Sam and I are taking the kids to Martha's Vineyard for the week tomorrow. This means seven days of Jaws references, cigars and tequila with my dad and one big trip to Costco beforehand. So as I approached the wholesale club yesterday here on Long Island, I was surprised to get an eyeful of the most offensive football logo imaginable. You can see my instant reaction posted to your right. No matter where I am or what I am doing, that's the most natural reflex I possess. It's been over a week since the preseason opener and unless Ryan Mathews really can diagnose himself, we'll probably be without him Monday Night in Oakland. I care less about whether he plays in that game than whether he plays the majority of the games this season. More than anything, I'm concerned that his durability will soon make Malcom Floyd look like Cal Ripken. Even more concerning than Mathews is Jared Gaither. I don't doubt AJ for one second for letting McNeill go. His recently announced retirement confirmed the intelligence of that decision. Actually, McNeill's performance last Halloween in Kansas City did that for me.
Beyond his "Big Lazy" reputation, Gaither has a history of injuries. I'm not suggesting that we will have another Bob Sanders on our hands, but I get a little more nervous each day with Gaither. That independent specialist visit was a little too reminiscent of Shawne Merriman circa 2008. Of course, Merriman never got surgery after the 2007 season. He can't blame the Titans for that. Mike Thomas' rise from undrafted rookie to Philip Rivers' blind side makes for nice copy, but I don't feel great about that arrangement come Septemeber.