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FoxSports: Week 14 Roundtable

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by Hostile, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Hostile

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    WEEK 14: Terry says Colts will go unbeaten behind MVP Manning

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    Every week, the experts of FOX NFL Sunday candidly reveal their observations and make their opinions known as they prepare for Amercia's No. 1 pregame show — seen each Sunday at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT. We'll share with you some of the highlights and observations from JB, Terry, Howie and Jimmy, grabbed from their weekly conference call with insider John Czarnecki and pregame show producer Scott Ackerson. This week, Czar probes the FOX NFL Sunday gang on some of the big games and issues of the week, including the rundown of which Colt player should be the league's MVP. While Edgerrin James and the new and improved Indy defense have been huge factors in the Colts being unbeaten, Terry Bradshaw says Peyton Manning has been more impressive this year than last year during his record-breaking season.

    THIS WEEK FROM NFL ON FOX:

    TERRY BRADSHAW: Cowboys will miss the playoffs again

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    FOX NFL SUNDAY PANEL
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    [IMG] CZAR: If the Indianapolis Colts go undefeated, who is the MVP of the league?

    [IMG] Terry: "Well, then Peyton Manning is MVP again and this time Tony Dungy is coach of the year, too."

    [IMG] JB: "Nobody is talking about Manning right now. Most people are saying the MVP is Carson Palmer of the Bengals."

    [IMG] Howie: "We've been down this road before with the Colts the last couple of years — Manning and this offense. How many times have we talked about them? But now we are talking about their defense. It's really come on."

    [IMG] Terry: "That's what I'm saying. Manning is calling the offense so well now at the line of scrimmage. He's doing what he should have done last year. He's calling a great game. Better this year than last year."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "There are a couple of other worthy guys like Shaun Alexander and Tiki Barber."

    [IMG] Howie: "If the Colts win, I would think Edgerrin James deserves to be considered along with Peyton."

    [IMG] Terry: "The trouble with you guys is that Jimmy said a couple a weeks ago that the Colts were going to lose two games."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "I said one or two games."

    [IMG] Terry: "I don't care. All I know is that Howie was right there agreeing with Jimmy, browning him up. I say the Colts are going to beat Jacksonville this week and go undefeated. I really think they are going to run the table. Tony would definitely deserve coach of the year if they did that, especially after losing the way they did last year."



    [IMG] CZAR: How did the Panthers finally beat Michael Vick last Sunday?

    [IMG] Howie: "John Fox had an extraordinary game plan for Vick. What he did was line up their first-round pick Thomas Davis everywhere. He lined up at safety, corner, linebacker, defensive tackle and defensive end. The biggest problem Fox has for him is where to put him. I think he'll end up being a weak-side linebacker down the road. NFL Week 14

    "The Panthers made the decision to get after Vick with people who can run with him. They dropped six guys into coverage and when they did that they always have a drag defender. When they brought a blitz, but would spy Vick with Davis. They went with six defensive linemen against Atlanta's big package.

    "The biggest difference between the defense that went to the Super Bowl and this year's unit is that they have better talent behind the line of scrimmage. They have good secondary people now. Then again, they are not as dominant at defensive tackle right now without Kris Jenkins."

    [IMG] Terry: "There's a real good chance that both Mike Rucker and Julius Peppers will be out of the Tampa Bay game after being chop-blocked by the Falcons."

    [IMG] Howie: "Without those two, the Panthers will need help to create pressure on Chris Simms. They will probably struggle a little bit against Cadillac Williams and the running game.

    "Simms is good when he has a running game. Most quarterbacks are like that. When he has had time to throw, Simms has played well. The key for the Panthers, though, is the offensive line has come together. They had a lot of missed assignments earlier in the year and they definitely weren't getting things done as well as they should have. The offensive line has come on the last few weeks with DeShaun Foster in the lineup."

    [IMG] Terry: "They had better run the ball. Carolina's quarterback Jake Delhomme has been screwing up an awful lot and the Panthers are fortunate they won some games in which he did.

    "You know why it is? You lose your go-to guy and it messes with you. Last year, he had Muhsin Muhammad making one spectacular catch after another. This season he has turned everything over to Steve Smith. But it does not work to simply rely on one receiver. You quit following your progressions and quit making your reads. You simply start looking for one guy all the time."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "Terry, but Smith has been exceptional this season."

    [IMG] Terry: "Yes, he has. But Jake's touchdown throw to Smith never should have happened last week. You get press coverage and you get out of it."

    [IMG] Howie: "DeAngelo Hall almost intercepted that ball. He read the route and jumped it. He went for the pick and just missed it. Carolina scored because one of the Atlanta players missed an open-field tackle on Smith. The key is that Foster made some runs that were tremendous."

    [IMG] Terry: "Foster will play well, but then you know he will get a knee, a shoulder, a wrist, something. You just can't count on him."

