Here’s your Tuesday whip-around on the stories dominating the headlines and lingering in the margins of the NFL. No pads needed.
Extra, extra! Read all about it! Then develop a stomach ulcer. Do you like an NFL team? Then I have news for you and it’s probably bad news.
- There are many traditions that I’m fond of: The Masters, Thanksgiving dinner, Chicago Bears wide receiver Roy Williams writing checks his increasingly stone-like hands cannot cash. If there is one word a wideout really, really does not want to hear associated with his name, it’s “catchless.” Yikes. Williams dropped two of the three passes thrown his way in Monday night’s loss to the New York Giants. Bears QB Jay Cutler tried to look at the glass as half-full: “We’re trying to catch him up to speed and get him in shape and get him where he needs to be.” Coach Lovie Smith then piled on with the Stuart Smalley-isms, saying: “Roy is getting better. He hasn’t been in the system long — I’m talking about here with the Chicago Bears — and we’ve seen progress.”
- The Giants might have won (and won big) against the Bears, but they lost in the battle against the Football Gods when Terrell Thomas went down for the season with a torn ACL. Thomas joins Prince Amukamara and Bruce Johnson in the nurse’s office.
- Bills running back Fred Jackson had this to say about teammate C.J. Spiller’s rise to a starting position: “I feel like a No. 1 back, and I should be treated like one.” This will no doubt fill Spiller with confidence, bolster the Bills locker room and generally create a kind of utopian harmony in Buffalo. Oh, by the way, Jackson is also now intimating that he would be OK with a trade out of upstate New York.
- Brand Nubian’s “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” is apparently a favorite among running backs this week. In San Francisco, Frank Gore, who would like nothing more than a new contract, is not commenting on a rumor that he will ask for a trade in the absence of a new deal. “I don’t have any comment for that,” Gore said. “That’s up to the team and my agent. If they want to trade me, it is what it is.” Has there ever been in an instance of a player saying, “it is what it is,” being a good thing?
- If 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh finds himself up in the middle of the night, worrying about what Gore really means by “it is what it is,” there’s one person he shouldn’t call: Saints boss Sean Payton. That train has left the station. In one of the more interesting rumors to hit the mill in a while, Payton was apparently offended when Harbaugh didn’t call him before the Niners/Saints preseason game last Friday. So Payton let the Saints defense off the leash. Sean Peyton! What a Heather!