NFP Friday Buzz
*People who have been around Josh Morgan were surprised to see him lose his cool near the end of the Redskins-Rams contest and give Cortland Finnegan a shove that may have cost his team the game. They say Morgan is a great guy who has always been accountable for his actions. “He is a guy who gets it,” one front office man said. “That was completely out of character.”
*Don’t expect the competition committee to adopt a rule that protects the victory formation. Even though the Bucs have ruffled feathers by diving at the Giants’ knees, committee members believe there is no way to legislate the formation. It’s a football play, so how can you tell a defense they can’t play football? Besides, people can always point to the Miracle in the Meadowlands play as reason to give defenses hope.
*More than one front office man believes the record number of points scored in the first two weeks can be traced to replacement officials. Why? Coverage has been a lot more physical, and a lot of holding isn’t being called. It will be interesting to see if scoring goes down if and when the regular officials return.
*One reason the Falcons D played so well and with such high tempo is that that the veterans on the team are fired up about playing for Mike Nolan. They have bought in to his scheme, and the players like and respect him. Nolan’s scheme also affords more opportunities for more players. Those in the know believe backup players such as Lawrence Sidbury and Kroy Biermann will step up this year as pass rushers in Nolan’s exotic nickel fronts.
*The Bengals need for Dre Kirkpatrick to get healthy and to make an impact. One front office man noted how their corners have looked old and slow so far. Aside from Leon Hall, who is coming off an Achilles injury, and Kirkpatrick, all of the Bengals corners will all be 29 or older by the end of the month.
*From the If They Only Knew Then department: When John Harbaugh was the defensive backs coach of the Eagles, he wanted badly to be a head coach at any level, but he could not get a sniff. UCLA chose Rick Neuheisel ahead of him, and Southern Methodist also gave him the cold shoulder.
*If Jon Gruden comes back to the NFL as many suspect, there might not be a long line of established personnel men wanting to work with him. Gruden frustrated people he worked with. He sometimes would set up workouts with players without consulting the front office and operated independently. His negativity also wore on co-workers.