What about the team’s goals in November? If the preseason No. 1 team stumbles to an 8-4 record and winds up in some chilly bowl outpost playing some newly established game with a silly corporate name, chances are the team isn’t that fired up about it. Florida State, for example, is certainly proud to keep its record 36-year bowl streak alive, but the Seminoles are accustomed to more prestigious bowl assignments than Shreveport against a Conference USA also-ran.
Arians said having all referees as full-time employees is essential to improvement. Only four referees (Brad Allen, Walt Anderson, Jerome Boger and Pete Morelli) currently have such status, with some of the others opting to continue in full-time jobs outside NFL auspices, including those that pay far more than what the league is offering. (Time magazine reported last year that the average referee salary for non-NFL employees was $173,000 in 2013 with growth to $201,000 by the 2019 season.)
“They had no idea,” Spencer said. “They would have never done something like that. They didn’t explain it that way. That’s the problem.”
Canning the Marlins’ TV broadcast team didn’t help, either. Play-by-play commentator Rich Waltz and analysts Conine and Preston Wilson were dismissed. The year before, Fox Sports Florida let go of analyst Tommy Hutton. Thus, it might’ve been bad timing for Jeter, but Jeter never seemed to have bad timing before he got to South Florida.
Matthew Stafford is hurting and just trying to survive in order to put the Lions in position to steal another wild-card berth. With the defense leaking to join the running game sputtering, he’ll need to be at his best. Luckily, the Buccaneers’ pass defense is awful, and they also can’t put much pressure on the QB. In a battle of big-armed QBs, it’s easier to trust Stafford on the road than Jameis Winston at home, especially in the fourth quarter.