Quote of the Week I
"Every team that passed on me will regret it for the rest of the history of their franchise.''
Chicago and Dallas are in the clear. Their first picks came after No. 39. But all you other teams out there, all 29, you're in big, big trouble. Huge trouble. When Eben Britton speaks, we all quake because Britton is the best tackle in the history of football, and when he gets out there on the field, boy, he's going to put Munoz and Ogden and Shell to shame.
Come to think of it, the Jaguars passed on Britton, too. So Jack Del Rio, beware. You've got a guy in your locker room determined to make a fool of you.
Quote of the Week II
"Countless hours in the weight room. Countless hours in the cafeteria.''
Quote of the Week III
"I am ashamed and humiliated ... I realize I cannot be the husband, father, son and citizen I want to be until I overcome my addiction. It is my highest priority, and will be the toughest challenge of my life, but I am going to get the help I need to achieve a complete recovery.''
Tweet of the Week
"Should I be near a phone the next time the Raiders pick? Maybe they'll pick me.''
The writer, Ayaz Hyder of Piscataway, N.J., is the first weekly Twitter award-winner in MMQB. Follow me and you might be next. That's a threat.
The Twitter thing is going well. I have no idea what the value is to my company or to me, but it's fun, and the 6,490 Twitterers as of Sunday night came up with some good questions. Not very painful to respond, either. Sorry for all of you trying to get to me in the 24-hour period from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. Writing. Reporting. Monitoring. Traveling.
Stat of the Week
Maybe Darrius Heyward-Bey is Cliff Branch. Maybe he's Plaxico Burress. But before he ran a 4.28 second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine, he was a second- or third-round receiver on most NFL draft boards. He could turn into a great NFL receiver and be an exception to the rule of guys who fly up the board because of great combine performances. But the likelihood is the Raiders picked him way too high. He's a big, athletically gifted receiver with mediocre hands who can run past corners. That should have translated to a far better college career than he had. In three seasons at Maryland, Heyward-Bey had four 100-yard receiving games. He never had more than five touchdown catches in a season. His annual numbers:
The Raiders clearly reached. They have to hope he's the kind of guy who rises to a challenge rather than shrinks from it.
Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me
Never too early to get started on the 2010 draft. Here are the teams that have acquired extra picks for next year's draft, and where they are in the draft:
1. San Francisco (from Carolina, for choosing DE Everette Brown)
2. Seattle (from Denver, for choosing CB Alphonso Smith)
1. New England (from Jacksonville, for choosing DB Derek Cox)
2. New England (from Tennessee, for choosing TE Jared Cook)
1. Philadelphia (from Seattle, for choosing WR Deon Butler)
Fifth Round (No 2010 fourth-round picks traded)
1. Philadelphia (from New Orleans, for choosing P Thomas Morstead)
2. Detroit (from Denver, for choosing QB Tom Brandstater)
1. Carolina (from Oakland, for choosing TE Brandon Myers)
2. Buffalo (from Philadelphia, in the Jason Peters trade)
3. Philadelphia (from Indianapolis, for choosing P Pat McAfee)
1. Miami (from Kansas City, for choosing TE Jake O'Connell)
Most picks in 2010, as of this morning: New England, 9; Philadelphia, 9.
Fewest picks in 2010, as of this morning: Denver, 5.
Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week
So I stayed at the Kansas City Marriott at Country Club Plaza over the weekend. I was pleased when I made the reservation because of the ridiculously low rate --$129 a night, which I think is the lowest rate I've had at any hotel since the training-camp trip last August. A city Marriott for $129 a night? Unheard of. Great tip for bean-counters in a bad economy, everywhere.
Here's the problem: The hotel was a jobsite. Still is. The lobby Friday featured the thudding and destruction of a major construction project. It was impossible to sit in the lobby without having your senses destroyed. I'd have stayed here anyway because I don't hang around in hotel lobbies, and the rooms were quiet. But my question is: Why doesn't a hotel chain as good as Marriott let potential hotel guests know that they'll be staying in a construction zone? Then you'd totally understand the mess you're heading into.
In the lobby Friday, I commented about the massive mess to one of the bellmen, but he couldn't hear me because of the construction noise.
One other note from the road:
Changing planes at DFW on Sunday, I used the men's room near one of the American gates. I walked into one of the toilet stalls with the automatic flushers.
WHOOOOOSH. I closed the door to the stall and sat down.
Three more times I heard the same WHOOOOOSH as I sat there and minded my own business.
Of course, no flush when I get up and leave the stall. Gotta love technology.
Dr. Z/Nothing Is Impossible Event Update
In the midst of trying to figure out how to restock the team of the decade, Bill Belichick took time out to mail a very nice note and donation to the Dr. Z benefit, which is now three short weeks away. He wrote: "My best wishes for a successful fund-raising effort in support of Paul Zimmerman, one of the great keepers of the football flame. Sincerely, Bill Belichick.''
We have the auction site up and running. It's www.DrZ.cmarket.com.
And we have one grand auction item up on the site we really are proud of. Private donors are making one of the great Super Bowl trips you could imagine possible for next season. Imagine flying with a friend, sib or spouse to Miami for the game, playing a round of golf (if you'd like) at a terrific course like Doral in South Florida, going to a Super Bowl party (sounds like that'll be my job Saturday night), and then going to the game on Sunday and flying home Monday. Please, please, please tell your friends to log on and try to bid for this. I can guarantee a good time will certainly be had.
To recap, SI pro football writing legend Paul Zimmerman suffered three strokes in late November and is currently unable to read, write or speak coherently. We're trying to jump-start his therapy and road back to writing one day, hopefully, by raising money to allow him to undergo some aggressive therapy in Michigan and New Jersey. Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Jets coach Rex Ryan will star at our fund-raising event, a Pro Football 2009 preview dinner/roundtable/auction May 18 (open bar 6:15 p.m., dinner 7 p.m.) at Mayfair Farms in West Orange, N.J. (Hey: Maybe Ryan will bring his handsome new son ... er, quarterback. Name of Sanchez. Just kidding.)
Tickets are $225 apiece, or $1,500 for a table of eight, and are available by sending a check, payable to Dr. Z/Nothing is Impossible Foundation'' to:
Dr. Z/Nothing is Impossible Foundation
All tickets are tax-deductible. Donations may be sent to that address as well. For further information, please e-mail me in the box that comes with this column, or Barbara Neibart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's just a short time until the event. Please get involved, either by coming to Mayfair Farms that evening, or by bidding on an auction item or two. Thanks.
NFL Truth & Rumors