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• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud

Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

September 5, 2007

The final days of preseason prompts NFL teams to make slashing cuts for the sake of balanced rosters and affordable futures. Usually that means trimming a sixth-string cornerback, a fourth-string quarterback, or an aging defensive lineman. The last few days have been brutal to back-up passers, however – and even borderline starters aren't safe.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio had been unhappy enough with his choices at QB, that he considered – and reportedly lobbied for drafting – eventual Brown Brady Quinn, but was instead left with often-dinged Byron Leftwich or his rival for action, David Garrard. Leftwich, a former 1st round pick, could hardly be tossed aside while still being their starter, so this past weekend he was demoted to being Garrard's back-up. Momentarily. And then tossed aside.

Doug Johnson is also out at the Bengals, although rather than dumping him, Cincinnati traded him to the St Louis Rams in exchange for their No.3 play-caller, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick arrives with no familiarity with the Cincinnati system, but at least has a Harvard grad's mind when it comes to learning quickly (and if you're wondering precisely what the Bengals wanted him for, no, he didn't major in Criminal Law).

Among other QBs emptying their lockers: Tennessee No.3 and former 49ers starter Tim Rattay; Chris Leak, a National Champion with Florida last year, was surplus to requirements for Chicago; Vinny Testaverde moved on from his seventh job, this time cut by New England. Heisman winner Troy Smith did survive the cuts at Baltimore, however, and Chris Simms (who lost his start job after rupturing his spleen during a game last season) was among four passers retained by Tampa Bay.

With a number of teams starting the season with only 2 active QBs, including Atlanta, Dallas, Carolina – I can't help feeling that Leftwich won't be wandering the streets for too long. The Jaguars gave him up without seeking trade compensation because they were seeking a clean break without any locker-room split of support between Leftwich and Garrard. The problem for many teams who may be tempted to sign Leftwich is that he is just good enough to eventually spark a quarterback controversy somewhere else.

Non-QB cuts: Longtime Cowboy Aaron Glenn was cut but almost immediately signed by the Jaguars; Safety Donovin Darius, considered a decent free agent acquisition for the Raiders, was cut by the Raiders; and the Patriots parted company with Reche Caldwell, their leading receiver from last year (I think they'll probably get by just fine).

One non-cut note: Lawrence Tynes won the job as New York Giants kicker despite a far from stellar pre-season. For publicity reasons alone, the Scottish-born kicker should hang onto the role until the end of October when the Giants play the Dolphins in the United Kingdom.

While this sort of detail is usually the reserve of fantasy football geeks only, I can't help but notice that the highlights above include three former Gators – Johnson, Leak and Caldwell – who have failed to make an impact in the NFL. They are just some of a long line of statistically huge passers and catchers from Florida that have failed to translate as superstars in the NFL, unlike counterparts from Miami and Florida State. Even coach Steve Spurrier couldn't make the transition.

Was there ever a time when future University of Florida pass-catching alumni needed Rex Grossman to settle down and show they're worth a No.1 pick?

Poll Prejudice: Following up on my last entry, I see that Michigan did fall from both the AP and Coaches' top 25 polls. They did, however, only fall into the next 10 spots, with 39 points from the AP and 132 points from the Coaches. Now, I realize that these are the FBS polls, so Appalachian State aren't eligible to appear (shame), but I still wonder how Michigan can LOSE to a FCS team and still get more points than Brigham Young, who WON 20-7 over Pac-10 team Arizona, and by-the-way have now won 11 games in a row. Answer: Lazy, lazy voters.


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