By: Bob George/
September 24, 2009

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Rob Gronkowski tells Patriots he will play this season
Filling the Patriots' needs: No. 3: Quarterbacks

He came to the Atlanta Falcons from some bartender duty in the area. He tried out for the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and even the New England Patriots. After getting a night job tending a bar, he finally got the call six weeks into the 1978 season. Tim Mazzetti kicked for the Falcons for three seasons, and is the seventh leading kicker in franchise history in terms of scoring. Mazzetti would find his way back to these parts; you may remember that he was the placekicker for the Boston Breakers of the USFL during their one season at Nickerson Field. Mazzetti makes me a seven-and-seven, then runs on to the field and booms one all the way to the three-yard line.

You thought Mark Sanchez looked good last week. Wait until Sunday, when the prodigal son comes home.

Sanchez is merely learning the pro game. Matt Ryan has already played in the NFL postseason. He was the league Rookie of the Year last year. And now he's coming home to show everyone what he's got now, two years removed from Chestnut Hill.

And trust us, no one will keep the shackles on Ryan in the first half.

That wasn't a good opening act Matt Cassel laid on his new home fans.

To make matters worse, there was some Raider guy on the D-line who may have had something to do with it.

The team that finally loses to Detroit may feel worse than the 1977 Saints, who were the first victims of Tampa Bay in history.

The Belichick coaching tree isn't really looking good from a Cleveland standpoint (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini) so far. Given that Cleveland was Belichick's last coaching job, it might be that their former head coach could care less.

But the coaching tree looks great in Denver. You go figure on that one.

Geek of the week: Tony Romo had to win the stadium opener. But this time, they had the New York Giants, not some cupcake Patriot team which opened Texas Stadium in 1971.

My daughters cannot decide who's the more handsome Manning. Their father votes for Archie, who along with wife/mom Olivia make one awfully handsome couple at any age.

Fred Jackson, and not Terrell Owens, is the most dangerous Buffalo offensive weapon.

Meanwhile, he might just have played Marshawn Lynch out of a job.

If Aaron Rodgers wants to be big time, he has to close out wins against teams like Cincinnati.

That Bear win against Pittsburgh at home might be their biggest regular season win in some time. That win could go a long way towards defining their season.

How about them Saints, far and away the highest scoring team in the league after two games.

Springfield's Steve Spagnuolo knows defense, but neither he nor his new team, the Rams, know much offense. Seven points in two games isn't exactly going to win you many games in this league.

Some folks say that Wes Welker was the difference on Sunday. With him a week before, he caught 12 passes but his team still nearly lost. And the two winning scores were caught by someone else.

Bottom line: Brady needs to get more comfortable, and the defense needs to get better.

Back to school: If Notre Dame fires Charlie Weis, would he consider coming back to Foxborough?

Miami and San Diego are a combined 1-3. But that still will be a good game next week.

Reports came out that suggest that Mike Vrabel might have had it in for Belichick, along with Seymour. So both get traded.

Let's hope that Belichick doesn't find out the hard way that all along it really was about the players and not the system.

That goes for Scott Pioli in Kansas City as well, where Cassel is concerned.

At some point, Carolina will need to realize that it needs more than Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith.

What's this? Baltimore leads the conference in scoring?

Pats at home in an interconference game. That means it's on Fox, which means the best studio show of them all and a nice reprieve from Shannon Sharpe.

Which also means that you get Jillian Barberie as your weather girl. Naturally, you at home could care less about the weather at your favorite team's venue, so all you're left with is to simply look at her. Life's tough sometimes.

Matt Leinart still hasn't played Kurt Warner out of a job in Arizona. Maybe it's just not there with Leinart.

Honk if you miss the horse trailer.

Remember him: It's the proverbial question: If you were starting a football team, who would you build the team around? When the Falcons came into being in 1966, Rankin Smith selected Texas linebacker Tommy Nobis to be that man. He never led the Falcons to the playoffs, but he did make five Pro Bowls and was named the 1967 All-Pro team during his outstanding stay as the Falcon middle linebacker. He lasted until 1976, missing parts of two seasons due to injury, but giving Atlanta a solid and reliable presence in the middle. He had 12 career interceptions, two of which went for touchdowns. He was one of those players who was consistently good, sometimes great, but never exceptional or immortal. But in Atlanta, he is remembered as the definitive original Falcon, who was there on the ground floor for the Falcons and has seen them prosper and become a part of the fabric in the heart of Dixie.

Miami gives up a long one on the first play of the game. Talk about shutting up a psyched-up home crowd.

Only Peyton Manning could win a game with a 3-to-1 deficit in time of possession. You don't take up much time when you throw all those long bombs.

Nice to see that the Colts had some trouble with the Wildcat. Betcha never thought you'd see an option offense make it in the NFL.

How will Ryan's homecoming go? It's a fairly good bet that the Patriots, by the end of the month, will be totally sick and tired of anyone named Ryan.