Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think the only notable thing Jason Taylor said Sunday was that he plans to play one more year -- this one -- and then retire to be an actor. The reason this is significant is that it will murder his trade value.
You think the Chargers are going to trade their second-round pick (which Bill Parcells will say isn't enough anyway) in 2009 for a guy who's going to play for them for four months? No.
Look, I can tell you this about Taylor, who namby-pambied all around his desire to be traded on Sunday: He wants to be traded. Badly. But when he says he plans to play one year, that makes it far more likely that the Dolphins will stick him in some sort of ugly limbo if he does not report to the team for training camp. Miami will not give Taylor away, and I can't believe anyone will give much more than a low third-round pick for a guy committed to play only one season.
2. I think we've all had just about enough of the Jason Taylor story. Oy. Bring back Spygate.
3. I think if the Chargers dealt for Jason Taylor, he'd be persuaded -- on a good team, with a chance to win the Super Bowl this year and next -- to play two years, not one. Given that scenario, I'd offer the Dolphins a low two for him.
4. I think, in another one of the endless plugs for Sirius Radio today, we had a revealing interview the other day with Hue Jackson, the quarterback coach of the Ravens -- and Michael Vick's last offensive coordinator in Atlanta before the QB went to jail. "In my opinion,'' Jackson said on The Opening Drive program, "Michael Vick was the verge of turning this league upside down.''
Jackson also said he has been corresponding with Vick by letter while he is imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kan. He has sent Vick tips and reminders about what to do in third-down situations and in the red zone, and he says he thinks Vick is going over them in jail. Jackson thinks Vick will play again, and play very well, when he gets out just more than a year from now.
5. I think it would be odd if Roger Goodell made the decision this week whether to reinstate Pacman Jones fully -- with seven weeks before training camp begins for the Cowboys. Makes more sense to me to hold the decision in abeyance until closer to training camp, and maybe allow Jones to use the Cowboy facilities between now and then without full assurance that he'll be allowed back. The problem for the Cowboys comes if Goodell says Jones can return this week, then Mr. Troubled gets in trouble again and Goodell has to suspend him again.
6. I think, speaking of the Cowboys, they're absolutely right to give Anthony Spencer lots of practice reps at Greg Ellis' outside-linebacker spot, at the expense of Ellis -- even though the veteran is coming off his best year. Ellis will be 33 on opening day, Spencer 24. Spencer was picked in the first round last year, and the Cowboys like him. How dumb would it be to NOT see if Spencer can fit in Wade Phillips' defense during the offseason? If a football team takes a player in the first round and doesn't find out if he can play by the end of his second training camp, it's run by irresponsible people. Football has to be unfeeling.
7. I think I've thought all along that Michael Strahan would hang them up, but now that he's taking so long to make the decision final, I'm rethinking that stance. Maybe he's saying, "Hey, I really like my teammates and the defensive coaches I'm playing with right now, and with all the pass-rush depth we have, maybe I can play 25 snaps a game and still sack the quarterback 13 times. So maybe I should delay the move to Fox one more year.'' One Friend of Strahan's here near the home office in Montclair, N.J., told me the same thing Friday night.
8. I think, speaking of Montclair, you missed a splendid event Friday night if you didn't attend the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence annual bash, which featured Montclair High grad David Tyree recreating The Catch Seen 'Round the World.
MFEE didn't recruit Eli Manning for the event, but it did get the second-best quarterback in these parts, Villanova-bound MHS quarterback Marlon Calbi, who picked up a Tyree-autographed NFL ball, stood 25 yards away under a jam-packed tent, and arched a high spiral right into Tyree's hands. He promptly wedged the ball against his head, causing the crowd to go into a frenzy. "It never gets old,'' said Tyree.
He'll never have to buy a dinner in this town again. More importantly, Tyree's a great example of what can happen to a kid who grows up tough, in a broken home, with none of the good fortune that smoothes the way for so many of our kids, but who works at making his life better with a lot of people around him -- from high school to Syracuse to a good woman to Tom Coughlin -- and makes something great of his life. He could have been a statistic, but instead he's a hero.
9. I think Hartford should be proud of one of its native sons, Eric Mangini, for his recent gestures of kindness. First the Jets' coach picked up the tab for 80 people to eat at the retirement dinner for the wife of his surrogate dad in high school. She was a special-education teacher at Bulkeley High in Hartford. And last weekend he held his seventh annual Football Fundamentals Mini-Camp for 700 players in the city, with help from camp coaches like Rex and Rob Ryan, the Baltimore and Oakland defensive coordinators, respectively. "I believe in the city,'' Mangini said. "I believe in the kids in the city.'' Nice gesture for a city that needs a lot of nice gestures.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. If you want to be encouraged about the human race -- as strange as this seems -- go rent a movie you may not have heard of, Lars and the Real Girl. I know, I know. Weird title. Weird movie too. But there's an underlying goodness to it, sort of in the Juno way, that's really appealing.
b. Best thing I ever did for my rotisserie team: Trade Dan Haren three weeks ago for Scott Kazmir and Fausto Carmona.
c. Worst thing I did for my rotisserie team: Trade Ichiro and Carlos Zambrano in April for Mike Lowell and Jimmy Rollins.
d. Good thing I'm not a real GM.
e. You're signing your death warrant, Ozzie Guillen, calling out your general manager like that.
f. What a great hockey game that was Saturday night, with all the emotion and fire of a great sports event and all the spirit in the crowd at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Tough luck for the Pens. But you weren't beating Chris Osgood --who has to be the best goalie on the planet right now --and you're not playing better around the net than Detroit's pesky Henrik Zetterberg. Ask Sidney Crosby who won that game, and he'll tell you it was those two guys.
g. Spring at last. Fun to be out there coaching softball for the 17th consecutive year.