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."
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Christian recaps the Red Sox 5-2 victory over Cleveland.
Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett talked to the Sox DH, who almost hit for the cycle in the win over the Indians at Fenway.
Torey joins Mike and Rob to discuss the last week for the Red Sox, Joe Kelly's awesome performance last night, if Clay Buchholz can figure things out, David Ortiz and more.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
Jim Polito of WTAG in Worcester joins us for a few minutes to talk about the district attorney and how the show should stick to sports.
Turtleboy from Turtleboy Sports joins the guys to talk about the cop killer.
The list of top 20 celebrities people masterbate to, Cosby is in trouble again, and Dupont wrote another column.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN calls in to discuss who she thinks the Celtics are going to draft with the #3 pick, and also gives her opinion on what trades the Celtics could pull off this off-season.
There are so many good, young players on the Red Sox that it's hard to pick out the top 3. Glenn, Lou and Christian debate which of the young guys on the Sox are the most valuable and which ones could possibly be traded for a starting pitcher.
Kevin Love sat out for the entire 4th quarter for the second straight game against the Raptors, and Glenn, Lou and Christian can't believe the excuse Tyronn Lue gave to the media.
We discuss the latest developments in the story that won't die (Deflategate) with the great Michael McCann of SI and UNH law school.
We discuss Joe Kelly's triumphant return from the DL, and why Michael isn't ready to back off of his stance on the pitcher just yet.
Dale, Michael and Jerry discuss the Celtics options with the third pick in the upcoming NBA draft, plus talk a little NBA semi-finals as we await word on whether Draymond Green will be suspended.
In the latest It Is What It Is podcast, Chris Price talks with Comcast’s Phil Perry about the latest Deflategate news, what’s next for Tom Brady and what chance he might have when it comes to playing in the opener. The two also take a look at some guys on the roster bubble and which rookies have the best chance of having an impact in 2016 and beyond.
Former New England Football Pro Christian Fauria and one of Boston's premier sports medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons to the pro's, Dr. Thomas Gill of Steward Health Care, discuss some of the recent injuries that have plagued the Boston Red Sox and how you can avoid similar injuries in your everyday life.
Rob Bradford sits down with both former Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell and current Sox three-bagger, Travis Shaw, for an in-depth discussion on what it's like to be a 6-foot-3, starting third baseman in Boston.
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