Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago
PHOENIX – " Well, I wouldn’t put on women’s pants, like skinny pants. But, you know, whatever you feel comfortable in. That’s my thing."
For fellow media members who are screaming that Marshawn Lynch is a jerk for his one-line answers to questions during Super Bowl week, now we can see what we're missing. Like the quote above. That's from Maxim's exclusive interview with Lynch in which the Seattle Seahawks running back discusses hard-hitting topics like skinny pants, that he bought a Lamborghini and the origins of his famous "Beast Mode" nickname.
We could have been getting valuable insight like ...
Do you do anything specific to get in the Beast Mode headspace? Nah. It’s just who I am. It’s not like I got to do nothing different besides be myself.
Can we just go back to "You know why I'm here"?
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Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago
PHOENIX – It must be a little strange for Dan Quinn, having two important jobs on his mind this week.
The Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator is going to be the next head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons part isn’t official, because he can’t be hired until his team is eliminated, but everyone assumes he is their coach-in-waiting. The Atlanta media has followed Quinn around at all his media availability periods this week.
If it is a struggle, Quinn doesn’t let it show. He’s coaching in a Super Bowl, after all.
“I am having an absolute blast with these guys,” Quinn said. “If I didn’t enjoy the moment of this experience, that would be crazy. I am absolutely having a blast.
“This is such a cool experience that where else would you rather be?”
It’s Quinn’s enthusiasm, and the great defenses he has guided the past two years, that presumably sold the Falcons on settling on him as their next head coach.
Linebacker K.J. Wright said he thought Quinn “should have been gone last year” based on what the Seahawks did, but is resigned to the fact that Quinn will be gone after this Super Bowl. And he said Quinn will make an excellent head coach.
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Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 11 hrs ago
CHANDLER, Ariz. – First, a numbers comparison.
Tight end A: 76 catches, 1,078 yards, 13 TDs, 14.2 yards per catch Tight end B: 78 catches, 896 yards, 7 TDs, 11.4 yards per catch
The first set of numbers are Rob Gronkowski’s season averages, prorated to account for missed time due to injuries.
The second tight end is Tony Gonzalez, widely considered the best tight end in NFL history, and his prorated 16-game averages.
Maybe it’s time to start looking at Gronkowski in this way: Gonzalez had the greatest career for a NFL tight end (or perhaps Shannon Sharpe if you weigh Super Bowl rings in the conversation, and John Mackey is on the short list too), but Gronkowski is the best tight end ever at the peak of his ability. Consider another stat: Gronkowski has played at least 10 games in four seasons, and has four seasons with double-digit touchdowns. Sharpe and Gonzalez combined for five double-digit touchdown seasons in their 31 years in the NFL.
He had a legitimate argument as NFL MVP this season, and it might be the first time you can say that about a tight end.
“You don’t want to go through too many plays and realize he’s not the focal point,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said.
Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 17 hrs ago
The Favre-Rodgers relationship is a story that won’t die, but that happens when one Hall of Famer is backing up another. It happened with Joe Montana and Steve Young too.
Favre famously said it wasn’t his job to get Rodgers ready to play, and years into retirement that stance hasn’t changed, as he said in an interview with InDepth’s Graham Bensinger. But he thinks the entire situation, and his relationship with Rodgers, has been overblown. His acrimonious departure from Green Bay probably didn’t help with the perception.
“Aaron and I, we don’t talk all the time but I don’t talk all the time with family members,” Favre told Bensinger in a wide-ranging interview. “It has nothing to do with him being the starting quarterback of Green Bay in spite of what people may think.
“I got no hard feelings. Why would I have hard feelings for Aaron Rodgers and why would he have hard feelings for me?”
His attitude on his role as a mentor for Rodgers when he was in Green Bay is pretty simple, and it makes sense. He already had one pretty tough job for the Packers.
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PHOENIX – Chris Matthews became an unexpected hero of the Seattle Seahawks’ crazy comeback win in the NFC championship game.
It was so unexpected that his dad missed it while working his job as a police officer.
Matthews hadn’t touched the ball in the NFL until recovering an onside kick in the final minutes of the NFC title game against the Green Bay Packers. The Seahawks scored after Matthews’ recovery to take the lead, and eventually won in overtime.
The rookie receiver didn’t log a catch or fumble recovery in the regular season, but his first NFL touch was a big one. So big that his police-officer father got a bit emotional.
