Mike Zimmer rips Bobby Petrino, Bobby Petrino backer rips Mike Zimmer, Anthony Stalter rips backer

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 07:  Head coach Bobby Petrino stands on the sidelines with Joey Harrington #13 of the Atlanta Falcons after taking him out of the game against the Tennessee Titans during their game at LP Field on October 7, 2007 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

I remember when Bobby Petrino ditched Louisville to join the Atlanta Falcons in 2007. The writers for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution briefly mentioned Petrino’s penchant for leaving teams in the dust for bigger and brighter opportunities, then they moved right into breaking down his offense and how he could transform Michael Vick into an elite quarterback.

Not too long after Petrino left Atlanta in the middle of the night to go “Call Hogs” in Arkansas, those same writers ripped him for being a coward. He kind of has that way about him.

When he’s on your side (no matter how briefly), you want to overlook his many weaknesses. But as soon as he shows you his true colors, you hope he never wins another game.

Mike Zimmer, who was the Falcons’ defensive coordinator in Atlanta when Petrino performed his disappearing act, had some not-so-nice things to say about his former boss in a recent interview.

“I never even was there,” said Zimmer. “When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t have enough guts to at least finish out the year … I am not a part of that.

“You can put that in the Arkansas News-Gazette. I don’t really give a (hooey). I am serious. He is a coward. Put that in quotes.”

“Most people in football have enough courage about them and enough fight to stick through something and not quit halfway through the year. It is cowardly,” said Zimmer. “He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.

“He’s a gutless (expletive). Quote that. I don’t give a (hooey).”

If you’re abreast of the situation, then you know that Zimmer spoke the truth. But apparently at least one writer in Arkansas is still blinded by Petrino’s lore and took exception to Zimmer’s comments.

These are excerpts from an article by Jim Harris of ArkansasSports360.com in reference to Zimmer’s comments:

Zimmer said earlier this week that Petrino ruined lives when he abruptly left Atlanta for Arkansas with three games left in the 2007 season. Please.

Zimmer’s had a very difficult four years of his life, both on the field and off it. Some of it tragic. His parting with Petrino was not among the tragic occurrences, as Zimmer had a contract and also was able to find work with Cincinnati.

Lives were ruined by Hurricane Katrina. Lives are ruined daily in Haiti, in the aftermath of an earthquake and now a cholera epidemic in a country with no money.

Harris’ mention of how Zimmer has “had a very difficult four years of his life” is in reference to the defensive coordinator finding his wife Vikki dead in their home in the middle of the football season. And while Harris has a good point about Hurricane Katrina and Haiti, let’s not mince words here.

I’m willing to bet that Harris doesn’t know Zimmer personally, so how would he know if the situation ruined Zimmer’s life or not? Besides, isn’t Harris being a little too literal here? I’m sure Zimmer would say that Hurricane Katrina was a bigger deal than Petrino leaving Atlanta, but the situation still affected his life in a profound way. It essentially cost him his job with the Falcons and while he still wound up on his feet in Cincinnati a year later, that doesn’t mean that Harris has the right to downplay the situation and go with the standard “life is bigger than sports” anecdote that some writers use these days.

Read the rest of this entry »

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Joe Flacco does his best Jake Delhomme impression in loss to Bengals

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Johnson  and Geno Atkins  of the Cincinatti Bengals sack quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

There are bad days in football and then there’s whatever Joe Flacco just did in Cincinnati today.

In a putrid display of football on Sunday, Joe Flacco was intercepted four times and completed just 17-of-39 passes for 154 yards in a 15-10 loss to the Bengals. At the start of the third quarter, he was 5-of-17 for 23 yards and one pick…yikes.

He did manage to lead the Ravens on an 80-yard scoring drive to start the second half, but everything went downhill again from there. He wound up throwing three of his four picks in the second half when the game was still in reach.

Credit must be given to Bengals’ defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who played a key role in Flacco’s horrendous outing. Following their embarrassing 38-24 loss to the Patriots last weekend, Zimmer took the blame for his defense playing so poorly. But he won’t have to do that this week, as his unit limited Baltimore to only 14 first downs and an average of 3.8 yards per pass completion (which is huge considering that most teams win when their average yards per pass is higher than their opponents’).

That said, while the Bengals’ defense got back on track, their offense was rather stagnant. Carson Palmer finished with a QB Rating of 60.1 on 16-of-35 passing for 167 yards and no touchdowns. Cedric Benson was also limited to 3.4 yards per carry (78 yards on 23 carries), although he was going up against a solid Ravens’ front seven.

On a positive note for the Bengals’ offense, T.O. caught three passes for 57 yards, which included a 29-yard reception. Chad Ochocinco also hauled in four passes for 44 yards and rookie Jordan Shipley got into the act with five catches for 42 yards. Palmer wasn’t very efficient overall, but he did complete passes to seven different receivers and also targeted rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham, who eventually has to get more involved in the passing game.

While I’ll stop short of calling this a statement game for the Bengals, it was important for them to beat a division rival one week after getting smacked by the Patriots. As for Flacco and the Ravens, this certainly played out like a letdown game, which is unfortunate considering Cincinnati is a division foe.

Will this be Lewis’ last year in Cincinnati?

Chick Ludwig of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote an interesting piece today about head coach Marvin Lewis’ future with the Bengals. With Lewis’ contract expiring at the end of the year, Ludwig predicts that the head coach will be gone after the 2010 season.

