Sports Illustrated's Peter King made his weekly Mut & Merloni appearance on Friday to talk about the Patriots-Colts game and other NFL news.
The Colts are 6-3 despite having a high number of new players this season, including a rookie quarterback in Andrew Luck.
"It's startling. It just really, really is amazing what they've done in a short period of time," King said. "And it just goes to show you, if you have a good quarterback in the NFL -- and make no mistake about it, you'll see it Sunday, Luck is pretty good -- you're going to be competitive regardless of the other warts you have on your roster."
King said Luck has made it a point to get a lot of receivers involved and not allow opposing defenses to detect patterns in the Colts offense. That has allowed some less-heralded players to contribute. King mentioned one such player to watch Sunday.
Said King: "They're going to be without [starting tight end] Coby Fleener Sunday. But you watch this young kid, this tight end from Clemson, Dwayne Allen. He will have an impact on this game, either blocking or catching. He is one heck of a player. He might be better than Fleener."
The Jets provided plenty of headlines this week, from unnamed players blasting backup quarterback Tim Tebow, to Rex Ryan calling out the anonymous voices, to owner Woody Johnson denying it was his idea to acquire Tebow. King said offensive coordinator Tony Sparano, the former Dolphins head coach, has culpability for the Tebow controversy.
"There's a lot of blame to go around in that," King said. "To Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum for thinking that he's just going to be able to slide onto the team and be a good, helpful entity to help them win. But I put the most blame for all of this on Tony Sparano. When Tebow was signed, the Jets said very clearly that, 'We're going to have a package of plays, he's going to do a lot of different things, we're not going to tell you what it is, come to the game, you'll find out.' And almost since the start of the season, we've been looking at it like he's got the emperor's clothes on. No one has been able to say what exactly does this guy do. Why did the Jets sign him? Why don't they have stuff for him to do? How can a guy who threw an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and ran for all these touchdowns late in the game to beat teams like the Jets last year, why is he invisible?
"I blame the guy who is there to design the offense. Tony Sparano should have figured out early and often that if he doesn't get the ball to Tim Tebow, then it's going to be a cause celebre. And New York is different from Miami, it just is. So, I really blame the play-calling for a lot of this. Because I truly believe that if Tim Tebow had played 125 offensive snaps by now, or like 10-12 snaps a game, he would have done enough so that people would say, 'Ah, that's why they got Tebow. He ran for four touchdowns, he threw for this, he did this, he ran this fake punt back, whatever.' But the Jets I think just simply have not followed through with what they did when they traded for him in the first place."
Following are more highlights from the interview.
On the injury to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: "I talked to a thoracic surgeon -- that's the guy who would do internal surgery in the area of the ribs and the sternum. He told me what's so dangerous about this situation that Roethlisberger is in, he said if it was any rib other than the first rib -- which is the top rib on your ribcage -- he said that rib is attached to the breastbone and to the spine. If that becomes dislodged, not only -- as people have said -- could it threaten your heart, your aorta, he said, 'I think the bigger threat is to your nerves in your right shoulder and right arm. If he plays before that's healed and those nerves are severed, then there's a chance he's going to lose feeling in his arm.' And I believe that if you can't feel anything in your arm, you can't play football. So, I think this is more than a two-week thing. I think this might be six or eight weeks. This could well be Ben Roethlisberger's season, if this thoracic specialist I talked to is correct."
On 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who was treated this week for heart condition: "On the surface, you would say, 'Go home, you idiot.' But Harbaugh's a nut. He is the Pete Rose of coaches -- he's not going to be denied. It will be interesting to see how much he is there today. I hear he is there today. I'm assuming he's going to be coaching Monday night, but I guess that remains to be seen."
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Gabe calls the boys to handicap one of the biggest gambling days of the year - Super Bowl 51! Gabe has all the point spread info down and gets to all of the major prop bets that interest him.
Fauria is still down in Houston and calls live from NRG Stadium to give his take on what will go down later on in Super Bowl 51. He likes the Pats and gives his reasons why, but also gets into the scene in Houston all week, famous people he met and why he is tired out from a wild week.
