The Steelers announced on Monday that they would be moving forward with rookie Kenny Pickett as their starting QB this week when they face off against the Bills. Some are saying it's a bad idea but Ben Maller says it's something the Steelers need to do.
Ben Maller: "Kenny Pickett should have been starting all season. We said that at the beginning, we believed it and the results are in for Mitch Trubisky and he is who we thought he was. The Steelers franchise fooled themselves. Had Pickett been playing, Pittsburgh would have had a better chance at avoiding the 1-3 pothole they see themselves in right now."
Hall of Fame quarterback and broadcaster Terry Bradshaw said he received treatment for two different forms of cancer during the past year on the live broadcast of FOX NFL Sunday this past weekend.
Bradshaw addressed an incident during the previous week's broadcast in which he appeared to be out of breath and received assistance from longtime co-host and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long before revealing that he'd been diagnosed with bladder cancer in November and skin cancer in March.
"Last week on this show, I ran out of breath, and Howie helped me up. And a lot of people are asking what's wrong with me, what's happened to me physically," Bradshaw said. "I just want to address it and let you know what has happened in my life. In November, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I went to the Yale University Medical Center -- surgery, treatment. As of today, I am bladder cancer free. That's the good news.
"Then in March, feeling good. I had a bad neck. I get an MRI. Now, we find a tumor in my left neck. And it's a Merkel cell tumor, which is a rare form of skin cancer. So I had that surgery done at M.D. Anderson in Houston.
"Folks, I may not look like my old self, but I feel like my old self. I'm cancer free, I'm feeling great. And over time, I'm going to be back to where I normally am."
Bradshaw spent his entire 14-year NFL career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which included winning four Super Bowls (IX, X, XIII, XIV), two Super Bowl MVP (XIII, XIV) awards, the 1978 NFL regular-season MVP award, and being selected as a first-team All-Pro in 1978.
The Shreveport native retired in 1983 and began his broadcasting career as an NFL analyst for CBS in 1984 before joining FOX in 1994 shortly after the network purchased NFL TV rights.
Bradshaw was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996, and the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2022.
"I have 100 percent conviction in our process regarding our players," McDaniel said via NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. "This is a player-friendly organization. ... There was no medical indication from all resources there was anything regarding the head."
The first-year head coach added that he "wouldn't have been able to live with myself" had he knowingly allowed Tagovailoa to play in Thursday's game prematurely, according to Garafolo.
Tagovailoa was ruled out of Thursday's game after experiencing head and neck injuries during a sack with 2:50 remaining in the second quarter, the team confirmed.
On Wednesday (September 27), the NFL confirmed it was reviewing whether Miami followed its league concussion protocol after Tagovailoa temporarily exited the team's win against the Buffalo Bills last Sunday (September 25) for what was initially reported to be a head injury.
McDaniel had previously reiterated that an independent specialist evaluated Tagovailoa on Sunday and the team complied with the NFL's protocol during his postgame press conference.
"That's why the NFL has these protocols, and there's not like every single NFL game that is played," McDaniel said via NFL.com. "There's an independent specialist that specializes in specialty brain matter, so for me, as long as I'm coaching here, I'm not going to fudge that whole situation. If there's any sort of inclination that somebody has a concussion, they go into concussion protocol; it's very strict. People don't vary or stray; we don't mess with that, we never have as long as I've been head coach, so it'd never be an issue that you guys have to worry about."
Many critics, however, questioned the Dolphins' decision to play the 24-year-old just days removed from the head injury, including neuroscientist and Concussion Legacy Foundation founding CEO Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., whose non-profit organization aims "to promote smarter sports and safer athletes through education and innovation, and End CTE through prevention and research," according to its website.
"This is a disaster," Nowinski tweeted along with a clip of the sack. "Pray for Tua. Fire the medical staffs and coaches. I predicted this and I hate that I am right. Two concussions in 5 days can kill someone. This can end careers. How are we so stupid in 2022."
