*Some people around the league think the worse Cam Newton plays, the hotter Marty Hurney’s seat becomes. Hurney has hardly anything to do with Newton’s sophomore slump, but the feeling is someone might have to take the fall for it. Hurney, who doesn’t have a contract for 2013 that would make Panthers owner Jerry Richardson hesitant about firing him, could be the fall guy.
*The Jaguars worked to revamp their wide receiver corps by signing Laurent Robinson in free agency and drafting Justin Blackmon. The Robinson addition was curious because first-year coach Mike Mularkey was in Atlanta when the Falcons cut the veteran. Robinson has been sidelined with a concussion but is probably better suited as a No. 3. The bigger problem, though, might be Blackmon, who hasn't made an impact as the fifth overall pick. He's listed at 6-1, 210 pounds, but doesn't weigh that much and he lacks speed. Blackmon isn't physical enough to make up for his speed and he hasn't been a sharp route runner.
*Some NFL front office men are not surprised to see Browns receiver Greg Little struggle with drops. And it isn’t as simple as evaluating his hands. One said Little has a history of having focus and consistency issues, both on and off the field. That might mean his problem is a lot more difficult to correct.
*As the college scouting season goes on, it is becoming evident not everyone is enamored with Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley. This is what one national scout said about him: “I’ll tell you, Matt Barkley, I am not a fan at all. Really. When you see him in person you’re going to see. He doesn’t have any velocity on the ball. Those wide receivers make everything happen for him. Those two are the real deal. He is surrounded by a lot of talent. When you are surrounded by people like that, you make good decisions and you are a smart quarterback … Barkley is going to be a good starting quarterback in the NFL. But will he ever be great? No.”
*Letroy Guion has a different role from Kevin Williams, but some front office men believe Guion has been better than Williams in his role for the Vikings. Guion, the nose tackle, is more of a run stuffer. Williams, the under tackle, is more of a pass rusher. Both have been effective, but Guion has been outstanding. Guion lost some weight in the offseason and re-committed himself to play more consistently. He subsequently has done more than just make flash plays this year.
APR 15 Jerry Angelo
A strategy session for draft day as well as my top-five players in this year’s rookie class.
APR 14 Jeff Fedotin
Oakland has whiffed on its first-round picks.
APR 12 Joel Corry
Jacksonville’s pursuit of center Alex Mack came up just short after a valiant effort.