Cheers to Belichick affability, boo to lazy Haynesworth


Welcome to the Around The League End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the NFL. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

It was a good week for ...

1. Gio Bernard: Bum rib aside, Gio's star continued to rise on Thursday night. He'll slide neatly into the slot vacated by C.J. Spiller in the first round of fantasy drafts next year.

Thousands shared stories telling us why they love football in a contest to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII. We chose 10 finalists. Now you choose the winners.

2. Dez Bryant: Field-level video footage exonerated the Cowboys star of any sideline malfeasance on Sunday. Idea for rich people: Hire NFL Films to document your life 24/7/365. You will never be framed for anything. At least, not successfully.

3. Jeff Ireland: An overtime win over the Bengals snapped a four-game Dolphins losing streak and nixed any immediate plans to reconvene the Fireland Committee.

It was a bad week for ...

1. Trade deadline hype: When will we learn? Let's just give Rap Sheet the day off next year. The man needs to sleep at some point. We'll handle all Isaac Sopoaga transactions.

2. Bengals' Lombardi hopes: Such a bummer to see Geno Atkins go down Thursday night. The Bengals were shaping up as one of January's great curiosities. Hard to see how they overcome the loss of their best player.

3. Matt Cassel: You know your career has taken a ghastly turn when your coach staff decides you can't compete with Josh Freeman and Christian Ponder for a starting job.

What the What?

In the video above, you'll see Golden Tate make a mistake. Caught up in the moment, the Seahawks wide receiver taunts a Rams defender on his way to the end zone, nearly stepping out of bounds in the process.

Tate apologized minutes after the game ended, but not before a Twitter SWAT team converged on him.

Relax, everybody. The man didn't throw a sack of puppies into the river.

Tom Brady for MVP? Come again?

When the "Around The League Podcast" handed out midseason awards this week, one of our categories was NQMVP. That stands for Not Quite Most Valuable Player, or the player who will finish behind Peyton Manning in MVP voting this season. Get it? That's so us.

One person that didn't crack our ballot was Tom Brady. The Patriots are 6-2, but Brady hasn't looked like Brady. Still, pundits feel the need to prop up the quarterback, ignoring the fact he's cratered statistically and misses routine passes every week.

My point being, it's OK to point out that Brady might not be a top-15 quarterback this year ... so far. And the world won't spin off its axis if you keep his name out of any MVP conversation. You and I both know Tom is going to be just fine.

Tweet of the week

If you're John Fox, aren't you even a little bit tempted to give Taylor Kitsch a one-day tryout? He's already on the field, after all, and running back might be the only position of relative weakness on an otherwise unstoppable offense. And given Kitsch's 1-2 Battleship/John Carter box-office apocalypse, the time is right to steer clear of Hollywood for a bit.

As any Friday Night Lights fan knows, Riggins rushed for approximately 7,355 yards during his senior season at Dillon. The only concern for me is Riggins' prison sentence (for operating an illegal chop shop) and the possibility incarceration sucked the football life out of him, ala Jamal Lewis.

While we're here: "A Football Life: Tim Riggins." Who's not watching?

Quote of the Week

"Let me put it this way: The only people I haven't gotten along with since I've been a coach -- a head coach, an assistant coach -- is someone that's lazy,

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, burying Albert Haynesworth after the former defensive tackle called his old coach "Red Lobster" among other not-so-nice things.

Hero of the Week: Bill Belichick

Let's face it, Bill has to signal "GREEN LIGHT GO" for this type of photo to reach social media platforms. Cheers to The Hooded One for not taking himself too seriously.

Villain of the Week: Albert Haynesworth

Albert Haynesworth stole millions from a well-known American business entity and got away with it. Forget Ocean's 11, that was Haynesworth 1. If people are going to take shots at you for your thievery, consider it the cost of doing (dirty) business. Instead, Haynesworth came back with guns blazing. Please go away.

Read Option(al)

"Midseason Report: Top 5 rankings for each position" -- Chris Wesseling,

The Mailman delivers with a comprehensive look at the best players in the season's first half.

"Game Rewind takeaways: Five midseason trends" -- Marc Sessler,

The Sizzler has been doing crazy tape study all season. It pays off in look backs like this.

"The Quarterback Index: Midseason rankings" -- Gregg Rosenthal,

The Boss thinks Philip Rivers has been better than Drew Brees this season. Talk about it!

Until next time ...

We preview every Week 9 game in the latest "Around the League" Podcast.