MMQB (page 4)
Quote of the Week I
"If there's a GM who tells the truth during the month of April, he's making a mistake. I've always called it liar's month. All GMs should be forgiven in April. Please, do not judge any GM in April. Lying is simply a part of our business in April.''
--San Diego GM A.J. Smith, in an interview with Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Quote of the Week II
"Right now all I can say on Jeremy Shockey is that he is our starting tight end. That is really my stance on it ... Anything can happen in personnel ... We are looking forward for him to be back on the field for us this fall.''
--Giants GM Jerry Reese, hardly putting to rest the reports (and they are more than rumors, if you want the truth) that you can have Shockey if you come at Reese with a good offer. Reese also said last week, "everybody is tradeable,'' when asked if the Giants could afford the cap hit dealing Shockey would bring.
Pack your bags, Jeremy.
Oh, they're already packed?
Quote of the Week III
"My mind was telling me, 'Yes.' My body was like, 'No. What are you doing?' I came up with the idea two or three days ago, but [the thought of retirement] has been lingering since December.''
--Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair, who ended a distinguished career Thursday by announcing his retirement.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
The Cleveland Browns brought in a handful of nearby college kids for a predraft workout nine days ago, looking to unearth a prospect or two. That included a 5-10 quarterback from Baldwin Wallace: Mickey Mental.
Of course, if Baldwin Wallace drove 35 minutes down I-77 to scrimmage Akron, Mickey Mental could be throwing against an Akron cornerback with designs on being a late-round NFL choice: Reggie Corner. And the Browns need only take a trip to Chicago to scout St. Xavier place-kicking sensation Shane Longest.
Stat of the Week
On the subject of Steve McNair's Hall of Fame credentials, or lack thereof:
Among quarterbacks who played the majority of their careers in the last 25 years, seven are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Troy Aikman, John Elway, Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Warren Moon, Joe Montana, Steve Young) and three are sure-fire choices (Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady). That's 10 quarterbacks entering the Hall who played the majority of their careers in one generation. Historically, that's a lot of players from one era in one position to reside in Canton (though we could argue that the time since the great quarterback class of 1983 is one era of football).
Then, if we make the line of demarcation 25,000 passing yards, we consider the next wave of players -- McNair, Drew Bledsoe, Mark Brunell, Randall Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Rich Gannon, Trent Green, Brad Johnson, Donovan McNabb and Phil Simms. Let's just compare the things Hall of Fame voters will consider most strongly.
Winning: McNair was a playoff quarterback in five of his 13 seasons -- good but not great. He won one AFC Championship and no Super Bowls and won two playoff games in his last eight seasons. He quarterbacked Tennessee to two division titles and Baltimore to one.
Postseason: A 5-5 record with just six touchdown passes in those 10 games, and 11 interceptions. Esiason was 0-2 in Super Bowls, Simms 1-0, Johnson 1-0, Gannon 0-1, McNabb 0-1.
The Numbers: McNair completed 60.1 percent of his passes and never had a 65-percent passing season. Never had a 3,500-yard passing season; Green has had five. McNair threw 174 touchdown passes -- the same as Kerry Collins.
Efficiency: His touchdown-to-interception differential, plus-55, lags behind McNabb (plus-92), Cunningham (plus-73), Esiason (plus-63) and Brunell (plus-76).
The most damning anti-Hall point, possibly, is how he compares to Brunell, a nice, winning player who probably will get a sidelong glance and nothing more from the voters five years after his career ends. Check out their remarkably similar stat lines:
McNair was a fine player who lifted the Titans to lofty regular-season heights for a five-year period. He had guts and his teammates loved him and played well around him. I will reserve final judgment for the ballot, if I'm still a voter when he becomes eligible. But on first look, McNair belongs in the Hall of Very Good.