After a whirl around the internet, here are some thoughts and opinions from the opening weekend in the NFL:

"> After a whirl around the internet, here are some thoughts and opinions from the opening weekend in the NFL:

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Notes from around the league

<p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top:5.0pt;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:5.0pt; margin-left:0in;mso-pagination:none;mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace: none"><font face="Arial" size="2" color="#000000">After a whirl around the internet, here are some thoughts and opinions from the opening weekend in the NFL:</font></p>

Boston sports writers are considered to be some of the most cynical in the country. So what's with all of these stories about the Steelers talking so much? It seems as if these hard-core, grizzled veterans of the media world are keeping track of smack talk as if they're tattling to their third-grade teachers.

  • The Steelers' identity is that of a physical run-to-win offense. But since that running game is clearly behind the passing game, the identity might, and should, change. If it does, and the Steelers pass to set up the run, they have a chance. Otherwise, forget it.

  • Richard Seymour was compared to Dan Hampton, Joe Greene, and Buck Buchanan in one Boston newspaper today - and this before he lines up across from Oliver Ross. Get that Hall bust ready.

  • In spite of what you may hear in tonight's pre-game shows, Kendrell Bell's ankle was bothering him late last week. And this is a guy who was having trouble playing defensive end in the dime before the injury.

  • As reported last week, Kordell Stewart's passer rating of 46.8 against the Patriots is his worst against any opponent he's faced more than two times. It should also be noted that in five games against the Patriots, Jerome Bettis has averaged 49 yards per game and 2.8 yards per carry.

  • Fullback Dan Kreider has been prepped as a pass receiver this camp. Watch him tonight against the Patriots, who have trouble covering running backs. Another possible surprise: Ross on the tackle eligible at the goal line.

  • Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock, like the rest of us, had some fun with Dwayne Rudd's inglorious helmet toss that cost the Browns the game against the Chiefs on Sunday. At various points in Whitlock's column, he called him:

Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock, like the rest of us, had some fun with Dwayne Rudd's inglorious helmet toss that cost the Browns the game against the Chiefs on Sunday. At various points in Whitlock's column, he called him:

  1. Dwayne "Mistake by the Lake" Rudd

  2. Dwayne "Chris Webber" Rudd

  3. Dwayne "Jean van de Velde" Rudd

  4. Dwayne "Bill Buckner" Rudd. 

  5. To kick sand on the Brownies, Whitlock called No. 1 draft pick William Green "horrible".

  • Whitlock must not have been watching Earl "Horrible" Holmes very closely.

 

  • Rudd told Cleveland reporters, "I don't think I let the guys down. One play didn't lose the game for us.'

  • Now, there's a man who must've watched Holmes play. Priest and Earl.

  • The Steelers should come out in the no-huddle tonight. It would cut down on New England's famed substitutional packages.

  • That was Fred McAfee of New Orleans forcing Tampa Bay punter Tom Tupa into throwing that left-handed duck for a touchdown. Said Freddie Mac: "I beat 80 on the inside rush and there I am in the guy's face. I'm wearing my monster look. I'm screaming, 'aaaagggghhh.' I spooked him."

  • Now, tell me again why McAfee can't play on the Steelers' special teams again. The former unit captain left behind a crop of dullards. Will someone, anyone, make a special-teams play tonight?

  • For those who think the Browns were victimized by a petty call on Rudd, the refs had to make that call after making a similar call against the Chiefs earlier in the game. R.J. Bowers went straight for the back of Erick Hicks' knees on a punt. Bowers was called for a clip and Hicks was penalized for hurling his helmet. That time, the helmet toss was justified. The guy saw his career flashing in front of him.

In closing, here's Cincinnati linebacker Brian Simmons after the Bengals lost to the Chargers, 34-6: "The only time we stopped them was at the end of the game when they kneeled down."

 

--Jim Wexell


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