Video: Del Rio Refuses To Explain Late Timeouts

After the Tennessee Titans drubbed the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-3 on Monday night in Jacksonville, Titans coach Jeff Fisher indicated during his postgame press conference that he had been encouraged by a representative from ESPN or the NFL to take some of his remaining timeouts in the waning moments of the game because the necessary commercials had not aired during the game telecast.

Jack Del Rio refuses to explain late timeouts in blowout against Titans

(Even when pressed by reporters, Del Rio wouldn’t budge)

Fisher also strongly implied that Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio took two such courtesy timeouts in the final two minutes of the game, despite being down 23-3 at the time, in order to fulfill the NFL’s TV commercial obligation to ESPN.

Fisher later backed off the statement, claiming that he was joking. ESPN also subsequently denied exercising influence on the coaches.

But late Tuesday Fisher told Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.com that he was indeed approached by an NFL official during the Monday night game about the television timeout situation.

Fisher:

“At the two-minute warning in every game in the fourth quarter, there are conversations that go by. There’s conversations that take place at the two-minute warning before the first half. But there’s conversations that take place, and it’s the official’s responsibility to give the head coach a status of commercials and TV timeouts.

“Yesterday, I was told that they were two short. And they looked at me and smiled, and I said, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.’ (NFL official) Mike Carey came across and said, ‘Here’s the deal. We’re two short.’ And I said, ‘Mike, I can’t help you. I’m trying to get a first down and I’m gonna kneel on it.’”

Fisher on Del Rio:

“Jack used his timeouts. Whether Jack used his timeouts because the official said we’re two commercials short, or he used them to stop the clock to get his quarterback Trent Edwards some reps remains to be seen.”

Meanwhile Paul Bond of the THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER noted of the NFL’s reaction to Fisher’s comment and the league policy on refunding TV broadcast partners for commercials that do not air in-game:

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league and all of its broadcast partners leave it up to coaches to determine when to use their timeouts.

Del Rio has not commented on why he called the late timeouts.

There are supposed to be 20 commercial breaks during a football telecast, and if ESPN sold commercials that did not air, refunds could be owed to the advertisers. Neither ESPN nor the NFL would say Tuesday who might be responsible for paying such refunds, nor did they say whether all of the ads planned for Monday’s game aired.

“We’re looking into it,” McCarthy said.

Finally Del Rio addressed the subject on the record late Wednesday, though he was in no mood to divulge exactly why in the dying moments of Monday’s game he took two timeouts while on the business end of a Titan blowout. Read more…

ESPN Denies Asking Fisher, Del Rio For Timeouts

After his Tennessee Titans shredded the Jacksonville Jaguars 30-3 last night in Jacksonville, Titans Coach Jeff Fisher was asked during a postgame press conference why he wasn’t more proactive in running out the clock at the end of the game.

Jeff Fisher

(Video of Fisher comments: Joking?)

In his response Fisher claimed, with what appeared to be a straight face, that ESPN had asked both teams at the end of the game to take their timeouts in order to allow the network to air more commercial spots.

Fisher:

“(Jaguars Coach) Jack (Del Rio) used his timeouts. My understanding is they (ESPN) needed network timeouts, and that’s why Jack used his timeouts. They came over and asked me to do it, but I said, ‘I was hoping to get a first down and kneel on it.’

“You can check with Jack. I believe that they asked them to use them. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it. I just said I would have a hard time using them, because I’m ahead. Honestly, I have no issues with Jack or how he managed the end of that game.”

Del Rio took back-to-back timeouts after the two-minute warning with his Jags down 23-3. Del Rio has yet to comment why he took the timeouts but is scheduled to meet the media again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Fisher has reportedly backtracked on his seemingly serious stance. Read more…

Hazing Comes To Head With Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie offensive lineman Kevin Haslam was recently endowed this shampoo and style from teammate Uche Nwaneri:

Kevin Haslem Rookie Hazing Haircut

So that’s the dude I got at the St. Augustine Supercuts.

Del Rio Talks To Media, Doesn’t Deny SC Interest

UPDATE: (11:04am ET): Michael C. Wright of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION reports that Del Rio and Weaver are meeting in Jacksonville at this hour, with reporters camped out outside.

Jack Del Rio was confronted by Jax media outlets this morning about a contract offer he reportedly was sent to become the football coach at USC.

The five words not spoken: “I’m not going to USC.” Del Rio was given plenty of opportunity to say that, while being pressed, and he didn’t.This morning on ESPN-TV, Scott Wolf of the L.A. DAILY NEWS reported that Del Rio was sent a contract last night by USC and will receive it today.

Del Rio has a meeting with Jags Owner Wayne Weaver today.

