Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think I’m in favor of the draft rotating sites. As Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said the other day, he’s in favor of the idea of putting it at the team’s stadium in Arlington. I like it too. Why not take it out to the fans around the country?
2. I think it sounds very much like Bruce Arians isn’t a fan of the Cards potentially being on “Hard Knocks.” I mean, what coach is?
3. I think I don’t understand the Bucs apparently being open to dumping quarterback Mike Glennon. This is a player with potential, and a sponge, who doesn’t have to have anything handed to him, and could be a part of the long-term solution at quarterback for the Bucs. To get, say, a fifth-round pick for Glennon is just not commensurate with what he delivered last season in a promising rookie year.
4. I think the GM under the most pressure this week is Rick Spielman in Minnesota. He cannot pick the wrong quarterback if he wants any job security.
5. I think one of the big questions anyone should have about Pitt quarterback Tom Savage was raised the other day by Gil Brandt. “It’ll be interesting to see how much of a factor it’ll be that Savage basically went 1,000 days without playing a game,’’ he said. “Did you know that?” Can’t say that I did. But I looked it up. And yes, it was 1,022 days between the last game Savage played at Rutgers in 2010 and the first game he played at Pitt in 2013.
6. I think it should come as no surprise to any Vikings-watcher that Christian Ponder didn’t have his fifth-year option picked up—though I believe the whole fifth-year-option exercises have been overrated. Take Aldon Smith. If you’re a Niners fan, you probably were surprised the team picked up his 2015 fifth-year option after all his troubles. But it’s not really surprising. The fifth-year option is simply a place-holder, with minimal risk, as our Andrew Brandt explained last week. The only risk is that if a player gets hurt badly in 2014 and his status for the fifth year is in question, his 2015 salary would be guaranteed. But if Smith, say, has one more run-in with the law and San Francisco chooses to let him go after 2014, they’re under no obligation to pay him big money in 2015. So I think the fifth-year options are much ado about very little.
7. I think Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is on to something. He reported Sunday that of the 32 first-round picks in 2011—all, of course, eligible now to talk new contracts with their teams—none, apparently, is close to a long-term extension. Not J.J. Watt, not Cam Newton. There’s probably a logical reason—that teams don’t have to do anything now before the draft, and talks will heat up after the middle of May. But if they don’t, you can be sure players will press the collusion button.
8. I think when Greg Cosell of NFL Films talks, I listen. Not many in the prospect-analyst business are as smart and concise and opinionated about players as Cosell.
9. I think, when it comes to the debate about who’s going to start at quarterback for the Jets, it’s all meaningless palaver until Geno Smith and Michael Vick show up at camp and compete in practice and preseason games. Of course Smith is the incumbent and Vick would have to beat him out in August. We’ve known that since the day Vick signed. Nothing has changed, and no amount of words or pronouncements will make it change before, say, late August.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Has V. Stiviano’s 15 minutes expired yet?
b. Could it? Quickly?
c. My favorite line from this sap’s interview with Barbara Walters: Asked about her relationship with Donald Sterling, Stiviano said, “I’m his right-hand arm man. I’m his best friend, his confidant, his silly rabbit.”
d. I wish I had a right-hand arm man. Any volunteers?
e. The NBA is not my forte, but night after night it is great drama. The other night, when the Damian Lillard three-pointer at the buzzer went in to win the Portland-Houston series, I screamed at the TV. Imagine what Portlandians did. Fantastic theater.
f. Mike Tirico’s call was terrific too. “Foul to give for Houston. Nine-tenths left. A three wins the series. [Whistle from the referee, starting play.] It’s Lillard … He got the shot off! LILLARD GOOD! GOOD! AND THE BLAZERS … WIN THE SERIES … FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 14 YEARS!!!’’ Then nothing but the crowd in Portland, which was nutso. That’s the way to make a great call.
g. Great stat from NBA.com’s John Schuhmann after the Nets eked out the game seven win at Toronto 104-103 Sunday afternoon: The Nets and Raptors played 11 times this season, and each scored 1,070 points in the 11 meetings.
h. Coffeenerdness: I could use a darker roast, Community Coffee, but you always make New Orleans a passable coffee stop on the road.
i. Beernerdness: In Atlanta Friday, I was fortunate to be introduced to SweetWater Brewing’s SweetWater Blue ale, with a hint of blueberry. Not a fan of the overwhelming kind of blueberry beers I’ve tasted, and this one definitely isn’t. It’s almost a light ale, and I found it delicious. No surprise there. SweetWater is a great brewery.
j. Congrats, Vince Ranalli (my nephew in Pittsburgh) for completing the Pittsburgh Marathon in five hours Sunday … and in a The MMQB shirt, no less. Heck of a job.
k. The week’s definition of pathetic: Yankee fans incessantly booing Robinson Cano on his return to New York. They’d have all turned down three more guaranteed years for $65 million more than the Yankees offered. Right.
l. And don’t blame me for Red Sox fans booing Jacoby Ellsbury. That’s awful too—and, for the record, I was at his first game back at Fenway Park and stood and cheered. To each his own, but the rancor in both cases is stupid and misplaced.
m. Leave Xander Bogaerts alone, by the way. He’s 21, a huge talent, and he’s learning. Let him have his growing pains. Don’t devour the kid.
n. And finally, just when you thought you couldn’t feel any older, Billy Joel turns 65 Friday.
The Adieu Haiku
Three days and counting.
Our long national nightmare
is almost over.