To move up in the draft and get Robertson, the Jets essentially gave up leading receiver Laveranues Coles and their own first-round pick, No. 22. ( Coles accepted a free-agent offer sheet from the Redskins, which the Jets did not match, and New York received a first-round compensatory pick; the Jets then traded their two first-round picks for the Bears' spot at No. 4.) "I'm not saying he's Warren Sapp," says New York general manager Terry Brad-way, "but [ Robertson] has a lot of his qualities: quickness, burst, great hits on the quarterback."
Robertson had but 10� sacks in 32 games at Kentucky. He'll have to produce more than that to be worth the ransom the Jets paid for him.
4 Will Jeff Garcia's back hold up?
The 49ers quarterback was lifting weights on July 14 when he suffered a back injury later diagnosed as a bulging disk. After his first training-camp practice under new coach Dennis Erickson last Saturday, Garcia pronounced his back sound. But how comfortable can San Francisco be, knowing that backup Tim Rattay (no career NFL starts) is one wrenching sack from having to take over for Garcia? "Who knows what the future holds?" Erickson says. "But the doctors say he's fine right now."
The 49ers need Garcia if they expect to hold off the Rams and the Seahawks in the NFC West, and they especially need him to get in his reps at training camp because of the changes Erickson is making in the West Coast offense. "We're going to give Jeff more freedom than he's had at the line of scrimmage to do what he wants," Erickson says, "and we'll probably get the ball downfield more." That should please outspoken wideout Terrell Owens to no end. Of course, keeping Garcia on the field has everything to do with keeping Owens happy.
5 Who will win the Tim Couch-Kelly Holcomb quarterback battle in Cleveland?
Based on what coach Butch Davis has been saying, it'll be Couch—though Holcomb performed better (92.9 quarterback rating to Couch's 76.8) in about one third the playing time last year and passed for 429 yards in an AFC wild-card playoff loss to the Steelers. Surrounded by a poor lineup, Couch, the first pick in the 1999 draft, has not developed as expected. Davis, who was on the Dallas staff when Troy Aikman had a horrible first two years, realizes that a quarterback has to be judged in part by the supporting cast he has to work with.
" Tim Couch didn't do anything to lose this job," Davis said last week. "Of our nine wins, he won eight of them. He had some heroic comebacks." As he begins his third year in Cleveland, Davis knows that the expectations are high. "We've [entered] a three-to five-year window where we'll have a chance to be really good every year," he says.
Davis hopes to name his starter by mid-August. Couch will have to be pretty lousy to lose the job.