Thursday, September 2, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
While the ladies of the WNBA were trying to navigate their way through the first rounds of their playoffs, and Tiger Woods was reeling from his breakup settlement and stumbling through the Barclays, the big boys in the NFL had their hands full while trying to select the right signal callers, their backups and trim their rosters before the regular season starts in about two weeks.
As usual, teams were using the last games of the exhibition season to decide how many recruits would be around when it was over. Depth charts carry a lot of weight but the oddsmakers seemed to be interested mainly in the newly-drafted quarterbacks. The two most often mentioned are Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow. The former was getting plenty of work running the offense of the St. Louis Rams while the veteran was nursing a minor injury. The latter was waiting in the wings and hoping to get his hands on the pigskin on Sunday when the Denver Broncos faced the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh was also exhibiting a pair of backups in Dennis Dixon and Byron Leftwich. Dixon is the newcomer. Head coach Mike Tomlin had stated earlier that all of his quarterbacks would get in the game. He made good on his promise. Big Ben Roethlisberger led things off for the first quarter, however, the Broncos picked up the early lead. Denver was 0-2 for the pre-season and the Steelers were 2-0. I believe the Broncos prevailed.
There were some other QBs making the news before the pre-season. Of course, for the last three or four years, Mississippi’s favorite son has always been the topic of conversation. Favre watchers have probably already heard that the almost 40-year-old will be back at the Vikings. The Vikes obviously believe Favre can get them back to the Super Bowl. There have been other aging, or shall we say really experienced quarterbacks, calling signals but not having the success that Brett has had. George Blanda is listed as the oldest player in the annals; he was still active at 48. Warren Moon, Vinny Testaverde and Len Dawson were the others going past the 40 mark.
There is always at least one oddity to start the season and this year it has to do with quarterbacks. The Raiders had hired JaMarcus Russell in the first year of Lane Kiffin (who stated that he didn’t agree with the selection), who was fired four months into the season. But the Raiders brought in Jason Campbell from Washington, who was unhappy being a Redskin. Campbell was replaced by Donovan McNabb. Now Russell is out of a job and in trouble with the law, and Jason Campbell injured.
Don’t ask me who keeps records on this last tidbit because I don’t have clue. Whose jersey is the number one seller to start this season? Does it belong to the champion Drew Brees of the Saints? No, it is the number 15 worn by Tim Tebow of the Broncos.
Wonder if the odds gurus could have seen that coming.
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