-- We touched on the Vikings' interest in receiver Javon Walker(notes) yesterday, and Minnesota plans to sign the former first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers sometime Monday. Walker played with his current quarterback in Green Bay from 2002 through 2005, including an 89-catch Pro Bowl season in 2004. Walker held out through the 2005 preseason, drawing his current quarterback's ire for many of the same things that his current quarterback has been pulling of late, and hasn't caught a pass since 2008. The last most of us heard of Walker, he was recovering from a mugging in Las Vegas. Let's hope Walker sees an upswing in fortune from here on out.
-- During an interview on NBC's Sunday Night Football, Tony Dungy said that his criticism of Rex Ryan "wasn't anything personal." Which makes sense. If I make value judgments about someone on a national scale, and say that I flat-out wouldn't hire someone because of his language ... well, I wouldn't expect that individual to take it personally. Not at all!
I'd like to ask one question of Dungy if I could. Given the longstanding issues surrounding equitable minority hiring in the NFL, and given the fact that Dungy himself broke that glass ceiling by becoming the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl, I wonder if he would have been as outspoken about a black coach whose methods he disagreed with. Would Dungy have sought to speak to that coach privately instead? I just believe that out of professional courtesy, Dungy should have taken a pass on the Ryan question and sought Rex (or any other coach) out one-to-one if he really had a problem. He made it personal by making it public, and it's my belief that Dungy needs to sort out a few consistency issues before he continues as the NFL's Voice of Morality.
-- Here's another guy who hasn't watched "Hard Knocks" yet, and it doesn't appear that he will. "You know, I haven't turned it on," Tom Brady recently told WEEI Radio. "I hate the Jets. I refuse to support that show. ... I'm sure it's great TV and I'm glad people are liking it. But that's something I have no interest in watching. I'd love to say a lot of mean things, too, but I'd rather not do that, either."
Sheesh. Does Brady think that Bill Belichick would ever allow cameras into one of his training camps? "That'd be tough. It may be his final season of coaching. I have no inside info on that, but Coach Belichick has worked hard over the years to run his practices and meetings a certain way and I don't think he wants to give that information out."
-- Since Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall(notes) has always been a bit of a lone wolf in his dealings with coaches, it's no surprise that he believes Mike Shanahan bollixed the Albert Haynesworth situation. "He felt like he needed to go out and train with his guys and do what he needed to do to be better as a player," Hall said. "Was I upset about that? Not at all. There's been times in previous years that I've done the same thing. When that happens, you have to live with the consequences.
"I think, as a player, to be given that ultimatum ... to either pass the [conditioning] test or you're not going to practice, I'm not going to be sweating too hard about passing that test. I'm just going to be real with you. It's hot, it's training camp, it's two-a-days. I want the easiest path possible. I want to play in games, I don't want to go out there and practice. For him to be given that kind of scenario or choice, it wasn't a hard one for him. I don't think it would be hard for 80 guys in that locker room, no matter what they might tell you personally. They're not going to want to go out there and practice. ... I think he should've had to run the test and still practice with us. At the end of the day, all that did was hurt us because we need him out there."
- Tony Dungy