Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats

February, 14, 2010
2/14/10
7:30
AM ET
Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:

1. The tide turns quickly. All week leading up to the Super Bowl, the drafting prowess of the Indianapolis Colts was touted. After the Super Bowl loss in which president Bill Polian felt his offensive line was outplayed, now part of the chatter is the team’s inability to develop young linemen.

2. Congratulations to former Patriots special teams coach Brad Seely, now in Cleveland, for his unit topping the annual Dallas Morning News special teams rankings produced by the venerable Rick Gosselin. The Patriots were 16th.

3. When dissecting contracts and a player’s market value, such as in the case of Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork, it’s easy to forget that there is a big difference between bonuses and guarantees. Option and workout bonuses still have to be earned in time. A guarantee means the player gets the money no matter what.

4. It isn’t a major deal, but last week’s roster mix-up with Joey Porter -- releasing him and then having him revert back to the roster because of the salary cap -- seems like the type of thing that would bother Dolphins executive vice president of football operations Bill Parcells because it reflects an organization that didn’t dot its “I’s” and cross its “T’s”. Parcells is all about the details.

5. One leftover Super Bowl thought: I knew Dwight Freeney was great, but I didn’t realize how much of a difference-maker he is to the Colts’ defense. Without him at full strength, the unit looked average.

6. I see a greater likelihood that the Patriots revisit Randy Moss’s contract situation after the season instead of before the season.

7. Last April, the Broncos traded a 2010 first-round draft choice to the Seahawks to select cornerback Alphonso Smith in the early part of the second round (37th overall). Smith might end up becoming a productive starter but that first-round pick is No. 14, which at this point makes it a sweet deal for the Seahawks.

8. Next big date on the NFL calendar: the annual combine in Indianapolis (Feb. 25-28).

9. Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said the team will still operate as if there is a salary cap in 2010, another indication that there won’t be the wild spending some predicted in an uncapped year.

10. Drew Bledsoe is 38 today. Seems like yesterday he was arriving in town as the No. 1 overall draft choice, bringing hope to a fan base in hopes of a turnaround.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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