Snap Judgments (cont.)
Posted: Friday February 23, 2007 7:42PM; Updated: Saturday February 24, 2007 10:35AM
When a reporter asked if it's possible some guys can play taller than 6-foot, which happens to be the height of Pro Bowl Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Smith kind of missed the lifeline thrown his way.
"You make it seem like being 6-feet is a disease or something,'' cracked Smith. "I don't think you can play taller than what you are.''
Smith's height is pertinent, of course. Shorter quarterbacks generally have a more difficult time finding throwing lanes, and get too used to having to make plays outside of the pocket. Smith will throw on Sunday, but he won't run here, because he said he just got off "the banquet trail'' and hasn't had time to train the way he wants to train.
Most scouts I talk to peg Smith to go from the second half of the second round to the middle of the third. Smith is on record saying he'd love to play for Cleveland. Asked if he'd rather be a Brown or a first-round pick, he opted for a career in a sport where height isn't so much of an issue.
"If I could control anything, I'd probably play golf,'' Smith quipped. "Golf is where it's at right now.''
Whisenhunt has an interesting take on the Brady Quinn stock-dropping angle that has been building in recent weeks: It's the letdown factor at work, and it's more of a reflection on Notre Dame underachieving last season than Quinn.
"I don't think it's his game,'' Whisenhunt said. "You know how they say quarterbacks always get too much credit and too much of the blame? I think maybe he's suffering from Notre Dame not doing as well as everybody thought Notre Dame would do. People were talking about them winning the national championship in the preseason.
"Maybe he didn't play his best in big games, but you know what? He's still a good player. He's played in a lot of big games, and he was in a system that had a pro-style offense; so his transition to this league will not be as hard as some other guys.''
Lovie Smith says his glass is "half full'' and he remains confident that he and the Bears will be able to get something done on a new contract that runs beyond 2007. But of this I'm pretty sure: Smith, who doesn't like to air things in the media, wasn't caught off-guard earlier this week when his agent, Frank Bauer, made news by saying talks with Chicago were at an impasse and noting that Smith could leave town as a free agent after 2007.
What's going on? Probably a little of the good cop, bad cop routine, with Smith taking the high road in regards to the negotiations and Bauer being allowed to ramp up the rhetoric level and try to force Bears team president Ted Phillips to come up with his best offer before losing any more ground in the Court of Public Opinion.
I agree with Smith that this is a saga that may take some time. But in the end, the two sides will likely meet somewhere close to the $4.5 million per season range and get a deal done.
The things you learn in these Combine player interviews. Did you know Cal running back Marshawn Lynch has a "Mama's Boy'' tattoo that stretches from shoulder blade to shoulder blade?
"That's what I am. I'm a Mama's Boy at heart,'' Lynch said. "I ain't afraid to show it.''
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