NFC South: Donald Driver
He’s been known to crack a one-liner or two. On Wednesday, Schiano even showed a sentimental side when he talked about Tampa Bay safety Ronde Barber and Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez.
We all know that Barber and Gonzalez are veteran guys that still are producing at a high level. But until Schiano made the comment, I’d never really thought about what Barber and Gonzalez are doing in strictly numerical terms.
Schiano’s comment prompted me to look around the league at veterans. I’m not counting kickers, punters and long-snappers. I’m not counting guys like Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, who is out with an injury and I’m not counting part-time role players, like Green Bay receiver Donald Driver. And I’m not counting Pittsburgh quarterback Charlie Batch, who hasn't been starting, but appears headed for playing time due to injuries.
I’m only counting position players that have been starting all or most of this season and my research shows that Barber is the oldest player in that category. He’s 37 and is two months older than Washington linebacker London Fletcher, who currently is dealing with an injury. Green Bay center Jeff Saturday, also 37, is No. 3 and Denver linebacker Keith Brooking, who turned 37 three weeks ago, is No. 4.
Gonzalez, who will turn 37 in February, is No. 5.
“When you look at what Tony does, he is really a fine player,’’ Schiano said. “You have to account for him. At that age, that is something.’’
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Time for a quick look at some headlines across the NFC South:
Ten years after the fact, Paul Augustin Jr. looks back at how trading a slew of draft picks to get Ricky Williams impacted the Saints over the long haul. It's obvious Williams never became what the Saints hoped. It's hindsight, but Augustin makes a very good point when he says the Saints could have had a team that featured Shaun Alexander, Donald Driver, Jevon Kearse, Joey Porter and Brian Urlacher if they hadn't made the Williams deal.
The Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers, also owns Manchester United. Reportedly, the English soccer club lost almost $66 million last year.
They're probably locked into the Georgia Dome until at least 2015, but the Falcons are starting to explore some possibilities. Owner Arthur Blank said the priority is to get a new stadium downtown, but the Falcons also are doing their homework on several alternative locations.
John DeLong offers a summary on the situation with Julius Peppers and speculates the defensive end will end up in New England or Philadelphia before all is said and done. I tend to agree.