BBC BLOGS - Neil Reynolds

Archives for September 2010

Is the Singletary era coming to an end?

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Neil Reynolds | 12:51 UK time, Wednesday, 29 September 2010

When I interviewed San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Singletary and England rugby team manager Martin Johnson over the summer both sporting legends agreed that being a great player did not automatically lead to success on the sidelines.

It was fascinating to see Singletary - a Hall of Fame linebacker with the Chicago Bears from 1981 to 1992 - and Johnson swapping coaching notes and ideas.

Both men were truly great, inspirational leaders on hugely successful teams. Singletary led the Bears to victory in Super Bowl XX during the 1985 season, while Johnson led the Leicester Tigers to much silverware in the 1990s and guided England to World Cup glory in 2003.

Both were intense men on the field and thoughtful people off it. And both, as relatively inexperienced head coaches, have found themselves under pressure early on in their coaching careers.

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Opportunity knocks for Vick

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Neil Reynolds | 13:27 UK time, Wednesday, 22 September 2010

There is an old saying in the NFL that a player should never lose his starting job through injury and that he should be inserted back into the line-up as soon as he is healthy.

While that is a nice sentimental thought, I don't think the issue is very clear cut in today's ruthless, win-now NFL. If a player comes off the bench, seizes his opportunity and plays considerably better than the incumbent, surely he deserves an extended run of games?

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid obviously agrees - but only just.

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Time for Jets to start delivering

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Neil Reynolds | 12:42 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

As exciting as the opening weekend was in the NFL - with the usual mix of dazzling performances, upsets and controversy - we should try not to read too much into the first round of games.

If the Week One action was truly indicative of what is going to happen for the rest of the season, we would likely see the Super Bowl playoffs take place in January without fancied teams such as the Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys.

I do not think that will be the case.

Sure, all those clubs lost in Week One and were disappointing, but they have more than enough talent on their rosters to turn things around and they certainly won't be hitting the panic button just yet.

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Rodgers will lead Packers to Super Bowl glory

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Neil Reynolds | 16:13 UK time, Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The long NFL off-season is finally over and, while the past seven months have not lacked in terms of headlines and intrigue, I cannot wait for the real action to begin on the pitch.

It has been an off-season full of high-profile moves. Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Miami Dolphins, star quarterback Donovan McNabb joined the Washington Redskins after 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and a whole host of veteran stars inked deals with an ambitious New York Jets club gearing up for a Super Bowl run.

But, as has been the case for the previous three years, one man dominated the off-season news and all eyes were on future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre for much of the summer.

Given that Favre got severely beaten up in the NFC Championship Game at the end of January, underwent tricky ankle surgery in May and will turn 41 in October, Vikings fans could have been forgiven for thinking the man who threw for 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2009 was not coming back.

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