Monday Football
  • Again, many key injuries: Ahman Green, Robert Ferguson, Charles Woodson, Kevin Johnson, Gary Baxter, Bob Sanders, Terrance McGee, Brandon Jones and Billy Volek, Dre Bly, Shaun Rogers, Derrick Gibson Tebucky Jones.

  • Lots going on in PFW's the Way We Hear It today:
    • BUF- We hear that the Bills will stay with Kelly Holcomb as the starting quarterback as long as the team remains in contention in the weakened AFC East.

    • MIA- Though QB Gus Frerotte has strong leadership qualities and makes good decisions, we hear that there are questions about his passing accuracy and ability to make all the throws required of him by the Dolphins’ offense.... The subpar performance at the QB position has head coach Nick Saban leaving open the possibility of starting backup Sage Rosenfels in Sunday’s game vs. the Saints.

    • BAL- As an organizational philosophy, the Ravens prefer bigger backs to small, shiftier ones. That’s why Jamal Lewis is going to keep getting opportunities to turn his season around. Lewis remains the starter in Baltimore, even though reserve Chester Taylor played well in a part-time role.... Both Lewis and head coach Brian Billick believe Lewis has struggled facing defenses geared to stop him, while Taylor has benefited somewhat from being regarded as the team’s back in passing situations.

    • CLE- There’s a feeling Carthon was impressed with QB Trent Dilfer’s nice start to the season and decided to make the passing game the focal point of the offense. RB Reuben Droughns’ workload bears watching in the weeks to come, with some team observers believing he finally will start to get more carries.

    • IND- “People have played us trying to take away the deep pass,” head coach Tony Dungy said. “We’re seeing a lot of two safeties deep.” And as long as that continues, Moore says, opponents can expect to see more and more of RB Edgerrin James, wholed the NFL in rushing after seven weeks.

    • NYG- One interesting development following Giants RB Brandon Jacobs’ critical goal-line fumble in the Week Six loss to the Cowboys was the fact that Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said that Jacobs should get the ball more.

    • GB- Team observers believe the Packers’ OL woes have been slightly overstated.

    • MIN- Without DE Kenechi Udeze and given the poor play of rookie Erasmus James, the Vikings might stick with the 3-4 out of necessity until Spencer Johnson (knee) is back to full speed. But if the results prove positive, given Minnesota’s depth at linebacker, Cottrell said he might not bring the 4-3 front back full time.

    • TB- Sources close to the Bucs have indicated that Simms, who is a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and Rattay are already auditioning for next season.

    • ATL- Michael Vick’s passing numbers are suffering again this season, and a weak receiving corps seems to be the culprit. But a solution may be coming. As of this writing, we hear the Falcons are ready to bench starter Dez White. His job was in jeopardy in training camp, but he managed to hang on to it, which is something he has failed to do with the ball. White has only two catches this season. He will be replaced by veteran Brian Finneran

    • STL- There’s a remote chance QB Marc Bulger, who suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in the Rams’ Week Six loss to the Colts, could be available for this Sunday’s game vs. Jacksonville. But it remains much more likely Bulger will remain sidelined until the Rams’ Nov. 13 game in Seattle (they are on bye in Week Nine).

  • And a few highlights from PFW's Whispers:
    • It’s bad enough that Cardinals rookie RB J.J. Arrington has oftentimes looked clueless on the field this season. Making matters worse, we hear, is the second-round pick’s apparent lack of hunger. Our sources tell us Arrington is surprisingly nonchalant, especially compared to fellow RB Marcel Shipp, who couldn’t be more driven.
    • We hear the Packers are smitten with practice-squad RB Samkon Gado, a 5-10, 226-pounder claimed from the Chiefs last week. One scout said Gado, who attended Liberty, runs a 4.43 40-yard dash, 4.13-second short shuttle and has serious upside, and he even called Gado the next Willie Parker.
    • Our sources in St. Louis tell us it wouldn’t be a surprise if WR Isaac Bruce, who continues to be bothered by a nagging turf-toe injury, remains on the sideline until after the Rams’ Week Nine bye.
    • With teams increasing their focus on defending the run, expect to see the Broncos open up their previously conservative offense a little more in the coming weeks and take more shots downfield to WRs Ashley Lelie and Rod Smith.


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