If you haven't heard, my NFL Truths column is a must-read for any serious NFL fan. Every coach, general manager and owner in the league except Ted Thompson reads this weekly column religiously.
This is a special training-camp edition. The Truth will return permanently with the start of the NFL season. Munch on these truths until kickoff of the regular season:
10. Every head coach not leading a team nicknamed the Packers, Jets, Buccaneers or Vikings owes Brett Favre a gigantic thank you. The Favre saga pretty much allowed teams to go about the business of preparing without media distraction.
I'd assume that Bill Belichick and the Patriots despite having to face Favre twice this season are the happiest.
Without Favre, the NFL media would still be milking the pointless Spygate story and there would be a lot of talk about how the Patriots will rebound from their Super Bowl letdown.
For my money, New England's Super Bowl defeat will have a significant impact on this season.
OK, let me set-up my next point by adding a little context. I like the Patriots. I like the way Belichick and Scott Pioli have constructed their team/dynasty. I'm a huge Tom Brady fan. Other than John Elway, he's my favorite NFL quarterback of all time. I hope Brady wins two more Super Bowls before his career is through.
I think the Patriots are going to take a big step back this year. There's going to be a hangover from that Super Bowl loss and their 18-0 run.
The Pats lost to the Giants, an inferior opponent, because of the mental fatigue of going undefeated. What New England accomplished last season was far more impressive than what the Dolphins did in '72. The NFL wasn't the King of the sports world in 1972. There wasn't around-the-clock coverage and discussion of the 1972 Dolphins.
The last month of the 2007 season, the Patriots were mentally drained, and they weren't a great team. The team we saw at the end of last season is the team we will see this season. The Pats are still tired.
They'll win 10 games and lose in the first round of the playoffs.
9. I have a lot of respect for Carolina coach John Fox and the way he and the Panthers dealt with star receiver Steve Smith and his sucker-punching of teammate Ken Lucas.
I was shocked when I heard the Panthers suspended Smith for the first two games of the regular season. Carolina has missed the playoffs the past two years, finishing 8-8 and 7-9. There's considerable pressure on Fox and his coaching staff this season.
The team didn't have to suspend Smith and weaken their chances of beating the Chargers and the Bears. The Panthers could've hit Smith with mammoth fine and suspended him for the remainder of training camp.
Had the Panthers taken that action, no one would've raised much of a fuss. It was a training-camp fight.
Instead, Fox chose to send a strong message to his entire team that no one player is bigger than the organization, especially not a wide receiver. Good for Fox.
Now, when the Panthers start 0-2 and miss the playoffs for a third straight year, I won't complain when Fox is fired.
8. The NFL Truths obtained a rough draft of Pacman Jones' reinstatement letter to Roger Goodell. What follows are just a few of the highlights:
What's good, Roger? I mean, what's Goodell, Roger?
I'm just playing, Commissioner Goodell. This is Pacman Jones. My agent said I needed to drop you a letter saying why I should be reinstated. Well, as you know, I do a lot of work in the community supporting single mothers one dollar at a time.
I've included some reference letters from a few of the gals I've helped get through nursing school. They were embarrassed to include their last names, but I'm sure you will be impressed when you read the heart-tugging letters from Lexus, Athena, Diamond and Mercedes. Without my rain, these independent, hardworking women would not be in their seventh year of nursing school.
Also, my good friend Joe Pete, the owner of Magic City, has constructed a graph highlighting the negative economic impact my suspension has had on Atlanta strip clubs. Pacman's suspension has been worse than gas prices.
President Bush calls my rainmaking trickle-down economics.
7. I loved running back Mike Hart when he was at Michigan. A sixth-round pick for the Colts, Hart will be the steal of the draft.
Hart fell to the sixth because he ran a 4.6 40-yard dash. He runs faster on the field because he runs decisively and with purpose. A fast guy who doesn't know where to go runs slower than Hart.
Hart won't beat out Joseph Addai. But Hart will be a starter in this league before the end of his career. He reminds me of Michael Turner, LaDainian Tomlinson's old backup.
6. The Rams should let Steven Jackson sit out the entire season.
It is mistake to overpay for any running back not named L.T. The Rams can develop a new running back. Jackson's talents aren't so unique that he's worth breaking the bank. Let him bounce.
5. For several years, NFL Truths has complained that Jacksonville receiver Matt Jones is the poster child for lazy, irresponsible football players. Now that he's been busted for allegedly carrying cocaine maybe others will catch on.