Feb 1, 2011
Welcome to a Tuesday edition of the Fantasy Guru Daily, where we brave the Dallas snow from our office in New Jersey to bring you the news of the day. Today is Super Bowl Media Day, meaning there will be an endless supply of stories in tomorrow’s newspapers. For now, there’s plenty of news happening elsewhere in the league.
Bratkowski out in Cincy … The Bengals fired OC Bob Bratkowski on Monday after a 10-year tenure in Cincinnati that resulted in two playoff appearances (2005 and 2009) but eight seasons with losing records. Perhaps the most disappointing season was this one, as the Bengals entered with high hopes but went just 4-12. QB Carson Palmer’s career has gone downhill, and he even asked to be traded two weeks ago. The Bengals finished 13th in passing, 27th in rushing, and 22nd in scoring. They often played from behind, and RB Cedric Benson struggled to get into a rhythm, causing the rushing offense to drop from 9th to 27th. Despite meeting with Marvin Lewis recently, former Viking HC Brad Childress will reportedly not be Bratkowski’s replacement.
And the Defensive Player of the Year is … Steeler S Troy Polamalu edged Packer LB Clay Matthews for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, marking the second time in three years that a Steeler has won (James Harrison). Polamalu received 17 of 50 votes, while Matthews got 15, Harrison got 8, and Bear DE Julius Peppers got 6. Polamalu had 7 INTs and 63 tackles in the regular season, and both he and Matthews played through injuries. Matthews started strongly in the regular season and finished with
13.5 sacks, placing him 4th in sacks behind DeMarcus Ware, Tamba Hali, and Cameron Wake.
Forte wants extension … Bear RB Matt Forte didn’t have a huge year, but it can certainly be argued that he deserves more than$550,000 in 2011. Forte is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and he’s looking to land a big extension in Chicago. Forte was healthy after a disappointing 2009 season, and he finished 15th in the league with 1069 rushing yards while also putting up 51/547/3 as a receiver. Given that the Bears surprisingly became a run-heavy offense despite the presence of OC Mike Martz, Forte played a key role in the run to the playoffs.
Ravens to meet with Gaither … The Ravens want to keep OT Jared Gaither and are scheduled to meet with him to discuss a new contract. Gaither missed the entire 2010 season because of a back injury and is a potential free agent, but the two sides will likely meet Wednesday. The Ravens are expected to place the franchise tag on NT Haloti Ngata while extending Gaither’s contract. Without Gaither, the Ravens were forced to move G Marshal Yanda to tackle. For the season, the Ravens averaged 3.8 yards per carry and allowed the 9th most sacks (40).
- For some reason, Steeler HC Mike Tomlin refuses to rule out C Maurkice Pouncey for the Super Bowl, despite the Pro Bowler having a break in his ankle and still using crutches.
- Viking DT Vince Wilfork thinks an 18-game schedule would be “stupid.”
- Farmers Insurance has signed on as the sponsor of Los Angeles’ new NFL stadium. There is nothing of importance remaining for LA to do. Oh, yeah, except for getting a team, getting the site approved, and actually building the stadium. Nope, nothing else needs to be done.
- Viking DE Everson Griffen was tased and arrested after allegedly assaulting a police officer in Los Angeles. The 2010 rookie played mainly on special teams in 11 games.
- Jet strength coach Sal Alosi has resigned after an indefinite suspension resulting from his role in the sideline tripping incident.
- The Titans’ head coaching search continues, with interviews expected with OC Mike Heimerdinger and Cowboy WR coach Ray Sherman, while Mike Munchak remains the favorite.