Westbrook: NFL sacrifices players for wins

Catching up on some reading and saw the Sports Illustrated special report about running backs and how the careers of the elite players are being cut short by all the pounding they endure.

Found this quote from Brian Westbrook to be interesting: "Eventually you learn the truth about the business of the NFL. The coaches, the front office -- their job is to win football games. And to do that they're willing to use you until you have nothing left. They will disregard your health and disregard your injuries to win games."

Westbrook does not offer specifics, so it is hard to glean whether he is talking about particular instances from his own career or making a general statement. Still, interesting nonetheless as he tries to resurrect himself with the San Francisco 49ers.


Rex Ryan is all for doing things a little differently, you might have heard.

Rather than have starting quarterback Mark Sanchez hang out and watch the preseason finale against the Eagles on Thursday night, Ryan will have Sanchez serve as the offensive coordinator for at least part of the game, according to Rich Cmini, of ESPNNewYork.

Sanchez will call the plays and then communicate them to the quarterback via walkie-talkie.

Ryan said he did this in Baltimore, giving the reins on defense to Ray Lewis and Ed Reed in the preseason.


In case you are wondering when you watch the game, there will be no logos at midfield or in the end zone painted on the field.

The grounds crew is trying to keep the surface as clean as possible in order to paint the 50th anniversary logos on the field in advance of the Sept. 12 game against Green Bay, when the 1960 champions will be honored.


Looking ahead to the season opener, the Packers' defensive backfield is looking thin, with cornerback Al Harris and safety Atari Bigby placed on the physically unable to perform list. They can't be activated earlier than Week 6 and can't practice with the team. Neither player had passed his physical at the start of training camp.

Harris is trying to recover from a serious knee injury suffered last November. Bigby had ankle surgery Aug. 6.

Writes Greg A. Bedard, of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "The Packers' decision to not add either a free agent or a draft pick in the offseason at cornerback looks downright puzzling right now. That Sam Shields, a UDFA who played one season of CB at Miami, is probably the favorite to open against DeSean Jackson and the Eagles at nickel back shows the state of the depth at CB."

In case you were wondering, Aaron Rodgers and the starters on offense and defense will play one series against Kansas City in the Packers' preseason finale. Several starters could stay in a bit longer.

The Packers' offense has been explosive this season. Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was asked the other day if he was working on his game plan for Green Bay already.

“We’re keeping an eye on them; keeping an eye on all 59 points the other night,” he said.


Eagles coach Andy Reid was asked about the prospect of an 18-game regular season. His response was somewhat non-commital, depending on how it would be structured.

“I would love to go back when the league changed from 14 to 16," he said. "I’m sure the comments are probably the same comments that you’re hearing today. I think the league, they think through these things and they exhaust themselves going through all of the different scenarios. I think from our standpoint as coaches, how things will be handled in the preseason, we don’t know that. And for training camp, and then the offseason numbers of OTAs that you have, and so on. Until you get all of that, I can’t really answer you. I think the 18-game schedule is obviously workable, and I think the league’s done a lot of homework on that, but I don’t know exactly how we’re going to do it with the other things. I’ve got to see that first.”