News, Notes & Rumors for 08/19/14

The radio version of NNR is a podcast while we look for a new broadcast host. Check out last night’s show reviewing week 2 and previewing the Browns/Redskins game.


Thank heavens that the stupid extra point from the 15 yard line is over. The only thing that would be similar to this dumb move would be to move the free throw line to the 3 point distance. Somebody in the NFL office has WAY too much time on his hands.

It was Flag Day weekend again this week. Someone in the NFL office has to get the zebras under control. Every time a pass hits the ground both the QB and WR involved campaign for a flag. The refs are getting more camera time than a senatorial candidate.

There were a number of serious injuries this week. The Falcons lost their starting LT Sam Baker (PCL) for the year. The Jags have lost WRs Cecil Shorts (hamstring), Allen Robinson (hamstring), Tandon Doss (ankle) and RB Toby Gerhart (hip) for several weeks. The Rams lost OL Barrett Jones to back surgery. He is out indefinitely. They also lost RB Isaiah Pead to a ACL injury. He is expected to miss the season.

Several rookie QBs showed promise this week. Titan rook Zach Mettenberger was outstanding again this week. Third pick overall QB Blake Bortles continues to out preform Jags starter Chad Henne. Bortles has made very good progress in tightening up his footwork. Vikings Teddy Bridgewater looked good again.

All pro Chiefs RB Jamal Charles hurt his foot moving out of his training camp dorm. You would think the team would provide their stars some help.


Pats 42 Eagles 35 – It looks like QB Jimmy Garoppolo has moved in front of Ryan Mallett. Forget talk about a Mallett trade. Despite the number of teams that need a QB, Mallett has little trade value. Pats’ running game will suffer with the loss of LeGarrette Blount. Eagles will take a step back due in part to the loss of WR DeSean Jackson. Teams have a plan against the Eagle O—Pressure Nick Foles. They still win the NFC Least.

Saints 31 Titans 24 – The rookie QB that has impressed me the most is Titan QB Zack Mettenberger. He has thrown 3 picks but 2 of them bounced off the hands of his WR. He has more arm strength and talent than any rookie QB. When QB Jake Locker suffers his annual injury, it should be Mettenberger that replaces him. Saints look like their #1 O is in regular season form. There is no threat to them to win the NFC South.

Seahawks 41 Chargers 14 – Hawk QB Russell Wilson continues to be incredible. He still suffers from a bad O line but avoids sacks as well as anyone while looking down field for a target. The Chargers look OK and might earn a playoff spot this year rather than stumbling backward into it like they did last season. That says more about the weakness of the AFC more than it does the strength of the Chargers.

Texans 32 Falcons 7 – This was a game between two under-achievers last season. As bad as the Texans O looked the Falcons O looked worse. The injury to LT Baker will not help at all. The Falcons bet on a comeback from RB Steven Jackson who was used up by the Rams. Without a running game, the O will depend on a badly protected QB Matt Ryan. Ryan was just 3-7 for 37 yards. Neither of these two teams will be going anywhere although the Texans D will make the AFC South fun to watch.

Broncos 34 49ers 0 – The rumor that the 9ers have renamed Levis’ Stadium to Titanic is not true but that is the way their first game in the new digs went. Payton Manning did surgery on the 9er D and the patient died. Colin Kaepernick was harassed on nearly every throw. Some believe the 49er O line is great but it crumbled against the Bronco 4 man pass rush. Neither team is a it looked in this game. The 49ers played their 2nd D against the Bronco 1s after the 2nd possession. The refs did no favors for the 49ers. Multiple hits to the head were ignored by the zebras.

Packers 21 Rams 7 – The Packer O was in regular season form. QB Aaron Rodgers went 11-13 128 yards and a TD. The Packer D looked improved. They held the Ram O to 3 of 13 third down conversions and 2.9 yards per rush. While Rams starter Sam Bradford looked good, the team is doomed if he goes down.

Redskins 24 Browns 23 – Neither Johnny Manziel nor Brian Hoyer deserve to be named the starter after 2 games. The only Browns QB that didn’t stink was undrafted rookie Connor Shaw who drove the team 90 yards to a touchdown with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. Despite a good D the Browns are doomed to a 5 or 6 win season. The Skins have to be wondering if QB Robert Griffin will ever be the same. He is not progressing in his reads. He tends to check his first read and if covered he runs. That is a prescription for another injury filled season.


Several coaches have gotten the “win or else” memo from their owners. Dolphin coach Joe Philbin probably has to win 9 games to keep his job. That will not happen. Raider coach Dennis Allen is there too but is expected to win the division. He is good as gone. Jets coach Rex Ryan is well past his due date. He was able to eek out last year to get a return. That will not happen again. Another bad year for the Falcons will mean the firing of coach Mike Smith. That is too bad because he is a good coach with a bad team. Even Bears coach Mike Trestman’s seat is a little warm. If he gets the team to the playoffs he should be fine.

The one coach constantly talked about as being on the hot seat is the ever under-achiever Dallas Cowgirl coach Jason Garrett. He is safe only because no decent coach will want to put up with the GM/Owner/Pain in the Butt Jerry Jones.

While the Giants talk positively about the offense and QB Eli Manning, behind the scenes there is worry. Eli had the worst season of his career with 27 interceptions last year. He and the O has not looked good at all so far in the preseason. Given that teams play very vanilla defense in the preseason, the struggles of the O are particularly troubling.

Eagles coach Chip Kelly is open to trading back up QB Mark Sanchez. The problem is that starter Nick Foles is not proven. While he had a remarkable 2013, he has not looked consistently solid this year. There is also a limited trade value for the Butt-Fumble QB.

Manziel was accused of giving the Skins bench the finger. I am sure he was just indicating the Browns were #1. Our Johnny wouldn’t do that…Never mind.

I was asked what would I do if I was in Mike Pettine’s position. I would ask the Bills for my old job back.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on Please join us.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on .

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

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