Quote of the Week I
"Ed came over to me and said he blew it. And that to me is not acceptable.''
You saw the play: Cutler rolled right, and while raising his hand to throw a pass, had the ball fly out of his hand. Hochuli blew his whistle, which he should not have done. The Chargers recovered, but that became moot when it was determined that Hochuli had blown his whistle. On a mistakenly blown whistle following a forward pass (or interpretation of a forward pass), the official cannot overturn the call via instant replay or any other rules change. So the ball could not be transferred to San Diego.
"I'm sure we will revisit it at the end of the season,'' Jeff Fisher, co-chair of the Competition Committee, told me Sunday night. "But I do not see us changing the rule.''
Whereas rules now call for action to continue on a play when a rusher or receiver fumbles and has an inadvertent whistle blow, the rules for a quarterback and a pass play are different ... in part because the Competition Committee does not want to see quarterbacks flying around in piles, risking injury diving for loose balls.
Quote of the Week II
"I spoke with Mr. Fisher. I asked him what was going on and he proceeded to tell me about getting a call from Vince Young's therapist and she was worried about him. I asked him, 'What made her worry about him?' He stated, 'His mood, his emotions, he is injured, he wants to quit, and he mentioned suicide several times.' He went on to state that [Young] left his house with a gun.''
"Mr. Fisher'' is Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher. Officer Swisher went on to report that when Young came to the stadium, the Metro Police SWAT team searched him for weapons. "He was allowed to talk to his therapist and then he was released,'' reported the officer.
Interesting situation for a guy who's going through some troubling times and a team that has banked its future on him.
Quote of the Week III
"I feel like an athlete. First time in my life. Tommy Brady's got nothing on me.''
Quote of the Week IV
"I'm sick about Tom Brady.''
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Re those quarterbacks you saw in East Rutherford Sunday afternoon:
Favre, through two weeks, has earned $1.41 million in base salary.
The three New England quarterbacks on the active roster -- Cassel, Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell -- are scheduled to earn a combined $1.16 million in base salary this year. For the full season.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
Not mine. Michael Phelps'.
Phelps hosted Saturday Night Live' on NBC, went to after-parties until 7 or 8 in the morning, slept a couple of hours, flew to Cleveland early in the afternoon, and watched the Pittsburgh-Cleveland Sunday-nighter from a private box. There are more travel stories in his future: He'll be driving from Cleveland home to Baltimore early this week. So if you see a tall guy with lots of bling around his neck stopping for coffee somewhere on the Pennsylvania Turnpike or I-70, you'll know it's really Phelps.
Stat of the Week
In the first round of the 2005 draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected their quarterback of the future, Alex Smith, with the first overall pick. The night of the draft, when the Niners chose Smith over Aaron Rodgers, I will never forget the words new San Francisco coach Mike Nolan spoke to me: "Nobody ever made us an offer for the pick. But if someone had thrown a lot at us, I'd have made a trade. I know we could have won with Aaron. I liked him.''
(By the way, let's get one thing straight about that pick. Nolan's offensive coordinator, Mike McCarthy -- yes, that Mike McCarthy -- and GM Scot McCloughan both supported the pick of Smith over Rodgers.)
No one in 2005 loved Alex Smith enough to deal for him -- partly because teams don't want to dole out top of the first-round money anyway -- and the Niners lukewarm scouting feelings have been borne out over time. Last week, when the 49ers put Smith on injured-reserve with a broken bone in his shoulder, it sealed his fate in San Francisco. McCloughan said if Smith didn't head into 2009 as the starter, he wouldn't be back with the team at his bloated $9.6-million salary -- and now you can be sure he won't enter the offseason with the starting job. So it's a weird sort of goodbye. And the amazing thing is he'll be all of 24 when the 49ers release him.
This is what the 49ers got for their four-year, $24.83-million investment in Smith:
Starting record: 11-19.
Completion percentage: 54.4.
Comeback wins from more than seven points down: 1.