Snap Judgments (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday May 16, 2007 11:49AM; Updated: Thursday May 17, 2007 5:42PM
OK, so Brett Favre is frustrated that Green Bay didn't pull the trigger on a trade for Randy Moss when it had the chance. It's understandable given the Packers' dearth of offensive play-makers. But No. 4's not-too-subtle attempts at playing personnel man in Green Bay have grown tiresome. Until they name him the Packers' general manager, Favre is a player. Not "just'' a player, given his deity status in Green Bay, but a player nonetheless, meaning he doesn't get to call the shots in the front office.
Why can't I shake the feeling that Favre's time in Green Bay already has lasted a bit too long?
That ought to just about do it. Now can we all stop treating another report of a failed drug test by Ricky Williams as news? It's getting to be sun-rises-in-the-east type stuff. Even the ever-well-spoken Leigh Steinberg must find it hard to sell his client's comeback intentions at this point.
Williams issued a statement the other day that said in part: "I am an honest, God-fearing man who is intensely dedicated to being the best person I can be on and off the football field. There is no need to smear my name or to defame my character for the sake of news.''
Somebody help me with this one. Didn't Ricky do whatever damage has been done to his name and character? I lost interest in this story a while back.
Speaking of Ricky Williams, the top eight of the 1999 NFL Draft now seems destined to remembered as the mother of all 50-50 crapshoots. Picks Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8 that year were Cleveland's Tim Couch, Cincinnati's Akili Smith, New Orleans' Williams and Arizona's David Boston. Williams was by far the best of that bunch, and that tells you something right there.
Picks Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7 fared a bit better: Philly's Donovan McNabb, Indy's Edgerrin James, St. Louis's Torry Holt and Washington's Champ Bailey might all warrant Hall of Fame consideration.
If you were drawing up a short list of head coaches who inherited great situations in their first year on the job, guys like George Seifert, Barry Switzer, Don McCafferty, and maybe even Jon Gruden would deserve inclusion. All four of those coaches won Super Bowls in their first couple of seasons with teams that were perennial playoff contenders at the time.
But has a coach ever improved his situation more in a shorter span than Norv Turner's AFC West upgrade? Turner led Oakland to a 4-12 mark in 2005 before being tossed the keys to the 14-2 Chargers earlier this year, putting a whole new spin on the old worst-to-first story. And he didn't even have to leave the state of California to do it (Turner was the 49ers offensive coordinator last year).
I couldn't help but notice this exchange between a reporter and Patriots coach Bill Belichick during the course of the team's weekend rookie mini-camp:
Reporter: Is Randy Moss going to participate in the offseason conditioning program here at all?
Belichick: "We'll talk about the offseason program when we get to that.''
In case you're wondering, the Patriots' offseason conditioning program opened March 19.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the New York Times this week that he doesn't necessarily focus on the fact that his team hasn't won a playoff game in 10 years, the longest such streak in franchise history. Jones said that's because the bigger picture issue is that Dallas hasn't won a Super Bowl since the Cowboys beat the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.
"The last playoff game we won was Super Bowl XXX, so that's what I think about, and that kind of reflects my philosophy,'' Jones said.
That sure sounds good, but check your records again, Jerry. The last playoff game Dallas won occurred the following season, when the Cowboys mauled Minnesota 40-15 at home in the NFC's first round. But it sure makes for a pithy quote to drop the reference to winning Super Bowl XXX in there.
It would seem to me that the Bears' just-sprung-from-jail defensive tackle Tank Johnson is in for a little more down time -- say, four to eight games -- courtesy of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whom Johnson is scheduled to meet with in a disciplinary hearing Wednesday in New York. Goodell hit Pacman Jones with a year's suspension and handed out eight games to Chris Henry, and if the commissioner makes it just a four-gamer for Johnson, he could inadvertently serve to weaken his own hand in the Jones' appeal process.
Then again, Goodell could argue that Johnson's 60-day incarceration in the Cook County jail represented a steep punishment itself and sideline him for just the first month of the 2007 season. After all, last we checked, Jones and Henry haven't done any jail time.
And apropos of nothing, did you read where Johnson was visited nearly 100 times during his 60-day jail stay by members of the Bears organization, friends and family? That's nearly two visits a day. And Johnson was in what is called the jail's "protective custody unit,'' where he was allowed to have a private cell and prevented from contact with other inmates. Sounds like there's hard time, and then there's what Tank did.