It’s the return of The John Murphy Show to kick off 2015. Throughout tonight’s show, we discussed the search for a new coach to head up the team. Listener calls chimed in with various opinions on that issue. We heard from running back Fred Jackson on Doug Marrone’s departure and what he hopes for as the team begins to move forward. With the first round of the playoffs getting underway this past weekend, we also heard from head from VP of NFL Officiating Dean Blandino, who broke down and gave his thoughts on the much talked about pass interference no-call during the Lions-Cowboys game on Sunday.
Sticking with that topic, we brought in former NFL referee and now CBS officiating consultant, Mike Carey. Carey talked about that very play and whether or not there should have been a called penalty for pass interference on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens as he was defending Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew. Carey had his take.
“I think if he had been facing the same way, nobody would have even said anything about picking that flag up. It just looks odd for a defender not to be playing the ball and have them go down in a heap. Remember, there is no foul for not playing the ball. Just like, you’re not off the hook for turning and looking to the ball. All your actions have to be is to play the ball but the only foul is for restrictive contact against an eligible receiver. There was slight contact but certainly not enough to raise it to the level of defensive or offensive pass interference.”
At the top of the first hour, we were joined by Pro Football Focus President and Founder Neil Hornsby who called in to talk about his grades for the 2014 Buffalo Bills. He and his team grade each player at each position for every NFL team. When it came to the Bills, he had high marks for the defense, especially up front of the defensive line. He also had some high praise for cornerback Corey Graham who seemed to have flown under the radar as far as a top defensive back in the league.
“It felt like it was good for him to be back at home. He wanted to be in Buffalo and that really showed in his play. He started off the year great and he continued that for the rest of the season. We had him graded as the ninth overall cornerback in production terms in coverage, which is a great place to be.”
Finally, we circled back around to coaching talk. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport joined us to talk about the possible candidates, specifically when it comes to the Bills possibilities. He went through the list of names that are being mentioned from around the league and shared his thoughts on what might make a unique or perfect fit.
“I don’t care where a guy comes from. People will say there is so much focus on the quarterback that you have to have an offensive guy, you have to have a quarterback guy or you have to have a defensive guy that creates pressure. To me you can easily hire great coordinators. If you hire a great coordinator and let them coach, I think you’re fine. To me a head coach needs to lead and manage his staff and help everyone do their jobs the best that they possibly can and navigate locker room issues. To me, those are the most important issues about being a head coach. If you want a guy who is going to be the best defensive game planner around then you can find that guy but it’s all about leading the team.”
To hear the entire Rapoport interview and the rest of Monday’s John Murphy Show, click here.
Posted in Inside the Bills