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NFL Pregame Show Week 11 Sound Bites: CBS' 'The NFL Today'

Here are the sound bites from CBS Sports' "The NFL Today" pregame show. The quotes are provided by the CBS Sports PR department.


Phil Simms on THE NFL TODAY talking about his comments this past week on Eli Manning. To view, click here.

"Let me go back to these comments. I don't have time to address them all, because I'd like to. But let's go with this Eli comment. Let's think about it this way. Let me clarify it for everybody out there so they can understand it. Let's say they're all elite in the NFL. My premise in the whole thought was, if you listen to the whole thing, I was trying to distinguish Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers from the rest of the group. Period. That was it. Can we understand that these three guys, what they've done on the field, what they've shown this year and consistently through their whole careers, that they can get it done. They do not have down periods. Now everybody out there is going to go, ‘Oh, Phil is back-tracking.’ That is far from the truth. I am not back-tracking one bit. I'm just trying to clarify it because this word elite, man, it just drives everybody crazy because that's the new word how we define players in the NFL. Now for Eli Manning, it was no disrespect to him at all. I didn't mean any. I respect what he's done as a player. My gosh, to stay on the field for every game and not get hurt, that alone puts you in the Hall of Fame. He's on his way to a Hall of Fame career. I know he has two Super Bowl MVPs, so it's no disrespect to him at all. I was defining the word elite to try to signify those three guys that they stand out in my eyes.

BILL COWHER: It's like comparing apples and oranges. They're both great quarterbacks. But Eli Manning right now in my opinion is five years younger. He's played in a tougher atmosphere right now than Peyton did, who had a system catered around him and played in a Dome all those years. In the NFC East, you're playing in the elements. When you look at the playoffs, when you distinguish between the two players, Eli is 8-3, two Super Bowls, two MVPs. Peyton is 9-10 in the playoffs. All I'm saying is I would take Eli Manning over Peyton.


(On Oregon Head Coach Chip Kelly moving to NFL job)
JASON LA CANFORA: A lot of NFL executives believe those chances are very good at least in-part because of an on-going probe into possible recruiting violations there. College sources I’ve talked to believe the NCAA will be prepared to move forward with their findings some point shortly after Oregon's Bowl game. There could be sanctions coming. I can also tell you, recently there have been long interview sessions, six hours-or-more, with some recruiting services and scouting services that Oregon has used in the past. NFL people are saying look when Pete Carroll made the jump to the pros is when the NCAA started sniffing around.

To view report, click here.

(On possibility of Jon Gruden returning to coaching)
JASON LA CANFORA: At the very least he's preparing for that possibility. According to my sources, he's been putting together a list of possible candidates to join him on his staff. He's been asking a lot of questions to people, particularly about the college game and things related specifically to the college game. He's also been studying that Oregon offense up there to see if that Ducks offense would work for him. He's someone that's going to be sought after at the college ranks and pro ranks. Arkansas and Tennessee are prepared to get into bidding war over him. Arkansas has been told, their Athletic Department, money is not an object. Tennessee, Jimmy Haslam, the owner of the Browns, is a very big booster of that school. His brother is the Governor of that State. And he's told people he loves Jon Gruden.

To view report, click here.


THE NFL TODAY’s medical consultant, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, shared his medical expertise regarding the injury to Ben Roethlisberger, the concussions sustained to Jay Cutler, Alex Smith and Michael Vick, as well as the latest medical news.

JAMES BROWN: Jay Cutler and Alex Smith both continue to play in their respective games following the hits that caused their concussions. The players association is called for the presence of independent doctors on the sidelines. Do you agree with that?

DR. ELATTRACHE: You know, I don't. I think the on-field diagnosis and management of this problem is still the best done between the player and doctor that knows him best, and that is the team physician. Doing that says one of two things. If you put these guys on the sidelines, it either says that the experienced team physicians are not competent to make diagnosis and to manage it on the field or they're conflicted and wouldn't do it properly. I can tell you neither one of these things is the case. There is so much attention being paid to this topic right now. All the incentives are aligned, and I think this is still a diagnosis best made between the player on the field and the doctor that knows him best.


(On Peyton Manning and the Broncos)
BOOMER ESIASON: I'm so struck by the brilliance of Peyton Manning and how great he's been in the first nine weeks of the season. Take a look at this; 2700 yards, almost 70% completion. Look at their schedule, they go from one of the most difficult schedules the first eight games to the easiest schedule the last eight games. I see them at 13‑3. They are on a collision course with the Houston Texans to play in the AFC Championship game. But more importantly, Peyton Manning is on pace to have his second-best season ever. That's eight years later from 2004, in which he threw 49 touchdown passes. That's four neck surgeries in eight years since that time. Amazing what he's done.

(On New York Jets’ problems)
BOOMER ESIASON: I'm not going to blame Tim Tebow. It’s not his fault. I put it at the feet of Mike Tannenbaum, the General Manager. The reason I do that is because he brought in Tony Sparano as an offensive coordinator. I thought it was going to be better than it was, and it has not been good. He has a very limited skill group of players around him. Rex Ryan basically is a defensive head coach. The offense is a mess, and really, Mark Sanchez has not played well, probably because of all of those reasons, and adding Tim Tebow to the mix. So to me it's at the feet of the general manager, Mike Tannenbaum

(On Dallas making the Playoffs)
SHANNON SHARPE: And here's the thing. I don't know if Jerry Jones can fire 53 guys and an entire coaching staff. They have eight games remaining. Six of those are at home. If they do not make the playoffs with this kind of cookie schedule, somebody's got to go.


THE NFL TODAY’s Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino visited with Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck to talk about the "growing pains" of a rookie quarterback in the NFL, the pressure of replacing future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning and also dealing with the absence of his Head Coach Chuck Pagano, who is battling leukemia, while trying to lead his team to a surprising run at the playoffs. Jeff St. Arromand is the producer. To view, click here.

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