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October 23, 2012, 4:20 pm
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Never been to England. And, as someone who's spoken English for most of my 44-plus years (with intervals of infancy, French classes and inebriation being the main exceptions), I look forward to witnessing first-hand the condescension of snaggle-toothed Brits. Wrong attitude going in? Yeah. I'll work on that.

Devin McCourty's got safety skills. And while he may be the team's best corner, he's average (and too often below average out there) at the position and the gap between he and the guys behind him is small enough to make it a negligible difference.

Additionally, he's also the team's best safety - ball skills when the play is in front of him, excellent range, good size and a willingness to hit. He's wasted on the perimeter while the team is trying to find someone to button down the downfield support.

After the Patriots' first fourth quarter drive went south on Sunday, you could hear the boos at Gillette. Which is fine since an ongoing issue had returned and fans spoke directly to players and coaches that it was unacceptable.

So far, I'd say the addition of Brandon Lloyd has been a positive relative to the production the position got before he came. But he insists on leaving his feet to make catches that he could just as easily run through and part of that may be that he appears completely terrified of contact.

While on the topic of contact, I'll be surprised if Brandon Spikes gets fined for his thunderous hit on Shonn Greene on Sunday. Greene had turned, taken a step and was lowering his helmet himself at Spikes' chest more to initiate contact than defend himself.

As Cam Newton slogs awkwardly through his first true stretch of professional adversity, it's worth pointing out the predraft assessment of Pro Football Weekly expert Nolan Nawrocki that foretold Newton's maturity issues. We're not saying we should throw out the good Newton has done as a player and personality and conclude he is an egomaniacal fraud, but Nawrocki did theorize he might have issues like this and was scorned.

Nick McDonald, Ryan Wendell and Donald Thomas deserve credit for the way they played Sunday against the Jets and Wendell deserves it for his work all year. Very underrated.

I love that Pete Carroll pointed out the hypocrisy of Niners coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh was mad that the Seahawks were rough with his wideouts and complained to the league about it; a week earlier, Harbaugh was mad that the Giants had called attention to the grabbiness of defensive lineman Justin Smith.

The conversation about whether or not Tom Brady is aging or declining is incessant. Is he closer to the end of his career than the beginning? Certainly. But can someone show me the plays where he truly looks like a quarterback whose age is getting to him? The ones where he looks old, frail, unable to throw with velocity and afraid to stand in and take a hit while delivering the ball? Show me his unsettledness. Then turn on Aaron Rodgers film and see how often he and every other quarterback in the league gets active in the feet trying to buy time and keep a play alive. The anticipatory dodging of rushers from his blind side? Celebrated when he did it successfully a few years back.

Cheerio!