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”
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.
In case it did not occur to anyone following my posts both on Facebook and Twitter for the last two days, I am still a bit upset at Miami Dolphins’ GM, Jeff Ireland’s line of questioning during a pre-draft interview with WR Dez Bryant. After doing some research, I have discovered that Ireland comes from a long line of football pedigree. Yes he has had the golden spoon handed to him from birth. This is not to take nothing away from Ireland, who must have done something right to earn the job as GM for Miami’s NFL franchise.
I hope no one walks away from reading my blog feeling that I have anything against Ireland and his “pedigree,” god knows I have had my fair share of being called an elitist. The only difference, the people who nicknamed me elitist, will testify to my kind heartedness and “one of the regular” folks kind of attitude – but this blog is not about me.
This scribe came to further reiterate that Ireland went “there” with his line of pre-draft questions. The background of Bryant and his mother was widely reported prior to the draft. Angela, Bryant’s mom was only 15 when Dez was born, and she served time in jail for selling crack cocaine. Not that it was any of Jeff Ireland’s business. He was there to evaluate a player on his college experience, “his character,” his future goals and how it would fit in with that of those “sorry” Dolphins.
And to think that Jeff Ireland has four children, this goes beyond everything else I believe in as a parent – as you would generally treat other people’s kids, as if they were your own. I know he has pedigree and all, and that none of his kids might need to answer a “do or die” question to obtain gainful employment, but to you Jeff, I say “have a heart.”
I do not think nor will I ever believe that children choose their mothers or fathers; it’s my best bet that they are more likely to choose their friends. In Dez Bryant’s situation, one bad decision or one bad lie cart-wheeled into the whole intrusive quest to dig up things about his mom.
As if to say, the Miami Heat should have asked Dwayne Wade about his mother’s past, or god forbid someone in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization should pull Ben Roethlisberger, and find out if a family history is to be blamed for his thirst for “bars and women”. The NFL and the Player’s Union should set clear parameters from which “jerks” like Ireland and his other colleagues should operate. Yes, Ireland might not be the only one crossing the line with draft prospects, free agents and other players.
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith lashed out at the line of questioning Ireland used. “We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen,” Smith said in a statement. “During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions held by team personnel. “NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man. For the past year, active, former and incoming players have heard me speak about the expectations we have of them as members of this union, their teams, communities and families. It is equally true that the same kind of respect is demanded of their employers.”
That’s all well and good for Union Boss DeMaurice Smith, but where is the “Paragon of Virtues” himself Roger Goodell, when we need him to chime in. Mr. Goodell your comments are needed for an issue as this during the current news cycle. NFL Team employees are not allowed to conduct “Gorilla” typed interviews violating player’s human rights and human dignity.
To top it off, Ireland offered an apology after Bryant spoke to several media houses about the line of questions. As a mother, I was extremely proud, that he did not respond in a manner that would have been deemed as unprofessional. I don’t know if I could have done this same, god knows I have thought of the many ways I could have answered him. A sample answer: Did you need a rate sheet?
Stop the press another NFL player was arrested for possible DUI and alleged assault on a police officer. Former Miami Dolphin linebacker Joey Porter was arrested by Bakersfield police after being pulled over on suspicision of DUI. The Bakersfield PD reported that Porter refused to provide his driver’s license and began to roll up his window when asked to leave the car. Police said that when an officer reached to unlock the door Porter slapped the officer’s hand. Porter eventually got out and complied with orders, placing his hands behind his back, he was later arrested along with the a passenger who was riding with him.
The embattled linebacker recently signed a multi-year with the Arizona Cardinals after stirring up trouble with the Dolphins, forcing the “Fins” to release him. More famous for his whining than his stats this past season, Porter should get himself together and realize that his temper tantrums are no longer funny. After 11 years in the league, one would seriously wonder what the heck was Joey thinking.
Oh well, the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has finally decided, that he would come out of hiding on the Ben Roethlisberger off the field issue, deciding that he would meet with the sex scandal embattled quarterback this week. For the pass three off seasons, Big Ben has been in the news for either the bike accident or sexual abuse lawsuits. As if, the allegations set forth in the Las Vegas lawsuit were not red flags enough, the NFL waited a whole year and yes another allegation, before Roethlisberger explains why and how he is so prone to girls spreading false rumors about him.
The No Fun League(“NFL”) sure does have patience with some players and then throws the books at others. God forbid that Terrell Owens, Flozell Adams or Albert Haynesworth did the same thing, they would not have been allowed to breathe, before Roger Goodell and Greg Aiello intercepted their lives, citing to every line of the NFL’s policy regarding zero tolerance for behavior detrimental to a team.
There is no doubt that public displays of drinking affection, showing NFL players gagging on Patron, Hennessey of whatever their choice of shots, should not be tolerated. But when girls are involved, anything can happened, yes “rape” or the delusion of same, could be reported to the police. Whether or not the latest victim learned from the mistakes made in the Vegas case, one will never know. Anyway you look at this, Big Ben needs to cough up to the Commish, what really happened and/or why he is always the victims of these vicious attacks.
In turn, Commissioner Goodell should decide whether or not to send Big Old Ben to rehab with Amy Winehouse, before his public display of affection with the bottle and women gets reported in the news for yet another time. It’s time for Ben to quit being a victim and more a survivor. Reports this week also surfaced that head coach, Mike Tomlin expresses concerns about Ben’s off the field issues came as no surprise to Steeler’s fans. But only time will tell on this one.
Sources close to the Chicago Bears are saying that the Bears are in talks with All-Pro Defensive Lineman, Julius Peppers in attempt to finalized a six-year deal, which will land the scorching hot defensive threat to Chi-Town next season. After agreeing on the numbers on the deal, both sides are having the language of the contract reviewed by the league and the NFLPA. If the language is approved, the source said, Peppers will be a Bear. Peppers was looking for at least $12 million a year in the early part of the contract. The agreement could be worth $40 million over the first three years. The 6-foot-7, 283-pound Peppers is a five-time Pro Bowler who recorded 10.5 sacks with two interceptions and five forced fumbles last season. “If we bring in Julius Peppers, that could help us a lot,” Bears defensive end Alex Brown said Thursday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “The guy’s a monster, he’s an animal. He’s the biggest guy and fastest guy I think I’ve ever seen. If the deal is finalized, the Bears should only be looking for some offensive help in the form of let’s say Brandon Marshall. Hmm – I am wondering what’s is store for Jay Cutler either in free agency or via the draft. Well good luck to Julius, hope my Eagles is not his line of fire next season…stay tuned for more scoop of the NFL free agency and continued labor talks…I am out