MMQB Mailbag (cont.)
I LOVE THE NEW FORMAT, BUT I AGREE WITH YOU, TIM. From Tim Manges, of Windber, Pa.: "Peter, what's the buzz you're hearing about the new draft format implemented this year? As a fan, I think the shorter time limits made for a much more enjoyable viewing experience. But, I really would've loved to see the third round Saturday. Sunday started too early and went too long. I keep hearing about the first round being primetime on Friday night, which is an excellent idea. Any word on possible changes for next year's draft?''
Everything's in play, I'm told, from the chance of moving the first round to Friday night to having the first three rounds on Saturday. My gut feeling: Because the first two rounds were much shorter than the league anticipated and the networks had to end up filling time at the end of the second round, I think the NFL will have three rounds on Saturday, then the last four Sunday. I think that's better. I think 63 picks is too few, and 96 to 100 (depending on the number of compensatory picks at the bottom of the third round) is just right for the first day.
WWNED? From Drew Leimkuhler, of Acton, Mass.: "How did the Patriots losing their first-round pick change this draft? Doubt they would've kept both, but would they have tried to move up to get Chris Long?''
I'm not sure they would have done anything different at the top, Drew. They loved Chris Long. If Long had been there at five, they would have tried to trade with Kansas City for him. But the Chiefs loved him too, so they might have known what New England wanted and refused to make the deal -- plus, Kansas City knew the Jets were prime Chris Long candidates too.
WE HAVE A PETRINO FAN HERE. From Scott Balliette, of Hot Springs, Ark.: "Arthur Blank fired Dan Reeves with three games to go in a season that Michael Vick had broken his leg in the preseason. The firing came after Vick's return, which happened to be a 20-14 win over the division-leading Panthers. Was Mr. Blank labeled a scoundrel after firing him with three games left? Bobby Petrino agreed to coach a Mike Vick-quarterbacked team, so if a man decides a job is not for him instead of a owner deciding the job was not for him, he's a scoundrel? He had to leave with three games left to get the Arkansas job. The Falcons had quit on him, led by now-traded DeAngelo Hall, way before Coach Petrino quit on the Falcons.''
Interesting points. Every coach knows he can be fired when he takes a coaching job, and every coach is well-compensated for that risk. Lots of coaches get fired during seasons. It's part of the business. Bobby Petrino took a coaching job in pro football, with a not very good team, a growing team, and got sucker-punched by the Mike Vick thing.
It's understandable that this would impact his feelings about his job. But there is absolutely no excuse -- whether it meant he'd get the Arkansas job or not -- for abandoning a franchise that made him one of the highest-paid coaches in NFL history. I could care less where it leaves him. It was an irresponsible, cowardly act, made even worse by the fact that Petrino has not had the guts to pick up the phone and apologize to Blank for doing it.
GOOD POINT, JOSEPH. From Joseph Costabile Jr., of Middletown, N.J.: "Quick thought: For Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, it seems that opening day is turning into a pressure cooker for him. With the Packers drafting Brian Brohm from Louisville and the prospect of having Brett Favre's No. 4 retired in Week 1, it just seems like the pressure will be on for Rogers to perform on Day 1, minute 1. Being a Giant fan it really doesn't concern me, but it does become a very interesting situation out in Packer Land.''
And he's opening with Jared Allen, the Williams boys, Chad Greenway and E.J. Henderson trying to plant him into the Lambeau turf. Have a nice night, Mister Rodgers.
I CAN'T GET YOU THAT JOB, BUT IT'S A GOOD THOUGHT. From Arfeo, of Dallas: "I was wondering if you could put in a good word for me as the new offensive coordinator for the Titans. Judging from the draft, they plan on instituting the wishbone-triple option offense, primarily out of the double-tight formation. I have a lot of experience with that from high school. I'm curious, though, how well you think the triple option will succeed at the pro game? I'm also curious if anyone had a bigger drop off in receivers from their college team to their pro team than Vince Young.''
Aaah, the sarcastic email or the week. I don't understand it either, Arfeo. I'm not sure I could understand even if Jeff Fisher and Mike Heimerdinger took an hour to explain drafting running backs in the top 50 three times in the last three drafts.
MATT WANTS A REALITY SHOW, WITH A LITTLE UGLINESS. From Matt Offerman, of Los Angeles: "Why in the world did the NFL invite only six picks to the draft? Does the NFL really think we feel bad for the Brady Quinns, who fall in the draft? That's life. That's drama. Not only do I want to see that, but I want to see my team's first pick walk up on the stage and put on my team's hat. That's 75 percent of the draft for me. Just because my team wasn't horrible enough for an early pick, I don't get to see my newest player shake Roger Goodell's hand? Not fair. Not acceptable.''
But how would you account for every team's first-round pick? Who would EVER have thought to invite Duane Brown or Chris Johnson or even Sam Baker? They weren't even in their own families' mock first rounds. To be safe, you'd have to invite 75 players and their families. It'd be a zoo.