Posted: Tuesday February 27, 2007 1:01PM; Updated: Tuesday February 27, 2007 1:13PM
WHERE'S THE NFL IN ALL THIS? From Shivan of New York: "I'm really disappointed in the NFL for not addressing this Pacman Jones thing at all. One guy is paralyzed, and we can't even get a statement from the league!''
Good point, but the league's history is to let the legal process play out, then comment. I guarantee you'll hear plenty from Roger Goodell if a case is made against Jones.
I AM A FUDDY-DUDDY. From Patrick Corrigan of Denver: "Peter, you may be getting a little long in the tooth. The Departed was far and away the best movie last year. Yes, the violence and gore was shocking and dramatic, but that is a Martin Scorsese staple. You make it seem as if he's been making children's movies all these years. The plane crash in The Aviator, the gang wars in Gangs of New York, guys being beaten in Casino, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver. Scorsese is known for brutality. Strange that these are his best films too. Don't blame The Departed because the cameras deliver a better picture than they did 15 years ago.''
To me, Scorsese is a brilliant man who, in The Departed, continues to play a game called, "Can you top how gruesome this murder is?'' And Patrick, did you consider it a tad over the top that probably eight of the top dozen men in the Massachusetts State Police were murdered, and it seemed like business as usual? Where was the federal cavalry riding in and cleaning out the dirt in the place? To me, it was a well-acted, ridiculously unrealistic movie pandering to people who like to see Jack Nicholson spit his last breath through a mini-volcano of his own blood.
MORE FROM SHIVAN OF N.Y.: "I am wondering why you were so disgusted by The Departed winning Picture of the Year. I would like to remind you that Silence of the Lambs had a cannibal, Gladiator was based around sport killing, and Braveheart actually had a beheading (which were your "what's next" example).
Shows my lack of movie knowledge, I guess. Shivan, I must be part of a nearly silent minority in America that thinks movies can win Academy Awards without 48 gruesome murders in them.
TIM WANTS THE RAIDERS TO GO WITH ANOTHER RECEIVER. From Tim in San Ramon, Calif.: "If Calvin Johnson is such a sure fire prospect, why don't the Raiders draft him, sign Jeff Garcia, and trade Randy Moss for help in all their offensive 'black' holes?''
Not a bad idea, except Jeff Garcia is not a deep-ball thrower, and he also might have just two years left. It's a lot easier to pass on a great receiver than to pass on a guy who looks like he's going to be a very good NFL quarterback.
DWAYNE JARRETT HAS HIS DEFENDERS. From Kyle Smith of St. Louis: "Is there some reason you insulted Dwayne Jarrett twice in your column? First the crack about speaking English, then the crack about the coaching staff. It was strange and seemed highly out of place, not only in the column, but also for a journalist of your caliber. Disappointing.''
Didn't mean to insult him. I think too often we let the words these kids say wash over us and don't think about their meaning. To me, it was hilarious to hear him say the only coaching staff he's ever been around was the best coaching staff he's ever been around.
ADALIUS THOMAS WILL BE A BIG STAR. From Jim Rosenberger of Montclair, N.J.: "You have been a huge fan of Baltimore LB Adalius Thomas since at least early in the regular season. A year ago, despite a breakout 2005 season, Pro Football Weekly did not even consider him worthy of rating, calling him "a jack of all trades, but a master of none." You are not the only one who sees him poised for a big payday. How convinced are you that 29-year-old Thomas has emerged as a legitimate impact player who will be worth a big signing bonus, and does he have the skills to perform at a high level on another team with lesser defensive talent around him?''
It's always a test for a good player to go to a mediocre team and try to make it significantly better. The reason I think he'll be a good player away from Baltimore is he's a guy who loves football, takes coaching well, plays three or four positions with equal talent and will be an infectious locker room asset wherever he goes.
TAKE A CHANCE ON QUINN. From Mike of North Miami Beach: "So many speculative draft boards have Brady Quinn falling to the Dolphins at No. 9. Put yourself in the shoes of Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron. If Quinn falls to ninth, do you see the Dolphins passing up on him, and how in the world did one game (Sugar Bowl) eradicate an entire college career and cause this guy to slip like he is the second coming of Ryan Leaf?''
Both good questions. I can't see the Dolphins passing on him. They were favorably impressed with Quinn after meeting him at the combine. I think you have to take a leap of faith on quarterbacks. Is the guy coachable, which Quinn definitely is. Did he show good ability on the major-college level, which Quinn did. Is he accurate enough, which I question now, but I think Quinn could reach maybe 62 percent after a couple of years in the NFL. If a team can answer positively to those things, the player's worth the risk. The difference between Quinn and Leaf is simple: Quinn will dedicate every fiber of his being to being a very good player. Leaf quit too easily.