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Manning tunes out Simms' chatter

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Posted Nov. 09, 2011 @ 4:09 p.m. ET
By Barry Jackson

Perhaps Phil Simms will think twice next time before giving Peyton Manning a heads-up — or an apology — for something he said on the air.

A lot of fans were puzzled when Simms said on Showtime recently that Manning would not let the Colts draft Andrew Luck. The Colts have suggested they would be interested in taking Luck if they have the No. 1 pick, and there's no indication that Manning would have the weight to stop it, even if he tried.

Simms politely — but unnecessarily — then texted Manning and, according to Manning, said, "Hey, sorry to drag your name into this."

Manning, according to the Indianapolis Star, texted this response: "Phil, I don't know what you're talking about."

Simms then wrote, "Well, on my show, 'Inside the NFL,' I made this statement."

Responded Manning: "Phil, I hate to break it you, but I don't watch your show, along with a lot of other people that I don't think watch that show."

Manning told the newspaper that Simms was "giving himself a little more credit than probably was merited. ... I don't talk to Phil and Phil doesn't talk to me." 

Around the dial

When Bill Cowher said on CBS on Oct. 30 that "I do not plan on coaching next year," not everyone believed him. NBC's Peter King was skeptical and said Cowher should have stated his intentions unequivocally, without using the word "plan." A week earlier, King said Cowher wanted to go where he had the best chance to win. So it's not surprising King would question Cowher's sincerity on the issue.

• When you have three hours to fill on a pregame show, as ESPN does, considerable time is wasted on topics not worthy of discussion. Among them: Is it good or bad for the Packers to remain unbeaten? "I don't recommend losing to anybody," Mike Ditka said. You don't say?

• CBS' Shannon Sharpe, in a Week Nine interview with Carson Palmer, told Palmer: "I said you quit on your team, you quit on Cincinnati." Good for Sharpe for not shying away from those earlier comments. And Palmer handled it in a classy manner, admitting "it was a selfish decision" but one he believes will end up being the right one.

• ESPN's Jon Gruden said the Chargers' loss to Kansas City, after Philip Rivers' fumble on a snap late in regulation, was the "worst day of Norv Turner's life." Is he kidding? Even including only "football" developments in his life, the loss in the 2007 AFC championship game (and divisional playoff losses the following two years) certainly was more meaningful than a regular-season game.

• Gruden hasn't had nearly as much success predicting play calls as he did last year. He has guessed wrong repeatedly in recent weeks.

• Colts at Patriots on Dec. 4 might be the only game that ends up being replaced this season as part of NBC's flexible Sunday-night schedule.

• ESPN continues to serve up the best stats of any network. Among the recent ones: Rivers-led teams have averaged the most points of any quarterback in the past 50 years (27.8), with Aaron Rodgers' Packers No. 2.

• When Fox's Terry Bradshaw noted recently that the Falcons miss the toughness of OG Harvey Dahl (who left for St. Louis), I was shocked. Bradshaw almost never discusses players who don't play skill positions. Conversely, Howie Long seems to relish the "in the trenches" analysis more than any NFL studio voice.

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