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Brees is no Flutie


---Drew Brees said in a sideline interview of Sunday's Pro Bowl that when he and Doug Flutie had been teammates in San Diego Flutie, a master of the drop kick, had taught him how to do it.

So with Flutie in the broadcast booth, Brees decided it was the perfect moment to emulate him, but the kick for an extra point was too low. Brees told Flutie that his drop was too far forward and that he couldn’t get the necessary lift.

Back in 2006 with New England Flutie, the former Bills QB, converted the NFL’s first successful drop kick since 1941, making an extra point in the fourth quarter.

---Rodney McKissic


Mark Gaughan's Friday NFL Chat

SB 25 rated 3rd best

FoxSports put out ratings of all of the Super Bowls, 1 to 45, and has the Bills' loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XXV rated third-best all-time. The ranking rates each game in three categories from 1 to 5: quality of play, competitiveness and historical significance. New England's 20-17 win over St. Louis in the 2001 season was No. 2. The Giants' 17-14 win over New England in the 2007 season was No. 1. The other Bills bowls were way down the list, at 32nd, 33rd and 41st.  

Report: Schiano to leave Rutgers for Tampa Bay

---Rutgers coach Greg Schiano plans to leave the program he has led for the past 11 seasons to accept the same job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, according to an ESPN report.

The report indicates the two sides are finalizing details after the met Wednesday for the second time since the Bucs fired Raheem Morris following a 4-12 season.

The news comes one week before National Signing Day for Rutgers, which has the No. 1 ranked recruiting class by Rivals,com. Also, Tampa Bay is on the verge of selecting a coach who failed to win a conference championship in 11 seasons.

---Rodney McKissic


League will allow in-game tweets during Pro Bowl

---In-game tweeting is not permitted in the NFL, but the league is relaxing its rule for the Pro Bowl where it is allowing players to post Twitter messages during the game. But it won’t be open season for tweeting, with players pounding away on their smart phones while in full pads. Instead, each sideline will have a computer station.

---Alabama tailback Trent Richardson has signed agent Jimmy Sexton and CAA Football. Sexton also represents Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Syracuse coach Doug Marrone, among others.

---Defensive ends Quiton Coples and Melvin Ingram, two players who could be around when the Bills pick No. 10 in April's NFL Draft, are on the rise at Senior Bowl practices.

---Rodney McKissic


O'Brien pulling double duty

---For the past two weeks, New England offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has lived at the intersection of two of the biggest stories in sports — the awkward transition of Penn State’s legendary football program after the child molestation scandal that forced out Joe Paterno, and the NFL playoffs, which feature the Patriots’ march to Super Bowl XLVI.

O’Brien’s position, potentially, compromises the two organizations. When he was introduced as Penn State’s coach Jan. 7, O’Brien described the balance this way: “There is no way that I can stand up in front of our football team and our recruits and talk about loyalty and commitment and then leave the Patriots in the middle of a playoff run.”

---Rodney McKissic



Fitz suggests Bills weren't ready for success

---In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick suggested that the team faltered because it couldn't handle the success of a 5-2 start.

"I guess we weren't ready for it yet," Fitzpatrick said. "We weren't ready to be able to accept the fact that we were playing well and playing as the team that was on the top (of the AFC East)."

Like the Bills, Fitzpatrick started the season well, passing for 1,739 yards and 14 touchdowns with just seven interceptions and compiling a passer rating of 97.8 during those first seven games. But during the ensuing seven-game losing streak, Fitzpatrick was picked off 12 times while throwing for just eight TDs.

---Rodney McKissic


Ravens coaching staff feeling the heat

---The Baltimore Ravens coaching staff is reportedly on the proverbial hot seat after the team fell short of the Super Bowl, and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is among the coaches who might not be back next season, according to The Baltimore Sun. A team source told the newspaper that Cameron has yet to be informed of his future with the Ravens. The source also said that the team might be making moves in the next few weeks.

---NFL owners may have learned their lesson. Their own pool of coaching candidates is just fine and they don’t have to go fishing down in college football and risk winding up with an expensive dud.

---As Marcell Dareus proved, Nick Saban's system paves the way for a smooth transition into the NFL.

---Rodney McKissic


Gronkowski update

---New England coach Bill Belichick is taking a wait and see approach on the availiablity of tight end Rob Gronkowski for the team's matchup against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

Gronkowski injured his left ankle at the end of the third quarter of Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game. Gronkowski had just made a 23-yard catch when he was tackled by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, who rolled up on Gronkowski's left ankle, causing it to buckle awkwardly.

---Rodney McKissic


Tide's Upshaw big at 273

University of Alabama star Courtney Upshaw is a hulking outside linebacker. He weighed in at 273 pounds at the Senior Bowl this week. That puts him in a rare category in terms of sheer power. Upshaw could be squarely in the sights of the Buffalo Bills when they pick 10th in the NFL Draft in April.

Upshaw measured 6-foot-1 1-2, not quite as tall as ideal, but there are many good pass rushers under 6-3. Cornelius Bennett was 6-2. Pittsburgh's James Harrison is 6-foot, 242. As many have pointed out, the NFL star most similar to Upshaw in body type is Pittsburgh outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who is 6-1 1-2, 265 pounds. Woodley, who has very long arms, has 48 sacks in five seasons for the Steelers. Upshaw's weight gives him the versatility to line up as a down lineman as well as an outside linebacker. He says he's aiming to drop 8 pounds. Here's a story on him at the Senior Bowl from today's Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.

---Mark Gaughan

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