While many NFL players worked their way into shape after the lockout eliminated mandatory exercising, the Patriots’ Tom Brady was content taking a leisurely approach to training camp. The quarterback felt he had little to worry about after the NFL Network forecasted his 2011 outlook as “strong” simply for nurturing his punishing good looks during the offseason.

“I don’t particularly concern myself with fitness, statistics, or winning and losing, for that matter,” Brady said. “It is all so trivial. I don’t throw many interceptions, but when I do I find the nearest camera and take off my helmet. If I am lucky there is a conveniently-placed sideline cooling unit nearby to give me more of a wind-swept look. You got to give the people what they want.”

In a marketplace dominated by superficial reality television and celebrity gossip, the media is moving towards more frivolous assessment of NFL players. Aaron Rodgers and his beard are expected to have a “rugged and lumberjacky” season, while Jay Cutler — despite dropping ten pounds and losing the double-chin — is pegged to have numbers that fall in the “surly” category.

“Cutler’s touch with the football during this preseason has been exceptionally boorish,” said ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer. “His footwork is gruff and his release point is entirely too sullen. Brady, on the other hand, is extremely winsome at escaping the rush and his checkdowns have been nothing short of well-dressed.”

By Jimmy Juliano