Eagles – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 22 – Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 23 – Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, September 26 – San Francisco 49ers @ St. Louis Rams – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, September 29 – New England Patriots @ Atlanta Falcoms – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, September 30 – Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 3 – Buffalo Bills @ Cleveland Browns – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 6 – Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 7 – New York Jets @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 10 – New York Giants @ Chicago Bears – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 13 – Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 14 – Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 17 – Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 20 – Denver Broncos @ Indianapolis Colts – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 21 – Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 24 – Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, October 27 – Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, October 28 – Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, October 31 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 3 – Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 4 – Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 7 – Washington Redskins @ Minnesota Vikings – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ New Orleans Saints – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 11 – Miami Dolphins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 14 –Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 17 – Green Bay Packers @ New York Giants – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 18 – New England Patriots @ Carolina Panthers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 21 – New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, November 24 – Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, November 25 – San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving) – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:20 PM ET – NBC

Sunday, December 1 – New York Giants @ Washington Redskins – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 2 – New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 5 – Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 8 – Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 9 – Dallas Cowboys @ Chicago Bears – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Thursday, December 12 – San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos – 8:25 PM ET – NFL Network

Sunday, December 15 – Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 16 – Baltimore Ravens @ Detroit Lions – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 22 – New England Patriots @ Baltimore Ravens – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

Monday, December 23 – Atlanta Falcons @ San Francisco 49ers – 8:40 PM ET – ESPN

Sunday, December 29 – [Teams to be determined following Week 16] – 8:30 PM ET – NBC

TEAMS WITH FIVE PRIMETIME GAMES: Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins.

TEAMS WITH FOUR PRIMETIME GAMES: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks.

TEAMS WITH THREE PRIMETIME GAMES: Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers.

TEAMS WITH TWO PRIMETIME GAMES: Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

TEAMS WITH ONE PRIMETIME GAME: Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans.

———————————————————————————————————————-

OBSERVATIONS: So, let me get this straight: The Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl, yet the runner-up gets one more primetime game in the ensuing season than the World Champions? Explain that to me.

Also, explain to me how the NFL didn’t greenlight the Denver Broncos going to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day. This was a given when the AFC opponents for the Cowboys were released at the top of the year. Or so I thought. Now, it’s going to be a chance to pass out with tryptophan in between another Packers/Lions matinee and the Ravens hosting another Thanksgiving night game, this time against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

I wonder if Peyton Manning not getting a Thanksgiving date with Tony Romo was a byproduct of the Broncos actually hosting the NFL kickoff game.

Predictably, the Eagles/Chiefs game with Andy Reid bringing a new squad into Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia is an NFL Network Thursday night affair.

Predictably, that’s the Chiefs’ lone primetime game. The Jaguars’ sole primetime tilt in 2013 is also on NFLN, as was the case last year. Ditto for the Browns and the Bills, who actually play each other on an NFLN game; the Bills and the Dolphins killed two birds with one Thursday night primetime stone last season.

Thr Dolphins improve from one primetime game last year to three this year. Same with the Vikings. The Colts go from one primetime game last season to four this season. And I’ve already told you about the Redskins’ maxing out at five games, up from one last year.

Further proof NBC loves the NFC East: The Cowboys and Giants open the “Sunday Night Football” 2013 campaign. The Cowboys will appear on “SNF” three times this year, as will the Giants. Two of the Redskins’ five night contests are on NBC; two of them will air on ESPN. Eagles? Nowhere to be found on NBC’s initial schedule. Of course, the latter half of the season allows flex scheduling, so if the Eagles are actually a good team, they’ll likely see more than just the two games (down from five last year() they’ve been scheduled this year. In other words: the Cowboys/Eagles game that was not flexed out late last season might be the last time in awhile you’ll hear Al Michaels working an Eagles game.

And for the first time in recent memory, there are no Saturday games scheduled. The Bay City Rollers will now have to find alternate ways to be preoccupied this year.

