Here are some updated NFL Tidbits & Rumors. Enjoy:
In an attempt to put out one fire, Jets coach Rex Ryan threw more gasoline on an old one, taking a thinly-veiled shot at New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, saying that if opponents needs bulletin board material from him as motivation to beat them, "we'll probably kick your (butt)." Belichick is notorious for having assistants search the internet for quotes and then using them as motivation for his players. "When I said that about Belichick ("I'm not here to kiss his rings."), I'm just letting him know I'm not intimidated by him," said Ryan at his noon press conference. "He has the same position as I have. We're both head coaches in this league. He just happens to have a helluva lot of Super Bowl rings and I don't have a win. I understand that."
It's expected that Tarvaris Jackson will be traded or released by Friday. If the Vikings are able to trade Jackson, it would seem they would prefer to deal him out of the conference. However, because Jackson knows the Vikings' offense, the hapless Detroit Lions could have interest. The best Minnesota could expect in a Jackson trade would be a seventh-round draft pick. The Vikings used a second-round pick to draft him four years ago.
Breathe easier, Cardinals fans. Anquan Boldin, the stubborn, passionate wide receiver remains a great football player and teammate. Word is, he ranks among team leaders in camp autographs, repairing his image one signature at a time. Don't fool yourself. It's not over, and it's not all better. Sit close to him and you can almost feel the anger churning inside of him. Boldin's contract still is pocket change for Larry Fitzgerald. He still believes the Cardinals never really attempted to trade him around the time of the NFL draft, instead running a charade that ultimately painted Boldin as an undesirable. Contrary to the organizational rhetoric, he doesn't think the Cardinals will ever get around to making him a serious offer.
With his NFL head coaching life on the line, Tom Cable was stunningly oblivious here Tuesday. Also in denial. Or rather, in non-denial denial. That's how it felt, anyway, when Cable answered the latest round of follow-up questions about the reported Aug. 5 altercation between Raiders coaches at training camp. Cable couldn't keep his own policy straight at his media session following Tuesday morning's practice. A day earlier, he had repeated over and over that the incident was "an internal matter" and he would not be commenting on it. But soon after, Cable made the incident a non-internal matter by going out and commenting. He told an ESPN reporter that the reports were "ridiculous" and "nothing happened." Cable repeated that last phrase Tuesday.
Marvin Harrison is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and one of the NFL's most productive receivers all-time. And over the years with the Colts, he had his share of good days against the Titans. But don't look for him to be joining them. A report on ESPN tonight indicated the Titans had reached out to Harrison and are one of the teams interested in him. It seems like every time a notable receiver is on the market the Titans get linked to him.
Donovan McNabb lobbied for the Eagles to sign Michael Vick. Could Plaxico Burress be next? It's highly unlikely, but McNabb joked yesterday about urging the team to sign Burress the same way he did with Vick.
Two NFL sources said Kennard McGuire sought out Broncos management to get a feel for the team's position on giving Brandon Marshall a contract extension. The Broncos told McGuire that at this time they were not willing to rework the wide receiver's deal, which has one year and $2.2 million remaining. Marshall then reiterated his trade demand that he first issued in June. The Broncos again told Marshall on Monday that they would not trade him.
Offensive line coach Hudson Houck arrived about 50 minutes into today's practice to the sarcastic applause of the skill players. For a little while, we thought we might have a missing person mystery. Turns out that the 66-year-old Houck simply lost track of time. "He was actually in the meeting room watching tape, and all of a sudden, it dawned on him," Wade Phillips said. "Or someone told him." Does it concern anybody that the man responsible for coming up with blocking schemes to keep Tony Romo healthy can't remember when practice starts?
Jets trash-talking linebacker Bart Scott said he doesn't want to start a ''beef'' with his former team, the Baltimore Ravens, because it's only a preseason game. But that didn't stop razor-tongue coach Rex Ryan from firing a shot or two, or three at his former employer Monday. For openers, Ryan said he's still miffed at not getting the Baltimore job last offseason. He added that he would like nothing better than to defeat the Ravens Monday night in Baltimore. The coach said the ultimate payback would be a playoff matchup against the Ravens.
