Mike Florio from PFT and NBC talked with Mac Wednesday, and the conversation veered from Jim Irsay’s comments towards his old QB to the Panthers. But the debate heated up when the issue of protecting skill position players on the field arose. Here’s Florio’s comments, with a breakdown of the argument at the end:
On Irsay’s comments and Broncos HC John Fox’s rebuttal:
First of all, it’s idiotic for Jim Irsay to say or do anything to stir up Peyton Manning. Because Peyton sees everything, hears everything, reads everything and he’s not happy unless he’s unhappy about something. That’s when he seems to be at his best. I don’t think Irsay did his team a favor last week talking about the tribute that they’re going to do for Peyton Manning. I couldn’t help but wonder Monday whether or not they’re thinking ahead from the Chargers to this big “Peyton Manning return to Indianapolis,” when you’ve got your owner already talking about it. Everybody’s got to be thinking about it at some level. And then on the heels of that, you’ve got Irsay firing shots at Peyton Manning. And it was surprising to me, because someone sent me the link to the USA Today interview and I started reading it and it’s like, “Peyton said you’d be crazy if you didn’t take Andrew Luck.” I wonder if Peyton really said that. And near the bottom are these comments from Irsay throwing high heat at Peyton Manning.
I think that Fox deliberately addressed it to make sure that Peyton would know about it, that Peyton would be seething about it, and he will be seething about it, and Peyton will go out there and hang 50 points on the Colts
On how the Panthers can consistently beat teams
It all depends on how the game starts. I think this season shows exactly what you have in Cam Newton, which is a guy who, when things start well, will continue to play well and it feeds on itself and it becomes a big win. When things start poorly and there’s adversity, he can’t get it done. He’s not a fourth quarter guy. He’s a first quarter guy. He’ll carry that first quarter all the way through if things start well, and that’s what happened in the two wins. I think that with Cam Newton, the urgency is to get a lead early because more likely than not you’re going to build on it and it’s going to move in the right direction. That’s the only explanation for a team that wins 35-10 and 38-0 and also loses its other three games.
Later in the broadcast, Florio was asked about his opinion on the rise of injuries this season, and discussed his feelings on the lack of concern for knee injuries by the league. “This is going to be an ongoing trend as long as the NFL is as determined to protect the head as it is,” said the PFT writer. “The NFL doesn’t have the same agenda when it comes to protecting the knee, because congress doesn’t care about the knee, lawyers don’t care about the knee, and the moms and dads out there of the future football players aren’t worried about knee injuries. They’re worried about head injuries. Now I think that at some point the right thing to do is to have the same strike zone the quarterbacks have when they’re in the pocket for any defenseless player. I think it needs to be above the knee to below the neck.”
Mac disagreed, thinking the players worry too much about their knees and not enough about head injuries and the long-term implications. “I am so pro what they’ve done with head injury stuff because you can see people literally killing themselves. Also, I see the lawsuits and I realize they’ve got to cover their backsides. But this knee thing to me, blown knees are part of the sport. I just find it so crazy these guys are crybabies about the knee shots but you could ruin [their] life the rest of the way with a head shot and [they] don’t give a damn.”
Florio still maintained that knee injuries are a bigger deal, noting that players assume the risk of possible long-term effects from head injuries in order to continue to play the game, but that knee injuries “end the career,” pointing to the regression of players such as Dominique Foxworth and Robert Griffin III.
Florio and Mac both had convincing arguments for their position in the injury discussion. Which side do you fall on? Answer the poll and discuss in the comments section below!