Spygate Vs. Bountygate On NFL Network Peyton Manning Bit

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper was called out for "cheating" after he helped Broncos linebacker Von Miller win a pretend game show about Peyton Manning. Sharper had played safety for the Saints for two seasons during the "Bountygate" era.

NFL Network analyst Darren Sharper was called out for “cheating” after he helped Broncos linebacker Von Miller win a pretend game show about Peyton Manning. Sharper had played safety for the Saints for two seasons during the “Bountygate” era.

What do Pierre Garcon and Von Miller have in common? Both of them have been a teammate of Peyton Manning.

Also, both were in-studio guests on Thursday’s edition of “NFL Total Access” on NFL Network.

So, naturally, the program trotted out the players on the Z-block of the show, for a fake game show: the “Peyton Manning Pop Quiz.”

And for this game, linebacker Miller, about to embark on his third season with the Denver Broncos (second with Manning under center), and Washington Redskins wideout Garcon, who was Manning’s teammate on the Indianapolis Colts for three seasons, had designated “lifelines” in the form of NFLN analysts Darren Sharper and Willie McGinest.

And what do Sharper and McGinest have in common? Both have played for teams that have had their own public scandals of late: the New Orleans Saints’ “Bountygate” and the New England Patriots’ “Spygate.”

True, McGinest was already playing with the Cleveland Browns by the time the “Spygate” scandal broke in 2007 for the Patriots, for whom McGinest had played linebacker for the bulk of his career, earning two Super Bowl rings in the process.

But Sharper had played the final two years of his career as a safety with the Saints, at around the same time the “Bountygate” timeline had allegedly unfolded. So Sharper, who won a Super Bowl with the Saints and appeared in another with the Green Bay Packers, is directly linked to “Bountygate.”

All that being said, when Miller, aided by a whispering Sharper, wins the “Peyton Manning Pop Quiz,” of course, McGinest calls Sharper out for “cheating.”

Watch the video here.

2013 NFL Schedule Will Be Released Tuesday, April 16. Or Not, According To A Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

TV listings for Tuesday, April 16 show a "SportsCenter Special" at 7 PM on ESPN - when it could very well be a special devoted to the long-awaited NFL schedule release.

TV listings for Tuesday, April 16 show a “SportsCenter Special” at 7 PM on ESPN – when it could very well be a special devoted to the long-awaited NFL schedule release.

I bet you’re waiting in anticipation for the release of the 2013 NFL schedule next Tuesday, aren’t you?

You might need to wait until the Tuesday after that.

It seems this is exactly why when ESPN and NFL Network tell you the NFL schedule release is “soon” – no matter how many clues and/or facts that are out there.

There is the possibility of a delay in the release of the 2013 NFL schedule, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who did not cite a reason for a possible delay, other than the Baltimore Ravens’ season opener kerfuffle throwing a monkey wrench in the scheduling process (more on that later).

Whether the league legitimately needs to buy some more time for putting the final touches on the upcoming schedule, or simply throws out bulletins like this to fend off possible NFL schedule “leaks” (like we experienced last year, but it turned out to be a fraud) is anyone’s guess.

Yet a few weeks ago, advanced television listings for ESPN and NFL Network led one to believe that Tuesday, April 16 is the schedule release date, when it could actually be pushed back to no later than April 23 (the NFL Draft is two days later). Even today, the updated schedule listings still provide hints that the networks are ready for a release next week.

As of Wednesday, April 10, here is what’s scheduled on ESPN in primetime for Tuesday, April 16:

First, from 7 to 8 PM, it’s a “SportsCenter Special,” subtitled “Gruden’s QB Camp.” And it features “former NFL coach John Gruden.” Yep, even for a show that isn’t even actually going to air in that time slot, there’s a chyronfail. Brilliant.

There’s another “SportsCenter Special” scheduled at 8 PM: “On The Clock,” an NFL Draft preview.

