The bar has been set high, but Harrison is on pace to at least challenge many of the receiving records that Jerry Rice has established. Of his success Harrison says, "The numbers are crazy. Every time I think I've had a great season, an even greater one comes along." His friends aren't surprised. "These records mean everything to him," Murray says. "This didn't just happen. Though Marvin would never say this, he planned to be the best."
Carson Palmer's Prospects
Heisman Winner Will Need Time
Entering his senior year at USC, quarterback Carson Palmer had thrown 39 touchdown passes and 39 interceptions—all while playing in systems that changed from year to year. Given the opportunity to play in the same offense for a second straight season, Palmer flourished this year, completing 63% of his attempts while throwing 32 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions. That's why the NFL scouting community has one piece of advice for the team that selects the Heisman Trophy winner high in the first round of the April draft: Be patient.
"I don't think you want to hand the ball to Carson on Day One, the way Houston did with David Carr [this year]," says Mike Hagen, the Falcons' national college scout. "There's going to be a learning curve with him. But the thing I really like about him now, other than his football skills, is his ability to persevere. After what he's been through at USC, he's not going to be intimidated by tough times early in his career."
Here's the book on the 6'5", 225-pound Palmer, who turns 23 later this month: good feet for a big man, average deep arm, good accuracy, makes all the intermediate and short throws, may throw better on the move than in the pocket, can take a pounding, plays well in the clutch. Hell need all those attributes, and more, if the 1-13 Bengals, who in the past decade have wasted first-round draft picks on highly touted passers David Klingler (1992) and Akili Smith (1999), choose him with their first pick, at No. 1 or No. 2.
Jets' Chrebet Drops the Ball
Heaven knows what wideout Wayne Chrebet was thinking when he tried to leap over a tackier near the Chicago 15 with his Jets down 20-13 and 1:10 left in the game. Chrebet dropped the ball as he braced for a headfirst fall, and the Bears recovered. "It's certainly going to stick with me for a long time, if not forever," Chrebet said, after the 7-7 Jets suffered a severe setback in their bid to make the playoffs....
If the Packers want to keep wideout Terry Glenn happy, they'd be wise not to cut back his playing time in the last two games, even if it costs them a middle-round draft pick. One of the terms of the March trade that brought Glenn from New England is that Green Bay will have to give the Patriots a 2003 fourth-round pick if Glenn catches at least 55 passes or has 770 receiving yards this season. He's eight receptions and 56 yards short....
Browns president Carmen Policy lit into his coaching staff and players after Cleveland fell to 2-5 at home by blowing a 16-0 halftime lead and losing to Indianapolis. "This team should make the playoffs," Policy said. "We've broken our fans' hearts so often, and we turn around and break them again."
...After his team won at Tampa in October 2001, Steelers safety Lee Flowers called the Bucs "paper champions." The teams meet again on Monday night, and Flowers isn't backing down. "I've never seen so many Pro Bowl players on a team that's never won a championship," Flowers said last week.