Based on a session with the Cincinnati media this afternoon, it’s safe to assume that Mike Zimmer and Bobby Petrino will not be exchanging Christmas cards this year, or at any point in the near or distant future for that matter.
Zimmer, currently the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, served as the coordinator on Petrino’s Atlanta Falcons coaching staff in 2007. Petrino infamously pulled one of the biggest punk, below-the-belt coaching moves in the history of of the game, leaving the Falcons with three games remaining in the season — with barely a word in parting said to his staff or anyone in the organization — to take the head coaching job at the University of Arkansas.
With the Bengals traveling to Atlanta this weekend to take on the Falcons, Zimmer was asked about returning to the city for the first time since Petrino stabbed an entire organization in the back. Suffice to say, there was no biting of the tongue when it came to Zimmer’s opinions three years after the betrayal.
Here’s a sampling of Zimmer’s quotes, courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“I was never even there. As far as I am concerned. I never even was there. When a coach quits in the middle of the year and ruins a bunch of people’s families and doesn’t’ have enough guts to at least finish out the year. I am not a part of that.”
“He is a coward. Put that in quotes. He ruined a bunch of people’s lives, a bunch of people’s families, kids, because he didn’t have enough nuts to stay there and finish the job. That’s the truth.”
“He came in and said he resigned, he would talk to us all at a later date, walked out of the office and no one has ever talked to him since. Not that anybody wanted to.
“He’s a gutless b—d. Quote that. I don’t give a s–.”
When told that we might might not be able to use the B word, Zimmer went one better: “How about this, gutless MF. You can use that.”
In summation, Zimmer feels that Petrino is a gutless, testicle-deficient coward/quitter who ruins people’s lives and families. With the exception of kicking puppies and spitting on the flag, I think he pretty much covered all the insult bases there.
We’ve sent an email to the university seeking comment on Zimmer’s diatribe toward their current coach, but as of this posting we’ve not gotten a response. Nor do we expect one, honestly.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.