Bears wide receiver Devon Hester was honest about his feelings regarding Jay Cutler's postgame statements. After Bills defensive back Leodis McKelvin picked off a deep ball Cutler probably shouldn't have launched while on his back foot -- a ball intended for Hester -- Cutler addressed the matter after the game by saying: "Devin is more of a go-get-it guy. He's not really a back-shoulder, jump-up-and-get-it [guy], and ... you learn from it. You make some mistakes. It's a preseason game." Hester, who admitted he could have made a better play on the ball, was asked Monday if he was offended by the statement. "I was when I read it, but then he said he didn't say it," Hester said, referring to a text message sent from Cutler.
Months removed from the restrictive, don't-say-a-peep regime of Eric Mangini, the New York Jets say they truly appreciate what new Coach Rex Ryan is. And what he isn't. As for the Jets, the mantra uttered in every corner of their camp is that the relaxed Ryan "treats us like men," with the implication that the rigid Mangini didn't. Without naming Mangini, specifically, guard Damien Woody said not being afforded that respect "is almost degrading."
The Seahawks have had internal discussions about possibly being interested in adding another running back. If it were me running the Seahawks, I would be looking very hard to fill this need.
Even as he took the lead in the Browns' quarterback competition Saturday night, Brady Quinn learned the enormity of what winning the duel with Derek Anderson might bring. Not only must Quinn minimize his own mistakes, but he also must encourage his teammates to shake off their own maddening miscues. The Browns stretched their string of games without an offensive touchdown to seven, which snuffed any chance that new coach Eric Mangini had seen enough to make a decision on his quarterback. ''No, I'm going to wait and see where we are as we keep going,'' Mangini said.
While some teams, including the Miami Dolphins, have banned their players from using the social-networking site, the Jets have openly embraced Twitter. The NFL encourages tweeting, and the Jets might lead the league with at least 11 players on Twitter, including rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. Even owner Woody Johnson will send an occasional tweet, such as announcing the team was drafting Sanchez moments before it became official.
I've heard from sources that if any team wants to sign Plaxico Burress, commissioner Roger Goodell will suspend him for the first eight games of this season at a minimum, and potentially for the entire 2009 season. The law and order commissioner is not going to take it easy on Burress.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is giving former Boston College quarterback Brian St. Pierre a chance to pry the No. 2 job from Matt Leinart. He plans to have St. Pierre enter the next preseason game before Leinart.
Chiefs coach Todd Haley, known for his emotional prodding of players, has a new target in 2007 first-round pick Dwayne Bowe. Haley had the wide receiver's eyes checked because he wanted to know if Bowe dropped so many passes because of poor vision, and he also checked his cleats to see if they were the reason for his poor footwork. Now Haley has demoted Bowe from the first string.
Eric Mangini has been talking about Jerome Harrison having "a great opportunity to continue to carve out his role." And he's been talking about using a multiback system with the Browns. Jamal Lewis would still be the main focus, but someone else -- probably Harrison -- would have a significant number of carries.
Mark Sanchez by first- round knockout. If Rex Ryan were forced at gunpoint to decide on his Opening Day quarterback today, Sanchez would be his man. Sanchez (3-4, 88 yards) led the Jets to a touchdown on his one and only series and looked like 50 million bucks doing it.
Matthew Stafford isn't perfect, and he's going to make plenty of mistakes as he develops, but the first overall pick in the draft is showing he's the real deal. The Lions aren't saying anything publicly because they have nothing to gain by making an announcement in the next week or two. But trust me, when the scouts and coaches watch the practice tape every night, they're grinning from ear to ear. It's not just Stafford's rocket arm or overall athleticism, which is impressive, but it's his decision-making, quick release, knowledge of the offense, leadership and his overall presence.