The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• “(San Francisco QB) Colin Kaepernick can run faster than any quarterback in the league. He is faster than RG3 running the ball down the field, and he is a whole lot stronger and more physical. He can take a hit and pop back up. I really liked him when he was coming out. He is a leader. That was the difference between him and Cam Newton. Cam is a frontrunner who is good when things are good. When it’s (bad), he’s part of the reason and will make it worse.”
• “(New Jets GM) John Idzik knows how to manipulate the (salary) cap. His dad coached for the Jets for a long time — I think that had a lot to do with the decision. There was a comforting history. … He’s a good person in a business where there are a lot of selfish and greedy people — I’m glad he got it.”
• “Marc Trestman is a natural for Phil Emery. Phil will appreciate guys who are really intelligent, organized and prepared and very careful with what they say — that is Trestman. He already has a relationship with Jay Cutler. There are a lot of positives about the hire.”
• “Chip Kelly is really, really smart. I will be interested to see if he can win year in and year out with a good quarterback like he did at Oregon. I’m not sure Year One will go smoothly. If he finds a quarterback, it will accelerate.”
• “You know what would be really interesting? The NFL asks players to take the Wonderlic test every year. What do you think the scores would be for a lot of coaches and scouts? There are a lot of them who once played, and I know some of them have had single-digit scores. And I’m talking about high-level executives. What does that tell you about where the league is?"
• “(Panthers rookie LB) Luke Kuechly is the most instinctive linebacker in the NFL. He sees things before they happen. He led the league in tackles after playing the first four games at outside linebacker.”
• “Everyone thought (new Jaguars GM) David Caldwell was going to hire (Niners offensive coordinator) Greg Roman because they were roommates, but that could work both ways. If it were rough sledding early on, the pundits are going to say the only reason he was hired is because he was his roommate. ... Gus Bradley would have been a great hire in Philadelphia. He’s a blue-collar guy for a blue-collar city. He’s a great guy and a great football coach, but he’s going to need a lot of help — assistants who have been around the league a long time that could help him.”
• “You know what I don’t get. There are a lot of smart people around this league. I’m surprised they have not figured it out yet. If you want to have success, why not go get a guy who has done it already and is willing to do what it takes. Why not pay a guy like (Falcons GM) Thomas Dimitroff or (Niners GM) Trent Baalke a little extra money to be your president. It’s happened with a lot of coaches — Mike Holmgren and Bill Parcells. Teams will pay these head coaches $6 (million) or $7 million. Why not go pluck the guys who have done the best job stacking rosters and building the culture in the locker room and finding the right talent? They have proven they can run the ship. You can put a plan in place to delegate authority on the other side of the building. If you can find the right coach and find the right quarterback, you have a chance every year. If I’m an owner looking for someone to run my franchise, I’m looking for the guy who has proven he can fill those roles with the right people. That’s the key to this whole thing.”
• “The first thing (Jets owner) Woody Johnson needs to do is go into the building with a sanitizer. It’s going to take some time. You can overcome bad decisions as long as you stick to the plan and don’t panic.”