    [IMG] Howie: "He's in a contract year, though."



    [IMG] CZAR: Is it possible that Mike Tice saves his job in Minnesota?

    [IMG] Terry: "There is no doubt that ZW (Zygi Wilf) has made a difference. His getting involved with the operations and dealing with Tice has turned this franchise around. Absolutely."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "The word on the initial meeting is that Zygi liked Mike. And now Tice is getting it done. In Wilf's mind, Mike will want to adjust his coaching staff. He'll want to improve it some and definitely give some of the others a raise."

    [IMG] Terry: "I've made my mind up that you keep the guy. Zygi may have been looking to replace him, but what are the coaching possibilities out there? Who do you replace him with? Now they are winning games. You have to reward this guy."

    [IMG] Howie: "Let's not forget that the franchise quarterback went down. Early in the season, the defensive staff struggled to get something out of talented guys they signed for this team. But now Brad Johnson is sustaining drives, and not turning the ball over."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "Eliminating turnovers while the new players are adjusting to a new system. I'm sure bringing in a couple coaching consultants like Foge Fazio has put some pressure on the coaches to do a better job, while also helping them do a better job. I think Minnesota is going to make a run and get a playoff spot."

    [IMG] Terry: "I agree. I think they can get to 10-6 and that should be enough to get a wildcard spot and knock Dallas out."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "I have talked a lot about what happens when you make a coaching change. The first thing that occurs is that you put a lot of dead money on your salary cap. Every coaching change is costly because you may have to pay off assistants and then hire new ones. "The thing is a new coach eliminates players who are decent players, but are not wanted anymore. The new coach wants to bring in new players. He wants to get his people in there. Every coach has a critical eye for the previous players and often times the old players are better than what you can get. It creates a lot of dead money on the cap."

    [IMG] Terry: "When Brad started there, he forced their offense to be more conservative. He started throwing hitches and crossing routes. He threw the screen better. Well, all of that simply has opened up the plays deep."

    [IMG] Howie: "Plus, I have never seen Michael Bennett run better. He was always an explosive back with his track speed. But now he's also being elusive. He makes lateral cuts and then explodes up through it."

    [IMG] JB: "When Tice gave him the game ball a few weeka ago that was a smart move. That had to make Bennett feel good in front of everybody because he does have talent."

    [IMG] Terry: "There are no different players here, but their confidence is soaring right now. They are starting to believe in Johnson and it is making a difference. Simple as that."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "The whole key is that Culpepper was killing them with turnovers early in the season. I tell you, it's tough on a defense when you're busting your *** and then in a matter of a play or two you are right back there on the field. Throwing interceptions, fumbling the ball, that stuff.

    "Mike Holmgren was telling me the same thing last week. Last year, they had receivers dropping critical third-down throws. It was so depressing. The offense couldn't get any continuity and the defense was pissed off. Now everything has changed around in Seattle, too. Matt Hasselbeck is protecting the ball better, but the receivers are making the big catches, too. It's giving the team confidence that they can win at the end."



    [IMG] CZAR: Are the expectations too high in Chicago for Kyle Orton?

    [IMG] Terry: "I know there are a lot of unhappy people back there because of the way he's been playing."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "That may be true, but Orton is not killing them. The Bears are still winning."

    [IMG] Terry: "The fans are nuts to believe a rookie can come in and play great right away."

    [IMG] Howie: "Ben Roethlisberger changed the expectations because of the season he had last year. But he did have a great running game and defense in Pittsburgh last season. Buffalo tried to apply the same formula to this season. They thought because they had a real good running back, a good defense that they could have J.P. Losman simply manage the game. And it didn't work out for them."

    [IMG] Terry: "The great rookies don't come along that often. Orton is very average when compared to Roethlisberger or Peyton Manning. He's a real mature-acting young man who simply doesn't have the talent to match his maturity level. And I think that throws everybody for a loop, too."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "Orton has had a better rookie year than Peyton Manning did when you consider interceptions. Like I said last week, 300-yard passing games are overrated. It's the bad plays that kill you. You need a quarterback that protects that football."

    [IMG] Terry: "Peyton broke my rookie interception record. So, I am happy he came onto the scene when he did. He had 28 interceptions in his rookie year and that led the league."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "Now Orton isn't leading the league in interceptions. He has had that one bad game when he threw five picks against Cincinnati. He's had some turnovers lately, but the Bears are still winning."

    [IMG] Howie: "This is a big game for both quarterbacks. The Steelers will be coming after Orton and Big Ben is playing with a bad thumb. He forced two bad balls last week because of it. He's struggling with it."

    [IMG] Jimmy: "I guess you call that an excuse."

    [IMG] Terry: "I say that Pittsburgh re-establishes itself this week. They win big over the Bears."

    [IMG] Howie: "Well, they had a lot of turnovers, kicks returned for touchdowns or great field position last week and Cincinnati barely beat them."

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