The Tuesday Mailbag

Freeman's replacement, Mike Glennon, is now the third starting quarterback in the NFL right now to have attended college at N.C. State. (Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)
Freeman’s replacement, Mike Glennon, is the third starting quarterback in the NFL right now to have attended college at N.C. State. (Scott Iskowitz/Getty Images)

QUARTERBACK U.? By chance the other day I was thinking about the starting quarterbacks in the NFL and noticed that only two of them (Christian Ponder and EJ Manuel) went to the same college (Florida State).  I find it remarkable that there isn’t one big name university that churns out top quarterbacks.  Has it always been like this or is this something new?  And why do you think this is?

 —Joe, Utica, N.Y.

Well, Russell Wilson and Phillip Rivers and Mike Glennon all went to N.C. State, and all are current NFL starters. But, I don’t view Raleigh as the cradle of quarterbacks or anything like that. I just think it’s coincidental. There are, what? Something like 120 major colleges playing football? I don’t think it’s unusual to have 32 starters coming from, say, 28 or 30 different schools. And I think that will continue next year with the 2014 draft. You might see quarterbacks from schools that aren’t known for developing NFL talent at that position—Louisville, Texas A&M, LSU—as high draft choices.

ON SCOUTING AND DRAFTING. The fact the Saints and Patriots have so many undrafted players on their rosters could just as easily be interpreted to mean they have poor scouting and talent evaluating personnel.  If they were so great at evaluating talent, then they would have rosters full of their own draft picks that would be starting.  Seems to me they whiffed quite a bit on the draft, requiring them to bring in other players.

—Jeffrey

That might be true. The Patriots, in particular, are awful at scouting and drafting cornerbacks as that continues to be an area of weakness. However, if the Patriots have 14 rookies on the 53-man roster, as they do, does that necessarily mean that the players that they drafted in the past are bad? Or does it mean that guys like Joe Vellano—the defensive tackle getting his opportunity because Vince Wilfork went down—are taking advantage of opportunities because the Patriots have developed their players well?

I believe a lot of teams in New England’s position—watching a player the caliber of Wilfork go down—would go to the waiver wire and get whatever big-bodied defensive tackle they could find on the street. The Patriots and Saints are two teams that don’t do that. They aren’t afraid of playing a very green player already on their roster and giving that guy a chance to prove himself.

THIS GUY WANTS ROMO OUT. I hope the Cowboys take a good look at the rookie QB crop in May and start grooming Tony Romo’s replacement.  He is good enough to get you to the brink of an important win—and then lose it in the clutch.

—Randall Allen

The question is simple: do you want to start over with a quarterback who might not have that flaw and work for a year or two to see if he’s good enough to be your long-term quarterback? Or do you want to live with Romo? I am not defending the glitch in Romo’s game; he’s made many mistakes at inopportune times. I simply am making the point that a guy who puts up 48 points and 506 yards on a 5-0 team, a team acknowledged by any rational football observer to be the best team in football, is probably worth keeping.

ADVICE FOR YOUNG WRITERS. Thank you for reading my daughter’s interview in the New York Times and mentioning it on MMQB.  Do you have any advice you would give to a young, aspiring journalist?

—Marc Smilow

You must be so proud of your daughter. I am inspired by her. My only advice would be that she should read everyday—and I don’t mean Internet gossipy stuff, but rather good writers and good sportswriters that she might want to emulate—and she should write as often as she can. Writing is as much a craft as it is a profession. It takes plenty of practice over the years to be good. Your daughter is well on her way. Congratulations and good luck.

DEFENDING MANNING. Why do teams, like Dallas this weekend, insist on defending Denver straight up, like they are any other team? Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini both showed that when Brady and Manning are at their best, the way to defend them is the amoeba defense —have everyone moving pre-snap, play one or two linemen, with more LBs and DBs, and deny their pre-snap reads. That defense has been shown to confuse Manning.  I’m not saying it will shut him out, but if you just play your standard 3-4/cover 2, you have NO shot. Why do teams make it so easy for Manning instead of trying to confuse him, at least a little bit?

 —Jim Kloss

Talk Back

Got a question for Peter? Send it to talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in next Tuesday's mailbag.

One of the toughest things to do with Manning is to confuse him pre-snap. In the first game of this season, with several Ravens who knew Manning very well from previous matchups, Manning changed stuff at the line of scrimmage that no opponent could know. I’ve been told that he actually used the same words in some of his communication at the line that he had used in the past, but some of the words and formations that looked similar to what he once used in Indianapolis were actually diametrically opposed to what he really did in that game.

