The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "John Fox just had a 20,000-square-foot house built in Charlotte. I don't think he is concerned about any 'lame-duck' status. A lot of it has to do with the (potential) lockout (looming). He's a loyal guy. He's not the type to abandon his staff. He only has one year left, but you have to remember, they are an every-other-year team. He'll be in good position next year if he gets it back on track. His problem this year was that he stuck with the quarterback (Jake Delhomme) too long. I don't think he knew what he had with Matt Moore. And I'm still not sure (Moore) is the answer, but at least he is not losing games the way Jake did. They were in a lot of games that they could have won."
• "A lot of teams have maintained the same head coach and very similar personnel, but the results have not been the same. What everyone overlooks is the assistant coaches have changed. Not having Spags (Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo) really hurt the Giants. (The loss of) Jim Schwartz (to Detroit) hurt Tennessee. Baltimore lost Rex Ryan to the Jets. And you have to really break down how many assistants with those teams followed their coordinators. It's usually at least one, if not several. They tend to bring their defensive assistants and make them coordinators. So you lose two good coaches, not only one. That takes a huge toll. Assistant coaching is very valuable and undervalued."
• "I don't think the Patriots expected to have such a hard time replacing Jabar Gaffney. They tried to replace him with Joey Galloway, and it backfired. They fired him. (Brandon) Tate went on I.R. They signed Isaiah Stanback. They have tried Sam Aiken. The third receiver is important, especially in their offense."
• "Chad Pennington has always been a one-year guy. He cannot stay healthy. And the Dolphins got their one year out of him. They didn't fill enough of their other needs last year. There was a need at receiver and it's still there — I don't like any of their receivers. Jason Taylor and Joey Porter have hit the wall. (NT) Jason Ferguson needs to be replaced, and that's a tough position to fill."
• "Personnel people watching practice is a waste of time. You can know the chemistry of your football team coming out of training camp. You can catch parts of practice to see how it's being run and how (talent is) progressing. I'm not saying you should avoid it, but as a GM, you need to be watching tape. You need at least four hours a day, two in the morning and two in the evening. I watch a lot more than that, but at a minimum, that's how much you need to be watching any day."
• "I'm not sure Bill Cowher wants back into coaching. He went at it hard 15 years. It's a different lifestyle. You get so emotionally wrapped into it. And he has climbed that mountain - he has won a Super Bowl. He had great people around him in Pittsburgh and great ownership. He's got to look at it now and say — can I muster the energy to do it again? ... I don't think he really gives a (crap) about the money. The question is — do I want to run hard again for 50 weeks? Because it is easy to blow a gasket if you do not have all the right pieces in place."
• "Wade Phillips has to win a (playoff) game. I think that is his standard. If he doesn't, I think it will scare (Jerry Jones) enough to consider making some changes. They really have two head coaches there with the way they are paying (offensive coordinator) Jason Garrett and allowing him to run the offense. They can bring in a defensive coordinator and promote Garrett and keep much of the staff intact. That's what would (likely) happen. I don't see them starting from scratch or making any wholesale changes."
PFW has launched its brand-new NFL Draft Newsletter series, with the second issue now ready for mailing. Produced by PFW's player personnel department under the direction of Nolan Nawrocki, the series consists of four information-packed issues. For more info or to subscribe — click here for PDF e-pub or here for print format.