The former Harvard football player and professional wrestler had criticized the potential decision to play Tagovailoa hours before Thursday's game.
"If Tua takes the field tonight, it's a massive step back for #concussion care in the NFL," Nowinski said prior to the game. "If he has a 2nd concussion that destroys his season or career, everyone involved will be sued & should lose their jobs, coaches included. We all saw it, even they must know this isn't right."
The NFL Players Association released a statement Thursday night confirming its investigation into the Dolphins' handling of Tagovailoa was ongoing.
"Player health and safety is at the core of the union's mission," the NFLPA tweeted. "Our concern tonight is for Tua and we hope for a full and speedy recovery. Our investigation into the potential protocol violation is ongoing."
Additionally, NFLPA president JC Tretter said the organization was "outraged by what we have seen the last several days and scared for the safety of one of our brothers.
"What everyone saw both Sunday and last night were 'no-go' symptoms within our concussion protocols. The protocols exist to protect the player and that is why we initiated an investigation," Tretter wrote. “Our job as the NFLPA is to take every possible measure to get the facts and hold those responsible accountable. We need to figure out how and why the decisions were made last Sunday to allow a player with a 'no-go' symptom back on the field.
“Until we have an objective and validated method of diagnosing brain injury, we have to do everything possible, including amending the protocols, to further reduce the potential of human error. A failure in medical judgment is a failure of the protocols when it comes to the well-being of our players.
“We have come a long way over the past 15 years but the last week proves how far we have left to go.”
Tagovailoa was hospitalized before being discharged and "traveled back with [the] team in a neck brace," and initial "scans were negative," though he's scheduled to have an MRI upon returning to Miami, sources told CBS Sports' Josina Anderson.
McDaniel said that Tagovailoa was "coherent" and "moving his extremities" before being stretchered off the field, Amazon Prime sideline reporter Kaylee Hartung reported prior to the beginning of the third quarter.
Monday on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe, Jonas Knox, Brady Quinn and LaVar Arrington are impressed by Kenny Pickett's first regular season action under center for the Steelers and they believe it's impossible for Mike Tomlin to keep him on the bench going forward.
Brady Quinn: "I don't know that we can put Kenny Pickett back after we saw him get out there. I think you got to play him now. That's why you drafted him. That's why you're there. You gotta let it go."
Jonas Knox: "As it stands right now, we're probably looking at Mike Tomlin's first losing season as the head coach of the Steelers... So it's Kenny Pickett time. Are you ready?"
LaVar Arrington: "Yeah, it's probably necessary."
Even though critics are quick to point out his three interceptions, when you dive into the play on the field, Pickett performed better than people give him credit for. Listen to the guys break it down.
The Kansas City Chiefs handled the Tom Brady led Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday Night Football and Dan was reminded how great Patrick Mahomes really is. Their offense seems inexplicably better despite the loss of WR Tyreek Hill, and as we constantly search for the next groundbreaking quarterback to hit the NFL, Mahomes is proving that he is still that guy.
Dan Patrick: “(Patrick) Mahomes looked great. And Mahomes will occasionally remind us, and it’s strange that he has to remind us of just how great he is. Improvisational skills are wonderful...Who’s the next quarterback coming up, is it Jalen Hurts? We’re quick to put people through the turnstile, like, ‘Next! Next!’ but we forget just how special these quarterbacks are.”
Monday on 2 Pros and a Cup of Joe, Jonas Knox, Brady Quinn and LaVar Arrington try to make sense of John Harbaugh's decision to go for it on 4th and Goal at the end of the game instead of taking the chip-shot field goal to go up 3 points with 4:15 left in the game.
Jonas Knox: "Hindsight is 20/20, I get the analytics and all that stuff, but I would just rather take the points, give me the three and let's move on."
Brady Quinn: "The problem is we haven't been in this aggressive era of teams going for it on fourth down in those scenarios. So you're looking at the data, but the data is skewed because we've had a lot more conservative head coaching decisions, probably over the past 20 years, and these situations don't present themselves that much where you'd have a ton of data on it."
