Whoa. Looking like a dead Sunday, middle of March, with me still incredulous over the Browns paying
Tease alert: Stay tuned, down a bit in the column, for a good nugget about the first thing
The weekend news leaves us with one big personnel story (except for the fate of
It's interesting how this story of the Eagles quarterbacks has stretched out. We all know it's unlikely Philly opens the season with McNabb, Kolb and
Case in point. Remember last summer, two weeks before Philly landed Vick, when Reid said signing Vick "is not the direction we're looking"? He never said, "We have no interest in Vick.'' So when he says he's happy with his quarterbacks and feels McNabb is his guy, it's a lot different than saying he wouldn't deal him.
A playoff quarterback near his prime can be had for a premium price. The fact that there's a real chance the Eagles could deal McNabb, and that McNabb is a half-year younger than
The prime object of this game in the personnel area is to get a quarterback who can win games and lead your team, and a good, proven one is out there. The Eagles aren't shopping him, but they surely are listening.
I asked a coach with a quarterback need about McNabb, and the coach said because McNabb is on the last year of his contract and would probably need to be re-signed, and the fact that Philadelphia would want a high draft choice for him in a very good draft, and the fact that he doesn't have a lot of years left, all combine to make it a tough trade. Understood. Good factors all. But McNabb is 33.
I have my own problems with McNabb. I don't consider him on the Manning-
So why would I want to pawn him off on another quarterback-needy team when I don't think he's a top-five quarterback? Simple. Because he's a top-10 or top-12 quarterback, and they're too hard to find to let one pass when he's just sitting there for the taking. McNabb would shore up any team's most important position for the next half-decade. Some team's going to take
NFL teams have picked 30 quarterbacks in the first round since 1999. Of those 30, I'd say six (McNabb,
The other 18 include four No. 1 overall picks (
What would you rather have, a four- or five-year shot at a relatively sure thing in McNabb (with a +12 TD/INT ratio in each of his past four seasons), or a guy who makes you go to bed uneasy every night for the next two or three years because you just don't know how he'll pan out?
I've also heard what a great draft this is, and I respect teams determined to build through the draft. Long term, it's clearly the best way to build your team right. The last time I heard so many raves about a draft beforehand was the 2004 crop, with the three good quarterbacks (Rivers, Manning, Roethlisberger) and rock-solid depth at several other positions.
Well, I looked up that draft Sunday, and here were the fifth through 10th picks in this so-called superior draft:
Forgot to mention
Re: Seattle, franchise saviors usually don't last forever.
I think one of the quarterbacks is going. Where, I don't know. When, I don't know. But one last note about the Eagles and quarterbacks: Fordham University, not exactly a football hotbed, had its pro day for NFL coaches and scouts Friday in the Bronx. Fordham has a late-round quarterback prospect,
Catching up on the other developments of the weekend:
Unfortunately for Quinn the Cleveland regime changed, and
Hillis prove more than capable under
Last point: It's likely that
When he arrived in Denver for a visit last week, he weighed 334 (down about a dozen pounds from his playing weight, impressive for an offseason visit), and the Denver coaches who watched video of him in his last two years saw no sign of decline; neither did independent observers like
Though nothing was promised to Tomlinson regarding playing time, he has to know he's more likely to push
I think this is the right choice for Tomlinson, and though his career's in free-fall, this is the best situation for him to have a chance for one or two good sunset seasons.
"God doesn't create perfect men, but he came mighty close when he brought us
"I've got all the love in the world for
Translation: We want someone else to set the market for us by giving Sharper an offer, or else we'll lowball the tar out of him.
"The New England Patriots' void at tight end is as large as any team in the NFL. They don't have a tight end on the roster who has played in a regular-season NFL game, and they don't officially have a tight ends coach. There are holes, and then there are gaping holes. This is one of the latter. That the Patriots are in this position is a result of their own doing, because they had an abysmal 2009 in evaluating tight ends.''
Heck of a job, people. You've now donated $147,000 to the
"We recently started to receive the USO2GO packages,'' wrote a
Think of it: $147,000 pays for the TV, video games, sports equipment and weights for the 135-soldier company of
As an additional way to support the Five For Fighting campaign, the USO has created a virtual wall that we will share directly with Sgt. McGuire. If you'd like, please take a moment and offer a few words to let those men know that they're in our thoughts back here. Click on
Thanks to all of you who responded so far. I've chosen
Not a travel note per se, but an observation about living in Boston that I wouldn't have considered before moving here a year ago. This is the only place I've been where, even with a big golf umbrella, you get wet when you walk for 20 minutes in the kind of Nor'easter we had over the weekend. It rains sideways. So if you position your umbrella to stop the rain from pelting you from the side, some of it's going to hit you from overhead anyway. I've been around the kind of rain in the north of England, but this is the fourth or fifth storm with sideways rain in the year we've been here.
Somehow, I'm not sure even kidding around about that is such a good idea for
1. I think these are my notable contract notes of free agency after 10 days:
a. This is loyalty, with a nod to being sure
b. Ditto: $12 million to sign for
c. No one in the league would have paid
d. If I were
e. Jacksonville paying $3 million total for
f. I have no idea what
h. Interesting sign that the Dolphins don't plan on
i. I like
2. I think I can't wait to hear
3. I think Delhomme is in the top five of NFL good guys I've ever met. I once saw him stopped by students in the Student Center at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., site of the Panthers training camp each summer, and give these kids 15 minutes of his time, asking them as much about them as they asked about him. He's clearly one of the most giving players to fans I've ever met, and he has never tried to hide from the press after some of his inglorious days.
But at 35, there have to be serious questions about whether Delhomme is the NFL's version of
The pressure on Delhomme is going to be tremendous as he tries to prove 2009 was an uncharacteristic living nightmare and doesn't accurately reflect who he is as a player.
4. I think -- finally on Delhomme -- that the Agent of the Month (or Year, or Decade) has to be Jake's man
5. I think
6. I think a coin flip is the fair way to determine whether the Giants or Jets host the first game in the new stadium at the Meadowlands. If the costs were split down the middle between the Giants and Jets, and the Jets want to host the first game, why shouldn't they have every right to do so?
7. I think -- and I know this is a basketball opinion -- but the idea of expanding the NCAA Tournament field from 65 teams to 96 is patently absurd. I can just hear it now: All the coaches want it because it will help other coaches keep jobs. Athletic directors want it because it'd bring in more money. Just what we need -- the 11th team in the Big East making the Big Dance because it has a better RPI than the 10th team in the SEC, or however those things are figured. And the 11th team in the Big East (let's put a name to it -- Cincinnati is the 11th-place team in the Big East) becomes the 19th seed in the West Bracket. So at 12:30 in the afternoon on a Thursday, Cincinnati and Cornell or Arkansas-Little Rock or George Mason or whoever will play a game in Corvallis, Ore., in the first round of the West Bracket.
Where are the great injustices of teams not making it this year? Seton Hall? A Virginia Tech team that needed overtime to beat Delaware and played a competitive game with Brown? Meh. And talk about rendering conference tournaments, already a waste of time, totally meaningless. Can someone with some common sense get hold of the college presidents and tell them 65 teams is already watered down, and there's no great injustices being perpetrated on the American public with the tournament the way it is now?
8. I think the odds are 40 to 45 percent of overtime undergoing serious reform at the NFL meetings starting next Sunday, which is discouraging. But here's what's encouraging: I think
If OT reform fails, a key part will be this: I think the coaches who are strident about keeping the system the way it is -- and I talked to one the other day -- don't want to have another layer of decision-making added to their list. Coaches would have to decide, if they win the coin flip, whether to kick or receive. Under the plan being considered by the Competition Committee, the game continues to a second possession unless the first possession ends with a touchdown (either offensive or defense).
Coaches don't going to want to be second-guessed by fans and media wondering why they either took the ball first and lost when they kicked a field goal and the other team scored a touchdown, or why they deferred and watched the other team take the ball downfield and score a touchdown on the first drive. We'll see how it goes when the vote comes down (probably a week from Tuesday), but I'm not optimistic the reformers can gather 24 votes.
9. I think the most notable thing coming out of the NFL Players Association meetings in Maui is that
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. I have it on good authority that the weather in Boston over the weekend was the same weather that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.
b. Good comeback by "The Office.'' I think the show's at its best in 22-minute episodes, not 44-.
c. Condolences to
d. Best wishes to the top prospect in the Red Sox system, 19-year-old outfielder
e. Coffeenerdness: Quick review on the new Starbucks dark roast, Yukon Blend: Nice smoky full-flavored coffee, not quite with the bite of Italian Roast but a good midday coffee.
f. Five meetings between the Devils and Penguins this year. New Jersey 5, Pittsburgh 0. New Jersey 16 goals, Pittsburgh 3. I mean, just saying ...
g. Cool story in the Boston Herald Sunday about