Shutdown Corner - NFL

-- Weird (but somewhat logical) stat of the year: Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the New England Patriots are 6-0 since they waived Albert Haynesworth. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 0-6 since they picked him up. Now, there are some serious correlation and causation issues here, and the Bucs have many other issues that have taken them down. However, given Haynesworth's poisonous past, we're not going to dismiss the numbers out of hand. [NFL.com]

-- Breer, who's a great guy and an outstanding reporter when he's not obsessing over his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes, also writes that with Matt Barkley heading back to USC, the focus turns to Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Some of the same complaints about spread offense quarterbacks in previous years appear to be coming up with Griffin's name in some circles, which makes sense if you haven't seen … well, ANY football games in 2011. The same things were said of Cam Newton before the 2011 NFL Draft. [NFL.com]

-- The San Diego Chargers' patience with Jared Gaither appears to have paid off in a major way. [Wall Street Journal]

-- Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson would like to know why his defense has fallen apart in the last month. As we discussed on this week's Shutdown Corner podcast with Greg Cosell, defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan has man cornerbacks playing zone, box safeties covering deep, his best cover corner (Stanford Routt) blitzing too often, and a bunch of ill-suited linebackers  running like headless chickens to weird intermediate zone assignments. Other than that, everything's peachy! [San Francisco Chronicle]

-- Speaking of our buddy Greg, here he is breaking down the Philadelphia Eagles' defense against the challenge that Tony Romo has become of late. That challenge was raised when it was revealed that cornerback Asante Samuel will not play against the Cowboys. One interesting stat from Mr. Cosell: Romo has avoided throwing an interception in 39 of his past 40 quarters. Yikes.  [PhiladelphiaEagles.com]

-- Andrew Brandt has the details of the league's new policy of hiring independent athletic trainers to assist with the current NFL concussion standard. Brandt mentions two things that I also believe. First, that this step is not enough. Second, that the Cleveland Browns' mishandling of quarterback Colt McCoy (and the NFL's refusal to sanction the team for that debacle) had led to major credibility issues with the league's constant insistence that player safety is a priority. [National Football Post]

-- Former Green Bay Packers running back Dorsey Levens is one of a rising number of ex-players now suing the NFL for withholding known medical information about the effects of concussions for decades. "Despite overwhelming medical evidence that on-field concussions lead directly to brain injuries and frequent tragic repercussions for retired players, the NFL not only failed to take effective action in an attempt to protect players from suffering, but failed to inform players of the true risks associated with concussions," Levens' lawsuit says. Fortunately, the league is learning from its … oh, wait. [JSOnline]

-- The Redskins' new practice bubble now has a foundation. Insert your own snarky franchise-building joke here. [D.C. Sports Blog]

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