Here’s your Monday whip-around on the stories dominating the headlines and lingering in the margins of the NFL. No pads needed.
- On WEEI over the weekend, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was candid about Chad Ochocinco’s difficulty in learning the improvisational Patriots passing attack. He also talked about his surprise at being kept in mothballs for the Pats’ preseason opener against the Jaguars. However, the biggest quote from the interview came when Brady addressed last season’s playoff loss to the New York Jets. “The Jets loss, I’ll never get over that,” Brady said. “That’s as painful a loss as we’ve ever had here as a team We gave them a lot of credit when they won. We got to learn from that and understand what it takes to beat good teams.” Somewhere in the greater New York area, Rex Ryan’s ears are burning. (“‘We gave them a lot of credit’!? What’s that supposed to mean!?”)
- Apparently Myron Rolle and Christian Ponder spent their time at Florida State discussing the metafiction of Robert Coover and batting around matrix norms and quadratic forms. According to Rolle, now on the Tennessee Titans, the Vikings’ rookie quarterback is, “borderline genius.” Rolle, a Rhodes Scholar, is no intellectual lightweight himself, so maybe he knows what he’s talking about. When pressed, Rolle elaborated, “What I like to call it is applied knowledge. He can understand things. He grasped our teams at Florida State very quickly. He grasped social concepts at Florida State very quickly.” Social concepts, huh? That means he knew what time to hit Super Perros for the Salchipapa, right?
- Patriots defensive line coach Pepper Johnson has, in the words of Bad Brains, a PMA (positive mental attitude) about new Pats defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. While Haynesworth left Washington D.C. with his professional reputation in tatters, Johnson has nothing but kind words for the veteran, saying: “Albert is a great guy. It’s kind of hard to see some of the things that you hear that are negative about him coming from that person. You need to know both sides of the story.”
- According to ESPN’s AFC West blogger Bill Williamson, in the battle to become the Broncos starting quarterback, Kyle Orton is the people’s choice in Denver. And by “people,” I mean Orton’s teammates. According to Williamson: “Players like Tebow, but this a team that is desperate to win after going 4-12 last season.” Sounds logical. One question from the cheap seats, though: who was the quarterback who led the Broncos to said 4-12 record? Kyle Orton? You don’t say.
- After slamming Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on the ground, Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh finds himself in the uncomfortable position of defending himself against the oncoming blitz of criticism that he is a dirty player (see what I did there?). According to Suh, it’s all in the game, “It’s the reason people play football; aggression is the name of the sport. It means being violent and being very aggressive and getting after the quarterback. That’s what you are known for. That’s what you do. If you didn’t do that then I don’t think you’d be playing football in the NFL.” I would point out to Suh that it’s just called “football,” not “violent aggressive football,” but I don’t want to have my arm ripped out of its socket.
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