Posted: Tuesday August 14, 2007 1:13PM; Updated: Tuesday August 14, 2007 3:27PM
BARKING UP THE WRONG QUARTERBACK TREE. From Brenda W. of Brooklyn: "Do you think the QB situation with the Browns might end up similar to the one with Drew Brees when the Chargers drafted Philip Rivers? Is Charlie Frye capable of winning and keeping the job?''
Not a chance. Brees was a two-time Heisman finalist who played a tougher college schedule at Purdue than did Frye at Akron. Brees, after the Rivers pick, had a Pro-Bowl season and led the Chargers to the playoffs, earning the undying respect of his teammates. He completed 31 of 42 throws in a gallant playoff loss to the Jets, and proved, when healthy, he's a top-tier NFL quarterback. Frye has shown nothing to this point that would indicate he's anything other than a career backup, and being pressured by the arrival of Brady Quinn won't change that.
PRESEASON PRICES SMELL. From Bryan Peterman of Philadelphia: "Full-price for preseason tickets is as greedy as it gets. When you talk to an owner and look him in the eyes, does he have dollar signs instead of pupils?''
It's a good point. I'll take a closer look at the owners I see over the next couple of weeks.
IT'S A CLASSIC HOLDOUT, JEFF. From Jeff Johnsen of Arroyo Grande, Calif.: "What gives with New England's Asante Samuel? I just don't get this guy's logic. It is understandable that the ugly franchise tag ruffles feathers in the NFL, but the one-year tender offer to Samuel is more than he made in his entire career so far. And the excuse that the franchise tag puts top prospects in a bad position because if they get injured it will ruin their prospects is bunk. That is a risk every player faces every time he steps onto the field, regardless of where he is in his contract or career. Should he continue his holdout, will he be in danger of tarnishing his rep with possible new teams and possibly forfeit the millions in compensation that he is looking for.''
Every time a player is made a franchise guy, he's bitter, and it takes him a while to come to grips with the fact that he's not going to get a $15-million signing bonus. Look at Lance Briggs. I think Samuel will be in camp and play the season. It's not that he needs much training camp to learn how to play corner.
THE BILL WALSH AWARD GETS SOME SUPPORT. From John W. of Red Bank, N.J.: "Idea for the Bill Walsh Excellence in Quarterbacking Award: It should go to the QB who has at least 10 starts and has the highest QB rating during the regular season.''
Good concept -- except I don't think it should be a stats award only. I think leadership and winning should play into it.
THE PRESEASON BORES HIM TO TEARS. From Mac of Northport, Ala.: "Is it just me, or are people even less interested in preseason now than they used to be? It seems like the all-year-round NFL news cycle has distracted from the news that they're playing actual, if utterly non-important, games.''
I think it's just you. My e-mail box and talk-show requests are at an all-time high. People care about what's going on in the NFL in August as much as ever, or even more so.
ONE MORE WALSH IDEA. From Mike Davis of Tulsa, Okla.: "I have to disagree with your recommendation on the Walsh Award. I think the quarterbacks in the NFL already get better than their fair share of the attention. They get the money, the glory and most of the fame. Why not make the Bill Walsh award for the coach in the league that best exemplifies the ideals and professionalism that Walsh had? We don't need still another QB award.''
Great idea. Really is. I might like that more than the QB award. Let me ask you this: Why can't both of them be done? The quarterback honors to the best players/winner/leader, and the coach award for the best job done/most imagination shown?
NOT A LOT OF FOLKS OUT THERE LIKE MY SUPER BOWL PICK, AND MAYBE THEY SHOULDN'T. From Ken Griffin of Durham, N.C.: You stated in your column [on Monday]: 'I think I'm re-thinking my June Indy-New Orleans Super Bowl pick.' Good, because the Cowboys and Patriots sound better than your original pick.''
Can't argue with you there, even though, for now, I'm hanging tough.
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