Report: USC Sends Del Rio Head Coach Contract

UPDATE: (2:40am ET): Wolf’s full story on the Del Rio contract offer. He also throws this in:

Sources said Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin was under consideration Monday.

I haven’t heard Kiffin’s name previously but nothing would surprise me.

Scott Wolf of the L.A. DAILY NEWS, the reporter who first broke Pete Carroll’s resignation and the news of Carroll accepting the Seahawks job, reports on his blog early Tuesday:

Scott Wolf reports USC has sent Jack Del Rio a contract

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio was sent a contract by USC tonight to become the next football coach.

Now comes the tricky part: If Del Rio takes the job, he forfeits more than $15 million in salary from the Jaguars. If Jacksonville fires him, they must pay him the money. Why would Jacksonville fire him if they know USC wants him? Should make Tuesday interesting.

Indeed, especially considering  Jacksonville Jaguars beat writer Michael C. Wright of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION reported just before Wolf’s blog post that he’s “99 percent sure” that Del Rio will not go to USC.

Read more…

Del Rio Burns Late Night Oil At Jaguars Stadium

First Coast News in Jacksonville has video of Jack Del Rio leaving Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Monday night while reporting:

Amidst rumors that he’s a candidate for the vacant head coaching job at the University of Southern California, Jack Del Rio put in a few extra hours at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on Monday night.

Jack Del Rio last one to leave at Jacksonville Municpal Stadium on Monday Night

(Vid link)

Del Rio was one of the last people to leave the stadium on Monday night. He walked to his car at 9:30 p.m., and as you’ll see in the video clip attached to this story, he didn’t exactly answer a question regarding his interest level in the USC job.

Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver was not at the stadium on Monday. He is expected to meet with Del Rio on Tuesday. This meeting has been planned since last week before Pete Carroll left USC to become the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks.

In the vid clip, Jax camera guy asked Del Rio, “any interest in the USC job?

Read more…

Jaguars Ad Sales Team Might’ve Gone Overboard

How desperate are the Jacksonville Jaguars for fans and/or revenue? Here’s a shot of the Gator Bowl yesterday:

AllTel Stadium Ad Over Seats In Jacksonville

(World’s largest seat cover, edging out Charlie Weis’ film room recliner) 

The Jags covered an entire section of seats with an advertising tarp featuring an ad for an insurance company.

Tarp should come in handy later, keeping things nice and secure for the Atlas Van Lines 18-wheeler bound one-way to L.A.

Hey Kids! Get Your NFL Cheerleader Tradin’ Cards

If you’ve yet to open that new Topps Jumbo Pack of NFL trading cards you just purchased (OK, lets face it: Your parents purchased for you), you’ve got an extra surprise in store. No, the Ben Roethlisberger card does not come with a denial of wrongdoing. It’s something better.

There’s one NFL cheerleader card in every pack. Yeah, there’s such a thing as Topps NFL cheerleader cards. Thank you, Topps, for inventing this years too late. Of course, you’re going to have to forage like a crazed homeless person to collect all 15 cheerleaders — there are only one per pack. But thus is the genius of the plan, as far as Topps is concerned.

Read more…

Speed Read: Hey Kids! The Vick Circus Is In Town!

I know you thought Thursday would never come, but it’s here. And yes, I told you that if you were good, I’d take you to the Cirque du Vick, that dramatic mix of circus arts and occasional football plays scheduled for tonight at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s Michael Vick’s return to the NFL, making this not just another exhibition game no one will watch, but must-see entertainment. Hey, I don’t make the rules. I just observe.

And there’s plenty of excitement in store, including a pro-Vick march and rally by the NAACP, possible disruption by PETA and other anti-Vick factions, and of course the always-reliable Philly fans themselves (hey, who threw that brick!?). Unfortunately, the ride depicted in the photo above left and in the video below will not be available. The guy in a Vick jersey riding a puppy is either a tragic coincidence, or an example of a man who majored in Irony and wants to put that degree to use for once.

The YouTube description says it was shot at an amusement park in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and that’s all I know about it. Except that what he’s doing is just wrong on so many levels. But it fits right in with the festivities here on Michael Vick Day, so climb aboard, kids! Just don’t let Steeler Poodle see you.

Steeler Poodle

(Steeler Poodle sez: “Big Ben is innocent!”)

Eagles head coach Andy Reid has said that Vick will play with the first team at some point during the first three quarters tonight, but in what capacity and for how long is still shrouded in mystery. Andy, you sly minx. Presenting Vick tonight after only two weeks of practice serves no actual physical purpose, since he’ll be sitting out at least the first five games of the regular season. But by throwing him into the mix tonight you get the majority of the controversy out of the way early; like a first kiss. But beware, Mike; Philly fans like to slip in the tongue.

