Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we count down the hours until the NFL's regular-season opening kickoff on Thursday night in Giants Stadium.....
• When it comes to divining just how injured
Am I intimating the league's reigning MVP might not be ready to play Sunday against the visiting Chiefs due to his sore right foot? No, I'm not. But based on information that came to light after the fact in the case of previous Brady injuries, I'm willing to bet New England's franchise quarterback will be playing hurt early this season. Just as he was in the Super Bowl last February, when he was hobbled by that right ankle sprain despite not even being listed on the team's final injury report. In past years, Brady has suffered through right shoulder issues that were almost always more serious than they were portrayed at the time.
While the Patriots will always play mind games with their injury report as long as
The best news for Brady and the Patriots may be that New England's opening-day opponent is Kansas City, which sent pass-rusher extraordinaire
• It didn't really unfold as anyone could have envisioned, evolving as it did into something of a Last Man Standing competition, but I did tell you as far back as mid-June that Baltimore rookie quarterback
In 2007, Oakland's
The last rookie quarterback to start on opening day? Baltimore's
It was true in Cincinnati, in Buffalo and in Philadelphia, which is nearly a playoff perennial. Then again, the 49ers missing the playoffs wouldn't exactly register as news these days.
• I wrote plenty about
Warner talks a lot about being a team guy, but I'm convinced it's fairly skin deep. He makes no secret he wants to start, and with 2008 being the final year of his contract, he's looking for one more fat two- or three-year deal before he hangs 'em up. Did you catch what he said the other day about winning his preseason competition with Leinart?
"One thing I have to believe, and hopefully Matt believes, is that I'm not just a has-been quarterback that can't play,'' Warner told reporters. "I want him to believe that I'm one of the better quarterbacks in this league and that he played very well this year.''
In other words, don't sweat it, kid. You were beaten out by one of the greats of the game. Just watch and learn.
• I know it rated as a eyebrow-raising headline around the league when Washington demoted offensive right tackle
• With the Patriots whiffing on both
• I'm still not ready to drink the Kool-Aid on the notion Washington quarterback
• I really thought
• Don't you love how some NFL coaches argue they need every one of the current four preseason games, then refuse to play most of their starters in the final, most meaningless of all exhibitions? Seems to me their actions speak far louder than their words.
• Not sure it'll ever come to pass, but someday maybe Tampa Bay-Carolina will be more than just a twice-a-year NFC South showdown. It'll be The
• The Lions apparently love running backs who have good, middle-American sounding last names. With
• Here's how it goes in the star-driven NFL: If
• I went with
• Now that
• If you absolutely need the name of a running back out there who could be this year's version of the out-of-nowhere
Like Mason, Grant switched teams during last year's preseason. He was traded from the Giants to the Packers and wound up running for almost 1,000 yards in becoming a late-season sensation. Mason will start the year on the practice squad, but if
• Dallas opens at Cleveland on Sunday. The Cowboys don't have enough good receivers, and the Browns don't have enough good cornerbacks. Seems like a fair fight to me.
• Somebody tell