Random thoughts as we get closer to week six of the NFL:
* Daunte Culpepper spoke out for the first time Wednesday about being removed from the Dolphins starting lineup in place of QB Joey Harrington. Culpepper, to his credit, took the high road, and stated that Harrington should be the teams starter…for now. “I have to say ‘thank you’ to coach Saban,” Culpepper said. “Because in this situation he’s really protecting me and doing what’s best for the team and that’s how we’re moving along.” It’s not often you hear a player praise a coach for taking him out of the lineup, but Culpepper evidently sees the forest through the trees and realizes with the teams current state, taking a seat for awhile while his knee gets stronger is not the worst thing that could happen. You can call it a wasted year for the 1-4 Dolphins right now, and getting Culpepper 100 percent healthy for 2007 is something the team should focus on the remainder of the season.
* Speaking of Miami, Wednesday the team waived running back Lee Suggs. Another example of a running back with tons of promise who now looks as if he will bounce around the league just hoping to have a job. Suggs looked like a solid back after a 2003 season in which he led the Cleveland Browns with 744 yards rushing, but a question of heart along with a string of injuries has led him to basically be a back without a home. With Miami he was on the field in all five games, rushing for 26 yards on six carries.
* Well, you knew it was a matter of time before Terrell Owens started speaking about his role on the Cowboys and how he feels he is not getting the ball enough. The time was up on Wednesday, when Owens spoke out in the Dallas locker room about his current involvement with the offense. “I do have a problem when I don’t feel like I’m involved enough,” he said. “I know I can make a difference. That’s not me being arrogant. I just know what I bring to the table. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. … I want to win. I came here to help this team win.” I know that T.O. is looking to get more catches and make big plays, but am I the only one who thinks that he simply doesn’t look like the same T.O. we have come to expect on the field? I am not saying that he is on the downside of his career, but the difference from last year to know is evident when he goes to make a catch, or even when he does make a grab. I just recall that play he made in Denver last year when he made Champ Bailey look like a fool on a 91-yard catch and run. I’m not so sure he makes that play this season. Maybe all the stuff off the field has finally caught up with him.
* Couple of games have peaked my interest for week six: Seattle faces a dangerous trip to St.Louis, where the Rams are 4-1 and looking to get some revenge for a pair of losses last year to the NFC Champs. Seattle will not have Shaun Alexander, making this task even more tough. Carolina at Baltimore should be a dandy, as the Panthers have really started to show signs of playing at a high level after an 0-2 start. Steve McNair has to get going if the Ravens are going to make it interesting in the AFC North. The Giants at Falcons game should also be a good one as well in the early starts. The Giants have got to stop the Falcons running game in order to get the road win. Just three late games, with the best being KC visiting Pittsburgh for the first time in 17 years. The Chiefs have won two in a row, and the Steelers are struggling with Big Ben looking like he doesn’t have a clue.
* Speaking of games, I’ll post my week 6 picks tomorrow morning about 8am EST. If you missed last week, you missed a 13-1 week with my only loss being the Cardinals at home to the Chiefs. The 13-1 week puts me overall at 51-21 for the season. In looking at the slate, there are some tough games to call for week six, Panthers-Ravens, Giants-Falcons, and Seattle-St.Louis just to name three. I don’t see another one loss week this week, but stranger things have happened.