LaVar Arrington: "I just think if you're going to go for it, you keep the ball in your best player's hands and [Lamar] is the one that generally is able to find his way into the endzone. Why wouldn't you just call a play that gives him the ability to run the ball in? Hell, two yards? Hunker down, get behind the center, let somebody push you in. It's two yards!"
Los Angeles Chargers LB Drue Tranquill joins Doug Gottlieb on The Doug Gottlieb Show. He weighs in on the continuing saga of Miami Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa’s recent spate of injuries and can’t understand how he was allowed to return the the game on Sunday,, much less play again last night. He talks about their disappointing start to the season, including last week’s loss to the Jaguars. He is confident that the squad will start to gel and be able to win those close games down the line. And he talks about how the team is planning to step up until their defensive stud Joey Bosa can return to the field.
The Ravens led the Bills throughout the first half on Sunday but then sputtered in the 2nd half eventually letting Josh Allen orchestrate a game winning drive for Buffalo. Ben Maller says decisions by John Harbaugh led directly to the Ravens loss.
Ben Maller: "Harbaugh decided at the most important moment of the game to follow Poindexter instead of his gut. If this is the case, why even have a coach on game day? Why not just have John Harbaugh coach the Ravens in practice and they can go over the meetings and all that, and then on game day you have the mega mega computer, and that computer will make the decisions. What's the point of having a head coach if the coach is going to defer to the almighty analytics rather than send out the most accurate kicker in NFL HISTORY!"
Dan Beyer: “Baker’s offseason was more of a conversation than Jimmy G’s was. Now we’re three plus weeks in, and he has completely fallen off the radar.”
George Wrighster: “He was always off the radar for me. He was never on the radar. I mean, it just didn’t make any sense to me, that people would say the Caronlina Panthers would have their fortunes dramatically changed by Baker Mayfield. It raised their floor, because their other option was Sam Darnold, who is obviously atrocious…it’s very difficult to win with guys like Baker, Jimmy G, Kirk Cousins, you must knock down all the obstacles around them.”
Dan Beyer: “The drama of where Baker was going, because there was that question, does tell me that people were interested one way or another, and I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt. I thought that the Baker who led the Browns to the playoffs was the real one, and it just has not worked out. Now we kind of know who he is.”
On Fox Sports Sunday with Dan Beyer and George Wrighster, the guys talked about the weird offseason hype surrounding Baker Mayfield's new home and how his play so far this season has completely taken him off the radar of football fans everywhere!
TJ Houshmandzadeh: "Of course Tua shouldn't have been playing on Thursday night. We athletes need help protecting ourselves from ourselves because we want to play football, that's what we do and that's what we know. In our early 20's, we are not thinking about how that's going to affect us at 50 or 60, and that's where other professionals need to come in and help us. That was scary to see something like that."
Plaxico Burress: "Everybody in this situation is dead wrong. It's another example of NFL owners, head coaches, and doctors willing to do anything to win a football game. They don't care about Tua. They don't care about us. Because you know what they're saying? 'We can get us another Tua.' They don't care about his health. All they were worried about was going 4-0 for the first time in I don't know how many years."
LaVar Arrington: "All of a sudden now there's a confusion as to how this should be handled and who is culpable. No, I'll tell you who is culpable for this - whoever the team doctor is on that team should not have a job after this. The medical team who not only cleared him to go back in to the first game, but cleared him to go in a short week game after that, whatever medical team it was that was overseeing this should be let go."
LaVar Arrington, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Plaxico Burress rip the Miami Dolphins for their handling of Tua Tagovailoa's scary head injury on Thursday night. The guys break down why they believe the entire Dolphins organization, from ownership to coaching, severely mishandled the response to Tagovailoa's apparent head injury during Week 3 against the Bills, leading to Tua being a victim of an already dangerous situation on Thursday night. The guys dive in to how the NFL and the Dolphins organization should respond to this tragic situation.