-- Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson, upon getting a text Friday evening that Nnamdi Asomugha had signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, not the New York Jets.
We're not likely to see many of these for a while -- Ocho sounds like he's going to be either cloistered up there in Foxboro or shutting up so as not to rub the Hoodie the wrong way, or both -- but I liked these four Chadisms from his interview session Saturday:
On going from Cincinnati to Foxboro: "It's good to be in heaven.''
On leaving his Cincinnati insanity behind: "There's no need to do some of the stuff I did before.''
On his approach with New England: "I've always been a chameleon, so I'm going to blend in and do it the Patriot way.''
On ... well ... on what he said before leaving the gaggle of reporters: "Before we go ... I don't know you guys. Can I get a group hug? Like really quickly? Please? ... Thank you.''
"It is official that I will be an Indianapolis Colts for my entire career. I will not play for another team. My last down of football will be with the Colts.''
-- Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, in the team's Sunday news conference announcing his new contract that, ostensibly, will take him through the 2015 season.
"Somebody wrote, 'The Eagles are all in,' and that's how we look at it. We're doing anything and everything. We're being aggressive about it, and the expectations are high.''
-- Eagles president Joe Banner, after the trading/spending spree that brought Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Vince Young to the team (did I miss anyone?) in four days.
"Hi, Matt. I'm Mike Mularkey, the offensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons. Nice to meet you.''
-- The greeting from Mike Mularkey to Matt Ryan after the two men, who hadn't spoken in over six months, according to Ryan, saw each other the other day at the Falcons' training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga.
"I think to make it the most competitive for our team, Tarvaris needs to be our starter right now. Tarvaris brings so much continuity to us.''
-- Seattle coach Pete Carroll, after naming Tarvaris Jackson the team's starting quarterback on Saturday.
"Continuity.'' Interesting word choice when discussing a quarterback who agreed to a contract five days earlier. Of course, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell coached Jackson in Minnesota through the end of last season, so clearly Jackson has more experience with the Bevell offense than second-year Seattle quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. But it does sound funny to have "Seattle quarterback,'' "Tarvaris Jackson'' and "continuity'' in the same thought bubble.
ESPN will release this week a proposal for a new passer rating, called the Total QBR, or Total Quarterback Rating. It has been developed by several quarterbackmeisters at the network -- most notably Trent Dilfer -- and by some stat heads in the network's production analytics department. The point: Passer rating, developed in 1973 to measure a passer's efficiency, does that, but it doesn't necessarily measure what makes a quarterback great.
So the analysts at ESPN have taken every game played in the NFL since 2008 and measured the quarterback's contribution to the result on every play except handoffs. They say they've divined a system to rate quarterback performance in every game, and for full seasons, on a scale of 1 to 100 (no more 158.3 rating).
"This is a game-changer,'' Dilfer said. "Mark my words: This is the number scouts and coaches and the media will use to quantitatively discuss and judge the ability of quarterbacks going forward.''
If it sticks, of course. You know how the sporting public (and the larger American public) is with new ideas. But judge for yourself. ESPN will explain the proposed Total QBR in a special Friday night show at 8 Eastern with Dilfer and the Monday night crew -- Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden.
Passer rating has probably declined in significance, with some of the smarter analysts all but ignoring it. But it still has juice. The problem, of course, is that in passer rating, so much is ignored. A series of short completions with big yards after the catch mean the same thing as a series of harder-to-complete long passes. The ESPN formula weighs out the yards after the catch, and weighs in things like lost fumbles in the pocket and sacks taken. And timing. A 17-yard completion in a tie game with two minutes left gets a quarterback more credit than the same completion in the middle of the first quarter -- as it should.
"We've included every play that a quarterback has direct control over,'' said Jeff Bennett, the senior director of production analytics at ESPN. "We think a rating system should evaluate all the quarterback's contributions in the context of the game.''
It's be interesting to see if the Total QBR gets traction and usurps passer rating. I think we're ready for a system that scores on a scale of 1 to 100, takes more factors into account than passer rating, and involves the measurement of so-called clutch play. Like OPS (on-base plus slugging) and WAR (wins above replacement value) in baseball, it's time for a more thoughtful number to judge how quarterbacks play. Is this the one? I don't know. But I like rethinking passer rating.
Nnamdi Asomugha got his first NFL interception in his 50th professional game.
So I'm on the road in the Mobile USO, a 40-foot truck/RV the troop-serving agency uses to get to troops who have no USO facility near or on their bases. There are four in our little traveling troupe -- drivers Leigh Edmunds (from Greensboro) and Lou Resendez (from Pueblo, Colo.), SI.com videographer John DePetro (from Staten Island) and me.
