The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "(Tennessee TE) Craig Stevens is very underutilized. The guy blocks his (butt) off and when he has been given chances, he's a lot faster than you think with the ball in his hands. There was a pass he took in the flat (against San Diego) and just sprinted up the field. You could see the angles being taken — no one was expecting him to burn up the field the way he did. He could be a quarterback's best friend, but they don't give him the ball."
• "(Redskins owner) Dan Snyder is fooling the league. He makes one or two big signings every year and gives away all this money to sign a big-name head coach. He's got the highest-paid head coach in the league and some of the highest-paid players, but the curtain needs to be pulled back. He is not spending the money. He is spending some money and getting a lot of splash money out there to create the perception that he is a big spender. But that's all it is — perception. Why do you think they have no depth? The guy is cutting back in a lot of areas, and they don't have the support staff to evaluate."
• "There have been some games this year when (Titans defensive coordinator) Chuck Cecil clearly was overmatched. He just does not yet understand matchups. He's been taken to school a few times this year by the savvy, old vets."
• "(Chargers head coach) Norv Turner is one of the best play-callers in the league. You can criticize some of the things he does as a head coach and what kind of a leader he is, but you can't question the way he calls a game. He's phenomenal — easily one of the best in the league."
• "There are a lot of rock stars who have a lot of talent who only make one great record. Why is that? What pushes them to make the next and the next? What pushes a guy to make more? I'm not just talking about athletes - it is a human-nature question. Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant — what pushes them to be great? … It's a lot of traits, but there's one that really stands out — it's competitiveness. It's the taste of victory. They love that taste. … JaMarcus Russell can make every throw in the book, but once you give him a big contract, he cashes out. He didn't care anymore."
• "This is the first year there has been some accountability in Chicago. They cut a lot of dead weight from the roster. Guys that were not getting it done were moved out of the way. … I marvel at what they are doing right now, how they are winning. Luck is a big part of it — they are catching a lot of teams at the right time. The stars are aligning perfectly."
• "It's easy to draw it up and talk about it and teach it, but the players have to execute it. When you have a lot of rookies on your team, that's a lot easier said than done. The other great challenge is knowing what you're going to have and who you are playing. The makeup of your roster changes every week with injuries. And our schedule is like Notre Dame's. It's a heavyweight battle every week. Don't tell me playing tough competition every week does not matter. There's a reason Boise State is not getting respect in college. It takes a lot more out of you to play war daddies in the SEC week in and week out."
• "Can you imagine what the Eagles' offense would look like with an explosive tight end, if they had a guy like (Jermichael) Finley or (Jermaine) Gresham or even (Dustin) Keller? I think it would take off. They have always had an OK tight end like Chad Lewis. L.J. Smith was terrible. You have to go back to Keith Jackson to find the last time they had a great one. Put some more speed up the seam with (Michael) Vick back there and it would be dangerous."