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Head-to-head hits are a problem on several levels

10.27.10 at 9:36 pm ET
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I think the head-to-head hits have become a major problem for the NFL. However, the real problem is not just the hits, but how the league officials define a head-to-head blow. Almost every play involves the head.

Against the Eagles, Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson led with his shoulder, but his head came into play from the impact and natural chin tuck that happens when you brace yourself for impact. Then, you have ball carriers that are bracing themselves with natural chin tucks and trying to avoid big hits. So you’re asking guys that are moving at high rates of speed to adjust their targets on constantly moving subjects.

Then, you have the running back that lowers his head for the extra yard. As a defender now, do you meet him with your chest ‘€” so he can break your sternum ‘€” or do you let him have the first down? Or, do you meet him at the yard marker with everything you have? I say meet him at the yard marker, because players have been trained since third grade to hit. It’€™s not a behavior for a lot of these guys now ‘€” it’s instinctive for them to deny the progress of the ball carrier.

In no way am I condoning some the hits we have seen recently. In fact, a couple of them were very blatant hits. But at the same time, it’€™s important to remember that you are talking about a behavior that has been instilled in these players since the day they stepped onto the field as youngsters. The truth is the aggression and these hits have become instinct for a lot of these players! Safeties are taught to separate the receiver from the ball ‘€¦ and if he catches it, make him pay for it so that they will be thinking about you next time they come across the middle.

Yes, there are players out there that could care less about seriously hurting someone, but for the most part, the majority of the guys don’t want have a player suffer a career-ending injury due to a hit they delivered. Now, we’€™re telling guys to deliver the blow with his shoulder. That goes against everything players were taught. The hit from Pittsburgh’€™s James Harrison on Cleveland’s Mohamed Massaquoi was borderline ‘€” not because he hit him in the head, but because he left his feet to make the hit. His hit on Josh Cribbs was the one I thought he was going to draw the fine on. He launched himself like a missile and made obvious contact with the top of his helmet to the side of Cribbs helmet.

Read More: Dunta Robinson, James Harrison, Josh Cribbs, Troy Brown

Brad Childress: Randy Moss has already delivered intel on Patriots

10.27.10 at 7:38 pm ET
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The possible impact of Randy Moss on the Vikings has been discussed plenty in recent days, but no matter what he does on the field Sunday, he’€™s already had a chance to help the Vikings offense and defense prepare for their game with the Patriots. According to coach Brad Childress, Moss spent his off-day huddling with both offensive and defensive in hopes of getting them up to speed on New England.

‘€œHe’€™s very articulate,’€ Childress said of Moss. ‘€œHe spent time with our coaches [Tuesday] and did a great job with both our offense and defensive coaches.’€

Childress said he did ‘€œa good job’€ when it comes to providing background on the Patriots.

‘€œYou never know what you’€™re going to get and how they have to play him,’€ Childress said. ‘€œHe at least had some insightfulness on both sides.’€

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady understands that the Vikings’€™ coaching staff will pump Moss for info, but said that sort of background from a former player can occasionally backfire.

‘€œSure, he can probably tell them the plays,’€ Brady said. ‘€œHe knows the signals and stuff, but that’€™s why you have to change them. Hopefully he tells them one thing, then you fake it and they’€™re guessing and maybe they guess wrong. Who knows?’€

In the same way Moss has provided the Vikings with some of New England’€™s tendencies, the Patriots’€™ defensive backs have an intimate knowledge of what Moss can and cannot do because they went against him in practice for three-plus seasons while the receiver was in New England

‘€œI mean, Randy, he’€™s a heck of deep threat, if not one of the best in the game or ever to do it,’€ said cornerback Kyle Arrington. ‘€œSo we’€™re aware of that and we’€™re going to let the front seven do their job and as a secondary we’€™re going to do our job.’€

Read More: brad childress, Randy Moss, Tom Brady,

Vikings Injury Report for Wednesday: Brett Favre doesn’t practice

10.27.10 at 4:14 pm ET
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Vikings Injury Report for Wednesday
Did Not Participate

QB Brett Favre (foot/ankle)
G Steve Hutchinson (quadriceps)

