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Old 02-10-2008, 01:03 PM   #1
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Default Whispers around the NFL

Whispers around the NFL
Feb. 2, 2008
Updated at 5:15 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 8

*Though liked by teammates and staff, enough uncertainty about QB Brodie Croyles potential in the NFL remains that there are rumblings in Kansas City that suggest it may be difficult for the Chiefs, even with more pressing needs on the offensive line and at wide receiver and cornerback, to pass on a franchise passer like Boston College?s Matt Ryan when they select either fourth or fifth overall in April, if he?s still available. Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt didn?t exactly dispel those rumors recently. ?Whether it?s this year or another year, if we have a shot at somebody we think can be a franchise quarterback, I would expect us to take him,? Hunt said. ?That presumes we don?t already have one on the roster, and right now, I don?t think we know that.?

*The surgery to repair Chargers QB Philip Rivers? torn ACL was bumped up a few weeks in preparation for the birth of his fourth child, and all reports are that the operation went extremely well. The estimated time?table for his return is six months, but Rivers suggests he?s a fast healer and will have no problems being ready for the start of training camp in July.

*This spring will be an interesting one for Lions QB Drew Stanton, who was a favorite of former coordinator Mike Martz but might not fit the offense that Jim Colletto puts together. That said, simple terminology and a streamlined playbook might be exactly what the freewheeling Stanton, who spent the season on injured reserve, could use.

*Expect Vikings RB Adrian Peterson to be more involved in the passing game next season. The team has told him in no uncertain terms that, in order for him to be on the field more, he must improve as a pass blocker first and a receiver second. Look for the team to spend extra time with him on these responsibilities during the offseason.

*We?re hearing the Bears will probably try to get by with the lowest tender on restricted free-agent WR Rashied Davis, whom they are envisioning as their No. 4 receiver in 2008.

*Word is Packers rookie DT Justin Harrell is thinking about dropping 10 pounds before next season rolls around after feeling ?sluggish? tipping the scales at 310 pounds in his first pro campaign. No matter what the ?07 first-round pick weighs, we hear DT coach Robert Nunn wants him to work more on his lower-body strength and flexibility this offseason.

*Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told a team source at the Super Bowl that the team will continue using the zone run game for a third straight year ? for better or worse.

*The talk about Giants TE Jeremy Shockey playing elsewhere next season is premature. First, his contract is prohibitive, either by trade or by releasing him. GM Jerry Reese might be bold, but he?s not going to give one of the team?s better wea?pons away.

*There is a growing sense that while the Eagles likely won?t break the bank to do so, they could make a stronger-than-expected push to re-sign TE L.J. Smith. It was believed, as his injury-plagued season wore on, that Smith was no longer in the team?s plans, at least not at franchise money. But there is a growing sense that re-signing Smith might be the best way to improve the offense, especially in the red zone, without overspending. It also would make QB Donovan McNabb happy.

*We hear that, despite the recent Seattle Times report of Bucs TE Jerramy Stevens? assault conviction and accusations that he later raped a woman while he was a star player for the Washington Huskies, Tampa?s front office has yet to sound off on the matter. This is a public-relations nightmare for the club, and many fans have been outraged after reading the story. Our source in Tampa said the damage could affect season-ticket renewals for next season if the Bucs keep their silence, as well as Stevens, who will be a free agent this offseason.

*Brian VanGorder?s return to the Falcons? coaching staff as defensive coordinator was a welcome move in the team?s locker room, we hear. After spending the first 13 games of this season as the Falcons? LB coach, VanGorder left, following Bobby Petrino?s resignation, to become the defensive coordinator at South Carolina. Falcons MLB Keith Brooking was particularly vocal in his support of VanGorder.

*The Saints like the versatility of OG Jamar Nesbit, who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but if they decide to go younger on their offensive line, our source said Nebsit will be the one to go. The nine-year veteran started at left guard for New Orleans but can play any of the O-line positions.

*While Bengals WR Chad Johnson has made no secret of his unhappiness with his current team, don?t expect a trade. For one thing, we hear the salary-cap hit would be enormous for Cincinnati.

*Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald liked the approach Ken Whisenhunt took as a first-year head coach. ?Coach Whisenhunt came in with a plan, and his plan worked well,? Fitzgerald told PFW at the Super Bowl. ?He came in with a concept of building team chemistry, doing things that were going to get guys together and be able to rely on each other throughout the season, and he did a great job with that. Everybody bought into it, and that?s why we had a little more productivity this year.?

*Looking for a concrete figure to reflect how badly the Dolphins have mismanaged their personnel recently? Eleven players given up on by Miami have found homes on the rosters of the Super Bowl participants Patriots and Giants. The Patriots, in particular, have done an outstanding job resurrecting the careers of players the Dolphins deemed expendable, such as WR Wes Welker, FB Heath Evans, RB Sammy Morris (though he?s been on injured reserve much of the season) and ILB Junior Seau.

