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SPF 's Week Two Pre-Pregame Show

Posted: Sep 16, 2007

Each week, it will be SPF's pleasure to bring you the best pregame show on the Net.  We provide our audience with clips from NFL.COM mixed in with our commentary and insight. 

Let's run down today's slate of games:

Early games (SPF Teams in BOLD)

Houston at Carolina (NFL FIlms video preview of game)
Indianapolis at Tennessee (NFL Films video preview of game)
New Orleans at Tampa Bay (no preview available)
Atlanta at Jacksonville (NFL Films video preview of game)
Cincinnati at Cleveland (NFL Films video preview of game)
San Francisco at St. Louis (no preview available)

Late Games

Dallas at Miami (NFL Films video preview of game)

Monday Night

Washington at Philadelphia (NFL Films video preview of game)

This week's analysis:

Week one indicated that there are many SPF franchises that are struggling - probably more than not.  Let's first take a look at the teams in turmoil


 Watch this press conference from Bobby Petrino and you know why SPF lets you watch the coaches and players talk.  In two minutes, Petrino tells you everything you need to know about this year's Falcons.  If he is the new identity for this team, it's time to look towards 2008.  From his weak vocal tone to his hesitant body language, anyone can see that Petrino doesn't want to be where he is.  (SPF Prediction:  Auburn is 1-2 largely because of their poor offense.  If they lose to LSU and Alabama, expect to see Petrino as their new head coach in 2008 with Tuberville going back to Ole Miss.)

[RAMS] Close behind Petrino on the "shell shock" meter is Rams' coach Scott Linehan.  Does he even sound like he believes what he is saying in last week's post game press conference following an ugly home loss to the Panthers?  Of course, those clips happened before Linehan discovered his biggest fear - Orlando Pace is out for the season.  Watching Linehan address Pace's injury doesn't help build any more confidence behind this second year head coach.  "I feel real bad for (pause) Orlando"  It sound more like Linehan is feeling read bad for himself right now.

Petrino and Linehan's AFC counterpart, Jack Del Rio, at least understands how to command some kind of authority in the face of disaster.  He takes his lumps here on the Jags critical home loss to the Titans last week, and he shows real emphathy for the tragic Kevin Everett situation in Buffalo.  Del Rio was and is an SPF whipping boy this season, but despite it all, he is a competent to good coach.  He just is the wrong coach for this franchise right now because it needs a dynamic identity to save and secure its future in the Jacksonville market.

Jon Gruden conducts an off the cuff interview regarding Cadillac Williams.   In between Gruden trying to be cute (please stop it, Jon!), one can hear the desperation in his voice.  He assembled this paper-thin roster that depends on the health and performance of Cadillac Williams and Jeff Garcia, two players not known for their ability to last the season.  His offense doesn't work without a good running game, and the brittle Cadillac is his only hope.

In this clip of former co-coordinators on last year's Charger team, Wade Phillips and Cam Cameron talk about facing one another.  Wade sounds respectful, but blunt.  He even makes the point that the Cowboys struggled defensively (his background) while the Dolphins struggled offensively (Cameron's background).  Cameron waxes on nostalgically.  Cameron sounds like a nice guy, a thinking guy, and a likable guy.  However, the Dolphins are 0-1 and the Cowboys are 1-0 and this interview might give some insight as to why.


Leading off our "purgatory" group is the Texans.  This franchise has a long way to go, but last week's win was decisive and encouraging. After this big week one win, Gary Kubiak and the Texans sounds a lot more confident.  This is a critical season for the franchise.  Kubiak has everything he needs to rise up, but he must keep winning.  This week's game against a very tough Panther team will serve as a barometer.  SPF doesn't expect them to win, but the Texans must keep it close.  The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice nails our point home here.

With another successful season, Sean Payton could assume Jon Gruden's role as the young offensive guru in the SPF Footprint.  (Interesting note, check out the T shirt Payton is wearing.  The logo of the Saints inside the state of Louisiana with New Orleans only indicated by a star on the state map.  The Saints are wisely embracing a regional approach to marketing.)  Hearing him speak about Gruden shows both his respect, but also how he differentiates from him.  Payton seems to have his team focused.  You can hear it as Reggie Bush talks about the Bucs defense.  It starts this week, however, by winning in Tampa.

Like the Saints, the Bengals are closer to contender than pretender.  Both teams do share a history of inconsistency that must be avoided.  TJ Houshmandzadeh interview gives props to the Bengals defense.  (TJ also has a few funny things to say about Chad Johnson's weekly antics.)  Listening to this, the Bengals focus towards this season is clear.  Don't underestimate this team.  They might be Super Bowl bound. 

"Grandpa" Joe Gibbs sounds pretty happy to describe his team's winning effort against the Dolphins as "physical" again and again.  (It's funny to look at him in the clip.  He looks less like an NFL coach and more like a country club lawyer freshly showered after a Sunday round of golf.)  Gibbs never was a screamer even when he was winning three Super Bowls.  Maybe his approach will allow him to reach today's players better than old schoolers like Bill Parcells.  Example #1 - Jason Campbell's continuing maturation will be key to the team's season long success.  Here, he and Santana Moss talk about the offense.  Campbell should be happy that he is surrounded by some many veterans.  The Skins have a tough Monday night game against an angry Philly team. 

The Titans are developing an enhanced identity behind Jeff Fisher and Vince Young.  In many ways VY might be superior to former QB Steve McNair as a franchise face.  This clip of both Fisher and Young talking about the Colts shows how Young's experience (ie confidence) in the media spotlight at Texas gives Fisher's understated demeanor a personality foil.  Titans DC Jim Schwartz gives a fine explanation of "8 Men in the Box" something they will likey employ against the Colts this week.


One viewing of these week one post game comments from John Fox and Jake Delhomme will tell you that the Panthers are getting their confidence and swagger back.

There's a reason why the Cowboys are number one in our T.I. Poll.  They are filled with great personalities, and their owner encourages them to show it to the media.  Here, TO sings the praises of this year's Cowboy offense.  Randy Galloway of the Ft Worth Star-Telegram also leads a few cheers for the offense and Romo here.  Additionally, Wade Phillips gives this hilarious and insightful commentary about how versatile players like the Dolphins Jason Taylor make distinctions between the 3-4 and 4-3 defenses a waste of time.  Everything is pretty sunny in Big D right now.

Team spokesmen Peyton Manning and Tony Dungy sound ready for the Titans.  You can hear the respect in their voice for this team.  Let's not forget that the AFC South (minus the Texans who haven't made any real impact since joining the division) has long been a sparring match between the Titans, Jags, and Colts.  The Titans have always seemed to get the better of the Jags, while the Colts have always seemed to get the better of the Titans.  The Jags have also been a tough match up for the Colts.  You can hear in the interview clip the reasons why the Colts tend to play the Titans tough.  They respect them.  Manning talks about the Titans strong defense, protecting the ball, and taking advantage of opportunities.  Tony Dungy says it's a big game because they know what we do.

related tags

Southern Pro Football,
New Orleans,
North Carolina,

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