Jets legend Joe Namath apparently puts the blame for his old club's loss to the Raiders Sunday on coach Rex Ryan. Appearing on ESPN Radio Monday, Namath questioned Ryan's method of preparing his players. "It's rather alarming," Namath said. "It starts at the top. Coach Rex Ryan, he's been doing a great job, getting us to two conference championship games, but there's one thing about the athlete: You keep telling him how good he is, he's going to start believing it to the point that he may not be preparing quite the way he should.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick injured his hand in Sunday's 29-16 loss to the Giants, and he isn't happy with the officials for failing to protect him. Said Vick: "I felt I got hit late. No flag. At some point something catastrophic is going to happen. Not to blame the refs, but more precautions should be taken. I'm on the ground all the time in the pocket."

Bryan Stow, the Giants fan who was beaten outside of Dodger Stadium at Opening Day, has shown dramatic improvement this week. Stow's family posted an update on its website and indicated he spoke his name asked to see his children. "We are blown away with all of this," the family said. "Literally one day we got some facial responses and the next, he's talking. His voice is gravelly and you have to close to hear him, but he is talking." The 42-year-old paramedic remains in serious condition at San Francisco General Hospital.

Giants defensive lineman Deon Grant was at the center of the this week's controversy involving players faking injuries to slow down no-huddle offenses. On Wednesday, despite video that shows him walking and then suddenly flopping to the ground (along with a teammate, who got up after he saw Grant down) in Monday's game vs. the Rams, Grant attempted to claim he had injured his right knee, even going so far as to show the swelled knee to reporters as evidence. The only problem? During the play in question, Grant appeared to get treatment on his left knee.

Former Red Sox star Manny Ramirez, who retired in April after reportedly testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, apparently wants to return to baseball. Winston Llenas, president of the Cibao Eagles in the Dominican Republic, told The Associated Press Tuesday that Ramirez has expressed a desire to play for his former team in his home country. Llenas said the 39-year-old wants to "play before the Dominican fans and to perhaps motivate other major league stars to also play in the country."

Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson, who lines up opposite standout Calvin Johnson, is comparing his team's passing game to the undefeated Patriots of 2007, who featured Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Explained Burleson to the NFL Network (via profootballtalk.com): "This year I'm going to try to be the black Wes Welker. I'm going to get as many catches in the slot or on the outside opposite Calvin because he's going to attract a lot of attention all year."

Following Sunday's announcement that Syracuse and Pittsburgh will be leaving the Big East for the ACC, there are rumors that UConn wants to follow, with Rutgers speculated to be going as well. UConn president Susan Herbst preached patience but added: "It is my responsibility as president that we stay in constant communication and be actively involved in discussions with our counterparts from around the country to ensure the successful long-term future of our university's athletic program."

Brian McNamee, the personal trainer who is the key to the Roger Clemens steroid case, was named general manager of an indoor baseball complex in New York, as he attempts to return to coaching the sport he loves. "This is what I haven't been able to do for 3-4 years, and I'm glad to be back at it," McNamee told the New York Daily News.

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Friday's Morning Mashup.

Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz, who was the target of catcalls from Jets players at a practice last season, stopped by New York's practice Wednesday, accompanied by the team's public relations director as she stood along the sideline for the 30-minute portion of the workout out to the media. "Today's visit was business as usual," PR man Bruce Speight said. "She is welcome anytime." Sainz previously had downplayed the 2010 incident after the firestorm it created, insisting, "For me, nothing happened. … I never wanted to cause any problems."

Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden revealed Tuesday that he was diagnosed with prostrate cancer (and successfully treated) in 2007, but he kept it secret because he was afraid opposing coaches would use it against him in recruiting. "People used to get on me that 'He's too old; he's 77 -- ought not even be coaching,' " Bowden said. "Now you add cancer to that and I didn't have a chance." The 81-year-old Bowden now says it's "my moral duty to bring it out in the open."