“My dad is kind of a serious dude,” Matthews said. “You won’t catch him too many times smiling or having a good laugh. When he does, it’s special.”
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PHOENIX – There are countless ways in which Super Bowl coaches Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick differ, at least in public perception.
There was a moment this week when a media member, before asking a question, identified himself. The coach at the podium replied with a hearty "What's up?!?" and we'll let you guess if that was Carroll or Belichick. Hint: It wasn't Belichick.
Carroll is the youngest 63-year-old ever, a bounding ball of energy who is so keen on competing that he sometimes has players shoot baskets and keep score before team meetings. Would you believe it if I told you Belichick is actually younger than Carroll? He is, by about seven months. But Belichick plays the role of the grump, at least when he’s not taking questions about stuffed animals at Media Day.
But maybe the two Super Bowl coaches aren’t so different after all.
“He smiles!” Patriots receiver Brandon LaFell said. “He smiles in the meeting rooms, he jokes around. Bill is a great guy.”
“They’re winners,” McGinest said.
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PHOENIX – Seattle Seahawks receiver Jermaine Kearse didn't get a podium at Super Bowl media day last year.
They only have 15 podiums per team, counting one for coach Pete Carroll and another wasted on Marshawn Lynch. And Kearse's production, with 537 yards and one touchdown in his third NFL season, didn't indicate he would have one. But he did, because after the NFC championship game, everyone knows who he is.
A kid who was about 10, one of the many kids asking players from both teams questions on media day approached Kearse's podium with the question he'll get asked a million more times before he dies.
"How did it feel to make the game-winning catch against Green Bay?" the kid asked.
"It felt good," Kearse said, going into a lengthy answer about overcoming adversity.
Comedian J.B. Smoove also approached Kearse.
"Amazing catch against Green Bay, right?" J.B. Smoove said.
"Yeah," Kearse said. "I appreciate it."
As you can imagine, life has been different for him since he closed out the Packers with a 35-yard touchdown in overtime.
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CHANDLER, Ariz. – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft criticized the NFL, the way deflate-gate has been handled and reported on, said he wanted an apology from the league if its investigation doesn't turn up anything, and basically dropped the mic on the conversation of the entire matter for the rest of the week.
It was surreal. It was an unscheduled statement by Kraft before coach Bill Belichick's first news conference in Arizona for the Super Bowl. He was angry and frustrated and stood completely behind Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady and their claims that they didn't do anything to cause the Patriots' game footballs to be under-inflated in the AFC championship game.
And if the NFL investigation by Ted Wells doesn't provide proof, he wants an apology from the league.
Kraft started his statement, which he said he wrote on the flight from Massachusetts to Arizona on Monday, by throwing his entire support behind Brady and Belichick.
"It bothers me greatly their reputations and integrity – and by association that of our team – has been called into question this week."
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PHOENIX – Since late in the 2012 season, it’s unlikely any NFL team has had more kind words written and said about them as the Seattle Seahawks.
I’d defy anyone to find anything that truly disrespected them. They were a deserving Super Bowl champion last season and have a possible dynasty forming. Everyone knows that. But if anything has been said as a slight to the Seahawks, it’s probably a good bet they’ve heard it and remembered it.
Receiver Doug Baldwin’s rant outside the locker room after the NFC championship game gives a partial window into what motivates the Seahawks. Baldwin talked (passionately) about how he, the receivers and the team had been written off, especially when the team was 6-4 and in danger of missing the playoffs. He talked about how everyone wrote the Seahawks off when they were trailing the Packers 16-0 at halftime, and how could he even know such a thing?
“We enjoy that," Baldwin said. "It adds some motivation, it adds some flair to it. We embrace it."
PHOENIX – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, in his unique way, put the deflate-gate situation in a different context.
Does NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have a conflict of interest?
Sherman's comment was the result of a photo with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Goodell at Kraft's house before the AFC championship game, but a new GQ article on Goodell brings a lot of new perspective to the forefront.
As GQ pointed out, Kraft was one of the strongest defenders of giving Goodell a salary of more than $44 million in 2013. Even if that doesn't matter at all in deflate-gate – no punishment has been given out, the NFL hasn't said anything meaningful on the investigation and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the NFL hasn't even questioned him yet – it's fair for people like Sherman to put the puzzle together and wonder.
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