Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 2:
a. I've had a number of Tweets and e-mails asking about Paul Zimmerman, including this one from Tony D. Robinson of Humble, Texas: "Can you update us on Dr. Z? Is he able to enjoy football?'' I called Linda, the Flaming Redheaded wonderful aide-de-camp and wife, on Sunday morning and asked about Zim -- who suffered three strokes 10 months ago and is trying to re-learn how to speak and read. "The first Thursday night game, we watched, and then Sunday morning, he drove me nuts, setting up for all the games,'' she said. "So that's a good sign. For a while, he didn't care much about football.''
He still can't do his famous charting of the games, obviously. I can tell you Zim appreciates everyone keeping him in their thoughts.
b. Andre Johnson might have the best hands in football. Did you see the one-handed touchdown catch from Matt Schaub? How do you learn how to do that?
c. Julian Edelman: Wes Welker Jr.
d. Belichick-Ryan handshake: Mangini-esque.
e. Lions: 19 in a row, 1-25 in the last 26.
f. Shawne Merriman is tied for 218th in the NFL in tackles after two games with six. And zero sacks. Dude, there's going to be an APB out on you soon. I mean, Antwan Odom is leading you in sacks right now -- by seven.
g. Good for Kathy Holmgren: She knew her husband would be pining away for football during week one of the season, so she and Mike Holmgren took a vacation to Ireland that coincided with the entire first weekend.
h. Changing of the Guard in Pittsburgh Dept.? Santonio Holmes was the intended receiver on 25 of Ben Roethlisberger's throws early this season. Hines Ward has been the target on 17.
i. Exhale, Chicago. Jay Cutler was pretty good Sunday.
j. Not saying I can pick games or teams or anything, as my Detroit-over-Minnesota pick, and my 7-9 Saints prediction shows, but I did pick the Browns to go 2-14. And I'm not feeling too wrong about that right now.
k. Good story by buddy Mike Silver, who reported Browns coach Eric Mangini fined a player $1,701 for not paying for a bottle of water he took from a hotel minibar during the preseason . As Plain Dealer columnist Bud Shaw wrote, it's like killing a fly with a sledgehammer.
2. I think I haven't seen a win that seemed so much like a loss as Washington's 9-7 snoozer over the Rams.
3. I think Brad Childress must be mad at me. He told me Sunday that my love for Jim Schwartz and Bill Belichick was "transparent.'' Gee, I thought I was doing a good job hiding it too. Next week, I'm going to keep all the coaches and all the teams happy. I'm going to pick every game exactly according to the spread. (Uh, not.)
4. I think the loss of Jamal Williams for the season is more hurtful to San Diego than the loss of LaDainian Tomlinson. And the Chargers went out and proved it Sunday. They ran up 474 yards of total offense on the Ravens ... and allowed Baltimore to rush for 130 carries on 32 attempts.
5. I think the one thing all you Eagle/Vick followers need to understand about the quarterback situation in Philly is this: Vick was never, ever signed to be the regular quarterback, isn't ready to be the regular quarterback, and wouldn't be prepared to digest an entire gameplan until at least November. I can guarantee you that Andy Reid, if he needs a quarterback to sub for McNabb this week and/or next, is dead-set on Kevin Kolb. As Reid said to me Sunday night: "Kevin Kolb is the least of my worries. He threw for, what, 380 yards?'' Nope; 391.
6. I think the weirdness of the Shawn Andrews situation in Philadelphia is probably ultimately going to lead to him resuming his career elsewhere. After touting him as their right tackle of the future all offseason, the Eagles put Andrews on injured-reserve with a back injury last week, ending his season. There was indignity added to injury -- Reid said Andrews would not rehab his back at the Philadelphia training facility. Clearly there are some in the organization who don't think Andrews is hurt as badly as he says, and removing him from the building removes a distraction from the team.
It's interesting how teams treat injured players. Bill Parcells used to steer injured players away from hanging out with teammates. It was almost like he felt the injury bug was contagious, and he didn't want the healthy players catching anything.
It even got to the point last week that one of Andrews' friends on the team, Brian Westbrook, had to defend him by saying "he wouldn't fake something like this -- but at the same time, as his friend I'm going to support him. It's been kind of tough, because everyone thinks he's faking ...'' Reid always has spoken of Andrews as a player who could be all-pro at tackle and guard. Now it might have be for another coach.
