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Chan Gailey: Bills Expect to Go Undefeated and Make Playoffs

We understand a fresh slate is a chance for renewed confidence. The beginning of a new season erases everything that happened the season before. That is a good thing for teams like the Buffalo Bills, but how high should a team set its expectations following a 4-12 season?  For Chan Gailey, the sky is the limit.

Despite a horrendous 2010 season and an offseason that did not bring any significant improvements, the Bills head coach said he is expecting big — check that: Huge — things from his squad in 2011.

“I expect it,” Gailey told WGR 550 when asked if the Bills could make the playoffs. “I think our players expect it. If you don’t expect it, something’s wrong with you. If you say I want to be a little better than last year, you ought to get out, that’s wrong. I expect to win every one of them, I expect to be undefeated, that’s the way I’ve always been and that’s the way I’ll always be.”

Gailey knows his team is not going 16-0, just like Rex Grossman knows the Redskins should probably be thinking wildcard if they hope to make the playoffs.  That being said, he’s right about expecting to win every game.  If you handed a Bills player a schedule and had them go through it with you, do you think they would start pointing out games they expect to lose?  Even Randy Moss wouldn’t be that disgruntled.

Riding Vick: Del Picks Eagles Over Chargers in Super Bowl

Hear that? Depending on where you are reading this from, that is probably the sound of absolutely nothing. It might even be the same sound you heard last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, and the Sunday before that. Not to worry: The excitement will soon be returned to your life as we kick off the NFL season in less than 12 hours. Hallelujah.

Loyal LBS readers will be happy to hear that Doc Brown and Del are back this season and looking to be better than ever, bringing you expert predictions and picks against the spread every week of the NFL season.  If you were with us last season, you may recall that Del — a.k.a. Steve DelVecchio — picked the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl.  Remember how that turned out?  Enough bragging.  The important thing is we’re here once again to bring you our AFC and NFC predictions for the 2011 NFL season, so let’s get right to it.  Remember to check back for Doc Brown’s 2011 predictions later today.

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Jon Gruden Denies Falling in Love with All Players During ESPN Broadcasts

In case you somehow failed to notice, Jon Gruden can become overwhelmed at times during the Monday Night Football broadcast on ESPN.  The man loves him so football, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  His passion for the game is unrivaled, but sometimes it can border on weird.  Whether it’s giving out a secret handshake or focusing a little too much on Maurice Jones-Drew’s thighs while on board the Gruden Bus, Jon provides viewers with some awkward moments.

He may love “this guy” or think there’s no lineman in the league who could match the power and intensity of “that guy,” but Gruden told Sports Illustrated he does not believe he falls in love with players too easily.

“I’ve had people tell me you don’t want to be too positive all the time, you want to be more critical,” Gruden explained. “I’ve had people tell me that I am trying to set up my next job. That’s not true. I am enthusiastic about the game. It’s like golf: Every shot makes someone happy. I just want to do a better job listening and telling the story as I see it. I don’t have time to worry about all the critiques. I feel like I am preparing as hard as I can. If you listen to the broadcast, I would not agree that I fall in love with everybody. But I do want to be enthusiastic and I am fired up to be up there on Monday Night Football. It’s an electric atmosphere.”

SI also pointed out that last year’s Monday Night Football telecasts were the most watched cable series for a fifth consecutive year.  Whatever the new broadcast team is doing, it must be working.  Yes, even Jon Gruden’s creepy man crushes.

Aaron Rodgers: Mark Sanchez GQ Photo Shoot is ‘Embarrassing’

Aaron Rodgers is a Super Bowl MVP.  Mark Sanchez is not.  What that means to me is that if Rodgers makes fun of Sanchez, Sanchez deserves to be made fun of — for now at least.

Sanchez was certainly aware he would be taking a lot of heat for recently appearing on the cover of GQ and making himself available for a Tom Brady-like spread.  While his photo shoot was not nearly as bad as Kobe Bryant’s white hot fashion photos, there are certainly plenty of shots that open the Sanchize up to some heckling.  Rodgers weighed in on the matter Wednesday morning during an interview from ESPN Milwaukee that Pro Football Talk shared with us.

“Look at this,” Rodgers said. “That’s embarrassing. Page 94 of the GQ thing here. That’s terrible.

“It’s just not really my style (to do something like that),” Rodgers said. “I like my anonymity, I like my privacy. I like being able to be the quarterback during the week and, in the offseason, just be able to do what I want to do and not have to be in the public eye.”

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Dez Bryant May Need New Contract to Pay Off Debts for Jewelry, Other Things

Dez Bryant is a player that many believe will have a break out season with the Dallas Cowboys in 2011. With a healthy Tony Romo back under center, Bryant has a chance to emerge as the Cowboys No. 1 receiver ahead of Miles Austin before the season comes to an end. He is that talented.

The aforementioned scenario would be ideal for the second-year receiver, as it appears he could use some more money.  Although he insists he has fixed his surroundings and now has his head on straight, Bryant is reportedly in significant debt.  According to the Star-Telegram, Bryant faced two lawsuits in the spring totaling $850,000 — one of which has been settled.  The other is a pending suit in which Eleow Hunt alleges that Bryant and his adviser, David Wells, owe him $600,000 for jewelry, sports tickets, and repayment of loans.

Bryant has four years left on his five-year, $11.8 million deal.  He made made $2.84 million last season that included a signing bonus, but his base salary for this year is $1.1 million.  Obviously that is a lot of money, but the $600,000 he owes would account for well over half of his base salary for this season.

Needless to say, Dez’s teammates should probably give him a break from now on when it comes to buying five-figure dinners.

Tom Brady Loves Randy Moss, but do Pats?

The relationship between Tom Brady and Randy Moss is an interesting one. Just before the Patriots released the mercurial wide receiver last year, he reportedly had gotten into a fight with quarterback Tom Brady. Despite the reported fight, they were back to being cool a few days later. Moss went to the Vikings, was released after ruining the team’s chemistry, and was claimed by the Titans where he did very little. Now he’s “retired” and says he would want to return to the Patriots. Tom Brady told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan that he’d welcome the move.

“Would it surprise me? I mean, you never know in the NFL. I talked to Randy just before training camp started. I love Randy. He’s one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game, one of the greatest players I’e ever had a chance to play with, and I love the guy. Unfortunately, I don’t make personnel decisions. I’d still have all my friends here. Troy [Brown] would still be here. David Patten would still be here. Deion [Branch] would never have left. I’ve seen so many guys move on over the years, and then guys come back. So, who knows? … If he ever did have the opportunity to come back, I’d certainly welcome him with open arms.”

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Former Airport Janitor Tommie Campbell Makes Titans’ Roster

There have been plenty of excellent redemption stories in the NFL. Kurt Warner is perhaps the most notable — he went from a stock boy at a supermarket to NFL MVP. Recently we wrote about Nate Hughes, a registered nurse who was trying to make the Lions as a wide receiver. He didn’t make their 53-man roster but he was signed to their practice squad. Now we have another great story, only this one is about a player who actually made the roster.

Tommie Campbell has made the Tennessee Titans as one of their five cornerbacks, an impressive story given his circuitous college career that included six months working as an airport janitor. He’s currently listed second on their depth chart at right cornerback.

Campbell played high school football and was a state champion as a sprinter for Aliquippa in Pennsylvania. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was one of his teammates on the football and track team. After high school, Campbell went to Pitt for two years but had poor classroom habits and was suspended. He then attended D-II Edinboro University but lasted only a year because he skipped too many classes.

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