What we've been told ...

As noted in a previous "What We've Been Told" column, the troubles with the Miami Dolphins and quarterback Daunte Culpepper continue to fester. More on Miami's woes, the Jets, Browns, Raiders and T.O.

Culpepper has been slow to re-adapt to the speed of the game and is consistent in making slow or bad reads. Coming off major knee surgery, Culpepper has not shown the mobility and agility which helped make him a threat in the backfield eluding and muscling through the pass rushers and tacklers. Until Culpepper regains his mental sharpness, as well as his physical ability to manage his pocket awareness, the Dolphins are going to continue to look towards Joey Harrington. … Regarding Harrington, the coaching staff was satisfied with his handling of the offense and leadership during the Dolphins' loss on Sunday. While not possessing the physical strength and skill of Culpepper, Harrington did display to get the ball out of the pocket and was decisively quicker recognizing the defense. … Head coach Nick Saban has issued a challenge to his offensive line, play physical, play smart, and minimize the errors which has helped derail the Miami offense. While no immediate changes are expected, Saban is very unhappy with the overall play of the offensive line.

• The lid is close to being off the can in Cleveland. Players are grumbling about the inept offensive scheme directed by offensive coordinator Maurice Carthon. Again, early in the 2006 season the Browns are far from a formidable offensive team, despite gaining the talents of Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and Joe Jurevicious in the passing game. Second-year quarterback Charlie Frye has taken his lumps and is under the gun behind a Cleveland offensive line which could employ some changes following the bye-week. … Back to Carthon. Wide receivers coach and former intern Browns' head coach Terry Robiskie is going to be assisting with the offensive scheme, which should only improve the Cleveland offense, despite of their shortcomings. Look for Carthon to move on following the 2006 season, unless the process is sped-up and the questionable coordinator departs upon what is clearly a knock against his productivity and authority. … Following the bye-week, cornerbacks Gary Baxter (pectoral muscle) and Leigh Bodden (ankle) are expected to return to the starting lineup. … For the record, head coach Romeo Crennel is not on the hot seat, but his offensive staff is.

• Wide receiver Terrell Owens made quite an impression with his teammates during and following the Cowboys' loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Owens, never one to shy away from speaking, was extremely animated when screaming about the lack of plays called for him, the play of the offense, and quarterback Drew Bledsoe himself. Following the game, Owens carried on his antics into the locker-room, where he was heard complaining that the offense didn't have a clue and he was open all day, but the quarterback would not look his way. Granted, Bledsoe appears to be much more in-tune with the other wide receiver in Dallas, Terry Glenn. It may be worth noting, Bledsoe and Glenn had a training camp together, where as Owens spent most of his on the exercise bike. … At this time, the Owens tirade is a non-issue with Bledsoe, a very professional veteran, as well as head coach Bill Parcells. Parcells accepts a player can become emotional, but the veteran coach wants his players to stay in control, something which Owens was on the verge of losing. … Speaking of Parcells, after discussing the Dallas organization with someone within the walls in "Big D", we believe the 2006 season will be it for Parcells.

• Out of the ordinary, New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini told his team following their 41-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that not only did the team under-perform, but the entire coaching staff, including himself did not get the job done. Upon the hiring of Mangini in the off-season, many around the game questioned if he was indeed ready for the top-job. All Mangini has done was earn the respect of the locker room, while helping make this Jets team competitive, something which was not expected early in the 2006 season. … While trades for quarterback Patrick Ramsey and running back Kevan Barlow have not had a major impact, the selection of running back Leon Washington could be a significant move in New York. Washington, in his first stint with extended playing time rushed for over 100-yards and impressed teammates and coaches alike with his tough rushing and attitude.

• In Oakland, head coach Art Shell has kept a straight face when discussing the team and their progress. The time away from the playing field must have mellowed the NFL veteran, as the Raiders are surprisingly bad, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Disgruntled wide receiver Jerry Porter wants to be traded, but the team has been steadfast in keeping the talented player inactive. One-time star wide receiver Randy Moss wants to be traded back to a team in the mid-west and is starting to push buttons in practice and on game-day which could turn ugly very quickly in Oakland. The feeling within the walls in Oakland is Moss is far from giving his best and other players within the roster are taking notice. … Back to Porter, it appears from the player's side of the situation, and that of his representative is the Raiders are attempting to devalue the receiver and don't intent on trading him this month.

Denver Broncos' head coach Mike Shanahan would like nothing more than to take starting quarterback Jake Plummer out of the lineup. Shanahan doesn't trust Plummer's judgment and handling of the offense, mainly due to his inconsistency. If Shanahan had a player in the wings ready to play and keep the Broncos from fading quickly, he'd make a move. Rookie Jay Cutler is definitely the quarterback of the future, which may be as soon as the 2007 season in Denver, but the rookie is not ready to lead the Broncos, a playoff caliber team at this time. … Defensive end Courtney Brown could be ready to play in two weeks, but the Denver coaching staff looks at anything they get from Brown as being a bonus, as they are not counting on him due to his past inability to stay healthy.

• Another quarterback struggling is Washington Redskins' Mark Brunell. Head coach Joe Gibbs is staying with the veteran signal-caller, but his support has to start to waiver if the inconsistency continues. Gibbs has spoken to the offensive coaches about the wide receivers inability to get off the line of scrimmage clean. … Though playing, running back Clinton Portis is not healthy (shoulder) and may not be 100-percent the entire season.


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