In the clear (cont.)
Posted: Friday March 30, 2007 2:23PM; Updated: Friday March 30, 2007 2:23PM
I also found McKay's recounting of the trade negotiations interesting, in that he acknowledged that Schaub likely had more value to the Falcons than to any other NFL team. That's why Atlanta was determined to get a mid-level first-round pick in exchange for him, or as things turned out, a package the Falcons deemed equivalent of that first-rounder: Houston's second-round picks this year and in 2008, while flopping places with the Texans in this year's first round (from 10th to eighth).
The Falcons, McKay said, went by the trade chart that NFL teams use to assign value to draft picks, with the Texans' offer to trade places in this year's first round being the deal-clincher.
"There's no magic to what it was,'' McKay said. "We looked at the points chart and said 'What's a mid-level one (first-rounder), because the guy has value to us right now, playing for us this year as our backup?' And then we looked at those picks (offered by Houston) and said, 'Yeah, that's kind of what it is. That equates to a mid-level one.'
"We were not looking to trade Matt. So we weren't just going for the quote, highest offer. It wasn't going to be a bidding war. It was going to be a one, or nothing. Now, when you start saying two two's, all of a sudden you're in a different category. And then when you get to the idea of flopping picks in the first round this year, that's when it became apparent to me that Houston was going to be a good trading partner.''
Or an easy mark, depending upon your reading of the Schaub trade.
Unlike Vick in Atlanta, Vince Young's threat as a runner led to much more success in Tennessee last season than was expected. And Titans head coach Jeff Fisher said no one really anticipated the rate of Young's development as a play-maker in the rushing game during his rookie season.
"It didn't surprise us, but it happened a lot quicker than we expected,'' Fisher said. "I think this is what happened with Vince. So many people said early on, 'Well, he was such a good runner in college, but he's not going to run in the NFL because these guys are a lot faster. He's not just going to run away from people here.' I think he heard enough of that that he thought maybe it's going to be a little harder than I think, and so consequently in the first two or three games, he was a pocket passer and didn't pull it down and do much.
"And then after he made a few first downs running, he became more confident in it. And then two or three or four games into it, it became a big part of his arsenal. He likes to do it. He converted six first downs against the Colts at home with his legs, and that's back-breaking for a defense.''
Don't look for the Titans to put the clamps on Young's running this season. Fisher said every game plan now has a "Vince package'' in it, with plays that specifically utilize Young's legs.
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