I started the camp trip Friday in Flowery Branch, Ga., working on a story that will run in the magazine this week, and the crew joined me Saturday at Falcons camp. I ride in the big rig with the drivers, who alternate driving while I write in a captain's chair on the passenger side; only two guests can ride in the big vehicle at once. And the other two ride in a trailing minivan. The USO provides the Mobile USO; SI is paying all expenses.
On Sunday night at Panther camp, some troops from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina and some North Carolina Marines came to watch practice and take in the fun of the Mobile USO. They watched practice from the sidelines. Owner Jerry Richardson talked to them, as did quite a few players and coach Ron Rivera.
Then Lou climbed into the driver's seat and we started buzzing up I-85 toward Redskins camp in Northern Virginia, 490 miles of bumpy bliss while writing this column. Let's just say I would have written longer overnight if the interstate highway system in this country weren't as much of a roller coaster.
For those who have asked about my schedule ...
(News or other events may force a change or two along the way):
Today -- The Redskins, in Ashburn, Va. One of the mystery teams in the league. Good buddy Dan Graziano is threatening to make it a Nationals evening tonight in D.C. We shall see.
Tuesday -- The Ravens, in Owings Mills, Md. Baltimore will try to get over the Steeler hump in 2011.
Wednesday -- The Jets, in Florham Park, N.J. Very seldom have the Jets been bridesmaids in player-chasing. We'll see how they feel.
Thursday -- The Patriots, in Foxboro, Mass. It's certainly set up nicely for Albert Haynesworth to be a big factor. That is, of course, if he can actually get on the field.
Friday -- The Eagles, in Bethlehem, Pa., in the morning ... Canton in the evening for the Hall of Fame dinner. No question this will be the most interesting day of the trip, for many reasons. Vince Young throwing at Nnamdi in the morning, Deion throwing out one-liners in the evening.
Saturday -- The Steelers, in Latrobe, Pa. Hmmm. Doesn't look like I'll see my old NBC pal, Tiki Barber.
Sunday -- The Bills, in Pittsford, N.Y. Last time I was at Bills camp, T.O. was the big star. Seems like 15 years ago.
Monday, Aug. 8 -- The Lions, in Allen Park, Mich. Looking forward to talking to Jim Schwartz about his music tastes and his heavy-metal-loving tweets.
Tuesday, Aug. 9 -- The Packers, in Green Bay. Night practice in full pads on the Don Hutson fields. Now if that doesn't say football, I don't know what does.
Wednesday, Aug. 10 -- The Bears, in Bourbonnais, Ill. Memo to the drive-thru Starbucks about two miles from the Bears practice fields: We'll be stopping by for a couple of ventis that morning. I'll need a transfusion.
Thursday, Aug. 11 -- The Vikings, in Mankato., where I will get to replace the nifty gray and purple Minnesota State T-shirt I bought a couple of years ago, the one I left in some hotel somewhere.
Friday, Aug. 12 -- Home, mercifully, for 2.5 days of writing before I rejoin the crew for the second half of the trip, Sunday night at the Kansas City International Airport.
This gem happened between Arizona kicker Jay Feely (@jayfeely) and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio (@ProFootballTalk) on Wednesday, shortly after Olindo Mare agreed to a four-year, $12-million contract with Carolina. Florio, a lawyer, streams his site on NBCSports.com.
2:29 p.m., @ProFootballTalk: "It's a four-year, $12 million contract with $4 million signing bonus for Mare. A kicker.''
2:46 p.m., @ProFootballTalk: "Of course, Mare hasn't actually 'signed.' He agreed to terms. Which gives Panthers two days to come to their senses.''
2:52 p.m., @jayfeely: "NBC gave a lawyer w/no football experience a big contract.''
2:58 p.m., @ProFootballTalk: "@jayfeely ... At least we have something in common. Neither of us has actually played in an NFL game.''
3:52 p.m., @jayfeely: "now you sound like Skip Bayless. Come to camp, see if they can find shoulder pads small enough for you & we can find out''
Can't we all just get along?
"Welcome to #Arizona, Kevin Kolb. Our enchiladas are better than those cheesesteaks! Go Cards!''
-- @SenJohnMcCain, the Arizona senator, after Kevin Kolb was officially dealt from Philadelphia to Arizona Thursday.
"In my 7 yr NFL career Olin Kreutz is the toughest football player I have EVER played with #PERIOD''
-- @chrisharrisNFL, Chicago safety Chris Harris, who also tweeted that the inability of the team to sign Kreutz to a new contract, allowing him to go to the open market, "won't sit well in the locker room for a few days.''
Gotta love Twitter.
Penguins squeak past Ducks in shootout
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