AFC East: Victor Hobson
New England Patriots
- Boston Globe reporters Christopher L. Gasper and Shira Springer cite an unnamed medical source who says Tom Brady is running, throwing and on schedule for the 2009 opener.
- Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy is fed up with the kissy-face quarterback's less-than-manly antics.
- Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald writes about Tuesday's hiring of Floyd Reese as senior football advisor.
- Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe reports Cardinals linebacker Victor Hobson almost returned to the Patriots in December, but passed.
- Bruce Smith would like some company when he gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, writes Associated Press reporter John Wawrow.
- USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt notes at least one Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker misses the Joey Porter sideshow at the Super Bowl.
- Palm Beach Post reporter Edgar Thompson thinks the Bill Parcells coaching tree soon will gain a Todd Haley branch.
New York Jets
Biggest surprise: The Patriots knew they would have trouble replacing left CB Asante Samuel, the Pro Bowler who landed with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Patriots signed three veteran free agents and drafted two more.
Ten-year pro Fernando Bryant took the lead early and kept it, playing with the first unit throughout camp and the preseason, until now. The Patriots released him Saturday, turning the job over to second-round pick Terrence Wheatley, who's already listed as the starter on the team's unofficial depth chart.
No-brainers: Former Mississippi star RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, an undrafted rookie, was a long shot to begin with. But he certainly was doomed by the signing of LaMont Jordan. DL Santonio Thomas has hung around on the practice squad, but the Patriots are too loaded up front for him to make the final roster.
What's next: With the Patriots, one never can be too sure. They're shrewd and aren't afraid to make a stunning move, as Bryant and Hobson can attest. Cassel has looked so ineffective in the preseason, they could be on the lookout for a veteran in case disaster strikes and Tom Brady goes down for an extended period.
The New England Patriots made some striking moves to get their roster down to the 53-man limit.
Most surprising was their decision to cut CB Fernando Bryant, the player they signed to replace Pro Bowler Asante Samuel, who departed via free agency. They also cut LB Victor Hobson, who started 14 games last year for the New York Jets.
Also a bit unexpected was their decision to cut QB Matt Gutierrez and keep Matt Cassel to back up Tom Brady. Gutierrez outplayed Cassel, but the Patriots coaching staff obviously went with experience.
DL Titus Adams
CB Fernando Bryant
TE Tyson DeVree
S Mark Dillard
C Mike Flynn
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis
QB Matt Gutierrez
LB Victor Hobson
LB Vince Redd
CB Mike Richardson
T Stephen Sene
DB Antwain Spann
DL Santonio Thomas
G John Welbourn
Here it is, as promised: your non-Favre mailbag.
Granted, the trade of the legendary quarterback to the New York Jets will ripple through the AFC East and couldn't be avoided when discussing how his presence will affect the Buffalo Bills' playoff chances or Chad Pennington's release.
But from this point downward, you won't read his name.
Enjoy the respite.
Dylan in Bardonia, N.Y., writes: After watching the Jets, which of the WRs do you think will make the team? Also, who looks like the favorite to start at CB across from Darrelle Revis and at safety?
Tim Graham: The top five receivers I've seen are (in order) Jerricho Cotchery, Laveranues Coles, Chansi Stuckey, Brad Smith and Wallace Wright.
It looks like Justin Miller has the edge in the CB battle opposite Revis, but Dwight Lowery has played well. Kerry Rhodes will be the free safety, while Eric Smith is ahead of Abram Elam in the strong safety battle.
Vinnie from Parts Unknown writes: What chance does S John Lynch have to become a Patriot. He would like to go with a strong contender. Hell, he even looks like a Patriot.
Tim Graham: The Patriots are trying to get younger, not get a vanload of guys together for the Early Bird Special. Besides, the Patriots already have Rodney Harrison and James Sanders, who is injured but they really like him. Sanders took the job from Eugene Wilson. Young Brandon Meriweather has been filling in admirably for Sanders.
Ryan in Port St. Lucie, Fla., writes: I love Davone Bess as a receiver for the Dolphins. Barring a Terry Glenn pickup, who are the favorites to make the team at WR? I've been hearing Derek Hagan, Ernest Wilford and Ted Ginn are locks, with Greg Camarillo and David Kircus making up the second tier.
Tim Graham: Bess has been sensational in some practices, and just OK in others. The three guarantees are Wilford, Ginn and Hagan. After that, the competition could go down to the final cuts. Kircus and Camarillo are bigger than the 5-foot-10 Bess and line up on multiple special-teams units.
Matt in Rochester, N.Y., writes: What are the chances that Bills T Jason Peters will hold out through the entire preseason and maybe into the regular season?
Tim Graham: This showdown could get ugly. I don't know how resolute the Peters camp is because they've been silent. But I do know the Bills plan to dig in their heels. The front office doesn't want to set a precedent for rewarding players who go MIA. For example, they are renegotiating WR Lee Evans' contract. He came to camp.