Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

08 Jan 2007

MMQB: NFL's New Power Family

Peter King says Bill Belichick and his proteges are the new NFL dynasty.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 08 Jan 2007

79 comments, Last at 10 Jan 2007, 7:45pm by Richie


by kubiwan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:09pm

Gotta love how Saban is a snake for leaving his contract while Petrino is a simply a "great hire" a year (or 2?) after signing a 10-year contract and with a pretty good shot at the national championship next year.

by Brian (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:11pm

Alright, the Patriots are awesome -- but Jabar Gaffney as offensive player of the week? I guess he missed the Westbrook run.

And it's Megadeth, not Megadeath.

by Michael David Smith :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:11pm

I like how he begins his San Diego capsule by writing, "I know this does not fit into everyone's neatly compartmentalized version of Marty Schottenheimer," and then proceeds to say exactly what everyone always says about Marty Schottenheimer: He's a good regular-season coach whose teams play badly in the playoffs.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:17pm

OPW: Really, it's Gaffney? The way King has lobbied against Art Monk all these years how can he pick a possession WR as the offensive player of the week?

Personally, I'd give it to Brian Westbrook.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:18pm

I really, REALLY want to punch Peter King in the face:

Starting out with all the man-love for the Belichick branch of the Parcells tree. Except, y'know, there's no justification for including Payton in the Belichick branch. And I seem to remember some guy from the Belichick tree who just went 6-10 in Miami and who gets excoriated later in the column (justifiably, in my view), and some guy in some city on the lake in Ohio who has a record of 10-22 as a head coach. But, some guy went 9-7 and made the playoffs his first year, so it must be a fruitful tree.

"What a sin. An unarmed guy not meaning anyone any harm, out on New Year's Eve, in a limo with friends, not driving because it's not smart to drink and drive. Dead, for no reason."
Because, y'know, if he'd been armed, that would've been a reason to shoot him.

"Saturday, at 4 p.m.: 67 degrees in Montclair, N.J.: 62 in San Diego. Not being political here or anything, but come on. You've got to admit Al Gore is onto something."
Because, y'know, Al Gore tells us why New Jersey gets hotter and San Diego doesn't.

"You know why the Eagles are so impressive? Because they draft and develop players on both offensive and defensive lines (Jamaal Jackson, Trent Cole, Juqua Thomas) that make them the deepest playoff team in the trenches."
You mean the same Juqua Thomas they picked up as a free agent from the Titans?

"I got a kick out of the Colts defensive players bashing the media after Saturday's win over the Chiefs, in which Indy held K.C. to 126 total yards, a zillion below its season average. Like it was the media making it up that this team had the worst run defense in a generation."
The same rush-D that ranked 31st in DVOA this year, ahead of the Men of Man-Genius.

Last, but certainly not least,
"Tom Brady, the best quarterback most of us will ever see"

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:23pm

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

I missed this one in the opening paragraph... Tom Brady, the best quarterback most of us will ever see....

His bias is worse than FO! (kidding kidding)

What's the explanation for BB in Cleveland, anyone? How come Sean Peyton isn't starting his own branch off of Parcells? Why is he lumped under BB?

Honestly I think more of the credit should go to Pennington, Brees and Brady. I'd like to see what these geniuses do with Bledsoe, Kitna, Harrington, Culpepper, or some of the other mediocre QBs around the league (Garcia).

by Brian (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:28pm

From MMQB, Nov. 13th:

Remember nine days ago, when Nick Saban couldn't coach? The guy is still one of the top five coaches in the NFL.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:31pm

One more comment on coaching families... doesn't Schottenheimer have a rather impressive coaching tree himself, that includes the Dungy-Smith-Herm branch?

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:37pm

You mean the same Juqua Thomas they picked up as a free agent from the Titans?

Draft and develop. Philly had JT last year as a free-agent pickup after it was clear that Kalu was done. He played really well from Philly's perspective. They kept him, worked with him in the offseason, and he has the best year of his career.

Keeping JT on the team this year (stacking the team with pass-rushing DEs!) was a great move - because they realized that JT had developed enough as a pass-rusher that they never would've found his equal as a street pickup if they needed him. Which they did.

by MDZ (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:37pm

#8, Don't forget to add Cowher to the Schottenheimer tree.

by Jonathan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:42pm

5--On the Colts' D, you're agreeing with King; he was making the point that the players shouldn't have blasted the media ("the messenger") when they did, indeed, suck most of the year against the run. That being said, King is still an idiot who somehow gets a few things right every once in a while. Must be all that metal he listens to, like Metalickuh and Sleigher.

8--Yup, those three including Bill Cowher, who thanked Marty for giving him his first coaching job in Cleveland. In fact, in comparison to King's lousy admiration of Belichek's "tree", Schottenheimer's is way better.

by joe football (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:42pm

Cowher's own coaching tree has got to be one of the most pathetic out of any long-time successful NFL coach. The only one I can think of who wasn't really disappointing is Marvin Lewis, and it's not like he was hired off the Steelers staff

by Are-Tee (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:42pm

Don't forget to add Brian Schottenheimer to that tree also!

by Alan P (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:45pm

Interesting that PK blames the Dallas botched figgie on a shiny new ball. Maybe he could have pointed out that in the 10 weeks Romo was the starting QB Bill Parcells might have found someone else to hold for FG's ???

How many teams use their starting QB as a holder ? It seems to me that Romo could not spend as much time practicing holds since he became the starter, which clearly would have made it more likely for him to mess up the hold.

I feel sorry for Romo, but a coach's job is to put his players in the best position to perform and having a guy learning to be a starting QB and having him hold for FG's is not putting him in the best position.

by EnglishBob (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 1:58pm

Why is no-one mentioning Glenn when they are parcelling out blame for the play-off loss (forgive the pun)? After a great defensive stop wasn't it his terrible fumble and failure to recover that began the process of Seattle getting the lead back?

by Led (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:03pm

Re: 8, I don't think having Herm on his tree does Marty any credit.

by dbt (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:03pm

#5: By that I think he means to say he wasn't looking for trouble. Arming yourself is seen as a sign of belligerence.

"You just shot an unarmed man."
"Well, he shoulda armed himself."
- Unforgiven (1993)

by OMO (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:04pm

(Insert East Coast bias and over-attention comment here)

(Insert Brett Favre/Deanne Farve man-love comment here)

(Insert idiot, sample size of one comment of global warming here)

(Insert 180 degree flip flop on coaching vacancies/talent here)

(Insert in-direct I'm right about Tony Romo..."glossy-ball" theory)

by dbt (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:06pm

It was something of a fluke play, on a dumb play call and a bad pass. He didn't have a chance to secure the ball because the call leaves him on and island and the pass left him almost falling on his ass with a defender in his face. I give him about 10% of the blame for that fumble, the rest going to the qb, coaches, and a great play by the defender over him.

by Mary Beth King (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:10pm

From a sportswriter that has a hall of fame vote "Tom Brady, the best quarterback most of us will ever see." Brady is a quality QB, no doubt, but I never see a NE game on and go "ooh, a chance to see Tom Brady play, I can't miss this opportunity." King really needs to attempt impartial sportswriting once in awhile.
As for the tree, how about the Ravens superbowl staff. Del Rio is a head coach in Jacksonville, Marvin Lewis in Cincy, Mike Nolan in S.F. and Mike Singletary is being courted by a few teams with vacancies. Not to mention that Donnie Henderson, a special teams coach for the Ravens has been a D-coordinator (though not an overly successful one) the last few years as well. No staff was ever pillaged as thoroughly as the Ravens defensive staff the last few years, justifiably so. I think that may trump Mangini in NY, Crennel in Cleveland (who King just neglects to mention, guess that 4-12 doesn't feed the roots of the tree) and Weiss @ Notre Dame. Payton should absolutley not be 'branched' in this tree, he was in Dallas before Parcells, IIRC.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:13pm

I don't think PK looks at this Nick Saban thing very favorably. It's hard to tell though. What do you guys think?

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:18pm


"I realize this will lower my rating on the Macho Scale, but..."

I'll just serve that softball up for anyone that wants to take a swing.

by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:19pm

Yeah, Payton's more a part of the immortal Jim Fassel coaching tree than Belichick's.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:21pm

Re: #20

I don't think it's really an issue that he has a Hall of Fame vote. All Brady-isms, here and anywhere else, aside, don't most of the voters really think Brady is a Hall of Fame lock at this point anyway? I mean, seriously. His starting career hasn't been that long to date, but he's won the Super Bowl half the years he's been a starting quarterback. I would say that given King has probably already made his decision as to Brady's candidacy for the Hall, he sees no further need to be impartial.

by navin (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:24pm

That stupid global warming comment epitomizes Peter King's thinking on most things. He latches on to one sample point and then makes sweeping generalizations based on it.

Like someone pointed out earlier in the thread, just a few weeks ago he called Saban a top five coach, probably after he beat the Patriots. Now that Saban leaves he's both a terrible person and coach.

by pr9000 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:24pm

Maybe I'm too "young" and "with it" with what the kids are saying on the internet tubes nowadays ... but am I the only one who giggled when I read this in his "Things I Think" part?

"Peter King hitting Johan Santana."

Yeah, I'd hit it. :)

by Vern (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:27pm

Re 8:

I think PK left off the Schottenheimer tree because he'd already bashed him enough. That entire tree has been as woeful in the post season as Marty. Only Cowher finally escaped the clutches, with a very UN-Cowher like run last year thanks probably to being the 6th seed and having no pressure to clich up like all the other coaches in this branch do.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:31pm

If Colts-Chiefs was such a snoozer, it doesn't seem that Tynes could really be a goat ... and somehow I doubt that a botched hold in a wild-card game is really one of the biggest gaffes in NFL playoff history.

When I look at Stiller and Meara's legacy to the world of comedy, and I look at the current state of the Cowboys, I think that maybe that was a pretty good metaphor.

Miller Lite/Coors Light commercials: I could not agree less with PK.

I don't think Romo would have fallen as far if everyone hadn't been in such a hurry to identify the next great QB before he actually had a chance to become one.

I don't think Westbrook is spelled G-a-f-f-n-e-y.

Why would Pioli ever leave New England?

I don't think Saban exactly left the Dolphins "in the lurch." They have plenty of time to hire a new coach and get a new system in place for next season, and after all, his system wasn't working very well, was it? If anything, it was a blessing in disguise for Miami.

Ha. An NFL writer criticizing the NCAA's season for being too long. Kettle, pot, black.

Um, didn't the Steelers press Cowher to make a quick decision? Wasn't he initially asking for some time to "think about it?"

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:34pm

Two counterpoints to criticisms:

1. Exactly how bad will the rest of Tom Brady's career need to be, for him not to make the Hall of Fame? I'm thinking multiple-felonies-with-controlled-substances-and-minors bad.

2. Jabar Gaffney was the leading receiver this weekend (by one whole yard, but hey). It's an unwritten sportswriters' code that meaningless rewards of this kind go to some who-dat if there's one handy. Westbrook's just been too successful in his career to qualify. ;)

by pr9000 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:37pm

28 -- he was going to make his decision today or tomorrow, but I believe he came to the Rooneys and said (basically) "Nothing's going to change my mind, so I might as well announce it now" ...

by AlexDL (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:38pm

I generally felt most of PK's writing was not a big deal one way or the other, another thing to read about football. But man, this was the most trite, unfulfilling piece of crap that I have read, ever.

I'm a life-long patriot fan and I don't think that brady is the best qurterback ever. he's not even the best quarterback of his generation. No need to link to the thread that shall not be mentioned.
And Belichick is great but come on....King's hyberbole is approaching Michael Irving levels about T.O.

Peter King is clearly ranked too high because he is the worst example of the knee-jerk sports coverage media that name-drops, and is overly, self-obsessed. Junior high reporting of tater tots vs. french fries is way better than this. tater totzzz rulz. french fries sux

by pr9000 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:45pm

Tater tots is clearly ranked too high because it's processed potato parts glued together with something I don't know how to pronounce. McDonald's french fries v. Wendy's french fries is way better than this. You deserve a break today, so get out this morning and get away ... at McDonald's.

by NewsToTom (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:51pm

Re #24
Yes, I would say at this point Tom Brady is a Hall of Fame-lock. After the 2003 season, when he'd played 6 years, I would have said the same thing about Randy Moss. Given the exalted perception of QB's, it's probably not possible for Brady to loaf play his way out like Moss is doing. And surrounded by such certified Geeen-Yousiz, pardon me if I want to retain a little bit of skepticism about his absolute infallibility.

by Brian (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:56pm

"It’s an unwritten sportswriters’ code that meaningless rewards of this kind go to some who-dat if there’s one handy."

#29 - When it comes to PK, it helps when the who-dat in question plays for the Pats. I would have been fine with Brady by the way.

by bsr (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:59pm

Chargers safety Marlon McCree said. “We really have to do our due diligence. They've got three Super Bowl rings. Tom Brady is one of the best, if not the best quarterback, in the postseason."

I think the above is probably more accurate. Probably one of the best postseason quarterbacks you will ever see. I think PK does him a diservice by making such over the top statements about him.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 2:59pm

For those who prefer it, I've linked DJ Gallo's take on the past weekend.

by Harry (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:06pm

Man, who couldn't predict that King would choose Gaffney as player of the week? He almost always takes the unsung little guy, it's easier to pretend you're saying something new that way.

AlexDL, you are clearly not a life-long Pats fan, unless you're one of those Bledsoe deadenders.

by AlexDL (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:11pm

I am a life-long pats fan and really couldn't care less about dallas' second-string QB.
would you like me to do a PK like string of name-dropping and recollection of memories, interspersed with my like/dislike of coffee like products, I'd be more than happy to.

by Show (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:34pm

I love how a random January day in New Jersey is the basis for global warming.

by Phil (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:39pm

"c. Coffeenerdness: Providence Biltmore Starbucks, Sunday morning, 10:38 a.m. Man in front of me gets to the front of the line and says: "Grande steamed milk.'' I said to him, "You ordering warm milk?'' He said, "Yes.''"

My Cats breathe smells like kitty-litter

by Finn (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 3:58pm

Anyone who buys all of their coffee products from Starbucks is not a coffee nerd---maybe a caffeine freak---but not a coffee nerd.

by dmac (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:04pm

Anyone in the league could have signed Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney on the free-agent street last spring. New England did, and got 13 catches out of them against the Jets.

Except the Eagles signed Jabar Gaffney before the season, and he was cut in September. The Pats signed him in October.

by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:06pm

As much crap as PK wrote this week, I think everyone is getting much too bent out of shape over the global warming comment. I don't think he meant it seriously at all - I've heard a lot of people joking like that with the warm weather. If you were having a casual conversation with someone about the recent weather and he said "Who said global warming is a myth?", you would take it in the spirit of kidding/sarcasm that was intended. That's all PK was doing, but it gets lost in a written format.

by Joel Dias-Porter (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:09pm

#20 Neither Nolan nor Singletary were on the Ravens SB staff. Nolan came in 2001 the year after they won and Singletary after that.

#8 Dungy belongs under the Noll tree, since he first became a DC for the Steelers under Noll in 84 after being secondary coach since 81. He served under Noll from 81-88, and under Marty for only two years.

by Ch V Kalyan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:10pm

Brady would quarterback my team if my life depended on it, while I would pay to watch Manning play QB.

Sentence can also use Montana instead of Brady & Marino instead of Manning.

There is a huge difference between the 2 categories and as much as they are different, the game needs people who fall under both categories.

TB may be one of top 10 if he maintains this consistency over the next 5 years, but he might need to pick up atleast 1 MVP & a couple more superbowls to be regarded as a top 3/5 QB of all time.

by The Other Jed (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:22pm

In terms of "dominant coaching trees," I'd just like to point out that the West Coast Family went 2-0 against the Parcells Syndicate this weekend. Which is always awesome.

by Rick "32_Footsteps" Healey (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 4:57pm

I'm actually struck at PK's inability to read a freaking tentative schedule properly.

First off, while the Eagles have 9 games against 2006 playoff teams next year, they're only facing 7 of them, since they play both the Giants and Cowboys twice.

And it's odd how it would seem like Philly has a steep road to a playoff spot next year... but keep in mind that the Redskins also have 9 games against 2006 playoff entrants, while the Giants and Cowboys each have 7. Someone has to win the division, right?

Though to be fair, the Eagles do face 7 different 2006 playoff teams next year. However, 5 of those will be the other NFC playoff entrants, so don't feel too much pity for them.

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 5:41pm

I have the opposite opinion of King on this aspect of the Romo play:

"Go back and watch it again. Romo picked up the ball and began running around left end. Gramatica made a feeble and wimpy attempt to block the 200-pound Babineaux."

Though Don Banks also ripped Gramatica, I felt Marty was pretty heads up and made a good effort to get a little push in.

I also thought Al Michaels completely lost track of what the score was and was saying some very odd things, along the lines of how Seattle should lay down and let Dallas waltz into the end zone.

Al was likening it to the Den-GB Super Bowl, but it was a world of difference because that game was tied.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 5:59pm

Let's see ... the last time I saw a kicker try to make a block on a fake/botched kick ... for some reason, it's just not coming to me.

I think of it like I do a reverse: the vast majority of the time, the QB hands off the ball and gets out of the way. Once in a great while, the runner has to reverse field, and the QB usually makes an attempt to block someone, but even in a potential game-winning situation, the most you'd probably see is a cut-block attempt.

Hell, Gramatica probably hadn't quite recovered his balance from not being able to kick the ball, and now he's supposed to be fully planted and able to block a DB?

I think I disagree with King on this one.

(from Banks' column) Parcells gets credit for not making any excuses for his QB? What? Not that I was expecting him to - Parcells seems to be the master of the take-credit-for-success, blame-others-for-failure school - but still, you'd think that he'd try to mention a couple of words in support of the guy who had something to do with the Cowboys' even making it to the playoffs.

by MFurtek (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 6:35pm

Why didn't Romo dive forward? If he dives I think he makes it to the marker... looked like he thought he would make it in and didn't know there was a player behind him.

by cd6 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 6:38pm

Serious question: does anybody actually think PK watched the 3 games that didn't feature the patriots?

There's no evidence in this column to suggest he watched anything other than highlights. And at least one ESPN featurette on Nick Saban.

by Igor (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 6:40pm

#48: I think Al Michaels suggested the walk in TD only if the Witten catch was ruled a first down and the Seahawks were out of time outs.

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 6:51pm

52, you may be right. I'd like to hear if anyone else had an opinion on Michaels.

The other part that struck me was when he said "Now the Cowboys are almost compelled to kick the field goal."

Of course they're ALMOST COMPELLED, they need to take the lead. Madden seemed thrown. To me, anyway.

Regardless of when Michaels said it, I believe it would be incredibly stupid "strategy" to tell your defense to roll over and give up the go-ahead points in the final minute when you're leading the game. I'm not sure there's any time that you tell your D to roll over, but it certainly wasn't there.

by B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 7:02pm

40: Your cat's breath smells like cat food. Unless your cat has very strange eating habits, that is.

by emcee fleshy (atl/sd) (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 7:21pm

Praise for FO - this is off topic, but the Brady comments remind me.

A couple years ago, FO commentaries (as disctinct from the stats) seemed to be at least mildly biased in favor of the Pats.

You guys have done a really good job at eliminating that. That's hard to do, especially without resorting over-reaction or hackneyed contrarianism.

Much respect.

by Vince (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 7:46pm

Stat of the Week I

Passing yards for Jon Kitna in 2006: 4,208.

Passing, rushing and receiving yards combined for Mike Vick in 2006: 3,514.

I know it's trendy to rip Vick a new one at any given opportunity, but if you're going to tell a story, tell the whole story:

Incompletes for Jon Kitna: 224
Incompletes for Michael Vick: 184

INTs for Jon Kitna: 22
INTs for Michael Vick: 13

Fumbles for Jon Kitna: 11
Fumbles for Michael Vick: 9

Sacks for Jon Kitna: 63
Sacks for Michael Vick: 45

by C (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 7:50pm

Re: 53,

I thought Micheals was talking about going for it on 4th down, hoping to put the game away with a TD from the 1.5 yard line. Would have been a gutsy call, but it could well have worked.

by R (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 8:03pm

Unbeliveable. Two years ago, Saban was "one of the top five coaches in America." according to PK. He flip-flops more than any politician. When Huizenga asked for advice from the media, he didn't mean Peter King

by Jordy (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 8:03pm

One other thing I may have imagined completely (but #28 referenced) -- in the original post, King disliked the Man Law ads and liked the Coors Light ones.

Corporate ripped out the references and re-posted King's column. Hmmmm.

by LnGrrrR (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 8:52pm

I'm surprised everyone's flipping out at the global warming comment. I mean, does everyone think it's all hocus-pocus, or what? If not, then I don't see all the opposition. As mentioned above, it was a throwaway line.

As far as no one ever being excited to see Brady, I can say I certainly am. And if you didn't enjoy watching him in say, the SB's against the Rams or the Panthers, I don't see what could make you happy.

by Pat (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:00pm

#53: That's what they suggested. It should be noted that head coaches have said that in similar situations, they would tell people to just let them score. See here. Note that Tom Coughlin had exactly the same situation last night... and tried to stop Philly. Then again, New Orleans was a bit closer in the other situation.

by Harris (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:07pm

I went to the Cowboys website to get Grammatica's measurements (5-8, 170lbs. Huh, wonder why he couldn't block a 200 pound safety) and read a few of the columns there because I'm an Eagle fan nothing brings me so much glee as suffering Cowboys. I'm not sure those guys were watching the same game everyone else saw. My favorite passage:

"Hurting most, though, was Tony Romo, the quarterback prodigy who was less than perfect but good enough in the final minutes to drive his team down to the Seattle 1½-yard line, referee Walt Anderson surmised thanks on the basis of what he termed "conclusive" video evidence the ball had not traveled another foot for a first down."

I daresay anyone with one eye and three brain cells knew Romo didn't get that first down, video evidence be damned.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:11pm

> "Regardless of when Michaels said it, I believe it would be incredibly stupid “strategy� to tell your defense to roll over and give up the go-ahead points in the final minute when you’re leading the game."

I disagree if we're talking specifically about the 1st-and-10 from the 1 with no timeouts left and only 1:19 left on the clock. Dallas might have even considered taking a knee twice in that situation, delaying a score themselves, because the odds of Dallas losing even after scoring an immediate TD (via Seattle returning the favor) were much greater than them botching that kick (which was effectively an extra point). The decision to intentionally allow the other team to score when you hold the lead might be controversial, but under these specific circumstances hardly "incredibly stupid". At the very least I'd give Al Michaels credit for offering the strategy up to the viewer as a possibility, because it offers a legitimate alternative to the game situation.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:22pm

> "It should be noted that head coaches have said that in similar situations, they would tell people to just let them score."

Absolutely. The Philly-New Orleans game was tied (as in the Broncos-Packers Super Bowl), but I fail to see where that makes much difference as opposed to holding a 1-point lead. A tie still sends you into overtime versus winning outright on a missed kick, but in either case you're giving the other team the lead because the successful kick is practically a foregone conclusion. Yes, Dallas screwed this one up, but that's a 1-in-100 event.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:25pm

Harris, I believe the post in question is talking about the play before - Romo's pass to the 1 1/2 yard line, for which the referees originally awarded a first down, but after review, the ball was placed at the 1 1/2 yard line and 4th down (which is what led to the field goal in the first place).

I didn't think it was a first down, but I also didn't think the video had the right angle to be able to say "Oh yeah, it was at the 1 1/2 yard line" so I wasn't sure how they were going to rule.

by GlennW (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 9:28pm

> "I daresay anyone with one eye and three brain cells knew Romo didn’t get that first down, video evidence be damned."

Just for the record I believe that in that passage the Cowboys are referring to the Witten play, not Romo's advancement of his fumble. I agree with your assessment of the Cowboys' phony indignation in either case, but at the very least the Cowboys are talking about a call reversal which *did* require video evidence.

by Harris (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 10:02pm

Upon re-reading the article a second time (and laughing even harder) Tarrant and GlennW could have a point. But, considering how inexact the process for spotting the ball is and the fact that I'm not sure I've ever seen a reviewed spot where the ball wasn't moved, then I have to agree with Glenn that the outrage rings hollow.

by Clark (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 10:18pm


I think a big part of the problem with the global warming comments is that this is something like the sixth time this year he's talked about it. Also, the way he presents it, giving one piece of anecdotal evidence, is pointless. The larger point is that he makes observations on the NFL in a similar fashion. The Nick Saban comments he’s made this year are a perfect example.

by Kyle W (not verified) :: Mon, 01/08/2007 - 10:30pm

Surely (to further wrong King's case) whatever tree you include Dungy in must now also contain Lovie Smith and Marinelli, which makes it slightly more impressive.

If Marinelli wasn't at the Lions it could possibly wind up looking even more impressive.

by emcee fleshy (atl/sd) (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 12:56am

#60 Yes, Virginia, there is Global Warming.

But still, New Jersey, Peter King's comparison was kind of silly and unconvincing.

Besides, it's been 62 degrees here in SD every January day for the past hundred and fifty years.

(For a hundred or so years before that, I think it was grados de sesenta y dos.)

by Joe (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 2:28am

First time poster: King has done the global warming thing a couple of times already (in past columns). It gets annoying, because arguments like that only make the issue cloudier. You can't use anecdotal evidence etc etc etc.

by hector (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 5:41am

Kerry Rhodes of the Jets. Best safety you don't know. Yet.

Someone barista needs to bitch-slap King at a Starbucks. This act is so annoying.

by skins fan (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 11:10am

Where are your priorities PK....quite happy to rip into Saban about his "manner" to quit

Factoid that only interests me....SABAN was quitting anyway, who really cares HOW he did the quitting?

But PK will give his Awards to drug cheats like Merriman ??

.....justified by the classic line "as a HOF voter we are told to ignore Off Field Activities.......

Factoid that only interests me....this guy GETS a HOF Vote ?

BTW - I do agree with PK about Tom Brady because TB is indeed a very very (insert more praise and fancy words) & most excellent in the clutch........& IS probably the best QB of his generation

by steelberger1 (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 11:18am

RE 56:

I think you did the same thing you are complaining about...

Dont forget:

Vick Passer Rating:75.7
Kitna: 79.9

Vick completion %:52.6
Kitna: 62.4

by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 4:49pm

I know I'm late to the party, and maybe this belongs in another thread, but I've never seen the point in having the backup QB (in this case the starting nee backup QB) as the holder. Unless you have a contingency plan in place where he throws the ball on a bad snap, might it be better to have a faster player, who would have a better chance to run with the ball?

by PantsB (not verified) :: Tue, 01/09/2007 - 8:25pm

The Schottenheimer tree is much like Marty himself - lots of regular season success and lots of choking in the playoffs. Cowher is the exception and even he looked like he could never win the big one until last year. Take out Cowher and its like 10-20 in the playoffs with zero titles.

All coaching trees are inferior to the Paul Brown tree of course (Bill Walsh + Marty Schottenheimer + Weeb Ewbank + Don Shula + Chuck Noll)

by Vince (not verified) :: Wed, 01/10/2007 - 5:19am

74: DPAR likes Kitna too, even including Vick's rushing. Which surprises me, considering all those sacks and turnovers, and the lower yards per completion means Kitna probably had more failed completes.

Anyway. I think we can agree that they were both pretty bad this year and call it good. If you want to insist Kitna was better, then fine.

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 01/10/2007 - 7:42pm

About 3 or 4 years ago ESPN had an article about the Paul Brown-Bill Walsh-Mike Holmgren coaching tree. They had a chart with lines going every direction. It was very cool. I wish I could find it again.

Also, how does Belichick decide to take the PR guy (Mangini) and add him to the coaching staff?

by Richie (not verified) :: Wed, 01/10/2007 - 7:45pm

Cowher’s own coaching tree has got to be one of the most pathetic out of any long-time successful NFL coach.

I am a Dolphins fan, but did anything ever fall off the Don Shula tree?