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Hines Ward, Chad Henne Agree Quarterbacks Lead Receivers into Big Hits

While the NFL has taken the week to respond to critics and the public outcry over players taking brutal helmet-to-helmet hits, defensive players have complained that they’re being unfairly targeted. Count some offensive players who believe the problem doesn’t lie solely with headhunters on defense.

Both Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne agree that the quarterbacks are responsible for keeping receivers away from dangerous hits. Ward said that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy locked into receiver Mohamed Massaquoi allowing James Harrison to make the read and be in the right spot for his knockout hit. Ward also said exactly what I thought, that Kevin Kolb floated a ball for DeSean Jackson right into Dunta Robinson leaving him vulnerable.

Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne said the same thing. He told Scott Van Pelt on ESPN Radio “sometimes you have got to look at it on the offensive side of the ball whether the quarterbacks are putting the balls into the right places or leading them into coverage.” Henne acknowledged that defensive players need to avoid hits to the head but that quarterbacks still have a role in these plays.

I’m not trying to absolve defense players from blame in this situation, but the reality is the good quarterbacks don’t just throw for tons of yards and touchdowns, they also keep their receivers from getting killed with dangerous passes. Keep that in mind every time you see a receiver get lit up and ask yourself if a differently thrown ball could have changed the situation. Many times the answer is yes.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Don Wright

Jenn Sterger Will Keep Quiet if Brett Favre Pays Her Off

I’m stunned.  Shocked, even.  How could something like this be true about such a nice girl?  If Brett Favre truly did sexually harass Jenn Sterger, wouldn’t we expect a wholesome young lady like her to seek the proper legal resolution and not just try to fatten up her bank account?  Wait, what am I saying?  Give me a break — it’s Saturday morning.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, via Pro Football Talk, Sterger will decline the NFL’s interview request if she reaches a settlement with Favre, a.k.a. he can pay her off.  In a stunning turn of events from this ongoing Saga, Sterger would appear to be completely admitting that it’s all about the money.

This kind of seems like a lose-lose for Favre, no?  I thought the idea of paying someone off on the side is to keep things on the down low.  If the mainstream media knows that Sterger is willing to reach a “settlement” with Favre, then everyone knows he’s guilty anyway.  Not only do people still think he’s a dirt bag, he’s also out millions of dollars.  I guess you could argue he’d spend a ton of money in lawyer fees anyway, but it seems dumb to me.  In any event, Favre can certainly afford to pay her off and it’s what we all expected would happen.

Vikings Explain the NFL Hits Inconsistency

Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (Bruin) tweeted that picture and SI Hot Clicks shared it with us via Shutdown Corner. I could spend time screaming my head off saying the same thing (and many former players have actually done that), but sometimes stick figures tell the story the best. This was definitely one of those cases.

Kenny Britt Likely to Face Charges from Bar Fight, Chris Johnson was ‘Peacemaker’

It’s too bad that after scoring touchdowns in four straight games, Kenny Britt had to get involved in another incident this week. The second-year receiver from Rutgers has really stepped up after Justin Gage got hurt and become a premier red zone target in Tennessee. It’s a nice change for Britt who was plagued with drops issues and false start penalties in the preseason. In fact, his preseason issues were so bad that coach Jeff Fisher threatened to deactivate him on game days. But just when Britt seemed to be turning the corner, he got into trouble.

Britt was involved in a bar fight at Club Karma in Nashville early Friday morning. 26-year-old Harold Pointer says he was beat up by Britt, “Kenny sent the other guy over to hit me, and once he hit me Kenny came over. Someone told me he was hitting me with bottles, I don’t know because I was defending myself. But I know Kenny was hitting me upside my head.’’Pointer added that he is likely to press charges in the matter.

Britt was excused from practice Friday by coach Jeff Fisher who is currently giving his receiver the benefit of the doubt, meaning it’s possible Britt will play this weekend against the Eagles. Witnesses say Britt was looking to fight so that would contradict Fisher’s stance. As for star running back Chris Johnson? Pointer said he “wasn’t involved in it at all. He was like a model citizen, trying to get us to squash it, trying to tell us to let it go.’’ CJ didn’t give himself the nickname “every coach’s dream” for nothing. Maybe Britt could take a cue from him.

Prime Time Preview: Packers vs. Vikings

Our week seven LBS Game of the Week preview takes us to historic Lambeau Field for a match-up that we can always count on to produce some fireworks — the Minnesota Vikings vs. the Green Bay Packers.  In the 48-year history of the rivalry, the Packers hold an amazingly slight edge with the series sitting at 49-46-1.  It doesn’t get much closer than that.

Why Should I Watch?

For starters, Vikings-Packers may just be the best rivalry in the NFL at the moment.  It’s older than Brett Favre.  As of late, the battles have always seemed to have huge NFC North implications.  This year is no different.  Minnesota kept its season alive last week with a much-needed victory over the reeling Cowboys, while Green Bay is trying to avoid losing its third straight game after a hot start.  Oh yeah, and the last time Randy Moss went to Lambeau Field was 2005, when he pretended to moon the crowd.

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Todd Bouman Likely to Start at QB for Jaguars Against Chiefs, Yikes!

The Jaguars embarrassed themselves and made a fool of Doc Brown getting crushed 30-3 against the Titans at home on Monday Night Football. The game was over early and looked even more hopeless when David Garrard left with a concussion. Backup Trent Edwards, who was recently added through waivers, also hurt his thumb in the game but played through the injury. Garrard was not at the Jags’ facilities on Wednesday or Thursday while Edwards was in attendance but did not practice.

Without its top two quarterbacks healthy, the Jags are digging deep and will likely turn to recently signed third-stringer Todd Bouman to start on Sunday.

Bouman is a career backup quarterback who has been a third-stringer the last several years. He hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2005 and he’s 1-5 in six career starts. The 38-year-old from St. Cloud State was signed by the Vikings in 1997 and once served as the backup to Daunte Culpepper. His other notable accomplishment was replacing Aaron Brooks as the Saints’ starting quarterback in 2005 where he went 0-3.

Even if Todd Bouman were starting a game 10 years ago I wouldn’t like his chances to win. Now it’s been five years since he’s thrown a pass in the league and he’s 38. The Jags losing may be the biggest lock of the week. Then again, as soon as we say something like that, the unpredictable happens!

Will Brett Favre Retire After Season? ‘I Plan on Ending it’

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I know it’s the same exact game Brett Favre has been playing with us the last several years, but this time he might actually be serious. We had the false alarm before the season began that Brett was retiring, and then the poor start to Minnesota’s season renewed speculation. Now, between the elbow injury, 2-4 start, and Jenn Sterger investigation, old number four may finally hang ‘em up.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter Judd Zulgad delivers the following news to us via his twitter page: “Favre on if this is last yr: “Let’s get through this game and we’ll figure out what happens the rest of the year, but I plan on ending it.”

Let the games begin! Favre would just be better off not responding to the media, but since he loves to be a drama queen he always does. Who knows if he’ll really “end it” after the year, but I’m sure that’s the direction most people would lean. Sadly, nobody will believe him when he has another retirement press conference; we’ve been through the charade too many times before.