Posted: Tuesday March 27, 2007 3:21PM; Updated: Tuesday March 27, 2007 3:21PM
TWO CAN PLAY THIS GAME. From Brenda W. of Brooklyn, N.Y. : "Peter, I would count Brady Quinn out of silver and black, but I wouldn't count him out of being the No. 1 draft pick. Remember where you heard that first.''
Hmmm. Everyone has their sources at this time of year, Brenda. Maybe yours are better than mine.
PROBLEMS PLAYERS SHOULD BE BLACKLISTED. From Dave of Apple Valley, Minn.: "Couldn't the owners do something about these problem players, like agreeing on a list of players no one will take even though the list would be unofficial? Have the team cut them and then agree to have no team pick them up.''
Dave, look up the word "collusion'' in the dictionary. If owners tried to do this, they'd be sued, and they'd lose their shirts. There's no doubt in my mind, however, that even if there were such a list, you'd never get all 32 owners to agree to leave those players alone. You watch. If Tennessee cuts Pacman Jones, he'll be picked up by some team -- after his league-sanctioned suspension is over.
DOWN WITH THEISMANN. UP WITH JAWS. From Devin Comiskey of Norwalk, Conn.: "Peter, I'm sure I'm one of a thousand e-mails you'll get on this, but I can't be more excited that ESPN is finally replacing that arrogant windbag Joe Theismann on Monday nights. I can finally listen to a game and not get aggravated over the commentary! YAHOO!''
Well, you're not alone. I like Joe as a guy. Maybe this slap in the face will get him to concentrate a little more on even-handed color commentary.
OVERTIMING OVERTIME. From Jim MacAdams of Kingston, Ontario: "Here's a strange thought about overtime in the NFL. How about having the field goal kickers end it? Start at the 20 and move back five yards each time they make a kick. First kicker to miss, his team loses. This may also change the thinking in the last few minutes of regulation. If you do not have a good kicker you may play harder for the win.''
Interesting, but I don't like it. I'm not a fan of anything that increases kickers' influence on the game. The field goal is not an exciting play. A kickoff return or long pass play is.
NOT A SCHAUB GUY. From Patrick Marshall of Wahoo, Neb.: "Peter, it seems to me like the Falcons completely bamboozled the rest of the league with Schaub. Here is a guy who was average at best in the two games he did start. Yet every offseason, the Falcons would be telling anyone who would listen that this guy was the next great QB. If he was so great, why couldn't he ever beat out Vick (money aside)? I just can't shake the feeling that Schaub is totally a product of the Atlanta publicity machine.''
My buddy Reggie Roberts, the Atlanta PR man, will be happy to hear his well-oiled PR machine got the Falcons two second-round picks for Schaub. Look, backup quarterbacks are like penny stocks. You strike it rich with some of them and go bankrupt with others. At least with Schaub, the Texans get a guy who played college and pro ball in the same offense that Houston uses. But there's no question it is a risk.
ANOTHER COUNTRY HEARD FROM ON SCHAUB. From Lee Goldman of Dix Hills, N.J.: "Is it possible that a trade is actually bad for BOTH teams? I think that the Falcons were crazy to get rid of Schaub (as you stated, their best insurance policy) for a couple of second-round picks. I think Houston, a team with a dozen holes to fill, was just as crazy to give up draft picks for a QB who will be lining up in the same talent-void offense that Carr did last season. I think that both teams messed up. The quarterback was more valuable to Atlanta, and the picks more valuable to Houston. Lose-lose.''
Wow. That's insightful and interesting. I'd call it risk-risk. But you make an interesting point.
BELICHICK CHIMES IN ON OT. From Dan of West Roxbury, Mass.: "Bill Belichick says the NFL should have a 7.5-minute overtime (half a normal quarter) played to completion regardless of score because that would ensure the use of strategy and give overtime more merit. What do you think?''
I love it. Mike Reiss wrote that on Sunday in the Boston Globe, and I hadn't heard of it I read your letter. And then I saw Mike here in the press room at the owners' meetings, and he explained it to me. I think it's a terrific idea -- as long as each team would have three timeouts in overtime. The reason: I wouldn't want a great running team, for instance, to purposely run the clock down without the opposition ever getting a sniff of the ball. I'm big on both teams having an offensive shot, which you'd pretty much be sure of happening if teams had timeouts. I agree with Belichick -- make it half a quarter and put the strategy into the overtime.
A MEMBER OF THE HERM AND TONY FAN CLUB CHECKS IN. From Doug Neri of New York: "If you remember, and get time, please pass on my appreciation to Herm Edwards and Tony Dungy. In a time when all you hear about is players and coaches dealing with contracts and legal disputes, it's really nice to hear things out of these guys, these stand-up, hard working, successful people with character. These are the guys pushing the NFL forward, like the Rooneys, class acts all the way. I know you know this, and they do, but as a fan of football, these are the things I appreciate most.''
Consider it done. Thanks for writing.
NOW THAT'S A LOW BLOW. From Mark Fagin of Cleveland: "Re Schaub ... (cough) Rob Johnson! (cough) Rob Johnson!''
Comedian in the house, eh?