Mike Vrabel serious about coaching? Ya think?

QB Matt Cassell, writing for NBC.com, recalled the time Vrabel, then his Patriots teammate and now the Titans’ head guy, was talking on the phone while the team was returning from a game in Kansas City.

“We’ve got to be better at the end of the line of scrimmage on the defensive side!” Vrabel said. “We’ve got to set the edge in the run game! The interior guys, look, we can set up some stunts!”

He was talking to a fellow dad — about the Pee Wee team of 7- and 8-year olds he was coaching.


• At Fark.com: “Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy tests positive for COVID-19, blames the officials.”

No sour grapes here

Sooners coach Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma to seek his fortune in California, finding about $100 million when he got there.

In other words, he fared a little better than Tom Joad.


Tooth and consequences

The NHL suspended Kings winger Brendan Lemieux for biting the hand of the Senators’ Brady Tkachuk, drawing blood.

Just Tkachuk’s luck — getting in a skirmish with a hockey player who actually has teeth.

NFL quiz

That 5.8 recorded in Miami last Sunday turned out to be:

a) an earthquake

b) the chance of snow at the Dolphins game

c) Cam Newton’s passer rating

Ready for bike spokes

Topps, Donruss and Score are scrambling to produce the first fake Antonio Brown trading card.

Or is it Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson?

Piling it on

The Oklahoma City Thunder made NBA infamy, losing to Memphis by 73 points, 152-79.

“I feel sorry for those guys,” said absolutely no one in Seattle.


152-79 (cont’d)

The Thunder devastation was so complete, the Grizzlies had 80 points — enough to win — with 9:39 left in the third quarter.

Some like it hot

Baseball owners locked out the players when their CBA expired Dec. 2.

Things got so heated, one union rep was credited with an exit velocity of 120.8 mph leaving the last bargaining session.

Pass tense

Lakers star LeBron James, fully vaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 but was cleared a couple days later.

For once, his teammates begged him not to pass anything.

Delayed penalty

The NHL fined the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin $5,000 for throwing a glove at the Bruins’ Brad Marchand while both were in their respective penalty boxes.

Plus two minutes for littering.

Talking the talk

• Fox’s Joe Buck, on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers getting a pregame injection on his injured toe: “So Aaron is telling us he’s had that toe immunized.”


• NBC’s Mike Tirico, after the Ravens’ 16-10 win over the Browns: “For the week, the final tally is Harbaughs 2, Ohio nothing.”

• Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, after Collin Morikawa won $2.97 million at a golf tournament in Dubai: “Now you know why gas prices are so high.”

A little off-center

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins lined up under his guard and tried to take the snap against the 49ers, forcing the team to use a timeout.

Amazingly, he didn’t wind up in the concussion protocol.

Quote marks

• The Falcons’ Cordarrelle Patterson, to the New York Post, on playing receiver, running back and kick returner: “If my mom could go out there and work three jobs, I can go out there and play three positions.”

• Nick Canepa of The San Diego Union-Tribune, on 28 penalties called in the Cowboys-Raiders game: “Fewer flags at the U.N. building.”

• Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, via Twitter, on Rodgers’ toe injury: “After all the ivermectin he has taken, I am just glad it is not hoof and mouth disease.”


• Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, after Chase Claypool suggested that practice could be more fun and feature music: “Claypool plays wideout and I’ll let him do that. I’ll formulate the practice approach, and that division of labor is probably appropriate.”

We want one too

“Is it possible that the NFL owners could have a players lockout?” asked Tim Hunter of Everett’s KRKO Radio. “Asking for a friend who’s a Seahawks fan.”

Quote, end quote

• B.C. blogger Gregg Drinnan, on the Cowboys-Raiders game drawing 38.5 million CBS viewers — the most for a regular-season game since 1990: “Just in case you were wondering why neither the NBA nor the NHL played any games on what was American Thanksgiving.”

• Trey Wingo of the NFL Network, on Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly: ”I think it’s time we forever stop questioning players who skip a bowl game when two of the highest-profile coaches bailed before their team’s season was over.”

• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on QB Robert Griffin III promising to tell all in his upcoming book, “Surviving Washington”: “I’ll approach Griffin’s book with the idea that if you can’t say something nice about WFT owner Dan Snyder, I’m all here for it.”

• Jack Finarelli of SportsCurmudgeon.com, on Virginia Tech’s 29-24 win over Virginia: “Both teams finish the season at 6-6, both will go to a meaningless bowl game. Why not just stage a rematch?”