Well, it’s been an interesting day in professional football for this weeks NFL picks. The hallmark story involves the legendary Brett Favre, who, at 39 years old, turned down the starting spot with Minnesota today. Additionally, QB Michael Vick is certainly a person of interest these days and there are a few other guys who are worth considering on this weeks nfl picks.
Well, I’ve got to say that I really respect Favre after he’s made his decision to not play his nineteenth NFL season. Favre, who played for the New York Jets in 2008 and struggled through the last month of the season, had considered joining the Minnesota Vikings for the 2009 season. He underwent shoulder surgery over the off-season and seemed interested in taking the field one more time. During his career, Favre completed 5,720 of 9,280 attempts (61.6%) for 65,127 yards and 464 touchdowns. He tossed 310 picks and earned a rating of 85.4. That’s one hell of a career.
It’s evident that Favre will miss the game and the game will miss him. But the guy based his decision on the fact that he does not believe that he can consistently contribute to a team. It’s reported that the future Hall of Fame quarterback actually made his decision to retire for good last week but that the Viking organization, including management, coaches and players, tried to convince him to come to Minnesota.
I think Favre made the right decision. It’s time for him to move onto other things. Expect to see him somewhere at the analyst table. Of course, some are wondering if Favre’s decision is in fact final. Is it? That’s a good question. I, for one, sure hope so.
Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels
You remember Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels? You know, they’re the “other” Viking QBs? So, how do you think those guys feel? Confident, enthusiastic and wanted after the Brett Favre scenario? Okay, maybe not. But guess what—this is the ultimate Tom Brady moment. Yeah, what would Tom Brady do? He’d show the Vikings that they were stupid for discounting his talent, skill and leadership. The question is—does either Jackson or Rosenfels have the right stuff to step up and lead the team? Most analysts are doubtful that either can be a true NFL starter. Jackson has been in the league three years and has shown improvement, notching his best season last year. Rosenfels, who ironically wears number 2, has been a seven-year number two QB. Jackson has some potential as a starter. He needs a season, this season, to really prove himself. It would help if he had a little more depth and talent with which to work.
He’s out if prison, reinstated and suspended for a bunch of games. But Vick, who I feel has more talent as a runner than a quarterback, is still looking for a team. He has paid his debt to society, probably learned on heck of a life lesson and has Tony Dungy as his mentor! If this were a poker hand, the guy would be holding three aces. He was in his mid-twenties when he made some very bad, stupid decisions. Now in his late twenties, I do believe the guy will be a model citizen.
Hey, here’s an idea—maybe the Vikings should sign him! He’s no Brett Favre but he’s also no Tavaris Jackson. If I were Minnesota, I’d sign the guy. He’s primed in a few ways.
First, Vick has a boatload of experience. Second, the guy has talent. Third, he’s certainly proven that he’s a survivor. And finally, he’s got Dungy in his corner.
Dungy is a huge asset. It’s not just the fact that he’s a NFL icon, a man of faith and a great leader (although all of those things are huge plusses). Dungy has such an amazing positive aura about him that it’s hard to believe that Vick won’t succeed with his help. Think of it, the Vikings get Vick and Dungy in the same package! Go for it, Purple.
Brees, Brady, Manning and Others
The top ten signal callers in the NFL in 2009 are:
1) Drew Brees (New Orleans): After last season, he’s poised to put up even more great numbers.
2) Tom Brady (New England): After last season, he’s poised to actually play. This top competitor will be ready to compete come opening day.
3) Peyton Manning (Indianapolis): He is consistently great. Always hard to beat.
4) Philip Rivers (San Diego): A tough and smart competitor.
5) Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay): He had a fine rookie season and should excel this year.
6) Kurt Warner (Arizona): Led the Cards to the Super Bowl last season. Remember—he was supposed to be the back up? He’s wily and deadly.
7) Tony Romo (Dallas): A true leader who may excel without T.O. on the team.
8) Matt Ryan (Atlanta): The former Boston College QB and NFL rookie made everyone in Atlanta say, “Michael who?”
9) Jay Cutler (Chicago): Although he lacks athleticism, Cutler is smart and skilled.
10) Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia): Everyone thought he was washed up last season and the vet proved everyone wrong. He’s the real thing.
Those are my picks. What are yours?
The Matt Cassel Effect
Last season, Matt Cassel stepped in and up for the injured Tom Brady. In his weekly performances, he showed an amazing ability to grow and kept the New England Patriots in the playoff hunt until the very last week. It was an amazing performance that earned him the starting spot with a team in need of an overhaul—the Kansas City Chiefs. With former Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley as the Chiefs’ new head coach and former Pats’ GM Scott Paoli (a true NFL mastermind) running the talent/business end of the franchise, the next two season could see a new dominant team in the AFC’s West Division. Cassel can make things happen and I think that he will in a year or two in Kansas City.
In the next week or so, I’ll be posting on NFL running backs and wideouts. The 2009 season is right around the corner. Are you ready