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Posted: Tuesday September 9, 2008 12:07PM; Updated: Tuesday September 9, 2008 10:16PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
BANKS' SHOTS

Fair warning (cont.)

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No surprise here: Bill Belichick gave few details about the injury to Tom Brady.
No surprise here: Bill Belichick gave few details about the injury to Tom Brady.
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• Speaking of giving 'em nothing, 31 other NFL teams on Monday would have, without being asked, revealed which knee ligaments their starting quarterback tore, when his surgery is scheduled, and approximated the length of his rehabilitation.

But, of course, not the Patriots. All we know is Brady has been placed on injured reserve and will have left knee surgery. There's apparently a competitive edge to be won or lost by detailing Brady's exact injury as an ACL, an MCL or a PCL. I'm going to go out on a limb, however, and wager that at some point in the next 10 months, before the start of 2009's training camp, some word about the damaged ligaments will leak out. Call it a hunch.

• Question: What do Seattle receiver Nate Burleson and Jacksonville guard Vince Manuwai have in common? Unless they're both OK with their injuries being consigned to virtual obscurity, they both picked the wrong NFL Sunday to blow out an ACL. It seems the big headlines on this particular front went to a certain quarterback in New England.

• So on Sunday at Giants Stadium we'll have the guy who has started a million games in a row (Brett Favre) against the guy who hasn't started a game since November 1999, when he was in high school (Matt Cassel).

No word yet on how Cassel usually performs on almost nine years rest.

• They're all critical swing states in the upcoming presidential election, but based on Week 1 results, I'm looking for Pennsylvania to receive much more attention than Ohio or Missouri this fall. At least on the field.

The Eagles and Steelers both threw up 38 points in posting homefield routs over the Rams and Texans, respectively, on Sunday. The Bengals and Browns lost by seven and 18 points, respectively, to the Ravens and Cowboys. The Rams and Chiefs are 0-1 as well, with St. Louis getting blown out at Philly and Kansas City losing by a touchdown at New England.

• Dolphins left offensive tackle Jake Long, the first overall pick in this year's draft, had just one penalty called on him in his final 26 collegiate games at Michigan, a total of 1,743 plays.

But Long drew two flags in making his NFL regular-season debut Sunday at home against the Jets. He was called once for tripping and once for holding. He did a serviceable job in pass protection, although it's unclear how much responsibility he bore for Miami quarterback Chad Pennington being sacked four times and being pressured fairly often.

• One week in and we've already got four backup quarterbacks who either will or may start in Week 2: Cassel in New England, Kerry Collins in Tennessee, Damon Huard in Kansas City and Brian Griese in Tampa Bay.

At that rate, there will be no fewer than 68 quarterback changes in the NFL this season. Or .27 of a quarterback change per game (how exactly would that work?)

• Between rookie running back Chris Johnson's early success in Tennessee and a certain 2-0 nationally ranked football team, I'd say East Carolina is having a pretty good month.

• Looks like Deuce McAllister (he of the ACL surgery club) isn't quite as ready as I thought he was during training camp. But the Saints still have a decent run game with Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Aaron Stecker (once he's over his hammy problem).

• Bush wasn't the only high 2006 first-round pick to have a big season opener. It was ugly for Houston in Pittsburgh, but Texans defensive end Mario Williams picked up where he left off in 2007, registering Houston's only two sacks and forcing a fumble, all in the first half.

Now about that No. 3 pick, Vince Young....

• With rookie DeSean Jackson, Greg Lewis and Hank Baskett all topping 100 yards receiving against the Rams, who needs Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis in Philadelphia? The Eagles do, that's who. Don't be fooled by Sunday's showing against St. Louis. If there's a Triple A team in the NFL these days, it's Scott Linehan's Rams.

• Week 1 wasn't even over and Marion Barber's health and how it relates to his ability to hold down the Cowboys No. 1 running back role was already an issue. Barber is expected to practice and play this week with his bruised ribs, but maybe Dallas drafting a complementary back like Felix Jones in the first round wasn't so extravagant after all.

• The Dolphins gave Jacksonville receiver Ernest Wilford $6 million guaranteed early in free agency, one of their largest signings, and he didn't even make the active game-day roster for Week 1? Very, very curious.

Then again, raiding the Jaguars roster for receivers is not typically seen as the blueprint to success in the NFL.

And while we're on the topic of question marks in Miami, Ted Ginn Jr. is a long way from being the impact player the Dolphins old regime envisioned. In the return game or otherwise.

• From the looks of it, Brett Favre and Jerricho Cotchery are well on their way to a beautiful friendship. The two have clicked from day one of Favre's arrival, and when things get tight for No. 4, he looks for Cotchery first and last. Favre's on-field feel for the Jets other starting receiver, Laveranues Coles, is still in its infancy.

 
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