My Two Cents
Panthers offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave resigned last week
because he couldn't stand coach George Seifert's meddling in the
play-calling. But after he quit only four games into Carolina's
season, who's going to hire Musgrave down the road?...In the
past two weeks Ravens quarterback Tony Banks has not led a
single touchdown drive in 26 possessions against Cleveland and
Jacksonville defenses that were rated 21st in the league when
they faced Baltimore. How can coach Brian Billick keep the
scatter-armed Banks in the lineup and look his defense in the
face?...He's never mentioned among the elite, but when Eagles
defensive end Hugh Douglas is healthy--as he was on Sunday, in a
two-sack performance against the Redskins--he's among the top
five in the league at his position.
An AFC scout on Broncos rookie running back Mike Anderson
(above), second in the conference in rushing after six weeks.
"He's tough and disciplined. He gets the handoff at a perfect
depth and hits the hole exactly where he should, with no wasted
motion. He keeps his pads low and runs hard, with great drive
from his legs. He had two knocks on him entering the draft, but
they turn out to be advantages: One, he was a 26-year-old rookie;
two, he didn't play in high school and spent time in the Marines
before playing in college [at Utah]. He's smart and mature, and
he doesn't have a lot of wear on his tires. He's going to be a
good player for a long time."
Kicking Themselves? The biggest disappointment of the first six
weeks is Oakland rookie kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has
missed all four of his field goal tries from beyond 40 yards.
QB Wanted. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren couldn't make Jon Kitna
into a proficient NFL quarterback, so he benched him before last
week's game against Carolina. Holmgren has got his work cut out
for him with Kitna's replacement, Brock Huard, too. Look for
Holmgren to deal for a quarterback this winter (the Rams' Trent
Green?) or draft one next April (Virginia Tech's Michael Vick?).
The Bus Gets Rolling. After gaining eight yards on nine carries
in the opener, Steelers running back Jerome Bettis has rushed for
414 yards in the last four games, averaging 4.3 yards. "People
had me dead and buried," Bettis said after gaining 107 yards in
Pittsburgh's 20-3 upset of the Jets.
Which obsessively neat player has his locker arranged as follows?
Jerseys, T-shirts and sweatpants hung in order, from newest to
oldest; an NFLPA handbook on the bottom shelf; cotton swabs lined
up in an orderly pile on the next; about a dozen pairs of gloves
stacked on the third shelf; knee and elbow pads on the top one;
four boxes of shoes on a shelf above the hanging clothes; and, on
the floor, a pair of flip-flops sitting next to a pair of shoes,
with practice pants folded neatly on top.
A. Panthers tight end Brian Kinchen
B. Lions fullback Cory Schlesinger
C. Falcons cornerback Ray Buchanan
--REDSKINS CORNERBACK DEION SANDERS, on the reception he got from
Eagles fans on Sunday