FOR SEPT. 1, 2014

It's time for everyone to accept the fact that there will be a few years of futility while the Yankees rebuild (SCORECARD), and there is nothing wrong with that. New York's once-successful method of signing aging, big-name players to surround core guys like Derek Jeter worked well in the past, but that is no longer a good business model given the young talent in the game.

Mike Pukala, Danvers, Mass.

How could you not include Cam Newton as one of the great gunslingers in the NFC? He is the first player in NFL history to have 10,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards over his first three seasons. And let's not forget that he was the first rookie to throw for 4,000 yards.

Kevin Dale Johnson, Mooresville, N.C.

While I thought Michael Rosenberg's article on Colin Kaepernick was both original and insightful, it did include one error. The Seahawks' Richard Sherman did not pick off Kaepernick on the potential game-winning drive in the 2013 NFC championship game. Sherman tipped the ball, but it was intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith.

Richard Shi, Poway, Calif.

I really enjoyed your article about former Bears safety Gary Fencik (SCORECARD). For this lifelong Chicago fan, it was a pleasure reading not only about a tough guy like Fencik, who could hit as hard as anyone, but also about how he used his wits to prepare for life after the game.

Jimmy Mix

East Brunswick, N.J.

COVER

Thank you for the great article on Russell Wilson. Even with all of his NFL success, we still love and remember him as Russell Wilson (above, left) the baseball player here in Asheville, N.C., where he played for the Tourists, the Rockies' Class A South Atlantic League team, in 2011. He made such an impression that he was honored with a bobblehead day last summer.

Kathye Shuman

Waynesville, N.C.

PAGE 54

FEELING THE HEAT

I can't believe Doug Farrar thinks Panthers coach Ron Rivera is more on the hot seat than the Cowboys' Jason Garrett. Rivera is the 2013 AP Coach of the Year, and his team went 12--4 last season.

Eric Thompson

Charlotte

I know the spotlight will shine bright on the Browns this season, but do you really think coach Mike Pettine is on the hottest of hot seats—even before he coaches his first regular-season game?

John Luchansky

Fairless Hills, Pa.

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATION BY DARROW PHOTOROD MAR FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (WILSON) PHOTOROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (KAEPERNICK) PHOTOMRQ/ICON SPORTSWIRE (RIVERA) PHOTOMARK DUNCAN/AP (PETTINE) PHOTOMEGAN BEARDER FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (FENCIK) PHOTOSIMON BRUTY/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (NEWTON)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)