In this version of “Quick Hits”, we look at some of the biggest stories in the NFL and give a quick take on each matter.
Bucs Close To Drafting Rodgers?
Even taking his 2011 struggles into account, Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman is one of the better young quarterbacks in football. Sure, Freeman isn’t Aaron Rodgers, but who is? Well, Aaron Rodgers is and he believed that the Bucs would draft him back in 2005. The St. Petersburg Times has the story.
Our take: You can’t hammer the Bucs too badly for not taking Rodgers. Sure, they had a need at the position but 24 others teams passed on the NFL’s best quarterback too.
John Fox Forced To Adapt To Tebow’s Limitations
The Denver Broncos have found a way to win football games without employing the forward pass. This is all to satisfy the fans that demanded Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback. Broncos coach John Fox has pieced together a game plan each week that’s worked three out of four times to accentuate the positives and eliminate the negatives from his accuracy-challenged quarterback. Jeff Darlington from NFL.com has the piece.
Our take: John Fox claims that he and the Broncos would be “screwed” if they had to run a conventional offense. He’s right and this gimmick offense has a very short shelf life. You can’t compete for a title in today’s NFL by playing World War II football.
Kolb Gets Last Laugh
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb didn’t participate in the team’s 21-17 victory over his former mates, the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, but he was instrumental in the team’s success. After being handed the starting job in Philly, Kolb was injured and was forced to the bench after Michael Vick came in and set the world on fire. On Sunday, Kolb used his four years of experience in the Eagles system to help his Arizona teammates by calling out the Eagles plays, especially at the end of the game. Philly.com has the report.
Our take: Andy Reid is one of the league’s best coaches but it’s simply inexcusable for him not to change the signals prior to playing against one of his former quarterbacks. From Kolb’s point of view, he wasn’t done wrongly by Philadelphia as he was well compensated last season, but he did lose his job to injury. The victory, even though he didn’t play must have felt pretty good.
Leinart To The Rescue?
With quarterback Matt Schaub likely on the shelf for the rest of the season, the Houston Texans must rally around none other than Matt Leinart to save their season. Leinart has the benefit of playing with the league’s top-ranked defense and a devastating running game with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Leinart talks about the opportunity on NFL Network and former teammate Kurt Warner gives his analysis.
Our take: Although any Texans fan would rather have Matt Schaub under center, the Houston offense is built around Leinart’s strengths which is bootlegs, throwing on the run and shorter, quick reads. Leinart, like Schaub doesn’t have a huge arm and this offense doesn’t require too many of the “stick throws” between several layers of coverage.
Alex Smith Isn’t Worried About Money
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is having by far the best season of his career as he’s playing efficiently and has his team off to an 8-1 start. Still, Smith is only playing on a one-year deal and the team traded up to acquire his perceived successor in the second-round of this year’s draft in Colin Kaepernick. With all the uncertainty, Alex Smith isn’t concerned about a new contract from the 49ers, according to Comcast Sports Net.
Our take: Alex Smith is playing fantastic football, but nine games does not a season make. San Francisco will need to see more of him before they invest another $40- $50 million on a guy who hasn’t shown much up to this point in his career. Can you say David Garrard and Derek Anderson?
Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPNFlorida.com and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie