Gridiron Girl


Dressing to Regress by BDazzle

You know the drill girls; you might dress like all that but if you don’t have any substance behind the style, the big boys’ll throw you back in the pile.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-49ers-nolanfired&prov=ap&type=lgns

49ers fire Nolan, promote Singletary to head coach
By GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer

AP – Oct 20, 9:26 pm EDT

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP)—His teams never played as well as he dressed.

Mike Nolan, the San Francisco 49ers’ dapper coach, was fired Monday night after seven games in his fourth consecutive dismal season, ending his attempt to rebuild the five-time Super Bowl champions.

After four straight losses culminating in Sunday’s 29-17 defeat to the New York Giants, the 49ers didn’t even wait until their bye next week before replacing Nolan with assistant head coach Mike Singletary. The Hall of Fame linebacker will take over for the rest of the season, general manager Scot McCloughan said.

Nolan cut a striking figure on the 49ers’ sideline in his custom-made dress suits and ties. His team’s performances, however, could not match his sartorial splendor. He was 18-37 in nearly 3 1/2 seasons with the 49ers, who hired the veteran defensive coordinator to run every aspect of the club in January 2005.

Nolan brought back a measure of respectability to a franchise that finished with the NFL’s worst record in 2004, but he has the lowest winning percentage (.327) among any San Francisco coaches who made it through more than one season with the team. He barely avoided dismissal after finishing 5-11 last season, but couldn’t even make it to midseason this fall.
 
“The decision was difficult, because Mike has been both a friend and valued coach of our team,” said McCloughan, who was hired by Nolan but gained authority over the coach last year. “My first obligation is to do what is in the best interest of our fans and the entire 49ers organization.”

Instead of logically delaying a decision on Nolan’s fate until the bye following Sunday’s home game against Seattle, McCloughan and owners John and Jed York suddenly couldn’t wait another day to get rid of the family’s choice to fix the 49ers, who have endured five consecutive losing seasons and haven’t made the playoffs since 2002.

Nolan was the third NFL coach to be dismissed during the season, joining Oakland’s Lane Kiffin and St. Louis’ Scott Linehan. The Rams have won two straight games under interim coach Jim Haslett, and the Raiders are 1-1 under Tom Cable.

Yet the 49ers still came up with a bizarre way to announce a decision that should fill their fans with joy. Nolan first confirmed his firing to FOXSports.com, but the team waited more than six hours to make a formal announcement.

Nolan seemed to have no idea he would be fired when he conducted his usual news conference earlier Monday, and he didn’t return a phone call from The Associated Press. Several team executives—including Jed York—and coaches either wouldn’t comment or didn’t return phone messages, e-mails or text messages, while most 49ers players only knew what they heard on TV.

Such abrupt, secretive decision-making is no surprise from an organization run by the mercurial York family, which took over the 49ers after beloved owner Eddie DeBartolo lost control of the team in 2000 to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York.

The 49ers’ fortunes have plummeted under the Yorks, who improbably gave power over every aspect of the Niners’ football operations to Nolan, a career assistant who had never been a personnel executive. The unorthodox arrangement finally reached the conclusion many expected when Nolan was shown the door.

Singletary, the famed centerpiece of the Chicago Bears’ dominant defense on their 1986 Super Bowl team, has been at Nolan’s side since 2003, when he worked for Nolan on the Baltimore Ravens’ coaching staff. Singletary interviewed for a handful of head coaching vacancies in recent years, but was out of the NFL from the end of his playing career in 1992 until joining the Ravens.

“I am confident that Mike Singletary’s leadership ability, along with his experience as both a Hall of Fame player and coach, gives him the ability to turn our season around,” McCloughan said.

The 49ers didn’t manage a winning season or make a significant impact on the league in Nolan’s tenure. In fact, he might end up being best remembered in San Francisco for his insistence on wearing a suit and tie on the sideline for the 49ers’ home games.

After two years of protracted negotiations with Reebok, which has a contract to supply clothing to the league’s coaches, Nolan got permission to wear his specially designed suits for two games in 2006 and a full home season last year. He claimed they projected an image of authority while paying tribute to the league’s former coaching greats, including his late father, Dick, who coached the 49ers and New Orleans Saints.

The 49ers fielded the NFL’s worst offense during two of Nolan’s first three seasons, including last year. His first two offensive coordinators—Mike McCarthy and Norv Turner—left after one season for head coaching jobs, and Mike Martz became his fourth offensive coordinator last winter.

Nolan’s future also was heavily tied to quarterback Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick in 2005. Smith never became a consistent starter in his first three seasons, and had an embarrassing public spat with Nolan last year over the severity of the quarterback’s shoulder injuries, which forced him onto injured reserve.

Smith’s shoulder gave him more problems this year, and the quarterback went on injured reserve before the season began. The 49ers promoted veteran journeyman J.T. O’Sullivan to the starting job, but a decent offense under Martz’s direction hasn’t been able to counteract a defense that has yielded a league-high 196 points.



Cleveland Slights for Sore Eyes by kennythunder

I don’t like to point fingers, but looks like the Browns tactics are a sight for sore eyes. Will Goodell turn a blind eye or will the Browns players have a 20/20 vision of their punishment?

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3608488

Ravens accuse Browns of intentionally injuring McGahee
By James Walker
ESPN.com
(Archive)

The Baltimore Ravens accused certain Cleveland players of intentionally gouging the eyes of tailback Willis McGahee on two occasions in last Sunday’s 28-10 victory against the Browns.

The Ravens reported the incidents by sending tapes to the league office earlier this week.

“We talked to the league,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said during his weekly news conference Wednesday. “We asked them for their opinion on what happened, and we’re waiting to hear back on it.”

The Ravens are withholding the names they reported to the NFL. But in reviewing the tape, Cleveland middle linebacker Andra Davis is one of the players in question. Davis can be seen reaching under McGahee’s visor and poking him in the right eye during a tackle near the goal line midway through the third quarter.

It is unknown who the Ravens believe is the second culprit, but they believe there were two separate cases Sunday that were intentional.

McGahee rushed for 64 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown in the victory against the Browns. So far, he has had limited participation in practice this week because of his eye injury.

“That thing is swollen up badly,” Harbaugh said. “As long as he can see, he’ll play. But if he can’t see, he’s not going to be able to play. So we’ll have to try to get that swelling down.”

This weekend, Baltimore (2-0) has a big game against the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) on Monday night in a battle for sole possession of first place in the AFC North. The teams split their season series last year.



Quinn Bee vs. The Promised One by kennythunder

Looks like the promised one has let his guard down. Don’t look now but the Golden boy is looking to be the queen bee. Will there be a catfight, or somebody in the doghouse? Only time will tell.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3602560

Crennel indicates Quinn will get ‘a few more reps’ in practice
ESPN.com news services

Is Derek Anderson’s Job In Jeopardy?BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns coach Romeo Crennel is not ready to announce he’s benching quarterback Derek Anderson just yet.

But Crennel and the Browns are at the point where they want to make sure highly touted backup Brady Quinn is prepared to play in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Although Crennel didn’t say Monday that he’s handing the reins over to Quinn, the coaching staff plans to give Quinn more practice reps with the first team this week. It’s the biggest indictment of Anderson to date following Sunday’s 28-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in which Anderson had one of the worst performances of his career. He completed just 14 of 37 passes for 125 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

“We will definitely try to get the other guy [Quinn] ready and ready to go,” Crennel said. “We’ll see how it progresses from there. [It means] probably a few more reps in practice right now.”

The change in tone provides a window into the shortened leash with Anderson.

Coming into the season, Crennel, the rest of the Browns’ coaching staff and general manager Phil Savage said they were behind Anderson as the starting quarterback. But after an 0-3 start and a horrendous 43.5 passer rating this year, the team is starting to waver from that claim, despite Quinn being an unproven commodity.

“If we decide to go with him, we just have to put it on the fact from what we’ve seen in practice and what we feel he’s able to do,” Crennel said of Quinn. “There’s no hard evidence that he will have more success.”

The Browns also are looking at changes at other positions, but quarterback is the one position on everyone’s mind. Cleveland is one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments this season after going 10-6 in 2007.

“I think what we have to do is evaluate it and do what’s best for this team to try and win a game,” Crennel said. “If [a quarterback change] is what it is, then that’s what it needs to be if we decide that.”

Quinn, the former Notre Dame star, is a first-round draft pick and the perceived face of a franchise that until a few weeks ago seemed to have finally put more than a decade’s worth of misery behind it.

Quinn spent 15 weeks of his rookie year as Anderson’s backup and didn’t make his NFL debut until last season’s finale against San Francisco. He completed 3 of 8 passes for 45 yards but looked poised while running Cleveland’s offense.

During the few minutes he was in the locker room Monday, Quinn was told Crennel is thinking about making a switch.

“Every week it’s the backup’s job to prepare to be the starter, so nothing’s changed,” Quinn said. “We’ve got a lot of things to work on. We have a lot of things to put together. Hopefully we can have another week of preparation and go into Cincinnati confident.”

Crennel said he didn’t consider bringing in Quinn against a Ravens defense that was “pinning back its ears” in the second half and going after Anderson, who was sacked five times.

Curiously, Crennel, who has come under fire from Browns fans because of poor clock management and his team’s overall lack of discipline and consistency so far this season, began his news conference on Monday with a reminder that Cleveland’s 10-win season in 2007 was ancient history.

“Everybody understands now that last year is officially over and where we are is where we are,” he said. “We have to evaluate this year’s team for who we are, how we’re playing right now and what’s happened this year and not look at what happened last year or anticipate that it’s going to be OK because it’s not OK.”

Anderson’s production has tailed off dramatically in his past eight starts. After taking over for Charlie Frye in Week 2, Anderson threw 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first 10 starts of 2008. However, over his past eight starts, Anderson, who missed three exhibition games this summer with a concussion, has nine TDs and 13 interceptions.

Anderson hasn’t had his full complement of wide receivers, either.

Joe Jurevicius is sidelined with a knee injury and Donte’ Stallworth, one of the team’s big free-agent signings, hasn’t played because of a leg injury suffered during warm-ups before the opener.

On top of that, Cleveland’s offensive line was without left guard Eric Steinbach on Sunday and right tackle Ryan Tucker hasn’t been active after undergoing surgery on his hip.