Snap Judgments (cont.)
Maybe he wasn't going anywhere no matter what, but Packers third-team quarterback Brian Brohm might just have saved his still-nascent NFL career with a pretty good showing against the Titans. Brohm finished a decent 20 of 28 for 154 yards, without an interception or touchdown pass. It's likely enough to keep him safely behind Packers backup Matt Flynn, and maybe even ward off any potential interest Green Bay might have in Vikings reserve quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
One touchdown with his legs, and another touchdown, of the pretty variety, with his arm. That's more like the Vince Young we remember. Yet another quarterback who locked down his spot on the depth chart with a strong finish in his team's preseason finale.
We went in expecting Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson's final shot to settle their quarterback competition in Cleveland and wound up getting Brett Ratliff versus Richard Bartel in the Bears' 26-23 home win against the Browns.
So now I'm really confused, but I suppose it means Browns head coach Eric Mangini didn't want to risk getting either of his co-starters hurt in the meaningless fourth week of the preseason. I still believe the job will be Quinn's on opening day at home against Minnesota.
But Bartel did look pretty good against the Bears, finishing 12 of 14 for 137 yards and no picks.
If his lacerated foot heals in time, it looks like Daunte Culpepper will be the opening-day starter in Detroit, as I've suspected all along. No. 1 overall pick Matthew Stafford didn't exactly forward his candidacy to start right away with his showing at Buffalo.
Stafford was 5 of 9 in the first half for 81 yards in the Lions' 17-6 win, but he was picked off once, fumbled once and sacked twice. Bills rookie defensive end Aaron Maybin sacked him the second time, stripping the ball away in the process for a Buffalo recovery. Later in his limited action, Stafford threw a pick to second-year Bills nickelback Reggie Corner.
The lack of ball security, combined with Detroit's hesitancy to put Stafford behind an offensive line that's still a question mark, spells Culpepper to me if he's healthy.
Maybe it's only because I've been watching HBO's Hard Knocks series with the Bengals this preseason, but it looks like that running back battle between Brian Leonard and DeeDee Dorsey is going right down to the wire. Dorsey piled up a team-best 68 yards on 13 carries in Cincy's surprising 38-7 blowout of the Colts and even recovered a blocked punt for a 7-yard fourth-quarter touchdown return.
But Leonard, the ex-Rutgers star, didn't hurt his chances either. He ran nine times for 64 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown rush.
Remind me to never take career advice from Jeff Jagodzinski. What a clinic the guy has been putting on: How to kill a career in three easy steps. Not all that long ago, Jagodzinski had a pretty good gig as the head coach at Boston College, heading up a winning program in a major conference. But he couldn't resist the chance to interview for the Jets' head-coaching job in January -- even if he was nothing more than a long-shot candidate -- and lost the B.C. job because of it.
Now he gets canned as Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator just before the season starts, reportedly because he didn't really know his stuff when it came to installing an offense and calling plays. Which, by my way of thinking, are two pretty important skills for an NFL offensive coordinator. League sources who have known Jagodzinski in his prior NFL incarnations have told me he's not the easiest guy to work with, but you have to wonder how much self-inflicted damage his reputation has suffered with this latest twist? I'd be surprised if there a decent head coaching or coordinator opportunity coming his way in the foreseeable future.
Speaking of recently fired offensive coordinators, it would seem with or without Chan Gailey, the Chiefs still have some work to do on that side of the ball. In its 17-9 loss at St. Louis on Thursday, Kansas City rolled up 406 yards of offense but only converted that production into three field goals.
New Jets cornerback Lito Sheppard got picked on last week by the Giants, and then he went out Thursday and drew an early 43-yard pass interference penalty against the one team you know he didn't want to look bad against: the Eagles, his old team. I thought New York getting Sheppard was a good move this offseason, but I'm starting to reconsider that.
Despite what has been said publicly by Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, Denver is at least open to listening to any and all potential trade offers for receiver Brandon Marshall. And there's definitely interest on the Jets' part, who aren't scared off by Marshall's contract demands, health problems or obvious maturity issues.
A Jets source told me that when they look at Marshall, they don't see a younger version of Terrell Owens, a player doomed to be a chronic problem. They see someone who is by no means innocent when it comes to all the issues surrounding him, but also a young player who got caught up in the funk that has descended on the Broncos all offseason. New York believes if he gets a fresh start in a new situation, his new team will get his best effort. And the Jets would like to be that new team.
But having parted ways with Jay Cutler for less than a king's ransom, the Broncos aren't about to give Marshall away for just 2010 draft picks, which do nothing to help Denver's cause this year. And rest assured, the Jets aren't trading promising young linebacker David Harris, whom the Broncos reportedly covet. That's why nothing is likely to come of any Marshall trade talks at this point, and the Broncos are hopeful that he returns from his suspension on Sept. 6 with an improved attitude and willingness to keep his mouth closed. If he doesn't, stay tuned. Trade rumors could again swirl.
So the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL decided Pacman Jones was too much of a lightning rod for them, and in response, we get this nugget of a quote from Jones' co-agent, Jason Fletcher: "It's going to take someone that's strong and secure in their position to give Adam the legitimate opportunity that he deserves -- very similar to the second opportunity Michael Vick received with the Eagles.''
Uh, couple problems with that. Jones already got his second chance -- last season in Dallas. He did little with it, and in the process devalued himself as a football commodity. There's no one more strong and secure in their position than Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and if Pacman was still a weapon as a return man and a cornerback, he'd still be in Dallas today. Count on it. The Cowboys didn't cut him because he made trouble. They cut him because he wasn't the player he was in Tennessee. That's the bottom line.
If Jones gets another shot in the NFL, CFL, or UFL, it'll be his third chance, and thus isn't comparable to Vick's signing with the Eagles. And who says Jones "deserves'' a "legitimate opportunity'' at this point? I mean, besides his co-agent?
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