Rider's NFL Whispers (09/03/08)


Posts from Handicappers on hiatus

Rider's NFL Whispers (09/03/08)

Despite a broken foot, expect Tom Brady to start Week 1 against the Chiefs.

Below are some tidbits I've gathered from different sources. Keep in mind that I'm passing along this information. It's not my OPINION. If I want to add my thoughts after I post the info, I'll write it under "Tommy's Two-Cents." Also, these are RUMORS. A lot of media people and personnel guys hear things but media people, in particular, can't just publish everything they hear. That's where I come in. I'm not stating these things as fact, just buzz going around the league. If you don't like that sort of thing then you probably won't like this column. I have no favorites. If I hear something on Tony Romo, I will let you know about it. I will run this whispers segment once a week if you guys find it interesting and helpful.

--I talked to one of my sources in New England and he confirmed that Tom Brady does indeed have a broken bone in his foot. However, he believes the injury isn't serious. The Patriots and Bill Belichick are obviously keeping this injury under wraps, so there isn't a lot of information out there. My source did tell me this, "If Brady practices on Wednesday, he probably won't play. If he doesn't practice, he probably will play. That's usually how Belichick handles these things. As many of you probably already know, the Patriots/Chiefs line for Week 1 has been taken down at a lot of sportsbooks due to Brady's unknown injury status.

Tommy's Two-Cents: I don't know how this injury will affect Brady throughout the season but I expect him to play in Week 1.

--There are major concerns in Pittsburgh right now about the Steelers offensive line. Ben Roethlisberger was running for his life most of the preseason and the fact that the Steelers management - known for being cheap when it comes to re-signing their own players - let Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca go isn't sitting well with some players. As one Steelers defensive player told a friend of mine, "How do you let a player like that go without a fight? His loss is bigger than most people realize. You take the best guard in the NFL off your line and it has a trickledown effect. Hopefully the other guys can step up but stuff like this makes you wonder."

--I was talking to one NFL Insider that I really respect and I asked him which teams he thought would contend for the Super Bowl in the NFC this season. Like everyone else, he mentioned the Cowboys but he's also high on the other dominant NFC team from a year ago: the Green Bay Packers. He actually has the Packers in the Super Bowl this season. He pointed out that with all the talk surrounding Brett Favre this offseason, people have forgotten that the Packers have one of the NFL's best defenses and a very good head coach in Mike McCarthy. He also believes that Aaron Rodgers is going to be a Pro Bowl quarterback this season in Green Bay. I guess only time will tell but this is a guy who has been very solid over the years with his "hunches."

--One team that isn't expected to be good this year is the Kansas City Chiefs. However, I had one NFL scout tell me that the Chiefs could sneak up on some people this year because of all the young talent they have, particularly on defense. "If you look at the Chiefs, they don't have a lot of players that are household names yet but they have some good young talent on that team. It's going to depend on how quickly those guys pick everything up and how well their young quarterback plays but this is a team that could be a tough out over the second half of the season."

--Remember Mike Vick? I talked to one NFL Insider this week who was gauging the interest level toward Vick should he re-enter the NFL. The results surprised me. Of the 15 teams he spoke with, nine said they would be interested in Vick, assuming he doesn't do anything stupid from here on in. Some of those teams said they would still play him at quarterback as well. It looks like it won't be much longer before Vick is back on an NFL field in some capacity.

  • Thanks for the support Patriotscpfc, I appreciate. Brady will play until his foot is broken in half. Like him or not, he's a tough SOB.

  • As probably one of the only PFW listeners to come and looke over here at your picks Tom, you know the inside of the Pats more than most and know that Brady will play, Welker will play and its all Belichick mind games as always.


  • Wow Josh, bottom 10? You must hate Ellis Hobbs, huh? That guy flat-out stinks.

  • Brodie Croyle will look have way decent week one up against new englands awful secondary.

    If they can run Johnson and get loads of 3rd and shorts, then i think they can keep it close up till around half time.

    As a New england fan, our defense is awful. Bottom 10 in nfl IMO

  • Nobody loves the injury report more than Belichick and Shanahan.  Good stuff Tommy.

    Also, Brodie Croyle is a stiff and the Chiefs will never be worth a damn with him behind center

  • Also Johnny, Wednesday is the big day because it's the first day the injury report is released, like that means anything. Yet, people still think it matters for some reason. Belichick was the first to really bend the rules but now virtually every coach in the league does the same thing. Except for Marvin Lewis. He tells you on Monday who is going to be out for the week. Makes no sense for him to not use the injury report to his advantage. Even Saint Dungy does it now.

  • Johnny,

    He did practice but it means nothing. You see the media can only be there for the first 20 minutes of practice. That's basically stretching. So Belichick can trot Brady out in front of the media to get the "word out" that he practiced. Now, maybe he did. Maybe he participated in the entire practice. But then again, maybe after the media left, Brady went in the trainer's room and was on crutches. The "this guy practiced" and the injury report are meaningless in the NFL. Any good coach can manipulate that any way he wants to. Heck, Tedy Bruschi was practicing with the team a month before he was taken off PUP after his heart attack. That is a clear violation of NFL rules but Belichick would wait until the media left and then Bruschi would come out. We actually saw him walking out to practice a month before they announced whether or not he was going to play again. Kind of killed the suspense but at least we could go on the radio and say, "I really have no doubt that Bruschi is going to play again." lol

  • Tommy,

    Can you explain the reasoning behind the WED practice? Also, any word if he practiced!

  • I'm going to have to agree with your source on the Steelers O-line... I was at one of the games and it did not look to good... not only passing, but the RBs were getting hit in the backfield on a regular basis

  • Great stuff Tommy.

  • Love hearing that about the Packers!