But I agree with you. There are two keys to defending Manning. One is to give him absolutely as much confusion pre-snap as possible. Two is to physically compete with his receivers so that they are thrown off their regular route patterns. It also helps if your offense can run the ball very well to let the clock run so that Manning has fewer possessions.

POLITICAL PROBLEM. As much as I love you for your football analysis, I hate you taking sides in political battles.  Most of us, dare I say all of us, come to SI for your football punditry precisely as an escape from all the BS in Washington. Do us all a favor and give us this refuge, politics free?

—Jeffrey Martin, Tucson, Ariz.

I guess you’re referring to Jon Stewart as one of my Quotes of the Week? A quote that referred to the New York Giants? I thought it was hilarious. I’m probably going to continue to use quotes from people I think are funny. But I understand and I get it. You don’t want to hear political commentary from me. Other than the occasional gun issue, which I think we would all be un-American to ignore, I will do my best to stay free from politics in the column. And believe me, I really appreciate you reading. 

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124 comments
Redtheidiot
Redtheidiot

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.  0-4 TB cut him.  By no means are they a model franchise known for wise moves. but coaches on the hot seat certainly dont cut "good" players.

larrybradford
larrybradford

I guess Cassel's most admirable performance means nothing. I am finally understanding why the Vikings seem to go nowhere. Freeman is like Ponder and will throw picks all over the place. I would hang with Cassel and draft a franchise QB next year.

gary41
gary41

Freeman will get more help in Minnesota than Tampa Bay, but mainly he will free of a carping coach & worthless staff.  Musgrave, the OC, was a QB and a QB coach plus they have 2 QB coaches, but the remainder to the season will blow by, with little or no learning curve gains.  It looks mostly like game management, with no errors and enough vertical passing to keep safeties out of the box.  No matter how Freeman does, up or down, it is hard to imagine anyone taking him next year, in favor of a mass of really good looking QB's entering the draft.  In fact the Vikings could be better off with this one year patch-work deal, looking for long term needs in the draft.            

s1an3
s1an3

Well, Russell Wilson and Phillip Rivers and Mike Glennon all went to N.C. State


Uhhh, you sure about that?  Care to make a wager that that list is just a tad wrong?

s1an3
s1an3

Well, Russell Wilson and Phillip Rivers and Mike Glennon all went to N.C. State


Uhhh...you sure about that?  Care to make a small wager that list is a tad incorrect?

Kalzy
Kalzy

Ponders, gravy training wife will find a real estate entrepreneur she can goof around with and dump his "A"

CurtSampson
CurtSampson

I for one think he should write about whatever he wants as well. As far as the Jon Stewart comment, its as funny as hell as well as true. But not only that, the government shutdown does have something to do with the NFL. The NFL, one of the most popular sporting events, wasn't shown last week on the Armed Forces Network because of the government shutdown. So they are related. 

 I love hearing intelligent people's words on the issues that matter. This is his column and he should be able to write things that he believes should go in it. He focuses almost everything on sports and the NFL so a political commentary every once in a while should be okay for anyone to tolerate. Stop being so sensitive.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

I wish Freeman the best in Minnesota. Greg Schiano is a franchise killer. A disaster as a coach. Freeman may never be great, but I see him doing well in a system run by intelligent football people.


dr227
dr227

I say write as much as you want about whatever want.  The best part about MMQB is ready the comments.   I can practically all the pudgy fingers typing with extra anger.   say it with me slowly....Diabeetus

Jon8
Jon8

In the only recent poll to ask native people about the subject, 90 percent of respondents did not consider the term (Redskins)  offensive...

Source CBS

Read it and weep, guy who writes this column!!!

RayHuggyBearYoung
RayHuggyBearYoung

I am very PRO Peter King but he is seriously going to say all the political talk refers to one quote from Jon Stewart?  Does he read his own material?  There are tons of political nuggets.  I for one do not care, I can pick and choose what I read but it obviously gets a lot of other people seething.

pamperofirpo
pamperofirpo

It looks like PK finally read the memo from his advertisers. STOP THE POLITICAL TALK. The vast majority of PK's audience is white males. And, 62% of white males voted for Romney. The advertisers know that it is not good to piss off the vast majority of readers with inane political commentary...especially for a football column.

leehwgoc
leehwgoc

@s1an3 Wilson transferred to Wisconsin from NC State, dude.  And he was a starter there for three seasons.

cory3015
cory3015

Actually, the statement is quite right. All three played football at NC State.

Jon8
Jon8

@CurtSampson 

No one is saying he should not write what he wishes!

But, once written, then WE have the right to criticize and respond in any way we wish!

So stop being sensitive!!!

