Extra points: Media column gravy II

More NFL TV talk:

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==New Fox game analyst Brian Billick, the former Baltimore and Cleveland head coach, said it on a conference call whether Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman can do his new gig on the FSN “Pro Football Weekly” report — flying from San Diego to L.A. on Thursdays for the show’s taping — while he tries to play on a bad knee: “From a pure coaching standpoint, you don’t want your player to do anything that detracts from their preparation for the game but that’s unrealistic. At the end of the day, you’ve got to let these men be men. Now, that doesn’t mean you don’t counsel a young man to make sure that he understands the time and energy he’s going to expend to do those types of things.The biggest concern that I would have is the cumulative wear and tear after a while and that just adds something more on your plate. Some players can handle that type of thing and some players can’t. As a coach, you’d rather they don’t do anything.”

Others have also chimed in:

New Fox studio analyst Michael Strahan added this about Merriman’s decision to continue playing on the knee despite the advice of several doctors to have surgery: “I actually had some correspondence with him about it. If he feels that he can play the way he’s used to playing then he should be out there. If he feels that he’s not going to be able to perform the way we expect him to perform, then he shouldn’t be out there. Once he’s on that field, we don’t want to hear that he’s hurt. No one will give you leeway once you’re out there on that football field. I just hope he made the right decision.”

From Fox game analyst Troy Aikman: “You’ve got to trust that he’s making the decision that’s in the best interest of himself and not just what’s in the best interest of the football team. Obviously, most people know that (Chargers coach) Norv Turner is a close friend of mine and me knowing him the way I do, I don’t think that Norv would want to risk the career of one of the great young players in this league. If he doesn’t feel that he’s giving the production or helping the team in the way that he should then he or the organization should step in.”

From CBS studio analyst and former Steelers coach Bill Cower: “Shawne, like anyone else, no one here has sat down and listened to exactly what was told to him. It’s his decision. It’s different than a concussion issue where there are more tests and symptoms prevelant. Again, it’s unfair to be judgementa when we’re not in the room. I’m respectful of that. He knows his body and knows how he needs to play.”

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