Here's your Friday whip-around on the stories dominating the headlines and lingering in the margins of the NFL. No pads needed.
- By day, Baltimore Ravens rookie receiver Tandon Doss catches passes from Joe Flacco and tries to control the primordial urges triggered by Ray Lewis' motivational talks. By night, he eats at Five Guys, breaks up knife fights and tweets profound statements like "Jus had to break up a fight at five guys. Baltimore is too ratchet!!!" Someone please get this dude a reality show.
- With their crime-fighting wide receiver in tow, the Baltimore Ravens beat the Washington Redskins, 34-31 on Thursday night. While it was a just a preseason game, it was still an uncharacteristic performance from the Ravens, with their offense — led by Flacco and Lee Evans — bailing out a struggling Baltimore defense. After the game, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said, "As a unit, we can do better," then he looked over to Ed Reed and whispered, "Is this what Flacco has to do every Sunday? This sucks."
- The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 24-14 in Philadelphia on Thursday night. But there weren't too many "huzzahs" exchanged on the sidelines. This was for two reasons: 1) Nobody on the Eagles has said "huzzah" since at least 2005 and 2) the offensive line allowed Michael Vick to be sacked once and pressured countless times. Rookie center Jason Kelce didn't sound overly impressed with himself. "Whenever you see your quarterback get hit like that, regardless of whose fault it is, it's never a good feeling," he said. "It's like the bottom of your stomach falls out." Victory!
- Self-recrimination was the theme of the night in Cincinnati, where Carolina quarterback Cam Newton lost a rookie duel with Bengals QB Andy Dalton, as the Bengals topped the Panthers, 24-13. Newton went 6 for 19 for 75 yards. After the game, he said, "It's unacceptable on my part." Panthers coach Ron Rivera, perhaps noticing his young quarterback needed a bit of an emotional pick-me-up, opted for some cutting-edge slang in his assessment of Newton's performance: "He's got some moxie." Aw, shucks.
- We leave you for the weekend with this very interesting story from the Indianapolis Star, via Pro Football Talk. Earlier this week, after the Colts signed veteran (and retired) quarterback Kerry Collins, Indy wide receiver Reggie Wayne went off, sticking up for Curtis "Sons Of Anarchy Hair" Painter and the absent-while-recovering-from-neck-surgery Peyton Manning. But were there more nuanced reasons for Wayne's outburst? The Star suggests it was to light a fire under Manning's butt, or more specifically, his neck nerves. While PFT suggests Wayne's mild rebellion has more to do with his contract status than anything else. Reggie Wayne! The most interesting man in the world!
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