Jon8
Jon8

@dr227 Speak for yourself and do not project your deformities and diseases on the rest of us!!

CGGymDog
CGGymDog

@Jon8 See, this is called cherry picking information. The article states that there are "2 million Indians enrolled in 566 federally recognized tribes, plus another 3.2 million who tell the Census they are Indian," and that the 2004 consisted of only 768 people who identified themselves as Native American. Not exactly a large sample group. 

rmcjls
rmcjls

@Jon8 I just read the CBS article about the poll.  It says that in 2004, the number was 9 in 10 unoffended.  But it also says that in the most recent poll--April 2013--it's now 8 in 10.  Draw a trend line, maybe that's why people are beginning to take notice...

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@RayHuggyBearYoung He admits he talks about guns. Otherwise, go ahead, name a few "nuggets." Just because a few dopes on the Internet are all worked up about something doesn't make it a real thing.

Wait, are you thinking of Peter T. King, the Republican congressman from New York? If so, then yes, he talks about politics a lot. Football, not so much, but then again who would want to dwell on the Giants this season? Then again, that Peter King wanted the Republicans to knock it off with the defund-Obamacare stuff, too.

fbfan11
fbfan11

@pamperofirpo I'm a white lesbian scientist who studies air pollution and climate change-needless to say, not a Romney supporter. However, I am a long time reader of PK and MMQB. Football is the most popular sport in America right now, and America is most definitely not composed of white males, so there is no reason to think PK's readership is solely white males. 

On a more important note, as a Bucs fan, I don't think Freeman is a fix for the Vikes long term.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@pamperofirpo A. Aside from the occasional gun issue and referring to a funny line from the Daily Show, please cite some of this "POLITICAL TALK" that's apparently so prevalent. 

B. It's fun that you believe that most of PK's readers are white men, that all those white Romney voters are apparently in favor of shutting down the government (John McCain might beg to differ) and that they're so insecure that they'd stop reading a 1,000-plus-word football column due to, what, four lines that touch on a political issue.

Ciscos
Ciscos

@pamperofirpo ~ Just curious how you know what the demographic makeup of PK's audience is?

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@Jon8  You have no "rights" here, SI can close this site for comments or block you whenever they feel like it.

DougMartinrules
DougMartinrules

@CGGymDog @Jon8 

Actually, that's a perfectly adequate sample size. For you to have a 95% confidence that your value is +/-5% with a total population of 5 million you would need at least 384 responses.

Jon8
Jon8

@rmcjls @Jon8 

HAHAHAHA! From 90% to 80% with the constant barrage from the Liberal Press!

I'd call that a GD miracle, not a trend!!!

pamperofirpo
pamperofirpo

You have to be kidding. PK continually has made disparaging remarks to "Republicans", "conservatives", and "those tea party members". But, I will say this. Since the new MMQB debuted in August, the political commentary is way down from before. Perhaps PK knows he will look like a fool defending Obama over those nasty "phony scandals". Or, more likely, his advertisers told him to tone the political rhetoric down. It is not a good idea for PK to disparage the ideals of the vast majority of his audience.

josef918
josef918

@SpartanTarget @RayHuggyBearYoung No, let's not pretend the political stuff is limited to one innocuous semi-football related comment in a blue moon.  That's just not the case, and to suggest it's limited like that really makes it seem like you are deliberately trying to hide it.  I'm not going to go digging through columns and cite specific cases, but I know most regular readers will recognize that we can expect, roughly, one politically motivated comment or point in the mmqb articles.  Now, that's not a lot by any measure, but it's not unreasonable to expect that people really want that number to be absolutely zero in their start-of-the-week all-encompassing football article, especially given how vicious and caustic politics are at this point.  Regardless of which side of the aisle you find yourself on, it's just unpleasant sometimes, and you'd rather hear just about football.
Beyond this though, I think that people on this site could possibly overlook the political commentary without much trouble, but the problem I see is that often Peter's comments can be vapid and uninformed.  Which leads to people desperately pointing out the flaws in a simplistic comparison, or false analogy.  Which of course leads to all sorts of back and forth in the comments.  Again, I'm not going to dig up anything, but I know that I've seen this more than a few times.  One instance that comes to mind was in the last year or two, I don't recall exactly, when in comparison to the players' union Peter made a comment about pending anti-union legislation in some Midwest state.  Perhaps another commenter can clear up the details on this, but it really was a comparison that was meant to disparage the governor of the state in question (I believe) that shouldn't have been made, based on the differences in the types of unions in each case, and many commenters took him to task for his ignorance.  It's these sorts of things, in my opinion, that make people just wish Peter would just..speak to football.  No one expects him to be an all-informed political expert, so let's just ditch that and talk about the NFL.  That's why we're here.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@fbfan11 @pamperofirpo C'mon! You're realistic enough to know that climate change is legitimate, but you still believe in the Bucs?!