Limited Participation
T Chris DeGeare (ankle)
DT Letroy Guion (hamstring)
CB Lito Sheppard (hamstring)
C John Sullivan (calf)
DT Pat Williams (quadriceps)

Full Participation
S Husain Abdullah (concussion)
CB Chris Cook (knee)

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Highlights from Brett Favre press conference, 10/27

10.27.10 at 4:02 pm ET
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Vikings quarterback Brett Favre addressed the media this afternoon in Minnesota, and as expected, most of the questions dealt with his injured left foot. Here are some of the highlights from his Q&A with the media:

How much does this remind you of 2000 when you suffered that mid-foot strain but still played against Tampa?
“I would hope so. It’s hard to think back that far, but I think I can point to different times in my career when I can think I came back and played with whatever injury and was able to play well enough to help us win and give us a chance to win. That would be ‘€” not only that time but other times as well ‘€” would be my reasoning for wanting to play. My desire to play. And not to mention being able to function. I would say right now I don’t know, and I would be being honest. I broke my thumb ‘€” I can’t remember what year that was. My first game back was against Minnesota here in the dome, and if you had told me prior to ‘€” and still to this day it’s hard to imagine a thrower who has a broken thumb on that hand to be able to function on a high level. But for me ‘€” as I tell a lot of guys ‘€” I’m willing to give it a try. And I think back to all those times when I said, ‘I’m willing to give it a try.’ Had I not, I wouldn’t have known, like you are talking about … when I played against Minnesota here and really, not only that game, but had one of the best stretches of my career with a broken thumb in a splint. What does that mean for this week? I’d say it’s worth a try. Now, a mid-foot sprain was very painful. This is a very similar injury, but you have to throw into the mix a broken heel bone, basically is what it is. I sound like a doctor again. But I’ve been reassured that, yeah, it’s broken, but there’s not a risk of further injury. Will it continue to be sore? Absolutely. But that’s kind of the way I’m approaching it. I would love to play for no other reason but I’€™m just committed to this team. I’d love to get this back on track and be a part of it. And more than anything, function at a level that gives us a chance to win. And that’s basically it. If not, Tarvaris will do a great job. I have no doubts whatsoever. But I would love to be able to try and do it.”

How do you anticipate you’ll test it out?
“The thing is, Sunday, I’m still going to have a broken foot … a broken bone in my foot. And whether I play next week or not, we know next week it’ll be sore. You would assume by not playing it would continue to get a little bit better each day. so we’re going to continue to treat it. See how the symptoms continue to change over the course of the week. I’ve always had a knack for healing, I think, quicker than maybe most people. And mentally … I know, because I’m going back in history, that I’ve been able to play with different types of injuries that most people probably wouldn’t have attempted. And that kind of gives me a little bit of hope. Each time, whatever injury that may be, offers a different … the fact that I played a quarter and a half, maybe a little bit longer than that, the other night gives me a little bit of hope as well. But we’ll just kind of follow the symptoms. If the swelling and pain subside some, then, that will tell a lot. Then, maybe Friday. I don’t know yet. On Friday, we’ll just kind of see where we are. I anticipate going through a full practice.”
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Patriots Injury Report for Wednesday: Pat Chung, Jarrad Page among the missing

10.27.10 at 3:57 pm ET
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Patriots Injury Report for Wednesday
Did Not Participate

S Pat Chung (knee)
S Jarrad Page (calf)
WR Matthew Slater (ankle)
RB Fred Taylor (toe)
NT Vince Wilfork (not injury related)

Full Participation
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)

Brett Favre: I’m a quick healer

10.27.10 at 2:56 pm ET
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Vikings quarterback Brett Favre isn’€™t sure if he’€™ll be able to go Sunday against the Patriots, but he says that based on his track record, he feels pretty good about his chances.

Speaking with reporters at his weekly press conference in Minnesota, Favre expressed some optimism that, even after suffering two fractures in his left foot last week against the Packers, he’€™ll be ready to go Sunday against the Patriots.

‘€œI’€™m willing to give it a try,’€ Favre, 41, said Wednesday while standing at a podium with a walking boot in his injured foot.