7. I think this is what I liked about Week 2:
a. Mike Wright did something on the first snap of the first series for Mark Sanchez at the Meadowlands that wasn't done in four quarters last week in Houston -- a strip-sack. First sack of Sanchez's career.
b. Drew Brees: nine touchdowns in the first 92 minutes of the season.
c. Madieu Williams, the underrated Minnesota safety, played impact football early against Detroit.
d. Larry Foote played impact football all day for Detroit inside. What a terrific run player.
e. Shane Lechler is on his way to another masterful season. Seven punts, 56.9-yard average at Kansas City. Long of 70. What a weapon.
f. If I lived in western New York, I'd be really excited about Trent Edwards. The presence, the poise, the accuracy and the playmaking in the first two games is one of the good stories of the early season.
g. Falcons ought to play with the old unis, the ones they wore Sunday against Carolina. Love the black and red.
h. Come to think of it, the Patriots' old uniforms are far, far better than the new ones. Love the red and whites from Monday night.
i. Nate Clements was all over Seattle wideouts Sunday.
j. Loved how the Cincinnati offensive line made a shell around Carson Palmer.
k. Very good job by Kyle Shanahan, the Houston offensive coordinator, in putting together a gameplan that played to the strengths of the Texans (Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson) when the Titans were playing the run well Sunday in Tennessee.
l. Elvis Dumervil may be the most unorthodox-looking pass-rusher in the league at 5-foot-11, but ask the Browns how hard he is to block. He had a tour-de-force, seven-tackle, four-sack game in the Denver rout of the Browns.
8. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 2:
a. Leon Washington, come on. You're too good a player to let the ball be stripped when you and everyone else in the stadium knows the Patriots are going to be clawing at you trying to get the ball out.
b. Mark Sanchez did not "have too much juice'' on his throw in the end zone to Chansi Stuckey in the third quarter, as Dan Dierdorf said on TV. Stuckey slipped. Fell. Tripped. Come on.
c. When I saw Jason Campbell being interviewed on TV after Washington's win over St. Louis, I assumed it was because he did something to help them win. Well, at least he didn't turn it over.
d. If Matt Hasselbeck's rib injury makes him miss a couple of weeks, it could be Groundhog Day in Seattle, with Chicago coming to town this week. The Seahawks learned last year that they go nowhere without Hasselbeck.
e. Sean McDermott's got his hands full getting the Eagles secondary out of the dumps. What an awful game.
f. If I'm Todd Haley, I don't know where to start.
g. If I'm Tom Cable, I know -- the quarterback.
h. Poor star-crossed Robert Gallery. Now a broken leg. Too bad for a hard-trying guy.
i. There's something missing from the Cowboys. Don't know what it is. Something like discipline. How do the little mistakes keep happening from Tony Romo? How does Felix Jones, untouched, fumble like that? Where is DeMarcus Ware?
9. I think Marshawn Lynch must be getting very nervous about his job. I would be. Fred Jackson's been one of the Bills' five most important players in the first two weeks of the season. After the Patriots couldn't tackle him last week, Jackson had the best rushing day of his life (28 carries, 163 yards). Every team needs two good backs, and Buffalo has two.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. My best friend thinks Tony Dungy sounds like Cleveland in Family Guy. Your thoughts?
b. Doesn't USC lose every year in some wild Pac-10 road game where the camera shakes throughout the fourth quarter because the stands are all quaking?
c. There is nothing like a beautiful Indian Summer Saturday in New York City, especially around Soho. The crowds are incredible. What recession?
d. My goal in life is to be a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle. I've never told anyone that, but it's true.
e. Coffeenerdness: Try as I might to make a go of China Green Tips tea (that was Marino's tea of choice at Starbucks when we worked at HBO, and I always admired how good he was being to steer clear of the coffee), I can't see myself being a daily drinker. Starbucks Italian Roast is making a comeback in our kitchen in Boston.
f. Weird pennant race. Like, where is one?
g. All of a sudden, I'd be nervous about the playoffs if I loved the Yankees. After Sabathia, who's pitching?
h. Never, ever did I think I'd be saying this in midsummer, but I could see an Angels-Cards World Series. MVP: Scott Kazmir.
i. Very good opening night for The Office, but I've been told by too many of you that I can't spoil the ending. Suffice it to say Stanley gets mad, and I don't blame him, and it is very funny.
Who I Like Tonight
Indianapolis 27, Miami 16. Uh-oh. The season's about to get very long for the Dolphins if they don't win tonight. Next six weeks: at San Diego, Buffalo, Jets, New Orleans, at Jets, at New England. My money's on Peyton Manning tonight. I think without Anthony Gonzalez he goes back to old standby Dallas Clark in the slot while starting to work in rookie Austin Collie, and Manning moves the chains enough to play keepaway from Chad Pennington.
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