Otis Amey made a name for himself last week even before becoming the first San Francisco 49ers player in 12 years to score the first time he touched the ball.
After being known as Fred Amey all through training camp, the undrafted free agent out of Sacramento State let the team know late last week he prefers to be called by his middle name, Otis.
If Amey keeps playing the way he did in his NFL debut, the 49ers will be happy to call him whatever he wants.
Amey's 75-yard punt return for a touchdown sparked a 21-point second quarter and helped San Francisco start the season on a winning note, 28-25 over the St. Louis Rams.
Amey was named after his grandfather, Fred Otis Holmes, and went by Otis most of his life until a substitute teacher at Sacramento State called roll one day, asking for Fred Amey. His teammates latched onto the new name and it stuck until late last week, when he informed the team of his preference.
With another Fred -- Beasley -- already in the locker room and no one named Otis on the team, Amey said it also feels good to know that when someone calls his name it means they're looking for him.
"I figured it would be a good change," Amey said. "There's no Otis in the facility. Now, if they say 'Fred,' I don't have to turn. If they say 'Otis,' I know it's me."
Come game day, Bengals right tackle Willie Anderson is very cool.
"You see him before the game and after the game, and he's got more bags of ice on him than anybody," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "He's got electricity stimulants hooked up to him. He's got three or four trainers working on him at one time."
That's what it takes to keep the Pro Bowl tackle on the field these days.
Anderson, 30, played much of last season with torn knee cartilage. He had surgery after the season, and was limited in what he could do during training camp. Nonetheless, he played the entire opener, a 27-13 win at Cleveland.
"Physically, I'm doing good," Anderson said. "It's going to be a while before I get that game-type conditioning and get my second wind in the game."
With Anderson holding his own, the line helped the Bengals run for 148 yards and throw for 272 against the Browns. No one was surprised Anderson made it through the whole game even though he's less than full strength.
"He's a guy we rely on," said Palmer, who was sacked twice. "I don't need to ask him how he's doing and how he's feeling -- I know. And I know he's going to play. I don't really worry a lot about Willie. He's beat up before and after the game and during the week, but he always is ready to play."
Veteran Jeff Robinson lost his job as the Dallas Cowboys' deep snapper because of "Snapper Man" -- and, no, that's not the nickname of his replacement, Jon Condo.
"Snapper Man" is a chart Cowboys scouts came up with that was used to track every deep snap made all summer, practices and games.
The diagram is akin to a pistol-range target, only drawn in the shape of a punter. They record accuracy simply by marking where the ball went. Velocity is tracked by how many hundredths of a second it took for the ball to reach the punter. There's even room for a comment, such as "perfect spiral" or "slight wobble."
So when Parcells said Robinson was only slightly better than Condo this summer -- and not enough to justify the extra $1 million he would've cost -- the team had the numbers to verify it.
"It's not just an opinion," Parcells said. "We visually have the performance."
The Cowboys also had league-wide scouting reports saying that Condo, an undrafted rookie out of Maryland, "would not have lasted on waivers two seconds."
"They've got this guy going through the roof as a prospect," Parcells said. "So it's time to roll the dice for two reasons, economics and for the future."
Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Corey Simon participated in only 30 plays last week against Baltimore, but the difference the former Pro Bowler has made to the Colts may not be measured solely in statistics.
He's already added a small flat-screen television to the locker room, is quickly making friends and has created an attitude adjustment among the defensive players.
"We were excited to see the guys from the top take it to another level and get a guy that can really help us," safety Bob Sanders said.
Some players said they could already sense a difference in Baltimore's blocking schemes Sunday night, while others suggested having Simon in the lineup will give the team more opportunities to make big plays.
They couldn't ask for much more.
"Clearly, he made a difference and I think the Ravens thought he did, too," linebacker David Thornton said. "He's a difference-maker for us. He's a big body in the middle who allows linebackers to scrape a little more freely."
Who's the QB?
Byron Leftwich lined up at receiver several times against Seattle when the Jaguars used Matt Jones at quarterback in an opening-week victory.
The shift provided Leftwich and Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant a few good laughs, but it also made Leftwich consider the possibility of catching passes.
"All they have to do in situations like that is throw it to me, and I'll find a way to catch it," Leftwich said with a laugh. "I'd probably get tackled, but I'd like my chances of anything if they could get it to me."