‘€œI’€™ve always had a knack for healing, I think, quicker than maybe most people,’€ said Favre, who has started 291 consecutive regular-season games. ‘€œAnd mentally … I know that I’€™ve been able to play with different types of injuries that most people probably wouldn’€™t have attempted.’€

Favre was held out of practice on Wednesday by coach Brad Childress, who told reporters he would need to see Favre in action before the quarterback woul dbe cleared to play.

‘€œI’€™m going to need to see some movement skills that indicate he can (move freely),’€ Childress told reporters. ‘€œYou have to be able to move and slide and reset yourself in the pocket, that type of thing.’€

Read More: brad childress, Brett Favre,

Brady: Vikings ‘could very easily be 6-0′

10.27.10 at 2:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — What did Tom Brady think of the Celtics season-opening win last night at TD Garden over LeBron James and the Miami Heat? What will it be like to see Randy Moss back at Gillette Stadium in a different uniform? And why is Cal Ripken like Brett Favre?

Those questions and more directed at the Patriots quarterback on Wednesday. Thanks to the hard work of Patriots P.R., here were his answers:

Q: We are surprised you weren’€™t at the Celtics game yesterday.

TB: It was a good game. I saw it. I watched most of it. We have a busy week here, so I figured I’€™d get my rest.

Q: What is it going to be like to see Randy Moss this week?

TB: Randy is a great player. I’€™m glad I don’€™t have to defend him. I’€™m sure he’€™ll want to come out and have a great game against us. It’€™s a very talented team that we’€™re playing. They have guys at each position that are all exceptional players ‘€“ offense, defense, special teams. It’€™s a very talented team ‘€“ very similar to last week in San Diego in that they certainly have a ton of talent and could very easily be 6-0 as well. It’€™s going to be a challenging week for all of us, especially defensively, defending all the things they have to defend over there.

Q: How much is Coach Belichick emphasizing the importance of details considering how close the games have been lately?

TB: Quite a bit. We don’€™t get away with much. I said that the other day. He holds us to a pretty high standard and I think by the film session we watched yesterday, in regards to our game against San Diego, you wouldn’€™t have thought we had won that game by his coaching. He’€™s trying to make sure we know exactly what the truth is. We have to play a lot better than we played last week on offense. We’€™re going to have to go out and have a great week of practice. This defense presents some different challenges than the defense we faced, but that doesn’€™t stop us from what we need to do execution wise. As a group, we’€™ve got to go out and do a better job.

Q: When watching film with Coach Belichick, is he ranting and raving or is he more matter of fact?

TB: A little of both, a little of both. He’€™s always pretty tough, so it’€™s nothing that we wouldn’€™t expect from him and nothing that we haven’€™t seen from him in the past. But, if we’€™re not playing at our best, we’€™re going to hear about it. We’€™ve certainly got to play our best this week. This is as good a defense as probably there is with the way they rush the passer, the athleticism they have at linebacker, some real playmakers in the secondary. We’€™ve got to execute really well.

Q: How much of the inability to move the ball in San Diego was self-inflicted and how much can be attributed to their defense?

TB: Well it’€™s probably a little of both. There are certainly some things they did that were very challenging for us. At the same time, I’€™d like to think we can make some of those plays, too. Some days, you have a bad day at the office. I think that’€™s the way you put it. We did in the first half and we played better in the second half. Hopefully that carries over into this week of practice because we can’€™t have a bad half of football against this team. We have to play 60 good minutes of football.

Q: How impressive is Brett Favre’€™s consecutive games played streak?

TB: It’€™s phenomenal. I mean it’€™s unbelievable. I know how I feel after every game on Monday morning and trying to get up for a week of practice. You take a lot of pride being out there. And I’€™ve said before that a quarterback can’€™t go out there and block or tackle or really display any toughness other than showing up every week. What he’€™s done over the course of his career is remarkable. It’€™s not like he hasn’€™t gotten hit. You watch him play and he plays a style of football where he does get hit. He is as tough a player that there’€™s ever been. He shows up every week and he plays at an extremely high level every week and he’€™s phenomenal. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: minnesota vikings, New England Patriots, nfl, Randy Moss
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