News and Notes from Around the NFL

Hondo S. Carpenter


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News and Notes from Around the NFL

There is a lot of talk around the NFL and Chad Ochocinco Johnson. What people even around the league don’t understand is that he and Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and QB Tom Brady are close. He is an elite athlete that like Carson Palmer was stuck in Cincy. Where Palmer is simply saying he will quit rather than play for that franchise, Chad just created excitement. Everyone else may be wondering how this apparent train wreck will end, but they aren’t in New England. They think it was a marriage made in heaven and he has been a model citizen.

Conventional wisdom is that disgraced OSU QB Terrelle Pryor will be in the NFL supplemental draft this week. Roger Goodell the NFL commissioner is a stubborn man and although ultimately I do agree that I think he will be in it, it isn’t a done deal. One NFL source told me, “Roger beats to his own drum, and on this I don’t think he wants to let him in. He feels that he should have entered the regular draft if he wanted in.”

I still have no doubts at all that the Patriots are the team to beat for the Super Bowl this year.

I mentioned in this column weeks ago that there was frustration among some of the Lions that rookie DT Nick Fairley didn’t work out with them. Then he steps in and gets injured. The Lions have a lot of popular backup DTs that are well liked and Fairley certainly isn’t being mistreated, but he has a ways to go to earn the respect of his teammates. Suh earned his respect on the field and ultimately so can Fairley, but during this injury he needs to earn some in the locker room.

After the 2010 NFL draft in this column I broke down the Cleveland Browns first draft and gave my analysis that it was the best in the NFL. I also mentioned that they got their franchise QB in Colt McCoy. The grief I took was immense, but does anyone want to second-guess me now? McCoy is a natural leader and will deliver in Cleveland.

Brian Hoyer’s stock continues to rise in the NFL. When the Patriots took a QB in the past draft there was a lot of speculation that Hoyer was on his way out. Here is what I know. Within moments of the Patriots picking the young signal caller from Arkansas their phones were ringing with calls about Hoyer. There is a lot more interest based on his performance with the ones in the New England pre-season game. No matter what happens both parties win. I expect there to be a ton of interest in Hoyer next off season and he could (and I expect it) get traded. That will bring a major raise for Hoyer who will come with a high cost and teams will want to get him under a long-term deal if they are going to pay that price. It will also mean that he almost assuredly gets a starter’s job because NO ONE will pay the asking price that Belichick will have for a backup. The Patriots have no desire to trade him. They see him as the heir apparent, but if they can get a high pick they will and both parties win no matter what happens.

Did anyone see Jimmy Clausen perform last season? How about in this year’s first pre- season game? Any wonder why the scouts I talked to had him not in the first round of the Spartan Nation MOCK draft last year when everyone else did? I get no credit, it is their picks not mine, but I sure appreciate you guys and you know whom you are.

Spartan and now Bengal Domata Peko is the heart of the Bengals defense or what they have that is a defense. He called his team out after the Lions first, second, third, and fourth string torched them. I would love to see him and his other Spartan Kyle Cook on a better team or at least franchise. Glad they are getting paid, but come on.

Tommie Harris is now a Colt. He enjoyed his visit in New England, but Indy was a better fit for the one time Pro Bowl stud. It is a new beginning for him with the Colts and I fully expect him to be back to his old form. He could be the comeback player of the year.

Here is a question quietly being asked around the Vikings Eden Prairie training facility. “How many games will rookie QB Christian Ponder start in Minnesota this year?” I say three. We shall see.


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