The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• “Did you see old-man (Tom) Brady? Time is catching up to him fast. Remember the fourth down at the end of (the AFC Championship) game — he could not outrun a nose tackle (Haloti Ngata). Then when he slid, he put his leg up in the air to protect his body. He looked (soft). I hate to see him go down like this, but he is playing soft right now. I thought the whole team followed his lead. They got punched in the mouth in the second half, and they did not respond. They lost their identity.”
• “Brandon Weeden is (nearly) 30 years old, and he is not accurate — you could see in his (throwing) motion that he is a (former) baseball pitcher. He’s fairly athletic, but he does not see the field well. If you are going to develop one, why not take a chance on a younger guy.”
• “Being a team captain (in college) is so overrated. You got to find leaders who are not only going to build the team in the locker room, but each individual room. You can’t concentrate on one guy, but ever since I saw Jason Pierre-Paul slam Prince (Amukamara) into the cold tub, I lost a lot of respect for the guy. When you have those kinds of guys on your team acting as your leaders, you are not going to win. … Look at Ray Lewis. He lifts the whole team. Look at Randy Moss. Forget what you hear on the outside. Everywhere he has been, he has been a leader in the room. He has a lot of pride.”
• “Indianapolis has the best quarterback in the AFC for the next 10 years unless they (mess) it up by not surrounding (Andrew Luck) by the right people. Peyton Manning could not even win a playoff game this year. Tell me what I am missing? Luck and (Joe) Flacco are the best quarterbacks in the AFC right now.”
• “The best hire I think Andy Reid made was adding (offensive coordinator) Doug Pederson to his staff. People don’t realize how much he meant to the development of Donovan McNabb (in Philadelphia). I’m convinced every quarterback room needs one of their three (to be) a veteran who knows how to prepare and teach the young guys what it means to really be a pro. I’m a big believer in having a quarterback coach who played the position for that very reason.”