The NFL churns with rumors – trades, firings, disgruntled players, unhappy owners – enough to fill a TV soap opera script for a week. You hear them, we hear them. What to believe? Beginning today, the National Football Post, using our network of connections around the league, will compile some of the juiciest for your reading pleasure. Here are this week’s selections:
… We’re hearing that the Steelers’ locker room problems are serious. Mike Tomlin and Pittsburgh management are upset with wide receiver Hines Ward for exacerbating the situation with his public criticism of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
… Although reports have confirmed that former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is in talks with Dan Snyder and the Redskins, we hear it’s already a done deal and that the terms have already been worked out in anticipation of firing Jim Zorn and turning over the team to Shanahan.
…We’re hearing that players and coaches in Dallas agree that kicker Nick Folk has lost his confidence and will continue to struggle.
… We’re hearing that DeMarcus Ware is a game-time decision for Dallas’ Saturday night tilt with the Saints, but he is expected to play. Ware suffered a strained neck in last week’s loss to San Diego.
…We’re hearing that Bills owner Ralph Wilson wants an offensive coordinator who will throw the ball down the field. Wilson still meets with the offensive coordinator every Friday to personally peruse the game plan.
… We’re hearing mixed reviews out of Cleveland on Mike Holmgren. Although he was in the building last week — and even on the practice field for the entire team to see — there are those who have their doubts about him becoming the Browns’ “football czar.” Holmgren supposedly doesn’t like getting his hands dirty when it comes to studying personnel, and he rarely watches college tape.
…We’re hearing that the hiring of Bruce Allen in Washington had surprised no one. Beyond family ties, Allen and Daniel Snyder were often seen together at NFL meetings sharing laughs and cocktails.
… We’re hearing that the primary credit for the success of the young wide receiving corps in Minnesota should be given to wide receivers coach George Stewart, despite claims that quarterback Brett Favre has developed Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin on his own. Stewart is an up-and-coming coach in the business and his name will continue to pick up speed.
… We’re hearing that Matt Moore will start at quarterback for the Panthers on Sunday night against the Vikings.
…We’re hearing that Raiders coach Tom Cable may survive a controversy-filled season. He’s affordable, he’s loyal, and the Raiders aren’t looking as dysfunctional these days.
… We’re hearing that Browns owner Randy Lerner is listening to too many voices in trying to make a decision on Holmgren – people like Bernie Kosar and Jim Brown, who have their own agenda when it comes to selecting the club’s next general manager.
… We’re hearing that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is leaning toward CAA or Athletes First for his representation heading into the draft.
… We’re wondering if Bengals QB Carson Palmer has a hidden injury that he’s keeping in-house. His play has been off, and his numbers are down.
… We’re hearing that former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis turned off recruits because he thought it was a privilege to play for the Irish, telling high school prospects that the fact that he was in their house was a good enough reason to sign with ND. In his mind, he still believed that every recruit wanted to play in South Bend and often wore his three Super Bowl rings on recruiting trips to pique their NFL hopes.
… We’re wondering who’s going to take the fall for Jay Cutler’s struggles in Chicago. Despite rumors that head coach Lovie Smith is on the hot seat, we’ve heard that Lovie’s job security is not in question. Most likely, offensive coordinator Ron Turner and QB coach Pep Hamilton will take the hit.
… We’re hearing that Bills guard Richie Incognito will be fined $50,000 by the league. Incognito was picked up by the Bills after his release from the Rams this week, where he was benched for drawing two personal foul penalties in a loss to the Titans on Sunday.
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