The Nickel: Week 2

(Editor’s note: You know how we do at TSL. It’s Monday, which means we rounded up five studs from the roster (Brandon Scott, Nubyjas Wilborn, J.R. Gamble, Vinnie Goodwill and D.J. Dunson) to talk about Sunday’s NFL action.)

QUESTION 1: From the's Fantasy Outlook spin: " It appears the Pats could be phasing [Wes Welker] out of the passing game, even replacing him with Julian Edelman at times." HUH?? How could this be? … And for freaking Julian Edelman. Something’s amiss here, right? Weird contract situation. Just seven catches in two games (Welker used to have seven catches before the end of first quarters). What gives?

Brandon: The contract situation isn’t the only hang-up here. Remember that dropped pass in the Super Bowl? Bet the Pats do. That was the only ball he dropped that game, and it had him teary-eyed in the press conference. Even Gisele went in. Perhaps the beginning of the end right there.

Nubyjas: I’m not willing to buy the notion that the Pats are phasing out Wes Welker. He was targeted 11 times in the game; the real issue is he appears to have lost some confidence since the Super Bowl drop. He better get it together immediately, before Gisele goes off again.

D.J.: Listen, Belichick's clearly been channeling his-inner Sasha Fierce lately. Darth Hoodie thought he could pound the message home to Welker that in his system, nobody is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, his plan backfired, Uggs is still targeting Hairplugs twice as often as Edelman; and his superior production in fewer snaps is proof that he's the better wide out. In the aftermath of Aaron Hernandez's ankle injury, Brady needs to speak up for Welker and end this nonsense.

Vinnie: The “Patriot Way” is finally getting exposed for the fallacy it is. Not paying key players, letting them walk – where has it gotten them in recent years? Not to a title since 2004. Let’s be real, Welker notwithstanding. Who should take less money so you can “win”…except…you don’t?

J.R.: The Pats have one irreplaceable star. His name is Bill Belichick.  He is the Michael Jackson of The Pats organization. The Russell Simmons, if you will. Belichick runs an organization with a system that has turned mortals into super hero football machines. Tom “Tito” Brady is the pretty face of the franchise but nobody missed him in 08’ when Matt Cassel stepped in to win 11 games.  Belichick has already proved he can win with a stud [Brady] or a dud [Matt Cassel].  In Wes Walker, he turned Vern Troy into Spartacus. Now Belichick doesn’t like the money-hungry monster he created and wants to knock the lil guy back down to size. To Rebbie Jackson status.   Belichick is showing Welker that he can make Julian Edelman the next Matt Cassel and how fast the tour bus can pass by and leave a greedy band member sitting on the stoop.

QUESTION 2: Not so fast, young fella. The Skins (and RG3) had the ball to win…they didn't win. You’re in RGIII's ear…balance the ongoing lionization and give him some tough lone.

Vinnie: Look at the QB who beat him, Sam Bradford. It’s taken Bradfors 2-plus years to figure it out. You aren’t building Rome in a day, so being top-flight takes longer than a week. Shanny should trust him over a kicker in due time and there isn’t a Finnegan on every team

J.R.: Lil Wayne and Jay-Z didn’t become stars overnight. They both got knocked down a bit before they could rise to supremacy. Maybe RG3 was reading too many headlines this week.  You can’t drop like 2 Chainz and fizzle like Young Joc. The NFL is a 4th-quarter league.  It’s a 16-city tour, not a one-night talent showcase.  Pace yourself. Go holla at your division rival Eli Manning and get the scoop on saving your best for last. You’ll get your numbers, share of SI covers and your billboards, but save some gas for game-winning TD drives. You’re going to need those too.

D.J.: First half mistakes can come back to haunt you in the fourth. The fading, off-balance throw that Griffin threw into Courtland Finnegan's chest turned into a St. Louis field goal before the first half wound down and ended up being the difference in the score.  Also, he better put Josh Morgan in his place. RGIII is the quarterback and if anybody's going to launch costly balls in the direction of opposing cornerbacks, it's going to be the Skins No. 2 pick, not a No. 3 receiver.

Nubyjas: It’s not RG3’s fault that Daniel Snyder hires clowns like Joshua Morgan. I’m not sure what more Robert Griffin could’ve done in this game. RG3 finished the game 20 of 29 for 206 yards in the air and rushed for 82 yards on 11 attempts. He accounted for three touchdowns.

Brandon: With the exception of the one interception he threw – a forced pass he’d probably like to have back – RG3 put the Redskins in position to win the game as best he could. Unless we’re suggesting Kurt Cousins or Rex Grossman get a look, we should just move on.

