"It is definitely frustrating because I don't know how much time Jim has spent in California. I love the state of California. Obviously, I am pretty biased towards where I grew up in, but it is a little bit na´ve that he makes comments like that. It is frustrating because I feel like there are a ton of great quarterbacks out there that have played in the league for an extended amount of time. He unfortunately said some things that aren't always the best things to say but I guess that is kind of the way that he is."
-- Buffalo quarterback Trent Edwards, on Hall of Fame Bills quarterback Jim Kelly's statement that Buffalo needs a new quarterback, and that that quarterback shouldn't be from California, in an interview with XX Sports Radio in San Diego, via sportsradiointerviews.com.
Edwards is in a three-way race for the starting quarterback job in Buffalo, and he, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm will begin training camp with a real chance to win the job. Sounds like Kelly hopes Edwards finishes third.
"The players will raise their level of play in the cold. Cold makes you concentrate even more.''
-- ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, who says the quality of play in a Super Bowl with freezing temperatures will improve.
I mean, please. I like Bruschi, but does anyone believe you'll see a higher level of play on a typical February night at the Meadowlands -- 28 degrees, say, with 15 mph winds -- than we'd see if it were a 60-degree night with mild winds, or a dome game? Absurd.
"He is the poster image for the adage, 'Be nice to your interns. You may be working for them some day.' ''
-- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, introducing commissioner Roger Goodell before his commencement speech at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Saturday morning. Goodell entered the league office as a lowly intern and worked his way up to the biggest job in the game.
"I slept with a football starting at age 6 -- a practice that my wife broke me of in the last few years.''
-- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in his commencement speech at UMass-Lowell Saturday.
Bob Papa and I will be discussing the Pro Football Hall of Fame (snubs, prospects for the 2011 Class, and anything else that comes to mind) this morning from 8 to 11 on Sirius NFL Radio Channel 124 and I'm sure the vexing wide receiver subject will come up early and often. Six receivers have caught 1,000 balls or more, with only one in the Hall of Fame (Three aren't eligible yet.) In the next five years, five or six more could swell the ranks of 1,000-catch wideouts. So which ones do the 44 selectors put in? As one of the 44, I think the receiver dilemma is the biggest one facing us. The number of candidates is going to be so big that it's going to be difficult to get 80 percent of the voters to agree on any one wideout.
Here's a look at the likely top 15 wideouts in career receptions by the end of the 2015 season (listed in descending order by their current total catches). Of course, the catch projections for active players are highly subjective, but this chart gives you an idea of the logjam of wideout prospects the electors will be considering in the next decade or so.
Of course, one or two of the active receivers, at least, will be hurt and miss some time if the law of averages holds. Some might fall in with a bad passing game. But the fact is, six seasons down the road, the 1,000-catch club won't be nearly as exclusive. And numbers will be ridiculous. Lynn Swann's a Hall of Famer; he caught 336 balls in his career. Larry Fitzgerald's similarly acrobatic, only 27, and already has 187 more catches than Swann. So we'll have quite a few dilemmas on our hands as the years go by.
(Editor's Note: An oversight on this chart is addressed in Peter King's Tuesday mailbag column.)
Lots of you have asked about my schedule (writing and otherwise) while I'm in South Africa covering the World Cup. Here goes: I'll travel there this weekend and will take a few days off to visit Cape Town before the games begin. I'll be in Johannesburg, ready to go, on June 10, and I plan to cover the first game of the tournament, Mexico-South Africa, on June 11 in Johannesburg. South Africa is six hours ahead of New York, so the first match, in the middle of the afternoon there, will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET on that Friday.
I'll be part of team coverage for Sports Illustrated and SI.com at the USA-England game on June 12 at 2 p.m. ET, as well as for the other U.S. games -- against Slovenia on Friday the 18th at 9:30 a.m. ET in Johannesburg, and against Algeria in Pretoria on Wednesday the 23rd, also at 9:30 a.m. ET.
My job over there is going to be a mix of covering the U.S. team and writing mini-MMQB columns after the three games in the first round of the tournament, and then covering some other games and stories of interest. For instance, I hope to be at Brazil-Ivory Coast on June 20 for what should be a colorful game with great players and an African upstart. I'm currently in line to cover nine games, but that could change depending on the stories that develop.
I'll be filing a Monday Morning Quarterback column primarily on football next Monday, and again on June 28, upon my return. On June 14 and 21, we'll feature replacement MMQB columnists, a practice we started last year (Sean Payton and Trent Green, among others), and that will continue while I'm on vacation July 5, 12 and 19. The column will be back for the season beginning July 26, right around the time I leave on my training-camp tour.
My last mailbag column until late July will be tomorrow. But while I'm at the World Cup, please e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Tweet (@WorldCupKing or @SI_PeterKing) your comments or coverage suggestions. Looking forward to a different experience.
Sort of a travel note.
I was on a dog walk Sunday morning on Clarendon Street, on the back side of the Back Bay train station on the Back Bay/South End border of Boston, and a guy in a car with Jersey plates yelled out the window, "Hey, where do I pick up somebody arriving on a train here?'' I told him he had to go around the block, take a right on Dartmouth and pull up in front of the front door of the train station.
The guy said, "Hey, I'm from New York. I'm confused. It's really clean here.''
OK. I see.
"Got to teach my 3rd meditation class tonight! It was GREAT!! I'm glad I've been asked to sub in for this instructor.''
--@dolphinsrb34, Miami running back and new world man Ricky Williams, after an apparently delightful experience last Wednesday night.
I asked last week for your opinion on whether I should Tweet from the World Cup, and you overwhelmingly said yes. But probably 15 or 20 percent urged me to set up an alternate account for it, so those of you who wanted to follow me on Twitter could do so easily, while those of you who don't care about soccer won't have to. So I set up another account:
As of last night, the alternate account had 7,508 followers. Thanks for your support. I hope that number grows, and I'd like to hear from you whether you'd like to have pure soccer Tweets or soccer plus life-on-the-ground coverage, which appeals to me a little more than just the sport itself, since I'm hardly Joe Futbol.
I'll be Tweeting from June 10 through June 26. Many of you have asked if I'll be providing "spoilers'' during games. Well, probably. ESPN will be showing all 64 games of the tournament live. I'll be there for the first 48 of them, and if I have an observation, I'll be Tweeting it in real time.
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