Kidding aside, keep up the good work.

Jon8
Jon8

@SpartanTarget @pamperofirpo We do not stop reading, we read and then lambaste, the guy who writes this column! (Note: I refuse to use the name of the person who writes this column as I find it offensive!)

Ciscos
Ciscos

@SpartanTarget @pamperofirpo~ Spartan... you get the BOOM award for that post... best line? "... and that they're so insecure that they'd stop reading a 1,000-plus-word football column due to, what, four lines that touch on a political issue."

Luv it!... lol. 

pamperofirpo
pamperofirpo

I am in the advertising business. Media research shows that white males represent the largest part of PK's audience...by far.

peter.io
peter.io

@Jon8 @rmcjls Yikes! Someone blaming the "liberal press"... my spidey senses are tingling...

Jon8
Jon8

@SpartanTarget @Jon8 @rmcjls 

The Redskins were prominently discussed in the guy who writes this column's MMQB on Monday.

This is mailbag day for THAT Monday column!

Now who is not on topic clown??!!!

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@pamperofirpo Sorry, but you too fail the "This happens all the time but I don't have a single example!" Internet stink test.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@josef918 @SpartanTarget @RayHuggyBearYoung I'm a regular MMQB reader, and I don't expect that. So again, prove it. If you can expect "roughly, one politically motivated comment or point in the mmqb articles," then go back to, I dunno, roughly the last column and find one. Or the one before that. Or the one before that. Seriously, this shouldn't require a deep archive dive, according to your own premise. As it stands, you just sound silly. "I'm going to accuse a guy of being political in pretty much every single column, yet offer absolutely no proof." Right. Sorry, but you're pretty sports-oriented, right? Aren't those often driven by statistics? What if PK wrote that Eli Manning throws, roughly, eight interceptions a game, but he didn't feel like offering any support for that assertion. Would you be a bit skeptical?

peter.io
peter.io

@Jon8 @BY @SpartanTarget @pamperofirpo I think you mean your CONSTITUTIONAL right to free speech. Not sure I've ever heard of an "editorial" right to free speech.

That aside, I would consider myself a liberal and I love freedom of expression and am all for it. It has been my experience that when given the opportunity to express one's ideas freely, people will usually show themselves for what they are if given enough time and the best argument will become obvious.

If you have a point, it is lost in your generalizations (liberals do not hate free speech just as conservatives don't all want to shout down anyone who disagrees with them - you are dealing in Glen Beck stereotypes my friend.

As to your opinion of the author of this column, Mr. King, you seem to think that you have a constituency in saying that you want him to know what "we" think of him. I think if you look at most of what is being written here, you will find that, agree or disagree with his views, most people here respect his skill as a journalist and enjoy his column and are rather passionate about it so I am uncertain exactly whom you think you are speaking for beyond yourself.

Finally, if you think that you are somehow hurting Mr. King by posting personal attacks on him and refusing to use his name in writing about him, I think you are deluding yourself. Love the column or hate it, you ARE reading it and contributing to its page hit counts (which advertisers use as a basis for how much they pay for advertisements they place on the site). So, you are doing your part to pay the proverbial rent.

I'm not sure you have thought this out very clearly.

Jon8
Jon8

@BY @Jon8 @SpartanTarget @pamperofirpo

I am exercising my editorial right to free speech!

I know how much you Liberals hate free speech!!

The guy who writes this column has a right to his say and so do I. I want him to know what we think of him!!

Otherwise, he might think he is beloved!!!

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@Ciscos @SpartanTarget @pamperofirpo Heck, I don't actually think they are -- my dad's a conservative guy, and we both read MMQB. It cracks me up when people make that assumption, though. I mean, a lot of sports talk radio guys tend to be conservative and I keep listening -- I just let my mind wander whenever the conversation gets political. 

peter.io
peter.io

@pamperofirpo I would be interested in looking at that research... can you provide links or citations to the material that backs up what you claim? I think it is a fair to ask where you are claiming expertise in the field as the basis of what you write.

SpartanTarget
SpartanTarget

@pamperofirpo And again, are all those white men made of candy glass? If someone repeats a Republican-criticizing quote from the Daily Show, do they all shut off their monitors and start weeping? Christ, if these guys are out for the night and someone they're with makes a comment criticizing Republicans, do they halt the conversation, walk out of the restaurant and drive away?

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