Media: Chad Pennington To Take 2011 Off & Work For FOX Sports

~  FOX Sports continues to upgrade their product in the play by play booth with NFL quarterback Chad Pennington recently letting it be known he will be working with the network for the upcoming season.

 Pennington has specialized in the art of the comeback throughout his NFL career as a quarterback with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. It just hasn’t been the kind of comebacks he may want to be remembered for when he looks back on his playing days.

He’s had four shoulder injuries suffered during his 11-year NFL career and is currently rehabbing from a ACL injury he suffered in a pickup basketball game. That’s definitely more than enough to make anyone re-evaluate if they want to continue a professional football career at 35 years old.

 Because of Pennington’s latest shoulder injury along with the ACL injury, he wasn’t expecting to play football in 2011 and he’s not exactly ready to retire either. It’s a good time for Pennington to explore a possible new career that he has the potential to excel at.

 “I’m actually going to take this year off, get healthy and do some work for Fox Sports,I’m going to evaluate things and see where I am physically.”

Throughout his playing career, Pennington has always been an insightful and interesting interview. He’s passionate about the game and is very articulate. This could be the beginning of something so good for him, he may just decide to close the door on his playing career.

Advertisements

NFL > Plaxico Burress Leaves Prison & Begins A 2nd Chance

~ After spending nearly 2 years in prison on a gun charge, Plaxico Burress is a free man. The former New York Giant and Super Bowl MVP was recently released 3 months early for good behavior. The speculation will now begin as for where Burress will go to resume his NFL career. More importantly though, Burress gets a second chance at life with his family.

Burress pleaded guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison. He’s come a long way since that night in a NYC nightclub when he  had a concealed handgun in the waistband of his pants. The weapon slipped down and discharged when he grabbed for it, injuring himself. The life as Burress had knew it, changed from that point on.

He has now paid his debt to society and gets to resume his career. There will definitely be a market available to him as soon as the NFL ends it’s Lockout status.

 He’ll be 34 years old when (and if) the season starts. The market for wide receivers this year is an interesting one. Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are available and now Burress is thrown into the mix. He says he has kept in shape while incarcerated and of course he’ll need to get in NFL game shape as well.

The buzz is strong that the Eagles are the front runners to land Burress. That would make for a very dangerous passing attack for Michael Vick. DeSean Jackson on 1 side and Burress on the other. The Giants appear to be moving away from any interest in bringing Burress back even though Eli Manning could still use that big target that helped him so much in their Super Bowl Run.

The two teams that I think will make strong pushes for Burress are the Jets and the Rams. They are also the most logical in my opinion.

The Jets are a big market team, Burress may still want to play in the New York area. The Jets are also a team that isn’t afraid to make a controversial free agent signing. They have questions to address at the wide receiver position. Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes are both up for new contracts. 

The Rams could be a good fit for Burress. St. Louis isn’t New York City, and maybe that’s what he needs at this point in his life. The Rams have a young quarterback on the rise in Sam Bradford. They need to get Bradford a big name wide receiver to throw the ball to. The head coach of the team would be someone Burress knows pretty well, Steve Spagnuolo. (Defensive Coordinator of the Giants 2008 Super Bowl Team)

Burress now returns home to his wife, his son, and a daughter that was born while he was in jail. He has to do right by them and should be thankful that he has this second chance.

AFC & NFC Championship Games Are Set

 

~ The road to the Super Bowl is narrowed down to four teams as the AFC and NFC Championship games are now set. The Green Bay Packers will head into Chicago to face the Bears for the right to represent the NFC. The New York Jets will look to continue what has been one of the great post season runs  in recent history as they head to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers for the right to represent the AFC.  Seeding has played a very small factor this season as 2 of the 4 #6 seeded teams (Jets & Packers) are now 1 game away from the big game in Dallas.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger isn’t Tom Brady or Peyton Manning when it comes to flash or style on the football field. I give the guy respect though because he just goes out and gets it done and sometimes it’s not pretty. In the Steelers playoff win over the Baltimore Ravens, Roethlisberger led his team back from a 21-7 Ravens lead with that blue collar-like approach that represents his style of play. It’s been a long and tough season for the Steelers’ quarterback. He was suspended the first four games of the season following sexual assault allegations that weren’t prosecuted. His image was badly damaged from it, however he has come back to help lead Pittsburgh to 12 wins this season and securing a 1st round bye in the playoffs and now his team is 1 game away from a Super Bowl berth. In a season where so much of the focus has been on Michael Vick and his performance on the field for the Eagles, Roethlisberger’s story has been mostly under the radar. It’s been that way for him since he was drafted actually. The talk of the draft that year was Eli Manning, then the draft day trade of Manning for Phillip Rivers. Somewhere within all of that the Steelers drafted Roethlisberger and he’s proven to be a winner with 2 Super Bowl rings as proof. The win over Baltimore was Roethlisberger’s 7th straight over them and for the Ravens this one had to hurt the most. Costly turnovers dropped passes and not enough big plays when it mattered most took the Ravens out of this game in the second half.