It’ll be Vick’s first appearance in an NFL game since Dec. 31, 2006; which was also at Lincoln Financial. And he’ll start today in federal bankruptcy court, which is always fun. Then it’s home to feed the dogs, and then on to the game. Yeah, it’s unknown if Vick has truly seen the light and is genuinely remorseful over his dog-killing past. But what we do know is that all the publicity surrounding his incarceration hasn’t helped dogs one bit. The Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has reported 400 investigations of dogfighting operations so far this year; almost twice as many as in all of 2008.

But in case any of you fans are actually interested in the game, please note that former Eagles three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tra Thomas returns to Philadelphia for the first time since joining the Jaguars. And there may even be a Brian Westbrook sighting tonight, but don’t expect to see him for long. If you’re not a local, the game will be shown on NFL Network tonight at 11 p.m. (ET), and again on Friday at 4 p.m. (ET).

Meanwhile, at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the MLB Players’ Union got a favorable ruling on the infamous 104-player PED list, and may soon have it back in hand where it will be carried forthwith to the nearest shredder.

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that agents had no right to seize baseball’s anonymous drug-testing results from 2003. The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a victory for the players’ union, which has argued for years to have the results of the 104 players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 returned.

“This was an obvious case of deliberate overreaching by the government in an effort to seize data as to which it lacked probable cause,” Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the 9-2 decision.

The records, seized by government agents in April 2004 as part of the BALCO investigation into Barry Bonds, has been the subject of legal wrangling ever since. If the case doesn’t end up in the Supreme Court, the list will be returned to the players’ union, where it will presumably be destroyed. The court ruled that federal agents trampled on players’ protections against unreasonable searches and seizures in taking the list, which included Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz, who were among those whose names were leaked.

The American Defenders of New Hampshire were supposed to play the New Jersey Jackals in a Can-Am pro baseball game on Tuesday, but there was one problem: They faced a lockout. But it isn’t the kind of lockout you’re used to hearing about; the City of Nashua locked the stadium because the team was behind in their rent. The Defenders — formerly known as the Nashua Pride — owe fire, police and rent bills totaling about $45,000 according to mayor Donnalee Lozeau. And to make sure the teams didn’t scale the fence and play the game anyway, Lozeau had city workers park a tractor over home plate. This is true. Fun fact: The Defenders team president is Dan Duquette, former general manager of the Boston Red Sox. They’re now on the road, but as of today, the stadium impasse has not been resolved.

Links to read while sharing Pop Tarts with your gorilla:

  • Above is a photo of a very toasted Billy Gillispie, who was arrested by Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, police early this morning for DUI. Yep, that’s the former Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach, who was fired in a contract dispute this past March and has since sued the university for breach of contract. Gillispie and a passenger were driving a white 2009 Mercedes with Texas tags around 2:45 a.m. on US 127 when someone reported seeing the car driving erratically. Gillispie was arrested and charged with DUI, and reportedly refused to take a breathalizer or blood alcohol test. Gillispie had also been arrested for DUI in Oklahoma in 1999.
  • Allen Iverson may be a Grizzly before you know it. Memphis confirmed that they’ve made him an offer, but will AI go through with it? I can’t picture him in Memphis; it doesn’t seem like a good fit. Iverson touring Graceland is just too bizarre.
  • Not sure if this happened before or after David Ortiz’s walkoff home run gave the Red Sox a 3-2 win over the White Sox on Wednesday, but Boston released Brad Penny, who was 7-8. Penny, 1-6 over his past 11 starts, is working on the one-year, $5 million contract he signed during the offseason.

  • In naming Shaun Hill as the team’s No. 1 quarterback on Tuesday, 49ers coach Mike Singletary praised him in the way that only Mike Singletary can. In other words, it’s our baffling NFL quote of the Year so far: “There’s nothing pretty about Shaun. Everything’s ugly: His drop … his release … all these things. But what’s beautiful about him is his heart. I want to go down with a guy like that.” Season tickets still available!
  • Was watching Brad Cooper on “The Tonight Show” last night, and he almost revealed who will be taking up the Mr. T role in the new “A Team” movie that’s on the way to theaters (Cooper will play Faceman, with Liam Neeson as Hannibal). Cooper wouldn’t spill the other big role, but according to several sources, BA Baracus will be played by Rampage Jackson.

Will you watch the Eagles-Jaguars game on NFL Network because of Vick?

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NAACP Planning Pro-Vick Rally Before Thu. Game

It’s obvious a lot of folks in Philadelphia are flustered by the fact that the Eagles are giving Michael Vick a second chance at an NFL career. The Vickster is set to make his debut for the Iggles this Thursday in an exhibition game against the Jaguars at Lincoln Financial Field.

Michael Vick Eagles

As you would expect, a big protest march is being planned to take place at the Linc before kickoff. As you might not expect, the planned march will be pro-Vick.

Read more…