Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor told the New York Post on Wednesday that he would not hesitate to “lay out” his close friend, Jets receiver Santonio Holmes, in Sunday’s AFC title game. Taylor and Holmes, the former Steeler, are offseason workout partners and as tight as brothers, but Taylor said that friendship will be put on hold for three hours this weekend at Heinz Field. “I love him and that’s my boy, but when we get between those white lines, it’s a whole different deal,” Taylor said in an interview with The Post after practice.
Obviously, Ike Taylor was not paying attention to the Ray Anderson memo from the league last week which warned players of idle threats and carrying out said threats. It is surprising that Anderson has not commented on the Ike Taylor trash talk. But why would we be disappointed the Jets were only going to play America’s golden team the Patriots.
Taylor further said that he was going to try to be as disrespectful as possible once he and Holmes got between those white lines, the veteran Pittsburgh starter said. “Friendship doesn’t enter into it then.” What must put Holmes and the Jets on notice is that the Steelers’ hard-hitting defense is known to back up hints of bodily harm.
Taylor, who was fined $10,000 by the NFL during the preseason for striking Giants wideout Hakeem Nicks in the head, is just one of several Pittsburgh defenders familiar with the league’s disciplinary department in recent years. Linebacker James Harrison, in fact, is such a noted headhunter that the NFL has fined him four separate times this season alone for a total of $100,000, putting him on the verge of a suspension. Taylor’s comments also probably will not go over well with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the wake of his recent efforts to cut down on unnecessarily violent hits. But Taylor, who is among the team leaders in tackles and defies the usual cornerback reputation by being physical against the run, defiantly said he plans to offer his buddy no quarter.
“I’m not going to hesitate to lay him out,” Taylor said. “No question at all. You know why? Because he ain’t going to hesitate to crack on me if he gets a chance.” Taylor, who became tight with Holmes during the wideout’s four seasons in Pittsburgh, will have to be careful carrying out that vow because hits on “defenseless receivers” are the league’s biggest point of emphasis this year.
Holmes was MVP of Super Bowl XLIII after his acrobatic, toe-tapping touchdown catch with 35 seconds left gave the Steelers a 27-23 victory over the Cardinals. But the 26-year-old was traded to the Jets for a fifth-round pick in last year’s draft, just before the NFL announced he would be suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Come Ray Anderson, please show the same love for the Jets and Holmes…shaking my head.
Seems like Bengals’ Head Coach Marvin Lewis is continuing his attacks, calling out Chad Ochocino and his antics. Word on the streets is that Ocho drew some attention from the sporting world, when he recently tweeted, about wanting to join the New England Patriots next season. Lewis did not take lightly to the comments and blasted Chad on Bengals.com. “Nobody was talking about him,” Lewis said. “He didn’t stand that. You want them to talk about you, win football games.”
Coach Lewis also took a shot at Ochocinco in December, claiming that he was being “mopey” about his left ankle injury. To which Ochocinco fired back on twitter, saying his coach threw him under the bus and that this is “how they treat you when you hurt.”
It will be interesting to see whether the razzle-dazzle wide receiver returns to the Bengals next season, but Chad should also bear in mind that all talk does not prove the theory of “what have you done for the team lately”
The NFL off season is kicking into high gear and so it is evident that certain players will start behaving badly. The first victim of the “Off The Field Blunders” is Denver Broncos running back Laurence Maroney was arrested Monday night on weapons charges in St. Louis, according to KMOV-TV. The 25-year-old is reportedly being held on “unlawful weapons charges and drug charges.” Maroney and three other men were in the vehicle that was pulled over by police. He was a first-round pick in 2006 for the New England Patriots and was traded to the Broncos in 2010. The Broncos who recently named Hall of Famer and former quarterback John Elway as Executive Vice President has not issued a statement regarding Maroney. However, Elway is said to be a no-nonsense kind of guy and will surely not turn the other cheek to this kind of behavior by Maroney.
