MMQB Mail (cont.)
SORRY, DAVE. From Dave K., of Albuquerque: "Peter, please, please, please tell me you are hearing rumors of coaching changes in Chicago. How long do we Bears fans have to watch the defense play 60 minutes of what looks like soft, prevent defense! At least if they get burned when pressing and blitzing they are being aggressive! Can't take it anymore! Can't do it!''
I hear nothing about coaching change there, and I don't think there will be one. Sorry.
CRIS COLLINSWORTH FOR COACH OF THE BENGALS! From Greg Demme, of Minot, N.D.: "I have always liked Cris Collinsworth as an announcer (never as a player, but that was simply because, as a Bills fan, I rooted against the Bengals in the late '80s). As you mentioned, he consistently brings sharp insight to the game, on the fly. Do you think he'd ever consider coaching, or is he happier doing what he's already doing?''
Cris has four children, is very happily married and is handsomely compensated. I can assure you he doesn't want to ruin that by going to a job making parallel money and a job that would ruin his personal and home life. I think.
HOW ABOUT THIS? AN ACTUAL X-AND-O FOOTBALL QUESTION. From D.J. Gunning, of Vancouver: "There are a lot of things to love about the game of football and my favourite just might be a perfectly executed screen pass. Is there a nicer play in any sport than a perfectly designed, called and executed screen pass?''
I love the way you spell "favourite.'' D.J. I agree -- and I also think some of the defenses for screen passes is fantastic. The way, for instance, Monte Kiffin of the Bucs designs his linebackers and safeties to rush in quickly to break up the blocking walls set up for screens is smart and effective. If you watch Derrick Brooks or Sabby Piscitelli not get sucked in too much by play-action or the quarterback's eyes downfield, then break up the blocking shield for the back like a bowling ball on the head pin, that's pretty cool too.
THAT'S NOT EXACTLY WHAT I SAID. From Colin, of San Diego: "You say that it would be detrimental for Vince Young to sit on the bench behind Kerry Collins in Tennessee. I disagree. I think we learned this season that Young is not emotionally ready for the pressure of being the starting quarterback, and a year or two of carrying a clipboard might be just what he needs to develop into an NFL starter. He can learn with no pressure and, hopefully, emerge on the other side of that year or two a better quarterback.''
This is what I wrote yesterday: "Young's growing pains are a terrible match for the Titans now, and if they can't convince him to be patient and learn under Collins and offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger, they're going to have to let him walk. This game's about winning, not about playing the quarterback the owner wanted you to draft.''
If you're asking me what would be the best thing for Vince Young the quarterback for the next 12 years, that's simple: He should attach himself to the hip of Collins and Heimerdinger and soak in as much knowledge about the game and the position for the next two years, then resume his march toward being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. I fear, however, that his pride (and the denial of those around him that he has much to learn) will make him push to play -- somewhere, anywhere -- in 2009. That will be a mistake, but we've seen young players make mistakes before. The next question is whether there's a team out there right now that wants Young to start at quarterback on opening day 2009 and would pay Tennessee something for that. I don't believe there is.
GOOD QUESTION ABOUT OVERTIME. From Brandon, of Milford, Iowa: "Do you think the NFL should adopt the same overtime rules as they have in college? Alternating possessions and then, after the third OT, they have to go for two. Can you imagine if the Jets and Pats would have traded scores a couple of times Thursday night and the excitement it could generate?''
How's the weather out in Iowa today, Brandon? Bet it's chilly. I've never been in favor of the college overtime rule for pro football, but I have been a constant advocate of the rule that each team should have one possession, minimum, in overtime. It's ridiculous that a coin flip should have so much bearing on the outcome of a pro football game, and I don't want to hear that the team that won the toss and received the ball to start overtime has won only 54 percent of the overtime games on that first possession in the history of the system. I wouldn't care if it were 50 percent, or 42 percent. Every game takes on an individual quality, and the fact that you HAND the ball to a team to start a period without the other team being assured it will have an equal chance to score has always been patently unfair.
The proposal I favor has been shot down by the Competition Committee on several occasions. The winner of the overtime coin flip would get a possession, and the other team would get a possession, and if one team does not have more points than the other at the end of the two possessions, then the team that scores next wins. I've heard lots of arguments against it, but most notably that a defense can win a game in overtime by stopping the coin-flip winner on the first possession ... and that it would needlessly add time to games already destined to be three-and-a-half hours long. Fairness overrides each one of those arguments.
ANOTHER VOTE FOR THE COLLEGE SYSTEM. From Todd Gordon, of Topeka, Kans.: "Wouldn't rules like the current ones for the college games allow for more excitement and entertainment?''
I just don't get this one. Aren't most of the scores in college overtimes field goals? What's so exciting about that?