NFL notes: War of words ... NFL style!

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warms up before playing the New York Giants during an NFL...

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warms up before playing the New York Giants during an NFL football game in Charlotte on Sept. 20 (REUTERS)

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:15 AM ET

Put a microphone and/or Twitter feed in front of Brandon Marshall (bottom left) or Warren Sapp (above left) and sparks are sure to fly.

All the more so if you get them talking about each other.

Sapp ripped Marshall last week and Marshall responded with video responses.

Sapp told The Dan Patrick Show: “These kids that play the game today have no relevance for the past, have no conscious of what it is ... I mean Brandon Marshall talking about Shannon Sharpe ... ‘Who is he to talk?’ He’s the first 100-catch receiver (tight end) back-to-back, retard.”

Marshall fired back, ripping Sapp for his idiotic choice of words to describe him, before moving on to Sapp’s personal life.

“That’s really disappointing to hear that from an NFL legend, but I’m going to take this as a lesson, and I think we all can learn from this,” Marshall said in the video.

“When I look at Warren Sapp, I can’t go to him and talk about finances because he filed for bankruptcy. I can’t go to him and talk about my marriage because he filed for divorce. I can’t go to him and talk about being a father because one day I’m going to have children because he’s not active in his children’s life.”

Ouch.

On Thursday, Marshall said he spoke the truth, but said he was sorry for saying it publicly.

Sapp also apologized for his “poor choice of words.”

STRAHAN TOPS HALL LIST

Single-season sack leader Michael Strahan, unflappable offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen, legendary kicker Morten Andersen and former Tampa Bay defenders Warren Sapp and John Lynch headline the list of 13 first-year eligible candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The full list contains 127 candidates, will be cut to 25 in a couple of months, to 15 in January and voted to a class of up to five the day before the Super Bowl.

The late Steve McNair is also on the list for the first time, along with running back Priest Holmes, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, centre Tom Nalen, defensive tackles Sam Adams and Ted Washington and defensive end Bryant Young.

Some of the greatest wide receivers of all time are among the returning nominees.

Cris Carter, who somehow missed the cut last year is the biggest of those names, though former Buffalo star Andre Reed and fellow receiver (and spectacular return man) Tim Brown have Hall-worthy pedigrees as well.

They were all finalists last year, along with Jerome Bettis, Will Shields, Kevin Greene, Aeneas Williams, long-time coach Bill Parcells and former owner Ed DeBartolo Jr.

MCKNIGHT UNSURE

Usually when a player finds out he is about to see far more action than he is used to, he reacts by getting excited.

But for Joe McKnight, his promotion seemed a bit like a demotion.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan told McKnight, previously a running back, that thanks to the season-ending injury to Darrelle Revis, he was being switched to cornerback.

Maybe it’s because Ryan initially told McKnight he had been traded … before adding it was to the Jets’ defence, but McKnight wasn’t jumping for joy at the news.

“I just took it as I’m not good enough to play running back,” McKnight told the Newark Star-Ledger.

Ryan, in a tough spot after losing his best player, said he liked how McKnight looked as a cornerback on the scout team as a rookie.

After trying out the position more in practice, McKnight lightened up.

“At this point in time I’m just happy to just be on the field,” McKnight said.

“I’m getting tired of just standing on the sideline.”

McKnight played cornerback as well as running back in high school, but said he doesn’t see that helping him too much, considering how good NFL players are.

Cam is cool

Cam Newton has no problems with Steve Smith speaking his mind.

Last week, Smith, the Carolina wide receiver, said his young quarterback needs to stop sulking when things aren’t going his way.

But Newton doesn’t mind and believes Smith will make him a better player by taking him to task every now and then.

He also believes the media blew Smith’s most recent comments out of proportion by the media.

“Steve Smith talks to me every single day. And obviously it’s a teaching moment, so for you to just single something out like that is kind of bogus for me,” Newton told Charlotte reporters.

“I look up to Smitty as if he’s my big brother, and he has a very big impact on how I play and just having a mindset because he has done it and has lived it … It’s nothing like when Smitty talks to me it’s a big deal because I feel like I can call Smitty on any case — on the field or off the field.”

Which is a lot better than a quarterback hating his top receiver — or worse — sulking when given constructive criticism.

— Ryan Wolstat

 

 


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