September 15, 2008

The Saints, looking to solidify their backup QB positions, have signed Joey Harrington. From

"The New Orleans Saints have signed Harrington, according to Adam Schefter of the NFL Network. Harrington is in New Orleans and will travel to Denver for the team's game on Sunday against the Broncos, Schefter said."

The complete WDSU story is here.

Raiders fans, perhaps energized by their team's win over the Chiefs last week, don't want to see their coach get fired. From

"We, the loyal fans of the Oakland Raiders, therefore give our full support to Mr. Lane Kiffin. This letter is in petition against the Oakland Raiders organization hindering Mr. Lane Kiffin's efforts and duties as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. We believe that Mr. Lane Kiffin should be given more authority over the team. Additionally we petition against the termination of Mr. Lane Kiffin's tenure as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders. Mr. Lane Kiffin has not been given sufficient time nor freedom to adequately install and develop the necessary components of his coaching philosophy."

The complete story from is here.

What to look for on today ...

• The game of the week is obvious: Cowboys at Packers. Adam Duerson breaks it down and picks a winner.

Don Banks looks at the Vikings decision to bench Tarvaris Jackson and draws an interesting conclusion about early draft pick quarterbacks.

Michael Lombardi weighs in with his weekly look at the league in his Frankly Football column.

Dr. Z addresses the Monday Night Football announcing crew and more in his weekly mailbag.

Plus all the news around the league as teams get ready for Week 3 ...

Referee Ed Hochuli screwed up and he's sorry about it. He has been accountable and he has been apologetic. He has answered the e-mails of aggrieved Chargers fans, and has succeeded in turning some of their scorn into sympathy. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"Affecting the outcome of a game is a devastating feeling," said the 57-year-old official. "Officials strive for perfection -- I failed miserably."

The complete Union-Tribune is here.

Bears kick returner/receiver Devin Hester isn't being clear on the extent of his rib injury. It went from torn cartilage early Thursday to only a bruise. So what is it, Devin?

The complete story is here.

Stanley Druckenmiller withdrew his offer to buy a majority stake of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, saying the Rooney family needs more time to consider its options about the future ownership of the team.

The complete story is here.

Vikings fans may not be too excited for the Gus Frerotte era to begin. From

"The Vikings announced on Thursday that the NFL has granted a 24-hour extension of the 72-hour deadline for avoiding a local television blackout. A total of 1,400 tickets remain available."

The complete story is here.

Bears kick returner/receiver Devin Hester offered a little insight into the rib injury he suffered last week against the Panthers and that has kept him out of practice this week. Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:

"Hester says he has 'a little torn cartilage' in his rib area and is starting to feel better, but the Bears Pro Bowl returner didn't want to speculate about his status for Sunday. 'I'm feeling a lot better so I'm hoping by the end of the week I'll have no pain or nothing like that,' Hester said Thursday. Hester said he suffered the injury making a quick move to avoid a tackle. He couldn't breathe normally for two days."

The complete Tribune story is here.

Titans quarterback Vince Young may have a birds-eye view of Sunday's game against the Texans. From

"[Jeff Fisher] also is thinking of taking advantage of this time to give Young the chance he never really got as a rookie to study how a veteran quarterback prepares and plays in the NFL. That might even mean putting Young upstairs in the coaches' box Sunday against the Texans (0-1). 'Whatever we do with Vince on Sunday will be what's best for Vince,' Fisher said."

The complete story is here.

Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall's legal trouble may not be over., via, has the details:

"The solicitor's office in Fulton County, Georgia has decided to press criminal charges against Marshall. The solicitor's office filed misdemeanor battery charges on September 10th of this year for an alleged incident on March 4th, 2008 in Atlanta. ... [It was] also indicated that a court date for sometime in either November or December was probable."

The complete story is here.

What to look for on today ...

Peter King will pick the winners of all Week 3 games, straight up, while Dr. Z picks the games against the spread.

• We all know Lane Kiffin will eventually be canned in Oakland. But what other coaches are in danger of losing their jobs? In the first of a monthly series, Don Banks lists 10 coaches on the hot seat.

Dominic Bonvissuto will help plan your weekend by telling you which games will be the most watchable and which ones to avoid.

Plus all the news around the league as teams get ready for Week 3 ...

As part of the promotion for The Express, his new movie about late Syracuse great Ernie Davis, actor Dennis Quaid was at the Falcons' practice in Flowery Branch, Ga., on Wednesday.

In the course of his visit, according to, Quaid got some inside tips on the Falcons' game plan for their game with Chiefs this weekend.

No problem -- except he reportedly passed the info along to members of the press, prompting team officials to plead with media outlets not to use it.

The complete story is here.

