The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "I have heard a lot of speculation about the race for Andrew Luck, and how teams like the Colts are trying to lose games. You would rather be 2-14 than 6-10 this year, but every team goes into the week trying to win. You never think about trying to lose. You would lose the players if you did. Every GM — when they are struggling, they are miserable. They are fighting, scratching to win because there is such a difference in how it feels to win and lose."
• "If someone suggested Eric Mangini should be brought into the Eagles' building (as a defensive consultant), they should be fired. Are you kidding me? I know (DL coach) Jim Washburn. And Mangini is the absolute wrong guy to work with him. One, they would not work well together. Two, they run different defenses. If you are going to contact anyone, Jeff Fisher is the most logical (guy). He's been in the same scenario. He's worked with the defensive coordinator. … I think they have had a tendency under the current leadership in Philadelphia to put square pegs in round holes. They went and got big corners to fit (the late) Jim Johnson's scheme, but then they changed the scheme. Nnamdi Asomugha does not fit with what they are running. Andy Reid had the same defense in place for 12 years. Asomugha fit with what they were doing last year. He's a fish out of water now. I don't see a plan."
• "What Al Davis did that was so underrated — he was coaching the coach. A coach is a teacher. There is not another owner in football that was capable of doing what he did. The person that replaces him needs to have worn a lot of hats and have a wide range of experience."
• "(Bears S) Brandon Meriweather has played exactly like he did in New England. That's why Bill Belichick got rid of him. If (Belichick) thought (Meriweather) was going to improve, he would've kept him. Just because a player is voted to a Pro Bowl does not mean he played like a Pro Bowler. … We would not touch him for the veteran's minimum (salary). I was shocked what he got (from the Bears)."
• "I am amazed at how absolutely bad parts of the league have become. There is little development with players, coaches or high-level executives. Owners brought it upon themselves, taking shortcuts. The nepotism is rampant. There is little evaluation going on. The media is completely manipulated. That is what you get when you have a system for the NFL that is built on a non-competitive, non-demographic approach. Over the years, the NFL has really become a dictatorship protected by the government. The NFL made its biggest strides when it was competing with another league — when you had a guy like Al Davis competing with the NFL. The product on the field (today) is nothing like what it was 50 years ago."
• "The competition in college has created an unbelievable situation. Look at all the college teams competing for a national championship. Look around — Boise State can be competitive for a national championship. Look at how the divisions are growing. Look at how many teams there are. The fan base is growing. The NFL may be making more money off television, but look at all the empty seats in stadiums. Blackouts are at a record level. That is why the NFL is looking so hard at London. The TV revenues are locked in, but the fan base is not expanding. It's a problem."
• "One of the main reasons the Texans have been playing better — the offensive line is functional. That is the best thing Gary Kubiak has done since he arrived. He fixed the line."
• "The Niners are on the upswing right now because of Jed York. With his dad there, they could not get anything right. The kid knows it is about having the right people in place, and he has made some strong hires."