ESPN guys on the Patriots

Posted on December 9, 2007 
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Here are some quotes from the ESPN pregame show today on the Patriots:

Can the Steelers end the Patriots’ perfect season? …
Analyst Tom Jackson: “You have to play with confidence; you have to play fast; you have to pressure the passer, which is (Steelers Defensive Coordinator) Dick LeBeau’s calling card. You have to score points. I don’t think you have to score 40 but 24, 27 if your defense does its job. And you have to know how to finish the deal. We haven’t seen that the last couple of games.”

Analyst Emmitt Smith: “I’ve said it all year long, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not as good as everybody thinks they are. But, with that said, they have the best chance of beating the Patriots out of any team that remains on the Patriots’ schedule. … If they get into a tight situation, like it was last week, Big Ben is going to close the deal.”

Analyst Keyshawn Johnson: “They do have the opportunity and they do have the talent.”

Analyst Mike Ditka: “I like this football team today to play hard and be close. It will come down to the fourth quarter.”

On whether Bill Belichick will win Coach of the Year If the Patriots go 16-0 …
Ditka: “I think he’s going to win Coach-of-the-Year because it’s voted on by the media and that’s why. If it was voted on by the coaches in the league, he would have no chance. No chance, None.”

Jackson: “Often times it’s given to the coach who does the most with the least. I agree with Coach (Ditka) if you left it to coach Mangini; if you left it to Coach Gibbs; if you left it to Wade Phillips; if you left it to Cam Cameron — I don’t think anyone knows more about coaching and what’s going on on the field that the coaches who are doing it. So, let the coaches pick Coach-of-the-Year.”

Johnson: “He might win Coach-of-the-Year, but he won’t win sportsman of the year.”

Smith: “If the Patriots go 16-0, it will be the first time in NFL history that a team went 16-0 during the regular season and that alone is something so unique that I think he deserves to be Coach-of-the-Year, just based on that alone.”

Young is Restless: On whether the Colts can threaten the Patriots for the AFC Championship?
Analyst Steve Young – “They still can because they have the one requisite to beat the Patriots — that is the ability to score 30 points on the road and at home. … And with the leadership of Peyton Manning, you can go and win any football game, one time.”


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