Saturday Morning Report: Quiet and Ice

John Fennelly , Lead Writer

Hey, football weather is finally here in NY. The only thing missing now is the football. Even if the Giants were in it this year, this would be the quietest week of the season.  Unless you plan on watching the Pro Bowl (let me know how that goes).  The Manning brothers, who are both in Hawaii this week, have vowed to restore legitimacy to the Pro Bowl, which has become a running joke the past decade or so.

“The past two years, the play in this game has been unacceptable,” Peyton Manning said. “If it was a walkthrough, your coach would say it was a bad walkthrough. And that’s why (the league) could try to cancel this game.”

Speaking of brothers…..The Harbaugh Bowl is not off to a great start from a fan-interest perspective. First off the brothers are among the least-liked coaches around the league. Jim has been cagey with the media and John is a low key guy. Both are passionate, intelligent and not going anywhere for a long time. Their players and fans love them, the rest of the league not so much (I chalk that up to jealousy)….too bad because this is a historic event.

The brother vs brother angle, which is the primary backstory this week, will wear thin. Jim and John won’t let it get in the way of business. It will peak with the joint press conference On Friday morning. Usually, each coach gets an hour at the podium. They will appear together to answer all questions about family history and the current dynamic at that time. NFL Network and possibly ESPN should be covering it live.

Where are the Niner fans? It seems the Bay Area – the birthplace of Facebook, Twitter and just about everything else techhie in this world – are not embracing their Niners via social media. Maybe they’re past that stage..? Or are their more Raider fans out there than we thought?

From CW Nevius of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Honestly, there’s some fizzle in the sizzle…….”I could not agree more,” says ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer, who grew up in Aptos and played quarterback for 13 years in the NFL, including one with the 49ers. “The energy has not been there. It is a totally different vibe. My Twitter account lit up when the Giants won. That hasn’t happened.” Read More

Although Brandon Jacobs has been suspended by San Francisco for the remainder of the season, SNY Giants Insider Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports the former Giant RB is still rooting for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl:

“My emotions are I want the 49ers to win the game,” said Jacobs. “I don’t have any regrets about not being there whatsoever. I don’t feel like I should’ve done things differently. I don’t feel anything else. I’m a hundred percent happy where I am.Read More 

Another RB with local ties, Baltimore’s Ray Rice nee of Rutgers, figures to be a major factor in this year’s Super Bowl. He called into the station this week:

J Michael of CSNBaltimore reported that the firing of OC Cam Cameron during the season in favor of Jim Caldwell was John Harbaugh’s decision, not GM Ozzie Newsome’s:

No,” Newsome said repeatedly when asked if he or owner Steve Bisciotti influenced Cameron’s firing. “That wouldn’t be fair to John. John has to stand before his coaching staff and his players, and if at any one point do they ever thing that he’s overly influenced by Steve or I, then he loses his staff and his players. It has to be him.”

The Charlotte Observer is reporting that Giants’ assistant Al Holcomb has been hired to become the Panthers’ new LB coach:

Holcomb interviewed with the team Thursday, and he’s the third known candidate to have interviewed for the position vacated when Warren Belin was fired earlier this month….Holcomb is the first Panthers’ position coach hired in the past two weeks who did not have ties to the organization.