NFL

NFL AM: Mallett Mistake Finally Over In Houston

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Texans cut Ryan Mallett:

The Houston Texans finally put an end to their relationship with quarterback Ryan Mallett Tuesday. Mallett missed the team’s flight to Miami on Saturday, claiming that traffic caused him to be late for the flight. That’s right, he claimed that he got stuck in traffic on the way to the airport, on a Saturday.

Mallett missing the team’s flight and that ridiculous excuse were the last straw for head coach Bill O’Brien, who reportedly wanted to cut his immature quarterback before the team took the field on Sunday.

Feeling a victory over the Miami Dolphins could put the Texans right back in the AFC South race, Texans general manager Rick Smith wouldn’t allow O’Brien to cut Mallett as he believed the team had to have an experienced back up for Brian Hoyer for what Smith believed was such an important game.

On Tuesday, the team signed T.J. Yates, who has started for the Texans before, and will become the primary backup to Hoyer the rest of the way.

The question becomes, how didn’t O’Brien see this coming?

Assuming that Mallett didn’t become a jerk overnight, how didn’t O’Brien, who had been with Mallett in New England before leaving to become the head coach at Penn State, know that the former Arkansas Razorback lacked the kind of leadership and attitude to be a starting NFL quarterback.

Certainly some of Mallett’s frustration likely came from O’Brien yo-yoing back and forth between Hoyer and him at the quarterback position like he was riding a hot tailback, but that’s no excuse to show the kind of disinterest Mallett displayed whenever not holding the keys to the Texans offense.

The whole situation shines a glaring light on the inadequacies of Mallett, but it doesn’t look very good for O’Brien either. In fact, it looks pretty awful.

O’Brien’s handling of the quarterback situation this year was nothing short of horrific, and it took Mallett acting like a child to finally secure the starting job for Hoyer. We might hear otherwise from O’Brien, but nobody believes he wouldn’t have flip-flopped on the decision of who to start at his team’s most important position again if things went sour.

Worse yet, O’Brien now looks like a guy who doesn’t have the teeth to make the decisions he deems necessary after being overruled by his general manager about cutting a player who clearly had no regard for his teammates.

It’s a terrible decision to be hiring a new head coach every two years, but it’s hard to see how O’Brien survives this season in Houston. After going 9-7 under O’Brien in his first year as head coach, the Texans season has been an absolute disaster, and a lot of it falls on O’Brien.

Giants sign Jason Pierre-Paul:

Almost four months after a fireworks accident claimed part of Jason Pierre-Paul’s right hand including his index finger, Pierre-Paul finally rejoined the New York Giants on Tuesday, signing an incentive-laden deal for the rest of the 2015 season.

While Giants GM Jerry Reese may have been talking about everyone being excited to see Pierre-Paul on a personal level, it’s clear the Giants, who have just nine sacks in the team’s first seven games are desperate to see him back on the football field as well.

“We all are excited to see Jason,” said Reese. “He has worked very hard to get himself back into position to join the team and work toward getting on the playing field on Sundays.”

The Giants are currently 4-3 and in first place in the up and down NFC East, but the numbers on defense aren’t pretty, and the team could use all the help it can get. For Pierre-Paul, he’s just thrilled to get that opportunity to help them any way he can.

“I’m just here to help the team out,” Pierre-Paul said. “I’m blessed to play the game, and I’m excited about the opportunity to play again.”

That opportunity won’t be immediate, as the Giants received a two-week roster exemption to get Pierre-Paul back into playing shape. Something the Giants defensive end explains he’s been working on while away from the team.

“I’m very excited to be back,” Pierre-Paul said after finally re-signing with the team. “I’m getting ready to do what I have to do. I’ve been training down in South Florida with my trainer. Every day, I got up at 7:30 and lifted weights, I’ve been doing what I have to do to stay in football shape.”

The Giants will be getting Pierre-Paul, left tackle Will Beatty, and (we assume) Victor Cruz all back in the coming weeks, which should provide a boost for a wildly inconsistent Giants team to this point in the season.

Beatty will provide a very interesting decision for the Giants. While the offensive line has been inconsistent as a whole, rookie tackle Ereck Flowers has handled himself well filling in for Beatty at left tackle. With Flowers as the obvious future of the position on the left side, it will be interesting to see if they push him to the right side when the veteran Beatty returns.

Roethlisberger looking like a go for the Steelers Sunday:

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t announced that Ben Roethlisberger would be under center on Sunday, but it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll be back on the field for a massive game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Landry Jones was 16 for 29, for 209 yards, with a touchdown and two interceptions in the Steelers loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, but that performance, coupled with his performance against the Arizona Cardinals the week before was enough to convince the Steelers to officially list him as the team’s second-string quarterback.

That’s how awful Michael Vick is.

The play of both Jones and Vick was enough to help the Steelers hang around while Roethlisberger was out, but Ben’s return will completely change the dynamic of the Steelers offense. When one of the league’s best tailbacks and one of the league’s best receivers have one of the best quarterbacks in football getting them the rock, the results are very different than what we’ve seen in Roethlisberger’s absence.

This game couldn’t be much bigger for the Steelers, as they host an undefeated Bengals team that’s playing about as well as any team in football, and has an opportunity to take a stranglehold on the AFC North with a victory. At 4-3, a loss would knock the Steelers back to .500, and would have them among many teams likely fighting for a wild card spot the rest of the way as catching a 7-0 Bengals team would prove very difficult.

This is the kind of game the Steelers would always win in the past, but with the way this season has started, all signs point to Cincinnati being the better team in 2015. If the Steelers are going to change that perception and find a way to steal the AFC North, they’ll have to find a way to win Sunday. One thing is for sure, if the Steelers are going to have a chance when they host the Bengals, they’re going to need No. 7 under center.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.