QUESTION 3: The Seahwawks, fam? Word? Let's get down to brass tax: Do the Cowboys suck?

J.R.: The Dallas Cowboys are like Danica Patrick.  They are both the sexy pick in their respective sports, but similar to Patrick’s ass-out tendencies in big car races, the Cowboys, under Tony Romo, have more bark than bite. The Cowboys losing to Seattle, following a huge opening night win over the Super Bowl champ Giants, is typical Texas torture for Dallas fans. Deon Sanders has even said that he doesn’t know why, year after year, people pick Dallas to win. Maybe that Texas oil is springing Kool-aid because enough people drink it.

Vinnie: They had a spark when they first started but…they’re not even worth that classic line. Not top six in the NFC and if they weren’t the ‘Boys, nobody would be calling them as such. Fumbles and Romo INT’s, since when has such a mistake-prone team been given the benefit of the doubt? Other than Philly…

Nubyjas: The Cowboys don’t suck. I would love for them to suck rather than being the middling operation they’ve been for the last 15 years. I wish they would have one terrible season so they can blow it up and start from scratch. Instead they’ll continue to hit triples and face plant 60 feet from home plate.

Brandon: Ah, the Cowboys. One of the more difficult teams to evaluate due to their inconsistency. I like to call them “good and terrible,” because no good team coughs up a game or gets roughed up by scrubs the way the Cowboys do it.

D.J.: Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the hyperbole. After Opening Night they were rising Super Bowl contenders. This week they played small against the NFL's shortest starting quarterback. Romo's Cowboys fluctuate from week to week like Oprah on the scale

QUESTION 4: Sean Payton for MVE (Most Valuable Entity). I always thought an elite QB could dictate far more than a coach. What's happening in New Orleans? Give me a non-sports analogy.

D.J.: Had an acquaintance put me onto this reality series called Breaking Amish where TLC chronicles a group of young Amish adults wildin' out after leaving their buttoned down communities for the first time. Likewise, Sean Payton's absence, in addition to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s new scheme, has completely thrown the Saints out of whack. If you'd ever underestimated the value of Payton's acumen and play calling, Drew Brees' 46.2 completion percentage on Sunday stamped his Mensa card.

Nubyjas: The Saints can’t win as long as Drew Brees is on his back more than a partier who had too many Hand Grenades on Bourbon Street. They have to keep him upright or else they’ll be doing the second line by Week 8.

Brandon: The Saints are like the Barksdale crew after Avon went to jail and Stringer Bell took over. With all the muscle either dead or in jail, the Barksdale crew became vulnerable, even though pride made it hard to admit. And there was no discipline. Where’s the discipline, Saints?

Vinnie: Remember Bleek Gilliam after he got his lip hit with the trumpet? That’s the Saints without Sean P. With him, they’re a fine-tuned, smooth playin’ machine but since they’ve been wacked by the league, they look the same but it ain’t the same feel. Is it over? Nah, but Brees and co got the “Bleek can’t play anymore” look.

J.R.: If you took Hannibal off of the A-Team, what would they be? You’d have Murdock and B.A. Baracus running the operation.  Comical.  Face wouldn’t be around because he’d be tossing money at strippers like he was at an Akinyele concert.  Sean Payton was the Hannibal to the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees is dope but Payton channels and maximizes those talents.  Smokey Robinson was a great song writer, but Berry Gordy made Motown.

QUESTION 5: Vince Young, Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush: at least one of them isn't a bust. Reggie's doing his thing. But did you know he's the namesake of a street cannabis?

D.J.: Before they traded for Bush last summer, the perception was that Miami sought to dodge any players with Mary Jane connections after a decade of Ricky Williams setting off smoke alarms in the facility; but, given their proclivity for celebrities in the locker room and in the owner’s box, they were probably hoping he'd bring a Kardashian with him. Given Leinart and Young struggles, the video of that '06 BCS Title Game is looking like the release of Bernie Mac, Isaac Hayes and Sam Jackson's Soul Men.

Nubyjas: Reggie Bush is currently known as a low grade strain of marijuana, likely due to his inconsistent play as a Saint. But, if he continues lighting up teams for 172 yards and 2 TD it might be time to consider promoting Reggie to George Bush Presidential status.

J.R.: Reggie Bush’s 172-yard rushing performance on Sunday was like that throwback-high smokers get with their first inhale after leaving 90-day drug treatment. The more you smoke, you realize it’s called Reggie Bush for a reason. No matter how much you spend, Reggie will never touch you like that Barry Sanders kush.

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