The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "The Redskins don't want Donovan McNabb. They want to cut him. He is out of shape. They wanted to see if Rex Grossman could handle it. There was so much backlash with the way they handled it that they should have just waited, but this has been going on the whole time. The kid (offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) cannot handle him. They have been fighting on the sideline. Look at (McNabb's) body of work this season and tell me that he is getting the job done."
• "The Vikings traded away a third-round pick for Randy Moss. I don't think Brad Childress was ever on board with the decision. That is the decision of (vice president of player personnel) Rick Spielman. That's what no one is talking about. What you have now is a rift in your front office. (Vice president of football operations) Rob Brzezinski did the same thing with Mike Tice. They would not spend any money, and then they pinned the whole thing on him. The problem now is that Brad got the (four-year) contract and it costs a lot more to get rid of him than it does the other two. They are in full-force spin mode now. How did everyone know Moss was getting cut before (the player) did himself? They have so many leaks in that building. Remember, Rick worked for ESPN. At the end of the year if Childress takes them deep into the playoffs, someone (in the front office) is going to be running for their lives, and if you look at their schedule, they still have a chance to turn it around."
• "Once (Brett) Favre hangs it up after the season, the Vikings are going to be right back where they started — without a quarterback. That leaves Tarvaris Jackson, and his contract will be coming up. Maybe they will have to draft one."
• "What is the long-term plan of the Redskins? Is (Albert) Haynesworth going to be back or not? Now they have the McNabb debacle to deal with, along with the oldest team in football. Where is the direction? Where (GM) Bruce Allen was smart — he is a politician like his brother — he didn't clean house when he came in. There are people in the front office they can pin some of their poor decisions on. Bruce is really a figurehead. He entertains suite holders and handles the contracts."
• "The Lions are turning the corner. They are real close. They just don't know how to finish. That's been their problem all year. Part of that is confidence — just proving to themselves that they can do it."
• "The Bears really needed that week off. If you watch the Redskins' game, Jay Cutler quit on them. It's on the tape. The receivers did not know where to go. They were not working back to the ball. They were stopping their routes. How do you play quarterback when every time you drop, you get hit in the mouth and your receivers are not where they are supposed to be? I'll tell you what I think — I think Cutler is going to wind up in Washington with the one coach who has shown he knows how to use him."
• "I think some of what Mike Holmgren has said (about returning to coaching) has been taken out of context. I don't think he will return. If I had to guess and Eric (Mangini) is not there, I would guess Jon Gruden would be the guy. I think he's had enough time in the booth. This league is all about relationships, and Jon is like a son to (Holmgren). … That said, I'm not so sure Eric is out yet. For a team that does not have a quarterback or much of a passing game, he did a number on New England. I think he needed a mentor in place, and he's adjusting very well to the new structure."
• "Al Davis is turning it around in Oakland. I like what he has done. Jason Campbell is playing well. I don't think anyone expected Seattle to turn it around as quickly as they have either. (GM) John Schneider is getting it done. Scott Pioli has turned it around in Kansas City. (Tampa Bay GM) Mark Dominik has done a great job — look at their last two drafts. They have been very good. The young receivers are in sync with the quarterback. There are some good young personnel people running teams. I still think Al needs to put one in charge, but he has it headed the right way."