*The Bills are faced with a rather pleasant conundrum at linebacker. When standout rookie MLB Paul Posluszny was lost early in the season with a broken forearm, second-year pro John DiGiorgio did a better job filling in for him than anyone could have expected. Heading into next season, Posluszny is virtually guaranteed of reclaiming the ?Mike? spot, but DiGiorgio proved he?s starting-caliber-worthy. We hear it?s likely that he?ll simply remain as a backup, but it wouldn?t be surprising if DiGiorgio took over SLB duties and Angelo Crowell flipped from the strong side to the weak side, relegating Keith Ellison to a backup role.

*The Colts? new home, Lucas Oil Stadium, is being hailed as an architectural gem. But the destruction of the RCA Dome will also be a work of art. While explosives are generally used to tear down stadiums, the use of dynamite will only be used to do away with parts of the structure. Primarily, it will be a wrecking-ball project. According to a published report, the destruction will cost upward of $3.5 million.

*Team insiders say it?s highly unlikely the Jaguars will re-sign free-agent SS Sammy Knight, despite the fact he led the team in tackles. The 33-year-old has diminished coverage ability, and the team will likely forge ahead with either Jamaal Fudge or Gerald Sensabaugh, who spent the majority of last season on injured reserve.

*We hear Rams head coach Scott Linehan was given permission by the Redskins to talk with offensive coordinator Al Saunders about taking the same job in St. Louis more than a week before the Redskins officially dismissed Saunders. Word is Linehan got instantly excited about the prospect of hiring Saunders, who had previously earned favorable reviews as an assistant under both Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in the ?Greatest Show on Turf? era. The hiring of Saunders was praised by the local media, which had been very hard on Linehan and the Rams since the end of the season.

*Word is the Cardinals? scouts present at this year?s Senior Bowl spent a great deal of time checking out Michigan QB Chad Henne.

*Cardinals QB Matt Leinart told a team source at the Super Bowl that his fractured left collarbone has healed. Also on the injury front, we hear WR Anquan Boldin is recovering quicker than expected from the hip and toe injuries that limited him in ?07, and he expects to be at full strength for the opening of training camp.

*Our Niners sources have already begun wondering how quickly new offensive coordinator Mike Martz will lose patience with Ashley Lelie if the wide receiver appears as ?uninterested? in adapting to the Niners? new system as he did in his first season with the team. We hear Lelie drove WR coach Jerry Sullivan nuts this past season with how long it took for Lelie to learn his routes.

*As the Niners apparently continue working on restructuring the contract of veteran ILB Derek Smith, who we?re told is really well-liked by head coach Mike Nolan and assistant head coach/defense Mike Singletary, team sources simply can?t understand why LB Brandon Moore continues to be the odd man out in the Niners? defense. ?It?s a real mystery,? said one source. ?He has played well for them when given the chance. He should be playing a lot more than he is. It just doesn?t make a lot of sense.?

*While it?s a given the Seahawks will search long and hard via the draft or free agency for a tight end to replace Marcus Pollard ? whose meltdown in the NFC title game continues to leave a sour taste ? we hear the team is impressed with the way practice-squad TE Joe Newton developed this season.

*Lost in the hubbub about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger?s recent comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about wanting a taller receiver, the way we hear it, is that third-year WR Santonio Holmes will be under more pressure than ever to become both the No. 1 pass catcher and deep threat Pittsburgh expects him to be.
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Whispers around the NFL

Philip Rivers already has 3 kids??????

3.5 million to take down the RCA Dome? Hell.....move it to Pittsburgh!
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Old 02-10-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Whispers around the NFL

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
Philip Rivers already has 3 kids??????

3.5 million to take down the RCA Dome? Hell.....move it to Pittsburgh!
Would it come woth the crowd-noise enhancing speakers!!!???
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Whispers around the NFL

*Lost in the hubbub about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger?s recent comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about wanting a taller receiver, the way we hear it, is that third-year WR Santonio Holmes will be under more pressure than ever to become both the No. 1 pass catcher and deep threat Pittsburgh expects him to be.

I`m surprised at this.
Last season was my first as a Steelers/NFL fan but from the little I saw of games Santonio seemed something of a class act....but then again I don`t know much about American Football!
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherlock View Post
*Lost in the hubbub about Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger?s recent comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about wanting a taller receiver, the way we hear it, is that third-year WR Santonio Holmes will be under more pressure than ever to become both the No. 1 pass catcher and deep threat Pittsburgh expects him to be.

I`m surprised at this.
Last season was my first as a Steelers/NFL fan but from the little I saw of games Santonio seemed something of a class act....but then again I don`t know much about American Football!
This will be Santonio's third season and only his second as a starter. He will be under alot of pressure as he is expected to be our #1 receiver soon with Hines' career winding down. He did a great job this year, he's had an excellent teacher in Hines. I have no doubt that Santonio will be all that and more.
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
This will be Santonio's third season and only his second as a starter. He will be under alot of pressure as he is expected to be our #1 receiver soon with Hines' career winding down. He did a great job this year, he's had an excellent teacher in Hines. I have no doubt that Santonio will be all that and more.
Oh I see stillers4me,I misinterpreted the wording.I thought it was something of a downer on Santonio as a player.
That TD he got against Arizona was my Steeler highlight of the year!
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