Thursday, April 29, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
If you have been paying even the slightest bit of attention to commercials on the tube this year, you have undoubtedly seen the commercial which pumps up the importance of education and goes something like this, “There are over 400,000 student athletes in our colleges and universities and over 90 percent of them will be going pro in fields other than sports.”
As true as that statement is, one would be hard pressed to use it to dampen the spirit and expectations of the hundreds of hopefuls who had declared for the NFL Draft which was held in New York April 22-24. Even with the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, vowing stiffer and more equitable punishment for any and all who transgress the rules of the order, collegiate notables lined up for the big day with nervous enthusiasm.
Perhaps the Philadelphia Eagles could be guilty of firing the starting gun just a bit early. In a move that shocked just about everyone who was not privy to the dealings, Philly swiftly sent their super-rated quarterback, Donovan McNabb, to the Washington Redskins.
There were rumblings at the end of last season that the Redskins’ primary signal caller was not exactly ecstatic with his role in the ’Skins scheme of things. However, Jason Campbell’s fate was not known until after the draft was completed. The Mississippi native, who excelled as a quarterback at Taylorsville, was shipped off to the Oakland Raiders. No one really knows how long this deal had been discussed or what implications it will have for the Raiders’ JaMarcus Russell, who was the top choice in the 2007 selections.
And speaking of quarterbacks, this was actually supposed to have been the “year of the quarterback.” Such collegiate standouts as Jevan Snead, Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Jonathan Crompton all had been pointed to as signal callers with high potential, to name a few. Of those, Bradford was the only one who seemed to have solidified his credentials. He was taken with the first round pick by the St. Louis Rams. Only three more were taken in the intermediate rounds with the last nine all being selected in the final round. There were others picked up after the draft on free agency contracts. Snead was one of these, landing a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The world was watching to see what the reigning champs, the New Orleans Saints, would opt for on the market. Strength assessors claim that the “Who Dat” boys had the biggest chinks in their armor on defense. And, their offensive selections, called curious by some and interesting by others, seemed to please only the coach (Sean Payton) and general manager (Mickey Loomis). But it would be hard to argue their tactics since they built a long-standing loser into a Super Bowl winner.
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