MMQB Mail (cont.)
BRYON KNEW HASLETT WOULD BE A GEM. From Bryon Rickerson, of Sherman Oaks, Calif.: "Why is Jim Haslett's success as interim head coach in St. Louis a surprise? If you go back and look at the horrible year in New Orleans with the hurricane, as head coach of the Saints he had his team playing down to the wire throughout the season. That was a much better team than anyone gave them credit for.''
Well, I suppose. They were 3-13, with seven of the losses by two touchdowns or more. I don't blame Haslett for the 3-13, but I also don't give him credit for going 3-13 and losing some close games either.
IS CHILDRESS NEXT? From Sean, of Chicago City, Minn.: "I'm going to make this short and sweet. Do my Vikings need to fire Brad Childress right now, based on this season's unfulfilled expectations?''
I don't know what good it would do. But if they look as poor in the passing game and on special teams as they did Sunday in Chicago, Childress losing his job is inevitable. There's not a great interim candidate on the staff; I suppose the Wilf family would choose defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier.
ROMO TO THE RESCUE. From Richard Hauser, of Ann Arbor, Mich.: "Will the Dallas Cowboys situation get any better when Tony Romo comes back? Or is it that Wade Phillips needs to be out of Dallas?''
I don't think that's an either/or situation. Romo can move in the pocket, so he won't be the kind of sitting duck Brad Johnson was on Sunday in St. Louis. It's possible the Cowboys need a more threatening head coach. We'll see how they respond to Phillips' firm hand this week, and if they come out and stink it up against Tampa Bay at home Sunday, I think Phillips won't be long for the job.
WE HAVE A CFL FAN CHECKING IN FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA. From Jesse Fraser, of Salmon Arm, British Columbia: "You say Jeff Garcia is like Doug Flutie. Both were successful starters in the Canadian Football League, along with Warren Moon. Do you think more teams should look north to solve their quarterback problems, especially considering that the CFL is a passing league and thus quarterbacks get more action? Furthermore do you think teams have ever thought of sending young quarterbacks to the CFL to grow up?''
You know, Jesse, I really hope some NFL personnel men read your letter. I think it's a good idea -- both the scouting of Canadian quarterbacks and sending promising quarterbacks to Canada to practice their craft. Remember how Flutie got a shot to play in the NFL after his long stretch up north? A.J. Smith, who scouted for Buffalo before moving to San Diego, came back to Buffalo and convinced Marv Levy to give Flutie a shot with the Bills, and the Bills were enough of an open-minded organization to take a minimal risk on the scrambler. I think there might be a quarterback or two up there who could help an NFL team. It's a good thought. Watching Dan Orlovsky over the past couple of weeks, I can't believe there aren't 10 CFL quarterbacks better, quite honestly.
A PATS FAN IS FEELING VENGEFUL. From Kevin Hazzard, of Woburn, Mass.: "Where are the stripped draft picks? Where's Arlen Spector? In a story on SI.com, Packers player Ruvel Martin was quoted while speaking about Brett Favre possibly giving inside information to the Lions as saying: 'In my opinion, there's not too much you can gain. You can give them our hand signals, [but] those are on tape already. If we find out you've got our hand signals, we try to find a way [around it].' If, as the Patriots found out, taping other teams' hand signals is illegal, then why are the Packers signals already on tape? Is this the admission that other teams, including the Packers, were/are doing the same thing? How does Ruvel Martin know that the team's hand signals are on tape? Has he seen this? ''
Kevin, one of the first places where the Patriots were suspected of taping opposing coaches' signals was Lambeau Field in Green Bay in 2006. I took Martin's comments about signals being on tape already to mean him referring to the Pats allegedly taping the Packers' signals. I haven't heard of any other teams having taped opposing signals, not to say it hasn't happened.
GOOD QUESTION ABOUT THE TRADING DEADLINE. From Mike Rauch, of York, Pa.: "Great article as always. It isn't Monday without MMQB. Why does the NFL have the trade deadline so early in the season? MLB teams can fills holes and make playoff runs and add to the end of season drama. It would seem to me the NFL would get more drama and excitement by allowing teams to add players to bubble playoff teams later in the year and allow teams on the downside to plan their offseason earlier by trading players for picks.''
Couldn't agree more. I've said the same thing for years. The NFL doesn't want to move the trading deadline to, say, late November, because then all the teams out of it or close to being out of it might be tempted to dump veteran players for future picks, thus upsetting the balance of power late in a season. But isn't that exactly why the trading deadline should be later in the year -- to help teams at the bottom of the pile by giving them good draft picks heading into the offseason? I don't get it, never have and never will.