Why is coaching is so much easier from the press box? These five personnel-related moves seem so obvious to me, but they're still not happening.
1. Jets need to bench Chad Pennington - This one's easy. Coach Eric Mangini won't blame his quarterback even though opposing defenses don't have to cover the whole field against the notoriously soft-armed veteran. And when the Jets fall behind, Pennington starts pressing and throwing bad interceptions. The Eagles were missing two Pro Bowl defensive backs and still held Pennington to 11-of-21 passing for 128 yards and a costly pick.
Even if Pennington was playing well, the Jets are 1-5 and 2007 is done. Pennington has nothing to do with the future of this team, so there's no reason to wait to bring in second-year veteran Kellen Clemens. And Clemens very well could make this team better right now.
Pennington is still capable of being one of the more accurate QBs in the NFL -- he's completing over 68 percent of his passes this year -- and would be a better fit for a team that needs conservative play from its QB, like Chicago. Speaking of the Bears ...
2. More Adrian Peterson in Chicago - Everyone mistakenly focuses on the QB play in Chicago. Starting running back Cedric Benson is averaging 3.1 yards per carry and, more importantly, he's a questionable receiver out of the backfield. With a QB like Brian Griese, the Bears need a consistent check-down option at running back. They may not have Michael Turner sitting on the bench, but Chicago has to try something else. How can backups Adrian Peterson (not the Vikings rookie ... the other one) or Garrett Wolfe do any worse?
3. More Adrian Peterson in Minnesota - I understand why the Vikings start Chester Taylor and give him more carries than the star rookie. I just don't like it. If a chunk of Taylor's 22 carries had gone to Peterson, Minnesota might not have needed a last-second field goal to beat Chicago. (Yes, I realize Peterson did have 224 yards ... he could have had more). If they're so worried about Peterson, why is he on special teams, where everyone is flying around and players get hurt all the time?
4. Stick with Vinny in Carolina - Vinny Testaverde outplayed fellow Carolina backup David Carr without a full week of practice. Not that practice matters when there's only one play: throw to Steve Smith. If the Panthers are going to make the playoffs, the key will be mistake-free play from the QB so the defense can go out and win the game, like it did Sunday against Arizona. Testaverde fits that formula better than Carr.
5. Minimize Devery Henderson's role in New Orleans - Coach Sean Payton has to wonder if Henderson's absence from most of last night's game was a big part of the Saints' offensive renaissance. Henderson's league-leading seven drops entering this week was the most telling statistic of the Saints' 0-4 start. David Patten and Lance Moore showed a lot in the win over Seattle and even though they don't have Henderson's big-play ability, they won't make the kind of mistakes that deflate the entire offense.