Tragedy struck after the New York Jets’ stunning upset win over the New England Patriots on Sunday. In a story that could only be designed for TV drama, Raymond Larsen, a 46-year-old New York Jets fan, died in a sledding accident on Sunday night after the Jets knocked the New England Patriots out of the playoffs. According to John Annese of the Staten Island Advocate, Larsen “took a celebratory sled ride down his driveway in Great Kills” and crashed into “a car driving down his block” at about 8:52 p.m.
Larsen was unconscious and unresponsive when police arrived on the scene. Police said that the 61-year-old female driver did not have any alcohol in her system and that they do not suspect any crime on her part. May his soul rest in “green”.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre officially filed his retirement papers on Monday with the National Football League, ending over twenty years of service to three franchises – Packers, Jets and Vikings. The future Hall of Famer’s legacy will be one decorated but somewhat tarnished after this year’s tumultuous saga with the sextexting scandal.
In November, Favre told former NFL coach Steve Mariucci on the NFL Network that he will not be returning to play in 2011. After sitting out in the season finale against the Detroit Lions due to a concussion, Favre said “it’s time” in a postgame retirement speech. “I know it’s time, and that’s OK. It is,” the 41-year-old said. “Again, I hold no regrets, and I can’t think of too many players offhand that can walk away and say that. Individually and from a team standpoint, it was way more than I ever dreamed of.”
The old gunslinger who is now more famous for his retirement speeches than his two-minute drills and stellar comeback will say goodbye just once more and I do hope he means it.
News got out earlier today that the NFL ( aka No Fun League) has warned the playoff teams against the kind of trash talking, which occurred this week between teams like the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. Welker on Thursday made several references to feet in a jab at Ryan, who allegedly is involved in making foot-fetish videos featuring his wife. That came one day after Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady an “a–hole,” according to a published report. Ryan, Cromartie and Shaun Ellis also called out Brady for taunting the Jets during a 45-3 win last month.
Ryan said he was aware of Welker’s remarks. “I think this is a huge rivalry-type game and anything goes. I can take it,” Ryan said Friday. “I’m not going to discuss it, but I can take it.” ESPN.com reports the NFL did not name any teams or players specifically in its warning. The league has fined players and could suspend them for hits deemed to be excessively violent.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote Saturday on Twitter, “To confirm what’s being reported: (NFL VP) Ray Anderson contacted multiple clubs this week so they could remind players comments of a physically threatening nature are always taken into account in evaluating discipline for illegal physical contact on field.”
The Ravens and Steelers, who play Saturday in Pittsburgh, also have engaged in serious trash-talking in the weeklong run-up to the Divisional playoff games. As long as there are no threats, I do believe that this is healthy for the rivalry and brings a bit of excitement to the already blah and boring no fun league.
As if the ghost of “Black Monday” was not haunting enough, along with the pressures of the post-season, NFL’s officiating department has added other changes to the confusing and controversial rules for playing with the pigskin in the post season. When the playoffs begin this weekend, they will feature a new rule for overtime. That field goal to win the game on the opening series of the extra session? Forget it.
If a team wins the coin toss and receives the overtime kickoff, it does not automatically win the game if it kicks a field goal. The team that kicked off then gets a possession. If the trailing team also kicks a field goal, the game continues. If it scores a touchdown, it wins. And if it does not get any points, it loses.
“It’s another component of a football game,” said Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy, whose Packers are at Philadelphia on Sunday. “I clearly understand why the rule was changed, the fairness to give both teams the opportunity to have the ball. I don’t think it’s a huge deal.” The tweak was made last March, two months after Garrett Hartley’s field goal won the NFL championship game for New Orleans over Minnesota on the opening series of OT. While that kick prompted an early Mardi Gras for Saints fans, it gave impetus to suggestions there might be a fairer way to determine outcomes in overtime.
Team owners passed the change only for the playoffs, but reserved the right to add it to the regular season if it works well.
“I was one of those guys that was hoping that this would be a yearlong thing,” said Kansas City coach Todd Haley as his Chiefs prepared for Sunday’s game with Baltimore. “It is different and there are multiple variables that could come into play.”
Such as whether the winner of the coin toss actually would choose to go on defense first, something unheard of for OTs under the previous rules.