NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts
Any thoughts about Tom Brady’s shoulder possibly being hurt by Albert Hayesworth of the Redskins last week was put to rest when the Patriots released their back-up QB, Kevin O’Connell from San Diego State, on Sunday.
Don’t be surprised to see Denver’s Josh McDaniels, who groomed him in New England, to pick up O’Connell since he’s familiar with the system along with back Chris Simms being out. A fine Irish lad like O’Connell seemed like a nice story for future Boston headlines, but they’ll go elsewhere.
The QB battles have all but been settled in all NFL camps over the weekend. Rookie Mark
Sanchez was named starter last week prior to their preseason match against the Giants where he performed well.
Byron Leftwich has won the starting nod in a crowded backfield in Tampa Bay, beating out Luke McCown. However, this will not be the last time the decision is revisited.
Marc Bulger’s injured pinky doesn’t appear to be too serious as the Rams QB was back in practice Sunday and shouldn’t see any missed time.
The Browns QB position has been drawn out longer than it has to be by Browns head coach Eric Mangini, but Brady Quinn appears to have clinched the starting role based on his last performance where he showed leadership, strength of his pass and didn’t throw interceptions which has been the knock on Derek Anderson.
Daunte Culpepper started the Lions preseason game against the Colts on Saturday and was impressive, but overall first round draft pick Matt Stafford looked more impressive. He threw a couple laser beams down field that had to make the coaching staff rethink their stance about attempting to win right away as opposed to thinking long term and getting the rookie some reps in real games.
Matt Cassel’s injured knee might be an issue for their week one contest at Baltimore. X-rays turned out to be negative, but he’s expected to be out for possibly three weeks which may mean that he could miss the season opener in Baltimore. Tyler Thigpen and Brodie Croyle will get most of the snaps this week in their final pre-season game.
Terrell Owens’ injured toe will not present a problem once the team takes the field in week one’s battle at Foxboro against the Patriots for a Monday Night game in which they are a huge underdog. The team feels confident enough that the training camp chemistry between starting QB Trent Edwards and Owens will be enough to make them okay for week one.
Brandon Marshall’s suspension by the Broncos throughout preseason shouldn’t be such an alert. He may miss more, or maybe even be traded. Denver has four solid receivers who actually know their playbook and have a good cohesion with Kyle Orton in the Broncos new offensive scheme, which is predicated on the short passing game.
A good fit for Marshall may be Dallas or the New York Giants if they can’t get along. Chicago would be ideal and welcomed by Jay Cutler, but they don’t have any attractive draft picks to deal after giving them to Denver in the Cutler trade, nor would they be willing to auction off their future for someone on the brink of a four-game suspension as a triple offender of league policy.
The Bengals have finally signed their long estranged first-round draft choice, Andre Smith, leaving only Michael Crabtree remaining as a player who doesn’t want money now. For some reason, Crabtree’s people have made him believe he is worth more than the Raiders first round choice and first WR taken overall, Darrius Heyward-Bey. Doesn’t look like they have a lot of leverage in that one.
Just a tidbit to the bettors of the wide world of wagering. Nevada bookmakers hope to break even or win about 3% on a realistic goal on their straight bet wagers during football season. Sometimes it’s higher, sometimes lower, but what they can usually count on is the reliability of raking in parlay money from the high hold percentages based on the greediness of players.
Between off the board parlays and parlay cards, that is where the sports books make their money. Hitting a six team parlay is awesome when it hits, but will never be a consistent winner no matter how good a handicapper you are.
The best advice of consistent play and maximizing your tough dollar throughout the football season is to play straight bets, nearly doubling your money, and mixing in two or three team parlays on a lower level scale of amount wagered.
On a much lower scale, take a shot with some of the great parlay cards around town that give fair odds with an eight, nine or 10-teamer. This will keep your possibilities open to having a one-in-a-million day, but also keep your best plays building your cash flow, that is, flowing if you’re correct on your best games!