The NBA trade rumor mill is beginning to swirl as the deadline approaches and Picard is ready to go! He talks about the possibility of Jimmy Butler coming to Boston, why Isaiah Thomas is not getting enough respect and the future of the Celtics.
Adrian Wojnarowski has been talking about the possibility of the Celtics making a trade with the Bulls to bring Jimmy Butler to Boston. He actually thinks it may be the the marquee deal to keep an eye on this week heading into the trade deadline. Pete and Jerry discuss and give their thoughts on if they would want Butler. Pete thinks it will happen, Jerry thinks Ainge will stay put. The guys get into more Celtics, present and future and if they can battle with the best of the NBA.
Anna Horford, sister of Boston Celtics Al Horford, makes her Boston radio debut. She talks about Twitter and reacting to mean tweets about her brother. She also gives us her thoughts on the city of Boston and racism.
Bradford checks in from spring training to give us all the media dirt he can dig up...oh, and talk some baseball too.
Rob Bradford is joined by Lou Merloni to talk life in spring training, his toiletries, sleeping arrangements, and facing off with Red Sox personnel that he might have been critical of. Rob and Lou also get into the dynamic of electronic and print media when it comes to ripping the Red Sox.
Pete, Bradford, and Tomase are talking all about the Boston Red Sox, who opened spring training on Monday with pitchers and catchers reporting. They talk about what the Red Sox approach at the plate will be to replace the loss of David Ortiz bat, the impact of some players participating in the WBC, and of course the pitching rotation.
Guys talk the Bruins season so far and the All-Star Break
Guys discuss if or when the Bruins will fire Coach Julian
Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.
Hour 4. Evan Drellich joins the show. A fight for the ages ensues.
Hour 3. Kirk and Gerry react to their interview with Sale.
Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale joins the show.
Lou interviews JBJ, who talks about playing in a young outfield, and why he changed his number.
David Aldridge appeared on NBA TV to say that the Bulls don't want to trade Jimmy Butler to the Celtics for just picks. They want Jae Crowder, too.
Mike Freeman, Bleacher Report, thinks that the GM's around the league are positioning to make a run at Jimmy Garoppolo.
Dale, Michael and Keefe discuss the rumored increase in interest in Jimmy Garropolo and try and figure out what they'll get if they complete a trade for him.
Based on this string of tweets and his desire to fully test the free agent waters, it certainly seems logical that Marty Bennett will not remain with the Patriots for next year.
Dale, Keefe and Holley discuss the Celtics needs as the deadline looms. Even a minor move might make the team better.
Kirk sits down with the legend Glenn Ordway to talk about when Glenn got fired here at WEEI, his start with the station, the controversial decisions he made when he was the Program Director, and he relationship with Eddie Andelman.
Kirk chats with David Duchovny about his current music tour, which takes him to the Wilbur on February 22nd, how David got his start in television, from his first stint on Red Shoe Diaries, becoming a superstar on the X-Files, and his hilarious appearances on the Larry Sanders Show. This is a fascinating discussion about show business and controlling your own career.
Kirk Minihane sits down with Michael Holley for the first time on the podcast. Kirk and Michael have hosted shows together in the past but have never had a candid conversation about WEEI. Kirk and Michael talk about Holley's career in radio, his best selling books, and what his assessment of the current WEEI is. There are a lot of interesting behind the scene nuggets for anybody who has listened to WEEI over the years. This episode is brought to you by hellofresh.com. For Enough About Me listeners go to hellofresh.com and use the promo code kirk35 for $35 off your first week of deliveries.
Rich Keefe & Ryan Davey talk best and worst movie/TV presidents. Plus the always important "This Week in #DORK" and the Pick of the Podcast.
Ken Laird is in Boston, Chris Curtis in Ft. Myers and the guys find a way to produce a Tuesday post-show recap of K&C on location at Red Sox camp
The reigning American Cy Young Award winner (Rick Porcello) and Red Sox set-up man (Joe Kelly) share a meal, some drinks, stories and conversation with Rob Bradford at Twin Peaks Restaurant in Fort Myers.
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