But Ludwig’s reasoning is perplexing. He writes that since Pro Football Hall of Fame legend Paul Brown only coached the Bengals for eight seasons, that his son (and owner) Mike Brown won’t allow Lewis to coach behind that time span. (Lewis is heading into his eighth year with the Bengals.)

If that’s true, then the Bengals are more screwed up organizationally than I originally thought. The idea makes sense on the surface, but allowing a good coach’s contract to expire because you don’t want to see his tenure go longer than your dad’s is ridiculous. I realize Lewis has yet to win a playoff game in Cincinnati, but considering the situations that the front office puts him in sometimes in regards to personnel, I think he’s done a decent job. He will likely have suitors ready and willing to hire him if he isn’t re-signed by the Bengals, which is a testament to him as a coach.

I just don’t understand the thought process of not re-signing a coach other than he simply couldn’t get the job done on the field. If they decide not to retain him because they don’t like the direction that the team is heading in or feel as though things are getting stagnant that’s fine, but don’t let him walk because of the number of years he has been there.

Of course, these are the Bengals that we’re talking about here. Everyone likes to bash Al Davis for making stupid decisions, but Mike Brown is right behind him in that category. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Bengals do allow Lewis to walk for reasons outside of his win/loss record.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Q&A with ESPN’s Mike Golic

If you listen to ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike In the Morning,” you know that former NFL defensive lineman Mike Golic is one half of the equation and the counterpoint to long-time “Sportscenter” anchor Mike Greenberg. While both share a passion for sports, Golic takes the role of the “man’s man” and frequently discusses his passion for food and in particular, his love for grilling out. Well, lucky for us, Golic recently teamed up with Kingsford Charcoal to promote their new and improved briquets (and their new flavors of KC Masterpiece sauce and marinade), as well as with chef Chris Lilly, who owns Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q and is an award winning barbecue chef. So we’ve got some of their special recipes on our Grub For Guys page on Bullz-Eye.com, but we also had the opportunity to interview Golic about ESPN, grilling out, and of course, football:

The Scores Report: Hey Mike, we know you love to eat and love to grill. What is your favorite KC Masterpiece new flavor and why?

Mike Golic: I’m an original flavor kind of guy – no bells or whistles needed for me. But, I’ve tried the new KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and the smoky, sweet taste gives the original flavor some good competition for best sauce.

TSR: What are your thoughts on the new briquets, and do you use your grill year round?

MG: I have a fairly busy schedule with “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN analysis, and my family, but I definitely try to keep my grill fired up year-round whenever I have down-time. There is no better way to bring family and friends together than over the smokey flavors of a charcoal grill. In fact, when my boys where in high school, I used to travel to their football camps in early-August and grill for their entire teams during two-a-day workouts.

Kingsford MatchLight is my go-to charcoal – it has lighter fluid built into the briquet formula so it lights quickly and easily – which is especially convenient when I’m tailgating. I’ve heard that Kingsford briquets now light easier and faster, which I can also appreciate since I’m always crunched for time with my busy schedule.

TSR: Do you have any go-to items you like to grill for Super Bowl Sunday, or are you usually too busy working to cook that day?

MG: I will be working the whole week leading up to Super Bowl in Miami, but I’m excited to be able to go home and watch the actual game with my friends and family. But, while I’m in Miami, I will be firing up the grill with my buddy, world champion pitmaster, Chris Lilly earlier in the week. Chris has taught me quite a bit about grilling over the years and has inspired me to create a few tailgate recipes of my own. I will be demonstrating my BBQ Blitz Chicken Wraps for a few TV interviews with Chris before sharing a little tailgate with the lucky winner of the “On the Grill with Golic” sweepstakes that took place earlier this year. The recipe is attached in case your readers want to try it at home. For more great grilling recipes become a fan of Kingsford on Facebook at Facebook.com/KingsfordCharcoal.

Read the rest of this entry »

NFL Week 16 COY Power Rankings

Upsets galore and crazy outcomes have forced us to look a bit harder at the Coach of the Year rankings, but most of our contenders are hanging tough.

1. Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts—The poor guy is still dodging proverbial rocks being thrown by Colts’ fans, who wanted their team to continue its pursuit of perfection instead of rolling over against the Jets. Being that the Colts were still in position to go to 15-0 when Caldwell did that, we have to cut him some slack and remember that his team is still the top seed in the AFC and would be in the NFC as well.

2. Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints—Payton surely did not want to back into the #1 seed in the NFC, but after losing two games in a row, his team did just that when the Vikings’ loss Monday night let the Saints snag the top position. And once again, we have to consider the entire season’s body of work.

3. Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers—When you consider that Turner’s Chargers always play lousy in September, only to win when it really matters, that’s far better than it being the other way around. It’s time we started to give Turner his due.

4. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals—The Bengals are another team not playing well, but they have dealt with two tragedies this season—the death of player Chris Henry, and the passing of the wife of D-coordinator Mike Zimmer. And still, the Bengals are 10-5 with an AFC North title. Raise your hand if you expected that.

5. Brad Childress, Minnesota Vikings—Yes, the Vikings are floundering and in danger of losing the #2 seed to Philly or Dallas, but I’ll keep mentioning two players who Childress sought in the off-season that made this a championship caliber team—Brett Favre and Percy Harvin.

Honorable mention: Ken Whisenhunt, Cardinals; Mike McCarthy, Packers; Andy Reid, Eagles; Bill Belichick, Patriots; Rex Ryan, Jets; Wade Phillips, Cowboys; Josh McDaniels, Denver Broncos

Related Posts