How about those Jets?  2 years for Rex Ryan as head coach and 2 years in the AFC championship game, not bad at all. If you would have told me a couple of weeks ago that the Jets were going to beat Peyton Manning and the Colts then Tom Brady and the Patriots, both on the road … I would have just sat there in front of you with a Bill Bellichick facial expression. Well, the Jets did just that and are now 1 game away from the Super Bowl. People can say what they want about the Jets back dooring into the playoffs this season or being a 6th seeded team. Do they talk a lot? Yes … they talked so much heading into New England, it would have been a major setback had they came out of there without a win. I give credit to Rex Ryan for what he’s done as Head Coach the last 2 weeks for the Jets. Ryan put the spotlight on him,  he told the media that the Colts game was “personal”. Ryan then tells the media the Patriots game is “Rex Ryan vs. Bill Bellichick”. It was a bold strategy that took the spotlight off the team and allowed them to go out and just play. As much as Rex the Promoter is known for his talking, Rex the Coach has put in some of his best work the last couple of weeks in stopping Manning and Brady. The fact of the matter  is not many NFL teams are going to beat the Colts and the Patriots in consecutive weeks on the road. They head into the AFC title game playing with house money. I’m not making the mistake of putting Ben Roethlisberger under the radar. Between the Jets and Steelers, I have to give momentum to New York right now.

Over in the NFC, I was never really convinced that the Atlanta Falcons were for real & I’ve grown more and more convinced that the Green Bay Packers are for real. There is no other starting quarterback among the 4 left in the playoffs that is playing as well as Aaron Rodgers is right now. The Packers have found a running game to go along with Rodgers and the passing attack and it’s defense has been making big plays throughout the playoffs. The latest big play  by cornerback Tramon Williams was a 70 yard touchdown run after intercepting a Matt Ryan pass that ended the first half and bascially the season for the Falcons. This Green Bay team is dangerous and I still can’t believe I didn’t take them seriously during the regular season. The Chicago Bears put the Seahawks away early, and while it was good while it lasted for Seattle’s playoff run, Green Bay-Chicago is a much more attractive game. Two teams that don’t really like each other in the oldest rivalry in the NFL.

Two good games for the right to go to the Super Bowl and I’m going to go with the two teams who are playing the best football right now. The Jets and Packers are heading to Dallas after this weekend.

NFL Playoffs Kickoff With 2 Thrillers, Seahawks & Jets Advance

 

Images by Getty 

~ The two teams that played in the Super Bowl last year will be watching this year’s Super Bowl at home. The NFL playoffs opened up with two thrilling games in the wild card round as the Seattle Seahawks pulled off an upset win of the defending champion New Orleans Saints. In the nightcap, the New York Jets were able to get a taste or revenge against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year with a last second victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

I wouldn’t exactly call it David knocking off Goliath, however it was close enough. The Seattle Seahawks stunned the defending champion New Orleans Saints with a 41-36 victory to open up the NFL playoffs. The game turned out to be one of the more exciting games in recent history that featured a 67 yard touchdown run by Marshawn Lynch that might go down as one of the greatest runs in NFL history.The Seahawks with a 7-9 record this season became the first team with a losing record to win a playoff game. The Saints had a better record, however had to play at Seattle because the Seahawks won the NFC west division. (with a 7-9 record, just to show how bad that division was this season)

“We kind of expected to win,I know that sounds crazy, but we did expect to win. The fact that it happened, it’s just kind of like, we want to take it in stride and go to the next one. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way the mindset of this team was.” … Pete Carroll, 1st year head coach of Seahawks

The Seahawks had a 14 point lead early in the 4th quarter, when the Saints began to show signs that they were about to make a comeback. That’s when Lynch broke off one of the greatest runs in playoff history for 67 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown and a few anxious moments later gave the Seahawks a win that ended the Championship title defense for New Orleans. Quarterback Matt Hasslebeck threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Seattle. Hasslebeck wasn’t even cleared to play until 2 days earlier because of a hip injury.

That run by Lynch was epic and is sure to be apart of playoff highlights for years to come. It’s a great backdrop to that potential story too if it’s ever explored. Lynch was basically a forgotten man in Buffalo before being traded to Seattle. It was also a great story for Matt Hasslebeck who is in the final year of his contract and fought all the way back through injury to play in this game. It’ll be interesting to see how far Seattle goes and it’s going to be just as interesting to see what the Saints do in the off season to fix what went wrong. Reggie Bush had a injury plagued season and has not been able to be the star he was projected to be with New Orleans. The consistency just has not been there for Bush and the Saints need a running game to help take the pressure off of Drew Brees. Brees threw the ball 60 times in the loss to Seattle.

The Jets have been making a habit out of last minute victories this season. It’s only right that in the playoffs they’d take the Colts down to the wire for a thrilling finish as Nick Folk kicked the game winning field goal with time expiring to give the Jets a 17-16 thrilling win.  The Colts, who thought they won it when Adam Vinatieri made a 50-yard field goal with 53 seconds to go, as it turns out though that was just enough time for the Jets. A 47 yard kickoff return by Antonio Cromartie and a poised enough Mark Sanchez led the Jets right into position for Folk to kick the game winner.

Rex Ryan needed this win, it was a playoff win and it was against Peyton Manning. LaDainian Tomlinson came up big when it mattered most with 2 touchdown runs and 82 yards rushing and the Jets get to play another week … in New England.

%d bloggers like this: