The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "Offensive coaches need to be cerebral. When it comes to making adjustments, (Jets offensive coordinator) Brian Schottenheimer is one of the worst in the game. You look at the way they protected against the Giants. You're playing one of the best defensive lines in football and you're not going to give your tackles any help? Someone has to explain that to me. I know (OLT D'Brickashaw) Ferguson is good, but have some common sense."
• "When (Lions RB) Jahvid Best was coming out, we would not have drafted him. Concussions were an issue in college. The Lions have taken a lot of chances on guys like him. Mikel Leshoure never played this year. Titus Young was a loose cannon. Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh are talented yes, but if you build your team around issue guys like that — it's not the way I would do it. Maybe it will work for them. They've come a long way in three years."
• "A lot of offenses have become spread, horizontal passing games with quarterbacks who can spit it quickly and offensive linemen who can shield and get in the way. It has put more of a premium on athletic offensive linemen. O-linemen have been getting bigger and bigger when they come into the league. I think you're going to see a trend going the other way — with feet and athletic ability being the most dominant traits sought in (offensive linemen)."
• "Everyone talks about quarterbacks. What wins in the playoffs are your lines. Look at the Texans. Their offensive line dominated (the Bengals). They controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. It overcame a third-string, rookie QB."
• "How does (Bears president) Ted Phillips keep his job? What's very clear about the way (Jerry) Angelo's firing was handled is Phillips did not have a plan moving forward. Tell me this — if the coaches were more involved with personnel like they have been, why is Angelo taking the bullet for the QB situation? Everyone knows he couldn't hit a first-round pick to save his life. That will be his legacy in Chicago. The only reason Lovie (Smith) is not out the door is because they're still on the hook for $10 million. It's all falling apart. Give it three years and see where it goes."
• "The Vikings went 3-13 and Rick Spielman gets promoted to GM? Wow. He has lived a charmed life. This league is upside-down. I like Rick. He's a good guy. I hope his quarterback (Christian Ponder) can get it done. He didn't look too good to me this year, but he's still got time."
• "Bad drafts don't hit you immediately. You feel them years down the road. If you look at the draft Fran Foley ran with Brad Childress (in Minnesota in 2006) — Tarvaris Jackson was not good enough. Ryan Cook was not good enough. Cedric Griffin was not good enough. When you need those guys to step up in their third year and they don't, that is when the team can really start sliding. You look at the 2007 and '08 drafts in New England — what is there besides Jerod Mayo? It's not easy to draft well. You have to spend a lot of money or do a damn good job in free agency if you want to overcome a bad draft."
• "I know Carl (Peterson) is not going to be handling personnel in Miami, but how many other (former) GMs that have been out of the league as long as he has can claim six Pro Bowlers? (Chiefs LBs Tamba) Hali and (Derrick) Johnson and (CB Brandon) Flowers all made it. And then there's Brian Waters (in New England), Tony Gonzalez (in Atlanta) and (Jason) Babin (in Philadelphia). People forget that (Peterson) brought Babin in off the street in Kansas City. (Gunther) Cunningham got rid of (Babin) after Week Three and then he went to Philly and Tennessee and back to Philadelphia."