It’s only appropriate that my mind drifts to the famous NFL Films “The Autumn Wind” clip (see it here ) as news begins to circulate about the possibility of Mike Leach sailing his pirate ship to Maryland.

That battle cry is also playing loudly as the Raiders get set for a Week 15 battle against the Broncos, who will be led by rookie quarterback Tim Tebow. Josh McDaniels won’t be there to see his first-round pick enter the fray, but he’ll be as curious an onlooker as the rest of us. The Oakland defense was suddenly put into play.

Tebow leads a list of new quarterbacks under center this week, forcing owners to take a long, hard list at their rosters and explore potential rolls of the dice on the wire for a defense.

1. Matt Flynn stands in for Aaron Rodgers against the surging New England defense. The Jets and Bears were shut down by this youthful defense that’s growing by the second. It should be noted that the Patriots’ first-round pick, cornerback Devin McCourty, it questionable because of a rib injury.

2. Rex Grossman serves as Mike Shanahan’s quarterback against the Cowboys. It’s a move that left many scratching their heads and having a laugh. For me, I’m moderately confused by the move to put the eighth-year quarterback under center, but truth be told, I’m very curious to see what he’s got. Grossman was the guy in the ’06 Super Bowl season, played sporatically in the two years following and then has hardly seen the field in the past two years. Frankly, I would be surprised by Grossman playing well or playing terribly.

3. Matt Cassel practiced this week, but is still listed as a game-time decision for the Chiefs against the Rams. He’ll be reviewed by a physician before getting cleared in warm-ups. Dwayne Bowe owners will have to sweat it out on Sunday morning with Brodie Croyle as the potential starter.

4. David Garrard sustained a hamstring injury in Thursday’s practice and was tagged as “questionable” on the injury report. Trent Edwards is the No. 2 option for Jack Del Rio, and Todd Bouman was signed at the end of the practice week.

5. Colt McCoy is back under center for “The Battle of Ohio” against the Bengals. He’s missed the past two games because of an ankle injury.

6. Last, but certainly not least, is Joe Webb taking to the frozen field in Minnesota against the Bears. There’s been a lot of debate and concern and derision about the handling of this move. It does present for an interesting Flex debate as we approach Sunday kickoffs. Webb passed for nearly 2,300 yards with eight touchdowns and 21 interceptions for UAB last season.

I’m not slotting Webb in as a quarterback this week, but we’ll have many questions on Sunday morning about slotting him in a Flex position. There will certainly be a few occasions where he’ll get the nod.


The playoffs are on and it’s time to turn on the spotlights. Let’s get it rocking for what promises to be an interesting weekend of NFL action.