Chiefs fans, perhaps upset with today's announcement that Tyler Thigpen will start at QB against the Falcons, have launched a Web site to campaign the team to bring in a new QB. From

"With the struggles of Derek Anderson and the Cleveland offense -- tied for last in points per game and third to last in yards per game; this week, good luck in Baltimore -- we can't see the Browns parting withBrady Quinn. But don't let that get in the way of hopeful Chiefs' fans, who have started a Get Brady Now Web site."

The complete Big Lead story is here.

The Get Brady Now Web site is here.

The Lions are apparently compiling a short list of running backs in case rookie Kevin Smith or veteran Rudi Johnson goes down. From the Detroit Free Press:

"Former Pro Bowler Shaun Alexander was one of several running backs to meet with the Lions on Tuesday. Alexander, a former Seattle Seahawks star, worked out for the coaching staff at the team's practice facility. Former Chicago Bears runner Cedric Benson, a first-round draft pick in 2005, and free-agent Vernand Morency, who previously played for the Packers, were also in town to meet with coaches and front office personnel."

The complete Free Press story is here.

Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin entered this season unhappy with his current contract, but so far hasn't let it affect his play. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Boldin will eventually be traded. From

"With the situation the way it is now, it seems that the Cardinals will have no choice but to trade Boldin in the offseason. Rosenhaus agrees. 'I do believe that Anquan will be traded, I don't think that there is any doubt in my mind.' "

The complete story from is here.

Despite rumors of his imminent firing, Lane Kiffin still has a job as the Raiders coach. But that hasn't stopped him from being linked to a potential college opening. From the Buffalo News, via

"Syracuse coach Greg Robinson is as good as gone. It's astonishing how bad the Orangemen have become over the last couple of years. The latest rumor has embattled Oakland Raiders coach Lane Kiffin as a potential replacement. Kiffin could be fired at any time by owner Al Davis, who feels his 33-year-old coach has been guilty of insubordination."

The complete Buffalo News story is here.

What to look for on today ...

• Got your arguments ready? Dr. Z tees up his latest Power Rankings.

Ross Tucker says the Vikings have nobody to blame for their 0-2 start but themselves.

Plus all the news around the league as teams return to the practice field ...

The San Diego Chargers have deemed Shawne Merriman's surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee a success, according to the team's Web site. Merriman, who sought as many as five medical opinions on his knee in August, tried to play through the pain -- but never got past Week 1 vs. Carolina. The Chargers believe Merriman will make a full recovery for the '09 season, the linebacker's final contract year with San Diego.

Vikings coach Brad Childress is open to making a quarterback change if Tarvaris Jackson continues to perform poorly. Gus Frerotte is currently Minnesota's backup. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

"I'm always looking at what's giving us the best opportunity to win," he said. "If it's Tarvaris, it's Tarvaris. If it's Gus Frerotte, it's Gus Frerotte. J.D. Booty, it's J.D. Booty. I know I was asked a question yesterday, is that the guy who who's going to be the quarterback at the end of the week? That's something that is ongoing. You don't crown a guy king and then the king doesn't have any clothes on and you say, 'Hey, he's still the king.' "You just need to make sure you're doing the right thing there. We're chewing on a bunch of things right now and making sure he's the best guy for us to go forward."

The complete Star Tribune story is here.

An update on LaDainian Tomlinson's toe injury, courtesy of the San Diego Union Tribune:

"Tomlinson yesterday said he too planned to play through the pain of a sprained big toe that limited him to 10 carries Sunday in Denver and that the long week before Monday's game against the New York Jets should help. 'This will be a week that I can get a lot more treatment; I've got an extra day,' Tomlinson said. 'Hopefully, the treatment and the rest will put me pretty much where I want to be. Hopefully, next week I'll be able to be more productive but also play a little bit more. Have some more carries, and do pretty much what I have always been able to do.' Tomlinson said he was feeling better yesterday than the previous Monday and expects to be close to 100 percent by the time the Chargers play at Oakland on Sept. 28."

The complete Union Tribune story is here.

The owner of the Rams, Chip Rosenbloom, has put his team and its coaches on notice after its 0-2 start. From the St. Louis Post Dispatch, via

" 'It is the job of the head coach, Scott Linehan, to figure out how to motivate and give some urgency to this team,' Rosenbloom said. 'I believe in these players and I believe in this coach.' But there is a bottom line in every business. Rosenbloom knows what that bottom line is in the National Football League, and knows that his Rams have fallen far short of it thus far this season. 'Obviously, the game of football is about winning,' Rosenbloom said. 'The level of play is not acceptable to me or anybody in the organization.' "

The complete Post Dispatch story is here.

