by NFL Gimpy

Sorry for the short column this week folks. I was out of town for a wedding all weekend and I’m crazy busy at work and sick. But I still have 6 or 7 of you who accidentally click on this link, so I have to make sure you’re somewhat entertained for a few minutes. This will just be a lot of quick hits and short thoughts.

* I see the Titans announced Jake Locker is their starting QB. Oops. I try to take a step back when I make predictions like that and do it based off of what I see as the best option to win this season. I stand by my statement that Locker is still too inaccurate. I watched his throws on Friday and there were 3 or 4 throws out of the 11 total that can only be described by my reaction to them: “WTF was that?”

I viewed the Titans as a possible playoff contender with Hasselbeck as their starter. Now I doubt it. With Locker at QB, I’m assuming that they’re hoping he’ll be a better QB by the end of the season than Hasselbeck is now.

I feel like accuracy is the type of thing that can be improved in practice and Jake could benefit from another season on the bench. Locker had guys open. He saw them. The ball simply didn’t get there and even on 2 of his completions, it was to the wrong spot.

The ability to read defenses and find the open receiver is something that improves in real games. The same goes for pocket presence and feeling the rush. Locker didn’t look too bad at those things. He simply didn’t put the ball where it was supposed to be and I suspect that problem won’t go away in 2012.

* Remember when I did my whole column about preseason hype and how useless it was? You know how Shawne Merriman had his burst back? His burst is so good, it got him sent straight to unemployment today. I figured I’d post this just so you don’t think all of my predictions are wrong.     

* Vincent Brown’s broken ankle is a huge loss for the Chargers. They were relying on Brown to fill the void left by Vincent Jackson and there’s a pretty big hole at WR until he comes back. Fantasy gurus, downgrade Philip Rivers.

* Is there an offensive tackle in the news more than Wayne Hunter? I’ll give credit to Adam Schein who started the “Wayne Hunter sucks” bandwagon but it has taken on a life of its own. When an OT is the biggest story on a team with Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, and Revis Island, you’re doing something very, very wrong.

* It’s about time someone organizes a letter writing campaign or something to get rid of these replacement officials. When they make mistakes like not applying a penalty to a turnover correctly and the ball goes to the wrong team, it’s time to go. Austin Collie may have had concussion #38 while getting hit as a defenseless receiver. At least this time Peyton Manning did lead him directly into a safety. Yes, I am blaming Peyton for at least one of his concussions.

* I wonder where Tarvaris Jackson and Colt McCoy end up. I know the Eagles have been allegedly interested in both at one point and a guy like Tarvaris who can manage an offense would be an improvement for many teams.

* I read an article in an Atlanta newspaper that says the Falcons aren’t worried about their running game. They aren’t worried for the same reason the New York Giants, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers aren’t worried: they can throw the ball. With Roddy White and Julio Jones, Atlanta may have the best 1-2 punch at WR in the NFL.

Julio Jones just looks like a monster out there. Against tight coverage, I watched Julio run a quick slant, bobble the ball a little, then grab it on the second attempt, all while getting hit. He managed to stay upright and get a few more yards. He’s a monster who’s going to force defenses to roll coverage to his side, leaving Roddy White all alone. The trade up for Jones looked dumb last year. It’s looking pretty smart now.

* I read that Tom Brady might not play for the Patriots tonight. I don’t blame them. The way their offensive line looked in their first preseason game wasn’t pretty. Put them up against the Eagles Wide-9 and it could result in a certain former Arkansas Razorback who transferred from the Michigan Wolverines who had a bit of a problem with white ponies (allegedly *wink*) starting at QB.

* The first round of cuts are coming up and this is the worst time of year for NFL players. They play their hearts out and nearly half of them don’t make the roster. To us fans, he’s just a 4th string OT we only saw in the 4th quarter (if we were still watching). To his family, he’s someone who has been working since he was 10 to be an NFL player.

Their stories might not be over and sadly there are a lot of guys who will get cut who deserve that roster spot more than some of the DUI getting, spouse abusing, criminals that are in the NFL. I’m not saying that a good chunk of NFL players are criminals, but there’s a decent amount who don’t deserve what they’re given.

* I’ll be tweeting a bit during Monday Night Football. Feel free to shoot me some tweets with questions or mocking my bad predictions.  (Ed. note – don’t stop there.  Feel free to question his looks, brains, personality, dancing skills, knowledge of Charlie Whitehurst trivia, and/or love of all things Pitt.)

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