And finally at 9 PM, it’s “NFL Live” – wait, what? Why on earth would ESPN schedule their hallmark NFL show on a primetime weeknight in the middle of April?

As for NFL Network, regular programming (“NFL Total Access” followed by a “Game Changers” marathon) is scheduled for 7-10 PM on Tuesday, but they’re already promoting a schedule release show of its own – and once again, no date specified, just “coming soon.”

The fact that a report of the possibility of a one-week delay in the NFL schedule release is likely precisely why the league and its broadcast partners refrain from promoting a date weeks in advance.

Regardless of whether or not we will have to wait just a bit longer to find out when the Eagles are playing the Chiefs, and which teams will be in action on Thanksgiving Day, the NFL will likely throw football fans a bone in the days leading up to the complete schedule release date, and that is the identity of the road opponent that the world champion Ravens will play to open the season on September 5; last year, we learned nearly a month before the schedule release date that the Giants would open the season against the Cowboys.

As for the host of this year’s kickoff game, I say it’ll be Denver. Hey, maybe there’s a tug of war between CBS (which owns O&O’s in Denver and Baltimore) and the league over whether or not a possible Ravens/Broncos game can air on NBC? And could that possibly impact the number of appearances Peyton Manning will make on the Peacock Network this year?

These questions and more will be answered soon enough.

Or we could very well be watching a special starring John Gruden on April 16.

UPDATE: The official 2013 schedule release date is Thursday, April 18 at 8 PM ET.

NFL Network Analysts Rock Nolan Nawrocki Over Geno Smith Scouting Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Network's Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah take a mostly negative scouting report of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith by Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki to task.

NFL Network’s Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah take a mostly negative scouting report of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith by Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki to task.

On Monday, Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki released a dual scouting report of a pair of quarterbacks that are expected to be the best players at the position in this year’s draft: USC’s Matt Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith.

And while there were twice as many positives from Nawrocki on Barkley than there were negatives, it’s a completely different story in Nawrocki’s synopsis of Smith. Among the sixteen negatives: “Not a student of the game… Not committed or focused – marginal work ethic… Needed to be coddled in college – cannot handle hard coaching.”

Naturally, NFL Network and Fox Sports college football analyst Charles Davis, along with NFLN resident scout Daniel Jeremiah, seized the opportunity to explain why Nawrocki’s vibe on Smith, quoting Davis, “does not jive” with what they’ve witnessed.

“This is a kid who is a student of the game,” Davis asserts. “This is a young man who wants to learn, wants to get better all the time, can’t get enough football. He will finish games, and go right to the film room, and go over the tape of that game, and get ready for the next one.”

Davis previously praised Smith’s work ethic when he dubbed him a “film rat” during an interview on a Cleveland sports radio station earlier this year.

“He’s the one bothering coaches for the game plan on Sunday,” Davis continued, “so that he can get it to his receivers, and they can get going, and get motivated that way.

“This does not match up with the Geno Smith I spent time with last summer.”

Davis also countered Nawrocki’s claim that Smith “needed to be coddled in college.”

“Dana Holgorsen? You’ve been around Dana Holgorsen,” Davis told Jeremiah. “Coaches hard, okay, and that’s what he’s going to do.”

Jeremiah also had his say, backing up Davis’ thoughts on Smith’s conscientiousness.

“‘He’s not a film junkie’ – that’s not what I got from scouts… They said, after games were completed, he would still go back into the film room that very night, and watch tape.”

Jeremiah also cited Smith’s attendance at the Manning Passing Academy camp last summer, noting his tendency to ask Eli and Peyton Manning “the perfect questions,” adding: “He was more in tune with what he needed to learn from these guys than anybody else in the room.”

Including one Matt Barkley – who, by the way, Nawrocki sees being drafted in the first round, with Smith settling for a “top 50 pick.”

We’ll learn in three weeks if an NFL team drafts Smith in the first 1 1/2 rounds, thus making Nolan Nawrocki, well, a jive turkey.