Something to keep an eye on in Detroit. With Calvin Johnson's No. 1 wideout-type numbers (13 catches, 236 yards, two TDs) through the first two games, teammate Roy Williams (six catches, 95 yards, one TD) is unhappy with the attention paid to him. From the Detroit Free Press:

"I feel that if I'm not involved in the game and we lose, I'm (ticked) off," Williams said. "But if I'm not involved and we win, hey, it's a great job. And I've been like that since I've been here. I just feel like I can make some plays, as well. ... Three balls a week, that's not going to cut it."

The complete Free Press story is here.

What to look for on today...

Peter King opens the mailbag and addresses how Jason Campbell and the Redskins were able to pull out a Week 2 win.

• Which preseason truths have already proven to be false? Don Banks examines.

Bucky Brooks updates his Awards Watch with a look at the Rookie of the Year race.

• Last Thursday, Dominic Bonvissuto told you which Week 2 games to watch and which to avoid. Was he right? He re-ranks 'em based on actual results.

Plus all the news around the league as we enter the Week 3 ...

With Justin Fargas nursing an injured groin, rookie Darren McFadden will likely draw the starting spot for the Raiders in Week 3, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Web site. McFadden, the No. 4 overall pick in April's draft, rushed for 164 yards and one score in Oakland's convincing 23-8 victory at Kansas City on Sunday. If Fargas should miss the Buffalo game, Michael Bush (90 total yards, 1 TD vs. the Chiefs) will play behind McFadden.

According to the Sacramento Bee's Web site, citing a TSN story, Brian Griese has earned another start for the Buccaneers in Week 3. Griese, who took over for the nicked-up Jeff Garcia, completed 18-of-31 passes for 160 yards and one TD in Tampa Bay's 24-9 victory over Atlanta on Sunday.

Raiders coach Lane Kiffin still has a job ... for now. After reports came out over the weekend that Kiffin's firing was imminent, Kiffin was expected to be at his regularly scheduled Monday press conference at the team facility. On the San Francisco Chronicle's Silver and Black blog, however, the belief is Kiffin is definitely not out of the woods:

"Think about it: the Raiders' p.r. department never hesitates to refute stories deemed negative. In the wake of Sunday and Monday reports saying Kiffin is on the cusp of getting fired ... not a challenging word has been uttered by anybody wearing silver and black."

The Silver and Black blog's full story is here.

According to, Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden is denying the Bucs are shopping quarterback Jeff Garcia, amidst rumors the coach and QB don't get along:

"Asked whether he has spoken to other teams about Garcia, Gruden said, 'I have not. I have not talked to anybody about Jeff. There are a lot of reports out there and if someone ever came to me that had issued a report I would be happy to address it. But there's a lot of reports out there that are erroneous and incorrect. Not to my knowledge.'"

The full story from PFT is here.

More on the Chris Cooley accidentally exposing himself story. DC Sports Bog, a blog on the Washington Post Web site, has the full explanation from Cooley's brother, Tanner, who operates Cooley's blog:

"Tanner and his wife were driving to the game from their home in Ashburn yesterday morning. Chris was in his hotel room, working on an entry about a quiz players were required to complete before the game. The quiz, in Cooley's case, concerned the Saints defense. Cooley's desk and bed were covered with stuff, so when he wanted to get a picture of this quiz as he was getting ready for the game, he put it on his lap and grabbed the camera, according to Tanner. Then he called Tanner ... to tell him the post was finished. 'I just put a post up, it's pretty good, you want to look at it?' Chris asked Tanner. 'Buddy, we're in the car, I can't look at it,' Tanner replied. 'Ok, well, you'll just have to look at it later,' Chris said, which is not the usual editing process."

DC Sports Bog's complete story is here.

On the Dan Patrick Show, Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall said Jay Cutler told the offense before the final drive that they were going for two if they scored.

Redskins tight end Chris Cooley accidentally exposed himself in a picture posted on his personal Web site Sunday., by way of, explains how it happened:

"Earlier today Chris posted on his official blog about a fun section of the playbook that Jim Zorn asks his players to decorate for themselves ... as well as a position test he took to prepare for today's opponents. What he may or may not have realized is that he was also posting a picture of his [genitalia] for the world to see."

The original post on Cooley's site,, has been taken down. Deadspin's full story can be found here.

What to look for on today ...

Peter King didn't know where to begin after what he called "one of the most dramatic Sundays" in NFL history, so he just covered every conceivable angle with his latest Monday Morning Quarterback.

• Later this morning, Michael Lombardi will call out a pair of teams who looked awful Sunday as he grades the Week 2 performances.

• A photo gallery of all the memorable images from Week 2

Andrew Perloff will look ahead to tonight's Eagles-Cowboys showdown

Plus all the news around the league as we close out the second week of the season

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