By: Bob George/
September 30, 2009

Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski skip OTA
No Brady or Gronk, but plenty of storylines at Patriots OTAs
Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski not at the start of the team's OTA's today
NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill

Cockroft kicked for the Cleveland Browns for 13 seasons, but missed two different eras of prosperity by the lake by a sliver. He came on board in 1968, four years after the Browns won their last NFL title in 1964. He retired in 1980, just prior to the Bernie Kosar era and all those near-misses in the AFC Championship Game. In between, he is second behind Lou Groza in career field goals made and attempted in Browns history, and is also the franchise leader in punting, with the most punts and punting yardage in team history. He was not the only placekicker who doubled as a punter, but he was one of the best. He steps into one, straight-on, and it carries all the way to the 11-yard line.

People perhaps don't remember when Jim Zorn was one of the most popular quarterbacks in the league when he came on board as an original Seattle Seahawk in 1976.

Now he becomes The Coach Who Finally Lost To Detroit.

And soon perhaps unemployed.

But Cincinnati may be the happiest team of the day. Every divisional game is a blood bath in the AFC North, but it seems that Cincinnati has more blood bath games than anyone else in the league.

Is St. Louis now the place where renowned coordinators go to die as head coaches?

If Brett Favre has half a brain, he'll soon realize that winning in the NFC North and winning in the AFC East are not the same thing. One is quite a bit easier than the other.

Laurence Maroney may be looking at this as his last season in Foxborough. He ought to thank his lucky stars that Fred Taylor is like this with AARP.

Geek of the week: While Greg Lewis is catching walkoff game-winning touchdowns, Joey Galloway botched not one but two touchdowns for the Patriots. Too bad the Patriots can't get players like Lewis.

You expect Kansas City and Cleveland to be 0-6. But Miami and Tennessee 0-6 also?

Meanwhile, Josh McDaniels has a better career win percentage than his mentor.

There's no truth to the rumour that Adam Vinatieri called his shot when he kicked the ball off that camera in the uprights for the second extra point in Arizona.

You folks out there older than Yours Truly, answer me this: Did the New York Titans ever play as good as the Jets did on Sunday dressed up as Titans?

Would their opponent have done any better if they dressed like Titans and not like Oilers?

Someone needs to figure out this Mark Sanchez guy before things get really strange in the AFC East.

Maybe Bill Belichick will. When he finally figured out Ben Roethlisberger in '04, it was at just the right time: the AFC Championship Game.

Looks like things are reverting back to normal in Oakland.

Back to school: That was some stick Tim Tebow got on Saturday against Kentucky. Just when we thought that more guys would play through their senior year, Sam Bradford gets hurt, and now this. Penny for Colt McCoy's thoughts.

The new catch phrase in Indianapolis: Marvin who?

Speaking of the Colts, any chance of them trotting out Mike Hart one of these days and let us see what the former Wolverine can do? He's buried on the Colt practice squad, and one has to wonder why.

Now that Baltimore has someone who can actually throw the ball, yikes.

Maurice Jones-Drew did it all by himself without the old man at his side this week.

At some point, never mind how well Kurt Warner is doing, Matt Leinart has to get some shot at starting quarterback out in Arizona. That's your man of the future, not the pride of Hy-Vee grocery stores.

Detroit better not get too cozy over their win on Sunday, or they will be a 1-15 team in '09.

How long will Vince Wilfork be out? Long enough for the Patriots to justify not having to pay him big bucks next year, management secretly hopes. Hey, we won without you, big fella! That sort of thing.

Call it the dark underbelly of the Patriot Way.

Honk if you believed what you saw at the end of the Minnesota-San Francisco game.

Remember him: Howard Cosell loved this guy, and we're not sure why. Joe (or was it spelled "Jo"?) Jones was a defensive lineman for the Browns in the days when they had guys like Jerry Sherk and Walter Johnson, so he played in some big shadows. But Cosell helped him through such anonymity with these grandiose calls of his few plays in a game. When the Patriots played the Browns on a Monday night in 1977, all Patriot fans can remember (other than losing in OT) is Cosell pontificating over this guy: "What a play! What a great play by Joe -- Jones! That was Joe -- Jones on the tackle!" Jones lasted only ten years in the league, mostly with Cleveland. He missed all of 1972, played briefly for Philadelphia in 1975, and spent his final two seasons in Washington. He retired in 1980, unknown to most everyone outside of those folks who overanalyzed Cosell all the years he was on Monday Night Football. Hey, if Howard liked you, you could do worse.

What a far cry the Carolina Panthers are from when they were NFC champs a few years back.

You sometimes wondered if John Fox would blow a gasket on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Tony Dorsett was right. Don't anoint Tony Romo as one of the all-time greats until he actually does something to earn that distinction.

Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini may be former and current coaches for the Cleveland Browns, but Bill Belichick is going up against his real former team this weekend.

The Baltimore Ravens, a/k/a The Real Cleveland Browns. These are the guys the dogs bark for.